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REVIEW OF RELIGIOUS PUBLICATIONS.

Theological Dictionary, &c. By C. Buck, Vol. II. 8vo, price 95. 6d.

WHEN we reviewed the first volume of this work in our Maga zine for October last, we explained the plan and nature of it, and gave a favourable opinion on its execution, which we have seen no reason to retract. For the further information of our readers, we shall now give some extracts from the article Methodism, in the second volume :—

"This denomination was founded in the year 1729, by one Mr. Morgan and Mr. J. Wesley. In the month of November that year, the latter being then fellow of Lincoln College, began to spend some evenings in reading the Greek Testament, with Charles Wesley, student; Mr. Morgan, commoner of Christ Church; and Mr. Kirkman, of Merton College. Not long afterwards, two or three of the pupils of Mr. John Wesley, and one pupil of Mr. Charles Wesley, obtained leave to attend these meetings. They then began to visit the sick in different parts of the town, and the prisoners also, who were confined in the castle. Two years after, they were joined by Mr. Ingram, of Queen's College, Mr. Broughton, and Mr. Hervey ; and, in 1735, by the celebrated Mr. Whitefield, then in his eighteenth year. At this time their number in Oxford amounted to about fourteen. They obtained their name from the exact regularity of their lives, which gave occasion to a young gentleman of Christ Church to say, "Here is a new sect of Methodists sprung up;" alluding to a sect of ancient phyficians who were called Methodists, because they reduced the whole healing art to a few common principles, and brought it into some method and order.

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"At the time this Society was formed, it is said that the whole kingdom of Eng land was tending fast to mfidelity. "It is come," says Bishop Butler," I know not how, to be taken for granted by many persons, that Christianity is not so much as a subject of enquiry; but that it is now at length discovered to be fictitious; and accordingly they treat it as if, in the present age, this were an agreement among all people of discernment, and nothing mained but to set it up as a principal subject of mirth and ridicule, as it were, by way of reprisals for its having so long interrupted the pleasures of the world." There is every reason to believe that the Me

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thodists were the instruments of stemming this torrent. The sick and the poor is tasted the fruits of their labours and benevolence: Mr. Wesley abridged himself of for the relief of the indigent; and so prosall his superfiuities, and proposed a fund perous was the scheme, that they quickly increased their fund to eighty pounds per annu:n. This, which one should have thought would have been attended with praise instead of censure, quickly drew upon them a kind of persecution: some of the seniors of the university began to interfere; and it was reported, “ that the col lege-censors were going to blow up the Godly Club." They found themselves, however, patronized and encouraged by some men eminent for their learning and virtue; so that the Society still continued, though they had suffered a severe loss, in 1730, by the death of Mr. Morgan, who, it is said, was the founder of it. In Oct. 1735, John and Charles Wesley, Mr. Ingram, and Mr. Delamotte, son of a mer chant in London, embarked for Georgia, in order to preach the gospel to the Indians. After their arrival they were at first favourably received; but in a short time lost the affection of the people; and, on account of some differences with the storekeeper, Mr. Wesley was obliged to return to England. Mr.Wesley, however, was soon succeeded by Mr. Whitefield, whose repeated labours in that part of the world are well known.

"Their tenets. After Mr. Whitefield returned from America, in 1741, he declared his full assent to the doctrines of Calvin. Mr. Wesley, on the contrary, professed the Arminian doctrine, and had printed in favour of perfection and universal redemption, and very strongly against election: a doctrine which Mr.Whitefield believed to be scriptural. The difference, therefore, of sentiments between these two ley preached great men caused a separation. Mr.Weswhere Mr Whitefield preached but once, a place called the Foundry, and no more. Mr. Whitefield then preached to very large congregations out of doos; and soon after, in connection with Mr. Cennick, and one or two more, began a new house, in Kingswood, Gloucestershire; and established a school that favoured Calvinistical preachers. The Methodists, therefore, were now divided; other Mr. Whitefield." one part following Mr. Wesley, and the

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The author here explains at large the opinions of Mr. Wesley, in his own words. He then enters into the

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discipline of the Methodists;
plains fully what is called their Nexu
Connection, and concludes with the
following account of their numbers
and success:-

"Notwithstanding the general contempt that has been thrown upon them, and the opposition they have met with, yet their numbers are very considerable. In Mr. Wesley's connection there are upwards of 400 preachers, and about 170,000 members. In 1786, they sent Missionaries to the West Indies. Societies were formed in Barbadoes, St. Vincent's, Dominica, St. Christopher's, Nevis, Antigua, St. Eustatia, Tortola, and St. Croix. These Societies are now very numerous; among whom, it is said, there are not less than 11,000 blacks. They have also 250 preachers employed on the continent of North America, and their Societies there consist of 60,000 members. Among the Calvinistic Methodists there are also a considerable number of preachers, whose congregations and societies are very extensive: some of their places in London are the largest and best attended in the world: it is almost incredible to see the numbers of people who flock to these places In Lady Hunting don's connection alone (including the country congregations) it is said, there are no less than Ico,cco hearers. As to their success in doing good, it is evident, that, though many ignorant enthusiasts have been found among them, yet no people have done more to moralize mankind than

THIS Memoir presents us with another proof of the general truth of the adage, "Men may live fools, but fools they camot die." Mr.B. the subject of this Memoir, came to Bristol, for the benefit of the water,

Thursday, Feb. 11, 1802. By W.
Wait, A.B. 3d Edition, price 3d.

&c. about a month before his de-
cease; but finding he was not likely
to recover, sent for a clergyman;
one who, happily for him, was able
to instruct him in the way of life.
He frankly owned he had been an
admirer of Thomas Paine; but ob-
served, that no man, having em-
braced his notions, could calmly
look death in the face. In token of
his detestation of that mischievous
book, he had committed it to the
flames. At this time he was ig-
norant of the gospel-method of sal-
vation; but was desirous of know-
A retrospect of his miscon
ing it.
duct, especially in laying aside the
Bible, and in profaning the Lord's
Day, created a high degree of an-
guish. He was oppressed with a
heavy burden of guilt; knew that
he must shortly appear before the
tribunal of God; and demanded, in
a quiet but impressive manner,
what was to be done, in order to his
salvation. Mr. Wait preached to
him the free salvation of the gos-
He also put
pel, which his mind seemed divinely
prepared to receive.
into his hands Mr. Biddulph's
Short Sermons, and Mr. Serle's
Christian Remembrancer, which
means of instruction seemed emi-
nently blessed to his soul. But it
was not till within a very few days
of his dissolution, that he enjoyed
any reviving hope of acceptance in
the beloved. At length, however,
he attained a sweet degree of peace,
humbly trusting that God our Re-
deen.er had "received his soul to
mercy," Reclining his head on the
arm of the mistress of the house, a
few minutes before his departure,
he observed, with great composure,
that he believed he was going; and
inquired, whether she was not of the
same opinion? Being answered, that
in all probability he was going, and,
as it was hoped, to a precious Sa-

they; nor have they rested there: they have not only contributed to render thousands better members of society, but been

the instruments of promoting their spiritual and eternal interests. By simplicity of language, fervour of address, patience in opposition, unweariedness in labour, piety of conduct, and dependence on Almighty God, they certainly have been the means of deing as much or more real good than any other denomination whatever. shrewd writer, therefore, who cannot be suspected of Method.sin, justly says, That these people have, in the last fifty years, instructed more of the lower orders of the

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people in the obligations of Christianity,

and have called more from gross vice to piety and virtue, than the church has ever done since the Reformation; while, at the same time, they have not cost government one farthing, but have been treated with insult and contempt."

The Last Days of a Person who had
been one of Thomas Paine's Disci-
ples; and who departed this Life on

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The Inconsistency of Conformity to this World in the Profession of Christianity illustrated in Three Dialogues, between Mrs. Dormer and Miss Newman. By Thomas Biddulph, M. A. Minister of St. James's, Bristol, and of Bengeworth, in Worcestershire, and Chaplain to the Dowager Lady Bagot! 800, 25. 6d.

THE highly respectable author of this treatise, endeavours to engage the attention of his readers, in these dialogues, to such spirituality of manners in the professors of the gospel, as the present too lax system of the lesser morals, if I may use that expression, will hardly admit. Miss Newman, the chief speaker in these Dialogues, states her objections forcibly against worldly company, chosen without necessity, and countenancing the generally-allowed scenes of what is called innocent dissipation, even by being a party, though without joining in them. She allows this will lead to a particularity of conduct, offensive to the world, but essential to the character and comfort of a real Christian. She censures the impropriety of parents, so early introducing their daughters into the circle of public company, to the injury of the "modesty and shamefacedness," recommended by an apostle, but judged at present a little obsolete. She describes the parental instruction she received and submitted to. Whether the study of the Hebrew language be the most amusing and

profitable substitution for trifling amusements, some may doubt; tho the acquisition of this language is certainly not very difficult, and may be of great utility to all who wish a fuller acquaintance with the original scriptures. But, perhaps, young people may be amused by acquisitions in geography, history, botany, &c. more agreeably, and with equally good effects.

The second Dialogue enters into the subject of what are called the Aliaphora, or things of an indifferent nature. Mrs. Dormer, the defender of the commonly indulged amusements, gives up the playhouse, as the sink of impurity, and a school of profaneness! How our gentry, nobility, &c. will except to such a concession, their practice demonstrates; but no sanction, however great, can alter the nature of things. Sufficient has been said by Mr. Law, Dr. Witherspoon, Dr. Bray, and many others, to prove the contra. riety of the stage, and its performers, to the purity of the gospel;. but, as to a card-party, a song, or a dance, or such innocent amusements, Mrs. Dormer perceives nothing contrary to the spirit of a Christian, in occasionally countenancing them by her presence, tho' she may not join in them. Miss N. argues against the dangerous tendency of all these, however c nsidered in the abstract as ind ifferent or innocent; and endeavours very strongly to prove the injurious effects of all these things; the loss of time, temper, and money, almost necessarily involved in these pursuits; and the impossibility of retiring from any such company without unfitting the mind for communion with God; and that the harm resulting from these is great to body and soul, and inconsistent with every baptismal engagement. The argument is supported by, strong quotations from Bishops Beveridge, But authorities weigh Horne, &c. little against general usage. Vital Christianity is so far removed from nominal profession, that, like the strait gate that leadeth to life, few find it. A truth too certain, from the lips of the Saviour, to admit dispute with his rear disciples; but

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and we know not of any books of the same extent more suitable for young and wavering minds, than this and Mr. Bogue's celebrated Essay: the one generally establishing the divine origin of Christianity; and the other particularly proving the claim of its sacred writers to inspiration from above.

Miscellaneous Papers, chiefly in the Form of Sermons; written by the late George Griffiths, of Bristol, a pious youth, who died at the Age of Sixteen Years: also, a short Account of his last Days, To which is added, the Funeral Discourse which his Death occasioned. By S. Lowell. 1270. 144 pp. 25. 6d.

GEORGE GRIFFITHS was a re

markable instance, not only of early piety, but of amiable disposition and promising talents. Before, however, those talents were matured for public usefulness, it pleased the Lord to call him to himself. His active mind anticipating the work upon which his heart was set, composed the outlines of several 'discourses, which are here presented to the public; and which, considering the age of the writer, may teach us to regret his loss. By these, being dead, he yet speaketh; and unites his voice with the servants of God of every age, to call upon us to repent and believe the gospel." These short discourses are not only pious, but animated, and generally judicious. The short exordium to the third discourse, appeared to us particularly striking. The seventh sermon, on affliction, is very experimental; and the Dis course on the Love of God, written in his illness, is sweet and pious.

The Funeral Discourse, by Mr. Lowell, on the example of Josiah, is judicious and pathetic; the benefits of early piety, and the evils of procrastination in religion, are represented with much energy and force of argument. We were sur prized, however, that this sermon, which is said to be added,' is prefixed to those of Griffiths; and that his discourses, which (p. 29) are called 'preceding,' actually follow, But this confusion of arrangement is probably owing to the error of either the printer or the binder,

We should farther inform our readers, that Mr. Lowell's sermon is also printed in 8vo, and sold separate, to gratify those who may wish to bind it with his other sermons.

The Beauties of Henry: a Selection of the most striking Passages in the Exposition of that celebrated Commentator. Vol. II. Extracted from the Poetical and Prophetical Parts of the Old Testament. By John Geard, Hitchin. 12mo. 450 pp. 45. 6d.

boards. The former volume of this work appeared several years fince, and was reviewed in our Magazine for February 1798; but the editor was intimidated from proceeding by the enormous price of paper. The third and last volume is, however, now in the press; and we are led to expect the completion of this useful and interesting publication within three months ensuing. In the prosecution of the work, Mr. G. has given some extracts from Mr.

THE Christian Character exemplified, from the Papers of Mrs. Mary Magdalen A-, selected by the Rev. J. Newton. A new edition. 12mo, 2s. 6d. fine. 2s. common.

The Lord's Supper considered, in two Sermons, at Perth, by R. Little, with an Appendix. 6d.

The Age of Infidelity, Part I. 3d edition, Is. 6d.

Henry's remarks on the author and design of each distinct book; the defect of which, in the former volume, will be supplied by an Appendix to the last.

SELECT LIST OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.

The Warning Voice: shewing that the Fall of Babylon is at hand, and the Restoration of the Jews fast approaching. By a Christian Believer. 8vo. 2S.

Gurnall's Christian in Complete Armour. Seventh edition, No. I. Price is. to be completed in 24 Numbers.

A Collection of Hymns, from various Authors; intended as a Supplement to Dr. Watts's Hymns and Psalms. By G, Burder. Ninth edition, enlarged and improved. 15. 6d. Larger edit. fine paper, 28,

A Dissertation in Vindication of Messiah, against Modern Sceptics, on his entry into Jerusalem; with Notes, and an Address to the Jews.

A concise Hebrew Grammar, without Points. By the late W. Romaine, A. M. To which is added, the Scheme of a Verb conjugated, with all the Serviles printed in Red Ink; and some additional Notes and Obfervations by the Editor. 8vo. 15. 12mo. gd.

This Grammar has been long handed about in MS. among the friends of the late Mr. Romaine, who was known to be an excellent Hebræan; and the publisher, after the fullest evidence of its authenticity, has made it public. The rules are indeed very concise, and very simple: but several useful particulars are added by the editor; and the table in two colours will be found exceedingly useful to be. ginners.

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By T. Osborne, of Kensington. 8vo. is. 6d.

Short Meditations on Select Portions of Scripture. By D. Turner, M. A. Third edition. 3s. 6d. bds.

Service at the Ordination of the Rev. Jos. Johnson, at Warrington. Introductory Discourse by the Rev. S. Bradley,-Charge by the Rev. W. Roby,-Sermon by the Rev. J. Sharp,-Confession of Faith, &c. by the Rev. J. Johnson.

Vindication of Protestant Dissent from the Charge of the Rev. T. Robinson, M. A. Vicar of St. Mary's, Leicester. In a Pamphlet entitled, "A Serious Cal. to a constant and devout Attendance on the stated Services of the Church of England. Bya Dissenter. 12mo.6d.

Serious Advice to Prisoners under Criminal Charges. By the Author of the "Village Sermons." 12mo. 3d,

The Debtor's Friend. By ditto. 12mo. 3d.

Monuments of Mercy. By ditto. 12mo. 3d.

Address to Lying-in Women. By J. Townsend. 12mo. 3d.

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