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the correctness of these quotations, any question of our fairness should be at all possible. The language is itself so free from all restriction, and even so exultant in the certainty of a complete vindication of God's permission of the fall, that the idea of any limitation seems absolutely excluded. The critic, however, seeks to evade the force of that language by the theory that Wesley employed it all with a peculiar application-in what we may call a Pickwickian sense. He maintains that Wesley did not speak of moral evil in general as contributing to results of such boundless blessing, but only of the fall of man; that it was not the great sphere of the universe that he had in mind, but only a lower and more limited one; that in his estimate of the results of this system he did not compare it really with all other systems, but only with a single other scheme, to which it is altogether superior. A comprehensive limitation was thus imposed upon all the language of an extended discussion; and the natural scope of that language denied and restricted at every point.

Now an effort like this surely ought to be fortified by the most ample citation of evidence. It is always easy for a partisan, whose delicacy is not too scrupulous, to meet the force of distinct and specific proofs with the allegation that they do not mean what they seem intended to mean. We presented from Wesley half a score of passages which speak a very decisive language; and we referred to them in an accurate statement of their bearing. Neither our own language in comment, nor any one of our citations, is in this connection quoted at all by the critic. He gives only his own view of both; and is very careful not to allow his readers to gain any accurate knowledge of the statements of either. Not one of the passages which we cited does he venture to copy. He judiciously contents himself with a summary of his own; and refers to our ample extracts -made with all care and discrimination-as "wrenched " from the true subject, fastened upon "a topic with which they have nothing to do," and moving no other feeling than "indignation."

Without imitating either the unfairness of his method or the warmth of his spirit, we shall proceed to examine his argu

ment, and in so doing we will give him the benefit of his own statement of his views.

1. He observes then that we have attributed to Wesley a theory about the result of sin in general, which in reality referred only to the sin of Adam, and that these are widely dif ferent in their bearing.

"At any rate," he says, "there is a wide difference between saying that Adam's particular sin was overruled to the best good of a particular sphere, and saying that all sin or the first introduction of sin is necessary to the best good of the universe. The reviewer's assertion that Mr. Wesley maintained the latter, because he maintained the former, is, therefore, a misrepresentation."

Let us admit the distinction. We will neither deny the justice, nor impeach the value of it just now; but granting it, in all the extent claimed, it affords a most sufficient vindication of our statement. The critic in his eagerness to break the force of Wesley's own language, which we so largely quoted in our second Article, forgets to examine our original and briefer statement in the first. We have only to recall that statement to show in the light of his present criticism, how utterly groundless was his first charge of misrepresentation. In the single paragraph in which we characterized the language of Wesley we most distinctly limited our statement to what this critic now explicitly maintains to be the true view of him. He declares that Wesley maintained that "Adam's particular sin was overruled," &c. Very well! Look now at our language, and see how distinctly we recognized this limitation in the only statement of our original Article. We spoke in that Article as follows: "The same views which Edwards maintained of the increased blessedness derived from the introduction of sin into the world, Wesley himself expressed about the results of the fall."

Now, we ask our readers whether it was possible more decisively to limit our statement so as to shut out that wide application of it to which now our critic objects. Does not our language recognize his own distinction to the fullest extent?

We did not attribute to Wesley a similarity of views with Edwards in respect to the influence of sin in the universe at large, but only of sin "in the world;" and even the partial similarity thus affirmed we still farther limited, by saying that this view Wesley held "about the results of the fall."

If then there is a real distinction between the views of the two writers, if one speaks of sin in the universe and the other in this lower sphere, that distinction, however it may enable the writer to contend for a limitation of Wesley's extreme language subsequently quoted, vindicates absolutely our first statement, and stamps it as exact to the last possible degree of accuracy. If this construction is the true one, and Wesley referred only to the fall of Adam in what he says of these blessed consequences, then was our statement, by the critic's own showing, beyond all legitimate objection. In attempting to guard, by a distinction to which Wesley nowhere refers, against the wide scope of the language which we quoted from him, the critic has only subverted his own original position. He can vindicate Wesley's extravagant positions only by means of a limitation which, whether important or not, our original statement recognized as fully as his own. What more need we say to vindicate our accuracy, and to expose the groundless and unfair character of the short-sighted criticism which at first pronounced it a misrepresentation?

2. But our critic imposes still additional limitations upon his author, into which we must follow him with careful scrutiny. He maintains that Wesley confined the great advantages of the fall to a portion of the human race. The critic speaks of sin as being made "an occasion of good to our little sphere," of "the best good of a particular sphere," and attributing a limitation of this kind to his author, says,

Equally a misrepresentation it is to charge such a proposition upon Mr. Wesley because he affirmed that the particular sin of Adam was conditional to the particular highest good placed by God as sequent to it."

Our readers will observe how different is this cautious and limited style of expression from the full and earnest utterances of Wesley which we quoted in our former Article. The "in

finite" and "unspeakable" advantages which have flowed from the permission of the fall are here limited to "a particular highest good," "in our little sphere." In vindication of this arbitrary limitation the writer does not adduce a line of proof, but contents himself with simply affirming the restriction, in the face of Wesley's unqualified and emphatic language.

Without entering upon any estimate of the value of the distinction here set up, we proceed at once to the language of Wesley himself; and show from his own earnest and warm statements how far he was from the feeble and narrow line of thought to which his critic would confine him. We deny explicitly that he limited his estimate of the great blessings consequent upon the fall, to the present world, or to the human race. On the contrary, he extended them by language of most unquestionable import, to other and higher orders of beings. Not only are the beneficial results of sin, in his scheme of thought, a perpetual and infinite blessing to each ransomed sinner, but they had far wider and higher relations. The Divine dispensations toward the evil which grows out of the fall furnish in Wesley's view an element of the highest blessedness to the noblest ranks of celestial beings. The character of God is herein displayed with a glory and beauty which no other aspect of it possesses or can possess. The most signal grounds which are anywhere vouchsafed to the unfallen inhabitants of Heaven for joy and praise, are found in God's treatment of man's sin; and the noblest anthems even of Heaven's sublimest worship celebrate those mysteries of redemption of which the sin of our first parents furnished the indispensable occasion. In proof, take the following passage from his sermon on Romans v, 15:

"If God had prevented the fall of man, the Word had never been made flesh; nor had we ever seen his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. Those mysteries had never been displayed which the very angels desire to look into. Methinks this consideration swallows up all the rest and should never be out of our thoughts. Unless by one man judgment had come upon all men to condemnation, neither angels nor men could ever have known the unsearchable riches of Christ."

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"Where, then, is the man who presumes to blame God for permitting Adam's sin? Should we not rather bless him from the ground of the heart, for therein laying the grand scheme of man's redemption, and making way for that glorious manifestation of his wisdom, holiness, justice, and mercy."

Again, in another passage, he declares that without the apostasy there could have been no love to God as a Redeemer, and speaks of this manifestation of God's character in redemption, in the following words:

"This could have had no being. The highest glory and joy of saints on earth and saints in heaven, Christ crucified, had been wanting. We could not, then, have praised him that thinking it no robbery to be equal with God, yet emptied himself, took upon him the form of a servant and was obedient to death, even the death of the cross! This is now the noblest theme of all the children of God on earth:- Yea, we need not scruple to affirm even of angels and archangels, and of all the company of heaven. Hallelujah, they cry," &c.

Now, surely, there can be no mistake about this very decisive language. It declares that redemption is a theme of joy alike to saints, and to the highest of angelic beings; it is "the noblest theme" of angels and archangels, and of all the company of heaven. It is, then, the highest ground of joy to the most exalted spirits of the celestial world. There is no other such theme in the loftiest regions of the universe. "Christ crucified" presents an aspect of the Divine character more attractive than any other, and discloses a glory of the Divine love which could not have had existence without man's previous sin.

Certainly this is language which not only is not surpassed in its wide assertion of the blessedness consequent upon God's dealings with our sin, but it cannot be surpassed in strength and scope. It distinctly affirms that God's most exalted creatures derive their noblest knowledge of His character from his dispensations toward the fall; that heaven itself is dependent for its most delightful acquaintance with God, upon this occurrence of sin. And how any language can go beyond

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