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Mr. Moore (whose work Mr. Philip ought to have studied before he wrote his own) has given an account. Mr. Philip says,
"I quite agree with Watson that their integrity of heart, and the purity of their intentions, came forth without a stain:' for although I have heard reports, and been told of letters, which implicate John in more than imprudence, I have found no one to authenticate the reports, or to produce the letters." (Page 60.)
The remainder of the paragraph we will give soon. In the mean time we point to the lines which we have put in Italics, and remind the reader that they refer to what occurred a hundred years ago. Here are flying reports which go directly to the impeachment of Mr. Wesley's moral character, reports which Mr. Philip admits to be without authentication, letters which are never produced. Had the reports existed in any "questionable shape," the biographer would be bound, in fairness, to examine them; and, if they were matters of notoriety, to state the result. But he is not called to state every flying rumor that he may hear whispered among those who would not be sorry had they any thing better than report which they might speak on the house-tops. Reports like those to which Mr. Philip alludes are the mere creations of malignity. They existed not at the time to which they refer; for Mr. Philip immediately adds,
"Besides, Whitefield returned from Georgia unchanged in his love or esteem for Wesley; a conclusive proof that he found nothing to justify the fama clamosa. Nothing in his journals, letters, or diary indicates a suspicion." (Ibid.)
Certainly not. There was great opposition raised to Mr. Wesley in Georgia; but the fama clamosa never imputed what the reports inti. mate, referred to by Mr. Philip. Whether he acted wisely or unwisely in repelling Mrs. Williamson from the holy communion, he acted, as every person who reads his Journal will deeply feel, like a man who had nothing to fear from her; like a man who was not only unconscious of evil, but even of imprudence. And yet, a century after, a Christian minister comes and tells the world very gravely, that he, forsooth, "has heard of reports and letters which implicate John in more than imprudence!" To be sure, he immediately says, that he has met with no one to authenticate the reports, or produce the letters. Why, then, mention the reports at all? Mr. Philip, surely, does not mean to say, that even the fama clamosa ever implied a charge against the purity of Mr. Wesley. No, indeed; but it seems Mr. Philip moves among those who, when they cannot fix a spot, will venture, very cautiously, "to hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;" and this sort of malignant gossip he finds it necessary to fix in the biography of a man whose name will go far to make a book popular, even though Mr. Philip should be its author. If such reports had been mentioned at all, they should have been mentioned indignantly. Instead of this, Mr. Philip insults the memory of Mr. Wesley by seeming, though with nothing like earnestness, to vindicate it. For, after all, the reader will see that against even such indefinite reports as are alluded to, and to which no man ought to be called to plead at all, Mr. Philip rather gives the verdict of not proven, than not guilty. The manner in which the reports are mentioned and repudiated plainly shows the animus of the writer.
But we have not done with his reports. Mr. Philip is the man for
hearing them. Would the reader think that the paragraph closes, immediately after the words last quoted, with the following sentence in a parenthesis?—
("I have learned, since I wrote this paragraph, that Wesley's private journals of the Causton affair have been discovered by the Conference; and that they justify my argument.") (Page 60.)
Why, then, insert the paragraph at all? But no. Though nothing of the kind was charged against Mr. Wesley at the time, yet the opportunity was not to be lost of telling the world that Mr. Robert Philip, of Maberley chapel, heard reports, a century after, which went to implicate him in more than imprudence, though he could never find that those reports were any thing better than flying rumors, without any authentication whatever. It is not to Mr. Philip's honor that he ever penned such a paragraph, or that, having penned, he did not cancel it before his book was given to the world.
We have not gone through all the passages we had noted for animadversion, but we are heartily tired of our task. We think we have said enough to show the character of the work. The Wesleyans honor the memory of George Whitefield. They glorify God for him. They hear his name with pleasure. That he embraced religious sentiments contrary to those to which themselves attach importance does not for a moment prevent them from recognizing him as one of the great instruments of the religious revival, one fruit of which they find in the existence of their own community. And thus feeling, an account of his life, written in such a spirit as the life of such a man demands, would have been received by them with pleasure and even thankfulness, and would soon have acquired deserved and honorable popularity. They will regret to find that Mr. Philip has given them no such work as this; and, therefore, instead of purchasing it, they will content themselves with the imperfect biographies already in existence, and wait for a Life of Whitefield which shall not betray a ruling desire to lessen Mr. Wesley in the public estimation. Mr. Whitefield himself, had such memoirs of his earlier days been put into his hands as Mr. Philip's pages contain, would have shown the feeling of indignation awakened by such attacks on the character of his be loved friend, his brother, and his fellow-laborer in the cause of Christ, by throwing the book into the fire.
NOTICES OF RECENT AND FORTHCOMING PUBLICATIONS.
[The editors do not hold themselves responsible for the contents of any work noticed in this list. They will not insert a notice of any which they have reason to believe is not of a decidedly moral character.]
Theological Colloquies; or, A Compendium of Christian Divinity, speculative and practical; founded on Scripture and Reason. Designed to aid heads of families, young men about to enter the ministry, and the youth of both sexes, in their efforts to obtain and communicate a knowledge of true piety. By Thomas C. Thornton, of Dumfries, Virginia. Baltimore: Lewis and Coleman, 258 Market-street; 1837; 8vo., pp. 728.
An Inquiry respecting the Self-determining Power of the Will; or, Contingent Volition. By Jeremiah Day, president of Yale College. New-Haven Herrick and Noyes; 1838.
The Union Bible Dictionary; prepared for the American Sunday School Union, and revised by the committee of publication. Philadelphia American Sunday School Union, 146 Chestnut-street; 1837; pp. 648; 18mo.
A New Tribute to the Memory of James Brainard Taylor; published by John S. Taylor, New-York; 12mo; pp. 440.
An Original Church of Christ; or, A Scriptural Vindication of the Orders and Powers of the Ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. By Nathan Bangs, D. D. Second edition, revised. NewYork: T. Mason and G. Lane, 200 Mulberry-street; 1837; pp. 388;
Principles of Interpreting the Prophecies; briefly illustrated and applied, with notes. Andover: Published by Gould and Newman, NewYork, corner of Fulton and Nassau streets; 1837; pp. 150.
Lives of the Apostles and Evangelists. By Rev. G. Peck, A. M. Published by T. Mason and G. Lane, for the M. E. Church, NewYork, 200 Mulberry-street; 1837; pp. 214; 18mo.
Humbugs of New-York; being a Remonstrance against Popular Delusion in Science, Philanthropy, or Religion. By David Meredith Reese, M. D. New-York: John S. Taylor, Brick Church chapel; 1838; pp. 267; 12mo.
Elements of Natural Philosophy: illustrated by several hundred Engravings. Designed for the use of Schools and Academies. By Leonard D. Gale, M. D., Professor of Geology and Mineralogy in the University of the City of New-York, and Lecturer on Chemistry and Natural Philosophy. New-York: Collins, Keese & Co, 254 Pearl
A Philosophical Grammar of the English Language; adapted equally to the use of schools or private study. In which are contained, in numerous instances, theoretical and practical Refutations of the most prevailing Systems in modern use. By Joseph W. Wright, C. E,, author of "Rules for Composition," &c. &c. New-York: Spinning and Hodges, 162 Nassau-street; 1838; pp. 252; 12mo.
The Limitations of Human Responsibility. By Francis Wayland. "Non omnes possumus omnia." Boston: Gould, Kendall, and Lincoln; 1838; pp. 188.
Christology of the Old Testament, and a Commentary on the Predictions of the Messiah by the Prophets. By E. W. Hengstenberg, Doctor of Philosophy and Theology, and Professor of the latter in the University of Berlin; translated from the German, by R. Keith, D. D., Professor in the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary of Virginia.
Memoir of the late Rev. G. F. Davis, D. D., of the Baptist Church, Hartford, Conn. Hartford: Canfield and Robins.
Familiar Lectures on Natural Philosophy. By Mrs. A. H. Lincoln Phelps, author of "Familiar Works on Botany, Chemistry, Geology," &c. New-York: J. Huntington & Co.; 1837; pp. 380; 12mo.
Incidents of Travel in Egypt, &c.; second edition. Harper and Brothers. In two volumes.
Anti-Universalism; or, Universalism shown to be unscriptural, &c. By Rev. Stephen Remington, pastor of the M. E. Church in Willettstreet, New-York: Harper and Brothers; 1837; pp. 142.
Memoirs of Simon Episcopius, the celebrated Pupil of Arminius, and subsequently Doctor of Divinity, and Professor of Theology in the University of Leyden; who was condemned by the Synod of Dort as a dangerous heretic, and, with several other ministers, was sentenced to perpetual banishment by the civil authorities of Holland, for holding the doctrine of General Redemption. To which is added, A brief account of the Synod of Dort; and of the sufferings to which the followers of Arminius were exposed, in consequence of their attachment to his opinions. By Frederick Calder. New-York: T. Mason and G. Lane, 200 Mulberry-street; 1837; pp. 478.
Barr's Complete Index and Concise Dictionary of the Holy Bible: in which the various persons, places, and subjects mentioned in it are accurately referred to; and difficult words briefly explained. Designed to facilitate the study of the Sacred Scriptures. New-York: T. Mason and G. Lane, 200 Mulberry-street; 1837; pp. 177.
Travels in Europe. By Dr. Fisk. Harper and Brothers, publishers. To be had also at the Methodist Book room, 200 Mulberry-street.
History of the Methodist Episcopal Church. By Dr. Bangs. In two volumes.
A Dictionary of the Bible; prepared for the Methodist Book ConIn the press. T. Mason and G. Lane, 200 Mulberry-street, New-York; 1838; pp. 450; 18mo.
Sacred History of the World; vol. iii. (No. 84, of the Family Library.) By Sharon Turner, LL. D. New-York: Harper and Brothers.