Wesley Mentor Pleads Against Man’s Own Light

Wesley Mentor Pleads Against Man’s Own Light

Book: An Humble, Earnest, and Affectionate Address to the Clergy.

By:   William Law, A.M.

William Law (1686-1761) English devotional writer.  “He was a fearless nonjuror, and, in consequence of his refusal to take the oaths of allegiance and abjuration on the accession of George I, forfeited his fellowship, and all prospects of advancements in the Church… Law was one of the most eminent English writers on practical divinity in the eighteenth century.  He was a genuine Mystic, although he lived in a worldly and rationalistic age… At one time, Law was a kind of oracle with Wesley, and his influence upon early Methodism was of an almost formative character.  In his later years he became an enthusiastic student of Jakob Boehme, but his strong churchly feeling and his sound English sense kept him from the wild errors and extravagances into which some of Boehme’s disciples fell.”–New Schaff-Hertzog Enc. Relg. Knowl., 6:431-32.

The Address tot he Clergy was first published posthumously the year of Law’s death, 1761.  Wesley republished extracts from it in 1768.  “Law seems from the first to have recognized varying ‘degrees of goodness,’ and in his latest writings stressed the supreme ‘necessity of a continual inspiration of the Spirit of God, both to begin the first, and continue every step of a divine life in man’.  Continue reading

First Hand Great Awakening Testimonies In America 1743

First Hand Great Awakening Testimonies In America 1743

Book: The Christian History, containing Accounts of the Revival and Propagation

of Religion in Great-Britain & America For the Year 1743.

By: Boston, N.E.  Published by S. Kneeland and T. Green, for T. Prince, junr. 1744

A foundational and exceedingly important source of the study of the Great Awakening.  CBRA 152, “The leading contemporary authority was Thomas Prince, Jr.  Students must still consult his weekly magazine, The Christian History. . .consisting mainly of letters from ministers on the progress and condition of religion.”

Saturday January 14. 1743.  No. 46.

Extract of a Letter from the Rev. Mr. William M’Culloch in Scotland to the Rev. Mr. Prince of Boston.

Cambustang, Aug. 12. 1743.:

Rev. and dear Sir,

I thought to have written you at Large, concerning the State of religion in this Country; but I suppose this may be done by Mr. Hamilton of Baroney or some other, Only we have had two very comfortable Sacrament-Occasions here this Season; at both of which there was a vast Concourse of People.  At one on the 29th of May last, there were about fourteen Hundred Communicants; At another last Lord’s-Day, about two Thousand Communicants.

Extract of a Letter from the Rev. Mr. M’Culloch to the Rev. Mr. Edwards of Northampton.

Cambustang, Aug. 13. 1743.:

Rev. and dear Sir,

The happy Period in which we live, and the Times of Refreshing from the Presence of the Lord, wherewith you first were visited in Northampton, in the Year 1736; and then more generally in New-England, in 1740, and 1741; and then we in several Places in Scotland, in 1742, and 1743; and the strong Opposition made to this Work with you and with us, check’d by an infinitely superior Power; often brings to my Mind that Prophecy, Isai. lix. 19.  “So shall they fear the Name of the LORD from the West, and his Glory from the Rising of the Sun:  When the Enemy shall come in as a Flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a Standard against him.”  I cannot help thinking that this Prophecy eminently points at our Times; and begins to be fulfilled in the Multitudes of Souls that are bringing in to fear the LORD, to worship GOD in CHRIST, in whom his Name is, and to see his Glory in his Sanctuary.  And it is to me pretty remarkable, that the Prophet here foretells they should do so in the Period he points at, not from East to West, but from West to East; mentioning the West before the East, contrary to the  usual Way of speaking in other Prophecies, as where Malachi foretells, that he Name of the LORD should be great among the Gentiles, from the Rising of the Sun to the West, (Mal. 1. 11.)  And our LORD JESUS, that many should come from East and West, etc. (Math. 8. 11)  And in this Order it was that the Light of the Gospel came to dawn on the several Nations in the Propagation of it thro’ the World.  But the Prophet here, under the Conduct of the Holy Spirit who chooses all his Words in infinite Wisdom, puts the West before the East; intending, as I conceive, thereby to signify, that the glorious Revival of Religion, and the wide and diffusive Spread of vital Christianity, in the latter Times of the Gospel, should begin in the more westerly Parts, and proceed to these more easterly.  And while it should be doing so, or shortly after, great Opposition should arise, the Enemy should come in as a Flood; Satan should with great Violence assault particular believing Souls; and stir up Men to malign and reproach the Work of GOD; and, it’s like also, raise a terrible Persecution against the Church.  But while the Enemy might seem, for a Time, to be thus carrying all before him, the Spirit of the LORD should lift up a Standard against him; give a Banner to them that fear Him and animate them to display it for the Truth, and make his Word mightily to prevail and bear down all opposing Power.  For on what Side soever, the Almighty and Eternal SPIRIT of JEHOVAH, lifts up a Standard, there the Victory is certain; and we may be sure he will lift it up in Defence of his own Work.  The Caldee Parapbrase makes the Words in the latter Part of this Verse, to allude to the River Euphrates, when it breaks over all its Banks, and overflows the adjacent Plains, thus, when Persecutors shall come in, as the Inundation of the River Euphrates, they shall be broke in Pieces by the Word of the LORD. Continue reading

James I Condemns the Sin and Use of Tobacco

James I Condemns the Sin and Use of Tobacco

Book:  The Workes of the Most High and Mighty Prince James I  (1616)

By:   James I

A COUNTERBLASTE TO TOBACCO    (1604 A.D.)

That the manifold abuses of this vile custome of Tobacco taking, may the better be espied, it is fit, that first you enter into consideration both of the first originall thereof, and likewise of the reasons of the first entry thereof into this Countrey. For certainely as such customes, that have their first institution either from a godly, necessary, or honourable ground, and are first brought in, by the meanes of some worthy, vertuous, and great Personage, are ever, and mostly justly, holden in great and reverent estimation and account, by all wise, virtuous, and temperate spirits: So should it by the contrary, justly bring a great disgrace into that sort of customes, which having their originall from base corruption and barbaritie, doe in like sort, make their first entry into a Countrey, by an inconsiderate and childish affectation of Noveltie, as is the trew case of the first invention of Tobacco taking, and of the first entry thereof among us. For Tobacco being a common herbe, which (though under divers names) growes almost every where, was first found out by some of the barbarous Indians, to be a Preservative or Antidote against the Pocks, a filthy disease, wherunto these barbarous people are (as all men know) very much subject, what through the uncleanely and adust constitution of their bodies, and what through the intemperate heate of their Climate: so that as from them was first brought into Christendome, that most detestable disease; so from them likewise was brought this use of Tobacco, as a stinking and unsavourie Antidote, for so corrupted and execrable a maladie, the stinking suffumigation whereof they yet use against that disease, making so one canker or venime to eate out another.

And now good Countrey-men, let us (I pray you) consider, what honour or policy can moove us to imitate the barbarous and bestly maners of the wilde, godlesse, and slavish Indians, especially in so vile and stinking a custome? Continue reading

God’s Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland by Micheal O Siochru

The Sunday Times review by John Carey

Paying a courtesy call on the British foreign secretary Robin Cook in 1997, the Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern noticed a painting of Oliver Cromwell in the room. He instantly walked out and refused to return until the portrait of “that murdering bastard” had been removed. You might think that the long and tragic history of Anglo-Irish relations was so full of murdering bastards on both sides that the selection of any particular one was rather arbitrary. But Micheal OSiochru puts the Aherne anecdote at the start of his book to illustrate the continuing demonisation of Cromwell by the Irish, and he strives to discover how far it is justified.

The story begins in 1641, years before Cromwell set foot in Ireland, with the rebellion of the Catholic Irish against the Protestant settler community. Continue reading

Oliver Cromwell: The Protector (Letter One)

American history cannot be understood without an understanding of British history. And one of the most maligned of British characters has been Oliver Cromwell. His descendant, Oliver Cromwell, Esq., has this to say:

Death mask of Oliver CromwellIt has been the singular ill fortune of Oliver Cromwell, and of his family, that his character hath been left exclusively in the hands of his enemies. The short interval between his death and the Restoration, and the unsettled state of the nation in the intermediate time, left no opportunity for a faithful and impartial history of that extraordinary man. From that time to the present, his memory hath been abused and vilified without any allowance for the peculiar circumstances in which he was placed : his name alone is to this day deemed by many a sufficient description of every thing that is ambitious, hypocritical, and tyrannical. He has been held forth as a composition of every bad quality, without one virtue to counterbalance them. Continue reading