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“ All this enthusiasm and extravagance may be intended to call together a concourse of people, and multiply as much as possible the chances of gaining members from among si the weak and credulous. I understand that the propriety of such proceedings has been taken into consideration at one of their conferences, and that the votes were for their con. tinuance.
“A Mr. Bloodgood preached in the forenoon at Reister's town. He had been a dancing master, and certainly the transition to his present calling would, in one respect, make him feel quire at home. The preacher at the seminary, who had been an outrider for a Yorkshire house, and then an unfortunate (hoe-merchant at Philadelphia, talked of cistereens of running water, and made other grammatical errors in abundance. He was, however, reckoned a fine mani, and the ladies called hiin very pretty. As for the matter, one methodist fermon is a good sample of a thousand. I am told that it is a principal object with most of the round or itinerant preachers, to get snugly married and settled on plantations. They are much followed, especially by the women; but I apprehend more from curiosity, and a desire to see and be seen, than from a view to conversion ; indeed some are honest enough to confess it. It is excusable, when we consider how far asunder the plantations are, the thin. ness of the population, the scarcity of market towns, and in fine, the few opportunities young people have of seeing one another, except at meeting.' So that, saying nothing of spiritual conversion, I have no doubt many a couple is con. verted from the errors of single life to the wholesome doce trine and practice of matrimony by these periodical assem. blies. Camp meetings are frequently held, when the people assemble in crowds, and encamp in tents by families, for three or four nights, having a stock of provisions, &c. with them."
Of these camp meetings we have the following curious account in Janson's Stranger in America.
“The Methodists assemble in the summer season in sur. prizing numbers, in different parts of the United States. These are called camp meetings, and converts will travel to attend them several hundred miles. A place is fixed upon at a convocation of the preachers, at which their bishop *
- * It is well known that for many years Mr. Wesley kept up a communion with the Church of England, and exhorted his
preachers sometimes presides, and a distant time appointed for these meetings, which also draw together the neighbouring inhabi. tants for a considerable distance, from motives of curiosity. They sometimes continue during a fortnight, and this time is passed in the field, in prayer. They bring with them provisions, tents, or blankets, and support the numerous body of preachers, who continue bawling to the people in turns, day and night. When signs of conversion begin to be manifest, several preachers crowd round the objeót, exhorring a continuance of the efforts of the spirit, and dif. playing in the most frightful images, the horrours which at. tend such as do not come unto them. The figns of regeneration are displayed in the most extravagant symptoms. I have seen women jumping, striking, and kicking like raving maniacs; while the surrounding believers could not keep them in postures of decèncy. This continues till the con. vert is entirely exhausted; but they consider the greater resistance the more the faith, and thus they are admitted into what they term the society. The men under the agony of conversion, find it sufficient to express their contrition by loud groans, with hands clasped and eyes closed."
The following is an exact copy of an advertisement of a camp-meeting, taken froin a newspaper printed at Trenton, in New Jersey.
“CAMP MEETING. “ The public is hereby informed, that a camp meeting will be held near Mr. Minard Farley's, in a grove, about a quarter of a mile from New Germantown, 'in Hunterdon County. To commence on Saturday, the 29th of Sept. and
preachers and followers to do the same. But towards the close of life he took upon him to ordain some of his lay teachers, and at the desire of Dr. Coke, he went so far as to appoint (we will not prostitute the word consecrate) the said doctor and one Francis Asbury, to be joint superintendants over the brethren in North America, with power to appoint others of a like description and authority, In other words he presumed, though only a presbyter, to confer a sort of episcopacy upon another presbyter, and also upon a layman, in direct opposition to all Christian order, and to the practice of the church from the beginning ; yet this same Coke, who assumes the title of bishop, still pretends to be a son of the Church of England, and the pulpits of some of the city churches have been opened to him, within our knowledge, for the purpose of preaching charity sermons
to continue three days, under the superintendence of the ministers of the Methodist Church.
“ As camp-meetings are generally attended by several thousands from far and near, and commonly continue day and night, it will be best for those who may come a diftance, to bring provisions for themselves and horses, if porsible; and to tarry on the ground till the meeting ends.
“ All friendly ministers and praying people are invited to attend the said meeting. Trenton,
Such is the prevalence, and so extravagant the practice of the Methodists in that land of light and liberty which has been set forth as an example of Christian order and unity.
I am, &c.
FOR THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
REFLECTIONS ON THE THIRTIETH OF
THE tragedy acted on this day, and the remembrance of
T which is directed to be kept up by a solemn religious service in all our churches, ought to be seriously considered by every Englishman. He may learn from this part of our history the most useful lessons of political and religious caution; and acquire from the experience of his ancestors > good rules for the regulation of his own conduct.
It should make him jealous of that evil spirit of murmur. ing against public authority, on account of difficulties which are incident to the very nature of government; and it should restrain him from joining in the clamour of a seditious faction, whose object is the accession of power, while they pretend to be guided by no other principle than a regard for ihe public good. Above all, it should serve as a warning
against innovations in Church and State, the effe&ts of crude theories and of designing speculations.
The history of that calamitous period exhibits a remarkable class of persons, by whose efforts principally the Church was dernolished, the conftitution broken, and a virtuous monarch barbarously murdered.
These were the puritans, who, from their rise in the reign of Elizabeth, diftinguished themselves by a pertinacious op. position to all authority, ecclesiastical and civil, under the specious plea of liberty of conscience, and a zealous concern for the pure worship of God.
These men were animated by such a factious spirit, and carried their pretensions to so high a pitch, even in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, that the pious and moderate John Fox could not help remarking of them, “I perceive a certain race of men rising up, who if they increase and gather strength in this kingdom, I am sorry to say, what disturb. ance I foresee must follow from it.”
The preachers of this description were called by the party the “ godly and faithful ministers,” while the best names applied to the conforming clergy were those of “ Papists in disguise, idle drones, dumb dogs, popelings, massing priests, litele antichrists, &c." And fo successful were the puritans in gaining followers, that the councils of the queen were for a time embarrassed, and Pope Pius V. in the first year of his pontificate, being hereby encouraged, issued a bull to “anathematize and confound the hereticks, and sow discord among them; wherein, among other things, he willed and authorized the wife and learned of his ecclesiastics, to labour, endeavour, and contrive all manner of devices to confound the heretics': that thereby they might either be re. claimed to confess their errors, and acknowledge the jurisa di&tion of the fee of Rome, or that a total infamy be brought upon them and their posterities, by a perpetual discord and contention among themselves ; by which means they might either speedily perish by God's wrath, or continue in eternal difference."* In consequence of this bull many Romish priests became missionaries in England, under the guise of puritanical ministers and zealous preachers of a more perfect reformation.
The endeavours of this faction were to overthrow the eca clesiafiical government established by law, and to introduce the republican system of Geneva. This levelling principle
was not confined to the church, but extended itself to the state, as was roundly affirmed by the two great leaders of the party, Cartwright and Travers, in their “ Full and plain Declaration of Ecclesiastical Discipline.” Here it is declared that “ Magiftrates must also, as well as the rest, sub. mit themselves, and be obedient unto the just and lawful authority of the officers of the Church; for, seeing they not only rule by authority of Jesus Christ, but in a manner - represent his person, seeing they rule not as they ihemselves
lift, according to their own will, but only according to his word and commandment; is it not meet, that even Kings and the highest magistrates should be obedient unto them? for it is meet that all the princes and monarchs of the world should give up their sceptres and crowns unto him, whom God hath made and appointed the heir of his kingdom, and lord of heaven and earth. We might allege out of the histories of all times, divers examples of godly princes who lubmitted themselves to the order and government of the Church appointed by God."
Besides their dislike in general to the English form of government, some of the puritans had a particular objection to that of queen Elizabeih, because she was a woman. This opinion came from Geneya, where it was commonly received and preached as agreeable to the word of God. It is therefore not to be wondered at, that this princess should ma. nifest her dislike to a republican form of Church Government imported from a quarter where her civil authority was. condemned as unscriptural. The first who vaunted the deposing principle, was the famous Scotch reformado, John Knox; in his “ Blast againit the monstrous regiment and empire of women," wherein he endeavoured to prove that it was altogether unlawful for wodien to reign, and to the last period of his life Knox continued to hold this opinion. In a letter to Secretary Cecil, this furious divine charges him " in the name of the eternal God to acquaint the queen that if she would confess that the extraordinary dispenfation of God's great mercy made that lawful unto her, which both nature and God's law's did deny unto all other women * besides; then should none in England be more willing to mainiain her authority than he; but if, God's wonderous work fet afide, she grounded the juftness of her title upon laws and ordinances of men, then, as he was assured such foolish presumption did offend God's supreme majesty : fo he great
* Knox had a queen for his own sovereign at this very time,