'Be not borne down by the censoriousness of any, to outrun your own understanding and the truth, and to comply with them in their errors and extremes; but hold to the truth and keep your station. Let them return unto thee, but return not thou unto them.' Jer. xv. 19.'

'Believe nothing that contradicteth the end of all religion. If its tendency be against a holy life, it cannot be truth.'

'Plead not the darker texts of Scripture against those that are more plain and clear, nor a few texts against many that are as plain. That passage that is interpreted against the most plain and frequent expressions of the Scriptures is certainly misinterpreted.'

I will carry out these principles to the best of my ability. -I notice that Christ never tells people that they cannot repent and do God's will without divine help. He did not think it necessary to supply people with excuses for their neglect of duty. And He knew that divine help is never withheld from any man. All have the help needed to do what God requires. There is no danger of any man trying to do anything good before he receives power from God. God is always beforehand with men.

-I have had a troubled night. I have not slept soundly for a week. I have had odd hours of sleep, but never a quarter of a night's unbroken rest. Parties will talk with me about religion, and I am foolish enough to talk with them, yet we never quite agree. They insist on the sacredness of every old notion and of every old word they have received from their teachers, and I believe in the sacredness of nothing but Scripture truth and common sense. They cannot understand me, and I cannot accept their nonsense. And they have no idea of liberty or toleration. They allow no excuse for not being sound in the faith, and no one is sound in the faith according to their notions but those who agree with them. They know nothing of the foundation on which the Connexion was built. They know nothing of Wesley nothing, at least, of his liberal views. The fundamental principles of the Connexion justify me in my freedom of investigation, and in the sentiments which I hold and teach; but they do not know this. They know nothing but that every one is to think as they think, and talk as they talk. Hence they keep me on the rack.


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I am tired. I feel sad. I could weep. I feel as if I could like to run away, like Elijah, and hide myself in the wilds of some great mountain. But no; I must stand my ground, and do my duty. Shall truth be timid, and error bold? Shall folly rage and be confident, and wisdom be afraid to whisper? Help me, O God, to do my duty as Thy servant, and as the minister of Thy Gospel.

-There are some verses of hymns that are sung in almost all religious assemblies that have nothing answering to them in Scripture. John Wesley once said, that the hymns which were the greatest favorites among the Methodists were the worst in the whole Hymn Book. It is the same still I fear, to some extent. Let those who would like to know to what words and hymns we refer, take themselves to task for a time, and demand Scriptural authority for every word and expression they utter. We would save them the trouble, were it not that we have learned that instruction from others is of no use to people who do not endeavor to teach themselves.

But take a sample or two. I cannot sing the following:

"Forbid it Lord that I should boast

Save in the death of Christ my God."

“The immortal God hath died for me," &c.

Jesus died, and God dwelt in Jesus, but God did not die. Great allowances are made to poets; but they should not be encouraged to write impossibilities.

"A heart that always feels Thy blood," &c.

I feel thankful for the love which led Jesus to die for me; but I cannot say I feel the blood. I feel the happy effects of the death or blood-shedding of Jesus; and perhaps that is what the poet means.

"When from the dust of death I rise,
To claim my mansion in the skies,
Even then this shall be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived and died for me."

This is not scriptural. The good servant in the parable of the talents says: "Lord, Thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained besides them five talents more." And so far was his Lord from finding fault with his plea, that he answered, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." And why may not other faithful servants use the same plea?

John makes perfect love, or likeness to Jesus, the ground of confidence or boldness in the day of judgment. How strange that Christian writers should be so ignorant of the Bible, or so regardless of its teachings. Some of them seem to think they are saying very fine things when they are talking their anti-Christian nonsense. Help me, O God, to speak and act in accordance with Thy word.

Fine writing may be a fine thing, but true writing is a finer.

I suppose it is as hard for theologians to give up their anti-Christian words and notions as it is for drunkards to give up their drink. But it would be well for them to consider, that self-denial may be as necessary to their salvation, as it is to the salvation of infidels and profligates.

I would sacrifice a little poetry to truth. I would not be very particular, but do let us have substantial truth. Do not let us encumber and disfigure religion by absurdities, impossibilities, and antinomian abominations.

Some one has said, "The world is very jealous of those who assail its religious ignorance. Its old mistakes are great idols. No man has ever carried a people one march nearer the promised land without being in danger of being stoned. No man has ever purified the life of an age, without substantially laying down his own."

I am anxious only for truth and righteousness. Truth and righteousness I respect in all sects, from the Quakers to the Catholics; and I hate nonsense, and lies, and sin, in professing Christians, as much as in Turks and pagans. So end the extracts from my Diary.

I have just been reading an article in the Christian Advocate, and I can't resist the temptation to give a short

extract or two.



"Not only is there an emasculated theology, but there is not a little emasculated preaching.

"Nothing is emptier or feebler than cant-ringing the changes on what may be called the stock phrases of one's sect. John Wesley once said, 'Let but a pert, self-sufficient animal, that has neither sense nor grace, bawl out something about 'Christ,' or 'His blood,' or 'justification by faith, and there are not wanting those who will cry out, "What a fine Gospel sermon!' For myself, I prefer a sermon on either good tempers or good works to such 'Gospel


"Take away from certain preachers their 'heavenly tone,' as the old lady called it-their sing-song cadences, and their favorite pulpit phrases and you take away the principal part of their stock in trade. Out upon such words without knowledge'-sound without sense!

"Quite as destitute of Gospel power is that preaching which consists largely in the presentation of old worn-out theories, musty scholastic philosophies about religion, usually paraded under the pretentious title of 'doctrine.'

"The devil, it is said, once inspired a dead priest to preach an orthodox sermon. On being questioned by his imps why he ventured on such a deliverance, he replied very significantly, that nothing made infidels more effectually than orthodoxy preached by dead men's lips."




HAD a third tendency which helped to get me into trouble; namely, a reforming tendency. Earnest and active-minded young men are generally reformers. In me the reforming tendency was unusually strong. I wanted to reform everybody and everything, and to do it thoroughly, and without delay. And I commenced operations very early.

1. It was the custom of my class-leader to read over to his class once a quarter the rules of society, and to request the

members, if they were aware of any breach of any of the rules by any of the members, to name the matter as he proceeded. Now one of the rules forbade the putting on of gold or costly apparel; yet several of the members of our class put on both. So when he came to that rule, I asked why it was not enforced. The leader seemed confused. One of the offenders was the wife of one of the travelling preachers, and another was the wife of an influential layman, and both were customers at his store, and he had never entertained a thought, I imagine, of running the risk of offending them by rebuking them for their offences; so he muttered something in the way of excuse and then passed on. The truth was, that the rule, though copied from the New Testament, and regarded by Mr. Wesley as of great importance, was no longer considered binding either by the preachers or the leading members. The reading of the rules in the class was merely a form, and my remarks, instead of inducing my offending class-mates to return to the old Methodist custom, only caused them and those who sided with them, to look on me as a troubler of Israel.

2. I got myself into a little trouble on a later occasion at a local preachers' meeting. It was the custom at those meetings for the superintendent preacher to read over the names of the local preachers, and to request any brother who knew of any breach of rule by any of his brethren, to name the matter. When the name of Mr. H. was read over, I stated that he had been guilty of evil speaking against one of his brethren. I gave the particulars, and the offence was acknowledged, but the offending brother was not without excuse, and the business of the meeting proceeded. But there was a very strong feeling in the minds of many that such attempts as I was making to press neglected rules on the attention of the meeting, ought not to be encouraged; and my endeavors to enforce consistency brought down upon me many sharp rebukes.

3. Among the books that I read in those early days was Mason on Self-knowledge. I found some excellent remarks on temperance and frugality in this work. I met with some similar remarks in translating portions of the writings of Seneca and Cicero. In a conversation that I had with one of the travelling preachers, and a person that was sup

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