Truth Defended and Methodism Weighed in the Balance and Found Wanting

1840

Taylor, John, 1808-1887 Taylor, John, 1808-1887

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Taylor, John. Truth Defended and Methodism Weighed in the Balance and Found Wanting: Being a Reply to the Third Address of the Rev. Robert Heys, Wesleyan Minister to the Wesleyan Methodist Societies in Douglas and Its Vicinity, 1–12. Liverpool: J. Tompkins, 1840.

TRUTH DEFENDED

AND

METHODISM WEIGED IN THE BALANCE

AND FOUND WANTING:

BEING A

REPLY TO THE THIRD ADDRESS

OF

THE REV. ROBERT HEYS,

WESLEYAN MINISTER

TO THE WELEYAN METHODIST SOCIETIES IN DOUGLAS AND ITS VICINITY.

AND ALSO

AN EXPOSURE OF THE PRINCIPLES OF METHODISM:

————

BY JOHN TAYLOR

ELDER OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS

————

Should thy lies make men hold their peace; and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?—Job XL. 3.

LIVERPOOL:

PRINTED BY J. TOMPKINS,

ROB STREET, QUEEN SQUARE.

————

Price Three Halfpence.

TRUTH DEFENDED. &c.

At Mr. Hey’s “Third Address” has made its appearance, it now devolves upon me to redeem the pledge that I gave to the public, viz: to “bring Methodism, (as it is,) to the touchstone of divine truth, and shew that it is at variance with the words of eternal life.”

If I had not engaged to do this, I should have considered his “Third Address” unworthy of my attention; I should silently have passed over it and left it for a discerning public to judge; he has scarcely touched upon the subject in debate; he has lost sight of his gross, libelous, malicious, and slanderous accusations; and in scanning over the whole of his pamphlet, I only find one thing touched upon that was referred to by him, in his former communications; and that is, in his lame attempt to make it appear that there are no other inspired writings than those contained in our Bible. As we have closely followed him before through all his meanderings, and made naked, bare, and manifest, his fallacious reasoning, as the mists and vapour that he spread around him have been dispelled by the radiant beams of eternal truth; and his wicked, malicious, slanderous reports have been made manifest; so we will follow him to his last hiding place, and leave him like Noah’s dove (in this respect) without a resting place to put his unhallowed foot.

Every one who has read Mr. Hey’s “Address,” and my “Answer,” must be convinced of the truth of the foregoing remarks, and that he plainly perceives the folly of speaking evil of the things he knows not of; he is aware of the dilemma that he has placed himself in, and has left his fictitious stories as being altogether indefensible; to say still that they were true would be useless; to contend that he had supported his point would be vain, for his “Addresses” are before the public, and the answers to those addresses; and to bring forth other arguments would be impossible, for he made use of all that he had in his possession before; but something must be done,—he is a Minister of Methodism, and a superintendent too, and he has his character to support; he must say something; but what, every one who has read the pitiable contents of his “Third Address,” must be convinced that he knows not: his “important documents” have been exploded; and he has been obliged to leave them as altogether unsupportable; his “precious morsels” have eluded his grasp; and with the powerful aid of his logic, and with his keen perceptive faculties, he has been unable yet to discover even the “awful blasphemies,” the “naked,” “manifest,”

barefaced” “unblushing,” “fictions.” But he must do something, if it is only to spread his feathers and cast dust in the air, in hopes that some of his own society may yet admire his beauty: but here is a difficulty; he examines carefully the pages of my second reply, and he is obliged to pass silently over the 1st—2d—3d—4th—5th—6th—7th—8th, and 9th pages, as being incontrovertible; and as he cannot wade through it, he spreads his pinions and soars aloft, and flies over mountains, fortifications, bulwarks, rivers, and fastnesses; every part is impregnable; his head becomes dizzy, his hopes are expiring, but he opens his eyes once more and finds out that the before-mentioned pages are not worthy of attention, and that the latter, and remainder, all but one, are so mysterious, &c., &c., that they are unworthy of notice;—looks upon the whole with supercilious contempt, and would pity the ignorant multitude that had not the same clear perspective faculties, (alias bewildered imagination) as himself, and after combating the one solitary objection, and struggling with the elements for some time, like Simon Magus, after attempting to fly, he falls, and is crushed beneath the weight of his own ponderous body.

He has discovered one thing that he considers objectionable! only ONE!!! that he can say any thing about, and we shall presently see what that is:—all the rest stand forsaken, or have been consigned to everlasting oblivion: his “refuge of lies” have failed him; and his merciless talons have been loosed from his “precious morsels;” truth yet is unbending and triumphant, and stands unbroken, uncorrupted, and unhurt, after the [2] laboured attempt to bespatter it with lies, falsehood, and misrepresentation, by his unhallowed tongue, and corrupted pen; the scathing knife of truth has followed him, and has made naked and manifest his sophisms and falsehood; he has fallen into the pit that he dug for his neighbour; he has been taken in his own snare; and the sounds of “naked,” “manifest,” “unblushingfictions, have been drowned amidst the “battle and the breeze,” and even “blasphemy” itself has died unnoticed and unheard, in the distant rumbling of his chariot wheels: he has groped in the day light, and struggled with the wind; and like the dying gladiator, in his last and feeble attempts to preserve life, after contending with phantoms. (originating in his own disordered brain;) beating the wind, and fighting with shadows—bleeding—fainting—drooping, dying;—in hopes that some fortuitous circumstance may yet preserve life; reigns his staggering steed—pushes his worn-out courser to the onset—makes one feeble attack—and expires.

But now for Mr. Hey’s objection; he states p. 4, Third Address, that “the 10th paragraph of ‘Calumny Refuted’ contains a false representation of the four passages of scripture which I quoted, to shew, with respect to the Holy Bible, that God had decreed and declared, that nothing should be either added to it, or taken from it.” If Mr. Heys had discovered anything else that he considered false, objectionable, or unscriptural, in “Calumny Refuted,” would he not have stated? surely he would, and his silence on this subject proves that he considered every thing else incontrovertible; here he objects to the statement in my last reply, where I say that not one of the passages contain the decree: has he shewn us that they do? assuredly not; what is the decree? “with respect to the HOLY BIBLE, God has decreed that nothing shall be either added to it, nor taken from it.” Do any of the passages that he quoted declare that nothing shall be taken from, or added to, the Bible? No! the Bible is not mentioned, but the words which God commanded them; the Bible was not then formed; not when the last of his quotations was written; nor was it for scores of years after, not until the Council of Nice; then the scattering books were compiled according to the wisdom of that council; not by revelation, (for Mr. Heys does not believe in any after the Apostles’ days) and the very book from which he has last quoted came very near being rejected by that council. God never said any thing about the completeness of the Bible; nor did he ever decree any thing concerning it; but that it is incomplete, is evident; this its own pages testify, showing clearly that many parts are lacking. But although I state that those passages quoted by Mr. Heys do not contain the decree mentioned by him, I would state that it would be extremely wicked in any man to take from, or to add to, any part of God’s word, wherever, or whenever, it was spoken, whether in Asia, America, among the ten Tribes, or wherever the Lord should speak; for “man shall not live by bread along; but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God;” but although man may not add to it, the Lord never said that the Bible was complete, and that he would not add to it. Mr. Heys himself admits this in part, for he says that ‘the divine prohibition was intended to apply to all the successive revelations of God, both to those which he then was giving, and to those of former ages which were then on record, and also to these of succeeding ages.”

The sentiment expressed here is all that I should contend for; but he adds, ‘until the days of the apostles.’ I would here remind Mr. Heys, that he is adding to the word of God, for there is no such word or idea conveyed in the scriptures, as the words “until the days of the apostles.” He quotes Heb. i. 2. to prove his assertion, “God hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son;” this he thinks proves that God will never speak again.— wonderful!! What shall we have next—that the last days are not the days of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery!! I would remind Mr. H. that Peter says, “There shall come in the last days scoffers” 2 Pet iii. 3. Paul says, “in the last days perilous times shall come.” 2 Tim. iii. 1., and as both of these refer to a subsequent period of time to that in which they were written, I cannot believe that the last days ended with our Saviour and his apostles, especially as I find some of the things daily fulfilling that were to transpire in the last days—that men would “not endure sound doctrine,” that they would “have a form of Godliness and deny [3] the power.” This I find exemplified in Mr. H. The last days have not expired; nor will they until the coming of Christ, when he will again “be revealed in the clouds of heaven.” To conclude this subject, I should like to know whether we have made such an astonishing leap, as to get back again form the last days to the first days?

He states it is the last days of Daniel’s prophetic weeks. Dan. ix. 24. But it is mere assertion, without proof, and the statement is at variance not only with the quoted scripture itself, but also with every other scripture referring to the same subject, and if the passage referred to could be applied at all, it could only apply to the coming of our Saviour; and consequently all the New Testament, according to that mode of reasoning, would be false. The prophecy was sealed up with the Jews, for a time the kingdom was given to the Gentiles, who had revelation, and might still have enjoyed this privilege, if they had not been broken off, because of unbelief.

He next states that “none of the books which are accounted sacred by the Jews and Christians, as having been given by the inspiration of God, ever were, or could be lost:” we will notice a few, most of which were written by seers, and prophets, the authenticity of which the Bible itself vouches for, and acknowledges as canonical.

“Book of Nathan, the Prophet.”}

“Book of Gad, the Seer.” …. }

1 Chron. xxix. 29?

“Book of Shemaiah, the Prophet.”}

“Book of Iddo, the Seer.” …… } 2 Chron. xii, 15.

“Book of Jasher.” Joshua x, I3.

“Book of the Prophecy of Aijah.”…. }

“Book of the Visions of Iddo the Seer.”}

2 Chron. ix, 29.

“Written in the Story of the Prophet Iddo.” 2 Chron. xiii, 22.

“Three thousand Proverbs, of Solomon.”

……}

“One thousand five hundred Songs of Solomon.” } 1 Kings, iv, 32, 33.

“Jude’s epistle concerning the common salvation.”

“Paul’s epistle, mentioned 1 Cor. v. 9.

Where he says he had written an epistle (i.e. before the first epistle) for them “not to keep company with fornicators.” Many more might be mentioned, but suffice it to say that we have not these; and yet a man with the Bible in his hand will tell us that “none of the inspired books ever were or could be lost.”—How was it that the “book of the law” was lost, and discovered among the rubbish of the Temple in Josiah’s day? 2 Chron. xxxilv. I would also refer him to Jer. xxxvi, 23., where the King cut the writing of Jeremiah, leaf b y leaf, and burned it in the fire; and I would further ask, what has become of all the above named books? Sufficient has already been said on this subject, but lest Mr. Heys should say that I have evaded his arguments, foolish as they are, I will notice them; he says that the original Hebrew word for book is sepher;—that it signifies a writing, and that David’s letter to Joab, was a book; but will Mr. Heys say that the word sepher will not apply to a large, as well as to a small book? no, he will not. Why then has he introduced this as an argument? what does it prove?— a solemn nothing. But if they were small, he would infer that they were not inspired: upon this principle he will have to reject Joel, Nahum, Malachi, Habbakuk, and all the lesser prophets: together with all the Epistles of the Apostles, because they were only letters (epistles) and being small, according to Mr. Hey’s reasoning, they would be false, and uninspired: he thinks however that it is an infidel notion to believe that they were lost. I would here ask who is the greatest infidel, the one that believes the testimony of the scriptures or the one who disbelieves it? But Mr. H. says that “the bare citation of a book, by an uninspired writer, is not sufficient to prove that it is of God;” and refers us to some profane authors quoted by the Apostles; this we readily admit; but if they had said that they were prophets and seers who wrote the books, as is the case with most of the above quoted; whose books were prophesies and visions, then, of course, we should have had confidence in them, and believed them to be of God.

As for instance, the visions of Iddo the seer, the prophesy of Aijah, the prophesy of Enoch, the epistle of Paul, the epistle of Jude. These “tracts,” (as Mr. Heys calls them) were prophesies, revelations, visions, and inspired epistles: it would be well if Methodism inspired men to write and promulge such “tracts,” in these [4] days, instead of publishing and circulating so many of their novels, fictitious stories, and old wives fables.

Mr. Heys seems fully sensible of the insufficiency of the arguments adduced from the scriptures, and consequently brings the testimony of other writers to his aid; commences a course of infidel reasoning, and quotes from, mutilates, misapplies and perverts the writings of several of those authors; thus plainly shewing that he has no confidence in the word of God about the thing: and even those perverted writings do not prove what he wishes them to do. Josephus, if he had examined him carefully, would have told him a very different story about many of the lost books, and as it regards his reference to Dr. Lightfoot and to Edwards’s Discourses, their arguments are fully answered in the above, if the testimony of the scriptures may be considered valid; I shall not therefore pay any more attention to them. But why not come out plainly, Mr. Heys you have been striving hard to make it appear that part of the Bible is untrue, you only need to have quoted Voltaire, Paine, Volney, and some others, and you would have got clear of the whole of it.

We have followed Mr. Heys through all his reasoning, and proved the fallacy of it; we will now refer to a passage which he has quoted from the Book of Mormon, which he thinks is “romantic,” and sufficient to condemn it; and that is where it speaks of two Jerusalems, the one called the “New,” and the other the “Holy Jerusalem.” I suppose he thinks that every body is as ignorant of the Bible as he has manifested himself to be; I will refer him, however, to a few passages for his information on this subject:—

“Run speak to this young man, saying,

“And the sons of strangers shall Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns build up thy WALLS.”…. “Therefore WITHOUT WALLS.” Zech. ii,. 4. thy GATES shall be opened continually;

“And thou shalt say, I will go up they shall not be shut day nor night, that to the town of UNWALLED men may bring unto thee the forces of villages….dwelling without WALLS, the Gentiles.” Isa. ix, 10, 11. and having neither BARS NOR

“And he carried me away in the GATES.” Ezek. xxxviii, 11. spirit to a great and high mountain, and

“And I John saw the holy city, shewed me that great city, the HOLY NEW JERUSALEM, come down from

JERUSALEM, descending out of

God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride Heaven from God.” Rev. xxi, 10. adorned for her husband.” Rev. xxi, 2.

Here we have two Jerusalems mentioned, a HOLY and a NEW Jerusalem; and whether Mr. Heys believes it or not, they will both of them descend from heaven; he believes that the passage that he has quoted from the Book of Mormon is romantic, and sufficient to condemn the whole book. I suppose that he will consider the above passages of a similar description, and that the Bible ought to be condemned for having them in it.

Such, then, is the reasoning of this champion of Methodism; such are the arguments that he has brought forth to overturn the truths of God; arguments which prove him ignorant of his Bible; arguments which, if believed in, would sap the very foundation of Holy writ, subvert every principle of truth, and sink the world in infidelity. Is it not necessary that some one should come forward and clear away the dust that he has scattered around, and deliver the Bible form the infidel grasp of such men as Mr. Heys. I am not, however, surprised at him, for a man that would assiduously circulate such glaring falsehoods as he has done, and that too under the garb of sanctity, must have lost sight of the principles of truth and righteousness; must cherish in his bosom the principles of infidelity, and although latent in the mind, it only requires circumstances similar to those that have lately transpired, to drag them out of oblivion, and present them before the public in all their infidel, soul-destroying, and horrid colours.

We have now done with Mr. Hey’s reasoning, we have noticed his one objection; the paragraphs after that he considers are “mysterious, dogmatical,” &c. How remarkably mysterious the passage that I quoted from Wesley, about the spirit vendors, &c. is, I suppose that he could not understand it; neither could his Local Preachers understand that they were breaking Wesley’s rules, or going contrary to his teaching; although Mr. W. calls them “men of blood” that they are “murderers general,” and that their practices are “cursed, and cruel, and damnable,” &c. This language was too ambiguous for Mr. Heys; but as he thinks that apostles, prophets, visions, [5] &c. were only necessary for the establishment of christianity, but are not any longer needed, perhaps he views Methodism in the same light, and thinks that these rigid rules were only necessary for the establishment of Methodism, but that as it increased in wisdom and respectability, it discovered that John Wesley was only in his dotage and that those swaddling bands could now be dispensed with:—and the other was so dogmatical, &c. But we will notice some of the gentle effusions of this polite man: these are his words, “Awful blasphemy”—how delicate—“damnable heresies”—how courteous—“naked”—“manifest”—“barefaced”— “unblushing”—“fictions;” these are some of the mild and gentle epithets made use of by that modest unassuming man. But I suppose that such words, although false, are sanctified in the mouth of a Methodist Minister. I shall now leave Mr. Heys, and turn to Methodism, and shall shew according to my promise “that it is at variance with the words of eternal life.”

I do not engage in this to evince a love for controversy, or to manifest a captious, or a quarrelsome disposition, but to tear away the veil from a system that is replete with nonsense, absurdity, and folly; that is at variance with the word of God, the doctrines and discipline of which thousands of its deluded votaries know little or nothing of. They never and anon see confusions, and splits, and divisions, but how they originate they know not. They are entirely ignorant from what source they proceed! I shall, for the information of such, lay some of its doctrines before the public, feeling convinced that every impartial, unprejudiced individual will say with me, when it is weighed in the balance of scripture truth, that it is wanting Thousands of the Methodists I believe are sincere, but like the Samaritans of old, “they know not what they worship.” Mr. Wesley too was an ornament to society, and although not in possession of all the truth, taught what he did know with all sincerity and faithfulness, minded his own business, and let other people’s alone, and it would be well for many of his professed followers, if in this respect they were more like their founder. I have been astonished however of late, in perusing some of his works, and comparing them with modern Methodism, to see the vast discrepancy that there is; and can only exclaim, in Wesley’s own words, “how is the gold become dim; and the fine gold how is it changed?”

ARTICLES OF THE METHODIST’S FAITH, “PRINTED AT THE CONFERENCE OFFICE, NORTH GREEN, GROMOX STUDY, AGENT.”

Art. I. “There is but one living and true God who is a pure spirit invisible, without body, parts, or passions,” &c.

2. “In the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, or Subsistencies, of one substance, power, and glory; the Father, the Word, or Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

Art. II. “The Son who is the word of the Father, very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and the manhood, were joined together into one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man.”

Art. III. “The holy spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.”

Such a heterogeneous mass of conflicting opinions, and such a compound of nonsense, contradiction, and folly, I never before witnessed.

Here we have a God without body, parts, or passions, pure spirit, yet three subsistences, of one substance,—“without body or parts, and yet the Son took upon himself a body” and is “with the Father very and eternal God,” one with him without a body.

The Son has two whole and perfect natures, “the Godhead and manhood joined together into one person never to be separated whereof is one Christ, very God, and very man; and yet he is of ONE substance, power, and eternity with the Father, who with himself has no body, parts, or passions, but is a pure spirit.

The Holy Spirit is of one substance with the Father and the Son. The Father is without a body, and the Son is without a body or parts,—and yet took a body never to be separated, and the Holy Ghost is like them both, not three, but one God; pure spirit without a body; human nature with a body, not separated but united. And observe, Methodism does not refer only to what his Godhead was before our Saviour took a body, but specifically to what it is now,―that in the unity of the Godhead there are (now) three subsistences of one substance. [6]

These are the doctrines of Methodism on this subject, but Dr. Adam Clark says that the eternal sonship of Jesus Christ is “eternal nonsense.” But he is now considered an heretic in this particular.

Elder P. P. Pratt, in writing upon this subject, makes the following remarks:―“Here, then, is the Methodist God without either eyes, ears, or mouth!!! and yet man was created after the image of God; but this could not apply to the Methodists’

God, for he has no image or likeness! The Methodist God can neither be Jehovah nor Jesus Christ; for Jehovah showed his face to Moses and to seventy Elders of Israel, and his feet too; he also wrote with his own finger on the tablets of stone. Isaiah informs us, that his arm is not shortened; that his ear is not dull of hearing, &c., and that he will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations; and Ezekiel says “his fury shall come up in his face,” and Zech. xiv., says “his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives,” and they which behold shall say, “what are these wounds in thy hands and in thy feet,” &c. Consequently, Methodism is a system of idolatry.”

Not only do they say that he is without body and parts, but without passions also; and yet it is said that he is, “angry with the wicked;”―that his fury shall come up in his face,”―that he hates putting away;”―that he loves the world, he repenteth of the evil,”―that I will avenge me of mine adversaries,”―“that I rejoice over thee,” &c., &c.

So much, then, for the intelligence of Methodism on this subject. But again, Methodism says that he (that is the complete Godhead,) is invisible; and yet Moses saw his back parts,―he and the seventy Elders of Israel saw his face. Isaiah saw him high and lifted up, &c., and Stephen saw Jesus Christ sitting at the right hand of God.” However this imaginary God, whom they “ignorantly worship,” corresponds very well with the rest of their views, for they believe that he exists somewhere “beyond the bounds of time and space,” like the Heathens’ “Elysian fields;” and that, although they cry very hard sometimes, he does not hear, and will never speak again, for if he did, it would be new revelation, and that they consider it would be “blasphemy” to believe in. But again, concerning baptism, they say:―

“Baptism is, and may be rightly administered, either by immersion, or by pouring, or by sprinkling water upon the person, and not only those who do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ; but also the infants of one or both believing parents may and ought to be baptized.” Art. xxxiv. p. 19., Meth Disc.

How very different this language is to the testimony of scripture; so much so that it seems astonishing that men of good understanding in natural things, should receive such as part and parcel of their religious creed. Paul, Eph. iv. 5. says, “There is one Lord, one faith, one BAPTISM.” But here we have THREE BAPTISMS!!! I cannot here enter into the merits of the various opinions that are extant concerning baptism, but would just remark that Methodism obviates all difficulty arising from diversity of sentiment on this point: the system is so very pliable, it accommodates itself to all; a person may be a Baptist, or Pado-Baptist, he may believe in infant or adult baptism, or in no baptism at all, and be a Methodist; for it states that “grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto, or connected with it, as that no person can be regenerated, or born again without it.” Ib. Only think of men going forth professedly with this message:―“Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe ALL things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Matt. xxviii.

19. “He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved;” and then afterwards making such a statement as the above, in flat contradiction to their professed mission, and in open violation of the law of God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not so latitudinarian in its principles; its arms are not so wanton as to receive into its embrace any thing, and every thing, because it says “Lord, Lord,” it will receive none into its fold, but those that “do the will of his” (Christ’s) “Father, who is in heaven;” for our Saviour says, that “except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John iii. 5. Here, then, the word of God states one thing, and the Methodist discipline another thing, and “the word of God is made void through their traditions,” (discipline). But independent of scripture, how completely ridiculous and absurd [7] the idea is, for a man professedly sent of God to know no better than this; thus when a man asks “what am I to do to be saved?” the teacher cannot tell him the mode of baptism, but must leave it for the ignorant untaught person to make choice of three modes, or do without it altogether; for it states, “Let every adult person, and the parents of every child to be baptized have the choice of either pouring, sprinkling, or immersion” Sec. xxii. Dis. M. E. C. And as it regards infant baptism, referred to above, there is no such thing mentioned in the word of God; it is therefore not “from heaven, but of man.”

Then, again, the way that Methodism points out the means of salvation to believing penitent sinners, is altogether different to the way which the scriptures unfold.

Peter said to such on the day of Pentecost, “repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts ii. 38. Here was a plain simple statement, they knew what they had to do, went forward in the ordinance of baptism, and “the same day there was added to the church three thousand souls.” Methodism directs those who believe and are convinced, to come to the mourner’s bench and be prayed for; their minds are perplexed, and annoyed with uncertainty; they are told to “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,” but this they already do, just as much as the people did on the day of Pentecost; as the jailor did when Paul baptized him; or as the Ethiopean eunuch; in all of which cases they were baptized the same day; there was no uncertainty about it; no receiving them on probation, but the same day they were added to the church by baptism; hence the Methodists take convinced, repenting believers to the mourner’s form: the apostles took them to the water, and baptized them. The Methodists receive them on probation or trial, for three or six months. The apostles added them to the church the same day.

The laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, is another ordinance which Methodism has entirely dispensed with, it is considered useless by it, nay worse than useless, as an abomination. The words that are made use of in the discipline are enough to make the blood of every reflecting man run chill; the very contemplation is enough to strike every lover of his Bible with horror; to think that there are so many thousands of professed Christians who believe in the following words:―“Confirmation….has partly grown out of a CORRUPT following of the apostles!!!” Sect. xvi. M. E. D. Did I say believe it? No!! I hope better things of thousands of them, they do not know that it is there, and only need be told of it, to give it up as one of the marks of Antichrist; and to shrink from such an infidel idea with disgust and horror. What! has it come to this, in the midst of our professed refinements in religion, that it has become corrupt to follow the apostles (!!!)? Paul laid his hands on some who had been baptized unto John’s baptism, and they received the Holy Ghost,” &c. Acts xix. 6. Ananias laid his hands upon Saul for the same thing. Peter and John laid their hands upon the people of Samaria, and they received the “Gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts viii. 17. Paul mentions it as one of the first principles of the gospel. Heb. vi. 2. But Methodism does not contradict this statement, or deny that the apostles administered in this ordinance; but that it is corrupt to follow them.

But, in regard to the Holy Ghost itself, it is as generally denied by the Methodists, not in name, but in its effects; and as words are only signs of ideas, if the thing which they call the Holy Ghost is not the same thing as that spoken of in the scriptures, the calling of it by that name will not make it so, any more than the calling a pig-stye a palace, would make it one; that this is the case we will briefly show. Methodism speaks of the Holy Ghost as giving an internal evidence of the believers acceptance with God; but denies the power and outward manifestation of it as it formerly existed; the scriptures not only speak of it as producing “righteousness, and peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghost,” but also as “leading men into all truth,” bringing things “past to their remembrance,” and Paul says, 1 Cor. xii. That he would not have them ignorant of spiritual gifts. “For to one is given by the spirit the word of wisdom; to another faith by the same spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same spirit; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues,” &c. The spirit dividing to each man severally as HE WILL.” They had an “unction [8] from the Holy One, and know all things,” and they needed not that any man should teach them, save the anointing that dwelt in them. 1 John ii. 20, 27.

How different is this to that which Methodism calls the gift of the Holy Ghost; by this they were led into all truth: by this they could have the ministering of angels, and the spirit of prophesy; they could regulate church affairs, and separate men to the ministry; by this they could be wrapped in prophetic vision, have the curtains of heaven withdrawn; behold the opening glories of the eternal world, and prophesy of events that should transpire until the final winding-up scene. How different to the low, grovelling notions of the Methodists concerning it; let it once be poured out among them, and what would they say? if any of their members had the ministering of an angel, and told of it, he would be considered under a delusion; if he had the gift of tongues, they would say that it was “gibberish” and folly; if he believed in the gift of healing, they would say that he was a “fanatic;” if he had the spirit of prophecy, he would be branded as “a false prophet.” So that, if God was to manifest himself among them in any of the before-mentioned ways, as he did formerly to the saints, he would be considered as not orthodox; would be treated as an heretic; and cast out of their midst: and so far have they fallen from the pristine excellency of the gospel, that it would be impossible for God to manifest himself among them, and if he did they would cast the individual out to whom he revealed himself, and thus rob themselves of the blessings that God would confer upon them; but while they hold their present principles they need not be afraid of any such occurrence taking place, for God will not force his spirit upon any one.

Methodism teaches that “Christ has ascended into heaven, there to remain untill he comes to judge the world at the last day.” Sec. 1, Dis. M. E. C., and that there will only be one resurrection, Art. xxxvii. M. Dis. “The scriptures teach that he will come at the time of the restitution of all things spoken of by the prophets, and that “every soul that will not hear him, shall be cut off from AMONG the people.” Acts iii. 21, 23. This, then, is before the last judgment: for those that will hear him will not be cut off from among the people; consequently the righteous people will be preserved; those that will not hear him, will be cut off. Zech. xiv. speaks of him setting his feet in that day upon the Mount of Olives―“fighting against he nations;” and “coming with his saints,” &c. And after this, the nations coming to “Jerusalem to worship;” which could not be the last day, for then the “heavens and the earth flee away.” John, Rev. xx. says, that the saints lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years,,” but that “the rest of the dead LIVED NOT AGAIN, until the thousand years were expired.” Here, then, Christ not only comes a thousand years before the last judgment; but the saints are raised, and reign with him on e thousand years before the rest of the dead are raised. Paul, in speaking of the resurrection, 1 Cor. xv. 23, 24, says “Christ” (is) “the first fruits, afterwards, those that are Christ’s AT HIS COMING; then cometh the end! ” evidently shewing that at Christ’s coming the saints, or those that are Christ’s, will rise; but that the remainder will not rise until the end.

Methodism here is at variance with the word of God, it speaks of Christ remaining in heaven ‘til the last day; the word of God says that he will come one thousand years before, Methodism says, that there is only one resurrection; the word of God says, that there is two.

Methodism teaches that there will only be one judgment, which is the last. Mr. Wesley says, speaking on the approach of the Son of man,―the graves shall open, and the dead bodies of men arise; the sea also shall give up the dead which are therein. Rev. xx. 18, and every one shall rise with his own body. . so that ALL who ever lived and died, since God created man, shall be raised incorruptible; and concerning the judgment, and the extent of it, he says, that Christ is “ordinary to be the judge both of the quick and the dead; both of those who shall be found alive at his coming, and of those who shall before be gathered to their fathers.” Ser. xv, “on the great assize,’ Art. xxxviii, M. Dis. Thus, according to this statement, all that have ever lived will be raised; and all that have ever lived will be judged flatly contradicting, Rev. xx. “And the rest of the dead lived not again, until the thousand years were expired.” As we have heretofore mentioned, that Christ will come one thousand years before the last judgment, and raise the dead saints, so when he does come he will judge [9] those that are living on the earth, at his appearing. Isa. xl., says, that “with righteousness shall he JUDGE the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth;” and that he will “smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips will he slay the wicked.” And after this, the wolf and the lamb shall lay down together; and the leopard, fatling, and kid, feed together,” &c. and they “shall not hurt, or destroy in all my holy mountain,” but the time spoken of by Mr. W, the mountains shall flee away, and even the earth itself is not found: here the lion, wolf, leopard, kid, and even the little child are feeding, and no destruction on all God’s holy mountain, and the earth filled with the knowledge of the Lord.” Isa. xxiv. says, that “the inhabitants of the earth will be burned, and few men left.” Here then is a judgment spoken of, when all but a few will be burned; but there will be a few that will not be burned; thus agreeing with Mal. iv “The proud, and those that do wickedly, will be stubble,―will be burned”; but “the righteeous shall grow up as calves of the stall, and tread upon the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of their feet, in the day that the Lord of Hosts doeth this.” Hence our Saviour will, according to Psa. ii., “have the heathen for his inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for his possession, but before that he will rule the nations with a rod of iron; and dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Hence Methodism has lost sight of this judgment altogether, and is only looking for the last judgment, when the sea, death, and hell shall deliver up their dead,―and consequently if they are not aware it will come upon them like a thief in the night.”

And as it regards their ministry, instead of being set apart by “prophesy, and by laying on of hands,” as was the case in the apostles days, they are set apart by men: first, Prayer Leaders, then Class Leaders, then Local Preachers, then Traveling Preachers, then in some instances Presidents, &c. They say that they are called of God; but how do they know it? their God is without “body or parts,” and consequently cannot speak to them, and they have no prophet to call them, nor no authority to ordain them; they do not believe in new revelation, and the old revelation says nothing about Methodist Ministers.

But in regard to the rules, and discipline, some may imagine that they are not very important nor very strenously supported, but every one who is acquainted with Methodism knows better; they are considered of that importance that the neglect to attend to, their mode of church government and believe in them will exclude a preacher from his office, and a member from the church, although they may fulfil the whole law of God; for among other questions that are asked a man, who is a candidate for the office of a preacher, is the following,—“Do you know the rules of society?”.. “do you keep them?” sec. 8, p. 36. dis. M. F.. C. the following will explain what these rules are: “he may be received into full connexion by giving him a form of discipline, inscribed thus,”—as long as you freely consent to walk by these rules, we shall rejoice to receive you as a fellow labourer.” 1b. p. 87, consequently if he does not walk by “these rules” he cannot be acknowledged as a fellow labourer, as may be seen by the following: “What shall be done with those who hold and dissiminate publicly or privately, doctrines which are contrary to our articles of religion?” Ans. Let the same process be observed as in cases of gross immorality. (!!!) Thus a man cannot be a Methodist minister unless he believes things that are unscriptural, and things which are at variance with every principle of reason, and common sense, he must believe and enforce the discipline or be tried as for gross immorality: it may be dispensed with in some instances where there is a preponderating and almost universal influence against it as for instance in the case of dress, or the selling or drinking spirituous liquors; as these are things that are so generally practised there would be very found to enforce the law without condemning others for what in the estimation of Methodism, they were guilty of themselves: but let him neglect to pay his penny a week, or his shilling per quarter, or get some one else to do it,—let him question the right of a preacher to cut off members without judge or jury, let him believe that any part of discipline is unscriptural, and he would find that it would be enforced; or let him neglect to meet in class—and he would be treated as follows:—“If they do not amend let him who has the charge of the circuit exclude them (in the church) shewing that they [10] are laid aside for a breach of our rules of discipline, and NOT for IMMORAL CONDUCT.” (!!!) sec. 2. p. 80, Dis. M. E. C. Here then, the discipline is held sacred, and its authority considered equal, nay superior, to the scriptures; by it members are received into the church, and by it they are cut off from the church; by it men are received into the ministry, and by it they are expelled from it; and even if they should be moral, and do not keep it they must be cut off as members:—as preachers, if they do not abide by it, they must be tried as for gross immorality; hence, if a preacher does not believe in a God without body or parts:—if he does not believe that there are three baptisms:—if he does not believe that “confirmation has grown out of acorrupt following of the apostles”:—if he does not believe that there will only be one resurrection and only one judgment at the last day;—if he does not believe in a man–made priesthood; if, in fact, he does not believe that many parts of the gospel are changed, and that we have nothing to do with them, he cannot be a Methodist preacher, and not only believe in it but enforce it, or be “tried as for other acts of gross immorality. It does not mention the kind of immorality, whether it is burglary, theft, or murder; but that it is gross immorality; he is however cut off for it, except he repent: hence if a conscientious man only saw into the nature of the discipline which he subscribes to, and professes to believe in, he would at once be led to lay it aside as absurd, unscriptural, dogmatical, and dangerous: but I know that many are carried away by appearances and do not judge for themselves, and this may account for there being more dissatisfaction among the Methodist body than any other; hence members frequently complain of their ministers being dogmatical; not being aware that they must be so if they fulfil the requirements of their discipline, and if they are not it is because they do not walk according to it; they are often complained of as doing things which are unscriptural, the parties aggrieving not knowing that they must walk contrary to the scriptures if they fulfil the requirements of their discipline; but if they stand by the word of God they must break it, and consequently cannot be Methodist preachers: hence it is that the question is so frequently asked (not is it scriptural?) but is it Methodism? but, if they were to burn their discipline and be called according to the order of God, and take the Bible as their standard, things might go on better. We will compare some of the doctrines of Methodism with those of the Bible:—

DOCTRINES OF THE BIBLE.

DOCTINES OF METHODISM.

“And God hath set some And Methodism has placed in the in the church, first, apostles; church, first, a president of conference; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, secondly, presidents of districts; thirdly, teachers; after that miracles; then superintendant preachers; afterwards, gifts of heading, helps, itinerant and local preachers, class governments, diversities of leaders, tract distributors, missionary tongues.” 1 Cor. xii. 28. collectors, &c. &c.

And God has ceased to give

“He led captivity captive, apostles, and prophets, and inspired and gave gifts to men; and he men; those were only necessary for the gave some apostles; and some

dark ages, but as we have now got a prophets; and some evangelists; more efficient ministry, we can perfect and some pastors, and teachers, the saints without them. for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the How can they preach except they edifying of the body of Christ.” have been at Kingswood, or Woodhouse Eph. iv. 8, 11.

Grove schools, or at a Theological

“How shall they preach Institution. except they be sent.” Rom.x. 15.

All that are convinced come to the mourners’ bench and we will pray

“Repent, and be baptized for you, and perhaps you will be every one of you, in the name of forgiven.

Jesus Christ for the remission of Give tickets to none until they sins, and you shall receive the are recommended by a leader with Gift of the Holy Ghost.”—Acts whom they have met at least six months viii. 38. on trial. (In England three months.) Dis.

“And the same day there M. E. C. p. 80. [11] was added to the church three thousand souls.” Acts ii. 41.

“Is any sick among you, let him call If any are sick among you, let him for the elders of the church, and let them send for a doctor; for to lay on hands to heal pray over him, anointing him with oil in the the sick would be worse than popery, and it name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith is not necessary in this enlightened age. shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.” Jas. v. 14.

One Lord, many faiths, and THREE

“One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” baptisms, viz. pouring, sprinkling, and Eph. iv. 5. immersion.

“If thy brother sin against thee, go Explain to them the consequence if and tell him his fault between him and thee they continue to neglect (i. e. to meet in alone; if he hear thee, thou hast gained thy class) viz. exclusion; if they do not amend, brother, but if he will not hear thee, then let HIM who has the charge of the circuit take with thee one or two more, that in the

exclude them (in the church) shewing that mouth of two or three witnesses every word they are laid aside for a breach of our rules may be established.” Matt. xviii. 15, 16.

of discipline, and NOT FOR IMMORAL

“Concerning spiritual gifts brethren I CONDUCT. Sec 2 p. 80. Dis. M. E. C. would not have you ignorant.” 1 Cor. xii 12.

Concerning spiritual gifts, brethren,

“Follow after charity, and desire we would have you ignorant; for they are all spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may fables. prophesy.” 1 Cor. xiv. 1.

Follow after charity, but do not

“And those signs shall follow them desire spiritual gifts, nor prophesy; it is not that believe; in my name they shall cast out needed in this enlightened age. devils; they shall speak with new tongues; if It is awful blasphemy to suppose that they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt these signs shall follow them that believe; hem; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall not cast out devils, they shall not they shall recover.” Mark xvi. 17, 18. speak with new tongues; if they drink any

“No man taketh this honour upon deadly thing it will kill them, and the sick himself, but he that is called of God, as was shall not recover by the laying on of hands.

Aaron.” Heb. v, 4.

No man can be a preacher amongst

“To one the gift of tongues; to us, unless he is present at “the annual district another the gift of prophesy; to another the meeting, to undergo the usual examination. gift of healing. 1 Cor. XII.

To none the gift of tongues, to none the gift of prophesy, to none the gift of healing.

Thus we have briefly followed and find that in almost all its doctrines it is at variance with the words of eternal life, I did not intend to shew that its advocates contradicted themselves in a great many particulars, and more fully to shew that their priesthood and authority is not of God but of man, and to point other inconsistencies, but shall let this suffice for the present—I would just remark, that Messrs. Livesey, Heys, Newton, and other Methodist preachers, might be better engaged than in vilifying the Latter-day Saints, and in caluminating their character: and that such a course as they have lately adopted comes with a very poor grace from men who are the advocates of a system so monstrous, so unscriptural, and so replete with nonsense, absurdity, and folly, and I would advise them to take “the beam out of their own eye, and then will they see more clearly to take the mote out of their brothers eye.

Liverpool, Dec. 7th, 1840.

JOHN TAYLOR.

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