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On completing this Volume of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine, We are reminded that just half a century has elapsed since the publication of that work was commenced by the eminent man from whose name it has derived its present designation; and on comparing the character which it has assumed of late years, with that of the earlier volumes, we are forcibly impressed with the mighty revolution of sentiment and feeling that has taken place among British Christians within the period now specified. Fifty years ago, Methodism had begun to engage the general attention of the nation; and great “ searchings of heart” were excited as to the tendency of the system, and to what it “ would grow.” The orthodox formalists, and philosophical pretenders to “ rational religion,” denounced it as downright fanaticism. Some of them invoked the civil power to suppress it; and others of them assailed its adherents with arguments, sarcasm, and ridicule. Not a few of the zealous advocates of absolute predestination regarded Methodism as a revival of some of the worst heresies; and charged its Ministers with impugning several of the vital doctrines of Christianity; especially those which relate to the purposes of God, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Attacked with great animosity, and in many instances with little regard for either truth or charity, Mr. Wesley was compelled, in self-defence, to commence a periodical work, over which he should have the absolute control, and through the medium of which he might repel the assaults of his opponents, and establish the Societies under his care in the belief of the truth as they had already received it. For several years, therefore, the Arminian Magazine, though incomparably superior in its spirit and character to several contemporary publications, was decidedly polemical; and was principally employed in defending the doctrine of General Redemption, and the tenets with which it is connected. Its early volumes contain no reports of Societies instituted for the purpose of giving universal circulation to the Scriptures, and scarcely any thing in the form of Missionary Intelligence : for professing Christians, in those times, were too generally engaged in hostility to each other; instead of combining their counsels and energies to convert and save the world. In many instances, theological controversy is necessary, and has been productive of the most beneficial consequences; but it is often a necessary evil; and when the official periodical publications of different bodies of professing Christians are mostly occupied in recriminations and rejoinders, it argues a state of things unfavourable to brotherly kindness, and to active benevolence. Evangelical Christians in the present day, we have reason to believe, are as much alive as their forefathers were to the peculiarities of their respective creeds; but many of them have happily learned, that opinion is not religion,—that moderation is a virtue,--and that a world perishing in ignorance and sin, has strong claims upon their benevolent attention. In the celebration of this our Jubilee, therefore, we offer our cordial congratulations to our friends, on the improved character of the Christian Church in our native land, so far as mutual candour and active philanthropy are concerned.
With Mr. Wesley it was often a subject of regret, that he was unablo to obtain for his Magazine such portraits as were satisfactory to himself and his Subscribers; and with his complaints on this head, we have often had occasion to sympathize. We have reason, however, to hope, that our principal difficulties in this department have been overcome. John Jackson, Esq., R. A., has most liberally engaged to paint the portraits which may be needed for our work, and to superintend the execution of the engravings. Such an engagement, from an Artist so accomplished, is a sufficient guarantee for the correctness of the like nesses, and the elegant form in which they shall appear.
Our best thanks are due to our Correspondents, for their valuable contributions; and to our Subscribers, for their continued patronage': and those thanks we again gratefully tender and record. In the general absence of complaints, and frequent assurances of approval from persons whose opinions are entitled to the highest deference, we have reason to believe that the, Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine is acceptable to the great body of its readers. In this, the anxious wish of the Editor and Publishers is realized ; and they gladly renew the assurance, that neither labour nor expense shall be spared in their endeavour to render it increasingly worthy of the public approbation. It was originally intended to be only a temporary publication, and to be discontinued when the circumstances which called it forth liad ceased to exist. Mr. Wesley supposed that, after a few years, it would lose its interest, for want of suitable matter; whereas, one of the greatest difficulties with which its Conductors have had of late years to contend, has arisen from the want of room; in consequence of which the insertion of valuable articles has often been unavoidably deferred. On this account, as well as on some others, which we are not able at present to specify, we bave still' to bespeak the forbearance of our friends,
London, Nov. 20th, 1827.
FOR JANUARY, 1827.
MEMOIR OF MR. SOLOMON BURRALL,
Of Tuckingmill, in the County of Cornwall :
BY THE REV.JOHN AIKENHEAD. MR. SOLOMON Burrall was born in the village of Tuckingmill, Cornwall, in the year 1760. From his childhood to the time of his conversion he was often the subject of religious impressions, and lived in habitual fear of offending God. His youth, therefore, was not stained by outward vice, and his moral character was unblameable. He was a pattern of diligence in business, and an able assistant to his excellent father. In early life he enjoyed many advantages, favourable to a work of grace, and a life of piety. He lived under the watchful eye of a pious father, who built a place for the worship of God just by his dwelling; and whose house and heart were ever open for the reception and entertainment of the servants of the living God, who came to show them the way of salvation. He had also a beloved sister, whose heart the Lord had opened to receive the truth as it is in Jesus; and who in the season of youth chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. This excellent relation, walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, endeavoured by her good advice and affectionate entreaties to allure him to a life of decided piety; while her exemplary depoitment, and the evidence she gave of the felicity her soul enjoyed in the possession of true religion, gave weight to her pious counsels and exhortations.
These mercies were not bestowed in vain on the subject of our inemoir. He was naturally of a thoughtful disposition; and when about twenty years of age, that good Spirit, whose still small voice had not as yet led him to Christ, spoke more powerfully to his conscience, by removing the veil that hid from his sight the alienation of his heart from the life of God, and its consequent depravity; and by leading him to view himself in the clear and spotless mirror of the divine law, which is holy, just, and good, He convinced him that, notwithstanding his morality and comparative innocence, he was a sinner, and his righteousness as filthy rags in the sight of God. He therefore
Fell before the cross, subdued,
Aud felt the arrows dipt in blood. Vol. VI. Third Series. JANUARY, 1827.
In his trouble and distress he called upon the name of the Lord, and offered up strong cries and tears to the God of mercy. During this season of deep anguish he frequently retired to the mines in the neighbourhood, that he might the more freely give utterance to the sorrows of a broken heart; and on one occasion the miners hearing him, thought the voice was that of some person in danger, to whose relief they deemed it their duty to run; when they found him wrestling with God in prayer, and humbly supplicating for mercy at the throne of grace. In regard to such seekers of salvation, the ear of the Lord is not heavy; nor is his arm shortened that he cannot save.
Having, on a certain day, been much engaged in business, in the evening he felt himself fatigued, and inclined to rest. His sister said to him, “ Brother, how has it been with you to-day? Have you found the blessing of pardon?” To which he replied, “ I have not; I have been much occupied, and have had little time for prayer." His sister said, 4. My dear brother, if we have not time safficient to devote to the immediate service of God by day, we must take a little of the night;" and proposed that they should pray together ; to which he readily consented. They had not been long engaged in the solemn duty, before he entered into a holy agony of spirit, in pleading the promises of pardoning mercy ; and the God of grace applied them with divine evidence and consolation to his heart and conscience, making them to him yea and amen in Christ Jesus. Then guilt and condemnation were removed from his mind; and the love of God was shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost; filling hiin with unspeakable joy and peace. On the day following, he was so delighted with the favour of God, his reconciled Father and Friend in Jesus his Lord, that he could scarcely forbear to declare to all around him what God had done for his soul.
Soon after his happy translation into the kingdom of God's dear Son, he began painfully to feel the remains of the carnal mind, in the flesh lusting against the Spirit; and though he was generally happy in God, he was at some seasons exercised by a disposition to peevishness. Though he had reason to believe that this was not discernible in his outward conduct, it was a source of distress to his mind. This inward conflict prepared him to hear, with no common or ordinary feeling of interest, the Christian doctrine of entire deliverance from indwelling sin. That doctrine inspired him with hope, and gave a stimulus to his efforts in seeking this great salvation. In pursuit of the blessing of entire sanctification, he came diligently and fervently to the throne of grace, and waited with earnest expectation and intense desire in all the ordinances of religion, that he might be purified from all sin, and filled with the perfect love of God, and that without interruption he might dwell in God, and God in him. Thus led, and influenced by the light and grace of Christ, he retired to his closet, that he might engage in secret prayer to