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should have a marked influence on the plans of education they were employed to frame. Grammar, rhetoric, logic, school divinity, and civil law, comprised the whole course of study. To have appointed professors to explain the principles of commerce, and the means by which labor might be rendered most effective, would have been considered as equally superfluous and degrading to the dignity of science. The ancient prejudices against commerce, manufactures, and luxury, retained a powerful influence in the middle ages. None were possessed of any clear ideas concerning the true source of national wealth, happiness, and prosperity.”—M’Culloch's Principles, part i.
How different the present state of the science Before us lies a volume of catalogues from the principal institutions of learning in our country; and in every one of them political economy holds a place in the junior or senior studies: while in the old world it has ceased to be a novelty. As long ago as 1821, Mr. Say announced its advancement in the following enthusiastic strain:—
“It is now taught wherever knowledge is cherished. In the universities of Germany, Scotland, Spain, Italy, and in the north, professorships of political economy are already established; henceforth this study will be prosecuted among them with all the advantages of a regular and systematic science. While the University of Oxford pursues her old and beaten course, Cambridge, within a few years, has established a chair for the development of this new science. Particular courses are delivered at Geneva, and many other places; the merchants of Barcelona have at their own expense founded a professorship on political economy. The study is now considered as an essential branch of the education of princes; and all who are worthy of that high distinction blush at being ignorant of its principles. The emperor of Russia has been desirous that his brothers, the grand dukes Nicholas and Michael, should attend a course of lectures under the direction of M. Storch. Finally, the government of France has done itself lasting honor by creating the first professorship of political economy in this kingdom, sanctioned by public authority.”
His sanguine prediction has been fully realized. The principles which lead to public prosperity have everywhere been investigated; and the ship of state is now no longer left without chart or compass to the mercy of every adverse wave and wind. The sources of wealth have been disclosed; the elements of national advancement have been shown to be invariable quantities in the great problem of human activity; and in our own representative government especially, each citizen, feeling the obligation to qualify himself to deliberate on public affairs, and to do his little, but not unimportant, share in promoting the public welfare, is availing himself of the teachings of that science which, of all others, can best enable him to arrive at solid conclusions.
Carlisle, March 24, 1847.
ART. IV.-Wesley and his Biographers.
“In labors more abundant.”—Paul.
It is not yet a century and a half since John Wesley was born. It is but little more than half a century since he closed his eventful and useful life. Extensively known and read while living, he has not been forgotten since his death. His name is on every tongue, and is wafted by every breeze. And, as year after year passes away, his history elicits new inquiry respecting his doctrine and manner of life; and every particular, however minute, or apparently unimportant in itself, is sought after with the greatest avidity, both by friends and foes. His remarkable career and almost superhuman labors astonish the thinking; and the results of those labors are cause for devout thanksgiving with every truly pious individual. Mr. Wesley was born at Epworth, in Lincolnshire, on the 17th of June, 1703; in 1720 he entered Christ's Church, Oxford; in 1725 he was ordained a deacon by Bishop Potter; in 1726 he was elected fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford; in 1727 he took his degree of master of arts; in 1728 he was ordained a priest by Bishop Potter; in 1729 the name of Methodist was first applied to his brother Charles; in 1735 he went as a missionary to Georgia; in 1738 he returned to England; in 1739 he formed the first “United Society.” From this formation, the Methodist Church, wherever it exists, has sprung. On the 2d of March, 1791, in the eighty-eighth year of his age, and sixty-sixth of his ministry, Mr. Wesley died, “in sure and certain hope of eternal life, through the atonement and mediation of a crucified Saviour.” In whatever respect we consider Mr. Wesley's character, it presents to us something remarkably striking. There is, indeed, in its formation a happy union of what constitutes the good, the useful, and the great. Where all the powers or faculties of the mind are uniformly developed, it is difficult to point out in which superior excellence is displayed. Perhaps in the art of governing in the church, as an elder, he excels. In considering his character, however, and his extraordinary labors, and the success of those labors, we are constantly reminded of an ever-present and everwatchful Providence, surrounding, and guiding, and giving a controlling influence to his actions. Wesley was one of those men raised up in the church to do an important and special work. Religious communities, as well as civil governments, degenerate; and a decided and powerful movement is necessary to bring them back to the principles and practice of the gospel. To do this, as the history of the church clearly shows, something out of the ordinary course of operation is required. Without some extraordinary measures, it is difficult, if, indeed, it is not impossible, to arouse the dormant sensibilities of mankind, and startle them from the slumber of ages. Every reformer, whether in the church or state, must expect to be charged with rashness by those of more prudent and fearful mind. The very men, indeed, who concede that a change is highly important, but who have not energy and firmness of character enough to stem the current of popular sentiment, nor fortitude to endure the obloquy which an eccentric course would bring upon them, are the first, frequently, to raise the cry of ultraism, enthusiasm, and ambition, against those who have. And the measures which an enlightened posterity will approve as wise and necessary, will, by many of this class of persons, be regarded as ill judged and uncalled for. In the estimation of these, Luther was an ambitious youth seeking for distinction, rather than to advance the cause of religion in the world: Cromwell was a hypocritical wretch, rash and unrelenting, and caring for nothing, so he might accomplish his fiendish purposes: and Wesley, in the same strain, and from the same motives—envy and jealousy for the most part—has received as large a share of reproach and abuse as has fallen to the lot of any other individual. Portraitures of Wesley and Methodism, and works on that subject, from the penny tract to the volume of high pretension, have appeared at the rate of about four productions a year, since the organization of the first society in 1739. These have emanated from Church and dissenting priests, from mitred heads and laic hands; and also from a class, sui generis, of odds and ends, embracing seceders, formalists in religion, and opposers of all Christianity. Some of these productions are clever caricatures; others abound in low wit and obscene detail, and are couched in the ordinary parlance of Christopher Sly. And of most of them it may be said, “What time they wax warm, they vanish away.” Since Mr. Wesley's death, besides numerous sketches of his character, drawn by different individuals, there have appeared six imposing “Lives” of him. These we design in the present article briefly to notice. And if it should appear to our reader that we are not disposed to extenuate their faults, we trust it will be equally apparent to him that we do not set down aught in malice.
The first Life of Mr. Wesley was written by Rev. John HAMPson, Jr.; it made its appearance, in 3 vols. 12mo., in 1791. It was the design of Mr. Hampson to publish his work while Mr. Wesley was living. This was not done, however; and the memoir was not given to the public till its subject was beyond the reach of its influence. The father of the author of this work, Mr. John Hampson, Senr., became one of Mr. Wesley's assistants in 1755, and continued with him for thirty years, when, taking offense, he left his connection. John Hampson, Jr., entered the traveling ministry in 1777, and left it with his father in 1785.-Myles's History of the Methodists. Such was the course pursued by Mr. Hampson, Senr., that though he continued in the traveling ministry with Mr. Wesley, he seems never to have stood high in his estimation. The son was introduced to the conference by his father; and his, says Mr. Moore, was the first instance of a preacher's irregular admittance into the connection. Whatever cause Mr. Wesley had to be dissatisfied with the father, “in the issue he had still less cause,” says the same writer, “for satisfaction in the son.” In filling up the deed of declaration, by which the right to appoint preachers to occupy the pulpits in the chapels throughout the Wesleyan connection was secured to the conference, legally composed of one hundred members, the Hampsons' names were omitted. This so offended them that they endeavored to make a party against the deed. That attempt failed, however; and having made an apology at the following conference, Mr. Wesley, through the intercession of Mr. Fletcher, consented to appoint them again to circuits. But before the end of the year they left their work; the father to superintend a school in the county of Kent, the son with a view to enter the ministry of the English Church. They both addressed letters of resignation to Mr. Wesley, which were read to him by Mr. Henry Moore. “The father,” says Mr. Moore, “wrote under a strong feeling of resentment, and displayed many of his old principles. The young man wrote with more mildness, and expressed some grateful acknowledgments of the many benefits which he had received; but it was very apparent that he thoroughly participated in the irritation of the father. Quite enough was said by both about the arbitrary power exercised by Mr. Wesley; who took little notice of these letters at first, only saying to me, ‘You see the strength of the cause.” But he was afterward much moved, when he considered the mischief that might come, and said with some warmth, “I have been too tender of these men. You should have opposed my receiving them again. You know I halt on that foot.”—Moore's Life of Wesley, pp. 6, 7. Such were the circumstances in which a Life of Mr. Wesley was undertaken by Mr. Hampson. That this Life would be friendly, or impartial, toward Mr. Wesley, was not in the least expected. As Mr. Hampson was about to enter the ministry of “the Church,” it was necessary that he should furnish satisfactory evidence, by defaming Mr. Wesley and ridiculing Methodism, that he was no longer tainted with the dangerous infection. Mr. Hampson was indebted to Mr. Wesley for his education, which he received at the school in Kingswood. His standing and position in society he owed to Methodism. And yet, as Mr. Southey remarks, he had not the heart to do his early patron justice. Wanting, indeed, was he in heart, as his ingratitude clearly shows. And it is no marvel, when all the circumstances in his case are considered, that Mr. Wesley should have concluded that he had been too tender of the man. But how strikingly and beautifully does the leniency of Mr. Wesley contrast with Mr. Hampson's charge, pertinaciously made even in his letter of resignation, of arbitrary power! Designing to publish his work during Mr. Wesley's life, Mr. Hampson judged, as it would seem, some apology necessary for so strange a procedure under the circumstances. Hence, in his Preface, he says:—“For some reasons of which it is not necessary to inform our readers, as well as others which it may be proper to mention, the author had long determined at a fit opportunity to write the Life of Mr. Wesley. It was more than probable such a Life would not be overlooked. Some one would be certain to undertake it: and considering the color of his most intimate connections, and the unlimited deference with which, in this circle, it has been the fashion to regard him, a danger was apprehended lest the public should be misinformed, either by the suppression of some important facts, or by a partial and inaccurate relation. “This apprehension was a powerful incentive to the present work; and occasioned an adventure not wholly destitute of difficulty or of danger. There must necessarily be a degree of difficulty in the delineation of characters replete with light and shade; distinguished by great virtues, and sullied by strange peculiarities. “The only circumstance which seems to demand an apology, is the publication of these Memoirs during Mr. Wesley's life. Were he a mere private gentleman, whatever might be his distinction in the republic of letters, such an apology might be necessary. But his case is peculiar. He has been for more than half a century, in