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fury, while, if the ground happens to be thickly set with clumps of bushes, the tall columns of flame which start up in the advancing fiery tide, give increased intensity to the grand and appalling effect of one of the most remarkable scenes which it falls to the lot of a traveller to witness. In the steppes of southern Russia the writer has passed over tracts of ground, the surface of which had, for fifty miles or more, been swept and blackened by the flames.--Knight's Illustrated Commentary.
WESLEYAN CHRONOLOGICAL NOTICES. *
No. XXVI. 1759. WEDNESDAY, July 11th. Mr. Wesley, in reference to the threatened invasion by the French, appoints this as a day to be spent by his societies in fasting and prayer, " that God might be entreated for the land.” Mr. Charles, also, about this period publishes “Hymns on the expected Invasion, 1759;" and shortly after, on the dispersion of the nation's fear, issues from the press fifteen other hymns, bearing the title, “Hymns to be used on the Thanksgiving-day, November 29, 1759, and after it."
Wednesday, August 8th. The sixteenth Wesleyan Conference is held in London ; "the time of which," Mr. Wesley records, “ was almost entirely employed in examining whether the spirit and lives of our Preachers were suitable to their profession. Great was the unanimity and love that reigned among us : and if there were any who hoped or feared the contrary, they were happily disappointed.” From this period the examination of the Preachers, as to their moral, religious, and ministerial character, forms one of the most
• In the Notices published in our last Number, that bearing date, “1758. Monday, March 13th,” should be thus worded :
1758. Monday, March 13th. Mr. Wesley preaches in the shell of the “newhouse,” Epworth: in the afternoon he reaches York, and finds “ the house" in progress, a subscription for which he had himself commenced twelve months previous. The site of the building was in what is called PeaseholmGreen, near the Wool-Market. The York Circuit at this period, “extended to Hull, and along the coast to Whitby, embracing, across the country, all the intermediate places.” The Epworth “round” included what are now the Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham, Snaith, and Worksop Circuits.
important duties of each succeeding Conference. At the session of this year, the doctrine of Christian perfection, as held by the Methodists, is “ largely considered;" fears having been previously entertained that a diversity of sentiment was stealing in among them. Shortly after, Mr. Wesley publishes his treatise on the subject, entitled, “Thoughts on Christian Perfection."
1759. October. Mr. Wesley, spending some time at Bristol, visits the French prisoners, more than eleven hundred of whom were then, under circumstances of great destitution, confined in the immediate neighbourhood. Deeply commiserating their case, he preaches on their behalf, in the evening, from, “Thou shalt not oppress a stranger; for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt:" a liberal contribution is raised by the Bristol Methodists, and shortly after, their example is followed by the Corporation of that city, and in various parts of the kingdom.
1760. February. The society in London numbers upwards of twenty-three hundred members ; few of whom,” observes Mr. Wesley, “we could discern to be triflers, and none, we hope, live in any wilful sin.”
The church prejudices of Mr. Charles Wesley are highly excited, in consequence of three of the Preachers, Messrs. Greenwood, Martin, and Mitchell, having begun, in compliance with the urgent entreaty of some of the Norwich society, to administer the sacrament of baptism, and the Lord's Supper. The irregularity is, however, treated by Mr. Wesley with prudent lenity.
March. The society at Newark-upon-Trent pass through much opposition from riotous mobs.
On one occasion, the pulpit is taken out of the preaching-house, and burned in triumph in the market-place: on another, stones, and mire, together with eggs filled with blood and sealed with pitch, are thrown upon the congregation ; whilst the Preacher, Mr. Thomas Lee, is cruelly beaten, and in derision painted from head to foot! Some of the rioters are subsequently committed for trial.
Mr. Fletcher being presented to the living of Madeley, in the county of Salop, accepts it in preference to
another of double the value; having contracted, by occasionally preaching there, a peculiar affection for the people. His “entrance among them is, however, attended with opposition and difficulty.
1760. Mr. Wesley sends from the press, " The Desideratum ; or, Electricity made plain and useful : by a Lover of Mankind and of Common Sense. 12mo., pp. 72.” In the Preface, he records as his opinion, that “in nervous cases, as well as in many others," electricity is "a general and never-failing remedy."
The revival, at this period general throughout the societies, especially in the west of Yorkshire, reaches Birmingham and its neighbourhood. A large building is in Birmingham hired for preaching. At Darlaston, ground is purchased, and a new preaching-house; chiefly under the direction of Mr. A. Mather.
Saturday, July 5th. Mr. Wesley having spent some time in the sister-kingdom, holds at Limerick what he designates, “ a little Conference." “ By the blessing of God," writes he, we were all of one mind, particularly with regard to the Church." The number of members at this period in Ireland, is " a little above two thousand.”
Friday, August 29th. The seventeenth Wesleyan Conference is held at the New-Room, Bristol. In a letter subsequently addressed to his brother Charles, Mr. Wesley thus refers to its proceedings : “Our Conference ended, as it began, in peace and love. All found it a blessed time. I do not at all think, to tell you a secret, that the work will ever be destroyed, Church or no Church. What has been done to prevent the Methodists leaving the Church, you will see in the Minutes of the Conference. I told you before, with regard to Norwich, dixi. I have done at the last Conference all I can or dare do. Allow me liberty of conscience, as I allow you."
Mr. Howel Harris, of Wales, whose offer to raise a number of Volunteers for the defence of the nation having been accepted by the Government, is directed to join a regiment at Yarmouth; and whilst there, is instrumental in the establishment of Methodism in the place.
CHRONICLES OF THE KINGS OF NORWAY.
[Our Northmen ancestors appear to have attended to little but war; and this, for the most part, consisted of freebooting excursions with each other.
Chiefs were men of shrewdness, who, by mingling with reckless courage, a careful management of the superstition and ignorance of their followers, maintained their superior position. It would be easy for a Chief to obtain information of what was passing among his neighbours, which, in those days, when there was little intercourse even between one part of a country and another, he might so magnify, as to refer it to a supernatural source, and thus strengthen his own claims to superiority. Our next extract relates to a period some two or three generations from Odin, and illustrates the state of things we have just described.]
King Dyggve's son, called Dag, succeeded to him, and was so wise a man that he understood the language of birds. He had
a sparrow which told him much news, and flew to different countries. Once the sparrow flew to Reidgotaland, to a farm called Varva, where he flew into the peasant's corn-field and took his grain. The peasant came up, took a stone, and killed the sparrow. King Dag was ill-pleased that the sparrow did not come home; and as he, in a sacrifice of expiation, inquired after the sparrow, he got the answer that it was killed at Varva. Thereupon he ordered a great army, and went to Gothland; and when he came to Varva, he landed with his men, and plundered, and the people fled away before him. King Dag returned in the evening to his ships, after having killed many people, and taken many prisoners. As they were going across a river at a place called Skiotan's Ford, a labouring thrall came running to the river-side, and threw a hay-fork into their troop. It struck the King on the head, so that he fell instantly from his horse and died, and his men went back to Sweden. In those times the Chief who ravaged a country was called Gram, and the men-at-arms under him Gramr. Thiodolf sings of it thus :
“ What news is this that the King's men,
Flying eastward through the glen,
“Varva was wasted with the sword,
Agne was the name of Dag's son, who was King after him, -a powerful and celebrated man, expert, and exercised in all feats. It happened one summer that King Agne went with his army to Finland, and landed and marauded. The Finland people gathered a large army, and proceeded to the strife under a Chief called Froste. There was a great battle, in which King Agne gained the victory, and Froste fell there with a great many of his people. King Agne proceeded with armed hand through Finland, subdued it, and made enormous booty. He took Froste's daughter Skialf, and her brother Loge, and carried them along with him. When he sailed from the east he came to land at Stokkasund, and put up his tent on the flat side of the river, where there was a wood. King Agne had at the time the gold ornament which had belonged to Visbur. He now married Skialf, and she begged him to make a burial-feast in honour of her father. He invited a great many guests, and made a great feast. He had become very celebrated by his expedition, and there was a great drinking match. Now when King Agne had got drunk, Skialf bade him take care of his gold ornament which he had about his neck; therefore he took hold of the ornament, and bound it fast about his neck before he went to sleep.