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whatever evidence, it is a direct infraction of every law of right reason, a violation of every principle of our moral economy. A course of conduct, in relation to whatever object or thing, pursued in utter ignorance or reckless defiance of all hazards, can find no sane, no successful apologist. Such, in all respects, is the conduct under consideration. If it were only heard of and not seen, it were absolutely incredible. If it were not the most common thing in the world, it might be justly deemed one of the world's greatest prodigies. The votaries of earth are moving exhibitions of the most glaring contradictions and extremes. The universe contains no such examples besides of voluntary moral debasement. That principle of their nature which allies them with the animal, holds lordly rule over that which allies them with the spiritual and Divine. Their souls, which can find their appropriate aliment alone in the favour of Him from whom they emanate, are doomed to starve upon the husks that the swine eat. Formed though they are with noble attributes for all the felicities of fellowship with God, they give a strange preference to the companionship of the carnal. Though the true home of their affections is above

the stars, the home their affections cleave to is the dust.

This conduct is pursued, moreover, whilst every thing around them dictates a directly opposite course. Turn where they will, they hear the verdict of condemnation. Within themselves, they have evidence sufficient that they were formed for some higher state of being than that which stretches no farther than the limits of their animal senses. The most impressive appeals, the most terrible and withering maledictions of the Bible, they find directed against their own idolatrous love of earth. In every temple for Christian worship they behold a standing rebuke of their impiety. Creation itself is vocal with the praise of Hin that clothed it with grace and beauty, an exercise for which they, alas! rational as they are and immortal, have neither heart nor habitude, neither time nor taste. If they appeal to their experience of the world, they find the world utterly unsuited to their higher nature and aspirations. Its disciples need little argument upon this matter. Their oft exploded schemes and wishes afford them proof enough that it is a baseless fabric and a vain show, that its boasted pleasures are but painted vanities; its promises and professions, hollow mockeries and splendid lies.

Perhaps the crowning element in the folly of earthly-minded men, is to be found in the perishable properties of the world they deify and adore. Decay is the universal law. Susceptible of its influence are the brightest objects we look upon, be they wealth, or fame, or beauty, held though they be by the surest grasp, or watched with unceasing solicitude, or reared on the most massive foundations. History has taught mankind a vast amount of serviceable truth, but on no truth has history poured a broader stream of irrefragable evidence than on this, that stability and permanence are no attributes at all of any thing beneath the skies. Where now shall we find those imperial cities, those proud and princely nations of antiquity, those concentrations of all power and policy, all wealth and wisdom? Where now are those colossal structures, those towering triumphs of human strength and genius, that once appeared so proof against the blasts of all tempests and the breath of all time? And those mighty social and political

changes that have recently shaken Europe almost to its centre, what are they but so many evidences of inherent destructibleness, so many steps in the onward process of decay? And what is the world itself but a vast theatre, where in interminable succession one scene follows another, each one unfolding more clearly than its predecessor the grave verity, that there is rapidly on the wing of time a crisis in which the world itself shall pass away, when this vast material creation, this gorgeous scene of splendour and beauty, shall utterly perish and be no more. O! is such a world an adequate compensation for the irretrievable loss of all that can make eternity desirable and happy? Is such the price for which a countless multitude of our fellows appear to have made up their minds to sell their immortal birthright? O the madness of the world's worshippers! And yet, what power can break the fatal charm or dislodge the idol god? What argument and appeal can fix upon their smitten, carnal hearts the lesson of inspiration, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break not through and steal."

A course of earthliness, moreover, is the highway to certain ruin. If the Bible be no fable, if immortality be no dream, it can be the precursor only of the hopeless wreck of all that can bless its blinded votaries." He that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corrup tion." It must be so, therefore, as the result of a natural law. It is a downward course of deterioration and debasement. How can it be otherwise? How otherwise than spiritually lapsed, shrivelled, and powerless can be the faculties of the mind accustomed to no exercises of spiritual elevation and discipline? A sickly and blighted heart must that ever be which is exposed only to the uncongenial influences of this beggarly world, a bleak and sterile waste, where no healthy graces germinate, where no flowers of beauty and fragrance grow. The consequences of earthliness are also retributive. The friends of the world are not always without proof, even in this life, that a more than human curse frowns upon their selfish and sordid pursuits. God does sometimes most signally mark his abhorrence of the sin. He turns the tide of their prosperity, and dashes to pieces like a potter's vessel the fabric of their most cherished hopes; and this he does to show them that they are profoundly mistaken in assuming they have a dispensation to live as they list; that the relations subsisting between them and their Creator are neither to be set aside with indifference nor trampled upon with impunity. There are not a few cases, it is true, in which worldly men are allowed to pursue their course of carnality free from such terrible mementos of their guilt. The stream they float upon is undisturbed and placid. Little do they know by experience of those serious transitions that humble the ambition of other men. They appear to feast upon the luxuries of perpetual prosperity and sunshine. The retribution is certain, however, though it be delayed. Fearful is the reversion that awaits them in the future, and all the more fearful it may be, because preceded by a course of unrestrained indulgence and unbroken calm. Their fancied triumph and security can only last until they shall have opened their eyes upon the solemnities of another state, and then, O then, the dream is o'er, the fatal slumber is broken

up for ever, the magic spell is shivered into nothing, every vestige of the infernal delusion is swept away, and then they load with bitter curses the carnality of spirit which Heaven and its ministers had so deeply pitied and deplored. Into eternity they plunge with the guilt upon their consciences of having robbed Jehovah and deified the world, with the accumulated and unpardoned guilt of the most criminal idolatry and the most disdainful atheism. And now, in this their tremendous crisis, now that God comes forth in the majesty of judicial power to reckon with them, where, pray where is that boasted world of theirs, to which they so obsequiously bowed and so tenaciously clung? Where now its gay society, that used to cheer their spirits; its sparkling treasures and fulsome flattery, that used to feast their eyes and feed their vanity, and so bewitchingly steal their hearts away? Why does it not now stand by its scathed and terror-stricken dupes as they stood by it? Why, if it have the power as it had the pretension, why has it not redeemed its pledges of eternal fidelity, so oft repeated and also so credulously believed? Yes, why has it not snatched its wretched and ruined vassals from the withering sin-curse and the burning lake? Why! just because it is a grand subterfuge, an engine of the great deceiver, a refuge of lies, a vast system of soul-destroying seduction, a pitfall attracting and regaling its victims by the beautiful flowers that adorn its surface, and then, O horrid treachery! opening its yawning chasm to let down its unwary admirers into the burning pit beneath.

O ye zealous competitors for the favour and the fortunes of earth! what powers of description can do full justice to the madness that has fastened upon you, and how shall be truthfully depicted the terrible retribution to which that madness shall ere long consign you? The eagerness with which you embrace and grasp the world appears almost to indicate, on your part, the infatuated idea that the world really has the power to do for you what it has so signally failed to do for others; that, when necessity requires, it shall soothe your spirit amid the death-struggles of humanity, hold up your head above the foaming billows of the black river, wrest from the grasp of Omnipotence the sceptre of justice, stand by your side in the judgment, successfully plead your miserable cause and justify your Godlessness, conduct you, in spite of the flaming sword, to the portals of heaven, and, throwing back its gates of massive gold, secure your admission to its society of angels and its thrones of light. Sons of folly! dream not thus away, I pray you, the rationality of your nature. Practise no such falsehoods on your spirits. Go, find some more enduring basis to build your hopes upon. Tarry no longer in the plain; sport no longer on the brink. Already advances the angel of death; the world is slipping from your grasp; charged with the wrath of heaven, the storm-cloud looms in the distance; the avenging sword flashes in the sky; the blast of the Archangel vibrates on the air, and soon, soon will be upon you, in all its awful grandeur, the day of retribution, the assize of the universe. Away, away to the lingering mercy, the uplifted cross, the streaming blood, the redeeming Jesus. Too true it is, indeed, you have treated that precious Redeemer with cruel indifference and neglect, and it had been but common justice had He given you over to all the consequences of your idolatrous career. As, however, he is still the sinner's Friend, go and throw the burden of your guilt upon his mediatorial offering; and, however greatly he had preferred

and richly merited all that affection you have so madly lavished on this beggarly world, he will not reject the sacrifice you now present, if that sacrifice be sincere and complete. Go now, therefore, to that holy, loving, Lamb of God; go and nail your carnality and sin to the cross he died upon to save you, resolved to be no more the bond-slaves of the world, but the humble and devoted disciples of Him who bought you with his blood.

HISTORIC SKETCH OF THE METHODIST NEW
CONNEXION IN THE NOTTINGHAM CIRCUIT.
BY THE REV. S. WOODHOUSE.

METHODISM, at an early period of its history, obtained a footing in the town and county of Nottingham; and, as introductory to some account of our Nottingham Circuit, it may not be uninteresting briefly to advert to the state of Methodism in that town, prior to the division in 1797. It is now more than a century since the formation of the first Methodist society in Nottingham. Betwixt the years 1740 and 1747, Messrs. J. and C. Wesley, Thomas Westall, and the valianthearted John Nelson, all preached the word of life in Nottingham, principally in the Market place, at the Malt Cross. They had not, for some time, the proper protection of the civil authorities; and hence these heralds of salvation had to suffer from ungoverned mobs. The Rev. C. Wesley visited the town in February, 1744, and when on his way with some friends to the Market place, for the purpose of preaching near to the mayor's house, he writes, "The mob assaulted us with dirt and stones, making us as the filth and offscouring of all things." In the month following, Thomas Westall, one of the earliest of Mr. Wesley's preachers, was driven out of Nottingham by the MOB and the MAYOR. The persecution which John Nelson suffered more than once in the same town, and his interview with Alderman H, may be found recorded in his interesting Journal, and which shows him to have had wit at hand, as well as courage:- You might, (said the alderman,) be convinced by this time that the mob at Nottingham will never let you preach quietly in this town;" to which the faithful preacher replied, "I beg pardon, sir, I did not know before now that this town was governed by a mob, for most such towns are governed by magistrates." Happily, such conduct does not now apply to the civil authorities of the town; nor did it continue long after this period.

From what is recorded in Mr. Wesley's Journal, of a visit he paid to Nottingham in 1741, it is evident that a society then existed; but the members of it appear to have been Moravians, rather than Methodists, and his brother Charles denominates them "Mr. Howe's Society." Mr. C. Wesley met his brother John at Nottingham, June 24th, 1743, on which day both of them preached in the Market place, and it is added, "We began a society of nine members." Under this date, therefore, must be placed the formation of the first society of real Methodists in Nottingham. In 1766, the number of members amounted to just 100, by the addition to it in that year of Mr. James Roe, who died at Gonerby in 1831, aged eighty-three years, and who used to say, that he made the one lost sheep that was added to the ninety and nine.

Nottingham was not made the head of a circuit until the year 1770. It previously belonged to what was usually called the " Derbyshire Round," which included not only Nottingham, Loughborough, and Leicester, but several which are now circuits to the north of Derby. In the early minutes, the circuit is termed "Derbyshire," and which contained 1125 members at the Conference of 1776, when it was divided, Leicester being made the head of one part of it, and Nottingham of the other; the latter having attached to it Newark, Mansfield, and Derby, as well as the principal villages between Nottingham and these important towns. The first appointed preachers to the circuit were R. Costerdine, R. Swan, and W. Severn; and in the same year (1776) was erected the first Methodist chapel in Nottingham, called the Tabernacle," and sometimes the "Octagon" chapel, from its having eight sides. It was built between Milton street and Mount East street, and the cost of it was £128 2s. 7d. In 1782, Hockley chapel was erected, and the 66 Tabernacle" sold to the General Baptists. It is now many years since the "Octagon" was taken down; but the writer remembers, when a boy, to have heard the late Rev. Robert Smith preach within its walls, where once worshipped what might be called the mother church of all the Methodist churches in the county of Nottingham.

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At the time of the division, in 1797, the number of members returned to the Leeds Conference was 1400; at which period, Derby and Newark had for some years ceased to make a part of the Nottingham Circuit. The circuit, however, had then chapels at Basford, Bingham, Bulwell, Bridgford, Carlton, Calverton, Farnsfield, Mansfield, Ilkistone, Oxton, Stapleford, &c. The exact number of members in the circuit who separated from the Old Connexion, to form what was then called the NEW ITINERANCY, cannot now be correctly ascertained; but in the following year (1798) the number returned for the circuit was 710; our ministers preaching at nearly all the above places, as well as at Arnold, Chilwell, and Hucknell. In several parts of the circuit chapels were soon erected, while in the town our friends retained, as they thought they had a right to do, the occupancy of Hockley chapel, with the preachers' houses adjoining, until the erection of a handsome chapel in Parliament Street, in 1817; and which was greatly enlarged in 1825-6. The circuit, also, has commodious chapels at Stapleford, Hucknell, Newark, New Radford, and Mansfield; with neat and convenient chapels at Beeston, Chilwell, Kimberley, Bulwell, Basford, and Clay Cross, &c. Interesting accounts have been given in the Magazine of the rise and progress of our cause at some of these places, particularly at Stapleford and Hucknell.

The general progress of the circuit, in regard to members, stands as follows:-In 1808, there were 807 members; in 1828, 1009; and in 1849, 1208; but betwixt the two last-mentioned years, Derby, with Breason and other places forming the Derby Circuit, have been detached from Nottingham.

On the subject of the FUNDS, it may be stated, that every circuit is liable from various causes to fluctuations in its pecuniary income, as well as in the number of its members. With the exception, however, of some particular years, the funds of the Nottingham Circuit have regularly progressed in amount. It is desirable that the Paternal and Beneficent funds should at least equal the sum raised for them by the

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