[Review of Memoirs of the Wesley Family, by Adam Clarke]
Reading, Amusement, Piety, Education, Causation, Providence, Theology of Nature, Creation, Light, Supernaturalism, Magic, Superstition, Materialism, Observation, Biblical Authority, Immaterialism
Discusses the considerable value of church history and Christian biography to readers, observing that 'the curiosity which exists, in every intelligent mind, to trace effects to their causes, by obtaining an acquaintance with that chain of providential dispensations which has led, from apparently inconsiderable commencements, to results the most momentous, is a principle that deserves encouragement', partly 'because it stengthens the habit of close and investigating observation of the works and ways of God' (247). Asserts that from the 'anarchy and tumult' of the Civil War and the irreligion and immorality of the Restoration 'arose that principle, which, like the light diffused in the beginning over the chaotic mass, reduced opposing enemies to order, and displayed the power and glory of him who is not only the Great Architect of Nature, but also the Almighty Builder of his Church' (248). Relates (in a lengthy extract) the experience of Samuel Wesley of what he deemed to be a supernatural phenomenon in his house. Quotes Adam Clarke's response to Joseph Priestley's observations on the subject, in which Clarke criticizes Priestley for rejecting sensory and testimentary evidence for the sake of his materialist creed. Reviews Susanna Wesley's educational practices, reflecting that 'the regulation of the moral powers' is the most important branch of education (256). Contrasts such education with the relative ease of giving 'instruction on the multifarious parts of science' (257).
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