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before his death, subscribed £50 per annum to the Wesleyan Missionary Society in England. He has perpetuated that subscription by a bequest of 5000 dollars (upwards of £1100 sterling) to the Society He has also left the same amount to the Methodist Connexion in America.*
Eight years ago, being then a widower, he embarked for England, anxious once more to see his native country, and visit his relations, to whose comfort he had long contributed by his liberality, and for whose eternal happiness he was deeply concerned. From his Journal, written at that time, it appears that his views, feelings, and reflections, as well as his motives for undertaking the voyage, were such as do honour to him as a man and a Christian. He felt most acutely at leaving his friends in George Town; and especially as he had only one child out of six left,--a daughter, who was, however, comfortably settled in life, and who, with her husband, was living in the fear of God.
During his residence in England he entered again, as he expresses it in bis Journal, “after much consideration and prayer, into the holy estate of matrimony;" and was accompanied by her who is now his disconsolate widow across the Atlantic.
This year (1823) he again visited his native country, and has resided principally at Handsworth, near Birmingham, where he finished his course with joy.
About a fortnight before his death, Mr. F. called upon me, and spent some time in conversation. He was then indisposed. He spoke of enjoying great comfort in preaching on the Sunday preceding, and appeared to be in a blessed state of soul. It seems his mind was deeply impressed under a sermon by Mr. BringNELL, at West-Bromwich, on the death of the Rev. CHARLES Hulme. The text was, "Set thine house in order," &c. A few days after he was confined to bis bed. To MR. BRIDGNELL he said, “O, what should I do if I had my religion to seek now! What have I to rest on but Christ?” Thus the Lord prepared him for the closing scene.
On Monday, December 8th, he observed that the last night had been the most restless and painful one he had ever known; and, after describing the pain he had endured, added, “ It is all right. On the 9th he remarked that he had for many years endeavoured to impress upon the minds of others the necessity of living near to
* This bequest was made to “The Trustees of the Fund for the relief and support of the itinerant, superannuated and worn-out ministers and preachers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the United States of America, their wives and children, widows and orphans, and their successors for ever."' And these are the terms in which any bequest should be made, designed for these objects. Is not the exampl. of our late excellent friend, MR. FOXALL, worthy of imitation ; particularly by those whom Providence has blessed with much of this world's goods! This legacy is further mentioned in a very pathetic address from the Trustees of this Fund, which will be found at page 380 of this number, and to which we par. ticularly solicit the attention of our readers. Am. EDITORS.
God, and of being prepared for death, and that now he was on the brink of the grave. " Give my love,” he added, to Mr. B., and say, " The work of grace is going on.” When Mrs. Foxaly informed him that a relation wished to see him, he said, “My dear, I expect to meet many relations in glory who are gone ber
On Wednesday, December 10th, a messenger arrived to request my immediate attendance. I went; and, on my arrival at Handsworth, found MR. F. in the agonies of death : the state of the pulse, the coldness of the extremities, and other symptoms, proved to me that he could not live many hours. He was quite sensible, but unable to converse. He joined with us in prayer. I observed to him, that he “had experienced the loving-kindness of God for many years. With great difficulty he said, “More than thirty." I quoted the Apostle's words: “He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” He replied, though he co scarcely articulate, “I have long known that." His last words were, “O for grace to bear!” Mr. F. was a man of sterling worth, -his understanding was strong,his piety sincere and deep,-his benevolence and charities extensive. He loved the cause of religion in general; and his attachment to Methodism was exceeded in no one that I have known. The American Methodists, for whose unity, peace, and prosperity he was most seriously concerned, have sustained a heavy loss. He was an affectionate husband and parent, and a faithful friend. He considered the poor and needy, and enjoyed the blessedness connected with that virtue. His death to many is loss; to him eternal gain.
For the Methodist Magazine.
Esau have I hated. It is well known that the advocates of particular election and reprobation, place much dependence on the case of Jacob and Esau. The former they suppose was an object of eternal love, and the latter of eternal hatred. “Does not God expressly say Esau have I hated, and is not this a proof of the doctrine of eternal reprobation, viz. that God eternally passed by some men and ordained them to dishonour and wrath ?"
Now as the case of Esau is so frequently referred to in order to establish this doctrine, I shall lay before the reader the following remarks.
Ist. If God did hate Esau, in the ordinary sense of the word, detest, abhor," it could not have been so from eternity, inas
much as this would suppose that Esau must have existed from eternity, or he could not have been an eternal object of hatred, whereas the farthest we can trace his existence is back to Adam.
2. If God did hate Esau in the ordinary sense of the word, it must have been for personal and voluntary crimes which he committed against God.
This is evident from the circumstance that these words, “Esau have I hated,” were 'not written before he was born, but long afterward. The words of the apostle were taken from the prophecy of Malachi, chap. i. verse 3, which prophecy was written about fourteen hundred and eleven years after the birth of Esau. If Esau was an object of divine hatred in the ordinary sense of that word, he must bave made himself so; for if God did hate him before he made himself hateful, the question will very naturally occur, for what did God hate Esau? Was it because he foresaw he would sin when he should come into existence? Then Jacob and every other man was as much an object of hatred as Esau! Or was he hated on account of Adam's sin ? If so he was hated for what he could not avoid ! What then becomes of God's word which declares that “every man shall be judged according to his works," not according to what Adam did, but according to his own personal and voluntary conduct.
3. But on farther examination of this subject, it will appear that the word “bate” when applied to Esau is not to be understood in its ordinary sense, but in a comparative sense, as signifying to love in a less degree.
This appears from God's dealings with Esau, which certainly did not manifest detestation and abhorrence. God in his providence placed Esau in the enjoyment of numerous blessings.Many, in common with his brother Jacob, and many superior to what thousands of his fellow creatures enjoyed. As the scriptures declare that “Christ tasted death for every man," and that the “true light lighteth every man that cometh into the world; who can doubt that Esau had a share in the blessing of the promised atonement and in the enlightening influence of the Holy Spirit, to teach him to deny himself of worldly lusts, and to live soberly and godly in this present world, to help his infirmities, and graciously to assist him to comply with God's holy requirements.
In the blessing which Isaac pronounced on him were embraced the fatness of the earth, and the dew of heaven from above, see Gen. Xxvii. 39. Now if God crowned him with the fatness of the earth and the dew of heaven from above, we can hardly suppose that he was at the same time an object of his abhorrence and detestation !
That the word hate, as applied to Esau, is to be understood to mean a less degree of love, is abundantly evident from the manner in which this word is used elsewhere in the scriptures. Our Lord,
for instance, teaches that a man must "hate his father and mother, and wife and children, yea and his own life also.” What! does the Saviour require a man to be so unnatural as to abhor and detest his parents, his wife and his children. No sarely; he explains this in another place by saying, “If any man love these more than me he is not worthy of me.' Children must love their parents, parents must love their children, and husbands are conmanded to love their wives; but they must love them in a less degree than they love their God and Saviour. Thus God loved Esau, but he loved him in a less degree than he loved Jacob, and in this sense it might be said he hated Esau.
4. I shall now proceed to show that loving and hating Jacob and Esau refers not to Jacob and Esau personally, but to their posterity, the Israelites and Edomites. If we examine the ninth chapter of St. Paul's epistle to the Romans, we shall find that it was his object to show the unbelieving Jews that God was about to reject them from privileges they had so long enjoyed as a people. In order to prepare their minds for this, he reminds them that God had chosen their forefathers without any reference to any thing he saw in them which rendered them worthy of such distinguishing favours. Therefore, on the same principle, he was at liberty to choose the Gentiles to enjoy the peculiar blessings of the gospel. And that if he rejected the descendants of Esau from the peculiar privileges of the Israelites without any reference to their character as a people, he might certainly, on the same principle, 'now reject the Israelites who had rendered themselves so exceedingly unworthy of his favour by rejecting the Saviour and
If we examine Genesis xxv. 23, we shall find that when the Lord spake 10 Rebecca, the mother of Jacob and Esau, concerning her children, he spake of them as “two nations and two people.” And if we examine Rom. ix. 11, we shall perceive that the words “the children;" are not in the original text, but were introduced by the translators, as were all those words and sentences which are printed in italic letters. Without this addition it would read, For not being yet born, &c. and then it might apply to their posterity as well as unto them.
Again, it is not said in Genesis that the elder son shall serve the
younger son; nor is the apostle to be so understood. This is obvious when we consider that such an event never took place. The younger son feared the elder and fled from him. And when they met each other again a number of years afterward, he called Esau his lord, and bowed to him, which was certainly an acknowledgement of his submission to his brother. But if we apply this prediction " the elder shall serve the younger” to the Israelites and Edomites, we see it was fulfilled in the days of David when
put garrisons in Edom, and the Edomites became subject to him. 1 Kings xxii. 42.
That this was spoken of the posterity of Jacob and Esau, and not of them personally, will appear more evident still if we examine the first chapter of Malachi's prophecy, second and third verses, where the words were originally written to which St. Paul alludes. “I hated Esau and laid his mountains and his heritage waste-Edom saith we are impoverished, but we will return and build, &c.—They shall build but,” &c. Now observe Esau's mountains and heritage were laid waste. Does this apply to Esau personally? Where have we any intimation that he was deprived of his personal possessions ? Again, Edom saith.-Who is this Edom ? 'It is the posterity of Edom. This is evident because it is added we, they, which implies more than one. This manner of speaking would be improper if it were the individual Esau, Jacob's brother, that was intended.
If therefore the prophet Malachi, from whom St. Paul made the quotation, must be understood as referring to the Edomites, the posterity of Esau, and not to Esau personally, the apostle must certainly be understood in the same manner.
From what has been remarked on this subject, it appears that what is said on the above passage, “Esau have I hated, " was never designed to affect his moral character, nor to determine his future destiny. Jacob was chosen to be the father and progenitor of a great and highly favoured' nation, to whom pertained the giving of the law, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came. Esau was denied this privilege. His posterity, less numerous, were destined by providence to inhabit the less fertile land of Mount Seir, and to have even that land laid waste to the dragons of the wilderness, and themselves scattered and lost among the nations of the earth. But although Esau did not enjoy all the blessings of Jacob, he nevertheless did enjoy the fat of the earth and the dew of heaven. He doubtless enjoyed, in common with others, the ordinary influences of the Holy Spirit to teach him his duty to God and to help his infirmities.
It is true the apostle says he was a profane person, Heb. xii. 16, but he immediately shows wherein his profaneness consisted, viz. in selling his birthright. It was a legal profaneness. It was not unpardonable. But admitting it was, and that God hated him in the ordinary sense of the word, it would only go to show the correctness of our second remark, viz. that if God did abhor Esau it was for personal and voluntary crimes which he had committed against God. But it is said, “ Esau found no place for repentance, although he sought it carefully with tears." Whoever will take the trouble to examine the place in Genesis to which the apostle alludes, will perceive that Esau sought to find repentance in his father Isaac, for having given the blessing to his brother Jacob instead of him; but Isaac would not repent of it, although he besought him with tears to do so. He replied, I have blessed Jacob and he shall be blessed.