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METHAM


237


METHODISM


The doctrine of transmigration satisfies in some degree both tliese virtually instinctive faitiis. (3) As men- tioned above, it offers a plausible explanation of the phenomena of heredity. (4) It also provides an ex- planation of some featuresof the infra-rational creation which seems to ape in so many points the good and evil qualities of human nature. It appears a natural account of such phenomena to say that these creatures are, in fact, nothing else than embodiments of the human characters which they typify. The world thus seems to become, through and tlirough, moral and human. Indeed, where the belief in a personal Provi- dence is unfamiliar or but feebly grasped, some form of metempsychosis, understood as a kind of ethical evolutionary process, is almost a necessary makeshift. Hardy, Manual of Buddhism (London, 1853); Beausobre, Histoire du Manichcisme (Amsterdam, 1734-9); Dubois, People of India; Basnage, History of the Jews, tr. Taylor (London, 1883); Traditions of the Rabbins (Quarterly Review, April, 1833); Max JIl'ller, Chips from a German Workshop (London, 1857); Alger. Doctrine of a Future Life (New York, 1866); Stockl. History of Philosophy, tr. Finlay (Dublin, 1887); T-Yhon, Primitive Culture (London, 1871); Wilkinson. Ancient Egyptians (London, 1841); Lyall, Asiatic Studies (London, 1882); MacDonnell, The Ancient Indian Conception of the Soul mJournnlof Theological Studies (1900).

Michael Maher.

Metham, Sir Thomas, knight, confessor of the Faith, d. in York Castle, 1573. He was eldest son of Thomas Metham, of Metham, Yorkshire, and Grace, daughter of Thomas Pudsey, of Barf ord, and was twice married; first, to Dorothy, daughter of George, Lord Darey and Meinill, and then to Edith, daughter of Nicholas Palmes of Naburn. He was dubbed a knight of the carpet, 2 Oct., 15.53, the day after Queen Mary's coronation. Through his second son by his first wife, George, he was grandfather of Father Thomas Metham, S.J., one of the Dilati. By 16 August, 1565, he and his second wife had been sent to gaol "for contempt of Her Majesty's ordinances con- cerning the administration of di\'ine service and the sacraments". On 6 Feb. 1569-70 an unknown cor- respondent writes to Sir William Cecil from York — " We have here Sir Thomas Metham, a most wilful papist, who utterly refuses to come to service, receive the Communion or read any books except approved by the Church of Rome, or to be conferred with at all. He refuses to be tried before the Commissioners for causes ecclesiastical; he uses the corrupt Louvaine books, and maintains at Louvaine two of his sons, with whom he corresponds. It is four years since he and Dame Edith, his wife, were first committed to ward, since which he has daily grown more wealthy and wilful, and now seems utterly incorrigible. He does much hurt here, and is reverenced by the papists as a pillar of their faith. I caused him to be commit- ted to the Castle, where he remains and does harm, yet would have done more if he had lived at large. If you would be a means of his removal, you would take away a great occasion of evil in these parts. " In 1587 Lady Metham was still a recusant.

Green. Cat. State Papers Dom. Add. 1547-85 (London etc., 1870), 571; Cal. State Papers Dom. Add. 1668-79 (London etc., 1871), 224; Foster, Glover's Visitation of Yorks (London, privately printed, 1875). 253; Strype, Memorials (Oxford, 1822), III, ii, 181; Idem, Annals (O.xford. 1824). Ill, ii, 597; Pollen, Erwlish Martyrs 1584-1803 (London, 1908, privately printed !oi Cath. Rec. Soc), 193.

John B. Wainewright.

Methodism, a religious movement which was originated in 1739 by John Wesley in the Anglican Churcli, and subsequently gave rise to numerous separate denominations.

I. DocTRiN.\L Position and Peculiarities. — The fact that John Wesley and Methodism considered re- ligion primarily as practical, not dogmatic, probably accounts for the absence of any formal Methodist creed. The "General Rules", i.ssued Ijy John and Charles Wesley on 1 May, 1743, stated the conditions of admission into the societies organized by them and


known as the "United Societies". They bear an almost exclusively practical character, and require no doctrinal test of the candidates. Methodism, however, developed its own theological system as expressed in two principal standards of orthodoxy. The first is the "Twenty-five Articles" of religion. They are an abridgment and adaptation of the Thirty- nine Articles of the Church of England, and form the only doctrinal standard strictly binding on American Methodists. Twenty-four of these articles were prepared by John Wesley for the Church in America and adopted at the Conference of Baltimore in 1784. The article which recognizes the political independence of the United States (Art. XXIII) was added in 1S04. The second standard is the first fifty-three of Wesley's published sermons and his "Notes on the New Testament". These writings were imposed by him on the British Methodists in his " Deed of Declaration ' ' and accepted by the "Legal Hundred". The Amer- ican Church, while not strictly boimd to them, highly esteems and extensively uses them. More fimda- mental for all Methodists than these standards are the inspired Scriptures, which are declared by them to be the sole and sufficient rule of belief and practice. The dogmas of the Trinity and the Divinity of Jesus Christ are upheld. The universality of original sin and the consequent partial deterioration of human nature find their efficacious remedy in the universal distribution of grace. Man's free co-operation with this Divine gift is necessary for eternal salvation, which is oiTered to all, but may be freely rejected. There is no room in Methodism for the rigorous doc- trine of predestination as understood by Cahanism. While the doctrine of justification by faith alone is taught, the performance of good works enjoined by God is commended, but the doctrine of works of supererogation is condemned.

Only two sacraments are admitted: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism does not produce sancti- fying grace in the soul, but strengthens its faith, and is the sign of a regeneration which has already taken place in the recipient. Its administration to infants is commanded because they are already members of the Kingdom of God. The Eucharist is a memorial of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, who is not really present under the species of bread and wine, but is received in a spiritual manner by believers. The sacrament is administered under both kinds to the laity. The "witness of the Spirit" to the soul of the individual believer and the consequent assurance of salvation are distinctive doctrines of Methodism. This assurance is a certainty of present pardon, not of final perseverance. It is experienced independently of the sacraments through the immediate testimony of the Hilly Spirit, and does not preclude the possibility of future transgressions. Transgressions of an involun- tary character are also compatible with another charac- teristic doctrine of Methodism, that of perfection or complete sanctification. The Christian, it is main- tained, may in this life reach a state of holiness which excludes all voluntary offence against God, but still admits of growth in grace. It is therefore a state of perfectibility rather than of stationary perfection. The invocation of saints and the veneration of relics and images are rejected. While the existence of purgatory is denied in the Twenty-five Articles (.'\rt. XI V), an in- termediate state of purification, for persons wlio never heanl of Christ, isadmittedto-day by some Methodists. In its work of conversion Methodism is aggres.sive and largely appeals to religious sentiment ; camp-meet- ings and revivals are important, forms of evangeliza- tion, at least in America. Among the practices which Wesley imposed upon his followers were the strict ob- servance of the Lord's Day, the use of few w'ords in buying and .selling, and abstinen(!e from all intoxi- cating drinks, from all purely worldly amusements, and from costly apparel. The church service which