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availed himself; though on such an after Christianity was promulged, our occasion, and with such a subject, we
cestors were bowing down to stocks and must own that we expected greater been, had not some pious Christian come, at
stones ; as we ourselves also should have proofs of care and labour than are to
the peril of his lite, to bring us the glad tid. be found in this Sermon. The divi- ings of salvatica. Suppose lie hari argied, sion is neat, and such as the text galu as we are apt to do, “What can I do ang rally suggested; the two following that savage race? There are people ergh
of points of consideration being drawn
my own country to occupy all my care; from it, namely, the important fact without encountering all the difficul ies, and
and I may fulfil my duty to God among them, which it states, and the pattern it re exposing myself to the dangers, which I must commends.
expect to meet with in such an undertaking? Mr. Simeon has dwelt chiefly on the How awful, in that case, would have bee' our second head of the discourse; but be- present condition ! O Christians! think if all ing sensible that that must derive its consolations, your future prospects ; think of
that you enjoy in Christ Jesus, your present force principally from the consideration these things, and say, 'I owe all, under Cod, of the exalted character of him who to nim who first set his foot on our indosahas set us the pattern, his equality with bie shores, to shew untó tis the way of salvathe Father is explicitly stated, and con- thus she handful of corn that was scattered
tion: his exaniple stimulated others; and firmed by some decisive quotations on the tops of the mountains, has grow? np. from Scripture. The author then pro- like the woods of Lebanon, or the piles of ceeds briefly to consider the humilia- gr::$$ upon the earth’ Blessed, for ever blestion of the Son of God, in assuming sel be God for his labours of love! Who can our nature with all its innocent infirmie tell then what may arise from the labours of ties, and in submitting to the death of we inay not see very extensive benefits in
one society, or even of a single individual! the cross, for the expiation of our guilt. our day; and probably this was the case with
The powerful motives which this respect to nim who first visited Britain But wonderful fact furnishes, to influence could lie now behold from heaven the fru' of our conduct towards each other, apply think that he had exercised too much self
his labours, how would he rejoice! Would ne with peculiar force 10 such cases us
or patience, or diligence in the cause have the everlasting interests of nocillo
of Gord? Would he repent of his exrriinns? kind for their object. Mr. Simeon, W wiele nitither repent that he has not therefore, proceeds to set before his sieppeal forward soner, and bre" nore earn
est in tbis blessed work? Be ye then in earn. hearers the oblig+10!), under which a Christian is laid by bis Saviour's ex
est, my beloved brethren” (p. 130, 131 ) ample, 10 conipassionate the state of Our Saviour's favourable acceptance the heathen word; wid to be willing of every endeavour to extend his Gosto make self-denying exertions, and pel, and the absolute necessity of our to submit to privations, and even to suf- having within us the same mind, which fering, in order to promote the ever was also in Christ Jesus, are the relasting interests of his fellow-creatures. maining considerations by which the
To enforce these duties, Mr. Simeon preacher endeavours to excite his hearendeavours, and with effect, strongly ers to contribute to this excellent instito impress upon the mind what would tution. have been the condition of the whole The Report annexed to the Sermon, world, had not the Son of God inter- has already been inserted in our work, posed to save us. He exhorts us, like. (see No. VIII. p. 540,) which superwise, to consider how greatly we are cedes the necessity of our giving any indebted to the benevolence of our account of it in this place. fellow-creatures, for the knowledge of The pages of this pamphlet are made salvation. In pursuing this thought, to follow in succession those of the first the preacher has, with great address, Anniversary Sermon and Report, an adverted to the zeal of that Missionary arrangement which we are informed is who first visited our island.
to be continued in the future publica
tions of the Society, till the number is “ We forbear,” says Mr. Simeon, “lo notice the kindness of the Apostles, we will ra: suficient to form a volume. We much ther advert to an instance more immediately approve of this method; and we trust parallel to our own cage. For many centuries that the series will in time furnish an Christ. Observ. No. 12,
useful body of instruction, for the assis- clothing the officiating ministers in costly tance of those, who, either as Direc- liabits; by filling the air with fragrant odours; tors or as Missionaries, may be engage strains of music? From such attractions their
and touching the soul with the dissolving ed in the propagation of the Gospel.
religion derived nothing: nay, it had to conMay the blessing of the great Head tend against their influence ; for pagan worof the Church, attend and prosper all ship had them all, in as high a degree of imsuch pious undertakings!
provement, as they had then attained. In the Christian assembly, poverty prevented embellishment. No artificial impression was likely
to be felt. Instead of a captivating magnifi. LXV. The Evidence and Design of Christiani. cence, all was plainness: the humble Pastor ty considered, in a Letter to a Gentleman. rehearsing, in simple language, the life and London, Rivingtons and Hatchard. 1801. death of his Saviour ; exhorting his listening
flock to Christian practice; or pouring forth to CHRIStians in every part of Europe Gop his artless prayer.” (p. 11, 12) have seen, with mingled emotions of
The objection which naturally arises, sorrow and alarm, the rapid increase that Mahometanisin had been propagatwhich infidelity has made in a period ed
even with greater celerity than of short duration. Writers of distin- Christianity, had been before stated. guished reputation, have laudably ex
“ It requires no miracle,” Mr. B. adds, erted their talents in counteracting this
"to account for the reception of that fatal delusion, and in defending, with kind of religion which people must all the force of evidence and argument, submit to, in order to save their lives." the holy religion of Christ. Their la
(p. 10.) This idea, that the Mahomebours have been useful; but they can
tan faith was spread by the sword only, not prevent falsehood from being re
however common, is not altogether peated after it has been exposed, or just. Bad as that imposture is, it was, give patient investigation to those, who perhaps, better than the stupid idolatry would have been too indolent to disbe- of heathenism, or the base corruption lieve, did not conceit prompt them to of Christianity inflated with pomp, paobject. Still the defenders of Christi.
geantry, and pagan ceremonies, which anity must persevere, if they mean not almost universally prevailed in the to yield mankind a willing prey to him eastern empire during the seventh cenwho deceiveth the whole world. Their
tury ; and multitudes, who entertained defences, corresponding to the pecu- no fear for their lives, readily embracliar objections that are to be answer- ed it as a considerable reformation. It ed, will either be elaborate, or popular, certainly swept away many pollutions or unite the advantages of an appeal to of the Christian Church, whose real the understanding and the heart. The members it more closely united; and Rev. Mr. Bean, who has avowed him- possibly it may prove to be a pioneer self the author of this letter, writes to for facilitating, in some future period, those wł:0 are rather doubtful of the the progress of that pure religion truth of revealed religion, than preju- which is to cover the face of the earth. diced against it ; his arguments, there. The sword, indeed, produced its effect; fore, are more adapted to satisfy inge- but many concurring circumstances nuous minds, than to convince those
were necessary to render that effect who will not concede any thing, except
permanent. to the severity of logical argumenta On the western coast of Africa, the tion.
Mahometan religion has been widely The rapid propagation of Christiani. extended, by means of schools for the ty by poor, plain men, without any se- instruction of youth, and in scarcely any cular advantages, he thinks, attests a instance by force of arms. divine interposition in its favour.
In producing the direct evidence for “To what must we ascribe the success of Christianity, the author briefly, yet such instruments ? Was there any of that fas. clearly, explains the four rules given cination in their religious assemblies, which attends a pompous worship? Did the arts as.
by Leslie, in his unanswerable tractsist the cause, by raising magnificent struc.
“ The Short Method with the Deists;' tures for the performance of their rites; by and then proceeds to describe the inter
resting process, by which his own mind perience which it evinces of real reliobiained an entire conviction of the gion, by the unbeliever for its argutruth and excellence of revealed reli- ments, and by the man of taste for its gion. Lest, however, the reader should simple pathos. suppose, that powers of reasoning are We shall close our review with one uiune sufficient to form a Christian, more extract, which we think well worsome important observations are made thy the serious consideration of all who respecting the disposition of mind, which are disposed to doubt or disregard the is necessary to l'ender this inquiry pro. authority of the Bible. Mr. Bean, after ductive of real advantage. The pleader noticing the prospect enjoyed by the may be anxious to establish a point of Christian, of attaining hereafter 10 a law, that he may increase his fund of perfect conformity to the will of God, certain knowledge ; but his client, to ihus addresses his correspondent. the same desire, adds a strong feeling of interest.
“ Have you any such prospect ? Does scep
ticism sheil any cheerful light upon your path? “ But permit me to observe, that it is neces
Do you feel it bas any correcting or consoling sary that you enter upon this examination influence ? But let me not weary you with with something more than merely a capacity sideration I will lay before you, and then re
expostulation. There is one interesting conto weigh arguments against each other. Have you any concern of mind on the subject of re. tire. It is this; we who believe Christianity ligion ? Have you any serious desire to know go upon surer ground than you who reject it. where the truth lies? If you bring this state
“ Christianity states the consequences of its of mind with you to the inquiry, I have no
rejection. This circumstance imperiously doubt that, in due time, you will not only be obliges us to examine its claims. Here is a convinced of the truth of the Christian Keli. schieme professing itself to come from God, gion, but be filled with admiration at its ex; ceived as the rule of life ; and declaring, that
for the benefit of men ; demanding to be recellence. Without such a concern, I must confess to you, that I should have little hope be the consequence. Now it lies upon you
if it be rejected, misery in a future state will of your arriving at any stedfast belief in the Gospel. It is much to be doubted, whether who do not receive it, to prove the whole ta
be you would persevere sufficiently in that patient
a fallacy. Because, if it be true, you are in investigation, which, through the ingenious the greatest danger; whereas we, even if it subterfuges of infidelity, may be called for in
prove false, shall be no losers by believing it the search after truth. But if with a mind
especially in times like the present, when i lilile interested in the subject, you could be
material inconvenience attaches to the arowa made to pursue the inquiry to its conclusion of our belief. The enjoyments of this life are Whai then! All that could be expected of you
your objects; our religion does not disqualify would be, to hear you own that infidelity can.
us for them By the prudence, temperance not be defended. If your heart still remained and industry which it inculcates, we are a: in a state of indifference toward God, the great therefore you have no advantage over us. Ou
likely to succeed in this world as you. Tiere purpose of the Gospel Revelation would still faith, indeed, may linder our rising to emi be unaccomplished in you The system might be adopted, but it would have no irfluence. of life: and all the peace of mind it imparts 1
nence, but does not deprive us of the comfort You would believe it; but you would live as if you believed it not. Where Christianity has
us, is so much over and above the sliare i no moral influence, it confers no benefit on the of this world. Our religion brings a gloriou
possess in common with you of the good: professor.” (p. 26–28.)
immortality into our prospect; with the hope To unfold the design of Christianity life, aud supported in those trials of which w
of this, we are refreshed under the labours o is the intention of the remainder of the partake with the rest of our fellow creatures letter. And if to explain the most im. Thus pursuing the duties of our vocation, ou portant doctrines with perspicuity, to religion sheds a serene light upon us in ih answer weighty objections with can. evening of life, and enables us to close nu dour, and to compress much just then to bliss 'eternal! What infinite gaine
eyes in peace, in charity, and in hope,-an thought within narrow limits, deserve
are we by Christianity if true! - But what be any praise--that praise is most certain comes of you? How shall you answer to th ly due to Mr. Bean. He has furnished great God for your disregard of his authorit an excellent manual for youth, who are your neglect of his gracious counsel, your ni exposed to the assault of infidel prin applying talents which qualified you for arri
ing at the knowledge of his will, to any suc ciples; but which may be read with
purpose? If all the reasons on which we a advantage by the Christian for the ex. be fallacious, they have done no hurt, eith
to ourselves or others ; nor have you gained have opportunity to inform yourself; but let any thing by disregarding them, that we me remind you of the short space allotted to have lost. But if true-we are saved, aril some, for the acquisition of knowledge. Unyou perish!
certain whether your term may not suddenly “ See then, what stands at the foot of the close, take heed that procrastination do not account, on either supposition; and let the deprive you of what yet remains of a limited conclusion have its due weight with you. You and precarious life.” (p. 51-64.)
REVIEW OF REVIEWS, &c. &c.“
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
The two following letters are directed my family acquainted with what is passto the cure of the same evil, an evil ing in the world. I endeavour to counwhich we deem to be highly pernicious; teract, by my own remarks, the erroneand we give them publicity, in the hope ous sentiments on religion, which some that they may not be without their ef. of these works contain; and I sometimes fect, in diminishing the frequency of its attempt to shew the connection between recurrence.
unsound tenets, and irreligious practice, by pointing to the profaneness so readily
admitted into the works of those moralSIR,
ists, against whom I wish my children PERCEIVING that you have occasionally to be on their guard; and therefore I censured the heterodoxy of several of admit, that the practical evil, of which che Reviews, and being persuaded that I complain, occasionally supplies an since you oppose bad doctrine, you will argument which is not without its use. he disposed to find, at least, equal fault The mischief, however, is a very serious -vith bad practice, I have to request one, for I am well persuaded, that the liat you will notice an evil habii, and, general cause of irreligion and infidelity
fear, a growing one, which prevails is exceedingly promoted, by giving to mong some of our periodical publica- profane oaths that additional credit ions, I mean that of quoting the oaths which they derive from being introod profane expressions which are to duced plainly into print; and I feel an be found in the works they review. anxious wish, that the Christian ObThere are, perhaps, few clearer indi.
server may be the means of checking, cations of the existence of infidelity in by its strictures, impiety of every sort. he heart, than a light mode of treating Tlie periodical publication which has whatsoever is most solemn religion, suggested these remarks, is the Monthnd a habit of making profane mention ly Review for November last. It is a f the name of that being, wlio ought to work of considerable ability, and, in e the great object of our reverence. that respect, entitled to the reputation
I prosess, Mr. Editor, to'feel much which it possesses, The particular islike to the playhouse, on account of passage in that Review, to which I alpose profane, as well as indecent, ex- iude, is its quotation at the 323d page, ressions which occur in many of its from the Comedy of “ Folly as it Flies." ieces; and I have often been astonish- In giving the character of the piece in i that grave reviewers, who seem to question, the reviewer observes, that it ; zealous on the side of general reli- is lively and desultory,” that it is ion and morality, should be so insensi- like the other pieces of the same aue to this great objection to the theatre. thor; and that it has the same relaor my own part, Sir, it is one of my tion to a regular play, which a ja'eat objects in life to prevent my chil- pan tea-board bears to a picture; re'en, (for I am the father of a large marks, I doubt not, sufficiently just and mily), from "having their reverence appropriate. Not one syllable, howi their God and Saviour, and for all ever, is said to the prejudice of the play a awful realities of a future world, on the ground of its abounding in prominished by their being accustomed fane oaths; on the contrary, part of a
hear these subjects trifled with. I scene is quoted, with apparently unquavertheless take in some periodical lified approbation, in which several problications, from a desire of rendering fane expressions, and some coarse oaths
are introduced, without even the ordi. errors on all sides; that you will, nenary caution of inserting only the ini- vertheless, sparingly indulge in the tials of the objectionable words. I se- censure of rival publications; and morelect this instance to illustrate my re. over', that you will yourself sometimes marks, not because it is more repre- experience a little of the pain of being hersible than many quotations which reprehended, for I am persuaded that have, at different times, appeared,with- anonymous periodical publications peout any mark of disapprobation, in the culiarly need that check, which arises same work; but because it is recent. from their being known to have a con
I am aware, indeed, that oaths may stant eye upon each other. be said to be so common an embellish I trust, that after this exordium, I ment of speech, that they are almost shall not be suspected of any improper necessary, in order to render playhouse wish to lower the general credit of the dialogue easy and natural; and that it British Critic, if I offer a brief observais the object of the theatre to describe tion on something in its last number, the exisung manners. I shall only re- which appears to me very objectionaply, that the multitudes who use, as well ble, as those who countenance, this kind of I consider that work as undertaken language, will find it difficult to prove by persons who are members of the their respect either for the precept of Church of England, and professedly reChrist on this subject, or for the follow. ligious, and I respect it, because I am ing nearly similar injunction of his apos. myself a Churchman, and because, tle. - But above ail things, my bre- moreover, it appears to me to be conthren, swear not, neither by heaven, nei. ducted in a good temper. Surely then ther by the earth, neither by any other I have a right to expect, that it shall be oath; but let your yea be yea, and your preserved free from every thing which nay nay, lest ye fall into condemna- borders on profaneness. I particularly tion."
S. P. allude to the review in the British Cri.
tic for November, (p. 655), of a ballad, entitled, “ The Scum uppermost when
the Middlesex Porridge-pot boils over." SIR,
From “this humorous trifle," as it is, Having observed, that a review of re. I doubt not, justly called, the reviewer views forms one part of the plan of the has chosed to extract a passage, with Christian Observer, I take ihe liberty which, in my opinion, he ought on no of troubling you with a few remarks on account to have siained his pages. It this difficult, but not the least useful or is a passage in which his Satanic Maimportant, branch of your undertaking. jesty, to use the reviewer's expression,
Several kinds of danger appear to is introduced as the partizan of a cerme to assail you. There is reason to tain Baronet, with such profane levity fear lesi, through tenderness for publi- as must be highly offensive to every cations deemed friendly to your own, pious mind. I will not dwell on the you should keep silence when some oc- fauit, of which I conceive the British casion calls for your interference; lest Critic to have been guilty, in relating also, through prejudice against those this particular part of the ballad in queswhich are unfriendly, you should be too tion, as a specimen of talents which ready to give an unfavourable construc- they say “are constantly employed in tion of their meaning. There is also the support of social order and estabno small danger, lest even the fairest lished government,” and not, at the exercise of
your censorial right should same time, proceeding to censure give to your work too much of a ma. its profaneness, further than to say, that gisterial air, and should communicate I suspect the cause of that evil spirit, to your readers a habit, not so much of against whose“ wiles" our Church suspecting or examining themselves, as teaches us to pray, can by few means be of criticising others,
more effectually served than by turning I hope, Mr. Editor, that it will be his agency into a subject of merriment your plan occasionally to find fault with in ballads; and by introducing that aw
To the Editor of the Chiristian Observer.