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endeavours should be the beating down of sin, the planting of faith, and the reformation of manners.
The village pulpit (he writes,] is not a place for controversy, but for instruction. And generally, I would say, appear not to know that you have a dissenter in your parish, but go on in the quiet and steady performance of your own pastoral duties, interfering with none, ready at the call of all, and after the apostolic admonition, “ speaking the truth in love." Prove your attachment to your own Church, and your conviction of the superiority of her doctrines and discipline, not by inveighing against other churches, or against other denominations of Christians, but by a more strict conformity with the rubrics of your own Church, by a more grave, affecting, and becoming administration of her offices, and by a more unwearied attention to the spiritual wants of all her members. The best, and I had almost said, from the frequent abuse of every other, the only christian weapon against dissent and dissenters, is a minister's own faithfulness. Pp. 18, 19.
It has been often urged as an objection against the patronage by which Bishops are elected to their holy superintendence, that men are appointed to the office whose parochial inexperience, if we may use such a phrase, disqualifies them for the useful discharge of their function. With whatever truth this objection may have been alleged in some cases, it is wholly untenable in the instance of the author before us, who every where manifests a practical knowledge of the duties of a parochial minister. In illustration of this remark, we take pleasure in transcribing his excellent instructions touching the visitation of the sick,the most difficult part, it will be confessed, of a Clergyman's duty, and to the due performance of which there is need of much presence of mind, and knowledge of the human heart ; much quickness in detecting hidden failings; much power of reasoning ; much happiness of elucidation ; and, above all, an intimate familiarity with Holy Writ. Having recommended a proper provision of general prayers, and devotions for particular occasions, “ bound together in a portable size,"—our Prelate writes thus :
Wait not to be sent for to the sick-room, but be often the first to offer your services; and delay not an instant when you are summoned. Let your first visit be short, rather to familiarize the sick person with your voice and manner, and break through the restraint of a first interview. Never make your visits too long, lest you weary and exhaust the patient; speak low, and in your natural tone of voice; be always serious and earnest, but never tremulous and agitated yourself, lest you agitate him. Approach his bed without fear; yet, if the complaint be of an infectious nature, be careful not to inhale the breath of the sick person, nor omit those simple, but well-known precautions, which the fullest trust in God's gracious providence, not only justifies, but demands from us. Forget not, whilst addressing the sick person, that there are others in the room, who are but too much disposed to apply to themselves, and often on insufficient grounds, every encouragement which you are holding out to the dejected and alarmed sinner, and thus pervert the tender mercies of God into an argument for their own continuance in ill-doing. Quench not in the dying penitent the embers of hope; kindle not in the living the fire of presumption, Pp. 23, 24.
In our Prelate's admirable Letter addressed to his Clergy on his
Return from England to his Diocese, in the year 1829, we meet with some interesting particulars relative to the constitution of Codrington College, the state of the Conversion Society, and the establishment of Sunday schools. But our space forbids us to indulge in quotations, whilst we crave the privilege of extracting the following passage from our author's pastoral letter in proof of the admirable discretion which every where marks his writings. Having occasion to regret the rare instances of marriage among the slave population, and to state his anxious desire to encourage lawful wedlock, mindful of the difficulties attaching to the question, and tenderly regarding the peculiar circumstances of the negro, he adds this prudent caution :
In palliation of the negro, who has been suffered, almost without admonition or check, to grow up even in advanced years to the habit of polygamy, and is the father of many children by different women, somewhat, I am aware, may be urged. To require a man so circumstanced, and whilst his multiplied attachments are still strong, and his sense of christian obligation weak through ignorance, to select one woman with whom alone for the future to cohabit, and to pledge bis troth solemnly to her in the Church to the exclusion of those with whom he has before been living, would be to impose a burthen too heavy, it may be feared, for him, in his present condition, to bear; it would be requiring from bim a severe struggle between his feelings as a man, and his alleged duty as a Christian; it would be separating families, and making many children fatherless : and if, from the force of former and yet unconquered attachments, he should fail in his fidelity to the wife whom he has selected, we should have been only laying a snare in his way, and converting the ignorant polygamist into the self-convicted adulterer.-Pp. 48, 49.
We would not here advert with hostile spirit to the question of Negro Emancipation, or recall to mind the exaggerations and the unfounded clamour by political partisans under the specious garb of christian phi. lanthropy, by means of which that measure was carried. It was an act of justice to the outraged rights of humanity, which the statesman, the philanthropist, and the Christian, might hail with satisfaction: yet, whilst there could be no difference of opinion upon the abstract necessity of the abolition of slavery, prudent and pious men might be permitted to question the seasonableness of the time selected for the experiment, the fitness of the slaves for such a boon, and the results likely to issue thence to the welfare of our West Indian possessions. It is, therefore, with no common feelings of satisfaction, that we find the Bishop of Barbados referring to this era of freedom as opening a readier access to the Clergy, whose responsibilities are thus increased with the extended and diversified character of their duties.
Freedom will make no difference in the feelings of the Clergy towards the slave; but it will greatly facilitate the wishes of the slave to seek the ministry of the Clergy, and of the numerous teachers who are acting under them. In religious matters, the apprenticed negro will be henceforward left, under the ministry of God's word, to the free workings of his own conscience. How active, then, must the pastor be to instruct and guide that conscience aright! Should it, through the pastor's negligence, become hardened in sin, or misled by erroneous doctrine,“ how great will be his fault, and how horrible the punishment that must ensue!”—P. 180.
We would fain quote the learned Prelate's remarks to the readers, catechists, and schoolmasters of his diocese, but our time and limits forbid the gratification ; and we must refer our readers to the volume itself for a detailed and affecting history of the present state of the Clergy and Diocese of Barbados and the Leeward Islands, assuring them, moreover, that the prayers on certain public occasions, and the addresses to young persons before and after confirmation, dispersed through this excellent publication, will amply repay an accurate perusal.
We take leave of this valuable document with sincere admiration for the zeal, the diligence, the piety, and the singular good sense of our amiable Prelate in his paternal sway over the diocese, whose welfare he has so evidently at heart, -and whose interesting history he has presented to us in a detail of statistical particulars, minute, yet not tedious, comprehensive, yet not confused. Looking, indeed, to the difficulties so ably surmounted, to the discipline so wholesomely established, to the regulations so wisely conceived, and to the growing progress of the faith amongst all “ sorts and conditions of men " throughout the extent of his laborious diocese, in the Right Reverend author before us we must be permitted to say, that we gladly recognize a divine, “ whose calmness of judgment and temper, whose comprehensiveness of understanding, whose paternal sentiments," and whose affectionateness of heart, “ declare him, without mistake, to be destined to the throne of" prelatical “ government. We may, indeed, decry Episcopacy ; but the Lord sends us Bishops, whether or not we avail ourselves of the boon."*
We seek not with irreverent hands to unrol the volume of God's secret decrees ; we would not despair of the prosperity of his Church amongst ourselves ;-we would not anticipate the destruction of the Protestant faith, or the overthrow of Episcopacy, by the united assaults of papal vindictiveness, schismatical latitudinarianism, and republican outrage, much reason as we have for alarm! And, whatever be the destiny of the Established Church in this distracted land, if the faith of the Cross become an object of contempt amongst ourselves, and her apostolic forms be trampled into the dust, and one general confiscation of ecclesiastical property be ultimately accomplished by infidel philosophists,-in venturing to think that the Almighty Disposer of events may be preparing a city of refuge for his Church in a western hemisphere, where he seems to have planted a fruitful branch of it, -shall we be far from the truth?
• Spiritual Despotism, pp. 181, 182.
Art. II.- The Book of Revelation, with Compendious Notes, according
to the Exposition which has been most generally received in the Church. By the Rev. Isaac Ashe, A.B. Dublin: Curry, Jun, and Co. London: Simpkin & Marshall. 12mo. 1835. Pp. xvi. 253.
This is a very useful compendium. Its design and its execution are equally entitled to our praise, and the student of prophecy owes a large debt of gratitude to Mr. Ashe for having macadamised this thorny path of theological inquiry. The multifold matter heretofore spread over the tedious and often contradictory pages of learned and voluminous commentators, is here presented to his view at one glance with admirable brevity, singular clearness, and most laudable diffidence. Collecting, arranging, and condensing the materials of previous authors on the Apocalypse, according to that system of interpretation, which has generally received the sanction of the best scholars, both of ancient and modern times, the writer before us has prudently steered his happy course between the fond theories, which have made an arbitrary use of the symbols without due regard to the order and chronology of the whole book, and the idle hypothesis, which maintains that no part of the Revelation is yet in progress of accomplishment.
In accordance with these principles of interpretation, (we quote from our author's preface,) one main object has been to mark, as accurately as possible, the boundary between those parts of the prophecy whose accomplishment the page of history manifestly unfolds, and those which refer to events that are yet future. With respect to these, as no particular view can claim an exclusive privilege to be regarded as the true one, so none has been adopted as that which is to be unquestionably received; but all are proposed with that diffidence which becomes us where the event alone can make the exposition certain, and where the fulfilment can only be conjectured from the aspect of the times, and the general tendency of the prophetic history.—Pref. p. vii.
The little volume on our table, (little in size, but large in contents,) is divided into three parts, respectively treating of the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Vials. These Parts are subdivided into chapters; and the whole is preceded by an Introduction, and followed by a Chronological Table, and a General Index.
The author of such a Compendium undertakes a difficult task, to the proper accomplishment of which there are needed caution, humility, research, patience, great historical knowledge, and, though last not least, the power of conveying his matter in a style at once intelligible and concise. In our judgment, Mr. Ashe has been successful in all these particulars; and though we would not be understood to adopt any thing like the whole of his opinions, we strongly recommend his volume as well calculated to provoke many to study this portion of holy Scripture profitably, who are neither possessed of more voluminous commentaries, nor of leisure or inclination to read them. VOL. XVII. No. v.
To the text of the Apocalypse are appended, at the foot of each page, the explanatory notes and references illustrative of the mind of the prophet. Take, for an example, Rev. i. 8:
8. I am the Alpha and the Omega,a the beginningb and the ending, saith the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
8. a Christ is all in all: all things are by him and for him. To set forth his glory the world was made, and man created, redeemed, and glorified. The awful character of Jehovah, the supreme God, is here assumed by the speaker, who can be no other than Christ. See verse 114.
b Not that the Son of God was ever created as to his divine and eternal nature; but as the beginning of time is used in Scripture to signify eternity past, and the ending to signify eternity to come, (ch. iii. 14, xxi. 6, xxi. 13,) so the beginning of creation signifies one who existed in eternity antecedently to all creation. Comp. Prov. viii. 22, 23; Jer. xvii. 12; 2 Thess. ii. 13. Again, Jesus is the beginning of the new creation in reference to his resurrection from the dead, (see verse 5e, and comp. Psa. ii. 7,) by which those who are “ created in Christ Jesus" are “ begotten again unto a lively hope." See 1 Pet. i. 3. Some, however, understand åpx) to denote the efficient cause, as origo in Latin, « Ille opifex rerum mundi melioris origo.” Met, Ovid. lib. i. 79. Comp. Col. i. 18.- Part I. pp. 5, 6.
10. I was in the Spirita on the Lord's day,band heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpete.
10. a Brought under the miraculous impulse of the spirit of prophecy. Compare Mait. xxii. 43.
bon kuparñ ñuépa, and therefore set apart and sanctified to the Lord Jesus, and to be distinguished from every other day, as the Lord's supper, Kupiunds Servos, is to be distinguished from every other meal.
c Denoting the majesty and powerful energy of that voice. Comp. I Cor. xv. 52.-P.7.
As a happy specimen of condensation - multum in parvo — we venture to quote the note appended to Rev. ix. 1.
1. And the angel sounded, a and I saw a starb which had fallen from heaven unto the earth :c and to bim was given the key of the bottomless pit.d
1. a This period commences with the rise of Mahometanism, A.D. 606. In that year, the false prophet, Mahomet, began to contrive his scheme of imposture in the Care of Hera, near Mecca, in Arabia. In three years he put it into execution, and spent three more in obtaining fourteen converts. He coinmenced his public career, A.D. 612, and he was obliged to fly A.D. 629, to Medina, 220 miles north-west of Mecca, from the inhabitants of the latter place, who were enraged at his imposture. From the date of this Hegira, or Aight, the Mabometan era commences. He propagated his religion throughout Arabia by the force of arms; and the Saracens under the Caliphs, his successors, continued their conquests till A.D. 762, when Almansor built Bagdat, called also Salem, and Irenopolis, “ or the city of peace.” Here the caliphs settled, and ceased their ravnges, and from this time their power began to, decline. The Saracens, or Nabathæans, were descendants of Nabaioth, the son of Ishmael, and were anciently called Hagarenes. They were the Arraceni of Pliny, whose capital was Arrao and are not distinct from the Idumeans, or Edomites, who spread themselves over Arabia. Their chiet' fortress was Petra, or Selah, the metropolis of Arabia Petræa, of which the various nations were absorbed in the name of Saracens. In the reign of Hormisdas, or Isdegerd, the last Persian king, they put an end to the Persian monarchy, under the successors