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exposed, either of which appears sufficient to shake it. For, first, our belief in the laws of nature depends, in some measure, upon the evidence of testimony: if, then, the existence of such law be proved by such testimony, can we reject the like evidence, when it comes to prove an exception to the rule? And, secondly, Mr. Hume's argument denies all miracles, without the least regard to the kind or the quantity of the proof on which they are rested, which is manifestly absurd. Having thus disposed of the Essay on Miracles, our author next overthrows the plausible theory of Mr. Hume's Essay on Providence and a Future State, where he endeavours to shew that the argument a posteriori, leads only to the conclusion that a finite, and not an infinitely or indefinitely wise and powerful being exists, so that, upon his hypothesis, we are left without any evidence of his power to perpetuate our existence after death, as well as without any proof of the capacity of the soul to receive such a continuation of being after its separation from the body. Very much that is truly valuable might be transferred from our author's volume to these fugitive pages; we are necessarily compelled to be brief. Take this as a sample of his admirable statements on the theme in question.
When we see such stupendous exertions of power upon a scale so vast as far to surpass all our faculties of comprehension, and with a minuteness at the same time so absolute, that as we can on the one hand perceive nothing beyond its grasp, so we are on the other hand unable to find any thing too minute to escape its notice, we are irresistibly led to conclude that there is nothing above or below such an agent, and that nothing which we can conceive is impossible for such an
intelligence We can no more avoid believing that the same power which
created the universe can sustain it,—that the same power which created our souls can prolong their existence after death,—than we can avoid believing that the power which sustained the universe up to the instant we are speaking, is able to continue it in being for a thousand years to come.—Pp. 261, 262.
We have much more wherewith to please our readers, from the Discourse on our table, but must defer our critique to a subsequent number of our journal. At present, we would take leave of our noble author by noticing two points, which seem to merit our censure. We allow, with all readiness, that our author has impregnably established the immateriality of our souls, and their survival of our bodies, when handling the ethical branch of Natural Theology; yet we think that he greatly exaggerates the fact, and so far throws a suspicion of weakness over his arguments, which they deserve not, when he broadly assures us, that,
The evidence which we have of the existence of mind is not only As strong and conclusive as the evidence which makes us believe in the existence of matter, but More strong and More conclusive; the steps of the demonstration are fewer; the truth to which they conduct the reason is Less remote from the axiom,—the
intuitive or self-evident position whence the demonstration springs We
only know the existence of matter through the operations of the mind; and were we to doubt of the existence of either, it would be far more reasonable to doubt that matter exists than that mind exists.—Pp. 105, 106.
If this were so, how is it, that with few insignificant exceptions, all men have believed in the existence of matter, whilst the nature and very being of the mind have afforded exhaustless fuel for doubt and dispute amongst contending schools of philosophers? Is not our exchancellor guilty of the imprudence, always mischievous, as lawyers well know, of proving too much!
The other point, which we would notice, is suggested by the following statement, which we transcribe from the note appended to Page 272.
Who can read these, and such passages as these, without wishing that some who call themselves Christians, some Christian Principalities and Powers, had taken a lesson from the heathen sage, and (if their nature forbade them to abstain from massacres and injustice) at least had not committed the scandalous impiety, as he calls it, of singing in places of christian worship, and for the accomplishment of their enormous crimes, Te Deums, which in Plato's Republic would have been punished as blasphemy? Who, indeed, can refrain from lamenting another pernicious kind of sacrilege (an anthropomorphism) yet more frequent—that of making christian temples resound with prayers for victory over our enemies, and thanksgiving for their defeat? Assuredly such a ritual as this is not taken from the New Testament.
If it be God " that giveth victory to kings,"* are not they obliged to give him thanks for their success? And if so, surely, they may pray for the defeat of their enemies! Why is it deemed " a pernicious kind of sacrilege" for a Christian to acknowledge it to be God's goodness that he is not delivered over as a prey " unto his enemies?" Why is the Christian forbidden "to beseech the Almighty still to continue such mercies towards him, that all the world may know that God is his Saviour and mighty Deliverer, through Jesus Christ his Lord ?"f
Observation, <$-c. By E. W. Lon- to lmve an opinion of Ail own merits
dou: Hurst. 1835. Pp. 144. <*" demerits; we will then add an "Observation " to those he thus advertises,
"If there be any parts in a book in assuring him that when we have
worth reading, they are the 'Observa- given the opinion he seems to require,
tions' which can be selected from the his merits or demerits remain just as
narrative, and stand alone." they were. As we know nothing of
"To enable my readers to judge 'At E. W. but his initials, we can only say
Once' of my merits or demerits, is the that he thinks himself Extremely Witty,
reason of my publishing in the present and that we consider him Extrava
unusual form." gantly Wearisome. A hundred and
This is the Preface, and the whole forty-four pages of " Laconisms," some
preface, to a book, of which the above of them pointed without being sharp,
is the title, and the whole title. and many of them dull without being
If we take it as it stands, E.W. droll, may make their writer imagine
wishes us to believe that be is anxious himself to be a wag, but they will not
• Psalm cxliv. 10.
t Book of Common Prayer.—Thanksgiving for Peace and Deliverance from our Enemies.
gain him much eulogy. Had these "Observations" occurred in a work which confined the attention whilst it allowed the thoughts to wander, there might have been much to admire: as it is, the author sets before us a dish of stuffing, and calls it goose; and because epaulets set off a uniform jacket, dresses himself in a suit of gilded lace, and then says, What a General am I! "There is no imperative to use to 'myself.' " (P. 86.)
The following may be witty, but is it pretty?
"Why do tutors take their pupils to the continent? Have they not confidence in their own abilities to teach them immorality? If we look at the ignoramuses in England always to be met with, we shall own 'the schoolmaster is abroad.'" (P. 43.) Query—if the tutors do go abroad for such a purpose, how happy ought E. W. to think himself that he is "at home" with his horn-book!
if our" Observations "have no weight with E. W., he will never reach the object of his ambition; for he says, "In the see-saw game of competition, I owe my rise entirely to the heaviness of my opponent." (P. 83 )
'• Prepare to meet thy Gad." The Duty of Making a Will considered, in a Short Sermon, preached on the 4th of January, 1835, in Bruilet Church, Warwickshire. By the Author of " Mary Anne's Legacy," fyc. Second Edition. London: Nisbett & Co. Hatchards & Seeley. 1835. Pp. 40.
There are some subjects which at first sight appear little adapted to the pulpit. This is one of them: but when considered with reference to the great question of "doing good unto all men," they have a higher claim. Such is the case with the topics discussed in the sermon before us. The Service for the Visitation of the Sick enjoins the warning as to the settlement of temporal concerns, upon every minister of the Church of England; and it is upon this that the author proceeds in his discourse on Isa. xxxviii. 1. We sincerelv regret
that he did not, when alluding to the various Missionary and Bible Societies, say a word for the Church Societies, for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and Propagating the Gospel. That would have been equally conformable with the spirit of the Liturgy. O, how terribly afraid are some of our brethren of being thought "exclusives 1" Yet they, unhappily, exclude all but themselves.—
Mato Venusi nam quam te, Cornelii mater Oracchorum,"
Charity, or the Man of God thoroughly furnished unto all Good Works; being an Exposition of 1 Cor. xiii. By the Rev. John Bramston, M. A. Vicar of Great Baddow, Essex; and late Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. London: Roake and V'arty. 1835. Pp. 8*.
This is a small book on a grand subject: but though little in size, it is weighty in argument. The exposition is clear, concise, and christian; and he that shall live up to the model thus explained, illustrated, and enforced, will finally not tail of his reward. In the present day, there is much need of charity ; it would be useful to them, if some of our great talkers, in the pulpit, and out of it, would follow Mr. Bramston's advice. The volume contains four sermons on t Cor. xiii. 13; ver. 4; ver. 5; and ver. 6, 7. We are glad to see introduced here and there extracts from Mr. Keble's "Christian Year."
A National Church Vindicated; in refutation of a Petition from the Dissenters of Glasgow, to Earl Grey, Part 1. The Necessity of an Established Church further Vindicated, wherever the Existence of an Omnipotent Deity is believed. Part II. London: Parbury, Allen, and Co. 1835. Pp. ix. 212.
The enemies of truth invariably make friends for it: their hostility .begets defenders, and their animosity call* forth energies that, but for excitement and clamour, would have, perhaps, laid dormant or become extinct. God has never left himself without a witness, nor has true religion ever needed a champion. Heaven will defend the right, though the armour be human, and the contest earthly. We have the promise, that "the gates of hell shall not prevail" against the Church; let then our motto be that of the cross, "sub hoc signo vinco." Whoever the author of this well-timed publication may be, we know not. He is evidently a man of sense and reflection; and building, as he does, his arguments upon the foundation, that" no country can reasonably hope to maintain unadulterated religion, without it is duly recognized and established by the legislature, and that some form ought, and must be established by law, to ensure the existence of religion in any country, be it christian, or be it heathen," (p. ix.) he has erected a battery against the Church's assailants, which, if it does not silence their fire, will make such havoc amongst their ranks, that they will have no alternative but to take the citadel by storm, or, in default thereof, retreat from the field.
The present times call for these pulpit appeals; and we are glad to bear of them. We beg here to give a hint to "The Society lor Promoting Christian Knowledge, that Mr. Merewether's sermon deserves the attention of the Committee
Christian Philanthropy; a Spilal Sermon, preached before the Lord Mayor and Corporation of the City of London, at Christ Churth, Newgate-street, on Easter Tuesday, April 21, 1835. By the Rev. James S. Anderson, M.A. Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen, Perpetual Curate of St. George's Chapel, Brighton, and Chaplain to the Sussex County Hospitals. Pp. 38. 1835. London: Rivingtons.
Spital Sermons have always a certain character which can require no explanation here. The present is an able specimen of that character. It is eloquent, chaste, and impressive; contains some sound observations relative to the new system of poor laws, and an able and just eulogium on the memory of Bishop Middleton. It is superior in matter and manner to many that we have read.
Popery a new Religion compared with that of Christ and his Apostles. A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of Whitwick, May 24fA, 1835. By the Rev. Francis MereWether, M.A. Vicar of Whitwick. Pp. 23. Ashby-de-la-Zouch : Hersall. London : Rivingtons.
Tins is a plain, sound, manly defence of Protestantism, or, rather, exposure of the errors of Popery. It might be useful, if altered so as to lose its congregational style, to others besides the persons for whom it was printed.
The Clergy and the People addressed on their Duties at the Present Crisis: Three Sermons; one preached to the Clergy at the Visitation at Ampthill; the two others in the Parish Church of Dunstable. By the Rev. S. Pigott, A.M., Rector, Author of "The Guide for Families," " Christian Advocate," Sec. tte. London: Simpkin & Marshall. 1835. Pp.xiv. 84. These three sermons are well put together, and evince much good feeling and good sense.
ON THE HISTORY OF PSALMODY.
O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
"Order is Heaven's first law." Such was the judgment of one of our most melodious as well as most reflecting poets :* and the discoveries of the man of science, and the hourly observation of the material world, bear equal testimony to the correctness of an opinion so fully agreeing with the recorded statements of the page of Revelation.
Whether we take the evidence of philosophers upon the necessity of order or harmony in all things, or consider the facts presented to our view, when we contemplate the wonders of creation, or the movements of society about us ; we shall still arrive at the same conclusion, and be more seriously impressed with the conviction of Job, that that which is without order is as " the shadow of death." (Job x. 22.)
It is upon this principle that I shall found the observations which I have to offer upon the subject now before us, applying it not only to the historical, but to the practical elucidation of it.
God is the author of the moral as well as of the physical creation; and as the very nature of God implies perfection, all his works, as well as all his commandments, must, of necessity, be perfect. At the moment when this planet emerged from the darkness and sterility of its pre-existent state, when the sun and the moon, and all the host of stars, first studded the glittering canopy of heaven, resplendent signs of seasons, and days, and years; when the ocean, restrained within its newformed barrier, obeyed the impulse of the tides; when the fruit-tree first hung forth its luscious offerings, and the vine first garlanded the forest with the clusters of the grape; when the green herb and flower first spread an odorous carpet beneath their shade, and the innocuous creatures that first tenanted the world assembled there in harmony and peace,—the waters and the air teeming with their respective tribes; lastly, when man, formed in the image of God, endowed with a soul to feel, and to adore the presence of his Maker, fitted with reason to guide, and conscience to arouse that soul, received his first commission of supremacy on earth,—" God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good," (Gen. i.)—" good," inasmuch as every thing was perfect in itself, and all things ordered as the parts of one mostcomprehensive whole, whose members were adapted to their end and object, and fitted to the tasks assigned. The sun and the moon, the planets and the stars, the sea, the earth, the air, and all their various productions and inhabitants, were suited to the places that they held in the consistent universe. There was no imperfection, because all was harmony. Nor could there be unhappiness, because there was no confusion or disorder: for God,