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The Office and Duty of the Christian Minuter : a Sermon preached in the Parish Church of Cheltenham, Sept. 8, 1835, at the Triennial Visitution of the Lord Bishop of Gloucester. Cheltenham: Lovesy. Gloucester: Jew. London : Hamilton. Pp. 18.
A Faithful and excellent discourse from 2 Tim. iv. 5,—" Make full proof of thy ministry;"' wherein the duties of the Clergy are clearly and forcibly stated.
Sermon preached in the Chapel of Lambeth Palace, on Sunday, June 14, 1835, at the Consecration of the Right Rev. Daniel Corrie, LL.D. Lord Bishop of Madras. By the Rev. Josiah Pratt, B.D. F.S.A. Vicar of Si. Stephen's, ColtmanSlreet, London. Published at the command of His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury. London: Rivingtons, Hntchards, Seeleys. 1835. Pp. 39.
The Church of Scotland's India Mission; or a Brief Exposition of the Principles on which that Mission has been conducted in Calcutta, being the Substance of an Address delivered before the General Assembly of the Church, on Monday, 25th May, 1835. by the Rev. AlexAnder Di'FF, A.M. the Assembly's First Missionaiy to India. Edinburgh : Wangh and Innes. London: NUbett and Whittaker. 1835. Pp. iv. 27.
Mr. Pratt's sermon and Mr. Duff's address take each so similar a view of the same subject, that we have placed them together. The former is an able exposition of the duty of preaching the gospel in India, and of the means by which it may be rendered successful. It contains also an able and deserved encomium on the late Bishop Middleton. We recommend it to all who t»ke an interest in the exertions now making to evangelize the natives of Iiindostan. We consider the appointment of a bishop to each of the minor presidencies a great and good work; and Dr. Corrie's consecration was a wise and prudent application of the principle. His long experience
and splendid services in the Church in India demanded this appointment. Mr. Pratt, being an old friend, was also properly chosen to preach on the occasion; and when we add that he preached, as he always can, convincingly and feelingly, we say enough to invite attention to what the Archbishop has already sanctioned by his " imprimatur." Mr. Pratt has alluded to the subject of the physical science of the Hindoo being a bar to his reception of Christianity; because, as his own religion depends on the same authority as his science, when the latter falls, as it is sure to do before the power of European science, religion goes with it, and the pour Hindoo sinks into infidelity unless Christianity can be implanted in its place. This can only be successfully accomplished by the union of science and Christianity in the instruction offered, and by the supply of native teachers and minis'ers enabled to combat the prejudice and idolatry of the infatuated and darkened minds of the heathen. Mr. Duff goes farther than this: he says that it is absolutely necessary to begin with human science. He shews that you are, by the systems of the eastern philosophy, and the wickedness of their morality, driven from evidences both external and internal, and that systems of learning without proof go for nothing with them who nave such extensive systems of their own. The Hindoo regards ail education as religious or theological; therefore, argues Mr. Duff, if you shew them, by the means of true science, the errors of false science, religion gains a step, and Christianity may be expected to succeed. He therefore suggests, that native teachers should be instructed abundantly in the European science, and sent out to teach their countrymen; and he argues rationally and philosophically when he says, that no foreigner will ever teach religion with the some eloquence or power as the native; and he not at all with success, till he can upset the arguments, and overthrow the strongholds of heathen knowledge. He urges, in a strain of impassioned oratory, and yet great logical precision, the important work eulogised by Mr. Pratt, when lie speaks of Bishop's College, of endeavouring to tight the cause of the gospel by the hands of native warriors,caparisoned and armed for the contest over delusion, false learning, and the gross systems of ignorance and idolatry, in the field of physical and practical science combined with Christianity. His speech is, throughout, most able and convincing ; and being, as it were, the organ of the Church of Scotland's opinions, as Mr. Pratt's sermon is of the Church of England, it ought to be read together with it, as well as to stand together in these pages.
A Reply to the Dissenters in their Attacks on the Established Church. Addressed to the People of England. By a Gentleman of Reading. Third Edition. Reading: Snare. 1835. Pp. 44.
The printer is a snare to unensnare those who have been caught in infidel and schismatic traps! The author is a gentleman of experience, as well as of reading. We wish his pamphlet were read and felt by the whole body of the people. It is a most admirable expos't on one hand, and defence on the other: and our praise is but the due reward of his deserts.
A Compendium of Modern Geography; with Remarks on the Physical Peculiarities, Productions, Commerce, and Government of the Various Countries; Questions for Examination at the end of each division, and Descriptive Tables, in which are given the Pronunciation and a Concise Account of every Place of Importance in the World. Illustrated by Ten New Maps, and an Engraving, showing the Heights of the Principal Mountains on the Globe. By the Rev. Alex. Stewart, Author of "The History of Scotland," <ye. Fifth Edition. Carefully revised and enlarged. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. 1835. Pp. 324.
An excellent little work, but defective in the redundancy of the " Pronunciation," which is not correct in all cases, and mostly is difficult in the strange
medley of new letters as in the old form. Take Lccaizh: would any one know this for Liege? or Vawngdee, for Vendee? (It would be better Vaanday.) Roanne, is put for Roanne, by false accent. Havre de Grace is called Havre de Grwcss.' Auxerre, Ozur'c! Artois, Artwaa! and Blois, lilonu! Soissons, Swasong! Here there are three sounds for the French ois,—viz. u (in, oats, and tea. Moris is made Mawng, and Orleans, Orleang. As the autlior has not reformed any language so much as the French, we have chosen our exceptions from French words. But as we dislike all radical reforms, so we dislike this. Why should children be taught bad French, under the idea of acqmring it? Letters never will teach it. Mr. Fox, who was the best French scholar of his day, used to talk of Bordus, for Bordeaux: Mr. Stewart talks like ducks, when he sounds xoaa, oaw, wa. Mr. Fox knew well that English pronunciation of French words was better than conveying an unintelligible sound. We should not like our own children to get the bad habit of speaking tmintelligibly to French hearers.
The Churchman's Manual, or Questions and Answers on the Church; on Protestant and Romish Dissenters; and Sociniaas. London: Rivingtoos. 1834. Pp. S3.
A t'SEFl'L manual, worthy to be read, learned, and preached, as well as distributed. It might be profitably enlarged.
A Lady's Gift, or Woman as she ought to be. liu Jane Kinoe&ly StamFord, Author of "The Stoic." London: Smith, Elder, and Co. 1835. Pp. viii. 232.
An unpretending little volume; containing, in an amusing form, a great deal of sound sense, and fine moral feeling. We can conscientiously recommend it as a real "Lady's1 Gift," which we have no doubt will be most gratefully received by those young persons for whom it was.principally intended, and, when known, become a standard favourite.
On Matt. Viii. 18—22.
Now token Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain Scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lag his head. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
It is evident, from various parts of the Gospels, that our Messed Lord was, during his whole ministry on earth, continually attended by vast multitudes; and, indeed, this was only natural, for we know that on the one hand there existed at the time a general expectation amongst the Jewish people of the coming of their promised Messiah, whilst on the other hand the striking character of our blessed Lord's preaching, and the high tone of authority with which he spoke, but above all, the amazing miracles which he wrought, could hardly fail to attract public attention, and to lead the people to believe that he was indeed the Christ. It appears, moreover, that, in general, our Lord encouraged the attendance of the multitudes, taking advantage of their presence to proclaim to them the doctrines and precepts of his holy religion.
There were, however, as we find, some seasons when he saw good to withdraw himself from the people: the history given in my text records one of these occasions. There we read, that " when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side;" that is to say, being on one side of the little inland sea, known in the Gospels by the titles of " the Sea of Galilee," and "the Lake of Gennesaret," he resolved to pass over to the opposite shore; and, consequently, he commanded those who had the management of the little ship which seems to have usually attended on him, that they should prepare the vessel for that purpose.
Now, whatever was the cause which, at this time, led Jesus to leave the multitude, his doing so certainly enabled him to try the strength of some of his disciples' attachment to him, to prove whether they would be desirous of still attending on him. Hence, then, as soon as our divine Master had given his command, and was probably beginning to direct his steps towards the vessel, two persons came forward from the rest, and proposed to follow him whithersoever he might go. And it is very remarkable that the two persons, though thus far alike in their proposal, met with a very different reception; nor shall we, I think, fail to find a probable reason for this difference, if we consider the history. The first of the two is represented as a scribe; that is, one learned in the law, and appointed, under authority, to read and explain the Jewish Scriptures and traditions to the people. "A certain scribe
VOL. XVII. NO. xi. 4 p
came and said unto Jesus, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest." And how did our Lord receive him? We might naturally expect that he would have immediately accepted his offer: it is, at least, quite certain, that, under such circumstances, any false teacher, eager to secure followers to himself by any means, would at once have done so. But this did not Jesus. On the contrary, he gave him this repulsive reply: "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man liath not where to lay his head;" as if he had said, "If you are really inclined to follow me as your Master and Lord, you must first consider well the nature of the service you are undertaking. Though I am the Son of man,—the Messiah foretold by your prophets, yet I have no worldly honours or advantages to promise to my followers; nay, the very brute creation are better provided for than I am, for I have no habitation of mine own, no comforts or conveniences of home; nay, not even a place wherein to lay my head. Hence, therefore, you must be prepared to be like me, a stranger and pilgrim in the earth, if you become, as you propose, my devoted disciple, and follow my steps." The fact was, as it seems, that this scribe had seen reason to believe that Jesus was the Saviour which was to come; but he had formed false and improper notions respecting his service. With the generality of his countrymen, he had no doubt imagined that the Messiah's kingdom was to be established in worldly power, like that, perhaps, of David or Solomon; and, consequently, that he and others who should become Christ's devoted subjects and servants would be placed in high and exalted situations under his royal authority; therefore our Lord, if such were the case, might naturally hasten to open his eyes to the truth, that he might have no reason, after having embraced the cause of the gospel, to complain of having been deceived.
The other person who came to Christ is described only as "another of his disciples;" that is, another of those who had been listening for a time to his divine instructions. He likewise expressed his readiness to follow our Lord whithersoever he might go; but he made one reservation : " Lord," said he, " suffer me first to go and bury my father;"— a natural request in itself, and such as, under any common circumstances, our blessed Saviour would no doubt have fully approved, and would not merely have allowed the observance of it, but even have most strictly enforced it by a command. But in the present instance he deemed it right to disregard the request. He could not listen to an exception. He required the immediate attendance of the disciple, replying to him in those very remarkable words—" Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead;" that is to say, let those who are spiritually dead—dead to all heavenly and spiritual things—let them concern themselves in such affairs as are suited to their situation; but do thou, who art alive to higher matters, follow me, who am able fully to instruct thee in those spiritual and eternal concerns of which you begin to see the value. It is probable that our Lord perceived some degree of reluctance still lurking in the heart of this disciple, some little secret shrinking back, which inclined him to make the attendance on his father's funeral an excuse for not going with our Lord immediately, and at once. And if this were so, the strong command of Jesus to follow him was absolutely necessary to confirm his growing resolution.
What was the result of our Lord's reply in either case we are not informed, and therefore, of course, we cannot speak for certain. In all cases which concern the spiritual fate of others we should ever be very careful in judging, and ever be inclined to believe and to hope the best. But it must often happen,—and perhaps these before us are instances of that kind where we shall be compelled to fear the worst; at all events, it is very evident that they both stood at that moment in very critical and hazardous situations, and their history is preserved for our warning. And really I do think, that with the explanations we have now given of it, their history may, under Divine grace, be made to afford us much valuable and important warning. Let us endeavour, then, to apply it as nearly as possible to the circumstances of the present day; and may it please God deeply to impress on all our minds such divine truths as it may be suited to convey!
My brethren, let us then consider how vast is the number of those who are now following Christ;—not indeed attending upon his person, as did the multitudes mentioned in my text, because he is no longer upon earth; yet, like them, by their outward conduct, all professing themselves his followers—his disciples. All the vast multitudes in all lands, who call themselves Christians, are, in fact, of this number. Every soul who allows himself to come under the name of Christian professes himself a disciple of Christ, and as far as he conforms, for his sake, to his divine will, so far he is a follower of Christ; nay, whoever enters a christian church to worship, whoever reads or hears the gospel of Christ, or listens to it explained to him, thus far at least proclaims himself to be attending on Christ's preaching, and to be learning of him.
But alas, amidst the innumerable multitudes who come under this description, how many go not beyond the outward appearance,—are content with a mere poor, barren, profession! Nay, is not such the case with the great majority of the disciples of Christ even now? Some there are,—but compared with the rest they are a very few,—who do endeavour with sincerity to act up to their profession, as disciples and followers of Christ. From time to time, additions are made to this small but faithful band. At various seasons, one or two at a time are added to the number. They come out of the faithless multitude, some openly, like the persons mentioned in my text, some secretly, and quite unknown to the world—known perhaps only to God above : they come at all ages, in childhood, manhood, and even in old age; they come from all ranks and classes of society, from the rich as well as the poor; they come from all sects and divisions in the christian Church; and they, as it were, say to Christ, " Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest." Yes, and they say the truth. Blessed be God! the same Lord that called them to follow him, gives them grace to listen to the call; and because they are sincere, the same Lord grants them power to obey it. In spite of the obstacles they meet with in the way, in spite of the difficulties with which the course is beset, and in spite of the pretences and excuses for delay whispered in their ears by Satan, the jworld, or their own hearts, they are enabled from above