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Who then would aspire to be an instrument in the Divine hand of unlocking streams and unsealing fountains in the desert—of refreshing the moral wilderness, and making the waste to blossom as the garden of the Lord? Let him go and preach Christ crucified 1 Who would be a channel through which grace shall flow to revive the fainting—to raise the drooping—to succour those who are ready to perish—to rescue the prey of the mighty from the grasp of the enemy of souls? Let him go and preach Chiist crucified I Who would himself stand before the judgment-seat—not abashed by the consciousness of having trafficked in the merchandize of souls, nor branded with the indelible curse of designedly and deliberately neglecting his precious charge, the flock of God—but prepared to render his account with joy and not with grief, encircled by those who were the encouragements of his earthly toils, and shall be partakers of his eternal joy? Let him go and preach Christ crucified! Who, lastly, for we must return from the triumph to the conflict, from the crown to the cross—we must observe the portentous appearances in the heavens, which give warning of a day of storm—a day in which many lofty fabrics will be levelled, and all foundations must be tried—who would faithfully redeem his pledge, and manfully maintain his post—who would lengthen the cords and strengthen the stakes of the earthly tabernacle of that church to whose service he is pledged—who would, while he lives, inscribe her walls with salvation and her gates with praise, and leave, when he has gone down to the grave, his record imprinted on the hundreds of grateful hearts by whom his memory will be cherished on earth, till they come to share with iiim a crown in heaven! Let him go and preach Christ crucified! And here is the warrant of his commission, and here is the rule of his guidance, and here is his encouragement for perseverance, and here is the engagement for his recompence of reward—" I, if I be lifted up from earth, will draw all men unto me." "TTie preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; to all who shall be saved, it is the power of God unto salvation.''—Pp. 45—47.
Conviction powerfully described:
Happy too the hearer, though for a time he may appear most miserable, whom the Lord hath thus touched, and to the quick—hath thus probed, and to the heart. He will indeed bear with hiin from the house of prayer the arrow rankling in the flesh, which was impelled from the bow drawn by us at a venture, but guided by the Holy One, who was invisibly present, to the heart for which it was designed. His perturbed spirit will indeed be for a season like the troubled sea, which "cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt." However, by an overmastering effort, he may continue to wear in society a composed demeanour, and maintain an unruffled brow; his nightly pillow will indeed he conscious for a time of solicitudes unfelt before—but the wound will, ere long, tend to healing; the trouble will, ere long, conduce to peace; the darkness will be soon dispelled by promise, the anxiety will be soon relieved by hope. He will mourn, we acknowledge, over years wasted, opportunities slighted, talents misemployed, and benefits misapplied, but it will be with a salutary sorrow: he will deplore that he has walked so long in a vain shadow, and disquieted himself in vain, but it will be with a profitable regret. He will tremble when he sees how near he has been, perhaps without a sense of peril or a thought of fear, to a solemn judgment—to a certain condemnation—to a hopeless eternity—to woe unchanging as unutterable; but he will have at least discovered in time, that religion, the religion that is to save the soul, is no spiritless and lifeless form—no vapid ceremonial observance—no empty sound of doctrine—no barren husk of mere verbal profession—no wrestling with shadows—no mockery of a fight—no affectation of warfare without weapons—no pageantry of imposing but unmeaning weekly parade; but that it involves the answer—the true answer—the practical answer to some of the most momentous questions, for each and for all, that the lips of man can propose, or the word of God resolve. "What must / do to be saved? How shall I escape if I neglect so great salvation? How shall I flee from the wrath to come? How shall I, who have been as a sheep going astray, return to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul? How shall I seek and secure the one thiug needful f What shall I do, that 1 may obtain eternal life?"—Pp. 64, 65.
Scripture equally opposes human merit and Antinomianism:
Whenever there is, therefore, in our own minds or those of our hearers, a tendency to either of these extremes—(and that tendency may exist long before it is delected)—it will be opposed and obviated, under God, by the unreserved, uncompromising declaration of All God-inspired Scripture. The 'cycle of a complete and well-arranged ministry will not revolve without a remedy suited to either error. The one will be cut down when Christ is displayed in the perfection of his atonement; the other will be rooted up when be is exhibited in the purity, the loveliness, the glory of His example. The one will be exposed as the obvious and striking fallacy, the glaring and palpable inconsistency of sewing new cloth on the old garment, and piercing the imperial purple of Christ s unsullied righteousness with our own sordid scraps and scant/shreds, as though we would array ourselves in the motley mixture, and misname it a robe of righteousness, and stand therein unharmed amidst the lightnings that shall flash forth from the judgment-seat of God;—the other will be made to exhibit—and that in all the naked deformity of its glaring and suicidal absurdity ■—the practical contradiction, the monstrous anomaly, that there should be disciples diametrically opposed to their Master, servants directly at variance with their Lord, members altogether differing from the Head, warriors, marching under the banner of the Captain of salvation, but neither wearing his habiliments in. the camp, nor wielding his weapons in the field. To the first it will be urged, that'' not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy we are saved;"—on the latter will be enforced and reiterated the precept, " Be ye holy, for I am holy."—Pp. 79, 80.
Earnest pleading with the hearer:
Who, then, that is deeply concerned for himself, and truly in earnest with his God—who that has been taught, however partially, to appreciate the value of the souls of others by feeling the exceeding preciousness of his own—who that is meditating an office of fearful responsibility, and taking into his account not only the few fleeting years of his perishable existence, but the eternity for which it should prepare others, and in which it shall judge himself—who would not adopt for the test of his exertions, for the standard of his attainments, the unerring Word on which that judgment shall be based—who would not be the original of the portrait we have as yet but feebly outlined, designing to complete it in the next discourse; the portrait of him who hath faithfully fulfilled the charge, " Feed my sheep"—and who, " when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, shall receive a crown of glory, that fadeth not away?"—Who would not realize the character of" the perfect man of God, throughly furnished unto every good work?" But it is not enough to ask the question—consciences must be roused, and hearts impressed, not only to ask, but to aruxctr it. And O that the energy of the subject may not evaporate in unsubstantial desires and unprofitable resolves !—O that it may not be dispersed as the morning cloud, and exhaled as the early dew!—O that it may not be swept from the tablet of memory by the returning tide of worldly cares and pleasures, and leave nothing behind it but the remembrance that it was heard in vain! Surely, surely we may assume, and surely you must admit, that on all who have listened to our voice has been imposed an alternative, which it were folly to deny, and madness to reject—they are bound, as they regard their own salvation, either to disprove what has been said, or to apply it—to scatter it to the winds, if false; to lay it to the heart, if true.—Pp. 93—95.
On reading these passages, it is impossible not to regret the shortness of Sir Robert Peel's tenure of power. Bestowed on such men as
Mr. Dale, the appointments of the Church are indeed a blessing to the country. We can only add in conclusion, that no young man intended for the ministry should be without a copy of Mr. Dale's sermons: and if any of our readers are desirous of presenting to some friend of this class an acceptable and valuable treasure, we would recommend this manual as one, than which nothing can be better adapted for the purpose.
Alphabet of Electricity, for the Vie of Beginners. By W. Millingl K Higgins,f.g.s., Lecturer on Natural Philosophy at Guy's Hospital; author of " The Mineral and Mosaical Geologies," fyc. London: Orr & Smith. 1834. Pp.viii. 116.
If any of our numerous readers have a young son or daughter who requires to be informed of the heads of the science of electricity, and to become acquainted with a vast body of facts, not before accumulated in so minute and comprehensive a volume, this is the very book for him to buy. The explanations are easy and simple, and yet satisfactory; the illustrations numerous, well selected, and well executed. It is a neat,useful, and agreeable little volume.
Spiritual Food for the Spiritual Mind. London: Suiith, Elder, & Co. 1835. Pp. 114.
Six chapters on Rev. ii. 17 :—" The Personal Nature of Christianity;" "The Christian Warfare;" « The Sovereignty of God;" "The Promises of God;" "Growth in Grace;" "The Happiness of a Christian."—To which are added, Six Poems on different texts.
Scripture Views of the Heavenly World. By J. Edmonson, A.M. London: Mears, City-road. 1835. Pp. xvi. 260.
This work contains twenty chapterset views, with reference to the existence, names, character, and condition of heaven and its inhabitants. There is VOL. XVII. NO. VII.
nothing to find fault with in this arrangement, but much in the execution to praise. The reflections are calculated to lead the mind forward to serious contemplations of futurity. Of peculiar views of things in general, we remark, that our author believes in the occasional visits of spirits to men in the flesh; that the stars have no clouds about them, and are subject to no convulsions! and, what appears to us a strange doctrine as here stated, that "it is a foolish opinion, and a dangerous error, that there are many different religions in the world, such as the religion of the heathens, that of the Jews, that of the Mahommedans, and that of the Christians. It is allowed, that all these have peculiar opinions, and peculiar modes of worship; but real religion does not consist either in the one or theother."(P.179.) WhatlnotinChristianity ?" Pure love, in active operation, is the one religion." "All religious sects have their favourite dogmas, but there is no real religion without love." (P. 189.) Are these expressions understood by their writer? We do not understand them as they read, though we guess the meaning to be, that, whatever is professed "charity," is the sum and substance of true religion, and that formality without the life is vain! We half suspect the author of an affection for Emmanuel Swedenborg in some points.
The Church at Philippi; or, the Doctrines and Conduct of the Early Christians Illustrated: intended to serve as an Historical Commentary 3 H
upon St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians. With a Recommendatory Introduction, by the Rev. John PyeSmith,D.D. London: Richard Groombridge. 1835. Pp. x. 236.
If we cannot give unqualified, we certainly ought to give considerable, praise to the conception and execution of this production. Such a history of the apostolic churches as this was iuteuded to be of Philippi, would be a valuable acquisition to the popular theological literature of the day. But though there is much very good in this volume, a considerable portion of that much would just as well apply to a similar history of any of the other churches, as to that of Philippi. The author is evidently a dissenter, though he has endeavoured to keep a sort of Catholic neutrality. His observations on " the Difference between the Primitive and Modern Christians "betray his hostility to " creeds," and "confessions of faith," and "systems ot belief,'* both unnecessarily and unwisely.
Directions/or Weak Christians, and the Character of a Confirmed Christian. By Richard Baxter. In Two Parts. With a Preface. By the Rev. H. J.Sperling, A.M., Rector of Papicorth St. Agnes, Cambridgeshire, and Chaplain to the Most Noble the Marquis of Cholmondeley. London: Holdsworth & Ball. 1835. Pp.xxxii. 348.
The writings of Baxter have a quaintness in them which, with many readers, detracts from their general merits; but all parties agree in revering the character and consistency of the man. and the practical usefulness of his works. Mr. Sperling considers that the age in which we live has much in common with Baxter's age, and therefore deems the present reprint valuable. All ages of the christian world have much in common with each other; and, therefore, real piety is always welcome, under whatever outward garb, or however quaint and strong the language which it speaks. But it must also be confessed, that generally useful as are the works of Baxter, be frequently uses terms in a latitude which our opinions do not always coincide with.
But the good that he did in his generation and day deserves our grateful recollection; and we heartily wish success to the intention of Mr. Sperling, in thus republishing a work which (if not equal to Baxter's other writings) may be useful to many. In the other writings of Baxter's age there is, indeed, much sterling gold, but there is, also, some dross. Perhaps selections from them would avail as much as these; but, somehow or other, Baxter seems, with some people, to be all in all.
A Universal Gazetteer, or Geographical Dictionary of the World, founded on the Works of Brookes and Walker; rcilh the addition of several thousand Names not to be found in any other Work; the Latitude and Longitude throughout,and the relative Distances most carefully examined. By GEORGE Landmann, Esq. C.E. lute a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Corps of Royal Engineers. Loudon: Longman; C'adell; Baldwin; &c. 1835.
W F. bought this book for the sake of the accuracy with which the title-page stale* it has been compiled; because we have, as doubtless many other persons have.had frequently tocomplnin of simiJar works, with respect to fictitious latitudes, longitudes, and relative distances. It is not our intention to examine'' most carefully" the latitudes and longitudes, and relative distances of places, which were easiest of being rightly described; but the following are certainly not favourable specimens of accuracy. First, we find Brussels 24 miles S. of Antwerp, and Antwerp 26 miles N. of Brussels; the difference in latitude being 23 miles!!! Next, Ostend is said to be 10 miles W. of Bruges, and Bruges 13 miles E. of Ostend: the difference in latitude being 17 miles!!! Bury St. Fdmonds is said to be 25 miles N.W. of Ipswich,and I pswich 26 miles S. E. of Bury. Dresden is said to be 62 miles E S. E. of Leipzig, and Leipzig 60 miles W.N. W. of Dresden!!! Rome is placed 410 S.S.W. of Vienna, and Vienna 350 N. N.E. of Rome. Vienna 630 miles E. of Paris, and Paris 625 miles W. of Vienna. Madrid 650 miles S. S. W. of Paris, and Paris 630 miles N. N.E. of Madrid!!! Gazetteers are, proverbially, not very accurate works; but we were not prepared for such specimens as the above, since they are all concerning places where there could be no difficulty of calculation,and no difference of opinion. On looking into the work, we do not find a word about the Sunn River; and on the maps that settlement is only once indicated.
We are fully aware of the labour of such a work, and hope that whenever a second edition is required, the above errata, among others, will receive the attention they require.
Daily Readings. Passages of Scripture selected for Social Reading, with Applications. By the Author of" The Listener," and " Christ our Example," fyc. London: Hatchards. 1B35. Pp. viii. 303. These "Daily Readings" consist of several consecutive verses from different parts of the Bible, selected and printed without order or arrangement of books, or doctrine; upon each of which sets of verses is given a reflection, arising from some particular prominent idea of the sacred writer, in the passage selected; of which reflections we may say truly, that they are good in general, sometimes very good, though there be occasional allusions which have no reference to the text, and in the application of which we do not altogether agree. The author's aim (as he or she says) is, to "tary the passages of Scripture," " to be as general as possible," " to give no part of Holy Writ the preference, nor any particular bearing to the subjects." It is the author's intention to publish another volume, should this be found useful. It is not designed for any class in particular. "I have," the Preface concludes," simply committed to writing what I thought, and as 1 thought it; assured, that what the word of inspiration suggests to one mind, wilt seldom fail of adaptation to the minds of others." U this be true, what a responsibility do commentators and expositors lie under!
Yarrow Revisited, and other Poems. By William Wordsworth. London: Longman &, Co. 1835. Pp. xv. 349.
There is no necessity to take up the defence of Wordsworth at this date, and in this place. Let a careful perusal of his works suffice to prove our assertion, despite whatever the Ediuburgh Review may say to the contrary, that he is the greatest poet of his day— the only philosophical master-mind amongst all the modern patrons of the gentle craft.
In the volume before us, there is a rich treat to the lovers of genuine poetry. To enumerate the pieces is impossible; but we cannot refrain from pointing out, as "Christian Remembrancers," that the fine and dignified language and imagery of a mind, not in ferior to any that has thought upon the subject, are here presented to us, as recommendatory, not only of religion and morality, but of those institutions by which the Church has been so long upheld, and for which we have so indefatigably raised our constant and never-varying voice. At the close of the poems is a prose dissertation upon topics connected with the Church, now so generally agitated; and we have in it the judgment of a thinker,— and to that judgment we earnestly recommend our readers to refer: the reasons given for its adoption may serve some in the hour of need. They are most excellent. We intended to make a few extracts, but we shall content ourselves with one only, and this we should like to see graven over the door of every house, and on the heart of every individual in the land. Would the present ministers of William IV. act upon such a sentiment, they would save themselves from much blame, and their country from much danger.
"Who Shrinks Not From Alliance Or Evil With Good Towers, To God Proclaims Defiance, And Mocks Whom He Adores."