Page images
PDF
EPUB

has bartered the purchase of the Redeemer's blood for the pitiful applause of a rain mortal like himself, shall meet with his merited infamy 1 When will Christian ministers think the boast of the holy apostle their highest praise ?" In the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might teach others, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." We have been led into these remarks by the plain, condescending, and affectionate style of the sermons before us. They are all founded upon the same text (2 Cor. ii. 11), "We are not igBorant of his devices." The following is a summary of particulars Which they contain. Sermon I. Young persons tempted to believe, that they are too young to be punished for their sins—that it is soon enough yet for them to repent. Others, that God is too merciful to send any one to hell, that as they have done nobody any harm, they are in no danger— that if God does not give them grace, they are not to blame for living in sin—that as Christ died for all, they are sure to be saved by his death— that if they are prosperous, they must be favourites of heaven—and if they are afflicted, their sufferings here ■wiW exempt them from punishment hereafter. Sermon II. The Christian harassed with blasphemous and wicked thoughts, with fears that his day of grace is past—that his past experience is a delusion'—and that he has sinned against the Holy Ghost. Sermon III. The Christian tempted to fear,—that as he knows not the particular time of his conversion, he is not in a state of acceptance with God —Others tempted to rest in sudden and powerful convictions, whilst they shew no fruits of real conversion—others think that it is an easy matter to get to heaven—that there is no need to shun worldly company and worldly pleasures—but on the contrary, that it would be more useful to society, and more ornamental to religion, to associate freely with the world. Sermon IV. Satan assaults the church of Christ by stirring up violent persecutions against it—by exciting calumny and reproaches against pious Christians— and by raising up false professors and false teachers. Mr. K. has announced that he has in the press "Eighteen sermons, or short and plain discourses for the use of families." We hope to find these sermons deserving of a place among the very few which are really proper for this purpose;

Art. XIII. The Friendly Call of Truth and Reaion to a New Species af' Distenters; to which are prefixed a Few Observations on the Expediency of Parliamentary interposition duly to explain, and if necessary to amend the Act of William and Mary, commonly called 'The Toleration Act.' By the Rev. Edward Barry, M. D. 8vo. pp. 150. price Is. Rivingtons. ..

Art. XIV. A Sermbn, preached before the Rev. the Archdeacon and Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Berks, at the Visitation holden at St. Helen's Church, Abingdon, on Wednesday the third of May, 18l)9. By the Rev. Edward Barry, M. D. Rector of St. Mary, Willingford. 8vo. pp. 26. price Is. Rivingtons.

Art. XV. Strictures on a Sermon, preached by the Rev. E. Barry, M. D. before the Rev. the Archdeacon and Clergy of Berks, at the Visitation at Abingdon, May 3,1809. By J. Raban. 8vo. pp. 44. price Is. 6d. Williams and Co,

HTHE 'new species of dissenters' addressed in the first of these pub. lications, are those who partially or totally give up their attendance on divine service in certain churches of the establishment, because they think the pulpit is made to contradict the desk, the general strain of the religious instruction «ot being congenial to the articles of the church, and the doctrine of the Bible ; or because the practice of the minister compels them to question the sincerity of his faith. Dr. Barry would certainly have been well employed, (not indeed in recommending an infringement on religious liberty] but in attempting to shew, by a fair statement of facts, and a correct train of reasoning, delivered in a tone of liberality and respect, that such ' dissenters' had no' substantial ground for discontent and secession. If this was his design, we have only to regret his unfortunate failure. We are apprehensive that the persons he addresses would be but too ready to contend, that many of his statements are unsupported and erroneous, that he grossly misrepresents their opinions, that his argument is loose and sophistical, and that his spirit is arrogant, disingenuous, and uncharitable toward the dissenters, but insinuating and sycophantic toward his superiors in the Church.—In another respect, however, he appears to have been more successful. The Sermon under review informs us, that he has (in consequence, he presumes, of his « Friendly Call') been presented to the living of St. Mary's, Wallingford. In vain, it seems, was a very earnest and unanimous application made to the Lord Chancellor (Eldon), by the congregation and body corporate, in favour of another clergyman:' the Chancellor,'says Dr- B. in language, equally elegant and modest—' the Chancellor, with that ability of discernment and integrity which direct his conduct, was not to be influenced in his choice by this sort of meddling; but was pleased, very unexpectedly on my part, to have the presentation made out in my favour;''and what stronger proof can be required of the Chancellor's 'ability of discernment and integrity', or what likelier method conceived of preserving the parishioners and body corporate unshaken in their adherence to the Church? The Sermon, from the text so often assumed to be applicable, Matth. xviii. 7. is a piece of dull, ill written invective against heretics and schismatics, dissenters, methodists, and * evangelical preachers'; in which Dr. B. recommends, inter alia, that on every building * licensed' (he should have said ' registered') for public worship, these words should be affixed in large letters —' This is a Tolerai Ed Meeting House!' He also begs his reverend brethren " to act wisely the post allotted to' them, &c. and with no great delicacy introduces hit account of the transactions at Wallingford.

Mr. Kaban forcibly exposes some of the blunders and absurdities of the Doctor's Sermon,animadverting successively on 'its theological errors, its defective morality, its misrepresentation of the inhabitants of Wallingford, and its illiberality toward the dissenting body at large;' and, though he appears to have formed a tolerably accurate estimate of Dr. B'.s pretensions as a scholar, and a divine, he is cautiou* not to imitate his example by violating the rules of decorum. Possibly this circumspection may partly be attributed to the -warning or threat said to be given by Dr. B., that he would proceed in the Spiritual Court against any one who should comment disrespectfully on his preaching or character! This could not, however, be any reason for omitting to notice the earnest endeavours of Dr. B. to reconcile the malcontents to an intemperate clergyman, (Friendly Call, p. 97.)

Resisting every temptation to venture any remarks, that might be censured as personal^ we only beg leave to recommend the clergy who are said to have requested the publication of Doctor Barry's discourse, to peruse Mr. Raban's Strictures, and (if possible) to obtain a sight of the learned Doctor's inestimable Letters to Mrs. Mestayer, (12mo. price 5s. 1794) which lately afforded us so much entertainment,-that we lament the morbid excess of modesty which induced him to omit them in the list of his publications. "What they would chiefly admire in this work, we apprehend, would be the biographical hints relative to the regularity of his education, graduation, and ordination, the singular delicacy and good sense with which he addresses his fair correspondent, the profound veneration he manifests for the heads of the establishment, and his amiable acquiescence under their neglect of his claims to preferment.

Art.. XVI. The Conquest of Canaan, a Seatonian prize Poem. By George Pryme, Esq. M. A. Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge'. 4to. pp. 24. price 2s. Cadell and Davies. 1810.

WE have read this poem with much pleasure. Mr. Pryme displays considerable taste in the selection of his topics, and imagination in adorning them; and, though too little prominence, perhaps, is given to the principal subject, the parts are upon the whole judiciously disposed. The descriptions do not always strike us as possessing a distinctive propriety; but the following passage, the conclusion especially, deserves commendation. It refers to the command of universal extirpation.

'Patient submission and resistance meet
One common fate: the snowy locks of age
In dust and gore lie clotted : nor the blush
That mantles on the lovely virgin's cheek
Alternate yielding to the paly hue
Of blanching fear; nor the mute eloquence'
Of helpless infancy, that playful smiles
In its destroyer's.face, can mercy find.
Haply some generous foe one moment stays
His lifted hand; from pity's soft cohtroul
One moment pauses ; till the dire command
Rush to his mind; he turns his head away
And with a sigh inflicts the mortal wound.' pp. 15—16.

A sentence or two, in vindication of the • dire command,' would not have been useless or impertinent.

Art. XVII. Strictures tn Clerical Education in the University of Cambridge. By the Rev. W. Cockburn, Christian Advocate, and late Fellow of St. John's Coliege. 8vo. pp. 36. Price Is. Hatchard, Longman and Co. 1809.

"IT is pretty evident that Mr. Cockburn really feels some doubt upon his

conscience, whether he has done the church or the world much service

as Christian Advocate. He could therefore hit upon nothing better, than

to repeat the popular cry,* The Church is in Danger. On this subject we must own Mr. C. appears to us to have made but few additions to his stock of knowledge, since the memorable time when he declared, in addressing seceders from the church, that he could not learn who they were, in what they differed from each other, or why they separated from the establishment! No other man of reading or observation would have hazarded the opinion, that 'the dissenters universally prefer pastors without learning to those who have any!' p. 13. There are some points, however, in Mr. C.'s pamphlet, that deserve attention from the guardians of oar Establishment. Aware, it seems, that the increase of separating is in a great measure owing to the deficiency of learning, talents, and eloquence in the clergy, to which alledged deficiencies he should certainly have added, as the most important, so far as it may be found to exist, that of zealous piety,—he recommends the University—

'First, to be more circumspect in granting testimonials for orders, and to promulgate some general and irrefragable law on that important subject; Secondly, to encrease the necessity of religious study among the undergraduates, by granting no degrees to those who are Void of ecclesiastical information; Thirdly, to offer some stimulus to batchelors, to induce them to proceed ardently in such pursuits; Fourthly, to require a real serious examination, very much on religious topics, from all incepting masters of arts ; Fifthly, not to grant fellowships at so early a period as at present; "Sixthly, to allow none to retain their fellowships above twelve years.' p. 34.

From the general style of the composition, we presume it is not thoughtnecessary for a Christian Advocate to be eminent for vigour of intellect or delicacy of taste. The following is perhaps the most eloquent passage in the pamphlet, and those who admire it for grammatical correctness, will doubtless be delighted with its rhetorical beauty:—* when the highest Alps of literature is within sight and within reach, the unfatigued traveller stops suddenly, stands still awhile, and then sinks back gradually into the vale of idleness and ignorance.' From this exquisite morsel, we may learn, that' Alps' is a singular noun, that the way to literary eminence is through idleness and ignorance, that a man of letters may if he pleases, by sufficient exertion sbecome both idle and ignorant,,but that, if he is resolved to stand still and do nothing at all, he may remain as wise and as industrious as ever! •

Art. XVIII. A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Sarum on the 11th 12th 13th and 14th, days of July, 1809 By the Rev. Charles Daubeny, Archdeacon of Sarum. 8vo. pp. 38. price Is. Rivington. 1809.

IN this discourse, Mr. D., after lamenting with becoming pathos the melancholy increase of schism, enters at some length, and with tolerable candour, into an examination of the «charges which are now generally brought against the established church.' These he thinks reducible to two, « want of zeal, and want of fidelity.' Mr. D. is not, as some readers might presuppose a bigoted advocate : he does not altogether deny the existence of such defects, but he conceives the accusations are too unlimited. As the best refutation, he exhorts his reverend auditors to increased diligence and fervour in the discharge of their sacred functions. The discourse is not quite free from impurity of doctrine, though much less turbid than some of this author's previous publications might lead us to expect. Mr. D. appears to clarify as he proceeds, and we are not without hopes that he may in time write himself into the true faith of the English church. Y\e is still, however, a zealous opponent of that 'most absurd pripqiple, the right of private judgement in matters of religion.'

Art. XIX. Letter from the Right Honourable Lord Grenvllle to the Earl of Ftngall, 8vo. pp. 16. price Is. Stockdale. 1810.

X HIS letter has been already extensively circulated m! the newspapers, but is well deserving of republication in a more durable form. The object of the noble writer is, to dissuade the Catholic petitioners from partial and precipitate decisions; and, in particular, to express his regret at the rejection, on the par; of the Irish Catholics, of the proposal to vest in the crown a negative on the appointment of Bishops: a refusal, he observes* which can only tend to revive expiring prejudices and throw difficulties in the way of future discussion: which confessedly is not required by any fundamental tenet of faith, and which, in the present posture of affairs, is peculiarly unseasonable and embarrassing. Disclaiming all party views, and regarding the extension of civil rights to the Catholics, not as a single unconnected measure, butas an object affecting the union and welfare of the Empire, his Lordship is anxious to expose the impolicy of a punctilious attention to the dictates of party prejudice or pjjvate opinion.

* Much,' he observes, ' must be done for mutual conciliation, much for common safety ; many contending interests must be reconciled, many, jealousies allayed, many long cherished and mutually destructive prejudices eradicated.'—' By a systematic and comprehensive arrangement alone, can all the various difficulties be surmounted which on every side embarrass this extensive subject. To be effective and permanent, such an arrangement must be mutually satisfactory.'

We hope no secret aversion, on the other side of the water, to an arrangement ' mutually satisfactory,' has been the real motive for throwir^ such- an impediment in its way. Like every thing else from the pen of Lord Grenville, this letter is written in- a strain of nervous eloquence, and marked by a spirit of dignified moderation.

Art. XX. Candour and Consistency United; or Considerations on some important Duties connected with the Belief of Evangelical Truth. 12mo, .pp. 165. Price 3s. bds. 'Williams and Co. Button. 1809.

'PHIS publication, though particularly adapted to a certain class of Christians—those who maintain the exclusive propriety of baptism on a profession tff faith,—is not written itf a sectarian Spirit. Its principal objects are* to point 6Til the duty of believers to unite with some Christian Society, to induce those who believe the doctrine in question to act hi conformity' t6 their belief, and to persuade such as have so acted to unite with' a society hoWing the same tenet as themselves. Besides a variety •f observations on these topics, there are sortie useful hints of a mora ge« fleraf nature", oft the duties Involved in chufch membership. The aathor's ca'ndbw* arid moderation will be approved by many who rtray deem his Views inaccurate', or his reasoning feeble. Chritdrati of hi-j own persua* Vol. VL Y

« PreviousContinue »