« PreviousContinue »
defects are scarcely worthy of notice; except an unusual omission of rendering into English, words and passages, that are introduced as examples. These cannot otherwise be understood by a learner; and if not understood, will not be retained in the memory. We earnestly wish to see this deficiency supplied in another edition. The initials of the authors quoted, ought also to be explained by an index. In a single instance, (Grammar, p. 5.) we observe an error in the directions for pronunciation. E circuwflexed is sounded in Welch as ea in bear, and in the verb to tear; but not as in fear. Perhaps this was misprinted for pear, which would be right: but this is not noticed in the errata, and even then, tear would be ambiguous.
"* ——•»— ————?-**—, 1 ■ ■—. . i—• ——' -r—
Art. 3JV. Ah Essay on the Excellence of Christian Knowledge; with an appeal to Christians on the propriety of using every means for its promo
• tion, by F. A. Cox, A. M. 8vo. pp. 64. Price 2s. Button and Williams, 1806.
•HTHE religion id Christ is the only one that ever promised perfection to the nature, and to the condition of man; and as a pledge on which this promise may be trusted, it works an immediate miracle in his heart; it stVikes a fountain in the rock, it creates an unfailing stream of consolation, perpetually tending, whether rapid or slow in its progress, to that ocean of happiness which it mmt ultimately reach. The excellency of this religion, (for under the term Christian knowledge, the apprehension and reception of the doctrines of Christ are intended,) Mr. C. delineates with much propriety, and establishes on these considerations; "its suitability to the condition of a fallen creature—its humiliating effect—its animating influence on the heart—its capability of communication to the weakest capacity—its importance in the hour of death—and lastly, its happy tendency to promote the civilization, order, learning, and freedom of mankind." He then "appeals to the Christian public on the propriety of using every effort for its most extensive propagation." Having slightly hinted at the important influence of virtuous example, he particularly recommends the Sunday School and Missionary Societies to general patronage.
In the course of the essay we find many sensible remarks, and much correct reasoning; though we think the strain of thought is in genera) too mud: amplified to enforce conviction. The style is usually harmonious, often spirited and brilliant. In answer to objectors, who would discourage missionary efforts, by picturing the difficulties which they .must surmount, as insuperable by a few individuals, Mr. C. observes,
'In the apostolic age, a few individuals only were employed, and succeeded. The contest between light and darkness, it is true, was «evere. The struggle of party prejudice, priestly denomination, civil authority, popular fury, human corruption, and infernal policy, against the "glorious ;;ospel of the blessed God," was obstinate and malicious. Satan would not quit his strong holds without a desperate effort, and, consequently, 'the p ince of the powers of the air" summoned all his hosts, and ev:t> i all his influence with wicked men, to defeat the designs of " the Prince of Peace." But having been furnished with their weapons (npt carnal, but spiritual) the apostles commenced their battle with the enemies of human happiness, and, under the banners of Jesus, marched forth conquering and to conquer. Their foes employed calumny, misrepresentation, sophistry, ridicule, oppression, imprisonment, wild beasts, gibbets, and fires: they, affectionate address, persuasive eloquence, patient endurance. Their lives were a defence of the truth. Their blood had a tongue that spoke at once to the heart, and from their ashes rose a thousand altars to the living God. "I heard a voice saying in heaven, Now is come sal* yation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ, for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and' night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death."
* Is is not merely the efforts pf those single individuals that are sent, to which we look for success ; otherwise we might despond; but there is rea»on to hope, that their word being made effectual to the conversion of thenatives of heathen countries, these will themselves become preachers of righteousness. The power of God can make every persecuting Saul obedient to the faith and its zealous defender.'
In that part of the subject, which refers to the excellence of religion on the bed of death, Mr. C. introduces the description of the last moments of Newport and Vftlfaire.
A6 we think this pamphlet deserving of so much encouragement as wiH render a second edition probable, we suggest the propriety of correcting this passage, in which one of Mr. C.'s venial faults, an excess of metaphor, or of epithet, has produced an incongruity,—" The rolling years are bearing on their wings the golden age of the church."
-f . ' —■— i
Art. XVI. A Sermon on the Doctrines of final Perseverance and Assurance of
Salvation; preached at Leicester, June 6th, 1806, at the Visitation of
the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Lincoln. By the Hon. and Rev.
H. Ryder, A. M. Rector of Lutterworth, pp. 35. price Is. 6d.
'T'HE design of this discourse is, not to warn the reverend auditoiy of the possibility of being themselves " cast away," but, what doubtless is of greater moment, to prove that the Calvinistic doctrines, of assurance, and final perseverance of the saints, are inconsistent with the text, 1 Cor. ix. 27. / keeft under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when f have preached to others, I myself should be a cast aiuay. The most intelligent believer in the controverted doctrines would doubtless inquire, what more can be proved from the expressions of the apostle, than tleza, whom Mr. Ryder opposes, would readily admit?—that God accomplishes the purposes of his grace by producing suitable dispositions in the hearts of men? Hence-Paul, conscious that his preaching toothers was no evidence of his own salvation, and that no evidence can be a sufficient ground of hope, exclusive of the feelings and dispositions which God approves, declares his solicitude to become more than a mere way-mark to direct others to the celestial city, which he should never himself behold. A sufficient answer to the objection, that assurance of final salvation tends to licentiousness, would be furnished also, by a fair statement of the doctrine, which i«, That genuine Christians shall persevere in holiness to eternal life.' Can Mr. R. shew how perseverance in holiness will lead to sin?
What would appear in Mr. Ryder's sermon to be gross misconception and perversion of this doctrine, if levelled at Calvinists, we are inclined to excuse, from supposing it to be directed against some who abuse the name and the tenet. But Mr. R. should have known better than to suppose that Calvinists in general maintain, that believers have a preternatural impulse, or conviction, on which they have a right to assume the ' absolute certainty* of their salvation. It is not easy to see whom the preacher opposes, when be remarks against them, that the reformers did not represent good works as involuntary; he should have named the sect which did. The drift of the following passage, however, is obvious enough; but it is quite unnecessary for us to comment On it. • .
• Let us consider also, that if they who are regenerate and in a state of grace, cannot finally fall away, it necessarily follows, that all who are baptized, all who are confirmed, must, according to our liturgy, be placed in that state of infallible perseverance, for of all such it is said in both offices, that they are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.'
We are particularly sorry, that we cannot compliment the preacher on his polemic abilities, because he has not aimed at displaying any other ex-' cellence ; and our regret is the more poignant, when we reflect that he fills the pulpit of WicklifFe. ■- -'
.Art. XVII. The Endofthe Upright, Peace. A Sermon, occasioned by the Death of Mr. James Whatman Lobb, of Southampton, who departed this Life, Dec. 5th, 1806, aged 40 years. By David Bogue. pp. 40. price Is. Williams. 1807. ■
rF'HE death of an eminent Christian is an interesting subject for reflection; amidst the pleasure of sympathy with the departing saint, there is abundant occasion for regret and anxiety. "Help, Lord, for the righteous ccaseth," is a very natural ejaculation of the mind; and it should be the prevailing wish of the survivors, and the principal effort of funeral addresses,that when a victorious veteran is summoned to receive his crown» many a rebel may return to the allegiance of Christ, fill up the ranks which he has left, and emulate his honourable example. To this object, Mr. Bogue's sermon is piously adapted; the character he has drawn of AJ r. Lobb is one, which any reasonable man would feel solicitous to imitate; and the' exhortations with which his discourse concludes, are well calculated .to enforce the principles which the sketch of that character exemplifies. The words selected are Ps. xxxvii. 37- Mark the perfect man, and hehold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. The character is considered, the manner in which it is displayed, and the principles on which it is formed; the end of that character, peace or felicity in heaven, and at the hour of death; the exemplification of this portrait, "the upright man," in the life and character of Air. Lobb ; the improvement to be made, by 'marking' and * beholding' the disciple of Christ in life and death. Several parts of this sensible discourse might be quoted with propriety; we prefer the following passages, extracted from a summary of the Christian's principles. 'That God is infinitely glorious and excellent, to be loved above all, and to be obeyed in every thing which he enjoins; and that man ough; entirely to be devoted to him, to have no will but God's, and to live in a state of subjection to him in thought, word, and deed.
* That Christ is an infinitely compassionate Saviour; and that his disciples having been redeemed by his blood, delivered by him from condemnation and wrath, and admitted into a state of reconciliation and friendship with God, and having received a title to eternal glory, they ought to deny themselves, to take up their cross and follow him, andtolive.no longer to themselves, but to him who died for them and rose again.
« That communion with God is the highest happiness of human life. To maintain habitual intercourse with him in the exercise of faith and love, to meditate on him in his various relations, to desire his favour, to delight in the view of hia, perfections and government, and to receive from him communications of light and life; these, in the eye of the Christian, constitute the most exalted felicity which an immortal creature can enjoy, and in respect to which all other things are to be regarded in a very subordinate degree.
* That all the dispensations of providence are designed by the great Go-' vernorofthe universe for the spiritual benefit of man, and therefore ought to be carefully improved in order to the attainment of the exalted ends de
'signed thereby. Not to banish sorrow, but to have sin banished from his heart, and to come out of the furnace, not with as little suffering as he can, but as much as possible purified and refined from the dross of corrupt affections, is his ardent wish.
That a disciple of Christ ought to live habitually in the lively hope of eternal blessedness: and as this exceeds in sweetness whatever the world can give of joy, that he should shun every thing which would impair or destroy it, and cultivate every disposition and affection which would cherish its growth or increase its exercise.
• And that it is incumbent on every Christian to make it his business to promote the highest happiness of his fellow creatures. As divine knowledge, the favour of Jehovah, holiness in heart and life, ana* the peace and comfortresulting from thence are the highest good of man, that they are to be pursued as an object in impertance next to his own salvation; and eminently conducive to the glory of God, the honour of Christ* and the welfare of the unjverse.
* These are the principles which reign in the heart of the upright and perfect man: they are contained in the sacred scriptures, and being transplanted thence into the soul, and daily watered from above with the showers of heavenly grace, ihey form the character which has been described.'
Art. XVIII. A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, on Sunday, Jan. 25, 1807, for the Benefit of The Refuge of the Destitute, Cuper's Bridge, Lambeth. By the Rev. E. W. Whitaker, Rector of St. Mildreds and All Saints, Canterbury. 4*0. pp. 14. Hatchard. Rivingtons. 1807
TVIR. WHITAKER's text, we acknowledge, prejudiced us against his sermon; it is the admonition of St. James, v. 19. 20. Brethren, 'if anij rfij'jn do trr from tise truth, and one convert him: let him inoiv that, tic ivhich cauverteth the sinner from the error of his tvay, shall save^ a soul from death, and cover a multitude of sins. The preacher will pardon us, that we * suspected him of an intention to set aside the -atonement of Christ, to plead (or the doctrine of works of supererogation, and to bribe the eharity of lyl audience by the promise of eternal life at its reward. If this suspicion be a fault, we intreat him to charge it upon the numerous sermons and comdents on this passage, which his clerical brethren have framed to such a purpose, in the plenitude of their pagan liberality. We are happy to class Mr. Whitaker among those who have not so learned Christ; and to find him affirming that " there is encouragement sufficient holden out to us to apply all our powers to the work which the apostle enjoins, without sup* posing that he had in contemplation any other sins, than these of the person who might be converted." He proceeds, throughout this address, t» excite the commiseration, and to ckim the assistance of the benevolent, on Christian principles; and we think that individual, who could withstand such an advocate in such a cause, as truly an object Of pity and ef serious apprehension, as the wretched vagabond whose distress he should refuse toalleviate. As this laudable institution has not been very long established, it might have been well to subjoin, as an appendix to this discourse, a specific account of its nature and its purposes. We take the opportunity of observing, that it is designed as an asylum for the most vile and the most wretched of both sexes; to relieve them from urgent want, and from the necessity of persisting in criminal habits; and to afford the means of moral improvement: no qualification is required but that of misery. Every person who is acquainted with this metropolis must be aware, that there are multitudes but too well qualified; without character, without friend, disseased, destitute, and starving. »We wish this serious and respectable sermon may obtain more general attention to an Institution, which offers help to those whom even all other Charities exclude, and supplies an important ■chasm in the plans of British beneficence.
Art. XIX. A new and a/i/irojiriate System of Education for the Labouring People; elucidated and explained, according to the Plan which has been established for the religious and moral Instruction of Male'and Female Children, admitted into the Free School, No. 19, Orchard Street, in the City oi Westminster; containing an Exposition of the Nature and Importance of the Design, as it respects the general Interest «f the Community: with Details, &c. &c. By. P Colquhoun, LLD. 8vo.pp. 93. Price 2s. 6d. Hatchard, 1806. ,
XTAVING been instructed by the labours of Mr. C, as a magistrate, we are happy to meet him in the character of a philanthropist. In both these departments we have reason to give him the praise of uprightness of intention, and ability in the execution of his designs. At present, however, he only claims the merit of carrying into effect those plans, of which the honour of invention is due to others. To Dr. Bell, the author of that method of instruction which Mr. C. has adopted in his institution, he has given just commendation; but we were struck with the little notice which he has taken of the praiseworthy and successful efforts of Joseph Lancaster, in the same line of active benevolence, although he has, we presume, carried them to a greater length than any individual had previously done.
That, through ignorance, the morals of the lower order of society, in the metropolis, are awfully depraved, is a truth which forces itself upon the notice of every reflecting person; and in the opinion of Mr. C. than