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divine dispensations, or on the mere words of Scripture. But, "holding the head," we shall also hold all the members of the Faith, in their vital connexion with the head. Whilst we adopt Christ crucified, as the fundamental characteristic of our religious profession, we shall maintain the other doctrines of Scripture in their full importance. Taking the Christian Redemption from its proper source the Scripture-we shall take along with it, all those other holy and edifying truths, with which it is there closely and inseparably entwined. And, thus obtaining a comprehensive and consistent view of the whole scheme of Divine Revelation, we shall not only defy the attacks of the ostensible infidel, but also be proof against the more dangerous wiles of insidious traitors to Christianity, bearing the sacred name of its disciples, whilst breathing war against it in their hearts and their proceedings. Our conviction will be, that we have placed our trust in One, in whom all the counsels of God towards man have their perfection; and, that though an Angel from heaven should preach to us any doctrine at variance with the great mystery of his atonement, we should believe it not-that all must be true, which the Scripture has joined with this mystery in the scheme of revelation, however inexplicable to us, however apparently to our judgment unconnected with it ;-that whatever militates with this mystery, must be false, however speciously scriptural in its assertion, and however plausibly supported by ingenuity of argument. We shall check that propensity of the human mind, which prompts the unstable believer, to follow after new preachers and new doctrines-in simplicity and sincerity we shall inquire only for " the old paths"-the beaten ways, tracked by the footsteps of our forefathers in Christ, those holy professors of the Christian faith, who learned at the foot of the Cross, what they preached from the pulpit, or inculcated in their writings, or set forth to general example in their lives: nor pursuing our religion, as we would a mere human science, which admits of advancement by the labours of successive inquirers, but as a knowledge, perfect in its origin-as best understood, when it was first taught, and was as yet unalloyed by human inventions-as a science, like its Divine Author," the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever."-Pp. 103-107.
In Sermon IX. we have the following note on the expression πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως. (Col. i. 15.)
The cavil which has been raised on this expression appears entirely groundless, when we consider that it is an idiom of the Greek language, to speak of any thing, which it is intended to except as pre-eminent above a class of objects, as if it were included among them; as, for instance, the Greek historian speaks of a particular war, as the most memorable, (in literal translation) of those that had preceded: (Thucyd. i. 1.) an idiom which, indeed, Milton has imitated, where he says,
"Adam, the goodliest man of men since born
Parad. Lost. B. iv. 323.
Why might not the Son of God then be spoken of, as "the first-born of every creature," without its being inferred that he is, therefore, one of the creatures? Besides, the expression may have a reference to this ordinance of the Mosaic Law:-Jesus being the great First-born, of whom all the others were types. See Psalm lxxxix. 27. Rom. viii. 29. Heb. i. 6.-If, indeed, we had at first misconceived the expression, the verses immediately following it are sufficient to set us right. See Col. i. 16—19.—Pp. 191, 192.
The criticism of this note is unexceptionable, but we do not think the rule has been rightly applied. As it appears to us, the language of the Apostle is much less equivocal. Πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως is equivalent to τικτόμενος πρῶτος πάσης κτίσεως, “ begotten before all creation;" πproc being used in this sense with the genitive in
John i. 30. or πρшτós μοv hv—for he was before me. Yet we cannot but highly value the conjecture of Michaelis, who transposes the accent, and makes πрwтотóкоs; translating, the prime cause of existence of all creation.
One feature of the work we must not omit to notice, which is, that a short "skeleton" of each sermon has been given. We could wish this practice were more general. Sermons are necessarily more perspicuous and methodical from being previously reduced to heads and subdivisions, although there is no necessity for the mechanism being absolutely apparent. Fastidious hearers sometimes disrelish an excellent sermon on account of the preciseness of its distributions. Yet this is an excess on the right side; and, in discourses immediately addressed to the judgment, is no more than what is absolutely necessary. That this method has been sometimes extended to a ludicrous minuteness, proves nothing against its essential excellence. But although something may be, and must be, conceded to popular feeling, where the object cannot be served without popular attention, there is no necessity why more than the methodical form should be sacrificed, and even this need not always be the case. Method of arrangement, founded on a decided plan, is a most important ingredient in the composition of a sermon; nor is it less advantageous to the reader to have the original skeleton before him, that he may comprehend the scope of his author's argument, and take a view of the subject under consideration, at once detailed and enlarged. It enables the writer to compose fluently and correctly:
"Nec facundia deseret hunc, nec lucidus ordo:"
and it enables the reader to apprehend readily and clearly. Beside these advantages, there is another of very considerable importance. A good parochial sermon is the best possible study for the parochial divine. It affords that luminous conception of this species of composition which practice always obtains above theory, and representation above definition. The divine studies a sermon not only for its matter, but directly for its method; he sets it before him as a study whereby to improve his own pulpit compositions. Such abstracts as these are to him invaluable; and one well digested outline of a sermon may produce hundreds of plain sensible discourses of ready comprehension and application.
We select, as a specimen of this department of the work, the skeleton of Sermon XIX.
Consolatory nature of Christianity-Shewn particularly in the securities here provided against our danger in the world-I. Watching-An habitual recolfection of the atonement renders us watchful-1. As exciting our interest for the future world-2. By forcibly convincing us of the danger from the world and from ourselves-3. By keeping us constantly looking for the second advent of Christ-II. Prayer-the strength of man-This strength derived from the
divine promise attached to it-Objection from the immutability of God answered by reference to the importance of prayer to man-1. As the means of communion with God-2. As inculcating on him the necessity of contributing his own exertions-As subduing the soul to a Christian temper-Watching and prayer mutually imply each other.-P. xxx,
It may be readily seen how much and how important matter may be engrafted on this stock; how many discourses differing in manner, yet coinciding in principle, might be raised out of these rich and substantial materials. The same arrangement might be useful to the student in assisting him to arrange for himself; a task of greater difficulty, but greater importance.
The price of the work makes it a desirable manual for all whose parochial duties are conversant with congregations of the higher and middle classes. And even to the country preacher, the work will not be unserviceable, as the method is applicable where the style would be unintelligible. On the whole, we hesitate not to recommend these sermons to the notice of the public, as containing sound and pious views of religion, delivered with a simplicity well becoming the majesty of the subject, and with a perspicuity which, in this kind of composition particularly, is a grace of most essential beauty.
Evangelical Preaching (commonly so denominated): its Character, Errors, and Tendency: in a Letter to the Rt. Rev. the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells. By the Rev. R. WARNER, F.A.S. &c. London: Rivingtons. 1828. 8vo. pp. 27. 2s.
HERE is bigotry and persecution with a vengeance !-such, at least, will be the echo of the party, against the errors of which Mr. Warner's pamphlet is directed. But these are not the times in which those who are devoted to the sound and sober tenets of our Apostolical English Church, are to be tamed into silence by false notions of liberality; and we sincerely wish that others would stand forward like Mr. W. in defence of her character and doctrines. The different lights and shades of Evangelical Preaching, the various gradations of heterodoxy which it embraces, the theatrical gesture and noisy declamation by which its thundering anathemas are enforced, and its tendency to inflate the mind of its
disciples with the most disgusting pride, or to depress the more pious of its victims (if piety can be connected with such unworthy ideas of the Creator which it suggests), into the gloomy depths of despondency, are abundant proofs of the mischiefs which it is calculated to produce. Mr. W. has divided the self-styled Gospellers into three principal classes; viz. high Calvinists, the more moderate of the Geneva school, and such as depreciate human nature into a mass of the most degraded pollution and malignity. These, however, branch out again into a multiplicity of sects, infinitely diversified in their profession of faith and doctrinal peculiarities, but sufficiently agreed on two points, which "mark the preachers as a genus, and their mode of teaching as a system." The most prominent of these, is the almost exclusive praise and recommendation, in their sermons, of faith; and their direct or implied disparagement of good works, which are represented as totally valueless in the sight of God;
and, however praiseworthy in themselves, wholly unnecessary as a condition of salvation. The second peculiarity is their constant reference to Jesus Christ, while they seldom, if ever, allude to God the Father; so as, by uniformly exalting one, and lowering another of the persons in the Godhead, to destroy the balance of the blessed Trinity. Under this head Mr. Warner might have noticed the disgusting and blasphemous familiarity, with which they too often address the Redeemer of the world.
To expose the errors, and point out the fatal tendency of these unscriptural tenets, is a comparatively easy task-it has been frequently performed, and Mr. Warner has performed it again. He has also attempted what is far more difficult; prescribe a cure for the evil; in order to which he has suggested two remedies, which he recommends respectfully to the notice of his Diocesan, and through him, to the Bishops generally. The first is, that of a strict examination of candidates for holy orders, with a view to prevent the future admission of unsound pastors into the Church; and the other, that the Bishops should continually animadvert upon the errors in question in their charges, with a view to counteract the baneful influence of those already in the priesthood. We wish we could put as much confidence in the efficiency of these proposals as we admire Mr. W.'s attachment to our venerable establishment, and his honest zeal in endeavouring to purify it from the disease, with which it is so unhappily and so deeply infected. From the obstinate inveteracy with which the Evangelical party regard Ecclesiastical discipline, it is clear that the latter of the remedies proposed would only tend to increase their violence and rancour; and after the hue and cry which has been raised against the celebrated Eighty-sevenQuestions, nothing but the united determination of all, mutually to adopt the former, which in the present constitution of the Bench is more to be wished than expected, would induce any individual Bishop to enter the lists alone. Still the case is not hopeless; but we think the remedy
is to be found with the beneficed Clergy, rather than with the Bishops. Let them be careful to whom they give titles for ordination, and insist upon a clear and candid assurance that the persons whom they are instrumental in bringing into the priesthood, are well attached to the discipline and doctrines of the Church. With respect to those who are already in orders, let them strenuously refuse the use of their pulpits to any of the party. In the Metropolis, more especially, these worthies are ever on the alert to preach Charity Sermons, into which they take most especial care to infuse a fair proportion of false doctrine, heresy, and schism. Again we say, let the Clergy stand to their posts; and, through evil report and good report, maintain the truly Evangelical doctrines of the Church of England.
A Catechism of the Christian Religion; being a Translation of " Catechismus Heidelbergensis,"withScripture Proofs at length. By a Graduate of the University of Oxford. Oxford: Vincent. 1828. 12mo. pp. 122.
THE Palatinate or Heidelberg Catechism was first published in 1563, and, after receiving the sanction of the national synod at Dort, in 1618, was very generally adopted in the Continental Churches. It was rejected, however, by the English divines, who would not subscribe to the doctrine implied, though not directly asserted, in one of its articles, that Christ's descent into Hell, mentioned in the Apostles' Creed, signifies that he suffered the torments of Hell upon the cross. With this single exception, the Catechism can give offence to none; being a clear, concise, and comprehensive explanation of the principles of Christian faith and practice. It is inserted in the original Latin in the Sylloge Confessionum Fidei, published by the University of Oxford; and we hope that the present translation, which is well executed, will obtain for it a more extended notice than it has hitherto enjoyed. The Scripture proofs, which are subjoined to the text, are for the most part well selected, and satis
factory vouchers for the doctrines inculcated and explained.
A Vindication of the Church of England from the imputation of Inconsistency and Uncharitableness in retaining the Athanasian Creed in her Liturgy. By the Rev. W. T. MYERS, A. M. Curate of Eltham, Kent. London. Rivingtons. 1828. 12mo. pp. 122.
In the last Session of Parliament a charge of inconsistency was brought against the Protestant Church of England for retaining the Athanasian Creed, which was represented to be "as palpable an instance of exclusive hierarchy, as any that can be objected to the Roman Catholic religion." Against this assertion, and the repeated objections against the uncharitableness, which is supposed to reside in the damnatory clauses of this Creed, this little work is directed. The author, by an induction of Scripture proofs, and passages from the Liturgy and Articles of the Church, satisfactorily proves that the same doctrines which are contained in the Creed are inculcated throughout the Prayer Book, upon the most decisive Scripture authority, and consequently that there is no more inconsistency in retaining one than the other.
And if the Bible asserts in the most unequivocal terms the condemnation of the unbeliever, there surely can be no uncharitableness in urging the declaration upon Christians, in a public profession of faith. We think the work will be a useful compendium to those, who entertain conscientious scruples against this part of our public
The Principles of Union in the Church
of England, considered in a Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of London, at a Visitation, held May 12, 1828. By the Venerable J. H. POTT, M. A. Archdeacon of London, &c. London: Rivingtons. 1828. 8vo. pp. 31.
In this Charge, the principles of union are considered as they regard, (1) the Church, properly so called, and the relation which its members have with Christ, as its head, and with one another: (2) the congregation, or
collective number in each district of its visible communion, united with the whole body of Christians in doctrines, discipline, and worship, but separated
in so far as all cannot assemble in one place; and (3) the sacred edifices, set apart and consecrated for the purpose of divine worship. Under each of these heads there is abundant matter for reflection; but so condensed and closely argued, as to prevent the possibility of analysis. The remarks upon Churches, i. e. upon buildings raised for divine service, would form an excellent foundation for a larger work, on a subject of considerable interest. Upon the whole, we consider this Charge as one of the most important which the excellent Archdeacon has delivered.
Scripture Lessons; selected from the prophetical Books of the Old Testament, with explanatory Notes, and the Passages from the New Testament which shew the Fulfilment of the Prophecies relating to our blessed Saviour. For the use of Schools and Families. By F. D. LEMPRIERE, M. A. Rector of Newton St. Petrock, Devon. London: Cadell. 1828.
THIS little work is a useful companion to Mrs. Trimmer's Abridgement of the Scriptures. It contains a judicious selection from the prophetical books, with short notes explanatory of the principal difficulties, and a citation of those passages from the New Testament, which declare the fulfilment of any particular prediction in the We think that person of our Saviour.
considerable advantage will be derived to the youthful reader from an early acquaintance, by means of a compen dium like the one before us, of the principal prophecies upon which the evidence of our holy faith so materially depends. The addition of dates to the several lessons is well advised, as marking distinctly the interval between the delivery of prophecy and its completion.
The Danger of Ministerial Delinquency: a Sermon preached in the Parish Church of Oundle, May 12, 1828, at the Visitation of the Venerable Wm.