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the most virtuous intentions, cannot fave us from diftrefs ; and, from feeing that these cannot enfure fuccefs, we may neglect to deferve it: in another view, misfortunes lofe their effect by their being continually prefented to the mind, without a livid ray to break through the cloud, without a pleafing profpect, or a fhort enjoyment to contraft them. We think our author has been too uniformly gloomy: the mind finks under continued diftrefs in real life; it efcapes from imaginary misfortunes; and the attention fails, when there is no respite for the wounded feelings. The great, though not the only fource from which pleafure is derived, in confequence of the representation of diftreffing fcenes, is the emotion, or rather the employment of the mind, on fubjects which intereft it. When this employment is too long continued, fatigue rather than gratification is the confequence. Perhaps mifs Lee might have attained a greater proportion of fame, if the had attended to this circumftance; yet her other merits are fo confiderable, that we have no reafon to fear the reputation of her work will be greatly leffened by it.
The language is not like that of the age of Elizabeth it is in fome inftances incorrect, and occafionally obfcure; yet her defcriptions are clear, animated, and vivid; the inci-" dents varied and numerous; the different adventures related with spirit and precifion: and the reflections just, pertinent, and moral..
Eight Sermons on the Prophecies refpecting the Destruction of Ferufalem, preached before the University of Oxford, in the Year 1785. At the Lecture founded by the late Rev. John Bampton, M. A. Canon of Salisbury. By Ralph Churton, M. A. Fellow of Brafen Nofe College. 800. 45. White.
SHOULD the reader, in thefe Sermons, expect that grace,
fplendour, and animation of ftyle, which fo highly distinguifhed the late difcourfes of Mr. Profeffor White, at this Lecture, he will probably be disappointed; not but that Mr. Churton's language is fometimes very fpirited, often interefting, and generally not ill fuited to the nature of the fubject
Sermon I. on Matt. vi. 10. Thy Kingdom come,-in which the author difplays learning and critical skill, has a little too much of the stiff air of a differtation for the pulpit. The author is of opinion, that this verfe of St. Matt. xvi. 28. Ve-. rily I Jay unto you, there be fome standing here which shall not taste of Death till they fee the Son of Man coming in his King
dom-refers to our Saviour's transfiguration. He allows, that the best of our commentators do not refer it to that event; but infifts that Origen, Chryfoftom, and the rest of the fathers, unanimously apply it fo; and feconds their opinion with fome plaufible reafoning.
The author, on Matt. xxvi. 29. I will not drink henceforth of this Fruit of the Vine until that Day when I shall drink it with you in my Father's Kingdom-does not admit the more common interpretations of this paffage; but thinks that, without any figure, it may be understood of the time between our Lord's refurrection and afcenfion; during which, we know, to prove beyond difpute the verity of his body, he condefcended both to eat and drink with his difciples.—Our limits will not allow us to enter into the arguments on which this opinion is founded.
Serm. II. is on Matt. xxiv. 14. This Gofpel of the Kingdom fhall be preached in all the World, for a Witness unto all Nations, and then fball the End come. From this text we learn, according to our author, one of the figns which our Saviour gave to his difciples, whereby it might be known, that the defolation of the Temple, and the overthrow of the Jewish ftate, were nigh at hand.
Serm. III. Matt. xxiv. 4, 5. Take Heed that no Man deceive you. For many fhall come in my Name, faying, I am Chrift; and fhall deceive many. Here Mr. Churton difcovers another mark of the time of the approaching vengeance, mentioned in the foregoing difcourfe. The diftinctions our author fixes betwixt true and falfe prophets, and true and falfe workers of miracles, are ingenious, and evince confiderable ability.
Serm. IV. Matt. xxiv. 8. All these are the beginning of Sorrows. The figns of wrath, and the commencement of trouble, are, in this Sermon, illuftrated in an interefting and convincing manner, from Jofephus's Wars of the Jews.
Serm. V. Luke xxi. 20, 21. When ye shall fee Jerufalem compaffed with Armies, then know, that the Defolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the Mountains. The accomplishment of Chrift's prophecy fhews the probable meaning of the abomination of deflation, to be the Roman ftandards, in the army of Caius Cæftius appearing on the feaft of tabernacles, in the year 66, at Jerufalem; and that, by the holy place, was meant no more than the city in general, This point being treated at large, the author concludes the difcourfe with the providential delivery of the Chriftians, who at that time flew from Jerufalem to Pella, in confequence of the injunction given them in the text to depart.
Serm, VI. Luke xix, 41, 42, 43, 44. And when he was come near, he beheld the city and wept over it, &c.—on the miseries of the fiege, and the final diffolution of the city and the temple. This difcourfe is chiefy historical, and abounds with affecting circumftances, well described.
Serm. VII. Rom. xi. 25, 26. I would not that ye should be ignorant (left ye should be wife in your own Conceits) that Blindness in Part is happened to Ifrael, until the Fulness, of the Gentiles be come in. And fo all Ifrael fhall be faved. Many relative
of the evidences from the Old and Newell any
to the final converfion of the Jews, are here flightly touched upon, but in a way that gives fatisfaction. This Sermon completes the plan of the author's courfe of lectures.
Serm. VIII John kiv. 29. I huve told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass ye might believe. This laft difcourfe is little more than a recapitulation of the principal points of argument in the foregoing Sermons in which fummary view these points are forcibly fketched. zava bojauh
We fhall conclude this article with the following fhort but fpirited reflection towards the end of this last difcourfe.
Had thefe prophecies been forged, had they been pro duced yesterday, and accommodated to the circumstances of all paft ages, the face of things to-day might bely the predictions, and expofe the impoftorf.det this fingular people he no longer different from other people let them adopt the: religions, and become members of the ftates of the various countries, whether Chritian, Mahometan, or Pagan, wherein they refide; melt them down in the mass of mankind, and: let them not be diftinguishable from other men; or, if you choofe, feparate thein from the midst of other nations, tranfplant them into fome unoccupied region, colonize with them fome uninhabited iftand, and let them there obferve their re-, ligion and their laws: Oneither fuppofition (and either is poffible, if the holy fcriptures are not true) you demonftrate thofe predictions to be forgeries, which declare that their infidelity and difperfion fhall be of equal duration; that they fall continue diftinét, not till they fwerve to idolatry, or fink into Mahometifm, but till they look upon Him whom they pierceds Days and years rollion, and fweep away in their courfe the operations of men, and the dreams of error; but truth is a pillar of adamant, immoveable as the poles of heaven. Seventeen centuries have paffed over the fons of difperfion, and feen them the objects of constant wretchedness; nor would seventeen thonfand, fee them extinct, or their fituation altered, fhould they not in the mean time embrace the gospel.
The truth then of the fcriptures of the New Teftament, the prophecies whereof have been fulfilled, and are daily fulfilling, being as certain as that God is true; there are two inferences from the whole of the argument, which claim our attention.'
For thefe inferences we must refer our readers to the volume itself, which has undoubted merit.ündi ar
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203 do mula 302 20
Sermons on various Subjects; with an Account of the Principles of Proteftant Diffenters, their Mode of Worship, and Forms of Public Prayer, Baptifm, and the Lord's By H. Kirkpatrick. 8vo. 55. in Boards. Johnfon. IN N an introduction of fifty-fix pages, this author has given a clear and fufficient account of the principles of the Prefbyterians, and particularly of thofe which distinguish them from the established church. We do not often find a sketch on any fubject conveying more information in fo narrow a compass. The grand characteristic feature of this fect of nonconformists will be very intelligibly prefented to our readers by the paragraphs following And anasad noul labbedgang sela bat
By the word diffenter, in general, is meant, every one who does not conform to the established religion of this coun try, except Roman catholics But I mean not to take in every defcription of men of this fort; there are many I am much a ftranger to, and others, perhaps, of whom I am totally ignorant. By the word diffenter, I would therefore be understood to mean the perfons commonly called Prefbyterians.
JO Thefe differ not from the church in any point of doctrinal faith, more than its own members differ one-from another. There are many non-conformists, who believe all the articles as expreffed in the book of Common Prayer, except thofe relating to church power and governmentas
21 bow arį.
Praying without a printed, or compofed form of prayer, is not a distinguishing difference betwixt a churchman and a diffenter. Some of the latter, prefer compofed forms to those delivered from memory, or which are commonly called extempore. Nor are the vestments, and forms made ufe of, as ftanding and kneeling, material objections to the established church, with the perions I am defcribinganotta19
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The grand diftinguishing difference betwixt a churchman and a Prefbyterian is this ; the latter claims a fole right of judging for himself, in matters of religion, he acknowledges Jefus Christ as the fole head of the church; and afferts that no man, or body of men upon earth, have any right to pre
fcribe forms of worship, or articles of faith, for his obferv ance and belief: that this is contrary to the fpirit of the Chriftian religion, and to the unalienable rights of conscience, and tends to deftroy genuine piety, and rational devotion.
A diffenter is therefore no more than fimply this: viz. a Christian and a Proteftant, without any one point of doctrinal faith peculiar to him as fuch, claiming to himself a right of private judgment, and the interpretation of those scriptures, which contain the Chriftian religion; and denying the autho rity of the civil magiftrate in these matters, over the judgment and confciences of men. On the contrary, members of the establishment entirely give up this principle, and profess it to be their duty to receive thofe articles of faith, and attend that mode of public worship, which has been formed by others, and prescribed by law, though they may differ from their own private creed or they allow (Article XX.) " that the church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies, and authority in controverfies of faith, &c." A diffent from this article I confider as the grand and diftinguishing difference betwixt non-conformists and the members of the established church.'
Mr. Kirkpatrick then dispatches, in a few words, the method of conducting public worship among thefe diffenters.The remaining part of the introductory difcourfe is employed principally in noticing the difference of opinion, which fubfifts between the diffenters and the church of England, relative to baptifm, confirmation, the Lord's Supper, and the burial of the dead. The friends of the author's fect will probably give him credit for the acuteness of his obfervations, and fuch as think differently, will hardly accufe him of wanting temper, or indeed moderation.
The volume contains eight Sermons. The first discourse treats of the Neceffity of a confiant and steady Regard to the Precepts of Religion and Morality. Mr. Kirkpatrick infits, with ingenuity and fome force of argument, that, in the estimation of human actions before God, the greatest regard will probably be had to the habitual conduct and disposition of the mind in the latter part of life, in cafe there shall have happened, at its different periods, a great change in our moral demeanor. The Sermon on the Sufferings and Death of Jefus Chrift abounds with pious and edifying reflections. The third, on our Saviour's Temptation in the Wilderness, considers this reprefentation as a vifion. This method removes feveral difficalties, but, in our opinion, not all. The difcourfe is, how