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Strong, D. D. Archdeacon of Northampton. By the Rev. HENRY ROLLS, M.A. of Balliol College, Oxford, Rector of Aldwincle All Saints. London: Rivingtons. 1828. pp. 20.
Luke ix. 62.-"No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
THE more immediate subject of this Discourse is introduced by some reflections upon the duties of the ministerial office, as suggested by the replies of Christ to three new disciples, as recorded in the verses preceding the text.
In the case of the first of these candidates, we cannot but see how tenderly our Lord points out the necessity of caution and deliberation on entering upon an office of so much difficulty and responsibility as that of a minister of the Gospel.
In the case of the second, we are reminded of the indispensable obligations we are under, as ministers of Christ, of withdrawing our heart and affections from the secular affairs of life, and of yielding ourselves, not in part only, but wholly and unreservedly, to the special duties of our calling.
And the remarkable answer given by our Lord to the proposal of the third candidate, in the words of my text, is eminently calculated to impress upon our minds the guilt and danger of "looking back," or in any degree departing from the full measure of duty incumbent on the Christian minister.
It is this last reply which gives rise to the preacher's remarks upon the danger of ministerial delinquency; the various gradations of which are classed under the heads of apostacy, wavering unsteady principles, over-confidence and self-sufficiency, supineness and irresolution. In conclusion, a salutary caution is added, arising out of the peculiar" signs of the times."
The reciprocal Duties of a Christian Minister and his People. A Farewell Sermon, preached in the Parish Church, of St. Anne Limehouse, on Sunday Morning, May 11, 1828. By JAMES RUDGE, D. D. F. R. S. &c. London: Rivingtons. 1828.
ALTHOUGH the more immediate occasion of this Sermon is of a local nature, the Sermon itself is of more than local importance. From Rom. x. 1, the respective duties of minister
and people are set forth in a true and interesting light, and the particular circumstance which led to its delivery is made the foundation of an impressive appeal, in furtherance of the object which the preacher wished to promote. Dr. Rudge has left a lasting memorial among his late parishioners, of the ardour and earnestness with which he discharged his duty among them; and a powerful encouragement to them, in attending with diligence and sincerity to the ministerial labours of his suc
The Origin and Character of the Priestly Office: a Sermon preached at the Visitation, held at West Malling, 16th April, 1828, by the Very Rev. Walter King, Archdeacon of Rochester. By the Rev. THOMAS BOWDLER, Rector of Addington, Kent. London: Rivingtons. 1828. THOSE of the Clergy who are appointed to preach at Visitations, are usually men of more than ordinary endowments, and their Sermons, though turning for the most part upon the same or similar topics, are in general sound and able inquiries into the nature and duties of the ministerial office. But whatever merit may be due to Visitation Sermons generally, the one before us is far above the ordinary cast. After tracing the origin of the Christian Priesthood to the Son of God himself, who was ordained a chisedec, and still exercises his office priest for ever after the order of Melat the right of hand of God; and, having proved its regular descent from him, through his Apostles and successors, to the ministers of the Gospel at the present day, the author ob
Thus, then, we arrive at the proof of that assertion which was made at the opening of this discourse, that the Christian priesthood is the ordinance of the Most High in a sense peculiarly its own; not as an institution made for the good of man, and sanctioned by God; not as a relation between different persons originally fixed and ordained by Him; but as it derives its existence from the Son of God himself, and executes, however feebly and unworthily, that office for which He came into the world. Every minister in the church is the successor of Christ, or he is without
authority. In himself he is nothing: a feeble mortal-bending under a sense of his unworthiness-shrinking even from the meanest office in the house of God. But acting in his Master's name, and by authority delegated from Him, he takes his station, whatever it be, with an humble confidence which the highest personal endowments can never inspire; for he remembers the oath by which Christ was made a priest for ever; he has continually sounding in his ears, "My grace is sufficient for thee;" and he relies upon that promise which cannot be too often repeated, "Lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
Mr. Bowdler then proceeds to shew that as the origin of the priesthood is divine, so its character is spiritual; and, consequently, that although any earthly distinction which the servants of Christ may attain, is accidental, and may be taken away by the state which confers it," that which the Spirit hath stamped upon them no human hand can erase." Some important considerations are then offered in connexion with this view of the subject; and the Discourse concludes with an energetic exhortation to a faithful discharge of the ministerial office.
Sermons preached before a Village Congregation. By the Rev. J. JowETT, M.A. Rector of Silk Willoughby, and domestic Chaplain to Lord Barham. Seeley & Sons. pp. 360.
THESE Sermons are composed in accordance with the opinion maintained by Bishop Horsley, and supported by Bishop Heber
That a theological argument, clearly stated, in terms derived from the ancient English language exclusively, will generally be both intelligible and interesting to the lower classes. They do not want acuteness, or the power of attending; it is their vocabulary only which is confined: and, if we address them in such words as they understand, we may tell them what truths we please, and reason with them as subtilely as we can. Preface p. viii.
The model which the author has thus chosen, he has kept in sight throughout; and there is much good writing in his Sermons, which raise them above the ordinary class of village discourses. At the same time, we do not feel quite satisfied with them in a doctrinal point of view.
of them the doctrine of non-baptismal regeneration is plainly assert. ed; and we detect throughout a leaning to Calvinism, to which the author continually approaches, but with an apparent dread of representing its peculiar tenets in unequivocal terms. This apparent indecision is excessively irksome to the reader, and certainly not profitable to the hearer; for, while there is nothing which we can positively condemn, there is a degree of doubt, as to the real sentiments of the writer, which renders assent to his conclusions, to say the least, unwilling and imperfect.
WORKS JUST PUBLISHED.
Twelve Lectures on the Acts of the Apostles, delivered on the Wednesdays during Lent, in the Years 1827, 1828. To which is added a New Edition of Five Lectures on the Gospel of St. John, as bearing Testimony to the Divinity of Jesus Christ. By C. J. Blomfield, D. D. Bishop of Chester, and Rector of St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate. 10s. 6d.
The Testimony of Primitive Antiquity against the Peculiarities of the Latin Church being a Supplement to the Difficulties of Romanism; in Reply to an Answer by the Bishop of Strasbourg (late of Aire). By Geo. Stanley Faber, B. D. 8vo. Os.
A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Salisbury at the Primary Visitation in August, 1826. With an Appendix. By the Lord Bishop. 8vo. 5s.
An Inquiry into the Means and Expedience of making any Changes in the Canons, Articles, or Liturgy, or in the Laws affecting the Church of England. By W. W. Hull, Esq. Svo. 78.
A Literal Translation of St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, with Explanatory Notes. By the late Rev. G. V. Sampson, M. A. Edited by his Son, the Rev. G. V. Sampson. 8vo. 7s. 6d.
The Sacred Calendar of Prophecy; or, a Dissertation on the Prophecies which treat of the grand Period of Seven Times; and especially of its second Moiety, or the latter Three Times and a Half. By Geo. Stanley Faber, B. D. 3 vols. 8vo. 1. 16.
The Works of the English and Scottish Reformers. Edited by Thomas Russell, A. M. Vol. II. 8vo. 10s. 6.1.
The Danger of Resting in Inadequate Views of Christianity. Addressed particularly to Christian Parents. By Patrick Falconer, Esq. 12mo. 6s. bds.
1.-Statement by the Council of the University of London, explanatory of the nature and objects of the Institution. London: Longman and Co. 1827.-Pp. 20. 2.-A Letter to the Right Hon. Robert Peel, on the subject of the London University. By CHRISTIANUS. London: Murray. 1828.-Pp. 39.
3.-Thoughts on the London University. By the Rev. HENRY NEWLAND, A. M. Dublin: Milliken and Son. 1828.-Pp. 40.
4.-A Letter to John Hughes, Esq. M. A. Oriel College, Oxford, one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace in the County of Berks, on the Systems of Education proposed by the popular Parties. By the Rev. JOHN PHILIPS POTTER, M. A. Oriel College, Oxford. London: Hatchard and Son. 1828.-Pp. 63. 5.-A Sermon preached in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, on Thursday, May 8th, 1828, at the Festival of the Sons of the Clergy. By the Rev. PHILIP NICHOLAS SHUTTLEWORTH, D. Ď. Warden of New College, Oxford. London: Rivingtons. 1828.-Pp. 48.
In placing the above list of works at the head of this article, it is not our intention to enter on an elaborate criticism of the merits of any one of them. For this we have neither space nor inclination. Neither is it in our contemplation to adopt the favourite modern expectation of giving a dissertation under colour of a review. But we have headed the following observations with the above titles, because, from the works which bear them, we have assembled some valuable facts and arguments relative to a very important subject; and an analysis of these may be acceptable to such readers as may have neither leisure nor disposition to peruse the entire publications. Besides, it may not be useless to collect into one focus the strong rays of information which they severally lend, and direct their blended light to the examination of a very momentous topic. In order to this, however, we must, in the most cursory manner possible, state the object of each pamphlet.
The first is, in our judgment, by far the most important, because it is an authoritative document put forth deliberately by the governors of the new establishment, called the University of London. Whatever arguments therefore are bottomed upon this, stand not on the assertions of enemies, but on the confession of the parties themselves; and the premises being once admitted, the conclusions in this case appear to us inseparable.
The second and third of these publications, have for the most part a common object: to point out the defects and mischiefs of the new project, and to call on the government to counteract them by the establishment of a college of sound learning, based on religious education, for the advantage of the metropolis.
The last two works touch the subject incidentally only, but powerfully. Mr. Potter's letter is, for the most part, directed against an antagonist very unworthy of him: a silly, prating, anticlassical in the Westminster Review, who objects to Latin and Greek, apparently for the best reasons; viz. that he has, as he most classically expresses himself, been "TUTTWed" in an unsuccessful struggle with conjugations and declensions. But towards the end of his pamphlet Mr. P.
takes a wider range on the subject of the systems of popular education, and very convincingly, though briefly, indicates the dangers inherent in the newly-established University.
Dr. Shuttleworth's Sermon is a somewhat original view of a subject in itself hackneyed, because requiring to be so,-the utility of a clerical establishment. He shews that the Clergy are not, as some would have us imagine, less necessary in cultivated than in ignorant periods. On the contrary, he insists on the dangers of irreligious cultivation, and misdirected talent; and from the consideration of the abstract subject, is naturally led to that of the dangerous form in which the error is embodied in the London University.
These publications, therefore, afford tolerably available materials for a clear understanding of the whole question; and we shall now, without further preamble, proceed to what we think will be no unacceptable duty, an abstract of what we have gleaned from them.
Every person acquainted, however superficially, with the facts connected with the Gower-street Establishment, knows that there is one point in its constitution which must necessarily attract the attention of a Christian Remembrancer: the total and avowed absence of any provision for religious instruction. But as we have entered on the subject, we shall intreat the indulgence of our readers if we defer the consideration of this particular evil, while we take a glance at the system collectively.
Had the new establishment been called "the London United Lecture Rooms," the thing might have been unobjectionable; but it is not easy to see that it could have been very serviceable. For students in the liberal profession can always be accommodated with professional instruction, on the very ground to which their pursuits lead them; and lectures on literature and science may be had in perfection at the British and London Institutions. Even many of the lectures at the medical hospitals are on matters of pure natural philosophy, and they are of the best kind. But to call such an institution an University, is a misnomer calculated to produce the most injurious deceptions, insomuch as it bears no more resemblance to the Universities of this land, than the "Catechism of Astronomy" does to the “Principia," or the "Mécanique Celeste." The College lectures, as they are called at our Universities, are, in fact, as they ought to be, lessons, so termed svpwvias xapiv: nor is it possible to teach a language or a pure science in any other way. But the lectures of the London University are properly lectures: excellent means, unquestionably, of illustration and assistance, but utterly insufficient as foundations. A little Cæsar, Virgil, and Xenophon, is all the classical knowledge that is required for matriculation; and this eminence once attained, the proudest heights of classic literature are to be scaled by simple attendance on the lectures of the professors. Vulgar and decimal fractions are the maximum of mathematical knowledge required from a probationer, and the rest is to be entirely effected by listening to scientific essays! It is true the professors are required to examine their pupils: but here two obstacles necessarily occur. the first place, it is utterly impossible that the pupil should have gleaned from a grammatical, geometrical, or algebraical lecture, any
very definite, disposable, produceable knowledge, where he has no other kind of instruction. And if he is to have a private tutor, who is much more necessary here than even at the Universities, he must remunerate him; and the impudent vaunt of a cheap education is shown to be baseless. But if the pupil cannot produce that knowledge which he cannot possess, what is to be done?- the knowledge is required, but there is no discipline to compel it. Discipline beyond the walls of the establishment the Council themselves disclaim; and though they inform us that it is their intention to adopt some discipline within them, they have not disclosed what that is to be. They have felt the difficulty of legislating without the power of enforcing. They have no degrees to withhold; that powerful and ever ready controul over the contumacious student of our Universities. Their suspensions will be considered vacations, and their rustications-what pleasure does that word convey to a Cockney ear! The subject of their anathema will scarcely treat them with more ceremony than Milton treated Cambridge; and, if he can muster Latin enough, will sympathetically re-echo the poet's valediction:
"Si sit hoc exsilium, patrios adiisse penates,
Et vacuum curis otia grata sequi,
Non ego vel profugi nomen sortemve recuso,
It may be said, they have a certificate, which they may refuse. But to what is this certificate a passport? Will its presence or absence ever have any weight in any profession, or in any society? Will the Church, or the Bar, or Surgeon's Hall ever inquire, or care, whether the candidate for their distinctions has been certified by the London University?
Thus an inefficient means of instruction, and an inefficient means of compelling the use of such instruction, lie at the very heart of this incongruous institution. Its lectures may be good, as lectures, but as lessons (which are the things wanted) they are nugatory, and require the private tutor to make them intelligible. While at our Universities, the private tutor is the auxiliary of the lecturer; here the lecturer is the subservient party. If the youth is to learn any one of the multifarious objects of his studies solidly, he must incur great additional expenses. But the total absence of a salutary discipline completes the mischief of a system of education radically perverse and defective. And the parent who sends his child to these lecture rooms under the impression that they are tantamount to an university in all but expense, is grossly and most lamentably imposed on.
The great point of objection, however, is one of the gravest character. Religion, it is well known, is studiously and distinctly excepted from the studies of the place. The foundation of all mental excellence is totally rejected from an establishment expressly intended for universal mental improvement. "Wisdom unto salvation," is the only wisdom banished. The one thing needful is the one thing proscribed. And the motives of this arrangement are so extraordinary, that justice can only be done them in the language which they have at first assumed.
It is a fundamental principle of the University of London, that it shall be open to persons of all religious denominations; and it was manifestly impossible