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AN EXPOSITION OF VARIOUS PASSAGES OF HOLY SCRIPTURE, adapted to the use of Families, for every day throughout the Year. By the Rev. JOHN WILLIAM SMYTH, D.D. 3 vols. 8vo. London: Hatchards.
THE plan of a text for each day, with a practical and devotional exposition, has long been found profitable and edifying in Christian families. Bogatzsky, Mason, Jay, and many others, have thus, from day to day, instructed and nourished the servants of Christ. Mr. Smyth dedicates the volumes to the Duchess of Kent. He states, in his address, that "this plain and simple exposition was written with a design to promote the study of the Holy Scriptures. No particular system has been adopted, but texts have been indiscriminately taken and expounded so far as to lead the reader himself to refer to the word of God."
The expositions are generally simple, practical and evangelical. There is a want, however, of depth and fulness, and an occasional want of clearness. We regret to see that the author belongs to the school which makes baptism and regeneration inseparable. He explicitly states this on a text which we should bring to prove exactly the reverse of his statement, (Gal. vi. 15.)
Regeneration can take place but once in a man's life, and that is at baptism. Man may fall continually after baptism, and be as often renewed, but he cannot be regenerated a second time. The very term conveys a contradiction to the idea, regeneration is the act of being born again from sin into grace. Can a child that is born enter its mother's womb and be born again? Certainly not. Then as difficult is it for a man to be regenerated after he has been baptised."
We do not comprehend the strength of this reasoning. To be regenerated in the same sense twice is indeed impracticable, but regeneration in the two places in which the word occurs, is a term used in two senses in the Holy Scriptures, (Matt. xix. 28, and Titus iii. 5.) and the word circumcision, in the text Mr. Smyth was explaining, applies, as does regeneration and its parallel terms -being born again and new creation-both to covenant privileges and a real inward change. (See Rom. ii. 28, 29.) Such partial views then of truth as those given here by Mr. Smyth occasion great confusion. But what is far worse, they tend to merge the power of the godliness in the form, and to sink a vital doctrine of Christianity in the outward ordinance which was especially intended to exhibit it strongly and distinctly as an all-essential and most important divine change, to be inwardly wrought before any one can enter the kingdom of heaven.
We the more regret this leaven, as it is the prevailing error of the day, and we see it more and more mingling with works, like the present, which contain much practical and devotional instruction. We fear that nothing but the fiery trial, of which St. Peter speaks, (1 Pet. i. 7) will purify us from the dross which mingles so much with our modern divinity.
TWELVE SERMONS preached in St. Mary's Episcopal Chapel, Glasgow. By the Rev. ISAAC HITCHEN. 8vo. 1843.
THE author states that he selected those sermons which appeared to him to have been most blessed in comforting, instructing, and rousing his congregation. Together with a wish to give them a written testimony of his ministry, was combined a hope that the publication might be blessed to their spiritual welfare. There is much valuable evangelical truth in them, and much earnestness and devotion. The Sermon on "Christ crucified, the centre of all Christian instruction," was preached at an ordination at Glasgow, and is full of that blessed truth. We quote a sentence or two to show the preacher's style :
"How does Christ crucified bring us to the Father? Oh! it is a tale of mysterious love, and if but listened to must bring the hardest heart before the throne of grace in anxious gratitude. There will be bounding joy, for it speaks of immeasurable mercy. There will be confiding trust, for when he hath given us his Son, will he not with him freely give us all things? There will be sorrow deep enough to keep us humble, for it speaks of the deep dye of our sinfulness; but there will not be sorrow deep enough to make us despond; for it speaks of a sacrifice too costly not to purchase souls. Man will go on still grovelling in worldliness and abominable lusts; he will sleep the spiritual sluggard's sleep; he will work the works of darkness and of death, unless he can see a crucified Lord. It is the blood of a dying Saviour, as seen freshly and freely flowing, that as it were disenchants the mind; it speaks of wrath to come, if grace be neglected; but it speaks more powerfully still of mercy that rejoices over judgment."
The Very Rev. HENRY PAKENHAM, to the Deanery of St. Patrick, Dublin.
Eye, P.C. Northampton
Bp. of Peterborough
Turkdean, v. Glouc.
Ch. Ch. Oxford.
Harringworth, v. North.
Blissard, Rev. John
Hampstead Norris, v.
M. of Downshire.
Bromby, Rev. C. H.
St. Paul's, c. Cheltenham
Incumb. of Chelt.
Brooking, Rev. Nich.
Ipplepen, v. Devon.
St. Mary's, P.C. Padding.
Postwick, R. Norfolk
St. Peter's, P.C. Hanley Castle, Worc.
St. Mary's, P.C. Wolverhampton
Newport, v. Monm. with Bettws, c.
D. & C. of Windsor. Inhabitants.
Morval, v. Cornwall
Gayton, P.C. Staffordsh.
J. C. Brown, Esq.
Hildyard, Rev. James
One of her Majesty's
Hill, Rev. J. O. Hughes, Rev. James
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Llanrhyddlad, R. Angle.
628 Bishop of Bangor.
with Llanylewin, c.
and Llanrhwydrus, c.
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Bishop of Lincoln. Bishop of Exeter.
J. L. Jackson.