« السابقةمتابعة »
A PRACTICAL EXPOSITION OF THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS: in twelve Discourses, delivered at Cambridge in the year 1801 and 1802. To which are added, several Sermons on various subjects. By the late Rev. ROBERT HALL, A.M., From short-hand Notes by JOHN GREENE, Author of "Reminiscences of the late Robert Hall. London: Hamilton and Co. 1843.
THE special interest of this volume is that of the only expository relic of this most remarkable preacher. So far as we can judge from a single specimen, at an early period of his orthodox ministry, we should conceive that he was likely to excel in this mode of instruction. The consecutive connection of the several parts of the Apostle's reasoning is well maintained. The primary points of the Epistle are illustrated with clearness and emphasis: and if some of the great doctrines are not so fully worked out as they were in his later ministrations, the distinct traces of their existence in the author's mind are plainly visible. Upon the whole we cannot but think, that the expository exercise would have been peculiarly valuable to Mr. Hall. It would probably have kept his flowing energies more closely in the track of scriptural thinking; instead of making holy writ-as he too often did in his textual preaching-the mere occasion of bringing out his own mind upon the subject before him. Mr. Hall's excellence obviously consisted more in opening his subject than his text. In his public sermons especially, he was usually content with selecting a text more or less directly bearing upon his argument, instead of digging for the sacred ore, and enriching both himself and his people with the "hidden treasure," as the fruit of his "search." Hence, though his views and statements were in general harmony with Scripture, yet they sometimes partook more of the intellectual character of his own mind, than of the pure simplicity and unctional tone of the word of God. We could have wished that his matured ministry had been more fully moulded into this system. But though his accurate judgment could not fail duly to appre ciate its value it appears from the editor's account, that a want of sympathy in his congregation with this mode of preaching, discouraged him from pursuing it to any extent. None of the sermons appended to the exposition are without striking thought. Some as for example that "On the government of God," are rich in thoughtful matter. Most of them, however, show the great difficulty of taking down the ideas of so rapid a thinker and speaker as Hall, so as to convey any tolerable representation of the living ministry.
SERMONS preached at Park Chapel, Chelsea. By the Rev. JOHN C. MILLER, M. A. Lincoln College, Oxford; Minister of Park Chapel; formerly Curate of Bexley, Kent. London: Hatchards.
Ir is delightful to rest awhile on the field of controversy, and to turn to this truly refreshing volume of Christian edification; the production of a minister who has studied wisely, according to Mr. Cecil's suggestion, the combination of Luther's rule with St. Paul, "Bene orasse est bene studuisse-Meditate on these things." Here is no sentimentalism, no affectation of learning, no loose and barren generality; but much spiritual instruction for the child of God-probing application for the doubtful professorsolemn and awakening considerations for the thoughtless sinner. Perhaps the sermon on "The Tempter's siftings, and the Saviour's Prayer," might be singled out as one of the most interesting; and that on "The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit," as remarkably valuable for practical detail closely applied. That on "Jeroboam the son of Nebat," has also a character of its own, fitted for much usefulness. We can quite understand the influence of such a ministry in strengthening the precious endearment of the pastoral bond; while we feel grateful to the author for extending this kindly influence beyond the limits of his own sphere, into the wider field of the Church of God.
POETICAL REMAINS OF LUCRETIA DAVIDSON, Collected and arranged by her Mother, with a Biography by Miss Sedgwick. London: Tilt. 12mo. 1843.
THIS little volume contains much genuine poetry ;—some of the shorter poems, as "The Wide World is Drear," "Morning," "The Feats of Death," and "Verses addressed to her Mother," are very beautiful, while even the unfinished pieces have a mournful interest as reminding the reader of the early death of the authoress. A memoir is prefixed to the poems, in which the young poetess (she was only seventeen when she died) excites our interest as a dutiful child, an affectionate sister, and a simple warm-hearted girl. The biographer would have evinced more sympathy with one, whose retiring modesty shrunk from the gaze of admiration,
had she left the simple tale of her virtues to speak for itself to the reader's heart, and avoided that wearisome style of eulogy which almost stifles the admiration, that would otherwise so willingly flow forth. One extract will suffice to show the painful strain of creature-exaltation, which mixes with an acknowledgment of the Saviour's merits. "When sensible, at length, of her approaching dissolution, she looked forward to it without alarm, not alone in that peaceful state of mind, which is the proper reward of inno cence, but in reliance on the divine promises, and in hope of salvation through the merits of our Lord and Saviour." When we are told "that she found less in the Protestant than in the Catholic churches to awaken those romantic and poetic associations created by the record of events in the history of antiquity, &c., less to accord with the fictions of her high-wrought imaginations," we cannot but feel there is a danger of putting poetical sentiment (not less dangerous because it is of a religious cast) in the place of truth. The poetry of truth is of so much loftier a stamp, that it is far less easily attained by beings bound down with so many chains of sin and weakness. Notwithstanding these defects, few will rise from this book without an almost affectionate interest in Lucretia Davidson. Heartily do we sympathize in the encouraging thought which closes her memoir,-It is a joy to think that early death does not blight the plants in God's vineyard, but only removes them to a climate where the fair promise of fruit shall be more fully realized.
We give one of the poems as a specimen; it is on the character of Byron
"His faults were great, his virtues less,
"His was a harp of heavenly sound,
The numbers wild, and bold, and clear,
"His was a mind of giant mould,
Which grasped at all beneath the skies;
That virtue in its recess dies."
THE PARENT'S HIGH COMMISSION. 18mo. London: Hatchards. 1843.
THERE are many useful thoughts in this volume, but a great want of simplicity. The spirit and principles of the writer are good, but we should have much preferred a more simple and scriptural mode of dealing with the subject; yet with this reservation the work is really valuable. We quote the following striking and weighty truth on parental responsibility :—
"Who shall say at what point in the stream of time the personal character of any individual now on earth shall cease to influence? A sentiment, a habit of feeling once communicated to another mind is gone; it is beyond recal; it bore the stamp of virtue; it is blessing man, and owned by heaven : its character was evil; vain the remorse that would revoke it, vain the gnawing anxiety that would compute its mischief; its immediate, and to us visible, effect may soon be spent, its remote one who shall calculate?
"The oak which waves in our forest to-day, owes its form, its species, and its tint to the acorn which dropped from its remote ancestor, under whose shade Druids worshipped. Human life extends beyond the threescore years and ten which bound its visible existence here.' The spirit is removed into another region, the body is crumbling into dust, the very name is forgotten upon earth; but living and working still, is the influence generated by the moral features of him who has so long since passed away.
"The characters of the dead are inwrought into those of the living; the generation below the sod formed that which now dwells and acts upon the earth, the existing generation is moulding that which shall succeed it, and distant posterity shall inherit the characteristics which we infuse into our children to-day.'
A BELIEVER'S MANUAL, containing the points of a Christian's Experience, from the period of his conversion to his arrival in Glory. By the Rev. JAMES MARRYAT. 16mo. London: Seeleys. 1843.
THIS book corresponds to its title, and will we doubt not be useful to many. It commences with the trials and encouragements of the young Christian, and goes through his varied experience till it sets him before us as crowned with immortality. It is spiritual and evangelical, and, though not remarkable for depth or fulness of truth, it is truly scriptural, and we have pleasure in recommending it to our readers.
A PLEA FOR CHRISTIAN PEACE AND UNITY, AND AGAINST THE PREVAILING SPIRIT OF CONTROVERSY. 12mo. 1843.
A VERY worthy object, but very inadequately executed. divisions of the Churches of Christ will not be healed by the remedies here set forth. There are many quotations from learned writings, more or less apposite, but attempts to bring irreconcileable opinions into union, without a full acquaintance with the extent of the disease, can only fail. The real conversion of the heart to God, and the divine change wrought by the Spirit of God in a true believer, can never be so reconciled with mere formal religion, as to bring them into true and lasting union. What union can there be between light and darkness? That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit, and without this vital change, all attempts to bring men into the deep and full union of the gospel, will be found to be vain. We must indeed follow both peace and holiness. Yet we need not be surprised if, the more closely we walk with Christ, the more we meet with opposition from mere professors of religion. Our Divine Master has led us to expect this; only let our love to all men never fail: when most hostile to us, may we be most full of real love to them.
THREE QUESTIONS: WHAT AM I? WHENCE CAME I? WHITHER DO I GO? Macmillan. 12mo. 1843.
THIS is a little work well adapted to answer the doubts of a sceptical mind, and to lead such minds gradually on to receive and welcome the great truths of revelation. The evidences are stated in a clear and convincing manner; and especially the great fact of the resurrection of our Lord, is made a solid foundation for the truth of Christianity. The questions which give the title to the work are briefly answered in the last chapter. "Who am I? An immortal being. Within you, you carry the mysterious seeds of a future existence.-Whence came I? From the hands of a pure, holy, and gracious God, who from the moment of thy birth has poured upon thee an ever-increasing stream of bounties.Whither do I go? To the judgment-seat of Christ, there to account for thy thoughts, thy words, thy actions, and for every talent thou possessest, whether natural or acquired." We cheerfully recommend this work, and trust that the excellent design of the author may be answered, in leading many to living faith in Christ.