صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


MAY 28, 1836.

In our Prospectus we explained briefly the views with which we undertake this publication. But though that Prospectus was very widely circulated, we feel that our readers will expect us to dwell, in this introductory article, at somewhat greater length, on the plan and purpose of our work.

A new era appears to have arrived in periodical literature. Magazines, which were formerly confined to a limited circle, are now adapted to general perusal. And thus information, once to be found only in expensive books, is diffused in so cheap a form as to be accessible to every man. A vast mass of knowledge is hence being continually conveyed to classes which had heretofore been almost entirely neglected. It can hardly be doubted that a great change in the aspect of society will be effected by this means. The prevalence of education produces a greater thirst for knowledge; and the facilities of obtaining knowledge will, by a natural reaction, tend to generate a still greater desire for education. Thus every year will increase the number of readers amongst us, and introduce an increased demand for books, and consequently extend the means of influencing, by the press, a larger body of our population.

Of the cheap periodicals already in existence, some are decidedly mischievous, and most others confine their labours to the supply of mere secular knowledge. We are far from regretting that literature and science are brought to the door of all our countrymen; but we have felt, as Christians, the deficiency of this world's wisdom. We have felt that religious men ought to use the same in

VOL. I. NO. I.


struments which scientific men are using, to carry scriptural truth through the length and breadth of the land. We therefore take the ground hitherto unoccupied, and intend to supply a cheap weekly magazine of a decidedly religious character. We wish to place in the hands of the people of Britain a periodical, within every man's means, which shall steadily maintain the distinguishing doctrines of the Gospel. A wide field lies before If this be left unfilled, if religious knowledge keep not pace with intellectual improvement, we are persuaded that the spread of education will lead to dangerous results. It will prove a curse rather than a blessing. For, as instructed men possess greater power than ignorant men, if they be not taught to use their power rightly, the enemy of souls will teach them to pervert it. Fair as is the fruit which the tree of knowledge offers to



eye, it is yet a tree of the knowledge of good and evil: men must therefore be urged by every moral means to accept the good, and to refuse the evil.

If it be inquired, what are the particular principles we maintain, we reply that we are Protestants. No bitterness against the professors of the Roman Catholic faith shall be permitted in our pages; but we shall, in the most uncompromising manner, contend against popery-the corrupted system which has withheld from the people the word of God, and has substituted for it the traditions of men, and which is now struggling to regain in this land its lost supremacy. We are churchmen. We trust that we are not intolerant; we will not unchristianise the dissenting bodies which have grown up amongst us; but we shall firmly advocate the



doctrines and discipline of our Church-of | telligence, such as may best give a general

idea of the work now carrying on, and may increase our readers' zealous efforts to spread the glories of the Saviour's name.

that Church, which, like a tree, watered with the blood of Latimer, and Ridley, and Cranmer, produces, we verily believe, for those who worship with her, the scriptural fruits which are to be "for the healing of the nations." We venerate the truth as contained in her formularies. The cardinal doctrines of man's corruption, salvation of grace, justification by faith only, regeneration by the power of the Spirit, the necessity of sanctification, we shall continually maintain and illustrate. The principles for which the martyrs bled, and which are to be found in their writings, shall, by God's grace, be ours. We wish to tread in the good old paths. New and strange opinions, as they may arise from time to time, by the subtlety of Satan, and cunning craftiness of men, to disturb the faith, we shall watchfully and steadily resist. We desire thus simply to speak" the truth in love;"ligious works which issue from the press. It thus earnestly to "contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints."

We are naturally anxious to cement the conscientious attachment of our readers to our national Church. We shall therefore frequently insert accounts, historical and biographical, from her annals. We shall exhibit her conformity to the Scripture model; we shall explain her liturgy; we shall quote largely from the works of her earliest fathers. And at the different seasons which, by her ritual, are set apart for the more especial commemoration of the various parts of the mystery of redemption, we shall endeavour to supply appropriate reading. In our monthly Supplement, also, will be found interesting intelligence respecting Church matters.

While we are careful not to launch upon the troubled sea of politics, we shall sedulously watch the occurrence of events which may influence the progress of the Gospel in the world. And our attention will be much directed to the state of religion in Ireland. Our prayers attend our suffering brethren there. We shall endeavour, but not with weapons of worldly warfare, from time to time to strengthen their hands. And as we are anxious that the earth should "be filled with the knowledge of the Lord," we are warm friends to missionary enterprise. In fact, we have always felt a missionary spirit to be an essential part of the spirit of Christianity. It is not a mere luxuriant offset, which it is well to see, but without which religion may flourish in a man's own soul; it is rather so inseparable a feature of personal piety, that we cannot possibly believe that any one loves God to do him service, unless he love his brother also to promote his spiritual welfare. We shall therefore frequently insert extracts from missionary journals, documents, and in

We wish it to be understood, that an essay on some religious topic, and a sermon, will appear in every number of our periodical. To the last we particularly call attention: because we think that this part of our work will be of peculiar value to those who are wholly or partially kept, by some insurmountable obstacle, from attendance on public worship. They will have the privilege of reading the pulpit addresses of many of the most distinguished and devoted clergymen of the day, whose co-operation, in this respect especially, we hope to secure. We trust that in our pages, as well as in the church, God's word will not be permitted to return unto him void. We shall shortly review most of the reis often a matter of difficulty for a parent or instructor to select the volumes he may safely place in children's hands. And, indeed, amid the multiplicity of books, those who have but little time for reading are frequently at a loss in fixing on what may be most profitable to themselves. To such we would persuade ourselves that our labours in this department will not be without their value. We shall endeavour conscientiously to direct their choice. It will be our object to furnish our readers with a really faithful account, and, when practicable, an analysis, of the works we recommend, and to shew why we warn them against those we disapprove.

We have now, we trust, explained in an intelligible manner the principles and plans of our publication. of our publication. We have further only to request from our religious friends that cordial support, which may enable us, by God's blessing, to carry what we purpose into full effect. If it be, indeed, desirable, as we have endeavoured to shew, that scriptural knowledge should be cheaply and widely dif fused, we may not unreasonably call upon our brethren, possessed of influence, to encourage our circulation among their neighbours and dependents. We venture to suggest that, while not unfitted for their own tables, our Magazine may be usefully introduced into the servants' hall, the school, the cottage, the parochial library. We would pervade every order of society.

And if at any time deficiency or error be detected in our labours, let not our readers throw us hastily aside. We ask their patience. We ask their prayers for us, that we may be endued with that wisdom from on high, without which our best endeavours can be of little value. And knowing that the Lord uses very often feeble instruments to accomplish his

[blocks in formation]

"THE various memoirs of the lives of pious ministers

behold in Dr. Ryder the same unceasing devotedness to the cause of the Redeemer-the same uncompromising boldness in advocating the saving truths of the Gospel-the same ardent attachment to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England—and the same holy anxiety for the spiritual and eternal welfare of his brethren. A zealous supporter of all those institutions which have for their objects the glory of God and the amelioration of man, and fre

of religion, which have of late years been published,quently advocating their cause in public in the metrohave been a great blessing to the Church; and the avidity with which such memoirs have been purchased, has shewn us, that in the form of biography, the lessons of religion are peculiarly acceptable to men. God himself, in his holy word, has taught us much through the histories of men of like passions with ourselves, and has recommended that mode of instruction to our use, as being more easy and agreeable to a large class of mankind than any other."

Fully agreeing in the truth of this remark of Mr. Snow, in his preface to the Memoirs of the Rev. G. T. Bedell, we have determined to introduce from time to time sketches of the lives of eminent Christians, whether lay or clerical, belonging to our own communion or not. We trust that much benefit will arise from this peculiar department of our work; and no pains will be spared to render the brief memorials of the pious dead as correct as possible.

It is our painful task to commence with a biographical memoir of the late


On Thursday, the 31st of March, died at Hastings the Honourable and Right Rev. Henry Ryder, D.D., Lord Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. He was the son of Nathaniel, first Lord Harrowby, by Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Terrick, Bishop of London, and was born on the 31st of July, 1777. He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he took the degree of M.A. in 1798, and of B.D. and D.D. in 1813. His lordship was promoted to the deanery of Wells in 1812; and consecrated Bishop of Gloucester in 1815, on the translation of the Right Rev. Dr. G. I. Huntingford to the see of Hereford. In 1824, on the death of the Earl Cornwallis, he was translated to the see of Lichfield and Coventry. In 1831 he exchanged the deanery of Wells for a stall at Westminster. He married, in 1802, Sophia, daughter of Thomas March Phillipps, Esq., by whom he has had thirteen children, all of whom survive him, except one son, Charles, who was drowned at sea in 1825. His eldest son, Henry Dudley, M.A., of Oriel College, is canon residentiary of Lichfield: his eldest daughter is married to Sir George Grey, Bart.

This lamented prelate for a space of nearly twelve years occupied the episcopal chair of the populous and important diocese of Lichfield and Coventry. A member of a noble family, his lordship early gave the most satisfactory proofs, that in taking upon himself the important and responsible office of a Christian minister, he had far nobler objects in view than high ecclesiastical preferment, which he might naturally expect from his powerful interest; and that his aim was to be the instrument, in God's hand, of leading many souls to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. Whether we view him in the retirement of a parochial minister of Claybrook or Lutterworth,—as presiding over the cathedral church of Wells,-or as Bishop of the sees of Gloucester or Lichfield,-we

polis; sanctioning and fostering them by his patronage in his own diocese, and liberally contributing to their funds,-Bishop Ryder was little influenced by the opposition, too often virulent, which he not unfrequently met. He had the straightforward path of duty to pursue; and even open, unchristian, unwarrantable attack caused him not to swerve. His regular appearance at the great anniversary meetings in the religious societies in London was always a matter of rejoicing to the crowds whom he addressed. His eloquence and zeal were calculated to make a powerful impression; and many a heart felt sad at the meetings of the present year, when the well-known voice no longer fell upon the ear, exciting to activity, and energy, and devotedness to God. The sadness, however, was but momentary; for the well-grounded conviction was fully experienced, that, though the bodily tongue was now mute in the chambers of desolation, the disembodied spirit had joined the great multitude which no man can number.

Bishop Ryder was peculiarly distinguished for his urbanity to persons of all ranks. He always, even with the lowest, seemed to feel an equality on the one distinguishing feature of the race of fallen Adamsinners in the sight of a holy God. Candidates for orders found in him a kind instructor, an affectionate father, an able guide, a ready counsellor. His clergy, even while they disapproved of his line of conduct, or regarded his movements with suspicion, and dissented from his religious views, still admired his consistency. He was a constant preacher before and after his promotion to the episcopal bench; and not a few in Gloucester and in Wells can trace their first serious impressions, their first earnest inquiry after salvation, to the truths which they heard from his lips. Dr. Ryder, as Robert Hall well said, was not injured by preferment. He was the same man as a bishop that he was as the laborious parish minister. To such a bishop might be applied the apocalyptic title-an angel of the Church. We may say of him what St. John says of Demetrius, "that he has good report of all men, and of the truth itself."

His lordship's religious views may be gathered from the six Charges that he delivered, and which have been published: three in the diocese of Gloucester, and three in that of Lichfield and Coventry. They were the scriptural views, we conceive, entertained by the reformers of our Church, viz. the utter corruption of man through the transgression of the divine commandments-justification by faith alone, without the deeds of the law-the necessity of spiritual regeneration by the power of the Holy Ghost. These leading doctrines of the Gospel were invariably urged by the bishop in his addresses

from the pulpit, as well as from the episcopal chair, as comprehending the sum and substance of Gospel truth; and the inculcation of these he earnestly pressed upon his clergy. He preached as he felt. He addressed dying sinners as himself a dying sinner. In Christ was all his hope; he was anxious that others should find in him everlasting peace and security. He had

the speaker dissuaded his auditors from yielding to the temptation of taking refuge under an oak, during a thunder-storm. He described this king of the forest as being the most unsafe of all apparent shelters, from its peculiar tendency to attract the electric fluid;

experienced on his own heart the transforming efficacy illustrating, by experiments, the fearful con

of the grace of God; he feared lest any should mistake amiability of character for real conversion.

Prelates there may have been more deeply versed in theology as a science, or who may have shone more brightly in the walks of literary acquirements; but it would be difficult to name one whose heart appeared to be more entirely under the sanctifying influence of divine grace, or who was more anxious to set forth, in all their purity, the great fundamental doctrines of the Gospel.

The episcopal bench does not lack men of a kindred spirit, and of a devotedness of piety not inferior to Bishop Ryder. We thank God that it is so. We can point to more than one diocese, where the same spirit, on the part of the diocesan, that wrought such changes in Gloucester and Lichfield, is working a change as important. We could tell of more than one diocese, once nearly a spiritual desert, where the streams of salvation are flowing for the refreshment of the weary, and the cleansing of the polluted. We not only thank God, but we take courage.

Bishop Ryder, besides his charges, and sermons preached on public occasions, at the anniversary meetings of the charity children at St. Paul's, before the Church Missionary, Prayer-book and Homily, and other Societies, at their anniversaries in the metropolis, published several single sermons: three on the occasion of his departure from Gloucester.

sequences of the invited shock. The subject long occupied my mind, giving rise to reflec tions of more deep and solemn interest than the apprehensions of mere bodily destruction. could excite.

When the judgments of the Lord are abroad upon the earth, when the thunder of his reproof is heard, and the lightning of his awakened wrath flashes before the startled eye of man, the sinner, conscience-struck, will look around, seeking a covert from the storm. In less alarming seasons he found a shelter that seemed to answer all his purposes some system of man's devising; a stately specimen, perhaps, of the wisdom that is from beneath. A religion of forms, and words, and sentiments, has perhaps often helped to ward off the little peltings of a passing cloud, and moderated, or seemed to moderate, the scorching rays of temptation. It has helped to keep him externally decent; while others, who lacked such a shelter, walked about openly discomfited and defiled. Why should he now question its powers of defence? In vain is he cautioned, in vain assured, that he trusts in a refuge of lies and, by so doing, hastens to a swifter and more sure destruction. He credits not the warning voice; he clings to his old covert, his own righteousness, his moral respecta

worship; and there he abides, until the fiery bolt descends, cleaving his vain defence, and smiting him with everlasting destruction. Such is the miserable end of him who seeks, by the works of the law, to be justified before God.

The removal of such a bishop, at such a period in the history of our Church, is no common loss. The present year has placed in the hands of the advisers of the Crown most important patronage; and the ad- bility, his stated duties of lip-service and willvanced age of many of our prelates warrants the expectation that his Majesty's ministers may be again called upon to appoint vacant sees. We heartily pray that in their choice of fit and proper persons they may be influenced simply by the desire of the furtherance of the glory of God, and the everlasting salvation of men. May they be directed to the choice of such men as Bishop Ryder: then may we trust and believe that spiritual religion will be advanced in the Established Church; that the Church itself will become more deeply rooted in the hearts and affections of the people; and that there will be an increase in that " righteousness which exalteth a nation."





ATTENDING lately some lectures on electricity,
I was struck by the earnestness with which

Since the first edition was printed, subscriptions have been entered into for erecting a monument to his lordship, and also building a church in Birmingham, to be called Bishop Ryder's Church.

And who shall then be safe when the quiver of the Almighty is scattered around, and the dart of vengeance seems pointed at each guilty bosom? He shall be safe, who, rejecting all that earth can offer, renouncing all that flesh can do, goes forth into the unsheltered space, and casts himself upon the Lord alone. Does he dread the hand upraised to smite ?-the shadow of that hand is his only hiding-place. O, let him but behold in it the hand that was nailed to the cross on Calvary the hand from which trickled crimson stream to wash away his sin; and, though it grasp the lightning that shall consume every unbeliever, it has no terrors for him. He knows that the briars and thorns, yea, the oaks and palaces that man confides in, are but set in array against God, pro


voking him to go through and consume them; but he who flies to Jesus, and, in the boldness of simple faith, takes hold of his strength, shall find that in him is perfect security. Appointed to be the Judge of all men, Christ is terrible indeed to those who reject his rule. Rocks and mountains shall vainly be invoked to hide from the wrath of the Lamb such as now make light of his message of love. For them, all the terrors of the broken law remain; and from its vengeance nothing can shield them. But equally true it is, that to the humble believer this awful Judge is the surest of advocates; and the very power that makes him terrible to others, seals the confidence of his children. They know him as one mighty to save; they know that, towards them,

"He hath stilled the law's loud thunder,

He hath quenched Mount Sinai's flame." In the hour of elementary strife, nature leads us to the lofty tree, while reason brings many plausible arguments to recommend such a shelter; but when science has revealed the peril of fleeing to it, he must be indeed infatuated who prefers not the open plain. In like manner, nature and carnal reason oppose the act of confiding faith, as the very madness of enthusiastic folly, and would fain persuade us to turn to some refuge of man's contriving: but the light of revelation, directed to our hearts by the Holy Spirit, exhibits the danger of such a course; and the believer, strengthened with might by that Spirit in the inner man, goes forth to meet his Lord, seeking no covert but the strong tower of his adorable name.


THE publication which we this day commence, however unpretending its claims, is devoted to the glory of God and the good of man. We feel that if this object is to be attained, it must be through the influence of the Divine Spirit, enlightening the minds of all who are engaged in it,―of those who pen its pages, and of those who read them. We make this statement, not as a mere pious sentiment, proper to be the preface of a religious work, but because we are convinced that it is only through the operation of that sacred influence that we can hope for that "right judgment," by which man shall be benefited and God honoured. It is under this impression that we extract from the writings of Bishop JEREMY TAYLOR the following remarks on the origin of Divine Philosophy, as bearing on the future character of our publication, and expressing the spirit of dependence on heavenly illumination, in which, we trust, it will be carried on by ourselves, and consulted by our readers.

[blocks in formation]

for certain it is, that all the truth which God hath made necessary, he hath also made legible and plain; and if we will open our eyes, we shall see the sun; and if we will walk in the light, we shall rejoice in the light. Only let us withdraw the curtains, let us remove the impediments, and the sin that doth so That is God's way. easily beset us. Every man must in his station do that portion of duty which God requires of him; and then he shall be taught of God all that is fit for them to learn: there is no other way for him but this. If you ask what is truth? you must not do as Pilate did-ask the question, and then go away from him that only can give you an answer; for as God is the author of truth, so he is the TEACHER of it. For, though the Scriptures themselves are written by the Spirit of God, yet they are written within and without; and besides the light that shines upon the face of them, unless there be a light shining within our hearts, unfolding the leaves, and interpreting the mysterious sense of the Spirit, convincing our consciences, and preaching to our hearts,-to look for Christ in the leaves of the Gospel, is to look for the living among the dead. There is a life in them; but that life is, according to St. Paul's expression, 'hid with Christ in God; and unless the Spirit of God draw it forth, we shall not be able. Human learning brings excellent ministries towards this: it is admirably useful for fallacies, for the letter of the Scriptures, for collateral testimonies, for exterior advantages: but there is something beyond this, that human learning, without the addition of divine, can never reach. Too many scholars have lived upon air and empty notions for many ages past, and troubled themselves with tying and untying knots, like hypochondriacs in a fit of melancholy, thinking of nothings, and troubling themselves with nothings, and falling out about nothings, and being very wise and very learned about things that are not, and work not, and were never planted in paradise by the finger of God. If the Spirit of God be our teacher, we shall learn to avoid evil, and to do good; to be wise and to be holy; to be profitable and careful; and they that walk in this way shall find more peace in their consciences, more skill in the Scriptures, more satisfaction in their doubts, than can be obtained by all the polemical and impertinent disputations of the world. It is not by reading a multitude of books, but by studying the truth of God; it is not by laborious commentaries of the doctors, that you can finish your work, but the exposition of the Spirit of God. The learning of the Fathers was more owing to their piety than their skill, more to God than themselves. These were the men that prevailed against error, because they lived according to truth. If ye walk in light, and live in the Spirit, your doctrines will be true, and that truth will prevail."

And let the authors and the readers of the publication which commences to-day, utter, reciprocally, this concluding wish: "I pray God to give you all grace to follow this wisdom, to study this learning, to labour for the understanding of godliness; so your time and your studies, your persons and your labours, will be holy and useful, sanctified and blessed, beneficial to men, and pleasing to God, through Him who is the wisdom of the Father; who is made to all that love him, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."



In a retired village in the south of England, remarkable for its picturesque beauty, lived a little girl named From the chief teacher in the Sunday-school of which L. T. was a scholar.

« السابقةمتابعة »