« السابقةمتابعة »
is found an occasion of thankfulness for the blessings which Christianity has shed on the conjugal relation: the early consecration of Samuel to the Lord by his parents, is an example to parents in general,
"To pray early, and at noon-tide, and at even, on behalf of our own souls, of our children's souls, and of every other living soul whom we do or ought to love, and intercede for, in the name of Jesus Christ, our enly Saviour, Mediator, and Advocate. Were our supplications of this cast," continues the writer, "and were they frequently and fervently made-were it the grand and indefatigable desire of our hearts to see the love, the wisdom, and the majesty of our Almighty Parent owned and celebrated by every word and deed of man-did we implore health, talent, influence, nay, virtue itself, for us and ours, that we and they might 'praise the Lord for his goodness' more effectually, more conspicuously; we should soon be lost in wonder at the profusion with which blessings would descend upon us from the treasury of heaven."
This passage is a fair specimen of the spirit of these lectures, which are, throughout, descriptive of a deeply pious mind. They are, perhaps, not without fault: there are some conjectures thrown out, as to what might have been the motives and the inward workings of the minds of some of the characters in the narrative, which appear to us sometimes rather puerileat all events, gratuitous. But, as a whole, these lectures are very valuable; and it is a great excellency in them, that, though they treat of an Old Testament character, they are pervaded throughout by a rich measure of Christian doctrine.
The Preaching of the Cross," the effectual Means for the Conversion of the Sinner, and the Stability of the Chart By the Rev. Thomas Bissland, M.A. of Balliol College, Oxford; Rector of Hartley Maudy, Hants; and Chaplain to Lord Bexley. Londos, Hatchard and Son. 1836.
THE author of this little work is already known to the public, as having written a volume of sermons preached at St. Paul's, Winchmore Hill, Middlesex, and dedicated, by permission, to the late Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. From the high terms of commendation in which that volume was spoken of in several of our standard Reviews, and from our own subsequent acquaintance with the work, we were led to expect a useful book when we saw the announcement of "the Preaching of the Cross." We have not been disappointed. The subject (as the author himself remarks, in the introduction) must, on all hands, be allowed to be a most momentous one:" and it had evidently assumed a high importance in his mind, as he had treated of it in the first sermon of his larger volume, with much earnestness and ability. No topic that the Christian minister can take in hand can exceed, or even equal, this in importance. It was the ene grand theme of St. Paul, whose mind was so filled by it, that he determined to know nothing else but this, in his ministerial teaching; a consideration, which should make those who preach, careful to give to this great doctrine the prominence which it held in an apostle's ministrations; and should be a caution to those who hear, that they turn not away, in distaste, from those who make this doctrine the "burden" of their message. To both these classes, we think that Mr. Bissland's Discourses will be valuable: and we shall be glad to hear that they find their way into the hands of young clergymen, and candidates for orders, as a guide for their future course. For the sake of such, as well as for general readers, we shall copy the table of contents, instead of giving any extracts.
Discourse I. What is meant by "the preaching of the cross."
II. Pride, a cause of opposition to "the preaching of the cross."
III. The love of sin, a cause of opposition to "the preaching of the cross.'
IV. Effects of "the preaching of the cross," at Corinth.
V. "The preaching of the cross" the true means of producing vitality of religion.
VI. The Liturgy of the Church of England an important security for "the preaching of the cross."
VII. The want of a scriptural Liturgy frequently leads to a rejection of "the preaching of the cross. VIII. Practical inferences.
The sixth and seventh of these discourses will be read with much profit by all Churchmen: as pointing out the testimony borne by the Liturgy to the doctrine of "the cross;" the importance of "an uniformity of statement in the pulpit and in the desk;" and the secret of the Church's stability, as consisting in "a faithful preaching of the cross."
This work, though unpretending in its form, contains much matter, and has a large collection of notes, gathered from various sources, which shew the industry of the writer, and greatly enhance the usefulness of the book.
Since these discourses came out, Mr. Bissland has published, by request, a sermon, preached at a late visitation of the Archdeacon of Winchester, held at Alton, Hants: the subject is, "The office and obligations of the messenger of God:" its spirit and tendency is similar to the sermons we have just noticed; and being in a very cheap form, it may be read by all classes who desire to find a scriptural account and high standard of the ministerial calling.
An Account of New Zealand, and of the Formation and Progress of the Church Missionary Society's Mission in the Northern Island. By the Rev. William Yate, Missionary of the Church Missionary Society. Second edition. London, 1835. Seeley and Burnside. It has been remarked by one eminently qualified to form a correct opinion as to the most effective method of extending the kingdom of the Redeemer (for, if we mistake not, it is the remark of Dr. Chalmers), that "if all the revenues of the Church establishment, from its first foundation to the present day, had produced but a Bishop Horsley, they would not have been expended without adequate compensation." We may fairly make use of a similar declaration with respect to the New Zealand mission, and affirm, that had all the funds of the Church Missionary Society been expended on that mission alone, the Society would have acted as a faithful steward to the resources committed to its trust.
We rejoice at the growing anxiety manifested in all quarters to make known the power of the Gospel; and though there may be tens of thousands of professing Christians, who feel not the duty and privilege of telling "it out among the heathen that the Lord reigneth" (may we not say, the heathen at home, as well as abroad?), we do take courage, from the anxiety manifested in our great societies to extend wider and wider the sphere of their influence.
The information contained in the volume before us is most valuable, and is the result of the author's own personal observations during a residence of seven years in New Zealand. The volume is divided into five chapters. I. On the geographical situation of New Zealand. II. On its productions. III. On the customs and superstitions of the inhabitants. IV. On
the origin and difficulties of the missionaries. V. On the effects consequent on the introduction of the Gospel. To which is added, as an appendix, a catalogue of shells, collected on the east coast of New Zealand, by the author. To the naturalist it will afford much valuable information.
We may in future numbers give some interesting extracts from the work; at present we confine ourselves to the following, in which the value and importance of our scriptural Liturgy are thus referred to (pp. 232, 3) :
"The Liturgy of the Church of England, as translated into the language of New Zealand, has been, next to the preaching of the Gospel, and the use of the Holy Scriptures, one of the most efficacious means of Christian instruction. It is so simple, expresses so well the wants, both temporal and spiritual, of the people; and, like the Bible, from whence a large portion of it is derived, it so exactly meets every case, that it comes home to the experience, the heart, and the conscience; tends to awaken the unconverted; and is a source of comfort and consolation to the distressed sinner under his convictions; while the more advanced are edified by the spirituality of the petitions. My mind is more than ever convinced, from my ministerial experience in New Zealand, of the essential value of a liturgical service to a people so uneducated, so unused to pray, as the New Zealanders. The introduction of this incomparable form of sound words' among them, might be noticed by a great variety of extracts from my journal. . . . . I believe that the sacred truths found in our book of Common Prayer, which are constantly sounding in the ears, and falling from the lips, of the natives, have been one of the grand means of bringing them to their present state of mind. Translated into the New Zealand language, our Liturgy is most strikingly beautiful. When any strange natives come into the chapel, and hear it, they say, Ah! those are not native prayers: if we did as those persons pray for us to do, we should be very different from what we are: we should cast away all our sins: we should believe in their God, and be made like them in all their doings.""
ATONEMENT FOR SIN.-No duty or work within the power and performance of man, as such, is able to expiate and take away the guilt of sin. In this matter we must put our hands upon our mouths, and be silent for ever. He that thinks and attempts by his own goodness to satisfy God's justice, does by this the more incense it; and by endeavouring to remove his guilt does indeed increase it. His works of satisfaction for sin are the greatest sins, and stand most in need of the satisfaction of Christ.-Dr. South.
SCRIPTURE DIFFICULTIES. -The liberty of man, and the foreknowledge and providence of God, are equally certain, although the proof of each rests of different principles. Now when two distinct propositions are separately proved, each by its proper evidence, it is not a reason for denying either, that the human mind upon the first hasty view imagines a repugnance, and may, perhaps, find a difficulty in connecting them, even after the distinct proof of each is clearly perceived and understood. There is a wide difference between a paradox and a contradiction. An intellect to which nothing should be paradoxical would be infinite.-Bishop Horsley.
LITURGY. Next to a sound rule of faith, there is nothing of so much consequence as a sober standard of feeling in matters of practical religion; and it is the peculiar happiness of the Church of England to possess, in her authorised formularies, an ample and secure provision for both. But in times of much leisure and unbounded curiosity, when excitement of every kind is sought after with a morbid eagerness, this part of the merit of our Liturgy is likely in some measure to be lost on many even of its most sincere admirers; the very tempers which most require such discipline, setting themselves, in general, most decidedly against it.-Rev. John Keble.
RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLE. The person whose mind is thoroughly imbued with the religion of Christ, and who is habitually endeavouring to conform his dispositions and character to its pure and spiritual requisitions, is worthy of the trust that may be reposed in him, because he regulates his conduct by a rule whose operation is uniform, which adheres "as forcibly to the conscience in solitude and in darkness as in the broad and open face of day," and which leaves him not, in a single instance, to follow the decisions of a short-sighted expediency.-Dewar.
LIVING WITHOUT GOD.-The greatest moral evil and suffering that we can be exposed to, is the being forsaken of God the being cast out of his presence. This, with awe be it spoken, appears to have made part of our Lord's suffering, when he cried, with a loud voice, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Yet this state of spiritual dereliction is voluntarily embraced by those who, according to the emphatic language of holy Scripture, live "without God in the world."-Bishop Sandford.
MORAL CULTURE.-The state of the heart is of far higher value for this world and the next than mere intellectual culture; since it fixes the character of man as a being formed for purposes which will only grow into their full magnitude when the splendid endowments of taste and science will be vain. All the gifts of wealth and intellect are blessings to their possessors only as they are supremely consecrated to the service of God; and have no other influence on the happiness of futurity than of aggravating our guilt, if they are devoted to any other ends than those for which they have been bestowed.-Dewar.
TALENT. The omnipotency of mere talent is the grand delusion with which the devil is now deceiving the nations.-Rev. H. Budd.
THE CHRISTIAN A MAN OF PRAYER.-Yes, if the entire world, in the midst of which we live, be but one continued temptation; if all the situations in which we may be, and all the objects which environ us, seem united with our corruption for the purpose of either weakening or seducing us; if riches corrupt, and poverty exasperate; if prosperity exalt, and affliction depress; if business prey upon, and ease render effeminate; if the sciences inflate, and ignorance lead us into error; if mutual intercourse trivially engage us too much, and solitude leave us too much to ourselves; if pleasure seduce, and pious works excite our pride; if health arouse the passions, and sickness nourish either lukewarmness or murmurings; in a word, if, since the fall of nature, every thing in or around us be a fresh danger to be dreaded,-in a situation so deplorable, what hope of salvation, oh, my God! could there be still remaining to man, if from the bottom of his wretchedness he had it not in his power to make his lamentations, to be continually mounting toward the throne of thy mercy, in order to prevail that Thou thyself mayest come to his aid; that Thou mayest interfere to put a check upon his passions, to clear up his errors, to sustain his weakness, lessen his temptations, to abridge his hours of trials, and to save him from his backsliding? The
Christian is, therefore, a man of prayer; his origin, his situation, his nature, his wants, his place of abode, all inform him that prayer is necessary.-Massillon.
SINFULNESS OF THE HEART.-Many complain and cry out very tragically of the wretchedness of their hearts, their total indisposition to all good, and exceeding propensity to all sin; all which may be very true. But while they are complaining of their hearts, perLaps they freely allow themselves in some known course of disobedience; they frequently renew wounds upon their consciences by the repeated commission of actual sin: and this surely is not the way ever to get themselves purified-thus to complain of sin and to commit sin; to insure their complaints by their practices; to cry out of the body of sin, and yet to take no notice of actual impieties: this is provocation of God and abuse to themselves. Their business is to turn complaints into endeavours, words into actions, and vigorously oppose every particular temptationto stifle every sinful suggestion. For certainly none ever truly hated the sinfulness of his heart who did not in some measure reform the sinfulness of his actions.-Dr. South.
The truest mark of distinction between a genuine Christian and a mere moralist, pharisaical or philosophical, I take to be, that the latter finds his ease in being insensible to his secret faults; while the former is easiest when he is most tenderly sensible of them.Knor and Jebb's Correspondence.
PRACTICE. I take practice to be the best rhetoric to enforce practical divinity: and, I am sure, without practice no divinity can be effectual to save our souls. -Sir George Wheler.
WATERLOO BRIDGE (FOR JUNE 18).
From the Rev. S. C. Wilks's "Rosebuds Rescued." Yrs! 'twas a fearful deed; the sun's dark flood, That rose in tear-drops, poured his setting beam Red with solstitial splendour, blood for blood, As weeping Heaven had blushed to view the
That stained earth's bosom;-yet e'en thou, proud theme,
Thou, Waterloo, to younger names shalt yield; Soon shall thy fame a distant meteor seem,
Known but as Agincourt or Cressy's field, While future heralds deck some newer, baser shield. Vain, feverish man! that think'st thy insect-toil Can snatch e'en Waterloo from time's decay! E'en while we gaze, death strips this mortal coil, Our life an hour, our memory but a day; And then, when every glory melts away, An icy palace, vain yon granite pile To tell to distant age the wild affray
That stampt its name. Ah, distant age shall
To think man's feeble art oblivion would beguile!
No; Waterloo shall be but as a dream,
To fill some book-worn brain, where learned lore, Deep treasured, sheds a momentary gleam
On deeds forgotten; pointing where, of yore, Europe co-leagued unnumber'd trophies bore
From Belgic plains; and where a tyrant's band Drank the dark cup the world had drunk before;
Their blood-stain'd lord expelled to distant land, To pine life's lingering day on Helen's desert strand.
Yet then, when faithless to man's dearest pride,
And, fresh with wreaths that ne'er may waxen old, Shall teach how vain the wise, how impotent the bold! O then be mine the fame that cannot die!
The wisdom mine that tells of worlds unknown! Be mine the faith that lifts her tranquil eye
To heaven's bright world, and calleth it her own! And when the breath that wafts my parting groan Shall lose its burden in the passing gale,
And nought shall live but one frail funeral stone, Whence soon must lapse the plaintive moss-worn tale,
Then stretch'd be Faith's bold wing, and swell'd Hope's joyful sail!
And heaven be mine, and heaven's eternal year; And glories bright, and ecstasies divine; And mine the Almighty Father's voice to hear"Servant, well done! thy Saviour's joys be thine." I would not scutcheon'd pall, or gorgeous shrine, The plausive tablet, or the chantry's pride, The sculptor's emblem, or the minstrel's line; Be mine the merits of THE CRUCIFIED; Of Him who for me lived, of Him who for me died."
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
OH! that I knew how all thy lights combine,
This verse marks that, and both do make a motion
These three make up some Christian's destiny.
Stars are poor books, and oftentimes do missThis book of stars lights to eternal bliss.
GLORIOUS Lord, of boundless might! Holy infinitely good!
In infinity of light
Stands thy throne, and ever stood!
Far beyond our little thought,
Far beyond our earthly ways— How with fervour, as we ought, Can we offer fitting praise! Blessed be thy glorious name,
Earthly hymns ascend on high, Where the bright seraphic flame Rolls the chorus of the sky.
ROMANISM.-Either the Scriptures themselves are most obscure and defective, or the Romish Church has unwarrantably ingrafted on them very gratuitous
and extraneous doctrines. Neither are those doctrines regarded by it as of inferior moment, compared with the fundamental and more explicitly enounced truths of Christianity; but full as much stress is laid on the human inventions of after-ages, as upon what incontestably belongs to our common religion, as delivered to the world by its divine Founder. So very far is Romanism from being consistent either with the true spirit of the Gospel, in the numerous additions it has made, and the complex system it has reared upon it, that it requires the utmost ingenuity, the most subtlely strained interpretation, on the part of its advocates, to make out even any tolerable shew of consistency. They have recourse to obscure traditions, and all kinds of doubtful, not to say most fraudulent, authorities for their purpose, instead of abiding by the express and plain declarations of the word of God; and while they thereby give a falsifying value to what can possess none, except as it coincides with scriptural doctrine, they reduce the latter to the level of those inventions they would thus seek to exalt. Neither does there appear to be any disposition on the part of this Church to suffer its exceptionable tenets gradually to fall into desuetude or oblivion, and so "work out" a silent" reform" in its own bosom. No: what it has been, that will it ever continue to be, whenever and wherever it shall have the power of acting uncontrolled by circumstances. Never has it abjured a single one of its most dangerous errors spontaneously; for to some of the most mischievous of all it still clings with a pertinacity hardly short of miraculous, after the powerful arguments that have been used against them. Although the court of the Vatican is no longer what it was, yet the spirit of papacy remains the same- scotched and wounded indeed, but not killed, nor even subjugated. Just allow it but to recover itself, and gain a vantage-ground, and its present seeming humility and moderation will be forthwith cast aside.*
NEW CHURCHES IN LONDON.-During the last twenty-five years much has been done towards the erection of new churches, partly by the aid of parliamentary grants, partly by parochial contributions, and partly by the exertions of individual benevolence and the efforts of associated churchmen, through the medium of the Incorporated Society for the Building and Enlargement of Churches and Chapels. In sixteen of the parishes here referred to, which are in the diocese of London, thirty-three new churches have been erected within that period, and additional accommodation provided for 54,000 persons. But the numbers given in the report of the Church Commissioners represent the actual state of things at the present time, after all that has been done to lessen the fearful disproportion which exists between the population of this vast city, and the provision made by the Church for its religious instruction. At this moment there is in the metropolis and its suburbs, omitting all notice of those parishes which contain less than 7000 inhabitants, a population of not less than 1,380,000, with church-room for only 140,000, or little more than onetenth of the whole. In a charge delivered to the clergy of the diocese of London, in the year 1834, it is said, that" in the eastern and north-eastern dis* From Rae Wilson's Records of a Route in France and Italy, with Sketches of Catholicism.
tricts of the metropolis there are ten parishes, containing together a population of 353,460 persons. In these parishes there are eighteen churches and chapels, served by twenty-four incumbents and curates; the average being not quite one church or chapel for every 19,000 souls, and one clergyman for every 14,000.”— Letter from the Bishop of London.
NIGHT STUDY.-Never go to bed direct from the labour of composition, because the transition is too great, and the vascular balance is thereby destroyed. Night is commonly the literary labourer's best hour; but then the arterial system is excited; and if in this state of excitement he retires to rest, the consequence is, a difficulty in the action of the returning vessels which produces, first sluggishness, then congestion, and from this, torpor, and many a fearful evil. Before the act of retiring, the pen should be thrown aside; some work, which does not require much thought or attention, should be taken up, till this excitement has given way to the approach of sleepiness; and then to bed with safety and advantage.— Essay on the Disorders incident to Literary Men, by Wm. Newnham, Esq.
CYPRIAN. This eminent saint, when on his road to suffer martyrdom, was told by the emperor that he would give him time to consider, whether he had not better cast a grain of incense into the fire in honour of idols, than die so degrading a death. The martyr nobly answered, "There needs no deliberation in the case."
CONTENTMENT.-There are some persons who are themselves tolerably well off in the world, and yet who are sadly discontented when they see others still more prosperous than themselves. This is a very wrong feeling. The Holy Scriptures teach us that a man is to be" content with that he hath," reminding him that we "brought nothing into this world, and that we can carry nothing out:" and that " godliness with contentment is great gain." We brought nothing into the world; God has required of fallen man that he should labour for his support. And, if one man employs his labour and his thoughts more diligently than another, he will probably be the more prosperous of the two and what he has acquired will enable those who belong to him to acquire still more; and thus one family acquires more property than another. And the laws of every civilised country protect a man in the peaceable possession of what he or his forefathers have gained. People of little property think that others have too much, and would not be sorry to see any change which might disturb them in their possessions; but they ought to consider, that if they have a right to disturb those who are richer than themselves, a man who is poorer than themselves has the same right to disturb them. If I have a piece of land worth five pounds a-year, and think that I have a right to take part of another person's land who has a thousand pounds a-year, for the very same reason a person who has no land at all might come and take part of my land from me. If things were to be so, there would be an end of all peace and happiness in a country. The Scriptures require us to be diligent in our calling," not slothful in business;" but, when we are exerting ourselves for our own support and that of our family, in the fear of God, and in dependence on his blessing, we are to be contented with that mensure of worldly prosperity which he sees fit to give us, and to receive all his favours with thankful hearts, and to know that, if we desire to love him and to serve him, "all things shall work together for our good."— Oxford Herald.
LONDON:-Published by JAMES BURNS, 17 Portman Street, Portman Square; W. EDWARDS, 12 Ave-Maria Lane, St. Paul's; and to be procured, by order, of all Booksellers in Town and Country.
ROBSON, LEVEY, AND FRANKLYN, 46 ST. MARTIN'S LANE.
THERE are few subjects connected with religion on which more lamentable mistakes exist, than as to the nature and value of Christian charity, which is described by the apostle, as "the bond of perfectness ;" and which our Church deems of such importance to the existence of true religion in the soul, that she terms it "the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before God."* The Greek word employed in the New Testament to denote this grace, is sometimes translated charity, and sometimes love; and much prevalent error might have been prevented had the latter invariably been employed. Charity is often regarded as synonymous with almsgiving. The charitable man, in the world's Vocabulary, is he who bestows out of his abundance, or out of his poverty, for the relief of the wants of others; although the apostle declares, in language, it might have been thought, too plain to be misunderstood, that it is possible for a man to give not only a portion, but the whole of his property, for the alleviation of a brother's sufferings, and yet to be entirely destitute of this Christian grace. "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
The true nature of charity cannot be more fully described than it is in the homily of the Church, wherein it is stated, that "charity is to love God with all our heart, all our souls, and all our power, and all our • Collect for Quinquagesima Sunday. VOL. 1.-NO. V.
strength. . . . This is the first and principal part of charity; but it is not the whole. For charity is also to love every man, good and evil, friend and foe; and whatsoever cause be given to the contrary, yet nevertheless to bear good-will and heart unto every
Viewed with reference to man, that part of it to which our attention is to be directed, charity is that kindness and benevolence of disposition, which induces us not only to relieve distress and to forgive injuries, but to throw a mantle over the inconsistencies, the imperfections, and the faults of others; and to put the most favourable construction upon all their actions. Almsgiving, indeed, constitutes a branch of charity; but even almsgiving may be the result of pride and ostentation, and a desire of human approbation; the motives which led the Pharisees to perform their boasted works, the worthlessness of which was clearly pointed out by the Saviour. Regarding himself, however, rather as the steward than the possessor of his goods, the charitable man will never turn his ear from the cry of misery. He will feel it not merely a duty, but a privilege, to imitate the example of that Saviour who continually went about doing good. But, after all, this is but a branch of this Christian virtue. There are other branches equally important. It is in itself a gift of the Spirit of grace, and from it emanate the blessed fruits of forgiveness and benevolence, and universal anxiety to promote in every way the welfare of our fellow-men. These graces are the distinguishing features of that man's character, whose soul is transformed into the divine image, and who evidences to the world, that