Page images

angwered and refuted. We think that after the manner of “May You Like this volume would form a very useful It,” being a collection from the perio appendage to the village lending-libra- dicals in which they first appeared. ries, which are now rapidly extending They have no more to do with the throughout the country, under the title of the two, than Wood's Meauspices of the venerable Society for chanics have with his Optics, did they Promoting Christian Knowledge.

appear under the head of “Mecha

nics” in 2 vols. The title-page of the The Records of a Gooil Man's Life.

second volume has, however, an “ &c." By the Rev. C. B. Tayler, A. M.

added to explain! &c.

But justice must be done. The af

fectation of our author shall not blind When we first opened these volumes,

us to his merits. The tales are all good. read the title, and saw, opposite to it,

We blame them not ; but the trick on the pretty engraving of the good-look

the purchasers we do blame, and ing author, we were ready to exclaim,

justly. with a smile at the vanity of the idea, here is a new-fashioned specimen of auto-biography! On looking a little

Sermons on Points of Doctrine and further, however, we perceived that,

Rules of Duty. By the Rev. R. Parthough Mr. Tayler is a good man, as

KINSON, M. A. of St. John's College, men go now a-days, he is not the

Cambridge; Perpetual Curate of "good manof his title page. But we

Whitworth ; and Lecturer in Diviare still at a loss to account for the sity at the Clerical Institution, St. publication of his portrait under so

Bees. London: Rivingtons, 1832. ominous a patronage. The portrait

12mo. Pp. xvi. 556. itself would be still better, if it had This second volume of Mr. Parkinbeen more like the original. But to son's sermons we can cordially recomthe book. The first volume is a tale, if mend, together with its predecessor ; such it can be called, of a Clergyman more particularly for family reading. entering the Church on sound pious Throughout, the great doctrines of the principles, and practising in it all the Church are faithfully, and earnestly, duties of a Christian Minister, with developed and enforced; and in what apostolic purity and simplicity of con- manner and with what view, the auduct. But it is only a series of thor shall declare for himself. detached outlines of his history, inter- “ It will be seen, that not only is spersed with prayers, sentimental so- the text of each sermon taken from liloquies, and digressions, with now and the current service of the Church, but then a remark, signed “Editor.” Such that an attempt is generally made, by parts of this volume, as detail the a reference to the other portions of history are well written and well con- Scripture selected for that day, to conceived; it is chaste, simple and pure; vey, as accurately as possible, the imand like Mr. Tayler's other publica- pression which the whole service tion, partakes the excellencies, as well combined seems calculated to produce. as defects, of the author's style. It is This system has been followed, both as worthy of an attentive perusal, and being in accordance with the evident will please.

intention of our Church in the instituBut we cannot go the length of the tion of preaching, and also to guard friend who reviewed this book in the against a danger to which the author, Literary Gazette ; for to publish a (along, it is to be feared, with most work professing to be a fiction, with other preachers,) felt himself to be the author's name in the title-page, constantly liable--the danger, namely, and his picture opposite, is a little too of dwelling upon one branch of religiabsurd for praise. Besides, a fraud ous doctrine to the neglect, or inferior has been committed on the public, consideration, of the rest. It is a nain bringing out these volumes. The tural infirmity of any mind, which has “Good Man's Life "extends no further dwelt long and intently upon a partithan the first. The second consists, cular subject, to view it, in some dealtogether, of a series of little stories, gree, through a distorted medium. ...

“To avoid this preaching of 'him- 43. XIX. The Miraculous Deliveself' rather than of the Gospel---to rances of Hezekiah, King of Judah. declare, as far as possible, the whole 2 Kings xiv. 19. XX. On the Sacounsel of God 'to his hearers -- and crament of the Lord's Supper. John "rightly to divide the word of truth,' xiii. 7. XXI. The Christian's Duty the author conceived that no rule could to Imitate his Master. 1 Pei. ii. 21. be more efficacious or more safe, than XXII. The Degree of Holiness rethat which the Church, by her prac- quired of the Christian. Matt. v. 20. tice, appears in some degree to have XIII. The Day of Judgment. Rev. prescribed. By following this course, xxii. 12. a variety, at least, is secured to the topics of the preacher, which the most fertile imagination and the most copi- Parochial Sermons. By the Rev. Thoous stores of knowledge could not MAS AINGER, M.A. Late of St. otherwise be expected to produce.” John's College, Cambridge, and AsPref. p. 3–5.

sistant Minister of the new church With respect to the length of the of St. Mary, Greenwich. London: sermons we fully agree with Mr. Par- Rivingtons. 12mo. Pp. xv. 367. kinson, that they are sufficiently long for the general purpose of parochial

As in the foregoing notice, we shall instruction or family edification. It is

here also allow the author to speak needless to overload the unlettered or

for himself; and, although we cannot youthful mind with more than it is

mete the same measure of praise to able to bear; and “ a word in season"

this, as to Mr. Parkinson's volumes, it is worth a volume of heavy dis

is by no means unworthy of attentive cussion. The subjects of the ser

consideration. mons, which are highly important, are

“ There is a slight attempt at sysas follow :- 1. The Prophetic Descrip

tematic arrangement in the following tion of the Character of Jesus Christ. sermons; but, as they were preached Jer. xxiii. 5, 6. II. Christ's Triumph

on various occasions, without any de ant Entry into Jerusalem. Matt. xxv. sign of forming a regular series, their 9. III. The Divinity of Jesus Christ

connexion may, probably, not be very the sole Foundation of our Faith. obvions. The first may be considered John i. 11, 12. IV. Knowledge of

as introductory to the rest. The four God the Groundwork of all Religion.

next contain a practical view of the Ps. cxxxix. 1. V. On the Nature and

leading evidences of Christianity. The Extent of Christian Obedience. Jam. i.

six following treat of some of its doc22. VI. Christianity a Vocation. Eph. trines, duties, and privileges. The six iv. 1. VII. The Early Life of our Bles

last were written for particular Sunsed Sariour. Luke ii. 51. VIII. The days, and were intended, either to illusenlightened Faith of the Roman Cen

trate the events recorded by the Church, turion. Matt. viii. 8. IX. On the Fall or to explain apparent difficulties in of Man. Gen. iii. 22, 23. X. The

the lessons appointed for the day. Covenant of the Rainbow. Gen. ix. 13. XI. The Necessity of Subordina

The Biblical series of the Family Cabition and Union in the Church of

net Atlas. Engraved on Steel, by Christ. 1 Cor. xii. 4. XII. Peter's De

MR. TuomaS STARLING. nial of Christ. Matt. xxvi. 74, 75. XIII.

London: Bull. 1832. God the “ Father of Lights." Jam. i. 7. XIV. Natural Affection, a Motive Our opinion of this elegant and for Piety. John iv. 49. XV. The Temp- useful little work has been more than tation of our Saviour in the Wilder- once recorded during the course of its ness. Luke iv. 1, 2. XVI. The Death publication. We are happy to find of Christ a real Sacrifice for Sin, Heb. that it is at last completed by the ix. 13, 14. XVII. The Love of God a addition of a copious and compreMotive for Love to Man. 1 John iv. hensive “ Index of all that is geogra11. XVIII. The Beauty and Useful- phically and historically interesting ness of the Book of Psalms. Ps. cvii. in the Holy Scriptures."

Part vi.

A Short Address before and after Con- the candidate for the clerical pro

firmation, delivered on the 9th of fession is more immediately in the April, 1832, in the Cathedral and writer's view, there is not an underParish Church of St. Michael, &c. graduate who would not do well to Barbados. Bridge-Town: Pp. 14. have it at his fingers' ends. It may be

read through in half an hour; and conAn extensive circulation of this ad- tains a mine of useful knowledge, mirable address would be of infinite which it would take a whole life to service to the young, who have lately exhaust. renewed their baptismal engagements; and not to those only, but to the Christian generally, for the purpose of

Discourses on the Evidences of the occasional meditation on the relation

Christian Religion. By the Rev. in which he stands to God. The con- John STONARD, D. D. Rector of cluding prayer we subjoin, as being the Aldingham. London : Simpkin and only part which is capable of separa

Marshall. 1831. 8vo. Pp. vi. tion from the whole, without injustice

297. to that which it would be necessary to In a series of fourteen discourses, the leave behind.

student is here presented with a con“ Almighty and everliving God, nected view of Christian evidence ; who makest us both to will and to

and so admirably digested as to form do those things that be good and ac

a very ready means of supplying." a ceptable unto thy Divine Majesty ; I

reason of the hope that is in him.” render unto Thee my most humble and hearty thanks, for that, as on this day, by the laying on of the hands of the bishop, after the example of thy holy

Luther and the Lutheran Reformation. Apostles, thou didst certify me (by this By John Scott, Vicar of North sign) of thy favour and gracious good- Ferriby, &c. Vol. I. London: Seeley. ness towards me. Let thy fatherly

1832. 12mo. Pp. vii. 421. [Chris hand, I beseech thee, ever be over tian's Family Library, No. I. edited me; let thy Holy Spirit ever be with by the Rev. E. BICKERSTETH.] me; and so lead me in the knowledge

A Memoir of the Rev. E. Payson, D.D. and obedience of thy word, that in the

late Pastor of the Second Church in end I may obtain everlasting life,

Portland, V. S. 12mo. Pp. xvi. through our Lord Jesus Christ, who 448. (Christian's Family Library, with thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth

No. II.) and reigneth, ever one God, world The former of these volumes is little without end. Amen.

else than a compilation from Milner's

“ Church History;" and the latter has Advice to a Young Man upon first going

already been before the public in

another shape. They will doubtless to Oxford, in Six Letters from an Uncle to his Nephew. By the Rev.

have their readers among a certain E. Berens, M. A, late Fellow of disposed to lend our aid to forward the

class of religionists; but we are not Oriel College. London: Rivingtons,

views of a party to whom we are as 1832. 12mo. Pp. 167.

decidedly opposed as Christian charity Of all the useful writings of Mr. Berens, will allow. While there is much in this and they are all of the very highest new “Library” which might tend to degree of utility, the present, perhaps, advance good morals, and forward the is the most interesting, and certainly desirable ends of religious instruction not the least important. Cantab orOx- and ecclesiastical knowledge, the adonian may equally profit by the maxims vantage is more than counterbalanced of solid wisdom, which are laid down by the Calvinistic turn which is given with the convincing force of truth itself to the events recorded, and the sentiin this delightful manual; and, though ments expressed.



James ii. 20—22. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead ?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his

works, and by works was faith made perfect ? The Holy Scriptures, to be studied with advantage, must be studied with a teachable and humble mind, without pride and without prejudice. To a want of attention to this important rule in the study of religion, are to be attributed the erroneous doctrines and false theories which too generally prevail at the present day. A man takes up his Bible and opens it at some particular passage, which coincides with his pre-conceived ideas; he immediately adopts the sentiments, apparently contained in it, without one reflection upon the circumstances under which the author wrote, without once considering the character of the age when it was composed, or the persons to whom it was addressed. In no instance, perhaps, has the folly and danger of this hasty and prejudiced study of the sacred writings been more fully displayed, than in the various opinions of different persons respecting the doctrines of faith and good works. United and harmonious as they must ever appear to the candid and sober-minded student of the Bible, it cannot fail to excite his surprise and regret, that they should ever have been perverted into a pretext for variance and schism in the Church of Christ. Such, however, unhappily has been the case. In the course of our ministry, we are constantly in the habit of meeting with two classes of persons ; the one, relying solely for salvation on a cold and barren belief, without any endeavour to live agreeably to the precepts of the Gospel ; the other, confiding as implicitly for acceptance with God on their own works and merits ; thus rendering of none effect the death of our Saviour, and thus virtually denying that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, was “a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.”

It will be the object of the present discourse, to shew, in the first place, the apparent origin of both these unscriptural errors ; and, secondly, to point out the mutual connexion and relation, existing between true faith and good works.

The erroneous doctrine, that faith alone, without the fruits of righteousness, will ensure us everlasting salvation, seems to have originated in a misconception of some passages in St. Paul's epistles to the Romans and Galatians, in which the apostle is warning his converts against the notion, that a compliance with the works or ceremonies of the Mosaic law was a necessary qualification for acceptance with the Almighty. Although the Jews were at first the only converts to Christianity, yet were they so elated with the idea, that they alone were the chosen and peculiar people of God, that they did not or would not perceive, that the Christian dispensation was to supersede the Mosaic; that their rites and ceremonies were merely

epical of future events, the bare shadows of good things to come, and that they had been fully accomplished in the birth, life, and death, of the Messiah. Under these mistaken impressions, they insisted, that all the Gentile converts should submit to circumcision, and the other ceremonial customs prescribed by the law of Moses; thus blending the Jewish and Christian religions, and making the latter only a modification of the former. It was to counteract this erroneous doctrine, that St. Paul was writing, when he declared, that “a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law;" and again, that “a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ." Can we imagine that the apostle intended by these words to assert, that faith in the Gospel without obedience to its precepts, would aught avail us in the sight of God ? How can we reconcile such an opinion with the whole tenour of St. Paul's writings, which uniformly exhort us to a holy and religious life, command us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, and instruct us to be fruitful in every good work? The words of the apostle rightly understood, cannot be referred to any thing else but those works and ceremonies of the Jewish ritual, which were no longer necessary, because the great truths and realities of Christianity, of which they were only the types, had been brought to light.

Thus to the candid and pious Christian, St. Paul's doctrine of justification through faith, without the works of the ceremonial law of the Jews, is free from all difficulty and obscurity. We know too well, however, by experience, that even the best and purest things are liable to be corrupted; and so it has happened that this plain doctrine of the apostle, from his own days to the present, has been perverted, either through ignorance or wilful malice, to the utter dissolution of all moral obligation, and to the encouragement of wickedness and vice.

It was with a view of exposing and obviating this fatal misinterpretation of St. Paul's meaning, that St. James wrote his epistle; and the words of the text are to be considered as an answer to the vain disputant, who contended that a bare belief in Christianity, without Christian practice, was of itself sufficient to secure our everlasting salvation." But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead ?” Without what works? The works or rites of the Mosaic dispensation ? - By no means : such is not the apostle's meaning. The works, which he is here recommending, are not the works of the law, but those works of a holy and religious life, which spring out of a true and lively faith, as naturally as good fruit proceeds from a good tree. And what is faith without these fruits of holiness? A body without a spirit-a shadow without the substance. Let us then remember, that St. Paul and St. James are speaking of two distinct subjects, when the one declares that we are justified without works, and the other by them. St. Paul is treating of the works of the Mosaic law; St. James, of a man's own works or moral actions. St. Paul speaks of faith, out of which good works proceed; St. James, of the works which spring out of a true and lively faith. St. Paul is addressing persons who relied upon ceremonial observances, as indigpensably necessary for salvation ; St. James is dissuading all men from ihe false delusion, that St. Paul does not inculcate the necessity of

« PreviousContinue »