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We must confess that there are many phrases in the volume on our table to which we should object; and remembering how prone mankind are to abuse doctrines to purposes of licentiousness, perhaps we should have been better pleased if our author had accompanied some of his statements with explanatory cautions. We allude more particularly to such passages as these ;
—“ Yes; drunkards, fornicators, misers, careless, prayerless people, come now to God by Christ only, seeing the misery, blindness, and ruin of your condition, and your unworthiness, as it is; and even now receive, taste, and enjoy the forgiveness that is with God. Truly believe, and you have everlasting life. P. 313.
I say to you, fear not, only believe, &c. &c. P. 353.
And though we are aware that they will admit of an orthodox illustration, we cannot but subscribe to the opinion of the late Bishop of Winchester, as detailed in the third chapter of his Refutation of Calvinism, (p. 164,) where he shews that this style of preaching is "imperfect and dangerous." Our confined limits forbid the insertion of the entire passage, to which, therefore, we beg leave thus cursorily to refer our readers. In the same spirit we might enter our protest against our preacher's description of human nature as " altogether eril," (p. 187,) and deny the "entire depravity," of which he writes, (p. 184;) and except to his doctrine of experiences, (p. 183 ;) we might deny our author's position, “ that true godliness, quite contrary to the usual course of natural things, which are brought to perfection by slow and gradual improvements, starts up in the infancy of things, and very soon appears more gloriously perfect than it does afterwards;" (p. 138.) but, “ de mortuis nil nisi bonum;" we forbear, therefore, to insist upon
these parts of the discourses, nor will we enter upon those quinquarticular discussions, which are involved in impenetrable difficulties; the effect of the controversies upon which, (to borrow the language of Bishop Horsley,) “will never be to reconcile the jarring opinions, but to dissolve brotherly love, and disunite the members of Christ's body."* Nor would we insinuate, by these observations, that the late pious Vicar of the Holy Trinity Church, in Kingston-upon-Hull, obtruded his peculiar notions in glaring or offensive prominence upon the attention of his hearers ; for we must in justice remark that his “ Practical Sermons," as Mr. Bickersteth has thought fit to call them, well answer to their description. He does not foolishly indulge in a dry strain of moral preaching, however, without attention to the Christian motives, by which alone religious duty can be effectually enforced. He is simple even to plainness in his manner, always grave and serious in his matter, and every where uncompromising and zealous in his exhortations.
* Bishop Horsley's Charges, p. 225.
The following passage we quote from its applicability to the times and opinions of the present liberal generation. Our author is writing of St. John's open opposition to Cerinthus, in refusing to be in the same bath with him; and thus proceeds :
“ Doubtless, so charitable a disciple as he, was influenced by no personal ill-will to that foul heretic; and would have done him any kindness that lay in his power, either for body or soul, as every one who has the Spirit of Christ in him must. But then, as these enemies of God always labour to be countenanced by eminent ministers of Christ, that they may the more effectually spread their poison, you see how true charity requires that they be openly discountenanced by them. ..... But the fashion of modern times, in countenancing all sorts of opinions, and looking on them all as equally good, or at least as harmless if erroneous, -was not the apostolical way. Moreover, it shews men to be selfish, and worldly-minded, and indifferent about religion; AND FOR ANY THING THAT MEN WOULD DO, CHRISTIANITY ITSELF WOULD BE LOST IN THE WORLD.-P. 63.
How soon Christianity may be lost in these realms we will not pretend to foretell; but the symptoms which alarmed our preacher in 1796, have been appallingly aggravated in these days, and the æra of 1832 seems indeed to be anxious to accelerate the tremendous crisis ! “ Jews, Turks, infidels, and heretics, are to be the fond objects, it would appear, of our tenderest caresses, and the singularity of the times is, that there are no prejudices in favour of any religion."* Would to God, there were no prejudices against any religion! Would to God, there were no evil agents of Satan to stir up the prejudices of men against our venerable establishment! Would to God, there were no ferocious notions of liberty, and no rapacious avarice of schismatical agitators, to make us tremble for the fate of the British Church! The artful intrigues, and the deep- laid policy of her enemies, thicken every where around us; and one more session of Parliament to tread in the frightful steps of the present, may consummate her downfall! Hæc Deus avertat !—“O, pray for the peace of Jerusalem!" Mr. Milner's volume contains twenty-two sermons.
The two first from Rev. i. 4—8, are introductory. The next twelve are practical exhortations, grounded upon the Epistles to the seven Churches. The fifteenth embraces the topic of the Millennium; and the remaining sermons have for their texts the eight first verses of the 130th Psalm. Mr. Bickersteth has appended to the discourses on the Apocalyptic Epistles some interesting notes, from the most recent writers, of the present state of each of the seven Churches.
The Variations of Popery. By the earliest opportunity of bringing it
Rev.SAMUEL EDGAR. Dublin: Curry before the readers of our journal. & Co. London: Westley & Davis. This work, which, in the originality 1831. 8vo. Pp. 518.
of its plan, differs (we believe) from
every preceding treatise that is extant The popish and protestant contro- against the modern innovations of versy, in the present age, has been popery, is designed to employ against agitated in these kingdoms with ar- that baleful system, the argument, dour, erudition, and ability. Towards which was urged with much ingenuity, the close of the last century, it seemed but providentially with little success, to slumber. “ The polemics of each against protestants, by the artful perseparty, the author truly remarks, cutor, Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, in satisfied with the unrestricted enjoy- his celebrated “ Histoire de Variations ment of their own opinions, appeared de Protestans;" whose errors, misfor a time to drop the pen of discus- representations, and falsehoods, were, sion, dismiss the weapons of hostility, at the time of its publication, detected and leave men, according to their by Bishop Burnet, Monsieur Basnage, several predilections, to the full, and other learned protestant advopeaceable, and undisputed freedom cates. The reformers, it is well of popery, protestantism, or known, disagreed in a few unimtrality.' Within a few years, how- portant points of divinity; but their ever, the polemical pen, which, in disagreement was rather in discipline the British dominions, had slept in and in ceremonies, than in faith and inactivity, has resumed its labours. morality. These differences the wily The oft-refuted objections of popery
Bossuet collected: what was wanting, have been revived by its advocates in in fact, he supplied from his own various forms, from the handsome teeming imagination; and the disoctavo down to the penny tract: cordancy, which was partly real, and and the champions of our protestant partly fanciful, he represented as infaith have zealously re-assumed the consistent with truth, and demonstraarmour of their fore-fathers; and tive of falsehood. “The Variations while, in Ireland, the Right Rev. Dr. of Popery” are designed to retort Elrington, and the late Rev. Drs. Bossuet's argument. To an opponent Grier and Phelan, and the Rev. who was disposed to retaliate, the Messrs. Digby, Jackson, Newland, striking diversities and contradictions Pope, and Ousely, besides several of Romanism, present an ample field laymen, have nobly stood forward in for retaliation. But to this disingenudefence of our common protestant ous art of controversy, Mr. Edgar has faith; in Great Britain, the advocates disdained to have recourse. of popery have been encountered with few exceptions, he has derived his manot inferior ability by the Right Rev. terials from Romish sources, which no Dr. Philpotts, the Rev. Messrs. G. consistent Romanist, therefore, can Townsend, Faber, and the editor of honestly repudiate; and by his minute the Protestant Journal and his cor- references to the volumes and pages of respondents, by Dr. Southey, Cramp, his authorities, (the editions of which Mr. M'Garin (of Glasgow), and other he has specified in the beginning of his laymen. To this goodly catalogue of volume,) he has furnished his readers, protestant champions we have now who may be willing to accompany to add the author of “ The Variations him in his researches, with the means of Popery," whose elaborate treatise, of corroborating his statements. though published at Belfast more than Were we to extract all the passages a year since, has but recently arrived of the “ Variations of Popery," which in London. We gladly take the are worthy of transcription, we should
copy a considerable portion of the be eighteen in number, while another work: we must therefore confine our- faction, agreeing with the preceding as selves to the endeavour to give our to number, adopts different councils : readers an idea of the multifarious and a third rejects either the whole, contents of his learned volume.
or part of the councils which are The introduction treats of the unity related to have intervened between of protestants, the doctrinal harmony the eighth and the sixteenth of these of the confessions of faith of the general conventions. reformed churches, of which the Chapter III. discusses the PREauthor has given concise historical TENDED SUPREMACY of the pope, the notices, and on the antiquity of the origin and gradual assumption of religion of protestants. The anti- whose usurped power are traced with quity of the protestant faith is easily great ability. The variations on this shewn. The theology of the reformed subject among the doctors of the one is found in the Bible, in the writings infallible Church are not a little of the fathers, especially the ante- amusing. Nicene fathers, in the primitive creeds,
In the succeeding Chapters (IV. to and in the early councils. Protestan- XI.) are severally discussed, INFALLItism is contained in the Book of Re- BILITY, pontifical, synodal, pontifical velation. The sacred volume is the and synodal, and ecclesiastical;—the repository of the reformed faith. The DEPOSING POWER, arrogated by the religion, therefore, which is written, popes ;—the PERSECUTIONS inflicted as with sun-beams, in the New Testa- by popes, kings, pseudo-saints, theoment, cannot, with any propriety, be logians, and councils ;-the INVALIDAdenominated a novelty.
TION of oaths, and profligate violaChapter I. detects and exposes the TIONS of the public faith ; the VARIATions in the pontifical succes- ARIANISM and SEMI-ARIANISM of counsion, historical, electoral, and moral. cils and popes ;—the EUTYCHIANISM The episcopate, pretended to have of some, and the monOPHYSIANISM been founded at Rome by Peter, is here of others; the MONOTHELITISM of shewn to be utterly destitute of foun- others; the PELAGIANISM of others; dation; while the repeated schisms the disputes of the Dominicans abetween rival pontiffs mutually arro- gainst the Molenists, and of the gating to themselves the attribute of Jesuits against the Jansenists. We infallibility, and anathematizing each especially recommend the chapter on other, proved that neither of them popish persecutions : derived from was or could be under the influence popish authorities, its evidence of the of the infallible spirit of truth.
unchangeably intolerant principles of In Chapter IỈ, the author treats popery, wherever popery is domion GENERAL COUNCILS, which are as nant, is such as must carry conviction uncertain as the succession of the to every mind that is not wilfully Roman pontiffs ; one party in the blinded by faction or by prejudice. Romish church computing them to The concise notice of the persecutions
of the French protestants is particu• We commonly hear persons speak of larly interesting: we regret that Mr. the "protestant religion;" but this is an
Edgar could not have access to the inaccurate term: for it sounds as if pro
important documents printed at Paris, testants had a religion by themselves,
subsequently to the publication of his different from other Christians. The more
work, which shew the guilty privity proper expression is that used above, viz.
of Charles IX. to the murderous conihe“ religion of protestants ;” which means the pure Christianity of the New
spiracy against his protestant subTestament, and is common to all professing
jects. f Christians, only purged from the errors and corruptions gradually introduced into, + Mr. Mendham has given an abstract and mingled with it, by the Church of of these precious documents in his interRome; against which errors and corrup- esting life of Saint Pius V. (which we tions, several princes and states agreed to purpose to notice in an early number of our PROTEST at the time of the reformation, journal)-the guilty fellow-conspirator of ED.
TRANSUBSTANTIATION-IMAGE-WOR- absurdity. Besides, though we are ship—and PurGATORY, are treated at ready to admit the "divine inspilength in Chapters XII. to XIV; and ration” of the bible itself, we are very the volume concludes with a history much disposed to regard the term as of the introduction of the constrained applied to the title, to say the least, celibacy of the Clergy, together with extremely out of place. Quære—How all the abominations to which it gave does the first engraving, (Sir Joshua's rise.
“Holy Family,”) illustrate Matt. ü. From the preceding brief analysis, 13-15? it will be seen that the author has directed his attacks, and most success
The Messiah ; A Poem, in Six Books, fully, against the pretended unity, in
By Robert MONTGOMERY. London: fallibility, antiquity, and immutability
Turrill. 1832. 8vo. Pp. 300. of Romanism. The conflicting opin, ions of pontiffs, doctors, councils, and
If the poem of Robert Montgomery synods, are collected and opposed to
has great faults, it has doubtless some each other with unwearied industry:
redeeming beauties, though not freand one popish author is here satis
quent or fair enough, perhaps, to justify
the efforts which he has made upon factorily confuted froin another; while the unscriptural and antiscriptural in
subjects far, very far beyond his reach. novations of popery in doctrine, dis
His attempts at the sublime are frecipline, and worship, are treated with
quently unintelligible; and these are a master's hand.
certainly his besetting faults: and yet Mr. Edgar's work has already re
he has some descriptions of simple ceived the well-earned meed of
beauty in the present poem, which are bation in Ireland, where, perhaps, its
very effective. A churchyard scene
is of this nature :merits
may be best appreciated. It is a most valuable accession to the library
There is a haunt, whose quietude of scene of every protestant, and especially of Accordeth well with hours of solemn hue,every protestant Clergyman; and we
A churchyard, buried in a beauteous vale, shall rejoice to know that we have been
Besprinkled o'er with green and countless
graves, instrumental in extending its useful
And mossy tombs of unambitious pomp We should recommend the ad
Decaying into dust again. dition of an index in a second impres
Of mirth, no laughter of unfeeling life sion, which we hope will, ere long, be Amid the calm of death, that spot profanes. required.
The skies o'erarch it with serenest love;
The winds, when visiting the dark-bough'd The Pictorial History of the Bible ;
An airy anthem sing; and birds and bees, consisting of the Divine Inspirations That in their innocence of summer joy, of the Greatest Masters, arranged in Exult and carol with commingling glee, a Chronological Series, and engraved But add to Solitude the lull of sound: by the first artists of the present day. There is an ocean,—but his unheard waves London: 1832. 4to.
By noon entranced, in dreaming slumber in each number. Three numbers of these illustrations
Or when the passion of a loud-wing'd gale are before us; and had we to speak
Hath kindled them with sound, the stormy of them only as Scripture Prints, we
of waters mellow'd into music, dies, should willingly afford them a high
Like that which echoes from the world afar, measure of commendation. The sub
Or lingers round the path of perish'd years! jects are well selected, and the en
The Sabbath also is well described :gravings well executed. But that a Pictorial History of the Bible will
But ah! that day of spiritual delight,
Revered of old, and by our fathers blest, “supply the want of the text itself,
The Sabbath! England, is thy halcyon and render the notes of commentators useless;" and this grand communi
or holiness, when Heaven remembers thee cation should be effected by only forty With more pervading love, and sheds subjects; seems to be a cut of rhodo- abroad montade approaching very nearly to A balm that beautifies the face of things.