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conspicuous, where piety is exemplary, they insure admiration and reverence; they exhibit the most forcible comments upon the whole system of religion and morality; they gain an empire in the hearts of the people; and, where these are conspicuous, the clergy become truly the lights of the world.
"It may be deemed unnecessary to contend for what cannot bedisallowed, -a reciprocity of kind offices from the ministers to the people, and the people to the ministers; or to assert, with the apostle, that they who preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel. These topics bave been long ago explained; the mutual advantages derivable to both have been amply enforced, and the necessity of such a participation generally admitted. But no incentive to virtuous action should be omitted, no stimulants to excite the dormant seeds of piety should be accounted insignificant, when the decay of either seems to threaten our happiness as individuals, or our welfare as a nation.
“Though the doctrines of Christianity are so clearly revealed and confirmed; though the sacred oracles of divine truth are open to the inspection of all men; though the pręcepts of the Gospel are uniformly rational, and awfully sublime; yet a corruption of principle seems to strive for the ascendency over revelation, and the present æra of boasted refinement teems with effusions of infidelity most pernicious and alarming. A peculiar heedlessness to every thing which respects religion or religious duties prevails; the best intended scheines to advance the cause of piety, and with piety the happiness of mankind, are frustrated or disregarded. By fashion our churches are neglected; by fashion the labbath is deemed only as a day of feitivity and amusements; morality is accounted a jeft; and the probibitions of the divine law are evaded by a laxity of construction.-Nor is it afferting too much, to remark that where religion still exifts, it too much degenerates into human maxims; it is warped from its spiritual purposes, and moulded and tempered to make it palatable and polite. -The rigours of the law are softened, the penalties extenuated, and the name of honour sophistically explained in contradiction to the command of Him who declares, in the most express terms, “if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments.”
Sermons on various Subjects. By the Rev. T. Baseley, A. M. Chaplain to · the Lord Bishop of LINCOLN. 8vo. Pp. 270. Os. boards. Cadell and
SOME persons are of opinion that the publishing of sermons is unnecessary,
considering what an immense number already crowds the catalogue of theological literature. But though we must allow that a clergyman ought to be very deliberate before he ventures to send a volume of discourses into the world; and though we cannot but lament that so many flimsy essays, under the name of sermons, are constantly issuing from the preis, yet we are rather disposed to encourage the practice of publishing than to hinder it.
The public mind cannot be kept too much awake to the consideration of religious truths, and a good sermon may be read with attention, that would have been heard perhaps with indifference. Besides every divine has his particular circle of acquaintance and admirers by whom his printed discourles will be received with a resolution to read them carefully. And when "he enters upon his reward” his exhortations will remain, so that “ though
dead he will yet continue to speak with effect to the hearts of those who knew him, and to their posterity.
We are further pleased with the practice of printing such discourses as have actually been preached, because it tends to encourage the study of divinity, and to give us a correct representation of the state of religious opinion.
The sermons now before us have evidently been composed with considerable care and attention. They are distinguished by cogency of argument and a flowing neatness of style. Mr. Barely has wisely avoided that glitter of expression which recommends so many of our modern discourses to the admiration of sentimental readers. Those who would wish to see the most important doctrines of our holy religion discussed seriously, closely, and in impreslive language, will find much satisfaction from the perusal of these sermons; but those readers whose perverted taste is only to be gratified by mere moral declamation and flimty description, will here meet with nothing to suit their palate.
We could extract many pleasing passages by way of confirming our recommendation, but our very confined limits will only permit us to give the table of contents. “ Sermons I. and II. On the bclief of God, and the works that thould follow it. Tert, James ii. 19.-III. On the law to which our first parents were subject in paradise. Gen. ii. 16, 17.-IV. On liberty and neceflity, fame text.-- V. Same subject continued, on Luke, xvii. 1.-VI. On the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. 1 John v. 7.-VII. The Jews reproach of our Saviour, and on John the Baptist. Luke vii. 33, 34.
VIII. On Pilate's Question“ What is truth?” John xviii. 38.-IX. On fearing the reproach of men. If. li. 7.-X. On the duty of mercifulnels. Luke vi. 36.-XI. On the judgment to come. Acts xxiv. 25.-XII. On peace with God. Job xxii. 21." Having thus spoken to the general merits of these excellent difcourses, we trust, the author will excuse us for noticing a small inaccuracy in his ingenious disquisition (for such it is) on “liberty and neceility.” Be it, however, premited, that we are neither Itoics nor calrinijs, in the firiet fense of thote appellations, yet we are of opinion that the predestination of the latter does by no means bear a relation to the fatalism of the former. Mr. Bateley, and many other found divines, have considered the terms as synonymous, and if they were indeed such, then we should not scruple to condemn cutrinism as being both gloomy and horrible. But the fact is, there is a wide distinction between the two systems, and we cannot, in justice to the virtues and learning of an eminent reformer, permit the convertibility of the terms to pars without notice. The doctrine of necellity, which is the fatalism of Zeno, makes no difference at all between human a&tions, but confiders every one whether good or bad, as the consequence of abfolute predetermination; whereas the real doctrine of Culrin, on this subjeć, is no more than this, that fallen man is restored to the divine favour and prepared for heaven by communicated grace, which leads him to abbor vice and to love virtue. What his 'followers, or those who have - unjustly assumed the sanction of his name, have broached, with respect to the divine decrees, is another question, and for their dogmas he is not answerable.
On the Difference between the Deaths of the Righteous and the Il’icked. · Illustrated in the Injtance of Dr. Samuel Johnson and David Hume,
Esq. A Sermon, preached before the University of Oxford, at St. Mary's Church, on Sunday, July 23, 1786. By the Rev. WILLIAM
Agutter, A. M. London, 1800. INFIDELS, in order to fhake the Christian's faith, and by way of holding
up to view the pretended superiority of philofophical Deilm, over the pure principles inculcated by Revelation, have alledged that, while the dying monents of the believer in Christ are at times disturbed, and, to appearance at least, rendered uneasy, by imperfect aflurances of the mind, respecting its happiness in a future itate ; the infidel, rising above such fears, and not dismayed by a review of his past actions, with perfect indifference to what becomes of that part of his nature which he cannot prove to be material, clotes his eyes “ with manly fortitude," looks death in the face with boldness, and seems to defy the “ king of terrors." This, however, is mere atsumption; if the “ latter end of the Christian be fometimes clouded by doubts and apprehensions, for the most part his death is placid and lerene; and “his hopes, built on the mercy of God, through the merits of his Redeemer,” are cheered and supported to the last pang of struggling nature. This cannot be faid of the death of the infidel, in a general way. An instance or two may be produced, of minds, which had been long inured to doubt of every thing that bade defiance to the comprehension of finite reason, being rendered callous, through habit, and at the hour of death, having discovered no evident signs of remorse or terror. But these are folitary instances, if they can be produced. And we know, from experience, the reverse to be true, and that inttead of “calm tranquillity,” perturbation of spirits, keen sensations of remorte, and pungent anguish of foul, are the attendants of the death-bed of the infidel.
To account for the doubts, which may sometimes alarm a pious Christian at this awful period, and to point out the causes whence they arise; and at the same time to Ahow how far the mind may be lost to all confideration on a future state, and to what a degree of filence, specious reasoning, and immoral habits, may Itrike human tears, and lull awakening reflections, is the laudable purport of this discourie; of which one great design is, to exhibit, by way of proof, a parallel drawn between two men of great eminence in the literary world. The one a Christian philosopher, whose life and writings have tended to improve the understanding, to enlarge and regulate the belt feelings of the human hezrt, and to establish and confirm that lystem of morals which alone is belt calculated to promote the welfare of finite beings. The other an infidel philofopher, or a philosophical Deist; who, doubting himself of every thing that appeared like a revelation of God's will, encouraged the world to doubt of it likewise; and by attempting to reaion away the prospect of a future state of rewards and punithments, gave loote reins to the nioft irregular propenfities of human nature; which, by free indulgence, are lure to produce confequences of inevitable ruin to the individual, to the society, and to the country that cherishes them.
The reader of Mr. A.'s discourse will be amply repaid for the attention that he may give it in the perutal. The subject of it requires attention, and it is handled in a way that cannot fail to engage the underlianding' on the side of the believer. It is a warm and an affe&tionate address, written, con amore, for the
memory memory of our great moralist. The style of this sermon is easy and pleasant, the language of it is good, and the arguments by which it is enforced are convincing. Thoughts on Happiness; a Poem, in Four Books. 12mo. 35. pp. 94.
Rivingtons, &c. TF we stood in need of an apology for taking notice, in our review, of de publications which are not ftri&ly theological, the following would be more than sufficient in the present instance. « Whatever profits may arise from the sale of this poem, will be applied to the fund of the Charity for the Relief of the necessitous Widows, Sons, and Daughters of Clergymen, within the Archdeaconry of Coventry.”
Such a motive for publishing would disarm critics of rigour, even were they disposed to be ever so stern ; but we have the pleasure of declaring that, the poem before us, though on a subject much hacknied, possesses uncommon merit. It is clearly the production of no unfledged poet, though why he should choose to conceal his name is unaccountable, especially as the poem has been printed by subscription. It is dedicated, in a handsome manner, to Dr. Eveleigh, provost of Oriel College, Oxford, of which fociety the author has been a member. We predict, however, that such a writer cannot long remain unknown to the public, and it would be a misfortune if he should.
The source of true happiness is thus energetically described, and with this extract we shall close our notice of this truly excellent poem.
“ Let him whose passions, so perversely strong,
As hope still brings fuperior pleasures nigh.”
GOSPEL IN FOREIGN PARTS. ON Friday the 19th instant, was held at Bow Church, Cheapside, the
anniversary of the venerable Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts. The sermon was preached by the Right Rev. Dr. Buckner, Lord Bishop of Chichester, from 2 Corinthians, ch. iv. v. 6. “ For GOD, who commanded the light to fhine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” After thewing the pre-eminent excellence of the Christian Religion, in
enlightening the human mind, and in regulating human actions, his lord1hip proceeded to consider the duty incumbent on all who profess that fublime lyftem, to spread the knowledge of it amongst the ignorant, and especially those who, in the expressive language of scripture, “ fit in darkness, and in the thadow of death.” The right reverend preacher then gave a concise view of the objects, plan, extent, and progress of the so-, ciety whore anniversary was then commemorated. He admitted that the benevolent and pious endeavours of Christians, for the successful propagation of the Gospel among the heathens, had not been attended with all the success which could have been wilhed. For this failure of fuccefs, his lordship acutely alligned there causes, the gross superstition and sentualism of the heathens in general, the corruptions of popery, whole advocates have been the most active millionaries, and the continuance of the flave-trade. On the subject of popery, the bishop was very animated, and incidentally observed, that the success of the philosophists on the continent, and particularly in France, was, in a great meafure, owing to the abominations of the church of Rome. The corruptions of that church having been represented, by the infidels, as synonymous with the doctrines of Christianity, has occasioned many persons to reje&t both. This part of his discourse was concluded, by the bishop, with a folemn and impreflive caution against the 1pirit of popery, a spirit (as lie observed) which may, perhaps, be dormant, but yet is not extinguished.
On the subject of the slave-trade, or “ the traffic in human flesh,” his lordship inade many striking and pathetic remarks. After condemning that odious merchandize, in terms, and with arguments, which became a minister and bishop of the church of Chrift; he remarked, with peculiar emphasis, on the still more shocking inhumanity of neglecting the souls of the unhappy persons whose bodies we enslaved.
The Archbishop of Canterbury not being present, the blessing was pronounced by the Lord Bishop of London.
After fermon, the Lord Mayor sent to invite the bishops, according to custom, to dine with his Lordihip at the Mansion House.
A NEW HISTORY AND ILLUSTRATION OF THE COMMON
PRAYER. (Continued from page 42.)
OF BenediCITE, AND THE REST OF THE HYMNS. THIS is the name of the second hymn after the first lesson, or the • Canticle: Benedicite, omniu opera Domini, Domino, which in English might be called the canticle or fong, Oh all ye works of the Lord, blets ye the Lord. It is also called the song of the three children in the burning fiery furnace; a hymn which the primitive Christians most probably adopted from the Jewith Church.
From Cyprian and Ruffinus, we learn, that this bymn was generally fung by confeffors, martyrs, and all members of the Christian Communion; and, though originally in the apochryphal parts of Daniel, Ruffinus maintains, against Jerom, that it is a portiun of Holy Writ: St. Cyprian allo, calls it a divine fcripture:-Athanasius recommends it in private devotion; and the fourth council of Toledo enjoined it to be used in all the Spanith Churches, “because it was then lung all over the world." St. Chryfoftom, to the same observation, added, that it would so continue to the latest postority. These suggestions, subfequent experience seems likely to confirm.
Vól, II, Churchm. Aug. Feb, 1802. P