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for the work of the ministry, and specially calls them to this work; and that from among these there are some, whom God calls to devote themselves fully to the service of his church, they feel it to be their ini. perative duty to place themselves at the disposal of the church, and to renounce their ordinary avocations that they may become devoted to the work of the ministry ;- and there are others, who, although they are assured they have a call from God to preach his word, yet are equally satisfied, He does not call them to renounce the employments in which they labour for their support, and thus become wholly given up to the service of his church : both these classes of ministers are called of God; but yet there is the difference in the call which we have expressed, and this difference destroys the “ Identity,” for Identity admits of no difference.
Let it not, however, be supposed that we are contending for the class-superiority of itinerant preachers asserted by Mr. Barrett. We repudiate his distinctions : although we believe, that ordinarily those christians who possess the largest amount of ministerial qualifications, are called by God, and required by the church to become fully devoted to the work of the ministry ; yet we also know that there are some, highly esteemed brethren, who believe it to be their duty to labour as local preachers, and who in the judgment of the church, for special reasons, ought to continue to labour as such, who nevertheless possess suitable qualifications for the discharge of all the functions of the christian ministry; and who possess those qualifications in a superior degree, to that in which they are possessed by some who are engaged as itinerant ministers. We know of no scriptural authority which requires a man called of God to preach his gospel to renounce his other lawful employments before he can be qualified to perform all the offices of a christian minister.
We conclude therefore, that the mere circumstance of a man labouring as a local preacher, does not render him ineligible to discharge any of the functions of the christian ministry, for the exercise of which, IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE CHURCH, he posseses suitable qualifications; and which functions BY THE VOICE OF THE CHURCH he may be called to discharge. In conclusion, we remark that we are persuaded that Mr. Barrett will find it very difficult to grapple with some of the arguments employed by Mr. Grimshaw. We should be glad to see the discussion continued ; but we opine Mr. Barrett will not venture to continue the controversy. Although we dissent from some of tbe minor opinions advanced by Mr. Grimshaw, already referred too, yet we thank him for his seasonable and valuable pamphlet.
Notes ON THE SCRIPTURE Lessons, for 1842, 12mo. 12 pp. SUNDAY School UNION.
Designed to assist Sunday School teachers, in explaining and applying the instruction contained in the Scripture lessons to be used according to the Arrangement made and published by the Sunday School Union. We regard the publication of a work of this kind as most important, if not absolutely necessary to secure the advantages which may accrue from using the arrangement of Scripture lessons, to which we have referred. Many of our valuable Sabbath School teachers have not access to costly commentaries, nor have they sufficient time to think out for themselves and arrange the knowledge contained in those lessons of Scripture to be used in their classes. The plan of the work before us is as follows:- The passage of Scrip. ture to be read is specified ; explanations are then given of the leading terms which occur in the passage, then the doctrines which it contains are stated; the practical lessons, are also drawn out; and the questions which it will be most desirable to propose to the children are suggested. If the subsequent parts equal the specimen now before us, which we confidently anticipate, the whole work will be one of great value, and be productive of much benefit. We however, would remind our friends, the Sabbath School teachers, that this work is not to supersede their own efforts, by diligent study to understand the Scripture lessons, but should only be used as an aid to assist them, to understand and explain those lessons. To derive all the advantages which this work offers, it will be requisite that they should regard it, as furnishing mere outlines of addresses which require their careful attention, in order that they may use them, so as to interest and benefit their scholars.
The ConGREGATIONAL CALENDAR, and Family ALMANAC, for 1842. 12mo. 120 pp. Jackson and WALFORD.
This work deserves the patronage of all evangelical Dissenters, among whom we include ourselves ; it is prepared with great ability and care ; it contains a large amount of important and interesting information, and is published at a very moderate price, considering the expense which it must have occasioned. If the members of the Churches represented by “ The Congregational Union” do not cause it to have a very extensive circulation, they will manifest that they do not properly appreciate the value of this “ Calendar and Almanac.”
Entertaining, as we do, sentiments of sincere respect and good-will towards those Churches connected with the Congregational Union, we rejoice that they are so numerous, that they have a body of Ministers whose character, in all respects, stands deservedly so high in the estimation of the wise and good ; and that they occupy so important a position, enabling them to exert powerful energies for the benefit of mankind. We desire that our own section of the Church should, as far as it can, fraternise and co-operate with the Churches of the Congregational Union, and with all other classes of evangelical Dissenters.
Estimates of Missions, in HEAVEN, EARTH, and Hell. By an Old-Fashioned Family. 12mo. 24 pp. John Snow.
Laudably designed, and well adapted to excite greater interest on behalf of Christian Missions.
Fox's Book of MARTYRS. Edited by the Rev. J. CUMMING, M. A. Royal 8vo. 88 pp. Part IX. G. Virtue.
A cheap and beautiful edition of this most invaluable work.
The Scenery AND ANTIQUITIES OF IRELAND Illustrated: from Drawings made expressly for this Work. Part X. G. VIRTUE.
CANADIAN SCENERY ILLUSTRATED : from Drawings by W. H. BARTLETT. Royal 4to. Part XXI. G. VIRTUE.
The Illustrations of Ireland, and of Canada, must be interesting to all who take an interest in those important sections of the British Empire. The enterprising publisher seems to spare no expense to render his publications worthy of public patronage.
Preparing for Publication. A New Edition of Dr. J. PYE Smith's Four DISCOURSES on the Sacrifice, PriestHOOD, ATONEMENT, and REDEMPTION of Christ, is nearly ready, in 1 vol. foolscap 8vo.
CONGREGATIONALISM; or, the Polity of Independent Churches, viewed in Relation to the State and Tendencies of Modern Society, including an Address delivered in Nottingham, before the Autumnal Meeting of the Congregational Union of England and Wales. By Robert VAUGHAN, D.D. Royal 12mo.
A DEFENCE of the Personal Reign of Christ; or, Strictures on the following Works :-“ Millenarianism Unscriptural,” by Geo. Hodson ; « The Personal Reign of Christ,” by 0. T. Dobbin. A.B.; “ The Second Advent,” by G. H. Davis; “ The Millennium a Spiritual State,” by J. Jefferson; and “ Lectures on the Second Advent," by Dr. Urwick. By Joseph Tyso.
Proposals have been issued for Publishing by Subscription, in 1 vol. 8vo. Daniel and His Times, and ZECHARIAH and His Times. By the late THOMAS WEMYSS, Author of “ Job and His Times," “ Biblical Gleanings," fc, fc. To which will be prefixed, A MEMOIR of the Author.
A LETTER TO THE EDITOR. Dear Sir,
As I think that the notes which you have appended to my “Essay on the Revealed Will of God,” may lead to misapprehension, I request permission (not in a spirit of controversy, but to set myself right with your readers), to remark, that you appear to me, in your first note, to have made a distinction without a difference. You admit ihat when those who devote their attention to verbal criticism, “neglect to attend to the requirements of God's word in reference to their own spiritual interests, they are justly designated triflers, .... because they are not practically obedient to the truth.” Now this is all that I contend for; and you only give my meaning in other words. You will see, on referring to the Essay, that I deprecate the conduct of those persons who spend in verbal criticism “ that portion of the time which they devote to the study of the scriptures," and are mere Biblical grammarians. And I repeat that such conduct is justly designated “learned trilling, and has no more tendency to feed the soul, than counting the letters of the alphabet.” Whoever confines his attention to the WORDS of the Bible will find to his eternal loss that "THE LETTER KILLETH." The Jews were
superstitiously exact in ascertaining and recording the number of words and letters contained in the Old Testament; but notwithstanding their minute knowledge of words and syllables, they were ignorant of God's righteousness, and did not obey the gospel, but remained “a disobedient and gainsaying people.” Rom. x. 3, 16, 21.
As to prophecy, I have not said a word to discourage its “humble and prayerful study.” But I reprobate the indulging “in wild flights of fancy, instead of receiving with meekness the ingrafted word ; '” and the straining of the language of prophecy in order to force a meaning adapted to the favourite theory of every wild visionary who chooses to form a scheme of interpretation according to his own invention, of which there are hundreds of instances. No part of Holy Writ has been more abused than the prophetical Scriptures, and I do not think a word of caution on that head is at all out of place.
Your other note would almost indicate something wearing the semblance of an approximation to the shadow of a shade of difference on a doctrinal point. I did not quote the text (I Tim. v. 6.) to support the doctrine of the spiritual death of all unconverted persons; I merely made use of the words " dead while he liveth,” as correctly expressing the sentiment I was inculcating. But I do not see how the fact of all unregenerate persons being spiritually dead can be successfully controverted. The apostle Paul's reasoning (2 Cor. v. 14.) is, “That if one died for all, THEN WERE ALL DEAD." See also, Eph. ii. 1,5; Col. ii. 13. But I differ with you as to the opinion you express respecting the applicability of 1 Tim. v. 6. to the doctrine of the spiritual death of all men previous to their conversion. You say, “the text of Scripture referred to does not apply to every man born into the world, but only to persons who neglect the service of God to enjoy the pleasures of sense.” Now is not this precisely the conduct of "every man born into the world,” until he is regenerated by the grace and power of the Spirit of God ?”
REMARKS ON MR. ÇOXON'S LETTER.
From the preceding it appears that our Correspondent is displeased with our notes, and although we think he has complained without any just occasion, yet, lest he should think us uncourteous, we have inserted his communication: and having done this, we must now, of necessity, offer to our readers our vindication of our notes, censured by our Correspondent.
Notwithstanding Mr. Coxon professes to conceive, that our notes “ may lead to misapprehension,” yet he also states, that we have only expressed his “ meaning in other words," and have merely “made a distinction without a difference, ;' that the difference is only as “the shadow of a shade.” If so, then, the only misapprehension that could have arisen, would have been, that our readers might have supposed Mr. Coxon had not expressed himself so clearly as was needful to guard against his being misunderstood; and that therefore our notes were properly introduced. This we conclude to be what Mr. Coxon means by the “misapprehension" to which he refers. However, we conceive, that our readers, so concluding, would not be any misapprehension of the facts of the case.
Mr. Coxon affirms, that, in our“ first note" we “have made a distinction without a difference," and have only given his “ meaning in other words." We conceive, however, that there is a difference between what Mr. Coxon meant, and what is expressed by his statement, on which we remarked. IF Mr. Coxon meant only what our words express, he ought to have made a different statement to that on which we have remarked. Mr. Coxon's words, without any distortion of their meaning, condemn the study of the Holy Scriptures, as being only “ learned trifling.” We in our note condemn, not the study of the holy Scriptures, but the neglecting to turn to practical purposes the knowledge of divine truth thereby obtained, Surely this is both a distinction and a difference! Mr. Coxon will reply, “I do not condemn the study of the holy Scriptures, I never intended any such thing; that is NOT MI meaning.” We give Mr. Coxon credit for these statements. We only affirm, that his WORDS, on which we remarked, may be fairly understood as discouraging the study of the holy Scriptures. As Mr. Coxon has not quoted, fully, the words on which we thought it to be our duty to write the note with which he is displeased, we now quote them :-" There are others who delighting in verbal criticism, spend that portion of the time which they devote to the study of the holy Scriptures, in endeavouring to settle the precise grammatical construction of the text, and to ascertain the exact literal meaning, of every word and phrase. To this end, they industriously collect all the possible and supposable interpretations that have been invented or imagined. This is merely learned trifling; and has no more tendency to feed the soul, than counting the letters of the alphabet.”
On this passage we remark, that what Mr. Coxon's words may be fairly understood as CONDEMNING, we COMMEND. We commend, the taking pleasure or " delighting” in “ verbal criticism :" we commend endeavours " to settle the precise grammatical construction of the text, and to ascertain the meaning of every word and phrase,” we commend “ for Tuis purpose,” the collecting and collating “ all the possible and supposable interpretations that have been invented or imagined.” We not only thus far commend what by Mr. Coxon's words is discouraged and condemned, as "merely learned trifling ;" we also dispute, the correctness of his statement, that such a mode of studying the holy Scriptures “has no more tendency to feed the soul than counting the letters of the alphabet !” On the contrary, we affirm, this is a proper mode of studying the holy Scriptures, foruto study the Scriptures” signifies, strictly, to labour to ascertain what the Scriptures teach. We say, therefore, to do, what we have thus commended, ought not to be designated “ mere learned trifling ;” but on the contrary, it is worthy of commendation, as important Biblical investigation; and to say that such a mode of studying the Scriptures, “has no more TENDENCY to feed the soul than counting the letters of the alphabet, ” is no more correct, than it would be to say, that for a man to labour at some lawful employment by which he obtains money to buy bread, “has no more tendency to feed” bis body, than to sit still, and listlessly gaze upon the heavenly orbs, or merely to sit counting his fingers! Whatever is calculated to ASSIST, to DIRECT, or CONTRIBUTE to the attainment of any object has a “ TENDENCY" to that object; and the mode of studying the Scriptures referred to, is surely more calculated to assist, direct, or contribute to feeding of the soul with the bread of life, than merely “counting the letters of the alphabet.” The man who thus studies the Scriptures, and who does not get his soul fed, is like the man who has procured bread, but yet refuses to eat; and we condemn not the means he has employed in bringing the bread within his reach, but his perverseness in refusing or neglecting to eat the bread, which by laudable means he has brought within his power: And if this was, as we, believe all that Mr. Coxon meant, this is not all which his statement, on which we have remarked fairly means. It was therefore our duty as we were not allowed to qualify his statement to append the note to which he objects.
Our Correspondent in his Essay made a statement concerning prophecy, which we considered to be calculated to discourage its “ humble and prayerful study;" he now affirms, he has "not said a word to discourage " such study. We know not what words he could have used more discouraging to the study