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of communicants at the monthly sacraments, in his own church is seldom less than two thousand, and sometimes more than four thousand.—His discourses are plain and practical. He does not affect a display of learning, or extensive reading; but his whole aim is to speak to the heart.—He draws all his arguments from the sacred oracles, not only as they are best adapted to the capacities of his hearers, but as they contain the only method of salvation for fallen, guilty, and helpless sinners. Knowing the wretched state of man by nature, he tries to rouse him to a sense of his danger by the thunders of the law, and the lightnings of Sinai. Deeply acquainted with the gospel scheme of salvation by Jesus Christ, he publishes the glad tidings with all the fervour and affection of one who experimentally knows their inestimable worth. He sometimes adds tears to his entreaties, when, after he hath displayed the unsearchable riches of Christ, he is inviting the miserable, the poor, and the naked, to come and partake of them. Yet, being convinced that no human persuasion can prevail with them to accept of a free and plenteous redemption, he, with earnest supplication, recommends them to the Spirit of grace, and to his efficacious influence. And oh! in what rapturous and elevated strains does he often perform this part of his office! How are the congregations melted, borne down, and overcome, while the sweet and precious accents of the gospel drop from his tongue! Having learned by happy experience that faith is a vital principle, wrought in the soul by the Spirit of God, he not only inculcates universal holiness of heart and life, as an evidence of genuine faith, but insists upon it as an indispensable meetness for communion with God, both in time and eternity. These various subjects he illustrates by pertinent scriptural allusions, and by similies borrowed from those objects which happen to be nearest at hand. This too he hath learned from the example of his blessed Waster, who grounded most of his parables on some object that presented itself to the
eyes of his auditory The most squeamish critic and most flippant wit,
if they understood his vernacular language, and could hear him deliver them with his grave and manly eloquence, carrying all before it like an irresistible torrent, would soon alter their opinion; and if they could not, with Saul, when he was admitted among the prophets, catch his spirit, they would learn to admire and extol his productions. Blessed as he is with these endowments, can it be wondered that he is a successful preacher? Accompanied as the word from his mouth is with uncommon energy from above, can it be thought incredible that so many thousands of souls should, under his ministry, be brought from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God?" How remarkable!
"Rowlands' amazing successive bursts of eloquence, overwhelming, under the Spirit's influence, the vast congregation, and thus advancing the kingdom of grace, shall next be set forth and attested by another respectable testimony. I heard the celebrated Griffiths of Nevern describing his extraordinary preaching in a very remarkable manner. He used, with great pleasure, to portray the public oratory of this great man sometimes as follows :—
"This great preacher, in his public ministrations," he would say, "resembles the gradual swelling and bursting of the waves of the ocean, when the wind agitates the bosom of the deep. The overwhelming power of the mighty influence of the Spirit in his ministry came on gradually, in manner like a wave of the sea, increasing more and more. He commenced his address calmly; but as he advanced, both his matter and manner increased in interest. His congregation, always immense in number, were most intensely observing him, with eyes like stars, and delightfully watching him as he was advancing in so noble and grand a manner;—their minds and feelings were carried along with him most sweetly and powerfully, being excited to a high pitch of religious emotion ;—until at length his eloquence attained its climax, and then his preaching, under divine influence, would most nobly break forth, like the rising swell of the sea, and would overwhelm the great concourse of people in an astonishing manner. The intenscness of their feelings found relief in the same moment in a simultaneous burst of Hallelujahs and ascriptions of praise to the Most High God. The preacher would then pause for a short interval, until the people had enjoyet1 the feast:—his voice indeed could not have been heard, had he proceeded It was also necessary to permit their fervour to subside, in order to fit thei. for hearing the renewal of his discourse with profit. They would exert themselves to suppress their feelings as quickly as possible, as they were anxious to enjoy the rich repast set before them by this extraordinary and highly gifted ambassador of heaven. He would then commence another paragraph of his sermon, in a cool and deliberate manner, but gradually rising, like another wave of the sea, into amazing sublimity of ideas and warmth of feelings, the natural and genuine effects of evangelical views, and the Spirit's influence. These again, clothed with appropriate and suitable expressions by the teaching of the Spirit of God, generated similar feelings in his hearers. They were hanging on his lips, and watching him with the most anxious and delightful expressions, for they knew well by his matter and manner, as well as by his language, what was coming on: his voice, his countenance, and his discourse gradually altering, and that in a wonderful manner, as he was advancing; and when his evangelical and extraordinary eloquence arrived at its climax, it was most glorious,—it went forth like the bursting of another mighty wave. And the great mass of the people was again overpowered by their feeling, and again burst out in loud Hosannas to the Son of David. The attitude, voice, and gesture of this great man were at such times most striking, noble, and impressive. Every nerve in his face was in motion, and his countenance seemed to beam with radiance, like the sun in his strength."
Mr. Rowlands continued his ministerial labours without interruption, until his death, which occurred September 16th, 1790, when he was in the seventy-seventh year of his age. On the Sabbath preceding his death, he told his people, that he was on the point of being taken away from them,—that he was " not tired of the work, but in it." He died in the full triumph of faith, knowing Jehovah to be his everlasting portion.
Such is a brief outline of the character of the remarkable man principally referred to in the volume now before us. As we proceeded in reading it, we marked two or three observations, which we do not fully approve, relating to "Calvinism, and "the doctrine of Christian perfection." Calvinism is spoken of, by implication, as though the doctrine of salvation by grace, through faith in the atonement of Christ, producing holiness of heart and life, were a peculiar tenet of that ism. It is, however, no more "Calvin-ism," than it is Arminian-ism; and it is of higher authority than Any Ism can bestow. The doctrine of "Christian perfection," is also improperly said to be "suitable to natural depravity," giving "legal views." We confess we do not so understand this doctrine; unless it can be asserted that it is suited to natural depravity to believe, that " the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin!" or that the apostle encouraged "natural depravity," and "legal views," when he prayed for the perfection of Christian believers. We are aware that some persons have written and spoken on the subject of '' Christian perfection," in a most unguarded and improper manner; but that is no reason why a stigma should be fixed to the doctrine itself. By that doctrine, we understand no more than this,—that God by the grace of his Holy Spirit is able and willing to save believers, in this life, from all sin, and to fill them with Divine love; and that in the use of the means of grace, especially that of faith in Christ, we may attain to the possession of this state of salvation.
Although we have felt it needful to make these observations, we are, with only the exceptions just noticed, well pleased with the work. It breathes the spirit of piety,—the author, we doubt not, is a man of a truly Christian spirit. The information he has collected is heart-refreshing, interesting and instructive. If by his labours in preparing the work for publication, other persons become animated by a zeal and piety such as distinguished Daniel Rowlands, the author will reap an abundant reward.
"H KAINH AIA6HKH, EX EDITIONS STEPHANI TERTIA, 1550.— THE
New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: according to the authorised version. The Greek and English Texts arranged in parallel columns, with the addition of Marginal References. J. W. Parker, London.
This reprint of Robert Stephens' third edition of the Greek New Testament, and of the English authorised version, is admirably well got up; the type and paper arc excellent. It is a beautiful little volume.
FOX'S BOOK OF MARTYRS; Edited by the Rev. J. Cumming, M. A. Part XIV. Royal 8vo. G. Viiitue.
This part contains a beautiful engraved portrait of the celebrated Bohemian reformer and martyr, John 1 hiss. It also contains several admirably executed wood engravings, some of which are illustrative of the horrible cruelties practised by the horrible court of the Spanish Inquisition. The subscribers to this valuable work, must be pleased with the excellent manner in which it is got up.
CANADIAN SCENERY ILLUSTRATED: from Drawings by W. H. Babtlett; tlie Literary Department by N. P. Willis, Esq. Part XXVI. Itoyal 4to. G. Virtue.
The Illustrations are, "The Governors' House, Fredricton; Halifax; Fredericton; and Falls on the St. John River." The engravings are in the first style; and the information given in the letter-press is very interesting.
THE SCENERY AND ANTIQUITIES OF IRELAND Illustrated; from Drawings by W. Bautlf.tt; the Literary Department by N. P. Willis, "Esq. Royal Quarto. Pail XV. G. Virtue.
This Part contains four beautiful engravings of "Narrow Water Castle; Plaiskin Cliff, near the Giants' Causeway; Kenbane Castle; and Luggela; and twelve pages of descriptive letter press.
PRIZE ESSAYS to reconcile Deut. xiv. 25, 26, with the principle of Total Abstinence from all Intoxicating Drinks. By F. R. Lees, Esq. of Leeds, and the Rev. C. J. Kennedy, of Paisley. 12 mo. 78 p.p.
THE WINE QUESTION; a Critical and Scriptural View of the Subjects. A Lecture. By the Rev. C. J. Kennedy, Paisley. 12mo. 23 pp. Scottish Temperance Union, Glasgow.
These tracts manifest their authors to possess considerable critical acumen— they are written in a good spirit, and are well calculated to advance the interests of the cause they were designed to promote.
ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF LAY-PREACHING:
A TRACT FOR THE TIMES.
Few are the readers of the Wesleyan Methodist Association Magazine, who have not heard of a class of ministers of the church of England, that arrogates to itself, in this country, the exclusive authority of ministering the word of God; on the ground that, on their heads only have been laid the hands of men, to whom they assign the title of My Lord's Bishops; and who, as such, claim to be the sole-successors of the apostles of the Lord. To all beside themselves, who venture to warn sinners of the danger of their ways, they apply the charge of intruding into a sacred office: an offence which, they affirm, is of a corresponding nature with that committed by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and which cannot fail to bring down on them the anger of Almighty God.
It might perhaps be well to ask such persons, what would have been the circumstances of our land in regard to religion and morals, if none but the clergy of the established church had laboured in the word and doctrine ?— and to request them to compare England in these respects with the countries —such as Spain, Portugal, and Italy, in which no ministers of religion, but such successors of the apostles, have been suffered to exist. However pure, those who are designated Puseyites or Tractarians, may assert the faith of such countries to be (and they do assert their faith to be pure except in the article of the Pope's supremacy), it must be allowed that where murder and robbery are ordinary occurrences, the faith is at least held in unrighteousness. It is indeed admitted by themselves, that their predecessors in the succession have been unfaithful to their high calling; but they assert that this time is passed; and that, as they have awakened out of sleep, and are prepared to make up by future activity, for past indifference, those who have hitherto laboured with success, should retire and leave the field open to their new-born zeal.
I am well aware that the persons against whom these observations are chiefly directed, will be far from admitting that success in converting sinners to righteousness, is a sufficient apology for such an enormity as they esteem Lay-Preaching to be. A conversion accompanied by dissent from an Episcopal church, must, in their estimation, entirely vitiate any excellency with which it could be associated; but on this subject let us hear—not a "successor," but an apostle himself—yea, the Lord and Master of apostles in his own person. When the unauthorised preacher, mentioned by Mark, ix. 38, and Luke, ix. 49, was commanded by an apostle to desist from his labour, the Lord himself vindicated his cause, and encouraged his perseverance. A worse motive than envy and strife can scarcely be imagined in a preacher of the Gospel: it is as bad as the love of lucre—of the loaves and fishes; or as any imputed to political dissenters; and yet an apostle rejoiced in this preaching, because of its effects, in diffusing the knowledge of the Saviour where it would not otherwise have reached, Phil. i. 15, 16. The authority of an apostle for considering the conversion of sinners to holiness, as sufficient
proofs of ministerial qualification, 2 Cor. iii. 2, 3, as good at least as that of a bishop's seal, 1 Cor. ix. 2, may be found at the references here given. I am well aware that arguments of the kind here adduced, will have but little weight with those to whom the customs and legends of what is called the church in the few first centuries, are more important than the plain revealed will of God: even though by this practice they violate the spirit of one of the articles of their own church, to the belief of the truth of which they have (ex animo) subscribed.
This sort of persons place more dependance on a doubtful assertion concerning a subject regarding which the author could not have possessed any peculiarly accurate information, conveyed by a Greek writer, whose writings are not accessible to ordinary readers, than on a plain text of Holy Scripture; and that too, not when the subject concerned doctrine only, but even when it refers to well-known facts: thus, that Peter resided at Rome for several years as the bishop of that see, is judged, amply proved by the hints of such a weak writer as Papias,—who was, by his own confession, a hunter after obscure traditions. There are also ancient writers who inform us that the apostle Paul was married; in spite of all the apostle tells us to the contrary. A (now) professor of pastoral theology has been known to preach before a bishop, and to print the sermon by request, to prove the necessity of episcopal ordination to the office of the ministry: taking for his text, 1 Tim. iv. 14, "With the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery." It is not the preposterous nature of the proof, however, so much as the importance ascribed to the doctrines of the Tractarians, that excites surprise. Will any one upon examining the sixth article of the church of England, affirm, that according to its testimony, the essence of the ministerial office consists, and only consists, in the imposition of an episcopal hand, and that the efficacy, and only efficacy, of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper (conferring grace opere operate) is to be obtained from one thus ordained; or can be reconciled with the following words: "Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation."
But we will now proceed more directly to the consideration of individual proofs of the fact, that—contrary to the doctrines of the Puseyites, LayPreaching existed in the primitive church, and continued, at least, through the third and fourth centuries of Christianity.
When, from the effectual preaching of the apostles at the day of Pentecost, a considerable church was gathered together at Jerusalem—taught by the Spirit, and worshipping in truth, high and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, were of one heart and one soul.
Oh what an age of golden days!
Surely, a peculiar Providence must be supposed to watch for the safety of such a community; to be a member of which, must confer an happiness past the power of expression, and from which, as a centre, so much light and love shall be diffused over the world. But there was much danger lest so delightful a state of things might hinder, instead of furthering the spread of the Gospel, by rendering its members unwilling to leave so happy a company. The ways of the Lord are not as our ways: the wolf became his servant, and the sheep were scattered among the nations: they went everywhere, and wherever they came they preached the word; and the people received them as ministers of God, Acts viii. i. It would imply great looseness of expression in the sacred writer, to suppose him to mean, that no more than the comparatively few, who had been set apart to the especial office of the ministry, were included in his observation, that, "they who were scattered abroad,