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maketh glad the city of our God above—asleep on the brink of the yawning grave, and on the very borders of hell!
Awake, awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light! Behold now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation! For behold it is but a little while, and he that shall come, will come, and will not tarry. Watch, therefore, for ye know not when the hour shall be, whether it shall be in the morning, or at noon, or in the evening, or amid the darkness of the night. Blessed are those servants who shall be found watching when the Bridegroom cometh!
We observe some discordance in the remarks made by the author, on the subject of national ecclesiastical establishments. Speaking of the church of Scotland, he states :—" She has already demonstrated that the principle of an establishment, is accordant with the standards of eternal truth!" and then shortly afterwards says, "But the question which is now at issue, and which remains to be decided, when cleared from all adventitious circumstances, and viewed in its essential elements is simply this :—Is it possible that a church can be established by law, and allowed at the same time to retain her position and her jurisdiction as a church of Christ?" We confess we know not how this can possibly be now a question,—if, as Mr. Wallace states, it has been "already demonstrated, that the principle of an establishment is accordant with the standards of eternal truth." Such a demonstration, if it can be produced, must be a conclusive and satisfactory answer to the question, which Mr. W. says yet remains to be decided. He has only to produce the demonstration and the question is settled.—As, however, "the question remains to be decided," we conclude that the demonstration is yet wanting; and we confess that we do not expect it will very speedily be produced. We cordially concur in the following sentiment, expressed by Mr. Wallace— "If it be demonstrated that this cannot be accomplished, without injury to herself, and with safety to the commonwealth, it is impossible to resist the conviction, that she deserves to be extinguished: for Christ's crown is then blotted from her banners."
CHRISTIAN PATRIOTISM. A Sermon, Preached before the Home Missionary Society. By the Rev. John Harris, D.D. 8vo. 34 pp. J. Snow.
This excellent Sermon is founded upon Rom. ix. 1,3, x. 4, from which texts the following propositions are deduced,—" That enlightened patriotism is a Christian virtue. That the highest order of patriotism is that which leads us to seek the salvation of our countrymen. That the highest order of instrumentality we can employ for this purpose, includes willing self-denial and earnest prayer. And that, besides the great general motives which should induce us to seek their salvation in common with that of all other men, some of the special reasons which moved the Apostle should equally operate upon us." These topics are illustrated and enforced with great ability. The Sermon is admirably adapted to excite to earnest, persevering, praying, self-denying, apostolic, christian-Iike efforts for the salvation of our own countrymen.
GEMS FOR SERIOUS CHRISTIANS. By James Peggs, late Milsionary in Oritui. Imperial 32 mo. 76. pp. J. Snow. This is a collection of short pithy sentences, many of which are of great excellence, and may justly be designated Gems. A few common pebbles which have been allowed a place in the Casket we would recommend to be thrown out—such as the following :—
"Man is created of precipitation.—Koran." "Nothing is sweet that is perpetual.—Erasmus." "Otho the Emperor judged it pussilanimity to think of death." For our own part we do not think any thing found among the rubbish of the Koran worthy the designation of a "Gem for Serious Christians." Our readers must not however judge of the whole by the extracts we have given. With few exceptions it is a Casket of pearls and precious stones.
WHAT WILL THIS BABBLER SAY? By the Rev. William Pym, M.A. 12 mo. 50 pp. James Niseet and Co.
This Pamphlet is on the subject of the prophetic numbers, the study of which the Author earnestly recommends. He is of opinion that we are now in the year of the world 5980, and that in twenty years the Sabbatic millenium will commence, but that fearful judgments will be previously poured out upon our ungodly world.
THE DEW OF HERMON; or, the True Source of Christian Unity. By the Rev. James Hamilton. 12 mo. 36 pp. James NisBETaudCo.
We conceive it to be impossible for any Christian to read this Tract without deriving both pleasure and profit.
THE STUDY OF CREATION. A Lecture delivered at the Literary Institution, Truro, Cornwall. By P. J. Wright. 12mo. 40 pp. H.
XJ ROOM BRIDGE.
A brief, but interesting description of the objects, in Creation, inviting and deserving the contemplation of man.
FOX'S BOOK OF MARTYRS; Edited by the Rev. J. Cumming, M. A. Royal 8vo. Part XV. G. Virtue.
No Protestant family, having the means of procuring, ought to be without this invaluable record of the horrible atrocities of the Papal Church.
THE SCENERY AND ANTIQUITIES OF IRELAND Illustrated; from Drawings by W. H. Bartlett; the Literary Department by N. P. Willis, Esq. Royal Quarto. Part XVI. G. Virtue. The Views are " The Cove of Cork; Glengariff; the Shannon; and Lame."
CANADIAN SCENERY ILLUSTRATED: from Drawings by W. II. Baktlett.; the Literary Department by N. P. Willis, Esq. Part XXVII. Royal 4to. G. Virtue.
The Illustrations are "The Residence of Judge Haliburton; the General's Bridge, near Annapolis; Scene in the Bay of Annapolis; and Kentville." It would be impossible for the Publisher to be remunerated for the heavy outlay of getting up these admirably executed productions, if they had not a very extensive sale.
SELF-POSSESSION IN THE PULPIT.
"Letters to a Young Preacher."
"My Dear Friend,
You express a wish that I should communicate some thoughts on the best means of attaining self-possession in your public exercises as a preacher.
I am sorry at not being able sooner to comply with your request, as you so much need advice on this head—by what you appear to suffer from its absence. Your complaints and sufferings are not singular—in short, too general. There are many, who, when engaged in the service of the sanctuary, are so discomposed, and agitated, as to lose their recollection; and with great difficulty avoid the odium attached to the disability of creditably finishing ministerial pulpit obligations. Of all the painful feelings to which the minds of good men are liable, these are in chief to be deprecated. Few, if any, are wholly exempt; but some are sufferers beyond the rest. Such go to the pulpit as to a place to be dreaded—descending from it as men escaping from imminent danger 1 Trace this distress up to its various causes, and you will find in it much of the sinfulness and weakness of human nature. Natural diffidence,—a nervous habit—a sense of the greatness of the office—a consciousness of personal insufficiency for it, and the dread of failing to accomplish the important objects of a christian ministry, may concur to disturb and oppress the mind. But this unhappy state is more frequently the offspring of a proud solicitude to acquit with applause—to please, rather than win souls; or possibly, the dastardly fear of critical severity in hearers of real or supposed superior wisdom or conceit—-especially preaching hearers. I have known the appearance of one man in a place of worship damp all the vivacity of a preacher, and involve his audience in the greatest anxiety for the issue of a confusion of which he appeared to be destitute of power to conceal.
1. As the servants of Jesus, our work should be our pleasure, our glory, our delight. We ought to engage in it, not only without reluctance, but as men endowed with the highest honors of which mortality is capable; and as men expecting, in a sense peculiar to their character and office, to shine as the stars for ever in the Church above. 2. Not to be discomposed by any circumstance of casual disorder in our assemblies,—not to be awed by real or imaginary superiority—not to be daunted by appearance of prejudice and enmity, but with readiness to improve sudden occurrences; and in a word, to maintain dominion over all that is presumptuous on the one hand, or slavish on the other: this is real Self-fossession. And as you consider the attainment of it to be so important to your usefulness and happiness, I intreat your devout attention to the subsequent rules, drawn up for my own use, and in the application of which, I have reaped some considerable advantages.
Much must necessarily depend upon a proper choice of subjects. To be happy in the work of the ministry, beware of texts requiring an extent of comprehension, and a critical accuracy of discussion, to which you are not adequate. Young preachers should be particularly attentive to this rule; and not begin to discourse as has been too common, with the Songs of Solomon, and the Revelations of John.
Whatever doctrine may become the subjects of your pulpit discussions,— satisfy yourself that you enter into the spirit of its meaning, that you clearly see the various parts of which it is composed—its connection—dependences, and application. How is it possible for you to possess yourself in preaching, when you are uncertain whether the foundation you lay is sufficient to support the superstructure you design to raise?
In the commercial world, men become confident as they grow rich. So it is in our holy calling. As by reading, and study, and prayer, we increase our literary and theological qualification and wealth; in proportion as we accumulate mental and devotional treasures, shall we rise superior to fear and anxiety.
The judicious collection and arrangement of materials for the spiritual building, demand unremitting exertion and constant care. It is not enough that you are well furnished—the furniture must be set in order—" Because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and Sought Out, and set in Order. His diligence was to find out acceptable words,—right scripture, and the words of truth:" therefore his tongue was as the pen of a ready writer, and his words "like pricks and nails, that go through: wherewith men are kept together."—Coverdale.
Aim at nothing in preaching to which your natural powers and providential endowments are not equal. Remembering the fable of the fish, who, not content with his native element, asking for and obtaining wings, that he might soar like a bird in the air; and which, when exhausted by flight, fell almost lifeless to the ground, acknowledging the folly of its wish, and the justice of its fate. The attempt of some pulpit orators to surprise with novelty, and dazzle with brightness—strikingly exemplifies the art of sinking, and exposes them to the mortification and confusion of just contempt.
Bright and sparkling parts, when unaffected, are like diamonds, which may adorn the proprietors, but are not necessary for the good of the church; whereas common sense and Christian simplicity are like current coin, for which we have occasion, every day, in the ordinary occurrences of life. If we would but call these into action, they would carry us to much greater lengths in usefulness and happiness thin we without trying can be aware of.
Would you enjoy yourself in the work of the Lord? Then always be before-hand with your preparations for it, that you may have time to familiarise your subjects by frequent reviews; and not be liable to interruptions, which would leave you very partially furnished to discharge your important trust.
Would you possess self-command,—entire self-possession—a satisfactory enjoyment in the work of the Lord—Do not commit more to memory than you can carry with ease and comfort. In acquiring proper confidence for public speaking, you will find yourself greatly assisted by embracing opportunities of freely conversing with men of superior age and wisdom; and by endeavouring on all such occasions to express yourself with composure, ease, and accuracy. Diligently practise, in the private walks of life, every means calculated to secure the Great Object,—the completion of your prayers, labours, wishes—the salvation of a lost world, through the publication of the Gospel of Jesus amongst a wicked and perverse generation. Read and study Acts v. 42; xx. 18—21. Such a course diligently followed, will beget both boldness and confidence in the Lord. Such a course remember, steadily pursued, is in direct opposition to the principles and prejudices of our fallen nature; yet is invariably productive of great confidence in preaching the kingdom of God, and in teaching of those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, xxviii. SO, 31.
There is, as you well know, an astonishing sympathy between mind and body: be therefore careful for your health. Air and exercise .are the chief protectors of the latter; and on its preservation, much of the comfort of the former is thus necessarily dependent. Rise early: few comparatively, have risen to eminence, or have lived long, who have not been systematic early risers. Abandon late studies: the advantages gained are at an incalculable sacrifice of physical health, strength, and of wasted mental energy. It is at the commencement of night, that our bodies, by a combined effort, attempt to throw a large portion of the circulation of the interior vessels to the surface; and consequently, to obtain a measure of rest for the more vital portions of the system. Thus, our physical powers, by a mechanical and adverse wakefulness, are obstructed in their efforts to preserve the entire body in health; and by this circumstance, you perceive the physical truth of the proverb—" An hour before twelve, better than two after." If you accustom yourself to rise early, the habit will become your second nature; and also, under God, become the lengthener and strengthener of your days. Early rising has been a peculiar concomitant of long life and vigorous health. Think of a Doddridge and a Wesley, who, in early life, bore the marks of "feebleness and weakness;" yet both, through the adoption of the early rising system, "lived and laboured" with uncommon diligence and indefatigable energy throughout the entire "days of their years," to sow the seeds of blessings of mental and spiritual good for generations unborn. By inattention to regular exercise—by late sittings up, and by other particulars which I may have yet to mention, many of our brethren in the ministry hare, in the flower of their age, dragged to the pulpit a trembling and enervated frame; and have exhibited to the view of an affectionate people, a miserable hypochondriacal life, a growing incapacity for ministerial duties among us,— and in addition thereto, a rapid approach toward dissolution.
In my next, I shall resume the subject of obstructions to self-possession: remembering the wise teacher—" He that can rule himself, is worth more than he that winneth a city."
HINTS TO MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL.
All that proceeds from a minister's lips ought to be as " apples of gold in pictures of silver." Is he a suppliant to the great God? let him consider whom he is addressing, what he is asking, and how may feeling, fervour, and faith in his prayers, carry souls to the throne? Is he engaged in an exhortation? the people soon discover if he has heart-felt anxieties for their good. Full well they know if what he says be pertinent, soul-searching, and talented. He might never to preach a poor sermon. The present is an age of education, light, and taste. Religious discourses, addresses to assemblages of immortals, preceded and followed by invocations to Jehovah for blessings on the truths they contain, should not only be Scriptural in doctrine, pure in sentiment, express in language; they should also be so framed and fitted as to arrest the people's attention, and command their hearts. Figures are admissible, and even desirable, for the Scriptures are abundantly interspersed with them; but a tissue of metaphors will produce a surfeit. Historical introductions, Bible narratives, and ingenious illustrations, are good, though generally viewed by a mixed audience as preparatives for something more pointed or powerful. For, strange or paradoxical as it may appear, men secretly prefer to hear what makes them ashamed of their sins; to have their slumbering souls awaked from their security. Else why is it that the most arousing ministers command the largest, most crowded congregations? What conscience smitten mortal ever turned his back on a faithful Boanerges while he drew aside the curtain and exclaimed," Heaven, earth, and hell draw near, Behold the sinner's doom I O guilty wretches, whose bright horror and amazing anguish start through your eyelids, while the living worm lies gnawing within you!" The next moment, as a son of consolation, he points you to the divine babe of Bethlehem; Immanuel, of Gethsemane, bleeding at every pore; the Saviour on the cross dying in agonies to save you from the horrors of the damned. Such contrasts as these the people expect to