« AnteriorContinuar »
Accidentia Speculum: The History and Mystery of Mr. Sparewater; or a few Rude, Shrewd, and Crude Remarks, exhibiting, as in a Glass, some of the Minor Beauties of Polite Theology. The whole intended as a New, True, and Useful Mirror for Theological Seminaries, Creature Fashionables, Respectable Churches, Impostors, and Formalists. 12mo. pp. 64. Palmer.
This is an anonymous and sharply satirical attack on psedobaptism, in which the author has discovered much ingenuity in the various characters he has brought forward; but while he advocates adult baptism, we conjecture that very few of his brethren of that denomination will give him any thanks for his trouble; for at the same time that he denounces against the psedobaptist with invective sarcasm, he also deals out with unsparing hand his acrimonious fulminations against all those who being trained up for the ministry, come out as evangelical ministers; and in a most severe spirit exhibits the tutors of public seminaries, and those ministers connected with them, as the bane of our churches, the destroyers of spirituality of mind, and the introducers of error, both in doctrine and in practice.
While we esteem that man who, in the spirit of the gospel, boldly defends the discriminating doctrines of our most holy faith, and scorns confederacy with any, either secret or open enemies to the truth as it is in Jesus, we do not ourselves depreciate or undervalue human learning; and while we are no advocates for dissenting academies, we would rather combat error when we discover it, whether broached by an educated or an uneducated individual, than hurl anathemas against any particular class of professors. And in saying thus, we do not in the least countenance the modern theology taught by very many, both baptists and paedobaptists, but would with an unwavering steadfasiness pray to be kept close to the standard of eternal truth. But while we admit the author of this pamphlet discovers much originality of thought, and considerable natural talent, we do not believe much benefit will accrue to the church of Christ by this performance. For ourselves, we entirely disapprove of the style; and though the writer informs us in his preface, "that every man has his hobby," we must say, that the word of God sanctions no such asperient train of argument. Such of our readers as are fond of humour, may find entertainment in reading the "Academia Speculum;" in which are some trite observations: we have subjoined an extract as a specimen.
"None were more vexatious, and a3 Mr. S. would say, more impudent than Mr. Quick, the cabinet-maker. On meeting Air. S. he one day thus introduced a theme for conversation. 'You have, Sir,' said he, 'an excellent fiddle, will you allow me to put it into a case ?'—' When you have an opportunity you shall make one, provided you can find materials.' '1 will make you two,' said Mr. Quick,' and that upon the spot.'
"'Trudge, the footman, who just now passed by us, in a profuse perspiration, and who last week joined your church, is interested in a certain salvation. The ever adorable Jehovah did, in the exercise of his infinite, sovereign, and immutable grace, appoint him to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who, pursuant to God's eternal purposes died for hi3 offences and rose again for his justification. And, in conformity therewith, the Holy Spirit has made him a new creature in Christ Jesus; will effect his perseverance, and meeten him for glory. This, Sir, is the first case, and you see it exactly fits just half your fiddle.
"'The other case I shall make out of Turnclod the ploughboy, who you see is just returning home from the seven acres. He has no advantages, neither moral nor intellectual; besides, his habits are depraved, and he is without the pale of a certain salvation. He has been passed by in the exercise of eternal goodness, on which neither himself nor any one beside could have any claim, and is appointed to wrath through the working influence of original and personal guilt; now as the appointments of God must necessarily be immutable, he can no more be saved than the other can be lost. Pray, Sir, in what sense can offered grace be useful to the ploughboy? How is his salvation possible?—This makes the second case. And let me ask again, how it is possible for Farmer Wheatfield's man to obtain eternal glory?' 'O,' said Mr. S.' there is plenty of merit in Christ, and plenty of mercy in God, and who can tell but what if they ap'—' Stop, stop, Sir,' said Mr. Quick, ' you are disregarding the order of things. There is plenty of light in the sun, and plenty of heat likewise, and who can tell but what it might act in the element of water as it does in the firmament? But then we are sure that the orb of day will never shine in the ocean, because God has fixed its situation by an unchangeable ordinance. It is not what might have been, nor what may be, but what will be, and what from the settled order of things must be. The plan of God is not a fabrication of shreds— of may-be's and might-have-been's—of probabilities and uncertainties ,. no, Sir, the mercy of God, the merit of Christ, and the sanctification of the Holy Spirit are not guided by creature volitions, but by eternal purposes; for sinners are saved and called with an holy calling, not according to their works, but according to his purpose and grace which was given to them in Christ before the world began. I conclude therefore, that possible salvation is all a farce, and that offers and proffers of grace are insulting to the blessed God, and injurious to mankind. Possibly they may offer no absurdity to your intellect, but, Sir, without wishing to be offensive, such manly wisdom is "foolishness with God."
"' Thus, Sir, you see that half your fascinating instrument is left exposed and bare; and permit me to ask, if you conceive it to be either ornamental or useful, although it may be the whimsical taste of the age to render it fashionable? You had better allow me to saw off the discordant half, for off it must come some time or other. Remember, Sir, death has a sharp instrument, and consider how he has wounded some theological musicians, by cutting in two their discordant strings, and by paring away the superfluous material. Be assured, Sir, that nobody ever went to heaven with more than one half of your instrument, for in that happy place, the family and the song are both of grace, rich, free, eternal grace. In heaven, Sir, there are no jarring notes, no discordant strings, nor any superfluous and much more injurious matter. Tt is true you may contrive to gild with scholastic tinsel the hateful half of your bewitching piece, or you may shroud it in a fine gauze envelope, after having studded it with gems of brightest hue that may glitter through the indulgent drapery, but as for a case to fit it, that is altogether out of the question. I will only add, Sir, that God will certainly throw the idol-half into the fire—may he spare the nring musician! Farewell.'"
In concluding his observations, he gives the following exhortation to believers and ministers of the sanctuary:
"Men Of Truth And Godliness—Labour to maintain your ground; gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope unto the end. Look well to your feet—take cautious steps—be patient in tribulation, ready to forgive injuries—revile not when you are reviled- requite evil with good— bless, but curse not. Be united; for in union is strength. This is not the time for discordant themes. The enemy is advancing; be on your guardprepare to give him battle: he is sowing his tares—be wakeful and on the alert. You have much to do—your hands are full; be not weary in well doing, for in due time you shall reap if you faint not. Let every christian man and woman do good as they have opportunity. Let them endeavour to disseminate the knowledge of truth, by teaching it to their children, and to the rising generation. Let them explain and recommend it to their, neighbours and relations—to all with whom they have an opportunity of conversing. Let them encourage the circulation of books and tracts that have for their objects the elucidation and furtherance of the truth of Christ. Let them meet together to refresh each other's minds, and to strengthen each other's hands. Above all, meet frequently in your Father's sanctuary; and around your family altars often bow. Seek the smiles of your gracious Parent, and be content with such things as ye have.— Adorn the doctrines of God our Saviour in all things, and by good conversation put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. Honour truth, and conscience will be your friend; support its banner, and heaven will be your home.
Ministers Of God's Sanctuary !—Ye who labour in word and in doctrine, be concerned to exalt Him, who is almost every where spoken against, despised, plundered, and abused. Do the work of evangelists; make full proof of your ministry; rightly divide the word of truth—cut strait your furrows. Talk to your people in language they can understand ; go down to them, in order to bring them up to you. Teach them the order, harmony, and beauty of truth. Encourage reading, prayer, and conversation, among the people of your care. Watch for them as those that must give account; look well to the fences, and keep out the wild boar of the wood. Be not discouraged by neither the treachery of friends, nor the violence of foes. Lift up your voices like trumpets, and preach free and almighty grace, till the voice of the taskmaster ceases, and the scourge of legality sleeps. Be not seduced by the terms 'respectable church,' ' respectable people, &c.; let spirituality be the substitute of respectability, and do every thing you can that is likely to produce such a happy state of both mind and society. Endeavour to be at home in your study, and among your friends; remember there is much for you to do; be diligent therefore, that you may be found of him in peace. May the God of Jacob teach your hands to war, and your fingers to fight, make your weapons spiritual, and your conflict victorious.—Be faithful unto death—immortal glory will crown your integrity, your patience, and your toil."
Scenes of Idolatry in British India; with Missionary Notices, by Observalor. 18mo. pp. 70. Nisbet.
This little work is well adapted for juvenile readers; and contains some striking and very touching descriptions of the idolatry existing in British India, illustrated with some suitable remarks by the Author, who it appears was an eye-witness to many of the occurrences. The writer has detailed some instances in which he conceives the missionary exertions in India have been blessed of the Almighty to the conversion of some of the idolaters. We sincerely wish it may be the case; and surely we may indulge the hope, that among the numbers of individuals continually designated as missionaries to the heathen, some may be found who having themselves been truly converted to God, feel a glowing desire to publish the glad tidings to the benighted nations of the world, who have long sat in darkness and in the region of the shadow of death; and as they are the bearers of the inspired volume, we do believe that, at least, they are preparing the way of the Lord. And when we recognize among the list of missionaries such devoted men as Buchanan—Brainerd—Martyn—Brown, &c. we do rest satisfied that the promise of Jehovah will be fulfilled, " My word shall not return unto me void, but shall prosper in the thing whereunto I have sent it." May the time soon arrive when the Lord shall pour out of his Spirit, and the nations now wrapt in pagan darkness, have the light of the glorious gospel shine upon them:— Hasten it, 0 God, in thine own time!
Six Sermons on the Nature, Occasions, Signs, Evils, and Remedy of Intemperance. By Lyman Beechcr, D.D. Boston, United States. 24mo. pp. 112. Collins, Glasgow.
These Sermons on the sin of Intemperance, depicture in a very able and forcible manner, the evils resulting to individuals, to families, and to society at large, from this growing vice; and as far as a faithful exposure of this sin, with a glowing, and, in some parts, eloquent appeal to the judgment of his hearers, we think the author deserves well. We wish the re-publication of them in this country may be attended with effects as beneficial as, from the writer's account, did follow in the United States, where the formation of a Temperance Society was attended with the happiest results, by the decrease of that vice. Should any means be devised to effect a similar object in this country, it would be indeed a national benefit; for the constant use of ardent spirits, especially among the lower class, is a growing .evil, and the christian hails national reform as a great blessing.
Leaves from my Sketch-Book, comprising Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose and Verse, on a Variety of Interesting Subjects. By Thomas Wallace. 18mo. pp. 138. Baldwin.
The Miscellaneous Pieces in this volume have very little attraction; those in prose are of a very humble description, and those in poetry, in most instances, are mere doggrel. The author has introduced a little religion—a little morality—and, perhaps he would say, a little entertainment. He informs us in his title, that they are written "on a variety of interesting subjects:"—we observed one on the Rev. Edward Irving, which we think tolerably correct; another on the Rev. Mr. Jay, of Bath, which extols that gentleman's abilities and powers very highly; but we could not discover any of them "interesting." We have taken this brief notice to oblige a friend; but justice compels us to say, we saw nothing in the volume to commend.
THE PENITENT BACKSLIDER.
Of all the sons of Adam's race,
Nor half so vile as I;
Who would, but cannot die.
What blessedness I once enjoy'd,
And leaning on his breast:
All that could me molest.
Not all the charms of earth nor sin,
Nor wean me from my love:
Nor did I wish to rove.
To know his will was my desire,
To ease my panting breast:
Since then, what strange events I've seen,
How dark hath been the road:
So burden'd with my load.
Where can my soul for refuge fly?
Compassionate my case:
O save me by thy grace!
Lord! save me from the prowling bear,
Lest he my soul devour;
Protected by thy power.
In paths forbidden I have trod,
So justly due to me;
And sets the pris'ner free!