Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

tion-and never was there any publica-1 his audience, is Isa. xxvi. 9. For
tion brought forward under circum- when thy judgments are in the
stances of greater reluctancy, and with
a more honest feeling of unpreparedness earth, the inhabitants of the world
on the part of the author."

will learn righteousness. In the

exordium we have an apology for Upon the principle of this apo- omitting an exposition of this logy we take the liberty of making text ; and we must of course be one animadversion. Notwithstand; reconciled to our disappointment. ing the example of a distinguished That we were disappointed we Scottish preacher, we should be shall not attempt to conceal: for sorry to witness its adoption by as we do not relish sermons which divines on this side the Atlantic play about the text, we were Ocean. It is, every where, un

prepared to expect from Dr. becoming the followers of the Chalmers an explanation of the apostles of our Lord. No ambas- sacred maxim which he had himsador of Christ should deliver, in self selected as an appropriate the name of his Master, upon any theme. Instead, however, of exoccasion, aught but what he un hibiting the way in which naderstands and believes to be true ; tional judgments prove conducive nor should he publish, through to national reform ; instead of the medium of the press, what holding up the lamented calamity be did deliver in a manner of

as a judgment from God, and pointwhich he did not, at the time of

ing out the proper improvement publication, approve. A “ Priest of the dispensation, he chose as clothed with health” is not to be subjects of discussion two other affected by the ever-changing at- topics, which, whether correctly mosphere of popular opinion. stated or not, did not certainly The alternations of glowing heat, belong to the text read out to bis and of chilliness, incident to the

audience. pursuit of popularity, indicate a

These topics are-1. The loyhectic not to be tolerated in thie pulpit. We wish Dr. Chalmers ment; and, 2. That it is the

alty of subjects to the governa speedy convalescence.

righteousness of the people alone The Sermon before us, was

which will exalt the nation. Nor delivered on a very interesting occasion to British subjects, on

are even these subjects well exthe day of the funeral of the plained. On the contrary, the Princess of Wales. Charlotte attention of the reader is carried Augusta was the only legitimate away by a declamation, brilliant child of George Augustus Frede. indeed, but affected; often elorick, the Prince Regent of Eng quent, but at times pressed beland.

She died in childbed beyond the boundaries of our refore she completed the 22d year

publican ideas of sober truth. of her age ; and as the infani did “ I rejoice in the present appointnot live, in her is terminated the ment, for the improvement of that sad

and sudden visitation which has so dedirect line of hereditary succes- solated the hearts and the hopes of a sion to the crown of Great Britain. whole people.”—p. 5. Hinc illæ lachryme.

* () Death! thou hast indeed chosen

the time and the victim, for demonThe text selected by the strating the grim ascendency of thy preacher, for the instruction of power over all the hopes and fortunes

[ocr errors]

p. 10.

of our species ! -Our blooming Princess, We feel grateful for those repub.
whom fancy had decked with the co- lican institutions, which the death
ronet of these realms, and under whose
gentle sway all bade so fair for the of a single woman or child cannot
good and the

peace of our nation, has affect, and whereby we are per-
he placed upon her bier! And, as if mitted, without any impeachment
to fill up the mrasure of his triumph, of our humanity or patriotism, to
has he laid by her side, that babe, who, confess that our families feel more
but for him, might have been the mo-
narch of a future generation; and he acutely the pangs of woful domestic
has done that, which by no single visitation, than sympathy for the
achievement he could otherwise have death of a king's or a governor's
acconiplished he has sent forth over

ver granddaughter. the whole of our land, the gloom of such a bereavement as cannot be re

Dr. Chalmers, however loyal, placed by any living descendaut of roy. is by no means of slavish political alty- he has broken the direct succes opinions. He claims the right for sion of the monarchy of England-by the Christian ministry of examinone and the same disaster, has he wakened up the public anxieties of the ing the maxims and the conduct of country, and sent a pang as acute as their civil rulers in the light of that of the most wofül domestic visita- divine revelation. He discards tion, into the heart of each of its fami- the doctrine of passive obedience lies.”—p.7. “ The judgment under which we now

to every kind of government and Jabour, supplies, I think, one touching, administration, as unmanly and and, to every good and Christian mind, unchristian; and maintains the one powerful argument of loyalty.- principle, with what consistency “What ought to be, and what actually wbich the Scottish Presbyterians

of application we do not judge, is, the feeling of the country at so sad an exhibition ? It is just the feeling of the have so ably and so often urged, domestics and the labourers at Clare that the true Christian tendency

All is soft and tender as woman of the administration of governbood. Nor is there a peasant in our ment is the proper test of its land, who is not touched to the very worth in a Christian country. heart when he thinks of the uphappy stranger who is now spending his days Mere partisanship he justly disin grief, and his nights in sleeplessness cards as unbecoming the pulpit. -as he mourns alone in bis darkened Whether ministerialist or antichamber, and refuses to be comfortedas he turns in vain for rest to his ministerialist, ought not to be the troubled feelings, and cavnot find it-question. The ambassador of as he gazes on the memorials of an af Christ should aim at higher obfection that blessed the brightest, hap-jects than serving the ins and the piest, shortest year of his existence--as 'outs of office. With the spirit of he looks back on the endearivents of the bygone months, and the thought that his remarks we entirely concur, they have for ever feeted away from and we dismiss this discourse him, turns all to agony--as he looks with a quotation. forward on the blighted prospect of this world's pilgrimage, and feels that all

“A religious administration will which bound bim to existence, is now

never take offence at a minister who torn irretrievably away from him! There is not a British heart that does of men, even though they should bap

renders a pertinent reproof to any set pot feel to this interestiug visiter, all

pen to be their own agents or their own the force and all the tenderness of a

underlings; and that, on the other hand, most affecting relationship.-p. 13.

a minister who is actuated by the true

spirit of his ofíce, will never so pervert In reading this sermon we are

or so prostitute its functions, as to dehappy that we are Americans. Iscend to the humble arena of partisau

mont.

)

ship. He is the faitful steward of such |tian magistracy, and tell them of their things as are profitable for reproof, and errors-though animated by such a for doctrine, and for correction, and for spirit, he, to avoid every appearance of instruction in righteousness. His single evil, will neither stoop to the fattery of object with the men who are within power, nor to the solicitations of pareach of his hearing, is, that they shall tronage--and though all this may bear, come to the knowledge of the truth and to the superdicial eye, a hard, and rebe saved. In the fulfilment of this ob- pulsive, and hostile aspect towards the ject, he is not the servant of any ad. established dignities of the land—yct ministration—though he certainly ren- forget not, that if a real and honest ders such a service to the state as will principle of Christianity lie at the root facilitate the work of governing to all of this spirit, there exists within the administrations-as will bring a mighty bosom of such a man a foundation of train of civil and temporal blessings principle, on which all the lessons of along with it-and in particular, as will Christianity will rise into visible and diffuse over the whole sphere of his in- consistent exemplification. And it is fluence, a loyalty as steadfast as the be, and such as he, who will turn out friends of order, and as free from to be the salvation of the country, when every taint of political servility, as the the hour of her threatened danger is apmost genuine friends of freedom can proaching—and it is just in proportion desire.

as you spread and inultiply such a cha“ There is only one case in which it racter, that you raise within the bosom is conceived that the partisanship of a of the nation the best security against Christian minister is at all justifiable. all her Auctuations-and, as in every Should the government of our country other department of human concerns, ever fall into the hands of an infidel or so will it be found, that, in this particular demi-infidel administration-should the department, Christians are the salt of men at the helm of affairs be the patrons the earth, and Christianity the most of all that is unchristian in the sentiment copious and emanating fountain of all and literature of the country-should the guardian virtues of peace, and order, they offer a violence to its religions and patriotism."-p. 9. establishments, and thus attempt what we honestly believe would reach a blow to the piety and the character of our The second discourse in the population—then, I trust that the lan. pamphlet before us is older by guage of partisanslıip will resound from three years and four months than that it will be turned in one stream of its companion; and upon the pointed invective against such a minis- whole, it is a better sermon, aliry as this-till, by the force of public though preached by the Pastor of opinion, it be swept away as an intolera. Kilmany before his promotion to ble nuisance, from the face of our king the city of Glasgow. It contains dom."-p. 18. note.

“ Permanent security against the an eloquent apology for missionwild outbreakings of turbulence and ary institutions. The text is John disaster, is only to be attained by dif- i. 16. And Nathanael said unto fusing the lessons of the gospel through-hiin, Can any good thing come out out the great mass of our populationeven those lessons which are utterly and of Nazareth ? Philip saith unto diametrically at antipodes with all that him, Come and see. This inciis criminal and wrong in the spirit of dental bistorical record is well political disaffection. The only radical calculated to show the force of counteraction to this evil is' to be found in the spirit of Christianity; and though prejudice even upon an honest animated by such a spirit, a man may toind, for it was a man, in whom put on the intrepidity of one of the old was no guile, that made the obprophets, and denounce even in the ear jection ; and it points out the of royalty the profigacies which may disgrace or deforin it—thougli animated proper corrective of prejudice, by such a spirit, he may lift his pro- a due examination of the case, lesting voice in the face of an unchris. Come and see. The preacher ac

commodates the text to the cor- selytism bas far outstript that sober prerection of the existing prejudices paratory management, which is so much against missionary societies.

contended for. Why, they have carried the gospel message into climes on which Europe had never impressed a

single trace of her boasted civilization. « The precept is, 'Go and preach tbe They have tried the species in the frst gospel to every creature under heaven.' stages of its rudeness and ferocity, por The people I allude to have no particu- did they keep back the offer of the Salar quarrel with the preach ; but they viour from their souls, till art and inhave a mortal antipathy to the go-and dustry had performed a sufficient part, should even their owu admired preacher and were made to administer in fuller offer to go himself, or help to send abundance to the wants of their bodies. others, he becomes a missionary, or the This process, which has been so much advocate of a mission; and the question insisted upon, they did not wait for. of my text is set up in resistance to the They preached and they prayed at the whole scheme, . Can any good thing very outset, and they put into exercise come out of it?'

all the weapons of their spiritual mi“ I never felt myself in more favour- nistry.”-pp. 35, 36. able circumstances for giving an answer to the question, than I do at this moment, surrounded as I am by the Mem Upon the solution, which the bers of a Society, which has been la- Doctor gives of the principle of booring for upwards of a century in the opposition to missionary labours, field of missionary exertion It need

we demur. Objections may posno longer be taken up or treated as a speculative question. The question of sibly be made in certain cases to the text may, in reference to the sub- the plans upon which societies for ject now before ns, be met immediately spreading the gospel have resolvby the answer of the text, ' Come and ed to act, and to the qualifications see.' We call upon you to look to a of some of the missionaries taken set of actual performances, to examine the record of past doings, and like good into their employ; but we cannot philosophers as you are, to make the suppose, that either the name sober depositions of history carry it missionary, or the fact of being over the reveries of imagination and sent to preach the gospel, is in prejudice. We deal in proofs, not in promises; in practice, not in profession;

itself detestable to any one who in experience, and not in esperiment really loves the preaching or its The Society whose cause I am now ap- evangelical subject. We suspect pointed to plead in your bearing, is to that the radical opposition is disall intents and purposes a Missionary like for the gospel itself, rather Society. It has a claim to all the bonour, and must just submit to all the than for either the preach or the disgrace which such a title carries along go. with it. It has been in the habit for Some mistakes in philosophy many years of hiring preachers and teachers, and may be convicted, times lament that a preacher who so

occur in this discourse ; and we without number, of the act of sending them to a distance. What the precise boldly, and often indeed successdistance is I do not understand 10 be of fully, appeals to the sciences, any signification to the argument; but should err in relation to the seteven though it should, I fear that in the ted doctrines respecting the inarticle of distance, our Society has at times been as extravagant as many of tellectual powers of the human her neighbours. Her labourers have mind. A scholar of rank, in the been met with in other quarters of the country of Hume, of Campbell, world. They have been found among of Reid, and of Dugald Stewart, the haunts of savages. They have dealt with men in the very infancy of social ought not to confound, as Dr. improvement, and their zeal for pro-Chalmers has done in the first

sentence of his exordium, the practice. He sees in every man a parpower of the association of ideas, taker of his own uature, and a brother with the faculty of generaliza- the human mind in the generality of

of his own species. He contemplates tion.

its great elements. Ile enters upon the The following specimens will wide field of benevolence, and disdains give our readers a high idea of

those geographical barriers, by which

little men shut out one-half of the species the author's talents and piety. from the kind offices of the other. His

business is with man, and let his locali.

ties be what they may, evough for his « In our attempts to carry into effect large and noble heart, that he is bone of the principle of being all things to all the same bone. To get at him, he will men, let us never exait that which is shun no danger, he will shrink from no subordinate; let us never give up our privation, he will spare himself no fareckoniog upon eternity, or be ashamed tigue, he will brave every element of to own it as our sentiment, that though heaven, he will hazard the extremities schools were to multiply, though mis- of every clime, he will cross seas, and sionaries were to labour, and all the work his persevering way through the decencies and accomplishments of social briers and thickets of the wilderness. life were to follow in their train, the In perils of water, in perils of robbers, great object would still be unattained, in perils by the heathen, in weariness so long as the things of the Holy Spi- and painfulness, be seeks after him. rit were unrelished and undiscerned The caste and the colour are notbing to amongst them, and they wanted that the comprehensive eye of a missionary. knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, His is the broad principle of good will which is life everlasting. This is the to the children of men. His doings ground upon which every Christian are with the species, and overlooking will rest the vindication of every mis- all the accidents of climate, or of counsionary enterprise; and this is the try, enough for him, if the individual ground upon which he may expect to be be is in quest of be a man—a brother of abandoned by the infidel, who laughs at the same nature-with a body which a piety: or the lukewarnı believer, who few years will bring to the grave, and a dreads to be laughed at for the extrava- spirit that returns to the God who gance to which he carries it. The gave it.”—p. 46. Christian is not for giving up the social virtues ; but the open enemy and the cold friend of the gospel are for giving

In these two sermons we per. up piety; and while they garnish ali ceive traits of the same bold and that is right and amiable in humanity, adventurous spirit, we see flashes with the unsubstantial praises of their of the same eloquence which we eloquence, they pour contempt upon admired in his discourses on the that very principle which forms our best security for the existence of virtue astronomical question. We find in the world. We say nothing that can many instances of the conclusive degrade the social virtues in the esti- reasoning which uniformly acmation of inen; but by making them part of religion, we exalt them above companies the best of his works, all that poet or moralist can do for

the Essay on the Evidences of them. We give them God for their ob- Christianity, published in the New ject, aud for their end the grandeur of Edinburgh Encyclopedia ; and we eternity No! it is not the Christian meet also with the same kind of who is the enemy of social virtue; it is he who sighs in all the ecstasy of verbiage which we formerly resentiment over it, at the very time proved. Dr. Chalmers has cultithat he is digging away its founda- vated a genus dicendi not very tion, and wr ing on that piety which consistent with his own good is its principle, the cruelty of his

sense. His grain of gold is beat scorn"-pp. 41, 42.

" What the man of liberal philosophy out until the precious metal beis in sentiment, the missionary is in comes lighter than a feather. Its

« AnteriorContinuar »