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London can scarcely avoid reading. More respecting it I do not know, but I imagine that it refers to some work which is supposed to have effected an end so desirable to those who, notwithstanding all their boasts, are generally afraid that there may be a state of punishment beyond the grave. "This turned even VOLTAIRE into a praying man, whenever he was indisposed : and the circumstance caused the writing of a waggish piece of rhyme :
When the Devil was ill,
The Devil a Monk would be ;
The Devil a Monk was he.' I question whether Hume, when he joked about Old Charon ferrying him over the Styx, had not some fearful imaginings, that his jokes were at an end; and Hobbes, finding himself on the brink of a fearful precipice, said, he was about to take a leap in the dark; while Paine earnestly called upon God to have mercy upon him.
These facts are proofs to me, that the destruction of Hell is but a work of imagination, and that the infidel writer has merely persuaded himself to believe what he wishes. For, sir, Hell can never be destroyed while man has a conscience, on which the blood of Christ has never been sprinkled by Faith. It is, as Milton observes, the mind that makes Hell or Heaven. A conscience at peace with God through Jesus Christ, and living by Faith on the promises of the Gospel, has Heaven begun below; and a conscience not enjoying a sense of forgiveness, and a good hope through Grace, has a fearful looking-for of indignation. We have no need to go absolutely to the Bible to find out Hell; that only confirms what the guilty conscience apprehends; Hell is in the breast of every offender against the Gospel, who, though armed with the whole panoply of unbelief, cannot case himself against the darts of conviction. We need not suppose, that material fire, and local existence, are requisite to make Hell a troubled conscience, even in this world, in an embodied state, is an unquenchable fire; while a contented one is a continual feast, and it is the mind that constitutes the place. If the writer can boast, that he has no fears about eternity, no doubts, that all is happiness with him in the prospect of another world; and if he can tell us some good reasons, why all fears of future punishment are done away: reasons, not founded on conjecture, which is a poor way to silence the clamours of conscience: then, indeed, we may give him some credit for his discovery: but, if not, we had better try some way of escape from the evil of which we have the earnest within us, and flee for safety to Him, 'even Jesus, who hath delivered us from the wrath to come.'
REVIEWS OF THE LAST MONTH.
THE theological portion of the reviews of last month is very barren of interest.
THE QUARTERLY Review has no critical notice of any religious work. DR. CHALMERS has furnished a subject for a long article on the poor laws.
THE MONTHLY Review commends A Sabbath among the Mountains. A Poem. “It displays a poetical tone, and much poetical description of the objects, scenery, and characters connected with a mountain sabbath, simply and pleasingly expressed, without any narrow and uncharitable views and feelings, or any attempt at fine writing and display.'— A Mother's Portrait is approved, • Not only for the unaffected and pleasing style, but for the candid and christian spirit, in which it is written.-Sequel to an Unfinished Manuscript of Henry Kirke White, is dismissed with little ceremony and a sneer at its Evangelical sentiments.
to the interest of the volumes. Its title is, perhaps, not of the happiest kind; but we are sure that its circulation will be very extensive, where it is wel? known. We could give no fair specimen of the work, but by a long extract, which our limits will not allow.
A CATECHISM OF THE HISTORY AND Evidences OF RELIGION, in which are exhibited, in a clear and familiar style, the Character and Tendency of Paganism and Mahometanism, the Truth and Authority of Judaism, and the Superior Excellency of Christianity. Adapted to Families and Sunday Schools. By T. TIMPSON. Second Edition. Man has been called a religious animal, and supposed to be inclined to pay some kind of hononr to the Deity. But this may be questioned; for though religious worship is almost universal, it is probable that most of it is traditional. However, among the savage tribes of the earth, we may see what kind of a religious animal he is, and wherever Christianity does not prevail, we find the people given to every vice in society, and nothing is to be witnessed around but a scene of moral desolation. Lying, cheating, stealing, fornication, treachery, and murders abound; and while the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib, men live without God in the world', being past feeling', and having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them.'
Infidels, in their unbounded philanthropy, would leave men in this state, and have the minds of children remain destitute of any devout impressions; but, were their wishes every where followed, we may easily conceive what would be the state of society, destitute of the fear of God, and of those moral principles which are inculcated by Christianity. Whatever man may have been, it is certain that now he is an imperfect creature, and Christianity, in this respect following the example of Judaism, has wisely provided for training up the young in the nurture and admo. nition of the Lord. Hence, among other wise methods of instruction, catechising has been found highly important, and of late years, many valuable catechisms have been brought into notice.
Catechising is a very easy and simple method of conveying knowledge, and many short answers being committed to memory, will furnish the young and retentive mind with no small portion of mental riches.
In such a day as this, when efforts abound to corrupt the minds of youth, or rather to confirm them in natural corruption, it is desirable, both that sound principles should be instilled into their minds, and that they should be able to defend them, and to give to every one that asks them a reasonable answer, for the hope is that is in them. This is the evident design of Mr. Timpson's Catechism, and we readily recommend it to the public attention, not only as containing much that is useful, and even amusing for young people, but also, much that may assist the memories and judgments of persons of little reading, and more advanced years.
We quote the chapter on Miracles, omitting the notes, which, by the bye, are a very interesting appendage to the little work.
Q. What do you mean by miracles?
A. Wonders:-works performed which are above human or natural powers.
Q. By whom have miracles been wrought
A. By messengers of God, who have been sent to declare his will to men.
Q. On what occasions have miracles been wrought?
A. In confirmation of the mission and doctrine of the servants of God.
Q. Who have been most celebrated for working miracles?
A. Moses, Joshua, and Elijab, but especially Jesus Christ, and his Apostles in his name.
Q. What miracles in particular did Jesus Christ perform?
A. Jesus Christ gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, soundness to the lame, health to the diseased, and life to the dead. He walked on the sea, stilled the tempest, fed the multitudes with a few loaves and fishes, and inspired his apostles to speak in the languages of all people.
LINES TO THE RIVER OUSE. Sweet Ouse, whose silver winding stream, Murmurs to many an airy dream; While mem'ry, with her fleeting train, Revives thy faded scenes again; Sweet Ouse, I've never pac'd thy banks, Or watch'd thee in thy summer pranks; Or sat me down, reclined at ease, To see thee curl, beneath the breeze; Or sought thee in the even-tide, To wander by thy flow'ry side; Yet thou familiar art to me, Tho'l a stranger am to thee : Thy praises oft have met mine ear, Sung by a Bard to mem'ry dear, Who erst in meditative mood, Would mark thy slow majestic flood. Oh, gentle river! thou canst tell Of him the Muses lov'd so well; The look intense, the breathless sigh, That speak the poet's ecstacy, As standing musing on thy brink, He view'd the sun descending sink; Saw the extended landscape rise, Saw it with rapture in his eyes; And Olney's spire could there be seen, Tow'ring amid the blue serene, Like faith with clear unclouded eyes, It seem'd to point within the skies ; While there bestrides the wintry flood, Which sullen Time hath yet withstood,
The Bridge of many arches wide, Where passing rolls the laughing tide: Whene'er we name thee, gentle Ouse, Those fam'd memorials of his muse Are ever present to our view, Scenes that he lov'd and dearly knew : And Yardley-oak, by time decay'd, The Peasant's nest, and colonnade, The rustic-bridge and avenue, And wilderness with scarce a clue, The proud alcove, where each rude name Was carv'd to raise the writer's fame: There too, by fairy fiction drest, The little Naiad weeps distrest, Weeps her impoverish'd silent urn, Till winter's flowing streams return; Thy shrubbery walks and garden-seat, Thy residence and sweet retreat; *Thy dear companion in distress, That nurs'd thee in thy wretchedness:
* Mrs. Mary Unwin.