Imágenes de páginas

much as mentioned; no allusion is made to the unrivalled structure of the Hebrew conjugation, embodying, as it does, the pronoun with the root to form the different persons. An example is substituted for a definition ; e.g. “Hiphil signifies, He made to learn, T2?17" Moreover, Vau Conversive (which has occupied whole tracts) is dismissed with ten words of notice; the article is spoken of by mere accident, instead of being explained in its proper place; the same may be complained of that important subject, Regimen ;-the irregular verbs are not duly distinguished into quiescent and defective;- in the paradigm of third persons of each tense occur the participles ;the vocalic changes caused by the affixes to the verbs are not explained ;-no attempt to decline a noun is deigned to be made ;such and so imperfect is this conspectus of the Essentials of Hebrew Grammar. Then, as to the price, reluctant as we are to step between an author and the public on such a point, we must express our concern and surprise at an exorbitance, which great perfection and laborious originality could scarcely justify. Will it be believed, as we vouch for a fact, that a converted Jew and learned grammarian in the sacred language, merely sets five times the price upon his work, which is thirty times as large as this scantling half sheet? So much for the liberal effect of Christianity on a Jew, and of studying Hebrew upon a Christian! The job, indeed, if set up in the same type as the preface, might have contained treble the matter in useful hints to incipient students, or important memoranda for more advanced scholars; and we hazard a conjecture, that the preface, with its compliments and deprecations, and so forth, contains nearly as much matter as the explanatory part of the text itself. Our deliberate opinion is, that such works do mischief: they may, indeed, when well-executed, be useful to the individual who personally extracts such heads of information in his own course of reading, but Mr. Crocker deceives himself, in supposing that others will gain time or acquire perfection by such cram-contrivances. On the whole, we profess our preference: for amplification in rudimental works; and we illustrate our position, by observing, that a student of French will acquire more by reading Cobbett's prolix Grammar once, with its copious explanations and laborious perspicuity, than by wading repeatedly through a smaller work. The fact is, that the learner is left to do for himself all that the teacher omits to do for him. For ourselves, then, having consulted and compared every procurable Hebrew Grammar, at the outset of such studies, we must consistently express a doubt whether Mr. Crocker's eight pages, eight chapters, or half sheet, will greatly extend the number of profound Hebraists in his Majesty's dominions.

Art. III.- The Life of the Right Reverend Thomas Wilson, D. D.

late Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man. By the Rev. Hugu Stowell, Rector of Ballaugh, Isle of Man. Third Edition. London: Rivingtons. 1829. Price 10s. 6d.

CHRISTIAN biography cannot fail to be a profitable study for a Christian; and among the recorded lives of the pious dead, there are none, perhaps, which furnish more ample matter for reflection and improvement, than those of the Prelates of the English Church, from the Reformation downwards. The steady fortitude with which they stemmed the torrent of adversity in the days of persecution, the holy zeal with which they have ever maintained the profession of their faith through evil report and good report; – the humility, devotion, and charity of their public, and the sober piety and domestic virtues of their private lives, have "adorned the doctrine of God our Saviour," and set forth the beauty and the excellence of the religion of Christ. In perusing the memoirs of a Cranmer, a Latimer, and a Ridley, we cling with affection to that pure and enlightened Church, the establishment of which they purchased for us with their blood. The energetic spirit of Jewel, and the judicious perseverance of Hooker, who supported the structure which their predecessors had erected, fill us with anxiety to preserve the fabric unimpaired, and to repel the dangers with which it ever has been, and is now more especially threatened. But it is, perhaps, by the records of those, whose lives were chiefly spent in the promotion of Christian unity and peace, and whose labours were rather directed to the furtherance of piety and love among the brethren, than to raise the sword of the Spirit against the enemies of the truth, that the heart is most sensibly touched, and the mind most deeply impressed. It is not that we are really less indebted to those who have stood forward in defence of our religion, and preserved it from spot and blemish, than to those who have spread its pure and wholesome doctrines in more quiet times, and exemplified their preaching by the practice of its duties in every varied circumstance and situation. But the aversion which we feel from the cause which rendered their warfare necessary, and the detestation with which we regard the barbarities to which they were exposed, detract essentially from the delight which the contemplation of their virtues would otherwise afford, and render us less willing to dwell upon the page of their eventful histories.

To the life of the good Bishop Wilson, then, we refer our readers, for the indulgence of all those amiable sympathies, which tend to interest the affections, while they improve the heart. In him were concentrated, to an extent which few perhaps have been able to reach, VOL. 81. NO. XII.

5 B

among us were rathermotion of Chriof those,

how could our spiritual trial be a warfare? or why should we be exhorted to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling ?Why should our care and diligence;—but we forbear to argue the point, convinced that Dr. W.'s phrase is a mere lapsus calami, which he will, on the first opportunity, correct. Confidence of success does, indeed, stimulate the soldier's exertions. “Possunt quia posse videntur." But a confidence, which should originate from a persuasion that he incurred not “the remotest risk” of falling, would have no such salutary effect; and we would address the Christian warrior, if sometimes with the cheering promise of victory, yet equally often with the prudent counsel of the King of Israel to the proud monarch of Syria, " Let not him that girdeth on his harness, boast himself as he that putteth it off.” i Kings xx. 11.

We have scored the Essay on the abolition of the Mosaic law with many, very many marks of approbation, but our space denies us the gratification of adorning our pages with any quotations from thence. We heartily commend it to all who wish to have clear notions upon a subject which has been so greatly perverted, and so little understood. At the same time, we cannot go the full length of all the Doctor's positions respecting the abrogation of the Mosaic law, to which we may possibly recur on some future occasion ; for the present it may suffice to profess ourselves of the number of those who believe, with Horsley, that it is a gross mistake to consider the Sabbath as a mere festival of the Jewish Church, deriving its whole sanctity from the Levitical law."* The mention of this institution closes the history of the creation; it derived no part of its sanctity from the authority of the Mosaic code, and, therefore, it is unaffected by the abrogation of that code. “ The worship of the Christian church," again to quote the words of Horsley, " is properly to be considered as a restoration of the patriarchal, in its primitive simplicity and purity; and of the patriarchal worship, the Sabbath was the noblest, and, perhaps, the simplest rite.” We Christians have little or nothing to do with the precepts, the promises, or the threats of the Old Testament, relative to the Jewish Sabbath; but the observation of the Sabbath, which was instituted at the creation, and which, be it remarked, was known to the Jews previously to the giving of the law, is a part of Christianity ;-" it was not only a general duty at the time of the institution, but, in the nature of the thing, of perpetual importance." When we read how God "rested on the seventh day,” and “ blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it;" what are we to understand, but that he then appropriated this day to religious exercises ? “ Therefore the Lord blessed the seventh day,

* Bishop Horsley's Sermons.

and set it apart." That is the true import of the word “hallowed it," says Horsley. “ These words, you will observe (continues the learned Bishop), express a past time. It is not said, “Therefore the Lord now blesses the seventh day, and sets it apart ;' but, • Therefore he did bless it, and set it apart in time past; and he now requires that you his chosen people should be observant of that ancient institution.”* The Christian Sabbath was of necessity transferred to some other day of the week, to distinguish it from the Jewish Sabbath, held on the Saturday; and if apostolical authority did not extend to such an alteration as this, they would have been rulers without power, and our Lord's promise of his perpetual presence with their order would be nugatory and unintelligible. We are utterly at variance with Dr. Whately on this topic. We love the truth as much as he can; and it is because we are persuaded that the truth is with us, that we write thus unhesitatingly, and we refer him to Horsley for a vindication of our own opinions, and the discomfiture of his.

The learned Principal's sixth Essay, “ On imputed righteousness" and imputed sin, is a masterly exposure of the mistaken views which certain theologians have been wont to palm upon us as the doctrines of Holy Writ. That the guilt of the actual transgression of Adam is imputed to each of his descendants, who is literally guilty of having eaten the forbidden fruit, and for that sin is doomed to everlasting punishment, independently of any offences committed by himself; that the very righteousness of Christ is imputed to his faithful followers, because He performed what he did vicariously, for and in the stead of his people; so that His acts are considered to be theirs; is a fond fancy, unwarranted by Scripture, vainly absurd, and utterly impossible! Well may the laugh of the scoffer be raised against such idle notions; nor can we wonder to find the Socinian confirmed in his heresy, when the stupendous doctrine of the Atonement is identified with this miserable trash.

Christ, of his own accord, offered his life as “a ransom for many;" but when we are told of eternal punishment denounced against men for the actual sin of Adam, and this, not by their own voluntary choice, or by any act of their own, but by the absolute decree of the Almighty Judge, our ideas of the divine justice, whether drawn from reason or from Scripture, cannot but be shocked. When again we find Christ spoken of as suffering for us and in our stead, so that “ by his stripes we are healed," though we cannot comprehend, indeed, this act of mysterious mercy, we do comprehend that “ there is now no condemnation for them that are in Christ Jesus;" but that his suffering in our stead exempts his faithful followers from suffering in their own persons. But when men are told that the righteousness of Christ's life is imputed to believers, and considered as their merit, they are startled at the want of correspondence of this doctrine with the former, and its apparent inconsistency with the injunctions laid upon us to “ bring forth the fruits of the Spirit” unto everlasting salvation ;

• Bishop Horsley's Sermons.

eral charof his patribution na in ad vean of God our las

the several characteristic graces of the faithful disciple of Christ. In the discharge of his episcopal duties,- in the domestic retirement of his family,—in the distribution of his charities, and his intercourse with the world, --in prosperity and in adversity,-we still behold in him the model of the sincere and humble man of God; and we close the record of his earthly career with the hope that “our last end may be like his.” If there is one feature, however, which marked his character more strongly than the rest, it was his trust in God, and pious resignation to his will. In him, if in any other man, was exemplified the apostolic precept to “ pray without ceasing.” No undertaking was ever commenced by him without a humble intercession for its performance to God's glory; no mercy was received without its due acknowledgement at the throne of grace; and no affliction endured without a prayer for patience, and devout submission to the chastisement of Heaven. Our hearts burn within us, as we read his pious ejaculations ;—and none, who is not dead to every feeling of devotion, can read the eloquent outpourings of his soul without catching some spark of that fervour which animated his earnest supplications to the Father of mercies.

Thomas Wilson was born at Burton, in Cheshire, Dec. 20, 1663. He was descended of an ancient and respectable family; and his parents, as described by himself, were “ honest and fearing God." Of the early part of his life little is known. It appears that he received a good education under the tuition of a Mr. Harpur, from whose care he was removed to Trinity College, Dublin, with a view to the study of physic. From this course he was diverted by the kind persuasions of Archdeacon Hewetson, who was led to observe his high qualifications for the office of the ministry; to which, after much laborious preparation, deep reflection, and frequent and fervent prayer, he was ordained by Dr. Moreton, Bishop of Kildare, on the feast of St. Peter, A. D. 1686. Shortly after his ordination he left Ireland, being appointed, on the 10th of December in the same year, to the Curacy of New Church, in the parish of Winwick, in Lancashire, of which Dr. Sherlock, his maternal uncle, was Rector. His stipend, as Curate, was only 30l. per annum; which, however, small as it was, not only satisfied his own moderate wants, but he set apart one-tenth of it for the poor. On the 20th of October, 1689, he was ordained Priest, by Nicholas, Lord Bishop of Chester; on which important occasion he determined to devote himself with increased diligence to his profession; and the good which he performed among his parishioners, both by his admonitions and charities, was unlimited. His qualifications recommended him, in 1692, to the notice of William, Earl of Derby, who made him his domestic Chaplain, and tutor to his son James, Lord Strange, with a salary of 30l. per year. About the

« AnteriorContinuar »