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creation of the world, are satisfac-
SELECT LIST OF BOOKS RECENTLY PUBLISHED, chiefly RELIGIOUS.
PPith occasional Characteristic Notices.
t’the insertion of any article in this List is not to be considered as pledging us to the approbation of its contents, unless it be accompanied by some express notice of our favourable opinion. Nor is the omission of any such notice to be regarded as indicating a contrary opinion; as our
limits, and other r , impose on us the
A short History of the Church of
Christ, from the close of the Sacred Narrative to our own Times. Designed for the use of Schools, or of those Persons to whom the size of the Church History of the late Mr. Milner, should that valuable Work ever be completed,—would be an objection. By the Hoev. John Fry, B.A., late of the University of Oxford. 8vo. pp. 614.—An epitome of Ecclesiastical History, from the Apostolic times to the present day, drawn up in the spirit of Christian truth and charity, , and adapted to the use of young persons, and of private individuals who have not sufficient leisure for the perusal of voluminous publications, has long been regarded as a desideratum in English literature. Independent of the merit of being a substitute in such cases for a larger work, a good epitouae forms a suitable introduction to any study, and especially to that of Ecclesiastical History, which is at once copious, intricate, and of perplexing multifariousness. Several abridgments already exist in our language, and one of them adopts the same leading principles as those of our author, in searching for the true as well as the earternal Church in every age, and trying the body of professing too. by this rule, “Circumcision is nothing, neither uncircumcision,
ity of se!
but a new creature.” Had Mr. Fry displayed the requisite diligence, fidelity, and candour, in the execution of the task which he has undertaken, we should have felt great pleasure in recommending hisvolume to our readers: but instead of deducing his facts from original authorities, as we presume every creditable historian ought to do, his references are principally made to the compilations of preceding writers; and his attachment to the peculiarities of Calvinian theology is too strong to allow him to do justice to the principles and character of those Christians who differ in their sentiments from the Genevan Reformer. Like Milner, he makes an ineffectual attempt to carry up the peculiarities of Calvinism to the ancient periods of the Church, and to claim the authority of early antiquity for that great doctriual corrup-tion of Christianity, which was first effected by Manicheism and Metaphysics, an attempt that was abandoned as hopeless by Calvin, Beza, and the rigid predestinarians among the early Protestants. But, like Milner, he proves that what are usually called, in modern times, “the doctrines of grace,” and which he often seems to take for granted are peculiar to the Calvinistie system, are not less the doctrines of the first centuries, than they are those
of the Apostles and Ewan **hey are, however, ill no sense Calvinistic ; and in that system are indeed often imstated; though they are gene. only found in connexion with it. Mr. Fry's account of Arminius, of the Dutch Remonstrants, and of the Synod of Dort, is incorrect, and o unfavourable, – though by a sligh reference to “ the Works of Armiuius,” and to the Letters of Hales and Baleangual, both of them decided Calvinists, he might himself have obtained, and then have detailed, something that bore the semblance of authentic information. The same remark will apply to the details which he has given concerning Mr. Wesley and the religious connexion formed by him. Like many other partially-informed writers, who are wholly ignorant of what true Arminianism is, he seems to confound the doctrines of Mr. Wesley, and of the Methodist Body, too much with those of that class of Divines in the Church of England who generally receive the appellation of “Arminian.” This has led him, in great simplicity, to suppose that such a great work of God, as he acknowledges that to be which was wrought by the instrumentality of Methodism, could never have been found in connexion with Arminian views; and therefore, that Mr. Wesley was originally mere of a Calwinist, than in the latter part of his life. He bestows unqualified approbation on Mr. Whitefield; but intimates, at the same time, that “the praise of consistency in his doctrinal statements will hardly be challenged for Mr. Wesley.” Just the reverse of this, however, is the truth: for Mr. Whitefield, with all his excellencies, was originally an Arminian, and afterwards became a Calvinist. With' great zeal, but with much “inconsistency,” in the exercise of his public ministry he offered salvation to all men, yet avowed his belief of the doctrine of absolute predestination and of partieular redemption; while Mr. Wesley's views of evangelical truth, as published at various periods, for the W. space of half a century, pre
sent scarcely the least variation. The
fact is, that those doctrines in the ing of both those eminent servants of Christ, to which the Holy
Spirit gave his testimony, have no
relation at all to the Calvinistic system; and to represent them as having any such relation, is extremely ridiculous." Those doctrines form a part of evangelical truth, held equally by evange
lieal Calvinists and evangelical Armi
shown, with far greater amplitude; orce, and “eonsisteney,” by the atter. A. o - * * * * *
The Founder of Methodism is also aci . ofencouraging not only “strong religious impressions,” in his hearers, but “a kind of epileptic fits;” and he is said, by Mr. Fry, to have appealed to “these extraordinary affections of the mind and body, as a miraculous attestation to the truth of his doctrines, on those very points where he departed from the standard of better times.” In support of this most unfounded charge, the author produces an extract from Mr. Wesley's Journal; and, by a few introductory remarks, and a dextrous use of Italics, forces a sense upon the words of the venerable writer which they were manifestly never designed to i.e. and which is contradicted by the general tenor of his works. In reference to the physical agitations which sometimes attended his ministry, Mr. Wesley . “I look upon some of those bodily symptoms to have been preternatural, or diabotical; and others to have been effects which, in some cir-. cumstances, naturally followed from strong and sudden emotious of mind. Those emotions of mind, whether of fear, sorrow, or joy, I believe were chiefly supernatural, springing from the gracious influences of the Spirit of God, which accompanies his word.” In another passage he says, “These butward symptoms are not at all times, nor in all places; and we do not regard whether they occur or not, knowing that the essence of religion, ‘righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,” is quite independent of them.” Works, vol.xiii. pp. 137–139.) With these passages before him, what becomes of Mr. Fry's character as an historian * The writer of history who misleads his readers, violates his first duty towards the public. But in this instance, as in several more, the neglect of original authorities is at once our author's fault, and will be pleaded as his ercuse. For, in his sketch of moderm Methodism, he does not refer to the standard and acknowledged publications of the Methodist Body, but resorts for information to an anonymous volume, which was published some years ago at Belfast; and which was evidently the production of an enemy in disguise, or of a person who was very imperfectly acquainted with the subjects on which he undertook to write. The misrepresentations of a man who had not the magnanimity to affix his name to his publication, are copied, by
Mr. Fry, as grave matters of church of the prophecies concerning Christ, history!
accompanied by expositions chiefly in1700 ope point, however, he has ex- tended to instruct the uplattered reader, eta plified more of the spirit of a liberal and such as may not have the opportuChurchman, than many of the class to nity of consulting larger volumes on wbich he belongs have had the car. this copious and interesting subject. dour of late years to avow, Mr. Fry Readers, indeed, of every clase may acknowledges the deeply-fallen stale receive much satisfaction and profit of the Cburch of England, at the period from the perspicuous, judicious, and of the rise of Methodism; and gives it spiritual observations with which this as an opinion, that the dignitaries of work abounds. The author has well that Church ought to have embraced merited the approbation of the Chrisand cherished this work of God, in tiap public. It is peculiarly gratifying their Churcli, instead of opposing and to witness so much genuine piety and driving it away from it; that ibe Church theological intelligence in a gentleman itself is to be blamed in no small degree of the paval professiou. : 41 for the separations which ultimately The Lollards; or, Some Account of followed ; and that the aitachment of the Witnesses for the Truth in Great the Methodists to the Church,“ circum Britain, between the , Ycars, 1400 und stanced as they have been," (that is, 1546; with a brief Notice of Events almost uniformly reviled and persecui. connected with the early History of the ed,) is rather matter of surprise and Reformation. Originally published, as commendation, than of malevolence and a series of Tracts. 12mo. 1 , vituperation. This is also our opinion The Domestic Preacheror, Short of the affair; and we rejoice that this Discourses from Original Manuscripts kind feeling towards the Establishmeut of some eminent Ministers. 12 vols. subsists among us. What then becomes 12mo. pp. 475.
pris 10 of the hostile maledictions of so many of The Doctrine of Transubstantiation bis clerical brethreu, unevangelic and subversive of the Foundations of Human « evangelic" too, on this subject? If Belief; therefore incapable of being Mr. Fry be right, he has, by implica- proved by any Evidence, or of being ben tion at least, inculpated either their lieved by Men under the Influence of understanding or their caudour: they Common Sense. 8vo. pp. 62. Tiais, have siuped too often either agaiust Dublin ; Hatchard, London.--The Pus knowledge or charity.
pish doctrine of Transubstantiation, Our opinion of this work is soon ex- which this able pampblet is designed pressed: It is a pious, though not a to refute, is one of the most monstrous correct or a profound publication; and, and absurd dogmas to which the mind with a few cautions, may be peruscú to vf fallen man was eyer, abandoned si soine advantage.
and yet it has been defended with as An Essay on Evil Spirits; or, Rea- much earnestness, as if the salvation sons to prove their existence. By lil of the world depended upon its recepliam Carlisle, 12mo -- This spirited liitle' tion. The reason of this is obvious. tract may be confidently recommended Transubstantiation is an essential part to the caudid perusal of all who doubt of ihat system of spiritual wickedness the existence of the Devil. Some have of which the Church of Rome is at brouglot their learning, with good suc- once the advocate and the dupe. cess, to vindicate the doctrine of the While the Romish Priests can uphold Scriptures on this subject. The present this doctrine, their influence will reauthor has shown,, by, bis manner of main unimpaired, Admit that they handling it, that the sceptical pliilóso- possess the mysterious power, by the phy by which it has been tortured, will rites of consecration, of changing the not stand the test of reason and the breadr and wine into the body and common sense of mankind. He fre- blood, the soul and divinity, of the quently exposes with niuch shrewd Lord Jesus Christ, that is, of givness and argument, the absurdity with ing a fresb existence, whenever they which his opponent attempts to defend please, to Almighty God, and of makthe palatable doctrine of the non-exist- ing a new atoneinent for sin, add ence of the inferaal tempter and tor. They must be regarded with the pro mentor. We trust the work will meet foundest reverence; their votaries with encouragement, especially in the will tremble at their anathemas, dist neighbourhood for which it was chiefly close to them the secrets of their hearts intended.ro,
'in confession, receive!' with avidity On the Divinity of the Messiah. By absolution from their lips, or sub45 Edwin Caulfield, Lieut. R. N. 12mo. mit with slavish docility to the degradWe have here a brief, yot general view, ing and unscriptural penances which
they thaycoboose to ibaieti Regarding Vot. xxiv.pp. 454. This volume cons che mire sgate in of Popery as an ini- taius extracts from the Sermous of Dr. 4bitou os perversion of the truth of Annesley, Mr. Wesley's grandfather; Godstakeslated to exalt the Priests and an Abridgment of Dr. Lucas's Ins tool far beyond what the Head of the quiry after Happiness. noldash, Clurét erer intended, and to enslave The Cottage Bible, and Family E25 atrd destroy the sotils of men, we re. positor ;. containing the authorized Joice in the publication of so many able Translation of the Old and New Testa a works in tlie present day, in refutation ments, with Practical Reflections, and of its peculiar doctrines and 'usages. $hort Erplanatory Notes, calculated to The paípblet before us is of this de elucidate difficult and obscure Passages. scription. Its reasonings are perspicu By Thomas Williams, Author of " The ous and Beute and many of its illus Age of Infidelity," &c. Vol. First. Svo. trations are happy and striking. The By the term “ Cottagers," the Auauthor" shows, that the loctrine of thor informs us, he understands, the Transubstantiation is founded on the inhabitants of small houses, whether prisciple, that we are Out to credit the mechanics, or manufacturers, agriculTestimony of our senses : a principle turists, fishermen, or shepherds; and which is subversive of all science, mo- his object is, to assist those numerous, wality, and religiou. For if uur senses classes of the community in underare not to be credited, then we have no standing the Holy Seriptures, The proof that there is a Bible in the design is laudable; and the manner in. world; we bave no proof of the incar- which Mr. Williams has executed his sation, miracles, death, and resurrec. task is honourable to his talents, infiou of Christ we have no proof of dustry, and piety. He has not introthe existence of the universe ; nor, duced into his notes quotations from consequently, of the being of God! On the learned languages; but he has juthese topics the author expatiates with diciously availed himself of the labours, great effect. His work is replete with of the most celebrated critics and comsound argument, powerful eloquence, mentators, whose elucidations of the and genuine Irish wit.' He is a com- Sacred Writings he has compressed plete master of his subject; and, if we into a narrow compass, and presented judge from this production of bis pen, to his readers in plain and familiar lanhe is an able' scholar, a heurty Protest guage. In a work so limited in a aút, and an honest man.
plan, it would be absurd to expect lang England Enslaved by her own Colo- and elaborate disquisitions on the nies. An Address to the Electors and meaning of particular texts. But while People of the United Kingdom. By the Exposition and Notes are necassaJames Stephen, Esq. 8vo. pp. 92. rily concise, they form a valuable illus
A Christian Library : consisting of tration of the iuspired records; at the Extracts from und Abridgments of the same time that they are well adapted Choicest Pieces of Practical Divinity to promote personal religion. The first which have been published in the Enge volume contains the sacred books from lük Tongue. In Thirty Volumes. By Genesis to Job, inclusive. the Rev. John Wesley, A.M. 8vo.
49RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE. so y nupili', , te olur grein - FUND FOR THE RELIEF OF DISTRESSED CHAPELS. IN THE pada 13 -ad , Y METHODIST CONNEXION.
in Tota ) rok 71k The Seventh Report of this Institu- The principle and operation of this tiou has been just published. The fol- Institution, baviug now so fully estaw lowing are extracts from this document,'..blished themselves in the confidence which we have great pleasure iu laying of the Connexion, and its efficiency not before our readers. This is a charity only atfording a temporary relief to the wbieh recommends itself if not to the Trusts of burdened chapels, but for passivds, yet to the enlightened judge totally removing, in due process of time ment and consciences of the Metlioulist', all the cases of real embarrassment Societies aud Congregations - Epi] - which exist among us, (except where
the case may be very peculiar.) having been demonstrated; little remains to the Committee except to report the Proceedings of the Meeting for Distribution, held at Bristol, July 25th, 1825, and to commenda Fund which is yearly producing so many benefits, to the kind activity and liberality of our friends in every Circuit. o The amount of the subscriptions and collections in support of the ChapelFund for the year ending August 1st, 1825, was 4570t. 17s. 10d., being an increase of 1761. 8s. above the preceding year. The general result of the examination of the cases of Chapels recommended from the District Meetings was, that nineteen fewer Chapels this year required the aid of the Fund than in the last; in which year also a similar diminution of the cases was experienced: a circumstance which shows, that the Fund, if duly supported, must operate with accelerated efficiency in succeeding years; and renders it morally certain that the whole difficulty will, by the blessing of God, be subdued at no distant period. The amount of the claims for deficiency of interest, which passed the Committee after the examination of each case, was about 3800l., which being more than the rule of distribution allows to be appropriated for this purpose, was subjected to an equal deduction of 20 per cent. The sum of 1460l., exclusive of a small sum reserved for printing and incidental expenses, was then left to be applied to reduce the debts on several Chapels, whose Trustees and other friends connected locally with them, were prepared to make offers of subscriptions to meet the grants of the Committee, and thus to place the said Chapels out of embarrassment, and generally to give up all future claim to relief from the Fund. They are as follows:– Springfield Chapel-This Chapel is in the vicinity of Chelmsford. It was built in 1813, and cost 734l. To lessen the debt, one benevolent individual had given in former years, 150l., and the other Trustees 50l. ; but as the amount was still more than the annual income would meet, viz., 4411, they determined to reduce it to 300l., towards which the Committee granted a final sum of 40l. Three small grants were made to this Chapel in the years 181920-21, amounting together to 201. 10s. The Society connected with this Chapel are generally poor. Eastbourne-This Chapel is now situated in the Hastings Circuit, and has
been annually assisted by the Fo wi various sums, amounting to 125l. It was built in 1810, cost 1006l., and had a debt at the last Conference amounting to 920l. The seat-rents producing j, 231 per annum, the Trustees determined on reducing the debt 450l. provided the Committee would o hem one third the amount as a fina sum. To this offer the Committee acceded. Market. Street.—In this place, which is near Luton in Bedfordshire, we had once a flourishing Society of eiglity members, but these are now reduced to thirty. The Chapel was built in 1809, and cost 400l.; and at the last Conference, the debt was 320l. This has been reduced by a farther sum of 1501, towards which the Fund made a final #. of 50l. One Trustee, gave 701: owards the 100l. raised in the Circuit towards the reduction. The debt is now 170l., with an income from seatrents and anniversaries, of between 71, and 81, which will nearly meet the demands for annual interest, &c. Two small grants were made to this Chapel in the years 1823 and 1824, amounting to ol. 2s. 6d. Troston.—This is a village in the Thetford Circuit, with only fifteen members in Society. The Chapel was built in 1811, and cost332d.; but the debt had increased to 418l. The Trustees of this Chapel are mostly labouring men, who support themselves by their weekly. earnings. They have, however, by the aid of more opulent friends in the Circuit, raised 100t., and have received from this Fund a further grant of 50l., as a final sum, to reduce the debt. The grants previously made to this Chapel amounted to 371. 5s. Tewkesbury.—This Chapel was built in 1814, and cost 1400l., and the debt revious to the Conference was 1100/. The annual amount of seat-rents has been seldom much above 20t., so that the deficiency of income has been added to the principal for several years. The original number of the Trustees has been considerably reduced by death, and the circumstances of others so embarrassed, as to render the burded exceedingly heavy on the few who remained capable of affording assistance. The Trustees engaged, on receiving a sum of 150l. as a final grant, to raise. among themselves a further sum of 250l. towards the reduction of their debt. This reduction, they anticipate, will place their Chapel in such circumstances as their annual income will be sufficient to meet. The sums previ-' ously granted to this Chapel amount to