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watch. And then, though the pang of separation may be severe,-especially when a people have been affectionate and united, and when a sphere of labour has been obviously congenial to the mental habits of a minister, and has proved to him one of considerable success,—there will be the satisfaction of having carried out the plans and purposes of Christ; there will be the consciousness of continued spiritual attachment, which may be gratified and promoted by renewed intercourse on earth ; and there will be the anticipation of meeting some, as “our joy and crown of rejoicing, in the day of the Lord Jesus.” But to give comfort and repose to the mind of a true minister of Christ, when thus leaving a people over whom he has watched with affectionate solicitude, there must be confidence in the character and qualifications of those to whose care he commits them. This confidence is essential to the right and efficient operation of our system ; and were any regulations adopted which would enable a suspected brother to elude inquiry, by declining either to affirm his innocence or to acknowledge his guilt, the system would be essentially impaired. We have to do, in this controversy, if legitimately conducted, not with personal predilections and antipathies, but with principles ; and it may be safely affirmed that the right of mutual inquiry, among the Ministers of Methodism, on all points seriously affecting their religious character or their ministerial conduct, arises from the very nature of their union, and could not be given up without removing one great security of mutual confidence,-that confidence without which our system of itinerancy would be insupportable, and would, indeed, prove a great and grievous curse.
To us, these considerations appear obvious and conclusive; and we confidently hope that, when the hour of calm and deliberate reflection has come, many who have censured the recent decisions of the Conference will perceive that grave principles were at stake, which could not be conceded withont incurring the most serious evils. They who have come forward to affirm these principles, and to place them clearly before the view of our churches, have done well ; and we doubt not that many of them will have the satisfaction of knowing that they have contributed to give a right direction to popular thought and feeling.
But, amidst the excitement of this controversy, the thoughtful and earnest Christian will often reflect, with a degree of solicitude and sadness, that another year of evangelical effort is rapidly passing away. The world is in a state of moral ruin : Christianity presents to us the stupendous fact of the interposition of a Divine Redeemer; it exhibits the sacrificial agonies and death of Him whom angels adore ; and it announces His glorious reign and everlasting priesthood. In these facts, and in the gift of the promised Spirit, lies the provision for the world's recovery ; and the ministers of Christ, and the people of Christ generally, while they are prepared to contend for every principle which is true and important, should habitually surrender their hearts to the influence of these great truths, and live under the impression of them. “ The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead : and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again.” Is there no danger, we would affectionately ask, lest the energies which should have been put forth in earnest and united efforts to bring souls to Christ, and then to establish them in faith and love, should be diverted from this great object, by that conflict of thought and feeling which prevails around us?
Many of us remember the holy joy, the lively gratitude to God, called forth by the announcement of the number of members in our churches in March of the last year. It was refreshing to every lover of Zion, to be assured that not only had the places of those who had passed to their heavenly rest, and of those who had wandered or become careless, been supplied by persons gathered from the world, but that there was a net increase of more than nine thousand members. Our joy was heightened by the fact that the increase in question was not confined to a few Districts, while large portions of the Connexion were left without any special proofs of the Divine presence and blessing ; but that it was the result of an accession of members in almost every Circuit. Assembled in our respective District-Meetings to inquire, among other things, into the state of the work of God among us, we could not but remember how, in the preceding autumn, we had met to bow before God in the lowly confession of past unfaithfulness; to renew the act of self-dedication to Him ; and to encourage each other to a more earnest attention to every branch of ministerial duty. It was evident that, in answer to prayer, showers of blessing had descended : and while we were reminded that, in order to success, there must be on our part fidelity to Christ, and unwearied effort in His cause, we were led to adore the grace of Him who only can change the heart of man; and we triumphed in the energy of the Spirit which had accompanied the unfolding of the truth. Humbly and gratefully could the assembled Ministers re-echo the sentiment of the Apostle Paul,—“I have planted ; Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth ; but God that giveth the increase.”
Now, it has often happened, that when an extensive revival of religion has been experienced in a particular neighbourhood, that revival has been followed by a period of severe trial; and in many places, alas ! some even of those who had stood forward to promote the work of God, have in an evil hour given way to party-spirit; and discord and strife have shed their baneful influence over the heritage of the Lord. It is the deep conviction of the writer, that the scriptural doctrine of diabolical agency is confirmed and illustrated by remarkable facts in the history of individuals and of churches. His own observation has embraced many incidents which, to say the least, seemed to indicate a secret agency for evil, arranging circumstances, and prompting feelings, with a special view to harass the minds of Christ's ambassadors when about to enter upon some effort calculated to be eminently beneficial; or to impair the general health and efficiency of a church brought, by the grace of Christ, to a revived and earnest state of spiritual feeling. If the mind can be diverted from the great facts of our redemption, and the spiritual interests of mankind, to other topics, so as to dwell on these last with an absorbing interest, and if the warmth of our affections is expended in strife and controversy,—the purposes of Satan are to a great extent accomplished, and Christian churches cease to fulfil their high and holy mission. The moral corruption of the world remains unchecked by the salt of divine grace, diffused in the thoughts and tempers and actions of Christian professors. The darkness of mankind is allowed to deepen, instead of being dissipated by the heavenly light which the churches of Christ should shed forth around them.
That which we most fervently desire, in relation to the members whose minds have been exercised by the late controversy, is, that they would satisfy themselves, by calm reflection, of the soundness of the principles involved in the decisions of the Conference; and then resolutely turn away from every discussion marked by personal antipathies, and hend their energies to the direct promotion of the work of Christ around them. It is in vain that we look for the prosperity and enlargement of the churches, unless all who are called to labour for Christ cherish and exemplify the great principles to which His word gives prominence.
The first requisite to enable us to enter efficiently upon the service of the Redeemer, is RENEWED SELF-DEDICATION TO HIM. The mysterious dignity of His person, and the great facts of His redeeming work, give Him the strongest claims on our supreme attachment, and require us to put forth our utmost energies in His work. It was our Lord's express design, when He submitted for our sakes to the ignominy and suffering of the cross, to gather round himself “a peculiar people," who should reflect His image and cheerfully yield themselves to Him. The consciousness of selfdedication to Christ pervades the soul of the believer while it retains its spiritual health. Every Christian should habitually feel that he is not his own,—that he is a devoted man, given up to Christ by a voluntary and deliberate act, to obey His precepts, to seek His glory, and to show forth the power of His grace. It is in proportion as we maintain this state of mind, that we are prepared to be useful to others. When the Redeemer was just about to enter upon the scenes of His deepest shame and sorrow, when the anguish which was to come upon Him, as the Substitute of our guilty race, had already invaded His pure and benignant spirit, and clouds yet darker were gathering round Him, He uttered the memorable words, “ If any man serve me, him will my FATHER honour.” What a reviving influence would come down upon us, if all who are called to active effort in the church would renew the entire devotion of themselves to the Lord Jesus, seek in earnest and believing prayer the richer consecrating grace of the Spirit, and then enter upon every duty as an act of service to the Redeemer-aiming only at the accomplishment of His purposes, and the showing forth of His glory! Is it possible to calculate the amount of good which would result from the distinct recognition of the principle that we are Christ's, and the vivid consciousness of this relation to Him pervading the whole of life, and especially giving a character of simplicity and earnestness and faith to every devotional exercise, and every effort to lead others to Him?
Intimately connected with this state of mind, there is a realising conviction of the certainty and importance of the great facts and truths which, in our respective spheres of action, we have to keep before the view of men. Every public announcement of the truth of Christ, every attempt to instruct, or admonish, or comfort in private,- should be marked by a penetrating conviction that we have to do with the most certain and momentous FACTS. The incarnation of the Son of God, His manifestation on earth in outward lowliness, His sufferings and death as the Substitute of our guilty race, His glorious resurrection, His everlasting priesthood, His mediatorial reign,—are all great and momentous realities. Is there no danger lest we should assign to them their place in our scheme of theology, and value them as prominent truths in the beautiful system of evangelical doctrine, without vividly realising them as Facts, and living under their influence? And yet, in order to any great and general revival of religion, there must be on the part of all Christians, and especially on the part of all Christian teachers, a profound conviction of these great realities. We must have “the same spirit of faith" by which the Apostles and the first Christians were sustained under their toils and sufferings. Beautifully does the Apostle Paul quote from the ancient Scriptures, “I believed, therefore have I spoken;" and so illustrate the habit of mind which himself, and his fellow-labourers in the cause of Christ, ever maintained : “We also believe, and therefore speak.” This deep conviction of the great facts of Christianity will give life and power to all our announcements, and to all our exhortations. While it will cause us to speak with earnestness and love, it will awaken us to look for the actual putting forth of the Spirit's power, in connexion with the truth of Christ, to melt the careless into penitence, to lead the awakened sinner to a lively faith, and to renew and sanctify and comfort the believing soul.
It is not within the design of this paper to point out the particular direction which should now be given to evangelical effort; and still less, to dwell upon the various branches of pastoral duty devolving on those who are called to watch over, and guide, and rule the flock of Christ. The wish has been to call attention to certain habits of mind, at all times important, but now more especially required ; on the maintenance and development of which the prosperity of our churches must depend. Nor are these habits of mind proper only to those who occupy official stations in the church : they should be cherished by every Christian ; they should pervade the life of every believer, however retired the sphere in which he is called to move. “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself: for whether we live, we live unto the Lord ; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord : whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.”
The present state of our country, and of the world, is such that the suspension or diminution of our religious influence would be an incalculable evil. Is it wrong to speak of these times as marked pre-eminently by a neglect of God, and a rejection of His authority ? Gladly and gratefully do we reflect on the evidence which has recently been afforded, that there are thousands in our land who recognise the providential government of God, and who are not ashamed to avow their conviction that the visitations of disease, however influenced by second causes, are to be referred ultimately to His hand “lifted up” in chastisement, while the return of health and of general prosperity is to be ascribed to His favour and blessing. But multitudes around us care not for God; they recklessly trample on His precepts, profane His Sabbaths, and treat His favour and friendship with utter neglect. The continent of Europe is still more fearfully affected by this prevalent ungodliness. Man glories in himself; he makes his own judgment the standard of truth, and the rule of duty; he aspires to an independence of the Eternal One. Is this a time when any evangelical agency can be dispensed with ; and especially any agency which has sought to keep before the view of the masses the great facts of the Christian Redemption, the living power of the Spirit of Christ still present among His people, and the deep joys and ennobling hopes of the Christian life? Rather let every member of our churches seek to be brought into more intimate communion with God; and then come forth, in humble dependence on the Saviour's grace, to discourage strife and contention, and to live and labour for the high and holy objects which are dear to the Saviour's heart.
H. W. W.
Nineveh and its Remains : with an Account of a Visit to the Chaldæan
Christians of Kurdistan, and the Yezidis, or Devil-worshippers ; and an Inquiry into the Manners and Arts of the ancient Assyrians. By Austen Henry Layard, Esq., D.C.L. Sixth Thousand. 2 Volumes,
8vo. John Murray. The Monuments of Nineveh, illustrated by uproards of one hundred Engrav
ings, from Drawings made on the Spot. By Austen Henry Layard,
Esq. Folio. John Murray. It is matter of unfeigned regret that these magnificent works have not received earlier notice in our pages. Yet this feeling is, in some degree, mitigated. The Researches of our indefatigable countryman are of no transient fame. Books of ordinary and passing interest are, indeed, not to be contemned. Even pamphlets, in their number and variety, serve important ends; while they clearly indicate activity in the public mind, and the liberty of the press. Much of our current literature, however, will soon be scattered in the wind, as widely as the mysterious leaves of the Sibyl. But of the volumes now to be introduced it is no idiom of proud Review to say, that they are among the few publications that give lustre to an age. There is a second consideration which goes to lighten the regret we have expressed : Dr. Layard's inquiries are still in progress. The public journals have announced that he left Constantinople for Trebizond on the 29th of August; that he reached the scene of his past brilliant discoveries on the last day of September; that he is renewing his exertions on a large scale, and already gaining light on some of the most difficult questions of ancient Mechanics. He is accompanied by an artist, a medical man, and a secretary. His labours are not to be limited to the Assyrian ruins near Mosul. The nation that has supplied him with resources, (though, we regret to say, too frugally,) may look for its tenfold reward when the traveller has accomplished his purpose of climbing Ararat, and of exploring those parts of the East which are richest in primeval and sacred associations.
Nineveh is a name that must quicken our attention. The earliest traditionary power that subdued Western Asia,-flourishing in the greatness of long-established empire, during the times which biblical annals recal,warned, prophetically condemned, and described in its utter ruin, by Hebrew Seers,—that city of the Tigris can never be forgotten. Our very childhood has learned to regard it as the wonder of the Eastern world ; as well as to trace, by the dim and partial lights hitherto afforded, its situation and form, its wealth, extent, and beauty. Gardens, parks, and pastures, within the limits of the spreading metropolis ; walls of amazing height and breadth, surmounted by innumerable towers; a population including 120,000 infants, (as we learn from the last verse in Jonah,)—these and a few other details, gleaned from topographers and historians, have been collected into our picture of this exceeding great city of three days' journey. We have marked the Prophet standing in those ample streets, with awful hand pointing to the colossal architecture of fanes and palaces, and with voice of thunder crying, YET FORTY DAYS, AND NINEVEH SHALL BE OVERTHROWN. We have been taught to revere the Mercy which pitied the contrite nation, and suspended the judgment. But Isaiah, Nahum, and EZEKIEL, have led us on