Imágenes de páginas

of the affections, a voluntary sur- After having exhibited (in chap, tender of the whole man to God,” xiii.) “ a general view of St. Paul's points out its influence on this great qualifications," and detailed in Apostse, in a variety of striking chap. xiv.) his masterly exposure of particulars. The following pag

" the love of money;" our author sage is among the number :

presents us in chap. xv.) with a

luminous estimate of “the genius 2;" His spirit seems most intimately to of Christianity," as it appeared in identify itself with the church of Ephe. her favourite Apostle. The mention sus. What an improbable nnion! The of Philippi, as connected with St. late idolatrous worshippers of Diana, Paul, awakens in her classical meand the late persecutor of the saints of mory the recollection of another

Jesus, have now bat one heart and one distinguished person with whose soul! 'These recent enemies to Christ, name and character, although from and to each other, now micet in one 'common point of attraction. With what

a very different cause, that city is holy triumph does he dilate on their also associated. The contrast to common faith! that love of God in Christ which these combinations give Jesus which is their common centre and occasion, is very happily imagined, bond of union !

and executed. Still, as we have such frequent occasion to observe, he does not sacrifice

“ How little, in the eyes of the sober practical duty to the indulgence of his Christian, does the renowned Roman, rapture. Still he does not allow even who, scarcely half a century before, sa: these Ephesians to rest satisfied with

crificed his life to his disappointinent, the grace they have received. It is not at this very Philippi, appear, in con: enough that they have been favoured parison of the man who addressed this with a vocation; they must walk wor Epistle to the same city. Saint Paul thy of it.” “The perfecting of the saints'

was not less brave than Brntus, but his must be carried on: they must reach magnanimity was' of a higher strain. to the measure of the stature of the fu- Paul was exercised in a long series of ness of Christ. No such perfection had sufferings, from which the sword of been attained as would allow them to Brutus, directed by any hand but that rest in their present position. Even in of Paul himself, would have been a this highly favoured churchi, progress merciful deliverance. Paul, too, was a is enjoined, pressed, reiterated. No patriot, and set a proper value on his elevation of devout feeling sets him dignity as a Ronian citizen. He too above attention to moral goodness.

was a champion for freedom; but he “Nothing can be more beautiful than fought for that higher species of the abrupt apostrophes of praise and liberty, gratitude into which, in the midst of

Unsung by poets, and by senators sorrow, of exhortatiou, of reproof, he

upprais'd, unexpectedly breaks out. The love of his Redeemer so tills his soul, that it the Roman enthusiast for freedom, to

“ Was it courage of the best sort, in requires an effort to restrain its outward expression. Even when engaged

abandon bis country to her evil destiny, in the transactiop of business, and die at the very moment when she most recting the concerns of others, which needed his support? Was it true generoby an ordinary mind, would have been sity or patriotism, after having killed his pleaded as a valid reason for suspend. friend, to whom he owed his fortune ing spiritual ideas, and dismissing spi- and his life * -usurper though he was, ritual feelings, they yet mix themselves,

- voluntarily to leave this adored couns as it were involuntarily, with his secular try a'prey to inferior usurpers? Though cares; there is not only a satisfaction but Cæsar had robbed Rome of her liberty, a joyfulness in these escapes of affect should Brutus rob her of his own guar tion which seem to spring from his soul, dian virtues ? Why not say to the Ro. in proportion to the depression of his mans, as Paul did to the Philippianscircumstauces, to the danger which Though I desire to depart, nevertheless to surrounded, to the deaths, which threat. ened him,” Vol. ii. pp. 53-58.

* At the battle of Pharsalia."?

[ocr errors]


abide in the flesh is more needful for you? commanding positions: in chap. This would have been indeed patrio- xvii. we are invited to consider him: tism, because it would have been disin- as contracting lis greatness to the terested. Was not Paul's the truer dimensions of ordinary life, and: heroism ? He also was in a streit between condescending with grace to the two events, life and death

He knew, what Brutus, alas ! did not know; that

care of “inferior concerns." Noto die was gain;' but, instead of desert- thing can be more true than the ing his cause, by a 'pusillanimous self- following assertion; yet of whom, murder, he submitted to live for its may we ask, St. Paul himself exa interest. The gloomy despair of the cepted, could such an assertion with Stoic, and the cheerful submission of truth have been made ? the Saint, present a lively contrast of the effects of the two religions on two

« Amidst all the higher parts of great souls.

spiritual instruction; anidst all the “ It is a coincidence too remarkable to solidity of deep practical admonition, be passed over in silence, that Paul was

there is not, perhape, a single instance directed by a vision from hearen' to go in which this author las omitted to in. to Philippi;-that Brutus was summon

culcate any one of the little morals, any. ed to the same city by his eril genius.

one even of what may be called those The hero obeyed the phantom; the

minor circumstances, which constitute Apostle was not disobedient to the the decorums and decencies of life. heavenly vision ;'—to what different Nor does his zeal for promoting the ends let the concluding histories of the greatest actions, ever make him un. devoted suicide and the devoted inartyr mindful of the grace, the propriety, the declare!,Will it be too fanciful to add, manner with which they are to be per. that the spectre which lured the Roman formed.” Vol. ii. pp. 183, 184. to his own destruction, and the vision which in the same place invited the in this part of the portrait, to which,

There are many exquisite touches Apostle to preach salvation to others, if our limits would bave permitted, present no unapt emblem of the opposite genius of Paganism and Christianity." we could with great pleasure have Vol. ii. pp. 119-152.

adverted. But we must satisty.

ourselves with recommending to St. Paul's " respect for constitu- our readers, that portion of the ted authorities,” furnishes our au. chapter which exhibits St. Paul in thor with an opportunity of demon- his Epistle to Philemon, as under strating the correctness of the “ the heavy load of cares, and sorApostle's notions on the origin and rows, and persecutions; with the uses of civil government, and the addition of ecclesiastical affairs, the close alliance between political most extensive, and the most comobedience (properly understood) plicated,"2" attending minuteand genuine Christianity. Advert- ly to an object so inconsiderable, ing to the experience of the late as the concerns of a poor run-away revolutionary times, Mrs. More very slave, the son of his bonds." justly observes it to have been not The commentary on this transacthe least considerable among the tion is exceedingly ingenious, and triumplis of Religion recently wit- is followed by some strictures upon Ressed, " that whereas Christianity the injudicious reports of converted was originally charged with a de criminals, in which the baskets sign to overturn states and empires, of the hawkers are said this year we have seen the crime completely to have abounded,” on the justice turned over to the accusers; we of wbich we are not able, from our have seen the avowed adversaries own observation, to pass sentence. of Christ become the strenuous The two succeeding chapters subverters of order, law, and go- unfold the sentiments of this Apovernment."

on the resurrection ;” and Hitherto we have been engaged in " on prayer, thanksgiving, and contemplating St. Paul in bigh and religious joy;" and the twentietle> up as



chapter, with which the immediate, where must be search? Would not the subject of the work concludes, two antagonists, when they met in the holds him

an example to field of controversy, each in defence of familiar life.'

his favourite tenet, find that they had The two remaining chapters are

fixed on the same man,--Paul the Apo.

stle of the Gentiles? If then we propose devoted to the consideration of him as our model, let us not rest till " the superior advantages of the something of the same combination be present period for the attainment formed in ourselves. of knowledge, religion, and happi. “ To this end let us diligently study ness," and some of the causes his Epistles, in which the great doce which impede general improve- trines of salvation are amply unfolded, ment." How highly our author and the mode of its attainment comappreciates the advantages of the pletely detailed. In contemplating the present period, will appear from

works of this great master of the hnman the following statement :

mind, we more than perceive, we feel,

their applicableness to all times, places, “ Had any patriarch, or saint, who circumstances, and persons; and this, was permitted only some rare and tran- not only because the Word of Eternal sient glimpses of the promised blessing, Life is always the same; but because been allowed, in prophetie vision, to

the human heart, which tbat Word ree penetrate through the long vista of ages, veals to itself, is still the same also. which lay in remote futurity before We behold, as in a mirror, the fidelity, him-bad he been asked, whether, if we had almost said the identity, of his his power concurred with his choice, in representation,-face answering to face. what age and in what nation he would We feel that we are personally interhave wished his lot assigned him-is it ested in every feature he delineates. He not more than probable that he would lets us into the secrets of our own bosoms. have replied-IN GREAT BRITAIN, IN He discloses to us the moti ves of our own

conduct. He touches the true springs CENTURY !" Vol. ii. p. 300.

of right and wrong, lays bare the moral

quality of actions, brings every object This exalted estimate does not, to the true point of comparison with however, prevent our author from each other, and all to the genuine standdiscerning the melancholy dispro- ard of the uperring Gospel. By him portion between our attaipments we are clearly taught that the same and our privileges.

After animad- deed done from the desire of pleasing verting with just severity on differ. God, or the desire of popular favour,

becomes as different in the eye of reont errors both speculative and practical, which operate as im- men.

ligion, as any two actions in the eye of pediments to general improvement, “ There we shall see also, that Saint Mrs. More returns to St. Paul and Paul evinced the sincerity of his etere his writings; and concludes her nal hopes by constantly preparing him. Essay with the following energetic self for their fruition.

These hopes and animated passage :-

shaped his conduct, and moulded his

spirit to a resemblance of the state he “Let us close our frequent reference hoped for; and he best proved his beto Saint Paul as a pattern for general lief that there really was such a state, imitation, by repeating one question by labouring to acquire the dispositions illustrative of those opposite qualities which might qualify him for its enjoywhich opght to meet in every Chris- ment, Without this aim, without this tiạn. If the most zealons advocate for effort, without this perseverance, his spiritual influences were to select, from faith would have been fruitless, his all the writers of sacred antiquity, the hope delusive, his profession hypocrisy, most distinguished champion of his and his preaching vain.' great cause, on whom would he fix his “ Let us image to ourselves the Savi. choice? And if the most strenuous as our of the world, holding up professing sertor of the duty of personal activity in Christians as a living exemplification of moral virtue were to chuse from all man, his religion; of that religion which he kind the man who most completely ex- taught by his doctrines and ratified by emplified this character in himself, his blood. Let us represent him to QUE

imaginations as referring to the lives of would not allow us to trifle with her his followers for the truth of his word. feelings, or tamper with her reputa; Do we not tremble at such a responsibi- tion. We cannot forget how much we lity? Do we not shrink from such a

are indebted to her for the season, comparison ? Are we not alarmed at the bare idea of bringing reproach on his ableness, the variety, and the extent Gospel, or dishonour on his name?

of her numerous literary exertions, “ Christians! why would you wait till Least of all can we overlook out you arrive at heaven, before you con obligations to her, both as Britons tribute to the great end of every dis- and as Christians, for those adpensation, --namely, that God may be mirable effusions of patriotism, glorified in his saints, and admired in all and piety, and talent, which, under them that believe? Even now, something the name of “ The Cheap Reposi of that assimilation should be taking tory Tracts,” circulated so much

we shall see Him as He is,' and which useful truth among the lower orders will never take place if the resem.

of the community, and contributed blance begin not here. Beatitiçațion is

so essentially, through the blessing only the finishing of the likenese. In- of God, to fix the wavering princi tuitiou will only complete the transfor- ples of loyalty and religion in the mation.” Vol. ii. pp. 344—348. hearts of the people. Our readers

will bear with is, if, actuated by We have now brought our Re- these considerations, we never fail, view of these volumes to a close; when speaking of Mrs. More, to and as we have allowed ourselves employ the language of reverence considerable latitude both in the and affection. We wish her to way of analysis and quotation, we know, that the gratitude of the shall dispatch what remains to be public bears some proportiou to the said in a very few words. Of the zeal with which she has laboured in merits of the work we have spoken their service; and that she is now strongly; and of its faults, what- regarded among the brightest ornaever they may be, we freely con

ments of her country, as she will fess ourselves to have no disposi- be hercafter remembered among its tion to speak at all. It is reported greatest benefactors. to the honour of the law of the land, that it does not concern itself about trifles; and we cannot but Practical and Familiar Serions, think, that it would be to the ad- designed for Parochial and Dovantage of the commonwealth of mestic Instruction. By the Rev. letters, if the law of criticism were

EDWARD COOPER, Rector of to follow, on some occasions at

Hamstall-Ridware and of Yoxall least, so generous and dignified an

in the County of Stafford; and example. We bave considered the

late Fellow of All-Souls College, present to be one of those cases,

Oxford. Vol. III. London: Cadell in which our duty to the public is

and Davies. 1815. 12mo. pp. 329. better discharged by pointing out We doubt not that most of our the excellencies of the work, which readers have participated in the we bad undertaken to review, than satisfaction which we felt when the by minutely striking a balance be- volume now before us was antween its merits and its defects. If nounced to the public. Crowded it should be thought, that respect as our shelves already were with for the author has had some influ- publications of this description, ence in inclining us to the course we we were in no ordinary degree have pursued, we shall not be over desirous of adding this to their anxious to vindicate ourselves from number; not only from having had the charge. The name of Hannah such complete proof of the excelMore is certainly associated in our lence and usefulness of Mr. Coominds with a degree of respect which per's sermons, but also because we

concur in the opinion which is, lower classes of the community is we believe, pretty commonly enter a work, for the successful pertained, that serions of the class formance of which several qualifito which these belong, are cal- cations of no ordinary kind are culated, even more than others, to requisite. One of primary importpromote general good. The value ance is, that the writer have clear of a compilation of plain, practical ideas on the subject of which he discourses, adapted to the under- treats. This, indeed, should be standings and circumstances of the common to all who wish to convey lower orders of society, will be instruction to others, whether by fully appreciated, perhaps, by those speaking or writing. But it is only who, feeling a tender solici- more indispensable in those who tude about the eternal interests of undertake to instruct the poor and their servants and other depend- uninformed; on this account, that ants, are anxious to supply to hearers of this class are less able to them, in the best manner possible, supply, by the exercise of their those means of spiritual instruction own understandings, the want of which may not be afforded them in clear conception in the instructor. public. That such a deficiency as It is not, hy any nieans, that we that here adverted to exists, owing entertain degrading notions of the to causes which it is not necessary capacities of the lower orders ; to specify, and that a proportion on the contrary, we think it unde able want of familiar sermons lias niable that they are endued with been felt by conscientious indi. understandings which are naturally viduals, is a well-known fact. It no less capable of improvement is not, however, that we forget or than those of their superiors. It undervalue the treasures of this is equally certain, however, that kind which we possess. We are from the circumstances of their indebted to many excellent divines, situation in life, and particularly some of whom are still labouring from their early liabits, their minds in the sacred vineyard, others become less quick of apprehension, reaping the fruits of their labours, and less capable of distinguishing, for discourses which cannot be comparing, combining, and disread or heard, if read and heard posing the ideas which are preattentively, without improvement, sented to them than those that are though possessing different degrees more babituated to those exercises. of comparative as well as of po. And it is this which renders a clear sitive excellence. We need scarcely and distinct conception, with its mention the names of Walker of natural concomitants, luminous Traro, and Milner; and (though, and orderly arrangement, and perperhaps, they are more especially spicuity of style, so peculiarly calculated for the higher orders) important in one wlio composes of Gisborne and Venn. Still sermons more immediately for the less will our readers need to be lower classes of society. - To this reminded that the volume now it is extremely desirable that he under review has been preceded should add warmth of feeling. by two others from the same au- Earnest appeals, affectionate adthor, particularly directed, like the monitions and exhortations, and tenpresent, to the purposes of do- der expostulations, have a peculiar mestic and parochial instruction. efficacy on the minds of the poor But this supply, great as it is, by and unlearned, and are frequently no means meets the demand. And instrumental in lodging a salutary this deficiency we conceive to arise, and abiding impression, when an in part, from the difficulty of pro- argumentative and less animated viding this supply, The compo: address would fail' of exciting at. sition of sermons adapted to the tention. We may, perhaps, be

« AnteriorContinuar »