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blessed Lord. In prosecuting the enquiry, our Author first takes a retrospect view of the errors which took rise in the early ages of the church; he then glances at those formularies of the church which were adopted to debar men holding heretical opinions from the ministerial office;—then proceeds to adduce proofs for the sinlessness of Christ's humanity. From the fundamental doctrine thus expounded, several truths are embodied, which may be considered advantageously as conclusions. Mr. M. has in this letter evinced so much christian spirit, with an uncompromising defence of truth, that we do most strongly recommend it to our readers; sincerely hoping that a sufficient number will sell, to prevent any loss arising to the Author from this his honest and faithful defence of truth.
Mr. Cole's Refutation would have been reviewed by us before, but we only received a copy of the book a short time since, with a request from a correspondent that we would notice it. In refuting Mr. lrving's heresies, Mr. C. has very fully proved the awful consequences that would arise from the human nature of Christ being sinful, mortal, and corruptible; and that the whole tenor of scripture is against such an hypothesis. He has quoted largely scripture testimonies to the sinlessness and impeccability of the humanity of our Lord, which, as that sound divine, the late Mr. Toplady, very properly stated, was, inherently considered, "immortal," and but for his voluntary covenant engagements never could have died. Mr. Cole has handled Mr. I. with considerable asperity; a method we do not generally approve: but when an individual continues pertinacious in error, and spreads his contagion around him to the great injury of the church, asperity may (if ever) be allowed. Mr. Cole deserves well for coming forward among the first to oppose and refute this widely-spreading heresy.
Each of these pamphlets are well worthy the perusal of all who have been in any way ensnared by this heresy ; and we do hope that the church of Scotland will publicly evince their steady and unshaken adherence to those important truths which are now so daringly impugned, and shew to all that they will not hold communion with any, whatever may be their talents or gifts, who reject that atonement which could only be effected by the incarnation and death of Him, who was " holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners!"
Sermons on the Covenant of Grace. By the late Rev. Torial Joss, 12 wio. pp. 12. Palmer.
In the advertisement, the Rev. Mr. Southwood, who has edited this Sermon, informs his readers, that this is the first of nine discourses delivered from the same text, by the late Mr. Joss; and he purposes, if the sale allows, to publish the remaining eight. As the price is very low, and the Sermons well worthy publication, we hope he will meet with encouragement.
Vol. VII.—No. 80. 2 F
The Mutual Forget me Not of Christ and the Believer. By the Superintendent of a Sunday School. 32wio. pp. 32. Helt.
This little work contains some interesting subjects, introduced in the way of a dialogue between Christ and a believer; and we hope the blessing of God may attend it to those into whose hands it may Come. We subjoin the author's preface, which fully explains his well-meant endeavour.
"The following dialogue is presented by a citizen of Zion to the citizens of Zion, in the humble hope that, by culling from the tree of life both food and medicine, the mourner in Zion may be comforted, the weak in faith strengthened, the labourer in the Lord's vineyard encouraged, and Immanuel glorified. With what success, the experience of each believer who honours this little work with an attentive perusal, must determine. It is the word of God; as such, it cornea recommended by the highest sanction. All that the writer claims as hte own, is the thread by which this little bundle of precious promises is tied together. In the pleasing expectation that by the Divine blessing it will be found to answer the end intended, he casts it into the treasury of the Lord, seeking no other emolument therefrom, than the consciousness of having done something to help forward his brethren in Christ in the divine life.
The Nature, Responsibility, and Reward of the Christian Minister; a Charge delivered at the Ordination of the Rev. T. D. Reynolds, at Earl's Colne, Essex. By Isaac Mann, A.M. 8vo. pp. 48. Palmer.
Mr. Mann has passed under our observation before, and is an author of considerable talent. His Lectures on Ecclesiastical History, fully justify our remark. The Sermon before us, is a faithful and affectionate charge, delivered at the settlement of a young minister; and while there are some few expressions which we should not adopt, it contains many important truths.
Our author has selected for his text, those words of the apostle, 1 Cor. xvi. 10. "He worketh the work of the Lord, as also 1 do." In prosecuting the subject, he dilates on the character—the responsibility—the promised blessing attendant on—and the final issue of the ministerial work. Speaking on the character of the work, is the following remark:—
"The great work of God, and to which he has subordinated all his other works, is the erection of his kingdom of grace among men. As agents in this glorious service, men alone are employed to bring sinners to Zion's King." You must " preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine." 2 Tim. iv. 2. And, Oh, my dear brother! what a glorious work is this. It is yours to unfold the glories of the Redeemer of men—to display the riches of his grace and love—to present in all their loveliest forms, the doctrines of divine truth, and to enforce all the claims of a holy and righteous God. You are to give the bread of life, and the water of life, to souls ready to perish. You are to clothe naked spirits from the wardrobe of the Saviour of souls. You are to lead onward to eternal rest, the armies of the living God. What dependence on God; what prayer for divine illumination and spiritual strength ; what holy vigilance, diligence and zeal; what self-examination, and profound meditation: yea, what gentleness and yet invincible determination are requisite to the full and competent discharge of these duties! Well may you exclaim, " And who is sufficient for these things?" Your sufficiency is of God, who also will make you, I trust, an able minister of the new testament. Your resources are equal to all demands. The fulness of Christ invites your application to him. When lie " ascended on high," it wa3 that he might give gifts to men. Eph. iv. 8. Nor can you glorify him more than by living daily on his fulness, and moving onward in the righteousness and strength of the Lord God."
In showing the certainty that the christian minister has of the constant benediction of God upon his labours, and the entire dependence he should have on the promised aid of the Holy Spirit, Mr. Mann observes :—
'"Would you enjoy the blessings of God in your labours? then depend constantly on the aids of the Holy Spirit. If your own mind is not habitually under his influences, you will never thrive, and be in spiritual health as a christian. There is yet too much depravity in your own heart, which will constantly resist the power of divine truth, to hope that by any labour, any watchfulness, any self-denial and mortification in your own strength, you can rise superior to inward difficulties. But the Spirit of Christ dwelling in you, will subdue that innate depravity; he will raise your affections from earth to heaven; he will create holy desires; he will destroy your inbred lusts; and he will make every grace to abound. If you pray, and preach, and converse with your flock, in a humble and constant dependence on that Spirit, you will not labour in vain.
"You will do this, not as a matter of consistency with your public professions only, but from a very deep conviction of your own weakness, and utter insufficiency of yourself to do any thing acceptably to God. How many carnal propensities will you feel—how much of cowardice — how much of a spirit of indolence—how much pride, ignorance, and unbelief, to convince you daily and hourly of your need of this Spirit. Your own heart is hard, and refuses to feel; your own judgment is perverse, and constantly needs correction ; and this Spirit of truth and of judgment alone can bless you.
"Alas! for you, in looking at your charge, how many will you see around you on whom you can produce no impression. Their minds are profane and vicious ; their affections are earthly, sensual, and devilish ; the darkness of their minds is palpable, and their enmity against God and his blessed gospel is most inveterate and invincible. What can you do? Are you to sit down in the bitterness and anguish of despair? By no means. Or are you to calculate on some mighty moral power which you, or they possess, which, independent of divine influence, can bring them to 'repentance, to faith in Christ, and to God ?—Still less. You are to prophecy unto these dry bones, and at the same moment invoke the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, that breath of life, which alone can make these slain men to live."
Remarking on the awful condition of those who from corrupt motives assume the ministerial office, is the following faithful picture of such:—
"How tremendous must be the doom of the unconverted herald of mercy! His whole life is spent in a course of unbroken dissimulation and hypocrisy. Truths the most interesting and solemn, are exhibited to the attention of others, in which he has no faith. He invites his fellow men to the felicities of another world, from which he must be for ever.excjuded. He wants the sinner to flee from the wrath to come; from the everlasting torments, to the endurance of which he is hastening with dreadfql eclerity. His prayers are the most solemn mockery offered to the Deity himself. His elevated situation has rendered him awfully conspicuous to men, to devils, to angels, and to God; and from his awful pre-eminence he remains to be hurled in the sight of the universe, by the power of God, and to be crushed for ever beneath the weight of his accumulated guilt! How hardened, how callous must that heart be which is daily under the entire influence of depravity, whilst the intellect is professionally engaged in reviewing the truths of God."
We recommend this Sermon as containing many judicious and pertinent illustrations of divine truth. Were we disposed to be fastidious, there are some remarks which we do not quite approve; but as a whole, we wish it may meet with an extensive circulation.
A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of St. Helen, Abingdon, on Christmas Day, 1829, at the appointment of the Master and Governors of Christ's Hospital. By the Rev. W. Tiplaft, B.J. Vicar of Sutton Courtney, Berks. Third Edition, Svo. pp. 24. Markham, Stamford; Palmer, London.
We have not the pleasure of being personally acquainted with Mr. Tiptaft, but from this first specimen of his pulpit qualifications, we should argue most favourably of him, and of his sincerity in the cause to which he has devoted himself. This Sermon should not have reached a third edition without a notice from us, if we had before seen it; but it was only sent to us a short time back. We hasten, however, to add our meed of approbation to the public voice, and, if possible, still further to increase the sale, fully convinced that the dissemination of the truths so ably advocated within its pages, is calculated to be a means in the hand of the Holy Spirit of being productive of much good.
We have said, that we do not know the author; and when we read the title-page, and observed the occasion on which the Sermon was delivered, we did not anticipate much gratification in perusing it. We looked forward to one of those same cold and calculating discourses with which the press is so prolific. The reader will be able to conceive our surprize, and fully to enter the pleasure we felt, when he peruses the following quotation, from which we will not longer detain him. He will observe, that the author is giving a reply to the enquiry, " who are the people of God that he will save?
"We all by nature imagine that Christ died for every one in the world; but he died only for those whom God chose in him before the foundation of the world. But we must know, that which God teaches by his Holy Spirit is true doctrine, and not what man thinks. The word of God is our standard and our guide, and whoever speaks not according to that word, believe him not, for there is no light in him. Now Isaiah, (chap, liii.) where he is speaking so plainly of Christ, saith, " he shall see hit seed,— (Isa. liii. 10.) he shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, (v. 11.) and he bare the sin of many." (v. 12.) The prophet Isaiah, therefore, very clearly shows that Christ came to save a peculiar people. (Isa. liii. 8.) And Christ saith in the 10th chapter of St. John, " I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." John x. 11. And in the same chapter he says to some of the Jews, " But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you." (John x. 26.) This very plainly shows that he did not give his life for them. St. Paul saith in Ephesians, " according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; having prerlestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself according to the good pleasure of his will." (Eph. i. 4, 5.) And again in the 5th chapter of the same epistle—" Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." (Eph. v. 25, 26, 27.) And the same apostle saith to Timothy, " Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his oum purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." 2 Tim. i. 9.
"These words are written in the bible; I believe the bible to be true, and therefore I believe them; nor has God given a single text only, but very many others basides those which 1 have advanced I could bring forward; for you must know that this doctrine is ifct mine, but God's; and we, as members of the church of England, all profess to believe it; for tbe XVIIth article of our church fully explains it—" Predestination unto life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid,) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel, secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour." His people, therefore, in the text, are those whom he hath chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world."
This quotation is sufficient to convince our readers that the Sermon now introduced to their notice, is not one of common production ; that it is not one of those simply published to increase the funds of a particular charity; in short, that it is not one of the multitude of ephemeral, destined to be read within its own little circle and be forgotten. We have extracted sufficient, we think, to determine our readers to obtain it, and judge of it for themselves; but we cannot refrain from taking two more quotations from it. In the first the author is giving his views of the law of God; and in the last, addressing those who know the Lord, and are partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
"Now it is certain, that no man can keep the law of God without offence, "for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Gal. ii. 21. The law, therefore, "is our schoolmaster, to bring us unto Christ." Gal. Hi. 24. Thus the law of God writes death in the consciences of those who are "ordained to eternal life." Acts xiii. 48. They see their sing standing in array before them—they endeavour, through ignorance, to amend their lives—they labour in vain—their hearts are broken by God; for "the preparations of the heart, are from the Lord." Prov. xvi. 1. They can find no rest, nor consolation, and are almost in despair; harassed and tormented by Satan, they know not what to do, and cry out with the jailor at Philippi, "what must we do to be saved?" Acts xvi. 30. If they have been Pharisees, their eyes are open to see the pride and hypocrisy of their religion, and they confess that" all their righteousnesses are as filthy rags;" lsa. lxiv. 6. if they have been notorious sinners, they think that the Lord never came to seek such vile wretches as they are; thus troubled and distressed, they hear the gospel, which is " glad tidings of good things" (Rom. x. 15.) to those who feci themselves lost sinners. Matt. xv. 24. They hear