Imágenes de páginas

of Blind, and their sincerity of character, have led thein to avow doctrines which they perceived to be scriptural; but it is greatly to be feared that their religion is the religion of intellect without corresponding feelings; the religion of an outward orthodoxy without the living principles having their due influence over the affections. The deity and the atonement of Chri3t, for instance, are admitted and are strenuously maintained against Socinians; but the glory of those doctrines, as discovering to us one able to save to the uttermost, and procuring for us a complete salvation, are not traced out in their practical application, as unspeakably important in the temptations, the distresses, the burdens, and the conflicts of the christian life. Ileal Christianity is the religion of the heart, as well as of the intellect; God " hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." The outward defence of the truth is not to be undervalued. Christians have been shielded from many reproaches and much contempt by the learned works of men, whose general spirit and conduct has, alas! been such as to free them from the reproach of the cross, and all suspicion of enthusiasm, and who have too manifestly been of the world, to be hated by the world. They have had, we will say, the ingenuousness of mind to admit the great essential doctrines of the gospel: nay, we may go farther and say, they have assisted the real christian by the powerful intellectual defence of doctrines, of which it is to be feared they themselves had not that full experimental enjoyment, which to the christian was another mo3t satisfactory evidence of their truth. Let us never rest in a bare orthodoxy of sentiment. Our creed may be perfectly right in the intellect, and our heart seriously wrong, because it never truly received it. "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness." It is real antinomianisin to rest satisfied with an orthodox creed, whether that creed comprehend many or few articles of faith, if those articles are destitute of holy influence on the heart and in the life.

"Has not the church of God seen these things painfully exemplified on a large scale among almost every class of christians in every age of the church? Have not the protestant churches on the continent and in the British islands witnessed the same distressing facts in their own history?

"The great lesson which this teaches, is the supreme importance of a daily, constant, humble and prayerful searching of the word of God, by every christian student.

"The decay of religion however mainly arises from, and is an indication of the tremendous power of that inward corruption which breaks through all barriers, and rises over all bounds. It becomes at the same time another occasion for and furnishes another evidence, of the freedom, and riches, and fulness of that grace which is in Christ Jesus. He, against all this powerful tendency, still raises up afresh, by fresh effusions of the Holy Ghost, faithful witnesses from time to time, with a new experience of the truth in their own conversion to God, boldly to testify the gospel of his grace. The faithful witness too is then enabled, by those abused and neglected confessions, to take a firmer stand, and be strengthened and bulwarked against all attacks; and thus a new life and power is given to the form, and the whole church is revived."

There is throughout so much of the simplicity of the gospel, with an entire dependence on the Holy Spirit as the great Teacher of his church, that we do most readily recommend this work to our readers.

The Christian Hearer: designed to shew the importance of hearing the Word, and to assist Christians in hearing with profit. By the Rev. Edward Bickersleth. Fourth edition, \2mo. p.p. 328. Seeley. This is a fourth edition of a very popular work, by an highly respectable clergyman of the national church, of evangelical principles, and contains many very useful and judicious hints to the hearers of the gospel. While we strenuously contend for the necessity of the influences of the Holy Spirit, to render effectual all the means of his own appointment, yet let it be remembered, that a far heavier responsibility rests on those who perish under the light of the gospel, than on those who have never heard its blissful tidings: for he that knew his Lord's will and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes; while he that knew not his Lord's will, shall be beaten with few stripes. And our Lord, referring to the unbelief of those who had witnessed his miracles, and yet continued in their hatred to him, pronounces an awful woe upon them: "Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Stdon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you."

While, however, we admit man's accountability, we do wish that those who minister in holy things, and who we have reason to believe have themselves tasted and handled of the word of life, would enforce the utter inability of man to perform any thing acceptable to Godi until he be regenerated by the Holy Ghost; then, and not till then will he be willing in the day of God's power, "My people shall be willing in the day of my power." "I (Jehovah) will persuade Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem." And unless the Lord bless the word, moral suasion, however pathetic, will be unavailing. While we can read with approbation many of the productions of our present evangelical writers, we do regret that there is in most of them a deficiency which we much deplore. Let the ministers of Christ commence by showing the depth of iniquity in which man is involved, the enmity against God which is in every human breast, and then direct the enquiring sinner to the all-sufficient Saviour, who has promised to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins; and then show to the burdened conscience that the Holy Spirit has promised to lead such an one into all truth.

We are led to these remarks from the volume before us; which, as far as it goes we generally approve; but does not, to our view, fully develope the whole counsel of God: and while we are convinced the soul quickened by the Holy Ghost will be studious to improve all those means of grace with which he is favoured, he will at the same time look up for a blessing from him with whom is the residue of the Spirit. And while the worthy clergyman's directions to the hearers of the gospel will be read with approbation by the humble christian, and he will desire to be found in the way of duty, he will do that which we think forms an important addenda to the work,—pray that the Lord the Holy Ghost may enable him "to adorn the doctrine of God his Saviour in all things;" well knowing that if he performs one good action, or even thinks one good thought, it is from the Lord. He will indeed be anxious to walk worthy of his high vocation; but then he will best succeed by looking to the strong for strength; and however powerful Mr. B.'s arguments are, they will never operate on any but such as having tasted that the Lord is gracious, are aiming, under the teaching of the Holy Ghost, to live to his honour and glory; and are working from life in the soul, and not for life as a reward for their work. To all others the directions will, we are persuaded, be utterly unavailing.

Mr. B. has divided his work into fifteen chapters. We had intended to make some extracts, but our limits will not allow. We were much pleased with a considerable portion of the author's remarks, and would refer our readers to the work itself, as containing many sound and judicious observations.

The Miscellaneous Works of the Rev. Matthew Henry, containing in addition to those heretofore published, numerous Sermons from the original M.S.S. with an Appendix, on what Christ is made to Believers, in Forty real Benefits. By the Rev. Philip Henry, and a Preface by I. B. Williams, Esq. F. S. A. royal 8vo. pp. 1420. J. O. Robinson.

The valuable exposition of the Rev. Matthew Henry, with his miscellaneous writings, have been long before the public ; and while we are constrained to say that there are some statements made by that excellent Divine which we do not approve, yet the truly devotional spirit'—the deep research—the practical godliness, and the ardent affection he evinced in the cause of the Redeemer, will long render his name dear to the church of God, and many of his writings will afford them instruction and edification.

The present Volume corresponds with the Exposition recently published by the same bookseller, and by the full page and very neat typographical execution, compresses the whole works of this writer in four volumes. This does most certainly recommend itself beyond any of the former editions, as it contains a series of sermons never before published, and an interesting appendix of forty-one short discourses, on what Christ is made to believers in forty real benefits, by the Rev. Philip Henry. To the whole is prefixed, an interesting memoir of the Rev. Philip Henry, with his funeral sermon. We have anew perused with much pleasure many of Mr. Henry's pieces, and would indeed pray that the Lord of the harvest would raise up in this our day many such as he was.

Strong Consolation, or Three Letters to a Friend in Spiritual Dejection, \8mo. pp. 54. Nisbett.

The title of this pamphlet attracted our attention ; for we live in a day when there are few to be found who can experimentally direct the enquiring sinner in his way to Zion.

We regret that our author's directions do not meet our views. Much is said about ' the love of Christ to sinners ;' and the dejected soul is exhorted to 'accept the gracious invitation of the Father of mercies.' Speaking of the name by which the church is designated, "the Lord our righteousness !" the trembling sinner is thus addressed by our author. » Oh! take this name yourself,—and bind to your heart—say to the law, to conscience, to yourself, "the Lord our righteousness."' Commenting on the fulness of God, he asks,

• can you be so daring as to ask whether the fulness of God Can supply your emptiness? And this fulness of God is love. A love which is held out to sinners, and which they are invited to accept; prayed to take hold of—invited to taste freely—to eat of abundantly. In this love God declares he will rest; and if God, in the riches of his grace, can make such a declaration, it ill befits the sinner not to rest satisfied and at peace.' This dejected sinner is to " joy in the Lord," though he can discern no fruits to prove his love —no feelings to evidence the reality of his faith. The writer concludes by quoting the apostle's words, Rom. v. 6. "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." And adds,

* this plea I would now use at the throne of grace, as I then would at the throne of judgment. Make it your's too.'

From the quotations given, our readers will perceive the drift of this author's 'strong consolation.' We rejoice in a free grace salvation ; but let it be remembered the scriptures direct no sinner to accept the offered graces—to bind the righteousness of Christ to his heart. Nor does the Holy Spirit solicit sinners to take hold of, to taste freely, or eat abundantly of the love of God :—nor does that blessed Spirit ever call upon sinners to joy in the Lord, or furnish them with a plea at the throne of judgment.

Our author has entirely omitted the work of God the Holy Ghost, whereas the present is peculiarly a dispensation of the Spirit; and it is the work of that glorious person to convince of sin—to take of Christ, and shew him to the quickened sinner—to set forth the love of the Father in choosing his church in Christ, and then the regenerated soul thus taught by God himself, will indeed be willing in the day of his power. But is the sinner who, alarmed by the sudden qualms of a natural conscience, and who cries out, " What shall I do to be saved ?" to be immediately lulled into false security by being exhorted to believe that Christ is his; though he be destitute of every scriptural ground on which to rest? This is our author's plan, but it is not the counsel of God ; and he has denounced in his word a woe on those who cry, peace, peace, when he has not spoken peace. But we know that Jehovah will not suffer his people to rest on such a foundation. We have quite exceeded our limits, and must leave the subject, praying that each of our readers may be enabled to gather all their consolation from him who hath said, " I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."


Though every time we draw our breath,

A num'rous band who living stood,
That instant bow their heads in death,
The sick, the healthy, vile and good;
And though on every side we see,
Sad tokens of mortality—

Yet when th' afflictive tidings come,

That a dear friend we highly lov'd,
Is summon'd to his heav'nly home,
From earth's vain vexing cares remov'd;
We start with sudden sad surprize,
And sighs and sorrowing tears arise.

And who shall bid our tears to cease,

When we sustain so vast a loss,
Let stoics proudly hold their peace,
They inly rebel at the cross:
Did not the Almighty Saviour weep,
When Lazarus lay in death's cold sleep!

God gave these feelings, nor does he,
Kebuke his people when they grieve,
But he has promis'd he will be, ,

Their help in trouble to relieve •
From God's abounding goodness flows,
A soothing balm for all our woes.

But as we mourn, a still sweet voice,

Tells us our friends are happy now,
And bids us rather to rejoice

And wear no more a clouded brow:
For they their happy home have fonnd,
Though we still tread enchanted ground!


To soul's redeem'd from sin and

What theme so sweet for them to
As Jesu's ancient love;
'Tis this that kindles sacred joys,
And their united strains employs,
In earth and heaven above.

'Twas love that formed the holy tie,
And wrote their names above the sky,

Before creation's day;
Its bonds are firm as heav'n's throne,
And lasting as the Eternal's crown,

Which never fades away.

Loud let us triumph in it3 strength,
Proclaim its boundless breadth and
And sing its conqu'ring power:

It saves from gloomy guilt and fear,
And kindly wipes the falling tear,
And cheers the dying hour.

No sin, nor grief, nor deep distress,
Peril or sword, or nakedness,

Can rend us from our God;
His love in life and death the same,
Nor will he e'er dispute the claim

Of our Immanuel's blood:

Through Him we conquer though

we die,
And all the hosts of hell defy,

Whilst he our faith doth raise;
Tis he that loves us, bears us

through, And makes us more than conquerors too. And His shall be the praise.

Wcolwich. Enon.

« AnteriorContinuar »