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be something quite different from oratory; it may be logical, but its reasonings will be of a cast wholly foreign to the science of the school-men; it may be characterized by discrimination, learning, or taste, but these qualities will assume so particular a character, when exercised on subjects of Christian theology, that they will not be recognized by the mere scholar, or the mere man of taste, who judges of a sermon as of other ethical compositions. A Sermon may appear to display nothing beyond mediocrity of talent to him who has no notion of the nature of the knowledge which it required in its author, and which it aims to impart. It may seem to be of all writings the dullest, only because the feelings and the interests to which it relates, are of an order to which the experience of the individual is as yet a stranger, and with which his sympathy cannot hold communion. The reasonings of the preacher are grounded on premises of which the world take no cognizance. His powers of eloquence, or his simple hortatory effusions, have for their object, to alarm, to impress, to stimulate, or to console the mind in reference to a class of subjects belonging to a purely spiritual science, the perception of which supposes the exercise of faculties wholly spiritual.

We may select many a striking passage from such a volume as the present, and yet we shall present little that may appear admirable to readers unacquainted with the power of Divine truth our extracts will at the same time exhibit but very partially the chief merit of these Discourses, which consists in their adaptation, as a whole, to purposes of general usefulness. We shall, however, adopt the usual method of conveying to the reader an idea of the style of these compositions.

The volume contains twenty Sermons; the first is entitled The Gospel Message.' We were surprised to find this subject connected with the words of Ehud in the third chapter of Judges. "I have a message from God unto thee." The practice of applying the words of Scripture to a purpose they were never designed to answer, and in a sense foreign from their original meaning, is highly exceptionable and dangerous in its tendency. This is the only instance of the kind in the volume; but we regret that so judicious an author should give the slightest countenance to this system of accommodation. The range of Scripture is wide enough to preclude all pretence of necessity for this sort of ingenuity.

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There is an admirable Sermon, (Sermon vii.) on the tendency to weariness in well-doing.' Among the causes of this tendency, Mr. Cooper particularizes, our natural fickleness of mind: First emotions insensibly subside: the mind being accustomed 'to witness the same scene, ceases to take the same lively interest ' in it—a want of success in our efforts to do good,' and the

unkind and injurious treatment,' they may sometimes have brought upon us, are temptations to us to grow weary of welldoing. The preacher proceeds to offer some considerations which may help to oppose this tendency.'

1. Consider the example of Jesus Christ. This example is binding on all his followers. They are bound, so far as they are able, to walk in his steps, and to do as He did. Nay, it is their interest, their privilege, no less than their duty, to have the same mind with Him, and to be conformed to His image. How then does his example bear on the point in question? Was He weary in well-doing? Did any of the causes which we have mentioned, induce Him to desist from his work and labour of love? Far otherwise. His whole life was spent in doing good to the bodies and souls of men. This was the great object which He proposed to Himself. This was the merciful office which He had assumed, and we never find Him weary of his undertaking. Remember to how much personal inconvenience, fatigue, and self-denial He put himself, that He might fulfil his gracious design, and minister to the temporal and spiritual wants of others. On some occasions we see Him depriving himself of rest, on others of food, rather than disappoint the expectations of those, who came to Him for instruction or relief. Remember how little encouragement He met with in his charitable attempts. Notwithstanding the mighty works which He did, the cures which He performed, the blessings which He dispensed wherever He came, how few believed on Him! How small a number of those, among whom He went about doing good, were induced to receive and honour Him as a Prophet sent from God! Even such as had recourse to Him as a Physician for their bodies, yet, in general, rejected Him as a spiritual Saviour. Remember further, what ingratitude, reproach; and persecution He encountered throughout the discharge of his office! With what unthankful and even injurious treatment was his kindness frequently repaid! His enemies, instead of being reconciled by his miracles of love and mercy, only hated Him the more for these proofs of his Divine authority. The more good He did, the more perversely were they set against Him, and the more maliciously did they seek his life. Remember all these things: and think what temptations He was under to become weary in welldoing. But He yielded not to these temptations. He withstood them all. He endured unto the end. He patiently persevered in well-doing. He healed the servant of the High Priest, who was come out to seize Him. He prayed for his murderers. He forgave the thief, who had reviled Him on the cross. Are you a disciple, a follower of Jesus Christ? Then go, and do Thou likewise. Be not weary in well-doing.

2. Consider, what has been the conduct of Jesus Christ towards yourself. Has he been weary of doing good to you? From the hour of your birth He has been doing you good. Every day his kindness towards you has been renewed. To Him you are indebted for life, and health, and strength; for food and raiment, and friends; for every thing which has made life pleasant or comfortable. But He has added to these temporal blessings still greater mercies, even spiritual

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blessings. He has bestowed on you the means of grace and salvation. He has continued them to you until this very day. He has daily vouchsafed to you fresh supplies of his Spirit, to warn, to strengthen, to direct you. But while He has been thus forward and ready to do you good, have you not been backward in profiting by his mercies? Have you not abused his kindness, turned his very gifts into occasions of sin, and presumed on his long suffering and forbearance so far, as even in a degree to sin on that grace might abound? Have you not slighted the salvation, which He has offered you? Have you not profaned his Sabbaths, neglected his worship, despised his word, and resisted his Spirit? In short, have you not done enough to wear out his patience? Have you not been so unthankful, and unholy, so perverse, and provoking, that He might justly have been weary of doing you good, and might long ago have ceased to shew you favour and kindness? But this has not been the case. Even now He is daily overlooking many offences, daily passing by many provocations. And shall you then be weary of well-doing to your fellow-creatures? Freely you are receiving, freely give. Let the Lord's conduct towards you, be the rule of your conduct towards others. Let his patience and unwearied kindness to you, be the measure of your patience and kindness to them. When He shall be weary of bearing with your infirmities, and of ministering to your wants; then, and not till then, deem yourself at liberty to grow weary in well-doing towards your weak and necessitous brethren.' pp. 103-107.

The following clear and forcible statement of the leading points in the system of the Gospel, occurs in a Sermon upon 2 Tim. i. 8. It is entitled mercy in that day.'

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If in that Day we find not mercy of the Lord, we are lost, and miserable for ever. This is a truth indeed which is generally admitted. Most men will readily confess, that they stand in need of mercy; but few, it is to be feared, understand what this confession implies. Do we understand it? There can be no doubt but that we all entertain a hope of finding mercy of the Lord in that Day: and the Lord grant that we may all find it. But while we entertain this hope, do we rightly understand what it means? Are we sensible what mercy is; what hoping for it presupposes; what, by professing that we hope for it, we allow ourselves to be?-Let us further consider these points. Mercy is another word for grace. It is an act of free and unmerited favour It is shewing kindness to one who has no claim to it, and is totally undeserving of it. This idea of mercy should be clearly conceived, and constantly kept in view. Men sometimes say, that such a person deserves to have mercy shewn to him! But this is a very incorrect and careless way of speaking. A man can never asserve mercy. There may be some circumstances in his case, which may make him more particularly an object of compassion, or may induce us especially to shew mercy to him in preference to some others : but neither these, nor any other circumstances in his case, can give him any claim to mercy. The very supposition of such a claim would totally contradict every idea of mercy. When a criminal by his offence has forfeited his life, and is condemned to die; the King from

pity to the offender, or from some other considerations best known to himself, may grant a pardon and remit the sentence. Here is mercy, an act of free, unmerited grace to the undeserving, and the guilty. But to say that there could be any thing in the criminal which gave him a claim to mercy, would be to talk absurdly. If indeed he has been unjustly condemned, then he may reasonably claim to have his sentence remitted, and we may truly say that he deserves a pardon. But in this case, the reversing of the sentence, the grant to him of pardon, is an act not of mercy, but of justice. The King in restoring him to life and liberty does not even display his clemency; he merely frees an injured man from a sentence, which never ought to have been passed upon him. The very idea then of mercy naturally shuts out all idea of merit. These two things are totally contrary to each other, and can never exist together. Observe what St. Paul says on this subject. He tells us plainly that Mercy, and Merit, or in other words, Grace, and Works, imply a direct contradiction in terms. "If (says he) it is by Grace, then it is no more of Works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of Works, then it is no more of Grace: otherwise work is no more work." A thing cannot at the same time be both a Gift and a Debt. If it be a gift, it is not a debt; if it be a debt, it is not a gift.' pp. 217-19.

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It is to be feared that many, when they talk of hoping to find mercy, mean in fact to say that they hope to find justice in that Day; and that their hopes of being favourably received then are built, not on God s free mercy, but on their own merits, and on their secret claims to reward. We may judge this to be the case from the language which is often heard from persons, and the dispositions which are frequently seen in them, while yet they profess to trust only in the Divine Mercy. When asked to give a reason of the hope that is in them, what reason do they give? They say they hope to find mercy with God, because their sins have been so few, or their good actions so many; because they owe no ill will to any one, or are so much better than many of their neighbours; because they have been kind, or just, or charitable; because they have read their Bible, have said their prayers, and have frequented the house of God.'— This is their language. But, my brethren, what does such language prove? It proves that those who use it are trusting, not to the mercy of God, but to their own merits. Their ground of hope is something in themselves. They think that they have in them some good thing, which will recommend them to their Judge, and claim his favour. But such recommendations, such claims will yield no consolation, no security in that day. All such self-righteous pleas must fail. The vanity of them will then be fully seen. Whatever excuses

for their sins, whatever boastings of their goodness men may now make, in that day "every mouth shall be stopped, and all the world "become guilty before God." Mercy then will be the only plea. Then every heart will cry, "Enter not into judgement with us, O "Lord; but have mercy upon us according to the multitude of thy frequented for the sake of the privacy which it allowed him, he was

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"tender mercies."-And blessed will those be who then find mercy, for they only shall be saved, and shall enter into the joy of their Lord.' pp. 221, 222.

Art. XVI. Memoirs of Francis, commonly called St. Francis de Sales, Titular Prince and Bishop of Geneva Translated from the French. With a Preface and Notes by the Translator. 12mo. pp. 226. Price 5s. Longman and Co. 1814.

ONE of the discouraging signs of the present times, is the

revival of Popery, with a degree of vigour, a spirit of intolerance, and a grossness of feature, scarcely inferior to what it exhibited in its most persecuting ages. No man of an enlightened and benevolent mind, and especially no zealous Protestant, can have witnessed certain recent occurrences in various parts of Europe, without mingled sentiments of disgust and alarm. The tone of arrogance assumed by the Head of the Roman Church, his restoration of the intriguing Order of the Jesuits; the bigoted and sanguinary proceedings of his dutiful and devoted son Ferdinand of Spain; the re-establishment of the odious Court of the Inquisition in that oppressed kingdom; the mummeries lately practised in France, by the authority, and under the direction, of its present Rulers; and the persecution of the Protestants in the southern provinces of that ill-fated country,-to which may be added the Protest of the Catholic bishops in Belgium against the mild and tolerant constitution of their present Sovereign, claiming in the most arrogant language, political influence and power;-all these facts concur to prove that there is, in the very system of Popery, an inherent and incorrigible tendency to intrigue, intolerance, and the grossest superstition.

But while we affirm this, and while the melancholy confirmation of our statement is immediately before our eyes, we most cheerfully acknowledge that there has appeared at times much latent but sincere piety within the pale of that Communion, and that it has given to the Christian Church some of its brightest ornaments, and some of its most zealous advocates. In proof of this, it is only necessary to mention the names of Pascal, Fenelon, and Francis de Sales. The life and writings of the latter of these distinguished individuals are less known in England than those of the two former, and indeed it must be admitted, that they do not lay claim to so high a degree of reputation, except among Catholics. But the public is indebted to the compiler and translator of the interesting little volume before us, for bringing under their notice the memoirs of a man, who was unquestionably in his day the firmest pillar of the Church to which he belonged. The following sketch of his life will not, we think, be unacceptable to our ders.

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