صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

gloomy central desert, Dr. H. had the different gratification : witnessing the delight and gratitude excited in an exceeding poor family, by the welcome novelty of a copy of the New Tes. tament given to the children. He was especially struck wi the intelligence and interest with which it was read by one e them, a girl; and he was still more delighted when, on visitio. the place the following year, he found she had made such exc lent use of the acquisition, during the winter, that “there wo * not a passage to which he made the most indirect allusion * which she did not quote with the same facility and accuracy is * if she had read it from the book.” (To be continued.)

Art. III. A Treatise on the Law and the o By John Co. uhoun, D.D. Minister of the Gospel, Leith. 12mo. pp. 35. #. 1816.

THE time is gone by in which writings like those of D; Colquhoun, would be sure to obtain all the consideration they deserve; not but what they will yet prove highly ar. ceptable, and we doubt not, very profitable to many readers. Good and useful books may divided into two classes namely, those which being written under the guidance of correct cstimate of the moral and intellectual character of the times, are addressed, immediately, to the popular mind, such as it is to day; and those in which the writer, possessing that in tellectual vigour which repels internal o. roduces simply a transcript of his own mind, upon the subject he adopts. Works of the latter class, belong to no time, but to all ages. They are truly the property of that small number of persons who really think. They cull their readers scantily, from the millions of many centuries. Their influence upon the mass of mankind, is indirect and reflective; and so far as the obtain a contemporaneous celebrity, it is chiefly owing to some lower, or extrinsic excellence. Beside these two classes, there appears, from time to time, a straggler, which seems to have dropped behind the march of its predecessors. The book is perhaps good, but it ought to have been printed a full hundred years ago. If however, it be not of the rank that will command attention at any period, its merits may at least be such as might well apologize for a superannuated manner. It would, indeed, be a hopeful circumstance, if this green and hasty age, without being frighted by the ruff and the beard, would suffer itself to be schooled down into a little more of the carefulness, and laboriousness, and seriousness, which distinguished times that are passed. The wish that something of this sort might take place, makes us rejoice in the appearance of books like the one now before us; especially when they are accompanied,

is in the present instance, by the sanction derived from the

eminent worth and piety of the writer.

Dr. Colquhoun handles Theology in the manner which ecame general at the time of the Reformation, , and which as long since ceased to be popular. It resulted immediately rom that great maxim, or rather motto, of those who introuced Christianity a second time to the world : “To the Law, and to the testimony.” It may be designated as the forensic tyle. It is apt to be more occupied with terms than with hings, and is naturally produced when general attention 3rcibly reverts to the sense and authority of an acknowledged anon. This style neither rises among philosophical genealities, nor digresses into the regions of sentiment and imaination. It is a species of writing, perhaps, beyond any ther, which taxes the attention of the reader; and this is a .ind of tax which will never be readily submitted to, but in in age distinguished for laborious intellectual habits. Such is ertainly not the character of the present day; and to fia: the attention, is, perhaps, now, generally felt to be the most dificult and painful of all the efforts of the mind. Dr. Colquhoun's method of presenting the subject to the reader, is as little in vogue as his manner of treating Theology. , He adopts, to a great extent, the plan of a logical completeness of arrangement. For that virtual, and actual repetition of the ame thoughts, which is the inevitable fault, if it be a fault, of this attenuating plan, Dr. C. apologizes, by saying, that : “Though to some readers, there may appear, in several passages 2f the i. work, a redundance of words, and too frequent a recurrence of the leading sentiments, and even of the same modes of expression; yet, the Author cannot but hope that, to others, these will, in some degree, serve to render his meaning the more obvious and determinate.”

The contents of the volume are arranged under twelve general heads, in which are considered, The Law of God in general; The Law of God as promulgated to the Israelites from Mount Sinai; The properties of the Moral Law; Tha rules for understanding rightly the Ten Commandments; The Gospel of Christ; The uses of the Gospel, and also of the Law, in its subservience to the Gospel; The difference between the Law, and the Gospel, The agreement between them; The establishment of the Law by the Gospel, or, the subservience of the Gospel to the authority and honour of the Law ; The Believer's privilege of being dead to the Law, as a Covenant of JWorks, with the necessary consequence of it; The great obligations under which every believer lies, to perform even perfect obedience to the Law as a rule of life; and, lastly, The gnature, necessity, and desert of good works. . A very extensive, comprehensive, and well digested knowledge of the Scriptures, is exhibited in the illustration of these topics; and this knowledge is uniformly brought to bear up the experience and practice of the Christian. . If we have se a word that may seem likely to obstruct the circulation of the volume, we are persuaded that we can in no way so effectual do Dr. Colquhoun justice, as by allowing him to speak is himself. We select two or three passages, which are the mos easily broken off from the connexion in which they stand. In speaking of the Law in the hand of Christ the Mediate as a rule of life to believers, it is remarked, that

• To the law as a rule in the hand of Christ, belongs also a threatent of paternal chastisements. In order to deter believers from disob dience, as well as to promote in them the mortification of sin, to . Lord threatens that, although he will not cast them into hell is their sins, yet he will permit hell, as it were, to enter their co sciences; that he will visit them with a series of outward afflictions that he will deprive them of that sensible communion with hi: which they sometime enjoyed; and that he will afflict them wo bitterness instead of sweetness, and with terror instead of comfor These chastisements are, to a believer, no less awful, and mu: more forcible, restraints from sin, than even the prospect of vo dictive wrath would be. A filial fear of them, will do more t influence him to the practice of holiness, than all the slavish fer of hell can do. A fear, lest he should be deprived of that sweetnes of communion with God, with which he is favoured, will cri strain him to say to his lusts, as the fig-tree in Jotham's parab “Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to promoted over you?” “Shall I leave the spiritual delight whi I had, in the communion with my God and Saviour, and her. fellowship with you?” Or, if, for his iniquities, he be already undthe dreadful frowns of his heavenly Father; his recollection of t comfort which he formerly enjoyed, and of which he is now deprive. will make him say, “I will go and return to my first husband; : then was it better with me than now.”’ p. 44.

Nothing can be more important, at once to the comfort, so the fruitfulness of the Christian life, than a clear discernment the difference between the Law and the Gospel.

“If an exercised and disquieted Christian, do not distinctly kno the difference between the law and the gospel, he cannot attain solid tranquility, or established comfort of soul. He will always in danger of building his hope and comfort, partly, if not whic o his own graces and performances, instead of grounding th wholly, on the surety-righteousness of Jesus Christ ; and so, shall be perpetually disquieted by anxious and desponding fe: For since the law knows nothing of pardon of sin, the transgressia. which he is daily committing, will be greater grounds of fear to he. than his graces and performances can be, of hope. The spirit of depressed Christian, cannot be raised to solid consolation; but to being able so to distinguish between the law and the gospel, as : rely only, and with settled confidence, on the spotless righteouses

of the second Adam, presented to him in the gospel, for all his title “to the justification of life.”’’ pp. 158, 9.

Dr. Colquhoun makes frequent appeals to the consciences of those who are living under the infatuation which persuades them to rest their hopes upon an already violated covenant.

* How inexpressibly miserable are they, who are alive to the law as a covenant of works . They may “ have a name to live, but they are dead.” They are dead to &oi, to the favour, the image, the service, and the enjoyment of God. They are legally dead; for they are under the tremendous curse of the violated law, and are liable, every moment, to the intolerable and eternal wrath of Almighty God. . . They are morally dead likewise; for they are destitute of spiritual life; and they have no inclination, nor ability, to live unto God. . Such persons know not, what it is to live a life, either of justification, or of santification, or of consolation. The righteous law condemns them, because they have transgressed it; and its awful sentence not only shuts them up under the dominion of spiritual death, but binds them over to all the horrors of death eternal. , Oh! secure sinner, the state in which you are, is that of a criminal condemned to death, temporal, spiritual, and eternal. Do not say, “I hope, that is not my state:" for you “ are of the works of the law;” you are depending on your own works, for a title to the favour of God, and the happiness of heaven; and this renders it certain, that you are under the curse or condemning sentence of the law; for thus saith the Spirit of inspiration, “As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse.” O orenounce, and that without delay, all dependance on your own works. Believe that, the Lord Jesus with his righteousness and salvation, is freely, wholly, and particularly, offered to you; and, relying on his consummate righteousness alone, for all your right to justification and salvation, trust in him, not only for deliverance from the curse of the law, but for complete salvation. So shall you become dead to the law of works, and, in union with the second Adam, be instated in the covenant of grace.” pp. 277, 8.

*Art. IV. . Notes on a Journey in America, from the Coast of Virginia to the Territory of Illinois. By Morris Birkbeck, Author of “Notes on a Tour through France.” The Third Edition, 8vo. pp.

* 163. London, 1818.

o DAN TLESS must be the adventurer, highly developed in his cranium must be the organ of locomotiveness, whom *this plain and unvarnished tale of the hardships, the privations, ... and the discomforts to be encountered in an American journey, shall not put out of love with emigration. Much credit is due to the intelligent Writer for having taken such pains to disena chant the fancy of his readers, by laying open before them the whole truth of what they may possibly gain and what they must

certainly part with, in an exchange of situation on which so o Wol. X. N.S.

[ocr errors]

many have heedlessly rushed. There are some men in whom th: ardent love of enterprise, aided by disgust at present evils, will be stimulated rather than repressed by the representation Mr Birkbeck has given of his plan. The object, stripped of all tha: indefiniteness which gave it the dangerous power of fascinating many who would shrink from the naked reality, may still have charms for the imaginations of a few whose sterner taste, rejecting the mere decorative circumstances and conveniences of an artificialized state of society, finds a congenial element in th rudely simple and the wildly free. In the motives by which ou. Author, and some of his friends who have subsequently joine him, have been avowedly aetuated, men of this character will. no doubt, entirely sympathize.

* Before I enter on these new cares and toils,’ says Mr. Birk. beck, “I must take a parting glance at those I have left behind'

“How many are there, who, having capitals in business whic would be equal to their support at simple interest, are submitting to privations under the name of economy, which are near a-kin to the sufferings of poverty; and denying themselves the very comforts a life to escape taxation; and yet their difficulties increase, their cap. tals moulder away, and the resources fail on which they had jo. the future establishment of their families. “A nation, with half its population supported by alms, or poo: rates, and one fourth of its income derived from taxes, many c which are dried up in their sources, or speedily becoming so, mus teem with emigrants from one end to the other: and, for such as mysel who have had “nothing to do with the laws but to obey them,” its Quite reasonable and just to secure a timely retreat from the approach ing crisis— either of anarchy or despotism. “An English farmer, to which class I had the honour to belong, i. in possession of the same rights and privileges with the Pilleins & old time, and exhibits for the most part, a suitable political characte: He has no voice in the appointment of the legislature unless he has pen to possess a freehold of forty shillings a year, and he is the expected to vote in the interest of his landlord. He has no concer with public affairs excepting as a tax-payer, a parish officer, or a mil tia man. He has no right to appear at a county meeting, unless to: word inhabitant should find its way into the sheriff’s invitation: i: this case he may shew his face among the nobility, clergy, and fre: holders:—a felicity which once occurred to myself, when the inhab: tants of Surrey were invited to assist the gentry in crying down to Income Tax. “Thus, having no elective franchise, an English farmer car scarcely be said to have a political existence, and political duties be has none, o such, as under existing circumstances, would inevi. tably consign, him to the special guardianship of the Secretary c. State for the home department. • In exchanging the condition of an English farmer for that of a American proprietor, I expect to suffer many inconveniences; but .

« السابقةمتابعة »