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Art. XVI. Memoirs of the Rev. James Hervey, A. M. Late Rector of
Weston-Flavel ; containing an account of his religious principles, experience and conduct. Compiled by John Brown, Minister of the Gospel, Whitburn. 1200. pp. 179. Price 25. Edinburgh. Pillans and Sons. 1806.
applause; and, what is more, have rendered essential service to the cause of evangelical religion. Severe criticism, indeed, condemns his florid style, and some of his religious sentiments have been opposed with great warmth by men who differed in opinion from him, and from each other; but, in general, the subjects of his valuable writings “are highly important, the strain is evangelical, and the illustration entertaining and edifying."
Gratefully as the memoirs of eminent divines have been received by the religious public, Mr. Hervey’s Biography, much to our wonder and regret, has been unaccountably neglected; except a very eccentric volume under the title of The Life of Hervey, by the late Rev. John Ryland, A.M. (with which Mr. B. seems to be unacquainted) we have met with nothing on the subject, beside a few scanty memoirs that appeared in some of the periodical publications.
It would not be easy to collect, at this period, many new and interesting particulars concerning Hervey: What Mr. Brown attempts is, to display his disposition and private character ; and this he has respectably accomplished. Collections of Mr. Hervey's private letters have been published at different times.. Many of them, written to his intimate friends, contain a large account of his religious experience, “and, with a happy unreserved openness of heart, declare his views, his comforts, and his trials. These letters exhibit the influence which the doctrines he taught had on his own heart and conduct, in the various situations wherein he was placed. From them it appears, that he was the same admirer of the Redeemer in the closet, as in the pulpit and from the
Though the letters of Mr. Hervey are numerous, and, being written at different periods of his life, "contain authentic documents of his various experience, from his infancy, in true christianity, to the joyful termination of an useful and happy life,” Mr. B. apprehends that they are in the hands of few, comparatively, who venerate his memory; and that to form from them a consistent view of his character, requires an attention which the greater part of readers are either unable or unwilling to bestow. He has, therefore, selected the most interesting and characteristic passages, arranged them under proper heads, and thus presented, in one view, the life and charaster of this excellent divine and amiable Christian.
As this volume contains merely an arrangement of extracts, from papers that have been long before the public, we must decline inserting any quotations, which we should otherwise be happy to see on our pages. We sincerely join with the compiler in the confident hope, that the Divine Redeemer will render it subservient to the display of his own glory, and to the best interests of mankind.
An appendix, which it seems Mr. B. intended to annex to this work, is promised, with various other additions, in the second edition; this, it is probable, will soon appear, as the first is nearly disposed of.
Art. XVII. Instruction and Consolation, to the aged, the sick, and the
dying ; extracted from the works of Richard Baxter; being a sequel to the Rev. Adam Clarke's Abridgment of his Christian Directory. 12mo. pp. 130. Price 2s. Burditt. 1806. THE "HE talents of Mr. Baxter are too highly appreciated, to
need any eulogium from us. Of his theological peculiarities, there are many opinions ; of his piety and usefulness, there can be but one. We hope this selection will cir culate beneficially, where the ponderous original could not be introduced.
Art. XVIII. The Christian Spectator, or Religious Sketches, from
real life, 12mo. pp. 140. ^ Price 2s. 6d. Hatchard. 1806.
VERY occurrence,' says the worthy author of this pamphlet,
pian Spectator, in a loud and impressive tone. From every passing event he receives improvement: from every thorn he plucks a berry; from every field he gleans an ear.'- If any one of the readers of these humble pages should be brought by them into a habit of pious reflection, upon the ordinary occurrences of life, the author will not think that he has written in vain. Pref. iv. v.
Such are the principles and the design of this publication. We shall briefly notice its contents, and willingly recommend our readers to form a more extensive acquaintance with it for themselves. 'The Victory, The Thanksgiving Day, and The Sermon,' refer tò the memorable action off Trafalgar, and introduce an impressive account of the Orphan Maid,' who was then deprived of her sole remaining hope, by the death of her brother on the bed of glory, and who speediiy followed him to the world of spirits. The Adieu,' is an aitecting account of a clergyman's farewell on leaving his charge. We know not a
more decisive testimony to the credit of any pastor and people, than such a scene of mutual attachment and sorrow. The Assize, the Church, the Trial, the Prison, the Convict's Tale, all relate to the history of an accomplished, penitent, female; and constitute, perhaps, the most interesting part of the work. The other papers are not unworthy of perusal, although, in common with the whole publication, they will be warmly approved, rather than highly admired. Their chief merit is the genuine affectionate piety that pervades every page; they give us
to expect a work of superior value from the author's future labours. We are not sure that he has chosen the species of writing most congenial to his talents, and we apprehend that, if he were to attempt a single subject with more method, connection, and extent, whether in the narrative or didactic form, he would appear to still greater advantage.
Art. XVIII. Jewish Prophecy, the sole criterion to distinguish between
genuine and spurious Christian Scripture ; or an humble attempt to remove the grand and hitherto insurmountable obstacles to the conversion of Jews and Deists to the Christian faith, affectionately submitted to their serious consideration. A discourse preached before Dr. William Gretton, Arclideacon of Essex, at his visitation holden at Danbury, on Tuesday the 8th July, 1806. By Francis Stone, M. A. Rector of Cold Norton, Essex. pp. 48. Price Is. 6d. Johnson. 1806.
[Not printed at request. ] We knew there were ripers lurking in the bosom of the
church, sheltered in the folds of her robe, satiating their appetites by devouring her blood, and their enmity by poisoning her constitution. But little did we expect to see one thus boldly displaying his malignant crest; little did we expect to find a rank Socinian disgorging the nauseous effusions of Evanson, on a congregation of Christian ministers. By way of justifying, to our readers, the scorn we would express of the author before us, it may be proper to observe that bis object, under the vague pretence of making the prophecies of the Old Testament a criterion of authenticity for the New, is to shew that the first chapters of St. Matthew's gospel are spurious, that the miraculous incarnation of the blessed Redeemer is a figment of the Platonists, that the Arian and Athanasian systems are idolatrous blasphemies, and that the notion of a vicarious sacrifice is a disgusting absurdity! Yet this man retains his preferment !--Furthermore, he thinks, that we ought not, on account of a difference of opinion, to withhold the right hand of fellowship froñi each other, as " felloro labourers in the VOL. II.
Lord !" It would indeed be surprising, if the wolf in sheep's clothing saw any harm in being sociable with the sheep. Whether, or not, the Rector of Cold Norton subscribed ex animo, and has since apostatized, we care not; every offrcial rite he performs, is a distinct, though tacit, renewal of the coinpact he made with that establishment, whose creed he is insulting, and whose bounty he fraudulently enjoys. In every public ministration, he owus himself her son and servant, while he proves himself her enemy and her betrayer. Why should he concern himself (see p. 37) abolish subscriptions ? he has got his living, what can he want more? Perhaps a sudden qualm of conscience came over him, strong enough to disturb his peace, though not his benefice. The same qualm, undoubtedly, occasioned the munificent resolution he has made, that the widows and orphans of the Essex clergy shall enjoy all the profits of this discourse!
We leave this upright churchman, who has thus piously kept his oath, and performed his trust, to the gratulations of his own candid heart, and to the contempt of all denominations of men among us. As for Jews and Deists, they will despise their "affectionate" friend, and his system of pure truth together. The Clergy, while they shrink from the contamination of his “ right hand of fellowship,” will beware how they extenuate the heinousness of his guilt, by explaining away the meaning of their articles, or ridiculously quibbling about “ articles of peace.” Socinians, triumphing in the integrity of their venerable Lindsay, who, with the opinions, renounced the emoluments, of the church, will spurn the man who sacrifices his principles to his purse. As for ourselves, after contemplating this hateful picture of human degeneracy, we turn with exultation to the two thousand worthies of St. Bartholomew's day! We need not describe our feelings, and. our inferences.
Art. XIX. The Principles and Regulations of the Tranquillity ; an insti
tution commenced in the metropolis, (Blackfriars Bridge) for enabling prudent individuals, in the various classes of the community, to provide for themselves, by the payment of small weekly sums, so as to secure to the contributor, his widow, or children, a certain provision at a future period, --for receiving the savings of youth, to be returned on marriage with accumulated interest, &c. for providing endowments for children at the period of majority, by the payment of small sums at the time of birth ; and this effecting the gradual abolition of the poor's fate, &c. By John Bone. Price 3s. 6d. Asperne. 1806. T belongs to the department of the Statesman to determine,
how far the plan now before us is calculated to produce
Bone's Principles and Regulations of Tranquillity. 839 the end proposed by its author, “the abolition of the poor's rate." That it presents a proposal which, if it can be carried into full effect, will lessen the distresses of the lower ranks of society, may be readily admitted.
Our Eclectic philosophy tells us, however, that all the methods which can be devised to ameliorate the condition of the poor, if not founded upon the correction of their moral principles, by the agency of vital religion, will fail of their design. For, granting that the present, or any similar plan, were well adapted to such an end, by what motives are the objects of it to be induced to sacrifice the immediate gratification of ardent passions, to a distant advantage, which they may, possibly, neither enjoy nor require ?
That there are some persons among them, of reflecting and sober habits, cannot be doubted; and to such, it may be useful to shew, what future benefits may accrue from the careful application of those small sums, which they frequently squander away, under the false notion that they are too insignificant to be reserved for any better purpose.
An institution, therefore, under respectable managementy which would befriend the industrious part of the community, by receiving and ably applying the fruits of their economy and prudeuce, would be of general utility; and it might happily supersede those petty benefit-clubs, which are often set on foot for no better purpose, than to increase the consumption of liquors in the houses where they are held. That each mem-. ber shall spend a certain sum of money, at the times of meeting, is a stipulation in many, if not in all of these clubs; and thus habits and associations are formed subversive of those moral principles which it is speciously pretended, are cherished by such institutions. If our recommendation could have any weight with the legislature, it would be that, in affording encouragement to the formation of societies of this kind, a marked advantage be given to such as are established in pri. vate, over those which are held in public, houses. We are aware what some of our Senators will say to this proposition, but we are not afraid of its being discountenanced by those, who know in what order to place morality and revenue, in the scale of national prosperity.
We cannot be expected to enter into the merits of the present publication, considered as the plan of an existing
society, nor should we have noticed it at all, had it not involved some moral considerations of general importance. The author has manifested much praise-worthy industry in the arrangement of his plan, and we hope that it will obtain attention from that part of the public, which is qualified to decide upon its utility.