« FöregåendeFortsätt »
are discussed with much ability in the first, and the two latter in the second, discourse. At p. 7, Mr. Dale observes
“ No community of Christians was regarded (in primitive times) as competent of itself to reject the ordinances of the apostle, more than any one of the ten tribes of Israel to disregard the injunctions of the lawgiver. As Moses judged all Israel, so Paul, speaking by the Spirit, directed his ordinance to the universal church. What the law first enacted in this respect, the gospel recognises, and therefore ratifies. And it is very remarkable, that, in proportion as the church declined from uniformity of worship and discipline, it declined also from purity of doctrine.”
This statement has, indeed, been fearfully illustrated on the conti. nent, and among the Presbyterian and other nonconformists in our own country. Heresy is the usual reward of schismatical insubordination. The “Appendix” contains an interesting account of the laying of the first stone of the new church in the parish of St. Bride, on Oct. 3, 1837; and of which ceremony some notice was taken in the British Magazine for November, at p. 593. The church is situated in Pemberton Row, Gough-square ; and is designed to contain 1100 sittings, of which 700 will be assigned at a low price, or left altogether free. The style of the building will be of the lighter Nor. man, previous to the pointed or lancet window. The body of the edifice will form a hexagon, with three octangular recesses, in the centre one of which the altar will be placed. The diameter of the church is 48 feet, the height of the parapet 40, and the height of the tower about 80 feet. The ENTIRE proceeds of the pew rents, &c. &c., will be appropriated to the support of the minister and services, and no pecuniary advantage whatever will be derived from it, directly or indirectly, by the incumbent of St. Bride's.
Essays and Correspondence, chiefly on Scriptural Subjects. By the late John
Walker, some time a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and a Clergyman in the Establishment. Collected and prepared for the press by W. Burton.
London: Longman and Co. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 590, and pp. 669. Any attempt to criticise this work would prove far beyond the limits which could possibly be assigned to it in almost any periodical magazine, but especially in one which only professes, in general, to give brief notices of the contents of works of interest. The opinions are so strange, in many respects, the ground travelled over so very extensive and varied, and the results to which all tends, though written, no doubt, with the purest intentions and feelings, seem to the reviewer so paradoxical and confusing, that he hardly knows in what terms to describe it. The writer, it appears, was once a clergyman in the church of England, but left it in abhorrence, as deeming the distinction of clergy and laity an abomination. To use his own words, vol. ii. p. 354—
"It is now many years since I have renounced with abhorrence the title of Reverend, and the whole of the clerical character connected with it. That character, under whatever name or modification, is one of the ungodly fictions of the man of sin, and one of the main pillars of antichrist's kingdom.”
This was in 1821. And equally strong are many other of the declarations of opinion in this author. It is not meant here to argue
against them, they are the conclusions of a mind very peculiarly constructed, and desirous of literal conformity to the word of God, and to that alone ; but then obtained through such a view of scripture as very few other minds in the kingdom could agree to, and, at times, utterly irreconcileable, as it seems to the reviewer, with the plain tenour of scripture itself. Thus, at one time, the only true Christians, in the judgment of this Christian reformer, are about seven, (vol. ii, p. 284;) and, at another time, the true disciples in the world appear to consist in a congregation of about thirty individuals, connected with Mr. Walker. One after another, every description of opinions comes under the censure of this author. The high Calvinists are all accused, (vol. č. p. 324,) of error, as mistaking " for faith a strong persuasion that they are among the elect of God.'' Then, again, Dr. Chalmers is called, (vol. i. p. 346,) one whom he views “ with the same hope of which every sinner is the object, that he may yet be brought to the knowledge of the truth." The Evangelicals and the Baptists are often the objects of this writer's attacks; and, of course, the High Church people are equally wrong, when weighed in his balance. Mr. Alexander Knox and Mr. Haldane are both the objects of his severe animadversions. The opinions which he himself maintained are brought forward in a variety of ways; but it would require a sort of belief in some incomprehensible infallibility pertaining to Mr. Walker to expect any other individual to follow them, even if he could exactly make out what they are. In the part of his book called Scripture Paradoxes Vindicated, he labours hard to maintain the following, amongst many others :
“A man may be all his life most sincerely religious-nay, abound ever so much in what is called heart-religion-and yet may live and die that character which the Scriptures pronounce an Atheist.”. Vol. i.
529. Mr. Walker holds unconditional salvation. (vol. ii. p. 508). Then, again, this author pronounces all oaths utterly unlawful; but holds keeping the first day of the week like a sabbath-day unscriptural and unchristian, but that Christians are bound to meet on that day to eat the Lord's Supper. (vol. ii. p. 416, and 507.)
From this collection of strange opinions, superficial as it is, and scanty, compared with the great mass of matter, (two thick closelyprinted octavos,) it will be seen that Mr. Walker was a man of a determined spirit, but one who, desiring to obey the Bible in all things, would hear no interpreter of that book but his own will and views. Whether such guides were safe, may be left to those to judge who can wade through these volumes. It will not, it is hoped, be deemed uncharitable in the reviewer if he expresses his sorrow at what he thinks are energies wasted, and learning and piety misapplied.
“ Indeed, it is well for me, and for all the elect of God, that he extends his mercy and salvation to such stubborn, wicked, rebellious, incorrigible infidels. You think not but that he expects some good return from those, to whom he extends what you call mercy, and that, instead of that, all the returns they make to him are evil, and only evil continually, nothing is to be looked for but that he would cast them off. In short, though you are verbally (I believe) a Calvinist, yet what you call salvation hinges, in your view, upon some conditions to be fulfilled by the sinner. Now, all such imaginations are entertained in direct contradiction to the word of God. He
knows what is in man, and tells us plainly of his saved people, that in them dwelleth no good thing. There are manifestations of the evil character, which may come by surprise on them; but never upon him. His design is to “shew the riches of his mercy" on those who need mercy higher than the heavens, and who need it continually-who have nothing else to stand by. Now, that the gospel is such an absolutely unconditional declaration of the gracious purpose of God, may appear sufficiently from a reference to Jer. xxxii. 38, 39, 40. There the God of Israel takes the whole upon himself with an “I will,” and “ they shall :" while, in the preceding verses (30—35), the character of Israel is so marked, that it appears nothing else could meet their case. Nor is there just ground left for any one, while he admits it true that God deals thus with his elect, to put away the joyfulness of it by urging « Ah! if I knew that I were of the number.” He that believeth—he that is convinced that the divine testimony concerning the salvation of God is true-he shall be saved. So the word from heaven declares; and no supplementary revelation is necessary to tell that believer that he is one of the elect. Indeed, if his hope rested on the ground of any such persuasion, as that he is among the elect of God it would rest on a ground quite different from the hope of the gospel. That hope is derived from the character of God, as he has revealed his glory in the person and Fork of his anointed, in the combined perfection of righteousness and of mercy, and from the word that brings nigh bis salvation to all alike, who read the report of it in the declaration, that he who believeth that report is justified from all things, and has eternal life-and this on the ground of worthiness too--but the worthiness of Him who died the just for the unjust, and on whose head are many crowns; and in consequence, too, of the fulfilment of conditions—but conditions that have been fulfilled by the Mediator of the new covenant—that surety of his people, with whom the covenant has been made, and therefore standeth fast.”
“On the subject of games of chance &c. I am glad that you see, with me, that a Christian ought not to nicddle with them; but I am sorry that you should think of imposing your view as a law upon your brethren who do not see it. Are you ready to exclaim at this language, as countenancing the ungodly agreement to differ of the religious world ? It does no such thing. The ungodliness of their union consists in agreeing to differ about the revealed truth or precepts of the Lord. But can we say that there is any precept against spinning a tetotum-for determining some circumstances in, perhaps, a geographical game, or letting our children amuse themselves so? I would not do it-1 dare not—and I laboured long with to convey to him my viev of the unsuitableness and inexpediency of every thing of the kind. It grieved me to the heart that I failed; but I am sure that I should sin grievously if I attempted to make a law upon the subject. Perhaps another case will explain my meaning to you more distinctly. One, formerly connected with us in Dublin, got a silver ticket for the theatre, and frequenied it more than weekly. What sober-minded Christian could hesitate about the inexpediency and unsuitableness of this ? Yet, all remonstrances failed of convincing him of it: and could we pursue it further as a case of discipline? I think not, unless we are prepared to make a law with the religious world, or could lay down (what would be more difficult) how often a man may go to the theatre without doing what is sinful.”
Le Keur's Memorials of Cambridge ; a Series of Views of the Colleges, Halls,
Churches, and other Public Buildings of the University and Town of Cambridge. Engraved by J. Le Keux, from Original Drawings, made expressly for the Work. With Historical and Descriptive Accounts of the Buildings, By Thomas Wright, M.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge. London :
Tilt. 4to. and 8vo. Nos. I, and II. This is to be considered as one of the first fruits of the Oxford Memorials ; and, as far as one can judge from the two first numbers, this is a worthy successor to that beautiful work. There are four engravings of Trinity College in them. The one from the cloisters, perhaps, hardly gives the character of the place; but this, and the very beautiful view of the side of Trinity seen from St. John's Bridge,
VOL. XIII.-Jan. 1838.
-a most picturesque piece of building, drawn in an artist-like manner,--have evidently been chosen in order to keep off the more hacknied points of view. This is, of course, praiseworthy, and gives an interest to the views. There are some interesting wood-cuts, especially the plan of Trinity, from Archbishop Parker's Map. The letterpress is devoted, in these two numbers, to the antiquities of Trinity College, the King's Hall, Garret Hostle, &c.; and the matter seems to be collected with care.
A Home Tour through Various Parts of the United Kingdom, being a Continu
ation of the Home Tour through the Manufacturing Districts. Also, Memoirs of an Assistant Commissary General. By Sir George Head, Author of Forest Scenes and Adventures in the Wilds of America. London : Murray. Small
8vo. Pp. 351. This little volume will be found amusing, and even before this time has probably attained considerable popularity. It is written in the sort of style likely to please the taste of the age. It contains an infinity of nothings graphically described ; and an infinity of nobodies pleasantly delineated. The isle of Man, the channel islands, Scotland, and Ireland, are the scenes of Sir George's peregrinations; and his book contains some descriptions of scenery, and a few local memoranda, interspersed with such anecdotes as are likely to be picked up by a man of a lively mind, ever on the watch to turn everything to account which meets him on his way. Thus, a tippling waiter at a tavern in Ireland furnishes nearly a whole chapter. He is cleverly described ; and if one asks, cynically, whether it is necessary to describe a drunken waiter at an inn? those who like this kind of lighter travels will answer, that it serves to delineate the state of society and manners.
There is a long account in one chapter of a Lincolnshire poulterer's establishment, designed to inform those who delight to see a goose smoking on their table at Michaelmas of the wholesale butchery by which so many tables are supplied at once. In short, nothing escapes Sir George, from human beings down to horses, and even poultry and pigs, and he very graphically describes their appearance and habits.
The latter part of the volume is occupied with the memoirs of Sir G. during his service in Spain; and as the arduous duties of a commissary in that eventful war are less trite or familiar topics than the Home Tour affords, they are more interesting; and the work, though written in the same lively style, appears to take a higher tone. Indeed, this portion of the volume cannot fail to be read with great interest. A man whose duties called upon him to provide daily seven thousand rations (7000 lbs. of biscuit or 10,000 lbs. of bread, 7000 lbs. of meat, and 7000 pints of wine or 2333) pints of spirits p. 285,) must have led a life of no common activity, and been gifted with no common energy and capabilities. Sir G., in one chapter of this part of the book, alludes to the common story of General Picton's having threatened to hang a commissary, and says that it must be meant to apply to himself, but that there is not a word of truth in it. The slight anecdotes and sketches of General Picton and the Duke of
Wellington are very well brought in, and give a good effect to the rest of the memoir.
The Letters of the Martyrs, collected and published in 1564; with a Preface by
Miles Coverdale; and with Introductory Remarks by the Rev. Edward Bickersteth, Rector of Watton, Herts. London: J. F. Shaw, Southampton
Row. 1837. 8vo. Tuis is a moderately priced reprint, of a very scarce, a very dear, and a very interesting work. The letters of Cranmer, of Ridley, Hooper, Rowland Taylor, Saunders, Philpot, Bradford, cannot fail to speak to the hearts of all who can appreciate the terrors of the fiery struggle of the reformed faith under the Marian persecution, and who can give to high and noble worth that honour and that reverence which is the only tribute human power can give. But to the holy martyr's crown of glory what need is there to add the praise of man! They have their reward; and it will be our privilege to learn from their example that steadfastness of faith which no danger could daunt, and no hardship exhaust. There, are indeed, doctrinal statements in some of the letters to which the writer of this notice could not subscribe; but the patience, the devotion, and the zeal, of these great and holy men, are the lessons which their letters teach best; and strangely, indeed, must that man's mind be constituted to whom this volume is not both interesting and instructive.
Mr. Shaw deserves great credit for having undertaken the republication of the book, and for the neatness of its execution.
Chemistry of Nature, designed as a Popular Exposition of the Chemical Consti
tulion and Relations of Natural Objects, and as a General Introduction to Chemical Science. By Hugo Reid, Lecturer on Chemistry to the Glasgow High School, and Glasgow Mechanics’ Institution. Edinburgh ; Oliver and
Boyd. London : Simpkin and Marshall. Small 8vo. 1837. This book contains a large fund of information in a small compass on the subjects of which it treats. The explanations, in general, seem clearly written ; and the book appears, on the whole, well adapted to the objects for which it is destined, which are thus stated by the author :
" This work is not designed to convey instructions for performing experiments, but as a book to be read by those who may desire some general knowledge of the nature of chemical phenomena, the method of chemical research, and the manner in which chemical experiments are commonly made,-and who may feel an interest in studying those natural phenomena which consist in chemical actions."-Preface, p. iii, iv.
The account in the last page of the decomposition of bones and shells having led the author to a quotation, such as, “ Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return,” would have closed not less agreeably, and quite as philosophically, if it had led the author to speak of that within man which is not subject to decomposition and decay-which may be lost, but cannot be destroyed.