« FöregåendeFortsätt »
and reading of controversies into treatises of mortification and devotion.
** To certain. zealots, all speech of pacification is odious, Peace is not the matter, but following, and party. . Contrariwise, certain Laodiceans, and lukewarm persons, think they may accommodate points of religion by middle ways, and taking part of both, and witty reconcilements; as if they would make an arbitriment between God and man. Both these extremes are to be avoided; which will be done, if the league of christians, penned by our Saviour himself, were, in the two cross clauses thereof, soundly and plainly expounded : He that is not with us, is against us; and again, He that is not against us, is with us.”
GOOD WORKS.-.-" It was truly said---tam sunt mores quidam schismatici, quam dogmata schismatica; there be as well schismatical fashions as opinions. There are who have impropriated to themselves the names of zealous, sincere and reformed; as if all others were cold minglers of holy things and profane, and friends of abuses. Yea, be a man endued with great virtues, and fruitful in good works, yet if he concur not with them, they term him in derogation, a civil and moral man, and compare him to Socrates, or some heathen philosopher; whereas the wisdom of the Scriptures teacheth us otherwise : namely, to judge and denominate men religious according to their works of the second table; because those of the first are often counterfeit, and practised in hypocrisy. Saint John saith, that a man doth vainly boast of loving God whom he never saw, if he love not his brother whom he hath seen: and Saint James saith, This is true religion, to visit the fatherless and the widow. So as that which is with them but philosophical and moral, is, in the apostle's phrase, true religion and christianity."
From these extracts, our readers will be enabled to judge of the work before us. We think much praise is due to the Editor for this very judicious compilation, the intrinsic merit of which gives it a claim to become a favourite with the public. It appears to us a very good book to be given as a prize or reward at schools.
We hope that, in subsequent editions, the Latin quo. tations will be more correctly printed. As they now are, many of them, (p. xi. xxv. 107. 118.) require almost an Edipus to solve their meaning.
4 Sermon preached before the Society for the Suppression
of Vice, in the Parish Church of St. George, Hanover Square, on Thursday, May 3, 1804. By Richard Wats son, D.D. F.R.S. Lord Bishop of Landaff. To which are added, the Plan of the Society, and a List of its Members. 8vo.
THIS truly eloquent discourse is highly honourable to
I the right reverend Author', and to the excellent Institution before whom it was delivered. We were delighted in hearing it, and the perusa] has renewed thể pleasure which we then received. The text is very appropriate; “ Let us not be weary in well doing,” Galat. vi. 9. The learned prelate opens his subject by a just but awful observation, that “Great cities are the sepul. chres of virtue; the miseries of vice; the hot-beds of corruption, physical, political, and moral. An incessant contention for mastery subsists in every civil state, and especially in every overgrown metropolis, between the laws on the one hand, and the manners of the people on the other. This warfare commences with the very coms mencement of Government, and it ends only with its dissolution. It is carried on during the existence of the State, with variable success, according to the varying ta. lents of the governors exerted in the enactment of laws more or less salutary, and the varying dispositions of the people to resist or to submit to the laws enacted'; and it is not finally extinguished, till the general prevalence of profligate morals puts an end to the government itself:” . • A position so clear and incontrovertible, furnishes of itself à sufficient plea for institutions like that to which the Sermon was delivered. Much is well advanced on the means of preventing vice, among which one of the : most considerable is, that of public worship. On this point we were particularly gratified, with the Bishop's forcible remarks on the want of churches in the ca, pital.
6 Near a million of inhabitants," he says, " are here congres gated, on an area of a few square miles; and additional churches are certainly wanted for this immense population. The legislature, no doubt, duly estimating the importance of affording religious instruction to the people, will, ere long, take this mata ter into consideration; and when it does, three things, I hope,
will be attended to ;---that the churches be built upon a simple and capacious plan;-that the seats remain unappropriated, so that the common people, as well as their superiors, may be well. accommodated in the House of God;---and that the salaries be sufficiently liberal to engage the service of preachers of the first ability."
That this society so ostensibly at war with the multiplied corruptions of a degenerate age, should meet with opponents and calumniators, is no more than must reasonably be expected. On this subject the Bishop makes the following excellent observations:
“ This Society will be spoken against by those whom it actually brings, or who are in hourly apprehension of being brought by it, to shame and punishment. These, unhappily, constitute a numerous band, which, being hardened in impiety, will be loud in calumny; but their abuse is your praise.
" It will be spoken against by those whom it deprives of sensual gratifications in gin-shops and brothels---by those who delight in the prurient pleasures of an heated imagination. What then? In lessering the fuel of the passions, you pluck a fagot from the fire of hell, in withdrawing from the eye of youth every incentive to unchaste desire, you keep the mind pure, and the body unpolluted; you prepare an holy temple, in which the Spirit of God may not disdain to dwell for ever.
" It will be spoken against by those who think it sufficient for every man to take care of his own salvation, deeming it impertinence, if not persecution, to attempt interfering with the morals, though to the amending the lives of other men.- Ye, brea thren, have not so learned Christ.' Every approach towards persecution is, I am confident, and always will be, far from you ; but you rightly conceive it to be your duty, as servants of Him, who “ went about doing good,” to promote, as far as you are able, the spiritual good of your fellow Christians. ,
“I have heard it objected to this and a similar Society, that the individuals composing them affect puritanical principles, and are swollen with the pharisaical pride of being thought more righteous than their neighbours.---What! is the World then at length so much at enmity with God, that the “ perfecting holiness in the fear of God” is become a matter of reproach; are we so rapidly ripening to destruction, that to be zealous in winning men from the dominion of their lusts and the snares of the devil is to be interpreted into pride of heart and hypocrisy of conduct?
« I have heard it objected to these Societies, that the individuals composing them, put on the character of informers. No! the character of an informer is to injure others for his own benefit. But what is the injury done to those who are reclaimed F'ol. VII. Churchm, Mag. July, 1804. K
from vice by the discipline of the humane laws of the land? What is the benefit derived to any individual, abstracted from the delightful consciousness of discharging á Christian duty The benefit, 'abstracted from this consciousness, is expense, trouble, anxiety, obloquy, the 'contempt of the worldly wise, the nego lect of the unthinking, the odium of the profligate, the scoff of those who “ make a mock at sin.”.
The following picture of the moral State of this nation is affecting, it is alarming, but will any one venture tò say that it is overcharged? May the exhibition of it produce repentance and reformation!
* Deplorable, without doubt, is the condition of that country, in which the manners of its people have gotten the ascendancy over its laws, in which the fashion of the world tyrannizes over the religion of Christ! And is there not great reason to believe that such is the condition of this country, at this time, in both these points? The law'says that deliberate duelling is murder; 'our manners say that it is not. The law probibits gaming, at any time, for high stakes; our manners permit it even on a Sunday, to any'extent. The law suffers not the Sabbath to be profaned by the unnecessary pursuits of ordinary occupations; our manners, stimulated by commercial avarice, suffer mail 'coaches, stage coaches, and other means of conveying goods and passengers, to be as free on that as on any other day of the week.
* Religion bids us perform unto the Lord our oaths; fashion häs rendered oaths of office a by-word. Intemperance of 'every kind may be avoided from the apprehension of disease, but when intemperance is fashionable. Who 'abstains from chambering, rioting, and wantonnéss,' from an 'apprehension of being thereby excluded from the kingdom of Christ ? Religion represents illicit commerce with the sex as a great sin; fashion esteems it 110 sin at all, and has rendered it as common amongst Christians, as it ever was amongst the heathens of Greece or Rome. Religion bids women, 'adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety;' fashion exhibits them in such indency of apparel, that the pure innocency of a virgin mind shudders to appear in it.
“ 'I have no pleasure in representing us in a worse light than we deserve; but our assembling here on this occasion is of itself a convincing proof that the laws have not sufficient energy to restrain the dissoluteness of our morals. The laws are good : but they are eluded by the lower classes, and 'set at nought by the higher. The laws are good ; but they are fallen into contempi, and require the zeal, the activity, the discretion of such a So. ciety as this to renovate their vigour."
* Much salutary advice is given to the members of this respectable institution, and the Serinon concludes wilh a very solemn and sublime apostrophe on the importance of the gospel and everlasting existence, which we are sorry our limits will not allow us to extract.
From the list of members appended to this publication, we rejoice to see that its number is considerably enlarged, and that by personages of the first rank in the kingdom, of both sexes. This augurs well; and affords a cheering beam of consolation amidst all our gloomy fears that we are not yet a people wholly abandoned to guilt and destruction."
LATE FELLOW OF ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD,
W Atlantic Isles, or smiling Italy,
And yet there are, who when Religion sent,