« FöregåendeFortsätt »
-sottish-senseless creature--scarcely a remove from the fish on which he lived. Loskiel shews the same grace working on a Man-Devil : a fierce ---bloody-revengeful warrior-dancing his inferpal war-dance with the mind of a fury. Divine grace brings these men to the same point. It quickens, stimulates, and elevates the Greenlander: it raises him to a sort of new life: it seems almost to bestow on him new senses : it
eye, and bends his ear, and rouses his heart: and what it adds---it sanctifies. The same grace tames the high spirit of the Indian: it reduces him to the meekness, and docility, and simplicity of a child. The evidence arising to Christianity from these facts is, perhaps, seldom sufficient, by itself, to convince the gainsayer : but, to a man who already believes, it greatly strengthens the reasons of his belief. I have seen also in these books, that the fish-boat, and the oil, and the tomahawk, and the
of feathers excepted--a Christian Minister has to deal with just the same sort of creatures, as the Greenlander and the Indian, among civilized nations.
OWEN stands at the head of his class of divines. His scholars will be more profound and enlarged, and better furnished, than those of most other writers. His work on the Spirit has been my treasure-house, and one of my very first-rate books. Such writers as RICCALTOUN rather
disqualify than prepare a minister for the immediate business of the pulpit. Original and profound thinkers enlarge his views, and bring into exercise the powers and energies of his own mind, and should therefore be his daily companions. Their matter must, however, be ground down before it will be fit for the pulpit. Such writers as Owen, who, though less original, have united Detail with Wisdom, are copious in proper topics, and in matter better prepared for immediate use, and in furniture ready finished, as it were for the mind.
PALEY is an unsound casuist, and is likely to do great injury to morals. His extenuation of the crimes committed by an intoxicated man, for instance, is fallacious and dangerous. Multiply the crime of intoxication into the consequences that follow from it, and you have the sum total of the guilt of a drunken man.
RUTHERFORD's Letters is one of my classics, Were truth the beam, I have no doubt, that if Homer and Virgil and Horace and all that the world has agreed to idolize were weighed against that book, they would be lighter than vanity. He is a real original. There are in his Letters some inexpressibly forcible and arresting remonstrances with unconverted men.
I SHOULD NOT recommend a young Minister to pay much deference to the Scotch DIVINES. The Erskines, who were the best of them, are dry, and laboured, and prolix, and wearisome. He may find incomparable matter in them, but he should beware of forming his taste and manner after their model. I want a more kind-hearted and liberal sort of divinity. He had much better take up Bishop HALL. There is a set of excellent, but wrongheaded men, who would reform the London preachers on a more elaborate plan. They are not philosophers who talk thus. If Owen himself were to rise from the grave, -unless it were for the influence of the great name which he would bring with him, he might close his days with a small congregation, in some little meeting-house.
SHAKSPEARE had a low and licentious taste. When he chose to imagine a virtuous and exalted character, he could completely throw his mind into it, and give the perfect picture of such a character. But he is at home in Falstaff. No high, grand, virtuous, religious aim beams forth in him. A man, whose heart and taste are modelled on the Bible, nauseates him in the mass, while he is enraptured and astonished by the flashes of his preeminent genius.
" HAVE you read my Key to the Romans?” said Dr. TAYLOR, of Norwich, to Mr. NewTON. “ I have turned it over.”_“You have turned it over! And is this the treatment a book must meet with, which has cost me many years of hard study? Must I be told, at last, that you have * turned it over,' and then thrown it aside? You ought to have read it carefully, and weighed deliberately what comes forward on so serious a subject.”—“ Hold! You have cut me out full employment, if my life were to be as long as Methuselah's. I have somewhat else to do in the short day allotted me, than to read whatever any one may think it his duty to write. When I read, I wish to read to good purpose; and there are some books, which contradict on the very face of them what appear to me to be first principles. You surely will not say I am bound to read such books. If a man tells me he has a very elaborate argument to prove that two and two make five, I have something else to do than to attend to this argument. If I find the first mouthful of meat which I take from a fine-looking joint on my table is tainted, I need not eat through it to be convinced I ought to send it away.”
I never read any sermons so much like WhitFIELD's manner of preaching, as LATIMER’s. You see a simple mind, uttering all its feelings; and
putting forth every thing as it comes, without any reference to books or men, with a naivetè seldom equalled.
I ADMIRED WITsius's “ Economy of the Covenants,” but not so much as many persons. There is too much system. I used to study Commentators and Systems; but I am come almost wholly, at length, to the Bible. Commentators are excellent, in general, where there are but few difficulties; but they leave the harder knots still untied. I find in the Bible, the more I read, a grand peculiarity, that seems to say to all who attempt to systematize it—“I am not of your kind. I am not amenable to your methods of thinking. I am untractable in your hands. I stand alone. The great and wise shall never exhaust my treasures. By figures and parables I will come down to the feelings and understandings of the ignorant. Leave me as I am, but study me incessantly." Calvin's Institutes are, to be sure, great and admirable, and so are his Commentaries ; but, after all, if we must have Com= mentators -as we certainly must-Poole is incomparable, and I had almost said abundant of himself.
Young is, of all other men, one of the most striking examples of the disunion of Piety from