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thusiastic and schismatic tracts, are not inclined to pay very free quent visits ; they look for a more favourable soil, whereon to sow the seed of their wild doctrines; some uncultivated spot, where the noxious plants are in no danger of being rooted out; but will be allowed to grow, and expand, till their eradication is become difficult.
“ I would not however have the young pastor imagine, that his presence alone will be sufficient to guard the flock; he will find various arts used to seduce them, which it will require his utmost watchfulness to counteract ; nor must he be discouraged, if after all his care and attention, some are drawn away from the Church ; for mistaken zeal is arrived at that height, it seems impossible, in every instance, to stem the torrent. The dispersion of tracts, inculcating the tenets of Calvin-sensible illumination—the necessity of sudden conversion—the universal negligence of the clergy-and the insufficiency of the Church to salvation, is a principal engine employed. These tracts are sold by hawkers at a cheap rate, or given by some person in the neighbourhood in a higher rank, with profession of peculiar anxiety for the wel, fare of the soul, or thrown from the window of a carriage to the lower orders. The only way to counteract this movement of heaven and earth to make one proselyte, is to meet the disease in time ; to be always at hand to discover the earliest taint, and pre. pared to apply a remedy.
“ The minister in his cottage visits, if he looks to the shelf, will sometimes perceive, peeping out between the Bible and Prayerbook, one of these little tracts; he will upon inspection find it perhaps to contain no inconsiderable portion of sound doctrine, and much practical Christianity, worked up in a plain and familiar style, well adapted to the lower class. In certain parts however, the cloven foot will appear. The reader will be directed to consult his feelings, whether the new birth has taken place, Or a story will be told how long a sinner, groaning under the weight of his transgressions, attended his parish Church without any good effect; but accidentally putting his head into a Conventicle, the discourse of the preacher went home to his heart, and after a few struggles, he was assured of salvation. Or a dialogue will be ntroduced ; in which the parish priest is represented as a mixture of ignorance, indolence, and worldly mindedness, and the sectarian teacher as a pattern of good sense, piety, and disinterestedness.
“ For these insidious publications, let the eye of the pastor be always on the watch. Wherever he discovers, let him take them down, and comment upon the unscriptural doctrines, and the insinuating method of working up the poison, with so much pure Christianity. Let him point out the danger of the doctrines, and the falsity of the accusations. This my brethren will find no easy or pleasant task ; they will sometimes find it difficult, to make the objectionable parts sutficiently comprehended, to counteract them; and yet these inconprehended parts, however paradoxical it inay sound, will be capable of doing mischief; for the poison is mixed
up with so much wholesome religious nourishment, and in so pala. table a manner to the piously inclined, but ignorant Christian, that before he understands the tenets of the enthusiast, he forms a partiality for the sect; and is imperceptibly led on to believe their wild doctrines, and attach himself to their society. And the egotism required to answer the accusations brought against the clergy, is very unpleasant to an ingenuous mind. But the arrogance of the enthusiast, who scruples not to boast of every human excellence and virtue as well as of inmediate divine communication, calls upon 'us to put some constraint upon ourselves, and to meet their charges with boldness as well as firmness. Let the Christian minister shew the erroneousness of the doctrines, from Scripture, and meet the charge of negligence with the practice, as well as the profession, of zeal and activity." P. 138.
On the composition of sermons suitable to the spiritual necessities of a parish, we meet with many excellent remarks. For the registry of every poor family within the parish, a very useful plan is also suggested. To sum up the whole of what we would say upon this little book, the author of which is wholly unknown to us—let no young parish priest enter upon his labours without possessing himself of so valuable a guide.
Art. XII. A Sermon preached in Great St. Mary's Church,
in the University of Cambridge, on Sunday, the soth Day of June, 1810, being Commencement Sunday, by Robert Hodgson, D.D. F.R.S. Dean of Chester, and Rector of St. George, Hanover-square. Svo. pp. 24. Rodwell and Martin.
1816. We are always happy to nind the University pulpit the channel of souna theology, and we are still more pleased when the evertions of an orthodox divine are honoured by the public approba. tion of those, who preside over llie education of our youth. We should conceive that the upright and steady principles displayed in the Sermon before us, must have derived addition power froon the impressive delivery for which the Dean of Chestur iscelebraitd. The character of the inainted portion of the Established Church is ably vindicated for the a-pursions of their enemies, and they are fully proved in the Discourse before them to preach " Chri Jesus the Lord,” with a zeal no less fervent, and a judgment no less sound, than their moje clamorous, and, we are sorry to add, more uncharitable opponents. The Dean has shown this inte contestably by selecting the four great points must unfortunately in controversy atthe present time. We select the second of these as affording an excellent speciinen of the Preacher's powers.
« Secondly, , “ Secondly, it is indispensable, that we should impress, as strongly as possible, the inestimable value of that atonement, by which, in the depth of infinite compassion, Almighty God sent his Son in the form and nature of man to expiate our guilt by bis own blool on the cross. An act of mercy such as this, so vast and so unmerited, which, when we lay in darkness and in the shadow of death, and all bope of recovery seemed to be impossible, rescued us at once from the power of sin and the grave, set us free from the curse of the law, and threw open to our view life and immortality, is surely that subject of all others to which a conscientious pastor must feel it to be his bounden duty to direct the thoughts and the attention of his hearers. It comes home so closely to every one's case and every one's bosom ; it is so calculated to excite and cherish all the best affections of the soul; it is so cheering, it is so delightful, under the pressure of infirmity and gailt, to hear of a Saviour, in whom we have redemption, even the forgiveness of our sins,' that undoubtedly it ought to occupy, as those committed to our care have a right to expect it should, the chief place in our religious instructions. Indeed I have no dificulty in declaring, that the very essence of Christian preaching consists in having this principle always as its base, that . there is none other name given ainongst men whereby they can be saved, but that of Jesus only. At the same time let not this great point be misunderstood. There are those who think that salvation through Christ is only partial; in other words, that it is restricted and confined to a few chosen and highly favoured individuals; and that, whilst all the rest of mankind are left to perish, these have been from all eternity destined to eternal glory, as being alone 'the called of God in Christ Jesus. But I must ever protest against this doctrine, as utterly irreconcileable with the divine attributes of good. ness and justice, and as absolutely contrary to the written word of Scripture. The leading feature of the New Testament is the universality of redemption by the blood of Jesus. His own charge to his Apostles was- Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel unto every creature.' St. Paul tells us in express terms, that the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life ;' and again, that • Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Nor is the language of St. John less explicit : " So God,' he says, loved the world, that he gave his only-begotton Son, to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'
“ From these, then, and numerous passages to the same effect, which, were it necessary, I might adduce, there is, I contend, no such thing as election, in the Calvinistic sense of that word. The spirit and the letter of Scripture concur in this principle, that all wen may be saved and may come to the knowledge of the truth : and therefore assuredly the Gospel of Christ is not preached, unless this doctrine be maintain.ch." B. 11.
Art. XIII. A Sermon preached in All Saints Church, Nor.
thampton, June 27, 1916; at the Primary Visitation of the Right Reverend John, Lord Bishop of Peterborough. Published at the Request of his Lordship and the Clergy. By the Hon and Rev. Paul Anthony Irby, M. A. 8vo. 24 pp. Rivingtons. 1916.
As a clear and masterly discourse upon a very important point we recommend the Sermon before us. The necessity of an uniform, constant, and authorized interpretation of the Holy Scriptures to those who are unable to interpret for themselves is strongly and powerfully urged. The distinction between the ordinary and the extraordinary powers of the Spirit is well laid down, and the wide field opened for human agency in the diffusion of Christian knowiedge ably described. Of the escellence of the whole the reader will judge by the following extract from the latter part.
“ The very nature of translation carries with it a necessity for note and comment; because, in the Bible, as well as in other books, there are many expressions, the meaning of which is so dependent upon the peculiarities of the original language, that they cannot be clearly understood, when literally rendered into any other. A circumlocutory explanation must often be adopted, to inake them intelligible. Otherwise, the mind of the unlearned reader will be bewildered, in the literal acceptation of phrases, which must be, to his apprehension, obscure; or he will misconstrue some particular texts, in a sense directly opposite to the whole spirit and design of the Sacred Volume. -The lofty figures of Eastern diction, so frequent in the inspired pages of the prophets; and the simple parables and images, under which doc. trines of the highest importance were delivered by our blessed Saviour ; it is necessary to interpret according to their first idiom. The customs and manners of the different ages and persons, to whom the revelations of God were made, ought also to be taken into consideration ; and here human learning is of great service. An acquaintance with the sects and heresies which sprang up in the Christian world, while the apostles of our Lord were still upon the earth, is indispensable, for the elucidation of those admirable Epistles, which were chiefly directed against them; and, it these had always met with the attention to which they are entitled, we should not have now to lament the open avowal and maintenance, of the same errors which they condemn.
We, who have been ordained to the ministry of the Church, must feel the necessity of these explanations. Who can say, that, by merely reading his English Bible, he has, or could have, been qualified for his pastoral office? Which of us would not have been
jeservedly rejected, who had founded his pretensions to holy orders on such a preparation ?
“ We must not, indeed, dispute the power of God, nor the efficacy of his assisting grace. We confess, that the hearts of men are at his disposal; and, that he can, if it pleases him, entlow the most illiterate man with the highest degree of heavenly wisdom. He could enlighten the understanding of the meanest individual, while reading the Holy Scriptures, and grant him a full comprehension of every thing that they contain. But, as it is not consistent with the established order of his Providence, to employ extraordinary, where he has already appointed ordinary means; it is not to be expected, that he should now convey the information, which he has already revealed through the Scriptures, to any one in a more summary way; or, should enable a common capacity to solve, at pleasure, those difficulties in them, upon which, he has evidently intended, that the best faculties of the human mind should be exercised and employed.
“ While, then, we endeavour to fulfil the duty imposed upon us by Almighty God, in promoting the knowledge of his revealed Word; let us not neglect the use of those natural assistances, which are afforded us, for the illustration of passages, some of which even an apostle hath confessed to be hard to be understood. When we know, that many false prophets are gone out into the world,' and, that it is of the utmost consequence, that • the spirit of truth, should be distinguished from the spirit of error;' when some, who deny the divinity of Christ, and consequently depreciate the merit of his sacrilice, have gone so far as to publish a translation of the New Testament, wlierein texts conclusive against them are either altered or omitted; when such impious notions are openly proclaimed ;-shall we impart to those, whom we would instruct, the means of forming a right conclusion on the momentous points which are made subjects of dispute; by giving with the Scriptures such notes and comments, as may conduce to a correct understanding of them? Or, shall we say : We give you the Scriptures, in which all your hopes of salvation are contained. We know that they are misinterpreted and misunder: stood by many, to the great danger of their souls.
Our principles of faith are right ;—but we will not obtrude them upon you ;-- we are more liberal, and will leave you unbiassed, to decide for yourselves; even at the risk of your falling into the most fatal beresies ; into the sins of those, who wrest the Holy Scriptures to their own destruction?'
“ By preferring the former method, we do not derogate from the divine origin, and paramount authority of the Scriptures, we do not act upori a vain and impious presumption, that we are able to supply any imagined deficiency in the sacred volume. But, with humble thankfulness to the Giver of all good, for the light which we enjoy, and a sincere desire to communicate it to others; we endeavour to assist the human mind in its progress towards the