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- and its doctrine just! The puritans were the most perfect Christians we can ever expect to see on earth! All this, with sundry declamations about freedom and oppression, only let the reader into the profound secret that Milton was a great man, and that Mr. St. John admires him, and agrees in his principles, right or wrong. What does one want with this ? What does one learn from it? A just and discriminating criticism of a great author, from one qualified to give it, is a delightful companion to his works. But this fashion of letting no great man's works appear without a preface and criticism, of whatever kind, is really a very idle one. The whole value of the criticism depends on its quality.
The Scriptural Catechism, for the Use of Sunday Schools. By R. Or
ford, Esq. London : Simpkin and Marshall. MR. ORFORD is evidently a very serious, zealous, and active Christian, deeply interested in improving the young people in his neighbourhood. In this book he has brought together, from many valuable writers, a great deal of good and useful instruction, and elder children might profit by much of it. For younger ones it would perhaps be too long. Here and there, too, a little clearness is required, as, for instance, on baptism.
A Tour round Ireland in 1835. By John Barrow, jun., Esq. Lon
don: Murray. 1836. 8vo. MR. BARROW's former tours to Ireland and to the north of Europe were so agreeably written, and so full of pleasant and sensible observation, that they will secure a ready and anxious perusal for this volume, which contains a great deal of lively description and amusing anecdote, with some of the most truly graphic sketches which any book has for a long time exhibited. The account of Achill, with the long letter in the appendix, is full of interest.
Random Recollections of the House of Lords, from 1830 to 1836.
Small 8vo. Smith, Elder, and Co. This most impertinent and, in design, mischievous volume would not fall properly within the scope of notice in this Magazine, did it not affect to include a personal sketches of the leading members” of the illustrious assembly to which it does such gross injustice, and, among them, to several of the members of the episcopal bench. The following samples will pretty sufficiently prove the title of these “ Recollections” to the epithet of random :
1. The Archbishop of Dublin's “ hair is dark, and he generally has a profusion of it.” [It was flaxen, and rather remarkably scanty.] “ He has entered his sixty-second year, but most persons would conclude, from his general appearance, that he was at least seven or eight years younger ;” (p. 382 ;) and they would conclude rightly. The Archbishop is of the same academical standing with Sir Robert Peel,
Vol. IX.-May, 1836.
who was born February 5th, 1788. His Grace is probably fortyeight.
2. The Bishop of Exeter (per contra) “ is in the meridian of life, being only about his forty-fifth year.” (p. 383.) Dr. Philpotts took his M.A. degree April 18th, 1798.
3. Of the Archbishop of Canterbury, this writer is pleased to say (p. 378,) that “his undiminished zeal in favour of the hierarchy insures his regular attendance in the house, (on all questions relating to the church,) although the weight of eighty-one years presses upon him.” The Archbishop took his M.A. degree July 11th, 1791. The general age of taking such degree is twenty-four or twenty-five.
It is true, these absurdities are, in themselves, of small consequence; but nothing can be worse than the whole tone of this flippant and worthless volume. Instead of un-taxing newspapers, it would be far better to have all such “ knowledge" well taxed.
The Life of John Jebb, D. D. Bishop of Limerick, with a Selection of
his Letters. By the Rev. Charles Forster, B.D. In 2 vols. London:
Duncan and Cochrane. 1836. Bishop JEBB's character is too deeply venerated, and Mr. Forster too highly esteemed, for any recommendation of this book to be needed. It sets before us the private history of one whose public character for piety, learning, and ability, has long been known; and, in doing so, presents a picture of the life of a Christian scholar and student, the calm peace of which is in delightful contrast with the present busy and distracting condition of things. As a relation and a friend, Bishop Jebb here shines as brightly as he does as a scholar; and what is yet more valuable, they who had not the privilege of seeing Bishop Jebb after his illness, will learn from Mr. Forster's accurate and most interesting account, how a Christian could suffer, and turn his suffering into a blessing to himself and others. The whole of the biography is written in a spirit of good feeling and good taste, which do the highest honour to Mr. Forster ; of whom no one can justly make any
other complaint, than that he is too kind to those whom he favours with his esteem. The second volume contains a selection of Bishop Jebb's letters, not only exhibiting his character in the most delightful view, but giving his opinions on many subjects of great importance. This volume is indeed one of real value; as everything which Bishop Jebb said on a subject, of either religion or literature, was said only on reflexion and study; and the deliberate opinions of such a man deserve to be well weighed by others. He would have been the first to wish that they should be subjected to the fullest examination and investigation. His letter on Mr. Miller's Bampton Lectures is, in this view, one of very deep interest. The reviewer's impression, at the moment, is, that Mr. Miller's view can be successfully maintained against the bishop's objections; which, nevertheless, deserve full consideration. The letter in which they are contained is one of the most striking proofs of the power of mind of the writer, considering the brief space in which it was written, and the fulness and vigour of thought displayed. If it induces more persons to read the admirable work which it criticises, the bishop himself would have heartily rejoiced.
Private Prayers. Compiled by the Rev. W. F. Hook, M.A., Vicar
of Trinity Parish, Coventry, &c. London: Rivingtons. 12mo.
1836. MR. Hook observes in his preface, that these prayers are chiefly derived from ancient sources, and follow very much the order adopted in our Liturgy-confession, the Lord's prayer, praises, intercession, thanksgiving, and benediction. They certainly breathe the spirit of ancient piety, and bear about them signs, which cannot be mistaken, of their connexion with primitive times. On this account, (for which hearty thanks are offered to the excellent compiler,) and on the ground of their real excellence and soundness, they are heartily commended to general use, with the remark, that they who use them should try the experiment of using them for a considerable time before they decide on their merit.
Here and there is an expression which, however sanctioned, the reviewer would like to see changed, because the mind is sadly given to wander; and therefore, all which ean excite the imagination should be avoided in prayer; as, for example, the epithets, the manywinged cherubim, and the six-winged seraphim.
The Manner of Prayer. By W. Walford, late Tutor in the Academy
at Homerton. London: Jackson and Walford. 12mo. 1836. This is a melancholy book. The author speaks of a desolating affliction, to which he has been exposed, and of the near approach of his own dissolution. Under these circumstances, it is most natural, indeed, to find that prayer should occupy his thoughts; but, in a general inquiry into the best mode of discharging this solemn duty, entered on under such circumstances, who would have expected that they should so little have softened the author's feelings, that in p. 8 of the introduction there should not only be an attack on the book of Common Prayer, brought in by sheer violence, but that the author should at once, in violation of all charity and decency, first express his surprise that clergy should give their "unfeigned assent and consent" to the book, and then declare, that when they have got over this “apparently insurmountable barrier,” it is very natural that they should frequently extol it? Thus he at once insinuates a doubt whether they can be sincere; and then again insinuates, that their praise of it is simply because they have swallowed this camel, and then wish to make the best case for themselves that they can. There is then in the body of the work a very long passage in a still worse temper, (from p. 166— 193.) Thus, in pp. 188–189, it is insinuated, that parliament, and parliament alone, can alter the Liturgy; and that dissenters would never admit such authority, as the persons composing the legislature are not fit for the purpose. If Mr. Walford has written this in sincerity, he is only one among the thousand instances of writers, who take upon them to censure our church, in the most profound ignorance of all which concerns her. Every one who does know anything of the matter is aware, that all which parliament has to do with the matter is, that after the proper church authority has effected whatever revision and alteration is proper, the King, and the two branches of legislature, give the force of law to what has been so effected. They do not interfere in effecting it; and Mr. Walford may be assured (if he really does not know it already,) that no true churchman could dream of allowing anything of the kind. It is curious to find papists and dissenters always combining now. The reproach, that ours is a parliamentary church, is a favourite one of both; yet both know, or might know, that this is a mere invidious mode of stating that the church and state are connected. What power supports and keeps up the Roman-catholic church in France, at this time, but the state ? Let Louis Philippe now persuade his deputies that some form of protestantism is better than popery; and probably the papists in France will understand that theirs is now just as much a parliamentary religion as ours; and if Louis XIV. had settled the same point a century and a half ago, they would then have found, when he turned them out of their churches, that, whatever their rights might be, they were maintained in their possession of those rights by the secular arm, and not by their own. To return to Mr. Walford, and his spite to the book of Common Prayer. It does not, he says, secure uniformity, for he has known clergy of every shade of opinion, from ultra-calvinism down to the lowest unitarianism, (as to the latter, Mr. W. must know that dishonest men cannot be kept out of any body, but that no honest unitarian could possibly remain in the church,) to say nothing of the numbers of openly irreligious, profane, and intemperate, &c. &c. As the morality of certain ministers has nothing whatever to do with uniformity, these revilings are only a means for Mr. Walford to discharge some of his bile against the church of England. The reason for it
appears at pp. 172—175, and turns out to be the exclusiveness of the episcopal communion, and that episcopal clergy will not exchange pulpits, &c. &c. with dissenters. This is (happily) a stumbling-block which never can be removed (not as Mr. Walford may think, or chuses to think, from the established church of England only, but) from any episcopal church, and is doubtless the reason why the sects in America hate the episcopalians almost as much as they do here. All this is very much in the course of things, and is not worth disputing about; but to find such things dwelling on the mind of a man descending to the grave, and dictating to him such uncharitable sentiments, is a sad proof of the bitterness of sectarian prejudice.
The Doctrine of Alonement and Sacrifice, &c. By J. Whitley, D.D.
of Trinity College, Dublin. London: Duncan. 1836. 8vo. This book is, in the main, an exposition of the anti-forensic scheme. Dr. Whitley says, very truly, that it is a very partial and erroneous view, to look at sins as merely transgressions of a given law-separate
and distinct acts, for which the offender must compensate, aut per se aut per alium-and to overlook sin as a ruling and reigning evil in our nature, antecedently to all law. He then charges writers on the atonement, and in no measured terms, with holding only the erroneous view; nay, with thinking that sin is very much the transgression of the moral part of the Jewish law; and instead of looking to outward sacrifice, as the substance by which they were to explain the shadow, (the Jewish sacrifices,) taking these sacrifices, which were compensations for particular offences against the law, as the models of our Lord's sacrifice. Thus, they represent it as offered in order to reconcile God to man, when offended by the transgression of his law; whereas, it was offered, according to Dr. Whitley, only to reconcile man to God, to overcome this evil principle of sin, reigning in his nature, and to introduce a new and living principle of righteousness. That principle can only be introduced—the evil principle in our nature can only he overcome—by the Holy Spirit's coming to dwell in our hearts, the disease being wholly past our cure. This great benefit it is, which, according to Dr. Whitley, has been wrought for us by the sacrifice of our Lord on the cross. In short, it was offered, not to make atonement for actual transgressions, but to overcome the evil which led to them. Not justification, but sanctification, was the object. It is with great regret, that one witnesses these partial views of the truth, offered under the appearance of putting down others charged with this very fault of being partial.* Beyond all question, Dr. Whitley has stated (and often with great force and justice, in his exposition of Scripture) most truly, that sanctification of an evil and corrupt nature was a great object of the atonement; but it is not true that it was the sole object. They, and they only, who look at it as at once a release from the penalty and the power of sin, conceive of it adequately, or comprehend the Scripture view of it. True it is, that, by one large and active party, justification alone is looked at, and sanctification, as an object of the atonement, set aside, almost or entirely. But these errors are not to be charged on the Christian world at large, nor on many of our great writers on the atonement. The fundamental misfortune in this book seems to be, that it has arisen out of an apologetic view. Dr. Whitley's favourite notion is, the restoration of the Eastern church. This was the great theme, at least, the final view, of his former work; and, at page 382 of this volume, he starts off to his favourite subject. Looking, then, to the conversion of infidels to the faith, he seems to have studied the Mahometan objections to Christianity (see p. 6, note) on the ground of vicarious atonement, the innocent punished for the guilty, &c. &c. These objections he sets himself to remove, by certain deeper views of sin, repentance, &c., for which he thinks writers on the atonement have substituted certain other “ false and frivolous notions."
This is strikingly shown in pp. 101-103, where Dr. W. says,
" that in looking to sacrifice, an equivalent to justice is the only thing looked at by most writers; while its efficacy to cleanse the sinner from his sin, to purify the unclean, &c. is overlooked.” Be it so. Then, to compensate for this, Dr. W. wholly overlooks its character as an equivalent.