« הקודםהמשך »
Bend as one family their hearts in prayer;
« On some bright morning, when the golden Sun
“ Or when the lessening year declines away, Slow dawns the Sun, and early sinks the day; When the dank gales of Autumn, subtle thief, Pilfer the widowed branches, leaf by leaf ; Which point the Poet's moral as they fly, Man in his generations so must die; Another rite, perhaps, demands his care, The last sad offices a friend can share ; Some grey-haired friend whom, ripened for his crown, Time hast not plucked, but gently shaken down, Beneath the Church-yard's venerable shade, Hard by a Yew, a decent grave is made; And round the Patriarch's hearse in mourning band, Sons, and their sons, and kinsmen's kinsmen stand; Next many an old acquaintance; in the rear Idlers, and Gossips, not unmov'd, appear; E'en strangers pause a moment as they pass, And turn to moralize,' All flesh is grass' !
There Childhood comes to wonder at the show,
“ By steps like these the saintly Herbert trod,
Young Divine.-P. 16.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Village Sermons. By the Rev. consequently has furnished them
Edward Berens, 11. A. Fourth with the volume before us, containEdition. 12mo. pp. 210. 2s.6d. ing eleven very plain and very valuRivington. 1821.
able discourses. The subjects of
them are, Faith-- Belief in God the We have to apologise to our readers Father-Belief in God the Sonfor the length of time which has On a future Judgment— Belief in elapsed between the appearance of God the Holy Ghost-Reading the this volume and of the commenda. Scriptures-Prayer -- Public Wor. tion which we are bound in justice ship-Baptismal Vow-The Lord's to bestow upon it. It has already Supper, and the Christian Priest. reached a fourth edition, and we are hood. We shall not attempt to go assured from various quarters that regularly through the series, but it has done much good. Under these shall content ourselves with giving circumstances we should probably extracts which will shew the nature have left it to its well-established of the work; and will make such character and extensive circulation, readers as are unacquainted with it, did we not regard it as a work of anxious for a perusal of the whole. very peculiar merit.
The first specimens which we shall Mr. Berens informs his parish- produce are taken from the second ioners in a short and unpretending and third discourses on Belief in the preface that his object was to call Father and in the Son; and the rea. their attention to certain important der will instantly perceive that Mr. doctrines, which as members of the Berens is equally capable of comChurch of England they all acknow- bating a dangerous error, of explainledge, and to point out the practical ing an important point of doctrine, effects which real belief in these and of enforcing his advice with doctrines ought to produce upon scriptural language and seriptural their hearts and couduct; and hic earnestness.
“ It may here be proper to notice an man, and all the carses that are written in error which is very dangerous, and I fear the Scriptures shall be upon him *.' If, very prevalent. The error I mean of in short, you so far presume npon God's those men, who though they profess to mercy, as to think that you may fearlessly believe, and really do believe, in God, continue in wilful sin; if you imagine that yet imagine him to be so abundant in he will so forget his justice and his truth, mercy, that he will not punish the sins of as thatone event will happen unto all, and men, at least not the particolar sins of that the wicked will not fare worse than wbich they themselves are guilty. They the righteous ; yon do not believe in God are truly taught that God is merciful and as he is revealed in the Bible; you cannot gracious, and therefore suppose that he consistently join in the Apostles' Creed; will pass over their transgressions, even you cannot say, I BELIEVE IN GOD THE though they wilfolly persist in them: es. FATHER ALMIGAITY, MAKER OF HEAVEN pecially if their transgressions are of snch AND EARTH, in the sense in which that a natare, as not to be clearly and imme- profession is made by rcal Christians." diately injurious to their neighbour, or not P. 22. glaringly hartful to the well-being of 80 “ Next in importance to belief in God ciety. The mistaken courtesy, or, what the Father, who made us and all the world, is called good-nature of the world, encou- is belief in God the Son, who hath rerages them in their error, and nourishes deemed us and all mankind. It is from the persuasion that God will see no faults our profession of this article of faith that in men, who are nobody's enemies but their we have the name of Christians ; and it is oron, The Ministers of religion have too of the utmost consequence to us seriously often reason to lament this fatal delusion. to consider, what we really mean when we It repeatedly happens to us, when endea. make this profession, and to reflect, whevousing to turn men from the evil of their ther our lives in this instance are answerdoings, by setting before them the terrors able to the belief which we pretend to of the Lord, to hear them express their hold. You say then that you believe in belief, that the threatenings of God's word God the Son, who redeemed yon; and would not be carried into execution. often in the Church Service, and probably
Bat consider, my friends, that men who at other times also, speak of Christ, by the hold this idea, if they believe in God at all, appellation of the Redeemer. What do do not believe in the God of Scriptures, you understand by the expression? The bat in an idol of their own imaginations. proper nieaning of the word to redeem is The Scriptures indeed represent God as to buy back. It is particularly used for merciful and gracious, and, for the sake of setting free a prisoner or captive, by paybis Son, forgiving iniquity and transgres. ing a price for his release. Let us consision and sin to the truly penitent, But as der now in what sense Christ is said to have he is merciful, so is he also just and true; redeemed us. and both his truth and his justice appear « The Scriptures both of the Old and to require the infliction of punishment, New Testament constautly represent the upon those who refuse to embrace his natural state of man as a state of sin and offer of mercy, and walk ou still in their death. It is necessary to dwell a little wickedness. He is spoken of accordingly upon this point. As they that are whole " as a consuming fire *" to the impenitent, need not a physiciant, and they that as "a God who will by no means clear think themselves well, will not have rethe guilty t," as one, who will execute course to one, so we, unless we are senwrath upon every soul that doeth evil, and sible of our spiritual danger, shall not be that refuses to turn from the evil of his induced to seek the means of safety; we doings with hearty repentance, and lively shall not have recourse to the Redeemer, faith in the merits of a Redeemer. I beg unless we feel that we stand in need of of you to believe, that if a man, in defi- being redeemed. ance of the threatenings of God's word, “ The necessity of redemption arises • shall still bless himself in his heart, say- from our being guilty of sin, and conseing, I shall have peace, thongh I walk in quently exposed to the punishment of siz. the imagination of mine heart, to add If you ask, what sin is; St. John tells drunkenness to thirst; the Lord will not you, that sin is the transgression of the spare him, but then the anger of the Lord law ľ' the trausgression of the holy and and his jealousy shall snioke against that
.“ Dent xxix. 19, 20." * “ Deut. iv. 24. Heb. xii. 29."
+ " Matt, ix, 12." “ Exod. xxxiv. 7."
1“ 1 John iii. 4." REMEMBRANCER, No. 39.
pure law of God. God having given us represent to your imaginations, the holy our being, has a just right to prescribe Jesus expiring upon the cross with the such laws as he sees fit, for the regulation nails driven through his hands and feet, of our actions, words, and thoughts. Such and think that it was for you, for your laws he has given us in the holy Scriptures, sins, that he endured such agony. And and the more we study and nnderstand can our hearts be so hard, as after this these laws, the more we shall be con- wilfully to persist in sin? If we do, we, to vinced, that the observance of them is adopt the strong language of the Apostle, most conducive to our own well-being and in some sort 'crucify the Son of God happiness. Whenever we transgress any afresh, and put him to open shame! of these laws, either in thought, word, or No, my friends; if you wilfully continue deed, either by doing what we ought not in any known sin; if you do not lament to do, or leaving undone what we ought your transgressions, and really try and to do, we are guilty of sin. The very in- pray to get the better of them, do not any clipation or desire to act contrary to the more pretend to acknowledge Jesus Christ law of God, even when we do not give as your Lord ;-do not any more pretend way to it, has, as the Article of our Church to believe that HE SUFFERED UNDER PONexpresses it, the nature of sin.' The TiUS PILATE, WAS CRUCIFIED, DEAD, AND word sin, consequently, means something BURIED; do not any more pretend to very different from what in common lan- hope for the FORGIVENESS OF Sins throngb guage is termed crime, or vice. These his blood.” P. 45. two words relate chiefly to actions or ba “ Consider, my friends, that you are bits, which are hurtful to society, or to not your own masters. Being redeemed, ourselves as members of society; but sin being bought, with the precious blood of includes whatever is contrary to the laws Christ, you belong to, you are the property of God. A man may be in common re of, him who has thus wonderfully bought pute free, not only from all crimes, but you. You are not your own,' says the from all vices, and yet be, in a religious Apostle, but are bought with a price t; point of view, a great sinner; may in fact do not then dishonestly deprive Christ of have to answer for sins ' more in number what he has so dearly purchased. Do not than the hairs of his head *,'
live-you have no right to live-according “ In order to come to the knowledge to your own corrupt wills and appetites, and proper sense of our sins, we must com but according to the will of him who bas pare our lives with the rule of God's com bought you. Strive in all things to 'glomandments delivered from mount Sinai, rify God in your body and in your spirit, and explained and spiritualized by our Lord which are God's t. Remember that in the Sermon on the mount; or with those • Christ bath once suffered for sins, the other practical precepts which abound in just for the unjust;' and why?that he every part of the Scriptures, especially in might bring us to God. Remember, the New Testament.” P. 30.
that he died for all, that they who live “ But though faith in the death of should not benceforth live nnto themselves, Christ is thus necessary, we must bear in bat anto him thạt died for them ll." P. 47. mind that a faith which does not produce
There is a mixture of force and good works is dead and worthless t. Let us return then to the question before perspicuity in these passages which asked ; do we indeed and really believe we do not often see ; and unless that the glorious Son of God died upon our estimate of human nature is lathe cross for our sins? If we do believe it, mentably erroneous, or deficient, surely we must be sensible that sin is these passages would produce an something awfully serious, since it requir: effect upon any reasonable congrewe continue any longer in sin ? Certainly, gation. How, then, we may be askif Christ died for sin, we are bound by ed, does it happen, that such disevery consideration of interest and duty courses as these of Mr. Berens are to do all that we can to die to sin, and if frequently preached to thin, or even 80, how shall we who are dead to sin
to empty churches, while crowds live any longer therein ? When tempted by the world, or by the desires of the flesh; affected, by sermons which are, in
are assembled, and appear to be to do any thing contrary to the will of God, endeavour to figure to yourselves, to
« Heb. vi. 6." “ Psalm x). 15."
t" 1 Cor, vi, 19, 20." "* Ibid. vi, 21." p" Jame ü, 17."
$" 1 Pet. iii. 18." 7 " Cor. vi. 16."
every respect, of an opposite cha- bound to follow the Master, rather racter and description? The ques. than the servant; and that servant tion is important, because it con was notoriously afflicted with an imtains the substance of a popular and petuous temper. Nor, if it were successful argument in favour of certain that the ardour of the Aposmany practices, which the clergy tle was as great as that of a modern feel themselves bound to discourage, enthusiast, would it follow that their and we shall digress from the sub- conduct, or preaching, were idenject before us, to give it the consi- tical, or similar. For he spake out deration which it merits.
of the fulness of learning, as well The question then assumes a fact, as godliness; and therefore can be which we have no disposition to de no pattern for an uninstructed, selfny, namely, that vehement and en- taught declaimer. The only arguthusiastic preaching is relished by ment, therefore, which can be fairly the people; and there are two ex- urged in defence of ranting and vioplanations of the phenomenon which lence, is, that it allures and captiwe are continually condemned to · vates the multitude; and this probear, but to which we have hitherto position, which is admitted both by seen no reason for assenting. The ihe friends and enemies of such first is, that such preaching is practices, is what we are anxious to scriptural and proper; the second examine and explain. is, that the multitude have itching The fact, as we have already ears, and always prefer sermons confessed, is too true. Whether which they are not able to under the preacher addresses the educated stand. We presume to entertain a or the ignorant, it is not the best better opinion both of the Scrip- sermon that produces the greatest tures and of the people, than is effect. In the congregations of the consistent with either of these ex rich and the noble, a frothy style, planations. It is hardly possible and a theatrical delivery, are vathat the popular preachers, to whom lued quite as highly as any other we allude, and whom we condemn, qualifications. Among the middling can think that their style is formed and lower classes, a Whitfield and on a strictly scriptural model. Whom a Huntingdon have always obtained do they imitate, or think they imi. more popularity than the most cortate? The great Pattern of all per rect and accomplished preachers. fection, was explanatory and didac. And what renders the circumstance tic much oftener than he was im more peculiarly remarkable, is, that passioned, or indignant. He taught it cannot be witnessed in any other with authority, it is true; but profession. The English nation has with the authority of reason, not justly been considered as insensible of vebemence; with the authority to the charms of eloquence, and of holiness, not of passion; with the lights of her sepate and her bar the authority of truth, not of elo- have not shone by their declama. quence. And the greatest and most tory, but by their argumentative laborious of his apostles, who is so brilliancy. In point of fact, any frequently dishonoured by a host of attempt to excite the passions of faucied imitators, can afford no parliaments, or courts of justice, good excuse for the persons whom usually terminates in exciting a he is cited to defend. Admitting laugh. The ordinary harangues of that St. Paul's preaching was much our most successful speakers, being more impassioned than our Sa- little more than a calm exposition viour's, the inference to be drawn of facts, with a closely reasoned from this fact is not favourable to commentary upon their various bearthe enthusiast; since, where a dif- ings. And this style of speaking, ference did exist, we are evidently in itself evidently the most worthy