תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

upon this point, by enabling us to and of the Son, and of the Holy come at the very minds of the Ghost, is not only a pledge to assure framers of our Liturgy." I myself us thereof, but also a means by wish the work could be brought to which we receive the same." light, if it exists, though I dare not Again, taking the several an. hope for so much good as L. R. swers to the questions, “ Who gave calculates upon from its discovery: you this name? “ Dost thou for if we see disputes arise on the not think that thou art bound to plainest passages of the word of believe, and to do as they have God, we may well expect disagree- promised for thee ?” and “What is ments on the word of man. But if the inward and spiritual grace ?” his wish is to inform himself of the the address to the sponsors immeintention of the Church of England diately after the form of baptism, in the words impugned by Calvin, and Article XXVII., I define and defended by Cranmer; and regeneration, or new-birth, to sig. thus to satisfy himself whether he nify, in the language of the framers can conscientiously subscribe to of our liturgy, “ the real but that intention, he may do so on invisible spiritual benefit which the the principle mentioned in his quo- baptised person receives by being tation, that “ the church has suffi- made, by the washing of regeneciently explained her meaning in ration, a member of Christ ; that is, the articles and elsewhere.” I would one of the family of the children of therefore recommend him to study gracé, from having been one of the the articles and offices, and dili- children of wrath." If L. R. wishes gently to compare all that bears this subject to be enlarged upon, upon the point he wishes to eluci- and you will permit it, I shall be date, and I think he will be able most happy".

Δ. “ to come at the very mind of the framers of our Liturgy," without • Our beloved and revered corresponthis correspondence. As an exam

dent L. R. has been gathered to his ple of the process, let him take the need of human aid to perfect his know

eternal rest, in a world where he has no first clause of Article XXV., the fedge of whatever concerns the mysteries whole of Article XXVII., and the of the Gospel of that Saviour whom he answer to the question. “ What so greatly loved, and so zealously served meanest thou by this word Sa- would have considerably modified the

We presume that a crament?” in the Catechism ; in tone of his paper, had he been aware that which I conceive the whole doc. the correspondent whom he recommends trine of our church respecting the to study the Articles and Offices of the “ opus operatum” is contained. By mond, who was more conversant with the

Church was the late Rev. Legh Richa careful collation of these three writings of " the fathers of the English passages, I come to the conclusion, Church” than almost any one of his conthat the proposition to which our temporaries. Our own pages, and partiassent is required is this : “ There cularly our earliest volumes, abound with

proofs of his intimate and enlightened is a spiritual utility and efficacy in acquaintance with the text and history of the sacrament of Baptism rightly our church documents

. We hope to be administered, not inherent in the able to lay before our readers some acessence thereof, but adjoined by pro- excellent man; whose eminent piety, and

count of the life and death of this truly mise to it, which is vouchsafed to the zeal, and amiableness, and simple elorecipient invisibly but certainly; and quence, have rendered very important that the outward sign or form there- services to the church of Christ. of, viz. water, wherein the person is baptised in the name of the Father,

EDITOR.

[blocks in formation]

REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.

The Confessions of a Gamester. justified in going even farther. We London, 1824.

might plead, as already remarked,

that a considerable portion of the We are not among the number of sacred Scriptures themselves-of the those who expect to make men good, book intended to purify us from the merely by amusing them. The cor artifices, pollutions, and criminaruption of human nature lies too lities of the world is occupied in deep for any such superficial remedy. describing processes of human deNay, we have even heard of de pravity. Neither is this done in praved individuals reading enter- circumlocutory periods, and with taining tracts, meant for their con- the address of a modern fabulist, version, only with a view to learn who hides the grossness of proflimore of the arts of wickedness. gacy behind the mask of a cautious Black Giles and Tawny Rachel, for phraseology ; but circumstances are example, may have thus been made, told in the plainest and most undisas may some even of the narratives guised terms. There is no effort of Scripture itself, to minister to sin, at concealment, We are fully “ for to them that are defiled and aware, also, of the fact, that the unbelieving nothing is pure; but simplicity of scriptural narrative even their mind and conscience is has become a source of infidel defiled.” The dexterity of Mr. Brag- clamour; and we are farther conwell (in the Two Farmers), in ma- scious, that some of our recent naging the sale of his land at the improvers" of the Bible, have auction, so as to entrap unwary at- judged it advisable, in their abridgtendants, by a good dinner and the ments and digests, to omit what circulation of intoxicating liquors, they regarded as objectionable; and into biddings far beyond the worth thence have made very considerable of his acres, may likewise have concessions to the delicacy of unbeen faithfully copied by many, who believers. would hoot down the whole Cheap- This is not the place for rebutRepository system of instruction ting accusations already answered, as fruitful in error and enthusiasm. a thousand times, by eloquent and Religious novels, so classified, may learned apologists. Weintroduce the have done similar mischief; and we matter, merely to remind the reader are not sure but that Celebs itself of the inexpediency of being jealous may have taught some of its fashion- of those moral teachers who bring able readers, to enter yet more forward their remonstrances against extensively into the frauds and sin, by first describing its malignity. oppressive tactics practised upon Let no rustic clown justify his indefenceless tradesmen.

vasion of a neighbour's garden, or But who is to be responsible for hen-roost, by pleading that he these effects? The reply is direct: learned the arts of dishonesty in They must answer for the conse- the school of Black Giles. Neither quence, who, by similar perversions let the practised land-jobber defend of Christianity, would gladly take his arrangements of iniquity, by a lesson in the science of deception referring to the high example of from the parable of the unjust Bragwell. And as to the patronsteward; since, in that narrative esses of a more elegant department also, the bane and the antidote are of crime-we trust, that no poor both set before them.

flower-girl, working sixteen hours In this relation, we might be a day, in a stifling garret, by the bed-side of a sick mother, will la. Pilgrim's Progress, a treasure of bour on without payment, because practical religion, though borne in some extravagant woman of rank the earthen vessel of an uninspired has read a parallel case in the parable. We since have had many pages of Celebs. Must we also treatises of the same school; and, add, if the unjust steward was com- in the passing day, it would be uumended because he had done wisely, grateful to forget certain popular woe be to that person who perverts writers, who have done not a little this portion of the Scriptures to his towards regulating the spiritual own destruction; and can find here movements of society, by mingling such practical heresy as may hasten something to attract their imagihis progress to everlasting misery, nation with the monitory wisdom of because our Lord himself delivered the Gospel. a graphic example of the fraudulent This expression of our own grapolicy of the world.

titude is quite consistent with the But what have the authors of the declaration that we never expect performances first mentioned done, to convert bad men merely by as well as tell plain tales about the diverting them to crush vice by manners of men ? What did He strewing entertaining tracts in who was Truth itself-spotless, pure, St. Giles's, and by sending exquiundefiled, perfect; what did He do sitely bound copies of Cælebs to as well as paint the most repulsive the high circles of fashion. No! features of human character? He neither do we in the least expect described the guilt and misery of a to demolish a well-known splendid fallen creature, in order to make building in St. James's Street by that creature acquainted with his a loan, to its proprietor, of the Conguilt and his misery; and this as a fessions of a Gamester. But this necessary preparation for the Divine we venture to do, to thank the lessons he had in store, and was writer of the volume in question, ready to communicate. He walked for the serpentine skill evidenced the vast infirmary of the world, in the compilation of his narrative. traversed its wide-extending and It is one of the happiest recent crowded wards, busy from couch to specimens of the art of making a couch, not to gather amusement, trifler think. We do not say, that and to mock the miserable by a man already entangled in the toils leaving them to perish ; but that he of Newmarket, or the pandemonium might administer consolation, and of a gambling house, will be demore than consolation; a sovereign livered from his fetters by a perusal REMEDY—not a palliation, but a of these Confessions ; but the book cure-perfectly adequate to the most may be regarded as a powerful wretched case, and offered to all warning to such as are directly distempered and sin-sick souls, with- tempted to come within the baneout reserve or partiality.

fully enchanted circle it so vividly If Jesus Christ did this with a describes. Both in medical and consciousnesss of his own entire moral practice, it is more easy to ability and willingness to heal and prevent a disease than to cure it. bless the miserable, his disciples Whether the book under consihave, at all times, endeavoured to deration is all fiction or all fact, or follow his steps, at whatever dis- a mixture of both, is, as we think, tance, and moving, with whatever of no very serious importance to difficulty; and, in the connexion the public. Any work which tells before us, we are bound to honour' what its writer, if he be compesuch instructors as have aspired tently acquainted with life and manta imitate a perfect example, in oc- ners, supposes to be actually doing casionally making fiction the vehi- in the world, is practically true: cle of eternal truth. We have the and we no more "doubt that the career run by the hero of this is interior. We therefore cannot tale has been, and is now, pur- wonder at hearing of gamblers who sued, or pusuing, by a fearful num- journey on to eternity itself withber of gamesters, than we doubt out any very lasting remorse; though the past and present existence of wives have died of broken hearts, and the vulgar vices described by Field- children have not been recognized ing, or question the realities of by their fathers. It is the inevitable the metaphysical wickedness which course of events, as the sparks fly marked the literary society of Paris upward. Death indeed and the in the days of the Baron Grimm. approach of death, as of a spectre

The author, in the opinion of troubling the imagination of bad many readers, will have made his men-may be attended with what Gamester too successful, and too have been called the compunctious hard-hearted. The first point we visitings of nature; these things shall not debate. The second ad- have sometimes darkly clouded the mits of little hesitation ; because, it last days even of a gamester, and appears to be all but impossible to made him anticipate the terrors of set" bounds to the degree of ob- an invisible state. But up to this duracy created in the human heart dreary extremity of life he may have by the systematic pursuit of any travelled with comparative quietgiven evil. In every instance, as ness and freedom from alarm; and Burns too exclusively says of a this is his very misery and ruin. course of sin specified by himself, Spiritual diseases are often as flat

it hardens all within, tering as certain of those which And petrifies the feeling! affect only our physical frame. Gaming indeed is one of those de. There is little pain. The fever itself partments of guilt which combine a -a mortal symptom—induces, as certain exercise of the intellect with sometimes happens under the inthe indulgence of the baser passions. fluence of opium, pleasurable and alA devotee to the turf and the dice most delicious feelings. But death must be a man self-possessed, cool, death-not to be ultimately shuncollected, and capable of inak- ned—not much longer to be conteming complicated calculations. The plated at an indefinite distancetempter does not generally assault comes at last; and the veil of the him by very sudden and percep- eternal world hides the rest. tible attacks. In this respect, the The author, or editor, of these sensualist-strange as it may sound Confessions has, as we think, acted -has an advantage over the victims a most wise part in bringing the of avarice, and the professors of Gamester to his shrowd--without play. If men die by their own hope, impenitent, and rejecting an suicidal hands, as bacchanalians, offered salvation. Is this a crueland as having given way to such opinion? Shall we be blamed for animal lusts as war against the soul, almost rejoicing, that the narrative, their guilt is far more evident to supposing of course that it is ficthemselves than is the case with titious, describes not a siņner that the man who soberly retires to rest, repenteth, but a sinner who perishes with a head calm, though busy with everlastingly? Let us explain. We the arithmetic and the computa- have long been much disgusted, tions of the succeeding day, and but far more grieved, by reading, even when he foresees the ruin of from time to time, narratives of his inexperienced dupes, who will the happy deaths of men who have come and flutter about his nets. lived protracted lives of deliberate He is wicked by rule and com- wickedness. Some of these die pass—by a kind of mathematical calmly in their beds, surrounded by precision. His guilt is of the most weeping friends, and in the bosom malignant type-but its malignity of families brought to indigence and disgrace by their atrocities; but ful than themselves: they would then comes the obituary, descriptive bid the apparent convert welcome of their last days, as marked by an to the fold; they would rejoice over extraordinary change. This obituary any sinner that repenteth; they circulates in magazines, and re- would exult in the high expectation prints, and tracts,--and it is in- of seeing another child of guilt teresting; and all the friends of the and wretchedness rescued from the dead are congratulated on the event; ruins of the fall. This is all well, and so they wrap up the matter. and bespeaks the humility and

But, on the very shewing of many meekness of heart possessed by of these accounts, the report bears these men. But they may not be upon it the very impress of suspi- quite aware, that thousands upon cion; and of apprehension, in all thousands will read the obituary thoughtful minds, with regard to with feelings of a very different the state of the departed. Our character. And these are they clerical friends are too well aware who will quarrel with the author of the difficulty of ascertaining, al- of the Gamester, for not having most under any circumstances, the brightened the last days of a hoary validity of recently formed preten- profligate with the golden beams of sions to religion. The most saga- hope. They will also look over the cious among them, and those best happy deaths of felons, without acquainted with the mysterious and watching whether their contrition, contradictory operations of their self-abhorrence, particularity of own minds, have been frequently confession, petitions for pardon puzzled and confounded in the at addressed directly and importutempt to estimate character; and, nately to those whom they have inin respect to death-bed scenes, we jured, whether these evidences of have known not a few clergymen of sincerity are, at least, equal to their large experience confess the keenest expressions of hope, or, as is frebitterness of disappointment, in see- quently the case, of high confidence. ing many, many, persons totter back, They will neglect to parallel the even in the early stages of recovery statement, in its just proportions, from what was judged to be fatal with the narrative of the thief on indisposition, to the world, and to the cross; for though his case, their former sins; and this, after under such circumstances, is a fa. hopeful symptoms of repentance; vourite reference, yet it is generally after decided acknowledgments of an abused one. What did the thief the peril they had incurred; and do ? Far more than is stated to be after as decided an assent by the done by some of our canonized lip to the doctrine and merciful felons! The leading characteristic offers of the Gospel! Instances such in the penitent of Mount Calvary as these would do much, it might is self-abasement. The highest be supposed, towards improving the point of hope, in his example, is instructors of mankind in the science only discernible in an act of prayer. of human nature. Yet, how many It is painful to note the diversity seem to be ever learning in vain! between the record of this man's The spiritual physician sees his own dying moments, and the details of patients relapse. Why then does many a modern tract. he not more frequently question the In reference to the point under soundness of cures performed by his discussion, it is also observable, that brethren?

there exists a strange and anomalous We can indeed find an easy and coincidence between these suspihonourable apology for their cre- cious and premature accounts; for dulity. They take the merciful all along we are quite conscious of side; they hope against hope; they the distinction between the sincethink other practitioners more skil. rity and insincerity connected with

« הקודםהמשך »