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We cannot say that on the whole we regret our inability to lay before our readers, at this time, an
COME; or Christian Friendship original review, which we have in
on Earth perpetuated in Heaven.
By C. R. Muston, A.M. 12mo. hand, but which we have found it
pp. xii. 432. Price 6s. 6d. Lon. impracticable to conplete for the
don, 1830. present month—because we think they will be better pleased, and On first taking up this volume, perhaps more edified, by the fol- an emotion of surprise may be exlowing, extracted from the Eclectic cited, that it should have been Review, of August last, than by that deemed needful, or even possible, with which we expected to fill the to occupy a volume with the dispages which it occupies. The sub-cussion of the simple point of inject of the work reviewed, is one of quiry to which it professedly redeep interest to every real Chris- lates; but a glance at the table of tian; one not often discussed; and contents will show, that Mr. Mus. one on which revelation, though ton has treated the subject in vanot, as we think, silent, is yet short rious extensive and important bearand reserved in its communica- ings. We shall transcribe the plan tions. The great objection to the of the work. future recognition, by glorified spi. “Chap. I. Introductory Remarks. II. rits, of their relatives in this world, The Hope of Re-union in another World is better answered in the subjoined accordant with the general Apprehension extract, than in any thing we have
of Man. III. On Christian Friendship. elsewhere seen or heard. We
IV. The perpetuation if Christian Friend.
ship, a Doctrine which rests upon Scripwish the Reviewer had given us tural Evidence. § 1. On the certainty a little more of what the author of a future state. § 2. On the local and of the work reviewed has said of
common destination of the righteous. the happy intercourse of the bea
$ 3. On the certainty of future recogni
tions. $ 4. On the perpetuation of the tified, when they meet, “ to go no social principle. $ 5. On the future ex. more out,” in “ the mansions" istence of specifick affection. V. The perwhich their Redeemer has prepared petuation of Christian Friendship accordfor their reception. We think that ant with the nature and design of Chrissome of our booksellers would find tianity. VI. The Final Meeting and
Future Friendship of the Righteous, as it no losing business—which we distinguished by its Perfection, Perpe. know they always consider pretty tuity, and Progressive Character. VII. carefully—if they should import Difficulties and objections connecied and reprint a copy of this excellent with the Doctrine. VIII. Thoughts on work. The table of contents shows
the Final Interview of the Wicked, and
the ultimate Consequences of Unholy that every thing pertaining to the Fellowship. IX. Hints on the Imporvery interesting topick discussed, tance of Personal Religion. X. Remarks has received attention from the
on the choice of Friends, and on the author; and the recommendation formation of the Matrimonial Compact. of the Reviewer, on whose judg. wards their irreligious friends. XII. Re.
XI. Hints on the Duties of Christians toment we place much reliance, is marks on the Nature and Objects of explicit and unqualified. 'The Church Fellowship: XIII. Consolatory enormous impost on English pub- Reflections on the Loss of Friends, sug'lications, renders it all but hopeless, gested by the Hope of Re-union." to get a volume which is not im These are topics of delightful ported for the purpose of republic and awful interest, legitimately cation.
connected with the main subject; and in this age of abstracts, out
lines, and flippant essays, it is re To hear each voice we feared to hear freshing to find a work in which the no more! author has given his whole mind to
Behold each mighty shade reveald to
sight, the full investigation of his theme The Bactrian, Samian sage, and all who in all its bearings, not wearying of taught the right.
BYRON. his purpose, and not satisfied till he has fairly distilled its essential “The subject, in short, has universal virtues. Mr. Muston has evident. feelings of the heart, and the deep solici
interest. It connects itself with the best ly thought deeply and well, has tude which it frequently awakens, is the read, reflected and felt, before he voice of nature attesting its importance. committed his work to the press for the author to anticipate himself. Let
To discuss its merits at present, would be He has conversed with his theme, it suffice to observe, that if the hope to till he has caught a glow from which it relates can be shown to rest on its celestial brightness. He has valid ground, it is both rich in practical wrestled with it, till he has extort- instruction, and replete with comfort to ed a blessing for his reward; for all who are mourning over departed how is it possible, indeed, to put pleasures here, and with our loftiest an.
worth. It blends itself with our purest forth one's mind in the energetick ticipations of bliss in the life to come. It encounter with such subjects, with- mingles heaven with earth, and while it out receiving their influence into imparts peculiar endearment and sanctity our bosoms? Of the author's compe- ed in love to the Saviour, it adapts itself
to every earthly relation, which is found. tency for the task he has under
to that principle of our nature which bortaken, and of the spirit in which he rows aid from the impressions of sense. It has accomplished it, we could not multiplies and quickens our religious asbut draw a favourable augury from sociations, and establishes an important the introductory remarks, in the link between time and eternity, in addifirst chapter.
tion to every other by which God has
thought proper to unite them. The re“The knowledge which revelation con. alities of that bright and happy world, veys to us respecting the future s'ate of into which the righteous are in due time being, is of a general character. It con. to be gathered, do not come within the sists more in principles than in minute range of actual vision. They are objects details; and discloses to us as much of of faith, and as such they must continue the celestial scene as is sufficient to up to be, until death brings them in full and hold and animate us in the arduous pur sensible manifestation before the eye of suit of eternal life, without dazzling our the believer. But our conceptions of this minds with a vision of overpowering invisible region are strengthened, and brilliancy, and abstracting our attention brought more completely home to the from the more humble, yet all-important business and bosom of man, by knowing concerns of human life."
that the living materials with which it is
in part to be replenished, are placed in “The question whether the friendships direct display before his senses. He of the good will be extended to another hears the voices, and beholds the perlife, or whether they will be forever an sons, of the very intelligences who are nibilated by the oblivion of present asso hereafter to be associated with him, and ciations, cannot be a cold and barren to be recognised as his fellow companions speculation, 10 any who possess the com on earth. To live with such prospective mon feelings of humanity. What bosom associations, on terms of close fellowship does not respond to the sentiment so pa with them, and to realize in their friendthetically expressed by a poet, more dis. ship tbe pledge of future bliss, must be tinguished, alas! by the splendour than interesting circumstances, fitted to famithe sanctity of his genius?-
liarize the unseen world to our minds, " Yet if, as holiest men have deem'd, without degrading it, and to further the there be
work of preparation for its elevated pleaA land of souls beyond that sable shore,
sures and services. To shame the doctrine of the Sadducee
“Upon the determination of the quesAnd sophists, madly vain of dubious tion before us, must likewise depend the lore;
degree of regard which is due, on the part How sweet it were in concert to adore of the Christian, to his boly kindred and With those who made our mortal la companions in the present life. 'I must bours light!
confess, as the experience of my own
soul, (says an eminent divine, *) that the “It is natural then to remark, that the espectation of loving my friends in hea. difficulty adverted to, arises, in no small ven, principally kindles my love to them degree, from the circumstance of looking on earth. If I thought that I should never at the present subject through the meknow them, and consequently never love dium of those earthly affections, which them after this life is ended, I should will find no place in the new and spiritual in reason number them with temporal constitution which is to be set up in the things, and love them as such. But I future world. The instinctive principle now delight to converse with my pious though it has been employed to acfriends, in a firm persuasion that I shall count for more of the phenomena of converse with them for ever; and I take mind than the rules of sound philosophy comfort in those of them that are dead can warrant-is yet a primary element or absent, as believing I shall shortly in the constitution of man. it mingles meet them in heaven, and love them with with the current of our associations, moa heavenly love, that shall there be per difies our feelings, and exerts over the fected.""-pp. 411.
mind an influence, which, in regard to We do not think it necessary to uniformity and force, bears a striking regive any further analysis of the tion, which the Creator has impressed on work, than the general plan and ti- inanimate creation. It is probable, that tles of the chapters. The fairest, the most pure and refined affection of
which the human bosom is the residence, and yet the severest test which we
contains some portion of Aesh and blood can apply to the merits of the exe
-some earthly admixture, which will cution, will be to examine the man
not enter into celestial happiness. The ner in which, in the seventh chap. aid of the instinctive principle is pecuter, Mr. Muston copes with the liarly necessary in social and domestic difficulties and objections connect.
life; and it is here, therefore, that its ed with the doctrine of perpetuated
power is especially felt, and exhibited in
ihose forms of tenderness, sympathy, and friendship. The objection which assiduous care, which so much contribute requires at least the most delicate to the harmony and happiness of the handling, is that which founds it- human family. How much of the love self upon the solenn and painful tions of kindred and consanguinity, is to
which blends itself with the various relaconsideration, that individuals may be placed to the score of natural affecbe excluded from heaven, who are tion and conventional want, it would be now the objects of our tender and difficult, and perhaps impossible, to deaffectionate solicitude: the know- termine. But it is obvious that no small ledge of their absence, and of all proportion flows from this source.
"If the Christian carried into a future that that absence involves, must, it world the same affections which are in. is argued, be incompatible with the volved in the natural relations of the preanticipated felicity of heaven. The sent life, they might, for aught that apsubject, Mr. Muston remarks, is pears to the contrary, become the source indeed one of those gloomy and of inquietude, and embitter the enjoydistressing topics, from which we and feelings arising out of our corporeal are glad to make a basty escape. nature.--the perpetuation of which the So deeply does it implicate the objection in question evidently presupfeelings, that it unfits the mind for poses-are designed to answer a tempocalm and impartial inquiry; and understand, as we have had occasion to
rary purpose; and revelation gives us to " after all that can be said upon notice, that death will determine them, the subject, the attempt must in and introduce a constitution under which many instances, prove quite una
the righteous "will be as the angels of
God." And this very important considevailing to produce, on minds of a
ration conducts us one step at least, to. certain class, any thing like en- wards the resolution of a plausible diffilightened conviction." The fol- culty, frequently urged against the doclowing remarks are submitted with trine of perpetuated consciousness. For a view to expose the fallacy of the it teaches is that the Christian must principles upon which the objection that in which he is at present placed torests.
wards his irreligious friends. 'Divested Baxter,
of all those carthly tendencies, ard un.
holy passions, which often pervert his name: and it is usually found that he bejudgment and enslave his better feel. comes peculiarly susceptible of grateful ings, he will be prepared to look at their impressions, from the sympathy and kindcondition with the eye of unsopbisticated ness of surrounding friends. But then his reason, and to contemplate them in the love is sublimed; it is abstracted from essential and moral attributes of their earthly considerations; it is fixed upon nature.
God, and goes out, at the same time, in “ If, then, in the future world, they pure and complacent emotion towards will be regarded in their naked character his religious friends and associates. And and relation to eternity, what will remain whilst he regards them no longer after to attach them to redeemed and perfect the flesh,' and every natural relation ed beings? The objection supposes seems, in his experience, to be absorbed them to be unholy intelligences; for there in the spiritual one; yet they are endearare only two classes into which the hu- ed to him, as he is to them, by the comman family will be divided on the great mon anticipations of eternity, and the reday, and none will be excluded from the membrance of sanctified associations and presence of God but those who finally pleasurable intercourse. But what may reject the Saviour, or die in an impeni- be expected to be his feelings towards tent state. Such persons will not only those of his kindred, if such there be, who want the requisite title of admittance are evidently strangers to God, and abaninto heaven, wbich faith in the Redeeme doned to vicious and profligate courses? imparts, but will be morally unfit for the Has it not frequently happened, that their pleasures, employments, and fellowship very presence has occasioned an unusual of that sacred place. And when the re. degree of uneasiness, and is it even destraints, the disguises, and the factitious sired but with the benevolent view of qualities, which now often conceal the prevailing upon them, by all the solemni. real character, shall vanish for ever, and ties of the occasion, to give prompt and the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed, serious attention to their interests for it is manifest, that the impenitent cannot eternity? And how much stronger must fail to be seen as they truly are, and that the operation of such sentiments be, in a they will appear to be destitute of every world where love will be made perfect, virtuous principle, and at enmity with and where there will be nothing 10 obGod. Were it, therefore, possible for struct or divert the current of holy emoany of them to be admitted into the su. tion!" pernal world, is it to be supposed that “It should not, in conclusion, be forthey would be regarded with other feel gotten, that the justice of the above reings than those of moral aversion by its marks, and the fallacy of the objection holy inhabitants? Recollections, indeed, which has given rise to them, receive might be awakened, but would they have support from the discoveries of revelaany central point of complacency, or tion, in reference to the temper of mind possibly produce any cordial sympathy with which the inflictions of righteous amongst beings delivered from the influ. judgment are regarded by the inhabitants ence of every instinctive affection, and of heaven. God is love, and cannot but having for the basis and regulating prin- look with ineffable tenderness upon his ciple of every attachment, a strict and creatures. Yet his happiness is not, and undeviating regard to moral excellence?" cannot possibly be, impaired by the suf
“And what appears to be the state offerings which his unerring reciitude has mind into which an eminently pious man doomed unholy spirits to endure. And is ordinarily brought, in reference to his in like manner the angels of heaven, who earthly relatives in the immediate pros- take the most deep and benevolent intepect of dissolution—in those eventful and rest in our apostate race, and who are ininteresting moments, when it is fair to conceivably better acquainted than hur presume that he makes the nearest ap man beings can be with the precise conproximation on this side the grave to the dition of fallen spirits, and with the dire. temper of the redeemed in heaven? In ful consequences of sin, enjoy, neverthethose cases, where the power of religion less, undisturbed tranquillity and perfect is manifested, the affections do not seem happiness. The sentiments with which to be diminished, but often acquire unu- they contemplate the severest visitations sual intenseness, even amidst the depress- which are awarded to the impenitent by ing influences of pain and disease. The the supreme Governor of the universe, soul of a holy man, who enjoys on his are those of adoring reverence and perdying bed the presence of God, often fect confidence in the equity of his deci. glows with unwonted ardour: joy glistens sions. Their language, on such occasions, in big eye, the light of gratitude comes is embodied in the discoveries of revelaover his countenance, and his lieart burns tion; for they are represented to say, in at the very mention of the Saviour's reference to the vials of the divine wrath,
* Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and heathen classics and our own poets, righteous are thy judgments.'
in order to show how prevalent has "Thus it appears that the most intense benevolence, combined with the full
ever been the hope of a future reknowledge of the awful doom of fallen union. This sentiment is someintelligences, is by no means incompatible what obscurely, yet how exquisitely with perfect peace. Nor can we reason. expressed, in the Antigone of Soably suppose, that it will be otherwise in phocles! The daughter of Edipus regard to the glorified spirits of righteous men, who will be made like God, and the
exclaims: angels of heaven.”—pp. 217—227.
“ For a deed like this, We offer no comment upon these Oh, what were death but glory! I shall paragraphs, but leave them to speak Beloved with him I love, my last sad duty for the good sense and piety which, Boldly discharged. Our latest, longest we think, characterize Mr. Mus.
home ton's entire discussion of the gene- Is with the dead; and therefore would I ral subject. The difficulty advert please ed to, is not, indeed, peculiar to The lifeless, not the living. I shall rest
Forever there." that subject; for, if the reasoning
(Dale's Translation.) of the objector had any force, not only must mutual recognition and In a still sublimer spirit of poethe perpetuation of present con- try, as well as of faith, the sacred sciousness be excluded, as incom- writer exclaims: “Wherefore, seepatible with future happiness, but ing we are compassed about with even the very knowledge of the ex so great a cloud of witnesses, let istence of evil, and its awful and us throw aside every weight and necessary concomitant, misery. incumbrance, and let us run with
Mr. Muston has enriched his vo perseverance the race that is set lume with extracts both from the before us, looking unto Jesus.”
Literary and Philosophical Intelligence, etc.
The Passage of the Red Sea.-One of over before me; and as I was nearly eight my first objects at Suez, was to ascertain inches taller than my guide, where his if the sea was fordable opposite the town, chin was in the water, my long beard was at ebb tide; the consular agent, and the quite dry. Levantine writers of the governor, as. The tide was now coming in fast, and sured me that it was not; but I attached by the time we reached the middle of the little importance to their assertions. I sea, my Indian thought it imprudent to therefore desired my servant to find me proceed farther, as I could not boast of out any Indian sailor, who wished to earn being an expert swimmer. Had we rea dollar by crossing the gulf: at eight mained ten minutes longer, we should in the evening, a man made his appear. inevitably have suffered Pharaoh's fate, ance, who offered to make the attempt. for the opposite bank was perceptibly di. I explained to him the nature of the ob. minishing; and at ten o'clock the sea, ject I wanted to ascertain; I directed him which was hardly more than the breadth to walk straight across, as far as it was of the Thames at London Bridge two possible to do so, and to hold his hands hours before, was now from two to three over bis head, as he walked along. He miles broad. I returned, perfectly conwas in the water forthwith, he proceeded vinced that the Red Sea opposite Suez, is slowly and steadily, his hands above his passable at ebb tide. head, and in nine minutes, he was at the By a mark which I made on a perpendi. other side of the Red Sea. On bis return cular rock on the seaside, about eighty he told me, what I knew to be a fact, that paces from the spot we forded, I found he had walked every step across; the the difference between the ebb and flow, deepest part being about the middle of to be six feet two inches. The fountains the gulf, when the water was up to his of Moses, above El Naba, are about seven chin. I proceeded now to follow his miles from Suez by water, but by land the course; I gave him another dollar to cross distance is double. Vol. IX.Ch. Adv.