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of a preacher to build his sermon on his text, and not hang it out as a sign over the door. We know of no Priests in the church since Jesus Christ, and we object to the expression, “the Christian Priesthood.” We are now ministers of Christ and nothing more; whatever may be intended by the figurative declaration that we shall be kings and priests unto God, in a future life. That his hearers and readers may duly appreciate the value of a standing religious ministry, in which he includes all faithful Bishops, Presbyters, and Public Teachers of Christianity of all denominations; he examines its influ. ence, I. On literature and intellectual improvement: II. On morals: III. On social order: and IV. On the destinies of man, as a creature of God and candidate for immortality. On the first point he bestows the largest portion of time and attention, because it is, in general, less considered and understood than either of the other subjects. Many of his remarks evince originality of thought, and all of them an uncommon vivacity. His principal faults are an exuberance of wit; too great familiarity of expression for the solemn style that becomes the pulpit; and a species of negligence in writing, which denotes the laziness of one who trusts too much to his genius. His instances of wit may be found on the greater part of his pages. His deficiencies in point of dignity, are manifest from his quotation, " Ay, there's the rub!” and in such expressions as, “a literal fool's paradise,”“my life on it,”-and "us poor creatures of the mob.” Of his negligence we give an instance from the 40th page. He observes, “ It is told of one of our celebrated Statesmen, (his name is not recollected, and much less cared for,) that some years ago passing through a part of New England, [or Virginia, he has in a note) and approaching
one of its village churches, he directed to it the notice of his companion, at the same time exclaiming, yonder is one of our public nuisances.' The story may possibly be unfounded: but if true, it is a pity the pitiful libeller had not afterwards reflected, that when the base insult was made public, nothing could have protected him from the rage of an indignant peo
ple, and prevented his disjointed carcase from being Aung to the four winds of heaven, but the very principles of social order regularly inculcated from these public nuisances.” A public teacher, ministering in the name of God, should care for the truth of such an anec, dote, or else he should not relate it from the pulpit. He should take the trouble to recollect, and investigate facts on such a subject; for the narration is evidently designed to have the influence of a veritable statement; and his object would more probably have been gained could he have said, “ I know the name of the person, and of the place in which the contemptuous speech was uttered,” even had he thought proper to conceal both.
If, however, there are many things in this sermon to censure, there are more to commend. It is a continued stream of eloquence, with here and there a rocky bed, producing ripples and a murmuring sound. The lovers of good sense and pulpit eloquence will take the trouble to purchase it: we shall therefore introduce but a single extract more.
“ But I would [should*] be unfaithful to my task, brethren, did I omit another claim they can boldly make to the indul. gence of the man of science. Of the little cultivation which survived the wreck of Roman greatness, the Clergy were the sole patrons and preservers. If literature, from shining as the great orb of day, enlightening and adorning the earth with its beams, dwindled into a dying spark; let it not be forgotten that this spark was preserved from extinction by the Christian Priesthood. I need scarcely state that the word Clergyman is the same with that formerly used to designate one capable of writing, or call to your recollection a fact, still more striking, that in consideration of the absolute need of their literary services to the public, they received the privilege of exemption in many cases from capital punishment.”
To be condemned without the benefit of the clergy, was to be condemned under circumstances in which pardon might not be granted to one, in consideration of his being able to write. May the clergy of our days not be exempted from the civil penalties which any of them
* Our author's misuse of the word would throughout the discourse, more clearly than his name, proves his Scotch origin.
may unhappily incur; but may they all be learned and pious. Among other things, those especially who can write well, we hope will acquire a correct taste, and thereby avoid his example, who says the Catholic Clergymen of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, were “ incarnate damons, whom God Almighty flung into the world to curse it:” p. 37—who represents infidel rulers as not fools enough to believe the gospel, and yet utterly disregard its institutions:--and who in timates that there are ferocious heart-murderers, who please themselves with the sentiment, that God has no mercy on their fellows. p, 42, 45. Should Mr. M'Clelland happen not to be too wise to be improved by the criticism of judicious friends, who have preached the gospel ten or twenty years longer than himself; and should he form habits, and persevere in them, of patient investigation, he will undoubtedly become one of the most eminent divines in America. He is like a young war-horse now, whose neck is clothed with thunder; but he needs much discipline.
ARTICLE VII.-Memoirs of the public character and life of
Alexander the First, Emperor of all the Russias. By Ed. ward Gibbon, Esq. With an Appendix, by Paul Allen, Esq. Baltimore, published by E. J. Coale, 1818. pp. 207. 12mo.
Of the subject of these Memoirs, the editor of the the present edition says, “ He has proclaimed himself the humble disciple of our Redeemer, and cast his diadem at the foot of the cross; labouring with all his might, to maintain peace on earth and good will among men.” If we form our judgment of Alexander from his professions and public actions, we must conclude him to be a benevolent man, and a sincere Christian. In comparison with every other Emperor and King who now occupies a throne, he may be called a paragon. The present King of England is insane; the Prince Regent is a most notorious debauchee and drunkard, who is under the necessity of being painted every
morning that he may appear like something human; the King of France is a superannuated personage, that is under the necessity of being bolstered up on his throne; and as impotent in mind as in body; the King of Spain is just fit to embroider petticoats for an image of the virgin Mary, and prove a curse to his subjects; and all the other potentates of Europe, except Frederick William of Prussia, have very little besides vast revenues, and great vices, to distinguish them from very ordinary men. Alexander is a young man, of fine stature, amiable disposition, cultivated mind, and mighty empire: he is a man professing godliness.
The reports which represent him as having been unchaste may have been well founded; and it is possible too that he may have been concerned, as he is accused of having been, in the plot against the life of his father; for the book before us gives but a lame account of that nefarious transaction; but against his private character for several years past we have heard of no objection; and are ready to think his heart must have been thoroughly changed by the word of grace. A letter from the Rev. Mr. Paterson, resident in Petersburgh, to a preacher belonging to the Society of Friends in London, encourages this opinion, and assures us that sometime in 1812, through the influence of Prince Gal. litzine, the Emperor began seriously to search the holy Scriptures. His allusions to passages of inspiration, and direct quotations from the Bible in most of his subsequent proclamations and letters, prove that he is familiarly acquainted with it. After the memorable destruction of the French army on their retreat from Moscow, he says, “ Let us here cite the words of the holy Psalmist;— I myself have seen the ungodly in great power, and flourishing like a green bay tree. I went by, and, lo! he was gone: I sought him, but his place could no where be found.' Psalm xxxvii. 36, 37.” “Without derogating from the merited glory of the commander in chief of our armies, this distinguished general, [Kutusoff ] who has rendered to his country services for ever memorable, and without detracting from the merits Vol. I.
of other valiant and able commanders, who have distinguished themselves by their zeal and ardour, nor from the general bravery of their troops, we must confess, that what they have accomplished surpasses all human power. Acknowledge, then, Divine Providence in this wonderful event. Let us prostrate ourselves before his sacred throne; and evidently seeing his hand chastising pride and impiety, instead of boasting and glorying in our victories, learn from this great and ter. rible example to be modest and peaceable executors of his law and his will."
We cannot search the heart; but these facts we know, that Alexander has from the commencement of his career of victory, publicly, and in a very becoming manner, acknowledged God in all his national concerns, and that the God of armies has granted him very sig. nal success. These Memoirs are one continued, brief sketch of the accomplishment of his great designs. They evince indeed a strong disposition in Messrs. Gibbon and Allen to eulogize Alexander and to repre. sent Napoleon in the very worst light: but they are va. luable, as a selection of state documents, from which the future biography of the Emperor of Russia may receive important assistance; and as evidence to the reader that God will honour those who honour him. We will admit that the writers of this volume were as partial to Alexander's fame, as Warden to that of Na. poleon; and still it must be admitted than the latter Emperor in his attack on Russia was wholly unjustifiable; and that in repelling him, God fought for the former, with his terrible cold, snows and tempest. It must be admitted, that Napoleon ascribed all his success in his battles to the power of his own genius and the valour of his troops; while Alexander has uniformly attributed the victories he has gained to Almighty God. No wonder, therefore, that a public document, dated April 20th, 1813, should inform us, that,
“ In conformity to directions issued by the Russian government for the complete destruction of the dead bodies of men and horses belonging to the enemy, which fell in battle of