Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

war. Against this scourge of the human race, the author inveighs with impressive and convincing energy. · The last pages are employed in applying the general truth to the par-. ticular case of this country, and form the ablest argument that we have seen in favour of an immediate peace. The style of the pamphlet is uncommonly precise and distinct, and not deficient in spirit'; there is however one place, we think, where the word demonstrative is employed instead of dernonstrable. Art. XV. Posthumous Essays. By Mr. Abraham Booth. To which is an

nexed, his Confession of Faith, delivered at his Ordination in Good*man's Fields. 12mo. pp. 105. Price 2s.6d. Button. 1808., THESE Essays so strictly resemble, in their various excellent qualities, - the best of Mr. Booth's theological writings, that they will undoubtedly be received by his admirers with very cordial seelings of satisfaction and gratitude. They are a precious legacy to that militant division of the church, from which, a few days after the bequest, he was dismissed to the vast and innumerable company of its forerunners, who have already fouglit the good fight, who have obtained their triumph, and entered into their rest." A memorial of more sterling value, or more sacred in the estimation of his friends as a last gift of his Christian love, and a final testimony of his unshaken faith and unfaded piety, could certainly not have been be. queathed by the aged and venerable saint. · The volume contains three Essays, I. On the Love of God to his chosen preople, describing it as eternal, free, wise, fervent, steady, and certain . of accomplishing its purposes. II. On a conduct and character formed under the influence of evangelical truth, in which are described the proper and inseparable effects of receiving that truth, as the doctrine of God's love and compassion toward mankind, the doctrine of reconciliation between God and Man, the doctrine of the Redeemer's condescension and abasement for the salvation of sinners, the doctrine of his veneration for the rights of divinę justice, a doctrine intended to glorify God, and a doctrine originating in heaven, preparing for immortality, and conducting to glory. III. Evidences of Faith in Christ, both negatively and positivelo considered. This Essay was left in an unfinished state, to be published or suppressed at the discretion of the intelligent Editor; we fully agree with him, (Pref. p. vii.) that “ to have concealed it, would neither have been just to the memory of Mr. Booth, nor respectful to society.” From this fragment we shall select some valuable remarks ; *. As it would be unwarrantable to affirm, that a full persuasion of interest in Christ, enters into the essence of true faith; so we should be equally far from concluding, that a simple desire to believe is an evidence of believing : or, to use a phrase which, in the account of some, is little short of a theological axiom, That a desire of gràce, is grace. For a well-grounded persuasion of interest in Christ is to be considered rather as a happy effect of believing on the Son of God, than as faith itself. Bei cause the gospel does not exhibit Jesus to an awakened sinner, under the notion of his having died for him, in particular; or so as to warrant an

immediate conclusion, that Christ and all the blessings of grace are his : · but under the consideration of his being a guilty, condemned, perishing

VOL. IV.

[ocr errors]

creature; that the Lord Redeemer is mighty to save, and the only object of hope for the guilty ; that the chief of sinners, the most detestable of human characters, are welcome to him! The first question that should en. gage the awakened sinner's attention, is not, Did Christ die for me, in parti. cular? But, Is he able to save ? And, are the chief of sinnerssinners in similar circumstances with myself-encouraged by the gospel to put their trust in him? For, to rely on the Lord Redeemer, as able to save the very worst of sinners ; as perfectly suitable to relieve the most pressing wants, and as free for the vilest of our apostate race, is, I humbly conceive, the faith of God's elect. The converted sinner has reason, indeed, to infer his interest in Christ; but this is a secondary consideration; and the assurance he has, if it arise from its proper source, is rather a fruit of faith, than faith itself.

« On the other hand, we should not imagine, that a mere desire of grace, is grace ; or, that a simple desire to believe, is believing. This, far from being an axiom of divine truth, or an undoubted theological principle, must not be admitted, without great limitations. If, indeed, there were no such thing as a sinner desiring grace, or desiring to believe in Christ, for any other than holy purposes, it might be allowed in its full extent: for whoever desires an interest in Jesus, to answer all those pun poses which the divine Father intended should be answered by it, may, I think, be justly considered as interested in him: and whoever desires grace, or the sanctilying infuence of the Holy Spirit, that the great end of communicating those influences may be fully anwsered, is, doubtless, a subject of divine grace. But then it is equally manifest, that a sinner may desire. grace, and an interest in Jesus Christ, not because he sees and approves the beauty of holiness, or the excellence and glory of the Lord Redeemer; but because he loves himself, and is desirous of escape ing that misery of which he apprehends himself in danger. To desire Christ and grace, merely because we tremble at the apprehension of dam. nation, and know that we cannot be saved without the great atonement, and the regenerating energy of the Holy Spirit, has nothing spiritual in it. No; it is nothing more than an effort of natural conscience awakened, attended with some degree of knowledge in the system of divine truth. The case of the foolish virgins in the parable, requesting oil of their wiser companions, is, I conceive, a full proof of the point. . .

• I have sometimes heard popular preachers ask their doubting heare ers, Whether they are willing to part with Christ, or to give up their • hope in him? To which they generally suppose the persons addressed will answer ; • No, not for the world ! On which the querists imme

diately infer; · Then you may assure yourselves that Christ is yours.' · But this way of talking seems to be an unscriptural method of relieving

distressed consciences, and extremely fallacious. For what self-righteous person, what profligate in the world, that calls himself a Christian, is willing to give up his hope, or entirely to part with Jesus Christ? No man is, no man can be willing to part with his hope, till he is convinced of its falsehood, and another foundation of hope that appears more eligible be presented to him. Nor can any man, without renouncing the Christian character, hope for eternal happiness, independent of Jesus Christ and his mediation. Even Socinians, who deny the atonement, and almost all the capital truths of the gospel, will not say; "We hope

to be completely saved, without the least assistance from the mediation of Jesus Christ.' pp. 67–71.

We hope to be excused for adding the following passage, from the second Essay.

Some professors of evangelical truth place vital religion so much in : transient illuminations and impressions, especially if they occur in such or such a particular order, and so little in the habitual temper and spirit of which persons are, that they greatly deform the religion of Jesus, and represent Christianity in a very different light from that in which it ! is exhibited by the inspired Writers. The New Testament knows nothing of real Christians, that are habitually of a selfish, envious, and contentious temper. Allowances, indeed, must be made for natural tempers; but not such allowances as would imply that persons who, in their native dispositions, were wolves and serpents, are now real believers, though there be no evidence of a great and remarkable alteration having taken place in “ the spirit of their minds." pp. 50, 51. .

"The Confession of Faith is an elegant and judicious summary of Mr. Booth's religious sentiments.

The handsome appearance of this publication very properly corresponds
to the careful dignity of its style. .
Art. XVI. A Token of grateful Esteem for the Memory of the late Rev.

Cornelius Winter, of Pains wick, Gloucestershire. A Sermon, preached
at Fulwood near Taunton, Jan. 24, 1808. By Thomas Golding. pp. 43.

Price ls. Williams and Co. 1808. -
M R. Golding's Discourse, though arranged like a Sermon, is more

properly an eulogetic Memoir. But a character like that of Mr. Winter, needs only to be displayed ; it supersedes exhortation, and almost precludes comment. We do not therefore blanie Mr. Golding for occupying a portion even of consecrated time, in developing to his hearers the elements of Christian excellence, as they were comprised in the temper and deportment of his revered tutor. A discourse thus formed must of necessity be very interesting and useful. The text is Acts xi. 24. He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith. The words are appropriate ; though Mr. Winter's character, we think, was that of John rather than Barnabas. In classifying the qualities of Mr. W., under the divisions stated in the text, the preacher has involved himself in many logical improprieties; as will be very evident from the following detail. Mr. W. is represented as “a good man,” and more particularly as remarkable for sterling piety, amiableness, including humility, affability, affection, :: fidelity, and for distinguished benevolence; as “ full of the Holy Ghost," and therefore remarkable for great purity of character, a truly devotional mind, and diligent improvement of time ; and “ full of faith," that uniformly actuated his conduct and shone forth with distinguished lustre on particular occasions :--from this exposition, Mr. G. remarks the exemplification here afforded of real excellence, the great loss sustained by the world in the removal of such characters, the duty of endeavouring to occupy the vacancies they leave, and the increasing desirableness of heaven as the resort of all that were excellent on earth. He confirms his applause of Mr.

Winter's character, in many instances, by a pleasing particularity of de· scription, and some characteristic anecdotes ; any farther remarks on it, in

.: Tt 2

this place, would anticipate the account of Mr. Jay's more extensive, publication which will probably appear in our next Number. Art.XVII Riddellian System ; or New Medical. Improvements, containing

a concise Account of the Advantages to be expected therefrom. With some illustrative Examples. By Colonel Riddell. 8vo. pp. 113.

Ridgway, 1808. W HEN a military officer assumes the character “of-a decided improver

on all antecedent medical practice the pubic have a right to inquire when and where he received his medical education, or by what means he obtained such a stock of knowledge as should intitle him to general confi. dence. We have been accustomed to lay some stress on the study of anatomy, surgery, and physic, &c. &c. without which we no more expect to see men skilled in the knowledge and treatment of diseases, than we expect to see good officers without the study of tactics and the art of war. Co. lonel Riddell, on the contrary, says “a man may possess a natural sagacity in the knowledge and treatment of diseases"-which is just as intelligible, as that a man may possess a natural faculty of being learned in the law ! It seems that this natural sagacity, however, is possessed by the Colonel; who offers to public notice, and especially “to the members of both houses of parliament,” what he calls, “ a totally new system of medicine,” requiring the use of no more than three or four” articles in the materia medica, and those well known," for the cure of nearly all the diseases which afflict human nature! This is, at least, a very simple system. His principle is equally simple : that “diseases either originate in the stomach, intestines, and visceral obstructions, or are intimately connected with them!” His principal achievement is, curing all fevers with certainty, and generally in 24 hours. · It seemed necessary for this gentleman, in order to make way for his own nostrum, to raise a degree of prejudice against "a régular education," and the regular practice among medical men.' But, we ask, what has he substituted in their stead? Is the authorsuch an enemy to all mystery" and.cautious secrecy,” that he divulges the whole of his discoveries for the public good? So far from it, that we cannot ascertain what are the medicines he recommends, nor on what terms they may be procured, except that in one place a hint is thrown out, that “government ought to give him a hundred thousand pounds for his secret” and in another place it is /suggested, that he chiefly employs a new preparation of antimony. We shall be very glad to find him establishing by his proposed experiments, to the satisfaction of the Royal College of Physicians, the truth of his theory, and the efficacy of his practice; and would beg leave to advise him, as he is probably not ambitious of the title of quack, to lay his' secret frankly before the public, and trust to its liberality for an ample and honourable remuneration. Art. XXVIII. Remarks suggested by the Perusal of a Pamphlet intituled

Britain independent of Commerce." By P. Williams, Esq. 8vo. pp. 40.

Price 1s. 6d. Tipper. 1808.., THE case of Mr. P. Williams is a good illustration of the approved

maxim, that extremes meet; or that the ignorant and the scientific are equally the advocates of truth, to which the intermediate class of sciolists and pretenders are · hostile. In our apprehension, his general

opinion of Mr. Spence's work is right ; if he wishes to kiow why it is right, he must read Mr. Mill's Answer. Art. XIX. The Devout Observation of National Calamities enforced. A · Sermon, preached at the Independent' Chapel, Blackburn, on Wednes.

day, Feb. 17, 1808, the Day appointed for a National Fast, by Joseph Fletcher, A. M. 8vo. pp. 33. Price Is. Blackburn, Banister ; Williams & Co. 1808. To notice the first publication of a writer, whose talents and piety in

title us to consider him as a valuable recruit in the service of Christian truth, is one of the most gratifying duties of our office. Such a writer is Mr. Fletcher ; his sermon has some of the faults incidental to youth, but it exhibits a mind superior to the ordinary standard, respectably cultivated, and capable of high attainments. His style is elevated and masculine ; perhaps he too much affects, in some instances, a philosophical cast of diction, but it is partly atoned by a philosophical firmness of thought which is not very common among preachers or young writers ; his mature judgement will convince him, that whatever he gains in simplicity he will gain both in energy and in elegance. The following observations are founded on his text, Ps. xlvi. 8. Come, behold the works of the Lord; what desolations he hath made in the earth !-the desolations which result from natural causes, are to be considered as the works of the Lord ; those which arise from the immediate agency of man are to be traced to the appointinent of divine providence-national judgements are the effect of God's displeasure against pational iniquity--the devout observations of national calamities will lead to sincere humiliation before God. On the difa ficult problem of divine providence overruling the voluntary actions of man, which evidently is involved in the propositions here stated, Mr. F. has, touched with caution; he gives the following iilustration.

'. When the malice and envy of Joseph's brethren subjected him to all the evils of slavery in the land of Egypt, no one hesitates to condemn the murderous principles by which they were actuated; the criminality and guilt of their actions receive not the least mitigation from the assurance, that “ God sent him thither to preserve life.” On the contrary, the estimate we forma of their character is founded, as it should be, not on any views of the providențial arrangements of God, or the consequences which were produced by their actions_but upon the intended result of those actions, the motives whence they proceeded, and the direct opposition of their whole conduct tothe most sacred and endear ng obligations.'p. 16.

The following excellent passage affords an important instance, among many others, in which a just metaphysic comes in aid of our religious faith, and affords nutrition to the sentiments of piety:

! When we speak of the operation of natural causes, we shonld ever forget that such operation derives all its power and effect from the immedia energy of God. “I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth, and the earth shall hear the corn and the wine and the oil, and they shall hear Jezreel.”* The natural causes, which remotely and immediately produced “the corn and wine and oil,” are here

* Hosea ii, 22. 26.

« ПредишнаНапред »