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luntary humility and neglecting of the body, you may be only the more clearly proving that you do not hold Christ the head : that you are intruding into things not seen, things with which you are not permitted to intermeddle; that your worship is will-worship; that you. are vainly puffed up by a fleshy mind.' p. 100.
Obsta principiis-resist the first deviations, is the prescription of our duty in regard to every attempt to innovate upon a standard of correct and infallible authority. That standard is the Bible—the word of God in its simplicity and purity. The pestiferous and mortal disorders which have been introduced into the profession and institutions of the Gospel, have originated in the source which is here distinctly pointed out, the adding of new commands and new prohibitions to those which are established in the Bible.' Was it possible for the Author of these discourses to put down a sentiment so just and so weighty as this, without the perception of its censure bearing against the rites and ceremonies of his own Church? Is there nothing of the nature of 'will-worship’ in that communion? What are Sponsors and the sign of the cross in baptism, the compulsion to kneel at the Lord's supper, and numerous other observances and articles bound upon the conscience by the Episcopal Church, but new commands and new prohibitions added to those which
are established in the Bible? The standard to which Mr. Gisborne directs us as of paramount and sole obligation, overrules all pretences of decency and order, how strongly soever they may be alleged, in favour of religious observances and ceremonies which are not authorized by the inspired records of Christian truth. We cannot abandon in any instance this safe and perfect guide to our devotion, but we commit our religious practice to the arbitration of the human will, controlled by feelings ever fertile in their resources and expedients to sacrifice the deinands of faith to the calls of sense. The first innovations on the simplicity of the Christian institute, probably escaped general censure, and took their allotted place with the approbation of many of the pious. How evil was the hour of their admission ! A thousand others were prepared to follow them, and each in its course found acceptance from the same causes in which the primary aberration originated. If the New Testament be sufficient as a rule of practical devotion, and its prescriptions and examples constitute the only directory of Christian worship, it is not within the limits of human duty to enlarge or diminish its requisitions, or to innovate in any measure on its settled ordi
We most completely approve of Mr. Gisborne's declaration, that to add new commands and new prohibitions to those which are established in the Bible is presumptuous conduct in every Christian professor,' and we may properly subjoin that the offence is not less bold and criminal when Christian communities insist on terms utterly unknown to the word of
Christ' as conditions of communion. Compelling to kneel at the Lord's table is as unauthorized by the Christian Scriptures, as are the sacramental observances of the Romish Church. We certainly do not intend to compare the former with the latter : but how great soever may be the difference between them, the authority which prescribes them is the same; they are equally the offspring of a presumptuous will, and differ only in their magnitude of error.
Mr. Gisborne's talents and manner of writing are so well known, his amiable and benevolent spirit are so generally acknowledged, and his piety is so unquestionable, that we have an easy task to discharge in introducing any thing to our readers as the production of his pen ; to approve and to recommend is our duty, and we cheerfully perform it.
We shall add to our extracts the following passage from the application of subjects discussed in the sixth of these discourses, which includes the first seventeen verses of the third chapter of the Epistle.
. Among the circumstances which display the unwillingness of our hearts to receive the lessons of divine truth, there are few more striking than the difference between the manner in which men speak of sin, and that in which thc Scriptures characterize it. Take for an example, covetousness. In many cases covetousness, or the sin under another name, is among men, the subject of praise. Observe a person intent on acquiring money ; toiling late and early in the business of his station for that object; eagerly seeking, and never neglecting opportunities of effecting a profitable bargain; continually revolving in his mind plans for the improvement of his property; and for the same purpose watching every article of his expences, and by saving, as well as by gaining, habitually pressing forward his favourite design, and manifestly having his heart fully fixed upon it. If this man pur: sues his course silently, keeps clear of palpable dishonesty, is careful to avoid notorious shabbiness, and causes little offence by other parts of his character, you hear the world commending him. His darling sin takes the colour of a virtue. He is applauded as a man of prudence, of frugality, of diligence, of perseverance, and of under. standing in his business. How speaks the Scripture of this man? It declares that he is the slave of sin; that his ruling principle is Covetousness, for which thing's sake the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience ; for which thing's sake, unless before his death he be changed into a new man, the wrath of God shall rest upon him through all eternity. Again.; suppose another person's covetousness to be so gross and offensive that the world agrees in blaming it. In what manner and on what accounts do men generally blame it? They commonly censure it as injurious to his reputation or to his comfort, or to the comfort and the benefit of others. They pronounce it mean, pitiful, disgraceful, infamous. * What a wretch, they exclaim,“ not to have the spirit to enjoy the wealth which he
possesses! What a miser, to wear such coarse apparel, when he s might command elegance of dress : to live in so old and inconve“nient a house, when he might build a new and spacious mansion,
“ without feeling himself the poorer : to mope in solitude when he “ has every fashionable amusement within his reach: to spend only to such a sum within the year, when he can afford to disburse three
times the amount ! His family too”--they add--" how does he “ pinch them! Articles of indulgence are out of the question. It is “ well if his household can obtain necessaries. Then as to his neigh“ bours. With such power of doing good he scarcely ever gives
away a farthing. And as to his country, he contrives to escape “ almost every public burden: and his treasures closely locked up “ from circulation, are of as little advantage to the community as " they could be were they sunk in the ocean.". Is it under these views, however just some of them may be, is it by these particulars, sinful as some of them are, that the Scriptures mainly teach you to abhor covctousness? What is their language ? Covetousness is idolatry. They point at once to the real sinfulness of sin ; the breach of God's commandment, the opposition to the will and the authority of God; the love of a worldly object in preference to God. Herein con. sists the heinousness of covetousnes; that it robs the Lord our God of his dominion over our hearts, makes us worshippers of money, makes us idolaters like the Heathen.' p. 114, 116. Art. IX. 1. A Combined View of the Prophecies of Daniel, Esdras, and
St.John ; shewing that all the Prophetic Writings are formed upon one Plan. Accompanied by an Explanatory Chart. Also, a Minute Explanation of the Prophecies of Daniel; together with Critical Remarks upon the Interpretations of preceding Commentators, and more especially upon the Systems of Mr. Faber and Mr. Cunninghame. By James Hatley Frere, Esq. 8vo. Price
12s. Hatchard. London. 2. Remarks on the Efusion of the Fifth Apocalyptic Vial, and the
bate extraordinary Restoration of the Imperial Revolutionary Govern. ment of France; to which is added, A Critical Examination of Mr. Frere's Combined View of the Prophecies of Daniel, Esdras, and St. John. By G. S. Faber, B.D. Rector of Long Newton. Rivington. London. IT is, perhaps, hardly fair to suffer Views of the Prophecies to
run the risk of becoming obsolete, by delaying a notice of their ingenious contents, till the figures on the title page point to a year gone by. It would seem as though one durst not encounter the predictive explanations of the adventurous Author, before time had passed upon them his most impressive critique, and saved us the trouble of cautiously balancing probabilities, at the hazard of being charged either with credulity or with scepticism.
The last years of the history of the European nations, have been productive of events of a most astonishing nature, and which are well calculated to direct the attention of mankind in a more than ordinary degree to the consideration of the Scripture prophecies which relate to the “ Latter Days ;" and learning and piety are not employed unworthily, as some are too ready to think, when they are engaged in searching out and illustrating the meaning of these interesting portions of the sacred records. It should seem that there are, in the present times, some intimations, that the better days spoken of by the inspired prophets, are not quite so distant as many persons are inclined to imagine ; and when, therefore, there is put into our hands, a book that treats of these important subjects, we cannot but feel a somewhat more than ordinary anxiety concerning the qualifications of the writer to accomplish what he undertakes. We are desirous of knowing, not only whether he is pious and learned, but whether he possesses a sound judgement and a well regulated imagination; whether truth alone is the object of his search ; and whether his mind is free from an improper bias. And as Mr. Frere's “ Combined View of the Prophecies,” has been spoken of as a favourite production in certain circles, we very naturally felt the full force of this anxiety, when we commenced the perusal of it. We are, however, obliged to say, that we had not turned many leaves over, before a suspicion was excited that the Author, whatever may be his piety or bis learning, exhibited too little judgement, and too much political bias, to encourage a well grounded hope of our receiving any satisfactory information.
Of his fanciful arrangement of the Apocalyptic prophecies, and which is totally devoid of every thing like analogical reasoning, we need say nothing, as Mr. Faber, in bis Critical Ex
amination," has so satisfactorily and completely shewn its fallacy; we shall therefore confine the few remarks we have to make on Mr. Frere's production, to the general character and spirit of the interpretations and applications of particular prophecies, as we think that Mr. Faber's critical strictures are defective on these points; a deficiency, however, which we are disposed to ascribe to other and better causes than to approbation of the sentiments advanced, or to indifference for the dishonour and contempt to which the sacred prophecies are exposed by some of Mr. Frere's comments and illustrations.
There are in Mr. Frere's book, we readily aduit, some insulated things which are very good; and it may indeed be read with advantage by those who are qualified io examine it with due discrimination, and are thus in no danger from the fatal impressions which some parts of it are too much calculated to produce. We can have no doubt that the explanations which the Author bas given, are his own convictions ; but if it were possible to suppose that a person of Mr. Frere's respectability, could, from any secular motives, pervert the holy prophecies to give countenance to the alleged necessity and justice of the late destructive and ruinous war, which raged for near twenty-four years, his readers might be tempted to entertain suspicions of a somewhat unfavourable nature.
Some, though indeed they are but few, of the opinions which he advances, and also some of the illustrations for which he contends, are such as tend to manifest that the prevailing tone and character of his interpretations proceed from defect of judgement, and a strong political bias, rather than from incorrect motives. Such, for instance, as his illustration of the symbolical number 1260 days, or years, during which the saints were to be delivered into the hand of the little horn of Daniel. These years, he argues, are to be dated from March, A. D. 533, when the Edict of Justinian against Heretics was published ; and that they must therefore end between March, 1792 and March, 1793. That the seventh angel sounded his trumpet to bring the destruction of the Papacy, and of the papal kingdoms, in August, 1792, when the French Monarchy fell, and which destruction is to be completed in 1822. Of the same nature also is his statement that the reign of the saints commenced when the seventh trumpet was blown, that then the war and calamities commenced which are to effect the predicted ruin ; and that Jesus Christ will come in a cloud with great power and glory at the end of Daniel's thirty years, or in the year 1822. (pp. 187, 206.) This, it must be adınitted, does not look like courting the favour of the men who commenced, or carried on a destructive and ruinous war, to defend those thrones which, Mr. Frere says, are all to be overthrown; men who have the good things of this world to bestow on their friends and advocates. But how Mr. Frere can, at the same time, entertain these opinions, and yet approve of the late protracted and dreadful war, is for him to explain ; to us it seems a mystery that opinions so discordant should occupy the same mind.
But we must however notice, that although Mr. F. entertains the above opinions, and allows that England was one of the kingdoms signified by the ten toes of the Great Image, (Dan. ü.) and by the ten horns of the fourth beast, (Dan. vii.) yet he believes that this country has nothing to fear from the destruction which is to fall on those kingdoms, for we are, he says,
• The favoured protestant nation which now stands in the place formerly occupied by the Jewish nation as the chosen people people of God, represented-by the 144000 sealed ones, Rev. vii.-as having been taken at the commencement of the present period of trouble under the peculiar protection of the Almighty, and as being throughout this period victorious and successful over its enemies.'. p. 114.
We are, also, not only the people signified by the 144000 , in Rev, vii.; but those intended by the 144000 palm-bearing virgins, in chapter xiv., described as rejoicing in the destruction of the enemies of the Church. How he makes all this out, especially as to our rejoicing, as he has not told us, we