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perhaps unusually, diffident in an account of the motives which have led to this publication. Perhaps he thought that the world was well nigh deluged and surfeited with such performances. Whether he did, or did not, we can conscientiously assure him that there will be always a snug corner, in this wide world, for a volume which breathes so pure a spirit of Christian benevolence,and of orthodox doctrine, as that which he has just produced. This Advertisement shall now speak for itself:
"It has been chiefly in consequence of the solicitations of many Individuals of those Congregations, to whom the present Volume is inscribed, that these Sermons now see the light. The Author is, however, abundantly sensible that a compliance with such solications may be considered rather as an apology than a justification for submitting them to the attention of the Public; nor is he less impressed with a conviction that these Discourses are sufficiently brief, plain, and unpretending. They aspire indeed to no praise beyond that of sincerity and soundness of doctrine; and as bearing testimony of the Author's affectionate veneration for THAT CHURCH, in the principles of which he has been educated, and in the faith of which he hopes to live and to die."
These Sermons are XXXVI in number, under the following titles:
"1. The Preaching of Christ Jesus the Lord.-2. Doers of the Word, and not Hearers only.-3. The Christian Pastor and his Flock.-4. Observance of the Sabbath-day-5. On the same Subject.-6. Awake from Sleep, and Christ shall give Light.-7. On the Sacrament.-8. On Christmas Day.-9. Pure and Undefiled Religion.-10. Good and True of Heart. -11. Right Use of Riches.-12. The Wedding Garment.-13. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.-14. The Death of Israel.— 15. The Love of many shall wax Cold.— 16. The ten Lepers-Gratitude to God.— 17. Holy Conversation and Godliness.-18. The Death of Absalom.-19. The Truth shall make you Free.-20. It is good to be Afflicted.-21. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.-22. Deliverance from the Body of this Death.-23. The Force of Truth.-24. Parable of the Ten Virgins.-25. Our Saviour and Nicodemus.-26. Be not conformed to this World.-27. Rest to the Heavy Laden.38. As we sow we shall reap.-22. Blessed are they that Mourn.-30. On Prayer.31. We must wait till our Change come.32. Proper Influence of the Resurrection of Christ.-33. Leptosy of Naaman.—
34. Character of Barzillai-Of Old Age. -35. Character of Youth.-36. Charity Sermon for the Infirmary at Brighton."
As the Author has called his Discourses "doctrinal and practical," we shall keep this definition in view in our examination of them. The first three Sermons are exclusively doctrinal; and relate to the Preaching of Christ Jesus the Lord: Doers and not Hearers of the Word, and the respective situations and duties of the Christian Pastor and his Flock. These are very properly, we conceive, brought forward as fundamental points of doctrine; and are each of infinite importance in the scale of morality and religion. The first Sermon, however-which appears to be written with great care and consideration, is almost provokingly short. could have wished at least for another half sheet upon this interesting topic; and are quite sure that Mr. M'Creery, the printer, would have united his wishes to our own. However, as far as it goes, we heartily say Amen' to the doctrine contained in it; and hasten to lay before our readers a specimen of the tone of sentiment which it breathes.
"If, however, the anxious believer, or the curious observer, demand an explanation of the proper preaching of Christ Jesus, I reply with beseeching him to estimate every thing by the good or evil fruit produced. That doctrine must be inculcated which CHRIST, and not his Apostles only, inculcated: that conduct must be the result of such doctrine, which is assimilated in some degree to the conduct of Christ. Fervent professions, and rapturous exclamations are, alone, the mere ebullitions of a discomposed state of intellect: they sig. nify nothing, unless they are influenced and supported by an irreproachable life. We must repent of our sins: and the sincerity of that repentance can only be proved by the leaving of our sins, and turning our hearts and souls unto God and his laws.' If the wicked will turn from all the sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die said the Almighty by the lips of his prophet Ezekiel ! And what does Christ himself observe? Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.' Can language be stronger, or precept more commanding than this? In Christ Jesus,' says St. Paul, 'neither circumcision
cumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.' Again; 'if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: that is, not his opinions only, but bis conduct also is wholly altered ;-he goes about doing good; he is meek, patient in tribulation, yet confident and undaunted in his course of action; he renders to temporal powers the things which are due to temporal powers, and unto God the things that exclusively belong to Him. He does not unrelentingly consign to damnation those who may be guilty of venial errors, but he gives hopes to the despondent and energy to the weak. He is not the first to throw the stone at a delinquent; nor does he, when prostrate in prayer, thank his Maker for not being like 'adulterers or extortioners,' but, smiting upon his breast, he exclaims, God be merciful to me a sinner!'"
The thirteenth Sermon, which is also exclusively doctrinal, and relates to the Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, contains a passage which may be well connected with the preceding; and from which, we clearly perceive, that the Author is a decidedly AntiEvangelical.
The ministers of Christ's Gospel importune you with the same earnestness to lay aside the carnal appetites, and to be anxious only for spiritual comforts. This doctrine must ever be inculcated by those, who properly appreciate the force and tendency of the Gospel, and to whom the everlasting happiness of a Christian's soul is dear. Let me, therefore, at the out-et of these remarks, beseech you to believe, that those to whom the functions of the church, as by the laws of this country established, are entrusted, shew an equal earnestness, have an equal interest, an equal glory, in the propagation of gospel and apostolical doctrines, as any religious sect upon the face of the globe-however that seet may assume to itself an affected holiness, or win upon the minds of uninstructed hearers by the felicities which it holds out to the elect, and by the speciousness of its opinions upon faith, unsupported by works!
"We call upon you, equally with any sect or profession, to put on Christ Jesus the Lord. We preach not ourselves, but the same heavenly preceptor. Yet, my brethren, we should be ashamed to address our flock every revolving sabbath, if our Lives did not, to the best of frail human nature's exertions, correspond with our professions, and our doctrine here deli. vered. Never fail to consider that it was by the exhibition of practical virtues, by the constant, daily manifestation of all those delightful accomplishments, and still more delightful principles, which render man
a being worthy of the God who created him, that our blessed Saviour shone para, mount to every preceding and every suc ceeding human character. It was not, with him, a perpetually recurring maxim or speech-only want or wish, and the thing shall be granted you. It was, on the contrary, act as well as profess; put your hand to the plough, and do not look backwards: do not behold a wounded fellow creature, and pass by him on the other side; but come and relieve him; pour oil into his wounds, and wine into his body; sustain, uprear, comfort, attend him; put him upon his beast in short, take care of him. And, my brethren, we best evince the care we have for your soul's welfare, when we not only pray and preach, but act well; when we carry the ark of the Lord with us whithersoever we go-when we forgive our brethren, and assist in the conversion of infidels and sceptics. If it be only one sect who preach the Gospel, what do the others preach ?-If we are said not to be preachers of the word, what is it that we do preach; and from what sources are our texts and observations taken?The BIBLE is, I thank God, in this place of worship, as honestly opened, and as honestly expounded, as in any to which Christians resort; and whatever be the deficiencies of these my exhortations, they are abundantly supplied by the discourses of my Associates in the same career.
"These remarks will not be considered irrelative by those, who know how much opinions of a certain complexion are apt to warp the judgment of hearers, and to counteract the influence which they should feel; for no discerning and reflecting mind will tolerate the supposition, that the ministers of the church of this country cannot be the minister of the church planted by GoD and his SON JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD."
Indeed, in his first Sermon upon the Observance of the Sabbath-Day-for he has two upon this subject—he enters fairly and fully into the meaning, scope, and tendency of the word Evangelical; and we think our readers will thank us for laying the passage before them.
"But while you are thus determined to build on the rock of Christianity, and zealously to imitate those exemplary instances of piety and holiness, take care, my beloved brethren, not to be carried about with diverse and strange doctrines. We are cautioned not to be agitated by every breath that disturbs the intellectual world. Keep your feelings under the guidance of reason and sound judgment. Direct your pursuits to sober and attainable ends: nor mistake every blind impulse for partial inspiration. This it is my duty particuJarly to enforce, because we live in times
when religion assumes very many forms; and when the pure, practical precepts of our blessed Saviour are frequently ex-, changed for those fanciful and chimerical Dotions which now assume the exclusive and imposing title of EVANGELICAL doctrine. Nothing is so apt to mislead as new and extraordinary names which perhaps are not sufficiently considered or understood. The term evangelical, to one who bas any knowledge of the Greek language, (the word being purely Greek), signifies well-declared, well-sent, or made known. It may be also called glad tidings, or joyful news. St. Matthew,
St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. Johu, are called EVANGELISTS; because they are supposed to have been especially appointed, or inspired by heaven, to make known the glad tidings of the Gospel, or the doc. trine of Christ. Why, therefore, has not the doctrine of the Church of England, as by law established, as full and strong a right to be termed evangelical, as that of the seceders from our forms of worship, and our notions of Gospel revelation? Whence take we our texts?-from the book of man, or the book of God? the latter most assuredly-for the Bible, From as comprehending the Old and the New Testament, we solemnly believe, at our ordination, and at all times, to be the Statute book of heaven! We endeavour, to the best of our talents, to explain, to illustrate, and to enforce this sacred gift of God to man; and even aver that good works form the test of a right faith in Christ; for he 'went about doing good.' No one, in our humble apprehension, cau be supposed to have learnt Christ properly, who does not shew the fruits of his learning by a vir tuous and religious life. At the latter day we shall be known by our fruits, as well as by our faith and not simply by our cjaculations of Lord, Lord!'”
Mr. Dibdin's decided partiality to that Church, which he has so manfully declared to be at once the object of his attachment, and the rule of his faith-(in the Advertisement) is more particularly avowed in his secoud Sermon-upon Doers of the Word, and Hot Hearers only-with the following passage from which we shall conclude our present extracts: except that we are half tempted to subjoin the conclusion of his third Sermon upon the Christian Pastor and his Flock. How ever we fear our limits will compel us to be contented with the former only. "There is a notion which very generally but unjustly prevails, that the Discourse from the Pulpit, and not the previous Church Service, is to be the principal obGENT. MAG. January, 1820,
ject of attention. But this opinion is palpably fallacious on grounds only: 1st, do we suppose that the two following these prayers were composed as a mere matter of form ?-that they contain in them nothing which affects our condition, increases our faith, and promotes our spiritual welfare? Have these prayers no connexion with heavenly truths? Is the BIBLS never opened in the course of their ing their performance? perusal? Is the GOSPEL never read durAre they explawritten word of God? On the contrary, natory of no doctrine as revealed in the they abound in sacred matter, and a very material part of them is closely connected with scriptural truths. But yet, exclusive of this consideration, and admitting that it is perfectly a human composition, what sort of language, and what sort of doctrine, does this composition convey? Read those excellent writers who have treated ou vinced by the force of the liturgy itself, our liturgy; and if you cannot be conbut are nevertheless still open to conviction, let them convince you of the purity and excellence of our Church Service. And it would be well, if, on the Sabbath, and on other days, we devoted only a small portion of our many unprofitable leisure hours, in perusing and meditating upon works of this nature; for let it not be supposed that our duty to God ceases when we quit this place of worship.
"So much for the first ground, in refutation of the opinion we form of the insuf-, ficiency of the liturgy. On the second ground let me ask you, supposing that these prayers do not contain in them one sentence immediately from the Bible, let me ask if they are in consequence necessarily iuferior to the discourse, or sermon, only with human composition, surely there delivered? If you are willing to be pleased can be nothing delivered in this particular place, to be put in competition with what you hear before you are addressed by
None of us can be so vain and presumptious to suppose that any, the most of comparison with those rational, pure, successful of our efforts, deserve the name give as it were the sanction of the Deity to pious, and truly religious effusions, which the ENGLISH CHURCH. These latter are, those prayers constituting the service of truth, so happily arranged, and so happily in ceive a case of human accident to which expressed, that it is barely possible to conthey do not apply, or of human infirmity neral unfeigned confession of our sins; and for which they do not administer consolation. They call upon us to make a gethey implore, in consequence, the mercy of heaven to absolve us from their intolerable burden. And are these things, my brethren, not worth attending to? Can
we be listless hearers of these things, and
The foregoing may suffice as a specimen of the Doctrinal part of these Sermons; although that upon the Sacrament well merits particular notice and approbation.
his head as high, in this his new career as in that wherein he has been long considered triumphant-his step will nevertheless be as firm, and the result of his exertions as useful.
In p. 272, last line but 9, we suspect the words "afflictions," is an error of the press, for "fellow-creatures."
5. Three Sermons on Infidelity, preached at
THESE Discourses (from John, vi. 68, 69) are admirably well-calculated to counteract the mischievous doctrines now in circulation. They are not only learned and argumentative, but so elegantly plain as to be adapted to every capacity; and are introduced by an affectionate address from Dr. Butler to his Pupils, in which bhé judiciously says,
From me you will be removed into a wider sphere of society, and will gradually mix with that world of which I am anxious that you should now be trained as useful If, among the and virtuous members. various dangers and temptations it presents, your minds should be assailed by those who would shake your faith, and teach you that the restraints of Christianity are grievous and its evidences imperfect, the warning voice of one whom you have known in early years, and who trusts that
Thus we perceive that, in the midst of all his Bibliography, or rather Archæological researches connected with literature and the fine arts—while half the more eminent engravers at home, and several of the first celebrityabroad, are occupied in the two great works*, so long and so anxiously in progressand which the public may expect at the conclusion of the present yearMr. Dibdin has found time, as well as inclination, to present the several Flocks which he has addressed, for the Jast twelve yearst from the pulpit, you will then reflect on his cares for your with a printed manual of his profes sional labours: that they may with their eyes, and examine by their unbiassed judgments, what has been delivered to them by the more captivating, yet more treacherous, channel of the ear. We are quite sure, however some of our severer Brethren uay carp at what they may conceive to be grammatical slips and unmusical periods-that the Author will fully bear the test of the examination alJuded to; aud that if he hold not up
A Prospectus of these two Works, with a list of Mr. Dibdin's previous publications, are printed at the end of the Ser
welfare with some warmth of affection, may, perhaps, for these reasons, still have weight; and if it can contribute to preserve any of you firm in those principles of religion in which you have been educated, he will reap his exceeding great
A cheap Edition of these Sermons is announced; and we doubt not that they will be widely circulated.
6. Obedience to the Government a Religious
powers," &c. the Preacher very forcibly inculcates the duty of submission to the constituted authorities of the State, both Civil and Ecclesiastical; and thus concludes:
"We of this country have more especial cause to give thanks to Almighty God, the disposer of all events, “at whose command nations and empires rise and fall, flourish and decay," for suffering our lot to fall under such a constitution as we enjoy; and that these blessings may be continued to us, let us beseech him that those who act here on earth as his vicegerents inay ever have his favour and protection, and be endued with such wisdom, strength, and firmness, as may enable them, heedless of popular remonstrances, effectually to beat down sedition wherever it rears his snaky crest, and to crush the monster in its first efforts to spread abroad ruin and desolation." pp. 22, 23.
7. Memoirs of the Public and Private Life of the Right Hon. R. B. Sheridan, with a particular Account of his Family and Connexions. By John Watkin‹, LL. D. 2 vols. 8vo.
BIOGRAPHY is of much importance in developing the characters of public persons, and unfolding the secret springs of complicated events. In the present work the author appears to have risen superior to the influence of party, and has been careful to represent actions as he found them, and to discover the real causes out of which they sprang. The late Mr. Sheridan may be considered as a most prominent character, by the splendour of his eloquence, the brilliancy of his wit, and the versatility of his powers. A genuine narrative, therefore, of the particulars of the life of the Author of the "School for Scandal" could not fail of being highly acceptable to the literary, as well as to the political world.
The first volume is divided into sixteen chapters, besides the introduction, which contains an account of the antiquity of the family of Sheridan, memoirs of Dr. Thomas Sheridan, and anecdotes of Dean Swift; but these we pass over in order to keep in view the principal and chief character of the work.
If it be true what Plutarch, in his Life of Demosthenes, asserts, that the "first requisite to happiness is, that a man be born in a famous city," Mr. Sheridan may be said to have been happy even from his cradle, for he
was born in October, 1751, in Dorsetstreet. Dublin, and baptized on the 4th Nov. in the parish church of St. Mary. His mother had the charge of his early education, and when she placed him under the care of her cousin, Mr. S. Whyte, she observed that she had brought him a subject for the trial of his patience, as he had nearly exhausted hers by his impenetrable dulness. At this time the subject of these memoirs had nearly attained his seventh year, and this anecdote confirms the idea of that constitutional indolence which accompanied Mr. Sheridan through life. In August, 1759, young Sheridan arrived in England from Dublin, and the same complaint of sluggish indifference to learning coutinued to be made by his mother, who, in a letter to Mr. Whyte, thus expresses herself:
"My son, thank God, arrived safe and well. I can't say he does his preceptor as much credit as George Cunningham does, for his progress has been small, for eighteen months; but, m's'ake me not: [don't say this, as it is too much the absurd custom of parents, by way of throwing a reflection on their teacher, of whose care and abilities I am perfectly satisfied: it is the interest of the master to do every thing to the best of his power for the advantage of his pupils,"
His mother now again took her favourite son under her care, and had the satisfaction of seeing her labours attended with success.
In the beginning of 1762, R. B. Sheridan was sent to Harrow School, then under the snperintendance of Dr. Sumner, but his progress was not calculated to remove the unfavourable estimate which his mother had formed of his abilities and diligence. Among his contemporaries at school, were some who have shone with splendour and utility in public life, but these were not his companions; and, in consequence of his indifference to learning, he was regarded by the superior boys with coutempt. This treatment, however, would sometimes provoke exertion which indicated native genius that only wanted a proper stimulus and cultivation to become eminent; and this did not escape the observation of Dr. Samuel Parr, who was one of the under-teachers of the school, who, perceiving in Sheridan strong powers of retention and an acuteness of penetration, generously undertook