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and to the correctness which the study of rules may impart, will add a happy adaptation to the character and circumstances of men. For this adaptation, as for true eloquence, labor and learning may toil, but they will toil in vain. They cannot compass it. It must exist in the man; and it can be cherished and per fected only by his coming into contact with his fellow men. He must be a slow learner indeed who does not soon discover, that one of the most important rules for preparing profitable sermons in the actual state of a minister's people is, not to be so fettered by any rules respecting the choice of a subject or text, or res pecting the manner of discussion, as to be prevented from embracing a favorble opportunity for impressing religious truth. A correct acquaintance with the scriptures, a mind deeply imbued with their sentiments, good common sense, an affectionate solicitude for the salvation of men, an abiding sense of responsibili ty to God, are the grand requisites for useful preaching. And did a man possessing these, never read Fordyce, Claude, or Campbell, he still might becomes highly valuable minister of the gospel. But of the utility of some helps in this part of a minister's duty, who can doubt? That helps have been sought to an extreme, is painfully evident from the fact that such books as Simeon's Skeletons and Hannam's Pulpit Assistant, have found purchasers. The other ex treme would be, for an unpractised man to neglect all helps. A suitable medium is furnished by Dr. Campbell, whose directions proceed from a correct view of human nature, and are adapted to call forth and invigorate the mental powers of the preacher.'
In these views we most heartily concur; and we hesitate not, to commend the perusal of the Lectures to every candidate for the christian ministry, and the re-perusal of them to all who have entered upon their high and holy work with a desire of being increasingly useful.
The Dialogues of Fenelon concerning eloquence in general, and particularly that kind which is proper for the pulpit, are a valuable accompaniment to the Lectures of Campbell; and it is by studying the two works in connection that the greatest benefit from each will be derived.
The book to which we have now invited the attention of our readers, furnishes abundance of materials for extended discussion; and this, to some extent, is the case with every important production on an interesting subject. But we do not deem it necessary on this occasion to protract our remarks. It is enough to say, and it is not too much, to say that this volume, the product of the good sense and erudition of Campbell, combined with the genius and classic taste of Fenelon, presents, in a lucid and happy manner, many of the most important rules and considerations, on a subject of permanent and thrilling interest to every preacher of the gospel.
Sermons and Sacramental Exhortations; by the late ANDREW THOMSON Crocker & Brewster, J. Leavitt.
THE author of these sermons, though his name has been little known in this country in comparison with those of Chalmers and Wardlaw, stood for more than twenty years, by the general consent of his countrymen, at the head of the established Kirk of Scotland. For this high pre-eminence, he was not indebted to his distinguished abilities alone, great as they certainly were, but in
art to his station as pastor of St. George's church in Edinburgh, and still more to the peculiar adaptation of his powers, to the exsting circumstances of the Scottish Church. Dr. Thomson was a nan of uncommonly strong native sense, bold, ready, and diect on argument; addressing himself to the minds of others on every subject, in a manner which commanded the respect of all, while it was level to the comprehension of the most ordinary mind. Previous to his settlement in the ministry at Edinburgh, it had been the policy of the town council of that city, to translate to its vacant parishes, ministers of considerable age and standing, from among the country clergy. With habits already formed in the early part of their ministry, it was difficult for such men to accommodate themselves to the taste and feelings of a refined and fastidious audience; and the consequence was, that the clergy of Edinburgh had by no means that influence among the literati of the northern metropolis, which was demanded by the interests of evangelical religion. When therefore Dr. Thomsom was called to Edinburgh at the age of thirty, with a style of preaching at once highly aniinated, and argumentative, simple and dignified, pungent and yet conciliating, the impression which he made on the minds of all— even those who had learned in the school of Hume, to despise christianity, was of the happiest kind. Those who are acquainted with a work, entitled Peters' Letters to his kinsfolk, written fifteen years since by Mr. Lockhart, now Editor of the London Quarterly Review, will recollect the high eulogium extorted by the abilities of Dr. Thomson, from one who was equally his enemy in religion and politics. Within a few years after his removal to the parish of St. George's, Dr. Thomson with a direct reference to the sentiments of the literati of Edinburgh, preached a course of sermons on Infidelity, which were afterwards published, and which have passed through a number of editions. These are by far the most powerful productions of his pen, and their influence on the metropolis of Scotland has been great and permanent. He likewise published a number of other volumes of sermons, of less general interest; and the one before us has been compiled by his friends, from the manuscripts which he left behind him at his deIt contains twenty two discourses which may be taken as specimens of his ordinary style of preaching. A single extract is all for which we have room.
There is a power and a magnitude, and a richness in the love of God towards those upon whom it is set, to which the love of the creature cannot even approximate, of which the imagination of the creature could not have formed any previous idea, and which, even to the experience of the creature, presents a subject of inscrutable mystery-a theme of wondering gratitude and praise. Man may Love, man should love, man must love his fellows; but he never did and never can love them like God. His is a love that throws man's into the distance and
the shade. Had he only loved us as man loves, there would have been no salvation-no heaven-no felicity for us-no glad tidings to cheer our hearts;-no promised land on which to fix our anticipations-no table of commemoration and of communion spread for us in the wilderness, to refresh us amidst the toils, and the languishings, and the sorrows of our pilgrimage thither. His violated law must have taken its course; the vials of his wrath must have been poured out; and everlasting, unmitigated ruin must have been our portion. But behold! God is love itself; and his love in all his workings, and in all its influences, and in all its effects, can stoop to no parallel with the best and most ardent of human affections. Guilt, which forbids and represses man's love, awakens, and kindies, and secures God's. Death for the guilty is too wide a gulf for man's love to pass over. God's love to the guilty is infinitely "stronger than death," and spurns at all such limits, and smiles at the agonies and the ignominies of a cross, that it may have its perfect work. God, in the exercise of his love towards our sinful and miserable race, is concerned, where man would be unmoved, indifferent. and cold. God is full of pity, where man would frown with stern and relentiess aversion. God forgives, where man would condemn and punish. God saves where man would destroy. pp. 68–9.
History of the United States; to which is prefixed a brief historical account of our English ancestors, from the dispersion at Babel, to their migration to America ; and of the conquest of South America, by the Spaniards. By NOAH WEBSTER, LL. D. New-Haven: published by Durrie & Peck. price 50 cents.
It is certainly fortunate for our country that so much talent and learning is employed in the preparation of school books. We have school geographies and school arithmetics from men whose attainments in their respective departments of authorship are of the highest order; we have a spelling book from the lexicographer whose work is a standard on two continents; and here we have in this little volume of history designed especially for schools, the result of studies which might have furnished a series of ponderous quartos.
Though this book is designed for the use of schools, it will be found a valuable addition to a library. The well known learning of the author has enriched his work with materials which are not within the reach of all who think that they have read our history. Of the things which have come to pass since the war of the revolution, Dr. Webster has been a personal and close observer; for that period the book is the result not of documentary investigation only, but also, to a great extent, of personal recollections.
TO CORRESPONDENTS.-To a friend who asks whether we believe, that God does all to convert sinners, which is consistent with their free agency,' we answer, No. Though this sentiment may seem to be implied in the former part of the sentence, (bottom of page 258 vol. iii.) yet at the close, the dispensation of the Spirit is especially said to be limited by the divine wisdom and benevolence," not by man's agency.
Our episcopal brother will see by referring to the passage, (vol. iii. 160) that it was of "many," not the "English writers," that we said, "they admit that apos tolic churches were congregational." This surely is true. See Christian Spectator for Dec. 1830.
Vol. IV.--No. 4.
ART. I.-ON RELIGIOUS Joy.
DIFFERENT ages of the church have been marked by a different cast of religious feeling. At some periods, christians have been more active and more joyful in the service of Christ; at other periods they have been led to retire more within themselves, and a gloomier cast of piety has generally prevailed. Every great revival of religion, however, has been an era of light and joy among the followers of Christ, not only increasing the piety of the church, but imparting to it a brighter and more animated aspect. Such was the fact, at the first outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles, at the period of the reformation, and in the days of Edwards and Whitfield; and such, to a considerable extent, is the case at the present time. During the intervals between these periods of light and joy, the piety of the church has worn a less animated and happy aspect. This was particularly the case during the middle ages, when, from the force of peculiar circumstances, the remaining piety of the times assumed a gloomy, ascetic and rigorous character. That character wore off again as true religion revived, and the contemplative piety of the monastery and the cell, gave place to the more active and benevolent spirit of the gospel. In our day, so happily characterized by revivals, and by the various movements of christian benevolence, the people of God are beginning to exhibit a more cheerful cast of piety. In this respect, however, there is room for great improvement, and we are convinced that a purer and more elevated joy will yet diffuse itself through the bosom of the church, as the vital influence of the gospel shall be more and more felt. We have, therefore, thought proper to devote a few pages to this subject, and shall endeavor to show, that the spirit of true religion is, pre-eminently, a joyful
spirit,-explain the nature of christian joy,—advert to some of the causes which go to hinder the joy of christians,—and suggest some reasons why christians should cultivate more of this happy spirit.
I. The spirit of true religion is essentially a spirit of pure and elevated joy.
On this part of the subject we should think it unnecessary to dwell, were it not that most worldly persons, and many even among the children of God, associate an idea of gloom with the solemnities of religion. The fact, indeed, unhappily is, that few* christians live in such a manner, as to exhibit in their lives the true character and tendency of the gospel. To discover that tendency, however, we have only to advert to some of those objects which christianity sets before us. The most prominent of these objects is the true and living God. It brings out to view this great and good being, as he is no where else to be seen. It exhibits him to us in the fulness and harmony, the grandeur and loveliness of his attributes. Now to a heart prepared to love this pure and exalted being, what a source of delight must it be to know that such a being exists; to feel a sweet, settled complacency in his character; and to hold communion with him. What a sublime and holy pleasure is there in contemplating his perfections; in referring all events to his superintending providence; in confiding the interests of our souls, and the interests of the universe, to his hands; in doing his will; in living for his glory. Think of this mighty being; the unity of his nature; his boundless power; his immeasurable knowledge; his eternity, unchangeableness, independence and self-existence; his being the Maker, Lord, and Judge of the universe. And then think that this glorious being, tokens of whose presence and agency are all around you, is possessed of the most perfect moral rectitude; that he is a good being, that this is the sum of his moral character, the true beauty and glory of the divine mind. Think of such a being, we say, and behold him governed unceasingly and forever by infinite unerring rectitude, always doing what is right and good, with all his power and all his knowledge. Now we ask, can there be to the mind of a rational being a purer satisfaction, a sublimer joy, a sweeter or more unbounded blessedness, than is to be found in loving, serving and enjoying such excellence? Is not the spirit of piety, fixed as it is on the true and living God as an object of its contemplations, affections and obedience, pre-eminently a joyful, happy spirit?
What too is that state of mind which is the proper result of believing views of Christ and his mediatorial work,-what but a hap py state? Here we behold the great "mystery" of grace into which the angels desire to look: the true and living God comes down to