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inspiration for our guide, exclaiming with the confidence of faith, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" that we are reconciled to the transaction. Divine Providence, we will suppose, suffers a virtuous and unoffending man to become the victim, a willing victim, for the deliverance of his country, This is, perhaps, as favourable an analogy as we can imagine. The greatness of the object, and the willingness of the victim, invest the sacrifice with peculiar dignity. We cannot take an example more nearly approaching to our author's theorem, that it appears from the analogy pointed out in the holy Scriptures between the Divine and human governments, that though a just and righteous penalty cannot be gratuitously remitted, yet it may be commuted by the substitution of another, under certain circumstances, in the place of the offender." Now we will not say that the analogy in the case just supposed has no weight; but we must think it not wholly satisfactory till our
author assures us that there is no latent feeling passing through the mind that injustice was committed; injustice on the part of those who required or accepted this innocent victim as a substitute for his guilty countrymen. It might be a fact that he suffered (and this shews by analogy that God may permit the innocent to suffer); but was it right so far as respected those at whose instance he suffered? Ought they to have demanded or received such a commutation? Natural justice says not; and so far from the permission of Providence being construed into a direct sanction, a divine, in alluding to the event, would probably feel it necessary to vindicate the ways of God by shewing that on earth virtue and vice are not suitably punished or rewarded, but that the day of final judgment will solve all difficulties and reveal to every man an award according to his deeds. We think that our author has in the course of his argument not
sufficiently distinguished between sanction and permission: if he confine himself to the former, he will find it difficult to discover an adequate analogy; if he include the latter, there is nothing, however monstrous, that might not be paralleled. We think it best, therefore, though not absolutely rejecting even this portion of the argument, to rise above it; to say frankly that the atonement of Christ is a transaction of its own kind,-not to be accounted for, or even rendered plausible to the eye of the objector, by any analogy whatever; an event unexampled, and the only evidence for which is the word of God. If that word is denied, we fall back upon our proofs of its inspiration; and in this field there is no danger of defeat. We admit all subsidiary analogies, as we have already shewn; but the great majestic truth must still for ever rest, where our respected author has most substantially placed it, on the plain, palpable declarations of Holy Writ. If the Socinian rejects these, we cannot undertake to convince him, or even materially to soften his prejudices.
Sermons. By the Rev. J. JONES, M.A., Minister of St. Andrew's Church, Liverpool. 1 vol. 8vo. London. 1829.
OUR readers will have been enabled to form their own judgment of this volume of scriptural and very practical and useful discourses, from the specimen (slightly abbreviated in a few places), in our present Number, under the head of a Family Sermon. We have not, perhaps, selected the best; but some of them being interwoven with such topics as "the minister's joy," or discussions on unfulfilled prophecy relative to the Millennium, seemed less adapted for a discourse for domestic instruction. Mr. Jones inclines to think that Christ will reign personally on earth a thousand years, and that
the resurrection of the just will occur previous to this great consummation. We ourselves are not convinced of the correctness of either of these inferences; but we cannot but admire the humble, ingenuous, and edifying manner in which Mr. Jones has introduced his remarks upon them. His chiliasm is connected with no extravagance of sentiment; but is set forth in conjunction with those fundamental doctrines and duties which, whether peculiar systems of prophetical interpretation be true or false, must ever constitute the great staple of evangelical instruction.
We rejoice to see such truly pastoral volumes multiplying around us; whether, as Mr. Jones modestly expresses of his own publication, for the welfare of a minister's own affectionate and beloved flock, or in the wide circulation which, in this age of large and rapid publication, can await comparatively few volumes of sermons. St. Andrew's church was erected some fourteen years ago, by Mr. Gladstone, of Liverpool, at a time when that large and populous town was lamentably deficient in church accommodation, and when the difficulties in the way of opening new churches were almost insuperable. The discourses before us do honour to his appointment of Mr. Jones as the minister; and we shall rejoice to hear that from the pulpits of the churches now erecting in that and other populous places, are heard equally sound and faithful instructions.
The Veracity of the Five Books of Moses, argued from the undesigned Coincidences to be found in them when compared in their several Parts. By the Rev.J.J. BLUNT, Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. 1 vol. 6s. 6d. London. 1830.
We envy the man, if such a one there be, who, remembering his glow of exultation when first in his boy
hood he arrived at the Q. E. D. of the 47 th of the first book of Euclid, has never chanced to read Paley's Hora Paulina; for that man has a pleasure in reserve, which all who have enjoyed it would be glad to renew. The infidel may deny that St. Paul and the writer of the Acts of the Apostles were inspired; but he would sadly discredit his own reasoning powers, it after weighing Paley's coincidences he professed to doubt whether they narrated actual facts; and the facts being proved, one very important advance is secured in the argument for the inspiration of the sacred text.
Mr. Blunt has followed with no unworthy step in the path of his illustrious predecessor. His success in the little volume before us must, however, be measured not by what Paley achieved in a more fruitful field, but by what was possible in the present instance; for the brief and rapid narrative of Moses could not be expected to offer so prolific a harvest of coincidences as the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline Epistles, which dovetail into each other with the most remarkable accuracy. We must not measure the skill or diligence of our Pentateuchal traveller, by the mere number or brilliancy of the gems which he has discovered in this new region; especially as he has succeeded in collecting sufficient to shew that there are rich mines of truth below the surface; and even if a critical mineralogist should think that some of his specimens are doubtful, the general result of his researches will not be affected.
We have cut open the book too late in the month to allow of our giving an adequate sample of the curious coincidences discovered by the author; we shall therefore treasure these for another department of our work in a future Number; and shall, content ourselves for the present with a portion of his argument to prove that there was a primitive patriarchal church; with its temple, its priest, its sacerdotal
dress, its holy seasons, its preachers, its prophets, its laws, its sacri. fices, and its types; with the Messiah in prospect as a leading feature of the whole dispensation, as in retrospect he is of the dispensation that succeeded. This opinion the author grounds on a variety of incidental notices in the Book of Genesis, which he considers as "coincidences without design," thus proving the consistency and the truth of the Mosaic narrative. These we for the present pass over, and quote only the glowing and eloquent passage relative to the types and promise of the patriarchal church. Our readers will readily supply the Scripture references.
"Then as the patriarchal church had her sacrifices, so bad she her types-types which in number scarcely yield to those of the Levitical law, in precision and interest perhaps exceed them. For we meet with them in the names and fortunes of individuals whom the Almighty Disposer of events, without doing violence to the natural order of things, exhibits as pages of a living book in which the promise is to be read-as characters expressing His counsels and covenants writ by His own finger-as actors, whereby he holds up to a world, not yet prepared for less gross and sensible impressions, scenes to come. It would lead me far beyond the limits of my argument were I to touch upon the multitude of instances, which will crowd, however, I doubt not, upon the minds of my readers. I might tell of Adam, whom St. Paul himself calls the figure' or type of Him that was to come.' I might tell of the sacrifice of Isaac (though not altogether after him whose vision upon this subject, always bright though often baseless, would alone have immortalized his name)-of that Isaac whose birth was preceded by an annunciation to his mother -whose conception was miraculous-who was named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb, and Joy, or Laughter, or Rejoicing was that namewho was, in its primary sense, the seed in which all the nations of the earth were to be blessed--whose projected death was a rehearsal (as it were), almost two thousand years beforehand, of the great offering of all-the very mountain, Moriah, not chosen by chance, not chosen for convenience, for it was three days' journey from Abraham's dwelling-place, but no doubt appointed of God as the future scene of a Saviour's passion too--a son, an only son the victim-the very instruments of the oblation, the wood, not carried by the young men, not carried by
the ass which they had brought with them, but laid on the shoulders of him who was to die, as the cross was borne up that same ascent of Him, who, in the fulness of time, was destined to expire upon it. But indeed I see the promise all Genesis through, so that our Lord might things concerning himself; and well might well begin with Moses in expounding the Philip say, We have found him of whom Moses in the Law did write.' I see the promise all Genesis through, and if I have patriarchal worship out of the fragments constructed a rude and imperfect temple of which offer themselves to our hands in that history, the Messiah to come is the Spirit that must fill that temple with His all-pervading presence, none other than He must have reared. For I confess myself wholly at a loss to explain the nature of that book on any other principle, or to unlock its mysteries by any other key. Couple it with this consideration, and I see the scheme of Revelation, like the physical scheme, proceeding with beautiful uniformity-an unity of plan connecting (as it has been well said by Paley) the chicken roosting upon its perch with the spheres revolving in the firmament; and an unity of plan connecting in like manner the meanest accidents of a household with the most illustrious visions of a prophet. Abstracted from this consideration, I see in it details of actions, some trifling, some even offensive, pursued at a length (when compared with the whole) singularly disproportionate; while things which the angels would desire to look into are passed over and forgotten. But this principle once admitted, and all is consecratedall assumes a new aspect-trifles that seem at first not bigger than a man's hand, occupy the heavens; and wherefore Sarah laughed, for instance, at the prospect of a son, and wherefore that laugh was rendered immortal in his name, and wherefore the sacred historian dwells on a matter so trivial, whilst the world and its vast concerns were lying at his feet, I can fully understand. For then I see the hand of God shaping every thing to his own ends, and in an event thus casual, thus easy, thus unimportant, telling forth his mighty design of salvation to the world, and working it up into the web of his noble prospective counsels. I see that nothing is great or little before Him who can bend to his purposes whatever He willeth, and convert the light-hearted and thoughtless mockery of an aged woman into an instrument of his glory, effectual as the tongue of the seer which He touched with living coals from the altar. Bearing this master-key in my hand, I can interpret the scenes of domestic mirth, of domestic stratagem, or of domestic wickedness, with which the history of Moses abounds. The Seed of the woman, that was to bruise the serpent's head, however
be the Shekinah of the Tabernacle we
indistinctly understood, (and probably it was understood very indistinctly,) was the one thing longed for in the families of old, was the desire of all nations,' as the Prophet Haggai expressly calls it, and provided they could accomplish this desire, they (like others when urged by an overpowering motive) were often reckless of the means, and rushed upon deeds which they could not defend. Then did the wife forget her jealousy, and provoke, instead of resenting, the faithlessness of her husband; then did the mother forget a mother's part, and teach her own child treachery and deceit; then did daughters turn the instincts of nature backward; then did the daughter-in-law veil her face; and to be childless was to be a by-word;
and to refuse to raise up seed to a brother was to be spit upon; and the prospect of the Promise, like the fulfilment of it, did not send peace into families, but a sword, and three were set against two, and two against three; and the elder, who would be promoted unto honour, was set against the younger, whom God would promote, and national differences were engendered by it, as individuals grew
into nations; and even the foulest of idolatries may be traced, perhaps, to this hallowed source: for the corruption of the best is the worst corruption of all. It is upon this principle of interpretation, and I know not upon what other so well, that we may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, who have made those parts of the Mosaic history a stumbling-block to many, which, if rightly understood, are very covenant; a principle, which is thus extensive in its application and successful in its results, which explains so much that is difficult, and answers so much that is objected
against, has, from this circumstance alone strong presumption in its favour, strong claims upon our sober regard." pp. 35-44. This is a splendid tablet of "Mosaic;" the pieces are skilfully fitted, and take a high polish; and
if a portion of the cement may have been furnished by an ardent imagination; there is still sufficient left to bind many of the materials without any very abrupt interstices. Our specimens in a future Number will enable our readers to decide on the proportions for themselves. There is danger of merging truth by fastidiousness; and of overstepping it by laxity of imagination. The general notion of a patriarchal church may be possible, and our author's coincidences powerfully corroborate it; but the minuter details, such as the sacerdotal robes, are not demonstrated, nor does he offer them in this severe light, or profess that there is plenary evidence on the subject. He gives us his glimpses as he thinks he perceives them in Scripture; and all that we can say on laying down the telescope is, it may be so; some parts assuredly are so; if such an edifice existed, these scattered blocks and fragments were doubtless portions of it; but they are not sufficiently numerous or perfect to allow of our re-constructing the fabric, and adjusting its proportions.
M. Cuvier can
build up an extinct antediluvial animal from a fragment of a single digital bone; and Mr. Blunt has reared some parts of his temple from equally scanty vestiges; but passing by these, there remain coincidences amply sufficient to sustain his general argument.
LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL INTELLIGENCE
GREAT BRITAIN. WORKS preparing for publication, and in the press:-Lectures on Liberality and Expedience; by the Rev. J. Grant ;Twelve Sermons, by the Rev. E. Appleyard;-Discourses on the Sacrifice of Christ, Faith, Assurance, and the Sealing of the Holy Spirit; by the Rev. W. Hull; -Theological Meditations by a Sea-offi
cer;-The Last Days of Bishop Heber; by the Rev. T. Robinson (from the Madras Edition).
We have received numerous communications expressive of approbation of the plan of publishing a portion of the Christian Observer Family Sermons; among others, from Mrs. Hannah More and Mr. Wilber
force, which they are pleased to allow us to quote.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. "My dear sir,-I have heard, with very great pleasure, of your intention to collect into a volume a selection of the Sermons dispersed throughout that very valuable periodical, the Christian Observer, thus rescuing from the mass those sound and excellent portions of Divinity, and presenting them to the public in a compendium, which will be a real acquisition to it. The volume will be most acceptable to many of your readers, not only for their own use, but to present to families in which the Christian Observer is hitherto unknown. I have taken this work from the very beginning, and I continue to prize it as highly as I have ever done, and count its now long range of volumes not among the least valuable part of my library.
"I am, dear sir, with much esteem, "Yours faithfully,
"HANNAH MORE." Mr. Wilberforce writes as follows:To the Editor of the Christian Observer. "My dear sir,—I have heard with great pleasure that you are about to publish a volume of the Sermons that for a long period have constituted each one article in every Number of the Christian Observer; for with such of the sermons as have been read to me (the weakness of my eyes preventing my reading them myself) I have been much pleased. Would you not also extract some other articles from the Christian Observer? I know of no publication of the kind which contains so many of superior merit. The cause I have just specified has, to my regret, rendered me less acquainted with the Christian Observer than I formerly was; but I think so highly of it, and of the many excellent Contributors to it (many of them, alas! friends, that are now no more), that I must rejoice in any circumstance which will be likely to draw it into augmented notice.
"I am, my dear sir, "Yours very sincerely, "W. WILBERFORCE." The Family Sermons will be published in April, so that those of our readers who may wish for copies may direct their booksellers to send them with their magazines next month.
The Cambridge Norrisian prize was adjudged to Mr. Selwyn, of St. John's, for his Essay on "the Doctrine of Types, and its Influence on the Interpretation of the New Testament."
A well digested series of "heads of
local information," in every department of parochial and local interest has been published to enable clergymen and other intelligent persons, without much labour, to collect gradually such a mass of topographical facts as will furnish interesting and ample materials for the antiquary, the naturalist, and the man of science.
Place-hunting, it seems, is no innovation of modern times; for Evelyn, who was born among woods, and knew more of the culture of timber-trees than any person of his day, tells us, that when he wished to be appointed to "a little office then vacant," the salary of which to him was of no consequence, but which would have enabled him greatly to improve his Majesty's forests, which had been sadly mismanaged, it was conferred, he says, upon a person "who had seldom been out of the smoke of London, where, though there is a great deal of timber, there are not many trees!"
A posthumous paper of the late Baron de Stael to a French periodical work has just been published, in which he recommends to his Protestant countrymen the pious custom of praying for the blessing of God and returning him thanks at meals; a custom, he remarks, so prevalent in Great Britain and the United States, as not to be dispensed with even at public and political dinners. We fear he could not have said much for the reverence with which it is usually performed-a mere parenthesis, stans pede in uno, chair in hand. He remarks that Britain and the United States, while they stand the highest of the nations for industry, liberal institutions, and the astonishing progress of modern civilization, are most distinguished also for "real, vital, energetic piety, in which the thought of a God and Saviour most blends itself with the actions of public and private life."
It is stated that thirteen priests, with the express concurrence of the Bishop of Montpellier, recently celebrated with great pomp, the obsequies of M. de Saint H
an avowed Protestant-a heretic. Madame de H. is a devoted Papist, and, being very wealthy, wished to spare no expense for the repose of her husband's soul; but the priest declined the sacred rites till the bishop cut the knot by declaring that "though M. H- died to all appearance a Protestant, yet in his heart he was doubtless a Catholic."
The company of pastors of Geneva have rejected, by a large majority, a proposition for an evening service; on the ground both