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THE following interesting pieces are from "The Iris, a literary and religious Offering," edited by the Rev. T. Dale.


By the Rev. T. Dale.

WHEN from thy beaming throne,

O High and Holy One!

Thou cam'st to dwell with those of mortal birth;

No ray of living light

Flashed on th' astonished sight,

To shew the Godhead walked his subject earth.

Thine was no mortal form,
Shrouded in mist and storm,

Of seraph, walking on the viewless wind;
Nor didst thou deign to wear
The port, sublimely fair,

Of angel-heralds, sent to bless mankind.

Made like the sons of clay,
Thy matchless glories lay

In form of feeble infancy concealed;

No pomp of outward sign
Proclaimed the Power Divine;

No earthly state the Heavenly Guest revealed!

Thou didst not choose thy home
Beneath a lordly dome;

No regal diadem wreathed thy baby brow;
Nor on a soft couch laid,
Nor in rich vest arrayed,

But with the poorest of the poor wert thou!

Yet she, whose gentle breast
Was thy glad place of rest,-

In her the blood of royal David flowed:
Men passed her dwelling by

With proud and scornful eye;

But angels knew and loved her mean abode.

There softer strains she heard
Than song of evening bird

Or tuneful minstrel in a queenly bower;
And o'er her dwelling lone

A brighter radiance shone

Than ever glittered from a monarch's tower.

For there the mystic star
That sages led from far,

To pour their treasures at her infant's feet,
Still shed its golden light;-
There, through the calm clear night,
Were heard angelic voices, strangely sweet.

Oh happiest thou of all

Who bare the deadly thrall

Which, for one mother's crime, to all was given ;Her first of mortal birth

Brought death to reign on earth,—

But thine brings Light and Life again from heaven!

Happiest of virgins thou,

On whose unruffled brow

Blends maiden meekness with a mother's love!
Blest in thy Heavenly Son,
Blest in the Holy One,

Whom man knows not below, though angels hymned above!


By the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel.

THERE is a tender sadness in that air,
While yet devotion lifts the soul above;
Mournful though calm, as rainbow glories prove
The parting storm, it marks the past despair:
Heedless of gazers, once with flowing hair
She dried his tear-besprinkled feet, whose love
Powerful alike to pardon and reprove,

Took from her aching heart its load of care.
Thenceforth nor time, nor pain could e'er efface
Her Saviour's pity; through all worldly scorn
To her he had a glory and a grace,

Which made her humbly love and meekly mourn, Till by his faithful care she reached the place Where his redeemed saints above all griefs are borne.

HEAVEN IN PROSPECT. By James Montgomery. PALMS of glory, raiment bright, Crowns that never fade away, Gird and deck the saints in light,Priests, and kings, and conquerors they.

Yet the conquerors bring their palms To the Lamb amidst the throne; And proclaim in joyful psalms, Victory through his cross alone!

Kings their crowns for harps resign,
Crying, as they strike the chords,
"Take the kingdom,-it is thine;
King of kings, and Lord of lords !"

Round the altar, priests confess,

If their robes are white as snow; 'Twas the Saviour's righteousness,

And his blood, that made them so.

Who were these?-On earth they dwelt,
Sinners once, of Adam's race;
Guilt, and fear, and suffering felt,
But were saved from all by grace.

They were mortal, too, like us;

Ah! when we like them shall die, May our souls, translated thus, Triumph, reign, and shine on high!


"For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified"-Heb. x. 14.

By J. Conder.

WITH blood-but not his own-the awful sign
At once of sin's desert and guilt's remission,
The Jew besought the clemency divine,
The hope of mercy blending with contrition.
Sin must have death! Its holy requisition
The law may not relax. The opening tomb
Expects its prey; mere respite, life's condition;
Nor can the body shua its penal doom.
Yet, there is mercy: wherefore else delay
To punish? Why the victim and the rite?
But can the type and symbol take away
The guilt, and for a broken law requite?
The cross unfolds the mystery.-Jesus died:
The sinner lives: the Law is satisfied!

With blood-but not his own-the Jew drew near The mercy seat, and heaven received his prayer.

Yet still his hope was dimmed by doubt and fear: "If thou shouldst mark transgression who might


To stand before thee?" Mercy loves to spare
And pardon: but stern justice has a voice,
And cries-Our God is holy, nor can bear
Uncleanness in the people of his choice.
But now one Offering, ne'er to be renewed,
Hath made our peace for ever.-This now gives
Free access to the Throne of heavenly Grace.
No more base fear and dark disquietude.
He who was slain-the Accepted Victim!—lives,
And intercedes before the Father's face.

By the Rev. T. Dale.

A WREATH of glory circles still his head-
And yet he kneels-and yet he seems to be
Convulsed with more than human agony:
On his pale brow the drops are large and red

As victim's blood at votive altar shed-
His hands are clasped,his eyes are raised in prayer-
Alas! and is there strife He cannot bear
Who calmed the tempest, and who raised the dead?
There is there is! for now the powers of hell
Are struggling for the mastery-'tis the hour
When Death exerts his last permitted power,
When the dread weight of sin, since Adam fell
Is visited on him, who deigned to dwell-
A Man with men,-that he might bear the stroke
Of wrath Divine, and burst the captive's yoke-
But oh! of that dread strife what words can tell!
Those only those-which broke with many a

From his full heart-" O Father, take away
The cup of vengeance I must drink to-day—
Yet, Father, not my will, but thine, be done!"
It could not pass away--for He alone
Was mighty to endure, and strong to save;
Nor would Jehovah leave him in the grave,
Nor could corruption taint his Holy One.


Practical Sermons, on the Epistles to the Seven Churches, the Millennium, and the CXXXth Psalm. By the late Rev. JOSEPH MILNER, M.A. With Prefatory Remarks; by the Rev. E. BICKERSTETH. 1 vol. 8vo. 10s. London. 1830.

VOLUMES of "practical sermons" multiply so thickly around us that, unless on special occasions, we are obliged to pass them over, either wholly or with a very slight mention. We repeat what we said in noticing, or rather in our apology for not noticing, some dozen volumes of sermons last year (p. 179), and what "the Morning Watch considered as shewing our great ignorance respecting such matters, that there is such an increase of truly excellent and scriptural sermons in the pulpits of our established church, and such a corresponding mass of publication called for by the local solicitations of many an affectionate and edified flock, that the pages of a periodical publication will not suffice for reviewing and quoting from these numerous productions. We hailed this extension of "plain, scriptural, and practical" preaching, this simple exhibition of

Christ crucified, as a subject of rejoicing; but the Morning Watch treats us, and the whole body of what the writers call ironically "the Evangelical clergy," as devoid of all right judgment for speaking in such a strain. There are three divisions, say they, in theology: the first and highest is the "speculative or intellectual;" the second, "the positive" or expository; the third and lowest, "that which teaches us the Divine laws relating to our manners and actions." The writers add, "In this lowest walk of theology are to be numbered the whole deluge of trash under the name of practical sermons ;" including, of course, such trash as the "Practical Sermons " now before us, the title of which reminded us of these not very gentle or circumspect remarks of the Morning Watch. "The use of the word practical," it is added, " is commonly arrogated by men of narrow minds, and who have but one idea." Again; "The style aimed at by these practical Evangelical preachers is precisely that which is the object of the Popish preachers;" and a necessary consequence, it is stated, of this style is, "that scarcely

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any man of ordinary capacity as not deserving to be compared is converted by our Evangelical with the excellency of the knowpreachers." All these evils arise ledge of Christ Jesus the Lord. from this sermon trade in practi- We claimed for them a brighter cal theology," that lowest of trades; meed," that was our expression, instead of soaring with Mr. Irving than "eloquence or literature," yea, and the late Mr. Vaughan, who are than even the " highest prize " of so highly lauded, to the sublime the one, or the "widest range elevations of fanciful speculation. the other. What that brighter The Morning Watch, after assert- meed was will appear by quoting ing that "the whole deluge of trash, the sentence; side by side with under the name of practical ser- which we shall print the Morning mons," together with the best of Watch's mistatement of it ;-just our religious periodicals, as the making us say the very contrary of Christian Observer and the Edinwhat we did say. burgh Christian Instructor," and the writings of "Drs. Gordon, Chalmers, Thomson, and Dwight," are nothing more than merely "moral" (an assertion clearly untrue; for what doctrine of the Gospel is there which is not explained, and proved, and dwelt upon in the works thus disparaged?) goes on to allude to our remarks above referred to respecting the usual style of the preaching of what are called the Evangelical clergy; but most grievously mistates (we would not say wilfully falsifies) our observations. We had said, that although many

of the sermons of what are called the Evangelical clergy stand very high in point of eloquence and literature, yet that it is not on this ground that we feel grateful for their labours. On the contrary, that we were willing to

set aside such inferior considerations, that we would not claim for them the highest prize of eloquence, or the widest range of literature; we would even admit that the majority of the sermons of this class, of necessity rapidly composed, nay, even many of those which are printed and published, make few pretensions to merely secular laurels ; being written for a higher end, not to exhibit the powers of the preacher, but to proclaim the truth of God, bring souls to Christ, and to promote the eternal interests of mankind. We willingly resigned on behalf of the class of preachers alluded to all inferior distinctions,

Christian Observer.

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We should not

Morning Watch.
"It cannot fail to

object to take the be observed here,
pile of volumes now that the Christian-
on our table, as a Observer reviewer
fair average speci- considers that the
men of the ordinary highest merit a vo-
preaching of that lume of sermons can
large and respect-possess are eloquence
able portion of the and a wide range of
pastors of our church. literature. If this be
who are currently so, it follows that
known by the name the addresses of the
of the Evangelical Apostles, whether
clergy. In so doing preached or written,
we should not
not so were some of the
much put forth their worst that ever were
claim to the highest published. But, in
prize of eloquence, the opinion of the

the widest range reviewer, it was nei-
of literature, or the ther the end sought
most exalted devenor obtained by the
lopment of intellect authors before him,
(though in each, and who are samples of
all of these depart-the whole body of
ments, we could find Evangelical clergy,
powerful claimants), to rise even to the
as to THE BRIGHTER positive, far less to
MEED of sound, use-the speculative theo
ful, scriptural preach-logy; that the lowest
ing; united with a order-namely, the
respectable degree of moral-is all that is
learning and talent. attempted; and that
and consecrated by an even in this the Di-
earnest desire to pro-vine laws relating to
mote the glory of God, our manners and ac-
the kingdom of the tions are considered
Redeemer, and the of less importance
temporal, spiritual, than eloquence, and
and eternal interests a wide range of lite-
of mankind."
rature, since he places
this as the acme of

We consider it no disparagement to what are called "the Evangelical clergy," that they think piety more important than speculation; are willing to forego the "highest prize" of human eloquence, and a

vain display of "intellectual" ability spent upon discussions beyond the grasp of the great majority of their hearers, for the "brighter meed" of being "able ministers of the New Testament." At the same time we must repeat our conviction, that their discourses, so far from being generally open to the charge urged against them in the Morning Watch, of miserable intellectual poverty, almost inanity, are marked by a degree of good taste as well as good sense, which certainly does not strike us as being rivalled by some of the hierophants of the "speculative" school. Among them, indeed, as among every other large class of persons, are to be found individuals of various grades of talent; but those of least ability can write a plain useful sermon, which is more than some men of proud attainments have been able to do; while in the higher orders of intellect are to be found those who can urge such claims to eloquence and mental power, as will not be surpassed among divines of any age, or name, or nation. But we are glad to quit this invidious topic; on which we should not have touched but for the falsification of our argument by the Morning Watch-an undesigned falsification we are sure; for we would not wantonly impute wrong motives, or imitate the calumnious language which some writers think they do God service in applying to those "sanctimonious" deceivers, those " worse than infidels," the Evangelical clergy.

Though our table is covered with "practical sermons," we are grateful to Mr. Bickersteth for bringing before us another volume with the same old-fashioned title from the unpublished manuscripts of that eminently holy and useful man, Joseph Milner. The sermons of Joseph Milner, including two volumes published long ago, and another more recently, are so well known that we shall not spend our reader's time in descanting upon

their excellencies. There is in every page a fearless, honest boldness in exhibiting the doctrines of the Gospel, and its application to the heart and conscience; and we know not whether even the rough style of the author may not be itself almost a recommendation in this day of polished feebleness, when a man may scarcely say his soul is his own, but in a softened dialect, which renders it half doubtful whether he believes it. Joseph Milner speaks as a man with a soul to men with souls; as a messenger of God, believing the declarations of his holy word, and anxious that others should believe them; seeing men perishing in their sins, and intent upon snatching them from destruction; yet withal really tender;-tender in his very earnestness; exhibiting the grace of Christ, the mercies of the Gospel, and comforting the dejected Christian with those comforts with which he himself was comforted of God.

The subjects of these sermons are mentioned in the title. They are treated as Joseph Milner well knew how to treat such subjects;— with a spirit of deep piety, manly sense, and forcible application, which, united with the consistency of the author's own eminently useful life, produced on the mind of Paley an impression which proves, whatever the Morning Watch may think to the contrary, that "evangelical preachers" have, by the blessing of God, "converted," or rather been the instruments in his hand for converting (if "converted " Paley finally was, as certainly he was from his own former views of conversion,) some persons of more than "ordinary capacity;" yes, and by those very "practical sermons" which in the estimation of the "speculative" school are only "moral," and soar not above this "lowest " possible style of pulpit composition.

We fear we shall gain no credit with these our "speculative" friends, either for our deceased author, or ourselves, or for that truly ex

cellent and "practical" divine Mr. Bickersteth, by having extracted Milner's Discourse on the Millennium as a family sermon. Mr. Irving is pleased to say in the Number of the Morning Watch above quoted, and with his name (for we will not affix names upon report or conjecture to anonymous papers), that "a spiritual advent is a precious absurdity of that unlearned school the evangelical;" yet this "spiritual advent” of our blessed Lord, Milner considers a Scriptural doctrine; and Mr. Bickersteth, far from denominating such a sentiment a "precious absurdity," is pleased to think that the author's whole view of the Millennium is "peculiarly important;" especially "at the present moment; and we also, being among the "unlearned" who consider that "practical" sermons are to the full as useful as "speculative and intellectual," have given publicity to Milner's statements in our pages. The topic is not, perhaps, that which we should have ourselves selected for a "Family Sermon," (it may be our error, we speak with sincerity, that we are too cautious in introducing "speculative" topics into compositions of that class,) but Milner's object is rather to turn the minds of his hearers from speculation to practice; and one chief utility of the discourse in our view is, that it does not "speculate" at all, but shews in what manner such topics may be treated for "practical" edification, without commixing in the war of rival hypotheses. We may also add, in order that we may not seem to have singled out this sermon invidiously, that, our plan and limits not allowing of copious notices or extracts from this prolific class of publications, in our Review department, yet, being unwilling that our readers should lose the pleasure and advantage which a volume from the pen of such a writer as Joseph Milner was calculated to afford; we were glad to avail ourselves of a lengthened extract as a Family Sermon; and the discourse on the

Millennium being the only detached one, the rest consisting of consecutive series, we were obliged to extract this or none. We agree with Mr. Bickersteth that it deserves attention, as containing the sentiments of "no common man; " and it will not be lost upon a family circle if only it lead them on the one hand to feel how important and interesting are the prophetic portions of Scripture; while, on the other hand, they learn to guard against rash and doubtful speculations, and to imitate the truly Christian modesty and caution of the revered author of "the History of the Church of Christ;" a man who certainly had not studied the sacred prophecies less carefully than many of those who are so prompt to decide upon their unfulfilled announcements. The omission of a few allusions to passing events (the sermon was written in 1796), and, here and there, a slight abbreviation or verbal correction, was all that appeared to us allowable in transcribing the discourse. It was not written for the press, and the style is more forcible than polished: but it is not our province to attempt to correct it; except where a word or expression occurs which we could not wish the family reader to make his own. Milner himself would not plead for retaining in family reading such an expression as "affronting the Holy Ghost;" or "I have no notion of being restrained" in preaching whatever he thought scriptural; or such a word as "disgust," or any other phrase that carries a harsh aspect. Such occasional words easily trickle from the pen in rapid composition when the mind is warm with its subject; but they are gladly expunged by a Christian writer in the leisure of revision.

We feel grateful to Mr. Bicker steth for this addition to the truly scriptural works of Joseph Milner, and for the interesting notes which he has appended to the discourses on the Apocalyptic churches. If

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