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more impressive the superiority of Christ to His host at the feast, it is asserted to be "the law of cream to rise to the top." Another slight blemish is the frequent citation of the names of authors who supply an expression used, or a sentence quoted, when neither the expression nor sentence has much originality or distinctiveness in it. "Did Noah ever forget the flood?' asks Dr. Thomas, of Homilist renown." Surely Dr. Thomas need not have been mentioned as the asker of that question to give effect to it, or to save our author when he employed it from the charge of plagiarism. But while we mention these things we do not attach undue importance to them; and the main portion of the work is marked with an excellence which can well afford these defects, as we judge them to be.

We say this with a demur to the teaching of the book on two particulars-namely, our knowledge of forgiveness, and the degree of salvation attainable in the present life. The author asserts that all the forgiven have a knowledge of their forgiveness, and asks how they arrive at this knowledge? His reply is, by a process of reasoning, and only in that way. With this answer we do not agree, and especially are we surprised to see it added, that this is the only answer that will bear to be tested by consciousness, facts, and Scripture. Our consciousness certainly does not assert it to be so, nor do the facts which have come to our knowledge as the spiritual adviser of others, nor the teachings of Scripture as we have been led to understand them. We hold that consciousness, fact, and Scripture alike show to us that a knowledge of our forgiveness comes into our hearts by the operation of the Holy Spirit. Our author himself says: "It was Christ who purchased the benefits of redemption for us, and it is the Spirit who applies them." Why cannot he hold to this view, as to the communication of forgiveness, which he truly asserts to be one of the chief blessings of redemption? But in all that is said of our knowledge of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit is altogether left out of the question, and save in the one brief sentence we have quoted the reader would not know from the whole of the treatise that the Holy Spirit had anything to do with our salvation.

The process of reasoning by which we come to know we are forgiven is stated in precise form by our author :

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It was by this process, he tells us, the woman who was a sinner knew she was forgiven." She had power to reason thus; and if she had, why should the knowledge of forgiveness be conveyed to her another way? If we will not use the eyes which God has given us, it is vain that He will give us another pair. Verily, prayer for another pair would be of no avail." Verily, our response is, our author either wants another pair of eyes or the scales removed from those he possesses; for since the world stood have sinners ever got a knowledge of their persona forgiveness by a mere inference of their own reason? Did the use of the syllogism here given ever remove a sense of guilt from the conscience and make the heart "rejoice with a joy unspeakable and full of glory"?

To our view the syllogism of our author does not faithfully represent the teaching of Scripture on this subject. We should give it thus :

God has promised forgiveness to those who believe in Christ;
I believe in Christ;

Therefore I may hope to be forgiven.


For after all it is God who forgives, and the act is one that comes from Him in a direct manner. He bestows the blessing upon us, and does not leave us to infer that we have it by a mere process of reasoning. A father makes it the law of his household that any of his children who do wrong shall have their wrong forgiven them if they are sorry for it and amend their conduct. But will a child who is conscious of wrong-doing be satisfied with dealing with his father's laws merely in seeking forgiveness? Will it be enough for him to say, "I am sorry for the wrong I have done, and I will do it no more; and therefore I may infer I am forgiven, without reference to my father personally"? That certainly would not be forgiveness to him. No, with his contrition and practical repentance he might humbly deem himself qualified for his father's mercy, but he would seek to obtain an assurance of his forgiveness from his father's own lips, and till it was given he could have no knowledge that it was right between his father and himself. And so it is with the sinner and God in his attainment of the knowledge of forgiveness. He does not say, "O Lord, I will praise Thee, because from the terms of Thy merciful covenant I may infer I am forgiven"; but, "I will praise Thee, because, though Thou wast angry with me, Thy anger is turned away, and now Thou comfortest me." A sinner comes to a knowledge of forgiveness, not by introspection, not by an analysis of his faith and a consciousness of its genuineness. Many have sought the blessing in this way, but they have sought in vain, and their disappointment has made life a burden to them. But by some means they have been taught the way of the Lord more perfectly. They have been directed to look away from themselves-to forget not only their sins but even their repentance and faith-to look indeed to Christ, and to Him alone; especially to look to Him in His mediatorial and intercessory work, as bearing our sins in His own body on the tree, and now as our living Advocate with the Father; and following this advice they have found it to be the path of peace to them-they have verified the truth that

"The Spirit answers to the blood,

And tells us we are born of God;"

and then has burst from their lips and hearts the jubilant utterance—

"My God is reconciled,

His pardoning voice I hear;

He owns me for His child,

I can no longer fear.

With confidence I now draw nigh,

And Father, Abba, Father cry!

Nor can we acquiesce in our author's teaching on the degree of salvation attainable in the present life. We regard it as somewhat misleading and even dangerous to say that "salvation is more a thing of the future than the present." And especially do we apply this remark to the words of the "saintly Payson," quoted with approval:-"A large portion of the grace which Christians are to receive will be given to them at the second coming

of Christ, or immediately after death. And this will always be in proportion to their prayers and exertions here." There is a sense certainly in which this is true, but the truth needs stating with more discrimination than our author has exercised. For redemption in its fulness we must wait, we are told, until the Resurrection Day; but if that be true, surely we may attain to a degree of it here that shall make earth something different to us than a convalescent hospital. When Christ healed the people in the days of His flesh His cures were perfect, and from that we may infer that His spiritual healing will leave the subjects of it in a better condition than that of invalids.

Notwithstanding we do not see eye to eye with the author on the points indicated, we have a word of hearty commendation for his little work, and only wish that from our theological standpoint it had been of such a character that we could have spoken of it as a complete guide to inquirers after salvation. To make it such, in our estimation, the Holy Spirit's work must be more clearly recognised and more fully expounded.

Two Hundred Sketches and Outlines of Sermons, preached in Church
Street Chapel, Edgware Road, London, since 1866.
BURNS, D.D. London: Dickinson and Higham. 1875.

WE confess to a dislike to works of this description, as we believe that in many cases in which they are used they are pernicious, in most useless, and in very few of any service. Certainly we should never put one into the hands of a young man training for the ministry, unless we were naughty enough to wish to spoil him, or had a desire to test his principle in resisting temptation; nor yet into the hands of one in full ministerial standing, for we hold most strongly that a man who cannot preach without the aid of other men's outlines is not called to preach at all. The only use, according to our intelligence, which such a work can be of is to suggest "texts, subjects, and modes of treatment." This is the first-named purpose for which the author designs this volume. That it may suggest texts and subjects we admit, but we hope that in very few instances it will be resorted to for modes of treatment, except they be sought for to be shunned. This is the feature of the work we are most dissatisfied with, or we might say the only feature that gives us dissatisfaction. Of course we have not read every sketch of the two hundred given, but those we have referred to are mainly, if not altogether, after models we had hoped had gone into oblivion. They are fine specimens of wordy declamation, but not of clear, thorough, and serviceable exposition of truth. The idea of unity in a sermon never seems to enter into the author's mind; all is discursive and promiscuous. His outlines are not the bud which can be expanded or developed into fruit or flower; their parts have no congeneric qualities, they do not grow out of each other, but are a collection of heterogeneous statements and observations, or they may be taken as exercises in tautological expressions. How the author could affix to his volume the motto, "So they read in the book, in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading," we cannot conceive. Whoever goes to its pages for exposition of Scriptural and saving truth will be disappointed.

Here is the Philippian Jailer for a subject, and Acts xvi., 31-32,

66 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ," &c., for a text. What a theme do they supply for a Christian preacher to descant upon, and what an opportunity for him to prove that he is "a servant of the Most High God, sent to show unto men the way of salvation"! But how does our author improve his advantage? He commences by remarking that Philippi ought to be specially interesting to us, inasmuch as it was the city in which the first Christian Church was set up in Europe; that the Apostolic visit was paid under very remarkable circumstances, &c. Then come his leading heads: I. A prison scene; II. A terrific earthquake; III. The alarm of the jailer; IV. His still greater astonishment and anxiety; V. His spiritual concern for his soul's salvation; VI. The direct answer given; VII. By Scripture teaching; VIII. The evidence of the jailer's conversion. The subdivisions are meagreness itself. Under the sixth head, where one naturally looks for the exposition of saving truth, all we find is that the answer, Believe, &c., belonged-1. To the Gospel specially; 2. To all places; 3. To all persons. Christ is the Saviour-faith receives Him-and thus salvation is secured. How clear, short, positive!"

This is a fair sample of the rest as far as we have read them. We regret to have to speak disparagingly of the work, but we cannot speak otherwise than we have done, if we speak at all.

Brief Observations on Scriptural Subjects Submitted to the Consideration of those engaged in Evangelistic Work. S. W. Partridge and Co. 1875.

THIS little manual is divided into two parts-namely, doctrinal subjects and criticisms on texts. With the author, we believe that accuracy in the use of theological terms and in the application of Scripture is important. The adoption of sound words is essential for the maintenance of sound doctrine; whilst looseness in the use of Scriptural terms, misapplication of Scripture, and partial views of truth have not unfrequently prepared the way for the introduction of dangerous errors. His work in reference to this matter is calculated to be highly useful. He who thoroughly masters its contents will use the language of Scripture intelligently, and so we believe with an understanding of its real meaning. We have gone through the volume with some care, and with very slight qualification can say that it has given us unmingled satisfaction and delight. To all engaged in Sunday-school teaching, or in any department of evangelistic service, we give it our heartiest recommendation.

The Limitations of Christian Responsibility: Thoughts on Aggressive Christianity. By HENRY DUNN. 2s. 6d. Simpkin and Marshall.


THIS is not a book which we should recommend for indiscriminate perusal. It can only be advantageously read by "qualified persons," to use an expression of the author's. Mr. Dunn seeks in it to set forth the limitations of Christian responsibility in relation to the ungodly, and promote the reconsideration of much that is embodied in evangelical theology. Those acquainted with his previous writings will pretty clearly understand the position he takes and the conclusions to which he would lead, in this little volume. On many points, which he would probably deem vital, we do

not see eye to eye with him; on the contrary, we think him decidedly in the wrong, yet he is such a devout and reverent student of God's Word, that the products of his pen always yield us instruction though they fail to convert us to his views.

Missionary Anecdotes: Sketches, Facts, and Incidents relating to the State of the Heathen and the effects of the Gospel in various parts of the World. By the Rev. W. MOISTER. Wesleyan Conference Office. 1875.

WE recommend this volume to the notice of the Secretaries of our Juvenile Missionary Societies. If put into the hands of our young people they will be sure to give it a reading, and the result will be an increased interest in the cause of missions. Speakers at missionary meetings will find in it ample materials for telling and effective speeches.

Henry Wharton: the Story of his Life and Missionary Labours in the West Indies, on the Gold Coast, and in Ashanti. With a brief Account of Wesleyan Ministers in Western Africa. By the Rev. W. MOISTER Conference Office, 1875.

We have found this to be a profoundly interesting volume. We wish we could induce our young men thoroughly to read it; they would thereby learn what missionary work is, and what sort of men are doing this work. And in some instances, we should hope, not only admiration of their devotedness would be awakened, but an earnest desire to emulate those who love not their lives for the Gospel's sake. The book is beautifully got up and illustrated.

Samuel Thorne, Printer. By S. L. THORNE, Bodmin. 2nd Edition. Elliot Stock.


We have not space to give a descriptive account of this memoir, but we recommend our readers who take an interest in Methodist character and history to procure a copy for themselves. The Bible Christians were formed by men of a truly heroic stamp, and it is quite refreshing to become acquainted with their doings. The painful, self-denying labours they passed through were wonderful, and their persecutions a disgrace to the parsons, and squires, and aristocrats from whom they proceeded. This book gives us a picture of the moral state of many parts of Devonshire so late as fifty years ago appalling to contemplate, and which should make us thankful that we live in happier times, when many can run to and fro without molestation, that saving knowledge may be increased.

Sunbeams in Sorrow. Recollections and Remains of Helena Loveday Cocks. By her Father, the Rev. SAMPSON COCKS. London: Wesleyan Conference Office.

THERE is sorrow in this book, and no one can read its contents without having their hearts touched with sadness to learn how one so gifted and so amiable was called away from the family circle and the associations of friendship just at the springtime of life. But there are sunbeams, too, to

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