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and scientific discovery is arrayed in opposition to the Bible-recorded facts, and archeeological research is assumed to furnish proof conclusive, that the early history of the Bible is radically defective. The coarse abuse of Paine is rejected, the sneering insinuations of Gibbon are silenced, the 6ubtle sophistry of Hume is abandoned; but we are told of the facts of geology, of the wonderful reveulmcnts in the heavenly expanse, of the demonstrated verities of physiological science, and of anatomical investigation,—we are told of the authenticated records of India and China, running back many ages beyond any probable date of Noah's flood,—and we are told of the certain results of the discoveries of J.epsius in Egypt, as all uniting their evidence to confute Moses, and to throw utter discredit on the historic portion of the Pentateuch."
In spite of all this, our author addresses himself to his task with a manly courage, and with vast resources of knowledge, and the result is such as to place him in the highest rank as a Christian apologist.
We think it well to apprise our readers that Dr. Hamilton, fully admitting the ascertained truths of geology, holds the universality of the Deluge; nor do wo think that any writer with whom we are conversant,—not even the late Dr. J. P. Smith,—has produced evidence to the contrary that will invalidate the powerful reasonings of the author.
We beg, also, to call attention to Dr. Hamilton's Lecture, on "Man One Family." He considers the ordinary arguments by Pritchard and others insufficient to prove the oneness of the race, without another element which he lias discerned, and which well deserves to bo considered.
"Could," observes Dr. Hamilton, "the lapse of years, aided by climatic influence, diversity of food, of habits, &c, he supposed adequate to accomplish such changes as must have heeu made in the different colonies of Noah's descendants, in order to produce the various races of men now inhabiting our globe; yet the records of the East, the monuments of Egypt, and the contents of the catacombs, show a similar diversity to have existed at so early a period, that there was not—adopt what system of chronology you may—sufficient time between the Deluge and the first recorded evidence of the existence of that diversity, to account for the production of that change. The reasoning of the learned Pritchard on that subject, and the argument of the Itev. Dr. Thomas Smythe, of Charleston, S. C, do not, therefore, fully meet the case.
"A more attentive consideration of the sacred record given in Genesis, has led to the conclusion, that the miraculous confounding of tongues at Babel was attended hy such
modifications of man's physical constitution, as to insure the speedy production of those changes necessary to adapt the several divisions of man to the climate and the locality to which they were destined. This idea is presented in the closing Lecture, on Unity. It was embodied in Essays on that subject, published in the 'Mobile Herald and Tribune,' in August and September, 1830; and also in the 'Southern Presbyterian,' published at Milledgvillc, Ga., about the same time. Admissible or otherwise, that view of the subject the author of these pages claims as original. He has seen the same idea advanced by other writers since that period, without any acknowledgment of its origin. Previously to the issue of the Essays aboyc referred to, he never met with the idea in tjie works of any author. Vet it is so simple, and, as he conceives, so natural an inference in the circumstances, that very possibly (t may have occurred to other minds, unprompted, as jt did to his own."
We cannot but augur great good from \]ie publication of this volume. Some apologists for Christianity create more doubts than they allay; but Dr. Hamilton breathes around him in every discussion, the most abstruse, an element of faith. He is one of those master minds who see no beauty in unbelief, and feci no gratitude to those who would nn.settle the public faith.
Christian Experience, tn to several Parts and Stages. By the Rev. J. Leifchild, D.D. 8vo. pp. 332.
Ward and Co.
Forty-two years ago, when we arrived at college, the author was then iu high standing in the Metropolis, commanding largo congregations wherever he preached. We well remember how telling then were his appeals from the pulpit, both in his ordinary ministrations at Kensington, and on public occasions. And though since then he has been incessantly occupied in large and exciting spheres, in Bristol and Londou, if any one, anxious to 6ee a fine example of a green old age, will step into Craven Chapel, when the Doctor preaches, he will be struck to find how little threescore years and ten have done to quench the ardour of a devoted spirit, or even to impair physical elasticity and intellectual power. Few men havo better served their day and generation than the senior pastor of Craven Chapel. During a ministry fast verging on halfo century, he has suffered no eclipse of faith, passed through no disturbing changes of sentiment, allied himself with none of the novelties of the day, and in no instance impaired the respect due to the sacred office. The prayers and best wishes of thousands, in all parts of the kingdom, will attend him as he gradually descends into the valley of life; and, when his day of useful toil shall have closed, his memory will bo embalmed in his own and other circles as " a good minister of Jesus Christ," who has made full proof of his ministry.
We are reluctant to believe that the volume before us, on " Christian Experience, in its several Parts and Stages," is the last production from the pen of our venerable friend. Yet, we are free to confess, that it would be a most fitting sequel to a ministry such as, by the grace of God, Dr. Lcifchild has been enabled to maintain.
The subject is one of great and permanent interest. The experience which ail true believers have of the operation of truth and grace upon their hearts is a theme well deserving of a careful scriptural elucidation. Biblical truth speculatively viewed will never produce it. We can only become subjects of Christian experience by a vital union to Christ. One great excellence in the volume which we now introduce to our readers is the highly discriminative spirit in which it has been written. The false and the genuine in religion are here faithfully tested. Spurious raptures are not confounded with the calm and holy action of Divine grace upon the heart and life. There is, perhaps, not a single phase in the spiritual life which the author has not depicted, from the most incipient workings of the grace of God in conversion, up to the last triumph of faith in the dying hour.
The outline of topics is well chosen for the author's purpose. I. The Divine Nature. 2 Pet. i. 4.—II. Incipient Conversion. Acts xxvi. 18.—III. Model Experience. Philip. iii. 17.—IV. Spiritual Conflict. 1 Cor. ix. 26, 27.—V. Religious Declensions. Heb. x. 38, 39.—VI. Entire Sanctification. 1 Thess. v. 23.—VII. The Witness of the Spirit. Rom. viii. 16.—VIII. The Sealing .of the Spirit. Eph. i. 13, 14.—IX. Dying Experience. 2 Tim. iv. 6, 7.—X. Paradise. Heb. xii. 23.— XI. Heaven. Matt. xxv. 34.
We think it due to the venerable author of these discourses to say, that the sentiment they embody is uniformly and fervently evangelical,—that they are full of unction, and eminently indicative of a spiritual mind. The style, too, is accurate and elegant,—exhibiting in a remarkable degree, that purity, simplicity, and warmth of phraseology which befit the Christian pulpit
We conclude this brief notice, by qnoting the author's account of the motives which induced him to publish on such a subject.
"The choice of the topic rested with himself, and he was led to the one finally adopted, as called for by the prevailing tendency of the public mind. This is obviously to dwell upon what is external in religion, rather than on what relates to the ' hidden man of the
heart.' Forms of worship, differences of creed, and modes of inculcating religious truth, occupy so large a 6hare of the attention of well-disposed persons, as to make us fear that what is of far greater importance is either overlooked, or comparatively slighted. The mind is apt to escape from self-inspection, and to dwell on what may rest on the surface, instead of observing what is passing in the depths of its nature, and attending to the processes that must there be carried on, if religion is known in its vitality and energy —known as a Divine principle, and as constituting ' the life of God in the soul of man.' It is here that the basis must be laid of all sound religious prosperity, apart from which, all the appearances of it are but as the foliage of a tree, whose branches, through the railing vigour of the root, will be found destitute, in a great measure, of proper fruit."
We oommend, with much cordiality, these admirable discourses to the notice of the churches, as mature specimens of pastoral wisdom and fidelity. For domestic use tbey will be found exceedingly appropriate. To young ministers they will supply an excellent model for pulpit ministration. The author's success may add weight to his example.
Posthumous Discourses Op The Late Rev. James Stark, D.D., Of DexxtLoakhead, with an Introductory Memoir. Under the care of tie Rev. William Steven, Ixirgs, and the Rev. John EdMotto, Glasgow.
Edinburgh: A. Fullarton and Co., 1858. This very handsome volume will be welcomed by many as a precious memorial of a departed friend and pastor. Nor will it be less prized in many circles far beyond the scenes of Dr. Stark's personal ministry. It embalms the memory of a "just man," "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." For more than half a century, he "served his own generation by the will of God before he fell on sleep, and was laid with his fathers." How many "proofs " of such a pastorate must have been gathered into the heavens, before its close!
"His glory now, no tongue of man
For fifty-three years did Dr. Stark labour among the same affectionate and excellent people, and the gleanings in the volume before us are but a sample of his pulpit services. What changes must have occurred during such a lengthened period!—more than a generation had passed away; and yet what a happy work was silently going on—the process by which human spirits are, under the word, changed and matured for glory. What an honour, too, to have been an humble infctrument in that process, to be recognized by the Divine Redeemer as an agent in his hand for filling the realms of glory with their exalted and grateful population. With undeviating regularity did Dr. Stark "fulfil his course,"—the element of fidelity pervading, and the spirit of prayer sanctifying his whole course. A genuine and masculine piety bad full possession of his soul. He was a man of prayer, and as "a prince had power with God." So sustained and uniform were his public appearances, that any sermon he ever preached might be placed by the side of any of those printed, and it would not suffer by the comparison. The irregularities to which most men are liable could scarcely be perceived in him, such were his habits of patient and continuous study. His aged contemporaries envied—the younger brethren admired.
What may be called the events of Dr. Stark's life were few—
"Along the cool, sequestered vale of life
Not that he was indifferent to what was passing around him. Some of his most remarkable sermons were on the passing events of Providence, which he loved to improve. He took a keen and permanent interest in all that concerned the glory of his Master, and the purity, union, and extension of his church. But with him there was no idle ebullition— none of that cheap enthusiasm that invites others to gaze upon its zeal—a zeal that is born of novelty and dies of collapse, when its brief fever has subsided. His attachment to a good cause was steady and permanent, and his promptitude in action was only surpassed by his wisdom in deliberation. There was a manly energy in his advocacy of public interests, and he gave to them the weight of his character, as well as the energies of his mind; so that, in his warmest appeals, he never injured his cause with extravagant assertions, nor did he commit himself with unwarranted magniloquence. Ho at once saw a subject on all sides, and it was, therefore, discussed in its entire circuit, and under all its aspects, with calm and judicious fulness and effect. And all the while he was affable, kind, and tender—noted for his easy frankness and humour.
The sermons published by Dr. Stark during his life-time, and those which are found in this posthumous volume, do not form a complete image of their author. Alas! the living voice is not heard—the stately form of the preacher is not seen. There was an air of solemnity about Dr. Stark, which subdued and penetrated his audience. He realized more than almost any preacher we have heard, what it is to preach as a dying man to dying men. You listened, and were held in awful attention. The earnestness of a na
tural eloquence so wrought upon you, that your heart was speedily brought " under the power of the world to come." The impression was produced, not by gleams of genius, nor by fineness of sentiment, beanty of imagery, melody of intonation, gracefulness of gesture, or power of rhetoric; but by the simple presentation of Divine truth in its own serene majesty and beauty. This peculiarity was the special charm of Dr. Stark's preaching; for in the impressions made by it, the principal cause was die message itself, announced with honest, hearty, and unaffected vigour and pathos. In estimating the effect produced by a sermon, external attractions are too often to be taken into account—a rich voice, a commanding elocution, a sparkling fancy, or impassioned appeal. But whatever personal qualifications Dr. Stark possessed, they were so employed, and Bo subordinated, that the gospel be preached stood ont in glorious prominence to win and to convince. There was nothing artistic in his delivery; its charm was the natural utterance of weighty thoughts,—the effort of a great mind to pour out its meditations with all the gravity and warmth which the theme demanded and created. Dr. Stark's hearers felt that they were under a man of massive intellect. Divine truth was given them, not in shreds or patches, but in its breadth and completeness. His mind seemed to move somewhat heavily at first, but "as he mused, the fire burned;" his spirit kindled, and in his excitement, paragraphs of accumulative energy formed themselves from his lips.
Our deceased friend was a "scribe well instructed." Theology wa9 his favourite study. Scholarship, in its modern sense, was not in so much request in his younger days, nor even the means of attaining it so amplo and accessible as of late years. But he was an excellent scholar, versed in the tongues both of the Old and New Testament. Especially was he well exercised in systematic divinity, in the writings of Turretine, Mastriclit, and other continental giants. The theologians and commentators of Holland were among his favourite books. Few minds saw more clearly than his the entire scheme of grace in all its points and proportions, or could trace more certainly the boundary between truth and error. He was especially "sober-minded." We would express hismental characteristics by three epithets—vigour, solidity, judiciousness. He was never feeble, never flimsy, never rash or fanciful in argument or speculation.
The twenty-seven Lectures and Sermons in this volume will well repay an attentive perusal. The two discourses, named respectively, " Redemption, a fit Subject for Exultation and Praise," and "Glorious Designs accomplished by a Feeble Instrumentality," are noble specimens of Dr. Stark's style of pulpit oratory. The reader will perceive one peculiar beauty in all the sermons—the numerous and felicitous quotation*from Scripture, especially those taken from the Old Testament. The "Life" is 'Britten by Mr. Edmond, now of Glasgow, who, for more than eight years, was Dr. Stark's colleague, and who " served with him as a son with a father in the gospel." The biography has many touching passages, some of which, had our space permitted, we would gladly have extracted. Perhaps some paragraphs are rather ornate, not unlike a rich purple pall thrown over the plain bier of a Presbyterian pastor. The editor of the Discourses has dono his part, as a labour of love, with correctness and anxious care. His affectionate veneration fqr his deceased father-in-law was a sufficient motive to such pains-taking diligence. The frontispiece is a g>x>d likeness of Dr. Stark in his later years. That high forehead, thoughtful expression, and pensive gaze, indicate a mind not withqut its toils, and a life not without its trials, yet cheered and ennobled by the possession of a faith that had long looked forward to glory, and now felt that, after fifty years of service, it could riot be Tery distant from rest and reward. Need we say that wc heartily commend the volume?
The Life Axd Times Of Hottet. Harbin, Esq., the first Itinerant Preacher in Wales, whose Labours vrre very extraordinary and successful By the Rev. Edward MorGan, M.A., Vicar of Syston, Leicatershire. Small 8vo., pp. 298.
Hushes and Butler.
Those who have read "Tho Life and Times of Whitefield," by the Rev. Robert Philip, or "The Life and Times of the Countess of Huntingdon," are not unacquainted with tho name and character of Howcl Harris. He was the intimate friend and frequent companion of Whitefield, especially in Wales. "I was much refreshed," says that great evangelist, "with the sight of my dear brother, Howel Harris, whom, though I knew not in person, I have long since loved in the bowels of Jesus Christ, and have often felt my soul drawn out in prayer on his behalf. 'A burning and shining light' has he been in these parts" (referring to the principality of Wales); "a barrier against profaneness and immorality; and an indefatigable promoter of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. About three or four years God has inclined him to go about doing good. He is now about twenty-five years of age. Twice he has applied (being every way qualified) for holy orders, but was refused under the false pretenoe that he was not of age, though he was then twenty-two years and B!x months. About a month ago
he offered himself again, but was put off. Upon this he was, and is still, resolved to p on in his work; and indefatigable zeal has ne shown in his Master's service. For thrrt years, as he told me, be has discoursed twice almost every day, for three or four hours together; not authoritatively, as a minister, bet as a private person exhorting his Chrstisr. brethren. He has been, I think, in tern counties, and has made it his business to jo to 'wakes,' to turn people from such vapit'e*. Many alehonse people, fiddlers, and harpers. (Demetrius like.) sadly cry oat against Km for spoiling their business. But God ra» blessed him with inflexible courage. Instantaneous strength has been communicated to him from above, and he continues to go on 'from conquering to conquer." He is of I most catholic spirit; loves all that love cm Lord Jesns Christ; and therefore he ■ styled by bigots, a Dissenter. He is contemned by all that are 'lover* of pfeasnrt more than lovers of God;' but God h» greatly blessed his pious endeavours. Many call, and own him as their spiritual father, and, I believe, would lay down their lives for bis sake. He discourses generally in a field, —from a wall, or a table, or anything else,— but at other times in a house. He his established nearly thirty societies in ferf* Wales, apd still his field of action is enlarged daily. He is 'full of faith and of the Hoir Ghost,'
"When I first saw him my heart wss closcly knit to him. I wanted to catch somj of his fire, and give him the right hand <# fellowship with my whole heart. After 1 had saluted him, and given a warm exhortation to a great number of people who followed me to the inn, wc spent the remainder of the evening in taking sweet counsel together, and telling one another what God had done for our souls. My heart w:is still drawn out towards him more and more- •» divine and strong sympathy seemed to appear between "ns, and I was resolved to promot? his interest with all my might. Aocordinjlv we took an account of the several societies, and agreed on such measures as seemed mov. conducive to promote the common interest of our Lord. After much comfortable and encouraging conversation with each other, ▼* kneeled down and prayed; and great enlargement of heart God was pleased to give roe in that dnty. This done, we ate a little supper, and then, after singing a hymn, we went to bed, praising and blessing God for brhurrae; us face to face. I doubt not but that Sat^n envied our happiness. But I hope, by tie help of God, we shall make his kingdom shake."—pp. 31—83.
It appears that Howcl Harris was the first to invite the Rev. John Wesley to visit the principality, when a warm attachment to each other ensued, and survived the death of
the former, notwithstanding the controversy which at length arose between them. When on hi* second visit to Wales, Mr, Wesley met Ilarris, by appointment, near the New Passago, and rode with him to St. Brides-in-theMoors, where they were met by Mr. Humphries, and Thomas Bissieks, of Kingswood. There the Rev. D. Rowlands preached. "About eleven," says Mr. Wesley, *f a few of us retired together, in order to provoke one another to love and to good works. But T. Bissieks immediately introduced the dispute, and others seconded him. This Harris and Rowlands strongly withstood ; but, finding it profit nothing, Rowlands soon withdrew. Harris kept thorn at bay until about one o'clock in the morning. Qoing the next day to a neighbouring house, I found Mr. Humphries and T. Bissieks tearing open the sore with all their might. When Harris heard of what had passed, he hastened to stand in the gap once moro, and with tears besought them all to 'follow after the things that made for peace.' And God biassed the healing words which he spake, so that we parted in much Jove, being all determined to let controversy alone, and to preach 'Jesus Christ and him, crucified.'"
The Rev. Charles Wesley was equally an admirer, and a warm friend, of Howel Ilarris, as appears from what lie says or him in his Journal, under date of May 8th, 1740, being then in Loudon:—" He declared his experience before the society. 0, what a flame was kindled! No man speaks in my hear, ing as this man spoakcth. What a, nursing father God has sent us! He has indeed learned of the Good Shepherd to carry the lambs in his bosom. Such lova, such power, such simplicity, was irresistible."—p. 48.
As thought the Wcsleys of Harris, as a Christian and a preacher, so did also the Couptess of Huntingdon, of which Mr. Morgan has given ample proof in this excellent volume. It is a book for all, but especially for ministers, whether qld or young, almost every page of which may be road with advantage and pleasure. But to analyse the work, or give a summary of its contents, such as we could wish, would extend this article to an inconvenient length. We shall therefore conclude with a note by the Rev. John Bulmer, formerly of Haverfordwest, and lato of* Newbury, Berks,* which Mr. Morgan has given entire: " During my residence in Wales, I was so much pleased with many things I heard and read of Howel Harris, that I collected all the information I could prooure at the time, and, in 1824, published 'Memoirs of his Life and Religious Labours/ This work was sold in less than
• Not Buc)u, at printed by niutoic- at the cud of Mr. Morgan's preface.
two months, having been noticed jn very flattering terms by some of the religious periodicals. I consequently thought of a second edition, with a view to which I visited Trevecca, and thence obtained important materials, with the existence of which I was previously unacquainted. But being engaged in printing other things which had not the same success, I afterwards gave up the Trcvecca MSS., with some other materials, to my friend Mr. Morgan, under the impression that he would do more justice to an enlarged Life of Harris than I was likely to do. Having nojsf read his excellent work with great pleasure and satisfaction, previous to publication, and heartily approving of what my friend has done with so much ability, candour, and libe-> rality, I beg leave to add my humble testimony to the value and importance of his 'Life and Times of Howel Harris, E»q.' Mr. Morgan's diligence in supplying himself with facts, anecdotes, and a large number of let^ ters, is worthy of much praise; and 1 must say, that the book he has written is, according to its size, one of the most interesting pieces of biography that I ever perused. I conceive that it will be a very great blessing to the religious world, and highly valuable to pious Christians of every denomination- To the members of the Evangelical Alliance it will be peculiarly acceptable, their principles being embodied in Howel Harris, and beautifully exemplified in his conduct on various occasions."
WfWSGTON AWD Vjqtobt; or, Christians more than Conrpjcrors. By the £et). A. Morton Browm, LL.D,, Cheltenham. 8vo. EP-24,
This discourse affords ample proof that the death of a great warrior and statesman is an event which may be turned to the best account by the enlightened Christian teacher, A more useful sermon upon such an occasion wo canpot well imagine; and, indeed, we well know that, as delivered from the pulpit, it produced a most powerful and salutary impression It is replete wit)i Bible truths, ably enforced; and though the preacher does not contend for the precise use which ho has made of his text, we think it by no means improbable, that (perhaps inadvertently,) he has caught the apostle's idea. Tho words are those of Paul to the Romans, chap. yiif. 37: "More than conqu<:rors.n Is it not probable that Paul, in estimating the triumph pf Christians through faith in Christ Jesus, intended to intimate that theirs was a victory far higher than tha.t which falls to the lot of earthly conquerors, however vast their renown and however splendid their achievements? Be this as it may, wo have here a very appropriate and powerful sermon, In