Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

THOMAS CARLYLE ON THE PULPIT.

power of insertion to suit the particular times and places ; some power of explaining on the spot whatever is read from the Scriptures which may require explanation, or at any rate of stating the context. It does seem to me that the reforms required in our Liturgy and Service are so obvious, and so little affect the system itself, that their long omission is doubly blameable. But more remains behind, and of far greater difficulty:-to make the Church at once popular and dignified ; to give the people their just share in its government, without introducing a democratical spirit; to give the clergy a thorough sympathy with their flocks, without altogether lowering their rank and tone. But altogether, taking their service as it is, and ours as it is, I would far rather have our own ; how much more, therefore, with the slight improvements which we so easily might introduceif only- But even to the eleventh hour we will not reform, and therefore we shall be, not, I fear, reformed, but rudely mangled, or overthrown by men as ig. norant in their correction of abuses, as some of us are in the maintenance of them. Periodical visitations of extreme severity have visited the Church and the world at different times, but to no human being is it given to anticipate which will be the final one of all. Only the lesson in all of them is the same : If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear ?' And in each of these successive 'comings' of our Lord, how little is the faith which He has found even among His professed followers! May He increase this faith in me, and those who are dearest to me, ere it be too late for ever!”

There is not a hamlet where poor peasants congregate, but by one means or another, a Church apparatus, has been got together, roofed edifice, with revenues and belfries, pulpit, reading desk, with books and methods, possibly in short and strict prescription, that a man stand there and speak of spiritual things to men. It is beautiful;—even in its great obscuration and decadence, it is among the most beautiful, most touching, objects one sees on the earth. This speaking man has indeed in these times, wandered terribly from the point ; has alas, as it were, totally lost sight of the point; yet at bottom, whom have we to compare with him ? Of all public functionaries, boarded and lodged on the industry of modern Europe, is there one worthier of the board he has ; a man even professing, and never so languidly making still some endeavor, to save the souls of men ?

Contrast him with a man professing to do little but shoot partridges for men ! I wish he could find the point again, this Speaking One ; and stick to it with tenacity, with deadly energy, for there is need of him yet!

The speaking function, this of truth, coming to us with a living voice, nay, in a living shape, and as a concrete practical exemplar ; this with all our writing and printing functions, has a perennial place, could he but find the point again; take the old spectacles off his nose and looking up discover almost in contact with him, what the real Satanas, and soul-devouring, world-devouring, Devil, Now is.

AN ASTRONOMER'S PRAYER. It remains only that I should lift up to heaven my eyes, and God be preached by unworthy men, though their example may very much limit its reception.

H. WILLIAMSON.

THE PROGRESS OF SIN.

Man's downward course is made by very imperceptible steps, and he does not become aware of the rapid strides he has made until some dread calamity bursts upon him like a storm-cloud ; just as the minute hand of the clock glides noiselessly along, and we are only informed that an hour is passed by the loud stroke of the bell.

IBID.

SUPERFICIAL KNOWLEDGE.

hands from the table of pursuits, and humbly and devoutly supplicate the Father of lights.

O thou, who by the light of nature dost enkindle in us a desire after a light of grace, that by this thou mayest translate us into the light of glory ; I give thee thanks O Lord and Creator, that thou bast gladdened me by thy creation, when I was enraptured by the work of thy hands. Behold I have here completed a work of my calling, with as much of intellectual strength as thou hast granted me. I have declared the praise of thy works to the men who will read the evidences of it, so far as my finite spirit could comprehend them in their infinity. My mind endeavored to its utmost to reach the truth by philosophy ; but if anything unworthy of thee has been taught by me -a worm born and nourished in sin,—do thou teach me that I may correct it. Have I been seduced in

presumption by the admirable beauty of thy works, or have I sought my own glory among men, in the construction of a work designed for thy honor ? O then graciously and mercifully forgive me; and finally grant me this favor, that this work may never be injurious, but may conduce to thy glory and the good of souls.

KEPLER.

When the evening is waning and twilight appears, and the stars are beginning to emit their uncertain light, how indistinct are the objects which surround us! How readily our imagination works them up into hideous monsters of all shapes and sizes ! This is the result of a little light. So it is with a little knowledge, which is the light of the soul. In such an uncertain light-a light shaded and obscured by the massive barriers of pride and sin, how can the grand economies of pature and grace appear otherwise than a confused system, possessing no beauty of arrangement -a ghastly monster of contradictions ?

IBID.

LIFE AND FORCE.

ORIGINAL SIMILITUDES.

CARIST'S AMBASSADORS. The messengers of truth are very often styled in the word of God “Vessels," as bearing the Gospel—the "water of life;" and as very pure water is often car. ried in an unclean and paltry vessel, without doing any harm beyond producing a dislike on the part of those who would receive it, so may the pure word of

How ponderous is a steam engine! With what ease it performs the labor of many hun. dred men ! Yet one man will outlive many steam engines. The power of force is greater to look at, but the power of life is greater in reality. Yea, the power in the simplest plant is more wonderful in its kind than the most powerful machinery.

IBID.

Literary Notices.

[We hold it to be the duty of an Editor either to give an early notice of the books sent to him for remark, or to return them at once to the Publisher. It is unjust to praise worthless books; it is robbery to retain unnoticed ones.)

THE REVIEWER'S CANON.
In every work regard the author's end,
Since none can compass more than they intend.

IlistORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH TO THE REFORMATION. From

the German of Professor Kurtz. With Emendations and Additions. By the Rev. ALFRED EDERSHEIM. Ph. D. Vol. I.

Edinburgh : T. and T. Clark. MODERN Church History is the child of the reformation. In order to justify their doctrinal position, and shew their agreement with the early Church, certain of the most learned amongst the Lutherans, headed by Matthias Flacius, issued in the third quarter of the sixteenth century a most erudite Church History. The work was begun at Magdeburg, and it appeared finally in thirteen volumes, each of which comprehended a century. Hence the authors were called Magdeburg Centuriators. The much more compendious work of Mosheim also follows the dry method of centuries, than which none could have been devised more laborious for the writer, or less interesting for the reader. We have not space to refer to the Roman Catholics ;—the laborious Baronius, or the faithful Tillemont ;-who reproduces the first six centuries, and on whom Lardner draws so largely; -or the polite and diffuse Fleury. The work of the English Echard has fallen into undeserved oblivion. Yet to give us a history from the peculiar point of view of the Church of England were a task worthy of the pen of one of her best scholars. Why is not this undertaken by Trench or Swainson ? We have hitherto in England had little else but fragments ;-histories that are special in subject or aim, as Collier's, Fuller's, Burton's. Milner's, though a work of genuine learning, is rather a “History of piety," or of that sort of piety with which the author felt the most affinity, than a “History of the Church." Neander is a more philosophic and liberal Milner ; takes a wider range, and eschews the false formality of the centuries, and maps out the different periods in scientific spirit. Hase's erudite work will be found useful for reference by the reader who is on his guard against the tendency to a kind of rationalism. The method of Gieseler is peculiar ; the text being most concise, and the notes giving a most valuable selection of sources, so that the reader need not blindly depend on the author's judgment. Guericke and Kurtz are followers of Neander, and their far more compendious works are executed in a similar spirit. Kurtz, however, is fuller than Guericke, and the learned translator and Editor makes considerable additions, particularly in relation to Wycliffe and the Lollards, John Huss and the Bohemian Brethren. He intends also in the sequel a history of the Calvinian Churches. If the student has not time for the nine volumes of Neander, he will find either Guericke or Kurtz a very convenient substitute. Both are published by Messrs. Clark. Dr. Kurtz is one of the contributors to Herzog's incomparable Encyclopaedia. The present volume brings down the History to the close of the fifteenth century. The translation appears to be well executed, and the matter supplied by the Editor is very valuable.

THE PUBLIC LIFE OF CAPTAIN John Brown. By JAMES REDPATH,

With an Autobiography of his Chiidhood and Youth. London :

Thickbroom and Stapleton. The name of John Brown, of Harper's Ferry, will go down to posterity along with those of the most heroic benefactors of the race. It is remarkable that this philanthrope and martyr came of true Puritan blood, being the sixth in descent from Peter Brown, one of the Pilgrim Fathers, who sailed in the May Flower, and landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. When we consider his manly and consistent course and the barbarous way in which it was terminated, we know not which is the uppermost feeling, whether indignant sorrow that so much oppression and cruelty, as are manifest in his enemies, should be possible still, in spite of all the gospel privileges, the religious revivals, and profession, in the United States,-or hearty admiration of the integrity and resolute humanity of Brown, and of the majestic fortitude of his death. We take it for granted that in this country only one opinion prevails about slavery, but unless righteousness speedily settle the question for the States, and this horrible cancer be removed, we fear that it will prove fatal to their unity, and even to their existence. However let us cherish hope. The martyrdom of Christ effected, as much as His preaching, the triumph of His principles. Nor shall the blood of this His faithful follower, who died to testify against the oppressor, and to assert the essential equality of mankind, be shed in vain.

We earnestly exhort our readers to procure this volume. It is worth cartloads of sentimentalism. Here are deeds not words, self

sacrifice, not profession. John Brown's quiet reality is a relief in these twaddling and false times, and renews our faith. Groaning under the nightmare of conventionalism and expediency, we are roused by this book to breathe freely the morning air and hopefully give thanks, that even in this nineteenth century, God has not left off making men. It is perhaps not a very artistic biography, but will, for all that, be eminently delightful to sound hearts. It has much of the writing of John Brown himself, as well as of the author ; it gives an account of his ancestry, a narrative of his early years, of his energetic efforts, and his sublime death, and it is dedicated to those “ who, when the mob shouted, Madman! said, Saint ! ”

WORK AND CONFLICT ; OR, THE DIVINE LIFE IN ITS PROGRESS. A

Book of Facts and Histories. By the Rev. JOHN KENNEDY,

M.A., F.R.G.S. London: 56, Paternoster Row. THOSE of our readers who perused the former work of our author treating of the Divine Life,” with reference, especially, to its nature, and to the manner and means of its origination in the human soul, will know pretty well what to expect in this, and perhaps, seize it with avidity. The work is divided into two parts; the first including the soul's work, the WORLD's work, and the socIAL work; and the second, including conflict with sin, conflict with despondency and doubt, and conflict with suffering and death. Each of these chapters contains a considerable amount of judicious thinking, and good writing, enlivened and made deeply interesting by a rich infusion of the godly experiences of the most illustrious of the mighty dead. Though we are not disposed to look upon religion in exactly the same aspects as we have it here presented, and though we cannot see much of the “ Divine Life," as it is called, in some of the characters that are here canonized, we can heartily recommend the book :—it is a readable work on experimental religion, it has life in it, and will live, and by God's grace give life.

EARLY BLOSSOMS ; OR, MEMORIALS OF A MINISTER'S FAMILY. Five

of whom died within fourteen months. By their Father, WILLM,

FULTON. Edinburgh : Oliphant and Sons. This little Book is of thrilling interest to us. It carries us back to the days of childhood, and reproduces scenes and impressions which for a time overwhelmed with anguish our young spirits. On the first day of one lovely May we were eight children, four boys and four girls, all hale and happy ; but ere the month had closed the four dear girls were silent in their graves. We remember the uncontrolable agony of our mother's grief, we hear the echo of her shrieks; and

« AnteriorContinuar »