Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

poses. The author has distinguished, by a judicious use of italics and capitals, the passages in which a difference of emotion prevails.; thus endeavoring to secure a right musical and emotional expression of each. The tone of our worship would be greatly elevated by the use of such psalmody. The book is both elegant and cheap.

LECTURES ON HOMILETICS AND PREACHING, AND OF PUBLIC PRAYER,

TOGETHER WITH SERMONS AND LETTERS. By EBENEZER Porter, D.D., President of the Theological Seminary, Andover, U. S. Ward and Co.

Essays ON THE CARISTIAN MINISTRY : Selected from the American

Biblical Repository and other American Periodicals, with a preface. By W. H. MURCH, D.D. London : Ward and Co.

That to become an effective preacher, requires the acquisition of varied knowledge, and careful attention to the laws of thought, language and rhetoric, is a position which but few practically accept, many doubt, and not a few deny. Some preachers regard themselves as so richly endowed by nature, as to render them superior to all Homiletic directions ; and others impiously endeavor to give their ignorant hearers the impression, that they are in such alliance with the Divine, that the afflatus descends on them whenever they stand up for “their Master,” giving them the “ blessed opportunity” of a fluent utterance. Sad that such windy nonsense, and in some cases, blatant blasphemies, which these inspired ones hoot out, should be so acceptable to the masses, and sadder still, that it should be ascribed to the Eternal Spirit of Truth. Such men act on the minds of a congregation, as an idiot on the strings of a harp. Cowper's language describes them well :-

“ So should an idiot while at large he strays,
Find the sweet lyre on which an artist plays;
With rash and awkward force the chords he strikes,
And grins with wonder at the jar be makes."

We, however, belong to that class, who regard good preaching as requiring a rare combination of superior natural endowments, sound mental training, and the noblest impulses of heart. For this reason we heartily commend to our ministerial readers, such works as those now under our notice.

The HOMILETIC LECTURES, by Dr. Porter, are the productions not only of a philosophic thinker, an able scholar, a reverent student of the Bible, but also of an experienced preacher; they are the lessons of experimental wisdom. Whilst we would not have all sermons

formed after his model, nor indeed after any other model, that of the Homilist included,--for every man true to his individuality, will, and should have his own plan of thought; we would have every preacher carefully study such principles, for the composition and delivery of sermons, as this work contains.

The other work before us: Essays ON THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY, is for the most part the productions of some of the leading professors of theology in America, and was delivered by them to those under their care, who were prosecuting their studies, preparatory to entering on the office of the christian ministry. The essays are chiefly selected from the “ American Biblical Repository.” They are about twenty-five in all, and mostly from different authors. Some of them are truly magnificent; there are one or two especially, whose value is worth the price of the whole volume.

LECTURES ON Christian Theology. By Geo. CARISTIAN KNAPP,

Professor of Theology, in the University of Halle. Fourth Edition. London : Ward and Co.

AN ELEMENTARY COURSE OF BIBLICAL THEOLOGY. Translated from

the work of PROFESSOR STORR and Flatt. With additions by SCHMUCKER. London : Ward and Co.

We fear that Theological science in this country is fast becoming neglected and unpopular. The chief cause of this is, we think, to be found in the coarse, uncharitable, and persecuting spirit of certain dogmatists, who, in these last days, have set themselves up as the standards of theology, and the defenders of the faith. Young Biblical students, recoiling with disgust from the conduct of such men, have somewhat naturally, yet unjustifiably, been led to disparage all theological formularies and systems. We trust, however, that this state of things will not long continue, and that theology will be put upon such a broad and rational basis, and advocated with such noble spirit, as will yet give it its true position amongst us as the Queen of Science, or rather as the root of the tree of universal knowledge. KNAPP'S THEOLOGY has long been a favorite with us.

Taken as a whole, we know of no work of the kind that approaches it in merit. He derives the elements of his system from the scriptures of God, and the experiences of the good. He illustrates the divine doctrines by analogies from classical writers; the intuitive sentiments of mankind to which they correspond ; the spiritual exigencies of our nature which they are intended to meet ; the history of the opinions that have prevailed in all ages concerning them; and by the various learned distinctions which have been adopted, respecting them both in ancient and modern times. He essays to organize the doctrines thus illustrated into a complete system. The philosophy which he adopted, and by which he was influenced, as far as by any, is that popular eclectic system, which prevailed between the downfall of Wolf, and the ascendency of Kant. The style is clear, sententious, and forceful. There are no waste words !

The other Theological work before us is the joint.production of Professors STORR and Flatt, two of the ablest German Divines that this century has produced. “These distinguished champions of the truth sustained,” says the Translator, “ the cause of orthodoxy for upwards of twenty years, and published from time to time the most able replies to the several symptoms of infidelity which sprung up in Europe." Having been harassed by metaphysical, speculative and sceptical systems of pretended christianity, they felt the nécessity of building their faith exclusively on the word of God; and the present work is therefore purely of a Biblical character. It is confined to the doctrines which are taught in the sacred volumes, totidem verbis. The work is composed with the highest regard to exegesiscomposed, too, in view of all the objections which the liberalists of the last thirty years have been able to raise. It is in every respect an able and valuable work, and deserves a place in the library of every Biblical student.

POEMs. By MORGAN DE PEMBROKE. London: A. W. Bennett.

HERE are two dozen short poems, from a young Welshman. The spirit of poetry has evidently seized him, and he burns with its mystic fires, as did those bards, whose genius shed a lustre on his fatherland in the centuries that are past. Some of them glow with nature and flow in musical strains. Many of the stanzas are of a high type, and ring on the tenderest chords of the heart. The complaint we have against a few of the pieces, is that which makes much of modern poetry offensive to us, namely, their sentimental love. The poetry to our taste, is that which deals with our higher nature, wakes up the conscience, stirs to the deepest springs our sympathies with the right and the true, and prompts to those useful deeds of self-sacrifice and moral chivalry, which are wild romance to worldly souls.

A

H O M I L Y

ON

The Son of Man.

"Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am ?”—Matt. xvi. 13.

[ocr errors]

HE Son of Man—such is one of the many appellations by which the Messiah was prophetically indicated, ages before our Lord's ad

vent in the flesh. “I saw in the night visions," ao writes the prophet Daniel, “and behold one like unto the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came unto the Ancient of days,” &c. It is also that particular appellation, by which He most loved to designate Himself, during His public ministry among us. Often as He spoke of God as His Father, it is but seldom we find Him calling Himself The Son of God.Occasionally, it is true, He does so, and at times too, He calls Himself simply “The Son”; but “The Son of Man" is the designation He most loved. ACcordingly, it is frequently to be met with in the pages of the New Testament; and though never applied to Him by others until after His ascension, when for the first time we find it employed by the martyr Stephen, who declared that he saw “ the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God,” it is of continual recurrence in our Lord's own mouth. Has it ever occurred to you to consider its import, or the reason why He should have selected this particular appellation in preference to any other title under which He was predicted? The commentators upon scripture give us but a very poor and inadequate account of its large significance, and a few suggestions upon the subject may perhaps, therefore, not be unworthy your attention, .

[graphic]

2 N

Vol. IX.

Looked at even in its lowest aspect, as an emphatic assertion of His real and proper humanity, it will immediately strike you as conveying an intimation of another, and a higher nature than the human. For what sane man, who was merely a man, would ever think of going about, and declaring himself to be really a man? Neither prophet nor apostle, however eminently gifted and distinguished, ever thought it necessary to do that. Their humanity was evident enough, and needed not that they should endeavor to impress others with the conviction of it. Christ's humanity was also evident enough ; so palpable, indeed, that when He spoke of God as His Father, the Jews took up stones to stone Him, for what shocked them as an intolerable impiety. Yet man, as He evidently was, He was not satisfied with being seen and known as a man; but everywhere, and on all occasions, in private conversation, and in public discourse, to his friends and to his enemies, to all with whom he came in contact, He constantly spoke of Himself under an appellation, one evident design of which was to declare and enforce the plain, obvious, unquestionable fact, of His real and proper humanity. Think of it for a moment, and then say whether, had He been nothing more than man, is it possible that He should have acted thus ?

Take then the statements of Scripture, that, though born of a woman, He had no human father ; that a virgin was His mother, and that He was conceived by the Holy Ghost; that He had stooped to the assumption of our nature;

that one with the Father from eternity, He had by His own voluntary humiliation, taken upon Him the form of a servant, and been made in the likeness of men, and then nothing will seem more natural and appropriate, than that He should thus assert and insist upon the fact of his humanity. For what a fact it is! How great! How wonderful ! How momentous ! How could it be otherwise than continually present to His own mind ? Or how, feeling its greatness as He must have felt it, could He have been otherwise than anxious, that those for whom He had thus stooped should feel its great

« AnteriorContinuar »