Imágenes de páginas

million years.

cording to Mr. Reade, the sedimentary an average throughout all geological crust of the earth is at least one mile time, will bear to the exposures of in average thickness, of which prob- sedimentary rocks a ratio of about one ably one-tenth consists of calcareous to nine. From these and other data, matter. In seeking the origin of this Mr. Reade concludes that the elimicalcareous matter, it is assumed that nation of the sedimentary strata must the primitive rocks of the original have occupied at least six hundred crust were of the nature of granitic

This would be the or basaltic rocks. By disintegration minimum age of the world. The of such rocks, calcareous and other author infers that the formation of sedimentary deposits have been the Laurentian, Cambrian, and Siformed. The amount of lime-salts in lurian strata must have occupied waters which drain districts made up about two hundred million years; the of granites and basalts is on an aver- Old Red Sandstone, the Carboniferous, age about 3.75 parts in 100,000 parts and the Poikilitic systems another of water.

two hundred million ; and all the It is furthur assumed that the ex- other strata the remaining two hunposed areas of igneous rocks, taking dred million.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

UPON a restless sea the age is cast ;

And while a scattered few the haven find

Where waves are still and silent is the wind,
Unnumbered hearts now battle with the blast,
Nor can they tell how long the strife will last,

Nor whether what they count their richest gain
May soon be swallowed in the boundless main
That rocks them on its heavings wild and vast.
Thrice happy they whose souls the truth have gained

Taught long ago on Galilean sea-
When hearts beat quick, and startled eyes were strained

To find the Form that walked its waves was He-
Who know He reigns Who lordship then maintained,

And winds and waves must still His servants be!

SELECT LITERARY NOTICES. Sermons. By the Rev. Phillips Brooks. the excellencies and most of the defects of London : Richard D. Dickinson.-Mr. that eloquent and richly suggestive lecBrooks may be regarded as the Robertson turer upon texts of Scripture. The selfof America. He has evidently, to a con

confidence of Mr. Brooks is not so obtrusive siderable extent, consciously or unconsci- as that of Mr. Robertson, nor is it so ously, made Robertson his model; albeit offensive, in either sense of that word : it he is himself a sufficiently original, inde- is neither 80 combative nor 80 distasteful pendent, self-consulting and self-reliant to a thorough believer in the Bible. On thinker. Therein, indeed, consists one of the other hand, Mr. Brooks is Mr. Roberthis strongest resemblances to Robertson of son's inferior as an expositor of Scripture, Brighton. These sermons exhibit most of taking

the discourses of the latter on the


Epistles to the Corinthians as the index of his power. Exegesis is not Mr. Brooks' taste, so it is not likely to be his forte. To him the Bible is a book of mottoes: a text is a thing to be talked about, in as ethical, interesting, able and generally pleasing and profitable a manner as possible. He usually shows an utter indifference to the context, and does not much trouble himself with correlating the saying of the sacred writer which he has chosen as the basis or starting-point of his remarks with the other utterances of the same inspired writer. The frequent result of this is that some secondary truth is thrust into the foreground, whilst the primary teaching of the passage is either cast into the shade or lost sight of altogether. This is glaringly the case in his otherwise very edifying and, of course, very striking Good Friday Sermon on: Then were there two thieves crucified with Him,' and 'I am crucified with Christ.' In treating of the latter text, the truths which were uppermost in St. Paul's own mind, at the time when he first spoke and then wrote those words (as is clear from the immediately preceding verses); the spiritual facts which were always uppermost and most influential, as proved from the whole tenor of his writings -namely, the substitutionary scrifice of Christ and justification by faith in Himthese are conspicuous by their absence. Now it must be seen at once that this is

gravely wrong. In the first place, it is, from a merely literary and critical point of view, leaving out of sight the authoritative inspiration of St. Paul, an altogether indefensible misrepresentation of St. Paul's real views and sentiments. Mr. Brooks professes to be giving St. Paul's views and sentiments; in reality and in effect, he is paring down both the teaching and the experience of St. Paul to make it fit into the mental preferences and moral æsthetics of the Rev. Phillips Brooks and his Boston audience. Moreover, this is a most griev ous practical mistake for a sincere and earnest Preacher to be betrayed into by intellectual self-indulgence-a man with an obvious and intense desire to be really helpful to his hearers in striving to be and do what they ought to be and do. The simple and robust believer cannot but feel how much more powerful, how much more real, all this fine Christian sentiment would be, if it were vitally connected with the revealed verities with which it was associated in the mind and the personal experience of St. Paul. A diluted Gospel is an enfeebled Gospel. If Divine truth be first maimed and then crutched by a speculative, self-evolved, self-pleasing dogmatism or doubtingness, it is, perforce, crippled, both on the march and in the field of fight.

Hence the silver trumpet which Mr. Brooks puts to his muscular and skilful lips too often gives an uncertain sound,' which cannot but bewilder the man who is summoned to prepare himself to the battle' with evil, error, denial, and doubt. The evil spirit will not heed the most exquisite minstrelsy, if incertitude makes a rift in the lute,' so that neither the patient, in his paroxysm, nor the fiend in his fury, can know what is piped or harped." Mr. Brooks-athlete as he is sometimes, happily not often, so fights as one that beateth the air'; strikes blindly and confusedly right and left, as if he could not clearly make out whether the form before were a friend or a foe. Aggressive, dogmatizing doubt seems to him to come in 'such a questionable shape,' that he must challenge it with the demand, 'Be'st thou a spirit of health, or goblin damned?'

Our readers must not for a moment suppose that these strictures apply to all, or even to most, of these remarkable discourses. More than one-third of the book is read before the slightest misgiving is aroused as to the completeness or the firmness of the Preacher's faith in the Scriptures, or the absoluteness of his deference to them. The first apprehension is awoke by a faintly-hinted, airily-syllabled universalism. This finds less indistinct articulation in the antepenultimate sermon, that from: Brethren, the time is short,' where the indefinite prolongation of life as a term of probation and a season of salvation after bodily death, is regarded as quite an open question in Christian theology. The obvious fact that this, to say the least, greatly enfeebles both the argument and the appeal of the Apostle, does not disconcert Mr. Brooks at all, but we wonder he does not feel its weakening effect even on his own reasonings and admonitions. How nebulous in his theological system, if he have a theological system at all, are some of the grand, stupendous, basal truths of Christianity is shown in his sermon for Trinity Sunday, where, after stating his views of the doctrine of the Trinity, he adds: 'To other worlds of other needs, and so of other understandings (for our needs are always the avenues for our intelligence), othersides of the personal force of the Divine life must have issued.' If this do not mean that other Persons in the Trinity besides the Son and the Spirit, or instead of the Son and the Spirit, must have issued' 'to other worlds,' we cannot make out its relevancy or its signification in this connection.

The first two sermons-on The Purpose and Use of Comfort; and on The Withheld Completions of Life are very touching


and consolatory; the third-on The Con- make strictures on a writer to whom we queror from Edom-is grandly dramatic. are indebted for so much consolation, ad. But the best sermon in this volume is the monition and edification. fourth, on Keeping the Faith. We wish this could be separately printed and circu- The Connexional Economy of Wesleyanlated by thousands. Strangely enough, Methodisminits Ecclesiastical and Spirithe weakest discourse is that on The tual Aspects. By James H. Rigg, D.D., Present and Future Faith. One could Author of Modern Anglican Theology,' hardly believe the two to have been written etc. London : Published for the Author, by the same man, in however different at the Wesleyan Conference Office.-As moods. Alas for the Church and the World the General Preface states, 'This volume if the Future Faith is to be the result of is mainly a republication’; and very useful the cession as debatable ground-the not and timely it is. The first tractate : Conkeepingso many integral portions of gregational Independency and Wesleyan Divine Revelation? The sermons on The Connexionalism Contrasted-must ever Man with one Talent and on Unspotted hold a high rank in the Library, of from the World, are very useful.

Wesleyan Apologetics. Its polemic charMr. Brooks' sermons are the opposite of acter is due, not in any wise to the taste or commonplace. Indeed, they sometimes seem temper or habitudes of the author, but to to manifest an avoidance of the ordinary, the memorable, we might say historic, natural, straightforward mode of treating occasion of its first appearance. During & text. The talent they exhibit fully the terrible paroxysm of 1849, some emiaccounts for and justifies the high reputa- nent Congregationalists seized the opportion of their author, who is, we under- tunity to attack the basal principles of stand, recognized as the ablest Preacher in Methodism in the most resolute, sometimes the American Episcopal Church. On this in the most virulent manner. One of the account we the more regret the defects most distinguished Congregationalist Minwhich we have felt bound to point out. isters, at a great meeting in the West There is a tinge of Emersonian transcen- Riding of Yorkshire, declared with exultadentalism here and there which does not tion, The Church of England is tottering render more vivid the presentation of the to its fall; Methodism is already in ruins, truth. How recklessly loose, to speak and there will soon be an open field for mildly, is such a statement as this from Congregationalism. the pen of an eminent Christian teacher: The voice is Richard, Duke of Glouces'Shelley, who tried so hard to be heathen, ter's voice, in view of the death of his two and would still be Christian in his own brothers : despite'! We assume that all Mr. Brooks

Clarence hath not another day to live: means by this startling sentence is that, rabid blasphemer and fanatical God-hater

Which done, God take King Edward to as Shelley took good care that all the

And leave the world for me to bustle world should know him to be, he yet could

in.' not help occasionally giving utterance to a sentiment much more befitting a Christian We will not name the men who, Edom-like, than a heathen. But what an unwar- took advantage of our troubles : rantable and misleading mode of saying this! If the best mode of treating fas

• Their pens are rust, tidious intellectualism is to humour it,

Their bones are dust, then Mr. Brooks has hit apon the right

Their souls are with the saints, we trust.' way of dealing with it.

We recall the unwelcome recollection only Moreover, the Preacher protrudes the to account for and vindicate the severity Incarnation to the displacement of the

with which our author exposes the un. atoning Sacrifice of Christ, and insists on scripturalness of the Independent theory His life to the obscuring of His death. of Church Government, and the weakMr. Brooks has published a very attractive ness and unprofitableness thereof for all and suggestive volume on Preaching, in the highest purposes of a Church. To which he rightly makes Truth the first re- call this exposure trenchant were to quirement in preaching. But, what is the use a very tame expression; it is terrible. practical use of this axiom unless we are Yet the moderation and candour of the sure of the source and standard of Truth? book are equal to its fearlessness and If an eloquent Preacher-and if one, then force. Dr. Rigg nought extenuof course every such Preacher-be compe- ates, so he sets doron nought in malice. tent to modify or supersede the doctrines But the discomfiture he inflicts is utter. of Scripture, then Trath becomes as mul. He smites Independency hip and thigh ; tiform, unauthoritative and uncertain as finds out every valnerable point,and pounds error. We are sorry to be obliged to the whole fabric into fragments. But if

His mercy,

polemics are forced upon a peaceable people, the more vigorous, thorough, resolute, the better. It is of no use going to war' in kid gloves.' We do not commit ourselves to the Doctor's precise view of every text on which he comments. We think he yields too much to Dr. Wardlaw, as to the radical meaning of the word Ecclesia. We cannot, again, see how our Lord's directions with regard to him who will not hear the Church, could refer originally' to the Jewish synagogue, since that was clearly not gathered together in Christ's name. Nor does the Doctor, as it seems to us, allow sufficient weight to the fact that the exclusion of the immoral Corinthian was by St. Paul required to be done by the Church in a formal and 'regular' manner.


Dr. Rigg demonstrates that Congregational Independency can only secure mutual help and united action amongst its isolated 'independent' Churches by forsaking its fundamental principles in favour of the Connexional principle. Happily, this is being done to a gradually increasing extent. Independency is Connexionalizing itself -paradoxical and self-contradictory as the very phrase may be-and that with the best results. Clusters of dependent Causes or interests' gather round the strong, rich Churches. Committees, to all intents and purposes, Connexional Committees are being formed. Departments, practically Connexional, are invested with extensive powers of general administration. The formation of dual-Churches in the same town, with a co-pastorate and regular exchange of ministrations, has been attempted, in one case at least with success, though in another with failure. All this we note not twittingly, but thankfully. We confidently hoped that mutual oversight as to Christian doctrine had been initiated by the Congregational Union, so that its 'Doctrinal Basis' should not be altogether a dead letter. The exclusion from the Union of some very able Preachers who attack that doctrinal basis, and in fact preach downright unbelief, seemed to indicate as much, if the significance of the act could be inferred from the course of the discussion; but we are sorry to find The Congregationalist earnestly repudiating this idea, and maintaining stoutly that the disbelieving Ministers were shut out on a mere technicality.

Dr. Rigg's volume is much more than a defence it is also a lucid exposition of the principles on which Methodism is based, or rather out of which it grew,which every one who wishes to understand Methodism would do well to study. The additional paragraphs, the chapters on the Class-Meeting, etc., and Dr. Rigg's Presidential speech at the first sitting of the

first Representative Conference-most appropriately introduced-add great value to the work. The chapter on the Test of Membership is of special force and value.

Priestcraft and Progress; being Sermons and Lectures. By Stewart D. Headlam, B.A., late Curate of Bethnal Green. London: John Hodges.-The title of this book would lead one to expect an attack upon Priestcraft as a hindrance to Progress. We find instead a defence of Priestcraft as the legitimate pioneer of Progress! But by Priestcraft Mr. Headlam means the craft, or work, which a Priest ought to follow, and refuses to admit into the word any admixture of ecclesiastical craftiness. It is not quite so clear what he means by Progress. The direction he thinks Progress should take is towards Secularism but he does not indicate either the exact route or the exact goal. The peculiarity of the book is its attempt to ally Ritualism and Secularism. We have as little sympathy with, or faith in, the one as in the other; and the two together make a strange compound. Yet the pro cess by which they have come to lie side by side in Mr. Headlam's mind is very plain. The writer of these sermons and lectures believes the doctrines of Ritualism. Being thrown amongst the poverty-stricken population of the East-end of London, he has learnt to compassionate their woes, and has grown indignant with Society that quietly permits them. He has had free intercourse with working men who have adopted socialistic or semi-socialistic opinions, and sympathy with their miseries has developed into sympathy with their tenets. To win them from dark infidelity he has tried to accommodate religion to their prejudices. So he teaches the baldest possible Universalism; advo cates the reading of secular books in Sunday-schools, that the Bible may gain no unfair advantage over them, but may stand upon its own merits; surrenders the inspiration of the Scriptures, except in the same sense as, though to a higher degre than, Plato and Shakespeare may claim to be inspired. Preaching on Sunday evening from: Walk in the Spirit, and ye sha not fulfil the lust of the flesh,' he thinks be expresses St. Paul's meaning when he urge his congregation to attend science and a classes. Yet all the while he propounds ex ceedingly 'high' doctrine as to the priest hood and the sacraments, or rather that the Lord's Supper. He never wearies telling his audience that it is Christ, not th Bible, he recommends, though he does no show how, when he has thrown overboar the New Testament, he can establish th existence and display the teaching of th

teaches. The study of Mr. Wesley's writings on Christian Perfection would be of great service to Mr. Morgan's theology.

The doctrine of the third sermon is even more dangerous than that of the first. After the cases of Lot, David, Solomon, Peter, and others have been quoted, we are assured : 'You have scarcely a reproof recorded, though you have the sin, not because it was not a sin, but because it was the sin of a child that feared, and that fell under sudden temptation in the hour of his weakness, but arose again weeping the tears of a genuine repentance, yea, and because “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him."! Could any reproof' be more terrible than that which David received, first from the lips of Nathan, and then from the retributive Providence of God. That sin in a child of God is less sinful, or less displeasing to God, than sin in an unbeliever, is a doctrine perilous in the extreme, leading straight to antinomianism.

Christ Whom he acknowledges to be the Son of God. He calls the doctrine of

substitution' immoral, and yet he claims that Christ's death was a sacrifice, and the · Holy Communion' a re-presentation of that sacrifice ! Nevertheless, Mr. Headlam seems an earnest and a lovable man, with strong sympathies for his fellows and a yearning desire to do them good. To read bis pointed, warm-hearted addresses is to respect his benevolence; and whilst we denounce his crade and extravagant doctrines, we cannot but confess to a kindly feeling for himself. We wish we could persuade him to ponder the question whether mutilation and unwarrantable manipulation of the Gospel is the best mode of bringing it to bear on the spiritual wants and intellectual convictions of the working men who ignorantly or wilfully have cast it from them with contempt. Alas ! for the working men of England if the leverage which is to raise them be an amalgam of Priestcraft and Secularism, even though attempted to be welded together in the glow of philanthropy.

By Little and Little, and other Ser. mons. By tho Rev. D. Parker Morgan, M.A., Vicar of Aberdorey.-These sermons may have an attraction for the people to whom they were preached, but the general public will scarcely care much for them. They are written in a plain, homely style, such as a country Clergyman might be expected to use in addressing a rustic congregation. Two or three reach, or even sorpass, the standard of mediocrity, but for the most part the attempts at eloquence are limping. There are occasionally inelegant transitions in the same paragraph from the use of the second person singular to the second person plural.

To the doctrine of the first and third sermons, exception may justly be taken. Their tendency is to reconcile the sinner to the necessity of sinning. The principle of the first sermon is, that while justification is the work of a moment, sanctification is the work of a life-time. The truth, that the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth from all sin,' is not named. We are told that, though we might wish to become perfect and pare at Once, our Gol-bas, in infinite wisdom and andoubted love, decreed that we should only attain to that blissful state “by little and little." We may secure to ourselves, by the act of exercising faith in Christ, the right to enter heaven,' bat 'meetness for heaven is a work requiring years of stern struggling with spiritual enemies.' Alas ! then, for the believer who dies soon after receiving justification, if there be no other way of obtaining meetness for heaven' than that which Mr. Morgan

The Evangelistic Baptism. By the Rev, James Gall. London: Gall and Inglis.-A man who has had fifty years' experience in eminently successful Missionwork ought to have learnt by experience something worth telling for the benefit of other workers. Mr. Gall, in this volume, enunciates the principles on which his celebrated Carrubber's Close Mission in Edinburgh has been carried on with such marvellous results, principles which, he believes, constitute the only bases for a plan of action that can reasonably be expected to effect the conversion of the world. He maintains that the Promise of the Father,' as distinct from the Spirit of the Son, is exclusively the Spirit of power for evangelistic work. He admits, of course, that the Holy Ghost is one.' Occasionally confused and overstrained in expression, he produces no adequate Scripture warrant for the sharp distinction drawn between the indwelling Spirit of the Son and the Spirit of the Father. The Evangelistic Baptism—the Baptism for evangelistic work — the author rightly concludes is the privilege of every believer, as much as the indwelling Spirit ; that the Church has for centuries been labouring under a fatal mistake in relegating evangelistic work almost exclusively to a few Church officers, instead of at once finding work for every convert. Mr. Gall mentions, but does not take sufficient notice of the fact, that many Churches are now waking up to the vast amount of working power at their command, outside the ranks of the stated Ministry. It is the glory of Methodism


« AnteriorContinuar »