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It was not offered by one habituated to devotion, and remarkable for a due employment of the means with which he had been favoured, but by a man, at other times, prayerless, and even profane. The prayer, and its answer, therefore, may serve to teach us that, where ordinary means are not available, extraordinary ones are not likely to be efficient.
What is it, in order to the increase and the spiritual prosperity of the church, therefore, that we need ? not acts of prayer on special occasions merely; but the habit of prayer; the spirit of prayer; the devont mind; the affections set on heavenly things. All we need is, to live up to our privileges as the ministers of Jesus Christ; to live in communion with him, to devote the heart, the mind, the talents, all we are and all we have to his service—" Whether we live, to live unto the Lord, or whether we die, to die unto the Lord, that whether we live or die, we may be the
It is admitted, considering the remains of depravity in the very best men, and the innumerable counteracting agencies that are incessantly in operation, that this is most difficult. And it is difficult just because it demands something more than the excitement of an hour, of a day, or even of several days in succession—it demands an habitual watchfulness against every unholy affection, every unworthy motive, every low and petty pursuit ; while it requires the cultivation of a spirit of determined perseverance, of habitual devotion, and of every gracious disposition. In one word, to come up to the claims of the three books at the head of these observations, each of them small but each of them valuable, the devotional habit must be cultivated, and the whole soul of the minister of the Gospel be permanently absorbed in his infinitely important work.
Mr. Pike's book is plain, fearless, searching, and eminently practical; and while we do not pledge ourselves as to every sentiment and every expression, we most heartily recommend a frequent and careful perusal of its pages to all young ministers. Those who have been long engaged in the honourable work, may perchance meet with not a few valuable hints in it.
Mr. March's little volume of Fifty-one Hymns is eminently adapted to the end for which it has been written. A spirit of deep humility, of ardent zeal, and of unaffected piety, breathes through its pages. The poetry is, in many parts, above mediocrity. “ The Old Ministry" is too well known, and has been too widely diffused, to need our critical approval. We dismiss the three, with the hope that they will be eminently useful in cherishing amongst our ministerial brethren a spirit of devotion, habitual, abiding, and followed among their people with the happiest results.
CURSORY NOTICES OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
The publication of the first volume of “ Skeletons of a Course of Theological Lectures, by the Rev. C. G. Finney, Professor of Didactic, Polemic, and Pastoral Theology in the Oberlin Collegiate Institute Ohio," and author of the celebrated Lectures on Revivals, will, we doubt not, excite considerable interest amongst theologians, both in this country and the United States. Messrs. Wiley and Putman, of Paternosterrow, American booksellers, have favoured us with a copy of this book, which is not yet reprinted in this country, and where our readers may, doubtless, obtain it; but we have not had leisure carefully to examine it, and cannot venture to do more than announce the volume until it has been thoughtfully and thoroughly perused. (Wiley & Putman.)
"A Cry from the Tombs; or, Facts and Observations on the Impropriety of Burying the Dead amongst the Living," is a striking pamphlet, which ought to awaken the attention of the friends of humanity to an enormous physical evil in all our old towns and cities, which originated in superstition, and has been perpetuated from age to age, by the cupidity of one class and the carelessness of another. We wish that its faithful author, the Rev. J. Peggs, had not had occasion to include dissenting chapels and burying-grounds in his just censures. We wish this pamphlet such a circulation as will arouse the public to a sense of the peril to which their health is exposed by this loathsome practice. (J. Snow.)
As the advocates of Popery have now the boldness to deny that the Church of Rome sanctions the worship of the blessed virgin, we are happy to recommend the second edition of a little volume, entitled, “ Mariolatry;" or, facts and evidences derived from the Breviary and other Romish formularies of devotion, and from the testimonies of “the saints and doctors" of that church, confirmed by the attestations of modern travellers, to establish that accusation. It will require all the jesuitry of the Bishop of Melipotamus to remove the impression which this compilation must produce. (W. E. Painter.)
Amongst the gifted women of America, who consecrate their talents to the service of religion and humanity, the name of Mrs. Sigourney, of Hartford, Connecticut, has long been distinguished. Her lyric poetry often reminds us of the works of Mrs. Hemans, whilst her prose, devoted to the instruction of the young, is perspicuous and interesting. This lady has visited the father-land during the present year, and has left behind her three volumes as memorials of her visit. The first is a new edition of “Letters to Young Ladies," on time—religion—knowledge industry-domestic employments-health and dress-manners and accomplishments—sisterly virtuesbooks—friendship-cheerfulness-conversation—evening thoughts—superficial attainments-benevolence-self-control-motives to usefulness—motives to perseverance. This edition, we learn from the advertisement, has two additional letters, and other original matter, and forms a volume well adapted for a present to a young lady. The other volumes are devoted to the muses—“ Pocahontas, and other Poems," and “Poems Religious and Elegiac," contain many pieces that have not been previously published. Although not of equal merit as poetical compositions, yet they are always respectable, and often characterized by a beauty and pathos which must interest and affect every virtuous reader. (Jackson & Walford.—R. Tyas.)
The Rev.John Dyer, Senior Secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society, died recently, under circumstances most afflictive to his personal friends, and very startling to the minds of most Christians. Funeral services connected with such an event are of a difficult and delicate character, but we are happy to state that, on the present occasion, they have been fulfilled in a manner most honourable to our lamented brother, and much to the credit of the ministers who officiated. The funeral sermon by the Rev. E. Steane, entitled, “The Security of Believers,” is based on John vi. 37, and contains a sound exposition of those doctrinal opinions which have always been professed by moderate Calvinists, and which we fervently desire may continue to be taught in our nonconformist pulpits. Mr. Steane's character of his departed friend is a faithful and pleasing portrait. We have seen more of Mr. Dyer than of any other Baptist minister in the metropolis, and our intercourse led us to venerate and love him. Dr. Cox's oration at the grave is also a beautiful and interesting piece, and though it is not usual with us in these brief notices to make extracts, yet the paragraph relating to the mournful catastrophe is so just and consolatory, that we are constrained to transcribe it:
“The temporary aberration of reason is not its extinction, nor is it the extinction of principle and piety; and the form in which affliction and death shall overtake the good man is in the hand of God. The mode of his departure from the present state cannot affect the great question of his destiny; for that depends not on the outward modification of circumstances, but on the decision of the mind, preparation of cha. racter, the working and moulding of great principles. The safety and blessedness of the soul of a believer rests on the foundation which God has laid in Zion. The question is not whether he leaves the world in a calm or a tempest—in the clear sunshine of circumstances, or amidst clouds and mysteries on the quiet bed, by the stroke of accident, or in the whilwind of delusion,—the temporary must be separated from the permanent, the unreal dreams of a moment from the realities of truth, the essentials of character, and the power of grace. The question which belongs to the everlasting condition of a man respects his faith in Christ, his love to God, his conformity to truth. "Is it well ? asks the anxious survivor. And if the report can be—he was a penitent, a believer, a servant of God—the answer is, in defiance of death's worst terrors, Satan's worst temptations, and life's worst forms of mischief, * It is well.' From the depths of hades, the distant regions of an invisible world, the soft and solacing echo is, ' It is well.'”-pp. 32, 33. (G. B. Dyer.)
Messrs. Fisher, Son, & Co. have commenced another beautifully embellished work, called, “ The Rhine, Italy, and Greece Illustrated. In a series of views from draw. ings on the spot, by W. L. Leitch, Esq., Colonel Cockburn, and Major Irton. With descriptions by the Rev. G. N. Wright, M.A.” Each part, in quarto, has four beautiful engravings. The fidelity of not a few we can attest, as they vividly recal scenes on which we have gazed with intense interest. They are delicious works of art, and cannot fail to gratify those who love in imagination to traverse the scenes of classic reminiscence or poetical association. (Fisher, Son, & Co.)
The Rev. William Thorn, of Winchester, has published a series of twenty-four tracts, “On the Errors and Evils of the Church of England,” which contain faithful and pungent exposures of the doctrinal errors, silly assumptions, and fatal inconsistences of the established clergy. The extraordinary zeal manifested by churchmen throughout the country in the circulation of the most unjust, malignant, and scurrillous tracts against dissenters, demand counteractive efforts in some way or other. We would not "answer a fool according to his folly;" yet, now that the clergy sanction and circulate the most bitter papers against dissenters, it is perhaps necessary that some plain-spoken, straitforward exposures of their system should also be given to the people. Mr. Thorn's tracts are certainly of that character, and we would recommend our brethren to purchase a copy of the series under one cover, which is sold for a shilling, and from which they might select those that are best suited to their local circumstances. (Jackson & Walford.)
THE EDITOR'S TABLE.
Homilies for the Times; or, Rome and her new Allies: a Plea for the Reformation. By the Rev. John Morison, D.D. London.
The Life, Times, and Missionary Enterprises of the Rev. John Campbell. By Robert Philip. With a portrait. Post 8vo. pp. 590. London: J. Snow.
Sermons by the late Rev. Luke Forster, of Saffron Walden. With a sketch of his Life, by the Rev. John Ely, of Leeds. With a portrait. Post 8vo. pp. 338. London: Jackson & Walford.
Faith Triumphant : a Funeral Sermon, preached in Carr's-lane Chapel, Birmingham, on occasion of the death of Mrs. James, wife of the Rev. J. A. James. By the Rev. George Redford, D.D. LL.D. Together with brief memoir of the deceased, by her husband. 12mo. pp. 122. London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co.
The True Church viewed in contrast with Modern High-Churchism. By Thomas Finch. 12mo. pp. 196. London: Jackson & Walford.
Counsel for the Times ; in an Address to the Students of Airedale College, at the Annual Meeting, 1841. By Thomas Scales, Leeds. 8vo. Pp. 20. Simpkin, Marshall, & Co.
Memoir of Mrs. W. W. Duncan; being Recollections of a Daughter. By her Mother. 12mo. pp. 308. Edinburgh : Oliphant & Son.
Skeletons of a Course of Theological Lectures. By the Rev. C. G. Finney, Professor of Theology in the Oberlin Collegiate Institute. Vol. 1. 8vo. pp. 248. Oberlin U.S. London: Wiley & Putman.
Remarks on “ The Oxford Theology," in connexion with its bearing upon the Law of Nature, and the Doctrine of Justification by Faith. By Vanburgh Livingstone. 18mo. pp. 221. New York. London: Wiley & Putman.
Views of Sanctification. By Rev. C. G. Finney, Oberlin, U.S. 18mo. pp. 206. London : Wiley & Putman.
A Course of Lectures on the Scripture Types. By the Rev. Joseph Samuel, C. F. Frey. 2 vols. 12mo. pp. 306, 312. New York. London: Wiley & Putman.
Self Cultivation ; being Three Lectures Delivered to the Members of the Bradford Mechanics' Institution. By Walter Scott, President of Airedale College. Post 8vo pp. 114. London: Jackson & Walford.
The Objects of the Voluntary Church Society Stated and Defended. A Lecture Delivered in the Exchange Buildings, Bradford, March 9th, 1841. By the Rev. Walter Scott, President of Airedale College. 12mo. pp. 48. Bradford : Byles.
Last Days of the Martyrs. By Andrew R. Bonar. 18mo. pp. 376. London : Hamilton & Co.
The Mother with her Family: being Scriptural Exercises and Prayers for Children, every Sunday Evening. By Rev. T. Timpson. 18mo. pp. 206. London: J. Snow.
The Goodness of Divine Providence explained and illustrated. By Robert M. Macbrair. Post 8vo. pp. 250. London : Nisbet & Co.
Slavery in America shown to be peculiarly Abominable, both as a political anomaly and an outrage on Christianity. By William Day. 12mo. pp. 84. London : Hamilton & Co.
The American National Preacher. Original. Monthly. No. 7. Edited by Rev. W. H. Bidwell. 8vo. New York. London: Wiley & Putman.
The Lyre of Zion: a selection of Poems, Sacred and Devotional, from Ancient and Modern Authors. By Thomas Ragg. 18mo. pp. 256. London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co.
Select Poetry for Children : with Explanatory Notes. By Joseph Payne. Second Edition. 18mo. pp. 276. London : Rolfe & Fletcher.
CHRONICLE OF BRITISH MISSIONS.
SIMULTANEOUS COLLECTIONS FOR BRITISH Missions on LORD'S-DAY, THE 31st OF OCTOBER NEXT.-Appeal on behalf of this simple, but effective method of meeting the pressing claims of England, Ireland, and the Colonies.
The Committee of the Union are deeply anxious for the success of this plan, the general adoption of this proposal. The committees of the several societies for missions in England, Ireland, and the Colonies, affiliated with the Union, fully share in this solicitude.
The financial position of these societies, as was shown in the last number of the Chronicle of British Missions, is one of serious pressure and anxiety. The appeal for simultaneous collections on the 31st of October precludes, in a great degree, any active measures to obtain funds, in any other way, on behalf of these societies by their several committees, till the result of those collections shall be ascertained. If that result be but partial and inadequate, those committees will be placed in a position of serious difficulty. Much time will have been lost. Active measures to carry forward the great work must be suspended, that undivided attention may be given to efforts for replenishing exhaused funds, or rather for discharging heavy arrears.
The times are very unfavourable. Commercial embarrassments are extensive and severe. The claims urged on our churches are becoming more numerous and heavy. Such times and claims can only be met by all uniting to do what is in their power. If each church possesses but diminished resources, it should be remembered, that, when such is the case with almost all, the lessened amount that each can contribute has become even more necessary than its larger contributions in more favourable times.
Not a word can be needful in advocacy of the paramount claims, at this period, of British Missions. The religious state of the British people at this time is one to excite the deep anxiety of thoughtful observers. The great necessity for an improved religion among the religious. The vast numbers of the irreligious. The fatal errors spreading and gaining power. The still feeble state of the societies and efforts designed to encounter these vast evils. The momentous importance of the prosperity and increase of religion in the British empire, in relation to its advancement at this crisis all over the world. All these considerations, and many others no less obvious and important, must surely impress every Congregational pastor with a deep sense of his responsibilities in relation to this work. Efforts for the religious welfare of the British people require
be redoubled. There is a long arrear of neglect to be discharged. The urgency of the case is such that continued supiness must be disastrous, and may prove fatal.
The operations of the Congregational Societies for British Missions exhibit in one view an extent of effort and success demanding gratitude, and affording encouragement—in another view they appear so inadequate as to call for humiliation and redoubled effort. An impartial judgment will pronounce that the British missions of the Congregational churches are adequate neither to the claims of their country, nor to their own resources and responsibilities.
In England, where, on a moderate calculation, there are four millions of people in a state to be properly the objects of missionary compassion and efforts, the Home Missionary Society is employing 136 agents, and educating 10 candidates for the work. Its missionaries labour in 550 towns, villages, and hamlets. There are in connexion with these labours 53 Home Missionary churches, containing 1500 members, 350 of whom were added to them last year—as also 168 Sunday schools, in which 9500 children are instructed by 1100 teachers. Excellent operations, and