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may be pleased with others. We are deeply grieved at seeing that on the highest and most practical subject of human thought, this great philosopher fundamentally erred, affording, alas ! one more illustration of the sad truth, that it is possible for man to search the universe and not find his Maker, to analyze and expound phenomena, yet fail of the Eternal.
THOUGHTS IN AID OF FAITH ; Gathered Chiefly from Recent Works
in Theology and Philosophy. By SARA S. HENNELL, G. Manwaring. Faith in what ? Not in the Bible, as a record of immediate revelation, not in Christ as equal with, and the revealer of, the Father ;but faith in the progress of moral philosophy, and the growth out of that and of Christianity, of a system superior to any existing one, and which shall supersede all others. If this be faith, we confess ourselves unbelievers. We are old-fashioned enough to think that Chris. tianity is so superlatively excellent, so immeasurably superior to, and different in nature from, any product of mere human thought, that it can never be superseded by philosophy, however mature or elaborate. The style of thought exemplified in this work is by no means
It represents a stage through which many minds pass, as children do through the measles. Another and better stage is that which in the mind humbly and reverently seeks instruction from the word of our Father and Redeemer. “God, who spake in times past to the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken to us by His Son.” There is much in the work to commend it to those whose minds are sufficiently matured to withstand injurious influence. To say the least, the perusal of it would be a bracing and stimulating exercise for the intellect. The style we cannot praise. The book reads as if written by one who had read so much German that she had half-forgotten her mother tongue.
new to us.
THE ULTIMATE PRINCIPLE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. THE Puiloso
PHICAL ARGUMENT: with a Review of the Controversy, as conducted on grounds of Reason and Expediency, in the Writings of Locke,
Warburton, Paley, &c. Ward and Co. MULTITUDES now-a-days prate of religious liberty, “not knowing what they say, nor whereof they affirm." There are some subjects which appear easy and simple enough on a superficial glance, but which afterwards reveal greater difficulty and complexity. One of these questions is that of “Religious Liberty.” This question is dealt with in a calm and thoughtful spirit by the anonymous autbor of the work before us. He has taken considerable pains to elaborate logically those notions of liberty which are stated or implied in the manifestoes of the “Liberation Society.” We do not think that his method is the clearest for the reader, or that he has exhausted the subject. It appears to us that there are some qualifying principles to which he has hardly given due attention; yet he has produced what we readily acknowledge to be a masterly work, a work which demands, and will repay, close attention, and will suggest new and important paths of thought.
A H O M I L Y
The Old Hebrew Pulpit, a Beacon to
“His watchmen are blind : they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark ; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand : they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.”—Isaiah lvi. 10, 11.
“ They have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.”—Jer. viii. 11.
ORRUPT man corrupts all things. He soils all he touches with his polluted hands; imparts something of his depraved self to whatever comes within his reach. Out of
good he brings evil; out of food poison, He makes "every good and perfect gift” of Heaven minister to his depravity. He colors all with the hues of his own character, shapes all to his own selfish purposes, and employs all for his own sinful ends. The history of his conduct in relation to those institutions which are confessedly divine in their foundation, and beneficent in their aim, will amply verify these allegations ;—which are as serious as they are strong. For example,—the Throne, or civil government, is a Divine institution, and benevolently intended to serve the good of the race. But man has too often made it an instrument by which the many
been sacrificed to the few, the people made the mere vassals of the king ; "a terror" not to the “evil” but to the "good ”; and a curse, not “a praise,” to them that do well. The market is a divine institution, and mercifully intended to serve the common good, by bringing together all the distant and dissimilar sections of the race into a community of interests, and thus making each the helper of his brother. But man has turned this blessing into a curse ; has made the market, which should be a scene for brotherly fellowship, an arena where fraud and falsehood, cunning and chicanery, mammon and monopoly, fight their victorious battles, and prey upon their many victims.
The temple is a divine institution. It was intended as a scene for religious instruction, and social worship; a place where man might be supplied with means and motives, to "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with his God ;” but how has corrupt man corrupted this the choicest gift of Heaven ! Religion in some corrupt form or other has been the greatest curse of the world in all ages.
Now, what we have said of civil government, commerce, and of religion in general, will apply with equal force to the pulpit. This is confessedly a
divine institution, for the most merciful purposes. Preaching is as old as humanity itself. The plan of Heaven has ever been to communicate divine thoughts to man through man; to put the rich treasures of the truth “ in earthen vessels." From Enoch, the seventh from Adam, down through successive economies, to these “last days,” the world has had its preachers;—men ordained of all-merciful God to proclaim His thoughts to their race. The pulpit has stood amidst the change of dispensations, the wreck of thrones, the revolution of empires, and the sweep of ages, as the institution of Heaven. But this institution has fared the lot of allhas been corrupted.
The words we have taken from the prophets, and with which we have headed this discourse, describe the degenerate religious ministry, which prevailed in the reign of Man
PIT AT THIS TIME WAS IGNORANT.
asseh.* And from the description here given, we infer that the Hebrew pulpit of those hoary ages was characterized by at least four evils : ignorance, slothfulness, selfish-greed, and superficiality. I. WE ARE HERE TAUGHT THAT THE OLD HEBREW PUL
The “watchmen,” are said to be “blind” and “ignorant.” They did not see and" understand” the things that ought to have been clear to their vision, and intelligible to their judgment. An ignorant pulpit, though a contradiction in terms, has ever been too prevalent. By an ignorant pulpit, I do not mean a pulpit unversed in classic lore, uninitiated in the sciences, and unadorned with the embellishments of a high culture and a finished holarship. Though I am an advocate for what is called an “educated ministry,” and would ever encourage candidates for the holy office, to explore every mine of scientific truth, and gather fruit from all the fields of literature, ancient and modern, I yet feel that there may be, I know there often is, profound pulpit ignorance, where there are the most distinguished scholastic acquirement and literary charms. On the other hand, there may be, there often is, considerable pulpit intelligence, where there is but a very small degree of mere scholastic attainment. Many a noble-souled, gospel-inspired,
* “The root of the word rendered watchmen,” says Barnes, “literally signifies to look about. It is applied appropriately to those who were stationed on the walls of a city, or on a tower, in order that they might see the approach of an enemy from afar. 1 Sam. xiv. 16; 2 Sam. xiii. 34 ; xviii. 24. It is then applied to prophets, who, like watchmen, announce future things ; who are, as it were, placed on an elevated post of observation, and who are able to cast the eye far into future scenes, and to predict future events. Jer. vi. 17 ; Ezek. iii. 17; Isa. xxi. 6-11; lii. 8. Here it refers undoubtedly to the prophets, and public teachers of Jews, who had failed to perceive the crimes and dangers to which they were exposed. It was one of the characteristics of the time of Manasseh that the voice of prophecy was silenced; the public teachers and guards of the nation were intimidated, threatened, or put to death ; and those who claimed to be the prophets of God were either mute in regard to the prevalence of national sins, or were cut off by the hands of that bloody prince.”
man, who knew no book but the Bible, no language but his own, and could not speak even that with grammatical propriety, has done the true work of the pulpit ; which many, I will not say a “ Doctor,”—for this diploma, in Dissenting communities at least, is oftener a sign of vanity than learningbut many an accomplished scholar has attempted in vain. That pulpit is an ignorant pulpit that does not “discern the things of the spirit,”-things that the spirit of God approves, and that the spirit of man requires. The man who merely reads the gospel as written on paper, and studies it in the mere light of other books, may become a technical Theologue, and a clever speaker, but never a truly enlightened preacher. Unless he reads the gospel as written on “the fleshly tables” of his own heart, and studies it in the burning light of his own moral intuitions, aspirations, and spiritual experiences, he will, to all intents and purposes, be an ignorant preacher. I call that an ignorant pulpit that holds forth rites and ceremonies as the mystic channels of saving grace, rather than as the glorious symbols of divine ideas. I call that an ignorant pulpit whose discourses are framed to harmonize rather with religious credenda and ecclesiastical politics, than with the faculties, the longings, and the needs of the living souls that are struggling with the moral devils of their daily life. I call that an ignorant pulpit which ministers to the speculative in man rather than to the spiritual, to the intellect rather than to the heart, and presents a dead creed rather than a living Christ. I call that an ignorant pulpit which ministers to sects rather than to souls, represents Christ as one sent to save a favorite few, rather than as “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.” In fine, I call that an ignorant pulpit that does not practically feel that all divine truth to man is but infinite love for man speaking through the intellect to the heart. True theology is but divine love assuming intellectual costume, nay, more than costume,—body, throbbing with a warm heart through every pore, and working its beneficent design through every member.