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ages of Christianity, and to the conversion of the heathen world, Dr. Buchanan takes occasion from this latter circumstance to introduce a powerful appeal to professed Christians, as to the duty of propagating the Gospel amongst heathen nations, by oral preaching or by writings sent among them; « praying that God would do honour to his own word by the witness of the Spirit, and depending on the Author and Finisher of our faith,' for a blessing on the work which he hath commanded." Would God that this appeal, which our enlightened and benevolent author has so frequently and conspicuously made, and in support of which we have so often raised our feeble voice, might not be in vain !
Dr. Buchanan had observed, that many persons not only disbelieve the doctrines of Christ, but also his divine predictions. He refers particularly to the declaration of our Lord, that the destruction of Jerusalem would be a type of the judgment of the world at the last day. But even this solemn declaration makes no impression on many. In regard to them "his words have passed away." They are regarded as a voice, and nothing more." The author, therefore, in conclusion, warns his hearers, and his readers, against this fatal error; directs them to the simple belief of the declarations of Scripture, as the means of preservation from it; and adverts to the doctrine of analogy in confirmation of the certainty of future judgment, and of future punishment. He represents a person somewhat undetermined as to this great point, as saying to himself,
"If there be a God, he is a God of mercy, he will not punish.' But what is the fact? Let him here exercise his reason, and refer to the evidence before him. He sees that God doth punish, even in this world. This life is to many a permanent scene of punishment and misery. Now, what is the just inference and legitimate conclusion from this fact? It is this, that, if it be consistent with the mercy of God, that there should be misery here, it will be consistent with his
mercy that there shall be misery hereafter. If it be compatible with his justice, that there should be punishment in this world, we may believe that there will be punishment in the life to come. Do we behold a succession of Let us prepare ourselves to behold more awful and terrible scenes in the world to come. The events of this life, in regard to their im portance to the soul of man, are but shadows and names, compared with the great realities which are approaching. We behold, at this time, the kingdoms of the earth desolated, new empires established, princes dethroned and new kings created; and all this executed by the hand of mon; executed with an impious spirit which would arrogate the charac ter and power of the Deity. What, then, may we believe shall be the scene in that great day, when God himself shall come to judge the world in righteousness,' to vindicate his insulted honour, and to display his almighty power, in the presence of angels and of men!
awful events and revolutions in this world?
"Judging from the same principles of analogy, we infer again, that if God giveth happiness and gladness of heart to believers in this world, he will give happiness in the world to come. If there be seasons of joy and exultation in the converted soul here, there will be unutterable joy hereafter. If there be persons now in this world, who delight in praising God, and in contemplating the blessings of redemption, by the blood of the Lamb, we are warranted to presume that, they will enjoy the delights of that employment in a supreme degree in the world to come.
For, as certainly as we have beheld a temporal Jubilee, on this earth, celebrated in joy and triumph by thousands of those who love their king, so surely shall we behold the HEAVENLY JUBILEE, celebrated by thousands of thousands, and ten times ten thousand' of those who have loved Hix, who is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; who have loved HIM in this world, and maintained his cause, and proclaimed his glory; and who, when the marriage of the Lamb is come,' shall join with angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven, evermore praising HIM, and saying, 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.'” p. 128.
The copious analysis which we have thus given of these interesting sermons, renders it unnecessary for us to extend our observations on their merits. We will only add, therefore, in
recommending them to general perusal, that they are strongly marked by the various knowledge, the spirit of fervent yet rational piety, and of warm yet enlightened benevolence, which distinguish the writings of Dr. Buchanan; and we earnestly hope, that his talents will continue to be employed, where they are plainly calculated to be most eminently useful, in elucidating, defending, and enforcing the genuine doctrines of Christianity, among the higher classes of society in this country.
A Sermon preached at the Parish Church of North Bradley, in the County of Wilts, Sunday the 12th of November, 1809, on the Death of William Francis, an opulent Farmer of the said Parish. By the Rev. CHARLES DAUBENY, Archdeacon of Sarum, and Vicar of North Bradley. Printed for the Benefit of the Clerk of the said Parish. Bath: Meyler. 1800. Price 15.
materials both for their private and public addresses, according to the infinite variety of character which must fall under their observation. The advantages of fulfilling this branch of the clerical office will be peculiarly felt in their visits to the chambers of sickness and death; and we are gratified by the opportunity afforded by the sermon before us, of introducing Mr. Daubeny under a character in which we are extremely willing to recognise him,-that of a minister of the Gospel, evidencing his anxiety for the salvation of the souls committed to his care, by delivering and publishing a plain funeral sermon.
The text is Micah, vii. 18, 19; and it seems to have been selected as having imparted some encouragement to the departed; in reference to whom the preacher observes,
"Discourses of this nature are intended for the benefit of the living. To those who are dead they can be of no service. For as the tree falls, so it must lie, It is to little purpose then, to dwell on the character of a deceased party, farther than it may minister a profitable lesson to those who still remain in life. The sins and infirmities of a departed brother ought to be buried with him in the grave. Whatever they were, we have nothing to do with them, but to lament over them; having each of us an account to settle, to which our thoughts may be more profita
bly directed: for we are all of us, in greater or less degree, sinners before God; sumed, had we not to deal with a God who and must all of us long since have been con
Ir has been the uniform endeavour of the Christian Observer to recommend to the parochial clergy a personal knowledge of their parishioners; without which, as they are assured by all writers on the pastoral care, the instructions of the pulpit and of the press cannot produce an effect that may be known and improved either by the teacher or the learner. Such a knowledge is indeed, in many cases, utterly unattainable; and Dr. Johnson observed, that a London parish was a very uncomfortable thing, because the clergyman could not know one in a hundred of his people. In tions I had with him, during his last illness, I country towns and villages the matwas led to think that God had graciously ter is different, and we have reason opened his eyes to his condition; and that he to believe that in various situations consequently saw himself in the light in which he ought to have been seen, as clothof this kind throughout the king-ed with filthy garments, and Satan standing dom are to be found ministers who diligently maintain a pastoral intercoarse with the individuals of their
flocks, and by this intimacy gather
delighteth in mercy? At the same time I think it right to observe, in justice to the dead as well as for the comfort of the living. that great sinner as our departed brother certainly was, he was in the concluding stage of his life, at least as far as I could judge, a great penitent. From the several conversa
at his right hand; at the same time that he looked with the eye of faith to that Foun tain for sin and uncleanness, which is able
effectually to cleanse him. This considera
tion made him derive comfort from the words of the text, humbly trusting, as he occasionally expressed himself, that the God who delighteth in mercy would have compassion upon him, and would cast all bis sins into the depths of the sea. And, as his affectionate minister, I am inclined to hope, what charity towards a brother in Christ disposes me to think, that his prayers, and his tears, have been rendered acceptable at the Throne of grace, through the all-sufficient merits of that loving Saviour, in whom alone he appeared to trust." pp. 19—21. It will be perceived by the above extract, that Mr. Daubeny founds his view of the character and penitence of the departed on his personal knowledge of him. We gather from a subsequent part of the discourse that Mr. Francis, like numbers in his situation, was enslaved by a love of the world. On this subject his minister writes:
"There is a certain clinging property in the clay of this world, which, by gathering
round a man, too often leaves him not at
sufficient liberty to exercise himself with effect in the things of a better world. But this is a subject, upon which it requires a voice from the dead to convince us. We fancy that we fall into darkness when we die; but alas! we are most of us in the dark till then and the eyes of our souls only then begin to see, when our bodily eyes are closing. Were our deceased brother permitted to address you on this subject, he would probably say, what indeed you all know to be true, that by the work of his hands and the sweat of his brow, he had collected wealth, and
purchased estates, which had tended to attach him more to this world than might otherwise have been the case; but he would not fail to add from his present conviction, that there was an estate of infinitely more value than all his purchases put together, even that which is likened in the Gospel anto treasure hid in a field: the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.' pp. 21–23.
All this is very good; and we wish that such especially, among the clergy, as attach authority to the name of Mr. Daubeny on subjects of far less importance than those treated in this sermon, would late the example here set, by warning their congregations to beware of
the love of this world;-a passion, which, alas! may consist with an eager pursuit after theological knowledge, and even be cherished by that very pursuit, and finally issue in the loss of every thing but the praise of men. This remark particularly applies to subjects of controversy; the almost inevitable consequence of which is, that they absorb men in the attack and defence of opinions, mere opinions, before they have seriously asked the great question, What must we do to be saved? Convinced as we are of the danger incurred under these circumstances, we must confess that the perusal of a practical discourse-for example, on Death and the Judgment to come-is to the study of controversial volumes, as refreshment and repose to want and weariness; or as shadows to realities. To use the language of the eloquent Bishop Stillingfleet, which the occasion tempts us to accommodate,-"How dry and sapless are the voluminous discourses of philosophers," (might it not be added, "and of mere theologians?") compared with this sentence, This is a
faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners! Well might St. Paul then say, that he determined to know nothing but Christ, and him crucified. Christ crucified is the library which triumphant souls will be studying in to all eternity. This is the true arpalov uyys which cures the soul of all its maladies and distempers. Other knowledge makes men's minds giddy and turgid; this settles and composes them. Other knowledge is apt to swell men into high conceits and opinions of themselves; this brings
them to the truest view of themselves, and thereby to humility and sobriety. Other knowledge leaves men's hearts as it found them; this alters them, and makes them better." (Origines Sacra, b. 3. c. 6.)
4 Sermon preached before his Grace the Archbishop of York, and the Clergy of Malton, at the Visitation, August 1809. By the Rev. SYDNEY SMITH, Rector of Foston, Yorkshire. 4to. 2s. 1809.
TEL fine portrait of Aurungzebe by a modern poet might serve, with a little shading, for the popular conception of a critic. It is conceived that the Spirit of criticism,
Like the Genius of some nightly spell, Peoples with shapes accurs'd the wizard cell: Keen Hate, Revenge, Suspicion's arrowy glare,
And all the blood-stain'd joys of Guilt, are
Thus, by fell visions roused, th' usurper springs Fierce from his lair, to lap the blood of kings."
Kings, indeed, are notoriously not our game, but only, it is thought, because the race of literary kings is extinct. As to the other points of resemblance, the world, in idea, inTest the critic with claws as sharp, and fangs as long, and appetite as voracious, and nature as malignant, as any beast which prowls the forest. How far the picture in a general way is in any degree faithful, it is not for us to determine. For ourselves, feeling, from the first, the temptation to severity by which every one is assaulted when he seats himself upon the throne of critiCism, we have wished to deal leniently with the individual brought before us. If we have failed, we trust it will be ascribed to those weaknesses which fallen "man is beir to." Severity is certainly not our principle, but our infirmity. Harshness involves in it, in our Esteem, every thing which is objectionable on the score both of piety and policy. It ill becomes the profeed followers of the "meek and lowly" Jesus. It discredits the judgment of the critic. It gives his adversaries the deepest revenge, by exposing himself to a heavier bolt than any which he hurls. It is like the wound of a bee, which is said to CHLIST. OBSERV. No. 99.
lose her sting at the moment she pierces her enemy.
We have felt it necessary to enter into this statement of our general principles, when returning to an investigation of any work of the au thor before us. Were he an ordinary culprit, we should assuredly feel that we had expended quite enough critical whipcord upon him. But we think that his hardiness and contumaciousness demand an unusual course of discipline. Refuted charges, exposed mistatements, unauthorised slanders, cannot be received without lively, though, we trust, tempered disapprobation. To leave this sermon unnoticed, would be to, betray the cause of a large body of good men. Besides, almost all commiseration is destroyed, and almost all hope extinguished, by the avowal of the author, that he has not read a review of his works which it was scarcely possible to read without improvement*. If, therefore, by this aggravation of his faults. and contempt of his monitors, he will, like Jack in the Tale of a Tub, go about begging every man to give him a smack in the face, we shall certainly think it our duty to lend a gentle hand to this laudable operation as long as we do not despair (which we unfeignedly hope we never shall) of kindling something of an arrougissement upon his cheek. It will be for our readers to judge whether we deny him any just praise, or impute to him any imaginary blame.
We shall make some observations successively on the style and principles of the discourse before us.
As the style of the sermon is not an exception to the general manner of the author, but a specimen of it, we may refer our readers to our former review of his Sermons, where we entered pretty largely upon the subject. It is impossible, in the first place, to deny it the praise due to many nervous and masculine ex* Vide Quarterly Review of S. Smith's Serinons.
pressions. But this might be expected on so hot an anvil it is scarcely possible 'some brilliant sparks should not be struck out. But we are compelled to notice here the same abruptness and whimsicality, the same mock antique, the same occasional coarseness, the same general violation of all the principles of punctuation, the same violent and unnatural interposition of colons and periods between the nominative case and the verb, &c. &c. &c., which exercised the edge of our dialectical hatchet a few months since.
It is but justice to observe, how ever, that Mr. Smith writes here like a man who can write better. His sermon wears decisively the aspect of having been taken rough from the pulpit, and thrust into the hands of the printer. The propriety. of this measure will be much controverted by rhetoricians. It naturally, indeed, secures to us more of the peculiar manner of the preacher. But the style for the pulpit and for the closet are, we conceive, distinct. In the former case, the rapidity, the fervor, the art of the orator, leaves us neither leisure nor disposition to criticise the composition: in the latter, there is leisure for this. It is, indeed, in preaching as in painting--the figure which is largefeatured, bony, and masculine, though somewhat coarse, if seen at a distance, strikes the eye more than that of which the features are exquisite, but the air at the same time feeble, and the beauties minute and retired. But bring the two portraits from the gallery to the cabinet, and submit them to a strong light and a microscopic view, and the decision is reversed. And such is the judgment passed in the closet upon the uncorrected productions of the pulpit. We must add, however, with regard to this particular sermon, that no "brave neglect" of the more fastidious refinements of the philologist or dialectician can apologize for the obscurity, the goarseness, the levity, and inaccu
racy, of many phrases and sentences which it contains. Can even the ingenuity of Mr. Smith reconcile such phrases as these to the dignity and solemnity of the pulpit?" If a man has it in him, he can do any thing any where." p. 12. "It is a wretched game, and rarely or ever answers: a man sells his birthright of speaking truth, and does not get even the mess of pottage which he fixed as the price." p. 17.
If a poor missionary, too intent upon action minutely to weigh his words, had talked of the "untrembling servant of Jesus," would not the presses of London and Edinburgh have groaned with treatises to expose the dangers and vulgarity of cant? Would Mr. Smith have tolerated, in more than one writer of the land, the following sentence? "Fanaticism is often engendered in solitude; so is discontent :-madness often broods there; incurable indolence naturally grows there." We know of no parallel to this, except in the gilded volumes of Messrs. Newberry and Co.: "The bull has horns; so has the cow," &c. &c.
There is, indeed, a sort of alertness and flippancy of style throughout the whole performance, not illadapted to "the thing who mounts the rostrum with a skip, and then skips down again;" or to the inimitable Mr. Prig the auctioneer; or to the unhappy mortal compelled to furnish, for a certain number of guineas, a certain number of jokes to the pages of a periodical review;
but which can scarcely be endured in the man who, as Mr. Smith himself well expresses it, is " placed between God and the people." The author in one part of the sermon prays to God to preserve him and his clerical brethren in that purity of style, which from their earliest days they have endeavoured to gather in the gravest schools of ancient learning" (p.15.); and we certainly think that this is not one of the most absurd petitions of the prayer of which it is a part: but at the same time it may be quoted, we conceive,