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ples of interpretation are not al. members of their communion in ways trust-worthy. A work on the duties of private meditation the Psalms, at once judicious and and prayer. This was in part devout, by Mr. Morison, of rendered necessary by their unBrompton, is in progress, which christian scheme of withholding from the first volume, just pub- from the multitude the pure word lished, promises to be a valuable of God, (which must always be acquisition. Scougal's Life of the only perfect compendium of God in the Soul of Man, Sturm's devotion, and was in complete Reflections, Bishop Wilson's tracts unison with the spirit of their syson Prayer, and Meikle's Solitude tem, which renders the influence Sweetened, are held in deserved of the priesthood indispensable estimation by pious readers. to the tranquillity of the con
We have referred to these wri- science; but from whatever cause ters, and additions might have originating, whether policy or been made to the list, both for better feeling, their books of piety, the sake of those who may be as they call them, are numerous. interested in such productions, and The ancient fathers, St. Chrysosfor the purpose of showing, that tom, and others, displayed coma work like the present is neither mendable assiduity upon this parsuperfluous noruncalled for; ticular point; and it is notorious since, if you take from books of that some of the most touching this class those which are obso- and admired of the Collects and lete, or inaccessible, or unread- Prayers of the English Liturgy, able, but few volumes will be together with several very quesfound, which wen of cultivated tionable passages, were derived minds would refer to, as every from the Catholic ritual. Some way suitable for a daily manual beautiful specimens of religious of practical piety. But were the exercises may be found in the standard authors upon this sub- Meditations and Confessions of ject ten times more numerous, St. Augustine, in Thomas a we are quite persuaded, that vo- Kempis, as the book is called, in lumes such as these, so replete Fenelon, and other writers of the with practical wisdom, sound same school. It would be tiretheology, experimental religion, some to enumerate even the titles and pathetic eloquence, would of their more modern publications, never require an apology; but such as the Key of Heaven, or would always be deemed a most a Posey of Prayers; the Guide to welcome offering by the Christian Heaven ; the Garden of the Soul; public. In truth, it may be con- Philothea, from the French of sidered that a work of this kind, Francis of Sales; the Spiritual adapted to the taste of the pre- Combat; the Peace of the Soul; sent age, combining purely evan- the Pocket Missal, &c. But it gelical sentiments, with devotional is more to our purpose to obfervour and sound practical in- serve, that they have also books struction, unalloyed by objec- on a plan somewhat similar to tionable or unguarded statements, the present, on. Christian Truths bas long been a desideratum in and Christian Duties digested into the Protestant church.
Meditations for every Day in the Some Roman Catholic writers, Year. The fault of these writers wise perhaps in their generation, is, that even in their devotional have supplied various composi- books, there is a perpetual infutions, professing to direct the sion of the errors of their system, doctrine frequently unsound, mo- its toils commence, may here find rality more than doubtful, meta- something to fix his wandering atphysics barbarously' absurd : and tention, to compose his anxious they often tend to enslave the thoughts, to remind him of his mind to the decisions of the personal responsibility, and to church, to induce a dangerous bring before bis view the hopes reliance on forms and obsery- and consolations of a better world. ances not enjoined in the word of It is obvious that he will require God, and fatally to obscure the the concentrated results of read one and only method of a sinner's ing and research, rather than the justification in the, sight of God, parade of abstract disquisition: “ teaching for commandments the he will require to be led into all traditions of men." With all their truth, rather than tutored into faults, however, they attempted to schemes and systems of theology: provide for what they deemed the he will require those happy and spiritual exigencies of their fol- sententious illustrations of the lowers, and were careful to fur great truths of the Gospel, which nish materials, such as they were, meet his circumstances, and fasten for closet devotion ;-and it may upon the memory, “a word upon be worth a question, whether our the wheels," as the Jewish phrase divines, justly distinguished for a is, rather than ambitious phraseopurer faith, and a higher concep- logy, and nicely-balanced periods. tion of what devotion ought to be, And he will not be disappointed. have sufficiently availed them. He will find that the anticipation selves of their superior advan- of a writer quoted in the preface, tages to make a corresponding (Mr. Wilberforce we believe,) provision to assist the retired ex. has been realized, and that the ercises of the Christian, and to author has succeeded in making furnish comfort and direction to " such a selection of texts as perplexed and burdened con- should involve the whole range of sciences.
divine truth, and presenting it in The work before us contains that combined form in which the Meditations upon some passages Scripture exhibits it, where docof Scripture for every morning in trine, and duty, and privilege the year, each averaging about blend, like the colours that form two octavo pages, the brevity of the pure brightness of light: which, as every writer must be where religion is never exposed to aware, must have materially in view as a bare skeleton, but as creased the difficulty of the task. endued with all the properties of They who are acquainted with life, and in actual existence. Mr. Jay's habits of thought, and Pithy sayings, wise experiences, his terse, pointed, and epigram- urgent examples, faithful warnmatic style of writing, will be ings, show the reader all that reprepared for the pleasure they will ligion has done for others; all it experience in perusing these vo- aims to do for him, and all the lumes, wbich abound in powerful evils that flow from the absence statements upon almost all points of her beneficence.” of personal and relative religion. A work so multifarious in its The man immersed in worldly oc- contents, forbids analysis, and it cupations, yet anxious to seize a is impossible to give any extracts few moments for sacred recollec- in our restricted space, which tion, either after the distractions would completely characterize it; of the day are ended, or before but this is the less necessary, as
we anticipate, from the great de- love him more, and that I do not admire mand which has already sprung
him more. What a wonder that I enjoy
such composure under all my bodily up, that it will speedily be in the
pains, and in the view of death itself. hands of most of our readers. What a mercy that having the use of We were particularly struck with my reason, I can declare his goodness to the following passages, as exhi
my soul. I long for bis salvation ; I bless
his name I have found him, and die rebiting the author's peculiar power joicing in him. O blessed be God that of seizing circumstances, and il. I WAS BORN! () that I was where he lustrating them by impressive his- is. I have a father and mother, and torical references.
ten brothers and sisters, in heaven, and
I shall be the eleventh. () there is a from a paper, entitled the Birth. telling in this Providence, and I shall day, for January 14, on Genesis be telling it for ever. If there be such xl. 20, in which, after observing a glory in his conduct towards me now, that a birth-day should be a day
what will it be to see the Lamb in the
midst of the throne ? Blessed be God of thanksgiving-of humiliation — that - ever I WAS BORN.'”-Vol. 1. of reflection-and of prayer, he pp. 38, 39. concludes with the following affect
Our next extract we take from ing contrast.
a text which might have been “ What a difference between the two
overlooked by any body but Mr. following references to the birth of the Jay, and shows how full of ma... individuals.
terials for practical instruction is «. Who,' says Voltaire, can, without the minutest portion of the Word horror, consider the whole world as the of God empire of destruction? It abounds with wonders; it also abounds with victims. “ February 25.--Rom. xvi. 15. “Salute It is a vast field of carnage and con- Philologuis, and Julia, Nerens and his tagion. Every species is without pity sister, and Olympas, and all the saints pursued and torn to pieces through the which are with them.'- But who can earth, and air, and water. In man there help observing how many females are is more wretchedness than in all the mentioned here? Phebe. Priscilla. other animals put together. He loves Mary. Junia. Tryphena. Tryphosa. life, and yet he knows that he must die. Persis. The mother of Rufus. Julia. If he enjoys a transient good, he suffers The sister of Nereus.--All these, with various evils, and is at last devoured by the exception of two, are not only menworms. This knowledge is his fatal pre- tioned, but commended : and these two rogative: other animals have it not. would not have been saluted by name, He spends the transient moments of his unless they had been persons of reliexistence in diffusing the miseries which gious excellence; for Paul valued no he suffers : in cutting the throats of his other qualities compared with this. But fellow creatures for pay; in cheating all the rest of these worthies have and being cheated; in robbing and being ascribed to them some attainment or serrobbed ; in serving, that he might com- vice, in the Lord.' mand ; and in repenting of all he does. “Let not therefore females suppose The bulk of mankind are nothing more that they are cut off from usefulness, than a crowd of wretches, equally crimi- and usefulness -- even in the cause of pal and unfortunate; and the globe Christ. The most eminent servants of contains rather carcases than men. I God have acknowledged their obligatremble at the review of this dreadful tions to them; and ascribed no little picture, to find that it contains a com of their success to their care and kindplaint against Providence itself; and I ness. The public ministry is not indeed WISH I HAD NEVER BEEN BORN.' open to them-neither is the army or
“Now let us hear the language of navy, or the senate : and good sense will the excellent Hallyburton, who died as acquiesce in the distinctions and deterhe lived, full of contidence in God. "I minations of heaven, especially when it shall shortly get a very different sight of is seen, that they are not founded on God from what I have ever had, and any principle of degradation, but in the shall be made meet to praise him for obvious proprieties of life. If they have ever and ever. () the thoughts of an not authority, they have influence, which incarnate Deity are sweet and ravishing. is far better and more deeply effective. O how I wonder at myself that I do not Servants have blessed God for pious
mistresses. Children have been pre 26, 27, Vol. II., and the two on pared for the preaching of the word, Lamentations iv. 20. for April 14, and the devotion of the sanctuary, by the earlier bat important efforts of a
and June 17, and most of those mother. How much does even the reli. twice on the same text. gious public owe to a Mrs. Newton, a The book will be a useful help Mrs. Cecil: and a thousand more; from to ministers in their preparations whom the churches have derived such able ministers. To Hannah we owe a
for the pulpit, and though less Samuel: and to Lois and Eunice, his directly framed for this particular mother and grandmother, we owe a purpose than Mr. Simeon's great
work, “Horæ Homiliticæ,” whose “ They are at home in almsdeeds, like Dorcas, who made garments for the poor :
praise is deservedly in the and are peculiarly adapted to visit the churches, it is scarcely less vasick and the afflicted. The wife may luable, in proportion to its extent, win the irreligious husband without the for the ample instruction it offers. word : and fan his devotion, and give
and the fervent piety by which it speed to his zeal, when he is in the way everlasting. Who would keep them is pervaded. We would beg to from those public meetings where feel- suggest to the author, in the ings are to be excited, which they will event of a second edition, the de. be sure to carry away, and improve atsirablonose of a list of the texts
no sirableness of a list of the texts, home. In a word, women have the finest heads, and hearts, and tongues,
in the order in which they stand and hands, for usefulness, in the world. in the Bible; which would greatly Who does not wish to see them always facilitate refer
facilitate reference; and also a under a religious principle? Who would not have them appropriately more en
more particular index to the entire couraged and employed as workers toge work. ther with the servants of Christ? Help, It ought to be observed, that therefore, says the Apostle,' those women while the addresses contain abunthat laboured with me in the Gospel, whose names are in the book of life.”-
dant religious consolation, the Vol. 1. pp. 146, 147.
author has avoided the great fault
of similar productions, that of makWe have been sometimes sur- ing them exclusively consolatory. prised at the skill with which the We agree with him, that the best author has contrived to compress way to gain comfort, is not always within so very narrow limits, such to seek it directly, but mediately : pointed, and often copious illus- it is the same with comfort as with trations of the passages in ques- reputation, it is more certainly setion, containing the fruits of much cured as a consequence, than by research, and the materials for making it the chief design. The lengthened discussion. The book following soliloquy, which shall be is, therefore, in some respects, a our closing extract, will commend costly one to the author, and com- itself to every serious mind as a paratively cheap to the public. most appropriate morning mediFew men, besides himself, could, tation. It is for August 18, on in fact, afford to make so lavish " My voice shalt thou hear in the an expenditure of their intellectual morning.” stores in so simple a form ; for, with a very little management, the “And when we think of the day bemajority of these Mornipy Exer- fore us, how much, is there to awaken
concern! And what is our concern, cises might have been expanded
without the attention of God? He shali into full and elaborate discourses, therefore in the morning hear, not only little, if at all, inferior to some of the voice of praise, but the voice of the most celebrated productions of prayer..
«Who is to guide me through the day the author ; we may instance the ,
; we may instance the upon which I have entered? How much Addresses on Christmas, Dec. 25, depends upon one mistake in my movements? And how easily may I go I may be the Lord's.'"-Vol. 2. pp. 148 astray ? The way of man is not in him- --150. self; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. "Cause me to hear
We can scarcely doubt that thy loving-kindness in the morning, for these volumes will prove among in Thee do I trust; cause me to know the most useful productions of the way wherein I should walk, for I lift
the author, and consider them as up my soul unto Thee.' “ Who is to guard me through the
occupying a pre-eminent rank day? And I am much more exposed among writings of this description. when awake, than when asleep. My Much, however, as Mr. Jay has soul is more exposed -- more exposed to done to supply the alleged defisin - and sin is the greatest evil. And what am I, to resist a corrupt heart, a
a ciency, the subject is by no wicked world, and all the powers of means exhausted, and nothing. darkness ? Hold Thou me up, and I we are persuaded, would yield him shall be safe. Be Thou my arm every a purer satisfaction, than to have morning ; my salvation also in the time of trouble.'
been the means of directing other “ Who is to help me through the day? minds to this particular order of I have many duties to discharge. I am Christian usefulness, for the harto live soberly, righteously, and godly. vest truly is plenteous. I am to walk in wisdom towards those that are without: I am to speak the
There is still quite room, in our truth in love: I am to adorn the doc- apprehension, for other works of trine of God my Saviour in all things. a comprehensive character, upon
Lord, without thee, I can do nothing: devotional subjects, without interLet thy grace be sufficient for me; and thy strength made perfect in weak
fering with those that have gone ness.'
before. Various plans might be “ Who is to give me success in the suggested in reference to such an business of the day? I know I ought object, and, among others, we not to be idle; but to be diligently and
cally have sometimes thought that a prudently employed in my lawful cal- have sometimes thought that a ling. Means are mine; but how much work, whether original, or partly more is necessary than my wisdom and selected, which should embrace anxiety. "The blessing of the Lord it
the excellencies of different wrimaketh rich; and he addeth no sorrow with it." - Éxcept the Lord build the
ters, might be extensively useful. house, they labour in vain that build it; The things wanted, are, Hints except the Lord keep the city, the for self-examination and devout watchman waketh but in vain. It is meditation, such as are found in vain for me to rise up early, to sit up Bishop Andrewes and Jeremy late, to eat the bread of sorrows : for so he giveth his beloved sleep,'
Taylor; Resolutions and Rules ( Who is to prepare me for the events for self-government, like those of the day? And I know not what the in Bishop Beveridge's Private day, may bring forth. Perhaps I may Thoughts: Topics of Consolation, receive the most unwelcome intelligence. Perhaps I may sustain losses in property. suited to the varieties of christian Perhaps I may meet with mortifications experience and the christian confrom my fellow.creatures, and be tried flict, as furnished in a recent usewith disappointments in friends. My child may this day fall sick. The desire
ful work by Dr. Hamilton of of mine eyes may be taken away with a Strathblane ;* Powerful Appeals stroke. There may be but a step be to the heart and consciences tween me and death. It is wonderful similar to those in Law's Serious we live a day through. "May I know
Call to a devout and holy Life; how to be abased, or how to abound. If in the world I have tribulation, in
Maxims and Observations, enterthe Saviour may I have peace. So ing into the detail and minutiæ of teach me to number my days, that I may apply my heart unto wisdom -- That whether I live, I may live unto the “ The Mourner in Zion Comforted, Lord; or whether I die, I may die by William Hamilton, D.D. Minister of unto the Lord : so that, living and dying, Strathblane. com N. S. NO. 51.