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upon the infinitely important matter of human salvation: they concur in their general estimate of the lapsed condition of mankind; of our sinfulness and spiritual inability; of the guilt and punishment of the sinner; of the necessity of an atonement; the freedom of the Divine mercy through Christ Jesus to all who believe; the gratuitous character of our justification; the necessity of true conversion of heart to God; the need of the grace of Christ, and the influence of his Holy Spirit; the bounden duty of obedience to his laws; the privilege and blessedness, as well as the obligation, of conformity to the image of Christ; the joys, and trials, and duties of the Christian; his guidance through life, his hopes in death, his happiness in eternity. We conscientiously believe that no man could seriously read through any one of the volumes now before us, and which are but specimens of the tenor of thousands of discourses composed and delivered every week in our parishes for public edification, and yet remain wholly ignorant of any doctrine or duty essential to be known for the eternal welfare of the recipient. We should not ourselves agree with every sentiment of every author; some may be a shade "higher," as it is called, or others "lower," than best suits our particular taste; but there is essential unity amidst much circumstantial variety; and we are the more anxious to impress this point, because both the Church of Rome and some among ourselves are ever ready to object to Protestantism in general, and in particular to the class of divines currently called "Evangelical," that there is no coherence of sentiment among them, that each has a cast of opinions of his own, and that it is impossible, amidst so many controversies, to discover what is the doctrine of Scripture, or which the way to heaven. Let our readers fairly weigh any ten or twenty writers of the general class of those whose works now lie before us, and say if CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 327.
this charge be well-founded. We may also add, let any one read these several volumes, selecting if he pleases the one which he may think least guarded in its expressions, and say if there be any just ground for the oft-repeated scandal, that "Evangelical preaching," as it is phrased, leads to the neglect of good works, or to licentiousness of living.
We had wished to draw up a brief notice of the more specific character of each of the volumes before us; so far at least as to exhibit the main object aimed at by our several authors; but our limits forbid either this or quotations from their works: a defect which we request each of our friends, for such we have the pleasure of knowing are several of them, to impute, in his own case as readily as in that of his respected brethren, to necessity, and not to any want of respect for himself, or of gratitude to him for his share of the common effort to promote the faith of Christians, and the eternal welfare of the human soul.
Heaven opened: or, the Twelve Visions of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, and St. John, explained. By ALFRED ADDIS, B.A. 1 vol. 8vo. 12s. London. 1829.
THE first sentence in this volume apprizes us, that the book owes its origin to the recent discovery of the name and number of the beast; which, says the writer, "we completed on JANUARY THE NINTH 1828!" If an author should tell us that his book owed its origin to his having discovered the perpetual motion, or the quadrature of the circle, every reasonable man would instantly lay down a work grounded on so visionary a basis; and we see no greater deference due to a volume, however well intended, which professes to find specifically prophesied of in Scripture, the ninth of January 1828; a day re2 B
markable in no respect that we remember, though possibly it might be the very day on which Mr. Addis began composing his lucubrations. The eighth of January is chronicled as the day on which Galileo died in 1642; and the tenth as that on which Laud was beheaded in 1644; and Linnæus died in 1788; but the intervening day was destitute of all fame, till it was thus catalogued as the completion of the era of the name and number of the Beast. We should not, however, write thus, if we did not consider it worse than
absurd, as almost a burlesque upon the revelation of God, to tie down its large and holy prophecies to such minute and miserable dates as January 9, 1828: nor ought even the really pious intentions of authors who thus profess to "open heaven," to prevent our protesting strongly against a too-popular system of prophetical interpretation, which has made many fanatics, and perhaps not a few sceptics; but which, we fear, is adding neither to the humility nor the real knowledge of its admirers.
LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL INTELLIGENCE, &c. &c.
GREAT BRITAIN. PREPARING for publication, or in the press:-The Christian Student; by the Rev. E. Bickersteth;-A Critical Record of Theological Literature; by Dr. Waite; -The History of the Huguenots during the sixteenth Century; by W. S. Browning.
A considerable number of Dissenters, it is stated, of various denominations, have agreed to dedicate Good Friday to devotional purposes. This decline of bigotry forms an edifying contrast to the days of the Commonwealth, when no church was allowed, under heavy penalties, to be open on Christmas day, and churchmen were obliged to retire to secret chambers to exercise their sacred offices.
Mr. Todd has recently published another pamphlet respecting the Icon Basilike, in which he seems to have satisfactorily vindicated Bishop Gauden's claim to the authorship of that production.
A book of" Offices " is occasionally to be met with in our public libraries, which was published in the time of Charles the First, and was known among the Puritans, who considered it tainted with Popery, by the name of "Cousin's Cousining Devotions."-The origin of this book was as follows. The queen of Charles the First and her French ladies were frequently upbraiding their English friends that the Protestant religion did not appoint hours of secret prayer, or breviaries, by which, as they said, "laidies and courtiers who have much open time might edify, and be
in devotion." Some Protestant ladies of the court, scandalized at this reproach, mentioned the matter to the king, who urged Bishop White to select an office of prayers, "that the court ladies who spend much time in trifling, might appear, and be, as devout as the new-come-over French ladies." Bishop White employed Doctor, afterwards Bishop, Cousin; and his performance so well pleased the king, that his Majesty wrote the imprimatur with his own hand. The work was only a compilation from Queen Elizabeth's "Office" of 1560 and the Liturgy.
The site of King's College is finally determined to be on the eastern wing of Somerset house, with entrances from the quadrangle and from the Strand.
In our Number for January appeared a paper, by a correspondent, stating some particulars respecting" the too well known Mr. Robinson, of Cambridge;" and askingon what authority the commentator, Whitby, is alleged to have been a Socinian. The Monthly Repository, the organ of the Unitarians, is pleased, in alluding to this paper, to accuse us of wishing our readers to believe that Mr. Robinson was struck dead for preaching Unitarianism, and of either extreme ignorance or gross disingenuousness for not replying to our correspondent's query about Whitby. The first charge is utterly absurd: it certainly never entered our minds that any reader could make so preposterous an application of the fact, that, because a man died soon after preaching in favour of Unitarianism,
he was specially cut off for so doing. is not the ordinary plan of Divine Provinence thus to vindicate its proceedings in the present world; nor would we dare to interfere between any man and his allrighteous Judge. With regard to the question about Whitby, we need only say, that our pages are open to a fair statement of facts, bear they whatever way they may. The cause of truth can lose nothing by fair dealing. But it is not, as our readers know, our practice to reply to every query of our correspondents, and thus to substitute our own decision for impartial discussion. As little justice is there in various other charges which the Repository has lately urged against us; such, for example, as that, in reviewing the "Child's Faithful Friend," published by a well-known Unitarian bookseller, we invidiously suppressed the publisher's name; whereas it is never our practice to give publishers' names in our reviews or announcements. Our business is with books, not booksellers.
One chief cause of the decay of stone buildings in our climate is, that the stone being saturated with moisture, the water in freezing tears as under its particles; fragments of which may be observed on the spicule of the ice. To prove, therefore, the quality of different species of stone for resisting this destructive effect, it has been proposed to saturate the specimens to be tested several times with a solution of sulphate of soda, allowing the solution to dry and chrystalize between each operation. The effect of the chrystalized spiculæ very aptly resembles that of the action of frost, and the stone which is first disintegrated is considered the worst adapted for the climate.
We have several times of late felt it right to notice the religious delinquencies of the Gentleman's Magazine, chiefly because that work, not being professedly theological, and circulating among general readers, its mistatements are the more liable to do injury. The following is another recent specimen :-" As Adam Smith justly distinguishes the liberal system of the opulent, and the austere one of the poor, it is a matter of course that people will endure the one only until they are able to acquire the other. Men of Etonian education, and satisfactory circumstances, will not harass themselves about the baptism of infants or adults, Calvinistic predestination, and other polemical logomachies; nor will statesmen encourage irritability and fanaticism." The writer adds, "That juvenile immoralities do not influence after life is evident from the
correct characters of our bishops, dignitaries, and other clergymen." Ought a work, characterised by such sentiments, to be any longer patronized by these very classes of its readers, who must, one and all, be deeply pained at perusing such statements in this veteran and long-popular publi. cation.
The humane "plan of taking the honey without destroying the bees, which is claimed as a recent invention, was practised as long ago as the middle of the sixteenth century by the celebrated Dr. Wilkins, of Wadham-college, and others whom he had instructed in his method, by means of transparent hives piled one upon another.
Dr Fell, whose name is proverbiallyknown, is said to have had a habit of preaching, on special occasions, in blank verse. Are any of his metrical discourses extant, in print or manuscript, in any of our libraries?
Archbishop Usher once remarked in conversation, that it was but loss of time to study deeply the Oriental tongues; for that, with the exception of the Hebrew, there was nothing written in them to repay the labour. He recommended philology above all other "human studies."
The absurd ceremony of touching by our kings for glandular affections, was performed as follows:-The king sitting on his throne, the surgeons, who had found their own skill baffled, introduced the patients; who, kneeling, his majesty, after the Gospel and some prayers for the occasion, stroked their cheeks; the chaplain repeating, not very reverently, "He put his hands upon them, and healed them." Another chaplain then hung a gold coin, an angel, strung upon a ribbon round their necks, while the first repeated "This is the true light which came into the world." The ceremony concluded with the Epistle, and prayers for the occasion, and the chaplain's blessing.
It is often urged, in defence of the fairs near London, that they were originally designed for commercial purposes. How little truth there is in this assertion, as repects some at least of them,mayappear from the following passage from Evelyn's Diary. "May 1, 1683. I went to Blackheath, to see the new fair, procured by Lord Dartmouth. This was the first day, pretended for the sale of cattle; but I think, in truth, to enrich the new tavern at the bowlinggreen, erected by Snape, his Majesty's farrier, a man full of projects. There appeared nothing but an innumerable assembly of drinking people from London, pedlars, &c.; and I suppose it too near
Germany London to be of any great use to the country."
The celebrated letter to Lord Monteagle, disclosing the gunpowder-plot, has been generally attributed to Mrs. Habington, a sister of that nobleman, and wife to one of the conspirators. The letter, which is still extant in the state-paper office, shews the traces of the erasure of the word "you" in the phrase "the love I bear to you," and the substitution of "some of your friends," as if the writer, upon recollection, was afraid to furnish a clue to a discovery. But a gentleman who has lately examined the letter, has stated, that though Mrs. Habington might have dictated it, the hand-writing closely resembles that of Mrs. Ann Vaux, who was connected with the conspirators, and was also the intimate friend of Mrs. Habington. It seems likely enough that Mrs. Habington should have employed a feigned hand, or the pen of a friend, to conceal her own; but, to make the proof complete, some specimen of her own writing is necessary to compare with the letter in question. Some persons, who are making inquiries on the subject, wish to know if any specimen is extant.
The Abbé de la Mennais, in proof of the disbelief of the youth of France in the doctrines of the Catholic Church, states, that he recently detected forty of the students of the college of Paris, when at mass, secreting the consecrated wafer, instead of swallowing it; and that they wrote letters to their friends, informing them what they had done, and closing their letters with the wafers instead of
The bishop of Strasbourg, in his reply to Mr. Faber's Difficulties of Romanism, animadverts severely upon our countryman for an alleged wilful suppression of two passages; the one from Tertullian, and the other from Cyril of Jerusalem, which the bishop fancies to be favourable to transubstantiation; both which passages are actually quoted and commented upon by Mr. Faber, in that very work. The bishop must choose the alternative of being either inexcusably careless or very dishonest.
The annual Philosophical Congress of Germany, at which were present at its formation in 1822 only eight members, this year numbered 467 collected at Berlin, not only from every part of Germany, but many of them from foreign countries. The conference lasted a week. The object of
the institution is to promote, by personal and friendly intercourse, the general interests of science. The meeting next year will be held at Heidelberg. Baron Humboldt, who presided at the late meeting, stated that he should not be present this year, as he expects to be upon his travels in Asia, probably in the heart of Siberia. UNITED STATES.
Matthew Henry's Commentary is being published in New York in an octavo form. Dr. Alexander, in his preface to the first American edition, mentions, as among the characteristics of this popular commentary its "perspicuity, conciseness (query), vivacity, fertility, variety, and its weighty pointed sayings."
Strong petitions have been presented to Congress against the practice of opening the post-offices or forwarding letters on Sunday.
The Chaplain of the State Prison at Sing Sing writes:-"I have lately made thorough inquiry among the convicts here, for the purpose of learning how many have ever enjoyed the advantages of a SundaySchool. The result is, that out of more than five hundred convicts, not one has been found who has ever been, for any considerable time, a regular member of a Sabbath School; and not more than two or three, who have ever attended such a school at all."
The recent invention of the Cherokee alphabet is a remarkable monument of talent and perseverance. The inventor, who is known by the name of Guess, is a Cherokee, and ignorant of every other language; but hearing that the White people "could put a talk upon paper," he began with attempting to substitute symbols for words, and with great labour invented several thousand; but finding at length that this plan would not succeed, he formed the idea of dividing words into syllables, and with great labour affixed a character to every syllable in the language. He eventually obtained an English grammar and formed an alphabet, but had still the greatest difficulty in persuading his countrymen to adopt it; but they have at length found its advantages, and are already making rapid progress in literature. AFRICA.
It is melancholy to contrast the present state of Northern Africa, with its former advances in civilization and Christianity. A council of African bishops was held at Carthage as early as the year of Christ 215; and, in the year 240, a council of 99 bishops was assembled at Lambesa, an
inland city on the confines of Biledulgerid, against Privatus, bishop of Lambesa, on a charge of heresy. The fourth council of Carthage, in the year 253, was held by 66 bishops, respecting the baptism of infants. In the eighth council at that place, in the year 256, besides priests, deacons, and laymen; there were present 87 bishops. In another council of Carthage, about the year 308, no fewer than 200 bishops of the sect of the Donatists were present; and in the year 394, at Baga, an inland city of Africa, 310 bishops were collected together. Can Christians think of these
facts, and of the present Mohammedan or Pagan superstitions of that country, and not be stirred up to zealous efforts to reclaim these wanderers from a once numerous fold. The importance of the Church Missionary Society's Mediterranean Missions, in this and other respects, has not yet been done justice to by the public. CEYLON.
In the time of the Dutch there were more than 300 idol temples in Ceylon: in 1807 they had increased to more than 1200. In 1663 there were 65,000 Christians in Jaffna, in 1814 scarcely 5000.
LIST OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Sermons, Lectures, and Discourses. By the Rev. E. Irving. 3 vols. 17. 11s. 6d. Sermons. By the Rev. F. Close. I vol. 8vo. 12s.
Portraiture of a Christian Gentleman. By a Barrister. 6s.
The Divine Origen of Christianity. By J. Sheppard. 2 vols. 14s.
Co-operation with Christian Missionaries recommended. A sermon. By the Rev. W. Clayton.
Redemption by Christ. By the Rev. R. Hale.
Lectures on the Sermon on the Mount. By the Rev. J. E. Good. 14s.
The Spirit of the Psalms.
A Plain Address on the Public Dedication of an Infant to God.
Memoir of the late Rev. W. Goode. 9s.
By J. Beart: abridged by the Rev. T. Jones. 5s.
The Blue Mountains of Coimbatoor. By the Rev. J. Hough. 6s. Domestic Instruction. By Mrs. Matthias. 2 vols. 5s.
Letters to a Friend. By the late Dr. Henry, of South Carolina; edited by Dr. J. P. Smith. 5s. 6d.
Letters on Teaching. By J. Pillins. 5s. The Character of the late Mrs. G. Ewing. By the Rev. E. Miller.
Visits to the Religious World. 10s. 6d. An Essay on Man. By G. Wirgman 8vo. 7s. 6d.
The Christian Mariner's Journal. By an Officer in the Navy. Cs.
Universal Education considered. 2s. 6d. An Account of the Edinburgh Sessional School. By J. Wood. 4s. 6d.
NECESSITIES OF BOHEMIAN
THE following is an extract of a letter
which has taken away their courage. The Protestant children must, therefore, attend the Roman-Catholic school, till they are thirteen years old, and consequently, according to our customs, ready for confirmation. This school is miserably conducted, and one may easily suppose what a baneful influence such an education must have upon the minds of the children. The minister is a pious, humble-minded man, entirely devoted to his work. His complaint is not, that he has only one hundred dollars (seventeen pounds sterling) salary per annum, but that he must despair of ever being able to afford a school-house and a Protestant master. All he requests, therefore is, that by charitable donations, he may be enabled to build a school-room, as a second story