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heterogeneous blending of the orthodox and the seceding being here happily avoided, the blessings of Heaven is of course much more Jikely to be secured. I will add for your warning, That although 'the direct and baneful operation which the "Bible Society has to interfere with, impede and curtail the inestimable interests of piety, peace, and true religion' may be alarming enough, ' it would not be difficult to point out some evils and important deficiencies, and more possibilities of evil, extant in, and resulting from, and probabilities of great improvement, lost and precluded by, the Bible Society, even were it in a measure amelioraled. 1 have given but a selection of calamities i and since a complete exposure might be too tremendous, Ihad rather the information should ooze out by degrees, than affright you at present with Itie terrible remainder! We are to inter from this, that any union among those who are all the children of one Father, who partake of one common nature, who are professors of the same faith, and for whom but one Heaven is provided, but who happen to differ in a matter confessedly unimportant, is to be viewed as an evil to he deprecated by the Members of an Establishment, . formed to promote the interests of the religion of ' the Savisur of all men.' it is fortunate, when notions so repugnant to every precept of the Prince of'Peace are associated with 'so little of what can plense or convince. This deficiency, and Lord Teignmouth and Mr. Uealtry having fully noticed every thing in this pamphlet in the least degree deserving attention, seasonably relieve us from the dull employment of further developing its contents, though altogether dull we should not, perhaps, have termed it. The observation on the wisdom and piety of the patronuge of the Society (page 8) may seasonably have conduced to afford our muscles some relaxation. We could imagine that the author's sight, whea perusing the List of its Patronage, had ben injured or intercepted by a cloud of dust, or a November fc»g.
For the reason before stated, we
should certainly have wished that so respectable an opposition had not been offered to so impotent an adversary as the Doctor's publication. It is frequently better to suffer such productions to slumber and die unheeded and unoffending, than to invile for them public attention, bj investigating their absurdities.
Lord Teignmoulh'spamphlet (presenting some trivial inadvertencies of haste) is written in the spirit of the Christian, with the decision and perspicuity of an advocate of truth. Mr. Dealt ry's exhibits, with the tenderness of friendship, much ingenuity, copiousness, and eloquence. Both are elegant and sensible; and together form an animating display of the immense benefits flowing from this excellent Institution. To say that they have completely refuted so poor a performance, uncertainly allowing them no very great commendation. Their difficulty must have consisted in this, That they had nothing but shadows to destroy. Referring to the Doctor'i bitterness and excessive want of candour; his Lordship observes, with very just severity,' If your strictures can with justice be applied to the Bible Society, its patrons have indeed incurred a dreadful responsibility; if otherwise, you have a reparation to make for the injustice of your censures, and the violation of the laws of decorum.* P. 5. Having stated, That no evidence had been adduced of the funds of the Society in Bartletl's Buildings having decreased, his Lordship adds (page 9) ' Nor is it going too far to say, That the Institution of the British and Foreign Bible. Society has also an indirect tendency to increase the funds of the Society for promoting Ohristian Knowledge in another way, viz. by exciting the attention of the friends of religion, iu all parts of the kingdom, to the infinite importance of the holy Scriptures, and by stimulating their zeal for the propagation of scriptural truth.' That such, has been its tendency, is irresistibly proved by Mr. D. who has enumerated (p. 19) the receipts and subscriptions of this Society for lbs last nine years; from which it i* 11
242 REVIEW OF RELI6IO
fouud, 'that not only have the receipts and subscriptions increased, but the rale of increase has been greatly accelerated since the establishment of I he Bible Society.'
lo page U, itis Lordship state*, * 1 shall lake the liberty of adding, for your in'onuation, that the original idea of a Bible Society was suggested by the extreme want »f Welch Bibles in North Wales, and the despair of ever obtaining them, without resorting to new and extraordinary means for that purpose.'
In page 25, Mr. P. enquires, ' Is it not the naiure of all new societies to display more zeal, energy, and activity Ihan L,ie old?' And again, in page 7, alluding to the LVihle Societies, formed thro' the influence, ajid partly for the aid of the Society in London, 'Observe what ispass rig in Dublin,, in Coi'!<> in the province of Ulster, in Edinburgh, in' Glasow, in Birmingham, in Heading, in Nottingham, in Biistol, in Leicster, in Hull, and in Manchester; and then |et us enquire, by what suit of logic vre are to be arraigned as the enemies of piety, peace, and true religion '.'
lu page H, Air. I), observes,' To the. example and efforts of tne Society in London, we are authorized to attribute the establishment of another in Philadelphia; which, embracing the same objects, professes also the ulterior view of producing similar establishments throughout the United States of '.America." We have selected the above passages, merely because they alone will afford a satisfactory answer to the Docter's epistle :vour .limits preclude , ..rtherentracts from, these ir.tertsling pamphlets.
lTpon the whole, we cannot but regard the Doctor's Letter as a most contemptible effort to injure,,without a scintilla of Keason, •indcr il;e.. gu'se of authority, a Society, the constitution and proceedings of vhich one might suppwse it impossible for ttie ulmcsL ingenuity of detraction to i.ssail. The motive of the autluji for its publication (for we presume tiie'sidvice of his friend -wag mccompauied by reasons) appears in CK.J \«cv> so much beclouded,, that
we really must hesitate to scrutinise it. The Heasons being Completely purged of every thing tending tocon vince, is a matter which Wo should uot perhaps inexorably Moderns, since the subject would not admit of what was more worthy being introduced; and while-we most cordially recommend the perusal of these appropriate answers,.. we must feel happy in being freed from any apprehensiortof their leading to- a source of contamination,from an assurance that, however the Doctor's epistle may violate the feelings of our readers, it affords very comfortable security of uot misleading their minds.
The Transaction* of the Missionary Society. Number x"xi. 1'rice Is.
Thu periodical work,, of whicli21 Numbers have been published,, (.(lords the only complete a «l official lecord of its proceedings.; andwill furnish, to future historian*,, materials of an authentic and interesting nature f for it may be hoped, that the Missionary Society, together with other simiiar institutions, will eventually prove the honoured instruments of diffusing the light of" the gospel all over the globe.
The Number before us containsAn Account of the Missions at several Stations in Souih Africa. That which relates to the institution of the two Albrichts, among the Great Namaijiias, is singularly interesting. In this instance, as indeed in several others in Africa, we behold a complete refutation of their opinion, vho maintain that it \i a hopeless bus ness to preach the gospel lo uncivilized Pagans. On the contrary,, matter of fact demonstrates that the gospel is rendered the most effectual uieai.s of their civilization. When we take a view of the effect of the gospel at Bethelsdorp, at the Great Oiaoce Uiver, and in the Two N'amaquaa,. we may say, in the wordsot the late Report of the Directors,. 'It is impossible to contemplate the outward state of things (especially at Bethelsdorp) without the most pleasing and grateful emotionsHow remarkable is Che contrast, wuich jt ixhiliils,' to the ru-uc ;cml
wtprocJactive condition in which the Missionaries found it a few yean ago! What a rapid advance towards civilization has Christianity produced in so short a space! How ■greatly has it promoted the comfort *»flife, and raised the human character frbm the lowest state of degradation, to some decree of social -order and inteHecltiaLimprovement!' This Number also includes pleasing "accounts both from the East •and the West Indies, and concludes with a short relation of the retirement of several of the missionaries from Olaheite to a neighbouring island; fourof the brethren remaining there. The Directors, we find, are in anxious expectation of further intelligence, The extract from the Journal of the brethren in that island, evinces their steady attachment to the cause in-which they are embarked, and affords some reason to hope that a good impression has been made on the minds of the natives. Should Christianity be established in that island, it Hi probable that the blessing would be extended to many other parts of the *ast Paciftc>Ocean :—' a consummation devoutly to be wish'd.'
Obedience the Path to Religious Knowledge: a Sermon, preached before the University of Oxford, at St. Mary's, Oxford, on Stint/ay, Jan. 20, 1810. By Daniel Wilson, M. A- Vic,:-Principal of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, und Minister if Si. John's Lhapel, BedfordHew, London.
Thjs sermon is well adapted to the occasion on which it was delivered j and, in our opinion, does great credit to the judgment ami piety ai its author. The text is happily chosen: 'If any m»Q wi|| do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it he ol God,'&c. (John vii. 17); 'which,' sa>s Mr. W. ' not only implies, that the enquirer who obejs the injunction, sliall discover the nature and evidence of truth in an abstract manner : — it implies further, that this evidence shall be enlarged and Strengthened by the Correspondence wnicli he will" observe, iu consc
quence of his submission of heart to God, between the whole system of Christianity and his own situation and wants: a correspondence of which the merely literary student can of course form no conception, and yet so surprizing and import, ant, that it shall convey more solid satisfaction to his mind than a thousand speculative arguments.' The general proposition, ' or principle,' which the author founds upon the words of *be text, i» ihis, That an obedient frame of heart is essentially coonected with the success of theological studies. He shews the reasonableness of this principle, by observing, 'That a cordial assent even to a moral proposition implies of necessity the combined operation of the understanding and the affections. Bare abstract truth, such as the axioms of Geometry, v here the moral duties have no place, and wrier:: in consequence there are no prejudices and passions to interfere, may be received alike by a virtuous and a vicions nrnd ; — but every position which regulates our conduct in life, can really be acquiesced in only by a man who is in some measure influenced by the dictates of virtue.' He lurther confirms the principle in reference to the study of ethics,' by the authority of Aristotle, who, among other thing", requires from the moral student 'a virtuous disposition.' The author then justly infers, that if ' in all moral enquiries the principle be well-founded,' it must be eminently so wiU regard to Chris;ianily.' This inference is supported by an appeal to the cases of Cornelius, the Ethiopian Eunuch,'and the Bereans; and by several Scripture quotations, among which are the following: — 'The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;'—' A good understanding have all they that do his commandments;' — ' The scorner seeketh wisdom and findeth it not;' — ' With the heart, man believeth linto righteousness;'-' Knowledge puftclh up, but charity edifielh,'-, 'Uec.etve with meekness the engrafted word,' &c.
In the second part of his discourse, Mr. W. proceeds to apply the principle to some of the mo«t
interesting doctrines of Christianity; ■viz. The guilt and corruption of wan ; —justification by faith in the atonement and righteousness of Christ;—the influences of the Holy Spirit; — and also to the scriptural view of what is implied in Christian obedience. In thus applying the principle, he clearly shews the advantages which the humble, contrite, and obedient student ot theology possesses over the proud, the impenitent, and the im mural.
In conclusion, Mr.Wilson recommends bis auditors to look for the causes of the distorted and impious ■views of religious truth, which are furnished by the Infidel and Socinian, in an alienation of heart from the holiness of the gospel; Cautioning them not to determine against the general plan of redemption, from the apparently unfavourable aspect of a particular dot trine, disjoined from its proper connection in the system; and to beware of taking up a prejudice against the truths of Christianity, because of the abuse to which they are exposed, in common with every other good thing, in the hands of enthusiasiical, weak, or bad men. Mr. W. also repels the objection which he foresees may be derived from the occasional union of correct speculative views of religious truth with an irreligious conduct. A suitable and serious address to those ' who have neglected to do the will-, and consequently have not known of the doctrine,' closes this able and excellent discourse *.
Remarks on the Present Stale of the Established Church, and, the Increase of Protestant Dissenters. By An Attentive Observer. l2mo, price Is. 6rf.
The author of this little pamphlet appeals to be a pious and candid Churchman, strongly attached to
the Establishment, but earnestly desirous of a comprehension with the Dissenters. After slating the objections of Dissenters, and endeavouring to obviate them, he proposes several expedients, which he thinks would reconcile great numbers of persons to the Established Church. Among these are Chapels of Ease, under th.; licence of a magistrate, in which the subscribers, or proprietors, should choose the first minister. He proposes, in lieu of tithes, a charge on the rent of land. He recommends the revision of some expressions in the Liturgy, objected to by Nonconformist, particularly in the offices of baptism and burial; the omission of the Lord's Prayer except once in every service; and the services on the 30lh of January and the 29th of May. He goes further, and proposes, not only that the Established Clergy should be allowed to officiate occasionally in any congregation willing to receive them, but that the English Dissenters and Scots Presbyterians should be permitted to officiate in any church or chapel in the Eslabl;shment, on tho invitation of the incumbent, under certain conditions and limitations. By these and other regulations, the author says, 'vte might effectually heal ihe "breaches of our British Zion. Thus might we reasonably tiope quickly to gain more than pristine vigour, by the great influx of piety, talent, and activity, which would .flow through and replenish all our borders.'
We give full credit to the unknown author of these Remarks for his good intentions; %e believe also that the alterations proposed would bring within the pale of the church: many who now stand without; bnt we are far from thinking that the leading members, either of the church or state, entertain any desire to conciliate the Dissenters at the expence of such sacrificei as the author proposes. The earnest wish of many to restrain the Dissenters from the full use (now called the abuse) of the Toleration Act, and the alarm they seem to have taken at the inroads of Methodism, indicate a very different disposition. To us, therefore, the scheme appears to be altogether Utopian."
• Many of our readers will recollect that an elaborate discourse upon the snbject of the above article, was published above twenty years ago, by the Rev. Dr, Williams, of Rothcrharr!, in refutation of the position of the Rev. Mr. Belsham; viz. That men who are most indifferent to the prartice of religion, will ever be Ihe firstto see the absurdities ot a popular superstition, aud to embrace a rational system of faith. . ,
Missionary Hymns, Composed and Selected for the Public Services at tlie Annual Meetings of the Missionary Society in London, and for the Monthly Meetings for Prayer in Town and Country. Ky Order of the Directors. Price 6d.
It is well known by the friends of missions, that in the year 1795, when the Society was instituted, a few psalms and hymns, adapted to their public meetings, were hastily collected and published i but these having been found insufficient tor the purpose, an enla-ged collection has been made, comprizing many productions from other hymn books, published by Dr. Rippon, Dr. Williams, and others; including also a considerable number of truly missionary hymns by the Rev. Mr. Kelly, of Dublin, taken (by permission) from his last edition of Hymns on various Passagt s of Scripture. This collection, which consists of 125 hymns,—for the opening of the services, — prayer tor the
spread of the gospel, — prayer for the Jews,—on the glory ot the latter day, —- for the designation of missionaries, — praise for success, — hymns before and after sermons, &c. —sacrameutal hymns at collections, — Christian unity, and concluding hymns,—will be found amply sufficient for the intended purpose. The publication is neatly printed, aiid is certainly very cheap. It may be hoped that these hymns will tend to enliven the devotion of Christians when they meet, in various parts of, our lams, to implore the divine blessing on missionary exertions. v
Good Thoughts in Bad Times, and Good Thoughts in Worse Times. By T. Fuller, B. D. 18mo, 2s. 6.d.
We are glad to see our old friend Dr. Fuller in a new coat; for, tho* he may have a little quainlness unsuitable to the present taste, there is a weight of good sense and pie+y in all he najs, accompanied with a smartness which will amply compensate the want of modern polish: but we refer to the strong recommendation of our worthy friend Mr. Hinlon, who, in a short preface, characterises both the author and his worjc; and believe that the Editor has rendered an important sfrvice to the religious world, by tne re-publication of this very scarce and useful tract.
SELECT LIST OF RELIGIOUS PUBLICATIONS.
The Fathers of the English Church. Vol. IV- 12s GJ: "Strictures oh Sandemanianism: in 12 Letters to a Friend. By A. Fuller. 12mo, 3s Gil
Sacr-d Allegories, or Allegorical Poems, illustrative of Subjects Moral aud Divine, &c. By J. Williams, M. A. Curate of Stroud. 12mo, 4s 6d .! .','••
The Apostolic Ministry, compared with the Pretensions of spurious Iter liriuu and false Philosophy: a. Sermon at the Monthly Meeting, by Dr. J. P. Smith. . -■
The Advantages of Knowledge to the Lower Classes: a Sermon for a Sunday-School. By 11. Hall, A. M. 8vo, Is 6d
The Fatal Consequences of Licentiousness: a Sermon, by J. Scott, A. M. of Hull, Is; inferior, 6d
Scripture Directory. By the Rev. T. Jones, Curate of Creaton, Northamptonshire. 3s 3d
A,Mother's Gift to her Daughters. 6i
Six Meditations on the Sufferings of ChrMrt. By 'he late J. Clunie. Published by his Son. 2s 6J