Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

passages wearing at first sight an aspect contrary to Dr. Mahan's views of the high standard of Christian privilege and duty. He is apt to be a little overbearing in his tone; he is too confident in the absolute impregnability of his own interpretations, and does not carefully correlate seemingly opposed passages. In both volumes he too much keeps out of sight certain phenomena of Christian experience, recognized in Scripture. The resalt is two books much more stimulating than gaiding. Life Thoughts contains many rich and weighty remarks. This is what we suppose to be the meaning of the rather catch-title, Life Thoughts. Life Thoughts, we find, practically means loose thoughts; intentionally, we presume, it means live thoughts :

thoughts that breathe, in words that burn.' The paragraphs headed, Living Well and Dying Well and A Sound of Abundance of Rain are amongst the best. Dr. Mahan demonstrates the attainableness of Entire Sanctification in this life ; but the practical and experimental difficulties of the question are rather ignored than explained. This is the defect of these otherwise very

useful little books. Sanctification Through Faith. By Mrs. Gordon.

The Power of God. By the Rer. E. W. Moore, M.Ă. London: Hodder and Stoughton.-Both these tracts are very valuable contributions to a much-needed series. The first is a strong, decided protest against one-sided teaching on the subject, or one-sided walk. It is one thing rejoice in the intellectual beauty of a truth, and another to practise it in the homeliest details of life. The author points out the depressing effect of preaching a high standard of Christian life without attempting to show how such & standard can be attained ; since such teaching leads indeed to the conclusion that it is unattainable, and that there must ever be a vast discrepancy between Christian privilege and Christian practice. She betrays, however, a strange stretch of ignorance when si implies that Arminians never preach justification or sanctification by faith! Nevertheless, in the main, she writes not only with all a woman's vehement earnestness of persuasion, but with more than an ordinary woman's clearness of perception and strength of common sense.

The Power of God is a very forceful and convincing disquisition on the Church's lack of spiritual power, power, and the only way of obtaining and maintaining it.

of the Primeval Earth, Ancient Mythologies, Species and Varietal Forms, etc. Dr. Dawson overestimates, however, the certainty and consistency of geological science in its present stage.

The Cross of Christ. Studies in the History of Religion and the Inner Life of the Church. By Otto Zoeckler, D.D., Professor of Theology in Grindelwald. Translated, with the co-operation of the Author, by Rev. Maurice J. Evans, B.A. London : Hodder and Stoughton.—A charming monograph, written in the most devout spirit and presenting in a compressed but very attractive form the results of wide reading and deep reflection, Dr. Zoeckler traces the history of the use of the Cross as a symbol in pre-Christian times and amongst heathen peoples, and then as a leading branch of Christian symbolism. The very multiplicity of his lines of investigation is his disadvantage to any one who looks for an exhaustive

treatment of some one aspect of a very wide subject. Had he confined himself to the Cross as a Christian symbol he might have produced a work surpassing those of Mrs. Jamieson and Mrs. Hemans. Had he dealt with his subject as a matter of æsthetics, archæology or art, he would have commanded a comparatively small circle of grateful and ad. miring readers, and given us a book worthy to stand side by side with that of Mr. Marriott. Or had he confined himself to the bearing of his subject on comparative theology he would have laid under obligation divines and students of Church History. But the inclusive plan he has adopted, connecting symbolik with symbolism, is much more useful and acceptable to the general reader. He is sometimes a little fanciful at the expense of sound exegesis, as where he imagines that the sign of the Son of Man' will be a colossal Cross ; but the volume is very instructive, interesting and edifying.

Misunderstood Texts of Scripture. By Rev. Professor Asa Mahan, D.D. London : F. E. Longley.

Life Thoughts on the Rest of Faith. By Rer. Professor Asa Mahan. London: F. E. Longley.—These are volumes of the 'Penuel' Library. The former contains some valuable exposition, the first being the best: a masterly piece of argumentative and defensive interpretation of Romans vii. ; and the history of the exposition of that much-debated portion of Holy Writ is a valuable chapter in the history of Christian doctrine. But Dr. Mahan is not always so happy in his commenting on

the nature of that

HAZELL, WATSON, AND VINEY, PRINTERS, LONDON AND AYLESBURY,

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

WESLEYAN-METHODIST MAGAZINE.

JULY, 1878.

IN MEMORIAM.

THE REV. ALFRED BARRETT.

BY HOWARD BARRETT.

(Concluded from page 408.) ALFRED BARRETT was a Preacher, a Pastor and a man of letters, and excelled in each vocation : his strength lay in none of these, however, but in his full heart of love, his deep reverence for God and trust in His will, and his firm assurance that Christ died for all men. But as we look down the vista of the past, and see him now filling one office, now another, it becomes us to stay to cast a hasty glance upon him (which is all that is possible in this place) in the performance of each of his varying functions, and to note the more salient traits of a deep yet simple character. Throughout the whole of his active life, however many diverse claims may have struggled for his attention, Mr. Barrett never forgot that the first and highest duty of his calling was to preach. He was far from assigning an insignificant importance to those. ministerial functions which comprise the administration of the Sacraments, the celebration of marriage, or the burial of the dead : indeed, his views on the Sacraments, and on the sacredness and separateness of the ministerial office were decided, and his advocacy of those views in some of his earlier works was sufficiently marked to raise a gentle murmur from a few against what they deemed a 'high' tendency. To fulfil worthily his calling as a Preacher was nevertheless the highest aspiration of his public life. Whosoever pretends to a license of preaching by reason of an extraordinary calling, must look that he be furnished with an extraordinary message, lest bis commission be ridiculous.'* Mr. Barrett bore in mind this sentence of his favourite bishop, and always gave his most conscientious and careful labour to preparation for the pulpit

. His mornings were set apart for this work and for study, and very jealously was the study door guarded while it proceeded : none but matters of urgent importance were ever allowed to interfere with these hours of meditative seclusion. He did not affect to be one of those who can continually feed, or attempt to feed others, and who yet never seem to feel the necessity of food and a time for calm digestion for themselves. Mr. Barrett very seldom indeed committed a sermon to writing ; indeed, it is believed that the few that were ever written by him have all been published,

[ocr errors]

Bishop Jeremy Taylor on the Office Ministerial. VOL. II.-SIXTH SERIES.

2 1

from time to time, in various Wesleyan serials. His practice was carefully to think his subject out, until it became so clear and familiar to his mind that a hint or an allusion would suggest and put in motion the whole train of thought : then he merely jotted down such brief notes and references as were easily contained by half a sheet of notepaper. Everything having been carefully examined, sifted and refined in the study, his thoughts poured forth in the pulpit with a deep, strong and pellucid stream, usually calm and dignified, yet often breaking into the rush of passion, appealing pathos and persuasive tenderness. His language was chosen with almost fastidious care, and the intonations of his voice, usually charged with pensive earnestness and deep feeling, gave the fittest possible expression to the thoughts which animated them. Whatever impressiveness may have been due to his delivery, nothing was contributed by action. Of this he had but very little, except when greatly stirred, and then it was abrupt and not effective. His style was not highly figurative, still less was it ever forid or rhetorical, but was marked by a literary refinement which could satisfy the most cultivated taste. Though his preaching was instinct with so much tenderness and pathos, it had also the stamina of clear and scholarly exposition, of forcible argument, of a fearless directness which pierced the conscience, and of an occasional spirit-stirring strain of ardent faith and aspiration that seemed to lift the hearer far above the dull mists of earth.

But chiefly was that indefinable spiritual power apparent which only those possess whose communion with Christ is most complete and intimate. ‘Sanctify us through Thy truth ; Thy Word is truth,' was the prayer ever on his lips in public and private, nor was it in his case unanswered. He never soared above the comprehension of his hearers, but as some have said, 'His sermons sent us home to think and pray.' A good old member of the Great Queen Street congregation once said to the present writer : 'He seemed to lift me to the very gates of Heaven. A still more valuable testimony; because more cultured and critical, remains in the words of one who, like Mr. Barrett, was also taken from us apparently in his prime. Speaking with great tenderness of his deceased friend, the Rev. George T. Perks, said :

'I travelled in Leeds when he was there, and I shall never forget some of the weeks day sermons I used to contrive at times to hear from him. I would steal in sometimes long after the service had commenced, and the tones of his voice, the beanty of his thoughts—such simple wonderful beauty as I have never since heard_sank into my heart like dew. I was comparatively a young man then, but I thought him then, as I do now, a rarely-gifted man, and one whose ministry went more directly to one's heart, not bý noise or effort, but by the depth and beauty of his views of God and of Jesus Christ

, and by the power of his own life, than any I have ever heard before or since. His preaching was my young man's standard, and is so still,'

For the duties of a Pastor Mr. Barrett was specially adapted, both by nature and acquired qualification. It is probable that neither his public ministry nor his published works ever won for him such high esteem or such deep affection as was engendered in very many of those who, from time to time,

« AnteriorContinuar »