Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

POETRY FROM THE ANNUALS.

The following interesting pieces are from “ The Iris, a literary and religious Offering,” edited by the Rev. T. Dale.

THE MADONNA AND CHILD.

By the Reo. T. Dale.

WHEN from the beaming throne,

O High and Holy One! Thou cam'st to dwell with those of mortal birth;

No ray of living light

Flasbed on th' astonished sight, To shew the Godhead walked his subject eartb.

1

Thine was no mortal form,

Shrouded in mist and storm,
Of seraph, walking on the viewless wind;

Nor didst thou deigo to wear

The port, sublimely fair,
Of angel-heralds, sent to bless mankind.

Made like the sons of clay,

Thy matchless glories lay
In form of feeble infancy concealed;

No pomp of outward sigu

Proclaimed the Power Divine ; No earthly state the Heavenly Guest revealed!

THE MAGDALEN.

By the Hon. and Red. Baptist Noel.
THERE is a tender sadness in that air,
While yet devotion lifts the soul above;
Mournful though calm, as rainbow glories prove
The parting storm, it marks the past despair:
Heedless of gazers, once with flowing hair
She dried his tear-besprinkled feet, whose love
Powerful alike to pardon and reprove,
Took from her aching heart its load of care.
Thenceforth nor time, aor pain could e'er efface
Her Saviour's pity; through all worldly scoro
To her he had a glory and a grace,
Which made her humbly love and meekly moura,
Till by his faithful care she reached the place
Where his redeemed saints above all griefs are

borne.

HEAVEN IN PROSPECT.

By James Montgomery.
PALMS of glory, raiment bright,

Crowns that never fade away,
Gird and deck the saints in light,--

Priests, and kings, and conquerors they.

Yet the conquerors bring their palms

To the Lamb amidst the throne;
And proclaim in joyful psalms,

Victory through his cross alone!

Kings their crowns for harps resign,

Crying, as they strike the chords, “ Take the kingdom,-it is thine;

King of kings, and Lord of lords !"

Pound the altar, priests confess,

If their robes are white as snow ; 'Twas the Saviour's righteousness,

And his blood, that made them so.

Who were these?-On earth they dwelt,

Sinners once, of Adam's race;
Guilt, and fear, and suffering felt,

But were saved fronı all by grace.

Thou didst not choose thy home

Beneath a lordly dome;
No regal diadem wreathed thy baby brow;

Nor on a soft couch laid,

Nor iö rich vest arrayed,
But with the poorest of the poor wert thou !

Yet she, whose gentle breast

Was thy glad place of rest,-
In her the blood of royal David Alowed:

Men passed her dwelling by

With proud and scornful eye ;
But angels knew and loved her mean abode.

There softer strains she heard

Than song of evening bird
Or tuneful minstrel in a queenly bower ;

And o'er her dwelling lone

A brighter radiance shone
Than ever glittered from a monarch's tower.

For there the mystic star

That sages led from far,
To pour their treasures at her infant's feet,

Still shed its golden light;

There, through the calm clear night, Were heard angelic voices, strangely sweet.

Oh happiest thou of all

Who bare the deadly thrall
Which, for one mother's crime, to all was given ;-

Her first of mortal birth

Brought death to reign on earth,
But thine brings Light and Life again from heaven!

Happiest of virgins thou,

On whose upruffled brow
Blends maiden meekness with a mother's love!

Blest in thy Heavenly Son,

Blest in the Holy One,
Whom man knows not below, though angels

hymned above!

They were mortal, too, like us;

Ah! when we like them shall die,
May our souls, translated thus,

Triumph, reign, and shine on high!

THE OFFERING.

"For by one offering He hath perfected for ever
them that are sanctified"-Heb, x. 14.

By J. Conder.
WITH blood-but not his own--the awful sign
At once of sin's desert and guilt's remission,
The Jew besought the clemency divine,
The bope of mercy bleading with contrition.
Sin must have death ! Its holy requisition
The law may not relax. The opening tomb
Expects its prey; mere respite, life's condition ;
Nor can the body shua its penal doom.
Yet, there is mercy: wherefore else delay
To punish? Why the victim and the rite?
But can the type and symbol take away
The guilt, and for a broken law requite?
The cross unfolds the mystery.--Jesus died :
The singer lives: the Law is satisfied !
With blood-but not his owo-the Jew drew near
The mercy.seat, and heaven received his prayer.

Yet still his hope was dimmed by doubt and fear : As victim's blood at votive altar slied “If thou shouldst mark transgression who might His hands are clasped, his eyes are raised in prayerdare

Alas! and is there strife He cannot bear To stand before thee?" Mercy loves to spare Who calmed the tempest, and who raised the dead? Aod pardon: but stern justice has a voice,

There is! there is! for now the powers of hell And cries-Our God is holy, nor can bear

Are struggling for the mastery—'tis the hour Uncleanness in the people of his choice.

When Death exerts his last permitted power, But now one Offering, ne'er to be renewed, Hath made our peace for ever.-- This now gives

When the dread weight of sin, since Adam fell

Is visited on him, who deigned to dwell-
Free access to the Throne of heavenly Grace.
No more base fear and dark disquietude.

A Man with men,- that he might bear the stroke

Of wrath Divide, and burst the captire's yokeHe who was slain—the Accepted Victim!-lives,

But oh! of that dread rife what words can tell ! And intercedes before the Father's face.

Those only those which broke with many a

groan CHRIST IN THE GARDEN OF GETASEMANE.

From his full heart" Father, take away
By the Reo. T. Dale.

The cup of vengeance I must drink to-day

Yet, Father, not my will, but thine, be done !" A WREATH of glory circles still bis head- It could not pass away--for He alone And yet he kneels--and yet he seems to be Was mighty to endure, and strong to save; Convulsed with more than human agody:

Nor would Jehovah leave him in the grave, On his pale brow the drops are large and red Nor could corruption taint his Holy One.

REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.

Practical Sermons, on the Epistles Christ crucified, as a subject of re

to the Seven Churches, the Mil- joicing; but the Morning Watch lennium, and the CXXXth Psalm. treats us, and the whole body of By the late Rev.Joseph Milner, what the writers call ironically M.A. With Prefatory Remarks; "the Evangelical clergy," as deby the Rev. E. BICKERSTETH. void of all right judgment for speakI vol. 8vo. 10s. London. 1830. ing in such a strain. There are three

divisions, say they, in theology: the Volumes of “ practical sermons” first and highest is the “speculative multiply so thickly around us that, or intellectual ;" the second, “ the unless on special occasions, we are positive” or expository; the third obliged to pass them over, either and lowest,“ that which teaches wholly or with a very slight men- us the Divine laws relating to our tion. We repeat what we said in manners and actions." The writers noticing, or rather in our apology add, “ In this lowest walk of theofor not noticing, some dozen vo- logy are to be numbered the whole lumes of sermons last year (p. 179), deluge of trash under the name of and what “the Morning Watch practical sermons ;" including, of considered as shewing our great course, such trash as the “ Pracignorance respecting such matters, tical Sermons " now before us, the that there is such an increase of title of which reminded us of these truly excellent and scriptural ser- not very gentle or circumspect remons in the pulpits of our establish- marks of the Morning Watch. ed church, and such a corresponding “ The use of the word practical," mass of publication called for by the it is added, “ is commonly arrogated local solicitations of many an affec- by men of narrow minds, and who tionate and edified flock, that the have but one idea.” Again ;

" The pages of a periodical publication style aimed at by these practical will not suffice for reviewing and Evangelical preachers is precisely quoting from these numerous pro- that which is the object of the ductions. We hailed this extension Popish preachers ;” and a necesof “plain, scriptural, and practical" sary consequence, it is stated, preaching, this simple exhibition of of this style is, “ that scarcely

on

any man of ordinary capacity as not deserving to be compared is converted by our Evangelical with the excellency of the knowpreachers.” All these evils arise ledge of Christ Jesus the Lord. from this “sermon trade in practi- We claimed for them a “ brighter cal theology," that lowest of trades; meed,” that was our expression, instead of soaring with Mr. Irving than “ eloquence or literature,” yea, and the late Mr. Vaughan, who are than even the “ highest prize” of so highly lauded, to the sublime the one, or the “ widest range" of elevations of fanciful speculation. the other. What that brighter

The Morning Watch, after assert- meed was will appear by quoting ing that “ the whole deluge of trash, the sentence; side by side with under the name of practical ser- which we shall print the Morning mons,” together with “ the best of Watch's mistatement of it ;-just our religious periodicals, as the making us say the very contrary of Christian Observer and the Edin- what we did say. burgh Christian Instructor," and

Christian Observer. Morning Watch the writings of “ Drs. Gordon, “ We should not “ It cannot fail to Chalmers, Thomson, and Dwight," object to take the be observed here, are nothing more than merely

pile of volumes now that the Christian

our table, as a Observer reviewer “moral” (an assertion clearly un- fair average speci-considers that the true ; for what doctrine of the Go- men of the ordinary highest merit a vospel is there which is not explained, preaching, of that lume of sermons can and proved, and dwelt upon in the large and respect- possess are eloquence

able portion of the and a wide range of works thus disparaged ?) goes on to pastors ofour church, literature. If this be allude to our remarks above referred who are currently so, it follows that to respecting the usual style of the known by the name the addresses of the preaching of what are called the clergy. In so doing preached or written,

of the Evangelical Apostles, whether Evangelical clergy; but most grie- we should not so were some of the vously mistates (we would not say much put forth their worst that ever were wilfully falsifies) our observations. claim to the highest published. But, in We had said, that although many the widest range reviewer, it was nei

prize of eloquence, the opinion of the of the sermons of what are called of literature, or the ther the end sought the Evangelical clergy stand very most exalted deve. nor obtained by the high in point of eloquence and lopment of intellect authors before bim, literature, yet that it is not on

(though in each, and who are samples of this ground that we feel grateful ments, we could find Evangelical clergy,

all of these depart. the whole body of for their labours. On the con- powerful claimants), to rise even to the trary, that we were willing to as to THE BRIGHTER positive, far less to set aside such inferior conside

MEED of sound, use the speculative theo. rations, that we would not claiming; united with a order-namely; the

ful, scriplural preach-logy; that the lowest for them the highest prize of elo- respectable degree of moral—is all that is quence, or the widest range of lite. learning and talení, attempted ; and that rature ; we would even admit that

and consecrated by an even in this the Di

earnest desire to pro-vine laws relating to the majority of the sermons of this

mote the glory of God, our manners and acclass, of necessity rapidly composed, the kingdom of the tions are nay, even many of those which are Redeemer, and the of less importance printed and published, make few

pre- and eternal interests a wide range of liter

temporal, spiritual, than eloquence, and tensions to merely secular laurels ; of mankind.rature, since he places being written for a higher end, not to

this as the acme of exbibit the powers of the preacher,

perfection." but to proclaim the truth of God, We consider it no disparagement bring souls to Christ, and to pro- to what are called “the Evangemote the eternal interests of man- lical clergy," that they think piety kind. We willingly resigned on more important than speculation; behalf of the class of preachers are willing to forego the “ highest alluded to all inferior distinctions, prize” of human eloquence, and a vain display of “ intellectual” abi- their excellencies. There is in lity spent upon discussions beyond every page a fearless, honest boldthe grasp of the great majority of ness in exhibiting the doctrines of their hearers, for the “ brighter the Gospel, and its application to meed" of being “able ministers the heart and conscience; and we of the New Testament." At the know not whether even the rough same time we must repeat our con- style of the author may not be viction, that their discourses, so far itself almost a recommendation in from being generally open to the this day of polished feebleness, charge urged against them in the when a man may scarcely say his Morning Watch, of miserable soul is his own, but in a softenintellectual poverty, almost ina- ed dialect, which renders it half nity, are marked by a degree of doubtful whether he believes it. good taste as well as good sense, Joseph Milner speaks as a man wljich certainly does not strike us with a soul to men with souls; as as being rivalled by some of the a messenger of God, believing the hierophants of the “ speculative ” declarations of his holy word, and school. Among them, indeed, as anxious that others should believe among every other large class of them; seeing men perishing in their persons, are to be found individuals sins, and intent upon snatching them of various grades of talent; but from destruction; yet withal really those of least ability can write a tender ;-tender in his very earnestplain useful sermon, which is more ness; exhibiting the grace of Christ, ihan some men of proud attain. the mercies of the Gospel, and comments have been able to do ; while forting the dejected Christian with in the higher orders of intellect are those comforts with which he himto be found those who can urge self was comforted of God. such claims to eloquence and men- The subjects of these sermons tal power, as will not be surpassed are mentioned in the title. They among divines of any age, or name, are treated as Joseph Milner well or nation. But we are glad to quit knew how to treat such subjects ;this invidious topic; on which we with a spirit of deep piety, manly should not have touched but for the sense, and forcible application, falsification of our argument by the which, united with the consistency Morning Watch—an undesigned of the author's own eminently usefalsification we are sure ; for we ful life, produced on the mind of would not wantonly impute wrong Paley an impression which proves, motives, or imitate the calumnious whatever the Morning Watch may language which some writers think think to the contrary, that " they do God service in applying to gelical preachers " have, by the those " sanctimonious " deceivers, blessing of God, “converted," or those worse than infidels,” the rather been the instruments in his Evangelical clergy:

hand for converting (if “converted " Though our table is covered with Paley finally was, as certainly he “ practical sermons,” we are grate- was from his own former views of ful to Mr. Bickersteth for bringing conversion,) some persons of more before us another volume with the than “ ordinary capacity ;" yes, and same old-fashioned title from the by those very“ practical sermons unpublished manuscripts of that which in the estimation of the "speeminently holy and useful man, culative " school are only “moral," Joseph Milner. The sermons of and soar not above this "lowest Joseph Milner, including two vo- possible style of pulpit composition. Jumes published long ago, and We fear we shall gain no credit another more recently, are so well with these our "speculative” friends, known that we shall not spend either for our deceased author, our reader's time in descanting upon or ourselves, or for that truly ex

evan

cellent and “practical " divine Mr. Millennium being the only detached Bickersteth, by having extracted one, the rest consisting of conseMilner's Discourse on the Millen- cutive series, we were obliged to nium as a family sermon.

Mr. Ir. extract this or none. We agree with ving is pleased to say in the Num- Mr. Bickersteth that it deserves ber of the Morning Watch above attention, as containing the sentiquoted, and with his name (for we ments of a

no common man;

and will not affix names upon report or

it will not be lost upon a family conjecture to anonymous papers), circle if only it lead them on the that“ a spiritual advent is a precious one hand to feel how importabsurdity of that unlearned school ant and interesting are the prothe evangelical ;" yet this “spiritual phetic portions of Scripture; while, advent" of our blessed Lord, Milner on the other hand, they learn to considers a Scriptural doctrine; and guard against rash and doubtful Mr. Bickersteth, far from denomi- speculations, and to imitate the truly nating such a sentiment a "precious Christian modesty and caution of absurdity," is pleased to think that the revered author of “the History the author's whole view of the of the Church of Christ;” a man Millennium is “ peculiarly impor. who certainly bad not studied the tant;" especially " at the present sacred prophecies less carefully than moment ; and we also, being many of those who are so prompt among the “unlearned ” who con. to decide upon their unfulfilled sider that “ practical ” sermons are announcements. The omission of to the full as useful as “speculative a few allusions to passing events and intellectual,” have given pub- (the sermon was written in 1796), licity to Milner's statements in our and, here and there, a slight abbrepages. The topic is not, perhaps, viation or verbal correction, was all that which we should have ourselves that appeared to us allowable in selected for a “ Family Sermon," it transcribing the discourse. It was not may be our error, we speak with written for the press, and the style sincerity, that we are too cautious is more forcible than polished : but in introducing “speculative” topics it is not our province to attempt to into compositions of that class,) but correct it; except where a word or Milner's object is rather to turn the expression occurs which we could minds of his hearers from speculation not wish the family reader to make to practice ; and one chief utility of his own. Milner himself would not the discourse in our view is, that it plead for retaining in family readdoes not “speculate " at all, but ing such an expression as "affrontshews in what manner such topics ing the Holy Ghost;” or “ I have may be treated for practical " edi. no notion of being restrained ” in fication, without commixing in the preaching whatever he thought war of rival hypotheses. We may scriptural; or such a word as “disalso add, in order that we may not gust,” or any other phrase that seem to have singled out this sermon carries a harsh aspect. Such ocinvidiously, that, our plan and limits casional words easily trickle from not allowing of copious notices or the pen in rapid composition when extracts from this prolific class of the mind is warm with its subject ; publications, in our Review depart- but they are gladly expunged by a ment, yet, being unwilling that our Christian writer in the leisure of readers should lose the pleasure and revision. advantage which a volume from We feel grateful to Mr. Bicker the pen of such a writer as Joseph steth for this addition to the truly Milner was calculated to afford; scriptural works of Joseph Milner, we were glad to avail ourselves of and for the interesting notes which a lengthened extract as a Family he has appended to the discourses Sermon; and the discourse on the on the Apocalyptic churches. If

« ForrigeFortsett »