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tion in its religious or ecclesiastical much a matter of bodily temperabearing, but only as a matter of ment; or it is a prompt and unordinary justice. If a Quaker rent studied habit of mind; but by no or purchase a piece of land subject means bears any necessary ratio to to tithe, and do not intend to pay the state of the moral or religious tithe, vught he not, in conscience, character. There is, I conceive, to give the owner the full value of far more Christianity, more selfthe purchase as if free of tithe, and government, more active religious not to make his religion a means of virtue, in England than in France ; getting the possession at less than but the French far outshine us in its value, unless the clergyman good humour. Some of the most lax should enforce his right by law, and irreligious persons have been which cannot but be painful to him? remarkable for good humour ; while Have there not been instances in others, who earnestly strove to attain which the clergyman, not choosing every "Christian grace," and evinced to contest the matter, a Quaker has peculiar self-denial and control over for years enjoyed property for a less their tempers, could by no means consideration than others would be called good humoured. I have have given for it; not having paid sometimes even thought whether what he knew when he bought it to what is currently considered good be a regular part of its outgoings? humour, so far from being always a
Few men, I believe, are more Christian grace, is not sometimes a honourably distinguished by pro. proof of want of moral susceptibility: bity than the Society of Friends; and as most certainly it often is of a I by no means impute to them any good digestion and equable nerves. wish to play tricks with their con- The man who passes at a club as sciences. But I confess it bas al- the most good-humoured member ways seemed to me a fair principle, is he who receives all persons of that though they could not pay whatever character alike; who never tithes as an ecclesiastical due, they looks grave at hearing an oath, or might and ought to pay them as, refuses to join in a merry falsehood, what in fact they are, a reserved or is at a loss for fair words, or reportion of rent, which they cannot proves sin in his neighbour. This withold without making merchan. animal good humour is very much dise of a religious scruple.
the result of a man's feeling physiA FRIEND TO FRIENDS. cally comfortable ; and is, therefore,
peither a Christian grace nor even a “semi virtue." I have not found
that persons remarkable for this GOOD HUMOUR NOT A CHRISTIAN habit are always the most just, or
generous, or charitable; but often
quite the contrary. Some of the Tothe EditoroftheChristian Observer. greatest cheats, and moral vaga
bonds, have been persons who have I FULLY concur with your ingenious been celebrated for their good bucorrespondent T. B., in the spirit of mour; “kind-hearted fellows," and his paper in your last Number; but meaning harm to nobody. The I doubt whether he is justified in word “humour” refers to what the defining good humour as “not old writers who first employed it merely an ornament but a necessary called " the four kinds of moisture Christian grace.” That the servant (humor) in man's body,--phlegm, of Christ should endeavour to culc blood, choler, and melancholy;* tivate habitual sweetness of temper, and with the epithet "good," was and the blessed virtues of patience, meant to indicate only a happy forbearance, and love, is quite clear; constitutional temperament, not a but mere “good humour" is very spiritual grace.
I would not, by the above re- So much for counter criticism marks, disparage the value of good upon T. B.'s critique ; which I humour ; I only mean to exclude it doubt not he will receive with the from that place in the catalogue of same "good humour" with which graces wrought in the heart by the it is offered. We differ only as to Holy Spirit, which T. B. claims the use of the term ; but fully agree for it. He cannot, I think, discover that the Christian should aspire any text that inculcates "good after the image of Christ, and not humour;" but there are many which lay to the account of his nerves inculcate what is far better ; namely, what results from the imperfection those spiritual virtues which flow of his spiritual graces. from Christian principle, and which,
MENEVENSIS. therefore, will last when mere animal spirits fail, and weakness, disappointment, and provocation have done their worst to sour the dis. CHRISTIAN-KNOWLEDGE Society's position. The Christian may not
CATALOGUE. always have it in his power to be good humoured : he may be often Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. cast down in mind or body, or both; but he may attain what is far better, I OBSERVE in the Report of the a meek and contented spirit ; a Society for promoting Christian guard over his passions, and ab- Knowledge for 1829 a plan laid sence of selfishness ; a constant down for the revision of the Sowish to minister to the happiness ciety's publications, and the addiof others; a forbearance, self-denial, tion of such new tracts as may be and Christian love; I might even considered expedient. I should be say a cheerfulness, which where the grieved to impede this desirable temper was not naturally sweet will object by any unnecessary objectend to sweeten it; which will be tion; but I beg leave to notice the most conspicuous in seasons of very first volume which appears on lassitude and triai ; and which will the supplemental list, namely, an bear a resemblance to Him who was Abridgmentof De Foe on the Plague our infallible Pattern, but to whom it in London, with Evelyn on the Great would be highly improper and irre. Fire. I am not one of those severe verent to apply the epithet “good censors who would altogether exhumoured ;" a sufficient proof that clude fictitious narrative from the good-humour is not, as T. B. con- Society's Supplemental Catalogue ; tends, "a necessary Christian grace." though, considering the Society's Dr. Johnson mentions Shakspeare's dignified and religious character, I profligate Falstaff as the very pro- could have dispensed with Robinson totype of good-humour ; so that it Crusoe and some others. But one seems good-humour is not always principle, I think, ought to be clearentitled even to the lower praise of ly adhered to,-namely, not to cona semi virtue. A good humoured found fact and fiction, so that the person is sometimes defined to be reader does not know which of the "a person with whom every body two he is perusing. The volume always finds himself at ease;" but just mentioned errs in this respect ; a man who is truly conscientious, for it contains De Foe's fictitious who cannot smile at what is sinful, account of the Great Plague, with or use words which he does not Evelyn's sober History of the Great mean, will not easily earn this cha. Fire. Robinson Crusoe deceives no racter. The wish to be pleased will one; but De Foe expressly intended be often restrained by the feeling that his account of the plague to deceive, he ought not to be so; and he may and to be taken for truth, just as he seem cool when he is only serious. did his invention of Mrs. Veal's ghost, which he drew up to puff off tural faith, and prepare them 10 Drelincourt on Death, to benefit a resist error or heresy, should it ever bookseller who had published that be obtruded upon them; but not work, but found no sale for it till bring forward objections to truth, De Foe's ghost story pushed it which the great majority of their into notoriety. De Foe's ability in auditors would never have heard of making fiction pass for truth was but for the refutation. Your cornever perhaps equalled: one of his respondent may feel assured that fabulous histories deceived even the more pious and active of the Lord Chatham; and his ironical clergy of our church are not indif. “ Short Way with the Dissenters," ferent to the subject; very far from was actually thought, both by the it; but on various occasions in Sachaverel party and the Dissenters, which I have heard the point disto be a genuine Church-and-Tory cussed by them, the decision has work, and as such cost him the been that they should do more pillory and imprisonment. But a harm than good by drawing the religious society ought not to en- attention of their parishioners to courage literary frauds, or allow its a controversy, which might never readers to sup full of horrors on a reach them, at least in such a presstale, not one page of which--though ing form as to make converts. The founded on truth, as is Crusoe-is human mind is so perverted by sin veracious history. I have not seen that the unnecessary obtrusion of the Society's volume, and will there- error is always to be avoided. I have fore assume that the editor of the known ministers lament having Society's abridgment has apprized preached anti-infidel sermons to the unsuspecting reader that he is a village flock, who thus first learnto believe Evelyn and to disbelieve ed that what they held as sacred was De Foe; the one writing from facts, a matter of debate, while they did the other from his imagination : but not thoroughly comprehend a course even were this so, the juxta position of argument to prove the fallacy of of the two, without a hint of the the objections. I remember a clermatter in the title-page, is an inad- gyman mentioning, that in early life vertence which ought to be noticed he had nearly made shipwreck of and remedied.
his faith in consequence of the difAN OLD MEMBER. ficulties raised to be put down in a
series of well-meant controversial lectures on the application of pro
phecy to prove the Divinity of our ON THE PROPRIETY OF ANTI-PAPAL Lord. And I have also heard of LECTURES
persons returning from Reformation
Society meetings or sermons, and sayTothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. ing, “ Our speakers, or our minister,
argued well; but I was not aware I zealously concur with Lieut. that so much could be said on the Rbind, in your last Number, as to other side.” I will not say that the the duty of earnestly opposing the Reformation Society itself, while it inroads of Popery ; but I doubt the has strengthened many Protestants, propriety of preaching courses of and been the means of shaking some controversial lectures against it, ex- Papists, may thus have indirectly cept in places where there are many tended to the increase of Popery; Papists, and the differences between but I am quite sure that the publithe two churches is a subject of pub- city given to Popery, by the conlic discussion. In other cases, it troversies on the Catholic question seems to me far better that the has done so ; just as the notoriety clergy should, without controversy, given to infidelity by the prosebuild up their flocks in the scrip- cutions against Hone and Carlile
made many infidels. Silent refutation meeting, would be to bring them is in most cases the most effectual into notice; to cause the erection instrument for putting down error of a Catholic chapel, and to draw or heresy. In Ireland, where the off hundreds to their communion. great majority are Papists, public I am sure that your respected controversy may draw off their num- correspondent and the other friends bers ; but in Great Britain, where of the Reformation Society, whose the great majority are Protestants, great object, the subversion of Pothe very same measure will only pery, I most cordially approve, will tend to bring them into notice, and receive my remarks in that Christian thus increase their numbers. A spirit in which it is my wish at least, society formed to put down Swe- and prayer, that they should be denborgianism-such is the per- penned. I should rejoice to find versity of the human mind-would that iny apprehensions are groundinevitably promote its extension. In less; for no terms that I could emthe town of there may be ploy would be too strong to express thirty or forty Roman Catholics, my opinion of the irrational, unlittle known or talked about; the scriptural, and baneful character of result, I fear, of preaching a course the Papal system. of anti-papal lectures there, and
A PROTESTANT. holding a Reformation · Society
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
1. The Evidences of Christianity 5. A Brief Outline of the Evidences
stated in a Popular Manner, in a of the Christian Religion. By the Course of Lectures delivered in Rev. A. ALEXANDER, D.D. Prothe Parish Church of St. Mary, fessor of Theology in the TheoIslington. By the Rev. DANIEL logical Seminary of the PresbyWilson, M.A., Vicar. In 2 vols. terian Church in the United States. (Vol. II, the Internal Evidences.) One vol. 2s.6d. Reprinted, EdinLondon. 1830. 12s.
burgh. 1830. 2. A Brief Survey of the Evidence
and Nature of the Christian Re. The evidences of Christianity, ligion, in Seventeen Sermons, though of the highest moment, are preached in Hampstead Chapel. so familiar to theological students, By the Rev. E. G. MARSH, M.A. that we do not think it necessary to
One vol. 8vo. 9s. London. 1829. bring before our readers all the pub. 3. The Divine Origin of Christia- lications which are issued most pro
nity deduced from Evidences not lifically upon the subject, especially founded on the Authenticity of as most of them profess to be only Scripture. By John SHEPPARD. a popular digest of old matter, furTwo vols. 12mo. 14s. London. bished anew to meet local exigen1829.
cies. We have, however, two reasons 4. A Vindication of the Christian for recurring to the topic in the
Faith ; addressed to those who, following pages: first, because the believing in God, yet hesitate to works just announced contain many believe in Jesus Christ, whom he interesting, and some original, nohath sent. By the Rev. J. INGLIS, tices; and secondly, because the D. D., of Greyfriars' Church, public attention is at this moment Edinburgh. One vol.8vo. 10s.6d. particularly directed to the subject, Edinburgh, 1830.
in consequence of the zealous efforts which are being made to diffuse the the poor, become tainted with the baneful principles of infidelity in poison of infidelity, it shall not be every quarter of the land, and more for want of suitable antidotes, or especially among the poor and un- of affectionate and powerful remoninstructed classes of society. While strance. May the blessing of God we are writing, a public meeting abundantly crown the exertions of has been held of the Society for the Society, particularly of the right promoting Christian Knowledge, at reverend prelates, who have shewn which facts were stated by several themselves much interested in the members, especially by the Bishop subject; among whom we must of London, which thrilled the meeting especially mention his Grace of with horror. Never in the annals of Canterbury, who took the chair on this nation, or perhaps of any other the occasion, and the Bishop of professing Christianity, has infidelity London, to whose vigilance and -not in its more insidious but in its unremitting anxiety for the benefit most profligate, impious, and demo- of his diocese we are principally inralizing forms—made such open and debted for the zeal which has been laborious efforts to seduce the popu. exhibited on the occasion. The lace. Infidel lectures are instituted language of Christians of every name, in London, infidel debating societies in times like these, should be, with are established, infidel rent is col- out party or prejudice, “Who will lected ; and by mixing up infidelity, come to the help of the Lord, to as well it deserves, with radicalism, the help of the Lord against the licentiousness, and every other evil mighty ? ” — mighty in the carnal work, it is attempted to render it weapons of this world's warfare, but palateable to the tastes of ignorant in solid reason as impotent as their and uneducated persons, who are efforts are profane and demoralizing. little conversant with proofs and We now proceed to the publica. arguments, but can be easily taught tions before us.
It was our purpose to rail at kings, magistrates, and merely to have completed at some priests, and to connect “ the rights length our review of Mr. Wilson's of man" with spoliation, rebellion, work; the former volume of which and the rupture of the most sacred we reviewed last year (p. 613); but ties. We fear that the rich, that as the subject is at this moment of our government and legislature, and peculiar interest, we shall embrace influential persons of all classes, have the occasion to add three or four to blame themselves for no slight other recent works, regretting that portion of the evil, from having so our notice of them will be too brief lamentably neglected the means of for their merits, but thinking even prevention; for the want of churches, a brief notice better than delaying and schools, and pastoral superin- our recommendation, or returning tendence adequate to the necessities to the topic. of our much-increased population. Mr. Wilson's former volume comBut, not to look back in vain regrets prised the external proofs; the preupon the past, it behoves us at sent relates to the evidence for the length to arise and meet the evil. truth of Christianity from the Divine We are glad to see the venerable character stamped on the pages of Society just mentioned endeavouring the sacred books themselves. Mr. to do its part, by a large pecuniary Wilson doubtless found the subject donation for the circulation of anti- congenial to his taste: it falls within infidel tracts and books, but still the line of the professional duties of more by exhorting its members, lay the Christian minister: it constitutes and clerical, throughout the country, much of the matter of bis private to take up the subject in earnest, meditations and daily devotions, and and at least to provide that if any is identified with his present enjoyof their neighbours, especially among ments and future hopes; and in the