There is one passage, however, which we marked as exceptionable, and must briefly notice.

• To change the heart of a sinner is a higher exertion of power than to create a man, or even a world; in the latter case, as God made it out of nothing, so there was nothing to resist the operation; but in the former he has to encounter, not inanity, but repulsion; not an unobstructive vacuity, but a powerful counteraction.' p. 82.

In the first place we deem it improper to speak of counteraction to the designs or operations of the Infinite Agent, although Mrs. More doubtless meant to express the natural opposition only of the heart. But we more strongly object to the attempt to illustrate the different acts of Omnipotence, the one, if we may so speak, a simple exertion of power, the other, an act of Sovereign benevolence in the form of mercy, by representing them as comparatively greater or higher exertions, and as attended with any degree of difficulty. Such comparisons appear to us to add nothing to our ideas on the subject ; to be in fact, unmeaning, as wholly inapplicable. At the same time we are aware that our Author is not the first who has fallen into this error. Some other expressions occur in connexion with this passage, which, on the same acco:,nt, we deem equally objectionable.

The chapter · On the Morality of St. Paul,' may be read with great advantage by those who have been in the habit of considering the Apostle principally as the champion of polemical ' divinity.' Mrs. More pointedly remarks,

• One would imagine, that some who so loudly insist that we shall be saved by works, must mean works of supererogation, and that they depended for salvation on the transfer of the superfluity of the merits of others to themselves ; for it is remarkable, that they trust their future bliss most confidently to good works, who have the slenderest portion of their own to produce. pp. 106, 107.

• They who contend that the Gospel is only a scheme of morals, struggle hard to keep down the compact to their own depressed standard. They will not allow of a grain or a scruple “ beyond the « bond,” but insist, that whatever is not specifically commanded, is superfluous; what is above their own pitch, is unnecessary. If they allow that it is sublime, they insist that it is impracticable. If they allow that the love, peace, and joy of the apostle, are desirable, they do not desire them as fruits of the Spirit, as signs of acceptance. The interior principle, those views which take in the very depths of the heart, as well as the surface of life,-any practical use of these penetrating truths, they consider as something which the enthusiastic reader does not find, but make.

• The mere social and political virtues are made for this world. Here they have their origin, their use, and their reward. All the


motives to virtuous practice, not derived from the hope of future blessedness, will be inefficient. There is no powerful obligation to “ perfect holiness' to those who do not perfect it in the fear 6 of “ God.” Grace will not thrive abundantly in that heart which does not believe it to be the seed of glory.' pp. 110–111.

Upon these subjects Mrs. More is peculiarly at home. Few writers have more explicitly and eloquently insisted on the requirements of the Gospel law. We must subjoin two more short extracts from the same chapter.

• Paul shews, that the humbling doctrines of the Cross are so far from lowering the tone of moral obligation, that they raise the standard of practical virtue to an elevation totally unknown under any other mode of instruction. But there is a tendency in the heart of man, in his natural state, to rebel against these doctrines, even while he professes himself an advocate for virtue ; to set up the virtue which he presumes that he possesses, , against religion, to which he is chiefly hostile for the very elevation which it gives to. virtue; this, more than the doctrines, and even than the mysteries of revelation, is the real cause of his hostility.' p. 112.

And she concludes the chapter, by remarking upon the defective natural obedience to the moral law, of some well-bred • and highly cultivated minds, who are yet strangers to the “ obedience of faith."

• Even if no religion had ever existed, if a Deity did not exist, for the reference is not to religion, not to the will of the Deity,-such morality would be acceptable to society, because to society it is profitable. But how can any action be pleasing to God in which there is no purpose of pleasing him? How can any conduct be acceptable to God, to whom it renders no homage, to whom it gives no glory?!

Scripture abounds with every motive to obedience, both rational and spiritual. But it would achieve but half its work, had it stopped there. As peccable creatures, we require not only inducements to obedience, but a heart, and a power, and a will to obey; assistance is as necessary as motives ; power as indispensable as precept ;which requisites are not only promised by the Word, but conferred by the Spirit of God.' p. 120.

The disinterestedness of the Apostle, and the combination

of dignity with humility' which he uniformly presents to us, are fully and ably illustrated in the sixth chapter Some of our readers will, perhaps, smile at a sentence which occurs at

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p. 148.

• He sought no civil power, courted" no ecclesiastical supremacy. He conferred honour on Episcopacy by ordaining bishops, but took no rank himself.

Can there be any earthly rank higher than that of Aportle ! In chapters seven and eight, Saint Paul's prudence in his conduct towards the Jews, and his judgement in his intercourse with the Pagans, are exhibited in contrast. The first is deduced from the whole tenor of his Epistle to the Romans, upon which this chapter is a species of analytical commentary. Our Author speaking of the peculiar hostility with which he was uniformly assailed by the Jews, his brethren, remarks,

• The temper to which allusion has been made, is not, it is to be feared, quite extinct. Are there not, at this favoured period of light and knowledge, some Christians by profession, who manifest more hostility towards those who are labouring to procure instructiou for the Hindoos, than towards Hindooism itself?' pp. 174–175.

The following chapter derives its illustrations from Saint Paul's general conduct, especially when cited before Festas, when called upon for his defence before Felix and Agrippa, and when led to Areopagus. In relation to the latter circumstance, w meet with this striking obser ation.

. We have here a clear proof that the reasonableness of Christianity was no recommendation to its adoption by those people who, of all others, were acknowledged to have cultivated reason the most highly What a melancholy and heart humbling conviction, that wit and learning, in their loftiest elevation, open no natural avenue to religion in the heart of man; that the grossest ignorance leaves it not more inaccessible to Divine truth. Paul never appears to have made so few proselytes in any place as at Athens; and it is so far from being true, 'as its disciples assert, that philosophy is never intolerant, that the most bitter persecution ever inflicted on the Christians was under the most philosophical of all the Roman Emperors*.' pp. 212_213.

Mrs. More expatiates on the machinations of the mercenary priests, to excite the civil governors against Paul · by the

stale artifice of insinuating that his designs were hostile to "the state. Whether or not it can in reference to that period, be termed a stale artifice,' it has now become fully entitled to the epithet.

The chapter 'On the general Principle of St. Paul's Writings, though necessarily desultory, abounds with very instructive and striking remarks. It is, we are ready to think, the most valuable in the volume, the inost free from defects of style, and the most full and decided in the development of doctrinal sentiment. It well answers its title of illustrating the

* Marcus Aurelius,


general principle of the Apostle's discourses and writings, while it adduces his authority in enforcement of a variety of duties, relating especially to the mode of exhibiting the truths of the Gospel. We can only make room for one extract, in which our Author refers to the Epistle to Titus.

He saw that a grave and sedate indolence, investing itself with the respectable attribute of moderation, eats out the very heart's core of piety: He knew that these somnolent characters commu. nicate the repose which they enjoy; that they excite no alarm, be. cause they feel none.", Their tale of observances is regularly brought in; their list of forms is completely made out. Forms, it is true, are valuable things, when they are « used as a dead hedge to secure “ the quick ;' but here the observances are rested in ; here the forms are the whole of the fence. The dead fence is not considered as a protection, but a substitute. The teacher and the taught, neither disturbing nor disturbed, but soothing and soothed, reciprocate civilities, exchange commendations. If little good is done, it is well ; if no offence is given, it is better ; if no superfluity of zeal be imputed,' it is best of all. The Apostle felt what the Prophet expressed, -"My people love to have it so." ' pp. 242—243

In extolling the style and genius of Saint Paul, Mrs More may be thought, perhaps, to be less happy. Some of her remarks are forced, and her manner is laboured. But we cannot pass over this chapter, without strongly commending the good sense of the following observations. Mrs. More may well be forgiven her old offence of wandering from her text, when the digression is of so attractive a nature.

• Much less do Saint Paul's writings present an example to another and more elegant class, the learned speculatists of the German school as recently presented to us by their eloquent and accomplished eulogist. Some of these have fallen into the opposite extreme of religious refinement; too airy to be tangible, too mystic to be intelligible. The apostle's religion is not like theirs, a shadowy sentiment, but a vital principle; not a matter of taste, but of conviction, of faith, of feeling. It is not a fair idea, but a holy af. fection. The deity at which they catch, is a gay and gorgeous cloud ; Paul's is the Fountain of Light. His religion is definite and substantial, and more profound than splendid. It is not a panegyric on Christianity, but a homage to it.' p. 278.

Too often persons of fine genius, to whom Christianity begins to present itself, do not so much seek to penetrate its depths, where alone they are to be explored, in the unerring word of God, as in their own pullulating imaginations. Their taste and their pursuits have familiarized them with the vast, and the grand, and the interesting: and they thinli to sanctify these in a way of their own. The feeling of the Infinite in nature, and the beautiful in art; the Rights of poetry, of love, of glory, alternately elevate their imagination, and they denominate the splendid combination, Christianity. But “the new cloth” will never assort with “the old garment.”

« These elegant spirits seem to live in a certain lofty region in their own minds, where they know the multitude cannot soar after them ; they derive their grandeur from this elevation, which separates them with the creature of their imagination, from all ordinary attributes, and all associations of daily occurrence. In this middle region, too high for earth, and too low for heaven ; too refined for sense, and too gross for spirit ; they keep a magazine of airy speculations, and shining reveries, and puzzling metaphysics ; the chief design of which is to drive to a distance, the profane vulgar ; but the real effect, to separate themselves and their system from all intercourse with the wise and good.' Vol. I. pp. 284-285.

Our readers will not fail to apply the force of some of these remarks, to the eloquent but often unmeaning rhapsodies of a contemporary female writer, between whom and the Author of the Essay on Saint Paul, a remarkably striking contrast might be drawn. On the side of the daughter of Necker, there are the charms of German enthusiasm combined with the brilliancy of the French school, imagination, taste, indisputable genius, and an extensive knowledge of unwritten things : to these our excellent country woman opposes, a strong and well cultivated understanding, active benevolence, and that knowledge which preeminently deserves the name,-the knowledge of the heart,of its wants, its disease, and its remedy. If affection be a more honourable tribute than admiration, if singular usefulness be more valuable than ephemeral applause, if there be in truth a glory transcending the brightest creations of fancy, and if the Gospel be the only true philosophy that will sustain us when the world begins to recede, and we discover the eternity which stretches beyond;—there will be little difficulty in deciding which of the two writers presents to us the most honourable and the most enviable character, or which will enjoy the most substantial fame,

The closing part of the extract has a wider reference.

To be concluded in our next Number:)

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