Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

was said to be nobody's enemy but his own.' And experience has served to confirm me in the resolution. I have generally found such persons 'warm enemies' perhaps, but certainly cold friends-if men of strong passions, yet of little real sensibility-men, finally, who, with few exceptions, thought, felt, schemed, lived, for themselves, and themselves alone. In short, I have generally discovered reason in such cases exactly to reverse the estimate of the world, and to consider these persons as in fact every one's enemy but their own.' And here I shall conclude the chapter, in order to give the reader time to determine whether he ought not to come to the same conclusion with myself. And, having decided upon this point, I would entreat him further to consider, whether he can employ for himself, or impart to his children, a safer rule for the selection of friends, than the old-fashioned saying of my dear aunt Rachel « Take for your friends those, and those only, who are the friends of God.'” P. 92.

The most natural, and certainly the most pleasing part of the volume, is a narrative of the reformation of one of the old Pas. tor's flock, which is introduced as a sort of Episode. From this part we shall willingly extract the following passage :

“It happened, that, on a fine summer's evening, (you will ex. cuse me, Sir, for referring to the small part which I acted in this history,) I was taking my rounds in my parish, to look after my little fock, and came, at length, to this cottage, where I remember to have paused for a moment to admire the pretty picture of rural life which it presented. The mists of the evening were beginning to float over the valley in which it stood, and shed a sort of subdued, pensive light on the cottage and the objects immediately around it. Behind it, at the distance perhaps of half a mile, on the top of a lofty eminence rose, the ancient spire of the village church. The sun still continued to shine on this higher ground, and shed all its glories on the walls of the sacred edifice. There,' I could not help saying to myself, is a picture of the world. Those without religion are content to dwell in the vale of mists and shadows; but the true servants of God dwell on the holy bill, in the perpetual sunshine of the Divine Presence.'

“I entered the cottage, and was much struck with the appear. ance of its owner. She looked poor ; and the house was destitute of many of those little ornaments which are indications, not merely of the outward circumstances, but of the inward comforts of the inhabitants. She was sitting busily at work with her sister. I always feel it, Sir, both right and useful to converse a good deal with the poor about their worldly circumstances. Not only does humanity seem to require this, but I find it profitable to myself: for after, as it were, taking the depth of their sufferings, I am ashamed to go home and murmur at Providence, or scold at my servants, for some trifling deficiency in my own comforts. Besides, I love to study the mind of man in a state of trial to see how nobly it often struggles with difficulties—and how, by the help of God, it is able

tg

to create to itself, amidst scenes of misery and gloom, a sort of land of Goshen, in which it lives, and is happy.

“After conversing with her for some time on topics of this kind, and discovering her to be a person of strong feelings deeply wounded, of fine but uncultivated powers, and of remarkable energy of expression, I naturally proceeded to deliver to her a part of that solemn message with which, as the minister of religion, I am charged: and not discovering in her the smallest evidence of penitential feeling-being able, indeed, to extract nothing more from her than a cold and careless acknowledgment that she was pot all she ought to be.'-1 conceived it right to dwell, in my conversation with her, chiefly upon those awful passages of Scripture designed by Providence to rouse the unawakened sinner. Still

, Sir, feeling then, as I do always, that the weapon of the Gospel is rather love than wrath, I trust that I did not so far forsake the model of my gracious Master, as to open a wound without endeavouring to shew how it might be bound up. Few persons are, in my poor judgment, frightened into Christianity: God was not in the . earthquake'-he was not in the storm —but in the small still voice.

" “ After a pretty long conversation, I left her, altogether dissatisfied, I will own, with her apparent state of mind. Nay, such was my proneness to pronounce upon the deficiencies of a fellowcreature, that I remember complaining, on my return home, with some degree of peevishness I fear, of the hardness of her heart. I would fain hope, Sir, that I have learnt, by this case, to form unfavourable judgments of others more slowly; and in dubious, or even apparently bad cases, to believe,' or, at least, to hope, all things.'

“ Notwithstanding, however, my disappointment as to the state of her feelings, it was impossible not to feel a strong interest in her situation. Accordingly, I soon saw her again. But neither did I then discover any ground for hoping that her heart was in the smallest degree touched by what had been said to her. But, at a short distance of time, as I was one day walking in my garden and musing on some of the events of my own happy life, and especially on that merciful appointment of God which had made me the minister of peace to the guilty, instead of the stern disperser of the thunders of a severer dispensation, I was roused by the information that tliis poor young creature desired to see me.

“« One of her poor neighbours, who came to desire my attendance, informed me, with apparent tenderness, that Fanny' was very ill ;' that, as she expressed it, she had been a very • unked state since I saw her, and that she hoped I would be kind enough to come and comfort her.' • God grant,'I said to the poor woman, ' that she may be in a state to be comforted. “That she is, Sir,' said the woman : she has suffered a deal since you were with her. The boards be very thin between our houses, and I hear her, by day and by night, calling upon God for mercy. It would break your heart to hear her, she is so very sad. Ton (her husband) scolds

and

[ocr errors]

and swears at her; 'but she begs, as she would ask for bread, Let me pray, Tom; for what'will become of me if I die in my sins ?''

• This account disposed me, of course, to make the best of my way to the cottage. I soon reached it; and there, to be sure, I did see a very touching spectacle. Her disease, which her fine complexion had before concealed, had made rapid strides in her constitution. Her colour came and went rapidly; and she breath. 'ed with difficulty. Her countenance was full of trouble and dismay.

“ * It was evident, as I entered the room, how anxious she had been to see me. At once she began to describe her circumstances; informed me, that, even before my first visit, her many and great sins had begun to trouble her conscience; that 'although her pride had then got the better of her feelings of shame and grief, 'this conversation had much increased them; that she had since, almost every evening, visited the house of a neighbour, to hear her read the Scriptures and other good books; that she was on the edge of the grave, without peace or hope ; that she seemed, (to use her own strong expression)" to see God frowning upon her in every cloud that passed over her head.'

“ • Having endeavoured to satisfy myself of her sincerity, I felt this to be a case where I was bound and privileged to supply all the consolations of religion ; to lead this broken-hearted creature to the feet of a Saviour; and to assure her, that if there she shed the tear of real penitence, and sought earnestly for mercy, He, who had said to another mourner, “Thy sins are forgiven thee,' would also pardon, and change, and bless her.

“ • I will not dwell upon the details of this and many other similar conversations. Imperfectly as I discharged the holy and happy duty of guiding and comforting her, it pleased God to bless the prayers which we offered together to the Throne of Mercy; and this poor, agitated, comfortless creature became, by degrees, calm and happy." P. 148.

Upon some part of what follow, we cannot bestow a similar comniendation. It deals too much in the language of party.

The only offensive part of the volume is an account of a Missiouary Society, “ who convene a meeting near my aunt's man siou-house, to consider the means of extending to about sixty millions of idolatrous Hindoos, the knowledge of Christianity."

We really do not wonder at the opposition of Sancho to so silly a scheme. The people of a country village or town, with two or three noisy fanatics at their bead, meeting to consider the best means of converting sixty millions of Hindoos, is an idea so unboundedly absurd, that daily experience alone could convince us of its ever being brought into action. Yet such meetings are by no means un frequent, and are generally, it must be allowed, found to answer the purposes of those who convene them; purposes which have as much to do with the couversion of the Hin

dous,

doos, as with the cultivation of the sandy Desert. To the meeting however Sancho repairs, and certainly makes a speech sufficiently prepo-terous ; this calls forth a reply which certainly beats Sancho at his own weapons-flippancy and ignorance. Should this volume reach a second edition, we should certainly advise Mr. Cunningham, among other corrections, to omit the whole of this scene. The Missionary Question is one of no less depth than importance; and is ill-calculated even for discussion, much less for determination at a meeting couvened in a country. town, or in the short pages of a fictitious tale.

We rather wonder that Mr. Cunningham has not pointed out the distinction between the proverbs of inspiration and the proverbs of the world. This might have furnished bim with many liappy turns in his tale, which in its present state have been, overlooked.

MONTHLY LIST OF PUBLICATIONS.

DIVINITY.

An Historical and Literary Account of the Confessions of Faith of the Roman Catholic, Greek, and principal Protestant Churches; intended as a Supplement to that Work, and to the “ Sylloge Confessionum,” printed at the Clarendon Press in 1804. With Four Historical and Literary Essays on the Religious Oro ders; and Biblical Resirictions of the Church of Rome, and on the re-union of Christia: s'; and the Principles of Roman Catholics in regard to God and the King, first published in 163+. By the Author of the “ Hotæ Biblicæ.” 7s.6d.'

Seroons, particularly addressed to young Women in the bigher Ranks of Life. Ey s lády, Authur of Sermons on the Duties of Children, &c. 12mo. 48.

A Sarvey of the Platform of the Christian Church, exhibited in the Scriptures. applied to its actual Circumstances and Conditions, with Suggestions for its Cone sulidatiou and Enlargement'; comprising the Substance of an Essay on the Divine Origin and Succession of the Christian Priesthood; and its necessity as a Devinc Appointment, and ou the Relation which it hears to the Jewish Priesthood. To klich was adjudged a premium of 501. by the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge and Church Union in the Diocese of St. David's. By Hector Davies Alorgan, M A. Minister of Castle Hedingham, Essex. 55.

Observations on the State and Changes in the Presbyterian Societies of England during the last half Century, &c. preceded by a Sermon on the Death of the Rev. Dr. Joshua Toulmin, in which his Characier as a Member of civil Society is, attempted to be improved. By Isaac Worsley. 8vo. 3s.

A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the peculiar Jurisdiction of the Dean of Chichester, at the Visitation holden in the Cathedral, May 24, 1816. By Chris. tüpher Bethell, M.A. Dean of Chichester. 2s.

An Apology for the Ministers of the Church of England, who hold the Doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, in a Letter addressed to the Rev. George Stanley Faber, B.D. in consequence of the Misrepresentations of their Opinions cuntained in bis Sermons op Regeneration. By Christopher Bethell, M.A. Dean of Chichester. 25. "An Address upon the Office for the “ Churching of Women.” By a Country, Clergyman. Su. or 2s. 6d. per dozen.

A Sermon preached in Great St. Mary's Church, in the University of Camdridge, on Sunday, the 30th day of June, 1816, being Commencement Sunday. By Robert Hodgson, D.D. F.R.S. Dean of Chester, and Rector of St. George, Hunover Square. 15. 6d.

A Charge delivered 10 the Clergy of the Deaneries of Richmond and Catterick, within the Diocese of Chester, on Thursday, July 4, 1816. By John Headlam, M. A Rector of Wycliffe, and Deputy Conumissary of the Archdeasonry of Richmonde Is. 6d.

The

The Admonition of our Lord to his Disciples. “ Take hecd, therefore, liow ye hear." Considered in Relation to the present State of the Church, in a Sermon. By a Ciergyman of the Archdeaconry of Exeter. 2s.

A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Carlisle. By Samuel, Lord Bishop of that Diocese, at his third Visitation in June, 1816. 2s. 6d.

Unitarianism incapable of Vindication : a Reply to the Rev. James Yates's Vindication of Unitarianism. By Ralph Wardlaw, Author of the “ Discourses on the Socinian Controversy," which occasioned the" Vindication.” 8vo. 10s. 6d.

Dr. Marsh's Theological Lectures. Part Fourth, relating to the Interpretation of Prophecy. 25. od.

Considerations on the Doctrine of Regeneration ; in the Sense in which the Term is used in the Church of England, in her public Forinularies, respectfully addressed to the Clergy. By the Rev. Charles Daubeny, Archdeacon of Sarum.. 2s. 611.

The Day of Adversity; a Layman's Sermon. Addressed to the higher and middle Classes of Society on the present Distresses of the Country. By S. T. Coleridge. 1s. 6d.

The Biblical Cyclopædia, or Dictionary of the Holy Scriptures: intended to facilitate an Acquaintance with the inspired Writers. By William Jones, Author of the History of the Waldenses. 2 vols. 8vo. 11. 16s.

Resignation to the Will of God, illustrated and enforced by the Example of Jesus Christ; a Sermon preached at the Unitarian Chapel, Reading, Berks, on Sunday Evening, March 24, 1816, on Occasion of the Death of Mr. James Drover.

Wich an Appendix, containing some Thoughts on the Supports and Conso. ' lations which the Unitarian System furnishes in Seasons of Affliction and Trouble.. and especially in the Floar of Death. By Robert Aspland, Pastor to the Unitarian Church, Hackney. 1s. 6d.

The Tendency of the human Condition to Improvement, and its ultimate Per. fection in Heaven, a Sermon preached before the Unitarian Church, Hackney, on Sunday Morning, Feb. 18, 1816, on Occasion of the lamented Death of Mir. James Hennell. By the same. 1s. 6d.

The Duties and Danger of the Christian Ministry considered. A Sermon preached in Charlotte Chapel, Edinburgh, on Monday, June 24, 1816, at an Ordination held by the Right Rev. Daniel Sandford, D.D. and now published at the Request of the Bishop and the Clergy present. By the Rev. R. Murehead, A. M. of Balliol College, Oxford, Junior Minister of the Episcopal Chapel, Cowgate, Edinburgh. 1s.

The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, as connected with the Scripture Prophecies. By the Rev. George Wilkins, A M. Domestic Chaplain to the Earl of Kiunoull, and Vicar of lowdham and Lexington. Notis. 8vo. 11.

A Serinon preached at the Parish Church of Wakefield, July 4, 1816, at the Annual Meeting of the Wakefield District Committee to the Society for promoting Christian Kuowledge. By the Rev.C. Bird, M.A. Rector of High Hoyland. 1s. 6d.

A Sermon preached in the Lower Church at Hastings, Sussex, on Thurslay, July 11, 1816, at the Annual Meeting of the Rape of llastings District Coui.' mittee of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. By Edward Nares, D.D. Rector of Biddenden, Kont; and Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford. 1s. 6d.

The Chuice and Establishment of Principle ; a Sermon preached at the Cathedral Church of Sarun, on Sunday, the 28th of July, 1816, before ihe Hon. Sir James Allan l'arki, kt. one of the Judges of Assize on the Western Circuit.

An Appendix tu the “ Comparative View of the Churches of England and Rome.” Containing some explanatory Notes on Church Authority; the Character of Schism, and “ the Rock," un'which our Saviour declared that he would build bis Church. By Herbert Marslı, D D. F.R.S. Margaret Prufossur of Divinity in Cambridge. is. 6d.

The Attorney and Agent's new Table of Costs in the Courts of King's Berche Commun Pleas, and Exchequer of Pleas; containing the Fees and Disbursemenis on the part of the Plainitf and Defendant in the Prosecution and Defence or Actions, Informations, and other Proceedings; including the Charges of Fines. and Recoveries, Writs of Scire Facias, Habeas Corpus, and various special Mat

Is.

LAW.

ters:

« ForrigeFortsett »