Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

“ In Luke ii. 22, it is said, “And when the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished.' But in the 39th verse it is said, ' And when they had performed these things according to the law of the Lord. Now as the Evangelist calls the Law of Moses, the Law of the Lord, what is the conclusion ? Why that Moses is the Lord.

• In Deut. xxxix. 5, it is said, 'I Moses have led you forty years in the wilderness.' In Deut. viii. 2; xxxii. 12, it is said, “The Lord thy God led thee forty years in the wilderness.' The Lord alone did lead him.''

Why should not the Trinity become a Quaternity? It would not stop there, indeed, if this method of proof were consistently applied.

66

IV. The Authority of Scripture, with respect to addressing prayer and worship to the Lord Jesus Christ. By Herman Heinfetter. London: 1843.

The object of this inquiry is to ascertain the doctrine and practice of the Scriptures respecting the use of Prayer and Worship towards our Lord Jesus Christ. It is comprised in three Sections.

1. What are the direct commands on this subject in the Scriptures ?

II. What were the Practices, Allusions, and Statements of the Apostles on the subject ?

III. What are the instructions on this subject contained in the Benedictions used by the Apostles and others ?

The work is a thorough examination of the Scripture Evidence on this question. It is written with piety, calmness, and learning, and conveys the impression that the Author is not defending a position, but seeking the Truth. He arrives at these conclusions :

1. That it is commanded not to pray to our Lord.

2. That we have no instance in Scripture of man's addressing Prayer, Praise, or Thanksgiving to our Lord, after his ascension.

3. That on three occasions after the Resurrection, it is recorded that man spoke to our Lord.

4. That men are often said to have worshipped our Lord, but never except when personally present with them.

5. That in many passages the Apostles wish men the enjoyment of blessings from the Lord; and admonish them to refer the glory of their spiritual improvement to the Lord.

Mr. Heinfetter's definition of Prayer may be objected to,but rather by the Unitarian than the Trinitarian Controversialist.

“ It is not the nature of the request that constitutes Prayer, but the circumstances under which the request is made ; the smallest request made of a Being, not present to any of our senses, is, equally with the largest, Prayer. The absence of the Being to Man's Senses, of whom the request is made, is, in my opinion, the sole requisite to constitute Prayer.”-vii.

In Philippians ii. 9-11, our Author corrects the translation and reforms the sense, by omitting the conjunction that, in the eleventh verse. “God hath given him a name that is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and

every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Mr. Heinfetter calls the omitted that, the Demonstrative Pronoun. The demonstrative pronoun may be its origin, but it is here a conjunction,—and to call a conjunction a pronoun is a misuse of etymology.

V. The Tests of Time: A Story of Social Life. By Sara Wood. London: 1843.

A very agreeable Tale. Those who can read it without some new wisdom, and some new tears, must be wiser or colder than we have proved to be.

We object to the conclusion. A story should be a work of Art, and have a natural close. The Author might as well have stopped any where else, as where she has. We once heard an invalid sufferer from an interminable sermon, without a plan, exclaim with mock thankfulness, and bitter contempt, 'It was very kind of the gentleman to stop at all: there was no reason why he should. Not so with our Author; she had a plan, has ample powers to give symmetry and unity to her Tale, and must have adopted some wrong principles in Fiction.

VI. A Discourse, preached before the Second Church in Boston, in commemoration of the Life and Character of their former Pastor, Rev. Henry Ware, jun., D.D. By Chandler Robbins. Boston: 1843.

This is an affectionate, and we doubt not a conscientious tribute to the memory of one, who well deserved that it should be paid him. “Star after star departs;" and within how short a time have we seen the setting of “ Arcturus with his sons !” Channing and Carpenter, Tuckerman, Follen, and Greenwood, how fast have they followed each other to the spirit-land! And now another is gone-Henry Ware is with the departed and undying. How rich we were! we exclaim, when we sum up our losses. And how rich we are, when we think upon what they have left us—their memories and their examples, their surviving thoughts and their imperishable labours! But our present business is solely with “the last of that bright band.” We have to say over his fresh grave a few words of truth and love.

All we have heard or read of this excellent man has convinced us that he was one of those men who have fully understood their mission, and done justice to their gifts of talent and opportunity. There was no jarring earthly voice within, to mar the distinctness with which he heard the call of Heaven. He took the sacred office upon him, because he believed it the highest and happiest of all human vocations. He chose the Ministry of Christianity, not as a mere profession, not as a means of obtaining a livelihood and fixing a position in society, but because he felt it the occupation which answered to the pure ambitions and aspirations of his soul, and which promised his whole nature that full and ennobling employment, without which even he would have been unquiet and unhappy. Heart and hand, mind and soul, acquiesced in the profession that he had chosen. Hence arose, in the first place, that repose and serenity of temper which, so far from interfering with high and energetic action, does in fact importantly assist it, by removing many inward obstructions. This sweetness and evenness of temper seems to have made a vivid impression upon all who knew him. It was deeply seated, and never forsook him. There was no undercurrent of baffled and irritating feeling, to ruffle the surface, or to counterwork the force of the gracious impulses that swayed him. Hence arose also the consistency and wholeness of his life. He was not one thing, wishing to be another. He had no lookings-back, after laying his hand upon the plough. His life was not made up of parts and fragments, which might have belonged to different men, as they indicated the vacillations of an unsettled spirit, and the succession of wayward and thwarting desires. His whole being found full and rich occupation in that Ministry to which he gave himself up, to be his “early visitation and his last.” Hence, too, arose the uniform and steady happiness, which that Ministry procured him. It filled his heart to the brim. It answered to all the calls, to all the needs, of his pure being. He was happy in it, in the noblest sense in which we can apply that word to the life of a mortal. He enjoyed that “sober certainty of waking bliss,” which can only arise from such a rare accordancy of the path of life chosen with the powers, wishes, and aims of him who makes the choice. The call from within was unanimous ; and in obeying it, he found that the life of his first and deliberate choice was the one, of all others, in which his pure and unselfish spirit could most freely develope itself, and reap its only appropriate rewards.

Dr. Ware's Works are well known in England, where many of them have obtained a high degree of popularity. Written with a sincere desire to do good, they have done, and are doing much to realise the pure aim of their author. His work on the Formation of the Christian Character was valued by the late Dr. Carpenter as one of the most precious contributions to the religious literature of the age. It should be a closet favourite with all who desire to do good to their own souls. Others of Dr. Ware's writings have been circulated largely in this country; but of these, with the exception of his Recollections of Jotham Anderson, we have not, personally, the same right to give an opinion. From time to time he varied the form rather than the spirit of his occupations, by casting his thoughts into the mould of verse. One of these compositions (the beautiful lyric, "To prayer, to prayer !") may be considered as a standard addition to the devotional literature of the two countries. It contains some unequal lines, but is distinguished, as a whole, by the fervency and force of the devout emotions it expresses, and its power of transferring them livingly and stirringly to the heart. One such work as Dr. Ware's on the Formation of the Christian Character, and one such fervid hymn as that to which we have just alluded, are enough (if he had done nothing else) to keep the grass from his haunts and the moss from his name.

But these were only a part, and a small part, of his labours. The funeral notice of Mr. Robbins gives a list of his literary productions, which shows that his private hours were not passed in intellectual sloth. His study was a constant scene of dutiful and elegant industry. His writings, however, admit of enumeration ;-but his other various exertions can be estimated only by those who were successively or simultaneously the objects of them, for whose benefit they were undertaken, and in whose grateful recollections they have their only fame. Dr. Ware appears to have been only chargeable with the generous error of doing too much. He overdrew his accounts, and spent himself before his time. This we think an error, with whatever epithet we may soften or embellish it. Those, who live to care for others, should, even for their sakes, be careful of themselves. Surely there is a mean, between doing too much

He was

sorrow.

and too little. We grudge the over-efforts, that cost us the early loss of the good, the gifted, and the guiding. We cannot afford to lose so many sunbeams at noon: we cannot think it necessary that so many of our confessors should be martyrs.

The power of a fine Christian Character, when plr.ced in a situation to do itself any justice, is as great as it is interesting. A stranger has gone to his rest on the other side of the oceanin most cases, a very unaffecting event. What has occasioned the deep interest with which we heard of it in this? That stranger, if we may term him such, was Henry Ware. a man whose soul was not to be bounded by the ocean, and whose heart made a country wherever it came. His was the golden faith that wrought by love; and the love that he had won was condensed, at the tidings of his death, into one wide

That sorrow was not wholly unselfish ; and yet we felt it happy that the stroke was no longer deferred. There appear to have been morbid causes at work upon his physical structure, which might have been productive of much suffering, both to himself and to others. We are glad that the star has set in its brightness, or has only been gently dimmed by the mists of the horizon. What a Heaven it will be in which all these lights will re-appear! The Southern Cross is a poor and pale emblem of the lights that will gather into the Glory-Cross of the Christian Heaven.

We return to the Funeral Address, from which we have too long detained the reader. There are some things in it which we do not like—some paragraphs and portions of paragraphs, which seem too calculated for immediate effect to be, in an equal degree, distantly and finally effective. Some figures, which strike us as injudicious, we silently drop from the passages in which they occur, and find these passages lightened and brightened by their removal. But from any thing like stricture we turn, and gladly turn, to extract a few portions of the discourse, which, while they exhibit the preacher to unquestioned advantage, suggest a fine Idea of the Character of his lamented Friend.

Drawing up these rapid remarks at the close of another year for a Periodical which is to appear on the first day of the new one, we doubt not that the following passage will be thought no less appropriate to the season, than it is impressive in itself, and valuable for the suggestions it contains. We have deep faith in the efficacy of these seasonable exhortations; and we have here one more strong precedent in their favour—the practice of another exemplary pulpit, and the voice of another honoured

and holy grave.

« ForrigeFortsett »