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nicled. We observe very few errors: one is, that our contemporary, Mr. Armstrong, appears twice, as of Exeter and of Tidenham. We wish the undertaking, and it is an important one, all success.
We cannot be so charitable as to impute the blunders in Mr. Stark's • History of the Bishopric of Lincoln' (Longmans) to any other cause than that of entire ignorance of the languages which he professes to translate. There is much information in the volume; and Mr. Stark has been well assisted. But we do protest against the presumption of writing, or assuming to write, a work founded upon ancient documents without the slightest knowledge of Latin. The book is in its present state a disgrace to literature. Ille Missa Est, p. 64. Ac post Romani usque perrexit et per longum spatium ibidem mansit ad legendum scrutandeque mysteriæ Dei, Sanotasque perearrit Scripturas, p. 180. Habitu in veta monachi insignes, p. 185. Juxta ritus Lindisfarnensem, p. 215. Peada princeps Mediterranean Anglorum, p. 216. Pro omni a quitonali parte Britanniæ, p. 284. Every page betrays the same ignorance.
Mr. Gresley has reprinted an Essay on 'Confession, Penance, and Abso lution,' by Mr. Roger Laurence, a Layman of Queen Anne's time. (Masters.) It is designed, we presume, as a supplement to this writer's able ‘Essay on Confession,' which we have already commended. Mr. Gresley is of course aware that Laurence was consecrated a Bishop in one of the non-juring lines, and that he is the author of the work on · Lay Baptism.'
• Romanism, an Apostate Church,' by Non Clericus, (Longmans,) represents a style of book which we thought we had outlived. A glance at the index will give a sufficient notice of this Florilegium : *Romanism a curse to the world-Tractarians and Sleepy Bishops—No peace for England while a Popish Cardinal remains here—Why lags behind a certain Oxford Doctor?—Letters of Mr. Dodswell (sic] to the Oxford Doctor-Father Spencer-Father (!) Wilberforce-Rome's inculcations the dreams of a maniac,' &c. The author 'reposes confidence in our slate] noble Premier,' (p. 35.) He assures us that the whole Protestant population are sleeplessly alive to the future. Lord John Russell stands enwreathed on a pinnacle.' This unpleasant and unsafe position which we find that his Lordship occupied accounts more satisfactorily than any other reason we have met with for the fall of the late government.
Lieut. Burton's Falconry in the Valley of the Indus,' (Van Voorst,) is nicely illustrated. But though it contains some amusement, it is offensively and flippantly written, aiming at wit which it never reaches—a remarkably bad copy of Eothen.'
Mr. George Gorham, Scholar of Trin. Coll. Cambridge, has printed his Burney Prize Essay on the Eternal Duration of Future Punishment,' &c.
. (Deighton.) It is dedicated to Mr. Gorham, sen. of Brampford Speke, the essayist's father. That a young man has treated this subject with the learning and thought evinced by Mr. Gorham deseryes great praise. It is a production full of promise. NO. LXXVIII.-1.8.
The close of the Jubilee celebrated by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Westminster Abbey, was exactly the sort of subject to call out the Bishop of Oxford's oratorical powers. In his sermon preached on that occasion, · The Shouts and Weeping of a Day of Jubilee,' (Rivingtons,) the Bishop has sustained his reputation; but the sermon, as might have been expected, told more in delivery than in its authorized form.
To complete the case as regards the Sisters of Mercy and their establishment at Plymouth, we must call attention to Captain Sellon's affecting and positive Contradiction,' &c. (Masters) founded chiefly upon documentary evidence. The recent and distressing investigation in Mr. Prynne's case is only a separate proof of the rancour with which Church principles are assailed, and, we regret to say, by the Clergy in this place.
The author of The Coming Man' (Green) has got hold of a vague and illiterate notion, that Scripture and the complexion of the times seem conjointly to indicate some great and serious apostasy. But whether the • falling away'shall be developed in a system or an individual—a pbilosophy or an empire-he does not seem to have settled. He is clearly perplexed about the matter. Possibly some sectarian views, or, more probably, sheer ignorance, have kept him from the doctrine of a personal Antichrist. But in the case of a person well-meaning, though distressingly ignorant both of science and reason, we can only regret that an acquaintance with settled theology has been denied him.
Mr. Benson's Sermon on Christian Education,' preached at S. James's, Westminster, (Skeffington,) interested us for more reasons than one. It treats ably, and in excellent language, the subject of education on first principles. This is now an uncommon mode of treating the subject. Mr. Benson's sermon has somewhat the value of a noble fossil. In this way wrote—we know this from sad experience; and in this way preachedhappily, this experience has been denied us—the great English preachers, Tillotson and Balguy, Atterbury and Clarke: such as were these silvertongued orators, such is Mr. Benson. Sentence after sentence rolls on like a procession; faultless in its members, correct, uniform, and apparently capable of scansion in its arrangements. Indisputable are the thoughts, for they are elementary, undeniable, and perfectly clear. Take an example. Mr. Benson, who keeps carefully to the broad path, is illustrating the necessity of education, because Christianity itself is a matter of instruction, The fact is elementary; the inference of the plainest. Here is about the most common-place thought that could suggest itself to an educated person; and yet how sonorous is Mr. Benson’s exposition of this most undeniable truth :
• For as to the religion of the Lord Jesus, men are not, in consequence of their fallen nature, at all likely, when left to the devices of their own • hearts, either to study it with such careful impartiality, or so early in life, 'as is necessary to make it believed with that faith which worketh by love ‘unto obedience. In their earliest youth they could not do this ; nor “unless taught to do so, would they do it at any time, before the lusts of the 'flesh, and of the eye, and the pride of life, had pre-occupied their minds, ' and led them into many acts of sin. And then their sins, by teaching
them through their conscience that God's wrath was to be feared, would 'make them averse to look upon Him; and the hold that the flesh and the 'world's vanities had obtained over their heart, would, together with the 'habit of self-indulgence, make them most unwilling to take upon them the 'yoke of so pure, so spiritual, so self-denying a course of life, as that • which the Gospel prescribes. Because their deeds were evil, they would 'not naturally come to the light that would reprove them. Before all 'things, therefore, in point o time as well as of importance, it is neces*sary that, from their very infancy, the young should be taught the nature, truth, excellence, and duties, as well as privileges, of the Gospel.'
This is what the French would call the grand style: there is a breadth and massiveness in the ornate collocation of words which tells on the ear, if not on the intellect. This sort of sermon had its value physically, if not spiritually: it does not teach a single Christian duty, or animate to an evangelical act of sacrifice: but it soothes—it sweetens—it mollifies. It conduces to good temper, if not to good works. It asks no effort to comprehend, but it has a rich, grand, full, satisfying sound. We can quite understand the popularity of this sort of sermon. As we have said, it has a virtue of a literary kind : it dignifies platitude, and is thoroughly respectable and solemn. And we are by no means satisfied that, in the way of sermons, we have made a good exchange in the new style of empty sermons. If we are to have empty sermons, we like the old vacuity better than the new. When a preacher has nothing to say, we like his nothing clothed in good grammar, and choice language, and an elegant style. But when a preacher has nothing to say, and pours his nothing out in the vulgar, familiar style half conversation, half cant, -of a more recent class of sermons, we must say that we look with regret to the eighteenth century preachers. They were insufferably dull, but they had a respectable well-to-do dulness. Our preachers are as dull as their predecessors, and as empty and threadbare; but then they display their vulgarity with a forward, pretentious, swaggering air. The last century preachers were like decayed gentlemen : the present popular preachers are of the avowed mendicant class. We will illustrate our meaning from a recent volume of sermons. There is no occasion to specify the writer's name, as we are engaged with a style and system, rather than with individuals : it will be enough to say that he has won high promotion, and, as it is said, mainly by his 'pulpit-powers.' Besides, the talk has been talked a thousand times.
It may be there are some here to-day, who still cling to their own righteousness, and think it more glorious to be saved by their own doings " than by the righteousness and blood of Jesus. To such I can only say, * If you still continue thus wilfully ignorant of God's righteousness, the • Lord of Hosts is not a crown of glory unto you, nor will be till you sub‘mit yourselves unto the righteousness of God. But, thanks be to His • holy Name, there are others who can join with the Apostle, and say, "“God forbid that I should glory,” &c. But believe me, dear brethren, if any such are here, and I trust there are, it requires a deep and abiding conviction of the reality of these things, to enable the believer to glory • in the cross of Christ. Oh! may He more and more unite us to Him• sell,' &c.
This is a fair example of the popular Evangelical sermon : it is the sum and substance of this class of teaching. The terms are scarcely varied ; but this is the theme which is repeated week after week where the Gospel' is said to be exclusively preached. If the passage conveys any meaning, its obvious one is, that righteousness is wrong. For did the preacher ever meet with one single person who thought it glorious to be saved' by
righteousness ?' which was, in fact, even to him, never presented as righteousness, or anything else of a religious character. But would such teaching as this ever attract or direct men to religious activity? Does it convey any meaning? Is it not rather a collection of religiously-sounding phrases disguising emptiness of thought? The danger of the old sermons was, that they substituted pleasing language for direct applied personal warning: the danger of the latter is, that religious words stand in the place of religious actions.
A third class of sermon-emptinesses comes nearer home. Many Plain Sermons which we meet with are simply plain because they are without an idea. Plainness of this sort does no good. The simplest people must, if they are talked to at all, have not only articulately-sounding language addressed to them, but language which has a meaning and thought in it. A Sermon is not plain because it says nothing. English Sermons want a great reform. Orthodox or heterodox, they seem for the most part to labour under the same fault of having nothing to say.
The Convocation question has brought out a very sensible ‘Letter to Mr. Walpole' from Mr. Harold Browne. (J. W. Parker.) We make one or two extracts, which will be more acceptable than our criticism :
63. It will perbaps be said, the Bench of Bishops can do everything that • is wanted. But, in the first place, they have themselves felt the difficulty of their position, and the impossibility of agreeing in any measures of
practical reform. From many causes, they cannot always have the most .extensive practical knowledge of the Church. I may add, that an asse
ssembly of Bishops has never been the recognised and constitutional form of Synod in England. There is good reason to think that it was not the most primi*tive form. The Council held by the Apostles at Jerusalem (Acts xv.) had certainly elders as well as Apostles present at it; and I doubt not had • laymen too. The earliest provincial Synods appear to have been attended by all the three orders of the clergy; and though in later times only
Bishops, or Bishops and important and dignified presbyters assembled, ' yet, the very theory of our Reformation being, that the Church should be
restored to the greatest possible likeness to the Church of the very earliest ages, it is far more accordant with our principles, that a mixed Synod
should legislate for us, than that Bishops only should have a voice in our • councils.'--P. 9.
• 5. And still, sir, I repeat it, we want something done; something more 'than private efforts and private benevolence can do. Our system, adapted • for the wants of the sixteenth century, and untouched since the seventeenth, has become cramped, rigid, wooden. Expansion, elasticity, life must be infused into it, or it will not work, but will only grow rustier. Without, therefore, being blind to the dangers attending Convocation,
since, under God, there seems no other plan of improving us available, 'why may we not at least be permitted to make trial of it, in trust that He • whose presence still is with us, will say, “Peace, be still !” if waves or • storms seem threatening to break over us?
• The newspapers have told us, that the inevitable tendency of Convo. •cation will be to the disruption of the Church, and the destruction of that " "compromise" upon which the very existence of the national establish'ment has been permitted. For “compromise" allow us to read “
prehension,” and I trust the very opposite may prove to be the truth. • Compromise is a word which sounds ominously like unfaithfulness to the truth ; and if the Church of England stands upon that, it can be no true church, and had better fall. But I do hope and believe that, so far from • the comprehensive character of the national Church being destroyed by
Convocation, the practical reforms likely to be introduced by it will be *calculated to conciliate and comprehend, not only the two great schools
now but imperfectly united in the Anglican communion, but also some of • the bodies which unhappy circumstances have hitherto estranged from us. : *I trust and hope that, for the present at least, no effort will be made
to discuss points of doctrine, or anything materially and inevitably lead•ing to points of doctrine. The reforms we want are practical, pot doc
trinal; for, divided as churchmen may be, all sides are happily agreed, 'that the doctrines of the Prayer Book are orthodox and evangelical.' Pp. 10, 11.
• 7. I will not trouble you, sir, with detailing the many measures which * I think Convocation might debate on, and which might tend to unity • rather than division. I will only mention, in passing, one or two more · which seem to me real and obvious necessities.
• The providing some theological and pastoral instruction for the candi• dates for Orders is one. My impression, from somewhat considerable ' experience, is, that our university education, however excellent in itself, • is insufficient to prepare men for the work of the ministry. They come • from it raw and unsuited for the task they are to engage in. The quicken‘ing of our missionary operations is another. Then, again, the putting • forth an authorized collection of hymns for public worship. The want is • felt so generally, that it needs no comment. Our Prayer Book, the 'guardian of truth amongst us for three hundred years, I should hope to see untouched and sacred; but some division of our services might very
probably be desirable; and some short and earnest forms of prayer, for ‘particular occasions, might be composed and authorized with much benefit. • There is one more subject, and it is a very delicate one, which I shall venture
to allude to. Individual exertions, however full of zeal and piety, have rendered Protestant nunneries, Sisters of Charity, unpopular amongst us. • If such had been organized by the whole body of the Church-persons ' with no strong ties of domestic duty might have given themselves for
a time, if not perpetually, to a more than commonly self-denying devo'tion, in tending those bodily and spiritual necessities of which our great 'towns present such a fearful accumulation. The Sisters of Mercy and • Wesleyan Methodism are two opposite yet concurring witnesses to the • wooden and unaccommodating condition of a synodless church. The one