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means only, as preaching of the word, administration of the sacraments, and the like. Whatever is farther pretended as necessary unto any of the ends of true religion, or its preservation in the nation, is but a cover for the negligence, idleness, and insufficiency of some of the clergy, who would have an outward appearance of effecting that by external force, which themselves, by diligent prayers, sedulous preaching of the word, and an exemplary conversation, ought to labour for in the hearts of men,
Old and Ilem.
PRACTICAL MATERIALISM, There is a theoretic materialism amongst us. There are men and books who deny the spirit, and regard all life as mere organized matter. You are perhaps afraid of that; you argue furiously against it, and brand its advocates with infamous stigmas. I share your repugnance to it; but I participate not in your fears. An unsound theory can be shivered by argument; and a theory which clashes with the instinctive beliefs of humanity is too impotent to awaken rational alarm. But the materialism before which I confess my spirit cowers is that of professing Christians—the materialism that holds spirit in its creedthat prays for spirit in its prayers—that appropriates to itself the devoutest language of the spiritual book ; but which gives to matter its chief sympathy, thought, labour, and time. It is that which holds in theory that the sources of true greatness and happiness are within the soul itself; but whose practical aim is to extract both from matter. It is that which with solemn face will say that one soul is of more value than the whole world,' and will grudge one day in any attempt to rescue a lost one; but readily devotes long years, and will compass sea and land in order to get gain. This is the huge sin not merely of our country, but of our churches. It is swallowing up all that is spiritual in human thought and feeling—it is veiling the great eternity from men.-D. Thomas.
TRUTH BEFORE PEACE. As all vices use to clothe themselves with the habits of virtues, that, under those liveries, they may get countenance and find the more free passage in the world,-so, especially in the Church, all tyranny and confusion do present themselves under this colour, taking up the politic pretence of peace, as a weapon of more advantage wherewith the stronger and greater party useth to beat the weaker. The Papists press the Protestants with the peace of the Church, and for the rent which they (?) have made in it, condemn them beyond the heathenish soldiers, which forbore to divide Christ's garment. But the godly-wise must not be affrighted either from seeking or embracing the truth, with such bugbears as these are, but seeing the 'wisdom which is from above is first pure, and then peaceable, he must make it a part of his Christian wisdom to discern betwixt godly and gracious peace, and that which is pretended for advantage, or mistaken by error, and so labour to hold peace in purity.-John Robinson.
, for its own privileges, for its difference from the rest of mankind. It acknowledges no vocation from God; it has no living connexion with the past; it is subject to all the accidents and mutations of public opinion. Yet it has no hold upon human life in any of its forms. It treats politics, science, literature, as secular; but it dabbles with them-pretends to reform them by mixing a few cant phrases with them-is really affected by all the worst habits which the most
vulgar and frivolous pursuit of them engenders. It trembles at every movement, at every thought which is awakened in human hearts, at every discovery which is made in the world without. But it does not tremble at its own corruptions. It can see its members indifferent to all the precepts of the Bible in their daily occupations as shopkeepers, employers, citizens ; yet if they put the Bible on their banners, and shout about the authority of the inspired book at public meetings, it asks no more; it boasts that we are sound at heart;' it congratulates itself that spirituality is diffusing itself throughout the land. Meantime, each of its sections has its own Bible. The newspaper or magazine which keeps that section in conceit with itself, and in hatred of others, is to all intents and purposes its divine oracle, the rule of its faith, the guide of its conduct. For this religious world is an aggregate of sections, a collection of opinions about God and about man; no witness that there is a living God, or that He cares for men. Its faith is essentially exclusive, and so is its charity ; for though it devises a multitude of contrivances for relieving the wants of human beings, nearly all of these seem to proceed upon the principle that they are creatures of another race, on behalf of whom we are to exercise our graces ; not creatures who have that nature which Christ took, as much sharers in all the benefits of His incarnation and sacrifice as all their benefactors are.” – Maurice.
PROXY CHRISTIANITY, Not one of the least remarkable features of the present age is, the system of doing those things by deputy which our forefathers did for themselves. Provided a man has plenty of ready money, he may recline on the sofa, or loll in the casy chair, the greater part of the day, and still be a most active Christian' by deputy.
INFLUENCE OF ARTIFICIAL Excitement.-Whenever any excitements of any kind are regarded distinctly as a source of luxurious pleasures, then, instead of expanding the bosom with beneficent energy, instead of dispelling the sinister purposes of selfishness, instead of shedding the softness and warmth of generous love through the moral system, they become a freezing centre of solitary and unsocial indulgence; and at length displace every emotion that deserves to be called virtuous. No cloak of selfishness is, in fact, more impenetrable than that which usually envelopes a pampered imagination. The reality of woe is the very circumstance that paralyzes sympathy; and the eye that can pour forth its flood of commiseration for the sorrows of the romance and the drama, grudges a tear to the substantial wretchedness of the unhappy.- Isaac Taylor.
Man.-Man is but a reed, and the weakest in nature; but then he is a reed that thinks. It does not need the universe to crush him: a breath of air, a drop of water, will kill him. But even if the material universe should overwhelm him, man would be more noble than that which destroys him ; because he knows that he dies, while the universe knows nothing of the advantage which it has over him. Our true dignity, then, consists in our capabilities for thought and affection. From thence we must derive our elevation--not from space or duration. Let us endeavour to think well; this is the principle of morals.--Pascal,
OUR DEBT TO Society.—It is a part of every man's duty to give the weight of his influence to the correction of every evil which infests society. This, too, we owe to society, for the protection which it gives us. It is a debt. Not to pay it is dishonesty.--Rev. H. W. Beecher.
RESISTANCE TO RIDICULE.- Learn from the earliest days to inure your principles against the perils of ridicule : you can no more exercise your reason if you live in the constant dread of laughter, than you can enjoy your life if you are in the constant terror of death. If you think it right to differ from the times, and to make a stand for any valuable point of morals, do it, however rustic, however antiquated, however pedantic it may appear; do it, not for insolence; but seriously and grandly,—
---as a man who wore a soul of his own in his bosom, and did not wait till it was breathed into him by the breath of fashion.--Sydney Smith,
From a Paper by Mr. J. Balfour, read before the Royal Society of Literature. Ir has been supposed that Pilate observed this ceremony with reference to the commandment (Deut. xxi.), that if a murder were committed, and the perpetrators could not be discovered, the ancients of the city where the body was found should declare their innocence of the crime by washing of hands and other ceremonies. That the Roman procurator, however, intended any such deference to a custom of the Jews, is extremely improbable in itself; and that improbability the writer confirmed by adducing the evidence of various ancient authors that the same custom was common among Pagan nations, and in particular among Pilate's countrymen-the Romans. The performance of religious rites, or any act whatever of peculiar solemnity, was in ancient times preceded by ablution of the hands, and sometimes of the feet, and even of the whole body. The Persians observed this ceremony before entering their temples ; the Greeks believed that they thereby cleansed the conscience from impurity. The Romans applied it more generally; they not only before passing sentence of death protested that in so doing they were guiltless, and signified their innocence by washing their hands, -but' we find in Virgil and other writers frequent allusions to the fact that before sacrificing, or offering any other solemn service to the gods, the officiating persons, and even their attendants, were purified by ablution-generally in running water-flumine vivo'—fluviali lympha,'—the waters of fountains or streams being the purest, and hence considered sacred. In the same manner, they solemnly protested their innocence of fraud, or any other stain of moral turpitude; and the primitive Christians, in adopting this significa ceremony, carried it to the length of not touching any sacred thing—the books of Scripture, for example-until they had first washed their hands.
Biblical Antiquities ; with some collateral Subjects, illustrating the Language,
Geography, and Early History of Palestine. By F. A. Cox, D.D., LL.D.
London and Glasgow : Griffin and Co. As many of our readers will be aware, this is one of the volumes of the · Encyclopædia Metropolitana'-a work of which it is impossible to speak too highly, and, in our judgment, the most valuable, both as regards plan and execution, of the three great Encyclopædias. In this work the whole subject of sacred history and biography, and biblical antiquities, was confided to Dr. Cox; the first two branches of biblical learning being treated in volume eight of the series, and the third in the present. The antiquities of the Jews have recently received a large share of attention from biblical scholars ; Jahn and Hartwell Horne especially having rendered valuable service on many difficult branches of this study. The present work can hardly be regarded as throwing much new or additional light on the subjects discussed. The aim of the author has apparently been to furnish a concise and comprehensive summary of all the necessary information found scattered in various directions. Original dissertation is seldom or ever attempted, the plan and compass of the work apparently not allowing of the space necessary for such kind of labour. As a manual of the whole subject and its correllatives, however, or as a general introduction to a thorough study of biblical antiquities, we can heartily recommend it. It displays throughout an extensive acquaintance with the works of English and foreign writers ; it is written in a clear and compact style ; and great care has evidently been taken to omit nothing that could throw an important light on any branch of the study. In the present edition, several articles on collateral questions are introduced, which are not generally found in books of this description. Among these are the Hebrew Language, the Sabbath, the Jewish Sects, and Modern Judaism ; but the latter is clearly out of place, and, if inserted at all, should have been placed in an appendix, One other fault we have to find, and that is, that the references or the foot-notes to the works of other authors are not more copious and distinct. This omission on the part of the writer amounts, at the most, to carelessness, and perhaps he did not deem them to be necessary; but to students they are invaluable, and their omission in any work of this character we cannot but regard as a grave defect. We should not omit to state, the volume is copiously illustrated, and accompanied with maps of Jerusalem and Palestine. Life of Constantine the Great. By Joseph Fletcher. London: A. Cockshaw.
Pp. 124, WE believe that this is the first life of Constantine the Great that has been published in this country. Its perusal will, we are sure, give rise to a general feeling of regret, that with materials so copious, and connected with a subject so interesting, not only to the Christian student, but to the general reader of history, the space at the author's disposal allowed of his doing little more than presenting an outline of the life of this remarkable man. In this outline, however, Mr. Fletcher has given sufficient to indicate what we take to be the main purpose of this biography--the character and results of the ecclesiastical policy of that prince. The first six chapters, or about a half of the work, are occupied with a sketch of the life of Constantine previous to the conquest of Maxentius, when he became master of the whole of the Western empire. The remaining seventy pages were obviously insufficient to trace with the requisite minuteness the progress of the Christian faith, and the gradual submission of the Catholic Church to the dictates and plans of the emperor. Mr. Fletcher has, therefore, confined himself almost exclusively to those acts of Constantine which bore more or less directly on the interests of the Church. In this, we think, he has hardly done justice to the character of Constantine as a civil legislator, many of whose laws stand pre-eminent for their wisdom, and were far in advance of the opinions of his age. The literary merits of this •Life,' however, considering it as an historical biography, are very great. It exhibits in every page marks of the most painstaking study and research ; its rich materials are collected from every available quarter; and no labour has evidently been spared to make it thoroughly accurate and authentic in all its details. Where authorities have contradicted each other, the writer has carefully collated their testimonies, exhibiting the result of his inquiries-sometimes by no means unimportant-in foot-notes. The authorities are also cited for every important event, so that the reader, if he should require fuller information, can refer in a moment to the original source for it. We are glad to judge from this, as well as from the author's previous work on Independency in England, that Mr. Fletcher has too high an appreciation of the value of history to follow the slovenly example of some other compilers of Lives' for popular perusal.
The Tried Christian : A Book of Consolation for the Afflicted. By Rev. W. Leask.
London : Snow. Pp. 158. This book belongs to the literature of Christian consolation-a class of works which, though small in comparison with many others, comprehends some of the choicest of religious writings. Though every heart hath its own sorrow, and alone knoweth the bitterness of that sorrow, there is much in this manual that will bring consolation to every wounded spirit. It is written in a subdued tone, and pervaded by a spirit of warm and tender sympathy with the suffering. We could have wished, however, that the author had discriminated between apparent strictly providential afflictions and self-wrought chastisements. We want a doctrine of affliction as well as a one-sided application of certain texts of Scripture which go to make up that doctrine. From much that we have seen in connexion with untoward events that have been called dispensations of Providence we fear that many calmly sit down and misappropriate to their use the balm of consolation, whose more proper duty would be immediate correction of mistaken or culpable conduct. But Mr. Leask does not pretend to exhaust the subject, and so far as he has written has written well.
The New Testament Expounded and Illustrated according to the usual Marginal
References in the very Words of Holy Scripture. Together with Notes and Translations, and a complete Marginal Harmony of the Gospels, By Clement
Moody, M.A. 2 vols. 4to. Pp. 689. London: Longmans. The first part of this work was published, we believe, nearly two years ago. We are glad that the reception it then met has induced the editor to complete it, for every one whose practice it is habitually to study the Scriptures must have experienced the want which these volumes to a great extent supply. The design of the author has been to furnish a complete and accurate parallelism to the New Testament. With this view, every passage in which reference is made to, or which can be explained or illustrated by, any other passage in the Bible, is here quoted at length; and to the Gospels Mr. Gresswell's harmony is given. It is obvious that such a work as this may be made extensively useful. Marginal Reference Bibles, though of incalculable service to those who will take the trouble to make the references indicated, are very frequently of little more practical use than Bibles without any references at all. The author anticipates the very natural objection to his work, that he is doing for others what they are bound to do for themselves, by urging that general readers have not the time to turn to many different parts of the Bible. We fear the real answer to the objection lies in the fact, that the generality of nominal Christians spend no more time than they can decently help in the study of the Scriptures. It was a rule of one whose biography we lately met with, to devote as much time to this reading as to that of all other works. If others did the same, there would be little occasion for such a book as the present; while they do not, we think it is not encouraging laziness, but rendering a service in showing how much they have lost by not making the Scriptures the subject of more constant and systematic perusal,
Eastern Manners, Illustrative of New Testament History. By the Rev. Robert
Jamieson, D.D., Glasgow. Third Edition. Edinburgh : Oliphant and Sons.
London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co. Pp. 525. This volume is intended to meet a very necessary want on the part of all biblical students. Without professing to embrace the whole field of Oriental customs, or, indeed, every allusion to Eastern manners in the New Testament, the author has noticed nearly all that is calculated to be of essential service to the scripture reader. His plan has been, if we may judge from the very full examination we have given to the work, to let nothing pass which could receive elucidation from this branch of biblical study. Everyone knows what depth of meaning sometimes lies under the figurative allusions of the sacred penmen to the habits of ancient Oriental society, and what a 'flood of light' is thrown over their writings by an examination even of the modern manners of eastern countries, which are found to remain unchanged from the time of the apostles. It is a light, says Dr. Jamieson, 'which we shall look in vain for from any other source. Dr. Jamieson has evidently taken great pains to make