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literary defect to which we have religion. Our pulpit discourses lave now adverted in the work before us, beea polished down into the form of is more than supplied by the spirit short and common-place essays on some of warm affection, of deep serious. ethical traismı; and the bold and manly ness, and impassioned earnestpess,
eloquence of our fathers, so full of which pervade its pages, and deriving its strength from'the doctrines
unction, and so full of faithfulness, and which can hardly fail to interest of the Gospel, which it so constantly and to please the reflecting and embodied, has, I fear, in many inserious reader. As specimens of stances, given 'place to a strain of Dr. Dewar's manner we must con- preaching, which awakens no auxiety, tent ourselves with two passages, and which produces no interest. And which we select on account of the is it any wonder that a people who are important remarks which they con
but imperfectly acquainted with the vey. The first passage is from the like to have it so? Or what more woe
elements of Christian doctrines, should section, entitled, “ Catechetical In- ful proof of the growing decline of true struction.”
religion in our land than that patrons “ I long to see the inbabitants of of churches, during niore than the last Scotland to be again that which the half century, liave been so regardless of inhabitants of Scotland once
the voice of a people, not yet become Our forefathers made it their business thoroughly indifferent to the great not only to instruct their families, on truths which they were taught by their the evening of the Sabbath, but to in. fathers to regard as divine, and which struct themselves: to obtain by read they were anxious that their ministers ing, and meditation, and prayer, clearer should teach? Is it pot in the land that and more impressive views of Christian Knox and Melville, and the other great truth; to acquire accurate knowledge and good men of our church, succeeded of the grounds of their faith, and the in reforming and in evangeliziug, that nature of its doctrines and its desigos; those who have walked in their foot. and to reach the measure of the stature steps, and who have so conscientionsly of the fulness of Christ. Hence it was held forth the great doctrines which that they had deep as well as just views rendered their ministry a blessing to so of doctrine and of duty; and that in many generations, have been systemaplace of being children, tossed to and tically opposed and discountenanced, fro, and carried about with every wind and represented as wild and fanatical in of doctrine, by the sleight of meu and their notions? And the religion of the cuoniug craftiness, whereby they lie in times, so alarmingly prevalent, and so wait to deceive, they spake the truth in boldly directed in hostile array against love, and grew up upto Him in all things, constituted authorities, is but the which is the Head, even Christ. They fruit of that system of indifference read the Bible diligently, and the books to the spiritual wants of the people, of practical divinity which might enable and of that substitution of cold and them more fully to understand it. They heartless speculation, in room of the did not rest in the notion that they were doctrines of the word of God, which already Christians ; but studied to grow were at one time, and with certain in grace, and in the knowledge of their classes, so much in vogue.
I shall Lord aud Saviour, and used every never cease to avow what in my conmeans for attaining the end of their science I most firmly believe, that it is faith, even the salvation of their souls- by the faithful preaching of these doeThere were, in their personal and fa- trines alone, as they are contained in the mily religion, not the feebleness and the Confession of Faith and Catechisms of fickleness of childhood, but the vigorous our church, that the interests of true effort, and the sound understanding, morality, as well as of enlightened characteristic of perfect men in Christ and steady loyalty, are promoted.” &c Jesus.
pp. 126-129. “ I need not say that their descend
Our author then proceeds to ants, generally speaking, with all their zeal for public usefulness, do not in this point out the importance of attenrespect imitate their example. There tion to the different parts of family is á fimsiness and a snperficiality in religion, and particularly the duty almost all that they do connected with of cateckising children and servants.
He offers some very important re- give ; and servants should be remarks on “ Sabbath Schools," with minded of the bigh command of the view of guarding ministers and Him with whom there is no respect heads of families against the abuse of persons—" Remember the Šabof these institutions. Without low- bath day to keep it holy.” If ever ering their value, or questioning religion shall flourish in Scotland their utility, he states that they or elsewhere, one of the principal are designed, properly speaking, as means must assuredly be an exemsubstitutes for the want of family plary attention to ibat infinitely instruction; that in no case should important, but every where much they be made an apology for the neglected, duty of keeping holy the neglect of this ; and that whatever. Sabbath-day. tends to weaken the authority of Our next quotation shall be from parents, or to encourage them in the section entitled, “ Address to the neglect of a divinely commanded those who now are, or who intend duty, should be strictly watched becoming, Students of Divinity." and guarded against as dangerous “ Before any one should devote himto the best interests of practical self, or be devoted by another, to this godliness. Were every parent able work, he should be sure that he has a and willing to do his duty, Sunday deep sense of religion on his heart; schools would be useless, and that he has a tender conscience, effecmight even be hurtful; and it is tually convinced of the evil of sin, and
the necessity of holiness; that he feels only because parents do not or cannot fulfil their proper duties, that crifice, and the divine excellency of
powerfully the worth of a Saviour's sa. these helps become necessary. But liis knowledge; and that he regards it iu this light they are truly valuable, as his highest honour to be the humble and deserve far greater countenance instrument of opening the blind eyes, and patronage than they have ever and of turning men from darkness unto yet received from the Christian light, and from the power of satan nnto community.
God. These essential qualifications of In the sections on the “ Duties of personal religion he should possess beMasters and Servants," we could fore he resolves on devoting himself have wished that our author had Should he proceed without them, he
to the arduous work of saving souls. noticed a very prevalent but most will probably become the enemy of pernicious custom, particularly in those who have a serious concern for large towns, both in England and their salvation; he will, perlaps, repreScotland, of servants claiming, and sent them, even in his preaching, as self. masters and mistresses allowing conceited hypocrites, as wild and fanathem the Sunday to themselves ; tical; bis state of heart will disincline in other words, to be spent in idle- him, and perhaps bis ignorance will disness, worldly conversation, and able him, from declaring to the people amusement; in place of being de- the whole counsel of God; and thus, voted to the public and private ex
from his own want of religion, he will be
careless about his work, and deepen the ercises of Divine worship, except sleep of spiritual death on the souls unso much as is exempted for works of der his ministrations and around him. necessity and mercy. We have " When you are satisfied as to your reason to believe that this habit or personal religioni, see that your views of custom prevails to a great extent the doctrines of the Saviour be sound. in Glasgow and its vicinity, the It is not to be expected that these views scene of our author's pastoral la should, in the first instance, be either bours; and we might adduce many essential importance, that in so far as
deep or comprehensive. But it is of flagrant and affecting illustrations they go, they should be scriptural. It of its demoralizing and unchristian- is the duty of all the disciples of Christ izing tendency. Christian masters
to grow in grace, and in the knowledge and mistresses should remember of their Lord and Saviour; but no one that the Sabbath is not theirs to should devote himself to the work of
the Christian miuistry, whose views of which never required to be more the elements at least of the doctrine strongly pressed than in the present of Christ are not correct. Study these day; when, to adopt again the words elements much, as they are contained of Mr. Bickersteth, men are so in the Catechism, and the other spirit apt to gain knowledge without corual and practical books which, while they explain them, enforce them with responding feelings, and are temptsacred unction on the heart. Be well ed to make a profession of religion, grounded in these, before entering and to talk about it, while, it is to be much on the study of human sciences; feared the more retired, and all-inand keep them constantly in view while portant duties of devout prayer, meacquiring a knowledge of these sciences; ditation, self-examination, and readand thus yon will be likely to derive ing the Scriptures, are neglected." from learning, all the good it can afford, We shall only add, that though without being corrupted or perverted Dr. Dewar's work is generally free by it from the simplicity that is in from a controversial spirit, there is Christ.” pp. 253, 254. •
here and there a remark which some We have not space for remarks of his readers will think might have upon, or citations from, other parts been spared ; as, for instance, at of the volume, except to add, that page 260, where he alludes to the the prayers for individuals and
use of the term priest, &c. under families,” twenty-eight in number, the Christian dispensation. In the are truly scriptural. Some of those Church of England such words no for fair.ily worship are rather long ;
more convey superstitious notions, and, by a new arrangement, the than the names of the days of the yumber might, out of the same ma- week or of the months, which the terials, be considerably increased. Society of Friends so strongly reThe work is characterised by cor- probate. The word priest is, in rect jurigment, and Christian senti- truth, only a corruption or curtailments, and it would delight us to ment of the word presbyter ; as bi. find this work, or something like shop is of ETISKOTOS ; but, were it it- for instance, Mr. Bickersteth's otherwise, we might say with invaluable Treatise on Prayer-on Hooker: “ The fathers of the church the tables of every family in the call usually the ministry of the land. We do not indeed suppose Gospel priesthood, in regard to that that individuals or fumilies are, ge- which the Gospel bath proportionnerally speaking, ignorant that prayer able (corresponding) to ancient sais a duty; but they often need both crifices; namely, the communion incitements to its discharge, and of the blessed body and blood of helps for discharging it. And even Christ, although it bath properly this is not all; for as Mr. Bicker- now no sacrifice. As for the peosteth remarks, in the justly popu- ple, when they hear the name, it lar work above-mentioned, “ The draweth no more their minds to any grace of prayer is a Divine gift of cogitation of sacrifice, than the far more importance than the mere name of a senator or alderman knowledge of the various parts of causeth them to think upon old age, this duty, or the ability to perform or to imagine that everyone so termit before man." The object of Dr. ed must needs be ancient, because Dewar, as well as of Mr. Bicker- years were respected in the first posteth, (wliose work we have the mination of both. Wherefore, to rather introduced on the present pass by the name, let them use what occasion, as its rapid sale rendered dialect they will, whether we call it a formal review of it on its publi- a priesthood, a presbytership, or a cation superfluous,) is to induce ministry, it skilleth (matters) not; individuals to pray with the heart although in truth the word presbyter and with the understanding also; a doth seem more fit.” Eccles. Pol. duty necessary at all times, but Book. V.
exercise, was capable of appealSermons. By the Rev. J. W. CUN- ing so powerfully to the understandNINGHAM, A. M. Vicar of Har- ing and the feelings of the reader, row ; Domestic Chaplain to the might soon be wielded more seriRight Hon. Lord Northwick ; qusly,on some occasion whichshould and late Fellow of St. John's be no less worthy of its powers than College, Cambridge. London: of that holy faith which it appeared Hatcbard and Son, and T. Ca- evidently well qualified to defend dell. 1822. pp. xvi. aod 433. and enforce. This hope has not
been disappointed ; and we are We have had the sincere gratifica- now happy in again presenting Mr. tion of introducing Mr. Čunning- Cunningham to our readers, in his ham to our readers on several for- still more appropriate character as mer occasions. Not only has he a Christian minister, and the avowappeared before the public as the ed author of a volume of sermons. avowed author of a valuable Essay We were prepared to think bighly on Christianity in India, of a Reply of his merits in this department of to the Thoughts of Dr. Maliby sacred literature, from the perusal on the Danger of circulating the of severaloccasional discourses from Scriptures, and of some seasonable his pen, particularly one of great vaCautions to Continental Travellers, lue, on the Trial, and Encouragebut also as the anonymous writer ments of the Christian Missionary, of three very interesting publica- preached before ibe Church MissionLions, which, ihough founded in ary Society, and printed at their refable, were intended, and are cal- quest. As a writer of instructive eulated, 10 convey and to recom- diction, he interested us: but a mi. mend important religious truths to nister of the Gospel never appears to those who might not feel disposed 80 much advantage in any borrowed to receive them under a severer character, as in bis own; or is qua. garb. lu our review of " A world lified to do so much good to socie. without Souls,” (a work of which ty, as, when he stands forth in the it is but justice to the author to re- performance of his proper and acmark, that in the later editions he knowledged office, as an accredithas " rubbed off” some improprie ed " ambassador for Christ,” a ties in the first, and added many "steward of the mysteries of God." useful and excellent passages,) we There may indeed occasionally be bad occasion to observe, that the some advantage in concealing the assumption of the mask of fiction professional garb and wand of the was, in his case, the reverse of physician, or in laying aside for a what it might be in some other in. time the solemn countenance which stances, a proof that he preferred might alarm the tender nerves of an usefulness to display of the man- inexperienced patient. It is perper in which the story of “the Vel- haps on this principle that the upvet Cushion” is deiailed--though professional services of laymen and , we are by no means extravagant of females, in the cause of religion, admirers of this style of writing- bave often been productive of such we spoke in terms of warm com. very extensive benefits. And it is mendation. In reviewing “ San- perhaps io consequence of this, that cho, the Proverbialist," while we clergymen have been induced, in declared our belief that the first some instances, to write anonymouspart of it especially might be high- ly, or to make use of playful expely useful in suggesting some valu- dients, or fictitious narrative, in ihe able hints on the conduct of educa- hope of thus arresting the attention tion, we yet added the expression of those who would have recoiled of our final hope, that a pen, which, from the perusal of a direct pastoral in its lighter mood and occasional address. Mr. Cunningham, among
CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 252. 5 K
others, adopted this expedient; and presumed to be supported by some if we were not backward in offer.
individuals, who bave been won by ing our commendation to his mo- his exhortations, and who exemplitives and achievements on these fy in their lives the influence of the lighter occasions, it will readily doctrines which he inculcates. In be inferred that it is with po slight this view the publication of the satisfaction that we hail him now same truths, by different clergyvested in his own robes, and as- men, has a multiplied effect, and suming the station and character raises before the eye of Faith a which he is so well qualified to oc- cloud of witnesses in defence of .cupy and adorn. The advantages the Gospel. of concealment are occasional, tem- The volume before us consists of porary, perhaps equivocal ; and the twenty-three sermons on miscellagood effected by it relates only orneous subjects, having no other very chiefly to those who are not already close tie of connexion, than that they enlisted in the ranks of genuine were delivered by a faithful pastor, Christianity. And even these be- from the same pulpit, to his fluck nefits may be in a great degree during the course of two years. counterbalanced by the want of The author remarks, that that confidence which the presence
“He has been led to this uudertaking and countenance of a leader bestow upon his friends. The in
partly by perceiving the general thirst fluence of an anonymous writer is by an ardent désire, before he is called
for this species of publication-partly that of an individual; whereasthe au. to his great account, to bequeath to his thority of an experienced minister, family, his parish, and his friends, some who comes forward in his proper slight memorial of his interest in their character, is that of a chief, and temporal and spiritual welfare; and carries with it a weight propor
some less fugitive record, than a mere tioned both to his personal respecta- address from the pulpit, of the princibility, and to the experience he has ples in which he has found, through the already had, or is believed to have great mercy of God, his own consola.
tion and joy. bad, in the Christian warfare. When he unfurls his standard, or rather for some time entertained of endeavour
" Perbaps, however, the wish he had tbe standard of the common Cap. ing to prepare a volume of Sermons for tain of our salvation, we naturally the press might not have been realised, call to mind bis circle of friends, if he had not felt the importance, dur. connexions, and parishioners—or, ing a season of comparative retirement, as we may say, his clansmen-who of labouring to withdraw the mind from are accustomed to march under mournful contemplations by occupying 11, and are ready to support their it with nseful pursuits
. And he hopes Jeader, in union with the ge- the facts of his own history on the
to be pardoned for so far obtruding neral church militant, in the com
attention of others, as to state, that bat with the prince of darkness. he has never felt bis trials so little as And hence, among other reasons, when thus striving to minister to the we are disposed to congratulate our wants of a suffering world—as when, readers on the increasing number having nothing but a ' mite' to offer, of parochial sermons which issue he has been endeavouring to cast that from the press. In every such vo- mite into the treasury' of God.”— lume, the author stands forward as pp. iii, iv. the leader of a small band; and we Perhaps in this last sentence, are thus enabled to see, as it were though written simply to account successively developed before us, for the circumstance of publishing some of the scattered forces of the a volume of sermons-a circumarmy of our Redeemer, each in its stance now too common to require appointed station, and ready to add much explanation--the reader may jis weight in the general cause. For trace something of the characterevery zealous clergyman may be istic style of the author of the se