Obrazy na stronie

tian era. The Bible, so far as its history is connected with this subject, tas been bis principal guide, though all the best writers of antiquity have been carefully consulted and compared. The Professor has aleo published several other works, among which his “ New Ver. sion of the Psalms, with Philological Illustrations,” and his “ Historia Religionis et Ecclesiæ Christianæ,” are much esteemed.

• The next four discourses are translated from those of the Rev. Dr. J. H. Van der Palm, successor lo Dr. Rau in the chair of Oriental Literature, and now Professor of Divinity in the University of Leyden. His deep and extensive knowledge of the ancient Tan. guages of the East, induced him to undertake a new translation of the Bible into the Dutch language. Of this work four parts are already printed, the first comprising the Pentateuch, the second the remainder of the historical, the third the poetical, and the fourth the prophetical books of the Old Testament; the fifth will contain the whole of the New Testament.

• The four following Sermons are selected from the posthumous discourses of the late Rev. Dr. Elias. Anoes Borger, Professor of History and Ancient Literature, in the University of Leyden. His principal theological works are “ Observations on the Gospel of St. John," and an " Exposition of St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians.” He also wrote two dissertations, which were publicly rewarded by the Society of Haarlem; in one of which he refuted the opinion of Eber hard concerning the Origin of Christianity;" and, in the other, "On Mysticism,” the rise and progress of the modern German phiJosophy are detailed, and its absurdities exposed. Professor Borger was born in February 1784 at Joure, a village in Friesland; from his infancy he gave indications of extraordinary abilities, and at the age of seventeen he entered the University of Leyden. After having pursued his studies there for six years, he obtained the degree of Doctor of Divinity, and was immediately appointed " Theologie Lector," in which office he remained till 1815, when he was raised to the Professorship of Divinity ; but grief occasioned by the loss of his wife, who died a few days after the birth of her first child, rendered him for some time incapable of fulfilling the duties of his office. In 1817, he became Professor of History and Ancient Literature. In 1819, he married a lady of an amiable disposition, and distinguished by uncommon talents, who died the spring following, shortly after the decease of her infant daughter; having lived exactly as many days after her marriage as the Professor's first wife. This last severe stroke 11Was too much for his acute feelings; his mental sufferings overpowered a constitution naturally healthy and vigorous, and in October 1820,

in the 37th year of his age, he followed his second wife to the tomb, s having survived her scarcely six months.

The last six discourses are from those of the Rev. J. J. Dermout, Chaplain to His Majesty the King of the Netherlands, and Minister of the Dutch Church at the Hague. He is now engaged in writing a History of the Christian Church, of which the first volume is published, and highly commended. pp. vii-xii.


The Contents are as follows.

• 1. The Death of Moses. II. The Excellency of the Gospel. III. The Resignation of Joh. IV. The Impossibility of serving God and the World. V. and VI. Insufficiency of the external Profession of Christianity. VII. The Nature and Importance of Religious Fear. VHI. The Progress of Christianity. IX. The Unanimity of the Primitive Church. x. The Necessity of Habitual Preparation for Death. XI. The Prodigal Son. XII. Sin the Source of National Calamities. XIII. Jesus glorified in Heaven. XIV. Piety the Source of Domestic Happiness. XV. Christian Triumph in AMiction. XVI. The Wisdom of Jesus in the selection of his Apostles. XVII, On Providence. XVHI. The Re-union of the Faithful in Futurity. XIX Our Saviour's Knowledge of Man. XX. The Excellency of Human Nature. XXI. Jesus greater than Jonas, as a Preacher of Repentance. XXII. St. Paul at Athens. XXIII. and XXIV. St. Paul on the Areopagus.'

The first thought which is suggested by this view of the contents, is the inaccurate designation of these subjects as 'prac* ţipal.' No epithet could have been more inapplicable, and we suspect that practical preaching is extremely ill understood and very little relished on the Continent. Such bold, uncompromising appeals to the heart and conscience as distinguisk the sermons of Dr. Chalmers, for instance, would be ventured upon by few among either the French or the Dutch clergy. We have found these discourses more orthodox than we had anticipated, but it is orthodoxy cut in stone. As to that part of the volume for which we are indebted to the Chaplain of the King of the Netherlands, even this is saying too much. The manner in which Mr. Dermout speaks of his Lord and ours, is precisely that of a thorough-paced Socinian.

The twenty-first sermon opens thus;

* We so readily yield our assent to the truth of this assertion of our Lord, that it may appear altogether superfluous to alwell on the subject. We camot, for a moment, doubt that the great Teacher whose name so many millions of men rejoice to bear, was more illusTrious than an Israelitish prophet, who, except within the limits of two Asiatic countries, was scarcely known.'

Further on, the Preacher thus introduces some remarks on the superior authority with which Jesus spoke and acted. I Did I intend, or did the text require me, to bring before you the full splendour of Jesus, as the Lord of heaven and the Son of God, we should not was the brightness of his Father's glory; and Jonah, who could claim 20 higher title than that of Jehovah's envoy, would sink into the shade


Such miserable sermonizing as this, it were better to have left untranslated. It can do no possible good. The following exordium of the thirteenth sermon, by Professor Van Der Palin, is, we are happy to say, in a very different strain. The text is Rev. v. 9-12.

! Jesus, glorified in heaven! Exalted by his father to majesty and dominion, which to no creature ever was or shall be given ! Jesus worshipped and praised, not only because he, from eternity, was God, but because he redeemed men by his blood ! Jesus, our Saviour and Brother, glorified in heaven! What an object for our pious contemplation! Even now we are permitted to behold him! A door is opened to us, whereby we, as it were, enter into the temple of the Iovisible ; we see him seated on a throne, from which the lightnings and thunders issue, while around it the bow of the covenant appears! There he is surrounded by angels and creatures of mysterious forms, his shining ministers! There he, who saved the world, sways the sceptre of the universe; and all created beings shout and sing in concert with the hosts of heaven, eelebrating his reign as the jubilee of nature !

• Grant me your attention, while I, in the first place, explain, so far as I am able, the vision of St. John; and, in the second, endea vour to convince you, that He who is in heaven so highly exalted; should on earth receive the homage not only of our lips, but of our hearts and lives.' pp. 211, 12.

After a brief and instructive explanation of the vision of St. John, the Preacher, in the second division, inquires,

« To whát conclusion does this subject lead us? Do we not feel Our obligation to seek, in our degree and manner, to love and praise our Redeemer with all our powers, our lips, our hearts, our lives !

• With our mouths. The tribute of the lips is the least offering we can bring. Words pass away, and leave no trace behind: but men do not, therefore, think that the praises of the tongue are of so importance. No! not always are words a sound, a breath, and nothing more ; spirit and life may animate them-they may reach the *skies, and mingle with the hallelujahs of heaven! Is it not said, 6. With the mouth confession is made unto salvation," as well as that ** with the heart man believeth unto righteousness ?" And though our exalted Saviour has said, “ Not every one that saith unto ine, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;" he has also said, “Whoever shall confess me before men, him will also confess before my Father which is in heaven." Is not the gift of speech one of the noblest grants we have received from God ? the source of our best pleasures, the bond of social life, the powerful medium of forming the understanding and touching the heart? And when we make use of this inestimable gift to express our sentiments respecting the Saviour of our souls; now in simple confessions, then in more exalted strains ; now in the stillness of solitude, or in the bosom of our family, then in the solemn assemblies of the church, -are our wordo unmeaning sounds, or do they, like vapours, quickly vanish away? And when the sweet singer of Israel praised his God, because the sacrifice of sincere thanksgiving was more precious in the sight of Jehovah than thousands of oxen or of sheep-spake not the Spirit of the Lord by the mouth of the psalmist? Unhappy the man who can keep silence! Unhappy the lips that never confessed. the Redeemer! Unhappy the tongue, that never spake in honour of his name! If we believe that he saved us by his blood; if we cannot deny that he now sits at the right hand of God, ruling the world as the Lord of heaven and earth, how can we refrain from bowing the knee to him? how can we refuse to speak his praise, on whom our breath depends ? how can we withhold our grateful songs ? withhold them in the midst of Nature's jubilee! we silent, while all that are in heaven are singing, “ Worthy is the Lamb that was slaid to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing !" Let us glorify him in the midst of a world in which many do not know him; wherein many are ashamed of him; wherein many deem it idolatry to worship him to gether with his Father. Ah! they know him not, they are not conscious that he has redeemed us with bis blood! They believe not that he has overcome, and has sat down with the Father on his throne. But let us, who feel and believe it, adore his name; let not our Løngues be silent; let us “ show forth his death till he come !"

pp. 220–22. All four of the sermons which bear the name of this distinguished individual, are of an interesting character, and breathe an animated piety. The sixteenth sermon, by the late Professor Borger, is an ingenious and instructive exhibition of the argument in favour of the truth of Christianity, supplied by the distinctive character of the Apostles, and, in particular, the testimony of Judas. It is, however, an essay, rather than a sermon. The most practical discourses in the volunie, are those by the late Mr. Vernede. The fifth and sixth contain some very striking appeals. We must conclude our extracts with the closing paragraphs of the latter discourse.

And as God has invested with the high office of Judge “ that man whom he hath ordained,"_“for the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son," so, to excite and assist those who call on his name to “ flee from the wrath to come,” the supreme Arbiter of our destiny, the Lord Jesus Christ, has made known to us, in terms the most explicit, the sentence that shall issue: from his throne against those who call him “ Lord ! Lord !” but de part not from iniquity: and is it probable, 'is it possible, that he will not execute his threatening? What madness to go on in sin, presuming that He will revoke his most solemn declarations !-He who is "faithful and true;" He, “with whom is no variableness, nor the shadow. of turning ;?? He, whose“ word” shall remain, “ though heaven and earth-shall pass away;" He, who is “ the same yesterday, to-day, and

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for ever!"-Yes ; for those who persevere in transgression, this is the alternative God” must “ be man that he should fie," or they must perish for ever., Ab! if there is one among my hearers whose conscience has been awakened, agitated, and alarmed, by the truths that have been urged upon him, are you determined to run the frightful risk? Is it not enough to destroy all your delusions, to induce you to struggle against your unruly passions, to lead you to renounce the world and its vanities,--that Jesus says to you in his Gospel, unto this hour, “ I have never known you ;” you are not yet a Christian; you have as yet no Saviour in me? Or, will you never be undeceived, and never abhor your transgressions, until you shall be addressed, in the face of heaven and earth, in those awful words, “ Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire ?”

og tine , • My friends ; were you ever present when a malefactor, who had been accused and convicted of some capital offence, was brought before the judge to receive the sentence of death? Perhaps the offender had been long bound with fetters of iron, and had languished in : gloomy dungeon : he could not doubt an ignominious punishment would shortly terminate his days. Meanwhile, neither his chains nor the expectation of death dismayed him. But when he heard his sen. tence, what a change passed upon him! His. courage failed ; his strength forsook him; his knees trembled ; his pallid countenance was overspread with a cold dew; he seemed already to suffer the agonies of the death that awaited him. Feeble, oh, too feeble image of the state of the sinner in the world's last scene! Without doubt, his spirit, when separated from the body, immediately drinks of the cup of divine indignation, and has a fatal assurance of its eternal destiny. But what new terrors, what deep despair, shall seize the sinner, especially if he have been a Christian in name and in profession, when he shall see the judgment set, and the books opened; the Judge, who once died for sinners, surrounded by legions of angels, ready to execute his orders; hell expecting its prey ;-and shall hear the final sentence propounced on him personally, “ I never knew you; depart from me, you that work iniquity!"

• Ob that scene, in car we could place before you a representation of that awful

save by fear, 'pulling them out of the fire," some, who till now have plunged in fatal security, and on whom the awful sentence shall ipfal. fibly be executed, if they repent not! O God! “ Set not thy terrors in array against us !!! O merciful Redeemer, preserve us by tby almighty grace from hardness of heart; and let the knowledge of thy terrors, and not less the knowledge of thy love, constrain us to listen now to the voice that says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of we;" that, in the last day, thou mayest address to us, the transporting invitation : “ Come, ye blessed of my Father, enter the kingilom prepared for you from the foundation of the world !" Amen.'

We must here bring to a close an article unavoidably ex

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