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Review.- Acaster's Expository Letter on Philippians.


Review. - Erpository Letters on the | under great obligations to the author, for

Epistle to the Philippians, by the Rev. 1 his attempt to revive a mode of instruction J. Acaster, Vicar of St. Helen's, York,

which has been so useful in the church of and Domestic Chaplain to the Earl of

Christ. And though the son of a non-conMerborough.

formist minister expounded in his meeting

house, it would be a most unreasonable We cordially agree with the vicar of St. prejudice to debar it from the EstablishHelen's, that the mode of expounding the ment on that account: Fas est ab hoste scriptures, recommended by him, has had | doceri." a powerful influence in forming the morals, 1 The Lectures contained in this volume and in accumulating the religious know- are twenty-six in number. Chrysostom ledge, of our Scottish neighbours. By this divides the same epistle into fifteen pormethod of public instruction, the analogy tions, and on each he has an homily. Calof scripture is better understood ; the con. vin makes nineteen sections of it. The nexion between the Old and New Testa- author having in view utility, not praise ; ments, pointed out; the meaning of ancient simplicity, and not elegance; the influencing types and ceremonies ascertained; the of the heart, and not the gratifying of a whole code of religious morals discussed; restless curiosity; we must treat the work precepts and promises connected ; and the accordingly. The observation of Pliny, beautiful harmony between the credenda De pictore, sculptore, fictore nisi artiand the agenda of the Christian system fex judicare non potest," is as applicable is presented to our view.

to works of this description, as to those of Expounding the sacred volume in pub- elegance and art. lic, is of ancient date. Ezra, the priest, In the first Lecture we have a very proexpounded it in public to the Jews, after bable account of the origin of episcopacy: their return from Babylon; and the apos | “The churches being few, and chiefly con. tles, in their public discourses, frequently fined to cities and towns, bishops and presgave å running comment upon parallel byters were the same with deacons under passages of the Old Testament. The an them. But when these were multiplied, thë cient fathers imitated the apostles, in giv- senior, or more eminent presbyter, was ing the general analogy of scripture ; | invested with episcopal dignity; and his though Mr. Robinson, in one of his notes authority extended not only over the church on Claude's Essay, has asserted, without and ministers where he resided, but over proof, that Erzra, our Lord, the apostles, all the churches and pastors within the and all the primitivě fathers, preached from limits of a certain district, converted to the single texts. This assertion, like other dog- christian faith by missionaries from the mata of Robinson, is gratuitous. Preaching mother church." from single texts, in a systematic manner, Mosheim's account is much the same; is of recent custom. The texts used by except that the office of president among divines in the times of Elizabeth, as well the presbyters was previous to that of bias those in France, till the reign of Lewis shop, and that the chorepiscopi who preXIV. were mere mottoes. Their sermons sided over country congregations, were an have been formed after the model of the intermediate class between bishops and Roman orators. The technicalities of the presbyters. Eccles. Hist. cen. i. p. 2. chap. school of Geneva were successfully su- ii. sec. 2. In the same Lecture, the author perseded by the labours of Wilkins and ought to have excepted the epistle to PhiClaude. But the modern simplicity of lemon, as not having been written because the British pulpit was first exemplified in the apostle could not revisit the church of the sermons of Tillotson, and afterwards which he was a member, but merely as a taught in the rhetoric of Blair.

recommendatory letter on the behalf of The expository mode used by the author | Onesimus. is not new, though it may appear novel In the next Lecture, we think there must to some. Chrysostom, one of the most ce- be some lapsus in the wording of the third lebrated of the Greek fathers, expounded reason on which the apostle founded his all the epistles of St. Paul in the same confidence of the perseverance of the Phimanner, and appended to each an Ockov, lippians, viz. “ his uncommon affection or application. And it is recorded of and high regard for them." This is cerHenry, that he preached the whole of his tainly a proof that he wished their persevoluminous Exposition to his congregation verance, but not a reason why they would before it was sent to the press, as Mr. | persevere. Should a second edition of the Acaster has done the present.

Lectures be called for, this might be reca The Church of England is, therefore, tified. 125.-VOL. XI.



Review.- Acaster's Expository Letter on Philippians.


In the same Lecture, the author makes his anticipated deliverance from prison. some judicious observations on the article The original word owinpia in Acts vii. 25, of Perseverance, “ The great doctrine of means a deliverance from temporary eneperseverance is to be proved by persevering. mies, as in this passage. We have the He that endureth to the end, the same shall authorities of Kypke, Parkhurst, Macknight, be saved. But if we cease our exertions &c. in our favour. The reader may conin the ways of the Lord, because of the rich sult Macknight's note and paraphrase on the and endearing promises and declarations passage. In the same Lecture, the author of his holy word, we defeat the purpose justly expresses his fears that the present for which they were given, and shall bring age, which is signalized by so much proupon ourselves a double condemnation." fession, does not abound in the same de

We quote a lesson for those who, when gree in holiness. He, accordingly, urges engaged in holy things, find more pleasure the baptismal vows, as motives to holy in throwing their ill-directed darts against | obedience. Towards the conclusion, he other denominations of Christians, than holds up St. Paul's decision of character against sin. " Well would it be for our- | as an example worthy of imitation, selves, well would it be for the cause and . In the VIIth Lecture, the first and see the gospel of the Redeemer, if all who as- cond heads would have been discussed sume the ministerial character were always more advantageously in one. More scope actuated by the spirit of the apostle. Cir- might have been given to the fourth, in cumstanced as we are, and in a land of which he treats of the awful responsibility almost endless religious divisions, it will be which attaches to those who oppose the in vain to expect, however we may wish | progress of divine truth. it, a great and general union of all parties | The author, in his VIIIth Lecture, makes in one grand body. But surely much some just remarks upon ch. ii. 4. We might be done towards this desirable ob- wish he had extended them, and discussed ject, if all who take the lead in every the grace of christian benevolence more party, would renounce their sectarian spi- copiously, as being a distinguishing charit, cease to seek their own things, and racteristic of the gospel. have no other end in view in all their We recommend those who profess Unimovements, than the glory of God, and tarianism, to read the IXth Lecture verbathe salvation of men. This being the case, 1 tim et iterum without any prejudice; and we should hear of no more envious re- they will have cause to suspect their own flections upon others; no more of preach- creed. The author has acted judiciously ing Christ out of contention and strife ; noin expounding his text by the analogy of more of exalting our own party, or of our- scripture, instead of perplexing his hearers selves, above others; no more exclamations and readers with the various opinions of “Stand by, for I am holier than thou,”— | critics upon the words μορφη and άρπαγμος. which have no other tendency than to se In the Xth Lecture we have clearly parate those who, above all things, ought and practically pointed out the connexion to dwell together in unity and love." - between the believer's duty, and the work of Lect. 4th.

God. Had the subject been always as juThe note subjoined to this Lecture con diciously handled, numerous volumes of tains a plausible conjecture that the gos. controversy, between the Arminians and pel was first introduced into this country Calvinists, would have dropped dead from through the instrumentality of some who he press. had heard St. Paul preach at Rome.

The XIIth Lecture exhibits a fine speciThere is some omission in the following men of interrogative application, in p. 160. sentence in the fifth Lecture, “But if their Many preachers would render their public malignant purposes are defeated by the ministrations much more useful, if they over-ruling providence of the Almighty; would copy the example. The passage and if the cause of the Redeemer be in any reminds us of many of the animated apmeasure advanced thereby, no events that plications of the celebrated Saurin, A may befall the people of God, however bishop might spend a few minutes not undisagreeable and painful, shall hinder their profitably, before the solemn work of ordispiritual prosperity.” Some such words nation, in reading part of page 164, and as “it is evident that” ought to have been patrons might get some useful hints to placed before "no events," to complete regulate their privilege of presentations, by the sense.

reading page 166. We think that the word "salvation" The reciprocal love and esteem between chap. i. 19, has no reference to the apostle's faithfully laborious ministers, and conscien“happiness in the eternal world,” but to tious hearers, are touched very feelingly in



Review. On the Knowledge of Christ crucified, fc.


the XIIIth Lecture, in which the character, Those who maintain sentiments of this indisposition, and labours of Epaphraditus | description, will generally be found to have are glovingly described. In the same no saving faith; and very little, if any, reLecture, the sin of holding the persons or gard to that holiness of heart and character gifts of particular preachers in admiration, which the gospel enjoins. Their religion, is faithfully pointed out.

if what they pretend to may be so called, The caution which the apostle gave the is nearly, if not totally, a state of indifferPhilippians against a pharisaical spirit, and ence." P. 253, 254. an itching after novelties, in ch. iii. 1, 3, We should have been glad, if the author is well illustrated by our author. "He had attacked the false conclusions which who thinks lightly of repeated instruction | the Church of Rome draws from ch. iv, 2. from the same person, knows little of him “I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, self, and of the danger in which he stands that they be of the same mind in the Lord.” To this may be attributed, in the present The respectable author has given a good day, that fondness for change, and that expose of the peculiar sentiments and discontinued vacillation in the conduct of positions which the gospel inspires, in his many professors of religion, who, having | XXIIIrd Lecture. Indeed we would reitching ears, are ever ready to hear strange commend the whole Lecture to be printed preachers and strange things. With these separately in a small tract, by some of the they are pleased. Their pleasure increases Tract Societies, and circulated; to which, upon them for a time. Their minds get we are sure, there would be no objections perverted from the simplicity of the gos from Mr. Acaster. pel, and they are prepared for any false The XXIVth may be read with much doctrine, and for any heretical opinions | advantage by some congregations, which that may fall in their way. Warning them treat their ministers with supreme niggardof their danger, as the apostle did the Phi liness. And to those professors who have lippians, is instantly attributed to wrong always some excuse to keep their hands motives, or perverted from the real inten from their pockets, when called upon to tion, and is thus made by them the cause aid in the support of our numerous and of their dissent. They are never prepared exclusively christian charities, we recomfor any thing. And every bold pretender, mend an impartial reading of the XXVth, that stands forward with any thing new, from p. 369. may easily calculate upon many disciples We would willingly have given more from among them." p. 201.

extracts from this useful volume, had our Should a cold-hearted formalist take up limitations allowed. We can honestly afthese Lectures, we recommend him to read firm that the principles maintained in it the XVth, and after having perused it, let are strictly in unison with those taught in him solemnly ask himself, whether he has our Liturgy, Articles, and Homilies.not blindly mistaken the means for the end. Whenever we shall have access to the ears'

We quote the author's observations in of patrons, we intend whispering, “ Fill Lecture XVIII. on the latitudinarian prin- your churches with these lecturing men, and ciples of the bard of Twickenham. " It there will not be many cobwebbed pews in was not a matter of indifference to him, (St. Paul, what and how he believed. He was deeply convinced that a faith formed

REVIEW. On the Knowledge of Christ according to the model of the gospel, could alone insure an interest in all its blessings,

Crucified, and other Divine Contemand excite that holiness of heart and con

plations. By Sir Matthew Hale, Knt.

'With an Introductory Essay, by the duct which Christianity demands. If we think differently from St. Paul, we deceive

Rev. David Young. 12mo. pp. 464. ourselves. We have no just conception

Whittaker, London, 1828. either of the designs of God, in the dis

We have had several occasions to notice pensations of his mercy and grace towards

the various works published by Collins of us by Jesus Christ, or of the necessity of

Glasgow, and Oliphant of Edinburgh, right principles, in order to produce such

under the general title of "Select Chriss a correct practice as our religion demands.

tian Authors,” and to speak in terms of From this sad cause proceeded that flippant

approbation of the service, which, by so observation of one who has been so much

doing, they have rendered to the Christian admired, and quoted as an oracle of wis

community. Another member of the same

| pious family now makes its appearance, "For modes of faith let angry bigots fight;

selected from the writings of Sir Matthew His can't be wrong, whose life is in the cht." | Hale, a gentleinan equally and deservedly




Review.On the Knowledge of Christ crucified, &c.


renowned for his piety, legal kpowledge, t gress, which are likely to concentrate the national

intellect, and form the national taste, and engrass the daily leisure of the peasant or artisan, on principles of virtual exclusion to everything spe. eifically christian; when we see this grieyous

and deadly deficiency attaching to schemes of is only when vital Christianity shall cease

benevolence which are otherwise pure and splen. to be esteemed in the church of Christ, did, receiving the sanction of public recognition,

countenanced or winked at by the mightiest of that his theological writings will sink into

scholars and most illustrious of statesmen, and disrepute.

thus put in condition for traversing the land from Prefixed to these selections from sir

the one end to the other, we do feel alarmed in

no ordinary degree, at the effects which are likely Matthew Hale, is an introductory essay by to follow it: and could we intuence the cousulthe rev. David Young, which we have per tations in which the whole originates, we would

entreat its projectors to pause and deliberate, lest used with much attention, interest, and

they stir the elements of a latent impiety, instead of dispensing a national blessing. We dread not the light of science, nor any light of any kind, which emanates from God to man. On the contrary, we

bail it as a 'precious acquisition, provided it be and drawn from the whole some important mingled and seasoned with that which is revealed.

as the true light wbich lighteth every man that conclusions, that are deeply interesting to

cometh into the world; but in a state of sepa. the human race.

ration from this better light, and unattempered ce 1

by its restoring influence, we are constrained to dread it, by all the concern we have ever felt for the eternal well-being of our human kindred.

"We are told the error is not new; but this is

no solacement. It has been in the world for ages. no niggardly terms on the advantages that

and has done mischief for ages, but not tali so may be expected to result from the diffu much as it threatens to do now; for it has resion of knowledge. Amidst all its ex

ceived a stimulus, and is sheltered by a patronage.

and threatens an extent of dissemination, which pected benefits, he, however, contends that

never has been equalled since Britons were rescience cannot teach Christianity, and that stored to the liberty of thought. But comparisons

of this kind are foreign to the argument. Chris. in proportion as the duties, advantages,

tianity is before us, in all its immaculate purity. and awful sanctions of religion are omitted unfolding the broad credentials of its heavenly in any system of education, it must prove

origin; and the question is, what are we to make

of it? Is it good for any thing, or is it good for ultimately defective. He is not satisfied

nothing? Is it the best gift of God to man, or is that religious knowledge should merely it only secondary? Has it coine to save us, or

has it not? If it is the best gift, if its tidings occupy a subordinate rank in education;

are pregnant with life and salyation to the inan its Author, its authority, its momentous con who is ready to perish ; to form his mind to any cerns, the character of the human soul, its

thing which contains not its vital adinixture, is

morally to ruin man, and contravene the express moral condition, and the tremendous con mandate of its own Almighty Author, Seek ye sequences involved through eternity, de first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.

and all other things shall be added unto you." mand for it a decided pre-eminence.

p. XXVIII. In making an application of these gene

In a strain strongly resembling the preral principles, of which we have barely sketched the outline, the New London

ceding paragraph, Mr. Young continues University cannot be concealed from our

through nearly all the remaining portion of view ; but the force and bearing of his

his essay, levelling the whole force of his reasonings on this institution, we shall

| artillery against such institutions as complace before the reader in his own words.

municate knowledge, and cultivate the After having stated, that Christianity alone

human intellect, without inculcating the can rescue man from the abyss of guilt and

fear of God, and the awful sanctions of his wretchedness ; pardon, purify, and bless

revealed will. Hence, he observes :him for ever with heavenly felicity; that

"It is a maxim among us, that knowledge is

power; bot man is morally depraved, and if a all its entreaties are made to bear, and all species of knowledge be thrown into his mind. its radiance concentrated, on this one mo

which incorporates with his depravity, instead

of neutralizing it, his power of sinning is thereby mentous point; that tremendous must be increased. This one defect in the system of a the peril of holding it secondary to any general education, would leave us exposed to all

The evils which they (the enemies of education) sublunary acquisition; that it is a capital

have so clamorously specified, together with evils delinquency, which poisons the root of yet more awful than they have had the sense to every virtue, and bespeaks a power of in

discern ; for a nation of educated irreligion, is.

perhaps, the nearest approximation, which our fatuation for which nothing can compensate, natire admits, to a nation of devils in human he thus proceeds: banglow

shape."-. xxxix. aid m De 169 A G

11990 and From these extracts, the nature and cha. "All this is bad enough, and the spiritual injury

ryracter of this essay may be justly estiwhich it silently inflicts on all classes of society is deeply to be deplored. But when we see it 9 emerging from obscurity, and appearing conspi. "pus on the high places of the earth;, when we

at plans of education, matured or in pro- holds those systems of general education 169 Review. An Examination of Scripture Difficulties, &c. 170 irewo................sncccccccccesoriererirusinou111.sessies.retragrosso from which the religion of Christ is studi- this reason, the subjects elucidated furnish ously excluded.


satisfactory reasons. Nearly all the diffiOf the pious and learned Sir Matthew | culties now presented to our notice, have Hale, the following passage will fully con been long noticed by divines and commenvey Mr. Young's undisguised opinion : tators, who have exercised both their talents

« Sir Matthew Hale was not an ecclesiastic, but and learning in obviating their pressure, & lawyer, involved in the business of life more an , urutu be me, vusinesses te more and throwing light on their obscurities. Of

the luminous rays thus scattered through learning, and capable of relishing its exalted de. lights : cautious to a proverb in forming opinions, smgularly correct in his practical judgments, and placed by Providence amidst strong induce. ments to disown the business of religion, or, at least, to hold it secondary to the more immediate cravings of ambition. Such, beyond all dispnte, was sir Matthew Hale, in the view of those who

In his preliminary remarks, the author know his history-bis mind was any thing but the soil where freak' or fanaticism was likely to

sues, arranging the materials of his volume spring up; but taking his book, as an index of his beart, and we that he rose from earth to

with an eye to the following general pro-, he wrote J it tells us that he rose from earth to positions. I. The character of the sacred heaven, in the warmest aspirings of his ambition,

writings. II. The sources and character of boldly adopting the Christian motto, without the blazonry of ostentation, God forbid that I should scripture difficultica. III. Methods of reglory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,

st: | moving scripture difficulties. IV. The conby whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.'”-p. XLV. .

duct of infidels relative to scripture diffiIn this delineation of sir Matthew Hale's

culties. Having elucidated these propocharacter we most heartily concur, and

sitions, he enters on his work, beginning trusting to its salutary influence on the

with Genesis, and ending with the Aporeader's mind, dismiss this volume without

calypse. In proceeding thus through the any additional observations.

sacred' canon, he gives the chapters in regular succession, as they occur in each

book, if they contain any difficulty of im. REVIEW.-An Examination of Scripture

portance, omitting altogether such as seem

to require no illustration. , Difficulties, elucidating nearly Seven

Of the various doctrines which have for Hundred Passages in the Old and New

ages divided the Christian world, he takes Testament, &c. By William Carpen

no notice, his object rather being to rescue . ter. Övo. pp. 588. Wightman and

revelation from the charges of absurdity, Cramp, London, 1828.

with which some parts have been reMR.CARPENTER is an indefatigable writer, proached by infidels, than to reconcile con who, if volumes of formidable magnitude, tending parties among Christians; and to following each other in quick succession, prove, that as a whole it is worthy of the could accomplish his purpose, would cer- divine Being, from whose Spirit it is pretainly take the public by storm. From sumed to have emanated. In this departa several of his publications, however, which ment he has acquitted himself in a manner have lately passed under our review, we highly creditable to the cause he has underhave been led to entertain a favourable taken to defend, having removed many opinion both of his talents, and his appli- ( obstacles, which to the common reader, cation of them. His exertions are uni- assailed by the sorceries of infidelity, would formly in the cause of God, as exhibited in appear insurmountable. It is not, how. divine revelation, to many readers of which ever, to be expected, that in all his efforts he bas, no doubt, rendered some essential he has been alike successful, nor that he service. The volume now before us is a has touched on every point with which all branch of the same family, and we flatter his readers have been perplexed. An exourselves that it will not reflect any disgrace pression, or statement, which to one would on either of its predecessors.

appear involved in obscurity, would to It ought to be known that, in his exa another stand in need of no explanation. mination of scripture difficulties, Mr. Car Such diversified views no writer can pospenter does not come before the world in sibly meet. His attention has been directed the character of an original writer. His to difficulties that have uniformly been felt preface avows that he has collected his and acknowledged by all; to remove these materials from various authors, and through has been his principal care, and in this he out the work he uniformly acknowledges has not exerted himself in vain.sio NA to whom he has laid himself under obliga It is not to be supposed that on all parts tions. In a volume thus constituted, much of the sacred writings the author has been new matter is not to be expected, and for equally copious. . On some books

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