« PoprzedniaDalej »
Review.- Culbertson on the Revelation.
supposition, that they were in reality what end of the year 1823. He was one of the they pretend to be. In addition to this, original conductors of the Christian Magaquotations from these MSS. or allusions to zine, an Edinburgh monthly publication, them, or to the people, or the principles which subsisted from 1797 to 1820. Beand the doctrines, connected with the sides several pamphlets, having a more system of which they treat, may be found direct reference to the state of his own dein other writers, thickly scattered along the nomination, he published “Hints on the margins of time, nothing of which could | Ordinance of the Gospel Ministry," which have been, if these writings had not then was afterwards republished in America. been in existence. The testimony of con. The Lectures are, however, a work of temporary writers in favour of the facts greater interest and labour. They were oriwhich the sacred authors state, confirms the ginally published in 1818, under the title truth of their declarations, and an appeal to of “ Lectures," with practical observations geography furnishes an imperishable mo- and reflections on the prophecies of John, nument of evidence, which nothing can commencing with the fourth chapter of the destroy.
Revelations, and continued to the close of Having given this extended outline of the book. The new volume, from the auMr. Taylor's work, we have neither time thors MS. completes the work, and is of nor occasion to follow his “process of his- course the first of the series. torical proof” in detail. We have perused All scripture is given by inspiration of it, and noticed its various bearings and God; and it may well therefore be added, connexions with much satisfaction, and are that all is profitable. While the sacred vodecidedly of opinion, that it will prove at lume contains a fulness so interesting and once creditable to his talents, industry, and varied, to confine our attention to a few principles, and instructive to those into parts or doctrines, however important, is whose hands it may happen to fall
. To contrary to the precept of the apostle, and originality of conception and design, he unlike those who wish to “go on unto permakes no pretensions, as similar modes of fection.” In answer to the saying of Scaanalogical and comparative reasoning have liger, of which the point makes it apt to be been long before the world. In the arrange- remembered, it is justly observed by Mr. ment, however, of his materials, and in pre- Culbertson, that “if Calvin had not given serving throughout the whole a strong re- better proof of his wisdom than declining semblance, almost bordering on identity, to write on the Apocalypse, he had never between the situation of the writings of acquired any fame in the church, nor would Herodotus and those of the New Testa- his great talents have been of any benefit to ment, he has given to the whole argument others.” The student of prophecy may a degree of prominence and perspicuity, also come to the conclusion, that though from which it seems to have derived new the language of this portion of scripture is energy.
symbolical, “symbolical language has a As the final result of his researches, Mr. certain definite signification.” Taylor has most legitimately wrought out
The first volume contains an exposition this conclusion, that if any writings of pro- of the first three chapters; the second ends fessed antiquity can be admitted to be with the twelfth; the third proceeds to the genuine and authentic, those of the sacred close of the book, and has annexed to it a books have, on the same ground, an equal, “Dissertation on the Origin and Termina. if not a paramount claim. It appears also, tion of the Antichristian Apostacy.” on the contrary, that if these sacred MSS. In considering the epistles to the Asiatic teeming with internal, and encircled with churches, Mr. Čulbertson inclines to the an atmosphere of external and collateral opinion, that they had an ulterior reference evidence, can be suspected of being spu- to the successive periods of the Catholic rious, nó book, no record, no MŠS." of church. The epistle to Ephesus, for example, antiquity, now in the world, can have any describes Christianity during the apostolical claim on the confidence of mankind. age, and that to Laodicea, the condition
of the catholic body from the close of the Review.- Lectures Expository and Prac
millennial state to the end of time. In the tical, on the Book of Revelation. By which there is room for a diversity of
progress of the book, there are topics on the late Rev. Robert Culbertson: Leith. opinion. Readers the most pious and care3 vols. William Oliphant, Edinburgh, ful may not all come to the conclusion, that and James Duncan, London.
in the number of the beast may be found The author of the book before us, a mi- that of the officers in the Roman legion; nister of the Scotch Secession, died in the that the wine-press will be trodden in our
Review.— The Last Supper.
own country—or that the millennium will | wish that he had acted with more discrelast for many thousand generations. Were tion. In this list we must place the author we to say, that with every opinion all are of the work before us. We discover in it sure to agree, it would be very like saying much to admire, much to excite doubt, and that the work is of that common-place much on which the veil of darkness still character, which, satisfied with safety, ven- remains. tures not out of the path occupied by all With theories, hypotheses, speculations, before it.
and conjectures, on the Apocalypse, we Our author's object has been to bring have, through a series of years, been both forth things new and old. With the Bible amused and perplexed. In every instance before him, and we doubt not with prayer we have observed that each author has sanctifying his studies, he has examined the been warm and sanguine in favour of his writings of his predecessors-he has traced own interpretation, as though he alone had in the history of Europe the fulfilment of been selected from the great mass of man. the inspired predictions, and, neither afraid kind to illuminate the world. We have, nor ambitious of originality, he has, as he however, been taught by long observation found reason, adopted the opinions of his and experience, that “history is the best, predecessors, or has stated his own. and only infallible interpreter of prophecy.
To all classes these lectures are fitted to When events arise on the stream of time, commend themselves. They are ingenious, that coincide with ancient predictions, we without being fanciful; they exhibit great naturally associate them together, and rest research, united to sound judgment; they satisfied in the conclusions we draw; but are free from dogmatism; and furnishing until such events appear, and such associalike meat for babes and for strong men, they ations are perceptible, darkness must acaffectionately illustrate and apply those pre- company the most plausible arguments. cious doctrines and precepts with which the The lectures before us, like all others on Apocalypse abounds.
similar topics, naturally carry us forward As to language, perspicuity is the prin into futurity, and nothing but the lapse of cipal thing to which the author attended. time, and the birth of occurrences, can “To the other beauties of composition,” confirm or correct what the author has he adds, “ he makes no pretensions.” But advanced. this estimate is too modest. The sentences certainly have not the careful balance of Review.— The Last Supper, or Christ's Gibbon, nor do we say that they have the Death kept in Remembrance. By the ease of Addison; but the whole composi
Author of the Morning and Evening tion seems the work of one who had words Sacrifice, and Farewell to Time. 12mo. at will, and who, without effort, could wield pp. 453. Whittaker, London, 1828. them with considerable effect. We see It will be readily admitted by all who are clearly the subject, and are not detained as if acquainted with church history, that the there were any medium between us and it. subject of the Lord's supper, designed ori
On the accuracy or inaccuracy of Mr. ginally as a bond of union among ChrisCulbertson's theory little need be said. Like tians, and a symbol of divine love, has most of his predecessors and cotemporaries, been made through several ages the ground he has advanced many arguments which work of unholy animosities, and of deadly have thrown light upon the subjects to be feuds. This circumstance, perhaps, more illustrated, accompanied with much in than any other, has tended to place this digenious reasoning, which, though hypothe- vine ordinance, in the estimation of many tically legitimate, will sometimes be found professing Christians, much below its priinconclusive. This is the great defect which mitive importance, and to give it a sehas associated itself with all the dissertations condary rank among the institutions of the on unfulfilled prophecy which has hitherto gospel. fallen under our notice. Proceeding on The opinions of men, however, and the equivocal data, the writers may reason ac- manner in which it has been received or curately, and yet their conclusions will al- abused by professors, are not the standard ways be uncertain. A firm foundation is of authority by which its administration essential to a permanent result.
and observance are to be measured. As No man has perhaps ever yet written on an ordinance of divine appointment, it is the prophecies, who has not illuminated, in to be viewed with reverential awe; and ala greater or less degree, some part that was though not in itself essential to salvation, previously involved in obscurity; but at to be received wirh seriousness, as one of the same time he has furnished either those numerous means through which dihimself or his friends several occasions to vine grace is communicated to the soul.
Review.--The Apology of an Officer.
On this very important subject much To the observance of this rite, which, in has been said and written; and by various' the estimation of many, is deemed but of writers, its nature, import, perpetuity, and inferior consideration, the author will aptendency, have been placed in different pear to have attached an undue degree of lights. Through all these publications no importance. There can be little doubt that common reader can be expected to wade; in his view it appears exceedingly momentand those who have forded the dangerous ous, and this feature is always prominent in passage, are ready to acknowledge that, the general countenance of what he has as the reward of their voluminous re- written. We are not, however, aware that searches, they find more perplexity than in any place he has used expressions which information.
the sanctions of scripture will not warrant, The treatise before us contains little or or suffered himself to be betrayed by a nothing of a controversial nature, the au- warmth of feeling beyond the dictates of .thor's aim being to place this ordinance in sobriety and legitimate reasoning. such a light as to be rendered spiritually Towards the conclusion there are several beneficial to his readers. With this view, notes, which occupy nearly ninety pages. the whole work is divided into five parts. These assume more of an argumentative, The first is a discourse explanatory of the philosophical, and historical character, than Christian sacraments,-baptism, and the the preceding parts of the volume to which Lord's supper. The second is a sacra- they refer, but without involving the mental catechism, on the plan of the pre- reader in mazes of perplexity, aud leaving ceding discourse, in which questions are him at last in a state of indecision, proposed, calculated to elicit answers, To sincere and pious Christians, whose which the preceding discourse supplies. The aim is to derive spiritual benefit from the third contains devotional exercises, pre- use of the Lord's supper, this volume will paratory to sacramental communion. The be found truly valuable, and to all such fourth is a series of sacramental addresses, we would seriously recommend it. For a having an immediate bearing on the com- few local peculiarities some little allowance munion service, as it is celebrated in the must be made; but all those who read Presbyterian churches. The fifth is an with the same spirit in which the author imitation of Christ. These parts are sub- appears to have written, keeping the life of divided into numerous subordinate branch- the ordinance in view, will find in these es, which occasionally appear somewhat pages a powerful stimulant to their holy minute.
ardour in the pursuit of a celestial prize, The treatise throughout is, however, ad- which, of final perseverance, will be the ultimirably calculated to excite devotional mate reward. feelings, and to place the ordinance in an attitude that is at once commanding and Review.-The Apology of an Officer for attractive. The language is perspicuous Withdrawing from the Profession of and forcible, having few terms belonging Arms, &c. &c. 8vo. pp. 286. Longto the mere shibboleth of sect and party, man, London. 1828. and none of equivocal import, or that are This volume contains a letter addressed to difficult to be understood. With questions the King, and a series of letters to a friend, of a curious and casuistical nature, leading on the causes, evils, and unlawfulness of to doubtful disputation, the reader is not war. No author's name appears in the perplexed. It is a treatise that would induce title-page, but the letters bear the signature him to enjoy the benefits of the ordinance, of. Thomas Thrush ;' andthat addressed to without exposing him to the dangers which his Majesty, we find, has passed through a departure from its primitive simplicity four editions. There is nothing fictious in rarely fails to insure.
these epistles. They evince in every part It cannot be dissembled, that the author the sincerity of the writer, who, convinced shapes his course according to the mode of the evils of war, and its inconsistency established in the Scottish church, but we with the Christian character, renounces the are not aware that he hurls his anathemas profession of arms, resigns his commission, upon any who may think proper to adopt and openly avows his conviction before the another form, without implicitly adhering world. to his terms of communion, or fixing their The author seems to be well aware, that limits and boundaries by his line and mea- if his principles be examined by the presure. The spirit in which it is written dis- vailing opinions of mankind, they will be plays earnestness without intemperance, instantly condemned, as wild, visionary, and a zeal for the cause of truth, without enthusiastic, and fanatical. He, however, acrimony or intolerance.
declines all appeal to the customs of na
82 tions, the acts of legislation, the orders of most of our public journals in which they privy councils, and the proclamations of have been noticed, and fear not to particikings, and throws himself entirely on the pate in the common censure awarded to plain language and obvious import of all those who assert that war is inconsistent scripture ; and from the decisions of this with genuine Christianity. On the enthuawful tribunal, he concludes, in the lan- siasm and madness attributed to the author, guage of Paley, that “no two things can we have kept a steady eye, but have disbe more contrary than the heroic and the covered nothing to sanction the reproach. Christian character."
For the moral and political condition of the The letter addressed to his Majesty is world, he seems to have been born a few couched in plain and expressive, but re- ages too soon; unless we admit, what warspectful, language; and no man who reads riors will hardly concede, that the world is it with attention can doubt that the writer unfortunately a few ages behind what it has been actuated by pure and conscien- ought to have been. Let this question, tious motives. The tide of public opinion | however, be decided as it may, it will not may very naturally be expected to set in alter the truth of the following lines, with strongly against his sentiments, but those which we shall conclude:by whom he may be calumniated and ridi- “What are ye monarchs, laurelled heroes say,
But Ætnas of the suffering world ye sway? culed, will find it much easier to pronounce
Sweet nature, stripped of her embroidered robe, a sentence of condemnation on the man, Deplores the wasted regions of her globe ; than to refute what he has advanced.
And stands a witness at trutb's awful bar,
To prove you there destroyers, as ye are.” War, he considers, to have originated in the pride and wickedness of the human heart ; and while iniquity thus predomi- Review.-Scenes of War, and other nates, his hopes are not very sanguine of Poems. By John Malcolm. 12mo. finding many advocates to embrace, or pp. 200. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh. even to defend, his endeavours to drive 1828. the monster from the bosoms and practices There is something so barbarously romanof mankind.
tic in war, that every man becomes a poet In his subsequent letters, addressed to a when he either gazes on its devastations, or friend, his language is sober and tempe- reads, in the writings of another, a delinearate, his appeals to scripture are numerous tion of the horrors which accompany its and appropriate, his quotations from the desolations; and so powerfully is the imawritings of Eramus and others apt and cor- gination excited by realities, that the field roborative, his reasonings strong and com- in which fancy has been accustomed to manding, and his conclusions too herculean expatiate is already occupied. Hence, no to be strangled with the hand of contempt. description, either in language or painting, In these letters he examines war in all its in prose or verse, can fully reach the altiprominent branches and bearings, states tude of our expectations. with brevity the arguments that are urged Aware of these facts, the author of the for its
support and continuance, and man- volume now under consideration, has carefully defeats them from the ground on fully avoided those exhibitions of blood which he has taken his stand. Of the and fire, of carnage and rapine, of mutilatruth, the justice, and the incontrovertible tion and murder, which would disgrace a fairness of his principles, in the abstract, demon, but in which consist the glories of no believer in revelation can justly enter- war, from a full conviction that he never tain a doubt; but whether the world is suf- could succeed in painting enormities which ficiently removed from barbarism, and ad- defy the pencil, and beggar the force of vanced in civilization, as to receive them, words. He has hovered round the margins may well admit of a serious question of fierce contention, has placed us on the Guided by the unerring word of prophecy, mountainwe rest assured that the period will arrive, "Where sailing vultures pause to whet their beaks,' when all the objects for which he contends to survey the human tigers that are marwill be cordially embraced; but it is much shalled below, directed us to behold the to be feared, that rivers of human blood sun-beams gleaming on their arms, and will be spilt, before that desired moment touched on some of the emotions that may shall present to the nations of the earth, the be supposed to agitate a warrior's bosom, smiling olive branch of universal peace. when on the eve of a mortal conflict.
We have perused these letters with a The principal poem, entitled “The Cammore than common interest, arising from paign," is certainly not altogether what the the nature of the subject, and the obloquy words would seem to import, though we which has been poured on the writer in hear at times the sound of solitary muskets,
Brief Survey of Books.
of louder cannon, and of tremendous vol- These “Occasional Thoughts,” are alleys. We see the marshalled preparations ways judicious, always spiritual, in their for destruction, and when the battle is bearing, and sometimes profound, in the ended, catch a few momentary glances of depth of penetration which they display. the field of death; but the intermediate They can hardly be said to come under horrors, the reader's imagination must the denomination either of sermons, essays, supply
or expositions; yet they all have someIn the campaign, the battle-eve, the thing inviting to the eye, and in the peruscene after the battle, the dying soldier, and sal they prove sincerely_gratifying to the the deserter—there are some well-wrought understanding. To the Rev. Mr. Jerrom, scenes, and many excellent lines. All by whose care and judgment this selection the occasions are pathetic and melancholy, has been made, every reader will acknowyet the author's muse has added a deeper ledge his obligation, at the same time regloom to their natural character, and given gretting that these “ Occasional Thoughts” to our chords of sympathy a new and have not been more numerous, and that powerful vibration.
the volume has not been more extended. The minor poems are numerous, brief, and miscellaneous, possessing no ordinary Review.-A Volume of Sermons. By share of merit. We have perused several
the Rev. Charles B. Taylor, M.A. of them with much satisfaction, and would have selected a specimen or two, but for
12mo. pp. 288. Hessey. London.
1828. the want of room, and the claims of other articles. Viewed as a whole, it is a re- When reading in the author's preface the spectable volume of poems, which, though following sentence, “I have found it very not mounting into the regions of sublimity, useful to use often two words, one for the contain a decent harmony, and a suitable ignorant hearer, and the other for the strength of expression.
enlightened,” we were strongly reminded of an anecdote that has been circulated respecting Sir Isaac Newton.
Having a Review.- Occasional Thoughts on select cat of which he was rernarkably fond, a
Texts of Scripture. By the late John hole was cut in his study door, through Mason Good, M. D. 12mo. pp. 204. which grimalkin might always have Hatchard, London. 1828.
ingress egress without interruption. The name of this gentleman is so well At length, when puss had kittens, he known in the learned, the scientific, and ordered several small holes to be cut in the religious world, that no commentary his door, that these, also, might have an can be necessary to give it publicity. Dur- easy passage; without once imagining that ing his life-time he was extensively known, it was possible for the little ones to go and highly esteemed among the more va- through the large hole that had been made luable circles of society; and since his for their parent ! decease, his character and writings have In looking through these sermons, we been honourably placed before the world have found nothing peculiar, either in the by Dr. Gregory, of Woolwich, who, from matter they contain, or the manner in a long and intimate acquaintance with him, which the author treats his subjects, to which time, and a congeniality of spirit, entitle them to any critical ordeal. On the had ripened into personal friendship, was, leading doctrines of the gospel they scarcely perhaps, better qualified than any other touch; and perhaps we might prosecute a man, to accomplish the pleasing but ar- laborious search through the volume, to duous task.
learn the grounds of a sinner's acceptance It is well known that Dr. Good was a with God. There can be no doubt that Christian, not merely in theory, but in the they inculcate the discharge of many enjoyment of its sacred influences on his important duties, and enforce the necessity heart and life; and that he took great de- of something more than nominal Chrislight in turning his powerful mind, and the tianity; but the author seems to be so ample stores of learning with which it was dreadfully afraid of cant, or Methodism, fraught, to the discovery and elucidation of that, in order to discountenance it, he important truths contained in the sacred actually neutralizes what he recommends. pages. Many valuable specimens of his talents, thus employed, have been recorded by his biographer, and in this little volume many more have been selected by 1. The Hackney-Coach and Cabriolet his friends,
Pocket Companion, containing the Fares
BRIEF SURVEY OF BOOKS.