Obrazy na stronie

precision. After reading this exposition of the articles with accuracy, they will find themselves capable of separating sense from sound, and of distinguisbing between the genuine and adulterated doctrines of the gospel; and will continue members of our church, not from weak credulity, or blind attachment, but from a conviction of the purity of its worship, and the truth of its doctrines.

“ But besides the teachers of youth, there are others who are bound by still stronger obligations to impress upon young minds a knowledge of the Scriptures; I mean parents and heads of families. These are the persons to whom I would, with importunate solicitude, recommend the frequent and serious perusal of the following Abridgement. If they will only consider the numerous and extensive advantages that will arise from a thorough acquaintance with it; if they will consider how much more satisfied they will feel within themselves, and how much more respectable they will appear in the eyes of their familics, by understanding in reality what they profess in appearance, of the Christian religion, and by being able to communicate a knowledge of it to those who are ignorant of its nature, and careless of its blessings; the truth of the Scriptures, and the doctrines of our Church, will soon be better understood, more generally received, and more tenaciously supported."

Mr. Clapham next recommends it to the nobility, &c. to distribute this Abridgement among such of their dependents as have had the advantage of a decent education, since it will afford them on the Sunday evenings, when their time generally hangs heavy on their hands, both instruction and edification.

He next points out the several parts of it which should be read . every Sunday in schools and families corresponding to the Lessons, the Epistle and Gospel, the Expositions of the Thirty-nine Articles according to the subject of the sermons--also previous to the celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper---and on the Great Festivals, &c.

“ To have this Abridgement widely diffused, and profitably digested, may, it is probable, depend, in some measure, on the acceptance it meets with from the Ciergy. The present state of the Church of England is such as to call loudly upon every individual who serves at her altar, to give all diligence to instruct the ignorant, to warn the vicious, and to conhrm the good. Now this Exposition of the Articles of our Church, conveying the opinions of tlie learned, and of the more respectable of the Clergy upon the most important subjects; every minister who is really solicitous to reclaim his people from error, and convert them to the truth, will, I would persuade myself, recommend it to every family in his parish, who can purchase it without inconvenience, and peruse it wichout difficulty. Where it is understood, we shall soon perceive that the doctrinal points of Scripture, which had before been considered, by the generality of our people, uninteresting, and uninstructive, will henceforward become to our congregations a most acceptable part of instruction. Besides, whilst the perusal of this Abridgement informs the minds of our respective flocks, it will, at the same time, regulate their morals, and amend their hearts. If then this Abridgement appears to the Clergy,


as I am sanguine enough to hope it will, calculated to overcome the ignorance, remove the errors, dispel the prejudices, by which so many, who make a profession of Christianity, are unhappily distinguislied; may we all, with one mind and one soul, supplicate the Throne of Grace, that the Blessed Spirit may guide and direct the heart of every reader, and of every hearer of it, giving understanding to the ignorant, wisdom to the weak, docility to the vain, diffidence to the presumptuous, and conviction to the prejudiced ; that there may henceforth be no divisions among us, but that, as members of a true Apostolical Church, we may all be joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment.

Such is the substance of Mr. Clapham's Preface to one of the most useful books learning and piety ever produced. We are persuaded that our readers, who have not yet seen this excellent Abridgement of the Elements of Christian Theology, will be so much prepossessed in its favour, by this Extract; mutilated as it is, as to think it worthy a place in their library, and demanding their frequent perusal.

(To be Continued.)

An Earnest Exhortation to a frequent Reception of the Holy Sacrament

of the Lord's Supper, particularly addressed to young Persons. By a Layman. London : printed for J. Ilutchard, Piccadilly. 12mo.

pp. 23.


E are free to confess, in casting our eye on the title page of this small

tract, we were not pleased with the words “ frequent reception" of the holy sacrament. We are accustomed to the more sober phrase “ frequent receiving," and we like it better. A change of phrases necessarily begets a change of ideas, which should carefully be avoided on the subject of religion. In the choice of our words we cannot too scrupulously abstain from such as have been applied to subjects and occasions less grave and solemn. Every subject has its appropriate terms, which a good writer will transfer for the purpose of illustration, but not at the expence of propriety and decorum. We have dwelt more at large than perhaps the "incorrectness” immediately before us may appear to warrant. But we do not regret the opportunity which it has given us of entering our protest against innovations both in the language as well as the tenets of our religion. Long established usage stamps a venerable character and peculiar solemnity which we wish her to retain in all her matronly primitive simplicity.--A borrowed dress ill becomes her. The author inforins us,

“ the letter was written to a young gentleman who had expressed to him many of the scruples here obviated," upon the due receiving of the Lord's Supper. The perusal of it has atforded us considerable pleasure. Though we discovered no novelty of argument, nor any thing peculiarly striking in the arrangement of the materials, or in the stile of the composition, we discovered a vein of piety, christian charity, and unfcigned sincerity. The arguments he selects are popular and well adapted to make an impression on the minds of young and old, and are urged in a familiar, atiectionate, and pre

persuasise *“ I could wish that these invitations were given by some of our clergy in a more solemn and earnest manner than at all times prevails, and that the whole exhortation were read as it is in many churches in the north of England. I should thiok also it would be attended with a very happy effect, which indeed I have

persuasive manner. Should the young gentleman wish, however, for a more clear and satisfactory explanation of the nature of the blessed Eucharist, we recommend to his attentive perusal two sermons preached by the present Bishop of Bangor, who proves that it is more than a commemorative ordinance, more than even a mean of grace, that it is a feast upon a sacrifice. And should he stand in need of further arguments to induce him to become a communicant, we particularly refer him to a sermon published without a name, but writien by the father of the present learned and pious master of the Temple, in our judgment the best hortatory discourse to be found on the subject. We sent the following passage as a specimen of the author's manner and stile,

“ Still, I hear you persist in expressing your fears, lest, after having received this blessed toor, we shoubit reiapse into sin. Probably you may; and so have the best of men that have lived before you. But I am convinced of this (supposing you to be an hobitnal sinner), that the oftener you attend this holy Sacrament, purposing to amend your lite, and to walk from thenceforth in God's holy ways, though you should still occusionally fail, the less and less frequent will those relapses be, till they altogriher cease: and be assured, that he who, with pious diffidence, forres himself, as it were, to approach that table, in obedience to God's wili, and because he finds that, without it, he is unable to cleanse his way, is better preparıd than he is aware of. Come unto me all ye that tracel, and are heavy laden (with the burden of yo’rr sins), and I will give you rest, is Chrisi's gracious invitation and promise unto sinners. And if you desire to be relieved from such occasional relapses, you ought, undoubtedly, to obey this merciful call: for the denunciations against the unworthy reception of this sacrament apply only to those, who, at the inoment of reception, not only have not forsaken their sins, but are continuing in the wilful anil habitual commission of known sins."

“ A great master in the art of holy living, the most excellent and pious Bishop Jeremy Taylor, has in so pointed and convincing a manner enforced this duty upon all descriptions of Christians, and his reasoning so strongly confirms what I have alrearly a:ivanced, that I cannot deny myself the pleasure of transcribing

All Christian people most come to this holy supper. They, indeed, that are in a state of sin must not come so, but yet they must come: “ first, they must quit their state of death, and then partake of the brcad of “ life. They that are at enmity with their neighbours must come, that is no excuse “ for their not eoming; only they inust not bring their enmity along with them,

but leave it, and then come. They that have a variety of secular employments must

come: only they must leave their secular thoughts and affections behind them, " and then come and converse with God. If any mun be well grown in grace, he must

come; because he is excellently disposed to so holy a feast: but he that is but * in the infancy of piety had need to come, that so he may grow in grace. The strang

must come, lest they become weak; and the weal, that they may become strong. “ The sick must come to be cured, the houlthful to be preserved. They that have leisure must come, because they have no excuse: they that have no leisure must

come hither, that hy so excellent an act of religion they may sanctify their “ business. The peniteni sinners must come, that they may be justified; and they

that are justified, that they may be justified still..

We must subscribe our cordial assent to the following note which he subjoins.


the passage:


[ocr errors]

known to be produced by it, if notice of the sacrament were sometimes given by reading the second exhortation addressed to those “ who are negligent to come to the holy communion," the use of which I am afraid the state of most congregations in this country will fully warrant. And if always after using either of these exhortations, the kind and affectionate pastor would in the course of his sermon faithfully and earnestly entreat his congregation to attend the ensuing sacrament, to which they have just been invited, as they value their souls health, I am contident the happiest effects would frequently follow."

Prayers for Children, selected from the Church Catechism, and for pri

vate Persons, and Families or Schools, from the Liturgy. By a Member of the Endeavour Society, and of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge.

[ocr errors]

O the exertions of the ENDEAVOUR Society we have constantly

wished success as being united with ourselves in one common cause, the propagation of the sound principles of the CHURCH OF ENGLAND, in opposition to Infidelity, Heresy, and Schism. They have seen the insidious attempts of the professors of the Modern Philosophy, under the guidance of The ENEMY, to poison the infant mind in the first advances to knowledge, and they have endeavoured to supply an antidote against the fatal draught.

The tract before us, though but small in size, is highly important in its matter, as it tends to imprint on the pliable mind of children those principles of sound knowledge, which can alone make them happy in this world, and worthy to be partakers of the eternal blessedness of that which is to come. The Introduction, in plain and easy language adapted to the comprehension of children, points out the duty of prayer, the affections of the mind with which we should come before the throne of grace, and the benefits which accrue to us from the performance of that duty, particularly in the cases of temptation, sickness, or recovery from sickness. The prayers are well selected, and are not, as is usually the case, so long as to over-burthen the meg mory, or to

weary the attention. We are happy to find that this repectable and praise-worthy society is rapidly increasing; and, with the affection of brethren engaged in the same pursuits, we “ wisla them prosperity.”




VIIE following copy of verses, lately presented to me by a friend,

and never published, will, I think, highly gratify many of your readers. They were written by a gentleman, on seeing the last flower in the drawing-book of his daughter, who suddenly lost her sight by an injury received on the optic nerves in the violent operation of an einctic.

Your constant reader and admirer,

Y. R. S.

Here liapless maid, here end thy playful pains,

Nature hath shut her book, thy task is done.
Of'all her various charms what now remains ?

To smell the violet, and to feel the sun.

In liberal arts thy youthful hands did grow,

Quick moving at thy better senses call,
That better sense is gone,-their task is now

To twist the yarn, or grope the friendly wall.
O! Fate severe ! carth's lesson early taught

That all is vain, save Virtue, Love, and Truth;
We own it all that thro’ life's days have wrought,

But thou hast learnt it in thy morn of youth.

Pupil of Heaven thou art; compute thy gain,

When dulness loads thee, or regret assails;
All is not gone, for Faith and Hope remain,

And gentle Charity which never fails.
Love now shall glow where Envy might have burn'd,

And every eye, and every hand be thine;
Each human form, cach object undiscern’d,

From borrow'd organs thou may’st still divine.
But thy Great Maker's own transcendent form,

His love ineffable, his ways of old,
Ilis perfect wisdom, and his presence bright,

“ Thine eyes, and not another's, shall behold *."

* Job.

« PoprzedniaDalej »