« PreviousContinue »
Hymns and Poems on Various Subjects, for the use of the Rising
Generation. _ By G. T. Congreve. Part I. 32mo. p.p. 24. Cambridge, Talbot.
No one will regret devoting one penny to the purchase of this little collection of Original Hymns: and although the metrical ability displayed be not of the very first order, we consider that inasmuch as they exhibit the leading truths of the gospel in simple language, when the series is complete they will form a little manual well adapted for the purpose proposed.
Jesus Glorified, and his Church Redeemed, Quickened, and Gathered,
by his Obedience unto Death, and his Resurrection Power: "Meditatory Thoughts, by William Hore, 12mo. p.p. 48. London, Palmer and R. Baynes.
THESE • Meditatory Thoughts' are founded upon the 23rd and 24th verses of the 12th chapter of John's gospel. Nothing novel, nothing extraordinary is contained therein. The dearth of these distinguishing characteristics of the present day, may cause many to lay it aside as unworthy of notice. Such, however, as like the old wine of the kingdom, and are content to pursue their course along the old paths, will read with pleasure, and we trust with profit, this amiable effort of a private in the Lord's army, desirous to glorify the Captain of his salvation.
An Appeal to the Clergy; aldressed more particularly to the Bishops
and Dignitaries of the Church of England, on the state of Religion, Morals, and Manners in the British Metropolis: shewing the necessity of a Reformation in the present Constitution and Government of the English Ecclesiastical Establishment, to preserve the Nation from the Desolations of Infidelity. 8vo. p.p. 224. Holdsworth and Ball.
We give the whole of this title, because it is a faithful epitome of the work. Truly England's Church is attacked on all sides ; her Bishops and her Dignitaries would do well to set their house in order; to commence the work of reform themselves, tọ lop off themselves some of the protuberances which deform, ere anarchy with unholy hand shall commence the work.
We regard with delight that necessary interference to retain the Lord's day as little unprofaned as possible ; and we have thought that some of England's churchmen, both lay and ministerial, have busied themselves even more than their dissenting brethren to accomplish this sacred
The clouds of care are, banished here;
By smiling from the mercy-seat.' ivtigo a third exclaims, 'temptation high,,
'Once bade me scorn my God and die; zabie lli I prayed, the subtle foe was gonc,,
9.10% How dear to me the mercy-throne.' misits Proud worldling, what though wealth o'erfio ws, u din Thy heart no real pleasure knows;
Though blest, thy bliss is incomplete, 116197 0
Deficient of a mercy-seat. dy gvsd Poor saint, though poverty and thee, Laitale Companions have been, still may be;
Thy joys are tapturous, bright, unknown, 006 01 49 For thou hast found a mercy-throne.
Lord, give me this supremest bliss,
I'll celebrate thy mercy-seat.
* There are Three that bear record in heaven; the FATHER, the WORD, and the HOLY GHOST: and these Three are One.”
1 John v.7. * Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
(For the Spiritual Magazine.)
CHRIST, THE DOOR.-John x. 7. That there is no earthly blessing can be fitly compared with Jesus, and the enjoyments resulting from the expressions of his love, the experience of every redeemed, sanctified heir of glory bears witness. Indeed, such enjoyments infinitely excel those which are merely derived from sensual objects; for, while the latter are more particularly addressed to the creature, and suitable only to a carnal state and taste, with a duration as evanescent as the evening shade; the other enrich the mind, and sanctify the imagination, and calls into manifestation, gratitude and joy to the dear object, the blessed prelude to the extatic raptures which saints exhibit throughout eternity. A drop of this honey is worth 'far, far more than a million, million worlds!'
If Jesus be the door at the head of the way to Zion, the door to the temple of grace, and the door to immortal glory, how amazing is the mercy to be honoured by admittance therein, not as an uninterested spectator, but as a subject of electing love and regenerating grace! The sheep of Christ are all chosen to this inheritance; and in due time they are begotten again to a lively hope in him, and become richly endowed with all the privileges peculiar to their race. Having once entered into Jesus, manifestly by faith, by virtue of their eternal adoption in him, they derive the rich banquets of their heavenly Father in the person of his Son, of everlasting favour and boundless covenant and discriminating love, within the divine enclosures with perfect freedom, wherein they find extensive pastures, fresh and green.' Vol. VIII. - No. 98.)
The pilgrimage of these favoured ones is, nevertheless, chequered by many bitters with intermingled sweets; but their choice is Christ and bitter herbs,' in preference to the worldling's pleasure, the very tenure of which is precarious, and fleeting as the wind. True it is, that the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus must encounter many trials from sin and self, and be often buffetted by Satan
and the world, before they enter this fold of refuge, or conceive of the delight attendant on the subsequent stages of their journey. Such experience is calculated, under the influence of supernatural agency, to wean their minds from self, and to induce a lively faith on the exhaustless fulness treasured up in Jesus ; and in that proportion administer to the divine glory. But, surely, the closing scene of this earthly career, superadded to the pleasure enjoyed in communion with him by the way, amply outweigh every painful vicissitude incident to their shortlived course of “threescore years and ten.” And, after all, what is the amount of their sorrow if brought in competition with the prospects eternity unfolds ? yea, even were there no felicities within their cup to counterpoise them; or, could it be as truly said of them as of their glorious Master, that they are men of “sorrows and acquainted with grief,” what then is the sum if compared with the ponderous and overwhelming weight which he suffered when laden with their sins, and the fruition which shall follow them? They are not, nor can they be worthy the appellation. But, blesserl be God, joys are happily interwoven in the christian wreath; and, while the wicked have only the passing good which entertains depraved minds, and can soar no higher after happiness than that which yields no per-' manent satisfaction, the beloved of the Lord behold events in the light of the cross, through a different medium. In Jesus they see more than enough to charm, and lead them captive. The carpet of nature on which they traverse to an uncorrupted kingdom, becomes a means, under divine influence, of representing in type her superior Lord. The gay foliage of spring; the plentiful herbage of summer; the rich brown which decorates the trees in autumn; and the desolate appearance which crowns the winter, each in their turns call forth admiration of their illustrious Creator, as Jesus is discovered in them. The bud, the unfolding leaf, and its full expansion, exhibits something worthy of its divine original; but, in the stupendous plan of redemption, the glories of God are especially and beautifully manifest in its germ, when Jesus was promised to bruise the serpent's head: at the ripening of the promise in the cradle; at its mature exhibition on the cross; and, in its fullest expansion at his ascension into bliss. How unspeakable are the obligations under which the saints are laid to praise this blessed centre of endless beauty and perfection; in whom dwells all the uncreated fulness of felicity! Nor, are their obligations of minor import if referred to God the Father, for his electing love; or God the Holy Ghost, in his office and work in their new formation, and the development of those glories to the eye of faith. The existence of the splendour and ravishing glories
of God in Christ, would avail them nothing without a personal interest in them; or, without faith to discover the blessed realities opened up, and bebeld through the door of the spacious apartments; whereini Jesus to the view immeasurably surpasses all exterior ob jects, all of which are eclipsed in him, and lost sight of in the shadow of his cross, and a sense of pardoning mercy made known to the soul by faith in this blessed way, through the rich efficacy and purple torrent of his precious blood.
Nature in her splendid adornings may captivate and allore, but can raise no emotion after heavenly good. By the feeble glow-worm light of reason she just discovers that there is, and of necessity must be, a first grand and supreme cause of all things, and that her fair structure is the sole product of an infinitely wise Architect, but never did she teach her admirers their ruin and misery by sin, nor their remedy in a Saviour's blood.
It would be a great mercy, did the disciples of Jesus study to purpose exterior things; the revolving seasons would then be doubly interesting. Her verdant attire, her sunny banks, her winding rivulets, with the gilded scenery which so luxuriously enraptures the contemplative imagination would be the handmaid to the meditation of glories more exhilirating in the enjoyment, and more lasting in their duration ; for, in Christ alone are untold riches, yea, “ durable riches and righteousness," more extensive and intrinsic than unnumbered diadems, and more brilliant and pure than a million suns. In this view, even the wintry aspect possesses matter for grateful recollection; and the revelations of time furnish some emblem that under the Holy Spirit's influence would be truly blessed to the soul.
It was an invariable practice of our beloved Lord to embrace every seasonable occasion to raise subjects for discourse from the objects around him; and this is an example worthy the imitation of every saint. All his addresses to the Jews, and to his own disciples, were deduced from figures in nature with which they were familiar; and generally expressed in parables, the spiritual purport of which, while they were but faintly understood by his chosen people, were perfectly unintelligible to the pharisees, though they were always delivered with the greatest perspicuity, and with a pathos and fervour the most convincing and delightful. We find by the preceding context that he had been engaged on the sabbath day in performing the astonishing miracle of giving eyes to the blind. This proof of bis Godhead and power, gave incontestible evidence of the reality of his mission; and excited all possible animosity and hatred in the minds of the unsanctified auditory to the humbling doctrines of salvation without the deeds of the law, by which none can be justified. His seasonable and truly animated declamation, reported in the succeeding chapter, cut deep to the root of pharisaic pride, and exhibited their ire in the most affecting manner. On this occasion, he points to the surrounding folds, and from thence to himself as the Shepherd of Israel, and the door through which his sheep must enter the fold, lie down therein, and find pasture.