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and having delivered a long lecture on their superstitious and idolatrous practices, so distressing to the holy Mother, he drew aside a curtain, and shewed them what a wound they had inflicted, and how she shed her blood for their iniquities. At the sight of this deplorable spectacle, says Merolla, the hearts of the congregation melted, and they burst into the most doleful cries and lamentations.
Next to the women, the rulers were those against whom the missionaries principally directed the artillery of the Gospel. Father Jerome succeeded in converting one of the chiefs of Congo, and prevailed on him to dismiss his wives; but another having refused, lest it should cause a revolt among his subjects, the undaunted missionary seized a club, and running through the town, beat down all the idols in the streets; he then collected the fragments, and made a bonfire which set the whole air in a blaze: a body of men sent by the insulted prince saved the father, with some difficulty, from increasing the conflagration, by the addition of bis own person to the pile. At Esseno he engaged the chief in his interest by exposing an impostor who called himself the God of the earth, so that he assisted him in overthrowing no less than six thousand idols!-the consequence of which was that the people, to the number of 20,000, rose in arms against their sovereign, who had only four hundred; but Jerome, at the head of these, with the aid of his rosary and the Virgin Mary, easily put the rebels to flight.
This is not the only miracle that the Virgin performed in Congo, One of the kings of that country, named Don Antonio, incurred the displeasure of the Portugueze for not discovering what most probably had no existence, those gold mines which the Congolans had long promised.' To protect himself, he mustered an army of 900,000 men, of which, it seems, he could only bring into the field about 80,000; these, however, were quite enough to surround 400 Europeans and 2000 negroes; and so his majesty thought; for seeing a woman and child by the side of the Portugueze general, he called out to his men that they would have an easy victory over such people as these; litile suspecting that the female which he beheld was no other than the Virgin Mary, whose presence secured a triumph to the faithful. The pagan host was accordingly routed, the king put to death, and the Portugueze set up another sovereign of their own chusing.
No permanent impression appears to have been made by the labours of the missionaries on the people of Congo; it would seem, indeed, that these simple people looked on the good fathers in general as objects of amusement. In parading thein through the country, it was a favourite entertaininent for the negroes to terrify them by calling out that the wild beasts were coming, and then to
laugh at their awkward attempts to escape by clambering to the tops of trees. Sometimes women presented themselves perfectly naked to receive baptism; and the anxiety of the missionaries to place some kind of covering before them was also a subject of great merriment to the giddy multitude. All this has long ceased, and we understand that in the whole line of the Zaire traced by the late expedition, not a vestige could be discovered either of the language or the religion of Portugal.
Sed manum de tubulâ.--In the course of our perusal of these volumes we had marked down several inaccuracies, some of them errors of the press, others the effect, perhaps, of hasty compilation -but we shall not stop to particularize them. We wish, however, to draw Mr. Murray's attention to this point in printing a second edition; and a second will, we presume, be thought necessary to render the plan complete, when the observations and discoveries of Mr. Bankes in Nubia, the great mass of information collected by Mr. Burchardt in various parts of Africa, and the journals of Captain Tuckey and Professor Smith, on the expedition to explore the sources of the Zaire, shall have made their appearance.
Art. II. The Personality and Office of the Christian Comforter
asserted and explained, in a Course of Sermons on John rvi. 7. preached before the University of Oxford in the year 1815, at the Lecture founded by the late Rev. John Bampton, M. A. Canon of Salisbury. By Reginald Heber, M. A. Rector of Hodnet, Salop, and late Fellow of All Soul's College. Oxford.
1816. WE E have always considered the University of Oxford particu
larly fortunate in the establishment of the Bampton Lectures. The founder framed his bequest in a manner most likely to attain his object, and clogged it with no conditions of a contrary tendency. By fixing the number of lectures to be annually delivered, at the moderate quantity of eight, he provided that they should be of a sufficient bulk to call forth the industry, and exercise the talents of the lecturer; nor did he, by requiring too much, and imposing too heavy conditions, deter able and deserving candidates, not otherwise unemployed, from engaging in the undertaking. By annexing the express condition that the lectures should be published within a stated period after their delivery, he excited the lecturer to the exertion of his best endeavours, by forcing him before the bar of public opinion; and by entrusting the nomination to the heads of the different colleges in the university, he embraced the
most effectual means of procuring the appointment of such persons as were likely to do credit to the university and to themselves.
The benefits resulting from the institution have been fully equal to all that the founder could reasonably have anticipated. The persons selected to preach, have for the most part been those whom their known character and qualifications pointed out as proper for the office, and the series of lectures which has resulted from their labours, has been highly honourable to the university and useful to the public. That, in such a series, the standard of eminence which is attained by some should be reached by all, it were impossible to expect. But, of the several lecturers, we do not hesitate to say that, while few are deficient in that degree of merit which it was reasonable to anticipate, very many exhibit excellence of a most decided and superior character; and, viewing the Bampton Lectures as a whole, we consider them as containing a large fund of theological learning, and as exhibiting the matured fruits of much patient investigation and diligent research. We likewise consider them as having materially contributed to keep alive a proper attention to theological studies in the university of Oxford, and as having been greatly instrumental, amongst the public at large, in checking the growth of religious delusion, and preserving the sound knowledge of Christian truths.
Mr. Heber, whose lectures, delivered in 1815, and published in 1816, come at present under our notice, is not unknown to the literary world as a juvenile poet and a traveller. He now appears, for the first time as we believe, in the character of a theological writer; but we venture to assure those readers who form their anticipations of the merit of this production from the established character of the author of Palestine, that they will not be disappointed in the actual perusal.
It might appear at first sight that the subject which he has selected, the Office and Personality of the Christian Comforter, has been so fully treated by other divines, both those who have taken this subject for particular discussion, and those who have included it among their general topics, that there was scarcely room for the production of much new matter or new argument respecting it. With regard, however, to the labours of his predecessors in this field, and to the considerations which have induced him to employ his talents and industry in it, Mr. Heber thus expresses himself :
* Those mighty champions of English and Christian orthodoxy, who, in the demonstration of our Lord's divinity and of the atonement of sin by his blood, have left behind them labours which no sophistry can shake, no following talents rival, have been contented, for the most part, to refer incidentally and slightly to the being and function of the third Person in the Trinity, as if He, by whom we are sanctified to
life eternal, were of less moment to Christians than He, by whom we are. created and redeemed; or, as if the existence of the Holy Ghost were, not exposed to the same, or even ruder assailants thạn have denied the Godhead of the Son,
• Nor, of the few whose inquiries are professedly directed to the assertion of the being and elucidation of the office of the Holy Ghost, is there any who has embraced so copious a view of the subject as to deny to succeeding labourers the hope of advantage in discussing its subordinate branches. With much of natural acuteness, and a style which, though unpolished, is seldom wearisome, Clagitt had too little learning to be ever profound, and too much rashness to be always orthodox. Where he exposes the inconsistency of the Puritan arguments, his work is not without a certain share of usefulness; but for the purposes of general edification we may search his pages in vain; nor would he have preserved, so long the share of reputation which he holds, if it had not been for the circumstance that he was Owen's principal antagonist. Ridley, whose talents and acquirements have not been rewarded with the fame to which, far more than Clagitt, he is entitled, has erred, nevertheless, in the injudicious application of heathen traditions; and both Clagitt and Ridley have altogether neglected the consideration of the office of God's Spirit as the peculiar Comforter of Christians.
. Among those who are not members of our English church, Dr. Owen's voluminous work on the Spirit is held in high estimation ; and, in default of others, has been often recommended to the perusal not of dissenters only, but of the younger clergy themselves. But in Owen, though his learning and piety were, doubtless, great, and though few, have excelled him
in the enviable talent of expressing and exciting devotional feelings, yet have his peculiar sentiments and political situation communicated a tinge to the general character of his volume, unfavourable alike to rational belief and to religious charity. His arrangement is lucid; his language not inelegant; and his manner of treating the subject is at least sufficiently copious. But, as he has most of the merits, so has he all the imperfections characteristic of his age and party; a deep and various but ill-digested reading; a tediousness of argument, unhappily not incompatible with a frequent precipitancy of conclusion; a querulous and censorious tone in speaking of all who differ from him in opinion; while his attempt to reconcile the Calvinistic doctrine of irresistible Grace with the conditional promises of the Gospel may be placed, perhaps, among the most unfortunate specimens of reasoning, which have ever found readers or admirers.
• Of recent authors, where blame would be invidious, and where it might seem presumptuous to bestow commendation, I may be excused from saying more than that the plan of the present Lectures will be found to differ materially from any with which I am yet acquainted. There is another, however, and a greater name than all whom I have noticed, whose Doctrine of Grace (those parts at least which belong not to temporary fanaticism and factions best forgotten) must ever be accounted, so far as its subject extends, in the number of those works which are the property of every age and country, and of which, though.
succeeding critics may detect the human blemishes, the vigour and originality will remain, perhaps, unrivalled.
But, on the Personality and Deity of the Holy Ghost, the genius of Warburton is silent; and that occasional rashness, which is the attendant curse on conscious power, has destroyed, in his writings, that uniform and wary accuracy which alone can so far occupy the ground as to deny to succeeding inquirers the hope of advantage or discovery. On ground like this, indeed, (the most fertile, perhaps, in tares, and the most liable to invasion of any in the Evangelical heritage, our labours can never be superfluous; nor are they to be despised, who bear, with whatever strength or fortune, their efforts and offerings to the common stock of knowledge and virtue ; who, following the path of more illustrious adventurers, beat down, as they revive, the hydra heads of sophistry; whose occupation it is to eradicate those weeds of error which aspire to wreathe their poisonous tendrils round the fairest pillars of the sanctuary, and to chase those obscene birds of darkness and rapine, which from time to time return to scream and nestle in the shadow of the altar of God.'—pp. 11-16.
In proceeding to the discussion of his subject, Mr. Heber proposes to inquire, 1. Who that Comforter was, whom Jesus engages to send. 2dly, Whether the promise of His aid was confined to the Apostles only, or whether all believers in Christ in that and every succeeding age of the church have reason to deem themselves included—and Sdly, Wherein that aid consists, which was thus graciously promised by our Lord.
The second and third lectures are employed in considering the first topic, the person of the Christian Comforter. We recollect that the Unitarian writer, Mr. Belsham, who is one of the most intrepid asserters that have ever come to our knowledge, in this or any other age, has thought proper to affirm, in one of his late publications, that he conceives there are now few, if any, reflecting persons, who believe in the existence of the Holy Spirit as a separate person in the Godhead. An affirmation tolerably hardy,since he must have known that a belief of the existence of this Divine
person is maintained, not only by the national church of this kingdom, but by the Roman Catholic church, and by Christians of all denominations, with the exception of his own scanty sect: and therefore, in making this assertion, he insinuates against all such Christians a direct charge of either pretending to believe what they really do not, or else maintaining an article of faith without ever examining the grounds of their belief. We, in return, venture to assert, that we conceive there cannot exist a single individual who believes in the divine authority of the Scriptures and is able to understand their true meaning, and willing to make a right use of it, who can possibly entertain the slightest doubt of the existence of this Divine person. If, however, we thought that Mr.