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REVIEW OF RELIGIOUS PUBLICATIONS.
SERMONS. By W. JAY. Vol. II. Price 8s.
MUCH has been written on the subject of Pulpit Eloquence. On the one hand, it has been contended, that the primitive and apostolic preachers of Christianity renounced it; and, on the other, that they practised it. These opinions are not altogether irreconcileable. Those acquainted with the manner in which the Greek orators studied their art, must know that they made eloquence their primary object; which is certainly inconsistent with the character of a Christian preacher, whose aim should not be to gain applause, but to win souls. On the other side, it has been said, Apollos was an eloquent man; Paul's language was eminently nervous; and John's remarkably pathetic. Though they did not sacrifice the interests of Christianity to their own fame, or the gratification of their curious hear ers, yet they did not fail to employ every talent they possessed in the service of their divine Master. There is an eloquence, the characters of which are simplicity, perspicuity, strength, and pathos: an eloquence rather natural than artificial; which recommends its subject rather than the speaker, Such was the eloquence employed by the more eminent primitive preachers of Christianity; and such is that displayed in the volume now before us. Its character is not indeed perfect accuracy. These discourses do not smell of the lamp: they are not laboured by repeated writing; the periods are not always nicely turned; nor are the expressions always chosen with care: but the preacher's heart was in his work, and with an apparent negli. gence, as to the minutiae of composition, he often catches "a grace beyond the reach of art."
Another important branch of composition is method; and here also, perhaps, Mr. Jay will not satisfy
the severe critic. His general plan is not to comprehend all the ideas suggested by the text, nor to arrange them with logical exactness; but to select those which appear to him most interesting, and to arrange them so as may, in general, be most easy for the memory: this, in some instances, produces, what may be called a quaintness, not perfectly consistent with the delicacy of modern criticism; but if it strikes the attention, and fastens on the memory, these are objects of more importance. These remarks premised, we proceed to offer an analysis of some of the discourses, which may serve as specimens of the whole.
The first Sermon considers the miraculous History of the Quails, from Num. xi. 31-34: which passage is treated by way of obser vation, under the following just, pertinent, and useful remarks: The passage shews, first, "The power and dominion of God," as exemplified in the providential supplies of his people. Secondly, "How much more diligent men are in collecting the meat that perish, eth, than in labouring for that which endureth to everlasting life." Thirdly, Persons may gather and hoard up, what they may never live to enjoy." Fourthly, "It is not the refusal, but the gratification of our desires, that often proves ruin. ous." These remarks are illustrated by a number of pointed interrogatories, and lead to a few prac tical remarks, which conclude the Sermon.
The second discourse is entitled "Hope," and is founded on Rom. v. 5. It is divided into two parts: I. The preacher proposes to shew how the Christian's hope preserves from shame; and, II. To ascertain its connection with the love of God. Under the former part of the discourse, the preacher observes that "Hope may cause shame, first, By the insufficiency of its object; ~ such is the worldling's hope: :-2 4 A
By the weakness of its foundation; such is the self-righteous Pharisee's: and, 3. By the falseness of its warrant ; such is the licentious Antinomian's. In the second part of the discourse, Mr. Jay shews that the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost," is essentially connected with our hope;1. As it is a proof of the divine regard; -2. As it character izes the true Christian; 3. As it qualifies for Heaven; and, 4. Is the anticipation of it. This discourse contains much excellent mat ter; and is concluded by an ani mated and faithful address to the consciences of various classes of hearers.
The Third Sermon is on the parable of the two Sons, Matt. xxi. 28-31,which Mr. Jay applies, first, to the two classes of Jews and Gentiles; and, secondly, gives it a more general application to the different classes of hearers in all ages. Of the Father's address, he observes, it is affectionate, "My son;"-it is practical," go work;"it is urgent, "to-day." In the conduct of the two sons, he sees examples of repentance and apostacy. The cha. racters are drawn by the hand of a master, and discovers much knowledge of the professing world, and of mankind.
We cannot proceed in the way of analysis throughout the volume; we can give little more than the subjects of the remaining sermons. The fourth enforces Christian diligences, from 2 Peter i. 5-7. Sermon V. on Eccles. viii. 11, very judiciously considers and deplores the abuse of the Divine forbear. ance.
The sixth Sermon, founded on John iii. 20, is entitled "Assurance," evidently meaning, not the assurance of faith, founded upon the divine word; but the assurance of hope, arising from the evidences of our converted state. The fol. lowing Sermon, entitled "Domestic Happiness," we are not misinformed, was preached on the anniversary of the marriage which, occasioned Mr. Jay's celebrated Sermon on the Duties of Husbands
and Wives; and is of a character very similar to that discourse.
Sermon VIII, on 2 Peter i. 11, entitled, "Happiness in Death," is interesting and animated. "Service done for God rewarded,” is the singular title of the ninth Discourse, from Ezek. xxix. 17-20, alluding to the history of Nebuchadnezzar, from which Mr. Jay suggests threeremarks; -1. The disposal of states. and nations is the work of Divine Providence ; 2. Men may serve God really, when they do not serve. him by design; 3. We shall never be losers by any thing we do for God. The tenth Discourse well improves "The Disappointments of Life," from those remarkable words of Job (xxix. 18.) “I shall die in my nest."
Sermon XI. In a very masterly and energetic style, exposes "The danger of neutrality in religion," from Matt. vi. 24. The last Discourse is on a very pleasing subject, "The Family of our Lord,” Mat. xii. 49, 50. The two last are capi. tal Sermons, especially the tenth, which may challenge comparison with any discourse, either in this or the former volume. From several of them we should be glad to pre. sent our readers with extracts; and shall probably attempt to give a few specimens in our Supplementary.` Number. At present we shall conclude with another general remark upon the work before us.
Το compare this with the former volume is, perhaps, useless. If some discourses are less striking, others are perhaps, at least in some parts, superior; but second volumes are under some disadvantage, as they cannot have the charm of no velty, which often strikes us on our first acquaintance with an author. Both display a rich invention; a deep knowledge of mankind and of the human heart; and, above all, an extensive acquaintance with the Scriptures, of which the preacher makes a judicious and abundant use.
We wish not, however, to deal out indiscriminate praise: we confess, that in some of the dis courses we have felt a deficiency; for, tho' we love practical preache
fng, and readily acknowledge that Mr. Jay excells in that line, and that all his discourses are founded on Evangelical principles, - yet we wish those principles appeared more prominent; and should he extend his publications to a third volume, we hope he will avail him self of this hint, and bring them forward, not in the forbidding form of a Controversialist, but in the same engaging dress in which he has clothed the Christian Morals. We particularly allude to the dying love and mediatorial glories of the Redeemer, which we know have their share in the pulpit-exercises of Mr. Jay; and are not only worthy of his pen, but of the inspired lips of angels and saints in glory.
Sermons on the Divinity and Operations of the Holy Ghost. By R. Hawker, D.D. &c. Third Edition. 12mo, 45. boards; 8vo, 75.6d. bds.
IN announcing this Second Volume of the new edition of Dr. Hawker's Works, which has been again retouched and improved by his own pen, we only find it necessary to refer to our account of the first edition, in a former volume, when we gave a full account of it; from which we shall only cite the following paragraph: "Strongly as we expressed our approbation of the Sermons on the Divinity of Christ, we are much better pleased with the contents of the present volume; which we earnestly re commend to the attentive consider. ation of our readers general, and ministers in particular."
Evan. Mag. vel. II. p. 392.
The Reigning Abominations considered and lamented. Preached at Ram's Chapel, Homerton, on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 1803. By the Rev. W. B. Williams, B. A. Minister of the above Chapel, c. 8vo, 15. MR. Williams, in his exordium, considers the grand distinction of mankind as divided into two classes, them that fear God, and
them that fear him not; thus in troducing the text, which is Ezek. ix. 4, the preacher then founds, upon this striking passage, the following judicious observations: 1st, "That the servants of God are distinguished from the rest of the world by their opinion of sin; and by their conduct under divine chastisement." 2. "In perilous times, the former are represented as being the objects of his peculiar care." 3. He shews, that "as great, and in some respects similar abominations to those sighed for by the Israelites, are committed in our own land." 4. He enquires, "What, from past experiences, might reasonably be apprehended from present appearances?" Lastly, He enumerates some circumstances which induce the hope, "that, not: withstanding our provocations and threatened ruin, the Lord will yet spare his people :" a hope in which we most cordially concur, while we feel all the force of the author's strong and nervous representations of the present depraved state of our country, and the judgments
which our sins deserve.
A Discourse delivered at the DrumHead, on the Fort at Margate, Oct. 19, 1803, the Day of the General Fast, before the Volunteers, com manded by the Right Hon. W. Pitt. Delivered also before the Ministers, &c. of the East Kent Association, at Folkstone, Oct. 26; and, on Nov. 13, 1803, to the Volunteers of Southwark, &c. assembled with the Author's own Congregation. By J. Rippon, D. D. Published at Request. 8vo, 15.
This discourse is founded on a text, which we earnestly wish may be duly regarded by all our brethren in arms, Deut. xxiii. 9. thine enemies, then keep thee from "When the host goeth forth against suitable introduction, in which the every wicked thing." preacher carefully distinguishes be tween offensive and defensive war, he proceeds to state the following in quiry:- "How should a people behave when they are going to war?" His answer contains seve
ral particulars. 1. They should avoid rashness and inconsideration; 2. They should keep themselves from a prayerless condition; They should preserve themselves from presumption; and, 4. From despair. Each of these is consider. ably amplified, and enlivened with anecdotes, well adapted to secure the attention of the church militant, to which it was first delivered. Under the second head, the author proposes to the soldiers a short prayer, suited to their use when marching to battle. When this was pronounced, we are informed, all the military men uncovered their heads, and behaved with peculiar reverence.Among the reasons advanced by the preacher, why we should not despair he insists, on the charac ter of the enemy, which is depicted in the most frightful colours. Col. Wilson's testimony concerning the cruelty of Bonaparte, in murdering 3800 of his prisoners, and in poisoning $80 of his sick troops, is brought forward: to which the author adds a circumstance, related by Dr. Wittman, in his Travels in Turkey, who says, "That Bonaparte threatened the priests at Jerusalem, That if ever he should obtain possession of that city, he would plant the tree of liberty on the very spot on which the cross of Jesus stood; and would bury the first French grenadier, who should fall in the attack, in the tomb of our Saviour. When I recolJect this profanity," he adds, "I will not despair." The Sermon concludes with an affectionate and faithful Address to the Volunteers, on the concerns of their own souls.
The Goodness of God to Israel, and also to Great Britain. By J. Townsend. 8vo, 15.
MR. Townsend selects for his text, Psalm cxlvii. 20, "He hath not dealt so with any nation." Af ter a brief exordium, the preacher runs a striking parallel between the state of Israel and of our own country, equally distinguished by emi nent privileges, and by the abuse of them. After much excellent
THOSE who have long regretted the absurdities of the common Almanacks, will receive this work with pleasure. Instead of the nonsense of astrology and lying prognostica tions, the author has given every thing useful in an Almanack; interesting Explanations of the Calendar, under every month; a Gardener and Farmer's Calendar, some pleasing Moral and Religious Verses to which are added, an Explanation of the French Calen dar, useful Hints on the Weather, High Water, Holydays, Terms, Eclipses, Regal Tables, &c. &c.
These Almanacks are printed on the same size, and may be had bound with the Christian Lady's Diary; which is this year embellished with the portrait of the excellent Mrs. H. More, and enriched with an Address from Dr. Hawker.
We understand that the Rev. W. Moseley, of Hanley, is engaged in preparing a Map, to exhibit the Geography and History of the Old Testament at one view; and that he has nearly completed his design; containing all the places of any note, mentioned by Moses and the Prophets, the Division of the Land of Israel into Tribes, the Distances of the Principal Places in Judea, and the Route of the Children of Israel from Egypt to Canaan; with an Historical Account of each.
THE following Information, concerning the prosperity of the Redeemer's Kingdom, and the Success of Mr. Kicherer in his Mission at Zak River, in South Africa, with the Testin:ony which the Three Converted Hottentots were enabled to bear publicly to the Truth and Grace of God, will be found singularly pleasing and interesting to our numerous Readers.
ON Monday, November 7, at the Monthly Missionary Prayer-Meeting, held on that evening, at the Scots Church, Miles's Lane, Canon Street, the congregation was gratified with a spectacle as pleasing as it was new. After the first prayer, which was offered up by Mr. Voss, who was for some years the minister of a Christian congregation at Rodezand, in Africa, several questions were proposed by the Secretary to Mr. Kicherer, a native of Holland, who has been a successful Missionary, from the Society in London, at Zak River, about 500 miles N. E. of the Cape of Good Hope. His answers to these questions included a general account of the state in which he first found the Hottentots of that country, their wildness, their ig norance of all religion, and their extreme laziness and filthiness: he then proceeded to state the methods which he adopted to gain their attention, and to instruct them in the knowledge of the gospel; together with the blessed success which the Lord has graciously given to his labours; some striking instances of which were mentioned. Mr. Kicherer's answers (being given in imperfect English) were afterwards repeated from the pulpit.
Three converted Hottentots, a man, named John; his wife, Mary; and an elderly woman, named Martha, were then seated in the desk, where the congregation had an opportunity of seeing them. Questions were proposed to each, by the medium of Mr. Kicherer; and their answers being interpreted by him, were repeated by the Secretary. These answers were highly satisfactory, and shewed that the labours of our dear brother had hot been in vain. The following are some of the questions proposed, with the substance of their answers :
2. What did you know of God before the Missionaries came ? A. We knew nothing at all of Him; we did not know there was any Godt. What did you then think of yourself? A. I thought I was like a beast; and that when I died, there would be an end. 2. What have you since learned about yourself? A. I have learned that I am a poor wicked creature. -2. How is it possible that such a wicked creature can be brought into friendship with Cod? A. By the blood of Jesus Christ.-9. But why should the blood of Jesas Christ bring you into that state? A. Because it was the appointment of the Father that he should bear our sins; and he rose again from
They had no previous intimation what questions would be proposed to them,
+ Some of them venerate a kind of walking leaf, which they will not hurt ;. and': call it a God.