« AnteriorContinuar »
tention, that we must, from neces- this is one of the great charms of sity, close the article. We have the puritan and nonconformist deemed it our duty to record our writings. They are neither docconvictions and feelings, inge- trinal nor practical exclusively ; nuously on one particular sub- but such an intermixture as chaject; but this does not in the racterises the Scriptures, and slightest degree affect our esti- shows how deeply the authors mate of the volume. Every ser- were read in the contents and demon in it has left on our minds an sign of the sacred volume, and impression of the most sacred that they knew well how to apply nature. The book is an invalu- them to the business and the boable addition to our stores of prac- soms of men. This is the kind of tical theology; and we trust, writing and preaching which is “ The Christian Contemplated,” calculated to do good, and will lead thousands both to the which, if generally pursued in contemplation and practice of the present day, would at once pure Christianity.
preserve from Antinomian folly and delusion, and from the oppo
site extreme of enforcing practice The Whole Works of the Right without sufficient reference to
Rev. Edward Reynolds, D. D. gospel motives and principles.
The third volume contains his (Concluded from page 484.)
“ Meditations on the Holy Sacra
ment of the Lord's Last Supper;" The second volume of this com and seven sermons on the fourplete edition of the works of Bi- teenth chapter of Hosea. The shop Reynolds, contains his Ex- Meditations discover the piety of position of the Hundred-and- the author, and show from whence tenth Psalm. As this Psalm * that piety was chiefly derived. consists of only seven verses, it They were “ his first theological may seem, that an entire octavo essay, when he was a young stuvolume devoted to it is rather too dent at the University.” They much exposition for the extent of were published by himself, to pretext. But it does not appear to vent the circulation of a surrepus, that it is too prolix. Less, titious edition. It is no impeachperhaps, on some points might ment of the Bishop's understandhave been said without injury; ing, or soundness in the faith, to but there is so much important say, that we cannot go along with matter in the Bishop's illustration, these meditations in all the views that we should be sorry had any which they give of the ordinance part of it been omitted.. The of the last supper. He sometimes - Psalm *itself is one of the most pursues his metaphors and anainteresting of these sacred com- logies too far. He represents a positions, The views it contains sacrament as “the representative of the dignity, the sufferings, the of a substance,-the sign of a offices, and glory of the Messiah, covenant,--the seal of a purchase, furnish topics for the most ex- the figure of a body,—the wittended and valuable discussion. ness of our faith,--the earnest of All these are taken up by the our hope,-the presence of things Bishop, and treated most judi- distant,—the sight of things aba ciously; not as abstract specula sent,—the taste of things incontions, but as intimately connected ceivable, and the knowledge of with the practical and comforting things that are past knowledge.” influence of the Gospel. Indeed, Much of this is true ; and yet it is easy to perceive how a man and wash him with thy tears against his of Reynolds's fertility of mind burial ? But behold the mystery of Peter's peareth to have been Solomon ; since no privately to themselves, than having been other son of David was king in Jerusalem, publicly useful, to be repaid with no other but he. He seemeth to have written it rewards than wrong and danger: by which in his old age, when he took a more means, society and community of serserious view of his past life; the honours, vices amongst men, greatly beneficial pleasures, wealth, wisdom, he had so to public interest, are obstructed and abundantly enjoyed; the errors and mis- dissolved. 4. An outward form of re-. carriages, which he had fallen into; the ligion and of divine worship, into which large experience, and many observations foolish men, by carnal confidence, and he had made, of things natural, moral, superficial performances, do also put didomestical, civil, sensual, divine; the cu- vers vanities, and make even God's serrious and critical inquiry he had made vice unuseful to their happiness. 5. Riches after true happiness, and what contri- and great possessions, which are so far bution all things under the sun could from satisfying the heart of man, as that afford thereunto. Concerning which, he they occasion more cares, less sleep, less doth, l. In the general, discover the quiet, are snares and occasions of much utter vanity and insufficiency of all things, hurt to the owners of them, who, living, here below, to make a man blessed, in possess them with sorrow; and dying, regard of their mutable nature, of their part with them with wrath and indignaweakness and disproportion to the soul tion : having little benefit by them in of man : of the weariness which is con- their life, as having not power to enjoy tracted by the studying of them : and the them: nor in their death any comfort impossibility of ever drawing from them from them, as leaving them to they know more than hath been forinerly extracted ; . not whom : being not at all exempted by and consequently the fruitless attempt of them, either from misery or mortality. any, that should ever after go about to ' “ And having thus discovered the vareceive satisfaction from them. 2. "He nity of the principal things, from whence demonstrateth this general proposition the heart of man might have expected touching the most vain vanity of all things satisfaction : he doth thereupon prescribe under the sun, by an induction of those many excellent means for healing and particulars, from which, above all others, abating of that vanity, and for procuring men usually expect the greatest content tranquillity unto the mind, and peace and ment. Those are, 1. Wisdom and know comfort to the life of a man. Such are, ledge both natural and moral; for inquiry contentation of heart in the sweet and free whereinto no man was ever furnished with enjoyment of all outward blessings, with greater abilities and stronger inclinations thanksgiving, and in the fear of God :-in himself; or with more fitting - provi- Quiet and humble acquiescency under the sions and assistants from without, than holy and powerful providence of God, in Solomon was, in regard of the greatness all the events which befall us in the of his dignity and estate : and yet, after world :--Sincerity of heart in his worsbip, all, he concludeth, that wisdom and know and prudent piety in our vows, prayers, ledge. do but increase grief and sorrow; and addresses unto him :--Patience of so far are they from bringing such blessed spirit under all the oppressions we meet ness to the soul, as may fully satisfy the with in the world :--A composed predesires thereof. 2. Pleasures and delights, paredness of mind to undergo sorrows and which he had as much advantage by his afflictions :-Prudent and pious moderagreatness to enjoy, and by his wisdom to tion of spirit in our behaviour towards all examine, as ever any other man should men, that so we may preserve our names have: and yet all the content he expected from calumny, and our persons from dan. from them, did end in hatred of them, and ger :--Meekness, charity, patience towards despair of ever mending his condition by such as offend, considering common frailty, them. 3. Honour, greatness, and power and our own weakness:-Sobriety of mind, in the world; concerning which, he shew contenting ourselves with a measure of eth that it is so far from making men wisdom and knowledge, and not busying happy, as that, without the fear of God ourselves with things too high for us : to correct and temper it, it is the occasion Practical prudence, which may render us of much wickedness to those that have it, beautiful in the eyes of others :-Loyalty and of much misery to those that suffer and obedience towards magistrates, that under it; it usually breaking forth into our lives may not be made uncomfortable oppression and violence, whereby men in by their displeasure:--Wisdom to discern power carry themselves like beasts to- of time and judgment :--Preparedness of wards their brethren, and shall themselves heart against inevitable evils :--Submisdie like beasts, undesired, and unlament. sion to the holy and invincible providence ed. It being likewise matter of much of God, admiring his works, adoring his discouragement to men that are oppressed judgments :- Joyful fruition of comforts: by it, making them weary of their lives, -Conscionable and industrious walking careless of their labours, resolved rather in our particular callings:--Wisdom how upon quiet idleness, than upon envied em- to carry ourselves amidst the many casualployments; and to get what they can ties which meet us in the world, so as that we may, by our loyalty towards our su- His metaphysics, and many of periors, decline the danger of displeasure his views of mental į phenomena from them; and by our charity to inferiors, lay up a good foundation for our
recovered faith! see how he acknowmight push his illustrations of ledgeth his Saviour whe
th from them beyond due bounds. Still him ; aud is reinvested with the lionour there is so much that is calcu of a disciple, though he seem still rather dated to promote spirituality of to forsake,' than to follow his Lord. His
repentance doth in action confirm, what mind, and conformity to the death
his faith once did in words confess, that of Christ, and so, little that is Christ was the son of the living God. calculated to injure, that they may Behold in the departure of Peter, an be read with great advantage,
article of thy faith, even the Divinity of
thy Saviour. Had not Cbrist been as especially by an enlightened Chris- well without, where Peter wept, as within tian. There are passages of great the hall where the Jews blasphemed, beauty, expressing the utmost ar- "Peter bad again denied, and not returned dour of devotion. in language and unto his Lord : and that which is now a
mystery, would have been a revolt. It imagery peculiarly, felicitous.
is nothing but faith that from without Volume fourth contains “Me could still through the walls look into ditations on the Fall and Rising of the house, and there through the infirmity St. Peter; Annotations on the
of a buffeted and contemned body, descry
the glory of a merciful and reconciled Book of Ecclesiastes, and Sermons
God. It is nothing but faith that can on Miscellaneous Subjects," which from earth look into the highest heaven; are continued through the fifth vo: and when it is absent from Christ, not lume. The Meditations on the
only groan after him, but grasp and lay
hold upon him. Thé ubiquity of Christ -Fall and Rising of Peter are thirty gives unto that believer who hath intein number; they were printed rest in him, a kind of ubiquity also : after the Bishop's death, by a and as he is in earth by his power, though bookseller from many fairly in heaven by his presence; so a believer, written out by the author himself,
though in his body on the earth, yet is in
heaven by his faith. It is the nature of but intended only for the private faith to give, as subsistence and being use of a pious lady. His son. unto things yet to come, so a kind of attests their conuiñoness attests their genuineness; and, presen
and presence also unto things most remote
and distant; and can even converse, and indeed, the treatise affords inter- lay hold on Christ, though he be in hea. nal evidence of its author. As a ven."--pp. 25, 26. specimen of the Bishop's manner, The work on Ecclesiastes is, per
we shall extract the 27th Medi- haps, the most popular, and most * tation.
generally known of our author's " But what makes thee (0 blessed
It is not critical, convert) thus to start and turn upon the and yet it shows that the Bishop look of thy Lord, and the remembrance had studied the meaning of the of thy sin, as if the repentance for the royal writer with profound attendenial of thy tongue, had made thy foot
tion. His knowledge of the again to deny thy Master? Whither runnest thou, Peter, from such a fountain of Scriptures is every where brought mercy ? Hast thou either mistaken the to bear on the illustration of this * look of thy Saviour, which was to draw most difficult book; and if he has and reunite thee unto him, not to drive, or banish thee from him ? or hath thy
'not removed many of its obscusorrow drowned thy faith, and made thee rities, he has at least shown the forget that glorious profession which thou practical benefits which may be once didst make out of a happy know derived from the counsels and ledge of experience and belief that Christ had the words of eternal life? and whither
experience which it records. His then goest thou ? Hast thou forgotten
general view of its contents, in that he had balm to cure thy grief, and what he calls “ the Argument,” blood to blot out thy sin ? that he could we thiuk so judicious, that we at once both comfort and restore thee, shall give it entire for the benefit and render unto thee thy former joy and grace? Why didst thou not run into his of our readers. embraces, and in token of thy repentance " The author of this book, both by the and belief, in thy body lay hold upon him, style, and by the argument of it, ap
oure will not, perhaps, be generally reselves, against the time to come :--Lastly, ceived; but there is a large fund Moderation in the use of comforts here ; of solid good sense in his disand preparation by the fear of God, and
sertations, and no ordinary ackeeping of his commandments, for death and judgment hereafter. That by these
quaintance with the moral machin
quaintance means, as our life is sweet, so our death nery of our nature. Indeed, we may be welcome. That the piety of our are strongly impressed with the youth may help us to bear the infirmities
conviction, that were many of the
convin of our age, and to lift up our heads in the day of redemption."--pp. 33--35.
persons of the common sense
school to study such a book as The Bishop's sermons are on a this of Reynolds's more, and disgreat variety of subjects; many play a little less confidence in of them are on important topics, some of the speculations of Reid and some of them were preached and Stewart, it would not be un-' on public and trying occasions. profitable to themselves. ReyThere is an admirable discourse nolds never forgets what these on the excellency of the Gospel, writers veryimperfectly understood, delivered before Charles II., to or altogether denied, that.man is a the statements and faithful counsels depraved creature, and that all of which it had been well had that right mental perception of moral unhappy monarch attended. His truth and beauty, and all holy desermons abound with appropriate sires, are the result of a principle, quotations from Scripture, and are not inherent in human nature, less interlarded with the language but derived from above. The of other writers than the discourses connection between the admission of many of his contemporaries. or rejection of these principles, There is a chasteness in his figures, and correct speculations on the and a raciness and vigour in his active and passive powers of man,' language, which render them wor- and on his character as an ac-, thy of the attention of the lovers countable creature, is much closer of good writing, even at the present than the philosophers of the world day..
are generally disposed to acknowThe last volume contains his ledge.. " Treatise on the Passions and But here we must draw our Faculties of the Soul.” It is, by general notice of Reynolds's works his own account, “ a philosophical to a close. We are greatly pleased miscellany, the fruit of his younger with this valuable republication, studies ;" but which he published and with the manner in which it is when far advanced in life; this got up. It is beautifully printed, led him to say, that “ in the peru- and there is an admirable portrait sing and fashioning it for the press, of the author prefixed to the first I have found that true in writing, volume. The whole is creditable which I have formerly found true to the character of the author, and in building; that it is almost to the enterprise of the publisher, as chargeable to repair and set who, we have no doubt, will meet right an old house, as to erect a from the public his appropriate new one ; for I was willing, in the reward. Reynolds, if he does most material parts of it, so to not occupy the first ranks, either lop off luxuriance of style, and to among the nonconformist school supply the defects of matter, as, to which he properly belonged, or with candid, favourable, and in- among the Taylors and Barrows genuous judgments, it might re- of the church in which he died, is, ceive some tolerable acceptation.” nevertheless, a man of no mean
name ; his style and manner were promising Christian, who consuperior to that of many of the dis- siders as he ought, religion and tinguished nonconformists, while strict morality as superior to all he possessed all their discriminating other considerations, should learn regard to gospel doctrine and evan- to undervalue and hate what is gelical holiness. If in genius be so frequently opposed to both, is unequal to some of the writers or that he should not be able to of the church who then flourished, distinguish that which has so often he is far superior to them in the been abased from the vile purextent and accuracy of his know- poses to which it may liave been ledge of divine things, and in the made subservient; that he should simplicity and godly sincerity with not be able, for instance, to sepawhich he advocated the grand rate the idea of poetry, (which principles of Christianity. We has, especially of late years, been beg leave, therefore, to recommend so much the mouth-piece of vice,) most cordially this collection of from the idea of much that is dehis works to all the lovers of our grading and pernicious in feeling, common faith, whether Churchmen and sentiment, and passion. or Dissenters.
They may, however, be very readily distinguished, and if any
of the fine arts have been made The Amulet; or Christian and
the servants of vice, it can be Literary Remembrancer. Lon
only because they have been perdon; W. Baynes and Sons. 12s.
verted from their proper and legipp.420, with Twelve Engravings,
timate purposes. If, however, 1827.
89, they had, abstractedly considered,
any tendency to injure the inteIt has ever been the reproach of rests of religion, we would be the the religious world, that it is in- very first to say, Let them immedifferent to the charms of elegant li- diately perish ; let us return into terature, and careless about the em- the gothic darkness and barbarity bellishments and refinements of the of the middle ages, as it regards liberal arts, and certainly this charge matters of taste and literature. must, in some measure, be consi- But we cannot think that they dered just; although, on the other have in themselves any such tenhand, the very arts which it too dency, and we hail any attempt to often despises, have been so often rescue them from abuse. . abused to the very worst pur- We are happy to find, that there poses,-so often employed in the is sufficient taste in professors of attempt to injure all that it holds religion, in the present day, to ensacred and valuable, that we can- courage the publication of so elenot wonder that it looks upon gant and entertaining a volume, them with a suspicious and half. as that the title of which stands averted eye. Poetry has so often at the head of this article. The been made only the vehicle for “ Amulet," consists of short tales, conveying the most pernicious and and interesting and amusing injurious sentiments, — has been sketches, interspersed with numeso often only the stimulus to the rous poems; some of which are worst and vilest feelings; and all certainly of a superior order, and the elegancies of literature have the productions of some of the so often been enlisted into the more eminent poets of the day. service of lust, and voluptuous- — The whole is embellished by ness, and impiety, and every kind many elegant and highly-finished of vice, that we cannot won- engravings. The design of the der, that the stern and uncom- work has our hearty concurrence,