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Most of our infidels have a Sir Henry MONCREIEF Wellsmattering of literature, but none wood of Edinburgh, written foon of them are profoundly learned. after the death of that eminent They prove by their own example, and far famed divine, the Rev. that, “ A little learning is a dan- Dr. John Erskine. gerous thing.” Ignorance makes
« Dr. ERSKINE had been conthem infidels. Some of them, invited by a learned dress, might death, by debility and decayed
fined, almost a year before his be induced carefully to consider a series of historical facts, judicious
health. But his mind was perly selected and arranged, from the
fectly entire, and as active as ever.
He continued to prosecute his privolumes of antiquity, who would despise a chain of theological ar
vate studies, and even exerted
himself in whatever he thought guments. Many may feel the force of a fact from Sanchonia
could extend his usefulness, to the
His thon or Julian, who would not be
very last day of his life. moved by the most conclusive
death finally was unexpected by fyllogism, or the plainest affertion
his family, and was entirely unacof Moses or Jesus Christ. I am
companied with pain, or truggle. persuaded the more the pachs of
He died, as he had lived, full of ancient history, and the mytholo
faith and of the Holy Ghost. As
a man of letters ; as a minister of of the heathen are explored, gy the more numerous, clear, and
Christ; as a man of superior tal. convincing will appear the evi
ents, and of steady and unremitdences in support of revelation.
ted assiduity in employing them Our faith depends much on hif
advantageously, for the glory of torical knowledge.
God, and the best interests of men, he was certainly the most eminent
man I have ever known, and was We are indebted to an obliging probably the most distinguished
minifter that this country has gentleman, for the following Extract of a Letter from the Rev.
Review of Dew Publications.
Sermons by WILLIAM Jay, &c. by doing mischief. It has been said by (Continued from page 28.)
a modern prelate, “one murder makes The religious sentiments of this a villain, a thousand a hero.” The respectable and popular writer, and christian conquerordraws his glory, not
from the sufferings of others, but from his manner of sermonizing, fur
And nothing renders his ther appear in the following ex- character more impressive and useful ; tracts.
it recommends his religion ; it carries In illusrating the connection along with it a peculiar conviction. between patience and the chrif- When a christian has met with an affictian character, in his sermon on of his calling, deprived him of opportu
tion, that has led him from the duties Rev. xiv. 12, he says,
nities of exertion, and confined him to It ugyly becomes saints to CULTI. the housc of grief; little has he supposVATE patience. “The ornament of a ed, that he was approaching the most meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of useful period of his life. But this has God of great price.” It ennobles the often been the case ; and he has render, possessor. Some have obtained honour ed more service to religion by suffering
than by doing. O, what a theatre of He endured every kind of insult ; but usefulness is even a “bed of languish- when he was reviled, he reviled not ing !" " We are a spectacle to angels,” again : when he suffered, he threatened as well as “to the world, and to men.” not; but committed himself to him that The sufferer lies open to their inspec- judgeth righteously.” Go to the foot of tion ; and the view of him, enduring, the cross, and behold him suffering for sustained glorying in tribulation,draws - us, " leaving us an example that we forth fresh acclamations of praise to should follow his steps.” Every thing that God, whose grace can produce such conspired to render the provocation wonderful effects : “ Here is ne pa- heinous ; the nature of the offence, the tience of the saints." But all his fellow meanness and obligations of the offend. creatures are not excluded ; there is ers, the righteousness of his cause, the generally a circle of relations, friends, grandeur of his person: all these seen. neighbours, who are witnesses of the ed to call for vengeance. The creatures scene. I appeal to your feelings. When were eager to punish. Peter drew his you have seen a christian suffering in sword. The sun resolved to shine on character, with all the composire and such criminals no longer. The rocks majesty of submission ; when you have asked leave to crush them. The earth heard him softly saying, “ though I trembles under the sinful load. · The mourn, I do not murmur ; why should very dead cannot remain in their
graves. a living man complain ?” “ it is the He suffers them all to testify their Lord, let him do what seemeth him sympathy, but forbids their revenge ; good;"" his ways are judgment;" " he and lest the Judge of all should pour hath done all things well ;” “ I see a forth his fury he instantly cries, “Fathlittle of his perfection, and adore the er, forgive them, for they know not rest." Have you not turned aside, and what they do." “ Here is the paexclaimed, What an efficacy, what an
tience of" a God, p. 38, 39. excellency in the religion of Jesus !
his fourth sermon from " Here is the patience of the saints !” Ezekiel xi.
19, 20, our author p. 34, 35, 36.
unfolds the As a motive to patience under ine religion, in a clear and improvocation, he cites examples preslive manner, " in four effenmost worthy of imitation.
tial articles-1. Its Author. IÍ. What provocations had Joseph re. The disposition it produces. III. ceived from bis brethren ! but he scarcely mentions the crime,so eager is The obedience it demands. IV. he to announce the pardon : “ and he The blessedness it ensures.” This is said, I am Joseph your brother, whom anexcellent discourse, and can hardye sold into Egypt: now therefore be ly be read without profit. Under not grieved, nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither; for God did the third head, he illustrates the Bend me before you to preserve life.” two following particulars—“ 1. Hear David : " they rewarded me evil Principle mult precede practice. for good, to the spoiling of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick my On the firit of these articles he has
2. Practice must follow principle.” clothing was sackloth : 'I humbled my soul with fasting, and my prayer return the following just remarks ; ed into my own bosom. i behaved my. Observe the order in which these self as though he had been my friend or things are arranged. “I will give them brother: I bowed down heavily, as one one heart, and I will put a new spirit that mourneth for his mother !” View within you : and I will take the stony Stephen, dying under a shower of heart out of their flesh, and will give stones: he more than pardons, he prays; them an heart of Aesh; that they may he is more concerned for his enemies, walk in my statutes, and keep mine are than for himself; in praying for himself, dinançes, and do them.” Thus princihe stood; in praying for his enemies, ple precedes practice, and prepares for he kneeled ; he kneeled and said, it. 'And here I admire the plan of the “Lord, lay not this sin to thcir charge." gospel; to make the fruit good, it makes A greater than Joseph, a greater than the tree so ; to cleanse the stream, it David, a greater than Stephen, is here. purifies the fountain ; it rcnews the na.
of genuture, and the life becomes holy of course. flections so useful, and learn to "die What is the religion of too many? They daily.” Say, while walking over your are like machines impelled by force ; fields, The hour is coming when I shall they are influenced only by external behold you no more ; when you go considerations. Their hearts are not over your mansion, “If I wait, the grave engaged. Hence in every religious ex. is my house ;" as you estimate your ercise they perform a task. They would property," I cannot tell who shall gath. love God inuch better, if he would ex- er it.” This apparel which I now lay cuse them from the hateful obligation. aside and resume, I shall soon lay aside They put off these duties as long as pos- for ever; and this bed, in which I now sible, resort to them with reluctance, enjoy the sleep of nature, will by and adjust the measure with a niggardly by feel me chilling it with the damps of grudge, and are glad of any excuse for death. And surely it requires contrineglect. While labouring at the drudg- vance and difficulty to keep off' reflec. ery, they entertain hard thoughts of the tions so reasonable and salutary. Eve. cruel Taskmaster, who can impose such ry thing is forcing the consideration upseverities upon them, and sigh inward. on you ; every thing is, saying, “The ly “when will the sabbath be over ?” time is short.” We enter the city, and When shall weunbend from these spir- see man going to his long home, and the itual restraints, and feel ourselves at mourners going about the streets. We liberty in the world? Can this be relig- enter the sanctuary, and miss those ion ? is there any thing in this, suitable with whom we once took sweet counto the nature of God, whois a Spirit?” sel, and went to the house of God in or to the demands of God, who cries, company ; their places know them no “My son, give me thine heart;" "serve more for ever. We enter our own dwel. the Lord with gladness, and come be. lings, and painful recollection is awak. fore his presence with singing?” Behold ened by the seats they once filled, by a 'man hungry, he needs no argument books they once read and have left foldto induce him to eat. See that mother, ed down with their own hands; we she needs no motive to determine her walk from room to room, and sigh, to cherish her darling babe ; nature im- “Lover and friend hast thou put far pels. The obedience of the christian from me, and mine acquaintance into is natural, and hence it is pleasant and darkness." We examine ourselves, and invariable ; "he runs and is not weary, find that our strength is not the strength he walks and is not faint." p. 79, 80. of stones, nor are our bones brass ! we
The conclusion of this discourse are crushed before the moth; at our best is peculiarly impresive.
estate we are altogether vanity. Andis Thus a christian who has nothing,
it for such beings to live as if they were
never to die ! O Lord, “so teach us to possesses all things, Creatures may abandon him, but his God will never
number our days, that we may apply our leave nor forsake him. Friends may
hearts unto wisdom.” p. 424, 423, 426. die, but the Lord liveth, His “heart It is hoped that the specimens, and his flesh may fail, but God is the which have been exhibited, will strength of his heart, and his portion induce many to peruse this valua. for ever.” “ The heavens may pass away with a great noise, and the ele. ble volume. The sermons are in ments melt with fervent heat, the earth no common degree entertaining, and the works that are therein may be edifying, and impressive. A fpirburned up”-he stands upon the ashes it of evangelical piety pervades of a universe, and exclaims, I have lost
and fanctifies them. nothing ! p. 87, 88.
The characWe add but one more quota- teristick traits of this writer are tion from his sermon on Job xxix. uncommon sprightliness, and ease 18, on the disappointments of life. of manner, sometimes, perhaps, Recommending frequent and re- bordering on affectation. alizing views of the world's un. He is remarkably happy in the certainty, and of approaching selection of his subjects, and of his death, he says;
texts for their illustration, as well Accustom yourselves therefore to re. as in his manner of introducing, upening, and dividing them, in confirm the doubtful respecting which he has followed, in some what may be accomplished, redegree, the French divines. His prove the idle, encourage, the dilstyle is plain and intelligible, and igent, and present examples for animated with chaste and striking all. When we see an industrious figures. He makes free use of and good man, like the pine amid scripture language, but introdu- surrounding shrubs, rising above ces it with peculiar pertinence and his associates, we feel a strong imforce. His arrangement is nat- pulse to make him our model. ural. A good degree of unity is Sir W. Jones was an excellent preserved in his discourses, while man, and his life is written in an they contain a sufficient variety agreeable and instructive manner. of matter. For theological cor- The narrative is continued in rectness, he is not, in all infances, chronological order from his birth remarkable. Some passages are to his death: but perhaps a liable to a construction, which few sketches of the man may be was undoubtedly far from his more useful and entertaining, meaning, and some might think than a verbal criticisin of the warrant inferences, which his e- work. vangelical heart would totally Sir William Jones was born in disavow.
1746. When he was but three On the whole, we do not hesi. years old, he lost his father ; his tate to recommend this volume, education of course devolved on as deserving the careful attention his mother, which she superinof all, and well calculated to be tended with discretion and success. useful to the church of Christ. To the innumerable questions of
We have seen a single, ingenious his childhood, her constant answer sermon of this author, on “ The was read and you will know. A value of Life," preached May, lesson, to the observance of which, 1803, before “ The Correspond. he ascribed all his attainments. ent Board in London, of the So. In his sixth year he learned ciety in Scotland,” which, should the rudiments of Latin ; when he another edition of these fermons be was twelve, he began the study called for, we hope will be added, of Greek and Hebrew, translated by the publishers, to this volume. several epistles of Ovid, all the PasIt would certainly increase its val. torals of Virgil, and wrote a trague.
edy, which was acted by his
school fellows. When seventeen, Memoirs of the life, writings, ard he was sent to the University of
correspondence of Sir William Oxford, where he soon shone, as Jones, by Lord TEIGNMOUTH. a star of the first magnitude. In Philadelphia, printed for the 1767, he visited the continent proprietors, by William Poyntell with his pupil Lord Spencer, and and Co. 1805
in 1770, we again find him, to BIOGRAPHICAL memoirs of good use his own words, “ flying over and great men must be allowed Europe." This
was ad. to rank with the most useful spe- mitted into the temple. In 1774, cies of composition. We see hu- he was called to the bar. man virtue in real life, and learn pended his oriental studies, which its practicability. Such writings had been a favourite emplar. Vol. I No. 2.
ment ; devoted his strong powers cedent reasoning, and by evidence to the study of law, and soon com- in part highly probable, and in manded an extensive practice. part certain.” Again he says,
In 1783, he was appointed a « The connection of the Mosaic his. judge of the supreme court of ju- tory with that of the gospel, by dicature at Fort William, in Ben- a chain of sublime predictions, gal, when the honour of knight- unquestionably ancient, and aphood was conferred upon him. parently fulfilled, must induce us The same year he married Anna to think the Hebrew narrative Maria Shipley, a daughter of the more than human in its origin.” bishop of St. A saph. He continued Accordingly in a memorandum, in the office of judge, with great written during his voyage to Inability and integrity, till his de- dia, among the objects, he assigncease in 1794
ed himself to accomplish in Asia, His diligence could be exceed- was" to print and publish the ed by nothing, but the greatness gospel of St. Luke in Arabick ;" of his genius. He sometimes another was to examine the tradicontinued his studies through the tions concerning the deluge." night ; when a lad he took but a Nor did the religion of Sir W. small part in the amusements of Jones exhaust itself in a general his school fellows. His learning profession of assent to the gospel, was answerably various and ex- without embracing its peculiar tensive. We will mention only and appropriate doctrines. He his acquisition of languages. He believed the doctrine of the Trinihad critically studied eight lan- ty. He believed the divinity of guages beside his own, the Lat. Jesus Christ. He says, « That in, Greek, Sanscrit, Arabick, Per. nothing can be more evident, than sian, Turkish, Italian, and French. that the Indian Triad are infinitely Eight he had studied less perfect. removed from the holiness and ly, but understood them with the sublimity of the christian doctrine heip of a dictionary, the Spanish, of the Trinity." Again, “ I, Portugliese, German, Runick, He- who cannot help believing the dibrew, Bengali, Hindi, and Turk. vinity of the Messiah, am obliged ish. Twelve other languages he of course to believe the sanctity of had studied less perfectly, the Ti- the venerable books, (the prophbetian, Pali, Phalaoi, Deri, Rus- ets) to which that person refers, sian, Syriack, Ethiopick, Coptick, as genuine." His biographer Welsh, Swedish, Dutch, Chinese. says, “ It would be injustice to
But his religion was the ex- his memory to pass over, without cellence of his character ; he was particular notice, the sensible and a Christian. Speaking of the dignified rebuke, with which he prophecies of scripture, he says, repelled the rude attack of Musis 'T'he unstrained application of selman bigotry on the divinity of them to events, long subsequent our Saviour. Neither was his reto their publication, is a solid ligion merely cold speculation ; ground of belief, that they were it warmed his heart and produced genuine compositions, and con- a devout, a prayerful life. Sev. sequently inspired." Again, speak eral of the prayers, which he ing of the first eleven chapters of wrote for himself, are recorded in Genesis, he says, “ We see the these memoirs of his life. From truth of them confirmed by ante. his private memoranda it appears,