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The Hope of Israel; an Exposition in a Course of Advent Sermons. By the
Rev. H. GUDLESTONE. Loudon: J. Nisbet & Co. 1812. Let the author of this volume change and simplify his style; let him abjure the ambitious, unnatural mode of writing he has adopted, and we promise him more readers than, we fear, he is likely to have with bis present style. We like his book. It contains many excellent expositions of scripture, and many useful biots, though it is by no means so textual or so consecutive as we should have wished. It is, bowever, worthy of attention and study.
Statement of the Scriptural Argument against Patronuge. By William
WILSON, Minister of Carmylie. Edinburgh: J. Johnstone. 1842. We recommend Mr Wilson's very seasonable and excellent pamphlet to all who take an interest in the monotonous question which it discusses; and to those also who have not yet been brought to take an interest in the question itself, apart from its present consequences and workings, that they may learn to condemn and repudiate the system under whatever workings and with whatever consequences.
Essays for Sabbath Reading. By J. GREAVES. London: Ward & Co. 1840.
We plead guilty to most undue and unmerited delay in noticing this volame. It is much above the ordinary and average cast of such works. It is spiritual in its tone, and forcible as well as clear in its style. We may not accord with some of its expressions, or some of its expositions, yet we would not on that account withbold from it our commendation. There is, besides, a fresbness and originality about it which one does not always meet with in the treatment of subjects wbich, from their very familiarity, too often lose their edge and interest. We were much gratitied with its perusal; and in putting it in the hands of our readers, we have little doubt that they will experience something of the saine satisfaction.
The Exclusive Claims of Puseyite Episcopalians to the Christian Ministry
Indefensible : with an Inquiry into the Divine Right of Episcopacy, and the Apostolic Succession; and a Series of Letters to the Rev. Dr Pusey. By Jonn Brown, D.D., Minister of Langton, Berwickshire. Edinburgh : Bell & Bradfute. 1812.
It is impossible for us to do any thing more at present than merely call our rearers' attention to the above important work,-important in itself, and important in the present circumstances both of our own and our sister church. We trust in our next Number to be able to take up both the volume and the subject more at length, as both the one and the other unquestionably deserve.
A Body of Divinity treated according to the Order of the Dispensations.
By the Very Reverend Daniel DEWAR, D.D., LL.D. Glasgow and Edinburgh: A. Fullarton & Co. 1841.
At a time when the varieties of popular reading are so multiplied that the popular taste determines the size, the quality, and the elaborateness of our mental products, so that all our current authorship, not designed for a higher level, may be viewed as specimens of what authors are able for, modified, restrained, and lowered by their knowledge of what will take, and so that literature will rise in value just at as fast a rate as it can raise the demand and appreciation for itself, people writing not for immortality, or to be understood a century hence, but for to-morrow or next week; at a time when, in competition with newspapers and dashing narratives of the day, the substantial religious reading which formed the intellectual fare of our forefathers, stands but a poor chance, except on Sundays; at a time too, when nine-tenths of our students of theology use systems, not as staple reading, but for reference and consultation, insomuch that a few among them would start a debate as to the precise use, position, and proportion of systematic theology, upon which, if all were to vote, and to vote by their conduct, a new and somewhat startling statement would come out; at such a time the book at the head of this notice is to be welcomed, both as belonging to the class mentioned, and on account of the sanction given to it by the high name, character, and status of its author. It is evidently intended to be a family book, and in this view it appears to supply a desideratum, containing as it does, in one compendious volume of valuable and admirably arranged matter, an alle exposition of Christian doctrine, a succinct history of the Bible, a short biography, and an excellent general commentary on the books of Scripture, and promising to be emiuently useful for the purposes of practical piety. As such, we would recommend it, if the recommendation be at all necessary, directly to all, and also to those who have it in their power to recommend it in the quarters for which it was designed.
Additional Remarks on the proposed alteration of the Scottish Poor Laws,
and of the administration thereof. By David MOSYPENNY, Esq. of Pitmilly, formerly one of the Senators of ihe College of Justice. Edinburgh: Whyte & Co. 1841.
This pamphlet, by one of our ablest and best known writers iu defence of the present system of relief for the poor in Scotland, deserves the attentive perusal of all who interest themselves in a question which is every day growing in importance. Notwithstanding some intricacy, and perhaps uncouthness of arrangement, which few writings on the subject want, and which, indeed, is almost unavoidable in the treatment of a question so overloaded with details, statistical reports, arguments, and objections, that a writer on it is forced to choose between the alternative-of traversing the whole at the sacrifice of order and impression, or of being charged with generality and ignorance, or contempt of facts, because, for the sake of clearness, he expresses them briefly, either by select facts, as representatives of the rest, or in the principles they contain. The highest praise is due to Mr Monypenny's pamphlet, whether we estimate its value by how much it teaches, or by how much it suggests. It unites an intimate knowledge of the practical working of both systems, with large views of the question of pauperism in its social bearings. In this latter respect it contrasts with the meagreness of the views of the two Alisons. The only claim that many arguments on this, as on many other controverted questions have to an answer is, that they are common and current; and that it is necessary for the sake of the popular success of a cause to stop the circu. lation of common and current arguments, because any argument will find people to tell upon, and so will go some way to increase the neutrals, or to swell the number of voters and criers on the other side. Every argument does not deserve, but every argument does demand an answer. To gain over a majority out of those who have their opinions still to dispose of, and the multitude of whom are to be looked after because they carry questions whe
ther they understand them or not, a partizan must meet the most transparent objections against bis side with as distinct and memorable an answer as he can tind, though the occupation cost him the pain of a sense that he is humiliating himself by a descent--that he is over-doing and over arguing his point-that he is using a sledge-hammer to break eggs. As an instance, we might mention Dr Alison's catch, that the voluntary system relieves destitution by making the poor support the poor. As to the weight of such a phrase in argument-why intuition decides that. Yet it would be good policy to get up a few more catches of the same kind for constant use, seeing that they are easily remembered, sound strong, and puzzle opponents to find an answer for them, because the more intuitively absurd a thing is, the more difficult it is to show wberein the absurdity of it lies. In such cases we must either labour an answer so much that it loses force, or wait for some lucky moment when our invention in a work. ing humour may throw off as smart a counter-catch. In the pamphlet of Mr Monypenny, besides other excellent matter, the reader will find a satisfactory answer to all the arguments of Dr Alison; and in accomplishing this task, we conceive that be has rendered a service to the views of wbich he is so distin guished an advocate, and to the real interests of the Scottish people.
African Light thrown on a Selection of Scripture Texts. By the Rev. Joun
CAMPBELL., late Minister of Kingslaud Chapel, London; Author of Travels in Africa, &c. Second edition, with a Biographical Sketch of the Author. Edinburgh. Jolin Jobstone. 1842. Pp. 228.
The author of this delightful little volume is well known, and his writings very justly appreciated. Till upwards of thirty years of age, Mr Campbell was busiiy engaged as a bardware merchant in Edinburgh. Besides attending to his business, he visited the poor, the sick, and dying-relieved the destitute -preached in the neighbouring villages_distributed tracts--taught and superintended Sabbath schools—wrote books for the young-and, at the same time, carried on an extensive correspondence with the leading men of the day. His exertions were indeed indefatigable. After studying for some time under the Rev. Mr Ewing of Glasgow, he, in 1805, became minister of Kingsland chapel, London, and remained so till his death, which took place ou 4th April 1840, at the age of 74. In 1812, the London Missionary Society resolved to send out a representative to inspect their missions in South Africa, and Mr Campbell was chosen to discharge that responsible office, and to make such arrangements as might be deemed most prudent. It was while travelling in that country, that he noted down the incidents which tended to illustrate particular passages of Scripture, and which is now before us. lu seud. ing the MS. to the Rev. Mr Innes, he says very characteristically, “ The MS. is sent for your inspection. It has cost me a deal of labour; but so did the pyramids of Egypt, and the tower of Babel: and what was the use of them after they were linished ? Should you think that, with a little cuiling, they might suit the Scotch taste, you are at perfect liberty to prune as you please, for I had not taste in view while writing; but, as far as I was able, to throw light on some passages of Scripture.” We feel that nothing we can say would add to the justly earned praise of Mr Campbell, which is already in all the churches. We trust the “ African Light” will have a wide circulation. UpWards of 100 passages are explained, and that our readers may have some idea how the explanations are made, we subjoin two, which we take at randum, carnestly recommending a perusal of the whole volume.
"Tue Watchman Bird. Watching thereunto with all perseverance, Eph. vi. 18. A bird in Africa, which I often saw, gives a fine exemplification of the conduct recommended in the above passage. It is well known by the
name of Watchman. It rises from the bushes to about sis or eight yards perpendicular height into the air, with much flapping of its wings, something resembling the rising of a lark. On reaching a certain height, it seems to rest in the air for about a quarter of a minute, looking round about as if examining whether all be safe. Seeing no enemy approaching, it descends direct down, with a chirp, as if informing its companions that all was safe. In the same manner it rises and descends almost every two or three minutes." P. 71.
“ All Willows Love Water. They shall spring up amoag the grass, as willows by the water courses.' Isaiah xliv. 4. In many parts of South Africa no trees are to be found but near rivers. The trees are of various kinds; the most plentiful was the lovely mimosa; but willows, when there were any, always stood in front of the others, on the very margin of the water, which was truly a river of life to them. Like those in Isaiah's days, they required much water-they could not prosper without it, therefore near it they were alone found;-a loud call, by a silent example, to Christians to live near the throne of grace, word of grace, and ordinances of grace, if they wish to grow in wisdom, knowledge, faith, and holiness.”—P. 133.
The Church in the House. London : J. Nisbet & Co. 18+2.
We most sincerely thank our excellent friend, Mr Hamilton of London, for these two most admirable tracts. They are written with much power and beauty, and are well fitted to serve the ends he has in view. We rejoice to see their thoroughly Christian, spiritual, presbyterian, national tone and priociples. Scotchmen in England should get themn, read them, re-read them, and circulate them among our refugees in the south.
The Practice of Piety, directing a Christian how to walk that he may please
God. By LEWIS BAYLEY, D.D. New edition with biographical preface by the Editor, Grace WEBSTER. London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co. 1842.
In some respects,-perhaps we might say, in many this is a most exceltent and useful work,-enriched with a suitable and well-written preface by the editor. At the same time there is more of the law than the gospel in it,more of Moses than of Christ. Not that the work is not evangelical in its principles; but these are so much bidden and overlaid, that it is apt to give one the same idea which the popish devotional works (such as Francis de Sales) are apt to do; viz. that a Christian is to work for salvation instead of working from it,-work that he may get pardon, instead of working because he has already got it. There is a tinge of gloom over the book,--and it has not so much of the free, fresh, joyful tone of one who has received the Spirit of adoption, and is walking with God as a happy and forgiven child.
The Oriental Christian Spectator. Vols. I. and II. Second series. 1840,
1841. Bombay: Published by E. A. Webster. Sold also by J. M. Richardson, Cornbill, London, and John Johnstone, Edinburgh.
This excellent periodical, published monthly at Bombay, will be interesting to readers at home. To those who watch over the progress of the truth in India, it conveys many important practical suggestions, as well as furnishes information on missionary topics not easily reached in any other way. Even its papers on matters of local detail, all bearing as they do on the cause of
Christ, engage the sympathy of every Christian reader. There are also, from time to time, original articles of much merit upon general subjects of Christiau trath. It is a work that deserves to be well encouraged.
Ebenezer; a Narrative of the Lord's Dealings with one of his Ancient
People. By J. G. Lazarus, Superintendant of the Liverpool Institution for Inquiring and Converted Jew's.' London: J. Nisbet & Co. 1841.
There is much that is interesting and valuable in this history of a converted Jew. The details of his privatious and sufferings, and how the Lord led him " through the wilderness in a solitary way,” are titted to excite the sympathy of the Christian reader. On one occasion, wben unjustly accused and bound, he relates, “ I attempted to tell a youny Jew, in Hebrew, the cause of my being bound; but as soon as I opened my mouth to speak, my keeper struck me on the back of my neck, and brought me almost to the ground. I burst out into tears, and the words of Jeremiab in his Lamentations, 5th chapter and 8th verse, came to mind, · Servants have ruled over us; there is none that doth deliver us out of their hands!””-P. 95. There is also a somewhat minote explanation of Jewish customs that gives vali:e to the work. We extract, as a specimen, a custom of the Russian Jews, (that we have not noticed elsewhere, as still kept up among the Jews). In p. :51 he tells us, that when the residence of bride and bridegroom happens to be far apart, an intermediate village is fixed on as a spot where the parties meet. The bride, with her party, always take care to arrive at the place of meeting first, to make preparation for the reception of the bridegroom and bis friends. A messenger is dispatched on horseback to go and look out for the bridegroom; and, on perceiving him approaching, be gallops back to announce the joyful tidings, calling out, • The bridegroom cometh! The whole village or town is in commotion. All the inhabitants come out and re-echo the shout from one to another, Behold! the bridegroom cometh! See Matt. xxv. 6. The young men fire their pistols for joy. The band of music go to meet and escort the bridegroom. On his near approach the bride's mother goes forth to meet him at ibe door, bearing the wedding-cake, called a twist-cake,' and wine: and thus meets him with bread and wine. This custom may remind you of Melchizedec meeting Abraham with bread and wine; and of our Saviour's instituting bread and wine as the symbols and memorials of His union and love to his church, which is called the bride.""