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ly, but firmly, to tell the Legislature and the nation at large, the duty that rulers and peoples owe to God, especially in things pertaining to religion ; and having thus taken our position on sacred ground, there to remain stedfast and immoveable, abounding in the work of the Lord, and enduring hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Then if we perish—but we cannot perish in the cause of Chirst, for even to die in such a cause is not to die—it is to gain the earlier immortality.' And though the present generation should not outlive the struggle, would it not be a most precious heritage for any standard-bearer of the Lord's host, to place with his dying hand that unfallen banner in the firm young grasp of a beloved son, with the parting prayer, and in the fervent hope, that his bright eyes might see it waving triumphant over the Redeemer's field of victory.
But we must refrain from prosecuting these topics, and the crowding thoughts to which they give rise ; and conclude by warmly recommending Mr Beattie's work to the attentive perusal of our readers. One suggestion we feel inclined to make, for the consideration of both author and publisher: If the work should not succeed in its present separate form so thoroughly as it deserves, we would advise them to add it to any reprint of Stevenson's History that may be published. The gap between Stevenson and Wódrow would thus be supplied, and complete continuity given to that very important portion of Scottish ecclesiastical history contained in these works. In the mean time, those who are already in possession of the two above named standard works, cannot do better than purchase Mr Beattie's History of the Church of Scotland during the Commonwealth,' on the accuracy of the statements, and soundness of the spirit of which, we venture to assert that they may confidently depend.
The Pastor's Assistant, Nos. I. and II. London: J. Nisbet & Co. 1842.
These are the first two numbers of a small periodical, (price sixpence), for the use of ministers. It consists of two parts : Ist, Suggestions for the pastor in his study; and, 2d, Suggestions for the pastor with his flock. It is conducted by a clergyman of the Church of England, and contains some things which apply to that church and its mioisters alone. At the same time there are many excellent remarks, principles, and suggestions of a general nature, which may be useful to others also. We extract one or two pages to illustrate the nature of the work, and also on account of their excellence :
“ The Pastor's Sabbath. It is better to wear out than to rust out,' is a proverb, not uncommonly applied to excuse the unregulated impulses of energetic minds. Both are bad; and, instead of calculating which is better of the two, it would be wise to consider the best mode of attaining to the full exercise of the healthy powers of both mind and body with which God has blessed us; so as neither to shorten the period of their legitimate use by overstretching them, nor to lose by unnecessary caution the opportunities afforded us.
“ These remarks are too often applicable to the incautious zeal with which young clergymen are apt to overtask their minds and bodies; and so to disable themselves from the full present use of either, and to prepare for themselves a speedy incapacity to use them at all. Young men sometimes feel a sort of contempt for the minute systematic arrangements which their more advanced brethren have been constrained by experience to make. But those will prove themselves the wisest who begin the soonest to adopt such a course of careful self-management, with respect to the Sabbath duties, as will enable them to make the best use of their powers, spiritual, mental, and physical, without overpassing the limits which God has assigned to them.
“Every pastor should remember, that besides having a flock of precious souls to care for, he is himself a precious soul; and that it may be said without a metaphor, he has this treasure in an earthen vessel. No man will be able long to minister effectually to the spiritual necessities of others, who does not in the first place provide for his own. A young man, heartily intent upon the great charge committed to him, finds so much occasion for his unceasing attention to his flock, that he may hardly allow himself time for personal religion. The Sabbath, which is so invaluable to others, becomes, in a certain sense, unsabbathized to him; it is the day of his hardest work, and most intense exertions for the good of others; and the very means by which his flock is blest may be said to deprive him of the blessing he imparts. This is often the secret that accounts for what may be called the staleness which sometimes characterizes the sermons of a minister, that were once fresh and unctuous:the vessel is not cleansed in the running water; it is perhaps but rinsed, now and then, from a cistern once filled, but getting dry.
“The remedy for this is to be found in the pastor's anticipating the Lord's day for the purpose of personal religion, and making Saturday his own soui's sabbath. His week's work, (including the making of his sermons), should close on Friday night If Saturday's sun call him to his knees in private, (not to say find him in that posture)--and if he carry on the work of selfexamination, humiliation, and the digesting of his personal portion of the bread of life, (that reading of the Scriptures which is not primarily intended to prepare for a sermon, but the object of which is to look into the perfect law of liberty as into a looking-glass, to discern his own discrepancies and unlightness before God), if this be his occupation during the forenoon, he will not be long in finding, that such an employment of these hours is more beneficial to the people to whom he ministers, than any other occupation, however pressing, to which he could devote them. He would find himself at mid-day unburthened from the weigbt of the week's infirmities and troubles; emptied of bimself, and humbled at the foot of the cross; with the remaining hours of the day at his disposal, for the very necessary purpose of gathering np the fragments of business and of thought which had been scattered on the floor of his mind during the bustle of the week's work: and thus of tidying up the temple of God, (whose temple we are), just as the good house-wife takes the same day for sweeping off the dust and cleansing the corners of her habitation --putting the house in order, to begin the new week with propriety. The clergyman who has settled with himself and his family that his Saturday is to be sacred to such purposes, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not,' is one who is likely to attain to the full exercise of the powers with which God may have gifted him. He will appear before the people on the Lord's day as Moses did when he came from the mount, marked with a light from that brightness, greater than of the sun, which had just departed from him; and he will realise the converse of the proverb, for, while watering his own soul, he will find that fertility results in the vineyard that he loves to water.” Pp. 37, 38.
"General Union for Private Prayer.—The following has been widely circulated in the form of a small tract; and there is reason to believe, that a coirsiderable number of persons habitually join in the proposed arrangement, since no less than twenty-four thousand copies have been called for by the public. It is suggested for consideration, whether a blessing miglit not be expected in those congregations where the arrangement should be adopted under the recommendation of the clergyman.
"While it is a plain and acknowledged duty to be earnest and frequent in prayer for the great general blessings promised to the church of Christ, it is to be feared that the infirmity of sincere Christians too often concurs with the engrossing nature of their personal necessities to produce much omission in this repect. This omission is equally confessed and regretted by a great number of persons, who, though they really desire to exercise the privilege of prayer for the wide-spreading mercies promised in the word of God, frequently find that much time passes without their acting out this desire in a manner which satisfies the conscience. It is obvious that vast results might be expected from a real and persevering combination amongst the whole body of spiritual Christians, for the purpose of pleading (individually and privately, but unitedly in one spirit) the promises of Christ to his church, in earnest supplication for their fulfilment; and it has been thought, that by the help of some systematic arrangement, much may be done towards the attainment of this object. When the mind is awakened to the conviction that a certain neglected duty ought to be done, arrangements should be made, to render the general duty more specially definite, and ensure its performance.
"It is this view of the subject which has produced the formation of The GENERAL UNION FOR Private Prayer,' which is a voluntary combination of Christians, for the purpose of appointing to each a definite distinct occasion to engage, once in each week, in private prayer, for those objects which must be interesting to the whole church of Christ, under the special encouragement which may legitimately be drawn from the assurance, that a considerable number of other Christians are also privately engaged in the same way, at the same time. To this end, the essential point which unites the members is an understanding, that on a given day each will, as far as in him lies, devote some portion of time (more or less, as circumstances may permit,) to private prayer upon appoiuted subjects, concerning which there is a general agreement
amongst Christians. As a distinct promise of this kind has sometimes been found to burden the conscience, when its fulfilment may have been prevented, the professed intention is not stated in the form of a promise certainly to perform a future act; but the formation of a present serious intention to join in the prayers of the Union is all that is required; and this has been found in practice to answer the purpose of exciting to punctual conformity, without ensparing the conscience into an uneasy and difficult bondage. The subjects for prayer are arranged under short heads, concerning each of which every member may enlarge privately, as much or as little as he may feel enabled and disposed; while unity of object on the main points being tbus obtained, each may consider himself warranted in pleading that promise of our Lord, “if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.' Matt. xviii. 19."
REGULATIONS FOR THE MEMBERS. “ 1. Each member of the Union forms a serious intention, by the help of God, to occupy some portion of time during the course of Saturday, in every week, in private prayer upon the subjects, the heads of which are arranged at the end of these Regulations, his circumstances and frame of mind permitting.
N.B.-The hour from seven to eight in the morning is suggested; but any member may adopt another, according to his circumstances.
“ 2. If any member be hindered from fulfilling this intention on the day appointed, the first proper opportunity afterwards may be taken for the purpose
, in order that the object be obtained some time in the course of the week: that is, before the return of the next Union Prayer-day.
HEADS FOR PRAYER, Agreed to be used by the Members of the General Union for Private Prayer.
“I. For an abundant gift of the Holy Spirit, and of His gracious influences. • II. For the purity and unity of the church of Christ.
“III. For Her Majesty the Queen, and all in authority under her; and for a blessing upon our country.
"IV. That God would raise up in great numbers fit persons to serve in the sacred ministry of His church.
“ V. That a blessing may accompany the ministrations of the word of God, in order that it may have free course, and be glorified.
"VI. For the propagation of the gospel amongst the heathen.
“VIII. For a special blessing upon all the members of the Union."Pp. 17-19.
*« The Pastor's Pocket-Book. - In the mind of a pastor intent on his great office, and having his heart set upon “ seeking for Christ's sheep," there will always be a succession of thoughts connected with his work, more or less useful-more or less important. As these arise, they will be driven out again by the multiplied occupations of a pastor's life; or one will push out another from the mind: and thus most of these thoughts, however valuable, would pass away and be forgotten, unless they be detained and stored up immediately, by being noted down in a little pocket-book, which every pastor would do well to keep for that purpose. Extracts from books which have been thus kept will be occasionally given in the Pastor's Assistant, such as the following.
“1. In all plans and arrangements for the ministry, when calculating their progress towards the desired end, never forget to make full allowance for the leeway of original sin—the 'infection of nature' that doth remain,' 'yea, in them that are regenerate.'
“ 2. Wheu I reprove a parishioner, there must be something in my manner which does not need words to convey the impression that it distresses me so to do. To say I am sorry, will not do. The feeling that I am pained at the necessity of giving him pain must be imparted irresistibly, and without expression. This is the counteracting influence which prevents the natural resistance of the corrupt beart from bursting forth. It is the water which keeps the heart from igniting under the unusual friction of reproof.
3. A soldier in battle, and a surgeon in an hospital, both wound a man; but the action of the one makes the man struggle; and that of the other makes him lie still to have his limb amputated. A pastor in reproving must never seem like a soldier, with a sword in his hand; but like a surgeon, who hides his knife, wbile he takes off the diseased limb.
4. Valess I can weep while I tell a sinner he will perish, I am not in a proper state to be the means of communicating to him such a truth.
5. In managing perverse minds, so as to bring them to reasonable results, I must consider, in the first place, bow they actually do feel; and then, in the second place, how they ought to feel. To order to ensure success with them, I must begin by placing myself in their actual state of feeling, and work onward from that towards the other. Many persons, with the best intentions, begin to deal with perverse miods from the position of what they ought to feel, and in the attitude of one who cannot stand by the side of the offender in bis present state of feeling. This revolts the mind, and turns perverseness into obstipacy,
6. The way to secure the beneficial effect upon another of a true interest which you feel in his welfare, is to manifest that interest in the detail of small matters. Nothing is too insignificant to be used as a mark of interest in anorber's good; but the less important apparently, the more affecting to the heart that it should have brought forth the manifestation of kind feeling."Pp. 19, 48.
History of the Great Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, in Germany,
Suitzerland, &c. By J. H. MERLE D'AUBIGNE. Vol. II. London: Ď. Walther, 1841.
We have formerly directed attention, at some length, to the two previous volumes of this poble work. Circumstances have hitherto prevented us from giving the same prominent and lengthened consideration to the present or third volume. And though we hope yet to be able to do greater justice to it than in a mere notice it is possible for us to do, still we could not allow another Number of our Review to go forth without calling attention to it in however brief a way, that neither the volume nor its glorious theme may even seem to be overlooked or undervalued.
Like its predecessors, it is deeply, intensely interesting; and, like them also, fall of precious truth and profound thought, and pregnant with manifold instruction. Its parrative is wild and romantic; its air is solemn; its tone is fervid ; its views of men, manners, events, and doctrines, at once truly philosophical and eminently Scriptural. We transcribe the concluding sentences of the Ninth Book as a sort of summary of the history of the period with which this volume is occupied. “An interior revolution was going on in the deep privacy of men's hearts; Christians were again learning to love and to forgive, to pray, suffer affliction, and, if need be, to die for the sake of that truth which yet held out no prospect of rest on this side heaven! The church was in a state of transition, - Christianity was bursting the shroud in wbich it had so long been veiled, and resuming its place in a world which had well. nigh forgotten its former power. He who made the earth now turned his hand,' and the gospel, emerging from eclipse, went forward, notwithstanding the repeated efforts of priests and kings, like the ocean which, when the hand of God presses on its bosom, rises in majestic calmness along its shores, so VOL. XV. NO. II.