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remarks that “it is useless to deny the fact that there is danger from without her walls; that there is danger within our Church.” (P. 4.)
In p. 5 he affirms, that “ we surely have no just cause to complain of a lack of either means or opportunity to fulfil our work." It is indeed admitted, that, “in some instances, from the rapid increase of population, there is not room for all who would join in our services." It must surely, on the other hand, be conceded, that the Church is very far from possessing meaus commensurate with the implied obligations of a religious establishment, namely, a provision for the religious instruction and worship of the whole of our population. We might easily fill page after page with the discouragements under which the Church of England goes to her work and labour of love.
As there is evidently a sincerity in the spirit of Mr. Osborne, we will only desire, that all those of his brethren who shall peruse his discourse, may seriously apply to themselves the hints which he throws out. We feel with him, that the clerical character should be always distinguishable from the secular. We feel with him, that earnestness in our calling is too important to be laid aside, or drowned, through the fear of fanaticism. We feel with him, that the false liberalism of this age is not the spirit of christian unity, or compatible with christian truth.
The writer, in his strictures upon the “Oxford Tract Divinity," asserts of " the authors and promoters of it," that “they abuse the faith of the Romanist, while they are gradually adopting the forms of his religion." Little as we are inclined to rank our selves amongst the implicit followers of that class of writers, or of any other school, we cannot but think that this attack is unadvisedly made. To us they appear to err in the contrary extreme. The 71st Number of the Tracts for the Times" is, to a considerable extent, rather a palliation of Romish peculiarities than an abusing of Romish dogmas.
An Earnest Protest against the fur
ther Circulation of certain Principles contained in the Pamphlet of the Hon. and Rev. BAPTIST W. NOEL, M.A. entitled “ The Unity of the Church," &c. Especially addressed to its Author By CLERICUS SURRIENSIS. London: Seeleys. 1837.
12mo. Pp. 42. A Defence of a Tract entitled, “ The
Unity of the Church,” being a Let-
Seeleys. 1837. 12mo. Pp. 32. In noticing Mr. Noel's “Unity of the Church,” we confined ourselves to the mere exposure of his grand mistake in confounding christian unity with christian love ; as it is manifestly impossible for us, except upon particular occasions, to enter very minutely into the merits or demerits of every ephemeral pamphlet. The exertions, however, which have been made, especially by the Dissenters, to distribute the tract, has given it a more than ordinary importance; and we are truly rejoiced that its sophisms and false liberality have been pointed out at length by Clericus Surriensis. Mr. Noel's defence appears to be made up of childish recrimination on one hand, and a vain endeavour on the other, to explain away the principles which are justly attributed to him in the “ Earnest Protest.” A weaker attempt at a reply has seldom been put forth; and the little piece of egotism at the end, is a very poor excuse for what the author evidently feels to be a laine vindication. We leave the dispute between the two combatants; merely hinting to Clericus, that he would do well to pay more attention to his punctuation, and, indeed, to the general construction of his periods. In several instances we have found ourselves puzzled in the intricacies of a sentence, which it required some consideration to unravel. A rejoinder is, we conceive, an improbable affair; for Mr. Noel's second pamphlet has gone very far to demolish his first.
Think! London: Mitchell. 1838.
32mo. Pp. 48. If the maxim yvwi cavTÒV was worthy of a sage, the word Think ! conveys a precept of like importance to the Christian. To think of those things in which “there is any virtue and any praise," is the readiest means of leading to the practice of them; and this unpretending little book, consisting of prayers and meditations, with some well-selected pieces of sacred poetry, is intended to supply some useful subjects of thought, and the best aids for thinking aright. “Those who have no time to THINK," suggests the writer, “must find a time to Die.”
into the precept contained in the text (Prov. xxij. 6), and the encouragement which it offers to secure obedience, readily presents itself; but the accuracy with which the promise is brought within its just limitations, and the preacher's just appreciation of what is meant by a religious education, merit the most serious attention, not only as applied to the objects of the National Society, but as applicable to the duties of every christian parent. We would willingly quote The remarks on this latter point, which occur at pp. 14, &c.; but it would be an injustice to the sermon to offer any excuse for the neglect of its entire perusal.
Pluralism and Non-residence unneces
sary, injurious, and indefensible; and their entire Prohibition practical and indispensable to the Security, Extension, and Efficiency of the National Church ; with Statistical
Tables, founded on public Documents. By a CLERGYMAN. London: Nisbet and Hamilton, 1838.
8vo. Pp. 23. However plausible in appearance, the entire abolition of pluralities and non-residence is, we imagine, neither possible nor desirable. Let their abuses be swept away thoroughly; but there are many cogent reasons, which we bave frequently stated, for vesting in the diocesan a limited discretionary power with regard to their use. The pamphlet before us is valuable for its statistical details; nor is the argument founded upon them without weight, provided it were restricted to a legitimate reformation, and not directed to the total extermination of a system, which certainly is not absolutely ' indefensible."
The Persecuting Principles and Cor
rupt Practices of the Church of Rome. Two Sermons, preached in the Parish Church of Ashby-de-laZouch, on Sunday, November 5, 1837. By T. FELL, M.A. Curate. Asbby: Hextall. London: Riving
tons. 1837. 8vo. Pp. 43. ALTHOUGH the representative of her Majesty in Ireland did not hesitate to sanction at least, if not to command, the omission of the national service of the thanksgiving to Almighty God in the Chapel Royal, for that signal deliverance from Papal violence, to which, perhaps, his young mistress may be indebted for the continuance of the Protestant succession, and consequently for her crown; we are proud and happy in the belief that the solemnit lemnity was duly observed in less elevated stations, and that the opportunity was seized in a multitude of instances, for awakening the people of England to a sense of the blessings which they enjoy by the expulsion of Papal tyranny and Papal perfidy, from the land of their fathers. The sermons before us were called forth by that occasion; and their requested publication is a proof that the importance of their object was sensibly felt, and that there is not that deep and deadly apathy to the Protestant cause which is generally supposed to exist. They are good plain discourses, admirably adapted to the congregation of a
Religious Education: A Sermon,
preached at Camden Chapel, Camberwell, on Sunday, January 28, 1838, after the reading of the Queen's Letter on behalf of the National Society. By HENRY MELVILL, B.D. London: Rivingtons. 1838. 8vo.
Pp. 36. This sermon is in Mr. Melvill's best manner. The division of the subject
country town; and they state the question between Protestants and Romanists broadly, fairly, and powerfully. The former is devoted to the persecuting spirit of Popery, while it illustrates papal statutes and decrees, and proves them to be unchanged and unchangeable; and the latter, after adverting to the corruptions of the Romish Church in general, selects two of them for more especial consideration. These are the prevention of the free use of the Bible, and the denial of the doctrine of justification by faiib. In conclusion, the preacher offers some forcible remarks on the benefits derived to the poor, from being enabled to join in prayers which they can understand, instead of bowing in dumb ignorance to an image of the Virgin.
standing of that portion of our English bistory to which it refers. Mr. Collen has evidently taken great pains to make the work as perfect as possible, nor do we know any one to whose hands we should have assigned the elucidation of this portion of bistory with better bope of success than those of the author before us: it is with pleasure, therefore, that we recommend the volume to the notice of our readers.
Cuvres de Claude Arvisenet. 15 vols.
32mo. Bruxelles. 1837. This is a remarkably neat little Belgian pocket edition of the works of Arvisenet, at half-a-franc per volume. The writings of this author are not, we believe, much known in England ; and as they are chiefly designed for the young, it is as well that they are not; for, although their mild and amiable spirit bespeaks a true disciple of Christ, yet the Romish errors are occasionally upheld, and ber peculiar tenets tacitly, if not pointedly, recognised. Of course, we have no right or intention to object to this in a member of the Papal communion; whereas, on the other hand, with minds firinly fixed and settled against the admission of what we believe to be corrupt, we cannot withhold praise where it is due to literary merit, and to a sincere endeavour to promote the cause of religious truth. There is much, very much, in all of Arvisenet's volumes, which, if separated from the doctrines of an apostate church, must be read with advantage by Christians of every denomination.
The Prose Works of the Right Rev.
Father in God, T'homas Ken, D.D. sometime Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells. To which are added (qu. prefixed ?) some of his Letters (never before published), and a short Account of his Life by William Hawkins, Esq. his Éxecutor. The whole collected by James Thomas ROUND, B.D. Rector of St. Runwald's and St. Nicholas, Colchester, and late Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. London : Rivingtons. 1838. 8vo.
Pp. xii. 494. UNDER any circumstances we are obliged to Mr. Round for his editorial labours in collecting the scattered works of Bishop Ken; and the sound practical piety which he has thus embodied, will be received as a treasure of great price by the sincere and contemplative Christian. The brief account of the Prelate's life might with advantage have given place to a more satisfactory memoir from the able pen of Mr. Round himself, with such of the letters as are really important, introduced in their proper connexion. The pieces contained in the volume are three Sernions; an Exposition of the Church Catechism; Directions for Prayer; a Manual of Prayer for the use of the Winchester Scholars, and all other devout Christians, with the three celebrated Hymns for Morning, Evening, and Midnight, annexed; Prayers for the use of all persons who come to the Baths for cure; two Pastoral Letters ; and Articles of Visitation and Inquiry, addressed to the Clergy, Churchwardens, and Sidesmen of bis Diocese. The volume will be read with interest by all who venerate good Bishop Ken.
Britannia Saxonica. By G.W.COLLEN.
London: Pickering. 4to. Pp. 55. We consider this book as indispensably necessary to the clear under
VOL. XX. NO. V.
FOR THE ASCENSION.
Psalm LxvII. 18. Thou hast ascended on high; thou hast led captivily captive ; thou
received gifts for men : yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them. The Scriptures inform us that our Saviour, after his resurrection from the dead, remained upon the earth forty days, “ speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” This length of time was necessary in order to convince every one of the reality of his resurrection, by giving them every proof of it which could be given. The belief in the resurrection was first to be established, that a belief in the ascension might follow. If he had not risen from the dead, he could not have ascended up alive into heaven. Let us follow him thither, brethren, in our meditations this day ; let our thoughts rise above this mortal scene, while we contemplate the ascension of our exalted Saviour, and its consequences as they affect our souls. “He hath ascended on high; he hath led captivity captive; he received gifts for men : yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.” 1st. I shall consider in these words the person addressed, and the act supposed—“ Thou hast ascended on high.” 2dly. The circumstance involved in it—"Thou hast led captivity captive.” 3dly. The fruits and consequences " Thou hast received gifts for men : yea, for the rebel. lious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them."
1. First, then, as to the person addressed, and the act supposed. If we look back through the whole antecedent part of the Psalm in which our text occurs, we shall perceive that God is peculiarly and immediately the object of invocation. We may understand this the better by reverting to the occasion of its being composed—the removal of the ark of God from the house of Obededom the Gittite, to the Mount Sion. It is supposed to be a laudatory hymn, sung by the Priests and Levites on that occasion, as they advanced in procession towards the Mount of God. When the ark had at length ascended, and been deposited in the place assigned for its reception, this part of the Psalm is supposed to have commenced, in which the complete triumph of God, and in him of David over all his enemies, is celebrated in the words of my text-" Thou hast ascended on high; thou hast led captivity captive; thou received gifts for men : yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.” Evidently, then, in the primary sense of the words, the Almighty God, who "giveth victory unto kings,” was the person addressed. The God and King of Israel had in Spirit ascended the hill of Sion, because the holy ark, the symbol of his presence among them, had reached the same triumphant destination. Therefore the king, the priests, and the minstrels of Israel congratulated, as it were, their divine Ruler upon his glorious triumph ; “Thou hast ascended on high ; thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts for men : yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.” But the Apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, has given a more extended and mysterious meaning to the words in question. He applies them in this secondary sense to the victorious ascension of the God of our salvation, even our divine Redeemer, into heaven; who in his ascension most signally “overcame death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life.” “But unto every one of us,” says he, " is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." We may therefore conclude, that though the God of Israel is here originally addressed, yet in him figuratively and prophetically is addressed that second person of the Trinity, the Incarnate Word, who in the fulness of time was to be made in the “likeness of men, to become obedient to death, even the death of the cross, but afterwards to be given a name which would be above every name." The act supposed in the first instance, was evidently the ascent and elevation of the material ark from the house of Obededom, which was, when compared with the mount to which it was raised, as it were in “ the lower parts of the earth.” The act secondarily and more darkly intimated was, doubtless, the bodily removal of our blessed Saviour from this lower world to the spiritual Zion, even the heavenly Jerusalem. The words, “ on high," must be exclusively interpreted of the Messiah, who would ascend to that high place whither no other conqueror had ever ascended. In the seventh Psalm the prophet prays that the Lord would "return on high ;" which in the Chaldean language is paraphrased, “ Return to the house of thy majesty.” And it is said in another Psalm, “ The Lord on high is mightier.” These expressions evidently shadow out that inconceivably exalted region, far above all heavens, where the Son of God, together with the Father and the Holy Ghost, had reigned from all eternity; but into which the Son of Man, as such, was now for the first time to enter.
II. Let us, in the second place, consider the circumstance involved in it: “Thou hast ascended on high; thou hast led captivity captive." The same figure of speech occurs in Judges v. 12, where Deborah and Barak are celebrating in song the glories of their victory. They invite and summon themselves, as it were, to join the triumphal pageant; “Awake, awake, Deborah, utter a song; arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam." Of course in both cases we are to understand by the words, “ leading captivity captive," the subjection of enemies, hitherto victorious, together with all the accompaniments of spoils, captives, and accumulated dominion. This was true in the case of Deborah, and of David. But as this passage may comprehend the achievements of a more glorious conqueror, and a completer and more effective conquest over mightier and more formidable enemies, the circumstance involved in this spiritual triumph is more interesting to us than the one alluded to in the triumphs of David. Thou our God and Saviour, in thy ascension into heaven, “ hast led captivity captive;" for “having spoiled principalities and powers, thou hast made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” From the Fall downwards, sin, Satan, and death, became the enemies of man; and he was incapable of struggling against them, without something more efficient