Page images

consecration of spirit to the fulfilling of his life-work, which made his dress and diet appear to him as things of very

little consequence.

Only real consecration to the highest duties of life can save us from falling into evil habits of self-indulgence.

John sealed his work with his blood. He was, at last, freed from the prison of Herod (though, perhaps, not in the way which he at first expected) by the power of Christ. It may be that the gentle reproof which Christ sent to him, “ Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me,” opened before his soul new regions of faith, and more spiritual hopes; and that he calmly waited for the release of death. He had not long to wait. The malice of Herodias could not be satiated without his blood. To please her fiendish spite, he must die. But death to him was a most blissful gain. His work was done. He was ready for his reward. And the headsman's axe only opened to his brave soul the gates of paradise.


The Pulpit.

OUTLINES OF WESLEY'S SERMONS. Many editions of Mr. Wesley's sermons have been published, and one of them at a price within so easy a purchase as to bring it within reach of persons who can spare only a few pence at a time, or a small sum at most, for books. It is to be presumed, therefore, that many local preachers possess that treasure of Christian and Methodistical theology. As time wears on, however, young men reared in Methodism, rise up in perpetual succession, to exercise the preaching function, without having had the opportunity to study the theology and the sermons that distinguish their own church, except by sitting under the ministry of some of its travelling preachers. In all probability there are among the readers of our own Magazine, many young men of this class, as well as other persons, who do not possess and have not read Wesley's Sermons. For the benefit of such, we propose to give in these pages a series of outlines of those valuable compositions. Of course they cannot be a substitute for the originals ; whose point, pungency, and electric touches cannot be transferred to


sketches or summaries. They may, however, stimulate thought, suggest topics of discourse, and render some service in the initiation of untrained or defectively trained minds, into the orderly and methodical treatment of both texts and topics.

Our intention is not to present mere skeletons, but something more, to our readers. Skeletons have their value, but are not of equal value with outlines. In the study of animals, the structure and connection of the bones are indispensable; but the distribution of the tissues and vessels, and their inter-dependence and functions, constitute a study of incomparably greater importance. So, in the study of sermons, valuable as is the


correct and natural arrangement of the leading thoughts, it is in the outrising thoughts that we meet with life and energy. To get the full benefit of the study, the whole composition must be before us; but lacking that, a carefully drawn outline is worthy of acceptance. The following is pre

. sented as a sample of what we propose to give, if permitted to follow out the project.



“By grace are ye saved, through faith.”—Eph. ii. 8. 1. All the blessings which God hath bestowed upon man, are of his mere grace, bounty, or favour; .

man having no claim to the least of his mercies.

2. Wherewithal shall a sinful ran atone for the least of his sins ? Having nothing, neither righteousness nor works, to plead, his mouth is utterly stopped before God.

3. If, then, sinful men find favour with God, it is “ grace upon grace !”

That we fall not short of the grace of God, it concerns us carefully to inquire :

I. What faith it is through which we are saved.
II. What is the salvation which is through faith.
III. How we may answer some objections.
I. What faith is it through which we are saved ?
1. It is not barely the faith of a heathen.

2. Nor is it the faith of a devil, though this goes much farther than that of a heathen.

3. It is not barely that which the Apostles themselves had while Christ was yet upon earth.

4. What faith is it then through which we are saved ?

(1.) In general it is a faith in Christ, and in God through Christ. It is not barely a speculative, rational thing ; but also a disposition of the heart.

(2.) It is a full reliance on the blood of Christ; a trust in the merits of his life, death, and resurrection ; a recumbency upon him as our atonement and our life, as given for us, and living in us; and in consequence hereof, a closing with him, and cleaving to him, as our “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption," or, in one word, our salvation.

II. What is the salvation which is through this faith?
1. Whatever else it imply, it is a present salvation.
2. Ye are saved (to comprise all in one word) from sin.
(1.) From the guilt of past sin.

(2.) From servile fear; from that fear which hath torment; from fear of the wrath of God.

(3.) From the fear, though not from the possibility, of falling away



[ocr errors]

from grace.

It so

[ocr errors]

Buffon says:

[ocr errors]

strength; but to a certainty bring on part of the sentence was pronounced premature weariness and fatigue, with considerable emphasis. with more

inclination to sleep. happened that the lady, suspecting Spirits have the same effects in a the subject of consultation to be hergreater degree, and cause a greater self, was concealed in an adjoining consumption of pure air. In a warm room, and overheard every word. season or climate, the best articles to

The words of the physician strongly use under severe corporeal hardships, affected her; her pride was wounded, are the acid fruits, such as the lemon and her resentment roused to the and orange, apple, &c.; or in lieu of highest pitch imaginable. In the them, vinegar and water, as practised whirlwind of passion the chain of by the Roman soldiers. In winter,

habit was broken in an instant; feplain diet, with a due admixture of male delicacy resumed its ascendency animal food, and moderate exercise,

over her actions; and from that moare the sure security of preserving

ment she abjured the intoxicating warmth of body. Spirituous liquors,

charm. I am sorry to add, my honest though generally used, give but a

friend was never after beheld with temporary glow, and in the end render complaisance by the fair convert, the effects of cold more speedily though he had proved to be her best hurtful.”

benefactor.” Let us listen once more to this

How to sober a drunken husband : temperance advocate of seventy years ago. The most stringent teetotaller Among the savages in the Isthmus of the present day could not say more.

of America, the women throw their “ As far as my experience of man

drunk husbands into the rivers, in kind enables me to decide, I must give

order the more speedily to remove the it as my opinion, that there is no effects of intoxication. safety in trusting the habitual ine- • This practice among these savages briate with any limited portion of was probably tried at first as a punishliquor. Wherever I have known the ment; but having observed its good drunkard effectually reformed, he has effects, it was continued as a remedy. at once abandoned his potations. The custom of ducking a drunken That dangerous degree of debility husband, common enough in different which has been said to follow the parts of this island, had most likely a subtraction of vinous stimulus, I have similar origin. It is much to be lanever met with, however universal mented that our fair country-women the cry has been in its favour; it is do not exercise their privilege much the war-whoop of alarmists; the idle oftener.” cant of arch theorists."

It is sad, sad, sad, that the fine intelThe following anecdote of how a lect of man should be clouded by drink. lady was cured of her inebriety is That the body which is designed to very striking :

be the temple of the Holy Ghost, "A friend of mine, an eminent should be abused, and the term of its physician in the north, was consulted existence shortened by the intoxiby a gentleman on the subject of cor- cating cup. To every one in danger recting an unfortunate attachment to I would say, Abstain! To those who the bottle, in the wife of his bosom. are in no danger, Oh, my brother, They formally sat down to deliberate, “Drink no wine while the world and the doctor listened with much standeth, if it maketh thy brother to patience to all the ways and means

offend.” that had been devised by the distressed and affectionate husband to

Miscellaneous. reclaim his cara sposa. So much had been done, and so many expedients tried in vain, that the physician de

WEALTH AND PIETY: A CONTRAST. clared nothing further could be at- BECKFORD OF FONTHILL, AND JAY tempted, but to place a hogshead of brandy before her, and let her drink The late Rev. William Jay, whose till she gave up the ghost! The last Autobiography and Reminiscences'




issued from the press under the edi. proprietor, designer, and builder of torial supervision of two venerable the splendid Fonthill Abbey, which ministers of the gospel, the Rev. J. A. cost in its erection £273,000, and the James of Birmingham, and the Rev. pictures, library, and furniture of Dr. Redford of Worcester, was the which were valued at more than a son of a stonemason, and apprenticed million. He was the son of the to his father, with a view to his fol- famous Beckford, twice Lord Mayor lowing the same occupation. Young of London, who reproved King George Jay and his father worked at the the Third on his throne, when he Abbey of Fonthill, in the designing, insulted a deputation of the citizens. erecting, and furnishing of which, Mr. Beckford, the son, who was Mr. Beckford, its proprietor, lavished placed, at his father's death, under an enormous expenditure. It was at the care of the first Earl of Chatham, this period, whilst yet a lad, that Jay became an accomplished man and heard the “glad tidings of great joy, distinguished author. His gorgeous which reached his heart, effected his tale, Vathek,' was written in French conversion, brought him under the when he was barely twenty-two, at notice of the late Rev. Cornelius one sitting of three days and two Winter, led to his early engagement nights. Byron said of it, that even in the great work of his preaching, Rasselas must bow before it.' He and to his settlement in Bath, in the wrote also 'Letters on Spain and bloom of manhood, as the pastor of a Italy,' Observations on Celebrated church, an office which he continued Painters,' &c. &c. He was univerfor the long period of sixty-three sally esteemed a man of exquisite years to sustain over the same people. taste and of keen discernment. His During that period he wrote and splendid fortune was spent in the published, as well as preached, much. gratification of his taste for the fine One of his works fell into the hands arts and literature. Over his mantelof Mr. Beckford, who wrote many piece, in his dining parlour, was a notes upon it, and who occasionally picture of St. Catherine, by Raffaelle, attended the ministry of its author. which cost him £3,000. One who

“This man's mind,” says Beckford, knew him well says, “I had many in these notes, “is no petty reservoir conversations with him upon the supplied him by laborious pumpings ; subject of religion, for he was rather it is a clear, transparent spring, fond of controversy. I should say flowing so freely as to impress the that he was an orthodox Catholic; idea of its being inexhaustible. In but, like many, professed a faith he many of these pages the stream of did not practise.' eloquence is so full, so rapid, that we He was famous for a most sumpare fairly borne down and laid pros- tuous .entertainment he gave to Adtrate at the feet of the preacher, miral Lord Nelson. But though he whose arguments in these moments was accounted in his day the richest appear as if they could not be contro- commoner in England, yet he susverted, and we must yield to them. tained, long before his death, imThe voice which calls us to look into mense losses of property, and the ourselves, and prepare for judgment, abbey was sold to Mr. Farquhar for is too piercing, too powerful, to be £330,000. The sale of its contents resisted; and we attempt, for worldly created an excitement throughout the and sensual considerations, to shut nation, and during its continuance of our ears in vain.”

thirty-three days, such was the influx Let us glance at the career of the of visitors, that not a lodging was to individual whose conscience pro- be had for many miles round. It is nounced this judgment upon a writer recorded that between seven and who had once been occupied in exe- eight thousand catalogues were sold cuting works for the gratification of at a guinea each. the wealthy man's taste. We take it * After this calamity, Mr. Beckford as we find it, from the volume before retired to Bath, where he ended hi

days, at very nearly the same age as “ William Beckford, Esq., was the Mr. Jay, and where, probably, he



by placing us in possession of a power evils; for depend upon it, he is the that will win the children's hearts, best instructor, who so mingles illusand make enduring impressions. trations with his lessons, that atten

Few young minds have much depth. tion is riveted, and the heart is Their comprehension is necessarily impressed.

H. H. limited; hence the need of assisting their understandings. Thomas Fuller

Temperance. has said, “ Arguments are the pillars of truth, illustrations are the windows DR. TROTTER shows the ill effects of to let in light.” Are not illustrations immoderate drinking in retarding the very often to the truth, just what the

healing of wounds; but in order to set bow is to the arrow ?

How power

forth the horrors of drinking, several fully the truth strikes into the dullest

cases of the combustion of the body of minds and hardest of hearts by this through it are adduced. He says :means! Eternity alone will reveal “But the most interesting part of all the good that has been thus accom- this doctrine, is the combustion of the plished; and some teachers will then

human body, produced by the long and wish they had been wiser in their day immoderate use of spirituous liquors. and generation.

Such cases are on record; and a What Spurgeon said of sermons collection of them, with remarks, is may well be said of Sunday school to be fonnd in the Journal de Phylessons. “Sermons without metaphors sique, year 8, by Pierre Aime Lair. are dark vaults, in which men must I subjoin a copy of that memoir, grope after the jewels of truth, with taken from the Philosophical Magalittle hope of finding them. A judicious zine, vol. vi. p. 132, by Mr. Alexander use of comparisons will make a dis- Tilloch. It is in vain to request course captivating to the careless, in- implicit faith to this narrative. The structive to the inquiring, suggestive testimony on which the whole cases to the thoughtful, and profitable to are given, seems nearly alike. But all."

in the present state of chemistry, and Let us be diligent, then, in this what we know of the nature of spirirespect; choose illustrations tuous liquors, it does not appear bewisely: point them well, and we shall yond credibility, that from their long be imitating the “Great Teacher.” and excessive use, such a quantity of Martin Tupper has truthfully said, hydrogen may accumulate in the

body, as to sustain the combustion of “Principles and rules are repulsive to a child :

it.” But happy illustration winneth him;

There are twelve cases cited. As Aud parables shall charm his heart, Wbile doctrines seem dead mystery.".

specimens of the others, I will give

two:Illustrations are easily remembered, “Vicq d'Azyr, in the Encycloand will often recall lessons other- pedie Methodique, under the head wise forgotten. They are helps to Pathologic Anatomy of Man, relates : memory, which none of us should A woman about fifty years of age, despise. Books are better understood who indulged to excess in spirituous from the artist's sketches; and lessons liquors, and got drunk every day bewill be more profitable for being illus- fore she went to bed, was found en. trated. It is our duty to use all the tirely burnt and reduced to ashes. means we can to impress the truth we Some of the osseous parts only were teach; and while we do that which is left, but the furniture of the apartment right, God will surely make us more had suffered very little damage. successful.

Vicq d’Azyr, instead of disbelieving I know there are some teachers, this phenomenon, adds, that there have who while away a whole lesson time been many other instances of the like telling anecdotes, the sole drift being kind. only to amuse; but this is an evil “ We find also a circumstance of equally as great as refusing to tell an this kind in a work entitled, Acta anecdote when it would serve a pur- Medica et Philosophica Hafniensia ; pose. Let us guard against both and in the work of Henry Bohanser,



« PreviousContinue »