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one we have stated. To use the words of the author's preface to the Sermon now before us;
“ If, by placing in a ready form before the perverted or the wavering mind a few unshaken and immoveable arguments, he should be happy enough in a single instance to reclaim the one, or confirm the other, he will think not merely this, but all the labours of his life abundantly overpaid. If he should wholly fail in these objects, he will not be disheartened, but rejoice in that consolation, which good motives never fail to administer to the disappointment, even of the most fondly-cherished projects.”
It is idle to console a man, actuated by such motives, and pursuing such objects, for the privatious of literary fame, he ste's and gains a much higher reward.
Still we consider ourselves perfectly consistent in the attention we pay them; first, because from their number, and the variety of places from which they issue, they help materially to form a correct estimate of the general state of literature and intellect among the clergy; and secondly, because it is our duty to bestov applause, however unsolicited, wherever we think it due, and to help to give circulation to whatever we think likely to be useful.
The Sermon before us stands in both these predicaments; it is a plaio, practical, unaffected, and vigorous discourse on a very important subject. Without assuming to conclude the disputed questions of which it treats, it gives us a very satisfactory summary of the main arguments, and clearest texts on each. These are the four great points of the operations of the Holy Spirit, Predestination, Regeneration, and Salvation by faith alone. From these, by no unnatural transition, the author enters into the too conmon practice of attendance by professed Churchmen on evening conventicles, the danger of which he combats with considerable energy, and concludes with a very impressive exhortation to a due reverence for, and an entire obedience to the Liturgy and ordinances of the Established Church.
We have designated the Sermon as plain and unaffected; the following is by no means a partially chosen specimen of the style in which it is written: we select it, because the refutation of that ten times refuted, yet ever-springing caluny of the church's ascribing absolute merit to works, cannot, wherever it is found, be too often pressed upon the attention of the world. The author las been ciling from the words of our Lord as to the necessil y of works.
" In these passages, and such as these, good works proceeding from faith are certainly declared to be the condition of everlasting Happiness, but not the cause; for, God forbid, that we should derogate from the value of the Redeemer's sacrifice. We ascribe na merit whatever to good works; after all that we can do, we are still unprofitable servants; the merits of Christ's atoning blood are the only cause of our being made capable of salvation : but to deny that the fruits of a living faith, exemplified in holy living are a necessary condition of our salvation, without which that salvation will not take place, were to shut our eyes against the full blaze of gospel truth, and to contradict the positive assertions not only, as we have seen, of our Lord himself, but of his chosen Apostles also: for St. Peter says “ The Father without respect of persons judgeth accord. ing to every man's work. St. John's words are • The books were opened, and the dead were judged out of the things written in the books according to their works. St. James declares · That a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.' And St. Paul gives to Titus, whom he had ordained a preacher of the Gospel, this solema direction (which, let it be observed, immediately follows the assertion that we are justified by grace)' • This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God, might be careful to maintain good works ; these things are good, and profitable unto man.' The doctrine of Calvin then, and the doctrine of the Gospel concerning faith and works are at variance; the former declares that a mere speculative faith, unproductive in its nature, is available to salvation : the latter that as “ without faith we cannot please God,' so without holi. ness no man shall see the Lord.'” P. 31. : From arguments and reasoning of this tendency the author very naturally passed to some reflections on those evening meetings, at which members of the Church are in most danger of listening to the doctrines against which they are directed. The habit of attending them is very common with the lower orders of tradesmen in country towns, of a sober and religious character. It is founded on a specious fallacy, and propped by arguments, which it requires temper and skill to detect and confule. The author has been very successful, and we particularly recoinmend this part of his Sermon to the attention of our readers.
His conclusion is at once manly and impressive, full of the couscious dignily of the high ground on which our Church stands, and full also of that anxious affection for those who hear bim, which will make every true minister of the Gospel inix the humblest tones of persuasion with the voice of argument and authority.
6 Here I should conclude, for I have already detained you too Jong; but before we part, suffer me to address a few words to those, who believing that road to heaven to be the best, which the Church points out, content themselves without seeking any other, and continue steadfastly in it. You, my brethren, will do well to remember, that you are in the number of those to whom many and important advantages have been vouchsafed, and therefore of you will a cor
respondinó responding exertion be required in the great task of working out your salvation; you belong to a Church, the ministers of which being the successors of the apostles, have the promise of Christ's assistance in the discharge of their duty-Lo, I am with you alway even unto the end of the world.' You have a liturgy, in which it would be difficult for prejudice itself to find a fault; you have the word, that word by which we must all hereafter stand or fall, constantly and faithfully preached; you have the Sacraments ordained by Christ himself, rightly and duly administered. These advantages you enjoy, thanks be to God, without interruption or impediment, and by your steady adherence, you shew yourselves to be sensible of their value. Take heed then, that you shew your sense of them also, in the most acceptable way to the Giver of them, in an holy and religious life; that having in an honest, and good heart heard the word, you keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. If your ministers receive their commission from Christ, receive the Gospel preached by them not as the word of man, but, as it is in truth, the word of God. If the public liturgy be drawn from and built on that sacred word, which was “ written for our learning," then let your conviction of this truth be shewn by a devout attention to that part of our service by offering up your prayers, and thanksgivings, not only with your lips, but with humble, and unfeigned hearts. If the doctrines you are called upon to believe, and the precepts you are required to obey, be such as have Scripture for their authority, let your faith in the one, and your obedience in the other be firm, manly, and persevering. Lastly, if the sacraments of Christ are administered in obedience to Christ's positive commands, see that your children participate in the one, and yourselves in the other, , in a holy and godly manner. Thus evincing your sense of the blessings you enjoy, and your gratitude for them, the time will come, when having been faithful members of Christ's Church militant here on earth, you shall through the merits of our Lord and Saviour, be made joyful members of his Church triumphant in heaven.”
Art. X. The Voluspa, or Speech of the Prophetess, with
other Poems. By the Ret. J. Prowett. 12mo. pp. 110.
Payne and Foss. 1816. THE first and principal poem in this collection is the Voluspa, or Speech of the Prophetess, extracted from the remains of ihe Runic Mythology, as preserved by Olaus Wormius, BartholiHus, &c. The speech. appears to predict the restoration of all things, under a Being superior, according to the Scandinavian Mythology, to Odin himself. Lok, the principle of evil, who
had long been fighting against the gods, will be finally vanquished, and sent back to bio native hell.
« On the never dying groan,
By corrod.ng pangs possest:
Which the world's wide circuit fill,
· Mr. Prowett appears to possess a poetical imagination, and
a considerable power of expression. There are parts, however, where he is seduced too much into the flowery. This is a fault, however, which his better judgment will doubtless correct, That he can write in a strong and fervid style of didactic verse, the following passage will clearly shew.
“ Short is thy sight, vain mortal! and confin'd
In that dread moment shall be full reveal’d!" P. 73. The Address to Music is spirited and good, and with it we shall conclude our account of the work.
.“ ode to MUSIC,