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REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Thoughts suited to the present Cri- merely to perpetuate the principles
sis; being an Appeal for the of the Gospel, but to preserve unScriptures, the Poor, and the Na- impaired that pure spirit of charity, tional Schools ; in Three Sermons. without which even faith is unproBy the Rev. C. J. HOARB, A.M. fitable and hope delusive? These 8vo. pp. 118. London: Hatchard are the triumphs of that little band and Son. 1820.
of martyrs, whose names are asso
ciated with the early history of our “ TAREE measures," observes Mr reformed and Protestant church, Soutbey', were required for and who will ever live in the gratecompleting the Reformation in Eng- ful recollection of her children. land: that the condition of the in- Had the spirit of our reformers ferior clergy should be improved; been generally prevalent at the that the number of religious in- restoration of Charles II. some. structors should be greatly increas. thing, perhaps, might have been ed; and that a system of parocbial attempted to remedy the evils ariseducation should be established ing from the paucity of religious and vigilantly upheld. These mea- instructors, and the want of a good sures could only be effected by the national system of education. But, legislature. A fourth thing was notwithstanding the tremendous needful ;-that the clergy should lessons of the civil wars, and the be awakened to an active discharge overthrow which was then effectof their duty; and this was not ed of our religious and political inwithin the power of legislation." stitutions, the people of this counThe Reformation was commenced try were not yet prepared to proand carried forward under circum- fit fully by their experience; and, stances of peculiar difficulty; and, although it must have been obvious however we may lament that such to many, tbat the best human seof these objects as come within the curity against fanaticism and rescope of positive enactment were, bellion is the early implantation of in the tumult of the times and the sound moral and religious prinvacillation of the public councils, ciples, the subject itself appears overlooked or neglected, no impu- never to have excited attention in tation is on this account intended any degree proportioned to its vast to be cast upon the memory of importance.
It seemed as if anothose venerable men by whoin, un- ther European convulsion were neder the blessing of God, that great cessary to call forth the counterwork was achieved. Their wisdom acting energies of the friends of was no less eminent than their pie- order and religion--as if infidelity, ty; and, instead of repining ihat no less than fanaticism, must obthey left any thing unaccomplish- taip a temporary triumph-before ed, it should be a never-failing sub- we could feel sufficiently impressed ject of admiration and gratitude with the necessity of training up that their labours were so abun- the children of our country in the dantly blessed. In what age of
nurture and admonition of the the world, since the very days of Lord. primitive Christianity, can we point The causes which have led to to a church so apostolical in its con- the great change of public feeling, stitution; so happily remote from on the subject of education, are the extremes of coldness' and fana- probably numerous and of various ticism; so admirably formed, not kinds. Among the foremost we
are inclined to enumerate the con* Life of Wesley, vol. I. p. 336. motion raised in the public mind
by the atrocities of the French Re- the same manner respecting bis volution; the late portentous war
own system. Thus it has happena war wbich touched, in some way, ed, by the natural progress of ethe feelings of almost every indivi- vents, by the collision of interests, dual who had any regard for the by the benevolent projects of the welfare of his country, or was ca- good, and by the schemes of the pable of being interested by the designing, that all orders of men great movements of the world; the bave united to approve
propestilent publications of the day, mote, in some form or other, the which, inflaming the corrupt pas- cause of geveral education. sions of men, required a powerful
The impulse has now been given, corrective; the increasing wealth and no human power can arrest it. and commerce of the country, de- The great question, therefore, is, manding and diffusing at the same By what mode can instruction be time an enlargement of knowledge; best imparted so as to secure the the augmented facility of obtaining high interests of order and relinewspapers, which at once excited gion ? Whilst we are communicatcuriosity and afforded the means ing knowledge, how shall we guard of gratifying it; the benevolence against the evils, which, in ill-reof individuals ; the influence of re- gulated minds, too often follow in ligious societies; the encourage- its train ? ment afforded by the sovereign;
The answer undoubtedly is, By the growing conviction, on the part an education essentially founded of unprejudiced men, that the in- upon the holy Scriptures. If any crease of crime and pauperism one has entertained a doubt, either could only be effectually repressed upon this point, or on the general by a judicious system of Christian question of the education of the education; the increased zeal of poor, the Three Sermons of Mr. the clergy of the establishment, Hoare are calculated to afford him and of the ministers of other deno- the satisfaction which he seeks. minations ; lhe consequent exten
The immediate cause of their sion of religious light and true publication was the awful aspect Christian charity among all classes of the times. The author seems to of the community; and even the have felt, and we heartily concur conflicting interests of sects and with him, that, in days like the preparties ;-all these and many other sent, it is the especial duty of the causes conspired to kindle the de- ministers of the Church of Engsire of the lower orders for instruc- land to stand forward in defence tion, and induced the classes above of their common religion, and of them to forward that object. The the establishments of their counfriends of religion, and order, and try. These are not times in which human happiness were of opinion the advocates of loyalty and truth ibat they could in no way better are to hide themselves in silence ; accomplish their laudable designs a serious responsibility is imposed than by affording to the needy the upon them; and, if they shrink blessings of education. Persons of from their post, what is to bean opposite description expected, come, not merely of the towers and by somewhat similar means, to for- bulwarks of their Zion, but of the ward their own favourite plans. very altar of their sanctuary, and The Churchman was convinced the fame which burns there? They ibat ignorance is not the true pa- are to contend, however, in the rent of devotion, and that a good spirit of Christianity; and to this religious establishment is never so circumstance we attach considersecure as when its character and able importance. The inderstandprinciples are most clearly under- ings of men are not lo be constood. The Disscuter argued in
vinced by reviling, but by argue
ment: it is not a few common- the capacity and wants of the poor; place censures levelled at the ene- and the third, their value as the mies of religion and loyalty, nor a basis of national education. These few backneyed and vaunting phrases several subjects are treated throughof panegyric upon the church, out in a mapper calculated not only which will swell the ranks of the to satisfy every unprejudiced mind, peaceful and the devout. These ex- but to carry conviction to all, who pedients are neither calculated to are not absolutely proof against make converts nor to prevent se- reason and argument. cession; they are but the vapid
The first sermon,
66 On the Aueffusions of common-place minds, thority and Excellence of the holy and are as little allied to genius Scriptures," is from Deut. vi. 6. and talent as to the spirit of reli- “ These words, which I command gion.
thee this day, shall be in thins Mr. Hoare stands upon higher heart :" and the preacher grounds ground. With a deep sense of the bis conclusion on the following con. value of the national schools, as siderations ;- because they come to connected with the best interests of us as from God ; because they conthe church and the dearest hopes tain that which is most suitable and of his country, hie sets himself to beneficial to men; and because the exposition of his views in the they will bear a comparison with spirit of a Christian, and with the all the efforts of the highest reason. legitimate weapons of reason and The passage subjoined belongs to argument. The national system of the second of these points. We exeducation is essientially founded tract it, not as among the most arupon the holy Scriptures: its de- gumentative parts of the discourse, sign is to instr uct the young in but as one which appeals forcibly the lessons of in spiration ; and, as to the heart and feelings of every their understandings open, to pre- individual. occupy their ten der minds with the pure duetrines a od precepts of the
“ But, more particularly, are word of God; 1 hus guarding them,
creatures of many peculiar wants, of
the keepest mental sensibilities, of the at the most favourable season,
highest moral accountableness ? We against the temptations of life, and observe, in the doctrines of Scripture, qualifying them., as they advance in all that is worthy of the most beneficent years, to derive from the services Father of mankind,—all that is suited of our church the full benefit which to our most urgent circumstances of they are suited to convey. The moral and spiritual need. In these value of this s ystem must evidently doctrines we are addressed in our just depend upon ihe excellence of the and proper character, as SINNERS, We Scriptures, ai od their adaptation to
are there considered as suffering for Ibe state of the poor ; if these
our sins, and as requiring a remedy bepoints can ke satisfactorily esla. yond the reach of human aid. We are
offered succours for our manifold weakblished, the importance of ibe na
ness, a balı for our numberless woes, tional schools will be seen and ac
the pardon of all our transgressions, and knowledged, and the defender of a hope beyond the grave. These are them will pli ant his feet upon a rock the great points, corresponding to the from which it is impossible to move most true circnmstances of our nature, kin.
on which the soul of man, smitten with This is the general outline of the sorrow and with sin, would love to argument which Mr. Hoare has dwell; and it is to such that, in the in. proposed to develop in the ser expressibly healing and consoling ac
cents of the Gospel, it is prononnced, mons befo re us. The first dis
• Come unto me, and I will give you rest.' course pre sves the authority and it was not, indeed, amidst the thunexcellence of the Scriptures; the ders of Mount Sinai, that these accents second the adaptation of them to of mercy could be fully heard ; nor in
the darkness of that Brst dispensation we know shall survive the ruins of the did tbe clear light of grace and truth grave. In a word, Are we persons evidisplay its brightness to the soul. Then dently passing through a short, but es: was the period of types and shadows : ventful probationary state?
Let us and the wisdom of God, that' wisdom learn, as from the lips of God, the end which was kept secret from ages and of that state, the issue of that proba.. generations,' was for a time hid in a tion: let us study, by this help, our mamysterious gloom. Then were men in- nifold duties in every state and stage of structed in their guilt, and ignorance, life, as young or old, as rich or poor, as and danger; and the Law was our placed alone, or as members of society, schoolmaster, to bring us unto Christ.' of communities, of families: let us seek But' the dark ness is past, and the true here the redress of our ever-varying erlight now shineth.' 'Life and immor- rors, the solution of our most important tality have been brought to light by the doubts, the unfolding of our most inexGospel.' Every preparatory dispensa. plicable perplexities, the healing of our tion, for the benefit of man, found at most incurable woes. Happy surely is length its full completion in the power that man, whose heartfelt confession is, and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.' in the language of inspiration, " Thy In His death appeared the appropriate word is a light unto my feet, and a lamp. sacrifice for the sin of man-that sin, into my path!'- whose full opinion is which had been so long the subject of in harmony with those other strains of unavailing complaint among the wise the devont Psalmist of Israel, • Thereand good of every age.
In His life fore I esteem thy precept concerning were found both our guide, and our en- all things to be right, and I hate every couragement to newness of heart and false way!'--and who can beartily subconduct. His resurrection from the scribe to the sublime conclusion, “ I dead afforded us the snrest pledge of have seen an end of all perfection; our own return from the dust of death. but Thy commandment is exceeding Finally, in his triumphant ascension to broad!"" pp. 9-12. Heaven we behold-yes, sinful man be. holds !--the Intercesser, gone to plead
The text of the second discourse for him; the Champion, able and wil. is that appropriate declaration of ling to arm and to assist him in his spiri. our Lord, “ To the poor the Gospel is tual conflicts; the Forerunner, preparing preached;" and its chief object is for him a place in heavenly mansions; to establish the fact, that the Scripthe final Dispenser of' eternal salva.
tures are adapted in a remarkable tion to all them that obey him.'
manner both to the condition and " Shall we not for ever deem this amazing scheme of mercy and beneficence capacity of the poor. This posito man' worthy indeed of all men to be tion is substantiated both from the received ? Shall we not chide our tar. style and manner of their composidy hands and cold hearts, that they do tion, which are plain, forcible, and not more eagerly embrace it? Shall we affectionate, and also froin the conpot open the hallowed page of Scrip- solatory and moral nature of their ture, and gladden our eyes with the several contents, and the peculiar provisions here contained; with every mode of their delivery to the world. thing that is most suited to the actual
It has been much the fashion of wants, and the suffering condition of
late years to represent the holy our fallen nature? Are we creatures? Here let us seek the knowledge of onr Scriptures as peculiarly dark and Creator. Are we sinners ? Let this bard to be understood ; and so far heavenly conductor lead us by faith to has this notion been carried in some our Almighty Redeemer. Are we frail? instances, as to imply at least a Let it teach as our only and our most doubt whether the word of unerring effectual Comforter and Guide. Are wisdom be not of itself quite as we endowed with an understanding
likely to lead men into error as to mind, which distinguishes us from every other rank of being in this lower guide them to the knowledge of the
truth. That there should be no. world? Let us here learn to use, for the Creator's glory, those powers which thing dark, nothing mysterious in He hath given us, with which He has the revelation of God ;-a revelaqaalified as for his service, and which tion which treats of such high mat
ters as the perfections of the Su- ment and faith of the highest of His rapreme Being, the moral govern- tional creatures, which serve to interest ment of the world, the incarnation
and inform the minds of the lowest. of the eternal Son of the Father,
“ Nor is it a quality which precludes the influence of the Holy Spirit, the Inspiration, read with a carions, proud,
the possibility of error. The page of resurrection from the dead, the day
or perverted eye, will afford, as it unof judgment, the condition of the happily has done in all ages of the spiritual world ;
;-and that all these Christian church, room for the most things should be level to human un- vain, and worse than vain, speculations ; derstanding, is a proposition which for the most fatal delusions, and most no reasonable being was ever found deplorable dissensions. These, howto maintain, and which, if it could ever, are owing not so much to the nabe established, might even go far ture of the Scriptures as to that corrapto invalidate the authority of Reve- tion of buman nature which they have
themselves so well pourtrayed; a cor. lation. But if we should therefore argue that all things contained in raption perverting what is most easy,
and misusing what is most profitable. the Book of Inspiration are myste- “The plainness of Scripture is such as rious, and hard to be understood; to apply itself to a plain, ansophisticatthat the Scriptures, as a whole, are ed understanding. It is that which exincapable, through the ordinary in- actly suits the postare of mind before fuence of the blessed Spirit, of described, as connected with poverty, conveying to the humble inquirer and which the prophet Isaiah, in the the knowledge which is necessary to
passage corresponding to tbe text, has his present peace and his everlast- designated by the term ' meek.' To ing salvation; we should err quite heart bearing in these respects some
the poor in spirit, 'and the meek of as widely in the opposite extréme.
faint resemblance of Him who is both The subject is taken up by Mr
• the author and finisher of their faith,' Hoare in its true scriptural light; the Sacred Record will be found, upon and this, we think, is the ground on all essential and fundamental points, which reasonable men of all classes, plain in its language and obvious in its if the violence of party spirit could meaning. Reading it in such a dispobe subdued, would be found event- sition of mind, the fittest surely for the ually to meet.
reception of a Divine Revelation, how “ In plainness, the Book of Inspiration simple do we find it in the details of its may challenge a comparison with any most astonishing histories! how easy in volume ever composed, of equal length the development of its most mysterious
doctrines ! and variety of maiter, upon whatever
With equal deliglit and subject. It is well described in its own
profit we then listen to the plain comfamiliar language: • The way-faring
mands of an Anthority from which there men, though fools, shall not err there is no appeal, to the proverbs of an inin.' • Write the vision, and make it spired and oracular wisdom, to the sim. plain, that he may run that readeth it.'
ple energy of prophetic or apostolic “ This plainness of Scripture, so ne.
doctrines, to the parables and similicessary in instructions provided for ge. Heavenly instruction. In every situa
tudes of the most condescending though neral use, does not include any thing of tion of life, we find something which meanness or poverty in its structure.
comes home to our business and boIt by no means supersedes the instruction of a divinely appointed church, soms ; something which takes us, as it nor the gracions infinences of that Die were, individually away from tlie mulvine Spirit, ' without whom nothing is dresses each of us as one, whose case
titudes which surround us, and ad. strong, nothing is holy.' It does not has been singly considered, whose feelimply, that the doctrines of Inspiration ings have been ininutely consulted, and exbibit nothing of' length, or breadth, or lieight, or depth,' worthy of the infi- every want regarded, and every interest nite nature of that Being from whom promoted. They are all plain to him
that understandeth, and right to them they have been all derived. It has
that find knowledge."" pp. 34–36. . been unquestionably within the plan of His superior wisdom, that the same
In the third discourse, on the doctrines should exercise the judg. value of the Scriptures as the basis