Page images
PDF
EPUB

turned to God, not to conceive so stant endeavour, to separate the strongly as others of the active false glare of human invention, crime at work in every man's heart“ the sparks of man's kindling," by nature; rather to judge others from the diviner inspiration of that by itself, and to exhibit instinc- celestial light which tively more of that charity which "Shines inward, and the mind thro' all “ hopeth all things,” than of that her powers quick and experimental intuition Irradiatesinto character which detects and

That she may see and tell drags forth to light the lurking Of things invisible to mortal sight. principle of evil in all its native 3. We perceive strong marks of blackness and malignity,

an originality of mind in these 2. We see in them traces of a sermons: not an affected or amremarkably fair and upright mind. bitious, but a real and essential -We recollect the ascription of originality; the fruit, perhaps, of # fidelity' to his interpretations of the quality before mentioned, aided Scripture in the preface: we call by mucho serious and deliberate to mind his own declaration on the application of thought to his subsubject : and we must say, both are ject. Our author seems to have fully verified in the volumes before been, in the strictest sense of the ús. We see nothing like prejudice; word, a contemplatist. Perhaps nothing like perversion; whether we might, if aiming at a distincto answer the purpose of some fa- tion, say, that he seems to owe his vourité doctrine, or to gratify the ideas rather to contemplation than still more captivating but more investigation; and that the result guilty love of novelty and display. might be more properly called ori. If Scripture does not always con- ginality than profundity, Prosecrate his page, as we see in many found, however, he certainly is, if other divines (an appearance, how- much occasional depth of observaever, somewhat increased by the tion demands that name; but the frequent' omission of the marks of effort of mind by which he obtains quotation in the letter-press), it it, seems to have been that of calm arises from a sear lest his page and steady contemplation; “ silent should desecrate Scripture by an and unbroken meditation.” And improper application of it. Hc the result has been, what it ever ever displays the profoundest know- will be of such a course, that he ledge, and makes the best use of has illustrated every subject he has it. He has " the power of art," touched ; and has said, apparently that best of theological arts, "with- without intending it, what has not out the shew," Hence, as might been said, or not so well said, be expected, his expository ser- before him. He rejects nothing mons are amongst the best and that has been said before him, on most able of his productions. He that account. His humility would meets his passage, whatever it may rather lead him to prefer it. We be, fully and fairly; as we may can fancy he always sets out with see exemplified in the sermons on a wish to adopt it. But new lights David, on Jacob and Esau, on break in upon him as he proceeds: Good Works, &c. &c. And occa- be scatters fresh scintillations around sionally he can pour forth all the him; and we follow his calm and stores of the Sacred Volume at his steady march, at once pleased feet, as particularly appears in the with the discoveries he makes, sermon on the Communion of An- and soothed with the mild lustre gels. His earnest prayer seems of his rays. ever to have been “ to have a right 4. If we were to allude to one judgment in all things;" his con quality apparent in these sermons, of what some would deem dubious mind, in its natural, we should say praise, we shonld add in this place its regenerated, tendency, like the the symptoms of caution which we pure flame, mounts upwards. His discover. We do not find our au- usual and most delighted walk thor grappling with very difficult seems by anticipation “ high in subjects, or taking very strong and salvation and the climes of bliss :" positive views on points which may or in the beautiful language of our be overstrained. Whether he saw Liturgy, whose spirit he had deepthe little good or the much harm ly imbibed, “thither" where his which has in all ages of the world Saviour ascended bad he “ in arisen from recondite speculations heart and mind ascended also; and and "doubtful disputations;"--wher with him continually dwelt," ther he felt how few could follow 6. We need not, in conclusion, aright where the mere theorist or add to other qualities of no doubtdogmatist led the way;-orwhether, ful order, that of pure and unafperbaps, a little degree of indolence, fected devotion.--Nearly every rewith a great degree of feeling easily mark hitherto made has afforded suggested the popular and most an illustration of this point: and engaging views of the subjects those who are at all versed, or have which he did undertake, -certainly any belief in the physiognomy of We find “the plain path” of remark style, we can have no doubt will and illustration the favourite choice have long since collected from these of our divine. We trace him, for the sermons nearly every expression most part in that middle way which and lineament of the most pious and will generally result from a view of devout frame. If profound humi. Scripture as a whole, and which lity; if the utmost sincerity; if the might fancifully be illustrated by warmest feelings of affection to that luminous track in the heaven man; if the most reverential awe of in contradistinction to the telesco- the Divine Being, with the most pie appearance of individual con. rapturous survey of his adorable stellations.

. perfections ; if the uniform refe5. We must be satisfied with rence to the great Author and barely hinting at a fifth quality of Finisher of our faith, and the avowal mind which appears in these ser- of Jesus Christ as the great Head mons, that of loftiness and subli- of the church, as the source of mity. We have already noticed wisdom, righteousness, sanctificathis excellence in the body of our tion, and redemption, as the All in Review so fully, as to render a All to true Christians; if the conLarge mention of it in this place stant appeal to the conscience and unnecessary. Suffice it to say, that heart, in connection with the fearmith much of the plainness and ful difference in lot between the perspicuity of some of our best righteous and the unrighteous herewriters, at the head of whom we after, corresponding to the no-lesswould place Archdeacon Paley, we certain, if not always inarked, differsee in him a quality of mind to ence in their character here;- if all which many divines of that style these taken together, and, we may were whelly strangers. There is say, constituting the main body of nothing cold blooded in the occa- his divinity, the ruling genius of all sionally profound and moral rea- bis instructions, speak for the desonings of Mr. Venn. There is, votional feelings of the instructor : withal, an elevation of tone, a depth then do these volumes afford a of feeling, a towering imagination lasting monument to the devotion which seems to indicate from and piety of Mr. Venn : and the whence these reasonings flowed. sayings they record, more durable He seems to spurn at “ought of than any stone or brass on which it sordid or debasing mould.” His would be possible to inscribe them, we trust are deeply registered in the University, upon whom the duty of bosom of God, as a true evidence preaching at St. Mary's devolved of his faith and hope,-a“ hope that during term, should decline a permaketh not ashamed," a faith by sonal appearance, his place should which he “ pleased God:"-whilst be supplied, not, as it had previousin the earthly recollection of these ly been, by an arbitrary substitute, lessons of wisdom, many, we be but by one of a certain number of lieve, will long survive to honour the select preachers, appointed annually man who uttered them, and to write by the University for two years, with affectionate veneration on his in succession. The consequence of tomb, “ The memory of the just is this new system, we speak now more blessed." The two maxims which form the his well-known declaration of fanbasis of this sermon are, first, that cied superiority over his brethren for those who would feed the flock iu affection to their Lord,-“Though of Christ, the chief and most all shall be offended, yet will not necessary qualification is to love l.” Accordingly, it may be observChrist more than they love their ed, that in his reply, the now humdearest earthly connexions; second bled and penitent Apostle does not, ly, that those who so love Christ as before, profess his more warm cannot display their love of him and animated attachment; but simmore acceptably than by feeding ply yet powerfully appeals to his bis sheep. The truth and import- Saviour, as the Searcher of his ance of these two maxims cannot heart, that he who“ knew all certainly be questioned; but we things," and who was intimately must be allowed to doubt the cor- acquainted both with his sincerity rectness of the inference of the first, and his frailty, knew that he loved from the question of our Lord in him. The preceding remark is the text; “Simon, son of Jovas, equally applicable to that part of lorest thou me more than these ?" the objection which respects the The ambiguity of ibe latter clause supposed tendency of the question, is obvious, and has been frequent- thus interpreted, to excite jealousies ly noticed, as well as the three among the Apostles. The question meanings of which it is susceptible; was doubtless intended to convey but we cannot avoid observing, a most interesting suggestion to that Mr. Marsh does not appear to them all; but its peculiar applicaus to have preferred the inost pro- tion to St. Peter, under the atfectbable of the three. He dismisses, iug circumstances in which bis deand we think justly, the interpreta- nial and recovery had placed him, tion which could explain the ques-, was so obvious, as to prevent any tion, as if it meant, “ Lovest thou such idea as that of jealousy from ne more than thou lovest these occurring to the rest of the disfishing-nets and implements of thy, ciples. It was a question, which trade? Lovest thou me more than was so far from administering to thou lovest thy secular gains and the self-love of the warm-hearted employments ?" though something Apostle, that it evidently grieved plausible may be urged in defence and distressed him; and instead of of this paraphrase, and it conveys conferring on him any distinction an important admonition. He ob- above his brethren, only imposed jeets, also, to the following more upon hin, what, indeed, in the estigeneral explanation of the question: mation of every truly Christian

[graphic]

i particularly of Oxford, has been,

with some exceptions which must *} ever attend all human attempts at

reformation, a very improved state Eight Sermons, preached before the

of the University Pulpit. Many University of Oxford; together learned. elaborate, and excellent with a Sermon, delivered at an

discourses have been the result of

a Ordination, holden at Christ it

So it; a few of which have obtained, Church, by the Bishop of Dur, by means of the press, a wider sphere ham, on Trinity Sunday, in the

ne of influence than even the venerYear of our Lord, 1810. By sh

by able walls of St. Mary's could afEDWARD GARRARD MARSH. ford. It is to the arrangement Oxford, at the University Press,

which we have thus briefly noticed, for the Author : Sold by J. Par

ir that we are indebted for the volume ker; and by Rivingtons, London,

London. to which we are about to direct the 1814. Price 7s. 6d.

attention of our readers; and we A few years since, a consider- have been the rather induced to able and important alteration was mention it, from the silence of its made both at Oxford and Cams learned author as to this circunibridge, and nearly we believe at stance. Mr. Marsh does, indeed, the same time, in the arrangement announce eight 'out of the nine ser, respecting the Preachers before the mons of which lis volume is como Universities. This branch of aca- posed, as having been preached demical duty, for the most part, before the University of Oxford ; regularly devolves on the Senior but he does not state, what we hapGraduates of the University, in pen to know is the fact, that they chronological succession. But as were delivered in the discharge many of them are non-resident, and of his duty as one of the select either unwilling or, from various preachers during the two last years, circumstances, unable to perform and were admired and esteemed, by it, and some even among the resi- very competent and various judges, dent members are equally indispos- as they deserve. " ed to this service, it was for many We proceed, however, to enable years customary to assign it to sub- our readers to form their own judga stitutes, who were but too frequent- ment of this able and interesting Jy ill-qualified to address those volume. The sermons preached learned bodies in a dignified and before the University are preceded instructive manner. The evil had by one delivered at an Ordination long been felt and lamented; and holden at Christ Church, by the at length a remedy was applied, venerable Bishop of Durhani. The which bas certainly been attended subject of it is the very appropriate with considerable success. The one of “ the love of Christ," from ancient order of preachers remained the affecting question addressed by as before; but it was determined, our Lord to St. Peter, after his that whenever any Graduate of the resurrection.

[ocr errors]

"Lovest thou me more than mind will ever be esteemed a disa these other disciples love me?"- tinction, a superior and additional upon the grounds, that this was a obligation to devoted and self-denyquestion which St. Peter could not ing service. . . answer, and wbich our Saviour, But Mr. Marsh is satisfied, that from its apparent tendency to ex- the more natural and pertinent ineite jealousies among his disciples, quiry of our Lord from St. Peter, cannot be very readily believed to was to this effect: “Lovest thou leave asked. To this objection, me more than thou lovest these however, it may, we think, be satis- Apostles?" an interpretation which factorily replied, first, that the accords perfectly with one of the question was not addressed by our main principles asserted in the OrLord to the knowledge, but to the dination Sermon, but which for the opinion, of St. Peter; with a tacit, following brief reasons, we do not lunt pretty intelligible reference to think deducible from the question the former confidence of his zeal- in the text. For, in the first place, eus but presumptuous Apostle, and had this been the meaning of our

[graphic]

Lord, St. Peter would probably office of feeding his sleep, he thus bave answered, without much besi continues :tation, in the affirmative. After what his Divine Lord and Master “All other qualifications are thrown had now done and suffered for him,

into the shade in its presence. They after the distinguishing grace which

are passed by unnoticed. The promi.

nent, indispensable, distinguishing ree bad been vouchsafed to him in his

quisite is, as it well may be, that love for pardon and restoration, could the the heavenly Shepherd without which generous heart of the Apostle, even the sheep, consigned to our custody, are notwithstanding liis knowledge of likely to go to ruin. Other requisites its deceitfulness, doubt whether he there doubtless are, and such as are of loved his Saviour more than his fel- great extent and diversity. Bat they low signers and disciples; or would are of secondary consideration, and vary the question. thus understood. with times and occasions. The grand have affected him so deeply as it

fundamental quality of a love of Christ,

is that only character of the true Chris. evidently did ? Again: our Lord,

tian priesthood which is indelible. No though he required the supreme change can affect, no circumstances di. love of bis disciples, never express minish, no situations modify its necesa ed any jealousy lest they should sity.” . Jove one another better than himself, but frequently exhorted them Mr. Mårsh proceeds, in a similar to abound in brotherly affection: strain, to describe the nature of that and, as if they were in no danger of love of Christ which is so essential excess, prescribed his love to them to the faithful discharge of the mias the pattern, and measure of their nisterial office, and the paramount love to the brethren. Upon the claims of the Redeemer to the suwhole, therefore, we feel compelled preme regard of his 'servants. He to differ from the highly respecta- justly and pointedly condemns all ble author in his interpretation of inferior motives to engage in the the interesting passage in question, work of the ministry, and suggests to and cannot but recommend to him the candidates then present, that it its re-consideration*.

would be better for them to leave While, however, we have thus the church without receiving the freely stated our own view of it. holy employment, for the sake of it is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to which they had entered it, than noti add, that we most cordially concur first to answer the question in the in the propositions themselves, text in the affirmative. The rewhich form the main subject of mainder of the sermon is occupied Mr. Marsh's sermon, and admire i enforcing the proof of the love of the unaffected piety and eloquence Christ, on the part of his ministers, with which he has supported and in loving and feeding the souls enforced them. Speaking of the whom he has redeemned ; and ip' love of Christ, as a plain simple, pointing out the manner in which and paramount qualification for the this sacred and important duty

ought to be performed.--Excellent

ly as this part of the subject is • It is remarkable, that with the ex- executed, we felt the close of it to ception of Whitby, who thinks the re

be somewhat deficient in that so ference is to the worldly occupation of St. Peter, the most distinguished com

lemn and awakening address with mentators agree in the interpretation

ion which such a serion might be exwhich we have supported. Poole, in pected to conclude. But we recolt his Synopsis, does not even allude to lect that the preacher might, perany other, and Campbell decidedly pre haps, have been himself only a fers it. Commentators are not to be candidate for the priest's office, and followed implicitly, but an almost united been restrained by that consideraopinion is deserving of respect,

. tion from urging his exhortations

« PreviousContinue »