Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

a lovely and excellent young lady, who had been brought up under his pastoral care, and whose death was deplored by a large circle of friends. Where shall we find a more touching description of" a good daughter," than the following?

“A good daughter! -- there are other ministries of love more conspicuous than hers, but none in which a gentler, lovelier spirit dwells, and none to which the heart's warm requitals more joyfully respond. There is no such thing as a comparative estimate of a parent's affection for one or another child. There is little which he needs to covet, to whom the treasure of a good child has been given. But a son's occupations and pleasures carry hiin more abroad, and he lives more among temptations, which hardly permit the affection, that is following him perhaps over half the globe, to be wholly unmingled with anxiety, till the time when he comes to relinquish the shelter of his father's roof for one of his own. While a good daughter is the steady light of her parent's house. Her idea is indissolubly connected with that of his happy fireside. She is his morning sun-light, and his evening star. The grace, and vivacity, and tenderness of her sex have their place in the mighty sway which she holds over his spirit. The lessons of recorded wisdom which he reads with her eyes, come to his mind with a new charm as they blend with the beloved melody of her voice. He scarcely knows weariness which hier song does not make him forget, or gloom which is proof against the young brightness of her smile. She is the pride and ornament of his hospitality, and the gentle nurse of his sickness, and the constant agent in those nameless, numberless acts of kindness, which one chiefly cares to bave rendered because they are unpretending but all-expressive proofs of love. And then what a cheerful sharer is she, and what an able lightener of a mother's cares! what an ever present delight and triumph to a mother's affection! Oh how little do those daughters know of the power which God has committed to them, and the happiness God would have them enjoy, who do not, every time that a parent's eye rests on them, bring rapture to a parent's heart. A true love will almost certainly always greet their approaching steps. That they will hardly alienate. But their ambition should be, not to have it a love merely, which feelings implanted by nature excite, but one made intense, and overflowing, by approbation of worthy conduct; and she is strangely blind to her own happiness, as well as undutiful to them to whom she owes the most, in whom the perpetual appeals of parental disinterestedness do not call forth the prompt and full echo of filial devotion.” — pp. 6, 7.

The text of this sermon is from John xvii. 4. The preacher recurs to it in the conclusion of his discourse, in a strain of Christian eloquence and pathos.

"--"I have finished the work thou hast given me to do. Yes! in one sense the work is finished. Morning will rise and evening gather its shadows over that new-made grave, but the one will not disturb, and the other will not compose, the peaceful sleeper. Evening will no longer send her from the happy fireside to the quiet slumbers of an unburdened conscience. Morning will not call her back to the

tasks of filial, sisterly, and Christian love. But how speak we of the work of a good life being finished ? She of whom we have used the words, now looks back upon what we call death, and knows it to be only, to use the language of a kindred spirit, an incident in life.' Earth has no mounds to confine the soul. The sentence is, that the dust shall return to the earth as it was, and the spirit sball return to God who gave it,' The spirit has already gone to higher, more unembarrassed, more intense, more joyful life. The voice, which, on the wings of its soul-harmony, has so often lifted our devotions here to the sphere to which it seemed to belong, is already, we trust, lending its rich and volumed sweetness to swell the anthem of the redeemed. 'I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me ;-— Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. Yea, saith the spirit, for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, shall lead them unto living fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.'” — pp. 19, 20.

We cannot think that any young person, any young female especially, of sound mind and a feeling heart, could read this sermon without being affected and improved.

The Revelation of Saint John explained by HENRY WILLIAM Lovett. London: James Nisbet. 1831. 8vo. pp. 256. — A copy of this book was kindly sent to us by the author, many months ago. We thank him sincerely for his attention, and are sorry that we cannot requite it by praising the book, or adopting his notions respecting the Apocalypse. We cannot praise the book, though it is a handsome one, because it is nearly useless. We cannot adopt bis notions respecting the Apocalypse, because they are fanciful and groundless. We hold, with Milton and Eichhorn, that the Revelation is a religious poem or drama, showing forth in the most glowing forms of Oriental expression the coming triumpiis and future glories of Christianity. We therefore regret to see valuable time thrown away, learned labor misapplied, pens, ink, and paper wasted, and more especially old prejudices cherished and old feuds kept alive, in the endeavour to connect the general prophecies of the Revelation with particular historical events or personages. In particular do we protest against the application of the term Antichrist to the Pope of Rome, or even to Mahomet, notwithstanding the arithmetical proof insisted on by Mr. Lovett, who has, as he thinks, made them out to be the two horns of the beast, from an enigmatical agreement of the numerical powers of the letters composing the Greek words Lateinos and Maometis, with the prophetic number 666. This is an ancient solution, but our curious readers may like to see it, as repeated by Mr. Lovett. Here it is. L A T E INOS

M A OMETIS

= 666

30 1 300 5 10 50 70 200

[blocks in formation]

Some interesting passages of history are narrated, and some specimens of a dry, eccentric kind of humor are displayed in this work, and these will perhaps redeem it, in the judgment of the charitable, from the sentence of utter uselessness. As an instance of the humor, the following extract may suffice. It is a part of the author's illustration of Rev. xv. 8. “And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.”'

“The labor of filling the temple with smoke was continued with indefatigable industry by the doctors of the middle ages, who in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were divided into two great classes of Doctores dogmatici et positivi, — dogmatic and positive doctors, (they must have been a pleasant set) and Doctores sententiarum, – doctors of sentences, — expounders of the famous book of Sentences by Peter Lombard, bishop of Paris.

“ In the worse than Egyptian darkness that, concurrently with the doctors, overspread Christendom, the papal fiend walked abroad; and, to the smoke wherewith they filled the temple, the Jesuits subsequently contributed, as it were from the fumes of assa fetida, 'the dunnest smoke of hell.'

“On the long and dark night the reformation at length dawned, and we now know the quarter of the heavens whence the unclouded sun of revelation will ultimately pour the fulness of his meridian light; but his brightness is yet, in fulfilment of the apocalyptic prediction, veiled by thick mists: for the operation of smoke-making in the temple has never been discontinued. It is, indeed, more than probable that Europe cannot now boast of any single theologian, capable of blowing a cloud so voluminous and dense as issued from such vomitories as the primitive fathers of the church, and the admirable, – the profound, -the subtle, - the irrefragable, – the angelic, — the seraphic, or, the illuminated, doctors of the middle ages, - every one of whom smoked like a steam-engine; but the art of printing has multiplied incalculably the number of small smokers, and the modern universities are seldom without some eminently learned professor, the Nopsanyepita Zsùs of the day, whose powers of fumigation Fronto might have deemed worthy of a place in his LAUDES FUMI ET PULVERIS.” — pp. 97, 98.

The Deist's Immortality, and an Essay on Man's Accountability for his Belief. By LYSANDER SPOONER. Boston : 1834. 8vo. pp. 14. - No doubt Mr. Lysander Spooner thinks that he has confuted and overturned Christianity in this pamphlet of fourteen pages. How well qualified he is for such a feat,

may be inferred from his fair and accurate delineation of the object of his attack.

“And what is it to believe the Bible, that men should merit the everlasting vengeance of the Almighty for not believing it? Why, setting aside its secondary absurdities and enormities, it is to believe in these giant ones, viz. that when Deity created an universe, in pursuance of a design worthy of himself, he created in that universe a Hell,

-a Hell for a portion of the beings to whom he was about to give life,

-a Hell for his children, a Hell that should witness the eternal reign of iniquity, misery, and despair, - a Hell that should endlessly perpetuate the wickedness and the wo of those who might otherwise have become virtuous and happy; that he then, after having created men, and given them a nature capable of infinite progress in knowledge and virtue, by placing them in a world full of enticement and seduction, deliberately laid the snare, made the occasion, fed the desire, and instigated, invited, and seduced to the conduct, which he knew certainly would issue in the moral ruin of that nature, and the endless wretchedness of the individuals: and, finally, that all this was right, that such a Being is a good Being, and that he merits from us no other sentiment than the highest and purest degree of filial and religious emotion.” — p. 13.

If Mr. Lysander Spooner really believes that this is the doctrine of the Bible, that this is Christianity, we sincerely pity his ignorance, and advise him to enlighten himself. We know of no such Bible, nor do we acknowledge any such Christianity, and therefore do not feel ourselves called on to defend them as thus represented.

Nearly the whole of this pamphlet is employed in making a great parade of the “march of mind,” the capacity of the mind for endless improvement, the right of private judgment, and other such matters; as if, instead of being, as they are, acknowledged and Christian truths, they had been just found out by Lysander Spooner, his brother Deists, Atheists, and other motley followers of Robert Owen and Fanny Wright. To them, indeed, they may be new. If so, we wish them joy of their acquisitions, and hope they will go on, adding to their stores, and gain more knowledge, more humility, and some veneration for sacred and venerable things. — Infidelity is not new in the world. It is as old as sin. But just now it is making a new manifestation of itself, and creating a temporary excitement. We therefore expect that there will be more than a plenty of such works as this pamphlet thrust upon public notice, and that some minds will be deluded by them. If, however, they are not more able than this pamphlet, it is not probable that we shall waste our attention upon them.

The Unitarian. James Munroe & Co., Cambridge. – Two numbers of a monthly publication, under this title, have ap

peared. It is conducted by the Rev. Messrs. Bernard Whitman, and Jason Whitman, and Mr. George Nichols. As the name they have chosen would lead us to expect, the editors of this work propose to allot a considerable proportion of their pages to clear statements, and a fearless and strenuous defence, of those views of Christianity commonly denominated Unitarian. It is also intended, that the articles generally shall be of a popular cast, that religious intelligence collected from all parts of the country shall be freely inserted, and that the journal shall be especially adapted to the wants of those communities, in which an interest in Liberal Christianity is just beginning to be awakened. With such objects in view, under such auspices, and after the specimens already given of the ability and spirit in which the work is to be conducted, we may confidently predict, that it will obtain a wide circulation, and do much to advance the cause of truth and righteousness.

The Library of Old English Prose Writers. Vol. VII. Latimer's Sermons. Boston: Hilliard, Gray, & Co. 1832. 12mo.

pp.

288. This is the last published, and we think the most curious volume, in the valuable series of old authors edited by the Rev. Mr. Young, the first volume of which was reviewed in our Number for September, 1831. The selections from Latimer are preceded by a biographical sketch of the old reformer and martyr, compiled by the editor from Wrangham, Gilpin, and Fox. There is no wonder that crowds attended on his preaching, for he was, in the strictest sense of the word, a popular preacher. Though learned, he did not bring his learning ostentatiously into the pulpit, as was the fashion afterwards. He sought no polish of style, but bolted out the plainest truths in the plainest possible way. His manner was much like that of the best preachers among our Methodists and high Calvinists. He was not of Leighton's opinion; he "preached to the times;” - and verily his times needed to be preached to.

And now I would ask a strange question," says he in his Sermon of the Plough;

“Who is the most diligentest bishop and prelate in all England, and passeth all the rest in doing his office? I can tell, for I know him who it is; I know him well. But now I think I see you listening and hearkening that I should name him. There is one that passeth all the other, and is the most diligent prelate and preacher in all England. And will ye know who it is? I will tell you: it is the devil. He is the most diligent preacher of all other; he is never out of his diocese; he is never from his cure; ye shall never find him unoccupied; he is ever in his parish; he keepeth residence at all times; ye shall never find him out of the way, call for him when you will; he is ever at

« EelmineJätka »