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object of the ordinances in question, no reference is given to where the avowal may be found.
That Christianity has in fact been much corrupted, admits of no doubt, because it is differently understood by different men, and different churches have different creeds and practices. These differences have been greatly aggravated by secular interests, and a spirit of partizanship_itself not free from the taint of filthy lucre.' If it be not essential to the most favourable operation of the Gospel on the hearts and lives of men, that all should arrive at an actual agreement of opinion and practice—a thing perhaps scarcely practicable in this state of ignorance and frailty-it is we think desirable, that the number and magnitude of the existing differences should be lessened; and more especially that the benevolent and beneficent spirit of the Gospel be not overwhelmed and destroyed in the conflict of violent passions and opposite interests. We would therefore exhort all men to a more conscientious practice of its moral duties, as well as a more diligent investigation of the records of Divine revelation. Violent prejudices will subside by degrees, and the true principles of sound criticism and interpretation be established. The great corruptions of Christianity, were the offspring of the supererogotary wisdom of those, who were desirous of elevating the Gospel to the splendour of the ancient superstitions, in accordance, no doubt, with their own prejudices ;) and of adorning the solid, but simple building of Christianity, with the miserable additions of ‘hay and stubble; ' disguising the form and beauty of that system of truth and simplicity, by the perverted philosophy and metaphysical theology of the Augustine and subsequent schools, which shed a murky glare on the visible darkness of the dark ages. A departure from the plain letter of the Scriptures is the great ground and cause of offence, in all the corruptors of the Christian religion.
ON THE ATONEMENT.
To the Editor of the Christiun Teacher. Sır, -The doctrine of the Atonement, according to the views of the self-styled Orthodox, is not, as it appears to me, the doctrine of Scripture. Although the persons who hold this doctrine cannot deny that the word atonement occurs but once in the New Testament; and although they cannot deny that in that passage the just sense of the term is that of the reconciliation of man to God, and not of God to man; yet, I appeal to all who are, or have been, accustomed to hear and read the discourses and works of Trinitarians, whether it is not insisted on, to say the least, that something was to be done, and suffered by Christ, before the Almighty Father could, consistently with his strict justice, pardon the sins and save the souls of men? Now, Sir, as the subject strikes my mind, this is a tacit denial of the unconditional freeness of Divine mercy and love. It is a principle which Jesus Christ himself has not taught, in one single lesson ; and it appears to bring into the simplicity of the Gospel, a train of confused ideas and unwarrantable conclusions.
We rejoice in the mediation of Christ, but we see not that mystery in it, which it presents to the minds of our Calvinistic brethren. Why should there be thought to be so much more mystery in the mediation of Christ, than in that of Moses ? To the Jews it was mysterious, not, indeed, so much as to the nature of that mediation, as to the extent of it. For they wondered how the God of their fathers, whose love had chosen and cherished them above all other nations, could extend his paternal favour to all the kindreds of mankind.*
Once I thought, as does your correspondent, 'A Layman ;' + but am now, after careful and impartial investigation of the subject, powerfully convinced, that the death of Christ had no influence on the mind of God, in disposing him to bless his rational offspring, or to receive their prayers or their praises, their services or their repentance. That the benefits of his death are great and precious, in many respects, none but unbelievers can deny. We rejoice in the great event, as a glorious display of the great love of God, and of the devotion of Christ to the glory of his God and our God, his father and our Father,' in connexion with the restoration of the human family from the degradatioris of ignorance and crime, misery and mortality. We rejoice in the event, as such a display of Divine benevolence, when rightly understood, attracts the most distant sons of earth into blissful communion with heaven, and breaks down the stoutest enmity of the human mind, which stands as a wall of separation between God and the soul.
In the death of Jesus, we see a confirmation of prophecy, a glorious illustration of the faithfulness of the Almighty to his ancient promises. • The seed of the woman has bruised the head of the serpent,' even by the instrumentality of his sufferings, by the ignominy of his cross, the pains of death and the dishonours of the grave;-since these necessarily preceded the glorious reward of life and joy which had been set before him, the progress of his cause, the boundless triumph of his kingdom. For to him the king of terrors was made to yield, the bars of the tomb to give way, and the gates of immortality to unfold. Then, a spiritual dominion which he had not before, recompensed his faithful labours and his dying agonies. His blood proved the seal of the covenant of love, in its enlarged application to · Jew and Gentile, male and female, barbarian, Scythian, bond and free.' Thus the middle wall of partition,' between nation and nation, was undermined and levelled with the ground : thus the kingdom of God, as the Father of all, had its firm foundations laid, and his will was done on earth by those who were not before numbered among his people, even as it had been done before, only in the heaven of bis church.
With what other sentiments than those of admiration, love, and gratitude, can the Bible Christian view the obedient spirit, the pious faith, the calm patience, the holy courage, the profound resignation of the now exalted and glorified Son of the Most High? How can we believe his
See 1 Tim. ii. 4-8.
+ Christian Teacher, No. 8, p. 493.
premature demise—these are the materials out of which you may, by the addition of a few names and a few dates, construct almost as many memoirs as you will of the sons of genius. It is a melancholy fact, scarcely mitigated by the not very enthusiastic assertion, that greatness must pay its penalty; for though the penalty implies the power, and therein much that is exquisite in feeling, noble in purpose, and deathless in effect, yet it is still lamentable to think of the intensity of suffering which is entailed by a delicately strung and over-stretched sensibility. Another view of these conflicts and triumphs raises our estimate of human nature, when we think of the strength of purpose and persevering vigor which are required, and called forth and disciplined, in rising into eminence against all the depressing influences of poverty, social disqualification, and bodily ailments.
Henry Liversege was born in Manchester, the 4th September, 1803, he died on the 13th January, 1832 ; so short a life sufficed, if not for his happiness, yet for what was dear to him, his reputation, for he has left a name behind him, which at least his fellow-townsmen will not willingly let perish. Nature meant him for a painter, and therefore filled his soul with a love for the poetry of life, and gave him powers of perception, taste, and delineation, which, manifesting themselves with the first huddings of his faculties, grew and strengthened every day. Em ployed at first in portrait painting, he was anxious to emerge from what he felt to be an unworthy drudgery. He was aided in his wishes by a visit to London. But Manchester itself had the honour of encouraging the first bold flight of our artist's powers. In the 24th year of his age he exhibited at the · Royal Institution,' three small paintings of banditti, in the various acts of lurking, plundering, and carousing. The effect was astonishing Fame smiled on the painter, and his subsequent progress in his profession was all sunshine. Meanwhile the exertions called for by the necessity under which he laboured, of satisfying the desires and wants of his own soul, proved too great for his health. He began to droop; he continued to droop—but still thought, felt, devised, painted. Returning from the metropolis, where he had been patronised by the Duke of Devonshire, he reached home in a very shattered state of health ; fits of more than customary gloominess came over him ; he became unusually restless and irritable. • I care not,' he said, " for what is called dying, for I have no enjoyment in life beyond that which is derived from success in my pursuits. Yet I should not like to expire until I have finished some great work to immortalise my name; to be remembered after death is indeed a powerful consolation.' His wish was not executed to the letter, nor in the spirit in which it was uttered, yet even the sketches,' for which he expressed an anxiety a few hours before his decease, will serve as no brief commemoration of his name. He lies in St. Luke's church yard, Manchester. Young genius may find thoughts and feelings whereby to grow, beside his tomb.
The sketch of his life by Mr. Swain is an interesting memorial, dictated by friendship, embalmed by the recollections of boyhood, and graced by the flowers of poetry. Yet we retired from its perusal dissatisfied, having expected more than we found from the pen of one who has obtained some distinction in the art of poetry. In feeling, the piece is exceptionless; in style and power, if not in taste, inferior to the subject.
CHILDREN'S BOOKS. 1. "Scenes and Characters illustraling Christian Truth, edited by the
Rev. H. Ware. No. 1, Trial and Self-Discipline, by Miss Savage; No. 2, The Sceptic, by Mrs. Follen.' --Simpkin, Marshall
and Co., and Mardon, London. 2. Persevere, and You must Succeed, or the History of Mary Smith.'
_Marples, Liverpool. 3. · The Life of Our Saviour, extracted from the New Testament.'
Simpkin, Marshall & Co., London ; Forrest & Fogg, Manchester. 4. “ Exercises for the Improvement of the Senses, by the Author of
Arithmetic for Young Children.-Charles Knight, London. 5. Mary's Grammar, interspersed with Stories, and intended for the
use of Children; by Jane Marcet, Author of Conversations on
Chemistry.'-Longman, Rees & Co., London. 6. 'Alice Grant, The Two Cousins, and The Fair Day: --Darton
and Harvey, London. We have more than once had the pleasure which we now enjoy, of bringing before our readers books fitted for their children, or for prizes in Sunday Schools. The first two volumes, reprinted from the Boston (U. S.) edition, are to be followed on the first of January by • Home.' The name of the editor is a sufficient guarantee that the works are in reality illustrations of Christian Trulh. We have long wished to see such a series, and find what has appeared no less beautiful than true. Their cheapness is an additional recommendation.
The spirit and style of the second work make it too clear to admit of a doubt that the writer is a female, as well as a close observer of children, and one sincerely interested in their moral and spiritual welfare. It is written in a very simple and interesting manner, and cannot fail of impressing the hearts of its youthful readers, and making them feel a strong desire to act as did Mary Smith. Books of this sort are much needed in juvenile Sunday school libraries. They would do a great deal towards softening and purifying the hearts of Sunday scholars, nor least of boys, who need it most. We hope the writer will find encouragement to proceed with other works of a similar character.
The public are indebted for the third production to the writer of • Easy Reading Lessons,' and · Easy Lessons for Children.' To children, the story of Jesus Christ is eminently interesting, but there are serious objections to putting the New Testament into the hands of a class, even for their religious instruction. Its details are too complicated, the history is too involved, the difficulties too great and numerous, to make a good first lesson book ; and we therefore think this little book fitted to do important service in exhibiting the history of Christ in a simple outline, and a consecutive narrative. We like it the more for being in the very words of the sacred volume.
The fourth book is a good companion for the nursery. It relates to a part of early education most sadly neglected. The senses are the inlets of knowledge, and on their condition must depend the impressions received. It is true that in this--the foundation of every thing true, lofty, and pure, nature has done much—but in all cases, nor least in this, nature requires aid. Failing this, how many, having eyes to see,
see not; and ears to hear, hear not; and fingers to touch, know not how to use them. We consider, therefore, that the work before us has been produced in the spirit of an enlightened benevolence, provided as it is, and as it will prove, as much for the amusement as the instruction of young children. Its special object is to excite little children to examine surrounding objects correctly, so that valuable knowledge may be acquired, while the attention, memory, judgment, and invention are duly exercised.'
“ Mary's Grammar has its merits. It is simple and striking. Its principles are generally good and well developed, but we must object to the retention of the old absurdities of auxiliary verbs and subjunctive moods. A knowledge of the Saxon elements of our tongue would do away with the first; and as to the second, it exists no where bu: in the imagination of grammar compilers.
The stories interspersed are interesting, and afford both a pleasant relief to a severe study, and a means of leading the pupil to find illustrations for himself of the truths he has just learnt.
Mary's Grammar' is designed for children who have reached, as would appear from a passage in page 1, the age of seven years. early an age, we think it undesirable in general for children to be troubled with a pursuit which, such as grammar, necessarily involves abstruse difficulties. Grammar is a study which addresses the intellect, not the eye; and ought, therefore, to give place to pursuits which may, by laying hold of the senses, prove attractive, and serve to prepare the mind for the exercises of pure reason. To a child brought up in a family where good English is spoken, the study of grammar is, at the age of seven, unnecessary; and the best, the only way, to correct a child trained to grammatical errors, is to place it in a school, or, what is better, a family, where correct English is the invariable rule. If, however, out of deference to the ignorant wishes of parents, or for any other reason, grammar has to be taught to children, then let it, by all means, be by word of mouth—by simple conversation in class—the children being led, as much as possible, to find their own way, and certainly always to supply, from their own resources, illustrations of every important remark made by their teacher. Aid for conducting such a class may be found in Mrs. Marcet's book, and by no means the least valuable in the stories she has interwoven with her grammatical lessons.
Next in succession to Mary's Grammar,' we would recommend M‘Culloch's, which, at a very low price, contains a full and a satisfactory exposition of the fundamental principles of the English language, not omitting, what we regard as the most important matter of the whole, the etymological principles on which the language is built ; and by reference to which, it is to be resolved into its constituent elements ;-a study full of interest, mental discipline, and historical instruction.
Number 6 contains three simply beautiful stories :- Alice Grant, or the Love of God,' teaches us to connect the idea of the good father with the beauties of creation and the duties of life; · The Two Cousins, or Patience and Attention,' is a needful lesson in virtues, wherein little people, of all ages,' are especially apt to err; and
The Fair Day, or Economy necessary to Generosity,' exhibits the way in which much pleasure may be imparted with small resources. The elegance of the exterior corresponds with the nature of the con