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dently cost little care and preparation. The sin of handling God's truth in this manner seems little considered. Many there are who have scarce made any addition to their stock of reading since their ordination, and when heresies arise, are awfully unprepared to meet them as they should be met; what is the consequence ? the text is often left untouched, its difficulties unexplained, its proper application totally neglected. After a few pages the preacher wanders from the subject with which he set out, makes a few general remarks equally applicable to a variety of subjects, saves his sermon from falling as a dead weight to the ground by an overstrained use of point and antithesis, bolsters up his deficiencies by figure or invective, and often ends with a high-wrought description of the efficacy of that gospel, which in his sermon he has never deliberately examined.
Far different was the plan of Mr. Blunt: he chooses a definite point; he never loses sight of it; is never led into episode for the sake of a metaphor ; never enticed into topics of a kindred nature, but steadily pursues his object,—all his observations are as the radii of a circle tending to a common centre, heaping proof upon proof, explaining by variety of illustration, applying the general principle he was advocating in all its details; his mathematical studies guiding him as by a sort of under-current, giving discipline to the mind and clearness to the ideas, no philosophical terms forced harshly on the ear as though in parade of learning, yet a decisive, though unstudied evidence of the possession of much reasoning power. Those who knew him in private life or in pulpit addresses will recollect his nice sense of propriety of expression—his good ear
-if I may use the term. He disliked exaggerated, overcharged statements or phrases; he uses point, antithesis, and figure most appropriately, and often with great force and beauty, but rather as though they fell from him accidentally, than as though sought out and studied for effect. The materials too which he used were always the best that could be obtained ; with some knowledge of the Hebrew language he combined early proficiency in science and considerable classical reading. He knew something of the Fathers, from whom he occasionally quotes,—was well acquainted with the Reformers,—particularly well read in what may be called “ the Puritan Divinity.” In the notes or text of his lectures he refers you on points of literature, history, chronology, and criticism, to the best writers as authorities for his statements. Many of his sermons were written twice over, and all of them with singular care and deliberation, so careful was he not to put undigested matter or unconsidered conclusions before his people.
But perhaps the point in which he most shone, was the delinea
tion of character and knowledge of the human heart; in his lectures this is particularly evident. In descanting on the history of the saints of old, what knowledge and penetration is every where exhibited: he describes the patriarchs, not as models of every virtue, but as men of like passions as ourselves. He exhibits most touchingly and minutely the providence of God in the changing circumstances of their history. He traces the windings of sin and self-deceit: shows it when concealed under the guise of virtue,
-notices its occasional ebullitions, as though the light and shade of human character, with the nice touches and subtle criteria of the heart, had long been his familiar study. He then alternately rebukes those sinning after the like example of evil, or consoles those tried by a like variation of sorrows. With this are mixed up great powers of description, lucid argument, and a nice use of epithets; so that a few expressive words often convey an idea which it would have cost others pages to describe.
The force and accuracy of his descriptions have often been attested: the chaplain of one of the largest hospitals in London assured us that the sick would read no books so often, or with such pleasure, as his lectures. In the lending libraries established in many parishes for the benefit of the poor, few books are so often asked for as his, commended as they are to the understanding and conscience by simplicity and faithfulness, whilst true to nature and experience. His works are read constantly in India, and published in America. They have been found even in Africa, and have been translated into foreign languages: and, as though to confirm the impression which they produced, his conversation fully kept up the idea which had been formed from them,-children to whom he talked, came away peculiarly impressed with the kind. ness of his manner and winning address. Young men have said that they never listened to a sermon before they heard him; and with him they could find but one fault,—that his discourse came too soon to an end.
We cannot but dwell with mournful reminiscence upon the many happy hours we spent with him in days gone by. The kindness, rather the affection with which he entered into the wants of others,—the generosity with which he relieved them, the compassion he felt and expressed for the infirmities of others; his sympathy with their struggles against sin; the pointed rebuke with which he would silence the least attempt to jest on holy things, yet the ready benevolence with which he would remove the pain his remark had caused : the promptness with which he would answer questions on religious subjects, or even go into discussions for which his physical strength was unequal : the playful vivacity controlled by ardent yet sober-minded religious feeling : the happiness of his descriptions,—the pictures he would draw,his delineation of character, who that enjoyed his intimacy even but for a short time, can forget ? The delicacy with which he conferred a favour : the frankness with which, when he knew you, he received you : the courtesy which placed all around him at ease
—these surely, though in a less ostensible degree, were evidences of that Christian temper, the fruit of prayer and holy meditation.
There may be some who have dazzled an audience more by the magnificence of their figures,-none who have won their way to the heart more forcibly than Henry Blunt. There may be some who have created for the moment greater impression on the public mind: none who in this day have reaped more enduring fruits of a gospel ministry. Few, if any, who with a slight frame and feeble constitution have entered a parish benighted in spiritual darkness, yet have kindled far and wide throughout its range a zeal for God's truth, and an ardent desire to promote his glory. He lives in the hearts of a grateful congregation : he lives in the remembrance of truth first imparted to thousands : he lives in the literature of his country; and we may not doubt he lives in that countless host who have served and loved their Redeemer on earth, and now ascribe unto him praise in heaven. We have only to add, that we hear with pleasure, that a volume of pastoral letters, together with some Sermons, will shortly be published, which will display in another department the peculiar talent of the lamented writer.
ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF “ VENERABLE BEDE.”
1. THE MISCELLANEOUS WORKS OF VENERABLE
BEDE, in the original Latin, collated with the Manu-
of C. C. C. Oxford. London: Whittaker. 1813-4.
GENTIS ANGLORUM, ad fidem Codicum Manuscrip-
Published by the English Historical Society.
ad fidem Codicum Manuscriptorum, recensuit JOSEPHUS
The missions, and the national conversions, of the Middle Ages, form one of the most difficult subjects on which the ecclesiastical historian can touch. However desirous he may be, of awarding all the honour which may be justly their due, to the missionaries and martyrs of those days, the records which have descended to us are so encumbered by superstitions, and so filled with marvels and “ lying wonders,” that,-long before it becomes his duty to give judgment, he becomes exceedingly perplexed to make out the facts on which that judgment ought to be founded. And the party zeal of modern writers hinders instead of helping him. Thus, while Dr. Pusey insists on wholly forgetting the ancient Christian church of Britain, which existed, as there is abundant proof, at least as early as the second century, and would ascribe the conversion of the country entirely to Augustine the monk, in order thus to
Rome was our mother, through whom we were born to Christ,” Dr. Jortin, on the other hand, thus vituperates both Augustine and his master. “ The Christianity which this pretended "apostle and sanctified ruffian taught us, seemed to consist prin“cipally in two things :-in keeping Easter on a proper day; and " to be slaves to our Sovereign Lord God the Pope, and to Austin, “his deputy and vicegerent. Such were the boasted blessings " and benefits which we received from the mission and ministry of “ this most audacious and insolent monk !” (Eccl. llist. vol. iv.
The truth, as usual, lies between these two writers. But the real characters and merits of Augustine and Gregory have never 1846.
yet been fully developed and scrutinized. And for want of a sufficient investigation by some fit and powerful hand, English readers fluctuate and hesitate in their opinions, as they happen to take up a high-church or a low-church historian.
Two or three general remarks may be offered, by way of furnishing matter for thought in the consideration of these histories.
1. We ought to be ready to concede, that probably most of the missionaries of the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries, were among the best men of their day. We owe this admission to them, in consideration of the undoubted toils and perils, and, in many cases, sufferings, which they voluntarily encountered. Let it be remembered, that a mission to the barbarians of the middle ages, was a very different thing from a mission, in our times, to the Hindoos or the New Zealanders. Men did not, then, go forth under the known protection of the most powerful empire in the world, or with stipends provided beforehand, and regularly remitted on each quarter-day. We have not the least idea that there was a single one of all the missionaries of the middle ages, who could be compared to Henry Martyn for fervent, scriptural piety; but neither was there one of them who went forth on a settled allowance of £800 a-year. Our missionaries, it is true, take their lives in their hands, and many a valuable life has been willingly laid down in the service of the West African Mission. But actual murder does not often appear to lie in their path. Yet many of the missionaries of the middle ages suffered cruel deaths, and all must have looked forward to such an end, as a possible and not improbable, termination of their labours. Kilian so died, and so did Winfred, and many others of their day. We are bound to take these things into account, and they lead to the conclusion which we have stated,—that it is most probable that the missionaries of those days were among the most eminent Christians of their time.
2. Yet it cannot be questioned, that the Christianity which they are recorded to have taught, was of a dimmed and corrupted character. They seemed to have been eager to baptize men,especially those of rank,--as though the mere act of baptizing them necessarily conferred that new birth which fits the recipient for the kingdom of heaven. Mr. Palmer, in his small Church History, thus describes the proceedings of Bishop Otto, in the conversion of the Pomeranians.
“St. Otto ascended an elevated place, adorned with all his “ episcopal vestments, and thus addressed the people :- May ye “ be blessed of God, for the good reception you have given to us. " You already know, perhaps, the cause which has brought us thus
eranianam elevated essed the pemave given to thùs