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people that their evangelical pastors are not to remain, or cannot remain, in the English Church, and the Church would lose the sole principle which yet secures to it some portion of the national affection. Crowds of practical dissenters love and sustain the Church, because in the common-sense view of her formularies they believe that many men of sound Protestantism, are justifiably domiciliated within its borders. Let the Gresleys and the Pagets, and all the writers of pretty novelettes, only succeed in convincing the public mind that it is not so; let them push on upon the almost insane path of a projected exclusion of the so-called “puritans," and most assuredly the day of the church's nationality will quickly close. We will not follow this thought further. Romanist leanings have accomplished "a little schism” in Scotland; and the men of similar leanings in England can talk coolly of a similar result here. But here it cannot be a little schism, neither can the following of such a party, if extruded, be small. It must enlist the sympathies of the majority of the people. It would go far to obliterate the divisions of the Christian world, and the warmest advocate of a revived persecution against “the Gospellers” would probably live to regret that he ever touched the first little stone whose shaking was the precursor of so mighty a ruin. Let it be remembered that the move has taken place in both the churches in Scotland. In both these instances the church of the aristocracy is no longer the church of the multitude. Such a separation must be viewed as an awful evil ; and such is the genius of our own people, that if ever such a movement be rashly attempted among ourselves, it would soon create the swelling of a deeper and darker tide, which would roll with desolating sweep alike over both the ornamental and the useful adjuncts of our ancient institutions. Only let the British people be convinced of what they most virtuously as yet persist in doubting,
—that it is intended to break faith with them on the great recognized principles of the Reformation; and they will be soon found to have been inoculated with a recklessness and love of change which no wise man could look upon without regret. Our system has the consecrated antiquity of three hundred years; as such it is enshrined in the hearts of the people. Rob it of its scriptural peculiarity, and to them it will be a thing of yesterday.
1. SERMONS, preached in the Cathedral Church of St. Peter,
Exeter. By the late Rev. Thomas GRYLLS, A. M., of Trinity College, Cambridge, Prebendary of Exeter, and Rector of Cardynham, Cornwall. With a Biographical Sketch of the Author. By the Rev. J. PUNNETT, M. A., Vicar of St. Erth, and formerly Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. Lon
don: Hatchards. 1845. 2. SERMONS, preached in the Parish Church of St. George,
Bloomsbury. By the Hon. and Rev. H. MONTAGU VILLIERS,
M. A., Rector. London: Nisbet. 1845. 3. EIGHT SERMONS, preached in St. Pancras Church, with
an Appendix. By the Rev. G. S. DREW, B. A. of St. John's College, Cambridge, Minister of St. Pancras Parochial Chapel, London : Rivingtons. 1845.
“ True dispatch," says Lord Bacon, “ is a rich thing : for time is the measure of business, as money is of wares: and business is bought at a dear hand where there is small dispatch.” So say we, and therefore we hope to be excused for classing together so many as three volumes of sermons, any one of which might furnish matter for a valuable article. But what can we do? A “ Churchman's Review” must in all fairness take some notice of the Church's great organ, the pulpit; and yet, when we cast our eyes upon the list of a single house specifying comparatively recent sermons by more than a hundred authors, we must frankly own that, except by some happy device, we must be content to issue our monthly number without so much as tithing these valuable specimens of our home-spun theology. The sermons before us have all of them the impress of the old year, and as the new one advances, we have many more demands upon us than we can afford to meet. Besides
“Debemur morti nos nostraque: We must therefore do what we can; and aim as much as may be at the multum in parvo. Sermons are hardly books for criticism : but they are books which ought fairly to be reported: and we are not quite sure whether wire-drawn articles have not for some time back condemned half our reviews. It may at all events suffice as regards current unconnected sermons to give a general account of them, with such brief passing remarks as the circumstances may require. This is all we propose in the present notice ; and should the like necessity compel us, we may again perhaps have recourse to the like expedient.
1. The first volume on our list is posthumous, but not therefore the less valuable. We are happy to say that its precious contents come to us with the seal of a holy life and a happy death. The immediate connexions of the deceased must indeed feel, as the title intimates, that by this volume their beloved friend, relative, and pastor, “ being dead, yet speaketh ;” and we cannot doubt but it will prove a rich source of comfort and instruction to a numerous circle who are left to bemoan their heavy loss in the premature removal of so excellent a man. Let us give a single extract from the Sermon on the “Purpose and Objects of Life,” just to acquaint our readers with the sort of companion they will find in our first volume. The preacher had just addressed in terms which we would gladly quote) the man of pleasure, the man of business, and the man of learning : he thus proceeds
“ From these children of the world let us now, my brethren, direct our eyes to a very different character, the man of God. Would you know whom I mean by such a man? do you desire me to describe him more particularly? It may seem strange to you if I say, what is nevertheless true, that though he differs as widely in his pursuits as in his ends, from each of the other characters we have reviewed, he is yet in some sense all those characters combined in one. Yes, the man of God is a man of pleasure. Pleasure is the object of his pursuit, his desires, his prayers,-unmixed pleasure the end for which he lives; but oh! is he content with nothing short of those pleasures which are at God's right hand for evermore!'-aspiring far far above the worldling's low and sordid joys, his heart pants after those pleasures which are without alloy, and joys which never fade, the purchase of a Saviour's blood for them that love him. Yes, and in this very pursuit of that which yet he sees not, he reaps a present pleasure, he tastes a present joy, in comparison with which earth's highest happiness is less than nothing. Again, he is a man of business ; eagerly and continually engaged in his work, sedulous and unwearied-furnished with one ready answer to all who would divert him from it. 'I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down ; why should the work cease while I leave it, and come down to you?' But, like his Saviour, it is the work his God hath given him to do . My meat is to do the will of Him that hath sent me, and to finish his work.” In this he makes haste to rise up early, and is late to take rest, and ' eats the bread of carefulness ;' for he is deeply convinced 'there is no work, nor device in the grave whither he is going.' He is a man of learning ; never satisfied with present attainments; ever labouring to know more-but it is to know more of Christ and his salvation; ever striving to increase in wisdom,' but it is 'the wisdom which is from above;' content with no inferior teacher, but seeking more to be taught of God, and by him made' wise unto salvation.'
“ Such is the man of God. And what is the answer he will give to our question? His conduct as well as his conversation will leave us in no doubt of his sentiments. “I believe, nay, I am sure, that I am placed here, 'not to do mine own will, but the will of my Father which sent me.' And I know his will to be, that I should 'glorify him with my body and my spirit which are his.' I know his command to be that I should work out my own salvation with fear and trembling '--that I'give all diligence to make my calling and election sure'--that 'I seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness
- that I'let my light so shine before men, that they may see my good works,' and by seeing them be led also to 'glorify my Father which is in heaven.' A command so varied, so reiterated, and yet having respect to the same end, I as little dare, as I desire to disobey. And I know that my whole life is not too long for such an employ as this. No; I must, and by the grace of my God, I will,' work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day; for the night cometh when no man can work.'” And so he continues faithfully, unweariedly, yea, increasingly, to do, till at length his span of life is measured too, his race is run; the one event that happeneth to all', happeneth unto him; the dust returning to the earth as it was, and the spirit returning unto God who gave it.' And so ‘he passeth away,' and his generation, and 'another generation cometh ;' and encouraged, cheered, strengthened by the example and the dying testimony of those that have gone before them, a second generation pursue the same path; and a third-and a fourth-and one after another they pass away from the face of the earth, and are no more seen, while others arise to tread in their steps.
“And whither, my brethren, doth he, the man of God pass? to a Saviour's bosom ; to the rest that remaineth to the people of God; to the place which Jesus is gone before to prepare for them that love Him,''to an innumerable company of angels, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.' Oh, yes! he passeth straight to that happy state, where his everlasting reward awaits him ; where faith gives place to sight, and hope is swallowed up and lost in enjoyment. He goes to reap that which he had sown; but it is ' to reap in joy the harvest which, it may be, he hath sown in tears. He goes to the full and blessed experience of that truth he had before believed - that 'our light afflictions' in this world shall' work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.' He enters upon a state where he finds' death swallowed up in victory;' where' there is no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither any more pain ;' for sin can come near to hurt no more, nor temptation to vex. Restored now to the perfect image and entire love of his Father which is in heaven, that which puts the seal and crown upon his exemption from every ill, his enjoyment of every good, is this--that both are, like Him who gave them, enduring, unchangeable, eternal. He rests for ever in the bosom of his God!”--(pp. 77–80.)
Such is a specimen of Mr. Grylls' sermons. “ They are,” to quote the language of his friend Mr. Punnett, “in a high degree, spiritual, practical, and scriptural. We meet in them with no elaborate arguments, no long disquisitions: at the same time, they are well-digested, earnest, and forcible statements, of the faith and duty of a Christian : dealing with the life of God in the soul of man, as a momentous reality, evidencing itself by the outward actings of a holy walk and conversation. It is one of their excellences, that they abound in the very language of scripture. The texts introduced are not indiscriminately thrown together, as a cento of religious phrases out of a common-place book : but are so appositely applied to the matter in hand, that the whole bas the appearance of a beautiful Mosaic, in which the individual gems are skilfully combined and cemented together into one harmonious mass."
We should add that these sermons are a specimen too of that very rare class usually called Cathedral Sermons. They were preached in the cathedral church of Exeter,-the respected author holding a prebendal stall in that church, to which he was named by the present Bishop of the diocese, in 1833, being one of his earliest appointments : à distinction the more honourable, as his biographer observes, from the manner in which it was conferred-his lordship, in his letter of presentation, describing it as “a gratifying opportunity of giving a testimony of his sense of Mr. Grylls' long and valuable services to the church and diocese, especially in his office of dean rural.” It gives us sincere pleasure to notice the Bishop of Exeter's preferment of such a man.
From the memoir prefixed to the sermons which we have here quoted, our readers may learn various other particulars respecting the author in his private and domestic, as well as in his more public character as a magistrate—a dignitary of the church, -and above all, a beloved pastor and faithful minister of God's word. The account of his last illness and death is very affecting and instructive. We can easily conceive, as Mr. P. observes, that he well deserved the memorable enconium, “ Bonum virum facile crederes, magnum libenter.”
We ought just to have stated that the author of these sermons was the Mr. Grylls nominated by the Crown to the deanery of Exeter, in consequence of Lord Wriothesley Russell being found ineligible-a nomination, however, which was afterwards set aside by the adverse one of the Chapter.
II. The second volume on our list is one which needs no commendation from us. Mr. Villiers is well known as a faithful and devoted evangelist; and if additional proof were wanted, the Sermons contained in this volume, coupled with its affectionate pastoral preface, will leave nothing to desire. The immediate object of their publication is thus stated.
“ In writing out this volume of sermons, which I venture to inscribe to you (the parishioners of St. George, Bloomsbury), I have kept many objects in view. I have desired to contribute my mite to the many testimonies which have lately emanated from the press on the side of truth, as contrasted with Tractarian error. I have wished to 'set to my seal,' that, as far as God gives us light,' the whole counsel of God' should be set forth in all its fulness and freeness without reserve. I have also earnestly wished to leave with you a record, should it please the Lord to call me hence to give in my account before Him, how anxiously I have desired the salvation of your souls.
“I hope I may add, without any appearance of vanity or presumption, that in my ministry among you, my aim has been simply to set forth the glory of God, and to set forward the salvation of souls. Had I sought the applause of men, I might certainly have adopted a style more ornamented and polished. Had I courted your favour or feared your frown, I might have withheld plain practical truths, or insisted upon them in terms less painful to unconverted hearts. But my prayer to God is (and I know I have the prayers of many of you also), that " a door of utterance may be opened to me to speak the mystery of Christ;' and that. I may speak boldly as I ought to speak.' I have earnestly sought to keep in remembrance, that a faithful minister is ‘unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish : to the one we are a savour of death unto death; and to the other a savour of life unto life. This is an awful truth to the mind of a minister. It