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unregenerate ;-that many, in all probability the greater part of them, are yet in their sins-mêre nominal-not true spiritual Chris. tians; but be his subject what it may, he is careful rightly to divide the word of truth, and address to each one his appropriate message. But this, we fear, is not the style of preaching which at present characterizes the English pulpit ; and we are the more anxious to call attention to this point, as it appears to us just now one of great importance, and if duly weighed well calculated to give a right direction to ministerial energy in its conflict with the various opposing influences which beset us. If the pulpit give an uncertain sound, the battle is lost ; but let the truth be proclaimed with a clear and distinct earnestness, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Hence our reference to the model er. hibited in this volume—and perhaps we cannot do better than close this notice with a single extract from the Advent Sermons, illustrative of the Author's style and manner in applying his message to the heart and giving it a practically impressive characterthe particular point to which we call attention. The closing appeal is as follows:
“And now, in the view of this solemn and alarming day of the coming of our God, I entreat you, my friends, to look at the character of your own lives, and see if you are prepared to meet your God. I have before me many upright, and kind, and excellent persons in the intercourse of this world, whose characters are, in many respects, just objects of esteem and love. But they are living without any principle of deep spiritual piety; without the reconciliation of their hearts to God, and without any hope depending upon his favour. I would not class such valuable members of human society altogether with the outcast profligates who roam the streets. They have their reward in the uniform respect of mankind. But can I comfort them with any prospect of blessedness hereafter? Can I tell them they are safe, when I am perfectly convinced that they are not safe? They will acknowledge themselves to be without a renewed heart. They will confess that they have never been brought to make the surrender of their affections and their lives to Christ. And yet it is upon this single point that all the promises of a future life are rested. 'Except ye be converted, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.' 'Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.' There is no hope of future blessedness offered to man, but in connexion with this plain and indispensable point. To such of my hearers would I address the question, with the faithful spirit of kindness, . Are you prepared to meet your God?' Could you stand this day before the Judge of all the earth, and appeal in the assurance of faith to himself, and say 'Thou wast made sin for me, when thou knewest no sin, that I might be made the righteousness of God in thee, thou wast offered to me in the gracious provisions of the gospel, and I gladly received thee to my heart, and put thee on as wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption for my soul? Could you thus, with humble confidence, claim the fulfilment of his promise unto you? Could you look upon the face of Jesus, as a friend for whom you have counted every thing else but loss, and say, “Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee , Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief?' If you have no such connexion with the Redeemer of sinners, then how are you prepared to meet your God? You would be rejected by him. You would be cast away from his presence. The kindness for which men
love you, the integrity and honourable character for which they respect you, have not been acquired or cultivated in reference to him, and can challenge no acceptance at his hand. This is the outward appearance upon which men look. God asks for the devotion of the heart. You need an inward, abiding principle, of love to God, of delight in his character, of submission to his will, of joy in his perfections, shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Ghost. It is this alone which will enable you to assure your hearts, before him, and give you boldness in his presence. Without this spiritual devotion of the heart, all other attainments will be of no avail. Your souls, still unconverted and guilty, will be lost for ever.
“You think it hard that there should be no permanent discrimination made between your characters and the abandoned portion of mankind. You deem it harsh and cruel that the flames of hell should be threatened, to those so educated, so restrained, and so respected as you have been. But when your consciences acknowledge that you are not prepared for the presence of God, and cannot, therefore, expect to partake of the rest prepared for his people, what is the alternative? Is there neutral ground between heaven and hell? “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?' that the servant who did not his Lord's will had his portion arpointed him with unbelievers ? What then shall I say to you in this dilemma? Shall I tell you that you are righteous, acceptable to God, and therefore will be saved as you are? Your own hearts would contradict me in every asser. tion, for you are convinced that you are neither. Shall I tell you that you are unrighteous, without holiness, and therefore cannot see the Lord, or inherit his kingdom? Here your better feelings revolt, and you think that some better place than hell might have been provided for persons of your description. My friends, God has provided some better place, which he offers freely to your possession and enjoyment, if you will have it. But he offers it, as he must offer it, in his own way, and upon his own terms. And if you would attain his promises, you must enter in by the door which he has opened.
“Now, it is not your outward morality or immorality which affects this question. It is your simple rejection of salvation when it is freely offered to you, which rejection leaves you in your own condition to perish. God proposes to save you, and you refuse. He entreats you to be wise, and you refuse still. What then is to be done? The alternative is, that you are lost. You cannot escape, if you neglect so great salvation. You take a mendicant from the street, and bring him to your own house, and make him your son ; he is ungrateful and disobedient; you still forbear with him; he leaves you with contempt; you go for him and bring him back; he pursues again the same course; this round of kindness and ingratitude is gone through again and again. At last, wearied with his perverseness, you leave him to his own course, and try to forget him. Would others be most likely to speak of you, and would you be most likely to think of yourself as unjust in leaving one who had rejected all your kindness, or as forbearing and liberal in doing so much for one for whom you were under no obligation to do anything? And would it be your cruelty or his perverseness, which must be alleged as the proper ground of responsibility for his final poverty and sufferings ? Transfer this illustration to yourselves, and you are condemned out of your own mouth. God requires from you a certain well-defined submission, as a preparation for the day of his coming. He gives you the ability to be prepared according to his will. But rejecting his grace as offered in Jesus Christ, he can offer you no other way of deliverance. In the strong expression of the poet,
"You read your sentence at the flames of hell;' or in the stronger language of the Scripture, “He that believeth not shall be damned.' "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the people that forget God.'
“Let me then earnestly press upon your notice, this message upon which we have dwelt so long-Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.' Whatever be the outward habits of your lives, whatever be the opinions which men entertain of your character, without the power of godliness in your souls renewed by the Holy Ghost, you are weighed in the balance and found wanting, Acquire then this spirit of true religion. Awake to the importance of your future prospects. Consider the value of your eternal interests. Esteem i no weakness to acknowledge that you have precious souls which must be saved, and that every thing else is for you of small importance, when conpared with them. If ardent spiritual religion be enthusiasm, fanaticism, may God be pleased to send such fanaticism abundantly into his Church! If it be rude and vulgar to call upon men, as helpless, miserable, ruined sinners, to flee from the wrath to come, to turn unto God and live, may God grant such a vulgar spirit to all who profess to be his ministers. We are not of these who deem it shocking to mention hell to ears polite. Beloved, the solemn question is before you, and must be answered by you, “Who shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who shall dwell with the everlasting burnings?' Every soul here present that is not bound to Jesus Christ by a living, lasting faith, is without hope, under the wrath of God, condemned already, and cannot escape the damnation of hell. Turn unto him and be ye saved. Acquaine yourselves with him and be at peace. You cannot stand before God, uhwashed in the blood of the Lamb, unrenewed by the power of the Spirit, Your weight of guilt will sink you into eternal condemnation. O, then, beseech you, prepare, by embracing the hope which Jesus offers you, to meet your God, and to receive that recompense of reward which he brings to those who wait for him."
Besides the Advent Sermons there are ten others on the follor, ing subjects :- The New Creature, 2 Cor. v. 17.-The Protected People, Ezek. ix. 3—6.—The rescued Brand, Zech. i. 2.–1€ Sinner's Choice, John xviii. 40.- The Christian's Rock, Deut. IIIl. 31.–A Spiritual Famine, Amos viii. 11, 12.–Little Sins, Gen. xix. 20.-The Valley of Decision, Josh, iii. 14.- The Christians Hindrances, Gen. xxiv. 56.
We beartily recommend the series, and would only add that it one of the Society's cheap publications.
LIVES OF THE QUEENS OF ENGLAND, from the Norman
Conquest; with Anecdotes of their Courts ; now first published from official Records, and other authentic Documents, private as well as public. By AGNES STRICKLAND. Vol. IX. London: Colburn. 1846.
ment closetached ne say we?mber of public in o pursu
« The author of this biography does not consider herself in any way responsible for the sentiments and theology of either James II. or his queen. She is herself a member of the Church of England, and relates things as she finds them; that being the duty of a biographer, notwithstanding differences of opinion on many important points.” (p. 411.)
We are favoured with the same comforting assurance in some other places of this extraordinary volume, as well as in the preceding ones. To clench the matter, Miss Strickland herself steps forth from the high abstractions of her historical pursuits, and through the daily prints proclaims to the public in propria personá that she is “an attached member of the Church of England.” More shame for her, say we! The Church of England has no lack of such attached members at the present moment. Their attachment closely resembles that of an iron clamp driven into an old building, with a strong tackling hooked to it, having a team of dray-horses at the other end. The quantity of the building that falls when it is pulled down exactly tests the strength of the adherence. Mr. Newman, for instance, was just such an “ attached member.” He however has fallen off, and the score or two of unfledged parsonlings that have gone fluttering and squeaking after him may, we suppose, be considered as the first-fruits of his tumble. Mr. Frankland Paley, of Cambridge, is another of them. This trifling fall of dust and rubbish which just now directs the public eye towards him, is a tolerably pregnant proof that the strain is upon him already, and that it is not his intention to fall alone. Miss Strickland also is attached to the Church of England for the same purpose, which is that of doing the Church all possible mischief during the entire period of the continuance of her attachment: and her success has assuredly far surpassed that of any of her reverend coadjutors, not excepting even the Rev. Messrs. Gresley, Paget, and Sewell, the novelists. The numbers, not of women and girls merely, but of grown men of all ages whose principles Miss Strickland's Queens of England (as she is pleased to term her historical, or rather anti-historical romances) have entirely undermined, is truly surprising. It is especially so
in the present day, when we are in the habit of congratulating ourselves upon the educated and enlightened views we entertain upon every question : for we do not understand how any wellregulated mind can possibly give in to the gross and palpable misapprehensions of the question between Protestantism and Popery which Miss Strickland makes the substructure of her serial romance: such, however, is the case, and before dealing with her ninth volume we must endeavour to remove them.
The English Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries was never accounted by the actors in it a question of taste and elegance. The people of England neither rejected their Popish or papalising princes, nor supported their Protestant ones, either because they themselves were amiable and agreeable men, or because they had pretty queens. Henry VIII was not beartily seconded in his steps towards the Reformation, because of the broad expanse of his shoulders and the manly openness of his countenance, no, nor even because of his predilection for female
Henry and agree
countepexpanse of steps towardens
tary We egunor evenoulders the Remote VIII Steeable
and Mary Queen of Scots ever turned upon the personal attractions, or the proficiency in female accomplishments, or the fascinating qualities of the two illustrious rivals. In the same manner we most solemnly disavow, that the revolution of 1688 was brought about, because the people of England thought William von Oranien more of a gentleman than James Stuart, and Mary Hyde a prettier woman than Mary d'Este. We beg very seriously to remind Miss Strickland that this was not one of the grounds of the Reformation, though she has made it one of the grounds of her attack upon it.
There is another misapprehension which Miss Strickland lays at the basis of her superstructure, and which will equally require to be removed. The reformation in England did not take place because the Popish princes were monsters of iniquity, and the Protestant princes patterns of piety and virtue. No advocate of Protestantism has ever advanced this ridiculous improbability, and we believe, until Miss Strickland, no assailant of Protestantism has ever assumed it to be pretended, and made that assumption a ground of attack.
We must make the same reservation in regard of the nobles and other leading men of the two great parties in religion of this stirring period. The reformed nobles were not supported by the people because they were all angels, neither were the Catholic nobles opposed by them because they were all devils. The moral worth of the two parties was never in this manner brought into antagonism. The idea of such an antagonism on any great ques