« PreviousContinue »
Memoirs and Remains of the late Rev. Charles Buck containing copious extracts from his Diary. and interesting letters to his friends; interspersed with various observations, explanatory and Illustrative of his Character and Works. By JoHN STYLES, D. D. London. Hamilton; Fenner. Pr. 5s. pp. 442. 1817.
CHARLES BUCK is so peculiarly endeared to the religious public, (says his biographer) both by his preaching and writings, that his name will be long cherished with affectionate remembrance. Coinciding as we do with Dr. Styles in this remark, we experienced a sensible gratification on seeing that the furnishing of his "Memoirs and Remains" had devolved upon hands so competent to the undertaking.
We are informed in the Introduc
tion to these Memoirs that Mr. Buck had begun to sketch a narrative of his own Life, which he did not live to finish. Of this narrative, however, imperfect as it was, Dr. Styles has very properly availed himself, accompanying the incidents with pertinent observations and judicious remarks which add greatly to its interest. From the volume before us we learn that Mr. Buck was born of respectable but not opulent parents, at the small village of Hillsley, near Wotton Underedge, in Gloucestershire, in 1771, but the day of his birth is not specified. His parents placed him at an early age, under the care and tuition of the Rev. W. Hitchman, a Baptist minister, who kept a boarding school in the same village. Of Mr. Hitchman, a name now forgotten, or known only in the fading annals of the neighbourhood where for many years he acted a conspicuous part, his grateful pupil has recorded the following interesting particulars.
sure their lands, in which I often used to assist him. He studied pharmacy, and could mix a medicine, extract a tooth, and use the lancet as well as many gentleto the poor, made the wills of those who men of the profession. He gave advice possessed property, and was ready to do good to all. He could construct a weatherglass, draw a map, and make an almanack. He was a very assiduous cultivator of his garden and orchard, and was no stranger to the science of botany. Above all, he was a good man, and shone as a light in a dark village for many years."
From the ministry of this extraordinary man (for such he surely was) Mr. Buck obtained his first taste of
the good word of God, which was also accompanied by partial convictions of sin; and the sudden death of his sister, followed by that of his father in the short space of three weeks his soul with momentary horror, and after, solemnly affected him, chilled thing after death which gave him an apprehension of that dread some
pause"-though these convictions were not of a lasting nature, for, he gave himself up to amusement and quitting school at the age of thirteen folly. Dancing was his favourite pleasure, in which he took such denearly fallen a sacrifice to it. light that on one occasion he had
He came to London in 1785, and was admitted into the office of an
Attorney, where he devoted himself In this great city, he found a succesto the study and practice of the Law. sion of varied objects to gratify his senses the theatre-the park-the mall-the public gardens, &c. &c. for a while held him in enchantment, and his own pen has recorded in striking terms the illusive vision, in exposed to every temptation, and which he was for a season entranced, on the very brink of destruction." p. 12. But, God who had designs of mercy to accomplish in him, and who had chosen him for usefulness in his kingdom, now called him to an acquaintance with the gospel of grace, and plucked him as a brand from the burning. He was but little more than fifteen years of age when
"In addition to his labours as a preacher, he laid himself out for general usefulness in this and the surrounding places. There was hardly any thing that he could not do. The weak and stitious consulted him in the hour of alarm; parents sent their profligate sons to him to be instructed and reformed; watchmakers employed him to make cal-he first began to speak to his fellow culations; farmers engaged him to mea- sinners about the things which be
longed to their everlasting peace. His first extempore Sermon was delivered in an apartment in Bedford house, Bloomsbury square, in 1787, to which service he was invited by a young man who then lived in that noble mansion. But Mr. Buck does not appear to have been, at this time, a member of any Christian church. He attended the ministry of Mr. Romaine and that of Mr. Foster also at Blackfriars, and underwent the solemn farce of Episcopal confirmation in 1789, from the hands of the Bishop of Bangor, and shortly afterwards became a communicant in the ordinance of the Lord's supper, at Blackfriars church.
Mr. Buck's attention now became turned towards the work of the ministry, and in 1788, he licensed a room in Black horse court, Fleet street, which he opened on the 21st of January, with an exhortation from 2 Chron. xv. 7. "Your work shall be rewarded." In this undertaking he met with several associates-the exhortations were given twice a week, and a society was formed which lasted ten years, and by which he had reason to believe much good was done. The Providence of God, about this time introduced him to an acquaintance with the late Mr. Wills, with whom he became a great favourite. Mr. Wills treated him as his own son, made him at all times welcome to his table, gave him free access to his library, and manifested such kindness to him as he had never before experienced. In 1790, Mr. Wills sent him to preach at Dr. Peckwell's chapel, Westminster, and acquitting himself well on this and other occasions, he finally became his assistant at Silver street chapel. From the spring of 1790, to the beginning of May 1791, Mr. B. was actively employed in preaching as the assistant of Mr. Wills, and having made
up his mind to devote his future days to the work of the ministry, he applied for admission into Hoxton Academy, that he might prosecute his studies with better effect, and was received into that Seminary on the 6th May of that year.
From 1791 to 1795, an interval of four years, Mr. Buck was diligently employed in prosecuting his studies at Hoxton, preaching occasionally, where supplies were wanted, and the Lord was pleased to open a door for
him. But quitting the "Academic bowers," he accepted the call of a church at Sheerness to become their pastor, as a colleague with Mr. Shrubsole, their venerable minister, whose age and infirmities required assistance in the pastoral office. In 1797 he succeeded Mr. Eyre in taking the charge of a large boarding school at Hackney, but having no pastoral charge, he about the close of that year, obtained possession of the chapel in Princes street, Moorfields, and in process of time collected a numerous church and congregation, among whom he continued to labour statedly in the word and doctrine for eighteen years, until, on the 11th of August 1815, at the early age of 44, he was called to his eternal home.
Such is the outline of these interesting Memoirs, which are compiled with the biographer's well known skill, and interspersed with a variety of posthumous pieces from the pen of Mr. Buck-selections from his private diary-and copies of letters which had passed between him and his friends. In the conclusion, we have an extract from the funeral discourse preached on the occasion of his decease, by the Rev. Matthew Wilks, from Psalm cxvi. 7. "Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee"-words selected for the occasion by Mr. Buck himself.
"Was it necessary" said Mr. Wilks language as admonitory to his own heart? "that your dear pastor should adopt this of whom I can say before the omniscient God, that I knew not a man in the world to whom it is less applicable. The regular uniformity of his habits, the pleasing urbanity of his manners, the amazing equanimity of his temper, the uncommon aptitude of his mind to every thing spiritual, benevolent and good, seem almost to preclude the possibility of his adwith whom he appeared to live in a conmonishing his spirit to return unto a God, stant and happy communion."
We remember to have heard several intelligent friends speak in high terms of the oration delivered by Dr. Winter at the grave of Mr. Buck, in Bunhill fields, and much regret that we do not find at least a sketch of it in this volume. It is a double disappointment to us-for, though spectators of the whole of the funeral solemnities, and among the followers of his remains to the grave, the im
mense concourse of persons assembled to witness them, totally precluded the possibility of our hearing the Doctor's voice on an occasion in which it deeply affected and penetrated all who were within the sound of it.
Two Dissertations on Sacrifices; the first on all the Sacrifices of the Jews the second on the Sacrifice of Christ : BY WILLIAM OUTRAM, D. D. formerly Prebendary of Westminster. Translated from the Original Latin,
Upon this principle the mediation of the Son of God is wholly undermined
and the forgiveness of sin is said to be dispensed without any regard to the sufferings or merits of another, | in flat contradiction to the plain testimony of the scriptures, Heb. ix. 22, Col. i. 14, 20. 1 John ii. 12.
It may be fairly questioned whether the Socinian system has ever underby any writer than by Dr. Outram in gone a more thorough investigation the work now before us. written about a century ago, in exwith additional Notes and Indexes. BY JOHN ALLEN. London. Bur-lications of Socinus and Crellius, and press confutation of the various pubton and Briggs, pp. 400. Octavo. 12s. boards. 1817.
LAELIUS SOCINUs the founder of the Sect of the Socinians was cotemporary with Luther, and found an able co-adjutor in his own nephew FAUSTUS SOCINUS, whose writings, we believe, are more numerous and display greater ability in defence of the same tenets, than those of his predecessor. CRELLIUS was of the same school, and perhaps inferior to neither of them in learning, or ingenious sophistry. What Socinus and Crellius were upon the continent at the close of the sixteenth century, that were Priestley and Lindsey in this country towards the middle of the eighteenth. Our modern Socinians, indeed, affect to resent it as an insult that they should be denominated the| followers of Socinus, since they do not acknowledge all the doctrines which he taught. Yet they have no scruple in terming their opponents Calvinists, though the latter object to several things that were held by Calvin. The distinguishing sentiment of Socinus was the simple humanity of Jesus Christ-that of modern Unitarians is the same; and hence they are properly termed Socinians, though they have found it necessary to carry some points to a length which would have staggered the confidence of their first founders. Their doctrine concerning the atonement is, that repentance is the only condition of pardon which God requires from any of his sinful creatures, and very consistently with this, they are led to deny that the death of Christ was a real sacrifice for sin, affirming that though it is often so called in scripture, yet it is only in a metaphorical sense, and by way of allusion to the Jewish sacrifices.
as these authors had written in Latin, Dr. Outram made use of the same language in answering them. The extraordinary merit of his treatise has been duly appreciated and acknowledged by competent judges among Christians of various communions; and one may surely regard it as a matter of surprise that so valuable a work should have remained for a hundred years, locked up from the view of ninety nine readers out of every hundred, in the dark recess of a dead language. But the cabinet is at length opened by the skilful and laborious exertions of Mr. Allen, a gentleman whose classical attainments fully qualified him for the undertaking, and to whom we were already under great obligations for his excellent translation of Calvin's Institutes. (See the Christian Observer of July last, for a masterly Review of that work, and for a very honourable testimony to the merits of the translation.)
Dr. Outram has very judiciously divided his work into two parts. The first Dissertation treats of Sacrifices in general, and of those observed by the Jews in particular. This dissertation is divided into twenty two chapters, which treat of the origin of Sacrifices-the places used for offering sacrifices-the nature and design of the Tabernacle and Temple-the Ministers of Sacrifices-consecration of the Aaronic priests-selection of Victims, &c. &c. &c. This part of the work, it will be recognized by our readers, bears a near affinity to the well known treatises of Godwin's Moses and Aaron, and of Dr. Jennings's Jewish Antiquities, but, in our opinion, the subject is handled in a manner very far superior to what it is done in either of those popular
works. The second Dissertation," reconciliation," p. 375, &c. As Dr. treats of the Sacrifice of Christ in particular, and is divided into seven chapters, of which we shall subjoin the titles. Ch. I. Of Christ's priesthood; the order to which it belongs, and his consecration to the office. Ch. II. Proofs that the Scriptures attribute to Christ a real priesthood. Ch. III. To what class of Sacrifices that of Christ belongs and in what it consists. Ch. IV. The efficacy of that obedience which he rendered to God in offering himself to die. Ch. V. The death of Christ, considered in the light of vicarious punishment. Ch. VI. Atonement effected by the death of Christ. Ch. VII. The oblation by which Christ presented himself to God in heaven, as a piacular victim previously slain for our sins-with the true nature of his in
This syllabus of the work will apprise the reader of what he may expect to find in it, and we have not the smallest hesitation in recommending it in the most unqualified terms to his examination. Mr. Allen has justly observed that the subject discussed in it is infinitely important. "If Atonement for sin by the Sacrifice of Christ be not a fundamental doctrine of Christianity, it may be justly affirmed, that the language of scripture leads to gross and mischievous error that the Jewish ritual was a mass of unmeaning ceremonies-that there is no harmony between the law and the gospel, the prophets and apostles, the Old Testament and the New conclusions never to be admitted by minds that reverence the scriptures, or Him who inspired them." Preface, p. VI.
Outram's work abounded with quotations from the Jewish Rabbies, the Christian Fathers, and the Greek and Roman Classics, we think the translator has done perfectly right in presenting these quotations to the reader in English, without inserting the originals, except in particular instances where the case required it. He has by this means rendered the work accesssible to every class of our Christian brethren, all of whom we hope will profit by it. Notwithstanding occasional trips, which we expect to find in every human performance, it is an invaluable treatise, and we confess we should like to see some of our modern Socinian championsthe Belshams, the Asplands, and the Carpenters, try their hand in an attempt to refute its principles and reasonings! They would find it tough work, and the product could not fail of being a great curiosity.
We could have liked to see some account of the learned author prefixed to the volume, especially as he is very little known in the present day; but probably Mr. Allen had not ma terials for gratifying us in this respect. We noticed lately, a monument erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey-placed between those of Addison and Barrow, and, if we recollect aright, the inscription, which is in Latin, expresses that he was born in the county of Derby.
Letter to the Public, illustrating the Doctrine of the Grace of God, as exemplified in the Case of William Mills, a Criminal who suffered Death at Edinburgh, on the 21st September, 1795. By the late HENRY DAVID INGLIS, Esq. Advocate. Fifth Edi tion. London. Higham, and Nis
The translator has not contented himself with merely rendering his author into an elegant English dress, but he has greatly enriched the work bet. Price 2d. pp. 36. 1817. with several valuable disquisitions Our readers may recollect that we which are subjoined by way of Notes. mentioned this little piece in the life These relate to controverted points in which we gave of Mr. Inglis, in our Theology, and some of them are of last volume. (See New Evan. Mag. no inconsiderable length; in them he Vol. II. p. 260.) It is said on the has given ample proof of his erudi- title page to be the fifth edition; but tion and the correctness of his judg-we think there have been more than ment. Such is that on the question five editions of it printed. Be that, whether the practice of offering sacri- however, as it may, we have great fice to the Most High originated in pleasure in seeing the present, which human invention, or was of divine is executed with neatness, and at a intimation, p. 18–29. Those on the very cheap rate. We understand imputation of sin, p. 327-329. and that the public are indebted for it to on the import of the scripture term the liberal and disinterested conduct
Questions Resolved, in Divinity, History and Biography: including a concise explanation of above four hundred difficult Texts in the Bible: and a great variety and of instructive and entertaining information in general Literature. The whole methodically arranged, with Indexes. By GEORGE GLYN SCRAGGS, A. M. London. Black. In Two Volumes Price 10s. 6d. about 420 pages in each. 1817.
of a highly respectable individual | pitched the pamphlet across the room, who had himself reaped considerable remarking these Stanzas must cerbenefit from it, and who became tainly have been written for the use desirous of making others partakers of the ballard singers in the street!!" of his joy. An impression of four thousand copies has been printed at his expence, and are now retailing at the very low price mentioned above. There is also a superior edition, with a neat cover, at the price of three pence. This is all exactly as it should be. We trust that the glorified Head of the church will continue to make use of it, as he hath heretofore frequently done, as an humble means of pointing perishing sinners to the only way of escape from the wrath that is to come, by directing them to "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." In this way, it must continue to promote the fondest wishes of its amiable and benevolent author. Such of our readers as are in the habit of distributing tracts, we hope will not overlook the presentthan which we have never met with one more deserving of their regard.
Lines occasioned by the lamented death of Her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte Angusta of Saxe-Cobourgh. By the author of the combined View of the prophecies of Daniel, Esdras, and St. John. London. Hatchard, 1817. 24 pages 4to. Is. 6d.
THE author of this pamphlet is, we
"Behold, O Lord, before thy throne,
Now wounded in the tenderest part,
If when thy threatened judgments fall,
To self-conviction leads.
How shall we now our fear allay,
Or how conceal our sin, When in such a mysterious way Thy chastisements begin?"
Having proceeded thus far, she
THESE Volumes, which appear to be the product of extensive reading and much thought, have no doubt been compiled with a particular view to the instruction of young persons, who will find in them many things worthy of being known. The first volume is restricted to subjects in Theology, and is divided into three parts-viz. the Solution of Questions on some important doctrinal subjects -an explanation of difficult textsand, lastly, answers to experimental questions. The second volume, comprehends Questions in History-Biography-Natural History-General Literature-and Miscellanies, with a copious and very useful Index to each volume, which must greatly facilitate the reader's convenience. It cannot be expected that we should coincide with the author in all the interpretations which he has given of more than 400 difficult texts. We differ in our opinion of many of them from Mr. Scraggs-but what is the reader to infer from all this?-why certainly, that Mr. S. differs from us! And we certainly think that he may do all that without being either a heretic or false prophet. If some of the questions do not appear to us of sufficient importance to merit the attention they have received, and if others seem to us more nice than wise, this also is matter of opinion, concerning which our readers may either think with us or the author. We have ourselves always been fond of a little elbowroom, and have no objection to grant it to our neighbours where the matter is not fundamental!