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Mr. Lambert, the author of the first of these discourses, after a few preliminary remarks, proceeds to shew the valuable nature of the blessings of the Gospel, and some of the salutary effects produced by it. He points out the Gospel as the only real blessing, in comparison of which all others are but shadows ; as being the best gift of God to man, immutable in its nature and eternal in its benefits; as the greatest blessing in being peculiarly adapted for the good of the soul, and as including all the happiness contained in the purpose, in the performance, or in the enjoyment of God; and, lastly, as being general in its nature, and universal in its extent. The Gospel is then considered in its effects, as tending to make one nation a blessing to another, to unite the hearts of men to one another, to promote a mutual intetcourse among nations, and as promoting mutual communion in religious concerns. The sermon concludes with a general exhortation to unanimity and exertion. The text is taken from Isaiah, xix. 23, 24, 25, and the manner in which it is written, is plain, serious, and persuasive.
The next discourse has a more immediate reference to the present obiect of the Society, a mission to the South-Sea Islands. The text is chosen from Isaiah, xliii. 6. “ I will say to the South, keep not back ;' in which Mr. Pentycross remarks, there are three zhings ve y observable : 1. The grandeur of the speaker ; 2. The felucily of the place ; and 3. The glory of the thing spoken. The speaker is the Great I am. He promises to interest himself in the conve:,ius of the heathen, and for that purpose speaks both to the under, "nding and heart of his creatures. In illustration of this topic, the instances of St. Matthew, St. Paul, and the sinner described in the frst epistle to the Corinthians, chap. xiv. 24, 25 versc3 are adduced. The importance of a saving conversion to Cristianity is demonstrated by arguments deduced from these and Various other sources : Such a conversion is shewn to be a standing maleto titrethen world. The different dispensations of proBice to mankind at the creation, the deluge, under the Jewish poliis, and on the introduction of the Gospel, are briefly consider. el, and Ciuitians are required to diffuse the benefit of the blessings they have reccived, conscious that in so doing they have discharged their duty, and icaving the event in the hands of God. Under the seunnd topic our author proceeds to observe, that this may, perhaps, be Goals appointed time for the conversion of the inhabitants of itu Suurh-Sia Islands ; when we reflect on the long state of darkness in which these nations have been held, on the peculiar complacency with which the Almighty is pleased to contemplate the earliest attempts for the salvation of individuals and of nations, on the polirical revolutions of governments, which are by many conceived as prelusory to some grand spiritual revolution, and on the simultaneous infekne sed upon so many uniting for this blessed enterprize. In inc ihjá head of discourse the advantages arising from the Gospel How ofered to the heathen world are displayed, the necessity of relinquishing every vice is pointed out, and, as the words of the fex: sem likewise to imply a reluctance on the part of the South
to listen to these glad tidings of great joy, our author concludes by urging, more especially for that reason, the propriety of more strenuous exertions on our part to overcome that reluctance, and obtain for our fellow-creatures the privileges we enjoy. This animated judicious sermon is replete with important matter, tending at once to information and direction.
The third discourse, by Mr. Jay, is distinguished by a vara 2.. Tively spirit of devotion : Hesclecis his text from Psalm ixxii. 19, 20. and in commenting upon it he considers the importance of its matter, the excellency of its principle, the universality of its cxtcnt, the divinity of its resemblance, and the certainty of its accomplishment. As from the nature of the subject it would be diucrit to analyze this sermon, we subjoin the following extract, as containing an adequate idea of the preacher's spirit and language:
.“ We ought to lament that we have done so little to prove; I will not say the fervency, but even the sincerity of our prayeis; and upon such an occasion as this, rather than embarrassing our rinds with the conduct of God in the contract d lindits of the Gospel, it becomes us to examine ourselves to see whether we are not verily guilty. The church of Christ should have burned with zeal while there was one heathen nation or town to convert. The Friend of sinners said to his apostles, “ Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” They were not to desist till incy had fulfilled their extensive commission. The apostles undersiood this ; they flew like angels, “ having the everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell upon the earth.” The disciples dispersed; the Gospel spread in every direction; and “ mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” Pious men after them followed the noble example, carrying the Gospel from city to city and from province to province. This course should have been continued ; but successors forgot the common object, stopped without endeavouring to make further progress, divided into parties, and contended with acrimony for their respective peculiarities. How little of the knowledge of the Gospel have the heathens for ages derived from their connection with evangelized nations? It has been justly observed, that this is the crying sin' of Christian lands ; a sin too of which they have been quite irsensible; a sin never lamented in our sermons for national humiliation. Without using the means to save men, are we not chargeable with their blood ? Is it not owing to our criminal indifference i hat millions are " sitting in darkness, and in the region of the shadow of death?" Viewing ourselves in a national capacitys as Englishmen, the providence of God has furnished us with pecho liar advantages for this service. Our arms and commerce have
орёile ed us a passage to the most distant parts of the globembut our de sires have not been formed with a view to benefit the heathens, while our conduct has left a bad impression of the Christian name. We have all been culpable; too long have we stood idle; we have not sought occasions, we have neglected opportunities. May our repentance obtain forgiveness, and produce diligence ! Let us with 3 C 2
one heart and voice pray that the whole earth may be filled with the glory of our God. Let us spend our days, and end our lives in this Blessed service. It is better that it be in our heart to attempt the work, should our endeavours fail of success, than that we should be as indifferent to it as the supine Jews were to the rebuilding of the house of the Lord, which had long laled in ruins, under the notion, “ the time is not come," the time that the “ Lord's house should be built."
The fourth sermon, entitled “Great Effects from feeble Means," points out, in a general way, the various deliverances which God ħas brought about by apparently inefficient instruments. But our limits compel us to refer our readers to the work itself, for a display of the various instances in which this truth is illustrated.
Glad Tidings to perisbing Sinners ; or, The genuine Gospel a
complete Warrant for the Ungodly to believe in Jesus. By Abraham Booth. London: Printed for the Author, and sold by W. Button, Paternoster-row, and T. Knott, Lombard-street. 8vo, Pages 234. Price 2s. 6d.
THIS publication, if we be not greatly mistaken, is one of the best theological pieces with which the public, of late years, has been favoured. The subject is highly interesting, and, in our apprehension, forms a constituent part of the Gospel, which the au. thor very properly defines, “ Good news_Glad tidings!” No per, son, we suppose, who is seriously concerned about salvation, the way acceptance with God, &c. and his duty as a sinner, but must be anxious to obtain information on these important points ; and few publications, antient or modern, that we are acquainted with, are better calculated, than this before as, to give him that information. Mr. B. is aware that it is a controverted subjectnot well understood by some, and reprobated by others, who do not seem to have given it an impartial consideration. With great pro. priety be therefore observes, “ That prudence and caution," and he might have added, judgment too, " are necessary in stating and defending the sentiment. We can give him full credit for what he says, “ That the discussion of it has been attended with much thought, and frequent prayer. He has long been of opinion,” he says, " that whosoever exhibits the true glory of divine grace, and the bigb importance of Christian duty, according to the apostolic pattern, will be considered by many as an Antinomian, and by some as an Arminian * :"“ Although," as he observes, " the grand principle defended is far from being novel, it having been adopted by many Protestant writers of high reputation in the church of Christ, from some of whom a number of quotations appear in the following work †," for reasons assigned by the author. The pas sages of Scripture, brought forward in support of the sentiment, are well chosen, the reagoning from them is fair and cogent, and Preface, pages:
+ Page 6
thç the inferences perfectly just. The arrangement of the work is good, and the stile well adapted to the subject. Whether any person will feel himself disposed to enter the lists of controversy with Mr. B. we cannot determine; but if any should, Mr." B. has not, in our opinion, the least reason to be afraid, either for his founda. tion or superstructure. Many may, perhaps, object to the senti. ment, and cavil at the author's defence of it; but so long as the Scriptures exist, overturn it they cannot. To justify this assertion we shall present our readers with an extract from the work.
Mr. B. observes, that it has, with some degree of confidence, been demanded, “ Whether, if sinners must not come to Christ as penitent, and as possessing an boly disposition, they are to believe in him as impenitent, and under the reigning power of their depravity? But this, like some other objections, is not pertinent. For the question is, What is the proper warrant for a sinner to believe in Jesus ? Not, What is the state of bis heart in the moment whep he. first believes ? Or, if the objection did apply, it might be answered, neither as a penitent, nor as an impenitent sinner, but merely under the character of one that is guilty and perisbing. It was for such that Jesus died ; it is to such the tidings of salvation were addressed bythe apostles ; and, therefore, such are encouraged to believe in Christ. The objector might, consequently, with equal reason, have asked, Whether, in a public ministry, salvation by the Redeemer should be exhibited-to penitents or to impenitents; to those that have some degree of holiness, or to those who have none ? And then the answer would haye been, To neither those, nor tbese, respectively as such ; but to all of them without exception, as deserving condemnation and final misery. Nor is there any reason to doubt, whether he to whom, by divine authority, salvation through Christ is preached, be warranted to believe in him.” Pages 1850 186.
Sermons on Practical Subjects. By Robert Walker, late one
of the Ministers of Edinburgb. Fourth Volume. Pages 382. Price 6s. Kay, London, 1796.
WITH much pleasure we announce a fourth volume of sermons by the late Mr. Walker, of Edinburgh. The three volumes already published enrich the libraries of thousands; and while their elegant simplicity of stile will charm
the best judges of good conposition, the ample stream of pure Christian doctrine, which flows through them, will abundantly refresh the faithful followers of the Lamb, and revive the weary coul. The author was eminent, both as a man of primitiye sanctity who lived much above the world, and was not conformed to it, andas a preacher of the everlasting Gospel, rightly dividing the word of truth, and giving to every one his portion of spiritual food in due season. By those who had the honour of his acquaintance, and the happiness of sitting under his ministry, his name will never be mentioned but with veneration, and the soothing melancholy remembrance of joys which are passed. It is in.
deed but a just tribute due to departed excellence to say, that there have been few men, in the present age, whose memory is more fondly cherished, and more sincerely revered by those who knew him, and who knew him best. We are very far from considering the character of an author as of little consequence to the utility of his publications ; on the contrary, great piety and ardent zeal will make the discourses of a man, which are in themselves mean, to be read with pleasure and advantage. Pious heads of families will find Mr. W.'s sermons peculiarly suitable for the instruction of their housloli ; and devout men, who delight in secret intercourse with God, will be pleased to obtain in him, who being dead yet speaketh, a valuable companion for the closet. Most of the discourses in this volume were designed by the author for the press. Had they enFoyed the benefit of his own correcting hand, and been fully prepared by lıim for publication, they would have appeared to much greater advantage ; but as they are, they are not unworthy of Nir. Walker.
7be Good Man 69] Faith;fuil Minister made cminently Useful,
A Funeral Sermon, preacbed at Stepney Mcting, June 19, 1796, occasioned by the Death of the Riv.. Sumu! Brwiry 2. D. Fifty Fears Pastor of the Independent Church in i but Place, ubo re partat tbis Life June 11, 1796. Together zeith ibe Oration delivered at the Intermont. By George Ford. Puges 52.
Price is. Matthews, Chapman, Button, Conder, and Taylor.
SIODESTY, piety, and affection strongly characterize these tucourses. From an expression or two it appears, that Mr. Ford
28 desired, by his vencrable departed father and friend, to engage in these services. Painful as they must be to his feelings, he could not, he telo us, refuse compliance with the dying request of one whose favour and friendship he so conspicuously enjoyed, and whom, with the giateful aifection of a son, he had always loved and obcycd.
Butai" there was no particular passage of Scripture appointed for ai fiineral text,' we are not surprised that his mind was not a little exercised to fix on one in every respect suitable to the occasion. This difficulty, however, he seems to have happily surmounted, and to have selected one as expressive of Mr. Brewer's character, as any, perbaps, in the Old or New Testament : “ For be was a good man, and full of ibe Loly Gbost, and of fuith; and mucb people was added X10 ihe Lord.”
To give an analysis of the sermon, or to abstract from that and the oration the character, experience, and ufefulness of this eminent and venerable servant of God, would serve only to anticipate the pleasure which, we are persuaded, our readers will feel in perusing the obcourses themstives, which we sincerely recommend to their attention.