« AnteriorContinuar »
habits, and institutions of society. We the Lectures : I. On the various Famay venture to assert, that neither the culties of the Human Mind. II. On virtue nor the happiness of man will ever the Existence of God. III. On the be placed on a perfectly firm basis, till Providential and Moral Government this fundamental error has been extir- of God. IV. The Probability of a pated from the human mind."-Pp. 92-
Divine Revelation, under the already 94.
stated Views of the all-directing ProWe shall return in the next number vidence and Government of God. to this very able and truly pleasing V. The Divine Original of the Mosaic writer. Our apology for dwelling so Dispensation. VI. The Old Testalong upon the first Essay is the great ment considered in the Light of Hispractical importance of the subject tory and Prophecy. VII, The Divine The influence of the truth which the Original of Christianity. VIII. The Essayist seeks to establish is, in our Christian Religion considered in the judgment, incalculably beneficial. “It Light of History. IX. The Christian often happens," as he well observes Religion considered in the Light of in the Preface, pp. vii. viii., “ that an Prophecy. X. Proofs of the Divine important principle is vaguely appre- Original of Christianity, from the hended, and incidentally expressed, Characters and Circumstances of the long before it is reduced to a definite First Disciples. XI. The Conversion form, or fixed by regular proof: but of the Apostle Paul attended to, in while it floats in this state on the sur. Proof of the Truth of the Christian face of men's understandings it is only Religion. XII. The Truths and Purof casual and limited utility; it is poses of Divine Revelation in corresometimes forgotten and sometimes spondence with its Miraculous Attesabandoned, seldom pursued to its con- tations. XIII. The Morality of Revesequences, and frequently denied in lation considered, in Correspondence its modifications. It is only after it with its Divine Original. XIV. Gehas been clearly established by an in- neral Application. disputable process of reasoning, ex. The prevalence of infidelity led Mr. plored in its bearings, and exhibited Holden to instruct the younger memin all its force, that it becomes of uni- bers of his congregation in the princiform and essential service; it is only ples of their faith ; but he does not then that it can be decisively appealed join in the undistinguishing clamour to both in controversy and in practice, against unbelievers, as if they were and that it exerts the whole extent of not men, or not worthy to live. He its influence on private manners and says, ( Pref. p. vi.,) public institutions.”
“In any occasional observations on the ART II.-Plain and Familiar Lectures arguments and objections of uubelierers
on the Leading Evidences and which may be met with in the course of Truths of Natural and Revealed the following Lectures, the author would Religion; addressed principally to persuade himself that nothing will be the Rising Generation. By Law
La found to have escaped from him disre. rence Holden. 12mo. pp. 262.
spectful, uncandid, or inconsistent with Portrait. Sherwood and Co. 68.
the benignant and charitable spirit of our
holy religion; assuredly nothing of this 1820.
nature is intended ; nor would he for a M R . HOLDEN has been for moment attempt to justify an appeal to
1 many years the acceptable and the strong arm of the law to check or highly esteemed pastor of the Presby. put a stop to their writings. Let them terian or Unitarian congregation at write, and let them be answered. Justly Tenterden, in Kent. He has, we are as
are as he condemns the misrepresentations informed, become more abundant in
and partial quotations of these writers, labours, as he has advanced in age.
and much as he has been at other times This volume is an evidence of his ac
disgusted with their sarcastic mockery
and profaneness, he considers reason and tivity in the pastoral care ; it consists
argument as better weapons than force ; of addresses to the youth of his flock,
and that, if divine revelation cannot be at whose request it has been publish supported by its own evidences, it should ed, accompanied with a faithful por- fall. His own decisive conviction of the trait of the worthy author.
firm foundations upon which it rests, is The following are the contents of connected with a corresponding assurance
that sooner or later all opposition must purity and excellence of the character of fall before it."
the Founder of this holy religion. But
what can we say of the morality of the Nothing, indeed, is more pleasing gospel, if it was a system of fraud ? Or, in these Lectures than the unassum- what can we say of the purity and excel ing tone of the preacher, and the free lence of the character of Christ, if he and manly spirit which he encourages knew that he had no just pretensions to in his hearers. At the close of the a divine commission ?"-P. 134. IVth, he thus addresses his juvenile We are much pleased with a remark flock :
or two in the introduction to Lect. “ The free exercise of the understand.
XIII. on “the Morality of Revelaing, upon this and every other subject which is at all interesting, must be ever delightful. The observations here offered
“By a system of morals, I do not to your attention, are not irged upon
mean to assert that it presents itself in
these writings in the particular form of a you with a tone of authority, as though commanding your abject and blind sub
system ; but that they contain it. Much mission. My greatest pleasure is in
less when I use the term system of momeeting you from time to time, fully pre
rals, is it my intention to exclude the pared to judge upon all subjects for your
sacred sanction of divine authority ; for
they here present themselves also in the selves. Yet, my young friends, I am so
form of laws; or in all cases connected well satisfied myself, of the firmness of the ground on which I stand, that I have
with and expressive of the will of that no fear or apprehension, when calling
all-perfect Being under whose government into free and full exercise the highest and
we live; and on whose favour and approbest capacities of your nature : convinced,
bation our everlasting happiness will be that if no unhappy bias takes place in
found to depend.”—Pp. 215, 216. your minds, from sin and from the world,
The Lectures almost bear the chareligion, whether natural or revealed, the more fully it is inquired into, the more
racter of paternal counsels. The bedecisive will appear the firm foundations
nevolent spirit of the gospel pervades upon which it rests.”—Pp. 66, 67.
them all. And though not aspiring
to originality, nor distinguished by inMr. Holden is sparing of critical genuity, and though written without remarks upon sceptical writers; but the ordinary anxieties of authors in he naturally introduces the name of regard to style, they insinuate themHume in the Lecture (the VIIIth) on selves by the good feeling which they the Historic Testimony in favour of express into the affections of the Christianity, and smartly confutes the reader, and are in fact better suited favourite argument of this renowned than some works of higher pretension sceptic by an argumentum ad homi- to attract, persuade, convince and imnem.
prove the greater number of youthful
inquirers. “Mr. Hume, who in some of his writings thus attempted to destroy all faith in history, and to plunge the mind into ART. III.-An Inquiry into the Scripall the uncertainty and unhappiness of tural Authority for Social Worship; universal scepticism, himself wrote a His with Observations on its Reasonatory of Eugland. But did he expect his bleness and Utility; and an Account readers to question whether there ever
of the Manner in which the Religiwere such kings of England as Alfred, or
ous Services of the Temple at JeruJohn, or Henry the Eighth? Or did he
salem, and of the Synagogue, were expect that in remote ages it should be
conducted in the Time of Christ. questioned whether such a person or
By Thomas Moore. writer as Hume ever existed ?-Pp. 126,
2mo. pp. 127.
156. Hunter and Eaton. 1821.
COME late attempts to disparage The dilemma in which serious and
the authority of social worship led candid Deists are placed, is properly the author of this tract (see his « Adurged by the Lecturer :
vertisernent”) to preach several Ser“ Many unbelievers have admitted the mons in defence of the practice, which, excellence and greatly comprehensive na. by the advice of some friends, he has ture of the gospel morality; as also the given to the public in the present forin. A small work of this kind was the satisfactory answers to it, and allows much wanted, and we have no hesita- himself to have been mistaken. He adds, tion in recommending Mr. Moore's however, that the Jewish public worship « Inquiry» as a judicious and satis. is nothing to the purpose ; t in which he factory argument for common or joint
appears to as to have been equally mista
ken: and, among other reasons, because, prayer. The “Inquiry” consists of three
in the first place, this part of the religious
services of the Jews appears to hare been chapters. In the first, the author al
sanctioned by the personal attendance of leges.“ Arguments from Reason in
Christ and his apostles; and, secondly, favour of Social Worship.” Of its the universal prevalence of social prayer reasonableness he thinks “the uni- and praise among this people, acconats versal practice of Christians" a pre satisfactorily for no command occurring sumption, and for its utility he ap- in the New Testament for the observance peals to experience. The second of this custom. To this it may be added, Chapter is a discussion of “thé De that social prayer is a duty altogether gree of Encouragement given to Social independent of the Mosaic institutes; but Prayer by the Scriptures of the Old
oud by its connexion with them it may be
considered as receiving an additional diTestament." Here, the practice of the Jews is fully inquired into, and
vine sanction."-Pp. 42–44. the author expresses the result of the The author next describes from Vi. inquiry in the following terms : . tringa, Buxtorf, Lightfoot and others, " From the instances which have been
" the religious services of the Temple selected, then, it is perfectly manifest that in the time of Christ,” and, after the Israelites were always accustomed to stating a variety of particulars, thus public social worship, consisting of both concludes this part of the “ Inquiry:" prayer and praise ; and it is observable that of these instances some consist of
the whole of this account, thanksgiving and adoration ; some of
of then, it is evident that the entire service confession of sin ; others of petition; and
and of the Temple was not only public, but in others all these are united. Should it
as social as possible. It was the service be said that part of them took place on
of the whole people, conducted by officers extraordinary cccasions, and are there
appointed for this purpose. fore no proofs of the common practice of
** The mode of prayer, it is true, was the Jews, it is obvious to reply that they
probably different from that in use among are such instances only of which the his
Christians. There is no proof that they torian would take any notice ; the usual
had any minister to conduct this part of and every-day services of religion would,
the services, and Prideaux says, that of course, be passed over in silence, just
every one repeated what prayers he as days of public thanksgiving, or any
thought proper according to his own consolemn act of natioual worship on some
ceptions, referring to the instance of the
Pharisee and Publican, as mentioned by singular occasion, might be mentioned by historians of the present day, whilst the
Christ. If It appears, however, from Lightregular worship of the Sunday would
foot's and other accounts of these sernot form a subject sufficiently remarkable
vices, on the best authority, that they to be adverted to. The whole of these
had forms, and of these several have been instances, however, together with the
given. The comment moreover upon the Psalms composed expressly for the Tem
Talmad says expressly, $ that these were ple service, and the officers appointed to
in the prayers of the people ; and Maimo. conduct it, prove incontestably that social nides Il observes that their prayers were worship was the constant and stated practice of the Jews, aud that it was. always coupected with the obserrance of . “ From the able pens of Mrs. Barthe Mosaic rites.
bauld, Dr. Disney, Mr. Simson, (Simp “ It is a remarkable circumstance, that son, and Mr. Pope." in the first edition of Mr. Wakefield's † “ See Pope's Answer to Wakefield." pamphlet against public worship, which i “ Luke xviii. 10, &c." at the time excited considerable attention, Š « Temp. Serv. ch. ix. sect. vi." he says expressly, I find no circum- # “ Maimonides, who lived about the stances in the Scriptures, concerning this end of the eleventh century of the Chris people, the Hebrews, that wear any as, tian era, was the most learned and pect of public worship, as we conduct it; least superstitious of the Jewish writers. but in his second cdition he abandoned "He was the Jewish oracle,' says Lewis, this topic of argument, in consequence of an author, as Cuneus observes, above
at first free, and unrestricted with respect least prayer in society; and as they were both to time and forms, but that after in the habit of repeating the same forms, their return from the Babylonian cap. it was not individual and separate, but tivity, they made use of forms, and at prayer in conjunction, or strictly social. stated times. * And with respect to the However, the following circumstances are Temple service, the fact evidently was, decisive : whilst the people themselves that at the times of morning and erening were praying in the outer court, the offisacrifice they had public prayers, in which cers of the Temple, called the Israelites all the people joined, either persoually or of the Station, who were the delegates by their representatives ; and the outer of the people, were repeating the prayers court of the Temple being constantly in their behalf. And if they had no open during the day, individuals went priest, or minister, to lead their devothither at other times, when they pleased, tions, * the reason appears to have been each to offer up his own prayer in his this: " The offering of incense,' as Priown thoughts and words ; so that to in- deaux observes, t upon the golden altar fer from the instance of the Pharisee and in the Holy Place, at every morning and publican, that all the prayers offered in evening service in the Temple, at the the Temple were private, or individual time of the sacrifice, was instituted on and unsocial, would be just as reasona- purpose to offer up unto God the prayers ble as if a stranger who had never at. of the people, who were then without tended the religious worship of the Ro- praying unto him. And hence it was man Catholics in the present day; should that St. Luke tells us, that while Zachaconclude that they had no public prayers, rias went into the Temple to burn inbecause he happened to go into one of cense, the whole multitude were praying their chapels when two or three indi- without at the time of incense.' And for viduals were repeating their prayers sepa- the same reason it is that David prayed, rately, as is commonly seen to be the 'Let my prayers be set before thee as case, after the public services are con- incense, and the lifting up of my hands cluded. Whilst the Jews had forms of as the evening sacrifice.'f And accordprayer which they were required to re. ing to this usage is to be explained what peat at least three times a day, t once we find in Revelation, (vii. 4, 5,) for in private, and if possible at the morning there it is said, “An angel came and and evening service in the Temple, they stood at the altar, having a golden cenwere at liberty to use each for himself ser, and there was given unto him much any other prayers he might think proper. And as it was considered to be the duty of all, who could, to be present at public
as we are informed, by a vision in the prayers, considerable numbers usually Temple, the whole multitude that had attended on these occasions, as appears been praying without in the court of the from Luke i. 10. This, then, was at
women, were waiting for him ; and the reason of this was, that, having finished
their public prayers, they were expecting our highest praise; the only man of that the benediction which the officiating nation who had the good fortune to un- priests always pronounced at the concluderstand what it is to write seriously, sion of this part of the services. (Ver. and to the purpose. (Pref, to his Ant. 22.) Lightfoot's Temp. Serv. Ch. ix. Sect. p. 74.) Lightfoot and Vitringa have vi.” made ample use of his works, which treat " It is not proved, at least, that there at large of the services of the Temple was no such leader. Perhaps the Israelites and the Synagogue. He made an excel- of the Station were considered as such : lent Abridgment of the Talmud, and they were denominated the angels of the
for this and his other works,' says Pri- people, like the reader of the prayers in deaux, he was esteemed the best writer the Synagogue, Or if not, there is a among the Jews.' Prideaux's Conn. passage in Joel, already quoted, (p. 41,) Part I. Book v. p. 228."
ch. ii. 15–17, in which, when the con* “ Vitringa de Syn. Vet. Lib. iii. Pars gregation of all the people were gathered ii. Cap. xiv. p. 1032."
together, the priests are commanded to + " Such was the practice of David and offer up prayers in their behalf, between Daniel. Psalm Iv. 17; Dan. vi. 10." the porch of the Temple and the altar.
I “ Or the account attributed to him, This probably was not inconsistent with which, if spurious, was still written at a the usual practice. See also 1 Maccabees very early period, and is sufficient autho. vii. 36, 37." rity for a fact of this kind, mentioned as + " Conn. Part I. Book vi. p. 383; it is incidentally, and without design. Godwin's Moses and Aaron, Lib. ii. Ch, i, Zacharias, the officiating priest for the p. 64.” time, being detained longer than usual, " Psalm cxli. 2." VOL, XVII.
incense, that he should offer it up with reading of the law and the prophets was the prayers of all saints upon the golden concluded.* And thus did St. Paul at altar, which was before the throne ; and Antioch ; which also being remarkable, the smoke of the incense, which came especially with respect to the subject of with the prayers of the saints, ascended his teaching, it was proper for the histoup before God out of the angel's hands,' rian to mention. If a stranger happened &c. However inconsistent it may be to preach at any of our places of worship with the more rational and enlightened in the present day, those who heard him devotion required by the Christian reli- would naturally mention this circumgion, it is clear that this practice gave a stance to their friends, particularly if unity to the public prayers of the Temple, there were any thing singular either in and rendered the whole perfectly social.” his manner or his subject. But who -Pp. 56–60.
would think of observing that he was
present at the prayers, and joined in The remainder of this Chapter is ihem with the others ? His being there devoted to “the religious worship of to preach implied this. No person, therethe synagogue,” concerning which fore, who pays any attention to the mean. the author has collected much curious ing which general custom bas assigued to and interesting matter, tending to shew these expressions, can doubt that when that the worship of the synagogue was it is said, it was the custom of Christ social, and, in fact, the model of that and his apostles to attend the synagogue which was adopted by the Christian
on the Sabbath-day, this implies, that Church. We give his view of the
they constantly joined in the usual ser.
vices of these places; and we see at subject in his own words :
once, that so universal and so long esta.
blished was the practice of social prayer “ So perfectly social, then, was the
in the habits of their countrymen, that it mode of worship which Christ and his
wonld never occur to them to give a parapostles sanctioned by their regular atten
ticular command to enforce the obserdance upon it. It has been observed, it! is true, that we read of Christ teaching, vance of it, as if it were something new, and reading the Scriptures and expound. or generally neglected."-Pp. 83-85. ing them in the synagogues, but never of
The last Chapter relates to "the his praying there. The reason of this,
: Social Worship of Christians."
The however, is extremely obvious.
der this head, the author adduces the prayers were the stated part of the syna. goglie services, in which all who attended rassages in the New Testament in regularly joined ; it is therefore evident favour of Social Prayer,” first exathat no notice whatever would be taken mining those that have been quoted of our Lord's joining in them, for this against the practice. Amongst these was a matter of course; and when it is latter, is Matt. vi. 5 and 6, his explasaid that his custom was to attend the nation of which is worthy of being synagogue ou the Sabbath, this expres- given at length, together with his in- , sion will always be understood by those troductory remarks: who have any respect for the common usage of language, as implying that he “ Will it then still be urged, that our joined in the prayers like all the rest who Lord not only discouraged this practice, were present. But the case is different but absolutely commanded his followers with reading the Scriptures and expound- to abstain from the observance of it ? ing them; for none were permitted to do Had he meant to do this, and had he this, but those who were called out from disapproved of social prayer as highly as the assembly for this purpose by the inj. its opponents in the present day wish to nister.
have it believed, what was his duty rela. « Jn his own city Nazareth, as a mem- tive to this subject ? As this practice had ber of the synagogue in that place, he been so long and so universally established was selected as the reader of the lesson in the habits of his countrymen, instead for the day, and took occasion, as was of giving it encouragement by a regular usual, to comment upon it. This, there attendance upon it in their synagogues, fore, especially as the passage was ex
was ex. had he intended to set it aside, whilst tremely remarkable. having reference to his prohibition of it was the most clear himself as the Messiah, it was very na. and unequivocal, would he not have em. tural and proper for the historian to no- braced every opportunity that occurred tice. But this very circumstance of his of warning his hearers of its pernicious being selected as the reader, proves that he was present at the prayers. In all other places, when he taught the people, “See Prideaux's Conn. Part. I. Book it was according to the custom, after the vi. p. 380."