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RITUALISM, AND ITS RELATED DOGMAS. By the Rev. E. MELLOR, M.A. London: John Snow and Co., 2, Ivy-lane, Paternoster
1867. IDOLATRIES, OLD AND New, THEIR CAUSE AND CURE. By JAMES
BALDWIN Brown, B.A. London: Jackson, Walford, and Hodder,
27, Paternoster-row. SPIRITUAL WORSHIP VERSUS CEREMONIALISMS. An Address. By Rev.
H. D. BOWEN. Brentwood : W. Carden. THERE is a certain number of ministers in all denominations, and of all mental types, from the least to the greatest, who feel that they must have a say upon every question, little or great, that excites some amount of popular interest. Colenso writes a book, and their pulpits ring with denunciations-Renan comes into the field of literature, and makes a deliverance, and ministers, some of whom understood not the language he wrote, and were utterly incapable of appreciating his argument, fulminated at him without mercy. Brother Ignatius appears on the scene, and excites a stir among the old women of both sexes, by his ritualistic nonsense, and men, some of whom are amongst the ablest of English preachers, feel it their duty to take up the question of Ritualism. Thus from time to time reviewers have their tables loaded with discourses on these questions of the hour. We do not say all this is wrong-far from it; but we do think that there is a far higher work for Christian ministers to do than this. To prove that certain men and sects are erroneous in doctrine, or ceremony, is not preaching that Gospel which is “spirit and life.” As to ritualism, what is it but the costume with which religious people clothe their religious ideas and feelings, and costume is a simple matter of taste, and what argument can change taste—the sensuousness in thought and feeling will have the sensuous in form. If the Baptist will express his faith by going under the water, the Pædobaptist by sprinkling, the Quaker by his broad-brim, and some Churchmen by certain genuflections, robements, candles, and such things, why should I quarrel with their ritualism? It is a matter of taste, and taste is a matter of organization, and organization cannot be changed by discussion. We have all our ritualism, and we cannot get on without it. These remarks are suggested by the works before us, and many others on the same question now on our table, which we cannot notice. Mr. Mellor's book is decidedly the best we have seen on the subject. The subjects he discusses are—the Christian ministry not a priesthood, nor an apostolic succession-baptism not regeneration, nor the Lord's table an altar. These are confessedly vital points, and are here handled with great discrimination and ability. The work of Mr. Brown is on the same subject, under a more taking title. It will repay perusal. Mr. Bowen's address is also an able one, and touches the heart of the question.
MINISTERS, WORKERS TOGETHER WITH GOD. A Sermon, Preached
before the Bible Christian Conference, in Stamford-street Chapel, Landport, Portsmouth. London: G. Y. Stevenson, 54, Paternos
ter-row. This is a discourse of no ordinary merit. There are but few men in any church that could produce its equal. The author is well versed in the science of man, and takes a wide view of the Gospel of Christ. His thoughts are philosophic; his spirit reverent and catholic; his language clear, terse, and telling.
THE SCHOOL SINGING Book; arranged and compiled by F. WEBER,
Resident Organist of the German Chapel Royal, St. James's
Palace. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. This convenient little work contains thirty-three two-part songs, of various origin and character, with an ad libitum, accompaniment for the piano or harmonium, which in most of the pieces may also be sung by tenor and bass ices, so as to change them into ir-part songs. It is prefaced by seven introductory elementary exercises. Mr. Weber is of opinion that singing at an early age is not only harmless, but actually promotes health, by gently exercising and strengthening the lungs; also, that it furthers discipline and address. This work has been prepared by him for the use of young pupils and schools. He has selected those songs which will charm, and cannot fail to be retained by the memory; and his task generally has been performed in a very skilful and creditable manner.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND CHORAL Book. By F. WEBER. London:
Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. This selection contains eighty-three new and seventeen popular old tunes, adapted to the psalm and hymn books of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. They form a very excellent collection. Many of the very best hymn tunes have been harmonised by Mr. Weber, and are here given, together with some pleasing and useful tunes composed by him. In this, as in the other book by Mr. Weber, to which we have directed attention, we recognise the services of a careful teacher and a highly cultured musician.
COMING WONDERS, Expected between 1867 and 1875. London: S.W.
Partridge, Paternoster-row. This volume belongs to a class of works which we regard, in the main, as unscriptural in doctrine, presumptuous in spirit, perverse in logic, Judaizing and pernicious in tendency. We have tried to read this book, but cannot. The rubbish is revolting.
“I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God.”—Isa. xliv. 6.
'N the service in “The Biblical Liturgy," * which we
have read together this morning, we met with the doctrine of monotheism. We are taught in the clearest
not only that there is one God, and one God only, but who that one God really is. As to this, the sublimest utterance of Scripture, we offer three preliminary remarks
First : It is supported by the structure and order of nature. So far as the universe has come within the sweep of scientific observation and research, it appears as one complete whole. All its parts are beautifully harmonised; all its forces are nicely balanced. Nature has no contradiction in her utterances, no jarring in her orchestra, no deviations from her original habits and ways; her march is stately and unswerving. The same causes, under the same circumstances, produce evermore the same effects. Nature, as a temple, has endless
* This work contains upwards of twenty services, each of which contains a collection of scriptures upon the leading doctrines of Christian theology, didactically and devotionally arranged. It is used every Sunday morning in Stockwell Congregational Church. VOL. XX.
sections and compartments, yet the whole is manifestly the draft of one architect, the work of one artificer. Nature, as a machine, is wondrously complicated, with wheels within wheels, yet the whole is obviously the invention of one intellect, the arrangement of one mind. On the front of the grand fabric of the universe there appears, in bold, clear, imperishable characters, the declaration, “there is but one God." The declaration in the text is
Secondly : In direct antagonism to certain prevalent opinions. It is opposed to atheism, which declares there is no God; that whatever is, has either always been, or else was produced by chance-to feticism, the worship of any material object that a capricious superstition may select-to polytheism, which holds the plurality of gods—and to pantheisin, which regards nature as identical with deity, and thus destroys a divine personality. The text gives the lie to all such miserable theories and inventions. The declaration in the text is,
Thirdly : Accepted as a fundamental truth in all evangelical churches. There is a class of men professing faith in the Bible, who call themselves Unitarians. They have no more right to assume that name than have evangelical believers. No orthodox church believes in a plurality of deities. They believe in one God, and in one Lord Jesus Christ. Monotheism is the religion of Christendom. But our object in this discourse is briefly to consider the practical uses of Biblical monotheism.
I. IT REVEALS THE GREATNESS OF THE CREATOR. Survey this wondrous universe. Gaze upon the vast, and examine the minute in the clearest and broadest light of modern science, and what do you see e-wisdom? Yes, manifold wisdom-in every blade and insect, as well as in every intellect, world, and system. All this wisdom is the product of one mind. The archetypes of all you see existed once in one intelligence. He had “ counsellor to instruct Him." Do you see goodness ? Yes, like an ever-flowing tide, overflowing
all, streaming in every ray of light--breathing in all life, beating in all pulsations, giving a happy glow and a beauteous form to all things. All this goodness is an emanation from one heart, the eternal fountain of all life. Do you see power? In rearing the stupendous fabrics, building up the mountains, pouring out the oceans, stretching out the heavens, moulding, adjusting, burnishing, propelling the worlds and systems that fill immensity. The hand of one being did the whole. It was God Himself formed the earth, and made it; He hath established it. Do you see wealth in all this? If
you attach value to one acre of earth, what is the value of the globe ? But what is the earth to the universe ? A leaf to the forest. A sand grain to the shores, over which all oceans roll. There is but one proprietor of all this wealth. He can say, "all is mine ; the sea is mine ; the earth is mine; the heavens are mine; all souls are mine ; the souls of the father and son are mine." Oh, if there be but one God, how great must he be! All nations are nothing to Him, and less than nothing, and vanity. “Thou, even thou, art Lord alone ; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee!" Another practical use of this glorious fact is,
II. IT REVEALS THE DEFINITENESS OF MORAL OBLIGATION. Deep in the souls of all men is the sense of duty. It may be deadened, but it can never be killed, never be eradicated. Hence, thoughtful men in every age have earnestly inquired into the principles of moral obligation, and very numerous, and often conflicting theories have come forth as the result. Some have propounded one standard of virtue, and some another. My definition of virtue is this—"following a right rule from a right motive." From this the question starts; what is the rule ? Clearly, if there be but one God, the will of that one God must be the rule. What is the motive ? Clearly, if there be but one God, supreme love to that one