Page images

memory has frequently reproduced his image to our mind. The picture in the book agrees well with the image as it has floated in our imagination, and agrees also with the masterly delineation which his talented nephew, in the opening page of this biography, has given. This work is interesting for many reasons. It records many exciting incidents and noble actions in the life of Captain March ; it contains not a few wise reflections, and admirable sketches of scenes and characters. It is also written with rare ability. The author is young; it is the first time we have met him in the literary vineyard, and we give him a hearty welcome. One who can write so well, will find much to do in the world of letters, and we shall be glad to meet him soon again.


the Author of “Chronicles of the Schönberg-Cotta Family."

London: T. Nelson and Sons. This is a story of English life in the seventeenth century. The two families, who are the subjects of it, are respectively partisans of Oliver Cromwell and that poor foolish king Charles I. The social life and the effects of the contests of the time are revealed in the incidents of the tale: and an insight is afforded into the characters of the Royalist and Independent. Those who know the former works of this writer will not require our assurance that this, like those, is very well performed. Those who have not that knowledge, and are interested in this subject, and in its fiction, may take our assurance that they will find profitable entertainment in “The Draytons and the Davenants."


Jackson, Walford, and Hodder. RHYMEs of all compositions are the most rememberable; hence he who has the faculty of putting divine facts and ideas in good rhyme has one of the highest qualifications for scriptural instruction. The biography of Christ is the history of histories; it is the Bible of man. It reveals, begets, nurtures, and perfects the highest life. The author has essayed to throw this wondrous life into rhymthical sentences. The conception is good, the aim ambitious, and the result is far more satisfactory than we anticipated when we first took the work in our hands. In sooth we deem it a success. Whilst the wondrous facts are told with historic accuracy, they pass before the eye in forms of much poetic beauty, and fall on the ear in sounds of melody that will long ring in memory. TRE GRIMSHAW STREET CHAPEL PULPIT. By the Rov. Evan Lewis, B.A. Tar preacher in large towns whose sermons will bear printing, may preach to thousands, instead of hundreds, and we sincerely wish that


numbers who have the qualification (would they were more numerous) would do so. Mr. Lewis is qualified for this in a very high degres. He has rich stores of information, a great power of vigorous and independent thought, and an imagination ever ready to bring his facts into new combinations, and paint them in new colours. He knows also how to use his pen. He can transfer to paper the rare things of his intellect and heart. These are two admirable sermons.

City LIFE. A Sermon. By Rey. THOMAS STEPHENSON. London

Printed by John King and Co., 63, Queen Street, Cheapside. Tuis is in every way a beautiful discourse: thoughts, style, paper, and type all extremely good.

Sbort Notices. THE MIRACLE OF THE CRUCIFIXION. By the Rev. George Cron, Belfast. Glasgow: T. D.! Monson, 6, Bath-street. A very telling discourse on a most stirring subject by an able man.- -The Real PRESENCE. By T. Wilson Coombs, B.A. London: Jackson, Walford. A very sensible lecture, truthful, pithy, and pointed.SOOTHING THOUGHTS. By the Rev. N. T. Langridge. London: Elliot Stock, Paternoster-row. A sermon admirably suited to quiet the troubled thoughts of those whom death has bereaved of beloved friends.PRAYING TO CHRIST. A Reply to Bishop Colenso. By C. Schwartz, D.D. London: Elliot Stock, Paternoster-row. An able and, as we think, a satisfactory reply to a modern heresy.- HUMAN IMMORTALITY, By William Mellon. London: J. Burns. Progressive Library. Here we have many beautiful thoughts mixed up with much nonsense.- COME AND SEE, London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co., Paternoster-row. This is a very little volume, big with great truths.—THE WORD OF LIFE. John Macmillan, Glasgow. These tracts are a collection of Scripture passages illustrative of leading Gospel truths. We like the idea much. A telling page of Scripture put into the hands of a thoughtless man is perhaps more likely to be read than any other tract, and, we think, more likely to be useful. THE MINER's Welcome. By Albert Barnes. London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co., Paternoster-row. Admirable tracts for distribution.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word : for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."-Luke ii. 25–32.

N the life of man, the religious element is by far

the most important. It gives to his history, worth, unity, loveliness, and immortality. Of the general

history of Simeon we know little or nothing ; but of bis religious one there is a full, pathetic, and an instructive description given in the narrative which I have just read. Its presiding principles and its chief aspects are here beautifully unfolded.

The text gives a brief but comprehensive account of Simeon, his personal piety ; his public spirit, and the glory of his latter end.


[ocr errors]

I. THE PERSONAL EXCELLENCE OF SIMEON. It is expressed in the 25th verse :- .“ And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout.' These are the two grand elements of religion, rectitude and devoutness. He was eminent in the two great relationships of his being. Towards God he was devout; towards man he was just. This part of the subject needs but a brief application : a few suggestive hints, however, may be useful. It is important to study the distinction between these two primary attributes of human holiness the diversities and inequalities which mark their development-yet their essential union; and, finally, the necessity for the joint, harmonious, vigorous activity of both, in order to constitute perfection of character. A word, then, on each of these points.

Who is the devout man? The answer is brief. It is the man who, in consequence of inward, spiritual illumination, entertains correct views of God-of God's nature, character, government, worship, and grace; and who habitually feels, acts, and lives under the living influence of these views. It is the man who has respect to God in all things, who inherits and exhibits the moral glories of the great Father, walks in serene fellowship with him in a world of storms, and lives and moves in his everlasting love. The devout man prays to his God in secret, makes His book the reason and rule of duty, leans upon His kind arm when sorrows darken his path, and endeavours everywhere and always to glorify his name.

But Simeon was not only devout but also just. And who is the just man? The scriptural idea of him is vast and comprehensive. Without aiming at an exact definition, or even description, I would say that the just man is one who comprehends the moral relationships in which he is placed, who studies the various duties which spring from these relationships, who aims to fulfil these duties by the grace of God, and who moreover endeavours to bring others to do the same things. A just man is one who is universally right-right as to his condition, and right as to his character. His faith, his principles, his practice, are all right. Having accepted the divine method of salvation, he is treated as though he were just; the “ Lord imputeth no iniquity to him." Having received the Divine Spirit, he is become actively just towards himself, his race, and his God. In law he is righteous : in life he is righteous.

Such is the general idea the Bible gives of a “just man.” But, in the text, the phrase has evidently a limited signification. It denotes social rectitude. To be just to our fellow men is to recognise, and, as far as we can, to protect their rights, civil, mental, religious. It is to treat them, in deed, word and feeling, according to the spirit of our relations to them. It is to love them as ourselves : to do to them as we would that they should do to us. It is, in a word, to study, practice, defend, and diffuse universal justice. This is to be just; and to be just is an essential element of true religion.

Now, between these distinct, virtues there is an essential connection. They never do, they never can, exist separately. Strictly speaking, they are only two manifestations of the same thing. It is human holiness embracing at once the finite and the infinite as the spheres of its action. Men would sever devotion and morality ; but the thing is impossible. Facts as well as philosophy prove it so. How can a truly devout man be unjust? And how can a just man be yet so unjust as to neglect his God? The two virtues we speak of necessarily co-exist. The combination is required by God and expected by men. False must be the devotion of the unjust : partial and precarious must be the rectitude of the prayerless.

But although these two qualities never exist independently of each other, yet it is a matter of fact, that in many a good man they are far from being equally developed. One man is very devotional as to the current of his thoughts, associations, feelings, hopes, and desires, and yet very defective, to say the least, in the discharge of his social obligations. Another man is remarkably exact, punctual, and conscien

« PreviousContinue »