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these subjects. His well-known catholicity of soul, force of intellect, and literary aptitudes are too well-known for this.
ANIMAL SAGACITY. Edited by Mrs. S. C. HALL. London: S. W.
Partridge, 9, Paternoster-row. This book is valuable in many respects. The well-authenticated anecdotes which it contains concerning the sagacity, kindness, and fidelity of the lower animals—the exquisite pictorial illustrations, in which the various creatures appear to live and move before you—the paper, type, binding, and the general getting up, and withal the grand purpose and tendency of the whole, namely, to impress the young mind with the duty of kindness to animals, constitute this volume one of the best Christmas presents for the young.
THE CHILDREN'S PRIZE. Edited by J. ERSKINE CLARKE, M.A.,
London : William Macintosh, 24, Paternoster-row. We are glad to find from this volume, that our old friend, the Rev. Erskine Clarke, continues his incomparable literary ministry to the young. This volume, which abounds with interesting and useful anecdotes, and with stirring pictorial illustrations, is equal, if not superior to any of its predecessors, which we have not failed from time to time to commend with all heartiness to the friends of the young for general distribution.
A BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY, DESIGNED AS AN ILLUS
TRATIVE COMMENTARY ON THE SACRED SCRIPTURES. By SAMUEL
GREEX. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster-row. A WORK that has sold to the amount of sixteen thousand copies, must have a fame and a merit, rendering it to some extent independent of any word of introduction or commendation to society. This is a pocket theological dictionary, and an admirable assistant to Sundayschool teachers.
THE BIBLE REMEMBRANCER. By Rev. INGRAM COBBIN, M.A. Illus
trated with Maps and Engravings. London: William Togg. This little work is intended to assist the memory in treasuring up the Word of God. It includes, amongst numerous useful articles, a Scripture numeration, an alphabetical index to the Psalms, improved readings, a key to the Promises, an analysis to the whole Bible, and is illustrated with maps and engravings. It is an admirable little book. Short Notices. THE SUNDAY SCHOLAR'S ANNUAL. London : Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row. This annual contains stories and ballads written by able authors, and is illustrated with twelve full-paged wood engravings by eminent artists. It cannot fail to interest children.THE STORY OF LITTLE ALFRED. By D. F. E. London: S. W. Partridge, 9, Paternoster Row. This is another beautiful and wholesome tale for children.- -CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH Music. Weighhouse Chapel Series. Nos. III, V., VII., XII. London: Jackson, Walford, and Hodder, 27, Paternoster Row. Here are the four parts, treble, alto, tenor and bass, of the well-known Weigh-house series of Congregational Church Music.---LIFE: WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH IT ? An Address to Young Men. By Rev. WILLIAM GUEST, F.G.S. London: Jackson, Walford, and Hodder, 27, Paternoster Row. This is a vigorous and thoroughly healthy address to young men.- -Who IS YOUR PRIEST? A Word for the Times. London: S. W. Partridge, 9, Paternoster Row.This is multum in parvo. It says all that can be well said on the question of priest, and that in a few very
"O foolish Galatians, who hath bowitched you ?”—Gal. i. 1.
PE hear very much-perhaps too much-in
the present day of the various parties into which the Church is divided. Setting aside
all other denominations, we have, within the pale of the Church of England only, High Church, Low Church, Slow Church, and Broad Church-each standing as far apart as Conformity and Dissent in their most antagonistic phases. For the first of these we have to propose a new name-a name sanctioned by apostolic precedent, and more truly descriptive than any of those usually applied to it-the bewitched, the enchanted, or, perhaps, best of all, The "Foolish” Church.
True, we are scarcely warranted in calling it a “Church” at all
, as the Apostle described its creed as a perversion of the Gospel: "another Gospel which is not another,” and denounced it as heretical, though ministered by any-even by “ an angel from heaven.” He is, in fact, describing just what a Church ought not to be; and yet, strange to say, the Negation is accepted as a Model. This foolish Church is essentially and pre-eminently “after men;" it was received from men, claiming an hereditary sanctity and power, observing days and months and times and years, turning back
to the beggarly elements of a typical dispensation, and con. tending, not for the faith once delivered to the saints, but for ceremonial observances already declared by God Himself to have been done away with.
And this very plain declaration of St. Paul denudes this miserable “Church" of all its sacred character, and lays it open to discussion by the common people—the profanevulgar, as they have been proverbially called. And more than this, its "foolish” character strips it of those arrogant pretensions it has so often made to an amount of mystic lore far too profound for the range of ordinary minds. The fence of awful sacredness and mystery is not only broken down, but common sense—the average mind of the masses—is by implication admitted to the lists. It will not do to say that we are laying unhallowed hands upon the Ark: for the Ark is not there ! This “Church" of Ritualism, of ceremonies, of dead forms and dogmas, of witchery, of apostolical succession, and of deference in things spiritual to human authority -to men who seemed to be somewhat, but of whom Paul says, with a manly nonchalance, “Whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me,”— this Church, being no church at all, we may deal with as we please, without putting off a shoe, or cowering before the “power of the keys."
Nay, but, say some, this Ritualism is no unmeaning thing: it has a deep and earnest heart in it; it symbolises the great mysteries of Redemption. We deny it altogether. It might have donė so three thousand years ago, but all it can now point to is a barren future
“Darkness there, and nothing more." O foolish Ritualists! who hath bewitched you, that you should look for the earnest only, when you might banquet on the full fruition? Unwittingly, perhaps, but literally and palpably, you have turned your backs on the Redeemer, whose eyes of loving rebuke are looking on you, not from the Future, but the Past. From this Past, also, a voice addresses you, as angels and archangels, and all the glorious company of the redeemed, do homage to the full-orbed Royalty of Jesus—“This Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sin for ever, sat down on the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting, till his enemies be made his footstool; for by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
This plea of a suggestive character-an earnest meaning -must, therefore, not avail the Ritualist. A prophecy after the fact-a promise of good things gone by, is at best a “foolish” thing. Can we suppose that Paul saw no meaning in the beautiful ceremonials he is here denouncing, so long as they were confined to their proper time and place in the grand economy of Redemption ? How lovingly he dwells upon them in his wonderful letter to the Hebrews; and how, till the greater glory of the Gospel dawned upon the world, he clung to their golden memories, so firmly as to wish himself accursed for the sake of his dear kindred, whose prerogative they had been so long ! But now, they were nothing but weak and beggarly elements, shutting off his view of Jesus, and not only forming no part of his Gospel, but diametrically antagonistic to it.
Let us now see why Paul calls the Ritualists the foolish Church.
I. IT IS FOOLISH IN ITS ORIGIN. Its very foundation was laid in a Great Mistake. It is based on an Apostolic Protest. I stand in doubt of you ; I am afraid of you ; I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.
These are certainly not very promising indications of a sound and healthy church.
A“church”—so called-of whom Paul stood in doubt; of whose practices he declared himself afraid, and for the very conversion of whose teachers he still agonized in spirit, would certainly have been no model church, even had its foundations been well and wisely laid. But look at these ! The entire fabric rests upon, and springs out of, a moral hallucination--a psychological hocus-pocus. It is galvanized into life by the wand of a mountebank! The word, too,