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(We hold it to be the duty of an Editor either to give an early notice of the books sent to him for remark, or to return them at once to the Publisher. It is unjust to praise worthless books; it is robbery to retain unnoticed ones.)
THE REVIEWER'S CANON,
The NONSUCH PROFESSOR IN HIS MERIDIAN SPLENDOUR; or, the Sin
gular Actions of Sanctified Christians. By WILLIAM SECKER, To which is added, The Wedding Ring, a Sermon, by the same
Author. London: R. D. Dickinson, Farringdon Street. Tue author of this work lived in the last century, and was minister of “ Allhallows Church,” London. He was evidently a man of peculiar genius, original thought, and strong religious feelings. His imagination was fertile with striking and sometimes grotesque illustrations. His style pithy, antithetic, quaint, and pungent. His dedicatory epistle to Sir Edward Barkham and his lady may be taken as a fair specimen of his style of thought and expression. It is as follows:
“Honoured Worthies,-You have tied me in so many silken cords of kindness, that I must live and die in these pleasant bonds. The only return I can make you is by pen and ink, to acknowledge myself your debtor; persuaded that your noble minds are like that of Artaxerxes, as condescending to receive small things from others, as to grant great things himself. I am sensible what prejudices are conceived against recommendatory epistles. I presume I shall not kindle strange fire upon your altar, by informing you that I believe you take more pleaspre in godliness than in greatness. You have learned that piety is the best parentage, and that to be new born is better than to be high born. It is reported that in some great personages' houses, there are more oaths heard in one day than prayers in one year.' But in your house, there are more prayers heard in one day than oaths in one year. God has ornamented your terrestrial crowns with many choice jewels. He has given you of the fatness of the earth as well as of the dew of heaven. Esau's venison, as well as Jacob's blessing; the nether springs of common bounty, as well as the upper springs of special mercy. There are four showers which have watered your garden fruitful posterity, an inward tranquillity, a faithful society, and a grateful memory. Ah, how liberal has God's hand been toward you; and how lively should your hearts be towards Him! You have a large room in many godly bosoms; but, alas! the best man's confidence on earth is insufficient to carry you to heaven. A crack in the greatest pebble is not equal to a flaw in the smallest diamond. These present you with a piece, which is more practical than notional; more fit for a Christian to live upon than for a critic to look upon. I hope the dregs do not lie so thick in it as to prevent your drawing clear wine from it. I have attempted from this scripture to draw a believer's pictare, and hope you will view it with an attentive eye. May you remember that by how much you are made greater than others, by so much better you should be than others! On earth it is your chief business to seek God, and in heaven it will be your chief blessedness to see God. While some look with envy on the rich man's estate, may you look with trembling on the rich man's accounts! You know you should not only be the pictures of piety, but also patterns of piety; then, while you are descending the hill of nature, you will also be ascending the hill of grace, you will prove yourselves such jewels of mercy as shall be locked up in the cabinet of glory. Now, that your happiness may exceed your hope, that your little family below may compose a part of the family above, that it may live holily with you on earth, and eternally with God in heaven, is the earnest prayer of, most worthy patrons,
“ Your humble servant,
“ WILLIAN SECKER." This extract will stimulate our readers, we are sure, to procure this extraordinary little volume.
A SUGGESTIVE COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT ON AN ORIGINAL
Plax. St. Luke. Vol. II. By Rev. W. H. VAN DOREN. London:
R. D. Dickinson, 92, Farringdon Street. WERE a young divine, possessing the necessary qualifications, namely, great philosophio penetration, high poetic feeling, profound reverence for truth, a through acquaintance with the original language, an accurate and extensive knowledge of oriental manners, scenes, and customs, to ask us what literary work he should give himself as the greatest and most urgent ? our reply would be that of abstracting the great universal and eternal principles of the Bible. We would tell him to go through every chapter of that grand old book, com. mencing at the beginning, stripping it of all orientalisms, localisms, symbolisms, and ascertaining the moral and redemptive substance of the whole. That redemptive and moral substance which could be put into a space small as compared with the great bulk of the book, would be the very spirit of the Bible :-that which man wants to
regenerate, quicken, and perfect him. We would not accept, however, this tract, which it would be, containing the spirit of the Bible, in lieu of the Bible as it now is, for we like the wonderful, variegated, and often gorgeous wrappages with which the old book enfolds eternal principles, but we would accept the tract as infinitely more valuable than all the bulky commentaries extant on the Holy Scriptures. This “ suggestive commentary” does in some degree what we desiderate. Only it does a great deal more, and therefore swells the bulk of the book. It imports many ideas that are not found in the text, and often, homiletically, gives the reader the substance of a sermon. What we have said of the first volume holds true of this. Sunday-school teachers and preachers will find the work a great boon.
PREPARING FOR HOMB. A Series of Expository Discourses on the
Fifth Chapter of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. By
Row. The preface to this volume, in which the author speaks of the work entitled “Heaven our Home," as a "valuable treatise,” we confess did not at first propossess us with a favourable judgment of him as a teacher of that religion which inculcates self-obliviousness, which tells us we must lose our life, and not seek our own. The selfishness and sensuousness which are imported into modern evangelicalism, are the devil in the garb of religion. In modern evangelicalism heaven and hell are preached as the great arguments for a religious life. Salvation is represented as a rescue from some outward hell, rather than as a rescue from selfishness, ignorance, carnality, and ungodliness. The religion of Christ is urged as a means to an end, rather than exhibited as the grandest end of being. In our view, religion is urgent, not because there is a heaven or hell, but because there is a God of infinite perfection to be adored, worshipped, and obeyed. Though the work before ns is a little tainted with this corrupt evangelicalism, it scarcely belongs to the class. There is a good deal of high spiritual teaching in it, a good deal in keeping with the doctrine that Christ came “ to redeem men from all iniquity," &c. On the whole we heartily commend it.
Sermons: Experimental and Practical. An Offering to Home Mis
sionaries. By JOEL HAWES, D.D. London: R. D. Dickinson,
92, Farringdon Street. « The sermons in this volume,” says the venerable author, “ are of a miscellaneous character, not designed for the discussion of points of Christian doctrine, or any peculiarities of religious sentiment; but plain, practical, experimental, setting forth in direct, simple style the great evangelical truths and duties which the author thoroughly
believes, and which he has found, in the experience of a long life in the ministry, most effective and useful in the awakening and converting of sinners, and in quickening and aiding Christians in the divine life. Sereral of the discourses here published were prepared and preached to the people of the author's charge, and often in other places, in seasons of religious revival, and were made by the Holy Spirit instrumental of much good."
The volume contains thirty-six short sermons, on ordinary subjects. The teaching is thoroughly orthodox, the thinking is clear and consecutive, the spirit is earnest and devout. They are decidedly more thoughtful than the arerage of popular discourses.
THE NEW CREATION. By Rev. John Mills. London: Elliot Stock,
62, Paternoster Row. Br“the New Creation,” which is at once the subject and the title of this book, and which is the subject of repeated reference in the Holy Scriptures, the author means that new moral creation in the souls of men which is being gradually effected in the world by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The old heavens, and the old earth, which are to be burnt up, are the old moral systems of error and corruption. We accept this view as at once rational, scriptural, and practical. The work is divided into tea chapters, the subjects of which are -- Preliminary Observations, Injurious Effects of the Pre-millennium Theory, the Nature and Character of the New Creation, the Analogy between the Works of the Creator in the Material and the Spiritual World, the Harmony of Prophecy and its accordance with the whole Tenor of Divine Reveiation, &c., &c., &c. Though we do not accept all the interpretations of the author, nor consider all his arguments as conclusive, we estimate his work as one of great value. It goes against one of the most dangerous and growing errors of the age, pre-millenarianism. Its discussions are calm, thoughtful, candid, often enlightening, and . suggestive. FIRST STEPS TOWARDS A CHURCH OF THE FUTURB. London: Simpkin,
Marshall, and Co., Stationers' Hall Court. All the productions of the author of this work, whether they agree with our views or not, demand respect. He is always searching, reverent, candid, and devout.
THE WATERS Saw Thee. A Sermon by Rev. CoWELL Brows.
London : Elliot Stock. This sermon was preached on behalf of the widows and orphans of the men drowned at Padstow, through the recent lifeboat disaster at that place. The discourse indicates considerable mental force.
“Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.”—John vii. 30.
HE most momentous hour in the annals of time,
was the hour of Christ's crucifixion. Every hour in the world's history is dependent on
this, and derives its highest significance from it. It was the hour of the world's redemption-an hour in which eternal rectitude was triumphantly vindicated ; the powers of darkness successfully vanquished; the liberty of untold millions of human souls graciously secured; and the sublime purposes of God with reference to the interests of this world gloriously accomplished !
This was the central hour of time, into which the hopes of all preceding hours had converged, and out of which must emanate all the joys and lustre of all succeeding ones. All the benefits of the past and prospects of the future are blended in this mysterious hour. In this hour we find the greatest exhibition of Divine love, the grandest wonder for angels, and the theme of highest praises for innumerable myriads of redeemed souls through endless ages.
Christ VOL. XXI.