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tion of Friendly Societies, fc. By cessfully to guard inexperienced stuH. D. MORGAN, M. A. Oxford : dents against the glosses of the NeoParker. London: Rivingtons. 1830. logian School, and other erroneous 8vo. Pp. 56.
interpretations. To the volume be
fore us, there is appended a vocabulary We were happy, in our last num- of the symbolical language of Scripber, to submit to the notice of our
ture, and, what is too often wanting in readers Mr. Morgan's laborious and
books—an index. The labours of Mr. learned work on Marriage and Di
Carpenter are well suited to the pervorce;” and we are no less pleased in
sons for whom he intended them; and directing public attention to the little
to such we have pleasure in recomtract, just published by the same au
mending these useful and “Popular thor, which stands at the head of this
Lectures." article. It is written in the genuine spirit of Christian philanthropy; and will
A Common-place Book to the Fathers, serve not only as a useful guide, but
containing a Selection of Passages, as a persuasive monitor, to those who
from the Primitive Writers, opposed are engaged in promoting the cause of which Mr. M. is a most powerful
to the Tenets of Romanism. By the
Rev. W. Keary, Rector of Nunadvocate. That cause is generally allowed to be most important; and
rington. London: Hurst and Co.
Dublin: Curry. 1828. 8vo. pp. we only abstain from a more length
232. 6s. ened discussion of its merits on the
Our attention was called to this present occasion, as we shall shortly be called to a more extended view of
little work, as likely to be serviceable the subject, when the Prospectus of
in the compilation of our memoranda the “ Člergy Mutual Assurance So
of the Early Fathers. It may be useciety” is ready for circulation. We
ful, perhaps, in directing the student shall not then forget to do ample jus
to a series of passages in the Patristice to the pamphlet before us.
tical writings, from Justin Martyr to Augustine, opposed to the Romish
and in showing how this
species of testimony on any partiPopular Lectures on Biblical Criticism
cular doctrine, may be collected and and Interpretation. By W. CarLondon: Tegg.
digested in a common-place book. Be8vo.
yond this, however, it has no great 1829. Price 12s.
merit to recommend it. This volume is an interesting and tenets are first briefly stated, and then useful companion to Mr. Carpenter's opposed by quotations from some of
Scripture Natural History,” noticed the above-mentioned writers, of whom in our Number for April, 1828, and, a brief account is given in the aulike that work, adapted to “ the un
thor's Introduction. The citations are learned Christian, whose wish it is to translated into English, with the authostudy the Bible to advantage, and to
rities at the bottom of the page. We derive immediately from the fount of observe, however, that the translations inspiration those rich and copious
from the Greek Fathers are all made streams of the Divine beneficence and from the Latin version ; for what posmercy which gladden the creation of sible reason we are altogether at a God.” Our Author has made ample loss to conjecture. It will be seen use of the biblical works of other also, from the following list of the writers, to whom he has frequently doctrines brought under review, that made his acknowledgments. Those, the catalogue is by no means comhowever, who are desirous of fully in- plete: 1. Tradition; 2. Supremacy vestigating the literary history, criti- and Infallibility; 3. Transubstantiacism, and interpretation of the Bible, tion: 4. Purgatory; 5. Invocation of would do well to consult Mr. Hartwell Saints; 6. Image Worship; 7. Prayer Horne's Introduction to the Critical in an Unknown Tongue; 8. JustifiStudy and Knowledge of the Scrip
cation. No notice whatever occurs of tures, especially the sixth (and last) the Seven Sacraments, the refusal of edition, in which he has laboured suc- the cup to the laity, &c. &c. &c.
The papal SERMON FOR GOOD FRIDAY.
JOHN XIX. 30.
It is finished. Nothing can have a greater tendency to awaken in our minds a feeling of pious gratitude, than those festivals which our Church has set apart in commemoration of the life, sufferings, and death of our blessed Saviour. Their recurrence at stated times reminds us of our deep obligation to the Son of God, and preserves us from forgetfulness of the mercies of his redeeming love. They are respectable, too, from their antiquity, having been observed by the members of the primitive Church; and their utility was justly estimated by the wisdom of our Reformers. Among these festivals, there is none which has a more powerful claim upon the serious attention of Christians, than the one which we this day celebrate " in remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ, and of the benefits which we receive thereby.” On this day all the types and shadows of the Mosaic dispensation received their completion; and that which had been indistinctly prefigured, was " finished." No one whose understanding is unwarped by prejudice, can possibly doubt whether Jesus Christ was the person shadowed out by the Jewish sacrifices; nor can it be doubted, whether he fulfilled, in his sacred body, that which had been for ages foretold. If we consider the nature of any of those rites which were enjoined to the Israelites by the express command of God, we cannot but perceive their reference to some ulterior object. It is true, indeed, that this object was unknown to the Israelites in general, the knowledge of it being vouchsafed to very few; but in this, as well as in the other modes of revelation which the Almighty has thought proper to adopt, his wisdom is fully justified. The human mind being at that period in a corrupt and polluted state, was unable to comprehend the spiritual intent of the Levitical sacrifices; and, therefore, too often rested in the outward observance of the typical rites; and these having a powerful effect on the imagination, were better calculated to engross their attention, than the hidden mysteries which they contained. Thus, with regard to the paschal lamb, which is the most prominent type of the Saviour,-it could only be efficacious in procuring pardon for the offender, inasmuch as it was the representative of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,-ihe Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.” For we are assured by the best authority, that the blood of animals has no power in itself to appease
the wrath of God. “ It is not possible,” says the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, “ that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." Under the expression “ bulls and goats," all animals are included. If we consider any of the other sacrifices and rites, we shall find the same relation to that sacrifice, which in the fulness of time was to be offered up for the sins of the whole world. The sacrifice, then, which we this day celebrate, is the centre in which all the others met;-it is the point to which various prophecies had verged during the course of many generations This is the day on
VOL. XII. NO. IY.
which the gracious purpose of God to fallen man was “finished," and the furiousness of his
away. The atonement of Christ, which we thus commemorate, is of the utmost importance; it is the fundamental doctrine of Christianity: for unless we hold this article of belief, the Scriptures must appear a tissue of absurdity, contradiction, and falsehood. The Levitical sacrifices must appear a system of unmeaning priestcraft, and totally irreconcilable with the Gospel. But when we admit the truth of Christ's atonement, all discrepancies vanish, and the Scriptures display a singular harmony. Then, we not only see the utility of the Jewish rites, but we also obtain a valuable proof of the good providence of God watching over the interests of his fallen creatures. The redemption of man by this atonement, is the object which the Almighty has ever had in view since the fatal transgression of the first Adam. It was the substance of the promise made to him; it was intimated to the patriarchs, and, as we have seen, was proclaimed in the law. When Adam by his disobedience had transgressed the command of God, no future obedience on his part could procure reconciliation with the God whom he had offended. Perfect obedience was his duty, and life and death depended upon it: therefore, when this was once neglected, the reward was irretrievably lost, and punishment consequently ensued. This unhappy effect of Adam's transgression was not confined to himself and his guilty partner, but was entailed upon his posterity. Mankind are equally unable to obtain pardon by obedience; they have received sin and weakness as their inheritance, and are exposed to the awful punishment attendant on it. “ The wages of sin,” says the apostle, “is death.” There being no escape, as far as regarded themselves, nothing remained but a fearful looking forward to judgment. Such was the state of man when wisdom and mercy interposed, and devised a method of reconciliation and pardon ; thus enabling the sinner to escape the visitation of Almighty wrath, without compromising the immutable justice of God. This most important deliverance was effected by the humiliation, suffering, and death of the eternal Son of God: “God having made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
If we survey the universe in which we dwell, and contemplate the various works of creation; if our thoughts soar to the starry firmament, and wander
among the celestial orbs,-or if we confine them to the minutest insect which crawls,—the wisdom and goodness of the Creator are conspicuous, and we cannot but exclaim with devout admiration, that "the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” But how much greater is the admiration which is excited by the wisdom and goodness of his redeeming love! The redemption which Christ has purchased by his death, is the redemption of the soul from eternal death;—that soul with which the whole world is unworthy to be put in competition, and which is unable, if given in exchange, to free it from the punishment it would otherwise have suffered. With what unfeigned gratitude, then, ought we to contemplate the loving-kindness of our Redeemer! With what thankfulness ought we to commemorate his mercy, in thus dying to save us; in thus submitting to a cruel, lingering, temporal death, in order to rescue us from the bitter pains of eternal death! It was his tender compassion for our fallen estate, which induced him to intercede for us, and to “make his soul an offering for our sins," " the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” It was his tender love for man which caused him to become incarnate,- to pass a life of sorrow, and to be acquainted with grief. For us men, and for our salvation, he was betrayed, buffeted, mocked, and spit upon, and suffered an ignominious death. He fully knew the importance of the work in which he was engaged, and, consequently, shrunk not back from the necessary pains. Every action of his life afforded a proof of the beneficence of his nature, and displayed kindness and compassion for those who were thirsting for his blood. The bitter agony of the cross produced no change,-and in his dying moments he prayed for his unrelenting foes, saying, “ Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Although the stubborn heart of man was unsubdued by the solemn spectacle, nature sympathized with her expiring Lord, and silently rebuked his hardened impiety: the sun withdrew his beams from beholding such a prodigy of wickedness, and the earth shook to her centre. In that awful hour, however, in which the Saviour breathed forth his spirit, he accomplished the object of his sufferings and death; he completed the plan of mercy and deliverance, and “opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.” With his last breath, he exclaimed, " It is finished!" then bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
“It is finished !” Who that hears these thrice hallowed words can contemplate with indifference the solemnities of this day? finished!” The great work of redemption is completed, and man, fallen man, is once more restored to the favour of his God. The middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile is broken down, and all the world is become as one people ;-subject to the laws of one common Lord, and capable of being partakers of the salvation thus procured by one Redeemer.
In celebrating the redemption of the world, by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ, we must recollect, that although this redemption is the free, unmerited gift of God, through his beloved Son, yet as it is a covenant into which he has graciously entered with his creatures, there are certain conditions to be observed by us, that we may participate in the promised blessings. The condition imposed upon Adam, in the covenant into which God entered with him, was obedience ;-life was the promised reward, “ This do," said the Almighty, “ and thou shalt live.” But the condition required of us is more suitable to fallen creatures;-life is promised to us on the condition of faith; “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” said the Apostle to the Philippian jailor, “and thou shalt be saved.” In order to be partakers in the salvation which, as on this day, was accomplished for us, we must “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ;" or, in other words, we must place all our hopes of acceptance with God, in the merits of his atoning blood. Faith thus becomes the connecting principle which unites the sinner to Christ, and enables him to plead in his behalf the merits of the ever-living Redeemer. Although faith is the
" It is
only mean whereby we can obtain salvation, yet obedience is equally necessary to qualify us for it. If
love me," says our Lord, “keep my commandments.” And again, “ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” If our faith be sincere, it will necessarily produce the fruits of obedience, because they as certainly follow a true and living faith, as the blossom is succeeded by the fruit.
Let us then, in conclusion, endeavour, with God's assistance, to bring forth fruits meet for eternal life. Let us meditate with profound humility and gratitude on the stupendous event which we this day celebrate, and let us show forth our gratitude to God our Saviour, “not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to his service, and by walking before him in holiness and righteousness all our days."
ON THE EARLY FATHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
First CENTURY.—THE APOSTOLICAL FATHERS.
Hermas, omni simplicitate plenus, et innocentia magna.--Herm. Past. Vis. I. 2.
Among the persons to whom St. Paul addresses salutations at the close of the Epistle to the Romans, is HERMAS, who is generally identified with the Apostolical Father of the same name.
This solitary record is all that occurs concerning him in the New Testament, from which we learn that he was in some way connected with the Church at Rome, when St. Paul's Epistle was written ; and if the work, which bears his name, was really his production, he was still at Rome when Clement was Bishop. To this work we are also indebted for the few particulars which are known of the life of its author. Before his conversion to Christianity, he seems to have possessed considerable wealth, which he dissipated in idle extravagances, (Vis. III. 6.); and even after his reception of the faith, he was frequently weak enough to administer to the excesses of his yet unbelieving family. (Vis. I. 2, 3.) Of the means by which his conversion was effected nothing is known; and it was long before his own belief inspired him with resolution to restrain his wife and children from their impieties, and to persuade them to repent and believe the Gospel. He was at length, however, roused from his sinful neglect; and though he was no less indulgent than before, he applied himself with earnest zeal to the task of their reformation, which, by the divine blessing, he was at length enabled to effect. His charities, which were before considerable, became now more extensive, and his labours were incessant in diffusing the knowledge of Christianity. The ardour and the success of his