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from time to time, till our Lord come again, the fact of his death, with a view to counteracting the effect of not having him resident on earth to exhibit to us his personal character as a model for our imitation, and the effect of the assertion of those who, instead of regarding his death as the result of a covenant between God and
him, by which his character is rendered available to human salva27. tion, represent him to have died as a malefactor. So that who
ever shall profess to eat bread, or drink wine, according to this institution, and do it in a manner unsuitable to the furtherance of those purposes, will be guilty of destroying the efficacy of the religious and moral qualities united in our Lord under a bodily constitution, but distributed among all his disciples, and of the shedding of his blood; and will accordingly be liable to the consequences of such conduct.'
These views of the symbols and design of the Eucharist appear to us to be too subtile and refined. It seems evident, both from the accounts of the original institution of the rite, and from the Apostle's recital, that the reference of the Lord's Supper is to the death of Christ, of which it is appointed to be the commemoration till time shall close. It was not intended, we believe, to exhibit to us the personal character of our Lord for our imitation. The death of Christ is a subject of consideration entirely distinct from the exhibition of the sublime virtues which adorned his character, and to which, in other connections, the primary regard of every Christian is due ; and in the celebration of the Eucharist, it is the only distinct and special object of reference ;— Ye do shew the Lord's death.' In his notes, Mr. Tolley reasons at considerable length' to support the views given in the paraphrase, of the import of the Apostle's formula respecting the ordinance. He objects against the common interpretation, that it supposes two actions appointed for one and the same purpose, since both the bread and the wine must equally, and wholly, refer to the body of our Lord and the circumstance of the crucifixion ; and that the participle • broken,' is not a suitable expression, literally interpreted, applied to the human body of our Lord, in reference to whom it is said, 'that'a kone of him should not be broken.' To explain the word • broken,' as meaning' put to death,' is, he thinks, barsh.
• But if," he proceeds to say, as proposed in the former note, we interpret the word body, in the sense of the religious and moral qualities of our Lord, the meaning is, that the united assemblage of them as existing in him was divided or broken into parts, in order to their being transferred to his disciples. And this must needs be the case. By him the character was sustained entire. By no other human being could it be, in our present imperfect state, otherwise than in part. The Christian society, that is, all believers in Christ, by
having these qualities distributed among them, would thus, collectively, possess the human character of our Lord, and, spiritually, form together his body.' p. 290.
We are not quite certain that our readers will receive this explication as a very intelligible one. We are not apprised of any passage of the New Testament, in which the spiritual and moral qualities of our Lord are represented as being his body. In those examples in which the society of Christians is described as a body, it is in reference to Christ as being the head; this is, however, a very different allusion from that which is implied in Mr. Tolley's representation. We see no impropriety in the application of the expression broken,' as figuratively denoting extreme suffering, to the body of Christ; and the parallel passage in Luke,' my body which is given for • you,' would seem to exclude the sense divided,' or distributed among you, for which the Author contends. In the Passover festival, the eating of the paschal lamb, and the sprinkling of its blood, were two distinct actions, referring to the same object, and were both included in the appointment of the rite. The death of Christ is represented by the Apostle as 'our Passover.' The common interpretation of the terms in the formula of the Eucharist, is certainly the most obvious; and though this may not be a reason with Mr. Tolley for admitting it, we cannot but conclude that it is more in agreement with the occasion of their original use, and with the design of the institution, than is the very abstract explication which he has given in the work before us.
On the words, • The new covenant respecting the souls of mankind,' in his paraphrase, Mr. Tolley remarks in his note :
That the redemption effected by our Lord is that of the sonl • distinct from the body, is a truth that will not be questioned.' Now, so far is this from being unquestionable, that the deliverance of the body from the power of sin, and from the dominion of death, is uniformly represented as being included in the redemption effected by our Lord. The words of Christ, 'I will raise him up at the last day, and many other passages of similar import in the New Testament, are too explicit in reference to the benefits derived from Christ's death and mediation, to admit of the restriction implied in the preceding quotation.
Art.V. Christian Characteristics ; or, an Attempt to delineate the
most prominent Features of the Christian Character. By T. Lewis, Minister of Union Chapel, Islington. Second Edition.
12mo. pp. 279. London. 1826. THE HE first edition of the Christian Characteristics,' escaped our attention.
We are glad to find that it has received so much of the public patronage as to encourage the Author to send forth a second impression, and have no hesitation to add our recommendation of its merits to the suffrages which it has already received. It is a good practical book, evangelical in its sentiments, and in the spirit which pervades it. It is written without pretensions to higher qualities than those which are necessary to the communication of religious instruction intended for the advantage of common readers, to whom it will be very acceptable for the serious and earnest manner in which its several topics are discussed and enforced, and to whom it cannot fail of being highly useful. The delineation of the Christian character is comprised in a series of illustrative essays, founded on the classification of the Apostle PeterFaith, Fortitude, Knowledge, Temperance, Patience, Godliness, Brotherly Kindness, and Charity; preceded by three chapters, Introductory, On the Christian Character essential to Human Happiness, On the Formation of the Christian Character; and followed by a concluding chapter on the Advancement of the Christian Character. We shall copy an extract or two from the pages of Mr. Lewis, for the purpose of shewing to our readers the judicious mode in which he treats the subjects of his remarks.
• There is the business of life, or the employment to which the Christian's application is necessary for himself and his house. He has to “ provide things honest in the sight of all men.” Diligence in his lawful calling for such a purpose is his duty. It is commanded in the word of God—“ Seest thou a man diligent in his business ? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” It is positively enjoined. The Apostle, alluding to some who had neglected this duty, says, “We command and exhort by the Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.” But there is danger of carrying this diligence to excess. Business
may be plied with too intense an application of mental and physical powers. It then usurps the place of the "one thing needful.” The man in this case suffers his mind to be racked with immoderate solicitude about his worldly pursuits. Not content with giving them only a proper share of his time and attention, nor duly trusting the kind providence of God, be engulphs himself in the perplexities and bustle of a fleeting existence. He distresses himself with those carping cares about to-morrow which our Lord
forbids. Covetousness and earthly mindedness take possession of his heart. An honest competence satisfies him not. He will be rich, and to this favourite object, not religion only, but peace and principle, health and honour, are all sacrificed. And what further follows? He verifies the Apostolic conclusion, “ They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.” Against any propensity to a sin of this ruinous description, the Christian has need of temperance. Nor will his reasoning faculties alone be sufficient in this case. Many strong arguments against the folly, and danger of loving and serving the world to excess may, indeed, be easily brought,
-and as easily silenced, too, by the dominant power of a sinful nature. The grace of God is essential to victory here. The temperance which the Christian is required to exercise, is expressly styled a fruit of the Holy Spirit. When thus aided, he resists temptation with success; for then his resistance has a special reference to God. He has respect to his authority, and shuns what He has forbidden ; he is actuated by supreme love to God, and pursues a higher object; readily conforming to the Apostle's injunction, “ Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have.”
* 2ndly. There are the amusements of life, or recreations to refresh nature from the fatigues of more serious business. Excess here is a very general transgression. The grace of temperance is requisite, to limit such employments within the strict bounds of innocence and usefulness. That the health both of mind and body demands occasional relaxation, we deny not ; nor does religion forbid it. It condemns such exercises as, under the name of amusements, fatigue and waste, rather than refresh, the powers of nature. It prohibits that expenditure of time or property, by which our well-doing in society is injured, and our own moral improvement retarded. It frowns on every gratification of improper desires; and will not allow that to be an innocent recreation which is hurtful to our neighbour, or wantonly cruel to any animal existence. The religion of the Christian is humane and benevolent, in all its aspects. It permits him his recreations; but forbids him to learn them of the world. The fashionable practice and loose morality of such a school are fatal to Christian piety. This holy religion purifies the taste; and then we find our amusements in exercises which, while they unbend, improve the mind, and in employments which gratify the sympathetic and benevolent affections. But in a world where the amusements are so many exhibitions of coarseness, frivolity, or dissipation, the Christian is in danger of being borne away by the strong current of example, into some excess. He is in danger of forgetting the real worth and importance of his days and hours to his immortal interests, and sacrificing them to this world's supremacy. Restraining grace is needful to preserve him here. The wisdom that cometh from above can alone teach him to discriminate between the mirth which ends in heaviness, and the enjoyments of an approving conscience, and shew him how to relax without folly, and to be merry without sin. pp. 127-30. Vol. XXVII. N.S.
3. The Charity of the Gospel prompts the Christian to every active service, or office of kindness in his power, for the secular good of his neighbour. Acting under its influence he will not contine himself to alms-deeds. As he has opportunity, he is ready to do good, in every possible way, unto all men. It may be easy for him to bestow pecuniary relief; but he stops not there. His Charity is not of that calculating kind that takes up the cheaper and less laborious modes of benevolence. It sets him upon acts of self-denial and personal exertion. Wherever be sees he can render a desirable good, he applies himself to effect it, nor does the question of its cost delay him. In many cases his Charity permits him not to stay for solicitation. It sends him on errands of mercy ;-to discover the retreats of unobtrusive, uncomplaining poverty and distress ;-to find where the hungry, the naked, and the sick are languishing ;-to enter the squalid hovels of human beings suffering all the varieties of wretchedness ;-to look into those scenes of sadness, that would else have remained hid from the eye of Pity; to elicit and examine those tales that would not else have met a favourable ear; and to adjust to each case the kind and portion of relief which it seems to demand. This, so far as his own means extend, he does, with timely speed ; and what is needful to the helpless and destitute, beyond his own resources, he labours to procure, by pleading their cause, in other quarters, sparing no exertion, till, from public institutions, or private benevolence, his object is obtained.' Besides the immediate supply which the exigency requires, whether food, clothing, medicine, or household furniture, he freely affords to the objects of his charity the instruction, advice, or professional assistance, most likely to promote their subsequent and permanent welfare. In these services, he rouses. to industry the indolent or dejected ;-puts tools into the hands of peedy workmen ;-procures employment for them whom no man hath hired;—finds redress for the oppressed; and sends the children of the poor to schools and to honest trades.' pp. 239–40.
There is a note at p. 238, relating to the withholding of contributions for the relief of the poor of the church at the Lord's table ;-of which we can only say, that it is an important one, and that the Author has done well to insert it.
Art. VI. I. Specimens of Sacred and Serious Poetry, from Chaucer
to the Present Day. With Biographical Notices and Critical Remarks. By John Johnstone. 18mo. pp. 560. Price 5s. 6d. Edin.
burgh. 1827. 2. Sacred Specimens selected from the Early English Poets, with
prefatory Verses. By the Rev. John Mitford. 12mo. pp. xcvi.
238. Price 8s. 6d. London. 1827. WE not
as having evoked or elicited either of these volumes; but so it is, that, in this all-productive age, no sooner is a desidera