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The citation, which Mr. Blomfield has brought from Bishop Wren at the conclusion of the following note, is so curious in itself, and so wonderfully applicable to the present times, that we cannot forbear presenting it to our readers. -
“P. 15. Hard to be understood.—?voyántá riva. It is thought by many of the most learned divines, that St. Peter here refers to St. Paul's mode of speaking on the subject of Justification. And some of the ancient Fathers, Augustine amongst the rest, thought that the Epistles of James and Jude, the first of John, and the second of Peter, were written, partly with a view to refute the errors of the Solifidians. See Bishop Bull's Eramen. Censurae, p. 531, where is quoted from Irenaeus a passage relative to the Valentinians, admirably, descriptive of the modern enthusiast; &üroë, 2, a3, 33 Tows, &AA3 3.2 to (púae, isva, rvivuorizoos, Trávrn 22 orárro, aw8%zac-82, 3)Marić,92w. (See the Bishop of Lincoln's Refutation of Calvinism, p. 512.) I cannot refuse myself the pleasure of transcribing a passage, which seems to have been almost as prospectively as historically true. It is from a paper of Bishop Wren’s, in the Sancroft Collection, published by Mr. Gutch in his Collectanea Curiosa, vol. I. p. 930. After the conference at Hampton Court, in which the Puritan Faction lost all hopes of gaining the King, they returned to the old art of perverting the people; using an extraordinary diligence by Lectures, Conventicles, Libels, &c. to push forward their design; they erected schools in every corner, and procured a college or two to be founded (reserved?) in a manner solely for themselves. But above all things they laboured to gain the possession of the Pulpits, having, it must be confessed, among them many of good * Rhetorick, or, which served instead of it, Wehemency. ence the so many Lectures, Afternoon Sermons, Repetitions, buying in of Impropriations, and other arts of the same stamp. You should have heard these Demagogues magnifying their own preaching, applying to it whatsoever is spoken in Scripture of the Apostles preaching, when it was necessary for converting the Pagan world; and withal reproaching all men who had not so strong lungs as themselves. So that, within a while, Preaching had almostjuustled put of the Church all other parts of public divine worship; the peoo - ple ple relishing nothing besides a Sermon, as being withal the cheapest way of serving God.’” P. 27.
- 1s a picture of the progress of fanaticism in the present times were to have been drawn, its features could not have been represented in so powerful and so just a view. The dreadful consequences which resulted to this Church and nation from such beginnings, mow stand recorded upon the page of history; and shall we be thought unnecessary alarmists, when we descry the same dangers arising in the same manner, from the same causes, and in the same shape: but aided by an engine, far more powerful than any that existed in those days to hurry them on to a rapid and a fatal maturity. Is there not now a fund for buying up impropriations, and an act framed with scarcely any other view than to lessen the value of small livings, and thus to further its designs : Are there not colleges now set apart in both our Universities for the reception and the maintenance of embryo fanatics : Is not “the preaching of the Gospel,” as it is termed, limited to particular chapels, and confined to a particular party or sect : Are not the great mass of the Clergy, however zealous, however Christian in their life and doctrine, denounced by these self-created saints, as little better than unenlighted heathens : These are matters of fact, not phantoms of the imagination; as such let them be warmings, to this Church and nation. - . . . . . . . . . At the conclusion of the notes, Mr. B. has strongly insisted upon the minister's duty of catechizing the children of his parish; a custom far more useful, than what is generally resorted to, a second Sermon. - . .
“I allude more particularly to that most necessary branch of religious education, which falls within the province of those ministers, who, having the care of souls, leave a very important part of ... their duty unperformed, if they neglect to catechize, where it is practicalle, the children of the lower orders. Those, who think that preaching is the chief duty of their office, as guides and teachers, *Can have but little knowledge of human nature. The eloquence of the pulpit will no more instil the principles of religion into a mind,
which has not been imbued with them in early youth, than kindly
showers will render prolific the field, in which no seed has been sown.” P. 29. - -
We cannot conclude this article, without returning our thanks to Mr. Blomfield for this admirable discourse, which fully proves that his mind has been no less directed to the duties of his high calling as a minister of the gospel, than to the elegancies and beauties of leathen literature as a deep and accomplished scholar. - - - -
. . . . . . . . . . . . • * ~ * ART.
Ant. IX. A Manual of Instruction and Devotion, on the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. By Rev. John Hewlett, B. D. Morning Preacher at the Foundling. 12mo. 236 pp. 5s. Rivingtons. 1815. -
AMONG the many admirable treatises and tracts which have been published upon this most important point, we can readily aud conscientiously place the Manual now before us. It is the production of a minister, whose long experience has enabled him to judge of the temper and disposition of his peculiar cono and whose many excellent practical discourses have been already attended with the most salutary effects. From such a man we expected much, and we are not disappointed.
Different treatises are adapted to the comprehensions, the views, the manners, the circumstances of different persons. Though the truth is one and the same, yet it may be inculcated in various methods, each best adapted to its own peculiar end. To a London congregation, such especially as are found at west end of the town, this manual seems particularly calculated. Its admonitions breath an air of Christian gentleuess and simplicity, and will form a most important and necessary subsidiary to those pompous and poverty-stricken harangues which the attendants on proprietary chapels are too generally condemned to hear. - - With the following plain and sensible admonitions to those who feel a serious disinclination to attend the holy table, we are highly pleased:
“I have endeavodred to answer common objections, and to remove the common scruples, which persons not inferior to others, perhaps, in a general estimation of character, may, from various causes, be led to entertain: but if there are any who have more serious obstacles to overcome, who harbour the sinful passions of hatred and envy, malice and revenge, and who continue in habits of wickedness, without any conviction of sim, or purpose of amendment, let them not only refrain from coming to the holy commuTion of the body and blood of Christ; but let them also keep away from all places of public worship : for until the grace of God shall lead them to repentance, and “renew a right spirit within them,” their prayers and devotion, instead of being an acceptable service, will be a kind of outrage and profanation. And, in general, it should be remembered, that the same evil dispositions and bad conduct, which prevent a person from receiving the Sacrament, must, if he does not timely repent, disqualify him for performing other religious duties, and will at length endanger his eternal salvation. How, for instance, can he, who is spreading vice and wickedness by his own example, pray to his heavenly Father, that - . - “ his “his kingdom may come,” and that his “will may be done in earth, as it is in heaven o’” Or, how can he who lives in the wretched state of hatred and malice, say, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us?”
“ They, therefore, who are unfit to celebrate the holy Sacrament which Christ has ordained, are not prepared to join with any sincerity, or effect, in the daily prayer, which he has taught his disciples to use.” P. 102.
To all parents and guardians of youth we seriously recommend
the following most important observations:
** Allow one to add, for the present, that Parents and Guardians,
more especially, can never acquit themselves of neglecting a most
serious duty, if they do not use their utmost influence with young
persons, soon after they have been confirmed, on this important
occasion. The usual scruples and objections respecting their youth and ignorance are, for the most part, extremely ill-founded, reprehensible, and injurious. Surely we cannot well be established in habits of duty too soon: and, with the prospect of a sinful and seductive world opening before them, when are the young likely to kneel at the altar with more innocence, and when will they stand in more need of the sanctions of religion and the influence of the Holy Spirit, to guard them against dangers and temptations of every kind, and to confirm them in their principles of duty towards God and man? If the proper season for enforcing this important ordinance be neglected, life silently glides on, the mind loses its teachable, ductile character, and the proper time of parental authority, with many of its favorable opportunities of instruction, will be found to have passed away. An habitual omission is thus gradually formed in early life; and, at a subsequent period, it is often strengthened by a painful sense of diffidence, timidity and false shame: for we maturally feel some degree of embarrassment in doing any thing for the first time, that is attended with a considerable degree of interest and public solemnity; and I am persuaded, that many persons foolishly refrain from partaking of the Holy Communion, at an advanced season of life, not that they have any real, well-founded objection to it; but because the habit of omission has been long formed, and because they were not led to the altar by others at a proper time.” P. 29.
Mr. Hewlett has studied, as a preacher is bound to do, with much success, the peculiar temper and disposition of his congregation. ln the fashionable world there are many who rather incline to the opinion that really Christianity is a very good sort of a religion, and are willing to receive it under their patronage: taking such a part of it as may happen to suit their humour, and repudiating what is not exactly conformable either to their passions or their caprice. To such Mr. H. speaks with equal justice and piety. - - - “But,
... “But it is melancholy to observe, that, in the practice of our best principles, and in the exercise of our purest virtues, there is often a mixture of self-will and latent corruption, which renders our conduct wretchedly imperfect. This is bad enough when it concerns ourselves and others merely as members of society; but when it relates more particularly to our duty towards God, our nonperformance in things that are practicable to all, can be considered only as presumptuous wickedness, and as a sort of constructive rebellion against the authority of heaven. . “Many of the errors, crimes, and omissions of human nature proceed from an unsubdued pride, and the difficulty that we find in humbling ourselves to the complete obedience of those laws, which, notwithstanding, we profess to believe are of divine authority. We are exhorted “as new-born babes to desire the sincere milk of the word;” and are told, “ that whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter therein.” Instead of this becoming deference and teachable humility, we observe frail and corrupt mortals erecting their own fallible judgment, and their own sufficiency against the divine authority of their Lord and Saviour. Yes, there are many, who, without utterly disclaiming his name and power, without casting of their faith, or “sitting in the seat of the scornful,” will choose what they will reject, what they will receive, and what they will obey. Some precepts of the holy Gospel, therefore, that would mortify their sinful passions, that would condemn their errors, and enlighten the darkness of their hearts, that affect not to understand, or else think them of little importance; and, perhaps, not applicable to their case. “They care for none of those things,” while others which impose no restraint, which require no sacrifice, and no self-denial, are heard with complacency, and obeyed with cheerfulness. When the failings and transgressions of their neighbour, also, are referred to the laws of religion, then the Almighty is made to speak as the God of vengeance, in lightning and in thunder; but when their own are eonsidered, if any be acknowledged, he is supposed to whisper compassion and sorgiveness, in the accents of a merciful father, “that pitieth his children, and remembereth that they are dust.” - “$ 4. Corruption and Abuse of sinful Principles. “It is easy to perceive the corruption and abuse to which such sinful principles would lead. Instead of “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ,” which it is our duty to do, we bring the truths of his holy Gospel into captivity to the selflsh passions and grovelling pursuits of the world. Instead of fashioning our lives and conversation agreeably to the precepts, admonitions, and conmands of divine wisdom, we presumptuously attempt to change, or mutilate the Word of God, till it might, in some measure, suit our own sentiments and eonduct; and tilk it might allow us to s slumber