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they but once practically know, from whence is derived all happiness, earthly and celestial, human and divine, they would feel that to the Father of Mercies alone, their prayers, their desires, their devout aspirations should be directed. 'He is the fountain and source of all happiness; and, when he condescends to visit the penitent and humble supplicant and to speak comfort to his soal, all the petty inconveniences of sickness, penury, and misfortune, vanish in a moment; tor in his presence is fulness of joy, and at his right hand there is pleasure for evermore,' p. 83–86.
The conversation then turns on the positive comforts of age. We shall not attempt any abstract of the various topics which are started, but the following remarks are so characteristic of that amiable feeling, and that enlightened spirit of Christian benevolence which are breathed through every page of the volume, that we must make room for their insertion.
Bishop Gibson. These considerations, Bishop of Worcester, may apply to the petty incidents of domestic life. But, even if we guard our minds as to private calamities, how can we hope to exempt ourselves from other causes of uneasiness? The state of public affairs, for example, since the late Queen's death,-the ambition of Princes,-the hostile dispositions of foreign courts,--the violence of contending parties at home,—are not these subjects of alarm, Brother? and can we pretend to keep the mind entirely calm and composed, amid such a hurricane around us?
Bishop Hough. In a free country like England, the energy of national character, and the union of those who do not contaminate thenselves by party politics, will always augment their power and exertions, in proportion as the exigencies of the community require it. Im. pressed with this idea, I view with composure, things that may be alarming to others. The personal character of those who govern, their petty jealousies and contests, their probable apostacies and contradictions, and the possible consequences of the future transformations of these ephemeral politicians, are of little moment to me, while I look back with "devout gratitude on the events of the last fifty years. Preserved from civil and ecclesiastical tyranny, I acknowledge a ruling Providence in the history of Britain : and I confide in the continuance of that providential protection, so long as my country is not wholly unworthy to hold its place upon this ball of earth. In an age of dissipation and profligacy, I feel that much good has been done by individuals among us,
We have preserved the knowledge of divine truth ; we have spread it among our own poor ; and we have diffused it with active and well directed zeal, over every peopled region of this habitable globe. I look up, therefore, to the God of mercy; and though I put not my trust in princes, or in the sons of men, yet while fifty righteous are to be found in this country, I have hope that we shall not be left, like Sodom and Gomorrah, a monument of divine justice.
• Bishop Gibson. How say you then, Brother, when the Church is in danger ?—When the cause of anxiety refers not merely to temporal and perishable concerns, but to the interests of our pure and reformed religion as by law established, are we to remain calm and com
posed, and is not neutrality at such a moment culpable? For example, the sectaries of the present day, tempted by pride and the desire of power, are busied in suggesting doubts and difficulties, hostile to the Establishment, and destructive of Christian unity and charity.
Bishop Hough. Let me not be supposed to approve of a factious opposition, tending to create schism and division in the church, and to mislead the pious and humble Christian. At the same time, let me say that my apprehension is about the progress of infidelity. What I most dread is a relapse into that indifference about religion itself, against which you have so solemnly warned us in your excel. lent Pastoral Letters. My paroxysms of anxiety, however, have been slight and momentary; for I have an entire and unshaken reliance in Him, who, speaking of pure Christianity, has assured us that the " gates of hell shall never prevail against it.” I see with very great satisfaction, that eminent men among the dissenters are uniting with our own learned and pious divines, in defence of revealed religion. This union in a common cause gives me the more pleasure, because serious Christians, in proportion as they know more of each other, will love one another more. The Champion of our Church, Dr. Chillingworth, has well observed that the Bible only is the religion of Protestants.-While this remains our common standard of orthodoxy-our Christian bond of union, we may regard lesser things without anxiety. No hostility should ever exist among those disciples of Christ, who strive to make their lives and doctrines conformable to his precepts and example. Hearts may agree, though heads differ : there may be unity of spirit, if not of opinion; and it is always an advantage, to entertain a favourable opinion of those, who differ from us in religious sentiments. It tends to nourish Christian charity. For
my own part, I welcome with cordial and entire satisfaction, every thing which tends to approximate one denomination of Christians to another ; being persuaded that he, who is a conscientious believer in Christy, cannot be a bad man. Whatever therefore contributes to unite us alt in kindness and brotherly love,- to smooth asperities, to remove difficulties, and to reconcile discordancy of sentiment is to me soothing and delightful; as it brings all the sincere and faithful disciples of Christ into one fold, under one shepherd : and thereby anticipates his glorious reign upon earth.
· Bishop Gibson. But, Brother, let us be very careful, lest, while we avoid indifference as to religion, we fall into indifference as to doctrine; and under the specious names of candour and liberality, nourish habits of complacency for the errors and heresies of others.
Bishop Hough. Error, my dear friend, should not be confounded with Heresy. Among Protestants, who possess the privilege of teading the Scriptures, and forming their lives and opinions by them, it is hardly possible but that some shades of difference should exist; particularly among those who, like the Bereans,“ receive the word with all readiness of mind, and search the Scriptures daily." Errare possum (says Augustin) hereticus esse nolo: “ I may err, but I will never be an Heretic. .' The true Christian is known by his fruits. His object is vital and practical Christianity; not the diving into mysteries, on which God liath not thought proper expressly to declare his will. What
is so revealed, the Christian feels it his duty to obey; with these encouraging words from our redeemer, “ If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him."--Let us therefore bear in mind the saying of Moses-“ The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those
which are revealed, belong unto us and to our children for ever, that
do them.” Bishop Gibson. It is the Holy Spirit alone, which incites and enables us to do good, and to render to God acceptable service ; though the miraculous endowment of it has long ceased; and it is now no otherwise discernible than by its fruits and effects, as they appear in our lives. But these enthusiasts, my friend, endeavour to persuade others, and some of them seem to be themselves persuaded, that they are miraculously gifted, and directed in an extraordinary manner by divine impulses and impressions of the spirit of God: pot distinguishing aright between the ordinary and extraordinary operations of the Holy Spirit: and they thus wander on from error to error, in the mazes of enthusiasm, because they will not submit them. selves to a proper guide and director.
Bishop Hough. I am not insensible of the dangers of enthusiasm, or ignorant of the persecutions and excesses to which it has led, when bigots have attempted to force their creeds upon the consciences of others. Misjudging of the motives and principles of their brethren, presuming on the exclusive truth of their own opinions, and impelled by religious anciety, they thought, like Paul, they were doing God servicē, when they were persecuting their Christian brethren. How different the devout and zealous Christian, whose errors are accompanied by meekness and humility !-Who can acquit the benevolent, the excellent Fenelon, the venerable Archbishop of Cambray, of the charge of enthusiasm ? Yet it was the enthusiasm of piety and devo. tion it was the aspiration of the creature to its Creator. Pure and undefiled religion is of no sect: whatever garb it wear, and whatever be the denomination of the sincere and faithful believer, let us in him acknowledge the brother. But the tendency of infidelity is to narrow the soul, to weaken its energy, contract its views, and to confine its hopes to the present period of existence. The infidel is a solitary and ferocious animal; reckless of the welfare of others, and occupied with the sensual and selfish enjoyment of the present hour : while such a believer as Fenelon,--though he may err in opinion, and carry his religious feelings to an extent not warranted' by Scripture, is raised above the petty objects of this transitory state, and despising danger and death, looks forward with fervent hope to the rewards of futurity.
Bishop Gibson. Your seclusion from public life, my excellent friend, has made you less acquainted with this new sect of Methodists, and the intemperance and hostility of their conduct. They now carry their presumption so far, as to pretend to ordain for the ministry: they have the audacity to accuse our clergy of neglect of duty, not merely in lesser points, but in the primary and essential one, of preaching the Gospel. They profess to agree with us in doctrine, while they separate from us in communion, and unite against us in VOL. VI. N.S.
practice: and, pretending to extraordinary sanctity, they seek for excess of power, and by extending their influence over the kingdom threaten the subversion of the Establishment. Is not this, Bishop of Worcester, a just and sufficient cause for anxiety?
' Bishop Hough. I think not. If it be of nian, it will come to nought; but if it be of God, we cannot overthrow it, nor need we fear evil from it. May they not, in the hands of Providence, be the means of bringing us to a more acute sense of our duty, and to a more perfect knowledge of evangelical truth? The Christian Church has never been in so great danger, as when it has continued for any time in a state of unruffled prosperity. The existence of sects seems to me not only to be inseparable from the nature of imperfect intelligence, but of benefit to religion itself; and while the Bible continues to be the acknowledged standard of faith, they can be of no material prejudice. I respect even the errors of the conscientious Christian ; and feel the impossibility of a perfect unison of sentiment, in rational beings who think for themselves. That there have been sectaries, whose objects were worldly praise and worldly power, cannot be denied: but the number I trust is limited. And, looking to the true interests of religion, let us consider in what state (had no diversity of opinion existed) Christianity might have been at the present day: if we now are luke-warm, what would have been our state of torpidity had one dominant creed been submitted to by all Christians, without examination, for a period of seventeen centuries ; and there had existed no difference of religious opinion, to induce inquiry or awaken interest ? Let us at the same time not forget, that the right of searching the holy scriptures, and judging for ourselves, was the ground, on which we separated from the church of Rome, venerable both in antiquity and authority; and let us be very tender of abridging this right to others. While we bear in mind that we are the descendants of fallen and imperfect creatures, we can hardly presume that of all sects, we alone are without any shade of error, or warp of prejudice; and we should be very careful how we intermix any desires or interests of our own, with the concerns of religion.
" When lust (says “ the Apostle James) hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, “ when it is completed, bringeth forth death. p. 102–116.
We should rejoice in the idea that a volume containing such sentiments as these, should obtain an extensive circulation among that higher class of society for which we apprehend its Author principally designed it; and that the innocent fiction of which he has availed himself, night stamp the impress of authority on the sterling good sense and Christian philosophy which he puts into the month of the venerable Bishop. One dwells with the more delight upon this ideal character, from the conviction that an author who could support the part so well, must bear some resemblance to the hero of bis drama; and it will be the sincere wish of all his readers, that so far as years only intervene between our Cicero and his Cato, he may live to perfect the parallel.
ART. XIV. SELECT LITERARY INFORMATION.'
* Gentlemen and Publishers who have works in the
will obtige the Conductors of the Eclectic Review, by sending Information (post paid) of the subject, extent, and probable price of such works; which they may depend upon being communicated to the Public, if consistent with
A new edition of the Antiquarian Ca- tor of the first Presbyterian Church in binet is now publishing in Numbers, the New Liberties; Ezra Stiles Ely, each containing ten plates, printed on A.M. Pastor of the third Presbyterian royal 8vo. each plate forming a head- Church in Philadelphia ; James R. Wils piece to the description. This arrange- son, A.M. V. D. M, Principal of a Clasment is calculated to avoid the inconve- sical Seminary in Philadelphia ; Thomas nience of turning the book, which so R. Skinner, A.M. Junior Pastor of the frequently occurs in viewing the plates second Presbyterian Church; James of the first edition; besides this impor- Gray, D.D. ; also by J. J. Janeway, tant advantage, the work will be com- D.D. Senior Pastor of the Second Pies. prised in about five or six volumes, of byterian Church; James P. Wilson, a more elegant size than the former edi- D.D. Pastor of the first Presbyterian tion, and at about half the price. Ten Church, and James K. Burch, A.M. Numbers will form a volume, comprising Pastor of the fifth Presbyterian Church 100 plates.
in Philadelphia. Just ready for publication, Letters to A new edition, with considerable ada Mother, on the Management of Infants ditions, of Spiritual Gleanings, by Mary and Children; embracing the important Gration, will be published on the 1st of subjects of Nursing, Food, Dress, Ex. January ercise, &c. with cursory remarks on the A new volume of Poems by Mr. Leigh Diseases of Infancy. By a Physician.
Hunt is in the press, and will appear Number V. of Havell's Villas, &c. is in a few days. published, and contains a View of Case A new weekly publication, entitled siobury, the seat of the Earl of Exsex, the Literary Bee, or the new Family from Turner, R. A. and a View of Cor- Library, will appear within a few days. sham House, the seat of Paul Methuen, It will consist of Moral and Critical Esq. M.P. from Fielding, with historical Essays, Sketches from History, Clasand descriptive accounts of the two seats, sical Tales, Poems, Descriptions of reby J. Britton, F. S A. The priuts are co. markable Ruins, and of sublime and loured in close imitation of the draw- beautiful Scenery, with Pictures from ings.
real life aud Essays on the Manners and Proposals have lately been published Customs of different Nations, by some at Philadelphia, for printing in America, of the best British and Foreign Writers a new edition of Dr. Brown's History of of the present age. the Propagation of Christianity among
Memoirs and Remains of the late the Heathen, in two volumes 8vo. The Rev. Charles Buck, of London, edited proposals contain a warm recomienda- by the Rev. Dr. Styles, will be pubtion of the work by the following Minis. • lished in January next. ters : J. Broadhead, D.D. Pastor of the Mr. Britton's History and Antiquities Dutch Reformed Church; Williain Rod- of the Abbey Church at Bath is in the gers, D.D. late Professor in the Voiver. press, and will appear early in the year sity of Pennsylvania; Jos. Pilmore, 1917. It will consist of a copious hisD.D. Rector of St. Paul's Church in Phi- tory and description of that curious and ladelphia; Henry Holcombe, D.D. Pastor latest specimen of English ecclesiastiof the first Baptist Church in Phila- cal architecture; also a novel “ Essay delphia ; George C. Potts, A. M. Pas- on Epitaphs,” by the Rev. John Conytor of the foprth Presbyterian Church; lacare, Professor of Poetry to the UniGeorge O. Miller, Pastor of the United versity of Oxford. The Essay will be Brethren's Church in Philadelphia; Sa- elucidated by examples of various styles muel B. Wylie, A.M. Pastor of the Re- and classes of Epitaphs from that church, formed Presbyterian Church in Phila- which inay be called the Western Mau. delphia ; James Patterson, A. M. Pas- soteam of Invalids. Like the Abbey