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CRITICAL NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
WARD'S LIBRARY OF STANDARD DIVINITY.
LECTURES ON CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY. By George CHRISTIAN KNAPP, D.D.,
Professor of Theology in the University of Halle. Translated by LEONARD Woods, Jun., D.D., Abbot Resident at the Theological Seminary in Andover, Massachusets. Reprinted from the American Edition of 1831. Medium 8vo.
London :-Ward and Co. Paternoster-row.
We congratulate the students of divinity on the materials which continue to be furnished them, in this series, for the prosecution of their inquiries, in every department of biblical and theological science. If they can but command the time which is necessary, faithfully to read and investigate these works, as they issue from the press, their minds will be replenished with much valuable matter, and of great service in discharging the functions of their sacred office. Many of the volumes which have hitherto appeared, are possessed of genuine merit; nor have the public failed to appreciate their value. If we are rightly informed, the sale of the series has been good and encouraging,—such, at all events, as to encourage the publishers to continue it; and we should have a sorry opinion indeed of the theological and religious character of our country, if there ever should be wanting, either the patronage or the support necessary to sustain such an undertaking.
The work of Knapp is not generally known among the theological academies of our country. German literature, whether sacred or profane, is much more freely introduced into the schools beyond the Atlantic. The Americans are a more enterprising and persevering people, and they spare no pains to elevate and enrich their country ; nor are they disposed to refuse any aid, in whatever direction it may be offered. The present work has existed among them, in the form of a translation, for some years ; and now this translation comes as an importation into England. It is not the worse for wearing an American dress, and may serve the cause of truth as well here as there.
We are not altogether strangers to the work, and may therefore give our opinion with freedom. On the whole, then, it is a work of no ordinary merit; but it is valuable rather for the extent and variety of its critical research. In several instances, its exigesis is not to be received; not so much, perhaps, in reference to the great fundamental doctrines of revelation, as on distinct passages of scripture, which, more or less, affect these doctrines. As in all human compositions, the student must think, examine, and determine for himself. These works are but auxiliary to his own efforts, and as such, they are to be highly estimated. We are happy to find some other works announced, which will go still more to enrich the series.
The CHRISTIAN OFFERING :-LYRICAL POEMS AND PROSE PIECES, SACRED
AND MISCELLANEOUS. By George B. Scott, Author of “The Beauty of Holiness," and other Poems, etc. Cloth, gilt edges. pp. 302.
London ;-George Virtue, Ivy Lane. This is one of the upnumbered annuals with which the press positively teems at this season of the year, and which crowd the table of the drawing-room. There is a taste for such works; and when we see such effort to combine the perfection of art with the materials of thought, or the records of history, too much cannot be said in their commendation. While the senses are attracted and gratified, the mind is informed, and the moral feelings refined.
Whatever estimate may be formed of the literary character of the work now before us, no one will dispute the author's deep religious feeling. He has drank at the fountain of divine inspiration; and, were his style more masculine, his conceptions bolder, and his imagination a little more daring,—some of his poetry would obtain more than a common meed of praise. As a whole, it wants strength. Even beauty does not compensate for vigour. Still we are not disposed to depreciate the volume. It is not destitute of excellence. The tone of evangelical piety which pervades the whole, with the constant aim of the author to imbue the heart of his reader with the great sentiments of our holy faith, will render it a better offering than many others which may fairly lay claim to superior literary talent.
THE PRAYER MEETING :-ITS ORDINATION AND ITS OBSTACLES. 12mo. pp. 36.
London :-Gardner and Son, Prince's-street, Cavendish-square.
This little tract seems to be the production of a pious member of the Society of Friends, and reads some wholesome lessons to professing christians. It has some features which may be said to be peculiar ; still, it cannot fail to correct many evils, as they now exist, in the church of Christ. On no one duty do christians require to be more thoroughly informed, than that of atteudance at the weekly concert for prayer. There is little vitality, because there is little devotion. If it is the Spirit that quickens, how is this Spirit to descend? Let a church abandon prayer, and the Spirit will abandon her.
A SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATION OF Genesis 1. 26, 27;—OR THE PURPOSE OF
CHRIST'S INCARNATION DECLARED BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE FIRST ADAM. Addressed to Man. By A LAYMAN OF THE ESTABLISHED CAURCH. Cloth, 12mo. pp. 244.
London :- Fisher and Son, Newgate-street. It is difficult to pronounce a judgment on this work. The author's view is one with which some of his readers will no doubt coincide ; but we must leave them to determine for themselves.
REPORT OF BELL WHARF SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
In submitting a report of the proceedings of the British & Foreign Sailors' Society Sunday Schools, during another year, the teachers have every reason to be unfeignedly thankful for that measure of prosperity and blessing with which their feeble efforts have been crowned by the God of all grace; and sincerely trust, that what they have told the children regarding their never-dying souls will not be easily forgotten. The teacher holds the responsible office of a spiritual guide to the children, just as ministers of the gospel do to their congregations.
The teachers of this school have classes composed of children whose parents gain a livelihood upon the great and mighty deep ; and it very often happens, that when they muster their classes, they find some of their scholars gone to sea with their parents, where, it is feared, all the good they have received is soon forgotten. The teachers wish it were in the hearts of individuals to do more for the children of seamen, that, as they rise up to manhood, our fleets and navy might be composed of pious, God-fearing men.
The teachers have to lament, that the funds are quite exhausted, and that they are now indebted to the treasurer. The state of their funds is as follows:
14 0 10 Receipts ..
......... 11 16 74 Leaving a Balance due to the Treasurer.. £24 24
They, however, trust, that this meeting will render them all the assistance which the urgency of this interest requires, in this low and depraved neighbourhood. There are now on the books, 63 girls and 81 boys—total 154. The numbers in attendance vary according to the state of the weather. There are only five regular female teachers and one monitor, and the occasional assistance of another female. There are six male teachers, and two monitors, and one occasional teacher, — three of the male teachers attending only once on the sabbath ; consequently, the schools are not so prosperous as could be wished.
They therefore appeal to this meeting for assistance, and hope that some will come forward to aid in this all-important work. In making this statement, they do not in any way depreciate the services of their friends, but highly esteem them for their kind and valuable assistance. There is a small library in circulation, which might be enlarged; therefore, any little works would be thankfully received,
A serious loss has been sustaiued in the death of their dear friend and wellwisher, Mrs. Edwards, who always manifested a great interest in the school's prosperity. One of the assistant teachers has composed appropriate verses, which are to be seen in the magazine for the month of November. The teachers would continue to labour in dependence on the promises of an all-seeing God, who has said, that his word shall not return unto him void, but shall accomplish that which he pleases. May it please him to bless that word, sown in weakness, that it may be raised in power by him! Jesus himself always manifested a regard for children, saying, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not ;' also in the breaking out of the christian dispensation, children bore a prominent part in the entry of the Saviour into Jerusalem, they being the first to pay that worship and homage due to Christ, in the carrying out of his divine mission, in their exclamation of — Hosanna! blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.'
Holding the responsible and important situation of servants of the living God, in aiming to advance that period when no man shall have to say to his neighbour, _ Know the Lord; but all shall know him, from the least unto the greatest;'they would pray that the time may soon come, when teachers and tanght shall join in the songs of the ransomed, and cast their blood-bought crowns at the feet of the Redeemer, ascribing unto him all the praise and glory.
AGENTS' MEETING :-HELD ON FRIDAY EVENING, 12TH NOVEMBER.
Nothing can be more satisfactory than the review which is sometimes taken, at these monthly conventions, of the operations of the Society, both at home and abroad. The past is encouraging, and the future is big with promise. The sphere of our exertion might, at this moment, be enlarged to an almost indefinite extent, could we but command the necessary resources. We implore the christian church to lend us her aid.
CAPT. PRYNN.-It is of no little coming on board the ship where I was, importance to know, that the Lord said, “I wish to speak to you, sir." continues to bless his own work. A I said,—“Well, my lad, what can I do day of spiritual light has dawned upon for you?” At this the tear started in the mind of the wandering sailor ; and his eye, and heaving a sigh, he said, the voice of mercy and salvation has “I have been in deep distress since I reached, not only the ears, but the last saw you, on account of my soul; heart, of many that were once far off but, thank God, I have obtained deby wicked works,-strangers to the liverance, -even the pardon of my truth as it is in Christ. Sailors are sins. I now can love God,- I now will now found, in every part of the habit- love God! Oh! come on board our able globe, as were the men of old, ship; I've more to tell you.” On seeking for Jesus ; and, praise the coming on board the vessel, he, being Lord ! he is found by those who dili. mate, conducted me to the cabin, and, gently seek him.
after a few minutes conversation, called My daily intercourse with sailors is down two other sailors, and informed most encouraging ; I can mark the pro- me those men had very recently been gress many are making in the divine brought out of the prison-house of sin, life. Many proofs might be given. and had experienced the glorious li. Some short time since, when visiting berty of the gospel. Come, tell Capt. ships in the lower pool, a sailor on the Prynn what God has done for your main-topsail yard, eyed me passing souls, since you last saw him.' The over the teir; he hastened down, and youngest, a lad about nineteen years, replied,— Probably you will pray with make the best of it. I shall not be on us first?' We knelt down and prayed. board at the meeting.' I replied, -'Sir, All wept.
Praise the Lord,' said unless you have business of importance, one, thou hast plucked me as a brand I hope you will.' 'Importance-im. from the burning. I thank thee for portance,' he muttered ; and turning to subduing my stubborn will, O Lord, the mate, said, 'See that everything be continue to be gracious to a wretched got to rights for the meeting, and don't sinner, such as I have been. The lan- wait if I am not here.' In the evening, guage of the other, amidst many tears, when I came into the tier, and was was,— Lord! I confess that, not long passing over the ships, I saw Capt. A., since, I was seeking death and destruc
of the ‘F. A.', on deck ; and when I tion, by sinning against thee, Oh! came on board, he walked forward on 'tis of thy mercy I am now bowed at a the forecastle. I spoke to the mate, as throne of grace. Hadst thou taken me our time to commence the meeting was off in the storm in wbich my shipmates and said, Are your people on were drowned, oh! where had I been ?
board ?' He said, “Yes, but the master I had been reaping the reward of my is just going on shore, and we shall crimes, with devils and damned spirits ; lose some of the crew.” -but oh! my God, thy mercy found out sinful me. I scarcely recollect I immediately stepped forward to such a season as this ; surely God was the captain, and said,-'Sir, I hope we in our midst! I held a Bethel meeting shall have the pleasure of your comon board this vessel, the following even- pauy at the meeting. He angrily reing; those persons were present.- plied,-'Go and begin if you choose.' After the meeting closed, the captain I said, — But surely yon'll come with of the ship said,—'Well, sir, religion us ?' I left him, and went and comhas made a very great change upon my meneed the meeting. There were mate and sailors, lately. I must think about twenty-four present. Whilst enabout myself, though I don't intend to gaged in prayer, I heard some person be a Methodist. A man can do very come into the cabin, and on rising from well, without being so very strict.' my knees, was glad to find it was the I conversed with him very fully on the captain. After singing a verse, I denature and necessity of the new birth. sired (as is usual on those occasions) He began to yield,—his prejudices ap- any one who felt disposed to engage in peared to give way. I enforced the
prayer. To my great astonishment, the importance of present salvation. I left
captain, apparently under much anhim giving his assent to what had been guish of mind, cried out,-'Lord, have said. I renewed my visit next morn- mercy upon such a sinner as me! I ing, and was happy to find he was had not intended being here to-night, anxious to bear more on the subject. Lord, thou knowest ; but here I am at I spent an hour with himn in conversa- thy footstool, seeking for mercy. O tion and prayer, and trust it was an Lord, save my soul, and save the souls hour long to be remembered. He has of all present. Lord, teach me to pray. since become what he once dreaded, I could pray once. My hard heart! I a Methodist, for he is a member of the cannot pray now.' In this way he Wesleyan connection in the north of continued for some time. At the close England.
of his prayer, he gave out that well. Another circumstance, equally singu- known verse, lar, was at a meeting held on board the * Frances Ann. The captain, with
Shew mercy, Lord, O Lord forgive!
Let a repenting sinner live! some reluctance, hoisted the Bethel
Are not thy mercies large and free? flag; saying at the time,– You must May not a sinner trust in thee ?