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cordance with which Holy Scripture was inspired, neither involves an habitual consciousness in the writers that more was meant than met the ear, nor does it exclude the primary intention of the writers in the record of facts, or the administration of encouragement and reproof.”—Pp. xi., xii.
It is probable that before this Lord Shaftesbury's “ Church of England and Ireland Rites and Ceremonies ” Bill has been shelved. But it is really important that Churchmen should be aware to what length the Puritan party are prepared to go in order to gratify their own unfaithfulness to the Church of England. The Rev. John WALTER MOORE then has done good service in drawing attention to the Bill in his Letter to Lord Dungannon. (J. H. Parker.) The Bill may be designated an attempt to combine the tyranny of the Tudor epoch with the system of espionage which was so notorious in the time of the Commonwealth; and it proposes nothing less than an entire reconstruction of our mode of worship, for it creates a certain court which has power to “regulate, prescribe, and LIMIT the ornaments, fittings, and furniture of the Church,” as well as the “ornaments, vestments, and habits to be worn or allowed by the Clergy ;” and also “ the ceremonies and rites to be observed and used in Public Worship.” Under this Bill, should it pass into an Act, it is not too much to say that, favoured by the Palmerston and Shaftesbury alli. ance, we might, at one fell swoop, find altar-coverings, fonts, credencetables, stained glass windows, surplices, stoles, the Cross in baptism, private absolution, choirs, Saints' days, choral services, and even daily prayer, actually forbidden !
Alice Lisle, a Tale of Puritan Times, by R. King, (Parker,) is a work of very high tone, like others, well known and appreciated by the public, which have come to us from the same hand. The scene is laid in those romantic but sad times, whose terrible evils make our own troubles, heavy as we are apt to deem them, seem light indeed. But we are tempted to regret that the author has thrown the whole interest of his tale on the Puritan side. Happily, however, he has been able,-doubtless from the strength of his convictions, to convey a sense of the exceeding badness of the cause, even while he invests the characters which support it in his work, with all the qualities most calculated to win our admiration. If, however, the principal personages, as he seems to infer, are historical, he had no choice, his subject once selected, but to describe their noble steadfastness in error. Any regret on this score is, however, removed at the close of the work, where our sympathies are powerfully called forth by the martyrdom of Alice Lisle in her old age,-a martyrdom which she suffered not for her mistaken creed, but for a cause that ought to find us all as faithful as herself,—that holy charity which led her to shelter the unfortunate, and save the fugitive at the risk of her own life. The last scenes, describing her trial and death, are beautifully rendered. We shall always be glad to welcome any work of this author, and we shall hope to find him next time engaged on a more congenial subject.
The author of Corvoda Abbey, (Saunders and Otley,) has very decided ability. He possesses indeed many of the qualities which constitute a good writer,--and that is no small praise in these days, when every young lady from the schoolroom who happens to be a little sharper than her sisters undertakes to lecture or amuse the world, -but precisely because he has ability, we do most strongly urge upon him to choose some better material for the exercise of his talents than the hackneyed and impracticable subject of " Jesuit Plots" in the “ Domestic Homes” of England. A Roman Catholic once said, aptly enough, that the Jesuits of novel writers should take rank among other fabulous animals as an “ Ecclesiastical Griffin,” and certainly we have that quadruped in full force in the work before us. However, even if it were possible that an English Protestant author should know the secret thoughts of the General of the Jesuits, which we must be allowed to doubt, this is surely not the time for inflaming people's prejudices on such a subject. Rather let us try to teach our fellow-countrymen their own faith, of which for the most part they know little enough, and leave that of our neighbours alone; for one English youth who requires such warnings against Rome as the author bestows on bis hero, there are thousands who need to be taught the first rudiments of the Catholic Faith, and to them the author's power of writing and earnestness of mind may be made very useful.
Mr. SPRANGER's Confirmation Lectures (Masters) possess considerable originality, and are valuable from the soundness of their doctrinal teaching. There is, however, a certain abruptness in the style which mars their effect by a sense of incompleteness. The Lecture, “ Jordan driven back; or, Conversion,” amongst other striking passages, gives a brief but very intelligible explanation of the Millennial “ thousand years."
The authoress of Biographies for Young People,-Footprints on the Sands of Time, (J. H. Parker,) has a decided talent for this style of writing. She renders the histories which she gives extremely interesting, and writes in a gentle loving tone of much that is good and holy, though with a somewbat lamentable deficiency in distinctive religious teaching. We must say, further, that we have seldom seen a more inju. dicious selection of subjects. Two of the lives—those of Gilpin and Pascal-give scope for various controversial disquisitions of a very illogical nature which cannot fail to be injurious to young minds, and some very gratuitous abuse of the counsels of perfection tends still further to deform the book. Still, if in a happier choice of subjects the authoress will narrate the story of their lives without hazarding her own opinions, she may prepare a very attractive volume for her young readers.
In Readings from Holy Scripture, (Masters,) by the authoress of “Tales of Kirkbeck,” we have a difficult task accomplished with a considerable success. Her endeavour has been to present to her readers the whole of the sacred history, from the time of Joshua to Nebuchadnezzar, in the language of Scripture itself, with only the interpolation of a few connecting sentences to remove the difficulty which the unlearned are apt to find in unravelling the history of the kings of Judah and Israel. A paraphrase, however slight, upon the sacred text must always be a ha
zardous experiment, but this is done with so much modesty and devout religious feeling that there is not a word to be said against it. It will be remembered that we noticed favourably the former part of this work, which will now form a very useful school-book.
The Church and the Census is the title of a “ Tract for the Times,” by the Rev. JAMES SKINNER, (Masters). It is no attack upon Dissenters, although their resistance to the doing openly and effectually what they got done at the last Census secretly and untruthfully, certainly lays them open to attack ; but it is a call to look at home, when we remember how it implies—“1. That thousands of baptized souls in England are content to believe in nothing. 2. That thousands more who protest that they do believe something in particular, protest also that they cannot 'confess that something before men.'”
There are several noticeable features in the Rev. J. Baines's Twenty Sermons, preached at S. John's Chapel, Haverstock Hill, (Masters) which serve to distinguish them from the countless rival sermons with which we are inundated. First, the subjects are a little out of the beaten track. Secondly, many of them are on the great Festivals of the Church, which, more than any other subjects, try the power of a preacher. Thirdly, they contain a good deal of doctrine ; and fourthly, they are written with a very considerable power of language. The first and the last in the volume appear to us about the best.
Mr. Eddorp's Sermons, as professedly Practical, (Rivingtons,) can scarcely with fairness be compared with those just mentioned. We fear, however, that they imply a habit with the author, as is now too common, especially in London, of omitting doctrine. . This may be a recoil from an undue amount of doctrine which has recently been foisted into sermons. But we regard the symptoms with alarm, as likely to lead to the preaching of mere naturalism. Mr. Eddorp's style of writing is decidedly above par. The sermons were preached at S. Gabriel's, Pimlico, of which church the author is curate.
The annual volumes of the Monthly Packet and the Magazine for the Young, (Mozleys,) indicate certainly no falling off in talent or in variety in either of these popular periodicals.
DR. PUSEY'S COMMENTARY ON THE MINOR
The Minor Prophets : with a Commentary. By the Rev. E. B.
Pusey, D.D. Part I. Hosea. Parker; Deighton and Bell ; Rivington.
sessing be on a maturity withe way so sacerely trust the Its want
TAE Commentary of which we have now before us the first instalment, has been long anticipated with much interest. Its want has been long felt by all persons. We sincerely trust that no further difficulties may stand in the way so as to prevent the design being brought to maturity with all reasonable speed. May God's blessing be on all who share in this important work!
We have now the Commentary on Hosea complete. Itself the result of many years of devotional study, it seems to stand beyond the limits of criticism. There is an utter absence of any display of learning, and yet the power of erudition makes itself felt in the simplicity and devotional ease with which the purpose of the Prophet is developed from the terse, disjointed utterances of his heaving heart. The circumstances of the time during which Hosea prophesied are most forcibly depicted in the introduction. It would have been a work of much less labour to have bewildered the eye of the reader with the apparatus of learning. Too often the scaffolding (to use Dr. Pusey's simile) not only hides the building, but hides its incompleteness. Learning often keeps the student back, who will not set himself free from its trammels. Its true use is felt when the mind is found to be moving at ease amidst the subjects which it has to contemplate. Learning is like a carriage to be left at the door when it has brought us to the bouse of a friend and we go in to converse with him. Had we walked along the rough and miry path, we should have been unable to enjoy his presence, arriving ourselves weary with the journey's toils. The vehicle of learning brings the mind in safety and freshness to the threshold of other circumstances and bygone times. Its task is then fulfilled. Heart must commune with heart in mutual love. The exbibition of learning in the exposition of the truth thus realized is like the retinue of servants hindering free intercourse by their officious presence.
No one can read this Commentary of Dr. Pusey's without feeling how thoroughly he is at home in the subject of which he writes, and how full his heart is of love to that home. Wonderful is that home, for it is nothing less than the Divine mind containing within itself all truth! The following extracts will set forth in Dr. Pusey's own words the style and the object of the Commentary. VOL. XXII.-SEPTEMBER, 1860.
“My wish has been to give the results rather than the process by which they were arrived at; to exhibit the building, not the scaffolding. My idea has been, to explain or develope every word and sentence of Holy Scripture, and when it should be required, the connection of verses, to leave nothing unexplained as far as I could explain it, and if any verse should give occasion to enter upon any subject historical, moral, doctrinal, or devotional, to explain this as far as the place required or suggested. Then, if any thoughtful writers with whom I am acquainted, and to whom most English readers have little or no access, have expounded the meaning of any text in a way which I thonght would be useful to an English reader, I have translated them, placing them mostly at the end of the comment on each verse, so that the mind might rest upon them, and yet not be sensible of a break or jar in passing on to other thoughts in the following verse ...,
“ The object of all who are engaged in this work is one and the same, to develope as God shall enable us, the meaning of Holy Scripture out of Scripture itself; to search in that deep mine and—not to bring meanings into it, but—(Christ being our helper, for the well is deep') to bring such portions as they may of its meaning out of it ; to exhibit to our people truth side by side with the fountain from which it is drawn; to enable them to see something more of its riches, than a passer-by or a careless reader sees on the surface.”—P. viii.
We shall now endeavour to give a brief review of the scope of Hosea's prophecy, and the incidental extracts from Dr. Pusey's Commentary will serve to give our readers an idea of the work.
In the prophecy of Hosea there is one self-evident division, at the close of the third chapter. The matter of chief difficulty in taking a general review of Hosea's writings, is the subdivision of the latter of these two sections. The object of such analysis is perhaps rather literary than devotional. Eichhorn divides it into sixteen odes. Their subject is one, and they are all expressive of one onward flowing stream of thought upon that subject. They are like the sound of a continuous wind passing through the dried leaves of an autumnal forest. The murmur bursts out upon the ear and dies again, and is renewed elsewhere. As we listen we cannot trace the succession of blast to blast. So is it with the uncertain cadences of the Prophet's voice as he tells of the decay of his people, and the approaching bareness which must precede their resuscitation. Probably Dr. Pusey does wisely in leaving his strains in all their wild, confused grandeur. Had he attempted to encumber the annotations with artificial distinctions, he would have withdrawn the mind of the reader from the solemn consideration of that for which his commentary was really needed.
The opening transaction of the Prophet's marriage has been the great cause of controversy amongst critics. It is difficult however to see why men should really have stumbled at it. The Prophet in taking to himself a wife of whoredoms at the bidding of God, was really by a special act of self-sacrifice not only accomplishing the symbolical purpose which his words indicate, but showing also