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distress and pain, it is true, but of comfort and happiness also." If sentences ill-constructed and ungrammatical like these were only lew and occasional, we should not .have noticed them; but such sentences are plentifully scattered over the book, and as the writer of these sentences advertises at the end of the volume eleven other literary productions, we think it is about time somebody pointed out his errors and advised greater carefulness in the construction of his sentences for the future.
Missionary Enterprise No Fiction: a Tale founded on Facts. Elliot Stock. 12mo, 203 pp.—Of this work we can only say, we would rather have had the facts without the tale.
Tms Gospel Church, delineated from the New Testament, in its Constitution, "Worship, Order, Ministers and Ministrations: an exhibition in detail of the special privileges and authorized duties of Christian fellowship. By Henry Webb. Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. 8vo, 294 pp.—A weary, wandering dissertation on a church which, according to the author's notion, is "a brotherhood of mutual instructors," who are to "break bread," manage finance, hire rooms and the like for service, and, without appointed ministers, are to teach one another the right way. We frankly confess that we do not find such a church organization in the New Testament, and we have no idea of joining such.
Discourses Illustrative Of Sacred Truths. By W. Cooke, D.D. Price os. 6d. Hamilton, Adams, & Co., and H. Webber. —There are nineteen of these discourses in the present volume. The author says, in a prefatory note, that they have for the most part been preached on special occasions. Often and urgently has the author been requested to publish them in one volume. A higher aim, however, than the gratification of friends, is the desire to establish God's people in the faith, to promote sound doctrine and a healthy,
earnest, and benevolent Christianity. Such is the supreme desire of the author. We are glad of the appearance of this volume of sermons from our venerable brother in the gospel. "The higher aim" which he avows as his reason for publishing them will, we are sure, be reached wherever the sermons are read, for they do decidedly tend to " promote sound doctrine and a healthy, earnest, and benevolent Christianity." We sincerely wish for the volume an extensive circulation.
Strange Footsteps, or Thoughts on the Providence of God. Illustrated by incidents new and old. By Revs. C. & H. Kendall. London :" George Lamb. 12mo, 300 pp. —This is a readable book, rather of the sensational kind, dealing largely as it1 does in "visions and revelations." Some of its positions are open to question, but on the whole it will encourage God's people to trust in him, and be calm and hopeful in all their trials. It is never dull; the style is fresh and lively, and the "incidents" are striking. Few readers will desire to lay it down till they have read it through; the fourth chapter might have been omitted, as in no way directly connected with the main object of the book.
The Methodist Quarterly for June, 1871.—This is a good number, above the average in merit The articles are vigorous, fresh, and readable. They comprise— '' Resurrection of the Dead," we presume by the editor, concerning which there may be some difference of opinion as to the positions taken; but it is well written, and gives us the most recent results of theological thought in England upon the subject. Mr. Scott's article on "Our English Bible " is clear, fresh, and interesting, and will be read with pleasure. "Notes on North China," "Lancashire Nonconformity," "The Government and the Liquor Traffic," and Notices of Books, comprise the other items in the list, and the whole are creditable to the writers.
CONCERNING THE ABOMINATIONS DONE IN JERUSALEM, AND THOSE WHO SIGHED AND CRIED BECAUSE OF THOSE ABOMINATIONS, WITH THE LESSONS WE MAY LEAEN THEREFROM.—Ezekiel viii., ix.
Ezekiel's book is a very wonderful one. He, like Daniel, lived and prophesied during the Babylonish captivity. The prophecies of Ezekiel were delivered in the early part of that captivity, those of Daniel in the latter part of it. As a writer, Ezekiel is powerful and pungent, not unfrequently eloquent, and sometimes sublime. The prophecies of the book have reference to the Jews. They were an ungrateful, a self-willed, and an obdurate people. They were so before the captivity; they were so, likewise, during the captivity, especially in the former part of it; and those were so who were left behind at Jerusalem. The prophet was instructed and commissioned by the Most High to reprove and rebuke them for their wickedness; to denounce the judgments of God against them; to lay down to them their duty; and, in the latter part of the book, to speak to them more comfortable words, predicting the restoration of lost privileges, the destruction of other nations opposed to them, and various matters having relation to gospel times.
There are some things in this book that are very obscure and difficult to be understood. This is especially the case with the vision narrated at the commencement of the book. He ought to be a clever man who undei*takes its interpretation. It were superfluous to say that there has been a great deal of absurd and foolish writing upon it. In the vision referred to in the heading of our present article there are some points that are not very clear, but we may understand the vision sufficiently well for our purpose. It occupies the eighth and three following chapters; but it is only what is contained in the eighth and ninth chapters that we purpose briefly to notice. The prophet was in Babylonia, but the Lord informed him in this vision of the horrid abominations that were being perpetrated
in Jerusalem, which of aH places ought to have been pure and holy. While Ezekiel was sitting in his house, apparently in a contemplative mood, and the elders of Judah were sitting before him, the hand of the Lord fell upon him, and he saw "a likeness as the appearance of fire "—probably the likeness of a man; and the figure appeared to be all brightness above the girdle, and all fire below. Then a hand was put forth, which took him by a lock of his head, and he was lifted up by the Spirit and carried in vision to Jerusalem (chap. viiL ver. 1—3.) No doubt Jerusalem would be dear to the heart of the prophet; the very name would be music to him, and he would venerate the stones thereof. But scenes were being enacted there— even in the sanctuary of God—that were immeasurably disgraceful, and revoltingly impious and wicked. These scenes the prophet had to witness in his vision, and his soul would be afflicted within him, and he would be filled with deepest, intensest grief. He saw the glory of God ; but, in marked and sad contrast with that, he also saw the most flagrantly wicked and abominable things perpetrated by those who ought to have exemplified very different conduct. There was the image of jealousy, and there were the seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan in their midst offering incense in their secret chambers to painted idols, representing every form of creeping things and abominable beasts; and there were women weeping to Tammuz (a most disgusting exhibition); and there were men at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, with their backs towards the temple, and their faces towards the east, worshipping the sun. Strange things these to be done in Jerusalem; but done there they were, even in the Iioly city. The picture, drawn from life, or rather the veritable narrative of things as they existed, contained in this eighth chapter of Ezekiel, is most humiliating and sickening; revealing to us, as it does, the evil there is in man's heart, and the strong tendency of our nature to be overcome by corrupting influences, and to be led into practices of the most vile and God-dishonouring character.
In this time of deep degeneracy and corruption, however, there were some who kept their consciences clear and their garments undefiled. God is never, even in the worst times, without his faithful witnesses, and so it was at the period of which we are writing. There were those who deeply mourned—who "sighed and cried "— on account of the abominations that were committed in Jerusalem. Like righteous Lot in Sodom, their souls were grieved and vexed with the filthy conversation and conduct of those around them. The divine judgments were at hand, and vengeance was about to overtake the doers of the abominable things specified. But an exception was to be made in favour of those who "sighed and cried," because of the