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Made like the sons of clay,
In form of feeble infancy concealed;
No earthly state the Heavenly Guest revealed!
Thou didst not choose thy home
No regal diadem wreathed thy baby brow;
But with the poorest of the poor wert thou!
Yet she, whose gentle breast
In her the blood of royal David flowed:
With proud and scornful eye;
But angels knew and loved her mean abode.
There softer strains she heard
Or tuneful minstrel in a queenly bower;
Than ever glittered from a monarch's tower.
For there the mystic star
To pour their treasures at her infant's feet,
Oh happiest thou of all
Who bare the deadly thrall
Which, for one mother's crime, to all was given ;Her first of mortal birth
Brought death to reign on earth,
But thine brings Light and Life again from heaven!
Happiest of virgins thou,
On whose unruffled brow
Blends maiden meekness with a mother's love!
Blest in thy Heavenly Son,
Whom man knows not below, though angels hymned above!
By the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Nocl.
Heedless of gazers, once with flowing hair
Took from her aching heart its load of care.
Which made her humbly love and meekly mourn, Till by his faithful care she reached the place Where his redeemed saints above all griefs are borne.
HEAVEN IN PROSPECT.
Yet the conquerors bring their palms
Kings their crowns for harps resign,
Round the altar, priests confess,
If their robes are white as snow; 'Twas the Saviour's righteousness,
And his blood, that made them so.
Who were these?-On earth they dwelt,
They were mortal, too, like us;
Ah! when we like them shall die, May our souls, translated thus, Triumph, reign, and shine on high!
"For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified"-Heb. x. 14.
By J. Conder.
WITH blood-but not his own-the awful sign
With blood-but not his own-the Jew drew near The mercy seat, and heaven received his prayer.
Yet still his hope was dimmed by doubt and fear: "If thou shouldst mark transgression who might
To stand before thee?" Mercy loves to spare
CHRIST IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE.
By the Rev. T. Dale.
A WREATH of glory circles still his head-
As victim's blood at votive altar shed-
From his full heart-" O Father, take away
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Practical Sermons, on the Epistles to the Seven Churches, the Millennium, and the CXXXth Psalm. By the late Rev. JOSEPH MILNER, M.A. With Prefatory Remarks; by the Rev. E. BICKERSTETH. 1 vol. 8vo. 10s. London. 1830.
VOLUMES of " practical sermons multiply so thickly around us that, unless on special occasions, we are obliged to pass them over, either wholly or with a very slight mention. We repeat what we said in noticing, or rather in our apology for not noticing, some dozen volumes of sermons last year (p. 179), and what "the Morning Watch" considered as shewing our great ignorance respecting such matters, that there is such an increase of truly excellent and scriptural sermons in the pulpits of our established church, and such a corresponding mass of publication called for by the local solicitations of many an affectionate and edified flock, that the pages of a periodical publication will not suffice for reviewing and quoting from these numerous productions. We hailed this extension of "plain, scriptural, and practical" preaching, this simple exhibition of
Christ crucified, as a subject of rejoicing; but the Morning Watch treats us, and the whole body of what the writers call ironically "the Evangelical clergy," as devoid of all right judgment for speaking in such a strain. There are three divisions, say they, in theology: the first and highest is the "speculative or intellectual;" the second," the positive" or expository; the third and lowest, "that which teaches us the Divine laws relating to our manners and actions." The writers add, " In this lowest walk of theology are to be numbered the whole deluge of trash under the name of practical sermons;" including, of course, such trash as the "Practical Sermons now before us, the title of which reminded us of these not very gentle or circumspect remarks of the Morning Watch. "The use of the word practical," it is added, " is commonly arrogated by men of narrow minds, and who have but one idea." Again; "The style aimed at by these practical Evangelical preachers is precisely that which is the object of the Popish preachers;" and a necessary consequence, it is stated, of this style is, "that scarcely
any man of ordinary capacity is converted by our Evangelical preachers." All these evils arise from this sermon trade in practical theology," that lowest of trades; instead of soaring with Mr. Irving and the late Mr. Vaughan, who are so highly lauded, to the sublime elevations of fanciful speculation.
as not deserving to be compared with the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord. We claimed for them a brighter meed," that was our expression, than "eloquence or literature," yea, than even the " highest prize" of the one, or the "widest range of the other. What that brighter meed was will appear by quoting the sentence; side by side with which we shall print the Morning Watch's mistatement of it ;-just making us say the very contrary of what we did say.
object to take the be observed here, pile of volumes now that the Christianon our table, as a Observer reviewer fair average speci-considers that the men of the ordinary highest merit a vopreaching of that lume of sermons can large and respect-possess are eloquence
able portion of the and a wide range of pastors of our church. literature. If this be who are currently so, it follows that known by the name the addresses of the of the Evangelical Apostles, whether clergy. In so doing preached or written, we should not so were some of the much put forth their worst that ever were claim to the highest published. But, in prize of eloquence, the opinion of the
The Morning Watch, after asserting that the whole deluge of trash, under the name of practical sermons," together with "the best of our religious periodicals, as the Christian Observer and the Edinburgh Christian Instructor," and the writings of "Drs. Gordon, Chalmers, Thomson, and Dwight," are nothing more than merely "moral" (an assertion clearly untrue; for what doctrine of the Gospel is there which is not explained, and proved, and dwelt upon in the works thus disparaged ?) goes on to allude to our remarks above referred to respecting the usual style of the preaching of what are called the Evangelical clergy; but most grievously mistates (we would not say wilfully falsifies) our observations. We had said, that although many of the sermons of what are called the Evangelical clergy stand very high in point of eloquence and literature, yet that it is not on this ground that we feel grateful for their labours. On the contrary, that we were willing to set aside such inferior considerations, that we would not claim for them the highest prize of eloquence, or the widest range of literature; we would even admit that the majority of the sermons of this class, of necessity rapidly composed, nay, even many of those which are printed and published, make few tensions to merely secular laurels; of mankind." being written for a higher end, not to exhibit the powers of the preacher, but to proclaim the truth of God, bring souls to Christ, and to promote the eternal interests of mankind. We willingly resigned on behalf of the class of preachers alluded to all inferior distinctions,
widest range reviewer, it was neiof literature, or the ther the end sought most exalted deve nor obtained by the lopment of intellect authors before him, (though in each, and who are samples of all of these depart- the whole body of ments, we could find Evangelical clergy, powerful claimants), to rise even to the as to THE BRIGHTER positive, far less to MEED of sound, use-the speculative theo ful, scriptural preach-logy; that the lowest ing; united with a order-namely, the respectable degree of moral-is all that is learning and talent. attempted; and that and consecrated by an even in this the Diearnest desire to pro-vine laws relating to mote the glory of God, our manners and acthe kingdom of the tions are considered Redeemer, and the of less importance temporal, spiritual, than eloquence, and and eternal interests a wide range of literature, since he places this as the acme of perfection."
We consider it no disparagement to what are called "the Evangelical clergy," that they think piety more important than speculation; are willing to forego the "highest prize" of human eloquence, and a
vain display of "intellectual" abi- their excellencies. There is in lity spent upon discussions beyond every page a fearless, honest boldthe grasp of the great majority of ness in exhibiting the doctrines of their hearers, for the "brighter the Gospel, and its application to meed" of being "able ministers the heart and conscience; and we of the New Testament." At the know not whether even the rough same time we must repeat our con- style of the author may not be viction, that their discourses, so far itself almost a recommendation in from being generally open to the this day of polished feebleness, charge urged against them in the when a man may scarcely say his Morning Watch, of miserable soul is his own, but in a softenintellectual poverty, almost ina- ed dialect, which renders it half nity, are marked by a degree of doubtful whether he believes it. good taste as well as good sense, Joseph Milner speaks as a which certainly does not strike us with a soul to men with souls; as as being rivalled by some of the a messenger of God, believing the hierophants of the "speculative " speculative" declarations of his holy word, and school. Among them, indeed, as anxious that others should believe among every other large class of them; seeing men perishing in their persons, are to be found individuals sins, and intent upon snatching them of various grades of talent; but from destruction; yet withal really those of least ability can write a tender;-tender in his very earnestplain useful sermon, which is more ness; exhibiting the grace of Christ, than some men of proud attain- the mercies of the Gospel, and comments have been able to do; while forting the dejected Christian with in the higher orders of intellect are those comforts with which he himto be found those who can urge self was comforted of God. such claims to eloquence and mental power, as will not be surpassed among divines of any age, or name, or nation. But we are glad to quit this invidious topic; on which we should not have touched but for the falsification of our argument by the Morning Watch-an undesigned falsification we are sure; for we would not wantonly impute wrong motives, or imitate the calumnious language which some writers think they do God service in applying to those "sanctimonious" deceivers, those "worse than infidels," the Evangelical clergy.
Though our table is covered with "practical sermons," we are grateful to Mr. Bickersteth for bringing before us another volume with the same old-fashioned title from the unpublished manuscripts of that eminently holy and useful man, Joseph Milner. The sermons of Joseph Milner, including two volumes published long ago, and another more recently, are so well known that we shall not spend our reader's time in descanting upon
The subjects of these sermons are mentioned in the title. They are treated as Joseph Milner well knew how to treat such subjects ;— with a spirit of deep piety, manly sense, and forcible application, which, united with the consistency of the author's own eminently useful life, produced on the mind of Paley an impression which proves, whatever the Morning Watch may think to the contrary, that " evangelical preachers" have, by the blessing of God, "converted," or rather been the instruments in his hand for converting (if "converted " Paley finally was, as certainly he was from his own former views of conversion,) some persons of more than "ordinary capacity;" yes, and by those very "practical sermons which in the estimation of the "speculative" school are only "moral," and soar not above this "lowest" possible style of pulpit composition.
We fear we shall gain no credit with these our "speculative" friends, either for our deceased author, or ourselves, or for that truly ex
cellent and "practical" divine Mr. Bickersteth, by having extracted Milner's Discourse on the Millennium as a family sermon. Mr. Ir ving is pleased to say in the Number of the Morning Watch above quoted, and with his name (for we will not affix names upon report or conjecture to anonymous papers), that "a spiritual advent is a precious absurdity of that unlearned school the evangelical;" yet this "spiritual advent" of our blessed Lord, Milner considers a Scriptural doctrine; and Mr. Bickersteth, far from denominating such a sentiment a "precious absurdity," is pleased to think that the author's whole view of the Millennium is "peculiarly important;" especially "at the present moment; and we also, being among the "unlearned" who con sider that "practical" sermons are to the full as useful as "speculative and intellectual," have given publicity to Milner's statements in our pages. The topic is not, perhaps, that which we should have ourselves selected for a " Family Sermon," (it may be our error, we speak with sincerity, that we are too cautious in introducing" speculative" topics into compositions of that class,) but Milner's object is rather to turn the minds of his hearers from speculation to practice; and one chief utility of the discourse in our view is, that it does not "speculate" at all, but shews in what manner such topics may be treated for "practical" edification, without commixing in the war of rival hypotheses. We may also add, in order that we may not seem to have singled out this sermon invidiously, that, our plan and limits not allowing of copious notices or extracts from this prolific class of publications, in our Review department, yet, being unwilling that our readers should lose the pleasure and advantage which a volume from the pen of such a writer as Joseph Milner was calculated to afford; we were glad to avail ourselves of a lengthened extract as a Family Sermon; and the discourse on the
Millennium being the only detached one, the rest consisting of consecutive series, we were obliged to extract this or none. We agree with Mr. Bickersteth that it deserves attention, as containing the sentiments of "no common man; " and it will not be lost upon a family circle if only it lead them on the one hand to feel how important and interesting are the prophetic portions of Scripture; while, on the other hand, they learn to guard against rash and doubtful speculations, and to imitate the truly Christian modesty and caution of the revered author of "the History of the Church of Christ;" a man who certainly had not studied the sacred prophecies less carefully than many of those who are so prompt to decide upon their unfulfilled announcements. The omission of a few allusions to passing events (the sermon was written in 1796), and, here and there, a slight abbreviation or verbal correction, was all that appeared to us allowable in transcribing the discourse. It was not written for the press, and the style is more forcible than polished: but it is not our province to attempt to correct it; except where a word or expression occurs which we could not wish the family reader to make his own. Milner himself would not plead for retaining in family reading such an expression as "affronting the Holy Ghost;" or "I have no notion of being restrained" in preaching whatever he thought scriptural; or such a word as "disgust,' or any other phrase that carries a harsh aspect. Such occasional words easily trickle from the pen in rapid composition when the mind is warm with its subject; but they are gladly expunged by a Christian writer in the leisure of revision.
We feel grateful to Mr. Bicker steth for this addition to the truly scriptural works of Joseph Milner, and for the interesting notes which he has appended to the discourses on the Apocalyptic churches. If