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by him in his closet, where we had a private conversation which lasted for nearly an hour. It resembled that of two intimate friends and old acquaintance. I look upon Alexander as a true Christian. He is simple in his manners, and cannot endure state form. The serenity of his soul glows in his countenance : there is, in his looks and in his conduct, I was ready to say, a majesty more than human. He believes, as well as all his councillors, that an important epoch is at hand." (Mag. Evangelique de Genève, p. 42.)
In a subsequent letter, dated January, 1820, Lindl writes as follows:-"The Lord accompanies with his blessing his word which I preach in this city,-even I, the greatest and most unworthy of sinners. The number of my hearers increases daily; and my sermons excite attention throughout St. Petersburgh, and in all the neighbourhood. A curate of C, an excellent man, came eight leagues to see and hear me. My hearers are almost all Protestants. The Catholics begin to move; and several already feel the conquering power of the Gospel. Some are for me, some against me: a general interest is excited, just as in Germany. The latter, however, are
on my side, except a small number who are influenced by the Dominicans and the priests. These last strive to ruin me; and rely greatly on some persons of quality, whose Christianity consists in hearing a Latin mass on Sundays, and turning a deaf ear to the word of God. But the Emperor and Prince Galitzin treat these worthless reports with contempt. Amidst these oppositions the Gospel makes progress; and God is collecting for himself a numerous people in St. Petersburgh." (Ib. p. 152.)
In a subsequent Number (vol. iii. p. 18), the editor remarks, "We are informed that Lindl has left St. Petersburgh for Odessa; and that the Emperor has appointed him Inspector-general of all the Christian communities in Crimea, and the neighbouring districts, with the title of Archbishop."......" From the same quarter we learn that Gossner will be called to St. Petersburgh to replace Lindl, but we cannot say whether he will accept this call: all that is known is, that he has recently suffered severely at Dusseldorp, in the Lord's cause."
A reference to Lindl and Gossner may be found in the memoir of Bos, in the Christian Observer for Sept. 1827. I. H. R.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Forty Family Sermons. By the EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN OBserver. 1 Vol. 8vo. 12s. London 1830.
WB cannot review our own sermons; and to give passages from them is unnecessary, as they have already appeared in full in our volumes: but it has been suggested to us that it might be desirable to extract the
* He evidently refers to the Catholics.
whole of the preface, as it contains some particulars respecting the Christian Observer which may interest our readers, and be not inappropriate as a record in our pages. It is as follows:
"The writer of the following sermons has for the last thirteen years been in the habit of composing every month (with few exceptions), for a periodical work under his care, a short, plain, and practical Sermon for Family Reading. The following forty are selected from that
number, at the request of many valued friends, who thought it might be useful to reprint a portion of the CHRISTIAN-OBSERVER SERMONS in a separate volume, and with a larger type than that of a periodical publication. The want of discourses adapted for family perusal was greatly felt among religious members of the Church of England, at the time when the plan of inserting a sermon monthly in the Christian Observer originated, about twenty years since; and though, of late, volumes of sermons are constantly issuing from the press, highly valuable for the Scriptural character of their doctrine, and for their application to the life and conscience, and written by clergymen warmly attached to our beloved church; yet it is not in general found that discourses originally composed for the pulpit are altogether fitted for perusal in the family circle. It is seldom that the whole of such an address is applicable to a private household; and usually in reading it, some things are passed over, while others require to be supplied. Many of the discussions, much of the classification of character, and some of the most pointed and pungent appeals, are couched in a style not adapted to the occasion; and even the beautiful pastoral appellation of my brethren,' gives to a sermon read in a family an air which is not natural.
"These considerations will perhaps lead the reader to account for, if not to justify, the usual plan of the following discourses. That they are brief, and are attempted to be simple, and easily intelligible, and seldom or never controversial, needs no apology. That they should be chiefly elementary, embracing the leading points of Christian doctrine and practice, is what the writer wished, at least, to attain. That they are too calm, too little conversant with the striking illustrations and never-forgotten words which are sometimes heard in the pulpit, is partly the writer's defect, but it is also partly incidental; for a sermon written expressly to be read in families-perhaps often by a son or daughter, the whole audience being only the parents, children, and servants-would be wholly unsuitable if composed in a style very proper for the pulpit. Denunciations must often become persuasions; fervent appeals to various classes of character must often become rather Scriptural statements respecting such classes of character, since either the originals may not be present, or, if present, the application might be improperly personal; the pastoral authoritativeyou,' must sink into the modest we;' and the whole assume the air of simple discussion, affectionate advice, gentle persuasion, and plain Scriptural instruction, rather than those elevated features which the family reader could not with propriety adopt, so as to make the sermon his own. This would be no excuse for want of
faithfulness or earnestness, but it greatly modifies the style of conveying Scriptural truth.
"The doctrines of these sermons correspond with those which it has been the uniform object of the work in which they were inserted to maintain. It was thought that the chief topics for Family Sermons
and indeed all sermons-were such simple Scriptural points as the fallen, guilty, and helpless condition of mankind by nature; the love of God in Christ; the atonement; repentance; faith; justification; the offices of Christ, and of the Holy Spirit; sanctification; peace with God; love to God; the forbearance of God; Christian obedience, and love to mankind; death, and eternity; heaven, and hell: and that they should not be discussed controversially, but practically, with constant application to the conscience, and prayer for the blessing of God.
"It gives the writer singular satisfaction to have been allowed to avail himself of the honour of dedicating his pages to two Right Reverend Prelates, whose names are so greatly beloved and revered by the best friends of our Church and our common Christianity. It is not often that two such near relatives have been sitting side by side among our prelates; brothers in office, as well as by birth, affection, and that higher brotherhood which shall never cease: and certainly in no instance has such a coincidence occurred more honourable to those who bore the office. But this is a topic on which the writer may not enter. It is not for him to echo the tribute of public respect and esteem so widely felt for that active zeal, those labours abundant, that professional ability, that amiable and courteous deportment, and, most of all, that deep and humble piety, and that attachment to the doctrines of the Gospel and the discipline of our revered church, which have endeared the name of Sumner to every wise and good man; and which filled the hearts of so many with gratitude to GOD, that the talents and spiritual virtues which had adorned subordinate stations in our ecclesiastical Zion were henceforth to be consecrated to the high and Apostolical office of the prelacy. It was said of Bossuet and Fenelon, The one proves religion, the other makes you love it.' The biographer of either of the two Sumners will not be obliged to dissever the characteristics.
"As these discourses may fall into the hands of some persons who are unacquainted with the periodical publication from which they are extracted, it may not be irrelevant to state a few particulars respecting that work. The writer of the present pages may the more properly give this recapitulation, as, though he has conducted the work for a period approaching towards half the term of its existence, he had no share in its formation or early ma
nagement, but entered into the labours of others; to imitate whose spirit, to tread in whose steps, and to follow whose advice, he felt to be the best means of perpetuating the respectable patronage which it had received, and the measure of good which, by the blessing of God, it had effected.
"The Christian Observer was commenced in the year 1802. The prospectus which announced its appearance stated, that it was to be conducted by members, and upon the true principles, of the Established Church: such a publication, it was added, had long been wished for. The desire of the conductors was, to embrace information upon general subjects with religious instruction, so as to furnish such an interesting view of religion, literature, and politics, free from the contamination of false principles, as a clergyman might without scruple recommend to his parishioners, and a Christian safely introduce into his family.' The chief object of the work, it was added, was to promote the increase of sound theological knowledge, and to delineate the character of primitive and unadulterated Christianity. The conductors, as ‘members of the Established Church,' proposed to discuss the principles of that church, and to explain and enforce the pious tendency of her rites, coremonies, and liturgy; at the same time avoiding those asperities of controversy which might diminish that Christian affection which ought to unite the members of Christ of every denomination;' and making it their constant aim to cherish the affections of charity, piety, and fervent devotion, and to direct their fellow-Christians in the paths of truth and righteousness.'
"The preface to the first volume states, that the work thus announced, had been received with a large measure of public favour, and with the most honourable testimonies to its usefulness, and promises of support, some even in quarters where the conductors were not sanguine in expecting them.' Tories alleged that it was Whig, and Whigs that it was Tory; Calvinists that it was Arminian, and Arminians that it was Calvinistic; some Dissenters called it high church, and some HighChurchmen thought it too conciliating towards Dissenters a proof, it was inferred, that truth, and not party, was the object which its supporters wished to follow.
"In specifying more particularly the theological opinions of the conductors, it was stated, that, while appealing only to the Scriptures as their directory, and to the formularies of the Church of England as the best human expositor,' they found them fully unfolded in the writings of our Reformers; many of which-not then so well known as at present happily they are -were largely quoted from, or re-printed, in the early volumes of the work; parti
cularly those which partake of the character of documents received and allowed' by the church: such as Nowell's and King Edward's Catechisms, and Jewell's Apology. Edification, and not controversy, was the object of the publication for it is stated in the preface to the second volume, that, earnestly desirous that men should learn that it is of infinitely greater moment to be real Christians than acute controversialists, the conductors of the Christian Observer wish that their work should constantly exhibit the important doctrines of the ruined state of man by nature, and of his recovery by Divine Grace; of justification by faith, and the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit; of the unsearchable love of Christ, and of the obligations of every one no longer to live to himself, but to Him who died for him;-that the uniform tendency of their publication should be to awaken the careless sinner; to encourage the penitent, and direct him where to look for pardon and peace; to enlighten the understanding, by a just display of the duties we owe to God and man; and to enforce upon the conscience the awful sanctions of the Gospel: then, whatever be the reception of their work in this world of darkness and error, it will not fail to meet with a favourable reception at His hands who came to establish a kingdom of righteousness and peace on earth.'
"Among the writers who have, regularly or occasionally, enriched the pages of the work by their correspondence and contributions, might be named many whose talents and piety stand in high honour among their countrymen. To those who still live it would not be decorous to allude; nor of those who have departed to a better world would the conductors publish any name which the individual or his friends have not themselves made public. Yet even a list thus limited would furnish no unfavourable sample; for obituaries and posthumous publications have, in various instances, shewn to whose pen the reader was to attribute valuable papers, or collections of papers, which had already greatly interested him under an anonymous signature. Among these might be specified Dr. Jowett, the Rev. J. Venn †, Mr. Henry Thornton ‡, Bishop
Dr. Jowett's papers on Biblical criticism, especially on the litigated passage 1 John v. 7, have been, and still are, highly valued by many eminent scholars.
+Among Mr. Venu's papers were a considerable number of most excellent family
Heber Mr. J. Bowdler, jun.†, Mr. John Pearson, the Rev. T. Drewett, the Rev. John Owen, the Rev. Thomas Scott, the Rev. Legh Richmond, Dr. Claudius Buchanan, Mr. Hey, and many others t. In several instances, valuable works, with the names of living authors, are a republication, with enlargements, of papers in the Christian Observer: such as Mr. Babington's admirable work on Education; Hodgson's Letters on America,
was one of the most considerable and valuable contributors to the work.
Bishop Heber first inserted in the Christian Observer a number of those beautiful hymns on the Church Fasts and Festivals which are contained in the volume of his Hymns, published since his death, but prepared by himself for publication.
+ See his "Remains; a work which, notwithstanding the high tone of scriptural piety of the writer, extorted, by its talent, from the rival Quarterly Reviews of London and Edinburgh the highest encomiums. The papers which the reviewers chiefly lauded, and wondered where they could have appeared, were extracted from the Christian Observer.
See the Memoir of Mr. Scott, by the Rev. J. Scott; of Mr. Richmond, by the Rev. T. S. Grimshawe; of Dr. Buchanan, by the present Dean of Salisbury; and of Mr. Hey, by the late John Pearson, Esq. in which many of their papers are alluded to or republished. Mr. Pearson (himself a most valuable contributor to the Christian Observer), in mentioning Mr. Hey's papers in its pages, says, "This periodical work has now been so many years in circulation, that its merits may be safely left to speak for themselves: and although it has participated in the lot of many other useful productions-that of being misunderstood by some, misrepresented by others, and opposed by the enemies of the faith and hope of the Gospel-yet it has surmounted all opposition, and through the Divine assistance has been eminently and extensively beneficial both to the clergy and laity of this kingdom. The Christian Observer has displayed good temper, and a spirit of moderation and candour, towards the various denominations of Christians: it has demonstrated that genuine and fervent piety may exist without ignorance or fanaticism; that polemical discussions may be conducted without railing, bitterness, or asperity; and that sobriety of mind and cautious investigation are not hostile to purity of faith or soundness of doctrine. Above all, the Christian Observer has been the unwearied and zealous advocate of scriptural morality: it has enlarged on the extent and holiness of the Divine law; rescued the preceptive parts of the Gospel from the cold, heartless, insipid commen. taries of those who would reduce Chris
which Americans state to be the most correct and candid book which has ever been written in England on the subject; the Rev. C. Bridges's valuable work on the Causes of the Inefficiency of the Christian Ministry, especially in the Church of England (a work of great piety and spiritual utility); Mr. Riland's faithful and powerful delineation of 'Antichrist;' and Mr. Newnham's able and interesting treatise on Superstition. Others might be added; but the object is not to swell a list of names, but merely to mention, as a specimen, some of the pieces which happen to occur to the writer.The value of a periodical publication must, however, chiefly depend upon its ordinary contributors; and living names, much as he values their favours, the editor is not allowed to specify.-But far the greatest tribute of affection and gratitude, from the friends of the work, is due to one individual, who conducted it for more than half the period of its present duration, and gave to it that character, whatever it may be, which has prevented the necessity for new plans or a new series, and has stamped on it the claim of being at least a consistent work. Long may it be before, not only the friends of the Christian Observer, but of no small number of our great religious societies-the friends of injured Africa, the friends of the oppressed slave, the friends of education, and piety, and philanthropy throughout the world-will be at liberty to say all they think and feel in reference to the zealous and judicious labours of that esteemed and highly-gifted individual.
"Numerous testimonies to the character of the work, and the benefits which, by the blessing of God, have attended its perusal, might be adduced from the writings of individuals, living and dead, whose approbation is honour. One may be the rather mentioned, as the writer is in a better world, and his approval was beyond the suspicion of partiality, he being neither a fellow-countryman nor a member of our own communion. Dr. Dwight, the revered and lamented President of Yale College, Connecticut, united with some other well-known friends of religion to introduce the Christian Observer to his countrymen, among whom it obtained so much celebrity that it was soon regularly reprinted every month, in two rival editions, at New York and Boston and it has been the model on which several
tianity to a round of formal observances, and a decent conformity to social duties; and, by inculcating the necessity of combining spiritual affections with an orderly and correct practice, it has laboured to convey and excite the most enlarged, noble, generous, and animated conceptions of the nature and genius of true religion : and it has pleased God to bless its endeavours with an abundant success."
American religious publications, particularly in the Episcopal Church, have been professedly planned and conducted. The following is a copy of Dr. Dwight's recommendatory address:- The publishers of the American edition of the Christian Observer having requested of me a recommendation of that work to the public, I take a peculiar pleasure in complying with their wishes. I have taken this work from its commencement, and throughout the whole of its continuance have considered it as the best periodical publication within my knowledge. It has also been more uniformly supported than any other production of a similar nature: The religious doctrines countenanced by the editor and his principal supporters are generally those of the Reformation. In a few particulars they differ somewhat from the most generally-received orthodoxy of this country: on these, however, they rarely insist. Those in which the creeds and confessions of Protestant churches have chiefly united, they illustrate and defend with distinguished ability. The spirit which reigns in this work is, I think, singularly happy. Catholicism and zeal are, perhaps, no where more successfully united. The piety of the Gospel is here strongly as well as amiably displayed; and even controversy is carried on without tarnishing the Christian character. The subordinate contributors, imbibing the disposition of the principal, proceed in the same course of moderation and excellence. The plan of the work includes Religious and Miscellaneous Communications, Reviews, Literary and Philosophical Intelligence, a View of Public Affairs, &c. &c. The heads are well chosen, and are filled up with advantage. The re-publication of this work in America is a public benefit, and reflects honour on the undertakers.'
"Many similar testimonies from foreigners might be mentioned; but we shall adduce only the following, from the pen of the late Baron de Staël, which we must not omit, lest our Protestant friends on the continent of Europe should think we value their obliging suffrages less than those of their Western brethren. That excellent and beloved nobleman, it is well known, was exceedingly anxious to extend the religious literature of England to France and Switzerland. The following passage from his pen appears in the records of the Société de la Morale Chrêtienne : '
Le plus important des ouvrages que j'ai l'honneur de vous envoyer est la collection, dés le commencement, du Christian Observer, ecrit périodique fort répandu en Angleterre, où il exerce depuis plusieurs années une grande et salutaire influence. Je suis assuré d'avance, messieurs, qu'en parcourant le Christian Observer vous y reconnaitrez avec bonheur l'union du sentiment religieux le plus intime avec des vues liberales sur toutes les grandes questions de la politique; et j'ose croire que
yous penserez comme moi, qu'il serait fort important pour notre société de recevoir désormais les numéros de ce journal à mesure qu'ils paraitront.'
"It is peculiarly gratifying to the conductors, that a work which approved itself to a Porteus and a Barrington in our own church, should, without shrinking from the expression of what a Dwight or a De Staël might think exclusive principles, have commended itself to their suffrages by the spirit in which they were advocated.
"Among the subjects which have occupied a prominent place in the work, there are some on which its conductors look back with peculiar interest. At the period when they commenced their labours, Europe appeared to be sinking under one vast overpowering despotism: infidelity and irreligion were also spoiling men of their eternal hopes; and few and feeble were the efforts to counteract their influence. Our own church had not awakened to those zealous labours which now so widely animate her members. The doctrines of the Reformation were very inadequately insisted upon by her clergy: and, with the exception of two or three of the older societies, reduced almost to the torpor of the surrounding mass, scarcely any thing was done to educate the poor, to send the Gospel to the heathen, or to better the general condition of mankind. Our vast foreign possessions were almost destitute of religious instruction; and the vessels which now leave our shores freighted with tracts and Bibles and missionaries, or with the productions of a peaceful commerce, were then seen bearing down with warlike equipments, or with chains and cruel arms to desolate Africa. On all these points the eye of a Christian Observer could not but be intently and painfully fixed; and not a few of the pages of this work have been devoted to them. The exposition of the horrors of the slave trade, and, since its abolition, of slavery, at once its source and its fruit; the opening of India to missionary instruction, and the formation of a churchestablishment for that immense empire",
"The Dean of Salisbury, in his highly interesting life of Dr. Buchanan, after alluding to the memorable controversy which took place, relative to the duty and practicability of introducing Christianity into India, and forming an ecclesiastical establishment for that country, is pleased to add :-'It would be unjust to close this brief enumeration of the principal writers in this controversy, without mentioning the eminent services of one periodical publication, distinguished by the zeal and ability with which it originally embraced and steadily supported the great cause of Christianity in India. It is scarcely necessary to add the name of the