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“ But tell me, Margaret, what is the reason of your discouragement. Be free, open your mind, it may be some relief to you. Pray, how long have you been in this low way

" O, Susanna," said Margaret, “ I have been in a barren frame for a long time, indeed! but it was not till about two years ago that I found the true cause of it."

And pray, what do you suppose to be the true cause of it, Margaret?"

o I thought to have told it to Philander several times, but, as often as I had an opportunity to do it, my heart failed me; and I have kept it to myself vill now."

" But,” said Susanna, “ do tell me what it is."

« Well, if I molt tell you, though I am amamed that any body should know it. it is because I do not love milk !" • " Because vou do not love milk? Pray what has this to do with the state of your soul, and your progress in religion?".

O, Susanna! I think it has a great deal to do with it. One Sunday evening I opened my Bible on the second chapter of the first epiltle of Peter, and I read, “ If to be ye have tasted that the LORD « is gracious; as new-born babes desire the fincere milk of the word, (s that ye may grow thereby.” The words truck me to the very heart, for it immediately came into my mind that my mother had told me, the could never get me to touch the breast; and that, as long as I could remember, I had never tasted a drop of milk. This, thought I, is the cause why I have never gained any degree of strength and liability in religion. From this time I tried by all means to get the better of my natural aversion ; but all in vain. And as this is the case, and if there be any meaning in the apostle's words, how can I expect to grow thereby !" · " I must confefs,said Susanna, “ that my gift does not much lie in explaining difficult passages of scripture, but I am ready to think you must certainly mistake the meaning. I would have you mention it to Philander, I don't doubt but he will clear up the matter, to your satisfaction, much better than I can pretend to.

" Well, says Margaret, I will take courage, and endeavour to do it the first opportunity; for, I do assure you, it hangs very heavy on my mind.”

'After these specimens of the familiar, our Readers will be surprised to find that the same work affords examples of the sublime: from a most magnificent description of the day of judgment given in the last dialogue, we shall select the following pastage:

i By this time the tempet, black and dreadful, beyond description, driven by the awful frown of the incensed judge, had nearly reached the eailern horizon, and seemed to sink with increasing horrors into the Tartarian gulf, the place asigned to the devil and his angels, by the unchanging decree of the great JEHOVAH.

I law, and trembled !
Down! down they sell !
All nature felt the Mock!-
Earth, from its in most center, shook!

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The vault of heaven, on ei. her fide,
Retained the long vibracion,
And seemed to thake the very throne of GOD!

A folemn pause.
And now the silver trumpets sound;
And all the golden harps are heard,
In sweetest symphony.
The whole assembly of the just approach the throne,
Nor Jew, nor Greek; nor rich, nor poor ;
Nor young, nor old; nor bond, nor free, are here.
One precious name includes the whole,

For CHRIST, a precious CHRIST! is all in all !! Of the whole doctrine and spirit of this puritanical produce tion [N. B. to prevent mistakes, we give notice that we make use of the word puritanical, not as a term of obloquy, but merely as a distinguishing appellation], and of others of the same kind, the Author has furnilhed us with a good refutation in the following conference between Mr. Clement and Joon the footman :

“ Well, but, John, do you not think real religion as neceffary for you, and for the meanest servant in the family, as it is for me, and even for Euphrastus himself? You are greatly mistaken if you think any of us can be truly happy without it.”

“ To be sure,” replied John, “ we should all of us be good : and I think we may be all good without so much reading and praying, Befides I have a very bad memory, and cannot get so many prayers by heart as I believe many of the servants have in this family. I have overheard Hortenfius, and two or three more of you several times; but you have always a different form. You sometimes, indeed, make use of the Lord's Prayer; but even this is said different ways; and I wonder, for my part, where you could get so many prayers, and how you can remember them all. But it may be, on this account you think yourselves better than other folk:--Perhaps, however, you may be mistaken. Others may be as good who do nor pray half so much, nor half so often as you do!”

“Yes, John, that is very true; we might do with less of the form, had we more of the power. But, you may depend upon it, be that lives without prayer, lives without God in the world!”

" And do you think," says John, “ that I am one of them! Pray don't be so uncharitab !"

Well said, John! Good advice, and well-timed! Whatever your maft.r, or his parfon, may say to the contrary, maintain it as long as you live, that “ others may be as goud, who do not pray halt so much nur half so ofren as they do :” for you may read it in your Bible, that " Pure religion and undefiled before God, is --not hearing long fermons or laving long prayers but, visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and keeping ourselves unspotted from the world; or in other words, keeping ourselves lober and honest, and doing ali the good we can.”

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Preachin

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Art. IV. An Essay on the Composition of a Sermon. Translated from

the original French of the Rev. John Claude, Minister of the French Reformed Church at Charenton. With Notes. By Robert Robinson. 2 Vols. &vo. 12 s. Boards. Fletcher, Cambridge. Buckland, London. 1779. THE Art of Preaching, from the nature of the objects on

I which it is employed, and the importance of the ends which it is intended to answer, so well deserves, and, after all the varieties of forms in which it has been practised in dif, ferent ages, is so capable of farther improvements, that every judicious attempt to place it on its true foundation, to deduce its laws from rational principles, to point out the defects which have attended, and still attend, the practice of it, and to render it of more general utility, merits the attention of the Public. In the work here translated, though the rational divine will not meet with such a complete and philosophical discussion of the subject as he might willa ; though he will probably think many of the rules here laid down, rather adapted to support a particular system of faith, and encourage mysticism in religion, than to direct the labours of the moral and practical preacher, he will nevertheless meet with much good advice, which a judicious understanding and improved talte may apply to great advantage in the composition and delivery of sermons.

This publication, however, derives its principal value from the original notes which the Translator has subjoined, in which, somewhat after the manner, though not in the spirit of Bayle, he has introduced a great variety of remarks and quotations, which answer a better purpose than that of elucidating the text, affording the reader much valuable information and agreeable entertainment. These notes are exceedingly miscellaneous, consisting of pertinent examples of the beauties or faults of preaching, from various writers, and these many of them little known, curious and often humorous anecdotes, sensible reflections, and bold and free strokes of satire. From this miscellany we could, with pleasure, select many amuling articles; but we chuse rather to fill up the space which we can allot to this work, with a few extracts from the Translator's introductory essays, from which it will appear that he writes with great boldness of language, and with all the zeal of a reformer.

To the first volume Mr. Robinson has prefixed the life of Mr. Claude, where he introduces many reflections on ecclefrastical power, in which, if there be much keennefs, and fometimes a small portion of acrimony, it must be acknowledged that there is likewise some truth. On the subject of religious Liberty he makes the following fpirited remarks:

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"The union of all Christian congregations in one grand corporate body is a godlike design. The author of Chriftianity professed to aim at making all his followers one fold under one shepherd; and, had. officious human folly, let divine wisdom alone, union had been effected long ago. The idea has ftruck all mankindo Princes and prelates, civilians and divines have all attempted to produce union. Not a foul of them has succeeded; and, we will venture to affirm, the man will never be born, who can succeed on their principles. They have retained the end: but loft sight of the original mearts of effecting it. All other means soft or fanguinary, papal, episcopal and synodical, controversial or pecuniary, all have divided Chrillians more and more, and widened those breaches, which they pretended to heal. This rage of union was the soul of the seventeenth century, and it convalsed and distorted the body, as souls agitated by violent conflicting paflions transform the features of an incarnate angel into the face of a fiend.

• The true original remedy for all these ills is the restoration of that PRIMITIVE RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, which the Saviour of the world bestowed on his first followers. It was equal and universal. Church power was velted in the people, and the exercise of it limited to each congregation. So many congregations, so many liccle ftates, each governed by its own laws, and all independent on one another. Like confederare states, they assembled by deputies in one large eccle. fiaftical body, and deliberated about the common interests of the whole. The whole was unconnected with secular affairs, and all their opinions amounted to no more than advice devoid of coercion. Here was an union. Liberty was the object, and love was the bond. It was an evil day, when princes hired the church for a standing are my, and everlasting thame muft cover the faces of those ecclefiaftics, who, like Judas, made their master a marketable commodity. Princes affected to be as wife as Solomon, and set lions to guard the lleps of their thrones : but they had pot penetration equal to the Jewish moDarch ; his lions could not bite: but theirs have devoured the creators of their being, elevation and form.'

Again, he says,

• Whether the fourth community, of which we now speak, came from the valleys of Piedmont, or whether it originated among those reformers, who, conhstent with their own principles, made pure scripture the rule of reformation, it is certain, some societies appeared, very early, advocates for congregational church-government, The churches included both Baptifts and Independents. Some, as the Brownists, ran liberty into licentiousness; and others, as Robin. fon in Holland, and Jacob in England, sometimes explained, and arranged, and at other times rather cramped matters: bur ali held the grand principle of self-goveroment, and the absolute independence of each congregation on any exierior jurisdiction. Here, as in all safe civil societies, the bases and principles of good government are held. Individuals are born free, each with liberty to diipole of himself. Several individuals congregated, ciriy together separate power, and deposit it in any degree, more or less, as the whole think ft, in one aggregate sum, in one or more hands for the public good. Officers, chosen by all to hold and dispense this delegated power,

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are in trust only, consequently responsible to their constituents, and all their power is conditionally revertible to the source, whence it came, on abuse of the trust, or at the demise of the trullee. As all this buliness is:{pritual, power extends over only spiritualities. Life, liberty, property, credit, and so on, are all insured in another office, entluiked in other hands, under the care of civil governors, Here shop is religious liberty. Various churches enjoy it in various degrecs.. but in those churches, where infants are excluded, and

where all are volunteers, where each fociety pleafesh itself and in.:Jures' nobody, where imposition is not known, and where blind sub

inifiion cannot be borne ; where each society is a separate family, ... and all together a regular confederacy, unpaid for believing, and far

from the fear of suffering; there does religious liberty reign. We enjoy chis liberty in Britain. It seems good to our civil governors to oblige us to purchase it by a refignation of some of our civil birthrights. We think this hard. However, we pay the price, and enjoy the purchaie.

This fort is more than tenable, it is invincible. Grant us vox populi vox Dei; only allow the l' E PLE to be the source of power, and we have a with equal to that of Archimedes, and as much more glorious as the dignity of directing the world of spirit is superior to that of guiding the motion of matter. Farewell popery, prelacy, presbytery, I have underitarding as well as you. My Creator gave me ability to judge for myself. My Redeemer brought a charter from Heaven to confirm my right of doing lo, and gaie me a rule to guide the exercise of my right. In the exercise of inis right I may be holy and happy. The universe can do no more for me.'

These Thort extracts may be suficient to give our Readers an idea of Mr. Robinson as a zealous champion for religious

Liberty.

We now proceed to take notice of the differtation on Preaching prefixed to the second volume, which the Author informs his readers is only a sketch of a larger work, “ An Essay towards the History of Public Preaching ;” a plan which, it leems, he has laid aside, but which he appears so well qualified to execute, that we cannot but with he may find sufficient induce. ments to resume the undertaking.

In this sketch, Mr. Robinson traces the progress of preaching, in its several forms, through every age of the world. Speaking of the scribes which were employed in the later ages of the Jewish church to copy the law, he says,

6 Writing, reading, giving a sense of what is written, studying to find out a true sense to give, and proving and supporting the lense given, go together, and scribes naturally became studious, difputa. tious, and learned men. Ezra, the reformer of the church at the return from captivity, was the most eminent of his profeflion, a ready foribe in the law of his God.

• This rran laid the foundation of reformation in religious prine'ple, and he reted religious principle on that infallible rock, the word of God. In order to lay a firn and good ground of this, he

collected

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