must we, in guarding against danger from a new quarter, forget the perils through which the Church has passed, and seek alliances with those against whom we have long been fighting. We are not to go down to the Philistines to sharpen our goads. The evil from the high sacramental system is not the less, because that of the Colenso school is just now the more potent one. It is said that there is a tendency at present in Evangelical churchmen to forget the past, and to seek for a closer union with those against whose principles they and their fathers have had a contest for thirty years. Against this danger, too, we hope to be on our guard.

Such, then, are the perils of the Church as the year closes. Yet in the midst of danger the lamp of God shines brightly. At home, and in many a distant land, where it is our high privilege to hold forth the lamp of life, we have abundant evidence that God is with us of a truth. Sinners are converted; believers are edified; Christ is magnified. We have to work heartily, for the time is short. We should but repeat the glowing language of Dr. Arnold, whom few will charge with enthusiasm in religion, if we say that the world itself seems hurrying on at a quicker pace, as if conscious that her end was near, and that her work must be done at once, or the opportunity lost for ever. The signs of the times are, as we said in our opening sentence, very solemn. It becomes us to watch and pray, and quit ourselves like men. The recent earthquake,* slight as it was, awakening our curiosity rather than our fears, should leave behind it some profitable lessons. It may at least remind us that the end of all things is at hand. The world itself passeth away, and the fashion thereof. The materials are there, and the train is laid ; the command only is wanting, and they will do His bidding. How trifling all worldly pursuits will then appear, except in their relation to an eternal state ! And yet with what calm joy may a believer look forward to the great day, when the Lord shall array Himself in majesty, and come again in His glory, and "shake terribly the earth.”

On the 6th of October, at about twenty minutes past three in the morning, and felt throughout the whole of England, chiefly in the south and midland counties. CONTENTS.

4. On the Accuracy and Exactness of the

5. Merle D'Aubigné's History of the Refor.

mation in Europe in the Time of Calvin 289
6. Correspondence

7. Notices of Books

............ 311
8. Public Affairs

***........... 314

[blocks in formation]


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]



1. The Holy Ghost the present Glory of the



2. Dean Goode's Warburtonian Lectures ...... 731

3. Recent History of the Jesuits in England:

Cretineau Joly, Paroissien, and others ... 740

4. Clerical Subscription and Liturgical Re.

form .......


5. On Written and Unwritten Sermons 767

6. Bolton's Life and Sermons: Sudden Con-

versions and Revivals ...........


7. Ernest Renan's Life of Jesus .................... 780

[blocks in formation]


THOUGHTS FOR THE NEW YEAR. "So long as thou seest thy sin, and mournest, and consentest to the law, and longest, though thou be never so weak, yet the spirit shall keep thee in all temptations from desperation, and certify thine heart, that God for His truth shall deliver thee and save thee; yea, and by thy good deed, thou shalt be saved, not which thou hast done, but which Christ has done for thee ; for Christ is thine, and all his deeds are thy deeds.” (Tyndale, Martyr. 1536.)

The humbling acknowledgment of the Church in one of her Trinity collects,awakens the sympathy of every Christian heart,“The frailty of man without thee cannot but fall.” Advancing spiritual knowledge so deepens their self distrust, that at times many of God's people entertain secret misgivings about their final safety. Wholesome comfort is derived from the prayer of faith which the same collect provides,-“Keep me, O Lord, by thy perpetual mercy.” Surrounded every day by countless perils, they reiterate their earnest supplication to the God of all grace, that He would " keep them ever by His help from all things hurtful, and lead them to all things profitable for their salFation.” This is a great lesson—the Lord's faithful guardian. ship of his people while beset with the ever-recurring temptations and evils of life. It may be well to place it before our readers, just entering the New Year, as one of the deeply spi. ritnal lessons with which our Church edifies her devout members.

(1.) None but true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are ultimately preserved.

Nothing is more observable than the decay of religion. Persons at all acquainted with history, recall with sorrow the declension of Church after Church. The palpable degeneracy in patriarchal times needs no mention. The Jewish Church, from the day of their deliverance from Egypt till their national overthrow by Titus, a period of more than fifteen centuries, presents little else than the recurrence of perpetual backslidings. For so many ages, God bore with their rebellions, until the sentence

Vol. 62.-No. 301.


of their long desertion was fulfilled, and their “house was left unto them desolate.” Which of the Churches planted by the Apostles can be pointed out, as having “ fought the good fight, kept the faith, and survived the corruptions of ages?” Conspicuous among the faithless Christian communities stands the Church of Rome, corrupted beyond remedy, still spreading and perpetuating her corruptions. As to the foreign Churches of the Reformation, some are enfeebled by decay; the beauty of others is disfigured by unsound doctrine; while, in all, the lamp of truth burns so doubtfully, that they bear an uncertain testimony for Christ, before a superstitious, secular, or sceptical population.

(2.) What shall we say of the Christianity of our oun country, since the Reformation ? Thank God, it has been preserved, though by incessant struggle. Popery, infidelity, heresy, divisions among Christians, worldliness, have never ceased; sometimes one seemed to triumph, then another, and at times all together; so that, again and again, the ark of God in this country has been in danger, and thevitality of religion well nigh quenched.

And as to personal religion now,-what is the testimony gathered from any extensive survey? Ask any laborious shepherd of Christ's flock, how that great work thrives among his people? How many cases will he sorrowfully adduce, whose early promise grievously disappointed him! Many, whose anxious souls he strove to instruct, and guide to Christ,-in whom, he began prematurely to rejoice, that Christ was formed, the hope of glory; but, alas ! they had no root in themselves, and in time of temptation they fell away. These things are too well known. Every believer sees them in his own private circle. The attractions of new and unsound teachers unsettle some,-innovations upon the old paths beguile others, —for some, the allurements of the world are too strong, while, the faith of others droops, and they continue as bare and lifeless branches of the vine, long after they have lost all vitality in spiritual things. So common is it for the Christian pilgrim to meet others, who set out well, and promised better things, now turning back to the world. They have known the way of righteousness, and seemed, for a while, resolved to walk there, but, after they have known it, they turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

What shall we say to these things ? Is there unrighteousness with God ? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Is there no certainty about the hopes of salvation even among the Lord's people? Are their enemies too strong ? Hath He cast off His people whom He foreknew ?

The devotional offices of the Church, Sunday by Sunday, teach her spiritual members a different lesson. Frail as they are in themselves, and perilous their pathway, still, "by His

« VorigeDoorgaan »