« VorigeDoorgaan »
the mind, to improve the taste, and ** The Memoirs of eminently pious "to meliorate the heart. By exhibiting women, by Dr.GIBBONS, furnish much goodness in an alluring, but practica- valuable instruction of this kind. ble form ; by presenting excellence Many of the characters exhibited are ectually attained, with the various of the first order. Nor is it an unmeans and steps of its acquisition; it important circumstance to find emi, furnishes us with some of the best nent piety recommended, in so many. possible excitements to be what we instances, by the embellishments of ought to be.
genius, learning, and rank. Yet cer. « In one point of view, the deline- tain obvious infelicities attached to the Rtion of eminent Christian characters work, seem much calculated to obappears peculiarly interesting. It af- struct its circulation and usefulness. fords a striking evidence at once of To remedy these infelicities, has been the divinity of the Scriptures, and the the aim of the editor of the present transcendent excellence of the reli. volume. He has connected the nar. gion which they inculcate. The best rative, compressed the style, and, vindication of this religion results from without omitting what seemed impora display of its nature and genuine ef. tant, curtailed a variety of redundant fects.
and uninteresting matter. In a few “ With great propriety it has been instances, distinct and independent remarked, that those lives which de- accounts of the same life have been serve mort to be had in remembrance, incorporated ; a change equally con are most easily recorded, and consist of ducive to conciseness and perspicu. feuest articles. The memorials of ex. ity. In others, where the materials cellent and exemplary women
for profitable history were obviously therefore peculiarly worthy of atten. scanty, it was deemed best to pre. tion for the very reasons, for which sent, without ornament or circumlo. they are sometimes undervalued. cution, the few traits which could be Though generally uniform in their collected. Such are the principal tenor, barren of incident, and of course means, by which he has endeavoured little calculated to gratify mere cua
to transfuse into a moderate duodeci. riosity, yet these are the lives which mo volume, the essence of two copi. afford the most solid and valuable in ous octavos.” struction ; instruction which comes This volume, thus handsomely home to the bosoms of all, and which
introduced by the editor, delinepeculiarly addresses us amid our humbler occupations and more retired
ates the lives of the following Icenes.
persons, of distinguished rank “The importance of women in eve. and piety, viz. ry civilized society, their ascendence Lady Jane Grey, Queen Cath. over the other sex, and influence in arine Parr, Jane Queen of Naforming its character are generally
varre, Mary Queen of G. Britain, confessed, but can scarce be adequate. ly appreciated. If this influence ex- Lady Mary Vere, Countess of tended only to the periods of infancy Suffolk, Lady Mary Armync, and childhood, it would be a most Lady Elizabeth Langham, Counbomentous affair ; especially taken
tess of Warwick, Lady Elizabeth in connexion with the peculiar oppor. tunities for its exertion. But it oper
Brooke, Miss Margaret Andrews, ates with even an increased force, in
Lady Alice Lucy, Lady Margathe succeeding stages, and ceases not, ret Houghton, Miss Ann Baybut with life...It is of incalculable im
nard, Lady Frances Hobart, Laportance that those, who thus give
dy Catharine Courtew, Lady the tone of sentiments and manners to their species, should be themselves Cutts, Mrs. Anne Askewe, Mrs. correct. Nor can a greater service Jane Ratcliffe, Mrs. Catharine be done to society, than to present Bretterg, Lady Rachel Russell, them with models by which their own
Mrs. Elizabeth Burnet, Mrs. Elle characters may with safety and advantage be formed.
zabeth Bury, Mrs. Elizabeth Vol. II. No. 1.
We have seen one volume of devotedness to the cause of God; the original work by Dr. Gibo and the same cheerful, unreserve BONS. After attending to that, ed acquiescence in his will. We we are ready to bestow high en- see them all thinking, speaking eomiums on the abridgment, and acting as children of the and on the judgment, taste, and same Parent, disciples of the pious design and diligence of its
same Master, seekers of the saine author. We shall attempt to recountry, and heirs of the
ine commend this work to the atten- glory. tion of the Christian public by This volume clearly shows, pointing out some of the pecu- that the most elevated condition of liar benefits, which it tends to life, the most noble birth, shining produce, and which every care- talents, and honourable connexions, ful, devout reader of it may hope furnish no safeguard against cato experience.
temity, but rather expose to triThis book is a fit companion of als unusually severe, and to sorour retired hours. It may with
roves deeper than mortals compropriety be admitted inío the
monly feel. Who that reads the closet, and used as an aid to pi- history of these exalted characous meditation, and an excite- ters, and surveys the cares which ment to devotion. Properly used, oppressed, the dangers which it would contribute much to the threatened, and the grief which peculiar delight and advantage of almost overwhelmed them, can religious retirement.
envy their exalted situation ? Ii happily displays the sameness At the same time we are here of evangelical religion. Here we
taught to admire the grace of see that the diversity, which ap- God, which secures persons from pears in the external circum
the numerous temptations of stances of believers, does not al. high life, and enables them to ter the nature of religion. That persevere in well doing amid all appears the same in the day of the perils to which their piety is prosperity, and in the day of ad- exposed. versity ; the same in the palace, The volume we are now rein the prison, and on the scaffold. commending is calculated to proHere it is manifest, that true re- mote humility. That such heights ligion is the same in different of knowledge and piety were atages. The greatest diversity in tained by these excellent women; the customs and manners, and in that they were so meek and lowthe civil and literary advantages ly in circumstances, which tendof different times makes no ed to nourish their pride ; so penchange in the essential features itent, where sin is commonly of true piety. It is pleasing and overlooked ; so strictly religedifying to observe in all the ious, where so many things encharacters here exhibited the couraged dissipation ; to same apprehension of God's glo- them so diligently using for God ry, and of the hateful nature of those talents and accomplishsin ; the same regard to the di- ments, which others devote to vine Redeemer; the same hu- the world, surpassing the commility, self-loathing, and depen- mon Christian as much in selfdence on divine grace ; the saine denial and heavenly mindedness,
as in the trials of their condition; rect, intelligible, and adapted to all this reproves our low attain. the subject. There is an ob ments, and should fill us with servable sameness in many exemotions of humble penitence. tracts from the private diaries of
But while it humbles, it en. these worthy characters ; but the courages to pious resolution and sameness is not irksome to those, diligence. How can we despond, who love the amiable exercises or indulge in sloth, when we see of vital religion. that moral excellence is attainable, and that the most arduous duties are practicable? In the diaries of these pious women, the Familiar Letters to the Rev. Christian has the peculiar advan JOHN SHERMAN, once pastor of tage of observing their most pri. a church in Mansfield, in parvate reflections, and looking into ticular reference to his late their very hearts. Thus he finds Anti-Trinitarian treastise. By that the spiritual trials, the in DANIEL Dow, pastor of a ward struggles, the awful cor church in Thompson, Connecruptions of heart, which often ticut. distress, and sometimes discour. It is very satisfactory to enage him, have been the common lightened Christians to know, lot of the saints. He learns that that evidences multiply in fathe excellent of the earth, those vour of revelation, as the sciwho have overcome the world ences are improved, and human and obtained a crown of glory, knowledge extended. Every have experienced the very things, traveller, who visits the rocks of which now clog his devotion, in. Tyre, the cottages of Egypt, the terrupt his joy, and overcast his plains of Babylon, or the hills of spiritual prospect. In this way Jerusalem,“ trodden down of the he is led to admire the abound. Gentiles," relates those facts, ing grace of God, and is enliven- which establish the divine aued in the work of religion. thority of ancient prophecies.
Finally, these memoirs show Improvements made in the anuş, how tranquil, how victorious cient languages have also the the death of those, who live piously, same happy effects. and die in the Lord ; and so im, Men of unscriptural opinions press our minds with the desira. observing these things, endeav. bleness, as well as the solemnity our to pervert the same means of the time, when the believer to support their peculiar tenets, will rest from his labour, and re and favourite speculations. Their ceive the endless rewards of re- Lexicons, Hebrew and Greek, deeming grace.
have new meanings; their Bi: This is a brief display of the bles must be tortured with new acivantages, which the serious, translations, and forced to teach devout reader may derive from new doctrines. That the Uni, the memoirs of these eminently tarian may quote Scripture with pious women. Such are the tolerable consistency, some pas leading considerations, which re sages must be altered, some en. commend the volume to public larged; others must be shorten: Lotice. The style is easy, cor- ed, and others entirely erased
from the book of God. By adding him of his Deism in carly life, and blotting they greatly sup- of his change to orthodoxy, and port their system.
of his change again to UnitariAmong these divines, it seems, anism. Mr. Sherman was ambitious to
Letter 4th, “ To Mr. Shershine ; he, therefore, wrote a
man, concerning his mode of er. volume. To this the pamphlet pounding the Scriptures.” This before us is a reply.
letter is replete with pertinent The first letter is to Mr. Sher.
matter. The substance of it man, concerning his authorship.” follows. It is, indeed, a “ familiar” letter.
“ Being desirous of raising a state. The close is serious. “But let ly building, you began by laying at it be remembered," says Mr, the foundation a preposition. HowDow, “ that to us it is infinite, ever, the preposition not being fit for ly important, that we so live, your purpose, in its present state,
you found it necessary to square it speak, and act, as that we may, with a new translation. You indeed eventually, have praise of God. admit, that the preposition is some. Though it was not at all incum- times rendered, as our honest translabent upon you, while you deem- tors bave rendered it. But as this ed truth so unessential, to write chose to give it another rendering,
meaning was not to your liking, you such a book as you did ; yet I which you considered as optional, feel it incumbent upon me, who The great task then was, to make all believe truth to be of everlasting the rest of the Bible conform to it, consequence, to make a few that you might prophesy according to plain, friendly remarks upon
But the this proportion of faith.
current of the Scriptures ran opposite, your performance."
and now, what must be done? Why, The second letter is “to Mr. many passages must be re-translated, Sherman, concerning his advanta, many others must be considered as ges for biblical criticisin.”
interpolations, and the rest explained,
as being so figurative as to mean eve In this, he certainly does not
ery thing, any thing, or nothing, till it forget his title page, “ familiar can be made to appear, that the doce letters,” &c. “ As to the He. trine of the Trinity, and the proper brew," he says,
deity of Christ, is not contained in the you acknowl.
Bible. And if, after all, neither reedge that you know little or translating, nor expunging, nor turn; nothing about it yourself, and ing plain language into metaphor, will from what little attention I have do the business, as much as you abpaid to the language, I believe, hor interpolations, and would wish if Sir, in this instance, you told me
possible to detect them, a few inter. the truth." “ As to the Syriac, be inserted to make the matter cut.
polations πεποιηκατουτο at least must Arabic, Coptic, Ethiopic, &c. I But according to this mode of proceed. presume you will readily own, ing, where is the analogy of faith acthat your knowledge is absolutely cording to which we may prophesy? nothing." How then came you,
Where are the spiritual things, which Sir, by all this learned criticisin?
we are to compare together? Where
is that sure word according to which Why did
you 'not wait till you we inust speak or have no light in us? was [were) competent to the If the Scriptures be so corrupt as that task you undertook ?”
they may not be depended on, and Letter 3d, " To Mr. Sherman, principle be corrupted, we have
they certainly are, if the foundation concerning the trammels of his ed- nothing left to guide us, unless it be ucation." In this, he reminds
our own fancies, or your pre-conceiva
e sentiments. And in that case we 4 abridged his lengthy quotamay as well adopt the former as the tions." This weakens the certain. latter. But the word of the Lord is ty and confidence of the reader. settled in heaven." Letter 5th, “ To Mr. Sher
The following are a few speman, concerning his Rabbins." cimens from a large number. Letter 6th, 6 To Mr. Sher.
St. Fohn. man, concerning the fruits of his
" In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the doctrines.” This letter demands
Word was God." the very serious attention of
Mr. Sherman. Unitarian ministers. We wish
« The word was not really God, them to inform us, why God but only a divine property. There is blesses orthodox preaching “ by some mistake also in saying tho his own energizing Spirit, while word was with God. The Stoicks they always dwell in a dry land;” knew better than this.” p. 16. 19. why they have so few living
St. Paul. Epistles to recommend them.
“ Who being the brightness of bis Why their flocks “are like the glory, and the express image of his
person, and upholding all things by mountains of Gilboa, on which the word of his power." was no rain nor dew."
Mr. Sherman. Letter 7th, “ To Mr. Sher. “ Christ upholds nothing, for he is mez, concerning his catholicism.” nothing but a creature, who is him. This deserves a serious perusal. Whatever power Christ has, is a del
self upheld by the power of God. Letter 8th,“ To Mr. Sherman, egated power." p. 33. concerning his present mode of de
St. Paul. fending the gospel."
“But unto the Son, he saith, thy Letter 9th,“ 70 Mr. Sherman, throne, oh God, is forever and ever." concerning Bible corruptions.
Mr. Sherman. This is useful, and shows a faith- " Christ should not be called God ful attention to the subject. in such a way as this. I had rather
Letter Toth, “ To Mr. Sher- say, God supports him forever.” p. 35. man, concerning mysteries," These letters we think calcu. abounds with good sense, level lated to do good, especially in to every capacity.
the circle for which they were Letter Ilth, “ To Mr. Sher- particularly designed. The style man, concerning the Trinity,” is generally correct, easy, and contains much important truth. perspicuous. Considering the
Letters 12, 13, and 14, re- customary freedoms of neighspect the person, offices, and bours, and how much Mr. Sher, character of Christ, and present man had provoked disrespect by various evidences of his divinity. shifting and changing his senti
Letter 15th, “ To Mr. Sher- ments once and again, had these man, concerning his exposition of letters not been intended for particular passages." This is publication, little in them could really the most useful, and in be thought exceptionable ; but some respects the best part of when they are considered as the book. In one column are written for the public eye, to inpassages of Scripture ; in the struct serious, inquiring minds other Mr. Sherman's exposition. on one of the most profound, and But Mr. Dow has not quoted most essential doctrines of the Mr. Sherman, verbatim, but gospel, they are evidently defi