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the parish in which these remarks are written, is somewhat less than fifteen hundred. The parish church is a large stately fabric, capable, if galleried and fitted up in the modern fashion, of accommodating at least three thousand; and yet, though during the greater part of the last thirty years decidedly evangelical sentiments have been preached in the parochial pulpit, and though it is believed that at no time during the period in view have sentiments opposed to Evangelism been delivered there, full half the inhabitants are Dissenters. A similar state of things, or even a state of things less favourable to the Establishment, exists in several of the neighbouring parishes. While statements like the author's are in constant iteration, and while they are acting most deceptively on men in high places, men whom, on such points, it is not very difficult to deceive, we should really be glad to know where are the churches from which the rejected applicants for admission are seen sorrowfully making their way to the neighbouring meeting-houses ?
We conclude these remarks by expressing our earnest desire that Mr. Hargrove may be preserved from the eccentricities which have dishonoured and rendered useless so many seceding clergymen-eccentricities from which they have not the safeguard of a theological education; at the same time requesting Theron, before he ventures on his next Examination of Dissent, to give the “ Reasons” an attentive perusal.
Sacred Pneumatology, or the Scripture Doctrine of the Holy
Spirit, in Three Books. By the Rev. Joseph Wilson, A. M.
12mo. London: Seeley. The Love of the Spirit, traced in his Work. A Companion to
the Experimental Guides. By Robert Philip, of Maberly
Chapel, 12mo. London: Ward and Co. The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Salvation of Sinners : being
the last four Sermons delivered in the Church of St. Luke, Chelsea. By the Rev. Peter Hall, A. M. 12mo. London:
Davis and Porter. Next to an accurate acquaintance with the person, character, and work of Christ, it is of the greatest importance to have just views of the power, agency, and grace of the Holy Spirit. Nor is there reason to complain, that this momentous subject is treated with neglect or thrown into the shades of oblivion, as the treatises and essays upon it, which frequently issue from the press, abundantly testify. In proceeding to notice the volumes before us, we shall take them according to the order in which they are placed at the head of this article.
Mr. Wilson's elaborate work deserves the most close and serious attention of all who are engaged in the study of theology. A brief analysis shall be given to the reader.
In the first book the author expatiates on the practical nature of the doctrine of the Trinity-on the personality and the divinity of the Holy Sprit, and on the types and figures employed to represent
his agency. The second book opens with an important chapter on the mediation of Christ, as the means by which all the gifts and graces of the Spirit have been and are communicated to the church. Mr. Wilson then treats on Miracles, the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the Call to the Ministry. In the third book, the ordinary operations of the Holy Ghost are described, under the characters of a Sanctifier, a Comforter, and an Advocate. This outline will show, that our author has entered a wide field of enquiry and discussion, and we must add, he has throughout evinced great judgment, ability, and seriousness. We discover no marks of baste or impatience, but every where, with intense earnestness, he labours to do justice to his subject. And while his own powers are exerted, and he makes the Scripture his standard and umpire, he wisely avails himself of the aid furnished by the writings of Butler, Pearson, Owen, and other eminent divines. We could with pleasure transcribe many passages had we room, but must content on rselves with one, which will be a fair specimen of the practical tendency of the book. When speaking on the effects of the Spirit's influence he says,
“ Those also who are sanctified by the Holy Ghost, have a strong and ardent love for the souls of men. They pray fervently for their salvation, and exert themselves in every way they properly can for their spiritual good. They are not content with supplying mens' bodily wants, and administering to their temporal comfort, but endeavour to shew them the evil and danger of sin, and the necessity and importance of holiness. Many persons are of a kind and benevolent disposition towards mens' bodies, who feel little or no concern for their souls. But those who are renewed by the Spirit, while they attend to the temporal wants of those who are in distress, are still more anxious for their souls. To see men, whether rich or poor, lying in the arms of the devil; to hear of the heathen sunk in idolatry and superstition, and of Christians, who are such only in name; to see and hear of these things, gives them great pain, and causes much heaviness in their heart. They feel now as St. Paul did, when he said, “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.' Sin is no subject of pleasantry or mocking to the godly person ; for it grieves him and leads him to pity and pray for those who are its subjects and captives; and he enters into the feelings of the Psalmist, when he says, ' Rivers of water run down my eyes because they keep not thy law. He is of the number of them . That sigh and cry for all the abominations which are done in the world.' And hence he is led to instruct the ignorant; to reprove the wicked ; to reclaim those who are in error; to restore the backslider; and earnestly to pray, that the will of God may be done on earth even as it is done in heaven. And as they have a tender regard for the salvation of mens' souls, so they also love and promote, according to their power, those institutions which have for their object the extension of religion and virtue. Societies for the suppression of vice, for the distribution of the Scriptures, for the spread of the gospel among the heathen, and for the religious instruction of mankind, have their support and their prayers. They are willing to give even out of their penury, something towards these good and holy purposes; and while the ungodly freely dissipate their substance in folly and idle amusements, they expend what they can spare, in works or designs of christian charity and benevolence. If they have little, they do their diligence to give of that little; and if they have abundance, they give freely and liberally. The cause of Christ is dear to them; and therefore they gladly impart their exertions and their money for its spread and stability.” "The following quotation will give the reader a general idea of the drift and purport of Mr. Philip's little work.
N.S. VOL. I.
...“ It is a singular fact," says Mr. Philip, “ that we have no treatise on the
Love of the Spirit. The Spirit is, however, the gift of God and Christ to the world, as well as to the church. His mission embraces both the world and the church, just as the love of God and the death of Christ embrace them, John xvi. 8. Accordingly, quite as much is said in Scripture to commend them to the confidence of both; as to demonstrate their absolute and universal need of the holy influences. But how many overlook this fact. In general the urrconverted and undecided, turn their need of the Spirit into apologies for delay. They think of this grace, a's power rather than love; and thus imagine that they may safely wait for it. Many of the penitent also, although penetrated with a sense of their need of the Spirit, are yet very doubtful, whether he will work all that in them, which they feel to be necessary for them. They are afraid to calculate upon the exercise of his power in their own case. And not a few even of those who can hardly doubt that he will carry on the good work he has begun in them, are evidently more influenced in their hopes by his power and faithfulness, than by his delight in his work, or his love to the subjects of it. They are not so much at home when they speak of the love of the Spirit to their souls, as when they speak of the love of God and of the Lamb."
It must be admitted, that Mr. Philip has here chosen an unbeaten track, and pursued it with an unfaltering step. He is a writer who never descants upon dull common-place topics, never steals his materials in wholesale or retail quantities, and then weaves a disguise to hide the theft. His thoughts, his arguments, his illustrations, are all his own. And beside this unquestioned claim to originality, his composition is here and there enlivened by touches of beauty and brilliance, which charm like the gleams of sun-set on the landscape. But the chief excellence of Mr. Philip is the deep-toned seriousness which runs through his writings. He bows with entire submission to the authority of Holy Scripture; he bears in mind the unspeakable worth of immortal souls, and appears tenderly solicitous to win them, and lead them to Christ. Having said thus much in commendation, we frankly confess that something is wanting which we hardly know how to designate; something to fix the reader's attention, to assist his memory, to deepen and perpetuate his devout impressions. Even when our author's language is simple, his ideas have a certain degree of abstraction and vagueness, by which they escape in spite of our efforts to retain them. We suggest to Mr. P., whether a few palpable facts, rousing interrogatories, and searching appeals, would not give additional value to his composition? The hint we are persuaded will be taken with good feeling, whether he adopt it or not. We cannot doubt that this work, like the other productions of his pen, will be useful to many a serious enquirer, and many a humble Christian, who is evidently pressing after higher attainments in the divine life.
Mr. P. Hall's four sermons on the work of the Holy Spirit, in the salvation of sinners, differs widely from the volumes we have above attempted to characterise. They are the warm effusions of the pulpit, which the author probably never expected to appear in print. The first sermon is on - The Drawing of the Father," the second on “ Return to God," the third on "The Seal of the Spirit,” and the fourth on * Life in Christ.”
Mr. H. appears truly in earnest to magnify the riches of divine
grace, and to do good to souls; but while we give him credit for the purest intentions, we are compelled to say, that some of his statements do not appear to us to possess theological accuracy. In the first sermon, when he specifies the obstacles which keep men from coming to Christ, he tell us, they may be all reduced under two heads. “The want of will, and the want of power.” Now we confidently affirm, that there is in the case before us, no ground for this distinction. Let the first obstacle be removed, viz. let the will be thoroughly subdued to acquiescence with the call of the gospel, and there remains nothing to hinder any man from coming to Christ. “No man can come unto me;" &c. is only another form of expressing the corruption and obstinacy of the will. Mr. Hall does not discover any taint of the antinomian leaven, but on this point, he needs to study what our best divines have written on natural and moral inability. From the spirit which breathes in every page of these evangelical discourses, we cannot doubt but he will receive our friendly animadversion in good part; for we assure him, that our wish and prayer is, that he may become to many souls a savour of life unto life.
FOREIGN THEOLOGICAL LITERATURE.
German Commentaries on the Epistle to the Romans. By Rückert,
Ohlshausen, Köllner, and Reiche.
(Continued from p. 50.) In order that our readers may be able to form some idea of the spirit and ability of the works here specified, it will be proper to furnish them with an extract or two, in which the views of the writers, and their manner of treating the subject in hand, are favourably developed. The first is from Ohlshausen's Introduction, $ 5, which is entitled, The value and peculiar character of the Epistle.
"The Pauline Epistles may be divided into three classes ; dogmatic letters of instruction; practical letters of instruction ; and letters of affectionate friendWhip. To the last class belong the Epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and to Philemon, all of which presuppose the existence of the common faith, and have for their object its perfection, and the confirmation of brotherly love. Those writings which I have designated practical letters of instruction, are principally occupied with the external state of things in the church. The Epistles to the Corinthians, and to Timothy and Titus, besides adverting to certain doctrinal points, present us with a special view of the ecclesiastical relations of the Apostolic age. The Epistle to the Romans, on the other hand, together with those to the Galatians and Thessalonians, manifestly belong to the first class of dogmatic letters of instruction. In regard to contents, it is most nearly related to that addressed to the Galatians. Both treat of the relation of the law and Abe Gospel ; but there is this difference, that while that to the Romans treats the subject altogether objectively, it is treated in the Epistle to the Galatians polemically, in opposition to the Judaizing Christians. The latter Epistle also confines itself exclusively, to this relation, and disposes of it more briefly than is done in that to the Romans, in which it is argued in the strictest sense of the term
didactically, or rather scientifically, inasmuch as the doctrines of the depravity of human nature, without which it could have no foundation, and of the divine purpose, which furnishes the key to the transfer of the Gospel from the Jews to The Gentiles, are likewise discussed in a connected manner. Hence it may be affirmed that this Epistle contains a system of Pauline dogmatics;-all the essential points which the Apostle was accustomed to bring prominently forward in his treatment of the Gospel, being here developed at large. Nor could any thing have been more appropriate than his developing these subjects, as the Apostle of the Gentiles, to the Christians at Rome, since that city might be considered as the representative of the Gentiles as Jerusalem was of the Jewish world. The Epistle to the Romans is thus a letter at once to all Gentiles and Gentile Christians (as that to the Hebrew's was to all Jews and Jewish Christians), and in consequence of this its importance, its contents have become the basis of all doctrinal development in the western church, according to the process through which she has passed. There is in human nature a continual tendency to abandon the essence of the Gospel, and fall back to the law. When the church was first founded, it was apparent how difficult it was to rise superior to the legal principle, and to establish the simplicity of evangelical truth. Even those who had experienced the power of the Gospel, as the Christians of Galatia, were liable to error, and to be drawn away to Old Testament views of the law. Afterwards, during the middle ages, a new system of legality developed itself in the bosom of the church herself, and the righteousness of faith without the works of the law, was totally misapprehended. By the light of the Divine word, and principally by the careful, profound, and experimental exhibition of the doctrine contained in the Epistle to the Romans, the reformers again found the original doctrine of the righteousness which comes by faith, and thus anew built the church on her indestructible and eternal foundation. From the middle of the eighteenth century she once more sank down into legality in the rationalisticneologian direction which has since prevailed; and if the most recent period has succeeded in rediscovering the pearl of faith amid the ruins of a desolated church, it is chiefly to be ascribed to the representations made by Paul in this Epistle, wbich are not only comprehensive, but convincing to every mind which requires information on the subject.
“But as the church at large has always been in great danger of losing evangelical truth, and readopting the legal principle, we likewise find the same danger in the experience of individuals. All sense of sin, and every attempt to be freed from it, proceeds from an endeavour to keep the law of God, either as existing in the conscience or in the external revelation. It is not till the attempt is found, in its prosecution, to be in vain, that a correction is produced, that there must be another way which leads to life. From this feeling of the necessity of redemption faith comes, by the preaching of Christ, and along with it, regeneration, the transformation of the entire inward man, and the impartation of all the powers of the divine life. Yet, since, the old man still remains alive, in whom sin dwells, there is a danger of going back to the law, which becomes the more alarming when there is a feeling sense of remissness in combating against sin, and of an inclination to draw false comfort from the merits of Christ."
Our extract from Rückert will contain his exposition of the phrase dukaloouvy tov Ocov, Rom. i. 17.
“In what respect the gospel is a fountain of salvation for believers is declared ver. 17, in which, at the same time, the principal proposition is laid down, which from ver. 18 to the end of the vijith chapter is partly elucidated, partly defended against objections, and carried out to its necessary consequences. This verse, however, possesses difficulties altogether SUI GENERIS; and the most unprejudged philosophical interpreter will always acknowledge that philology is here of no avail, and cannot possibly conduct him aright. This remark applies to the leading idea, not only of the verse itself, but of the whole epistle-that of dikalovyn. Not to give an explanation of it at this place is impossible: for to omit it, would be to