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entitled “Standing before God” (Deut. xxix. 10). Then follow sermons on such themes as Hungering and thirsting after righteousness," the right use of speech," "the omnipotence of prayer," " how to keep good resolutions," “excuses to man and to God,” “not far from the kingdom of heaven," "how to resist the devil," "the objects of school life,” and many other topics of equal importance. He tells his hearers plainly of their great spiritual needs, of the special temptations to which they are exposed as boys at school, of the necessity of a living faith in the Saviour, of the degradation and punishment of sin, of the beauties of holiness, and the blessedness of him whose iniquity is forgiven and whose sin is covered. Many extracts might be made from these sermons. Take the following, descriptive of the Epistle of James :
"It is, then, a noble protest against laxity of morals, a protest against imagining ourselves to hold the truths of the Gospel while we neglect its principles and violate its laws. The apostle speaks with all the uncompromising plainness of an honest nature, and all the passionate force of a kindling indignation against the sins which were in his days a blot on the character of those who professed the faith. Then, as now, there was a greed of gain, a yielding to the narrow fascinations of avarice, which made men forget that the life was more than meat, and which, by robbing their characters of all ardour, of all generosity, of all nobleness, tended to give all their labours to the caterpillar. Then, as now, was prevalent the sin and folly of the unbridled tongue, and so far from 'speaking with an accent of heroic verity,' men fawned, and flattered, and bit, and devoured, and wished other people dead. Then, as now, men deceived themselves into the fancy that a state of sin was a state of grace, that they could do without God, that formalism would be accepted in lieu of fruit; or if not, that God was a Being of such boundless facility that though he had written alike in nature, and in conscience, and in Scripture, wrath against unrepentant sin, He meant not wrath but mercy.
But all such beliefs St. James denounces as foolish alike and false, and therefore his Epistle, so far from being, as Luther said, plane straminea is vere aurea. So far from finding it valueless, it seems to me so pregnant in rich truths that even in the few verses of it read to-day there is far more than could be treated of in a single sermon ; nor, with all apparent simplicity, does it offer any exception to the saying of Augustine, Marvellous, O God, is the depth of thy utterances ; like a great sea their smiling surface breaks into refreshing rippl:s at the feet of our little ones, but into its unfathomable depth the wisest may gaze with the shudder of amazement and the thrill of love.'”
The following extract will show Dr. Farrar's anxious solicitude for the spiritual welfare of those committed to his charge. It is from one of the last of his discourses :
“I have spoken to you, my brethren, solemn words. In these last addresses on sin, and righteousness and judgment--on the fall, and ruin, and repentance of the prodigal—I have striven as it were, to finish and summarise my witness to the great truths of God--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as they deal with human souls. And I have kept you too long, and I must end. Yet I feel that there are some hearts among you in which my words may suggest some very serious and awful questions, which now is not the time, nor is this the place, to answer.
This only I would say, I have but a week more here as your master, and then I depart, and my place will know me no more. And for six years you know that my house and my study have always been open-open to the very youngest boy, who, if he wished, might come to me at all times unannounced, and, however pressingly I might be occupied, you know that you were never sent away. And if I could think that the words of sympathy and advice, then once for all spoken, have been to some of you a blessing and a help to smooth your path in life, if they have taught you always, in every difficulty, to go straight to God, and not to man—that thought would make me more happy by far than any other can. And if there be but one of you who has aught to ask me about these, or about other truths that you have heard, one week remains before I part from you, and I should hold it, as I have always done, a blessing and a privilege to help you for the last time with that help which experience and years may bring, and which may perhaps save you hereafter an erring path or an aching heart.”
Surely Marlborough was fortunate in having such a master ! It may seem hypercriticism to point out any fault or error where there is so much that is worthy of all commendation. Once or twice, however, Canon Farrar's liberality seems to us to carry him too far. It does so, certainly, when he places Ignatius Loyola by the side of Augustine and John Bunyan ; and other instances, not indeed so startling, but of the same tendency, might be cited. It may be that, in the opinion of many, this is one of those failings which lean to virtue's side ; but it is, in our estimation, the main fault of an essentially good book, and we are sorry to encounter even one “blot on the 'scutcheon,” where otherwise there is nothing but what is excellent and irreproachable.
Glimpses of the Inner Life of our Lord. By W. G. Blaikie, D.D. London :
Hodder & Stoughton. 1876. This neat little volume, which exhibits in a variety of striking aspects the prominent features of the Saviour's life on earth, is eminently devotional and practical. By the frequent use of it, in the way of self-examination and prayer, those who seek conformity to the “mind that was in Christ,” may obtain important aid to advancement in holiness, and in spiritual comfort. While, in late years, a considerable number of works, more or less valuable, on the Life of Christ in its external aspects and relations, have been issued, few or none have discussed professedly the inner principles that animated His spirit and conduct, and that constitute Him as the Son of man, the perfect model to which His people are destined to be conformed. This defect, the esteemed author of the present volume has aimed, in some measure, to supply; and he has accomplished his task in a highly creditable manner, so as to fix the attention, excite serious thought and reflection, and to minister solemn ard weighty instruction.
The contents of the different chapters, which are brief, present the grand characteristic traits of our Lord's inner life--and these are depicted in a lucid style, with singularly apposite Scripture illustrations, which are always faithfully expounded and applied. The subjects discussed are the following—The Saviour's Devotion to the Father's Work ; His Delight in the Father's Will; His entire Harmony with the Father. Then are treated in order—His Temptation by the Devil ; His Life of Ministering; His Sympathy with Man; His Sorrows, Peace, Joy, Prayerfulness ; His Eniluring the Cross, and Dying Word. This excellent little work is singularly fitted to be a companion for the closet-and to be useful for doctrinal reading in the family-and we therefore cordially recommend it. If, as has been sometimes justly said, “we must be like Christ, if we would be with Him in glory," then the practical use of these “Glimpses” may not only serve to promote this likeness, but likewise to give us an earnest of the coming glory.
Talking to the Children. By Alexander Macleod, D.D. Sixth Editija.
Loudon : Hodder & Stoughton. 1874. This admirable work is, in every way, adapted to convey the most important practical instruction to the young, especially to the youth of Christian families. It abounds in clear illustrations of the great truths of the Bible, expressed in the most felicitous terms, in graphic pictures, and in well told and striking anecdotes selected from scenes in real life. The chapters, illustrative of different phases of the duties, temptations, and trials of life, in relation to young persons—and exhibiting the value of the Word of God—and the character and work of Christ as a Leader, Comforter, and all-sufficient Saviour-are composed so clearly and skilfully, that they excite the liveliest interest in their perusal, and cannot be read without making a deep impresion upon
and the heart. The practical counsels to the young are suitable and weighty, and conveyed in terms most cogent and expressive. Thus, in the first paper, “ At the parting of the ways," the first warning given is, “ Beware in life's journey of the place where pleasure parts from Christian companionship;” the second is, “ Beware in life's journey of those breaks where Beauty parts from loving-heartedness ; " the third is, “ Beware of the places in life's journey where cleverness parts from goodness ; ” the fourth is, “ Bervare uhen business and money-making part from Christ.” The illustrations, which are generally authentic historical incidents, or narratives from real life, are singularly pointed, and whether they refer to temptations and dangers to be avoided, or to a course of life to be followed, they are admirably fitted to arrest the attention, and to guide safely youthful footsteps. In the chapter towards the close, in which the author's talk is about " Why children should be glad for Christ,” he illustrates beautifully the following reasons :- 1. He is the Saviour of children; 2. He became a child that He might understand children ; 3. He is not ashamed to call children his brothers and sisters; and 4. He is preparing a place for children above. The whole volume we regard as eminently adapted for instruction in religion and virtue of the rising generation. It is fitted to be a boy's and a girl's “Own Book ”. one that they may always read with pleasure and profit. We hardly know one better suited for Christian parents and merchants, or for Sabbath-school teachers to put into the hands of those in childhood and early youth who are entrusted to their care.
Rowland Hill, his Life, Anecdotes, and Pulpit Sayings. By Vernon J. Charles
worth, with an Introduction by Rev. C. H. Spurgeon. Hodder &
Stoughton, London. 1876. This sketch and memorials of the life and ministry of the Rev. Rowland Hill, is from the pen of one who lived for years in the parsonage of Surrey Chapel, London, in which Rowland Hill for many years ministered, and who is therefore familiarly acquainted with the labours, sayings, and character of that eccentric, but excellent man. In the brief introduction to the present volume, by the celebrated Mr. Spurgeon, the estimate given of Mr. Hill is as just as it is appropriate
“Mr. Hill was humorous, but he was a great deal more ; and those who know his life-work will not remember him as exemplifying one single quality, but as a great, good, childlike man in whom nothing was repressed, but the whole of his redeemed nature allowed to have harmonious play. Take him for all in all, we shall not soon look upon his like again. In him was no guile. He loved his Lord and the souls of men, and he threw all his might into the pursuit of doing good. Surely no man was ever more unselfish, or less self-conscious. Men called him eccentric, because they themselves were out of centre; he with his great heart, calm soul, wise mind, and loving nature had learned to wait upon his Lord, and so had found the right centre, and true orbit for his being. At first the press had its sneers for him, but it could not lessen the respect in which he was held, and in due time it turned round and joined in the chorus of his praise. His riper years were full of honour, and like his younger days, full of fruit unto God.”
The first part of the present volume is a well-written Biographical Sketch of Mr. Hill, containing some selections from his letters and poetical pieces, and various personal reminiscences and estimates of his life and character. The second part consists of Anecdotes--not a few of which are characteristic, and not a little instructive and amusing. The third part is made up of Pulpit sayings and illustrations. These are, in many cases, pithy, judicious, and weighty--displaying a fervent concern for the interests of evangelical truth and practical godliness, and manifesting throughout a prayerful, humble, and loving spirit. The fourth and last part contains two Sermons preached on public occasions, and an address delivered to Sabbathschool teachers, a short time before his death. The volume, which is a just and loving tribute to the memory of a truly excellent man, is so diversified and interesting in its contents, that its perusal cannot fail to minister not a little profit and pleasure.
From Jerusalem to Antioch : Sketches of the Primitive Church. By J. Oswald
Dykes, M.A., D.D. Second Thousand. Demy 8vo., pp. 469. Hodder &
Stoughton, London. 1875. This attractive volume presents a fine specimen of expository preaching, or lecturing on an important part of Divine revelation. It contains the substance of discourses which were spoken from the pulpit in the ordinary course of the author's ministry—and those that fill the first half of the book were afterwards published in the serial, “ The Preacher's Lantern." They are throughout scholarly, chaste in language, evangelical in doctrine, and admirably fitted to inspire love and admiration of the Scriptures—to supply valuable instruction to the Church-and to promote pure and undefiled religion. The primitive Christian Church is exhibited as a model for all succeeding times of fervent charity-enlarged liberality-heroic zeal—and true devotedness; and the ministry of the Word, under the fresh baptism of the Spirit, is seen in its power and lustre-making known everywhere the unsearchable riches of Christ, and as the instrumentality owned of God for rendering multitudes, both Jews and Gentiles, obedient to the faith.
The work gives the exposition of the book of Acts to the close of the 12th chapter-themartyrdom of James, the deliverance of Peter, and the death of Herod Agrippa First. The Scripture passage on which each discourse is founded is given in a new translation, which is accordant with the best critical editions of the original text. The criticisms which occur throughout the lectures are just and judicious, and in many instances serve to elucidate the sentiments of the inspired writer. The sketches of character are vivid and impressive—the brief descriptions of places and scenery are clear and graphic-and the accounts by the sacred historian of the work of conversion at Pentecost and afterwards, and of the fruits of the Spirit's effusion on Jews and Gentiles, are presented in terms calculated at once to edify and attract. The whole volume will prove of lasting value to the study and devotional reading of the book of Acts. To preachers, ministers of the Word, and Sabbath-school teachers, it will suggest high thoughts of the character and power of Christianity, and of the