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the doctrines of Popery on the Eucharist, and contain an admirable exposure and refutation of Puseyite and Ritualistic perversions of the Lord's Supper. They deserve, and will amply repay a frequent and attentive persual.
The two last Lectures, which treat of the Priest and the Confessional, exhibit the totally unscriptural nature, as well as the immoral character of private Confession to a priest, and of Absolution as taught by the Papacy, and in the formularies of the English national Church. The Conclusion presents counsels of solemn warning and instruction, tersely and forcibly expressed.
“ There is not one Sacrament of the Church of Rome which is not deliberately vindicated and approved, and so far as public sentiment or law will permit, quietly introduced into the pale of the Church of England. The single point of the Papal Sapremacy is now declared by many to be the only essential feature which separates the two communions; and it is difficult to say, after the rapid approximation which has been made on other matters of difference, how long even this will be allowed to stand in the way. By many who hold office in the Church, which, in the ceremony of the Queen's Coronation, is formally designated, “The Protestant Reformed religion established by law,' the very name Protestant is insulted, vilified, and indignantly renounced, and the leaders of the Reformation pelted with epithets of infamy from which even Danton, Robespierre, and Marat, are indulgently protected. This Romanizing net is assuredly spread in the sight of the whole nation ; whether in vain or not, it remains for the people to determine, and that too with all possible promptitude and energy."
Again—"The nation requires instruction, and it must be our aim, as God may help us, to diffuse, by all forms of teaching and influence, that knowledge of the truth which is in Jesus,' before which superstition and unbelief shall vanish, as fabled spectres flee before the light of the rising sun. Amid all the conflicts of these times—so full of distraction and sadness—the one conviction which abides in us unshaken is that, through all the tumult, the world is seeking and will surely find its way to rest in Christ, as the Prophet in whose words is eternal life; the Priest whose sufficient sacrifice has reconciled all things to God, whether they be things on earth, or things in heaven; and the King before whose sceptre of right and mercy all nations shall render the homage of their obedience, and their reverent and adoring praise.”
We willingly give our most cordial recommendation to these admirable Lectures-expressing the hope that their wide circulation will prove, through the Divine blessing, a means of arresting the progress of destructive error, and of promoting the cause of Scriptural truth, which the esteemed Lecturer has so ably and eloquently advocated
The Life of Faith, as illustrated by the example of the Apostle Paul ; with a
brief notice of one of the Grounds of Faith. By John Thomson, D.D. Foolscap
8vo. pp. 216. Johnstone and Hunter, Edinburgh. 1876. The main object of this neat and interesting volume, is the instruction of the youth of the Church, especially young men, on subjects that relate to the formation of character, and practical devotedness. The different topics discussed were first handled in a course of instruction given to the youth of the author's congregation, and the substance of them appeared afterwards in a series of papers in the Christian Treasury. They are now presented in a more permanent form, and appropriately designated, “ The Life of Faith," as throughout, the grand fundamental principle of the duties inculcated, is faith in the divine promise, and assured confidence in Christ, the Rock of salvation. The supplementary part of the volume, which treats of one branch of Christian Apologetics, is the substance of a series of articles which first appeared in the Christian Evidence Journal. The author, in the first and principal part of the work, has happily selected the life of the Apostle Paul as the basis of his instructions to the young. He is exhibited in his many-sided symmetrical character, as an example of living faith, animating and sustaining him in arduous labours, and producing a consistent and noble life. The portrait of the great Apostle, presented in a number of consecutive chapters, which are skilfully arranged, and sketched with a master-hand, is at once vivid, truthful, and attractive—held forth with clearness and felicity of diction, and so as to elevate the mind, and impress the heart and conscience.
The Apostle's life of faith is considered in the Introduction, in his Christian fidelity, patience, and personal piety. Then it is presented in the combination of the graces of humility and moral dignity; and furthermore in his large-heartedness and tender-heartedness. Here various pathetic expressions in the Pauline Epistles are adduced in illustration. The Apostle's unselfishness, conscientiousness, Christian courage, and habitual prayerfulness are again held out as eminently deserving the imitation of the youth of the Church, and as forming essential elements of character in all who would live the life of faith, and be blessings to the Church, and benefactors to the world. Growth in grace, and Hope and Victory in death, furnish farther themes of weighty instruction, which find most suitable illustrations in the life and death of the Apostle of the Gentiles. The “inner source of the life of faith”-as being found in life from Christ—life by Christand life for Christ,--and then the power of faith and its practical results form the appropriate conclusion of the first part of this useful and excellent volume.
The supplementary part treats of miracles-their possibility, probability, and value, as a proof of doctrine ; and after a refutation of infidel objections, the reality of the miracles of Moses is shown in a lucid manner, from a variety of considerations.
We regard this little work as admirably adapted to effect the object aimed at in its preparation-that of training the rising youth of the Church in the way of true godliness, and for eminent usefulness. Instead of giving extracts, as we had designed, we commend it strongly, believing as we do that its frequent and careful perusal, under the Divine blessing, will be of benefit to persons of all classes in the Church, to lead them to realize the life of faith and to enjoy its blessed fruits.
The Shadow on the Cross: the Present Crisis of the Turkish Question. By
Edward Jenkins, M.P. 8vo. pp. 39. Robert Mullan, London. This Pamphlet on “the Turkish Question,” by the author of “Ginx's Baby” and the “Devil's Chain ”—fully sustains the high reputation of the author, for vivid pourtraying of events and characters, and for a singularly impressive and effective exhibition of his subject. At the present crisis of the European Political System, its appearance is most seasonable ; and the sketches which it gives of the causes and issues of the Crimean War—of the principles, and enormous incurable evils of Turkish rule,—and of what many regard as the mischievous policy of British statesmen, and especially of the present Government, merit attentive consideration; as they cannot fail to be useful for guiding public opinion on questions of no ordinary importance. While many proposals have been offered for settling the Turkish question, we rejoice in the prospect that this infamous power is rapidly approaching its complete subversion. Statesmen who leave out of their plans the establishment of the Mediator's kingdom, may employ all the appliances of astute diplomacy-and lay stress on military skill, and vast natural resources—but all these will prove unavailing when the command goes forth to destroy them that have cursed and destroyed the earth. The wide-spread feelings that have been excited throughout these nations against Turkish atrocities, and in favour of oppressed Christians throughout Turkey, will we trust prove powerful enough to prevent any, the least aid, from England being rendered to Turkish power, to enable it to continue the enslavement and utter degradation of millions of Christians. The concluding paragraphs of this able pamphlet, which is throughout aglow with noble impulses and generous sentiment, points to the only course that can be rightly taken by the nation and its rulers in the present emergency.
“We must be prepared to take our part, and to make our sacrifices in this great movement. We must not shrink, if it is necessary, to spend some of our money in redeeming ourselves from the disgrace which attaches to us for having been contributing to the existing intolerable state of things ; either that, or, as I contend, we are bound simply to step aside, and to allow some other nation, whether animated by selfish ambition or stimulated by fraternal sympathy, to step in and perform the work which we have been unwilling or unable to do. This is one of the causes in which we must do that which is right in the present, in the firm belief that it must turn out to be most politic in the end. When the sky looks foul and black ahead, the bold mariner waits not to see whether the way will clear, but in brave confidence in his gallant ship and his own skilful resources, drives on into the blackening whirl, steady in pursuing the path that duty points out, trustful that by God's help, and his own honest toil, he shall find, somewhere beyond the blessed calm, the glowing sunshine, the halcyon breeze, and the sweet and welcome shore.”'
A Voice from the Pew ; being a reply to Dr. Kennedy's Letter to the Members of
the Free Church in the Highlands—by a Highlandman. Lyon & GemmelEdinburgh, 1876.
This pamphlet, by a Highland layman, purporting to be a reply to an Address by Dr. Kennedy of Dingwall, is characterized throughout by clear, vigorous expression, forcible reasoning, and no small amount of pungency and earnestness in the discussion of the subject. It is a good specimen of the perfervidum ingenium Scotorum, and especially of what has often been remarked of the Highland Scots in particular, that in public questions on matters of Church and State, they take care to be fully informed, and are known and able controversialists. On the matter of the last movement in the Union negotiations—what is termed the Mutual Eligibility Scheme,--the conduct of the Free Church leaders, and their abandonment of the declared principles of the Free Church at the period of the Disruption, the writer is very pointed; and his positions, which are clearly defined and firmly maintained, are to a large extent unassailable. Throughout the pamphlet, there are not a few clever retorts on his opponent, and not a little of honest, plain dealing, which cannot fail to commend his production to the mass of the common people, for whose benefit it is chiefly intended. While we say this, in the way of just commendation, we are by no means convinced that the present Established Church of Scotland, by the recent anti-patronage act, is so free of Erastian State-control, and is so spiritually independent, as the writer would have us believe; and that it would be for the promotion of the Redeemer's glory, and the advancement of true religion, that the Free Church and other dissenting bodies in Scotland should yield to his advice in seeking incorporation with it in its present position. It may be that Dr. Chalmers, and some others of the leaders in the Disruption of 1843, would have been content to remain within the Establishment if patronage had been then abolished; but it does not follow that having reached higher attainments, and enjoyed the blessings of enlarged spiritual freedom, their successors should relinquish such advantages, and consent to the limitation of their scriptural right in the choice of ministers, and to any, the least measure of Erastian control. The firm and full maintenance of the great principles of the Second Reformation, as embodied in our National Covenants, will, in our view, prove the most effectual means in the end of healing the divisions of the Church, and of bringing the nation to willing subjection to the sceptre of Prince Messiah.
Professor Smith's Obligations to Dr. Kuenen indicated. By Rev. George Macaulay.
Lyon & Gemmel-Edinburgh, 1876. The article of Professor Smith, of the Free Church College, Aberdeen, on the “Bible,” in the new issue of the Encyclopedia Britannica, has called forth of late several pamphlets, and has engaged the attention of the Commission of the Free Church at its recent meeting. The present pamphlet proposes to discuss the first of the two following positions, which the author had previously affirmed in a public lecture. 1. That the views of Professor Smith, as given in the article “ Bible," are substantially the same as those of Dr. Kuenen in his work, “ The Religion of Israel.” 2. That, irrespectively of the question whether, or to what extent they are the same as those of Dr. Kuenen, they are subversive of the grounds of the Christian faith.” The writer shows clearly that the German author's method is that of the naturalistic or rationalist school of critics, and that no difference in kind exists between the religion of Israel and other forms of ancient religion. By a careful induction of particulars, and by a multitude of quotations from Kuenen's work, and placing side by side with them, the positions laid down in Professor Smith's article, the author proves that the stand-point and plan of the two are in a great measure identical. For instance, that the Chronological stand-point of both for the earliest writings of the Bible is the eighth century before Christ; that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses, and did not exist till after the Babylonish exile; that the Historical Books of the Old Testament are not to be regarded as inspired, but simply as human, historical records; that the discourses and laws of Deuteronomy were not written by Moses, but put into his mouth by a later writer, to expound and develope Mosaic principles in relation to men's needs; that the Psalms are not generally of Davidic authorship, many of their titles are inaccurate, and grave suspicions are alleged to lie against the writings ascribed to Solomon. The Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes are either products of Jeroboam's reign, or of a much later writer, long after the exile. The book of Esther is not an authentic historical writing ; Professor Smith says it is “received as a fiction by many who are not over sceptical critics.” He represents