Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ryper, D. D. Rector of Lutter- as Popish, who abound perhaps more worth, Vicar of Clay brook, and than any other in the most animated, Dean of Wells., Lutterworth, and, at the same time, most measured Boutrill: London, Richardson. declamation on practical subjects, 1814. price 2s. 8vo. Pp. 31. mainly on the side of our remark.

Baxter, on the other hand, and many One great advantage, whieh has of our most distinguished Paritans

, forcibiy struck us in precomposed who, in the composition of their discourses over those delivered ex.

sermons, we apprehend, avoided tempore, or from notes, is the power ink " sanguine viperino cautius," gradually acquired, in the first case, afford eminent examples of the ill of giving at once solidiny, polish, effects of an extemporaneous style and perpeluity to compion, practical, reduced to writing; and, with all exhortatory divinity. As every their inimitable force of manner and acquirement of art demands the fulness of matter, still require the slow and silent operation of habit, incessant labour of abridgments

, it seems self-evident to us that the compilations, and selections, to renhabit of writing frequently in any der them applicable to the purpose given style, will be a necessary of general and popular jostruction. condition to writing well in it. And We are led to this obvious reif that easy and apparently spon- mark by the style of the two intetaneous flow of thought, which is resting sermons at the head of this so essential to impressive exborla article. They convey to our minds tion, be not amongst the easiest the idea of that wbich we deem attainments of composition, we see most valuable, such a clear, correct, no reason for making any exception and measured, and, at the same on this head. On the contrary, time, animated and impressive, apwith an equal share of zeal in both peak to the conscience and the feel cases, we should expect to find the ings, as strongly portends a long habitual writer the most clear, easy, familiarized habit of this species of measured, and, at the same tiore, composition, and does equal credit useful and impressive ; and the to the head and heart of a preacher. extemporaneous speaker, we should The very reverend author needs not rather expect to food, as a writer, any, designation, much less any loose, embarrassed, and unguarded; “letter of commendation," from our his pen “either acting like a tor- humble pages. Those who have pedo" in his hand, to cramp and shared with us the pleasure of paralyse his native energies, or else attending on his late valuable exlike a treacherous echo io his feel- ertions in the metropolis, in behalf ings, giving multiplicity to copious- of more than one religious institution, ness, and endless confusion to ani- will feel no difficulty in forestalling mated variety. That the world of any observations we might have to sermon-writers, ancient and modern, make on the eloquence or the man. will furnish both examples and it is an increased, satisfaction to exceptions to our rule, we have know, that the apostolical feeling litile doubt. Perhaps the number which manifested themselves in the of exceptions might be materially pulpits of London, were only the diminished, if, of the supposed ex same wbich had found their active temporaneous preachers who have exercise in the Rectory of Lutterbeen also good writers, we should worthấthe former sphere of a Wickhappen 10 know

w many have liffe's labours. And when we know been in the habit of precomposing the same feelings to have been their sermons entire, and then com- further transferred into the impormitting them to memory for delivery. tant cathedral and city of Wells

, We apprehend, that, in this case, in the person of their Dean, we shall we might bave the whole school of not easily express, we shall not French preachers, Protestant as well attempt to express, or hearty.com

gratulations to the Christian cause ing look, and soothing hope of a upon the elevation of so bright a still happier meeting ;-all these are luminary on the horizon of our vene- supposed, and justly so we think, to . rable Establishment. Long' may bear a very favourable comparison he survive "a burning and shining with the more hearly but more light;" and may many be willing," lively flush of joy, the busy inquiand for more than " a season,' to ries, the mutual congratulations, or walk in his light!"

condolences, which take place at the We observe, that the first of the subsequent return and happy wel. two sermons we have now to notice, come of embracing friends. The having been first delivered in the peculiar feelings, appropriate to parish churches of Lutterworth and each event in the breast of the mi. Claybrook, was afterwards preached, nister, appear to great advantage with some alteration, in the parish in our preacher's animated pages. church of Wells ; and we think it His first sermon, from Col. i. 27, no small excellency of that species 23. " Jesus Christ in you, the hope of composition, which unites force of glory', whom we preach, warning and plainness with ease and correct every man," leaves, on parting from ness, that it is equuilly adapted for his flock, a pastoral benediction, and every audience. The poor may

food of the most solid kind, to sus. listen to it with delight, the rich

lain and cheer them in his absence. cannot turn away in disgust. The His second sermon, from Gen. iii. 9, Greek or the Jew, the village or the

" And the Lord God called unto city, may be equally edified. The Adam, and said unto him, Where art divine may be instructed by it; and thou?" inquires upon his return, the sinner awakened. The sceptic what use has been made in his may find in it the voice of wisdom, absence of the parting admonition, the moorner the language of comfort. what improvement gained from the The incipient Christian may read whole course of his pastoral instrucin it “ the first principles of the tions; and warns, in the most serious doctrine of Christ;" the more ad- and affectionale strain, various classes vanced be led “on to perfection.” of negligent hearers, of the down. Such we conceive to be one great ward course they have been treading, standard and test of excellence in and of the nearer approximation pulpit compositions; and the most they have been making through ordinary subjects receive from such their obstinate perseverance in ill, a mode of delivery a grace and a to the golph of eternal despair and novelty which leave us little more We shall give a few extracts in the main to desire.

from each, as specimens of the The title respectively of these two preacher's style and matter; on valuable sermons is the very ordi- which, perhaps, we may offer a few nary one of the Minister's Fare. general observations at the close. well, and the Minister's Greeting.' There is something peculiarly bold The subject has been somewhat and animated, as well as highly desecrated of late in the eyes of the appropriate, in the opening of the general reader, by the sonnetleering first sermon. effort of a modern sentimentalist*, in his comparison between “the

“ Behold a multitude of rebels, lying Farewell” and the Welcome” of under the just indignation, and exposed to friends. The tender and affection. the immediate vengeance of an all-powerful

Sovereign. ate sympathies awakened in the

• Behold most of these rebels, persevering bogom by the former circumstance; in their disobedience, and braving their the mutual friendship, never till

Judge in careless indifference and presumpthen so satisfactorily betrayed; the fuous security. last monitory injunctions; the part ** Behold some of them awakened to a Vide Spencer's Poemas. sense of their state, looking up with trembling

3 M 2

woe.

to the oplifted sword of Justice, an i purting' we he faithful ambassadors of the Father of up an earnest, but hesitating and distruttul, mercies, if we omitted to exalt continually prayer for pardon.

the Son of his lore, in whom he is well “ And behold, on the other hand, an am. pleased ? Should we be serviceable mi-bassador, who has been dispatched to these nisters to the souls of our brethren, if we rebels by their Sovereign, coming 1o offer, were not continually raising before their under his sanction, free forgiveness, restored view, and urging them to embrace their favour, and possessions of unspeakable valve; only Savinur," pp. 1-3. coming to require only repentance and faith,

This noble, and well-wrought firm beliet in the Sovereign's offer, in his power, and his mercy; coming to present 10

apostrophe, which stands proxy their knowledge and accepiance his only for a thousand remarks of our own belowed Son, as the cause and author of this on the orthodoxy and purity of the bis mercy, as able and ready to communi. author's sealiments, is followed by cale 10 them these qualifications, and to an affecting contrast between the confer upon then this reward.

feelings which would have attended “ What then will be the chief subject of his parring moments, had these docthis ambassador's address? What will be trines been fully preached and fully the prominent feature? The sun and subo received by all in the love of them, stance, the beginning and end of his message and those which the more mixed The Sun, the only beloved Son, through and imperfect characters, both of whom acd on whose acciunt alone the mes. sage is devised and dispatched, through preacher and hearer, are calcuwhom alone the offer will be accepted and lated to produce. Equally mixed fulfilled. The ambassador will magnify, no and in perfect must be that hallowed doubl, the justice, the power, and the good. satisfaction with which otherwise ness of the Sovereign. He will represent the departing minister would have in their just proportion and their proper surveyed the field of his labours all Colmurs, the offences of the subjects: but whitening for a future harvest, the all this will be as an introduction to exalt flock of his pasture all healthful and the love, the laboers performed, the labours vigorous, and safely fenced in from continued, the promise and the faithfulness of the assaulis of the enemy. Sull, the Son, who iuterposes, reconciles, re-establishes peace and happiness for ever. From

however, the numerous deficiencies his jutercession, the coupwission and cre.

from this happy consunimation afford dentials of the ambassador proceed. On ground for pathetic exhortation. hiw he reşts all the ground of his arguments,

“ Still, however, a day of grace remains, from him be derives all the force of bis wherein io stek the things belonging to our exhortations and the influence of liis pere peace: still does Christ, our peace, offer sua-iuns. It is in the Sin alone that he himself unto us: sill is he preached : still finds the way to glority tlie Sovereirn, may you lear and hear, under grace, even who sent biri, and 10 save those to whuar

to the conversion, the edification, and salhe is sent.

vation of souls. “Now, my bretliren. ye are the men, by

"Oli, lisien as though it were for your last nature the rebel subjecis of your God: we

time: listen to Christ preaches as your are as really rebels ourselves by nature, but Savivur, aj Though you were next 10 hear according to our office his appointed me.

him passing sentence as your Juilge: listen sengers and ambassadors ; the almighty to the preaching of the Cross : listen to the Gud is our offended but forbearing Sove ininistration of the Spirit: receive the applireign, and Jesus Christ is his only beloved cation of those condeinning yet saving doo Son, for whose sake alone he will become a trines, each to his own conscience : receive reduuciled Father 10 penitent believing sin. them with atiention, meekness, simplicity. Ders; the Son, who has done and njust do and desire of profit : peradveriture the dout for you and in you all that is weediul for of many beari., yet closed, may now be your salvation. Ought not then the Lord opened, and Christ, who has beeu so long Jesus Christ to be the chief subject of our

excluded, enter in through his word, and addsr-ses? Ought not we to preach hius in dwell there, to your everlasting blessing and this holy Temple of the Lord, and from

glory.' p. 6. house to house, in our public ministrations and in our private counsel, in our instruc To the full and free invitation tions, reprools, and consolations ? Should held out by our respectable preacher

[ocr errors]

for all sinners to come unto Jesus, minister home to his flock. The jny. we cannot but be highly pleased to ous sensations of greeting seem evi. see the addition of such strong and dently to outweigh in our preacher's searching practical appeals as the mind the " pleasing melancholy" of following:

the parting mood. Then he ima“ Be ever then anzivusly seeking for gines " the feelings of friendship are evidences in yourselves, that Christ in all

most lively, and its expressions flew his offices is yours. Be not satisfied with a most direcily from the heart.” temporary frame and temper of piery, a sudden impulse of joy, a strong conviction

“ We rejoice at the sight of our friend and or a ray of hope. All these many have had,

at the sound of his voice : we eagerly enter whose dawn of promise has set in a night of into converse with him: we anxiously desire utter disappointment and wue. Be not

to hear, from his own month, an assurance satisfied with the sacrifice of some sins, to

of his safety, his welfare, and the health of which you are no longer tempted, while you

a!) in whom he is interested. We pour forth retain others, by wbich you are most easily

a multitude of affectionate inquiries upon beset. Be not satisfied with a religious

these subjects. Joseph asked his brethren state, in which all speak well of you, with

of their welfare, and said, Is your father well. such professed devotion to God as is con

the old man of wlum.ye spake? Our whole sistent with service to wammon and with attention appears to be bent upon his answers; the friendship of the world, and compatible and our friend is, for the moment at least, withi sin(ul compromises and compliances;

the chief Parihly object of our care." p. 20. the church' on one day, and the dissipated

! The care is, in this case, an anxious amusement on the next; the godly talk and the worldly practice.” pp. 8, 9.

care; the inquiries are of a spiritual

nature. The question of Jehu reNor are we unwilling to accept sponds exaetly to the ministerial ferla his interesting advice to

ings upon this occasion. Is thine seek a closer intercourse and communion heart right?". And “this question with Christ, in hearty persevering prayer, is expressed, if we may venture as which serves as wings to lift the soul to

humble instruments to borrow from Christ, or us an attractive chain, perioitted the mouth of the Almighty himself, through free grace to prevail, to draw him in the words of the text, Where down to inan." pp. 7, 8.

art thou ??” Finely, as well as affectThe sermon concludes with a ingly, it is remarkedstrong and earnest appeal in behalf of “the all-sufficient Saviour," to Gud would not have addressed ihe question

“ Had Adam been thus walking, the Lord the several classes of

to him. He would indeed have then been • the profligate abandoned sinner, the in constant direct intercourse and commiu. coretous and tho proud, the wavering half. nion with bis Heavenly Father. He would, Christian, tlse lambs of the tlock, [boih) the like Enoch, have walked with God, and would multitude anvoy them who stray from the have had no shame to cover, no searching fold in wiltul beedlessness and pursuit of question, as a trial of sincerity, to underga. vicious pleasure, and the few who are fol- p. 29. lowers of Joseph and of Ruth; the stilldoubting penitent, and the true practical be

As it is, the question befits alike Jiever." To every one “ Jesus Christ is fallen Adam and his fallen ottspring. preached as the all-sufficient Saviour, suited to every case and every want, as the Saviour

" Oh! that all your consciences, enliglitof each, not in their sins, but from their ened by Divine grace and authorised by eviains,"

dences in your life and conversation, could “ Such preaching may be, through their enable each of you to take a satisfactory own voluntary perverseness of mind, to some

answer to this searching question." "Oh, Lord foolishness, to others a stumbling-block; but Jesus Christ, who wouldest often have ga. it is, we know by the Word of God that

thered this people, us a hen gathereth her cannut lie, it is the only preaching that can

chickens under her wings, but they would save a soul." p. 16.

not, still forbear to destroy, still interpose to

save! Be with thy minister this night, speak The second sermon welcomes the through him and work for bim, make an

It was

entrance for thy word into many a closed not like the former, sold under sin and heart, and give to the dawn of the opening taken captive by Satan at his will, without year, the honour of the new birth, the birth a wish to be free, but balting rather beof sons to God.” pp. 21, 22.

tween two opinions, doubtful whether to The question our preacher then prefer the service of God or of Satan, the

wages of sin or the free gift of God, proceeds to put to the consciences of

through Jesus Christ. Such I left thee. nearly the same several classes to

And there was a hope that the wind, which which he had before addressed his bluweth wliere it listethi, the blessed Spirit exhortation, viz. the profligate and of Gud, might take the sail, as it fattered in careless sinner, the covetous and suspense, and carry the vessel forward 10 the worldly-minded, the proud and self- point of peace and glory.

• But where art thou? Not such now; righteous, the wavering, the backslider, the growing Christian, and

no longer undecided. You shew no evidence the established believer.

that you have chosen the right side, and

therefore the wrong side is yours beyond a something peculiarly felicitous, as

doubt. There is no alternalive, and this inwe suppose it was intended, to ad

terval has been long enough to give the final monish, on his return, the same decisive bent and sway to your thoughts and classes as before, as to the changes disposition. made, or the fruit produced, in con. Agrippa halted a day. He was almost sequence of his exhortations to them persuaded, and Paul prayed for him too, but when they parted. We are also it was in vain. He would not take the obliged to the Dean for giving us to badge the Cross of Christ, and, after Paul see, in this repetition, his own steady had done preaching, he settled down into and marked classification of hearers perserering impenitence and rooted uubeto be addressed from the pulpit, as

lief. Do not, then, be satisfied with the

you are still neutral. embracing the whole congregation.

thouglic that

“ There is no such compromise between We always refer to the Divine God and mammon. You are not for God: Parable of the Sower, as containing you are therefore against Him, in the ene. the four grand primary classes or co

my's camp and service, and have nothing 10 lours into which our unerring Teacher expect but his wages. Still, liowever, even would have all hearers divided; the to you the offer of reconciliation is made, careless, the irresolule, the worldly- though it sounds, as it were from afar, and minded, and the honest. Bat we seems about to die upon the ear. have no objection to some interme

• Rush forward, then, to seize perhaps diate classes, some secondary colours, your last opportunity, and close, under composed of the respective elements grace, at lengtlı and for ever, with your only

true Master, your only rightful Lord, Jesus of the primary, and which may be

Christ, the Saviour and the King. endlessly, as well as profitably, mul

“ Your minister's inquiry, my friends, to tiplied according to the peculiar these three descriptions of persons, lias, I circumstances of each minister, his trust, been made in serious concern for their own personal experience, or his souls. They are plants in the vineyard, sphere of public observation.

which he was commissioned to rear: they We consider this as the most are sheep in the fuck, which be was apsearching, and, on the whole, the pointed to tend.” pp. 25, 26. most affecting, sermon of the two. Weshall, however, contentourselves, which we bave given principally

Perhaps the above quotation, with recommending it to the alten, tion, to the closets and the prayers, same time one of the very few

“ honoris causâ," contains at the of those who may feel themselves questionable positions into which severally addressed under the above

even the ardour and affection of out mentioned heads : and we shall only preacher have at any time betrayed give one specimen of the generally him. In declaring that class who close and 'serious strain of its ap- were halting between two opinions peals.

when be left them, to be "no longer “ Thirdly. To another I come, who was such, no longer undecided;" to

« PreviousContinue »