Page images

The insertion of any article in this list is not to be considered as pledging us to the approbation of its contents, unless it be accompanied by some express notice of our favourable opinion. Nor is the omission of any such notice to be regarded as indicating a contrary opinion ; as our limits, and other reasons, impose on us the necessity of selection and brevity.]


Ante-Nicene Christian Library.-- ment are repeatedly cited, as deTatian, Theophilus, Clementine Re- cisive on all questions of Christian cognitions.-Clement of Alexandria, doctrine and practice. It is im. Vol. I.-Irenæus, Vol. I.-Hippoly- possible to read these volumes tus. Vol. I. Edinburgh : T. and T. without a deep and settled persuaClark.—These volumes fully sus. sion, that the Books that we tain the character of the series to cherish, as unfolding the mind of which they belong, and merit Christ, and disclosing the perfect the eulogy which we pronounced scheme of human redemption, on the first two volumes in were held as sacred by the early former number of this Magazine. Christians. They clung to them, The enterprising publishers de- even as we do, as the productions serve the thanks of all theologi. of the apostles, or directly sanccal students, for placing within tioned by their authority. their reach, at a moderate cost, It is instructive and pleasing, writings which are associated with also, to observe the manner in the early conflicts and triumphs which the early Christian writers of Christianity, and which mark assailed the heathenism with which the development of thought in the they were surrounded. They ex. first periods of the Church. posed, with withering severity,

Several things in these works the low, sensual, and degraded are well worthy of attention. character of the mythology which

The great facts of Christianity prevailed among the multitude; are everywhere recognised and and they pointed out the uncerassumed undoubted. The tainty of the speculations of phidoctrines which are taught, the losophy, and their inability to meet morality which is inculcated, and the deepest wants of the human the hopes which are avowed, are spirit. They asserted the antiall connected with the life, the quity of the truth respecting God death, the resur

surrection, the ascen- which Christianity sets forth, and sion, and the mediatorial glory, of the pure and elevating tendency the Lord Jesus. Christianity, of all its doctrines. Their vindithen, as now, was based upon cation of the religion of the Lord these facts; and these early Jesus from the charges brought writers felt that, in asserting against it by its adversaries, is them, they were affirming that conclusive and triumphant. which could not be successfully The works comprised in these contradicted.

volumes differ, of course, very It is equally obvious, that the widely in their character. One of Holy Scriptures, as we have them, them—the Recognitions of Clement were held by the early fathers as -is curious, as a work of fiction, inspired and authoritative. Not only written at a very early period, in are the Sacred Books of the Jewish the interest of Christianity, but it Church appealed to, but the writ. possesses no inherent value. It is ings which form the New Testa- correctly described by the editors


23 "a kind of philosophical and entirely, and therefore contented theological romance; " and they himself with requiring that sacri. very properly add, “ The writer offices should be offered only to the work seems to have had no in. God. The excellence of Christention of presenting his statements tianity, too, is made to consist as facts; but, choosing the dis- very much in the appointment of ciples of Christ and their followers baptism in the place of sacrifices, as his principal characters, he has and as the medium of forgiveness put into their mouths the most and salvation. In the teaching important of his beliefs, and of St. Peter, as set forth in this Foren the whole together by a romance, we find a great contrast thread of fictitious narrative.” to his bold, evangelical discourses The title of the book is derived recorded in the Acts of the from the incidents which are Apostles; and we feel increasingly, brought out towards the close of how precious—how inestimableit Clement, a young man de. are the few records which we haveof scended from an illustrious Roman the actual preaching of this eminent family, had for about twenty servant of the Lord Jesus. Fears supposed that his father, But the Clementine Recogni. mother, and two brothers had all tions form an exception to the perished. In the course of his general character of this series. journeyings with the Apostle The early Christian writers, whose Peter, to whom he was introduced works are thus brought before the by Barnabas, he first discovers his English reader, are distinguished two brothers; then, by a very re- by the earnestness of their convicmarkable series of circumstances, tions. We feel, as we read them, his mother, and, finally, his father; how firmly they held the facts and and they are all united in the pro- the essential doctrines of the Chrisfession of the Christian faith. In tian scheme, and with how great the course of this work we find an boldness they confronted the account of an imaginary discus- various systems which were opzion between Caiaphas, the Jewish posed to the knowledge of Christ. high priest, aided by some of the Of the writings of Clement of Sadducees and Pharisees, and the Alexandria, Irenæus, and Hippolywhole company of the apostles, in tus, a portion only is as yet answer to a challenge given by the issued. The volume of Clement former; and we have also a contains his “Exhortation to the lengthened narrative of discussions Heathen,”-his “Instructer,” a between Simon Magus and the Apos- kind of manual of Christian morals de Peter,—who is represented as and behaviour,—and the first book following the deceiver from place to of his Stromata, or “Miscelplace, to counteract his efforts, and lanies.” The volume of Irenæus min men to the faith of Christ. contains a considerable portion of Several of the doctrinal views ad- his great work “ against heresies,” ranced in this work are charge. embracing an extended statement able with serious error. The sacri- and refutation of the Gnostic fices of the Levitical economy, systems, and a vindication of the for instance, are represented as Catholic faith. The chief work of allowed by Moses, only because the Hippolytus, which has only been people had been so long used to discovered within the last twentysacrifice, that he deemed it impos- six years, is entitled, "A Refutasible to break them of the practice tion of all Heresies.” It is to be VOL. XIV-NEW SERIES.

2 A


regretted that the second and thieves and murderers. These tbird books of this treatise, and sufferings were

inflicted upon part of the fourth, are missing: them partly on account of the but, even as far as we possess it, it meetings which they held in violais an elaborate work. It embraces a tion of the Act of Uniformity; review of the systems of the Greek partly on account of the rude and philosophers, and of the Chaldæan direct annoyance which they astrologers; and then deals with offered to the clergy, when engaged the various heresies which had in their public ministrations; sprung up within the Christian partly on account of their refusal Church, closing with a statement to pay church-rates and tithes; of the author's own religious con- and partly on account of the invictions.

decent manner in which some of We have only to repeat, in con- them presented themselves to the clusion, our deep sense of obliga- public, both men and women sally. tion to the Messrs. Clark, for ing forth, in a state of perfect placing these works before the nudity, into fairs and markets, as general reader in so attractive a well as into worshipping assem. form, and for securing the services blies, professing to deliver mesof translators and editors who are sages from God, after the example scrupulously intent on the fidelity of the Hebrew prophets. In their and accuracy of their versions. We zeal for spiritual religion these trust that the enterprise will be reformers not only inveighed liberally sustained.

against all liturgies and prescribed

forms of worship, including the The Quakers, from their Origin singing of psalms and hymns, and till the Present Time :

an Inter

against all studied sermons; but national History. By John Cun- also discarded the Christian sacraningham, D.D., Author of The ments, and condemned as hirelings Church History of Scotland,” &c. all classes of ministers who reCrown 8vo. London: Hamilton. ceived salaries in acknowledgment -The author of this volume has of their official services. The given a lively and interesting quiet and peaceful demeanour of sketch of the rise of Quakerism, the people who bear the name of of its progress, and of its present Quakers in the present day prestate, including an account of its sents a perfect contrast to the turprincipal agents and advocates. It bulence of Fox and his immediate was originated in the time of the disciples, who rushed into the English Commonwealth, by George parish churches at the time of Fox, an uneducated shoemaker; public worship, contradicting the who, imagining that he had a call clergymen, and denouncing the from God, travelled extensively use of the Book of Common Prayer both in England and America, as mere lip-service. inculcating what he believed to be For these things, we conceive, Divine truth, revealed to him the Quakers are not to be praised; through the Bible, and also, as he but on many other accounts they thought, through the direct teach- are justly entitled to high coming of the Holy Spirit. Many per- mendation. From the time of sons received his testimony, and their origin, they have been the endured with him no small amount consistent and unflinching advoof public scorn and violence, as cates of religious liberty, having well as imprisonment along with resisted all attempts to coerce the


consciences of men by Acts of reformation. They have Parliament and civil penalties. hitherto been equally successful When the Act of Uniformity and in their efforts to bring war to an that against Conventicles were in end; but in the propagation of force, forbidding all assemblies for pacific principles among the the public worship of Almighty nations of the earth, they have God but those of the Established done what they could. Church, the Quakers, both men At different times persons beand women, bravely held their longing to their fraternity have religious meetings, in obedience thought that they had a message to what they regarded as a Divine from God to crowned heads, and command, choosing bonds and to them that dwell“ in kings' imprisonment in preference to houses.” In our own times they liberty with a guilty conscience. have sought and obtained access Their fidelity in this respect, in to two of the Russian Emperors, connexion with that of other Non- to the Kings of Sweden and conformist bodies, succeeded at Prussia, to Napoleon Bonaparte, length in obtaining for British to the King and Queen of Spain, subjects that free and unrestricted and even to the Pope. Among toleration which they now enjoy, these distinguished personages and from which the nation has the Emperor Alexander appears to derived the most substantial bene- have been their special favourite. its. It is also due to the Quakers He united with some of them in to say, that when they had ascer. prayer and in silent worship, and tained the true character of that shed tears while they conversed "esecrable sum of all villanies," with him on religious subjects, the African slave-trade, they took professing to agree with them in an earnest and leading part among their views of Christian godliness. their fellow-Christians in exposing They were also introduced to his the cruelty and essential wicked. Empress, whom they found living ness of that accursed traffic, and apart from her husband, a pitiable never relaxed in their efforts, until object of neglect and sorrow,declarit was abolished by the legislature, ing that she envied the condition of so far as British subjects were servant-maids; for Alexander, we concerned. Equally zealous and are told, was not always correct in faithful were the Quakers in his morals. Whether his Quaker bringing Negro slavery to an end. friends were as faithful to him as Nor have they been less honour- John the Baptist was to King ably distinguished by their libe. Herod, we are not informed; but tality and efforts in extending the it is gratifying to learn that the Messings of education among the autocrat and his Empress were repoorer classes both at home and conciled to each other before they abroad; and in abating the severity were parted by death, and that he of our criminal code, so that public expired in her arms. executions are far less frequent To us it has often appeared than they formerly were. To somewhat mysterious that men benevolent individuals among who have taken long and expenthem the nation is also indebted for sive journeys to press their views a great improvement in prison dis- of religion upon the attention of cipline, which is not now employed kings and queens, emperors and merely for the punishment of crime, empresses, seldom or never atbut as a means also of personal tempt to render the same service




in behalf of the labouring classes as forming an important class and the abject poor of their own of members in the various country, among whom we never Churches which the Apostles see any person in the Quaker planted and governed. Why garb. We ask, What is the mean- such persons are not found among ing of this marked difference ? the modern Quakers, the author If the drab coat, the broad brim, of the volume before us has not the plain bonnet, the pronouns told us; neither does he tell us " thou” and “thee," silent wor

whether the Quakers in general ship, the disuse of all liturgies, of adhere to the essential verities of sacraments, and of vocal music in the Gospel, or are to any extent the worship of God, are indeed carried away with the lax opinions regarded as elements of true reli- which now prevail respecting the gion, they are as important and person and work of our blessed necessary for the poor as for the Saviour. He states that they are rich. How is it, then, that these less strict than they formerly peculiarities are never

were with regard to the shape and heard of among the poor, either colour of their dress, the use of in the agricultural, the manu. what is called "the plain lan. facturing, or the mining districts, guage,” the restriction of mar. or even in our large towns ? The riages within their own pale, and Quakers, we believe, are as forward that they are greatly reduced in as any other people in relieving number; but he gives us no direct the temporal wants of the indi. information as to the state of gent; but, generally speaking, family and personal religion they leave to the clergy, and to

among them.

The men who other bodies of Nonconformists, founded the community laid the the task of imparting religious utmost stress upon spiritual reli. instruction to the destitute, and gion, and for the attainment of to those who live by manual la. this object ran into the opposite bour. Among the crowded in extreme, so far as even to discard habitants of our courts and alleys the sacraments which Christ Him. the Quakers seek not to gain self ordained. They avowed their either proselytes or converts. It belief that in this world Christians would appear, then, that they may be made free from all inward either do not regard their pe- as well as outward sin. We culiarities of worship, speech, and should have been glad to know dress, as matters of essential im- whether any of their descendants portance, or they have lost the in the present age believe that they spirit of self-denial, zeal, and have attained to this state of enterprise by which George Fox grace; and if so, by what process and his early followers were they arrived at it. Respecting actuated; for God careth for the their views of the atonement of poor as well as the rich. All souls Christ, and the method of a sin. are Christ's by right of purchase, ner's justification before God, we as well as of creation. To John's look in vain for information in the disciples Jesus said, “To the poor lively pages of Dr. Cunningham, the Gospel is preached ;” and in which indeed are not distinguished the apostolical Epistles we find by a high tone of Christian ortho. special instruction and encourage. doxy. The elder Quakers forbad ment addressed to “servants," music and dancing: our author many of whom at least were slaves, intimates that in many families

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »