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characterize the Report of a chari- statements, and maturely digesting table institution, especially one of a the wbole of their materials before religious nature, is an entire free, they commit the result to paper, dom from a bigotted party spirit.- Simplicity is another necessary And here I may be permitted to ex- feature of a good Report.-It is press the satisfaction I bave deriv- quite ridiculous to see a few plain ed from the strict adherence to this facts tricked out in a meretricious principle visible in the Reports and attempt at fine writing, and enouncother documents of some much ed in words of sonorous but inapcalumniated institutions, where, on propriate magnitude. The style of account of provocations received, Dr. Johnson would not be & fit something of a controversial or re- model for the purpose in question, taliating spirit might perhaps, from even if the reporter could copy it the frailty of human nature, have correctly :--but if, as is too probabeen occasionallyexpected,"Sirs, ble, he should completely fail in ye are brethren,” should be the lhe attempt ; if his ideas should motto of the conductors of all our prove but dwarfs and starvelings, charitable and religious institu- clothed in the vestments of a giant;
ions; and though men may law. he would doubly offend every perfully differ in their opinions as to son of good taste and Christian the best mode of doing good, they simplicity by his performance. We ought to agree in one point at least, instinctively smile at the celebrated that no good is ever effected by the apostrophe of the worthy gentleindulgence of an acrimonious or man who commenced his speech to vindictive spirit. It may indeed his fellow-parishioners in vestry assometimes be advisable where the sembled, with, “ Gentlemen, the object of a society is not under eyes of all Europe are fixed upon stood, or has been misrepresented, your deliberations ;" but this is to take the opportunity of its an- scarcely worse than some instances nual Report to defend it and prove which I could adduce of pompous its excellence ; but, in so doing, it nothings, clothed sometimes for exshould never be forgotten that the ample in a tumid and bombastical cause of charity is best served by style; at others, in an artificial style, a charitable spirit, and that Chris- abounding with inversions and clastians are enjoined to put away all sical figures ; at others, in a florid
bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and sentimental style, eplivened and clamour, and evil-speaking, with with scraps of oratory and poetry; all malice." I have merely hinted and at others in a wary, ceremoni. at this topic, but do not tbink it ous, diplomatic style, as if a "negecessary to dwell upon it, as the gociation” about the dimensions of fault in question happily is not at a parish sewer, or the choice of a present of a very prevalent kind. committee-room, were at least aa
A third essential property of a Re- affair of state between the governport is, ibat it should be intelligible. ments of two mighty empires.
It is sometimes almost as difficult Surely it would cost no great efto collect a perfect idea of the funds, fort to avoid these various kinds of expenditure, and actual proceedings affectation. I would caution reand prospects of a society from its porters also against another species Report, as to ascertain the state of of cant; I mean the too frequent reThe nation from a diffuse speech of currence of wbat may be called the a parliamentary, orator. It would French Revolutionary style ; for greatly conduce to the convenience why cannot societies be formed as of the public, if the writers of such well as “organized," and subordidocuments would always give their nate societies be united to them as lacts and figures in a plain busi- well as" affiliated ?" I will only add uess-like manner, avoiding diffuse further, under this head, that it is always in bad taste, and not quite the duplication and triplication of consistent with Christian simplicity, the same words or ideas; by prunfor the sake of gracing a society, to ing epithets and unmeaning phrases ; denominate persons by high sound- by not dealing in common places ing titles, which are not customari- and general propositions, which ly bestowed upon them, at least in would answer as well for almost any This country; a fault of which I other Report as the one in hand; have known more than one instance by omitting minor details; by givin provincial institutions.
ing the substance of communicaTo add but one quality more, a lions, instead of the words, whereReport should be as concise as the ever the former will equally answer subject will allow. In some of our the purpose; and, lastly, hy greatlarge institutions, the quantity of ly abridging the portion of the Refact to be narrated will not admit port devoted to anticipations and of a very brief Report, even where conjectures. A strict adherence erery part is closely condensed, to ihis system would bring most and with no more than a necessary Reports into a very portable comproportion of comment. But in pass, and go far towards preventsmaller institutions, Reports mighting the complaint now so commonoften be advantageously reduced to ly urged, that few persons compaone half or one third of their length, ratively can find time to read the by abstaining from the unnecessary Reports of charitable societies, inphilosopbising-I will not call it teresting as they must be to every prosing-which is sometimes found Christian mind. in these documents; by avoiding A FRIEND TO SIMPLICITY.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Sermons on the Christian Charac- sidered also that sermons, whielt,
ter: with Occasional Discourses. at the time of their first appearance, By the Rev. C. J. HOARE, A.M. acquired, not only by the excellence Rector of Godstone, and late of their doctrine but the beauties of Vicar of Blandford Forum. 1821. their style, a deserved popularity. 8vo. 98. London: Hatchard. after a while grow out of date, and
cease to attract ibe attention of the Those works of science or research ordinary reader. Though even rewhich afford unquestionable marks garded as standard compositions, of superior genius or attainments yet they at length are transferred require no apology for their publi- from the parlour to the library, and cation : it would be difficult indeed become little more than books of to assign a reason why they should reference to those who compose, be withheld from the world. Com. or sources of unacknowledged plapositions, however, not thus distin- giarism to those who copy, their guished may seem to require some pulpit discourses. The fastidiousapology; and for none of them does ness of many modern readers would it appear to us that a more satisface lead them to turn away from the tory one can be urged than for those now too antiquated pages of Barrow, which are written for the instruc. South, or Tillotson; Their Sunday tion of our general population in hours must be beguiled by publithe obvious duties of eligion, and catious more recent or attractive ; therefore with a studied exclusion and there must be something beof literary effort. It is to be con. yond the intrinsic merit of the
itself to fix their attention to the judgment and conduct, to preserve comparatively uninviting subject of them from errors in opinion, and divinity. It must be the produc. laxity in practice; they will afford tion of some friend of the family, or to his successor a specimen of sound it must be a new year's present, or
doctrine and faithful exhortation, must afford the greatest measure of by which he may be insensibly. entertainment consistent with the quickened, when disposed either to gravity of the subject. In short, it sink into the coldness of a formal is almost as true of sermons as worship and speculative creed, or of novels, that each generation will to be unduly excited by the fervours read those chiefly which are the of an indiscreet zeal, and a too product of their own times. glowing imagination.
This incessant demand for old This call the author of these truths in a new garb is a sufficient sermons has fully and promptly reason for the large supply of obeyed; and the Christian world modern sermons: and their multi- may be considered as gainers by plication forms, in our minds, no that act of painful separation, fair objection to them, provided they which, in depriving his immediate exhibit a luminous and consistent parishioners of his personal labours, view of revealed religion; since has invested him with the office of every fresh publication may be at- an instructor to the public at large. tended with claims to attention, pe- We may lay it down as a principle, culiar to itself, and these may ope. that whenever a work written on a rate advantageously to the dissemi. particular occasion, for a definite pation of Divine knowledge, and and limited purpose, rises above gain admittance for its hortatory that purpose into general interest and awakening appeals into circles and usefulness, it has acquired for which they night otherwise never its author the highest meed of have reached.
praise. And such we should say is The call, however, for the publi- the case with this specimen of pacation of sermons is often peculiarly rochial instruction : we have no strong when a clergyman is removed doubt it will survive its immediate from a parish in which he has long object, and become a standing exand successfully discharged his pasa hibition of that Christian character toral duties. The circumstances of which it gives as well the outline which lead to his removal are ge- and broader features as the nicer nerally such as to separate him for and more discriminating shades. lise from his former fock. His de. It is a portrait.in which, while due parture is in fact, with respect to attention is paid to the general ihem, a sort of ecclesiastical death; effect, it will be found that the inand what better legacy can he leave dividual parts are well adjusted. them than a durable record of those How far this public record of instructions which he orally deli- the character of the late Vicar of vered for their comfort and instruc- Blandford's instructions may be tion? By such a benefaction, though useful to his former parishioners, removed to a distance, he remains, we may judge in some measure by as it were, present with them; and, the preface to the work, which when taken at last from every scene is more immediately addressed to of eartlily labour, he will continue them. The author does not waste to bear a dying, as he had done a lis time in exciting emotion for its living, testimony to the power of own sake, in dilating upon the pleathat religion which was able to sures of past intercourse, or the save himself and those who heard pains of recent separation; in dehim. If his instructions have been scanting upon the failures, or sucscriplural, they will furnish also to cesses, which may liáve attended his bereaved block a standard of his best efforts. . Like the cause which he advocates, be leaves his to offer precepts of righteousness, by statements to produce, without ad. which they should not be directed to ventitious aid, their proper effect their original purity. The law of Chrisupon his hearers.
He is more
tianity is, at once, a law of faitli, and a apxious for their profit, than for
law of holiuess ;-of faith, by remitting
us, for our justification before God, to a mere gratifying expression of his
the merits of another, even of our Lord own sympathy, and the relief of and Saviour Jesus Christ ;-and of holihis own burdened feelings. He ness, by exhibiting to us a perfect trantherefore leaves with them as bis script, both by precept and example, of parting words the following digest the holiness we have lost. It does more of the Christian Religion, which for than merely exhibit to us such a tran. clearness, precision, and strength,
script. It directs us to effectual me. well deserves quotation.
thods, by which we are enabled again to
aspire after its resemblance. Weak, it “ If we imagiue Christianity to be a
offers us the means of spiritual strength; mere set of moral precepts, a law to be
and dead as we may be represented to observed, and a proportionate reward
be in trespasses and sins, it furnishes to be obtained at last, we virtually re
the means of life and peace, through establish a law of works; by which it is the sanctifying influences of the Holy
Spirit. expressly declared, as the very foun. dation of Christianity, that no flesh
“ Christianity, viewed in this light, can be justified. if, on the other hand, admits indeed of no reliance upon ourwe regard it as a mere exemption from selves, either for the attainment of parthe law of works, on a supposed plea of don, or for the practice of righteousness. faith; or a hope of pardon, on the con
But yet it must be considered as leaving dition of sincere, instead of perfect, obe.
no gronnd for fear to the truly penitent dience: then we each become the jndge and awakened sinner; whilst it offers of our own sincerity; we indulge a hope
no encouragement to those who seek of pardon on most uncertain grounds; the gratification of their evil inclinawe may still love the sin we partially tions. To'every alarm of the humbled forsake, and loathe the righteonsness we
and awakened conscience, it replies by partially practise ; and, in truth, render representing the fulness of the atoning the Gospel of Christ the means of encou- Sacrifice for sin : but to every rising inragement in a negligent and worldly
clination to indulge sinful desires, or practice. Against both these errors it sinful practices, it replies, by pointing has been my object, as I believe it to be to the purity of the Divine law, and the the end of true Christianity, to guard fulness of Divine grace. The wilful yon.
sinner finds no refuge whatsoever io the “ Christianity, we must consider, is code of pure Christianity. The selfintended to furnish an adequate remedy
deceiver is driven from every strong for the existing disorder of human na
hold; the careless roused from every 'ture. That disorder consists in a de- lalling consideration; and no security is
parture from our original righteousness; offered to any, bat in a submission to an inclination, of our own nature, to
the humbling and purifying doctrines of evil; and, by consequence, an exposure
the Cross of Christ.” pp. xi-xiv. to the wrath and displeasnre of God. The remedy for this must be, to restore
Of the general utility of the us by other means than our own merits, work we shall now endeavour to to the favour of God which we have for enable our readers to judge for feited; and, at the same time, to lead us themselves by a view of its conback to the very paths of righteousness tents, which we believe will justify which we have forsaken. Every thing our honest recommendation of it to short of this mast be regarded as inap- general attention, as being no less plicable, or inadequate to our need; adapted to the instruction of the and, therefore, not as the language of public at large than to that of the true Christianity. To the guilty it were inapplicable to propound a law, by obe. persons originally addressed. dience to which they should procare
The plan on wbich Mr. Hoare their own justification before God; and has proceeded differs from that of to the depraved, it were also inadequate many of his predecessors in the CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 244.
same department of theology. His pronounces apon “a world lying object is not so much to describe in wickedness." In these and the basis, commencement, and other varieties however, in the growth of the Christian character, mode of appeal, which may be as to exhibit that character in its found among the advocates of the maturity; built indeed on the foun- same holy cause, we cannot but dation of the Apostles and prophets, trace the goodness of God, who Jesus Christ himself being the chief would have his religion, in this recorner-stone, and deriving thence spect, accommodate itself to the all its stability and support, but almost infinitely varying cases and called forth into the actual opera- characters of men. In tbis light, tions of private, social, and civil indeed, we have been disposed to life. Mr. Walker, of Truro, when view the variety of representations advocating the same cause in bis which our Lord gives of his king“ Christian,” published in the year dom. In these especially, and in 1755, following the more common the whole volume of Inspiration, plan, traced the character of the there is argument for the reasoning true believer, from what may be mind; persuasion for the docile; termed its first beginnings, through illustrations to arrest the imaginathe successive stages of conviction tion; and, for those who bave a of sin and danger, up to faith in taste for the beautiful, such a picChrist, and reconciliation with God; ture of perfect virtue as could not and thence to the renovation of bis fail, if ihe heart of man were not corrupt nature by the Holy Spirit, de based in its perceptions by sin, to and his advance in every Christian delight and instruct them. Here, and virtuous attainment, Dod- in short, in greater or less degrees, dridge, in bis Rise and Progress are reproof, correction, and estaof Religion in the Soul, and many blishment in righteousness, that the other authors have followed a some- man of God may be perfect; and what similar plan.
that all may be left without excuse Now each of these two methods in their neglect or rejection of has its respective conveniences and Divine truth. defects. If to begin with the state- Mr. Hoare's volume consists of ment of our lost condition by nature, eight sermons on the Christian Chaand to conduct the sinner through racter; and six occasional sermons the regular stages of conviction on some of the principal seasons to and conversion, carry with it to which the church, with each revolvthe mind something more directly ing year, directs the attention of her awakening and awful; it yet labours members. As the chief object of under the disadvantage of seeming the work is the exhibition of the to prescribe to all men, notwith- Christian character, we shall attach standing the variety in their cir- ourselves principally to the dis, cumstances and dispositions, the courses upon that subject. The same train of thought and feeling topics of this series are as follow : in their return to God. On the Sermon I. The Christian Name. other hand, if the picture of the II. The Christian in bis Closet.Christian character, in its pre-emi- III. The Christian in his family.-nent features, and with its aitendant IV. The Christian in his Church.graces, be less arbitrary and syste- V. VI. & VII. The Christian in the matic in itself, and less revolting to World.–VIII. The Christian in the worldly mind; if its appeal be Death. less to our fears, and more to the The first discourse has evidently imitative part of our nature, it must exercised the Author's ingenuity. be allowed that it is also less for. He states bypothetically, the three cible in its remonstrances, and less different ways by which Christians decisive in the sentence which it may have received the name they