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JAMES'S CHRISTIAN FATHER'S PRESENT.
transient devotions.-On decision of character in matters of religion.-On the pleasures of a religious life.-On the advantages of early piety. On the influence of religion upon the temporal interests of its possessor.-On the choice of companions.—On books.-On amuse ments and recreations.-On theatrical amusements. On the period which elapses between the time of leaving school, and the age of manhood. On public spirit.-On female accomplishments, virtues, and pursuits.—On prudence, modesty, and courtesy.-On redeeming time. On the obligation to enter into fellowship with a Christian church. On the choice of a companion for life. On keeping in view the great end of life.-On the meeting of a pious family in heaven.
Our readers will easily conceive that these subjects, present to a man like Mr. James a fine opportunity of saying many things of first rate importance; and we assure them the opportunity has not been misimproved. Speaking of the consolations imparted by religion, he
departing friend, the dreadful post of observation darker every hour,' what but religion can sustain the mind, and calm the tumult of the soul? what, but this, can
enable us to bear with even tolerable com
"In the hour of misfortune, when a man, once in happy circumstances, sits down amidst the wreck of all his comforts, and sees nothing but the fragments of his fortune for his wife and family, what, in this storm of affliction, is to cheer him but religion; and this can do it, and enable him to say, although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flocks shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation,' What but religion can comfort the poor labourer in that gloomy season, when times are bad, and work is scarce, and he hardly knows where to procure his next meal? What can comfort the suffering female in that long and dreadful season, when, wasting away in a deep decline, she lies, night after night, consumed by fever, and day after day convulsed with coughing? Tell me, what can send a ray of comfort to her dark scene of woe, or a drop of consolation to her parched and thirsty lips, but religion? And when the agonized parent, with a heart half broken by the conduct of a prodigal son, exclaims, 'Oh! who can tell how sharper than a serpent's tooth it is, to have a thankless child!' What, in that season of torture, can pour a drop of balm into the wounded spirit but religion? And when we occupy the bedside of a
posure the pang of separation? And we too must die: and here is the excellence of piety; it follows us, where no other friend can follow us, down into the dark valley of the shadow of death; stands by us when the last hand has quitted its grasp, reserves its mightiest energies for that most awful conflict, presents to the eye of faith the visions of glory rising up beyond the sepulchre, and angels advancing to receive us from the hand of earthly friends to bear us to the presence of a smiling God."
Urging the importance of an attention to religion, from the influence it has on the temporal interests of its possessor, and shewing how it elevates and purifies the mind; after a reference to its effects on the Negroes of the West Indies, the Hottentots of South Africa, the Esquimaux of Labrador, the fur clad Greenlanders of the arctic regions, and the voluptuous cannibals of the South Sea Islands, he thus proceeds—
while our own furnishes illustrations so "But why do I go to distant countries, numerous and so striking? How many persons are there, who were educated in our Sunday Schools, and who are now filling stations of importance, credit, and usefulness, who, but for religion, would never have risen in the scale of society, or ascended above the lowest level of poverty. Education, it is true, gave the first impulse to their minds; but it was an impulse which would have soon spent its force, had it not been continued and increased by religion. It was this that gave the sober, serious, and reflective turn of mind which has led to such mental improvement; and they who, but for the power of godliness, would have been still earning their bread at the plough or the anvil, are filling the place of tradesmen or clerks; raised to the distinction of preaching with ability and success the truths of salvation."
So true it is, that "godliness hath the promise of this life, as well as that which is to come." But we cannot afford room to quote all the passages we had marked for that purpose, and must therefore only introduce two or three short ones, on subjects of the utmost moment. On the subject of the effect produced by associating with improper persons, our author has this just and pointed language, which we earnestly entreat our young readers to consider with attention.
"In the large and populous town where Providence has fixed my lot, I have had an extensive sphere of observation; and I give it as my decided conviction and deliberate opinion, that improper associates are the most successful means which are employed by Satan for the ruin of men's souls."
On the character of Novels, and the effect they are calculated to produce, he has the following strong, but appropriate
"As to that class of books denominated Novels, I join with every moral and religious writer in condemning, as the vilest trash, the greater part of the productions, which, under this name, have carried a turbid stream of vice over the morals of mankind. They corrupt the taste, pollute the heart, debase the mind, immoralize the conduct. They throw prostrate the understanding, sensualize the affections, enervate the will, and bring all the high faculties of the soul into subjection to an imagination, which they have first made wild, insane, and uncontrolable. They furnish no ideas, and generate a morbid, sickly sentimentalism, instead of a just and lovely sensibility. A wise man should despise them, and a good man should abhor them. Of late years they have, it is true, undergone a considerable reformation. The present EXTRAORDINARY FAVOURITE of the literary world, has indeed displaced, and sent into oblivion, a thousand miserable scribblers of love stories, who still however fling back at him, as they retire, the ancient taunt, Art thou too become as one of us?' His works discover prodigious talent, astonishing information, and a power of delineating character truly wonderful. But what is their merit beyond a power to amuse? Whoever wrote so much for so little real usefulness? They are still, in part, works of fiction; and in measure, exert the same unfriendly influence on the public mind and taste, as other works of fiction do." The Theatre is severely reprobated, and shewn, by the most unanswerable arguments, to be opposed to the religion of the Bible, and extremely dangerous to the merals of youth. We had marked one or two passages in the chapter on this subject for extract, but we must forbear. The chapter on female accomplishments in the second volume, we consider as one of the very best in the work, but we must not trust ourselves to quote from it, but earnestly recommend it to our female friends, to whom we will just say, what Mr. James advises them
"Make up your mind deliberately to this opinion, and abide by it, that what is
But other works claim our regard, and we must, for the present, take our farewell of Mr. James; which we do with expressions of sincere esteem, for the addition he has made to our stock of juvenile publications. But before we part, we must beg of Mr. James, when his work goes to a second edition, to correct the name of the respectable Theological Tutor of the Wymondley Academy, and author of "Studies in History." His name is Thomas Morell, not S. Morrell. We had rather also, that when speaking of the third person in the Trinity, Mr. J. would call him the Holy Spirit, instead of Holy Ghost. This last is an old Saxon word, and nearly obsolete, except in the silly tales of apparitions. And finally, it would be well if a second edition of the work could be sold at a somewhat less price, as it would make it more extensively known. Surely nine shillings is too much for about four hundred and fifty duodecimo writer we would say nothing about it; If Mr. James was a needy pages! but the God of providence has liberally blest him with the good things of this life, and he requires not the profits arising from his work to obtain an addition to his comforts. We have no reason to charge him with avaricious motives; but believe the fixing so high a price on his work must have been an oversight, which we have no doubt will be soon corrected.
FOX'S ADDRESS AND SERmon.
wrought panegyric, somewhat in the quality of a puff-direct, of the author of this Sermon. He was held up to view as one of the most eloquent preachers in the metropolis-surpassing, as we recollect, even Mr. Irving himself! Having never been privileged with an opportunity of knowing this prodigy ex cathedrá, our curiosity was not a little excited; and hearing that a fine new chapel had lately been erected for the display of his oratorical talents, near Finsbury Square, we had almost determined on visiting it, when the sermon now before us attracted our notice in a bookseller's window. We, therefore, availed our selves of the treasure, and hastened home, expecting a high gratification from its perusal.
On opening its pages our attention was first arrested by "An Address," delivered by the preacher on laying the foundation stone of this Unitarian Chapel. At the head of this Address stands, as a motto, the following text of Scripture:-"There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
Commenting on these words, Mr. W. J. Fox informs us, that "this is the genuine apostles' creed," in the faith of which they were about to erect "a Christian temple for the worship of the 'Universal Parent." He then adverts to a few texts of Scripture which assert the unity of the Godhead, and passes on to explain to us the mediation of Christ, of which his text speaks. "He ransomed us," says he, "by his exertions, sufferings, and resurrection, from the bondage of doubt, idolatry, and vice. And thus he ransomed all for his religion, the truth of nature, confirmed, illustrated, and extended by Revelation, is pursuing its predicted course to universal empire here, and Scripture testifies, that ultimately the whole creation shall be made free with the glorious liberty of the sons of God."
cause of idolatry was demonstrably upon the increase! But not to interrupt the eloquent preacher, let us notice how he proceeds:
Now, were we of Mr. Fox's creedwere we of the number of those, who account it downright idolatry to worship Jesus Christ as God, we should really be very much perplexed to make out the grounds of this boasting of the triumphs of what they call the cause of truth; we should be obliged by all that we read, and see, and hear, to come to a very different conclusion, and to say that the
"May the building which we raise, be as a fortress for the defence of these simple, holy, and animating truths! Here, in their behalf, may we buckle on the whole armour of God, and go forth to the righteous conflict which we have to sustain! For ours is a state of warfare-of warfare with the corruption that makes religion the drudge of worldly policy; with the spiritual tyranny that demands the prostration of bind the freemen of Christ in the fetters of the understanding at his feet, and would human creeds; with the scepticism that would quench the torch that alone can light us through the shades of death; with the prejudice that doubts whether any good thing can come out of the Nazareth of Unitarianism; with the credulity that, for the simple faith and worship of the Gospel, receives a system at which reason stands aghast, and faith herself is
half confounded; with the bigotry that, reversing the miracle proposed to Christ, transforms the bread of life itself into brother who offends by diversity of opinion; stones, wherewith to wound or slay the and with the superstition which makes faith or ceremony, instead of holiness, the passport to future blessedness. With these we wage an everlasting conflict, and the prize of our victory is the emancipation of the human race."
May the holy train of Christian graces, -Sympathy wiping away the tears of grief, Patience bowing meekly to the will of Heaven, Devotion holding high communion with the Omnipresent, Gratitude faithfully and deeply tracing the record of bounties, Resignation looking from the grave with tearful eye to heaven, Integrity moving along her narrow path with fixed eye and undeviating step, and Charity with glowing heart and liberal hand,hither repair, and here make their permanent abode!
this is VAPOUR; the principles to which he refers are so far from advancing, that they are every day becoming more and more unpopular; and as a proof of it, we may mention that the societies in the metropolis, in which these principles are held forth, are exceedingly upon the decline. Curiosity led us a few months ago to step into one of these places of worship, on the afternoon of the Lord's day-the preacher was an old acquaintance of ours, a man of real talent, and his Sermon so far as regards language and delivery, was of the very highest order-but the congregation consisted of only twenty persons, men, women, and children, several of whom went out when the preacher got into the marrow of his discourse—the doctrine of universal restitution. On mentioning this anecdote to some friends, they assured us that they had frequently witnessed congregations of this same class, which did not exceed half the number! How ridiculous, then, is the vaunting of Mr. Fox!
The Sermon, which follows the Address, has for its motto, Rom. viii. 9:
Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." In discussing his subject, the preacher's object is to show the affinity, or rather identity of primitive Christianity and modern Unitarianism. To us, however, the point does not appear to be very clearly made out; and indeed the whole Sermon, even upon the principles of Unitarianism itself, is a poor affair. We shall lay before our readers one quotation, from what is called the peroration, or summing up of the whole discourse. It is absolutely a curiosity; and when our readers look at the length of the sentence, beginning, "And were it needful," &c. they surely cannot wonder that the preacher should have run himself out of breath, and closed abruptly.
Then follows a fine apostrophe to the "Hearers of Winchester, who yet survive, and in whose hearts and eyes the animation of youth rekindles, when you remember how the apostle of benevolence came, proclaiming "God is love," and tracing that principle, with glowing eloquence, to its glorious results (the universal salvation of men and devils!!) Hearers of Vidler, to whom his clear and nervous reasoning first demonstrated the kindred truth that God is one, and who will long mournfully cherish the remembrance of his vigorous mind: you have seen, in the indication which this event affords of the progress to maturity
"We are strong in the plain and literal declarations of the New Testament; but we are yet stronger in the sameness of the general impression made by Christianity and Unitarianism as to the moral qualities with which these declarations are asso
of the society whose infancy they che-ciated in the teacher's mind, and which rished; and in the evidence which every they are designed to produce in the convert. The machinery is the same; the day affords of the wide diffusion of their object the same: our system has the spirit principles and ours, a sight which would of Christ, and is his, and Christianity is have gladdened them, and in the enjoy- Unitarianism. And were it needful to ment of which we are entering into illustrate this practically, not hard would their labours." be the task; for men who have had an abiding and universal sense of the Divine
Now we must tell Mr. Fox, that all
DR. LEE'S REMARKS ON DR. HENDERSON'S APPEAL.
presence, who have shewn that God was in all their thoughts, and who seem to have made the very state of consciousness an act of adoration: men who with filial confidence could cast themselves on his protection, and obey the call of duty, though summoning to the bitterest sacrifices of fortune or of feeling, renouncing every prospect for the testimony of a good conscience, and in reliance on his providence: men who have developed the powers and asserted the rights of intellect, and won from Philosophy her proudest trophies to cast them at the foot of the Cross; and whose exalted talents and unshaken faith were an exhibition of the native affinity of Reason and Revelation: men who have raised the standard of religious freedom, and fought its battles, and suffered in its cause, and prompted its manly and generous assertion, not only for those who were like-minded with themselves, but on behalf of all, even though holding opinions the most remote, and mad with a bigoted hostility the most inveterate: men who, deeply impressed with the practical importance of their own tenets, could yet most readily allow, and praise, and love goodness in others, whatever they believed, or whatever they rejected: men, whose pure lives shewed, that even if the head were wrong, the heart was right, and that, if doing Christ's will be building on a rock, they need not dread the storm, come when it may men who loved their neighbour as themselves, and felt the zeal of benevolence in all its energy, and were in doing good unwearied, and grappled man to their hearts with the affection of a brother: men who through life's changes, and in death's struggles, had hopes fixed on high, ever firm and glorious, drawing their souls to heaven to join the kindred society of the just made perfect, and enjoy the full triumphs of that cause for which they combatted, in the subjection of all enemies at the Saviour's footstool: men such as these has no system done more honour to Christianity than Unitarianism by producing in comparative abundance." With witnesses many their cause did abound; With some that were hang'd, and some that were drown'd,
Ard some that were lost, and some never found!
Remarks on Dr. Henderson's Appeal to
reason to believe that Dr. Henderson
In the brief notice which Professor Lee has condescended to take of our review he has managed to introduce insinuations of no light nature. He suspects our regard for truth; our integrity; we have used unhallowed means too in support of truth; we have done evil that good may come; we have made a stand for truth which the title of our Magazine does not call for; and all these evils we have committed under the imposing title of Evangelical! Our readers will naturally inquire on what these charges are founded; and they shall be immediately informed. In our review we have said in reference