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much enhanced by its being the production of one of our younger clergy, to .whom the rising generation have to look for guidance and instruction in their spiritual life. The topics discussed are solemn and important beyond all others, and have been handled by the author in a very careful and reverent spirit. Many of his suggestions merit serious consideration; and although we might possibly demur to some of the views which he propounds, and to some of the conclusions at which he arrives, it could hardly be otherwise when such deep things of God form the subject of inquiry. His sentiments are generally remarkable for sobriety and orthodoxy, and contrast most favourably with the crude and fanciful speculations which are afloat, wherein men's crotchets are substituted for God's revelations. The circumstances attending the day of judgment, and the results flowing from it, are dwelt upon; eternity of punishment is upheld, and vindicated from many objections which have been urged against it as inconsistent with the mercy and justice of God. The author's views upon this awful subject are distinctly expressed in the following summary of his argument, which we extract from his concluding remarks. After offering suggestions as to the fate "of those vast masses of human beings for whom Christ died, but who have passed away without the knowledge of God's redeeming love," and stating the blessings which will accrue to those "amongst whom the good tidings of the love of God have been proclaimed and believed," he proceeds to say:—
"Those on the contrary who defiantly reject or who passively neglect the glad tidings of salvation through Christ, or who profess to accept it but bring forth no fruits answerable to their profession, aggravate their last condition to an infinite degree. They judge themselves unworthy of everlasting life; they put aside the loving hand that offers them free pardon; they trample underfoot the manifest testimony of God's mercy and pity; and they practically make God a liar. They are like fruitless trees—twice dead: to whom it shall be said, 'Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth for ever.' Their penalty for unbelief will be assigned to them at the last day. It will not be extinction, but the second death; not annihilation, but ruin and utter degradation; not remedial chastisement, but endless woe. It was an easy task for God to create man, but it cost much to redeem and to restore him. And if the fruits of man's fall have been so long and so bitter, who can feel astonished at the discovery that those who will not be restored have positively no hope—not even the hope of annihilation—held out to thom in the world to come? The wrath of God abideth on them." (p. 282.)
If, unfortunately, any of our readers have been unsettled upon such subjects by erroneous teaching, or they would wish to furnish friends whose minds have been so unsettled with some useful treatise, we can safely recommend Mr. Girdlestone's book to their attention.
From Athens to Borne. By the Rev. W. R. Fremantle. Nisbet. 1869.—It is a oommon enough complaint, both among the clergy and those to whom they minister, that it is a difficult matter to present old truths in a fresh and attractive form. We fear that many are in consequence tempted to deliver some message of their own, which their Master has not entrusted them with, hoping thereby to win attention, becanse they think Christians in the nineteenth century crave to hear some new thing. If, however, they would, as Mr. Fremantle has done in the unpretending little volume before us, manifest that they are always watchful and about their Master's business, even in holiday times and seasons of enforced rest, they might gather, as he has, materials for thought and freshness of illustration which would render most palatable the great and saving truths which are, and must be, old as the perpetual hills. We can well imagine that the congregation of East Claydon were as pleased to hear from the pulpit the account of their pastor's rambles in scenes famous in Bible story, as they were to welcome him back among them.
The Preaching of the Gross. Sermons by the Rev. John Richardson, M.A. London: W. Sunt. 1869.—God's ministers have gifts differing according to the grace which He sees fit to bestow upon them. It is plainly the especial vocation of some to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints;" it would seem to be the peculiar province of others to "lead forth their flocks by the still waters," and in the good pasture of the Word of God. This last is more peculiarly the inclination of Mr. Richardson's mind, so far as we can judge him by these sermons. Not that he fails to warn faithfully and wisely against the prevailing errors of the day, as for instance in his Sermon on Phil. iii. 3, and on Luke xxiv. 27. Still the prevailing characteristic of the volume is what we have indicated, and we can commend his meditations as both pleasant and profitable to those who delight in dwelling upon "the word, and truth, and person, and consolations of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Bleek's Introduction to the Old Testament. Translated by O. H. Venables, Esq.; Edited by the Rev. Edmund Venables, M.A., Src. London: Bell and Daldy. 1869.—In his preface, the Editor of this work informs us that Bleek's orthodoxy is unquestionable—from a German point of view. He further tells ns that the orthodoxy of a German writer is not to be estimated by an English standard. We feel, therefore, somewhat at a loss how to review this book. Wo do not want to judge harshly a distinguished German scholar who has bestowed a great deal of pains in collecting a mass of information about the Bible, and who certainly abstains from writing about it in a flippant and irreverent spirit. The two volumes, especially in the Preliminary Remarks, and in the concluding portions about the History of the Canon of the Old Testament and Text of the Canon, contain a great deal of useful information presented in a very intelligible form. If, moreover, any one wishes to make himself acquainted with the distempered dreams, anjrorum somnia, which German speculation indulges in as to what is, and what is supposed not to be, the Word of God, he has a conspectns furnished to him of the theories of such men as Sender, De Wette, Ewald, Bunsen, which may save much unprofitable research, and give a sufficient idea of the conflicting fancies now so much in vogue. Bleek himself has his own fair share of these crotchets about the origin of the Pentateuch, about the Prophecies of Isaiah and Daniel, and contributes his further solution of such topics to the "twenty different modes, each put forth by their authors, with equal confidence in their own theory and contempt for those of others." The spectacle of the Bible surrounded by a body of German critics, never fails to remind us of Rembrandt's wonderful picture in the Hague, of the Dutch Professor with his pupils dissecting a dead body; or perhaps a more appropriate comparison would be Samson called in to make sport for the choice nobility and flower of Philistia. Among this crowd of anatomists, Bleek is not the most unfeeling; among these flouting mockers, he betrays marked symptoms of sympathy and reverence. What, however, the value of a Bible can be to a German or any one else, after it has undergone a process of disintegration similar to that attempted by the well-meaning critic before us, passes our understanding.
The Irish Church Bill has passed through Committee with no material alteration. The remonstrances of opponents and entreaties of friends have been alike disregarded, and Ministers have been supported throughout by majorities varying from 90 to 120. Even the Maynooth endowment—for such in fact it is— has been carried, notwithstanding the pledges given last year both by Mr. Gladstone and many of his supporters; and before these pages are in the hands of our readers, the Bill, in nearly its original shape, will probably have been read a third time. It remains to be seen what will be the course pursued by the House of Lords. That a large majority of that House are as much opposed to the principle of the measure as they were last year, there can be little doubt; but it seems not improbable that, yielding to the declared sense of the people, they may hesitate to reject a Bill supported as this has been, and may content themselves with removing some of the more glaring wrongs embodied in its provisions.
We learn from occasional notices that the members of the Ritual Commission still continue to meet. Of the probable result of their deliberations the public know nothing. One thing is painfully clear, and that is, that while they have been deliberating, the evil they were appointed to remedy has increased tenfold. Moderate men are beginning to think with Lord Shaftesbury, that the time for action, with or without the recommendation of the Commission, has arrived.
America.—Our attention has again, during the past month, been directed to the state of our relations with the United States of America. We were prepared for the rejection by the American Senate of a treaty negotiated by an unpopular Minister, and recommended by a still more unpopular and almost defunct President. But we were not prepared for the tone in which its rejection was proclaimed by one who, from his position, might be supposed to speak with some degree of authority. Happily, all parties in this country are agreed as to the course to be pursued. It is felt by all, that, in proposing to leave all matters in dispute to the arbitrament of an impartial tribunal, and undertaking to abide by its decision, we have done all that can be expected of a Christian people. If this proposal is to be met by the demand of an apology for conduct which we believe to have been just and right, and the advancement of fresh claims amounting to hundreds of millions, we can only meet such demands by a calm refusal, in the hope that the time may soon arrive when reason and justice may prevail, and America may cease to ask for such terms as were never yet proposed to any but a conquered and humbled people.
Spain.—The Spanish Cortes have determined by a majority of 214 to 71 in favour of a monarchical form of government; but they have not yet succeeded in finding a king. The Duke de Montpensier is the only man who has been named who appears to be willing to accept the Sovereignty. The objections to him seem to be, first, that he is not a Spaniard; and secondly, that he is a Bourbon. If the Spanish people really desire a monarchy, it is not improbable, in the dearth of candidates, that these objections, formidable as they are, will be disregarded, and that the least creditable portion of Guizot's foreign policy will eventually prove successful. The debates on the subject of Religion have been exceedingly interesting. Some noble speeches have been made in defence of religious freedom, though we regret to add that some of its advocates have disgraced their cause by avowals such as have not been heard in any public assembly since the days of the first French Revolution. The following articles form part of the new Constitution:—
"20. The nation undertakes to maintain the Roman Catholic religion, and to support its clergy."
"21. The public or the private exercise of any other form of worship is guaranteed to all foreigners resident in Spain, without other restrictions than the universal rules of morality and right. If any Spaniard profess any other religion than the Catholic, the privileges and provisions in the foregoing paragraph are applicable to them."
The first of these articles was carried by a majority of 178 to 75, and the second by 164 to 40. The majority in the latter case would have been much larger, if it had not been that above 70 Deputies, who approved of the principle, objected to the wording, and, consequently, abstained from voting. When it is remembered that these will now form part of the Constitution of the country of the Inquisition, it will be seen what a mighty change has passed over the spirit of its people ; "and it will be no matter for surprise that some, while throwing off the terrible superstition which has so long blinded and enslaved them, have failed to catch that purer light which alone could have preserved them from the darkness of infidelity. An able correspondent of the leading journal has pointed out that the principle of religious liberty in Spain is not the sudden offspring of revolutionary zeal, but that it had been gradually formed and strengthened by successive struggles for many years past. Its progress is marked by the abolition of criminal penalties for heresy in 1841, by the abolition of political disabilities attached to heresy in 1854, by the suppression of monasteries, and by the extinction of the Inquisition.
New Zealand.—Afflicting news has been received during the last month from New Zealand, that European settlements have been treacherously attacked, and European men, women, and children massacred in cold blood. One of these Europeans was a Wesleyan missionary, who had spent thirty years in the country, and was generally respected and loved by bis own people. Still these lamentable outbreaks do not materially alter the general view we took in our last number, of the hope of a gradual restoration of peace between the races. They only show how bitter is the enmity of a few warlike tribes at the confiscation of their lands; and how incautiously that measure of confiscation was carried into effect, under the political circumstances of the country, and upon the eve of the removal of the British army.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
We have received from the Rev. W. Roberts a strong remonstrance against a brief notice of bis history of Balaam, which appeared in our March Number. Mr. Roberts objects to being classed among the " Broad Church," and contends that his views regarding eternal punishment have been misunderstood by our Reviewer. He adds,—" In point of faot, I always have held, and still do hold, to what is called the 'orthodox' doctrine on this subject. I hold to it, because I submit to Scriptural authority in this matter of doctrine, and because I can see no escape from it on Scriptural grounds." We feel it to be an act of justice to insert this distinct disclaimer of the views imputed by our Reviewer to Mr. Roberts, and rogret the error into which he has fallen in his cursory notice of Mr. Roberts' book.