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REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Sermons and Plans of Sermons. any discourse, or even any detached
By the Rev. Joseph Benson. passage, which would point out the Parts I. and II.
body of Christians among whom
Mr. Benson officiated. That he did Mr. Simeon's “Skeletons" and not adopt the creed usually styled “ Horæ Homiletica" well Calvinistic, may be regarded as a known, and if other evidence of recommendation or a reproach, actheir utility were wanting, it would cording to the taste of the reader ; be a strong testimony in favour of but, in rejecting the peculiarities of that species of publication, that sc- Calvin, he did only what is done by 'veral volumes of a similar class have many members of the Church of recently issued, or are now issuing, England; and we are not aware from the press. The subjects dis- that he dogmatizes on these points, cussed by the various authors of or presses his Arminian views in a these works must in many instances way that can justly be offensive to be the same ; but; as every man has the moderate disciples of Geneva. his own particular mode of thinking, “ The subjects treated in these serand his own way of illustrating, it mons," as his editor has observed, does not follow that, even in these “are never points of curious specases, the publications are super- culation, but the essential parts of fluous; each may be expected to religion ;' and the manner in which furnish some useful contribution to they are treated always shews that the common stock, and from each the author's aim was not to amuse, the
young minister will probably or obtain the admiration of his obtain such instruction as will repay hearers, but to lead them to the the trouble of perusal.
knowledge of the truth, that they The writer of these “ Plans of inight be made free' by it, and be Sermons” was a man of consider- established in the faith and hope of able powers of mind, and of great of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus eminence among the class of Chris- Christ.” tians to which he belonged. We As a specimen, we select a part have heard him designated as “the of the discourse “On Fasting.” last of the Methodists." He was a “ The ends proposed by our Governpersonal friend of the chief founders ment in the appointment of this day, as a of Methodism, and, we believe, sur- general fast, are great and important ; vived them all. His name is held in and, probably, there are none present on high reverence through the whole of this occasion who are disposed to question that extensive connexion ; and it the wisdom and propriety of such an apwill detract nothing from his cha- pointment, for the attainment of such racter, in the estimation of judicious ment is not supported by Scripture, in
ends; or who suppose that our Governand moderate men, to whatever enjoining the use of these means of avertparty they belong, that he is under- ing calamities and obtaining blessings. stood to have retained to the last You are too well acquainted with the that cordial regard for the Church oracles of God, to entertain such a sentiof England which was so long ment. Nevertheless, you will generally deemed the boast of the followers agree with me, that the bare using these of Mr. Wesley.
means, the bare observing, or prosessing We find, however, in this work humiliation, will not answer these ends,
to observe, a day, as a day of fasting and very little that is peculiar to the
or be of any real use, unless it be regarded, Methodists. If we except the ser
as the proclamation directs, in a devout mon “ On covenanting with God” and solemn,' and, I may add, consistent we should be at a loss to mention manner. Without this, by the obsery
ance of the day, we only add to the already more, than to weep, to lament, to mourn, too heavy load of national guilt that lies and both with words and behaviour of upon us, and bring a curse upon ourselves body, to show themselves weary of this and our country, instead of a blessing. life *.' Lest this should be the case with any of By means of abstinence, godly sor-' us-reflect we on the comprehensive di- row and hatred to sin may be increased rection here given hy our Lord.
· When as well as manifested. For, as furcss of ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of 'a sad bread, and indulging our appetites, tend countenance': for they disfigure their to produce levity and thoughtlessness of faces, that they may appear unto men to mind, carelessness and stupidity of spirit, fast. Verily I say unto you, they have so fasting and denial of the appetite tend their reward.'” p. 319.
to produce reflection, 'scriousness, conAfter some additional observa- eern about salvation, and a deep sense of
the certainty and importance of spiritual tions, he proceeds, I. to consider the nature, design, and importance of and eternal things. fasting ;-11. to shew how the hy. may use one, although a small instance of
“A second end of fasting is that we pocrites fast ;-and, III. to point self-denial, and a means of mortification. out bow the true people of God, Perhaps we have abused these lawful and who worship him in spirit and in needful things, meat and drink, those good truth, observe this duty. The ex- gifts of God. It is then reasonable and tract which follows is from the first proper we should herein deny ourselves, of these divisions
and, with David, 'chasten our souls with “ But what is the design of fusting? fasting;' (Psal. lxix. 10;) taking teWhat end should we have in view therein ? venge,' as St. Paul speaks, upon our-One end of fasting is to manifest and selves. (2 Cor. vii. 11.)-Fulness of bread
increases not only levity, carelessness, and promote inward sorrow for sin ; (Isai. İyiii, 5;) hatred to it, and immediate pur- stupidity, but also foolish and unholy pose to forsake it. Indeed, distress of desires, yea, únclean and vile affections. soul on account of sín, or its punishment, By fasting, we withdraw fuel from our or on any other account, will naturally lusts, and mortify our appetites and pas
sions. lead us to abstain from food. In such a condition of soul, people will have little
"A third important end of fasting is, regard even for their sustenance, much that it may be a help to prayer and other less for any delicacy or necessary variety holy duties. This it especially is when of food. An
instance of this we have in during our fast we set apart large portions Saul, who, in his distress because of of time for prayer, reading, and meditation, Samuel, "had eaten no bread all the day, both in private and public. When the
stomach is empty, 'the understanding is nor all the night;' (1 Sam. xxviii. 15– 20); in those in the ship with Paul;
most clear, the passions most calm and (Acts xxvii . 33); in Paul himself
, while peaceful, and the mind and heart best prehe continued without sight at Damascus;
pared for holy thoughts, desires, hopes, (Acts ix. 9); and in David, when he joys, for prayer and praise, and every part mourned the death of Saul and Jonathan.
of worship; then we discern most clearly,
and feel most deeply, spiritual and eternal (2 Sam. i. 12). « • When good men feel in themselves
things, and are most sensible of, and
affected with, the nature and importance the heavy burden of sin, see damnation to be the reward of it, and behold with the
of our duty in all respects.
" These things sufficiently manifest eye of their mind the horror of hell, they
the reasonableness and importance of tremble, they quake, and are inwardly touched with sorrowfulness of heart for fasting. It is bighly reasonable we should
from time to time thus express our sorrow their offences, and cannot but accuse themselves,
and open this their grief unto for sin, and use this means to have it Almighty God, and call unto him for increased ; that we should thus deny ourmercy. This being done seriously, their selves, and endeavour to mortify our
lusts and passions; that we should use mind is so occupied, partly with sorrow and heaviness, partly with an earnest
this help to prayer and devotion. . This desire to be delivered from this danger of will more fully appear, if we consider how damnation, that all desire of meat and God has been wont to own and bless this drink is laid apart, and loathsomeness of means-To the averting of his anger, as all worldly things, and pleasure, cometh in place; so that nothing then liketh them
do * First Part of the Homily of Fasting.',
4 C 2
evinced by judgments and calamițies, from here either altogether a blank, or individuals, as in the case of Ababe are comprived in a few generalhints : Kings, xxi. 27-29);l from, citiest, as iin but as the Plans are presented to us that of Nineveh ; (Jonah iii 410); from in this work, they seem occasionally a eople, as in the case of the Jews, in to give the idea of a writer in haste consequence of Jehoshaphat's proclama
Chron. xx. 1-30); and to concluđe ; of one who began with of Daniel's fasting and praying (ch. ix. a large view of the subjeot to be 3ault:). To the obtaining blessings for discussed, and with the intention to individuals, as in the case of Esther'; follow it out to its full extent, but (ch, iy. -16); _ Cornelius ; (Acts x. 30); who became wearied with the task Paul and Barnabas ; (Aets xii 3; xiy, of writing, and has therefore left
. 23); for a people, as for the children of the reader to supply the application Israel
. (Judges xx, 26; 1 Sam. vii, 6; ör to deduce the practical lessons to Ezra yiii. 21, 23; Neh. i. 4-11). It was expressly enjoined by God for these ends;
which the subject would naturally to avert calamities and obtain blessings, lead him.". In that respecty these even for whole nations ; (Joel ii. 12, 14); outlines are by no means so comand spiritual as well as temporal blessings plete as those by Mr. Simeon ; and are thus obtained. (Joel ji. 28).": "pp had the author himself prepared 351 353.
them for the press, he would proThe number of sermons and bably have made them, joth in this plans of sermons in the two Parts and some other respects, less open alveady published, is seventy-eight: to objection. They are, however, and the subjects of them are taken highly creditable to the piety and in order from the book of Genesis talents of the writer; and while they to St. Matthew. In the brief notice serve as a valuable aid to the which we can take of them, it young minister of the Gospel, are would be impossible to do more suited generally to instruct and to than to offer two or three general improve, to inform the understandremarks.
ing and to affect the heart. It is evident that upon many of these discourses the author has employed considerable thought; and they indicate a mind well stored 1. The Missionary Smith.Subwith the knowledge of the Holy stance of the Debate in the House Scriptures, and qualified to illustrate of Commons on Tuesday the 1st and explain the several subjects and Friday thellth of June 1824, which he takes in hand, with per- on a Motion of Henry Brougham, spicuity and effect. He has the
Esq. respecting the Trial and Conhappy art also of engaging the fixed demnation to Death by a Court attention of the reader. His imagi- Martial of the Rev. John Smith, nation is usually on the alert ; his late Missionary at Demerara: manner is lively; and his addresses tvith a Preface, containing some are earnest and impressive. ; new Facts illustrative of the Sub- The faults of these sermons are ject. London: Hatchard. 1824. obvious at first sight: the preface, 8vo. pp. lvi. and 255. Price 5s. or introduction of the subject, is 2. Report of the Committee of the often far too long; the poetical Society for the Mitigation and quotations are too frequent; and the gradual Abolition of Slavery conclusions are sometimes too brief throughout the Britisk Dominions, and abrupt. We have no doubt read at the General Meeting of that this last defect was medied by
the Society, held on the 25th day Mro Benson in the actual delivery of June 1824: together with an of his discourses ; and that his ta Account of the Proceedings rohich dents as a preacher were not seldom took place at that Meeting. Lone employed with their fullu energy in i don : Hatchard. 1824. pp. 112. + luse parts of the sermon which are wPrice 2s. b.
3. Man's Judgment at variance with and oppressed part of the human
God'so a Sermon preached in race, our colonial slaves, to be adSt. George's Church, on February mitted to share the blessings of the 5th, 1824, in Behalf of the Edin, Gospel, and the glorious liberty of - burgh and Leith Seaman's Friend the sons of God. The men who Society. By the Rev. Henry advocated this righteous cause are Grey, M. A. Minister of the eminently entitled to the gratitude · New North Church, Edinburgh, of their country and of mankind. Edinburgh, Oliphant: London, Their struggle was one of the noblest
Hatchard. 1824. pp. 42. “ ever maintained by genius in the 4. The Religious Instruction of the cause of liberty, of justice, and of
Slaves in the West India Colo- national honour;" and their names nies advocated and defended : A will be had in perpetual rememSermon, preached before the Wes- brance by all who value these blessleyan Methodist Missonary So- ings. The speeches, almost all of
ciety, in the New Chapel, City which have been revised by their 1. Road, London, April 28, 1824, authors, and some of which display
By RICHARD Watson, one of remarkable specimens of Parliathe Secretaries of that Institution, mentary eloquence, are prefaced by London : Butterworth. . 1824, the statement of several new facts
which have transpired since the 5. Immediate, not Gradual Aboli debate took place. To these we
tion; or an Inquiry into the shall now briefly advert. shortest, safest, and most effectual 1. Mr. Smith was accused, and Means of getting rid of West-India found guilty by the court martial, of Slavery. London: Hatchard, misprision of treason ; and the pro
1824. 8vo. pp. 24. Price 4d, bability of his guilt in this respect 6. Debate in the House of Com, was the only plea attempted in Parmons on the 16th Day of March, liament in favour of the court that 1824, on the Measures adopted by tried him. The grounds, however, his Majesty's Government for the. on which he was convicted, and conAmelioration of the Slave Popu- demned to die, were not half 80 lation in his Majesty's Dominions strong as were deemed, in the case in the West Indies. London : of other men, not missionaries, to Hatchard. 1824. 8vo. pp. 72. afford no room even for censure. A
magistrate and militia officer, of the We have no intention of enter- name of Spencer, it seems, was ing into a regular review of these accused of having been made dispublications. For the scope and tinctly acquainted with the intendcontents of several of them we
ed rising before it took place, and must refer almost entirely to the of having, in violation of his duty, works themselves. The two articles adopted no step towards its prevenwhich stand at the head of the list tion, nor even made any communiwill, of course, be generally read. cation on the subject to the GoThe first contains a full and authen- vernment. A court of inquiry was tic report of one of the most im- instituted, which acquitted Mr. portant, as well as one of the most Spencer of all blame. “ The revolt powerful and eloquent, debates which was so unexpected, and the inforbas ever taken place in Parliament;- mation so little believed,” (this is a debate embracing, not the case of the language of the General Order an individual sufferer merely, but issued upon it by Governor Murray the administration of law and jus- himself), “ that it was not deemtice to our fellow-subjects in every ed expedient to alarm the colony part of the British empire; and, still by any military movement; and as more, the inalienable right even of it clearly appears that Mr. Spencer, that most helpless and degraded who lived in the centre of the part in which it broke ont, knew no effect, though remarkably clear and cause to believe the rumpar of the specific, was wholly discredited as day, he could not have avoided it respected Mr. Hamilton, who was both ridicule and censure, should no missionary, and who had given it have proved unfounded, if he had this striking proof of his attachment needlessly thrown the district into to slavery, that, when the instrucconfusion and alarm by calling out tions of Lord Bathurst respecting the militia ; and the moment which the disuse of the whip as a stimulus convinced him of the reality of the to labour in the field were promul. evil existing, deprived him of all gated, he, in utter scorn of the repower, beyond a hasty and preca- commendation, armed his drivers rious attempt at concealment of his with a cat-o'-nine-tails, in addiperson. His Excellency, therefore, tion to the cart-whip. Justified considers the charges unfounded and doubtless, by this and by some vexatious, dismisses the same, and other no less unequivocal traits in acquits Mr. Spencer, in every re- his character, from all suspicion of spect, of having been guilty of any a leaning to Methodism, he was neglect of duty."
not only not arraigned for his misThe Governor, we admit, was prision, but appeared as a witness bound in consistency to pass this on Mr. Smith's trial ;. while Mr. sentence of acquittal in the case of Smith, against whom not one tithe Mr. Spencer, because, had he con- was alleged of what was alleged demned Mr. Spencer, he must have against Hamilton, by precisely the equaily condemned himself. He same witnesses, was tried, and sen. himself, he states in his first dispatch tenced to death! Hamilton was dis. to Lord Bathurst, had received in- tinctly declared, by the same witformation - that the slaves were to, nesses who only charged Mr. Smith rise on that or the succeeding day with having overheard some vague throughout the colony; but their conversation of theirs, to have taken measures were laid with such se- part in the counsels of the insurcrecy, that few people, even under gents, and to have known all their the existing susceptibility, were pre- plans--yet he is not even arrested ! pared to believe it.” In short, he The testimony against him, though attached no credit to it. And his infinitely stronger than that against unbelief is the more remarkable, Mr. Smith, was rejected as incredi: as the Rev. Mr. Austin testifies
on ble;-the testimony of the very same oath, in his examination on the trial men against Mr. Smith was reof Mr. Smith, that he had commu- ceived as conclusive -What exnicated to the Governor a variety planation can be given of these of particulars with respect to the transactions (none, indeed, has been discontent and disaffection of the attempted), which does not establish slaves, with the express view that their gross partiality, their radical measures might be taken to obviate injustice, their preconcerted and the danger thence arising ;-and yet predetermined malignity? the Governor wholly disregarded 2. Fresh light, since the debate in these premonitions !
Parliament, has also been thrown With respect to another person, on the law of Demerara, as it afMr. Hamilton, the manager of the fected the case of Mr. Smith; and very estate on which Mr. Smith it now appears, that, even had the lived, it was testified, by the same crime of misprision of treason been slaves on whose evidence Mr. Smith clearly proved against him, it would was condemned to die, that he was not have been a capital offence by cognisant of their whole plan for the Dutch, any more than by the some weeks, and that he had coun- English law; and that, had he been selled and controuled their mea- tried by the civil law of the colony sures. The testimony given to this instead of by a court martial, he