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to be given up. Many would buy the sermon, not because they cared about the second coming of Christ, but because they had seen the Prince, and to catch them with guile,' seemed a union of wisdom and humanity. But Aaron must not obey the people's folly, and if there come out this calf,' he may not expect freedom from censure, though they are plagued because they made the calf which he made.'
The pulpit ought to be the type and the promoter of sound sense, sound sentiment, and sound taste. We know that the cause of Christianity is not dependent on the alliance of these desirable things. God can do, and has done, without them; but, to adopt a thought of Dr. South, if he do not need men's parts and polish, he needs still less their weakness, coarseness, and ‘ill behaviour.' And we have a right to expect, as well as to desire, that the ministrations of the sanctuary shall be in keeping with a healthy intellect, and a real refinement, when conducted by men who profess to have received a thorough edu. cation, and are surrounded by associations that are fain to look down upon this people that know not the law.' Regarded in any light in which a sermon, and especially a sermon of such a man, can be regarded, Mr. M'Neile's production must occasion bitter distress to every well constituted and well disciplined mind.
It is not our intention to dissect its contents. Chiefly occupied with an exposition of the passage from which the text, “Thine eye shall see the King in his beauty,' (Isaiah xxxiii. 17) is selected, it contains some views that appear to us unsound; indeed, we more than question the explanation given of the text itself. But taken as a whole, we feel that such preaching is very far indeed below the standard of thought which is required, and would be appreciated, by the people of this country. What such men as Mr. M'Neile have apparently yet to learn, is, that they should preach up to the people, and not down to them. We are convinced that the estimate formed, not, perhaps, of their attainments, but of their capabilities, is exceedingly defective. It is a mistake, a miserable mistake to suppose that strong and manly sentiment, and powerful reasoning, are out of place in the sanctuary. Anything else will soon effect a divorce between the evangelism of our country and its intellect. The working men, and the educated youth, of these times are in the habit of exercising their understandings every day of the week with matter that must disincline them to put up with the preaching of which this sermon may be taken as a type. And are they to be neglected and lost, and the permanent results which would follow their sanctification by the truth, to be sacrificed, for the sake of pleasing, not profiting, the silly crowds who
idolize the fine voice and figure, and deem religion to be, among other things, a refuge from severe mental toil?
But leaving this, in common with all who have a due reverence for sacred things, and a deep interest in their obtaining the reverence of their fellow-creatures, we must protest against the mode in which Mr. M'Neile seeks to commemorate the occasion referred to in his sermon. It is not the first time that he has done disservice to truth by a want of judgment and of taste that would be unpardonable in one of far meaner pretensions.* There are some men that seem naturally incapable of perceiving what is fitting and appropriate. They cannot discern the line that separates sublimity from nonseuse, the prudent from the pernicious. In adapting truth, as they think, to different occasions and capacities, they sacrifice it. They sink the high to a level with the low, instead of raising the low to a level with the high. Truth, in their keeping, traverses the mean scenes and associations of men, not like a nature of noble powers and impulses, elevating and sanctifying all with which it meets, but like a nature of unworthy tendencies, yielding to the corrupting influences by which it is surrounded. When we listen to the teaching of Jesus Christ, familiar and common as are the events and objects by which he illustrates his high and holy doctrine, we never feel that his doctrine is degraded, but always that it assumes a richer grace. How unlike that wise and elevated teaching, elevated in its very condescension, is the following :
We have just witnessed a stirring scene; and, to all who will take the trouble of reflecting seriously, a very instructive one. A promise was held out to our great town that our eyes should behold the prince; and what were the consequences ? Preparations of every description, eager, animated, costly; scaffoldings and stands erected; balconies strengthened; the ordinary occupations of life suspended ; countless multitudes congregated; trades, professions, associations, with their appropriate emblems; civic authorities, bearing the badges of state ; generals and admirals, exhibiting the insignia of war; consecrated ambassadors of the gospel of peace' (very suitable con-' junction!); 'the bridegroom from his chamber; the bride out of her closet; old men and maidens, young men and children, all on tiptoe, with outstretched necks and eager eyes, to see the prince in his beauty; the prince, the assessor, and, on this occasion, the manir. festor of royalty. It was a scene well calculated to illustrate and impress the great revealed truth, that the kingly office upon earth is at once an ordinance and an image of the authority and majesty of God.
* In the miserably mismanaged Liverpool Unitarian controversy, our complaint of which, arising from our jealous care for orthodoxy, was imputed, in some quarters, to less creditable motives, Mr. M'Neile failed in
• When I saw the universal movement; when I heard on every side the bustle of expectation; when I overheard on the right hand and on the left the bursting apostrophe, •He is coming ! He is here!' I felt deeply what it seems to have been the apostle's great object to impress upon the Christian church with reference to the second coming of Christ. Behold, He cometh, go ye out to meet Him. Every eye shall see Him. What manner of persons ought ye to be, looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God. I thought also of the sweet and precious promises made to his faithful friends, that they shall see and rejoice in his glory and his beauty ; in that day when He shall appear, not to lay the foun. dation stone, (that has been done long since, and once for all,) but to bring forth the crowning topstone of his temple, with shoutings of Grace, grace unto it!"-pp. 1, 2.
There can be no objection to the seizing upon remarkable, any more than upon common, occurrences for the purpose of exemplifying and enforcing spiritual truth. But nothing requires greater care and skill, not only to attain success, but to avoid the opposite result of positive mischief. Two conditions are indispensable to the wise spiritualizing of things secular; there should be some peculiar appropriateness in the things selected for this purpose to the end proposed, and there should be such a management of the process as ought naturally, and in strict propriety, to leave no impression adverse to the truth
these respects. Speaking of the moral differences that appear among men, he said:
This is illustrated by the method of obtaining flowers of different colours on the same stem, which is thus described :
"Split a small twig of the elder bush lengthways, and having scooped out the pith, fill each of the compartments with seeds of different sorts, but which blossom about the same time. Surround them with mould, and then tying together the two bits of wood, plant the whole in a pot filled with earth properly prepared. The stems of the different flowers will thus be so incorporated as to exhibit to the eye only one stem, throwing out branches covered with flowers of various hues, analagous to the seed which produced them!
" Adam was this elder bush. The devil scooped out his pith, the life and power of his original holiness in which he served God; and filled each of the compartments of his nature with evil seeds, of different sorts, which all blossomed at the same time. And thus, as from one compound stem, we may have flowers of divers colours ; so from one compound source, the sin of Adam, we have iniquities of every varying degree of malignity, propagated throughout the whole world. When that plant, of Satan's right hand planting, had taken root : that worse than hemlock, that plant from the bottomless pit, impregnated with poison for eternity: it sprung up, it blossomed, it seeded, and the prince of the power of the air' carried those noxious seeds, and strewed them to the ends of the earth,' etc. etc. (Unitarianism Confuted, pp. 309, 310.) What theology-what philosophywhat accuracy of figure-what delicacy of sentiment-and this in a controversial lecture, and one of a course to be answered by Mr. Martineau, etc !
sought to be conveyed and commended. In both these respects Mr. M'Neile appears to us to have failed. Between Prince Albert's visit to Liverpool, and the second coming of Christ, there was no such resemblance as could save his selected task from the appearance of extreme arbitrariness and awkwardness. We must, with all due respect for royalty, account the prince not worthy to be named as the representative of Jesus Christ; travelling by a railway-train, a miserable setting forth of an advent in the clouds of heaven; the procession and parade of civic and commercial pomp, a mean and meagre image of the glorious appearing of the Great God;' and the laying of a foundation-stone no symbol at all of eternal judgment. It is just to Mr. M`Neile to say, that he does not draw a formal parallel between the two events. He finds no similitudes besides those of a great crowd, and 'the Prince in his beauty,' and because he could find no more, his choice of subject was at fault. The little that he says upon them—the title of the sermon being anything but a fair indication of its matter-is not at all adapted to inspire the feelings with which the future revelation of the Judge of quick and dead ought to be looked for. We do not question the piety of the author's purpose, nor the wisdom of the general principle on which he proceeds, our complaint is of the injudiciousness of his course.
The tone of his remarks is often more in harmony with the fulsome adulation of royalty than the solemn proclamation of the coming of Christ. Whatever may be fitting in a courtier, it does not seem to us that 'a man of God,' and especially when engaged in persuading men by the terrors of the Lord, should be able to employ the terms of laudation in which the prince in his beauty,' 'the prince, the assessor and manifester of royalty,' the 'noble, amiable, and beloved prince,' whose office is at once an ordinance and an image of the authority and majesty of God,' and who, 'touched by the magnificence of what he witnessed at Liverpool, was graciously pleased to say, that the splendid scene should never be erased from his memory,' is referred to in this sermon. If anything can lower the dignity, and weaken the effect, of the Christian ministry, the use of flattering words respecting men in high places must secure that undesirable result.
In the third edition of his sermon, Mr. M'Neile has noticed some of the severe remarks which it has called forth. With his defence we have little or rather no concern. Without jus. tifying his title, it would never enter our minds to accuse or suspect him of 'blasphemy; and, without approving the use of Prince Albert's visit in illustration of the second coming of Christ,' we cannot object to the sanctification of ordinary or extraordinary events to the purposes of religious instruction. We have no doubt that occasion has been taken from this unfortunate publication to indulge a political and religious dislike of our author. Every man who speaks out his whole mind on all kinds of subjects, as he is in the habit of doing, may expect to meet with misrepresentation and calumny. Mr. M'Neile has bad his share of these things. But this only makes it more necessary that he should not give occasion' to those who seek occasion to laugh or frown. Christian ministers may not be able to prevent the hatred of ungodly men, but they are charged not to be despised.
Might we add one word to Mr. M'Neile, we should respectfully advise him to walk in more wisdom toward them that are without,' taking greater heed that his 'good' be not evil spoken of.' Let him keep his mouth with a bridle,' because of the 'wicked.' Let him abstain from the fanciful, the extravagant, and the injudicious, as well as the grosser faults of public ministrations. He can do better things than this, and can do them better. What he has done, ought not, in our sober conviction, to be done at all, and, if it ought, a third or fourth rate local preacher would achieve it with superior ingenuity and effect.
Art. VII.-1. Die Wahlverwandschaften (The Elective Affinities). By
Joh. W. von Goëthe. 2. Wilhelm Meister's Lehrjahre. (Wilh. Meister's Apprenticeship.) 3. Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjahre. (Wilh. Meister's Travelling
Years). Stuttgart and Tübingen. The Germans, next to the Britons, are distinguished as having produced the most celebrated authors in that branch of polite literature, which is generally termed the romance or novel. This assertion will be sufficiently confirmed by comparing, both as to quality and quantity, the catalogues that appear yearly at the fair of Leipzig, and other towns of Germany, and which may be met with in every library of note, both at home and abroad. The mass of books thus produced for the amusement and instruction of the people, is really enormous; and on this account, it almost necessarily follows, that there must be in so large an accumulation a mixture of good and bad productions. In order, however, to form a just estimate as to the real merits of this department of literature, as it at present exists in Germany, it will be well to examine