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The select Works of Robert Hawker, D.D. Late Vicar of Charles, Ply
mouth. London: E. Spettigue, 67, Chancery Lane. Dr. HAWKER was a man imbued with a spirit little known, and therefore but ill-appreciated. Whilst he possessed “ the wisdom of the serpent," it was united with the “harmlessness of the dove." God the Holy Ghost gave him a courage, which, in spiritual matters, would defy the fiercest antagonist; at the same time, he possessed him with a meekness which succoured the weakest lamb in the fold. Dr. Hawker (if we are not much mistaken) knew and trod the path which our feeble pen has sought to delineate to our readers, since our connexion with this Magazine, namely, the pathway — the narrow pathway — between needless, unprofitable controversy and justifiable desence. Dr. Hawker sought not occasions of offence; he pursued a straightforward course, opening up the fallen, helpless condition of the sinner man, and insisting upon the personality, work, and ministry of God the Holy Ghost, in leading him to look off and away from self unto the adorable person and finished salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ; but if, in his course, tares were sown-if an enemy invaded him in his Master's work, he fearlessly drew from its sheath the sword of the Spirit, and wielded it with the courage, the dexterity, and the success of a faithful warrior in the service of the Lord of Hosts. But, alas ! alas ! did Dr. Hawker now live; did he still continue, before men and devils, to speak forth the glorious tidings of Him, whom he now beholds face to face, and before whom he bows, and unceasingly adores; his name would be cast out as evil-he would be regarded as a man of no fixed principles-of no standard truth, not merely by the professing and the profane world, but by the church of the living God! He would by them be charged with apathy and indifference ; and his endeavours “ to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," between the sons and daughters of Zion, and them only, would be regarded as an attempt to amalgamate truth with error; to unite the son of the bondwoman with the son of the free ; than which nothing could be further from his intention! Thus Zion stands ; thus is she bereft of her true comforters ; one by one have they been removed, until she has gradually sank into an almost heathenish insensibility,-quarrelling, contending, and separating upon points of minor consideration ; suffering the mystic foe—the Babylonish whore--and mere outer-court worshippers, to invade her privileges, and rob her of that enjoyment, peace, and satisfaction, to which, as the peculiar people, the royal priesthood, and the holy nation, she is entitled.
For a confirmation of our opinions of the Doctor's views, we quote his own words from page 3, vol. III, of the neat and very acceptable series of his works now before us, and which we most cheerfuily recommend to our readers..
When errors of a fatal tendency spring up in the world, and come forth to the public under the sanction of distinguished names, we cannot be too much upon our guard, to repel the seducing influence. The divinity of Jesus, I conceive to be the chief corner-stone in the edifice of Christianity. Remove this from the building, and the whole fabric immediately totters. The foundation is shaken to the very centre. There appears at once an evident disproportion between the end and the means; the importance of the object proposed, and the person by whom it was accomplished. And then the great doctrine of atonement and expiation, by the blood of its Author, falls to the ground, and all the rich promises of the Gospel are done away.
In matters of less moment, though we cannot but lament that there should be any dissensions amongst sincere professors of Christianity, yet when these refer to points of mere form or ceremony, and concern not the fundamentals of religion, it were a folly to contend. They arise from the weaknesses and prejudices of human nature, and are the result of that imperfection and frailty which mark our very best performances But when so vital a part of the Gospel is attacked; the Divinity of our blessed Lord palpably denied ; himself classed among fallitle men ; all adoration to him expressly forbidden; and the members of the Established Church branded with idolatry: it is impossible to regard such reproaches with indifference. How can any true believer hear, with unconcern, that blessed Person, by whose sacred name we are called, thus degraded and traduced? Surely it must be a duty to come forward, and with becoming confidence assert the dignity of that Master under whose banner we serve, and the purity of that form of worship which we profess. Against assaults of this nature, it can be no bigotry to remonstrate, nor will the just defence of our principles be deemed, by any liberal mind, an ill-timed zeal. Nay, our silence might rather be construed into a tacit acknowledgment that we thought the charge unanswerable, and therefore meanly took refuge under an Establishment which we were unable to defend.
To these sentiments, we most heartily respond.
The Nature and Design of Gospel Invitations. A Sermon, preached by
DANIEL WHITAKER, Minister of the Gospel, Redcross Street, Crip
plegate. London : M. & S. Higham, Chiswell Street. The indiscriminate use of what are termed Gospel Invitations, by the vast mass of preachers of the present day, is similar in its tendency to the practice in courts of justice, of telling a man to plead “ not guilty" to a charge of which he at the same time knows he is guilty: it is putting a lie into their right hand. The effect of such preaching is either to work upon the fleshy passions of men, or to build them up in a false confidence of their possessing a power to attend to the things of God at a future and "a more convenient season” (Acts, xxiv. 25). Far better would it be, both for ministers and hearers, if such lips were silenced in the tomb; as it is only entailing upon themselves the blood of their auditory, and adding strength to their fetters. We speak feelingly upon this subject, for we knew what it was to be, for years, at a point about the truth of religion, and conscious of the necessity of a change of heart; but we were presumptuously postponing thoughts of the things which made for our peace, until God, in mercy, met with us, when we were upon the verge of a disbelief in their importance, and snatched us from the vortex of ruin.
Tell a man to turn from the error of his way-beseech him to exercise an inherent strength, and come to God; and you buoy that man up with a false confidence of possessing a power which he does not possess; but point out the awful extent of the fall—the ruin into which he has been plunged by sin--and the helpless and destitute state in which it has left him ; and, if God the Eternal Spirit is pleased to open the ear to hear, and the heart to receive, that individual is aroused to a sense of his alarming condition, and, rising from his deathliness, exclaims, “ Men and brethren, what must I do to be saved ?” Let the eye and heart of the preacher, before, at the time, and after the delivery of his message, be more directed to God the Holy Ghost, in the supplication of his Almighty power to attend the word, rather than to the hearers; looking at whom merely, he looks short, and looks to be disappointed. Let him get his message from God, and, in a simple dependence upon God, deliver it; and he will find it will do tenfold more execution than all his laboured expostulatory discourses to effect what it is in the power of God alone to perform. God's work, and that only, will stand ; but men-made converts will be sure, in times of extremity, to fall away.
In the very excellent little tract which lies before us, the author has clearly defined between invitations
“Of a General nature ;
The ends and designs of both.” In treating of the former, he says (p. 12), “There is a consistency in ministers of the Gospel inviting and exhorting the natural man to the duties incumbent upon him, as a rational and accountable creature, to God his creator, preserver, and kind benefactor. But we ought ever to keep up the distinction, made in the word of God, between the natural and spiritual man; between the duties of the one as a creature, and the spiritual blessings bestowed on the other as a new creature in Christ Jesus.
Again (p. 13),
The Gospel has much to say to the natural man; whether he will hear, or whether he will forbear (Luke xvi. 29). But then, we are not to call upon the dead to live, nor exhort the dead to do living acts, or perform spiritual services: we are not to invite all, indiscriminately, to come to Christ, as poor, needy, labouring, and heavyladen sinners, and cast their burden upon him; for all men are not poor in their own eyes.
Likewise (p. 15),
Adherence then to the invitations of the Gospel, of a general nature, will preserve from temporal ruin, as well as render punishment hereafter more mild and moderate (See Matt. xi. 22; Luke, xix. 41, 44). Therefore it is for the interest of nations, cities, towns, villages, families, and individuals, that men regard and attend to them.
Upon the second head, the author says (p. 15),
The invitations of the Gospel are of a special, internal, and spiritual nature. Special, as belonging only to the Lord's people; internal, as they are addressed to the inner, or new man; and spiritual, as they are invitations to receive spiritual blessings, and perform spiritual services.
After some very just remarks upon the characteristics of the real children of God, such as hunger, thirst, weariness, poverty, and need, he says, “ The ends of the special invitation to the Lord's own people, are to set forth the will or willingness of God to receive the poor perishing sinners invited ; and to show the freeness of the things he is invited to receive.” And very justly does the writer add (p. 31),
“When men attempt to set forth the invitations of the Gospel, of a spiritual nature, in an indefinite, unlimited manner; there is such an uncertainty in the sound,
that the poor, needy, and disconsolate sinner, for whose sake they are designed, knows not what is piped or what is harped. Therefore, while such men attempt to encourage all, they in reality encourage none; but only discourage the real character, for whom they are intended ; namely, the hungry and the thirsty, the labouring and the heavy-laden. .
An Address to the Church of God at the close of the Year 1841.
London : E. Irons, 27, Redcross Street. Pp. 19. A BRIEF but very acceptable address. Still, had the author after having struck the balance-sheet of his readers, dwelt more at large upon the person and work, blood and righteousness, of our dear Immanuel ; whilst contemplating the spiritual bankruptcy of his readers, had he dwelt at greater length upon the suitability and willingness of Jesus to adapt himself to our lost and undone condition, the little work, acceptable as it now is, we presume would have been still more so. We are aware, that by these remarks we may expose ourselves to censure ; it may be said to us, “Physician, heal thyself.” Well, if so, we fall under it. We believe many of the sent servants of the Lord dwell more upon the malady than the cure ; and we are certain, that to be enabled by a simple faith to look away from sinful, insufficient self, up to a holy all-sufficient Jesus, is most comfortable to our own souls, most glorifying to God, and most durable in its continuance. May our dear readers enjoy much of the sweetness arising therefrom in the coming year!
Portrait of the Rev. J. Irons. 4to. E. Irons, Redcross Street. This is decidedly the best portrait of Mr. Irons we have seen published. It has been got up at a considerable cost, and we trust the sale will amply recompense the publisher.
Divine Providence. By C. DRAWBRIDGE. London : Simpkin,
Marshall, and Co., Stationers' Court. The study of the Book of Providence is to us, and we doubt not to many of our readers, a delightful employ ; every page unfolds a something new and beautiful. It is a picture upon which the eye can gaze with unwearied admiration; a monument reared with incomparable skill; a piece of workmanship, every particle of which bespeaks the wisdom, the power, and the love, of its divine Architect. The present Number of a cheap and very acceptable series of tracts, contains many striking incidents of the kind interference of a gracious God and Father on behalf of his chosen people, when brought into extremity and trial ; its perusal has afforded us much pleasure, and we doubt not it will be read with peculiar interest.
A SPARK FROM ZION'S FURNACE.
When shall I reach that land,
The land of pure delight;
And with the just there stand,
With hosts of angels bright?
But praise shall be our sweet employ. 'Tis sin that hides thy face,
When I shall reach that coast,
And land upon that shore;
Satan no more will boast,
He has me in his power :
Sweet Jesus, let me dwell,
Between thy shoulders strong;
Nor let the powers of hell,
Ere do me any wrong:
That I may overcome at last.
And when to Zion brought,
To Zion's mount above ;
My soul with wonders fraught,
And fill'd with endless love :
E. P. D.
THOUGHTS ON ETERNITY. The Angels which in glory sit arrayed in robes Who died, and bled. and rose again of white,
In shouts ofjoy, the saints wash'd clean in blood, Could ne'er describe Eternity.
Shall praise and magnify his name The servants of the living God,
For ever. And martyrs noble of the olden time,
O what a contrast we might here unfold; Can never fathom this immense expanse. Summon'd before the King of kings, Up far above all worlds seated on Christ's right Nations there waiting what their sentence is, hand,
How they shall stand before the throne, and how Exalted, blessed, and crown'd for ever,
They'll spend eternity. Shall the Christian spend eternity.
To those who live and die God's enemies
Will ne'er enjoy eternity.
The Christian here in happiness shall rest, Then shall eternity be open to the view
And long for the eternity To gaze upon the face of Him
That he shall spend in peace.
A DESIRE ANSWERED.
(See last page of December Number). When shall the Christian quit the field ? O turn again, ye sons of men, The answer love has giv'n:
A greater evil yet When all is done that God design'd,
Must soon arise before your eyes He'll soar with joy to heav'n.
To bring you to my feet. 'Tis not the thought to be releas'd,
Thy will be done, O gracious Lord, 'Tis not the wish to die,
Stand by a worm so vile, "Tis when the Lord shall speak the word, And though the bitter woe I drink, And bid our spirits fly.
O deign on me to smile. Essex, Dec. 1, 1841.