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tical charlatan or buffoon. It is to disgrace Christian truth to array her stately well-proportioned form in the wardrobe of the theatre or even in the costume of high fashion, but it is not to honour her to clothe her in the rags of the mendicant, or even in the mean attire of the pauper. Good English broad cloth, plain but every way fitted for the important purposes it is intended to answer, seems the fit emblem for the garb of Christain truth when she addresses herself to her favourite work, the cultivation of that field which philosophy had abandoned as doomed to hopeless barrenness, but which she has peculiarly chosen for herself-the world- the common people'-the mass of mankind.
Dr. Brown generally realizes what he considers as both the simplicity and the dignity of plain pulpit oratory. Occasionally, however, the preacher follows the current of his own ideas, and exhibits his own train of thought. We have at times a language and references which are far from plain in the ordinary and popular sense of the term. He has, for example, one forcible illustration drawn from the voltaic battery, which we apprehend few indeed of his auditors would understand. Generally, however, the style of these discourses is both lucid and forcible, and they abound in lessons of evangelical instruction, as well as powerful appeals to the conscience. One or two passages may be given as specimens of the author's manner.
Dr. Brown's discourse on the text, Psalm xi. 7, "Lo I come," is a discourse which may be pronounced very able and very practical. In reference to the spontaneousness of the divine love in the sacrifice of the Saviour, Dr. Brown has the following terse but excellent remarks :—
"Lo, I come,' indicates that our Lord came voluntarily. When I use the word voluntarily, I mean to express the ideas that he was not compelled to come-that he was not reluctant to come. I do not use it as equivalent to ultroneously, for though he came with his own will, he did not come of his own will. He came not unsent. His own declaration is, I came not of myself, but the Father sent me.' 'The Father,' says the beloved disciple, sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.' He took not this honour on himself; he was chosen of God, as was Aaron.' He came as the Father's messenger, to deliver his message; as the Father's servant, to perform his work, Lo, I come, to do thy will.'
"But though commissioned, he was not compelled to come. Compulsion in his case was obviously impossible. The highest power in the universe was his own power-for omnipotence is equally the attribute of the Son and the Father: And if it had been possible, it could have served no purposefor his work must be most voluntarily done, or it could not have gained its end. Accordingly, we hear him saying in the context-'I delight to do thy will, thy law is my heart,'-and we find him, when on earth, uttering the same sentiment, My meat and my drink is to do the will of my Father, and to finish his work.' 'No one taketh my life from me,' i.e. against my will, 'I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.'
"As he came voluntarily, in opposition to compulsion,-so he also came voluntarily, in contrast with reluctance. When we think of what he came to do and suffer, we might have thought it not strange that he should have shrunk back. To what a depth of abasement must he descend! To what toilsome labour must he submit! What varied, complicated, severe sufferings must he sustain, if he come to do that will of God, by which human guilt is to be expiated, and human salvation secured! But there was no
shrinking. On the contrary, from the unbeginning ages of eternity, he 'rejoiced in anticipation in the habitable parts of the earth, and his delights were with the sons of men ;' he showed as it were a sacred longing to be at his work, by assuming occasionally the human form, before the fulness of the time arrived, when he should assume the human nature; and when that period arrived, and the Father, as it were, said, 'Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation;'-the Son's joyful response was 'Lo I come." 6: Nor will we wonder at this, when we think of the glorious objects which he came to gain, and the absolute assurance he had that he should gain these objects,-glory to God in the highest, in delivering unnumbered millions of men from everlasting destruction, and raising them to the capacity of enjoying, and to the actual enjoyment of perfect, eternal happiness in the enjoy ment of God. With such objects in his view, He who is holy love-beniguity-rose above all the considerations which were calculated in themselves to produce reluctance, and yielded himself up to the constraining influence of zeal for his Father's honour, and love for the souls of perishing
Dr. Brown, we notice, is fond of a sort of paradoxical pleasantry, if we may so express it. In his first discourse, or rather address, entitled "The Bible-what it is—what it does-what it deserves,” he remarks, "Archbishop Leighton thought that the preaching of his times might be improved by lengthening the texts and shortening the sermons. One part of the proposed improvement has been realised. My text would have pleased the Archbishop for length, for it is "the Bible-the whole Bible," &c. Now, we daresay all the sentiments expressed by our author on this majestic topic would have pleased the excellent Leighton; but it does not hold that the thought in his mind was realised by the exposition of a lengthy passage of Scripture, so as to eliminate its doctrines or lessons; and, therefore, we can only regard the allusion of the Doctor as a subdued piece of wit. Again, in another passage, a quotation given from another work of his own, he discusses the assertion of St. Paul, Rom. v. 5, "Hope maketh not ashamed," after this fashion:"It were worse than folly-it were sin-it were worse than illbreeding-it were profaneness to call in question, much more to deny, the assertion of an inspired apostle; yet, at the hazard of seeming to incur so serious a charge, we must say that the assertion contained in our motto, "Hope maketh not ashamed," though made by an inspired apostle, if understood as a general unqualified statement, is not true. Hope often, usually, almost always, "makes ashamed," &c. And then, of course, as in duty bound, our pious author addresses himself to the task of shewing in what sense, and that a true one, the language of the apostle must be understood. Now, Dr. Brown did not need to have incurred the hazard he deprecates so strongly, of contradicting an inspired apostle in this instance; and it was superfluous to have instanced a construction of the language which was not the true one, and which, if the true one, would alone have justified a contradiction. The interpretation, according to a comprehensive view of the doctrine or sentiment, ought to have ruled the statements of the theologian at the very outset. It is quite needless to travel a dangerous path so far, just to shew that we are bound to retrace our steps. We do not make these remarks in
the way of disparagement of Dr. Brown, but as a general protest against conceits in the exposition of divine truth.
The second work named at the head of this paper has for its theme immortality and eternal life. In the discussion, various errors required to be confuted-a number of sublime truths explained and vindicated. A life to come, apprehended in some degree by Pagan thinkers, and dreaded even by the natural conscience, has been brought to light for all useful, all practical purposes, by the gospel. In itself the idea is one, vague, if not terrible and bewildering. Addison could make the elder Cato thus address the soul in view of the extinction of animal life, and as contrasted with the perishableness of material objects
"Thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds!"
The idea of "youth," with its vigour, and buoyant joys, and sunny prospects, has scarce a legitimate place in Pagan theology as respects the soul. The idea in the predicate arose from the circumstance of a Christian putting words into the mouth of a philosophic Roman. Christianity connects with eternal being, absolutely certain, everlasting consolation, and renders the world to come the parent of virtue in the life that now is. Most men, along with the desire for continued existence, have a firm impression that there is an hereafter. But the belief in itself, and without the "hope of glory," based on the only sure foundation, is not alone a mere fruitless notion, but may be the source of disquietude and misery to the being who believes himself the inevitable subject of immortality. Future existence is, in one set of circumstances alone, a joyous or satisfactory conception of the understanding. Joined to personal faith, it becomes the minister of good, raising the mind above the sufferings of the present scene, and arming the soul with vigour to resist temptation, and to realise the highest graces of the Christian character. As no man is made better or more happy by believing that whatever changes his material frame may undergo, his invisible, immaterial, thinking part, will live for ever; so, as regards those in whom we feel an interest, it is not, taken by itself, a consoling idea, that like ourselves they must continue to exist for ever. In certain cases the certainty of this destiny must aggravate grief otherwise created, or generate remorse in the review of duties left unfulfilled. In others, however, the Christian derives the most pure satisfaction, from a sense of the existing and future happiness of departed friends. To the mourner on such occasions the most appropriate consolation which can be afforded is the suggestion, that those from whom he is divided by death are still alive, and possessed of a felicity and holiness unattainable on earth; and that, to the region where they have gone, he, if faithful to the grace of God, will follow them. The certainty that where his friend Nebridius was, there he should be, was a pleasing prospect to St. Augustine. The trials of this vale of tears, too, suggest aspirations after the society of those removed beyond the cares, and fears, and temptations of a world of sin and sorrow. Dr. Brown's work is meant especially for the comfort of
believers deprived of Christian friends. In the preface the author says:"I have often been a mourner; and, therefore, have often had to look out for consolation to myself. Often, too, in the course of a long period of pastoral labour, providential dispensations have given great distinctness to the Master's command, Comfort, comfort my people;' and, therefore, I have often had to look out for consolation to them. The result of the search is, a deep conviction that the consolation provided in the gospel for such sorrow is both abundant and varied." It is, therefore, to the circumstances connected with the future being of the dead in Christ that Dr. Brown mainly directs attention. In so small a volume, and where so many topics necessarily arise in the course of discussion, the matter devoted to each is necessarily brief; but, at the same time, a great many excellent thoughts are suggested by all the details as they present themselves. A few selections may be agreeable to our readers, and will illustrate the author's method of handling his subject.
Dr. Brown makes the following brief remarks on what in Scripture is called the "FIRST RESURRECTION :".
"It is, however, to the resurrection of the dead in Christ' that our attention at present is to be confined. It is the opinion of many good and some very learned men, that there will be a partial if not universal resurrection of the dead in Christ previously to his millennium, and thus long before the general judgment. This opinion is founded on a remarkable passage in the Apocalypse, chap. xx. 4, 5 :- And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and who had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This the first resurrection.'
"It would lead me into a digression much too extensive were I even in the briefest possible manner to state the evidence in favour of the literal and the figurative interpretations of this passage. Without pronouncing dogmatically on a question which, like many other questions respecting unfulfilled prophecy, is never likely to be completely freed of difficulty till fulfilment makes the meaning of enigmatic prediction manifest, my own conviction, after paying some attention to the subject, is, that the more probable meaning of the prediction is, that during the period styled a thousand years, there will be a glorious revival and extensive prevalence of the spirit and character of those who, during the former ages of struggle and persecution, had laid down their lives in the cause of Christian truth-and that at the close of that period there shall be a reappearance of the spirit and character of the hostile opponents of Christ and his cause. Well may those be pronounced blessed who enjoy the advantages of that period-the most blissful to be known on earth-and who thus have part in the first resurrection ;-blessed compared both with those who lived before that period and those who shall live after it, when Satan is again loosed from his prison. This mode of interpretation seems best to comport with the symbolical and figurative character of the prophetic book in which the oracle has its place, and best to harmonize with those passages of Scripture which seem to represent the resurrection of all men as simultaneous, and which lead us to view as closely connected the general resurrection and the general judgment. The bodies of the departed pious are to remain under the power of death,
and their spirits are to continue absent from the body and present with the Lord, till the appointed period for terminating the present order of things shall arrive-till the end come-till the mystery of God be finished-till the Lord come from heaven, as he ascended to heaven, in power and in great glory."
Still further he expends some philosophical acumen in discussing the question as to the sameness of the resurrection body :—
"Here, as in so many other cases, we have reason to regret the imperfection and ambiguity of human language. With equal truth, according to the idea we attach to the word same, we may deny and affirm the resurrection of the same body. If to be the same means to be formed of precisely the same particles of matter, then, to say the least of it, it is in the highest degree improbable, we perhaps might safely have used stronger language, and said it is demonstrably impossible, that the body restored at the resurrection, is the same body that was laid in the grave. The same particles of matter have since the commencement of time entered into the composition of many different human bodies. If to be the same is to be possessed of precisely the same qualities, then the resurrection body is not the same as that which was possessed on earth and parted with at death.The former wants some of the most characteristic qualities of the latter, and the latter has qualities which the former never possessed.
"But if by being the same body we mean, that there is a similar sameness between the resurrection body and the mortal body, as there is between the body of the same man in infancy and in old age-as there is between the dead seed cast into the earth and the living plant that grows from it, then we assert that the Christian doctrine of the resurrection, is the doctrine of the resurrection of the same body.-The existence of such an identity can never be proved impossible, and the arrangement which provides for it obviously serves important purposes in the moral administration of God. Such an identity seems implied in the very name of a resurrection, a term which signifies the restoration of life to what once before possessed it-not the creation of new matter to be quickened, or the giving life to formerly existing matter which had never been connected with the soul which is henceforward to animate it; it is countenanced by those passages of Scripture which represent death as a sleep; it is taught in those texts which describe the bodies of men as rising from the precise spots where they were deposited at death, which declare that the grave and the sea are respectively to give up their dead; and it seems asserted in direct terms when it is said, that this mortal shall put on immortality-this corruptible shall put on incorruption--and that our vile bodies shall be so changed as to be fashioned like to our Lord's glorious body.' To this extent the bodies restored to those who have died in Christ at the resurrection are the same bodies they possessed on earth.-But though the same in one point of view, they will be very different in others."
An interesting circumstance connected with the solemnities of the final audit is thus noticed by Dr. Brown :
"It has been made a question whether the sins of the saints shall be publicly made known at the period of final judgment. This much is certain, that there is no reference to this in the most minute account we have of the proceedings of that eventful day-that in the close of the 25th chapter of the gospel of Matthew, which we have already quoted, and that it does not seem to comport very well with the terms in which the truth regarding the forgiveness of their sins is described in Scripture, when it is said, that when their sins are sought for, they shall not be found,'-that they are 'cast into