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done, and the blessings to be sought, and it will be found the Spirit will own such an exercise, and cause the graces of the soul to how out in the practice of prayer.
4. We should have variety in prayer. " We need this even in our private supplications, in order to guard against formality. But especially is it required of those who lead the devotions of others in the family, the social meeting, or the sanctuary. There should be variety in both thought and language. And this will be obtained by the diligent study of three books, the Bible, the world, and ourselves. None will be at a loss for variety in prayer who reflect on these three things as they ought. Their only difficulty will be to compress their prayers withiu due limits.
3. We should consider carefully for whom we should pray. This will lead us to consider the special circum. stances of ourselves and otbers--the different members of our family—the members of the church, individually and collectively-magistrates the heathen--the various religi. ous societies—the kings of the earth. “I exhort,” saith Paul, “ that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority." Let this be done with due consideration and understanding, and it will be found that there is more matter for prayer than we have been accustomed to think.
6. Let us never forget that the spirit of prayer is the gift of the Holy Ghost. This will cause us ever to enter upon its exercise in dependence upon him. And just in the measure in which we acknowledge bim, may we expect to be acknowledged by bim.
7. We should never engage in any duty without be taking ourselves to prayer. There may not be a moment of time for the exercise exclusively, but the mind is 80 con. stituted, and prayer is of such a nature, that in the very aet of putting the hand to the work, the soul may be lifted op, and the divine blessing and direction sought and obtained.
Let these few thoughts be attended to, and it will be foand they render prayer what it has ever been "intended to be--the greatest support, and consolation, and benefit of man. We cannot conclude them more appropriately than by annexing the beautiful lines of Montgomery on Prayer, which, thoguh familiar to many of our readers, may not be so to them all
PRAYER is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexprest;
That trembles in the breast.
The falling of a tear ;
When none but God is near.
That infant lips can try ;
The Majesty on high.
The Christian's native air,
He enters heaven, by prayer.
Returning from his ways ;
“ Behold he prays.”
In word, and deed, and mind,
Their fellowship they find.
The Holy Spirit pleads;
For sinners intercedes.
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
Lord, teach us how to pray.
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
REVIEW of the DISCUSSION on the UNITARIAN
CONTROVERSY, between the Rev. J. SCOTT PORTER and the Rev. D. Bagot, M. A., held in Belfast, on April 14, 1834, and three following days. By ALEXANDER
CARSON, 4.M. W. M-COMB. P.p. 58. Price One Shilling. OUR readers will remember, that several months ago, we made a few observations on this admirable little brochure ; and having lately, with increased pleasure, given it a more leisurely reading, we cannot refrain from offering some additional remarks. We notice the pamphlet a second time, because sve think it is eminently calculated to advance the cause
of truth, not only with respect to the fundamental doctrine of the Deity of the Son of God, but also in reference to the doctrines of the Bible generally. Iudeed the most valuable characteristic of Mr. Carson's works is the developement of general principles which they contain; for these serve as landmarks to guide the reader in the investigation, not only of the subject of which the author may be treating, but of all other subjects, whether of a secular or a sacred kind. Mr. Carson shows himself to be a real disciple of the Baconian school of philosophy, discarding every sentiment which is merely hypothetical, and submitting with the docility of a child to whatever has the basis of evidence to rest on. His character, as a philosophic theologian, and a profound original independent thinker, stands in the very highest rank ; and he was only iustly designated, when called one of the most acute and philosophic reasoners of the present age.” Indeed Mr. Car son would have established his right to all this eulogy, though he had never written any thing else than his essay on
Tranh substantiation Subversive of the Foundations of Human Be. lief”--the most splendid and powerful tract that has ever appeared on the subject. But he has published exteusively ou other subjects with not less power and originality. In his work on Inspiration, he has, with amazing acuteness, exposed the errors of the most learned and pious authors in England and Scotland on this subject, and his views are rapidly in progress of general adoption by Orthodox Christians. We regard this divine's two pamphlets against Professor Lee of Cambridge, proving the latter's “Incompetency for Translating, or Correcting Translations of the Holy Scriptures," containing some of the finest specimens of philosophic criticism that were ever penned. As we have been led to advert to these publications of Mr. Carson, we shall take leave to men. tion just another-one, indeed, which is more closely connected with the subject of the pamphlet whose title is at the head of this article-- we mean his reply to Dr. Drummond's essay on the Trinity. It is strange that this triumphantly victorious reply was so shamelessly mismanaged in the publication. Whoever took this in hand, must have been wofully negligent. The form in which the pamphlet appeared was shabby in the extreme.' It was full of typographical errors; and, as if to guarantee to it a limited circulation, the price was made ex. travagantly high. Had the book been treated with any thing like justice, it would have had a most extensive sale, and, we have no doubt, would have become a standard work on the
subject. Let those who have never seen it, try to get hold of it. Neither Dr. Drummond, nor any other Unitarian, will, we predict, venture a reply to Mr. Carson. It is certain that i the Doctor has hitherto religiously abstained from doing so, though he has condescended a reply to two laymen, who each. wrote in refutation of his Essay.
If the observations we have now made should be the means of introducing any person to an acquaintance with the works of Mr. Carson to which we have alluded, we are sure that be: at least will forgive us for digressing from the more immediate subject in band. It is now time, however, that we address our. , selves to the“ Review of the Unitarian Discussion." The author. commences with some very shrewd observations respecting the plan of the discussion, which he holds to have been exceptionable, not only on account of its placing Mr. Bagot in an unfavourable position, but as losing every advantage peculiar to discussion from the platform, as distinguished from discussion from the press. "The combatants," says he, "might as well have stood, the one on Devis, the other on Slemish, and have communicated through the press.” Mr. Carson insists that each succeeding speech of the champions should have been a reply to the immediately preceding; while, under this arrangement, the first of Mr. Bagot does not find its answer till the last of his antagonist.” “Now," says the author, “Mr. Bagot could not have found a single additional difficulty, had his adversary proposed every passage separately. But had Mr. Porter been obliged to give an answer to each of the pas. sages alleged by his opponent, he would have been in a high fever before the end of the discussion.” We trust that these remarks will be taken into consideration in the arrangement of future controversies of a similar kind; for we think with the author, that on no other plan can the strength of truth be. so clearly exhibited, provided its champion is, as he ought to be if he engage in such a matter at all, fully competent to maintain it.
But Mr. Carson quarrels not only with the plan of the discussion, but with the statement of the controverted subject with the law which confined the speakers to forty minutes at a time--and with the limitation of the continuance of the dis. cussion to four days. . On each of these points the author's remarks deserve attention. Who does not now see the manifest absurdity of each of the champions being obliged to prove that there is one God-a truth common to both of them and "to run a tournament with the Atheist and Polytheist, before
being permitted to engage with his proper opponent?” They had both enough to accomplish, and in a very limited time too, without performing works of supererogation.
The reviewer proceeds to comment on the first speech of Mr, Porter, and shows that this gentleman, at the very outset, breaks through bis engagement, by leaving undone what he had bound himself to perform, and occupying the time allotted to him for a particular and well-defined purpose, in frivolous details and comments, which were a thousand miles away from the mark. But we shall give the reviewer's own words, as they so strikingly depict the unfortunate debut made by the Unitarian champion.
« Mr. Porter makes the first speech; and if his business was to state the sentiments which he entertains in reference to the subject of discussion, and to illustrate that statement by positive and affirmative proofs, certainly very little of it was to the purpose. He commences by detailing the origin of the controversy, with which the platform had no concern. He next speaks of the standard of reference—the word of God a subject which it was equally unnecessary to notice. And why does he find him. self called on to justify that part of the arrangement which determines that the disputants may avail themselves of the aid of legitimate criticism ? Is there any man to question the propriety of this ? Does the champion hint that his antagonists are averse lo criticism? Does be mean to insinuate that they wish to shelter themselves under ancient prejudices, and to argue from the mere sound of English phraseology? Are they reluc. tant to follow their opponents to the original ? If he does not mean this, his observation is idle; and if this is his meaning, he conveys a false impression. His antagonists are not afraid of criticism. It is in the legitimate exposition of the laws of language, that they seek the proof of their doctrine. Their only complaint is, that their opponents do not respect these laws.:
Never was there a more just reproof administered than that contained in the foregoing extract. Could the warmest friends of Mr. Porter vindicate him for departing so widely, at so early a stage of the business, from the terms on which he had pledged himself to conduct the discussion? There is an entire discrepance between these, and the whole tenor of his commencing speech; and that Mr. Porter should in limine take leave of the arrangement, can be accounted for only on the supposition, that he felt himself in circumstances of great difficulty, and was acting on the principle of the legal maxim, « necessitas non habet logem.” The truth, perhaps, is, that Mr. Porter did not calculate that it would fall to his lot to commence the discussion; and that, having prepared his first speech by way of anticipation, as a reply to what he expected his opponent would advance, he must needs deliver it, being unable to travel beyond the written documents before him.