« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
disadvantageously. A poltroon fear contracted and shrivelled up the soul. Rescensus of the inspired text was deprecated as an encouragement of scepticism, if not a rapine upon it by scepticism itself. Canons of criticism were condemned. The possible conclusions of science were beheld afar with an utter • dismay. Men spoke of the laws of evidence and of interpre
tation, in a manner which made them quite different things in religious, and in common, applications. Whatever had been held by certain authorities and symbols, was proclaimed as coordinate with Revelation itself. But what have the true hermeneutics achieved ? Distrust of inspiration? I profess myself a believer in the Divine suggestion of every word of true Scripture, jot and tittle. But the book of God, given in its present conditions, must be authenticated as any other book. Its text must be collated and confirmed as any other text. Its language is to be interpreted as any other language. We think it responsible only for itself. We are often plied with sentences as extracts from it which it never contained. There are those who oracularly assure us of its purport and scope, which we may think it never did intend. Now we can open the Bible, and with open face can read it. Not my Bible, not yours ; not what I have taken to be the sense of it, not what you ; but only that which can prove itself to be the uncorrupted Bible—but only that which can be proved to be its unperverted meaning. Now, is this strong, earnest, impartial, spirit the characteristic of our times? It is the fruit of liberal learning. But while we honour the instrument, we still more glory in the result. We believe it is the spirit of truth. Revelation seeks not the blind, the unreasoning, homage of our mind. It loves, it commands, investigation. “ Search the Scriptures.” By your full conviction of their veracity, by your entire reliance on their information, by your cordial devotion to their excellence, alone do you allow their claim or magnify their origin.
Philosophy is no longer scanned with a jealous eye. Time was, at least, when its name was in little favour among our many. The discoveries of science were supposed to lour with an ominous aspect upon Christianity. But this is now better understood. There has been no compromise nor concession. All that is proper Christianity, the religion of salvation, has long been given to us in the inspired page. We ask no new lights as to its substance ; though new and still more beautiful illustrations may constantly be thrown around it. In itself it is complete : it is a dogmatic discovery. We should as soon think of addition to the physics of the universe, or to the principles of mathematics, as to the compass of the Gospel. But now let just and comprehensive philosophy commence any of its studies in reference to it. We hail its approach and subserviency. If moral, having worked out its theory of obligation, it will find in Christianity its best sanction and true approval. If inductive, Christianity anticipates it,—“Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.” If the philosophy of history, Christianity furnishes its only scheme and key. If the philosophy of mind, it is forestalled by the scriptural analysis of the inner man. Kindle these illuminations to all their strength : our religion looks but the more intensely glorious beneath them! Or let science lay open her experiments : we still are fearless. Scan the chronology of the firmament! Read history in the stratification of the rocks! Discovery and deduction are on our side. Let the great laboratory be entered,- let forge and crucible be plied. Let silicon, the matrix of modern miracles, be put to all its torture! These elements are at an eternal distance from life and self-action. Archæology may lift its torch upon the “dark backward and abysm of time.” Not a date, nor a scene, nor an event, of our religion does it disturb. In all this are seen the might and the divinity and the victory of our faith !
Liberty has obtained strength in this enlargement of the popular mind. The servile and the abject are abhorrent to religion, and to its selectest influences. It awakens a conscious dignity. It enables each bond-man to burst his chains. Oppression has often stung to resentment, but more often has it bowed to abasement. Persecution, if it did not frighten our spirit, had sat heavy upon it. It had silenced our ministers, and suppressed our schools. Deliverance seemed hopeless. So long as the night of ignorance deepened around us, our love of freedom languished. We were satisfied to be oppressed. We sought toleration. We loved the hateful word. We asked no more of a revolution which we had conducted to triumph, and of a dynasty which we had raised to the throne. But as learning once more dawned, we felt the brand of toleration. We had sworn by liberty in the rescue of our country: we for ourselves now invoked its aid! And as we sprung from our dust, rivet after rivet started from our chains, and link of those chains fell after link. It is our fault, and just will be the retribution, if any man bring us again into bondage.
PRINTED BY ANTHONY PICKARD.
CATALOGUE OF BOOKS, PUBLISHED BY J. Y. KNIGHT, LEEDS,
HAMILTON, ADAMS, & CO., LONDON.
BY THE REV. R. W. HAMILTON, LL.D. D.D.
Author of the “ Prize Essay on Education."
In the Press, in one large Volume, Demy 8vo.
Demy 8vo., Cloth Boards, Price Es. 6d. MISSIONS : THEIR AUTHORITY, SCOPE, AND
ENCOURAGEMENT. AN ESSAY: To which the Second Prize, proposed by a recent
Association in Scotland, was adjudged. “ We shall not undertake the unnecessary and invidious office of attempting to point out the respective merits of the several volumes before us. (Including the third prize Essay, and that of the Hon. and Rev. Baptist W. Noel, M.A.) Each writer has followed his own train of thought and illustration in his own way, and with good effect; and has supplied much important information and cogent stimulus; and we trust that by the Divine blessing great benefit will accrue to the cause of Missions from their several and united labours.” “We gratefully accept them as a valuable boon to the Christian Church.”--Christian Observer.
“ Both the Essays fulfil all the conditions required in the public announcement, and were it not that the adjudicators state they were influenced in their decision by the sentiment, arrangement, style, and comprehensiveness, and by the general adaptation of the Essays to their proposed object, we should be perplexed in accounting for their preference. Each writer has put forth all his powers, and excels himself; but, in point of arrangement, style, and adaptation, Dr. Harris's Essay is superior to Mr. Hamilton's. The great argument is conducted by both with equal success; sometimes Mr. Hamilton, and sometimes Dr. Harris, appears to have the advantage. The reasoning of both may be said to be logic on fire.” “One of Mr. Hamilton's peculiarities is what all persons well read in the Bible, and familiar with its style and phraseology, will greatly admire, and more highly value the production on that account. We refer to the peculiar diction of the Bible which he has interwoven with the texture of his style. Whatever thought springs up in his mind wears the drapery of inspiration. Analogies and contrasts from the sacred page come at his bidding, illustrate his meaning, and impress something like a hallowed character upon almost every paragraph he indites.”—The Nonconformist.
“There is much striking and valuable thought in this work." "The sentiments are often deep, original, and evangelical." “ Condensed, vigorous, and forcible truth, is frequently brought forward."-Churchman's Monthly Review.
“ The discussion of these topics has furnished congenial employınent to Mr. Hamilton's vigorous mind. There is a comprehensiveness in his views, which indicates entire familiarity with the whole range of subjects that are brought under notice. Whatever the theme, he handles it as a master, with perfect ease, and evident consciousness of power. He has explored the whole field of knowledge. The fruits of extensive research appear on almost every page. Classic and historical illustrations are introduced so happily, that it is
which indican's vigorous mind topics has furnishearchman's Mon
whouglit underna evident consciouf exten
Oprehensinowledge. I'Eclectic Reways well
expressi thou and
plain they were not sought for, but stood in readiness to be employed. Scrip. ture truths and expressions are interwoven with the very substance of the argument, investing it with a kind of unearthly dress, and hallowing the style; it is altogether an extraordinary work."--Sunday School Teacher's Magazine.
“ What our opinion of Mr. Hamilton is, as a powerful and eloquent writer, we have recently put upon record in our notice of his • Nugæ Literariæ.' In his Missions' he has well sustained his reputation, and his pages glow with devout fervour as he pleads with an irresistible force of reasoning the cause of the perishing heathen." “ As an intellectual performance, it stands on the same elevation as the Great Commission,' and the Martyr of Erromanga;' certainly three of the most extraordinary works of the age.-Congregational Magacine.
** Amid the five Essays which the Scottish prize has produced, it stands alone; and, in some respects, it towers above them all. There is, in this single volume, more originality than in all the other four united." "The impression made upon the inind, after perusal, is that of vast intellectual power, and inexhaustible opulence of fancy. Every part indicates a mind of singular force and breadth of comprehension, deeply imbued with classical literature, and richly stored with general knowledge. The author's powers of imagination are as great as those of his understanding."-Eclectic Review.
*If the separate arguments are brief, they are always well wrought out, and triumphantly concluded : and every page sparkles with beautiful thoughts. The author's mind seems so richly stored, that almost every expression is allusive and ornamental : and yet all are employed with such judgment as almost in every instance to contribute to the clearness of the illustration, or to the strength and progress of the reasoning."-Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine
Both the Publications before us bear manifold and indubitable indications of the distinctive mental peculiarities of their respective authors. Both are argumentative, profound, eloquent, and impressive; both are distinguished for originality of conception; both are pervaded by a lofty tone of religious feeling, and by the most decided recognition of evangelical truth. To institute a comparison between the two, would be, perhaps, not difficult, but certainly invidious; if the one has its defects, so has the other,-if the one abound in transcendent excellencies, so does the other." "Astonishing productions of human genius." -Methodist New Connerion Magazine.
« We shall best, perhaps, promote the circulation of this very extraordinary volume, by furnishing a few specimens of the manner in which our author deals with his all-important theme. .... But we can only announce the heads of the remaining chapters, assuring our readers, that they are all discussed in a manner becoming the dignity of the author's theme, and calculated to fix his reputation as one of the most original thinkers in the present age..... We have read his work with a thrill of sacred delight."-Evangelical Magazine.
"If the reader wishes to see a book which contains, among other excellencies, an unusual number of original and apt quotations from Scripture, throwing about them light and beauty, in a most extraordinary way, I refer him to the recent work of the Rev. R. W. Hamilton, on Missions." See Binney's Address, in the Congregational Magazine for August, 1842.
“The second prize has been adjudged to Mr. Hamilton; and the literary reputation of the author of Nugæ Literariæ' would, a priori, serve to entitle him to this distinction. But his desert is still farther proved by the work now before us, which dwells on the history, conduct, and effects of missionary labours in a very interesting and edifying manner." -Literary Gazette.
ental pectore us -wetness of such
Demy 8vo., Price Is. 6d. OBLIGATIONS OF THE BRITISH CHURCHES TO
FOREIGN INTERFERENCE. A Sermon before the London Missionary Society, 1825. « The Discourse itself is one of superlative merit ; and we feel no hesitation in asserting, that a Sermon, more rich in sentiment, more original in argument, more powerful in impassioned appeal, and, at times, more vigorous and irresistible, both in reasoning and well-tempered sarcasm against the enemies of the cause of Missions, was never delivered on any preceding occasion, before the London Missionary Society."-Congregational Magazine.
“ It abounds in thoughts and language strongly tinctured with the sublime. Whether the preacher touches on historic fact, or appeals to legendary records, or borrows from the classic page, or courts the friendship of the Muses, or quotes from the Lively Oracles, he seems equally at home. The pervading sentiment of the Discourse is, moreover, purely Missionary.” Evangelical Magazine.