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morality, it is because it is most frequently a consequence of coldness of heart, and of an indifference to the purest and noblest aspirations of our nature. Belief, accordingly, depends upon the will and upon a proper discipline of the affections much more than worldly men are willing to allow: so much so, that we may safely challenge the whole annals of scepticism to produce a single example of a person, who, having carefully examined all the arguments for and against the credibility of reve lation, and with a sincere anxiety to arrive at the truth, has concluded his course by deliberately, and from conscientious conviction, taking his part with the unbeliever."
ART. IX.-A Sermon, preached in the Parish Church of Tenbury, Worcestershire, on Wednesday, March 21, 1832: being the day appointed by his Majesty for a General Fast. By the Rev. George Hall, M. A. Vicar of Tenbury, Worcestershire; Rector of Rochford, Herefordshire; and Chaplain to Lord Brougham and Vaux. London. Simpkin and Marshall. 1832. 8vo. pp. 32.
A FAST-SERMON by a Chaplain to the Lord Chancellor claims attention before it is opened; but the contents of Mr. Hall's discourse redouble his demands upon reviewers and the public. The first fourteen pages present us with a powerful description of death by cholera, and an urgent appeal to those who are in danger of it. The next portion informs us that the plague has been sent upon our land on account of the violent opposition that has been made to the Reform Bill!!!!
"Having briefly described the desolation produced by being 'smitten with sickness,' as spoken of in the text, and as now felt in our nation, let us see what sins the text specifies for which the punishment is sent. For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth,'
"The punishment, we see, is desolation by sickness; and the sins, violence among the rich men,' or chief men, and lies and deceit among the inhabitants. How strikingly does this text of Scripture apply to the British nation at this time! If we look to our chief men, what violence and opposition do we behold! Whatever measures his Majesty's ministers in parliament may propose, however pure, however disinterested, however patriotic, we see them obstinately opposed by a party, simply, as it appears, for the sake of opposition, and not for the sake of the public good. How to thwart the measures of those in power-how to throw popular odium upon them--how to oust them from their places, and how to get into them-seems the whole end and aim of a party in parliament. It is painful to an ingenuous mind to see how the public weal is made to give place to the selfish feelings or animosities of party spirit. If we look at the doings of the present ministers of his Majesty, we see important improvements introduced into the laws of our country
at the sacrifice of immense individual profit and patronage to the author of the alteration. But what was beneficial to the country, and not what was beneficial to self, could enter the mind of this learned legislator. In other departments we see retrenchment and economy carried to the utmost extent through every branch of the state. By alterations and vigilance in the expenditure in the army and navy, we are informed, by authority, that nearly a million of money yearly will hereafter be saved to the public! And those national accounts that used to be wrapt in mystification, are now endeavoured to be made clear and intelligible, and exhibit the appearance of coming from honest and honourable men, who have nothing to disguise. They are distinguished for looking after business, and into business-for integrity and devotedness to their country's welfare. And if there be any merit in such qualities as these, the present ministers are entitled to it. All who have been accustomed to feed and fatten on public abuses, of course struggle for a continuance of them, and rail at the men who attempt to correct them; they dislike for that corruption which has so long prevailed to be exposed or annihilated, and call it innovation. And so, indeed, it may be, but it is an innovation for which public thanks are due to those who enforce it.
Respecting that important question called Reform, which has occasioned so much violence and agitation throughout the realm, it may be warrantable on an occasion like the present to advert to here, which I shall briefly do, for the sake of guarding you against mistaken notions on the subject. Heretofore 658 men were elected in certain towns and counties in the three kingdoms, as representatives of the respective people who chose them to serve in the British parliament. Those who had votes to elect them were so qualified for counties by being proprietors of freehold property worth 40s. a year, or having a life annuity to that amount on freehold property. In towns the qualification was various-property, occupation, freedom by birth, purchase or servitude. Several of the places that had once been thought of sufficient importance to entitle them to elect members to represent them in parliament, have in the progress of time fallen into decay and insignificance; while at the same time, other places which have had no representatives, have risen into consequence and importance. From this alteration, which time and circumstances have produced, it has been thought only fair and reasonable that a reform should take place in the towns to be represented, and in the qualification of voters; that the places which had fallen into insignificance should be disfranchised; and that the towns which had risen into importance and contributed largely to the state, should have representatives. That besides those who were heretofore qualified to vote, other qualifications should also be added, so that almost every one who paid taxes, or had anything at stake in the nation, should have a vote in electing a representative. Such is the design of the Reform Bill which the present ministers have introduced and recommended to parliament.
"You will observe, then, that the Reform Bill only refers to electing men to serve in parliament. Instead of 658 men being elected for certain towns and counties as heretofore, that about the same number shall
hereafter be elected, by an increased number of voters, and that insignificant places should be left out, and important towns added. This is the purport of the Reform Bill, which I have been led to speak of for the sake of exposing the mistaken notions that prevail respecting it in the minds of the lower classes in the kingdom. They have been led to think that it would do them some direct good, or that it would revolutionize the kingdom, and that they would have a chance to mend their condition in the scramble. But through all classes I am afraid that more benefits are expected from it than such a measure as I have described can possibly confer."-pp. 14—20.
Mr. Hall proceeds to vindicate the right of the Church to the property with which it is endowed, and to denounce the newspapers and periodicals.
Having adverted to the sickness' with which our nation is smitten, and the violence of the rich' or chief men, and those subjects which at this time call forth their violence, there is yet another branch of the text which demands our attention. The inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.'
“Lies and deceit are odious sins in the sight of the Almighty; and the Scriptures afford us numerous examples of God's punishments for them; sometimes with instant death, and sometimes with afflictions as correctives. In the text' sickness' we see is the punishment denounced for them. Now if we look at the public press in this country, which may be called the public voice, I mean newspapers or periodicals, we are struck and pained with the lies and misrepresentations with which they abound. Nothing is too gross, or too improbable, for them to assert. And there is often a malignancy in their assertions and insinuations that can only be accounted for as coming from some revengeful bitter enemy, or a wanton fiendish depravity. Every public character that has any merit has to endure the continual and infamous attacks of the writers of these papers, which are sent and read all over the world. There is no protection against the aspersions of these hireling writers for parties, but in obscurity and insignificancy. You may always judge of the merit of any public man from the quantity of attention and abuse that is bestowed upon him by the corrupt press, who knowing his merits, his superiority, and his influence, try to injure his reputation by wilfully misrepresenting his deeds, or his opinions or his motives. Truth, and honour, and principle, those strong stays with most men, are by these disregarded and trampled on, and sacrificed to their odious trade. It is grievous and offensive to every candid and honourable and informed mind to witness the falsehoods and misrepresentations which are printed and propagated by the periodical press. Even to the most jaundiced partisan, they can, I should think, afford no pleasure. And if it be offensive to man, how much more offensive must it be to God, who desireth truth in the inward parts,' and who has denounced such judgments upon it. The inhabitants thereof ha spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins.'
"But it is not only individuals that have to suffer from the lies and liberty of the press, but the community also. The press is the great fomenter of all that agitation and violence that now disturb the three kingdoms. Subjects that are calculated to excite the feelings, and work upon men's minds, are daily issuing from the press, and placed before and spread among the people. The press is indeed a mighty engine either for good or for evil. It can make the king tremble on his throne; it can drive his ministers from their places, or it can keep them in office; it can command quietness and keep it among a people; or it can call up discord, and set a town or a country in flames! It seems to have arrived at a power too strong for any other in the nation to contend with. There was a time when the author of what was libellous or seditious was prosecuted and punished; but that time appears to have passed away, and the press now seems to revel unchecked in its liberty, and unawed by consequences."-pp. 26-29.
What will the Lord Chancellor and the Attorney-General say to this?
One more remark and we have done. There is no mention of Christianity in this discourse. The writings of the Prophets are quoted and appealed to; but for any thing that appears in Mr. Hall's Sermon the New Testament is not in existence. Our Lord himself is not once mentioned, and if he is hinted at, it is only once, when the dying sinner is said to be about to resign his soul" into the hands of its Creator and its Judge."-p. 11. We presume from the internal evidence which the sermon affords that the writer is no ordinary person. But he is Vicar of Tenbury, Rector of Rochford, and Chaplain to Lord Brougham and Vaux, and we must believe that he is a Christian:-judging from the publication before us, we should be bound to pronounce him a Jew.
ART. X.-Christus Crucifixus; or Our Lord's conduct with Reference to his Crucifixion, considered as an Evidence of the Truth of his Religion. By the Rev. Arthur Johnson, M. A. Oxford, Talboys. 1831. pp. 125.
THE design of this treatise is stated by the author in the following words:
"As the argument I am about to advance is drawn altogether from our Lord's conduct, as recorded by the four Evangelists, I shall first give an analysis, or abstract of their account, so far as it bears upon the point in question. That point is; that He appears from the very commencement of His ministry to have acted uniformly with a reference to His final suffering, intentionally pursuing that manner of life which was likely to lead to such an end; avoiding every thing that would have
obstructed it; and finally presenting himself to the danger at the precise time when it was most critical. He had announced to His disciples, a considerable time before, that such would be the end of His ministry; at first by typical and metaphorical expressions; afterwards more and more plainly at first to His more immediate and confidential followers; afterwards to others also; declaring that He should thereby fulfil the object of His mission, and the prophecies of the ancient Scriptures; by offering, in His own person, an atonement for the sin of others.
"From these previous and distinct intimations of what He was about to suffer, and from the constancy with which He pursued a course of life the most likely to lead to such an end, it is argued that the memorable Personage of whom these things are related, must have been sincere ; and that He is entitled to all the credence due to one, who voluntarily and deliberately adopted a painful way of life, the end of which (inexpressibly painful) He had all along foreseen and predicted, yet submitted to, for a peculiar purpose; without any possible advantage to Himself, and incapable of being influenced (as might be objected in the case of the follower of any teacher) by the force of example, or enthusiasm derived from others.
"The reader will be pleased to attend to the number, the force, and the agreement of the following particulars; which are necessarily condensed into a shape little attractive, except to the sincere inquirer after truth. The supreme importance of the truth to which they refer, will, it is hoped, secure his attention to the detail which is unavoidable. I place the facts in the order of time, as they are given in a Harmony, such as that I have before me: he accuracy of which is amply sufficient for the present purpose."-pp. ii. iii.
The reasoning of Mr. Johnson in support of this position forms a series of detached observations upon the conduct, the miracles, and the words of our Lord, which appear to us to establish the truth for which he contends. But the nature of his argument renders it unfit for compression; all we can do is to extract some passages from the concluding summary, which will enable our readers to form their own opinion respecting the work.
"It may be feebly answered, that a virtuous man-a philosopher(a Plato for instance, or a Socrates)-may be supposed capable of advancing to encounter death, and such a death, with a long previous conviction of its certainty, and a determination to endure it. For argument's sake (and only for the sake of argument) we may admit this to be possible without making our philosopher an enthusiast:-such as those who have often devoted themselves to voluntary death, from motives of superstitious hope or fear. What then?-He could not have predicted the manner of his death :--still less have predicted it long before
in a region remote from the scene of His suffering-when there was no apparent probability of His suffering any judicial death at all, and when, from a peculiar combination of circumstances, the death predicted ap