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peared to stand in contradiction with the authors of it predicted also :a Roman punishment proceeding from the Jewish Hierarchy. He could not have foretold the very place, and time, nay the day of his death; as well as the manner of it, its authors and abettors; even if, with this clear knowledge announced so long before, he could have calmly advanced to meet it, to seal by the life and death of a God the lie of an impostor-the fanaticism of a madman--or the dreams of a philosopher!
"Another reply may be imagined: But what evidence can you allege to assure us that these predictions were actually delivered, as recorded in the Evangelists ?What possible purpose could be served by their fabrication ? Were they inserted that a nameless individual in the nineteenth century might, for the first time, make use of them as an argument for the truth of those events of which they who recorded them entertained no doubt? But in fact it would be impossible to get rid of these predictions without abrogating all credit which can attach to any record whatever. A few reasons out of many may suffice-1st. The predictions are multiplied beyond any thing a reader, whose attention has not been turned to the subject can conceive; occurring in every possible variety of form, and occurring almost equally in every one of the four Evangelists. 2dly. No importance appears ever to be attached to them by the historians, as likely to give credibility to their narrative ;but to all appearance, they are set down simply because they were so delivered. 3dly. They are, for the most part, incidental, and in this respect coincide perfectly with the characteristic manner of speech peculiar to our Lord. 4thly. They do not stand alone, but are mixed up with many antecedent and succeeding particulars; several of them of a sort the least likely to have been gratuitously imagined. 5thly. They could not have been recorded, as they have been, by all the four Evangelists, without the imputation of a common design and purpose, if not a concerted combination and plan: yet it very frequently occurs that the prophetic words are omitted by one or two of the witnesses, who give all the circumstances which led to their utterance, or were consequent upon it. 6thly. These predictions appear to have formed part of a plan (if I may be permitted so to speak), which our Lord systematically pursued, both in His actions and His words, from the commencement of His ministry to the evening before his death. With this plan or purpose, which His actions indicate, His prophetic declarations of His approaching end are indissolubly bound up.
"Such a plan or purpose it has been my humble and devout endeavour to trace in some of its details. We have seen how systematically He pursued and gradually unveiled to those around Him His unexampled design; revealing it at first to individuals,-then to His immediate and chosen followers, then to the multitude of His disciples (but to these only by figurative expressions); at first making known the great and all important particular of His future death, the manner of it, and the ultimate cause of it (the Redemption of mankind):-theu describing its authors and perpetrators, and at last defining the most minute particulars -the place the time and the day. These particulars were at first im
plied by remote but always characteristic expressions: then by others yet more plain, but still figurative: lastly by direct and literal announce
"We find that His Divine Conduct corresponded perfectly with this course of Prophecy: we find Him to have avoided proclaiming Himself or suffering Himself to be proclaimed as that Great Personage whom He at last openly confessed Himself to be, and with which confession all his words and actions minutely but not ostentatiously agreed: we find Him to have been fearless in rebuking all sin, and in pursuing His unexampled career as a Teacher; yet cautiously to have avoided all danger of a violent death except that which He had so long predicted, and to which, with the most perfect foreknowledge, He deliberately resigned Himself.
"The inevitable conclusion is, that He was Truth Itself; and that we may repose, with full assurance of faith on His words and His promises."-pp. 117–122.
ART. XI.-A word for God against certain Blasphemies reported to have been recently uttered in the House of Commons-A Sermon preached before the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor, &c. &c. &c. On Sunday, February, 26, 1832, at the Parish Church of the Holy Sepulchre, London. By Thomas Mortimer, B. D. Minister of St. Mark's, Myddelton Square; and Lecturer of St. Leonard's, Shoreditch. London. Seeley and Sons, 1832. Svo. pp. 23.
WE feel great respect for Mr. Mortimer's zeal; but what shall we say of his judgment and of his taste? He appeals to the authority of Latimer, in defence of his mode of proceeding, and then addresses Alderman Key in the following terms.
"In accordance with these episcopal directions, I would now preach the word of Almighty God to you, my Lord Mayor of London. In doing which I would say—
"Continue to honour and keep holy the Sabbath day.-Be it known unto you all, Christian people, here this day assembled, that the report, circulated some time ago, of our Chief Magistrate having sanctioned the employment of workmen at Guildhall on the Sabbath-day, previous to a civic banquet, was, I rejoice to say, without foundation. His Lordship not only gave the strictest orders that no such thing should be done on the sabbath, but afterwards sent a messenger to see if the orders so given were executed; and, lest any should still persist in violating that holy day, his Lordship followed in person, shortly after his own messen
My Lord Mayor, as a minister of God's word I thus publicly express the honour I felt, and still feel, towards you for thus remembering the Sabbath-day to keep it holy.
A second remark, which I would make with all reverence, and yet in all faithfulness, is this:
Confess, I entreat you, my Lord Mayor, confess your Saviour manfully before men; and do him all honour, both in your own family and in that high and honourable station in which His providence has placed you.
"If at the civic feast, or in the civic senate, any blasphemer (which God forbid!) should dare to open his lips to impugn the Christian faith, or to deny the moral government of God; then, then, I beseech your Lordship, as the chief magistrate of the first Christian city in the world, stand forth, even at the risk of opprobrium or insult, to confess your Saviour's name. Think, oh! think of that solemn day when all earthly dignity shall have vanished; of that day when the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all his holy angels with him;' when 'the judgment shall be set, and the books shall be opened,' when He shall reward every man according to his works.' For, verily, in that day your Lord and Master shall sit upon his throne, to confess them before his Father who have confessed Him before the world."-pp. 19 -21.
Now the meaning and substance of all this is good; but cannot Mr. Mortimer understand that his forms of expression border on the ludicrous, and that when he thunders out or whispers out "My Lord Mayor!" he is much more likely to make the scoffer laugh than the sinner tremble? Again his denunciation of Mr. Hume's profaneness is much in the same style.
"And now, Christian people, let me plainly and in all honesty tell you what led me to the selection of such a subject on such an occasion as the present. I shall not shrink from boldly declaring to you, that it was the daring, disgusting, and horrid language reported to have been used a short time since in the Commons House of Parliament, and that by one of the members for this county. I am not ignorant that in speaking thus I may be considered as interfering with what are called the privileges of Parliament. But in God's holy name I would ask, were not all those privileges granted to that honourable House that they might, upon the true faith of Christian men, duly serve their God, their sovereign, and their country? I know of no privilege to dishonour either God's holy name, his word, or his providence. And I must say, that if the following printed report be correct, and if it be really true that one of the present members for this county did actually express himself as here described, then is he indeed daring the judgments of God, and calling for the thunderbolts of Divine indignation. In the parliamentary_report of an evening paper of the 16th of this month we read thus: Mr. H. said, that he was as much opposed as ever to the appointment of a fast-day. He regretted that Ministers had been weak enough to agree to the proposition.' In the same evening paper of February 20 we read: Mr. H. replied, that he would state what he did say; he said it was humbug to set forth such words in Acts of Parliament, that it had pleased God to afflict the country
with a pestilence; and the Hon. Baronet ought to have added these words, cant, and hypocrisy.'
"If, I say, these two reports, as given in the newspaper just quoted, be really correct, and that the honourable member for Middlesex did thus express himself, I pronounce and declare this day, before God and this congregation, that in so doing he committed a dreadful offence against his Maker, and against the best interests of his country; and (whatever I may be called to suffer for so doing), I denounce such sentiments as awful, execrable, and blasphemous; and this I do as a minister of God's holy word, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
"A single word for these Schools, and I have done. If you care for the safety of the state or the welfare of the church, I entreat and beseech you, support liberally the Christian education of youth."
The concluding paragraph acquaints Mr. Mortimer's readers with what they could not have surmised from any preceding portion of his discourse, namely, that he is preaching a Charity Sermon-And this matter evidently must have been near his heart, since it is scrupulously reserved for the postscript. But although Mr. Hume deserved the most indignant rebuke which language can convey, is it probable that he will be put to shame by such an address as this?" The evening paper of February, 20,"" and the honourable member for Middlesex," are phrases which ought not come in such close contact with a solemn appeal to the Blessed Trinity. Mr. Mortimer means to be impressive, but a vulgar familiarity disgusts many more persons than it attracts and we protest against the use of such language by the Ministers of the Church.
ART. XII.-The Sabbath: a Sermon. By the Rev. William Wood, B.D. Rector of Coulsdon, and Vicar of Fulham. London. Roake and Varty. 1831. 12mo. pp. 32.
WITHOUT intending to be paradoxical, we think that the recent controversy respecting the Sabbath will do good. It has called general attention to the subject-Both parties have been heard→ and the victory rests, as we were always confident that it would rest, with the supporters of the old and generally received doctrine. And the discussion has been attended with this additional advantage. Many writers and preachers who have re-examined the question and ascertained the correctness of their former opinions, have felt themselves called upon not only to make those opinions known, but likewise to explain and defend them before
the public, and urge their readers and hearers to a more strict discharge of the duty of hallowing the Sabbath day.
The discourse now before us affords a specimen of the manner in which this task has been executed:-Mr. Wood addresses himself to a country congregation, and having stated in a very solemn and powerful manner the original institution and divine obligation of the Sabbath, and the dreadful results of disobeying a positive command of God, concludes with the following appeal to the consciences of his parishioners.
"But the great question for you, and which you should lay your hands upon your hearts, and answer conscientiously, is this; how much you yourselves, individually, have contributed to increase the mass of the national guilt in this particular, of which God is so jealous. As my sacred office compels me to speak the truth, and forbids every kind of flattery and dissimulation; as I cannot otherwise be useful to any of you, or assist you in working out your salvation, but by bearing witness to the truth; as I am, moreover, now about to leave you for a while, and therefore wish to give you some departing farewell advice of the most momentous importance; I say it, I confess, with deep sorrow, and with a painful alarm on your account, that, even in this otherwise welldisposed and well-ordered parish, there is a too evident, and a too great, neglect of the Sabbath. In the true spirit of pastoral affection, but in the plain, manly, authoritative language of an Apostle, I say, I cannot praise you in this.'
"Alas! alas! what correct idea, or right devout feeling of God's sabbaths, can they have, who are always absent from God's house, and who, perhaps, profane these sacred days, besides, by drunkenness, or gaming, or some other revelry? None, undoubtedly. But all our remonstrances from this sacred place must, of necessity, be useless to them; they need them most, but are never present to hear them. Of the rest, how few come here with so much regularity as to show that it is an essential part of their system of life-an established principle of conduct never to be departed from but upon the most urgent, extraordinary occasions! And how will God judge of them, who think that they do sufficient honour to his Sabbath by coming once only, and forget that God may construe their coming but once as a proud assumption on their parts, that they want no more of his sanctifying grace than once a day may be likely to bestow! If the help of the Holy Spirit alone can fit them for salvation, and this help is chiefly given by the ministry of the church, how can they be perfectly satisfied with themselves, and think that they have done enough, when they neglect, once a day, an opportunity of partaking of the spirit, which the church is the instrument to convey? I am not unaware of the circumstances of this parish, which render more sometimes impossible; but how few, how very few, perhaps two or three individuals, lament circumstances, and the consequent loss of additional means of grace!
"But how will God judge even of the most exemplary in any congregation, who never forsake his house, either for pleasure, or for busi