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Mountain-road, with its wooded and vine-covered declivities and its castellated summits; and parallel with this rich and picturesque chaussée, lies the district of the Odenwald, a tract diversified with every variety of surface, where forests, cornfields, villages, masses and precipices of granite, rivulets, torrents, pastures and orchards, succeed one another in most romantic intermixture. On the crest of the Feldsberg, one of the bighest and wildest mountains in Odin'srovod (Odenwald), lies a large and well-finished column of granite, thirty feet in beight and four in its greatest diameter. Conjecture is baffled in the attempt to ascertain its origin, and the tools of modern workmen have been unable to divide it for the purpose of removal. Not far from this spot stands the castle of Rodenstein, where the wild Jäger is fabled to reside, and on the eve of great events to traverse the air with a noisy armament to the opposite
castle of Schnellerts. From Mayence to Bingen, the stream flows through a luxuriant and highly cultivated tract; and from the latter town to Bonn, the river rushes between wild and precipitous mountains : beyond this all is flat. We reviewed in our last Number a series of graphic illustrations of the picturesque scenery of the Rhine ; but of the towns and palaces which adorn its banks, the best common representations wbich we can at the present moment recollect seeing, will be found among the aquatiots in Sir John Carr's Rbenish tour. They were both drawn andengraved by Daniell in his usual able and artist-like, though somewhat pedantic style.
Art. V. Sermons on the Seven Epistles in the Apocalypse ; compre
prehending a brief Geographical and Historical Description of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea; and also, the most recent Accounts of the State of Christianity in the Apocalyptical Churches. By John Hyatt. 8vo.
pp. 442. Portrait. Price 12s. London, 1820. Tuis course of Sermons, as being published by subscription,
and therefore, it may be presumed, intended as addresses made permanent on paper for the pleasure and instruction of the Author's friends, rather than as compositions challenging the judgement of what is called the public at large,' cannot in fairness be made the subject of formal and rigorous criticism. It may be considered as especially designed for the use of numerous individuals in his very large congregations, many of whom will naturally desire (and it is honourable to the Preacher that they should desire) to be possessed of such a means of renewing the impression of what they had heard with interest and serious resolutions, in the public delivery.
They will probably recognise in the volume nearly the identical train of thought and tenour of language which they heard
froin the pulpit; as the pages do pot, we think, betray much of an injudicious attempt to elaborate the composition into a cast foreign to the style appropriate to a popular address. Brief sentences, enounced in a spirited manner, with an emphasis of expression sometimes partaking of exaggeration, of instantly intelligible meaning, not encumbered with what may be called secondary thoughts, (such as exceptions, distinctions, and qualifying turns and circumstances,) not complicated in a protracted connexion and dependence of the ideas,---in short, a something which, all together, gives the idea of unembarrassed, rapid, forcible, popular preaching, will be found prevailing through the volume, and will go far we should think, toward placing those readers who had also been bearers of the discourses, in the same state of feeling as when they heard them.
• The life of preaching is the application,' some one has said. In conformity to this maxim, Mr. H. very often turns from general expressions to a pointed appeal to the sense and conscience of his auditors. And very judiciously be intermingles these applicatory addresses with the train of his observations, as he goes on, instead of adhering to the old method of reserving them for a formal section of the discourse toward the conclusion. So good and long exercised a judge as our Author is of the manner in which sermons are received by congregations, must be well aware of the far better effect of thus giviog the topics and sentiments a proinpt and animated turn upon the conscience at the moment of their being fresh to the hearer's attention, instead of keeping the enforcements and exhortations in store to make a sermon upon a sermon at the time that he is beginning to steal a look at the clock.
These sermons, regarded as actually spoken to a congregation, bear conspicuous evidence of a quality of great importance in a preacher--courage. The language is resolute and upcompromising in addressing the classes whose correspondence in character to what is described, in order to be rebuked, in the messages to the Seven Churches, deserves the application of the same censures. Especially we are pleased to see the Preacher always ready to take all consequences of a most explicit declaration of war against the notions and spirit of one class of pretended Christians, whose resentment, very easily excited and not very easily appeased, many worthy ministers have found it no trifle to encounter; we mean those who will not accept what they call the Gospel, on any other condition than its complete divorce from the Law; who repel an inculcation of moral duty, as an attempted infringement of Christian privilege ; and whose grim and frowning visages tell the preacher, that a Popish, or even Mahomedan priest, would be fully as acceptable an occupant of the pulpit.' The preacher of these sermons tells all such
persons that he does not fear them; and he proves it, by seizing every opportunity afforded by the solemn admonitory passages chosen as bis texts, for enforcing rectitude of temper and conduct as the indispensable attendant and evidence of genuine Christian faith. In several places, he intimates that he is aware this will give offence to some of his auditors; and near the end he signifies that he has not been so happy as to find binself deceived in this anticipation; but that nevertheless he feels no repentance of that faithful explicitness against all sin, and all principles tending to the extenuation of sin, in which he had obeyed the great law of pleasing God rather than man. If we were disposed to note any fault in connexion with this characteristic of the sermons, it would perhaps be, that there is some trifle too much of ostentation in the terms of the preacher's avowal of what he dares do in defiance. Perhaps it did not require to be so formally expressed, that an unsparing malediction on all forms of antinomianism could not, at the present time, be pronounced, at every interval of doctrine, in the face of a very large congregation, without a manfulness of resolution and a hazard of very ungracious effects. It is, at the same time, a lamentable thing to think that this should be true.
The sermons contain many serious and important admonitions on the danger, the signs, and the infelicity of declension in religion, with incitements to zeal and activity. In describing, in forms parallel to the things so solemnly reproved in the seven ancient churches, the evils existing in the churches of our own day, he proves himself very observant of what may be called our English Christian world, and better acquainted with the evils in the state of the Dissenting communities, than we can wish their enemies to be.
If we had not signified a suspension, for the time, of our judicial functions, in noticing a work published under the auspices of friendship and subscription, will Mr. Hyatt give us credit that we should have been able to make out a list of faults, to a tolerable length. What could we not say of words incorrectly employed; as when he tells us that 'to hate what the Son of God hates, is
highly commendatory;'-of incongruity of figurative language; as wben he says, ' we imbibe and retain distorted views of many
passages contained in the volume of revelation;'-of pure extravagancies of expression, as in such a sentence as this : "The
display which he will one day make of his glory, as Immanuel, ' will cover the souls of the impious deniers of his divinity, with
a blush of guilt ten thousand times deeper than vermilion ;' --of a tone of harshness, partaking, we might almost say, of fierceness, ip expressing the menaces of the Divine Justice ;of assertions and descriptions too much in the extremes of con
trast in representing, in comparision, the characters of saints and singers ?-&c. &c. &c.?
There is no very material inequality, we think, between any two of the sermons, or between one and another of the several portions of the series, as founded respectively on the characters of the Asiatic churches. If on a comparison a preference were to be given to any particular portion, we should perhaps deem some parts of the discourses on the verses respecting the church at Sardis, fully as much adapted to usefulness as any other part of the course. The strain, however, of forcible admonition and exhortation, (a strain wbich must have had great effect, we should think, in the actual address to a large assembly,) is maintained through many parts also of the other serions. It is, indeed, a prevailing characteristic of the book. The Preacher's way is, if we may so express it, to drive bis appeals and inculcations home, in a direct, unceremonious, and rather rough man
It is nearly indifferent from what page we transcribe a specimen indicative of the rank, in point of thinking and language, to which he belongs. In any portion almost of the volume, the reader finds the course of the sentiment and diction proceeding in a style equal to that of such passages as the following:
But what! is all this a visionary description ? Is it only the picture of a fanciful imagination? Is it the recital of a pleasing dream? Is it not enthusiasm rather than religion? Ah! many of us know that it is not fiction but fact. It is not the recital of a vain dream but of a blessed reality. We remember the days of our espousals to Christ; we remember the solitary peaceful walks we enjoyed,--the pleasurable hours we spent in retirement,--the interesting and instructive books we read, the holy pleasures we experienced, the lively hopes we cherished, and the Heavenly felicity we anticipated :-yes, we still remember,-how sweetly did the weeks pass away, while Jesus and his love engaged our thoughts, and our tongues, and our hearts. Did we then err in our judgment? Did we overrate religion? Did we set too high a value upon our souls, and make too much of eternity? No. Nor was this possible. Alas! that ever our negligence and indifference should have caused us at any time to experience a painful and distressing reverse !
• My hearers,—How are things between God and your souls? How far have we described the state of your experience ? Bring the features of the character we have drawn, close to your hearts, and endeavour to ascertain what resemblance the likeness bears to yourselves.'
There are two witnesses present who know what is the state of religion in each Christian-God, and conscience. Ah! are not some of our hearers conscious that, in them, “ the things which remain are ready to die"? One is saying, Alas! I have experienced a lamentable reverse in the state of religion in my soul. There was a time when I was more alive to God than now I was less anxious about terres.
trial things—I could more patiently bear afflictions and trials—I heard the gospel with delight and profit--I enjoyed communion with Jesus in the exercises of secret prayer and devout meditation ;-but now my heart is cold-my course is irregular-my soul is lean, and barren, and unhappy. Often the sight of my neglected Bible covers me with a blush of guilt.'
• The doctrine of personal holiness, or internal sanctification, is exploded by some professors of Christianity, supposing it detracts from the glory of Christ. They affirm, that Christians have holiness in Christ, but none in themselves ;-that sanctification, as well as justification, is imputed. Before regeneration we had no holiness in ourselves, but surely, subsequent to our becoming new creatures in Christ Jesus,” we must necessarily be the subjects of holiness. Can a man be “one spirit with the Lord,” and not possess holiness ? Can we conceive of spiritual life in the soul without the sanctification of its faculties and affections ? But, it seems, we are not to look for any thing in ourselves from which to derive encouragement or consolation, but to look for every thing in Christ. Self-examination, then, in order to ascertain if we “ be in the faith,” is altogether unnecessary, and the exhortation which the Apostle Paul urges upon Christians, to examine themselves, is quite superfluous. Opposed as some professors of the gospel are to personal sanctification, they will one day find that, “ without holiness no man shall see the Lord," as his Redeemer and everlasting portion. Our Lord describes his disciples as “ poor in spirit,” - “ meek”_" merciful”_" peace-makers”—“ hungering and thirsting after righteousness”—“ mourners”-“ pure in heart.” Is there no holiness in those that answer to this description? Can all these moral virtues be possessed by a person who is destitute of internal sanctification?"
It was not within the Preacher's design to adventure any speculation on the prophetical character of the book of Revelation, or on any predictive references, excepting the moral and judicial ones, to be found in the introductory chapters. His object was simply to expand, to illustrate in particulars, and to enforce in a train of religious and moral instructions, the powerful sentences of censure, warning, and excitement addressed to the seven churches,---constituting as they do, one of the most solemn, commanding, and magnificent communications that ever proceeded from even the Supreme Dictator himself.
The Author bas prefixed to the respective portions of the course, short accounts of the present state of the places where those churches once existed. In the first of these notices, we think he is a little hard upon our inquisitive classical modern travellers. Most of them,' he remarks, ' appear to bave been ' far more concerned to explore, and to publish to the world, the • antiquities of Heathenism than the antiquities of Christianity;
that information which would be most gratifying to Christian readers, is generally sought for in vain in their works.' It may be too much to affirm that some of those gentlemen would VOL. XIV. N.S.