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consequences of them, are topics which give them little or no con
Vol. II. pp. 243, 244. The most free and endearing relations, therefore, subsisting between God and his worshippers, will not excuse the want of decorum on their part.
» They are children, it is true ; but they are children who were once rebellious, and who were reconciled to their much injured Father by means which ought to inspire them with the highest reverence for him, and with the deepest sense of their own guilt and unworthiness. The recolle ction of these facts should make them feel abashed in his presence, amid their most lawful freedoms, and their most rapturous joys. In the midst of that splendid entertainment which the father prepared on the return of the prodigal son, the marks of endeared affection which the latter received, and the ornaments of dress by which he was distinguished, could not make him forget his gross misconduct, or his late mean and wretched condition. The unexpected and overflowing goodness of the parent humbled while it comforted him; and amidst his joy, there were no doubt, at intervals, external manifestations of the shame and sorrow he felt within. No truly penitent believer in Christ can be an utter stranger to sensations of this kind in the worship and service of God, or can fail of testifying them by a suitable behaviour, even when favoured with the most cheering smiles of the divine countenance. Indeed, separate from the reason for humiliation just alluded to, the conduct of no Christian is so correct and becoming, even after reconciliation, as not to warrant selfdiffidence and self-abasement, when his communion with the Deity is the most intimate and delightful.' Vol. II. pp. 245, 246.
We would not lose the opportunity of placing the following remarks in the way of any whom they may concern,
• Here it is scarcely possible not to advert to the flippant and ludicrous, if not mean and vulgar, phraseology introduced into discourse and writing, when the things of God are the subject, by some who sustain the religious character. To mention instances would degrade piety, and excite disgust: neither is it necessary, since they are so often the subject of painful reflection to the friends of godliness, as well as of good sense and propriety. The offenders are generally persons of a low turn, and of coarse manners; their natural parts, what. ever they may be, have never been refined by education, reading, or conversation with their superiors in station; or if they act in opposition to their own judgment and taste, it is because they despair of recommending themselves to their readers or hearers, without this contemptible and criminal obsequiousness. Neither the worship of God, nor the pulpit itself, is entirely uninfected by this scandalous practice. The excuses alleged for it are that it causes the multiLude to come together that it engages the attention of the thoughtless, the volatile, and those of low degree and that it is often blessed for the great purposes of conversion and edification. The fact, how. ever, that good is not unfrequently brought out of evil, does not furnish a good reason for committing evil; neither is it certain that the good produced in the present case, exceeds the evil occasioned through the blame attached to the holy ministry, by thus giving offence. There is nothing ludicrous or disgraceful in the discourses or writings of the inspired authors. This buffoonery in the illustrations and phrases made choice of, as well, perhaps, as in the looks, tone, gesture, and actions of the speaker, is the more lamentable, as the offender is not always tempted to it by the want of talent, and might possibly become as popular and serviceable by its proper use, as by its abuse. Though these strictures seem wholly to relate to ministers of the gospel, they implicate the people likewise ; for if the practice complained of were not countenanced by the latter, it would not be continued, or even adopted, by the former. Vol. II. pp. 247, 248.
We have already remarked in Mr. Burnside's manner some want of decision, explicitness, and courage, in dealing with the indefensible prejudices, inclinations, or practices with which he attempts to contend. But no instance of this kind has appeared to us more strange than that which occurs in the following passage.
. I cannot but strongly recommend the study of Christian obligation to all who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ. Neither ministers nor people, perhaps, pay so much attention to this study as they ought to do. The former very properly think, that the first and principal duty of an evangelical minister, is to insist upon the principles of the oracles of Christ, since these are employed by the Holy Spirit as the chief occasions and instruments of sanctification. They are also the subjects which mankind stand in most need of being taught; and without them, duty will want both its proper basis, and its most powerful auxiliary. Some attention, too, ought to be paid to the prejudices of an audience, who generally prefer instruction, comfort, and entertainment, to reproof and admonition. Still I should imagine, that points of duty, irradiated and enlightened by the truths of the gospel, would not only be inoffensive, but acceptable and profitable to the people of God, were they discussed a little more frequently in the pulpit. At least, the practical improvement of doctrinal subjects ought to be less short and vague. But if these alterations in the public addresses of ministers would in some cases be peculiarly inconvenient and hazardous, or prove insufficient for the purpose, (as I suppose, indeed, they would upon trial, in some congregations,) perhaps the same difficulties would not present themselves at visits and in private interviews---especially those that take place for spiritual purposes. Here even the defects of practical preaching itself might possibly be supplied. Here a Christian pastor of adroitness and faithfulness might with good effect observe on passages of Scripture and moral topics that are too remote from the grand object of his function, too minute, too personal in their application, and of too rare occurrence, to be discussed more publicly: he might speak directly and pointedly to the circumstances of the family or of the individual, without the possibility of his meaning being either misunderstood or eluded. Of course he will recollect the importance of a good example to the acceptablenss and success of his reproofs or admonitions. Vol. II, pp. 334, 335.
We should be happy to admit any explanation of the sentences distinguished by italics, which might render them less liable than they appear to be, to very serious reprehension. We have no room for discussion, but must plainly say, that the respect with which the general strain of the work before us inspires us for its Author, restrains us from the use of those strong terms in which we should feel impelled to remark upon the kind of policy here insinuated as allowable to the Christian Minister. T'here is, it must be confessed, room to fear, that an uphappy deference to this prejudice, as Mr. Burnside is pleased to call it, against the due administration of pastoral reproof and | admonition,' in too many cases hangs like a mill-stone about the consciences of those who should be, and who are in the main, the servants of Christ,--seeking to please not men, but God. And it may also be very true, that those ' alterations in
the public addresses of ministers,' which a higlier-toned faith, fulness and courage would inspire, might prove, in some cases,
peculiarly inconvenient and hazardous.' Or, in other words, it must be acknowledged, that professors of religion who will not endure sound doctrine, are able to accommodate themselves with teachers content to adıninister to their hearers just so much of Christianity as they stipulate to receive. rate, let not such facts be alluded to in terms which may bear to be interpreted into a settled and prudential acquiescence.
In a subsequent Essay we meet with a passage which might have served as a sufficient corrective of the one we have just adduced.
• The concealment or qualification of unwelcome truths, when the safety and interest of any one may depend upon their proper commu. nication, is a species of complaisance very remote from true benevolence. While we justly appreciate the esteem and good will of men, let us not forget, that there is One whose approbation is infinitely more important, and who can confound us before the very persons in whose presence we are culpably silent to avoid confusion.' Whatever our difficulties may be, or our inability to surmount them, both our own hearts, and those of the people whom we address, are in the hands of Him who is the great Object and Author of religion, who particularly wills its promotion, and who has promised to assist and bless those who seek his aid in the holy cause. Vol. II. p. 355.
The opinions advanced in the Essay on Austerity, are, perhaps, not liable to material objection; though, no doubt, a rather different aspect might be given to the same subject, with some appearance of support from Scripture. We think, at least, that as the tendency of opinions and manners in the Christian Church, in the present day, is almost entirely in the
But at any
opposite direction,—when jolly good cheer, when plumes, gildings, and odours, are so much more in vogue among professors of religion, than leanness, vigils, and horse-bair shirts, a companion Essay on Self-Denial, might with particular propriety have entered into Mr. Burnside's comprehensive plan. We say, considering the actual state of manners, that this very important branch of Christian morality should not have been dismissed in a short and solitary sentence: At the same time, let us take sheed that we do not fall into the more dangerous and common sextreme of laxity in principles and manners. If laxity in principles and manners be both a more dangerous and a more common extreme than superstitious severity, why is the subject thus slighted?
The last three Essays are judicious and interesting. We must now restrict ourselves to a single concluding quotation, and we are glad to take leave of our Author while he is indulging his happier and more favourite meditations.
• Every human being whom the saints on their arrival (in heaven) meet with, besides his present exemption from every little, mean, or criminal passion, will behave himself on the occasion like one who recollects that he was once in the circumstances of the stranger. The pure and noble nature of superior spirits in glory forbids the suspicion of defect in their equity and benevolence toward others on their admission. But what is of infinitely greater consequence, they will not enter into the holy of holies unaccompanied by the true High Priest, who with his own blood sprinkled the mercy-seat, and who comes at death “ to take his people to himself:” they are going where proper persons will receive them on their entrance, who now feel pleasure in the prospect of their coming; they will be where preparations have long been made by Christ for their entertainment, where the ruling personages were their friends and patrons in this world, and, in a word, where they are fully “ wrought for the selfsame thing." Involved as they are in darkness on this most interest ing subject, they are not wholly ignorant: for “whither they go they know, and the way they know." They have long carried on a real and beneficial, though a mysterious, correspondence with the Sovereign of the new world, and with Him to whom “all power is given in heaven and in earth.” Unknown as its inhabitants are to them, they themselves are well known not only to the Father and the Son, but to the “ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation;" and though they now “know only in part,” yet hereafter “ they shall know even as they are known."
Their being placed at perfect ease, will be but the work of a moment.' Vol. Iļ.
Mr. Burnside's metaphors, though they are generally rather trite, assume, for the most part, an air of originality from the manner in which they are treated. There is, however, a much too frequent recurrence of the same, or of very similar metaphors;—as for example, that of a monarch and rebellious subjects: they are also often drawn out to an excessive length. In truth, the heaviest fault of the Author's manner, is, such an unsparing and leisurely amplification of every point, as has given a bulk to the work which will inevitably circumscribe its circulation and usefulness. We are strongly disposed to wish that the Author could have the magnanimity to subject his two volumes to a process which should precipitate the heavier portions of them, and leave to the public about the quantity of one. Such a volume would surely obtain for itself a lasting estimation. But even as it is, we have already without hesitation hazarded the opinion, that there is a vigour in the work which will enable it to live long beyond the date of the common crowd of religious publications. Art, II. Travels in Sicily, Greece, and Albania. By the Rev. Thomas Smart Hughes. Two Volumes, 4to. London. 1820.
(Concluded from p. 318.) THE 'HE readers of our Journal are already familiar with the
name and character of the redoubted Vizir of Albania. Both Mr. Hobhouse and Dr. Holland have drawn his portrait at full Jength, and the former has given us the outlines of bis history.* But it has been reserved for the present Writer, to furnish the completest biographical memoir of the life of Ali Pasha that has yet appeared. The earlier part of his career is already involved in the obscurity of tradition, and cannot be very authentically or accurately detailed. Mr. Hughes states, that he perused nearly fifty accounts compiled from oral traditions, without meeting with two that agreed with each other' either in the
relation of facts or the development of motives. Among the rest, be obtained a transcript of the life of the Ali Pasba in Romaic verse, written by a native Albanian poet ; but, unfortunately, the hand-writing is so confused, that this curious document bas been, he says, of no service to him.
Ali, whose surname is Hissas, was born at Tepeleni, a small town of the Toskides, about the year 1750. His family had been established in that place for several centuries; and one of bis ancestors, named Muzzo, having been very successful in the honourable profession of a kleftes, or robber, procured for bimself the lordship of Tepeleni, which he transmitted to his descendants, who continued to hold it by a kind of feudal tepure under the pasha of Berat. Ali's grandfather, after whom he is named, is stated to have been deemed the greatest warrior of bis age. The father of Ali, named Vely Bey, was a man of humane disposition and excellent character : he beld for some time the pasbalic of Dervino, but lost it through the intrigues of a cabal, and re
* Ecl. Rev. N. S. Vol. IV. p. 530; and Vol. VII. p. 339.