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trod, and there the Jordan still rolls its consecrated waters to the bituminous lake where Sodom stood.'


363-365. An editor of such a work as the present, would, we imagine, feel some difficulty in determining his plan. Mere digest would serve the purpose of conveying information in a small compass, but it would be in great peril of proving uninteresting and insipid to general readers. Analysis would ensure much repetition without an equivalent in valuable result. Mere extract would be nothing more than the paste-and-scissar system, and must perforce be wofully guilty of the mortal sin of preterition. The editor of the Modern Traveller” has taken the effectual way of combining all the three. He has introduced enough of extract and anecdote to give spirit, freshness, and variety to the work, with sufficient analysis and reference to convey a general notion of what has been contributed by different authorities; and he has blended the whole together, and given it completeness, by a judicious digest of the great mass of his materials. He has, above all, imparted unspeakable value to his volumes, by the recognition, not forced or obtrusive, but explicit, of the great principles of morality and religion. The adoption of Routes,' as one of the principal vehicles of description, though not always practicable, has, in countries but partially known, the double advantage of indicating the lines which have been previously traversed, and of directing future travellers to the tracts of country which still require investigation. In short, these little volumes contain the pith of many an expensive volume; and while they will serve the traveller as a pocket companion, and the general reader as a useful compendium, they will be found singularly available for the purposes of education, at an age somewhat advanced beyond the mere elements of geographical knowledge.

The maps and plates are well executed, but, as far as our own taste is concerned, we would give up the latter for the advantage of possessing the former on a more efficient scale. They are got up with much care, and contain more than could be expected in the way of geographical and political feature; but we should have preferred them larger.

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Art. VI. 1. Sermons preached in St. John's Church, Glasgow. By

Thomas Chalmers, D.D. 8vo. pp. 446. Price 10s. 6d. Glasgow.

1823. 2. Sermons. By the Rev. J. W. Cunningham, A. M. Vicar of Har

row. Vol. II. 8vo. pp. 436. London. 1824. 3. Sermons. By the late Rev. Noah Hill. 8vo. pp. 464. Price 9s.

London, 1822. 4. Twenty Sermons. By the late Rev. Henry Martyn, B.D. Second

Edition. 8vo. pp. 444. London. 1822. 5. Sirteen Lectures on the Influences of the Holy Spirit. By Thomas

Mortimer, M. A. 8vo. pp. 420. Price 10s. 60. 6. Sermons delivered at Salters' Hall. By the late Hugh Worthington.

Taken from Memory. Second Edition. 8vo. pp. 560. Price 12s.

London. 1823. 7. Twenty-four Sermons on Practical Subjects. Translated from the

Works of the most eminent French and Dutch Protestanı Ministers in Holland. By J. Werninck, D.D. Minister of the Dutch Church

in London, &c. 8vo. pp. 436. Price 10s. 6d. London. 1823. WI

E find ourselves so deeply in arrears as respects the no

tice of the numerous volumes of sermons which have lately appeared, that we are under the necessity of disposing of a few of the publications now on our table, as it were en masse ; a method not so complimentary, perhaps, to the individual authors, but preferable to neglecting them, and which will have the advantage of saving our readers the otherwise unavoidable iteration of the same train of remarks.

Mr. Irving tells us, in the preface to his Orations, that “the

very name of sermon hath learned to inspire drowsiness and * tedium. We cannot plead guilty to its being so with us, for the name is associated in our minds with some of the finest compositions in the language. But of all things in the world, criticisms upon sermons are, for the most part, the most irksome and uninteresting. We will confess, therefore, that not merely the fear of annoying our readers, and of throwing an uninviting character over our pages, but a positive disinclination to the discharge of this part of our bounden duty, may have led us to take less notice than we ought to have done of this class of publications. Sermons which may be excellently calculated to instruct and to edify, when read either in the closet or in the family, very often present no specific literary characteristics, no prominent features by which to distinguish the individual ; and extracts are with difficulty made, unless at


very great length, that give even a fair view of the substantial . merits of many a volume of this description. The constant demand which there is for sermons of this plain and unpretending character, proves that they are found to answer their purpose; and that it would be a great error, to estimate the utility of such publications, by the same test that we should apply to other species of literaturę. With regard to sermons, as with regard to school-books, and what are they but a sort of class-books for children of a larger growtb !--the chief points to be ascertained are, not the elegance of the style or ihe originality of the ideas, but, Are they correct? Are they simple? Does the author understand his subject? If so, we all know what a sermon ought to treat of, and how it will be divided; extracts are almost superfluous; and if it might be allowed us to imitate the laconic Imprimatur of the authorized guardians of the press, we should satisfy ourselves with affixing to the the title of the volume, a simple Legatur.

We have, however, occasionally expressed a desire to meet with-not Orations and Arguments exactly, but-sermons of a somewhat more elaborate nature. It would not be desirable, even were it possible, that every writer of sermons should be a South or a Barrow, a Howe or a Butler, an Edwards or a Horsley. But we cannot help thinking that English literature would admit of being enriched with a few more theological compositions of this higher stamp; and if we have not among us such ‘giants' as were in olden time, we believe that we have intellect enough afloat to furnish volumes that should deserve to rank on the same shelf, were it adequately exerted as well as properly consecrated. We have been compelled to resign the hope of receiving a volume of sermons from the preacher capable above all others, in the present day, of emulating the reasoning of Barrow and the eloquence of South. A few single sermons (all perhaps, with one exception, inferior to many

of his unwritten discourses) will convey to posterity no better idea of the mind from which they have proceeded, than the disrupted capitals and cornices of a ruined portico seen by the traveller, give of the perfect edifice. The present age is not, however, by any means barren of pulpit talent. Never, indeed, were there a greater number of efficient, and even eloquent preachers; but it must also be admitted, that our most popular speakers are incapable of making the same impression by means of the pen, that they do by the voice. To many them, who are most deservedly admired and eagerly listened to, the language of friendship would be, Beware of the Press. All men have not, in this respect, the same gift.

To one is given the word of wisdom, to anothes the word of knowledge,



to another prophecy." And without attempting to adjust the respective rank of the reasoner and the scholar, the speaker and the writer, it is sufficient to observe, that the qualifications are so wholly different, that while our pulpits were never, perhaps, more competently supplied, our theological literature has received of late years few additions of any substantial value or permanent interest.

Dr. Chalmers deserves to rank among the exceptions. His sermons are not only original and eloquent, but they are sterling productions. Untrammeled by system, he exhibits the doctrines of Christianity in all the freshness which they wear when new drawn from the Scriptures, and with the uncompromising fearlessness of a man not hired and trained to defend, but eager to propagate them. He is original, not because his thoughts are often new,--they are not so new as his phraseology,-but because they are native, like his feelings, and related to them as flesh and blood are related. He succeeds in placing truths in a striking light, not because he is a profound theologian, but because he is a practical one, intent upon the moral business of his function, as having to do with the consciences of men, rather than with their speculations. As critics, as English critics especially, we may be allowed to have strong objections against his diction and style. It is not as models of composition that we can recommend his sermons, but as vigorous effu

sions of a nobly consecrated intellect,-as living literature, * not manufactured wares. Dr. Chalmers does not set himself to make sermons, but uses this form of discourse as the best vehicle of the truths he wishes to convey.

Now this we conceive to be the great difference between the theological writers of former days and of the present; that, with regard, at least, to those whose works are still read, the sermon was with them a more serious intellectual effort. Whatever was the character of their usual Sunday teachings, when they wrote for the press, it was not merely to supply the market with a commodity, one that should perish in the using, but they applied to it as to any other species of authorship, and did not think of taking less pains with a sermon than with a poem. They wrote for the higher classes, not of rank, but of intellect. Mr. Cunningham, in the preface to his present work, seems to consider this as scarcely a legitimate object. Alluding to the wish expressed in a review of his former volume, that he would endeavour to produce one of a somewhat more elaborate nature, he says :

• But, even if the Author could presume to consider himself as capable of satisfying the wishes of those who think more profoundly than the mass of society, he should exceedingly hesitate as to the Inwfulness, especially in this species of composition, of labouring to gratify the few. at the expense of the many. Those sermons are evidently the best, which approach the most closely to the scriptural model; and it may be confidently affirmed, that the New Testament is the simplest of all books, and the Saviour of the world the plainest of all teachers.' The Author'has, in this view of the subject, mainly to regret his own too frequent deviations from that simplicity, the adherence to which is of such primary importance.'

We must be allowed to remark in reply, that neither the gratification of the few nor of the many, is, strictly speaking, a legitimate object in this species of composition ; but, in our opinion, the edification of the many is perfectly compatible with consulting the taste and the moral wants of the few. We are not speaking, be it remembered, of the proper style of pulpit teaching. We agree with Mr. Cunningham, that this cannot be too plain, that elaboration here would be misplaced, that the many are chiefly to be consulted, and the many not among those who read, but the many who have not the time, if they have the inclination and the ability to read. A deficiency of simplicity in the style and manner of teaching is, in our opinion, a very prevailing fault, more especially in our younger ministers. There is no occasion to be coarse or vulgar, or to use any but the purest English, in order to be thoroughly understood by the plainest persons in a congregation. But the phraseology too often acquired by our academics, is at an immense remove (if we may be pardoned the Americanism) from “ plainness of speech. We have repeatedly heard sermons in which a very large proportion of the words employed, must have been scarcely less intelligible to the galleries, than so many Greek or Latin terins interspersed. There seems to prévail a constant morbid apprehension of falling into a low style, low in the sense of poverty, if not of coarseness; and therefore, the language must be hitched up every now and then with a select and well-sounding word; in the same manner as the second-rate writers of blank verse exhibit a perpetual effort to sustain the pomp of diction, in order to keep their lines from running into prose. Whereas, if the tone of thought were properly sustained, this solicitude about the diction might be laid aside. Clear ideas would provide their own expression. It is, in our judgement, a fault, and not an excellence, to talk like a book.' Thus far, we imagine, we should have Mr. Cunningham's concurrence.

, But the case is somewhat different when the pastor or teacher embarks in authorship. It may, indeed, be allowed him to say: These are the sermons I have preached : I publish them

only for my congregation and my friends, or for the use of · those who may read them to other congregations. We have

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