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66

brought against them, to admit an humbled as well as an exalted Messiah; only they either feigned two Messiahs, or took refuge in the figment of the Messiah being for a long time hidden before He would manifest Himself. These were not, however, the views of the Jewish doctors in the time of our Lord, who looked only for a sudden advent of Messiah in all His glory, to set up his dominion among them. Nor does the prophecy terminate here. Captives” are to be delivered ; another work, would the Jews say, of a conquering Messiah ; but they are to be delivered by the blood of the covenant,” not by arms.

66 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water ;” and then, as “ prisoners of hope," they are exhorted to turn to the “ strong hold,” the Zion, the city of God, and there to receive “ the double,” the abundance of all blessings. To show then to the Jews that He was the King Messiah, He made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem; but to show that He was that meek and peaceful King spoken of by Zechariah, He rode

upon the “ foal of an ass," and thus turned their attention to a prophecy which, if they had closely examined it, would have dissipated all their carnal conceptions, as to an earthly kingdom and a warlike Messiah.'

A diligent regard to the preceding elements of Scripture interpretation, is made subordinate, in our author's annotations, to a higher object--the full and consistent exposition of doctrinal truth. Accustomed to contemplate that truth in its source, and to connect its different parts together in his capacious mind,-of which his • Theological Institutes? are an example and a monument,—he does not exalt one portion of inspired verity at the expense of the rest, but habitually indulges in those comprehensive, guarded, and harmonious views of the whole system, which prove how successfully he had studied the faith once delivered unto the saints,' and how well he was prepared to defend it against misconstruction or opposition. To us it is an occasion of peculiar regret that he did not proceed farther in his notes on the epistolary writings on the New Testament, where he would have had more ample scope for that didactic theology, of which he has given so many beautiful and instructive specimens.

The spirit of pure and elevated devotion with which the author's own heart was so richly imbued, is plentifully diffused through these notes. Scarcely is it possible that any serious person should read them without feeling his mind raised, and his best affections improved. Though they do not assume the professed form of devotional meditations, or hortatory addresses, they possess the lofty character and energy of both. Their direct tendency is to lead the soul to God, and to refresh all its powers with the influences of truth clearly expounded, and sacredly applied. The pious reader will love to cultivate an acquaintance with these last productions of an eminently pious writer, and may sometimes be ready to adopt the sentiments of Milton's Adam :

_"While I sit with thee, I seem in heav'n,
And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear
Than fruits of palm tree pleasantest to thirst
And hunger both ;-

they satiate, and soon fill, Though pleasant; but thy words, with grace Divine Imbued, bring to their sweetness no satiety."

We have occasionally heard a wish expressed, that some well-qualified friend of Mr. Watson had taken up his unfinished work, and completed it, as far as possible, according to the original design. From this we cannot but declare our entire dissent. It is our decided opinion that a person who might be fully competent to finish this Exposition in a manner answering to its commencement, would have a more hopeful prospect of success, if he prepared one of his own ; and that a person unequal to the task would only injure the beautiful sketch which he attempted to enlarge and improve. The work is complete as far as it extends; and it remains an affecting monument of its author's industry, piety, and Christian purposes. In its present form, we, not less conscientiously than affectionately, recommend it to the attentive perusal of all our readers.

From the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine.”
PROCEEDINGS AND TENDENCIES OF THE EVANGELICAL

CLERGY. The reflections, both upon the founder and system of the Methodist connection, from one particular quarter, have lately been so repeated and so various, that it is impossible for the minds of its friends to advert to them without some degree of pain, although unmixed with apprehension of any result which shall be ultimately detrimental to the general interests either of our own community or the spiritual Church of God.

It has always been the wish of the Methodist body, as a whole, to cultivate friendly feelings toward the established Church of this country, both as regards its 'functionaries and its institutions. It is not denied, that in the great Wesleyan community there are diversities of opinions on the abstract question of religious establishments; while the body itself may be viewed as persuadad of the propriety of administrative reforms, if not organic changes, in our own establishment. But while there have always been among us extreme shades of opinion on both sides of the question, -high Churchmen in theory, as well as others perhaps as highly imbucd with the leading maxims of the dissenters,-yet still the members of our societies in general have strongly retained the impress of a truly Wesleyan principle, in making a present manifest utility the guiding star of their course, and in meddling little, if at all, with speculative theories, whether relating to the supposed claims or evils of the established Church. They have contented themselves, as well they might, with the practical business of saving souls by the preaching of the doctrines of the Gospel, and the introduction of a religious organ ion among the converts of their ministry, based on the plainest Scriptural directions and precedents. So far, indeed, as the Church is concerned, they have been wont to rejoice in the extension of Scriptural religion within her pale; nor have they been sorry that this has taken place in so great a degree by their own direct instrumentality; for it is an unquestionable fact, that hundreds of families into which the power of vital godliness has been introduced by their ministrations and labours have ultimately settled in the more spacious and magnificent enclosures of the established Church ; and that many of the most able and promising of the children of our people have been draughted into the ranks of her most efficient ministers: but sadly forgetful they often

are of the rock whence they were hewn, and the hole of the pit whence they were digged."

Of late years, however, the general feeling of the great body of Wesleyan Methodists toward the establishment, and especially to that portion of its ministers usually denominated evangelical, has certainly undergone a considerable change; its former warm and kindly feelings toward them have suffered material abatement, although by no means generally converted into positive hostility. The Methodists, indeed, are always willing to subscribe to a treaty similar to that which is said to have been agreed upon in the house of lords between two noble peers,—the marquis of Londonderry and the lord chancellor,—which is couched in these brief but significant terms: ‘Let be for let be. Nay, farther than this, they are sincerely

desirous to cultivate with the truly pious portion of the established Church, the most friendly relations; all that is comprised in maintaining the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace. But, although such a state of things is conceived very desirable, on all grounds and in all aspects whatsoever, yet there is little prospect of its speedy occurrence, nor is there any apparent tendency toward it. It will

, I fear, be far enough froni a difficult tast to show the correctness of this view of the subject. To do so in a friendly and impartial spirit, and to investigate the causes of this state of things, with their farther probable results, is the object of the present communication.

A celebrated individual, whom his writings demonstrate to have been a profound observer of mankind, well observes that the state of an author's heart toward different parties under consideration is revealed in the choice of epithets applied to the respective parties; in the expression of contemptuous or respectful feeling; in the solicitude apparent to please the one, combined with his carelessness of offending the other. Now, Mr. Editor, a general principle is contained here, which, in its unquestionable truth and accuracy, has derived ample confirmation from recent circumstances. It so happens that at this time it suits the purposes of certain anonymous parties to keep up a sort of bush fighting discharge of small arms against Mr. Wesley and his followers in the columns of the Christian Observer.In the January number of that publication Mr. Wesley stood charged with ‘levity' in denominating the doctrine of imputed righteousness imputed nonsense. In reply. to this, it was clearly shown that he quotes these words as an apophthegm of Robert Barclay, for the purpose of expressing his decided disapprobation; at the same time that he strenuously asserts the doctrine which calls forth the Quaker's sneer! What then? Why, instead of a frank confession of error, we have a sort of hypothetical half apology, connected with an expressed persuasion that Mr. Wesley must have said something of the sort; because his accuser had assured the editor that he had learned it from a friend whó professed to have heard Mr. Wesley express himself to that effect in conversation half a century ago! So that distin. guished individual is to be brought in guilty at all events. The name and character of the person who is said to have heard Mr. Wesley utter this sentiment are withheld; no reference is made to the circumstances under which it is presumed to have been uttered; and thus a mere hearsay report is set up in direct opposition to Mr. Wesley's deliberate and recorded judgment. In like manner, Mr. Wesley's followers stood charged some months ago, in the same periodical, with fanaticism of a sort which tended even to Irvingite delusion; and specific proofs were alleged to exist in recent ocourrences in the Penzance circuit. Vindications from these charges were furnished, which appeared both in your pages and those of the Christian Observer; and against their satisfactory nature no exception has as yet been taken ; nevertheless, a more recent article in this periodical, the object of which is to represent Mr. Wesley's doctrine as having, beyond all controversy, a character fundamentally unscriptural, and a dangerous tendency, is prefaced by an observation which takes it for a settled point, that the scenes' referred to in one of the Wesleyan Methodist circuits, indicated a want of sobriety. Now, if this be the administration of justice toward Mr. Wesley and his followers, it cannot be said to have any great admixture of mercy: but then it must be borne in mind, that it takes place with regard to the author and adherents of (an extensive and ever-to-be-deplored schism. But a widely different measure is dealt out by leading evangelicals to those who, whatever they may be in other respects, are formally their brethren and associates in the Christian ministry. For „instance: a character among them no less deservedly distinguished than the Rev. John Scott, of Hull, is ready enough to state that although such persons may not be devoted men of God, as every minister ought to be, yet they are still educated men, respectable men, amiable men, and benevolent men, and, with their families, the centres of civilization in the districts where they reside.? It is evident, however, that, not being devoted men of God,' they are far enough from being burning and shining lights, holding forth the word of life, and by their preaching and living showing it accordingly. Centres of civilization are they in barbarous districts! Perhaps Mr. Scott is not aware how easily this will be interpreted, as perhaps it was meant by the Edinburgh Reviewers, from whom he adopts it, of balls, assemblies, and races, those well-known ex. pedients for relieving the ennui of a country life, and refining rustic barbarity.

These are clergymen: but had they been Christian ministers without the pale of the established Church, the reverend preacher of the coronation sermon, at St. Mary's, Beverley, in addition to his brief intimation that these are not all the requisites of a Christian minister, might perhaps have thought it needful to employ a deeply-serious paragraph by way of an important caveat, upon the statement of these manifold excellencies. He might have observed, that in very faithfulness he was constrained to remark, that all these good qualities might make the possessors of them, -Christian ministers by profession, though by no means “devoted men of God,'-instruments of greater spiritual danger, than without such qualities they could possibly have been; as investing them with an influence which could scarcely rail to terminate in the fatal misleading and eternal ruin of many souls. But no such remarks appear to have suggested themselves to the preacher's mind, as appropriate on this occasion.

It affords no satisfaction to feel or express the conviction, that the ruling spirit of many of those who are called evangelical ministers, toward the sections of the Christian Church without their own pale, especially toward the Wesleyan Methodists, is increasingly distant and haughty. A few expressions of cold civility, sentiments of regard particularly for their foreign missions, may now and then be warily afforded, just as much as decency seems so require, and hardly that; but there is reason to believe that the esoteric doctrine even of evangelical circles becomes from year to year more exclusionist, as regards any association or friendly sympathy with other denominations; and that the irregularity of their pious predecessors, the Venns, Milners, Berridges, &c, is much more deplored than the example of their vigorous and aggressive piety is commended and imitated. Is it an exaggeration to state, that it is now considered a serious faux pas, nay, almost a heinous crime for members of the established Church, whether ministers or others, to attend, however occasionally, upon other religious services than her own? The supposition also, it is presumed, is by no means groundless, that the doctrine of the apostolic succession, transmitted through the channel of Rome to the prelates and ministers of the Anglican Church, and giving a peculiar if not an exclusive validity to their orders and ministrations in general, is very extensively received, though by no means openly avowed, throughout professedly evangelical circles. On this principle alone, is it to be satisfactorily accounted for, that some distinguished luminaries of that party have not very long since anited themselves with the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge ; although it is indubitable that the character of this society's productions is becoming more and more anti-evangelical and pernicious.

Thus it appears that the aspect of the leading evangelicals is increasingly stern and evere toward those who, while they are separatists, yet agree with them in all their leading views of the Gospel; but bland and smiling in a high degree toward those who will never be conciliated by any thing short of a sacrifice of all the great vitalities of that saving truth of which the predecessors of the present race of evangelical ministers were such glorious and successful champions. In reflecting, Mr. Editor, upon what a cursory observer might deem so strange'a posture of things, I have been led to advert to the history of the established Church, at two of its most important epochs ;-the accession of Queen Elizabeth, and the resurrection of the true principles of the reformation about the middle of the last century. A comparison of these periods will present us with tendencies of things, the contemplation of which is remarkably interesting, not only to Ithe curious observer of human nature, but to the deeply-engaged and anxious friend of genuine Christianity. The first race of the reformed bishops and clergy were far enough from being jure divino men ; it was the necessity resulting from the queen's imperious will, rather than any preference of judgment or inclination, which secured their acquiescence in many points which distinguish the Church of England from other reformed communities; but toward the end of that distinguished princess's reign, a new generation sprung up, trained in a widely different school from that of the Marian persecution, the school of court favor and ample endowment, who made the discovery, that those peculiarities of their Church, which were exhibited in stations of so much dignity and affluence, were not only great excellencies in the eye of a sound-judging reason, but indispensable marks of apostolicity in its constitution ; and this useful discovery, being once made, has never been lost sight of to this day. It has not wanted open and resolute defenders; but it has abounded still more in secret and cautious adherents. Although not added in form to the thirty-nine articles, yet as a well-understood traditionary fortieth one, it meets with an assent and consent more unfeigned perhaps than is given to its written predecessors, and may doubtless be taken as the true standard of high Church orthodoxy.

Let us now look at the period of the great revival of genuine reformation principles in the eighteenth century. The first race of the evangelical clergy cannot be judged to have been great admirers of many things to which, nevertheless, they submitted, and exhorted others to submit for the sake of peace, and a wider door of usefulness than they thought they could otherwise have. In this respect they greatly resembled father Fox, the martyrologist, and the worthies of the early Elizabethan age. It is admitted also, that like some of their illustrious prototypes, there were those among them who changed their views, not a little, in these respects in later years. And it is evident that those who have succeeded them have, in their several generations, made progressive and rapid advances in their approximation to the above-mentioned test of true Churchmanship. It is very pleasant to human nature that we should find ourselves in circumstances which seem to afford some plausible ground for our saying, in an exclusive sense, 'The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we.' And this is a lesson which the evangelicals of the present day will find far less difficulty in teaching their successors, than duly to appreciate those blessed truths which, received from their fathers in an administration of soul-converting energy, they profess to feel solicitous to transmit in unimpaired integrity to the latest posterity. But the possession of exclusive rights, and the inviolability of vested interests, principles upon which so much worldly honour and emolument depend, take hold of the mind much more readily than do "repentance toward God,' whereby we forsake sin, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ;' the faith that purifies the heart, overcomes the world, and works by love. Says a wise and great man, among the foremost in talent and worth of the early evangelical ministers, in an evident consciousness of the existence of those deteriorating tendencies which have since been more strongly developed : (he is addressing his son, then newly entered into the ministry:) 'O may He preserve you from the snares, and smiles, and frowns of the world; from the fascinations and delusions, from the lukewarmness and evangelical formality, and attachment to secular inte. rests, which are sanctioned too much in the Church.” (Scott's Life, by Scott, p. 352.) The same excellent individual makes likewise the following pertinent and striking remarks, in noticing some publications and reviews of that period, (1807,) which were very-keen scented in their perceptions of defects in the style, manner, &e, of useful ministers, and profuge enough in their application of the epithets, 'vulgar, Methodistical, and

'In reality,' Mr. Scott observes, 'I do believe publications of this ki si render young ministers more afraid of being zealous than of being luki yar.. Taey teach them to call the fear of man, prudence; and the whole tennis 1 form an inefficient ministry; some part, at least, of evangelical truth coldly, fomully, autiously stated, with little application. And after all, I must prefer. 'n Wins, Venns, nay, Berridges, &c, the old warm-hearted men, with all ther. Wpurfe, tions, to these sang froid young men.' (Ibid. p. 390 ) It is to be feare' is in the lapse of nearly a quarter of a century from the period of this statei iint, stop ceneration of such men has received large increase, sufficiently sang froi i sregards sich revivals of the work of God, and those outpourings of His Spi!. n wiel ine Newtons and Berridges would have greatly rejoiced, and labourers with all their might, but earnest and zealous enough in their inculcations

od reprehension of sectarian evils and practices.
annen that the late Rev. Robert Hall gave many proofs of an enlarged

worthy of his noble and comprehensive mind. Though a secrin po v terms, yet he was far less so in disposition than many who affect CITRI 10 4 tappis or deplore him on that account. In his admirable review of a

ori enti ed Zeal without Innovation, after having passed some very high but *elmeria encomiums upon the character and usefulness of the evangelical clergy, be subjo i ', revertheless, the following weighty reflections, which doubtless grew

ent tendencies, such as his sagacity could hardly fail even at that time and which have ripened into that state of things which has led to the communication. The modern restorers of the piety of the Church of Engje eminent for their godly simplicity and fidelity. Sincerely attached, as it hem, to the establishment of which they were ministers, their spirit was

sed, too ardent, too disinterested, to permit them to become the tools of opsliv, or to confound the interests of Christianity with those of any external

bunian From their being looked upon as innovators, as well as from the pladelyn their numbers, they were called to endure a much severer trial than falls to the lot of their successors. They bore the burden and heat of the day, and obiecte de entered into their labours. We feel, with regard to the greater part

Lion V un succeed them, a confidence that they will continue to tread in their & ps. E: we cannot dissemble our concern at perceiving a set of men rising up lamin., .!!), ambitious of new modelling the party, who, if they have too much kira 6! y to renounce their principles, yet have too little firmness to endure the ( 35 sectices; timid, temporizing spirits, who would refine into insipidity; and under kisw not what pretences of regularity, moderation, and a care not to offid, roh it tterly of that energy of character to which it owes its success. If they italtioin this and other writers of a similar description to insult their bre

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