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An Essay on the Character and prac- , one who offers a more appropriate lesson
tical Writings of Saint Paul. to the higher classes of society than the By Hannah More.
great legislator of Israel. Here is a man
sitting at ease in his possessions, enjoying [Concluded from our last, p. 119.]
the sweets of plenty, the dignity of rank, We have already introduced Mrs. the luxuries of literature, the distinction More's work to the notice of our of reputation. All these he voluntarily readers, and subinitted to their con- renounces; he foregoes the pomps of a sideration a few strictures on detach- court, the advantages of a city, then the ed passages, chiefly with the view the delights of polished society; refuses to
most learned in the world; he relinquishes of putting such of them as may be be called the grandson of a potent moinduced to peruse the publication it. narch; chooses rather to suffer affliction self, a little upon their guard, lest with his believing brethren than to enjoy the enchantments of her style should the temporary pleasures which a sinful bewitch them to receive indiscrimi-connivance would have obtained for him : nately whatever she is pleased to ad- he esteems the reproach of Christ—a Sayance. Trusting, however,
that what viour unborn till many ages after, unhas been done in this way, will be known but to the eye of faith,-greater sufficient to answer that end, we shall than all the treasures of Egypt. The acnow feast our readers with a few will be best able to appreciate the value
complished, the learned, and the polite, choice extracts from her volumes, of such a sacrifice. Does it not seem to by which they will find, that if there come more home to the bosoms of the be defects in them, (and what human elegant and the opulent, and to offer an performance is perfect?) there are instruction, more intimate perhaps than is also excellencies; if, like other mor- bequeathed even by those martial and tals, Mrs. More trips at times, there heroic spirits who subdued kingdoms, are times, too, when she rises above quenched the violence of fire, stopped
the mouths of lions, and turned to flight them, and soars to no ordinary eleva- the armies of the aliens? These are in. tion of mind,
stances of faith, which, if more sublime, There are, in Chap. II. of the work are still of less special application. Few before us, some admirable remarks are now called to these latter sufferings, on the style of the Evangelists, in- but many in their measure and degree to tended to illustrate the arguments the other. May they ever bear in mind for the truth of Christianity which is that Moses sustained his trials only as deducible from that source. We once seeing Him who is invisible ! thought of giving a copious extract higher exertion of power than to create a
" To change the heart of a sinner is a from this part of her work; but re
man, or even a world; in the latter case, collecting that we had long ago met as God made it out of nothing, so there with the same ideas in Dr. Camp- was nothing to resist the operation; but bell's Preliminary Dissertations to his in the former he has to encounter, not translation of the Gospels, a publi- inanity, but repulsion; not an unobstruccation, the extraordinary merit of tive vacuity, but a powerful counteraction: which has now introduced it into and to believe in the divine energy which almost every one's hands, we shall effects this renovation, is a greater exer
cise of faith than to believe that the Spirit pass over them, valuable as they cer
of God, moving on the face of the waters, tainly are, and proceed to her Fourth
was the efficient cause of creation. Chapter, in which she illustrates the
" In producing this moral renovation operative nature of faith. In the in- God has to subdue, not only the rebel in troductory part of the following ex- arms against his king, but“ the little state tract, the reader will perceive that of man” in arms against himself, fighting she has, her eye upon Heb. xi. 24–26. against his convictions, refusing the re“By faith, Moses, when he was come
demption wrought for him. Almighty
Goodness has the twofold work of proto years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter," &c. on which them willing to receive it. To offer heaven,
viding pardon for offenders, and making she thus beautifully expatiates : and then to prevail on man to accept it,
“In the glorious catalogue of those who is at once an act of God's omnipotence, conquered by faith, there is perhaps not and of his mercy,
« Thus faith, which appears to be so tion of the human heart nearly on a foot easy, is of all things the most difficult;- ing with the metamorphoses of Ovid, or the which seems to be so common, is of all transmigrations of Pythagoras, let not the things most rare. To consider how re- timid Christian be discouraged; let not his luctantly the human heart adopts this faith be shaken, though he may find that principle; how it evades and stipulates; the principle to which he has been taught how it procrastinates, even when it does to trust his eternal happiness, is considered not pointedly reject; how ingenious its as false by him who has not examined into subterfuges, how specious its pretences; its truth; that the change, of which the --and then to deny that faith is a super- real believer exhibits so convincing an natural gift, is to reject the concurring evidence, is derided as absurd by the phitestimony of reason, of Scripture, of daily losophical sceptic, treated as chimerical observation of actual experience.” by the superficial reasoner, or silently
“Paul shews faith to be a victorious suspected as incredible by the decent principle. There is no moral quality moralist.” which can enable us to overcome the world. Faith is the only successful com
In Chap. V. Mrs. More attempts an petitor with secular allurement. The illustration of Paul's doctrine on the world offers things great in human estima- subject of Morality, the chief design - tion, but it is the property of this grace of which is to shew that the preach
to make great things look little ; it effects ing of salvation by free and sovereign this purpose by reducing them to their
has not a licentious tendency, real dimensions. Nothing but faith car bat quite the contrary; and she enshew us the emptiness of this world's ters the lists with considerable sucglory at the best, because nothing else views it in perpetual contrast with the cess against those Hyper - Calvinists blessedness of heaven; nothing else can
who deny the moral law to be the give us such a feeling conviction of its rule of life to believers under the brevity at the longest, as that principle gospel dispensation. But we hasten which habitually measures it with eternity. I to the next chapter, which is entitled It holds out the only light which shews a “the disinterestedness of Saint Paul.” Christian that the universe has no bribe Here she very justly remarks, that worth his acceptance, if it must be obtained at the price of his conscience, at
“ Paul and his associates were the first the risk of his soul.
moral instructors who preached not them“ Paul is a wonderful instance of the selves. Perhaps there is scarcely a more power of this principle. That he should striking proof of the grandeur of his spirit, be so entirely carried out of his natural than his indifference to popularity. This character; that he who, by his persecut- is an elevation of character, which not ing spirit, courted the favour of the in- only no Pagan sage has reached, but tolerant Sanhedrim, should be brought to which not every Christian has been found act in direct opposition to their preju
to attain. dices, supported by no human protection, “This successful apostle was so far from sustained alone by the grace of Him whom placing himself at the head of a sect, that he had so stoutly opposed; that his confi- he took pains to avoid it. In some subsedence in God should rise in proportion to quent instructors, this vanity was probably his persecutions from man; that the whole the first seed of heresy; the sound of bent of his soul should be set directly con- Ebionites and Marcionites would as much trary to his natural propensities, the whole gratify the ear of the founders, as bringing force of his mind and actions bé turned in over proselytes to their opinions would full opposition to his temper, education, delight their feelings. Paul would have society, and habits; that not only his affec- rejected with horror any such distinction. tions should be diverted into a new chan- He who earnestly sought to glorify his nel, but that his judgment and understand. Master, would naturallyabase himself. ing should sail in the newly-directed cur- With a holy indignation he asks, 'What rent; that his bigotry should be trans- then is Paul, and what is Apollos, but formed into candour, his fierceness into ministers by whom ye believed ?" He gentleness, his untameable pride into points out to them the littleness of such charity, his intolerance into meekness,— exclusive fondness in men, who had such can all this be accounted for on any prin- great objects in view - overvalue not ciple inherent in human nature, on any Paul or Apollos as yours, for all things principle uninspired by the Spirit of are yours.' God?
“ It is impossible not to stop a moment, “ After this instance,--and, blessed be in order to notice the fine structure of the • God, the instance, though superior, is not period to which these words are an intro
solitary; the change, though miraculous duction. It would be difficult to find a in this case, is not less certain in others,-more finished climax : • Let no man shall the doctrine so exemplified continue glory in men; for all things are yours, to be the butt of ridicule ? While the whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas; or scoffing infidel virtually puts the renova. I the world, or life, or death; or things
REVIEW OF MRS. MORE's ESSAY ON ST. PAUL. 143 present, or things to come; all are yours, intrudes itself upon us in her pages and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.' usque ad nauseam. But we sball pro
• Knowing the proneness of human na- bably be asked, Was not Paul a Saint ? ture to this party spirit, he takes pains to was he not an extraordinary example prevent excessive individual attachments of the power and riches of divine There is no instance of a man so distinguished, so little distinguishing himself. grace? Far be it from us to deny He chooses to merge himself in the general this. On the contrary, we shall not cause, to sink himself in the mass of faith- yield even to Mrs. More herself in ful ministers. This is particularly evident our admiration and reverence of the in the beginning of many of his Epistles, exalted virtues of his character. Yet by his humility in attaching to his own, we still contend that she has no warsome name of far inferior note, as his rant from Paul, or any of the inassociate in the work; ' Paul and Sos- spired writers, for surnaming him thenes-Paul and Sylvanus'- 'Timo
“ Saint Paul.” Mark, for instance, theus our brother;'--and in writing to the how the apostle himself applies the Thessalonians, he connects both the latter names with his own.
term in question to all his christian “ He laboured to make the people bear brelhren without exception, 1 Cor. in mind that the apostles were the disse- | i. 2. Phil. i. 1. Col. i. 2. Ephes. v. 3. minators, not the authors, of the faith Besides, we would gladly be informwhich they preached. Miraculous as his ed, upon the principle that Paul and conversion had been, superior as were his the other New Testament writers are endowments, favoured as he was by di- thought entitled to be thus honouravine inspiration, he not only did not assame, but he rejected, any distinction, and
bly distinguished, how it comes to only included himself among the teachers pass that the same honour is withof their common Christianity. Thus he held from the Old Testament worbequeathed to his successors a standing thies? Why have we not Saint Abrapattern of humility, and of the duty of ham, Saint Isaac, and Saint Jacob ascribing their talents, their application, Saint Moses and Saint Aaron-Saint and their success, to Him, from whom, Isaiah, and Saint Jeremiah ? Were whatever advantages they possess, are not all these “holy men of God:” 2 derived.” p. 122–125.
Pet.i. 21. Why then are they thought This seems to be the proper place less entitled to be thus pre-eminently for us to introduce a few remarks, distinguished? The truth is, that which we think it our duty to offer, Mrs. More's application of the term on an article that is intruding itself “Saint” is a mere vestige of Popery, upon us in every page of Mrs. More's and nothing else. In proof of this, volumes: we advert to her incessant we may remark, that for the two repetition of the term "Saint,” pre-first centuries after Christ, the term fixed to the apostle's name. We was never thus applied; and even in know not better how to introduce to the writings of Cyprian, (A. D. 250) the readers' notice what we have in high as his notions were in regard to view, than by quoting Mrs. More's apostolic authority, the apostles are own words, Vol. I. p. 276. “May we never so distinguished. This remarkventure to express a wish, that some able circumstance was noticed by Mr. persons of more piety than discern- Marshall, who translated the writings ment, amongst whom there are those of that father into English, about a who value themselves on being more century ago, and who took the liberty particularly the disciples of Saint of prefixing the title “ Saint” to the Paul, would always imitate his chas- apostolic names; an unwarrantable tised language.” Now this is precisely liberty, for which the judicious Dr. the thing that we wish in regard to Lardner very properly censures him. herself, and particularly as it respects (See Lardner's Works, new edit. now her use of the word "Saint.” We publishing, Vol.ii.p.10. Note.) It was would put the question fairly to her not until Christianity began to be corown consideration-Does she think rupted from its divine simplicity, by that the man who has “ bequeathed men of corrupt minds mingling their to his successors a standing pattern own inventions with the doctrines of humility,”—he who considered and precepts delivered to them by himself to be “less than the least of the Evangelists and Apostles in the of all saints,”—nay, ““ the chief of name of their Lord and Master, that sinners," -can she for a moment sup- they ever thought of sainting them. pose that Paul would approve of her But having taken the liberty to deperpetual repetition of this title? It'part from the spirit of their doctrine,
it was considered as no more than them was, that others might be animated equitable to make them some com- by them. This anxiety for the proficiency pensation for ii, and this was done of his converts, in preference to his own by dubbing them Saints ! Surely it safety; his disposition to regard every is high time for Protestants, who object in due subjection to the great design love their doctrine, to lay aside this while exulting in the hope of an eternal
of his ministry; his humble, vigilant care, badge of Antichrist. But we now re
crown, that he might' not himself be cast turn to Mrs. More. In the following away;' -form, in combination with the rest extract the reader will see how suc- of his conduct, a character which we must cessfully she conbats some of our mo- allow has not only no superior, but no dern systems of moral philosophy. parallel.” p. 125–128. “ Paul did not rank, on the one hand,
But it is time that we bring our with those liberal modern philosophers, review of Mrs. More's work towards who assert that virtue is its own reward a close ; which we certainly find it no nor on the other, with those abstracted easy thing to do. We must not, howmystics, who profess an unnatural disin- ever, forego the pleasure of laying terestedness, and a superhuman disdain of before our readers the following reany recompence but that which they find marks on the apostle's philanthropy, in the pure love of God. He was not above accepting heaven, not for any works
or “ tenderness of heart." of righteousness which he had done, but as “ If ever man had a pre-eminent claim the free gift of God through the righteous to the title of philanthropist, that man is ness that had been wrought for him. He the Apostle Paul. The warmth of his afwas not too proud and independent to con- fections, as exhibited in a more general fess, that the nearness of heavenly glory view in the narrative of Luke, and the was with him a most animating principle. tenderness of his feelings as they appear
“ This hope cheered his fainting spirit; more detailed throughout his own Episthis prospect not only regulated, but al- tles, constitute a most interesting part of most annihilated his sense of suffering. his very diversified character. Invisible things were made so clear to the " There are persons, not a few, who, eye of faith; remote things were brought though truly pious, defeat much of the so near to one, who always kept up in his good they intend to do, not always by a mind a comparative estimate of the bre- natural severity of temper, but by a repulvity of this afflicted life and the duration siveness of manner, by not cultivating haof eternal happiness; faith so made the bits of courtesy, by a neglect of the smaller future present; love so made the labour lenient arts of kindness. They will indeed light; the earnest of the Spirit was given confer the obligation, but they confer it in him in such a measure;-that mortality snch a manner as grieves and humbles him seemed, even here, to be swallowed up of who receives it. In fulfilling the letter of life. His full belief in the immediate charity, they violate its spirit. presence of God in that world in which
“History presents us with numberless he was assured that light, purity, holiness, instances in which the success or the failand happiness would be enjoyed in their ure of great enterprizes has depended, most consummate perfection, not only not altogether on the ability, but partly sustained his hope, but exhilarated his on the temper of him who conducted it. heart.
Paul's consummate knowledge of hu“ But though Paul was no disciple of man nature, no less than his tenderness of that metaphysical theology, which makes heart, led him to encourage in his young such untaught distinctions, as to separate converts every opening promise of goodour love of God froin any regard to our ness. He carefully cultivates every favourown beatitude; though he might have able symptom. He is“ gentle among them been considered a selfish man, by either as a nurse cherisheth her children." He of the classes to whom allusion has been does not expect every thing at once; he made, yet true disinterestedness was emi- does not expect that a beginner in the nently his characteristic. Another instance ways of religion should start into instanof a human being so entirely devoid of taneous perfection. He does not think all selfishness, one who never took his own is lost if an error is committed; he does ease, or advantage, or safety, or credit into not abandon hope, if some less happy conthe account, cannot be found. If he con- verts are slow in their progress. He prosidered his own sufferings, he considered tects their budding graces, he fences his them for the sakeof his friends. “Whether young plants till they have time to take we be afilicted, it is for your consolation root; as they become strong, he exposes and salvation. The only joy he seemed them to the blast. If he rejoices that the to derive, when he was pressed out of hardy are more flourishing, he is glad that measure, above strength,' was, that others the less vigorous are nevertheless alive. might be comforted and encouraged by Characters which are great are not his sufferings. So also of his consolations; always amiable; the converse is equally the principal joy which he derived from true; in Paul there is an union of both
REVIEW OF MŘS. MORE'S ESSAY ON ST. PAUL. 145 qualities. He condescends to the inferior | final separation, could call on all presert distresses, and consults tile natural feel- to testify that whatever might have been ings cf his friends, as much as if no weigh the negligence of the hearer, the preacher tier cares pressed on his mind. There is was pure from the blood of all men;" scarcely a more lovely part of his charac- that he had never been guilty of that ter, though it be less striking to common false tenderness, of not declaring to theu eyes, as being more tender than great, the whole counsel of God! He appeals to than the gentleness exhibited to his Corin his disinterestedness, that, so far from be. thian converts; while he is anxious, be- ing influenced by any lucrative motive, fore he appears among them again, that he had laboured with his own hands, not any breach might be healed, and every only to support himself, but to assist the painful feeling done away, which his sharp poor. How touching, no doubt, to his reproof of an offending individual might bearers, was the intimation, that the same have excited. He would not have the joy hands which had been raised for them in fulness of their meeting overshadowed by prayer, had been employed for their supany remaining cloud.
port! “ His sorrows and his joys, both of which elders of Ephesus combines every beauty
“This whole valedictory address to the were intense, never seem to have arisen of composition: it exhibits an energy, a from any thing which related merely to devotion, a resignation, an integrity, a himself." His own happiness or distress tenderness which cannot be sufficiently were little influenced by personal consi- admired. derations; the varying condition, the al- ) touch their hearts by mixing the remem
And the more intimately to ternate improvement or declension of his brance of the friend with the injunctions converts alone, could sensibly raise or de he had delivered, he not only refers them press his feelings. With what anguish of to the doctrines which he had taught, but spirit does he mourn over some,“ of whom I have told you often, and now tell you
to the tears which he had shed. weeping, that they are the enemies of the
There is nothing like stoical indiffercross of Christ.” Mark again his self-re- ence, nothing like contempt of the sensinouncing joy_“ We are glad when we
bilities of nature, in his whole conduct; are weak and ye are strong.” Again, and it furnishes a proof how happily mag“Let me rejoice in the day of Christ, that nanimity and tenderness blend together, I have not run in vain, neither laboured
that as there is probably no character in in vain."
history which exhibits a more undaunted " When he expressed such a feeling heroism than that of Paul, so there is sense of distréss, upon the interesting oc
perhaps not one whose tears are so fre
“ What mean ye to casion of taking his departure for Jeru- quently recorded. salem, the Holy Ghost witnessing in weep and to break my heart?" is an inevery city that bonds and imprisonment terrogatory as intelligible to us in the chaawaited him," still he felt no concern for
racter of Paul, as the heroic declaration, his own safety. No: he anticipated with
“I am ready not to be bound only, but out terror his probable reception there. also to die for the name of the Lord With a noble disregard of all personal Jesus.” What ground, then, is there for considerations, he exclaims“ but none of that charge so frequently brought against these things move me, neither couat I my persons of eminent piety, that they are life dear, so that I may finish my course
destitute of natural feeling. with joy, and the ministry which I have
“ His benevolence was not confined to received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the the narrow bounds of friends or country, gospel of the grace of God."
He was a man, and nothing that involved There is something singularly beauti- the best interests of man was indifferent ful in the dignity, simplicity, and godly to him. A inost beautiful comparison has sincerity of this apostolic charge. With béen drawn by as fine a'genius as has humble confidence, he refers his audience adorned this or any age, between the to their own acknowledgement of his con
learned and not illaudable curiosity which duct. He assures them, that neither any has led so many ingenious travellers to fears of the insidious Jews, always on the visit distant and dangerous climes, in or, watch to circumvent him, nor the hostility der“ to contentplate mutilated statues and of the idolatrous Gentiles, always ready defaced coins, to collate manuscripts, and to oppose him, had ever driven him to take the height of pyramids,” with the withhold any important truth, any salu- zeal which carried the late martyr of tary admonition,
humanity (Mr. Howard) on a more noble “With what a holy satisfaction did the pilgrimage, “ to search out infectei hospiconscience of the apostle further testify tals, to explore the depth of dungeons, that no desire of pleasing, no fear of of and to take the guage of human inisery fending, had prevented him from deliver in order to relieve it. ing wholesome truths, because they might “ Without the unworthy desire to rob be unpalatable! What an awful intima- this eminent philanthropist of his well tion to every minister of Christ, that this earned palm, may we not be allowed to indefatigabie apostle, at the moment of wish, that the exquisite eulosist of HowVOL. I.