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Notices and Acknowledgments.
THE portrait of Zuinglius, which accompanies this Number, should be taken out, and placed at the beginning of that for November, before the Volume is bound. We ought here to express our obligation to a friend for the loan of an authentic likeness, received by him from Antistes Hess, in the very house which Zuinglius himself inhabited. To this favour we are indebted for the opportunity of illustrating our work with, we believe, the first correct resemblance of that great Reformer which has ever been published in this country.
The Number for January will contain a portrait of Ecolampadius, after Holbein, of whom, also, there has yet been no authentic portrait published in England. And that for February will be illustrated by a very superior likeness of Luther.
Piλaλndns—J.-M. B.—are received, and will most probably be inserted.
H. M.-.-R. C.-W. M. ~C. D.-G. W. J.--Cambrian.-A. T.-J.-are under consideration.
We suspect we have two .'s and two Cambrians.
The Hymn for Christmas-day is too long. We have some doubts how far the writer's talents for poetry are such as we should advise him to cultivate.
The first of a series of Papers on the Collects is this instant received.
O. R. N. kindly informs us, that the note inserted in our last month's answer to Correspondents does not convey the idea be intended: this error we conceive arose from our having at that time accidentally mislaid his letter. We are glad to correct our nristake by inserting the following extract: "Lest any nautical reader should cavil at the words made use of by me in my answer to the objectors on Acts, xxvii. 29, viz. Lord Exmouth let go his anchor from the stern,' I wish just to remark, that Lord Exmouth anchored by the stern, and let his cable run out, &c.' would certainly be a more correct way of expressing the fact I mean to relate, as the Queen Charlotte's anchor was doubtless let go from her bow, but the cable must have proceeded from her stern. The detail of the method by which this was effected it is unnecessary to enter into, as in writing on the present subject (to a candid mind) either expression will convey the same meaning." We are reminded of a promise respecting works sent to us to review. We cannot, at ́this instant, remember the terms of the circular in question, nor find a copy of it; but we will certainly refer to it, and fulfil any pledge that we may have given.
Humilitas may perhaps derive satisfaction on one point from Scott's Remarks on the Refutation of Calvinism, second edition, book iv. 613, &c.; and on the other he may consult the Sermon on Election and final Perseverance, by the same author. We are rather averse to entering upon the discussion at present.
We shall be obliged to a Constant Reader to favour us with a specimen of those subjects he would wish us to introduce.
In the Press.
A fourth Edition of the Life of the Rev. Thomas Scott.
A new Edition of the Pilgrim's Progress, with Mr. Scott's Notes. In twelves.
A third Edition of the Rev. E. Bickersteth's Treatise on the Lord's Supper. In twelves.
A new Edition of the Rev. Charles Davy's Cottage Sermons, Vol. II.
An Analysis of the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. By the Rev. T. Boys. A third Edition of the Rev. J. Fawcett's Sermons. In two Volumes twelves. Thoughts on the Anglican and Anglo-American Churches. By John Bristed. In one Volume, octavo.
A second Edition of a Selection from the Epistles of the Apostle Paul, in testimony of the Divinity of Christ. By John Bleckley. In one small Volume.
A new Edition of the Rev. Thomas Scott's Commentary on the Bible will be published in about a fortnight.
A fourth Edition of the Rev. J. Swete's Family Prayers. In twelves.
A third Edition of the Rev. T. H. Horne's Introduction to the Study of the Holy Scriptures. In four Volumes, octavo.
A fine Edition of the Rev. Thomas Scott's Essays on the most important Subjects in Religion; with a Memoir. In one thick Volume, twelves.
Tales from Switzerland. By a Clergyman. Comprising the New Village Pastor, and other Narratives, first published in the Christian Guardian. In one small Volume.
"The Name of a Christian is not Christianity." By the Author of "Decision."
ARRIVED once more, through the divine mercy, at the close of our annual volume, we shall deviate from our usual custom, and instead of a short preface to be placed immediately after the title, shall devote a somewhat larger space to the insertion of a few concluding remarks on several important subjects.
The first point which presses upon our minds at the present moment is, to acknowledge with unfeigned gratitude to God, and with the utmost thankfulness to our kind friends and the public at large, the extensive and increasing support which we have experienced. Our sale has advanced this year in a greater proportion than during any former; and while many have to lament the losses they have sustained by the pressure of the times, we have abundant cause to set up our EBENEZER, and say, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.
In thus acknowledging the good hand of our God upon us, we should be guilty of great ingratitude did we not also acknowledge the continued kindness of a numerous and valuable band of contributors. The signatures of many of them have for several years adorned our work. Some of our former friends indeed have been removed to the mansions which the Saviour has gone before to prepare; but that God who has seen fit to remove one, has graciously vouchsafed to raise up others; and our difficulty of late has been so to arrange our miscellaneous department, that no one of our numerous contributors may imagine himself in the least slighted by the delay or non-insertion of any articles, with which we may have been kindly furnished. The difficulties of this part of our work very far exceed what unexperienced persons imagine, and many particulars must be considered which do not occur to every individual. Some regard must be had to time and place and circumstance, to variety of subjects, to brevity or length, especially since the revival of our Review; and the engaging of valuable stated contributors at a considerable expense, has diminished that space which was previously almost entirely allotted to voluntary and miscellaneous contributions and communications.
Without designing any thing invidious by noticing some and passing over others, we cannot but feel ourselves called upon in an especial manner to notice the valuable Memoirs of the Reformers-a series of papers which, as far as they have yet gone, do honour to the piety and talents of the writer. When we consider the lives which are yet to follow, we cannot but express our confident hope, that the productions of the ensuing year will prove still more acceptable than those of the last.
It will be observed by many of our readers, that we have inserted a much larger proportion of poetry in this than in almost any former volume. A considerable diversity of talent will be found in this department. Some articles, if we mistake not, possess a very superior degree of excellence; and though several have been admitted to which a critic might perhaps object, we have felt upon the whole, that it was for the benefit of the rising generation to be lenient in this respect.
"A verse may catch him whò a sermon flies."
Many young persons are disposed to attend to poetry, who are not so ready to listen to prose addresses; and we have ever felt the interesting the young to be a point of the utmost consequence; while the facility with which verse is committed to memory induces us occasionally to insert lines on important subjects, which, but for this consideration, would be rejected. We trust our more educated and re
fined readers will allow this motive to operate, remembering that the of the flock are the individuals whom we would ever young and the poor keep in view; although well aware that our small publication is honoured by the perusal of many of higher rank and of riper years.
In adverting to the Review department, we feel we are touching upon a point on which considerable difference of opinion has been entertained. The return to our original system has been approved so uniformly, that we cannot for one moment entertain a doubt of its propriety. We have in fact only heard of one or two persons who have objected to it, while an overwhelming majority have testified their approbation: on the nature of the review, however, various observations have been made; and it may illustrate the circumstances in which we are often placed, to advert to some of these different remarks.
It has been said that our Review is too long-that it is too short -that it is too lenient-that it is too severe-too liberal to dissenters, and too blindly attached to our present constitution in Church and State. For our own parts we must confess, that these various objections clearly demonstrate to us that we have adopted that plan which, upon the whole, is most expedient; and that line of conduct which we ought to have adopted. When persons require long reviews, we would venture to remind them, that a sixpenny publication cannot possibly find room for lengthened disquisitions on the various books which it may reasonably be expected to notice, and that where such criticisms are desired, recourse must be had to those larger and more expensive publications whose object, in great measure, seems to be to supersede the perusal of the book itself, by presenting in a few pages an abstract of all it contains, or even compressing into narrow limits a larger portion of information than the writer himself professes to afford. Those who require short characters of books may be reminded, that a material curtailment of our Review would necessarily preclude the insertion of any important extracts from the works reviewed: it would substitute our own assertion, unsupported by any evidence by which the correctness of that assertion might be estimated, and would deprive us of the opportunity of adorning our pages with many of the most striking and instructive passages which the interesting works under review contain. We would ask, what can be more appropriate to the season of Advent, than the extract from Buddicom in the present number; or who is there that would wish the interesting extracts from the Lives of Hey and of Scott, from the Sermons of Cunningham, or Hoare, or Martyn, from the Travels of Jowett, the Letters of Ward, &c. to have been abridged? For our own parts we cannot but feel that such extracts are amongst the most valuable and useful parts of our publication-they are so valuable and so useful, that, had we no review, we should insert them to stimulate our readers to high and holy exercises. With respect to the other observations, our answer lies in very narrow compass; the question of forbearance or severity is so much a matter of feeling and of opinion, that the very same article is not unfrequently condemned by different persons on opposite grounds; our object is to avoid both extremes, but at the same time to remember, that justice to the public demands a decided opinion, while regard for the feelings of an author should cause that opinion to be expressed as mildly as possible. We need scarcely repeat that we are firmly and decidedly attached to our Constitution in Church and Statewe consider the interests of religion as most intimately connected with the welfare of our present establishment: every year's experience convinces us more deeply of this important truth; and all that we hear,
and all that we learn of our dissenting brethren, only attaches us more firmly and decidedly to the Church: but we are not conscious of -being actuated by the least feeling of hostility to those who differ from us-we wish not to abridge their privileges-it ever affords us pleasure to hear of the progress of religion among them; and fully as we are convinced that ours is the more excellent way, we can still most unfeignedly rejoice, that Christ is preached and his word is rendered effectual among those who follow not with us. We are not aware of one single passage calculated to give them offence, certainly nothing of the kind was ever intended; though, at the same time, it is obvious, that as decided and consistent Churchmen, we must occasionally advance positions which they cannot approve; and it were unwise as well as degrading, to purchase the approbation of any, by shrinking from a manly avowal of our principles.
This general answer to the remarks made on our Review, compels us to notice some controversies in which we have been most reluctantly engaged. The strictures which were inserted in our number for January, on the disorganizing and fearful sentiments which were incautiously advanced under the sanction of a great name, being reprinted in a provincial newspaper without our knowledge, excited a controversy between the writer of the original pamphlet, the writer of the review, and various other persons, which has grown into a separate publication of this we have no hesitation in saying, that it most decidedly establishes the mischief and absurdity of those principles which excited our reprehension. Our remarks on a new society, whose conduct appeared to us somewhat incorrect, would possibly have excited another lengthened contention, had we been disposed to pursue the subject: and a few strictures inserted in our number for August on an alleged Popish miracle, have called forth no less than ten pages of remark in the last Catholic Miscellany, with a promise of more in future numbers.
We have no love for controversy: in every case it is our object to leave off contention; but we should act a traitorous part to the cause in which we are engaged, if, when men make use of any influence they may have acquired from religious character, principles, or professions, to propagate false or dangerous doctrines, or to countenance improper and erroneous practices, we were deterred, through fear of any remarks which might be made upon our conduct, from pointing out the real danger. Be it ever remembered, that erroneous principles propagated under the sanction of a revered name and an estimable character, are doubly dangerous.
Of some other controversies which have taken place in the past year it is scarcely necessary that we should speak. The Peterborough Questions are, we trust, set at rest; and he will be a hardy man who ventures, after such a decided expression of public feeling as was exhibited during the discussion, to attempt to revive them. The attack commenced in the Christian Remembrancer, on the subject of the Bible Society's French Testament, terminated, as every other attempt of that nature has hitherto done, in the discomfiture of the opponents of the Bible cause; and our present number contains a review of the answer of the Rev. J. Scholefield to Mr. Norris, which shows, that however God may see fit to remove one able champion from the field, he can raise up others fully qualified to sustain the honour of his cause against all who oppose. The Religious Intelligence of the year has been of a highly interesting nature. Bible and Missionary Societies are proceeding with increased effect: grateful intelligence of their success arrives from various quarters; and up to this period their incomes are found to be advancing.
Notwithstanding the distresses of the times, we are not aware of any religious institution experiencing any material defalcation in its funds; and while new institutions are forming, the old continue to prosper. All attempts, indeed, for the conversion of the nations, whether Jews or Gentiles, must experience, to a certain extent, alternations of success and disappointment; and some of our valuable institutions are not without their trials; as, for instance, strong fears are at this moment entertained that the New Zealand mission must be for a time partially relinquished; but meanwhile the work of God proceeds in other quarters, subduing opposition, and preparing the way for the Saviour's universal reign. The progress of true religion indeed is visible, not merely in the success of our Bible and Missionary Societies, but in the progress of various other important institutions.-The great work of educating the rising generation in the principles of true religion, by means of the National Society and the British and Foreign School Society, is proceeding with the utmost rapidity. The Society for promoting Christian Knowledge is liberally exerting itself, as in the support of foreign missions, so in supplying the seminaries of religious instruction with Bibles, Prayer-Books, and other valuable publications :—while the Society for building Churches is extending its beneficent labours in various directions, and providing additional places of worship in populous and important situations. Nor are the interests of the sister country disregarded:- -we hail with cordial satisfaction the commencement of a Society for instructing those Irish who are unacquainted with the English language, in their own tongue; and have been highly gratified by the various statements of the benefits resulting from the labours of Irish readers, the reports of the Irish schools, and the different Hibernian societies. Nor should the noble exertions made for the relief of their temporal wants be lost sight of in this brief review, especially since we are well assured they have produced an indelible impression on the grateful hearts of that warm and generous people.
Did our limits allow, we should rejoice at being able to state more fully the actual degree of success with which the various institutions are proceeding this may, indeed, be conjectured from the statement of their funds inserted in a preceding number-for though that statement included only a part of these institutions, it may serve as a specimen of the extent of Christian charity.
That much still remains to be done, every feeling mind must be deeply sensible. We mourn over various abominations:-the profanation of the Sabbath; the vile and hateful practices which still exist; the licentious, and infidel, and demoralizing principles which are so openly avowed, are most distressing to the true Christian, and should stimulate us to increasing exertion. But notwithstanding all the evils over which we lament, we are fully satisfied that the cause of God and of truth is advancing; that the number of true Christians is increasing; and that a more solid, judicious, and practical species of religion prevails among us and we found our conviction of this progressive increase in religious feeling on the unquestionable fact, that, notwithstanding all the efforts of infidelity, the demand for religious publications is great beyond precedent-not only for Bibles, and Testaments, and Prayer-Books; but for publications of a plain, serious, and practical nature; so that editions of works which formerly would have supplied the public for a considerable time are now often disposed of in the space of a very few weeks. Such was the case with a late edition of Scott's Bible, of Horne's Introduction, of Scott's Life; not to mention numerous publications of inferior size.