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eription. The first relates to the market held at St. Peters burg for frozen provisions, which are sent thither from Archangel and other parts of the country.
Cows, sheep, hogs, fowls, butter, eggs, fish, are all stiffened into granite.
The fish are attractively beautiful; possessing the vividness of their living colours, with the transparent clearness of wax imitations. The beasts present a far less pleasing spectacle. Most of the larger sort being skinned, and classed acoording to their species; groupes of many huudreds are seen piled up on their hind legs against one another, as if each were making an effort to climb over the back of its neighbour. The motionless apparent animation of their seemingly struggling attitudes (as if suddenly seized in moving, and petrified by frost), gives a horrid life to this dead scene. Had an enchanter's wand been instantaneously waved over this sea of animals during their different actions, they could not have been fixed more decidedly. Their hardness, too, is so extreme, that the natives chop them up for the purchaser, like wood; and the chips of their carcases tly off, in the same way as splinters do from masses of timber or coal.' p. 121.
The appearance of Mosco is thus delineated.
Before I left the precincts of this interesting place. I ascended the tower of the church of Ivan the Great, which commands a view of the whole surrounding plain. Although the monotonous paleness of winter then shrouded its bosom, yet the coup d'ail was transcendantly magnificent. The sun shone with an unattempered splendor, through an atmosphere, whose clearness cannot be conceived in England; the variegated colours on the tops of innumerable buildings; the sparkling paricles of snow on the earth and palaces; the fanes and crescents of the churches flashing their blazing gold; and, added to all, the busy world beneath, passing and repassing in their superb dresses and decorated sledges, presented such a scene of beauty and grandeur, that I should have thought myself repaid for my disagreeable journey, had I even been obliged to return to St. Petersburgh immediately, in beholding so glorious a view. p. 200.
(To be concluded in the next Number.)
Sermons and other Discourses. By the late Rev. Samuel Lavington, of Bideford. 8vo. pp. 466. Price 9s. bds. Conder, Williams and Co. 1809.
SELDOM have we perused discourses, which better deserved
to be studied as models by students and juvenile ministers, which were more suited to accomplish the grand purposes of a regular exercise of the pastoral office, or which any communion of Christians might refer to with more satisfaction as delivered from their pulpits, than those of which this volume is composed. Many of the introductions and conclusions, espe cially, are marked with a variety, an originality, a winning familiarity, a striking abruptness, or an impressive earnestness,
solemnity, and fervour, which are adapted to produce the hap piest effect. The narrow space, within which this critique must be confined, will render it perhaps impossible fully to justify our commendations. The first sermon however, though in some respects inferior to several succeeding ones, will probably furnish examples of sufficient merit, to raise the publication to that rank in the opinion of our readers which we could wish it to attain. The subject is Dedication to God ;' the text, ii. Cor. viii. 5, But first gave their own selves to the
Lord. It begins thus:
Religion, serious, vital, practical religion, is the great end of our being. say vital, practical religion, to distinguish it from that form of godliness, that superficial, showy, shadowy profession, which some weakly mistake, and others wickedly substitute, for this important concern. There are some, strange that it should be so, there are many, who, because they put on airs of seriousness at particular times, and say with much self-approbaion, • God I thank thee, I am not as other men are,' vainly think that they are religious; and are as easy and confident as if they were really children of God and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. But is this religion? Alas! no more than a picture is a man. Where is thy humiliation before God on account of the depravity of thy heart, and the sins of thy life? Where are thy tears of repentance, or thy earnest desires of salvation? Where is the surrender of thyself, and all that thou hast td God, as a thank-offering for thy deliverance from the house of bordage, and thy restoration to the enjoyment of light and liberty? Where is thy faith, and zeal, and holiness? Where is thy communing with thy heart, and making diligent search? Where is thy meditation upon God, thy drawing near to him, and delighting in him as thy portion? What! a stranger to all this, and yet a pretender to religion! Ah! man, consult thy Bible, consult thy heart; consult those who are christians indeed, and they will tell thee, that religion is something different from this. To be religious, is to be renewed in the spirit of our mind; to be dead indeed to sin, and to be alive to God, through Christ Jesus our Lord ;" and "whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, to do all to his glory." It is this reference to the author of our beings that constitutes religion; and the nicest observances of forms and ceremonies, and the exactest behaviour which terminates in self, have not the least claim to that sacred character. In opposition, therefore, to all such pretensions, it is called "lifting up the soul to God," honouring, fearing, trusting, loving, and delighting in him, and, in our text, 16 giving ourselves to the Lord." p. 2.
The plan of this sermon is not the most worthy of praise; the concluding paragraph, however, is excellent.
I have thus endeavoured to illustrate and enforce this important duty of giving yourselves to the Lord. In the name of God, I have been soliciting your hearts, but with what success the event must determine. I fear that many of you, notwithstanding all that has been said to recommend the Lord Jesus to your esteem and affection, secretly say, "We will not have him to reign over us.” But consider again, what a danger
ous and uncomfortable life you are leading. By refusing to give yourselves to the Lord, you discharge him of all concern for your safety, and are left to the mercy of every wind, without anchor or pilot. If you will not trust him, look to yourselves, and take the consequence. Save yourselves in danger, cure your own diseases, quiet your own consciences, fight death with your own weapons, plead your own cause in judgment, deliver your souls from hell if you can; and then, boasting of your achievements, tell the world how little you are beholden to a Saviour. But I will not stay to expose the folly and danger of such dreadful presumption. Whether you consent to it or not, God will one day assert that claim which now you oppose; for sooner than he will give up his right, he will, renounce his existence. A time is coming when your souls shall be required at your hands; not, as now, in the melting accents of mercy, "My son, give me thy heart;" but in this stern language of justice, "How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship, for thou mayest be no longer steward." You will wish that you had never a soul, if you then shall have neglected to yield it to God. By a timely surrender of your self to the Lord, prevent therefore, that ruin which will be the certain consequence of an obstinate refusal. Fix your eye, your heart, your hope, upon God, for all meaner dependances will certainly deceive you. They are sandy foundations, broken cisterns, wells without water, refuges of lies. But, O Lord of Hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee!' p. 10.
We shall not be understood to extol these discourses as examples of profound thinking or elegant composition; though it is evident from many passages of elevated sentiment, rich imagery, and fine expression, that the venerable minister could have made a greater display of these excellences, than his wisdom and piety deemed conducive to the advantage of a mixed congregation. In our opinion, ordinary sermons can hardly be too familiar, if they neither relax into a levity which might dissipate seriousness, nor descend to a vulgarity which would produce contempt. The sermons before us will not suffer from this test. We give two other specimens of Mr. L.'s introductions.
1 Cor. xvi. 20. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.-Can you repeat the text after me? Can you all repeat it, and can you repeat it boldly and without hesitation ?" Undoubtedly we can, why should we not? If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be"- Ah! no, I thought you durst not go through it. Conscience stopped you, by whispering that you were imprecating a curse upon yourselves. If I had only asked, Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ?" You would have made no scruple to answer me, "Yes." But when it comes to wishing damnation upon your souls, if you do not love him, this is a serious matter, which you dare not venture upon; and you are forced to confess, that you know not any thing of Christ. You have heard his name; but you are unacquainted with his person, and had never any interview with him. So, you are as indifferent to him as a stranger. Indifferent, did I say?—No, my friends, you cannot be indifferent to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you love him not, you hate him,' p. 424. &c.
Esther v. 6. And the king said to Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of my kingdom it shall be performed. This for an earthly monarch was noble and generous. But the King of Kings does nothing by halves. The meanest of his servants is a king, and is possessor of a kingdom extensive and glorious, in comparison with which the whole empire of Ahasuerus is no more than the smallest particle of sand. In the distribution of his favours he regards the majesty of his own character, more than the meanness of ours. His bounty is confined by no restrictions. Ask what ye will, and it shall be given you.
If ye ask for grace, for a pardon and a title to the favour of God through the infinite merits and righteousness of Christ, for the sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Ghost; they thall be freely bestowed. Yea, if you ask for an interest in the various perfections and attributes of Jehovah himself, bold as the request may seem, it shall not be denied you. For all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. He loves to satisfy enlarged and earnest desires, and takes pleasure in them that hope in his mercy.'
A similar particularity of reference, or momentary assumption of character, or brief apostrophe, is often well introduced in other parts of the sermon as a method of exciting attention.
There is a beautiful description of the infirmities of old age, in a sermon on that subject, (p. 275, 6) which we have not room to quote; beside many other passages, especially at the close of the discourses, that are extremely well conceived and expressed. The words of scripture are finely wrought in with the general texture of the composition.
It is scarcely necessary to particularize the several interesting texts and subjects of these forty-five discourses. They are of various kinds; some of them having been delivered on occasion of a funeral, a birth, a new-year's day, or an ordination. Four of them are Admissions', or
Addresses, which were delivered to those who had been lately received as members of the church. On a day preceding the celebration of the Lord's Supper, standing up in the midst of the congregation, they were solemnly and affectionately addressed by their minister, on the privileges and duties of their Christian profession.'
Of the rest, twelve are Meditations', delivered at the administration of the Lord's Supper; these are distinguished by a singular tenderness of devotional feeling, and a rich flow of pathetic eloquence, well adapted to enhance the effect of that solemn rite.
The miscellaneous sermons are on various subjects, bearing an important relation to the condition and prospects of unconverted men, or the duties and feelings of the sincere Christian. There is one discourse, on the Education of children, and another, delivered as an Ordination Charge, of peculiar value. The great truths of religion are constantly implied,
and frequently illustrated and enforced; but the sermons are never merely doctrinal lectures; they teem with the exuberant fulness, vitality, and fragrance of the vernal tree, instead of displaying the cold, barren, and rigid distinctness of the winter skeleton; they have much of the religion of the bible, though little of the subtlety of the schools. The author's system appears to have been of the kind usually called Calvinistic; though the cases are rare, in which he advances any sentiment peculiar to this system. His practical exhortations are truly excellent; and his remarks on the state of the affections, as symptomatic of the absence or presence of genuine religion, are worthy of his sound judgement, accurate observation, large experience, and heartfelt piety.
It has doubtless been a great advantage to this volume, that the Editor had a considerable number of Mr. Lavington's Sermons from which to select those which most deserved publication; there still remain some, perhaps, that might lay a -fair claim to the same favourable reception which these will probably obtain. Should a second volume or a re-print be undertaken, it will not be deformed, we hope, by so many typographical errors. We ought not to conclude without commending the cheap form of printing adopted in this volume, by which it is made to contain nearly double the quantity of composition that is usually diffused over the same extent of paper in the publications of our fashionable divines.
Art. IX. English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. A Satire. 12mo. pp. 54. Price 3s. 6d. bds. Cawthorn, 1809..
vehe peculiarity of its
We understand this poem has already attained a large cirWE culation; a circumstance by no means surprising, when we consider its high seasoning of invective and sarcasm, its humour and spirited versification, and subject and its occasion, combined with the rank of its reputed author. The world is said to be indebted for this effusion of "the milk of human kindness" to no less a personage than Lord Byron, on no less an occasion than the discipline bestowed on the said Lord, for certain Hours of Idleness,' by the Busby hands of the Edinburgh Reviewers. This is just as it should be. For equitable discrimination, for devotedness to truth, for gentlemanly deportment, and the genuine Christian spirit of candour, amenity, forgiveness of injuries, and reluctance to inflict pain, the combatants are pretty fairly matched. The literary canaille will gaze on this game-cock spectacle with a delight, which happily need not be diminished by any compunction for the cause, or apprehension for the conse quences. If, however, the noble lord, and the learned advoVOL. V. N