Puslapio vaizdai

minded integrity. Am I to rid myself of this oppressive obligation, to recommend away from the Chapelry of St. John's, that minister to whose inefficiency I believe it to be owing? Am I to prostitute, for such an object as this, the confidence which either a patron or a people shall repose in me? Am I to traffic away the immortal interests of men, by such a wretched sacrifice of truth and honour and Christian sincerity, at the shrine of any earthly interest whatever, whether it be to obtain for myself a temporal enlargement, or to rid myself of a temporal embarrassment? Rather than incur the least shadow or semblance of aught so vile and villanous as this, I will bear the obligation onward with me to my grave, and entail it as a burden upon my children, whom I shall teach that no wealth can ever make up for that best and noblest of all patrimony, the integrity of a father.

"Next to the disappointmeut of my hopes in regard to a great and extensive reformation by means of your labours among the people, the sorest ingredient of this business is, that I have involved Mr. Douglas of Cavers in a burden nearly equal to my own; and in a fifth part of it each of ten or twelve individuals more, the best and worthiest friends I have in the world, and whom I have been the instrument of misleading into a burtful speculation.

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Never, I used to think, was there a minister placed in a likelier situation than yourself for insuring, by dint of patience and painstaking, a rich harvest of souls, besides the applause and encouragement of the good. I fondly imagined that my chapel, like those of Edinburgh, might have proved a stepping-stone to one of the city churches; or, what would accord still better with my principles and views, that, after having evinced its own vast importance to the Christian interests of the community, it might itself have been transformed into a city church, and its minister been admitted to the full privileges which attach to a regular city clergyman. May the same mysterious Power who hath humbled and chastised my lofty expectation again reassure me; and may you yet experience in your own future history what the Missionary Elliot recorded at the termination of his labours, that it is in the power of prayers and pains, through faith in Jesus Christ, to do any thing.

"I leave the representation which I have now given to its effect upon your own conscience. The effect upon mine is, that I cannot possibly comply with your request, that I should recommend you to any other situation in the Church.-I am, dear Sir, your's faithfully, "THOMAS CHALMERS."

The other exhibition we desire to present of Dr. Chalmers is in his own testimony to the fundamentally healthy nature of his religious feelings. That they were distorted and falsely represented in their doctrinal expressions, that

he was fond of placing them in forms graphic and grotesque, is true; but at their foundations the sentiment that sustained them was always essentially genuine and noble. His orthodoxy was not of the vulgar kind, but the symbol, it might be an unnatural one, of profound truths and spiritual experiences. His doctrine of human corruption was not derived from instances of human iniquity but rather from the numberless instances in which humanity appears lovely and beneficent without giving glory and gratitude to God, and it co-existed with his acceptance and admiration of Bishop Butler's views of Human Nature. His doctrine of Christ's merits simply meant that man can never reach an outward standard of perfection, and therefore must be accepted by God for the loyalty of his heart, and the earnest desires and efforts after righteousness that flow out of the spirit's filial trust in God. His doctrine of Atonement simply meant that a man must work, not selfishly, for the sake of his own salvation, but from pure, disenthralled, affections, and out of gratitude to God, whose free love embraced and sought him ere he had any title to forgiveness. And all these sentiments, which make the soul of his preaching, are profoundly Christian, and it was the prominency which he gave to them which enabled him to clothe and disguise with their tender and solemn beauty the hideous skeleton of orthodoxy. To the address which he sent from Glasgow to his dear people at Kilmany, it was objected by the representatives of the old orthodoxy, that he was resting their acceptance with God on an unsafe foundation because he urged all who felt themselves unsettled and insecure, simply "to set themselves immediately, and with all diligence, to renounce every obviously wrong thing they had hitherto practised, and to do every obviously right thing which they had neglected." We wish to show him distinctly disclaiming the trammels of a formal and unspiritual system, and revealing the real feelings which he clothed in orthodox forms. He speaks thus of Calvinism :

"My Christianity approaches nearer, I think, to Calvinism than to any of the isms in Church history: but broadly as it announces the necessity of sanctification, it does not bring it forward in that free and spontaneous manner which I find in the New Testament. It does not urge my affections in the shape of a warm and impres

sive admonition. It is laid before me as part of a system; and I am somehow restrained from submitting my heart to the fulness of its influence by the severe and authoritative qualifications which are laid upon it. There is so much said about the dangers of selfrighteousness, that I am afraid to trust myself with any attempts at righteousness at all; and for the simple obedience of love which the gospel teaches me, I either give up obedience entirely, or I find it prove fatiguing, because in addition to the simple feeling, I have also to give it its proper place in the fabric of orthodoxy, and to wield a most cumbersome machinery of principles and explanations along with it. I feel the influence of these systems to be most unfortunate in the pulpit. Were I to accommodate to the previous state of discipline and education among my hearers, I could not get in a single precept without spending more than double the time necessary for announcing it, in satisfying them of its due subordination to the leading principles of the system. Now I would ask, Is this ever done by Paul or any of the Apostles? Do they feel any restraint or any hesitation in being practical? Is not this scrupulous deference to the factitious orthodoxy of Calvin a principle altogether foreign and subsequent to the native influence of Divine truth on the heart? With what perfect freedom from all this parade and all this scrupulosity do Christ and his apostles make their transition from doctrine to practice, and expand with the most warm and earnest and affectionate exhortation! No, my dear Sir, our divinity is not of the right kind unless it be a fair transcript of that divinity which exists in the New Testament. I admit the doctrine of good works, not because it comes to me in the shape of a corollary to the demonstrations of the schoolmen, but because it comes to me in warm and immediate efficacy from If ye love me, keep my commandments.' I do not think I can be wrong in calling no man master but Christ; and at all events it is making faith in Him my security and my refuge. I summon up the conception of Jesus as my friend, and with such an image in my heart, I feel the intolerance of orthodoxy stript of all its terrors. I repair to the grand principle of faith as my refuge not merely against the anxieties of certain guilt, but against the anxieties of possible ignorance; and that very doctrine of the sufficiency of Christ which occupies so high, though not too high, a place in their systems, I convert into my defence and my protection when they frown condemnation upon me. That which availeth is, 'Faith working by love;' and if the love of Christ be shed abroad upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit, it is to be rejoiced in as the 'pledge and the earnest of our inheritance.' This is the attainment which we must strive after; and we have the highest authority for believing, that prayer and diligence, and the

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exercises of patience and faith, are means which, if strenuously persevered in, are never resorted to in vain.”—Vol. I. p. 243.

In addition to the publications which we have incidentally mentioned, Dr. Chalmers' principal writings, up to this period of his life, consisted of an Essay on the Evidences of Christianity in the Edinburgh Encyclopædia, originally written in the driest season of his mind, and confined to the external argument; a volume of Astronomical Discourses, which he afterwards justly looked upon as a florid and juvenile production, but which ran a successful race with the "Tales of my Landlord," and reached a circulation of twenty thousand in one year; a volume of Congregational Sermons preached in the Tron Church; a series of periodical tracts, afterwards collected into a work entitled "The Civic and Christian Economy of Large Towns;" and a volume of Sermons, published in 1820, "On the Application of Christianity to the Commercial and Ordinary affairs of Life," which he himself regarded as the happiest and most useful of his pulpit labours.


The Natural History of the Varieties of Man. By R. G. Latham, M.D., &c. London: John Van Voorst, Paternoster Row. 1850.

WE cannot pretend, in any critical sense, to review the elaborate volume before us, abounding as it does in learned detail; but we may briefly pen down remarks which occur to us, and point out what may serve to excite the reader's curiosity.

The author regards the subject as so much the grander and the worthier of pursuit, because it is a growing one; and while admiring highly the great work of the lamented Prichard, yet desires to show his admiration by helping the science onward, not by resting on Prichard's attain



Dr. Latham, in many respects, writes like a Frenchman. His perpetual effort is after scientific and even mathematical form, as well as scientific accuracy. sharp brevity of sentence, and a systematic arrangement of details, is perhaps natural to him, even when he does not aim at it. We presume that this really tends towards the perfection of the science; if it be not always altogether in conformity with English taste. Opening at random, we take a sample of his small type paragraphs, in which he is accustomed to present to the reader condensed results. But it must not be supposed that more than a fraction of the book is in this style.


"Area. From the small islands to the west of the Pelews, to Easter island, west and east. From the Mariannes and the Sandwich Islands north, to New Zealand south.

"Physical Conformation.- Modified Protonesian. Stature, perhaps taller; tendency to corpulence more common; colour oftener approaching that of the European; hair often waved or curling; nose frequently aquiline.

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