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Now my harp of Elohimn!
• Praise to Jehovah in the fires ! in thine
• Cease ye from man--a cherub's tongue hath saia
• Wrath is past-the welcome dove
• Shoshannim-The L'illies.
See Title of Pfalm 45. “ To the Giver of the Vi&ory, concerning the Lillies.” The emblematical white and pure Believers. The Title of the both Psalm is in the fingular : “ol Shushen, concerning the Lilly :" i. e. che pure Anointed. Parkhurst's Heb. Lexic, on the Word Shesh
.t. Chemosh and Gebor-Hebrew names, expresling the different powers of the Sun. See 2 Kings, xxiii. 13. and Pfalm xix. 5:'
Mofes floating on the Nile,
ART. III. Tbe Dialogues of Eumenes; or the Religion of the Heart,
distinguished from that Attachment to mere Modes, which too frequently deforms the Christian Temper. Small 8vo.
3 s. sewed. Bristol printed, and sold by Dilly, &c. London. 1779. THE celebrated Mr. Hervey succeeded so well in his at
of theological controversy, in his Dialogues between Theron and Aspasio, as to introduce among the modern puritans a taste for the gaudy and brilliant in writing, and a fondness for religious books of entertainment, which was unknown to their anceltors. In conformity to this taste, the Author of this work conveys his opinions and ideas respecting religion in the vehicle of fiction; sometimes relating his tale in language exceedingly familiar and colloquial; and at other times riting, on a sudden, into a kind of flowery and measured prose, which, to give it more completely the air of poetry, the printer has disposed in lines of different lengths.
In the course of these Dialogues, we find a great variety of subjects occasionally touched upon, in a manner which proves the Writer, notwithstanding his occasional cenfures of Wisley, to be in reality no enemy to the leading tenets, or stranger to the characteristic spirit, of Methodism. The religion of the heart, which it is the professed intention of the work to recommend, in contradistinction to the mere observance of external forms, doth not, according to our Author, consiit in those fixed principles and settled habits of piety and virtue, which are the foundation of a valuable moral character, but in certain ardent emotions and passions, perpetually excited in the mind by acts of devotion, in the continual exercise of humiliation and penitence for fin, and of reliance on the merits of Christ for salvation. A view of religion, which at the same time that it encourages every folly of enthusiasm, is unfavourable to the interests of genuine virtue, by leading men to substitute affection for principle, and emotion for action. Of the general strain and spirit of this work, the following dialogue between Eugenius and Dame Jenkins, will give our Readers fome idea :
“ Dear Sir, why you seem to think that my religion, after all, is doubtful! o, Sir, do speak out! What is your real opinion?"
" Really, Dame, I fear it is.”
“ Dear Sir! What do you think then that poor folks can do! How is it possible that we can be saved ?"
“ As easy," said Eugenius," perhaps more easy, for the poor than the rich.”
“ But, Sir, how can that be? The rich may not only go to church to hear the sermon on Sundays ; but they may have time to go to prayers on Wednesdays and Fridays, and indeed every saints-day in the year if they will. And besides, you know, Sir, they may be very charitable, as Sophron is, and do a great deal of good to all about them. And therefore, rich folks have greatly the advantage of the poor, in religion as well as in every thing else."
“ They have indeed, said Eugenius, in many outward things, at least ; but, in religion, there is only one foundation for the rich and
“ But,” said the old Lady, interruping Eugenius, " you seem to be for destroying the very foundation itself! And what then can any of us do!"
“ By no means, Dame Jenkins. Other foundation can no man. lay, than that which is laid, which is Jesus CHRIST. And to him I would direct you, and all others, rich and poor, bond and free, young and old; for, in this respect, there is no difference. , Nor is there any other name by which any of us can be saved.”
“ Yes, Sir, to be sure CHRIST is our only Saviour. And was I not baptized into his name, and grafted into the body of his church? You don't suppose surely that I think there is any ocher Saviour ! No, no, Sir, then I should not be a Chriftian !"
" B yet I am really afraid," said Eugenius, “ that you may have too great a dependence on the mere forms of religion ; and I could with you to attend more to the true spirit and power of it. The religion of Jesus is a living principle in the soul ; it takes hold on the heart; it subdues every high and vain thought, and brings it into subjection to the law of God, and the law of faith; it is the kingdom of God within us; nay, it is CHRist himself in us the hope of glory."
“ Indeed, Sir, I don't know what to say to chis hidden religion you talk of. It may do well enough, perhaps, for rich folks, and scolards and ministers; but I don't think that we poor folks know much about it."
“ I am sorry for that, indeed," said Eugenius, “ for I cannot but think this part of religion much adapted to the circumstances of the poor. It is that part in which they may, and do often, excel. They have it not in their power, as you juftly obferve, to recommend their religion by fo constant an attendance on the outward forms of it; and fill less to exemplify it in works of charity and benevolence. But in the devotion of their hearts to God, and in the exercises of Tepentance and faith,
they may be as eminent as any of their rich neighbours. This, Dame Jenkins, is the religion of the heart, and without this, whatever you may think of it, you cannot be a real Chriftian." 3
« Repentance ! surely, Sir, you can't fuppose that we, who never committed fin, are to exemplify or recommend our religion by repentance ? No, no, CHRIST came, you know, not to call the just and the righteous, such as we who have no need of it, but finners to repentance !"
“'And do you really think,” said Eugenius, “ that you never committed any fia! Pray think a little before you give me a positiveanswer."
" Dear Sir, my neighbours will all answer for me. I was never accounted a finaer, I believe, by any of them; and why should you think me fo?"
“ I have all the reason in the world,” said Eugenius, “ to think you á finner ; for there is no man that livech, and finneth not. We are indeed all of us finners; and except we repent we must all perilh...
“ Yes, if I had committed any great fin, it would be my duty to repent ; but, as that is not the case, I don't see the necesity of re
“ You seem to allow then," said Eugenius, " that you may have committed some little fins."
“ Yes,” says the old lady,“ posibly I may, however I cannot recollect any juft now; and I think I am as free from fin as any one I know."
• That may be," said Eugenius, " and yet were you to die in your present state, I am much afraid, all your religion, and all your goodness would leave you far short of the kingdom of heaven !"
“ Pray, Sir," said the old lady, with some degree of asperity, " What reason have you to think so hard of me"
“ My dear Dame Jenkins,” said Eugenius, “ it appears to me that you never yet experienced a real change of heart,-ihat you were never yet convinced of fin,-never yet truly sorry for it; that you never yet saw your need of CHRIST,-never yet closed in with that way of salvation which God hath graciously revealed in the gospel ; and therefore I tell you, for I fee I must be plain with you, that, notwithstanding all your ftri&tness in attending to the forms of reli. gion, you have indeed lived without God in the world ;, and I must add, should you die in such a state, you cannot escape the juft judge ment of hell!"
“ Dear Sir," said the old lady, “ Your words make me tremble ! -If it be ro, what can do!”
If the Author had intended to place the whole doctrine of heart-experience, so much infifted upon by writers of this stamp, in the light of ridicule, he could not have done it more effecs tually than in the following conversation between Susanna and Margaret :
... Well,” says Susanna,“ pray what is the matter?-I have always thoughe you to be a very good fort of a woman, and that you had
got above all these scruples long before now !” “ No, indeed, I have not,” replied Margaret, “ I am as much, if not more discouraged than ever.” Rev. Aug. 1779.
“ But tell me, Margaret, what is the reason of your discourage
Be free, open your mind, it may be some relief to you. Pray, how long have you been in shis low way?'
" O, Susanna," said Margaret, “ I have been in a barren frame for a long time, indeed! but it was not till about two years ago that I found the true cause of it.”.
“ And pray, what do you suppose to be the true cause of it, Margaret?"
“ I thought to have told it to Philander several times, but; as often as I had an opportunity to do it, my heart failed me; and I have kept it to myself till now.”
“ Bui,'' said Sufanna, “ do tell me what it is."
“ Well, if I must tell you, though I am ashamed that any body should know it. It is because I do not love milk!" “ Because
do not love milk? Pray what has this to do with the state of your soul, and your progress in religion??
“ O, Susanna! I think it has a great deal to do with it. One Sunday evening opened my Bible on the second chapter of the first epiftle of Peter, and I read, “ If fo be ye have tasted that the LORD " is gracious; as new-born babes desire the fincere milk of the word, “ that ye may grow thereby.” The words ftruck me to the very heart, for it immediately came into my mind that my mother had told me, the could never get me to touch the brealt; and that, as long as I could remember, I had never tasted a drop of milk. This, thought I, is the cause why I bave never gained any degree of strength and liability in religion. From this time I tried by all means to get the better of my natural averfion ; but all in vain. And as this is the case, and if there be any meaning in the apostle's words, how can I expect to grow thereby !"
“ I muti confess,” said Susanna, “ that my gift does not much lie in explaining difficult passages of scripture, but I am ready to think you muli certainly mittake the meaning. I would have you mention it to Philander, I don't doubt but he will clear up the mat- : ter, to your satisfaction, much better than I can pretend to.”
" Well, says Margaret, I will take courage, and endeavour to do it the firit opportunity; for, I do assure you, it hangs very heavy on my mind."
After these specimens of the familiar, our Readers will be surprised to find that the same work affords exainples of the fublime: from a most magnificent description of the day of judgment given in the last dialogue, we shall select the following passage :
B. this time the tempet, black and dreadful, beyond description, driven by the awful frown of the incen ed judge had nearly reached the eailern horizon, and seemed to link with increasing hore. rors into the Tartarian gulf, the place assigned to the devil and his angels, by the unchanging decree of the great JEHOVAH.
I law, and crembled