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NOTICES OF BOOKS.
POEMS; SACRED, HISTORICAL, AND DESCRIPTIVE. By R. THWAITES. Second Edition. London: Methodist New Connexion Book Room; Durham: G. Walker.
The design of the worthy author is neither fame nor pecuniary remuneration. The work was published, it ap pears, at the urgent request of a friend, whose apology is modestly used as a preface to the first edition. This friend remarks: "It has been with considerable difficulty that I have at length prevailed upon the author of these poems to bring them before the public. From feelings of extreme delicacy he never wished them to appear in print. Having myself felt profit and pleasure from them, and believing them to be the breathings of a heart sincere, and dictated by motives most pure, I was induced to urge upon him the publication of this little volume, with humble hope that it may afford the reader, not amusement only, but under the blessings of the Lord be made profitable to the soul. Should this be the case, I have no doubt he will deem this a rich reward for all his labour. As the author feels deeply his own imperfections, he begs most earnestly that the mantle of love may be east over any of the defcets in this little volume."
The volume contains seventy-six short pocms; and if they are not of firstrate quality, they are free from all bombast and affectation.
profits arise from the sale of the work, it is the design of the worthy author to devote them to the erection of a new chapel in Durham, in addition to a handsome subscription already promised by him.
THE FEAR OF DEATH: or, Why should the Atheist fear to Die? With reasons why the Christian should not fear Death. An Essay, read at the Literary Institution, Carlisle street, Marylebone. Published by request. By S. WILLIAMS. 12mo. pp. 16. London: Partridge and Oakey.
Mr. Williams was one of the four local preachers in our Connexion who successfully wrote as Sabbath prize essayists. His excellent production was published, and obtained a respectable circulation. Mr. Williams is now engaged as a London city missionary, and the tract before us has been composed with a view to usefulness in his present arduous vocation. It is a clever delineation of the irrational fal
lacies of infidelity, and a faithful exposure of its utter insufficiency either to afford peace or satisfaction to the mind in this world, or provide for the dreaded future existence. It proves infidelity to be at best a dark and troubled ocean of doubt and despair, on which the anxious soul is tossed without either rudder or compass; and that Christianity is the balm and solace of life, a well-spring of pure and satisfying enjoyment now, and promising immortal joys in the world to come. Though the work has been issued only a few weeks, it is already in its second edition. We earnestly wish Mr. Williams success in his laudable efforts to do good.
Pablished under the direct patronage of the Author. NOTES, EXPLANATORY AND PRACTICAL, ON THE NEW TESTAMENT. By the Rev. ALBERT BARNES. Reprinted verbatim from the latest American Edition. Edited and carefully Corrected, By Rev. INGRAM COBBIN, M.A. Vols. I., II., including the four Gospels. London: Partridge and Oakey.
The Commentary of Albert Barnes is well known, and so highly appreciated, that we need not offer any additional testimony to those already adduced as to its intrinsic excellence, and adaptation to general usefulness. We have here two volumes comprising the whole of the four Gospels. While the work is well got up, paper and type good, and many passages illustrated with wood engravings, it is sold at a price marvellously low.
SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS: A Discourse on Personal Election and Divine Sovereignty: with an Appendix containing Notes and Observations on Collateral Subjects. By the late JOSEPH FLETCHER, D.D. Fifth Edition. London: J. Snow.
A calm, temperate, and dignified exposition of the views held by modern Calvinists on the subjects of election and reprobation. Although we dissent from the talented and worthy author, .(now in heaven.) we honour the amiable spirit and the superior talent exhibited in this discourse.
THE PEOPLE'S SERVICE OF SONG: A Tune Book for the Pew. The Harmonies revised by GEORGE HOGARTH, Esq., author of "Musical History," &c.; the whole edited by Joux CURWEN. London: Ward and Co.
In this book we have 180 tunes, twenty-one chants, nine congregational anthems, and two sanctuses. To render
his work adapted to congregational worship, the author collected a list of nearly a thousand hymns, embracing all that are commonly used by the several evangelical denominations; and having analyzed and classified them according to their various metres and subjects, has brought together a selection of well-adapted tunes, and added a copious index, in which the multitude of hymns have respectively their
appropriate tunes set to them. While the work is uncommonly cheap, it appears, so far as we are competent to judge, to be an excellent compilation.
THE CHILD'S OWN BOOK OF POETRY: Original and Selected. 18mo. pp. 170. Religious Tract Society.
The poems are simple and pathetic. They inculcate refined sentiments, and breathe the spirit of true piety. The engravings too are excellent.
OBITUARIES AND RECENT DEATHS.
EDWARD MASON was born at Halesowen, January 24th, 1828. In early life he manifested the depravity of his nature by joining in the follies and frivolities of irreligious youth. His associates were such as seek enjoyment in desecrating the Sabbath, in acts of intemperance, and other sources of sinful gratification. But he was arrested in his career of impiety, he saw his folly, abandoned his companions, and sought fellowship with the people of God. He began to meet in class at Cradley Forge in June, 1849. At this time he not only intimated that he was desirous of fleeing from the wrath to come, but he manifested godly sorrow for his numerous sins. He reproached himself with ingratitude to that God who had so graciously watched over him, and so abundantly dispensed his favours unto him. He saw and lamented his wickedness in slighting the Divine authority, and in offering insult to the Majesty of heaven. In this unhappy and burdened state of mind he remained for about three weeks, when he professed to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to have redemption in the blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of sins. Then he rejoiced in God as his reconciled Father, and in hope of heaven when this life should terminate.
For a time he was diligent in his attention on the means of grace, and took great pleasure in the society of the people of God. But as it is with others, so it was with him, he was not permitted to run his course of obedience and love without temptations bestrewing his path, and snares being laid for his feet. Unhappily, yes, unhappily for himself, he yielded to temptations, and was ensnared by his old companions in sin. The effects of his associating again with them were soon seen, and they
were lamented by those who had so recently rejoiced in his spiritual welfare. He became negligent in his attendance on the means of grace, and manifested symptoms of lukewarmness. But having joined himself to the people of God, they watched over him, were solicitous for his welfare, and therefore faithfully remonstrated with him. About this time his health began to decline, and thus God himself chastened him with the rod of affliction, and the voice of warning came both from the church and from the Almightythat voice sounded in his ears and reached his inmost soul. He again began to be in earnest in his supplications for forgiveness, for restoration to the Divine favour; and O how valuable did the blessing appear to him at that time! During his affliction he was frequently impressed with the convic tion that he would not live long; thoughts of this kind would intrude themselves upon his attention.
In one of his night visions he had a a view of heaven, and thought he was an inhabitant of that glorious place. But when he was asked particularly about his dream he was diffident, he was reluctant to say much, but he pon dered it in his mind, and said he would tell them more about it when he knew more about it, which he believed he should do before he died.
On the Friday before his death his sister visited him, and proposed to pray with him, saying, as an inducement to secure his consent, "There is no one in the room." But he replied, “O never mind who is here, pray, and pray that the Lord would forgive my backslidings." O how the sin of backsliding embitters the cup of affliction! How it tends to harass, 'to perplex, and to distress the mind! But our departed brother still hoped in the mercifulness of God to man through Jesus Christ, yea, even to the backslider; and he found that the prayer of a beloved
sister, united with his own earnest breathings, was effectual; his hope was invigorated, his faith was strengthened, he believed that God was again reconciled, and that Jesus would soon send his angels to convey him to his home in the skies.
Early in the morning of the day on which he died, he said, "I shall not live all day." Such a declaration was calculated to affect those who were near and dear to him by the ties of nature. They could not conceal their sorrow from him; they could not hide their tears. When he saw them weep he assured them there was no occasion to weep. "You might weep," he said, "if I were going to hell; but I am going to heaven." O how sweet a balm is such a testimony to a sorrowing parent and to every bereaved member of the family! One of the last words which fell from the dying lip of our brother was, "Glory, glory, glory." And when the spirit had fled, a placid smile rested upon the countenance, impressing those who looked on it with the conviction that the soul had entered into rest, and was participating in the joys which are at God's right hand. He died June 1st, 1850, aged twenty-two years.
OUR sister, Emma Morris, was born March 2nd, 1819. The period of her connection with the church of Christ on earth was of short duration. Soon almost as she had put on the armour of righte ousness, entered the field of battle, and sustained a few fiery conflicts, she returned therefrom with the shout of victory. She had occasionally attended the services of the sanctuary without any apparent change of heart or life. But about ten or twelve months ago she was there, when the preacher related a circumstance which had taken place in the neighbourhood of his residence, which deeply affected her. A young woman who had once enjoyed the love of God shed abroad in her heart, but who had afterwards forsaken the Saviour, had sought happiness again from earthly sources, was seized by sickness, and in prospect of death declared she was lost, and died exclaiming that hell would be her doom. The relation of of this awful circumstance was made the means of sending the arrow of conviction in the breast of Sister Morris.
She went home and wept. Her tears and her distress were observed by a neighbour, but she would not reveal to her the real cause of her grief. How true it is, that every heart knows its own bitterness! With a mind thus affected, and burdened, she wisely resolved to seek counsel and instruction from the officers of the church. She united with Brother Evres's class, and anxiously inquired what she must do to be saved. The second or third time she was at her class she found peace by believing in Jesus Christ as her Saviour, and she then went on her way rejoicing.
The class meeting and other means of grace she highly valued, though she could not attend them with the regularity she wished to do; she often found obstacles in her way which she could not remove. In the world the heirs of salvation have often to go through tribulation to the kingdom of heaven. When in her class listening to the experience of the members, and engaged in the sacred exercises of praise and prayer, she would frequently mount as on the wings of an eagle, and in holy meditations soar toward heaven, which she regarded as her home and final dwelling place. Her religious experience, as related in the class, was not of a doubtful character. She expressed strong confidence in Jesus Christ as her Saviour, and in the promises, in the goodness, in the wisdom, in the power, and in the faithfulness of Jehovah; and that confidence which sho had exercised in the season of health did not forsake her in the period of affliction and suffering. Nor was it shaken in the immediate prospect of death and eternity. Her confidence in God had enabled her to endure the trials of life, and now under its influence she waited, yea longed, for the hour of her release When from suffering and sorrow. disease had shattered her frail tencment of clay, and death had evidently marked her as his prey, she mourned not, she wished not for restoration to health, or for the lengthening of her life.
When visited by brother Joseph Smart, before he had time to inquire into the state of her mind, she said, "Joseph, I shall be in heaven first;" to which statement he replied, "Then I will try to follow you." And while conversing on the blessedness of the heavenly state, her soul was filled with holy joy, her countenance beamed with inexpressible delight, and her lips gave
utterance to expressions of rapturous ccstacy. So near had she approached the celestial city, so bright and so full was the view which she had of it, that she said, "I would not be restored to health, no, not for ten thousand worlds."
But though she was thus waiting and expecting to be ushered into the presence of the Saviour, to be admitted to the society of the church of the firstborn, and to unite in the heavenly anthems, yet the great adversary, the unwearied foe of God and man, he who for his rebellion had been cast out of that home of the blest, pursued her almost to the gate of the heavenly city. A last effort was made by him to rob her of her confidence in God, but even now, as ever, God was faithful, grace according to her day was given, and resting steadfast in the faith she came from the contest with the shout of triumph. And now the storm passed, the elements of temptation subsided, a delightful calm followed, bright scenes of heavenly glory unfolded themselves, the soul of our sister took its exit, and mingled with the redeemed, who sing, "Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, be glory and honour for ever and ever."
RECENT DEATHS. DIED, at Levels, in the Thorne circuit, in July, 1850, Mr. Richard Coulman, aged seventy-three. Our highly CSteemed friend from early life had attended our place of worship at that place. In his general character he was nuch respected by all who knew him. His benevolent heart inclined him to sympathize with the suffering poor around him, whom he never failed to relieve, when he obtained a knowledge of their condition and circumstances. The same good feeling he also manifested towards the society and Connexion. His house and heart were always open to receive the preachers, and to accommodate them when appointed at the place and whenever they found it convenient to call upon him. He was a cheerful and liberal supporter of the society's funds, the Connexional funds, and in all cases of Connexional emergency. The last act of his life, which deserves to be gratefully recorded, is the fact that he has left fifty pounds towards the rebuilding of the Levels chapel -a work which, all being well, will commence early in the spring of next year. Our esteemed friend for years
past has not been able to get to the chapel on account of affliction, but we have reason to believe that he made it the business of his life to be ready for his latter end. In his death we have lost a substantial and never-failing friend, but we hope that our loss is his gain. “Help, Lord, for the godly censeth, the faithful fail from among the children of men.” J. C.
DIED, at Westwoodside, in the Thorne circuit, in July, 1850, Mrs. Susannah Buxton. Our sister had been a member of the society about two years. Her conversion to God was sound and scriptural. Her conduct from the time of her conversion was such as became the Gospel. Her death was sudden and unexpected, and we believe safe. She died committing her soul to her Lord and Saviour, and, we believe, to enter into that rest which remaineth for the people of God. "Be ye, therefore, also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.” J. CURTIS. DIED, in Hull, August the 23rd, aged seventy-four, Jonathan Lancaster. He was savingly converted to God when about sixteen years of age. In the year 1799, when Bethel chapel, Hull, was opened for the public worship of God he cordially united with the friends of religious liberty, and continued a steady member of our community until the day of his death, with the exception of a short interval during which he was absent from the town. From the day he first gave himself to God he continued to hold on his way with unwavering consistency. He had set out for the kingdom of God and resolved in the strength of Divine grace not to stop short of the place of his destination. The means of grace he esteemed as wells of salvation, especially the class meeting. In proof of his love to this means of religious improvement, he stated when on his death bed, that during the space of fifty-eight years, he had never neglected the class more than four or five times, when he had the ability and the opportunity of attending. He was also unremitting in his attention to the afflicted. The sick he considered had peculiar claims on the sympathy of the members of the church, and with cheerful steps he frequently wended his way to the house of mourning that he might pour the balm of consolation into the hearts of those that mourn, and direct the dying sinner to Christ, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
He was a thorough Methodist, one of the old school, but firmly attached to the principles of church government adopted by our community, as being more in accordance with the New Testament and better adapted to secure the liberties of the members and the peace of the church.
About fifteen years since he was appointed to take the oversight of a class, and he discharged the onerous duties of that office with diligence and faithfulness, until the infirmities of age and sickness prevented.
The last few months of his life he was generally confined at home and frequently to his bed, but God was his refuge and help in the time of need. In my intercourse with him I always found him resting on Christ the rock of ages, and anticipating with joy the period when he should put off the carthly house of his tabernacle, and enter into that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. He died in the faith and hope of the Gospel of Christ.
DIED, at Cottingham, September 7th, aged sixty-three, Miss Hannah Pexton. For nearly forty years our lamented sister had been a member of the church worshipping in Bethel chapel, Hull. Her religious life and experience were marked with but few incidents of a striking character. It may be said that those who were intimately acquainted with her one day, had in that day a fair type of each succeeding day of her life -she appeared always the same, the same in her love to God, in her devctedness to the interests of the church, and in her desire to do good to all around her. One who was well acquainted with her has truly remarked, that while she cultivated personal piety, it was the chief study of her life to promote the temporal and spiritual interests of the church, and to spread the savour of piety amongst her friends and neighbours.
The affliction which terminated her valuable life was short, but severe; and from its commencement she had a strong impression that it would end in mortality. For this her mind was graciously prepared. In all her previous aflictions the fear of death greatly distressed her, but now that fear was entirely removed, and the king of terrors stood before her transformed into an angel of light, a messenger of mercy.
On one occasion when I called to see her, I said, "Now, Miss Pexton, I trust
that you are building on Christ the living rock." She immediately replied, "There is nothing else on which I can build, and I desire nothing else, for I find Christ to be a sure foundation." "Then you feel that by faith you have a firm hold of Christ?" She said, "Yes, I hold him, I hold him, though it be with trembling hand, yet I will not let him go." I remarked, "It is said, Unto you, therefore, that believe he is precious." She said, "He is precious; I feel him to be precious to my soul, blessed be his name." 66 Then you can rejoice in hope of the glory of God?" She said, "O yes, I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better." She lingered about a week after this conversation, calmly waiting the coming of her Lord and Master, and then entered with joy into his everlasting kingdom.
Hull, October 14th, 1850. T. S.
DIED, on the 8th instant, Mrs. Ann Patton, aged sixty-five years. For fifteen years she has been a steady, consistent, pious member of our society at Sunderland. She was the subject of severe, protracted, and heavy affliction; an affliction which defied the power of medicine to remove. Her sufferings, however, were borne with Christian patience, resignation, and fortitude. Her end was peace, the atonement of Christ being the foundation of that peace. Heaven is now her eternal resting place. Sunderland,
Oct. 18th, 1850.
DIED, at Western Terrace, Hunter's Lane, Birmingham, on Saturday, October the 19th, 1850, Mrs. Baggaly, mother of the Rev. W. Baggaly, president of the Conference, in the seventyfirst year of her age. She was favoured in early life with many religious privileges, and in their improvement she laid the foundation of that exemplary character by which she was distinguished to the close of her pilgrimage. Her piety was sincere and deep, though unobtrusive. She evidently studied to do the will of God from the heart, and walked in his fear. For some years the enfeebled state of her health deprived her of the opportunity of frequenting the sanctuary of her God as in days past, but she still enjoyed refreshing visits from on high, and her fellowship was with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Her last illness was not of long con