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set forth ; the motives which ought to influence a Christian in his choice of a religious community are also laid down in a manner which displays considerable originality of thought ; an able and lucid development of the principles of the New Methodists is also given.
Whilst at Bolton in 1823, Mr. Allin published a Letter to a Unitarian Minister living in the neighbourhood. This pamphlet must have inflicted a severe castigation 'on the person to whom it was addressed. Mr. Allin does not enter fully into the Unitarian controversy, but confines himself chiefly to an exposure of some glaring mis-statements which the Socinian teacher had published respecting orthodox writers. The book is written in a nervous and cutting style.
In 1823 Mr. Allin's very able and splendid discourse on the Immortality of the Soul was also first issued from the press. In this discourse, the great fundamental truth of the soul's immortality is established by philosophical, moral, and scriptural evidence. For strength of argument, and eloquence of diction, it stands almost unequalled. It was afterwards incorporated in a volume of discourses on the Character and Folly of Modern Atheism. The object of the author in these discourses is, to refute the false and impious reasonings contained in Mirabeau's System of Nature. Mr. Allin's work is distinguished for depth of metaphysical argument, and for peculiar energy and beauty of composition. The philosopher and the Christian will read it with intense interest and delight--the Christian student, especially, will find the perusal of it invaluable, not only for the information it contains, but as a means of bringing the faculties of reason and abstraction into vigorous exercise.
Of this volume, we copy the following review from col. 656 of the Imperial Magazine, for the year 1828.
“The title of this volume indicates, that these discourses belong not to the common order of sermonizing; and we are led to expect in a perusal of them, a train of thought and argumentation, which will carry the mind of the reader into an unfrequented path. In these expectations we have not been disappointed. They have been gratified to the full, and in some instances even surpassed.
“The region into which the author has entered is in a high degree metaphysical, argumentative, and abstract, but he has brought to the task a mind admirably adapted to the investigation, and, in support of his positions, has availed himself of the reasonings of others, whose names have always commanded respect, where the arguments adduced by them have failed to produce conviction. The more abstruse branches of investigation, he has indeed wisely reserved for the long and acute notes which are appended to each dis
These may be considered as illustrative of what is advanced in the sermons, and may be read at leisure by those who can enter the vast profound, and trace in all its depths the coincidence between philosophy and revelation.
“ The sermons indeed, independently of the notes, are in general too recondite for common hearers, and it is only on particular occasions that such discussions should ever be introduced into the pulpit. Of this fact the author seems well aware; and the objection to which he saw he should expose himself, he has anticipated, and met in some paragraphs of his preface. The sufficiency of his grounds on the present occasion we most readily allow, but this does not remove the foundation of the objection, nor do we think that it can ever cease to operate until he can find a congregation composed of philosophers and metaphysicians.
“ It has frequently been observed, that sermons in general are heard with more advantage than they are read. Respecting those before us, we think this order will stand quite reversed. They were probably heard with more admiration than comprehension ; and had they not been committed to the press, it is probable that eight-tenths of their excellence would have been for ever lost. Placed as they now are in the hands of the reader, he may pause on the sentences and paragraphs as they pass under his eye, and re-examine the links that have occupied his attention, without fearing the chain will be broken by his retrospect, or by the advances of the preacher, while he is reflecting on the past. In lis
tening to a discourse delivered, attention must follow the speaker, and, on subjects like those before us, the most trifling intermission is frequently attended with injurious consequences to both. With the volume, however, in his hands, he can at any point of difficulty call upon the author to repeat what he had stated, until its import and bearing are fully comprehended, or desire him to suspend bis discourse while he indulges in reflection, and then request him to proceed, with a full assurance of being implicitly obeyed: Discourses of this description, to be understood, should always appear in print.
“The author, we have been given to understand, is an itinerant preacher in the New Connexion of Wesleyan Methodists. Beyond this transient information, and what we gather from the volume, we know nothing of the writer ; but we are assured from the perusal of his work, that he possesses talents which would do honour to any religious community. In those districts where the sophistries of Materialism, Atheism, and Infidelity are scattered, this work will be found of essential service in exposing fallacies assuming reason's garb, and in “putting delusion's dusky train to flight.”
Independently of those who may be exposed to the assaults of such as are enemies to God, it would be well for every friend of truth and virtue to be prepared with arms. This the volume before us will furnish at a comparatively triling expense. It has nothing to do with the localities of creed. In these respects, it is founded on a basis which all the contending factions acknowledge, and we should rejoice to find it occupying a conspicuous place in every Christian and Infidel library.”
In 1826, Mr. Allin published a discourse, entituled, “ The Diffusion of Knowledge amongst the Labouring Classes promotive of the Public Good.” In this discourse, the objections usually advanced against the education of the poor, are manfully met, and most successfully overthrown. From
which is now before us, we had intended to take some extracts, but the memoir having extended beyond our general calculation and accustomed measure, we are compelled to desist. To the enemies of Sundayschools, and such as think it dangerous to instruct the lower order of society in any branches of intellectual knowledge, we strongly recommend the perusal of this discourse.
In 1827, during his residence in Huddersfield, Mr. Allin was drawn into a public disputation with a popular and talented minister of the Independent persuasion. The subject of discussion was, the lawfulness of taking away human life.
Mr. Allin's opponent maintained that it was morally wrong to take away human life under any circumstances, or for any cause whatever, unless an express and special permission were given by the Almighty for that purpose. Mr. Allin, of course, advocated the opposite side of the question. The audience assembled on the occasion was overwhelming, and the interest manifested was most intense ; and from the credible information which the writer has received, the vast numbers present gave their unanimous verdict in favour of Mr. Allin's principles.
Mr. Allin married in the early part of his ministry, to one with whom he is still living in the enjoyment of domestic bliss. He has had a considerable family, many of whom are fallen asleep;—one has very lately departed, whilst in the innocence of childhood. The remnant consists of daughters, two of whom have lately established a Ladies' School in Sheffield ; in which town, their respected parent is now labouring with considerable success. He has lately had to submit to a temporary suspension from his ministerial labours, in consequence of an attack of cholera, but the Almighty has in mercy restored him. Long may his valuable life be spared to be a blessing to his family, to the Church, and to the world.May he continue for many years to proclaim with undiminished zeal the glories of the Redeemer ; and after having finished his Master's work, may he hear the joyful welcome addressed to him—“Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
THOUGHTS ON THE BREVITY OF HUMAN
Psalm xc. 9.
cian's wand, dispel the one or usher in the other. The various incidents of life disclose
the hitherto latent traits of character. Then, “We spend our years as a tale that is told." having passed through the different posi
tions of his career, sympathy begins to flag, The chief occupation of man's life should his union with the world becomes less be to prepare for death; therefore the chief immediate, and he seems, like the decayed burden of his reflections should be-that he leaf of autumn, clinging to its stalk. At is mortal.
length, Death appears, to close the whole, Trile and commonplace as such a sen. the tale draws to a conclusion, and Time timent is, its influence over the character is stamps his finis upon the grave. exceedingly limited; for an observant eye, Then how varied the tale. In the lives judging by the actions of men, would of some teeming with change and interest, scarcely credit that each individual was or marked with important consequences, aware he is marked as a victim of death; whilst in others there is nought but a dull although every thing around constantly re- monotony. Here is one who sought nominds him of his perishable nature. Let thing but ambition, who toiled day and him watch the mists of the morning enve- night to obtain an honourable distinction. loping the earth and obscuring the sun, or He held it in his grasp a brief space, and the distant cloud, with softly blended hues then died. and fantastic shape, and he will observe
“The paths of glory lead but to the grave." them gradually disappear: even such is life, a vapour! Let him contemplate the By his side sleeps one who passed a hum. fair-streaked flower waving its light bells to
bler, yet more useful life, who aspired to no the breeze, and unfolding its delicate elegance human applause, but dedicated himself to of form and colour; in the morning fresh- God, and the welfare of his fellow-creatures. bathed with dew, in the evening cut down Posterity too often admires the one, but forand withered : such is life. Let him gaze gets the benefits it receives from the other. on these and many other objects around There, the tomb closes silently over a being him, that the Sacred Writings have used as
whose history, though brief, is replete with metaphors of his fleeting state. Let him
mournful interest; over one who felt that ponder over his drea inconsistent, in
man is indeed “born to sorrow, whose very comprehensible; let him listen to the tale childhood was nurtured with tears, whose that is often poured into his ears, and bear youth was withered with adversity, who this reflection continually in his mind,“ We
was cut off at last with an untimely death. spend our years as a tale that is told.”
In another, this mournful tale was reversed. How evanescent, then, must be the days His life was but little embittered with the of man! How little tangible the various poisoning draught of care. Prosperity smiled incidents of his life, when they are past ! upon him, and seemed to anticipate his Even the retrospection of memory appears liveliest hopes. In quick succession he moun. through the vista as a dream, its realities ted, step after step, to the height of worldly for ever gone, and nothing is left but the happiness and glory, till, at length, with, fleeting present. Briefly summed up,
“honours thickly blushing around him," he briefly related, the varied events of his pil
was gathered to his fathers in a good old age. grimage seemn to be nothing more than an
Thus,“ one dieth in his full strength, being imaginative tale, where Time,
wholly at ease and quiet, and another dieth “ With a greedy ear,
in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth Devours up his discourse.'
with pleasure. They shall lie down alike He opens his life, a being as yet uncon- in the dust, and the worms shall cover them." nected with the past, and springing, as it There are many, whose lives seem but were, from nothing.
Soon, like the swell- the fragments of a tale. Scarcely begun or ing bud of a flower, his form expands, and carried on to the highest pitch of interest by his features take their unchanging mould; important incidents or connexions, Death the dispositions of his mind are developed, has suddenly snapped the ties asunder. and he not only receives but imparts an Youth and beauty have just arrived at their interest to those around him. He then perfection, when his blighting influence forms a link in society, is affected by its secretly destroys their unavailing charms. changes, and possesses the power of influ- How many connexions have been formed, encing some of its motions. The tale pro- how many plans laid out-connexions that ceeds, now warm with the throbbings of have been broken by unexpected death, plans hope, now sad with the tears of sorrow. that have been baffled by the sudden reAnon some unforeseen events, like a magi- moval. How many fair-hued hopes have just
burst into bloom, how many dreams have motives, thoughts, and actions quickly sucraised their fancied realities—hopes that
ceed each other and are for ever past, yet have withered over the tomb, dreams that not so the consequences. The years of our have been dissipated in the grave. So many
life are indeed but a fleeting tale, yet how uncertainties have attended the designs of much hangs thereon! Whatever may be its man, uncertainties as respects his own fore- tenour, it bears appended a moral of serious knowledge that he knows not where he may import. What are we to learn from the plant his next step.
history of that man who has spent his life Death does not always give warning of in bowing to the idol of ambition. Of him his approach; his dart often strikes suddenly. who has turned from the service of his Creator He does not always choose the aged or in- 10 worship the delusion of his own imaginafirm; his victims are often the healthy, the
tion? Of him who, not considering that this young, and the beautiful. When then the life is but probatory, has spent his all upon tale of life ends so suddenly that it is nought its evanescent pleasures? The moral is best but a fragment, what an important lesson obtained by turning to the humble tale of does it convey! The perishable nature of all that man whose life was spent in dedication that is sublunary, the frail objects of man's to God. What are we to learn from the affections, are but so many reeds on which mournful histories of life, from the various he has leaned, and they have broken, pierce- incidents of sorrow, that gather their gloom ing him through with many sorrows.
How over the lives of many ? This important often is he called upon to weep over the truth, that man should be weaned from the wreck of all that he esteemed beautiful and world, and that these comparatively light lovely; to heave the sigh of parting regret afflictions, when duly profited by, over the broken, the unfinished tale.
out for us a far more exceeding and eternal Yonder grave sums up the years of an weight of glory.” Such characters lead us aged patriarch. He had witnessed many to the contemplation of that world where changes, and had seen many days; but he
" there shall be no more death” nor sorrow, died at last. His life was long, but it is now and the anguish of time shall be forgotten
The tale extended itself to a consider- in the joys of eternity. On the other hand, able length, but it is now finished. To so too great prosperity has often been seen to great a length was it carried on, that when engender the basest ingratitude to God, love his setting sun was on the verge of departure, to sin, and the most dangerous attachment and the twilight of death was gathering
to the world. The possessor of worldly haparound him, his memory had scarcely suffi- piness has but little desire, and consequently cient strength to penetrate into the dim ob- but little anticipation of another and a holier scurity of departed years. Reality seemed Yet death will call upon him at last, so blended with fancy, that he could hardly and force him, however unwilling, to leave his distinguish them, and the once trodden possessions and earthly joys for ever. How track of time now swam with the dizziness important the moral of such a tale ! of retrospection, and now vanished in im- But let us turn to the broken fragments penetrable gloom. Another generation had scattered on every side, and listen to the succeeded him, and he had somewhat retired voice of Death exulting over his victims. from the busy scene of life. Children would Youth and beauty blighted, connexions stand around their venerable grandsire. broken, plans baffled, hopes withered, and “or climb his knees, the envied kiss to share,” dreams dissipated! What are all these, but to hear the history of the past, to listen to lessons to the survivors on the frailand perishthe tale of the days that were gone. But able state of man. What are they, but warthe years of the patriarch are ended, and he is nings to each individual to be constantly borne to the grave. The tomb bears a brief prepared to meet his God, “ for in such an memento, and the tale is over.
hour as ye think not, the Son of man “ Our visions are baseless—our hopes but a gleam,
cometh.” When we see a flower nipped Our staff but a reed-and our life but a dream." in all its beauty and fragrance by the unre
We might ponder over the chequered con- lenting hand of death, let it be some consodition of each individual, and the varied lation to reflect that its loveliness is conveyed strain of every life; but whether mournful to another world, to bloom in a paradise or comparatively happy, whether brief or whose characteristic is, that it “ fadeth not long, they all bear the same distinguished away.” trait : “We spend our years as a tale that And the patriarch's tomb, that sums up the is told.”
fourscore years, how affecting its moral ! But yet, though the present state of Time had spread his ample wings over his existence has so little permanency, there is venerable head; he had seen many days, another that will endure for ever." Though but death came at last. Reprieved for many 2D. SERIES, NO. 22.-VOL II.
years, and yet as certainly marked out as a tion of many, with as much propriety, as victim, as the youth taken from his side. being the conduct of an individual. He had passed the extended barrier of The little town of Brigg, or, as writers on human life, but found that all beyond was topography, and our map-makers, please labour and sorrow. As he drew towards to call it, “Glandford Briggs," which his latter end, his faculties gradually decayed, stands upon the river Ankholme, has never his intellectual vision was darkened, and yet attained to a greater degree of celebrity clouds obscured the memory of his soul. than many other unheard-of places of the The keepers of his house trembled, the strong same dimensions, and yet it is a clean men bowed themselves, and the daughters (that is, in fine weather,) and respectable of music were brought low. At length le place enough; what it might have been in went to his long home, and the mourners the days when the priory for black monks, paced the streets. Then returned the dust in the vicinity of its present site, existed, to its original earth, and the spirit to that I am not able to determine. God who gave it. The tale closes; but It is, however, but fair to suppose, that how important its moral! For it is not if the said town had at that remote period only “appointed unto all men once to die, any existence, it must have been in humble but, after death, the judgment” unfolds its bearing at least; somewhat in the same awful realities. Death closes upon the proportion to its present condition, as the brief career of this life, upon all its vanities, frightful grub bears to the after-to-be butsorrows, and joys; but in such a period, terfly. Since those rude days, however, the dying Christian can sing,
and within the last twenty years especially, “ Heaven opens to my eyes; my ears
it has considerably improved. Most of With sounds seraphic ring:
the houses are modernized; a neat townLend, lend your wings! I mount, I fly! O grave! where is thy victory?
hall graces its airy market-place, which o death! where is thy sting?"
stands at the point where two streets meet, Beaconsfield.
J. A. B.
like a modern Pharos at the mouth of two seas. Moreover, two modern bridges have been thrown across the streams, which run
parallel to some distance at the north end “Compare the sketch with faces you have known, of the town, furnishing the means of comAnd ere you quite discard it-with your own.”
fortable egress and ingress to its inhabitants
and strangers. But what are these, and a IMPRUDENCE! This is a strange, and, to variety of other improvements already not a few, misunderstood word. Perhaps made, or projected, which have been, and with those to whom it applies more fully which are given up, compared to the imthan to any other beings under the sun, it provement of its inhabitants, who are also may be of unknown import.
modernized. Many of them sing charm. Do not imagine, my youthful readers, ingly, dance gracefully, and talk volubly. that I am about to prose again. I assure Others are skillful in the arrangement of you I am not. To lecture ? no. To scold? the gamut, so as to form melodies, which
What then are you about to do? I would not disgrace some master genius in am going to advise you to read my tale; that delightful science; and one circum. and, after you have done so, inquire if you stance, which yet remains to be told, and please, “ of what, or of whom, have you which furnishes pleasure to think on even, been writing ?" I may then, it is possible, and matter for converse, to many a Brig. he able to reply, of-YOURSELF.
gitonian, and proves, in the absence of all In almost every village of our country, other proof, their improvement in true there are to be found apers, that is, per- taste, that is, that a poet, of deserved popusons who, always overlooking the station larity, once put up at one of their inns, of in which they may have been placed by which convenient places there are two--in Providence, have their attention constantly the person of the lamented Henry KIRKE directed to those who move above them; White! the consequence is, a desire to be equal with Well, in this little, but greatly improved them, in appearances at least. Such im- town, (or in another, about its size,) prudence is almost invariably attended with where coals, corn, and timber are traded evil results. Among a number of such in with Hull, and other places along the individuals, some are indeed more promi- Humber and Trent, there lived a man, a nent than others; their folly is more appa- little conceited person, who had more conrent, because there is more absurdity in sequence than prudence. He was a general their conduct. I shall select one, whose dealer, and I doubt not, that, with proper actions may be viewed as the representa- care, and less imprudence, he would have