A review by J C Philpot:


When wearied and sickened with the general aspect of what is called the religious world, and with men who either are drunk with the spirit of error or hold the truth in unrighteousness, how refreshing it is to meet with a true-hearted, well taught, simple, and savoury child of God. As we converse with such, and mark their godly fear, their tenderness of conscience, their humility, their brokenness and contrition of spirit, their spirituality of mind, their faith strong yet not presumptuous, their hope clear but not self-confident, their love sincere yet not vain-glorious, - what reality seems stamped upon their religion, and what a marked contrast is thus afforded between such and that numerous class to whom we have already alluded, and to too many of whom, it is to be feared, the words apply, "I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." The contrast which we have thus drawn between professor and possessor is never more striking than when we meet with books written under the influence of the dissimilar spirits which characterise the one and the other. Disguise it how they may, wrap it up how they will, the ill-savour of a carnal spirit manifests itself to a spiritual nose, as no amount of pastiles or aromatic vinegar can conquer the sickening odour of the chamber of death. But "spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes, with all the chief spices," naturally, necessarily give out a sweet odour at once recognised as peculiar and genuine. As with men, so with books, there is the ointment of the apothecary full of dead flies, and there is the ointment of the right hand which betrayeth itself.

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