Monday, 24 February 2020

Another review of Lectures on Primitive Christianity

Lectures on Primitive Christianity, in Doctrine, Experience, Worship, Discipline and Manners, as it appeared in the Church at Jerusalem, in the Time of the Apostles. Also on the Epistle to the Church at Sardis. And on the Faithful in the Days of Malachi. Interspersed with Notes, Reflections and Addresses: With a View to awake a becoming Zeal for the Communion of Saints, in Order and Love
By Benjamin Wallin. 8vo. 5 s, sewed. Keith, &c.
Mr. Wallin, in his Preface, laments the degeneracy of the times, and the great indifference to religious ordinances, which prevails among numbers who preserve some decency of conduct in other respects. “Under these sad circumstances, he says, shall it be thought unseasonable that we advert to the simplicity and zeal of the first Christians, with whom the Lord dwelt, that following the original pattern of piety and brotherly love, we may in like manner rejoice in his presence and blessing?” To these valuable ends, and for the help of young and ordinary Christians, he tells us, he drew up the following papers, in accomplishing which, he adds, “I have consulted several writers in this and the century past, from whom I have found myself obliged, with due respect, to differ in several instances; nor will it offend the ingenuous, that I have freely declared my thoughts, on every point, as it fell in my way; this liberty is granted when the rules of decency are not transgressed,’ This is Mr. Wallin's own account: his design is undoubtedly good, but his work is rather heavy, his style and manner not the most pleasing or inviting, and his sentiments, perhaps, too much restrained and biased by a regard to system and party; at the same time, it must be acknowledged he appears to write with piety, integrity and benevolence to mankind. It would be happy if by this, or any other means, Christianity and its professors could be recovered to the simplicitv and truth of its primitive institution and spirit, from which, it must be allowed, there has been a great departure!
(From The Monthly Review Or Literary Journal Enlarged, 1769)

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