16 JUNE 1866, Page 22


Sermons by the late Rev. Thomas Best, MA. Edited by Rev. R. E.. Roberts, M.A., Rector of Richmond. 2 vols. (Seeley, Jackson, ancl Halliday.)—The author of these sermons was one of those good men who think that the glory of the sun and the moon and the beauty and joy of the earth, are so many devices of Satan for preventing men from attending to the salvation of their souls. Like most of his school, he- presses into his service any texts that sound on his side without any refer- ence to the connection in which they are placed, and any arguments that have an apparent significance. Thus he is denouncing theatrical amuse- ments, which, it seems, he regarded with peculiar horror, and lays hold of a fretful exclamation of King Solomon's, or whoever wrote Ecclesiastes. iL 2, interpolating the word "foolish," and ignoring the fact.that the mirth in question had much nearer relation to the jollification that is not unknown in Evangelical houses than to the proceedings on the stage. Again, he puts the common question, "How would you like to die at the theatre?" not seeing that these unpleasant incongruities are insepar- able from human nature, and that it would be just as shocking to die with a piece of muffin in the mouth, in the act of smiling at a mild joke of some good minister, happy in the consciousness of his own salvation and the certain doom of most of his acquaintances. However, he is gone to his rest, and it is to be hoped has found that stage-players are not excluded from the mercy of Heaven.