3 MARCH 1866, Page 21

Theology and Life. Sermons chiefly on special occasions. By E.

H. Phimptre, M.A. (Strahan.)—Mr. Plumptre's sermons may very fairly be described in the words of the dedication to the Bishop of London, as "In harmony with the spirit of cautious progress and reverential free- dom which have characterized his Lordship's teaching." His sympathies are quite with the old forms of religions thought, which we suppose he con- siders adequate to the expression of the wants of the present day ; still he is aware that the doubts and difficulties now felt are not altogether ground- less, and that the men who entertain them are thoroughly honest and good. Consequently he gives rather an uncertain sound on these points, and apologizes alternately for the uncharitableness of the orthodox and the ideology of the sceptical. When, however, he deals with the Christian life, and especially with the life of the Christian minister, Mr. Plumptre rises above criticism ; he is then earnest, clear, eloquent, and his words may go far towards producing an aspiration after that spirit which, re he writes, "makes itself felt as a spell, putting all baseness and vileness to shame, calling all good and holy thoughts, all impulses to lead a true and manly life, into fresh activity."