Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

Descartes. As a guide and reference the book before us may be used with much advantage, while it is at the same time a little Encyclopaedia of varied and wonderfully compressed information. It has evidently been prepared with the greatest labour, and we are especially pleased with the carnest and Christian manner in which the respected author has spoken of religious subjects. While therefore many, perhaps most parts of the work, are altogether out of our line, we think we may safely recommend it to our readers, as accomplishing what it promises, and as a useful book of reference for any library. Juvenile Songs, Religious, Moral, and Sentimental, with brief Exercises,

adapted to the purposes of primary instruction. By Thomas Hastings, Professor of Sacred Music, etc. etc. etc. New York. Daniel Fanshaw. 1841. pp. 128.

Mr. Hastings has been a fertile author in every department of music, and we are always ready to welcome his productions. The one before us is well suited for children at the fireside and in schools. A great deal of trash has been issued from the Northern presses under the denomination of juvenile music. It seems to have been taken for granted, that any sort of composition would do for children. But we have learnt a different lesson from experience. There must be real melody to catch a child's ear; and nothing is so hard to learn or to execute as unmelodious strains, made to sell. Again, much of the so-called poetry of the juvenile singing books has been stark nonsense. The book before us contains good sense and good sentiment set to good music. We dare say, like other human productions, it has faults; we leave these to be detected by professed musicians; we are none. The Holy War, made by Shaddai upon Diabolus, for the regaining of the

Metropolis of the World; or the Losing and Taking again of the Town of Mansoul. By John Bunyan, Author of the Pilgrim's Progress. With a Sketch of the Life of the Author. Philadelphia : American Sunday School Union. 1841. 18mo. pp. 347.

This beautiful edition is, very nearly, a copy of that of 1682, retaining such of the side-notes as illustrate the text. To praise the work would be superfluous; it is enough to say, that this reprint of it is one of the most inviting we have seen, being ornamented with fine engravings, and in every respect fitted to form an acceptable and useful present to Christian readers whether young or old. It is with no ordinary satisfaction, that we observe the sound theology which, so far as we know, without exception characterises the works which are proceeding from the American Sunday School Union. The principles of Latin Grammar; comprising the substance of the most ap

proved Grammars extant, for the use of Colleges and Academies. By the Rev. Peter Bullions, D.D., Professor of Languages in the Albany Academy; Author of Principles of English Grammar; and Principles of Greek Grammar. New York; Collins, Keese & Co. 1841. 12mo. pp. 303.

This completes the series proposed by the learned author, who has now furnished us with an English, a Latin, and a Greek Grammar, which havo this

peculiar recommendation, that they are arranged in the same order, and expressed in the same terms, so far as the differences of the languages permit. The basis of this manual is the well-known grammar of Adam, an excellent summary, but at the same time one which admitted of retrenchment, addition, and emendation, all which have been ably furnished by Dr. Bullions. We have not made a business of perusing the work laboriously; to accomplish this feat in regard to a grammar requires special enthusiasm; but we have looked over the whole, and bestowed particular attention on certain parts ; and therefore feel at liberty to recommend it with great confidence, especially to all such teachers as have been in the habit of using Adam's Grammar The typography is excellent. We would ask the attention of instructers, who take the book in hand for examination, to the rules for the subjunctive inond, $ $ 139, 140, 141, and to the whole Fourth Part, where the subject of Prosody is presented with much clearness. 1. The Amaranth-A Gift for all Seasons. 2. The New Year's Gift. 3

Gift for the Holidays.-4. Scenes in the Holy Land.

It is not our custom to notice in detail the publications of the American Sunday School Union, but the extraordinary excellence of the prints with which these books are adorned has attracted us in no common degree. The first and the fourth of those above named, we may safely say, have never been equalled, as it regards the engravings, by any children's books in America. The contents seem to be sound and useful. Iddo: an historical sketch, illustrating Jewish history during the time of the

Maccabees, B. C. 167—150. By the author of Omar. American Sunday School Union. 1841, 18mo.

We greatly need juvenile books which, like this, shall attract attention to the historical period between the Old and the New Testament canon. The Maccabean era is especially important. Some act as if they thought the subject had been defiled, because handled by the writers of the Apocrypha. To such we would recommend the perusal of this attractive volume. Brown's Explication of the Assembly's Catechism, with the original scrip

ture proofs referred to, and inserted at large. Newburgh : David L. Proudfit. 1842. pp. 107.

The peculiarity of this Explication is, that the whole body of scripturo proof-texts is introduced as answers to simple questions. Besides these, there are other questions and answers, into which those of the Shorter Catechism are dissected. The book and its author are too well known among Presbyterians, to need any observations of ours. The Persecuted Family; a Narrative of the Sufferings of the Covenanters in

the reign of Charles II. By Robert Pollok, A. M., Author of the “Course of Time," • Helen of the Glen," &c. New York: Robert Carter. 1841. 18mo. pp. 116.

This is one of the minor productions of that good and gifted young man, whose poem has made so deep an impression on many Christian minds. It is a favourite work with some pious judges, and will continue to be read with

great interest by that large portion of Presbyterians, who delight to trace their origin to the saints of Scotland. Decapolis; or the Individual Obligation of Christians to save Souls from

Death: An Essay, by David Everard Ford. From the Sixth London edition. New York: Robert Carter. 1841. 18mo. pp. 120.

This is another of the useful books which Mr. Carter is month after month sending forth from his prolific press. We do not know any man who is doing more to spread the knowledge of divine truth, and we wish him long and increasing success in this blessed undertaking. No one, we are persuaded, can read this Essay, without having his conscience penetrated; and the circulation of it among private believers as well as ministers of the gospel, would do much for the salvation of souls. There is a paragraph on the 41st page, which is objectionable, as seeming to treat as a theological nicety, what, in common with all Calvinists, we prize as a truth of revelation. One word as to the typography. In noticing the works of Chalmers, we commended the worthy publisher, for adhering to the established orthography of the language: we cannot repeat the praise in regard to this volume. We are among those who cannot consent to write • Savior' for Saviour,' until we meet with some good English authority: it is a mere provincialism in spelling. Hymns for the Vestry and the Fireside. Boston : Kendall, Gould and Lin

coln. 1841. 18mo. pp. 200.

A neat and convenient selection of hymns is here added to the large number already in use. It contains many of our best specimens of sacred song, including many by our own poets. In this, as in almost every collection within our knowledge, we have to lament the mutilation and alteration of favourite hymns. As instances, we point out hymns 30, 32, 33, 42, 60, 85, 156,269. No. 389, entitled Doxology,' is not a doxology, but a prayer. Life and Death of the Rev. Joseph Alleine, A. B., Author of " An Alarm to the Unconverted.” Written by the Rev. Richard Baxter, his widow, Mrs. Theodosia Alleine, and other persons. To which are added his Christian Letters, full of spiritual instructions, tending to the promoting of the power of godliness, both in persons and families. With a recomInendatory preface, by Alexander Duff, D.D., one of the Church of Scotland's Missionaries to India. From the last Edinburgh edition. New York: Robert Carter. 1840. 12mo. pp. 275.

The names upon this title-page are themselves a recommendation ; and if the representation of heavenly.minded piety can make a book attractive, this must become so. There are few such specimens of Christian autobiography. The Letters have caused some to call Alleine the · English Rutherford. Let every reader, who can afford it, procure this book, that he may learn how high the peace and joy of an assured heart can rise. The circulation of it among ministers of the gospel and theological students would do much to raise the standard of personal holiness in the church. VOL. XIV. NO. I.

23

[ocr errors]

The Believing Spirit: a Discourse delivered before the New Hampshire A!

pha of the Phi Beta Kappa Society; at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N. H.; on the 28th July, 1841. By Taylor Lewis, Esq., Professor of Greek in the University of the city of New York. New York. pp. 39. 8vo.

There are many books coming under our critical survey, which are mere symptoms of the times, the offspring and likeness of popular feeling or fashion. Such is not the discourse before us; which, on the other hand, breathes the life of another age, and is redolent of ancient Greek wisdom. The subject is the nature and importance of the believing spirit, as distinguished on the one hand, from the saving faith of the scriptures, and on the other, from that speculative belief of the intellect, which is derived principally from natural theology, and the external evidences of Christianity. The discourse is remarkable at once for its deep thought and its learning. No man in America, we suppose, is more at home in the original works of the ancient philosophers, than Professor Lewis; and this is true in a special manner, as it regards Plato, whom he always cites with the reverence and affection of a genuine Academic. With this we find no fault, believing that a Christian and discriminating Platonism will serve as a fair antagonism to the superficial tendency of the age. But when the author allows himself to speak with gentle forbearance of the German transcendentalists, we must needs pause, and let him go on alone. With genuine Platonism, the later Germans have no kindred; as little, we think, with Professor Lewis. The latter might have given his hand to Jacobi, or Schleiermacher; we are sure he would shudder at the touch of Hegel or Rosenkranz. Their systems are subversive of all revelation, nay of all religion, whereas that of Mr. Lewis is eminently and essentially religious and supernaturalistic. But there are many points in this truly original production, on which we might be tempted to enlarge, and some on which we should wish to hear the learned author again, before we signify assent; especially the cases where he seems almost to disparage natural philosophy, if not natural theology. It is cause of regret, that, without waiting three months, we cannot enter largely upon these topics. We therefore reluctantly dismiss them, with the declaration that we never take up any thing from the pen of this autbor, without recognising in him one of the stanchest defenders of old-fashioned education and old-fashioned truth. Wickliffe and his Times, by the Rev. Enoch Pond, D.D., Professor in the

Theological Seminary, Bangor, (Mc.) American Sunday School Union. 1841.

A good subject, simply and instructively treated, by a well known and able hand.

Anti-Popery, or Popery unreasonable, unscriptural, and novel. By John

Rogers, member of the Society of Friends and Counsellor at Law, with a
Preface, Notes and Index, by Rev. C. Sparrow of New York. Printed
and Published by D. F. Fanshaw. 1841.
This is undoubtedly a remarkable work, in almost every respect; and it

has accordingly excited much attention, and elicited much commendation from the transatlantic periodicals. The first remarkable thing about it is, that it is the production of a Quaker. We cannot recollect, that any one of the Society of Friends, has ever before waged battle on this arena. Indeed, the ground occupied by the Quakers, in regard to the sacraments, renders it very difficult for them to assail the Romanist errors on this topic, without, at the same time, attacking the greater part of the Protestants also. We were, therefore, not'a little curious to see how our polemic would manage this part of the controversy. But we find nothing from which we wish to dissent, even here. It may be inferred, however, that in the first edition, there was something on the subject of the sacraments, which could not have been received by other Protestants, as the writer somewhere intimates that certain parts had been omitted, to render the work more generally acceptable to Protestants. There is reason to think, that in other respects the work is much improved, since the first edition; for in the close of the introduction, he has the following remarkable and pleasing statement. “ The former part of the present article was written more than a year ago, and correctly describes my then state or condition, relative to personal piety, or real, practical, or experimental religion. Since writing the former part, however, I have made a move forth in vital piety; have gone forward in the divine life, and am nearer to the Lord, than I was then. I now love God and human kind more than I did, being more anxious for the glory of the former, and the salvation of the latter. Blessed be the Lord for the onward movement, however small! Would that I were more like God than I am! Would that I loved him and his creatures far more than I do!" But in regard to the seven sacraments of the Romish church, the author, in this edition, proceeds thus :

Of Baptism and the Eucharist I now affirm nothing. Of the other five, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, I affirm, that they are no sacraments at all, and that they are utterly without the sacramental character.” And perhaps the argument on this point was never more clearly and cogently stated than Mr. Rogers has done it, in the compass of only fifteen duodecimo pages.

The next remarkable thing, in this writer, is, that he is a lawyer. Gentlemen of this profession seldom enter the field of theological controversy. They have commonly their hands full enough of controversies of another kind. We have, it is true, the example of Charles Butler, Esq. on the Popish side ; and we sincerely wish that all of that communion possessed the amiable and candid spirit of that gentleman ; but among Protestants, where do we find a counsellor at law, troubling himself with religious polemics. And yet it is much to be desired, that men whose whole course of study is so well calculated to discipline the mind to close reasoning, and to weigh evidence with scrupulous exactness, should sometimes leave their usual track, and exercise their talents and dialectics in defence of important religious truth. It is not difficult

, in this volume, to trace the footsteps of the astute and logical law

« ÎnapoiContinuați »