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that the marriage in question, was in their judgment contrary to the law of God, and to the standards of the church, and in a high degree injurious to the peace and purity of society. Exclusion from the privileges of the church, under such circumstances, is the only adequate penalty, and it is the one which in all churches has in such cases been inflicted. This suspension must continue until the party gives evidence of repentance. What evidence is, in this case, to be deemed satisfactory rests with the discretion of the Presbytery. No one will doubt that incest is an offence which admits of various degrees. It is founded upon degrees of kindred, and as these degrees are very different, so the offence of marrying those who are nearer to us is greater than that of marrying those who are more remote.

No man can believe that the marriage of a man with his aunt is an act of the same turpitude as his marriage with his mother or daughter would be. And as a sister is nearer than a half-sister, or a sister-in-law, so the degree of turpitude of the offence depends on the degree of relationship. As therefore the offence differs, so should the penalty. We find that in the ancient church the penalty for the marriage of a man with his wife's sister, was excommunication for a term of years; for marriage with his own sister it was final excision from the church.

This opens a question however which was not before the Assembly. That body had simply to decide whether it would remove from the appellant the censure inflicted by his Presbytery; and in deciding this question in the negative, we believe they decided agreeably to the word of God, the standards of the church, the general sentiment of the Christian world, and as the best interests of society imperatively demanded.

Report of the Committee on Psalmody. In 1838 the Assembly appointed a committee to revise and correct the book of Psalms and Hymns in common use and to report to the Assembly of 1839. Several of the members of this committee declined to act and others were appointed in their places; the working members of the committee were Dr. W. W. Phillips, Dr. R. J. Breckinridge, Dr. C. C. Cuyler, Rev. John Gray, and subsequently Dr. W.M. Engles and Dr. Krebs ; by whose labours a hymn book was finally prepared and laid before the Assembly. When the report was called up for consideration Dr. Howe moved

that it should be approved, and be allowed to be used in the churches. Dr. McFarland moved that it be referred for examination to the Presbyteries who should report their suggestions for its amendment to the committee in time to enable them to make a final report to the next Assembly. This motion was lost by a vote of 57 to 50. The Assembly then proceeded to vote on the book in detail, long enough to show that such a body was utterly unfit for such business. A motion was then made to refer the book to the same committee with directions to make such alterations as their own judgment or the suggestions of others might dictate, and to report it together with the book of Psalms to the next Assembly. This motion prevailed. On the day before the close of the sessions Mr. Smith moved a reconsideration of the last mentioned vote, which motion requiring two-thirds, was lost. Dr. Breckinridge then moved, That in view of the minute of the Assembly of last year and this year in regard to the new Psalm and Hymn Book, the Assembly order that the Committee on the said book be and they hereby are authorized to go on, and, at their discretion print the book containing the Psalms now in use together with the new selection of Hymns which has been laid before this Assembly. And the book so printed shall be laid before the next Assembly and is authorized to be used in the churches. Yeas 59, nays 11.

2. Resolved, That our ministers and members individually, and the Presbyteries are invited to communicate to this committee such suggestions as may appear best to them before the first day of December next, addressing their communications post paid to the chairman, Rev. Dr. W. W. Phillips, New York, and the committee shall not put the book to press before the first day of December next. Yeas 60, nays 11.

These resolutions were obviously out of order, as the Assembly had made a different disposition of the book, by a vote which they refused to reconsider. However, we are in favour of the majority having their own way; and as a large majority of the house were in favour of final action on the subject we are glad the matter has been thus disposed of. The responsibility resting on the committee is very great, and it is probable they will execute their task as much to the satisfaction of the churches, as any committee would be likely to do. But we are free to confess that there are many things in the book laid before the Assembly which we think

ought not to be there ; hymns which we consider unsuitable for the worship of God. Some of them are mere sentimental effusions; some exhortatory addresses to sinners; some objectionable from the lightness of their measure, and others for their want of all poetic excellence. As this is a matter in which every body is concerned, every body thinks he has a right to be pleased, and therefore feels that he has a right to find fault. We trust that the impossibility of pleasing every body will not lead the committee to determine to please nobody.




Horae Solitariae : or, Essays upon some remarkable names and titles of Jesus

Christ and the Holy Spirit, occurring in the Old and New Testaments, and declarative of their essential Divinity and gracious offices in the redemption and salvation of men. To which is annexed, an essay, chiefly historical, upon the doctrine of the Trinity; and a brief account of the heresies relative to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, which have been published since the Christian era. By Ambrose Serle, Esq. Complete in one volume. New-York: Robert Carter, 58 Canal street. 1842. PP. 708. 8vo.

A beautiful specimen of Glasgow typography, though published at NemYork. It is surely unnecessary to recommend to our elder readers, the writings of Serle. To those who are younger, it may be seasonable to say, that the book here republished is from the pen of a learned and pious layman,

and that it has always been a favourite work with that class of orthodox | Christians, who love to dwell upon the names and person and work of the

Lord Jesus Christ. It tends, in every page, to exalt the Redeemer, and to invite the soul to commune with Him. Where there is any prevalence of Socinian infection, it is one of the best preservatives and antidotes which could be recommended. It contains much doctrine and much experience; so intermingled, that the doctrine is never dry, nor the experience ever unsound. The Horae Solitariae was a favourite work of William Romaine, who often mentions it in his correspondence, and who was an intimate friend of the author. This is not to be wondered at, when we observe how constantly the discussion of abstruse theological points is, in these pages, made to pass, by the easiest transition, into the expression of faith and love, and the language of tender Christian emotion. We are persuaded, that no pious reader will judge otherwise of the volume, or regret the purchase of it, on this recommendation. Life of Thomas McCrie, D. D., author of the Life of John Knox, Life of

Melville, Lectures on Esther, &c. &c. By his son, the Rev. Thos. Mc Crie. Wm. S. Young, 173 Race street.

It is very natural, when we have been pleased and instructed by a book, to wish to know something of the life and private character of the author. The writings of Dr. McCrie are among the best on ecclesiastical history which have

been published for a century. Indeed he has done more to elucidate the history of the origin and progress of the reformation in Scotland, than all other writers; and the fidelity and accuracy with which he has recorded facts, have never been called in question. He has also done eminent service to the church by rescuing from undeserved opprobium the character of such men as Knox and Melville, and has by an authentic statement of facts, exhibited these Scottish worthies in their true light. Perhaps no works have had so much efficiency in producing in Scotland a revival of the evangelical doctrines of the reformation. The life of this excellent and useful man has been prepared by his son, also a minister of the gospel, and evidently partaking, in a high degree, of the excellent traits, which shone so illustriously in his deceased father. It is always pleasing to find eminent men succeeded by sons who emulate their virtues, and resemble them in the soundness of their opinions, and in the vigour of their intellectual powers. Comfort in Affliction : a Series of Meditations, by James Buchanan, D. D.,

High Church, Edinburgh. First American, from the ninth Edinburgh Edition. R. Carter: New-York.

The American editor has performed an acceptable and valuable service to the religious community, by publishing this little volume of Meditations, which has been so popular in Scotland, that it has passed through nine editions already. The work is evidently the production of a mind mature in piety, and capable of taking deep and comprehensive views of the truths of the Gospel. It is written in a style remarkably terse, but so perspicuous, that it is level to the meanest capacity. We take pleasure, therefore, in recommending these “ Meditations” as well suited to point out the true sources of consolation to all serious inquirers. Theopneusty, or the Plenary Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. By S. R.

L. Gaussen, Professor of Theology in Geneva. Translated by E. N. Kirk. New York. John S. Taylor & Co. 1842. 12 mo. pp. ix, 343.

Mr. Gaussen, the author of this seasonable treatise, is Professor of Theology in the Theological School at Geneva. The translator, we need scarcely say, is pastor of a Congregational Church in Boston, but more widely known as a zealous evangelist and as the Secretary of the Foreign Evangelical Society. Mr. Kirk has given a valuable work to the American public, and we are not sure that he could have made a better selection. It establishes and vindicates the thorough-going, old-school doctrine of the plenary inspiration of the scriptures. Though this doctrine has never, so far as we know, been formally denied, among ourselves, it has been rejected and derided on the continent of Europe, and allowed go into neglect among certain theologians in America. The book before us will be a useful one, for both these classes. It will be read, understood, and felt, by those who would throw aside with a sneer the productions of a Scottish or an American author. It is boldly argumentative, in a high and uncommon degree; and, if we may say so without the opportunity of collation with the original, it is well translated. Mr. Gaus

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