Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

mental truth, as one that must never be overlooked in morals or in education.

8. Memoir of the Rev. James Manning, D. D., first President of Brown

University, with Biographical notices of some of his Pupils. By WilLiam G. GODDARD, M. A., Professor of Belles Lettres in Brown University.

This little pamphlet constitutes the leading article in the May number of the American Quarterly Register, and has been published in a separate forni, as we understand, for private circulation among the friends of the author. It is a beautiful tribute to the memory of a man whose life was devoted to the noblest ends, and, with the notes which accompany it, is a valuable beginning for a history of the university of which he may be considered the founder. Professor Goddard has not only been eminently successful in gathering up the few remaining memorials of Dr. Manning's life, but has invested them with the grace and beauty which we always expect from his rich and classic mind. The portraiture which he gives of this venerated man, is drawn in the colors of glowing, yet merited eulogium, and is well fitted to awaken in the minds of the present generation, the esteem and respect which the purity and dignity of his character did not fail to command from his own contemporaries. As we trace his self-sacrificing and conscientious career, we heartily respond to the sentiment of the author, that “it is delightful to turn aside from the scenes of political ambition and ecclesiastical turbulence which now mar our peace, and to repose for a while, upon a by-gone example of unaffected humility, of quiet duty, and confiding prayer.” We may be allowed to express the hope, that this brief sketch of President Manning may be given more fully to the public, and that it may be followed by a history of the university. X.

9. Sermons to a Country Congregation By AUGUSTUS WILLIAM Hare, A. M., late Fellow of New College, and Rector of Alton Barnes. First American, from the third London edition. New York. Appleton & Co. Boston. William D. Ticknor. 8vo. pp. 497. 1839.

In these days of periodicals, essays, and books, designed to instruct and amuse by story-telling, the press rarely affords us a volume of plain sermons on the duties of practical religion. We did not know, indeed, but that such things were entirely out of date, so seldom do we meet with a new collection of sermons, unless we chance to recognise them, after their metamorphosis into essays, or the chapters of a book.

The volume before us contains, without preface, apology, or introduction, fifty-seven plain and direct sermons, on the most common doctrines and duties of religion. The language, though easy, rich, and various, has no rhetorical flights, no learned allusions, but, like the familiar writings of Cecil, or John Newton, is admirably adapted to men of ordinary intelligence.

These sermons are richly stored with evangelical truth. The more important doctrines of Christianity are always made promi

nent. The author presents truth itself, rather than its history or its philosophy, like one who confides in its own power and resources ; and treats it in a manner eminently calculated to commend it to every man's consideration. Though his particular faith and religious connections are quite discernible in bis writings, there is nothing which betrays a narrow or sectarian spirit.

C.

10. The Mode and Subjects of Baptism. By Milo P. JEWETT, A. M.,

late Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory in Marietta College, Ohio, and a licensed minister of the Presbyterian Church. Boston. Gould, Kendall & Lincoln. 18mo., pp. 121. 1839.

It is rarely the case that the announcement of a new book on baptism gives us any pleasure. Most writers on the subject do, indeed, from the abundance of the heart bring forth things new and old; but, alas! they are new rancor and old arguments. The book before us is an exception: the spirit of it is good, i. e., amiable and serious ; and, as to matter and form, it is a clear and comprehensive, popular view of the whole subject, presenting to the common reader, as no other work before the public does, the results of the latest investigations. It is exactly what it professes to be; and cannot be better described, than in the following language, taken from the preface:

“ The following pages were originally prepared without any reference to publication. At the earnest solicitation of his brethren, the writer has consented to commit his views to the press. He has presented the reasonings on the subject, as they have passed before his own mind, freely availing himself of the labors of others, and endeavoring, with candor and fairness, to state and examine the arguments of those who have written on the other side. Having diligently studied, in the course of the investigation which resulted in bis present convictions, numerous Pedobaptist writers, critics, commentators, and divines, and having also acquainted himself with the works of the more recent Baptist writers, the author ventures to hope, these discourses will show the present state of the controversy in this country.

" It would be a source of deep regret to the writer, should there be found in the spirit of these discourses, any thing meriting condemnation. If he knows his own heart, he cherishes towards the brethren with whom he was formerly connected, the warmest Christian affection. Having been uniformly happy in his church relatjons, and that happiness having suffered no interruption by his conscientious withdrawal from bis Pedobaptist associates, the writer has yet to learn, that an honest difference of opinion among Christians is incompatible with the charity inculcated by the gospel.”

11. Beauties of Robert Hall. New York. John S. Taylor. 18mo. pp. 108. 1839.

Truly a book of gems. If we should attempt to give specimens, we should find it difficult to know where to begin or where to end. There is a justness of views, a richness of sentiment, and a splendor of pure eloquence in Robert Hall, to be found in few writers, ancient or modern. How many gay readers will take up this little volume from the centre table, who would never lay hand on the thick octavos of his entire works! And how many men of literary taste will fill up a vacant moment, by directing a glance to one of these eighty-six “ Beauties of Robert Hall," where a larger work would be passed by for want of time! 12. Buttmann's Larger Greek Grammar. A Greek Grammar for the use

of High Schools and Universities. By Philip BUTTMANN. Translated from the German, with additions, by Edward Robinson. Second edition. Andover. Gould, Newman & Saxton. 1839.

We regard it as an indication of progress in sound Greek literature among us, that a second edition of this valuable grammar is called for. For common use in our literary institutions, it is probably the hest that has yet appeared in the English language. If we were to make any exception, it would be in favor of Rost, who has given all the substantial parts of Buttmann in an improved form, and with a far better syntax. But we are not particularly acquainted with the character of the English translation of it: we only know that it is not from the latest edition.

The edition of Buttmann before us is undoubtedly an accurate reprint of the first edition, “ which was in an uncommonly perfect state.” Prof. Stuart, under whose supervision it has been carried thronigh the press, says, in the advertisement: “ The work being a translation, I did not suppose that my friend, Prof. Robinson, if he were present, would make any alterations of consequence; particularly because Buttmann had already put his last hand to the work, not long before his death. I have ventured, therefore, in the absence of Prof. Robinson, to make the effort which he would make, if present, to meet the public exigences in regard to this valuable work; and the purchasers may be assured, that I have spared no pains to have the second edition come out in such a state as will satisfy all just demands on the publishers."

13. A Sermon, delivered at Long Branch Church, Fauquier County, Vir

ginia, at the Ordination of TRAVERSE D. Herndon and CHARLES S. ADAMS, December 24, 1838. By STEPHEN CHAPIN. Published by request. Washington. 1839.

This is a sound, judicious, polished discourse, exactly what we should expect from its author. It is founded on Isa. 42: 4. “He shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have set judgment in the earth."

The object of this discourse is to specify some of the discouragements to the Messiah in his work, and to mention some reasons why he shall not be suffered to fail or be discouraged. The “inferences," which occupy more than half the pages of the sermon, relate to the employnjent of means in accomplishing the purposes of God. We have room for only one extract:

“In consequence of mistaken views on this subject [human depravity), two opposite and injurious schemes of religion have been supported. But though these creeds differ widely from each other, yet their adherents are perfectly united in one opinion—that total dopravity destroys obligation to believe and love the gospel.* If they both believed that this doctrine were a scripture truth, they would, at once, unite on one creed. The Antinomjan reasons thus: All totally depraved beings are under no obligation to believe the gospel-unconverted sinners are totally depraved beings: Therefore, unconverted sinners are under no obligation to believe the gospel. The Arminian admits that this conclusion is fairly drawn from the premises laid down. He, therefore, instead of denying the conclusion, denies the minor premise, and maintains that man is not totally depraved--that some moral power is left him, some ability to render acceptable services to God. On this ground he maintains, that man is bound to receive and obey the gospel. Now we conceive, that these systems of religion are equally false in fact, and injurious in their tendency. If the Antinomian creed he true, there can be no sin in the world ; for it sinks sinners below the law, and raises saints above it. Both, upon this scheme, are without law, and, therefore, without transgression. And, on the other hand, the Arminian plan tarnishes the lustre of salvation by free favor. For if the singer have some moral goodness in him, independent of divine influences, then he is not dependent on God for converting grace. Yea, upon this scheme, he needs no conversion, but only to have his native goodness cultivated.”

"* This opinion of theirs is founded in a mistake respecting what constitutes obligation. We conceive that ability to perceive duty, and physical power to perform it, are the essential elements of obligation. When the patriot sees a course in which he can benefit his country, he is under obligation to pursue it. When a parent knows the means by which he can promote the good of his children, he is bound to employ these means, and if he does not, he violates a parental obligation. In accordance with this view of the subject, the apostle says, To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. And our Saviour also says, The servant which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, shall be beaten with many stripes. In a word, while man is possessed of reason and conscience, he is under ebligation to act as a reasonable and accountable being, however deeply depraved he may be. A right state of mind, or a good disposition, or, in other words, moral ability, is no element of obligation, and is, therefore, never to be taken into the account. But both these classes of professing Christians maintain that some spiritual power, or right disposition of heart, must be possessed by man, in order to bring bim under obligation to perform religious duties. According to them, where there is no common grace, or right temper of mind, there can be no obligation. But do men act on this principle in the moral concerns of life? Is the swindler to be excused for the neglect of common justice, as soon as he pleads that he could not find it in his heart to be honest ? Will the master excuse his servant, who neglects his task, on the plea that he does not love to work? or will the enraged man be content, when the adulterer tells him that he did not like to be tied up to the seventh command? Besides, if a right disposition, the result of common grace, as it is said to be, be necessary to bring a man under obligation to obey the commands of God, it is equally pecessary to bring him under guilt in violating them. This is frankly admitted by many of those who maintain that spiritual power, or gracious disposition, must be possessed before there can be any obligation. The Rev. Daniel Taylor maintained, that man was so reduced by the fall, as to be totally unable to do any thing really good. That if he had been left in this condition, he would not have been to blame for not doing it, but that his inability would have been his excuse ; yea, let his practices have been as vile as they might, upon the supposition of grace not being provided, he declares, that he would have been excusable, and that all real good whatever might be denied to be the duty of the unprincipled mind.' If these premises be correct, it must follow, that Christ did not die for the sins of any man ; because, antecedently to the consideration of his death, and of grace being given him, there was no sin, or blame worthiness to atone for.' Of what vital moment, then, is it, to have clear and scriptural views of the nature and elements of human obligation." VOL. IV.-NO. XIV.

42

14. The Life, Times, and Characteristics of John Bunyan, Author of the

Pilgrim's Progress. By ROBERT Philip, Author of the Life and Times of Whitefield ;" “ the Experimental Guides," &c. New York. 12mo. pp. 498. Great industry seems to have been employed by Mr. Philip, in searching out the facts relating to the personal history of Bunyan. Of the use which the author has made of these facts, and the manner in which he has presented them, we forbear to speak particularly, as a review of the work will appear in a future number.

ARTICLE X.

MISCELLANEOUS INTELLIGENCE.

BENEVOLENT SOCIETIES. American and Foreign Bible Society.—The second anniversary of the society was held April 23, in Philadelphia. In addition to $19,000 in the treasury at the beginning of the year, the receipts since that time have been $24,745 75, and the expenditures $37,202 82. The report states that not less than $50,000 for Bibles in twenty-five different languages, are needed for the ensuing year.

Baptist General Tract Society.—The fifteenth anniversary was held on the evening of April 23. The amount in the treasury at the beginning of the year, was $813 51; the total receipts during the year were $9,223 26; and the expenditures, $9,682 43, leaving a balance of $354 34. The whole number of the Society's publications is one hundred and seventy, which are bound in sets of seven volumes, also of fourteen half volumes. The number of tracts printed during the year, is one hundred thirty-two thousand and twenty-two, making two millions seven hundred and seventy-eight thousand seven hundred and seventy-four pages; the number of pages issued from the depository, three millions two hundred and fifty-four thousand two hundred and twenty, leaving two millions one hundred and thirty-four thousand one hundred and eighty pages on hand. It is proposed to add to the series, 1. several brief narrative tracts of four or eight pages; 2. an evangelical almanac and Baptist annual register, to take the place of the Triennial Register; 3. bound volumes, to consist of a doctrinal series, an historical series, and a biographical series.

American Baptist Board of Foreign Missions.—The Board held its annual inceting April 24. The following is selected from the abstract of the annual report: “Missions have been established by the Board, among twelve of the Indian tribes; in France, Germany, and Greece; in Liberia, among the Basas; in Burmah, among the Burmans, Karens, and Peguans; in Arracan, Siam, and China; and among the Asamese and Khamtis, or Shyans, and the Teloogoos; -Total, twenty-five. Connected with these missions, are sixty-six stations, including twenty-nine out-stations. Fifteen stations are among the Indian tribes, sixteen in Enrope, two in Africa, and thirty-three in Asia. Ono mission, the Omaha, is suspended, and several stations, including those among the Cherokees, are temporarily vacated, or transferred. The number of missionaries and

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »