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G. Franz intends to publish a catalogue of Italian works. One number has appeared of a series of yearly catalogues of the French Literature. It is similar to Heinrich's catalogue of German Literature, as published by Brockhaus.
Lecture on War. By William Ellery CHANNING. Boston: Dution & Wentworth. 1839. ' 8vo. pp. 50. — The praise must be accorded to Dr. Channing of early and persevering fidelity to the cause of Peace. Others of the distinguished divines of the age have spoken out the strong sentiment of Christianity concerning it, in a single discourse; but he has reiterated his expression in various forms and on different occasions. Robert Hall, Chalmers, and Fox, the three remarkable names in the modern British pulpit, have each done worthily of their great powers and the great theme, once; Dr. Channing thrice. As long ago as the year 1816, when appointed to preach the annual sermon before the “ Massachusetts Convention of Congregational Ministers,” he boldly stept aside from the established routine of expected topics, and pleaded with that large body of the servants of Christ the opposition of their Master's spirit to the spirit of military glory, entreating them to unite in helping his truth to triumph over that terrible evil. When, years afterwards, the controversy with France threatened for a time to end in bloodshed, he raised his voice again in remonstrance, and published his second Sermon. When the American Peace Society, eighteen months since, established a course of Lectures in Boston, with a view to rousing the attention of the public mind to a sense of the importance of this subject, he heartily joined in the plan, and at the expense of no little personal inconvenience delivered the Lecture which is now before us; and which has been published at this time, accompanied with a suitable Preface, because the recent apprehensions of a conflict with England have brought out fresh and sad proofs “ of the insensibility of the mass of the community to the crimes and miseries of war, and a general want of Christian and philanthropic views of the subject.” We are glad to see it in print; and we think that there were other lectures de. livered in the course which might well be brought before the public. This one, certainly, ought not to have been kept from perusal ; it is excellently adapted to make the right impression, and, in connexion with the former two, may be the means of opening many minds to the truth on this subject, which might else continue to slumber over it in stupid apathy.
This apathy, this lethargic indifference, is the great impediment against which this all-important subject has to contend. 'Till the
people wake up it is in vain to speak to them, and it is a most difficult task to invent the means of awakening them. A course of Lectures on almost any other subject, given gratis at the Odeon, would have attracted an assembly that should crowd the house ; but the course on Peace was delivered to a comparatively thin assembly. During the discussion of the boundary question in February last, the Massachusetts Peace Society held two meetings in the Marlborough Chapel, at which eloquent and profound addresses were delivered; but not a large number of persons were collected to hear them ; a large proportion of those present exhibited very little interest in the expression of the true peace principles ; they even hissed some most eloquent and righteous assertions of Christian duty, while they applauded some clamorous declamation addressed to the spirit of vulgar patriotism; and the newspaper press, with but two or three exceptions, passed the whole proceeding without notice.
These, and a thousand other indications of a state of universal indifference, make us rejoice in the publication of this Lecture; we feel that we ought to call urgent attention to it, and entreat the friends of Peace to give it circulation. Its whole doctrine is lofty and impressive. It is that the evil of War is its wickedness and the crimes it engenders; and that it is to be removed only by the power of that religion which is to destroy all crime. Hence it is vain to trust to the temporary palliatives of political expediency, or commercial interest, whose superficial and selfish operations may excite to battle at one time as well as restrain from it at another. These points are illustrated with great force. The exposition of this general doctrine is followed by some considerations of the causes of the prevalent indifference to the subject. Another interesting portion of the discourse discusses the right of government to make war, and the limitations of the subject's duty to obey ;- in the course of which occur some searching remarks on the character of political action, especially in our own country, which the thoughtful patriot must assent to, though with a sense of profound mortification and shame.
We break off abruptly; once more expressing an earnest wish that the friends of peace would give circulation to the seasonable word.
The Atonement : A Charge to the Clergy of the Protestant Epsicopal Church in Pennsylvania, May 16th, 1838. By the Right Rev. Henry H. Underdonk, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. - We cannot discover in this Discourse enough
either of originality or heresy, to give it the importance which seems to have been ascribed to it. It is little more than one of the countless and fruitless attempts to give a reasonable aspect to the Calvinistic doctrine of Atonement. Its peculiarity is that it makes the atonement to be " addressed to the holiness of God," and not to his justice, the more common view. How it can be said to be “addressed” to either of these attributes, how such attributes can be separated and especially opposed, or what light is thus thrown upon the subject, we are ignorant. The discourse does not enlighten our ignorance. It clearly rejects the old doctrine of strict debt, exaction, ransom, equivalent, substitution, and the like; - it evidently designs to frame something less repugnant to reason, common justice, and common sense. So far we welcome and commend it. But it still retains virtually the fatal error, that the atonement was designed to relieve God, rather than man. Some expedient, some sacrifice, some infinite suffering, was necessary to enable God to forgive even the penitent child and the obedient subject !
Speech of the Hon. HENRY Clay, in the Senate of the United States, on the subject of Abolition Petitions, February 7, 1839. 12mo. pp. 42. Remarks on the Slavery Question, in a Letter to Jonathan Phillips, Esq. By W. E. CIIANNING. 72. Both published by James Munroe & Co. Boston. 1839. These two pamphlets mark one step in the progress of this great discussion. The distinguished Statesman, in bis high official place, sets forth the claims of Slavery to be perpetuated, without interference or end, in the Republic of the Free ; and the friends of that doctrine celebrate his effort as eloquent and unanswerable. The distinguished Divine, in his private place of citizenship and philanthropy, rebuts that monstrous claim, and shows that the politician has argued weakly in a criminal cause. The friends of human right and their country's honor can ask nothing better than that the “Speech” and the “Remarks” should be circulated everywhere in company, and read together. The lists are fairly opened ; the combatants are noble and earnest men, who have both deserved well of their country ; let them have the unprejudiced ear of their countrymen, and the mighty truth cannot fail to be advanced.
The views of every body of Christians are very much determined by some prominent view which it takes of the Savior. For Christ, unlike the philosophers, did not merely teach, but lived out what he taught. Christianity was embodied in his life. He is the sun at the centre, around which all Christian truth revolves. The prominent ideas that we have of him must, more or less, modify all our notions of his religion. Therefore, in all ages of the church, the views entertained of Christ have been deemed, and justly, of the very highest importance.
But at the outset, we are struck with the fact, that, on this subject, men have been divided into two distinct classes ; one class deeming the metaphysical view of Christ the most essential, the other, the moral view. That is, one has deemed it of primary importance that men should have just notions of the nature of Christ; the other, that men should have just conceptions of his character. These different views do not exclude each other, and so of course have been more or less blended together. But still with each side, one view has been predominant, and the other subordinate. Whatever other differences relative to Christ may have existed on the surface, this has been the one at the foundation ; and as men have embraced one side or the other, a different direction or different color has
- 30 S. VOL. VIII. NO. III. 35
been given to all their other views of Christianity. Therefore, and justly, we repeat, at all times, Christians have held correct views of Christ to be of primary importance.
Ever since the Apostolic days, the tendency has been to make the metaphysical view of Christ the essential and only important one. However a few may have felt, the mass of Christians have held the moral view of Christ wholly subordinate. Men have never been martyred, because they held too low notions of the Savior's character. His character has formed no subject for creeds. But creeds have almost always been filled with speculations as to his nature. To sustain particular views on this point, no efforts, no penalties have been thought too great. For this churches have hurled denunciations against heretics ; for this the Inquisition has dug dungeons; and armies have been arrayed with hostile banners; and the sky of Christendom been made red with the flames of martyrdom. Christians often have not merely ceased to imitate, but have ceased to think of, the character of Christ, in contentions about his nature.
Now we do not doubt, we believe, that errors may arise as to Christ's nature, fruitful in evil results. But still we hold all speculations and all beliefs as to his nature to be of very small consequence, in comparison with just conceptions of his character. Many reasons might be given for this ; but it will be sufficient for our present purpose to refer to two or three of them.
Had a definite and accurate faith in Christ's nature been necessary, we cannot doubt that it would have been revealed distinctly, as the doctrine of a Future Life is revealed. That it has not been so revealed is evident from the fact, that, for nearly seventeen hundred years, the question, as to what his nature is, has been agitated, and as yet does not approach to a settlement. And the fact that it is not referred to in the New Testament except incidentally, if at all, shows that neither our Savior, nor his Apostles, regarded it an important subject for us to dwell upon.
Again, speculations as to Christ's nature must be of subordinate interest, because it is one of those cases in which, (though positive errors on the subject, when made prominent as articles of faith and incorporated with creeds, might lead to much evil,) a knowledge of the truth could do little good. What has a belief in Christ's nature, whether it be understood to be divine,