« AnteriorContinuar »
tion, with this malicious and lying recommendation to mercy: "Lord Judge, we entreat you as affectionately as we can, as well by the love of God, as from pity and compassion, and out of respect for our prayers, that you do this wretched man no injury tending to death, or the mutilation of the body!"
2. To the fact mentioned at the beginning of this article; that the Papal Church never changes, that it is the same in spirit, aims and methods in all ages, in all lands where it has the power. What this Church did in the way of destroying Protestantism in France in the sixteenth century, it would do to-day in the United States, if only the opportunity and means were given. We say to all, read again the Catholic authorities already cited, and see if it be not so; read these volumes, and judge for yourselves whether it is probable that the Roman clergy of this country will be content to be subject to our equal laws, when those laws conflict with their claim of absolute authority over the conscience and conduct of their people in things civil as well as religious. Look at the case of Father Dufresne of Holyoke convicted and fined for injury which he did to the business of one of his parishioners, because he dared to attend a meeting to hear a former priest give his reasons for his conversion to Protestantism. He submits because he must, but it is contrary to all the traditions of the Church, which claims from of old, as in England even in the time of Henry VIII., who changed all that, that the clergy, “on whom consecration had wrought its mystic office," were above all civil law, and beyond the reach of the secular arm, and could only be tried by ecclesiastical courts for any offences or crimes they might commit! Give them the power, and it will be so in our land, for tolerance of civil law that interferes with the supreme authority of the Church, and tolerance of heretics, when it is possible to do otherwise, are
2 In proof look into Mexico where the mob, led on by the priests, murder Protestant preachers and converts; and into Austria, where such facts as the following show the temper of the Catholic authorities: Not long ago, six or eight Baptists met for prayer in the house of a postman in one of the suburbs of Vienna. They were dispersed by the police. On a recent Sunday, the police found their way into a house in another part of Vienna. The fifteen people there assembled for prayer were dispersed, and the males ordered to appear, at three o'clock of the same day, in police court. In a Bohemian village, some time ago, a married couple for conscientious reasons left the Romish Church. Recently, at the birth of their first child, they applied for its registration according to law, but were refused, and ordered to have their child baptized by the priest, on the ground that a child must have some religion, and the parents had none. And all this in the face of the law of 1867 which grants full religious liberty to all!
crimes, treason against God, and Francis I. made it treason against his government, and punished it accordingly.
These established facts need no note nor comment; we only wish they were known more thoroughly among our Protestant population. We wish that these volumes could be placed in the hands of every American citizen, in the family of every Protestant in our own country and in Europe, that they might see the proofs that the extirpation of heresy is a sacred obligation of the Catholic Church by virtue of all its claims and pretensions. Hence the hostility of the priesthood to our public schools, to philosophical culture and scientific investigation for the masses. They know their duty, and they are as determined here as in Belgium, Spain, Italy, Austria and Mexico, that their children and youth, save those destined for the Church, shall not come to any education which shall lead to independence of thinking and asking, or which might weaken their faith in the absolute authority over them of the priest and the Church, or lessen their horror and hatred of Protestantism.3
1. Cyclopædia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Prepared by Rev. John M'Clintock, D.D., and James Strong, S.T.D. Vol. VIII. Pet.- Re. Harper & Bros. $5.
We have so often set forth the value and usefulness of this great work, that we need not go over the ground again; and yet we cannot let go the opportunity to commend it to our clergy and theological students, and especially to those younger preachers whose libraries are yet to be gathered, and whose slender means make it important that they should get the most possible for their money. It is really a cyclopædia on the subjects named in the title, and covers the whole ground; too much ground in fact, especially in "minister-biography," where, as we have said before, the matter is entirely over-done. But for this no important subject is neglected, or crippled in statement. 3 As proof of the kind of education given by the priests, the census of Italy, wholly subject to them for centuries, shows that in a population of 21,700,000 in 1864, there were 17,000,000, who could neither read nor write! while the census of Spain in 1876 shows that nearly 12,000,000 out of 16,000,000 could not read nor write! What a splendid market these lands offer for books and new papers. How many printing presses, book stores and newspapers would there be in Boston under the same rule?
All the leading questions of theology, archæology, Biblical criticism, church history, and of science and philosophy so far as they are related to the current religious discussions of the day, receive a full, fair and scholarly treatment. And to this end its contributors include some of the best scholars and specialists of all churches; while one of the notable features of the work is that it incorporates into its articles all that is valuable or fresh in the great Bible Dictionaries previously published, as those of Smith, Kitto, the great German work of Herzog, &c. The result is that the purchaser of this work gets all that is most important and valuable in all other similar works, and has a complete library of theology; and so is saved a great outlay for the multitude of special books treating on special branches of knowledge absolutely necessary in his professional studies.
The present volume contains nearly eleven hundred pages, of which Dr. Strong furnishes about one half, beside revising the articles of the twenty-four other contributors. No one can go over the work without cordial praise of the patient industry of the Editor. In a work of such dimensions and variety it is impossible to avoid some mistakes and errors, but they are few compared with its great merits and general accuracy. In the article on "Punishment-Future" he says, on the authority of Knapp's Theology, "the doctrine of Origen (or Universalism) was condemned by the fourth Council of Carthage, A. D. 398." If Dr. Strong will turn to Vol. II. of his Cyclopædia, p. 133, he will find that the fourth Council of Carthage was held in A. D. 253, and the eighth Council, held in A. D. 397, 398, devoted its labors to Church Discipline and the Baptism of Children. The council of Alexandria in A. D. 399 condemned Origen and some of his doctrines, but not his Universalism. This doctrine was first condemned by a council at Constantinople in A. D. 544, and that not a general council. A reference to Mosheim, or Neander, or Hagenbach would have set the Editor right on this point.
The article on "Restorationists" is sadly behind the times. It is written in the present tense, and 66 says we have a distinct sect which takes the name of Universal Restorationists," &c. "They publish a weekly paper, have from twenty to thirty ministers," &c. Now the fact is that there is no such "distinct sect"; it died thirty-eight years "The Massachusetts Association of Universal Restorationists," held its last session in August, 1841; and their "weekly newspaper " suspended two years before. A monthly, "The Restorationist," lived only two years, dying in 1838. A little knowledge of Universalists would have prevented these errors, and have written the article in the past tense.
The mistake in regard to Dr. Enoch Pond, who is so well known, seems without excuse. We are told that he died in 1877, although only a few weeks since, if we remember rightly, he published an article aiming to prove that the six days of Creation were literal days of twenty-four hours.
The letters embraced in this volume take in such topics as Pharaoh,
Philistine and Phoenicia, Peter and his Epistles, Pharisees, Philology, Philo, Plato and Platonic Philosophy, Priest, Hebrew Poetry, PreAdamite Man; under Q a very sensible article on Quotations from the Old Testament in the New"; under R. Resurrection, Red Sea, an able article, Reformation and Reformed Churches, Revelations genuine and apocryphal, &c. Some idea of the amount of matter in this one volume may be formed from the statement, that it would fill sixteen volumes as large as the "Ancient History of Universalism"!
2. Endless Punishment in the Very Words of its Advocates. By Thomas J Sawyer, S.T.D. Universalist Publishing House. $1. pp. 319.
Now that this book is published, and we note the subjects of its several chapters, the numerous citations from "accredited authorities," the thorough treatment of the whole question, and the good service it will render to both parties in the current discussion respecting the nature and duration of the torments of Hell, we only wonder that it was not written long ago. Of course we have had several booklets, and Dr. Sawyer himself has given us one, in which the facts have been partially presented; but not until now have we had a complete review of the subject in all its branches, an exhibition in extenso of the unmitigated horrors and abominations of the doctrine of Endless Punishment, and of the manner in which it has been preached in Orthodox pulpits in Europe and America. And we invite all our evangelical and Unitarian friends who, in the past, have complained of the severity and harshness with which our denominational fathers denounced this foul offspring of Paganism, to read this book in which the dogma is described "in the very words of its advocates,” and ask if we have ever said anything worse of it than they themselves have said; ask if it is possible by any human speech to overstate or slander such atheistic diabolism. And to think that such teachings were once called Christian, and that those who rejected them with loathing were called Infidels! No wonder that in this century of theological growth, of reason and enlightenment, of inquiry and individualism, our friends are so anxious to repudiate them wholly, or so to modify them as to bring them into some decent relation with Christian thought and sentiment.
As remarked, the book will be useful to both Orthodox and Universalists. It will save the first from the assertions, direct or implied, so common now, that such doctrines were never or "hardly ever " believed or taught among them; as in the recent cases of Joseph Cook, the Congregationalist, Dr Lawrence, and others. And our own people, when speaking of these things, and challenged to prove their statements by book and page, will find it a very convenient volume to have by them. Our preachers too will be very glad to have the work of hunting up the witnesses all done for them, thus saving them much time and labor; and in fact doing for many of them much which they could not themselves do, not having the books.
As we have said, Dr. Sawyer covers the whole ground, giving de
tailed descriptions of the torments of hell, their nature, variety, ingenuity, and dreadfulness, as arising from fire and frost, body and soul, memory, conscience, fear, despair and duration; their relation to original sin, total depravity, reprobation; the number doomed, the justice of their doom; the rejoicing of the saints over the horror, &c.; all "in the very words" of those believing and defending the same.
The Appendix is equally useful in showing the changes and improvements going on in regard to the doctrine, and the great departure from the old creeds embodying the beliefs of the fathers. If the book had appeared a week or two sooner, we should not have prepared the first article of our General Review in this number. And even at this writing, if it were not already in print, we should throw it into the waste basket.
We have only to add that the mechanical part of the book is an honor to the Publishing House - the tinted paper, fair print, and tasty binding, are unexceptionable, while the price, only one dollar, should insure it a wide circulation.
3. The Pre-Historic World. By Elie Berthet. From the French by Mary J. Safford. Porter & Coates. Philadelphia. $1.50.
This book is an attempt at mingling science and romance. object is to present on a slender thread of love a picture of the earth itself, and its inhabitants, human and beastly, in the primitive ages. To this end the author gives us three imaginary narratives in which the discoveries of geologists and archæologists are ingeniously woven into the story, and the labors of Cuvier, Lyell and other eminent men of science, are freely appropriated in working up the picture of the contemporaries of the mammoth and the cave bear, and who some ages later built the lake dwellings; and finally of those who laid the foundations of Paris, centuries before Cæsar's conquest of Gaul.
4. Readings from English History. Selected and edited by John Richard Green, LL.D., of Oxford University. Harper & Brothers.
Teaching History in a way to make it interesting and instructive requires peculiar gifts and special helps. Intelligent scholars quickly discover whether the teacher has any talent or tact for teaching; and whether he is able to invent methods of his own, or to avail himself of the methods of others for engaging their interest and fastening the lesson in their memory. For the most part the school text books are dry records of dates, names, dynasties and events, without any of the spirit and interest which attach to personal adventure, action and character. Consequently the course which of late many teachers have adopted, of reading some of the stirring and brilliant descriptive pasaf sages of such writers as Gibbon, Macauley, Bancroft, Prescott, Carlyle, Motley, Froude, and others, in connection with, and illustrative of the subject matter of the lesson, is coming to be very popular, and is making History one of the most attractive and welcome studies in our schools.