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But again, it is often said that, at our entrance into the future world, such an overpowering revelation of the glory and perfections of God will be made to us, that a change of disposition will be instantly wrought. We do not know the Scriptural warrant for this assertion, although it is generally made with seeming unconsciousness that it has no higher authority than speculation. That the conditions and scenes of the next life will be vastly different from the present, is certain ; but who knows how the revelation of God will be brought to bear upon us, or will affect us, at first ? Change of circumstances for the better does not always make men better here. We cannot reason mathematically from circumstances to character. Some men are more purified by adversity than by prosperity ; some lose the piety in good fortune which worldly ill fortune deepened. If character is the great object of God's goyernment, we have no right to imagine that he will put those who have been deliberately faithless here, into any circumstances beyond the tomb, which will greatly help them to do what they had light and strength enough to do in this world, and refused to do. Of course, God can reveal himself to us so that all sin would be withered at once; but that would not be training in consistency with the methods of this life. That would be a method of rid. ding the universe of sin by a pressure of extrinsic motive too great for finite liberty and human virtue. Furthermore, we are not to suppose that in the next life we are to live in any such intense blaze of the divine presence. How could we bear it? What occupations could eternity have? So far as we suffer imagination to cast the conditions of our future life, we must conceive its lot as consisting in the exercise of the great functions of our humanity,—the study of truth, the delight in divine beauty, the relations of fellowship, with all the duties, experience and charities that grow out of social bonds, and the worship of the right, the holy and the good, as they concentre in the infinite Father. Such occupations enable us to understand how immortality may not be monotonous and tedious,
They also aid us to conceive how the characters we carry with us into the future, even though no positive arbi. trary penalties be appointed for present evil, will determine the quality and amount of our happiness, the real sphere we enter, and the kind of heaven we must stay in, until we make the inward consecration and effort which we may have refused on earth.
A third objection, however, may be made, to this effect. The New Testament positively excludes all sin, all possibility of sin, all inequality of satisfaction from the resurrection state. St. Paul's jubilant rhetoric in the xv. of 1 Cor., and the Saviour's language to the Sadducees, leave no room for the hypothesis of moral imperfection after death. We reply, that all of St. Paul's descriptions of the resurrection state, picture it as a universal crisis, the culmination of the moral and temporal government of this world. It is when the angel shall come with the great trumpet, when the myriads that have passed from the earth shall reappear, and the living inhabitants be miraculously changed, and all be caught up to meet the Lord in the air,--that sin is to be vanquished and God to be all in all. Has this event taken place? Is such a scene enacted whenever a spirit passes into the invisible world ? If not, then the quotations from the great apostle against the idea of future discipline do not meet the case. Until that general crisis and climax comes, we have presumptive evidence indeed that discipline continues, that the laws of character play, that a system of training is in operation to prepare for the mighty palingenesis, when the glorious body and the world of perfect light shall be entered, and all the race be “ children of God, being children of the resurrection.” It is for those who rely upon these passages, to show how they apply to the cases of ordinary death, and to explain why, when Paul wrote them with reference to a universal climax, the close of the mediatorial reign, they persist in bringing them to bear upon that stage of the spiritual world and experience, which souls enter as they leave the earth. When we read the plain statement of an apostle that “ David is not yet ascended into the heavens ;” and again the declaration concerning the worthies of elder times— all these, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise : God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect;" and still further, the reference to spirits in prison which were disobedient " while the ark was preparing;” and when we couple with these the vast num. ber of incidental pointings in the New Testament towards a continuance of discipline hereafter, we feel that a strength of Scriptural support is enlisted for the conception of continuous training, which deserves something different from scorn, and which it will be much easier to evade, than to meet and set aside.
T. S. K.
le, than to meet and which ich deserves somoncep
. Art. XIX.
1. ' Discoveries among the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon; with Travels in Armenia, Kurdistan, and the Desert: being the result of a Second Expedition undertaken for the Trustees of the British Museum. By Austen H. Layard, M. P., author of “Nineveh and its Remains," &c. With Maps, Plans, and Illustrations. New York : G. P. Putnam & Co., &c. 1853, 8vo. pp. 686.
2. Discoveries among the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon; with Travels in Armenia, Kurdistan, and the Desert: being the result of a Second Expedition undertaken for the Trustees of the British Museum. By Austen II. Layard, M. P., author of “Nineveh and its Remains," &c. With Maps, Plans, and Illustrations. New York: Harper & Brothers. &c. 1853. 8vo. pp. 586.
3. Discoveries among the Ruins of Nineveh, and Babylon; with Travels in Armenia, Kurdistan, and the Desert: being the result of a Second Expedition undertaken for the Trustees of the British Museum. By Austen H. Layard, M. P., author of " Nineveh and its Remains," &c. Abridged from the larger work. New York: G. P. Putnam & Co., &c. 1853. 12mo. pp. 549.
The issuing of these three editions, almost simultaneously in this country, and immediately on the appearance of the work in England, shows how confident the conductors of our great publishing houses were of its popularity. In this respect, we think they will not be disappointed. Though the present volume is but a continuation, or rather a complement, of the former work, we find no abatement of interest in its pages. It lays open a much wider field than was disclosod in “ Nineveh and its Remains; ” it gives a more thorough exploration of several sites that had been partially excavated and described ; and by these means, as well as by the progress which has been made in decyphering the cuneiform inscriptions,
VOL. X. 28
since the author's first visit, it everywhere throws a fuller and more satisfactory light upon the subject. In reading this volume, we begin to feel ourselves on firm ground, amidst the dim and gigantic shadows of the ancient world. They gather into form and substance. While we grope in the dusty tomb of a mighty people that have been buried for more than twenty centuries, they seem to come back into life,-at least into such a life as the old prophet ascribed to the kings and nations in Sheol, who were moved in their subterranean realm, and rose up on their thrones, at the coming of the Babylonian monarch. It is, of course, the exhumation of the Assyrian memorials, that gives the work its highest interest and importance; but Mr. Layard does by no means confine us to disclosures of this kind. His journey from Trebizond to Mosul, by Erzroum, Lake Van, Bitlis, and the Upper Tigris, is a valuable and pleasant introduction ; and his excursions into the Nestorian villages, among the snowy mountains of Kurdistan, open a new page in religious history, manners and customs, as well as in description of romantic and sublime scenery.
An article on the recent discoveries at Nineveh, which was prepared for this number of our publication, is necessarily deferred till our next. For the present, therefore, we will only set down the peculiarities of the three editions mentioned at the head of this notice. The first appears to be the London copy itself, reissued at New York. It excells in every thing that belongs to the manufacture, (except the binding,) as well as in the price. The second, though printed in the neat style of the Harper press, and containing the same number of maps and illustrations with the first, is quite inferior in respect to the beauty and effect of the wood-cuts. The third, or the Abridgement, is well executed, both typographically, and in a literary respect. We think it retains all the significant portions of the larger work, omitting only such details as are unimportant to the general reader, and such remarks as may be spared without disturbing the narrative. Its Illustrations, however, are fewer, and of a coarser style of workmanship.
The national antiquities, that have been brought to light within the last half century, fill us with a sense of awe and bewilderment, like that which we feel in contemplating the revelations of Geology. Beneath the surface on which the world is now carrying forward its enterprizes, there lies another world, buried long ago, with all its monuments, arts, institutions, and civilization. The discoveries of Nineveh, Babylon, Memphis, of Etruria, and the unexplained mounds in our own western country, together with the ancient cities of Central and South America, seem to indicate that the face of our earth is as a huge Palimsest, except that the old records are not erased but only covered up.
4. Memoir of Mrs. Julia H. Scott; with her Poems, and Selections from her Prose. By Mrs. C. M. Sawyer. Boston: published by Abel Tompkins. 1853. 12mo. pp. 432.
Ten years ago, Mrs. Mayo, then Miss Edgarton, published a Selection from Mrs. Scott's Poems, with a Memoir, in an 18mo volume of 216 pages, That little volume, of humble appearance, will ever be sacred with us, hallowed as it is by the memories of two of the gentlest spirits that have graced and honored the religious community whose fellowship we share. It is doubly hallowed now, since the lamented editor has followed her sister-poet to that world, of which both had so often sung. They were attached to each other by the warmest and most unreserved sympathy in life ; and it is fitting that the Selection and Memoir should stand as the memorial of their mutual friendship.
But it was thought that a larger collection of Mrs. Scott's Poems would gratify her admirers, and be acceptable to the public. To the labor of preparing this, Mrs. Sawyer, another and earlier friend of the author, applied herself. It can hardly be needful to say that she has executed the task with much ability, as well as with a devotion which admiring love alone could inspire. The memoir, wbich she has prefised, is very full, and makes us familiarly acquainted with the subject, --with her manner of life, and her character, her way of thinking, and with the natural scenery amid which she was brought up. It is illustrated by an abundant use of her correspondence and of the letters of her friends. Nearly all the poetry that Mrs. Scott wrote is brought together here, and the pieces arranged, so far as their dates could be determined, in their chronological order. This arrangement of them has the advantage that it gives the reader the means to trace the gradual unfolding of the poet's mind, and the direction in which the progress of her thoughts ran. A selection from her prose writings, consisting chiefly of Tales, is added. The whole makes a volume that ranks, in size and in typographical neatness, with Mrs. Mayo's or Mrs. Jerauld's Works. Side by side with them, may it find a place in all our homes ! The strong religious sentiment with which it abounds, and the devoted attachment which the author is known ever to have cherished to the cause of universal grace and salvation, will be felt, by most of our readers, as an additional claim on their regard.
Mrs. Scott's poetry is distinguished more perhaps by a romantic sensibility, than by intellectual vigor or by brilliant imagination, though she was not deficient in either of the latter gifts, especially in the last, if we drop from it the qualifying epithet brilliant. Her sensibility, however, was of a peculiar character, manifesting itself in pathos with a considerable degree of romance, alive to every charm of natural scenery, and to the spiritual glories of the future revealed in the gospel. Some of her earlier pieces seemed to give promise of