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noticed by Lord Bacon of the schoolmen. “For the wit and mind of man if it work upon matter"—(the matter of the theologian being the Scriptures) —“worketh according to the stuff, and is limited thereby; but if it work upon itself, as the spider worketh his web, then it is endless and bringeth forth indeed cobwebs of learning, admirable for the fineness of thread and work, but of no substance or profit.”
The author has a strong faith, indeed, that something might be done by somebody in the right direction, as appears from the following words:
“For my own part, I believe that the sober, historic Unitarianism of five-andtwenty years ago needs only to be rigidly examined, Scripture in hand, experience in full view, to prove the basis of a much nearer approach to a statement of doctrine in which universal Christendom can agree, than anything else which has been presented for ages. What has gone beyond it, has fallen into Deism; what has kept behind it, is still in motion ; what has gone one side of it, is compelled, sooner or later, to fall into its track. It needs, I doubt not, some finer and more generous statement, to win the ear and heart of Christendom; but I feel a mighty confidence that, the first time now that Christian theology clears her trumpet and utters a not uncertain note, the voice of Channing will be the dominant of the strain. If, as a body, we could distinctly affirm, with a good conscience, the positive historic faith—leaving the frigidness of rationalism and the indefiniteness of sentimentalism aside-I think we should start the Christian world from its theological dreaminess, and articulate, in wholesome, credible, inspiring words, the truth that now sticks and sputters in the throat of Christendom.
"God grant us the utterance which our languid organs refuse, and give us the blessed privilege of speaking the word which would set chaos in order, and for an ecclesiastical ruin furnish Christendom with a Church!” p. 18.
We have looked for such an utterance in this volume, but alas, we are sorry to find in it from beginning to end little more than the same mournful refrain.
FERNALD Divine PROVIDENCE.*- This is a delightful book for the most part, written by a man of faith in God, who is not a blind and bigoted disciple of Swedenborg, but who receives him as a man divinely ordained to give men extraordinary insight into spiritual truth. He quotes too largely from his favorite author, and uses too many of his fantastic notions, but there is withal an independence of thought and illustration which makes the book soothe the reader like a quiet, peaceful walk in “ green pastures, and by the side of still waters.”
God in his Providence : a comprehensive view of the principles and particulars of an active Divine Providence over man-his fortunes, changes, trials, entire discipline as a spiritual being, from birth to eternity. By Woodbury M. Fernald. Second Edition. Boston: Otis Clapp. 1859. 12mo. pp. 437.
PROFESSOR Smith's ECCLESIASTICAL Tables.* - This is an admirable work, and cannot be recommended too highly to clergymen and students in Theology. It will be scarcely less useful to all literary men, and should be found in every library, in connection with the Atlas and Encyclopedia. The convenient arrangement, the comprehensive plan, the extent of research, the fullness of detail which characterize it, entitle it to the highest praise.
To give our readers a view of the arrangement and contents of the work, we open at Table III, A. D. 313 to 440. The history of this period is given in four pages, with a general beading at the top. The first page is ruled for three wide columns. The first of these, the widest, gives the General Characteristics of the church during the period. The second column, the contemporaneous history, on the setting of Secular events in which the church is developing an independent and yet connected growth. The third column gives the principal events that mark the advance in Culture and Literature. The second folio page is devoted to the External history of the church, which is given in three separate columns, headed respectively, The Church and the Roman Empire, Growtb of the Church, Ecclesiastical Personages. The two next pages are occupied with the Internal History of the Church, under six headings, to each of which is assigned a column, -viz, Church Literature, in this instance Greek and Roman writers, in two parallel rows; Church Polity, Worship and Ritual, Discipline and Monasticism, Doctrines and Controversy, Heresies and Schisms.
Thus, wherever we open the book, we have a picture of the times, in the great events, principal personages, &c., which made it what it was, spread out in chronological relations distinctly before the eye. Indeed. the eye cannot glance over it in the most careless manner without alighting upon some fact or name worthy to be noticed, and which, seen in its place, will not be likely to be forgotten or lost. If we refer to a page to fix a date or verify an impression, we shall scarcely fail to notice some new name or event which will be worth remembering in such a connection. The occasional, and preëminently the frequent use of these tables, will contribute greatly to preserve and renew our knowledge.
* History of the Church of Christ, in Chronological tables : a synchronistic view of the events, characteristics, and culture of each period, including the his. tory of Polity, Worship, Literature, and Doctrines ; together with two supplementary Tables upon the Church in America, and Appendix, containing the series of Councils, Popes, Patriarchs, and Bishops, and a full Index. By Henry B. Smith, D. D., Professor in the Union Theological Seminary of the City of New York. New York: Charles Scribner. 1859. folio. pp. 93.
The history of the church in America is original with the author, and shows faithful and laborious research, with great skill in the arrangement of his materials. Some inadvertencies quite inexcusable in respect to the theological opinions of the late Dr. Taylor, have already been noticed in the newspapers, and the following sentence reads very oddly at New Haven : “ The polity of New England was Congregational, and not an Independeney : pastors, teachers, ruling elders, and deacons were the recognized officers, (seven pillars at New Haven.) " !! The “seven pillars ” at New Haven were in no sense officers of the church ; but by their mutual covenant first constituted themselves into a church, which, when thus organized, proceeded to the election of its officers. See “Bacon's Historical Discourses.”
These blemishes are slight and inconsiderable when weighed against the general truthfulness and exactness of the volume.
PROFESSOR Lodge's Exposition of II CORINTHIANS.* _This commentary is so like those volumes which have preceded it in its excellencies and defects, that we need not criticise it at length. We give an extract or two, as some of our readers may not have the opportunity to judge of the author's manner. The passage which we quote also is instructive as showing that much Theology can be foisted into an exegetical commentary. The passage commented on is 2 Corinthians v, 21.
" He was made sin, may mean either, he was made a sin-offering, or, the abstract being used for the concrete, he was made a sinner. Many of the older commentators prefer the former explanation; Calvin, and almost all the moderns, adopt the latter. The meaning in either case is the same ; for the only sense in which Christ was made sin, is that he bore the guilt of sin; and in this sense every sin-offering was made sin. ..... The only sense in which we are made the righteousness of God is that we are in Christ regarded and treated as righteous, and therefore the sense in which he was made sin, is that he was regarded and treated as a sinner. His being made sin is consistent with his being in himself free from sin; and our being made righteous is consistent with our being in ourselves ungodly. In other words, our sins were imputed to Christ, and his righteousness is imputed to us... · His sufferings and death were penal, because inflicted and endured in satisfaction of justice. And in virtue of the infinite dignity of his person they were a perfect satisfaction ; that is, a full equivalent for all the law's demands.”
"The very idea of substitution is that what is done by one in the place of another, avails as though that other had done it himself. The victim was the
* An Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. By CHARLES HODGE, D. D., Professor in the Theological Seminary, Princeton, N. J. New York: Robert Carter & Brothers. 1860. 12mo. Pp. 314.
substitute of the offerer, because its death took the place of his death. If both died there was no substitution. So if Christ's being made sin does not secure our being made righteousness, he was not our substitute. Righteousness does not here mean inward rectitude, or moral excellence. It is true that the word often has this sense ; and it is true that the work of Christ does secure the holiness of his people, and was designed to produce that effect, as is often asserted in Scripture. But this was neither its only, nor its proximate design. Its immediate end was to reconcile us to God; to propitiate him, by the satisfaction of justice, so that he can be just and yet justify the ungodly. As the apostle is here speaking of the sacrificial effect of Christ's death, that is, of the proximate effect of his being made sin for us, the word righteousness must be understood ir its forensic sense. It expresses our relation to the law, not our inward moral state. It is that which justifies, or satisfies the demands of the law. Those who have this dekalerívn are divator, just in the sight of the law, in the sense that the law or justice is satisfied as concerns them. It is called the righteousness of God, either because it is from him as its author; or, because it renders us righteous in his sight.” ..
“There is probably no passage in the Scriptures in which the doctrine of justification is more concisely or clearly stated than in this. Our sins were imputed to Christ, and his righteousness is imputed to us. He bore our sins; we are clothed in his righteousness. Imputation conveys neither pollution nor holiness. Christ's bearing our sins did not make him morally a sinner, any more than the victim was morally defiled which bore the sins of the people ; nor does Christ's righteousness become subjectively ours, it is not the moral quality of our souls. This is what is not meant. What is meant is equally plain. Our sins were the judicial ground of the sufferings of Christ, so that they were a satisfaction of justice; and his righteousness is the judicial ground of our acceptance with God, so that our pardon is an act of justice.” pp. 148, 149, 150, 151.
Paul The PREACHER.* -It was a happy thought of Professor Eadie to treat the discourses of Paul iu a half exegetical, half popular way, and thus to make the Acts of the Apostles a living history fraught with fresh interest to modern Christians. No method is so well fitted to accomplish this object as to fix the interest upon the striking discourses of the noble apostle. As expanded and illustrated by the author, these discourses are made to comprehend the chief points of Christian truth, as it was proclaimed in the earliest days of the church, and also to bring in a series of striking pictures, the chief incidents of persecution and trial, of travel and flight, of imprisonment and arraignment, which make the book of the Acts so fraught with stirring interest. The historic sense of Professor Eadie, and his power to transport himself into the life of other times, comes here constantly into service. Besides the sermons of Paul bring up some of the toughest questions that test and task the modern critic and interpreter; as, for example, the interpretation of the Messianic psalms and prophecies, and the use of the Old Testament in the New. These are all thoroughly, yet not scholastically handled. The style of the book is abundant,-sometimes too diffuse and exuberant,—but is never diluted and watery. We would that this volume might be circulated by thousands and myriads of copies, and take the place of much of the stupid and deadening stuff that is called excellent religious reading. For the instructors of Sunday schools and Bible classes, the book is admirable, and as a kind of First book in Church History, it has the double merit of explaining the rise of the Church and of imparting a fresh interest to the New Testament.
* Paul the Preacher ; or, a popular and practical Exposition of his Discourses and Speeches, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. By John Eadie, D. D., LL. D., Professor of Biblical Literature to the United Presbyterian Synod. New York: Robert Carter & Brothers. 1859. 12mo. pp. 453.
The Still Hour.* _We are confident that this little volume upon “Communion with God," which goes out from Andover Hill, will speedily find its way to thousands of Christian homes in all parts of the country, where it will be read and re-read, and prized as it deserves. We give the titles of its fourteen short chapters : "Absence of God in Prayer.-Unhallowed Prayer.—Romance in Prayer.—Distrust in Prayer. -Faith in Prayer.-Specific and Intense Prayer,— Temperament of Prayer.-Indolence in Prayer.—Idolatry in Prayer.—Continuance in Prayer.-Fragmentary Prayer.-Aid of the Holy Spirit in Prayer.Reality of Christ in Prayer.—Modern babits of Prayer.”
We do not know of any work upon the subject of prayer which seems so fitted to do good as this. The book of Dr. Hamilton, of London,—"The Mount of Olives,”—has had great popularity, and deservedly. The aptness, and beauty, and abundance of its illustrations cannot but attract attention and excite admiration. But this book of Professor Phelps pleases us better. There is no new theory of prayer offered ; there is only a plain presentation of “standard” thoughts upon the subject, and there is no attempt to invest it with the charms of novelty. But there is a directness and quiet simplicity about the book that turns the thought of the reader from the style to the subject, and invests it with an importance and an intense reality that we have never
* The Still Hour ; or Communion with God. By Austin Phelps, Professor in Andover Theological Seminary. Boston: Gould & Lincoln, 1860. 18mo. pp.