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ARTICLE XI.—NOTICES OF BOOKS.
THEOLOGY. THE FIRST ADAM AND THE SECOND. THE ELOHIM "RevealED.* This bulky octavo is a very refreshing exhibition of pure Augustinian theology, freed alike from the neologisms of Princeton and New England, and accepting interpretations of the Scriptures which Calvin was too truth-loving not to reject. We welcome it as an important contribution, not exactly to Theological Truth, but to the advancement of a sound and Scriptural Theology. A few zealots for old rather than true ways of thinking, will undoubtedly be confirmed by it in a Calvinism more Calvinistic than Calvin taught. It may be that in Princeton itself sundry unfledged theologians may be prompted to an unwonted zeal for innovation backwards, which will appear in the newspapers in the form of sundry grave insinuations against the soundness of Dr. Hodge on Imputation, charging him with heresy for his interpretation of Romans v, 12-19. But its influence on the community in general will be most salutary. Those theologians who have been so active of late in discerning fatal tendencies to Pelagianism in all the New England theology, may possibly, by a thorough study of this volume, be converted to a Scriptural simplicity and soberness of thinking, through the healthful reaction of their own common sense. Those who have been so reverential in their mention of Augustine, as to adopt a half realistic, half mystical notion of a depraved generic unity, may be led to think that there is a possibility that this reverence may be carried so far as to become foolish. Those newspaper scribblers who plume themselves so pbarisaically upon their own orthodoxy, and are so ready to charge all New England with heretical tendencies, may be surprised to find themselves heretics, when tried by the standard of this volume, and learn some modesty in bringing slanderous indictments against those who are better theologians, and perhaps better Christians, than themselves.
The author teaches that sin pertains both to the substance of the soul, and to those affinities which precede all its activities ; that “ Adam, when created, before the first exertion of the powers of his nature, was, by bis Maker, so constituted, that all his powers should spontaneously move in conformity with God's law of holiness," and that Dr. Fitch is a disciple of the Pelagian theology, because he has said that “sin in every form and instance, is reducible to the act of a moral agent, in which he violates a known rule of duty.” Moreover, he teaches that all men are guilty of Adam's sin because they actually sinned in Adam, and that Calvin and Dr. Hodge are both wrong because they do not translate Romans v, 12, “ in whom all have sinned." The human race “were condemned to death as sinners because they were such.” They sinned, “ being in him as the branches are in the undeveloped shoot, apostatized with bim, and so became corrupt and accursed.” He teaches, also, that we ought to be penitent and contrite for the sin of Adam, and that distinguished theologians have been distinctly conscious of their guilt in this sin and of their repentance for this offense; and that the reason why all convicted sinners are not also conscious of the same, is because they have not “the power of analyzing their own exercises, so as to trace the depravity of their nature to the criminal act of depravation, and to locate that in the apostasy of Adam."
* The First Adam and the Second. The Elohim Revealed in the Creation and Redemption of Man. By Samuel J. BAIRD, D. D., Pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Woodbury, N. J. Philadelphia : Lindsay & Blakiston, 1860. 8vo. pp. 688.
In respect to the sovereignty of God, he teaches that“ any theory which limits the authority and discretion of the Creator, and our duty of obe. dience to Him, by other laws than his own free will, the expression of his own essential nature, is alike untenable and impious.” “One thing, however, remains abundantly sure, that the moment we admit the supremacy of the Nature of Things,' of Beecher’s ‘Principles,' or of anything else than God's own nature, the fountain of His will, any true revelation of God is forever precluded.” And yet, in other parts of the same chapter, he says, “It is evident that the exercise of a universal, absolute and unchangeable sovereignty, by some being, is necessary to the harmony and happiness, nay, to the very existence, of the universe which God has made. The Creator must be that Sovereign. No other being has one requisite for the office. The very act of creation, implying, as it does, some suitable end to be attained, brings the Creator under obligation to His own wisdom to give His creatures such laws as will guide them to the accomplishment of that end." So it seems that the sovereignty of the Creator is brought “under obligation to His own wisdom," however dishonorable it may be to recognize any obligation to the “Nature of Things,” or Beecher’s “ Principles of Honor and Right.” After having himself thus coolly limited the sovereignty of God, he proceeds to show, at great length, that the elder Edwards and the Hopkinsians have limited the sovereignty of God by an allegiance to moral distinctions, and have adopted a theory that is infidel, atheistic, &c., &c. He then quietly adds, “these doctrines seem to have gained nearly universal currency in the Congregational churches ; and are admitted to the position of unquestioned and ultimate truths. It has long been occasion of painful surprise to those who love the doctrines of the Reformation, that those churches bave shown a tendency, so general, to depart from the faith which their fathers cherished, and in defense of which they endured persecution and exile; that the Scriptural doctrines of their ancient confession have so slight a hold on the sons of the Pilgrims; whilst every new form of error finds a cordial welcome and congenial home. We think reflection must convince the intelligent and candid mind, that the dogmas which we have just enumerated constitute one leading element in the clew to the mystery. These, releasing the minds of men from the restraints of God's law, refer them to the light of reason, and the nature of things,' to know what is truth and duty. It is therefore no wonder that the theology of Calvin, of Augustine and Paul, the motto of which is ‘Faith before reason,' should be rejected, the Rationalism of Pelagius be embraced, and the atheistic tendencies thereto appropriate be developed.” In another place he writes: “We venerate the memory of Edwards, and esteem and love many of the disciples of his theology. But the history of a century confirms the conviction resulting from a priori considerations, that the principles of his system are irreconcilably hostile to the doctrines of grace which he loved ; and must operate as heretofore, so always, to corrupt and destroy them.”
We call the attention of the American Theological Review, and the Puritan Recorder, to these attacks on the Edwardean system. They will see that due justice is done to the author, and will perhaps be led to suspect that the Edwardeanism which they so zealously defend is not everywhere recognized as identical with orthodoxy.
We would again express our sincere thanks to the author of the “Elohim Revealed.” We believe it is fitted to accomplish a good work in the service of a Scriptural theology. We would gladly place a copy in the hands of every Pastor and Theological Student in New England. The work is well written—the opinions of the author are clearly expressed and well arranged. The course of thought can be followed with satisfaction, with little or none of that confusion which the perusal or the attempt at the perusal of Dr. R. J. Breckenridge's notorious treatises invariably induces. But the clearness, method, and consistency of Dr. Baird only serve to set off the weakness of his interpretations of
the Scriptures, and the pitiable and almost imbecile súbservience to the dogmas of mere human tradition.
Rawlixson's BAMPTON LECTURES—Tae HISTORICAL Evidences OF THE TRUTH OF THE SCRIPTURE Records.* _This volume is the most timely and valuable contribution to Theological Science, which the reason has ever produced. It is especially timely because what with the destructive criticism of De Wette and the scarcely more conservative Bible History of Bunsen, the impression has been left on many minds, that little was likely to be said in defense of the historic verity of the Old Testament, if, indeed, the misgiving bas not occurred to some that there was little that could be offered strong enough to stand the scrutiny of thorough historical criticism. It is valuable, considering the high authority from which it comes, and the candid yet thorough manner in which the discussions are conducted. The editor of Herodotus will not be charged with superficial scholarship. An examination of the work will convince any candid person that he is master of his subject. We attach especial importance to his defense of the Old Testament, but do not overlook bis consideration of the New
The thanks of all American theologians are due to Messrs Gould & Lincoln for the enterprise and promptness with which they have published a second volume of the Bampton Lectures. Theology will not soon forget either Mansel or Rawlinson.
Bishop Butler's ANALOGY OF Religion.—This edition of Butler's Analogy is similar to that of his etbical writings, and, like it, was prepared by Dr. Champlin for the convenience of students in colleges and higher schools. The type is excellent. The text is broken into nunbered paragraphs, according to the divisions of the argument, and to each of these divisions is prefixed the appropriate title or heading. No other analysis is given besides that furnished by these headings, which the eye can readily catch and follow. The edition may be considered as the best accessible for the special uses for which it was prepared. We think, however, it should have been distinctly stated on the title-page that the second part is greatly abridged.
* The Historical Evidences of the Truth of the Scripture Records stated anew, with special reference to the doubts and discoveries of modern times. In eight Lectures, delivered in the Oxford University pulpit, in the year 1859, on the Bampton Foundation. By GEORGE Rawlinson, M. A., late Fellow, and Editor of "The History of Herodotus," &c. From the London edition, with the Notes translated. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 1860. 12mo. pp. 454.
† Bishop Butler's Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature. Edited, with an analysis, by J.T. CHAMPLIN, D. D., President of Waterville College. Boston: John P. Jewett & Co. 1860. 12mo. pp. 278.
PALEY's Evidences of CHRISTIANITY.* _Archbishop Whately seems aroused by the Infidelity without the English Church, and the rather questionable faith in some quarters within it, to suggest his own opinions in respect to certain principles that are much controverted. These opinions are propounded in the form of annotations to certain passages of Paley's well known work. These annotations are neither so frequent nor so long as could be desired, but they are always pertinent, both to the subject discussed and to the state of opinions now preralent in Great Britain. For example, in the introduction, in discussing the opinion put forth very earnestly by many Christians, that faith is not founded in evidence, and cannot be strengthened by argument, he prints side by side, on a single leaf, an extract from Hume's Essay on Miracles—another from the British Critic—and still another from the Edinburgh Review—all teaching the same doctrine, and exalting faith at the expense of reasoning—while Dr. Whately is content with attaching some half a dozen texts of Scripture, pointing in the other direction.
In his annotations on miracles he gives a long extract from R. W. Emerson's notorious Cambridge discourse, including the reference to " the blowing clover,” and “the falling rain.” This he prefaces thus: “ Here is a specimen (to which many more might have been added] of the transcendental style in which some of these philosophers seek to enlighten mankind.” He follows it with the pithy comment, “ If thou hast any tidings,” says Falstaff to Pistol, “prithee deliver them like a man of this world.”
We regret only that these Whately annotations are not ten times as numerous as we find them to be. They add great interest, and much value, to this very handsome and readable volume, which has the additional feature of a good index.
* A View of the Evidences of Christianity. In Three Parts. By WILLIAM Paley, M. A. With Annotations by RICHARD WHATELY, D. D., Archbishop of Dublin. New York : James Miller, 436 Broadway. 1860. 8vo. pp. 407.