Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

examination, but to pastors also, and all who are called to interest themselves in the religious experience of others. Such a discussion, we think-though we bave not had time for a thorough perusal of it—is the one before us. It is clear, evangelical in spirit, practical in method, evidently intended to do good rather than propound a theory, and while all the views expressed cannot be expected, on such a subject, to meet with universal approval, the work, as a whole, we doubt not, will be received with favor, as an honest and earnest effort to promote the cause of vital godliness and the purity and efficiency of the churches. The endorsement of Dr. Kirk, so thoroughly and practically conversant with the whole subject, is a sufficient guaranty of the general soundness and value of the work.

The Power of Jesus to Save.*—A faithful and earnest effort to commend the Gospel of Christ, as a renewing, sanctifying, and saving power, to the hearts and consciences of men. It is not a theological treatise, but a practical appeal. The views expressed are thorougbly evangelical, and there is breathed throughout a spirit of Christian love, and of tender solicitude for the salvation of souls from sin. Like most Scotch treatises on similar topics, it is not original, not brilliant, not characterized by any particular attractiveness of style, but earnest, plain, Scriptural, practical.

CHRIST IN PIIStory. - This is a new and revised edition of a work first published some years since, and received with much favor by the Christian public. Dr. Turnbull is well read in the facts and philosophy of history, and is well known as an able writer, and, in the main, an original and philosophical thinker. In the work before us, without attempting a complete philosophy of history, he aims to give an exposition of the relations of Christ (taken as the highest expression or man ifestation of God) to the history of the world. He takes the Incarnation as the central or turning point in this history, and undertakes to show how all the forces of society converge around it-bow all preceding history prepares for it, and how all succeeding history dates from it. In order to develop this fact, the reader is taken back to central facts and principles, in other words, to the fountains of history, in the nature of God and the nature of man; and the point pressed upon his attention is, that the history of the world, ancient and modern, can be understood only with reference to Christ. The investigation touches, of course, the leading characteristics and evidences of Christianity. It is shown to be not only a historical reality, but a Divine and supernatural power, by which all other realities and powers are explained and controlled ; in a word, is shown to be, in its interior relations and vital energies, nothing less than the presence of God, through Jesus Christ, among men, renovating the hearts of individuals and preparing the transformations of society. The work will be read with profit by those whose ininds are inclined to speculate on the topics which it discusses, and by those whose business it is to instruct in the great principles and relations of the Christian system.

* The Power of Jesus to Save to the Uttermost. By the Rev. A. J. CAMPBELL, Melrose. New York: Robert Carter & Brothers. 1860. pp. 329.

+ Christ in History. By ROBERT TURNBULL, D. D., Author of “Genius of Scotland,” “Pulpit Orators of France and Switzerland,” “Life Pictures from a Pastor's Note-book," etc. New and Revised Edition. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 1860. pp. 540.

Tae STARS AND THE Angels.* _Ingenious minds find great pleasure in speculating on recondite themes, whether of Nature or of Revelation ; and ingenious Christian minds are naturally inclined, in their speculations on these themes, to attempt to reconcile the two classes, wherever there is supposed to exist any discrepancy between them. The anonymous author of “The Stars and the Angels” has given us, under this title, what may be called a series of meditations, or discussions, on the barmonies of Science and Revelation. He starts with the idea, not only that Nature and Revelation both have their common source in God, but that the facts of both are alike under the control and operation of law, and that all law is, in its existence, but a constant testimony to God's infinite wisdom and goodness, and in its operation a visible exhibition of his present power. In the work before us he applies this principle to a consideration of the operation of law in the natural history of creation. He is thus led to pass in review first, and with reference to their bearing on Revelation, the leading facts of science, particularly of Astronomy and Geologs, (“the Stars,") and secondly, with corresponding reference to their bearing on Science, the leading facts of Revelation, including man in his character and relations, spirits good and evil, the resurrection,

* The Stars and the Angels. Philadelphia : William S. & Alfred Martien. 1860. pp. 358.

and other points of eschatology, (“the Angels.") The book abounds in speculations—some ingenious and suggestive, soine bold, some baseless, and some few crude, and ill-accordant, in our view, with sound science or correct exegesis. There is everywhere apparent, however, a deep reverence for the Bible, and a disposition to give it a fair and honest interpretation. The religious views expressed are thoroughly evangelical. There is little or nothing to disturb the religious faith or prejudices of any one ; while there is much to quicken thought and lead the mind to enlarged views both of nature and of nature's God.

Man, MORAL AND PHYSICAL; OR, THE INFLUENCE OF HEALTH AND DisEASE ON RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE.*—The subject of this book needs to be more thoroughly understood than it is, both by clergymen and physicians. The clergyman, on the one hand, is apt, in his ministrations, to lose sight of the influence of bodily states upon the condition of the mind and heart, and the physician, on the other, is too prone to think he has little to do with the mind in the care of the sick. Not only are these two opposite tendencies more or less manifest in the two professions, in the spheres belonging to both, occasioning a deficiency in the ministrations of each, often of a most deplorable character; but there sometimes is a clashing between the two professions on ground which is rendered common to both by the ultimate connection between the spiritual and the natural, a result which might readily be prevented if the principles so well developed in Dr. Jones's work were properly understood and appreciated. We apprehend that the deficiency is greater, ordinarily, with the clergyman than with the physician, in respect to this common field into which they are called to labor, for two reasons. First, the clergyman is not familiar, as the pbysician is, with the nervous system, that curiously constructed set of organs which so mysteriously and so intimately connects the spiritual part of man with the natural. And, secondly, the melancholy so often occasioned by bodily states, bas so near a resemblance to that mental state which a certain class of religious considerations is calculated to produce, that it is difficult for one unskilled in investigations of bodily disease, to make the discriminations requisite for deciding the nature of the case. Hence clergymen often attempt to reason men out of difficulties which require medical treatment just as really as the ravings of a brain fever, and perhaps give advice which makes the case decidedly worse. The comparison which we bave made between physicians and clergymen, of course will hold only in relation to those physicians who have some regard for the moral and religious interests of their patients. Those who have not, are radically deficient in ability to administer mentally to the bodily ailments of those who come under their care-a ministration that is often quite as important in its influence on recovery, as the proper management of the forces of the materia medica.

* Man, Moral and Physical ; or, the Influence of Health and Disease on Religious Experience. By JOSEPH H. Jones, D. D., Pastor of the Sixth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. Philadelphia : William S. & Alfred Martien. 1860. pp. 300.

The book before us has a large, and, for the most part, a very judi. cious collection of facts bearing upon the different points of the subject. There are some parts of it which are irrelevant, and some which are wanting in exact discrimination; but with these few exceptions, we consider it an admirably executed work. No physician or clergyman could fail to get very valuable practical hints from it; and we wish that every clergyman might possess a copy of the book, for we are persuaded that a careful perusal of it would save him from many mistakes, in giving advice to those whose nervous condition influences materially their spiritual manifestations.

HEQUEMBOURG's Plan OF THE CREATION.*—The Plan of the Creation, or The Theory of the Universal Government of God, which it is the design of this book to present and prove, is nowhere given in succinct form in the volume. But it may easily be gathered from a perusal of the work. So rast is this Plan, and so inconsistent is it with the belief of Christians generally, that we doubt whether its sanguine author expected that many of his readers would be brought into agreement with him at once, either with respect to the main theory, or the many subordinate questions of interpretation which he discusses. What he holds is substantially the following.

The Earth is, under God, tbe moral center of the universe; just as, to the ancient philosopher, it was the material center. It is the prime theater of God's vast moral designs, and all the rest of his boundless universe is made subsidiary to the accomplishment of these designs which have their beginning in the history of man. The whole material universe, under God, exists only for the human race. And even the angels were created for man, " for are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” The earth is the nursery of souls for the whole universe. Here man in his successive generations begins his existence. Here he has experience of natural and moral evil as well as good, and learns how he may be redeemed from the penalty and dominion of sin through the infinite love of God in Christ. And those who realize the object of their creation and existence on the earth, and tbrough faith in Jesus Christ are confirmed in holiness unto eternal life, pass, after the close of their earthly course, to a higher life as inhabitants of the stars. The departing spirit bears with it no portion of the material body, but it is immediately invested with a new body, in the new place of its abode.

* Plan of the Creation ; or, Other Worlds and Who inhabit them. By Rev. C. L. HEQUEMBOURG. Boston: 1869. pp. 396.

By this process, to be continued for thousands of generations, and perhaps forever, the whole material universe, the stars wbich fill the unmeasured heavens, all the flying spheres which God has made, are to be supplied with rational inhabitants, who, having had their natures strengthened by the trials and failures and triumphs of the life on earth, and having been made perfect through divine grace, shall forever live in blessed obedience to God.

It is conceded that, according to this theory, but a trifling portion of the universe is as yet inhabited. Indeed, it is claimed that " we may compute the population of the universe above us almost as accurately as we can now tell the population of Europe in the middle ages, or that of England in the reign of Charles I.”.

We have not space to give even an outline of the argumentation by which the author would support his theory, or by which he would settle in harmony with it the great questions of the Origin of Evil, the Second Coming of Christ, the Resurrection, the Last Judgment and the Punishment of the Wicked. We will only say that, as would be expected of an exemplary Christian minister, he makes the Divine Word, with his interpretation of it, the basis of the whole.

THE LIFE AND TIME OF Herod THE GREAT.*-Many a reader of the events recorded in the Scriptures, particularly in the New Testament, has felt the want of suitable connecting links in his mind between these

* The Life and Times of Herod the Great, as connected Historically and Prophetically with the coming of Christ. And incidental portraitures of noted personages of the age. By WILLIAM M. WILLETT. Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston. 1860. pp. 384.

« AnteriorContinuar »