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events and those of secular history. To persons who have not made the matter a subject of special study, these two great branches of history are apt to seem almost wholly independent of each other. The mind realizes a connection between them scarcely more definite than between the personages and incidents of a work of pure fiction, and those of the actual history of the times. Every school boy becomes familiar with the great names and facts of Grecian and Roman story, but what bearing these and other facts of secular history have upon the events recorded by the pen of inspiration, he has but a very imperfect conception. To remove this difficulty is one object of the work whose title we lave named. Assuming the advent of the Saviour as the great event of time, it aims to connect with this, and present in a harmonious picture, the chief corresponding incidents of secular history. A convenient thread on which to arrange the two classes of events, is found in the life of Herod the Great, who figures in both departments of history, as the direct representative both of the Jewish and Roman power. The style of the book is animated, the narrative in general clear, the characters well sketched, and the whole picture calculated to impress the mind with a just idea of those wonderful providential arrangements by which God was preparing both the world and the witnesses for the immediate ushering in of a new dispensation. In such a complicated web of widely differing events as this history involves, a little greater care in affixing chronological dates would have promoted materially the convenience of the reader, and given additional clearness to the narrative.
The HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN IRELAND.*_The recent religious awakening in Ireland has drawn attention to the ecclesiastical condition and history of that country, particularly of the Presbyterian Church. The struggles of that communion, for more than two centuries, against political and ecclesiastical intolerance and oppression, furnish materials for a narrative of great interest, especially to those in this country who cherish the same form of church organi. zation, and trace the bistory of their own communion, in part at least, to that, the fortunes of which are here placed on record. The work is an abridgment of the voluminous standard history of Reid and Killen, yet is sufficiently full to embrace all the leading facts. Clear in style, and abounding in incidents, it will well repay perusal; and that perusal cannot fail to impress the reader's mind with at least one lesson—that of all ecclesiastical history--the evils of entangling alliances between Church and State, or rather of intolerance and persecution on the part of those in power, against those who differ from them in their religious faith or ecclesiastical polity.
* History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Condensed from the standard work of Reid and Killen. By Rev. S. D. ALEXANDER. New York: Robert Carter & Brothers. 1860. pp. 376.
The Nonsuch PROFESSOR.* _The quaint title of this book marks it unmistakably as belonging to a quaint and by-gone, though earnest and fruitful period of English religious literature. Rev. William Secker was a dissenting minister of the sixteenth century. The only two works by which he has become known to posterity are both embraced in the volume before us. They have passed through several editions, one of which was published in New York nearly half a century ago, with a commendatory letter from Rev. Drs. McLoud and J. B. Romeyn. Compositions which thus have lived for two centuries, and are still in favor, must possess no small degree of intrinsic merit. That merit consists in originality, point, aptness of illustration, eminent spirituality, and wealth of practical religious instruction. The three first named qualities prevent the book from being dull, while the two latter commend it to the heart and conscience, as well as to the attention of all classes of Christians. Drs. McLoud and Romeyn advise the perusal of the Nonsuch Professor “as a book of practical Godliness.” The author himself characterizes his subject as a “ breviary of religion." One writer pronounces the book to be “worth its weight in gold;" and Dr. Krauth, in his appreciative introduction published with the present edition, calls it “a mine of precious metals and of precious stones, a mine compressed to the dimensions of a little casket—a sort of pocket Golconda."
THE AMERICAN CHRISTIAN Record.—This volume is the result of an attempt to furnish in convenient form, as a general year book for reference, the "bistory, confession of faith, and statistics of each religious denomination in the United States and Europe; with a list of all clergymen and their post office address.” The compiler complains that in his efforts to obtain the information he wished he has not received the assistance and coöperation he bad anticipated. His enquiries have been treated in some quarters with silence and indifference, while in: a few cases they have been “regarded as impertinent.” He also acknowledges that the volume for 1860 bas not all the accuracy or fullness of detail that he had desired. Still he has collected an innmense amount of interesting and important statistical information which fills six bundred and ninety-six closely printed pages. The value of a series of “ Year Books” of this description, if well prepared, will be very great, and those who expect to be interested in the work should secure immediately a copy of the volume for 1860 wbile it is yet possible. The compiler asks earnestly for assistance from the officers of all religious bodies, all editors of religious periodicals, and theological professors, and requests them to send him whatever minutes, reports, or statistics, they may have which will assist him in his labors. He hopes that his next issue will more worthily represent what is doing by the different religious denominations of Christendom.
* The Nonsuch Professor in his meridian splendor; or, the singular actions of sanctified Christians laid open in Seven Sermons, at All-hallow's Church, LondonWall. By William SECKER. To which is a dded the Wedding Ring, a Serinon, by the same Author. With an Introduction, by C. P. Krauth, D. D. New York: Sheldon & Co. 1860. pp. 320.
† The American Christian Record : containing the history, confession of faith, and statistics of each religious denomination in the United States and Europe,a list of all clergymen with their post office address, etc. New York: W. R. C. Clark & Meeker. 1860. 12mo. pp. 696.
PUNCHARD'S VIEW OF CONGREGATIONALISM.* - This is the fourth edition of a book that should be well known among all the friends of Congregationalism. It contains “ an exposition and discussion of the fundamental principles of the system of church polity which was so dear to the fathers of New England; a statement and defense of its more important doctrines respecting church order and discipline; the testimony of ecclesiastical history that such for substance was the polity of the Primitive Churches, -an enumeration and explanation of the ecclesiastical practices of Congregationalists; and a development of some of the prominent advantages of this system above all others." We fear that a very large number in our communion are far from understanding or appreciating the value of these principles. In cultivating charity for
* A View of Congregationalism, its principles and doctrines; the testimony of ecclesiastical history in its favor, its practice, and its advantages. By GEORGE PUNCHARD. With an introductory essay by R. S. Storrs, D. D. Fourth Edition, revised and enlarged. Boston: Congregational Board of Publication. 1860 12mo. pp. 367.
our brethren of other denominations, and in the fear of giving too much importsnce to what we were willing to consider a non-essential, we have not taught the members of our churches to estimate rightly the value of our simple and Scriptural form of church polity. What wonder is it that so much of our strength has been drawn off to build up other denominations who have been animated by a more intense devotional zeal! The danger of the times, in church as well as in state, is the centralization of power, and the blunting of all individual responsibility among the masses of the people. Congregationalism, better than any other system, is calculated to make the members of our churches feel their personal responsibility for the advancement of the interests of religion, and the necessity of being individual centers of influence. We bespeak for this volume a wide circulation and attentive readers.
McCosu's INTUITIONS OF THE MIND.* _We welcome this volume as a valuable contribution to metaphysical science, and as being in some respects a very extraordinary book to appear in the English language. It demonstrates the truth that the interest in speculative studies is becoming almost a passion among thinking men in Great Britain. By the "intuitions of the mind,” the author means those a priori conceptions and beliefs which are the conditions of all empirical and concrete knowledge, and without which all science of every kind, ethics and theology, are each and all alike impossible. In proposing to investigate these intuitions inductively, he assumes that it is possible to ascertain what these intuitions are, and to establish beyond a question the position that they are not acquired by experience, but are gained by direct and necessary acts of cognition. The general method pursued by the author is the same with that which Dr. Reid has followed in bis Essay on First Principles. But since the time of Reid we have bad Kant's Critique of Pure Reason-Cousin's Critique on Locke—the writings of Whewell and J. Stuart Mill-Hamilton's Reviews and Lectures, all of which treatises have cleared the subjects involved of many difficulties, and contributed important materials for the better understanding and the more satisfactory adjustment of the questions at issue. These writers,
* The Intuitions of the Mind inductively investigated. By the Rev. JAMES McCosn, LL. D., Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in Queen's College, Belfast, &c., &c. New York: Robert Carter & Brothers. 1860. 8vo. pp. 504. and some others of secondary importance, Dr. McCosh has studied with earnest attention, and he has them constantly in mind as he sbapes bis own arguments and evolves his own distinctions. Beyond these writers and a few others, his reading does not seem to have extended. At least, he does not seem to be at home with any besides those we have named. With the more recent philosophical literature of Germany, exuberant and able as it is, he seems only to be superficially acquainted. Such writers as Trendelenburg and Lotze, Ulrici and Fichte, ought to have been thoroughly studied before he ventured to publish on the profound subjects of this volume. A passing reference to their writings does by no means suffice.
Dr. McCosh is a clear and interesting writer on philosophical subjects. He is quick in his suggestions, acute and sagacious in his crit:cisms, occasionally subtle and original in his conclusions. He is eminently fitted by the warmth, the copiousness and fluency of his style, to excite an interest in speculative studies. But as a writer of authority, we cannot assign him the highest rank. He is not precise in bis use of language. He is not rigorous in the development of his argument. He does not always seem to know what he is saying, but blindly beats the air. When compared with Hamilton, he is not only immeasurably his inferior in the extent and accuracy of his reading—but he falls below him in the strong and tenacious grasp of his conceptions—in the simple yet forcible precision of his language, and the undeviating and onward march of his logic. Hamilton is not always correct in his opinions. He lays himself open to easy criticism. McCosh does not fail to send an arrow between the joints of his harness; but, in spite of his errors, Hamilton is incomparably the greater philosopher, while McCosh is scarcely a philosopher at all, but rather a philosophizer or philosophical essayist. Notwithstanding these capital defects, this work is so interesting and so acute, that it cannot fail to stimulate to active thinking, while it will now and then reward the discriminating student with an original and wide-reaching principle.
The topics discussed in this volume lie at the foundation of our knowledge and our faith-Time, Space, Identity, Power, Causation, Quantity continuous and discrete, Motion, the Infinite, Being, Substance, Personality, Freedom, Moral Obligation—these, and other subjects are considered again and again, in the abstract and the concrete. We are surprised that intuition is omitted, which is the most interesting of all from its own intrinsic character, and from the importance of its application in ethics and theology. We refer to the intuition of design or