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of missionary operations and disbursements is an attempt to subject to ecclesiastical legislation that which the Great Head of the church has left to the unbiassed decision of every man's conscience.” 2. “ There is no enactment in the Bible, enjoining it' on the church as such, in her organized form, by her judicatories, to evangelize the world.” The reasons, why it is not expedient for the Presbyterian church, in her ecclesiastical capacity, to engage in efforts for the conversion of the world, are thus given : 1. “This church, in her highest court, is not well adapted, by the mode of her organization, to superintend and direct the work of missions, either faithfully or efficiently.” The members of the Assembly come from great distances. That body changes, for the most part, every year. It is encumbered with other business. Yet the authority of the Assembly stands between the boards which may be annually appointed and the public, to shield these boards from the watchful scrutiny of others. 2. “ These boards, thus constituted, and acting under so powerful a sanction of what is so little understood, are the most irresponsible bodies that could well be devised.” 3. “ By conducting all her concerns ecclesiastically, the judicatories of the church would be loaded with an amount of property and of secular business, which would much endanger her spirituality.” 4. “ If we consider also the best means for promoting the unembarrassed and alert action of the church, in the work of missions, we may find occasion to distrust the relative efficiency of formal ecclesiastical organizations for this purpose.” These propositions, supported as they are by undeniable facts, cannot be overthrown. Their truth and importance are attested by every year's experience in the history of missions and of the church.
The remainder of the volume, which we have not space here to notice, is taken up in detailing various matters in relation to the history of the last meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church.
5.-Devotional Guides. By Rev. Robert Philip of Maberly Cha
pel. With an Introductory Essay by Rev. Albert Barnes.
2 vols. pp. 345, 334. New York : D. Appleton & Co. 1837. These volumes contain, Christian Experience, Communion with God, Eternity Realized, The God of Glory, Pleasing God, and Redemption, or the New Song in Heaven. “ The happy thought seems to have occurred to the mind of the author," remarks Mr. Barnes, "to issue a succession of small books, similar in their character and tendency, that should be adapted to comfort the hearts, relieve the perplexities, and promote the spiritual advancement of Christians. “ The subjects are treated in a way that will be satisfactory to all serious minds. The character of the author's style is evidently fitted to the work which he has undertaken. It is simple, pure, terse, intelligible, and occasionally highly beautiful and forcible. It is evidently the style of a man who has much communion with the sacred Scriptures, and with his own heart.” The circulation of these treatises in various forms has been very great. Their influence, if we may judge from the portions which we have read, must be highly salutary. The two volumes of Mr. Appleton are stereotyped in a substantial manner.
6.-Sermons, and an Essay on the Pentateuch. By Robert Means,
A. M. of Fairfield District, S. C. With an Introduction and a Sermon occasioned by his death, by George Howe, Prof. of Bib. Lit. in the Theol. Sem. Columbia, S. C. Boston : Per
kins & Marvin, 1836, pp. 610. Mr. Preston, the distinguished senator from South Carolina, thus speaks of Mr. Means : “As no one possessed more qualities to attract esteem and affection, so no one was the centre of a more devoted circle than that which now deplores the loss of our friend and brother. I have not known a man, who united in so eminent a degree, the highest qualities of a gentleman and a Christian; in whose life and conversation there was such a uniform beauty, or whose amiable character resulted so much more from the presence of virtues than the absence of faults.” The essay on the Pentateuch was written in answer to the pamphlet of Dr. Cooper on the same subject. The geological theory adopted by Dr. C., then president of South Carolina college, is irreconcilable with the commonly received interpretation of the Mosaic cosmogony. Dr. C. consequently proceeded to disprove the genuineness of the Pentateuch. Mr. Means, in his reply, completely refutes the doctor, and in so doing has furnished a good view of the arguments in favor of the genuineness of that ancient document. It, perhaps, suffers somewhat in its perspicuity, from the fact that Mr. M. is compelled to follow his opponent in all his tortuous course. The sermons may be read
with much pleasure and advantage. Prof. Howe has done a good service for the memory of his departed friend, and for the christian public.
7.- Protestant Jesuitism. By a Protestant. New York: Harper
& Brothers, 1836, pp. 295. Were we to believe all which this anonymous writer propounds, we should look upon ourselves as the subjects of the most grinding bondage on earth. If the author has any benevolence of character, he will betake himself at once, after he has brought out his Sequel, to the vocation of Peter the hermit, and call on all valiant knights and true, to do battle against those wicked, voluntary societies, “whose control is becoming more uncontrollable ;” “ which have in a brief period revolutionized society, or more properly, perhaps, reconstructed it on a new model," " which have literally bound the public mind of this country in chains,” etc. If the writer believes one tenth part of what he asserts, it is no time for him to linger. While he is writing, the country may have taken the last mad leap into the whirlpool of perdition. But to be serious; the protestant in his preface protests that he has made thorough work with his subject. “ It seemed to him pertinent, and somewhat important, to make thorough work.” “ An imperfect exposure seemed worse than none, and he has, therefore, thought proper to give it a thorough discussion.” “ Unless he made a full display,” etc. “ An effort to expose it should bear on that point with corresponding force,” etc.
Let us examine one passage in this thorough exposure.
The proper test of the success of Christian missions is a permanent impression made on the regions of civilization, previously devoted to idolatry, such as was effected by the ministry of the apostles over the Roman empire and elsewhere; at least, that we might hear of converts from among the higher castes of semi-barbarous nations, and from among men of superior intellectual culture. The fact that none of this class, except Rammohun Roy, have yet returned from pagan ground to show themselves on the heights of Christianity, as trophies of modern Protestant missions, is a fair indication of the meagre fruits of these efforts.
Our first remark is that the conversion of a population like that of South Africa is certainly not an improper test of the success of christian missions. Again, there are now no such regions of
civilization devoted to idolatry as the apostles found in the Roman empire. Greece and Rome are not found in every age. The test, therefore, could not be applied. In the third place, do we not hear of converts from among the higher castes of semi-barbarous nations? Call to mind Abdool Messeeh, a learned Mohammedan; Leang-a-fa, the Chinese assistant of Dr. Morrison; Asaad-eshShidiak at Beyroot; Africaner in South Africa ; several Armenians at Constantinople, distinguished for talents and character; Babajee, a learned Brahmin in western India, etc. In the fourth place, no evangelical Christians lay any claim to Rammohun Roy, as “having shown himself on the heights of Christianity
In the view of the author, the grand catholicon, the sovereign remedy for all the evils under which we now groan is ecclesiastical organization.
We are prepared, then, to say, that the church of Christ as a society, in its own proper organization, is the only and the very society, under the commission given by Jesus Christ, which he has authorized to be employed by his professed disciples for the reformation of morals and manners in the world, and for the gradual and ultimate subjection of all mankind to the laws and principles of the Bible.
But here a question arises. Have the Congregational Christians of New England any proper ecclesiastical organization for the conversion of the world, or for any thing else? Are they not on ground wholly unauthorized by Christ? Are they not a mere voluntary association ? What then shall they do? They claim no regular descent from the apostles. How, also, will the Episcopal church of the United States, reform morals and manners in the world? By means of their general conventions ? But the lay members of those conventions are not necessarily church-members. They may be mere pew-holders, men who care little or nothing for vital piety; these then must act ecclesiastically for the conversion of the world!
Though there are a few good and commendable things in this book, it is, on the whole, a mass of crude and exaggerated statements. It will be read as one of the last novelties of the year 1836, and will then find its way
Ad locum umbrarum, somni, noctisque soporae. A very large and respectable body of the Episcopal communion will have little sympathy with it.
7.- The Religious Opinions and Character of Washington. By
E. C. M'Guire. New York : Harper & Brothers, 1836, pp.
414. This is an elaborate collection of all the proofs which are scattered through the biographies of Washington, the contemporary newspapers, Mr. Sparks's edition of his writings, etc., which go to prove the piety of the father of his country. The author seems to have made a very good use of the materials in his possession. He appears also to have been indefatigable in his personal inquiries in the region of Mt. Vernon, as well as in his written correspondence.
SELECT LITERARY AND MISCELLANEOUS INTELLIGENCE.
The works of the late president Appleton, of Bowdoin college, are now published. They form two volumes octavo, of more than 1000 pages. They contain a memoir prepared by an officer of Bowdoin college, an engraved portrait, his theological and baccalaureate lectures, and some miscellaneous compositions. A considerable portion of both volumes is now for the first time published. They will ever form standard volumes in American theological literature.
A work of much interest is in the press of Gould and Newman, entitled “Lectures on the Connection of Science with Revealed Religion, by Nicholas Wiseman, D. D., principal of the English college at Rome.” etc. He takes up the subjects of the comparative study of languages, the unity of the human race, the geological questions growing out of the first chapter of Genesis, the illustrations of Scripture from the bieroglyphic discoveries in Egypt, etc., and discusses them with the hand of an accomplished scholar. Those of our readers, who are acquainted with the works of Bopp, Rossellini, Humboldt, Prichard, Klaproth, Champollion, and others of that class, will find little which is new in these volumes. But to the great mass of educated men in our country they will be full of interest. Dr. Wiseman is thoroughly acquainted with his subjects, and presents them in a perspicuous and very agreeable manner. He is a Roman Catholic, Vol. IX. No. 25.