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communion, and the religious establishments of Europe may enforce exactions by civil law, and disburse their funds by government authority; but our Churches have neither the power of superstition nor of law. We have no hierarchy to marshal us to the polls when religious interests are involved in legislation, or to assess with authority, and plan and execute with secrecy and energy. We do not even yield to the law of majorities, or admit the argument of general consent. How obvious that the wisdom and knowledge formerly requisite in a leader of the Church militant is now essential to insure the coöperation of every soldier of the host. Only as each man sees, and feels, and wills aright, can Church operations be sustained and far-seeing and systematic.
A similar difficulty attends the efforts of the Church against the heresies and infidelity of the age. The assertion of the right of private judgment three centuries ago, involved a revolution which has scarcely passed its crisis. For a while, the spirit which spurned the papal anathema yet rested on the decisions of universities and the balance of great names. The Church militant set her champions against champions, as Israel against the Philistines. The result was for the time decisive. The host fled or pursued accordingly. And though the change has been rapid, not yet have men lost their reverence for authority and traditional opinions. It has been a blessed arrangement of God's wisdom that it is thus; for while no danger can attend the exercise of private judgment on all points, provided that, in the same proportion, each man is qualified to sift evidence and balance argument, yet, should they awake to full assertion of the right before thus trained, men would plunge into inextricable confusion and error. But awe of antiquity and official assertions is rapidly departing, and we fear especially that those who rely most upon the power of the pulpit do not realize the change in the position of the clergy. Personal esteem for their characters, and an intelligent respect for their office, are perhaps increasing; but the authority of their teaching rests only on their clearness and force of argument. It were less perplexing if the controversy thus confided to popular hands were only about Scripture doctrines, to be determined by proof-texts and popular metaphysics; but, in addition to these, we are involved in a contest with the arrogance of headlong physical science and a plausible mental philosophy. There is an exhilaration in the idea of detection and renunciation of old superstitions, and a perverseness of depraved nature, which render these assaults against the foundations of the Christian religion most congenial. If, among the thousands now harping upon some fragment of an infidel theory, some disjointed fact or asserted contradiction, there were a moiety who could understand the whole theory or relations of things when briefly explained, they might soon be met. The accomplished engineer strikes his flag as soon as you take his outposts and command his citadel; but these controversial militiamen will crouch into some corner of a dilapidated fortress, and fancy themselves secure. Clearly as we see the truth that, when evidences are conflicting, men are bound to balance probabilities and search out the truth, yet they persuade themselves that they are excused from any action by their momentary confusion, and therefore perpetuate it. The Church membership must have information and true views upon these topics, or their confidence will tremble, and their moral force be lost. The world must feel that the Church knows its strength of position, and can prove it, not only on stated days and occasions, but in the familiar discussions of the field and the workshop. Those only who have been thrown into personal collision with the arguments of every class of society, can estimate the fatal influence of the cloud of halftruths and“ little learning ” which hangs over our land, and hovers round the Church.
It is an axiom in mental philosophy, that the sensibilities are invariably aroused by the presence of appropriate objects; and in proportion to their healthful susceptibility, will be the promptitude and energy of the response. It might seem, therefore, that the Church needs only an increase of religious sensibility to the claims upon her benevolence; but it is also true, that our sensibilities are excited only in proportion to the distinctness and vividness with which the object is presented. There is need, therefore, of a clear conception of the moral and spiritual destitution of the world in all its appealing reality. God has not designed that our labours in his cause should be merely in obedience to his command, but that they should be the spontaneous expression of feeling hearts; and men are never moved to action by vague generalizations and ghosts of ideas, but by facts, and statistics, and portrayals of the misery which awaits their sympathies. One day on board a slaver, or in a drunkard's home, would be worth months of general reflection on the sufferings of a wife forsaken, or the horrors of the middle-passage. The returned missionary and traveller thrill with emotion at the mention of distant misery, which are beside unimpassioned. Next to the power of witnessed destitution, or the remembrance in after years, is the force of minute portrayals of locality and circumstances, and the whole scene of wretchedness. Without this abiding con. ception, the appeals of the press or of the platform may awake a momentary sensibility, but can leave no permanent impression. We
require, therefore, that the accurate and full information which sustains the zeal and animates the hopes of the leaders in these enterprises, social or spiritual, shall be imparted to the entire membership of the Church.
Yet even a realizing sense of temporal or spiritual destitution, is not all the Church requires. To inevitable calamity we bow in silence, and have no heart to attempt benevolent impossibilities. Evils which the race is indignant to have borne so long, were, nevertheless, felt and uttered ages since, but sternly endured, as resulting from the very constitution of things and the will of the Creator. Even when prophecy foretells that the triumph shall be, not by human skill alone, but by the Spirit of God, the Church, seeing no divine march of things, into which it may throw its forces, waits in anguish and groans, “ How long, O Lord, how long !” The thought of the seven hundred millions who have been swept into the grave, while the last thirty years of missionary labour were hardly securing a few thousands, and yet another generation hurrying from us, paralyzes the rising energy. We leave action for prayer. But let the Church once feel that she is labouring in the order of that Providence which delights to prepare, in secrecy and slowness, the sudden wonders of his power; which, when the set time is come, can concentrate all political interests and all commercial enterprises, all of earthly as well as of spiritual influence, to the downfall of all empire and all superstition that would oppose his gospel, and her heart will grow strong in expectation of Him that will come and will not tarry. Let her study that wisdom in which the Jewish Church, scattered, and peeled, and half-heathenized among the nations for weary years, was suddenly made the medium of transition to the heart of heathenism itself. Mark how gradually over the Church, in those dark ages, the cloud of falsehood and superstition gathered, until, in the stifled air, all life seemed sinking, when at once the thunder burst over Germany, and, pealing over Switzerland and France, broke against the Pyrenees and Apennines; rolling northward, it swept over Denmark and Sweden; and reverberating through England, lingered longest among the Grampian hills, and gave sunshine and the pure breath of life. Show how, as along the borders of a western prairie, one may kindle fires at early dawn which in the dampness seem to smoulder, and with slow progress spread but a gradual warmth through the wide-spread verdure; so God is kindling, along the shores of continents and around the isles, a line of fires which may smoulder and spread slowly, until there
the wind that bloweth where it listeth,” and the quickened flame sweep like a tide of glory over the heathen world. If the faith of the Church be weak, let her sight be clear. She will not withhold her treasures nor her noblest blood, when she feels that “ redemption draweth nigh." With all the piety of the Church, we must have comprehensive views, to reason upon all events of the past, and all changes of the present, and all prospects of the future. How can such breadth of view, such extent of information, be gained but by careful and diligent study?
Art. IX.-SHORT REVIEWS AND NOTICES OF BOOKS.
(1.) Bohn's Classical Library, if pursued as energetically as it has been heretofore, will soon furnish English readers with good versions of all that is valuable in the remains of classical antiquity. Among the recent issues we find the second volume of “ The Comedies of Plautus, literally translated by H. J. Riley," completing the work. Of the character of Mr. Riley's translation we spoke in our notice of the first volume. The fifth volume of “ The Works of Plato” has also appeared; it contains “ The Laws,” translated chiefly from Stallbaum's text, by G. Burges, M. A.—the first English version of the Laws made directly from the Greek. This volume completes the genuine works of Plato; the next will give the writings generally attributed to him, but not proved to be his. Mr. Bohn has given an inestimable boon to English readers in this cheap and accurate version of the poet-philosopher. Mr. Turner's translation of " The Odes of Pindar" has the merit of fidelity, though he has not the facility of some of the other translators employed upon the series. The volume has, besides the prose version, Bergk’s Prefaces, Dissen's Introductions, and a metrical version by Abraham Moore. One of the best executed books of the series is Mr. Evans's translation of “ The Salires of Juvenal, Persius, Sulpicia, and Lucilius,” (12mo., pp. 512,) which is an entirely new and accurate version. The remains of Sulpicia and Lucilius appear in this volume for the first time in English. We have also received “ Cicero's Orations," translated by C. D. Yonge, vols. ii and iii; and “ Ovid,” translated by Mr. Riley, (vol. iii,) containing the Heroides, and the minor works. In the Scientific Library we have OERSTED's “ Soul in Nature,” (12mo., pp. 465.) Prefixed to the work is a very interesting sketch (by the translators) of the great discoverer of Electro-magnetism. We are glad to see a reprint of the Bridgewater Treatises announced in this Library; of which the first volume is before us in Dr. Kidd's essay on “ The Adaptation of External Nature to the Physical Condition of Man," (12mo., pp. 332.) A new series has just been commenced by Mr. Bohn, under the title of “ The Philological (Philosophical ?) Library,” of which the first volume is a reprint of Johnson's translation of Tennemann's “ Manual of the History of Philosophy," (12mo., pp. 532.) This edition has been thoroughly revised by Mr. J. R. Morell, who has added to it a brief sketch of the current philosophies of the age.
(2.) “ The Illustrated London Geography, by Joseph Guy, jun., (London, 1852, 8vo., pp. 132. New-York: Bangs, Brother & Co.,) is a brief compendium of Geography, well expressed, and profusely illustrated with maps and wood-cuts.
(3.) “ The Israel of the Alps, translated from the French of Dr. ALEXIS Muston," (London, 1852, 12mo., pp. 312. New-York: Bangs, Brother & Co., 13 Park Row,) is another history of the Waldenses and of their persecutions, made up from Dr. Muston's work, with additions from Dr. Gilly's narrative. It is not so copious a record as that of Monastier, (History of the Vaudois, published by Carlton and Phillips, New-York;) but every account of these Alpine martyrs and confessors must be full of interest. The book is profusely illustrated with well-executed wood-cuts.
(4.) " Meyer's Universum,” (New-York: H. J. Meyer, 164 William-street) continues to appear with punctuality. Part V. contains views of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris; of Plato's School; of the Hudson near Newburgh; and of Calcutta. The engravings in Part VI. are a Roman Aqueduct at Segovia (Spain); the Valley of Chamouni (Switzerland); Civita Castellana (Italy); Castle and Monastery of Illock (Hungary). Part VII. contains views of the bustling, semi-American city of Bremen; of the Obelisk of Luxor, at Paris ; of Saratoga Lake; and of the Cottage of Rousseau, at Montmorency, Part VIII. contains views of Washington's house at Mount Vernon ; of Erlangen. in Bavaria; of a storm at Cape Horn; and of the Opera House in Paris. Part IX. gives beautiful sketches of " The Bosporus from the Euxinus;" The Desert-Rock Light-House ; Teheran; and the Giralda in Seville. The later parts of this remarkably cheap journal of art and travel are even better than the earlier.
(5.) We have received, at a very late period, the Report of “ The Methodist Church Property Case, heard before Hon. H. H. Leavitt, in the Circuit Court of the United States, for the district of Ohio, June 24-July 2, 1852,” (Cincinnati : Swormstedt & Poe, 1852, 8vo., pp. 155.) It was intended that this publication should embrace all the arguments submitted to the Court on both sides, and that it should be issued with the sanction of both the parties to the suit; but. unfortunately, two of the counsel for the plaintiffs, Messrs. Stanberry and Brien. failed to furnish their arguments. The work includes, then, only the arguments for the defence, made by Messrs. Riddle, Lane, and Ewing, with the decision of Judge Leavitt.
The pleadings of Messrs. Riddle and Lane are brief, but clear, pointed, and going to the heart of the question. Mr. Ewing's argument is more elaborate, and is, we hesitate not to say, one of the most logical arguments ever addressed to a Court in this country. The plaintiffs are conclusively, and, we think, forever, refuted, on the main point made in their bill and