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its rich literary products, its narratives, its pencil sketches, its graphic pictures of men and manners, its flowers of taste and poetry, its rapid surveys of history and art,--is a Christian influence. How mighty such an agency may be, no imagination can conceive. We bid the NATIONAL God-speed! When next we are called upon to notice its semi-annual volume, we trust it may be part of our duty to announce that its monthly sales have passed the hundred thousand.

(26.) We are glad to see a new edition of the “ Physical Theory of Another Life, by Isaac Taylor,” (New-York: William Gowans, 1852, 12mo., pp. 267,) one of the most popular works of this ambitious writer. “ Superfine” as the style of the work is, and wearisome as its rhythmical cadence becomes before one has read a chapter, there is still a charm in the subject and in the great gift of imagination which the author brings to its illustration, that will always carry the reader through the book. Logic it has little or none—but logic is not Mr. Taylor's forte. Mr. Gowans has got up the book in admirable style : indeed, all his recent publications are most creditable specimens of the art of book-making

(27.) " Analysis of the Principles of Church Government; particularly that of the Methodist Episcopal Church, by Rev. M.M. HENKLE, D. D.” (Nashville: Office of the Christian Advocate, 1852, 18mo., pp. 172.) This is a clear and sensible treatise, and one of the most fair and candid, in its examination of the vexed questions involved, that we have seen. Assuming, as established, that the work of supplying details of ecclesiastical government is committed to the Church by its great Ilead, the author takes up, as the main subject of his book, the question, “ To whom does the right of administering the affairs of the Church properly appertain ?" His first procedure is to ascertain the rights (more properly the duties) of the ministry: and he finds, without difficulty, 1st, That the laity have no right to share in the distinctive powers of the ministry; 2d, that the ministry is the fountain, in a certain sense, [under divine authority, and within the limits prescribed by the New Testament,] of all ecclesiastical power, as it is their work to gather converts and organize them into Churches.

" For the foundation and general elements of ministerial authority, we must look chiefly to the commission of Christ, by which the gospel ministry was itself instituted. The Lord Jesus, after stating his right to confer such authority, based on the possession of “all power in heaven and on earth," proceeds to ordain the following things in relation to the ministry:-1. That it shall be universal in its range of action--" go into all nations.” 2. That it is to be perpetual-"I am with you to the end of the world.3. That its first great business is to preach and teach, and so make disciples —"preach the gospel to every creature -" teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” 4. That another and sequent duty of the ministry is, to administer to those they shall have discipled, the initiatory sacrament of baptism, thereby receiving them into the Christian Church-" baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” 5. The ministry is required to enforce faith in Christ as the great condition of salvation * Ue that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; and he that believeth not

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shall be damned.” Here the sacred trust is committed to the ministry, of making disciples to Christ by preaching the gospel, and also the duty-if baptism be the door-way of the Church, as nearly all admit-of receiving their converts into the Christian Church.

" But here arises a question, -How were the apostles to receive members into the Church, when as yet the Christian Church was not formally instituted ? The question must, as it appears to me, remain unanswered, unless we allow that a commission and command to impart all gospel teaching, and to apply to the taught the initiatory sacrament, carried along with it, by necessary implication, all the incidental powers required for the perfecting of the organization clearly contemplated by the commission. Will the premises warrant the inference ? Suppose a king should send his officers into another country, with a commission to teach the people the principles of his government, and to convince them of its superiority to all others,--suppose the commission should run, that they who should submit and take the oath of allegiance, should be saved and made citizens, and that they who refused submission should be destroyed, -and suppose the commission further empowered those officers to receive persons as citizens of the king's government, by administering the oath of allegiance, and that this course of things was to go on under the provisions of that commission per petually, without any further instruction from the sovereign,-would it be understood by any one that those officers were restricted to the naked letter of their commission? Or would it not rather be concluded, that whatever other power was necessary to the carrying into effect the measures evidently contemplated in the commission, and particularly the power of forming those new made subjects into a province, or subordinate government, under the constitution, laws, and general sovereignty of the king who gave the commission—this power, I say, was necessarily implied, both in the terms and the objects of the com. mission? Yet, an affirmative answer here does not entirely conclude the question under notice; for it might be argued, and not without force, that the power to form such an organization carries with it a power of admitting others to a participation in the affairs of the organization. This might be true in some measure, as regards those incidental powers supposed to be implied in the terms and intentions of the commission; but it could never be true in any sense, as it respects the power vested in the officer as an ambassador or a viceroy of the king, for these powers could only be conferred by the king. So is the case of the ministry; God at first commissioned them to preach the gospel, to administer the sacraments, and to do whatever subordinately or incidentally is necessary to the doing of these agreeably to the divine intention. With these primary duties they cannot dispense; in these they are the ambassadors of Christ, and to ambassadors of Christ only can they be committed. Nor, indeed, can they create such an ambassador: they may judge of his qualifications, and, believing his commission to be valid, they may acknowledge his claims, and endorse them to others; but the authority, to be really valid, must come from the King of Zion himself.

“I think, then, we have fairly reached this conclusion;-in whatever belongs distinctively to the powers and duties of the ministry, the laity have no right to a share or participation; nor have the ministry any right to yield to such a claim, if it were set up-the trust not being a negotiable one, no power of discretion is left them; and, that at least the duty of preaching the gospel, and the administration of the sacraments, are found in this category; but, that with regard to those acts that are subordinate and incidental to the great ends of the Christian ministry, no interdict is found in the constitution, and herein a discretionary power may be claimed."--Pp. 16-20.

At the same time he sets forth clearly the doctrine that Christians, in virtue of their relation to Christ, are entitled to all those rights in the Church which Christ has not vested elsewhere. The particular and distinctive rights of both ministry and laity are then sought for in the necessary functions of each as parts of the great living organism of the Church; and with regard to all these points, (such as receiving and excluding ministers and members, &c.,) the usages of the principal branches of the modern Church are compared with those of the Methodist Episcopal Church very fairly and perspicuously. The question of lay representation is discussed at length, and with great moderation. Dr. Henkle concludes against such representation in the chief synod of the Church, on the grounds both of the reason and of the thing, and of general expediency; but yet urges that the laity should use the rights and powers that attach to their sphere in the Church to a greater extent than they now do.

" It may be worth while to inquire whether the talent and zeal of the laity may not be brought in to the aid of the ministry in those matters wherein their cooperation would be most valuable, without any revolutionizing measures, or any change of a disturbing character. In several of the Southern annual conferences an arrangement has been in operation for some years, which proves very acceptable and highly advantageous. The board of district stewards annually appoint one of their body to represent them in the next annual conference, and the lay representative so appointed is recognised as a member of the conference, so far as the transaction of fiscal business is concerned. This plan is rapidly gaining in popularity, and is productive of the most desirable results. Indeed, I have no idea that those lay delegates could be half so useful in the General Conference as they are in the annual. There it is matter of rule-making, appeal-trying, officer-electing, and the like; here, it is matter of action, and planning and preparing for action,-straightforward business action, with which many of our laymen are most thoroughly acquainted. That the laity ought to be brought more directly into cooperation with the ministry than has been the case among us, I do not doubt; and for the present, I see no better plan than that of which we are now speaking. This involves no infraction of the divine constitution, no sacrifice of vested rights, no revolutionary movements, and yet carries with it great efficiency and practical usefulness.

And so far as the Church's reputation with the world is concerned, I doubt not but the seeing of our prominent laymen actively employed every year in managing the great financial interests of the Church, in twenty different conferences,-or, taking North and South, in say sixty conferences,-would make a much better impression on the public mind than their voting for a minister to represent them in the General Conference could possibly do,-aye, or even their holding seats in that body once in four years themselves, where they would be much less relatively prominent in the public eye, than in the annual conferences.

Furthermore, qualified Jaymen may be readily enough found who are willing to travel to their own respective annual conferences, a distance of twenty-five, fifty, or one hundred miles, and devote a few days to the business of the Church; but it might be a little more difficult to find laymen of the first order of talent willing to travel to a General Conference a distance of two, four, or six hundred miles, and devote five or six weeks of their valuable time to affairs of the Church without compensation, and to the large prejudice of their private interests at home. If a minister spends forty or fifty days in attending a General Conference, it is but a part of his regular business, and his time and salary go on as if he were at home; but if a lawyer, a merchant, a physician, or an artisan, whose time is worth two hundred dollars a month, attend the same conference, he sustains a heavy loss, such as few men would feel it their duty to incur."-Pp. 165–167.

It is a pity that this valuable little book should be disfigured as it is by typographical blunders.

(28.) The Men of the Time,” (New-York: J. S. Redfield, 1852, 12mo., pp. 564,) is a biographical cyclopædia of cminent living notabilities. It is founded upon a London book, having the same title, but with large additions in foreign as

well as in American biography. The value of such a work depends, of course, upon its completeness and its accuracy-qualities which may be predicated of this volume to a limited extent. The only way to make it complete is to note every deficiency as it appears, and to remedy it in successive editions. We trust this course will be pursued by Mr. Redfield, who will find himself, when his work is complete, amply remunerated for any labour and money that may be spent upon it.

(29.) Footprints of our Forefathers ; what they suffered, and what they sought. By JAMES G. MIALL.” (Boston: Gould & Lincoln, 1852, 12mo., pp. 352.) This book contains a series of graphic descriptions of localities, personages, and events, conspicuous in the struggles for religious liberty in England. The animus of the work is a bitter hatred of the union of Church and State: and its aim is to show how any religious system, whether Episcopal, Presbyterian, or Congregational, may become vitiated and perverted by its alliance with the powers of the State, and by the assumption, exclusiveness, and worldly pride, which such a connexion invariably engenders.” Its fearful pictures of religious cruelty are mainly illustrative of Protestant intolerance—that is to say, of State-Church intolerance, under Protestant name and pretence.


New-York: a Historical Sketch of the Rise and Progress of the Metropolitan City of America,(New-York: Carlton & Phillips, 1853,) belongs to the class of topographical works of which we have spoken above, as possessing unfailing interest. It commences with the discovery of the Hudson; and gives, in as much detail as the limits of the book would allow, the history of the city from its foundations to the present time. After this historical sketch, we have a description of “ New-York as it is,” giving an account of its government, its institutions, public edifices, streets, trade, environs, and people. A glowing anticipation of the future of the great city closes the volume. The illustrations are abundant; and the book, we should think, will not only be acceptable to Knickerbockers, but also to the dwellers in the “provinces," who can only know the “ metropolis” from books and maps.

(31.) “ Select British Eloquence, by CHAUNCEY A. GOODRICH, D. D. (NewYork: Harper & Brothers, 1852, 8vo., pp. 948.) This massive volume is not, as the title-or rather the public experience of books with similar titles might lead one to suppose, a mere collection of " specimens" of eloquence, or detached passages from fine orations. It contains entire speeches of the great masters of British eloquence for a period of two hundred years, beginning with Sir John Eliot, and ending with Lord Brougham. All of Chatham's speeches are given, and nearly all of Burke's: in fact, with this book at hand, an ordinary reader would want no other edition of Chatham, or even Burke, at all. But besides this mass of matter, the book contains, in the form of introductions, memoirs, notes, &c., the substance of Professor Goodrich's course of Lectures to his classes in Yale College for a series of years : furnishing every sort of biographical, explanatory, and critical observation necessary for the illustration of the subject-matter. A more valuable repertory for the student of theology, or indeed for any man who has occasion to use his tongue in public speech, could not be devised. We regret that the work has been condensed into so small a compass : cheapness is ill secured at the expense of eyesight.

(32.) Reminiscences of Thought and Feeling,(Boston: Crosby, Nichols, & Co., 1853, 12mo., pp. 323,) contains a series of essays, or rather reveries, by a quiet woman of mature years and large experience. Beginning life as the ill-governed daughter of a warm-hearted and unrestrained Irish gentleman, she took to literature in early womanhood; wrote novels that gained her thousands, and then fell in with Simeon and the Evangelicals at Cambridge, and yielded to their influence for some years. After this experience,” she went a short way into Irvingism; and finally, from sheer exhaustion, both of mind and body, fell back upon what seems to be a true and genuine faith, though quite of a mystic and Quakerish sort:

“I have arrived at a point of experience which occasions me to accept all human sentiments and opinions with much hesitation and distrust. I see that there is a natural tendency in human beings to go to extremes, and to denounce those who, on the subject of religion, choose to think for themselves. I perceive also that the evil of corrupt nature works nowhere so powerfully nor so unsuspectedly as in religious matters; and that many sincere persons think they are doing God service by condemning their fellow-creatures, when in all probability they are, unconsciously indeed, but very certainly, indulging the latent malice and love of tormenting which make so prominent a part of human corruption. I can discern that the views of such persons are so one-sided and so narrow, that it is scarcely possible to make them accord with reason; and that, when once we abandon the use of reason, there is nothing too preposterous or too absurd, or even too cruel, for the human being to engage in.

“ The great desideratum seems to me to be the possession of a well-grounded confidence in the dictates of an interior and infallible guide. The most excellent of truths that have to pass through faulty and infirm agents in their transmise sion can never come to us without alloy. This is to be remembered and allowed for; or else there will be (as at one period of my life there was for me) no peace, no rest, no belief of having done one's duty, till the greater part of our friends and acquaintances are renounced as infidels, and the general conduct is that of a person who had, upon principle, abjured the use of common sense.

* The very essence of fanaticism consists in taking our stand upon some particular doctrine, and—forgetting how limited and low our knowledge (as imperfect creatures) is likely to be of the full bearing of that doctrine--the legislating from it for all the world ; and, though purblind with prejudice, and cramped with bigotry, still supposing that we are seeing and judging in the freedom and impartiality of the Spirit of Truth.”—Pp. 321, 322.

This extract is enough to give our readers a taste of the exquisite simplicity and beauty of style which marks the volume throughout.

(33.) “ Journal of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, held in Boston, Mass., 1852.” (New-York: Carlton & Phillips, 8vo., pp. 206.) The Journals are here presented, as ordered by the General Conference, in the usual form. An Index is added to this issue, which greatly increases its value for purposes of reference, which indeed are almost the only uses of such a record.

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