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Crusades, that could not possibly be continued, have had their day, and passed off into the pages of history. But the Inquisition outlives every change, adapts itself to the condition of every country, works quietly amidst the most clamorous professions of liberality, and, while seeming to have been beaten away from the wide field of the popedom, and forced to retreat within the frontiers of the papal states, even there the Congregation of the Faith plies its agencies with an impalpable, noiseless, and all-pervading energy that mocks our jealousy, by eluding our vigilance. The inquisitors are actually conducting a crusade, in union with the Jesuits, against the civil and religious liberties of the world, and are causing that intensely ecclesiastical but worldly spirit, which is erroneously called Ultramontanism, to prevail in countries which very lately seemed to be open for a religious reformation.”
We commend the work, as a candid, truthful, and temperate account of the Inquisition, containing much material that is altogether new, and as being, in the author's language, “ more perfectly historical in its structure than that of most others on the same subject.”
(5.) “Pastoral Theology; or, the Theory of the Evangelical Ministry, by A.VINET; translated and edited by Thomas H. Skinner, D. D.” (New-York: Harper & Brothers, 1853 ; 12mo., pp. 387.) This work was not prepared for the press by M. Vinet, but is composed, substantially, of the notes which served as a basis for his lectures in the Academy of Lausanne. It is marked by the comprehensiveness of range, clearness of thought, profound learning, and admirable perspicuity of expression, which characterize all the works of M. Vinet. After an Introduction, laying out the subject and setting forth the necessity and nature of the Ministry, the work is divided into four parts, of which the first treats of the individual and internal life of the preacher; the second exhibits his relative and social life; the third, his pastoral life; and the fourth, his administrative or official life. All these points are faithfully elaborated, sometimes, even, with excessive minuteness of detail; and many of the statements refer to an ecclesiastical condition and to a relation of Church and State, utterly unknown in this country. The work, throughout, moreover, has a fragmentary character, which is, perhaps, due to the lack of the author's final revision for the press. But it is full of spirit, fire, and unction.
We present the following extracts as a specimen of the author's mode of dealing with practical points, and also because of their bearing upon the duty of Methodist preachers, who, by the rule of the last General Conference, are bound to catechise the children committed to their charge.
“ Among our functions, catechising occupies the first rank. Religious instruction, well attended on, renews continually the foundation of the Church, and is the most real and valuable part of that tradition by which Christianity, not only as a doctrine, but also as a life, perpetuates itself from age to age. In this tradition, the importance of the sermon, properly so called, is the greater in proportion as it is addressed to hearers who have been prepared by religious instruction,
“ Catechising is useful to those who are its immediate objects; it is useful to the parish, which has need to be, and, with its children, is catechised; it is useful to the pastor himself, who, by the duty of adapting religion to the apprehension of children, is incessantly carried back to simplicity and the true names of things. On all these accounts, it deserves our earnest attention, which it also demands by its difficulty—not the same for all pastors, but always great. For it is a work which, besides all the requisites to good preaching, includes special requisites of its own. He who catechises well will not preach badly; though he who preaches excellently may be a bad catechist.
" Let the preacher do what he can to make the child remember, through life, the instructions he gives him. Let the hours of teaching be hours of edification ; let the child have the feeling that the exercise is one in which he is to be active; let religious teaching have the character of worship: action and worship, these two characteristics, which ought to be interfused into one another, are too often lost sight of.
“ Where ought a child to find his religion? All that he can find himself, he must find, but that is little; all the rest is in the Bible. It is the Bible that must teach him. Catechising presupposes the Bible, which it does but digest and systematize; and we say in passing, that its use after the Bible has not the same inconveniences with its use before it. It would be a sad error to retrench it, but not so great a one as to retrench the Bible.
“It is difficult to make a Catechism, and there are but few good ones. All things else being equal, I should prefer the most elementary-one which, conceived after a Christian plan, and reducing all things to a small number of principles, presents only the fundamnental ideas on each subject, but expressed with vigour and feeling.
" It is very desirable that adults should take interest in the exercise, and be attendants on it, but we should not think ourselves obliged to change its character on their account. It would be unfaithfulness in respect to the children, and would be rather a damage than a benefit to the adults. Religion is never more penetrating, nor is instruction really more profound, than when Christianity is put in an infantile point of view. To present it thus, is to make it attractive to adults; the best sermon is not so attractive as a catechetic exercise, well managed.”
There are many things in this book with which we cannot agree, but yet we welcome it as a most welcome addition to our scanty stock of books on practical and pastoral theology.
(6.) “ Woman's Record; or, Sketches of all Distinguished Women, from the beginning till A. D. 1850; by Sarah JosEPHA HALE.” (New-York: Harper & Brothers, 1853; royal 8vo., pp. .) “Some readers," remarks Mrs. Ilale in her preface, “may think I have found too many celebrities; others will search for omissions. There was never a perfect work—so mine must bear the general lot of criticism.” This appeal would have been more valid if a more modest title-page announced the work. In a book of sketches of all distinguished women, one would expect to find the names of the mother of the Wesleys, of Mr. Fletcher, and of some, at least, of the missionary women of Methodism. With regard to the last, however, it is due to Mrs. Hale to say that she tells us “ they were not furnished;" but we should really be glad to know to whom she applied for information. But, even with these drawbacks, and many others that we need not go far to seek, the book is a most valuable contribution to biographical literature. It is certainly the most copious repertory of facts about woman, or rather women, that is extant in the language. The arrangement of the work is faulty; it is neither alphabetical nor chronological, but a mixture of the two.
(7.) “ American Missionary Memorial, including Biographical and Historical Sketches, edited by H. W. PIERSON, A. M. (New-York: Harper & Brothers, 1853 ; 8vo., pp. 504.) The “Book of Martyrs ” is fitly followed by the “ Book of Missionaries.” The world commemorates its heroes, and the Church should not forget hers. And the volume before us tells of heroes and heroines of the purest and the noblest stamp—men and women to whom duty was more than life. It contains a brief account of the origin of American Foreign Missions, and twenty-seven biographical sketches of American Missionaries, of all religious denominations—among them the foremost of the noble band, such as Judson, Abeel, Fisk, Cox, and Williams. It is delightful, as the editor of this work remarks, to “ mark the oneness of the people of God of every name, as illustrated in their spirit and labours for the conversion of the world." The book is illustrated by thirty-three wood-cuts, many of them portraits. We trust it will be widely circulated among all the Churches.
(8.) The late Rev. DANIEL Smith was "in labours abundant,” both in the pulpit and in his study. The books from his pen, issued by the Methodist Book Concern, are all of a practical character, and are well adapted to the wants of the times. The last work prepared by him before his death has just been issued, under the title “ The Book of Manners, a Guide to Social Intercourse.” (New-York: Carlton & Phillips, 1852; 32mo., pp. 202.) The book is written upon the principle that good manners spring from good feelings, and that " he can never fail to please any that are worth pleasing, who acts in accordance with the dictates of good sense and a benevolent heart;" while no selfish man can be a real gentleman. The writer makes free use of all the best writers on the subject, and the result of his labours is a work combining the excellencies, and avoiding the defects of most of the existing manuals. We commend it as deserving a wide circulation.— Another posthumous work, from the same lamented hand, is “ A Guide to the Lord's Supper, by Rev. DANIEL Smith, (New-York: Carlton & Phillips, 1853 ; pp. 122,) and, like the former work, it condenses into a small space the substance of many larger treatises.
(9.) “ The Three Colonies of Australia : New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia—their pastures, copper-mines and gold fields ; by SAMUEL SIDNEY.” (London: Ingham, Cooke & Co.; New-York: Bangs & Brother; 8vo., pp. 425.) This book is a repertory of information about Australia. It is divided into three parts :-1. Historical; 2. Descriptive; 3. Practical. The first contains an account of the discovery and settlement of the island, and of the various schemes of governors and administrations for its management up to the present time. The second part treats of the principal districts colonized, of their natural history, and their agricultural and mining resources. The third section may be called, in brief, a hand-book for emigrants. All these subjects are thoroughly worked out. The writer criticises the various colonization schemes that have been adopted in England with great severity, and is especially sharp in censuring the land system of the British government. Indeed, one great object of his work seems to be advocate what he calls “ the admirable system by which, for half a century, the vast territories of the United States have been colonized, cities have been founded, harbours constructed, railroads made, and canals cut."
(10.) ANOTHER contribution to the romance of History has appeared in " Lives of the Queens of Scotland, by Miss STRICKLAND, vol. iii. (New-York: Harper & Brothers, 1853; 12mo., pp. 336.) This volume contains the Life of Mary Stuart, which Miss Strickland, after her usual fashion, writes as an advocate, not as a biographer. Everything that can possibly tell in the fair but frail queen's favour is given—nay, exaggerated-and the hard points against her are either omitted or extenuated. To those who wish a one-sided, but yet highly attractive sketch of Mary, this volume will be welcome.
(11.) The value of Dr. Lardner's “ Iland-books of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy” is well known to practical teachers. We have received the * Second Course,” (Philadelphia : Blanchard & Lea, 1853; 12mo., pp. 451,) which treats of Heat, Magnetism, Common Electricity, and Voltaic Electricity and contains a full and accurate digest of the present state of knowledge on these subjects. The chapter on the Electric Telegraph, however, might certainly have received some valuable additions on this side the Atlantic.
(12.) “ A Guide to Roman History, by Rev. Dr. BREWER,” (New-York: C. S. Francis & Co.; 18m0., pp. 474,) contains a brief manual of the History of Rome from the earliest period to the close of the Western Empire; designed for use in schools and families, and put in the form of question and answer throughout.
(13.) “ Philip Doddridge, lis Life and Labours, by Joux STOUGATON.” (Boston: Gould & Lincoln, 1853; 12mo., pp. 222.) This is a reprint, with additions, of a Memorial delivered before the Congregational Union of England and Wales at its session of 1852, held at Northampton, the scene of Doddridge's labours, just a century after his death. It presents his mild, amiable, and yet manly nature in very fitting dress, and is worthy of general circulation.
(14.) “ Elements of Geology, by Alonzo GRAY, A. M., and C. B. ADAMS, A.M.,” (New-York: Harper & Brothers, 1953; 12mo., pp. 354,) is just such a book as we have long wished to see, not only for school use, but for our own personal edification. It not only presents the elements of the science in a simple form adapted to beginners, that also gives tolerably ample discussions of the more important geological theories, and of their practical applications, as well as of their bearings upon Revelation. No work, on this subject, has appeared either in England or America at all comparable to this for condensation and clearness combined with fulness of detail.
(15.) “ Questions on the Gospel History, by JAMES STRONG, A. M.,” (18mo., pp. 295.) These Questions are adapted to the author's excellent " Harmony and Exposition of the Gospels,” and are designed for the use of the older pupils in schools, and for Bible-classes, Sunday-school teachers, &c. With this view they are far more thorough than the routine of those in general usc, and aim to cultivate the student's judgment as well as his memory. We have examined them sufficiently to warrant us in commending them unreservedly.
(16.) “ Formation of a Manly Character: a Series of Lectures to Young Men, by George Peck, DD.” (New-York: Carlton & Phillips, 1853 ; 18mo., pp. 304.) This is one of the most judicious and sensible books of its class that has come under our notice. The ideal of a manly character is just and true, and it gives excellent practical suggestions for the realization of that ideal. The first chapter enforces the necessity of physical training-a branch of culture greatly neglected in this country. We take better care, in general, of the physique of our dogs and horses than of our children. The four following chapters treat of manhood of mind and will; and they are, perhaps, the very best part of the book. The chapter on Imagination is especially sensible and suggestive. Take, as a sample, the following illustration of unduly excited Imagination :
“One instance of this class is that of an inequality of mind, or a want of due balance --an exclusive devotion to one idea. The men of this class mount some particular hobby, and ride it to death-or, rather, ride it till they kill themselves. In their imagina ions, they make the welfare of the race, and the very existence of society, to depend upon their favourite scheme.
“Another instance of this class may be denominated castle-building. Concocting impracticable schemes, and dreaming over them night and day, until the sober realities of life become utterly insignificant, and the mind is only in its element while in the midst of a world of pleasant day-dreams and gorgeous pictures of wealth, honour, and glory. Delightful fancies dazzle the sight, and splendid fictions crowd the brain, a series of splendid visions pass before the mind and excite the sensibilities; this is thought to be possible, that probable, and the other quite certain. Reason is dethroned, and soon the wretched dreamer is deemed a fair candidate for the mad-house.
"Still another form in which the high excitement and undue action of the imagination show themselves, is that of reckless speculations. A man of business flourishes for a while, and seems to be in the high road to wealth; a pressure in the money market comes on, and he fails for a hundred thousand dollars. Some set him down for a regular-built scoundrel; while those who are alone competent to judge in the case, consider him a victim of baseless calculations,-an adventurous genius,-one whose imagination had become rampant, and had turned reason and common-sense out of doors.
** When the imagination is excited by strong temptations to do wrong, the moral sense, or conscience, is liable to undermined. When conscience becomes blinded, or diseased, by some cause, which leads the imagination astray, then it may be said to be corrupted. It is probably true that all vicious actions, which are deliberately done, are first acted over in the imagination. The images of a certain species of wrong take possession of the imagination, and are there mixed up with a thousand sweets; the bait is gilded, and assumes every pleasant hue; a scene is created in which the lights are placed in bold relief, while the shades are far in the background, scarcely visible. The imagination is occupied with this scene, and by it excited and heated, day after day, and, perhaps, for years, before the dreadful result develops itself.