Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

us to “ inhale sublimities," as if sublimities were the laughing-gas. He informs us that “the sphere of science to the contemplative mind is an ever-increasing ocean of imperishable gems, whose beauties shine with an increasing brilliancy." He gives the following lines (and many more of the same sort) as poetry :

“Where, from the highest summit, he descries
The distant town, the mountain range, the valley's
Varying course, the river's leaping tide ;
And, further on, the distant spire of some
Devoted shrine and hallow'd place, and from
The whole review drinks inspiration and supreme delight.”

Now it is a grave question for Mr. Wilson, and the spiritualists generally, to answer, If Dr. Olin's taste and cultivation have degenerated so sadly while he has only entered the second sphere, what will it be when he has reached the twelfth ?

(22.) “ An Essay on the Pastoral Office, as Exemplified in the Economy of the Methodist Episcopal Church, by Rev. J. H. WYTHES, M. D." (New-York: Carlton & Phillips, 1853; 18mo., pp. 109.) This treatise is designed to present a brief and summary view of the polity of the Church, so far as the pastoral office is concerned. The fundamental position of the work is that the pastoral office is not a matter of expediency, and that its nature and extent are not to be determined by conventional arrangement, but by divine authority. It is then shown that the office is not temporal, but spiritual; that it is not a priesthood, but an office of instruction and admonition; involving, however, in order to conserve the society of Christian people, the authority to administer the sacraments and to exercise discipline. The guards and limitations of this authority are then set forth as equally of divine appointment:

" The rights of the membership, therefore, require that they shall be per mitted to recognise the divine call of each individual pastor; that every reasonable facility shall be afforded for the trial and expulsion of unworthy ministers; and that the membership themselves shall be permitted, in some way, to judge of the fitness of the cases to which Church censures, rebukes, &c., are to be applied.” It is then shown that these limitations form part of the organic law of Methodism, affording ample security against ministerial encroachments:

As it is, the government of the Methodist Episcopal Church exhibits the most admirably contrived system of checks and balances of power ever seen in an ecclesiastical community. While a divinely-instituted ministry is recognised, and allowed the exercise of its legitimate functions, the rights of the membership of the Church are acknowledged and preserved. The Methodist people, on the one hand, while anxious to preserve a system which guards against human weakness, or the usurpation of power, have been ready to receive their ministers as the ambassadors of Christ; on the other hand, all that the Methodist itinerancy have ever asked, and all that they desire as ministers of God, is an untrammelled administration of the word of Christ in the pulpit, and such reasonable facilities for pastoral advice and instruction as are consistent with the itinerancy of their ministrations."

Dr. Wythes then proceeds to explain and vindicate the two chief peculiarities of Methodism, viz., Episcopacy and Itinerancy; and to set forth the Presiding Eldership and Class-meetings as necessary accompaniments of the itinerant system. The topics thus far named are treated in the first six chapters of the work. In the seventh, the Conferences are treated of as essentially pastoral bodies, with functions and duties strictly limited to pastoral ends. Under this view, of course, the author finds no place for lay-delegation : “ If the authority of the General Conference be thus strictly pastoral, it ought certainly to be confined to those whom the Church has consented to receive as their divinely-commissioned pastors; and the desire of the laity (which has been expressed in some parts of the Church) to be admitted to a share in its counsels and authority, is a desire to assume the functions of the pastorate without sharing its toils, and without even the claim of a divine commission." A brief chapter on Pastoral Support closes this compact little treatise, which we commend (without endorsing all its positions) as worthy of general circulation among our people. It contains a great amount of valuable matter in a very

small

space.

(23.) The Boyhood of Great Men,(New-York: Harper & Brothers; 18mo., pp. 385,) gives brief sketches of the early days of a number of men of eminence in the different walks of life-poets, painters, orators, editors, &c. It is well executed, and admirably adapted to stimulate young readers to industry. The characters are generally well-chosen; though we miss among the classes ” from which the selections are made the greatest of all, viz., the inventors and discoverers. The day of the “ industrial classes” is rapidly approaching; and books will not omit them much longer.

(24.) “ Episcopal Methodism, as it was and is, by the Rev. P. D. GORRIE.” (Auburn: Derby & Miller; 12mo., pp. 354.) This volume is divided into four books, of which the first gives a sketch of the origin of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and of its history down to 1850. Book II. treats of the doctrines of the Church, following the order of the Twenty-five Articles; and giving, besides, a statement of the doctrines of the Witness of the Spirit, Justification, Possibility of Falling from Grace, and Eternal Punishment, as held by the Church. Book III. gives a full and thorough exposition of the Polity of the Church; and the fourth book affords a large and valuable collection of ecclesiastical statistics. This well-conceived and well-executed treatise, with Porter's Compendium of Methodism, furnishes almost everything that can be desired on the subject.

(25.) We rejoice to see a growing tendency among our able ministers toward writing for the times. To prepare a good book of practical religion or biography is the next thing to preaching with the living voice; and the annals of Methodism furnish abundant material for this species of writing, large as our sto:k of books of this class alreally is. The Wesley Offering, or Wesley and his Times, by Rev. D. HOLMES, A. M., (Auburn: Derby & Miller; 1853; 12mo., pp. 308,) comes immediately after Professor Larrabee's * Wesley and his Coadjutors,” and covers, to a considerable extent, the same ground; but so ample is the field, and so great the difference between the two writers, as to their mode of treating the subject, that the reader may go through the two books in succession without wearying of the topic or its treatment. Mr. Holmes's volume “does not claim to be a biography, in the full sense of that word, nor yet a detailed history of the Wesleyan Reformation, but is rather a collection of incidents in the life and labours of the Wesleys, and of the sort of religion promoted by them.” It may be characterized as a series of thoughtful essays on the rise of Methodism, and its adaptation to the times, illustrated by well-wrought descriptions and narrations. We commend it to general notice. A hundred such volumes in the hands of our Tract Society would tell upon the coming generation.

(26.) “ A Manual of Biblical Literature, by W. P. STRICKLAND, D. D.” (New-York : Carlton & Phillips; 1853; 12mo., pp. 404.) This carefully prepared compilation is intended to furnish an elementary treatise on the topics properly belonging to that branch of theological study called Biblical Literature. Prefixed to the work is an introduction by the Rev. Charles Elliott, D. D., who remarks, that notwithstanding the number of copious treatises on the subject, a work was still needed " for private students, and literary men in general—the design of which would be to present, in one regularly-arranged view, the leading principles of all those topics which are necessary to the proper and systematic study of the Bible. The present volume is of such a character. The author has drawn his materials from the very best sources, on the different subjects of which he treats. On inspecting the table of contents it will be seen, that after showing the importance of the study of the Bible, the author brings to view the leading topics of Biblical Literature-such as Biblical Philology, Criticism, Interpretation, Analysis, Archæology, History, Ethnography, Geography, and Chronology. Of course, in embracing so vast a field of Biblical research, the work must be elementary. It is, however, sufficiently copious to give a full and clear knowledge of the essential principles embraced in the various topics connected with the study of the Bible. It is particularly adapted to all under-graduates in the ministry, and private theological students, as well as to the advanced classes in Sunday Schools, and to High Schools, Seminaries, and Colleges.” The work is divided into nine parts, treating severally of Biblical Philology, Biblical Criticism, Biblical Exegesis, Biblical Analysis, Biblical Archæology, Biblical Ethnography, Biblical History, Biblical Chronology, and Biblical Geography. This enumeration will suffice to show the extent of the range of topics embraced in this volume. Of course they are treated summarily : but the very design of the author was to prepare a compendious manual, and he has succeeded excellently. The work is well adapted, nos merely for the use of candidates for the ministry, and for Sunday Schools, but for general circulation in Christian families.

(27.) The volume issue of the Methodist Tract Society is rapidly going on. The last that has appeared on our table is “Memoirs of a Useful Man," (New-York: Carlton & Phillips; 18mo., pp. 200,) containing a record of the life and Christian labours of Roger Miller, the founder of Ragged Schools, whose career, though beginning in the most humble way, affords, as the Introduction declares, one of the most extraordinary examples of Christian devotion and usefulness which the history of the modern Church records. In the London City Mission he found a field, in the full sense of the word, requiring missionary zeal and self-denial to a very large extent. The history of his personal as well as his more public career is full of interest; and the work will stand next to Father Reeves among the new publications of the Tract Society

(28.) Startling Questions,(New-York: R. Carter & Brothers; 1853 ; 18mo., pp. 370,) is the title of a series of practical religious lectures, by Rev. J. C. Ryle, whose pungent treatise, entitled “ Living or Dead,” we noticed some

It puts such questions as, “ Are you an heir ?—shall you be saved ?” &c.--with great earnestness, in a very pointed style. Mr. Ryle is a believer in what is called the Second Advent.

time ago.

(29.) The old Puritan divines were severe searchers of conscience. They sought, in their own phrase, to “bring their hearers to their own iniquity;" and this not merely when those hearers were supposed to be “sons of Belial,” but also when they were professors,”--to use another Puritan term. One of the most pungent of their practical writings has lately been reproduced by Messrs. R. Carter & Brothers, entitled “ A Gospel Glass, by LEWIS STUCKLEY,” (12mo., pp. 306.) Its design is to set forth and “push home the iniscarriages of professors;” and it is indeed a mirror of all that are careless, or at ease in Zion. Its qnaint language adds to its point; and in spite of the differences of the times, it may do good now as it did in 1638.

(30.) The Rum Plague,” from the German of Zschokke, (New-York: John S. Taylor; 1853,) is a story written twenty years ago, illustrating the evil of intemperance. It is just as applicable now as ever.

(31.) It is singular that the best treatise on the English constitution--in fact, the only treatise proper on the subject_should have been written by a foreigner. A new and very neat edition of “ The Constitution of England: or an Account of the English Government, in which it is compared both with the Republican Form of Government and the other Monarchies of Europe, by J. L. DELOLME," (New-York: Bangs, Brother & Co.,) has just been issued as a volume of Bohn's Standard Library. It is edited by Mr. Macgregor, who gives a brief biography of Delolme, and adds a number of illustrative notes. Though the work is not profound, it is yet, as we have said, almost the only disquisition of the kind within reach, and is worthy of a place in every library

(32.) The last volume of Mr. Bohn's “ Classical Library” that has reached us, is Diogenes Laertius,” (literally translated by C. D. Yonge,) whose History of the Philsophers is the source of most of our knowledge of the career of Greek philosophy. Bohn's series are kept constantly on hand by Bangs, Brother & Co., 13 Park Row, New-York.

(33.) Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, being the Results of a Second Expedition, by Austen H. LAYARD." (New-York: Harper & Brothers; 1853 ; 8vo.) This second report of Mr. Layard's abounds, quite as much as the first, in that species of interest which we look for in a book of travels, while it has far more of antiquarian value. It does much more also for the illustration of the Bible; in fact, some of its contributions to that end are among the most valuable of recent times. The work is got up in excellent style, and is sold at a very low price. An extended review is in preparation, and will probably appear in our next number.

(34.) Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, being the Results of a Second Expedition, by Austen H. LAYARD; abridged from the larger work." (New-York: G. P. Putnam & Co.; 1853; 12mo., pp. 549.) The work of abridging (never an easy thing to do well) has been excellently done in this

The more important and interesting parts of the work are retained in the author's own language; the omitted parts consisting mainly of minute details of description, tables of characters, &c. Everything illustrative of the Bible has been carefully retained. For those who cannot afford to purchase the larger work, this abridgment will be an admirable substitute.

case.

(35.) “

Che Lamp and the Lantern, JAMES HAMILTON, D. D.," (NerYork : Carter & Brothers; 18mo., pp. 184,) contains a series of eloquent lectures and essays, mostly hortatory, in Dr. Hamilton's best vein, on subjects connected with the reading and propagation of the Bible.

(36.) We noticed some time since, with commendation, Dr. Joan Brown's Expository Discourses on the sayings of our Lord. He must write very rapidly, for we have now another octavo volume from him—“ The Sufferings and Glories of the Messiah.(New-York: Carter & Brothers; 1853; 8vo., pp352.) But though the book may have been rapidly written, it has been long studied—the preface says, at intervals, for thirty years. It contains an exposition of the eighteenth Psalm, and of Isaiah lii, 13-liii, 12. Dr. Brown takes the Psalm to be exclusively Messianic, and builds upon it a view of the person

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »