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link, for the fooleries of a sceptical geology; and if there are any who, on a calm survey of geological facts, can discover a solitary one counter to the palpable truths of the Mosaic cosmogony, his opinion is at antipodes with our own ;-we view things through media that are altogether different.' pp. 119-122.
It has already been stated, that the work, besides its reference to the present state of geology, comprises an appeal, in confirmation of the Scriptures, to other branches of science, to historic fact, to rudiments of tradition, to sculptures, gems, coins, and medals. In addition to the direct confirmation of Scripture facts, the Author argues likewise from the dissipation of those many cherished theories of successive sceptics, which are ever exhaling before the advancing sun of science. Now when we witness, one after another, every theory, how ingenious soever, which has been devised in opposition to the facts of Scripture, proved to be incapable of standing the test of increasing knowledge; when we find them severally, in their day, entertained with all the confidence of scientific certainty, and vaunted as undoubted proofs of error in the word of God, but, by and by, convicted, withdrawn from observation, willingly consigned to forgetfulness, or exciting shame in their former advocates; may we not safely conclude from such repeated failures, that the facts which they were intended to discredit, will defy every future assault? May we not infer this consequence, just as certainly as, from finding that every structure not in accordance with the laws of equilibrium derived from gravity, becomes unstable, and threatens speedy ruin, we feel assured that the force of gravity certainly exists? If, in like manner, every device which contradicts the statements of the Bible, speedily comes to nought, are we not to revere those statements as the truth, which finally must prevail ? The exposure of those theories, therefore, is justly placed in the work before us, among the demonstrations of the truth of Scripture. They are reductions to absurdity, not less convincing than the most positive proof.
We have dwelt at the greater length upon the volume before us, as being the work of a layman devoted to literature and science, and as it seems, in these times, peculiarly desirable to encourage gentlemen of the Author's character and attainments to come forward courageously to oppose the growing scepticism of the day, --to detect the sophistries, and to repel the daring insults levelled at the only system of religious truth which ever professed to cheer the heart of man with the substantial hope of a blessed immortality. The work is very miscellaneous, and, we must add, has been compiled without much regard to methodical arrangement. It is, however, full of interesting facts and observations; and one which we can cordially recommend, as adapted not less to please than to instruct and convince. Had it been entitled “Illustra‘tions', rather than a ‘Demonstration of the Truth of Revelation,' the designation would have been, perhaps, not less inviting and more appropriate. The book is got up in a very respectable style, and is embellished with several plates, consisting of fac-similes of the various existing monuments to which the appeal is made, and comprises much valuable matter in a convenient compass.
Art. III. Memoir of the Life of the Rev. Matthias Bruen, of New
York. 12mo, pp. 441. Edinburgh, 1832. W E have perused this volume with feelings of high gratifica
tion. The subject of the memoir was, in his own country, universally respected by men of every rank, and by religionists of all persuasions. To many individuals of eminence in this country, he was also well known; and by all who had the opportunity of making his acquaintance, he seems to have been regarded with feelings of the warmest interest, not only as a man of talents and piety, but as exhibiting a degree of suavity of manners, delicacy of feeling, and gentleness of deportment, of which our American brethren have afforded us but too few specimens. In a letter to a friend on the occasion of his death, Dr. Smith of Homerton thus speaks of him:- My dear and never to be forgotten friend ? was an extraordinary man. In him were found qualities which 6 we think ourselves very happy to discover dwelling apart, each • having a separate bosom for its temple. That a memoir of such a man should be given to the world, by which, as his Biographer remarks, 'the image of one so peculiarly beautiful in his
moral and intellectual structure, might for a while be kept from • oblivion', must have been felt by all his friends to be exceedingly desirable. We are happy that the execution of this task has devolved upon one so well qualified to do justice to it as the Author of the memoir before us. Though published anonymously, it is sufficiently evident from some of the letters, as well as from internal evidence, that we are indebted for it to a female pen. Now the character of Mr. Bruen's mind,-distinguished, as it was, by delicacy of taste and perspicacity of conception, rather than by profundity or power,—as well as the peculiar cast of temper and feeling which he exhibited, was exactly such as is most likely to be appreciated and accurately delineated by a highly cultivated woman. We are inclined to think, therefore, that, in the volume before us, we have a more faithful portrait of the mental and moral character of Mr. Bruen, than would in all probability have been afforded to us, had the execution of it been entrusted to one of more masculine ability, but less congenial mind. Indeed, we do not at this moment recollect any biogra
lified to use the letters emale
pment or to recome the extract,
phical work, the general style and sentiments of which are more in accordance with the spirit and temper of the individual whose life it professes to set before us, than the volume now upon our table. If we have any fault to find with it, it is that there appears to us rather a superabundance of illustration and of extract, as well as an occasional unnecessary enlargement on the part of the Writer, upon topics which, however dear to recollection, have but a slight bearing upon the development or elucidation of the character of the excellent individual to whom they relate. It is from this source, from character, that the entire interest attaching to the life of Mr. Bruen is derived. He passed through no extraordinary occurrences; he performed no wonderful or uncommon feats of intellectual or benevolent exertion; and accordingly, but for the beautiful symmetry of his intellectual and moral being, there would be little to recommend him to the notice of the public. We could have wished, therefore, that every thing not directly tending to bring out the distinctive traits of his character, or to illustrate it as a whole, had been either entirely passed over, or only cursorily noticed. We must also take the liberty of suggesting to the Author, the propriety, in the event of a second edition, of curtailing a few of the many dissertations introduced upon topics incidentally alluded to in the course of the narrative. Important as are several of the subjects so discussed, and graceful and correct as is the manner in which they are handled, yet, as they have no immediate reference to Mr. Bruen, they must be regarded as unnecessary additions to the size of the volume. Some of the most striking instances of what we now allude to will be found in Chapters I, XVII, XX, and XXIV. With these exceptions, (and they are really so slight as hardly to be entitled to the name,) we think the volume quite a model of biographical composition, and should be happy to aid in promoting its extensive circulation, especially among those who are engaged in preaching the Gospel, or who are preparing for that work.
Mr. Bruen was born at Newark, New Jersey, on the 11th of April, 1793. His father was the representative of a family which had long resided in that town, and were descended from its founder, Obadiah Bruen, a worthy Puritan who had emigrated to New England in the reign of Charles I., to escape the persecutions which were levelled against him because of his kindness to Prynne during his imprisonment in Chester. From a very early age, the young Matthias was noted for a love of retirement and a thirst for information, so strong as frequently to induce him, when a mere child, “to lock himself into a room that he might enjoy • his book undisturbed. A residence of seven years (from his eighth till his fifteenth year) with his paternal grandfather, who was intimately acquainted with history, and especially with that of
America, and who delighted in communicating the information he possessed to his intelligent descendant, tended not only to keep alive his desire after knowledge, but also to give it a useful and instructive direction. From the house of his grandfather, he was removed to Columbia College, in 1808, where he graduated with much honour in 1812. During his residence at college, it pleased God to relieve him from a state of deep depression, under which a concern for his eternal interests, accompanied with indistinct views of the way of salvation, had caused him to sink, by opening his eyes to the fulness and freeness of that redemption which is offered in the Gospel. It would have been interesting to know something of the workings of his mind during this momentous period; but of these, as of the events of his college life generally, scarcely any memorials exist. Under the impulse of the feelings produced by the change of mind he had undergone, having determined to devote himself to the work of the ministry, (though placed in circumstances which rendered his adoption of a profession purely optional,) he entered the Theological Seminary at New York, at that time under the superintendence of Dr. J. M. Mason. There he continued to prosecute the study of his profession, with the same assiduity and success which had marked his pursuit of general knowledge, till the year 1816; when, having fulfilled the prescribed term of study, he was licensed to preach the gospel, according to the form prescribed in the Presbyterian Church. Being naturally of a constitution far from robust, his close application to study, and the effects of a severe fit of illness in the year 1812, from which he had never thoroughly recovered, rendered it expedient that some time should be spent by him in endeavouring to obtain a larger stock of constitutional vigour before entering upon the arduous services of a Christian minister. This formed one of the principal reasons which induced him, in the summer of 1816, to visit this country in company with his tutor, Dr. Mason. On that occasion, after passing hastily through England and Scotland, they visited Paris, where they spent some time, and then proceeded southward as far as Switzerland. Some interesting extracts from Mr. Bruen's letters at this time, are furnished by his Biographer, highly indicative of the devotional and pious state of his mind, while surrounded with the gayety and irreligion of Continental society. In a letter addressed to his parents, and dated Paris, 1st December, 1816, he thus gives vent to his feelings:
«« This is the first Sabbath, except those on board ship, in which I am obliged to feel myself altogether from home. In England and Scotland, the day brought with it Christian communion. The society of those whose hearts we knew were possessed with the same powerful desires, while it strongly recalled to our recollection friends and enjoyments far away, at the same time gave us an equivalent, to a certain
degree, for what our affection felt to be wanting. But on this Sabbath we are excluded from our privileges. It brings with it here no holy public exercises ; we are shut up to our own meditations ; we sigh for home. “O that I had the wings of a dove !' My heart throbs and melts at the remembrance of this day's occupation there. .....I look at the spectacle, present to my imagination, of our fire-side at this hour; I look at the situationthe face--and every feature of every one there. May the blessing of the Holy One richly descend into the hearts of them all! This city, above all others, perhaps Rome alone excepted, is destitute of true religion. Here the Sabbath never comes. Sunday indeed they have; they greet its return; but it is with such festivities as exhibit a most entire want of the fear of God. The streets here, on this day, are exactly as ours on the 4th of July, except that our 4th looks more like a Sabbath, since nobody pretends to work. But here the blacksmith is at his forge, and the other mechanics at their labour ; and the streets crowded by an immense multitude of people, with bellmen hawking about their things for sale, and showmen consuming the time selected by the Creator as holy to himself, every hour of which brings those myriads of immortals nearer their eternal, immutable condition. Poor Paris ! what are splendid palaces to the want of the church of the living God! Of what value these gewgaws of an hour, in comparison of the glorious condition of that city or nation whose God is the Lord! Oh! how miserable is the spectacle, if we throw upon it the light of eternity!”' p. 16.
In the following spring, Dr. Mason returned with his young companion to London, to attend the religious anniversaries in May. After participating in the exhilarating emotions which these interesting occasions are adapted to excite, Mr. Bruen set out on a journey northward, travelling more leisurely than he had done before, and visiting in his way the individuals and places of which he had heard with interest and reverence in his own land. It was upon this occasion that, when he arrived in Scotland, he first presented himself at the hospitable mansion which he ever afterwards designated as his 'Scottish home, and where he found that congenial society in the midst of which some of his happiest hours seem to have been spent. It was here that he commenced that intimacy to which we are indebted for the memorial of his life now before us, and for many of the beautiful specimens of epistolary correspondence with which it is adorned. Here he continued to reside until the month of September, when he rejoined Dr. Mason, whom he had left in London, at Edinburgh. After enjoying for a few weeks the society of that capital, they returned to the house of his Biographer, where, we are told, they together lingered out their last days in Scotland; '-days fraught with spiritual improvement, and affecting, be
cause they included the prayer and parting blessings of Dr. 'Mason on the family whom he honoured with his regard.'
It had been the intention of Mr. Bruen to spend the succeed