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sembly of 1837, refused to act with the Assembly constituted as above, and proceeded to constitute what they also claim to be the General Assembly. Their proceedings, in the matter of organization, as far as we know, with the exception of their having excluded from their seats the commissioners above referred to, were according to the constitution and usages of the church. Thus have been constituted two bodies each claiming to be The General Assembly of the Presbyterian church in the United States. Each of these bodies proceeded to perform according to their best discretion, all the acts and duties required to be done by the highest judicatory of the church. These acts conflicting, as they do, with each other, and in some cases involving the rights of property, as well as constitutional privileges and duties, have imposed upon the adherents of both bodies the necessity of an appeal to the civil tribunals of the country to determine which of the two is in law, and in fact, the Constitutional General Assembly. Prosecutions, we understand, have already been commenced for the settlement of the great question at issue.
We hardly need to remark, that this is a state of things deeply to be deplored, not only by Presbyterians, but by Christians generally. The collisions which have resulted in this separation, have brought great reproach upon the cause of religion ; and the result itself is reproachful. It is but little relief to our own feelings to say that separation is better than for the parties to have remained in one body, to contend with each other before a gazing world, as they have done for several years past. To make the best of it, the alternative is but the substitution of one evil for another; and upon the authors of the former, of whatever party, whose acts and doings bave created a necessity for the latter, there rests a tremendous responsibility.
These two divisions of the once united Presbyterian church, will hereafter constitute two denominations of Presbyterians. One of the Assemblies recently in session, will in due time, be determined to be the legal successor of the General Assembly of 1837. That one and each future Assembly which shall be formed in pursuance of the position which it has assumed, by commissioners from all the Presbyteries which choose to be thus represented, will, of right, retain the name and authority of the " General Assembly of the Presbyterian church in the United States.” The other Assembly, with its successors, will inherit no rights from its predecessors, but will acquire new rights by the action of such Presbyteries as shall choose to constitute such Assemblies, either under the provisions of the present “Form of Government,” or any other which they shall adopt. Which of the two bodies shall be reduced to this alternative, we need not be especially solicitous. It will be the duty of the parties, as citizens, no less than as Christians, to respect the decisions of the tribunals to which they are amenable. Both parties should remember that the success of either in establishing its claim, before a civil court, to the rights and privileges of the General Assembly, under the present constitution, is but a minor interest, not worthy to be compared with the greater duties and responsibilities which devolve upon both these divisions of the church, in the positions which they have respectively taken ; and worse even, than division, will be the result, if the strength of these bodies shall be frittered away and lost in contending for their claimed inheritance. While the question on this subject is pending, let not the parties delay their work as Christians, as ministers, and as members of the church universal. A name to live, though it be supported by the best evidences of orthodoxy, or sustained by the laws of the land, will not constitute success in this conflict. There can be no desirable triumph to either party, excepting that which shall be celebrated in the songs of the redeemed rescued from perdition and restored to the favor of God through its instrumentality. “ And here,” in the language of the late Dr. Rice of Virginia," is the fairest opportunity for that party which has the best spirit, and the most of truth on their side, to gain the victory. For, my life on it, in this age, those who do most to build up the kingdom of the Redeemer, will prevail.”
1.-Researches into the Physical History of Mankind. By James
Cowles Prichard, M. D. F. R. S. M. R. I. A., Corresponding Member of the National Institute of France, Honorary Fellow of King's and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland, Member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Paris. Third Edition. London, 1836—7. Vols. I and II. pp. 376,
373. Dr. Prichard, the author of the volumes before us, has already made himself favorably known to the literary and scientific world. Besides the former editions of the present work, he has published a Treatise on Insanity, said to be the best work on mental derangement in the English language; a Review of the Doctrine of a Vital Principle; and a learned Analysis of the Egyptian Mythology. The diversities of structure in the human family early engaged his attention, and in 1808 he selected this subject for the argument of a Latin inaugural essay, printed at that time. The same treatise was translated and enlarged in 1813, and under this new form it made the first edition of the present work. After further and laborious investigation he brought out a second edition in 1826, to which in 1831 he added an able philological essay on the eastern origin of the Celtic nations, proved by a comparison of their dialects with the Sanscrit, Greek, Latin, and Teutonic nations. He now presents to the public a third edition. In the words of the author" each edition has been almost entirely written anew : every topic comprised in it has been reconsidered, with the advantage of such additional information as I have been in the interval enabled to acquire.”
The Physical History, or Physiognomical Ethnography of the human race is a department of knowledge of the most recent dateindeed it owes its origin to an author now living, Professor Blumenbach of Göttingen. Dr. Prichard had, however, thought deeply upon the subject before the works of Blumenbach fell into his hands, and with these for a foundation it has been presented in a better form and with clearer illustration. The comparative physiology and psychology of the different human races has never before been made the express subject of inquiry.
In the first of these volumes, Dr. Prichard has impartially investigated the question with regard to the unity of the origin of the human races, which he successfully endeavors to decide by analogies
* Lectures on Physiology, Zoology, and the Natural History of Man. London, 1819.
drawn from the vegetable and animal world. He takes a stand (in which Lawrence* agrees with him,) in opposition to the French phiJosophers who openly proclaim in defiance of the sacred Writ the diversity of origin
of whites, negroes, etc. etc. The degrading the ories of Voltaire, Desmoulins, Rudolphi, Bory de St. Vincent, Virey, and Lamarck, are satisfactorily confuted, and the truth of the Mosaic account is fully substantiated.
Researches into the physical ethnography of the African races, with comparative vocabularies of African languages and dialects are comprised in the second volume of the third edition. The soundness of his arguments, the clear and philosophical language which he employs, together with his extensive information and unwearied industry, render Dr. Prichard's work highly instructive, as well as essentially different, and more satisfactory than any other treatise on the same subject. “It would be difficult,” says Dr. Wiseman,“ for any one in future to treat of the physical history of man without being indebted to Dr. Prichard for a great portion of his materials.'
The work will probably extend to several volumes, as by far the most interesting and the largest portion of the human family is yet left uninvestigated. 2.—A Popular Treatise on Medical Philosophy, or an Exposition
of Quackery and Imposture in Medicine. By Caleb Ticknor, M. D., Author of " The Philosophy of Living” (No. 77, Harpers' Family Library.) New York: Gould and
Newman, 1838, pp. 242. Effectually to put down quackery is a bold undertaking. Yet we are told in the preface to this work that the author aims at nothing less. We highly applaud his motives, and wish him all possible success. We feel an unfeigned respect for his talents and amiable qualities, and have no doubt his work will be the means of great good. We must however express the belief that the foundation of quackery lies too deep in the constitution of our nature to be thus easily cured; it is the vulnus irremediabile of the body social, and all the hellebore that ever grew in Anticyra cannot purge it away. Is it not so ? Lord Bacon tells us that “ witches and impostors have always held a competition with physicians.” Old Galen complains of the same, and observes that his patients were more obedient to the oracle in the temple of Aesculapius, and to their own dreams, than to his prescriptions. The philosophic Cicero and Aurelian were under the influence of medical superstition, and even Lord Bacon believed in the influence of charms and amulets. The great Boyle recommended the thigh bone of an executed criminal as a specific in dysentery. Dr. Johnson believed in second sight, and all have read of the sympathetic powder of Sir Kenelm Digby, which was believed to cure any wound, by its application to the weapon which caused the injury.
* Lectures, p. 112.
To come down to our own times, have we not seen almost whole communities spell-bound, for a time, in the belief of the efficacy of the royal touch ;-of the successive manipulations of the seventh son ;-of natural bone-setters ;-of homoöpathia and animal magnetism ;—and have not all the vagaries and absurd conceits of the last been endorsed by men of high reputation ? And if, at any time, there are symptoms of returning sense in the community, do we not immediately see signs of another plague of frogs, or lice, or something yet more loathsome, coming up to devour the land ?
The work before us deserves more than a passing notice. It is a philosophical treatise, giving an account of the origin of medicine, a general view of the human body and its divisions ;—the anatomy and diseases of the digestive organs, a description of the organs of respiration, of the cutaneous system,-of the eye,—of female complaints,—of rheumatism,-of deafness,-of cancer,--of measles, of natural bone-setters,—of the comparative powers of vegetable and mineral medicines,—of the errors, exclusiveness and ultraism of medical men, and their influence in causing and perpetuating empiricism ;-and, last, though not least in importance, we have a chapter on the influence of clergymen in the cause and spread of quackery.
The aim of the author was to spread before the public, in a cheap and condensed form, a sufficient amount of anatomical and physiological truth to serve as an antidote to all the varieties of quackery which may arise. The plan, it must be acknowledged, is a good one. It is indeed the only plan adapted to have any effect. Mere declamation here is useless. Still we adhere to our opinion that the case is a hopeless one, and he must be a very sanguine man who thinks differently.
While we admit the general excellence of the matter of this vol. ume, we have some misgivings with regard to the wisdom or correctness of the fifteenth chapter, on the errors, exclusiveness and ultraism of medical men,” etc. Is such an exposé as this likely to put down quackery? We humbly opine that its tendency is to increase it. If our author's representations here were wholly true, we should almost be ready to enrol ourselves the disciples of Brandreth in Physic and of Graham in diet, and bid defiance to the medical profession. But with all deference, we conceive the doctor has rather overstated the case of his medical brethren. He has aimed to make a strong case without stopping at every step to inquire whether his positions were all just. We refer to this chapter throughout, but especially to pages 233 and 234. However physicians may differ among themselves in theory, we believe that in the treatment of acute diseases, which constitute an immense majority of cases, they do not materially vary in practice.