Page images

Those who have read the Philosophy of Living," by the same author, need not be told that Dr. Ticknor's style is easy, natural and elegant. An air of simplicity and earnestness characterizes his works. Sanguine in temperament, his views partake in some degree of his own ardor, and designed as they are to promote the best interests of society, and to counteract the various forms of error, we cannot but hope and believe that the present work will rival the for. mer in usefulness and popularity.

3.-Professor Bush's Commentary on Genesis. New York, 1838.

We have received a few of the first pages of this Commentary. It is much in the form of Mr. Barnes's Notes on the New Testament, We have before, frequently, expressed our high opinion of the value of Mr. Bush's exegetical labors. His remarks exhibit extensive learning, yet modestly and not unnecessarily protruded, and the happy talent of exhibiting perspicuously and briefly the meaning of the sacred writers, while his moral reflections are generally pertinent and striking. It is not a preaching commentary, but a thoroughly exegetical one,

and well adapted both to the learned and the common reader. The theories which are occasionally advanced to account for particular facts are not dogmatically propounded, and serve, on the whole, to give liveliness and interest to the observations. Professor Bush has had extensive opportunities to become thoroughly versed in the great department of biblical illustration. The pages before us give the rich fruits of that knowledge. The author's mind is too candid and liberal to induce him to wish that others should accord with him on every point, at least until after thorough examination. With many of the notes on the first chapter of Genesis we entirely concur. Respecting the correctness of a few statements we are in doubt. On p. 26 it is remarked, that “it is a matter rather of rational inference than of express revelation, that the material universe was created out of nothing. Yet it is such an inference as cannot be resisted without doing violence to the fundamental laws of human belief.” It appears to us, however, that the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews asserts directly, 11:2, that the world was created by God out of nothing. The things which are seen, i. e. the visible universe, were not made of things which do appear. The το εκ μη φαινομένων would be equally conclusive against any pre-existing materials, to whatever geological theory we may be attached. Prof. Bush adopts, p. 31, with some distinguished geologists, the theory of indefinite days. If the fact adduced by geologists (see Introduction to Buckland's Bridgewater Treatise) be well established, that of the 3000 species of the fossil remains of plants and animals, in the tertiary formation, less than 600 are identical with living species, while the mass of those that are identical, occur in the uppermost members even of the tertiary strata, or, in other VOL. XII. No. 31.


words, that the fossil remains do not correspond with the order of the six days' creation, then the theory of indefinite days is unsound and unnecessary. Bib. Repos. VI. 309. “ And for days and years. As the word for is here omitted before years, though occurring be. fore each of the other terms, the sense of the phrase is undoubtedly ' for days even years;' implying that a day is often to be taken for a year, as is the case in prophetical compilations." We think that it is much more probable that days here means twenty-four hours only, and that there is an ellipsis of before . The Septuagint has siç éviautoús. Mr. Bush's 'theory in respect to the topography of Eden is, that it embraced the countries known at present as Cabool, Persia, Armenia, Koordistan, Syria, Arabia, Abyssinia and Egypt. The Pison is supposed to be the Indus, the Gihon, the Nile, and Havilah to be situated on the borders of India. There are, unquestionably, serious difficulties connected with either of the almost innumerable hypotheses on the topography of Eden. Yet the one which assigns the location to Armenia is, we are constrained to believe, the most probable. Some of the other theories assume that the deluge produced greater changes in the earth than seem to have been possible, or at least probable.

4.- The True Intellectual System of the Universe : Wherein all

the reason and philosophy of atheism is confuted, and its impossibility demonstrated. Also a Treatise on Immutable Morality; with a Discourse concerning the true notion of the Lord's Supper ; and two Sermons on 1 John 2: 3, 4 and 1 Cor. 15: 57. By Ralph Cudworth, D. D. With references to the several quotations in the Intellectual System, and an account of the Life and Writings of the Author : By Thomas Birch, M. A. F. R. S. First American Edition. In two volumes. Andover and New York: Gould & New.

man, 1838. pp. 804, 756. Dr. Cudworth was born, in 1617, at Aller, in Somersetshire, of which parish his father was rector. He was admitted a pensioner at Emanuel College, Cambridge, at the age of 13. His diligence as an academical student was very great; and, in 1639, he took the degree of M. A., and was elected fellow of his college. He became so distinguished as a tutor, that the number of his pupils exceeded all precedent. In due time, he was presented by his college to the rectory of North Cadbury in Somersetshire. In 1642, he took the degree of B. D., and was chosen master of Clare Hall, and, in the following year, was made Regius professor of Hebrew. In 1651, he was made D. D., and in 1654, was chosen master of Christ's college, Cambridge. Here, in the bosom of his family, he spent the remainder of his days. In 1678, he published his great work, The Intellectual System. The moral as well as mental character of this

distinguished scholar stood very high, and he died universally lamented, in 1688, in the 71st year of his

age. The Intellectual System was intended, in the first instance, to be an essay against the doctrine of necessity only; but perceiving that this doctrine was maintained by different individuals on various grounds, he arranged these opinions under three separate heads, which he intended to treat of in three books; but his Intellectual System relates only to the first, viz. “ The material Necessity of all things without a God, or absolute Atheism.”

Many of our readers will welcome this handsome American edition of this great man's works. The matter which, in the English editions, is contained in two cumbersome quartos or in four octavos, is here comprised in two compact octavos, besides embracing what none of the English editions of the Intellectual System do contain, the profound and noble treatise on Immutable Morality. This latter has long been out of print. It was published more than forty years after the author's death by Dr. Edward Chandler, bishop of London. It is in fact, though not professedly, an answer to the writings of Hobbes and of some other infidels whose opinions took away the essential and immutable distinctions between moral right and wrong. In addition to these various treatises, and Dr. Birch's Life of Dr. Cudworth, there is subjoined an analysis of the whole, amounting to nearly 150 pages, which forms a very enlightened abstract or abridgment of the various treatises.

5.--Lectures on the principal Doctrines and Practices of the

Catholic Church, delivered at St. Mary's Moorfields, during the Lent of 1836. By Nicholas Wiseman, D. D. Professor in the university of Rome, foreign member of the Royal Society of Literature, corresponding member of the

Royal Asiatic Society. 2 vols. 12mo. 1836. pp. 332, 244. We have entertained a high opinion of the candor and talents of Dr. Wiseman. His Lectures on the Connection between Science and Revealed Religion furnished conclusive evidence, we thought, of a discriminating, liberal and philosophical mind -a mind well disciplined, open to evidence, not bigotted, and intently seeking information from all accessible sources. The Lectures do not profess to be profound, and original investigations on the various subjects which pass under review. But they appear to be a well-condensed outline of the most important facts in the recent developments of science and literature which go to establish the authority of revealed religion. As such they have commended themselves to the favorable attention of some of our best scholars, and of the conductors of our principal magazines, as the North American Review and the American Journal of Science. In these Lectures, Dr. Wiseman does not hold the pen of a partizan, or of a Roman Catholiv, but of a well-read scholar.

What then was our surprise on opening the volume on the Doctrines and Practices of the Catholic Church. A more unfair, one-sided, dishonest diatribe our eyes never beheld than is contained in Lectures VI. and VII. on the practical success of the Protestant and Catholic Rule of Faith in converting heathen nations. It would do honor to the most fervent and sturdy

disciple of Inigo de Loyola. We will proceed to substantiate our allegation by sufficient proofs

. 1. Criminal want of care in seeking information concerning Protestant missions. Vol. II. p. 166, Dr. W. says “I have not always had the convenience of consulting documents down to the very latest period ; and I have therefore been obliged to content myself with such as have come within my reach. I mention this cautionary circumstance for this purpose, that, if I do not always quote the notices received within this and the last year, it may not be supposed that I have been ruled by a wish to avoid what might appear adverse to my assertions.” But why did he not get the latest information? Why depend on Reports several years old, when in half an hour, he could have obtained, gratuitously, the Reports of the very year, 1836, when he was lecturing and writing? Le quotes the Report of 1828 of a Protestant minister in Canada, Dr. Morse's Universal Geography 1812, from Henry Martyn's Memoir published more than 20 years ago, and from some remarks of Gordon Hall made at Bombay in 1825. On p. 184, he says: “I may briefly mention the mission which was attempted to be established, in the Burmese empire, by means of Mr. Judson and his lady. They resided there and, consequently, these results are from their own confession ; that after being there seven years, they had not made a single convert ; that, after the seventh year, they received one, and that he afterwards brought another, so that in the end they had four proselytes; when in consequence of the war breaking out, the mission was broken up.” This is Dr. Wiseman's account of the American Baptist mission in Burmah, which, by the way, he confounds with the English Baptist mission in Calcutta. This he would give as the present results of the Burman mission, when, if he had consulted the London Missionary Register, with which he seems to be acquainted, he would liave found in the No. for February 1836, that four hundred and forty-four natives had been received into the communion of the Baptist churches in Burmah. 2. Dr. Wiseman frequently quotes authorities who are secretly or openly, the enemies of all missions. Such are the London Quarterly Review, the British Critic, the Asiatic Journal, the Noveau Journal Asiatique, Capt. Basil Hall, Klaproth and Gambia. What must we think of a writer who will quote such authorities as the "

voyage of H. M. S. Blonde to the Sandwich Islands,” “ Kotzebue's Second Voyage round the world,” and Augustus Toole's “ account of a nine month's Residence in New Zealand ?" Yet he says he “quotes no authorities which can be considered hostile to missionary societies.” 3. When

he extracts from our own authorities, he extracts only what is most discouraging; he dwells at large on the history of a decayed mission; he shows where the Moravians have failed ; he parades the most desponding sentiments of a disheartened missionary. 4. He generally passes over in perfect silence the most popular and important missions. He makes not the slightest allusion to the Tinnevelly mission, which in 1829 contained 6243 souls who were so far Christians as to have renounced idolatry. He refers not at all to the Church mission in New Zealand, to the American mission in Ceylon, to none of the missions in South Africa. In respect to the West Indies, where the glorious triumphs of the gospel are recorded and known the world over, unless it be at Rome, he merely says in a note, “I regret being obliged from fear of becoming tiresome, to omit the history of attempted conversion in the West Indies, where the series of failures is as remarkable as in the other parts of the world of which I have treated.” 5. When Dr. W. happens to meet with some instances of Protestant conversions, he explains them away by assigning them to secular causes, local influence, etc. 6. He gives the most exaggerated statements of the success of the Roman Catholic missions, past and present. But we have no space to enlarge.

These Lectures of Dr. Wiseman are well worth reading, notwithstanding. There is no want of plausibility, of acuteness, of powers of reasoning, and of information respecting the Roman Catholic Church. We may be sure that the author has made the best of his

The subjects of the Lectures are the Protestant rule of faith, the Catholic rule of faith, authority of the Church, practical success of the two rules of faith, supremacy of the pope, penance, satisfaction and purgatory, indulgences, invocations of saints, their relics and images, and transubstantiation. 6.—Life and Select Discourses of the Rev. Samuel H. Stearns. Boston: Josiah A. Stearns, 1838. pp.

410. Among the thoughts which have crowded upon us in reading this memoir is the truth of the inspired declaration “ that the heart knoweth its own bitterness.' Not strangers alone, but even intimate friends cannot always “intermeddle” with it. Mr. Stearns generally wore an air of unaffected cheerfulness. Mingled with his habitual thoughtfulness, there was sometimes a playful manner and a joyousness of spirits which little betrayed the tender melancholy and sadness, sometimes amounting to deep depression, which character. ized his inward life. We do not mean that there was a contrariety between his feelings and actions. No one was less chargeable with dishonesty or pretension. Neither did he cherish a murmuring spirit at the dispensations of his heavenly Father. But with an uncommon union of the powers of reasoning and of imagination, with a highly


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »