« הקודםהמשך »
science, and who has perused with attention and delight the publications of our best authors. I like to converse with a young person of genuine talent, whose taste has been diligently cultivated, whose judgement is vigorous, whose understanding is comprehensive, and whose tone of thinking is manly and powerful. I like to meet with an amiable youth, who discovers the utmost urbanity of manners, kindliness of feeling, and loveliness of disposition towards all with whom he associates. I am happy in meeting with an accomplished and interesting female, who is conversant with the polite arts, and who blends simplicity and modesty with all her accomplishments; but if the spirit of the Saviour be wanting, we may most appropriately and emphatically apply the langnage of the wise man, “Vanity of vanites, all is vanity.” That is wanted, without which young people, however intelligent, gifted, amiable, and accomplished, are poor and miserable, blind and naked in a state of complete spiritual destruction-of mournful wretchedness—of deep and fatal ignorance--and without provision for lise, death, or eternity.
An irreligious youth is a pitiable object, because he is devoid of that, which he indispensably and uniformly requires. He is traversing a wilderness; consequently he wants one who is qualified to conduct him, to preserve him from peril, to cheer and invigorate his spirits, and to stimulate him onwards amidst all the difficulties and calamities of the way. He is in a trackless forest, and he will find it utterly impossible to penetrate its profound and numerous recesses, and to escape the imminent and fearful dangers by which he is encompassed, unless one be with him, who is perfectly acquainted with the intricacies of the way, and who can follow all its windings, and avert all its evils A young person, while he continues below, is in the enemy's country, where there are numerous snares laid ; the most subtle temptations presented; and the most alluring and fascinating inducements held out; consequently he requires “ the wisdom which cometh down from above ;" which is divine in its nature, unerring in its directions, and most efficacious in its influence. He wants armour, and the Christian panoply is the only defence that will render him invulnerable. He wants “the sword of the Spirit," and the shield of faith, or else he will be easily vanquished by his deadly foes.
If these remarks be accurate, the writer of this unpretending essay is perfectly warranted in affirming, that an irreligious youth is, morally and spiritually, in a state of utter and dreadful destitution. He wants the best principles to govern him ; the best feelings to purify him, the best motives to incite him ; the best guide to direct him; the best friend to cheer and invigorate him ; the best armor to constitute a sure and constant defence; the best enjoyments to compose and animate him ; amidst all the afflictions and calamities of time; and the best hopes to brighten the passage that conducts to the tomb, and to unfold to his astonished and enraptured view, the unclouded splendors of immortality. My beloved young friends, be assured by one, who writes at least in his own humble estimation sincerely and experimentally on this subject, that it is the approving
and benignant smile of Jesus, which constitutes the felicity of earth, and the unmingled bliss of the celestial Paradise ; and if you feel any solicitude that moral beauty should be imparted to your charac. ter ; that a halo of pure and resplendent glory should encircle your brow; that true, indeed divine, dignity should be associated with your plans, habits and proceedings; that substantial and exquisite enjoynient should be realized, amidst all the fluctuations of time, and all the calamities that are incident to mortality ; that perfect security should be possessed in the season of difficulty, in the period of temptation, in the chamber of suffering, and in the event of nature's dissolution, you must bear an evident and a striking resemblance to that matchless Saviour, who is einphatically “the chief arnong ten thousands, and the altogether lovely." I uniformly commiserate the mournful condition of a man devoid of the spirit of the Gospel, because I know, that if he is not wretched noro, the period will speedily arrive, when wretchedness will be his portion forever; but when I see a profane or an impious youth, my feelings of commiseration are, if possible, still more powerfully excited.”
NOTICES OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS.
1, First Lessons in Intellectual Philosophy, or a Familiar Explanation of the Nature and Operations of the Human Mind. First American Edition, adapted to the use of Schools. By Rev. Silas BLAISDALE. Boston : Lincoln & Edmands, 1829. pp. 358.
The science of Intellectual Philosophy has been not unfrequently regarded as of too abstruse a character, and as, at present, in too unsettled a state, to merit much attention from any but professed students. The “ First Lessons” are however an attempt to exhibit the general principles of the science, in a form adapted to common use, and presented in such a manner as to be attractive to the young. The conversational form, so popular for other similar purposes, has been adopted. The work is perhaps rather remarkable for a copiousness and felicity of illustration, which elucidates almost every topic, and gives variety and interest to the whole. The system of Dr. Brown constitutes the basis of the arrangement; the truths are however presented in a style and manner quite the reverse of his, and questions are added at the bottom of every page, for the benefit of learners.
A word in regard to the two objections above mentioned, as sometimes made against the general introduction of this study. First, its abstruseness, instead of an objection, is quite the reverse. It enables the science to furnish a discipline to the thinking powers, which nothing else can give, and prepares the mind to enter upon the consideration of moral subjects, with far greater energy and effect.
VOL. 111.—NO. 1.
As to the uncertainty attending metaphysical inquiries, there is far less of it than is often supposed. It is well known that the chair of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh has been almost the throne of Metaphysics, for England and America. The successive monarchs of the dynasty have each endeavored to erect his empire, in some degree, at least, upon the ruins of his predecessor's, and each has generally bestowed as much of his attention upon the little which he wished to demolish, as upon the far greater portion which he was ready to confirm. Men frequently dwell with more interest upon the few points on which they differ, than upon the many in which they agree; and the metaphysical philosophers have brought out a few spots of debatable ground, into a far more conspicuous rank than they deserve, when compared with the extensive regions of which they have settled and harmonious possession, and which are of undoubted beauty and fruitfulness. These regions, the work of which we are speaking designs to occupy; and they are, almost entirely, regions of unquestioned truth.
2. The Veracity of the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, when compared, first, with each other, and second, with Josephus. By the Rev. J. J. BLUNT, Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, (England.) First American Edition. Boston: Perkins and Marvin, 1829. pp. 127.
We have read this treatise with great satisfaction, and feel a pleasure in recommending it to the perusal of others.
The general argument, iu its nature and objects, is substantially the same with that pursued in reference to other portions of the New Testament, by Paley, in his Hore Paulina—a work with which every one should be familiarly acquainted. It is a popular argument, and in the common concerns of life, has great influence. In courts of Justice, coincidence of circumstances, goes farther than almost anything else, to establish the credibility of witnesses with a jury. The principle involved in this argument is this : In all spurious writings, agreement is the effect of contrivance or design, and consequently, to use the words of Paley, “ In examining the agreement between ancient writings, the character of truth and originality is undesignedness.” The more indirect, minute, or circuitous any coincidences may appear, the greater the evidence that they are not the effect of design. A coincidence in the productions of independent writers may be minute without being uncertain, unobserved without being obscure, and oblique without being forced or fanciful.
It is not our object, however, to give an exposition of this argument. Its nature and objects will be best seen, and its force most readily felt, by attentively perusing the treatise before us. The undesigned coincidences here noticed establish, beyond all controversy, the fact, that the writers of the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, were independent witnesses of the facts which they relate, and that each wrote from personal knowledge of his subject;
and they cannot be contemplated, with the ir.cidental remarks accompanying them, without a conviction, or an increased persuasion, that the writings in which they are contained are true. None, of common intelligence, will begin to read this work, without finishing it. We hope it may have, as it deserves, an extensive circulation.
3. Macarius; or Memoirs of a Naval Officer. Boston ; Peirce and Williams. 1830. pp. 54.
The story of Macarius is extracted from the Retrospect, a work published several years since in this city, and may be familiar to some of our readers. But those who are most familiar with it will, we doubt not, be most gratified to learn that it is now published, with notes and an appendix, in a little manual by itself. It shows the excellence and power of religion, as exemplified in scenes of peculiar temptation, and of great spiritual trial and conflict. It presents an instance of untiring diligence in professional business, amidst the toils and perils of the deep, united with unabated fervency of spirit in serving the Lord. It will be read with interest by all classes of Christians, but is specially adapted, as it is designed, for circulation among seamen. All the profits derived from it will be given to the American Seamen's Friend Society, for promoting the objects of that important institution. We sincerely hope it may increase the sympathies of Christians in behalf of naval men, by showing that a life of godliness is practicable and lovely even in them; and that it may promote the spiritual good of many who go down to the sea in ships, and do business on the mighty waters. Then both the author and the compiler will find that reward which, we doubt not, is dearest to their hearts.
4. Essays on the Present Crisis in the Condition of the American Indians ; first published in the National Intelligencer, under the signature of William Penn. Boston ; Perkins and Marvin. 1829. pp. 112.
We read most of these essays, while they were going the rounds of newspaper circulation; and have again perused them, since their collection and re-publication in their present form. And to say that we are satisfied, gratified, and thankful to their author for the labor he has bestowed on them, is not enough. Our feelings constrain us to pause, and render thanksgiving to Almighty God, the Fountain of light, and Author of all wisdom, grace, and strength, that he has enabled the writer of these papers, whoever he may be, so clearly and successfully to investigate the subject in question, and to rear such a munition of facts and arguments, such a rampart of fire, around the threatened, but sacred enclosure of Indian rights. Perhaps no papers of a similar character have been so frequently published, and so extensively circulated in the United States, as these. Still we are glad to see them collected in their present form. They
are too valuable to be left to the transient and perishable columns of a newspaper. They onght to be preserved, and transmitted to other countries, and to future generations, that, if the impending destruction be brought upon the Indians, it may be known that a solemn and enlightened testimony was borne against it, and that those who perpetrated or permitted the deed of oppression, did it with their eyes open.
To think of replying to the considerations here urged, is out of the question. It is manifestly impossible, and never will be seriously attempted. We hope our national legislators will be individually and severally served with a copy of this pamphlet. We hope they may take the time and the trouble to read it. We hope the collisions of party and passion may for a season subside, and that the still small voice of reason and conscience may be regarded. We hope and pray, that those, who will be called to decide the questions here discussed, may pause and consider before they do that which, once done, can never be undone, and which will be sure to draw down upon this great nation the reproaches of men, and the just judgements of God.
5. A Sermon occasioned by the death of the Rev. Matthias Bruen, preached in Bleecker-street Church, New-York, September 20, 1829. By Thomas H. SKINNER. New-York : J. Seymour. 1829. pp. 48.
This discourse was delivered at the united request of the bereaved Church of the lamented Bruen, and of the Executive Committee of the American Home Missionary Society. From the declaration of the Evangelist, · This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God,' the author was led to show, “How the saints die; and how they glorify God by their death." In general, it may be said,
“ That the saints are in death what they were in life, only, as their circumstances are then wholly and wonderfully peculiar,there is a corresponding peculiarity in their exercises and deportment. Death finds them what they are, and does not make them different, but only gives them occasion for new and extraordinary displays of their character. Their dying conduct, like their living, is stainped with holiness to the Lord. Whether their last hours are full of victory and mighty joy; or are only calm and peaceful; or are hours of alternate temptation and triumph, darkness and light ; they are hours when the spirit still obeys the divine will as the law of her being ; still confesses her guilt and abases herself before the infinite Majesty and purity of God; still witnesses her supreme love of the divine excellence, her adoring gratitude for redemption, her self-renouncing faith in the great Sacrifice for the sins of the world, her unshaken confidence in the promises of holy scripture, her utter disrelish and loathing of the world as a portion, her supreme longing after perfect holiness, her heaviness and sorrow for impenitent perishing men, her assurance of a resurrection of the body, and of the complete and changeless blessedness of the righteous, and misery of the wicked. These are the elements of the saint's character in life, and they remain the same when he is dying, only they shine but then with a lustre as unwonted as the occasion."