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constitute so large a portion of the traveller's history, are made occasions of ever varying amusement. A vein of humorous satire runs through every line in which American peculiarities and notions are introduced, and truly American in his feelings, he joins the laugh excited by our Yankeeisms.
His remarks on the present state and condition of the people of those countries, their causes and the agencies most likely to produce reform are often truly philosophical and valuable.
We are sorry to add that in too many of our author's descriptions there is a lack of that delicacy and chasteness which belong to true refinement. A popular work which will probably contribute to many an evening's entertainment, at the family fire-side, should be unexceptionable in this respect. No vulgar allusions should stain its pages, however graced with the drapery of humor. Mr. Stephens also indulges too frequently in a sort of reckless trifling with serious subjects. Death is treated with a levity, in some instances, which is very reprehensible. Here humor is misplaced. It were better to omit entirely the description of a scene of melancholy asso. ciation, than to treat it with unbecoming mirth. We would not advocate that sickly sentimentality in which some travellers have indul. ged, yet there is a train of thought, a style of moralizing, which is appropriate to serious subjects, imparting a healthy tone to the mind and exerting a beneficial influence on the heart. With these occasional exceptions these volumes are worthy of the popularity which they have attained.
6.- The Claims of Japan and Malaysia upon Christendom, exhibit
ed in Notes of Voyages made in 1837, from Canton, in the ship Morrison and brig Himmaleh, under direction of the owners. In two volumes. New York : E. French, 1839. pp.
216, 295. These volumes are got up” in good style and present matters of weighty concernment to the christian philanthropist
, the American merchant and to the citizens and government of the United States. The vessels named in the title of the work, it appears, are owned by the house of Alyphant & Co. of New York, and being employed in promoting their mercantile enterprises in China and neighboring countries, have been freely and generously used to aid the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and other benevolent societies in prosecuting their philanthropic labors in those immense regions of darkness and spiritual death. The first volume contains " Notes of the Voyage of the Morrison from Canion to Japan,” by C. W. King of New York, a partner in the above firm. It is written with much strength and intelligence, and gives a better view of the history of the Japanese Islands, than is accessible to the American reader in any other work. This history is contained in an Introduction of some seventy pages, followed by the “ Voyage" in which he was accompanied by Mr. Gutzlaff and Dr. Parker an American missionary. The events of this expedition, (though wholly unsuccessful,) were of a highly interesting character. They were not allowed to enter the ports of Japan, but were obliged to return to China, and even to take with them the seven shipwrecked Japanese whom it was one object of the voyage to return to their homes. This treatment was exceedingly barbarous, and on the ground of it Mr. King makes a spirit-stirring appeal to the government of the United States. This appeal is urged with much ability and force, and is accompanied with suggestions which we think highly worthy the attention of the American congress.
The second volume is entitled “Notes, made during the Voyage of the Himmaleh in the Malayan Archipelago. By G. T. Lay, an agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society for Eastern Asia." It is a continuous narrative, written in an easy style, and containing much miscellaneous and valuable information. The volumes are accompanied with well executed maps of the regions described.
7.-Aids to Preaching and Hearing. By Thomas H. Skinner.
New York: John S. Taylor, 1839. pp. 305. Another book from Dr. Skinner so soon after the publication of his “ Religion of the Bible,” (noticed in the last No. of the Repository,) may be regarded by some as indicating too great haste in its preparation. It is not, however, a sudden and unpremeditated effort of the author, but a choice selection from the results both of his investigations and his experience for many years. It is not a book of skeletons or abstracts of sermons, such as bave sometimes been ve. ry injudiciously furnished as “ aids to preaching,” nor is it a mass of direct and common-place precepts on the subject of hearing, but a thorough and popular discussion of several topics which the author regards as important to be understood by hearers as well as preach.
Hence the book is designed not for preachers only, but for the public. The leading topics discussed are—Mental Discipline,Studies of a Preacher, -Power in Speaking, -Doctrinal Preaching,Preaching on Ability, - How to repent, - and Preaching Christ. Most of these discussions we have read, and regard them as among the very best productions of the author. That on“ preaching on ability," which is continued through two chapters, is especially clear, discriminating and convincing. It exposes, we think, and refutes, with great ability and entire success the peculiar views of Coleridge on the two topics of Ability and Atonement, which appear not 10 have been clearly apprehended by most of the admirers of that learned and alluring writer. On the whole, we judge there are few
preachers, or hearers who may not be profited by the reading and the study of this book. Its substantial merits, independent of the popularity of the author, will secure for it, we trust, a wide field of usefulness.
8.- An Elementary Treatise on Astronomy, designed as a Text
Book for Colleges and the Higher Academies, with Rules and Tables for the practical Astronomer. By William A. Norton, late Prof. of Nat. Phil. and Astron. University of the city of New York. New York: Wiley and Putnam,
1839. pp. 485. We have hitherto possessed no American work embracing the subjects of the above volume in a form adapted to the capacities and wants of the pupils in our colleges. Not that there has been a dearth of books on this branch of science in modern times. There have been books enough of the kind, but none, with which we are acquainted, so well adapted to fulfil the purposes for which this work is especially designed. The works of Herschel, Biot, Laplace, Delambre, Gummere, Francoeur, Bailey, and others are highly valuable, but most of them are defective for practical purposes. In such as have tables for practical astronomy, the calculations in the tables are either not brought down to the present time, or they are deficient in minuteness, so that it would be unsafe to trust to the results obtained from them in the latter case, and there is needless labor left for the practical astronomer in the former. Professor Norton has made his calculations for the tables sufficiently minute for all the purposes of practical astronomy, and so far as we have compared them, they are more correct than most of those now in use, and are brought down to the year 1840.
The plates and diagrams, which are sufficiently numerous for illustration are prepared in good style, and the body of the work, which is intended as a text-book for students, is divided into four parts-1. The determination of the places of the heavenly bodies and their motions. 2. The phenomena resulting from these motions, the appearances, dimensions and physical constitution of the heavenly bodies, etc. 3. The theory of universal gravitation, the great law, by which the motions of the heavenly bodies are regulated, and on which they depend. 4. Astronomical problems, tables, etc.
As an entire work, we think this treatise has been well digested and judiciously arranged. Unity of design and simplicity of style are its characteristics. We are sorry to add that a long list of errata disfigures the book, but these we find on examination do not refer to the tables, and may easily be corrected with the pen.
9.- Demonstration of the Truth of the Christian Religion. By
Alexander Keith, D. D. Auhor of the “ T'he Evidence of
York: Harper and Brothers, 1839. pp. 336. It is impossible to give a full view of what we regard as the peculiar merits and defects of this work in the brief space we can allot to it in the present notice. Its plan as a whole is original and strik. ing. It does not profess to give a general view of all the evidences of Revelation, but leaving the more common topics of proof, as already sufficiently established, it takes up in succession the evidence of the inspiration of the Jewish prophets, derived from the manifest fulfilment of their predictions,- Hume's arguments against miracles, which it represents as foretold and confuted in Scripture, and which our author appropriates as direct proof of prophetic inspiration, Antiquity and authenticity of the Old Testament Scriptures, proved by universal tradition, existing facts, etc.—Objections drawn from geology refuted, etc.-Connection between the Old and New Testa. ments,—The origin and progress of Christianity, according to the testimony of heathen writers, -The genuineness of the New Testament Scriptures, proved by numerous quotations by christian writers, testimony of facts, recorded in Scripture, and by the arguments of Celsus, Porphyry, and Julian, appropriated, etc. etc. Under each of these heads Dr. Keith has collected a considerable amount of learn. ing and information from various sources, and with great ingenuity has endeavored to press the arguments of infidels of every class into the service of Christianity. In this, however, we cannot regard him as having been entirely successful, nor can we vouch for the cor. rectness of some of the geological and astronomical theories which he seems to take for granted. Yet the book is intensely interesting and contains enough of learning, of authentic history, of established facts of antiquity, geology, etc., illustrated by numerous plates and drawings, to enchain the attention of the reader; and no candid mind, we may venture to affirm, will turn from the perusal of this work without feeling itself to have been both instructed and confirmed in the faith of the Bible.
10.- Thirteen Historical Discourses, on the completion of Two Hun
dred Years, from the beginning of the First Church in New Haven, with an appendix. By Leonard Bacon, Pastor of the First Church. New Haven : Durrie & Peck. New York:
Gould, Newman & Saxton, 1839. pp. 400. We take an early opportunity to introduce to our readers this in. teresting and valuable volume, reserving for a future No. a more extended notice of its contents and of certain topics suggested by its perusal. Though it possesses a high local interest for those who reside within the limits of the old New Haven Colony, it is also a most valuable addition to the other memorials of the early history of NewEngland. The field which the author has occupied was in some important respects an ungathered field, and he has labored in it, with an industrious and enthusiastic ardor, and from it has collected many novel and interesting historical facts. The facts themselves, the graphic manner in which they are recounted, the wisely chosen details by which other times are made to live again before the eye
of the reader, the many just reflections upon the important lessons taught us by the past, together with the clear and pointed style which enlivens every page, will recommend the work to all who are inter. ested in the honor of New England, and who reverence the memory of her Fathers.
Among the many volumes, which have been issued to do honor to the early settlers of this portion of the Union, we know of none that in all respects, resembles this. Perhaps there is none which is, for some purposes, and with regard to some points, as valuable. Cer: tainly there is none which presents a greater variety in the sources of its interest to the reader. The two volumes by Prof. Kingsley and Mr. Bacon, both occasioned by the celebration of the 25th of April, 1838, as the two hundredth anniversary of the settlement of New Haven, are in the highest degree honorable to their authors. We shall be disappointed if we do not hear from both of them again, in the field of historic inquiry and illustration.
11.-Second Annual Report of the Board of Education of Massa
chusetts, together with the Second Annual Report of the Sec.
retary of the Board. 1839, pp. 79. These Reports, though immediately interesting to the people of Massachusetts, are not without great value to the whole country. The Report of Mr. Mann discusses, in an able and philosophical manner, maiters which are of universal importance. The Report of the committee drawn up, we presume, by Governor Everett, details at some length the doings of the committee during the past year, particularly in relation to School Libraries and Normal Schools. It is determined to establish two of these schools, one at Lexington in the county of Middlesex, the other at Barre in the county of Worcester. Another will probably be established in Western Massachusetts, and a fourth in one of the Southern counties.
12.— Territory of Oregon.-- Report of Hon. Caleb Cushing.
The river Columbia was discovered on the 7th of May, 1792, by Capt. Robert Gray, of the ship Columbia, of Boston. Subsequently, Capt. John Kendrick, of the brig Washington, a companion of Capt. Gray, purchased on account of his owners, from the native chiefs on SECOND SERIES, VOL. I. NO. II.