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who might be competent to treat the tial than we see, invite the return of some loftiest themes, betake themselves to one of the obsolete forms of theology? lower ground, where, while their talents Better be meagre as we are, than be so and accomplishments insure them dis- enlarged. And yet it must be admitted tinction, little is hazarded. Matters of that those ponderous schemes of sacred fact and erudition ;-all things minute, philosophy, though they spoiled, in their definite, and immediately applicable ; turns, the simplicity of the Gospel, did the fields of history-technical criticism, call into exercise a force of mind--a susand ingenious elucidation, are safe and tained power of comprehension and disfacile. The ephemeral controversies that cussion, which have long ceased to apspring from the collision of our religious pear within the precincts of the Church, factions, are also free from the peculiar The Platonic, or profound and meditaperil which weighs upon 11s.
tive theology, after a long reign, fell bepily, too, the very humblest style of de.
fore the activity and the tactics of the vout or practical exposition is exempt Aristotelian, or logical and disputatious, from the eye and interference of the
This again, having lived to its dotage, giant criticism we tremble at. These received a deadly wound from the hand and similar topics ' employ therefore su of the Reformers ; wlio erected in its perior minds.
place its IMAGE, the Dogmatic theology ; “ But who ventures to rise toward the and to this all men did obeisance :--and upper region of celestial meditation? still in measure do 80 ; for it has neither Who forgets the world—its madness, and given a place to a successor, nor been its scorn, while he enters the gate of im- formally consigned to oblivion. Nevermortal hope? Who is it that, as if the theless it exists rather in skeleton, to contemners of heaven were not in hear- fill an unclaimed chair of state, than ing, converses with, and concerning, the exercises any positive domination. Noglories of the Supreme? Who, with a thing rises in the room of the ancient reverent yet uncurbed eloquence, fitting systems.-- There is silence in the balls of the occasion, speaks of the mysteries of Sacred Science, as if all men were waitRedemption ?- Or who, regardless of the ing, in anxious expectation of the depowers of calumny that keep their state
scent upon earth of the bright and fair as ministers of vengeance around the form of Celestial Wisdom.".-pp. 114throne of ancient Prejudice, explores 118. anew the half-hidden, half-revealed wonders that yet couch beneath the words of In the article on the state of souls, Scripture? Labours like these, and en we find many passages which we terprises so great, demand, in times such
would gladly quote, and on some as our own, an intrepidity equal almost to that needed to profess the Gospel at of which we should be constrained the stake!
to offer a few strictures : but we " While the rudiments of truth are shall satisfy ourselves with a single happily preserved among us, there never citation from this essay. It strikes has been an age, perhaps, wherein less of the intensity of the meditative faculty
as one of the most interesting was concentrated upon sacred themes, and powerful passages in the book. than at present. Our biblical industry is all devoted to the letter: and it must “We must here note, in passing, the be confessed that exegetical erudition essential folly of the enthusiast, who conabounds in a very fair degree. These temning the true and purifying discern. lower studies (indispensable indeed) fall ment of God in the brightness of his in marvellously well with the frigid timi- moral attributes, seeks in its stead cerdity of the times, and with its love of tain flashes of the animal spirits, which palpable utility: - they run glibly by the he deems to be better proof of the preside of those practical and applicatory sence of God than joy, and peace, and as-sciences which are receiving universal surance, in the Spirit.'--He turns away homage. Professors and students of from the divine converse of the heart with theology feel to be quite in harmony with its Regenerator ; and reverts, as a child or the spirit of the age, while they thus con novice to the earthly elements of turbufine their attention to matters of fact - lent or passionate emotion. Give him but
gs small and tangible, and which a bauble, and he will at any time throw may instantly and visibly be carried away the jewel. He would be more dehome to some specific point of interpre- lighted could you promise him a dazzling tation.
vision, which should have nothing in it “ Shall we then, because we wish for but a blaze, than with that glory which what may seem more great and substan- shineth into the hearts of the children of
God, admitting them to behold the true awe wkich heretofore had held us far
has already had its commencement. Love,
Notwithstanding the general ex. infer his Eternity, and Infinitude; - then we read the displays of hiš power, and cellence of the volume, there apwisdom, and bounty in the visible world; pear to us to be passages which and we go on to assign to him - Holiness occasionally betray haste, or even and Goodness. This method regulates, in great measure, all our theological impetuosity of thought. The folnotions and religious sentiments. We lowing is certainly a palpable indwell much upon that which in truth is stance of the kind, in which the secondary, or mediale; and see only at a author, in endeavouring to run distance that which is primary and essen
down the error of the dogmatist, tial. By the ladder of reason we have gone up to behold the Most High ; and actually makes war upon liberty of so are we apt to frequent the same arti- conscience, a warfare in which we ficial line of approach, even wheu we
should presume he could have no draw near for worship. “ The Spirit of Grace takes ns by ano.
intention of engaging, and would ther path, and shews us that the Moral
not like to be caught. Perfections are the end and reason of
“ Times of extraordinary fanatical exthe Natural. And who can doubt but citement excepted, the leaders of sects that, when matter and its dark symbols do not allow to themselves the use of lanare 'done with that which is principal guage which, by its arrogance, would sup. shall seem so ?--In bursting from the con
ply its own refutation. But the occult finement of the body, the spirit shall and fundamental principle of all eccle(with amazement perhaps) in a moment siastical despotism on the one side, and reverse the order of its old conceptions; of all factions separation on the other--, and almost cease to think of Omnipo- of all religious 'rancour and hostility, tence, Eternity, Infinitude, while the whether it be avowed or not, is this more dominant notions of Purity, and assumption of Divine authority on behalf Blessedness, and Love, fill the soul. This of what is simply an individual opinion. revolution must (if we might so say) im 'I THINK SO,' is the whole residuum that mensely reduce the apparent distance be can be found after evaporating the protween the created and uncreated Mind; digious pretensions of the zealot-demafor so long as the first named class of no
gogue. What is this will of the Lord'tions have principal possession of our this "anthority of heaven'--this sacred thoughts, the impression that prevails is
cause of truth and righteousness ?' Nothat of immeasurable disparity; and of thing, absolutely nothing more than-course, the more we meditate on these "I think so.' Strip the schismatic's dethemes, the more is such an impression clamation of its finery and its sublimity; enhanced. But though the disparity be of its thunder and its fire; and there tween God and his intelligent creatures remains just this meagre, and scarcely is as absolute in the attributes of Good
visible particle, the intrinsic value of ness or Holiness, as in those of power and whichit would be impossible to express.-wisdom, there belongs to the former a
homogeneity which affords ground of } communion between God and man. --The
And must not I think so, be to conversion of the heart to God is a bring- every man the final rule? After ing God near to us; for this reason, he has read and judged calmly for more in his moral than his natural attribimself, is not his own conviction bntes. We approach the throne by a
of what is truth to rule him? direct path, and in the stead of the mute Would our author interpose the N. S. No. 92,
decision of any other judgment biography, is a department of litebetween the Scriptures and the in- rature in which, we think, the dividual ? And if not, why throw Americans peculiarly excel; inthis bitterness of scorn upon what deed, if we except the writings of he calls the individual opinion ? Edwards (and even his most popular What, then, is the individual work is biographical), of Dwight, opinion to give way before an age and of Moses Stuart, we have regregate opinion, or any earthly ceived little from them of much imtribunal; where, then, is our Pro- portance, in a religious point of testantism ? What becomes of the view, besides the Memoirs to which right of private judgment? We we have alluded. We need only think the author has failed in this mention the names of Brainerd, passage, to discriminate the cha- Mrs. Newell, Mrs. Graham, Mrs. racter of the dogmatist, and has Huntingdon, Mrs. Judson, Dr. supplied ground for a definition of Payson, Pliny Fisk, and Matthias schism, which would inevitably Bruen, (the last not indeed written sap the foundation of the Protes- by an American, but, nevertheless, tant chureb. He must excuse us entirely American in its spirit and for the freeness of these remarks, its details, as well as in its subject)* and, if we have mistaken his in order to recal to the minds of our meaning, he must forgive us. readers the remembrance of some
We cannot, however, part with of the most pleasing and instructive the volume without assuring him, specimens of biography which our that it has given us, in the main, language contains. " In all these much pleasure, and that we do productions there is a freshness very cordially recommend our and virility of thought and manner, most thoughtful and accomplished a freedom of sentiment and ex: readers to gratify themselves by pression, and a somewhat bold the perusal of it. At the same originality of feeling and opinion, time we must say, plainly, there which is peculiarly American, and are a few sentiments in the book which, we confess, is to our minds which we cannot approve, but singularly enlivening and impreswhich do not, however, materially sive. We like to find men speakvitiate the admirable body of ing in our own language, and yet Christian sentiment which the work preserving the peculiar tone and contains.
bias of a nation whose habits and
feelings are very different from our Memoir of the Rev. Levi Parsons, first own; and especially are
we inMissionary to Palestine, from the United terested in seeing in their religious States Originally compiled by the Reve writings an infusion of that spirit Dan. 0. Morton, A.M.; now edited and abridged by William Innes, Minister
of independence of all merely of the Gospel 18mo. pp. ix. 283. human modes of thought and acEdinburgh: 1832.
tion, the want of which has too This is another of those delight- often, in other countries, retarded, ful specimens of biography with we fear, the progress of the truth. which our transatlantic brethren have, of late years, so frequently * We might have added the name of favoured us, and from the perusal Edwards, whose memory has recently reof which so much pleasure and ceived the respect due to it from a me. edification has been derived by a
moir by the Rev. Sereno Dwight; but
we fear the work is as yet too little known large portion of British Christians. in Britain, to be ranked among our reBiography, especially religious ceived biographies.
Another thing which pleases us in rect delineation of the character the writings of the Americans ge and conduct of the individual, not nerally, is the manifest honesty merely for the gratification of and good faith with which all their friends, or the satisfaction of idle positions are advanced, and the curiosity, but for the purpose of obvious practical tendency of all doing good, and exerting a salutheir speculations and under- tary influence upon the minds of takings. They may be mistaken; others. To this all their remarks, but they never seek to mislead. all their illustrations, all their quoThey have no pleasure in para- tations, are made conducive. It is doxes, and just as little in the certainly true that they not unfreproving of truisms. When they quently err in carrying these to too speak, it is hecause they have great à length, and so swell their something to say, which they deem books to such an extent, that the it important should be said. They perusal of them, except to persons are most rigid Utilitarians, not who have much spare time, and only in philosophy and politics, are strongly attached to such works, but in every department of human is rendered almost impossible; but knowledge. In all their engage- notwithstanding this, we are bold ments, they never fail to have to say, that from few, if from any, before their view a definite and of the numerous memoirs of transcertain object, to the attainment of atlantic worth, with which we have which their materials are of late been furnished, any reader rately disposed, and their exertions has risen with any thing approachnicely adjusted. Hence their pre- ing to a sense of weariness, or ference of physical to psychologi- without having derived much imcal philosophy; hence their de- provement, both in an intellectual, termined subordination of science and a spiritual point of view. to art; hence the superior estima. With these feelings it is with petion in which they hold the sound culiar pleasure that we hail the
sense and hard-headed present accession to our previous judgment of such men as Frank stores in this department of relilin and Jefferson in matters of po- gious literature, especially in the litics, to the speculations and de- very cheap and convenient form in ductions of the acutest and most which it is presented to us by its refined jurisconsult; and hence excellent and highly esteemed edialso among their theologiaus and tor. Containing, as it does, the preachers that steady direction of memoirs of the life, and large exall their efforts to the one grand tracts from the journal and letters, point of making the truth as it is of a most pious and devoted man, in Jesus tell upon the hearts and the friend and fellow-labourer of consciences of their hearers, to the Pliny Fisk, composed in a style of neglect of much of the inward simple but lively narrative by a essence and frequently all of the near relative of the deceased, and outward form of pulpit oratory, now coming in a condensed and for which they are so remarkable, portable form, nullo verbo omisso and by means of which they have quod proprium, nullo retento quod been honoured to be so useful. nimium sit from the hands of one
The influence of the same prac who has long been known for his tical spirit is evident in all their station in the church, and his exbiographical compositions. The ertions in the cause of truth and one grand object in all these is, piety; we know no work which evidently, the exhibition of a cor we could with more confidence
and greater pleasure commend to dom, and from the illustration the notice of our readers. For which it affords of the manner in ourselves we value it very highly, which revivals in America are not only for the information which brought about, and the point of it contains, which is by no means view in which they are regarded trifling, but also for the clear ex- by Christians there : hibition which it gives us of a cha. racter in which Christian feeling “ Middlebury College, June 24, 1814. and Cbristian principle are asso.
" Rev. SiR The present is a solemn ciated with talents, literature, and period. God is pleased, in his mysterious personal influence, and yet main providence, to visit this seminary again by
the effusions of his Holy Spirit. The tain a superiority to which the work commenced about four weeks since. others are cheerfully subservient, Four young gentlemen of promising taas well as for the pleasing and lents, who had been long regardless of
God and their own salvation, are now pro. animating impression which the
claiming their Maker's praises. At preperusal of it leaves upon the mind. sent they appear to possess the spirit of For, as Mr. Jones justly remarks: Christ, and are mnch engaged for the sal.
vation of their fellow-students. Thousands “ In reading the Memoir of Mr. Par
may be brought to glory through the insons, we are carried back to the days of strumentality of these young disciples, EDWARDS, and BRAINERD, and Henry perhaps many perishing heathen. “Bless Martyn, and are reminder of that high- the Lord, o`my soul! let all the saints toned piety by which these eminent ser
praise him.' Last evening, about a hud. vants of God were distinguished; and
dred students assembled in a conference while every reader must be struck with
meeting, avd many were deeply affected. the contrast between the singular devo. While the brethren spoke of the attritedness of such men, and that dwarfish butes of God, particularly his justice Christianity with which professors in in the destruction of the incorrigible general, in the present day, rest satisfied, sinner, and his mercy in saving any, all it is useful and edifying to place such was silent as the grave. One who had models before our view. While such a
for a long time neglected his duty as a contrast is fitted to fill us with deep hu- Christian, and mingled with the world, nility, we shall not improve these exam arose with a burdened heart. His coun. ples as we ought if they do not stimulate
tenance strongly indicated the anguish of is to increased zeal and activity, while his mind. lie spake of his past conduct they show what, even in this state of im
with the deepest regret, and solemnly perfection, men of like passions with our warned sinners not to let his life prove selves have attained.”—Pref. p. ix. the ruin of their souls Many wept; O As the incidents of Mr. Par- yes, many, who, a few days since, irified
with serious subjects, now weep for their sons's life present us with little immortal souls. I'he scene reminded us of that is very new or striking, we the general judgment, when saints will shall not occupy the time of our rejoice in the smiles of their Saviour, and readers with a recital of them. Some of those very individuals, who were
sinners will tremble at his final sentence. We shall better, we apprehend, most active in wickedness, now cry for engage their attention, and give mercy. God has smiled upon this instithem a better notion of the interest lution in a peculiar manner. This is the of the volume, by presenting them fourth revival which I have witnessed
here. In the senior class twenty-five are with a few extracts from his diary hopefully pious; in the freshmen all but and letters as they are furnished to four. 'Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us; us in the Memoir. The following but to thy name be all the glory.' What letter to the Rev. Moses Hallock, holy child Jesus !'. There is the sound of
wonders are wrought in the name of the of Plainfield, Mass., written when
much rain. Oh! that the saints at Plain. Mr. Parsons was at college, is field would pray for us at this critical valuable, both from the exhibition moment. Who can tell but God designs which it gives of the lively interest
to raise up many in this college to proclaim
salvation to the heathen, and hasten on which, at a very early age, he took the latter glorious day? in the progress of Christ's king “ The revival among your dear people