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expected ?" Amongst other favorable indications of a revival, he mentions the disposition in a church to maintain discipline and the order of the Gospel. This is a most important consideration, and to those who are fearful of the effect of discipline in disturbing the peace of the church, may be suggested an appropriate motto from Paul : “First PURE then PEACEABLE.” The peace of some churches is like the peace of winter,
when stones, wood, and stubble are frozen in one mass." Their union is not from their being knit together in love ;_" they are in a state of congelation.” The effect of discipline is to quicken the members in self-examination, and to put them on their guard lest they also be overtaken and fall. God speaks to one and another who is tampering with temptation or living in a loose manner in regard to their religious duties, opening their ears by a solemn warning in the exposure of others, and “sealing their instruction, that he may withdraw them from their purpose," and keep them from falling. It is a terrible thing to a backslider to see a fellow professor cut off from the church; "a dreadful sound is in his ears,” crying, “ thus will I do unto thee, O Israel.” It has a good effect upon some in the church, on the principle contained in the words,“ smite a scorner and the simple will beware.” It is a solemn expression used by John the Baptist concerning Christ, when he says, “ His fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor.” This he will certainly do in the years preceding the Millennium. He will come to his churches, and purely purge away their dross, and take away their tin,” and “ Zion shall be redeemed with judgement,and her converts with righteousness. “He will then sit as a refiner and purifier of the sons of Levi, and thenceforth there shall in no wise enter into the gates of Zion the uncircumcised and the unclean. Hence the churches should begin to prepare themselves for the coming of Christ, lest when He cometh he find them sleeping.
Again, we are constrained to say, that without a watchful and zealous spirit in regard to the purity of the churches, their increasing efforts of a pecuniary nature will be comparatively useless. The walls of Zion, like the walls of a rising edifice, are never built with a disproportionate height in different places, presenting the uncomely appearance of a huge elevation here and there, with a frightful chasm between them. When God builds up Zion it is generally the case that the whole circumference of the walls is seen rising together; one proof of which is the fact that during the year 1831, forever to be remembered as a year of the right hand of the Most High in this country, most of the missionary stations were visited with cor
responding mercies. Neither is religious prosperity like the tide of the sea, which when it is high upon one shore, of necessity forsakes the opposite shore. Since God has connected all parts of his church by a spirituality of sympathy, it cannot be expected that a cold and stupid condition of churches in Christian lands can have any other than a chilling influence upon the rest of the world, or that their external efforts, while they are themselves destitute of that spiritual state which is essential to the kingdom of the Redeemer, will receive the divine blessing. And unless the purity and power of the church increases in proportion to the growing demands upon her efforts, the book before us will prove to be only the “memoirs,” of fallen great
In regard to the subject of Benevolent Agencies, which is very properly introduced in a work of this kind, the author has stated with great clearness, the reasons why individuals should be appointed in the entire management of the great enterprizes of the day. It is plain that if left to the care of Pastors and Christians at large, the common saying will soon be fulfilled in regard to these enterprizes, that " what is every one's business, is the business of no one.” Some ministers and churches have expressed great objections to the visits of agents, and have almost preferred to take the entire responsibility of the work of benevolence amongst themselves, into their own hands. This has resulted from the unsuccessful efforts of some who did not prove to be acceptable preachers, and have, in a period of special religious interest, interrupted that progress of feeling in a congre. gation which had been the object of a minister's long continued and anxious interest. That the introduction in a proper manner of one of the great benevolent enterprizes of the day, would endanger the existence of a revival, we cannot believe ; for there are men whom we have heard preach upon the subject of Temperance, whose co-operation would be very great in a season of attention to the concerns of the soul. Other subjects, like that of the Distribution of Scriptures, and the supply of ministers, could be managed by some men, even before a congregation in a state of revival, so as to deepen their impressions. But for a man to come into a place where there is a revival, and in a cold, statistical manner, set the subject of his agency before the people as a matter of frigid calculation, it is seriously to be apprehended would do more harm than good. And even in a common state of feeling, it is in bad taste as well as tedious and almost disguisting to rehearse a set of common-place anecdotes of what "an old lady in New Hampshire said," and "agentleman in Ohio declared to another,” and “some little girls and boys in a neigh
boring state" accomplished. We do not wonder that those who have told us of their pain, while sitting in the pulpit listening to such addresses to a congregation, who, in the previous part of the day were deeply affected by preaching, should be tempted by a sudden impulse of feeling to declare that they would thenceforth manage their benevolent enterprizes themselves. If the conductors of our societies would do that very common and easy matter, viz. please everybody, they must employ only the most able men for agents, men who have such versatility of talents that they can carry their sermons upon the subjects of their agencies before a congregation in which there is a revival, and so adapt them to the existing state of things, as by no means to lessen the religious interest. Powerful and solemn appeals upon religious subjects, even where no personal application is made, frequently give a new impulse to the feelings, by relieving the mind for awhile from its intense thought, without dissipating its impressions. A common opinion has been that the only qualification necessary for an agent was, to be good at begging. We demur at such a sentiment; we need the most able men, who can so interweave the great enterprizes of the day with the private and most solemn feelings of the soul, as to carry both on together. A man who is ignorant of human nature, and unskilful, may succeed, in some measure, as a private minister, but in regard to the appointment of Agents, we would say, 'Lay hands suddenly on no man. We agree with Mr. Cogswell in what he says upon this subject, and hope that he will do all in his power to procure the appointment of the best men to any Agencies with which he may be connected. There is great sensitiveness in many minds in regard to this whole subject, and we seriously consider it as justifiable. But that there must be Agents, no one, we presume will doubt, after reading the fifteenth chapter in this book.
A few criticisms of minor importance might be made upon the work before us. Perhaps it is better to say, frankly, what they are, and then no one will magnify them in his imagination. In regard to the sentiments advanced in the book, we consider them unexceptionable.
If there is a fault in the style, we should say that it is a forced brevity of expression, which, perhaps some would call conciseness, when in fact it is apt to be the form in which prolixity chooses to appear. A constant repetition of short periods, tires the reader ; but this is a beauty of style compared with the opposite extreme of long, and twisted and parenthetic sentences. The Author uses two words which are all to which we can make objection. To “solemnize the mind” is not an allowa
ble expression; to solem rize "has reference to a religious rite." -John is called "the Revelator.” If the word could be applied with propriety, to any one, it would be to Christ rather than to the Apostle, but we should object to receiving the word, as having no rightful, legitimate existence in the language. Having use this severity of criticisin (for which we shall make no apology) we dismiss the book; recommending it with confidence to all our readers, and to those who wish for a convenient volume of reference in regard to the origin and statistics of benevolent societies. We wish its Author success in the nbole enterprise in which he is himself engaged, prosperity of which must be regarded as one of the most prominent of the Harbingers of the Millennium.
1. Anecdotes of Natural History with one hundred and twenty Engravings. Boston : Lilly, Wait, Colman & Holden. 1833. pp. 320.
Scripture Natural History, to which are added Sketches of Palestine, or the Holy Land. By W. M. CARPENTER. First American from the latest London Edition, with improvements, by Rev. Gorham D. Abbott. Boston : Lin. coln, Edmands & Co. 1833. pp. 408.
It falls not within our province to notice very particularly books of the de. scription of the two here mentioned, but of these, one opens so pleasing an introduction to an important and interesting branch of knowledge, and the other is so intimately connected with the Bible, that we can hardly refrain from recommending them to our readers, and especially to the young.
The plan of both is substantially the same, except that the “anecdotes" are in fact anecdotes, while the “Scriptural Natural History," goes more into the description of things and is in illustration of the Bible. It embraces in both the history of beasts, birds, fishes, insects and plants.—The engravings are just and true to nature, so far as we have had opportunity of seeing the various creatures and things represented by them; and no one, we think, can read either of the books, or even “ look at the pictures” in them, without entertainment and instruction, and an enlarged sense of the wisdom and goodness of the Creator. Both of them afford many excellent topics of remark for the intelligent pious parent in discoursing with his children, and may be employed with profit and pleasure. The “Scripture Natural History" is of course the best, but where that cannot be afforded, the “anecdotes'
are well worthy of a place among the books of the nursery and the family. The “Scriptural Natural History” contains a severe criticism on Carpenter, though a just defence of Dr. Harris, as entitled to primary credit in this de partment of knowledge.
2. Bible Stories for the use of Children, illustrated with Engravings. Boston: Leonard C. Bowles. 1833. pp. 190.
Whatever is adapted to draw the attention of children and youth to the Bible, is so far worthy of patronage and support, and that there are so many books of this sort, is one of the most hopeful and cheering indications of the present age.
As to the book before us, there are some things in it which we like, and some which we dislike. It is got up in a very neat and pretty style, and will be read with interest, no doubt, by many for whom it is designed. But its title, we think, is unfortunate. It makes us think of “ Bible News;" and both news and stories are too low and secular to be associated with the Bible. To the incidents it contains, we have no objection, nor to the engravings accompanying and illustrating them; the former being well selected, and the latter well executed. The reflections too are not bad, though they are too little discriminating to be very good. In some instances we have no complacency in them.
In the preface, the work professes to give the narratives very nearly in the language of the sacred writers, but in some cases there is a want of fidelity which ill accords with the profession. Page 142 we read as follows : “ Thanks and praise be to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast revealed these doctrines to thy honest and upright servants.” The Evangelist has it: “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” We think the liberty taken with the passage unwarrantable, and calculated to mislead and pervert.
3. The Actite Christian, a series of Lectures by John HOWARD Hinton, A. M. First American Edition with an Introduction by the Rev. Ezra Stiles ELY, D. D. Philadelphia : French & Perkins. 1833. pp. 235.
Mr. Hinton has been some time known in this country, as the au. thor of a popular work on Revivals; and this, we think, will introduce him still more favorably to the community. The subject of the work is one which calls for judgment and discrimination, as well as a warm and active piety, and we think the author has proved himself possessed of these qualifications in a considerable degree. He is discreet, yet warm-hearted, and on. ward to duty. In style and manner, he is neat and in good taste. The degree of spirituality also, which pervades the book, is very commendable. Some might suppose, from the title,—at least we did—that the compass of the Christian's activity contemplated, would be more extended, than, upon read. ing the book, it is found to be ; but none, probably, will be less satis that
is confined to what looks towards the conversion forthwith of those imme