ePub 版

ftfst of Neto putilfcatfotia.

We regret that a list of only a few of the most important works recently printed, besides those we have already noticed or reviewed, is all we can give in this Number.

Hints on Extemporaneous Preaching. By Henry Ware, Jr, Minister of the Second Church in Boston. Second Edition. Boston. Ciuamings, Hilliard, and Co. 1826.

Home's Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. 8vo. 4 vols. Philadelphia. E. Littell.

Professor Stuart's Sermon, at the New Meeting-House in Hanover Street, Boston. Boston. 8vo.

A Sermon on the Doctrine of the Trinity. By E. Cornelius, Pastor of the Tabernacle Church, Salem. Andover. Flagg and Gould. 1826.

Unitarianism, 'Sound Doctrine.' A Sermon, preached in Waltham, at the Ordination of the Rev. Bernard Whitman, February 15, 1826. Bj Nathaniel Whitman, Minister of Billcrica. Cambridge. Hilliard and Metcalf. 8vo. pp. 36.

Christian Researches in Syria and the Holy Land, in 1823 and 1824 in Furtherance of the Objects of the Church Missionary Society. By W. Jowett, A. M. One of the Representatives of the Society, and late Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. Boston. Crocker and Brewster, and Others. 8vo. pp. 364.

A Letter to a Gentleman in Baltimore, in Reference to the Case of tha Rev. Mr Duncan. By Samuel Miller, D. D. 8vo.

Dissertations upon several Fundamental Articles of Christian Theology. By Samuel Austin, D. D. Worcester, Mass. 8vo. pp. 260.

A Collection of Essays and Tracts in Theology. By Jared Sparks. No. XI. Containing Portions of the Works of Jeremy Taylor. No. XII. Containing Selections from John Locke, Robert Clayton, Isaac Watts, and John Le Clerc's Works. Boston. D. Reed. 1826.

Remarks on the Character and Writings of John Milton. Occasioned by the Publication of his lately discovered 'Treatise on Christian Doctrine.' From the Christian Examiner. Vol. III. No. I. Second separate Edition, corrected. Boston. Isaac R. Butts, and Co. 1826.

Biblical Repertory. A Collection of Tracts in Biblical Literature. By Charles Hodge, Vol. II, Nos. 1 and 2. New-York. G. & C. Carvill.

Notices of the Original and Successive Efforts to improve the Discipline of the Prison at Philadelphia, and to Reform the Criminal Code of Pennsylvania; with a few Observations upon the Penitentiary System. By Robert Vaux, 8vo. pp. 76 Philadelphia. Kimber.and Sharpless.

A Concise View of the Critical Situation and Future Prospects of the Slave-holding States, in Relation to their Colored Population. By Whitemarsh B. Seabrook. Read before the Agricultural Society, &c. Charleston, S. C. on the 14th of Sept. 1825. 8vo. Charleston.

An Attempt to Demonstrate the Practicability of Emancipating tho Slaves of the United States of North America, and of Removing them from the Country, without Impairing the Right of Private Property, or subjecting the Nation to a Tax. By a New England Man. 8vo. pp. 75. New York, G. and C. Carvill.

[merged small][graphic][merged small]




There were several things in the Christian Spectator's review of the' Correspondence,' &c. besides those I remarked upon in my last, which, when I first read them, I thought of noticing; but as some of them do not appear, on a reperusal, to be of so much consequence as they did then, I intend to say but little more of the article or its author. The reviewer is one of those men who make free use of what may be called the dashing style, throwing his words, and epithets, and assertions about him with a most astounding noise and rapidity, but doing no harm at last.

He seems to think that missionaries of the present day, and the first apostles, stand on nearly the same ground, and that the inspiration, and power of working miracles of the latter, did not give them any remarkable advantage over the former. 'We no where find that the places where the apostles wrought most miracles,' he affirms, 'were the scenes of the most signal success.' Let your readers take up the Acts of the apostles, and judge of the truth of this assertion, as they will be able to do by reading the history through. My own impression is, that the miracles of the apostles were generally followed by numerous conversions. Not that it would have been so, if the gospel had not also been preached; for if nothing had been preached, to what could the people have been converted? Miracles arrested the attention of those who

[ocr errors]

witnessed them, and not only so, but opened their minds to the reception of whatever might be presented. The missionaries of our own times have no such means of commanding a respectful and wondering audience; they talk, and as they can do no more, they are disregarded. To me, this difference appears to be one of the greatest importance; though I hardly dare to differ from the reviewer, he is so positive.

'It needs only the manifestation of the truth,' he says, 'to commend both the gospel and the preachers of the gospel to the consciences of men.' Then why have they not been more commended to the consciences of the heathen? The only answer is, the truth has not been manifested, or it has been manifested but sparingly. The criterion is one which the reviewer himself has set up, and he must not complain of its application. He commits himself by his excessive zeal. He greatly undervalues the efficacy of the apostolic miracles. He puts out of view the wide difference of circumstances between the apostles and any uninspired body of men, and of course talks at random about an apostolic charter, and the apostolic example. We can only follow the first planters of Christianity on general grounds; in particulars we must be governed by our own discretion, and the best lights we have; and then we must leave the event to God.

Finally, it may be proper that I should bestow some regard on the reviewer's courtesy, and give him credit for what he has said in our praise. On reading his article for the express purpose of finding out what there was generous and charitable in it, nothing made so strong a claim on my gratitude and acknowledgment as the following sentence, in which he professes a wish to see 'that wonderful thing, a unitarian mission to the heathen.' 'We desire to see it, because we think it altogether probable that a Unitarian mission to India, after what has been already accomplished by the Orthodox, would be useful in completing the demolition of the now tottering paganism of that empire, and we are fully of opinion thai even the negations of unitarianism are better than the positive and horrible superstitions of the heathen? He is fully of opinion! Indeed we ought to be extremely obliged to him for his opinion, and his candid and flattering admission. On my own part I thank him, not only for the compliment, but for giving us such a valuable specimen of orthodox fairness and frankness; for letting us see what an orthodox compliment is. We desire more such. They are encouraging. What a pleasant and edifying employment doctrinal discussion would be, if every disputant were as kind and conciliating as the reviewer!

But I must leave him, and ask your indulgence for a few general remarks on the subject of foreign missions. It is a subject on which there exists a great diversity of opinion. Some regard it as of no importance; by others it is made the very touchstone of faith; and there is a large proportion of the community, I believe, whose ideas with respect to it are as vague and indefinite as they well can be. Moreover, it is a subject which interests too many of our fellow creatures, and interests them too deeply, to be treated lightly or with indifferenoe, to be hastily glanced at and then passed by. I am convinced that it is the duty of every christian to give it what attention he is able to afford, and to make up his mind upon it as far as his opportunities will permit him ; to examine it seriously and without prejudice, and express the honest result of his investigations, whether it be on one side of the question or the other.

I shall commence my remarks with the plain proposition, that the christian religion is intended for universal reception and practice. This appears evident from the design of its founder, and from its intrinsic character. That its complete propagation was designed by its founder, may be gathered from many passages of scripture. His views were divinely benevolent, and therefore they comprehended the world. His intentions were narrowed and limited by no considerations or feelings of party, or country, or family, and therefore they embraced in their generous tenderness the whole race of man. He was born a Jew, and among the Jews he performed his individual ministrations, and closed them by his death, and crowned them by his resurrection and ascension to glory; but the blessings of his gospel were not to be confined to the spot of its first appearance, nor were the subjects of his kingdom to be distinguished by name, or tribe, or tongue. 'Other sheep I have,' said the good shepherd,'which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.'

This design of the founder is seconded by the character of the religion itself. It is a religion of good will to all mankind; it is a religion of mercy, of liberty and of peace. It recognizes no distinctions of wealth, rank, or color; it declares all men to be equal before God. It is so general, that it sanctions all harmless peculiarities; and yet so strict, that it frowns on every departure from virtue, which it truly regards as the great bond of society. It discards all burdensome ceremonies; it demands no mysterious initiation; it sternly forbids idolatry, and of course all the absurd, the shameful, and the cruel practices of idolatry. It strives to root out revenge, and to moderate and control all those passions whence proceed wars, and fighting, and death. It offers its consolations, hopes and promises to all; and it proposes to the attainment of all, the glories and rewards of heaven. The experience of ages has tested its truth, and worth, and fitness for universal reception.

Now, when we consider that Jesus Christ intended his religion for the whole world, and that it is conducive in itself to the happiness of all men, why should we object to foreign missions? They are not to be objected to, abstractly, with any show of reason; because they are, abstractly, offers of happiness to our fellow beings. If Christianity is good, a christian mission is good, in itself, because it bears the tidings of salvation to sinners, and because it seeks their present and eternal welfare; and if we desire their salvation and welfare, or have any sympathy for them as brethren, or even a regard for general improvement, we cannot oppose or slight the design of such a mission. It is no mark of extraordinary sense, or reach of thought, or liberality of feeling, to smile whenever that design is mentioned, and put it by with a motion of the hand, as a visionary or a questionable project. The design is serious, abundantly serious; it is christianlike, it is heavenly and Godlike.

But let the design be ever so good, it may be said, yet, without supernatural and miraculous assistance, it is by us impracticable. The Holy Spirit was abundantly shed on the first preachers of Christianity, and they were endowed with the power of miracles and the gift of tongues. But we have not these powers and gifts; it is vain for us to expect them, and vain to go forth without them to convert the world.

This is by far too prompt a conclusion. It is vain for us to expect, without the aids which were specially afforded to the apostles, to meet with such signal success as they did; but because we cannot accomplish such great changes, shall we attempt none? The mandate of the Saviour,'Go ye forth

« 上一頁繼續 »