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prevail against his Church. But whether he will, in righteous judgment, suffer it to be corrupted, scourged, and diminished under the exciting influences of the present age, or whether he will gloriously enlarge and beautify it, we do not know: and we confess, our estimate of this age occasions no small degree of anxiety. To us, the signs of the times seem portentous of evil as well as of good.
A brief answer to one practical question is all that our limits permit in the conclusion of this article—How shall these high excitements be regulated and guided to a desirable consummation? There are doubtless some who would say, use all appropriate means to discourage and put down the excitements. But such a course would not accomplish the object, were it desirable. It is impossible to stop the current. Every obstacle cast in its way would only produce a temporary restraint, and then serve to increase the food in the same or some other direction. With such a population as ours, excitement can be put down only by counter excitement, or by withdrawing from its influence. In one case, nothing valuable is gained, and in the other, a substitute will soon be found. Excitements we must have, and it is useless to spend time and efforts to prevent them. A far more grave question is how to direct their course and objects.
Heedless extravagance, under this influence, would be still worse. To fall into the current in such a manner, would increase their violence, without regard to the objects, or their manner and means of influence. Something may be done by wisely selecting the objects, encouraging attention to them, and associating the best means for their attainment. This suggests the amazing responsibility of those men, who, by their talents, intelligence, weight of character, or station, can exert a salutary influence. But after all, principle, enlightened, settled moral principle, must guide a people liable to such excitement. Public sentiment, based on moral principle, can sway us; and nothing without it, in the sphere of human agency, can guide and govern an excited free people.
We must go back to the education of children and youth for a solution of this question. The rising generation will soon be obliged to regulate excitements of a more agitating character, or be swept away as by a resistless tornado. The religious education of youth must be vigorously and thoroughly prosecuted, or our hopes expire. There is no sure foundation, no stable, settled principle of morals, except the Christian
VOL. Iv. No. I.-R
religion. The Bible must be restored to the nursery, common schools, academies, and seminaries of education, from which it has been so long banished. It is matter of gratulation that the Sabbath school is labouring to produce this reform. This institution should be most assiduously cherished. Imbue the minds of the rising generation with religious principle, and the best interests of man and the interests of the Church are safe. Christian principle will secure them all, however strong and agitating the existing influences may become.
Just at this time it is a question of absorbing anxiety, how are religious excitements to be regulated and conducted to a happy result? To the various interests of our country, this is a question of unspeakable importance. If these revivals, which are now occurring with unexampled frequency, should continue, and be wisely directed, they will regenerate public sentiment, bring back the Bible to our schools, and raise up a generation under the influence of stable, correct moral principle. To secure, therefore, the proper regulation and judicious guidance of revivals, is immensely important. How is this to be done? Can it be done by philosophical speculations? Never. Can it be secured by teaching man's ability? Not at all. Can it be done by naked illustrations of cold orthodoxy? By no means. Several things must be combined. There must be an intelligent, plain, affectionate, faithful exhibition of gospel truth—devout, earnest, unceasing prayer to God-and an humble, confident reliance upon the influence of the Holy Ghost. Preaching and conversation must be intelligent, exhibiting the great truths of the Gospel distinctly, distinguishing one from another, and at the same time showing the connexion, relations, and harmony of the whole. They must be plain, presenting the mind of the Spirit in the simplicity and excellence of the truth. They must be affectionate. Every thing harsh and provoking should be avoided, as ill comporting with the tender and persuasive kindness of the Saviour's love, and not calculated to subdue the heart. Even the terrors of the Lord should be urged with the kindest affection for the souls of men. They must be faithful. This intends a right and appropriate application of truth to the consciences of men. Appeals are not only to be made to the understanding, but to the heart, with earnestness and solemnity. It includes rightly dividing the word of truth, and giving to each his portion in season. It is not only important that the momentous truths of God's message be rightly divided, but seasonably administered; adapted in solution and illustration to the state of the people.
We cannot too highly estimate, in this plan, the importance of earnest, united, unceasing prayer, for the Holy Spirit's influence. Without his agency, nothing can be accomplished. An humble, confident reliance on his blessed efficiency, unitedly expressed in fervent, persevering prayer, indicates our only hope. The most encouraging thought which associates with our prospect, is the connexion of these revivals with the widely extended observance of the monthly concert for prayer. These concert seasons seem to have excited a solemn earnestness of humble entreaty, which binds the interests of the Church and immortal souls to the intercession of Christ our advocate. Let every Christian who knows the way to the Mercy seat, there be often found; there plead for the influence of the Holy Ghost on the whole population of all lands; there pray that these reviving excitements may be conducted by the Holy Spirit's agency to the glorious consummation of converting from sin to God this nation, and the world.
ART. VIII.-SHORT NOTICES OF RECENT PUBLICA.
1.- The Book of the Priesthood: un Argument, in three parts. By Thomas Stratten, Sunderland. New York, Jonathan Leavitt. Boston, Crocker &. Brewster. 12mo.
This is a work of real talent, and of no small value. When we first glanced at its title in a bookseller's advertisement, we had no doubt that it announced a production of some hightoned and zealous advocate of prelacy. The perusal of a few lines of the preface, however, agreeably undeceived us. And we soon discovered that the writer, (who is an English Dissenter of no common power,) under cover of a title somewhat quaint, and, perhaps, not entirely judicious, has assailed the fundamental principles of the hierarchy, whether Popish or Protestant, with great force and effect.
In Part I. of his work, the author demonstrates that "the Christian Ministry is not a Priesthood.” This he does in five sections, showing-That there is no basis like that on which the Jewish Priesthood rested, to sustain the claims of an official Priesthood in the Christian Church:--That there is no Priesthood included, either in the incipient, or the complete and final Apostolic commission :-That no Priesthood is required for the observance of the ritual institutions of the Christian Church:That no Priesthood was conferred in the personal authority with which the Apostles were invested: and that no Priesthood is referred to in the supplementary appointment of the Apostle of the Gentiles. In Part II. it is shown, with equal strength of argument, that “Christ is the only, and the all-sufficient Priest of the Christian Church.” This is done in four sections, proving, that Christ is the only Priest—that he is the all-sufficient Priest, on account of the perfection of his sacrifice--that he is an all-sufficient Priest, on account of the prevalency of his intercession -and that the all sufficiency of Christ's Priesthood supersedes the necessity of sacramental efficacy. In Part III. the author shows, that “The Levitical terms employed in the New Testament, which do not apply exclusively to Christ, belong equally to all true Christians.” This is accomplished in three sections, in which he maintains, that the designation given by Peter to the members generally of the Christian Church, corresponds with the declaration of Moses to the Jews, that they should be a "kingdom of Priests:"_that in the knowledge of God, which is the basis of all true religion, the Jewish people, when they were obedient, were a king; dom of Priests, and Christian people are “a holy Priesthood" -and that, in separation to the service of God, the Jewish people, when they were obedient, were a kingdom of Priests, and Christian people are a holy Priesthood.
We are constrained to differ from this writer in a few points. More particularly, if we rightly understand what he says concerning the sacraments of the Christian Church, as involving no vow or engagement whatever, on the part of those who attend upon them; and especially of the Lord's Supper, as not requiring the presence of any minister or other official man in its administration, we must entirely dissent from him. What he says on this subject is not at all necessary to his
general argument; and we are persuaded is untenable, and mischievous in its tendency.
Mr. Stratten, however, is a lively, vigorous, clear, and
eloquent writer, and we think has maintained the leading doctrine of his book with great force, and with triumphant success. He seems also to be a warm friend to the peculiar and most 'precious truths of the Gospel, and to write with the spirit of a man of fervent piety. His book is well worthy of public attention.
We cannot help praising the good size and clearness of the type in which this book is printed. It is delightful to our old eyes to see a page on which they can rest with ease and comfort. If all readers felt as we do, American printers would not be much encouraged to give us books in the small and obscure type which we so frequently encounter to our great annoyance.
II. A Text Book of Popery: comprising a brief history
of the Council of Trent, a translation of its doctrinal decrees, and copious extracts from the Catechism published by its authority; with notes and illustrations: to which is added, in an appendir, the Doctrinal Decrees and Canons of the Council of Trent, in Latin, as published at Rome, Anno Domini, 1564. The whole intended to furnish a correct and complete view of the Theological System of Popery. By J. M. Cramp. With additional notes translated. New York, D. Appleton, 12mo. 1831, pp. 451.
Nothing more is necessary to refute and discredit that system of error and superstition commonly called Popery, in the view of all thinking people, than the simple statement of facts. If its rise, progress, claims, and character were understood, as they really exist, and as they are undoubtedly represented in the decrees of their most approved councils, and the writings of their most eminent divines—the spell would be instantly broken. No serious mind would need to be warned against it a second time. It would stand revealed a system of the most heartless, abominable, soul-destroying superstition that was ever imposed on the credulity of mankind under the name of Christianity.
The great excellence of the work before us is, that it makes Romanism speak for itself. As the title page indicates, the decrees of the Council of Trent are presented in all their naked and undeniable deformity. Other Romish authorities, of unquestionable character, are also adduced in confirmation of the compiler's statements. A more ample survey of the doctri