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Apostle, which he gives (2 Peter i, 5-12) to those who have already taken the first step and are possessed of " faith.” “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance ; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness ; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.” This is the circle of graces which the Christian convert is to aim to attain, and with which, when attained, he shall be “neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
The peculiar excellencies of this book are the clearness with which the nature of these different graces is set forth, and the vivacity and warmth which pervade its pages throughout. The first chapter affords a good illustration of what we mean. The text is, “ Add to your faith, virtue." The exact meaning of the “grace" here specified is brought out so that even a child will understand that it is “manliness, manly vigor, a courageous tone of mind," that is needed; although all will feel a difficulty in finding any one English word which will exactly express the idea, till relieved at once by the following passage :
“ The one word which comes nearest to it, while it has the abundant sanction of good English writers, is hardly domesticated in the pulpit ; yet both the word and the thing were strikingly expressed by an honored foreign missionary when urging upon the American Board the immediate and thorough occupation of Turkey, with men and means for the service of Christ. Said Dr. Schauffler, 'after all the discouragements and disasters of the Crimean campaign, official mismanagement, army jealousies, camp sickness, and the discomforts of winter, the soldiers held on and took Sebastopol not by science but by pluck—and what we need is Christian pluck to take possession of Turkey in the name of Christ.'”
The author then proceeds to show exactly what this “manhood " is, and illustrates his meaning by references to Washington, to Luther, and to Savonarola, so pertinently and with such stirring enthusiasm as cannot fail to affect every earnest mind.
SPURGEON's SERMONS. Fifth Series.* - Another volume of Sermons by Rev. Mr. Spurgeon has issued from the press of Messrs. Sheldon & Co., who are specially authorized by him to publish his works in this country. It is Mr. Spurgeon's expressed request that no parties shall infringe the contract he bas made with his American publisher. The accounts which we receive of the immense number of copies sold of the
* Sermons. By the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon. Fifth series. New York: Sheldon & Co. 1859. 12mo. pp. 454. For sale by F. T. Jarman. Price, $1.
four preceding series show that this popular preacher still retains his hold upon the people.
We have already expressed our views respecting Mr. Spurgeon in a previous number. We give here a short extract from an account, written lately by Rev. H. M. Field, of the impression made upon him by hearing one of his sermons.
"I rank Mr. Spurgeon very highly among the living men of his country. Sometimes I hear a fling at him that he is a coarse, vulgar man, and that he is puffed up with conceit. Perhaps he is vain of his popularity. I can only say that I did not discover it in his public preaching, nor in his private conversation. As to his low breeding, certainly he has not an aristocratic air. As he has sprung out of the ground, he shows plain marks of his origin. He is of the earth, earthy. But that very fact may give him half his power. His thoughts and language are racy of the soil, and thus he is fitted to be what he is—not a fashionable preacher, but a real tribune of the people, swaying the hearts of thousands of men."
In a notice of Mr. Field's new book of travels, (Summer Pictures, p. 806), we have referred again at greater length to his impressions with regard to this pulpit celebrity.
THEODORE PARKER'S EXPERIENCE AS A MINISTER.*-Rufus Leighton, Jr., of Boston, publishes Theodore Parker's experience as a minister, in a book which we cannot advise our readers to buy, although it contains matter for much profitable reflection. It is a saddening book to be written in the year of grace, 1859, and to be addressed to a Congregational Society in Boston. Mr. Parker's personal history, as recorded in it, is not without interest. His personal peculiarities are all exhibited with his usual naiveté, freshness and genius. But his opinions and the reasons for them are none the less a mystery to us when we lay down the book, than when we took it up. What he means by the Absolute Religion, more than Tindal and Herbert, and Paine, who would each say they believed, we cannot divine; nor do we find the shadow of an argument which justifies him in rejecting the supernatural origin of Christ and the Christian revelation. Mr. Parker stands alone for his breadth of reading, his manifold sympathies, his impetuous recklessness, his sublime self-confidence, and the rare com
*Theodore Parker's Experience as a Minister, with some account of his early life and education for the ministry; contained in a letter from him to the members of the Twenty-Eighth Congregational Society of Boston. Boston: Rufus Leighton, Jr. 1859. 12mo. pp. 182.
mand which he holds of the English tongue, by which he rivals Cobbett and Emmerson, each in their line, or rather blends the excellencies of both in one. He seems also to unite in himself the faults of the two, whenever he is required to weigh evidence, to judge of an argument, or to distinguish truth from falsehood. We can easily see how his biting satire should attract thousands to his pulpit, of the motley myriads in Boston and vicinity, who suffer from superfluity of brain and defect of reverent love, but we cannot so well understand how his admiring followers should find in his teachings, opinions and principles distinct and well-grounded enough to satisfy their judgment.
DR. BUSHNELL'S "PARTING WORDS." *-The "Parting words" of Dr. Bushnell stand in striking contrast with the Letter of Theodore Parker. Dr. Bushnell has genius equal to the latter, and has not been inferior to him in pastoral or literary enterprise. But how different is the spirit in which he reviews his pastorate of more than twenty-six years? How different the view which he takes of himself-of the gospel which he has preached-of the effect which it was designed to accomplish, and the character which it is fitted to form? We should like to see the two stitched together, and sent between the same covers all over the country. We give a single extract.
"In the matter of Christian truth and doctrine, understand that your responsibilities are as great as the sacred interests of a gospel for the world's salvation require them to be. Hitherto you have been mainly concerned to assert a larger liberty and a more generous, more comprehensive, doctrine. But the time may come, as I may not have sufficiently warned you, when you will be called to set yourselves, with as great firmness, against the encroachments of a destructive and vapid liberalism. Offer no least allowance to any real departure from truth. Standing for no one form or formulary as a law by which to measure and condemn all others, have it as a point of honor, even, squarely to reject as Christian, whoever really rejects the Christ in whom you trust. Assert, above all, and stand by the assertion of, a supernatural gospel; for there is, in fact, no other, and whoever scorns or only disowns such a gospel, let him be to you as a heathen man and a publican,—deist, pantheist, atheist, or pagan, but no Christian. Studying always breadth of doctrine, which is the manner of God's word itself, make that study safe, by presenting a front of rock to all the prurient forms of error that human shallowness and conceit may gender, under the pretext of liberty. There is a kind of breadth that would make you a superficies only and no substancethat is not for you." pp. 17, 18.
Parting Words. A Discourse delivered in the North Church, IIartford, July 3d, 1859. By HORACE BUSHNELL. Hartford: Published by L. H. Hunt. 1859. 12mo. pp. 25.
Under's New England Theocracy.*—Mrs. Conant has given to the American public a very readable translation of .wbat a German scholar has written about the early history of our New England Churches, One impression which the book can hardly fail to produce upon intelligent readers, is that the time has come in which the ecclesiastical history of New England, as distinguished from the civil and political history of New England, ought to be carefully and thoroughly written. We appreciate and commend what Mr. Felt is doing with praiseworthy laboriousness. But his work, of which the first volume has been for sometime before the public, gives us the dry materials of history, rather than history in the higher meaning of the word. Mr. Felt is a well trained explorer in the mine of old records and documents, and an accurate and patient annalist. There is no room to doubt that his coming volumes will be, like the first, an almost perfect collection of facts and references arranged in the form of annals. But Uhden's New England Theocracy impresses us with the fact that we need a church history of New England which shall exhibit events in their causes and connections, and in their significance, as well as in their chronological sequence. We need some one to do for the entire story of American Congregationalism what this German scholar has attempted to do for a particu
Another impression which the book gives us, is that the history of our New England churches opens a distinct and most important field of investigation for a philosophic historian, and one that may yield much fruit for the common benefit of the church universal. The working of Christianity, in the peculiar circumstances and under the distinctive organization of those churches, is a theme such as is offered in no other chapter of history from the days of the Apostles downward. Nor is the subject merely curious in a speculative view. It is rich in most important practical lessons illustrative of questions that are coming up for decision in every country of Protestant Christendom. The “church of the future," so much and so vaguely talked of, may not accept the Cambridge Platform as its constitution ; but it is not presumptuous to say that the historian who shall explore with philosophic insight, and portray successfully, the story of these churches, will contribute some
* The New England Theocracy. A History of the Congregationalists in New England to the Revivals of 1740. By H. F. Uuden. With a preface by the late Dr. Neander. Translated from the second German edition, by H. C. CONANT, Author of “The English Bible," etc. Boston : Gould & Lincoln.
thing to the conception of what is to be the organization and what the influence of Christianity in that new era of civilization toward which the world is tending.
The work before us was written under the advice and guidance of Neander, who, in a prefatory notice, described the author as his "highly valued young friend." Very naturally, it is somewhat such a work as Neander himself might have written. We marvel at the sagacity which, with means that seem to us so greatly inadequate, has learned so much. We marvel that a foreigner, who never saw New England, and whose disadvantages in other respects were so serious, did not fall into greater errors, both in the details of the story, and in the general conception of his subject. His only authorities are the books of which he has given a descriptive catalogue in his appendix; viz, Mather's Magnalia; Neal's History of New England; Backus's History of New England Baptists; Hutchinson's Massachusetts, with the supplementary volume of Original Papers; Trumbull's Connecticut; Baylies' Historical Memoir of New Plymouth; Snow's History of Boston; Winthrop's Journal, (the imperfect first edition, Hartford, 1790 ;) Knowles' Roger Williams; and Wisner's History of the Old South Church in Boston. These volumes, it seems, are all the sources of knowledge which the Berlin library offers to a student of New England Church history. Instead of wondering at the errors into which the author has fallen, we wonder much more that his errors are not greater and more radical; that he sees and represents so clearly the cardinal facts of the history, and that he catches sometimes the meaning and bearing of things which our own writers have hardly seemed to regard as having any special importance.
THE EXPLANATORY QUESTION BOOK.*-It is the object of this " question book," which seems to be well prepared, to assist and direct those who are wishing to study systematically the various doctrines of our religion. The importance of a correct understanding of these doctrines can hardly be stated too strongly. Piety, to be stable, must be intelligent. We would advise Bible class teachers to examine this book, and particularly those heads of families who wish some guide to assist them in the instruction of their children at home.
The Explanatory Question Book, with Analytical and Expository Notes. Edited and compiled by a practical Sabbath School teacher. With an introduction, by Rev. EDWARD N. KIRK, D. D. Boston: Henry Hoyt. 18mo. pp. 105.