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Theology. Sawyer's Reconstruction of Biblical Theories, 282. Renan's Dis-
course, 284. Lacordaire, 285. Facts for Churchmen, 285. Döllinger
The Christian Examiner.
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Christ the Spirit: being an Attempt to state the Primitive View of
Christianity. 2 vols. New York: James Miller. 1861.
In many respects this is a very remarkable book. It is remarkable as being the production of a soldier in the regular army of the United States, who has spent the greater part of a life now well advanced in active military service on the field and the Indian frontier, away from libraries and the association of thinking men, and has risen by merit to the rank of Brigadier-General. In 1855, General Hitchcock, for he is the author, left the army, but on the breaking out of the present war, the Administration, anxious to secure the service of his tried ability, commissioned him a Major-General, and tendered to him very important military commands. These he declined accepting; but being called to the important post of military adviser at Washington, he continued until recently in that office, the duties of which he discharged in a manner highly honorable to himself and satisfactory to the govern
The book is remarkable for the spiritual, we may almost say the mystical, character of its thought, for the serenity of its view, the purity of its speculation, the unceasing boldness and unaffected loftiness which we are apt to regard as the solitary student's peculiarity, and which we find it difficult to associate with the military habit of mind. It is remarkable again, and still more remarkable, for the lovely temper in which it is written. A sweeter moral atmosphere 5TH S. VOL. XI. NO. III.
we never breathed than pervades every paragraph of the two volumes. There is no harshness, there is no intolerance, there is no aggression, there is no disagreeable dogmatism, no assumption of superior wisdom. Its charity is perfect, for there is no air of charitableness about it; it is the good-will of an honest, believing, and gentle mind. We can scarcely think of a theologian, living or dead, who might not with profit sit at the feet of this brave soldier, and listen to him as he talks about religion. “I would ask,” he says, “ with as much earnestness as may not compromise a reasonable degree of diffidence, that the suggestions in the following pages may receive the attention of those who feel that they do not well know what to make of the miraculous portions of the Scriptures; not, indeed, as a final solution of the multitude of problems that may arise on a perusal of the sacred volume, but as furnishing some clew to a method of study by which, with patience and the Divine blessing, some valuable results may be obtained.” We quote this beautiful paragraph, instead of others equally beautiful, of which there are so many of similar strain that the selection would be embarrassing, because it indicates one of the motives of the author - perhaps we may call it his chief motive – in offering his work to the public. He would aid those who are stumbling over the miraculous portion of the Scriptures. He has no scruple about showing openly the side which will be most offensive to the readers of such a review as this; but he has not the least intention of making himself offensive to anybody, nor does he seem to suspect that he may be making himself so. He is quietly persuaded that multitudes of men are stumbling over the supernatural in the life of Jesus, and that great numbers will thank him for removing that stone of stumbling from their path. He assumes the mythical character of the miraculous portions of the New Testament, without the least reserve, the slightest emotion, or the feeblest apology. “If," he says, “we accept the miracles as historical realities, we must refuse the idea of law altogether, and must admit that there is no truth in the doctrine which affirms an order in the course of nature; we must then deny the possibility of science in all its branches; and this must be extended to logic and