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Whatever may be our desert on the score of past compli city with the peculiar sin of our nation-of past compromises with wickedness-of past faithlessness to solemn political responsibilities (and we feel that our sinfulness herein has been great), we will trust, that so bitter a retribution. as the loss of our liberties, and our future subserviancy to the lords of a slave-confederacy, is not to be the award of Providence. Even the wicked nations of old had an opportunity to repent, and so avert the destroying hand. We will trust, that Providence will be equally lenient towards our nation. To this end may our repentance be prompt and sincere. May we go to the full extent of our responsibilities in breaking our connection with the crime, which, in robbing our fellows of that which is dearer than life, has exposed our country to the retributive vengeance of hea

ven.

G. H. E.

ART. VIII.
Literary Notices.

1. Footprints Heavenward: or Universalism the More Excellent Way. By Rev. M. J. Steere. Boston: J. M. Usher. 1861. pp. 404.

This book has very agreeably disappointed us. As substantially a dogmatic treatise (though in the epistolary form,) on Universalism, coming from one whose acquaintance with the doctrine is comparatively brief, we anticipated a somewhat crude statement of doctrinal points-and these selected from the more commonplace class, such as come early in a believer's experience. We are gratified to find in the book a far more durable addition to our doctrinal literature. The author states his convictions with a little more warmth that may suit the tastes of those who have never had essentially different convictions; but it is worth some thing as a psychological point to note the greediness of the relish for truth, after the hunger has long sought sustenance among the husks of error. It is only those who have passed through the

long Arctic night, that really appreciate the glory of the morning light. In one particular, Mr. Steere has done timely service. The absurdities of orthodoxy, so called, as seen in the light of reason and scripture, are to us so nearly self-evident, that we hardly appreciate the need of formally exposing them. But in this matter, Mr. Steere is a much better judge than we. knows by experience, that to the orthodox themselves, the dogmas they profess are far more real than we can understand, and that, in order to meet the case of such persons, the work of argument and exposition must be continually repeated. His book therefore will do good in quarters that we certainly should fail to reach.

He

The author is well read in modern controversial literature. He is familiar with and heartily appreciates the difficulties which have been so candidly confessed by Barnes, the Beechers, Hudson, and others; and he turns to good account, yet in a kindly way, the concessions which come from these authors.

As specimens of our author's style, and the general quality of his thought, we will here give two extracts. On pages 172-3 he amplifies the absurdity that, according to orthodoxy, men often determine the endless destiny of their fellow beings:

"Illustrations to our purpose are also presented in war. Two armies meet. Fearful are the imprecations! Dreadful is the carnage! Balls and bayonets are the swift instruments of everlasting death! The soldier perishes forever, who might reform and be saved if permitted to return to his home of piety. At the hand of his fellow man, he falls lower than the grave. Nor may any tell how many of our revolutionary colonists are now in endless despair, sent there by the hired Hessians of George the Third. Nor how many of those whose bones have been brought from the plains of Waterloo, as a fertilizer of British soil, are now in the endless despair to which they were consigned by the arbitrament of British swords. And this, especially, when it is considered, that, of all conditions, that of a soldier, in active service, seems least adapted to promote fitness for heaven. Of course it is a mystery to us how Orthodox Christians can advocate war, or their chaplains kneel mid guns and swords, loaded and barbed with everlasting death! For these, in their view, are the terrible arbiters of souls' destiny, cutting off their probation, and thereby saying, as with the authority of the Infinite, You shall have no more chance to escape. These are they that rise up in the place of God, and shut to the door' against their victims forever. Alas! for the Orthodox advocate of war! Let me do him the justice to say, that I think he believes in his creed less than in humanity and common sense."

VOL. XIX.

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Under the caption, "Orthodoxy approaching Universalism," our author shows that, as respects the final destiny of infants, children, and the heathen, the change in Orthodox appeals and phraseology has been rapid. We quote from pages 382-4:

"It was formerly holden that the heathen of all times and climes were lost. And, according to the popular view of probation and punishment, they certainly are. For nothing is plainer than that they die unregenerate. But how is it to-day? Why, so does that doctrine contravene the spirit of the Scriptures and grate upon sensibilities, educated and refined by Christianity, that it is rapidly going the way of all false opinion. The church that was obliged to cast away the dogma of the endless damnation of infants of "two years old and under,"― infants in days, is now finding the same necessity for casting away the dogma of the damnation of infants in knowledge. And so it comes to pass that comparatively little is said about it, even by professed believers in it, in their very pleadings for the missionary cause. Rather do they more generally seek, like Universalists, to move the hearts of their hearers, by portraying the temporal miseries of the poor pagans, children of nature, hastening after other gods'-rather do they tell us, as well they may, of moral pollution, human sacrifice, infanticide, and widow-burning; while the supposed eternal calamity of the fossil creed, is but barely alluded to, passed over with a word.

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"Up to within less than two thousand years ago, the little oasis of Judea excepted, this was, exclusively, a heathen world. The swarming multitudes of old historie and traditionary ages, perishing along the centuries, by disease, famine, pestilence and battle, have sanctified every field and forest and wild nook of earth, with the sprinkling of hostile blood, and left their dust to mingle in all its mountains, plains, and valleys. Now of all these, the fossil creed disposes fearfully. But against that disposal, the intelligent Christian heart revolts, and the more intensely Christian, the deeper the revolt. And so it comes to pass, that if the church of to-day, does not boldly throw open the door of hope and heaven to the ignorant heathen, it forbears to close it against them as formerly if it does not set the heathen down to the account of salvation, it erases them from the account of despair; thus bringing Orthodoxy still farther on towards Universalism."

In its mechanical execution the book is very acceptable. We heartily recommend it as an effective Missionary instrumentality.

2. Sermons preached in the Chapel of Harvard College. By James Walker, D. D. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1861. pp. 397.

We seldom receive a new book with the pure satisfaction we

felt on taking in hand this volume of Sermons. We knew that fresh, nutritious thought was in store for us, and that this thought would be dressed in an unostentatious, severely chaste, and scholarly garb. We have many readers, but few students-many understandings well filled, but few thoroughly trained. Dr. Walker is a student; whatever theme he enters upon, he masters; and his habits of close thinking, clear statement, and precise discrimination have become so fixed, that it would require an effort for him to say a crude thing, or to say anything in a slovenly way. More than any other person we can recall, he reminds us, in the particulars referred to, of the lamented name, which, to our denomination at least, will forever consecrate Walnut Hill as classic ground. Dr. Walker is an earnest defender of Christianity; and direct and incidental pleas in its favor make no small proportion of his volume. He is, however, always comprehensive and liberal in his conception of what essential Christianity is. Instinctively revolting from a soulless rationalism, he is ever careful to distinguish the letter from the spirit. His sermons on the "Mediator," the "Everlasting Gospel," "Alleged Infidelity of Great Men," "Difference among Christians no Objection to Christianity," contain sagacious and profound thoughts, for most part incidental to the main themes, in the direction we have indicated. In all of his theological or religious writings, we see that he is a Christian philosopherthat his views of Christianity, and his interpretations of particular points, all rest in thoroughly matured principles. The practical vein in his sermons is most elevating and inciting. The sermon on "Motives," for example, though in its theme and elucidation almost metaphysical, is among the most directly practical that we have ever read. The same, in large measure, may be said of the discourses on "Conscience," "Character," "Faith and Works." We wish that every young man, as he enters upon the responsibilities of life, could read the two sermons, on "Conditions of Success in Life," and "Choice of a Profession." Of the style we must say the single word, that it is direct and clear no gewgaws of a too meddlesome imagination ever clog the mental vision. The volume contains twenty-five sermons in the handsomest style of typography.

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3. The Rejected Stone, or, Insurrection vs. Resurrection in America. By a Native of Virginia. Boston: Walker, Wise and Company. 1861. pp. 132.

If not the most argumentative, this is certainly the most enthusiastic plea for Emancipation, which the literature of the rebellion has produced. It is evidently written by one who

appreciates the spirit, and has seen the evils of slavery; one whose sense of the wrong is so keen that he feels impatient of the ratiocinations with which matter-of-fact philanthropists dis cuss the question. With great felicity of statement, the author urges rather than argues the point, that emancipation by the general government is the only hope of the nation. The rebels have forfeited all rights of property; and while the government may legally make four million friends at the South, it should do this as a matter of self-preservation. This opportunity neglected is "The Rejected Stone." "Slavery," he assures us, "alone renders the present attitude of the South possible. It is only because a slave can be left at home to till the soil, that the white man is able to bear arms in the army. Should it be once announced that every slave was, in the eye of the country, a free man, each Southerner would have to hurry home to be his own home-guard and his own home-provisioner. Such a measure would disband the Southern forces, and pin every rebel to his home. Their armies would soon fold their tents, like the Arabs, and silently steal away.' Every slave in the South, whether building breastworks or not, whether belonging to a loyalist or not, is, by the wealth and strength he produces in that section, really arrayed against the North. Nay, more, as long as we fail to use that weapon, it is one whose hilt may at any critical moment be grasped by the South and wielded with terrible effect. The Republic of Columbia placed a sword in every slave's hand, and proclaimed freedom to each and all who should rally to its defence. The South may follow their example, and thus, by proving itself more the negro's friend than the North, may turn our natural allies in their midst to our active and bitter foes. Dear as Slavery is to the South, the hope of conquering the 'yankees' is dearer. Should they adopt this measure, we shall be inevitably defeated in this war."

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4. A Manual of English Pronunciation and Spelling. Ry Richard Soule, Jr., A. M., and William A. Wheeler, A. M. 12mo. pp. 500. Boston: Soule and Williams, 1861.

This elaborate, succinct, and convenient Manual contains a full vocabulary of the language, with a carefully prepared and lucid preliminary exposition of English orthoëpy and orthography. Unique in design, admirable in arrangement, and copious in vocabulary, it will be found, even on a cursory examination, to be invaluable as a work of reference for general use, as well as highly useful as a text-book for schools. It is the work of no "prentice han's." Its authors are gentlemen of fine scholastic attainments, rare critical powers, and also of experience; having been for several years colaborers in the preparation of Dr.

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