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authors of the Tracts, that, while, in tones of solemn remonstrance, they are “calling upon the church to retrace its heedless steps, and to realize, so far as possible, an imitation of the religious notions and practices of the second and third centuries, and while they would fain render the apostolic English church a very copy_(its sufferings excepted) of the church as we find it under Dionysius and Cyprian, yet exclude from their copy the most characteristic and prominent feature of their venerable pattern." This feature, this “luminous point,” in the teaching, and in the concomitant practice, of the ancient church, was the celestial or angelic excellence of virginity and celibacy. Our author, therefore, instead of carrying forward a multifarious inquiry concerning the numerous topics of early opinion and practice, seizes upon this one point, as having intimate alliances with the entire ecclesiastical and religious system of antiquity; and the very point and hinge of his argument is to prove that the corruption of the church, after the time of the Apostles, was not so gradual and progressive, from age to age, as has generally been supposed ; but that there was in the church "a very early expansion of false and pernicious notions, in their mature proportions,” and that they were even then attended with some of their worst fruits. Of these notions the most influential and controlling was the opinion universally entertained concerning the merits and the spiritual efficacy of celibacy, and especially of uncontaminated virginity; taken in connection with the practices thence immediately resulting, and the sanctioned institutions to which, in an early age, it gave rise. The reader, who has never investigated this field, will be astonished, as well as grieved, with the amount of evidence adduced that the notions above referred to were nearly or quite as flagrant in the second, as in the twelfth century; that even in the second century they were no novelties; that they early affected the universal church; that they were at once the causes and the effects of errors in theology, of perverted moral sentiments, of superstitious usages, and of hierarchical usurpations. Enough, at least, is proved on these subjects to afford us good reason for regarding with extreme caution any attempt to induce the modern church to imitate the ancient, at any time, after the Apostolic age. We have a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto we do well that we take heed. “ To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
4.-HARPERS' FAMILY LIBRARY, No. XCIX.--The Sidereat
Heavens, and other subjects connected with Astronomy, as illustrative of the Character of the Deity, and of an Infinity of Worlds. By Thomas Dick, L. L. D. Author of “ Celestial Scenery,' “The Christian Philosopher," etc.
etc. New-York, Harper & Brothers, 1840. pp. 432. By the mass of readers whose education is confined to the English language, the word Sidereal is not as readily understood as the old Saxon Starry. The substitution of the latter word for the former, therefore, we think would have improved the title of this book, designed, as it is, less for classical than for popular use. The book, however, ought not to be undervalued on account of its name. It is a popular treatise on the starry heavens, and does honor to the series of the “
Family Library,” to which it is now added. It is not a labored scientific production, presenting the proofs in detail, of the numerous and grand results which it declares. The author designs to present the visible heavens as parts of the works of God. The most interesting astronomical facts are related and illustrated in such a manner as to be easily comprehended by those who have little knowledge of mathematical science. They are also to presented as to impress the reader with those religious considerations which are most naturally sug. gested to the devout mind by those great and marvellous works of Jehovah. We have here representations of the whole, and of detached portions of the firmament ;-of the arrangement of the stars into constellations, with sketches of their mythological history ;—the distances and magnitudes of the stars ;-variable and double stars, and binary systems ;treble, quadruple and multiple stars ;—the milky way ;groups and clusters of stars;—the different orders of the nebulæ ;—the destination of the stars, or the designs they are intended to subserve in the system of the universe ;-unknown celestial bodies, meteoric phenomena, etc. We have also arguments illustrative of the doctrine of a plurality of worlds, and of the physical and moral state of the beings that may inhabit other worlds, with a summary and comprehensive view of the universe ; in all of which the author avails himself of the results of the most recent discoveries and the most accurate calculations in the science of astronomy; and presents them in a popular and attractive form.
This volume is adorned and illustrated with engravings to the number of more than eighty. It is a highly interesting and instructive work. We cordially welcome it to the family circles of our country.
5.-HARPERS' FAMILY LIBRARY, No. C.-Outlines of Imperfect
and Disordered Mental Action. By Thomas C. Upham, Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy in Bowdoin
College. New York, Harper & Brothers, 1840. pp. 399. We have rarely met with a more entertaining volume than the one here announced. Its plan and arrangement are truly philosophical ; and the great variety and eccentricity of its illustrations are such, that they irresistibly allure the mind of the curious reader from chapter to chapter ; and he feels himself enriched at every step, not only by the multifarious facts presented by the author, but by the numerous illustrations of the principles inculcated, which these facts are fitted to call forth from the store house of his own experience. Most persons, on reading this book, however much they may have prided themselves on their perfect sanity, will find, to their surprise, that they have often been the subjects of mental aberrations when they least suspected it, and that they have reason to be on their guard against those shades and degrees of insanity, which prevail unconsciously, to a greater or less extent, in the intercourse of a fallen world.
The plan of Professor Upham, in this volume, though a novel one in this country, is not entirely unsupported by authority. It was in part suggested by Pinel in France, some fifty years since, and recently more fully announced by a German writer, Professor Keinroth, who represents “the dis. orders of the mind” as only limited in number and in kind by the diversities which exist in the mental faculties."
Our author adopts this general principle, and accordingly considers the philosophy of Insanity as parallel with that of Sanity. In preparing this treatise, therefore, he has pursued the same course and order of investigation which he would have pursued in preparing a treatise on the Philosophy of the Mind. He gives us, first, an outline of mental philosophy, and then proceeds to consider,
I. Disordered action of the external intellect,--sensation and perception, conception, spectral illusions or apparitions, disordered state of the power of abstraction, of attention, dreaming, and somnambulism.
II. Disordered action of the internal intellect,-suggestion, consciousness, relative suggestion or judgment, the principle of association, the memory, the reasoning power, the imagination, nature and causes of idiocy, derangement of the sen. sibilities, appetites, propensities, affections, moral sensibilities, etc.
III. Disordered action of the will,-imbecility of the will, and the will in connection with other powers of the mind.
Under these general heads are ranged a great variety of particulars, in philosophical order, and the principles stated are illustrated by numerous facts from medical works, the reports of prisons, asylums for the insane, etc. etc. 6.-The Doctrine of the Will determined by an Appeal to Con
sciousness. By Henry P. Tappan. New-York. Wiley
and Putnam. 1840. pp. 327. Most of our readers are aware that this volume is the second of a series of works contemplated in the plan of the author. The first of the series was “A Review of Edwards' * Inquiry into the Freedom of the Will,”,” which was published more than a year since, and was noticed at some length in the Repository for July, 1839. The subject of this whole discussion is not only fundamental in philosophy, and of surpassing interest in itself, but singularly wide and important in its relations to morals and theology. We rejoice to see it taken up in a manly, frank, and independent manner. This choice of epithets might seem to indicate some peculiar need of those qualities in such an investigation. So it does; and there is such need, especially when the discussion runs counter to the prevailing current of belief. It needs a disinterested love of truth, and undoubting faith in its prevalence, to venture forth upon this Caspium Mare, this Black Sea of philosophical speculation, never unvexed by storms, and always the dread of mariners.
Mr. Tappan has nothing about him of the partisan. “What I have written,” he remarks in his preface, "I throw not out as a bait to logomachists, either in philosophy or theology: but I submit it to the cool, candid, and generous perusal of those who love truth, and who fear not to think.” The spirit in which he has addressed himself to his task, and thus far prosecuted it, is eminently candid. Without pugnacity, or ostentation, (the appearance of which, at least, it was very difficult to avoid in approaching, with avowed opposition of sentiment, the examination of the system of Edwards on the Will,) he has quietly undertaken his Review, in the manner of one deeply impressed with the nobleness and certainty of the truth he espouses. It
may seem to savor of presumption, or at least of impru. dence, in so young a man, to throw himself unattended into lists where many an older head, if not the wiser mind, would shun SECOND SERIES, VOL. IV. NO. I.
the exposure, even if he possessed industry and inclination for the work. He is attacking a system that has ground our theological grist for many years : innumerable are the sacks of thought that have been bolted there; nor will we deny that the stuff which has come out has often puzzled the eater, and proved at once too hard and too fine for ruminating stomachs. Some have thought it needed the “triturating bran,” we do not say of error, but of reality and of consciousness, to render it salutary, and to keep the mind from being made flatulent for want of practical truth. Our author may be esteemed an adventurer, with more of valor than discretion, thus to set out, in his very first essay, against EDWARDS ON THE Will! Is he not a sort of Bedoween of the desert, running full tilt upon his Arab courser to overturn a pyramid ? But pyramid or temple, we are willing the world should see whether it embalms a dead error or a living truth. We only say to those who stand astonished at Mr. Tappan's boldness, Gentlemen, read the books, and you will acknowledge that this writer has entered upon his inquiries with modesty and frankness, and also with a simplicity, and clearness in feeling, thought, and style, which are not always found in such discussions.
We must confine ourselves in this short notice to some little analysis of the work before us, the aim of the writer, and the degree and manner in which he has accomplished his object. This work is a Psychological essay, for which the Review of Edwards prepared the way. The plan of the whole undertaking embraces the following particulars: 1. A statement of Edwards' system. 2. The legitimate consequences of this system. 3. An examination of the arguments against a self-determining will. 4. The doctrine of the will determined by an appeal to consciousness. 5. This doctrine viewed in connexion with moral
and responsibility. 6. This doctrine viewed in connexion with the truths and precepts of the Bible. The three first constitute Mr. Tappan's first volume; the fourth occupies the present work.
In the statement of Edwards' theory, the conclusiveness of the whole argument rests, of course, upon the truth of the exhibition ; and, as to the deductions of our author from this theory, the question is not, how startling those consequences may be, but, are they true, are they legitimately drawn? If 80, they are neither to be withheld nor softened.
The true difference between contingency and necessity is a point much labored by Mr. Tappan. He endeavors to show that the course of Edwards' reasoning rests upon the assumption of a wrong definition of contingency, as the synonyme