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be responsible, as it is presumed that he has given the meaning of his author correctly. If he has not done so, he has undertaken a task for which he was not qualified, and which he should have resigned to abler hands. There are some other portions of the work, which will provoke attack; but they are unimportant. It must be passed upon as a whole. As such we commend it to our readers as eminently meritorious, imbued with the true spirit of philosophy, abounding in fact, argument, illustration and learning,-in short, as worthy of the highest commendation and praise.
6.-History of the Christian Church, from the Ascension of
Jesus Christ, to the conversion of Constantine. By the Rev. Edward Burton, D. D., Regius Professor of Vivinity in the University of Oxford. First American edition with a Memoir of the Author, occasional Notes and Questions adapting it to the use of Schools and Colleges, by the Rt. Rev. G. W. Doane, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey, and Principal of St. Mary's
Hall. New-York: Wiley & Putnam; 1839. pp. 407. Dr. Burton is extensively known in England as the author of several valuable works on the Early History of the Church. In 1826, he published his “testimony of the Anti-Nicene Fathers to the Divinity of Christ.” În 1829, he delivered the Bampton Lectures before the University of Oxford, on “the heresies of the apostolic age." In 1831, he published his
testimony of the Anti-Nicene Fathers to the doctrine of the Trinity and the Divinity of the Holy Ghost.” In 1833, his • Lectures on the Ecclesiastical History of the three first centuries, from the crucifixion of Jesus Christ to the year 313,” were given to the public. The present volume is an abridgment of the last named work. It was prepared at the request of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. It was among the last acts of his life; indeed, his earthly labors closed a few weeks before it issued from the
press. The reader will not expect from this abridgement the profound and copious learning of our larger histories. It is writ ten, not for the scholar, but the people. It gives us a general view of a most interesting period in the affairs of the church; but there is very little of detail, and there is no display of the author's erudition. There is hardly a quotation from the Fathers and it is seldom that any reference is made to the sources from which his statements are drawn. Still it is obvious SECOND SERIES, VOL. IV. NO. II.
that Dr. B., throughout the volume, feels himself very much at home. His silence on some points. and his hasty glance at others are evidently the result of design, and not of incompetency. We are not sure that his plan is not faulty in this particular. We are inclined to think that his desire to suit his work to the general reader has carried him too far.
In the execution of his plan, the author has been very successful. In his style there is a happy blending of grace with precision. His recital of facts is generally correct: vexed questions and disputed points are presented with clearness and candor.
In proof of Dr. Burton's fairness we refer the reader to p. 60. He there says:
" Jesus Christ had not himself left any directions for governing his church.” This is more than we expected from the Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford. The editor, however, has endeavored to neutralize this concession by the following note: “ This seems hardly in accordance with what is said in Acts i. 3: “Being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, and with the very particular directions for the government of the church which we find in St. Paul's Epistles to the bishops Timothy and Titus.” In a second note on the same page (61) he says: “His final commission to them, (Matt. xxviii. 19, 20,) was, 'Go ye and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you.' A most pregnant clause, this last ; and evidently implying many instructions to the apostles which are not recorded."
We cannot doubt that Dr. Burton's attention was called to Acts i. 3, Matt. xxviii. 19, 20, and “the very particular directions” “ in St. Paul's Epistles to the bishops Timothy and Titus.” It would readily occur to him, however, that if any unrecorded instructions were given to the apostles, designating an order of men to be their successors, the fruit of this appointment must appear in the practice of the primitive church. But he says, page 262: "Every church had its own spiritual head or bishop, and was independent of every other church, with respect to its own internal regulations. There was, however, a connexion, more or less intimate, between neighboring churches, which was a consequence, in some degree, of the geographical or civil divisions of the empire. Thus the churches of one province, as Achaia, Egypt, Cappadocia, etc., formed a kind of union, and the bishop of the capital, particularly if his see happened to be of apostolic foundation, required a precedence in rank and dignity over the rest. This superiority was often increased by the bishop of the capital, (who was called, in later times, the metropolitan,) having actually planted the church in smaller and more distant places; so that the mother church, as it might literally be termed, continued to feel a natural and parental regard for the churches planted by itself. These churches, however, were wholly independent in matters of internal jurisdiction.” And this at the close of the second century! We think the author was perfectly justified in saying, that "Jesus Christ had not himself left any directions for governing the church.”
7.-Critical and Miscellaneous Essays. By Thomas Babington
Macauley. In two volumes. Boston: Weeks, Jordan
& Co.; 1840, pp. 456, 496. The author of these essays is the son of Zachary Macauley, who is favorably known, in England and this country, as a former editor of the Christian Observer. It is now many years since T. B. Macauley engaged in public life; and his career thus far has been very successful. He has occupied a high judicial station in the East ;-has been a prominent member of Parliament; and now holds the office of Secretary of the War Department, in the British Ministry. His fame, however, will ultimately settle down on his literary labors. The writer of the essay on Milton will be admired and praised, long after the judge at Calcutta, the member from Edinburgh and the associate of Lord Melbourne shall have ceased to be mentioned. There is a grasp of thought and a vigor of expression in his productions, which are the sure pledge of immortality. When once read, they can never be forgotten. His vivid conceptions and his breathing eloquence haunt the memory, like a spirit-stirring tale.
These essays—sixteen in number—have all appeared in the Edinburgh Review. The first was published in 1825; the last in 1837. The subjects are happily chosen ; they give full scope to the peculiar, and, in some respects, unequalled power of the writer; and their bare announcement arrests and chains the attention of every intelligent reader. Bacon, Hampden, Milton, Dryden, Chatham, Johnson and John Bunyan are men whom the world must always delight to
To the names of Machiavelli, Byron, Burghley, Mirabeau and Horace Walpole an interest of another sort adheres. With different shades of depravity, as well as different degrees of talent, we find too much to loathe and abhor in them all. And yet they are men, in respect to whom curiosity is always awake. The heart sickens, ever and anon, at the detail of their vices or their crimes; still, the eye returns to the picture, as by a charm'which it cannot break. The lessons of wisdom, to be drawn from a skilful analysis of such characters, are many and precious.
The remaining subjects of these essays are History, Southey's Colloquies on Society, Lord Mahon's War of the Succession in Spain, and Hallam's Constitutional History. All are discussed with great ability. The whole series, indeed, displays an extent and variety of learning, a richness and fulness of illustration, with a mastery of our good old Saxon English, which, in their happy combination, are no where else surpassed. We commend them to all who love thought, taste and eloquence. They should be read not only, but diligently and carefully studied.
8.-Collections of the Rhode Island Historical Society. Vol.
IV. Providence: Knowles, Vose & Co.; 1838. Pp.,
272. It is but lately that we have been favored with the perusal of this truly valuable publication. It is replete with interesting details of the history and peculiar trials of the early settlers of Rhode Island ;-a little state it is true, but the events which marked its beginning were so interwoven with all that occurred in the neighborhood of the landing of the Pilgrims, and along the coast of New England, during the first years of our colonial existence, that the record of them belongs, not to the people of that state alone, but to the whole country. They are among the most precious materials of early Amer. ican history.
This volume is composed of a Preface by the committee of publication, and “An Historical Discourse, on the civil and religious affairs of the Colony of Rhode Island; by John Callender, M. A.; with a memoir of the author; biographical notices of some of his distinguished contemporaries; and annotations and original documents, illustrative of the history of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, from the first settlement to the end of the first century; by Romeo Elton, M. A., F. S. U. S., etc. Prof. Lat. and Gr. Lit., Brown University."
Mr. Callender's discourse was delivered in Newport, March 24, 1738, just one hundred years after the Indian Sachems signed the deed or grant, of the land afterwards possessed by the Colony of Rhode Island. It is a faithful and highly instructive narrative of the events of the intervening century. The rest of the volume, compiled by Prof. Elton, is rich in illustrations of the history of those times We have been especially interested in the evidence given in these collections, of the liberal sentiments of the early Baptists in this country on the subject of open communion. In the Church Covenant of the first Baptist church gathered in the province of Massachusetts, it is declared : " That union to Christ was the sole ground of their communion with each other, and that they were ready to accept of, receive to, and hold church communion with, all such, as in a judgment of charity, were fellow members with them in their head Christ Jesus, though differing in such controversial points, as are not absolutely and essentially necessary to salvation.” Accordingly they were accustomed to invite the Congregational churches to unite with them in the ordination of their ministers and in other acts of communion. Mr. Callender
usages upon the Baptists of his time in a discourse preached in Boston, 1738.
It is known to many of our readers that Dean Berkeley, afterwards Bishop of Cloyne, the author of the “Minute Philosopher," etc., resided some time in this country. In a letter of his to a friend in Dublin, dated Newport, R. I. April 24, 1729, occurs the following remarkable account of a town, which appears to have been as large 111 years ago, as at the present time. “The town of Newport contains about six thousand souls, and is the most thriving place in all America for bigness. It is very pretty and pleasantly situated.”
9.-Elementary Geology. By Edward Hitchcock, Professor of
Chemistry and Natural History in Amherst College, and
and C. Adams; 1840, pp. 329. The science of Geology has, for many years, excited much interest in different countries of Europe. The first of European philosophers have pronounced it to be second to Astronomy only, “in the magnitude and sublimity of the objects of which it treats.” It has lately attracted much attention ainong us.
Full courses of lectures are given upon it in all the best of our colleges. Popular lectures on this subject are eagerly sought for in our cities and large towns. Geological surveys have been instituted by the governments in most of the states, and nearly or quite completed in some of them.