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The Earth AND Man. — This volume contains the course of lectures delivered in the French language, in this city, last winter, and translated by Professor Felton, of Harvard College. They were originally printed as they were uttered, in that excellent and valuable journal, the Daily Evening Traveller. The lectures, collected in this beautiful volume, are in a somewhat improved form, and are furnished with some valuable plates and maps. The subject of which it treats, forms a new science; and is, probably, more fully presented in it, than in any other book in any language. It investigates the relations of nature to history, and of the earth to man. It abounds in striking facts, and startling conclusions; and contains, as we may well say, “ a world of information.” It is pervaded by a truly religious spirit, and presents a most cheering prospect as to the providential indications of the destiny which awaits the human race even in the present world. We earnestly commend this work, and its gifted author, to every one who is able to read, and think, and feel.
We may here remark, that the live books just noticed are all published, and that in very handsome form, by Gould, Kendall, and Lincoln, of this city. It is to be hoped that their energy in the publishing business may prove as profitable to them as it is to the public.
The Catechism TESTED BY THE BIBLE. Rev. A. R. Baker, of Medford, has prepared under this title, a most elaborate “ questionbook on the topics in the Assembly's Shorter Catechism ; for families, Sabbath Schools, Bible-classes, and Churches.” The first volume is devoted to the thirty-eight doctrinal questions in the Catechism. The second volume, which is rather larger, is occupied with the sixty-nine practical questions. The two volumes may be had bound in one, making a neat little volume of nearly three hundred pages. After a thorough examination of the work, we can pronounce it as orthodox as the Catechism itself, which is inferior in orthodoxy to no book but the Bible alone. That admirable “ form of sound words " is thoroughly “tested ” by a rigid analysis of it into all its parts, and an application to each of them of the Scripture testimony on the subject. The author appears to understand well the use of the proper helps to his undertaking; and he may say with Ralph Cudworth : “For our parts, we neither call philology, nor yet philosopliy, our mistress, but serve ourselves of either as occasion requireth.” As a favorable specimen of the method of the book, we would refer to the tenth lesson in the first volume, on the doctrine of the Trinity. We know not how the young, or the old, can obtain the unspeakable benefit of a full Christian indoctrination, better than by a careful study of Mr. Baker's book. This mode of instruction has always stood in high favor with the best and ablest divines in every age. Though sermons,” says Thomas Fuller, “ give the most sail to men's souls, catechising layeth the best ballast in them, keeping them steady from being carried away with every wind of doctrine.”
While we are upon the Assembly's Catechism, of which, within a few years, it is known that more than a million of copies have been put into circulation in our own country, we would say a word on a kindred subject; - we mean the New England Primer. And this we do, because a very large proportion of the recent issues of the Catechism is in reprints of the Primer, which is chiefly reprinted on account of this part of its contents. One “ Antiquary" has been giving a series of criticisms on the Primer, in the “ Cambridge Chronicle.” He shews that we are ignorant of its author, and of the date of its first publication; that no copy of the earliest editions is known to be extant; and that, in various editions, down to our own times, it has suffered numerous alterations, most of them for the worse, and many of them wholly unjustifiable. There is hardly any of its contents which has not been tampered with, except the “ Shorter Catechism." We have not the room for a few strictures to which
Antiquary” has made himself liable. But we would suggest to the Publishing Committee of the Massachusetts Sabbath School Society,
a committee which has several competent antiquarians in its num. ber, to collate all the best editions of the New England Primer they can find, and to publish a carefully revised edition, with brief annotations where necessary.
To return to our text, we would “just add by way of application,” that we learn with much pleasure that a large impression of Mr. Baker's volumes has gone off with great rapidity, and that a stereotyped edition is to be prepared with all possible despatch, by John P. Jewett, of this city.
AN ADDRESS TO TIE SUFFOLK Norri AssociaTION OF ConGREGATIONAL MINISTERS.
- In looking over this book, written by J. P. Lesley, and its appended sermons, our eye fell on these words, P. 128: “And very little foxes, and very small fire-brands will serve the enemy's purpose." The author of this book, and the pastor of the Unitarian Church in Charlestown, by means of this book between them, seem to have set the standing corn of the Philistines on fire in one spot. At the recent meeting of the American Unitarian Association, the minister referred to, spoke of this book; and said that this and one or two other publications, naming them, had “mapped out work enough to last his Orthodox friends through summer and dog. days, at least.” The book has rekindled the animosities of such men as the gentleman abore named; but we presume that no member of the Suffolk North Association will put pen to paper about it. The author applied to that body for licensure. They were unwilling to grant his request. He therefore became convinced that ministerial associations are dangerous to the peace and liberties of the churches. Had the “ village Hampden” been silenced by courtly favors, the cause of liberty might have suffered greatly. Had Mr. Lesley been admitted to the Association at his request, the churches would never have known what they had lost; any more than we now think they will appreciate his pure and disinterested zeal in the cause of religious liberty. This book is noticeable only in view of the rancor in the bosoms of certain men towards orthodox men and things, which finds vent when any one, professedly of our household, proves a foe to us. As for those Unitarians who exult at such a book as this, we would only remind them that, had they earlier adopted the plan which now seems to be gaining favor with them, of making test acts, and had taken the bold and manly stand of our Suffolk North Association, in repudiating heretical men, while they might have been abused for it, they would have saved themselves much trouble. As to the Association, we thank them for the service done to the churches by their independent action. As to the church in Milton, we mourn that such a man should, in any way, have been imposed upon them. As to Mr. Lesley, we have no rod in our fasces small enough to give him a chastisement wbich would not be more than his imbecility could endure. ANNALS OF SALEM.
Rev. Mr. Felt, who four years ago gave us the first volume of the second edition of bis annals of the City of Peace, has, at last, afforded us the other volume.
It is, what it purports to be, a collection of annals, giving us the successive years of that ancient and honorable place, in reference to whose Indian name, Nahumkeek, Cotton Mather says that he has “ somewhere met with an odd observation, that the name of it was rather Hebrew, than Indian ; for nahum signifies comfort, and keek signifies an haven ; and our English not only found it an Haven of Comfort, but happened also to put another Hebrew name upon it; for they called it Salem, for the peace which they had and hoped in it; and so it is called unto this day.” Mr. Felt’s accumulations, collected with such indefatigable research and scrupulous fidelity, will oblige all the future constructors of New England history to become his debtors. They will find themselves heavily in his books; for they will have to bring much of their building material from his well-stocked lumber-yard, where is gathered all that modern industry can obtain from the ancient forests of our colonial history.
The Life OF THOMAS HOOKER. - This is the sixth volume of the biographical series, issued by the Massachusetts Sabbath School Society under the general title, “ Lives of the Chief Fathers of New England.” Inasmuch as four of these six volumes were written by three of the editors of this work, we are precluded from speaking so freely of the series, as might otherwise be expected. But of this particular volume we can frankly speak, as ore whose author is a worthy descendant of its subject. Dr. Hooker, with true filial piety, not to say an almost Chinese idolatry of parentage, has collected and enbalmed every remaining relic of his famous ancestor, the founder of Hartford church and town. If there is any thing on his pages at wbich we might take exception, it is the precedence which seems to be assigned to Thomas Hooker over John Cotton. We suppose, however, that every one must be allowed to hurrah for his own bero; and we consent that “our brethren at the Connecticut" should exalt their venerated Hooker and Davenport with whatever notes of pre-eminence they please, provided only they do not ins that “ we of the Bay" should add our unqualified " Amen." — Thomas Hooker, in one respect, is entitled to stand one of the first among the chief fathers ;” his descendants being very numerous, and many of them highly distinguished for usefulness and honor. More than forty of them, including Presidents Edwards, Dwight, and Woolsey, are on the rolls of the Christian ministry ; as many of his female descendants have intermarried with clergymen ; and numerous others have served the public in stations of high trust and honor. And so, between the progenitor and his progeny, it is proved out and out, that " children's children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children are their fathers.”
A Pilgrim Or NINETY Years. — Such was Mrs. Abigail Bailey, of whom a memoir has just appeared, written by Rev. D. O. Morton, and published by the Massachusetts Sabbath School Society. By common consent, ministers' wives are expected to be pattern women; and this “mother in Israel," who, like her namesake, the spouse of David, “
was a woman of good understanding,” may serve as a pattern to other ladies who are wedded to the reverend clergy. Though of slender constitution, and sorely shaken by sickness in early days, Mrs. Bailey lived, through a laborious and useful life, to a good old age, and a triumphant death. This reminds us of a passage in the diary of Rev. Michael Wigglesworth, the ancient pastor of Malden. It is dated June 20th, 1652, when he was about one and twenty years old, and was a tutor in Harvard College. “In our President's (Henry Dunster's) exposition (in the College-Hall,) I found sweet encouragement in regard of my bodily weakness, occasionally fetched from that passage, Isai. xl. 30, 31: It may be thou art sickly. Why, the Lord is thy Physician, who healeth thee. He can make thee strong in thy age, though thou be weakly in thy youth.'
THE GOOD AND THE BAD IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
Had the writer of this tract lived in the old struggle between Christianity and Paganism, when the latter had all the antiquiry, architecture, sculpture, and music, on its side, as well as all the priestly splendor, and vestal virginity, and all the deep sincerity of superstitious ignorance, he would have penned just such a treatise, gravely setting forth “ the good and the bad,” of Paganism; and asking with wiseacre solemnity, Whether Paganism is to be destroyed or reformed ?" He seems to have gone abroad on his travels, a stiff young Protestant. But he is destined to become a warning to all well-meaning sophomores just starting to see the world. He soon beholds and hears some things that are new to him, whereupon he at once finds out the narrowness of his honest old home-bred “ Yankee notions.” As jugs are easiest carried about by the ears, so he is carried captive by the sweet chants of caged-up nuns.
He becomes a vessel " with the handle all on the other side." Oh, those Gregorian chants, that warbling sanctity, that evening hymn at the Convent of Trinita dei Monti! “ It seems as if some choir of the blessed were chanting a celestial hymn; as if that tender and plaintive melody, which comes to bear up his soul from gloom, were the distant music of angels.” Poor soul, he little thinks that if those pining girls sang as they felt, they would be iterating the melancholy cry of Sterne's starling : “ I can't get out! I can't get out!” He is now ready to discover that even monkery is a holy and a lovely thing;
and has his sentimental raptures about the lonely imprisoned cell," which we take to be a cell shut up all by itself within another cell. His ideas take a wonderful expansion. His soul grows too big to contain itself; and he issues a pamphlet to persuade the Pope and his crew to give up some of their nonsense; and to persuade the Protestant world to fall in love with the “sisters of charity,” and to make “a Jacob's ladder ” of the sign of the cross. If this gentleman, (we will do bim the kindness not to repeat his name,) after writing his pamphlet, had sealed up the manuscript in a bottle for “ nine years," and then read it in soberer mood, he would have been enraged at himself for scribbling this “ letter from Rome.” As it is, he must get off some more folly of the same sort, to back up what he has now promulged; or he must, like a true penitent, confess and deplore his inexcusable bewilderment; or, which is more probable, he will keep himself quiet, in hopes that this act of indiscretion will shortly be forgiven, and soon after forgotten.
CELEBRATIONS. The disposition to notice the anniversaries of important events is becoming very strong in New England. Not only such as are of general interest to the whole people, but such as have a restricted and local interest, are often observed with surprising spirit and enthusiasm. Thus the century during which a town has existed, or the half century of a pastor's ministrations, will be observed with a vehemence of zeal scarcely known out of New England. Within a month, one of each has been observed in this vicinity. On the 23d of May, the town of Malden, at an expense of several thousand dollars, freely expended by the ardor of its citizens, celebrated the two hundred years since, by votes of the Great and General Court, “ Mysticke-side men were set off into a town by themselves, to be called Mauldon.” The events of that day will long be remembered on the beautiful spot where they took place. Temperance, order, and harmony of feeling, combined with an intense excitement, and almost extravagant exultation, resulted in a day which leaves behind it, none but the most pleasing remenibrances.
The other celebration to which we allude, was that of the halfcentury of the Senior pastor of Wrentham, which was observed in that place, with high satisfaction, on the 12th of June.
The venerable Elisha Fisk preached in the pulpit, whence he had dispensed the gospel for a thirty-sixth part of the time since the gospel began to be proclaimed at all. Thirty-six such links in the chain would make a fine " apostolical succession.” The good patriarch well magnified his office, which, as Jolin Newton used to say, " is the worst of all trades, but the best of all professions." He seems likely to obtain the wish of Augustine, who often desired that Christ, when he came, might find bim “ aut precantem, aut predicantem,” – either praying or preaching. His example rebukes those many pastors, " who too slightly and suddenly quit what they had before so seriously and solemnly accepted; as if their pastoral charges were, like their upper garments, to be put off at pleasure, to cool themselves in every heat of passion.” And no less does the example of his flock, united, tranquil, and prosperous, through his pastorate of fifty years, reprove