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signally in some incidents than in others." By what authority does he affirm this? No respectable writer on the subject has ever so presented it. The Puritans held no such doctrine. Their descendants hold none such. It is a grogs caricature,- an unjustifiable misrepresentation.
Providence is that care of his creatures which God exercises over them in sustaining and governing the world. If it extends to all creatures and events, it is general. If it extends to every creature and event, it is particular or special providence. Nor does special providence imply that “some things are more providential” than others. Every thing is providential. God is regarded, by those who believe in a particular providence, as being present on all occasions, and as having a purpose in all events. His care is not all expended upon the sublime events of life, nor his purpose excluded from the minutest. Not a sparrow falleth without him, and the hairs of our head are all numbered. This is the view of a special providence entertained by the Puritan Fathers. It entered into their whole character, and exerted a controlling influence upon their whole life. “ Not content," says Macauley, “ with acknowledging in general terms, an overruling providence, they habitually ascribed every event to the will of the Great Being, for whose power nothing was too vast, for whose inspection nothing was too minute. To know him, to serve him, to enjoy him, was the great end of their existence. They rejected with contempt, the ceremonious homage, which other sects substituted for the worship of the soul. Instead of catching occasional glimpses of the Deity, through an obscuring veil, they aspired to gaze full on the intolerable brightness, and to commune with him face to face." “ People who saw nothing of the godly, but their uncouth visages, and heard nothing from them but their groans and their whining hymns, might laugh at them. But those had little reason to laugh who encountered them in the hall of debate, or in the field of battle.” “The intensity of their feelings on one subject, made them tranquil on every other. One overpowering sentiment had subjected to itself pity and hatred, ambition and fear. Death had lost its terrors, and pleasure its charms.” As were the Puritans of Old England, so in a great degree were the Chief Fathers of New England.
The sixth volume in the series, by Dr. Hooker, is a pleasant tribute to the memory of his ancestor. There is less striking inciVOL. III.
dent in the life of Hooker than in that of some of his distinguished contemporaries. Of his parentage we know nothing. But from his character, we infer that they were of the seed of Abraham according to the promise. Such a scion could hardly have sprung from any thing but the root and fatness of the good olive. We are first introduced to him as a student in Emanuel College, Cambridge ; at which place, the religious change in his character, and his superior powers of mind, gave promise of his subsequent eminence. He preached with distinguished success in his own country, till, by the persecutions of Laud, he was driven to Holland. After residing there three years, he returned to old Eng. land with the view of transplanting himself to New England. Cotton and Stone were his companions in tribulation, when leaving his native land. The cordial welcome extended by the planters to these three “ bell-wethers” of the scattered flock, as they were tauntingly termed,- the settlement of Mr. Hooker at Newtown, and his removal to Hartford, - his great usefulness in shaping the civil and ecclesiastical constitution of Connecticut, and his agency in the confederation of the infant colonies, are the leading events of his public life in his adopted country.
Of his controversial works, the “ Survey of the Summe of Church Discipline,” is the chief, and this alone would entitle him to enduring remembrance. But it is in his practical writings, that the sweetest savor of his name will be transmitted to posterity. Dr. Hooker has given us just enough of these to excite our desire for more. Thomas Hooker died July 7th, 1647, aged sixty-one years. His sun went down at noon ; suddenly setting amid the brightness of refulgent day, it has reflected through two centuries, in five generations of descendants, a sweet light upon the promise : "I will be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee."
There are others of these Fathers, whose biography should be made more accessible to our youth. We hope the series thus auspiciously commenced may be continued. Let the lives of the Fathers be faithfully written, let the results of their labor and self-denial be compared with their principles and their characters, and they will need no other vindication in the view of impartial men. of their faults, we can forgive much, for the sake of the spirit of liberty which they cherished; and we can forgive whatsoever may remain, when we consider the fruits of the labor which they performed.
OBSERVATIONS ON MEN, BOOKS, AND THINGS. SCHLEIERMACHER. This remarkable man died in 1834, after a life of great activity as a preacher, author, and theological profes
On his death-bed, when the last struggle seemed to have been passed, he so far rallied as to say: “We have the atoning death of Jesus Christ, his body and his blood.” He then, his hands trembling with the spasms of death, administered in due form the Lord's Supper to himself and a few friends who wept around his couch; and affirming his full faith in the words of institution uttered by our Lord, he gave his parting blessing, adding the words: “In this love and communion, we are and remain one.” In this affecting manner, he "gave up the ghost ;” perhaps, in imitation of the good Severinus, an apostle to the ancient Germans, who after thirty years of most severe and successful labors, among the savage tribes that dwelt on the banks of the Danube within the present bounds of Bavaria and Austria, departed this life, on the first of January, in the year 482. In his last hours, he gathered his friends around him, fervently exhorted them to be fully consecrated to God, and embraced them every one. He then joyfully administered to them the Holy Supper; and bade them, not to weep, but to sing psalms. And when, for grief, they could not utter the words, he himself broke forth in singing: “ Praise the Lord in his sanctuary :- let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord ;” and with these words, he ceased to breathe. (Neander's Denkwürdigkeiten, iii. 47.)
Of one who died so like the good old sainted Severinus, we cannot but hope the best; and yet there was much about Schleiermacher to distress the minds of those who love “ the truth of Christ” in iis simplicity. He was one of the most enthusiastic of Platonists,
a class of men strongly moved by the moral wants of our nature, to reconcile naturalism with supernaturalism; and to do this by mixing them up in the solvent of transcendental idealism, thus producing a result which is neither one thing nor the other. When Christianity was first preached, many of the Platonic school stiffly opposed the new religion, because it laid so much stress on humility and self-renunciation. Others, again, like Justin Martyr, found the transition from the “ Academy” to the Church most easy; and rejoiced in the cross, as a glorious divine solution of all their doubts and questionings. But from hence arose sore evils and sad corruptions. The Platonic Christians were ashamed of the plain doctrine of Christ crucified as a Redeemer, so easily apprehended by the “simple faithful.” They began to philosophize about the person and work of the Divine Logos, to get up secret schools of higher speculations for the initiated and the cultivated, and to reconstruct the whole Christian system. Hence sprang the New-Platonists, and the Gnostic swarms, which so early, so long, and so miserably, seduced and distracted the churches.
Schleiermacher resumed the old attempt to reorganize Christianity into a scheme of natural supernaturalism. It must be owned, that
a his method was a vast improvement on the soulless Rationalism which then domineered in Germany; even as Platonism was an improvement on the Paganism, which doomed Socrates to drink the fatal hemlock. But it would be hard to name one leading doctrine of the gospel, which is not perverted by Schleiermacher from its evangelical integrity. Notwithstanding his dying confession, he had strongly denied the objective reality of the Atonement, as a satisfaction to divine justice, as a literal ransom for man's captive soul, as a substitute for our merited punishments. We can have no sympathy, therefore, with the efforts recently made in either England to exalt him as a great light in the church. This has been done by some orthodox scholars, we doubt not, with good intent, but it can only come to deplorable results. Even Professor Norton, the “great gun" of the Unitarian battery, deplores, in the last number of the Christian Examiner, “ the strange connection ” into which his denomination has been brought“ with the Pantheists, Spinoza and Schleiermacher.” If it is so deleterious even to Unitarianism, that these men have been “praised and recommended as religious instructors ” in its publications, must we not expect the most disastrous results to orthodoxy, if the same suicidal course shall be pursued among ourselves ? Let Schleiermacher be commended for striving to draw up his sunken countrymen from the dead level of a stagnant Rationalism. But what folly for the sons of the Puritans, dwelling on the sun-lighted summits of their Bible orthodoxy, to descend for superior illumination to those shadowy and misty bills where the ardent German waved his torch over his dreamy people, drowsing in the deeper night below him !
THE PRAISING OF Books. Among the many volumes tumbled out upon the reading public by the vomitories of the great publishing houses, there are not a few which mingle much that might be useful and good, with more or less of what is exceedingly pernicious. There has been a recipe invented, we believe in Connecticut, for commending such books on liberal and pious principles. It is a pity that no patent has been taken out, to secure the benefit of the discovery to its author, whoever he may be; for it can benefit no one but himself, and the writers to whom his puffing practice is applied. Had he secured an exclusive right to use his invention, it would have been less likely to become too commonly employed.
The recipe is on this wise. The critic takes up some such book as Morell's “ Philosophy of Religion," or Bushnell's “ God in Christ,” or Professor Crosby's pamphlet at the American Tract Society, and thus he discourseth: This work contains some things quite opposite to received opinions, and some things we much regret to see; but we commend them to the serious consideration of the enlightened friends of truth, who may possibly find themselves compelled to modify their views in consequence: and in connection with its errors, and partly in consequence of them, the work contains much able reasoning, many new and startling truths, and many passages of surpassing eloquence and fervid piety, all which the judicious reader will know how to appropriate to his own pleasure and profit!
By ringing a variety of changes on this strain of remark, the critic is enabled to praise in reality, while he seems to condemn; and with
out committing himself for or against the truth, he gains a delightful reputation for liberality of feeling, and breadth and comprehensiveness of views. But this shallow device, after it has done what mischief it can among shallow minds, must speedily pass into the gulf of oblivion. If good books were rare, and hard to be obtained, it might be excusable to advise judicious readers, (and what readers are not judicious in their own esteem,) to get what advantage they can out of books that are infected with pernicious and ensnaring principles. But in the overflowing abundance of works of unexceptionable merit, it is preposterous to "give pratique" to the plague-spotted wares of the bookselling magnates. It is as if a chemist, whose duty is to analyze waters, were to bring a vessel of foul and noxious liquid, where the pure Cochituate gushes from a thousand hydrants, and say: "Oye judicious drinkers ! here is a cask containing some admirably fair water, a little touched, unhappily, with poisonous ingredients; but you will find it very refreshing, and quite innocuous, if you sip it after distillation, or after mixing a proper proportion of neutralizing agents; or if you are careful to take efficient antidotes as soon as it is swallowed." Doubtless the common sense of the multitude would exclaim: “Away with your vile mixture! Through the good providence of God, we are too well supplied, to be reduced to the necessity of wasting time and expense in the attempt to use that dangerous beverage with impunity."
SOUTHEY's COMMON-Place Book. — This volume contains quite a large share of the raw material, out of which the Poet Laureate wove his “thick-coming fancies.” It is no longer a secret whence he drew his vast stores of literature, with which he was ready furnished on every emergency. He not only read every thing, but took copious notes of his reading, so that it was ever after available. We consider the practice of common-placing to be of immense advantage, whether as a discipline of taste and judgment, or as accumulating for use the acquisitions of a studious life. What Southey thought as to the utility of this habit, is evident from his example. Says Dr. Todd, in the preface to his “ Index Rerum,” “ Let a yonng man, when he begins life, form the habit of making an index to all that he reads which is truly valuable, (and he ought to read nothing else,) and at the age of thirty-five or forty, he has something of his own, and which no price could purchase.” Not to urge upon the young student the advice of John Locke and many others, we would stir them up by the opinion of Lord Bacon. “I am not ignorant,” he says, “ of the prejudice imputed to the use of common-place books, as causing a retardation of reading, and some sloth or retardation of memory. But because it is but a counterfeit thing in knowledge to be forward and pregnant, except a man be deep and full, I hold the entry of common-places to be a matter of great use and essence in studying, as that which assureth copy * of invention, and contracteth judgment to a strength.” It will be a useful practice for any one who wishes to
Copy, from the Latin copia, is an obsolete form, for which we use the word copiousness.