« ÖncekiDevam »
preserve the best fruits of his reading, to make a memorandum in pencil, on the blank leaf at the end of the volume, of every page on which any passage occurs which he would like to save for use, adding to the number of the page the name of the topic. Then, when be has finished the book, let him go back to each of those pages; and, if the passage be short, let him copy it into his Index ; - if long, let him make such a reference as will enable him to find it at once when he may want it again. A volume which will afford half-a-dozen such entries, pays well for the perusal. And the index containing the entries, will afford, as the admirable old Thomas Fuller says, “ many notions in a garrison, whence the owner may draw out an army into the field on competent warning" A conscientious student will feel himself bound to make this saving of what he finds in the course of his researches. Hence we can understand the remark of Sir J. B. Williams, in his first series of " Letters on Puritanism :" Commonplacing, the usual accompaniment, in days of yore, of a literary taste, was, at one period, as you may see in Dr. Parr's Life of Archbishop Usher, 'affirmed to be flat puritanical.'
French RevoLUTION OF 1848. This work, from the fiery heart of Lamartine, and ably translated by Messrs. Durivage and Chase, has just come from the press of Phillips, Sampson, and Company, The subject is one of deepest interest; and the author himself one of the most interesting of men, is no small part of his subject. He is the hero of the events he celebrates. It is well to have his views upon that rousing revolution put on record ; though the results are not yet sufficiently developed, to allow its history to be written. The time has not come for that ; inasmuch as it is far from certain that the revolution is a finished business. But we warmly recommend this volume to all readers who would like to see on the printed page, a sort of moving panorama of the course of thrilling events, which for that year fastened the eyes of the world on the political theatre of Paris. The unrolling of the long picture presents a series of sketches, done to the life by the hand of a master who saw every thing from the most commanding and central point of view; and who knows how to make the glowing canvass eloquent with deeds of marvel, and with passionate description.
WINDINGS OF THE RIVER OF THE WATER OF LIFE. - The fanci. ful title of this book seems to point out the author, even if the titlepage were not graced with his name. Dr. Cheever has here undertaken to trace " the development, discipline, and fruits of faith." Perhaps no writer among us has treated this subject so often, so extensively, and so well. The life of faith seems to be with him, as with Paul, and Luther, and Edwards, the favorite subject of study. And it deserves this preference, for it is the root of all grace, and the root of all blessings. A true and saving faith is the most active of all affections, and sets all the others to work. It is, as Coleridge remarks, “the source ; — and charity, that is, the whole Christian life, is the stream from it.” And he has elsewhere remarked: “It is indeed faith alone that saves us; but it is such a faith as cannot be
alone.” In this, he well agrees with the saying of Calvin : alone justifieth, but not that faith which is alone.”
In the work before us, Dr. Cheever has displayed his peculiar excellences as a popular religious writer. He has treated his subject with the most close and careful discrimination as to the nature and evidences of saving faith. Indeed, if the book has any prominent fault, it is in its minute distinctions, and extended analysis of his subject. He lays every nerve of it bare, in bis anxiety that it shall not be mistaken or abused.
While we are criticizing his work, we may as well allude to the excessive use of Italic letters on these pages. In the first place, they are a disfigurement; in the next place, when used so often as they are here, they are used carelessly, and many words are thus made prominent which are not at all emphatical ; then again, it is but a poor compliment to the reader's discernment, thus to point out what he ought to see at a glance for himself; and in the last place, it looks like a cheap device to help an untransparent rhetoric by means of type-metal. It is to be wished that many writers, and editors, beside Dr. Cheever, were, in this one particular, to follow the politics of pope Pius IX., by being, in printers' phrase, “ more Roman, and less Italic.”
There are few writers more ready than Dr. Cheever, or who have the whole English speech more perfectly at command. He is never at a loss for felicitous language to express his subtle refinements, or his beautiful imaginings. No man is more thoroughly and naturally original. And this originality is the more admirable, because it never vents itself, as does that of some ambitious theologues we could name, in startling paradoxes, audacious speculations, and sweeping assertions, threatening destruction to the faith. His rapt imagination, in its boldest flights, is guilty of no doctrinal extravagances, and no insidious tamperings with a sound and scriptural orthodoxy. He has drank too long and too deep from the “ River of the Water of Life,” to have any taste for the alcoholic poisons distilled by “ art and man's device. We do, therefore, the more heartily commend his new book, to such as take delight in tracing the “wanderings” of the vital stream of religious experience, through its lengthened, varied, and delightful course.
PASTORAL REMINISCENCES. A volume with this title has been published by Rev. Shepard K. Kollock, consisting of narratives of remarkable occurrences during his ministry. Not every minister of twenty or thirty years' standing, could relate his experiences in a manner so earnest and interesting ; but probably every one could rehearse as many and as striking incidents, of the power of sin, and of the triumphs of grace, among their hearers. We have seldom known such a minister who, on occasion, had not his tale to tell of scenes of deathless interest in the course of his labors. Seeing that a vast many books must be made about something, it will be a matter of regret, if many of our pastors do not follow Mr. Kollock's example ; and tell, for the encouragement and instruction of their brethren, what they have seen and heard, and how they have felt and acted, in the greater emergencies of their calling as watchmen over the souls of their people. In this way, a great diversity of gifts might be brought to view, and useful hints be dispersed abroad for the help of those who act as spiritual guides. “ All ministers," it has been said, “ are God's husbandmen ; but some of them can only plough in soft ground.” Yet such ground as is easiest tilled, is usually the most productive. “The instruments and work-tools of God,” says Luther, “ are different and not alike ; even as one knife cutteth better than another.” To know how the ablest pastors have advised, with happy results, in difficult cases, is of great assistance to those who are unexpectedly thrown into positions for which they are not exactly adapted. We can think of men of large and blessed experience in revivals, and the whole work of the ministry, who, if they would but record their own experiences as Mr. Kollock has done, would leave a valuable legacy to all who shall follow them in the sacred office. Nor would such record fail to be most profitable and attractive to the general reader, who gladly finds something in the actual experience of others, which shall be parallel to his own, and suggestive of spiritual succors to himself.
Sept. 20. Mr. A. C. Pearce, New City, Springfield, Mass.
27. Mr. A. J. Bates, at Lincoln, Me., as an Evangelist. Oct. 2. Mr. Dwight W. Marsh, at Dalton, Mass.; as a Missionary
Sept. 5. Rev. Edward W. Hooker, D. D., South Windsor, Con.
6. Rev. A. G. Pease, Waterbury, Vt.
Rev. John Baker, First Church, Kennebunkport, Me.
Rev. Andrew Sharpe, Rockville, Con.
Rev. Henry Seymour, East Hawley, Mass.
DEATHS OF MINISTERS,
Aug. 10. Rev. Reuben Mason, Glover, Vt., æ. 73.
“ Rev. William Tobey, Scarboro, Me., æ. 42.
24. Rev. Dudley Phelps, Groton, Mass., æ. 50. Oct. 1. Rev. William J. Boardman, Northfield, Con., æ. 55.
" Rev. Daniel Campbell, Orford, N. H., æ. 70.
The object of this article is, to suggest the proper light in which Christians should regard the closing book of the Bible, and to aid them in deriving increased satisfaction from its perusal.
We are about to propose no theory for interpreting this book. We have no key with which to open it. In thinking of the vast amount of learning and ingenuity expended in criticisms upon it, surpassing all that has been bestowed on any other single portion of the Bible, and feeling as much at a loss now, with regard to many of its chapters as ever, one might almost say, I have wept much, because no one of all the great and good men, who have commented upon it, has been able, to the general satisfaction of the Church of God, to open the book and loose the seals thereof.
The conclusion at which we have arrived, therefore, with regard to it is, that God, who is his own interpreter, has reserved the dark parts of the book to be explained hereafter by his providence, if it shall be found useful to do so. But in view of the inability of the wisest and best of men, thus far, to agree in explaining some portions of it, we are persuaded that the useful. ness of the book does not depend on its being understood so far that we can say, This passage refers to such a king, this to such an epoch, - this to such a power. On the contrary, it appears to us that the book would lose much of its interest, and a great part of its influence over the imagination, and thus upon the feelings, were we able with certainty to say, This passage means Antiochus Epiphanes. This refers to the Guelphs and Ghibellines. This to the partition of the Roman Empire. It may be, that these pasVOL. III.
sages do thus refer to the men and things here specified; but it is beyond a question, that the power of the book is greatly enhanced by the uncertainty as to the way in which its allusions are to be interpreted ; – uncertainty, to which the scores of conflicting commentators are a cloud of witnesses.
It is enough for the plain and humble believer, in reading this book, to know, for example, that, in times to come, certain powers will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them. Who these powers are, is a question which it would not help his devotional feelings if he could determine. That the Lamb will overcome them, is all which is essential to his faith and comfort; and this assurance of his victories, come when and where they may, is sufficient to excite his worship of Him who is Lord of lords, and King of kings.
So with regard to events which are past. It would not make the Christian believer more devout, to know who are meant by the “ two witnesses.” A great object is answered by that seemingly allegorical representation, in making the reader understand that witnesses for God and his truth have been, and will be, slain; but that truth crushed to the earth will rise again. Whether, now, as some say, this passage is retrospective, and these witnesses were Moses and Aaron, Elijah and Elisha, or the seventy disciples who went forth “ two and two," or whether they were the Waldenses and Albigenses, the Lollards in England and the Bohemians, John Huss and Jerome of Prague, who will decide for us? If it were essential to the usefulness of the prophecy, that men should at some time know definitely who are meant by the two witnesses, we may suppose that history would have made it plain. But the want of definiteness in the passage, and fixedness to one particular event, has made it a source of great comfort to the afflicted people of God in different ages. They who lived during the earlier persecutions, no doubt, thought that they saw the “ two witnesses” successively in every city where persecution raged; those later saints, the Huguenots, whose bones lay “scattered on the Alpine mountains cold,” were sure that they were the two witnesses; while the Puritans and Protestants of England and Holland, were equally sure that the passage referred to them. While persecutions continue in the earth, the passage will not cease to be used for comfort and consolation, by any who are in bonds for the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.