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all the minutiie of detail, evinces not only that the work is in right hands, but that a vast amount of labor and observation is yet required to perfect it. To say or to anticipate that the work will be without a fault, is to acknowledge it super-human. To aspire at perfection is honorable, but more so to be humbled by failure to reach it.
The paper, typography, and lithography constitute no small share of the attractions of the work, and are every way creditable to the noble achievements of the American press. We regard these volumes as worthy of a position in every public and private library.
As we look forward with a restless anxiety to see the remaining portions of this work, we cannot repress our desire that an extensive and remunerative patronage, worthy of a life of true devotion to the science of nature, may be awarded to its author. N.
5. — Annals Of Thk American Pulpit.1
These volumes contain the notices of tjie Presbyterian clergymen of the United States ; as the first two volumes contained the notices of the Congregational clergymen. We commended the plan of the entire work, in the Bib. Sac. Vol. XIV., pp. 221—223. The present volumes illustrate the faithfulness of Dr. Sprague in adhering to that excellent plan. We have been interested in a large variety of the sketches in these volumes: in Benjamin Franklin's characteristic notice of Jedediah Andrews; in George Wbiteficld's account of William Tennent; in Samuel Finley's remarks on Samuel Davies; in William Wirt's celebrated description of James Waddel; in the notices of Dr. John Witherspoon, Dr. Charles Nisbet, Dr. James Richards, Pliilip Melancthon Whelpley, Dr. John Breckenridge. We have found an unexpected wealth of instruction in the biographies of some men whose names have heretofore been unknown to fame. The indefatigable industry of Dr. Sprague has laid his contemporaries under a great obligation to him. It will impose a still weightier debt of gratitude on the clergy of a coming age. His biographical sketches will attract the regard of future readers who, but for his literary enterprise, must have remained ignorant of many facts and many personages deserving a prolonged and grateful remembrance. We anticipate a rich fund of intelligence in his sketches of the Baptist and Methodist clergymen. We know too little of the selfdenials, the philanthrophy, the sterling worth of many pioneers in these denominations. Dr. Sprague will be an impartial chronicler of the virtues and exploits qf multitudes who have hitherto been honored in their own denominations alone.
1 Annals of the American Pulpit; or Commemorative Notices of Distinguished American Clergyman of Various Denominations, from the early settlement of the country to the close of the year eighteen hundred and fifty-five. With Historical Introductions. By William B. Sprague, D. D. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 530 Broadwav. 1858. Vol. III. pp. 632. Vol. IV. pp. 829.
We hear frequent remarks on the inefficiency of clergymen. Which of the learned professions can furnish a list of names associated with such a variety of pleasing reminiscences, and of useful enterprises, as will be found, in the present series of Biographies, to be connected with the Christian ministry?
C.—Pulpit Eloquence Of The Nineteenth Century.1
In the volume now under review are contained fifty-eight sermons, of which eighteen are contributed by American preachers; the remaining forty are, in about equal proportions, from German, French, English, Scotch, Irish, and Welsh clergymen. It cannot be ascribed to a groundless partiality for our own country, that the number of sermons from American divines is twice as large as the number from the divines of any other nation. If clearness of doctrinal statement, simple and energetic but not inelegant diction, directness of appeal, a thoroughly evangelical tone, logical force in distinction from rhetorical beauty, be excellent properties of a sermon, then must the sermons of our own divines be fillowcd a rank fully equal to those of any foreign land.
Hitherto, in the department of sacred eloquence, little comparatively has been said concerning any other than the French and the English or the American schools. He has been thought most to excel, who combined, in the highest degree, the different merits of these nations. The volume now before us will do much to acquaint American readers with the sermons of German divines. These sermons have peculiar merits as well as peculiar defects. They have not the oratorical finish and elevation of the French; they have not the evangelical simplicity, the argumentative power, of the English and American school. They have, however, fervor and unction, a full contact with the various sensibilities of our nature, the power of evolving from the text a copious fund of original and impressive thought, in a degree, which is not seen in the majority either of Anglo-Saxon or French 'preachers. On this account, that part of the present volume, which is devoted to the German pulpit, is of special value and deserves to be thoughtfully studied. We are gratified that it contains sermons from some Germans who are not generally known among us in the character of preachers; as, for example, Julius Midler, Harless, Stier, Nitzsch, Hoffmann.
Many of our readers will be interested in the specimens of pulpit eloquence from Welsh clergymen. One of the sermons in this department is by ltev. William Roberts, pastor of a Welsh congregation in Allen street, New York, and editor of a Welsh Quarterly Magazine, hawing the name,
1 Pulpit Eloquence of the Nineteenth Century; being Supplementary to the History and Repository of Pulpit Eloquence, Deceased Divines; and containing Discourses of Eminent Living Ministers in Europe and America, with Sketches Biographical and Descriptive, by Kev. Henry C. Fish. With an Introductory Essay, by Edwards A. Park, D. D., Abbot Professor in Andover Theological Seminary. New York: Published by M. W. Dodd, 506 Brondway. 1857.
in English, of The Essayist. Mr. Roberts's discourse, and also the sermons of his Welsh brethren, will be admired for their evangelical fervor and richness, compensating for any want of scholarly finish, which they may betray.
An important and interesting part of the work is the Biographical Sketches, by which each sermon is preceded. These give, for the most part, precisely the information which is needed, compressing much matter into a small space.
No judicious reader will be disappointed in not finding, in this volume, many discussions on certain doctrinal points, in respect to which evangelical divines are at variance. It is instructive to notice-the proof given, here as elsewhere, of the little relative value which earnest preachers are in the habit of attaching to these points; how comparatively meagre a portion they constitute of evangelical discourse.
Mr. Fish's task, in the preparation of this volume, must have been one of great delicacy and difficulty. He deserves the thanks of the public for the eminent skill and fidelity with which it has been executed. The volume is a fine monument to his scholarship, as well as his ministerial zeal and energy.
7.— Germany: Its Universities, Theology, And Religion.1
We have, in this book, a truly valuable addition to our knowledge of Germany— its literary institutions, its scholars and divines, its religious condition and prospects. The fact that its author is himself a German, and has received a regular German university education, combined with the fact, that he has now been, for a number of years, a resident in Americ a, — having been, since the year 1844, Professor in the Mercersburg Theological Seminary — has given him access to better sources of information than any American could command; and, at the same time, has fitted him to perceive what information concerning Germany Americans most need.
The volume is divided into three Parts; the first treating of the German universities; the second of German theology and religion; and the third being made up of sketches of German divines. We have admired the skill with which such an amount of information, as is contained in each of these divisions, has been compressed into so small a compass.
We have been equally interested in the hopeful view which Dr. SchafT takes of the present state of the German universities and churches. According to his representations, the present class of " Burschen" is far more refined than their predecessors. Many of the rude and immoral practices, by
1 Germany; its Universities, Theology, and Religion; with Sketches of Xcander, Tholuck, Olshausen, Henpstenberg, Twestcn, Nitzsch, Miillcr, Ullmann, Rome, Dorner, Langc, Ehrard, Wichern, and other distinguished German Divines of the Age. By Philip SchafT, D. D., Professor in the Theological Seminary, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Lindsay and 131nkiston. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman and Co. 1857.
which their character was disgraced, have to a great extent disappeared. There is enough that is evil still left; but German students, especially in the larger cities, lose nothing, in any point of view, by a comparison with the students of Oxford and Cambridge. In a religious point of view, the change is not less marked. Rationalism has received a check from which it will not soon recover. Eichhorn, Wegscheider, Paulus, and Gesenius have no successors. The Straussian form of infidelity has done much, by a simple development of its nature, to secure its own overthrow. The present generation of German Professors, while in erudition not inferior, are, in a religious aspect, far superior, to their predecessors. Practical religion has revived. Every Christian will be refreshed by the account, given in this book, of the "Inner Mission;" an enterprise, which though in some respects more extensive, corresponds in general to our Home Missions. The strength of the German churches seems, at the present moment, to be, in some degree, wasted in internal dissensions. These quarrels between the Unionists, the Old and New Lutherans, and the Reformed, may end — it is to be presumed that they will — in a greatly improved state of things. Dr. Schaff states very strongly the points of contrast between the Lutheran and the Reformed churches, evidently much to the advantage of the latter.
The sketches of German scholars and divines, in the third Part, are vigorous and lively, and lend a strong confirmation to what we have already said of the hopeful effect of religion in the German States.
The perusal of this book may be recommended confidently to two classes of minds: those who, in their ignorance, condemn indiscriminately everything of German origin; and those who, in the excess of their partiality, look contemptuously on everything which is not German. Specimens of both these classes may be found among us. No one can desire that the essential elements of the American character should be supplanted by the peculiar features of the German character. No one can doubt that the American mind may receive much benefit from contact with the Teutonic mind. At all events, the danger likely to arise from an inevitable intercourse with Germany, if such danger there be, will be the most effectually shunned by him who is the best acquainted with the form and dimensions of the German literature.
8.—Lewes's History Of Philosophy.1
"Tins new edition may almost be considered a new work, so many are the additions, and so extensive are the alterations. Seven new names have been added to the list of philosophers, — Abelard, Algazzalli, Giordano Bruno, Hartley, Darwin, Cabanis, and Gall." The History evinces extensive research. The author professes not to have compiled his work from
1 The Biographical History of Philosophy, from its Origin in Greece to the Present Day. 15y George Henry Lewes. Library Edition, much enlarged and thoroughly revised. London: John W. Parker and Son, West Strand, 1857.
other modern histories, but to have studied, himself, the writings of the ancient philosophers, and, in almost all cases, to have made his extracts from them directly, or to have verified the extracts found in other historians, by fresh references to the originals. If this be the fact, it is one peculiarity of the present work, for it is as true as it is disreputable, that many modern histories, especially histories of Christian Doctrine, are compiled without a faithful study of the authoritative documents; and the extracts from ancient authors are borrowed at second hand, from comparatively recent writers, who have often misunderstood the extracts they have made, and the-spirit of the original authorities.
We regret that Mr. Lewes has not improved the general spirit of his work, as much as he has improved its literary execution. We cannot, allow to him the honor of having exhibited either a high philosophical talent, or a true philosophical temper. His style is animated and interesting; his mind is quick and energetic; his learning is rich and various; but his conclusions are sweeping, and, in our view, often inaccurate. His representations of the spirit of several systems of philosophy, of the Scotch systems in particular, are unfair and unjust. He fails to recognize certain facts in our mental consciousness, which are as indubitable as are any phenomena of the senses. lie does not yield to some fundamental laws of the human mind. Hence, his science is one-sided, and unsatisfying. Its tendency is not only anti-Christian, but also opposed to true and healthy mental progress. His work ought to have been a calm and comprehensive survey of the course of the human mind; but it is a partisan defence of Compte's Positive Philosophy, and a brisk assault upon opposing systems. The school of Compte have few better representatives than Mr. Lewes in Great Britain; but the superficial and rather flippant method which Mr. Lewes has adopted of discussing grave problems, will not commend that school to the confidence of intelligent inquirers.
9.—Lectures On The History Of Ancient Philosophy.1
We are much gratified that the American publishers of Mr. Butler's two volumes of posthumous discourses2 have felt justified by the demand among
1 Lectures on the History of Ancient Philosophy. By William Archer Butler, M. A., late Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Dublin. Edited from the Author's MSS. with Notes by William Hepworth Thompson, M. A., Regius Professor of Greek in the University of Cambridge. Two vols. 8vo. pp. 436 and 415. Cambridge: MaeMiUan and Co. 1855. Philadelphia: Parry and McMillan. 1857.
3 Sermons, Doctrinal and Practical. By the Rev. William Archer Butler, M. A., late Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Dublin. First Series. First American from the Third Cambridge edition. 8vo. Philadelphia: Parry and McMillan. 1856.
The same. Second Series. 8vo. Philadelphia: Parry and McMillan. 1857.