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esting and beautiful title, “Hours with the Comforter," assures us that he does not believe in the Holy Spirit as a distinct person in the Godhead ; and deprives us of the pleasure which the heading of the discourse leads us to anticipate. One of the best sermons in the book is Mr. Robbins' on the Christian Home, in which we find nothing objectionable, and much that is truly praiseworthy. How beautiful such a volume of discourses would be, baptized into the spirit and truth of the gospel.
3. A Summer in Scotland. By JACOB Abbott. With Engravings.
12mo. pp. 331. New York. Harper & Brothers. 1848.
This fascinating and instructive volume we have perused with unusual interest. The author, so widely and favorably known by former publications,—such as the Young Christian, The Corner Stone, The Teacher, etc.,-seems to have turned his summer vacation of the important educational establishment he conducts in the chief city of this western world, to happy account in relaxation“ in the land of Hieland lakes, and oat-meal cakes." Having written a series of racy sketches in the shape of letters for his pupils and other friends, he has been induced to print them, and we are sure will entitle himself to the cordial thanks of many readers. Mr. Abbott had several advantages, enabling him to succeed better than most others in such an attempt. He has a mind and heart liberalized by extensive travels, and is thus enabled to take broader, more comprehensive and candid views of things, than would be possible for a mere novice, He is not ambitious to command admiration for his fine writing, nor on the other hand does he affect the carelessness of the would-be-great. The consequence is, that with unconscious simplicity he has furnished one of the most entertaining, and in its way vivid portraitures of scenes throughout the northern portion of the British Isles, that we have ever seen. Without effort we follow the tourist throughout all which he here describes, seeing and hearing and feeling in delightful sympathy with him. True we are often wishing to claim the Yankee privilege of asking him questions—so keenly are our appetites sharpened for more. But, on the whole, he is to be commended, as well for what he has not written as for what he has furnished us. The seventeen letters, of which the volume consists, embrace the following topics : -Crossing the Atlantic in a Steamer-Landing in England - A Ride through the Manufacturing District-Divine Service in the Minater at York— The Collieries at New Castle-Entrance into Scotland–Edinburgh-HolyroodLinlithgow—Entering the Highlands-Loch Lomond-Staffa and Iona
- Ben Nevis-The Caledonian Canal-Loch Leven Castle-Edinburgh Castle-Leaving Scotland.
With a tolerable exercise of imagination, one may secure from this volume, in two or three evenings devoted to its perusal—surrounded by an intelligent family-almost as much pleasure and profit as the excursion seems to have afforded its estimable author; and at far less expense or peril. May he live to enjoy many similar summer vacations ; and again may he give us the transcript of them.
4. A System of English Versification ; containing rules for the struc
ture of the different kinds of verse. Illustrated by numerous examples from the best poets. By Erastus EverETT, A. M. New York. Appleton & Co. 1848.
When we first met with the announcement of this treatise, we rashly supposed that it would turn out to be nothing more than Blair's 38th Lecture, or Trumbull's Prosody, with a copious addition of examples. A book of this kind is so apt to be a mere rifaccimento of its predeces, sors! Your scholiasts, lexicographers, and grammarians have a sad knack of treading in each other's footsteps, and, in good sooth, they have amply deserved the Frenchman's sarcasm : “Commentateurs, race moutonnière.” Justice makes it our duty to say that Mr. Everett is one of the select few whom this gibe does not reach. His book is what it professes to be, a system or complete technology of English versification. It is divided into seventeen chapters. The first eight treat of all the various feet used in English poetry; the last nine, of the pauses, of hiatus, of the completion of the sense by the couplet, of monosyllabic verse, of elision, of melody and harmony, of rhyme, of difficult combinations, and of inversion. All these points are handled with a copiousness and a clearness not to be found elsewhere. The most important chapter is the first, on lambic measures. It contains the whole doctrine of the iambic, which is the chief of English metres, and it embraces a full theory of the Heroic Line, of Blank Verse, and of the Alexandrine. The second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth chapters treat of the trochee, the anapaest, the pyrrhich, the spondee, the amphibrach, the tribrach and the dactyl. The author has taken occasion, in several parts of his work, to show the suitableness of certain metres to the expression of certain sentiments, a point not neglected by the Latin prosodians, but abandoned by our philologists to the instinct of the versifier. Mr. Everett has illustrated all the canons of versification by choice passages from the best poets, and each rule is “married to immortal verse.” After a minute examination, we are of opinion that this book fills up a deficiency. The writers of verse, in this country, are numerous. Though the result of this propensity is a great amount of base-born poetry, we do not think this verse-making is an evil. Many persons begin by metrical composition, fail signally, perceive that they have not the mens divinior, and devote themselves to prose composition, prepared for their new pursuit by this previous discipline of verse-making, which has fixed their attenti on the choice and the marshalling of words. But, surely, during their period of metromania, they must have it at heart to deviate as little as possible from the metrical system sanctioned by the practice of many generations of poets. Mr. Everett's book should be their manual. In the educational point of view, we believe that this volume would prove very useful to advanced pupils in High Schools and Colleges, as supplementary to a conrse of English Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres. The poets cannot be duly appreciated by those who are unacquainted with the laws of metre ; this truth has become a truism. To a foreigner desirous of studying our tongue in the fourth branch of its grammar, this treatise is invaluable. He will find in it a quality the lack of which is a cause of sad perplexity to
foreigners, precision. Should he be a Frenchman, a German, or an Italian, he will here find such a treatise as those with which the philologers of his native land have furnished him for the study of his own prosody.
We shall terminate our notice by a few suggestions to the author. When he prepares his second edition, and we presume, from the rapid sale of his work, that he is now busy about it, he would do well to draw up a series of progressive exercises for the use of schools. Our next suggestion would be to seek more appropriate examples of harmonious monosyllabic lines (p. 152). Our poetry abounds in lines made up of monosyllables, and, in general, they are as pleasing as those consisting of polysyllables. The Anglo-Saxon portion of our language is mostly monosyllabic, and we never could understand Dryden's condemnation of lines so constructed. Lastly, we would recommend the suppression of the passage from Coleridge, in p. 196, because it is noi, in our opinion, an example of the inversion of adverbs.
5. Memoir of William Ellery Channing, with Extracts from his Corres
pondence and Manuscripts. In three vols., 12mo. pp. 427, 459, 494. Boston. Crosby & Nichols. 1848.
The narrative of the life of Dr. Channing has been anticipated with great interest. The fame of his eloquence, the position in which he stood in respect to religious opinions and social reforms, the reverence accorded to him by his brethren, and the peculiarity of the period during which the major part of his life was passed, -while they made it difficult for a biographer to furnish a just and satisfactory estimate of his character,-have served, at the same time, to sharpen the general desire to see these volumes. The work is by his nephew. It is compiled in a very judicious manner, partaking at once of the nature of an autobiography, and of a memoir in the ordinary use of that term. Mr. Channing was favored with ample materials for such a form of his work, and he has used them to the best advantage. To some, a Memoir of the Life and Times of Dr. Channing might have been more acceptable. But to draw such a sketch wisely and well is no easy task. It requires a minute knowledge of the details of events, strict impartialiiy, and an ability to hold the balances with an even-handed justice, such as falls to the lot of few men, in describing scenes in which they have a personal or sectarian interest, to estimate accurately the influences by which the life and actions of a man have been swayed. Moreover, he who prepares a memoir on so broad a plan, is very liable to give to events the coloring of his private prejudices and opinions. Such a liability is almost unavoidable. Even in the present form of the memoir, Mr. C. has not in all cases avoided this tendency. The necessity, however, for a Memoir of the Life and Times of Dr. C., is not great. So recent are his times and so well understood, that most persons in the proximity of the circle where his life was passed, have a good degree of familiarity with them. Besides this, the period of Dr. C. was one in which a strange religious transition was going on in New England. Antagonistic sects set themselves warmly against one another. Each atched, with eagle-eye, every movement of the other; and duly did VOL. XIII. —NO. L.
they record and herald every changing phase of opinion, and every new method adopted for attack or defence. Never since the foundation of the Christian church, has the world seen a more minute record of religious history, than can be gleaned from the profuse controversies, letters, sermons, essays and observatio which, directly or indirectly, grew out of the religious aspect of the times. Besides, a biographer of the present day is too near the times of Dr. Channing to be able to give a just and impartial estimate of the man-of the influences which he exerted, and of the influences which were exerted upon him.
Mr. C., therefore, seems to us to have chosen the wisest method in his Memoir. His materials are arranged with taste and judgment. The sentences and pages by which he has connected together the various documents are always pleasing, being written not only with justice, but often with great beauty and strength. The clear, connected and complete view he has given of the life and character of his honored relative is a welcome addition to our biographical literature.
The record of events in the life of Dr. C. is briefly as follows: He was born at Newport, R. 1., April 7, 1780. He graduated at Harvard College in the year 1798, and afterwards spent some time in teaching in the state of Virginia. On returning to ihe North, he engaged in the study of theology, partly at Newport, R. I., and partly at Cambridge, Mass. Near the close of his theological course, he was admitted a member of the First Congregational church at Cambridge, under the pastoral care of Rev. Abiel Holmes, D. D. He received a call to the pastorship of the Federal Street church in Boston, Dec. 29, 1802, and was ordained June 1, 1803, at the age of twenty-four years. He was married ten years later. In 1824, his people settled a colleague pastor with him, in consequence of the enfeebled state of his health ; two years earlier, he had crossed the Atlantic, in the hope of restoring a wasted constitution. He retained his connection with the Federal Street church as pastor during his life; although he was comparatively at ease from its most burdensome duties. His health continued feeble, and he received no permanent invigoration from his frequent journeys and recreations. He died at Bennington, Vt., October 2, 1842, after a brief illness of a typhoid character,-at the age of sixty-two years.
It is well known that when Dr. Channing was ordained in Boston, the distinction between the evangelical and the liberal party was not yet developed. Hence, at his settlement he was doubtless deemed by orthodox men as one of themselves. His preaching is understood to have been of a class to confirm the impression. It has also been rumored, that on his death-bed, he changed his opinions, wishing to die in his early faith. The author of the Memoir affirms that there is " no foundation whatever for such a rumor;” and that “ weakness, the violence of fever, and desire for his restoration,” prevented conversation between him and his friends. We present this statement of the biographer, because it is a point in respect to which many will be interested to know what is truth.
During several of the later years of his life, Dr. C. became an ardent advocate in the cause of social reform. Whether he did not exceed in his enthusiasm and philanthropy the bounds of true discre
tion, we do not presume to say. We believe, however, that some of his warm admirers could not conscientiously follow him in the conclusions to which his opinions urged him.
A careful exhibition of the progress of Dr. C.'s mind, from a sound, or nearly sound system of theology, in which he was instructed in his childhood, to the system which he held in his advancing years, would furnish an interesting paper. Such a change could not have been sudden. It seems to us that it could not have occurred without many misgivings. With the theological opinions of the biographer, this matter seems less striking than to us. He finds no difficulty in the case. To us it is a problem of great interest, not to say difficulty. We could wish that more ample means were furnished us for solv
Dr. Channing was, however, notwithstanding the errors of his theological opinions, a beautiful specimen of a man :-warm, serious, philanthropic, calm, self-controlled, earnest, and often enthusiastic. With a refined taste, a love of letters, and a noble independence of mind, he joined a cultivated understanding, an effective style, and an admirable eloquence. He lived in an exciting age of the world, both political and theological ; and he has left upon many the impress of his character and opinions.
6. A Practical Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark,
in the form of Lectures. Intended to assist the Practice of Domestic Instruction and Devotion. By John Bird SUMNER, D. D., Bishop of Chester. New York. Robert Carter. 1848. pp. 404. 12mo.
This volume, by the new bishop of Chester, is a very agreeable running commentary on the gospels of Matthew and Mark. The style of the book is serions and dignified, and its spirit truly evangelical. It is comprised in 113 brief lectures, of about four pages each, and adapted, as the title indicates, to the uses of family devotion. It makes no pretensions to being a critical or learned work. To the student, such a commentary in the English tongue is still a desideratum. But for practical and devotional reading, a book like the present may be rendered very profitable. A family in the common walks of life, who should give sufficient prominence to their domestic worship to lead to the daily reading of one of these brief lectures in connection with it, we doubt not, would reap much advantage to their serenity, piety and joy.
7. Two Sermons on the Gospel Message and Christian Ordinances, preached at Gowahati and Nowgong, Assam, in Nov. 1846. By Nathan Brown, A. M., Missionary of the American Baptist Missionary Union. Sibsagor, Assam. Baptist Mission Press. 1847. PP. 66. 8vo.
These sermons were printed at the request of the members of the Assam mission, and are highly creditable to the author. They present a simple statement and confirmation of the arguments for Christian baptism, exhibited in an excellent spirit, and commended by their clearness, fairness, and truth. The first sermon, entitled “the Gospel