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1.—A Residence of eight years in Persia, among the Nestorian
Christians ; with Notices of the Muhammedans. By Rev. Justin Perkins. With a Map and Plates. Andover : Allen, Morrill & Wardwell. New-York: M. W. Dodd. 1843. pp.512.
We have received from Mr. Dodd this interesting volume. It can no longer be said, that missionaries are a useless set of men, that money expended on their support is wasted. For, independently of the blessing which accompanies their labors, in fitting immortal souls for an eternal home in heaven, they now stand before the world with claims on its regard for the valuable contributions they make to literature and science. To those, who feel little inierest in the conversion of souls to God, by the regeneration of the Spirit, but much in the advancement of scientific and literary knowledge, missionaries must now appear as a class of men highly worthy of respect.
Not to mention others, here is a volume contributed to the literature of the world, of which any one might be proud to have been the author. The colored plates, originally drawn by a Persian artist, under the supervision of Mr. Perkins, are in themselves not without value as specimens of art, and as presenting before the eye the most correct delineations of the costume and features of the various classes of Persians any. wbere accessible to us.
No American, before Mr. Perkins, was ever a resident in the ancient country of the Nestorians; and the report he makes bas this attribute, wanting in many others, that it can be relied on with the utmost confidence. The materials for the work were collected on the ground, but in respect to their arrangement and filling out, Mr. Perkins says, "I have sometimes written an hour at a public house, while waiting for a stage-coach ; at other times in a cabin of a steam-boat, among scores of pas. sengers; and have often revised my manuscripts, while travelling in rail-road cars." Yet, we could not help comparing the result here accomplished with that presented in Dickens's “ Notes," who makes somewhat of a similar statement about his opportunities for doing his work. Whilst the latter will soon have passed away as the morning cloud, the former will live, an honor to its author and a treasure to the Christian and literary world.
The volume contains twenty-seven plates, and a rich fund of interesting information in respect to Turkey, Persia, and es. pecially the Nestorians. They who read will find themselves abundantly rewarded. The style is easy, the narrative well conducted, and many of the incidents thrilling. The visit of Mr. Perkins and Mar Yohannan, his companion, will be long remembered ; and when they both shall be slumbering in the dust, or rather rejoicing in heaven, the little ones of the land, who have been so eager to see and to hear them, will still talk of them, after they have grown to manhood, and will then inquire for this book, that they may see their portraits and read of their labors to revive the spirit of Christianity among the Nestorians. By that time, too, we trust that ancient church will have returned to the simplicity of the Gospel, and will be going forth as messengers of good to the lost around them.
Our limits in the present number will not permit us to give an analysis of the work: but our hope is that it will be widely circulated.
2.- The Religious Instruction of the Negroes, in the United
States. By Charles C. Jones. Savannah: Thomas Purse. 1842. pp. 277.
Mr. Jones, the author of this volume, has for years mani. fested a deep interest in the religious improvement of his colored fellow.men. He is a minister of the gospel, resident in Georgia, and connected ecclesiastically with the Presby. terian denomination.
This is an interesting volume in many respects. The class of people of whose instruction it treats, is an interesting onethe historical facts it contains-the plainness of speech it exhibits—the plans it proposes—its coming from one so personally familiar with the state and relations of those for whose welfare he pleads--its connection with great questions of duty to the slave, and its tendency to direct the attention of slaveholders to topics which they have too much excluded from their circle of thonght. It contains an historical sketch of the religious instruction of the negroes from 1620 to 1842—treats of the moral and religious condition of the negroes; of the obligalions of the church to improve that condition by giving them the gospel--and proposes plans for securing their religious instruction.
It appears that the Moravians were the first to attempt missions exclusively to the negroes, and that direct and continued efforts for their religious improvement were first made by Presbyterians in Virginia, encouraged by Pres't. Samuel Davies. The moral and religious condition of the poor negroes in the United States is portrayed in the blackest colors. It is enough to make a Christian weep and pray earnestly for their deliverance from the thraldom of sin, the yoke of a moral slavery. Under the head of the obligations of the church to the negroes, the author speaks out plainly and forcibly, first to the church in slaveholding states on their duties to the slaves, then to Christians in the free states on their duty to afford the gospel to free negroes within their limits. To the former he says: “We cannot cry out against Papists for withholding the Scriptures from the common people, if we withhold the Bible from our servants, and keep them in ignorance of its saving truths, which we certainly do whilst we will not provide ways and means of having it read and explained to them.”
"John Randolph found a female friend busy, with semstresses, making up garments. What work have you in hand ?' 0, sir, I am preparing this clothing to send to the poor Greeks.' Seeing some of her servants in need of just such clothing, be exclaimed: 'Madam, madam, The Greeks are at your door.''
Mr. Jones weighs well all objections to the course proposed and meets them on Scriptural grounds: so that it must be difficult for a minister of the gospel or a private Christian to read and not be reproved. Oh, if the principles of this book were inculcated and adopted in the Southern States, for which it is principally intended, how much of the curse of slavery would be removed, and how many of our reasons for emancipation would lose much of their force.
Whilst we freely acknowledge ourselves unfriendly to the system of slavery as it exists in the United States, and indeed to all slavery; whilst we deem freedom to be the right and privilege of every son and daughter of Adam, and that no one may compulsorily enslave his fellow man, we think appeals, such as Mr. Jones makes, to the consciences of Christians in the South, adapted to prepare the way, as rapidly as any other preparatory measures, for the ultimate breaking of all the fetters of bondage and letting the oppressed and captive go free. We long for the day, when no slave shall set his foot on Columbia's pure soil, when the shout of universal freedom shall go up from all the multitudes of its people, and its starspangled banner float in an atmosphere untainted by the breath of bondage.
3.—Sketches of Modern Philosophy, especially among the
Germans. By James Murdock, D. D. Hartford: John W. Wells. 1842. pp. 221.
This small duodecimo volume is a valuable contribution to the history of philosophy. True, there are more extended ones in German and French ; but this contains a concise and, we think, correct view of the modern philosophies, especially of Germany. Freedom of thought is the birthright of a Protestant German, and he is apt to exercise it; whether always well or not, is another question. For our own part, we find in them volumes of mysticism beyond our ken, and far too ethereal for this common sense world, -much that is transcendently tran. scendental. By the way, as Dr. Murdock intimates, there is a distinction between transcendentism and transcendentalism. The latter is that philosophy which goes beyond the boundaries of sensuous, empirical knowledge; the former that which expatiates in the region of imaginary truth, and goes beyond the entire limits of human knowledge. This is unscientific : that strictly scientific. The school of philosophy, therefore, to which Rev. G. Ripley, Rev. 0. A. Brownson, Rev. R. W. Emerson, and others of like tissue belong, is not, properly speaking, the transcendental, but the transcendent. The latter term should be retained and applied to such : for they are truly transcendentists, surpassing in their speculations all the landmarks of knowledge, and running wild and unbridled through the airy domains of fancy.
We can do nothing better to recommend the book than to specify the subjects of the chapters :—Two modes of Philosophizing-Empirical-Metaphysical.—First German Philosophy.-Kant and his Critical Philosophy. - The Critical Philosophy.--Anti-Critical.-Pantheistic.-Instinctive.-French.German Philosophy in America.-American Transcendentalism.-- Philosophy of Dr. Rauch. The last chapter deserves to be well pondered by those who have adopted Dr. R.'s Psychology as a text-hook for young men. Its tendency is unquestionably to Hegelisin and Pantheism, and to the confusion of all right distinctions in morals.
4.-Manhood, or Scenes from the Past; a series of Poems. By
Willium Plumer, Jr. Boston: Tappan & Dennet. 1843.
This is the second volume of a series intended to trace the advance of human life from infancy to old age. The first volume was devoted to youth, and the third, should it follow, will be on age. The volume is dedicated to John Quincy Adams, attributing to him a special influence in rousing the ardor and directing the genius of the author. Among the portraits of celebrated men, written whilst Mr. Plumer was in Congress, there is one of this same celebrated and honored sage, from which we beg leave to make an extract:
“Thy large and liberal nature comprehends
All interests, rights and duties of mankind :
Gentle and peaceable. to mirth inclined.
Or wrong calls down rebuke ;-ihy genius blends
The light and losty ; learning, fancy, skill,
Courage, not merely of the camp and field,
In halls of state.-ihat, throwing wide its shield
O'er truth assaileil, discains to fly or yield ;
By hosts beset, yel victor, though alone." There are also sketches of John Marshall, Wm. Lowndes, John Sergeant, John Randolph, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster.
The thoughts of these poems are generally elevated, the sentiments pure, and the tendency good. “ The Daughter, " " The Boy,” “Children,” strike us as rich in sentiment. The publishers merit commendation for the style of execution.
5.-The Christian Citizen. The Obligations of the Christian
Citizen, with a Review of High Church Principles in relation to Civil and Religious Institutions. By A. D. Eddy, Newark, N. J. New-York, J. S. Taylor & Co. 1843. pp. 164.
The thoughts contained in this volume were originally presented, by the Rev. Mr. Eddy, to his congregation, 'on the occasion of the last State Thanksgiving.' They are now published, by request, in an expanded form; and the reader will discover that the author has not spoken unadvisedly with his lips, but confirmed his own statements by well selected appeals to original authorities.
The former part of the work is appropriated to a consideration of government-in its foundation, its principles, its evils, the mode of correcting them, and the duties incumbent on all Christian citizens in respect to governmental matters. Mr.