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been surpassed; and in effecting a version of the greater portion of the Old Testament into one of the most widely diffused languages of the East: in proclaiming the truth as it is in Jesus in season and out of season ; fulfilling gladly the ministry he had received, he consecrated his time and talents to what he justly deemed the sublimest ends."
We congratulate our readers upon the early republication of this Memoir in the United States. It contains a noble testimony to the grace and glory of the gospel. It is refreshing beyond expression to follow the steps of one who resembled Ilenry Martyn, and whose life Henry Martyn's biographer depicts. Mr. Thomason's course shows the perfect compatability of ardent attachment to study and of deep spiritual affections. At the time when he saved the slender pittance of his pocket-money to purchase oil that he might read Hebrew in the evening, he was panting to tread in the holy steps, and share in the holy blessedness of Hebrew patriarchs and prophets. A character so nearly unexceptionable in all the relations of life, we have hardly ever contemplated. Selfishness seemed to have no place in the elements of his nature. The names of such men as Brown, and Buchanan, and Martyn, and Corrie, and Thomason, are music to the soul. Long may the English church be blessed with such luminaries; long may India welcome such apostles to her shores.
1.- Legends of the West. By James Hall. Philadelphia : Har
rison Hall. 1832. pp. 265. Mr. Hall is favorably known to many of our readers as the author of Letters from the West, editor of the Illinois Magazine, and now of the Western Magazine, published at Cincinnati. In the Legends of the West, it is his object to convey accurate descriptions of the scenery and population of the western country. The legends are entirely fictitious, but are founded on incidents which have been witnessed by Mr. Hall during a long residence in the western States, or upon traditions preserved by the people. The tales are twelve in number. Mr. Hall has a fine tact in describing the border-warfare, the rifle-shooting, the solemn scenery of the thick woods, the lingering love of the emigrant for the “old States,” the evening-tires of the camp-meeting, and the whole range of western men and manners. His power of description, we think, sometimes misleads him. The moral effect, or the intention, disappears in the fascination of the story, and the excitement of the narrative. We are more anxious to know whether the principal parties were at last comfortably married, than we are to know any thing respecting the main object of the writer. We think if he introduced the tender passion more sparingly, he would accomplish greater good. He does not need its aid.
We are aware that there are various opinions respecting the utility of tales and romances. In moderate measure, however, and in illustration of important principles, or even as an innocent amusement, we do not know how fictitious writing can be condemned in mass. The grave and the sententious must sometimes give place to the light and playful. In entering this field, Mr. Hall, we doubt not, is actuated by pure and honorable motives. He thus speaks of the Sabbath, in one of his legends. all who submit to its restrictions, a day of repose, when the weary are at rest, and the wicked cease from troubling,' a day from which care and labor are banished, and when the burdens of life are lightened from the shoulders of the heavy laden. But to him who sincerely worships at the altar of true piety, and especially to one who has been led in infancy to the pure fountains of religion, the return of the long neglected Sabbath brings up a train of pure and ecstatic recollections."
“ It is to
2.- A Memoir of the Life of William Livingston, member of
Congress in 1774, 1775, and 1776; delegate to the Federal Convention in 1787, and governor of the State of New Jersey from 1776 to 1790. By Theodore Sedg
wick, Jr. New York : J. & J. Harper. 1833. pp. 452. Among the most self-denying of the duties incident to the war of the revolution, were those performed by the governors of the several colonies. They were the medium of intercourse between the people and congress. Through them General Washington sent out his appeals to the patriotism of his countrymen. They had the delicate task of managing the system of taxes and supplies, of watching the tories, of levying and paying troops, and of controlling the thousand nameless evils incident to a state of war, and to independent, half formed sovereignties not connected by any general government. No man shared more largely in VOL. I.
these perplexities than governor Livingston, and no man bore up against them with a braver spirit.
The Livingston family is said to have come originally from Hungary to England; they soon removed to Scotland. Robert Livingston, son of John who was eminent in Scotch Church History, was born at Ancram on the Teviot, on the 13th of December, 1654. About the year 1676, he removed to this country and became connected by marriage with the Rensselaer and Schuyler families. He succeeded in securing for himself a manor, or large estate, comprising originally between one hundred and twenty and one hundred and fifty thousand acres south of the city of Hudson. His son Philip married Catharine Van Brugh of Albany. Their fisth child was William, born at Albany, in November, 1723. The first fourteen years of his life were passed under the protection of his maternal grandmother. In 1737, he entered Yale College, and in 1741, graduated at the head of his class. He then commenced the study of law in the office of Mr. James Alexander, a Scotch lawyer in New York city. Before he had completed his professional studies, he married Susannah French, a daughter of Philip French. Her character was simple and unpretending, though she was endowed with a strong intellect, and ardent affections. In 1748, Mr. Livingston was admitted to practice as an attorney. He was engaged in the laborious and honorable duties of his profession for more than twenty years. In 1772, he removed to Elizabethtown, in New Jersey. For three years, he was a member of the continental congress, and on the expulsion of the royal governor, from New Jersey, William Franklin, in 1776, he was chosen governor. To this high station, he was annually elected, with singular unanimity, till his death in 1790.
The character of Governor Livingston was very strongly marked. He did with his whole heart whatever he attempted. The principal defect was an irritability of temper which he was never able wholly to overcome. Ilis power at satire and bitter retort, sometimes led him into harsh and unseemly language. His expressions respecting the Supreme Being occasionally border on irreverence, as where he says, “ Blessed be God, and Huzza for Louis XVI."; notwithstanding, the foundations of his character were strongly laid in religion. He had a great regard for the excellent president Burr of Princeton, and at his death, pronounced an eulogy. He was a member of the Presbyterian church in Wall street, New York, and was generally regarded, we believe, as a true Christian. And here, we cannot but express our regret, that Mr. Sedgwick did not make the religious character of his subject more prominent. If Mr. Livingston had distinctive traits of religious feeling or opinion, why not exhibit them? We think that some of the patriots of the revolution have never had full justice done them in this regard. In a letter to one of his sons, governor Livingston thus writes, “And now, my dear child, I wish you a safe voyage, with prosperity in this world, and everlasting happiness in the next; and to secure the last, which is of infinitely the greatest consequence, oh ! let me entreat you not to forget your Creator in the days of your youth, but wherever you go, to remember your duty to the great God, who alone can prosper you in this life, and make you happy in that which is to come.”
His attachment to Mrs. Livingston is thus beautifully expressed in his old age. “If I was to live to the age of Methusaleh, I believe I should not forget a certain flower that I once saw in a certain garden ; and however that flower may have since faded, towards the evening of that day, I shall always remember how it bloomed in the morning ; nor shall I ever love it the less for that decay which the most beautiful and fragrant flowers are subject to in the course of nature."
3.-Letters on Slavery ; addressed to the Cumberland congrega
tion, Virginia. By J. D. Paxton, their former pastor.
Lexington, Ky.: A. T. Skillman. 1833. pp. 207. A BOOK of this character from a slave State, is really an animating sign of the times. The author is a highly respectable minister of the Presbyterian denomination, and was dismissed from his congregation in Virginia, a few years since, in consequence of an excitement occasioned by some remarks on slavery, which he published in the Richmond Family Visitor. After his removal, he took occasion to address his former congregation on the whole subject of slavery, in a series of letters, which are now published. The following are the topics discussed : ministerial prudence in regard to slavery ; reasons for discussing the subject; origin and nature of slavery in the United States; inconsistent with our free institutions and the natural rights of man; inconsistent with the moral teaching of Scripture; the servitude tolerated by the Jewish law not slavery for life; examination of Leviticus xxv., and of the practice of the patriarchs; examples of God's judgments for slavery; the bearing of those things in the Old Testament on the testimony of the New, respecting slavery ; various evils of slavery; excuses considered ; several plans for removing the evil proposed; motives to immediate effort, from the doctrine of divine recompenses.
While Mr. Paxton speaks with all plainness respecting the sin and dangers of slavery, his language is decorous, and his whole manner candid and becoming. Having by marriage become possessed of slaves, he immediately commenced the task of fitting them for freedom, and in a few years sent them all to Liberia. He has lived for a long time in the slave-country, and is intimately
acquainted with all the details of the system. The facts with which his arguments are supported, are of great importance. His limits did not allow him to present the scripture argument in that prominent light in which it deserves to be presented. A much more efficient use could be made of the principles of the Bible in opposition to slavery, than has been yet attempted. In endeavoring to prove that the word Sovios means a servant and not strictly a slave, it was incumbent on Mr. Paxton not only to show the classical but the New Testament usage, and to have fortified his position with stronger authorities than that of Pool, or even that of Potter. We think it will be difficult to show that the slavery of the Greeks and Romans was not, in general, grinding and intolerable. Slavery is a bitter cup everywhere.
We commend the letters of Mr. Paxton as worthy of high consideration. No one we should think can read them without being greatly interested, and no one, who is in the wrong, without being convinced of his error,
4.- The People's Magazine. The Penny Magazine.
The object of these magazines, and of similar publications, the diffusion of knowledge-is very laudable. They furnish a large amount of reading material, at a very low price. Some of the selections are interesting, and a portion of the cuts and other embellishments, striking and decorous. We think, notwithstanding, that their circulation would be injurious to the country. The knowledge which they diffuse is miscellaneous in the extreme. Every possible subject, in literature and science, is taken up, and inevitably treated in a very superficial manner. The excitement, which the monthly or weekly appearance of these penny publications produces, is momentary, and unnatural while it lasts. No deep interest, in literary or scientific subjects, is created. What the great body of our people need, is not news, nor startling facts, nor the illustrations of the various sciences. They find these, in overwhelming abundance, in the common newspapers. They need the principles of science and literature—not materials for idle conversation, but the real reasons of things. It is important that knowledge should be diffused, but of far more importance that the right kind of knowledge should be diffused, and in the right manner. A magazine ought to be the means of awakening a permanent interest in literary subjects. It should lead men to think, to ascertain the grounds of their knowledge, to compare, and to form intelligible conclusions.
If we mistake not the signs of the times, we are in danger of becoming an exceedingly practical people. The sermon on the Sabbath must be practical. The newspaper is not in its province, if it explains things, and furnishes food for thought. The Bible class and Sabbath school exercises must not consist of can