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(WE hold it to be the duty of an Editor either to give an early notice of the books sent to him for remark, or to return them at once to the Publisher. It is unjust to praise worthless books; it is robbery to retain unnoticed ones.)
THE REVIEWER'S CANON.
In every work regard the author's end,
IlistORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH TO THE REFORMATION. From
the German of Professor Kurtz. With Emendations and Addi. tions. By the Rev. ALFRED EDERSHEIM. Ph. D.
Vol. I. Edinburgh : T. and T. Clark.
Modern Church History is the child of the reformation. In order to justify their doctrinal position, and shew their agreement with the early Church, certain of the most learned amongst the Lutherans, headed by Matthias Flacius, issued in the third quarter of the sixteenth century a most erudite Church History. The work was begun at Magdeburg, and it appeared finally in thirteen volumes, each of which comprehended a century. Hence the authors were called Magdeburg Centuriators. The much more compendious work of Mosheim also follows the dry method of centuries, than which none could have been devised more laborious for the writer, or less interesting for the reader. We have not space to refer to the Roman Catholics ;-the laborious Baronius, or the faithful Tillemont ;-who reproduces the first six centuries, and on whom Lardner draws so largely;
'; -or the polite and diffuse Fleury. The work of the English Echard has fallen into undeserved oblivion. Yet to give us a history from the peculiar point of view of the Church of England were a task worthy of the pen of one of her best scholars. Why is not this undertaken by Trench or Swainson ? We have hitherto in England had little else but fragments ;-histories that are special in subject or aim, as Collier's, Fuller's, -Burton's. Milner's, though a work of genuine learning, is rather a “History of piety,” or of that sort of piety with which the author felt the most affinity, than a “History of the Church." Neander is a more philosophic and liberal Milner ; takes a wider range, and eschews the false formality of the centuries, and maps out the different periods in scientific spirit. Hase's erudite work will be found useful for reference by the reader who is on his guard against the tendency to a kind of rationalism. The method of Gieseler is peculiar ; the text being most concise, and the notes giving a most valuable selection of sources, so that the reader need not blindly depend on the author's judgment. Guericke and Kurtz are followers of Neander, and their far more compendious works are executed in a similar spirit. Kurtz, however, is fuller than Guericke, and the learned translator and Editor makes considerable additions, particularly in relation to Wycliffe and the Lollards, John Huss and the Bohemian Brethren. He intends also in the sequel a history of the Calvinian Churches. If the student has not time for the nine volumes of Neander, he will find either Guericke or Kurtz a very convenient substitute. Both are published by Messrs. Clark. Dr. Kurtz is one of the contributors to Herzog's incomparable Encyclopaedia. The present volume brings down the History to the close of the fifteenth century. The translation appears to be well executed, and the matter supplied by the Editor is very valuable.
THE PUBLIC LIFE OF CAPTAIN John BROWN. By JAMES REDPATH,
With an Autobiography of his Chiidhood and Youth. London:
Thickbroom and Stapleton. The name of John Brown, of Harper's Ferry, will go down to posterity along with those of the most heroic benefactors of the race. It is remarkable that this philanthrope and martyr came of true Puritan blood, being the sixth in descent from Peter Brown, one of the Pilgrim Fathers, who sailed in the May Flower, and landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. When we consider his manly and consistent course and the barbarous way in which it was terminated, we know not which is the uppermost feeling, whether indignant sorrow that so much oppression and cruelty, as are manifest in his enemies, should be possible still, in spite of all the gospel privileges, the religious revivals, and profession, in the United States,- -or hearty admiration of the integrity and resolute humanity of Brown, and of the majestic fortitude of his death. We take it for granted that in this country only one opinion prevails about slavery, but unless righteousness speedily settle the question for the States, and this horrible cancer be removed, we fear that it will prove fatal to their unity, and even to their existence. However let us cherish hope. The martyrdom of Christ effected, as much as His preaching, the triumph of His principles. Nor shall the blood of this His faithful follower, who died to testify against the oppressor, and to assert the essential equality of mankind, be shed in vain.
We earnestly exhort our readers to procure this volume. It is worth cartloads of sentimentalism. Here are deeds not words, selfsacrifice, not profession. John Brown's quiet reality is a relief in these twaddling and false times, and renews our faith. Groaning under the nightmare of conventionalism and expediency, we are roused by this book to breathe freely the morning air and hopefully give thanks, that even in this nineteenth century, God has not left off making men. It is perhaps not a very artistic biography, but will, for all that, be eminently delightful to sound hearts. It has much of the writing of John Brown himself, as well as of the author ; it gives an account of his ancestry, a narrative of his early years, of his energetic efforts, and his sublime death, and it is dedicated to those “who, when the mob shouted, Madman! said, Saint !”
WORK AND CONFLICT ; OR, THE DIVINE LIFE IN ITS PROGRESS. A
Book of Facts and Histories. By the Rev. JOHN KENNEDY,
M.A., F.R.G.S. London : 56, Paternoster Row. Those of our readers who perused the former work of our author treating of “the Divine Life,” with reference, especially, to its nature, and to the manner and means of its origination in the human soul, will know pretty well what to expect in this, and perhaps, seize it with avidity. The work is divided into two parts; the first including the soul's work, the WORLD's work, and the SOCIAL work; and the second, including conflict with sin, conflict with despondency and doubt, and conflict with suffering and death. Each of these chapters contains a considerable amount of judicious thinking, and good writing, enlivened and made deeply interesting by a rich infusion of the godly experiences of the most illustrious of the mighty dead. Though we are not disposed to look upon religion in exactly the same aspects as we have it here presented, and though we cannot see much of the “Divine Life,” as it is called, in some of the characters that are here canonized, we can heartily recommend the book :—it is a readable work on experimental religion, it has life in it, and will live, and by God's grace give life.
Early BLOSSOMS ; OR, MEMORIALS OF A MINISTER'S FAMILY. Five
of whom died within fourteen months. By their Father, Willm.
FULTON. Edinburgh : Oliphant and Sons. This little Book is of thrilling interest to us. It carries us back to the days of childhood, and reproduces scenes and impressions which for a time overwhelmed with anguish our young spirits. On the first day of one lovely May we were eight children, four boys and four girls, all hale and happy ; but ere the month had closed the four dear girls were silent in their graves. We remember the uncontrolable agony of our mother's grief, we hear the echo of her shrieks; and the deep mute sorrow that rested like a mountain on our father as he moved about the house, we shall never forget. Oh! that month of May ! Month to us of wondrous memories ! After this we need not saythat we have read this little book with peculiar interest, and that our sympathy with the authoris deep throughout. The work is remarkable not only because of its subject, but because the spirit is so calmly pious, the taste so chaste, the style so clear, simple, and telling. It only requires to be known to become as popular as the Dairyman's Daughter. The Tract Society would do well to purchase the copyright of this work and circulate it by millions.
BRAZIL : ITS HISTORY, PEOPLE, AND NATURAL PRODUCTIONS. London:
56, Paternoster Row. Tuis work presents a history of Brazil, from its discovery to the appointment of the first viceroy; from the death of the King Sebastian to the migration of the royal family ; from the arrival of John VI to the abdication of the first Emperor ; and from the abdication of Don Pedro I to the present time. It also furnishes information concerning the religion and the religious condition of Brazil ; its social state, manners, and customs, &c., its natural productions and an account of its aborigines. The field which the author here traverses is one of great amplitude, beauty and wealth. In this book-making age it is rare to meet such rich stores of information so nicely arranged within such small dimensions.
VICE-ROYALTY ; OR, COUNSELS RESPECTING
Addressed especially to Young Men. By BENJAMIN
Happy when youth continues its resolve
THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE. Vol. 7. London: Kent and Co. This is a monthly serial of very superior merit. The volume contains ad
mirable essays on leading and other subjects; sketches of public men skilfully drawn and true to life; tales of a highly interesting and healthful character ; poetry that rings with the notes of nature and life ; also reviews of books, and engravings of historic, natural and poetic subjects. On the whole we consider it one of the best of our popular magazines. It bears genially but powerfully against the many evils that infest our age ;—such as pedantry in literature, cant in religion, and snobbery in society. It only requires to be generally known to be generally valued. LECTURES ON THE LORD'S PRAYER. By the Rev. F. EDWARDS, B.A. London: Judd and Glass. Decidedly the best popular lectures we have seen on the subject. The author has the rare faculty of seizing the great principles contained in his text, and bringing them out in such bold forms, and in such a clear light, as make them strike the reason and the heart. CHRIST'S CONSECRATION AND OURS. A Sermon preached at Surrey Chapel, on behalf of the London Missionary Society. By the Rev. HENRY ALLON. London : John Snow. This moment we finished reading this Sermon, and this moment our printer has sent to say that he requires “copy for half a page only.” Though we should require five times the space to say all that we think concerning this admirable discourse, we must content ourselves with saying that taken as a whole, we consider it one of the best that has ever been delivered on the same occasion. To preach this Anniversary Sermon is considered by a class a wonderful thing!—the highest honor the Secretaries of the Society can confer upon those ministers who are the most earnest advocates of the cause, and the most successful in gathering what is considered the “ needful" We have witnessed some wretched exhibitions on this anniversary, such struggling to be grand and tremendous! In this discourse, however, there is nothing of the kind. The chief objection we find in this excellent sermon is the reference made to those ministers who engage themselves in literary pursuits. On the whole, we believe that such ministers will be found the most effective preachers, and engaged in a far more dignified and useful employment than in the gossip of what is folsely called "pastoral visitation.” Besides, it is unmanly to attack a body of men from the pulpit where there is no opportunity for defence. The ministerial slander which takes place at these May Meetings must verily disgust all honest souls. Mr. Allon we are sure is the last man who would intentionally sanction in any way such miserable conduct. Of his sermon we have a very high opinion. The thinking is generally clear, vigorous, and independent; the spirit free, honest, man-loving, and profoundly reverent; and the style crystal, antithetic, and often sparkling. The whole is full of the vivida vis animi.