« AnteriorContinuar »
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. This 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 THE GOVERNMENT OF
THE HEART. Addressed especially to Young Men. By BENJAMIN
SMITH. London: John Mason, City Road. In this book, the author discusses the nature, extent, importance, and maintenance of “good self-government.” Were we just now in a fault-finding mood, we should complain of its frequently implied approbation of martial life. But the defects of this book, are but as dust in the balance compared with its priceless merits. The author writes as one who has looked deeply into the young man's heart, and sounded its abyssess of depravity and power. His counsels, which are varied and sagelike, are enforced by touching examples, telling illustrations, and arguments forged by a strong intellect in the fires of manly love.
“Happy when youth continues its resolve
To woo the sweets of pure philosophy.”
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 reserence 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 falsely 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.
A H O MIL Y
Life and Death.*
“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”—Rom. viii. 6.
WO opposite states of humanity are here brought before us.
In the first, the controlling force is carnal ; in the second, spiritual. The one
shows us man fallen from his high destiny, unog mindful of his glorious capacities, “not liking retain God in his knowledge,” alien from the holy and the pure, and forgetting the everlasting realities of the after-death world in the hollow joys and vain vexations of the present. The other exhibits him as an heir of immortality, his love and trust centered in the Father of Spirits, his citizenship in Heaven, his hope stretching far beyond the things of time and sense, and “entering into that within the veil.” The former of these states is said to be death, while the latter is declared to be life and peace. It is not so much that the one is punished with, or produces, death ; and that the other is rewarded with, or results in, life; as that each is, now, and absolutely, death and life respectively. The sinner is “dead in trespasses,”—actually as well as prospectively; the believer " hath life,” and not merely the promise of it. So that when the Gospel thus declares the alternatives of man's condition and destiny, it is not only a prophecy of the future, it is a
We publish this, not as the type of pulpit discourses we desire to promote, but simply on account of its fresh, ingenuous, and thoughtstimulating character.
revelation of the present. And what are life and death? Clearly, in Scripture phraseology, they denote states of being, and not existence and non-existence Death is not necessarily extinction, nor is continuity of existence necessarily deathlessness, or immortality. So the endless existence of an unbeliever's soul, and the resurrection of an unbeliever's body, do not necessarily imply any life (in the scriptural sense) but rather seem essential properties of humanity, and so inalienable. Viewing, then, life as a condition—not a principle--we enquire, What is it? Wherein does it consist?
We have experience of four distinct kinds of vitality; the two former, conditions of matter; the two latter, of spirit. The first organic, the second animal, the third intellectual, the fourth spiritual. Of which the mutual relation of the first and second is the same as that of the third and fourth; the two former being the material types of the two latter, each to each.
The functions of organic life are such as digestion, circulation, respiration, absorption, secretion and the like—the heart is their central organ. The animal functions are the actions of the senses, of the brain, of the voluntary muscles and of the cerebro-spinal nerves ; the brain is their central organ. Whether or not this division of vital phenomena is suited to the purposes of modern physiology, it is certainly founded in nature ; inasmuch as the organs of the first class are not subject to the periodical intermission of sleep, which is uniformly the case with those of the second. Accepting the classification therefore as a natural, and not an arbitrary, arrangement, we may make it the basis of the following observations :
(1) In comparing these two classes of organs we remark the very obvious subordination of the first to the second. What is a gland, a membrane, or a blood-vessel, compared to the eye which can read the stars, or the ear which can appreciate music's magic power? For however important the gland, membrane, or blood vessel, may be in its office to the
system, it is only important as it ministers to the sentient welfare of that system. The organic derives all its worth from the animal ; a world of vegetable life, apart from ulterior design, would be an anomaly.
(2) In form and position the first class of organs is mostly destitute of that uniformity and symmetry which distinguish those of the second. Thus the latter are either double, as the eyes, ears, and limbs; or they consist of correspondent halves on each side of the median line, as the nose, mouth, &c. : thus the brain has its hemispheres, and the cerebro-spinal nerves are given off in pairs. In the organic functions, on the contrary, it is totally different ; the heart, the stomach, the liver are one-sided in position and irregular in form ; while those parts which are double, as the lungs and kidneys, are yet so unequal as to preclude all uniformity.
(3) The organs of the second class are elaborated from those of the first : the organic functions precede the animal, the latter being developed from them. By an incomprehensible power, to which naturalists may apply various names. but which no science can explain, organic vitality can produce its like. This is the Divine definition of life, as distinguished from the previously-existing world of unorganized matter—“ Let the earth bring forth grass, &c., whose seed is in itself.” And it is remarkable that this formula is not repeated in the creation of animals, probably for this reason, that organic life alone is actually generated and animal life developed therefrom. It follows:
(4) That the organic functions may be perfectly carried on, while the animal functions are imperfect, or altogether absent; but not the reverse. The eye may be affected by derangement of the stomach, but the stomach does not suffer from diseased vision. *
* So independent of the cerebro-spinal nerves are the organic functions that they are found still active in cases of paralysis, and of congenital defect, or actual removal, of the brain. See Dr. W. B. Carpenter's “Principles of Human Physiology," p. 19.