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7. Delineation of Roman Catholicism, drawn from the authentic and ac
knowledged Štandards of the Church of Rome ; namely, her Creeds, Catechisms, Decisions of Councils, Papal Bulls, Roman Catholic Writers, the Records of History, etc., etc.: in which the Peculiar Doctrines, Morals, Government, and Usages of the Church of Rome are stated, treated at large, and confuted. By Rev. Charles Elliott, D. D. Vol. I, 8vo., pp. 492. New-York: published by George Lane. 1841.
ROMANISM is at the present time a subject of deep interest to this country. It is so natural and almost necessary for this species of heresy to hold a political bearing, that the politician is compelled to notice its movements and leading positions in relation to great political questions. Whatever are the professions of Romanists, the designs of their priesthood most obviously are to work themselves into power, and to exercise an undue influence in civil matters. As men, we would respect them according to their individual, intellectual, and moral worth; as strangers and foreigners, (for such most of them are,) we would treat them with kindness; but as politicians and Christians, we should administer to them a wholesome rebuke whenever we conceive it necessary for their correction or the public safety. Their influence we should not consider as materially dangerous to our institutions, were it not that the mass always move together, and move in obedience to the will of the priesthood. But under existing circumstances we can but regard their increasing strength and influence, whether through emigration or proselytism, as eminently dangerous to our free institutions.
But will this view suggest any persecuting or proscriptive measures? Not at all. Nothing is necessary but to look to their movements, and investigate the features and bearings of their system. This is all we can do—all we ought to do. If, as we suppose, they are in error, does this alienate their claims upon our justice and our sympathies? In no wise. They are still our brethren, and are entitled to be treated as such. But when they come forward and tell us, as the bishop of this city has done, that they cannot conscientiously participate in the public provisions for the education of the rising generation, until we shall give them the control of the books and the course of instruction, in our public schools, or at least shall exclude the Holy Scriptures, it is time for us to pause.
But we must not go into this argument in a mere notice of a book. The volume, whose title is at the head of this article, is a discussion of the history and theology of Romanism—its consistency with the Scriptures, with common sense, and with itself. Weighed in these balances the system is “ found wanting." To avoid this test the Romanists repudiate reason, conceal from the popular eye the book of divine revelation, and endeavor to elude scrutiny. But our author follows them in all their lurking places, and tears off the veil from the mystery of iniquity.
The work is one of vast labor and of diligent research. Dr. Elliott has spent upon it the toil of years, and has gone to the original sources of information. We here see what Romanism is, how it is defended by its advocates, and how it conflicts with truth and the best interests of man. Among the many modern works upon this subject which have come under our notice, we have seen none which exhibits an equal amount of deep and original investigation.
The style of this work will often be found defective in point of euphony, and sometimes as to grammatical construction and arrangement, but seldom, if ever, in point of perspicuity and force.
The references to antiquated and rare works which are brought into the margin, will be valuable, particularly to such as wish to go into an original investigation of the subject and have not the works at hand upon which our author has levied his contributions. Another great excellence of this work is, its copious index. Here in a few minutes the reader can take a consecutive view of the whole work, and he can never be at a loss as to the page where any particular topic or authority is to be found. We crave for this work a fair and impartial reading
8. A Classical Dictionary, containing an Account of the principal Proper
Names mentioned in Ancient Authors, and intended to elucidate all the important Points connected with the Geography, History, Biography, Mythology, and Fine Arts of the Greeks and Romans, together with an Account of Coins, Weights, and Measures, with Tabular Values of the same. By CHARLES Anthon, LL.D. New-York: Harper and Brothers, pp. 1423.
We have experienced great satisfaction in the examination of Dr. Anthon's new Classical Dictionary, and had intended to notice it at some length in our present number; but this we are obliged, by the prior claims of other matter, to postpone until our next. sent, therefore, we can only state generally, and in a very few words, what are our impressions in regard to this important work. Of its great superiority to the dictionary of Lempriere, not excepting the latest and most improved editions of the latter, there can, we think, be no doubt. Its articles are both more numerous and more fully treated, its criticisms more learned and exact, its authorities more complete, and its style more uniformly correct and finished. Entire purity of thought and language pervades the work, and nothing is met with that can offend the most sensitive delicacy. Our knowledge in regard to ancient geography, &c., has been greatly enlarged by the researches of modern travelers, and the learned author has enriched his pages with a vast amount of most interesting and valuable information obtained from these sources. From his familiarity, also, with the language and literature of Germany, he has been enabled to consult, with great advantage, the best authors of that country. In short, he has spared no pains to render his work complete. We are much gratified to learn that the publishers are about issuing a second edition.
9. Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth,
and Seventeenth Centuries. By Henry Hallam, F.R.S.A. 2 vols., 8vo. New-York: Harper & Brothers.
We are gratified to see this very interesting and able work made accessible to the American reader. The high encomiums bestowed upon it by the English press, and the character of its distinguished author's previous publications, had prepared us to expect a rich intellectual treat; nor have we been disappointed. As a polished writer Mr. Hallam has few equals ; but it is not the beauties of his style, striking as they are, that we so much regard, as the value of his facts, and the depth and originality of thought so conspicuous in his productions, giving evidence not only of a great mind, but of patient and laborious research, which, in these times of action rather than of study, even great minds too much neglect.
The author's object in this work is to give such an account of the rise and progress of modern learning, that the reader may have presented before him a connected view of all that is most interesting in relation to it—the various circumstances and events, whether of a social, political, or religious nature, that were favorable or unfavorable to its advance; the influence of the cultivation of letters in meliorating the condition of society; the distinguished men who, by their intellectual labors in the different departments of literature and science, have most largely contributed to their improvement; the most remarkable literary and scientific productions, and, in short, all such matters as directly belong to, or remotely bear upon, this interesting and important subject. The period embraced in Mr. Hallam's history is in its religious as well as literary aspects the most important in the annals of mankind. It is the period of the Protestant Reformation—that great revolution which effected the downfall of superstition, corruption, and error, and restored to the human mind its liberty, to conscience its rights, and to religion its pristine simplicity and purity.
The progress of learning in these centuries was so identified with that of the Reformation, that the two must neces
cessarily be considered in their connection with each other. Hence Mr. Hallam's volumes should be studied by all who feel a united interest in the spread of pure Christianity and of sound learning; and to no class of readers will they prove more valuable than to ministers.
10. A Compendius Ecclesiastical History from the earliest period to the
present time. By the Rev. William PALMER, A. M., of Worcester College, Oxford, author of Origines Liturgicæ, &c., &c. With a Preface and Notes, by an American Editor. 12mo., pp. 232. NewYork: Swords, Stanford, & Co. 1841.
The department of ecclesiastical history is likely still to be vexed by partizan writers. It is indeed to be lamented, that a historian of the church cannot make such citations from the mass of facts, which has survived the ravages of time, as to leave a correct general impression. But when men undertake these investigations for the purpose of finding in the primitive church the type of their own peculiar creed and form of discipline, their views are necessarily partial, and the general results at which they arrive doubtful.
The American editor of the work before us (understood to be the bishop of the diocese of Maryland) gives us what he conceives the real character and the best recommendation of the work in these words:
“ The Scriptural catalogue of fruits of the Spirit,' is his test of that Spirit's presence, not any human scheme of doctrine. The bond of union, by which he traces Christian faith and holiness up to their source in Christ, is a real and tangible bond of ordinances and institutions, not the figmentary connection of agreement in certain arbitrary views."
This “real tangible bond of ordinances and institutions,” is what the author has principally labored to bring out from the rubbish. He first provides, as matter of course, for a regular and undoubted succession of diocesan bishops from Peter and Paul. Then (A. D. 178–250) he lets us know (with as much confidence as he could had he lived in those times) of “god fathers.” Next he finds “confirmation," though anciently it "was generally administered soon after baptism." He presently finds “creeds” and “liturgies.” And anon he tells us that "those who committed great sins in secret were recommended to disclose their guilt to discreet and judicious ministers of God, and receive from them directions for the course of private penitence which they ought to pursue.” It is no marvel that he next finds his “ fruits of the Spirit” in the “ascetics and sacred virgins.” Here he expatiates upon the “character of ascetic religion in the early church;" and gives us ample illustrations of the subject from the lives and selfdenial of “St. Anthony," " St. Martin," &c., &c. Through what is commonly called “the dark ages,” he can find in the “ monasteries" an abundance of the true "fruits of the Spirit," and brings down "the succession” in all its beauty and freshness to the period of the Reformation.
Some of the reformers, perhaps on account of their ultra-protestantism, get from our author rather faint praise. Wickliffe, Jerome of Prague, and John Huss, he dispatches in a few lines. They had indeed “ declared against the popes, and against several abuses," " but their opinions were mingled with much that was exceptionable.” But we have not space to enlarge. The “ American editor" has fairly shown his doctrinal tendencies in his “ preface and notes,” and what is the “ tangible bond of ordinances and institutions," which he considers essential to the existence and integrity of the true church. The object of this work is no doubt to illuminate the popular mind upon “the Scriptural catalogue" and the "tangible bond of ordinances,” according to Oxfordism, alias Romanism. But he does, in fact, exhibit an unscriptural catalogue of carnal ordinances, which have never had any other effect than to mar the beautiful features of Christianity, and to destroy its legitimate effects. 11. The Antiquities of the Christian Church. Translated and compiled from
the Works of Augusti, with numerous Additions from Rhienwald, Siegal, and others. By Rev. LYMAN COLEMAN. 8 vo., pp. 557. Andover : Gould, Newman, & Saxton. New-York. 1841.
The antiquities of the church constitute a deeply interesting and important subject of investigation. But the Holy Scriptures being the only criterion of the divine right of positive institutions, we can, of course, bind upon no man's conscience any institution or usage not clearly presented in the Bible. Still, the usages of the primitive church, which are not in opposition to the general provisions of the New Testament, are worthy the serious consideration of the church in all ages.
This subject is at present studied with deep interest and great diligence, especially in Europe. And the influence it has upon the Romish and high church controversy, gives it a high degree of importance in this country. Those gentlemen who “defer to tradition,” must be met upon their own ground. And if it shall appear, as upon the most thorough and impartial investigation it certainly will, that they are not supported by the example of the church in its earliest and purest ages, to what will they flee next? If they come down to later ages, they then labor under the disadvantages of diminished authority and diversity of practice, not to insist that superstition and corruption had changed many of the original features of the church.
The usages of the church, through several successive centuries, are carefully and diligently collected, and clearly exhibited in the volume now upon our table. We have here the results of the labors of several of the best Gerinan scholars, not incumbered with strong sectarian biases. Upon the whole, we are sure this volume will be highly useful to the student of ecclesiastical antiquities, and we most cordially thank the translator and compiler for his labor.
12. Wesleyan Methodism, considered in Relation to the Church; to which is
subjoined a Plan for their Union and more effectual Co-operation. By the Rev. Richard Hodgson, A. M., Evening Lecturer of St. Peter's, Cornhill.
This is, on the whole, rather a curious production, especially considering the source whence it emanates. It is from a minister of the Establishment, and it proposes a union between the Wesleyan Methodists in Great Britain and the Church of England. It is also a little singular, that at about the same time this proposition came from a distinguished clergyman of that church, a similar one should be made by a bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church to the Methodists in this country. Whether the one took his cue from the other, or whether it was a coincidence arising from a like feeling of the utility of the measure pervading the breasts of these two eminent men, is more than we can say, nor is it a matter of much importance, as it is not likely to succeed, if we may judge from the tone of a review of this pamphlet in the “Church of England Quarterly Review" for April last.
In this Review, the Wesleyans, notwithstanding the writer pours the flattering unction upon the Methodists with an unsparing hand, will not feel themselves very highly complimented. Wesley, though no heretic, is considered a schismatic, because he established societies in the church, and organized a church in the United States.
The lecturer purposes to ordain one of the Wesleyan ministers a bishop. And he even nominates the man, namely, Dr. Bunting, thinking that, by this measure, the 'oil of consecration would be transmitted, pure from all adulteration, from the soft hands of the archbishop of Canterbury to the adopted offspring, and that hence would spring up a race of legitimates which would hereafter be recognized as lawful heirs to the succession. This is a mighty stretch of