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of these points, which are thus left extremely doubtful, are rendered still more so by the arbitrary manner in which the author's hypothesis is applied ; yet notwithstanding its palpable defects, the work exhibits proofs of a profound study of the subject, accompanied by an independent mode of investigation which on the whole entitles it to a high degree of consideration among the attempts which have been made to establish the chronology of the sacred Scriptures.
3.—The Missionary Convention at Jerusalem ; or an Exhibition of
the Claims of the World to the Gospel. By Rev. David Abeel, Missionary to China. New York: John S. Taylor,
1838. pp. 244. We have read this volume with great satisfaction. The author imagines that, at the expiration of eighteen hundred years from the ascension of the Saviour, a grand Assembly is convened at Jerusalem to discuss the claims of the various nations of the world to the gospel. Jews, Mohammedans, Pagans, Christians, of every sect, have each their respective delegates at the meeting. They are all, how. ever, supposed to be converted men, and sincerely to desire the conversion of the world.
They first listen to the reading of those portions of Scripture which clearly express the divine purpose respecting the universal triumph of Christianity, and the means by which this triumph is to be achieve ed. Then follows an animated discussion of the condition and claims of the world, in which the numerous and diversified members of the assembly are represented as making in succession, character. istic speeches and arguments in favor of their own particular countries, nations, tribes and denominations. These exhibit in striking variety of aspects, and yet in general resemblance, the selfish and narrow views of most Christians of every country, each pleading for his own, and undervaluing the importance of all others. In the progress of the discussion, which is continued through six days, the current objections to the missionary enterprise are ingeniously urged and triumphantly refuted, and inany important principles are ably defended.
The book is divided into thirty-eight chapters, short, of course, each containing the substance of one or more speeches in the great debate. The result of the whole is to impress the reader with a sense of the importance and the dignity of the Foreign missionary enterprise. The work is unexceptionable in its language and leading positions and is pervaded with the excellent spirit of the author, who, we need not add, is extensively known as one of the most useful of American missionaries to foreign lands, as well by his labors abroad, as by his earnest and successful appeals to the churches at home.—We cordially commend this effort of his imagination, with the results which it presents of his experience, as a missionary, to our readers.
4.- A Guide to the Principles and Practice of the Congregational
Churches of New England, with a brief History of the Denomination. By John Mitchell, Pastor of the Edwards Church, Northampton. Northampton : J. H. Butler, 1838.
This is a small volume, in rather large type, easily read, and what is much more to its praise, very easily understood. The views here presented are so well digested and so deeply fraught with good practical common sense, that we think the work cannot fail of being acceptable and useful to the denomination of whose polity and history it treats. Nor need its usefulness be restricted to that portion of Christians, since much which it contains is equally applicable to the pastors and the people of other denominations, and is well fitted to remedy some of the prominent evils among the churches at the present day. We should be glad to give a more extended notice of the work, but have space at present for only the following brief notice of the subjects which are discussed respectively in the eleven chapters of which the book consists. The origin and history of the Congregational churches—Principles of the Congregational system -Church covenant and watch--Church discipline-Church meetings and church business—Relations of pastor and people—Deacons
- Relations of church and society ; parish affairs—Relations and intercourse of churches with one another-Deportment towards other denominations-Doctrines and measures.'
In his next edition, Mr. Mitchell will, of course, correct some pretty serious typographical errors, that are found in this.
5.- Incidents of Travel in Greece, Turkey, Russia and Poland.
By the Author of “ Incidents of Trarel in Egypt, Arabia
Brothers, 1838. pp. 268, 275. We find it difficult to keep up with the age in reading books of travels ; and as Mr. Stephens needed not our commendation to aid his popularity as a writer of " Incidents," we delayed to peruse his Greece, Turkey, etc., until quite lately. It has less of scriptural association in it than the travels in Egypt and the Holy Land, and is less interesting to the biblical student. But in animated and beautiful description it surpasses his first effort. His pictures of men and manners are often to the life, and the reader can hardly divest him. self of the impression that he is a boon companion of the jovial traveller. It cannot be said, as of the readers of John Foster, that they who travel with him must work their passage. We are borne onward without labor and the thousand annoyances, which, in the East,
constitute so large a portion of the traveller's history, are made occasions of ever varying amusement. A vein of humorous satire runs through every line in which American peculiarities and notions are introduced, and truly American in his feelings, he joins the laugh excited by our Yankeeisms.
His remarks on the present state and condition of the people of those countries, their causes and the agencies most likely to produce reform are often truly philosophical and valuable.
We are sorry to add that in too many of our author's descriptions there is a lack of that delicacy and chasteness which belong to true refinement. A popular work which will probably contribute to many an evening's entertainment, at the family fire-side, should be unexceptionable in this respect. No vulgar allusions should stain its pages, however graced with the drapery of humor. Mr. Stephens also indulges too frequently in a sort of reckless trifling with serious subjects. Death is treated with a levity, in some instances, which is very reprehensible. Here humor is misplaced. It were better to omit entirely the description of a scene of melancholy association, than to treat it with unbecoming mirth. We would not advocate that sickly sentimentality in which some travellers have indul. ged, yet there is a train of thought, a style of moralizing, which is appropriate to serious subjects, imparting a healthy tone to the mind and exerting a beneficial influence on the heart. With these cccasional exceptions these volumes are worthy of the popularity which they have attained.
6.— The Claims of Japan and Malaysia upon Christendom, exhibit
ed in Notes of Voyages made in 1837, from Canton, in the ship Morrison and brig Himmaleh, under direction of the owners. In two volumes. New York : E. French, 1839. pp.
216, 295. These volumes are got up” in good style and present matters of weighty concernment to the christian philanthropist, the American merchant and to the citizens and government of the United States. The vessels named in the title of the work, it appears, are owned by the house of Alyphant & Co. of New York, and being employed in promoting their mercantile enterprises in China and neighboring countries, have been freely and generously used to aid the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and other benevolent societies in prosecuting their philanthropic labors in those immense regions of darkness and spiritual death. The first volume contains “ Notes of the Voyage of the Morrison from Canton to Japan,” by C. W. King of New York, a partner in the above firm. It is written with much strength and intelligence, and gives a better view of the history of the Japanese Islands, than is accessible to the American reader in any other work. This history is contained in an Introduction of some seventy pages, followed by the “ Voyage" in which he was accompanied by Mr. Gutzlaff and Dr. Parker an American missionary. The events of this expedition, (though wholly unsuccessful,) were of a highly interesting character. They were not allowed to enter the ports of Japan, but were obliged to return to China, and even to take with them the seven shipwrecked Japanese whom it was one object of the voyage to return to their homes. This treatment was exceedingly barbarous, and on the ground of it Mr. King makes a spirit-stirring appeal to the government of the United States. This appeal is urged with much ability and force, and is accompanied with suggestions which we think highly worthy the attention of the American congress.
The second volume is entitled “ Notes, made during the Voyage of the Himmaleh in the Malayan Archipelago. By G. T. Lay, an agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society for Eastern Asia.” It is a continuous narrative, written in an easy style, and containing much miscellaneous and valuable information. The volumes are accompanied with well executed maps of the regions described.
7.-Aids to Preaching and Hearing. By Thomas H. Skinner.
New York: John S. Taylor, 1839. pp. 305. Another book from Dr. Skinner so soon after the publication of his “Religion of the Bible," (noticed in the last No. of the Repository,) may be regarded by some as indicating too great haste in its preparation. It is not, however, a sudden and unpremeditated effort of the author, but a choice selection from the results both of his investigations and his experience for many years. It is not a book of skeletons or abstracts of sermons, such as have sometimes been very injudiciously furnished as “ aids to preaching," nor is it a mass of direct and common-place precepts on the subject of hearing, but a thorough and popular discussion of several topics which the author regards as important to be understood by hearers as well as preach
Hence the book is designed not for preachers only, but for the public. The leading topics discussed are—Mental Discipline,-Studies of a Preacher, - Power in Speaking,-Doctrinal Preaching, Preaching on Ability, — How to repent, — and Preaching Christ. Most of these discussions we have read, and regard them as among the very best productions of the author. That on“ preaching on ability,” which is continued through two chapters, is especially clear, discriminating and convincing. It exposes, we think, and refutes, with great ability and entire success the peculiar views of Coleridge on the iwo topics of Ability and Atonement, which appear not to have been clearly apprehended by most of the admirers of that learned and alluring writer. On the whole, we judge there are few preachers, or hearers who may not be profited by the reading and the study of this book. Its substantial merits, independent of the popularity of the author, will secure for it, we trust, a wide field of usefulness.
8.-- An Elementary Treatise on Astronomy, designed as a Text
Book for Colleges and the Higher Academies, with Rules and Tables for the practical Astronomer. By William A. Norton, late Prof. of Nat. Phil. and Astron. University of the city of New York. New York: Wiley and Putnam,
1839. pp. 485. We have hitherto possessed no American work embracing the subjects of the above volume in a form adapted to the capacities and wants of the pupils in our colleges. Not that there has been a dearth of books on this branch of science in modern times. There have been books enough of the kind, but none, with which we are acquainted, so well adapted to fulfil the purposes for which this work is especially designed. The works of Herschel, Biot, Laplace, Delambre, Gummere, Francoeur, Bailey, and others are highly valuable, but most of them are defective for practical purposes. In such as have tables for practical astronomy, ihe calculations in the tables are either not brought down to the present time, or they are deficient in minuteness, so that it would be unsafe to trust to the results obtained from them in the latter case, and there is needless labor left for the practical astronomer in the former. Professor Norton has made his calculations for the tables sufficiently minute for all the purposes of practical astronomy, and so far as we have compared them, they are more correct than most of those now in use, and are brought down to the year 1840.
The plates and diagrams, which are sufficiently numerous for illustration are prepared in good style, and the body of the work, which is intended as a text-book for students, is divided into four parts-1. The determination of the places of the heavenly bodies and their motions. 2. The phenomena resulting from these motions, the appearances, dimensions and physical constitution of the heavenly bodies, etc. 3. The theory of universal gravitation, the great law, by which the motions of the heavenly bodies are regulated, and on which they depend. 4. Astronomical problems, tables, etc.
As an entire work, we think this treatise has been well digested and judiciously arranged. Unity of design and simplicity of style
. are its characteristics. We are sorry to add that a long list of errata disfigures the book, but these we find on examination do not refer to the tables, and may easily be corrected with the pen.