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zation, and brings us into sympathy with the nation which was honored with the discovery of the new continent. Bancroft takes up the story where Prescott leaves it; not to narrate the history of the ill-fated Spain, through the glorious reign which succeeded that of the Catholic Sovereigns, to its present humbled and broken condition, but to pursue a branch of modern history, spirit-stirring and buoyant with hope, where, amid many conflicts, it is true, and over numerous and appalling obstacles, the general progress of affairs has been onward, and upward.
We do not intend to intimate by these remarks that "Bancroft's United States" is a continuation of the other work above named. It is a history complete in itself. It covers a portion of the same ground with that of Prescott, and derives its materials, thus far, from the same or similar sources. more lively interest, and its early events be more fully comprehenIt will be read, however, with a ded by readers who are thoroughly acquainted with Spanish affairs, at the time of the discovery of the American continent.
This work is designed to be extended to several volumes. The two volumes named at the head of this notice are already before the public, and the publishers inform us that the third volume is in the press, while the author is diligently pursuing his investigations.
The first volume was published in 1834, and has been sufficiently praised by the Reviewers, as well in Europe as in this country. The second has met with an equally flattering reception, and both have been carefully revised by the author in the editions now before the public.
These volumes are wholly occupied with the Colonial history of this country. The running titles of their several chapters areEarly voyages-French settlements ;-Spaniards in the U. S. ;England takes possession of the country,-Colonization of Virginia; -Slavery, dissolution of the London Company;-Restrictions on Colonial commerce-Colonization of Maryland;-The Pilgrims;— Extended colonization of New England;-the united colonies of New England;-the restoration of the Stuarts ;-Massachusetts and Charles II.;-Shaftsbury and Locke legislate for Carolina ;—the colonies on the Chesapeake bay ;-New Netherlands;-the people called Quakers in the U. S.;-James II. consolidates the Northern colonies;-the results thus far." Under each of these general heads there is a wonderful variety of incidents of thrilling interest, and many rich trains of thought concerned in placing fully before the reader the leading facts and events of the times. These appear to have been sought out with great care, and are arranged with a due regard to the order of time, as well as to their bearings upon each other, and the whole is presented in a style at once concise, lucid and often highly finished and elegant.
The author possesses the best advantages for original investigation of the early American history, and has already spent years of la
borious preparation for his work. Hitherto he has pursued it with a candor and impartiality which are the crowning excellencies of a historian, and should his life be spared to complete what he has so worthily begun, we may hope to possess a standard American history, which future inquirers will find little occasion to correct.
Mr. Bancroft's description of the Pilgrims of New England, in his first volume, has been so often quoted and so deservedly praised, that it would be superfluous to refer to it here as a specimen of his style, whether of language or of thought. Many other passages of equal beauty are embraced in these volumes. His work is studded with gems of this sort.
4.—Elements of Psychology: included in a Critical Examination of Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding. With addi
tional pieces. By Victor Cousin, Peer of France, etc. Translated from the French, with an Introduction and Notes, by the Rev. C. S. Henry, D. D. Second Edition, prepared for the use of Colleges. New York: Gould & Newman, 1838. pp. 423.
This work is a translation of ten lectures of M. Cousin, (from the sixteenth to the twenty-fifth inclusive,) contained in the second volume of his "History of Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century." These lectures are pronounced in the Edinburgh Review, (October 1830,) to be "the most important work on Locke since the Nouveaux Essais of Leibnitz," and by others, have been lauded as "perhaps the greatest master-piece of philosophical criticism ever exhibited to the public."
Mr. Henry's translation has been before the public since 1834, and having, as the translator informs us, been "introduced into a number of our most respectable Universities and Colleges," a judgment has doubtless been formed of its merits by many who have had more opportunity to study it than ourselves, and whose opinions will not be affected by any remarks of ours. Nor is it our design to depreciate the value of this work as a whole. It is a splendid. production. Its classification of the mental faculties is a manifest improvement upon that of Locke, and, in the chapter on " Moral Relations," our author reasons with triumphant conclusiveness against the error of Locke, Paley and others, who confound moral obligation with the influence of rewards and punishments assigned by law. Cousin maintains the essential and immutable distinction between right and wrong, and that, under a wise and good administration, certain actions are required because they are right, and others forbidden because they are wrong, independently of the reward promised or punishment threatened to enforce or prevent them. His chapter also on the " Association of Ideas," his encomium upon the Third Book of Locke and his observations on disputes about
words, are worthy to be imprinted upon the memory of
His great argument, however, against Locke's theory of knowledge, as we conceive, is strikingly misapplied and erroneous. founded in a misapprehension of the meaning which Locke gives to It is the term idea. Cousin speaks of the objects of ideas, the con formity of ideas to their objects, etc. of Locke, and no such expressions occur in the passages referred to But this is not the language by our author. According to Locke ideas are the objects of thoughts, and not the thoughts themselves. Hence to speak of the object of an idea is to speak of the object of an object! This misapprehension has led our author to the startling conclusion, that, according to Locke's theory, we have no knowledge of matter or its qualities, of time or space, of finite minds, of the Infinite Spirit, nor of our own existence! Such a conclusion, however, adopted by Berkley and Hume, has long since been refuted as erroneous and absurd. And again we wonder at the process of reasoning by which Cousin seems to confound the theory of Locke with that of Condillac and his followers in France, under the common appellation of sensualism. Locke derives only a part of our knowledge from sensation; and uniformly represents sensation and reflection, as the sources of knowledge.
This work of Cousin, therefore, as it appears to us, on a cursory examination, with all its excellencies, which we admit to be great, is not in all respects unexceptionable. It may be a good book to introduce into our Colleges, and on the whole we are disposed to commend it as such; but we would have it always in the hands of a professor thoroughly versed in the system of Locke, and who is able to detect the misapprehensions of which we have spoken.
5.-Religion of the Bible, in Select Discourses. By Thomas H. Skinner. New York: John S. Taylor, 1839. pp. 323.
This volume, (beautifully executed by the publisher,) is " pectfully presented, by the Author, to the Mercer Street Presbyterian Church," of which he is the pastor. It is in the form of discourses, or essays, the leading topics of which are "Spiritual Religion-Spiritual Joy ;-Doing Good, parts first and second ;-Cooperation with God;-Prayer, parts first and second;-The Sabbath;-Restraints on Divine Influence;-The First Last, and the Last First."
Several of these pieces have been before printed in periodicals and other forms. They are, however, highly worthy to compose a volume, and well adapted to answer the object of their present publication, which is that the respected author may, by this means,
Catastrophe of the Presbyterian Church.
'speak more frequently, in their private habitations," to those accustomed to his voice in the house of God. As intellectual productions they are of a high order; systematic in their arrangement of thought, and convincing in argument. In style they are beautiful specimens of pure and elegant English composition, worthy of the pen of the Professor of Sacred Rhetoric, and of the zealous, enlightened and persuasive preacher of the gospel. In this respect they exhibit so few faults, that we do not care to name them in this brief notice. In theology they are discriminating, instructive and biblical, indicating clear views, and an abiding impression, on the mind of the author, of that perfect and harmonious system of truth, of which every doctrine of christian theology is a part. In spirit they possess a life and an unction, derived from the closet, not less than from the pulpit; and though "presented" by the author to the members of his own charge, they are such as other christian pastors may commend, with much promise of usefulness, to their people. As a whole, the book is entirely congruous with the ministerial character, and suited, wherever it may be read, to help the work of the ministry, in elevating the tone of piety, in "the perfecting of the saints," and "the edifying of the body of Christ." We know of but few volumes of discourses, at once so unexceptionable, so attractive, and so well adapted to do good.
6.-The Catastrophe of the Presbyterian Church, in 1837, including a full View of the Recent Theological Controversies in New England. By Zebulon Crocker, Delegate from the General Association of Connecticut to the General Assembly of 1837. New Haven: B. & W. Noyes, 1838. pp. 300.
This work has been several months before the public, but we have not, until quite lately, found opportunity to peruse it. It appears to contain a fair account of the principal exciting controversies which have existed, for a few years past, both in the Presbyterian and Congregational churches, by one who has taken pains to inform himself of the facts and events concerning which he writes. The author's mind appears to have been first excited to the importance of preparing this history, by the discussions to which he listened in the General Assembly of 1837, and by the strange and startling positions which were assumed and acted on by the majority of that body, in abrogating the Plan of Union of 1801, exscinding the Synods of Utica, Geneva, Genesee and the Western Reserve, and in passing resolutions discountenancing the operations of the Home Missionary and Education Societies within the bounds of the Presbyterian church. To a Connecticut clergyman these positions and doings may well be conceived to have been astounding, and our author felt that his brethren in New England were deeply concerned to know whereunto were tending their cherished union and coöpeSECOND SERIES, NO. 1. VOL. I. 32
ration with the Presbyterian church. He accordingly set himself to the preparation of this history of the measures above referred to, in the accomplishment of which he has found occasion to acquaint his readers with the origin of the Presbyterian church, the controversies which have agitated it, from time to time, the differences of theological views, the encroachments on high-church prerogatives, the "Act and Testimony" of 1834, and the memorial which followed it, the Trials of Mr. Barnes and Dr. Beecher, and in general the causes which concurred to produce the majority, as it was in the General Assembly of 1837.
Having accomplished this part of his work, Mr. Crocker, finding himself in possession of documents to illustrate the contemporaneous controversies in New England, has embraced an account of these also in the volume before us;-the New Haven Controversy;— Controversy between Dr. Taylor and Mr. Harvey;-between Dr. Taylor and Dr. Tyler-with Dr. Woods;-second discussions between Dr. Taylor and Dr. Tyler;-Discussion on the doctrine of the Divine Purposes;-Dr. Spring and Dr. Woods on Native Depravity;-Measures in Connecticut to suppress New Haven Views; -Dr. Tyler's letters to Dr. Witherspoon, etc.
The author has generally exhibited the main positions of the parties in these several controversies, with clearness, together with their principal arguments, and copious extracts from their writings, presenting a condensed view of the whole subject. To which is added an Appendix, containing an enumeration of publications on the "New Haven Controversy," and also on the "Unitarian Controversy" in New England.
7.-American Education: or Strictures on the Nature, Necessity and Practicability of a System of National Education, suited to the United States. By Rev. Benjamin O. Peers. With an Introductory Letter by Francis L. Hawks, D. D. New York: John S. Taylor, 1838. pp. 364.
This is a popular book on a popular subject. The author has been for many years engaged in the work of instruction, and brings to the subject of education, in the language of Dr. Hawks, "the enthusiasm of a mind deeply impressed with its importance." His general topics of discussion are "the Political Necessity of religious Education;-the essential features of a System of National Education; and the Practicability of National Education;-with an Appeal to the clergy on their obligations to assist in exciting, elevating and directing public sentiment on the subject of Popular Education."
We have not been able to give this volume the examination which it deserves, but from the claims of its author to the respect of the public, and from the strong confidence in the ability of the work expressed by Dr. Hawks in his "Introductory Letter," we do not hesi