Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

sanguine, melancholic, choleric, phlegmatic; mental capacities, idiosyncracy, etc. Ch. II. The natural modifications of mind produced by age, waking, sleeping, dreaming, etc. Ch. III. The power of the mind over the body; its form, its health, its habits, its power of expressing emotions, etc. Part II. Psychology. Introduction. Self-consciousness. Section I. On reason, sensation, conception, pure thinking. Sect. II. On the will, the desires, inclinations, passions, social inclinations, etc. On the emotions, pleasure pain, hope, fear, melancholy, wrath, joy, RELIGION, etc. From this quite imperfect analysis, it will be seen that the work comprises the wide series of topics pertaining to man.

We by no means intend an extended review. Our object is simply to introduce this work to the favorable notice of the American public. It has, in general, the following characteristics: (1.) The subject itself is one on which every man should feel a deep interest. It pertains to himself. (2.) It abounds with facts of a very interesting character, designed to illustrate the various subjects referred to above. Much industry has been evinced in collecting and arranging those facts, and they give a value to the work which will not usually be found connected with works of this nature, and especially in our language. The collecting of these facts indicates an extensive range of reading and inquiry, and places the work almost wholly beyond the charge of being a work of mere speculation or theorizing. It contains in these facts the kind of information which the young need in forming an acquaintance with themselves, and in furnishing them with a knowledge of the wondrous human frame. (3.) The work is characterized by a sound discrimination on the various subjects of mental philosophy. It indicates that on these topics there has been much patient thinking, and much desire to tell exactly how a thing is. Emotions and feelings are separated and analyzed which are usually supposed to be blended together; and no student can peruse this work with attention who will not de. rive benefit from the aid which it furnishes in the power of analyzing mental operations, and in fixing attention on the workings of his own mind. (4.) Its general sentiments we regard as correct, and such as may be safely and profitably taught to the young men in our institutions.

While we would thus commend the work to the favorable notice of the public, we would at the same time suggest to the respected and learned author a few points on which a revision might be made with advantage. (1.) In a few instances there might be a more exact adoption of the English idiom.

A reperusal of the work would probably suggest the places where such changes could be made. (2.) In a few places the sense is to us obscure. To one trained in German literature, it may be clear, but we are not certain that we exactly get the idea of the author. There is to us an aspect of mysticism in a few places—a want of that direct, and clear, and straightforward expression of an idea, which in this country we expect. Our countrymen either have no time, or will take no time, to study out that which is not clear at once; and there is no law of literature better understood among us than that no author has a right to make us look twice to understand what he means. (3.) Some of the sentiments, though few in number, will not be found to be in accordance with those prevailing in this country, and, which is of more importance, with the truth. Of these, the most prominent is the view of the author on the will. We refer particularly to p. 143. understand his views on this page, they conflict essentially with proper notions of moral agency; and we would earnestly recommend to him a carefu! reconsideration of the views there presented and urged. “The human will,” free only when it receives the divine will as its soul.” We are not certain that we understand what this means. long, therefore, as a will is capable of choosing between the good and the evil, between heaven and hell, between the source of its life and that of its death, so long this will is not free.” Now we should suppose that this was as good a definition of freedom as could well be given ; and if the will in such a state is not free, we would ask, how is man responsi. ble? Is "

If we

says he,

can be

" As

a planet that has no light in itself, but must receive it from the sun around which it revolves ”—with which the author compares the will of man-is such a planet free? (4.) We would especially recommend to the author the revision and enlargement of the portion of the work on religion. We do not mean to imply that he holds any false and dangerous views on that subject; but we would be glad of a more full and distinct enunciation of the nature of the Christian religion, and of its relation and adaptedness to the human mind as it is. We would be glad to see such a statement of the work of the Redeemer, and of the special agency of the Holy Ghost on the human heart, as should make a young man acquainted with what Christianity is; and instead of the quotation from Plato at the close, we think the work would be greatly improved by a condensed view of the Scripture doctrine about man, and of Christianity as adapted to man though fallen; of Christianity as fitted to act on a fallen intellect and a perverted heart; as adapted to the most important causes of differences and divisions in the Church in every age. The views which have been entertained on these questions have characterized the doctrines of theologians both before and since the Reforma

restore man to more than the bliss of Eden ; 'as infringing on no laws of mind in its holiest and highest operations; and as in accordance throughout with the anthropology and the

psychology' of man. Such a view would be eminently useful in our colleges and schools. Such a view we more need than any thing pertaining to education in its higher departments in this country. And such a view, we doubt not, Dr. Rauch has a heart as ready to furnish, as he has an intellect and a high order of mental acquirement that will qualify him for it.

2.--An Historical Presentation of Augustinism and Pelagian

ism, from the Original Sources, by G. F. Wiggers, D.D., Professor of Theology in the University of Rostock, etc. Translated from the German, with Notes and Additions, by Rev. Ralph Emerson, Prof. of Eccl. Hist. in the Theol. Sem. Andover, Mass. Andover and New-York: Gould,

Newman & Saxton, 1840. pp. 383. The expected publication of this volume was announced in the April No. of the Repository. It is now before us in the usual chaste and accurate style of typography and of general execution which characterizes the Andover press. As far as we are able to judge, the translator also has done his work with faithfulness and ability. This indeed was to be expected from so ripe a scholar as Professor Emerson; and whatever have been the difficulties of the task, he has certainly succeeded in presenting us with the original work of the German author in a chaste and perspicuous English style. The “ Notes and Additions," also by the Translator, are such as could have been supplied only by one deeply and extensively learned in the history of religious opinions, in past ages, and at the same time awake to the existing state of controversies in respect to the points under consideration. They are generally brief, and, in most cases, such as seem necessary to explain the statements and correct the occasional errors of the author, and to supply some important omissions in his history. They add not a little to the value of the work, especially for American and English readers.

The questions involved in the controversy which is here associated with the names of Augustine and Pelagius, have tion. And at the present time these questions are assuming new degrees of interest and importance both in England and America. "Ancient Christianity," says our Translator, “for better or for worse, must soon become more perfectly known to the Protestant world. And good it is that it should be so, painful and surprising in themselves as may be some of the disclosures. Such advocates of patristic authority as have recently appeared in England, will spare no pains in accomplishing one part of this labor. Nor less prompt nor less able will be their antagonists, in performing the other part of the Herculean task, if we may judge from recent specimens of their zeal and power. Consequences of the most serious nature, in England as well as in this country, are now seen to be most intimately connected with the historical disclosures that shall be made." But the early history of the doctrines of Christianity cannot be regarded as second in importance to the history of rites, institutions and modes of church gove ernment. While, therefore, England is now awake to the latter branch of history, it is well that Germany is found assiduously laboring in the other. The work before us is one of the results of these labors. It is regarded by theologians in Germany, and by those who have examined it in this country, as affording the best means of settling the questions on which it treats, short of a laborious investigation of the original sources.

been among

Such a work is worthy of more than a passing notice. It was our design, therefore, to say, here, only so much as might seem necessary to commend it to the attention of our readers. We hope to procure, from a hand more competent than our own, a review of this important publication in season for the October No. of the Repository. We accordingly abstain from any attempt at a critical analysis of the work at present, in the expectation of being able, hereafter, to do better justice to its merits and the important topics of which it treats.

3.-Ancient Christianity, and the Doctrines of the Oxford

Tracts. By Isaac Taylor, author of Spiritual Despotism," etc. Philadelphia: Herman Hooker, 1840. pp.

554. The author of this volume is deservedly popular both in Great Britain and this country. We have learned to receive with interest whatever comes to us from the pen of Isaac Taylor. Though his style, like that of some other popular writers, whom we could name, is more wordy and expansive

than we might wish, yet his views are generally philosophical as well as evangelical. His positions are bold and uncompromising, and, in general, well sustained by appropriate argument, whether drawn from reason, history, or revelation. These qualities, together with his ample possession of the original sources of information on all the topics which are urged by the Oxford writers, in their “Tracts for the Times," fit him peculiarly for the task he has undertaken, in meeting the attractive and insinuating arguments of those learned divines, in favor of the revival of the forms and usages of “ Ancient Christianity” in the Church of England.

Few, perhaps, of our readers are aware of the importance of the crisis to which the English church, and even the Episcopal church in our own country, have come, The general scheme of principles and sentiments that has been embodied in the Oxford Tracts is working a great revolution in those churches; and though, as our author remarks, it advances upon them “in noiseless slippers,” it nevertheless proceeds with“a still depth, a latent power, a momentum and a consistency in its development, which are the very characteristics of those movements that are to go on, and are to bring with them great changes, whether for the better or the worse. The influences, therefore, to be met, by the masterly hand and the burnished weapons of our author, are not such as may be despised. Proceeding from the most venerable of the English Universities, and sustained, as they are, by the most learned of the British Reviews, they not only endanger the purity of the Episcopal church, but threaten to bring discredit upon the cause of Protestantism universally. A thorough discussion of these principles, therefore, and a maniy resistance of their tendency to sanction some of the worst features of Popery, have become indispensable. Such a discussion has been well begun by Mr. Taylor.

An able writer in the present No. of the Repository, (page 165, seq.) has given us a brief synopsis of the principal points embraced in the Oxford Tracts, with some account of the authors by whom they have been advanced. The same writer, it is hoped, will exhibit more fully, in a future No., the progress of this controversy. On these accounts we omit any further statement here of the topics in question, and will close this notiee by briefly presenting the main point of the argument, urged home upon the Oxford divines in the work before

Our author regards it as a singular oversight in the learned

us.

« PoprzedniaDalej »