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of chance. In reconciling contingency both with cause and certainty, and opposing it only to necessity ; separating it from uncertainty and chance on the one side, and from absolute necessity on the other; Mr. Tappan maintains that the reasoning of Edwards, founded on the conception of a contingent will, as a will of chance and without causation, is legitimately set aside, and that the movements of a contingent cause may be foreknown in the Divine prescience, and yet not foreordained in the Divine decrees; i. e. they may be perfectly certain, and yet not necessitated.
Perhaps the most important part of our author's volumes is comprehended in his speculations on the subject of cause. Indeed, here is the jist of the whole argument, and the main point on which the reasoning of Edwards can be met. If you allow the correctness of his view of the nature of cause, his argument follows conclusively, but if you can show that that view is substantially false, his argument is as conclusively set aside. Mr. Tappan argues with all his force the point, that, in the very nature of cause, and as a necessary part of our conception of it, there is self-determination. He assigns the will as the cause of volition. The point of dispute, then, is simply whether the will is necessarily determined, not whether it is self-determined ; for the very nature of cause is selfdetermination. Cause is ultimate, and if you make the will a cause, and yet deny its self-determination, you are driven to something else as the ground of self-determination, which itself must be a cause, and if so, then ultimate and selfdetermined; so that you must either deny causation in the will, or resort to the absurdity of an infinite series of grounds of determination, ever receding, but never terminating in cause.
He maintains, that, in the argument, that the will is always as is most agreeable, and that the sense of the most agreeable constitutes the cause of all volitions, disinterestedness ceases even to be a conception, and becomes only one form of selfindulgence; so does self-denial. The will becomes a passive daguerreotype, or a camera obscura, the colors of which change with the play of the sun upon it.
Our author represents Edwards as having mistaken the occasions of volition for its causes ; a grand mistake, but one on which he has built his reasoning. Other philosophers, he says, have made the same mistake on other points; the oce casions of the perception or consciousness of first principles or ideas, have been mistaken for the origin and source of those ideas, the conditions of our knowledges for the knowledges themselves.
Professor Tappan's style is clear and intelligible; which is a matter of the very first importance in discussions of this kind. His definition of consciousness, and his remarks on the perfection of consciousness as a form of intelligence, and on the true mode of interrogating consciousness, are highly important in entering on such a subject. The distinction of the emotions and passions from the will we think is as clearly made out as that of the reason and the will. His view of the mind as consisting of two elements of necessity, and one of freedom, with their distinctive, yet united action, is worthy of consideration. He maintains that necessity belongs only to the laws and rules of the reason and sensitivity, and that it does not belong to cause. All cause of volition is in the will, human and divine, and will is free. This constitution of mind, he thinks, accounts for all psychological phenomena. Our readers will have ready access to these volumes of Professor Tappan, and we need only add, that we think them worthy of a candid, thoughtful, and generous perusal. In his own view, “the question at issue is not a question between two schools of philosophy holding different theories of the freedom of the will; it really lies between the advocates of human freedom, and the advocates of an absolute and universal necessity.” Let it be examined with freedom and candor, and we have no fears as to the result. 7.-The Life and Opinions of the Rev. Wm. Milne, D.D.,
Missionary to China, illustrated by biographical annals of Asiatic Missions, from Primitive to Protestant Times, in. tended as a guideto missionary spirit. By Robert Philip, Author of the Life and Times of Bunyan and Whitefield ; the Experimental Guide, etc. Philadelphia: Herman Hooker, 1840. pp. 435. Also, New York: D. Apple
ton & Co. 1840. pp. 320. In his preface the author says, “this book presents, in the character of Dr. and Mrs. Milne, a model which may be held up to any young man or woman, who is contemplating the missionary work. It exhibits an imitable example, as well as one worthy of imitation. The churches also will do well to study the influences which formed the character of these distinguished inissionaries.” In these sentiments we fully con
We have risen from the perusal of this volume, with increasing love for the cause to which this excellent man devoted his life. Indeed, it was the cause of missions which drew out his talents and his worth, and transformed the shepherd boy into the worthy associate of the learned and lamented Morrison.
It should be added, however, that the early training of Dr. Milne eminently fitted him for the missionary work. His piety seems to have taken its hue from the mild and beautiful scenery of his native hills. He there learned—in the true, spiritual meaning of the phrase-to look through nature, up to nature's God. He loved his humble, quiet, mode of life, because it brought him into daily and intimate communion with his Maker. It taught him that best of all lessons, that his home was where God was. Hence “the morning star has often found him—where the evening star has left him—upon his knees before God, utterly unconscious of the lapse of time :" and hence too, there could be nothing narrow or local in his plans; nothing low or coinpromising in his conceptions of duty. Anywhere and everywhere he must have exhibited the missionary spirit.
The biographer has performed his duty with his usual abili. ty. The work is executed much in the manner of his life of Bunyan. His style is always lively, and sometimes playful, He writes with a profound respect for his early friend, and with ardent love for the missionary cause.
We cannot suppress the wish, however, that the author had given us more of Dr. Milne's religious history. He says indeed, with some truth, that “journalizing in biography, is at a discount now.” But we think “it possible to impoverish biography, as well as to overload it.
The closet of any thoughtful and devotional man-especially in a land of strangers—is worth seeing." The journalizing of Brainerd and Martyn have done the church more service, than half the books which have since issued from the press.
The “Annals of Asiatic Missions" are evidently the result of extensive research. The chapter on the opium crisis discloses the fact, that “Dr. Milne was the first writer who denounced the opium trade, as the curse of China, and the disgrace of the East India Company.” Though dead, we trust his voice will continue to be heard till this odious traffic shall be finally abandoned. 8,--Narrative of a Tour through Armenia, Kurdistan, Persia, The wisdom of their choice is manifest. Though exceedingly instructive as a traveller, he never loses sight of the great end of his mission. The principles which directed his movements, we give in his own language. “Whatever objects of interest fell in my way I allowed myself to see. This rule, from which I never deviated, proved, in the end, a source of no inconsiderable trial. Possessed from my earliest years with the most ardent love for travelling, and filled with an enthusiastic desire to visit the scenes which were the originals of the first pictures that my imagination formed, it was a sore temptation to find myself within a few days' journey of the once proud capital of the Persian Shahs—the city where Sadi and Hafiz lived, and Martyn labored,—while duty pointed in another direction. For the same reason, I did not visit the ruins of Babylon, though, at Bagdad, I was within a few hours' travel of them. And for the same reason, I denied myself the pleasure of going over Egypt and the Holy Land."
and Mesopotamia; with an Introduction, and Occasional
334, 356. The author of these volumes performed his journey, as an exploring missionary of the American Episcopal Church
From such a writer we expect the truth, and nothing but the truth. It was not his aim to invest his researches with the fasci. nations of adventure. We are perfectly satisfied, when we lay aside the book, that we have listened to an honest story.
But we have found the work replete with interest. The route which it spreads before us, is, much of it, new and unexplored. It takes us to the principal cities of Armenia, Kurdistan, Persia and Mesopotamia. There is enough of incident mingled with the narrative to make it attractive. There is hardship to excite our sympathy, and danger to arouse our fears. We close the book, truly grateful that the author has been spared to give us the fruit of his labor and his sufferings.
We rejoice to learn that two missions have already grown out of these researches; one at Constantinople, and another among the Jacobite Christians of Mesopotamia. 9.-On the Relation between the Holy Scriptures and some
parts of Geological Science. By John Pye Smith, D. D. F.G. S. Divinity Tutor in the Protestant Dissenting College at Homerton. New-York. D. Appleton & Co.
1840. pp. 364. The English edition of this truly valuable work was noticed in the Repository for January last, page 241. We need add nothing to the analysis then given of its contents, nor to our high commendation of its merits. It is a learned, manly and Christian defence of the ascertained facts of Geological science against the popular suspicion of their tendency to discredit
the truth and authority of Revelation. The principles of biblical interpretation, which it advances, are worthy of the most serious consideration, as contributing to place the student of nature and the sacred philologist upon common ground, as defenders of the one harmonious system of truth, revealed in the word and the works of God. The edition now before us is well executed, in an economical form, and we cannot doubt that it will be extensively read and studied. 10.—Scotland and the Scotch: or the Western Circuit. By
Catherine Sinclair, Author of " Modern Accomplishments,
,” “Modern Society,” “ Hill and Valley” etc. etc. New-York. D. Appleton & Co. 1840. pp. 288. This little volume, dedicated to the “Highland Society” in London, is a series of letters to a female friend, and is designed to exhibit the characteristic and interesting features of the past and present times in Soctland. It is the narrative. of a tour through the “Highland hills and glens,” affording much of the general information, and local anecdote, which add. so much attractiveness to the beautiful scenery which it describes. It is light reading, of course, which may be taken up and laid down at any place, without danger of losing the thread of the narrative, as there really is no long thread in the book. But the style is graceful and easy, and playful and entertaining, and the matter often instructive, and, what is better than all, its moral and religious tendency is unexceptionable.
11.—Prize Essays on a Congress of Nations, for the Adjustment
of International Disputes, and for the promotion of universal peace without resort to arms : together with a Sixth Essay, comprising the substance of the rejected Essays. Boston: Públished by Whipple & Damrell, for the
American Peace Society. 1840. pp. 706. A Congress of Nations has been a prominent object with the American Peace Society, ever since its organization. So long ago as 1828, a premium was offered for the best essay on this subject. In 1831 two gentlemen of New-York offered $500 for the best essay, and $100 for the second best, on the same subject. The committee of award, the Hon. Joseph Story, Wm. Wirt and John McLean were unable to agree in their decision. The premium was then raised to $1000, and the Hon. John Q. Adams, Chancellor Kent, and Thomas S.