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can now be had in any of our cities; and every one who feels an interest in the subject ought to read the whole volume.
The sixth lecture treats of the credibility of the gospel history, which is also an able discourse.
The seventh treats of miracles; their true nature, the certainty of the facts, the character of the witnesses, &c.
The eighth and ninth lectures exhibit the evidence of prophecy.
The tenth, the argument derived from the rapid and extensive propagation of the gospel.
The eleventh, the beneficial effects of christianity.
The thirteenth continues the same subject, and concludes with a review of the whole argument.
On the subject of inspiration, upon which so many writers on the evidences of christianity have stumbled, Mr Wilson maintains a sound and wholesome doctrine; teaching that the sacred writers, in all cases, possessed such a degree of inspiration as was necessary to render them infallible in what they wrote. Less would have been insufficient to render the scriptures a safe foundation for our faith, in all that they inculcate; for what if their slips and errors should only affect matters of small importance, who shall tell us what those things are which belong to this class ? But how easy was it for that Spirit which guided them in great matters to superintend their pens also in things of apparently small moment? For it is in revelation as in creation, some things appear unimportant which have very important relations and connexions. And if all the scriptures of the Old Testament were given by inspiration, as is expressly and repeatedly taught in the New, why should the opinion be entertained, that the latest inspirations of the Holy Spirit were less perfect; although we know, that under the new dispensations, bis effusions were much more abundant than under the old ? This is a point on which, if we begin to yield, there is no place afterward where we can obtain firm footing. The idea of a partial or imperfect inspiration is in itself so unreasonable, that he who adopts this opinion will for consistency soon reject the inspiration of the writers altogether. A controversy is sometimes raised respecting the words of scripture, whether they were all suggested by the Holy Ghost; and if so, how it is that we find every man writing in
his own peculiar style ? Concerning this, we would merely observe, that if the plenary inspiration of the writers be granted, it involves such a superintendence of the Spirit over the language, as to prevent the use of unsuitable words and phrases; and as more than this was unnecessary, so the complete accomplishment of this object is consistent with each writer's retaining his own style and peculiar manner.
Memoirs of the Rev. John H. Livingston, D.D. S.T.P.
Prepared in compliance with a request of the General Synod of the Reformed Dutch Church in North America. By Alexander Gunn, D.D. Pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church at Bloomingdale, in the city of New York.Rutgers Press, New York. 1829. Pp. 440, 8vo.
We congratulate the religious public on the appearance of this volume. It is a memorial richly merited, and well adapted to do good. The truly venerable Dr Livingston had adorned the Dutch church, as one of her most distinguished and eminently useful ministers, for more than half a century; and for more than forty years was her most prominent professor of theology. It was to have been expected, therefore, that the reverend synod of that church would take a deep interest in his memory. She owed it to herself, as well as to him, to erect this monument to his uncommon worth.
Dr Gunn bas executed the task assigned to him by the synod with a very commendable degree of industry, talent and success. He has taken occasion to introduce sketches of the history of the Dutch church in this country, which cannot fail of proving both instructive and interesting. And while Dr Livingston is the principal figure on his large canvass, he has included smaller likenesses, and occasional notices of so many individuals, that it will long and often be referred to for much useful information.
We learn from this volume that Dr Livingston was descended from a distinguished and honourable Scotch family; that his great great grandfather was the celebrated John Livingston, the eminently pious and successful minister of the kirk of Shotts, in Scotland, whose labours, persecutions and fidelity have given him so noble a name in ecclesiastical history; that he was born at Poughkeepsie, in the state of New York, on the 30th of May, A.D. 1746; that he graduated with honour at Yale College in July 1762; that he soon afterwards commenced the study of the law, with the view of devoting himself to the bar as a profession for life; that he continued in this pursuit about two years; that at the end of that time, his health declining, and his impressions of religion becoming more serious, deep and practical than ever before, he quitted his legal studies, and soon afterwards determined to devote himself to the gospel ministry; that having commenced his theological studies in New York, he embarked for Holland in May 1766; that after spending nearly four years at the university of Utrecht, during which time, in the course of the long vacations, he travelled extensively in that country, and after paying a short visit to England on his way home, he returned to New York in 1770; that almost immediately on his return he entered on a pastoral charge in that city; that in 1784 he was elected professor of theology for the Dutch church; and that he continued to take an active and leading part in all the ecclesiastical affairs of that respectable denomination until his decease, in the month of January 1825, in the seventy-ninth year of his age, in the fifty-fifth of his ministry, and in the forty-first of his professoral labours.
We forbear to make extracts from this biographical me. morial, or to give specimens of its style; taking for granted that all who wish to become acquainted with the life and character in detail of one of the most venerable and excellent men that ever adorned our country, will make a point of procuring and reading the whole; and assuring all such that they will be well rewarded.
Dr Gunn, towards the close of the volume, has introduced attestations to the pre-eminent accomplishments and excellence of Dr Livingston, from several clergymen of different ecclesiastical connexions. From these it will be apparent that the reputation of this great and good man was by no means confined within the bounds of his own church; but that he was among the most extensively known, and highly honoured ministers of religion in the United States. He seems, indeed, every where, and among all classes of christians, to have been regarded as a kind of ecclesiastical patriarch, whom all loved and all delighted to honour. Nor was this tribute undeserved. For, although in powerful and original talents a pre-eminent rank could not be claimed for this excellent man, yet he possessed faculties of a very solid and commanding order; in digested and sound theological knowledge he had few equals; and in dignity, urbanity and benevolence; in fervent, habitual, elevated piety, he had, perhaps, no superior in the sacred office. Such a man was a gift of Providence, in which our whole country had reason to rejoice; and his removal was a bereavement which all had reason to deplore.
We regret to observe that the respectable and excellent author of this volume had scarcely completed its publication before he was himself summoned to take leave of his earthly labours, and, we doubt not, to join in a better world the venerable father whose memorial he had been engaged in forming. In such bereavements every friend of the Redeemer's kingdom will feel disposed to sympathize; and to pray without ceasing that they may be sanctified to all survivors, and especially to surviving ministers; and that the mantles of the departed may fall upon many who may rise up and more than supply their places.
Select List of Recent Publications.
Mahometanism Unveiled: an Inquiry in which that ArchHeresy, its Diffusion and Continuance are examined on a new principle, tending to confirm the Evidences and aid the Propagation of the Christian Faith. By the Rev. Charles Forster, B.D. Chancellor of Ardfert, and Examining Chaplain to the Lord Bishop of Limerick. Two vols, 8vo, London.
Pickering's Diamond Greek Testament. This is the smallest edition ever printed, and is adorned with a frontispiece, engraved by Worthington, from “ The Last Supper” of Leonardo da Vinci. 48mo, London.
Lectures on the Elements of Hieroglyphics and Egyptian Literature. By the Marquis Spineto. With plates. 8vo, London.
Some Account of the Writings and Opinions of Justin Martyr. By the Right Reverend John Kaye, D.D. Lord Bishop of Lincoln. 8vo, London.
Testimonies in proof of the separate existence of the soul in a state of self-consciousness, between death and the resarrection. To which is added, the Psychopannychia of Calvin. By the Rev. Thomas Huntingford, M.A. Vicar of Kempsford, Gloucestershire. Svo, London.
Aids to Reflection, in the Formation of Manly Character, in the several grounds of Prudence, Morality and Religion; illustrated by select passages from our older divines, especially from Archbishop Leighton. By S. J. Coleridge. First American from the third London edition. With an Appendix, and illustrations from other works of the same author, together with a Preliminary Essay, and additional notes, by James Marsh, President of the University of Vermont. Burlington, 8vo, 1829. Lectures on Infant Baptism. By Leonard Woods, D.D.