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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 Lelter 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 en. thusiasm 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 ex. pressed by Dr. Hawks in his “ Introductory Letter," we do not hesi
tate to commend it to our readers and especially to those, to whom the author's closing “ Appeal” is directed.
8.-A Manual of Prayer ; designed to assist Christians in learning
the subjects and modes of Devotion. With an Introduction by Rev. A. Barnes. Second Edition, enlarged. Philadelphia :
Henry Perkins. Boston: Perkins & Marvin, 1838. pp. 306. We have perused this little volume with great satisfaction. It is principally designed to furnish an assistant to closet devotion. Its author, we understand, is a layman, who, on making a profession of religion, and feeling the great responsibilities he had thus assumed, experienced much embarrassment, (as most others have in similar circumstances,) in preparing himself for the intelligent and profitable discharge of the social devotions in which he was called on to engage. This preparation he sought in the retirement of the closet, by storing his memory with a vocabulary of his wants, and training his heart to an intelligent and fervent babit of prayer. His experience suggested to him the thought of attempting the preparation of a manual for the use of others. He pursued his object for several years, and has produced a work most happily adapted to the purpose he had in view. The topics of supplication here exhibited are of almost every variety which occur in common life, the language in which they are presented is chaste, scriptural and glowing, and the spirit which pervades them is deep-toned, humble and expansive. They are christian and not sectarian prayers, and may be safely recommended by pastors of all denominations to the study not only of the lambs of their flocks, but to the attention of all who would improve in the gifts and graces of supplication.
9.-A Grammatical Analysis of Selections from the Hebrew Scrip
tures, with an Ecercise in Hebrew Composition. By Isaac Nordheimer, Doctor in Philosophy of the University of Munich, Prof. of Arabic, Syriac and other Oriental Languages, and acting Prof. of Hebrew, in the University of the city of
New York. New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1838. pp. 148. Chrestomathies have, not unfrequently, belied their name. Instead of being easy lessons, they have been among the most difficult compositions which could be selected. The compilers have sought for beautiful pieces, highly rhetorical extracts, rather than those excerpts which would be in the reach of the mere beginner. Some pieces in the Graeca Minora would task the powers of an accomplished scholar. Most of the German reading books which we have seen are open to the same objection. The Arabic Chrestomathies seem to be intended to furnish specimens of the most elegant compositions in the language. They are anything but Chrestomathies. Doubtless De Sacy, Kosegarten and Rödiger would find no stumbling-block in reading them. But alas for the poor tyro! When he opens their pages, he plunges into a black forest. He is at once involved in a labyrinth where there is no clue.
Dr. Nordheimer, we believe, has avoided this sad mistake. Some of his selections are taken from the Hebrew Prophets, but these are found in the latter end of the volume, after ample grammatical analyses and explanatory remarks on a number of chapters in Genesis, several passages from the other books of the Pentateuch, and a few of the easier Psalms. The most difficult points in these prophetical selections are, moreover, elucidated by well-timed observations. Perhaps the student when he reaches these extracts will be able to master all their difficulties. Dr. Nordheimer has very properly confined himself almost exclusively to the clearing up of difficulties of a grammatical nature. The young reader is only bewildered by exegesis. Besides, the study of grammar and of the mere forms, in the hands of an intelligent instructor, can be made to assume much interest. The poetical division of the work is preceded by a succinct statement of the peculiarities which exist in the structure of Hebrew poetry. The advanced reader, who would wish for more ample details, would do well to read De Wette's Introduction to the Psalms, translated by Prof. Torrey of the University of Vermont, and published in the Bibl. Repos. Vol. III. p. 445, First Series. It being universally admitted that the practice of composing in a foreign tongue is one of the surest means of becoming thoroughly imbued with its spirit, Dr. Nordheimer has inserted at the close of his volume an Exercise in Hebrew Composition, with accompanying auxiliary directions.
The volume will add to the well-established reputation of the author, or rather authors, for the Chrestomathy is to be considered as the joint production of Dr. Nordheimer and of Mr. William W. Turner, both having borne an equal share in the plan and execution of it. We believe, that there is but one opinion, among all compe. tent judges, of the Grammar, to which this Chrestomathy is a Supplement, and that opinion is one of high commendation. We shall look with interest for the second volume of the Grammar, which is to embrace a consideration of the Syntax. The whole series will exhibit the author as a very able oriental scholar. We hope for cor. responding gond fruits in the studies and literary character of the
10.— Democracy in America, by Alexis de Tocqueville, avocat à la
Cour Royale de Paris. Translated by Henry Reeve, Esq., wilh an original Preface and Notes, by John C. Spencer, Counsellor at Law. New York: George Dearborn & Co.
1838. pp. 464. This work is written not at all in the spirit which Frenchmen are accused of possessing. There is nothing volatile, fanciful, inconsiderate, from the beginning to the end. If it has errors they do not lie on the surface. They are elaborately reasoned out, or they are skilfully interwoven in the very texture of the work. The volume is one of principles, of abstract reasoning, of solid thinking. The common reader of travels will find nothing in it to his taste. It comprises but few incidents, allusions to passing events, or living characters. The writer takes up our government, and our institutions theoretically, but not in such a sense as to exclude consideration of their practical working. If he refers, however, to an actual event, or to an important political movement, it is merely that he may deduce the principle, or state the reflection, or illustrate some one of his general positions. The book is one of great value, and is, undoubtedly, the most important which has appeared on the United States from the pen of a foreigner. The author shows a more famil. iar acquaintance with our general and State constitutions, with our political history, with the Federalist, the commentaries of Kent, Story, etc. than most of our own civilians and political writers. M. de Tocqueville is uncommonly fair-minded, unprejudiced, and sharpsighted. He does not hesitate to say where our principal dangers lie, and where, in his opinion, are the rocks on which we shall split. At the same time, these warnings are given in a very friendly man. ner, with none of the hauteur of John Bull, with none of that biting censure or hard-wrung praise which our transatlantic cousins are so well pleased to deal out. We hereby thank the author for his profound reflections and his excellent spirit. He has called our attention to the most weighty topics which can engage our attention as citizens of a great republic. If there be any fault in him it consists in an over-refinement of speculation, in endeavors to account for things which do not grow legitimately from our institutions and usages, but which are the result of mere caprice and accident. The author has a passion for philosophising and for generalization. We think that he could have interspersed, without injury to his general plan, more incidents, and a greater number of striking illustrations.
11.-Handbuch der Christlichen Archäologie, ein neugeordneter und
vielfach berichtiger Auszug aus den Denkwürdigkeiten aus der Christlichen Archäologie. Von D. Johann Christian Wilhelm Augusti. Leipzig : 1836, and 1837, erster band
pp. 595, zweyter band pp. 775, dritter band, pp. 759. This author is one of the oldest professors of theology at the university of Bonn, and author of numerous works.* In the interval between 1817 and 1831, he published, in twelve volumes, a work, entitled, “ Denkwürdigkeiten aus der Christlichen Archälogie,” (Memoirs on Christian Archacology). It acquired, notwithstanding
* He is not to be confounded with H. E. G. Paulus, the celebrated profesfor and rationalist leader at Heidelburg, author of many biblical productions. its size and price, considerable celebrity in Germany and in the northern countries of Europe. The present edition was undertaken in order to effect some improvements and to bring the work into more reasonable limits. An Introduction of considerable length has been added on the object, extent, method and literature of Christian Archaeology. Some matters of comparatively little interest have been thrown out or arranged under other heads and greatly condensed. A very full Index is added at the end of the third volume.
We will now proceed to give some account of the contents. The matters are arranged into fourteen books. Book I. has some general remarks on the ecclesiastical constitution and divine service of the ancient Christians. Book II. is on sacred persons, catechumens, believers, ascetics, coenobites, monks, etc. The sixth chapter gives details respecting the bishop, presbyter, deacon, archdeacon, sub-deacon, and other inferior officers. Book III. contains an account of holy places, churches, altars, cloisters, utensils of churches, etc. Book IV. is on holy times, festivals, anniversaries, the Sabbath, etc. Book V. exbibits the subjects of prayer and psalmody in the church. The fourth chapter has details on psalmody and hymnology in the Latin, Greek and Syrian churches. Book VI. is on the use of the Scriptures in public worship, the particular books which were read, the order in which they were read, lectionaries in various churches, psalters and homilies. Book VII. presents various topics relating to baptism and confirmation. More than 200 pages are devoted to the discussion of these topics. Book VIII. naturally includes the Lord's Supper, the various modes of its observance, the character and ad. mission of communicants, etc. In Book IX. we have the antiquities of penance, confession, and absolution. Book X. contains the views, principles and usages of the church relating to marriage, divorce, etc. Book XI. is on the ordination of priests, with the different ceremonies and rules relating thereto. Book XII. details the last offices which are due to men, extreme unction, burial-service, time, place and manner of interment, etc. Book XIII. discusses extraordinary sacred customs, such as processions, pilgrimages, blessing and anathematizing as practised by priests, etc., lots, ordeals, fasts, etc. Book XIV. is on miscellaneous matters, as liturgies in the eastern and western churches, etc. It will thus be seen that the various topics are handled with much precision and method, in the true German style of division and subdivision. With its full tables of contents, with its numerous references, and large Index, the work will be very convenient for all who are interested in or have occasion to use christian antiquities. So far as we can judge by a perusal of the prefaces, introduction and various controverted topics discussed in the course of the volumes, we have formed a very favorable opinion of the candor, liberality and intelligence of the author. Very recent works on the subject are those of professor Staudenmaier of Giessen on the Spirit of Christianity as exhibited in its sacred seasons, usa