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Notices of Recent Publications.
respectable, as far as it goes, and not altogether contemned on the other side of the water ; Professor Anthon's books being extensively read and republished in England and Scotland; and all this they profess to do, quite év nupéyo.
It is impossible that the indulgence of such a spirit should be otherwise than injurious to the progress of learning and literature throughout our country. No abundant nor permanent results of intellectual labor can be looked for, until that honorable appreciation of the performances of all true and industrious men shall prevail, which is content and glad to recognize a real advance in the acquisition of truth in whatever quarter, and by whomsoever made.
Hymns for Christian Devotion ; especially adapted to the Uni
versalist Denomination. By J. G. Adams and E. H. CAAPIN. Boston: Abel Tompkins. 1847. 12mo. pp. 642.
This compilation, though prepared to aid the worship of a particular sect, is entirely free from sectarianism. The 1008 pieces of which it is composed could hardly fail of including a great deal of excellence, even if they were not selected by two clergy. men who are themselves no indifferent poets. We do not know what the character of the hymn-book is of which this takes the place; but we feel sure that the present one must be a great improve. ment on its predecessor, however creditable that previous per. formance may have been. We have before us a book, preserved carefully for the sake of old remembrances, that was designed for the use of the Church Universal ”; or, in stricter truth, for the congregation worshipping “ in the Meeting House, corner of Bennet Street, in Middle Street, Boston,” which took the title of “the Universal Church.” It was published in 1802, and could not possibly have been an improvement upon any thing. It is exclusively doctrinal, presenting everywhere the idea of a bloody atonement in its most offensive form ; and this fault is fully matched by the extreme badness of the verses. Some faint idea of this latter quality may be gathered from a quotation or two, such as might be multiplied to any extent.
“ Long he struggled with confused
Death, he rescu'd man to God.”
And Satan is down;
His kingdom disown;
“ Comfort ye my, comfort ye my
It is truly comforting to observe the advancement that less than half a century has produced, both in religious views and poetical taste. The present work we think calculated to find much favor among persons of cultivated minds, in other denominations than that to which the compilers belong. We do not think, however, that it can be considered as an improvement upon all other similar books “ already in existence.” The Preface implies such an ambition in the attempt, but the claim would be far too high. It contains many admirable hymns, both old and new. cannot help finding some fault with it, for a reason that will be its highest recommendation to many persons. Its whole style is too modern. There is too large a proportion of the verses of the day. We are allowed too little of the simplicity, sweetness, and force of the old masters. If we might speak our mind freely, we should say that there was too much sentimentalism in it, too much dallying with the smaller beauties of poetry. Several of the pieces remind us of certain gentlemen, who are called "exquisites ” on account of their over-nice manners or over-showy dress. Take, for an example, the 96 1st or the 586th. We hold that the ornaments of sacred poetry should be peculiar and appropriate to that class of compositions. Its imagery should resemble that of the Scriptures, and not that — however charming in its place- of Thomas Moore. All mere prettinesses should be carefully excluded. We have observed in this collection an unusually large number of what may be called " burden-hymns," where the last line of every verse is in the same words, or nearly the same, or where the first line in each is repeated in like manner. We counted about thirty of these. Though some of them are undoubtedly beautiful, we do not think that this style is most to be approved. On the other hand, we think our friends must have been nodding a little when such platitudes as the 437th found the honor of their “admittatur.” We confess that we could well dispense with a considerable number of the pieces that have multiplied here to such an amount. But these can easily be omitted in the reading by those who like them no better than we do. And there will still be left a collec. tion of hymns suitable to be sung by any worshipping assembly whatever ;-chaste, servid, elevating; worthy expressions of the truest and devoutest thoughts.
The Explanatory Bible Atlas and Scripture Gazetteer, Geo
graphical, Topographical, and Historical ; containing Maps of all the Countries and Places mentioned in the Old and New Testaments, drawn from the latest and best Authorities, and engraved expressly for the Work, with Illustrative Essays
Notices of Recent Publications.
for each Map, and accurate local Descriptions in the Gazetteer ; a colored Missionary Map of the World ; a Dictionary of the Natural History of the Bible, with Engravings ; Tables of Time, Weights, Measures, and Coins, Tabular Views, etc. By the Rev. WILLIAM Jenks, D. D., Editor of the Comprehensive Commentary on the Bible, etc. For the Use of Families, Clergymen, Teachers of Bible Classes, of Sabbath and other Schools, Theological Students, and Biblical Readers generally. Boston: C. Hickling. 1847. 410. pp. 157.
We have given this formidable title at length, though we are not quite sure that it will not awaken in the reader expectations which the work itself will fail of completely fulfilling. Yet the volume contains a great deal of information in a condensed form, and drawn from authentic sources, on subjects interesting as well to the general reader as to the Biblical student and teachers of Sunday schools and Bible classes, information which, as the compiler observes, has been hitherto “scattered through many expensive volumes,” some of which are “ found only in costly libraries." From these the author, who is one of the most indefatigable of students, has extensively and faithfully gleaned. Of course the work cannot be expected to prove a very attractive one ; it is a work to be consulted rather than read, but, properly used, will be found exceedingly useful. It is one the need of which has been often felt, and the merits of which, as they become known, the public will duly appreciate. The volume contains seventeen maps, which, as we are informed, were
“ drawn expressly for it from the latest and best authorities”; they are distinct, well engraved, and present a beautiful appearance to the eye. There are also engravings of the principal plants and animals mentioned in Scripture, accompanied with an explanatory index. The Gazetteer adds to the value of the work, though it should have been so prepared as to have precluded the necessity of the “ Addenda." 'We should have preferred, too, to have seen the long quotations frequently given in the literary portion of the volume credited to the authors. Still, we think well of the work as it is, and, notwithstanding some minute blemishes which the critical eye may detect in it, we heartily commend it to the attention of the public.
The History of Sunday Schools, and of Religious Education,
from the Earliest Times. By Lewis G. PRAY. Boston :
ligious literature. The author's desire to avoid making a large book has doubtless led him to study brevity on some points, in regard to which a fuller discussion would have been more satisfactory. There is hardly a chapter that would not offer to a practised author a temptation to book-making. We think Mr. Pray deserves credit, not only for adhering closely to his subject, but also for bringing so many important facts and profitable suggestions within so brief a space. We cordially commend the book to teachers and superintendents, and to all persons interested in the Christian culture of the young. The last chapter especially, on the arrangement and instruction of a Sunday school, deserves and will well repay an attentive study. It exhibits the result of long and successful experience in Sunday. school teaching, the ripened fruit of more than twenty years' faithful labor. It is distinguished by great sobriety; Mr. Pray's feelings do not mislead his judgment. He takes a practical view of his subject. His expectations are chastened by extensive and intimate knowledge of the difficulties that beset the path of even the most earnest and diligent laborer. Hence his book may be used profitably. Its principles and methods are immediately ap. plicable to the existing conditions of Sunday schools, and are calculated to elevate and improve it. Nor need we add, for the information of those acquainted with the author, that his work is characterized by a devout spirit, and by an earnest solicitude for the moral and religious prosperity of the rising generation.
Progressive Lessons for Sunday Schools. Printed for the Use
of the Sunday School of the Unitarian Society, Buffalo, New York. Buffalo: 0. G. Steele. 1847. pp. 43. 18mo.
This little book contains five different parts, from the very ju. venile exercises of the Portsmouth “ First Book for Sunday Schools," up to doctrinal questions, with Scripture references, upon God, Christ, regeneration, judgment, etc. closes with an appropriate selection of hymns, and, all together, costs no more than a common catechism alone. The second part consists of the catechism prepared by Dr. Channing and Mr. Thacher; the third part contains brief questions upon Christianity ; the fourth part is made up of studies in Old Testament his. tory ; and the closing portion gives sixteen doctrinal subjects to be inquired into in designated passages of the Bible. For those who are conducting small Sunday schools, at a distance from Boston, this too-concise manual might be made to take the place of numerous expensive works. An intelligent teacher would be more encouraged to a free interchange of thought with the pupil
Notices of Recent Publications.
by this, than by almost any other text-book, while the more advanced portions would perhaps stimulate a teacher accustomed to a servile dependence on printed questions and answers to a more hearty, living, and profitable communion on such kindling themes.
The Words of Christ, from the New Testament. Boston :
Crosby & Nichols. 1847. 16mo. pp. 150.
In this little book an attempt is made to present to the reader, under eight general heads, viz. “ The Messiah,” “ The Teacher," " The Comforter,” “ The Sufferer,” “The Betrayed,” “ The Crucified,” “ The Risen,” and “ The Redeemer," our Saviour's recorded sayings, separate from the accounts that the Evangelists have given of the incidents and circumstances in the midst of which he uttered them. Whatever may be thought of the compiler's method of arrangement,
which to us seems somewhat arbitrary and imperfect, — he has certainly, in the execution of his plan, given proof of skill and fidelity; and though for ourselves we must confess that our Lord's teachings always impress us most deeply when we study them in their original historical connections, yet we doubt not that many will find this volume a very useful manual.
Scripture Proofs and Scriptural Illustrations of Unitarianism.
By Joun Wilson. Published by the Unitarian Association of the State of New York. 1847. 12mo. pp. 183.
We are pleased to see this reprint of the first part of Mr. Wil. son's “ Scripture Proofs and Scriptural Illustrations of Unitarian. ism,” by the Unitarian Association of the State of New York. “ The present volume,” it is stated in the Preface to the American edition, “is an experiment upon the interest of the public mind in the subject. It will speedily be followed by others, if it shall obtain a general or considerable circulation.” The project is a good one, and we hope it will succeed. There is much need of a more extensive circulation of works of this kind among us, more especially as what is called doctrinal preaching has of late years become rather unfashionable in the Unitarian churches. We hope the perusal of this “ tractate
» will induce many per. sons to purchase the whole volume of which, in the English edition, it forms a part, and copies of which are for sale in this country