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Notices of Recent Publications.
ber 19, 1817. By David Fosdick, Jr., Minister of the Hollis
Street Society. Boston: B. H. Greene. 1847. 8vo. pp. 40. On Religious Decision. (Tract of Amer. Unit. Assoc., No.
2 10.) Boston : Crosby & Nichols. July, 1847. 12mo. The Essential in Christianity. (Tract of Amer. Unit. Assoc.,
No. 241.) August, 1847. 12mo. pp. 15. The Penaliies of Sin. (Tract of Amer. Unit. Assoc., No. 242.)
September, 1847. 12mo. pp. 16.
Discourses on Medical Education, and on the Medical Profes
sion. By John WARE, M. D., Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic in the University at Cambridge. Bos.
ton : J. Munroe & Co. 1847. 8vo. pp. 113. Human Knowledge : a Discourse delivered before the Massachu
setts Alpha of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, at Cambridge, August 26, 1847. By George P. Marsh. Boston : Little
& Brown. 1847. 8vo. pp. 42. A Statement of the Claims of Charles T. Jackson, M. D., to the
Discovery of the Applicability of Sulphuric Ether to the Prevention of Pain in Surgical Operations. By Martin Gay,
M. D. Boston. 1847. Svo. pp. 47. On the Pathological and Physiological Effects of Ethereal In
halation. With an Appendix, containing an Additional Case and Experiments. By BUCKMINSTER BROWN, M. D. Boston.
1847. 8vo. pp. 17. Remarks on the Harvard Triennial. 12mo. pp. 12.
The Discourses of Doctors Sharp and Sprague bear testimony to the sensation produced by the death of Dr. Chalmers beyond the circle in which he immediately moved, and are such as the reputation of their respective authors would entitle us to expect from their pens,-clear, graphic, and fervent. — Mr. May attempts no discussion of great topics, but with his usual straightforward. ness and fervor urges the claims of practical Christianity as of more value than speculative theology, thus taking the ground which Unitarians have, as he says, occupied from the beginning, and which, if they are consistent, they must continue to occupy:Mr. Muzzey's Discourse contains an affectionate tribute to the memory of one, who to the virtues which peculiarly endeared him to his friends added those Christian excellences which gave promise of a life of great usefulness, and caused his early death to be deplored as a public loss. — Mr. Bartol takes a rapid survey of the various substitutes for Christ, as the Church, theology, philosophy, and outward and exclusive reform, argues their futility, and pleads earnestly for the doctrine which teaches that to become truly Christian we must go and sit at the feet of Jesus himself, allowing nothing to stand between the soul and him. — Without undertaking to pronounce judgment on the many "vexed questions " which have come up from time to time in relation to the Hollis Street society, we must give Mr. Fosdick credit for the independence and manliness with which he states the “condition and course of things,” the difficulties which environed his path, and the principles which have governed him. We cannot but add the expression of our hope that a better state of things may soon exist in that once large and prosperous society. — We are glad to learn that the Committee of the Unitarian Association have adopted the plan of publishing only original tracts, prepared for the purpose. The three tracts, the titles of which are given above, contain earnest and useful discussions of very important subjects, precisely what are wanted, and all the better for being brief and condensed. The Committee, as we learn, have been successful in securing the coöperation of such writers as give the best assurance of the accomplishment of their plan.
The first of Dr. Ware's Discourses, on the Condition and Prospects of the Medical Profession, was read before the Massachusetts Medical Society in May last ; the second and third were delivered before the Medical Class of Harvard University, one in 1843, on Medical Education, the other, which stands last in the series, in 1833, the subject being the Duties and Qualifications of Physicians. They are all marked by the author's usual candor and good-sense, and present views worthy the attention of the public as well as of the profession. – Mr. Marsh, as is evident from his Discourse, had we no other proof, is a man who thinks; and though its style is not particularly easy and graceful, and it contains no passages of glowing eloquence, it evinces a taste for intellectual and scholarly pursuits, and a just appreciation of the nature and objects of “human knowledge.”. With the controversy about the person who is entitled to the credit of the discovery of the letheon, we have no desire to intermeddle, farther than to say that Dr. Jackson's claim to a large share of the honor seems to us to be clearly substantiated by Dr. Gay's pamphlet. Dr. Brown presents some interesting facts in proof of the efficacy of the ethereal vapor as a means of relief from the suffering at. tendant on surgical operations. — The “Remarks on the Harvard Triennial,” though in their temper and tone not wholly to our taste, expose grave errors of the publication reviewed, one of a class of documents which, it may be feared, are often, in all our institutions, issued without a sufficient attention to that accuracy which is an indispensable condition of excellence. This timely correction, therefore, may be useful in awakening attention, both at Cambridge and elsewhere, to a too much neglected subject.
Ecclesiastical Record. — We have fewer ministerial changes to notice than usual, and our intelligence under this head, we are glad to observe, will refer rather to the commencement and continuance than to the close of professional engagements. Rev. Mr. Fosdick, who, we stated in our last number, had given notice that his connection with the Hollis Street society in Boston would terminate at the expiration of six months, has withdrawn entirely from that connection. - Rev. Mr. Pettes having relinquished his ministry at Sharon, Rev. Mr. Stone, late of Brewster, has taken charge of the pulpit for the winter. - Rev. Mr. Maynard, formerly of Needham, has removed to Dennis, in compliance with an invitation from the society in that place. — Rev. Mr. Richardson has dissolved his pastoral relation to the church at Southington, Conn., and become the minister of the congregation in Haverhill, Mass. — Rev. Mr. Allen, late of (Jamaica Plain) Roxbury, has accepted an invitation to become the permanent minister of the church at Washington, D. C.
Rev. Mr. Edes, who had resigned his connection with the people at Bolton, has acceded to their request to remain with them. – Rev. Mr. Clapp, at the close of a year's engagement with the society at West Roxbury, has renewed his engagement for an indefinite time. — Rev. Mr. Tilden, late of Concord, N. H., will supply the pulpit at Dover, N. H., through the winter. – Rev. Mr. Harrington, late of Albany, N. Y., will preach to the Unitarian society recently formed in Lawrence during the winter. – Rev. Mr. Rice, late of Mendon, will occupy the pulpit at Belfast, Me., for the winter. – Rev. Mr. Eliot of St. Louis, Mo., having returned from Europe with confirmed health, is on his way to resume his ministerial duties in that city. - Rev. Mr. Clapp of New Orleans has also returned from Europe with improved health.
Autumnal Convention. — The sixth Unitarian Autumnal Convention was held at Salem, Mass., on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of October, 1847, and, with possibly one exception, was inferior to none which had preceded it in point of interest or value. Ample accommodation had been provided for the meetings of the Convention, and the houses of our Salem friends were thrown open for the reception of guests with unstinted hospitality. The weather was delightful, and the attendance larger than on previous occasions of a similar kind. We were unable to ascertain the number of ministers present, but it was very considerable; and of laymen, and of ladies, not only did Salem furnish a large representation, but many were present from Boston and its neighbourhood, and several from places much more remote. All the meetings were crowded from their commencement to their close. A committee composed of members from the four Unitarian societies of the city had, in connection with the committee appointed for the purpose at the last Convention, made all the necessary arrangements, which were carried out with entire success. The Convention held its sessions successively in three of the four Unitarian meetinghouses, the other not being in a condition for public use, as it was undergoing repairs ; while the evening religious services were attended in hall, of much larger dimensions than either of the churches, which was completely filled. Social entertainments were provided for Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in a .smaller hall, where the members of the Convention were received by the ladies, whose presence gave to their hospitality a special attraction. Nothing occurred to mar the pleasure of the meetings, but, on the contrary, they increased in interest from the beginning, till we presume that we express the common judgment in saying that the session of the Convention on Thursday morning was one of the most delightful ever held. The speaking was unusually good. Considered merely as affording specimens of extemporaneous address, we have never listened to discussions that gave us a deeper impression of excellence. There was variety of opinion, but no discord; many speakers, but no confusion ; freedom of remark, but no unpleasant collision of feeling. On the contrary, as on other similar occasions, in every one present the conviction must have been strengthened that Unitarians can differ without losing mutual respect or love. And this, we think, is one of the great benefits, perhaps the chief use, of these semiannual gatherings, – that they show more clearly than can be seen in our more formal anniversary meetings that we are true to our own principles of independence of judgment and liberality of sentiment. Year after year we have returned from the Autumnal Convention with a firmer persuasion that Unitarians have discovered the true secret of union amidst differences, and that they may be trusted for the maintenance of Christian sympathies under great variety of intellectual or theological conclusions. The meeting this year was distinguished more than on previous years by the attention given to questions of philanthropic interest, while less than usual was said upon our peculiar doctrinal opinions. And here, too, was exhibited a freedom, which, instead of confining the discussions to subjects of dogmatic or ecclesiastical interest, allowed them to reflect the aspect of the times. The only regret, we believe, which was felt by any one, was the limitation of time, which obliged the Convention to hasten its proceedings at the close, in consequence of the engagement of many of its members at another important meeting in Boston.
The Convention was called to order by Rev. Mi. Osgood, chairman of the committee of arrangements, on Tuesday afternoon, at 4 o'clock, in the Barton Square chapel. Hon. Stephen Fairbanks was chosen Chairman, and G. F. Thayer, Esq., Secretary pro tem. Prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Whitman of Lexington. A committee of nomination was appointed, that reported a list of officers for the Convention, who were unanimously chosen ; viz. Hon. Samuel Hoar of Concord, Mass., President ; Rev. John Pierpont of Troy, N. Y., Hon. Robert Rantoul of Beverly, Mass., Rev. Edward B. Hall of Providence, R. I., and Hon. Albert Fearing of Boston, Mass., Vice-Presidents ; Rev. Abiel A. Livermore of Keene, N. H., and Francis Alger, jr., Esq., of Boston, Secretaries. The committee of arrangements appointed at the last Convention stated that they should report resolutions at the opening of the meeting the next morning, to which time the Convention was accordingly adjourned.
At 5 o'clock a tea-party was held in Hamilton Hall, furnished and
served by the ladies of the four Unitarian congregations in Salem. At 7 o'clock religious services were attended in Mechanic Hall, an apartment well suited, both from its size and its arrangements, for the purposes of public worship; where, after prayer by Rev. Mr. Stetson of Medford, a discourse was preached by Rev. Frederick A. Farley of Brooklyn, N. Y., from 1 Corinthians x. 15, on the propriety of denominational organization, when freed from the vices of sectarianism.
On Wednesday, October 20, the Convention assembled in the East church. Prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Lincoln of Fitchburg. The committee of arrangements proposed certain rules of order, to facilitate the discussions," which were adopted. The same committee also presented a series of resolutions for the consideration of the Convention, which were read and then taken up singly for discussion. The first resolution was in these words :
Resolved, That, assembling in this place, distinguished for more than two centuries by the principle of Congregational independence, we deem this a proper occasion for reaffirming our respect for that principle, our conviction of its happy bearing upon whatever is best in our New England institutions and character; and that we would seriously urge upon our churches the importance of quickening the religious life of the individual parish by every means that shall promote its freedom and order, its zeal and influence.
Having been supported by remarks from Rev. Mr. Whitman of Lexington, it was passed by a unanimous vote. The same unanimity marked the passage of all the resolutions. The second resolution called forth remarks from Rev. Messrs. Bellows of New York, Muzzey of Cambridge, and Stetson of Medford, Samuel St. John, Esq., of Newport, R. I., H. H. Fuller, Esq., and Rev. Mr. Clarke of Boston, Rev. Mr. Very, and Rev. Dr. Flint of Salem, Rev. Mr. Osgood of Providence, Rev. Dr. Parkman of Boston, Rev. Mr. Hill of Worcester, and Rev. Mr. Whitman of Lexington, and was then accepted by the Convention :
Resolved, That, congratulating ourselves upon the large measure of fraternal cooperation that we have enjoyed one with the other, upon the ground of a liberal faith, and determined to continue that coöperation, we cordially rejoice in the increasing manifestation of a congenial spirit in various Christian quarters, earnestly desire a true catholicity of communion, and upon the broad basis of the Gospel fervently hope to give and receive a Christian fellowship that shall be as cheering as it is enlarged.
Prayer was then offered by Rev. Mr. Thomas of Boston, a hymn was sung, and an adjournment took place to the afternoon.
At 2 o'clock the Convention again met, in the First church. Prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Miles of Lowell. The third resolution reported by the committee having been read, remarks were made by Rev. Mr. Eliot of St. Louis, Mo., Mr. G. G. Channing of Boston, Samuel St. John, Esq., of Newport, R. I., Rev. Mr. Clarke of Boston, Mr. A. B. Fuller of Cambridge, and Rev. Messrs. Hall of Providence, R. I., Gannett of Boston, and Hincks of London, England; after which the resolution was adopted :
Resolved, That we deem Christianity as essentially diffusive in its spirit, and that, whilst we rejoice to unite with our fellow-Christians of every name in common labors of piety and charity, we are called to do an especial work in our own peculiar field, and are in duty bound to strive to