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in their own persons, anomalies and mysteries, that go farther than all others, to stagger and confound, not only faith, but reason itself. It is the most inconceivable thing in human experience, that any man with the feelings and the reflections of a man, should be able to take and hold a position of absolute indifference, with regard to a subject so all-embracing and intimately connected with him, as religion. If I did not know the fact to be so; if it were not a matter of confession and even of boast with some, I should scarcely be able to believe it. No testimony, I am ready to say, nothing but confession, could convince me of it. For I do not know what the life of a mind is, that can be thus estranged from religion. Occupying a point of space amidst infinite systems of beauty and harmony, - a breathing hour of time, between the eternity past, and the eternity to come; seeing clear manifestations of boundless power and wisdom on every side in the whole creation, and yet ignorant of ten thousand mysteries, that fill that creation from its lowest depth to its topmost height; a mind seeing this, and feeling this, and tried, too, with the ten thousand events of life, -ay, and suffering, oftentimes sinking, and yet at other times soaring and aspiring to things infinite and immortal; - - that mind, I say, — what is it? — What is it made of, and what is it made for, if it does not sometimes stretch out the hand of entreaty, for a guidance and support, for a voice of teaching and a solution of mysteries, beyond this world ? Let it be so, that right, and rectitude, and obligation, and duty were all out of the question: yet where is curiosity? Where is the questioning that belongs to a thoughtful and intelligent creature, amidst a scene like this ? It is a mystery, I will not say, of iniquity; but it is a mystery of dulness, surpassing all comprehension. O! men of this world, whosoever ye are! —O! men who are altogether of this world! – talk not to us of our mysteries, till ye have cleared up your own mysteries. A mind, insensible to all the highest interests of a mind, - a mind, bereft of all the attributes of a thinking, inquiring, suffering, unsatisfied being, — what is it, I ask again? Is it matter, or spirit? - Is it an earthly creature ? No; for its thoughts stretch beyond the earth. Is it a heavenly being ? No, for it cares not for heaven. What is it then, and where is its place? Where in the universe of things is its place?

“ Ah! how surely is that out of its place, for which no position can be found, in the eye of reason, or of common sense, or even of imagination! Let him who has wandered, - whether in the ways of gain, or of philosophy, or of fashion, to the verge of that shadowy region, that shore of spectral illusions, that world of spiritual death and mental chaos, where nothing is right, nor reasonable, nor sure, nor safe, - let him start back, as from the gulf of annihilation, and return to the way of life. Let him turn back

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to the solid ground of faith, of reason, of wisdom., Let him enter upon the path that is bright with truth and virtue,

the path that shineth brighter and brighter to the perfect day.” — p. 171-173.

This is preaching with power, and it must be with effect. Surely no man, no living and unburied man, can hear this, can read this, and pot be moved, at least for a time. We do not mean that the considerations presented here are new; we do not mean that the appeals and remonstrances here uttered, have never been uttered before ; but they are here presented and uttered with a directness, with a reality, joined at the same time with a dignity and beauty, which it is rare to find in sermons. We need say nothing of Mr. Dewey's style. Every one who has read the sermons, or even the above extracts from them, will see what it is. It exactly befits the thought. It is the spontaneous language of an earnest and eloquent spirit. It has starts, and breaks, and parentheses within parentheses, — but no confusion, no obscurity. We see how it might be criticized; but we shall not criticize it, and we would not have it other than it is ; or, if different in some few respects, not so different as to change its character.


Sermons by NATHAN PARKER, D. D., late Pastor of the South Church and Parish, Portsmouth, N.H. Published by a Committee of the Parish. With a Memoir of the Author, by HENRY WARE, JR., Professor of Pulpit Eloquence and the Pastoral Care in Harvard University. Portsmouth : J. W. Foster, and J. F. Shores. 1835. 8vo. pp. xcii. and 402. — Having inserted in a former number of this Journal * an extended memoir of the life, character, and

genius of Dr. Parker, we the less regret that our present limits will permit as but barely to notice the appearance of this interesting and valuable selection from his Discourses. The reader will in justice remember, and in a few instances he may have occasion to remember, that most of them were prepared with no view to publication, in the ordinary, and often, we may presume, in the hurried preparation for the pulpit, and that they now appear under the many and great disadvantages of a posthumous work. Still it would be difficult to find a volume of sermons more likely to bene

* Vol. XVI. pp. 103 - 125.

fit the general reader, or to interest and edify the seriously disposed; and when considered in connexion with Dr. Parker's practical turn of mind, and downrightness of character, and the singleness of purpose

with which he devoted himself to the duties of the ministry, they sufficiently account for his uncommon success. Sometimes, as in the two discourses on “ The Sabbath,” he evinces considerable research, and clear and powerful reasoning; at others, as in the two discourses on Amusements, and in that on “ The Signs of the Times,” he is chiefly remarkable for careful observation, just thought, and the habit of a wise moral and spiritual discrimination. In regard to style and manner, the discourses throughout are plain, serious, direct, and strong, like their author's mind, occasionally, but not often, rising into a fervid earnestness, and bursts of natural eloquence. A short passage or two must suffice as specimens, and we begin by giving one from a sermon on the “ Distinction between Saints and Sinners."

“ But on this subject we need not pass beyond the sacred record of God's word. There all mankind are treated as if divided into two great classes, saints and sinners. But you may say that the Gospel was a new dispensation; that at its first promulgation it made a wide difference between those who received and those who rejected it; that on the one hand were the formal Jews and the idolatrous heathen, and on the other the simple, spiritual worshippers of the true God ; that between those who are educated in the principles and forms of Christianity there can exist no such wide distinction as between an idolater and a Christian. It is granted that ihe visible distinction may not be so great. But are all who are educated in the forms of Christianity imbued with its spirit ? No. Then between them, so far as regards actual character, there may be as real a difference, as between the Pagan and the true disciple of Christ. It is with the character of the heart, as it appears in the view of God, that we are now concerned ; and I see not that this may not vary as essentially when Paul preached the Gospel. Besides, the Gospel dispensation looks forward to the utter overthrow and destruction of the world. It brings into view the final judgment, and declares to us the principles on which all things will be adjusted. Does it bring into view any class of men, who on the day of final decision will be numbered neither with the righteous nor the wicked ? Does it reveal the fact, that in the unseen world there is fitted up a place for the abode of those who on earth had no decided religious character ? No. On that day all are to be arranged in two great classes, those on the right hand and those on the left hand of the Judge; those who are to be approved, and those who are to be condemned. What a momentous concern then ought to press upon the soul of every man!”

We give another passage from a sermon on the “ Characteristics of the Teachings of Jesus,” in which the preacher is dwelling on that of love.

“ It is to this trait in his character, that I wish particularly to direct your attention. By the honest friends of Christianity, many devices

- pp. 22, 23.

have been invented and practised, to give power and interest to its instructions. The terrors of the Lord have been proclaimed, in the appropriate language of power acting for destruction. The passion of fear has been wrought upon without neasure, and all the passions associated with it have been perseveringly addressed. The power of party has been tried, and so has that of ponip, of show, and of boasting, of forms and ceremonies, of fasts and prayers. But has the power of love been uniformly, and extensively tried ? Has the true spirit of Jesus ever yet been fully exbibited, either by his ministers or his church ? I fear that it has not ; and that even some good men are most wofully deceived as to the tendency of their own influence. I see some indications of what a spirit of love can do, and the marks of base subjection to earthly influence, scattered together over the leaves of the Christian history. Its few bright pages are disfigured by crimes ; but yet they are full of encouragement. I ask if the unfeeling menace can awaken a moral sensibility in the bosoms of wretched sinners, and excite them to repentance and reformation. I see the experiment tried ; and the resentful passions are awakened, while the mass of guilt remains undiminished. I then trace the footsteps of the female missionary to the prisons of Europe. I see her in the midst of the most wretched, haggard, desperate victims of vice. Her countenance beams compassion. There is no menace falling from her lips, no disgust pictured on her radiant features. Pity's language speaks there. Her lips open in mildness. She addresses those, who have souls to save, in the spirit of him, who has power to save them. She speaks of brighter scenes than those which guilt exhibits. There is encouragement in her accents. The sullenness of hardened vice gradually relents. A moral sensibility is awakened. Little by little the squalidness of misery passes away ; the cheerful intelligence of humble piety beams from the countenance ; and the voice of prayer is heard from lips long accustomed to the language of impurity and blasphemy. Here I see, what the spirit of Christ is, what the fruits of his influence are ; and I utter in sorrow the deep conviction of my soul, that the spirit of pure love, as it appeared in the teachings of Jesus, is not extensively abroad for the reformation of the world.”

· pp. 182, 183. The Memoir prefixed, as might be expected with such a subject and from such a pen, is in all respects a valuable accession to religious biography, and as such it will be eagerly and extensively read. We cannot better conclude this notice than with the following extract.

“ It is no small trial to the spirit, even in a land where the church has no secular power to enforce its decrees, to be stigmatized by a dominant party as an enemy to the Saviour, and have one's name cast out as evil. But where the trial is borne with meekness and faith, it tends to purify and elevate the character, to confirm the allegiance to conscience, and to strengthen attachment to the holy truth for whose sake the obloquy is endured. Dr. Parker bore it thus, and there can be no doubt that he shared a blessing in the result. One of his friends remarked to me, that he thought he had perceived an evident progress, from this time, in the higher attributes of his Christian life. He seemed to feel a new responsibility when he found himself bearing the

burden of a despised and rejected faith. He searched with new diligence into its foundations, he received new convictions of its power and worth, pressed it more closely to his bosom, and exerted himself with new watchfulness in its defence. Not, as I have already said, by contending, but by seeing to it, that, on himself and on those committed to his charge, it was permitted to exert its legitimate influences, and thus vindicate its divine power. When he attributed the increase of the parish, in his discourse on occasion of removing from the old meetinghouse, “principally to the liberality of its members and their peaceable spirit,” he uttered what was true, but not the whole truth. It was still more owing to the care which its minister took to maintain that peaceable spirit, and to make the truth lovely by its visible effects.” — p. xlix.

PALFREY's Grammar of the Chaldee, Syriac, Samaritan, and Rabbinical Languages. Boston: Crocker & Brewster. 8vo. Our learned readers, we trust, will pardon us, if with a view to such as are not conversant with Biblical studies, we make a few statements, familiar to themselves, respecting the use which this treatise is intended to serve.

The Chaldee language has a claim upon the Biblical student in the circumstance, that in it are composed several chapters of the books of Ezra and Daniel. And scarcely a less importance attaches to it in this connexion, from the fact, that in it we have the Targums, as in the use of their Rabbinical name they are called, (that is, translations, paraphrases, or expositions,) made by Jews; works of different, but all of them of considerable, critical value. The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, the former of the Pentateuch, the latter of the Pentateuch and the Prophets, have been commonly referred to a time anterior, or not long subsequent, to the Christian era. There is a version of the principal part of the Hagiographa, which goes by the name of Joseph the Blind, but is argued by Buxtorf to have proceeded from different hands since the sixth century; and another of portions of the Pentateuch, called the Jerusalem Targum, which perhaps is not older than that last named, though a much greater age has been claimed for it.

The Syriac language has been the vehicle of a copious literature. It was anciently the speech of the region bounded by Natolia and Palestine on the north and south, and by the Euphrates and the Mediterranean on the east and west. In the sequel of the Persian and Macedonian conquests, it received an infusion of numerous foreign words, and is believed to have been materially altered from its primitive shape, of which specimens appear in inscriptions on the ruins of Palmyra. From the fourth century, when Ephrem wrote in it, in that dialect which is called the Edessene, down to the tenth, it continued to be used in writings in various departments of literature and science. The Maronites of Mount Lebanon, and the remnant of Sabians, or disciples of John

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