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he is always interesting ; his style is well chosen and his illus. trations are abundant and happy. The last three or four lectures create a desire to see the remaining numbers. after, the proprietors expect to publish a No. once in two months, till the whole shall have appeared. 9.-Sermons on Public Worship, suited to the Times. By Samuel
Nott, Jr., Author of Sermons from the Fowls of the Air and Lilies of the Field. Boston: Whipple & Dam
rell. 1841. pp. 404. The subject discussed in this volume is always important. The Christian ministry can effect but little without the aid of the sanctuary : if the courts of the Lord's house are empty or thinly attended, religion must decline. But there is reason to fear, that, in some parts of our country, the urgent necessity of sustaining public worship is not felt as it should be. The influences adverse to the Sabbath are many; and these, of course, bear directly on the ministrations of the Sabbath. The customs of society, particularly in cities, the rapid increase of light reading, lax notions of personal duty-all tend to aggravate the evil.
A work "suited to the times" in this respect, if generally read, cannot fail to be useful. This volume contains twenty discourses; the first five discuss the object, character and history of public worship; the next six, the character of the ministry required by public worship; the eight following, the character demanded of the attendants on public worship; the last is a centennial discourse. Sermons are far from being the most popular reading of the present day; these, however, will be perused with pleasu
sure as well as profit. The style is perspicuous and animated, the sentiments are weighty and earnestly enforced. We feel as we accompany the author, that we are communing with one who is deeply penetrated with the sacredness of his office. Prevented by the Provi. dence of God from laboring in a foreign country, he is evidently solicitous to devote himself wholly to his Master's work in the land of his birth. We trust that this effort will not be in vain. 10.—Universalism as it Is: or Text Book of Modern Univer.
salism in America. By Rev. Edwin F. Hatfield. NewYork; J. A. Hoisington. 1841. pp. 341.
ard Winchester would have recoiled with horror from the blank and soulless creed of Balfour, the Ballous, etc.; and the full development of this mystery of iniquity, we firmly believe, is yet to come.
Abner Kneeland was once a Univer. salist, and many appear to be treading in his steps. The prevalence of this sect is no matter of surprise. A system, that makes such fearful havoc with the distinguishing doctrines of the gospel, must always secure numerous adherents.
The work before us is timely and valuable. “Orthodox preachers,” the author observes, " in order to acquaint themselves with the peculiarities of this sect, have, in too many cases, contented themselves with an examination of the masterly argument of the younger Edwards against Chauncy, or the Calvinism Improved of Dr. Huntington, or the writings of Winchester and Mitchell. Thus informed, they have constructed a most powerful argument, and completely overthrown the strong holds of the early advocates of this peculiar creed, and they wonder that any can hold on to a doctrine so untenable, and be Universalists still. The truth is, that not a Universalist preacher in the land, so far as the author has been able to learn, does hold on to the system thus at. tacked. These are not their text-books. They that would know what they believe must consult more modern writers, and gather their creed from their more recent publications, and inform themselves thoroughly in regard to the latest discoveries and intrenchments of the sect, or they will labor in vain.” Hence the publication of “Universalism as it is.” The picture is frightful, but, we fear, too true.
The results of the author's investigations were first given to the public in the New York Evangelist. This volume is a republication of those essays, rewritten and enlarged. His diligence and fidelity are entitled to confidence, and there can be no reason to doubt the substantial correctness of this expo. sition.
11.- An Examination of President Edwards' Inquiry on the
Freedom of the Will. By Jeremiah Day, President of Yale College. New-Haven: Durrie and Peck. Philadelphia: Smith and Peck. 1841. pp. 352.
claims to be the philosophy of Edwards served up in almost every imaginable form. The abettors of error and of truth avail themselves alike of the name and authority of Edwards, whenever they fancy, that by so doing, their cause will be subserved; and by some his doctrines are represented as leading legitimately to the most dangerous and absurd doctrines of fatalism. Now if the work were popular in its character, and likely to be read by those who take some interest in metaphysical discussion, it might be safe for its friends to leave it to make its own defence, and stand or fall according to its merits. But, as this is not the case, it is evident that many will form their judgments of Edwards' work on second hand authority; and if from any thing, either in the character of the work itself, or in the habits of the age, his doctrines are in danger of being misrepresented or perverted, this brings a challenge to some lover of truth and friend of Edwards to stand forth as his advocate. No one could have presented himself, in this character, more able and trustworthy than President Day. His general character for extensive and thorough learning, his calm and patient habits of thinking, and especially his sincere and unprejudiced state of mind eminently fit him for his undertaking, and will secure a favorable reception for his work among all candid inquirers; and if our imprese sions are correct, those who take pains to read the book with care will not be disappointed. To say the least, Edwards is here dealt with by a friendly hand. Many recent attempts to sketch the portrait of this venerable man have been failures. The modern pencil and brush have so far changed his antique features and vestments, that his old friends have scarcely recognized him. But in this newly finished drawing, Edwards is professedly exhibited in his own robes, and with his own appropriate physiognomy. We cannot say that the lineaments of his countenance are not shaded, here and there, with a few modern improvements, but the great outlines are his, and his friends may embrace him as the object of their long cherished affection.
Some of the characteristics of the “Examination” are these :- First, its faithfulness. The Author has spared no labor in possessing himself fully of the meaning of Edwards,
are occupied in ascertaining the signification which Edwards attached to the terms he employs; and here he finds the great source of mistake and misrepresentation concerning his philosophy, arising chiefly from the broad, and, in some instances, the peculiar sense in which he used his terms. Partial and superficial readers, not having been aware of this, have honestly, it may be, but unjustly represented him as unintentionally teaching error and even absurdity.
Another characteristic is the independent and liberal views which the writer entertains of the subject which he examines. He is evidently, for the substance of his views, an Edwardean --an honest and an ardent one; yet be is not a servile follower of Edwards. Favored with the additional light, which a century bas shed upon a subject so continually under discussion, he finds some things to disapprove. He objects to Edwards classification of the mental
says, “a threefold division of them is needed.” He also thinks that the terms “necessity, inability,” etc., are not well adapted to moral subjects and relations, and that the sanction of his name to the frequent use of them has given them a general currency, in connexion with such subjects, which is likely to result in serious evil. This is doubtless an infelicity in the work of Edwards.
Dr. Day, as might have been expected, has conducted his examination with fairness and courtesy towards his opponents. He has not even called their names, thus showing, that while he will not shrink from maintaining what he considers to be the truth, he respects the feelings of those who differ from him. He has indeed felt himself called upon, in a few instances, to rebuke with sharpness the reckless manner in which some have dealt with the Work on the Will. His work must be regarded, not only as an “Examination," but as a defence of the main positions of Edwards. Dr. Day, therefore, is not uncommitted. He has fairly taken his stand by the side of his great author, evincing that all which has yet been said against the “ Treatise on the Will,” has neither convinced nor awed him. After explaining the meaning of Edwards' terms, he proceeds to rescue his arguments from the misconstructions and perversions which he believes have been put upon them.
One view which he takes of the source of these perversions is interesting. He says: “It is the great object of the Work to show that the dependence of volitions is consistent with accountability. Many hold to accountability, and thence draw the inference that our volitions are not dependent. Others believe in the dependence of our wills, and, therefore, deny our accountability. It is Edwards' object to maintain both. He has chosen, however, to treat of these two great points in distinct portions of his work. The subject of independent freedom of will occupies the second part. The consistency of dependence with accountability is largely discussed in the two following parts. Is there not reason to believe that some form their opinions of the whole work, from reading the former portion only ? Has not this partial examination suggested doubts and objections, which an attentive perusal of the sequel might have effectually obviated? In the unwarrantable separation of these two parts of the inquiry, is to be found the secret of the perversion of the work by some skeptical philosophers. They make a show of accompanying the author through the first half of his book, but there they leave him, and walk hand in hand with his opponents. They form to themselves a welcome but ruinous combination of the Calvinistic doctrine of dependence with the Arminian tenet that dependent volition is inconsistent with accountability. What infidel ever made a reference to the latter part of Edwards' Work on the Will ?"
These remarks are worthy of consideration. They may account, in a good degree, for the alleged fact that Edwards Treatise on the Will has become the text book of infidelity.
We will only notice one other singular fact; it is that president Edwards, in considering the supposable ways of evading his reasoning, has mentioned that as the least likely to be resorted to, which, in point of fact, is the very manner which has been most frequently and confidently adopted. “The first evasion which Edwards notices is this, that the faculty or power of will, or the soul, in the use of that power, determines its own volitions; and that it does it without
any act going before the act determined. This he considers so full of the most gross absurdity, that he doubts whether he should not wrong the Arminians, in supposing that any of them would make use of it. Absurd as it may seem, this is, perhaps, at the present day, the most popular form of expressing the supposed independence of volition. How often do we hear it asserted, that a man's power of willing is the only cause of his willing as he does. "Edwards did not anticipate all the transcen. dental logic, the higher metaphysics of our times. Were he now living he would meet with those who could teach him that he was far from having exhausted the science of mind.”
On the whole, we thank Dr. Day for his examination of Edwards on the Will. It is timely, faithful and able. mend it to the reading and thinking public. If any have not