Page images

modern science-to sanctify the Anglo-Saxon intellect; and, thus, to prepare the language of Great Britain for what seems to be its destiny in the future history of the world, to become the medium of thought and influence for the greatest community of human beings that ever spoke a single dialect.

The position of Dr. Chalmers, for the last quarter of a century, has given to his powerful mind a striking inclination to a single aspect of Christianity-its relations, we mean, to the science and the cultivation of our times. And it must be admitted, that no writer has done more to recommend an un. obtrusive Faith to the careful attention of the able and ambitious men who have taken the lead in modern philosophy and popular literature. Living at the very seat of modern Infidelity, and associated with the principal writers for the Edinburgh Review, who, during the present century, have given reputation to the most plausible form of unbelief with which our religion has ever had to contend, he early attracted the notice of the literary circles of Edinburgh, and of the whole English public, by his celebrated "Astronomical Discourses." These splendid productions, though inferior, in logic and in style, to the sermons of Dr. Thompson, afterwards delivered on the same occasion, are, certainly, among the most remarkable specimens of Christian eloquence.

The tone of these discourses pervades all the principal works of the author. He appears, everywhere, intent on presenting the religion of Christ, which it was becoming the fashion to despise, as not only consistent with the other works of God, but as the grandest, and most worthy of our study, among all the demonstrations of his sublime perfections. If any thing is wanting in the severity of the Dr.'s logic, or the precision of his phraseology, there is ample compensation in the magnificence of his imagination, and the grandeur of his march over the fields of sacred and of human knowledge, upon which he was formed to expatiate by natural endowments akin to the highest order of poetic genius.

15.-Chemistry applied to Agriculture: by M. Le Compte Chaptal, Member of the French Institute, etc. etc. With a Preliminary Chapter on the Organization, Structure, etc. of Plants: by Sir Humphrey Davy. And an Essay on the Use of Lime as a Manure: by M. Puvis; with Introductory Observations to the same: by James Renwick, LL. D. Translated and edited by Rev. William P. Page. New-York: Harper & Brothers. 1840. pp. 360, 12mo. We have examined this book with much satisfaction. It contains a vast amount of practical information, and is admi

rably adapted to the object which is sufficiently indicated on its title-page. To those of our readers who are interested in practical agriculture, it would seem that a knowledge of the principles, which have been deduced from a careful observation of the nature and results of the physical laws, must be indispensable. "It is certainly not a little surprising," as our translator well remarks, "that while so many of the useful arts have been vastly improved, and some seemingly almost perfected, by the applications of physical science, agriculture, though immeasurably the most important of all, should still be in a state of comparative rudeness; and its operations but too generally conducted with scarcely the smallest reference to the natural laws." Yet a competent knowledge of the principles of physical science is easily attainable, and their applications may be readily understood by the practical farmer of ordinary capacity. Let any one who doubts this read Chaptal's Agricultural Chemistry, with the Essays incorporated with it in this volume, and his doubts will be dissipated; he will find himself in possession of a large number of facts and principles, of the usefulness of which, no one, unacquainted with them, can form the most distant conception.

16.-Bacchus: An Essay on the Nature, Causes, Effects and Cure of Intemperance. By Ralph Barnes Grindrod. First American, from the Third English Edition. Edited by Charles A. Lee, A. M., M. D. New-York: J. & H. G. Langley. 1840. pp. 528.

We regret that we have not had time to read this book entirely through. We have, however, read enough of it to be convinced of its immense value as a book of facts and principles on the subject of intemperance. It is a "Prize Essay," called forth by the offer of a hundred sovereigns, by the "New British and Foreign Temperance Society," and we honor the vote of the "Adjudicators" who awarded it the premium. We fully accord with the opinion expressed by the American editor, that it is probably the most complete and satisfactory publication, on the subject of which it treats, to be found in any language. It is divided into six parts, the leading topics of which are the following:

I. Nature and characteristics of Intemperance,-its history, its history in connection with religion,-intemperance considered in a national point of view,-and its effects on the moral and intellectual powers.

II. The moral and physical causes of Intemperance.



III. History of Intoxicating Liquors,-Nature and combinations of Alcohol,-Adulterations of Intoxicating Liquors.

IV. General effects of Intemperance on the human system,Nature and operation of Stimulants,-Diseases produced by intoxicating liquors,-Effects of alcohol on the brain and nervous system.

V. Fallacy of popular objections,-Means of removing habits of Intemperance in individuals.

VI. Intemperance of the Hebrews,-Intemperance of the primitive Christians,-Means employed in various ages and countries to remove Intemperance,-Intemperance in a legal point of view, and in the relation it bears to the civil rights of society.

Under these several heads the author has accumulated a rich variety of information, accompanied with discriminating and cogent reasoning. The American editor, Dr. Lee, besides a number of notes illustrative of the several parts of the work, has much increased its value by an Appendix of more than fifty pages in support of its main positions. It is hardly necessary to add, that we earnestly recommend the perusal of this volume to all who desire to understand their duty, and the reasons of it, in respect to the exciting and absorbing subject of Intemperance.

17.-Anti-Bacchus: An Essay on the Evils connected with the Use of Intoxicating Drinks. By Rev. B. Parsons, of Stroud, Gloucestershire, Eng. Revised and Amended, with an Introduction. By the Rev. John Marsh, Cor. Sec. of the American Temperance Union. New-York: Scofield & Voorhies. 1840. pp. 360.

This work, like that named in the preceding notice, was a competitor for the prize offered by the New British and Foreign Temperance Society. It gained the vote of one of the Adjudicators, the other two giving the premium to the work of Mr. Grindrod. Anti-Bacchus, however, though agreeing in its main principles with Bacchus, was judged to be sufficiently different to warrant its publication. It is divided into eight chapters, and treats of the extent and evils of Intemperance, Fermentation, Alcoholic Drinks, Nutrition, etc.,History of Inebriating and Unfermented Drinks, the sentiments of Scripture respecting Wines,-Water-drinking,—our duty and consequent prospects.

A leading object of Mr. Parsons was to show that total abstinence is not at variance with the word of God. For this purpose, he says, "I examined every text of Scripture in

which wine is mentioned; I inquired very minutely into the laws of fermentation; into the character of the grapes, and the wines, and the drinking usages of antiquity. The result, of these inquiries was, that I came to the firm conclusion that few, if any, of the wines of antiquity were alcoholic. I examined Homer, Aristotle, Polybius, Horace, Virgil, Pliny, Columella, Cato, Palladius, Varro, Philo-Judæus, Juvenal, Plutarch, and others." Again he remarks: "From a careful examination of the word of God, we find, that in no single instance, can it be proved that it has mentioned intoxicating drinks with approbation," etc. We are not prepared to admit the entire correctness of our author's expositions either of Scripture or of the principles of chemistry, in respect to the "wine question." But we have no space to enter upon the discussion in the present notice. Our readers may expect a review of this book, from an able hand, in a future No. of our work.

18.-Memoir of Mrs. Hannah More; with Notices of her Works, and Sketches of her Contemporaries: by Thomas Taylor, Esq., Author of "The Life of Cowper," "Memoirs of Bishop Heber," and of" John Howard, the Philanthropist." Second Edition. London: Joseph Rickerby. 1838. New-York: Robert Carter. 1840. pp. 434.

It is the privilege of few to be more useful with the pen than was Mrs. More. Her writings were uniformly popular in their cast, while they were always faithful to the interests of religion and of truth. For more than half a century, she distributed, with a lavish hand, the treasures of her cultivated and versatile, yet chastened genius; and now that she is dead, her works are fulfilling her benevolent desires in every part of the world.

The plan of this volume is somewhat different from the previous memoir of this remarkable woman. The author "has endeavored to give a brief, yet complete and faithful detail of Mrs. More's life; to exhibit the features of her mind, as they are reflected from her own productions; to trace the steady growth of her Christian character, and the progressive development of her Christian principles, till they attained maturity; and to show the happy influence which Christianity had on her mind, prompting her to pursue, with untired perseverance, for a number of years, amidst the most vexatious hostility, a course of most vigorous effort to benefit the human family."

In executing his plan, Mr. Taylor "has collected his materials. from all the published and unpublished records of Mrs. More, that he could avail himself of." Frequent extracts from her Jetters are introduced; but he has given much less prominence to her correspondence than it received from Mr. Roberts.

The chief excellence of the book consists in its giving so full and instructive an account of Mrs. More's religious history. Seldom have the pleasures of the gay, the smiles of the great, and the admiration of the learned been exchanged so willingly, as in her case, for the calm and retired walks of habitual benevolence. And seldom, too, has the piety of any individual commended itself so universally to the respect and confidence of all classes. The contemplation of such a life cannot fail to be useful. We rejoice, therefore, that Mr. Carter has made arrangements to furnish this work, in its neat English dress, at so reasonable a rate.

19.-Exercises for the Closet, for Every Day in the Year: by William Jay, Author of "Christian Contemplated," "Family Sermons,' "“Prayers,” etc. Two volumes in one. New-York: Roe Lockwood. 1840. pp. 274, 330.

This is a handsome reprint of a work which was originally published in 1828. It was intended particularly for those "who love and practise retreat; who wish not only to read the Scriptures alone, but to observe their beauties and advantages, who, while they neglect not their own meditations, are thankful to derive help from others, and often exclaim, 'a word fitly spoken, how good is it!' who wish to be in the fear of the Lord all the day long, who would not have their religion a visiter, but an inmate; who would speak of divine things not by a kind of artificial effort, but out of the abundance of the heart; and who know how much it conduces to our sanctification to keep the mind filled with good things, not only as these will exclude base intrusions, but will be sure to leave somewhat of their own tinge and likeness behind." Of the success of the author in executing his design, we have no occasion to speak. The Christian public, in England and America, have pronounced an unanimous verdict in his favor. Such was the popularity of the "Morning Exercises," that his Evening Exercises, as a companion to the former, were called forth in 1831. Both works have passed through repeated editions.

« PreviousContinue »