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sons appear upon the stage, whose real and circumstantial greatness casts her into comparative insignificance. The first volume is in many respects the more important portion of the work, as it contains the elements of the doctrinal and experimental system of divinity with which the name of Madame Guyon is so intimately associated ; but in point of grandeur and imposing circumstances, and of whatever strikes the imagination, the advantage is altogether with the second volume. The subject of Quietism, of which it principally treats, may hereafter receive a further notice in our pages. As a summary of our views, given above, we will close with the remarks of another on this subject— one who was capable at once of sympathizing with Madame Guyon's religious feelings, and of correcting the aberrations of her intellect—John Wesley: “As to Madame Guyon herself, I believe she was not only a good woman, but good in an eminent degree; deeply devoted to God, and often favored with uncommon communication of his Spirit. But I know, from her own words, she was far from infallible; yea, that she was actually deceived in many instances—the more frequently, because she imagined herself infallible, incapable of being deceived. She had naturally a most fertile imagination, together with vast impetuosity of spirit. Hence she rushed forward, taking everything for divine which was strongly impressed upon her; whereas much of it was from her own spirit, and much from the grand deceiver. It is true, the anointing of the Holy One taught her of all things which were necessary to her salvation. But it pleased God to leave her to her own judgment in things of a less important nature.” “The grand source of all her mistakes was this—the not being guided by the written word. She did not take the Scriptures for the rule of her actions; at most, they were but a secondary rule. Inward impressions, which she called inspirations, were her primary rule. The written word was not a lantern to her feet, a light in all her paths. No; she followed another light—the outward light of her confessors, and the inward light of her own spirit. It is true, she wrote many volumes upon the Scriptures. But she read them not to learn, but to teach; and therein was hurried on by the rapid stream of her overflowing imagination. Hence arose that capital mistake which runs through all her writings, that God never does, never can, purify a soul, but by inward and outward suffering. Utterly false Never was there a more purified soul than the apostle John. And which of the apostles suffered less yea, of all the primitive Christians? Therefore, all that she says on this head, of “darkness, desertion, and privation,' and the like, is fundamentally wrong.
“This unscriptural notion led her into the unscriptural practice of bringing suffering upon herself; by bodily austerities; by giving away her estate to ungodly, unthankful relations; by not justifying herself, than which nothing could be more unjust or uncharitable; and by that unaccountable whim, (the source of numberless sufferings which did not end but with her life,) the going to Geneva to convert the heretics to the Catholic faith.
“And yet with all this dross, how much pure gold is mixed ' So did God wink at involuntary ignorance. What a depth of religion did she enjoy! of the mind that was in Christ Jesus! What heights of righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost! How few such instances do we find of exalted love to God and our neighbor; of genuine humility; of invincible meekness, and unbounded resignation | So that, upon the whole, I know not whether we may not search many centuries to find another woman who was such a pattern of true holiness.”—Works, (Book Room edition,) vol. vii, p. 562, 563.
New-Haven, Jan., 1848.
ART. II.-Mental Discipline, with Reference to the Acquisition and Communication of Knowledge, and to Education generally: to which is appended a Course of Theological Study. By Rev. DAvis W. CLARK, A. M. George Peck, Editor. New-York: Lane & Tippett. 1847.
The above is the title of one of the best books lately issued by the Methodist Episcopal press. It is a book which will be useful— permanently useful—and cannot be read without profit by any. The author has evidently had two classes of persons particularly in view while writing the book, namely, students and ministers, and especially young ministers of the gospel. For the latter, he has made one of the best books we have. The great work of leading the young mind to the stores of knowledge is only second to the great work of leading it to Christ, to holiness, and to heaven. And in respect to the author of this work permit us to say, once for all—“and we testify that we do know" —he has a holy and burning interest in behalf of the youth of our land, and an unquestionable ability to point out the way of knowledge, and also an actual experience on his part in the business of its acquisition and communication, having himself been engaged in the business of teaching, and at the head of one of our most flourishing literary institutions for several years past. He is, then, in every way well fitted for his task. The two grand topics of the work are, first, the acquisition; and, second, the communication, of knowledge. In these are laid the foundations of a severe and perfect mental discipline. In the acquisition of knowledge we obtain that invigoration of our intellectual powers, and, to use the language of the author, “the formation of those mental habits, that will facilitate subsequent attainments—enabling the mind successfully to grapple with and overcome difficulties, to thread the intricacies of logic, to discriminate between the real and sophistical in reasoning, and to obtain clear, precise, and comprehensive notions.” There is also a true discipline of mind which arises out of the communication of knowledge. By teaching, we learn, and “secure those mental aptitudes which will enable us to impart knowledge in a more lucid, concise, and effective manner.” We have just now represented mental discipline as arising out of the acts of acquiring and communicating knowledge. The converse is equally true. By good mental discipline, both the acquisition and communication of knowledge is wonderfully promoted. There is a reciprocal influence between these two things to establish and advance one another. Part Third, which relates to the diversities of mental character, is by no means the least valuable part of the work. “It is an inquiry of great wisdom,” says Lord Bacon, “what kinds of wits and natures are most proper for what sciences.” “The varieties of mental character, from whatever causes they may result, often require different modes of training and discipline. Hence the importance to him, who would have his powers properly balanced and regulated, of carefully discriminating the various grades of intellectual character, and especially of determining the class to which his own mind belongs, that he may choose an appropriate system of mental discipline.” We do not remember to have seen this subject anywhere so fully developed as in the work under review. We would commend this part to the special attention of the student. It will assist him very much in making a wise choice as to the field he may occupy in subsequent professional or literary pursuits. At the close of the work there is subjoined “a course of theological study,” that is, a list of the leading doctrines and principles in a complete course of Christian theology has been
made out, and references given under each topic to sources of information upon that special subject. This “course of study" will be found of the greatest value to young ministers, and others who study and investigate the doctrines of our holy religion. The above is a brief analysis of this excellent little work, from which the bearing and objects of it may be at once inferred. Its theological character betrays the author's solicitude for the progress of divine knowledge. This we regard as a chief merit of the book, which is calculated to make it more extensively useful. Dr. Johnson, in his Life of Dr. Watts, remarks, that “whatever he took in his hand was, by his incessant solicitude for souls, converted to theology.” We are glad to see this feature of the work brought out so prominently. An awakening desire is beginning to be manifested, especially by the church of which the author is a member and a minister, for the literary, theological, and Biblical improvement of its ministers. This desire is manifested by the increased attention given within a few years to the course of study which has been sanctioned and enjoined by the highest judicatory of the church. It is also manifested by the numerous theological associations throughout the northern and eastern conferences, among our ministers and preachers, for mutual improvement in theological knowledge. And, further, in confirmation of this fact, we would refer to the actual organization and establishment of a “Biblical Institute,” or theological seminary for Methodist preachers, whose services are not immediately required in the regular work. We regard the work before us as but the reflection of the common feeling and spirit among us. Though there is some difference of opinion in regard to the kind of facilities we should encourage for ministerial improvement, yet I believe we are all agreed in this, that it is desirable and important for the work of the ministry that its candidates should possess good literary qualifications, as well as gifts and grace. Without these, that is, gifts and grace, the minister is but a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. These constitute the foundation, and are the indispensable prerequisites in the character of a minister of the gospel. We do not go so far as some of our brethren of our sister churches as to make it essential that every young man, whom God calls to the ministry, whatever his circumstances may be, must first, before his entrance into the work, go through with a curriculum of literary and theological studies. But we do go as far as this, and say, when a man believes himself called of God to enter the ministerial work, that it is his duty to avail himself of every opportunity of acquiring a knowledge of the sciences, and especially of Biblical and theological science, of which he is now called to be a teacher. Any young man who neglects study, and will not improve, it seems to us should be considered as decidedly disqualified for the sacred office. “Study,” says the apostle Paul, “to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim. ii, 15. And the great apostle himself, though filled with the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, made “books and parchments” the companions of his travels and labors. 2 Tim. iv, 13. He seems, also, to have been familiar with the literature of his time, both Jewish and heathen. He was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, the greatest of the teachers in Israel. He quotes the Greek poets, Cleanthes and Epimenides,” and refers familiarly to the doctrines of their philosophers. We say, then, that any young man who does not love study, had better pause before he enters the ministry; and unless he can contract a love for it, let him turn to some other employment—God calls not him to the ministry. And this we understand to be Methodism. “We advise you,” says the Discipline to the preachers, (ch. 1, sec. xvii,) “1. As often as possible to arise at four; 2. From four to five in the morning, and from five to six in the evening, to meditate, pray, and read the Scriptures, with notes, and the closely practical parts of what Mr. Wesley has published; 3. From six in the morning till twelve, (allowing an hour for breakfast,) read, with much prayer, some of our best religious tracts. Why is it that the people under our care are not better? Other reasons may concur, but the chief is, because we (the preachers) are not more knowing and more holy. But why are we not more knowing ' Because we are idle. We forget our first rule, “Be diligent; never be unemployed; never be triflingly employed. Neither spend any more time at any place than is strictly necessary.” We talk—talk or read what comes next to hand. We must, absolutely must, cure this evil, or betray the cause of God. But how ! 1. Read the most useful books; 2. Steadily spend all the morning in this employment, or at least five hours in the four and twenty. “But I have no taste for reading.' Contract a taste for it by use, or return to your former employment.” This is Methodism; and this is as it should be. It is the apostle's doctrine: “Till I come give attendance to reading.” 1 Tim. iv, 13. To our minds it seems scandalous and shameful for any man in the ministry—a professed teacher of the people, and of that most excellent knowledge, the knowledge of