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man. The contents of the third chapter will sell the book to almost any one:
“Temptation resisted. Sermon by Dr. Adam Clark. Return to Maidstone. Relapse. Power of tenderness. The verge of despair. Alternations of success and failure. A ray of hope. Hope; help; defeat. Degperate resolve. Falling and repenting. Fallen again. Rivers of tears. Spirituous liquors abandoned. Strength and joy. Liberation. Divine grace large and free. Family worship. Porter dangerous; abandoned. The last leaven rejected. Sad remembrances.”
24.—The Cross in the Cell. Boston: American Tract Society, 28
DR. ADAMS writes remarkable books. This is one of them. It is the story of his successful attempt to reach the heart of a hardened criminal, awaiting execution for murder. It is as interesting as a treatise on theology. No book could be better to put into the hands of an inquirer, whether in a cell or out of it. We are glad that copies of it have already been placed in the Charlestown State Prison, and wish that the same step might be taken with regard to all our public institutions for criminals.
25.-MISCELLANEOUS. The Presbyterian Board is abundant in its excellent issues, some of the larger of which we notice elsewhere. We here add the following: Robert and Daisy, Dick Mason, Bob Walker, The Power of Gentleness, Grace Dermott, The Sunny Mountain, Minna Croswell, The Evil Tongue.
THE ROUND TABLE.
An ORTHODOX CONGREGATIONAL QUARTERLY. Every denomination of national extent and designs needs its Quarterly. Indeed it is quite indispensable, not only for denominational growth, but for all those varied utterances of the Christian scholar, when he would affect widely the more cultivated on questions in theology and morals, civil and social life, literature and the practical topics of the day. We esteem it a favoring providence, therefore, that we had one for our own denomination, established and well under way, when our National Council gave a harmony, unity and oneness of work to our Congregational body. We were ready and waiting for its programme, and, in truth, were already working out the two leading items in it, creed and polity. We took peculiar satisfaction in seeing that our doctrinal basis, the Westminster Assembly's Catechism, was adopted by the Council unanimously, with a single dissent. This was all we wished or hoped for, and more than many expected from that national body, in the matter of doctrine.
Instead of finding ourselves a "clique," we found that we had been, as we design always to be, the defenders of the faith of that greatest representative body of Congregationalism. We are happy to appeal to our six years' published labors to show that in no important item of faith or polity have we differed from that national plate form, and they who may call us a “clique” show that themselves are not on the platform with us and the Council. They are the “clique," and we are of the Congregational nation. We can not now be partizans if we would, for we are with the great whole. Erroneous and unfortunate impressions have been made concerning us to the contrary, but our work is disproving and destroying them, and never faster than during the year past.
Our pages have always been open to the expounders and defenders of our denominational faith, and we have been happy to number not a few among our contributors, whose philosophy and terminology we would not ourselves use, but whom we welcomed as holding and defending the same great truths with us, “ for substance of doctrine.” And we feel like enlarging this liberty of expression among our writers, since we have seen our National Council declare our fundamental unity by accepting so cordially those ancient and wellunderstood symbols of our order.
Desires have sometimes been expressed that our editing board might be enlarged or changed to allow a fuller representation to the faithof our church. We acknowledge the tribute of respect paid in these desires, and would cordially reciprocate them, if we could discover any part of our national creed that our Prospectus does not cover. Of course we have not yet published a complete system of theology, with all its philosophies, defenses and illustrations, but we will gladly add any contributions that will farther unfold and approbate the declared faith of the Council. We would not wish to be instrumental of weakening, or even attacking that faith ; and for any in or out of our denomination wishing to publish a different faith and order there are other and able Quarterlies. The very wide range allowed by the Bibliotheca Sacra and the New Englander, periodicals, in a sense, of our own, makes it unnecessary, as we think it updesi rable, to extend our limits to articles not consonant
with our doctrine and order as a denomination. We are too strongly Congregational for that.
Moreover, we wish to ignore, and if possible make obsolete these questions of schools by unifying our denomination, as the work was 80 auspiciously begun last year. But assuming the existence of divisions, and installing them confessedly in editorial chairs at the same board, might have the effect of inaugurating a strife formally; while the veto power by either party over articles might strike out on both sides the spirit and expression that, innocently blended, could alone give worth and life to a Review. :
- Such a change would no doubt much increase the editorial power, were it made for either of the Quarterlies mentioned, or for our religious newspapers, but either enterprise can judge whether the change would be desirable and profitable for its own aims and ends as a publication. We know men not a few, who, were schools mentioned, would not class with us, whose coworking we could rejoice in and feel honored by it, and we would gladly help their pens to work out with us the common enterprise of our denomination. Our views and measures are catholic, not clannish, and so are our feelings and sympathies. The interests of Congregationalism are our interests, and we feel that we may justly ask and expect the good will and patronage of the brotherhood; and whoever will make the Boston Review any better as the Quarterly of our denomination, we will welcome as the friends of our Puritan faith and polity.
PROGRESSIVE CRITICISM. The latest word, in German antiChristian criticism, gives up the position of the Tübingen schoolthat the Gospels, and many of the Epistles were constructed some two hundred years after Christ, in order to harmonize the Pauline and Petrine sections of the church ; also, the mythical theory of Strauss—that the supernaturalism of Christianity grew up in a later age, out of nebulous tradition, by an exaggerating superstitious tendency, but without a design to deceive. The proofs of the early date of the fourth Gospel as well as the synoptical Evangelists, are growing too clear to allow these theories of their late origin, except by the most violent ignoring of convincing evidence.
Both of the above theories might exempt our Lord and his immediate followers from the charge of perverting truth, of manufacturing facts, for a purpose; by throwing the authorship of the New Testament, for the most part, into perhaps the second and third centuries. But now that this ground is slipping away from under its occupants, and it is becoming necessary to allow the early date of these writings, nothing is left to the critics but to accuse either the apostles or
Christ, or both parties, of wilfully and fraudulently tampering with history. The tendency seems to be, to exempt the first Christians from this falseness at the expense of their Master. Strauss, Renan and others distinctly accuse Christ of planning a deception concerning his own nature, works, mission, and of palming this off upon his earliest followers, that they might propagate this delusion among others, and hand it down the ages, which thing they did in ignorant, honest credulity.
This is a plain issue which men are free to make who dare do it; but they should be consistent in their statements of so grave an indictment, which they by no means are. For example: In their accusations and concessions respecting Jesus, we have these violent contradictions. “Jesus,” says Strauss in his latest book, "has developed purely and fully all that relates to love to God and to our neighbor.” The admission is frequent and ample that, morally and religiously, he distanced all comparison with his contemporaries. Yet, in his account of his own nature, and in the eschatology which he taught, particularly as to his own office of final Judge of men, Christ is charged with an unjustifiable and utterly groundless selfflattery, with exalting himself above all mankind in a way equivalent to claiming divine powers, prerogatives, honors, thus showing himself to be proud, self-ignorant, presumptuous. “So we have,” writes Dr. J. A. Dorper, in a recent paper in the Contemporary Review, “that monstrous compound being composed of self-exaltation and the purest love to God and man-a liar and a sacrilegious criminal, who took on himself to build up a kingdom of God, after having overturned the foundations of the kingdom of God within himself;" a miracle this—greater and more unnatural than all the miracles in the New Testament.”
A criticism which involves itself in such glaring self-contradictions must be false, It is an excellent sign of hope that the unchristian dogmatism of the age is becoming so undisguisedly anti-christian and self-exploding. As a most natural result, the sceptical writers of Europe are fast losing their hold on minds which wish to retain any honesty and self-respect in dealing with the question of the origin of Christianity. This last word" of the infidel leaders is not the true philosophy of that event. It can not be, as any sensible person must see,
All other explauations of it, then, having been tried and abandoned, what remains but to fall back upon the true doctrine of the historic Christ, as given of God to the fathers, and as held by the church universal in all subsequent time?
PAGANISM AGAIN. In an article on “Character,” in the last number of the North American Review, Mr. Waldo Emerson comes forward with a distinct plea for a return to Paganism as a better guide to salvation than is elsewhere to be found. Arguing that the latent and active forces inhering in individual character are the only reliable renovating power in society, he makes his complimentary bow to “Jesus” as a high type of this—"Jesus has immense claims on the gratitude of mankind”; but immediately takes his disciples to task for an admiration of him which runs away with their respect for the souls of men, and “hampers us with limitations of person and text.”
That is, instead of simply telling the story of their leader, they presume to weave into this the claims of a mandatory religion, which "inclines the manly reader to lay down the New Testament to take up the Pagan philosophers.” Not that these are intrinsically better, only they spare the pride of the "manly reader”; of course, this must be the “chief end” of a true religious system, for is not man as divine as diety itself, is he not God coming into consciousness? These Pagan ethics “do not invade his freedom; because they are only suggestions, whilst the other adds the inadmissible claim of positive authority-of an external command, where command can not be." Oh no! Man and God are joint partners in this firm, according to the Concord gospel, and why should one undertake to “command the other”? Is not the "manly" as godlike as the divine? So, by reason of this churchly excrescence of a direct religious commandment, the New Testament loses "the claim” which is so attractive in “the Pagan moralists,” namely, "of suggestion, the claim of poetry, of 'mere truth." Now the world, thicks Mr. Emerson, needs all the “mere truth" which is in and about it; therefore, the Bible must be freed from its authoritative incumbrances so as to bring it up to the level of the heathen sages : "and the office of this age is to put all these writings on the eternal footing of equality of origin in the instincts of the human mind.”
This seems to be the last response of the modern Delphi. Our principal wonder concerning it is, that it should have found utterance through the pages of a Quarterly, which we have supposed was not intended to be an organ of matters pertaining to re ligion, but rather an exponent of North American literature, in the general and unsectarian meaning of that term. If our venerable contemporary is henceforth to be the propagandist of a revamped Paganism, we have no objections, provided it will issue a new prospectus accordingly. So much of a manifesto of its counter conversion would seem to be demanded even by the morality of a respectable deism.