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and excites in him prejudices, fits or unfits him to comprehend men and things, and to judge of them according to truth. To both Renan and Strauss applies, what Colani and a very liberal English writer say of Renan in relation to Jesus more or less in these words: “Jesus was a man of sublime ideas and plans, so that he desired to reform the world; but this is in the eyes of Renan, who is contented with the present, the greatest error of his life. Renan has style and taste; but these do not preserve him from commonplaceness in the contemplation of the moral world. He possesses imagination to soar to a higher world; but his faith sets its foot on the ground beneath us, and acknowledges no power save that of the blended motives which govern a weak and self-deceiving humanity.”
Truly, Renan and Strauss belong to another world than Jesus. They are not homogeneous with him: how should they be able to understand him? Schleiermacher stands indeed far beneath his Master, but is his pupil, sitting at his feet, desiring to imbibe and actually imbibing his spirit.
Renan and Strauss can absolutely not understand the Lord, Schleiermacher can in some measure.
ness a success.
Life of Robert Owen. „Philadelphia: Ashmead & Evans, No. 724 Chestnut
street. . 1866. Pp. 254.
Robert Owen was a remarkable man. His father having lost his property in a lawsuit, the son had in early life to contend with all the disadvantages of poverty, which by his talents and energy he soon overcame. It is said that at three years of age he read Rapin's History of England; when seven years old he was usher in a school; before thirteen he was clerk in a large mercantile establishment; and before he came of age “he was put in sole charge of the first mill for the manufacture of fine cotton yarn that was ever built.” Here he had five hundred operatives under him, whose labours he had to direct; he was called to superintend the working of complicated machinery of which at first he knew little about, to buy the raw material, manufacture it into yarn, secure a market for it, keep the accounts, and pay the hands. All this he did and made the busi
After a few years, having occasion to visit Scotland, he formed the acquaintance of a wealthy merchant and manufacturer, Mr. Dale, (whose daughter he subsequently married,) and contracted with him for the purchase of his mills at New Lanark for three hundred thousand dollars. He soon found himself here with full control of a large establishment, which afforded a field for carrying out his peculiar view of the method of reforming and elevating the operative classes. In a business point of view the enterprise was eminently successful. Mr. Owen evinced not only great sagacity, energy, and skill, in all these operations, but showed that he had the power of securing the respect and affection of all classes of men. From an early period he formed the purpose of reforming society. For the work of a reformer he possessed great advantages. He had great talents, great industry, great versatility, indomitable courage and perseverance, and great kindness and generosity. He was moreover sure of success. Regarding himself as infallible in judgment, believing that he, and he only, progressed to the true theory of society, that to him had been assigned the mission of banishing ignorance, vice, and misery from the world,
he was not to be daunted by any amount of opposition, nor by any number of failures. He remained at eighty-seven as confident in himself and in his theories, as he was in the days of his youth. All opposition to his measures or dissent from his principles was attributed to ignorance, malice, or bigotry. He came at last almost to look upon mankind, as has been said of another man, as little more than a greater anti-Owen society. His grand difficulty was that he attempted to solve a problem leaving out its two principal factors. He ignored the depravity of man, and the providence and grace of God. Before he had entered on his teens he had arrived at the conclusion, after, as he supposed, thorough investigation, that all religions are false. To this conclusion he adhered through life. His doctrine was that human character is formed by circumstances. A man is what he is simply because of his surroundings. He can infallibly be made good or bad by changing the external circumstances of his being. So that there are no good or bad men, but only good or bad cultivators. No man is responsible for his character or conduct. For conduct is determined by character, and character depends as absolutely on circumstances as health on climate and diet. To secure favourable circumstances, he proposed to forin into societies, either on the coöperative or communistic principle. All preferences for one's own interest, offspring, or country, were to be renounced. Communities were to be formed, occupying each its own district, having the products of labour in common, all eating together as one family, all dressing alike, and the children all educated alike. Any man, however sceptical as to religion, could foresee that all such schemes were as preposterous as an attempt to make trees and flowers of the same size and colour. Of course Owen's schemes failed. During the later period of his life he became a spiritualist, affording another illustration of the truth that our only choice is between religion and superstition. If we reject the one, we embrace the other. The volume before us is elegantly printed. It is written by a Christian, who, while he . gives the subject of the memoir full credit for all his excellencies, and for all the good he incidentally accomplished, does not fail to exhibit his gross errors of principle, and mistakes in practice. The work is instructive and interesting. Meditations in Advent, on Creation, and on Providence. By Henry Alford,
D. D., Dean of Canterbury. Alexander Strahan, Publisher, 148 Strand, London; and 178 Grand street, New York. 1865. Pp. 240.
Dean Alford is best known in this country as the author of a critical commentary on the New Testament, a work evincing
ripe scholarship. He is also a poet, and the writer of a popular book of travels, and of other works in general literature. The title of the present volume will probably create a misapprehension of its character. By “meditations," when written, we generally mean the expression of devout feelings awakened by religious truth. Dean Alford uses the word in its wider sense, for thoughts, or studies. He proposes to exhibit the great doctrines of the Advent, Creation, and Providence, free from the technicalities of theology. Nevertheless the work is didactic. It is addressed more immediately to the intelligence than to the feelings. As a commentator Dr. Alford is somewhat latitudinarian, he often expresses himself in ways which cannot be reconciled with any very strict views of the inspiration of the Scriptures. In this volume he seems to receive the most difficult doctrines of revelation with a submissive faith. Whatever he may be as a theologian, as an instructor of the people he is an Augustinian. He says things which would satisfy the most orthodox Calvinist. This, good men, who speak out of their own experience, and from the conviction derived immediately from the Bible, can hardly avoid doing, The great difficulties connected with the doctrine of Providence, the foreknowledge and foreordination of God, and his absolute control over all events, whether great or small, whether necessary or free, are stated and admitted. Both classes of truth, those concerning the government and sovereignty of God, and the free agency and responsibility of man, are fully recognized. Their reconciliation is not attempted, and is pronounced impossible for man with his limited powers in the present state of his existence. Yet the denial of either, it is shown, works fatal evil. To the intelligent Christian this will prove a useful book. To the sceptic or the philosopher it will not present such great attractions. Hope for the Hopeless. An Autobiography of John Vine IIall, author of
“The Sinner's Friend.” Edited by Rev. Newman Hall, LL.B. of Surrey Chapel, London. Abridged with the author's consent. American Tract Society. Pp. 264.
In his youth Mr. Hall was a gay, worldly man, and became addicted to intemperance. Redeemed from this degradation, after many struggles and much suffering, he became an eminent Christian and a zealous advocate of total abstinence from intoxicating drinks. His tract, or little book, has had an extraordinary circulation, over one million five hundred thousand copies of it having been distributed.
Miscellanies from the Writings of Edward Irving. Alexander Strahan &
Co., Publishers, 148 Strand, London, and 178 Grand street, New York. 1865. Pp. 487.
Edward Irving was a man of so much genius and power, and the promise of his early life was so encouraging, that the friends of religion in Great Britain have not yet ceased to regret that he should have been turned aside from the paths of usefulness into those of innovation. Apart from his eccentricities and errors, there is much profound thought, and much of devout sentiment to be found in his writings. The extracts contained in this volume are arranged under the heads, Ethical, Doctrinal, Practical, &c. In the second of these classes are brought to light most of the author's peculiar views on the Trinity, Incarnation, Person and work of Christ, &c. Besides the inherent value of much that is embraced in this collection, it has the advantage of presenting in few words and under distinct heads, the opinions of a man whose influence is still felt in England and America. The Elements of Moral Science. By Francis Wayland, D.D., LL.D., late
President of Brown University, and Professor of Moral Philosophy. Revised and Improved Edition. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. New York: Sheldon & Co. Cincinnati: J. S. Blanchard & Co. 1805. Pp. 396.
The first edition of this popular work was published in 1835. Its final revision and correction was one of the last efforts of its lamented author. Dr. Wayland as a fluent and pleasing writer, as a sound theologian, and teacher of a system of morals in all its essential elements in accordance with the truth, has a reputation so extensive and so well established, that this improved edition of the work by which he is most favourably known needs no further recommendation to the public. A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe. By John William
Draper, M. D., LL.D., Professor of Chemistry and Physiology in the University of New York. Second Edition. New York: Harper &
Brothers, Publishers. 1864. Thoughts on the Future Civil Policy of America. By John William
Draper, M. D., LL.D., Professor, &c. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers. 1865.
Professor Draper has long been known, not only as an eminent chemist and physiologist, but generally as a physicist, having a somewhat encyclopediac view of the whole field of physical science. The titles of his later works show that he is stretching, beyond this great domain, into the realms of the nonphysical, the phenomena of our intellectual and moral nature. His main scope in these works, however, is to survey all subjects of the latter class from the stand-point of physical science, and