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Communion Thoughts. By S. G. BULFINCH. Boston: William Crosby &
H. P. Nichols. 12mo, pp. 204.
This volume adds to the merit of being well written a warm, devotional spirit, which commends it to the heart. To us the communion has a higher value and significance than the views of Christ here developed admit, but far as these views go they win upon the heart, and those like-minded with the author will dwell on his pages with satisfaction and benefit. The Meditations in Verse which form Part V. remind us of Keble, though to our taste better than most of the Poems contained in the Christian Year.
Art. X.-INTELLIGENCE. AMERICAN BAPTIST Missionary Union.—The annual meeting of the Missionary Union was held at Buffalo, the Board commencing its sittings May 14, and the Union May 16. The Rev. Dr. E. Tucker, of Illinois, presided over the former, in the absence of the Hon. James H. Duncan, who was detained at Washington by public duties. His Excellency, Gov. Briggs, presided over the Union. The attendance was very large, the place of the meeting inviting a large number of members . from the West. Everything relating to the affairs of the Union was reported as in a prosperous condition. The receipts of the year ending March 31, 1850, were $104,837 20, and the expenditures $101,447 23 ;-leaving a balance in favor of the treasury of $3,389 97, with which the debt existing at the beginning of the year has been reduced to $21,501 09. Of the receipts $9,000 were grants from the American and Foreign Bible Society for Bible translation, printing, and distribution in Asia and Europe ; $2,200 from the American Tract Society for Tracts in Europe and Asia ; and $4,000 from the United States Government for the civilization of Indians of North America. . The number of missions under the charge of the Union is 17; of stations and out-stations, 329; of missionaries, 56—of whom 52 are preachers; of female assistant missionaries, 57;
with 214 native preachers and other assistants ; whole number of laborers, 320. The number of churches is 151, with 12,290 members; and of schools 102, with 2,648 pupils; the number of additions to the churches on profession of faith, more than 1,236.
The officers elected were—Hon. George N. Briggs, LL. D., President ; Rev. Bartholomew T. Welch, D. D., and Rev. Elisha Tucker, D. D., Vice Presidents ; and Rev. William H. Shailer, Recording Secretary. The Board at the meeting succeeding the Union elected officers as follows: Chairman, Hon. Ira Harris
, LL D.; Recording Secretary, Rev. Morgan J. Rhees; Executive Committee, Rer. Baron Stow, D. Ď., Rev. Röllin H. Neale, Rev. William H. Shailer, Rev. Joseph W. Parker, Rev. Robert E. Pattison, D. D., Hon. Heman Lincoln, and Messrs. S. G. Shipley, J. W. Converse, and Benjamin Smith; Corresponding Secretaries, Rev. Solomon Peck, D. D., and Rev. Elward Bright, Jr.; Treasurer, Richard E. Eddy, Esq.; Auditors, Messrs. Charles D. Gould and Joshua Loring.
AMERICAN BAPTIST Home Mission SOCIETY. --- The eighteenth annual meeting was held in New York, on Thursday, May 9, 1850, John P. Crozer, Esq., of Pa, one of the Vice Presidents, presiding. The Annual Report was read by Rev. Benjamin M. Hill, Corresponding Secretary. The receipts of the year have been $26,443 52, and the disbursements $25,403 46. There has been an increase in the receipts over those of the preceding year of $4,324 45, besides $647 43 for the Home Mission Record. The number of agents and missionaries in the employ of the Society is 117. They report 949 baptisms, and 33 churches organized. The following officers were elected: President, Hon. Isaac Davis, LL. P.; Vice Presidents, Messrs. William Colgate and John P. Crozer ; Treasurer, Mr. Charles J. Martin ; Auditor, Mr. Garrat N. Bleecker; Corresponding Secretary, Rev. Benjamin M. Hill; Recording Secretary, Rev. Edward Lathrop; with fifteen Managers residing in New-York and vicinity.
AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY. --- The eleventh annual meeeting of the American Baptist Publication Society was held in Philadelphia, May 1. The An
GERMANY. Among the consequences of the failure of the late revolutionary movements, and the state of excitement and uncertainty with regard to further political developments, the one most deeply to be regretted is the effect the revolution has had on the literary activity of the German scholars. We see almost all of them in the ranks of political parties, moving in the cloudy regions of undigested political theories; and, whilst they thus busy themselves, neglect their wonted literary pursuits, for which the world is accustomed to pay them the just tribute of sincere admiration. Literature seems for the time being to have sustained a paralyzing check in Germany, and even the fertile field of Theology has produced less of any importance in the last year than in any previous one for half a century. We regret among other things the discontinuance of valuable periodicals, as Tholuck's Literarischer Anzeiger, (Literary Advertiser for Theology and Sciences in general,) Richter's Christlicher Beobachter, (Christian Observer,) Sächsische Kirchenzeitung, (Saxon Church News,) Menzel's Literaturblatt, (Literary Criticisms,) Jenaische Literaturzeitung, (the world-known standard critical journal, published in Jena since 1804,) Leipziger Missionsblatt, Fichte's and Ulrici's Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Kritik, (Journal of Philosophy and Criticism,) Græfe's and Clemen's Pädagogische Zeitung, (Pedagogical Journal) Brandes' Literarische Zeitung, (Literary News.)
We have never witnessed a similar falling off, and believe ourselves justified in ascribing it to the strange political commotion in Germany. The Vierteljahrsschrift für Theologie und Kirche of Lücke and Wieseler (Quarterly Theological and Church Review) has been changed into a monthly. The Archæologische Zeitung of Gerhard (Archæological Researches) has been changed into “ Denkmäler, Forschungen, und Berichte," (Archæological Monuments, Researches, and Reports,) and is published quarterly.
Among the periodicals which are continued with regularity we quote: Studien und Kritiken (Studies und Criticisms) of Ullmann and Umbreit, Reuter's Reperto rium, Hengstenberg's Kirchenzeitung, Berliner Allgemeine Kirchenzeitung, Rudelbach's and Guerike's Zeitschrift für Lutherische Theologie und Kirche, (Journal for Lutheran Theology, &c.,) Hirscher's and Staudenmaier's Zeitschrift für Theologie. And we hail with joy as valuable accessions to the periodical theological literature: Niedner's Zeitschrift für Historische Theologie, (Quarterly Review for Historical Theology,) and Ewald's Jahrbücher, (Annuals of Biblical Knowledge,) of which two volumes have appeared.
Theile has finished his edition of the Hebrew Bible, which is very correct and neatly printed. He has not, however, superseded Hahn's beautiful large type edition, which is so justly appreciated in this country, both for the admirable type and for its perfect correctness. The highly esteemed Polyglott Bible of Stier and Theile is progressing, and will probably be completed this year.
Of new commentaries we notice: Thenius's Books of Kings, with an appendix (which also has been published separately) containing a treatise on the anti-exilian Jerusalem and its temple. This is the ninth volume of the Exegetical Manual, edited by Hitzig, Hirzel and others, and well known among American theologians. Hengstenberg on the Apocalypse, volume the first, has been received with great joy, and it is deeply regretted that a full year will elapse before the second and last volume will be issued.-L. Stengel's Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews has been edited from his posthumous papers by Dr. Jos. Beck, and this new work of the distinguished liberal Catholic assumes deservedly a place at the side of those previously issued by the same editor.—Stier (the author of " Reden Jesu") has published several smaller works, which, like everything from the pen of this new leader of orthodoxy, have been received with marked pleasure by the theological critics, viz.: Die Politik der Weisheit in den Worten Agur's und Lemuel's, (The Policy of Wisdom in the Words of Agur and Lemuel, Prov. xxx., xxxi.;) Der Weise ein König, (The Wise Man a King,) a commentary on Solomon ; Iesaias
, nicht Pseudo-Iesaias, (Isaiah not Pseudo-Isaiah, commentary on prophesies, xl. to 1x.;) and a commentary on Jude's epistle.—Meyer's esteemed commentary on the New Testament is continued, and will probably be completed this year.-Tholuck has issued the third edition of his appendices to the commentary on the Hebrews under the titles, “ Das Alte Testament im Neuen Testamente," (on quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament,) and “Ueber den Opfer und Priesterbegriff im Alten und Neuen Testament,” (on the Idea of Sacrafice and Priesthood in the Old and New Testaments.) We notice also the continuation of his sermons on the commotions of the times. Those of our readers who are acquainted with this eminent theologian, remember that he holds religion incompatible with the idea of a republic, and they will from this easily infer the tendency of these sermons.— Neander has issued two small practical commentaries on the epistles of James and St. Paul to the Philippians, in the form of notes to an amended German version of the Scriptures commenced by Schneider.
In historical theology, we notice little of importance. The second edition of Gieseler's Church History is approaching completion ;-the fourth volume of Marheinecke's Theological Lectures has been issued by Matthies and Vatke; it contains the History of Dogmas ;-Hundeshagen's able work on the German Protestantism has passed into its third edition ;-Rudelbach continues his Christian Biographies; those issued are of Cyprianus, Ambrosius, and Tauler ;-Douai has published valuable chronological tables of Church History ;-Hagenbach has finished the second edition of his excellent Church History of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in two vols.
In practical theology, we notice with particular pleasure the completion of the second (posthumous) edition of Schott's Theorie der Beredtsamkeit, (Theory of Elocution,) the standard work in this branch.
[In this connection the editor of the Christian Review is happy to say, that gentlemen desiring German works, in procuring them from Mr. Rudolph Garrigue, 6 Barclay street, (Astor House,) New-York, or ordering them from Germany through him, will find themselves abundantly gratified by his promptness and accuracy, and by his liberal and honorable dealing. His stock of German books is large and select, and his correspondence with Germany regular and extensive.]
No. LXII.-OCTOBER, 1850.
ART. I.-CONFESSIONS OF AUGUSTINE.
In studying the history of religious opinions, two considerations are indispensable to a just practical judgment. No one age is independent of those which have preceded it. No individual, however original may be the character of his mind, is independent of the speculative results of his contemporaries. The errors of others, especially the prevalent errors of an age, modify or obscure the truth in the soundest minds; or are, by a false analysis, appended to what is true and carried along with it. The most discriminating intellect is aided in obtaining clear perceptions of truth by the developing and eliminating process through which it has passed in other minds. It is not however to be overlooked, that the most successful method of studying an age, or rightly understanding the manner in which any opinion has been apprehended and set forth in that age, is to study the character and opinions of one of its master spirits. Frequently a single great mind is a focal point, the light of which, contrary to the ordinary laws of nature, instead of making obscure the lesser lights, renders them more obvious. There is not, probably, a single idea in Jonathan Edwards's incomparable Treatise on the Human Will wholly new,-seed and trunk,—but he often brings out to the open light of day what had been but feebly conceived and obscurely expressed by his predecessors; and it is through him we are enabled to understand what they were feeling after.
Religious truth is rarely more tinged by the medium through which it shines than in the fifth century,—the age of AugusVOL. XV.NO. LXII.
tine. And no age can we study with greater profit for a right apprehension of many of the doctrinal views of evangelical Christians of the present day. If the doctrinal development of the Trinity were the subject of investigation, an earlier period should be selected. We should begin with Justin Martyr in the latter half of the second century, when the doctrines of the gospel came first in contact with intellects of Greek discipline and with the principles of the Platonic philosophy. And if we would understand the methods of reasoning and the peculiar language of the formulas of the church on that subject, we must trace down the stream through the Alexandrian school to the Council of Nice. Clement, Origen, and Athanasius are the teachers of that period, only made more intelligible by familiarity with the opposing doctrines of Praxeas, Noetus, Beryll, and Sabellius, or with those of Arius and his Eastern associates. But though the Divine nature, revealed as consisting in God the Father, and in the personal distinctions and divinity of the Son and Holy Spirit, received at that time ampler discussion than it had previously, or has since till after the Reformation, anthropological discussions had chiefly their commencement in the fifth century. Man, his nature and moral condition as a sinner,—sin, its origin and development,-grace as a divine influence acting on the human will, free or enslaved, and restoring in the soul the life of God, had not been studied as subjects of scientific inquiry. They had been hitherto objects of observation and facts of experience, from which few general principles had been deduced. Such deductions had not been attempted. To reconcile doctrine with doctrine, especially the acknowledged principles of human nature with those of the Divine agency and perfections, so as to meet with a response from enlightened and philosophic reason, was, if possible, more difficult than the doctrine of the Trinity. The
doctrine of the Trinity, as well as that of the two natures and one person of Christ, possesses more for ever absolutely inaccessible to the approach of human reason; yet on this account less perplexity is experienced from them. The field of investigation is narrowed as that of faith is widened. What cannot receive a scientific solution, and ought to be and must be believed on the naked authority of revelation, includes most that is difficult in these subjects. This is not the fact in Anthropology. Though there are points which never have been satisfactorily explained, such as the successful influence of temptation on the free will while under the dominion of holy affections, including aversion to sin,—the difference or identity of the cause