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pose to be correct; we mean so far as it regards the manner in which Unitarianism was historically developed here. The coloring, indeed, may be somewhat heightened; for this would naturally be the case in such a history, written by an Episcopalian, dispassionate and honorably disposed, as the writer seems to be. There may, also, be inferences, here and there suggested, which a reader, with different attachments, will think unwarranted. Some points are evidently strained beyond historical fact; as when it is said that Unitarians "extended the grasp of cordial fellowship" to Universalists. They did so, in no other way than as they extended it to all Christian sects.
The writer seems to think, (p. 29,) that Dr. Mayhew left nothing in his works which absolutely proves his rejection of Trinitarianism. He cannot have seen the note on pp. 417, 418, of a volume of his Sermons, published at Boston, in 1755. It is also said, (p. 53,) that the Treatise on the Atonement, by Mr. Ballou, (" by Ballou, the Universalist leader,") was published in
1803. It should be 1805.
In the early history of every denomination, there is some one characteristic fault of a moral kind. The Unitarians happily avoided most of those which have marked the rise of other sects. Would that they had also avoided the one here described! Still there are considerations that extenuate, though they cannot justify, the offence. So gradual was the divergence of opinions, and for a long time so slow was its progress, that the forerunners of the Unitarians, and then the early Unitarians themselves, were led, almost imperceptibly and unconsciously, into the practice of concealment. But there is a law in this matter, which works as surely as do the laws of physical nature. The practice became, at length, a habit; the concealment, had, by degrees, gathered under its folds a mass of opinions so unpopular, that no ordinary courage would suffice to draw aside the veil, and astound the church. It seemed a matter of necessity, now, that it should be maintained. Like all other habits, too, it grew more and more inveterate, more systematic. It gave rise to false maxims, to keep itself in countenance. The rule that all religious doctrines were indifferent, was needed, not merely to ward off unwelcome interrogations, but also to satisfy the conscience. But here again, there is a law that works with fatal certainty. This rule, or plea, once adopted, though under tacit reservations, was as sure to be followed, in due time, by Mr. Parker's "Discourse on Religion," as the grain that is sown is sure to produce a harvest of its kind; for the plea itself logically involves the germ of infidelity. With religious bodies, as with individuals, it is not what they resolve, that determines their course and results; it is the principles they
cherish. These are living forces, that will develope themselves according to their laws, in spite of all we can do the contrary.
Should this pamphlet give additional impulse to the good work in which we think the Unitarians are now engaging, — should it move them to a more general determination to correct the one fault that has come down to them like an "original sin," they will have cause to rejoice in its publication, whatever may have been the object of the writer.
2. Universalism the Doctrine of the Bible. By Rev. Asher Moore. Philadelphia: Printed for the Publisher, by J. H. Gihon, N. E. Corner of Sixth and Chesnut Sts., 1847. 12mo. pp. 196.
Without attempting any acute argumentations, or aiming at profound and exhaustive processes of reasoning, Mr. Moore has given us a very plain, sensible, and familiar illustration of the general field of Scripture doctrine, contrasted with the schemes of human invention, both ancient and modern. He does not descend to minute points, but presents the broad principles of his subject, and then follows them out, on the direct highway, to their results. The being, purpose, and government of God, the original and present condition of man, the character of Christ, together with the process and final consummation of his work, are the topics treated of. The book is written in a clear, popular style, and with a good degree of correctness.
3. Christian Non-resistance, in all its important bearings, Illustrated and Defended. By Adin Ballou. Philadelphia: J. Miller M'Kim, No. 31 N. Fifth street, 1846.
This book is one of the ablest we have seen, devoted to the subject of Non-resistance. Its author is a close and strong reasoner. He has written often and well, on various philanthropic subjects, but never more to the purpose than in this book. Whether he is correct in all his positions, will be questioned. But we should like very much for the questioner to fall into the hands of the author of this book.
He says, in his Preface, that "it is a book for the future, rather than the present, and will be better appreciated by the public, half a century hence, than now." He believes that "a better future is now dawning," and that "a work like this is needed to help develope the coming age of love and peace." The book contains seven chapters, as follows: 1, Explanatory Definitions. 2, Scriptural Proofs. 3, Scriptural Objections Answered. 4, Nonresistance not contrary to Nature. 5, The Safety of Non-resist6, General Objections Answered. 7, Non-resistance in Relation to Government. It is written in a very readable style ;
and will interest almost any one who loves reading at all. The author makes straight work with what he calls evasions and objections, often used in opposition to his doctrine, and calls in many facts to illustrate and enforce his positions. We hope the book will be extensively read. We have no fears that its extravagancies, if any, will do harm, while we have much confidence in the Christian spirit which pervades it.
4. Locke Amsden, or, The Schoolmaster: a Tale. By the Author of "Mary Martin," "The Green Mountain Boys," &c. &c., Boston: Benjamin B. Mussey & Co., No. 29 Cornhill, 1847. 12mo. pp. 231.
A Novel, which it will harm no one to read, who has leisure to spare for the purpose; and this is a commendation that can justly be given to few works belonging to this department of literature. The author informs us that it was "written less with the hope of gaining literary fame, than of awakening an interest, and imparting useful hints," on the subject of common schools, popular education, and self-intellectual culture. Miss Martineau's tales, or Illustrations of Political Economy, may have suggested fiction as the medium of conveying the sentiments; but we see no special resemblance between his work and hers, in other respects. His abounds more in stirring incidents, and in painting of manners, than the most of hers, if we remember aright. It is respectable in point of artistic merit; though we think it is in this that the author's greatest deficiency appears. He is a little prosy, now and then; and his language sometimes betrays a want of practice in composition. These, however, are but slight faults. The characters are well presented, as they are well chosen, the plot is easy and natural throughout, the manners are described to the life, and the interest of the story is sufficiently exciting, without becoming violent. There is more living human nature in the book, than we have found in any other recent novel that we now recollect. But its greatest excellence, we think, is the perfectly healthful tone which pervades it, so different from the morbidness that is now the rage. There is a quant. suff. of love, in it; but then it is love, such as a man need not be ashamed to feel, nor a woman to reciprocate. We had not seen any real love in a novel, or tale, for a long time. We thought the genuine article had utterly died out, and that its place would have to be supplied, till Miller's advent, by the artificial elixir that has flooded our market, or, still worse, by the vile philtres imported from France, and recompounded by some of our own geniuses. But we take courage, again.
Among the characters of the story, that of the noble-hearted Capt. Bunker, the good school-committee man, who could neither
write nor read, is an original, well drawn, and supported throughout. His clear common sense, and his general information, and even science, notwithstanding his total ignorance of letters, are brought out in striking relief, and made to serve at once the two objects of illustrating the importance of self-education, and of school-instruction. The other characters also, do credit to the author's acquaintance with human nature, and his true appreciation of it under its different phases.
5. History of the Conquest of Peru, with a Preliminary View of the Civilization of the Incas. By William H. Prescott, Corresponding Member of the French Institute; of the Royal Academy of History at Madrid, etc. &c. &c. New York: Harper and Brothers, 82 Cliff street, 1847. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 527, 547.
We have neither space for a regular notice of this work, nor time to write one, even were we capable of doing the subject justice. It is but repeating the opinions of critics on both sides of the Atlantic, to say that it sustains the reputation Mr. Prescott had acquired, by his two former historical works, and that it is a production which, like them, will reflect lasting honor on the literature of our country. It will take its place among the few classic histories in the English language. To those acquainted with his Ferdinand and Isabella, or with his Conquest of Mexico, it is unnecessary to say any thing of the manner of its execution, the exhaustive collection of documents and authorities, the systematic arrangement of the work, and the clear, pleasant, and picturesque style of the author, which, like a garment of light, invests the whole. If the conquest itself of Peru wants the unity of action, and the imposing grandeur which characterize that of Mexico, the scenes in detail are scarcely less stirring. The same wonder is awakened at the extent to which the natives, in both cases, had carried their civilization, and at the wealth and magnificence of the two empires, when they were invaded by the Spanish adventurers. Nor is it less surprising, to mark how the innumerable hosts of the New World melted away before the handful of warriors from the Old. It becomes a citizen of our country to say nothing, at present, of the horrible waste of human life, which drenched in blood the homes of the devoted people, at every step in the progress of the invasion.