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In what follows there is nothing remarkable, because if Christ is really a human being only, there cannot be much room for laborious criticism or ingenious illustration of passages in which he is represented as a man. The parade of mathematical reasoning in page 147 is, we think, childish and unnecessary. The remarks in section 2, upon the meaning of the word son, are acute, and upon the
rayer of Christ upon the cross, #. To prove Christ a distinct and dependent being, we have found no place in the present volume, where the reasons are more forcibly stated than in the following passage.
Moreover, as no one is excepted from subjection to the mediatorial Son, but he who did put all things under him, which is the Father from whom the Son received the kingdom, and to whom he delivers it up, it is plain, that the Holy Ghost is not excepted, and must be one who is subjected to the Son. And as the Son is to give all that government which he received into the hands of the Father, he must give the government over the Holy Ghost into his hands, so that at the conclusion of the economy of redemption the Holy Ghost will still be under the rule of the Father : Contrary to their doctrine on this subject. Finally, If the Son is to deliver up the kingdom to the three persons jointly confidered, then he must deliver up the kingdom to himself, he being one of these persons. P. 168. We wish that we had room to extract the remarks on the form used in baptism, and on the term Holy Spirit. But we can only say of the last section, that, in our opinion, it is the most ingenious, plausible, and impressive in the whole volume. We do not say conclusive, for this reason, among others, that we might be thought to intend a pun. The style of Mr. S. though not flowing and polite, is generally correct, and sufficiently elegant for polemick writings. We think that he is sometimes too familiar, and sometimes too dogmatical. His mode of attacking his adversaries resembles more the untutored and natural dexterity of a rustick boxer, than the graceful flourishes of a practised fencing master. By declining to establish any scheme of his own, relating to the person of Christ, it is evident, that Mr. S. combats the trinitaTians with much advantage. Other controversialists have commonly wasted their strength in defending some heretical offspring of their own brain, and by this incumbrance have exposed themselves to more formidable attacks, as a
man fights under great disadvantages with a child in his arms. We have been thus copious in our account of this book, on account of the novelty, the boldness, and the force of the attack which it makes on a doctrine, which is at least professedly believed by a large majority of the clergy of New-England. If they read this book, they will be sensible that it must either be answered, or thrown by with affected contempt; for though it contains not an argument against the doctrine of the trinity which has not been often repeated, still it offers a kind of challenge to the orthodox, and is written, we believe, with the most undissembled conviction. Let the inexperienced reader however keep in mind, “ that one great advantage possessed by the Unitarians in their warfare with the orthodox results from the very circumstance of their being the assailants. If the Unitarians or even the Deists were considered in their turn as masters of the field, and were in their turn attacked, both by arguments tending to disprove their system directly and to disprove it indirectly, it is likely they would soon appear wholly unable to keep their ground.”* * Wilberforce.
Familiar Letters to the Reverend John Sherman, once fiastor of a church in Mansfield, in fiarticular reference to his late Antitrinitarian treatise. By Daniel Dow, fiastor of a church in Thomfison, (Com.) Hartford. 1806. 8vo. ff. 51.
From this familiar letter writer the person of Mr. Sherman is in much greater danger than his ar
guments. Our readers perhaps will esteem us partial, uncandid, and heretical for such an apparently contumelious remark; but we confidently rest our justification on their unbiassed judgment, if they should ever happen to read these letters, which discover the utmost contempt of scriptural criticism, ignorance of theological opinions, impudence of style, and bigotry of doctrine.
-American Annals ; or a chronological history of America from its discovery in 1492 to 1806. In two volumes. By Mbiel Holmes, D. D. M. A. S. minister of the Jirst church in Cambridge. Vol. I. confirising a fieriod of two hundred years. Cambridge. W. Hilliard. 8vo.
IN Rome the people were careful to mark down the occurrences of every year. Hence the name of Annals. This register was safely preserved, but at the same time exposed to publick inspection, that every one might read it, and every error be corrected by those who could give the most accurate information. The affairs of that city and empire are therefore better known, than the rise and progress of other nations. We know not only what was done by their consuls, but even the names of the consuls, from Brutus and Collatinus to the destruction of the empire. If similar records had been kept and preserved in other nations, or if historical societies were formed in every community, who should make it their business to note transactions rather than to write upon the times, the advantages resulting to the cause of truth Vol. III. No. 5. 2 I
would be exceedingly important. Such institutions would at least provide instruction for those grave and sober-minded readers who look after facts, instead of seeking for amusement in fabulous stories. Individuals have done this among ourselves. The fathers of New England, though in some things too superstitious, were careful to note down, not only what was extraordinary or marvellous, but also common events, the occurrences of the year, the names of persons who were raised to honour, together with many particular circumstances by which posterity might judge of their characters. Winthroft, Johnson, and Prince enabled Hubbard, JVeal and Hutchinson to give very correct information of the , affairs of Massachusetts. ... We say nothing of the Magnadia, that comflages rerum, where facts, fables, biography, &c. &c. are mingled in such a strange manner, as to be a chaos of remarks, rather than of materials ; and where the writer, whenever he tells what he himself believes, is sure to stagger the faith of others. Dr. Holmes has extended the plan of his work and calls it American Annals. “While local histories of particular portions of America have been written, no attempt, he says, has been made to give even the outline of its entire history.” We think him very capable of doing this, and that the .4merican Annals contain a great deal of information ; many historical documents; and a variety of knowledge, for which the laborious author deserves the thanks of the friends of literature. Dr. H. is well known as an author, many of his compositions are before the Publick, and very few works of biography, written in this country, can be compared with his life of Dr. Stiles. The Annals, in our opinion, must add to his reputation as an author, and the work will certainly be more generally useful. It has been uniformly his aim “ to trace facts, as much as possible, to their source.” Original authors have the preference ; and this is an apology “for the occasional introduction of passages, that will not be generally understood.” These are put into marginal notes, and may gratify a number of his readers. We are likewise pleased with his retaining the obsolete style “and orthography of certain writers, for by this we may know. more of them, and their works. Many think this useless, and that it only incumbers the pages ; but certainly we want “the marks of authentick documents”; and why. should not the antiquary be gratified with his dry morsel, as well, others who relish the luxury of sentiment, and are sometimes very fastidious in their taste § - We know not a better plan of writing annals, than the Dr. has chosen, especially if the book be designed for a library; instead of being once read and thrown aside. His accuracy of research would have been unnecessary, if it were not to be considered as a book of reference, to which we resort when our attention is dissipated, and which will be useful to some who have time to read but little, and who can here gather facts, that before were scattered over many volumes. We have read with pleasure many observations and lively remarks in the American Annals, especially in the Notes, which an ordinary writer would never make, even in a book designed for entertailiment more than use-; but
which men of taste and sentiment can scatter over the driest parts of learning. The first volume comprises the history of two centuries, i. e. from the voyage of Columbus, 1492, to the year 1562. The annals of 1691 are confined to New-York, and Virginia, and to a few facts. The firovince was divided into ten counties. Major Schuyler with a fiarty of Mohawks went over Lake Champlain and attacked the French settlements. There were some events, however, very important to Massachusetts, which took place that year. The cruelty of the Indians was excessive upon our frontiers; and the famousCharter of William and Mary was granted. ...Perhaps Dr. II. reserves the notice of this tothe succeeding year, when it arrived and was accepted by the people. As it is one of the very important events in the history of New Fngland, we hope he will give some account of the struggles of our agents in England, and the very important change that was made in the government. The old patriots never liked it. The more moderate, as well as the loyal party, always thought it was better than the old one ; as it put some check upon the phrensy of democracy, at the same time that it secured all our cssential rights. We would recommend to the consideration of this respectable inquirer a curious extract in the 9th volume of Historical Collections—the conversation between King William and Dr. Increase Mather. It is the earnest wish of all who have read this first volume of American Annals, that the second may soon appear, and that Dr. Holmes may meet with every encouragement in carrying on a work of such a considerable magnitude among our literary productions. The first hundred pages relate to the voyages which were made
by the Spaniards, or other nations
of Europe,before the English adventurers took any distinguished part. Another hundred pages describe events previously to the Sctlement of New Plymouth. Though modern writers are quoted, and references are made to the pages where events are recorded, it is evident, that the author has read the original writers; and he also quotes from them both in the original and the translation. Herrera, Peter Mutza, Diaz, Casas, &c. as well as Robertson and Clavigero. Robertson, so much celebrated among the historians of modern Europe on account of his manly and beautiful style, is not so much to be depended upon for facts, as many who appear in a more plain dress. He is accused by Clavigero and others of great partiality ; and his mind might be above that very minute attention to things, which an Annalist should make the object of his care. Dr. H. says, in a note upon the discovery of America, “ Some Spanish authors have ungenerously insinuated that Columbus was led to this great enterprise by information of a country to the West, with the additional advantage of a journal,” &c. He refers to Hackluyt and Robertson, Appendix, No. 17. for a confirmation of this. There was no necessity of touching upon this controversy in his Annals. He had only to mention the voyage of Columbus. But if he said any thing, he ought to have said more. Since the discussion of Robertson, the matter has been auore disputed than ever, and
not by Spaniards only, Mr. Otto wrote a paper upon this subject in the second volume of the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, which has been reprinted in more than one country of Europe ; and endeavtours to prove by Robertson's concessions, as well as additional evidences, that Columbus was assisted very much by Martin Behem, who sailed in 1484 from Portugal, and discovered Brazil, and other parts of S. America. - “ In 1492 the Chevalier Behem undertook a journey to visit Nuremberg, his native country. He there made a terrestrial globe, which is looked upon as a master piece for the time, and which is still preserved in the library of that city. The outlines of his discoveries may there be seen under the name of Western Lands, and from their situation it cannot be doubted they are the present coasts of Brazil,” &c. “This globe was made the same year Columbus sat out on his voyage. Therefore it is impossible that Behem could be profited by the discoveries of this navigator, who went a more northeriy course.” o Though Dr. Robertson treats the history of Behem as the fiction of some German authors ; yet he acknowledges that “Behem had settled at Fayal ; that he was the intimate friend of Christopher Columbus ; and that Mogolian had a globe made by Behem, by the help of which he undertook his voyage to the South Sea,” &c. . He relates also that in 1492 he paid a visit to his family at Nuremberg, and left there a map, drawn by himself, of which Dr. Forster procured a copy, and which in His opinion partakes of the imperfection of cosmographi