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the soul. It furnishes a judicious the maintenance of family government parent with an opportunity of glancing and order, while its spiritual advantages at faults, where direct admonition might are invaluable." be inespedient. It greatly conduces to
Review of Religious Publications.
THE ECLIPSE OF FAITH; or, A l'isit to a of infidelity, of greater power, or more de
Religious Sceptic. 8vo., pp. 458. cidedly useful tendency, than “The Eclipse Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. of Faith.” A name, however revered in the We have heard that the equanimity of the annals of our Christian literature, could have Westminster Reviewers has been greatly dis- added nothing to the effect which an Essay so turbed by this formidable assault upon the remarkable in grasp of knowledge is fitted to class of men and opinions which they patron- produce ;-though, had the author's name ize. In due time we shall see what forces been given, we have reason to believe it they can bring into the field to uphold the would have been sufficient guarantee for tottering fabric of that Babel-confusion- masculine thought, large resources, and firstmodern infidelity.
rate ability in English composition. These Our anonymous Author has given them qualities may be traced in every page of the some rather serious work to accomplish ; and work; and some of the shallow thinkers of though their troops are, after a fashion, well- the day, who have lent themselves to the disciplined, we suspect that men of the New- cause of infidelity, may well feel themselves man and Martincau training will do but little rebuked as they ponder some of his witherto ward off the heavy fire of artillery which 'ing caveats against the flippant scepticism this veteran warrior of the Buller-camp which they have borrowed from the German has opened upon the “ spiritualists ” of Ger- mint. He has made it palpable, we should many, and their somewhat raw recruits in hope to themselves, that the half-way house this country.
in which they have taken refuge is a frail If the writer of “The Eclipse of Faith” tenement, ready to tumble about their ears, has done no other good service to the cause —that it is, in fact, an utterly untenable of truth, he has at least made it manifest to thing, having neither the stability of a veri. the common sense of mankind, that the table faith, nor the downright honesty of a spiritualism of the Bible is not to be pla- fearless unbelief. We deem it all the more giarised and appropriated by men of the dangerous, because it compliments the spirit Newman-school, wliile they deny the Divine of the Bible, wliile it seeks to destroy its authority of the Book to which they are evidence ;-that it prates about its Divinity, indebted for their purest and loftiest concep- while it excludes the direct intervention of tions. He has fixed them on the horns of an its Author,-thus resolving all its unique and awkward dilemma ;—and they must either marvellous phenomena into a mere developaccount, on their own principles, for the match- ment of human nature, which, according to less spiritualism of the Bible, or they must the new-school, is a law and a revelation to show cause why it should not be received as itself-the only law--the only revelation, an immediate revelation from God. How it which these wonderful judges of the laws of should be the most surpassing of all books, , the moral universe deem possible. in its moral and spiritual phases, and yet be " The Eclipse of Faith" is neither a nothing more than a mere item of human romance nor an actual biography; and yet it development, is a conception which, consider- partakes of elements
to both. ing the national source whence it emanated, There is a fictitious drapery thrown around few will entertain who have not taken leave the characters and scenes to which we are of their sober senses. That as a mere product introduced ; but we suspect that Harrington, of the Jewish mind it should outstrip, in moral and even Fellowes, are real personages; and excellence and beauty, all other books that whether they be or not, they are true types ever saw the light, is a proposition only to be of the classes whose opinions they represent; received by those who can believe in German -the one a universal sceptic, who scarcely myths, and all other monstrous things, but believes anything; and the other a disciple of who regard a “book revelation” from God as the school of Newman, who discards the ina thing “ impossible.”
spiration and authority of the Bible, denies In the present century, there has no work its miracles and its history, and yet, with issued from the British press, on the subject marvellous inconsistency, adopts its spiritual
element,—not, however, as a thing of God, / velopment of man's nature from a conbut of man.
sideration of the relations in which that The uncle of Harrington is the grave nature stands to the external world—from opponent both of the scepticism of his nephew the absolute dependence of the individual on and the spiritualism of Fellowes; in his external culture, and that of the whole several interviews with them combating species in its historic development—are all in sometimes the one, and sometimes the other; favour of the notion both of the possibility but always pouring a flood of light on the and utility of an external revelation, and topics submitted to his profound and critical even in favour of that particular form of it investigation.
which Mr. Newman and you so contemptu. By some it may be thought that the book ously call a book' revelation : "should have been more of a tale ;-and by " • I paused,' said Harrington's uncle, and others that it should have been less. We Fellowes mused. At last he said, “I cannot cannot help feeling, however, that the author feel convinced that the 'absolute religion' has exercised a wise discretion. By the plan is not (as Mr. Parker says) essentially the adopted, he has 'eschewed the severity of a same in all men, and internally revealed. theological treatise, and has thereby secured The want exists in all, and there must, acfor himself all the popular effect of the best cording to the arrangements of universal portions of our light literature; while the nature, be the supply: just as the eye is for disquisitional character of the work makes it the light, and the light is for the eye. As a fit vehicle for the refutation of error and he says, 'we feel instinctively it must the defence of truth.
The prominent object of the work is to ** Unhappily, said Harrington, Mr demolish the German spiritualism, especially Parker says that many things must be which as advocated by Messrs. Newman, Parker, and we find are not, and this among the number others. But one great recommendation of At least I, for one, shall not grant that the the author's plan is this, that, while pursuing sort of spiritual supply which is given to the his majestic course, like the current of some Calmuck, or the savage besmeared with the mighty river, he sweeps away all the other | blood of buman sacrifices," at all resembles sandbanks which infidelity has cast up, at that uniform light which is made for all different periods, on which to tempt deluded people's eyes.' mortals to place their hopes. By a single " Fellowes seemed still perplexed with his dash of his pen, or by a dexterously-conceived old difficulty. 'I cannot help thinking,' he paragraph, he has utterly annihilated the began again, 'that the spiritual faculty acts force of theories which have boasted the ad- by immediate "insight,” and has nothing to vocacy of great names.
do with “logical processes” or “intellectual One thing has struck us much in reading propositions," or the sensatorial
or the “The Eclipse of Faith;” viz. that, in contend- imaginative parts of our nature; that it ing successfully with the new and somewhat gazes immediately upon spiritual truth." plausible race of sceptics and unbelievers, we Now, in the argument you have constructed, must take to the old weapons which routed you have expressly implied the contrary. the giants of the seventeenth century ; just as You have said, you know that even if you we must take to the old weapons of the Re- granted men to be in possession of "spiritual formation if we would stand securely against and moral truth," there might still be large the onset of Popery and Anglo-Catholicism. space for a divinely.constructed book, from Our author has very ably availed himself, in the reflex operation of the intellect, the a variety of ways, of the arguments of But- imagination, and so forth, upon the products ler ; and the more one thinks of it, the of the spiritual faculty, both directly, and more one is convinced that nine-tenths of the also indirectly, inasmuch as external influobjections of infidels must fall before its ences modify or stimulate them.' crushing power.
“But,' said I, does not Mr. Newman By a very skilful, but perfectly fair pro- bimself, in the first part of his “Treatise on cess, our author sets Harrington, a general the Soul,” admit the reciprocal action of all sceptic, to answer the objections of Newman these on the too plastic spiritual products ; and his class ;-and it is truly instructive to and as to “logical and intellectual processes," see what good service even a sceptic may do, does he not continually employ them for in demonstrating the sandy basis upon which his system of opinions, though he will not the common-places of the development school allow them to be employed against it? And rest.
by what other means than through the interWe may give the following illustration. vention of your senses, by which you read his Harrington's uncle had just read a paper to pages-your imagination, by which you seize Fellowes, in which he contended, with great his illustrations-your intellect
, by which you force of argument, “that all the analogies de comprehend his arguments, did he reclaim rived from the fundamental laws of the de- / you, as you say he has done, from many of
your ancient errors ? How else, in the Poor Mr. Newman! how he must be fightname of common sense, did he get access to | ing against his better feelings! There is your soul at all?'
no book," says he, “ which I love and esteem "I cannot pretend to defend Mr. New so much as the New Testament, with the deman's consistency,' said he, 'in bis various votional parts of the Old. There is none statements on this subject. I acknowledge I which I know so intimately, the very words am even puzzled to find out how he did con of which dwell close to me in my most sacred vince me, upon his hypothesis.'
thoughts ; none for which I so thank God, “Are you sure,' said I, laughing, that none on which my soul and heart have been to he ever convinced you at all? However, all so great an extent moulded. In my early boyyour perplexity seems to me to arise from hood, it was my private delight and daily supposing the spiritual powers of man to companion; and to it I owe the best part of act in greater isolation from his other powers whatever wisdom there is in my manhood.” * than is conceivable or even possible. Not What insufferable cant is this, from the pen apart from these, but in intimate conjunction of a writer who is doing his utmost to dewith them, are the functions of the soul per- prive the Bible of all claim to a Divine origin, formed. The divorce between the "spiritual who would strip it of all its peculiar truths faculties” and the intellect, which your as a revelation of mercy to a guilty race, and favourite, Mr. Newman, has attempted to who would even desiderate the immortality effect, is impossible. It is an attempt to sever of the soul! phenomena which co-exist in the unity of In prospect of the dying hour, who would our own consciousness, I am bound in
not rather be the author of " The Eclipse of justice to admit that there are others of our Faith," than of “ The Phases of Faith?” In “modern spiritualists” who condemn this pre- the one case, we have a man religiously posterous attempt to separate what God hath trained, seeking to strengthen the foundations joined so inseparably. Even Mr. Newman of belief in supernatural revelation, which does practically contradict his own assertions; has been the parent of all human melioration; and outraged reason and intellect have - in the other, we have an individual also avenged his wrongs upon them by deserting religiously trained, complimenting the Bible him when he has invoked them, and left him for all kinds of surpassing excellence, yet to express his paradoxes in endless perplexity employing all his talents and learning to and confusion.'”
make the age believe that there is not a parOur very limited space forbids our doing ticle of Divine authority in the Scriptures; justice to this volume, which must be read and that there is no religion in man but that to be appreciated. It places the New Ger which he finds in his own “spiritual faculty." man School just where it ought to stand,- in The presumption of such sentiments is only the region of pure fanaticism.
equalled by their folly and their peril to the Speaking of Newman, our author says, interests of human nature. “ To hear him sometimes speak, one would We express a hope, that “ The Eclipse of imagine that the logical, the moral, and the Faith” will be as useful in our day, as “ Butspiritual are held together by no vital bond ler's Analogy was in his. There are no of connexion; nay, from some expressions, books in our literature which, all things conwe would think that the ‘logical' faculty had sidered, so greatly resemble each other, nothing to do with religion, if it is not to be supposed rather to stand in the way of it; THE FUTURE ; or, The Science of Politics. that the intellect’and the spiritual faculty' By A. ALISON, Esq. Author of “ The may each return to its vacant interlunar Second Reformation." &c. cave,' and never trouble its head about what
London : J. Rowsell. the other is doing. Thus he says in one HERE we have a fresh medley of theology place: “All the grounds of Belief proposed to and politics from the hand of Mr. Alison. We the mere
understanding have nothing to had hoped that, after the infelicitous exhibi. do with faith at all.'* In another, · The tion of folly, misstatements, and undisguised processes of thought have nothing to quicken infidelity made in his “ Second Reformation," the conscience or affect the soul.'t How, he would not again tax our patience, or add then, can the state of the soul be tested by to the trunk-maker's stock of materials. But the conclusion to which the intellect is led ?' I Mr. Alison, like most men who have misAnd accordingly, you see, he everywhere taken their mission, and are distinguished by affirms, that we ought not to have any better that element of character, which Solomon or worse opinion of any man for his intel assures us, even braying in a mortar will not lectual creed;' and that religious progress' purge out, instead of regretting what he had cannot be anticipated' till intellectual already done, repeats the mischief. He seems, creeds are destroyed.' "S
indeed, so thoroughly imbued with that hos* Soul, p. 223.
+ Ibid. p. 245.
tility to Evangelical religion, which springs | Ibid. p. 245. § Phases, p. 222.
* Soul, pp. 241, 242.
from ignorance and the prejudices of shallow stantiation. When, therefore, he sets about thinking, that we should not be surprised to the work of authorship again, we would adfind him dabbling in this kind of print to the vise him to guard against being duped by his end of his days.
own ignorance, or practised upon by parties In this volume, we think, there is a little who laugh in their sleeves at him. moderation of his former tone. The spirit is The following things, selected from a multhe same, and the statements are often iden- titude of a kindred description, will serve tical with those in his former book; but there somewhat to illustrate the mistiness, or "conis less arrogance and impiousness. He still, fusion worse confounded,” that pervades the indeed, denies a Special Providence, Original pages of this book. Of Nature Mr. Alison Sin, and the Doctrine of the Atonement. makes frequent mention. It is, indeed, one And this is done just as he had done it before, of those things, which, with singular flexi-in a manner so flimsy and destitute of clear bility and convenience, answer all manner of thinking, that it is to us truly astonishing purposes. Now, he pronounces it the " test how he could cheat himself into the delusion of truth;" and then, a most unaccountable that he had any notion of the questions he change having come over the spirit of his pretended to examine. But in this volume dream, he affirms that when “Nature steps he professes to admit the inspiration of the in, a revival of superstition is the conseScriptures, to believe the miracles of the New quence.” Of Faith he says the most contraTestament, and very condescendingly avows dictory things. In one place he maintains it that, with our present translation, he cannot “ produces no inward change;" in another, undertake to explain the doctrine of impnted that it “is Truth received into the soul ;" righteousness. Moreover, instead of branding and in a third, that in this form it is the Luther and Calvin, and others among the Divine means of Conversion." Now what reformers, with iguorance of nature and for can be made of this? Is it intelligible? If getfulness of the perfection of God, he speaks Mr. Alison tells us that " Faith produces no in terms indicating a measure of respect. inward change," and yet pronounces it "the Perhaps, after all, there is some hope of Mr. Divine means of Conversion,” we cannot help Alison, as it is evident his opportunities of saying with all frankness, this is simply arriving at right conceptions of the doctrines arrant nonsense. We can make nothing of of Christianity have hitherto been very slen- it; nor, we should imagine, can any one else. der, and the sermons he has had the misfor- of everything in the shape of fact, or literal tune to hear have been little better than a interpretation, that might stand in his way, caricature and mockery of truth.
he very speedily relieves himself by resolving The vicious element, which runs through the old and New Testaments, with all their out the theological portion of this book, and facts, prophecies, promises, and doctrines, inwhich must have been gleaned from the creed to a collection of figures ; for he gravely of some ignorant Antinomian, or passed off affirms, that unless we apply the figurative as a hoax upon Mr. Alison by some scoffer, principle of interpretation “to all Scripture, who practised on his credulity, is -- that we read that Book without rule, and disreevangelical Christianity divorces practice gard the first principles of truth.” Of evil, it from faith, and reduces religion to a barren is hard to say what are his notions, as he dogina. This fiction is dwelt upon ad nau
as its seam, the simple man evidently thinking all "primary cause." the while that he is combating a universal Taking these things as a sample, it will be error, where, Don Quixote-like, his chivalry at once seen that Mr. Alison bas entirely is expended on a shadow or a windmill, in- mistaken his vocation, in attempting to meddle stead of a mailed knight. It may be very with questions connected with morals and true that many people speak of faith who are religion. He is evidently not possessed of strangers to holy practice; but this, instead the natural qualifications which fit for such of leading any candid and competent man to inquiries. And, moreover, his circumstances the conclusion that evangelical religion, as and associations must have been of the most inculcated from the great majority of Pro- infelicitous kind. He tells us that, in the testant pulpits in this country, is a mere only discourse he ever listened to "on the fruitless abstraction, would have conducted Deity," the preacher affirmed that creation him to the opinion, that such people are as furnished no evidence of the Divine existignorant of the nature and power of faith, as ence, and that God is neither a person nor a they are destitute of consistent practice. principle, but something between the two. The notion, which has cost Mr. Alison so He further tells us — certainly in no way much manual labour, and has led to the complimentary to his friends and associates, consumption of so much ink and paper on or to his opportunities of having his errors his part, is no more an element in the creed corrected—that never, save once, did he hear of evangelical Christians, than the assump “the word understood used in connection with tion of the Virgin, or the doctrine of transub- religion.”
On Mr. Alison's political speculations we do | impediments, he contends that it is only by not deem it our province to enter; but in refer- the principle of love, which is the antagonist ence to his views on moral and religious of all selfishness, that the pure Socialism dequestions we must say, in conclusion, that manded by the wants and necessities of anything more vague, confused, or thoroughly mankind can be realised. In other words, absurd, it has never been our fortune to meet Mr. Martin holds that nothing but the gospel, with. Mr. Alison's is a case of inherent simply received and faithfully acted out in weakness and mischief, aggravated by the every-day life, can meet the cravings of most unhappy combination of circumstances humanity. that ever befel a mortal.
The third Lecture is founded on Prov.
xxiv. 11, 12, and is devoted partly to a TRUE CHRISTIANITY --- PURE SOCIALISM: specification of the causes in wbich the ne
A Lecture, by SAMUEL MARTIN, of W'est- glect of social duty originates, partly to an minster Chapel. The Straits of Pure exposure of the subterfuges to which men Socialism : A Lecture, by SAMUEL Martin, resort when attempting to palliate or defend of Westminster Chapel. The Anti-Social- that neglect, and partly to the enforcement ist Warned of God: A Lecture, by SAMUEL of “the recognition of the omniscience of Martin, of Westminster Chapel.
God and the anticipation of the future judge Ward and Co.
ment,” as “a strong antidote to the selfIt is rarely that we have met with so delusions by which men sustain their neglect much that is fresh, healthful, and vigorous in of each other.” popular Christian teaching, as is to be found This is a very rapid and imperfect outline in these lectures. We deem them perhaps of these admirable Lectures; but we trust it the most pointed and telling among the efforts will be sufficient to induce our readers to obof Mr. Martin. It is impossible to read tain them for themselves, and to stimulate them, with any degree of attention, without those whose means are ample to aid in sowing feeling that the nature of Christianity, as them broad-cast over the length and breadth the great instrument of all true individual of the land. Their circulation among all and social regeneration, is unfolded with classes could not fail to be attended with the peculiar felicity. The beautiful and benig- happiest results. nant spirit of the gospel is so happily evolved and applied, that every one, who is not hope THE CHRISTIAN FIRESIDE lessly blinded by prejudice, must admit that
LIBRARY. all the evils which afflict society are to be 1. MEMOIR OF THE REv. EDWARD PAYSON, traced to its absence, whilst every bond of D.D., Pastor of the Second Church in Porttrue brotherhood, and every indication of the land; with Passages from his Select Thoughts. future redemption of our race from moral Post 8vo., pp. 352. and physical wretchedness, are to be ascribed 2. A HAND-BOOK OF POPERY; or, Textto its presence and influence.
book of Missions for the Conrersion of Ro. The first Lecture is founded on I Cor. x. manists: being Papal Rome tested by Scrip24, and with great power of reasoning and ture, History, and its recent Workings. By peculiar pertinency of illustration shows, JAMES BEGG, D.D. With an Appendix of that obedience to the spirit of that passage Documents. Post 8vo., pp. 352. would necessarily conduct to the highest and 3. THE PROVINCIAL LETTERS OF BLAISE purest form of Socialism, in the family, the PASCAL. A new Translation, with HistoriChurch, and the world. Nor, we are satis cal Introduction and Notes, by THOMAS fied, can any one read this beautiful exposi M'CRIE, D.D., LL.D., Author of " Sketches tion of Christian ethics, fenced round as it is of Scottish Church History,"
"Memoirs of with cautions and safeguards, without feeling Sir Andrew Agnen," fc. Post 8vo., pp. 348. that the universal adoption and application 4. The EviDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY, IN of the principles contended for, would secure THEIR EXTERNAL OR HISTORICAL Divi“ glory to God in the highest, and on earth BION; exhibited in a course of Lectures. peace, good will toward men.”
By CHARLES PETTIT M'ILVAINE, D.D., The second Lecture is founded on 2 Cor. Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church vi. 12, and enters into an examination of ex in the State of Ohi). Reprinted from the isting hindrances to the pure Socialism of latest American Edition. Revised and Im. Christianity. These hindrances are shown, proved by the Author. Post 8vo., pp. 346. by a very striking running commentary on
Johnstone and Hunter. many of the prominent facts recorded in the The Christian Fireside Library, of which book of Genesis, to be as old as our race, these four volumes are an interesting speciand as deeply rooted as the depravity of our men, bids fair to obtain a large circulation. nature. And hence, whilst Mr. Martin shows Payson's Life will be a household book as that men are, and have been, “straitened" as long as earnest piety is an object of real into true social development by multitude of terest to the Christian Church. A few such