Sidebilder
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ePub

Welsh
English
French.
Italian, Span., Portug.

Barr
Bar bearing the same shades of mean-
Barre ing in all these languages.
Barra

11

Yet the root is unknown to Latin, and its German representative is Sperr, which has the senses of Bar, yet is in etymology closer akin to the English Spar and Spear. Even the Dutch, which is particularly near to English, does not acknowledge Bar, but says Sperren, to bar or block up. The Teutonic preference of the Sp, clearly proves that the form Bar originated in the Celtic. It is thus, by the comparison of numerous languages, more or less akin, that it can often be determined with the greatest decision which has been the borrower and which the receiver; so that etymology becomes an accurate historical science.

In return, it throws the greatest light on history. To this source we must beyond a doubt look for the elucidation of many important problems concerning the early dispersion of our race. The antiquarians of Germany and Italy have applied the most persevering pains to the investigation of their provincial dialects; and yearly progress is to be expected in the enucleation of those Italian languages, which were spoken while Rome was as yet but one out of many great cities in her peninsula. When the French and Spaniards lend their help to the same work, when the fruit of learned investigation into the more anomalous branches of the Celtic and Teutonic languages has been gathered in, the time will at length come when it will be possible from such materials to compile the only history of barbarian nations which deserves to be written, a history of their descent, migrations, and incorporation with each other. Such researches have already sufficed to prove the derivation of the vast majority of the inhabitants of Europe from a common source. The nation which hitherto baffiles the most restless inquiry is that of the Biscayans, the inhabitants of the Pyrenees, and of France south of the Garonne; who speak a language wholly peculiar. Besides these, the Magyars of Hungary, the Finns, and the Laplanders, speak languages wholly un-European, the relationship of which is as yet imperfectly understood. All inquiries throwing light on the early condition and history of the human race, are of deep interest to those who, like Christians, profess a historical religion ; and there is no individual-certainly in our three kingdoms—perhaps there is no one of the great continental linguists,—whose works have thrown so much light on this profound but interesting topic, as those of Dr. Prichard. The third volume of his new edition of the Physical History of Man is already in the press, and, we

cannot doubt, will sustain the eminent reputation which he has everywhere earned.

While these pages are passing through the press, we are glad to learn from the public journals that there is some prospect of the institution of a Celtic Professorship at one of our Universities.

Art. III. 1. Lectures on Revivals of Religion. By CHARLES G.

FINNEY. With Introductory Prefaces by Rev. J. A. JAMES, Rev. G. PAYNE, D.D., and Rev. N. S. BEMAN, D.D. With Notes, and

carefully revised, by Rev. W. PATTON, D.D. London: 1839. 2. The Revival of Religion. A Narrative of the State of Religion at

Wycliffe Chapel, during the year 1839. By ANDREW Reed, D.D.

London : 1839. 3. Special Religions Services Improved and Vindicated. By the Rev.

Thomas MILNER, A.M. London : 1839. 4. Edwards on Revivals: containing a Faithful Narrative of the

Surprising work of God in the Conversion of many hundred Souls in Northampton, Massachusetts, A.D. 1735. also, Thoughts on the Revival of Religion in New England in 1742. By JONATHAN EDWARDS, A.M. With Introductory Preface by John Angell James. And carefully revised, with Notes and Introduction by

Rev. W. PATTON, D.D. London: 1839. 5. Narrative of the Revival of Religion at Kilsyth, Cambrislang, and

other Places, 1742. By the Rev. JAMES ROBE, A.M. Introductory Essay by the Rev. ROBERT BUCHANAN. Glasgow:

1840. 6. Lectures on the Revival of Religion. By W. B. SPRAGUE, D.D.

With a Preliminary Essay on the Physiology of Religious Revivals.

By a Scottish Minister. Glasgow : 1839. 7. Lectures on the Revival of Religion. By Ministers of the Church

of Scotland. Glasgow : W. Collins. 1840.

With an

IT

T will not be necessary for us to express at any length our

opinion of all the books which a sense of our critical duty has led us to place at the head of this article. Some of them, as the narratives of Robe and Edwards, are seasonable and valuable reprints of standard works, to which the seal of public approbation has long been attached; and another of them, which is of recent production-the Lectures of Dr. Sprague-has been intro

duced to the favorable notice of our readers in a former volume of the Eclectic. The introductory matter to these works, the whole of which is new, may furnish us with some topics for remark.

The volume which has excited the deepest and most extensive interest is undoubtedly that of Mr. Finney; and on this we propose in the first place to offer our sentiments. No one can read it without perceiving that the author is of a superior and ardent mind, and great constitutional power. He was born to be among the master-spirits of his age; and we cannot refuse ourselves the gratification of placing on record in this work the principal facts of his history, as we gather them from the short introductory notice by his fellow-countryman, Dr. Patton.

* There are a few items in the history of the Rev. Charles G. Finney, which may be interesting to the churches of England. Previously to the period of his conversion, he was successfully pursuing the profession of the law, as an advocate in the courts of justice. His residence was in the North Western section of the State of New York. From the conviction that he could more eminently serve his Lord and Master by devoting his energies to the work of the Christian ministry, he soon determined to abandon the lucrative profession of the law. After spending some time in the study of theology, he was regularly introduced to the ministry by one of the Presbyteries in the state of New York, in connexion with the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church in the United States of America. Instead of imme. diately settling over a particular congregation as the pastor, he at first labored as an evangelist in the region of his home, among the destitute and feeble churches, and was eminently successful. About the year of our Lord 1824, the field of his exertions was the more central counties of the state, and particularly the larger towns. In this locality, especially in the towns of Rome and Utica, the power and extent of the revival were very remarkable. It was manifest that the style of preaching adopted by Mr. Finney was attended with powerful effects. Men in all the classes of society thronged the house of God, and beme the subjects of the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost.

• About the year 1832, the lease of the theatre, known as the Chatham Garden Theatre, in the city of New York, was purchased by a few enterprising Christian men. It was altered for the purpose of religious worship. A church was soon organized, and received under the care of the Third Presbytery of New York. This church unanimously invited the Rev. Mr. Finney to become their pastor. Having accepted their invitation, he was by the Third Presbytery of New York regularly constituted the pastor of the Chatham Street Chapel. It was in this building, and to the church under his pastoral charge, that these Lectures on Revivals were delivered. They were at first published in the columns of the New York Evangelist, a religious newspaper issued weekly, and having at that time a circulation of

some 8000 copies. As to the manner in which these Lectures were taken, the Rev. J. Leavitt, the reporter, has briefly but explicably spoken. The reception which the lectures met with was various. The demand for them, however, was such as to render it necessary to put them into the form of a volume. Six editions, of 2000 copies each, were in the course of about three years disposed of.

-Pref. pp. vii, viii. The production of this eminent and remarkable man which is now before us is characterized, not only by great power, but by great peculiarity. The lectures were taken from his lips by a reporter, and have been so little altered by revision that they afford a vivid representation of the actual preacher. They are far from having been prepared with any view to publication, and are therefore most free and colloquial. They possess generally a strong basis of thought, but are without any effort of composition, or regard to niceties of style. Hence his critics--to whose observations we by no means recommend him to be inattentivehave found abundant scope for their occupation. Nothing, indeed, can be easier than to find fault with him. And hence also his very friends, both American and English, commend him in a tone of apology, and introduce his book with qualifications and censures enough to have ruined the reputation of most authors. At this in the Americans we are not at all surprised. He says of them such dreadfully severe things (which, however, we see that Dr. Patton has expunged from this edition), and departs so totally from the correct and elaborate--not to say frigid-style of New England preachers, that we are quite sure he could enjoy among them only a qualified popularity. His reception among us will naturally be different; inasmuch as we shall not feel sore at the stripes inflicted on our neighbours, and inasmuch also as a free, warm, and even vehement pulpit utterance is less objectionable to us than to some of our transatlantic fellow Christians. There is nothing, indeed, in what we may call the minor faults of the book, for which, in our judgment, the constitutional peculiarities of the man, and the circumstantial peculiarities of the publication, do not afford an available apology. The heart and power there is in it will make way in spite of all these. We cordially agree in the following eulogy from the pen of Dr. Payne.

• This work appears to me more powerfully adapted to awaken the church in this country than any other with which I am acquainted. Read with seriousness and candor, it must produce a most affecting sense of failure in the discharge of duty. It clothes' us all—ministers and people with shame.' The standard of excellence which it erects is high, greatly above that to which, I fear, any of us have attained; yet not higher than it ought to be, seeing we are commanded to be perfect, even as' our · Father who is in heaven is perfect.' Its grand excellence, next to the general truth and importance

of its statements, is its faithful, and earnest, and bold appeals to the conscience. The author emphatically speaks out, and tells to all, in plain and pointed terms, their sin. As he himself would say, he does not mince the matter at all ; nor, with a view to accommodate his language to ears polite, does he so soften and dilute his statements of the guilt and danger, either of the world or the church, as to rob them of all power to touch the conscience. He appears to me to be an eminently honest writer,-a bold, uncompromising teacher and defender of the faith, fearing the face of no man, scorning to temporise, or to adjust his sentiments according to the promptings of expediency; but resolved to state the simple truth, to tell us our faults without circumlocution or disguise ; not intending, indeed, to give offence, but more careful not to use flattering words, nor to handle the word of God deceitfully, than to avoid falling under the censure of any man, or any church.'— Pref. pp. v. vi.

There are things, however, of far more importance than style, language, and manner-we mean the sentiments conveyed by a writer; and we can assure our readers that in this respect the volume before us is by no means to be regarded with indifference. It contains, on the contrary, much that is new (to English ears, at least) and striking. It is not merely a powerful treatment of what is commonly believed among us; it challenges many of our current opinions, and throws us into unwonted attitudes. A considerable effect must be produced by such a book, widely circulated and surpassingly cheap as the successive editions of it are; and it becomes a matter of necessity and duty- so we deem it, at least—to afford the community some assistance in the formation of their judgment.

In pursuing this design our path is by no means direct and simple. But we may begin by saying freely, that we think some of the novelties decided and valuable improvements-approximations, we mean, to scriptural truth. Herein we agree altogether with Dr. Payne and Mr. James. Of the twenty-two lectures of which the volume consists, Dr. Payne says the last thirteen or • fourteen appear to me to be the best;' and Mr. James, alluding to three of these specifically, says they contain much that is

calculated to correct some false, and, i regret to add, too pre'vailing methods of dealing with these classes of persons. The persons referred to are sinners; and from one of the lectures selected by the estimable minister last mentioned, entitled False Comforts to Sinners, we will exhibit a sample of Mr. Finney's sentiments and manner.

· Sinners often imagine they are seeking Jesus Christ, and seeking eligion, but this is a mistake. No person ever sought religion and yet remained irreligions. What is religion? It is obeying God. Seeking religion is seeking to obey God. The soul that hungers and

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