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discreet silence, but which presents a conclusive argument against his hypothesis of transmutation. It would seem that nature has set up impassable barriers to prevent confusion of species, and that she guards their outposts with the eye of a watchful sentinel. The penalty for overstepping her landmarks is death; for she has denounced the annihilating curse of sterility upon unlawful progeny, and never fails to execute her malediction. We refer to hybrids. The development system can give no rational explanation of the admitted natural repugnance to unions which produce such fruits, nor of the fact that the offspring of such unions are almost always unfruitful in the very first generation, and are never capable of continuing their race through several generations. We do no more than allude to this subject, the discussion of which would be more appropriate in a scientific treatise than in these pages. We refer the reader to Lyell's Geology, b. iii, for copious and valuable information upon this question, and upon the whole doctrine of transmutation. That learned and judicious writer is a firm believer
that species have a real existence in nature; and that each was endowed, at the time of its creation, with the attributes and organization by which it is now distinguished.”* Owen, Agassiz, and Liebig, take the same ground. Cuvier“ did not admit the analogy between the skeleton of the vertebrates and the skin of the articulates; he could not believe that the tænia and sepia were constructed upon the same plan; that there was a similarity of composition between the bird and the echinus, the whale and the snail, in spite of the skill with which some persons sought gradually to efface their discrepancies.”+ De La Beche thinks “there are likely to be few, seeing the beauty of design manifest in creation and so apparent in animals and vegetables, who will not rather consider that there has been a succession of creations as new conditions arose, than that there should be an accommodating property in organic existence which might ultimately convert a polypus into a man."! And Moses, whose authority our author is willing to admit, whenever, by any juggle of interpretation, the language of Moses can be made to coincide with his own views, informs us that “God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind.” Our author himself confesses that no instance of the development of any species into a higher has been recorded during the historical era; but this era is only a day in the cycle of nature's gestation ;
• Principles of Geology, vol. i, p. 528. | Laurillard, Elog. de Cuvier, p. 66. | Researches in Theoretical Geology, p. 203.
and as an ephemeron, having wearied himself by watching tadpoles through his day-long life, would die at evening in the full belief that a tadpole could never be transmuted into a frog, so our ephemeral human race live, observe, reason, and die. To all this there is but one answer. As to what occurred upon our globe during the pre-human epochs, we have no source of information but geological monuments; and in regard to this particular subject of transmutation, the old “Medals of Creation" are silent. On this point, therefore, our knowledge and his are equal, and the sum of both is zero. Pope's significant couplet may tell the rest :
“Say first, of God above or man below
We have now done with this anonymous writer, and his anomalous book. If we have been so fortunate as to convey to the reader our strong convictions, that not one of the three hypotheses, by which the scheme of law-creation is upheld, has any foundation in nature and truth, the object of our writing has been accomplished. We say nothing of the author's degrading psychology, which is phrenology pushed to its extreme development of materialism, and makes man a brute ; nor of his selfish and sensual theory of morals, which, borrowed from Epicurus, annihilates all morality, makes virtue a name, and pleasure the propter quam of existence; nor of his stern and gloomy theology, which denies a special providence, and robs God of his highest attributes. All these are the legitimate offspring of his physical system. They grow out of it as naturally and necessarily as the vine from its roots, and grapes from the vine. “But the vine is the vine of Sodom; and the grapes are grapes of gall.” Away with the miserable logic that could frame such a system, and the pitiful credulity that could embrace it. Leave us still, in these scenes of toil and trial, which are incident to our earthly condition, not the cold assurance that we are under "a systein which has the fairness of a lottery,” that " there is no partiality against us,” and that we must "take our chance in the mêlée;" but the power to look upward and to recognize the countenance of a Creator and a Father.
Dickinson College, Jan. 31, 1846.
ART. VIII.-CRITICAL NOTICES. 1. The Preacher's Manual: Lectures on Preaching, furnishing Rules and
Examples for every Kind of Pulpit Address. By Rev. S. T. STURTEVANT. Reprinted entire from the last London revised Edition. 8vo., pp. 624. New-York: J. C. Riker, 129 Fulton-street. 1846.
SEVERAL works upon the composition and delivery of a sermon have long been before the public, and have undoubtedly exerted a salutary influence upon the pulpit. The earliest, and the one which has been most approved, is that of M. CLAUDE, a famous French Protestant, who flourished the latter part of the seventeenth century. Upon Claude's Essay little improvement has been made until the present work appeared. Here we have the whole theory of sermonizing, drawn out in all its parts, with appropriate illustrations, taken from the best authors. Indeed, this work seems to leave little to be desired touching the vastly important subject of sermonizing, so far as mere canons for the structure of a sermon can go. We hesitate not to say, that the minister of the gospel, old or young, who fails to procure and study “Sturtevant's Manual,” will deprive himself of one of the best human helps which is to be obtained, in the great work in which he is engaged. The work, as to type, paper, &c., is highly creditable to the enterprising publisher, and we have no doubt that he will be amply rewarded for furnishing the ministers of the gospel in this country with this learned and able work in so convenient a form. In their behalf, we cordially thank our worthy friend Riker for the timely and liberal outlay which he has made for their accommodation. And I need not pledge them for a liberal patronage, so long as all know that they always buy the books they need, when the price comes within the reach of their means.
2. History of the English Revolution of 1640; commonly called the Great
Rebellion : from the Accession of Charles I. to his Death. By F. Guizot, the Prime Minister of France. Translated by WILLIAM Hazlitt. 12mo., pp. 515. New-York: D. Appleton & Co. 1846.
The historical works of “ the prime minister of France” are so well known, that little need be said to invite public attention to any work which might issue from the press, under the sanction of his name. But the history of such a period of such events as those embraced within the range of “ The Great Rebellion”—by such a writer, must excite no ordinary interest in the public mind. From the cursory examination which we have given the book, we feel warranted in giving our readers a pledge, that all reasonable expectations will be realized in the perusal. It is truly consoling to a liberal mind to see that the prejudiced and dreamy commentaries of a class of the English historians, upon this very important period of their history -such, for instance, as those who have followed the refined but reckless and skeptical Hume-have lost their influence, and are rapidly going to oblivion. We will merely add that the work appears in a neat and an attractive form.
3. The History of Silk, Cotton, Linen, Wool, and other Fibrous Substances :
, , including Observations on Spinning, Dyeing, and Weaving ; also an Account of the Pastoral Life of the Ancients, their Social State and Attainments in the Domestic Arts. With Appendices on Pliny's Natural History, etc., deduced from Copious and Authentic Sources. Illustrated by steel engravings. One volume, octavo. New-York : Harper & Brothers.
This work will be esteemed of peculiar value from the prodigious amount of curious, original, and striking information it affords respecting the early history and progress of the above-named useful and important arts. We scarcely remember to have met with a single volume more copious in anecdotical illustration than this: the numerous authorities cited by the author bear ample testimony to the indefatigable labor and research bestowed upon the work. Although primarily designed for popular use, this valuable work must prove eminently serviceable to those engaged in the cultivation of silk, cotton, linen, wool, &c., from the vast extent of its information on these important branches of commerce. The work is splendidly embellished with steel engravings; and bound in truly elegant style, richly gilt. It is quite a book for the boudoir.
4. Cosmos: a Survey of the General Physical History of the Universe.
By Alex. Von HUMBOLDT. New-York: Harper & Brothers.
The Harpers are issuing in numbers this great work of the veteran and distinguished geographer HUMBOLDT. It embraces a very wide range of scientific inquiry, as its title sufficiently indicates; and sets forth the final conclusions of a long life of arduous and well-directed study. It is not to be supposed that all will agree to the justice of these conclusions; but no scientific mind can fail to be interested in the book which contains them. The work is published in shilling numbers.
5. Vital Christianity: Essays and Discourses on the Religion of
Man and the Religion of God. By ALEXANDER VENET, D. D., Professor of Theology in Lausanne, Switzerland. Translated, with an Introduction, by Robert TURNBULL, Pastor of the Harvard-street Church, Boston. 12mo., pp. 355. Boston: Gould, Kendall, & Lincoln. 1845.
The new evangelical school of divines, which have recently arisen and are now acting effectively upon the dead mass of degenerate Christians in Switzerland, are also giving instructions to the churches throughout the world. The present volume is a spirited and powerful effort to exhibit true Christianity in its purity and spirituality. The work can scarcely be read without profit, though occasionally we may find it necessary to except to the author's views. Upon the whole it is an able, earnest, truthful book.
6. The Life of Julius Cæsar. George Peck, Editor. 18mo., pp. 180. New-York:
Lane & Tippett. This is the first of a series of small volumes publishing by the Religious Tract Society of England. They are upon “common subjects written with a decidedly Christian tone.” Each volume will be complete in itself, will compare with the above in size and character, and will be issued monthly. The Agents design to bring them out promptly on their being received, and there is no doubt but they will constitute a portable library of general knowledge superior to anything of the kind heretofore published. The Life of Julius Cæsar" is composed from the original Latin works, and while it is condensed into a small space, it is still ex. ceedingly comprehensive, and conveys all the important facts in the history of one of the greatest military chieftains and conquerors who ever lived. The volumes will be sold separately or in libraries, in uniform binding, and numbered. We earnestly bespeak the attention of the young to this new series.
7. Resources and Duties of Christian Young Men. A Discourse to the Graduating
Class of Wesleyan University, August, 1845. By STEPHEN OLIN, D.D. GEORGE Peck, Editor. 18mo. New-York : Lane & Tippett. 1846.
This is an able, spirited, and timely effort to make a truly Christian impression, and give a Christian bias to our “young men,” just as they are entering upon the active duties of life. We scarcely know whether to admire most the sound reasoning, the wise counsel, or the earnest and solemn warnings of this eloquent and powerful discourse. We have not space to enlarge upon its merits; but sure we are that it should be read and studied by every young man in the land, especially those who emerge from our literary institutions and look toward a field of action. The discourse is neatly got up in a portable form, and is thus rendered more convenient and attractive than it would be in the usual pamphlet form. We earnestly recommend this effort of our truly able and excellent friend to the attention of all:-for though it is especially addressed to “ Christian young men," there are instructions in it adapted to all classes and to both sexes. May God grant it his blessing!
8. History of the Great Reformation of the Sixteenth century, in Germany,
Switzerland, fc. By J. H. MERLE D'AUBIGNE, D. D., President of the Theological School of Geneva, and Member of the Societé Evangelique. New-York: Lane & Tippett.
We are happy to announce this work with the imprint of the Methodist Book Concern. Of the work itself nothing need be said, as happily it is already known.
9. Travels in Egypt, Arabia Petrea, and the Holy Land. By Rev. STEPHEN
OLIN, D. D., LL. D., President of the Wesleyan University. With twelve Illustrations on Steel. 2 vols. New-York : Lane & Tippett.
These interesting Travels are now to be had at our Book Room, with our Sunday-school imprint, at reduced prices. We hope no Sunday-school library, or family, will be without them.
10. Suggestions for the Conversion of the World, respectfully submitted to the
Christian Church. By Robert Young. 18mo., pp. 146. New-York: Lane & Tippett. The solemn and momentous inquiry, How is the world to be converted ? is one which comes home to every pious heart. Here the question is answered upon the principles of true Christian philosophy. Let the book be read, and its "suggestions " tested by experiment, and we shall soon see more abundant reason than ever to expect the speedy “conversion of the world."