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In remarking upon our grounds of national gratitude, Mr. Cheever justly enumerates the effusion of the Holy Spirit among our greatest blessings. Whether the manner in which he uses the term, "baptism of the Spirit," in connection with this blessing, is fully accordant with the use of a similar expression in Scripture, may perhaps be questioned. When the Saviour promised his disciples that they should be baptized with the Holy Ghost, he did not mean that their hearts should be renewed; for this had been done already. Nor do we suppose that he meant simply or primarily, an effusion of the Spirit, in the sense in which that term is now commonly used; for we do not find the term thus generally applied in the Bible. Indeed, if we mistake not, in the numerous instances of revivals under the preaching of the apostles, we do not find this expression used, except in cases where miraculous powers were conferred. It seems reasonable, therefore, to suppose that it is employed in Scripture with reference to those miraculous powers, which were abundantly bestowed on the disciples at the day of Pentecost, and in some degree at other times, rather than to those influences of divine grace, by which sinners are converted and saints made to grow in grace. Great care should be taken, in using scriptural language, to apply it as it was intended to be applied. A practice the reverse of this tends to produce indefiniteness of thought and inaccuracy of reasoning, and thus gives rise to many errors. The case now under consideration is far less objectionable than many of the kind that we have known; but the practice is throughout a dangerous one, and the better course would be to abandon it entirely.
The propositions which the author of the work before us has thus far discussed, are, he remarks, preliminary to his main subject, viz.: The opportunities and responsibilities of this country for its own and the world's evangelization. Our limits forbid us to follow him through his able and faithful elucidation of this topic. We can merely advert to the leading points which he discusses. The example and influence of our ancestors, the freedom of thought which exists among us, the popular character of our government, the simplicity of our institutions, the rocking of the tempests which have given strength and firmness to our constitution, and the complete
separation of church and state among us, are successively exhibited as indications that God has much for America to do in the great enterprise of the world's regeneration. Having thus considered the influences upon our character, which tend to fit us for an efficient and beneficial agency in this great work, he proceeds to exhibit the means which God has given us for making the results of that agency vast in extent and glorious in character. In this connection, he enumerates the general character of the American ministry, the high standard of theological education among us, the prevalence of revivals, the richness of our language, and the number and character of those who speak it, the religious character of our literature, the rapid increase of our population, the universality of a good common school education, and the geographical position of our country, as affording us peculiar advantages and imposing upon us peculiar responsibilities. He is not, however, among those who can see nothing but brightness in our prospects; who take it for granted that we shall, of course, act up to our high responsibilities, and worthily improve our exalted privileges. He remarks, that "there is a gloomier prospect in the probabilities of our country's future destiny," and that "we may turn every one of our vast capabilities to ruin, except God keep us humble, and preserve in us a spirit of deep contrition and dependence on him." Such warnings as this can hardly be too often repeated,
The style of the work is, in general, well adapted to the subject, unaffected, perspicuous, and marked by that definiteness of expression, which is generally found in connection with definiteness of thought. An air of sincerity pervades the work, resulting from a heartfelt conviction of the truth and importance of the principles inculcated, and happily calculated to impress those principles deeply on the mind of the reader. Many portions of the work are marked by a peculiar glow of expression. In this respect, however, it is somewhat unequal. There are passages in which a greater degree of fervor would have awakened deeper interest in the views presented, without impairing the strength or diminishing the conclusiveness of the reasoning. We quote from the work a passage which finely illustrates this quality of style, and shows with what vividness Mr. Cheever can present objects to the "mind's eye." Many will remember this passage, who, had
it been coldly expressed, would hardly retain a trace of it in their recollection.
"I have stood beneath the walls of the Coliseum in Rome, the Parthenon in Athens, and the Temple of Karnak in Egypt,-each of them the mighty relic of majestic empires, and the symbol of the spirit of the most remarkable ages in the world. The last, carrying you back, as in a dream, over the waste of four thousand years, might be supposed to owe its superior impressiveness to its vast antiquity: but that is not the secret of the strange and solemn thoughts that crowd into the mind; it is the demonstration of God's wrath, fulfilled according to the letter of the Scriptures! No ruins of antiquity are so overwhelming in their interest as the gigantic remains of that empire, once the proudest in the world, and now, according to the very letter of the divine prediction, the basest of the kingdoms.' From the deep and grim repose of those sphinxes, obelisks, and columns,-those idols broken at the presence of God, as the mind wanders back to the four hundred years of Israel's bondage in Egypt, methinks you may hear the wail of that old and awful prophecy, with the lingering echo of every successive prediction, the nation whom they shall serve will I judge.' Who would have believed it possible, four thousand years ago, amidst the vigor and greatness of the Egyptian kingdom, that, after that vast lapse of time, travellers should come from a world then as new, unpeopled and undiscovered as the precincts of another planet, to read the proofs of God's veracity in the vestiges at once of such stupendous glory and such a stupendous overthrow! And now, if any man, contemplating the youthful vigor, the energy, the almost indestructible life of our own country, finds it difficult to believe that the indulgence of the same national sin, under infinitely clearer light, may be followed with a similar overthrow, let him wander on the banks of the Nile, and think down hours to moments in the silent sanctuaries of her broken temples."
We think it is not too much to say, that Mr. Cheever, in preparing this work, has done a service both to the cause of religion and of his country. If ever the community are. brought to entertain right views and cherish right feelings in relation to the great subjects of which he treats, it will probably be done not by a general, overwhelming influence, suddenly revolutionizing the tastes, and habits, and modes of thought and feeling now prevalent; but by the blessing of God attending various exhibitions of truth, and various appeals to the heart and the conscience, each acting on those minds to which it is peculiarly adapted. We doubt not that this work will exert on not a few minds a silent, unseen influence, which, uniting with other influences of a similar character, will be more and more extensively diffused, as years roll on, and that it will do its part in improving the character, and brightening the destinies of man. This influence, though perhaps
imperceptible to human eye, will not be so to the eye of him who "seeth the end from the beginning." The showers of spring sink in the earth and disappear; but each does its part in aiding the progress of vegetation; and though we cannot assign a specific degree of influence to each, we know that should they all be withheld, universal desolation would ensue. So it is with many of the influences which act on the character and prospects of our race. Gradually and silently they modify the opinions, and purify the motives and feelings of those on whom they act. The results are seen in the more extensive prevalence of Christian principle and feeling, while, at the same time, few comparatively of the causes from which those results flow, can be distinctly traced. Such is the agency which God has employed,—such, we believe, is that which he will continue to employ in effecting the regeneration of the world. No one, then, need be discouraged because he sees no manifest results flowing from his efforts to do good. Let him go on, faithfully employing whatever influence he possesses in the service of God and for the good of man; and his agency will not be lost among the influences which are destined to make "the desert rejoice and blossom as the rose."
R. A. C.
TRAVELS IN EUROPE AND THE EAST.
Travels in Europe and the East, embracing observations made during a tour through Great Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Prussia, Saxony, Bohemia, Austria, Bavaria, Switzerland, Lombardy, Tuscany, the Papal States, the Neapolitan Dominions, Malta, the islands of the Archipelago, Greece, Egypt, Asia Minor, Turkey, Moldavia, Wallachia and Hungary, in the years 1834–1841. By VALENTINE MOTT, M. D. pp. 452. 8vo. New York. Harpers, 1842.
Sketches of Foreign Travel and Life at Sea; including a cruise on board a man-of-war, as also a visit to Spain, Portugal, the south of France, Italy, Sicily, Malta, the Ionian Islands, Continental Greece, Liberia, and Brazil; and a Treatise on the Navy of the United States. By Rev. CHARLES ROCKWELL, late of the United States Navy. Boston. Tappan & Dennet. 1842. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 404, 437.
THESE Volumes, by gentlemen of two of the learned professions, carry us in part over the same ground. Dr. Mott, broken down in his nervous system by incessant occupation in his business as a surgeon, sought in the relaxation incident to a foreign tour, the restoration of health. Mr. Rockwell, having long cherished a desire to visit foreign lands, at the close of his theological education, matured a plan for devoting two or three years to a minute examination of the most interesting portions of the old world. He was already a man of cultivated mind and manners, and had become favorably known to the community as a teacher in the Hartford Asylum for the deaf and dumb. Besides, "being familiar with the more prevalent languages of southern Europe, he hoped to gain access to the latest and most accurate sources of information in the way of social intercourse and of books, respecting the countries he should visit,-their recent history, manners and customs, religious rites and usages, institutions of educa