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religious impressions: and nearly all of it, by exciting the passions without giving thern any proper objects to work upon, expend and waste the excitability of the mind, and render it torpid and dead to the touch of divine truth. Hence the preaching of the gospel falls powerless on the masses which have become sensual, frivolous and extravagant, by reason of the sickly influence of these corrupting issues of the press. No faithful pastor can look with indifference on this state of things, or refrain from efforts to correct it. And is there any way to build a break-water, sufficient to bear back this rising deluge of pernicious literature, but by taking pains to introduce among their people such publications as are wholly devoted to sound principles, discussed with brevity, simplicity and animation? Many clergymen, influenced by considerations of this nature, have, of their own accord, exerted themselves to promote the circulation of this work. They have either quietly collected the names of subscribers themselves; or they have warmly commended the work from the pulpit as men in earnest, and induced some suitable person in their congrega tions to take the business in hand. To such efforts, we are mainly indebted for the measure of success which has rewarded us; and on such we must chiefly rely in future. As we are often asked, why we do not send out travelling agents, we will explain the matter. There are very few men who are really fit for such business and these find that it is easier to procure four subscribers for some fashionable work of "light reading," with its prints and its prize-tales, (one of which in this city, and it is but one of many, circulates twenty-five thousand copies of each number,) than to procure one subscriber for a work which bears the sacred stamp of religion. It is to be expected that agents, who follow that business for support, will operate for the work which pays them best, at the same per-centage, by obtaining the greatest number of subscribers in the shortest space of time. Excepting a few students in their vacations, and two or three individuals who, from conscientious motives, have spent some part of their time for us, we have found no one whom we have been willing to employ. In a work of this nature, necessary, as we conceive it to be, to the interests of truth and piety, we wish to depend, under God, only on good ministers and other good men. We must appeal to the watchmen of Zion, who cannot but be anxious as to the nature of the intellectual pabulum furnished to their flocks, and that the proper effects of their own preaching may not be neutralized by injurious reading, to make some effort which shall aid both them and us in the great work of maintaining truth and saving men.
DR. JARVIS'S REPLY TO MILNER.- Some twenty years ago, one Dr. Milner wrote, in England, a crafty and trickish book, called the "End of Religious Controversy," in defence of popery. The papists, deceived, it may be, by the title, declare that this work has never been answered; and busily circulate it as something that cannot be confuted. Though it was printed so long ago, and has been repeatedly answered, Dr. Jarvis has lately replied to it very ably, "so far as the churches of the English communion are concerned;" leaving all other nonpapal churches to the tender mercies of Dr. Milner and "Giant Pope."
This is very well; as the thorough-going Protestants would never think of putting Dr. Jarvis forward as their champion. He is one of those "old-fashioned Church-of-England-nien," who keep their balance, by hating the Pope on the one hand and the Puritan on the other. His book is in two parts. The first part is quite lively, and "uses up" the old juggling Jesuit without mercy. But in reading it we were reminded of a remark we have had occasion to make before ; — that our Episcopal brethren always have to do their fighting in borrowed armor. They seem to have no weapons of their own. When they contend with us, they always employ the old popish arguments of divine right of bishops, apostolical succession, fathers, councils, and the like; which may be very good arguments to make papists of us, but cannot make us Episcopalians. This is probably the reason why most of our men who go over to Dr. Jarvis's party, do not stop there; but push on, through Puseyism, to popery. On the other hand, when our Episcopal brethren wish to fight the pope and his red-hatted cardinals, they have to wield the true protestant weapons of Scripture, sound interpretation, history fairly stated, and the rights of reason and of conscience. In Dr. Jarvis's second part, he strives to defeat the pope with his own arms, and on his own ground. But here, he becomes very learned in patristic lore, very lumbering, and very dull. But perhaps, this heavy load may kill the pope as quickly as any thing, by pressing him down, and stifling him in his own mud.
DR. HOPKINS'S LOWELL LECTURES. This is a valuable volume on the "Evidences of Christianity," elegantly printed by T. R. Marvin, who, as a sincere admirer of Dr. Hopkins, has done his best that others should admire him too. Infidelity assumes a thousand shapes. When beaten down in one form, it re-appears in another,
"And gleans its blunted shafts,
To hurl them at the shield of truth again."
Hence there arises a necessity for matching the defence of Christianity with the modes of attack, and meeting the adversary on his own In this view, we consider this course of Lectures, which was first delivered before the Lowell Institute in Boston, and which is marked with all the originality, strength and soundness of its author, as preferable at this time to those standard works which were adapted to former times.. We understand, that it is used as a text-book at Williams' College; and wish that it might come into like use in other Institutions. Students need good models in reasoning and expression: and they will find none better than this valuable treatise by a in Israel."
AMERICAN STATISTICAL ASSOCIATION. - The first volume of the "Collections" of this Society, which was established in 1840, is before us. It may not be a very entertaining book to "the general reader;" but it is one which will help a great many other books to be interesting. The future historians of Massachusetts will draw largely from
this mine; and having smelted its ores, and burnished its metals, will shine in the wealth thus obtained. Some of the facts here stated, as to the incredible burdens of taxation borne by this commonwealth in ancient times, reflect new lustre on the character of our fathers, and their powers of endurance and effort in the glorious cause of liberty and justice. It is almost needless to say, that these "Collections" are the fruits of the indefatigable industry of Mr. Joseph B. Felt. He has spent a life-time among the records and archives of this commonwealth. He has a most intimate knowledge of its affairs "from the beginning hitherto;" whether as to matters ecclesiastical, educational, military, political, economical or personal. What an education this, for the office of Secretary of the State! If that office should be offered to him who has the best qualifications in these necessary respects, no competitor could be found to contest the claims of our accomplished historical friend.
THE SACRED TABLEAUX. Here comes an elegant visitor, clothed in that garb of crimson and gold which is the costume of the giftbooks, so much in demand at this generous season of the year. It does great credit to the publisher, Mr. John M. Whittemore. It is somewhat novel in its character, containing forty steel engravings, executed in a peculiar manner, and represented remarkable incidents in the Old and New Testaments. Each of these engravings is illustrated by a short descriptive article, furnished for this purpose by various American writers, connected with different religious denominations. The happy editor, as it seems by his preface, is almost overcome by his singular felicity in having been the means of bringing so much fine company together. May the "indulgent reader" find himself both pleased and profited in their society and discourse! It is rare to find preachers of so many orders, some of them lay-preachers too, holding forth in the same pulpit.
SABBATH EVening LectuRES IN BOSTON. We are happy to announce, that the ten pastors of the orthodox churches in the city proper will commence a course of Sabbath Evening Lectures to be delivered in the Old South Church. They are to commence on the second Sabbath in January, and to be continued, for three months at least, on the successive Sabbath evenings, excepting those on which the Monthly Concert for foreign missions is held. The subjects of the lecture will be the fundamental and distinctive truths of evangelical religion, stated and urged with a view chiefly to exhibit their practical excellence and power. The proposed order of treatment is somewhat as follows:The fall and character of man; the Bible, its inspiration and authority; the doctrine of the Trinity as unfolded in redemption; the character of Christ; the death of Christ, as an atoning sacrifice; the personality and offices of the Holy Spirit; the necessity and nature of conversion; divine sovereignty and human responsibility; the certainty and duration of future punishment; true and false Christian hope. It will be seen by this, that, in the city of the Puritans, the doctrines of the Puritans are still cherished and proclaimed.
In this number, we limit ourselves to the religious affairs of Boston; and shall aim to correct some erroneous impressions which appear to have gone abroad. Within a few years, a marked change has come over the city. The immense increase of business within a space so limited, has induced hundreds of families to leave the city for resi dences in the vicinity. This state of things, however, while it has nearly destroyed several of the most important Unitarian churches, has, as yet, wrought no irreparable injury to any orthodox church.
The effect upon Unitarianism may be seen by a few facts. The Old North Church, under the united care of Rev. Dr. Parkman and Rev. Amos Smith, is in the last stages of a slow decline. The junior pastor has resigned for want of pecuniary support. The wealthy senior pastor has no salary. Rev. Mr. Robbins, whose congregation so recently reared a large and costly house of worship, finds himself in a precarious condition. A heavy debt hangs upon the parish; the pews are unsalable; and such is the position of the debt, that fears have been entertained that the house may soon fall into the hands of the papists. At the south part of the city, the famous Hollis Street Church is well nigh deserted. Rev. Mr. Fosdick, after a ministry of eighteen months, finding the treasury empty, has resigned and departed. -Dr. Gannett's society, formerly Dr. Channing's, had made arrangements to rebuild their house of worship in another place. But it was found that many of the principal men would neither take stock in the proposed building, nor pledge themselves to worship therein. While the old house, the old pews, and the old associations were retained, these men could be relied upon, and not longer. The same is true, we believe, of other ancient houses in the hands of Unitarians. — A new meeting-house has lately been built for them in Bedford Street, by the personal friends of Rev. Mr. Waterston, the pastor. The very limited sale of the pews, and the meagreness of the congregation, prove it to have but a slight hold on the community. A new meeting house is also going up in Beach Street: but in this case the congregation vacates a large stone house in Purchase Street, for one of stone and brick, no larger. Rev. Mr. Clark's society is erecting a small house on a back lot, in the rear of Beacon Street. And a small chapel for missionary purposes has just been opened at the South End. The Unitarians are wealthy, and can build such places; but it remains to be seen how they can fill them.
Effect of the Emigration upon Orthodox Churches. They have felt it, but not to their permanent injury. There is a vitality in our system, which repairs the waste. Let us glance at the facts. Salem Church, two years ago, was weakened by the going forth of a large colony under Mr. Towne, its late pastor. Under the pastoral care of Rev. Dr. Edward Beecher, the vacant places were soon filled The house was remodelled and improved at great expense, and up. now holds one of the largest congregations in that part of the city. It is very near those waning congregations of Messrs. Parkman and Rob. bins. · Bowdoin Street Church, having been for a long time with
out a pastor, had suffered by emigration more than almost any other