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not yet when we may cease our rebuke of a spirit that is not only a palpable violation of religious duty, but an offence against the conscience and the heart of man. substitutes pharisaism for piety, and compels into hypocrisy many
who are too weak to maintain their convictions manfully in the presence of loss of popularity, of patronage, and good-will.
The sections which treat of Religious Obligations are by far the most valuable and interesting in the second volume. Besides enunciating important truths and suggesting profitable trains of thought, the author rises occasionally to heights of transcendent eloquence, which cannot fail to touch the heart of the reader, and quicken him to good resolutions. Section third, which discusses the Nature and Obligation of Prayer, is especially worthy of careful attention; it is filled with profound wisdom, devout thought, and gentle but earnest pleadings for the culture of the spirit and the exercise of prayer. It may be thought to carry its speculations as to the efficacy of prayer, in certain instances, to an extravagant length, and yet, after reflection, may reconcile the doctrine with a purer and ever-enlarging faith. Our piety is so often a formal exercise, rather than a living principle, that we do not pause to consider the magnitude of prayer; and the things we might else desire seem to be fixed at such a height, beyond the “utmost reachings of the soul,” that our aspirations are stayed in their flight, and scarcely penetrate beyond the visible circle in which we dwell. The objects and spirit of prayer, the times and seasons appropriate for its exercise, both private and public, at “morning, noon, and dewy eve," and last, yet best of all, the Sunday worship, when “the holy will in each of us shall grow strong in God's house of prayer," — these points are severally discussed in a devout and reverential spirit, winning the attention and gaining the assent of mind and heart to a most beautiful and instructive doctrine.
The section which treats of the Nature, Duty, and Effect of Repentance, is full of instruction, consolation, and warning; and whether we accept every part of our author's philosophy or not, concerning the nature of forgiveness of
sin, and the consequences likely to accrue from sins once committed, but now repented of, we cannot but acknowledge the reverential spirit in which the subject is presented.
Faith forms the subject of the next section, which wisely discriminates between the vulgar ideas of sectarian opinion or belief, and the spiritual perceptions of the soul leading the heart to repose in confidence in the goodness of God. The reasonableness of such faith in the Unseen and Eternal is clearly demonstrated from the nature of our earthly affections; and that being established, the obligation to cultivate and exercise it is plainly manifest, while “in obedience to the laws of God, both general and special, lies our hope of increasing and intensifying our faith.” This section closes with the pregnant question, —“How far is the weakness of our faith the result of the weakness of our will?"
The discussion of religious duty finds an appropriate conclusion in a brief treatise upon Self-Consecration. We would gladly incorporate the whole section in these pages; but we must forbear, and content ourselves with a few brief extracts.
“It must not be supposed that the mode in which this love of God is raised to its rightful pre-eminence can ever be (as is often imagined) by lowering our human affections, till piety is left standing highest, simply because there is not another high one left to rival it. This is among the direst fanaticisms. Of pure, true, tender, unselfish love there is never too much in any human heart. But what then of the love of God? How are we to make that the chief of all? O slow of heart that we are! how long it takes us to find that love is no coin of earth, to be divided among so many and no more! Cannot that fire of heaven light a thousand hearts and burn the brighter for all that it kindles? There is no one way by which we can so well prepare our hearts for Divine communion as by human affections, nor are there any souls so often visited by God's Spirit as those which dwell in love' with his creatures. It is a thoroughly human life God requires us to lead; not the life of some angel of our fancy, but of the man or woman God has designed each of us to be. Every limb of our Godmade bodies, every faculty of our God-made minds, every affection of our God-made hearts, is to be used, developed, strengthened, purified, and then hallowed, - hallowed in the use, not in the destruction. Social, personal, religious duties assist in the preparation for and fulfilment of this great one. Finally, supposing all these to be fulfilled to the bounds of our powers, there yet remains the grand act of the soul, whereby it consciously and freely accepts its high destiny, and resolves to exert the whole energy of its will to fulfil it, namely, 'to approximate itself to God for ever.'
Our pleasant task must here be brought to a close. We have been struck, in reading these two volumes, with the varied learning and extensive research evinced by the author, affording at once fitting preparation for the work, and furnishing ample illustration of the truthfulness of its doctrines and conclusions from the resources of ancient and modern lore. And yet there is no display of pedantry, but a modest abandonment of self in the interest of the subject. There is occasionally an expression that savors a little of contempt for the popular religions, and sometimes a sentiment which betrays not much reverence for popular superstitions. In all this we can fully sympathize. But we think there is not always sufficient discrimination between what is true in the opinion and faith of the past, and certain accretions which have come to be associated with the truth in the progress of history. This is especially manifest in reference to the Scriptures of the Old Testament, where dislike for the superstitions and falsehoods which have been imposed by religious teachers upon the popular mind under the plea of a verbal inspiration, induces to unjust, unnecessary, and we must say unscholarly imputations, as to the real purport, significancy, and relation of the text to the ancient faith. Whatever we may think of the popular ideas about the Bible, we ought certainly to avoid the very mistakes we would condemn, and not make that ancient faith responsible for the errors and fables which have come down to us upon the pages of Scriptural history. It is amusing to read the criticisms of the English press upon the first volume, and to note the variety of opinion there expressed upon the merits of the theory. The author is associated, in the minds of some of these writers, so nearly with certain champions of liberal theology, that they sound the warning note against the dangerous heresies of the work, as if it were impossible that any good thing should come out of Nazareth ; the world is therefore cautioned in advance to find only evil, where it might else be edified and made better by profound wisdom and undoubted piety.
Iti s not to the credit of our American publishing houses that no republication even of the first of these volumes has appeared on this side of the water. This volume was published a year since. The other has just appeared. Had it been a piece of sentimental orthodoxy, or of blasphemous interpretation of the Apocalypse, we should have had it in an American edition long ago. It is not either of these things; but only the ablest treatise on morals in the English language, - a treatise which engages itself successfully with the very difficulties which Whewell declines to touch upon, on the ground which even Mackintosh avoids, and clears away the mists which so puzzled poor Paley that he lost himself. It is only the most learned book, as well as the most thorough, on this most central topic. Is this the reason that no publishing house in America has undertaken it? Or do the readers” of those houses prefer novels to divine philosophy ?
ART. VI.- CLIMATOLOGY.
Climatology of the United States and of the Temperate Latitudes of
the North American Continent. By LORIN BLODGET. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co.
On the geographical maps of our times we see the old tical boundaries fading away.
These feudal remains, these lines of defence, are fast disappearing, like the old castle moats; and in their places we see, crossing in every direction and regardless of ancient feuds, the canals, the railroads, and the telegraphic lines, which mark the paths of commerce, security, and peace, and obscure the boundaries of war and danger.
To determine the physical description of these new lines, in what we may call economical geography, we need more than a survey of coasts and rivers and mountains; we need
a survey of the climate in all its conditions and elements, a survey of the forms and resources of the earth's surface, and of the habits of the atmosphere; for these are the physical conditions which define the lines of industry.
The old physical barriers which once served as defences and boundaries for nations, and marked the divisions of political geography, must now give place on the map to other and very different barriers and boundaries; barriers of soil and climate, and boundaries which depend upon agencies more powerful than states and more bountiful than princes.
As the study of Physical Geography, though it has solved but few of the problems in the Physics of the Globe, has yet been of great political service to the world; so the study of Climatology, though it has not yet succeeded in solving the problems of the weather, has still an incalculable economical value. Even at this early day in the progress of meteorological observations very important results have been obtained. A comparison of long series of observations has determined much that is stable in the perpetual changes of the atmosphere, and has shown that even the weather has habits. These habits or averages, to which local conditions of temperature and moisture approximate from year to year and at particular seasons, are very important elements in the determination of the agricultural capacities of any district.
The author of the work before us has aimed chiefly at these economical results, regarding them as the most important and satisfactory conclusions to be drawn from climatological statistics in their present state. With long and patient labor, he has discussed the observations which an army of observers have been collecting, during the past forty years, over the whole area of the United States.
The results of this discussion, arranged in tables and illustrated by charts, form the basis of that comparison of the climates which is the chief aim of the work. But in addition to the tables of temperatures and of the fall of rain, the author has collected much interesting matter upon the character of soils and the contours of their surfaces, the distribution of plants and the adaptation of different regions to human habitation; so that, viewed only as a summary of 5TH S. VOL. I. NO. III.