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lucid order, and an inventive skill in presenting intricate science in graphic form before the eye. The non-professional examiner of the work will find that if he does not keep well posted in the science it will fast grow out of his knowledge, its growth being as rapid and its magnitude being as unfinished as those of our own city of Gotham in past years.
—e-o-e— History, Biography, and Topography.
Life and Times of Nathan Bangs, D.D. By ABEL STEVENs, LL.D., author of “The History of the Religious Movement of the Eighteenth Century, called Methodism. 12mo., pp. 426. New York: Carlton & Porter. 1863.
The selection of Dr. Stevens by Dr. Bangs as his biographer was a guarantee of a valuable addition to our historical literature. What we have to say of a favorable nature we premise with a disposal of points on which we dissent. The note in our last number indicating such a treatment in the work of the slavery question as would render the book capable of acceptance by all is not to be construed into an indorsement of Dr. Stevens's exhibit of that part of his subject. There is scarce a paragraph in those portions of his book which we could adopt as our own. And in the general his view seems to be that it was simply a sad strife in which the movers were the aggressors, and both sides wrong; by which Churches were disturbed and broken up, and in which moderateism was the great merit. Our view is that the movers were right; that with a high unsilenceable moral purpose they assailed an evil which the good of humanity required to be assailed; that there would have been little strife had there been, as there should have been, a reasonable concurrence instead of a reasonless opposition; and that therefore the assailants of the movers were the responsible aggressors and the “conservatives” were the destructives. That this view places a most brilliant dynasty of statesmen and churchmen in the shady side of history, that the “great men” of the crisis were great failures, that they were unable to comprehend or to rise to the high level of their moral position, is a fact which in every revolving year will become more clearly seen and more articulately pronounced.
The long life of Dr. Bangs stretched, like a historic line, from the present day far back into our primitive antiquity. He was at the beginnings of things. The seminal period of his birth, conversion, and early ministry seem like a gray twilight. Methodism in America was without form and void. The local religious movement in which he started into religious action is like one of the million spontaneous springs which form from all directions into a Mississippi. And in the successive steps of organic formation he is present and working. The epochs of Methodism are notches in his personal history. And of all the institutes which have constituted her system no one character so forms the nucleus. Energetic, staid, progressive, and true, he was a co-operator, a leader, a princeps, until he became, by easy consent of all, the patriarch. Few men have we known for whom, in his patriarchal period, the epithet venerable seemed more purposely made. He was a statesman and a warrior. Nor was he quite what he appears to be in Dr. Stevens's history, the meek evader of strife, who had a right to mourn in innocence over the polemic spirit of others. He was full ready for battle, could say unsparing things, and employ what appeared to his opponents very questionable tactics. Like Dr. Johnson, if his argumentative pistol missed fire he could knock the recusant down with the butt end. He had great ends in view, was autocratic in their pursuit, and repressed opposition in an unceremonious style. But in the great outline of his course his ends were public ends; he labored for the good of the Church and the world; he employed his great powers with a rare, consistent, and persistent faithfulness in the cause of his divine Master. The two great errors of position in his life (of which Dr. Stevens gives no very explicit narrative) were his opposition to the temperance organizations and to the antislavery movement. In the first, his purpose was to hold aloof from the movement on the grounds that our Church was itself a temperance organization. After a period, however, so unanimous was the Church in its favor that he abandoned that position and entered frankly and fully into the spirit of that great beneficent work. This was doubtless a sincere change of opinion, and the unreserved decision with which it was made is a characteristic and honorable trait of his personal history; yet very sad it is that that same trait did not retrieve his false position in the latter great reform. His second error was like unto his first, springing much from a similar source, his confidence in the traditional antislaveryism of Methodism. He refused to see that that tradition had lost its sufficiency to meet the trials of a new state of things. It was liable to become an evil; serving as a woucher for one's antislaveryism preparatory to opening an onslaught upon all opposition to slavery. Regulated by such antecedents and surrounded by malign influences, he saw himself deserted by section after section of the Church, which refused equally to accept his counsels or to withhold her reverence for his memorable past and venerable present. Even while he stood in our conference, uttering those words that felk like icicles on the heart of the Church to be applauded to the echo in Louisiana, she rejected his counsels with sorrow for their import, yet reverence for the utterer. To the last, when he came into the arena, he maintained his ascendency. To the last the antislavery progressives, most of them comparatively young and inexperienced, dreaded his speeches and tactics more than those of all the others put together. He placed himself by natural ascendency at the head of the ranks, and his logic was as clear, his voice as piercing, his hand as heavy, and his Imanagement as skillful as in his palmy days. Little as there was of the mere showy or the effeminate in his manly style of oratory, it was at the close of one of his last efforts that we overheard a lady utter the words, “I do like to hear Dr. Bangs speak; it is so right to the point.” The true substantial popularity of Dr. Bangs with New York Methodism for thirty or forty years was eminently honorable to both parties. He purchased it by no flourish, no insinuating style of manners, no flimsy rhetoric, no rich imagination, no personal adulation, no finesse or intrigue. He stood in his own manly simplicity; he spoke in a style of clear, plain, solid English; his appeals, stern or gentle, were to the best reason of his hearers, and his deportment was that of a grave, thoughtful Christian gentleman. As such he was accepted and sustained by our Metropolitan Methodism through the great share of his long and valuable life. A body of Christian laity appreciated his comprehensive projects, contributed the means, and shared in the noble labors. The monuments of his useful toils and the remembrancers of his many and great virtues, are around us. May they long stand to accomplish the work for which he sought to found them and fully to perpetuate the earthly register of his name whose truest record is on high. If we have touched all the more fully upon some points because we think that by omissions scarce true to history they are not represented by his biographer, let it be remembered that they are but few and isolated points. Of the great body of the volume, as well as the life of its eminent subject, we may speak with no qualified commendation. Dr. Stevens's name, as already indicated, is a pledge that a volume rich in historical, moral, and literary interest is ready for a wide class of expectant readers.
Outposts of Zion, with Limnings of Missionary Life. By Rev. WILLIAM H. GooDE, ten years a member of Frontier Conferences. 12mo., pp. 464. Cincinnati: Poe & Hitchcock. 1863.
Mr. Goode's successive fields of labor have been in Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, and the mining regions of the Rocky Mountains. The ten years have stretched through a period of momentous history. Under the Church, previous to the separation, he held his center in Fort Coffee, where a prosperous missionary seminary was established, and supervised the Arkansas mission work. He was present at the Louisville Convention, where the pro-slavery Methodist Episcopal Church was inaugurated, and his details are painfully interesting. His exploring tour to the Rocky Mountains abounds in interest, and his conclusions in value. Iłight earnestly and justly does our faithful missionary plead the cause of our red American brethren. He scouts with benevolent indignation the cruel cant that the “Indian is doomed.” He shows conclusively that where the speculator and the shark are excluded, and the missionary and the schoolmaster are allowed to do their work, moral elevation, increase of population, civilization, and ultimate rescue from annihilation are the blessed results. We are struck with the bold and noble proposition which closes the programme of dealing with the Indians, that they be educated and trained to become states in our Confederacy. Slavery and the slave-power, inhuman in all directions, have not forgotten to be cruel to the sons of the forest. Slavery has sustained and intensified the bigotry of race; pro-slavery administrations have sent unprinci. pled harpies to the territories to reap the reward of partisan services. Thus the three races, white, red, and black, have come under the destructive power of this common curse. Let us hope that a better day dawns. The great crime of two centuries abolished and expiated with tears and blood, let us hope that Japhet, Shem, and Ham—the Caucasian, the Indian, and the African—will recognize a common brotherhood, and cultivate Peace, equity, and piety together. We feel like nominating “honest Abe” for one more term, vexed as we sometimes are at is inaptitude for rapid development, that he may be the emanciPator of the three races—a tri-colored Liberator. Let him be Permitted and willing to inaugurate a humane policy for the Indian, looking to the establishment of free, coequal states of that race, *nd future generations will call him the good President.
* History of the Romans under the Empire. By CHARLEs MERIVALE, B.D., late Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. From the fourth ndon Edition. With a copious Analytical Index. Vol. i. 12mo., PP 439. New York: Appleton & Co. 1863. !erivale has been accepted by the highest English authorities as a classic ; as a worthy member of the modern school of historians, which has shed so bright a luster on that department of English
literature, His works covers the vacant interval in Roman history between Arnold and Gibbon. It is at the same time the most stirring time, the most momentous epoch, in the history of that extraordinary nation. It commences at the formation of the first Triumvirate, and closes at the death of Marcus Aurelius. The first two volumes terminate at the close of the career of Julius Cesar, and are, in fact, the “life and times” of that, as Merivale thinks, “greatest character in history.” It is the period of Pompey, Cato, Cicero, and Crassus. Volumes third and fourth extend to Claudius, including the Christian era. The sixth terminates at the fall of Jerusalem, and the seventh closes the work, A. D. 70, at the death of Aurelius. Its finish of style, its great success in bringing the enlightened judgment of modern thought to bear upon ancient events and characters, its descriptive and narrative power and thorough erudition, render it a worthy complement to the two great English historians of Rome, between whom it stands. Both the classic scholar and the general reader will rejoice to receive this work done up in the Appleton style.
The Life and Times of John Huss; or, the Bohemian Reformation of the Fifteenth Century. By E. H. GILLETT. In two volumes. 8vo., pp. 632, 651. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. New York: Sheldon & Co. Cincinnati: George S. Blanchard. 1863.
Brief space compels us to use strong words to do commensurate justice to this noble work. It appears to us an honor to American scholarship and talent. It selects one of the truest, noblest, purest martyrs of the entire Christian history; it scatters the shades which historical neglect has allowed to gather around him; it draws from a thorough research into original and cotemporary sources, with graphic power, a living portrait of characters and events that possess an undying interest for every lover of purity, truth, and freedom. Mr. Gillett dates his preface from “Harlem, near New York city.” Gould & Lincoln have worthily framed his historic pictures into two plain but stately volumes. Let not our religious and scholarly public overlook this production.
The Capital of the Tycoon : A Narrative of a Residence in Japan. By Sir RUTHERFoRD ALcock, K. C. B., His Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Japan. With Maps and Illustrations. In two volumes. 12mo., pp. 407,436. New York: Harper & Brothers.
The opening of Japan to European incursion, which must ultimately completely Europeanize or Americanize that country, will render this a welcome book to a large class of inquirers. It is written in vigorous style, and its bountiful supply of maps and illustrations greatly aids in furnishing clear conceptions of that peculiar region and people.