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of biography, while the grand events which the history of these individuals draws in its train, introduce the reader, almost unconsciously, to a well arranged and systematic history of Spain in that eventful period of the world.
Next to the discovery of America by Columbus, one of the most interesting topics embraced in this work, especially to the ecclesiastical historian, is the origin and history of the modern Inquisition. Most of the materials of this history, which, until now, have been inaccessible to English readers, have been gathered by our author from the very voluminous documents, in French, recently disclosed by Llorente, a late secretary of that dread tribunal. These are here condensed and the substance of them is presented in a highly attractive form, throwing much new light upon an institution, which must forever remain a blot upon the reign of the beautiful queen. The expulsion of the Jews from Spain, who were the first victims of inquisitorial cruelty, bears still more severely upon the character of ope, whose influence in many respects makes us proud to recognize her as the “mother of America.” This expulsion, the fall of Granada and the fate of the Jews in Africa, whither they were driven, furnish many scenes of heart-rending interest.
But it is not our intention to enumerate the topics of these attractive volumes. As we have already remarked, a larger portion of the work is new to the English reader, and the materials, rich and various, are arranged in admirable order to produce an ever-growing interest in the reader.
On the whole we are proud to recommend this history, both at home and abroad, as an American work; while we congratulate the author on the rapid sale of the first three editions, and a popularity already acquired, which will ensure him an ample return for his long continued labor and research, under embarrassments of no ordinary character.
3.-History of the United States from the Discovery of the Ameri
can Continent. By George Bancroft. Vol. I. Fourth Edition, pp. 469. Vol. Il. Third Edition, pp. 468. Boston:
Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1838. Another American work ;-issued by the same publishers, in beautiful style, and worthy to stand by the side of “ Prescott's Ferdinand and Isabella," as an American and English classic. This work, like the preceding, will compare advantageously with the best standard histories in our language. It is an honor to the country and the age.
We notice these works in the order in which they should be read and pondered ;-for they are worthy of more than a simple reading ; —they deserve to be studied. Prescott introduces us to the condi. tion of the world as it was, in the incipient stages of modern civilization, and brings us into sympathy with the nation which was honored with the discovery of the new continent. Bancroft takes up the story where Prescott leaves it ; not to narrate the history of the ill-fated Spain, through the glorious reign wbich succeeded that of the Catholic Sovereigns, to its present humbled and broken condition, but to pursue a branch of modern history, spirit-stirring and buoy. ant with hope, where, amid many conflicts, it is true, and over nu. merous and appalling obstacles, the general progress of affairs has been onward, and upward.
We do not intend to intimate by these remarks that “ Bancroft's United States” is a continuation of the other work above named. It is a history complete in itself. It covers a portion of the same ground with that of Prescott, and derives its materials, thus far, from the same or similar sources. It will be read, however, with a more lively interest, and its early events be more fully comprebended by readers who are thoroughly acquainted with Spanish affairs, at the time of the discovery of the Arnerican continent.
This work is designed to be extended to several volumes. The two voluines named at the head of this notice are already before the public, and the publishers inform us that the third volume is in the press, while the author is diligently pursuing his investigations.
The first volume was published in 1834, and has been sufficiently praised by the Reviewers, as well in Europe as in this country. The second has met with an equally flattering reception, and both have been carefully revised by the author in the editions now before the public.
These volumes are wholly occupied with the Colonial history of this country. The running titles of their several chapters are “ Early voyages-French settlements ;-Spaniards in the U. S.;England takes possession of the country, - Colonization of Virginia ; -Slavery, dissolution of the London Company ;-Restrictions on Colonial commerce ;-Colonization of Maryland ;-The Pilgrims;Extended colonization of New England;- the united colonies of New England ;—the restoration of the Stuarts ;-Massachusetts and Charles II. ;-Shaftsbury and Locke legislate for Carolina ;—the col. onies on the Chesapeake bay ;-New Netherlands ;-the people call. ed Quakers in the U. S.;—James II. consolidates the Northern colonies ;- the results thus far.” Under each of these general heads there is a wonderful variety of incidents of thrilling interest, and many rich trains of thought concerned in placing fully before the reader the leading facts and events of the times. These appear to have been sought out with great care, and are arranged with a due regard to the order of time, as well as to their bearings upon each other, and the whole is presented in a style at once concise, lucid and often highly finished and elegant.
The author possesses the best advantages for original investigation of the early American history, and has already spent years of laborious preparation for his work. Hitherto he has pursued it with a candor and impartiality which are the crowning excellencies of a historian, and should his life be spared to complete what he has so worthily begun, we may hope to possess a standard American history, which future inquirers will find little occasion to correct.
Mr. Bancroft's description of the Pilgrims of New England, in his first volume, has been so often quoted and so deservedly praised, that it would be superfluous to refer to it here as a specimen of his style, whether of language or of thought. Many other passages of equal beauty are embraced in these volumes. His work is studded with gems of this sort.
4.- Elements of Psychology: included in a Critical Examination
of Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding. With addi. tional pieces. By Victor Cousin, Peer of France, etc. Trans. lated from the French, wilh an Introduction and Notes, by the Rev. C. S. Henry, D. D. Second Edition, prepared for the use of Colleges. New York : Gould & Newman, 1838.
This work is a translation of ten lectures of M. Cousin, (from the sixteenth to the twenty-fifih inclusive,) contained in the second volume of his “ History of Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century.” These lectures are pronounced in the Edinburgh Review, (October 1830,) to be the most important work on Locke since the Nouveaux Essais of Leibnitz," and by others, have been lauded as “ perhaps the greatest master-piece of philosophical criticism ever exhibited to the public."
Mr. Henry's translation has been before the public since 1834, and having, as the translator informs us, been “introduced into a number of our most respectable Universities and Colleges," a judg. ment has doubtless been formed of its merits by many who have had more opportunity to study it than ourselves, and whose opinions will not be affected by any remarks of ours. Nor is it our design to depreciate the value of this work as a whole. It is a splendid production. Its classification of the mental faculties is a manifest improvement upon that of Locke, and, in the chapter on " Moral Relations,” our author reasons with triumphant conclusiveness against the error of Locke, Paley and others, who confound moral obligation with the influence of rewards and punishments assigned by law. Cousin maintains the essential and immutable distinction between right and wrong, and that, under a wise and good administration, certain actions are required because they are right, and others forbidden because they are wrong, independently of the reward promised or punishment threatened to enforce or prevent them. His chapter also on the “ Association of Ideas,” his encomium upon the Third Book of Locke and his observations on disputes about words, are worthy to be imprinted upon the memory of every in. quirer after truth. Many other excellencies might be pointed out in these lectures, which commend them as valuable helps in the study of mental philosophy.
His great argument, however, against Locke's theory of knowledge, as we conceive, is strikingly misapplied and erroneous. It is founded in a misapprehension of the meaning which Locke gives to the term idea. Cousin speaks of the objects of ideas, the conformity of ideas to their objects, etc. But this is not the language of Locke, and no such expressions occur in the passages referred to by our author. According to Locke ideas are the objects of thoughts, and not the thoughts themselves. Hence to speak of the object of an idea is to speak of the object of an object ! This misapprehension has led our author to the startling conclusion, that, according to Locke's theory, we have no knowledge of matter or its qualities, of time or space, of finite minds, of the Infinite Spirit, nor of our own existence! Such a conclusion, however, adopted by Berkley and Hume, has long since been refuted as erroneous and absurd. And again we wonder at the process of reasoning by which Cousin seems to confound the theory of Locke with that of Condillac and his followers in France, under the common appellation of sensualism. Locke derives only a part of our knowledge from sensation; and uniformly represents sensation and reflection, as the sources of knowledge. · This work of Cousin, therefore, as it appears to us, on a cursory examination, with all its excellencies, which we admit to be great, is not in all respects unexceptionable. It may be a good book to introduce into our Colleges, and on the whole we are disposed to commend it as such ; but we would have it always in the hands of a professor thoroughly versed in the system of Locke, and who is able to detect the misapprehensions of which we have spoken. .
5.- Religion of the Bible, in Select Discourses. By Thomas H.
Skinner. New York : John S. Taylor, 1839. pp. 323. This volume, (beautifully executed by the publisher,) is “respectfully presented, by the Author, to the Mercer Street Presbyterian Church,” of which he is the pastor. It is in the form of discourses, or essays, the leading topics of which are “Spiritual Religion ;-Spiritual Joy ;-Doing Good, parts first and second ;-Coöperation with God ;-Prayer, parts first and second ;-The Sabbath ;-Restraints on Divine Influence;—The First Last, and the Last First."
Several of these pieces have been before printed in periodicals and other forms. They are, however, highly worthy to compose a volume, and well adapted to answer the object of their present publication, which is that the respected author may, by this means, "speak more frequently, in their private habitations,” to those accustomed to his voice in the house of God. As intellectual productions they are of a high order; systematic in their arrangement of thought, and convincing in argument. In style they are beautiful specimens of pure and elegant English composition, worthy of the pen of the Professor of Sacred Rhetoric, and of the zealous, en. lightened and persuasive preacher of the gospel. In this respect they exhibit so few faults, that we do not care to name them in this brief notice. In theology they are discriminating, instructive and biblical, indicating clear views, and an abiding impression, on the mind of the author, of that perfect and harmonious system of truth, of which every doctrine of christian theology is a part. In spirit they possess a life and an unction, derived from the closet, not less than from the pulpit ; and though“ presented” by the author to the members of his own charge, they are such as other christian pastors may commend, with much promise of usefulness, to their people. As a whole, the book is entirely congruous with the ministerial character, and suited, wherever it may be read, to help the work of the ministry, in elevating the tone of piety, in the perfecting of the saints,” and “the edifying of the body of Christ.” We know of but few volumes of discourses, at once so unexceptionable, so attractive, and so well adapted to do good.
6.- The Catastrophe of the Presbyterian Church, in 1837, including
a full View of the Recent Theological Controversies in New England. By Zebulon Crocker, Delegate from the General Association of Connecticut to the General Assembly of 1837.
New Haven: B. & W. Noyes, 1838. pp. 300. This work has been several months before the public, but we have not, until quite lately, found opportunity to peruse it. It appears to contain a fair account of the principal exciting controversies which have existed, for a few years past, both in the Presbyterian and Congregational churches, by one who has taken pains to inform himself of the facts and events concerning which he writes. The author's mind appears to have been first excited to the importance of preparing this history, by the discussions to which he listened in the General Assembly of 1837, and by the strange and startling positions which were assumed and acted on by the majority of that body, in abrogating the Plan of Union of '1801, exscinding the Synods of Utica, Geneva, Genesee and the Western Reserve, and in passing resolutions discountenancing the operations of the Home Missionary and Education Societies within the bounds of the Presbyterian church. To a Connecticut clergyman these positions and doings may well be conceived to have been astounding, and our author felt that his brethren in New England were deeply concerned to know whereunto were tending their cherished union and coöpe
SECOND SERIES, NO. I. VOL. I.