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and the former the more intense. As a professor of the “higher life,” Dr. Lowrey undertakes to set forth its character and conditions, its relations to spiritual religion in its widest conception, and he carefully guards the subject against misapprehensions and abuses. The book is happily arranged and well written; its methods of discussion are commendable, its temper good, and its taste unexceptionable. It merits a ready reception among works of its class.
The doctrinal views expressed are generally of the orthodox Methodist pattern. The fact of original sin in man's nature is assumed or treated as a first truth, and the overthrow and extirpation of this “fault” is presented as the great purpose of God's grace as manifested in religious experience. But this is seldom or never accomplished at the beginning of the new life, and therefore growth in grace and conflicts with inbred sin go forward in the life of the believer till the completed work is effected. To these views no sound Methodist of the Wesleyan type can take any exceptions, nor need we intimate any dissent from the general teaching of the book, at any important point; and if it contains but little that has not been before said, there may be enough of newness and freshness in the saying to justify this substantial repetition.
It is quite manifest, and some may consider it as undesirable, that a portion of our excellent people constitute a class of specialists in respect to religious experience. They not only use their own methods, but they have a peculiar dialect, and words and phrases as used by them have come to have special and somewhat technical significations. “Sanctification,” and “holiness,” and many like terms that in Holy Scripture and in general religious discourse are used to designate the ordinary fruits of the Spirit in believers, are narrowed down so as to indicate only a specific and ultimate work of grace; and while Christ and his apostles, and the godly of all the ages of the Church, have been intent on cultivating the work of grace with equal diligence in all its stages, these good people appear to concern themselves almost wholly with that higher grade into which (so much more is the pity) comparatively few have come. There can be no question but that “the possibilities of grace" reach forward to a blessed fullness, and for that all are called to labor ; but there are very many steps in the ascent below the topmost landing, and for those upon these most of the labor of Christ's ministers must be expended; and some may even doubt whether there is any special landingplace in the ascent of the soul heavenward till the end is reached. We have named some of the good qualities of Dr. Lowrey's book, and there are still others that might be named. To some readers such books are especially acceptable, and may be profitable; but the spiritual tastes of others will covet spiritual diet prepared and presented in less artificial styles. Theories in religion, whether of the head or the heart, are less valuable than the faith that accepts, without a theory, the grace that brings salvation.
Jesus Christ, God, God and Man. Conferences delivered at Notre Dame in Paris. By Rev. PÈRE LACORDAIRE, of the Order of Friar Preachers. A new edi.
tion in one volume. 12mo, pp. 418. New York: Thomas Whittaker. Besides the self-aggrandizing ecclesiasticism of the Church of Rome and its soul-killing literalism and formalities, it also embodies substantial Christian doctrine, and it likewise has within its communion a class of deeply pious (many of them also pietistic) Christians who, despite the unwholesome influences among which they reside, are leading lives of real faith and devotion. This better side of Romanism is presented in these discourses of Père Lacordaire, in which, with the accidents of his Church relations and life, he most happily and forcibly sets forth some of the great fundamental truths of Christianity which belong to Protestants no less than to Catholics, to wit: Christian theism, the person and work of Christ, and the intercourse between God and man in Christian life. It is a wholesome book, if read with proper discrimination, and well adapted to awaken deep devotional feelings.
Spiritual Life; Its Nature, Urgency, and Crowning Excellence. By Rev. J. H.
POTTS, A.M., Detroit. 16mo, pp. 230. New York: Phillips & Hunt. Cincinnati: Cranston & Stowe. 1884. This is a kindred book to that of Dr. Lowrey, noticed above, and yet with specific differences; and in their points of difference we prefer this work to that, as broader and more catholic. Such books are chiefly valuable as aids to personal religious culture, though they are not without their dogmatic implications and didactic suggestions. In literary ability and good taste, as well as for its adaptation to awaken religious impulses, it is deserving of decided commendations. Its extensive use would do good.
The Reality of Faith. By Newman SMYTH, Author of " Old Faiths in New Light,"
etc. 12mo, pp. 315. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Dr. Smyth made himself famous, and so awakened opposition and procured promotion, by stating certain rather commonplace
10—FIFTH SERIES, VOL. I.
notions in unusual and somewhat exaggerated forms of words. It is quite evident that he is not a bad heretic, and probably as he grows older, and his imagination comes to be less disproportioned to his judgment, and when he has thought himself through the subjects he has in hand, it will be found that his theology is neither new nor strange. This last output of his ever-restless brain probably will neither hasten nor retard the transition through which the subject, though probably himself not aware of it, is evidently passing.
HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, AND TOPOGRAPHY. A History of Methodism. Comprising a View of the Rise of this Revival of Spir. itual Religion in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century, and of the Principal Agents by whom it was Promoted in Europe and America. With some Account of the Doctrines and Polity of Episcopal Methodism in the United States, and the Means and Manner of its Extension down to A. D. 1884. By HOLLAND N. M'TYEIRE, D.D., one of the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 8vo, pp. 688. Nashville, Tenn.: Southern Methodist Publish
ing House. With this very long title—which is fairly indicative of the contents of the book,Bishop M'Tyeire, having been requested to undertake the work by the Centennial Committee and the “college” of Bishops of bis Church, presents to the public a rapid, succinct, but comprehensive sketch of Methodism generally, and of American Methodism as a whole, down to the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and thenceforward the history of that branch of Methodism to this Centennial Year. As a specimen of mechanical and artistic book-making the volume in hand is highly creditable to its publishers. The paper, printing, binding, and illustrations (on steel) are all good, and in all its exterior the work is worthy of its occasion. As a literary production it is also creditable to its author, who, having an immense mass of matter from which to choose his materials, has quite satisfactorily selected and omitted, so as to bring together within the prescribed limits the salient and representative points out of which to weave the purposed narrative according to the ideal in his mind and purpose; and it is done with commendable literary skill.
The real character and attitude of the work, as designed by its author, is fairly indicated in a single sentence in the preface: “The reader is advertised that this is not a history of Southern Methodism, but of Methodism from a Southern point of view,” though this must be qualified by the concession that it is, as to the period from 1844-45, onward, specifically and nearly exclusively a history of Southern Methodism. A further indication of its purpose is given in the remark that “ Methodism in the South has suffered injustice from the manner in which it has been presented by learned, honest, and able writers in the North.” The presence and influence of the ruling thought indicated by these two observations may be detected throughout the volume. The writer is calm and kindly-disposed, with no apparent wish to renew the strifes of the past; but he cannot remand the subject of those conflicts to silence without a restatement of the case and a final plea in behalf of his own side.
Evidently the discussions about the points which have divided the opinions of American Methodists, and which have seemed to have different aspects in different latitudes of the country, are not yet at their end; but passing from merely local, temporary, and personal debates, they are now receiving the broader and better consideration that their dignity and importance demands. From the first the Methodists of the South, in sympathy with the aristocratico-barbario civilization of their region, inclined to favor something of a prelatical character in the episcopacy, and to guard the “prerogatives” of the magnates quite as jealously as the “rights and privileges” of the commons; while in the North an opposite tendency has been manifest. And out of these fundamentally opposite tendencies has grown up most of the conflicts which have agitated the body — though it is somewhat remarkable that the border States of the South have contributed some of the ablest advocates of the liberal side. The political divergences of the two sections have had their effects upon the prevalent views of their ecclesiastical affairs; and the end of these things is not yet. The thoughtful observer will not fail to see, that, after the similitude of the unborn sons of Rebecca, two nations were in the womb of early American Methodism, and two manners of people have all along contended in its organic structure. The High-Church party has contemplated its ecclesiastical authority as an heir-loom descended from Wesley, and perpetuated by a continuation of the ecclesiastical successors of that great “ Apostle.” With them, therefore, the episcopacy is possessed of certain inalienable prerogatives which cannot be eliminated nor modified except by revolutionary proceedings. This was the attitude of those, chiefly Southerners, who effectually resisted and reversed the will of the majority of the General Conference, in 1820, on the famous “Presiding Elder Question;" and which also, in 1844, gallantly but ineffectually strove to shield the episcopal status, as they viewed it, which they thought they saw invaded in the person of one of its incumbents. The theory of their opponents is, that the American Methodist episcopacy was indigenous to the soil—a sporadic development from the living body of the Church, which (Church) antedates by a score of years the advent of a Methodist Bishop in America. They hold that Coke became a Bishop, not by Wesley's “ordination " and appointment, but by the action of the Conference of 1784, which accepted him in that relation, to which office Asbury was also raised by the election of the Conference, and ordained according to its instructions. Acting upon this idea, the Conference soon afterward effectually repudiated Wesley's authority over them; and a little later, first reduced Coke to the status of an assistant superintendent under Asbury, and at length effectually deposed him without trial or formal complaint against him. The same principles were brought to bear, in 1844, in the case of Bishop Andrew, a proceeding which is fully justified, as to its legality, by that theory as it cannot be by any other. The General Conference of 1884 formally reaffirmed these principles, and vindicated the action of the fathers in 1844, as nothing else could do.
In considering these things “from a Southern point of view," Bishop M'Tyeire presents the “ High-Church” side of the questions and controversies of which he writes, as, of course, he has the right to do. The positions held and the claims set forth by the Methodists of the “ Church South " are in harmony with their cherished fundamental ideas of Methodist Church polity, and they are entitled to respect for their practical loyalty to their own convictions. But just how the High-Church advocates in Northern Methodism reconcile the action of 1844 with their principles, is a question that we need not answer. If they are theoretically correct, it would seem that the Methodist Episcopal Church owes it to herself, and to the truth of history, to disclaim any sympathy with the action that suspended Bishop Andrew, and as far as possible to reverse that action, with due confession and contrition—all of which, most likely, will not be done in the near future.
The view of the progress of Methodism in all lands during the century succeeding Mr. Wesley's earliest Conferences is alike marvelous and cause for devout thanksgiving, all of which Bishop M'Tyeire presents in a graphic and life-like, though