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better of their husbands, nor treat them much better, , than bis doctrine would seem to require. At the same time he need look no further for an explanation of the fact, which he so frequently insists upon and deplores, that his "godly wives ” are but seldorn instrumental in winping over their busbands to a deeper sense of religion. To have part in the apostolic encouragement, they must submit to the apostolic injunction. “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives, while they observe your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” i Peter iii. 1, 2. Then, “ What knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband ? or how knowest thou, Oman, whether thou shalt save thy wife?" 1 Cor. vii. 16.
Some directions are given to parents, towards the close of the book, in regard to the policy to be adopted with reference to “the enemy,” which come, we suppose,
under the head of stratagem.
“If your pious daughter,” we are told, “ be the object of peculiar regard to some youth, ingenuous, but yet not religious, I do not say you should thwart such an attachment. But let it not grow into an ardent intimacy. Especially let it not ripen into an engagement.
* * * Let him accompany her to the house of God, and to the conference meeting. Let him have the all-important subject kept suitably before him. Let him kneel by your family altar, while you pour out before God your audible entreaties on his behalf. Let him hear from her lips the frequent experience of her own heart. In fine, let the thousand secret arts, which affection and piety dictate, be employed. Who can doubt the result ?”
“Marriage,” according to Mr. Malcom, p. 38, “is not among the means of grace"; but courtship, it seems, is, though at some little expense of consistency in regard to "the vices and dangers of sinful associates."
The author of this essay appeals (p. 44.) to "the united testimony of great and good men in all ages, as sustaining his doctrine, “without a dissenting voice.” Instead of this, however, his own citations show that few of them, if any, sustain or countenance it; at any rate, not to the extent to which he would have it carried,
nor in the particular application of it now under consideration. They urge indeed, and, by uniVOL. XVI.
- pp. 88, 89.
N. S. VOL. XI. NO. 1.
versal consent, the Christian moralist cannot urge too strenuously, the extreme evils and dangers of all intimacy and familiarity, and especially of marriage, with the wicked and irreligious; and that with husband and wife there should be some good degree of congeniality, not only in temper, and taste, and worldly views, but, for still stronger reasons, in moral and religious character; nay, if possible, that there should be on the all-important subject of Christianity entire harmony of opinion as well as of feeling and worship. They allege, moreover, what, we presume, nobody in his senses ever thought of questioning, that a vast proportion of the crime and misery in the world may be traced directly or indirectly to ill-assorted matches, lightly, absurdly, insanely entered into by persons, the mutual repugnance of whose constitutions, principles, or connexions, made it in the highest degree improbable from the beginning that they would live together either virtuously or happily. Mankind not unfrequently manifest in, beyond all question or comparison, the most eventful transaction of life, less discretion or deliberation than they do in the most trivial; and seeing this, the wise and good exclaim, remonstrate, entreat. But, unlike Mr. Malcom, they do not frame a proposition of their own, and think to impose it on the community, as an express and positive law of God; they do not take it upon themselves authoritatively to affirm, that there can be no possible exceptions to this general rule of expediency or propriety; nor do they set themselves up as infallible umpires in regard to the practical application of such a rule. They set forth the general principles, on which a Christian should proceed in such cases; they insist on the peril of contracting an uisuitable alliance, putting their objection on the same general ground, whether ihis unsuitableness grows out of an apparently irreconcilable repugnance of temper, or occupation, or faith ; they indicate the usual, the probable consequences of such allian
But they do not, like Mr. Malcom, propose on any grounds to take from the parties immediately interested the
liberty to decide for themselves in the last resort the question of expediency, and right, and Christian consistency, in its application to the case in hand. Probably not a minister referred to in this Essay would have refused or hesitated to solemnize a marriage between two members of his own congregation,or the same community, for both of whom he en
tertained “no other sentiments than those of affectionate respect,” on the ground here taken by Mr. Malcom ;-namely, that in his judgment one was a believer, and the other an unbeliever, and that such marriages are expressly and positively interdicted, like those between persons within the prescribed degrees of relationship and blood.*
In noticing a few of the “objections” to his course, Mr. Malcom thinks it a small matter, that “as the number of the female sex transcends that of the other, in the visible church, this doctrine would consign many Christian females to celibacy.” Neither is he much staggered by the posing question, “May not a Christian be happier, with a person altogether amiable, without piety, than with a crooked, ill-tempered professor ?” “If,” says he (p. 80),"you were compelled to marry either an amiable sinner, or an unamiable Christian, take the Christian.” It is hard that a man should be “compelled” to marry anybody ; but, in the alternative here proposed, most persons, we think, would take the “ainiable sin
” if we know what is meant by that odd appellation. But the great and insuperable objections to Mr. Malcom's scheme are these. It is not supported by a shadow of authority or warrant from Scripture ; it proposes to draw a line of demarkation between believers and unbelievers, the converted and unconverted, professors and non-professors, absolutely without precedent in the church; it would have the effect to implicate our social and domestic as well as religious relations in all the uncertainty of theological disputation, and in all the evils and injustice of the Exclusive System; and it would make the priest or minister an umpire and a spiritual dictator in a service, in which he is known to the laws in no other capacity than as a civil functionary. Besides, supposing it to be carried into full and successful operation, it would not, and could not, prevent or materially lessen, the frequency or the evils of unequal and ill-sorted marriages in the community ; because “unbelievers," who, in Mr. Malcom's sense of that term, constitute the great majority, would still be “at liberty '' to marry as they list, and “believers ” themselves would also be" at liberty” to marry one another without regard to irreconcilable and mortal repugnances of temper, habits, and connexions.
* Neander does not represent the primitive Christians as going to this extent in discouraging intermarriages with pagans; who says, and the passage, by the way, is in many respects a better one in favor of Mr. Malcom than any he has adduced: “As long as the religious and moral point of view, in which Christianity first presented marriage, was strictly adhered to, it was felt, that, where the bond of religion did not unite the consciences, where, on the contrary, there was a decided disunion in the highest circumstance of the inward life, the true iinport of marriage could never receive its fulfilment. It was, therefore, wished that no marriages should ever take place between Christians and heathens.” — History of the Christian Religion and Church. Vol. 1. p. 317.
As the author of this Essay has publicly invited a discussion of the soundness of its principles and reasonings, we hope he will take in good part what is here offered. We do not understand that his own denomination accord with him, any more than other Christians, in the novel and extraordinary position which he has assumed. We doubt, neither the uprightness of his purposes, nor bis general ability and usefulness as a Christian minister; but until he has accustomed himself to sounder principles of Scriptural interpretation, and a closer and more exact logic, we entertain no fears of his making a single convert to his innovations.
Art. V. - Historical Class Book ; (Part First.) Contain
ing Sketches of History, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Roman Empire in Italy, A. D. 476. By William SULLIVAN, LL. D. &c. Boston: Carter, Hendee, & Co. 1833. 12mo. pp. 264. The same hand which has already furnished our schools with a Political and a Moral, now offers them an Historical Class Book. The workings of the same mind can be easily traced in all three of these volumes, and the last is not inferior in ability or interest to either of its predecessors. We were particularly pleased with the judicious abstract which is given of the early history of the world, drawn, of course, from the writings of the Old Testament. It presents the most important facts in the lives of “the youthful world's gray fathers,” the fortunes of the Jewish nation,
and the general course of events as recorded in ancient Scripture; and while it places these in a prominent light, it only glarces at matters of obscure and doubtful import and unsettled controversy. That portion also of the world's history which is commonly called “ profane,” is presented with similar judgment; and the moral remarks and inferences which are made, while they are generally sound and valuable, are so seasoned with liveliness as to suit the frame and apprehension of the youthful mind. Take the two following sections as examples.
“141. It is enough to show the interest of the present day in Grecian mythology, that students, whether they spend their hours of study on poetry or prose, on subjects of religion, policy, war, or philosophy, are sure to find something of these deities in all that is sought to be known. The sacred nine are annually invoked in all the scientific institutions of Europe and America. It would detract nothing from the solemnity of the invocation to know, that the nine were originally only a band of songsters who constituted part of the retinue of a royal lover of music; for poetry has long hallowed their divine vocation, and established an empire for them which no one would be impious enough to dispute. Many of these delightful visions would melt away, if one knew of what elements they were composed. It is justly due, however, to the heroic age to say, that there was then none of the absurd idolatry which disgraced cotemporaneous nations; and that there was a lostier sense of morality, founded in the fear of the gods, than was manifested in after ages, by the same people, when they became more refined. It is probable that they had oracles in these early days, but their supremacy belongs to a later period.
“ 142. It is deeply to be regretted, that the indispensable acquisition of the Greek and Latin languages has been commonly made through diligent study of fables little suited to the purity of youthful minds. There are purified editions of the Greek and Latin classics, which must be familiarly known to qualify a youth to be received into any college. But there are still many passages retained, which a preceptor would blush to construe and explain to his pupil. The world, at this day, would be none the worse, if the works of Ovid had not come down to us."— pp. 75, 76.
The latter of these sections, especially, we were glad to see in type and in school-book. It may do something, beside what has already been done elsewhere and by others,