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disciples of Jesus, under all systems and among all sects from the Catholic to the most ultra-Protestant. This does not prove that it is no matter what men believe, or what ecclesiastical organization prevails among them. One of the heroes of our Revolution was a Quaker, till the impulses of an ardent patriotism and the exigencies of his country made him a General. This does not prove that Quakerism is warlike and pugnacious; neither does the fact that Washington and Jay were Episcopalians, prove that Prelacy is an inspirer of liberty and the friend of republican institutions, though the argument has been used in one of the Church” tracts. So Charles Carroll was a Catholic, but this does not establish the liberal spirit and the liberalizing tendency of the Roman hierarchy. Carroll was more of an American than a Catholic, and Washington more of a Christian than an Episcopalian. The tendency of Prelacy is not liberal. The legitimate results of its principles, fully carried out, would not be freedom, truth, progress, the advancement of mankind in religious knowledge and a living faith; but a stationary servitude, a subjection to the forms and the creeds of a dead past. The tendencies of Congregationalism are liberal; the legitimate results of its principles are freedom, truth, progress. It has its element of stability and permanence, not in creeds and canons and ritual, but in the Bible - the word of God; it has its element of progress, in the better understanding, the clearer interpretation of those sacred records. Congregationalism plants itself upon the Bible, the recorded declaration of the Divine will, the recorded evidence of the Divine interposition, the recorded exhibition of the Divine wisdom and goodness and love, the great foundation and source of religious truth; with no rival authority in any man or body of men, in any ecclesiastical or civil rulers, in
any traditions from a remote age, which may perchance be correct, or may have originated in fraud or superstition. Here is something that will stand; a principle that cannot be moved ; the rock on which Congregationalism builds the Church of Christ. This holy volume Congregationalism opens and offers to all — bids each eye see what it can, each mind gather what it can, each age develop whatever new and noble idea it can find in the immortal page. Congregationalism admits that all the high conceptions, all the lofty
1846.) Dangers and Duties of Young Men.
thoughts, all the sublime knowledge on religious subjects, which we are capable of receiving or that word of imparting, may not burst upon us at once, — that truth may be continually breaking from that living, eternal word, in a clearer light, a more beautiful form. Here is its element of progress. It is stable and permanent, for it stands upon the Bible. It is fruitful and progressive, for by the application of reason and thought and meditation, the faithful and humble use of our powers, it bids us gather from the Bible the materials of that structure of divine truth, which faith must erect as the home of our souls, wherein are garnered our best affections and our spirits are educated for the heaven to which our hopes aspire.
We have illustrated one of the great principles of Congregationalism, the basis on which its church members come together. It was our purpose to speak of the other great principle, the independence but mutual sympathy of the separate churches, and say a word on the position and duties of Congregationalists at this present time, particularly in reference to that portion of the Congregational Communion to which we belong. But our limits require that this purpose be deferred to another number.
S. K. L.
ART. IX. — DANGERS AND DUTIES OF YOUNG MEN.*
The volumes named below are all written with one aim, and, while they have their separate styles and dwell upon
* 1. Lectures to Young Men on their Moral Dangers and Duties. By Rev. A. A. LIVERMORE. Boston: J. Munroe & Co. 1846. 18mo. pp. 166.
2. Duties of Young Men. By Rev. E. H. CHAPIN. Revised edition. Boston : G. W. Briggs. 1846. 12mo. pp. 267.
3. Letters to Young Men, founded on the History of Joseph. By WilLIAM B. SPRAGUE, Ď. D. Albany. 1845. 12mo. pp. 203.
4. Counsels addressed to Young Women, Young Men, Young Persons in Married Life, and Young Parents. Delivered in the Second Presbyterian Church, Washington City, on the Evenings of the Sabbaths in April, 1846. By Matthew HALE SMITH. With an Introduction by the Hon. John Quincy Adams. Washington. 1846. 8vo. pp. 116.
5. Lectures to Young Men on Various Important Subjects. By HENRY WARD BEECHER, Indianapolis, Indiana. Salem and Cincinnati. 1846. 12mo. Pp. 251.
different topics, they are all suited to make a deep impression, and to exert a salutary influence. One fact has particularly impressed us, – that, written as they are by clergymen of various denominations, they are free from cant and have nothing about them of a strictly denominational character. As far as these books are concerned, the writers form one brotherhood. They, for the most part, speak in that manly spirit which may call forth a response in every heart. Is not this among the peculiarities of the times? Religious books are not written in that cold, dry, and technical phraseology, which was their characteristic at a former day. They have more of the freshness and glow of life. They are made to harmonize more fully with good sense and the natural feelings of the heart. We rejoice at this, because we believe that such writings will do vastly more good. They will not be pushed aside with indifference or thrown down in disgust. They have a tone of cheerfulness and truth, which arrests the attention ; they have a naturalness and earnestness, which command respect; they have an adaptation, which fastens them upon the memory; they appeal so directly to human experience, that they carry conviction to the heart: and thus we believe they will be far more useful, than the books which were formerly run into a frigid party mould, and sprinkled plentifully with familiar texts of Scripture; which enforced the dogmas of particular sects; and which had as little, apparently, to do with real life and the heart's best affections, as the mountains of Norway with the mildness and beauty of spring.
Another reason why we rejoice to see such books coming from the midst of different denominations is, that it shows a growing conviction of the noble and expansive character of Christianity. The religion of Jesus cannot be bound down to the technicalities of party. When it would address the intellect of the country, it must speak in a free and natural manner. The very thought of bringing religion before our young men seems to liberate the spirit
. A higher and a manlier tone is heard, and we behold the truth stated in such a manner that enlightened reason can weigh it, and accept it with joy. This age needs such an expression of religious truth. A skepticism and an immorality are abroad, which make it imperative upon every
friend of God and humanity to do the utmost that may be in his power. And if society is to be renovated, it must be, in part, by calling forth purer affections and higher motives among our young men; and if our young men are to be reached, it must be by a rational and earnest appeal. Christianity must come forth in her divine beauty, and speak in a clear and cheerful tone; she must walk with a firm foot over the earth, and show how closely her principles are connected with the practical details of daily life and the highest well-being of man.
Each of the books we have named can be recommended, as free at least from everything narrow and sectarian. They each pass through a wide circle of topics, and, generally, with a large and generous spirit. The contents of Mr. Livermore's book was first given as Sunday evening Lectures, at the request of the young men of Keene, and the volume is marked somewhat, as the writer states in his preface, by “circumstances of time and place, and local wants and views." Still it dwells upon those moral exposures and obligations of early manhood which are more or less common to all, and will, no doubt, be found both interesting and profitable to a far wider circle than that for which it was first prepared. The Lectures are written with such honest frankness that the reader can never be at a loss to understand the meaning. Not satisfied with commonplace generalities, the writer seizes upon the actual evils of the present day, and goes into such an exact statement that one must consider with self-application, and feel the full force of every statement made. The pages are not covered with showy declamation or dazzling figures of rhetoric, but are evidently written to be useful, and are therefore simple and direct. Yet they are by no means deficient either in force or beauty, and have, not unfrequently, and without any false striving for effect, a genuine originality of expression.
We will give a few brief passages which may serve as illustrations of the general style. În speaking of the dizzy round of corrupting pleasures, he says:
“The world is not so barren of beauty and of bliss, that we must, to recreate our spirits, drink of the foul sediment of corrupt pleasure. When every sunbeam is winged with glory, and every snow-flake drops down as if it were a benediction
from the skies; when, in our daily walks, so much of gladness meets us at every turn; when, even in our labors of hand and head, there is often mingled so much of still
, steady happiness; when, in our homes, the air is so full of love and enjoyment; when, in music, in books, in innocent sports and games, in the walk, the ride, the social festivity, such ample and various means are provided for all reasonable exhilaration, who would, in his better moments, wish to plunge into the giddy whirl of fashionable dissipation ?" - p. 50.
As a specimen of the directness with which portions are written, we give the following:
“A young man cannot learn too early, that the easy swagger, the flippant speech, the ready oath, the cigar puffed in the face of the town, the glass tossed off among admiring associates, are no marks of real dignity, but that they lower him in the respect of others, as much as they do in fact in his own." - p. 81.
In speaking of profaneness he says:
"Such a custom is no mark of a gentleman, any more than it is of a Christian. It is as far from good manners as it is from good morals. It brands a man at once, in the eyes of all good judges, as low-bred and vulgar, though he may wear broadcloth and gold. The first profane lisp reveals his want of true politeness as much as of correct principle.” — p. 25.
Among the examples of plain speaking, we would refer to the chapter on the pernicious effects of the use of tobacco, which both laymen and clergymen would do well to consider. The testimony of such men as Rush, Franklin, Boerhaave, Woodward, Darwin, Chapman, and many others, is given. The following is the testimony of John Quincy Adams. This venerable statesman in a recent letter says, that in early life he used tobacco, but for more than thirty years he has discontinued the practice.
“I have often wished,” says he, "that every individual of the human race, affected with this artificial passion, would prevail upon himself to try, but for three months, the experiment which I have made, and am sure that it would turn every acre of tobacco land into a wheat field, and add five years to the average of human life.”
Mr. Livermore thus goes faithfully through the list of moral dangers and duties upon which young men may be profitably advised, and gives plain counsels to which we trust many will listen.