« PreviousContinue »
11.-Anti-Popery; or Popery Unreasonable, Unscriptural and
Novel By John Rogers, Member of the Society of Friends, and Counsellor at Law. With a Preface, Notes and Index, by Rev. C. Sparry of New York, Minister of the Reformed Church. First American from the Second London Edition, enlarged and corrected. New-York: D.
Fanshaw. 1841. pp. 315. This is a singular, but truly valuable work. Mr. Rogers has a mode of dressing up an argument which is altogether his
His style is characterized by strength, precision, directness and a considerable mixture of quaintness. In the last particular he has sometimes erred. He has taken the liberty of coining a number of words, not only without necessity, but without any satisfactory reason. For church he invariably employs “kirk;" “primaty” for primacy; “papite” and “Romanite" for papist and Romanist ; “perhap” for perhaps; "nowafter” for hereafter. He also uses "priestal," " priestrulive;" “politikirkal,” “ politikirkalian,” “ popan,” « sororially.” But the argument is managed with fairness, courtesy and unusual ability. It presents the points at issue between Romanism and Protestantism, distinctly and fully; and then conducts the reader to a conclusion which is impregnable. A reference to the nineteen sections of “ Popery in Special” will show the comprehensiveness of the discussion. They are as follows: Papal Primaty ; Infallibility; Vulgate, Apocrypha, Traditions ; Knowledge a proscribed thing, and the Bible a forbidden book Unknown Tongue, or Latin the general language of Popery; Transubstantiation, the Sacrifice of the Mass; The Worship of the Host ; Half Communion, or no Cup to the Laity; Idolatry ; Merit; Purgatory and praying for the Dead; Priestal Absolution and Excommunication; Auricular Confession; Celibate of the Clergy; the Seven Sacraments; Priestal Intention ; Superstition ; Blasphemy.
12.-Delineation of Roman Catholicism, drawn from the authen.
tic and acknowledged Standards of the Church of Rome; namely, her Creeds, Catechisms, Decisions of Councils, Pupal Bulls, Roman Catholic Writers, the Records of History, etc., etc.; in which the peculiar Doctrines, Morals, Government and Usages of the Church of Rome are stated, treated at large and confuted. By Rev. Charles Elliott, D. D. In two Volumes. New-York: Published by George Lane, for the Methodist Episcopal Church.
1841. pp. 492. From the Preface to the first of these volumes, which is da
ted “Cincinnati, Ohio, February 22, 1841,”—we learn that the author has given much of his time, for the last twenty-two years, to the examination of the controversy between Protestants and Romanists. During the whole of this period he has been collecting the materials of the present work. “His early associations, "he informs us,
“ and circumstances in life were also favorable to an intimate acquaintance with the subject." The doctrines of the Catholics, as here exhibited, are derived from their own creeds, catechisms, councils, bulls, standard writers, etc.; this book may be regarded, therefore, as a condensed, authentic representation of the manifold errors and absurdities of their system. This, indeed, is the principal excellency of these volumes. They are inferior in logical acuteness and power to Rogers’ Anti-Popery, mentioned in the preceding notice, and to other works which we might mention ; but they contain a very full and fair description of Romanismı, drawn up from the testimony of its own witnesses. It may be of essential service to those who wish to ascertain the real tenets of Romanism, but have not the means of consulting larger works.
13.- American Antiquities and Researches into the Origin and
History of the Red Race. By Alexander W. Bradford.
Pierce. 1841. pp. 435. The ante-Columbian history of America offers one of the most interesting and complicated problems of the present day. Our continent is profusely dotted with the memorials of a great people. The mounds, pyramids, temples, palaces, which neither the desolations of conquest nor the ravages
of time have wholly obliterated, indicate a boldness of purpose and a skill and energy of execution which are truly wonderful. But when, how and whence came these ancient wanderers to our shores? Authentic history returns no answer. And then their disappearance is hardly less mysterious than their advent. The monuments of their toil and ingenuity still survive. But where are the nations or the tribes to which they bequeathed their civilization? The Indian of the present day has not even a tradition that establishes his connection with the mound-builders and pyramid-builders of earlier days. Indeed we are constantly reminded, when looking back to these wonderful men, of that ancient king of Sa. lem who was “ without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life.” SECOND SERIES, VOL. VII. NO. I.
The volume before us does not profess to bring forward any new discoveries. It simply aims at collecting the light which we have already, and at concentrating this light upon the different hypotheses, which have been advanced for the explanation of existing phenomena. In pursuance of this plan, Part I. is devoted exclusively to American Antiquities. These are divided into two classes ;—the first including remains of more recent origin, “which have manifestly proceeded from an uncivilized people," and the second embracing those older monuments in the United States, Mexico, Central America and South America, which must be referred to na. tions of great cultivation. It is hardly necessary to observe that the author has brought together, and exhibited in a small compass, the most important discoveries which have been hitherto made. Part II. contains an elaborate examination of the claims of different nations in the old world to be regarded as the progenitors of the aborigines of America. In it the author also discusses the mode by which their passage to this country was effected.
We will state his conclusions in his own language: “1. The three great groups of monumental antiquities in the United States, New Spain and South America, in their style and character present indications of having proceeded from branches of the same human family. . 2. These nations were a rich, populous, civilized and agricultural people; constructed extensive cities, roads, aqueducts, fortifications and temples; were skilled in the arts of pottery, metallurgy and sculpture ; had attained an accurate knowledge of the science of astronomy; were possessed of a national religion, subjected to the salutary control of a definite system of laws, and were associated under regular forms of government. 3. From the uniformity of their physical appearance; from the possession of relics of the art of hieroglyphic painting ; from universal analogies in their language, religion, traditions and methods of interring the dead; and from the general prevalence of certain arbitrary customs, nearly all the aborigines appear to be of the same descent and origin; and that the barbarous tribes are the broken, scattered and degraded remnants of a society originally more enlightened and cultivated. 4. Two distinct ages may be pointed out in the history of the civilized nations—the first and most ancient, subsisting for a long and indeterminate period in unbroken tranquillity, and marked towards its close by the signs of social decadence; the second, distinguished by national changes, the inroads of barbarous or semi-civilized tribes, the extinction or subjugation of the old and the foundation of new and more extensive empires. 5. The first seats of civilization were in Central America, whence population was diffused through both continents, from Cape Horn to the Arctic Ocean."
In relation to the question of origin he comes to the following result: "The Red race, then, appears to be a primitive branch of the human family, to have existed in many portions of the globe, distinguished for early civilization, and to have penetrated at a very ancient period into America. The Amer. ican family does not appear to be derived from any nation now eristing; but it is assimilated by numerous analogies to the Etrurians, Egyptians, Mongols, Chinese and Hindoos; it is most closely related to the Malays and Polynesians; and the conjecture possessing perhaps the highest degree of probability, is that which maintains its origin from Asia, through the Indian archipelago."
He rejects unhesitatingly the hypothesis that the original emigration was across Behring's Straits; although “it is not to be denied,” he says, “that there are some tribes in North America which may have proceeded in modern times from Siberia ; for example the Chippewyans, and perhaps the Sioux, the Osages, Pawnees and some of the northwestern nations." “On the other hand, the evidences of an early knowledge of the compass in China, of the great maritime skill of the Malays, and of their navigation, in remote ages, of the Asiatic seas, the facts stated in relation to the peopling of islands by the accidental drifting of canoes, and more than all, the actual proof of the distribution of population over the numerous and distant islands of the great Pacific, from Asia to Easter island, render it unnecessary to resort to the violent hypothesis of a north
What greater obstacles were there, to impede a passage from Easter island to the American coast, than at. tended a migration to Easter island ? Indeed this island itself appears to have been successively occupied by different families; and its pyramidical edifices, and its colossal obelisks and statues are closely analogous to the American monuments.”
We have not room to examine these conclusions. We will barely remark that the time does not seem to have come for a confident and satisfactory result. There are many points which need a fuller investigation. We want a Champollion to read our hieroglyphics. And, happily for future generations, the era of discovery is not yet closed. Messrs. Stephens
atherwood may bring back stranger reports than any we have yet heard. The inscription recently found at Grave Creek,--supposed by Mr. Schoolcraft to be in Druidical char
acters,—may open a new field to the antiquarian. We do not yet despair of finding the Ariadnean thread to this labyrinth of wonders.
14.-An American Dictionary of the English Language ; er
hibiting the Origin, Orthography, Pronunciation and Definitions of Words. By Noah Webster, LL. D. Abridged from the Quarto Edition of the Author ; to which are added a Synopsis of Words differently pronounced by different Orthoepists ; and Walker's Key to the Classical Pronunciation of Greek, Latin and Scripture Proper Names. Revised Edition ; with an Appendix containing all the additional Words in the last Edition of the Larger Work. New York : White & Sheffield. 1841. pp. 1097 large
8vo. Webster's American Dictionary was first published about twelve years since in two volumes, quarto. An Abridgment of this great work, in one octavo volume, was prepared by Mr. Worcester of Cambridge, and Professor Goodrich of Yale College, under the general superintendence of the author, and published in 1829; in which the vocabulary was considerably enlarged, the definitions of words, as given in the larger work, were retained and new ones occasionally added, and the illustrations and authorities omitted, excepting in doubtful and contested cases, where they were carefully retained. The Abridgment was thus rendered a valuable substitute for the original work, and in some respects an improvement upon it.
The venerable author has recently given to the public a new edition of his original work, containing his last corrections and improvements. These, in all important particulars, are introduced into this Revised Edition of the Abridgment, chiefly in the form of an Appendix, at the end of the volume. They consist principally in the addition of about fifteen thousand words to the vocabulary of the first edition of the large work, and such changes of definitions as the improved nomenclature, in some branches of science, has required. Of a variety of words which have borne two forms, the author has retained only that form which he deems most proper, preferring to write afterward, backward, etc. without the s, and while instead of whilst, etc. He has also changed the pronunciation of some disputed words, in conformity, as he judges, with general analogies or more recent usage.
We cannot be expected in this brief notice to enter upon a critical examination of the merits of Webster's Dictionary.