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panied with a splendid service of silver plate, with appropriate inscriptions.
In January, 1855, Dr. Rogers was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society,
Since his connection with the church on Penn Square in this city, the congregation has greatly increased; many additions have been made to the communicants; the debt on the beautiful church edifice has been paid off; and the spiritual and temporal concerns of the church are, in the good providence of God, in a highly prosperous state.
PRESBYTERIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Ar the Annual meeting of the " Presbyterian Historical Society," held at Buffalo, N. Y., during the sessions of the General Assembly, some amendments were made to the Constitution, chiefly with a view to secure the co-operation of all branches of the Presbyterian Church. The following is a copy of the amended Constitution, and a list of the officers chosen for the present year.
CONSTITUTION. Article 1st. This Society shall be known by the name of the “Presbyterian Historical Society.”
Article 2d. The objects of this Society shall be to collect and preserve the materials, and to promote the knowledge of, the history of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
Article 3d. Any person may become a member of this Society, by the payment of one dollar annually, and shall thereby be entitled to receive a copy of the Annual Report. The payment of ten dollars at one time, or in annual payments, shall constitute a Life Member.
Article 4th. The officers of the Society shall be a President, seven Vice-Presidents, a Corresponding and Recording Secretary, a Treasurer, and an Executive Committee, to be elected at each annual meeting of the Society.
Article 5th. The annual meeting of the Society shall be held in the City of Philadelpliia, on the first Tuesday in May.
Article 6th. The Executive Committee shall be composed of nine members (of whom the Corresponding Secretary and the Treasurer shall be members ex officio), to whom shall be committed the work of devising and executing measures to secure the objects of the Society. They shall make an annual report of their proceedings at the anniversary meeting; sball cause an address, or addresses, to be delivered during the meeting of the General Assembly or Synod of each Church represented in this Society; and shall have power to issue publications from time to time, and to provide means for defraying the necessary expenses of their operations.
The Executive Committee shall meet Quarterly, on the first Tuesdays of February, May, August, and November. Vacancies occurring in their body, by death or otherwise, may be filled at any regular Quarterly meeting
Article 7th. The formation of a Library, containing publications and manuscripts, shall be regarded as a prominent measure to be accomplished by the Society.
The Executive Committee shall have charge of the Library, and shall appoint a Librarian.
Publications, manuscripts, and other historical relics, may be placed on deposit in the Library, to be returned to the persons depositing the same, on their written application.
Article 8th. This constitution may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at any Annual meeting, provided that notice of such alteration be proposed at a preceding meeting of the Society.
President.—Rev. CHARLES HODGE, D.D.
Vice-Presidents.—Rev. R. J. Breckenridge, D. D., Rev. Wm. B. Sprague, D.D., Rev. Edward F. Hatfield, D.D., Col. Peter Force, Rev. John Forsyth, D.D., Rev. John N. M'Leod, D.D., and Rev. Thomas Beveridge, D.D.
Secretary.Rev. Richard Webster.
Executive Committee.—Rev. C. Van Rensselaer, D.D., Rev. J. C. Backus, D.D., Rev. George Duffield, Jr., Rev. B. J. Wallace, H. J. Williams, Esq., G. H. Stuart, Esq., Rev. J. B. Dales, D.D., and Rev. Jos. T. Cooper, D.D.
Review and Criticism.
THE ASSEMBLY's Digest. A Collection of the Acts, Deliverances, and Testimonies
of the Supreme Judicatory of the Presbyterian Church, from its origin in America to the present time. With Notes and Documents, Explanatory and Historical: Constituting a COMPLETE ILLUSTRATION OF HER POLITY, FAITH, AND History. By Rev. SAMUEL J. BAIRD. Philadelphia. Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1856.
This is a great work-a very great work. The author has displayed uncommon powers of mind in its compilation. Its logical arrangement cannot be improved. Everything is in its place, and there is a place for everything. We do not believe that there is a man in the Church who could have done the work so well.
The volume meets a great public demand. It contains all the doings of the Supreme Judicatory of the Presbyterian Church, from its early origin in this country, together with historical documents of great public value. Every minister, ruling elder, and intelligent communicant ought to have such a work in his library, for study, for reference, and for a testimony to others. This Digest, we repeat it, is a great work. It is a work that no other author need ever attempt to reproduce. Of this book, it may be emphatically said that it is finished, i. e. finished up to the year 1855. This Collection is divided into nine books, as follows: Book 1. Of the Constitution. II. The Congregation. III. The Ordinances. IV. The Church Courts. V. Institutions of the Church. VI. Relations to other Churches. VII. Heresies and Schisms. VIII. Moral and Secular Questions. IX. Statistics. X. Appendix. The volume contains 856 pages.
We wish it great success. The only thing in the book, which appears to us defective, is the VOL. VI. NO. 1.
chronological order of Synods on page 251. Although the Digest professes to give the historical acts of the Church "from its origin in America,” the first Synod in the table is the Synod of New York, formed in 1788. It struck us at once that to ignore the Synod of Philadelphia, formed in 1717, which is the “mother of us all,” as well as the old Synod of New York, formed in 1745, was an inadvertence which rendered the table incomplete. We respectfully suggest that, in a future edition, at least something like the following be prefixed to the present table : 1717. Synod of Philadelphia. 1758, was united to Synod of New York, under the
name of Synod of New York and Philadelphia. 1788, at formation of
General Assembly, Synod of Philadelphia was reorganized. 1745. Synod of New York. 1758, was united to Synod of Philadelphia, under.
the name of Synod of New York and Philadelphia. 1788, at formation of
General Assembly, Synod of New York was re-organized. We think that the above explanation is due to those two old Synods, and especially to the Synod of Philadelphia, which was organized 71 years before the General Assembly.
On the whole, we never expect to see a more complete book than this one of the Rev. S. J. Baird. The Board of Publication will have to stereotype the volume.
INDIA, CHINA, AND JAPAN. By BAYARD TAYLOR. J. P. Putnam & Co., New York,
Park Place. 1855.
Mr. Taylor's last work bears the same stamp of his peculiarly adventurous and impressible nature, that has rendered his earlier travels so welcome to all who must wander with the feet of others. Perhaps it lacks the freshness and ardour which made his journey up the Nile, and his Saracenic reminiscences, so vivid and picturesque. Mr. Taylor does not possess, in the highest degree, that peculiar faculty, belonging only to the best order of genius—an eternal childhood,” to borrow the expresof Novalis—which renews with every day the novelty and simple spirit of admiration that carries reader or aụdience away in sympathetic enthusiasm ; and without which the traveller, even in new lands, becomes after a time prosaic and tame.
But while we miss “the inspiration, and the poet's dream,” that illuminates the pages of some modern " Howadji's;" and the keen apprecia
; tion of the ludicrous that made “ Yusef" a welcome guest, we still hold in all honour, the healthy and manly tone of Mr. Taylor's book; its concise and carefully selected information; its manifest veracity; and its candid catholic spirit of investigation and belief. Those of our readers who have followed with interest the movements of the Expedition to Japan, will be glad to give their ideas a locality and a realization, through his graphic descriptions; and all who retain that interest in Oriental life and nature, which is perhaps the first alien interest awakened in the hearts of children, will enjoy its revival by means of the varied and simply told information of the work before us, and its accurate statistics. We heartily commend Mr. Taylor's book to the attention of a discriminating public. It is worth buying, reading, and keeping; valuable as a book of reference, and agreeable as a book of amusement, while it awakens a hope that we may soon welcome another literary treasure from the same hand.
AN INAUGURAL DISCOURSE, by the Rev. B. M. Smith, Professor of Oriental Literature
in the Union Theological Seminary, Va. Delivered Sept. 8th, 1855. Published by order of the Board of Directors. Richmond. 1855.
The subject wbich the new and learned Professor selected for his Inaugural was, the Relations of the Biblical Studies to Theological Education and the work of the Ministry. Dr. Smith exalts the study of the Bible in the common version, and in its original languages; answers some objections to a course of thorough training in a theological seminary; shows that the Scriptures, and the Scriptures alone, contain the proper materials for a system of Christian theology; and concludes with a series of suggestive reflections, pertinent to the occasion. The Inaugural is such as we expected from the fertile mind of the Professor; and we trust that the institution which has the benefit of his services, and those of his worthy associates, will flourish more and more in the kind providence of God.
A GEOGRAPHY OF THE CHIEF PLACES MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE, and the Principal
Events connected with them. Adapted to Parental, Sabbath-School, and Bible Class Instruction. Illustrated with Maps. By Chas. A. GOODRICH. New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, Broadway.
This volume appears to answer all its purposes. The order of its arrangement is alphabetical. The division into chapters under an alphabetical arrangement of subjects, has a somewhat peculiar appearance, but it gives value to the book as one of reference for children.
We see no necessity for such a sort of preface as the author has given. Mr. Goodrich, however, understands bookmaking. This Geography will be very useful to many children, in explaining the Bible.
Geognosy; or, The Facts and Principles of Geology, against Theories. By David
N. LORD. New York: Franklin Knight. Mr. Lord's book is just such a book that Geologists will grumble at with prodigious irritation. It is not a loose mass, which a geological hammer can crack with a blow, but it is hard granite and huge granite. Mr. Lord proves two things most clearly : first, that the popular geological theories contradict the Scriptures, especially about the length of days; and secondly, that Geology has as yet no claims to being considered a science. These two things being settled, he proceeds to state views of his own, many of which strike us favourably, but with all of which we are not prepared to agree. The book is a very able, bold, and plausible one, and we advise geologists to take it with them on their excursions.
Bible LighT FROM BIBLE LANDS. By the Rev. JOSEPH ANDERSON, Helensburg, Scotland. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, Broadway.
Bible light is the best of all light. The author of this excellent work divides his subject into three parts. 1st. Predictions Verified. Concerning Egypt, Arabia, Idumea, Land of Israel. 2d. Descriptions Illustrated. Of places and customs. 3d. Allusions Explained. A large amount of various information and interpretation is contained in the volume. And if all the light is not pure and white, the very colours give a rainbow hue to the Scripture texts. This is the kind of book which ought to be studied in our academies and colleges.
HISTORICAL Facts AND DOCUMENTS relating to the Origin of the Central Presbyterian
We have read these Facts and Documents with much interest. In the spring of 1852, the “Associate Reformed Congregation" of Baltimore, which is Independent and Presbyterian, gave a call to the Rev. Stuart Robinson of Kentucky, to become their stated supply. Although this church has been commonly supposed to hold loose views of religious doctrine, the people were so carried away with the cloquence of the Kentucky divine as greatly to desire his ministrations. Few ministers in our Church have ever received a compliment of this description, and few are more worthy of it. Dr. Robinson, who was at the time pastor of the Frankfort Church, at the seat of government of the commonwealth of Kentucky, concluded to accept the call. This was a manifestation of the true missionary spirit, for it doubtless involved Christian self-denial, and showed a sincere disposition to follow the leadings of Providence. The position was in some respects an anomalous and trying one, and Dr. Robinson states that he came among the people “in great doubt and perplexity;" as might well be supposed. But all who are acquainted with him know that he is a man equal to emergencies, and unterrified by obstacles. The terms of agreement between the stated supply and congregation, left each party the liberty of their own independent convictions.
“ Resolved, That it is entirely acceptable to this Congregation that the relations of Mr. Robinson to the Presbyterian Church may continue the same as they now exist before bis connection with us—it being also understood that this Congregation will continue independent, and disconnected from any other ecclesiastical organization, as at present-the question, however, as to the future course of the Congregation may be considered an open one, and the Pastor will be at liberty to express his opinions and views on the subject, on suitable occasions, if he should be so disposed, and such course shall not be considered by us as unfair, or in violation of any confidence reposed in him."
Things went on remarkably well under Dr. Robinson's administration. The congregation greatly increased, and the utmost harmony prevailed. A mission sabbath-school was established, but now, alas! a cloud arose bigger than a man's hand. After labouring in the church about six months, Dr. Robinson, in the course of an able sermon, pressed the duty of church-extension upon the people, in a way that seemed to present the alternative of the church's coming over to the Old School. He "saw difficulties beginning to perplex" his position, if he undertook to build up a new church out of the sabbath-school mission, for the mission and church must either belong to the Old School, to the Independent Presbyterian Church, or be a separate, personal enterprise. He would not consent to the two latter relations, nor to the former, as things now stand.” Nor would he consent to do nothing. All who know Dr. Robin