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Papal domination, the “Old light” and the “New light,” the enthusiastic “Separate” and the staid adherent of “the Standing order,” struggled and suffered side by side. Thus, in spite of the proverbial tenacity of theological dislikes, there came in gradually the ascendency of a gentler and more Christian spirit than that which in Connecticut, from 1742 to 1748, was beginning to ape the intolerance of Whitgift and of Laud.
Immediately consequent upon the termination of the French war was the beginning of that series of measures on the part of the British ministers and parliament, which asserted the right of Great Britain to rule the colonies in her own interest and at her own discretion, and which, in twelve years more, brought on the war for independence. How intimately that war was connected with the religious sympathies of New England; with how strong a grasp it took hold of religious convictions and feelings; how earnestly it was sustained by the churches and their pastors; how fervently the great cause of independence and liberty was commended to God in the prayers of congregations, of families, and of saintly men and women in their secret access to his throne,--need not be told. More conspicuously perhaps than any other war of recent ages, till the great war which is now shaking the continent, that was a religious war. Of course it could not be without effect on the subsequent religious history of New England. Like the last preceding war, it checked the violence of religious controversies, overcame more and more the mutual dislike of those who had been arrayed against each other in the agitations of “the Great Awakening," and diffused by unsuspected influences the spirit of mutual forbearance. With the growing consciousness of a new nationality, the power of old traditions was weakened ; and while the orthodox theology grounded itself more firmly on the testimony of the Scriptures freely though reverently investigated, the tendency to rationalism already developed in other quarters went forward more boldly and more rapidly. The transition from a colonial connection with the British em. pire to a complete and recognized independence as the one rising empire of the western hemisphere, inspired all devout minds with sublime anticipations of what the progress of God's kingdom was to be in this new world. No sooner was the revolution completed, and the safety and stability of the nation secured by the establishment of the Federal Constitution, than there began to be in the churches a renewal of the “Great Awakening” without a renewal of the enthusiastic excesses and disastrous reactions that had been consequent on the awakening fifty years before. Then began the “revivals of religion,” which have not yet ceased to refresh and gladden the churches. The “boundless continent” was spread out before our people, to be filled with a better and more Christian civilization than the world had ever seen before. Religious activity, an enterprising zeal for the founding of Christian institutions, for the universal diffusion of Christian knowledge, and for the effective application of Christian principles to the reformation of estab. lished wrongs, became more and more the distinctive character of the New England churches, and indeed, of all truly American churches, whatever their traditions or their polity. A new era in our religious no less than in our political history was introduced by the war which made these States an independent nation.
Another great war, involving the destinies of the continent, is now in progress. It is a conflict not of material and commercial interests, but of principles. It is a collision of antagonist ideas concerning the most elementary principles of social order and government, of justice and morality, and of religion itself. Who can doubt that this war, whenever its termination shall be recorded, will be conspicuous among the decisive wars in the world's history? Who that recognizes Christ and his redeeming work as the central force in the world's progress, can doubt that out of this war will come at last-nay speedily -great victories of religion pure and undefiled ?
ARTICLE X.-CATALOGUE OF THE BOSTON PUBLIC
Index to the Catalogue of Books in the Upper llall of the
Public Library of the City of Boston. Boston. 1862. R. 8vo.
We are sure that many of our readers have watched with us the progress of the Boston Public Library with sentiments of uncommon satisfaction. Scholars, especially, not in the neighborhood of Boston alone, but throughout New England and in other parts of our country, have reason to rejoice that so large and choice a collection of books has been brought together within so short a time, and made accessible to the call of all who are engaged in the pursuit of science or literature. The Trustees of the Institution, a body of gentlemen themselves distinguished for high attainments in various walks of learning, have shown from their earliest organization a clear appreciation of the necessities of the community, and by establishing the two distinct departments of Reference Books and Circulating Books, have done their utmost to gratify the desires on the one hand of those who are engaged in scientific researches, and on the other hand of those who depend on a public collection of books for their general reading.
The munificent donations of Mr. Bates, seconded by the liberal appropriations of the City of Boston, and augmented by other generous gifts, have furnished the Trustees with the pecuniary means indispensable to the execution of their plan. A building, remarkable for its convenience and beauty, has been erected. The services of a Superintendent, qualified in a preöminent degree, by his tastes, acquisitions, and experience, for the administration of so important a trust, were long ago secured, and we are now called upon to chronicle the publication of a printed catalogue of fifty-five thousand volumes, deposited in the Upper or Reference Hall of the Library Building, and another of nearly twenty thousand volumes in the Lower Hall or Lending Library.
In judging of all this it should be remembered that the act establishing the Public Library was not passed till 1848, and that the greater portion of the work referred to has been accomplished since a much more recent time. The only parallel in our country, with which we are acquainted, to this rapid and judicious formation of a large collection of books, is exhibited in New York, where, in administering the princely bequest of Mr. J. J. Astor, and the subsequent donation of his son, the admirable management of Dr. Cogswell has brought together, within a somewhat longer period, a library even more extensive than that in Boston. Both these institutions are virtually given to the literary men of the whole country,—for within their doors no question of citizenship impedes the freest access to their well selected stores. Indeed, all our other libraries have been cast into the shade by these new lights.
Under these circumstances we take pleasure in referring with some particularity to the Index to the Catalogue of the Reference portion of the Boston Public Library. It has appeared almost simultaneously with the fourth volume of the first part of the Index to the Books in the Astor Library, likewise a work of great bibliographical value, to which, on the publication of the second part, we shall hope to call attention.
The Boston Catalogue is a stout octavo of about nine hundred rather finely printed pages. It is issued from the well known press of Messrs. G. C. Rand & Avery, and we have reason to believe that the clearness and attractiveness of the typography is due in no small degree to the patience and pride, which they as printers to the Corporation of the City, have manifested in perfecting the mechanical execution of this work.
The titles of the books are arranged alphabetically according to the rule now almost universally followed by bibliographers, under the names of the authors, and are printed in two parallel columns with press-marks which indicate where the volumes may be found. Almost every book, however, is also mentioned once or more under some other head than the author's name. Catesby's Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahamas, for example, will be found under Catesby, and also under each of the three territories named. It will therefore be seen that although the Index does not purport to be a Classified Index of the Library, it virtually is so, to a very great extent. This feature is one, in our opinion, of the highest value, and as the compilers have not felt obliged to give verbatim the full title of every book, the repetition of the short, abridged titles which are given does not swell the volume to an inconvenient size.
Every one familiar with the administration of a large reference library, is aware how difficult it is to make available to students voluminous series printed without an Index,-such a work, for example, as Muratori's Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, in 28 volumes folio. Now in the Catalogue before us, when such a series is mentioned as belonging to the Public Library, the contents of every volume are distinctly specified. The enumeration of the separate treatises in the work just named fills two and a half finely printed columns. Not only so, but the names of the authors of these separate treatises are stated in their proper alphabetical place in the general catalogue. Let an inquiry be made for Ferreto's Historia Rerum Italicarum, 1250
- 1318, the Boston Index shows under Ferreto's name in the general alphabetical catalogue, that the work inquired for is to be found in the ninth volume of Muratori's great work.
As the Trustees of the Library have taken pains to secure such long historical and other serials, as constitute, in a certain sense, the fountain lakes from which many literary streams flow forth, the Index has become a most convenient manual for any Librarian. We know no other volume which will be so convenient a key to these usually inaccessible store-houses. W venture to say, that many voluminous series, scattered in the different libraries of this country, will be for the first time picked open by this serviceable instrument.
There are two collections of documents which stand by themselves, on the whole unequaled in their importance to the statesmen, the historians, and the publicists of Great Britain and America. We refer to the Public Documents of the British Parliament and the United States Congress. So far as we