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CRITICAL NOTICES .
Lives of the Ttvelve Apostles : with Explanatory Notes , By F . W . P . Greenwood , Jun ., Minister of King ' s Chapel , Boston . Pp . 148 . Boston . - Mr . Greenwood is chiefly known to English readers as the author of the
beautiful Memoir of Mr . Thacher prefixed to his Sermons : he has since published a little work on the Lord ' s Supper , which ought to be still better known than it is , for it is by far the most popular , interesting and argumentative treatise which has ever been
penned by an Unitarian on the subject of that sacred institution . It seems , indeed , to be the character of Mr . Greenwood's writings to appeal at once to the best feelings of his readers . He prefers taking common ground wherever he can , and practically proves that the form of Christianity he has adopted is perfectly compatible with the exercise of the most devout feelings . The volume now before us will add to
his reputation and ensure him the gratitude of many readers . It is a truly catholic book , and will probably be allowed a place among many works of equal piety , but far more questionable prudence . To young people we think it will be especially valuable . It does not seem to us to contain any thing exceeding the bounds of legitimate inference ; but it is -enlivened by suggestions and allusions to national and domestic
customs ; and the truth of the picture is , in this case , as in many others , heightened by its investment with poetical beauty . It must also be regarded as one of the best points in this little work , that the interest excited by the different individuals whose characters , feelings , and habits it portrays , never encroaches on the predominant interest inspired by their Master . Throughout the whole , Jesus is the grand object : it is he ,
whose purer motives , whose ever-consistent conduct , stand out in striking contrast to the weaknesses which mingle with the virtues of his followers . The more the gospel records are studied , the more indeed must men wonder and admire as they look upon the perfections of that character , which , while thus throwing all others into shade , loses not a particle of its power over our human affections . Where , in any writings of earthly origin , is there perfection
which it is not at the same time irksome to contemplate , which does not fail of arresting our sympathies the nearer it approaches to consummate excellence ? Without apparent effort or laboured contrasts , Mr . Greenwood has led his readers to feel all the force of this superiority . It may be said that this was no matter of difficulty , but probably , out of any given number of writers who had undertaken a similar task , few would have been found thus equal
to the office . On the whole , then , we strongly recommend these " Lives of the Apostles . " It may not be needless to cautiou their author against a slight tendency to mannerism , and rather too evident a desire to produce an effect , which may , if indulged , counteract his more laudable designs , though , exhibited as they are here , they can scarcely be found fault with .
The passages we shall transcribe are from the Life of James the Greater j but the volume is small and we hope will speedily be reprinted in this country . " Here I cannot help requesting my readers to pause a moment , and consider the fortunes , the singular , and , if the word were holy enough , I should
say , romantic fortunes of these four men . —Simon and Andrew , James and John , brethren of two different families , dwell together with their parents , in a village at the northern extremity of a lake or small sea , in the district of Galilee , and on the confines of the land of Judea . —The sea is a large sea to them , and to them the towns which here and
there dot its coast , and the light barks which , for the purposes of amusement or traffic , or their own calling , skim along its pleasant waters , are the world . They are fishermen . Day by day do they rise up to the contented exercise of their , toil , to throw their nets , to spread their sails , to ply their oars , and when successful in pursuit , to dispose of their freight in tneir native village , or the
neighbouring towns , for the support of themselves and their families . They are friends ; they have joined themselves to each other in their humble profession , and agreed to share profit and loss , storm and calm together . Their lowroofed dwellings look out on each other , and on their natiye lake ,, and within theae dwellings are bosoms which throb anxiously at their protracted absence ,
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Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Oct. 2, 1828, page 708, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2565/page/52/