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Notes CRITICAL, EXPLANATORY, AND
PRACTICAL, ON THE BOOK OF
tholomew Close. For nearly forty years Albert Barnes has followed the calling of a Biblical commentator, and his Notes are probably more widely known than any other writings of their class. It is supposed that half a million of his volumes on the New Testament have been circulated in Arnerica, and that a still larger number have been sold in England, Scotland, and Ireland. They have been translated into the Welsh and French languages-into some of the dialects of India—and also into the tongue spoken by the millions of China.
This work on the Psalms has been in progress for the period of twelve years, interrupted at intervals, and sometimes quite suspended for a year together, by the condition of the author's eyes. The whole bas been written in the early hours of morning, that is, before nine o'clock-a fact which may well arouse and shame those students and ministers whose only acts up to that date in the day have been the “ folding of the hands to sleep," or the feeding of the newly awakened physical form!
To this first volume is prefixed a very full Introduction, treating upon the general title of the sacred book, and the special titles of particular psalms; upon their writers and their arrangement; upon the character and practical value of the Psalter, and upon the qualifications for preparing a commentary on it. The Introduction also deals largely with the class of Psalms usually called imprecatory, and very patiently and judiciously points out the ways in which it is probable that all the difficulties with regard to them may be met. It closes with a natural allusion to the failure of a host of preceding expositors to produce a worthy commentary on the book, and admits the probability that his own long labour upon it may add another to the list of unsuccessful efforts.
The hard toil of the author has been expended on the Notes and Analyses, and the fruits of this severe application are not to be estimated by a hasty and superficial inspector of them. So far
as we have been able to examine them we have found them to be scholarly without any parade of learningminute, without being wearisomecopious, without tautology, and thoroughly devont. If they are never very racy, they contain nothing rash. Truthful in bis interpretations, sound in his conclusions, and serious in his style, this veteran cominentator may be consulted with profit by the stadious, and followed with safety by all.
No human guide, however intelligent and spiritual, is infallible; and where there is so much scope for difference of judgment, the most clearsighted critics may slightly disagree. The work of Scripture interpretation is in danger of being overdone. Too much comment encumbers the text, and confuses the mind which endeavours to understand it. We are not quite satisfied with Mr. Barnes's treatment of the opening verse of the first Psalm. He has adopted the idea first started by Bishop Jebb, and favoured by numbers since his work on Hebrew Poetry appeared, that we have in David's description of the blessed man an instance of graditional parallelism; where the walking, the standing, and the sitting mark different degrees of guilty conduct. It is undoubtedly true that sin has an augmenting force in it, and that evil habits proceed from bad to worse, until the worst comes to a climax. But that " walking in the counsel of the ungodly” is a less criminal thing than “standing in the way of sinners," or "sitting in the seat of the scornful,” is probably more a supposition of the fancy than a real matter of fact. Many passages, even in the Psalms themselves, such as the first and third verses of Psalm cxix., may be referred to as proofs that " walking" is as expressive of settled habit and invariable custom as either of those other tropical representations of moral conduct. If, however, Mr, Barnes has, in his remarks on this socalled graditional parallel, been led captive by the ingenious devices of rhetorical interpreters, instead of being guided by the demonstrations of the more logical critics, his error is quite harmless, and is countenanced by many great and good men. We heartily congratulate him on having finished a work of so much merit as this exposition of the Psalms.
such husks and crudities are plentifully stored may be acceptable to those whose digestive powers are strong; but more refined feeders will seek something superior in quality for the sustentation of their spiritual life.
CONVERSATIONS ON CHURCH ESTAB
LISHMENTS. By the Rev. J. Guthrie,
M.A. Second Edition. London: · Arthur Miall, Bouverie Street. We gave a cordial welcome to this work in its first edition twelve months ago, and we are glad to learn that in six months after its appearance two thousand copies were disposed of. The writer has since carefully revised the whole argument, and considerably enlarged certain portions of the book, bringing down the information, where it was possible, to the present time. A cheaper, better, more seasonable and serviceable volume can scarcely be obtained for the half crown which it costs. No young man amongst us should omit the reading of it at this most critical time of our history.
AIDS TO THE SPIRITUAL LIFE. By
the Rev. John Bate. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co.; and E.
Stock. This is a sort of religious day-book, and is of a kind which has found favour with pious readers since the time when Bogatzky's Golden Treasury became popular. Whether it is equal or inferior to the large number of its predecessors we confess our inability to determine. In the pages we have read we find nothing to startle or astonish; everything appearing quite orthodox and very ordinary. As Mr. Bate is a preacher, we can scarcely err in presuming that on each daily page we have the outline of a sermon; for though texts are not given, topics are placed as headings to the successive portions. These daily portions agree in quantity, but they differ in quality. Some of them seem to consist of good and nutritious meat, but others may be compared to stale and insipid tripe, or to very thin broth. Certain pages up and down the book depart from the strict purpose of supplying aids to spiritual life, and offer what pertains to the outer form. And here we discover what we least like in the work. Que exercise is on the text, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ." And we are told that He is “ a Divine clothing-of God's providing, God's approval, and God's recommendation;" which smacks of the language of a tradesman in the ready-made line. But in leaving the phraseology of the shop, our author falls on mere jargon in saying of Christ, “He is a Justifying clothing. He is a Sanctifying clothing. He is a Beautiful clothing. An incorruptible and entire clothing." Nor is either the manner or matter mended when he proceeds to tell us that “Faith is the hand which puts on the Lord Jesus Christ in each one of His excellencies. It takes His love, and puts it on our enmity. It takes His righteous néss, obedience, and patience, and puts thein on our iniquities, disobedience, and impatience." The jumble grows worse in the end, where we are directed to put on, not Christ's excellences, but Himself again; and that not wholly, but in parts—"As the Lord, to govern us. As Jesus, to save us. As Christ, to teach us, to atone for us, to pray for us, and to rule us"! A work in which
WHAT IS THE TALMUD? A Reply to
the Article in the Quarterly Review. - By the Rev. Dr. Schwartz, Editor of
" The Scattered Nation.” London:
Elliot Stock. WHILE the Article on the Talmud which appeared last year in the old Quarterly has awakened attention and admiration sufficient to create a sale of no less than seven editions of the number in which it is given, some better informed readers, and especially Hebrew Christian readers like Dr. S., have been much pained by it. The Editor of the monthly organ of these worthy brethren has been moved to deliver and print a lecture, in order to show the real character of the Talınud, and to protest against the partial representation of it by the clever Jew wbo has brought it into such public notice. The Jewish Chronicle, which is anti-Christian, exults over the article as “ dealing a deadly blow against a book called the New Testament." Such exultation may well put all Christians on their guard against accepting the conclusion which the Reviewer labours to establish, namely,
that the ethics of the Talmud and of the smaller publications of the past the New Testament are in their broad month have merits sufficient to retain outlines identical. We may inform the good will of their supporters, our readers who do not know the fact without much that calls for any special that the Talmud is the Bible of modern commendation. The weekly penny Judaism-as the Old Testament was paper entitled The Independent, now the inspired authority of ancient Ju published by Messrs. Marlborough & daism. “And while the Talmud, con Co., has greatly improved. Its paper, sisting of the Mishna and the Gemarah, type, and contents are all excellent; contains much beautiful sentiment and and if its intelligence were a little more sound morality, it is also the repertory general, so as to embrace Baptist proof the strangest rubbish which He ceedings, we should value it more brew eyes ever peered amongst, or highly still.—The Christian Times is Jewish fingers ever sifted. This short brim. full of facts obtained from innulecture by Dr. Schwartz shows how merable sources, and arranged with much closer is the connection between . admirable skill. One of the late numits Rabbinism and rank Romanism, bers contains a good likeness of Mr. than between its ethics and those of Aldis, of Reading, and a well-written Christianity. But the controversy estimate of his rare ability and great which Dr. Š. has raised cannot be fully moral worth. The Christian Times is detailed in this place. Ere long we superior to most of the penny papers hope to offer a separate article on the in its getting up, and it deserves a Talmud itself, to enable our readers larger share of the patronage which to judge for themselves of its true has been fairly earned by its ubiquitous character.
contemporary, the Christian World.
THE WORLD, OR THE WORLD'S SAVIOUR ? UNVEIL, O Lord, and on us shine,
Its noblest toils are then the scourge In glory and in grace;
Which made Thy blood to flow;
Its.joys are but the torturing thorns
• Which circled round Thy brow. Till Thou art seen it seems to be
And thus, when we renounce for Thee A sort of fairy ground,
Its restless aims and fears, Where suns unsetting light the sky,
The tender memories of the past, And flowers and fruits abound.
The hopes of coming years ; But when Thy pure and piercing beam Poor is our sacrifice, whose eyes Is poured upon our sight,
Are lighted from above; It loses all its power to charm,
We offer what we cannot keepAnd what was day is night.
What we have ceased to love.
DUE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS DEVOUTLY MADE. LORD, I was blind, I could not see
But now, as touched with living flame, In Thy marred visage any grace ; My lips Thine eager praises wake. But now the beauty of Thy face
Lord, I was dead, I could not stir In radiant vision dawns on me.
My lifeless soul to come to Thee; Lord, I was deaf, I could not hear
But now, since Thou hast quickened me, The thrilling music of Thy voice;
I rise from sin's dark sepulchre. But now I hear Thee and rejoice,
For Thou hast made the blind to see And all Thy uttered words are dear.
The deaf to hear—the dumb to speakLord, I was dumb, I could not speak
The dead to live-and lo ! I break The grace and glory of Thy name; The chains of my captivity.
COMMITTEE FOR THE RECEP
TION OF MINISTERS INTO
THE DENOMINATION. TO THE EDITOR
My dear Sir,—The Association of 1866 passed the following resolution:
“That the Secretary of the Association give notice in the May number of the General Baptist Magazine of each year of the existence of a Committee for examin. ing the credentials of Ministers coming into the Connexion, and request that such credentials be forwarded at once to the Convener of that Committee."
I now beg, therefore, to call the attention of any ministers desiring admission into the Connexion to the “existence” of such a Committee, and to inform them that the Rev. H. CRASWELLER, B.A., Mary's-gate, Derby, is its convener, and must receive all documents pertaining to the reception of ministers, and the registration of their names in the Year Book of the next Association, not later than June 15. I am, my dear Sir, Very sincerely yours,
i JOHN CLIFFORD.
April 6, 1868.
readers should know that applications for beds, &c., should be sent unto me not later than the 9th of June. Anxious as we shall be to accommodate all who wish to come, we cannot hold ourselves responsible for any applications we may receive after that date. The meetings will no doubt be numerously attended, and punctual notice from intending visitors will greatly facilitate our work. I am, dear Sir,
THE ASSOCIATION OF 1868. TO THE EDITOR
Dear Sir,-Kindly permit the following notice to appear in your May magazine. According to the appointment of the last Association, the coming one was to be at the two churches at Derby. It is, however, the wish of the friends at Osmaston Road that the St. Mary's Gate church should be solely responsible for the management of the Association.
We have cheerfully complied with their request, and our Committee are making arrangements to add to the comfort of those who may favour us with their company.
In your next number of the Magazine I shall be able to give a full account of the arrangements.
Meanwhile, it is very desirable your
MARKET HARBOROUGH. TO THE EDITOR
Dear Sir,-From your Magazine of this month I learn that at the last meeting of the General Baptist Conference held at Loughborough, a deputation consisting of Messrs. Pike, Stevenson, and Goadby, of Leicester, were appointed to visit Market Harborough, to ascertain the state of the Baptist church there. Just permit me, through your columns, to suggest to them and the General Baptist churches in Leices. tershire, that whilst sympathy and advice are good, that “an ounce of help is worth more than a pound of pity.” The cause there is low and needs great pecuniary assistance, and with God's blessing will repay it both to the givers and receivers. Why is this aid withheld ? Not from lack of means, it is evident; for I notice in the list of contributions to your Mission for April, that the three churches, over which the deputation are pastors in Leicester, raised for your Foreign Mission more than £160-one-third of which sum, granted to the church at Market Harborough for a few years, with a suitable minister sent as pastor, might make it a self-sustaining cause, as there are the elements of success in the locality, and to my mind it is quite a mistake to neglect it. If your branch of the Baptist body cannot or will not take such an important station up,
why not turn it over to the other sec-
CHURCH DISCIPLINE. TO THE EDITOR
Dear Sir, I fear your correspondent, “J. B.," has not read my questions very carefully. I hope he will be kind enough, therefore, to look them over again.
In No. 1, I ask for scriptural authority, about which “J. B." says not a word in the whole of his letter. If such authority is forthcoming of course No. 2 falls to the ground. But if there is no plain and positive teaching on the subject in the word of God, I cannot see what other ground to discuss the question upon save that of expediency, by which of course I mean whatever will be best for the church's welfare. With reference to No. 3, will “J. B.” please explain what he means by is ordinary cases ?” and also whether in such cases he considers that a notice from an individual to the officers or members of a church, to the effect that from that time he ceases to be a member of such church, would constitute a valid withdrawal ?
Nonconformists, but of Episcopalians, who a few years ago were alike ignorant and indifferent in regard to them. But there is one feature in its constitution and proceedings with which its immediate friends are better acquainted than the public at large, and that is, the extent to which the Society's vitality is derived from its Triennial Conferences.
T hese great gatherings are, in one respect, quite unique; for, not only do they bring the Society's Executive face to face with the representatives of its supporters throughout the kingdom, but the door is thrown open to others, who may never have been connected with the organization, but whose concurrence in its objects may dispose them to enter its ranks. These, equally with its oldest friends, have the opportunity of revising the Society's constitution, of reviewing its past proceedings, and of choosing a new Executive, and, so far as the future can be provided for, of shaping its future operations. Knowing the tendency of public bodies and officials to travel in well-worn ruts, and to cherish old traditions, the originators of the institution resolved, as it were, periodically to kiss their mother earth, that they might rise refreshed and strengthened, and might prosecute their work with the aid of new allies, and with an energy instinct with the life and spirit of the time. It was a life a bold, and somewhat bazardous, but it has proved to be a perfectly successful device; for probably to it, as much as to any other cause, is attributable the fact that the “ Liberation Society" has existed during a far longer term than any kindred organization; and that in its twenty-fourth year it exhibits a degree of vigour which is as much an occasion of wonder and admiration to the adherents of establishments as of thankfulness to its own supporters. .
The next Triennial Conference is approaching, the time fixed being the 5th and 6th of May, and, in asking the attention of your readers to the advertisement appearing elsewhere-of the mode in which it will be convened, I venture to urge that there are some special reasons why the invitation of the Executive Committee should be accepted by those who in past years did not feel it to be obligatory upon
THE TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE
OF THE LIBERATION SOCIETY. TO THE EDITOR
Sir, -Thanks to the denunciations of opponents, as well as to the efforts of friends, the “Liberation Society" has become one of the best known institutions in the kingdom ; its fundamental principles and “ulterior aims" being now familiar to thousands, not only of