« AnteriorContinuar »
1. A Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature. Edited by John Kitto, D.D., F.S.A. Editor
*" The Pictorial Bible.” Author of "The History and Physical Geography of Palestine," etc., etc. Illustrated by numerous engravings. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 894, 996. New
York, M. H. Newman & Co. 1846. She limits of a notice like the present forbid such a description of this learned work as its merits deserve, or sufficient to give the reader a just idea of its plan. We regard it a most important and practically useful contribution to the cause of sound Biblical learning, and have no doubt that it will soon take the place, in the estimate of scholars, of every compilation of the kind. The work of Calmet, especially as revised by Dr. Robinson, and the more miscellaneous volume, the Encyclopædia of Religious Knowledge, though they have served a useful purpose, are so strikingly defective in many of the most important departments of archæology, and contain so little of the results of modern research, as to be painfully inadequate to the wants of the student. The present work not only supplies this long and deeply-felt deficiency, but enters into the discussion and explanation of important questions of philology and archæology, which no mere Biblical or Theological Dictionary ever before attempted. We can in no way put the reader in possession of the originality, comprehensiveness, and real utility of the work, so well as by simply sketching its plan, and indicating its general contents.
Besides the brief notices of every important thing relating to the Bible, the work presents a large number of independent treatises on different subjects in Biblical Literature, from a great variety of writers, over forty in number, and among whom are some of the most eminent and learned men in England, Germany, and the United States, each in that department of study to which his chief investigations have been directed. Among the German contributors, we notice the well known names of Dr. Credner of Giessen, Dr. Ewald, of Tübingen, Prof. Hävernich, of Königsberg, Drs, Hengstenberg and Jacobi, of Berlin, Drs. Tholuck and Neander, of Halle." The department of Biblical introduction and criticism is rich with learning. Introductions to the Pentateuch, and its several books, are given by Prof. Hävernich; to Job by Prof. Hengstenberg ; to the Apocalypse, by Dr. Davidson, of Manchester; to the New Testament, by Prof. Tholuck-all of which are at once lucid, comprehensive, and profound. On Natural History a great variety of exceedingly valuable and interesting matter appears from some of the most eminent living naturalists. A number of articles on medical subjects, also, are very valuable. On the great subject of Geography, the contributions of Dr. Kitto, the Editor, are of rare interest, and the result of long years of study, which have given him unquestionable eminence in that department. He is assisted by several other scholars of note. The subject of Archæology is particularly full, minute and very valuable. The articles are plentifully illustrated with drawings and wood cuts, which much enhance their usefulness. A large number of very learned articles not embraced in either of these general divisions, appear, from pens that will be sure to command the respect of the learned world. Among these we mention “ Angels" and "Heaven," by the Editor; “ Canaan,” by Dr. Alexander ;, “Creation,” by Prof. Powell; i Gnosticism, “Philosophy,” and “Logos" by Mr. Potter, Oxford ; " Inspiration," and "Miracles," by Dr. Woods; “Interpretation and Hermeneutics,” by Dr. Credner; “Manúscripts” and “Talmud,” by Dr. Davidson. “Dispersion of Nations and Confusion of Tongues,” by Dr. Pye Smith. The work is no less rich in articles of biography and history; some of which are conceived with high artistic skill, and embodied in eloquent language.
The enlistment of so many scholars in the production of a single work; each one presenting in a brief compass, the results of a life-time of research, in precisely the matters where he is most at home; could not fail of enrichingit with an amount of learning and scholarship to which, of course, the work of no single mind, however great, could pretend. And if it be thought to lack unity, and to exhibit unquestionable inequali
Greek ties of excellence and style, yet the advantages of combining the strength of so great a number of scholars, must more than counterbalance any inconvenience of that kind. And when it is considered that the work strictly excludes all subjects of Theology and Church Government, it will be seen that the chances of any essential disagreement in opinion are very slight; and the reader can be assured that they are 100 slight to be generally noticed, much less to interfere with the utility of the work.
We have preferred to devote the little space we have to a brief sketch of the contents of the work, to enlarging upon its merits, or expressing the real satisfaction we feel with it. That it will be found incalculably: superior, in point of scholarship, accuracy, and comprehensive learning, to any other similar work, we do not doubt at all. And that it supplies a very great want, in the present posture of Biblical study in this country, we are equally confident. In some important respects, there will be felt some deficiencies; but taken together, it is a monument of labor and learning, in the possession of which the Biblical student, the clergyman, and the Church at large, may be sincerely and cordially congratulated. Its very neat and accurate typography, and its low price, combine to enhance its worth; and its general circulation is a malter in which we are willing to confess our decided interest
2. Sufferings of Christ. By a LAYMAN. Second edition, Revised and Enlarged.
Harper & Brothers.
This work was reviewed at some length in the July number of the Biblical Repository. Since that time the present enlarged edition has been published. Besides additions in many parts, there have been inserted two whole chapters in corroboration of the main argument. The book has already attracted a good degree of notice, both for its doctrine and its style. A second edition, in so short a period, shows that it has taken a deep hold upon the public mind, and bids fair to rank hereafter among our standard theological works. To our own mind, although we cannot subscribe to every sentiment, it combines some of the closest specimens of logical reasoning, with an eloquence of style seldom found as its associate. We are glad, however, to see that the writer has softened and modified some expressions of the first edition, which, although they might seem natural and appropriate to one whose whole soul was filled with the solemnity and importance of the doctrine, might, to others, whom the author would wish to convince, appear extravagant and hyperbolical.
It is, of course, impossible, in such a brief notice, to present an adequate synopsis of the work to those who have never read it. We would simply state that it maintains the doctrine, that Christ suffered in his entire personality, or in the totality of his character as human and divine-that there was that about his death which could not have been predicated only of his humanity; something, in short, which must be regarded as superhuman and awfully mysterious, in consequence of the presence and participation of the divine. In this, too, the author finds the great mystery of the atonement, that dread peculiarity of this doctrine which places an impassable gulf between those who hold it truly, and all the varieties of those who would so pervert language as to bring widely differing dogmas under one common name. The actual sufferings of the divinity make a distinction, never to be erased or obscured, between the Orthodox and all Unitarian, Pelagian, and some Orthodox uses of the word atonement.
It may be stated, generally, that the author employs two principal methods of argumentation. One is directly from the simplicity of Scripture, which uses no qualification when it speaks of the sufferings of Christ, neither referring them to his divinity nor his humanity, but to the indivisible personality in which they are both for ever embraced. It was Christ that suffered, and Christ was HE, who, being before all worlds the Eternal Son of God, assumed humanity in the womb of the virgin. HE suffered. Whatever the pronoun, or the name Christ embraced, that being or personality suffered, and bore the wrath of God for the sins of his redeemed people. În carrying out this argument from the Scriptural language, the writer shows his chief force. Exceptions may be taken to some explanations of particular texts, but the general argument itself seems to us to be one to which it must be difficult to make a satisfactory reply.
The next most common method of reasoning has reference to those states or relations, which, it is admitted, must be predicated of the divinity, or the whole scheme of redemption fails of support
. The Eternal Son did in some way empty himself of his Glory. God did become incarnate. If, then, as the author maintains
with great power, these states, or assumptions, or this becoming, does not imply imperfection, and is not inconsistent with the divine immutability, neither does the fact of that voluntary submission to suffering which is necessarily implied in them. In connection with this, attention is given to the general doctrines of the divine immutability; in treating of which the strength of the argument consists in adhering to the simplicity of Scripture, in opposition to that reasoning which claims to be more in accordance with an abstract or philosophical view of this awful subject.
In the preceding edition, the writer had too freely admitted, as we think, that the general voice of the church was against him. In the present, he has inserted an able historical view of the doctrine, and the, controversies in relation to it, proving, as we think, to those who attach value to such considerations, that it is far from having been altogether out of the line even of decretal church'authority. In connection with this idea, there is presented an appendix, containing extracts from the hymns of the church at various periods, and under its most varying phases. These do certainly show, that whatever place the doctrine may have had in symbols and works of speculative theology, the sufferings of the Redeeming God have ever been deemed an idea essentially requisite to impart vividness and power of emotion to the sacred feeling, either of the public or domestic altar. Every reader must be struck with this most interesting collection from the sacred lyrics of the Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, German, Baptist, and Methodist churches, all testifying with one voice, that however the doctrine may have been absent from the pulpit or from didactic works, it has been ever present to what may be truly styled the heart of the church, as shown in the unreproved and unqualified language of her spiritual songs. The author thinks, and we agree with him, that hyperbole here is not a mere harmless poetical license. If not grounded on a most solemn verity, it approaches, to say the least, to blasphemy. With equal truth and eloquence does he say :“Sacred poetry must not dare transplant into consecrated soil flowers gathered in fairy land. The hymns of praise breathed forth in God's earthly house must be truthful as the sister chants of the upper sanctuary.”
3. The H brcw Grammar of Gesenius, as edited by Rocdiger. Translated, with addi.
tions, and also a Hebrew Chrestomathy. By M. STUART. M. H. Newman & Co. Gesenius' Hebrer Grammar. Fourteenth Edition, as revised by Dr. E. Rüdiger. Trans
lated by T.J. CONANT, D.D. D. Appleton & Co.
Prof. Stuart, who was about preparing a new edition of his well known Hebrew Grammar, chose to substitute for it, Rödiger's splendid edition of Gesenius' Grammar, which lately appeared in Germany. Prof. Conant, who had translated the previous edition of Gesenius' work, has also furnished a translation of this edition-so that two versions of the same work appear simultaneously, and have an appearance of rivalry which does not exist. Prof. Stuart's modifications conform the work substantially to his previous editions, including of course the valuable additions of Rödiger. It may therefore be regarded as a new issue of his own Grammar, and will probably be adopted by the large class of scholars with whom his Grammar is a favorite. Those who have been accustomed to Gesenius' Grammar unaltered, will of course prefer Prof. Conant's copy. They are in the main quite alike, as indeed they must be; but yet differ enough to give each a character of its own.
Rödiger's improvements to the original work of Gesenius possess great value. The whole work is methodized, and much new matter, the result of learning second to that of no other living scholar, introduced. Of Gesenius' Grammar itself, the basis of all, it is impossible to speak too highly. The simple fact of its being simultaneously adopted by two such eminent Hebraists as Profs. Stuart and Conant, shows at once their high estimate of it; and the greater fact that in all Christendom it has well nigh supplanted every other grammar of the language, attests more strongly than any commendation of ours could do, its unquestionable worth. Both editions noticed above are neatly printed.
4. Pictorial History of England. Harper and Brothers,
A reprint, in successive numbers, of a voluminous History of England, is in progress by this enterprising house, which we beg especially to commend. Aside from the value of its numerous and well-executed illustrative engravings, which in many instances help out the impression aimed at by the text, in a striking manner, and as an object of art, are highly creditable, the work strikes us as singularly impartial, erudite, and comprehensive. It has taken scope enough to allow a minute representation of many matters of interest, usually overlooked in historical compositions; and is particularly full in its delineations of the progress of society, the arts and manufactures, and of the moral, religious, and economical condition of the people, at each stage of history, and of the bearing of political measures, and public events upon them—a feature quite too rare in the popular works of the kind.' It is written in a lucid and pleasing style, though with hardly the grace of Hume, or eloquence of Gibbon ; and exhibits research and painstaking accuracy. As a whole, we are confident that it will convey a much more correct impression of the deeds and the men of England, and leave a far more wholesome impression, than any other work extant.
5. A Treatise on Algebra, containing the latest improvements. By CHARLES W. Hack
LEY, D.D. Harper & Brothers.
We particularly admire the plan which Prof. Hackley proposed to himself—that of popularizing the results of recent research and discovery in the higher departments of this science. The treatises mostly in use, constructed years ago, are far behind the times; and, however excellent for beginners, are unfit for the more advanced stages of study. But whether the plan has not been carried too far, and some processes and expositions introduced which are too abstruse and complicated to be successfully treated in an elementary work, however comprehensive, some will be disposed to question. It may safely be pronounced in advance of any American compilation in respect to comprehensiveness and extent; and though claiming but little originality, it preserves a good degree of unity, and is very accurately and neatly printed.
6. Harpers' New Miscellany of Sterling Literature.
To this valuable series of reprints, there has been lately added Schiller's splendid work, the History of the Thirty Years' War, which is a model of its kind. Concise, accurate, and spirited, it takes the reader through the tragic story with unfaltering interest, and leaves a definite and vivid impression of the men and the events of that memorable period. The fine enthusiasm felt for the truly great men that figured in the war, which is the genial offspring of the author's poetic feeling and generous character, also lends its charm.
The Use of the Body in relation to the Mind, is another valuable little volume, by George Moore, M.D., demonstrating the mutual influences of body and spirit. The relation of the two is treated rather as a matter of science than in its moral as. pects, but suggests materials for deep and profitable reflection. It was preceded in England by another similar work, on the power of the mind over the body, which we should suppose, ought to accompany it. 7. The Useful Arts, considered in connection with the applications of Science. By JACOB
Bigelow, M.D. Harper & Brothers. 2 vols. 12 mo.
The substance of this work has before appeared, under the more distinctive title of Elements of Technology, which very accurately describes its character. It is a very comprehensive description of the theory and scientific principles of the whole range of the useful arts, with definitions of the terms, technics, tools, and the like, used in connection with them. It is the work of a scholar of extensive practical knowledge, and may be relied on. For utility of reference and general information in these matters of universal interest, there is probably no manual that is at once so concise and satisfactory as this.
THIRD SERIES, NO. X:-WHOLE NUMBER, LXVI.
THE LAW OF PROGRESS IN ITS APPLICATION TO CHRISTIANITY.
By Rev. WILLIAM ADAMS, D. D., New York.
Among the many theories which have been advocated concerning the condition and prospects of society, that which affirms its gradual and certain advancement has now, at length, obtained a very general, if not universal prevalence. During the last two hundred and fifty years, the human intellect has developed an unprecedented activity. Discoveries have been pushed into the secrets of the sea, the air, and the earth; inventions have been multiplied to subserve the convenience of civilized man; the boundaries of knowledge have been greatly enlarged; and the general condition of the world has assumed a new and brighter promise. That the "6 golden age” is past already, is a dream of pagan mythology. Ours is the day of hope and expectation; and as the face of the whole earth revives under the breath of Spring, so do all departments of science, physical and intellectual, partake of that progressive impulse which is abroad in the earth.
In these circumstances, it was not to be expected that the province of religion would long remain uninvaded by the universal spirit of motion and innovation. At length, we have heard it affirmed, and this no longer by an avowed infidelity, but by professed religious teachers, that ihe Christian religion is capable of many essential improvements; and that it must, and will, indeed, undergo many important modifications, or prove itself altogether unequal to an age of brightening light and progress.
Let us not, therefore, be judged as one that beateth the air, when we announce for our theme, the Law of progress in its ap
THIRD SERIES, VOL. HII.