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purchase this book, and read it carefully in connection with the passages of Scripture considered, will find themselves well repaid. It is not indeed one of those volumes which are essential to the completeness of a library, nor is it to be commended as such. But the writer evidently had some reasonable idea of what such notes ought to be, and there is now given to the public, as the result of his labors, much that is really useful. The notes have been published only since the author's death, which occurred during the past year, and they now come to us with a commendatory
a introduction by Dr. Robert J. Breckinridge of Kentucky. They are quite exclusively upon the portion of the New Testament, which has reference to the appearance and life of Christ on earth. Some few subjects are passed over without notice, and there are some interpretations or explanations in which we think the author falls into error. We look forward, however, to farther use and study of the volume with much pleasure. For some notice of Judge Jones's peculiar views, his qualifications for the work here undertaken, his zeal in Scriptural studies, and the circumstances of his life, we refer the reader to the early pages of the book.
BRIDGES ON ECCLESIASTES.
*_The Christian community may be divided, we suppose, into two classes; namely, those who derive pleasure from the reading or hearing Scott's Notes at family prayers, and those who do not. To the former class we can scarcely doubt that the book, which now falls under our notice, will be for edification, for the author would seem pretty evidently to be one of their own number, since he says, “Scott's notes in solid weight of instruction rarely disappoint," and his pages, so far as we are able to judge, have as much of interest as those of that well-known commentator. To them, therefore, without hesitation, we give our willing recommendation of it—that they should read it, sometimes perhaps even in place of Scott.
Should they follow our advice, the publisher will find an abundant sale for the work, for they are a very numerous body, as well as a very relig. ious one.
But, owing, it may be, to some deficiency in early training, or, it may be, to some other reason, our sympathies go
* An Exposition of the Book of Ecclesiastes. By the Rev. Charles BRIDGES, M. A., Rector of Hinton Martell, Dorset, Author of “ Memoir of Mary Jane Graham," &c. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers. 12mo. Pp. 389.
out somewhat strongly toward the second class, to whom we have referred. If our opinion were asked for their benefit, we should be tempted to say, after looking it over, that the greater part of the volume would be well enough if Mr. Bridges should address it to his own people, at what we Congregationalists call a conference-meeting. At such a time the preacher's remarks are usually of an extemporaneous, character, and with little or no previous thought. They are oftentimes not of a very high order, and, like our author's annotations, they have in view “ practical instruction and Christian edification rather than novelty and originality.” We think they succeed frequently, as well as what he has given us does, in avoiding the latter of these ends, and in attaining the former. But, on such occasions, we adjust our expectations and demands to the probabilities of the case, and we go away satisfied, or even refreshed in some degree, although the preacher may neither have suggested new thoughts, nor very forcibly presented old ones. The same things, however, said in the same way, would become rather stupid to most congregations in a written sermon, and if printed in a book, they would hardly meet with our highest approval. Mr. Bridges has printed his remarks in a book; our clergymen keep theirs for their own congregations, generally, and so both themselves and the public are in a more fortunate condition. And yet, even among us, there seems to be a growing tendency, at the present day, for ministers of more or less retired parishes, who have a little time upon their hands, to revise some old series of their expository sermons or some notes upon a portion of the Bible, and publish them as a commentary. We are unfeignedly sorry -let it be observed, however, that we speak only in behalf of, and as sympathizing with, those who are not the admirers of Scott-we are unfeignedly sorry, we say, for where one is enabled thus to do good extensively, at least twenty will be encouraged to press upon the notice of men reflections, which must, one would think, have been thoroughly dried up something like a hundred years before the flood. But we are trespassing upon our limits. There are some things which may be said in favor of this volume, even to this second class. The first, which occurs to us, is, that, within twelve months past, some books have been commended in greater or less degree, both in other periodicals and
in our own, which have no better claim upon the public attention, than the one now in hand. It is perhaps only fair and equal, therefore, to say, that this volume also is deserving of praise, in greater or less degree. We may add that Mr. Bridges's work seems to us nearly, if not quite, equal in interest to a commentary, which we remember to have seen, some time ago,
written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and this may be commendation enough for the lower clergy. And, once again, we readily admit, after our examination of the book, that the author has read a good deal and said a good deal, and we think there may be some minds which would be edified by what he has said, and certainly some which would be edified by what he has read. If both classes, of whom we spoke at the beginning, should, upon reading this notice, conclude to purchase the volume, we should be well satisfied, and undoubtedly the author would be also. May not this be the best way, after all, in which to harmonize all views, and to make the Christian community, in relation to the Rev. Mr. Bridges, one undivided body, which unfortunately they are not in relation to Scott's notes ?
Smith's DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE.*_This is the latest and altogether the most complete English Dictionary of the Bible now within the reach of students of the Scriptures. In its preparation, the editor, Dr. William Smith, who is already well known for the valuable service he has done to all classical students by his admirable Dictionaries of Greek and Roman Antiquities, Biography, and Geography, has had the assistance of more than fifty of the best biblical scholars in England and America. Among these are HENRY ALFORD, D. D., C. J. ELLICOTT, B. D., John S. Howson, M. A., AUSTEN H. LAYARD, D. C. L., GEORGE RAWLINson, M. A., and Arthur P. STANLEY, D. D. The coöperation of several of our own countrymen has been invited, and contributions of special Articles have been made by Prof. T. J. CONANT, D. D., PRESIDENT C. C. FELTON, LL. D., Prof. H. B. HACKETT,
* A Dictionary of the Bible, comprising its Antiquities, Biography, Geography, and Natural History. Edited by William Smith, LL. D. In two volumes. Vol. I. A-J. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. 1860. Large octavo. pp. viii1176. [For sale in New Haven by T. H. Pease. Price $5.]
D.D., Prof. D. T. SMITH, D. D., Prof. Calvin E. STOWE, D. D., and JOSEPH P. THOMPSON, D. D. Never has a greater amount of talent been associated in the preparation of any work of the kind, and the result is most gratifying and in nearly every respect satisfactory.
The necessity for a new Dictionary of this kind has been made imperative by the activity of late years of those who are pursuing Biblical studies. The researches, too, of travelers in the East have been in these modern times so greatly facilitated, and their discoveries have been so numerous and important that our views respecting ancient history and geography have been modified in many respects, and our knowledge greatly extended. It has been the aim of. Dr. Smith to gather all this information from the most reliable sources, and present it in a form which will make it generally acceptable. We think that there can be no question that he has succeeded in what he has attempted, and that this work will be found to meet not only the wants of theological students, but, as he himself says, “ of that large class of persons who, without pursuing theology as a profession, are anxious to study the Bible with the latest investigations of the best scholars.”
It should be understood that this is a Dictionary of the Bible, and not of theology. Its design, according to Dr. Smith, is to "elucidate the antiquities, biography, and natural history of the Old Testament and Apocrypha; and not to explain systems of theology or discuss points of controversial divinity.” There are, however, extended Articles under such heads as “Bible,” “ Apocrypha,” “ Canon,” &c., &c., which give a full account of the Scriptures as a whole, and each of the separate books, as well as of the principal ancient versions. The Articles upon the separate books of the Bible contain statements, admirable for their clearness and their conciseness, of all the important questions which have been discussed by recent commentators respecting the authorship, authenticity, &c., &c., of the sacred records, and suitable replies to the varied objections of hostile critics.
Enough has been said to show how valuable a work this will be found to be by all who are interested in studying the Bible. It is to be completed in two volumes, the first of which has only yet appeared. Messrs. Little, Brown & Co. of Boston, have their imprint upon the book.
Kurtz's CHURCH HISTORY.*_The present century has been prolific, to such an extraordinary degree, of works on Church History, that the new and general interest which is everywhere felt in this important department of theological study, is not at all surprising. The volume before us is by Dr. John Henry Kurtz, Professor of Theology in the University of Dorpat. It is called a “text-book," and the plan is such that it will be found to interfere in no important respect with the larger works which have preceded it. We doubt not it will prove to be a very useful and valuable manual on the tables even of those who have all the standard authors in their libraries. It is an admirable book of reference. The history is extremely condensed, and a vast amount of information is given in the fewest possible words. It is particularly full in its accounts of the development of theological doctrines, and of the operation of political influences on the history of the church. The classification and arrangement are excellent, and the references to authorities are everywhere abundant. Those who are commencing their studies in ecclesiastical history will find that it will serve their purposes; for although it goes much into details, yet the leading outlines of the history are throughout presented with great clearness.
The present volume carries the history down to the period of the Reformation, in the sixteenth century. A second volume, which is soon to appear, will bring it to the present time.
It is to be remembered that Dr. Kurtz is a Lutheran, and, as might be expected, his theory respecting the church, and some of his statements respecting the Sacraments, and Predestinarianism, show that his views are, in these respects, somewhat different from ours; but we have been surprised, in our examination of the book, to see how very slight are the traces of his theological preferences. We make a short extract from his account of what has been done in Germany, in the nineteenth century, in the department of Church History:
“A new era in the treatment of Church History opened with Chr. Schmidt of Giessen, in the commencement of the nineteenth century. Instead of the superficial or diffuse enumeration of facts, formerly current, he insisted on a thorough
* Text-Book of Church History. By Joux Henry Kurtz, Professor of Theology in the University Dorpat; author of "A Manual of Sacred History," “The Bible and Astronomy,” etc., etc. Vol. I. To the Reformation. Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston. 1860. 12mo. pp. 534.