Изображения страниц

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 can 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, Geogra phy, and Natural History. Edited by WILLIAM SMITH, LL. D. In two volumes. Vol. I. A—J. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. 1860. Large octavo. pp. viii— 1176. [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 JOHN HENRY KURTZ, Professor of Theology in the University of 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.

study of the sources and an objective estimate of events. But, unfortunately, in his case, the independent and objective treatment merely consisted in want of sympathy on the part of the historian with the subject of his investigations. His writings were, in consequence, cold, unattractive, and almost mechanical. But the fundamental principle to which he called attention was safe, and, if rightly applied, calculated to accomplish the object in view. He was followed by Gieseler of Göttingen, (ob. 1854), who elevated and improved this principle; and, in his History of the Church, has left a perfect storehouse of the most varied and comprehensive research. The text itself is terse; but the notes by which it is accompanied contain an exquisite selection from the sources from which he had drawn. The Manual of Engelhardt of Erlangen is an unpretending but valuable arrangement of the subject, as derived from the sources; that of K. Hase of Jena is distinguished by its vivid sketches, its fresh and tasteful style, and its frequent though often enigmatical allusions to the sources whence his material had been drawn. In the prelections of Schleiermacher we find, indeed, no more than the information ordinarily conveyed, but the leading outlines in the development of the Church are well traced. The work of Niedner claims special merit from the industry of the author, who furnishes much more than the common staple of text-books. The book affords evidence of most laborious study of the sources, and of discriminating tact; but its style is heavy, and somewhat scholastic. The Manual of Fricke, (unhappily left incomplete), learned but stiff, is a production of the same school. In Gfrörer's work on Ecclesiastical History, Christianity is treated as the natural product of the time in which it originated. Clerical selfishness, political calculations and intrigues, appear the sole principles of ecclesiastical movements which this author can appreciate or discover. Still, the work is of importance; and those volumes especially which detail the history of the Middle Ages give evidence of original study, and contain much fresh information. Occasionally the writer is carried away by his ingenuity, which suggests combinations where, in reality, none had existed. In 1853, Gfrörer joined the Roman Catholic Church.

"Almost at the same time with Gieseler, A. Neander commenced his great work on Church History, which formed a new phase in that branch of study. Sharing in the religious awakening which took place in Germany at the time of the French Wars, and deeply imbued with Schleiermacher's theology of feeling, he assigned to personal piety an important place in his treatment of Church History. In his view, ecclesiastical history furnished a grand commentary on the parable of the leaven which was destined to leaven the whole lump. The developments of the inner life are his favorite theme: he delights in tracing the Christian element even in persons and parties which had formerly been overlooked or disowned; while, on the other hand, the Church and churchliness appear to him generally as a mere ossification of Christian life, and a crystallization of Christian dogma. Similarly, he overlooks the influence exerted by political causes, nor does he pay attention to the aesthetic and artistic bearings of history. If his treatment of the subject is too minute and monotonous, the reader is compensated by fervor and the continuous evidence of familiarity with the sources. Among the pupils whom this great man has left, Jacobi of Halle, and Hagenbach of Basle, have generally adopted his course, but avoided his

errors. The Manual of Jacobi (which is not yet completed) breathes the same spirit as that of his teacher. Its tone is elevated; nor is the author content merely to imitate Neander. The prelections of Hagenbach, originally delivered to an educated audience, are somewhat diffuse, but clear and attractive. They breathe throughout a warm Christian spirit, nor is the judgment of the lecturer warped by narrow sectarian prejudices. W. Zimmermann, realizing the necessity, in writing Church History, of going back to the idea of life, wrote a 'History of the Life of the Church,' for educated persons, which, notwithstanding its new title, pursued the old track. What in the work of Neander had been wanting, from the subjectiveness of his 'pectoral' piety, Guericke of Halle has attempted to supply, at least so far as the Lutheran Church, to which he is attached, is concerned. But in more respects than one the work is somewhat onesided. Along with this production we rank the excellent Manual of Bruno Lindner of Leipsic. The author belongs to the same ecclesiastical party as Guericke; he traces more particularly the development of dogmas; and also takes notice of the operation of political influences, as from time to time they were brought to bear on the history of the Church." pp. 37, 38, 39.

TRENCH'S WESTMINSTER SERMONS.*These sermons were originally preached in Westminster Abbey, and well sustain the reputation of Dean Trench. They are quite short. Few of them can have occupied more than fifteen or twenty minutes in the delivery. But they are models for short sermons. They come immediately and directly to the point. They are instructive, and rich in thought and the expression of true religious feeling. They are also dignified and singularly, chaste in style, and there is an earnestness and sincerity manifested which will make them very acceptable to American Christians of every name.

We will make a short extract from a sermon on the text-"To what purpose is this waste?"-Matt. xxvi, 8:

"Once more, the world grudges and resents any signal outbursts of feeling and passion, any manifest warmth or heat of the affections, in any of the services offered to God. For if God is a jealous God, and will not give his glory to another, it is quite as true that the world is a jealous world, and can ill endure to see any eagerly and passionately served but itself. . . . . It cannot understand that fine madness which from time to time possesses those whom the spirit of God has laid hold of with power. To be drunk with wine, it can understand and pardon; but not to be filled with the Spirit.' David dancing before the Ark is as one of the shameless fellows in the eyes of a cold and mocking Michal. The hight, the strength, the exorbitancy of the love with which some have loved

* Sermons preached in Westminster Abbey. By RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH, D. D., Dean of Westminster. New York: W. J. Widdleton, (successor to J. S. Redfield). 1860. 12mo. pp. 368.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »