« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
tate to commend it to our readers and especially to those, to whom the author's closing "Appeal" is directed.
8.-A Manual of Prayer; designed to assist Christians in learning the subjects and modes of Devotion. With an Introduction by Rev. A. Barnes. Second Edition, enlarged. Philadelphia: Henry Perkins. Boston: Perkins & Marvin, 1838. pp. 306. We have perused this little volume with great satisfaction. It is principally designed to furnish an assistant to closet devotion. Its author, we understand, is a layman, who, on making a profession of religion, and feeling the great responsibilities he had thus assumed, experienced much embarrassment, (as most others have in similar circumstances,) in preparing himself for the intelligent and profita ble discharge of the social devotions in which he was called on to engage. This preparation he sought in the retirement of the closet, by storing his memory with a vocabulary of his wants, and training his heart to an intelligent and fervent habit of prayer. His experience suggested to him the thought of attempting the preparation of a manual for the use of others. He pursued his object for several years, and has produced a work most happily adapted to the purpose he had in view. The topics of supplication here exhibited are of almost every variety which occur in common life, the language in which they are presented is chaste, scriptural and glowing, and the spirit which pervades them is deep-toned, humble and expansive. They are christian and not sectarian prayers, and may be safely recommended by pastors of all denominations to the study not only of the lambs of their flocks, but to the attention of all who would improve in the gifts and graces of supplication.
9.—A Grammatical Analysis of Selections from the Hebrew Scriptures, with an Exercise in Hebrew Composition. By Isaac Nordheimer, Doctor in Philosophy of the University of Munich, Prof. of Arabic, Syriac and other Oriental Languages, and acting Prof. of Hebrew, in the University of the city of New York. New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1838. pp. 148. Chrestomathies have, not unfrequently, belied their name. Instead of being easy lessons, they have been among the most difficult compositions which could be selected. The compilers have sought for beautiful pieces, highly rhetorical extracts, rather than those excerpts which would be in the reach of the mere beginner. Some pieces in the Graeca Minora would task the powers of an accomplished scholar. Most of the German reading books which we have seen are open to the same objection. The Arabic Chrestomathies
seem to be intended to furnish specimens of the most elegant compositions in the language. They are anything but Chrestomathies. Doubtless De Sacy, Kosegarten and Rödiger would find no stum
bling-block in reading them. But alas for the poor tyro! When he opens their pages, he plunges into a black forest. He is at once involved in a labyrinth where there is no clue.
Dr. Nordheimer, we believe, has avoided this sad mistake. Some of his selections are taken from the Hebrew Prophets, but these are found in the latter end of the volume, after ample grammatical analyses and explanatory remarks on a number of chapters in Genesis, several passages from the other books of the Pentateuch, and a few of the easier Psalms. The most difficult points in these prophetical selections are, moreover, elucidated by well-timed observations. Perhaps the student when he reaches these extracts will be able to master all their difficulties. Dr. Nordheimer has very properly confined himself almost exclusively to the clearing up of difficulties of a grammatical nature. The young reader is only bewildered by exegesis. Besides, the study of grammar and of the mere forms, in the hands of an intelligent instructor, can be made to assume much interest. The poetical division of the work is preceded by a succinct statement of the peculiarities which exist in the structure of Hebrew poetry. The advanced reader, who would wish for more ample details, would do well to read De Wette's Introduction to the Psalms, translated by Prof. Torrey of the University of Vermont, and published in the Bibl. Repos. Vol. III. p. 445, First Series. It being universally admitted that the practice of composing in a foreign tongue is one of the surest means of becoming thoroughly imbued with its spirit, Dr. Nordheimer has inserted at the close of his volume an Exercise in Hebrew Composition, with accompanying auxiliary directions.
The volume will add to the well-established reputation of the author, or rather authors, for the Chrestomathy is to be considered as the joint production of Dr. Nordheimer and of Mr. William W. Turner, both having borne an equal share in the plan and execution of it. We believe, that there is but one opinion, among all competent judges, of the Grammar, to which this Chrestomathy is a Supplement, and that opinion is one of high commendation. We shall look with interest for the second volume of the Grammar, which is to embrace a consideration of the Syntax. The whole series will exhibit the author as a very able oriental scholar. We hope for corresponding good fruits in the studies and literary character of the country.
10.-Democracy in America, by Alexis de Tocqueville, avocat à la
Cour Royale de Paris. Translated by Henry Reeve, Esq., with an original Preface and Notes, by John C. Spencer, Counsellor at Law. New York: George Dearborn & Co. 1838. pp. 464.
This work is written not at all in the spirit which Frenchmen are accused of possessing. There is nothing volatile, fanciful, inconside
rate, from the beginning to the end. If it has errors they do not lie on the surface. They are elaborately reasoned out, or they are skilfully interwoven in the very texture of the work. The volume is one of principles, of abstract reasoning, of solid thinking. The common reader of travels will find nothing in it to his taste. It comprises but few incidents, allusions to passing events, or living characters. The writer takes up our government, and our institutions theoretically, but not in such a sense as to exclude consideration of their practical working. If he refers, however, to an actual event, or to an important political movement, it is merely that he may deduce the principle, or state the reflection, or illustrate some one of his general positions. The book is one of great value, and is, undoubtedly, the most important which has appeared on the United States from the pen of a foreigner. The author shows a more familiar acquaintance with our general and State constitutions, with our political history, with the Federalist, the commentaries of Kent, Story, etc. than most of our own civilians and political writers. M. de Tocqueville is uncommonly fair-minded, unprejudiced, and sharpsighted. He does not hesitate to say where our principal dangers lie, and where, in his opinion, are the rocks on which we shall split. At the same time, these warnings are given in a very friendly manner, with none of the hauteur of John Bull, with none of that biting censure or hard-wrung praise which our transatlantic cousins are so well pleased to deal out. We hereby thank the author for his profound reflections and his excellent spirit. He has called our attention to the most weighty topics which can engage our attention as citizens of a great republic. If there be any fault in him it consists in an over-refinement of speculation, in endeavors to account for things which do not grow legitimately from our institutions and usages, but which are the result of mere caprice and accident. The author has a passion for philosophising and for generalization. We think that he could have interspersed, without injury to his general plan, more incidents, and a greater number of striking illustrations.
11.-Handbuch der Christlichen Archäologie, ein neugeordneter und
vielfach berichtiger Auszug aus den Denkwürdigkeiten aus
This author is one of the oldest professors of theology at the university of Bonn, and author of numerous works.* In the interval between 1817 and 1831, he published, in twelve volumes, a work, entitled, "Denkwürdigkeiten aus der Christlichen Archälogie," (Memoirs on Christian Archaeology). It acquired, notwithstanding
He is not to be confounded with H. E. G. Paulus, the celebrated professor and rationalist leader at Heidelburg, author of many biblical productions.
its size and price, considerable celebrity in Germany and in the northern countries of Europe. The present edition was undertaken in order to effect some improvements and to bring the work into more reasonable limits. An Introduction of considerable length has been added on the object, extent, method and literature of Christian Archaeology. Some matters of comparatively little interest have been thrown out or arranged under other heads and greatly condensed. A very full Index is added at the end of the third volume. We will now proceed to give some account of the contents. The matters are arranged into fourteen books. Book I. has some general remarks on the ecclesiastical constitution and divine service of the ancient Christians. Book II. is on sacred persons, catechumens, believers, ascetics, coenobites, monks, etc. The sixth chapter gives details respecting the bishop, presbyter, deacon, archdeacon, sub-deacon, and other inferior officers. Book III. contains an account of holy places, churches, altars, cloisters, utensils of churches, etc. Book IV. is on holy times, festivals, anniversaries, the Sabbath, etc. Book V. exhibits the subjects of prayer and psalmody in the church. The fourth chapter has details on psalmody and hymnology in the Latin, Greek and Syrian churches. Book VI. is on the use of the Scriptures in public worship, the particular books which were read, the order in which they were read, lectionaries in various churches, psalters and homilies. Book VII. presents various topics relating to baptism and confirmation. More than 200 pages are devoted to the discussion of these topics. Book VIII. naturally includes the Lord's Supper, the various modes of its observance, the character and admission of communicants, etc. In Book IX. we have the antiquities of penance, confession, and absolution. Book X. contains the views, principles and usages of the church relating to marriage, divorce, etc. Book XI. is on the ordination of priests, with the different ceremonies and rules relating thereto. Book XII. details the last offices which are due to men, extreme unction, burial-service, time, place and manner of interment, etc. Book XIII. discusses extraordinary sacred customs, such as processions, pilgrimages, blessing and anathematizing as practised by priests, etc., lots, ordeals, fasts, etc. Book XIV. is on miscellaneous matters, as liturgies in the eastern and western churches, etc. It will thus be seen that the various topics are handled with much precision and method, in the true German style of division and subdivision. With its full tables of contents, with its numerous references, and large Index, the work will be very convenient for all who are interested in or have occasion to use christian antiquities. So far as we can judge by a perusal of the prefaces, introduction and various controverted topics discussed in the course of the volumes, we have formed a very favorable opinion of the candor, liberality and intelligence of the author. Very recent works on the subject are those of professor Staudenmaier of Giessen on the Spirit of Christianity as exhibited in its sacred seasons, usa
ges, and practice; Siegel's (a clergyman in Leipsic,) Manual of the Antiquities of the Christian Church in alphabetical order; and the Christian Antiquities of professor Böhmer of Breslau, exhibited theologically and critically.
12.—Handbuch der historisch-kritischen Einleitung in das Alte Testament. Von H. A. Ch. Hävernick. Erlangen: erster Theil,
erster abtheilung, pp. 312. Zweyter abtheilung, pp. 644. 1837. This writer has considerable reputation by his work on Daniel. He was, for a brief period, a professor at the new theological school at Geneva, where he published some essays in connection with Steiger. He is now a private teacher in the university of Rostock. In the dedication of the present work to Tholuck, he speaks of his obligations to that pious and distinguished theologian as having been to him a spiritual guide to the truth as it is in Jesus. One cannot but admire the vein of warm-hearted piety which pervades many pages of his works. He prepared the present publication, as he informs us in the preface, with the deep and firm conviction that the object of the Scriptures is to lead man, now sunk in sin and misery, into the way of salvation and peace. After some general preliminary remarks, the author considers the history of the canon, the history of the original languages of the Old Testament, history of the text, history of the translations of the Old Testament, principles of criticism on the text, and special introductions to the Pentateuch, and its various books, and to disputed passages in them, together with some account of the Samaritan Pentateuch, etc. In a late number of the Studien und Kritiken, there is a review of this production of Hävernick, in which considerable fault is found with the author. He is evidently not wanting in critical acuteness, nor in general ability and learning, but he is, not unfrequently, hasty and careless in his statements and conclusions. Much information may be found in the work under notice respecting the most recent investigations on the Pentateuch and the Old Testament generally.
13.-Memorials of the Right Reverend Father in God, Myles Coverdale, sometime Lord Bishop of Exeter; who first translated the whole Bible into English; together with divers matters relating to the promulgation of the Bible, in the reign of Henry the Eighth. London: Samuel Bagster, 1838. pp. 260. A re-print of Coverdale's Bible, which was originally published Oct. 4, 1635, was brought out in London on the day of Victoria's coronation. Copies of the first edition are in the possession of the British Museum, the Bodleian library, Public library Cambridge, Sion College, All Soul's College, Lambeth library, Baptist Museum Bristol, of the Duke of Sussex, and the Earl of Jersey. Complete copies are extremely rare. It is yet a controverted point, and, perhaps, is