Page images

noticed the leading peculiarities of form in this series, and shewn its remarkable fitness for the requirements of pastors and teachers; but we repeat in a word or two the general description. The volume commences with an Introduction. Then come the text and commentary. The text is treated in sections, and printed at length in a new translation. After this come sometimes short critical glosses on readings, etc. Next we have “exegetical remarks,” somewhat briefly developing and illustrating the grammatical sense. After these follow "dogmatical and ethical thoughts,” and lastly, “homiletical hints,” partly original and partly selected from a variety of sources. Such is the form of the work in regard to the successive sections of the original text. The translator's note expresses an opinion of the work, which appears to be quite correct. “ The reader will find very little to object to, and will be gratified with the evangelical spirit which pervades it throughout." But although this is correct as far as it goes, it is too faint praise. We by no means always assent to what Messrs. Lechler and Gerok tells us, but we cannot hesitate to say that they have given us an interesting and useful book of a superior order, although not always embodying the latest information.

The Home and Foreign Review. London: Williams and Norgate. .

April, 1864. We all remember the old Rambler; it is associated in our reminiscences with many of the questions relating to the Roman Catholics of this empire. But it became transformed into the Home and Foreign Review, and as such took its place in the more select circle of the quarterlies. In its new character it often gave us articles of unusual merit, and was distinguished for a measure of liberality of sentiment and freedom of utterance, quite extraordinary in a Roman Catholic organ. Of course such conduct brought down upon it the wrath of the high and mighty dignitaries of a church which is the sworn enemy of personal freedom. Unabashed, however, it held on its way under the able generalship of Sir J. D. Acton, resolved that if it did fall, it should be soldier-like in the field. At last its position became antenable, and the brutum fulmen of Pius IX., of December 21 last, has given it the coup de grâce. Even now it entertains the belief that it will live in its principles; “ If the spirit of the Home and Foreign Review really animates those whose sympathy it enjoyed, neither their principles nor their confidence, nor their hopes, will be shaken by its extinction. It was but a partial and temporary embodiment of an idea, the faint reflection of a light which still lives and burns in the hearts of the silent thinkers of the Church." We venture to say that a Church which has the power thus to put an extinguisher upon the thinking men within it, can hardly hope to exist in this nineteenth century, except as the machine which will be alternately a plaything or an instrument in the hands of Popes, cardinals, and political rulers. The disgraceful document above alluded to, as emanating from the infallibility at Rome, is ostensibly directed against the late congress at Munich. It reaches further; it takes the key of knowledge into the keeping of the papal court, and puts an end, as well as it can, to all private investigation, and intimates the irreconcilableness of scientific and philosophical investigations with the wishes and interests of the Roman See. By implication, at least, it condemns the spirit of progress and of the age. Hence it left no path open to the conductors of the Home and Foreign Review, but either open rebellion or present submission. They have chosen that of submission as being the less terrible, but it is submission with looks and tones which do not greatly flatter the august personages at the head of affairs. Those who are thus put to silence command the sympathy of wise and liberal men who differ from them; for it cannot be allowed that the rights of conscience, and of thought, and speech, should be violated in this way even by a Pope. We wish to goodness that this wretched conclave would issue such a protest against light every six months. The intelligent men of the community would soon refuse to be treated like children, and the Pope and his cardinals might learn that the world could move without their consent, however gracious, and would not stop at their command, however dreadful. We have no special interest in the Review named above, and we have often felt very strong objections to things we have read in it; but during its short life we have admired its open and direct forms of speech, and its courage in handling topics only mentioned with bated breath by the sordid herd of Catholic journals. But the fact must be admitted; all candles in the Pope's house must have the Pope's benediction, and be of the approved magnitude, and when they have been weighed in the balances of the Vatican, they must be kindled by means of the lucifers which are known as cardinals and archbishops, or they are doomed. As the really blessed candles are but few in number, how far they have to throw their beams is apparent. The evil is increased by the fact that as a rule, amid this new plague of darkness, the popish Egyptians are well aware that the Protestant Israelites have light in their dwellings. They know, too, that they are destined to this miserable condition by one who claims to be more than Moses, but is not worthy to bear his shoes.

[ocr errors]

The Word of Prophecy; its definition, authority, purpose, and interpre

tation. A Lecture with Notes and Apendiees. London: Seeley,

Jackson, and Halliday. This lecture was apparently prepared for delivery to a country congregation on a week evening. The author takes the words “prophet and “ prophecy ” to mean more than “one who predicts,” and “what is predicted." He finds prophets who were uninspired, as well as those who were inspired, but no inspired prophets since the apostolic age. Inspired prophecy was in his view either inspired preaching or inspired prediction, as the case might be. Christian preaching of God's truth is prophecy, but its heavenly advantages are only realised by the blessing and influence of the Holy Spirit. It is refreshing to meet with one who practically believes in the Holy Ghost as the author of moral regeneration. In our intellectual days this is strangely overlooked by those who learned in their infancy that the Holy Ghost is the Sanctifier of all the elect people of God. We do not commit ourselves to all that is said in this tract, but it is thoughtful, intelligent, earnest, and devout.

Die Wahrheit der Evangelischen Geschichte, besiegelt durch die

ältesten nachapostolischen Zeugen. Ein Vortrag von Dr. F. W.

KRUMMACHER. Berlin : Wiegandt and Grieben. Tuis lecture on the oldest postapostolic witnesses to the truth of the Gospel history was delivered to the “Evangelical Union" in Potsdam. Its drift may be gathered from its title. It is a lucid account, in a popular form, of the early testimonies to facts contained in the Gospels, etc. The conclusion is that the Gospels, as we have them, have come didown to us in an authentic form.

Four Sermons on the Subjects of the Day. With a Preface on the

« Oxford Declaration." By EDWARD MEYRICH GOULBURN, D.D.

London: Rivingtons. The subjects of these sermons are—The Inspiration of Holy Scripture; The Word of God, a seed; Experimental Knowledge of the Scriptures, a dispensation from enquiry; and Everlasting Punishment. In the Preface, Dr. Goulburn states his reasons for not being able to sign the Oxford Declaration : he thinks such a declaration questionable in point of authority, and hazardous in policy. With regard to the sermons, the first, second, and fourth, contain little which we do not heartily approve, and are, in our view, sound and faithful expositions of doctrine. With reference to the third sermon, we feel a difficulty. “There is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty has given him understanding." We cannot persuade ourselves that those who have an experimental knowledge of the Scriptures are dispensed from all inquiry. Yet Mr. Goulburn says, “It is not necessary, if this be our case, that we should even consider sceptical objections. Others, whose province it is (and whose province becomes an extremely important one at this period of the history of our Church), may examine the titledeeds of our religion, and vindicate their genuineness and authenticity; enough for us if we are living in the enjoyment of our baptismal inheritance." But, surely, we all ought to know whether the title-deeds are genuine, or whether we may not lose our inheritance after all. While, then, we say,

Blessed are they that believe, and have not seen,” we

Blessed are they who believe, and have seen.” Controversy is bad enough, but rather that than a blind faith in ourselves, or a more blind unbelief in others.

[ocr errors]

also say,

Essai d'Interpretation de quelques parties de l'Evangile selon Saint

Matthieu. Par HENRI LUTTEROTH. Parts I. and II. Paris :

Meyrueis and Co. The first part of this book appeared in 1860, and is occupied with an Introduction and the two first chapters of St. Matthew. The second part is a very recent publication, and contains observations upon St. Matt., chap. iii. to vii. In a prefatory notice to this last, M. Lutteroth mentions one of his leading principles : he infers, from the general study of this Gospel, that the Apostle arranged the materials of it in view of an oral teaching designed to oppose, to a temporal Messianic kingdom expected by the Jews, the spiritual Messianic kingdom which Jesus had come to found, and which had been proclaimed by the prophets. He adds that his main aim is to shew that all the parts of St. Matthew's Gospel agree with this plan. His ideas are more fully expressed in the Introduction to Part I. Thus far, the book is very well executed, and will be very useful to such as are studying this important Gospel. We may remark that the Greek text is printed by the side of the French translation of the Gospel.

Etudes d'Histoire Religieuse. Par E. RENAN. 7me Edition. Revue

et corrigé. Paris : M. Levy frères. The readers of the Vie de Jésus should, by no means, fail to make the acquaintance of this book, which can now be obtained for about half-a

It contains ten essays and an Introduction,


Der Mittler und Sein Werk. ("The Mediator and His Work.") Von

Dr. W. HOFFMAN, Hof und Domprediger, und Schlosspfarrer,

etc., zu Berlin. Berlin : Wiegandt and Grieben. This is the second portion of a work, the general title of which is, A Year of Grace in Jesus Christ. Sermons on the Gospels for all Sundays, festivals, and Holy Days, with short notices of the single seasons of the ecclesiastical year. The present section commences with the first Sunday in Lent (Invocavit), and ends with Trinity Sunday. We believe the Gospels for the respective Sundays are uniformly the same as in the Book of Common Prayer. The style of Dr. Hoffinann is clear, his views Scriptural, and his manner direct and practical. There is much intrinsic merit in the discourses, and they have a peculiar claim upon the attention of English readers, because Dr. Hoffman is Court preacher, cathedral preacher (Domprediger), and Royal chaplain (Schlosspfarrer), at Berlin. We do not forget that we have an English princess at that Court, and we naturally feel curious to know what kind of preachers gain access there. So far as Dr. Hoffmann is concerned, we see no traces of that rationalism, which some misinformed persons fancy may be heard in every German pulpit and read in every German book. Perhaps a good translation of this book would, under proper auspices, contrive to win its way into the circles to which we refer, and could do more towards undeceiving the popular mind than a host of elaborate critical works, which so few, except ministers and clergymen, ever see the inside of. We do not mean to say that even Dr. Hoffmann would, in all points, satisfy the minds of all persons, but he would teach them that a German preacher can be pious, earnest, and practical, and can steer clear of rationalism.

Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament. By C. F. Keil, D.D.,

and F. Delitzsch, D.D. Vol. I. The Pentateuch. Translated from the German by Rev. JAMES Martin, B.A. Edinburgh :

T. and T. Clark. Tas is one of Messrs. Clark's happiest ideas. We are lamentably deficient in scholarlike commentaries upon the Pentateuch, by men whose faith keeps pace with their learning and talent. In this volume we have the Introduction, and the exposition of Genesis, and of Exodus to the eleventh chapter. Dr. Keil's works on Joshua and on Kings have already been given to English readers by the publishers of this, so that he, at least, needs no introduction. Dr. Delitzsch also can hardly fail to be known by name to most theological readers. Of both, we may say, that they occupy a foremost position on the Continent, among the advocates and representatives of an orthodox and yet liberal and enlightened criticism. Dr. Colenso, whose attainments in German literature have been almost miraculously developed since the publication of parts I. and II. of his work on the Pentateuch, gives no slight prominence to the name of Dr. Delitzsch in part IV., which is a testimony to the importance of his name. The value of this work, then, on critical and theological grounds, may be fairly assumed. At the same time, we frankly confess that we have no idea of accepting all that the learned authors tell us ; we think that, in some of their endeavours to grapple with scientific difficulties especially, they have not been successful. They have, perhaps, pushed too far the principle laid down (p. 52, note), that " Èxegesis must not allow itself to alter the plain sense of the words of the Bible, from irrelevant and untimely regard to the so-called certain inductions of natural science. Irrelevant, we call such considerations, as make interpretation dependent upon natural science, because the creation lies outside the limits of empirical and speculative research, and as an act of the Omnipotent God, belongs rather to the sphere of miracles and mysteries, which can only be received by faith (Heb. xi. 3); and untimely, because natural science has supplied no certain conclusions as to the origin of the earth, and geology especially, even at the present time, is in a chaotic state of fermentation, the issue of which it is impossible to foresee." There is truth in this, and we agree with the interpretation of the days of Genesis which called it forth, as natural days. When, however, farther on (p. 146-7) the literal universality of the deluge over the earth is insisted upon, we hold back; and, when among the reasons for its universality we find appeals to the world-wide legends of a flood, and to fossil remains everywhere, even in the Cordilleras and Himalayas, beyond the limit of perpetual snow, we are very much astonished. A glance at the foot-note gives us the “ Reliquiæ Diluviana" as the first authority for the geological facts, and next, the names of Schubert and Von Raumer. In the first place, the opinion of an actually universal flood upon earth in Noah's days, is quite out of date in this country. In the next place, the legends cannot prove it, unless there was a Noah for each quarter of the world. The legends may prove the

« PreviousContinue »