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with that of Christ, though this would be a subject not unimportant in itself, nor in its bearing on the controversies of both the Protestant sects, [the Calvinists and the Lutherans). One thing, however, will demand in the sequel a fuller examination - the value of the Old Testament will naturally claim particular consideration, not merely that we may consider the subjects of revelation and of inspiration, but also that we may know how to consider them.
1.- The Union Bible Dictionary. Prepared for the American
Sunday School Union, and revised by the Committee of Pub
lication. Philadelphia : A. S. S. Union, 1837. pp. 648. It would not be easy to specify any more hopeful symptom at the present day than the spirit of biblical research which has sprung up along with the progress of Sunday School and Bible Class instruction. Neither teacher nor pupil now feels it to be enough merely to master the letter of the sacred volume, or to become familiar with the popular and common-place explanations of its text. The Scriptures are beginning to be searched and their hidden riches to be exposed and brought to the light. Every thing which can tend to put the reader in more perfect possession of the exact mind of the Spirit in his word is laid under tribute. Criticism, parallelism, antiquities, travels, topography, eastern manners, customs, costumes, idioms, scenery - in fine, the whole range of oriental illustration is now drawn upon in order to remove the obscurities of holy writ, and make what is plain plainer. The wants which have been made to be felt in consequence of this growing spirit of investigation have already been met to a considerable degree, and it is gratifying to know that so many of the ablest pens in our country are devoted to this service. That such is the case we have fresh evidence in the very valuable little volume here presented to the public by that institution which has done so much to foster this spirit, as well as to minister to its gratification. The Union Bible Dictionary' needs only the passport of its own merits to secure it at once a high place in the estimation of every student of the Bible.
This work, though comprising all the most valuable portions of the Dictionary connected and improved by the editorial labors of the Rev. Dr. Alexander, has still received 'such essential additions and modifications as to render it in fact a strictly original work ; one in which a leading design has been throughout to adapt it most fully to the present improved state of biblical science. In connection with this, the object has been to make it so to correspond in principle, character, and uses with the other publications of the Society, that the whole shall form together a kind of complete Biblical Cyclopaedia.
From a thorough examination of the entire volume we feel prepared to say that it is a most successful attempt to supply the various desiderata in all former works of the same kind, nor could we easily point out a volume of the same compass which embodies a larger amount of valuable information selected with more judgment or digested in better order. Far from being a mere dictionary of proper names adapted to the biography or geography of the Bible, it contains a condensed, but extremely satisfactory, summary of explanations upon all the leading terms and subjects which naturally excite inquiry in the mind of an attentive reader of the Scriptures.
The prominent excellencies which have struck us in the perusal of the Union Dictionary' are (1) The judgment, tact, and discrimination displayed in the matter brought together under the different articles, and the neat simplicity with which it is expressed. On an inspection of the whole, the epithet judicious would perhaps best convey the impression produced upon the mind of the intelligent reader. Nothing is wanting, nothing superfluous; just that is said, for the most part, under every head, which it was important should be said, and nothing more. And while the most rigid accuracy of definition has evidently been studied in every page, an equally anxious and successful effort is visible to clothe the whole in a style of perspicuity that shall adapt it to the comprehension of every grade of intellect. (2) The air of freshness and of manifest authenticity which is imparted to the illustrations drawn from the journals of missionaries and travellers to the East. In this department while nearly every thing is new, it is yet so pertinent, that it is not easy to describe the interest and relish with which it is pursued. (3) The amount of pictorial illustration and its peculiarly authentic character. The work abounds with plates handsomely executed and evidently drawn from the very best sources. In contemplating them the mind feels an inward assurance that they are not mere fancy sketches, but the most faithful representations which could be obtained. It is evident that great pains and great expense have been incurred in this department, but both have been well laid out.—It would be easy to specify other points of excellence which characterize this volume, but we conclude our very earnest recommendation of it by adverting to its freedom from sectarian peculiarities and the great care and accuracy with which it has been brought out. The services of of the most distinguished biblical scholars in the country, the committee say, have been employed in a general revision of it, while many of its most important articles have been subjected to a critical examination in other quarters. At the low price of 75 cts. per copy an extensive sale alone can repay the labor and cost bestowed upon it, and that it is abundantly entitled to such a circulation, we have no hesitation in affirming.
2.-WORKS OF HENRY HALLAM. Introduction to the Literature of Europe, in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth
and Serenteenth centuries. By Henry Hallam, F. R. A. S., Cor. responding member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in the French Institute. London: John Murray, 1837. Vol.
I. pp. 659.
View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages, by Henry
Hallam. From the sixth London Edition, complete in one volume. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1837. pp. 568.
Mr. Hallam has been long and favorably known as a writer on both sides of the Atlantic. His view of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages has been published in six editions in England and two in this country. His Constitutional History of England from the accession of Henry VII. to the death of George II., in some respects a continuation of the History of the Middle Ages, has been issued in three English editions and in one or two American. We do not know, that Mr. H. has published any other works, except papers for periodical publications, etc. He is a member of the committee of Lord Brougham's Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, and accords, we suppose, with that distinguished man in politics.
Of the Literary Introduction the author says: “Some departments of literature are passed over, or partially touched. Among the former are books relating to particular arts, as agriculture or painting, or subjects of merely local interest, as those of English laws; among the latter is the great and extensive portion of every library, the historical. Unless where history has been written with peculiar beauty of language, or philosophical spirit, I have generally omitted all mention of it."
The principal authorities that the author mentions are the Bibliotheca Universalis, and the Pandectae Universales of Conrad Gesner ; the Bibliotheca Selecta of Possevin ; Fabricius's edi. tion of the Polyhistor of Morhof; the Origine Progresso e Stato attuale d'ogni Litteratura of Andrés, a Spanish Jesuit, characterized as an extraordinary performance ; the History of Literature, a plan undertaken in Germany, (but a small part of which has been completed), under the general direction of Eichhorn,-in which Bouterwek had the department of poetry and polite letters, Sprengel of anatomy and medicine, Kästner of the mathematical sciences, Buhle of speculative philosophy, and Heeren of classical philology ; Eich. horn's History of Literature in six volumes; the works of Tiraboschi, Corniani and Ginguéné, on Italian literature; Warton's History of English Poetry; the philosophical works of Brucker and Tennemann ; the French works of Montucla, Portal, Bayle, Niceron, and the Biographie Universelle ; Chalmers's English Biographical Dictionary, etc.
The first chapter of the work is on the general state of literature in the Middle Ages to the end of the 14th century. The last of the ancients, and one who forms a link between the classical period of literature and that of the Middle Ages, in which he was a favorite author, was Boethius, a man of fine genius, whose Consolation of Philosophy was written in prison, shortly before his death. Thenceforward the downfall of learning and eloquence was inconceivably rapid. A state of general ignorance lasted about five centuries. A slender but living stream, however, kept flowing on in the worst times. Guizot and Hallam agree in the opinion that the seventh century is the nadir of the human mind in Europe. Its movement in advance began in the 8th century, with Charlemagne. England soon furnished names of considerable importance in Theodore, Bede, and Alcuin. Cathedral and conventual schools were created or restored by Charlemagne, which produced happy fruits under his successors. It is the most striking circumstance in the literary annals of the Middle Ages, that they are more deficient in native genius than in acquired ability. There was a tameness, a mediocrity, a servile habit of copying from others. Only two extraordinary men stand out from the crowd in literature and philosophy-Scotus Erigena and Gerbert. At the beginning of the 12th century, we enter on a new division in the literary history of Europe. The most important circumstances which tended to arouse Europe from her lethargy were the institutions of universities, and the methods pursued in them; the cultivation of the modern languages, followed by the multiplication of books, and the extension of the art of writing ; the investigation of the Roman law; and the return to the study of the Latin language in its purity. Collegiate foundations in universities seem to have been derived from the Saracens. At the year 1400, we find a national literature subsisting in seven European languages, three spoken in the Spanish peninsula, the French, the Italian, the German, and the English. The 14th century was not in the slightest degree superior to the preceding age in respect to classical studies. The first real restorer of polite letters was Petrarch.
Mr. Hallam, in his second chapter, treats of the literature of Europe from 1400 to 1440. The latter of these periods is nearly coincident with the complete development of an ardent thirst for classi. cal, especially Grecian, literature in Italy, as the year 1400 was with its first manifestation. There are vestiges much earlier than 1400 of the study of Greek literature. But its decided revival cannot be placed before 1395, when Chrysoloras established himself at Florence as public teacher of Greek. He had some eminent disciples. The principal Italian cities became more wealthy after 1350. Books were cheaper than in other parts of Europe. In Milan, about 1300, there were fifty persons who lived by copying them. At Bologna also, it was a regular occupation at fixed prices. Albertus Magnus, whose collected works were published at Lyons, in 1651, in twenty-one folio volumes, may pass for the most fertile writer in the world. Upon the three columns,-chivalry, gallantry, and religion, says Hallam, repose the fictions of the middle ages. In the first part of the 15th century, we find three distinct currents of religious opinion, the high pretensions of the Roman church to a sort of moral, as well as theological infallibility, and to a paramount authority even in temporal affairs ; second, the councils of Constance and Basle and the contentions of the Gallican and German churches against the encroachments of the holy see, had raised up a strong adverse party ; third, the avowed heretics, such as the disciples of Wiclif and Huss. Thomas a Kempis's De Imitatione Christi is said to have gone through 1800 editions, and to have been read, probably, more than any work after the Scriptures.
The third chapter embraces the literature of Europe from 1440 to 1500. About 1450, Laurentius Valla gives us the earliest speci. mens of explanations of the New Testament founded on the origi. nal languages of Scripture. The capture of Constantinople, in 1453, drove a few learned Greeks to hospitable Italy. About the end of the 14th century, impressions were taken from engraved blocks of wood, sometimes for playing cards, which came into use not long before that time; sometimes for. rude cuts of saints. Gradually entire pages were impressed in this manner, and thus began what are called block-books, printed in fixed characters, but never exceeding a very few leaves. The earliest book printed from the movable types of Gutenberg is generally believed to be the Latin Bible, commonly called the Mazarin Bible. This appears to have been executed in 1455. An almanac for 1457 has been de. tected. From 1470 to 1480, 1297 books were printed in Italy, of which 234 are editions of ancient classics. The first Hebrew book, Jarchi's Commentary on the Pentateuch, was printed in Italy in 1475. The whole Hebrew Bible was printed in Soncino in 1488. Several distinguished men now arose such as Politian, Picus of Mirandola, Reuchlin and Lionardo da Vinci. Erasmus and Budaeus were now devoting incessant labor to the acquisition of the Greek language. Erasmus's Adages, printed at Basle in 1500, was doubtless the chief prose work of the century beyond the limits of Italy. It is certain VOL. XI. No. 29.