« PreviousContinue »
Baptism, and the Terms of Communion ; An Argument. By RICHARD
FULLER. Baltimore: Cushing & Brother. 12mo, pp. 204.
The volume here given to the public, like the sermons of which it contains the substance, was prepared by request, and this request, we believe, grew out of peculiar local circumstances, the indications of which are in a few instances apparent. The merits of the work have, however, no special local interest. It is “an argument” for the ordinances of Christ in their primitive simplicity, and as such is appropriately addressed to all Christian believers. It does not aspire to the rank of an original investigation for the learned only, but combines the results of many previous investigations, arranged with logical skill, and urged with effective eloquence. More than all, it is pervaded with a spirit of eminent charitableness and courtesy. The legal education and habits of the author are manifest in the entire construction of the work. We seem to see him with his minutes of evidence gathered from every quarter, standing in the presence of a jury and weaving proofs into an irresistible argument, and this in the spirit which ought to sanctify legal proceedings, the love of truth and justice. We know of no popular work on baptism which will be more likely to be effective. We understand that it is to be stereotyped, and we would intimate the desirableness of better mechanical execution, and of the addition of a few references which shall more clearly define the sources of evidence.
There are a few introductory paragraphs (pp. 9–11) to which we are constrained to express an objection. They have no reference, however, to the merits of the “argument," and might be altogether omitted with out damage. We notice them because they go to confirm some popular errors, the removal of which is important. We extract the following passage:
Now it is deeply to be deplored that, in our English version of the Bible, ono word of this commission (Matt. xxviii. 19) is not translated, but only transferred. This word is “baptized.” In the original Greek it is baptistheis ; so that, while all the other words are rendered into English, this is not; we have only the Greek, with an English termination.
We do not understand the fact to be as here stated. The Greek Barriów passed in the first instance into the Latin baplizo, and became thoroughly domesticated in that language while as yet the Latin was a spoken tongue. The Latin language, including this word, passed, in its turn, to a very large extent into the languages of Western Europe. The English language was a late formation. The Norman Conquest (A. D. 1066) brought in the Norman French, with its large admixtures of Latin and Greek-Latin, and grafted these elements on the Anglo-Saxon stock. From this amalgamation came forth the English language, in the infancy of which the word baptize is found in commun use. It occurs in Robert of Gloucester, and in Robert of Brunne, the former of whom wrote about 1280. Sir John Mandeville, “ usually held as the first English prosa writer," uses it. Returning from his thirty-four years' travels in 1356, he wrote an account of all he had seen, (and some more,) originally in Latin, then translated it into French, and then into English, “that every man of my nacioun may undirstonde it.” The Vision of Pierce Ploughman, a popular poem, written in the language of the people, and one of the leading instruments in promoting the Wickliffean Reformation,—the Pilgrim's Progress of that time,-contains it as a familiar word. So too it is found in Chaucer and Gower. Indeed it belonged as truly to the English language of that time, as any word of Latin or Greek-Latin origin to be found in old English literature. When Wickliffe inserted it in his version of the Scriptures, therefore, he inserted a word which was perfectly familiar to his readers of every class, –a word which was no more a stranger and foreigner, but a fellow-citizen in the language of the household of faith. His justification is the justification of translators who succeeded him. And this being historically true, we regret to find the weighty endorsement of Dr. Fuller's name given to the statement, that “ kereuralize” (“ preach") might have been retained in the translation with no more absurdity than * baptize." There is this difference. If “ kereuralize” had been used, no English reader would have understood it, because it was not an English word; “ baptize" was properly used because it was an English word, universally intelligible. To have put " kereutztize" into the English version then would have been like putting " baptize" into the Burmese version now, an unmeaning transfer, and not an intelligible translation. Baplize" in the English version is both a transfer and a translation; in the Burmese it would be a transfer only. In the one case right, therefore, and in the other wrong.
Highly as we esteem Dr. Fuller's book, we could not in good faith omit from a notice of it this objection, to which we most respectfully invite his consideration, and this we do with the more freedom because we believe him desirous to be accurate.
The Englishman's Greek Concordance of the New Testament: being an
attempt at a Verbal Connection belween the English and Greek Texts ; including a Concordance to the Proper Names, with Indexes, Greek-English and English-Greek. New-York: Harper & Brothers. Large 8vo,
It was the saying of Bishop Horsley, “that the most illiterate Christian, if he can read his English Bible, and will take the pains in reading it to study the parallel passages, without any other commentary, will not only attain that practical knowledge which is necessary to salvation, but will become learned in everything relating to his religion.” The truth of this saying every attentive observer of Bible-reading Christians will bave noticed. In the humblest walks of life will be found those who with no higher advantages, and with these well employed, have attained elevations of Scripture knowledge, to which the half-worldly, and those seeking their knowledge of divine truth through secondary sources, will never reach. And yet it does not follow that advantages for Biblical study should not be increased. If those who compare Scripture with Scripture, and so increase their stores of knowledge, will record the methods by which they have made progress, their experience may prove a light to others, and help so derived is not to be lightly valued. It was in such studies, such comparisons of Scripture with Scripture, that this book had its rise. It is not a book for the illiterate indeed, but the Greek which is in it need be no terror to an intelligent English reader. It is the Englishman's Greek Concordance. It contains all the Greek words of the New Testament, alphabetically arranged, and under each word all the passages from the English New Testament in which the translation of that word occurs, the translation in each case being in Italics. Then follows an EnglishGreek Index, by the aid of which any Greek word may be found, and then a Greek-English Index by which any English word may be found. So, if the English reader wishes to find how many times and in what connection the words “ atonement,” “reconciliation," occur, they being both translations of the same word, by turning to either of them in the English-Greek Index, he will find the reference, "xarangayń, 359.” Turning then to that page he will find :
xataray“, katallagee. Rom. v. 11, by whom we have now received the atonement, (lit. reconciliation.)
xi. 15, the reconciling of the world. 2 Cor. v. 18, the ministry of reconciliation.
19, the word of reconciliation. It will readily be seen how much such a work will aid the student of the Scriptures, how often it will enable him to understand and appreciate the comments of critical scholars, and especially if he have some knowledge of the Greek language. It will be found too an exceedingly convenient reference for the study-table of the minister, in those numerous cases constantly occurring, where the investigation required does not demand profounder inquiries. It has been prepared with great painstaking and correctness, and is very handsomely printed and very substantially bound. Its history, given in the introductory pages, is a curious item of literature, and greatly creditable to the piety and zeal of Mr. Wigram, the principal author of the work.
The Law Student, or Guides to the Study of the Law in its Principles.
By John Anthon. New-York : D. Appleton & Co. 8vo, pp. 384. This work is unlike the introductions to legal studies with which the members of the profession are familiar, in that its aim is by the citing of cases to lead to the principles which govern them, and thus to illustrate the business of every student, rerum cognoscere causas.
The theses under which cases are cited and commentaries given are thirty-six in number, and embrace such a range of topics as serves to illustrate the real nature of law, and the true business and importance of the legal profession. The style of the volume is elegant and perspicuous, and is often adorned with well chosen classical allusions; the tone is that of a lawyer who appreciates and illustrates his profession, and for that tone's sake as well as for its general value, we commend the work heartily to all law students and to all lawyers. The public reproach of the profession will cease when its members are formed after such a model as these pages delineate. Nor do we recommend these pages to lawyers and law students alone. It has long been our conviction that the clerical profession should not be unfamiliar with the law. Hours spent in the study of Blackstone and Kent, and of those writers on particular branches whose business it is to develop the principles of law, are hours usefully spent in preparation for ministerial duties. To understand principles and how to seek them out from facts and movements, are acquisitions not to be overlooked in the great work of instructing and regenerating mankind. Indeed these pages to every intelligent reader are inviting aud useful. Law in its broad and truly practical sense is not a code in details, but the principle of justice breathing itself forth into the business of mankind, and it is wise in every man to study diligently whatever may lead his mind through the outward facts of his vocation to the interior principle which at once defines his duty and vindicates his rights. The work before us is elegantly printed, and bound in handsome law-binding. We observed one or two typographical blunders which are a blemish. Lectures and Essays. By HENRY Giles. In two volumes.
Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 12mo, pp. 300, 317.
Those who have heard the lectures of Mr. Giles will be glad to avail themselves of an opportunity to renew the pleasure which those lectures
have furnished. The extraordinary facility with which he analyzes his subjects, and the glow of feeling with which he invests everything of which he speaks, retain the attractions upon the printed page which contributed so largely to the interest of the spoken productions. The tones of his winning voice are lost indeed, but the same easy-flowing sentences are here, and so imbued with his own spirit as to have the very warmth of life. Mr. Giles has been among the most successful of lecturers, and this collection of his writings will gain a fame wider in extent, and not less enviable. The subjects are, Falstaff, Crabbe, Moral Philosophy of Byron's Life, Moral Spirit of Byron's Genius, Ebenezer Elliott, Oliver Goldsmith, Spirit of Irish History, Ireland and the Irish, The Worth of Liberty, True Manhood, The Pulpit, Patriotism, Economies, Music, The Young Musician, A Day in Springfield, Chatterton, Carlyle, Savage, and Dermody
It is scarcely necessary for us to say that these volumes, like all those which proceed from the same house, are executed in the neatest and most perfect style. Modern Literature and Literary Men: Being a Second Gallery of Literary
Portraits. By GEORGE GILFILLAN. Reprinted entire from the London Edition. New-York: D. Appleton & Co. Philadelphia: Geo. S. Appleton. Pp. 376.
Mr. Gilfillan is a clergyman of the Established Church of Scotland, and has evidently devoted himself with unusual zeal to the study of modern English literature, and the lives of its authors. The volume of sketches which he published several years ago was very favorably received and widely read, both in Great Britain and in this country, and the reputation which it gained for him will undoubtedly secure the favor of the public for any other production of his pen. The present volume is a supplement to the former, and in our judgment possesses superior interest. It contains twenty-five sketches of eminent literary men, nearly all of them of the present generation, and the larger part even now among the living. Among them we find the names of Crabbe, John Foster, Macaulay, George Croly, Tennyson, Professor Nichol, Sydney Smith, and Isaac Taylor, together with those of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Professor Longfellow, who are the only representatives of the literature of America. In the sketches which are given of the various literary men who are made to pass in review before us, the author introduces much valuable information respecting their personal history, and many striking views of literature and human life. He is evidently a nice and discriminating observer of character; and his criticisms, if they are not always just or always in good taste, never fail to awaken interest in the mind of the reader. In several instances he portrays characters which were introduced in his former volume, and as they have sat to him again, he has generally improved the portraiture. He divides the leading authors of the age into three classes : 1st. Those who have written avowedly and entirely for the few; 2d. Those who have written principally for the many; 3d. Those who have sought their audiences in both classes, and have succeeded in forming to some extent at once an exoteric and esoteric school of admirers. A division like this, though far enough from being a philosophical classification, is yet very convenient for the discursive descriptions which it is the design of his book to present. The style is in general striking and bold, the characterization clear and strongly marked, and the personal sketches are always entertaining, and usually accurate and instructive. It is a book which readers of all grades of intellectual culture will peruse with interest.
Theophany, or the Manifestation of God in Jesus Christ; with a Supple
ment, louching the Theories of the Rev. Dr. Bushnell. By ROBERT TURNBULL. Second Edition. Hartford : Brockett, Fuller & Co. 1849. 12mo, pp. 230, 77.
The writer of this volume presents in his intellectual habits and productions a favorable contrast with some of his contemporaries, and particularly with the writer, much known of late, whose eccentric theories are alluded to on this title page. Not less given to philosophical studies than they, with not less of that acumen which is essential to philosophical insight and speculation, he bears always with him that profound reverence for the unquestionable authority of Revelation which becomes the character and profession of a Christian minister. Indeed the pages of the work before us are sanctified by the spirit of Christian docility which they breathe. There is in them no straying from old land-marks, no audacious wanderings in the regions of unexplored intellectuality; the writer sits at the feet of Christ and his apostles, and illustrates and vindicates the truth as thence derived. The first part of the work sketches rapidly the life of Christ; the second brings out from that life thus historically considered the proofs and designs of a Divine Presence. The Supplement forms an elaborate and conclusive refutation of the theories of Dr. Bushnell. This had indeed been done indirectly in the body of the work; here it forms a distinct and important purpose.
We are glad to see the "second edition" of such a work, and congratulate the author on this indication of its usefulness. And we ought to say that its usefulness is by no means confined to its polemical character and bearings. It is a practical work. We rose from the reading of it refreshed in spirit, and grateful to the author that we had sate with him in heavenly places in Christ.
Anastasis, (Sacred Dramatic Dialogues on the Resurrection of our Saviour,)
the Temptations of the Wilderness, Bathsheba, and other Poems. By Thomas Curtis, D. D., original editor of the Encyclopædia Metropolitana, and editor throughout of the London Encyclopædia. New-York: Leavitt & Co. 12mo, pp. 143. The leading poem in this collection had its origin in a proposition to reduce the testimony in reference to our Lord's resurrection to legal forms, to be submitted to a moot court created for the purpose, at which a distinguished chief-justice was to preside. The plan, for some reason, was not executed, but from the materials came forth this poem. The testimony is well arranged, and woven into a powerful argument, while the parts sustained are true to the historical characters introduced. There is sometimes an obscurity in the elaborated language of the poem, not unlike that which is so often manifest in the poems of Dr. Curtis's associate in literary labors, Coleridge, and there are occasional lines where the versification loses its usual flow; but these faults are far more than balanced by the sublimity of the theme, by the power of the argument, and by frequent passages which rise to the highest order of poetry. The work belongs to an order of poetry higher than is generally current among us, and addresses itself unquestionably to the "fit audience, though few.” The remaining poems are in a similar style, and are the fitting companions of that which gives its name to the book. Little had we expected to meet Dr. Curtis in such a walk; but the hours spent with him have been agreeable and instructive, and we do not doubt that many others will find equal pleasure and advantage in dwelling upon his pages.