« PreviousContinue »
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 der Christlichen Archäologie. Von D. Johann Christian Wilhelm Augusti. Leipzig : 1836, and 1837, erster band
pp. 595, zweyter band pp. 775, dritter band, pp. 759. 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 Archacology). It acquired, notwithstanding
* He is not to be confounded with II. E. G. Paulus, the celebrated profes. sor 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 antiqui. ties 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 Tes
tament. 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 criticisni 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 Corer.
dale, 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 Hen.
ry 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
not capable of definite solution, whether Coverdale translated from the original. Mr. Whitaker has attempted to show, that the Hebrew text is by Coverdale, most faithfully and ably translated, and the sense most consonant to the original always adopted. This strong asseveration may well be doubted. Dr. Geddes scruples not to affirm, that this translation is one of more merit, and is more according to the original, (such as Coverdale had it,) than the present authorized version, which is commonly read in the churches. In some annotations to a translation of the New Testament, recently published by Mr. Penn, that gentleman undertakes to prove
that hitherto there had been no direct English translation from the Greek, but on. ly through the medium of the Latin, with occasional references to the Greek text; and in these examples, it will be found, that Coverdale, unlike Wiclif, Tyndale, and the Vulgate, has translated direct. ly from the Greek, and not through the medium of any interpretation whatever. This assertion, so far as Tyndale is concerned, is without foundation. In his Preface to the “ Obedience of a Christian Mann,” Tyndale writes like one at home in the original languages. “ The Greeke tongue agreeth more with the Englysshe than with the Latyne, and the properties of the Hebrue tongue agreeth a thousand tymes more with ye Englysshe than with the Latyne. It has been the common opinion that Coverdale copied, with some revision, Tyndale's New Testament, and the small portions of the Old which the latter had translated. The compiler of the Life of Coverdale affirms that the contrary will be manifest from an examination of the two versions. This Life is by an anonymous hand. The compiler collects a considerable variety of interesting particulars. The style is, however, not one of a practised writer. There is a very good portrait of Coverdale.
16.- China, its present state and prospects, with especial reference to
the spread of the Gospel, containing allusions to the antiqui. ty, extent, population, civilization, literature, and religion of the Chinese. By W. H. Medhurst, of the London Mission
ary Society. Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1838. pp. 472. We received this volume just as the last sheet of the Repository for October was going to press. We have been happy to see that the high opinion which we then expressed of its merits has been unanimously confirmed by the public press. It discusses the prominent topics of interest relating to China in a succinct, candid, and intelligent manner. Just that kind of information is communicated which is fitted to excite an interest in the country and its institutions, and to lead us to search for fuller details. These details
be found in the excellent history of China by Davis, in the journals of the English embassies, and in the Chinese Repository. Mr. Med
* See Dabney's Reprint of Tyndale, p. 25.
hursi's work is of a popular character, but still not deficient in the marks of authenticity and accurate observation. The author is well fitted to tread in the steps and to assume the responsibilities of Morrison and Milne. We hope that there will be, ere long, a sufficient degree of interest awakened in behalf of China both in this country and in Europe, to justify more copious accounts than we have yet had of the structure of the language, of the nature and degree of divergency of the various dialecis, of the actual progress made by the Chinese scholars or literati, and of the real value of the writings of Confucius, and of the other more important specimens of the native literature.
We will here subjoin some statements, which we find in a late German periodical, copied from the “ Annales de la Propagation de la Foi," touching the Romish missions in China.
The missions are divided into three great apostolic vicarials and three bishoprics. The vicariats are Chan-Si, Fo-Keen, and SuTchuen. The bishoprics have their seats at Peking, Nanking and Macao. The vicariat of Chan-Si embraces four provinces, from three to five bishops, and seventeen native priests. In one district of one of the provinces alone there are 60,000 Christians. The mission in the vicariat of Fo-Keen is in a very flourishing state. some places public worship is openly celebrated. In one province 30,000 Christians are counted. Two other provinces contain 9,000 Christians. The vicariat of Su-Tchuen has two bishops, nine European priests, thirty native priests and 15,000 Christians. The bishopric of Peking has 40,000 Christians, that of Macao about 40, 000. “ It needs only one Constantine,” thus all the missionary accounts agree,“ lo bring the 300,000,000 of Chinese into the bosom of the church."
15.– Friderici Windischmanni, presbyteri, ss. theologiae ac philo
sophiae doctoris, Vindiciae Petrinae. Ratisbonae : pp. 135. This book is written in a very earnest and powerful manner, in opposition to those who doubt or deny the authenticity of the second epistle of Peter. The author has particularly in his eye the work of Meyerhoff
. Dr. Hermann Olshausen, whose essay is found in Bibl. Repos. VIII. 88, after a very candid and cautious discussion, decides in favor of the epistle on internal grounds, while the external evi. dence is, in his opinion, 100 scanty and feeble to justify much reliance. Windischmann comes to the conclusion, that it was known in the earliest times, that its authenticity was questioned by none, that it differs, indeed, from the first epistle in certain phraseology and sentiments, but that this difference can be well explained by the different nature of the subject discussed, while there are many traces of resemblance, that there are some difficult passages in it, which, notwithstanding, if rightly understood, will particularly confirm the
SECOND SERIES, VOL. 1. NO. 1. 331