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per, which might be expected to mark compositions, “written for," as we are told in the Preface," and sent, parcel by parcel, to his friends at home." Still the “Reflections and Observations" hibit throughout the traces, and contain some striking specimens, (f the earnest and fervid tone of thought and style peculiar to the writer, as well as of that quick sympathy with the living world, and that hearty faith in freedom and progress, for which he is so highly and so justly famed. The second volume contains much more matter of interest than the first; but it also contains much more matter for difference of opinion : we refer particularly to the speculations respecting Recreations, Roman Catholicism, and the Aristocratical System. Of this, however, we are sure, that no intelligent and fair-minded reader, though he may persist in dissenting from some of the conclusions, will hesitate to acknowledge the ingenuity and the generous spirit, with which they are urged.
Evangelical History; or, the Books of the New Testament ; with a General Introduction, a Preface to each Book, and Notes Explanatory and Critical. In Two Volumes. By Alden BRADFORD. Vol. I. Containing the Four Gospels. Boston: Joseph Dowe. 1836. 12no. pp. 400. — This is a re-publication of a volume, which appeared under the same title in 1813; but after a careful revision, and with many additions and amendments. Its object may be best stated in the author's own modest language, as thus given in the Preface: "He pretends not to offer any thing new to the biblical critic; nor does he expect to give satisfaction concerning all the obscure phrases and expressions which occur. He can only say, that he has read the original, and consulted learned commentators with attention; and proposes to exhibit, in a cheap form, whatever is material as to the meaning of the writers of the evangelical narrative, and of the epistles, which make a part of the New Testament.” The General Introduction, as well as the Prefaces to the several books, are brief; but they contain as much information as ought perhaps to be expected in a popular work of this description; and the same remark applies to the Notes. In printing the text the divisions of the chapters are retained, but those of the verses are not; though for convenience of reference the old numbering of the verses is indicated in the margin. The Editor proposes to follow the readings of Griesbach in disputed passages; but this, we regret to find on comparison, he has not always done. The common version is adopted, but not without frequent variations, which in some cases give it quite a different complexion; as in the first verses of the Proem of John:
“The Logos was in the beginning, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. I repeat, this intelligent power was with God from eternity. By it all things exist, and without it nothing exists, which is. In it was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shone in darkness, and the darkness did not fully suppress it.”
- p. 305.
Most of the Notes do but contain practical or expository hints. The following may be taken as a specimen of those of a more elaborate and doctrinal cast. It is on the fourteenth verse of the first chapter of John, which Mr. Bradford translates thus: “Now the Logos was united to a man, who dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, (such glory as an only begotten son receives from a Father,) full of grace and truth.”
“ Literally, the Logos was flesh, or became flesh: that is, the Spirit of God was united to a man, who dwelt among us: was not merely imparted to him for a particular time, or a single purpose, as to John; but rested on him, (see 32d and 33d verses,) and was given to him not by measure, as to others. Therefore he is said to be in the bosom of the Father, and the Father to dwell in him and do the miraculous works which were performed. The glory he displayed proved him to be qualified and assisted by God, the fountain of iruih and grace. His glory was that of doing good, working miracles of mercy, and revealing the paternal character of God, and the doctrines of pardon and immortality; and not of display for his own benefit or fame. See Philippians, ii. 7, 8; Acts, x. 38. To say of the Logos or divine spirit, which is uncreate and eternal, that it was made, is absurd: and to say that it became flesh, or was converted into flesh, would be equally incorrect and unphilosophical. But it is far otherwise to say, that the spirit of God was imparted to a man without measure, (see chap. iii. 34,) or was so united to him as to be with hiin at all times. And this appears to be the doctrine asserted by the writer in this verse. It is also taught in many other parts of scripture. See Isaiah, xi. 2 ; Luke, iy. 1; John, chap. viii. 28; Acts, ii. 22."
- pp. 306, 307. When the second volume appears, we shall probably go more fully into an examination of the whole work ; our only object now being to commend it, meanwhile, to the public attention.
Didactics ; Social, Literary and Political. By Robert Walsh, In two volumes. 12mo. Philadelphia : Carey, Lea, and Blanchard. 1836. — There are few to whom the literature of this country is under greater obligations, than to the author of these miscellanies. He has long been favorably known to the public as a writer on politics, and in criticism and biography; and as the editor, at different periods, of two ably conducted literary journals, and, for many years, of a daily newspaper remarkable for the general scholarship, and for the interest in the progress of letters and civilization, manifested in its columns. It is from the stores of edited and inedited materials, which have accumulated on his hands
in these several occupations, that Mr. Walsh has compiled these volumes; partly, it would seem, at the suggestion of his publishers, and partly to beguile the weariness of a protracted indisposition. The pieces are, for the most part, short, and extremely various, both as regards their topics, and their merits in other respects ; and some of them have lost a little of the freshness and interest they once had; but all bear the impress of the author's peculiar manner, are rich in allusion and quotation, and breathe the healthy -spirit of what may be termed a liberal conservatism.
The Life and Travels of the Apostle Paul, prepared with Questions for the Use of Sunday Schools. Boston. 1833. 16mo. Pp. 272. — This unpretending volume, written with great clearness and simplicity, seems worthy of recommendation to youthful readers, whether engaged in Sunday Schools or not. The very man whose talents, activity, and efficiency place him foremost among the promulgators of Christianity, and whose writings occupy so large a portion of the New Testament, repels the young and thoughtless by the obscurity of his style, is seldom read from choice, and still more seldom understood. Narrative is, of course, always engaging; and the “ Acts” are therefore perused with interest: but we find children can hardly realize that he who shook the viper from his hand, on the bleak rock of Melita, was the author of those Epistles, to them so dull and unintelligible. Yet we believe that children, twelve years of age, may be made to comprehend the great charm of that man's history and character; to look upon the beautiful whole and appreciate the indefatigable enthusiasm, the deep emotions, the courage, the spirit of self-sacrifice, which from the period of his conversion till his death, carried him through such a variety of adventures, and displayed themselves in all he said, did, and wrote. Unassisted, the young mind may not take in all this, from the mere perusal of the Scriptures, though it is there ; but the volume here recommended answers the purpose, we think, very well. Such a book cannot be a substitute for the best of books"; nothing could be, or ought to be; but auxiliaries, which may render it more intelligible and interesting to a certain class of readers, are to be encouraged. The Bible will not be read the less, but the more, in proportion as such works are favorites among
Children usually enter the Sunday School at an age so tender, that only the simplest catechisms, hymns, and oral communications can, with advantage, be employed by their teachers. The principal object at this period is, to form in their minds pleasant associations with religion and its outward observances, and to assist their parents in implanting early sentiments of piety.
As they advance, it is the opinion of many teachers, that the Bible alone should be used as a text-book. We cannot think so. We believe that to do this with advantage, requires long and diligent preparation on the part of the instructer. If explanation is not to be attempted at all, the pupils may as well confine themselves to solitary study; if it is, too much caution cannot be used by a conscientious teacher. Questions will be asked by children of inquiring minds, which the instructer would be glad to answer as satisfactorily, as correctly as possible ; and he will be himself surprised to find how many passages of the New Testament he has read again and again, without deriving any very definite meaning from them, or without understanding them as he does on more careful inspection. And even should his previous habits have familiarized him with the task of exposition, his pupils, we believe, will be better fitted to enter on this noblest, and most interesting of all studies, if they ascend to it gradually. Such admirable works as Miss Adams's Letters on the Gospels," and Ware's “Life of the Saviour,” are capable of being understood by children from eleven to thirteen years of age, will be sure to interest them, and prepare their minds for those researches into the word of God, which it is to be hoped will occupy not only the remaining portion of their religious pupilage, but many of their retired hours through life. Works calculated to employ the young mind, at this period of its progress, are scarce; but the “Life of St. Paul," before us, has been used with much acceptance, and we venture to recommend it for adoption by those who have felt the deficiency of some book, which might properly succeed Ware's “ Life of the Saviour."
We are aware that some objections have been made to it; but they do not appear sufficiently weighty to exclude it from use. We doubt whether a leaning towards credulity, on the part of the author, is likely to affect very juvenile minds injuriously. Tendencies towards skepticism, induced by excessive demands on faith, seldom develope themselves until a period when the mind is sufficiently mature for such investigations, as in these enlightened days must lead to devout confidence.
Unitarian Hymn Book. We copy the following notice from the August number of the London “ Christian Teacher and Chronicle.” We have no doubt of Mr. Beard's ability to make a collection on the principle here laid down, which shall contain many beautiful hymns, and be respectable throughout. At the same time, we do not participate, in the smallest degree, in his reluctance to use the hymns of Watts or Doddridge, of Bishop Kenn, or Henry Moore, or Charles Wesley, if unexceptionable in themselves, or if by abridgment, or some other slight alteration, they can be made unexceptionable. Accordingly, the plan systematically to reject, on the ground that the writers belonged to another denomination, the great majority of the very best hymns in the language for public worship, strikes us, we must say, as most extraordinary.
“ From the circumstance that the Hymn Books used in Unitarian congregations, contain in each case, a large proportion of compositions by authors holding what are deemed Orthodox opinions, occasion has been taken by the unfriendly, to cavil at Unitarians, as persons whose religious sentiments or literary skill were unequal to the task of composing a Hymn Book for themselves. And certainly some inconvenience has been experienced; perhaps some injury done to taste and feeling, if not to justice ; in consequence of the alterations which a regard to truth has, in many instances, compelled those to make, who from Orthodox materials compiled Hymn Books for Unitarian worship. The natural resource is to prepare a collection of hymns composed exclusively by Unitarians.
"To those, indeed, who have not given close attention to the subject, this step may appear somewhat difficult
. But materials have, for a long period, been accumulating of such abundance and worth, that with the aid he is receiving from many living writers, Mr. Beard has no doubt of being able to compile a work, wbich shall combine, in no ordinary degree, the several qualities which truth, devotion, and taste require ; and when he recalls to the reader's mind the names of Taylor, Moore, Butcher, Roscoe, Smith, and Barbauld, and directs his attention to Ware, Pierpont, Bowring, Johns, Wreford, and Drummond, - not to mention other living authors whose aid he has, and others, again, whose aid he hopes to have, — he feels assured that his confidence will be shared by no small portion of the Unitarian public. And should he, as he fully expects, succeed in compiling a Hymn Book answering the demands which the various states of human and Christian feeling make, there will be supplied a practical answer to those who either deny to Unitarians the name of Christian, or charge their views of God, Christ, and eternity, with coldness and inefficacy; and at the same time no mean assistance will be afforded to all, who place the essence of Christianity in conformity to the image of Christ, for the developement and culture of the religious affections. In order that the work may bear the implied character, the compiler will spare no effort to make it, in the true sense of the word, Evangelical, both in its topics, and its tone, as well as ample in its contents; while, with a view to secure for it extensive circulation, cheapness will be studied with no less care than neatness of execution. As, however, the cost must depend, mainly, on the probable sale, the compiler will feel obliged if any congregation, who may contemplate adopting the work, will put themselves in correspondence with him, when further details may be ascertained. He also most respectfully solicits literary aid and suggestions from friends, to whom he may not have made a personal application, addressed to the care of the publishers of the Christian Teacher, by whom subscribers' names will be received."
A History of the Presbyterian and General Baptist Churches in the West of England. By JEROME MURCH, Minister of the