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3-Discourse in Commemoration of the Glorious Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, delivered before the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of West Pennsylvania. By S. S. Schmucker, D. D. Professor of Theology in the Theol. Sem. Gettysburg, Pa. New York: Gould & Newman, 1838. pp. 131. 12mo.
This Discourse was prepared by appointment of the synod before which it was delivered, and in compliance with a resolution of that body recommending that a discourse on the Reformation be annually delivered by each member of the synod before the people of his charge, and that one such discourse be annually delivered before the synod. It is worthy of the form in which it is now given to the public, in a neat and convenient volume, and well sustains the reputation of the author as a judicious and good writer.
After a brief statement of the "spiritual tyranny under which the whole civilized world was groaning" at the commencement of the Reformation, and "a few considerations to show that the period for this event was wisely chosen by the Head of the Church," the discourse announces and discusses the following as among the distinguishing features of the Reformation :-I. It gave us free access to the uncorrupted fountain of truth and duty, God's holy word, as our only infallible rule of faith and practice.-II. It has delivered the church from a multitude of doctrinal and practical corruptions.-III. Has given us liberty of conscience and freedom from religious persecution-IV. Has delivered the civil government of the countries which embraced it from papal tyranny, and has given a new impulse to civil liberty, which has been felt in every kingdom of Europe."
Under the last head our author presents, and sustains by authentic documents and history, the following established principles of popery, which have led to her encroachments on civil liberty in other countries, and must also do so in our own country if she should be permitted to prevail.-"1. The popes actually do claim, at this day, jurisdiction over the highest civil governments in the world.-2. They undertake to depose civil rulers, and to absolve the people from their allegiance to their own civil governments, even if they had formally pledged that allegiance by an oath.-3. Romish ecclesiastics, priests, monks, and nuns, claim exemption from the civil jurisdiction of the governments under which they live.-4. Their priests, etc. are under such oaths to the pope and his kingdom, as render them necessarily unfaithful to the civil liberties of any country."
The positions of Dr. S. are bold and uncompromising; but they are well supported, and his argument throughout is conducted in a spirit of candor and kindness, which, unhappily, has not sufficiently characterized some recent American publications on the Catholic controversy. We are glad to see that the subject of the Reformation, and of the blessings, both civil and religious, which have resulted
from that great event, has become so prominent an object of attention in the Lutheran church. Their example is worthy the emulation of other denominations of Christians.
4.-A New Tribute to the Memory of James Brainerd Taylor.New York: John S. Taylor, 1838. pp. 440.
The subject of this tribute was one of the most interesting and useful young men who have adorned the church of Christ in any age or country. He was called to his reward in a better world in the spring of 1829, and in the spring time of his life and promise. He died at the age of twenty-eight, having, but a few months previous, completed his education as a candidate for the christian ministry, and received license to preach the gospel. But the hand of God was upon him. The malady which terminated his life, arrested him at the very commencement of his labors in the office which he had long sought with the most lively and glowing hope of usefulness to his fellow men. Yet it cannot be said of him, that he obtained the prize without running the race. During the whole progress of his preparation for the higher sphere of usefulness and duty to which he aspired, he was intent upon doing good in all the circles in which he moved. His life, though brief and principally expended in preparation for a class of labors which he was never permitted to per form, was nevertheless most usefully employed, and the memory of it remains, as a burning and a shining light, to extend and perpetuate its influences upon the cause to which it was solemnly and religiously devoted.
The "Memoir of James Brainerd Taylor" commenced by the late Dr. Rice of Virginia and completed by his brother, Rev. B. H. Rice, D. D. of Princeton, N. J., has been several years before the public, has passed through several editions and been extensively read. The design of the compilers of the Memoir was to exhibit his religious character and example to candidates for the christian min istry, as models for their imitation. Of its adaptation to such a design too much cannot be said in its praise. It is worthy of the es timation in which it is held, and of the extensive circulation it has acquired. The "New Tribute" to his memory embraces a larger design, and exhibits many "additional breathings" of the pure spirit of young Taylor, recorded by his own pen, and more minute descriptions illustrative of his character,-" and the particulars that en tered into combination to form that character; together with a more graphic account of the last scenes of his brief and holy and happy life." The author is anonymous; but his intimate acquaintance with the subject of his sketches, and the ardor with which he enters into the spirit of it, betray the kindness and affection of a brother, and give additional interest to the work. It contains also materials which were not adapted to the specific design of the "Memoir," and is en
ched by extracts from an additional Number of Mr. Taylor's Diary, which has been found,) of greater interest than any before publishd. We commend it to our readers, as well worthy the patronage hich we trust it will receive.
-Wanderings and Adventures in the Interior of South Africa. By Andrew Steedman. In two Volumes. London: 1835. pp. 330, 358.
These volumes contain a great variety of information acquired by he author in the course of a ten years' residence at Cape Town. During that time he traversed most of the interior of Southern Afria, principally, as he informs us, " for amusement and information," and obtained an extensive collection of its productions in natural history. Among these were several new and undescribed animals. The incidents and adventures which occurred under his own observation were carefully preserved in a journal and compose the thread of his narrative, which is, at once, credible, entertaining and instructive. His accounts of the benefits resulting from the labors of the Wesleyan missionaries among the Caffres are gratifying and encouraging to the friends of missions, and the moral influence of the work, no less than the variety and value of its information, is such as to commend it to a favorable reception. Several of the scenes of the narrative are illustrated by lithographic and wood engravings, beautifully executed, and the whole is accompanied with a map of southern Africa, supplying the most recent geographical information of that country. We are happy to learn that these volumes have been recently introduced into the American market, and may be purchased of J. S. Taylor of New York, and other booksellers.
6.-A Dictionary of the Anglo-Saxon Language, containing the Accentuation, the Grammatical Inflections, the irregular words referred to their themes, the parallel terms from the other Gothic languages, the meaning of the Anglo-Saxon in English and Latin, and copious English and Latin Indexes, serving as a Dictionary of English and Anglo-Saxon, as well as of Latin and English, with a long Preface, a Map of Languages, and the essentials of the Grammar. By the Rev. J. Bosworth, D. P., B. D., F. R. S., etc. etc. London: 1837. pp. 900.
In our Number for October, 1837, we gave a brief statement of existing efforts in England to promote the study of the Anglo-Saxon language. Among the names to which we alluded was that of Mr. Bosworth. This gentleman, now British chaplain at Rotterdam, has long been known as an indefatigable student. He published many
years ago "Elements of the Anglo-Saxon Grammar," and subse quently an Abridgement of the same. He is also the author of the "Origin of the Dutch, with a sketch of their Language and Litera ture," "The Origin of the Danish, and an Abstract of Scandinavian Literature," and "The Origin of the Germanic and Scandinavian Languages and Nations." The work whose title is prefixed to this notice occupied the author's attention more than seven years, four of which it was in the press. The dictionary is beautifully printed with three parallel columns on a page. With the view of illustrating the Anglo-Saxon, nearly all the radical words, and a few important compounds are followed by the parallel terms from the cognate dia lects. To show more clearly the analogy of cognate languages, Mr. B. has attempted to arrange the parallel terms in the most natural order. The Low German is generally placed first, because it is now spoken by the people who occupy the territory formerly peo pled by the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons. The Dutch and Frie sic words follow, because they are of the same low German branch. Then succeed the German, the Alemannic, the Francic, the MoesoGothic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Old Danish or Norse. The derivation immediately follows the synonymes, though on this debateable ground constant care has been taken to refrain from doing too little rather than to do too much. Then the signifi cation is given in English, while the principal significations in Latin are added. The radical meaning is placed first, then its various significations are numbered and arranged in that order which ap peared most consonant with the association of ideas; each meaning, where practicable, is confirmed by a reference to the authors who most use the word. Next follow the idiomatical expressions. By the English and Latin Indexes of about 150 pages, the Saxon of the greater part of the English and Latin terms may be found, the derivation and original meaning of most English words ascertained, and a comparison instituted with their radical cognates in the other Gothic languages. The Roman character has been employed in printing the Anglo-Saxon words with the exception of two peculiar letters answering to the English th in thing and in thin. As the authors are always quoted, the age and purity of a word can be seen at once. Accents are now adopted, as they were evidently used by the Anglo-Saxons, to distinguish long from short vowels. They are placed, however, only on the word and its variations standing at the head of each article. Prefixed to the dictionary is an elaborate and very learned preface of more than 200 pages. The points discuss ed are the connection of the Japhetic languages with the Sanscrit, the German and Scandinavian; the Anglo-Saxons; the Anglo-Sax on dialects; the ancient and modern Friesic compared with the Anglo-Saxon by the Rev. J. H. Halbertsma, a native Friesian; the Old Saxons; the Netherlands or Holland; the Goths and the Moeso
othic; the Alemanni or Suabians; the Francs; the High German with its various dialects; Scandinavian literature, including a sketch of the languages of Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden; the ffinity of Germanic languages; etymology, with the manner of orming words, and an outline of the German system, and the Esentials of Anglo-Saxon Grammar with an outline of the systems of professors Rask and Grimm. The author remarks with great canlor, that "the Essentials are given as the result of a long and close nvestigation of the language in the preparation of the Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, and a continued appeal to the grammar of a lamented friend, the late professor Rask, and to the learned Deutsche Grammatik of Prof. Grimm of Göttingen. It will be seen, that, as information has increased, there has been a gradual approximation, in grammatical forms and accents, to the views of Profs. Rask and Grimm."
We are truly glad in the prospect of a good Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. We have, in two or three of our large libraries, solitary copies of Hickes and of Lye,-ponderous and dusty tomes whose external form is an emblem of what reigns within. We can never hope for a revival of Anglo-Saxon studies in this country without better elementary books than we have had. The volume of Dr. Bosworth will supply the want in lexicography. A small volume published in 1834, by Mr. Benjamin Thorpe, the translator of Rask's Anglo-Saxon Grammar, will serve as an excellent Chrestomathy. It is entitled "Analecta Anglo-Saxonica: a selection in prose and verse from Anglo-Saxon authors of various ages; with a Glossary, designed chiefly as a first book for students." Rask's Grammar, the Analecta, and the Dictionary (without the preface) may be obtained in this country for about fourteen dollars. It is no honor to us that the main root of our language remains so little explored by us. Each of our colleges should have a professor of Anglo-Saxon, or perhaps of English with special reference to its noblest source. Óne institution, the University of Virginia, has set a good example in establishing an Anglo-Saxon professorship. We are no anti-Latinists or anti-Gallicists, yet we long for the time when old Beowulf, and Elfric, and Alfred shall be duly honored; when we shall cultivate the fresh, generous, and robust speech, from whose stores Shakspeare derived his immortal words. Such studies will open to us unexpected fountains of joy and profit. We shall get a new insight into German, Dutch, Danish, Icelandic. We shall feel a warmer sympathy for all the brave nations of the north, once bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. More than all, we shall have what cannot otherwise be gained, a fundamental acquaintance with our existing vernacular tongue.