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translations existing that would much assist in this but there are valuable works never yet rendered into English. We also want, in about the same size, translations of the most valuable parts of the works of the Foreign Reformers, with the Corpus Confessionum. Again, there are many excellent works of more recent times, which would be generally useful, if well translated and published. Such as
These are mentioned for illustration : multitudes of similar works might be added now only subsisting in Latin.-Similarly valuable works might doubtless be translated from the French, Dutch, German, Italian, and other languages.
The History of Theology at large would be a valuable work. The Author has in this work attempted to give some outlines, but we want not merely a single chapter, but a considerable work of several volumes : a work which might take a far larger and more mature survey of the whole subject.
In such a review the Historian might notice more in detail the influence of each particular writer, and the treatises which he published ; the character of successive æras, and the progress of scriptural light. He might make such practical reflections, and deduce such useful conclusions as would much tend to advance Divinity.
Have the plans of clerical, parochial, and lending libraries been fairly and fully tried, and followed up, or their greatest usefulness attained. Dr. Bray did much, but if the author might judge from one or two of his libraries that he has seen, he would be led to ask, had not his libraries too much of a learned character, so as to be deficient in evangelical, devotional, practical, and popular works, and hence have they been extensively useful as they might have been? Much has been done by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in aiding parochial libraries; and the large public libraries in Cambridge, Oxford, and London, are immense storehouses of all kinds of learning, but could not more be done of a popular and general character for establishing religious libraries to a much larger extent? The most approved and generally used books might form the foundation of such libraries, the extent of which might be increased as means should be obtained. Some of our large libraries are said to be very inadequately furnished with the works of the Reformers, and of the Puritans.
Might not scriptural museums (that would furnish considerable help to the understanding of the scriptures, and be a great source of interest to the young) be formed in large towns? Such a museum should comprehend the best maps of the countries named in the scriptures, the best views that can be had of the different scenes of nature, a collection of the various animals, plants, minerals, and precious stones alluded to; models of the houses, and instruments of war, and agriculture, ancient armour, ancient dresses, and
It appears from an account of the Institution established by Dr, Bray, published by the Associates, that 50 libraries were founded by Dr. Bray in America, and 61. parochial Libraries in England and Wales : about 160 libraries have been founded since by the Associates.
dresses of the High Priest, priests, and Levites, models of the temple furniture, and of the tabernacle, specimens of the coins mentioned, the mode of preparing books and ancient manuscripts. Such a museum would be both interesting and instructive, and give just ideas of many things of which persons are now comparatively ignorant, and thus many scriptural allusions would be placed in a new and beautiful light.
Every thing that tends to promote family piety is of the utmost value. The regular maintenance of family prayer and instruction, singing in the family, catechetical instruction of children and servants, parental duties; these and other things call for more helps even than we now have. Family sermons are a valuable species of composition, and we have few animated, lively, pungent, and brief addresses suited for this purpose. Adam's Exposition of Matthew is å specimen of what we mean. Boys' Exposition on the New Testament is a series of original and suitable family sermons, generally on the most striking feature of a chapter, and in this view well adapted for family improvement. A similar exposition by him on the Old Testament is to be desired. The multiplication of such short, striking and original works would be exceedingly serviceable for the furtherance of family piety.
There are several particular books of scripture of which we have no English evangelical and spiritual exposition, and many of the older expositions are getting very scarce, and can hardly be procured.
For the accomplishment of many of these works, a combination of pious, wise, and learned men is absolutely necessary. A Bibliotheca, the translations of Fathers, Reformers, and modern Latin authors, the
history of Theology, &cu could not be undertaken by one or two individuals. Men of the world are wise in calling forth talents and learning, and preparing by a combination of effort, Reviews, Magazines, Encyclopedias, &c. , Religion might be equally benefited by a similar union of men possessing knowledge and piety, for promoting its far higher, its infinitely more important objects.
Piving knowledge is intended to promote a right state of mind, with a suitable course of conducta There are two points of main importance in study, one is to get just ideas into the mind, and the other wisely to bring them forth in their season with all their beneficial influence. It is not laying up the bale in the warehouse, but dividing and distributing it as, it is required, that enriches the tradesman.
The apostle in the charge to Timothy to pursue reading, exhortation, and doctrine, or teaching, shows this due order ; first to acquire and then to disperse knowledge. We too often mistake in many ways. We begin to disperse before we have acquired; or we acquire, and never disperse to others; or we misapply when we disperse. How needful here again is Divine guidance and assistance.
All our acquirements are valuable according to the
use, which , we make of them. Supposing then the student to have acquired some measure of theological knowledge and to be continually laying up in store farther information, let us point out the right application of every such acquisition. The tongue of the wise aseth knowledge aright: the lips of the wise disperse knowledge. Prov. xv, 2.7. Gifts, and talents, and knowledge, are blessings, not in the possession, but in their appropriate use. There is an awful responsibility connected with them : even the neglect to employ them brings guilt on the soul, and the misuse or abuse of them, produces extended mischief.
It is the tendeney of man's fallen nature thus to pervert all that God bestows upon him. Every gift however valuable in its right use, often becomes only an engine of mischief in his possession. And when so perverted it greatly increases his danger here, and final woe hereafter, The clearer a man's light is here, if unaccompanied by its sanctifying effect, the greater will be his future punishment. That servant which knew his Lord's will and prepared not, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes, Luke xii. 47. Let the eye, however, be single, and the whole body shall be full of light. single eye like Luther's, a man of learning may be a blessing to the church, and the whole world."
We will first notice, the common abuses of knowledge, and then endeavour to show its' right application.
There are some striking remarks of Bernard on the true use of knowledge. . Speaking on those words of the Apostle, If any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know, in his 36th Sermon on the Canticles he says, Observe how the Apostle places the fruit and utility of knowledge