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farther astray and more one-sided than the old superstition to which we fancy ourselves superior. On the whole, we do not believe that one can enter very deeply into the rationalistic spirit of the day, and at the same time be just to Christianity, as a “ Word which came to us, and did not go out from us,” which was attended by peculiar outward circumstances, and which must shape us, and not we it.
And yet again we must notice a want of a certain plainness, both in manner and matter, which must render these discourses less serviceable than could be desired to the less educated. They are occupied with questions which are trying the foremost minds of the day, and may be read by the scholar, or by any intelligent, reading man, with great profit
. But we are sure that the great mass of our congregations, after hearing such sermons, would be obliged to confess that their humbler questions had not been met, and that their more homely wants had not been satis. fied. At least they would need to read and study what they could only hear. The unresponsive eye too often shows that the preacher has overrated his congregation, and has not distinguished as he should between the dissertation and the plain sermon to the people, the harmonious development of his own thoughts and the attempt to present for the common uses of life the results and fruits rather than the processes of study. It is wrong, however, for us to make this complaint, since if, by chance, any one of Mr. Tayler's hearers has suffered in this particular, we have been the gainers a hundredfold.
Synopsis Evangelica ex quatuor Evangeliis ordine Chronolo.
gico concinnavit, prætexto brevi Commentario illustravit, ad Antiquos Testes apposito Apparatu Critico recensuit Con. STANTINUS TISCHENDORF. Lipsiæ. 1851. pp. Ixvi. and 202.
This Synopsis Evangelica, or Harmony of the Gospels, according to the appellation given in England and this country to a work of this kind, is a production which we have long desired to see, because it arranges the events of the life of Christ according to the Tripaschal hypothesis, or the supposition that the ministry of our Saviour was somewhat more than two years in duration. It has always appeared to us that the Harmony of Dr. Carpenter, which has been in general use among Unitarians, according to the Bipaschal hypothesis, which makes the duration of our Šav. iour's ministry but little more than one year, does violence to the Gospel of John. All the ingenuity of Dr. Carpenter has failed to convince us that the transpositions which his theory obliges him to make in the arrangement of that Gospel are allowable. We believe that John states, and meant to state, that in our Lord's ministry there were three Passovers.
On the other hand, the Quadripaschal theory of Archbishop Newcome and Dr. Robinson, which has been most commonly received in this country, appears to us to ascribe a longer duration to our Saviour's ministry than is authorized by the Gospel of John. The objections to regarding John v. 1 as referring to a passover appear to us conclusive against the supposition.
Whether, however, the Tripaschal hypothesis be well founded or not, all scholars who are interested in the subject will be glad to see a work of learning and ability, in which the Gospel narratives are arranged on that plan. We have thus works easily accessible, viz. Dr. Carpenter's, Dr. Robinson's, and this of Tischendorf, on the three different hypotheses, the Bipaschal, the Quadripaschal, and the Tripaschal, which will enable theological students and others to study the subject with greater advantage than heretofore.
Tischendorf has prepared his Harmony according to the text of his critical edition of the New Testament, accompanied with its critical apparatus. He has also prefixed to it a list of the principal writers, ancient and modern, who have undertaken to write harmonies of the Gospels, a view of the principles on which his own work is constructed, and various remarks, illustrating the different questions which arise in relation to the subject throughout the Gospels.
It is not our purpose to examine the manner in which he has performed his work. Several things have occurred to us in a cursory perusal, in which our judgment differs from his. But the work is one of learning and ability, and, as we have intimated, gives the arrangement of the events of our Saviour's ministry according to the period of its duration best sanctioned by history. In regard to the religious benefit to be derived from the Gospels, it is, indeed, of little consequence whether the plan of Carpenter, Robinson, or Tischendorf be followed. But the duration of our Saviour's ministry is a subject upon which it is not unnatural, nor irrational, that curiosity should be exercised. We therefore welcome with great satisfaction the appearance of so valuable a work relating to the subject as that of Tischendorf. It can be im. ported into this country for something less than one dollar and a
half per copy
The Course of Creation. By John ANDERSON, D. n. With a
Glossary of Scientific Terms. Cincinnati : William H. Moore & Co. 12mo. pp. 384.
Not a few will say, we imagine, that the time has not come for a fresh work upon geology ; that a longer interval should be allowed us for digesting the rich food which within the last few years has been so liberally provided. We hope, however, that no one will be prevented by any thought of this kind from reading this excellent and very intelligible work of Dr. Anderson. It is a popular treatise, and yet enters sufficiently into details to furnish the general student with a large amount of information. The author makes no vain boast of originality, but he is original in a very good sense, inasmuch as he has made his own by thorough and personal investigation the abundant materials which others have accumulated. The only novelty to which he lays any claim consists in “ following the geographical sequence in the descriptions of the several geological formations." Beginning with the Grampians of his native land, he passes through England to France and Switzerland, the land of the Alps, classic ground now in the eye of the geologist, -travelling not by easy stages, but per saltum, from peak to peak, or from cavern to cavern, patronizing the railways only when they pass through a deep cut or tunnel. The “journey under ground,” unlike the pleasant satire, from the Danish, we believe, begins not from a garden on the surface of the globe, but from the rock foundations upon which this surface reposes, the solid pillars of the earth that sustain its beauty and glory, the massive substratum of granite. Administering to Paley a well-deserved rebuke for his contemptuous contrast between a stone and a watch, he shows that the despised stone can supply a sermon. We pass next to the Silurian division, (so called from the Silures, inhabitants of the districts of England and Wales, where the Silurian strata abound,) and find the first traces of organic life ; then we come to the Old Red Sandstone which Hugh Miller has made so famous, and are diverted by the way with a pleasant passage at arms between the said Miller and the Doctor, — the bones, or rather the skeletons, of strife being a genuine Pterichthys and Pamphractus, and our learned Agassiz being summoned as arbi. ter; then on, through yellow sandstone and trap-rock, to the coal-basins which are to supply our houses and our factories and our locomotives with fuel for years almost without end. Seven chapters are devoted to the geology of England, and that of France and Switzerland is discussed under three divisions. Plants and fishes and beasts are successively, in due order of age, introduced to the reader, and lest our faith should fail us, as wonder after wonder is narrated, and the strangest shapes, shapes they can be called, which shape have done,” are described, we are pointed to fossil remains and enormous tracks and huge skeletons, and are even enabled to follow the courses of most venerable reptiles through mud and mire. Let no one ever again be sceptical, for Mr. Agassiz has announced it as highly probable that fishes once walked. Somewhere in Pennsylvania it was so, in very ancient times. Our author contributes his proportion to the able argument of Mr. Hugh Miller against the auihor of the “ Vestiges of Creation,” urging the very wide intervals that prevail between the different classes of fossil animals which have thus far been found. Those who have felt any solicitude about the subject will be greatly relieved to learn that the interval between the most sauroid of fishes and the Ichthyosaurus can hardly be diminished. The fourth part contains a very in. teresting discussion of some of the general points of the science, and a geological exegesis of the first verses of Genesis. We were very much delighted to find in print, from so respectable an authority, what has often occurred to us as an humble suggestion which we hardly dared to express, we mean a doubt whether the confident statement that sixteen millions of years have elapsed “since the creation of life upon the earth” does not need confirmation. Dr. Anderson thinks that this estimate may be correct within some millions. We wish that we had enough science to examine some other scientific demonstrations put forth with great confidence. The author dissents from the view of the Mosaic record which throws back all geological discoveries to an anterior period, and so dispenses the scholar from any considerable attempt at reconciliation. According to him, the “ days ” are periods, like those days of the Lord” which are as "a thousand years," and Moses gives a poetical and popular account of the grand creative process. We remember to have heard an exceedingly interesting lecture by Professor Mitchell of Cincin. nati, in which Moses detailed the cosmogony according to the nebular hypothesis. Attempts of this kind are very interesting, and often a wonderful accordance is established between the old language and the modern theory. We cannot say how much light upon this subject may have been divinely communicated to Moses, rescued for him out of the primeval time which grows more and more mysterious the more we think about it, but we should be sorry if our faith in him who wrote of Christ depended in the least upon the accuracy of his geological information. It was enough for him to tell the idolater that God, and not Baal, made the world ; for the knowledge of the process they might well wait until Solomon should give names to plants, or even longer. We were
much pleased with the suggestion advanced by the author, by way of apology for having taken time from theology for natural science, that it would be well if the leisure hours which are so often passed in listlessness were so filled up. An occupation which leads one into the open air is an invaluable friend to the student. An added task does not necessarily imply any neglect of prior obligations. If we have any fault' to find with the style of the book, it is only this, an excess of “ improvement,” with a use of what are at best only illustrations as if they were arguments. We presume, however, that the occupant of Newburgh manse is a preacher as well as a geologist, and entitled for this reason to some allowances.
Life and Manners : from the Autobiography of an English
Opium-Eater. By THOMAS DE QUINCEY. Boston: Ticknor, Reed, & Fields. 1851. 16mo. pp. 347.
The life of Mr. De Quincey is full of warning and instruction. Born about the year 1785, in that position in society which is commonly regarded as the most favorable for moral and intellectual growth, and gifted by nature with a mind at once singularly acquisitive and singularly retentive, bis early education, though injurious in some respects, was well calculated to develop his various faculties. His father died when he was only seven years old, and he was thus deprived of that watchful care which would have been so advantageous to him. But his mother seems to have been ever mindful of his welfare, and to have faithfully endeavored to supply the want of paternal control to the best of her ability. After attending various private schools he was sent to Eton, and subsequently to Oxford, to complete his education. He was, however, left not a little to his own guidance ; yet it is evi. dent that he improved every opportunity of storing his mind with those vast treasures of learning and observation which characterize all his publications, and render him bardly inferior to Lord Brougham in versatility of powers. There is scarcely a subject in the whole range of classical or modern literature which he has not at one time or another mastered. History, biography, criti. cism, political economy, theology, fiction, all have owed something to his pen ; and he has touched no subject which he has not adorned. At one of the earliest schools that he attended he gained a prize for a metrical composition, and at Oxford he was especially distinguished for his uncommon proficiency in Greek. Nor is his acquaintance with intellectual philosophy, modern languages, and the physical sciences less thorough and exact.
No one could give a more brilliant promise, and few of his contemporaries have surpassed him in actual attainments; but his one vice of opium-eating has cast a blight over his life. At an early age he formed this pernicious habit ; and his mind, alternately laboring under a feverish excitement, and sinking under an unnatural depression, lost its healthy action, while his bodily VOL. LI. — 4th S. VOL. XVI. NO. II.