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that the literal Elijah possessed. In addition to John's denial that he was the Elijah of Mal. iv, 5, Christ likewise denies it, and asserts that this Elijah was yet to come. May not our Saviour allude to a reappearance of the literal Elijah “ before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord ?” Again: as John possessed the spirit and power of Elias, why should he not bear the name of Elias? That he was the Elias of the New Testament, none, we presume, would doubt; and as such he bore the name. Both the Master and his prophet admit that John is the subject of prophecy in Isaiah xl, 3, and Mal, iii, 1. We may add to the contradiction involyed in the admission that the literal Elijah of the Old Testament was with Christ on the mountain, the consequent that the disciples were in a great error in saying that Christ spoke to them of John the Baptist; and the great Teacher did not seek to remove that error for the simple reason that he was involved in the same difficulty: for his remarks will not apply to Elijah, but will apply, most truthfully, to John the Baptist.
To those already presented may be added other arguments in proof of the position that John the Baptist was with Christ on the occasion referred to. It is asserted that Elijah, as“ the chief of the prophets, came to do homage to Christ, and to render up all authority into his hands." May not this be questioned ? Was Elijah the chief of the prophets? We think not. If we refer to his predictions, we find some having reference to local, and comparatively trivial, events. Did he ever utter a prophecy pointing to Christ, or to the great subject of redemption? We cannot place him as a prophet in the same rank with Moses or Isaiah, or with any of the greater, and we may add, with some of the minor prophets. If the greater must represent the less, then Elijah could not represent the prophets; if he did, the lesser would enjoy dignity superior to the greater-an honour to which, we may venture to say, he could lay no claim. If we say, with Dr. Clarke, that Elijah made his appearance to prove that God will change the living at the last day, we offer an opinion that is worth nothing in presence of the express revelation of the fact, in plain and unequivocal language, that the living shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye. If we refer to Elijah as a teacher, in that respect Samuel equalled him: and Elisha surpassed him in the number and extent of the miracles that he wrought. John the Baptist, as a prophet acting as the herald of Christ, or as & teacher preparing the way of the Lord, took precedence of all before him. John was more than a prophet: for among all that were born of women previous to his time, Jesus declared there had not risen a greater than John the Baptist. Here we might propose a question, viz.: if the prophets, as a part of the Mosaic dispensation, must be represented, why should not the priesthood ?
The Jewish dispensation in the person of Moses here recognised Christ as the great antitype of the types existing under the Mosaic law; but there is another dispensation preceding the Christian, and not to be confounded with it, nor to be swallowed up with the Jewish, viz., John's dispensation. Who could, as the forerunner of Christ, represent this,—who could say that the way of the Lord had been prepared; that Christ was the true Messiah; that he had seen him; was witnessed to by the Holy Ghost; had administered to him the rite of baptism; inducted him into the ministry; that former things were about to be done away, and that all things in Christ must become new,-but the beheaded John the Baptist, the only prophet and teacher found on the page of the history of that dispensation? Was he not selected by the Head of the Church to perform this office?
A. H. F. FOURTH SERIES, VOL. V.-29
Art. X.-SHORT REVIEWS AND NOTICES OF BOOKS.
(1.) “ Rome, its Edifices and its People; by the Author of Athens, its Grandeur and Decay.” (New-York: Carlton & Phillips ; 12mo., pp. 272.) This beautiful volume is, in point of the value and interest of its contents, and the excellence of its external execution, one of the most creditąble issues of the prolific press from which it comes forth. Its chief object is to give an account of the visible Rome—its streets, buildings, &c.; but it abounds also in useful historical information. After a chapter on the rise, progress, and decline of the city, we have another on the domestic and social condition of the ancient Romans, describing, after Becker, the every-day life of a Roman family in minute detail. The following passage is a good illustration of the graphic style of the work:
" It is the third watch of the night: the last rays of the moon are fading from the Capitol and the adjacent temples, and excepting the heavy tread of the watchman on the broad pavement, or the quick step of some one hastening homewards, the mighty heart of the city seems hushed to repose.
" Yet from a house in one of the finest streets some other sounds now break the general stillness. The massive door, creaking upon its hinges, is opened by the watchful porter, flashing thus upon the street a sudden glare of light from the candelabra within, burning in the atrium, and a freedman of lordly mien, followed by a slave, comes forth upon the pavement, looking out anxiously on all sides, and peering into the distance, as if for some one anxiously expected. The object of their solicitude is their lord, whose late stay has greatly disturbed their quietude, and brought them out of doors to look for his return.
“ They do not tarry long; for soon the hurried step of a man emerging from the shadow of a temple hard by, and nearing the vestibule where they stand, puts an end to their apprehensions. The cause of his delay is shown by his outward appearance. A festive robe of a bright-red colour, his sandals fastened by thongs of the same dye, and a chaplet of myrtles and roses hanging from his left brow, -all declare his return from a late-kept banquet. He has supped at the impe rial board, and afterwards retired to a convivial circle of noble friends, where the wine-cup and familiar converse have winged away the hours of the night. Gladly welcomed by his servants, he enters his house, and preceded by the freed. man, with a wax candle, he hastens through colonnades and saloons to his sleeping apartments. Here the slave in waiting receives his robe and sandals; and the cubicularius, after having drawn aside the elegant tapestried curtain, and smoothed again the purple coverlet that nearly conceals the ivory bedstead, leaves his master to repose. But now hours have fled, the earliest dawn has come, and ere yet the tops of the seven hills are tinged with the beams of the returning sun, the mansion is all life and activity. Troops of slaves, issuing from above and below, spread themselves over the apartments, and are soon intent, in several ways, on cleaning the lordly residence. Let us then leave them to their work, and catch some glimpses as we may, of its splendid interior.”
The description that follows gives us a vivid picture of the costly magnificence of the later Roman mansions. A great deal of information, also, as to domestic and social usages is condensed into a very small space. We give a specimen in the account of marriage customs :
" The Romans had no precise age for marriage; the time was dependent on the will of the parties. Augustus, indeed, enacted that nuptials should not be cele brated too soon ; but in his time, Roman females were considered marriageable at twelve years of age. It was also unlawful to marry a woman far advanced in years, even though the other party should himself be aged. Like the Greeks, the Romans were lax in their opinions of consanguinity.
“The marriage contract, called sponsalia, was written on tablets, and signed by both parties. According to Juvenal, the man put a ring, as a pledge of fidelity, on the finger of his betrothed.
“ It was believed that certain days were inauspicious for the celebration of marriage ; either owing to their religious character, or that of the days following, because the wife had to perform certain rites the day after her nuptials, which could not take place on any of the dies atri. The calends, nones, and ides of every month, the whole of May and February, and a great many other festivals, were all considered dies atri, and therefore unsuitable. Widows might, however, marry on days regarded as inauspicious for maidens.
"On the marriage-day, the bride was attired in a long white tunic, adorned with ribbons, or a purple fringe, bound round the waist with a girdle. Her hair was specially distinguished by six knots or tresses, and its division with the point of a spear. She wore on her head a crown or chaplet of flowers, over which was a sort of pink veil, which fell on her shoulders. Her sandals differed in shape and materials from those of other maidens: they were light, and fit only for the house, symbolical, perhaps, of the domestic duties on which she was now to enter.
“ The rite of marriage was very simple. A sheep was sacrificed, its skin was spread over two chairs, on this the bride and bridegroom sat with their heads covered ; a prayer was then offered, and the presentation of another sacrifice completed the ceremony.
"Pretended force being used to tear the bride from her mother's arms, she was conducted in the evening to the bridegroom's house. A cake was borne before her, and she was accompanied by three boys wearing the toga prætexta, whose parents were still living. One of them carried before her a torch of white-thorn or pinewood, while the others, supporting her arm, walked by her side. A distaff and a spindle, with wool, borne by the bride, indicated her future duties. A fourth boy bore a covered vase containing utensils belonging to the bride, and playthings for children.
“ Arrived at the bridegroom's house, having its door adorned with garlands and flowers, the bride was carried over the threshold, lest an evil omen should arise, by her striking it with her foot. Prior to this, she wound wool around the doorposts, and anointed them with lard. She now touched fire and water, which had been placed on the threshold by her husband, most probably as a symbol of welcome, as to forbid her the use of these elements was equivalent to her dismissal. The bride's salutation of her husband:” followed, -Ubi tu Caius, ego Caia; "Where you are master, I will be mistress," and on the keys of the house being committed to her hands, there was a feast accompanied with music, at the close of which there were other ceremonies, when the guests were dismissed with small pr nts.
During the better days of the republic, the wife occupied the most important part of the house—the atrium; she presided over the household, educated her little ones, and shared the respect and honours of her husband. But in the time of the emperors, all sense of morality, and even decency, departed from Roman society, The immoralities of its women were enormous and notorious. Juvenal penned against them his longest satire, teeming with bitter invective; and as he had much reason for doing so, the state of the whole community may be easily imagined. The true elevation of woman is that also of the society in which she moves as its chief ornament; her fall is a sign of its extreme degradation and deep misery.”
Not less valuable and attractive is the chapter on the Arts, Language, Literature, Oratory, and moral condition of the ancient Romans, which is followed by six chapters describing the principal public edifices of modern as well as ancient Rome. The plates illustrating this part of the work are abundant, and excellently executed. The chapter on the religion of Rome shows how the superstitions of the ancient days have passed on into the modern, and how the rites and offices of Paganism have been made subservient to the papal power : how one idol has been pulled down only to make way for another, and change has taken place in the name, rather than in the object of worship. We earnestly commend this work as one of the best family books of the time, full of interest and attraction for young and old.
(2.) We have before noticed and commended Mr. Mattison's school textbooks in astronomy; but none of them, in our judgment, have deserved commendation better than his new treatise entitled “ A High-School Astronomy, in which the Descriptive, Physical and Practical are combined, by HIRAM MATTISON, A. M. (New-York: F. J. Huntington; 1853, 12mo., pp. 240.) It is substantially a revised edition of the author's “ Elementary Astronomy;" but the revision is so ample and careful as to justify the new title. We have examined the book with care, and do not hesitate to pronounce it the best work of its class that has come under our notice.
(3.) “ The Annual of Scientific Discovery, for 1853,” (Boston: Gould & Lincoln, 12mo., pp. 411,) makes its appearance punctually. Like its predecessors, it fulfils its title of the “ Year Book of Science and Art,” and exhibits the most important discoveries and improvements of the year in Mechanics, the Useful Arts, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Geology, &c., and at the same time gives valuable notes of the progress of science during the year throughout the world. The volume is adorned by a portrait of Prof. A. D. Bache, Superintendent of the Coast Survey
(4.) “ History of Nero, by JACOB ABBOTT,” (New-York: Harper & Brothers; 18mo., pp. 321,) is another of those clear and graphic narratives of Mr. Abbott's which we have so often praised. They are intended for the young, but we know certain children of a larger growth who read them with avidity.
(5.) CHARLES DICKENS has pleased many people, but he has rarely done a more pleasant and acceptable work than the preparation of the “Child's History of England,” (vol. 1, New-York: Harper & Brothers; 18mo., pp. 287,) of which the first volume is before us. It contains the history of England from the ancient times down to the reign of Henry the Fifth; and is just the book to entice children to the study of history.
(6.) “Home Scencs: a Family Story, by AMANDA WestON.” (Syracuse: L. C. Matlock; 1853; 18mo., pp. 159.) This is a “simple, truthful story," illas. trating family duties, misfortunes and joys. The narrative is pleasing and the moral excellent. A few political flings, entirely out of place, are the only drawback to the book.
(7.) “ Interviews, Memorable and Useful, by SAMUEL H. Cox, D. D.,” (NewYork: Harper & Brothers; 1853; 12mo:, pp. 325,) is a thoroughly characteristic book, full of Latin quotations, Latin-English words, oddities, sense, dogmatism, and good-nature. It contains accounts of interviews “ from diary and memory reproduced,” with Chalmers, Emmons, John Quincy Adams, two Mormons, and a lady of fashion—a strange medley, but not stranger than the book and the author's mind seem to be. Yet there is a great deal of good, hard sense wrapped up in the sometimes quaint and often lumbering phraseology of Dr. Cox; while some of his interlocutors are graphically portrayed; albeit we have less of them than of the author himself. It is a book that no one who takes it up will be likely to lay down until he has finished its perusal.
(8.) The history of Methodism in America, especially in the West, is a record of moral heroism unsurpassed by any age of the Church. The story is yet unwritten. The historians of the country have generally ignored, in utter blindness, one of the richest fields open to them; and the historians of the Church have done but little toward a true and ample account of the vast and valorous labours of these modern apostles. We welcome, therefore, every contribution toward such a history-every memorial that rescues from oblivion one of the heroic names of the American Church. Such a memorial is the “ Life and Times of Rev. Allen Wiley, A. M., by Rev. F. C. HOLLIDAY, A. M.” (Cincinnati : $wormstedt & Poe; 1853; 12mo., pp. 291.) Mr. Wiley was born in Virginia in 1789, and at eight years of age removed with his father to Kentucky. His opportunities of education were, of course, very limited. In 1804 he went to Indiana; in 1808 was converted; and in 1816 commenced his career as an itinerant Methodist preacher. His early labours were very effective and successful. His mind was naturally vigorous, and, by indefatigable study, he made amends for the deficiencies of his early education to such an extent that he stood at last on a level with the trained theologians of his time, if not above them. “For many years previous to his death, he was in the daily habit of reading the Scriptures in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages. He read the Hebrew Bible through with great care.” Such results, achieved amid the discouragements and difficulties of an itinerant's life in a new country, should stimulate our younger preachers in the more favourable circumstances that surround the itinerant of the present day, to renewed diligence in study. There is no excuse, but want of health, for the young man who fails to cultivate his mind in the Methodist ministry of these times. Without special advantages of voice or manner, Mr. Wiley owed his wide-spread popularity to the force of thought and weight of matter that marked his discourses-a fact as creditable to his back-woods hearers as to himself.
Mr. Holliday has given us an interesting volume, and we trust it will be widely circulated. Besides the memoir of Mr. Wiley, the work contains sketches of several of the early Methodist preachers in Indiana, and an interesting outline of the rise and progress of Methodism in that state. The last half of the volume is taken up with a valuable treatise by Mr. Wiley, entitled, “ A Help to the Performance of Ministerial Duties.”