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the sooner will zeal in the search of the truth come to thic student's aid in his philological studies. Is it not probable that this zeal will be more effectually excited iu the study of entire books, than of detached portions? Let this suggestion pass for what it is worth. We sincerely hope, that the enlightened efforts of Professor Stuart, to revive the study of the original Sacred Scriptures will meet with success, beyond his most sanguine expectation. He is engaged in a cause worthy of all his zeal and talents; and it may be questioned whether any individual could render a greater service to the American churches, than he is doing in turning the attention of their youth to the accurate study of the word of God in their original languages. We know that many persons are accustomed to point to Germany as a warning against the zealous cultivation of this department of theological knowledge. But we would ask, did not infidelity triumph in France, where the original Scriptures were almost entirely neglected, as completely as Rationalism has done in Germany ? The causes wbich bave produced the late defection from the truth, in the latter country, are in a great measure foreign from the critical study of the Scriptures. And the reformation, which is now going on in that section of the church, is mainly to be ascribed to this study. This is almost the only way in which the truth is brought to operate on the minds of the learned portion of society. It is seldom they come under the influence of preaching, even when students of theology. They either rarely frequent places of worship, or if they do, they hear little of the Gospel. Were it not, therefore, that they are required to study the word of God for themselves, they would, to a great extent, live beyond the power of its truths. At an earlier period in the history of that church, when vital piety had become almost as rare as it is at present, the exegetical study of the Scriptures had sunk into neglect. The first effort of the Speper and Franke, who were laboring to revive the spirit of rello
gion throughout the churches, was to revive this study. They placed the greatest confidence in the salutary effects which it would produce, and they were not disappointed. It is trae, that where irreligious men turn their attention to the study of Theology, and become its teachers, no matter what particular branch they may select, evil must result; but the evil lies not in the subject of stody, but in snch men finding access to the ministry, and the seats of theological learning. The truth need not fear the word of God. Let the spirit of piety be maintained, and the Bible cannot be studied either too accurately or too extensively.
The ordinance of the Trustees of the Theological Seminary at Andover, by which, in future, students are required to pass an examination on the Hebrew, previously to entering the Seminary, will have a tendency to introduce this study into the New-England colleges. This will be a val. uable point gained. It would be difficult to name any valid argument why Greek should be a part of a regular classical education which would not apply with equal force to the Hebrew. It furnishes the same exercise of mind, it presents, to say the least, as much matter for the cultivation of the taste, and what is of far more importance, the moral influence of the truths embodied in this language is salutary, while that of the contents of classics is decidedly the reverse. Erasmus has some where said that the man who constantly reads the works of the heathen, will be a heathen. And if there were no tendency in such works to leave their impress upon the mind, there would be little use in studying them. In our zeal for the refinement and cultivation of the intellectual powers of the young, we have too much lost sight of the baneful tendency on moral feeling of the works in question. It is altogether impossible that a mind, expanded and moulded under the influence of Horace and Lucian, should be in the healthful state, of one formed by the spirit of David and Isaiah. Who would not prefer to have a son
imbued with the spirit of the sacred writings, than with that of the purest and loftiest models of heathen antiquity? It is certainly little to the honour of the Christian world, that while among Mohamedans, whatever language they may speak, or however rich the literature that language may contain, their youth are euucated by their sacred writings, we place our Scriptures on the shelf and commit our youth to be formed by heathen minds. That the study of Latin and Greek is an excellent means of intellectual improvement; and that they are absolutely essential to professional men, may be good reasons why they should not be neglected, but they are no reasons why we should either shut our eyes on the evils attending them, or throw our equally improveing sacred writings, entirely out of use, in a course of liberal · education. It would, therefore be a matter of rejoicing, to see the Hebrew language a subject of regular instruction in our colleges ; and we hope that the time may one day come, when it will not be considered beneath the dignity even of the general scholar, to make himself acquainted with the language of the ancient prophets of God.
JAHN'S HEBREW COMMONWEALTH.
JAHN's History of the Hebrew Commonwealth ; trans
lated from the German, by Calvin E. STOWE, A. M. of the Theological Seminary, Andover. Andover. 8vo. pp. 692. 1828.
We have long thought a good history of the Old Testament one of the greatest desiderata in theological literature. All the works relating to this subject, which, heretofore, have come to our knowledge, appear to us to be essentially defective. Dr. SHUCKFORD'S “Sacred and Profane History of the World Connected,” is no doubt, the work of a learned man, and entitled to considerable praise: but it is heavy and disproportioned, manifesting little judgment and less taste; and by no means. fitted to throw a strong and satisfactory light on those earlier parts of the sacred history which it is designed to elucidate. It was the intention of this writer to fill up the whole space from the Creation to the time at which Dr. Prideaux commenced his elaborate and useful work, But he followed his predecessor haud passibus aequis, and did not live to execute his plan, even as well as he might have done.
On Dr. PRIDEAUX's work higher commendation may be bestowed. It is an invaluable monument of learned labor ; comprehensive in its plan, rich in matter, and minutely instructive, in all cases in which the author had materials for making it so. It would be difficult to mention a work of greater value in these respects. But Dr. Prideaux is a dull writer; he is, in many cases, unnecessarily and unrea
sonably tedious; and in a great measure destitute of the art of beguiling the labor of study by the charms of either spirited narrative, or masterly diction. Hence his work, however solid, can never be a favourite with the mass of youthful readers ;—not even with theological students.
Stackhouse's “History of the Bible" is a learned and instructive work; but complex and ill judged in its structure; abounding in matter which might very well have been spared; and, in some of its positions and defences of truth, so injudicious, that even his sincerity has been sometimes questioned. The truth is, Stackhouse was a bookmaker by profession. No wonder, then, that he often wrote in haste, and took more care to multiply volumes, than to digest their contents in the best manner.
The chasm left between Shuckford and Prideaux, in consequence of the premature decease of the former, has been well filled by several writers since their time, and perhaps by none more satisfactorily than the learned Arthur Bedford, in a part of his “Scripture Chronology." Still the trouble and expense incurred by the student, in being obliged to resort to a third writer, in order to complete his course through the Old Testament, amounts to no small inconvenience, and has long rendered some new and more finished work desirable.
Among the single and complete works on the Old Testament, which former times have produced, the Historia Ecclesiastica Veteris Testamenti, of John Francis BudDÆUS, in two volumes, quarto, is, in our opinion, by far the best. Judgment, learning, comprehensiveness, and lucid order, characterize it throughout. If it were as rich and finished in profane history, as that of Prideaux, and some others, it would scarcely leave any thing to be desired. But here lies its main defect. To which may be added, that since the time of Buddæus, such large and very rich additions have been made to every department of Biblical knowledge,