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is taught how to transfer his design to canvas, the process of the first painting or dead coloring, the method of blending or melting his tints together, how to add his finishing touches, how many days or sittings, if he is painting after nature, must be devoted to his work, how to color his backgrounds and other accessories necessary to the completion of his undertaking.
Part Fourth brings the student, in this close process of analysis, to the second or finishing pallet. In the construction of the first, nine parent colors were employed. Preliminary to this, sirteen, with the needed compound proportions of each, are enumerated; out of which the novice is to construct twenty rows for his carnations with their reflexes and shadows, and two rows for his backgrounds, linens, and drapery.
Part Fifth has eight chapters upon the material and management of draperies. Part Sixth treats of landscape-painting, a part of the work which we feel no hesitation in commending to the considerate attention of such boarding-schools as have incorporated this comparatively easy department of oil-painting into their course of instruction. We think its thorough study would remove from the walls of the semi-annual exhibition-room some of those “monstrous pieces, where the skies of Italy glow upon the dark herbage and humid soil of England, and Grecian ruins molder by the side of Gothic castles, while the shepherd of Arcadia waters brick-red cows in the stream that owes its visible origin to the snows of the Helvetian Alps,” &c.—P. 264.
On temporary varnishes, with which Part Seventh opens, the author discourses thus:–
“Supposing now that our novice has finished his picture, whether landscape, group, or single head, he will be impatient to varnish it. He breathes upon it—a vapor gathers boldly on the colored surface, and obscures it a few seconds ere it disappears: he touches it with his fingers—they leave no mark—his picture is dry. It is, but it is not thoroughly so; not hard-dry, so to express it. To varnish it immediately would prevent the further evaporation of the oil, which, thus imprisoned, would more or less imbrown his colors; perhaps, too, these colors, straitened by their yet harder over-couch of resin, and thus impeded in their natural expansion, while still imperfectly dry, will burst their restraint, and the picture will open in cracks. But what then The lapse of months may be needed to complete the drying; and, in the mean time, for the purpose of exhibition, or to be enabled to judge of the effect of his performance, the artist wishes to remove that irregularity of appearance which is caused by the dullness of some parts and the glistening of others, and prevents a just view of the whole. In this case he makes a varnish of the white of eggs, which is done in the following manner,” &c.—P. 281.
Passing by “the mode of varnishing with mastic varnish,” the methods of removing mastic varnish when necessary, and the modes of repairing injured paintings, we come to the author's conclusion, which, it is perhaps needless to add, has our hearty approval.
“While so much has been prescribed for the preservation and restoration of paintings, it would be quite as useful if something could be done to promote their destruction; for, out of the vast crowd of pictures, old and new, that here as well as in Europe are giving mostly a false direction to public taste, or preventing its expansion, ninety out of every hundred might disappear to the manifest advantage of the art; while of the ten remaining, five are all the better, or would be so, for any obscuration, that in rendering their characteristics less obvious should help also to veil their defects.”—P. 296.
To one who simply desires to maintain, for literary or other purposes, a running acquaintance with the terms and phrases of art, the Analytical Index and Explanatory and Critical Dictionary, which fill out the remaining hundred pages of a work comprising, as has been already shown, such an amount of valuable matter, would be well worth the price of the entire volume. As a reference book on this branch of art, it would be a valuable accessory to any library, public or private.
ART. IV.-The Life of Christ, in its Historical Connection and Historical Development. By Dr. A. NEANDER. Translated from the fourth German Edition, by John M'CLINTock and CHARLEs E. BLUMENTHAL, Professors in Dickinson College, 8vo., pp. 450. New-York: Harper & Brothers. 1848."
It is an essential element of the wisdom of God, in the government of his kingdom on earth, that all heresies and schisms, all errors and diseases, must in the end promote the cause of divine truth and the welfare of the church. This law has been anew illustrated in the history of that notorious book, the “Life of Jesus,” by Dr. D. F. Strauss, which appeared first in 1835, and, in its fourth edition, in 1840. That work, designed by its author to subvert at once the history of our Saviour and the foundation of our hopes, has called forth some of the most able defenses of the gospel history that have ever appeared; and thus, instead of weakening
* The writer of this article begs the readers of the Review to bear in mind that English is not his native tongue, and to excuse the imperfections of his style on that account. The object of the article is to give a condensed account of one of the most important controversies in modern German theology. its basis, has established it more firmly than ever. Among these defenses is Neander’s “LIFE of CHRist;” the translation of which has furnished the occasion for this article. It is true that Neander would probably have written a similar work as the necessary complement to his “Planting and Training of the Christian Church by the Apostles,” and as the foundation of his great work on ecclesiastical history; but it would neither have appeared so soon, nor assumed its present shape, had not Strauss's book first been written. To write a biography of the God-man is doubtless one of the most arduous and responsible tasks which the theologian can be called to undertake. Indeed, many regard the task as too sacred and lofty for any human pen. Even the genial HERDER wondered how any one could hazard the attempt after the inimitable record by John, “who lay in the Master's bosom.” But without the life of Him, who is “the way, the truth, and the life,” not only exegesis and church history, but also didactic and moral theology, must remain incomplete. Without it, divinity would lack its corner-stone; the stream of church history its fountain-head; and morality its life-blood and its highest pattern. The entire New Testament is a commentary upon the life of Christ; nay, such also is the history of the church, and the holy life of every true believer. But its proper and principal sources are the four Gospels; for they contain all the material essential to a systematic biography, although they are not given to us as complete lives of the Saviour, but only as recording such of his acts, miracles, and discourses, as their special aims and the wants of their readers required an account of. As, therefore, the Gospels are the sources of this department of Biblical literature, it has always been closely connected with the criticism of the Gospels—with all inquiries into their nature, authenticity, and integrity. Four views have been taken of this important subject, all, of course, affecting the entire system of theology and of practical religion. Three of these belong to the sphere of infidelity, and may be said, even in a scientific point of view, to involve greater difficulties than that which we place first in order below—which we deem to be the only true and tenable view, and which has, of late, come out in new triumph from the deep struggles of modern German theology. 1. The first is the Orthodor or Supranaturalistic view of Christ's life. This view, which is as old as Christianity itself, is held by the evangelical Protestant churches in common with the Roman Catholic Church. Its bearing may be summed up as follows:– The four Gospels are divinely inspired books, and relate genuine history, without error or contradiction. Christ is God and man in one person; was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary. The miracles ascribed to him by the evangelists were truly performed by him, and were the natural manifestation of the power of God dwelling in him. All his words are spirit and life—the revealing of a new spiritual creation. He died on the cross for the sins of men; rose again on the third day; and ascended to the right hand of the Father, where he rules, “head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”
2. The second view is the Deistic or Naturalistic, according to which the evangelical history was the product of an invention imposed upon the world by its authors; and Christ an ordinary man, who, from selfish and interested designs, has been raised by his folJowers to the imaginary dignity of a divine being. This position was first taken by the heathen opponents of Christianity, such as Celsus, Porphyrius, and the emperor Julianus Apostata. It was afterward adopted by many of the English Deists, e. g., Morgan, Chubb, and particularly Woolston, in his “Six Discourses on the Miracles of our Saviour.” The French infidels of the last century, Voltaire, the Encyclopædists, and the author of the Systeme de la Nature, followed, yea, even exceeded, the English Deists in hatred of Christianity; and brought on, as a natural consequence, the French Revolution, with its horrible scenes, and with its ridiculous attempt to depose God himself, and seat human reason upon the throne of the world. But the most remarkable and scientific exposition of this view is to be found in the anonymous Fragments which Lessing discovered in the library of Wolfenbüttel, and which he began to publish in 1774, not “because he agreed with them, but because he wished to rouse the spirit of inquiry.” This called forth the witty remark of Semler, that Lessing's procedure was “like setting a city on fire in order to try the engines.” It is now well known that the real author of these Fragments was Hermann Samuel Reimarus." According to the Fragments, the laws and doctrines of the Old Testament were too barbarous and dangerous to have come from God; the miracles of Scripture were so contradictory, absurd, and incredible, that they could be nothing else but deceptions practiced to secure the reverence and obedience of the superstitious multitude; the design of Jesus was a political one; his relation to John the Baptist rested on a pre
* Gurlitt has put this beyond doubt in the “Leipziger Literaturzeitung,” 1827, No. 55.
vious mutual compact to recommend each other to the people; and his plan was finally frustrated by his unforeseen death, which his disciples tried to evade by making the world believe he had arisen, and by cunningly modifying his doctrine accordingly.
It would be, of course, labor spent in vain to set about anything like a serious refutation of such wicked crudities at this day. To build the most sacred experience of millions of Christians, nay, the whole history of eighteen hundred years, upon a wretched imposition, or even upon a skillful trick, of selfish hypocrites, is not only an insult done to Christ and his apostles, but to the human race and common sense. No writer of any self-respect would dare now to fall in with such a view. One glance even at the lofty sublimity of the moral character of Christ and his apostles, as it strikes even the casual reader in every line of the New Testament, is enough. to class such a theory among the grossest absurdities which ever proceeded from a perverted human brain.
3. Not so contemptible, but yet not much better if carried out to its ultimate results, is the Rationalistic or Euhemeristic" mode of explaining the life and miracles of Christ. This view was held by several German theologians about the close of the last and the beginning of the present century, and reached its classical perfection in the “Commentaries on the Gospels” and “Life of Jesus,” by Dr. PAULUs, a man whose extensive learning and mental acumen might, under the influence of the Spirit of God, have done great service to the cause of truth and piety.
By Rationalism is commonly meant that form of theology which receives only so much of the Christian religion as can be understood by our natural reason, (ratio,) or, more properly speaking, by our common sense. Interpreters of this school hold reason to be, of course, as pure and sound now as when it proceeded originally from the hands of the Creator; and they make it the rule and judge of all truth, even of the word of God. Whatever goes beyond its horizon, is either rejected as the superstition of bygone ages, or explained away as poetical figure, and brought down to the level of every day thoughts and events. Rationalism has an inborn hatred of mystery, and tries to make everything clear and palpable. Göthe has characterized it in his usual masterly way:—
* From Euhemerus, the heathen forerunner of the German Rationalist Paulus. He explained the gods of the Greek mythology as sages, heroes, kings, and tyrants, whose deeds gained them divine honors.-Cf. Diod. Sicul. Bibl. Fragm., 1. vi; Cicero, de Nat. Deor. i, 42.