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Langb's Commentary On Romans.*—In this volume of Lange's Commentary, Dr. Schaff himself has done a large share of the work connected with the preparation of the American edition. Without expressing any opinion of his associate (Dr. Riddle) we think it is to be regretted that Dr. Schaff did not find himself able to finish what he undertook, and to give to the entire volume the same attention and care which he has given to a portion of it. We hope the learned editor will pardon us if we add that, in our opinion, it would have been better if he had prepared a commentary of his own on this Epistle, independently of the work of Lange. In that case, we should have had a volume of greater variety, and one in which his own views could have been presented in a more satisfactory way. There is a fundamental evil or failing in every book which is prepared on the plan of this Commentary, and, notwithstanding all that is or may be said in its favor, this evil or failing will be felt by all who use it. We believe it is felt very widely by those who have examined these volumes. Where a Commentary is translated from another language, with additions, and especially where these additions are borrowed from every good source, and are inserted in the midst of the original work in bracketed passages or in foot-notes, the reader is greatly hindered in getting the full force and impression either of the first author or of his successors. It is to the mind of the student somewhat the same thing as to a hearer would be the attempt to read in his presence the text of this Epistle as printed in this volume—for example, "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle [a called, chosen apostle] separated [set apart] unto the Gospel of God, (which he had promised afore [which he promised beforehand] by [through] his prophets in the holy Scriptures) [omit parenthesis] concerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, [omit here the words, Jesus Christ our Lord, and transfer them to the close of verse 4], which [who] was made [born] of [from] the seed of David according to the flesh," tfcc. The hearer certainly would not be greatly edified when
• A Commentary on the Holy Scripturet: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical, with special reference to Ministert and Student/. By John Peter Lanse, D. D., in connection with a number of eminent European Divines. Translated from tbe German, and edited with additions, original and selected, by Philip Schaff, D. D., in connection with American scholars of various Evangelical Denominations. Vol. V. of the New Testament; containing the Epistle to the Romans. New York: CharlesScribner A Co. 1869. 8vo. pp. 455.
listening to such a passage. He would prefer to hear the passage without the insertions first, and then the passage as modified by the insertions afterwards; and, in this way, he might hope to form some clear idea of what Paul's meaning actually was. So with the student, though of course not in the same degree. He can master, perhaps, the views of a dozen or twenty authors, and can compare and weigh them in his own mind, but he is rather bewildered than aided when he is so compelled to take the views of nineteen through mere parenthetical passages or foot notes breaking the sequence of the thoughts of the twentieth. We have had occasion to use Commentaries pretty extensively, and, if our experience answers to that of others, we may pronounce a judgment here which will be widely accepted. It has been often objected against German commentators, that they are too minute in their presentation of all views of a Biblical passage. We are not disposed to agree with this objection. But we think Dr. SchafTs German education and tendencies have led him to adopt this method, in these volumes, in a manner which is not desirable. Another mistake, which we think Pr. Schaff has made, in this great undertaking in which he is engaged, is this—that, if he were proposing to adopt the method to which we have alluded, he should not have taken some other work as the foundation for his additions and annotations, rather than that of Lange. Lange's original work, as it seems to us, is not worthy to be made the basis of a great Biblical commentary—to be brought over from Germany to America and translated from its own language to ours. The American world would not have suffered, we think, if Dr. Lange had spoken to none but his German countrymen—or, if wo are mistaken in this view, we are sure that there are other German commentaries which might better have been introduced to our readers as "the great Biblical work of the age." Lange is not a scholar of the order of many of those whose views are inserted as additions by the American editors, and the consequence is, that we have the more scholarly fitted into and holding a subordinate place in the less scholarly. We do not know why Dr. Schaff selected this work for translation rather than any other; but we fear that it was some influence from his American life, rather than his German education, which, in this point, we cannot help thinking would have been the better guide. We have sometimes said of the other volumes, and we trust that our esteemed friend will not be offended if we say of this one to which he has
contributed so much, that Lange's [American] Commentarywould have been a more valuable book if Lange's part of it had been omitted.
Dr. Schaff, himself, is a scholar too well known to the public to need any commendation. It is enough to say of his present work—his additions and annotations in the early part of this volume on the Epistle to the Romans—that it is characterized by his usual research and thoroughness. The serviceableness of the book to all who use it will be largely due to what he has contributed to it, and we hope he may find himself repaid for his labors in every way. We do not wonder that he left his coadjutors to carry on the preparation of other volumes, and himself undertook the work of preparing this, for there is an interest in the study of this Epistle which nothing else affords. And yet the literature connected with it is so vast in amount, and the works of preceding commentators are so numerous, that few men have the patience and enthusiasm combined which are necessary to bear them through so laborious a task. Dr. Schaff, evidently, has both the enthusiasm and the patience. As we have already said, we only wish he had given his personal and minute supervision to the entire volumes.
We can hardly close our notice of this book without expressing oar gratification, that so widely-read and so catholic a man as Dr. Schaff should have set forth the baselessness of the interpretation which Dr. Charles Hodge gives to Romans v., 12-19. If Dr. Hodge's claim that his opinions are in accordance with the views of almost all scholars needs any further reply than that given in the New Englander eighteen months ago, such a reply is found in the pages of this volume. The readers of this Commentary will be convinced that our Princeton friends need to revise their exegesis at this point, if nowhere else; and the testimony of this author we commend to our Princeton friends themselves, with the greater willingness, because he does not hold the view of this passage which we hold ourselves. An amusing instance of the careful exegetical study of Dr. Hodge, so far as the views of other commentators are concerned—an instance which we had noticed ourselves before this volume was published—is brought out by Dr. Schaff in his first note on page 179. Dr. Hodge charges Meyer with holding what he does not hold in his last edition of his Commentary, and what he did not hold even in the edition which was published ten years before Dr. Hodge's work was written! We respectfully suggest that some of the (late) New School brethren of the Presbyterian Church, in the city of New York or elsewhere, might show a tender regard for their (late) Old School brethren of the same Church, and, at the same time, might give them an appropriate and a useful token of their newborn affection, by presenting or even lending to the Library of Princeton Seminary a few of the Commentaries which have been published within the last generation. The opportunity of examining them—even for a short time—might help the exegetical studies of the Princeton gentlemen in no small degree, and might, in this way, do something towards rendering permanent the union of the two branches of that Church. We think we might ourselves be induced to present a copy of Meyer's work of as late a date as that indicated above.
Folsom's Translation Op The Gospel.*—This volume is dedicated, first of all, to the author's former colleagues and pupils of the Meadville Theological School; then, to Christian disciples of every denomination; and, finally, to all who seek to know the truth and do the will of God. The reader who examines its pages will see that it is prepared from the standpoint of those who hold the sentiments of that Theological School, and that it endeavors to make all other seekers after the truth accept the same views. This endeavor is manifest in the translation, so far as the possibilities of the case allow, but in the notes, though they are brief, it is still more evident. We do not believe, however, that Christian disciples of other denominations, or those among them who honestly and earnestly study the Scriptures, will be convinced by the author's arguments, or that they will accept his interpretations, in those cases in which the teachings of Meadville are made the teachings of the Gospels. When Jesus says, for example, "Glorify thou me. Father, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was," men in general, who investigate the meaning of his words, will not understand him as saying " with the glory which I possessed in the divine purpose." They will not turn the words, "Before Abraham was [came into being] I am," into a declaration that Jesus was merely ordained of God to be
* The Four Gotpel*; Translated from the Greek Text of Tischendorf, with the various readings of Griesbach, LBchmann, Tischendorf, Tregclles, Meyer, Alford, and others; and with Critical and Explanatory Notes. By Nathanikl B. Folsoji. Boston: A. Williams & Co. 1869. 12mo. pp. 476.
the Messiah before the birth of Abraham. Nor will they regard the exclamation of Thomas, in the twentieth chapter of John's Gospel, as being anything less than an expression of his belief that his Lord and Master was divine. We have no space or desire to enter upon the discussion of these or similar passages here, but we are persuaded that the advocates of these views can never impress their truth upon scholarly men who have not been educated in their own doctrines. And we have never yet seen any explanation or suggestion urged in support of these views, which, to our apprehension, did not manifestly fail to meet the demands of the passages in question or of the context in the midst of which they stand. On the word cuiviotf, in Matt, xxv., 46, the author says, " This word is used so often in the Scriptures to denote indefinite length of duration, that it seems presumptuous to affirm positively that any more was in the Master's thought here. The 'punishment' will last as long as the sin shall last; and the 'life,' too, will last as long, and only as long, as the character on which it depends shall last." On Mark ix., 44 if., in connection with the words "unquenchable fire" and "hell," he says, "In quoting the greatest of the prophets who preceded him, Jesus spoke more nearly, if he did not speak exactly, in accordance with that prophet's thought (Is. lxvi., 24). It is questionable, even, if he meant chiefly the fires of remorse, real and terrible as these are. But he may have meant particularly those consequences of sin which, springing from the sources here alluded to in Mark, are a public warning to all who are tempted in like manner. Such a hell as we see men fall into in this life is often both fearful and fiery." These citations will indicate his opinions and method of interpretation in connection with the subject of future punishment. Of the Temptation he says, " Having separated from the narration those parts which are incidental [i. e., the forty days duration of the fasting, the Tempter in a personal form, &c.], the principal fact remains, that Jesus had tempting thoughts under the circumstances of place (though it is possible he went from place to place in thought only), and with the deprivations and exposures mentioned as occurring in the Desert, and that he triumphed over those thoughts, without incurring the charge or receiving the taint of sin." "The occurrence of such tempting thoughts to a pure mind," he adds, "may be accounted for, without supposing that they originated there. If the tempting thought simply tests the subject of it, and shows that one is incapable of Vol. xxix. 10