« 이전계속 »
requent recurrence of the connective “ But” at the beginning of closely following sentences is awkward. This becomes less noticeable as the work advances, and the style generally flows more easily. The word “ revelator” is recent and not good. It comes from the South and West, ard is needless as well as uncouth, as " revealer" is every way better. Lancing thunder at an opponent, p. 192, must mean "launching” it. - Resurrected," p. 405 — quoted from an American edition of Renan's Life of Jesus—is worse than " revelator.” There is no authority for it in either of the great American dictionaries. These are easily removed blemishes. The substantial and permanent merits of this survey are many. It is the best book for its purpose of any which have fallen under our eye. Its Appendix of Literature, and Index, are good. We cordially commend it to a wide perusal. It deals throughout with subjects which are of present and vital moment.
2.-Essays on some of the Difficulties of the Writings of the Apostle
Paul, and in other parts of the New Testament. By RICHARD WHATELY, D. D. From the Eighth London Edition. 12mo. Andover: Warren F. Draper. Boston: Gould and Lincoln. 1865.
It is a pleasure to read whatever Archbishop Whately may have written, for his style is so perspicuous that there is no difficulty in catching his thought. He always strikes us as nearly all intellect; not dryly this, for there is, now and then, the play of a subtile wit running along his sentences, and he obviously could enjoy the ludicrous aspect of a worsted opponent. But the impressiou of his pages is that of logic rather than imagination, of mind and not of heart. The more familiar memorials of this distinguished man which his death has called forth, do something to change this verdict. Every really great person must, of course, have a warm side of his nature toward some who have shared his life. But classing people according to the main drift of their character, Whately, more than perhaps any one of his contemporaries, will stand as the sharp, keen, cool analyzer of thought and thingy.
In this volume, the number of whose editions indicates its high estimation among thoughtful readers, the author enters the domain of dogmatic Christianity, with the purpose of relieving it of various difficulties which he attributes mainly to a misconception of the writings of the apostle Paul. His reasoning to show that the Epistles are the authoritative expounders of the Gospel system of truth, is an admirable specimen of grave and conclusive argumentation. So does he aptly find the probable cause of this apostle's far greater endurance of personal opposition and danger than any of the twelve, in the fact of his own early hostility to the Gospel and its first confessors : not as a punishment or atonement therefor, “but, that he might have an opportunity of completely retracing his steps, and of feeling that he did so; that he might bring to bear upon his dealing with unbelievers the knowledge of the perverse prejudices of the human mind,” which he had gained experimentally ; and, by all his own singular progress from darkness to light, might the better play the “Great heart” in leading the first converts and churches through the countless and sore perils of their new pilgrimage.
The first and second Essays, on The Love of Truth, and on The Difficulties and Value of Paul's Writings Generally, are excellent. So is that on The Influence of the Holy Spirit. The extraordinary gifts of that Divine agent to the early church are well discriminated from those which are permanent and universal among Christians, and the superior value of the ordinary over the extraordinary gifts thus bestowed, is clearly shown. But while all these Essays are marked by great ability, we are far from endorsing all the theology which we find in them.
Dr. Whately expends much labor and erudition in endeavoring to relieve the apostle Paul of all complicity with Calvinism, particularly with reference to Election, Perseverance, and Imputation of
sin and righteousness. He regards these views as a gratuitous • impeding of the acceptance of the Pauline Christianity by mankind, and puts, in the best possible form, the counter side of the case. Men are elected, with him, not to actual salvation, but to the privilege or opportunity of this. Christians will not persevere in holiness by virtue of electing grace, but by „personal endeavor. Men are not guilty of Adam's sin, nor is their righteousness Christ's, but their own. Dr. W. is too candid not to admit that his opponents commonly hold, with himself, that the electing and preserving grace only works with the person's own efforts which are always demanded to ensure salvation. But he says that they have no right to put in that statement, and that it does not help them, if they do. We shall not here argue this point with our author. We claim the right to this proviso, and that it relieves us of all serious difficulty in the premises. Whately admits that his scheme is not without its embarrassments : also, that his doctrine is “ arbitrary” in electing men to the opportunity of salvation. p. 100. Morover, he concedes that “predestination," as held by his opponents, may be true as a metaphysical fact, and part of the Gospel scheme; only he denies that it is revealed as this. p. 141. Why, even in Christian lands, thousands are born into well-nigh inevitable perdition, he allows to be a fact which w neither Calvinist nor Arminian can explain ; nay, why the Almighty does not cause to die in the cradle every infant whose future wickedness and misery, if suffered to grow up, he foresees, is what no system of religion, natural or revealed, will enable us satisfactorily to account for.” p. 109. We do not see, therefore, that his removal of the difficulty of a Calvinistic election amounts to much. He certainly maintains a doctrine of “reprobation,” also, about as stringent as any which we encounter from orthodox pulpits.
He misconceives the position occupied by Calvinists when he says: “ Absolute predestination to eternal life evidently implies the physical impossibility of ultimate failure”: in short, the necessary perseverance of the elect. p. 128. We know of no such doctrine in our churches : what there may be abroad, we do not know. Neither is the fact of Imputation held so as to make Adam's sin or Christ's righteousness ours, as if by a literal transfer of personal qualities, which is a psycological impossibility. Indeed, there is a good deal of battering down imaginary giant-castles in these pages.
It is a very curious disquisition which maintains that the Scriptures are in the habit of teaching doctrines, and to some extent moral duties, by contrary representations of them, thus requiring us to strike the resultant of actual truth. This is a nice operation, and, as the author confesses, a dangerous one. With respect to doctrine, the path is more obvious, and we might claim that our • Calvinistic symbols should equally have the benefit of this rule of interpretation, as they merely enunciate biblical propositions mostly in biblical language, not attempting a metaphysical adjustment of the opposite and seemingly opposing ideas. As to practical morals, the case is less clear. The author's argument grows out of his erratic and questionable theory, that the Christian dispensation has wholly abrogated the Mosaic law, civil, ceremonial, and moral. To this he devotes the fifth essay. Not that we are released from morality. But we are bound to it through the power of abstract right and holy love, not by the Ten Commandments. He argues earnestly that this is the only way to make a highly pure and spiritual religion -by throwing the conscience and will on the ultimate principles of goodness, with no constraint from · positive statute. Beautiful as is this ideal of a virtuous life, we are not at all convinced that the Gospel of Christ occupies any such position. We deny that its “ liberty" is at all infringed by the continued obligation of the decalogne upon believers in Jesus.
The Sabbath, of course, passes away, as founded upon or propped by the Fourth Commandment. The Archbishop is not a strict con
structionist on this subject. His Essay on “ Infant Baptism” defends the meaning of regeneration as denoting the visible relation of the subject to the kingdom of Christ, and that this is the scriptural use of the term. Thus he would avoid the objection urged against the liturgy of his church. We were a little surprised at the positiveness with which he repels the imputation against its teachings, that " whoever is baptized is a Christian and will therefore be saved.” He says: “Now I feel certain, from long experience and attentive observation, that there is no ground whatever for the imputation here conveyed. I mean that it is not true, as is evidently designed to be implied, that there exists any party, school or class of men among our clergy-even the worst of them—who teach such a doctrine.” Our impression was quite different-perhaps from the fact that not a few of the membership, we are very sure, do entertain that ground of hope for themselves, which further appears to us most natural. If we err in this opinion, we should be most happy to know it.
In a note on p. 338, we discover a remark which, to our mind, speaks much for the Christian conscientiousness of this distinguished prelate. We commend it to the notice of our Episcopal brethren. It informs us, that he adopted, in his diocese, the rule of admitting none to “ confirmation,” who were not prepared immediately - to attend the Lord's Table”; so as to guard against the “ error which I well knew to be prevalent of bringing forward for confirmation, persons upfit or unwilling to partake of the eucharist, and who, too ofien, never do partake of it at all.”
Dissenting as we do from many conclusions arrived at in these pages, we are glad that a new edition, with the author's last revisions, is issued, and that it is to be followed by another volume on Some of the Peculiarities of the Christian Religion. Dr. Whately's works are all of permanent value. Their study can not but sharpen and strengthen the mind, and however they may miss, at some points, what we regard as the sense of Holy Scripture, the reverence manifested for the authority of that word of the Lord is deserving of all praise and imitation.
The publisher will allow us to direct his notice to one or two errors which are important enough to be corrected on his stereotype plates. On p. 30, third line from the foot, a not is evidently wanting before "to relax." On p. 230, eighth line from the top, “ Ænon” should read Æon. We have lost our reference to a few other less serious inaccuracies.
Again we are compelled to ask, why can not our publishers go to the small additional expense and trouble of indexing alphabetically a work of important reference like this? At Andover, we should
think it would be easy to find enough to do such labor. The table of contents and the side summaries are good: but they are quite insufficient for a prompt turning to any special topic or text in the volume. We contend that students of such books, as well as their cursory readers, have rights which ought to be respected.
3. — Dante, as Philosopher, Patriot and Poet. With an Analysis of
the Divina Commedia, its Plot and Episodes. By VINCENZO Botta. Cr. 8vo. New York : Charles Scribner & Co. 1865.
With all deference to a spicy contemporary, we doubt if almost any person of average information could have produced this volume in three weeks. If that might have sufficed to put it on paper, there is an amount of study garnered here which would require a much longer summer than this for its growth and ripening. Nor do we precisely take in the point of the criticism about the “ second-hand” quality of these materials. We suppose it hardly to be expected that any absolutely new facts or ideas concerning the subject of this monogram will turn up, though sometimes a “ German" pick axe will strike a deposit of hitherto buried ore, in the most unlikely spot. Freshness in treating old themes is to be exacted of new writers upon them: the claim of originality, in these beaten walks of literature, at once starts a suspicion of mental eccentricity and possibly aberration.
This book is a tide-mark of the world's progress. Six hundred years ago, Italy was at the sunrise of a “ revival of letters ” from the dreary night which, nearly as many years before, had shut down upon the dissolution of the Roman Empire. It had been a darkness which might be felt ; but it was scattering before the returning light. Europe was all astir with the new inspiration. It was the age of intellectual reconstruction. All the life which was in the old world was pouring again into the tide of men's ideas, through the recovered and popularized classic literature. Politics were undergoing a not less decided change in the direction of liberal views. Men were beginning to look out from the ancient homestead, with a suspicion that this earth was perhaps as large again as they had thus far regarded it. They were stretching their limbs, so long bent up in painful postures, with ominous indications that, before long, the race would require more room to lie down and rise up in than had hitherto sufficed. Even the old ecclesiastical system had begun to feel the jostling of the uneasy times, and St. Peter's crown did not sit so quietly on anointed heads as a hundred or two years gone by. Just then, Dante came upon the exciting stage, born in 1265 ; and this book is one of the birthday memorials which the six hundredth an