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tians ! Men are beginning to look at this subject, in its true light. All will do so “ when consideration, like an angel, comes, and whips the offending Adam out of them.” Even those who have been leaders must begin to look back upon their labors with something of the feeling of a conqueror, who has “ found quarrel in a straw," when he looks upon “the weltering fields of the tombless dead.” The time must come, and that ere long, when many heated minds will be cool, when many blind eyes will be opened, when many who have been driven, will consent to be driven no longer, and many who have been led will consult their self-respect, and think and act for themselves ;—and then the strong conservative sense of the Presbyterian church will be again in the ascendant, and her courts will have peace,-and union,-and strength.
1.-Commentar über das Buch Koheleth, von Augustus Knobel (Com
mentary on the Book of Ecclesiastes, by Aug. Knobel, Extraord. Prof. of Theology at Breslau). Leipsig: 1836. 8vo.
In this work it is the design of Professor Knobel to present us with "a new and complete representation of the views of Ecclesiastes concerning the government of the world and the life of man, according to their organic development and their internal connections." In his endeavors to accomplish this aim he seeks “ first to thoroughly investigate and settle the meaning of the words and phrases conveying ideas peculiar to Ecclesiastes, and thence by a strict adherence to the connection and to the once ascertained mode of its reasoning, to explain it in harmony with itself.”
By pursuing this plan we are furnished with a comprehensive and valuable commentary on a book which has always presented great difficulties to the interpreter and has occasioned the writing of many works for its elucidation. Of these the present is one of the best, if not indeed the best that has yet appeared, as will be seen from the following account of its contents. It begins with an historico-critical introduction in the best style of modern German scholarship, affording a masterly exhibition of the character and tendency of the
book under consideration in all its bearings. This introduction is divided into ten sections and treats in succession of the following topics : "the title according to its meaning and grammatical form, the clearing up of contradictions, the design, character, diction, author, age, and finally the views and fortunes of the book.” The opinions previously held on all these points are constantly cited and weighed, especially in the articles on the character and diction of the book, points which have been subjected to a most rigid and thorough scrutiny.
The Book of Ecclesiastes is divided by our author into sixteen sections, extending to the eighth verse of the twelfth chapter, the remaining verses of this chapter being regarded as an addition of later date. Each section is preceded by an argument exhibiting its internal connection; then follows the translation of the portion which it comprises, succeeded by an exposition of the meaning of each verse and of the relation which it bears to those which precede and follow it. After the manner adopted by Rosenmüller in his Scholia, but in a much better order of arrangement, are given the views of other interpreters on the most difficult passages. Our author does not however follow the ancient Jewish expositions to the same extent; but, agreeably to the results of his preliminary investigations, which prove the book to have been composed at least after the return from the captivity (an opinion maintained previously by De Wette), he enters into an elaborate comparison of ihe usus loquendi with that of the later Aramaic and occasionally of the Talmudic dialect. In no instance, however, do we see him actuated by a mere thirst after novelty in his illustrations ; on the contrary he almost invariably selects with a sound and cautious judgment those which are the most striking and the most apposite, accompanying each sentence by the parallel passages which present themselves in other writers, particularly the classic authors, as Horace, Juvenal, etc.
2.-Chronologia Judicum et primorum regum Hebraeorum. Dis.
sertatio inauguralis. Scripsit Levi Herzfeld. Berlin, 1836.
8vo. pp. 72. The great difficulty experienced in settling the chronology of the book of Judges is owing to the fact that when the several periods recorded in it are summed up, we obtain a greater number of years (viz. 500) for the government by judges alone than according to 1 Kings 6: 1, elapsed from the time of the nation's leaving Egypt un. til the building of the temple under Solomon, which is there stated to have been only 480 years; not to mention that both the apostle Paul and Josephus give entirely different estimates of this period. As, however, the shorter space of time indicated by the book of Kings is held to be the most correct, it has been usual in endeavor.
SECOND SERIES, VOL. I. No. II. 64
ing to harmonize the two accounts, to reduce the number of years as given in the book of Judges, by the obvious method of consider. ing several of the judges whose histories are related in succession to have been contemporary rulers, since in many instances they gov. erned only single tribes. This method was adopted by Jahn in his Introduction, and afterwards by Leo in his History of the Jewish State.
Quitting this expedient however, Mr. Herzfeld adopts another course to prove the correctness of the book of Kings. He makes a distinction between total and partial conquests of the country by hostile nations. Accordingly such statements as “ the land had rest fourscore years,"
," " the land served twenty years” he considers as applicable to contemporary epochs; because while a partial servitude extended over one section of the country, the remaining portion might either have been reduced to subjection by a different in. vasion, or might have remained in a state of perfect repose. The author regards the conquests effected by the Moabites and Hazorites recorded Judges ch. iii. and iv., as instances of such partial and con. temporary servitudes; and by this means he reduces the number of years
that elapsed between the Aramaic and the Midianitish conquests (see ch. vi.) from 234 to 117.
The author indeed is not unacquainted with the hypothesis of contemporary judges; but as a whole he rejects it on the insufficient ground, that it is improbable that an inexperienced individual should have been preferred to a judge already known and esteemed for the services he had rendered, or that foreign foes should have been able to obtain possession of a part of the country under one judge while at the same time another was found capable of protecting himself against invasion. But was the people's choice the only mode of ob. taining the supreme power? and does not the author himself make the assumption that while one part of the country remained in safety, another was in a state of war or subjugation ? In fact we find that Mr. Herzfeld is in one instance compelled to resort to the hypothe. sis which in general he discards ; this he does by making Eli and Samson contemporary judges, assuming that only the chief judges were always single, and that hence subordinate ones might have existed at ihe same time, as for instance, those whose powers
were restricied to the pronouncing of decisions, among whom was Eli.
As regards the theory of partial servitudes adopted by the author, there is in general nothing to be said against its possibility. Sull we demand more specific information as to what foreign nations subdued only single tribes, which our author undertakes to decide by ascer. taining whether each invasion was made by one hostile tribe or by several ; we desire moreover to know more precisely how far each individual subjugation extended, which when not expressly stated is here deduced from the tribes who took part in the defence. Both of these points, which are thus left extremely doubtful, are rendered still more so by the arbitrary manner in which the author's hypothesis is applied; yet notwithstanding its palpable defects, the work exhibits proofs of a profound study of the subject, accompanied by an independent mode of investigation which on the whole entitles it to a high degree of consideration among the attempts which have been made to establish the chronology of the sacred Scriptures.
3.- The Missionary Convention at Jerusalem ; or an Exhibition of
the Claims of the World to the Gospel. By Rev. David
244. We have read this volume with great satisfaction. The author imagines that, at the expiration of eighteen hundred years from the ascension of the Saviour, a grand Assembly is convened at Jerusalem to discuss the claims of the various nations of the world to the gospel. Jews, Mohammedans, Pagans, Christians, of every sect, have each their respective delegates at the meeting. They are all, how. ever, supposed to be converted men, and sincerely to desire the conversion of the world.
They first listen to the reading of those portions of Scripture which clearly express the divine purpose respecting the universal triumph of Christianily, and the means by which this triumph is to be achiev. ed. Then follows an animated discussion of the condition and claims of the world, in which the numerous and diversified members of the assembly are represented as making in succession, characteristic speeches and arguments in favor of their own particular countries, nations, tribes and denominations. These exhibit in striking variety of aspects, and yet in general resemblance, the selfish and narrow views of most Christians of every country, each pleading for his own, and undervaluing the importance of all others. In the progress of the discussion, which is continued through six days, the current objections to the missionary enterprise are ingeniously urged and triumphantly refuted, and many important principles are ably defended.
The book is divided into thirty-eight chapters, short, of course, each containing the substance of one or more speeches in the great debate. The result of the whole is to impress the reader with a sense of the importance and the dignity of the Foreign missionary enterprise. The work is unexceptionable in its language and lead. ing positions and is pervaded with the excellent spirit of the author, who, we need not add, is extensively known as one of the most useful of American missionaries to foreign lands, as well by his labors abroad, as by his earnest and successful appeals to the churches at home.-We cordially commend this effort of his imagination, with the results which it presents of his experience, as a missionary, to our readers.
4.- A Guide to the Principles and Practice of the Congregational
Churches of New England, with a brief History of the De
nomination. By John Mitchell, Pastor of the Edwards ! Church, Northampton. Northampton: J. H. Butler, 1838.
This is a small volume, in rather large type, easily read, and what is much more to its praise, very easily understood. The views here presented are so well digested and so deeply fraught with good practical common sense, that we think the work cannot fail of being acceptable and useful to the denomination of whose polity and history it treats. Nor need its usefulness be restricted to that portion of Christians, since much which it contains is equally applicable to the pastors and the people of other denominations, and is well fitted to remedy some of the prominent evils among the churches at the present day. We should be glad to give a more extended notice of the work, but have space at present for only the following brief notice of the subjects which are discussed respectively in the eleven chap. ters of which the book consists. The origin and history of the Congregational churches-Principles of the Congregational system
- Church covenant and watch-Church discipline-Church meetings and church business-Relations of pastor and people-Deacons
-Relations of church and society ; parish affairs—Relations and intercourse of churches with one another-Deportment towards other denominations—Doctrines and measures.'
In his next edition, Mr. Mitchell will, of course, correct some pretty serious typographical errors, that are found in this.
5.- Incidents of Travel in Greece, Turkey, Russia and Poland.
By the Author of " Incidents of Trarel in Egypt, Arabia
Brothers, 1838. pp. 268, 275. We find it difficult to keep up with the age in reading books of travels; and as Mr. Stephens needed not our commendation to aid his popularity as a writer of " Incidents,” we delayed to peruse his Greece, Turkey, etc., until quite lately. It has less of scriptural as. sociation in it than the travels in Egypt and the Holy Land, and is less interesting to the biblical student. But in animated and beautiful description it surpasses his first effort. His pictures of men and manners are often to the life, and the reader can hardly divest himself of the impression that he is a boon companion of the jovial tra. veller. It cannot be said, as of the readers of John Foster, that they who travel with him must work their passage. We are borne onward without labor and the thousand annoyances, which, in the East,