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good reason to suppose that the book of Proverbs was produced much earlier than Ecclesiastes, which bears throughout the tone of an aged and 'used up' man's experience."
The English word "Preacher," he observes, scarcely conveys the exact meaning of the Hebrew word KOHELETH which signifies one who assembles or gathers people together, but more specially one who so assembles them in order to address them or to give them instruction. "In chapter xii. 9, his practice of teaching the people is clearly indicated: Because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge;' while from 1 Kings iv. 34, we learn that kings and people from surrounding nations resorted to Jerusalem to hear his wisdom. That all these were instructed in private audiences, is far less likely than that they heard him at meetings held periodically or occasionally for the purpose. A custom like this would be in entire conformity with eastern usages. Perhaps the practice of the Wahabee sultan, Ibn Saoud, in our own time, may help us to some ideas on this matter. 'After supper he regularly assembled in the great room all his sons who happened to be at Derayeh; and all who were desirous of paying their court to him joined this family circle. One of the ulemas then read a few pages of the Koran, or of the traditions of Mohammed, and explained the text according to the commentaries of the best writers. After him other ulemas delivered lectures in the same manner, and the Saoud himself always closed the meeting by taking the book and explaining every difficult passage. It is said that he equalled, or perhaps excelled, many of the ulemas in the knowledge of religious controversy, and of the laws in general. His eloquence was universally admired; his voice was remarkably sweet and sonorous at the same time,
VOL. XV.-FOURTH SERIES.
which made the Arabs say that his words all reached the heart."
Respecting the Song of Songs, in its external aspect, our author says, "The two lovers, or the bridegroom and the bride, appear throughout, expressing their feelings in highly impassioned, but in very beautiful, and in strongly figurative but in truthful language, to and of each other. The bridegroom is a king bearing the name of Shelomoh (the peaceful, or prince of peace), and the other a lady who becomes his queen, and who bears the corresponding name of Shelomith, which is but the feminine form of his own, and bears the same relation to it as Julia does to Julius. Besides these leading characters, there appears through the whole a kind of chorus, as in the Greek drama, composed of 'the daughters of Jerusalem;" and towards the close two brothers of Shelomith appear, who each speak once only. Besides these, other characters are introduced or alluded to, such as shepherds, watchmen, gardeners, &c., but they are mutes and do not speak." But he contends strenuously that the allegorical or spiritual interpretation is not only the right one, but the only possible one. In this sense, he observes, the Jewish writers have always understood it, and "an Oriental, on first becoming acquainted with this book, would read it with rapture, and recognize it as full of edifying spiritual expression, the general purport of which he would be at no loss to gather; and greatly would he be astonished to learn, that in the cold regions of the north, there were many who questioned that it had any spiritual significance." "It will be observed," he adds, "that most persons who once come upon the spiritual sense, whatever view they take of that sense, fall practically into the habit of treating it as a representation of their own soul's history, and of its intercourse with God. And this is
right; for if it represents the union between the Lord and his church, every member of that church will find it suits his case, and he has full right to take to himself what he finds suited to his wants and condition." The necessity for an improvement in the translation, however, he concedes: "In this particular book of Solomon, it is especially allowed by all good scholars, that even to those who look only to the first or literal sense, and whose eyes are shut to the spiritual meaning, the Song of Songs is in the original a much more readable book than the authorised version represents it to be."
distinction) hauled before the king by a rope fastened to rings passed through the lips and nose. In the piece we have copied from Botta's magnificent work, the king is represented as holding a rope fastened to rings, which pass through the lips of three captives, one of whom is pierced in the eye by the spear of the king, at whose feet he kneels in supplication."
The prophecy beginning "Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle; your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast; they stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity," gives occasion for the following remarks. "There is no representation of any thing of this sort among the ancient Persian sculptures; but in the Assyrian marbles we find a curiously proximate subject. It exhibits in a bas relief, probably of the later Assyrian period, a procession of warriors carrying on their shoulders four images. Layard is doubtful whether these are the idols of a con
To the prophecies of Isaiah Dr. Kitto has given much attention; especially to those which refer to the person and exploits of Cyrus-an interesting portion of Isaiah's writings on which expositors generally have not enlarged so fully as on some other parts of the collection. Our author has not failed to avail himself of the recent discoveries at Nineveh for the illustration of facts and predictions relating to Assyria, and has introduced into the second volume of this series a larger number of en-quered people, borne in triumph by the gravings than had been given in the others, many of them copied from the sculptures recently placed in the British Museum, or from M. Botta's great and costly work on Nineveh. One of these illustrates the language of the Almighty to Sennacherib-"Because thy rage against Me, and thy tumult is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my hook into thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest." "Commentators have usually explained this," says our author, as a metaphor drawn from the mode of dealing with wild or refractory animals. But it now appears that it was literally the custom of the Assyrians themselves thus to treat the captives of their sword. In the sculptures we see prisoners (probably of
conquerors, or whether the sculpture
"They lavish gold out of the bag
They fall down, yea, they worship him;
They bear him upon the shoulder, and they carry lous providence to suppose that a plant the ordinary course of even his miracu
They set him in his place, and there he standeth."
Dr. Kitto agrees with those interpreters who believe that China is expressly promised to Messiah in the forty-ninth of Isaiah, when it is said, "Lo these from the north and the west, and these from the land of Sinim." After discussing the subject fully he concludes thus: "On the whole, then, a hypothesis which solves all difficulties, satisfies the claims of philology and history, unites the suffrages of the most independent schools and parties, fully meets the requisitions of the text and context, and opens a glorious field of expectation and effort to the church, may be safely regarded as the true one."
The following judicious observations close the chapter on Jonah's gourd :Another point entitled to remark, is the assertion of the Lord's providence in the frequent intimation that the Lord prepared all the material and circumstantial agencies that wrought in the history of Jonah. In his first adventure, the Lord prepared the storm, the Lord prepared the great fish: and, in the second the Lord prepared the gourd, the Lord prepared the worm, the Lord prepared the east wind-all is of the Lord's preparing. This also accounts for everything; and we are not bound, in the case of the gourd, for instance, to find a plant which, without the special ordinance of the Lord's providence, should attain such growth in a night as to afford adequate shelter to the prophet's head. The Lord, however, is in all his dispensations economical of prodigies; and we are to suppose that in this instance He did not create a new plant for the occasion, or choose one of naturally slow growth. It is more in
naturally of rapid growth was chosen, and that this natural quickness of growth was preternaturally stimulated and quickened for the occasion. word employed in the original Hebrew is generally supposed to denote the castor-oil plant. It is of exceedingly rapid growth, and its broad palmatic leaves extend a grateful shade over the parched traveller. It is not unknown in our gardens: but it does not in them, though still a plant of most rapid growth, attain the size or grow with the quickness that it does in the region of the Tigris."
One of the Lord's day meditations is introduced by a fragment of auto-biography with the citation of which we will conclude our notice of these very interesting volumes. "Thirty years ago," says Dr. Kitto, "before the Lord caused me to wander from my father's house and from my native place, I put my mark upon this passage in Isaiah,—‘I am the Lord: they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.' Of the many books I now possess, the bible that bears this mark is the only one of them all that belonged to me at that time. It now lies before me; and I find that, although the hair which was then dark as night, has meanwhile become 'a sable silvered,' the ink which marked this text has grown into intensity of blackness as the time advanced, care spending with and in fact recording, the growing intensity of the conviction, that 'they shall not be ashamed that wait for Thee.' I believed it then; but I know it now; and I can write probatum est, with my whole heart, over against the symbol which that mark is to me, of my ancient faith."
Letters on the Church of Rome, addressed to the Rev. Emmanuel Feraut, D.D. and LL D., Chaplain to the King of Sardinia, and Italian Missionary to England. By BAPTIST WRIOTHESLEY NOEL. London: Nisbet. 1852. 16mo. pp. 595. Cloth.
Having had opportunity to characterize some of these Letters while they were in progress, we need not say more now than that the series being completed furnishes a comprehensive and lucid view of the Romish system. The doctrine and practice of the church of Rome are contrasted with the doctrine of the bible and the practice enjoined by our Lord and his apostles, and in the development of this contrast Mr. Noel has shown, as he says in the preface, "that the church of Rome is the rival and enemy of the church of Christ; that its hierarchy is without commission or authority; that its doctrine is a spurious gospel, that its purgatory is an antichristian fiction; that its worship is idolatrous; that its sacraments are delusive and disgraceful; that its sacrifice of the altar is fictitious, useless, and profane; that its transubstantiation is a blasphemous absurdity; that its confessional is a tyranny which enslaves and corrupts mankind; that its discipline is at once relaxed and sanguinary; that its opposition to the study of the word of God is impious; and that its whole system, against scripture and reason, is constructed to give dignity, power, and wealth, to the priests." The most curious parts of the book however are the few pages which proceed from the pen of the challenger, Dr. Feraut; few as they are they may be studied advantageously as illustrations of the remarks in the book of Proverbs respecting "a scorner. Mr. Noel has wisely left them to make their own impression on the reader.
think with the gentleman who has undertaken to introduce the volume to the public, that the writer had over estimated its practical results. We cannot speak in approving terms of the "getting up" of the work. It is intended, however, for a class of readers who overlook inferior paper and type if the matter be thoroughly good.
A Discourse on the Greatness of the Christian Ministry, delivered before the Students and Supporters of Horton College, Bradford, Yorkshire, on Wednesday, Angust 4th, 1852. By J. P. MURSELL, of Leicester. Published by Request. London: 8vo., pp. 44. Price Sixpence.
Who is sufficient for these things? Mr Mursell Taking as his motto the apostolic question, calls upon his hearers to form distinct ideas of the ministerial office in connexion with the work to which it relates, illustrates its diversified excellencies, specifies the qualifications necessary for the right performance of its duties, and gives wholesome counsel respecting the spirit and manner in which they should be discharged. He says, however, "I believe it to be impossible to convey in language or adequately to conceive in thought, the magnitude of the and abiding glory, which no detraction can Christian ministry. There is in it an essential obscure, nor any eulogy enhance. Amid the marvels of that state to which we are all advancing, it will not be the least that such a work should in the inscrutable wisdom of God have been committed to the hands of the feeble children of men."
Bethel; or the Blessedness of Frequenting the House of God. By JONATHAN WATSON, Christophany. The Doctrine of the Manifes Elder Street Chapel, Edinburgh. London: tations of the Son of God under the Economy Houlston and Stoneman. 32mo., pp. 32. of the Old Testament. By the late Rev. This is the third edition of a little book GEORGE BALDERSTON KIDD, of Scarbo-eminently calculated to promote attendance at rough. Edited by Orlando T. Dobbin, LL.D., M.R.I.A. London: Ward and Co., Paternoster Row.
This is a posthumous work; the author having completed it just before his death. It is written to prove that the manifestations of the Son of God under the Old Testament dispensation were much more numerous than Christians have been accustomed to believe, and that the right understanding and reception of this truth by the church would be the basis of unity among all its members, and the precursor of universal triumph. The author has exhausted his subject; and to any one who feels disposed to study it his work will be an invaluable authority. It abounds in biblical criticisms-Quotations from the Fathersand strictures on the writings of such men as Lord Brougham and Richard Watson. The question discussed is one of interest and importance; nevertheless we are inclined to
week day services. We are informed that a
Notes and Narratives of a Six Years' Mission,
It has long been our conviction that there is no part of the world that needs missionary exertion more than the metropolis of the British empire.
This opinion will be diffused, we doubt not, among the readers of this volume, ignorance of multitudes by whom we are surwhich supplies ample evidence of the gross rounded, of the necessity for persevering and
systematiu efforts in order to gain their attention, and of the cheering fact that filthy courts. garrets, and cellars, strongly as they are fortified against evangelical artillery, are not impregnable. The experience of the author led him to think it desirable to call the attention of the Christian public to this subject by some publication which should illustrate the general labours and successes of the city mission; but on consulting the secretaries they judiciously advised him to confine himself to what had fallen under his own observation. He apologizes for the personal character that the work has consequently assumed, but it is on this account the more interesting and the more trustworthy. recommend it earnestly to perusal, especially to We the perusal of those who live within ten miles of
St. Paul's cathedral.
A Sermon to Sunday School Teachers, by the
This discourse delivered to the Teachers of the Sabbath School at Sion Chapel, Bradford, urges the importance of sowing good seed, sowing it perseveringly, and continuing to work though the circumstances may be discouraging and the results undiscernible.
Remarks on Certain Statements of Alexander Haldane, Esq. of the Inner Temple, Barrister. at-Law, in his Memoirs of Robert Haldane, of Airthrey; and his Brother, James A. Haldane." By JOHN BROWN, D.D., Professor of Exegetical Theology to the United Presbyterian Church, and Senior Pastor of the United Presbyterian Congregation, Broughton Place, Edinburgh, Edinburgh: Oliphant and Sons. 8vo. pp.
Dr. Brown and Messrs. Haldane took opposite views of the duty of a dissenter in reference to "that singularly ill-contrived impost by which the greater part of the incomes of the established clergy of Edinburgh is raised." Dr. Brown impugned and Messrs. Haldane vindicated the payment of the rate. The remarks of Mr. A. Haldane on the manner in which this controversy was conducted and the consequences accruing from it, have given occasion to this pamphlet, the publication of which Dr. Brown thought to be necessary in order to set the course which he had pursued in its true light.
The Local Ministry; its Character, Vocation, and Position considered, with suggestions for promoting its more extended usefulness. By JOHN HENRY CARR, Wesleyan Local Preacher, Leeds. London: John Kaye and Co., small 8vo. pp. 243.
This Essay obtained the Second prize of £25, offered by John Kaye, Esq., for Essays on the Local Ministry as exercised among the Methodists. It seems to us worthy to rank side by side with its more successful competitor on the same important subject. The Spirit of Life in the Soul. By G. W. MILNE, Author "Universal Time," "What is Chance ?" of "Harps of Old," &c. London: Wertheim and Mackintosh, 24mo. pp. 94.
Intended to illustrate the depravity of human nature, and the nature and source of spiritual
life. The absence of any table of contents or any headings to the several divisions to show the course of thought pursued by the author, makes the book, though small, somewhat tedious.
Every-day Astronomy; or, Practical Lessons on
and fascinating style, adapted to attract the An elegant little volume, written in simple young to read with pleasure this page of the testimonies of God; gaze with intelligence upon to the tale which the heavens are always telling the starry sky which reveals his glory; listen of his wisdom and power, and thus improve their of his works, and learn to adore him the Creator minds, enlarge their perceptions of the vastness of all worlds.
Isabella Hamilton. A Tale of the Sixteenth
What of the Night? A Glance at the Past, the
Had the writer allowed himself more time for think that he would have regretted it ulticorrecting and polishing his lines, we do not mately. As it is, we can only say that he has shown that his sentiments are scriptural and his intentions praiseworthy.
The Union Harmonist, a Selection of Sucred
It affords us pleasure to announce a new edition of this esteemed collection in a size and style corresponding with the pocket edition of the Union Tune Book.
Fire Side Harmony; or Domestic Recreation in
The principles on which the compiler has