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Principles of Interpretation in respect to all topics of this kind,
The literal import of the Language,
III. THE ESCHATOLOGY OF CHRIST, WITH SPECIAL REFER-
ENCE TO THE DISCOURSE IN MATT. XXIV. AND XXV., 452
V. LIFE AND CHARACTER OF THEODORE BEZA,
By R. D. C. Robbins, Professor of Languages in Middlebury College, Vt.
CONTENTS OF VOL. VII.
The early Education of Beza; his Teacher Melchoir Wol-
Beza at the University of Orleans,
First years at Paris, Dissatisfaction of his Father, Friend-
Departure from France and Arrival at Geneva,
First Abode in Geneva; Journey to France and Geneva,
VII. TICKNOR'S SPANISH LITERATURE,
By Prof. C. C. Felton, Cambridge.
VI. THE THEOLOGY OF THE INTELLECT AND THAT OF
A Discourse delivered before the Convention of the Congregational Ministers
of Massachusetts, in Brattle Street Meeting-house, Boston, May 30, 1850,
by Edwards A. Park, Professor in Andover Theological Seminary.
IX. NOTICES OF NEW PUBLICATIONS,
2. Reid's Essays on the Intellectual and Moral Powers,
3. Day's Elements of the Art of Rhetoric,
VIII. THE SYSTEM OF EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITIES
An Address in behalf of the Society for the Promotion of Collegiate and
Theological Education at the West; delivered in Tremont Temple, Bos-
ton, May 29, 1850. By Edwards A. Park, Abbot Professor in the Andover
IV. A COMPARISON OF THE GREEK AND LATIN VERBS,
I. ON THE IDEA OF AN INFINITE SERIES, AS APPLICA-
By Rev. Joseph Tracy, Boston, Mass.
III. CRITICISM ON GESENIUS'S DOCTRINE OF THE AC-
V. OF THE MORAL ATTRIBUTES OF THE DIVINE BEING, 686
By George I. Chace, Prof. of Chemistry and Geology, Brown University.
VI. DOCTRINE RESPECTING THE PERSON OF CHRIST,
Translated from the German of Dr. and Prof. J. A. Dorner, with remarks, by
M. Stuart, lately Prof. of Sac. Lit. in the Theol. Sem. at Andover.
VIII. THE VOYAGE AND SHIPWRECK OF PAUL AS RELATED
BY LUKE. A COMMENTARY ON ACTS 27: 1-44; 28: 16. 743
By Prof. H. B. Hackett, Newton Theol. Institution.
Departure from Caesarea and arrival at Myra. Vs. 1—5,
Incidents of the Voyage from Myra to Crete. Vs. 6-12,
The storm; it rages for many days, and all hope of safety is
In their despair the Apostle cheers them with the hope of
Paul renews his assurance that their lives would be saved.
They partake of their first regular meal since the commence-
ment of the storm, and again lighten the ship. Vs. 33-38,
The Shipwreck; those on board escape to the shore by swim-
ming, or on fragments of the vessel. Vs. 39-44,
Their abode during the winter at Melite. Ch. 28: 1-10,
IX. LIFE AND CHARACTER OF DR. DE WETTE,
By B. B. Edwards, Professor at Andover.
X. EXTRACTS FROM CORRESPONDENCE,
PRESENT STATE OF BIBLICAL SCIENCE.
By B. B. Edwards, Professor at Andover.
Ir may not be altogether inopportune at the commencement of another year of our labors, and at the beginning of 1850, to refer briefly to the existing position of Biblical Science, or to survey, cursorily though it may be, a part of the field which we attempt to occupy. Such a survey, also, has been suggested by the recent decease of Dr. De Wette, the patriarch of biblical critics and commentators. His life, though passed, for the most part, in the retirement of the study, is not without impressive lessons. The passing away of a man so active who, for twenty or thirty years, has been a leader in certain great departments of knowledge, constitutes a kind of epoch in the career of all who are devoted to similar pursuits.
We speak of biblical science. Perhaps the propriety of the term may be doubted. In the view of some it can hardly lay claim to an appellation so dignified. In every part of Christendom, where there is any freedom of investigation, views are propounded and methods of interpretation practised which are indicative of anything but science. We meet with heterogeneous or contradictory expositions, the use of the same texts to support perhaps a score of conflicting opinions, and even a want of agreement in regard to the most simple and fundamental rules of interpretation. In the country where there has been the most pretension to rigid science in the pursuit of biblical studies, there has often been a sad deficiency of truly liberal and comprehensive views. A criticism has had wide currency, which has been rightly named deVOL. VII. No. 25.
structive, which substitutes theory for judicious investigation, which violently dislocates ancient history, and attempts to reconstruct it by an arbitrary subjective opinion; which has, in short, adopted a method of handling the Scriptures which, if carried out, would annihilate all ancient history, and render anything like rules of evidence impossible. A criticism may well be called destructive that refuses to receive a document as true which would be admitted without gainsaying, on one half of the evidence which it offers, in any court of justice on earth.1 We do not here refer to such men as Strauss and the later Tübingen school, but to professed defenders of biblical truth, to those who would possibly shrink from being named skeptics.
Again, there may seem to be little of true science in a department which appears to run counter so often with the discoveries of the naturalist. That should seem to have poor claims to a settled interpretation which is liable to be jostled or overturned at any moment by the revelations of the natural philosopher or antiquarian. The positive declarations of the Bible come into direct collision with the unimpeachable testimony of sienite or the colored walls of a tomb. Either Ethnography or Moses must be mistaken. But the evidence of visible and tangible forms cannot be set aside, it is said, by a few dusky characters in a dead language, copied, it may be, no one knows when, from a monkish, mouldering parchment. What is written on hard granite, or is dug up from a mummy chest must be true, however it may fare with a Jewish historian. At least, we must wait till science has unfolded all her mysteries, before we can affirm that sacred philology has fixed and established laws. In other words, the test of the truth of a written revelation is to be found in nature.
It may be thought preposterous, also, to speak of biblical science, when there is so little agreement, or rather so wide a disagreement in respect to the exposition of the prophetical and symbolical portions of the Scriptures. Many in this department run to and fro, but knowledge is not increased. Arbitrary systems of rules are laid down as if they were the axioms of geometry. All preceding interpreters have totally mistaken their vocation, and darkened the counsel of Jehovah by words without knowledge. Events, which an indefinite futurity only can disclose, are laid off and marked out with the precision of a chart, A position is first confidently assumed, and then the innocent text is interpreted or wrested so as to sustain it. It is sad to know that many excellent men, especially in Great Britain, are poring over the prophetic Scriptures with a zeal which is not according to knowledge,
'See Prof. Greenleaf's Examination of the Four Evangelists.