Page images

At 3. 12, the course was S. a long stretch, river seventy yards wide, left bank very low, covered with tamarisk, willow and cane; the right bank, was from fifteen to eighteen feet high, red clay with weeds and shrubs. At 3. 16, water brackish, but no unpleasant smell; banks 'red clay and mud, gradually becoming lower and lower; river eighty yards wide, and fast increasing in breadth, seven feet deep, muddy bottom, current three knots; one large and two small islands at the mouth of the river. Where it enters the sea, the river was 180 yards wide and three feet deep. The camp was pitched at night at the fountain 'Ain el-Feshkhah.

Twenty-two days' close examination was expended upon the sea and its shores, i. e. from April 19th to May 10th. We can only advert to a few of the interesting facts. The sea and shores were accurately examined in all directions. The distance in a straight line from the fountain 'Ain el-Feshkhah directly across to the eastern shore was nearly eight statute miles. The soundings gave 696 feet as the greatest depth. Another line was run diagonally from the same point to the S. E. to a chasm, forming the outlet of the hot springs of Callirrhoë. The bottom of the sea was found to be a level plain, extending nearly to each shore, with an average depth of 1020 feet all across. The bottom was blue mud and sand; and a number of rectangular crystals of salt were drawn up, some of them perfect cubes. In a line from the springs of Callirrhoë to 'Ain Turâbah, at a depth of 1044 feet, the temperature of the water was 62°; at the surface immediately above it 76°. From 'Ain Jidy directly across to the mouth of the Arnon, the distance was about nine statute miles, the greatest depth 1128 feet. On the eastern side of Kashim, Usdum (Salt Mountain) one third of the distance from its north extremity, a pillar of solid salt was discovered, capped with carbonate of lime, cylindrical in front and pyramidal behind. The upper or rounded part is about forty feet high, resting on a kind of oval pedestal, from forty to sixty feet above the level of the sea. It crumbles at the top and is one entire mass of crystallization. On the sea the tendency to drowsiness was nearly irresistible. The sensation, amounting almost to stupor, was greatest in the heat of the day, but did not disappear at night. A horse and a donkey, swimming in the sea, turned a little on one side, but did not lose their balance. A muscular man floated nearly breast high, without the least exertion. The Arnon (el-Mojeb) where it flows into the sea, was eighty-two feet wide and four feet deep. It runs through a chasm ninetyseven feet wide, formed by high, perpendicular cliffs of red, brown and yellow sandstone, mixed red and yellow on the southern side, and on the north a soft rich red. The chasm runs up in a direct line 150 yards, then curves gracefully to the S. E. A little north of the entrance of the


Böhringer's Church History.


Arnon, on a beautiful little stream, were twenty-nine date palm trees, Wherever there was a rivulet, lines of green cane, tamarisk and an occasional date-palm marked its course. Zurka Main forms the outlet of the hot springs of Callirrhoë. The stream, twelve feet wide and ten inches deep, rushes with great velocity into the sea. Temperature of the air 77°, of the sea 78°, of the stream 94°. The chasm is 122 feet wide at the mouth and for a mile up. The sides are eighty feet high. Among the plants found on the western shore, between 'Ain el-Feshkhah and 'Ain Jidy, were the lily, the yellow henbane, the lamb's quarter (used in the manufacture of barilla), a species of kale, a single pistachia tree, and many tamarisks in blossom. In sailing round the southern part of the sea, many fatigues were encountered. On one occasion, at 8 P. M., the thermometer was 106°, five feet from the ground. It was more like the blast of a furnace, than living air.


The entire volume, of which this is the closing section, contains 2074 pages. The plan of the work, as indicated by its title, is to give the history of the church in the form of biography. To this plan the author strictly adheres, giving us but little in the form of general remarks, and interspersing these remarks, as the occasions occur, in the lives he portrays.

The plan itself, though not strictly novel, is, we believe new in its application to the entire history of the church. We have had many separate works on the lives and times of distinguished individuals. We have also Cave's Lives of the Christian Fathers of the first three centuries; and likewise his Literary History, containing an extended notice of all the writers for or against Christianity, to the fourteenth century. Such writers also as the two Milners, have infused a vivid interest into their works by their extensive biographical sketches. But in none of these do we find an entire history of the church in the form of biography.

Böhringer, however, does not undertake to give us the lives of even all the great men in the church, but selects from the most distinguished such as had the greatest influence in shaping the life, doctrine, and polity of the church, or the most vividly reflected her image for the time.

This first volume, commencing with the age succeeding the Apostles, extends to the beginning of the seventh century; and embraces the following personages, which we give in their order: Ignatius, Polycarp, Perpetua, Justin, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Irenaeus, Tertullian,

1 Die Kirche Christi und ihre Zengen, oder die Kirchengeschichte in Biographien, durch Friedrich Böhringer. Ersten Bandes vierte und letzte Abtheilung. Zorich. Ss. 426. 8vo.

VOL. VII. No. 26.


Cyprian, Athanasius, Anthony, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzen, Ambrose, Augustine, Chrysostom, Olympia, Leo, and Gregory the Great.

The spaces allotted to the different characters are very unequal. To Augustine, including his doctrines and those of his opponents, 675 pages; to Irenaeus, 166; to Origen, 100; to Perpetua (a martyr in Africa), as a representative of her sex in the first three centuries, 10 pages; to Olympia (a rich widow at Constantinople, about the age of nineteen, devoted her life and fortune to monastic piety, in the fifth century), 9 pages.

History in this form, if even tolerably well executed, cannot fail of possessing an interest for most minds, which it is impossible for even a Neander to infuse into it when presented in the abstract and philosophic form. And from the greater and more sympathetic interest it kindles, it will be all the better remembered and the more efficient by way of example, just as we find the fragments of sacred history. But, from its very nature, it can be neither so complete, nor so well balanced, nor perhaps so impartial. If the best characters be selected, we shall have too favorable a view of the church, if not also of the individuals themselves, the strong sympathies of both writer and reader embarking in the cause of the moral hero before us.

Such, to a large extent, should we think is the case with this history from the portions we have examined. This writer, like Milner, presents to us the fairest aspects of the early church; being also, like him and many others, disposed too implicitly to credit the stories of miracles in periods subsequent to the apostles. He writes, however, like a pious and fairminded man, and as much disposed to benefit the future as to rejoice in the past. Should his work be translated into English, it will be extensively read if it do not prove too voluminous. In research and philosophical acumen, he is not to be compared with Neander or Gieseler. He writes, however, not like a recluse, but like a pious, practical Christian, familiar with the common mind, just as might well be expected from his vocation as the pastor of a country parish in the canton of Zurich. The language and the structure of the sentences, unlike much of the German of the present age, are perfectly simple and lucid.

This volume embraces what the author regards as the period of the "ancient church," closing with the death of Gregory the Great, in 604. The next volume, as he informs us, will embrace the Middle Ages, beginning with the missionaries to Germany.

The author presents very extended analyses of the principal works of the authors whose lives are here given, and consisting extensively of quotations from those works. Hence the vast space allowed to the life of

[ocr errors]


Egyptian Antiquities.

Augustine. The author is particularly minute on matters of doctrine But though the quotations are so numerous, we are never informed of either the page or the volume whence they are taken. The toil of a translator or of a critical reviewer, will of course be greatly increased by this omission; but the mass of readers, for whom the work is chiefly designed, may prefer to have the pages unencumbered by citations, being satisfied with simply knowing from what work a quotation is made.



In Gersdorf's Leipsic Repertorium, No. 7, 1849, there is a review of a number of late works on Egyptian antiquities. The reviewer, Prof. Seyffarth of the university of Leipsic, is a well known writer on hieroglyphics. We condense some notices of these productions from his review. The first is the work of Prof. Lepsius, published in 1848, pp. 240, entitled, “On the Preliminary Conditions for the Origination of a Chronology among the Egyptians, and the Possibility of their Reproduction, as an Introduction to the Chronology of the Egyptians." It may be premised that Seyffarth is no admirer of Lepsius, and his statements are accordingly to be received with some allowance. "The hieroglyphics in Lepsius' book are printed with the text, which is very praiseworthy, so that the reader has no occasion to resort to special tables. They are, yet with many exceptions, well designed and cut." "In the deciphering of the hieroglyphics, the author has made no important advance. At least one half of the hieroglyphic groups, which are copied, whose signification is obvious, remain untranslated, while almost as many more are translated incorrectly; the decipherings which will maintain their place in a future hieroglyphical dictionary are very few." Many instances in proof are then quoted.

J. B. C. Lesueur, "architect of the Hotel de Ville at Paris," published in 1848, a "Chronology of the kings of Egypt," pp. 334, a work which received the prize from the Academy of Inscriptions. He holds the 36,000 years, which Manetho's Sothis embraces, to be solar years, rejects the historical works of the Tablet of Abydos, of Eratosthenes, of the Vetus Chronicon, and builds especially on the original fragment of Manetho found by Seyffarth at Turin in 1826, without understanding it. The astronomical truths connected with many events of Egyptian history, are silently passed by, and so the result is reached that the Egyptian history extends back to B. C. 11,504, that the first king, Menes, reigned 5773 B. C., consequently before the creation, and 2327 before the flood, etc. Had the architect built on firmer ground, his building would have been more durable.

Although the Aegypto-Hebrew chronology of Prof. Hofmann (Letter to Prof. Böckh on the Aegyptian and Israelitish Chronology, 1847, pp. 70) is correct on some points, e. g. in the supposition that the Hyksos and Israelites were not different, that Amosis and Chebron at the beginning of the 18th dynasty embrace the same government, still the whole will satisfy no carefully examining reader, since the author builds on unfounded hypotheses, and passes unused the mathematical truths connected with many historical events. He proceeds on the hypothesis that the sum of the years of most of the Manetho dynasties properly contain the sum of the years of the several preceding dynasties. Thus Menes, though the Abydos Tablet, Eratosthenes and the Old Chronicle place him B. C. 2782, is put down at 2182; the Exodus, though according to astronomical facts and sure biblical notices, it belongs to B. C. 1867, is brought down to the year 1474, and there are reckoned from the Exodus, to the building of Solomon's temple, in spite of the book of Judges and in spite of the genealogies, 480 years instead of 880.


Three of the works noticed are by H. Brugsch, member of one of the gymnasia at Berlin, viz. "Demotic Writing of the Egyptians explained from the papyri and inscriptions, 1848, pp. 70 and three tables;" "Doctrine of Demotic Numbers among the Ancient Egyptians, now first illustrated from the papyri and inscriptions, 1848, pp. 36, with five tables;" and Agreement of a hieroglyphic inscription of Philae with the Greek and Demotic initial text of the Decree of Rosetta, 1849, pp. 19 with one table." In respect to the first of these treatises, the reviewer remarks, "there is so much of the true and the good in the book that no one will mistake the talent and industry of the author. We should not forget, also, that in such difficult palaeographic and linguistic researches, mistakes are unavoidable, and abundantly met with as in all Egyptologists hitherto."


The author, who is professor of theology at Leipsic, published an edition of the Greek Testament in 1841; in 1842, he published three editions in Paris, two dedicated to the archbishop of Paris, and one to M. Guizot. Several of the following years he spent in collating different MSS. He states that he has himself copied or collated almost all the ancient MSS. which are known to exist. He has published the Codex Ephraemi at Paris, the Codex L of the Gospels with B of the Apocalypse and some important fragments, and the Latin Codex Palatinus. The MS. B in the Vatican remains yet without a thorough collation and examination. Tischendorf was permitted to examine some passages, and

« PreviousContinue »