Page images

illustrated it from many points of view, and has made it the vitalizing principle of the whole subject. Perhaps we should be justified in saying that it became somewhat of a hobby with him, and led him to press certain points too far. Still, all his works are eminently worthy of study. The treatise before us will not supercede more formal and systematic works. It will be particularly serviceable, as Prof. Shedd suggests, to teachers. It will furnish them with invaluable hints and ideas which may be widely illustrated and strikingly enforced. Advanced students, also, will find it well worthy of perusal. The adoption of its leading ideas would ennoble the art of rhetoric into a science, the practice of speaking into a virtue, and would clothe the whole subject in our schools and colleges with a fresh and vital interest.


Mr. Merrick resided eleven years as a missionary in Persia, and became familiar with the Persian language and literature. This translation was made in Persia, and was sent to London, and submitted to Sir Gore Ouseley, formerly President of the Royal Asiatic Society, and British Ambassador at the Persian court. Sir Gore spoke in the highest terms (we have read his note) of the work, and expressed his regret that the funds of the Asiatic Society did not admit of its publication. The translation has also been examined by two committees of the American Oriental Society, both of whom expressed their strong desire that it might be published. The funds of that Society, unhappily, not admitting of the outlay, an enterprizing Boston firm, at the suggestion and encouragement of a member of the Society, have at length accomplished what the two Societies were not able to effect. The publication will be attended with several important advantages. It will enable us better to understand the Persian character, literature, modes of thought and feeling, etc. We shall be better able to approach the Persians. In this light, idle fancies, ridiculous stories, amatory songs, have their value. The missionary cannot well convey the lessons of occidental science or of Christianity without becoming familiar with the exact methods of native thought, of oriental imagery and storytelling. In this view, Mr. Merrick and his publishers have rendered a great service to the men who shall hereafter carry the lights of learning and Christianity to Persia. Again, the work is of much value to the oriental student. It opens a new field of research. The information communicated may not be of much positive value. Not a little may consist of the veriest dreaming, yet it affords to the reflecting mind materials of

The Life and Religion of Mohammed, as contained in the Sheeah Traditions of the Hyât-Ul-Kuloob. Translated from the Persian. By Rev. James L. Merrick. Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co. 1850. pp. 483.


Stuart on Daniel.


valuable speculation and inquiry, though the moral impression may be very melancholy. We have here, thirdly, not Prideaux or Maracchi on Mohammed, but the view which the great eastern division of his devotees entertain of his life and character. The original work consists of three quarto volumes, the first relating to the prophets and times before Mohammed, the third, which is incomplete, being on the Imâmite, or the establishment of religious guides after him, while the second of 894 pages, which Mr. Merrick has translated, contains a full Sheeah view of his life and religion, with sketches of his ancestors, companions and times, together with oriental maxims and legends. We heartily commend the work to all who feel an interest in the East, or in foreign missions, or in human nature in one of its most important modifications, or who rejoice with great joy in the inestimable gift of a true Revelation from Heaven. How infinite the contrast between that and the Koran or the Hyat-Ul-Kuloob!


The book of Daniel is one of the most instructive in the Old Testament on various accounts. It is an historical treasure. It purports to be the testimony of a resident, an eye-witness for many years of what he. narrates, not the reports of a foreigner, or of a casual visitor. Instead, therefore, of making Xenophon or Herodotus the standard, literary justice would require us to try their statements by Daniel. If there are discrepancies, the fault is not to be charged upon him, but upon them. The incidental notices which he gives of Babylonian manners and customs coincide with all which we can learn of the subject elsewhere. Again, part of the book is written in the Chaldee dialect. It is a precious and authentic relic of the language of one of the world-monarchies. It is invaluable as one of the sources of the history and comparison of the Semitic dialects. Furthermore, the history furnishes us with some of the noblest specimens of heroic fortitude and unshaken confidence in Godthe great prototypes of the Christian sufferers in all subsequent ages. The Messianic prophecies of Daniel are among the most important in the Old Testament. They have a character of their own, definite, earnest, sublime, as though the seer was standing on the very threshold of the Advent. Finally, the prophecy is the Apocalypse of the old dispensation, the kernel, the "germinant principle," the suggestive ground-work of the Revelation of John. The last pages of the New Testament are the sublime and inspired comment of what Daniel and Ezekiel and Zechariah saw in symbols and in dim visions.

A Commentary on the Book of Daniel. By Moses Stuart, lately Professor of Sacred Literature in the Theol. Sem., Andover. 1 vol. 8vo. pp. 496. Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1850.

Interesting, however, as the book of Daniel is, yet little of a fundamental character has been written upon it, so far as we know, in any language. In Latin, we have the commentaries of Rosenmüller and Maurer, quite valuable in some respects, but failing to grapple with the great questions of the book. In German, Lengerke of Königsberg has mustered all the resources of skepticism, and has assailed the book with the utmost pertinacity and with a great array of learning. Hengstenberg and Hävernick have written on the book with distinguished ability and in an excellent spirit. Many commentaries have been written in England, which contain valuable practical matters, particularly on the historical parts of the book. But want of acquaintance with the original languages of Daniel, ignorance or misapprehension of the true principles of biblical criticism, or adherence to some worthless theories of the interpretation of prophecy, essentially vitiate these commentaries. Little confidence can be placed in a commentator on such a book, who is not thoroughly versed in Hebrew and Chaldee. How can it be otherwise? Very important points turn on the interpretation of single words, or on constructions where a nice and critical knowledge of the principles of grammar is indispensable. E. g. examine ch. 9: 25.

Of the commentary of Prof. Stuart, 372 pages are taken up with an extended, critical commentary, verse by verse, with several excursus or essays on difficult points. The remainder of the volume, 124 pages, exhibits a Critical History and Defence of the Book of Daniel, under the heads of personal history of Daniel, nature and design of the book, style and aesthetical character, language and idiom, unity of authorship, genuineness and authenticity, ancient versions and apocryphal additions. All these questions are despatched in a very few pages, except the genuineness and authenticity, which are elaborately discussed, especially in relation to the objections of Lengerke. A marked feature of the book is the grammatical analysis of the Chaldee portions, with copious references to Prof. Hackett's Translation of Winer's Grammar. The true student of the Scriptures will welcome this volume as a guide in the investigation of a most difficult and interesting portion of the word of God, as a storehouse of facts, critical remarks, and illustrations. The substance of the volume was in readiness for the press several years ago, and is the fruit of many years of study on the book and on kindred topics. We may hereafter refer more particularly to this volume.


Miscellanies, Literary and Theological.




In the last two Numbers of this Journal, pp. 173-191 and 402-7, we communicated some information in regard to the Public Libraries and some of the principal private libraries in New England. We have since received a Catalogue of the Redwood Library in Newport, R. I. This library owed its origin to a literary and philosophical society established in Newport in 1730. One of the founders was Bp. Berkeley, who resided in Rhode Island from Jan. 1729 to Sept. 1731. In 1747, Abraham Redwood gave £500 for the purchase of books. For the erection of a building, £5000 were subscribed. Dr. Ezra Stiles was one of the principal benefactors of the library. The present number of volumes is 5,500. For the last ten years, about 200 vols. a year have been added. Its means are a tax of $2 each annually on its 100 members. It has some rare and costly works. Augustus Bush, librarian. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions have a very good library of more than 4,000 volumes and some valuable MSS., at the Missionary House in Pemberton Square, Boston. In works relating to missions to the heathen, it is quite rich. It has also a fine collection of Bible Translations, in various languages, books of travels, voyages, etc., and a large collection of curiosities, etc., from all parts of the world. We may also add that there is a good library of several thousand volumes in Salem, Mass. On p. 404, we put the number of books in the libraries at Williams College at 10,434; it should be 11,434. On p. 406, the number of books in the libraries in Maine should be 44,500. The sum total of books in the New England public libraries is, accordingly, 473,067. A translation, by Dr. Murdock, of the celebrated work of Mosheim, "De Rebus Christianorum ante Constantinum Magnum Commentarii," is about to be published at New Haven, in 2 vols. It is a work of standard character and of great and permanent value.

[ocr errors]

A new edition of the Orations and Addresses of Mr. Edward Everett will soon be published. Mr. E. has in preparation a work on International Law.

A new Number of the Journal of the American Oriental Society will soon be published. A large number of valuable papers are on hand, communicated by foreign missionaries and others. A second edition of the first number of the first volume, which has been for some time out of print, will be published.

We have received from the author, Dr. Caspari of the University of Christiania in Norway, an essay "on the Syrian-Ephraimitic War under Jotham and Ahaz, a Contribution to the History of Israel in the Assyrian Period, and to the question in respect to the Trustworthiness of the Chronicles, and to the Plan of Isaiah." It is an octavo pamphlet of 103 pages, is full of learning, and is, in part, devoted to the defence of some muchabused passages of Scripture.

[ocr errors]

The third Number for 1850, of the "Theological Studies and Criticisms,” edited by Drs. Ullmann and Umbreit of Heidelberg, contain the following articles: Recollections of Dr. De Wette by Dr. F. Lücke; on some new Contributions to the Jewish History from Greek Historians by Dr. Frederic Creuzer; a Continuation of an Essay by Dr. Schweizer of Zurich, on the Development of the Moral System in the Reformed Church; Observations on the Address of the Apostle Paul at Athens, by F. W. Laufs, pastor at Waldmiel; Additions to the Exegetico-Critical Gleanings' from the Old Testament, by Dr. F. Böttcher of Dresden; Appendix to the Review of Dr. Bahr's Temple of Solomon, by Pastor Merz of Halle in Suabia; A Relation [by an eye-witness] of what took place at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, communicated by Dr. Möller of Gotha; a Review, by Bähring of Freinsheim in the Palatinate, of Malou's Work on the Author of the Book "De Imitatione Christi ;" and an Essay on the Character of the German Reformed Church and the Relation of the same to Lutheranism and Calvinism, by Dr. H. Heppe, privat-docent at Marburg. The Recollections of De Wette, by Lücke, we have read with deep interest, and shall probably present a translation of them in our next Number. The two friends lived in habits of special intimacy, several years, at Berlin. Though they were afterwards widely separated from each other, and by no means agreed in religious opinions, yet this warm, personal friendship was never interrupted. Dr. Daniel Schenkel of Schaffhausen, the pupil and now the successor of De Wette, has published a Memorial of his deceased friend, and of the Value of his Theology for our Times, in 111 pages. The Address of Dr. Hagenbach of Basle, at the funeral of De Wette, is also published.

The second vol. of Hengstenberg on the Apocalypse will appear in the course of the present year. The title is: "Offenbarung des heiligen Johannes für solche, die in der Schrift forschen erläutert."

Ten parts of Meyer's Critico-Exegetical Commentary of the New Testament have appeared. The pressure of the duties of his office and the necessity of preparing new editions of the earlier parts, have compelled him to call in the aid of two younger theologians, Prof. Huther of Schwerin and Dr. Lünemann of Göttingen. A Commentary by the latter on the

« PreviousContinue »