« НазадПродовжити »
by a review of the conclusive evidence on which the Long Recension is rejected as spurious ; and by a thorough and final criticism of the claims of the Curetonian Letters. Having been persuaded by Zahn's arguments of the probable genuineness of the seven Eusebian letters we are not surprised at the result of these investigations by Bishop Lightfoot; but we suspect that those who have paid the most attention to such researches will be most impressed by his masterly treatment of all the points in dispute, and by the increased strength he has given to the argument. He estimates the force of the external evidence more highly than other critics who accept his conclusions. We cannot but think that they too much depreciate it. But however this may be, the argument from the internal evidence will generally be accepted as conclusive, and it has never before been presented so fully and convincingly. The treatment of the historical, geographical, and other incidental allusions which appear in the letters is particularly fresh and helpful.
The remaining pages of the first volume — upwards of three hundred — are mostly given to the Letters of Polycarp and of the Smyrnaeans. The same comprehensive and exhaustive method of discussion is pursued as in the preceding pages. The relations of the Church and the Empire under Hadrian and the Antonines are considered ; then the manuscripts, versions, quotations, and references; then the question of genuineness ; followed by a minute investigation of the year and day of Polycarp's martyrdom, and of the date of Pionius's. The volume closes with a map tracing the route of Ignatius from Antioch to Rome and illustrative of his Epistles, with an admirable index to the volume, and a few valuable supplementary notes.
The second volume divides into two sections, separately bound but continuously paged. The first section gives, in three hundred and fiftytwo pages, introductions to each of the seven Epistles, a critical text, with copious notes. These notes abound in discussions incidentally important for commentary upon the New Testament. After a full account and critical examination of the different forms of the Acts of Ignatius's Martyrdom, the section ends with translations of the genuine Epistles and of the Antiochian and the Roman Acts.
The second section contains, with translations of the Epistle of Polycarp, of the Letter of the Smyrnaeans and of Pionius's Life of Polycarp, an index of subject matter ; an index of scriptural passages quoted or indicated in the genuine Ignatian Epistles ; the thirteen Greek Epistles of the Long Recension, with the Epistle of Polycarp and the Smyrnaean letter, - all with introductions, critical texts, and notes ; the Syriac letters with translations; an interesting and important Anglo-Latin version containing a translation of twelve letters by Bishop Grosseteste, or his assistants, and four others appended afterwards by an unknown hand ; the prayer of Hero in a Latin and a Coptic version, re-translated into Greek by Bishop Lightfoot; and other matter from Syriac, Arabic, and Coptic sources, the whole forming an invaluable collection of texts and discussions of Ignatian documents.
The character of the genuine letters, the number, purposes, and times of the forged documents, the controversies over them, supply numerous points of contact with the general history of the church, and especially with the history of doctrine and polity, from the apostolic age to the present time. These are fittingly noticed by Dr. Lightfoot, and give occasion for notes and special discussions, stored with information and
acute and sound reasoning. Indeed, the whole work is a masterpiece of historical criticism, exhibiting a marvelous erudition combined with an equally admirable clearness and strength of judgment.
Egbert C. Smyth.
DEFENCE AND CONFIRMATION OF THE FAITH : Six lectures delivered before
the Western Theological Seminary in the year 1885, on the foundation of the Elliot Lectureship. Pp. 201. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.
LECTURE I., by Rev. Dr. Williain M. Taylor, of New York, concerns the argument for Christianity from Messianic prophecy. The argument and its importance are stated in an effective manner. For popular use the argument is not strengthened by Dan. ix. 25 f., because of the difficulty of establishing a terminus a quo.
In Lecture II. President Cutler (whose name, by the way, is wrongly given as Cutter), of Western Reserve College, discusses “the Philosophy of Religion considered as pointing toward a divino Redeemer of men." A good definition of religion is given. The argument is that man is a religious being, that there is a God for man to worship, and that no mere philosophy of religion can satisfactorily deal with the sense of moral defect and guilt in the human soul; hence the need of a divine Redeemer.
Lecture III., by Rev. Dr. Simon McPherson, of Chicago, is on “ Jesus Christ, the unique reconciler of contradictories in thought and character.” The position is rightly taken that the preacher's apologetics should be Christocentric. This apologetic is developed con amore.
In Lecture IV. Rev. Dr. Nathaniel West, of St. Paul, discusses the proof of the resurrection of Christ. He has the warrant of 1 Cor. xv. for assigning the highest importance to this resurrection. The philosophical and psychological presuppositions are presented ; then the historical evidence; lastly the various theories by which skeptics account for the belief in the fact, which has been universal in the church. One feels in reading this that 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25 would be profitable meditation for all polemic and critical writing. On pages 96 and 101 the term “ higher criticism " is used as though nothing were higher criticism except that hostile to revealed religion. Any critical discussion of the contents of the Scriptures as distinguished from the letter is higher criticism, whether it be hostile to revelation or not. The argument is well worth study.
In Lecture V. President Scovell, of Wooster University, shows the connection between Christianity and civilization as exemplified in the individual. At the outset the lecturer is moved to answer Col. Robert Ingersoll according to Prov. xxvi. 5. The lecture as a whole is a dignified answer to the challenge to produce a power which will secure civilization and lift it to higher levels.
Rev. Dr. Henry McCook, of Philadelphia, presents in Lecture VI. an argument for the existence of a designing mind as cause of the world, based on the maternal instinct of insects. Some valuable discriminations are presented.
As a whole this volume is a decided protest against a sensational philosophy. It is adapted to stimulate to correct thinking on the part of non-clerical Christians, for whom the volume was apparently intended. These lectures, especially the second and third, may furnish ministers with valuable suggestions as to method in treating these subjects.
F. B. Denio. THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, BANGOR, ME.
THE PEOPLE'S BIBLE : Discourses upon Holy Scripture. By JOSEPH PARKER,
D.D., Minister of the City Temple, Holborn Viaduct, London. Vol. I.: The Book of Genesis. New York : Funk & Wagnalls, 10 and 12 Dey Street.
It is Dr. Parker's intention to discourse upon the whole of Scripture, the discourses to make up twenty-five volumes. The present volume is marked Volume I., but it is not, as we understand, the first in the order of publication. Three volumes of discourses upon the Gospel by Matthew, entitled “ The Inner Life of Christ,” have already appeared, and also three volumes upon the Acts of the Apostles, entitled “ Apostolic Life." The idea of covering the Bible in some systematic order is evidently fascinating to a mind like Dr. Parker's with its homiletic resources, and the task is by no means an impossible one, as the rate of progress can be made to vary according to the amount of homiletic material. Thus the discourses upon the Book of Genesis occupy but a third of the space given to the Gospel by Matthew or to the Book of the Acts.
Dr. Parker's method of treating Scripture is his own. He is as original in method as in statement. We do not find upon these pages the quaint spirituality of Matthew Henry, nor the fine analysis of Robertson. What we have is a series of bold generalizations. The imagination is Dr. Parker's instrument of interpretation. Words, characters, situations are seized upon and made the theme of striking utterances. His style is not pictorial after the manner of Dr. Guthrie, but of a higher order in its picturesqueness, and it is always terse, vivid, and emphatic. If we had Dr. Parker's ear we should ask him why he deals to such an extent in italics and capitals. Men of ideas can afford to use common type. There is not a sentence in the book before us which has been intensified in print in which the idea could not have been trusted to take care of itself.
So much can be said for the author's intellectual work as revealed in the present volume, in its originality, scope, vigor, and point, that it would be a pleasure to the reader, as well as to the critic, to say more. One is conscious, however, in reading these pages that Dr. Parker is not always doing his best work. Some of the expositions are simply interesting or striking. We have the right to ask more than this from the author of the sermon upon “ The Unknown Quantity in Christ." We are not willing to allow a man of spiritual insight to put us off with intellectual brilliancy. Some of the discourses, too, are unnecessarily fragmentary, The subjects do not receive the completeness of treatment which they deserve. The treatment of a subject may be complete without being exhaustive. We suspect that the pure homiletic instinct is growing upon the author too rapidly even for the good of the sermon. His mind attacks a subject, forces it to yield up its points, and then seems to grow weary of it. We think that more use of the critical and spiritual faculties would help these sermons as sermons.
We are heartily glad that Dr. Parker has set himself to the task before him, for when all has been said in criticism that can fairly be said, it remains true, as remarked by Mr. Spurgeon, that “his track is his own, and the jewels which he lets fall in his progress are from his own caskets ;” this will give a permanent value to his works when the productions of copyists will be forgotten.
Wm. J. Tucker.
THE GREEK ISLANDS AND TURKEY AFTER THE WAR. By HENRY M. FIELD, D. D. New York : Charles Scribner's Sons. 1885.
ONE charm of Dr. Field's books of travel lies in their reality. He always writes heartily and in good faith, never affecting an interest which he does not feel and cannot communicate. And the things which most interest him are such as are of interest to the great majority of his readers. We should all like to visit the places which he has visited and to meet the people whom he has met. The wide social acquaintance of Dr. Field has given him easy access to desirable persons and places. He writes with the knowledge of a gentleman as well as with the information of a traveler.
The route of travel marked out in the present volume is full of sacred and classic associations. One is never off the great pathway of history. Many places reduplicate their interest to the mind of the traveler and offer the boldest contrasts in the thoughts which they waken. Dr. Field allows himself the natural reflections which the different scenes suggest, but he keeps to his narrative without useless moralizing.
In the latter half of the volume Dr. Field recalls the events of the war of 1877, and traces its effect in the reconstruction of the nationalities along the Danube. Two maps giving the political situation before and after the war add very much to the value of the narrative.
We have no desire to expatriate Dr. Field, but we congratulate ourselves upon those growing instincts and widening sympathies which turn his feet toward “less happier lands.”
Wm. J. Tucker.
THE PROPHET OF THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS. BY CHARLES EGBERT CRADDOCK. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1885.
This is in many ways an interesting and remarkable story. It has the charm of freshness in the type of life it delineates, of beauty in its descriptions of natural scenery, and of vigor and subtlety in the presentation of character.
The stories — In the Tennessee Mountains” – by the same authoress had, indeed, made her readers partially acquainted with the phase of human society and manners which the present volume more fully depicts ; but that phase is so remote from the common, and so little hitherto known in literature, that it will be some time yet before the attraction of novelty has disappeared from such men and women and dialect and ways as those of these mountain-dwellers brought before us in Miss Murfree's pictorial narrative.
The main interest of the tale, considered as a development of human experiences, concentrates about the love-story of Dorinda Cayce, and the spiritual struggles and destinies of Hiram Kelsey, the introspective, ignorant, noble, but half-crazed preacher and “ prophet” of the Big Smoky Mountain district. These two lives touch one another at many points ; and at one most critical passage in Dorinda's history the remembrance of the Prophet — absent, imprisoned, wrongly accused — is made the occasion of the catastrophe in her affairs with Rick Tyler, her worthless lover, and so of her own destiny. But the interest attaching to each of them is distinctly separable, and so nearly parallel and equal that some readers will feel that the girl, and some the preacher, is — spite of the title of the book — the central figure.
Dorinda is throughout a distinctly conceived, beautiful and noble character. One wonders, indeed, how so much physical loveliness as is hers could blossom out of such a family-stock as the brutal, whiskey-drinking tribe of the Cayces. It is like the gorgeous flower which bursts forth from the uncouth and savage cactus-hedge, but there is nothing impossible about it. And from the first moment of her apparition, holding the plow-handles on the June morning of the first page of the volume, to the last glimpse of her, brooding over the Prophet's conjectured transit like Elijah to the skies, she is every way a creature of womanliness, purity, and light.
The most beautiful scene in the whole story is doubtless that one in old Groundhog Cayce's cabin where Dorinda and Rick Tyler had their evening interview, beginning with Dorinda's embarrassed sense of the passionate gaze of her long-separated lover which unsteadied the motion of her reel and tangled the yellow yarn, and ending with her opening the door out into the night, with the passionate declaration of the only terms on which the man she had loved could ever enter it again. But the beauty of the scene is all from her. It is her loveliness and womanliness and nobleness which transfigures the rude place, the rough apartment, the coarse surroundings, and lend interest to the generally uninteresting and repulsive person and actions of her brutal lover.
The other chief figure of the story — that of the Prophet — is more ambitious certainly, but hardly so successful in presentation. It is, to be sure, an exceedingly interesting character which is drawn in Hiram Kelsey, with his mingled tenderness and severity, his passions of rage and despondency, his fervors of faith and despair. Indeed, one of the chief attractions of these Tennessee-mountain stories is the vividness with which they depict the power of certain extreme phases of religious doctrine on the rude men and women with whom they deal; making a kind of natural matrix and setting either for such an oily hypocrite as Jake Tobin or for such an enthusiast as Hiram Kelsey.
But all the widely variant moods of Kelsey hardly prepare the way for that catastrophe of his fate which, in a rather bungling and improbable way, makes him a willing substitute in death for Micajah Green, his bitter enemy. The trouble with the act is not, as Mr. Howells says it is, in his reference to it in “ Harper's ” Editor's Study, that it is “romantic.” The world is still romantic enough to admire and reverence self-sacrifice, even to the last possible surrender. But the act seems no very natural outcome and culmination of the Prophet's character. The man who was known through all the Smoky for his power to make his hearers “ see wrath and smell brimstone;" whose "tempestuous fury” at mention of the names of the witnesses against him on his unjust trial terrified even the rough people of the mountains ; and who, the same evening he dies for his implacable foe, prays God to “cut him off " and is claimed by Pete Cayce as one who “fairly de-spised 'Cajah G-G-Green an' r-raged ter git even with him," is hardly the man, however changeable his moods, to illustrate with anything like natural probability the supreme reach of selfsacrifice. But apart froin the strained and unnatural denouement of the Prophet's end, the character of Hiram Kelsey is pathetically and powerfully drawn.
One of the great charms of this author's writing is the beautiful and subtile delineation of the aspects of physical nature amid the scenes of which her actors have their being. Nothing can surpass the frequent