Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Morus and the works on Scripture-Interpretation of Seiler, Keil, and Beck, partly from the pen of Mr. Stuart himself, and partly, (in a London republication of 1827,) from that of the English editor, Dr. Ebenezer Henderson. For the reason just mentioned, we are unable to form any estimate of Mr. Terrot's translation, as compared with Mr. Stuart's. There is abundant room for a useful diversity of plan and topics, in whatever illustrations Mr. Terrot has added, or may propose for the remaining part, which is announced to form a future volume of the “ Biblical Cabinet.” We have been informed, that his plan is to include all the Notes of Von Ammon, with subjoined observations of his own, for which he will find no small reason. The Editor of this interesting collection, which will be as valuable for its internal excellence as it is beautiful in its external form and its typography, is Dr. John Brown, of Edinburgh; a minister beloved and revered for his own attainments, talents, and personal religion, as well as for the hereditary representation of his devoted father and his grandfather, the holy and indefatigable divine of Haddington.

Sensere quid mens rite, quid indoles
Nutrita faustis sub penetralibus
Posset ; quid Augusti paternus
In

pueros animus Nerones.

Fortes creantur fortibus et bonis.' The Treatises contained in the present volume, and now first given in an English dress, are:

I. Pfannkuche on the vernacular Language of Palestine, in the Age of Christ and the Apostles ; translated by T. G. Repp. This was originally published, more than thirty years ago, in Eichhorn's "Universal Library of Biblical Literature.” The student will not have satisfied himself on this subject, without attentively considering the arguments advanced by Hug in his “ Introduction to the New Testament,” (Vol. II. Sect. X.,) with a view to prove that Greek was so commonly spoken in the cities of Palestine, during the period under consideration, that it was nearly, if not quite, of coequal currency with the Aramaic; tha this was the proximate reason why the New Testament was written in Greek; that the original of St. Matthew's Gospel is the Greek which we possess; and that the discourses of our Lord were very often delivered by him in Greek. It should also not be forgotten that a similar set of positions was maintained by the late Dr. John Jones, a man whom we cannot remember without respect and sorrow, and who, with all his eccentricities and unhappinesses, frequently manifested great sagacity on philological questions. The Section of Hug, to which we have referred, is republished from Dr. Wait's translation, very much improved, in No. IV. of Professor Robinson's “ Biblical Repository;" a

be

work which is an honour to America, such as may well make the mother-country feel ashamed and humbled.

II. Planck on the True Nature and Genius of the Diction of the New Testament; translated by A. S. Patterson, who is, if we mistake not, a nephew of Dr. Brown.

III. Hints on the importance of the study of the Old Testament; by Dr. Tholuck; translated by R. B. Patton. Every thing of Tholuck's is interesting and instructive. He is a man of exquisite learning, classical, biblical, and oriental; of powerful mind, of that genius and poetical tact without which no man is qualified to enter into the spirit of the sublimest parts of the Bible ; and, above all, a man of warm and vital piety. The Editor and his associates will confer a distinguished value upon the Biblical Cabinet, by bringing into it as much as they may able of Tholuck's various productions, both his separate works and the chief papers in his (Anzeiger, &c.) “ Literary Indicator for Christian Theology and Science in general,”—a periodical work which he publishes every five days.

IV. Remarks on the Interpretation of the Tropical Language of the New Testament, by Dr. Beckhaus; translated by Mr. Perrot. This is a very useful and indeed necessary appendage to Ernesti's chapter on Tropical Language.

Our wishes are justly called forth, and our recommendation is cordially given, that this new contribution to the science of Biblical Criticism and Interpretation may be received by the public as it deserves ; and that will be, with warm approbation and extensive support.

We are happy to see announced, for early publication in a subsequent volume, the inestimable work of the younger Tittmann, (who died December 30, 1831, at the age of 57,) on “ The Synonyms of the New Testament;" translated by the Rev. Edward Craig, one of the Ministers of the Episcopal Church in Edinburgh. We assure ourselves that the small but important Supplement, published since the Author's death, will not be omitted. Brief editorial notices of the lives and writings of the authors brought forward, would be a welcome addition to the plan of the “ Biblical Cabinet.”

Art. III. An Exposition of the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians.

By the Right Rev. John Davenant, D.D. Lord Bishop of Salisbury ; President of Queen's College, and Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity in Cambridge: originally delivered, in a series of Lectures, before the University. Translated from the Original Latin; with a Life of the Author, and Notes illustrative of the Writers and Authorities referred to in the Work. By Josiah Allport, Minister of St. James's, Birmingham. To the whole is

added, a Translation of Dissertatio De Morte Christi, by the same Prelate. In 2 vols. 8vo. pp. Ixiv. 1148. Price 1l. 8s. London,

1832. WE apprehend that comparatively few of our readers know

much of Bishop Davenant. Few, perhaps, are more than slightly acquainted with his history; and fewer still may have looked into his writings. A short sketch of the one, and some brief account of the other, may, therefore, be an acceptable as well as appropriate introduction to the remarks we intend to offer on those works which are included in the present publication, as well as on the manner in which his present Biographer and Translator has achieved his task.

Bishop Davenant belonged to the third generation of English prelates from the Reformation: he was, ecclesiastically speaking, amongst the grandchildren of the Reformers. He may justly be ranked, therefore, though not amongst the fathers of the English Church, yet, amongst her most venerable names.

He was born in 1572, in Watling Street, London. His family boasted of not only an ancient, but a highly respectable pedigree. His father was an eminent merchant. Of his earlier years little is known, except that he even then gave indications of that candour, frankness, and integrity which afterwards so highly distinguished him. In 1587, when no more than fifteen, he was admitted of Queen's College, Cambridge ; and he took his degree of A.M. in 1594. In the same year, he was offered a fellowship; but his father, nobly unwilling that his son should appropriate the public revenues of literature while an expectant of a large fortune, would not permit him to accept it. Long afterwards, when president of the college, Davenant had the magnanimity to follow his father's example. He voted against one of his cousin's receiving a fellowship, softening his opposition by saying, “ Cousin, I will shew your father that you have worth, but not wants enough to belong to our Society.” In 1597, however, he was himself elected fellow against his will. In 1601, he obtained the degree of B.D. ; in 1609, that of D.D.; and at the same time was elected, against seven competitors, Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity. At the same time, Archbishop Abbot presented him with the rectory of Cottenham, in Cambridgeshire. In those public disputations which, in conformity with the spirit of the

age, then took place, Davenant was more than once chosen moderator; an honour which was at once a testimony to his learning and a compliment to his temper. In 1614, he was chosen president of his College. Four years afterwards, he was appointed by James I. one of the representatives of the Church of England at the celebrated Synod of Dort. Four others were associated with him; George Carleton, Bishop of Llandaff; Hall, then Dean of Worcester; S. Ward, Master of Sydney College,

Cambridge; and Walter Balcanqual, a presbyter of the Scottish Church.

Into the history of this Council, it would be irrelevant to our present purpose to enter. It is but justice, however, to the Editor and Translator of these works of Davenant, to remark, that, in the biographical account of the Prelate's life which he has prefixed to them, the reader will find a short history of the Synod of Dort, written with great clearness, ability, and moderation. Though himself a Calvinist, Mr. Allport does not hesitate to denounce both the constitution of the Council and the manner in which its proceedings were conducted. The Remonstrants (that is, as our readers are aware, the Arminian party) were summoned, he justly remarks, not to be heard, but to be * condemned ; and this was scarcely attempted to be con

cealed. The Council consisted of those alone whose views were

well known. The Council was, in fact, a packed jury, who had already prejudged the cause, and resolved upon their decision. While admitting with exemplary candour the overbearing and unjust character of the Synod of Dort, the Editor has, at the same time, volunteered an able vindication of its proceedings from those calumnious attacks which have repeatedly been made by its theological adversaries. The arbitrary and unfair consti, tution of the assembly, both facilitated and provoked misrepresentation and slander. Some of these malignant aspersions, Mr. Allport traces with great acuteness to their source; and he exposes the uncandid manner in which the enemies of Calvinism have reiterated them, either in a criminal defiance of known truth or in a scarcely less criminal neglect of the means of ascertaining what was the truth. They have for the most part originated in a wilfully mutilated copy of the decrees of the Council, purporting to be above all things a favourable abridgement' of them, pub. lished by a Remonstrant named Daniel Tilenus, who took this dishonest mode of avenging his own and his party's wrongs. Our readers will find some very curious statements on this subject at pp. xviii., xix., XX., of the “Life”;—statements highly illustrative of the dishonesty of theological animosity, of the blind eagerness with which men take up whatsoever makes for their own cause, and of the reluctance with which they surrender it. They also place in a very fair light, the honesty, impartiality, and diligence of the Editor.

Of Davenant's conduct at Dort, suffice it to say, that he and his colleagues displayed so much ability, learning, and temper, that they greatly facilitated the proceedings of the council, and received the thanks of its members at its termination. Throughout the whole of its discussions, they manifested a jealous regard to the interests of the Church of England, and stubbornly refused to give even an apparent assent to any thing which seemed to

contravene her doctrines or her discipline. So far did they carry this, that, in many instances, there was great reason to fear that their pertinacity would lead to their suddenly withdrawing themselves from the council altogether. But such was the respect in which they were held, that strenuous efforts were uniformly made to accommodate differences, and always with success.

Yet, notwithstanding this scrupulous, and, in our opinion, sometimes ludicrous vigilance, they were, when they returned home, accused by some enemies to Calvinism, of having compromised the dignity of the Church of England! Their reply was, of course, abundantly triumphant.

In 1621, Davenant was nominated to the see of Salisbury. His consecration was delayed, as well as that of some other bishops-elect, by an unhappy accident which happened to Archbishop Abbot.

* As he was using a cross-bow in Lord Zouch's park, he accidentally shot the keeper. Four Bishops-elect were then waiting for consecration. Of these, Williams, elect of Lincoln, who, as Heylin says, had an eye to the Primacy in case it had been declared vacant; and Laud, elect of St. David's, who had a personal hatred to Abbot ; stated an insuperable aversion to being consecrated by a man whose hands were stained with blood. Davenant did not join in this unworthy cavil; but kept altogether aloof, lest he should be thought to act from private feelings of obligation to the afflicted Primate: but despising the groundless objection of those who, from motives of personal pique and ambition, were willing to give up their own high views of the indelibility of the Episcopal character, and act upon the principle that it became vitiated and abortive in its operations, by an accident which, as the King justly remarked, might have happened to an angel. The rest, however, made so much of their scruples, that a commission was at length granted to the Bishop of London and four others, to discharge the Archiepiscopal function in this case: and by these, Williams was consecrated on Nov. 11; and Davenant, Laud, and Cary of Exeter, on Nov. 18.' Vol. I.

pp.

xxxi-xxxii. This was exactly like Laud; a man who knew as well as any frivolous ceremonialist who ever lived, how to strain out a gnat and swallow a camel, and who knew too how to make all his scrupulosity subserve the purposes of his ambition.

In this dignified situation, Davenant, it is universally admitted, conducted himself with singular discretion, blamelessness, and integrity. Of this, his Biographer remarks, it would not be easy to find a testimony stronger than that of the Lord Keeper Williams, who, upon resigning the Great Seal, and retiring to the more congenial duties of the see of Lincoln, avowedly adopted Davenant as his model. For several very interesting anecdotes, strongly characteristic of the elevated principle and purity of character which distinguished him, we refer our readers to Mr. Allport's memoir. Davenant died in 1641, at the age of 71.

« ElőzőTovább »