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cases, the Incarnation, Redemption, Salvation, Eternal Judgment? However heedlessly attended, do they not exercise a constant educating, moral, and religious power, which would be lost in their absence? So, in regard to the reading of the Bible and offering the Lord's Prayer in public schools. These exercises may be attended in a more perfunctory manner than is for edification. And yet the child that knows the first verse of the Bible, knows more than all heathen philosophers. And what is impressed upon the most careless mind by the story of the birth, life, miracles, parables, humiliation, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord, is a “truth-power” in the soul infinitely greater than the highest classic or scientific culture without it. Moreover, the continuance or exclusion of the Bible and all religion in the public schools, not merely involves the more or less actual religious teaching; it has a symbolic significance. It is a proclamation to the world of the place which the Bible and Christianity have in the public mind. To withdraw them is to lower the flag of Christianity in the face of our children, and of all mankind. It declares, so far forth, the decline of its ascendency over the public mind. This is just what its foes, infidel and Papal, want, and strive for. It is what the Protestant religious mind of our country will resist.
We do not insist on any particular method of recognizing and asserting morality and Christianity in our public schools. It may vary according to circumstances. It may, where communities are sufficiently united, be more minute; in others where greater divisions exist, less so. In no case is the state to compel the attendance of any child upon religious exercises against the conscientious preference of the parent properly expressed. If parents express the wish, their children may read the Bible in the Douay version, or they may be allowed to keep their children away from the opening religious exercises; or some hour in the week may be specially set apart for the purpose, when parents may or may not send their children, or may commit them to their own chosen religious teachers if convenient, as they may judge right. But what we insist on first and last is, that the Bible, the Lord's Prayer, the recognition and assertion of fundamental moral and religious truth
shall not be prohibited in our public schools on any pretext whatsoever. It is unnecessary to become sponsors for the following extract from a recent defence of Christian education and the Bible in common schools, by the Rev. Dr. Bellows. But when Unitarian preachers write in this way, we think that all concerned may see evidence of the deep earnestness of the Protestant mind of the country, which is sure to be roused, but cannot be trifled with, in this great agitation. We quote it as a sign of the times, not because we adopt all its expressions :
“We cannot concede the equal rights of Catholics with Protestants to regulate our educational system any more than we could allow monarchists to become senators and representatives. They must swear allegiance to the unmonarchal principle of the Constitution to be eligible to office. But the Catholics are deny. ing and seeking to overthrow the political supremacy of the Protestant ideas originally imbedded in our public law. They are contending against the original recognition of the Bible--on which every President and every high officer swears his official oath of allegiance to the Constitution—to be a national book, and at the bottom of our system. And it is a weak and illogical hesitation to resuse to hold the true historic ground and to maintain the original supremacy of the Protestant idea, which is now weakening and imperilling the national fidelity to its public school system, and the national claim that the Bible is the fundamental stone in the temple of American liberty.
"If the Roman Catholics are not content with perfect toleration ; if they look for the countenance and support of the American people as having an equal claim with the Protestant founders of our institutions to regulate its fundamental methods of public education, they are reckoning without their host, and will surely come to grief. They are arousing an opposition, such as American slavery in another form, aroused only after thirty years of smouldering indignation and wrath, but which finally broke out into overwhelming ruin for its insidious and fatal system. We warn our Roman Catholic fellow-citizens of what is in store for them if they continue to press their claim to break up our national system of public schools. They will sooner or later bring on a civil war, in which they and their churches will be swept, as by a whirlwind, from the land. All the liberty they can rightfully ask, they enjoy. But they ask, in another form, the liberty which Utah claims—she wishes to enjoy polygamy, and to have the right to teach it under the American flag. We deny the right; and shall extinguish it in her ruins, if she raises a finger to maintain it."
ART. IX.-NOTICES OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS.
Manual of Historico-Critical Introduction to the Canonical Scriptures of
the Old Testament. By Karl Friedrich Keil. Translated from the
& Co. An Introduction to the Old Testament of the proper character has been greatly needed both for private use and as a manual for theological instruction. And it is surprising that the lack has been so long left unsupplied. Horne, which for a generation maintained its place as the standard, and in fact the only book in'English of any value upon this subject, does not represeut the present advanced state of biblical learning. The reader will turn in vain to its pages for a solution of critical inquiries with which the theological world has been ringing, or for a statement and refutation of those arguments by which the veracity and authenticity of certain parts of Scripture have been so ingeniously and pertinaciously assailed, or for an exhibition of those impregnable defences which learning and piety have constructed from the materials furnished by the most recent researches. The writings of Davidson, with his importations of foreign neology, enlarged in each successive publication, are still less satisfactory. In this dearth of native works of the right sort, Messrs. T. & T. Clark have laid the theological public under great obligations by the translation and publication of Keil's Introduction to the Old Testament, which of all those that have appeared in Germany is best suited to the wants of English readers.
With no affectation of novelty and little pretension to originality, it presents, for the most part clearly and in brief compass, the principal facts and opinions which bear upon the criticism and literary history of the Old Testament as a wbole, or any of its parts. Keil is a sturdy defender of old and well-established views, though candid in stating and honest in refuting opposing arguments. This treatise moreover has the advantage of being done into English by an orthodox Scotch professor, who takes occasion to correct any unguarded expressions which might be to the prejudice of sound opinions (as on p. 435), or to enter his careat in any case of departure from received views, as where Keil, following the lead of Hengstenberg, gives up the Solomonic a ithorship of Ecclesiastes, and assigns it to the period following the exile. The second volume, which completes the work. is promised shortly, and is perhaps already through the press. An Introduction to the New Testament. By Friedrich Bleek. Edited by
Johannes Friedrich Bleek, Pastor. Translated from the Gerinan of
The eminent learning and distinguished abilities of Prof. Bleek make this a work of rare value. And the more so as this was his favorite branch, to which he devoted "many years of faithful toil.” According to the statement of his son, by whom this posthumous publication was edited from his father's notes, "he first lectured upon this subject from four to six hours weekly during the winter of 1822; and he revised and repeated his course of lectures four and twenty times down to the winter of 1858,” in which he died. Unfortunately his views of inspiration are not of the strictest sort, so that lie can speak of it as “unhistorieal and irrational” to “identify God's word and Holy Scripture," though regarding it as his “main task to discern the word of God in Holy Scripture," and approaching this task with devout reverence. Accordingly he does not hesitate to admit that one Evangelist may contradict another in minor and unessential points. But he has no sympathy with the destructive criticism of Strauss or Baur, whom he earnestly opposes. He would not even go as far in his damaging concessions as Neander. He is too serious a seeker after truth to be guilty of flippant trifling with the sacred record, or to pervert it for the sake of aggravating difficulties or multiplying seeming discrepancies. But he has the German vice of preferring the subjective to the objective, and overlooking the distinction between a plausible theory and well-attested facts.
He regards the gospel of John as undoubtedly the production of the beloved Apostle, and accordingly as presenting “a true and historical account of the Lord's life, an account exactly corresponding with the course of events. When therefore, we would draw up a consecutive and chronological exposition of our Lord's history during his public ministry, we cannot hesitate to make St. John's gospel the basis of our plan, even in those points wherein there is a seeming discrepancy between it and the Synoptics, and though the Synoptics all three coincide in their narration." Mark and Luke are also admitted to have been the authors of the second and third gospels; but he decides against Matthew as the author of the first, though the testimony in his favor is equally ancient and unvarying. He says, p. 308, "It takes its stand, so to speak, a stage lower than St. John, but it still ranks side by side with St. Luke; and it still remains a trustworthy and most valuable spring from which Christian faith may draw, and by which it may be strengthened and confirmed. And though we have not the immediate testimony of an Apostle for those facts and aspects of gospel history which are taught us in the Synoptics only, we have for the most of them the concurrent yet individual testimony of three evangelists who all belonged to the apostolic age: and we must thankfully regard this as a special providence of God, while for that portion and aspect of gospel history which are presented to us in St. John, we do not need any further witness than the direct testimony of this Apostle."
But though some of Bleek's conclusions cannot be accepted, and some of the speculations in which he indulges are more than doubtful, the whole discussion is exceedingly instructive, and throws a most welcome light upon the structure, relations, and characteristics of the several gospels. The laborious research of the author, bis vast stores of learning and complete mastery of his subject, coupled with good sense, penetration, and discriminating judgment, make it both profitable and delightful to prosecute these studies with such assistance. But the reader must be careful to preserve his own independence of thought, and to scrutinize results before accepting them, mindful of the apostolic maxim: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
Practical Expositions of the whole books of Ruth and Esther : with three
ser mons on the duties of parents to their children. By George Law. son, D.D., Minister of the Associate Congregation, Selkirk, and Professor of Theology of the Associate Synod of Scotland. With a Memoir of his Life and Writings. 1870. 8vo, pp. 400. Phila
delphia: William S. Rentoul. Dr. awson was one of the Scotch divin of the last century, who was especially mighty in the Scriptures. It is related of him, as of John Brown, of Haddington, whom he succeeded in the chair of theology, that he could repeat the entire Bible from memory, with the exception of certain passages containing merely proper names. It is said to have been his daily habit to commit a portion of the Scriptures in the original. He also lectured through the Bible from beginning to end, iu the course of his ministry. The lectures contained in this volume are plain, practical, and judicious, with no parade of learning or attempt at profundity. They are good specimens of that expository style of preaching once so familiar to the Scottish pulpit, which more than any other trains the people to an accurate acquaintance with the word of God. A German Course, adapted to use in Colleges, High Schools, and Acade
mies. By George F. Comfort, A. M., Professor of Modern Languages and Æsthetics in Alleghany College, Meadville, Pa. 1870. 12mo,
pp. 498. New York: Harper & Brothers. This course consists of four parts. The first contains practical lessons for learning to read, write, and speak the German language. The second contains familiar conversations in German and English, models of letters, and forms of business, and selections from German literature. The third consists of a compend of German Grammar, preceded by a brief discussion of the history, characteristics, and dialects of the language. The fourth contaius vocabularies and several valuable tables. The whole has been prepared with great care and evi. dept skill by an accomplished scholar who has enjoyed abundant opportunities both for gaining a thorough knowledge of the language and for becoming acquainted with the best methods of teaching. We learn that it has already been adopted in several institutions, and have no doubt that it will commend itself to general favor.
Classical Study: its Value illustrated by extracts from the writings of
eminent scholars. Edited, with an Introduction, by Samuel H. Taylor, LL. D. Pp. xxxv., 381, 12mo. Andover: Warren F. Draper.
1870. If there is any people on the face of the earth likely to be prejudiced against Classical Study, it is the busy, impatient American people. Nowhere else is there such a field for the busy," practical" activities of men; nowhere else the temptation so great to strive for the quick, even if precarious, attainment of the prizes for which men struggle ; nowhere else is the popular sympathy so quickly enlisted in behalf of native vigor, boldness, with a dash of unscrupulousness, and without a dash of delicacy or refinement; nowhere else have a self-made" men grasped the highest honors of social and public life. And it is our prerogative be an original people, forsaking beaten paths, repudiating ancient or common methods, creating new types of culture, and reading and illustrating them in our own way.