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attaching to these sermons, which enhances their interest in no small degree. If the reader knows nothing of the writer at the start, after having finished the book, he will be possessed of quite a little history of his career.
A very interesting career it has been certainly. The wonder is, that, with the power that could produce these sermons or any thing like them concealed in him, the writer could tarry at his forge so long; that it was not like a fire shut up in his bones, making him so weary of forbearing, that he could not stay. It is pleasant to imagine how he must rejoice in this power, now that he has come into serene possession. May he live to wield it gracefully and courageously for many a growing year!
Some one has said, that there are three sorts of eloquence : first, that which we would like to criticise, but cannot; second, that which we can criticise, but would rather not; third, that which we could not find fault with if we would, and would not if we could. These sermons might be classed under the second head. In their details, at least, they are not above criticism. There are sentences here which have a beginning, but no end; others which have an end, but no beginning; and others still which have neither beginning nor end; while some are labyrinths wherein the reader vainly wishes that he might have one poor comma, dash, or semicolon for a guide. But, in the main, the writer seldom fails to make his meaning plain. And of bits of writing that are fine without trying to be so, there is here no end.
We doubt not that the commentators might sometimes, if they chose, find fault with Mr. Collyer's scriptural interpretations. We can only say, that if these deep and tender meanings are not in the Bible, they ought to be, and let it go at that. Were we in the mood for finding fault with any thing, it would be with one of his renderings of a later scripture, viz., the life of Channing, where, in his sermon to mothers, he infers, from the fact that he attached his first idea of glory to an old black cook, that Channing, in his youth, was somewhat largely animal in his propensities. We can not but think this a false inference. It was not because Channing himself was so fond of good eating, but because the prevailing tendencies of Newport at that time were much in favor of it, that the cook seemed to him glorious. It was a second, not.a first, hand estimate. But the general truth of Mr. Collyer's sermon is not affected by the weakness of this illustration. But the least word of blame with such a book as this seems sadly
out of place. Its faults are as the spots upon the sun. To us, as we have read it, it has made the earth seem fairer with its light : its cheering warmth has put our spirits in a generous glow. We have been helped and strengthened by its every page. We have tried to say what we thought of it. Could we have put what we felt into words, we should have given to the reader a more adequate conception of its worth. Happy the man to whom these sermons these poems rather, for such in very truth they are —
come in his hour of need. They will help him over many of the rough places of his life; and, when we put them on our shelves, it shall not be side by side with other sermons, but Longfellow and Tennyson shall keep them company on either hand.
J. W. C.
We cannot but feel that the study and the work of the last halfcentury have not been in vain, when we find books made for the widest popular circulation, like Mr. Elliott's “ Holy Land," * which at the same time are broad, sensible, and full of the real results of modern criticism and travel. It must be confessed, that a title, which promises so much to a book prepared for wide circulation among all classes of people, recalls at first the memories of the dreary, false, maudlin, commonplace treatises on the Bible, which one has found at distant New Hampshire inns, which made the Bible ten times more obscure by their rabbinical comments, and staggered faith by their horrible, unfounded lies, - treatises from which one turned, to occupy his vacant twenty-three hours, to the undiluted Josephus beneath, with undisguised satisfaction. Any such prejudice, in this case, is quite unfounded. The author has here brought together the work of the writers in Smith's Dictionary, of Stanley, and other of the best travellers; gives us “Meditations" from as good meditators as Dr. Woolsey, Bishop Clark, and Mr. H. W. Beecher; illustrates the book by nothing less than Bartlett's own plates of the Holy Land, with some well-selected ideal pictures: and so has undertaken the noble duty of driving out the mawkish trash of pretended commentary, by the truth itself. The result is a book which will attract the young; will be a good table book in families which have very few books; will throw
* Remarkable Characters and Places of the Holy Land: comprising an account of Patriarchs, Judges, Prophets, Apostles, Women, Warriors, Poets, and Kings; with descriptions of Ancient Cities and Venerated Shrines. By CHARLES W. Elliott, author of the “New-England History," &c. Hartford, Conn.: J. B. Burr & Co., 1867.
light on a great deal of Scripture, which is commonly left quite in the dark; and will set a great many people to reading their Bibles in quite a new way.
This is done in a wholly unpretending way. Mr. Elliott copies boldly from Smith and Stanley their chapters on the geography of the Holy Land and the regions adjacent; from Mr. Dixon, his description of Jerusalem; from Dr. Robinson, his study of the Temple. Dr. Woolsey, Bishop Clark, Dr. Adams, and others, furnish such studies as those on the life of the Patriarchs, of John Baptist, and of St. Paul. Beginning with a certain chronological order, with the Patriarchs, and working down nearly in the order of the canon, the various chapters are wrought into a book sufficiently unique in its plan and arrangement to have a connected interest. Mr. Elliott himself weaves the whole together, and supplies several very curious, speculative chapters, and several of faithful and interesting narrative.
His little essay on the age of the Patriarchs has already engaged the popular attention of our nation of people, who, if not cutting their own throats, are willingly shortening their own lives, by the fast gait at which they travel, and the number of horses they like to ride in that great circus-course in which they engage themselves as competitors. “Did the Patriarchs live to the age of one hundred and eighty?” -“No reason why not,” says Mr. Elliott, virtually. “ Abraham was well, strong, and beautiful. Breathing a pure air, avoiding angry discussions, eating good food, avoiding whiskey, tobacco, tea, coffee, bhang, opium, and all the rest of the stimulants, was never sick, knew not what medicine meant, never heard of a doctor; and it follows that he did live out all his days, not half of them, or a quarter of them, as we do:" and when in the
itself Mr. Elliott considers what “ stimulants” are, he very justly names among them, literature, newspapers, trade, politics, and theology. “There were, therefore, no intense excitements and no exhausting demand upon his brain or nervous system.”
It is a pleasure indeed, and to the highest degree encouraging, to find such books are meeting wide and general circulation.
E. E. H.
In Dr. Bulfinch's very compact and serviceable “ Manual" have an outline of the topics and arguments requiring to be known and which ought to be more familiarly known — by those who
engage in the popular discussion of the “Evidences." * It has, to a remarkable degree, the merit of being clear, concise, and complete in its treatment of the subject. Its brevity makes it unavoidably dogmatic, rather than argumentative, which is unsatisfying to the critic,
its value consisting in its summary of the evidence from a single point of view. We recommend it particularly to those who are disposed to be dogmatists on the other side. As advocating a definite class of opinions, it includes some points critically much weaker than others, — particularly as to the genuineness of the fourth Gospel and the Hebrew prophecies of the Messiah. It would have been possible, without much increasing the bulk, to give a much fairer view of the way the discussion really lies in the mind of the present day. This would have greatly increased its value to an intelligent reader, but would have been inconsistent with its purpose, - of being a convenient text-book, or summary of arguments, on that side only which the writer adopts. And so we find that it has nothing which really interests or helps what we suppose to be the general state of mind among inquirers; namely, a disposition to set aside the whole question of the supernatural, as one on which theologians and critics are hopelessly divided, seeking meanwhile as intelligent a comprehension as may be of the human forces which were really at work in the great historical phenomenon of the development of Christianity, This is the actual problem, as it comes in fact before most minds at the present day; and the manual before us, valuable for other uses, gives us little or nothing to aid in its solution.
WHILE Rabbi Tuska translates for us a few chapters of the great work of Graetz, Rabbi Stobbe, in an original work on the “ Jews of the Middle Age," † acknowledges his large indebtedness to that master in Jewish learning who teaches history to the Jewish students in Breslau. Herr Stobbe is not a brilliant writer. His style has that ponderous dulness which seems inevitable when a German undertakes to arrange and set forth historical details. There is hardly one bright sentence in all of his closely printed three hundred pages. He
* Manual of the Evidences of Christianity, for Classes and Private Reading. By STEPHEN G. BULFINCH, D.D. Boston: William V. Spencer Second edition.
† Die Juden in Deutschland waehrend des Mittelalters in politischer, socialer und rechtlicher Beziehung. Von Otto STOBBE. Braunschweig, 1866. 8vo, pp. xii., 312.
never allows his imagination to color his descriptions, and is especially anxious to avoid overstatement. He tells of horrible persecutions, of burnings, banishments, confiscations, plunderings, all the outrages to which his people were subject in those dreadful centuries, as calmly as a military officer would report his losses in battle. There is not a word of vindictive passion, where passion would be so natural and so pardonable. In this respect he varies from the teacher whom he follows so closely. Graetz, accurate as he means to be in his facts, never forgets that he is a Jew, and takes no pains to conceal his Jewish antipathies.
There is a wonderful abundance of learning in this book of Stobbe, in the text, and still more in the copious notes, which fill nearly half of the volume. He shows us the Jews as vassals and as citizens, - sometimes protected by the kings and dukes, sometimes by the bishops, sometimes by the civil authorities of the aristocratic cities; their different condition and relations in their favorite cities,Mayence, Augsburg, Nuremberg, Ratisbon, Frankfort, Cologne, and Prague ; how protection, in these cities and by the rulers, meant plunder, oppression, enormous taxation, and virtual slavery; how they were despised, scoffed at, abused, and murdered, - sometimes by the mob, sometimes by the solemn sentence of judges and inquisitors; in what narrow limits they were compelled to stay, to what disabilities they were subject, even when they were allowed to live in peace. The imagination of the reader can take these details, and fill up the picture. In this work of Herr Stobbe there is ample material for a score of romances, as exciting as Ivanhoe, or Vivian Grey, or Oliver Twist, or the great romance of Eugene Sue.
The worst times for the Jews in Germany were the times of the Crusades, and the age just preceding the Reformation. The passion against the infidels of the East included the infidels at home, whose money was found convenient in those enterprises of religious conquest and rapine. Those who could not go off to the Syrian land could at least show their zeal in exterminating the hateful race, who were the hereditary enemies of the Lord and his people. A Jew, in those ages, who could save his life and half his goods, had rare good fortune. Of the numerous accusations against the Jews, three were always in place, and had a lease of life as long as the race itself. It was said, that, at the feast of the Passover, they drank the blood of murdered Christian children: that notion still survives in many parts of Europe. It was said, that they caused the plague, by poisoning all the wells of