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white race. Their language is of the Semitic family. Many other interesting facts of this nature are enumerated. Though the origin of the black race is involved in mystery, yet there are sufficient facts collected to prove the possibility of its having arisen from another, particularly, if in addition to the action of heat, we admit that of moral causes acting on the physical organization.
The fifth lecture opens with some remarks on the science of medicine, which has been applied in Germany to the denial of our Saviour's resurrection. Richter, Eschenbach, the Gruners, and other eminent physicians have vindicated, on medical grounds, the reality of our Saviour's death, and consequently the truth of his resurrection. The younger Gruner goes minutely into all the circumstances of the passion, examining them as objects of medical jurisprudence. He shows the great probability that the wound of the soldier's lance must have been inflicted on the left side, and from below transversely upwards. He demonstrates that such a stroke, inflicted by the robust arm of a Roman soldier, with a short lance, for the cross was not raised much from the ground, must, in any hypothesis, have been necessarily fatal.
In the remainder of the lecture, Dr. W. takes up the science of geology. He remarks first on the system of Penn, Fairholme, Croly, etc., professedly framed to defend Scripture; secondly, on the systems of Buffon, and others, hostile to the Scripture narratives, and thirdly, on the purely scientific researches. The author agrees with Buckland and others that an indefinite period existed between the creation of the chaotic matter, and the arrangement of it as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis : “ The words of the text do not merely express a momentary pause between the first fiat of creation, and the production of light; for the participial form of the verb, whereby the Spirit of God, the creative energy, is represented as brooding over the abyss, and communicating to it the productive virtue, naturally expresses a continuous, not a passing action.”
In the sixth lecture, the author considers the second point of contact between geology and the Scripture -- the Deluge. He examines the geological proofs of the existence of the deluge denudation of valleys, erratic block groupe, appearance of the Alps, animal remains ; also the date of the deluge – general impression produced from observation of facts - Deluc's chronometers, deltas of rivers, progress of dunes. In both the
fifth and sixth lectures, Dr. W. takes special pains to vindicate the leading geologists of the present day from the charge of indifference or hostility to the Bible.
Some learned infidels have condemned the sacred records because they do not agree in chronological matters with the Indian Vedas, with the Egyptian list of kings, with the astronomy of the Indians, and other oriental nations, etc. To the elucidation of this subject, the author devotes the seventh and eighth lec
Instead of the 6000 years before Alexander, attributed by some writers as the date of the origin of the Hindoos, or the millions of years deduced from the fables of the Brahmins, we have the age of Abraham as the earliest historical epoch of an organized community in India. Col. Tod seems to have proved an early connection between the tribes that yet occupy Scandinavia, and those which still hold sway in India. All the Mohammedan kingdoms have no early history except what they borrow from Moses. The same is the fact with the Georgians and the Armenians. Klaproth denies the existence of historical certainty in the empire of China, earlier than 782 B. C. Abel Rémusat allows it to reach back 2200 B. C.* The Japanese are but the copiers of the Chinese.
In the eighth lecture, the historical monuments of the Egyptians are considered. The labors of Rosellini and others have shown an extraordinary coincidence between the facts related in the history of Joseph, and the state of Egypt at the period when he and his family entered it. The chronology adopted by Rosellini makes the exodus of the Israelites coincide with the last year of the last Pharaoh of the Shepherd Kings. To the period of the sway of that race, while the Israelites were slaves, belong the magnificent edifices of Luxor, Karnak, and Medinet-Abu. Rosellini places the 5th of Rehoboam's reign, when Shishak conquered Jerusalem, 971 B. C. On the monuments, we find that Sheshonk began his reign precisely at the same period. Other remarkable coincidences we need not adduce. To the great zodiac of Esneh, Burckhardt gave the frightful antiquity of 7000 years; and to that of Denderah 4000. But M. Letronne, has demonstrated by a great mass of evidence the modern and nearly contemporary dates of all the zodiacs. Most
* “Even in the records of China, under all the rubbish in which they are buried, we observe a resemblance to the details of the Mosaic revelation.”—Chinese Repos. II. 77.
of them probably belong to the age of Augustus Caesar, when astrological notions were much in vogue.
The ninth lecture is on the subject of archaeology, including medals, inscriptions, and monuments. Medals, or the science of numismatics, has removed an apparent discrepancy between the narratives in Gen. 33: 19, and Acts 7: 16, relating to the purchase of a field by Jacob. It has cleared up some difficulties in the two books of the Maccabees. Ancient inscriptions have furnished many verbal illustrations of obscure passages of Scripture. For instance, an inscription on Memnon's statue proves that tis Baoilixos, John 4: 46, should be rendered courtier, rather than nobleman or ruler. Inscriptions also clearly prove the cruelty of the persecutions practised against the first Christians, and the great number of martyrs. Monuments, or commemorative symbols, are of still greater value. The authority of Moses, for instance, has been often questioned, because he states that there were in Egypt grapes and vineyards, and that, perhaps, wine was used there. Herodotus expressly tells us, that there were no vineyards in Egypt. Plutarch says that the Egyptians abhorred wine. But on the monuments of Egypt, brought to light by the great French expedition, we find minute representations of the vintage in all its parts, from the dressing of the vine to the drawing off of its wine.
The tenth lecture is on critical science and sacred philology. The influence of these studies on the christian evidences is very great. As to its particular application, much may be gained or lost by a word or syllable. See Ps. 22: 16. 1 John 5: 7. 1 Tim. 3: 16. Their most important office is, however, to furnish us the means of deciding how far the text of Scripture, as we now possess it, is free from essential alterations and corruptions. Critical science has not only overthrown every objection drawn from documents already in our possession, but has given us full security against any that may yet be discovered. Serious doubts have been, for instance, expressed in regard to the genuineness of the eleven last verses of Mark, and of Luke 22: 43–45. Critical research has completely placed these two passages on a level with every other part of the New Testament. The author proceeds to remark on the cheering results derived from the studies of Hebrew Grammar, Hermeneutics, etc. Of Hengstenberg's Christology he says: “The doctrine of a suffering Messiah, and of Christ's divinity, as foretold in the Old Testament, are admirably expounded; all that rabbins and fathers,
oriental and classical writers, can contribute, is lucidly and effectively brought together; the objections of adversaries are skilfully solved or removed, and a great felicity and tact is exhibited in unravelling the sense of obscure phraseology."
In the eleventh lecture, Dr. Wiseman takes up profane oriental studies, under the three heads of illustrations of particular passages of Scripture, the philosophy of Asia, and historical researches. In Gen. 44: 5, 15, mention is made of a cup in which Pharaoh was wont to divine. “Who," exclaims Houbigant, "ever heard of auguries taken by the agency of a cup?" In Norden's Travels, Baram Cashef tells the travellers that he had consulted his cup, and discovered that they were spies, who had come to find out how the land might best be invaded and subdued. By the Egyptian discoveries, the controversy respecting Zoan, and No-Ammon has been cleared up. Such expressions in the New Testament as light and darkness, the flesh and the spirit, the representation of the body as the vessel or the tabernacle of the soul, etc. have been found to belong to the oriental philosophy, and have thus lost the obscurity with which they used to be reproached. Gnosticism has thrown light on some passages in the first chapter of John's gospel. Other interesting illustrations of Scripture are found in the history of the Samaritans, Babylonians, in the philosophy of the Persians, Hindoos, etc.
The concluding lecture sums up the results of the preceding eleven. Some remarks are made on the character of the confirmatory evidence obtained through the entire course, arising from the variety of tests to which the truth of religion has been submitted. Confirmation also is derived from the nature of the facts examined, and of the authorities employed. Religion is deeply interested in the progress of every science, notwithstanding the fears of timid Christians, and the hopes of infidels. It is the duty of clergymen, and of private Christians, according to their ability, to apply to the study of the sciences, with a view of meeting all objections.
The preceding sketch will give but a very faint and meagre impression of the extent and value of the discussions and facts embodied in these twelve lectures. We hazard nothing in saying that the volume is one of the most entertaining, and may be made one of the most useful, which has, for a long time, issued from the American press. It will open to our students a new field of delightful inquiry and meditation. It will tend to in
duce the friends of Christianity to regard with great interest the investigations of science, and to repress in their own bosoms all impatience, timidity, and intolerant feeling, should the first developments of a particular science chance to appear unfriendly to the christian records. Dr. Wiseman deserves the thanks of all lovers of the Bible and of human knowledge, throughout the world. We will only add that the American edition is very neatly and accurately printed, and is furnished at less then half the price of the English. It is accompanied with a fine, colored ethnographic map, three illustrative plates, and other drawings.
1.--The Library of Christian Knowledge. Edited by Rev. Her.
man Hooker, A. M. Author of the Portion of the Soul. Phi
ladelphia : Marshall & Co. It gives us great pleasure to see such men as Mr. Hooker devoting themselves to religious literature. Christians are by no means yet fully awake to the importance of rightly using the powers of the press. When they are so, they will feel a deeper interest in those who labor in this department, and will put forth vigorous efforts to cheer and aid them. Hitherto few well qualified persons have been willing, or, if willing, have been able to devote themselves to this work : that some have of late been enabled to do so, augurs well for the interests of Zion. Mr. Hooker is well qualified for the task he has undertaken, and we rejoice to learn that thus far he has met with good success. He informs us that “ it is intended that the Library of Christian Knowledge shall contain, sometimes, an original volume; sometimes the productions of living English authors, but more generally, select treatises of old and very distinguished writers.” thing will be selected that is not supposed to possess extraordinary
Five volumes of the series have appeared during the past year, viz. McLaurin's Essays, Goode's Better Covenant, Russell's Letters in two volumes, and Popular Infidelity. Each volume contains about 300 pages
12mo. The mechanical execution is neat and attractive. We are disposed to place McLaurin among the first of the English