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less complete and abundant. This volume therefore supplies a want. So far as we have had time to examine, the commentary seems written in a candid spirit-critical but not presumptuous, with a fair amount of learning and ability, but characterized by no very marked features. The translators have addressed themselves chiefly to their legitimate work. The first of them has confined himself in his additions mainly to selected matter. The second has expanded more considerably. Dr. Hornblower rightly and most sucressfully combats Nægelsbach's theory that Jeremiah was not the author of Lameniations. The objections are not strong; but that does not matter. It seems to be a great national duty of a commentator born in Germany to deny the authority of some portion of the Old Testament. Dr. Hornblower adds a considerable numher of notes and discussions, in many of which he controverts the positions of his author. The American edition contains 147 pages more than the German. We may hereafter speak of this volume more in detail, when we have had time to examine it more minutely.
SermonS TO THE NATURAL MAN. By W. G.T. Shedd, D.D. New York:
Charles Scribner & Co. Chicago: W. G. Holmes. 12mo. Pp 422.
Twenty earnest, thoughtful, direct, penetrating, and therefore powerful, sermons. That conscience must be seared that would not throb under this preaching. Would there were more of it, in suitable proportions. It reminds us of Erskine Mason and of Asahel Nettleton. We do not understand that these constitute the whole staple of the author's ministrations, but that they are selected for a special purpose. They are specimens of a search: ing method with “the natural man,” which no true and thoroughly faithful preacher can dispense with, however trying the process. The titles tell the story: The future state a self-conscious state; God's exhaustive knowledge of man; all mankind guilty ; sin in the heart the source of error in the head; the necessity of Divine influences; self-scrutiny in God's presence, etc.
We fully accord with the author, that “it is vain to offer the gospel unless the law has been applied with clearness and cogency." The very opening of the Sermon on the Mount is an offer of the kingdom of heaven to the poor in spirit. No man comes to Christ the Saviour who does not feel that himself is a lost sinner. The depth of his trust in Christ will never exceed the sense of his need. A vast amount of shallow religion comes from shallow convictions, beginning with shallow convictions of sin.
We also agree with him, that “theoretical unbelief respecting the doc. trines of the New Testament" is “not the principal difficulty,” but “the practical unbelief of speculative believers." Whole battalions of heresies are mowed down before the mighty onset of God s Holy Spirit. The shortest method with most skeptics is to convince them of sin and press bome clear known duty. We are not of the number of those who are disturbed by the “ sombre cast" of these discourses. Religion is something more than a pleasant entertainment. The condition of a sinner away from God is something different from a series of pulpit jokes on Sunday. Shallow deal. ing with the deepest, the most solemn and critical of all human concerns, is, if not the characteristic, yet the temptation, of the modern pulpit. There are those who statedly utter but half God's message, and who justify themselves in so doing.
Without minutely interrogating every sentiment of these discourses, we cordially concur in their great aim, fervent spirit, and pungent method. May they serve to recall "patural” men to things spiritual, and “natural” preachers to the truth of God. Reckless, ambitious, frivolous and facetious Sabbath oratory may gain the applause of men and win a seeming and out. ward success; the loving, courageous, faithful declaration of Christ's truth will gain the approval of God, and the success which is ETERNAL.
SERMONS OF HENRY WARD BEECHER. Plymouth Pulpit. Fourth Series.
March-September, 1870. New York: J. B Ford & C. Pp. 456.
The author of “Ecce Homo” says, a single mind may hold a vast variety of images, but not many ideas. Such men may write a great deal, as Mr. Carlyle has done, yet in reality they say little. It is one air with infinite variations; one principle with a multitude of applications. And the principle is not geuerally hard to find, for the writer's sole object is to make it as vividly clear to others as it is to himself, and this is the express purpose of the endless variety of forms in which he presents it.". Mr. Beecher is one of the most brilliant of American illustrations of these remarks. The two principles, that everything God does is to be explained by His love, i. e. kindness, and that all religious truth is to be appreciated and acquired by love-feeling, rather than by reason or understanding, are dressed in innu. merable charges of raiment. This volume is iike its predecessors in these respects. The topics are all immediately practical — even the single one whose title promises some exploration of fundamental truth, Sermon XVII, “Moral Constitution of Man,” opens only a series of inferences and corol. laries from the existence of our moral nature. There are passages of needful and earnest rebuke, e. g., of money.loving, of late hours, of corruption in city officers, of George Sands' works; and the preacher's mind seems full as ever of pictures of human life, habit, and character. We are glad to find him saying – Sermon VII –“There is a time for dogma and doctrine," though he finds precious little time for it, if any.
THE RELIGION OF THE PRESENT AND OF TUE FUTURE: Sermons
preached chiefly at Yale College. By Theodore D. Woolsey. New York : C. Scribner & Co. Chicago : W. G. Holmes. 12 mo. Pp. 402.
Here are twenty five thoughtful, practical, evangelical sermons, which, we hope, may find a wide circulation. The range of subjects is quite varied, and embraces many common themes of the Christian pulpit. But a nice analysis and freshness of illustration give interest and force to the treatment of all. They are not strictly doctrinal, nor argumentative, nor sentimental, least of all, sensational sermons; yet they address the common sense of men, and fall in with the current thinking of our times in such a way as effect
ively to counteract the prevailing tendency to slight the fundamental truths of Christianity.
All classes will find interest and profit in the careful study of these dis. courses. They seem especially adapted to settle the views of young persons of intelligence and culture, such as composed the audience to which they were addressed. To ministers and thcological students, they present excellent models of pure style and bappy arrangement of thought. As here presented, the Religion of the Present and of the Future appears identical with that which has been proved in the Past to be “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” To the sons of Yale the volume is particularly commended, by the author's graceful dedication.
A SMALLER SCRIPTURE HISTORY. In three parts. Old Testament His
tory; Connection of Old and New Testaments; New Testament History to A D. 70. Edited by William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D. New York : Harper & Brothers. Chicago: 8 C. Griggs & Co. 16mo. Pp. 375.
This is a judicious abridgment of Dr. Smith's fuller work bearing the same title, and is well adapted for use as a text-book for schools. As a book of reference for ministers, Sunday school teachers, and intelligent Christians generally, the larger work is none too full.
THE PARABLES OF OUR LORD. By Rev. William Arnot. London: T.
Nelson & Sons. Edinburgh and New York. 12mo. Pp. 532.
Hitherto Trench on the Parables has been almost the only book, accessible to the English reader, exclusively devoted to that topic. The present volume will meet a warm welcome. On the whole, for general use, it is a very decided advance upon its predecessor. It makes less show of quotations and learning, and while written with the glow and practicalness of a series of sermons, is yet critical in spirit and method. The writer has evidently used all available helps, as well as thought for himself, and has given an admirable exposition. Some features of the parables seem to us more judiciously handled than we have seen them elsewhere. While the points are well selected, and the differences of those which seem alike clearly presented, care is taken to avoid magnifyiog details and emphasizing subordinate matters. It is a valuable aid to the study of the parables.
THE HISTORY OF GREECE. By Professor Dr. Ernst Curtius. Translated
by Adolphus William Ward, of Cambridge, Eng. Vol. I. New York: Charles Scribner & Co. Chicago: 8. C. Griggs & Co. 12mo, pp. 509.
The thanks of American scholars are due to the enterprising publishing house which has undertaken to bring this valuable work, in attractive form, within their reach. The author's name has not heretofore attained a wide notoriety, though all who have listened to his lectures or read his occasional articles, know him as a close student and a fresh, clear, and eminent expounder of historical subjects pertaining to his chosen field of research. The work of which the first volume is before us embodies the results of a life of study ; and these results are such as must place Curtius in rank with · Niebuhr and Bunsen, Arnold and Grote, among the profound and original investigators.
This first volume tells of Greece before the Persian wars. It is chiefly occupied in tracing the origin of the Hellenic race, the beginning and unfolding of its early civilization, the founding of states, and the migrations and changes among them. The old legends and mythology have been carefully and boldly sifted to discover the elements of fact from which they sprung. The most striking peculiarity of the work is the manner in which the physical gengraphy of Eastern Europe and Western Asia and the islands of the inner sea, is made to tell the story of the men that lived and the things that were done there, three thousand years and more ago. The author moves over sea and land, as one thoroughly familiar with every hill, valley, and plain, with every channel, island, and port, and with all the remains and monuments of ages past, scattered along his range. Each spot to him has a meaning and shows its record or gives its hint of the far distant past. He seems to see just where and how the myth had its birth and the bard picked up the matter of his epos. From these data are deduced views striking and interesting as well for their originality as for their apparently clear explanation of many things hitherto unintelligible. The book demands and at the same time inspires close and earnest thought on the part of the reader. Some of the conclusions may be questioned, but only a master in Grecian lore will venture to grapple with the argument.
The translator has done his work, in the main, well, though occasionally we have to work through an involved German sentence of English words. It is to be hoped that with the concluding volume a copious index will be furnished, for convenience in referring to the many topics so ably discussed ; for the history is unquestionably to be one of the standard works. THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HENRY LORD BROUGHAM. Written by him.
self. In three volumes. Vol. I, 12mo, pp. 380. New York: Harper & Brothers. Chicago : 8. C. Griggs & Co.
The high eminence gained by Lord Brougham as a scholar and a statesman, the great events which marked the long period of his connection with the public affairs of England and Europe, and his distinguished services in the spheres both of literature, science and politics, combine to bring us with high expectation to this, bis own story of his life. But we are disappointed to find so little of real value in this first volume. . The narrative is characterised by the garrulity of old age — the infirmity of a great mind past its highest pigor and soundness of judgment. But little discrimination seems to have been used in the selection of letters for publication. Some, indted, present vivid pictures of the men and things of a former age, and throw light on the bidden causes of events; but many are insignificant and almost tedious. This volume closes with the year 1811, when Brougham was first returned to Parliament. The two volumes yet to appear will no doubt possess higher interest and value, as they will bring to view his own imme. diate contact with affairs of State and the steps of his advancement to highest honors.
THE DESCENT OF MAN, and Selection in Relation to Sex. By Charles
Darwin, F.R.S. With Illustrations. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Chicago : S. C. Griggs & Co, Two vols., 12mo. Pp. 409 and 436.
This new publication is already re-awakening the stir of Darwinism. Mr. Darwin's theory serves the useful purposes of becoming a receptacle of facts, and a stimulus to further observation. We are entirely willing to abide the results of careful and complete investigation, whenever they shall be reached. It is almost needless to say that this, like Mr. Darwin's previous great work, gathers up a vast mass of alleged ticts, and has merits and interest aside from the theory it advocates. It would be idle for us in these limits to enter on a question so expansive, and now so engrossing, as the main topic of the book. We content ourselves with a few suggestions that have occurred to us in reading. One is, that while matters relating to sex enter so largely into the discussion as to make it not quite desirable reading for promiscuous assemblies, they also make it evident that the whole underlying question of sex, in its uniformity of fact and variety of detail, is one of the inost insuperable difficulties in the way of the theory. We are also impressed with the necessity of sifting the facts, which, as we read the authorities cited, seem to us rather a collection than a selt ction. As we read page after page of theories piled upon each other, to show how the infinite diversities now witnessed could have come about (e. g., the diverse pitch and quality of the male and female voices from the greater use by the male ancestors in animal love-song), we can not help thinking of a compound fraction — say one millionth multiplied into itself perpetually. When we read the assumption, which runs through the book, that similarity of embryonic structure is proof of historic connection and descent, we are amazed at the facility of scientific reasoning. The attempt to bridge over the grand chasm between man and the animals, the moral nature of the human being, seems to us almost ludicrous in its debility; while the speculations upon the gradual emergence of a code of morality from the brutal condition through the development of “the social instincts," and the implication that all we now call vice and crime has been merely a natural stage in that development, we can not help feeling to be not very congenial to elevated sentiment. We are not in haste to accept it till proved.
We mention, simply as a fact, that in this work Mr. Darwin boldly, repeatedly, and at length, declares that "man is certainly descended from some ape-like creature” (ii., 345), from the Old World monkeys" (i, 205); and he goes still further back (i., 198) to find bis “ early progenitors cov. ered with hair,” with “pointed ears, capable of movement," “ provided with a tail," and a “prehensile foot," "arboreal in their habits," "at a much earlier period,” with a double uterus, a cloaca, and the eye protected by a nictating membrane; at a still earlier period “aquatic in habits ;" then as lowly organized as the lancelet or amphioxus," and at length an "hermaphrodite."
We add that Mivart's “Genesis of Species,” noticed in this number of the REVIEW, coutains some telling scientific facts that lie in the way