Imatges de pÓgina

11. Text-Book of Ecclesiastical History. By J. C. I. GIESELER, Doctor of Philosophy and Theology in Gottingen. Translated from the third German Edition, by FRANCIS CUNNINGHAM. In Three Volumes. 8vo. pp. xvi. 382. viii. 420.-viii. 438. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard. 1836.

It is disgraceful to English literature, that a work so defective in almost all respects as Maclaine's Translation of Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, should have been allowed the place of a standard. Right honestly and boldly, and just as truly, Professor Sears says, under date of August 15, 1836, it "can be used no longer." What beside Warburton's great name ever got it into general use, we are at a loss to guess; unless it be,shame to confess it!-English ignorance.

An American* has done all for Mosheim that could be done; but even when divested of the frippery of his conceited translator, and occasionally reconciled to himself or connected in some of his many oversights, and furnished with notes erudite and full, and not seldom more valuable than the text; still, the learned chancellor of Gottingen is narrow-minded and mole-eyed, and inconsequent, (to borrow an expressive term,) and unmethodical as ever.

The author before us can hardly be accused of any of these faults; and he has had the rare good fortune to have full justice done him by a faithful and clever translator, yet he will never fill the niche of the fallen idol. Gieseler's "Text-Book" will be any thing but a text-book-a manual, a guide, an index on a large scale, a digested collection of good authorities, a well-distributed plan of study-any thing but that condensed statement of facts, inferences, and views, which may be given to the learner as the measure of information, digested into the form best suited to his wants and capacity.

For this purpose Gieseler's text is over-concise, and his notes are far too copious. The latter, making allowance for difference of type, constitute two-thirds of the work. They consist of extracts from original authorities and materials, left in the original languages, but condensed by the omission of every thing foreign to the subject in proof or illustration of which they are adduced, and connected by short remarks of the compiler.

By this procedure Gieseler claims to place his reader in immediate contact with the time and persons of which he writes. * Dr. Murdock.


That he does so, in good measure, is undeniable. Yet we have doubts whether the attempt will be attended with all the success expected; whether it is not, after all, one of the laboursaving charlatanries of the day. An author in this way puts his reader off with the mere outline and dead material of his work-the brick and mortar and working-plan with specifications and becomes a historian with little trouble. The reader hurries through some eight or nine hundred pages of culled paragraphs and cut-up sentences-literary shreds and mincemeat-and is learned at slight expense of money, time, and patience; yea, and is, moreover, qualified to judge in the premises, having consulted original authorities, forsooth!

But it is not reading a cento of nicely dove-tailed quotations that puts one in possession of "the state of original testimony." Too much depends on the principle of selection and mode of presentation. Even the exclusion of matter not germane to the question, is a process of no small consequence in the result. A little word often draws long trains of inferences; and it is wonderful how apt an ingenious theorist is to throw aside as useless all that does not bear in favour of his scheme! It is impossible to eye the frequently occurring dashes besprinkled over Gieseler's accumulated extracts, without some inklings of misgiving of this kind. Grant him honest-and we believe that in general he is so-may he not have had a bias, and would not that bias give an obliquity to his array of evidence? We think there are traces of such a disturbing force in more than one of those nicer passages, where the judgment and fidelity of a historian are most tried, and the reader, if ever, needs to have all the evidence before him in his attempt to form his own decision.

How far it is desirable that the reader should assume that province-whether it be not, in truth, the business of the historian to give the colouring as well as outline of the pictureare questions too grave for discussion in a mere literary notice. But while we praise Gieseler for making much valuable information accessible and useful to many who would not otherwise have obtained it, and thank his translator for introducing him to the English reader, we protest against any substitution of his selections for original authorities, and the unfounded belief that in his compend the student is sure of finding truth entire and unsophisticated.

The arrangement of the work is its chief excellence, and a very great one. The harassing artificialness of the old division of Church history by centuries, and subdivision into collateral narratives, external and internal, has long ago caused



its relinquishment by German students. Natural epochs, distributed into sections, determined by the character and causes of change in the condition and relations of the Church, have been substituted. In the determination of these, there has been, as might be expected, much variety of judgment. None, we think, have been happier, on the whole, than Gieseler. His arrangement, on the first glance at the table of contents, may seem intricate. "Periods," "Divisions," "Introductions," and "Chapters," present a formidable array. It is so only in appearance. A little use convinces one that it has the great merit of being natural. The chronological epochs are few and sufficiently well-defined. The order of subjects varies in each epoch with the varying relations of the Church, and the developements of its character and functions. Thus the narrative is broken into masses, and these again are taken up and considered on their several sides, and with the necessary change of light and position. One remembers and understands the course of events and their connexion, thus presented, with a facility which they only can appreciate who have toiled through the dark mazes of the dreary labyrinth of Mosheim.

One great defect in this work it would be unpardonable not to mention. It is no religious history. The writer takes his stand without, and preserves a most icy impartiality towards the Gospel and the Church. He is not less worldly than Mosheim, though in a different way. He is the historian of human opinions, hopes aspirings, and endeavours, not of the mystic temple of the Most High, reared without hands, of living stone, on a foundation broad and firm as Divinity itself, and towering toward the region of eternal sunshine, where its pinnacle shall one day be set up, amidst the shoutings of the sons of GOD, and the songs of an innumerable company of the redeemed.

12. Egyptian Chronology. By A. B. CHAPIN; being a reprint of Art. II. Quarterly Christian Spectator, Vol. IX. No. 2. June, 1837, entitled-Comparison of the Biblical and Egyptian Chronologies.

THIS is a small pamphlet of twenty pages, in which the author has attempted, and we think successfully, "to bring together into a small compass, and to put into a tangible form, the substance of all the chronological fragments of the Egyptian historians, to arrange and harmonise them, so as to form

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a system of Chronology, consistent with itself, and which we may be able to compare with the Scriptures." The principle on which he has proceeded in this investigation, is, as far as we know, entirely new; and if subsequent examination shall confirm what now seems extremely plausible, we may set down the principle as an important discovery in Egyptian Chronology.

By a careful comparison of the various chronological fragments of the Egyptian historians, as they have been preserved by their transcribers, the writer ascertained, that those copyists to whom we are indebted for those fragments, were all imbued with the idea that the Egyptian historians had added to the number of years actually taken up by the reigns of the various kings, in order to magnify the antiquity of their nation that in order to reduce these dates to what they supposed to be the truth, they set down to each king the smallest number afforded by any manuscript they used, or else abridged them without the authority of a manuscript. But as the copyists proceeded independent of each other, they not only gave numbers varying from the original, but also from each other. Having ascertained this fact, the author infers, that the true dates of the Egyptian historians were above the present reading of any copy, and from hence he conceived the design of comparing all the copies of lists of Egyptian kings, and to assume the largest number furnished by any one as the probable original number belonging to that king.

After a most laborious process he completed the above design, when he proceeded to compare the result with those fragments which give dates in their astronomical cycles, and also with the chronological references to Egyptian history in the Bible, when, much to his astonishment, he found a perfect coincidence and harmony running throughout the whole; every "fragment" fitting as exactly as if it had been once detached from the place to which it was restored, and every Egyptian king, mentioned in the Bible, standing precisely where the Bible places him. The result is, that the sojourn and exodus of the Children of Israel, the reigns of Shishak, Zerah, Tirhakah, and Necho, are all recognized in the lists of the Egyptian historians; and by their own chronology, corrected in accordance with the above principle, contemporary with Moses, and Solomon, and Rehoboam, Asa, Hoshea, Hezekiah, and Josiah, in the strictest conformity with the Sacred narrative.

The subject is one of importance, and we hope will attract the attention it deserves, to induce which is the object of this

notice. This little tract exhibits abundant evidence of the learning, the extensive research, and the habit of thorough, original, and independent investigation, by which Mr. Chapin has already distinguished himself in the opinion of those who happen to know him as the writer of several very able historical and critical disquisitions, published without his name.


The true Intellectual System of the Universe: wherein all the Reason and Philosophy of Atheism is computed, and its impossibility demonstrated. A Treatise on Îmmutable Morality; with a Discourse concerning the true Notion of the Lord's Supper; and two Sermons: By RALPH CUDWORTH, D. D. First American Edition; with references to the several quotations in the Intellectual System; and an Account of the Life and Writings of the Author: By THOMAS BIRCH, M. A., F. R. S. In two volumes. Andover and New-York; Gould & Newman. 1837.

WE have great satisfaction in announcing the first American edition of this great work, the first volume of which is now published in a very handsome style by these truly enterprising publishers. It is honourable to them, and it reflects honour on our country. Besides the Intellectual System-that stupendous monument of learning and criticism--and the other pieces published by Birch, this edition contains also the treatise on Immutable Morality. The other volume will soon be out.

14. The Church of Rome in her primitive purity, compared with the Church of Rome of the present day : being a candid examination of her claims to universal dominion. BY JOHN HENRY HOPKINS, D. D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Vermont. Burlington, (Vt.) 1837. 12mo. pp. 406.

If the Church of Rome is ever purified from her corruption, or disenthralled from the triple bondage of the Papal despotism, it must be by argument. It can never be accomplished by misrepresentation or ridicule. She needs reforming, not revolutionizing. She has within herself all the requisites of a Church, all the elements of purity, and needs only purging

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