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And still for the Muses there tranquilly stood
The holiest altar apart;
Was sheltered in woman's pure heart.
The bards and the fair shall unite;
The girdle of Beauty and Right.
A Greek Grammar of the New Testament. Translated from the German of George
Benedict Winer, Professor of Theology at Erlangen. By Moses Stuart, Professor of Sacred Literature in the Theological Seminary, Andover, and Edward Robinson, Assistant Instructer in the same Department. Andover. 1825. 8vo.
We regard with high satisfaction the recent indications of an increasing attention to philological and classical studies in our community. We have among us a few scholars, who would be ornaments to any institution in any country; and they, with a zeal the most praiseworthy, have been and are exerting themselves to excite an interest in these studies, to convince the public of their importance, and to furnish the best elementary works to facilitate the prosecution of them. We hope, and we believe, that they will, ere long, have their reward in the flourishing state of these studies in our community:
One consideration that gives importance to philological inquiries, and which ought to save them from the contempt in which they have been held by some, is their connexion with the just interpretation of that volume which contains the revelations of God. For this reason, we receive with welcome, not only as scholars but as Christians, the many excellent works-principally translations from the German,—which have within a few years been presented to the community, as helps to the study of the Bible.
The character of the language of the New Testament, as distinguished from that of classical Greek authors, has for some time been pretty well understood by scholars. It has been known that, though the New Testament is said to have been written in Greek, much more than a knowledge of the Greek language, as it exists in the classics, is necessary in order to understand it. A knowledge of the Hebrew has been allowed to be essential to the right understanding of very many words and forms of expression. Lexicons have been formed, explanatory of the peculiar language of the New Testament, so that very little remains to be done in that department.
But to the peculiarities in the forms, the use, and the construction of the language of
the New Testament, very few have directed their attention. It is true the New Testament Greek departs from that of the classics, more in the department of the lexicon than in that of the grammar, more in the meaning of words than in their forms. Still there are important peculiarities in the forms of words and their uses, in the use of the modes and tenses of verbs, and of several other of the parts of speech, and in the syntax, which perplex the student of the New Testament, and on which the common Greek Grammars throw no light whatever. An elementary work was evidently wanted, in which all these peculiarities, all the facts relating to the forms of words and their uses should be classified under proper heads, so as to form some rules for the direction of one entering upon the study of the New Testament.
The author of this work does not, however, confine himself merely to the peculiarities of the New Testament diction, but introduces the nicer and more uncommon phenomena of the language generally, and particularly such as are regarded as exceptions to the common rules. The advantage of this course is great in giving a systematic form to the work.
The design of this work then is manifestly excellent. The next question is, how has it been executed? We have already intimated, that the author has correct notions of what constitutes a good grammar, viz. a convenient classification of the actual phenomena of a language, and not a priori rules for its explanation. The qualities of a good grammar are convenient arrangement, correctness or freedom from error,
and completeness. In regard to the first, the arrangement of the work is not liable to exception. It is natural, distinct, and convenient. In regard to correctness, or freedom from error, we think the work entitled to great praise. It is evidently the production of a thorough scholar. His rules he justifies and illustrates by numerous examples. He differs from some of his predecessors in important particulars; for instance, in the chapter on the use of the article. Many remarks wbich are scattered over the best and latest commentaries, are here to be found in methodical arrangernent. The author, in general, seems more solicitous to be correct, so far as he goes, than to be comprehensive and complete. But it is so far complete as to be a most valuable work for those entering upon the study of the New Testament. There can be no doubt, however, that much remains to be done in reference to this subject. It is new; and perfection is not to be expected in a first attempt. In course of time, considerable additions will undoubtedly be made to it, particularly in the chapter on the Preposition, which seems to us more defective than any other.
We were a little surprised at seeing a work from this source, haying the Greek without the accents. We supposed that of late there had been no doubts among our scholars, as to their convenience and advantages; since there are so many who would like to have them, and as they can do no harm to those who do not want them.
Address delivered before the Massachusetts Peace Society, at their Ninth Anniver
sary, December 25, 1824. By John Ware, M. D. Boston. 1825. 8vo. pp. 24. We look upon the efforts of Peace Societies, as part of that succession of droppings, which is able to wear away stones, and upon the spread of these societies as both an effect and cause of the progressive melioration of society. To one who should ask, What advantage shall I obtain, or what good can I do, by uniting myself with a peace society, we should say, As a member of such a body, you will be in the way of reading its various publications. Your mind will acquire a habit of regarding war in its true light, that is, as a great evil, and one that is rarely necessary at present, and that may one day cease altogether to be so. The influences which spread from your mind as a centre, like the circles from an impulse on the water, over those of numbers around you, will be kindly, and you will have added your mite to the treasury of universal charity.
The interest of the various publications of these societies is, of course, various. Some are calculated to produce little more effect than the common consequence of repetition. This is something, since one cannot long read or meditate on a momentous truth, without being influenced by it. But many of these pamphlets do more than barely tell the truth. They tell it agreeably; they present it in a dress which gratifies the taste and excites the interest of the hearer.
Of this last class is the Address which gave occasion to this notice. We took it up without any great expectation, and laid it down with a resolution to recommend it to the perusal of our readers. We honestly assure every one of them, that it will afford bim much pleasure, and do him some good, at the expense of very little money and very little time. Whoever does not read it, after this recommendation, must be wanting in good sense, faith in our sincerity, or confidence in our judgment; and as we would not willingly believe this of any of them, we shall rest satisfied, that we have been the means of doing them all a service.
The writer of this Address offers a very encouraging view of the probable effect of the diffusion of just and liberal principles of government in restraining war. Wherever these prevail, the people, and not kings, are the real rulers; and the proverbial sport of the latter is too often death to the former to be engaged in without powerful reasons of expediency, and such as are not often likely to occur between well ordered communities. Republics may, therefore, be expected to be pacific. If it be said, that those of Greece were far otherwise, it may be replied, that universal and genuine liberty and equality of rights were as little or even less known under those governments, than they are in some of the monarchical establishments of Europe,-that force was there paramount to law, as much as it now is in Austria or Russia, and that instead of one tyrant, a man had to fear a thousand.
“ The ancient republics,” says Dr Ware, “ were any thing rather than what we call liberal. Of equal, well regulated liberty-of the proper rights of mankind, they had no true conception. The freedom of which they boasted so much, and of which we are told so much, amounted only to a licentiousness for themselves, founded upon the subjection and slavery of others. There is scarcely a government in existence at the present day, which does not in reality make a nearer approach to an acknowledgment of the proper liberty of mankind, than the Athenian republic. Even in the community of Athens itself, where was the security for personal rights! To be truly free is not merely to be delivered from foreign bondage, or the yoke of a tyrannical monarch. Kings and conquerors are not the only source from which our liberties may be infringed. We require to be protected from one another, and I know not whether a just man has not more to fear from the jealousy of a despotic mob, than from that of a despotic monarch.”
Another view, here presented, gave us much pleasure, inasmuch as it agreed closely with notions, which we have always entertained.
“ All nations,” says Dr Ware, “ seem to vie with each other, which, when the work of blood is concluded, shall treat the wounded or imprisoned enemy with the greatest consideration and humanity. Inconsistent as this is—this preposterous alliance between barbarity and humanity-it yet furnishes us with ground for expectation, that the principles which have already produced so great a change, will produce one which is complete and consistent.”
Now there are in the world, who are loud in their indignation at the practice of licensing privateers—who do nevertheless defend the necessity, propriety, and even advantage, of wars, not merely defensive; and bestow upon the mention of a peace society a compassionate smile, and the name of a “devout imagination.” Far be it from us, either in jest or earnest, or by any possible implication, to defend the practice of privateering—but we think that those who denounce it, ought in com. mon consistency to be ready to go a step further. They should be ready to add the weight of their influence, whatever it may be, to that of the peace party, and to push melioration to the point when war shall be nothing worse than a contest of diplomacy.
Of the style of this Address, it is only necessary to observe, that it is the style of a practised writer, and that it did not occur to us, to think of it once during the perusal.
Tales for Mothers. Translated from the French of J. N. Bouilly, Member of several
Learned and Literary Societies, and Author of “ Contes à Ma Fille," “ Conseils
à Ma Fille,” and “Les Jeunes Femmes." New York. 1924. pp. 184. These Tales are pretty, and nothing more. As far as their style and manner are concerned, they are rather adapted to children than mothers. The stories are commonplace, and possess very little interest for the mothers in this country,—who can find so many better ones in their own language. Probably, too, they have lost much of their spirit by translation. One circumstance only gives them a certain interest. It is the description contained in them of domestic life among the French. The tale-teller of course lays his scene in the interior of families. He is constantly speaking of circumstances simple in themselves, and familiar to his native readers. Many of them, however, are new to us, and probably to every one, who has not resided for some length of time, among the the class of people who are the subjects of them. As a means of adding to our knowledge of national manners and customs, therefore, the work is doubtless useful. We observe, that religious motives are not often brought forward. Religion seems to be a subject, which is not so much avoided, as disregarded. In the last tale, the moral turns upon the punishment of a wife's infidelity, which is termed an irreparable misfortune. The punishment is that of sentiment entirely. Her husband falls in a duel, indeed, but he bequeaths to her a sufficient estate. Her children, except one, as they grow up to maturity, decline meeting her, but treat her with respect; and the one who remains with her, though she does not wish her to “lean her hand on her shoulder, when she speaks of her
father,” does nevertheless express strong filial affection. The grief, remorse, &c. is all sentimental; there is no intimation of repentance of the crime, as a breach of the law of God. In fact a story of horrid ingratitude and wickedness is told in that gentle and well-bred manner, which “never mentions hell to ears polite.” We were strongly impressed with the contrast, when it occurred to us to imagine how the same story would have been told by such writers as the author of Adam Blair, or the Human Heart.
An Explanation of the Apocalypse or Revelation of St John. By Alexander
Smyth. Washington. 1824. 12mo. pp. 59. The question which the author of this pamphlet intends to settle is, whether the Revelation of St John the Divine, is a prophetical vision of future events, or an enigmatical relation of past events, under the form of prophecy. General Smyth thinks the latter its true character. And he solves the enigma, by applying in some detail the different chapters and texts of the book of Revelation to persons who lived, and events which happened near the Christian era. He concludes, and gives his reasons for the conclusion, that the book was written by Irenæus, a disciple of Polycarp, and afterwards bishop of Lyons, A. D. 177. The anthor has shown much learning and historical research. He calls his work the solution of an enigma, and surely he has proved himself a very Edipus.
The London Magazine and Review, for February, comments with great freedom and candour upon the Message of President Monroe at the opening of the last session of Congress. A cordial approbation of our political system is expressed; and the lucid exposition of the state of the country by the President seems to excite great admiration. “ No American,” say they, “can rise from the perusal of this address without feeling that there has been a fair and full disclosure made to him, by the head of the government, as to the actual state of his country ;--there is in it neither reservation nor mystery; and whatever may be his sentiments as to the subject matter, he is, at all events, certain, that nothing has been withheld from him."
LIGHT PRODUCED BY CRYSTALLIZATION.
M. Buchner, having mixed some impure benzoic acid, perfectly dry, with the sixth part of its weight of vegetable charcoal, placed it on a soup plate, which was covered with a cylinder, luted to it by almond paste, in such a manner, that what took place in the interior could be distinctly seen through an aperture disposed for this purpose. After the whole had been exposed several days to a moderate heat, and some beautiful crys