Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

its most perfect form. The Preliminary Essay, from the Ed. inburgh, fills thirty-four pages of the volume, and is not only valuable in itself, but may be regarded as indispensable to the right understanding of the subjects and imagery of the Ballads. It sketches in a lively and brilliant manner the history of Spain and of Spanish literature up to the sixteenth century, when the oldest of these ballads were published, though the date of their composition cannot now be ascertained. They are here presented in an English dress, and are better fitted to let the reader into the real spirit of the times which produced them than any other form of history. To the ballads of rude and struggling nations must we go for the most instructive lessons of anthropology which the world has produced; and the ballads of Spain, mingling in their composition the brilliancy of Arabian imagination with the flowers of Castilian - romance, are especially worthy of study. “They are now rendered indigenous," says the writer of the Preliminary Essay ; "transplanted by the genius of Mr. Lockhart, they have taken deep root and flourish in our harder climate ; and in truth the soil is congenial. Their manly tone of liberty and independence, their reflective and somewhat saddened turn, their sincere religious character, their sterling loyalty, patriotism and love of country never will find a truer echo than in honest English hearts."

[ocr errors]

8.-Fragments from the German Prose Writers. Translated by

Sarah Austin ; with Biographical Sketches of the Au-
thors. New-York: D. Appleton & Co. 1841. pp.

365.
This is an elegant reprint of an English publication of de-
served popularity. Mrs. Austin has been known for several
years, in this country as well as in Great Britain, as an ac-
complished translator of German. She has succeeded, -as
few have done,-in detaching the conceptions of genius and
the researches of learning from their original drapery, and
clothing them in chaste and truthful English. These “Frag.
ments” have been taken from a great variety of writers, with
little unity of plan, but with genuine taste, and an earnest de-
sire to honor a people that she greatly admires. Not a few
of them are exceedingly beautiful-gems of rare lustre, and
worthy to be numbered among things that will never die. They
will do much to correct the erroneous impressions of some in
respect to the literature of Germany. Many have supposed
that this country has been fruitful, hitherto, of nothing but

dreamy metaphysics, lifeless pedantry, or “romantic horrors.” But these “Fragments" will show that the Germans have imagination, taste, eloquence, a childlike love of nature, with no common power of painting her in all her phases. We are not sure, however, that others may not be led by the perusal of these extracts to place too high an estimate on the treasures of German literature. It was long ago thought to be a singular mode of selling a house for the owner to carry about a brick as a sample. But that would be much safer than to test the literature of a people by a few excerpts. For one brick, though it must give but a faint idea of the entire building, will resemble every other brick in the edifice. But one selection of thought or taste may have no fellow in all that remains; nay, it may sparkle with pure and pleasing brilliancy, while every thing else is distorted and repulsive. We are constrained to say that this is true, to a lamentable extent, of some of the writers in this volume. We have no wish to see their works made known to American readers except in fragments."

9.--The Biblical Cabinet ; or Hermeneutical, Exegetical and

Philological Library. Volume XXVII. Edinburgh:

Thomas Clark. 1840. pp. 352. The nature and design of the Biblical Cabinet are already familiar to our readers. It is a work of undoubted merit, and deserves to be encouraged in this country as well as in Great Britain. The present volume is devoted to the Mineralogy and Botany of the Bible, by E. F. C. Rosenmüller, D. D. It is a translation from the German, with additional notes, by T. G. Repp and Rev. N. Morren. The original forms a part of Rosenmüller's Biblische Naturgeschichte, being the first half of the fourth volume of his Handbuch der biblischen Alterthumskunde, -a work of which a portion has already appeared in the Biblical Cabinet, under the title of “ The Biblical Geography of Central Asia.” The topics discussed in this volume disclose its character. They are as follows: Earth, Earths, and other Mineral Substances; Stones and Rocks; Precious Stones; Metals; Plants in General,- their constituents, life and classification; Grain and Leguminous Plants ; Kitchen Vegetables and Garden Plants used for food; Plants growing wild, Flowers and Shrubs; Plants from which odorous Resins and Oils are prepared ; Flax and Cotton ; Marsh Plants; Thorns and Thistles; Vines ; Trees; Manna. It is unnecessary to speak of the importance of these subjects to the Biblical student.

10.-An Inquiry into the Constitution, Discipline, Unity and

Worship of the Primitive Church, that flourished within the first three hundred years after Christ; faithfully collected out of the Fathers and extant writings of those ages. By Peter King, Lord High Chancellor of England. With an Introduction by the American Editor. New-York: Published by G. Lane & P. P. Sanford, for the Methodist Episcopal Church. 1841. pp. 300.

The publication of this treatise has been followed by very important results. It led to the overthrow of the strong high-church prejudices of John Wesley, and thus prepared the way for the distinct organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. In his journal for January 20, 1746, he says: “1 read over Lord King's account of the primitive church. In spite of the vehement prejudice of my education, I was ready to believe that this was a fair and impartial draught; but if so it would follow that bishops and presbyters are (essentially) of one order, and that originally every Chris. tian congregation was a church independent on all others.” He wrote to Dr. Coke and others in this country, September 10, 1784: “Lord King's account of the primitive church convinced me, many years ago, that bishops and presbyters are the same order, and consequently have the same right to or

dain."

Lord King was the nephew of John Locke, by whose advice he was sent to the University of Leyden. At that time his attention was directed to the study of theology. He was only twenty-two years of age when the first part of the fol. lowing “Inquiry' was published. On his return from Leyden he became a student in the Inner Temple, and soon rose to eminence in his profession. He retained his fondness for theology, however, and published his History of the Apostles' Creed in 1702. On the accession of George I., he was appointed Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; in 1725 he received the Great Seal, which he resigned in 1733,-just before his death.

The design of the author in this treatise is to set forth the constitution, discipline, unity and worship of the church as they existed in the first three centuries. He shows great familiarity with the writings of that period, and presents the results of his “Inquiry” with candor and precision. It would be easy to point out occasional inaccuracies; but his most important conclusions are not to be shaken.

11.-Anti-Popery; or Popery Unreasonable, Unscriptural and

Novel. By John Rogers, Member of the Society of Friends, and Counsellor at Law. With a Preface, Notes and Index, by Rev. C. Sparry of New-York, Minister of the Reformed Church. First American from the Second London Edition, enlarged and corrected. New-York: D.

Fanshaw. 1841. pp. 315. This is a singular, but truly valuable work. Mr. Rogers has a mode of dressing up an argument which is altogether his own. His style is characterized by strength, precision, directness and a considerable mixture of quaintness. In the last particular he has sometimes erred. He has taken the liberty of coining a number of words, not only without necessity, but without any satisfactory reason. For church he invariably employs“ kirk;" “ primaty” for primacy; “papite” and “Romanite" for papist and Romanist;“perhap” for perhaps; “nowafter” for hereafter. He also uses priestal,” « priestrulive;"' “politikirkal,” “politikirkalian,” “popan," "sororially.” But the argument is managed with fairness, courtesy and unusual ability. It presents the points at issue between Romanism and Protestantism, distinctly and fully; and then conducts the reader to a conclusion which is impregnable. A reference to the nineteen sections of “Popery in Special” will show the comprehensiveness of the discussion. They are as follows: Papal Primaty ; Infallibility; Vulgate, Apocrypha, Traditions ; Knowledge a proscribed thing, and the Bible a forbidden book; Unknown Tongue, or Latin the general language of Popery; Transubstantiation, the Sacrifice of the Mass; The Worship of the Host; Half Communion, or no Cup to the Laity; Idolatry ; Merit; Purgatory and praying for the Dead ; Priestal Absolution and Excommunication; Auricular Confession; Celibate of the Clergy; the Seven Sacraments; Priestal Intention ; Superstition ; Blasphemy.

12.Delineation of Roman Catholicism, drawn from the authen.

tic and acknowledged Standards of the Church of Rome;
namely, her Creeds, Catechisms, Decisions of Councils,
Pupal Bulls, Roman Catholic Writers, the Records of His-
tory, etc., etc.; in which the peculiar Doctrines, Morals,
Government and Usages of the Church of Rome are stated,
treated at large and confuted. By Rev. Charles Elliott,

D. D. In two Volumes. New-York: Published by
George Lane, for the Methodist Episcopal Church.

1841. pp. 492. From the Preface to the first of these volumes, which is da

ted “Cincinnati, Ohio, February 22, 1841,"-we learn that the author has given much of his time, for the last twenty-two years, to the examination of the controversy between Protestants and Romanists. During the whole of this period he has been collecting the materials of the present work. “His early associations,” he informs us, “and circumstances in life were also favorable to an intimate acquaintance with the subject.” The doctrines of the Catholics, as here exhibited, are derived from their own creeds, catechisms, councils, bulls, standard writers, etc.; this book may be regarded, therefore, as a condensed, authentic representation of the manifold errors and absurdities of their system. This, indeed, is the principal excellency of these volumes. They are inferior in logical acuteness and power to Rogers' Anti-Popery, mentioned in the preceding notice, and to other works which we might mention ; but they contain a very full and fair description of Romanism, drawn up from the testimony of its own witnesses. It may be of essential service to those who wish to ascertain the real tenets of Romanism, but have not the means of consulting larger works.

13.—American Antiquities and Researches into the Origin and

History of the Red Race. By Alexander W. Bradford.
New-York: Dayton & Saxton. Boston: Saxton &

Pierce. 1841. pp. 435. The ante-Columbian history of America offers one of the most interesting and complicated problems of the present day. Our continent is profusely dotted with the memorials of a great people. The mounds, pyramids, temples, palaces, which neither the desolations of conquest nor the ravages of time have wholly obliterated, indicate a boldness of purpose and a skill and energy of execution which are truly wonderful. But when, how and whence came these ancient wanderers to our shores? Authentic history returns no answer. And then their disappearance is hardly less mysteri. ous than their advent. The monuments of their toil and ingenuity still survive. But where are the nations or the tribes to which they bequeathed their civilization ? The Indian of the present day has not even a tradition that establishes his connection with the mound-builders and pyramid-builders of earlier days. Indeed we are constantly reminded, when looking back to these wonderful men, of that ancient king of Sa. lem who was “ without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life.” SECOND SERIES, VOL. VII. NO. I.

21

« PoprzedniaDalej »