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1.-Specimens of Foreign Standard Literature. Edited
by George Ripley. Vols. XII, XIII. Human Life,
1842. pp. 777. De Wette is already known to us as a theologian. We are here made acquainted with him as an ethical writer. In Germany the different systems of Moral Philosophy are denominated, the Sentimental, the Rational, the Selfish, the Dogmatic or Theological, and the Eclectic. The first writes the philosophy of feeling, and gives to sentiment the chief place in morals, conferring on it a supremacy over reason. The second found its father in Kant, who laid the foundation of moral obligation in the nature of the soul itself, and almost excluding the affections, exalted the intellect above all else, and there placed the source of morals. Fichte almost froze up the affections, and looked with cold indifference on both revelation and faith. The third lays expediency as the corner-stone of the moral system, and builds upon it a vast pile, composed of calculations of consequences. The fourth sus. tains itself on a rigid supernaturalism, adhering strictly to the letter of the Scriptures, doymatically interpreted, and rejecting all else as the basis of obligation. The fifth, or Eclectic School, to which De Wette belongs, makes much of sentiment, but combines with it somewhat of the rational system, and even allows expediency a place. It undertakes to harmonize rather than to separate theology and ethics, religion and morals, and propounds the system of Christianity as the perfection of both.
Those interest in such studies, will find in the present volumes, a beautiful richness of illustration, and an extended consideration of the practical duties of life; and although many readers will doubiless dissent from some of the author's prin. ciples, as from his application of them, the book merits a reading, as exhibiting the views of a philosophical and independent mind, and, at the same time, those which prevail to a great extent on the continent of Europe.
De Wette, we think, is not sufficiently governed in his ethics, by a regard for the Scriptures. He reasons and feels too much independently of them; and, although he need not lay in them the foundation of moral obligation, he ought to acknowledge their teachings to be right, and always consistent with the true foundation of morals, whatever that may be. That system which contravenes the truths of revelation, the principles of the Gospel, cannot be the right one.
In the chapter on“ Veracity,” we find a looseness, which we think the Bible will not warrant; nor the moral consciousness either.
Falsehood is justified ; is represented as neces. sary. So also on the dissertation on Marriage,” in which are some beautiful and excellent sentiments, the author is not limited in his views of divorce by the teachings of the Son of God, the true Light, but indicates a looseness, which would authorize frequent divorces, and tend greatly to interrupt the permanency of the marriage bond, and consequently the peace and prosperity of society. We prefer Christ's lessons on this subject to any other. 2.-Specimens of Foreign Standard Literature. Edited
by George Ripley. Vol. XIV. Songs and Ballads, translated from Uhland, Körner, Bürger, and other German Lyric Poets. With Notes, by Chas. T Brooks. Boston: James Munroe & Co. London: John Green. 1842. pp. 400.
In this volume we have presented to us a string of beauti. sul pearls ; not only the “ Strung Pearls" of Rückert, among which we find these elegant ones :
“ Thou none the better art for seeking what to blame,
How moistened earthly dust can wear celestial glory,
but many a lovely one from Uhland, Körner, Schiller, Noval. is, and other of the lyric poets of Germany.
The typographical execution of the work is good, and the publishers merit commendation. We think the volume well worthy a place among the selected poetry of the day. It is pure in its character; and although there may be a very few sentiments that would not meet a response in all breasts, the
general tendency of the lyrics is to the elevation and purificaiion of the spirit. They bring us into fellowship with nature, and lead us through nature, up to nature's great source.
3.-Herodotus, from the text of Schweighauser : with Eng
lish Notes. Edited by C. S. Wheeler, A.M., Tutor in Greek, in Harvard University, 2 Vols. Boston: James Munroe, & Co. 1842. pp. 859.
The publishers of these volumes of the father of history deserve great credit for the beauty of execution which appears in them ; and the labors of the editor will call forth that tribute of praise which is his due, for the care manifested in presenting to scholars so beautiful and correct an edition of the great work of Herodotus. Great pains have evidently been taken in the correction of the sheets, in which the editor was aided by Mr. Sophocles, whose Grammar is so constantly referred to in
The map at the commencement of the first volume, is from Bæhr's edition, and the Life of Herodotus from K. O. Müller's History of Greek Literature.
The notes we think highly valuable, and generally just such as are needed in a text book for Colleges ; yet from some experience had in teaching the Greek and other languages, we are inclined to think the way made too easy in some instances : e. g. in the first note, after so critical an analysis of the first line as is there given, we should have preferred to leave the translation to the pupil rather than to give it. So in 3, 1, 13, os -- si ágrayñs yavéddar to obtuin by violence, seems to us a translation of the words which any student of Ilerodotus would almost necessarily make. 4. 1. 27. eiuñ] unless. would not know that? 6. 1. 17. &žisi] Translate here, empties. This needs not to be told. There are many notes similar to these, which we think ought to be omitted, because the pupil should be left to exercise his own judgment in translation, and should also be obliged to refer frequently to his grammar and lexicon, rather than be relieved from the labor by a very convenient note. It strikes us also that, in l. 1. 8. it is not correct to say, as the editor does, śmi] denotes coming by land to. All that éri denotes there is to : and the coming by land,' should have been given as expletius, and embraced in the remarks which follow on Voltaire's mistake, or else have come under απικομένους.
. Jean Paul says : “So much toil and trouble are never sav. ed as when the pupil relies on the book as a vicarius or adjunct of the teacher.”
4.- Thoughts on Moral and Spiritual Culture, by R. C.
Waterston. Boston: Crocker & Ruggles, and Hilliard, Gray & Co. 1842. pp. 317.
Here is a book of truly beautiful and at the same time useful thoughts, on interesting subjects—such as ChildhoodGrowth of Mind-Religious Education-Moral and Spiritual Culture in Day Schools-Home--Love of Nature-Death of Children, etc. Our notice is necessarily brief, but we can assure the reader that Mr. Waterston's pages will afford him pleasure and profit in the perusal. In the book, such truths as the following abound: "In the great work of educating mind, let us remember that nothing is worthy that name, which does not begin and end with God.”
5.-An Essay on Transcendentalism. Boston : Crocker
& Ruggles. 1842. pp. 104.
This is a little book, and a curious book, and, we think, a useless and hurtful book. If the principles and the religion taught here are the consequents of transcendentalism in philosophy, then wo to the man who is a transcendentalist! The author of this book is out upon the vasty deep, in a stormy night, without star or compass, and, unless Heaven averi, must be wrecked on the breakers of pantheism. This transcendentalism we have feared; for some, under its influence, seem to be swinging loose from the only safe anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast! It is a queer thing at bestsea-serpent like, here, there, everywhere,' nowhere. One moment you see his head-or you think you do-then his tail, then his full length figure—and it is monstrous—then you are sure you have him, but he is off in the deep green seas, far a way out of sight. The writer of this small volume, however, believes he has at length secured him, and is showing him off as a rare thing. Some of the features of the thing he has, which he calls Transcendentalism, are these: “It has noth. ing to do with the trinity or unity, the humanity or divinity of the Saviour." “ The most religious man may be entirely ignorant of these and many other such things."' " The great mass of men are governed by the instinctive sense and love of God.” “It adopts no rules of faith or practice.” “It has not been shown that the power of working miracles is not the result of human perfection.” “All of the Bible cannot be the word of God. If presented as such, it must be rejected.” Tantum sufficit.
6.-Life of Jean Paul Frederic Richter. Compiled from
various sources. Together with his Autobiography. Translated from the German. 2 vols
. Boston: Charles C. Litile and James Brown. 1842. pp. 721.
The life of Jean Paul is here presented to the public in a style praiseworthy to the publishers, and the translation, we think, commendable, yet not as well expressed as it might have been in some instances. For example : “ Once he read it whilst his father was giving a week-day's sermon, lying upon his breast in an empty loft.” This makes the father to be lying on his breast in an empty loft, while delivering his sermon-rather a singular position, and an audience of emptiness!
But the volumes will doubtless be sought after by the reading community, containing as they do the Autobiography and Life of one of the most celebrated men of his age. Few there must be, who have not heard of Jean Paul, and who have not read occasionally extracts from his beautiful writings, which have excited a desire to become better aequainted with him. His name is among the household words of Germany: and well may it be, for few have exercised more influence over the German mind. He was a poet, but not a rhymer. His sentiments are uniformly clothed in the prosaic dress, but osten breathe the very essence of poetry. 7.-Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy. By M. Stuart,
Professor in Andover Theological Seminary. Ando
ver : Allen, Morrill & Wardwell. 1842. pp. 146. Few men in this country are as well qualified to write * Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy," as the author of the present volume. The science of hermeneutics lies at the basis of all sound exposition of the sacred Scriptures, and to that Professor Stuari has devoted a long life, furnished with the means of access to the best sources of knowledge. All men are liable to err, but certainly he, who is most familiar with the languages in which books are written, the laws of those languages, and the usus loquendi of the people who use them, is, cateris paribus, best qualified to unfold the meaning of those books.