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VII.-System of Christian Doctrine. By Dr. CARL IMMANUEL NITZSCH. Translated from the German, by the Rev. ROBERT MONTGOMERY, M.A., Oxon., and JOHN HENNEN, M.D., &c., Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark. London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co.

THE translators of this volume "do not hold themselves responsible for, or identify themselves with, any peculiarities of opinion contained in the work;" and they add, that "the work is intensely German in manner"—that is, it is dry, often extremely obscure and repulsive, and cast throughout in a mode of thought so totally different from our own, as to bid defiance to any attempts to render it, in this respect, different from what it is in the original. Indeed, the author himself, in the preface to a volume of his sermons, candidly admits the almost invincible obscurity and hardness of his style. If the original, then, be obscure, how much more must even the best translation partake of this blemish! The translators "are painfully conscious of the many imperfections of their labours, nor can they flatter themselves that they have always been successful in penetrating into the entire meaning of their author." We have recognized the force and justice of these remarks in endeavouring to peruse a portion of the volume before us. The style is excessively obscure, and in many places wholly unintelligible; and it seems to us, that this is not to be accounted for by the mere difficulty of the subjects, but by the defective expressions of the author or his translators. The work before us is a compendium of Christian theology, in which the doctrine of the author on all the leading points of doctrine is stated in a dogmatical form, in the shape of propositions. He recognizes the fact of a revelation proceeding from a personal deity, and acknowledges the doctrine of the Trinity. We can very well understand that the original treatise may be very useful in Germany; but we do not foresee any material benefit as likely to arise from its publication in this country. We quote a specimen of the style:


"The evidence of prophecy, of which Christ and the Apostles availed themselves, consists less in an historical characteristic of the Redeemer's person, (which, to a certain extent, is an assemblage of Old Testament prophecies; for with the exception of His descent from David, there is an almost total deficiency of the kind of proof required,) than in the fact of the Old Testament conducting from the beginning, on the ground of the revelation of the true God, and of His covenant sovereignty, to a holy definitive history, and this, under increasing development, leading to the expectation of a personal Redeemer."-p. 86.

We fear that we may be liable to the charge of extreme

obtuseness; but we must frankly acknowledge that this passage is above our comprehension. In the first place, we do not exactly understand what is meant by the assertion, that the "Redeemer's person" is, in any way, "an assemblage of Old Testament prophecies." What, again, is the meaning of the "Old Testament conducting from the beginning" "to a holy definitive history?" What "holy definitive history" is here intended? If it be the history of Christ's life in the Gospel, how can such history lead to the "expectation" of a personal Redeemer's first advent? And, again, what is the especial force of the words "on the ground of the revelation of the true God, and of His covenant sovereignty?" Are they introduced for any object at all? What, again, is the meaning of "covenant sovereignty?" Such are the questions which arise from every page of this volume. We have no doubt that it is all very fine; but we protest that we are unable to catch the author's meaning.

Nitzsch ranks high amongst the (comparatively) orthodox theologians of Germany, and his book has become a manual for the use of the not absolutely rationalistic Teutonic youth. Dr. Nitzsch, we may further observe, appears to hold substantially the main dogmas of the Christian faith, though his views of sacraments and ordinances are of course more or less defective. Some idea of his general tone of mind may be gathered from the conclusion of his preface, which is exceedingly well rendered, and which we accordingly extract :

"I am desirous, even within the limits of the present work, of connecting myself with that absolute Biblical realism, such as for the most part is fairly represented in Germany by Beck and Stier; for this tendency is valuable and dear to me, because it discovers such a multitude of Biblical facts, their connexion and unity, for which exegetical proof is actually possible, and which in others (other systems) is wanting and by means of such discoveries how does all confidence in Scripture, and all love for its study increase, and how is the shallowness of so many a learned tradition abashed and subdued! We can acknowledge this, be thankful for it, and profit by it, and yet not be in a condition to abridge the history of religious science to the extent required in order to commence anew at the very letter of revelation: and this, especially, when such procedure relates to physical, empirical, and cosmical questions, in a manner altogether different from ethical and metaphysical ones. To me the relations of faith to natural science is a matter of indifference, for the blessing of revelation, as the renewer and sanctifier of self-consciousness, is independent thereof. Undoubtedly the idea of religion receives its determinations, realizations, and immunities from religion as a fact: it indicates itself primarily through this realization, but as an organ of science and appropriation it does not lose thereby the right of its own independency. Science is not

without its history. The present work has not escaped the charge from many quarters of eclecticism. Eclecticism, in the sense of indiscriminate selection, deserves, beyond a doubt, to be condemned on the part of science but when we behold an example before us, that in one and the same criticism of Christianity, Böhme, Spinosa, Edelmann, Reimarus, Wegscheider, Schleiermacher, and Hegel, have organically grown up together into one body, and thus accomplished their analytical process, well indeed, upon the conservative and restorative side, ought an eclecticism, comprehending many elements which have appeared in succession and in contrast, to accomplish that which is appropriate to its character."

Dr. Nitzsch, then, regards himself as a species of transcendental orthodox Christian eclectic, and in maintaining this character has probably advanced the cause of orthodoxy among our Teutonic brethren.

VIII.-Protestantism and Catholicity compared in their effects on the Civilization of Europe. Written in Spanish, by the Rev. J. BALMEZ. Translated from the French Version, by C. J. HANSFORD and R. KERSHAW. London: Burns.

THE author of the volume before us was a Spanish ecclesiastic of considerable ability and attainments, who, after a short but distinguished literary career, expired about a year since. The translation is made from a French version of the Spanish original; but it conveys a very sufficient idea of the author's acuteness and general ability. The object of the work was evidently to avert the probable danger of the Romish faith in Spain, from the expected introduction of Protestantism, by pointing out to the adherents of the revolutionary and liberal governments of Spain, that Romanism alone is favourable to the progress of civilization, the expansion of the intellect, and the democratic principle; while the Reformation has done nothing but check the march of improvement, and fasten the chains of civil and religious slavery on the necks of men. This is, at least, somewhat a novel view of the subject; and to do Mr. Balmez justice, he labours diligently in his self-imposed task. If Spain is not held the most enlightened country in the world as regards its dealings with Protestantism in the "holy office" of the Inquisition, it is not the fault of Mr. Balmez, for he holds this institution up to admiration, as the very salvation of Spain and of its civilization. Philip II. is, in his eyes, a saint; and the Abbé Lacordaire, who ventured to evade, on behalf of the Inquisition, the responsibility of the modes of torment introduced by that enlightened prince, is well set down. The "bull-fights" are somewhat of a crux to our

worthy ecclesiastic, and he even gives way, for a moment, to the charge of barbarism, which is made against them, but he finds abundance of reasons, in the sequel, to justify them. We should have thought this work better suited to the state of opinion in Spain than in England: but we suppose that the highly liberal views of the author in politics are thought likely to be acceptable. We should have thought that the position of Ireland, or even of Spain, or of Italy, or of France itself, as contrasted with England, would not have been very favourable to the argument which makes civilization the especial office of the Church of Rome; but we suppose our Romish brethren have some different way of looking at facts from what the rest of the world have. We must, therefore, leave them to enjoy the lucubrations of Mr. Balmez. This writer's views on politics are apparently well suited to the popular theories in Spain, and, indeed, in all parts of Roman Catholic Christendom. He discusses the lawfulness of insurrection against constituted authorities, and remarks that it is in some respects an undecided question in the Church of Rome; but that, as it is plainly contrary to the doctrines of the Church to rise in rebellion merely on account of personal faults in the ruler, so, on the other hand, it has been maintained, by most grave and approved divines, that there are certain extreme cases, in which insurrection is lawful, provided the person of the sovereign be held inviolate. It is doubtless, on principles like this, that the monks and clergy in Italy have of late been so effective in the discharge of their-muskets; and so diligent in the building up of-barricades!


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The Life of St. Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles._Designed chiefly for the use of young persons. By the Rev. G. E. BIBER, LL.D. London: Cleaver.

WE learn from the preface to this work, that it is the first of a proposed series of biographies of leading characters in the Church, in which the principal events of ecclesiastical history shall be narrated in a popular and easy style. The notion is an excellent one, and, judging from the specimen before us, we should think Dr. Biber fully qualified to carry out the design in a very excellent way. In writing the life of St. Paul, a question of course will arise, whether an author is strictly to limit himself to the facts presented to him by Holy Scripture, or whether he may call in subsidiary facts and illustrations from profane history, and the traditions or histories of the Jewish or the Christian Church. It is unquestionable that much light may be derived

from such sources, and, to a certain extent, every one, perhaps, will admit the propriety of referring to them, i. e. in illustration of the sacred narrative by the explanation of terms, customs, &c. The principle then must be conceded, and the only difficulty arises in point of detail. Dr. Biber has very assiduously referred to all the subsidiary sources alluded to, and has interwoven the information they supply in his Life of the Apostle; and most assuredly, the biography is materially enriched, and rendered far more intelligible by his labours. He expresses a regret, which will be shared by some of his readers, that space, and the object of his volume, have prevented the addition of annotations comprising the grounds of his statements and views, and references to authorities in support of them. It is obviously impossible, however, to combine in the same volume the qualities of cheapness, and a popular form, with the exhibition of learned research; and, therefore, Dr. Biber must stand excused for not attempting to accomplish impossibilities. The work itself is deserving not only of the attention of the young, but of persons of riper years; and there are, perhaps, few who may not learn something from it. The style is popular and easy, and the whole narrative is full without redundancy.

x.-Notes on Various Distinctive Verities of the Christian Church. By the Rev. R. W. MORGAN, Perpetual Curate of Tregynon, Montgomeryshire. London: Rivingtons.

WE have perused a considerable part of Mr. Morgan's work, and with the highest satisfaction. It is the production of a vigorous and thoughtful mind, which contemplates the great principles of our faith, not merely as abstract verities, but as they stand related to our social existence, and to the fate and fortunes of our Church and nation. It It is our trust, that sentiments like those, which Mr. Morgan has so ably and so fearlessly put forth in this volume, are, in the main, the sentiments of the great majority of Churchmen. He is not one of those who can look upon the Christian Church as the creature or the born slave of the temporal powers; neither, on the other hand, is he amongst those who would divorce religion from politics, and release the State from its obligations to promote the cause of true religion; and he even contends, that the Sovereign violates the first of his duties, when he withholds that protection and support which is due to Christianity. He argues, with great force and justice, that the State is acting in the way most destructive of its own true interests, when it impairs the effectiveness of the Church by injudicious appointments to bishoprics, and by refusing liberty to

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