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PROSPECTUS OF THE BIBLIOTHECA SACRA
FOR VOLUME XXI., 1864.
THE financial embarrassments resulting from the present rebellion call the friends of learning to a new effort in behalf of their Periodicals. This special effort is needed, because the expense of publishing these Periodicals is augmented by the war, and because the attention of scholars is now apt to be turned away from their appropriate studies to the engrossing scenes of the battle-field. We therefore request our readers to examine the present Prospectus.
HISTORY OF THE BIBLIOTHECA SACRA.
The BIBLICAL REPOSITORY was commenced at Andover, in 1831. The present series of the BIBLIOTHECA SACRA was commenced at Andover, in 1844. A volume not belonging to this series was published at New York, in 1843, by Prof. Edward Robinson. The two Periodicals were united in 1851. The volume for the year 1864 is the twenty-first of the BIBLIOTHECA SACRA, and the fifty-second of the BIBLICAL REPOSITORY, in the combined series. This combined series contains a much larger number of pages than is contained in any other Theological Quarterly in our land.
The first Editors of the present BIBLIOTHECA SACRA, were Professor B. B. Edwards and Professor Edwards A. Park, of the Andover Theological Seminary. Several of the richest essays of Prof. Edwards were published in this Review. Since the year 1852 the Editors have been Professor Park, and Samuel H. Taylor, LI.. D., of Phillips Academy, Andover. Among its regular contributors have been, and are now, eminent scholars, connected with various theological and collegiate institutions of the United States. Its pages have been, and will continue to be, enriched by such contributions from Foreign Missionaries in the East as may illustrate the Biblical
Record; and also by such essays from distinguished naturalists as may elucidate the agreement between Science and Religion. It is hoped that hereafter more space will be devoted than has been given heretofore to strictly Biblical and Theological inquiries. Arrangements have been made for securing the most valuable literary intelligence from various parts of Europe, and the most thoughtful reviews of scientific and literary works.
The abstracts which President Sears of Brown University has furnished of the more important German treatises, and the reviews which Dr. J. P. Thompson of New York has furnished of recent works on Egyptology, have been eminently accurate and thorough. These gentlemen will continue their valuable contributions.
The BIBLIOTHECA SACRA originally introduced the plan, and it will hereafter prosecute it, of compressing and transferring the substance of German dissertations into the English language and idioms, without exactly translating one by one the German sentences, or preserving the peculiarity of the German style, or introducing trains of thought which interest the German mind, but in the view of Americans are irrelevant or unessential to the theme.
PLAN AND AIM OF THE WORK.
The BIBLIOTHECA SACRA is not designed for discussions of ephemeral interest, but for those of permanent value. It has inserted many an Article which has cost its author months of toil, and here and there an Article on which more than a year, or even two years, have been expended. Such Articles will not lose their worth with the passing time. The Review aims to give a careful and painstaking explanation of the spirit and genius of different schools, ancient and modern, in ethical philosophy and in religion. This feature of the work, as well as its Biblical character, was highly prized by Sir William Hamilton, who perused its pages regularly, and, in a letter to its Editors, expressed his appreciation of its worth. The Review is referred to and quoted by many foreign authors in their publications, by Neander, Ellicott, Kitto, J. P. and William Smith, the writers of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and others. In this man.
ner the BIBLIOTHECA SACRA aims to fulfil the original design of periodical literature as the design is stated in the New American Cyclopaedia: "The extension of knowledge and the multiplication of books [render] it impossible for the [private] scholar to inform himself of the progress of learning in various countries, or to purchase and peruse more than a small portion of the works issued from the press; hence the necessity for critical journals."
The BIBLIOTHECA SACRA is not a sectarian journal. It does not strive to inflame the zeal of theological partisans, but to exhibit the broad scriptural views of truth, and to cherish a catholic spirit among the conflicting schools of evangelical divines. It is the organ of no clique or party, but it is a "Library" of essays, a "Repository" of tracts, written by differing theologians, and adapted to explain or to elicit the exact truth.
This Review does not pretend to shape the materials of thought so that they may be transferred at once, and without being rewrought. into sermons; but it aims to suggest principles which will refresh and strengthen the writer of sermons, and stir him up to various and vigorous presentations of Biblical Doctrine. Some of its Articles require deep thought in the reader; but this is absolutely essential to the maintenance of a dignified and commanding science of theology. When a clergyman ceases to feel an interest in elaborate discussion, he begins to throw away the rightful authority of his office. When he confines his attention to books which are no more adapted to the educated mind than to the uneducated, he becomes less "apt to teach" those who look up to him for instruction, and less qualified to command the reverence of a congregation whose training he ought to superintend. The leader must walk before the led. The shepherd must not keep abreast of his flock, nor lag behind it. He must move in advance, and must be followed by those who have reason to confide in his guidance. A pastor is bound to acquaint himself with spheres of thought to which the majority of his hearers are unaccustomed. His more recondite studies are essential to the interest of his simpler discourses. His exercise with heavy armor fits him to wield the common implements of his office with the greater elas