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Brief Literary Notices.
general view of the progress and spirit of physical science; and proceeds to treat of the great problem of organic life, of longevity, of physical geography, astronomy, sidereal and meteoric chemistry, and the natural history of man. An interesting survey of the geography and history of the Mediterranean Sea might perhaps have better been left in the pages of the 'Edinburgh Review; but it serves, along with the paper on Roman History before noticed, to show how much general culture may be preserved amidst the hurried toils of London professional life, and the special fascinations of physical science. Indeed, it is this quality of general knowledge which makes Sir Henry Holland's articles so well worth reading. He is just the writer for a general reader. And as these pages are the productions of his long-vacation travels,-written far away from books and scientific meetings, they are especially free from the embarrassment of detail which so often disfigures popular science. Further, Sir Henry has an agreeable and fluent style, and has been at the pains to add such notes as the discoveries of the last few years have made necessary to keep his remarks on a level with the times. Scientific subjects are less damaged than some others by this mode of treatment, inasmuch as they are so constantly changing their aspect that every view of them is more or less ephemeral.
We have greatly admired the reverent and cautious spirit with which our author tempers his freedom and boldness. He is not one of those who think it necessary to discard all religious beliefs, in order to take a fair view of scientific questions, or who swallow a new physical theory with the more eagerness because it seems to upset a received biblical doctrine. At the same time, he will not be accused of disparaging the value of modern speculation; but takes, as might be expected, the scientific side of those questions which still leave unharmonized the present results of induction and the present canons of interpretation.
From a volume which embraces so great a variety of topics, and in which so little professes to be original, it is not easy to make useful extracts. But, recommending our general readers particularly to the first two papers, and to the chapters on Aerolites and Sidereal Astronomy, we may take a specimen of Sir Henry Holland's style of treatment from his view of Life and Organization.'
'Another topic of eminent importance to all our views of life, and the economy of living beings, is that of Animal Instinct. Much has been observed, thought, and written on this subject; but less connectedly, we think, than its interest requires. Facts have been multiplied and better defined; and the special structures serving to the fulfilment of instincts more carefully, yet for the most part vainly, explored. For the great problem here remains as entirely unresolved as in the earliest days of ancient philosophy. What is the source or proximate cause of those actions-definite, peculiar, and permanent in each species-which we call instinctive, as distinguished from the acts of reason and intelligence? The main points of doubt, speculation, and controversy are all concentrated within this question. It involves one which, in some sort, is precursory to all; viz., the reality
and nature of the distinction between reason and instinct; faculties so closely bordering on each other, and often so blended in the same acts, that it becomes difficult to distinguish or dissever them. To obtain a just definition, we must look at the more simple and extreme cases of each. "The absolute hereditary nature of instincts; their instant or speedy perfection prior to all experience or memory ;-their provision for the future without prescience of it;-the preciseness of their objects, extent, and limitation;-and the distinctness and permanence of their character for each species," are the more general facts upon which we define true instincts, and contradistinguish them from the acts of mind and reason. These two great faculties may be said to exist in inverse ratio to each other, throughout the whole scale of animal life. Where intelligence is highest in power and effect, instinct is lowest and least in amount. It augments progressively as we ascend in the series; and at some point, hardly to be defined, seemingly embraces and gives origin to all the arts of animal existence.' Theological and Homiletical Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke. From the German of J. J. Van Oosterzee, D.D. Vol. I. Edinburgh: Clark.
THIS is a continuation of a series of commentaries,-written on an original plan, partly by Dr. Lange and partly under his direction,-which is likely to be as popular in England as it is in Germany. The volumes are ably translated, into English less cramped than usual in this class of works; and they are not the less acceptable because here and there some notes and allusions are omitted which would be unintelligible if transferred from the German to the English.
The main value of this commentary is that it gives the growth of all the best orthodox critical and practical exegesis of modern Germany. None but those who examine them with unprejudiced and discriminating eyes, can tell what a treasure of profound and edifying notes these pages contain.
Of Dr. Oosterzee's own share in the volume we should not speak with unqualified approbation. Having examined with care some of the salient points of the volume,-such as St. Luke's version of the Sermon on the Mount, the narrative of Simon and Mary, the message of John the Baptist, and some others, we find something to differ from on all these subjects. But these differences never involve vital questions: on these we are quite at one with this Dutch divine,-whose learned, orthodox, and pious contributions to our theological literature we cordially welcome, at the hands of his able and graceful translator. Catechesis Evangelica; being Questions and Answers based on the Textus Receptus.' Part I.-St. Matthew. By T. L. Montefiore, M.A. Longmans.
THIS volume is as good as its design and scope will allow it to be. It does not profess to be a commentary on the Greek text of St. Matthew, but only to furnish a selection of important critical notes on the leading difficulties of the successive chapters. The work is constructed on the catechetical plan, in order to familiarize students beforehand with a kind of exami.
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nation which they may have to undergo;' and the result of the whole is, that any one who gets up these questions and answers is pretty well prepared for the usual Examination Papers on St. Matthew. The general reader, however, will find it a book well worth having at hand; not, indeed, as a thorough exposition of the Gospel, nor as a series of investigations upon obscure passages, but as a catena of notes always exhibiting the taste of a scholarly compiler, and sometimes presenting in a few paragraphs the results of much research. We cordially recommend this little volume, the first instalment of what will be a very valuable aid to all students of the Greek Testament.
The Works of John Howe, M.A. Vol. I.
With a General
AFTER reading Mr. Rogers's preface,—a little critical essay well worth reading for its own sake, we are thoroughly convinced, not only that this will be a good edition of John Howe, but that it will be the only edition which will fairly represent the great Puritan. We admire Mr. Rogers's masterly statement of his case, and have every confidence in his skill and fidelity; in our opinion he will be the first worthy editor John Howe has had. If he should limit his publication to the six volumes, we shall be content, for our own part; although we think we shall be in the minority on this point.-The Society' is doing a signal service to our young divines; and we would most urgently exhort all our readers to show their appreciation of the benefit by subscribing at once to so cheap and so beautiful a work.
An Exposition of the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. By the late John Brown, D.D. Edited by David Smith, Ď.D., Biggar. Two Vols. Edinburgh: Oliphant and Co. 1862. THIS work is in every respect, except the date, a posthumous work.' It was written before most of Dr. Brown's works, already published, had been several times read to the students in the Theological Hall of the United Presbyterian Church, in the course of Dr. Brown's prelections as professor of exegetical theology, and has been enriched, in connexion with other readings, by numerous critical and illustrative notes. Dr. Brown had also carefully paragraphed it, drawn out the table of contents, and marked on the margin various directions to the printer.'
This seems to us, indeed, to be in every respect one of the most valuable of Dr. Brown's expository works. As no epistle is of more interest, perhaps none of more importance, than that to the Hebrews, so none appears to have received more careful study at the hands of Dr. Brown. The editor justly enumerates, as the characteristic qualities of Dr. Brown as an interpreter, singular clearness of apprehension, remarkable conciseness and precision of language, a sacred regard to the authority of the inspired writer, a rich savour of evangelical doctrine, and a fearless following out of, and giving expression to, what in his judgment and conscience he believed to be the mind
of the Holy Ghost.' We may add that he has adhered to covenant (never testament) as the rendering of diathên.
The value of this commentary-the last, it appears, of the author's expository works which are likely to be published-is enhanced by the addition of several discourses preached by Dr. Brown in the latter years of his ministry, chiefly, if not entirely, upon sacramental occasions, from different passages of this epistle.' Altogether, we welcome these volumes as a valuable addition to our theological literature, and could earnestly wish that our junior theological students would master them, andsaving their Calvinism, which is decisive, though candid and moderate -would closely imitate Dr. Brown's method of exegetical investigation, and imbibe his spirit as a student of the Divine Word. Those who have become familiar with the life and character of the author through Dr. Cairns' memoir, or the reminiscences of his gifted son, the author of the 'Hora Subsecivæ,' will do well, if they have not done so already, to become farther acquainted with him through his expository writings. As to the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews, we should note, Dr. Brown gives only his conclusion, not his reasons. He is disposed to think that, though by no means absolutely certain, it is in a high degree probable, that this Epistle was written by the Apostle St. Paul.'
The Religions before Christ: being an Introduction to the History of the First Three Centuries of the Church. By Edmond De Pressensé, Pastor of the French Evangelical Church, and Doctor of Divinity of the University of Breslau. Translated by L. Corkran. With Preface by the Author. Edinburgh: Clarks. 1862.
MESSRS. CLARK have been well advised in adding this book to their list of translations. It is a thoughtful and eloquent volume on perhaps the most interesting moral question which can be submitted to speculative analysis. Its object is to trace the stages of perversion and corruption by which idolatry, in its various kinds and in different nations, was deduced from primitive truth; and also to show how, even in the midst of idolatrous degeneracy and error, there sprang up from the world hunanizing and, in a sense, educating influences, which, under the wonderful working of Providence, constituted a vis medicatrix in the midst of corruption and apostasy, a counter-preparation of the world for its acceptance of Christianity, and its deliverance out of the bondage' of idolatrous corruption' into the freedom and truth which God had laid up for mankind in the gift of His Son. In connexion with this, Dr. Pressensé of necessity also describes the function of Judaism, both in its earlier growth up to its maturity and also in its decadence, showing how throughout the whole of its decline, no less than during its rising strength, its spiritual vocation was sustained, and among the true Israelites, such as old Simeon, there was a growing advancement in spiritual intelligence and sympathy. Finally, he shows how Christianity came in to take possession of an inheritance which had been in every way, and through all dispensations, prepared to receive it; how it answered cravings which the world had been made to feel through all its veins, but which it had
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277 learnt at the same time that no earthly sources could satisfy; how it fulfilled hopes with which the world, even in its lowest helplessness and despondency, had been providentially inspired; and how, at the very period towards which all lines of preparation converged, 'in the fulness of the times,' Christianity actually appeared upon the earth. Such is the general scope of M. Pressensé's timely work. German in its erudition; French in the clear-cut brilliancy of its expression, the positiveness of its statements, the directness of its expositions; it will be found a far more learned and masterly-as also a safer and truer guide as to the 'Religions of the World,' than Mr. Maurice's well-known work; while it supplies the full Christian truth respecting that education of the world' of which Dr. Temple-for the most part echoing Lessing, but with scarcely so much distinct Christianity of tone-has given a slight and one-sided sketch. We do not mean to say that we agree with all that it contains,-far from it; or that its speculations are all of them sound and safe. But we have no space here for detailed criticism; and, on the whole, the book is so good, that we do not choose to specify any points on which we differ from the author.
Louise Juliane, Electress Palatine, and her Times. By Fanny Elizabeth Bunnett. James Nisbet and Co. 1862.
In spite of the remonstrances of his brother, and the threats of his German connexions, William the Silent married, on the 12th of June, 1775, Charlotte de Bourbon, 'a run-away nun,' as the wrathful Landgrave of Hesse chose to call her. Louise Juliane, afterwards Electress Palatine, was the eldest child of this marriage. Her story has a special interest for English readers, as the preface reminds us. The great grandson of her father, William of Orange, sat on the English throne at the close of the seventeenth century, and to the descendants of her granddaughter, the Electress Sophia, the crown of this kingdom stands limited by the constitution.'
The introductory chapter contains a summary of events in Netherland history, from the famous abdication of Charles the Fifth, to the Pacification of Ghent. It is no disparagement to the authoress to say, that her introductory chapter of little more than twenty pages gives a meagre and very superficial outline of the many-sided events of the great Netherland struggle, with which the recent histories of Prescott and Motley have made us so familiar. The remainder of the volume is occupied with the personal history of the Electress, (if we except a short digression on the territory and history of the Palatinate.) Various pleasant domestic notices of the prince, of the strong affection which bound him to his family, and the several members of it to each other, are scattered through the record of the eight years that intervened between the birth of Juliane and the assassination of the prince. The sudden and violent death of her father was naturally a fearful shock to her: For many weeks she was ill,' 'even the doctors thought badly of her state; nevertheless she rallied, and henceforth, till her marriage with Frederick the Fourth, Elector Palatine, she remained under the care of her stepmother, the Princess of Orange. Hers must have been a sober youth, chastened by the gloom