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so, I am afraid to look up to God for assistance, for that would be to ask him to countenance my negligence.' "Every discourse of his, which he thought worthy of the name of a sermon, cost him four days' hard study."
The productions of such a man, written with such views of the sacredness of his work, could not fail to be acceptable and useful. It will not be expected of us to point out the characteristics of Pres. Davies as a sermonizer. Mr. Barnes has done this with discrimination and fidelity in his "Essay on the Life and Times of the Author." But the best voucher for the value of these discourses is their almost unexampled popularity. Probably no other sermons which have issued from the American press have obtained more unequivocal proofs of the public favor. Prior to 1800, nine editions of them had been given to the world. In Great Britain, moreover, they have been repeatedly published with the approval and recommendations of the soundest divines. The publishers of the volumes before us have acted wisely for themselves, we have no doubt, as well as advantageously for the public in preparing this "stereotype edition.
The preliminary "essay," above referred to, occupies about 60 pages. It takes a rapid view of the leading incidents in the life of Pres. Davies, and also of the early history of Presbyterianism in Virginia, the materials of which were mainly furnished by Dr. Hill. Next follows the writer's estimate of Pres. Davies as a preacher. The last 25 pages of the "essay" are devoted to a consideration of "the kind of ministry fitted to the times in which we live." The sentiments advanced in the progress of this discussion are judicious and weighty,such as we should expect from one who himself illustrates "the kind of preaching that this age demands." The sermons contained in the present edition are eighty-two in number, embracing a great variety of subjects,-ordinary and occasional, and well suited to all classes of readers.
2.-A Grammar of the New Testament Dialect. By M. Stuart, Prof. of Sacred Literature in the Theol. Seminary at Andover. Second edition, corrected and mostly written anew. Andover: Allen, Morrill & Wardwell (successors to Gould and Newman). New York: Dayton & Saxton. 1841. pp. 308.
The first edition of this grammar,-which was published in 1834, having been for some time exhausted, Prof. Stuart has reluctantly consented to issue a second. The state of his
health, in connection with the multiplicity of his engagements, deterred him at first from assuming any additional labor; but having once consented to revise his previous investigations, he has applied himself to the undertaking with characteristic diligence and fidelity. The science of Greek grammar has been rapidly advancing during the last few years. The work of Kühner, to omit the mention of others,-has thrown floods of light upon the structure of this venerable language. "Buttmann and Hermann," Prof. Stuart observes in his Preface, "laid the foundation for recent improvements; Kühner has shown to what an extent they have been carried. The science of grammar has been simplified, and principle is now substituted, in a multitude of cases, for what had before been little better than a chaotic mass of facts. It would seem that not much further room is left for any important improvements; yet the history of the past may well admonish us, not to exclude the hope of still further acquisitions to grammatical
The most cursory perusal of the volume before us is sufficient to prove that Prof. Stewart has not been inattentive to the recent discoveries. The present edition is considerably larger than the first. Important parts of the work have been "written entirely anew," and it may be regarded as bringing together all the great principles of the language. The "Verbs" are treated with fulness and accuracy; and more than 150 pages are devoted to "Syntax." Some topics, which have been too much neglected in this country, here receive the attention which their importance demands.
3.-Notes, Critical and Practical, on the Book of Exodus; designed as a general help to Biblical Reading and Instruction. By George Bush, Prof. of Heb. and Orient. Lit., N. Y. City University. In two volumes. Andover: Gould & Newman. New-York: Dayton & Saxton. 1841.
pp. 300, 299.
Prof. Bush is already known as a learned and industrious commentator on the Old Testament. These volumes have the same general characteristics as the Notes on Genesis. They bear the mark of uncommon diligence, extensive research, and a commendable readiness to meet the real difficulties of the sacred text. His language is clear, sometimes a little too copious perhaps, but always carefully weighed and chosen. He is distinguished above most modern interpreters of Scripture by the strength of his imagination; indeed he constantly
reminds us of some of the older commentators. This peculiarity imparts a freshness to many passages in his expositions which heighten the pleasure with which they are perused. Occasionally, however, it leads him to interpretations and opinions which, to say the least, are somewhat questionable. Types and symbols assume an importance and a significancy, in his hands, which few assign to them at the present day.
In most of Prof. Bush's expositions we fully concur; he usually exhibits the true spirit of the original. In cases of real difficulty he lays out his strength, and generally with success. He denies, with good reason we think,-that the magicians of Pharaoh performed genuine miracles; they merely imitated, by their enchantments, the prodigies of Moses and Aaron. God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, he supposes, not by any positive divine influence, but by so ordering the course of events that "the haughty king should take occasion to confirm himself in his disregard of the counsels of the Most High."
We regret that he has refused to locate the passage of the Israelites across the Red Sea in the immediate vicinity of Suez. In opposition to the opinions of Niebuhr, Leclerc, Rosenmüller, Dr. Robinson and others, he adopts the theory of the editor of the Pictorial Bible and those who agree with him, which places this occurrence some ten or twelve miles farther south." The arguments which he adduces in support of this preference seem to us unsatisfactory,-especially the consideration "that the waters being here deeper and broader the miracle would be the more conspicuous and unquestionable." We think too that Prof. Bush has found himself somewhat straitened in his interpretation of certain expressions in the context. He supposes, for instance, "that the body of the waters had been rolled up, as it were, by the force of the wind from the western to the eastern side of the sea, and that it was through this agglomerated fluid that the passage was opened." Of course this could not have been the effect of an east wind; and hence he gives to "rather a generic than a specific import," denoting "any uncommonly strong or violent wind from whatever quarter it blows." Besides, we conceive it to have been absolutely impossible for six hundred thousand men, with their women and children, 66 the mixed multitude that followed them, and "their flocks and herds, even very much cattle," to have crossed the Red Sea ten or twelve miles south of Suez, during the time allowed them by the sacred narrative.
The remarks of Prof. Bush respecting the shechinah, the tabernacle and the cherubim, will excite the most attention. He has evidently bestowed much thought upon each of these
topics; and those who dissent from his opinions must admire the sincerity and earnestness with which he holds and defends them. We have not space for a careful examination of our author's sentiments; and nothing short of an extended notice can do them justice. We commend them to the diligent study of all lovers of biblical investigation.
The value of the second volume is materially enhanced by numerous cuts, illustrative of the tabernacle, its furniture, the dresses of the priests, etc.
4.-Autobiography, Reminiscences and Letters of John Trumbull, from 1756 to 1841. New-York and London: Wiley & Putnam. New-Haven: B. L. Hamlen.
We are in every respect gratified with the appearance of this handsomely executed octavo volume from the pen of the octogenarian Colonel Trumbull. On opening it we are presented with an accurate engraved likeness of the venerable author and subject of the work, taken in 1833. This is as it should be. When an old man, on the eve of his departure to a better world, pauses to perform that work which most persons, necessarily as well as properly, leave to their survivors, there is a propriety in his presenting his face with the record of his life. And such a man has a right to tell his own story. That which would be justly censured as egotism and vanity, in a younger man, may be received with satisfaction from one who has survived two generations of the world's inhabitants, and whose life has been prolonged almost to the limits of a third. Such an one, having well nigh finished his course, having done with the world and its objects of ambition, can leave no richer legacy to posterity than a faithful record of his own life and times. He is the relic of a by-gone age; and if, as we believe is true of Col. Trumbull, his mind is uncor rupted, and retains, in a great degree, its original vigor, it is a blessing to mankind for him to linger among the living. When he testifies of what he has seen and heard, his writings come upon us with something of that authority with which memory repeats to us the counsels of a venerated father who, being dead, yet speaketh; and they are the more interesting, because they are the words of a living witness.
Col. Trumbull was the son of John Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut, and was born at Lebanon in that state, 1756. Being in his infancy the subject of "convulsion fits," his life was preserved by a remarkable providence and the untiring care of his mother. His education was conducted with the best
advantages of those times. His taste for drawing and painting was early indicated. He was graduated at Cambridge at the age of seventeen, and soon after, by the approach of the revolution, had his attention directed to the study of military affairs. At the age of nineteen he entered the army as adjutant, was in the battle of Bunker's Hill, was soon after appointed Aid to General Washington, and then advanced to the rank of Major, and soon after to that of Colonel, and was present at some of the most interesting scenes of the war, until 1777, when, before he had reached the age of twenty-one years, he closed his military career, by declining to receive his commission as Colonel, on account of the refusal of Congress to give it the date to which he judged it entitled. The correspondence relating to this unhappy occurrence is spread before the reader, and is honorable to the military spirit of the youthful aspirant.
He then resumed his favorite study of painting as a profession, and went to Boston for this purpose; and, after some interruption by the progress of the war, he went to Europe at the age of twenty-four and became a pupil of Mr. West in London. Here, after a few months, he was arrested and retained in prison for the term of seven months under suspicion of unfriendly designs against the British government. After his release he sailed to Holland, and thence, through much danger and delay, to America, where he remained until peace was restored between the two countries, when he returned to London in 1784, and commenced his famous picture of the Battle of Bunker's Hill and other works in the line of his profession, visited France and other countries, and remained abroad until 1789, when he returned. In 1794, he again embarked for England, as Secretary to Mr. Jay, and, in 1796, was appointed one of the commissioners to carry into execution the seventh article of the treaty between the two governments, remained abroad several years, visited France and was exposed to the peril of his life by the spirit of the French Revolution, returned to New-York, again visited England in 1808, and remained abroad eight years, since which he has honored his own country with his residence and a reputation in the line of his profession which is surpassed by no American artist. His paintings in the rotunda at Washington and in the Trumbull gallery at New-Haven will remain as monuments of his genius; and it is gratifying to reflect that a life of so much vicissitude, so useful and honorable to our country, is still prolonged and comfortably provided for by an annuity from Yale College in return for the splendid works which adorn the Trumbull gallery.