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passed away. We feel constrained to say, however, that some of the interpretations of the book before us look a little as if such practice were not yet entirely obsolete. Still there is very much in the work that will commend it not only to the professed interpreter, but to every pious heart. These sublime and inspired productions of the sweet Psalmist of Israel, if not all prophecies, and full in every stanza of Christ and his Church, are yet so profoundly expressive of the experiences and aspirations of the pious soul-so rich in the spirit of penitence, faith, confidence in God, and lofty adoration, as to meet the wants alike of Hebrew and of Christian worship, and render them a special treasure to the church in all ages.
OWEN'S COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPELS.*-Dr. Owen, who has been long and favorably known among classical scholars for his editions of Xenophon, Homer, and Thucydides, has more recently directed his studies to the illustration of the New Testament. He published, some time since, the Greek text of the Acts, accompanied by a commentary, which, however, was mainly philological in its character, being designed for students of the Greek language. But his volumes, lately published, on the first three evangelists, are intended to set forth the meaning of the sacred text in a popular form, open to the comprehension of all intelligent persons. Hence, although using the various resources of critical scholarship, to determine the true interpretation of the New Testament writers, he lays aside in his notes all the apparatus of learning, and gives the results of his study in simple and intelligible English. With such views, he has thought it proper to use a fullness of statement and exposition much greater than would be necessary, or even desirable, in writing for scholars. There are, doubtless, persons unacquainted with Greek, and requiring, of course, a commentary wholly English, who would prefer a different style-one of condensed brevity, with pregnant hints and striking suggestions, at once demanding and stimulating reflection in the reader. But this is not the mental attitude of the great majority of those who desire a commentary on the New Testament; and Dr. Owen has thought it proper to adapt himself to the tastes and wants of the majority. The spirit of the work
* A Commentary, Critical, Expository, and Practical, on the Gospels of Matthew and Mark; for the use of Ministers, Theological Students, Private Christians, Bible Classes, and Sabbath Schools. By JOHN J. OWEN, D. D. New York: Leavitt & Allen. 1857. 12mo. pp. 501. Commentary on the Gospel of Luke. By the same Author. 1859. pp. 400.
is eminently pleasing. Its author is, in a remarkable degree, fair-minded, truth-loving, and kindly in his feelings, while yet perfectly tenacious. of orthodox opinion. We cannot doubt that his exegetical works will receive a wide circulation, and will be used with pleasure and profit by multitudes of readers.
PATTISON'S COMMENTARY ON THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS.*—The author of this commentary has written it with the idea that, relatively, there is now in the church an excess of learned instruction; that "the great want of the church, at this period of its history and efforts, is the nourishment of the inner man'—the illumination of the heart, by a clear and rich acquaintance, not with verbal or historical criticism, but with the scope and moral force of the word of God." His book is one intended more especially "for experienced Christians."
The book may profitably be examined also by those who would learn how to make exegetical preaching interesting to their hearers. Such preaching is generally too minute and not sufficiently analytical and logical. The mere words and verses are made too conspicuous, the subjects and thoughts are not enough distinct. The author divides the Epistle into twenty-one lessons, and in each treats of some one topic, or cluster of topics, there made prominent.
In the passage on the "Relative duties of servants and masters," he does not on the whole find a sanction of slavery, yet he takes one or two positions from which we must dissent. He says the master is exhorted to conduct "as if his possession (of the slave) was right in itself, as well as legal." We do not believe it. We deny that any moral right is recognized, or assumed, except the proper relation of service with payment of "that which is just and equal" in return. The command to obey the master (if the servant may not yet be free) does not imply the moral right of the master over the slave as property; nor do the commands to the master recognizing that he has a servant, or even a legal slave, in his possession, imply that he is in any case to treat, or hold, or dispose of him as property, or do otherwise than disown the chattel principle of slavery and pay wages for labor. The book has a valuable Index of subjects, and questions for each lesson, which make it valuable as a Bible class text-book.
* A Commentary, Explanatory, Doctrinal and Practical, on the Epistle to the Ephesians. By R. E. PATTISON, D. D., late President of Waterville College. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 1859. pp. 244.
STEVENS' HISTORY OF METHODISM.*-Dr. Stevens has issued the second volume of his valuable History of Methodism. The first volume closed with the death of Whitefield. This volume continues the history to the death of Wesley. The two volumes conclude what the author considers the most important part of his task-The Life and Times of Wesley. They are complete in themselves-independent of the subsequent volumes, though the subsequent volumes will be dependent on them-designed especially for those who wish only the "Life and Times of Wesley." The author is fulfilling well his design to make this history a standard work for reference, especially for Methodist clergymen; though he writes not for them, or for Methodists alone, but to meet an acknowledged want of the literary and religious commonwealths at large. If Dr. Stevens in the remaining volumes meets this want as well as he has in the two already published, these "literary and religious commmonwealths" will be under great obligation to him. The publishers give the work to the public in very handsome style.
BIBLE DICTIONARY.-The Bible Dictionary recently published by the American Tract Society, of New York, is an excellent book of the kind. It is based on the small dictionary of Dr. Edward Robinson, published in 1833 for the use of schools and young persons, and embraces about two-thirds of the matter of that work, which constitutes, however, only about one-third of the present publication. This use of Dr. Robinson's work has been made in accordance with an arrangement with its former publishers, without any participation or responsibility on the part of Dr. Robinson himself. Under whose special supervision the present work has been prepared, we are not informed; it appears as the work of the Tract Society, and in the absence of any other responsible editorship, is of course to be regarded as expressing the Society's views on the topics of which it treats.
We are happy to say, that so far as we have examined, it appears in general to represent the present state of Biblical knowledge, containing the results of the latest researches in a popular form, and is well adapt
*The History of the Religious Movement of the eighteenth Century, called Methodism, considered in its different denominational forms, and its relations to British and American Protestantism. By ABEL STEVENS, LL. D. Volume II. New York: Carlton & Porter. 1859.
A Dictionary of the Holy Bible, for general use in the study of the Scriptures; with engravings, maps and tables. Published by the American Tract Society. New York. 1859. pp. 534.
ed to the wants of families, Sabbath Schools, and persons who have not leisure to consult more extended and critical works.
While we say this, we cannot but regret that it occasionally shows too great readiness to perpetuate erroneous, current opinions and interpretations, instead of giving the results of critical investigation; that, for example, it should speak of the almost inaccessible summit of the Armenian Ararat, towering a mile and a quarter above the line of perpetual ice, as if it were the undoubted resting place of the ark; and should once and again refer to Job xix, 25-27, and xxxiii, 23-28, as admitting of no other than a messianic interpretation.
Under the title Servants, we find a brief exposition of the facts respecting servitude among the Hebrews, concluding with the following more general statements:
"Roman slavery, as it existed in the time of Christ, was comparatively unknown to the Jews. The Romans held in bondage captives taken in war, and purchased slaves. Their bondage was perpetual, and the master held unquestioned control of the person and life of his slaves. Yet large numbers were set free, and in many instances Roman freedmen rose to the highest honors.
"The allusions of the Bible to involuntary servitude imply that it is an evil and undesirable condition of life; yet the bondman who cannot obtain his freedom is divinely exhorted to contentment, 1 Cor. vii, 20, 24. Meanwhile the Bible gives directions as to the mutual duties of masters and servants, Eph. vi, 5-9; Col. iii, 22; iv, 1; Tit. ii, 9; Philo.; 1 Pet. ii, 18; and proclaims the great truths of the common origin of all men, the immortality of every human soul, and its right to the Bible and to all necessary means of knowing and serving the Saviour--the application of which, to all the relations of master and servant, superior and inferior, employer and employed, would prevent all oppression, which God abhors, Deut. xxiv, 14; Psa. ciii, 6; Isa. x, 1-3; Amos iv, 1; Mal. iii, 5; James v, 4."
The volume includes several well executed colored Scriptural maps, and valuable chronological and other tables, with a profusion of illustrative cuts, in the usual finished style of the Tract Society's publications.
DR. THOMPSON'S SERMON FOR COLLEGES.*-This able, eloquent, and
The College as a Religious Institution. An Address delivered in Boston, May, 1859, in behalf of the Society for the promotion of Collegiate and Theological Education at the West. By JOSEPH P. THOMPSON, Pastor of the Broadway Tabernacle Church, New York. 8vo. pp. 34.
timely address treats of a theme which has not been discussed so often as it deserves. Intelligent men in our churches have only a general impression that colleges are both necessary and useful for the church and stale. Of their importance and influence as religious institutions, they are by no means so thoroughly convinced. Indeed, it is difficult to persuade them that to endow or aid a Christian college is to perform an act of religious charity. Dr. Thompson recognizes this condition of the public mind, and endeavors, in the address before us, to satisfy such questionings, and to anticipate these difficulties. He treats of the college as a religious institution, "in its normal inception, its historical development, its organic structure and adaptations, and its practical relations to the religious aspect of the times, and the religious future of our land." These head of thought are well developed, and eloquently enforced, forming an argument of unsurpassed excellence on this much needed topic. The whole is a valuable addition to the series of addresses and other papers on higher education, which are one of the good fruits, borne by the society at whose anniversary it was delivered.
Lessons FROM JESUS* is the title of a series of Essays, chiefly of a devotional character, on leading incidents and topics in the life and teachings of our Lord. The object of the writer, as stated in his preface, “is to gain for the whole gospel a more extensive and affectionate reception among those who may have apprehended it but partially, and to bring out its adaptation to the varied experiences both of the old and the young, the decided and undecided, the believer and the skeptic ;subsidiary to these designs, also to raise a note of warning, as to the designs of many, who either openly or covertly are seeking to rob the church of those doctrines which have been, and must continue to be, the only source of her spiritual strength, beauty, and usefulness, while traveling through this wilderness of time.”
The errors against which the note of warning is raised are chiefly those of “a school risen up at Oxford and elsewhere, in which some of the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel, especially the atonement and the inspiration and authority of the Old Testament, are, if not absolutely denied, yet undermined." The type of theology which belongs to the book itself is indicated by the terms inability, particular redemption or limited atonement, and the statement that Christ suffered the precise
Lessons from Jesus : or teachings of Divine Love. By W. P. BALTERN, author of Glimpses of Jesus. New York: Sheldon & Company. 1859. Pp. 324,