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Essays on the Philosophy of Vitality, and on the modus operandi
of Remedial Agents. By Martyn Paine, A. M., M. D.. etc.,
etc. New-York: Hopkins & Jennings. 1842. pp. 68. The End of the World not yet. A discourse delivered at Newbury
port, Mass. By Rev. L. F. Dimmick. Newburyport: Charles
Whipple. 1842. pp. 48. The Ambassador of God; or The True Spirit of the Christian
Ministry. A Sermon, by Rev. John W. Nevin, D. D. 1842.
Prussia. PROFESSOR MOSER of Königsberg, says Alexandre Von Hum. boldt, has obtained daguerreotype impressions in a dark room
one of the most marvellous discoveries of this day of discovery and invention.-Five works of Schelling are about to be published, comprising the History of Philosophy since Descartes-Positive Philosophy-Philosophy of Mythology-Philosophy of Revelation-and Natural Philosophy.
Germany. A new Literaturzeitung has been commenced at Jena, by Prof. Hand.-An exegetical manual of the first three gospels is promised by H. E. G. Paulus.—Neander is engaged
on a new edi. tion of his 'General History of the Christian Religion and Church.'—Hengstenberg is publishing a Commentary on the Psalms.—Dr. Tuch, commentator on Genesis, etc., has left Halle to enter on his professorship of Oriental languages at Leipzig.-The number of students at Berlin, by the last account, was 1757—Bonn, 558—Breslau, 639—Göttingen, 728— Halle, 705—Heidelberg, 572.—Ludwig Tieck has left Dresden and taken up his residence at Berlin. -A statue of Jean-Paul Richter has been erected at the Gymnasium of Baireuth.
Prof. Krug of Leipzig, author of a “History of the Philosophy of the Ancients, and Kuinöl, well known by his Commentary on the New Testament, have both departed this life. The University of Halle has suffered an irreparable loss in the death of Professor Gesenius, well known to biblical students. He died in the 57th year of his age.
france. In 1841, 8036 works were printed at Paris.—The Volnian prize in philology has been awarded by the Academy of Sciences, to Dr. Theodore Benfey, of Göttingen, for his Étymological Lexicon of the Greek language.
taly. The design of publishing, at Rome, a uniform edition of the works of the Fathers, from the apostolic times to the 13th century, and in connexion the best writers in patristic theology, has been abandoned.
England. Dr. Solomon Herschel, Chief Rabbi of the Jews in England, died at his residence recently, in the 83d year of his age. Fot forty-one years he had been Chief Rabbi of the Great Synagogue.-Allan Cunningham died October 29th, 1842.—A com. plete edition of the works of the venerable Bede is to be pubIished under the superintendence of Dr. Giles. It will contain the original Latin, with a new translation of the principal works.-K. O. Müller's “Attica and Athens, with a map and plan," translated by J. I. Lockhart, is a valuable work, which has recently appeared.--Also, a Historical outline of the book of Psalms, by the late J. Mason Good, M. D.
We have to record the early decease of Professor Isaac Nordheimer. He was a ripe Oriental scholar, surpassed by few, if any, of his years. He, of course, left his Concordance incomplete; but it may be taken up by some other hand.
Jonathan Leavitt and John F. Trow, 194 Broadway, will publish this month THE COMPLETE WORKS OF PRESI. DENT EDWARDS, being a faithful reprint of the “ WORCESTER Edition,” with valuable additions, and a copious GENERAL INDEX, prepared expressly for the work-bound in handsome sheep, at a reduced price.
SECOND SERIES, NO, XVIJI. WHOLE NO. L.
CHARACTER AND THEOLOGY OF THE EARLY ROMANS.
By Rev. Albert Smith, Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature, Middlebury Col., Vt.
It is a remark of Aristotle, that excellence in man depends on his acquaintance with something higher and better than himself. The truth and importance of this idea are illustrated by the whole history of our race. Nations nerer rise in their moral character above the qualities ascribed by them to the divinities they worship. If these are represented as virtuous and noble, a corresponding excellence and greatness of soul will be produced among the people, and this in proportion to their reverence for the objects of their adoration. But wherever the gods are imperfect or base, imperfection or baseness will belong to the worshippers
. Nor is it by the force of example only that the influence of the higher nature is exerted. Truth, or that which is received as truth, rendered sacred by a connection real or supposed between man and some superior being, acts with moulding power on the character of nations. The religion of a nation is decisive of its character, because the combined impressions of divine example and theological belief on the human mind are more efficacious and controlling than any, and all other causes. The superiority of Christianity over every other form of religion consists in the adaptation of the double nature and the perfect character of our Saviour to the wants of man; SECOND SERIES, VOL. IX. NO. II.
in the necessity, purity, and authority of the peculiar doctrines of his religion; and in the truth of the system of philosophy and natural theology which in the Holy Scriptures is everywhere implied. So far as the character of Christ and the peculiar doctrines taught by him and the Apostles are concerned, there is in respect to an approach to the true religion very little ground for a comparison of heathen systems among themselves, but ample room for a contrast of them all with Christianity. But in regard to a true natural theology there is a wide difference between the systems of error which have constituted the creeds of nations. No religion is wholly false, for a system composed entirely of error could never secure belief. In proportion as religions have been free from the worst abominations of idolatry and the crudest absurdities of superstition, and have embraced more or less of the fundamental doctrines of a right theology, the destructive influence of heathenism has been neutralized, and the salutary impressions of truth secured. That this was to a certain extent the case among the early Romans it is the object of this article to prove. _That the Romans had at any period orthodox notions of the Deity, that they admitted into their creed in its purest state no debasing errors, and that they conceived in their minds and practised in their lives the distinguishing virtues of Christianity, we neither assert nor believe. At the best as well as the worst periods of their history the Romans were a heathen people, and their religious system was a heathen system. But while this is admitted, it may at the same time be maintained that there was an important difference between the religious views of the early and those of the later Romans, that there was as great a difference in their characters, and that the latter difference was to a great extent the result of the former. This is what we affirm and shall endeavor to establish. It is by no means our purpose to draw a full length portrait of the ancient Roman, to state at length the articles of his theological belief, or to give a description of the rites, ceremonies, and symbols of his religion. Our object is much more humble and restricted. We propose in the present article, to point out some of the excellencies in the noble character of the early Romans, to establish the fact of their belief in certain theological truths, and to show that there was a connection between this belief and the moral character which was, we think, its fruit. The contrast between the character and theology of the early Romans and those of their
descendants may be exhibited by a description, in a future number, of the condition in later times of both morals and religion.
I. Credibility of the Early History of Rome. The early history of all ancient nations is necessarily obscure. It is a inistake, however, to imagine that it is midnight with antiquity because it is not noonday. It is the obscurity of the twilight, and not impenetrable darkness, that rests on the primeval days of Rome. The assertion that the early history of Greece and Rome is deserving of no credit whatever," is much too sweeping, and cannot be maintained. It may be improbable, that in a period of nearly two hundred and fifty years the Roman monarchy was governed by only seven kings. The dates connected with the reigns of these sovereigns may be wholly supposititious, and many of the legends related of them sheer fabrications. But the probability that there were other kings does not disprove the existence of those of whom we have accounts.
Nor do the chronological impossibilities, and the interpolated fictions of a heroic age, destroy the historical foundation on which the common belief rests. Among others Niebuhr has been referred to as having annihilated the credibility of the early Roman history. But this writer states expressly that " there is no rational ground for doubting the personal existence of Tullus Hostilius." He thinks that from the commencement of the reign of this prince very few of the characters mentioned in the history are imaginary, and that many of the chronological statistics taken from the yearly records are as definite as could at so remote a period be expected. At the same time he supposes that some poetical legends are added to the true account of his reign, and that it is only in the reign of the fourth king, Ancus Martius, that the public records assume the character of an unvarnished statement of facts. “ The lay of Tullus Hostilius is followed by a narrative of a course of events without any marvellous circumstances or poetical coloring" This historian seems to regard the received accounts of the first two kings either as fictions purely poetical, or as traditional tales in which truth and errror are confounded beyond hope of separation. He classes Romulus with Hercules and Siegfried, and thinks the legends respecting him and Numa belong to religious