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thoroughly versed in criticism and any of the Latin editions. The antiquities as any of his adversaries, work consists of five books; the first and had an important advantage treating of the authority of the over them in being much better scriptures; the second, of God, his acquainted with the Bible as a works and providence, and his exconnected whole. He did not istence as Father, Son, and Holy make the display, or attract the ad- Ghost; the third, of angels, good iniration, which attended the first and evil, and of man, his original efforts of Semler. But Liberalism state, his fall, the characrer of his received from his hand a salutary posterity, the punishment to which check. In his treatise on the his- they are exposed in the future world, torical sense, he demolished the the provision for their salvation whole scheme of accommodation, through the atonement, their final and compelled the party to resort separation to heaven and hell acto other grounds to defend their cording to their use of the privileinterpretations and doctrines. In ges of a probationary life; the other pieces he successfully and fourth, of Christ as Redeemer, his triumphantly attacked other er- person and different states of existrors of the Rationalists. His sys- ence, his works on earth, (under tem of theology, which was pure which the nature and efficacy of ly Biblical, was the most solid and his atonement are examined) and effectual contribution towards the his works since the ascension, (unsupport of the primitive faith of the der which is considered the whole Lutheran church, which she had subject of the church, its ministry received for more than a century. and sacraments); the fifth, of jusAnd the influence of his writings tification and reformation by change has not ceased; they are co-opera- of heart and life as connected with ting with the writings of living au
salvation. The manner of the authors and with other causes, to thor is to state in the briefest terms purge out the abominations of that what he considers the exact testiinfidel philosophy, whose pernicious mony of the Bible on the several sway we have just exhibited. The points, referring to the proof texts, modern orthodox school enibraces and in his notes referring to the some of the most respectable names, opinions and arguments of others. among which may be mentioned in the German, the notes of Flatt Reinhardt, Meyer, Flatt, De are built upon those of Storr. Mr. Wette, Winer, Wahl, and Tho Schmucker has incorporated both luck. The system of Rationalism together, and they follow the text is unquestionably on the decline. in the form of illustrations, which Some of its advocates have openly greatly improves the perspicuity and renounced it. Others choose not the interest of the work. to defend it. The appointments in
We consider the first book, which the universities begin to be given contains the proof of the genuineto men of more serious views and ness, integrity, authenticity, and feelings. A better day may soon inspiration, of the scriptures, as by be expected to shine upon the Ger- far the most valuable part of the man churches.
whole. It was necessary for Storr But we must hasten to give some to give this subject a thorough inaccount of the work before us. vestigation, as the divine authority The translation is made from the of the Bible was rejected by the edition in German with notes and great body of the Liberalists of the additions by Flatt, which is much age. Many of them freely admitmore valuable to those for whom ted that the doctrines of orthodoxy the translation was intended than were plainly taught in the sacred books, but openly declared that no we think they will meet with their reader was under obligation on that usual success, which (we are sorry account to adopt them. We fully for their sake and for the sake of believe that the Unitarians of this their reputed learning and talents, country will be compelled to avow although for the truth's sake and the same opinion ; indeed we ap- for righteousness sake most glad to prehend they do not now as a body say it,) has been defeat and disasfeel bound to believe what is ter. The argument of Storr on taught in the Epistles ; they make this subject is conducted in a masa distinction between what was terly manner and with irresistible spoken by Christ, and what was evidence, and if our young theolowritten by the early teachers ; and gians shall ever need to look around unless we have been greatly mis- for the weapons of such a warfare led as to their views, by what we they will find here a well stored have read in their publications and armory. heard from their pulpits, there are Of the rest of the work the grand among them those who do not con- excellence, and we must add the sider any of the writings even of only very important excellence, is the New Testament as in any proper its Biblical character. Every posense inspired: they take them not sition and statement has its scripas being themselves a revelation tural proof, and in adducing texts from God, but only as a history of the author is most scrupulously atsuch a revelation, a history written tentive to their pertinency and auindeed with great candour and fair- thority. He even goes to the exness, and by persons probably com- treme of quoting for
proof only from petent for the work, but still a his- the homologoumena, introducing tory liable like every other history passages, from the antilegomena to contain mistakes or errors even merely for illustration. The invesas to grand points connected with tigations are conducted throughout its main subject. Now our ex- on strictly philological principles. pectation long has been that they It is chiefly because the work is would ultimately avow this, that thus Biblical, that it deserves so far they would change the ground of as it is a system of theology, the attack upon the opinions of the or. attention of the student. The great thodox, and deny the claims of the defect of most popular theological • writers of the New Testament to systems is, that they contain too implicit belief on the points in dis- inuch of the author and too little of pute. And the sooner this ground the Bible. The same has been is taken the better ; better for the true of theological controversies. truth, for it will tend very directly They have too often been a trial of to open the eyes of many who are skill in metaphysics, rather than a now blinded by their professed re- simple appeal to the law and the gard for the Bible, and better in testimony. And we doubt not, some respects for the advocates of that he whose province it is to bring the heresy too, for it will free them good out of evil, designed it as a from the embarrassment under chief good which should result from which they evidently now suffer in the controversy with the rationaltheir controversial efforts, lest they ists of modern times, that it should should too incautiously betray to the bring the advocates of truth to conmass of the people their real opin- tend for it on the simple basis of ions as to the authority of the scrip- the word of God. Such has been tures. But whenever they may the effect of the Unitarian controgather their forces and marshal versy in Germany. Such, eminentthem for a contest on this ground, ly, has been its tendency in this
country. It has agitated, mainly, volving the divine veracity, must not the question whether the scrip- be admitted before any arguments tures be a revelation from God: can be drawn from the scriptures. that was discussed and settled with For grant that the scriptures are the infidels of a former age; and given by inspiration of God, and of the discussion probably will not course contain his testimony, still soon need to be repeated, at least unless there is previous satisfaction in the English language. But the that his testimony must be true, great question now has been, What no argument can be logically foundis contained in the scriptures? The ed upon it, and we see not how fact of a revelation being admitted, this satisfaction can arise but from What are we taught by it? 'This a sufficient proof of the divine beis the fundamental question ; and nevolence, which will necessarily the progress of the discussion has involve veracity. created a growing attention to the
It would be unnecessary, if our Bible. It has greatly modified and time permitted, to notice particimproved our systems of theologic- ularly the doctrinal views which the al education, and has had a benefi- work presents. The reader will cial influence on the thinking and le specially pleased with the paswriting habits of the age, in respect sages on the Trinity, the nature to theological subjects. It has, in and efficacy of the atonement, and a word, tended to give the Bible the future punishment of the wickits proper eminence above the spec- ed. He must expect however to ulative systems of men.
Abstracts meet in different parts of the work and compends, creeds and cate- with the Lutheran peculiarities, and chisms, are indeed useful, yea ne- he will probably regret that the cessary in their place; but we ap- translator has not only made sixprehend that too great a relative teen pages out of his two importance has been assigned to thors, in proof of the real presence, them in comparison with the simple but has added ten more of his own, word of God. We fear that many to explain and defend the doctrine. a confident polemic, both public and He will regret this the more, as private, has been better versed in probably after the most diligent his tomes of theology than in the perusal of the whole, he will be Holy Oracles, and that even in the constrained to pronounce it, as Mr. schools of the prophets, instances Schmucker himself declares many have not been wanting in which of the explanations of his brethren some favorite Body or Marrow of to be, “nebulous indeed.” Divinity has practically been made Although we have spoken so the text-book, instead of the Bible highly of the work as exhibiting itself.
the divine authority of the scripThe reader will not understand tures, and as tending to give a more us as objecting to a logical arrange- biblical character to theology, we ment in stating theological truth. should fail of doing justice if we So far from this is the fact, that we should omit to mention another conthink the work before us would sideration, which goes to augment have been better had there been its value, namely, that on many more regard to such an arrange- of the controverted subjects it conment. There is one point in par- tains statements of the most importicular which we think worthy of tant objections, and answers to them, notice,—the place where, in a logic- with references to authors who
may al succession of topics, the proof of be consulted for farther satisfacthe divine benevolence should fall. tion. Yet this part of the work It would seem clear upon thorough might have been vastly improved examination, that this attribute, in- by the translator, had he made
VOL. I. - No. I.
greater effort to adapt it to the above his two appendixes, and his wants of his readers. In many cases
extracts from works so rare as the the illustrations are protracted very Letters of Stuart and Woods. tediously by the introduction of ob. In conclusion we recommend jections, which it was altogether the “ Biblical Theology" to the unnecessary to present in a work use and study of all who wish to adapted to American theologians. cultivate habits of sound investigaAnd in general the references are tion. To the readers who seek for confined far too much to German the flow of eloquence, or the ornawriters. The student is directed to ments of taste, it will present a forworks in a dead or foreign language, bidding aspect, as there is throughand works, which will long, perhaps out a rigid adherence to the driest always, lie beyond his reach, while style of didactic statement. It was others in his native tongue, and not intended at all for hasty perueasily procured, are not mentioned. sal ; it must be carefully studied. For instance, on the internal evi. The volumes will be altogether out dences for the New Testamentscrip- of place in the hands of the supertures,(compare 95.III.4 and $ 16.IIl. ficial, declaiming, popular theolo4.) we are referred only to Morus, gian; they belong to the patient, Less, Stæudlin, Tællner, Werenfels, noiseless, diligent reader of the Bengel, Kleuker, Kæppen, and Bible. T'he student will find nothPaulus, while on the internal evi- ing in them to inspire his admiradence of credibility, Lardner and tion, but he will consider them as Paley, stand unrivalled, and on a highly valuable addition to his that of divineness the little treatise theological treasures. of Erskine contains a clearer and more convincing argument than was ever written or conceived by a German. So in the illustrations of The Doctrine of Incest stated, with the sections on the existence of
an Examination of the Question, God ($9 17--20.) we hear of Brast
Whether a Man may Marry his berger, and Fries, and Fichte, and
deceased Wife's Sister : in a Forberg, and Gabler, and Vogel,
Letter to a Clergyman of the and we cannot say how many more,
Presbyterian Church. By Dowhile there is not an allusion to
MESTICUS. Carlisle, Pa. 1826. one of those able, ample, sterling,
pp. 47, 8vo. English authors, who have given the " Is it lawful for a man to marry argument for the divine existence his deceased wife's sister ?" An of every possible elucidation. Indeed ten agitated question, both in ecclewe should suppose that the transla-siastical and civil councils. Both tor imagined himself all along to be have generally decided against it. at work as much for a German stu. Yet instances of transgression have dent as his original authors, for even been so numerous, and so plausibly where they refer to a German trans- vindicated by argument, that legislation of an English book he has latures, in many, perhaps a majority most scrupulously retained the refer- of cases, have either repealed, at ence to the translation instead of the length, their enactments, or sufferoriginal. And Mr. Schmucker musted them to sink into a dead letter, not complain of us as forgetting while ecclesiastical assemblies have that he only undertook the business ever and anon been engaged in a fresh of translating, for his title page discussion of the subject. Such is speaks of additions, which term is the fact at present in the Presbytecomprehensive enough to include rian Church. At the last session something at least, of the improve of the General Assembly an appeal ment we have hinted at over and was brought to that body by a Mr.
McCrimmon, who, having married recurring question of church discia sister of his deceased wife, had pline. been suspended from the commun- The doings of the General Asion of the church. Relief could sembly, above referred to, occanot be granted without the erasure sioned the pamphlet before us. of a certain clause in the Confes. Its author is understood to be a sion of Faith. That clause de- highly respectable clergyman of clares that “ the man may not mar
that denomination. It has been ry any of his wife's kindred nearer sent to us in the last of the month, in blood than he may of his own, with a request, from different quarnor the woman of her husband's ters, that it might be noticed in our kindred nearer in blood than of forthcoming number. Those who her own.” † The General Assem- feel an interest in the subject, and bly, however, considering that “a in the author's manner of treating diversity of opinion and practice it, are desirous that his argument obtains on this very important sub- should be brought under the conject,” resolved to refer it to the sideration of others, as far as may presbyteries; whose answers are to be, before the approaching decibe sent up in writing to the next sion of the General Assembly. We General Assembly, whether the pro- have therefore turned our hasty athibitory clause quoted above shall tention to it; and if the author or shall not be erased from the Con- shall think our abstract of his half fession. The question is therefore a hundred pages very imperfect, to be made a matter of " serious our apology must be, that we are consideration” throughout the Pres- compelled to send it as it is written, byterian Church. And the sense in rapid and unrevised paragraphs, of that most respectable denomin. to the printers. ation, thus extensively collected,
Those who found their objecwill not only have great weight with tions to the marriage of a wife's its sister Churches, but will mate- sister upon the word of God, rially affect the opinions of the refer us to the 18th chapter community at large. The question of Leviticus. They find it there itself, apart from the present inter- forbidden, at the 16th verse, to est which it thus derives from cir- marry a brother's widow ; and as cumstances, is believed to be one the relation of the man to his brothof no fictitious or slight importance.
er's wife is the same as the relation A decision in the case is necessary. of the woman to her sister's liusIf the prohibited marriage be in it- band, they conceive that the prohi. self right, no conventional act of bition plainly extends to the latter men can make it wrong; and the To this passage, thus underinnocent ought not to suffer the im- stood, the Confession of Faith reputation of a crime which is merely fers us, in support of the clause we imaginary. If, on the other hand, have quoted." "Our author however the marriage in question be wrong, regards the argument from Scripecclesiastical courts and legislatures ture as entirely inconclusive. For, should be cautious how they sanc- first, he does not find the supposed tion a practice which, as many se- probibition in the words of the Leriously regard it, is contrary to the vitical law; the constructive reasondictates of nature, and opposed by ing from the 16th verse he consida divine prohibition. And whether ers too vague and indeterminate to the practice be right or wrong,
set the matter at rest; and the 18th ministers and churches ought to be verse, he supposes, does not touch settled on an important and often the question. And secondly, ad
mitting that the alleged prohibition + Chap. xxiv. Sect. 4.
were contained in the law of Moses,