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literature has received from the Grammars of Storr, Vater, Weckherlin, Jahn, and especially that of Gesenius, the most eminent Hebrew scholar of the present day. This was followed (1823) by a translation of Jahn's Biblical Arcbæology, by Mr. Upham, Assistant Teacher of Hebrew and Greek at the Andover Seminary : by which we are furnished with the means of removing some of the greatest difficulties in the interpretation of Scripture, by being enabled to throw ourselves back into the times of the writers, and place ourselves in their very situation, surrounded by the entire scenery of those to whom they wrote. Next appeared (1824) a Hebrew and English Lexicon to the Old Testament, including the Biblical Chaldee, from the German works of Gesenius, by Mr. Gibbs, of the same place, which may justly be considered as the most superior Hebrew Lexicon extant. In 1825, Mr. Stuart, conjointly with his learned colleague Mr. Robinson, published a translation of Winer's Greek Grammar of the New Testament, with a view to facilitate the critical study of that part of the sacred volume, by an increased attention to the peculiarities of its idioms and syntax. The same year Mr. R. brought out a translation, with considerable improvements, of Wahl's Clavis Philologica, a Greek Lexicon of singular utility in assisting the student easily and satisfactorily to arrive at the practical application of those matured principles of philology, without an acquaintance with which it is impossible for him to engage with much success in the appropriate interpretation of the New Testament.
In the course of last year, American divinity has been further enriched by an elementary course of Biblical Theology, translated from the work of Professors Storr and Flatt, with additions by the Rev. S. S. Schmucker, Professor of Divinity in the Theological Seminary of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States. This work, which consists of a text luminously and definitely expressed, accompanied with numerous notes and illustrations, may be considered as by far the most erudite of all the productions that have appeared on the side of orthodoxy during the recent contest between truth and error on the Continent of Europe.
While these learned and laborious editors have thus laid biblical students under the deepest obligations by publishing works of a more bulky and elaborate character, they have also condescended to issue into the world treatises of more unpretending appearance, which equally bear the stamp of sterling and unquestionable worth.* Among these the following work of Ernesti's ranks deservedly high.
That none of the above elementary books should hitherto have appeared in an English costume on this side of the Atlantic, cannot but be regarded as a real defect by all who are acquainted with them, and are
* I should feel myself chargeable with culpable neglect, if I did not recommend to the perusal of the reader, “ Letters on the Trinity, and on the Divinity of Christ,” by Mr. Stuart, republished at Belfast, in Ireland, 1825, 12mo. In this very able little work, the principles of interpretation here laid down are successfully exhibited, in application to the momentous subjects of which it treats.
anxious to witness the advancement of theological science in this country.
It may be truly affirmed, that in regard to the means of improvement in the particular department of that science to which these works belong, our American brethren have made greater progress in the course of the last six years, than the history of Sacred Philology in England is able to exbibit for half a century. This humiliating fact, however, may be accounted for by adverting to the unfriendly influence exerted so widely, and for such a length of time, over the lexicography of Scripture by the Hutchinsonian dreams of the otherwise pious and excellent Parkhurst, and that produced on the efforts of Biblical Criticism by the unwarrantable conjectures and emendations of the learned and elegant Lowth, and his humble imitators in the work of translation, Blayney, Horsley, and Newcome. Strange as it may appear to such as have not closely studied the subject, it is, nevertheless, incontrovertible, that while we have been reprobating, and not without reason,) the German divines for the temerity of their philosophistical speculations, as tending to subvert the whole system of the Christian faith, they have, with equal justice, wondered at our inconsistency in advocating so strenuously the supernatural claims of revelation, and yet, with the same breath, applauding the unsparing hand with which the translator of Isaiah and others, pruned and new-modelled the sacred text in a manner not to be tolerated in treating the profane writers of antiquity. The extent to which those theologians have carried the study of verbal criticism
is well-known; and, though many of their works contain much that is grossly objectionable in a dogmatical point of view, it would be an act of injustice not to allow, that they have done more towards establishing the integrity of the bare text of Scripture, scientitically investigating its various idioms, and fixing just principles of grammatical and historical interpretation, than any
other writers on the same subjects. With respect to Ernesti, whose long esteemed treatise on Interpretation forms the principal part of the volume, it must be observed, that though the soundness of his philological principles obliged him to depart from the received mode of explaining many passages in the Sacred Writings, he was, nevertheless, a firm believer in their Divine Inspiration, and in the Lutheran sense of the term, orthodox in his views of their doctrines.
The present Editor has been induced by two reasons to republish the work in this country. First, because of the difficulty and expense connected with the obtaining of copies from America; and secondly, because he is deeply convinced that the subjects of Biblical Criticism and Interpretation have not engaged that degree of close and attentive study to which, from their importance, they are entitled. There still exists, to a very considerable extent, a disposition to acquiesce in certain received modes of interpretation, which have been handed down from age to age, without question or examination; and the instances are far from being uncommon, in which fanciful and ridiculous attempts are made to make the word of God
more spiritual and edifying than it was ever intended to be by the Holy Spirit. Passages are very frequently adduced in proof of doctrines, which, when carefully examined, are found to refer to subjects totally different: the consequence of which is, that the preacher or expositor becomes the object of pity and contempt; and the doctrines which, in such an injudicous manner, he has attempted to defend, are regarded as suspicious, or rejected as untenable, because unsupported by the Scriptures alleged in their favour. There is also gone abroad a spirit, which, treating with disdain the ordinary rules of the exegetical art, and indulging in favourite notions, hastily adopted, and audaciously stamped with the impress of Divine authority, tends to unsettle the minds of the simple, and lead them to place their faith in authoritative and dogmatical assertions, instead of confiding in the unerring record of God, soberly and consistently explained, according to approved principles of sacred philology. Though nut professedly lifted up as a standard against such a spirit, this work of Ernesti's, greatly enhanced in value by the Translator's notes, must, to the extent of its operation, check its progress, and lessen its maddening and pernicious influence.
Mission College, Hoxton,