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are of the very highest importance to all future translators of those Scriptures in the thousand dialects of the earth. A thorough, grammatical investigation of a word of three letters found in the New Testament, may quicken and direct the studies of some weary missionary translator on the banks of the Ganges, or the Oby. As an interesting fact, in corroboration of these remarks, it may be stated that all our important biblical works find a most ready market in the very centres of the pagan world, where the missionaries of the cross are stationed. Besides, the wants of the philologist, as he is exploring the antiquities, the geography, the customs, etc., of the Bible, furnish to the oriental missionary, a powerful stimulus to rescue from decay and ruin, whatever he can, which will throw light on the biblical narratives, and which may finally settle long disputed and important passages. Frequently as Palestine has been investigated, eminent as some of the journalists are, who have traversed its hills and vallies, we shall still look for richer harvests, when intelligent missionaries shall have been permitted to establish themselves on various points in that interesting country. What may not a well-trained missionary do in the country east of the Jordan, in some parts of Arabia, in Babylonia, in Media, and in the whole vast regions of Asia Minor, and of south eastern Europe? Every locality almost, is fraught with scriptural reminiscences. But the labors of the philologist at home, will be necessary to guide and enliven the footsteps of the explorer abroad. They are fellow-laborers. They mutually act and react on each other.

This branch of knowledge has greatly promoted the study of the Bible among all classes. The labors of the most learned philologists are now, in a measure, accessible to millions of children in all parts of christendom. No sooner does a profound work on sacred literature appear in Germany, than its general results find their way into the literary and religious periodicals. The attention of learned foreigners is attracted; the work is rendered into other languages; the theologian reads it and copies its most interesting thoughts into his essay; the preacher is silently affected by its influence; the compiler of Sunday-school books, by abridgment, by a change of language, by simple explanation, brings the main facts or thoughts, before the eyes of children in numbers almost without number. Thus a recluse-student of the Bible is furnishing nutriment for all the families in christendom-vital air for the spiritual growth of

even untaught pagan nations. He thus becomes in the highest degree, a benefactor to his species. Like the stationary engine at the top of a mountain, he is the source of power and activity to thousands toiling below him. If any one refuses credence to these assertions, we may ask him to take up any well-written Sunday-school book of the day, which professes to be in any way concerned with the Scriptures, and he will find sufficient for the expulsion of his incredulity. The traces may be faint; the process of dilution may have gone on for a long time, but the evidence of philological knowledge, skill, and tact, is there.

It has greatly increased respect for the Bible as a literary production. Among the mental qualifications of some philologists, has been a healthful poetic taste. Such men as Lowth, De Wette, Herder, have opened a thousand new sources of delight in the oracles of God. The cultivated taste may be gratified, while the most refined spiritual feelings are still further spiritualized and perfected. The Bible, it is true, may be studied without devotion. Its numberless literary beauties may be appreciated by those whose hearts are utterly dead to its regenerating influence. Still, it is something to have removed the prejudices of learned men in relation to it. It is something to have vindicated its claims to the consideration of those whom ignorance or false pride might have kept aloof from its pages. Literary curiosity may be the portal to something higher and nobler. The mysteries of the inner sanctuary may be at length revealed to him, who was attracted to the edifice simply by the beauty of its columns, or the majesty of its proportions.

The study in question has prompted to a remarkable zeal in the acquisition of languages. The Semitic tongues, in particular, have been investigated with a zeal worthy of all commendation. Opulent noblemen, literary societies, companies of merchants, royal munificence, individual enterprise, have vied with each other in efforts to promote the acquisition of the treasures contained in these languages. Recollect what has been done by the expedition under the direction of Michaelis; by the corps of literary and scientific men who accompanied the French troops into Egypt; by Asiatic societies; and by the labors of such single men as Pococke and Burckhardt; all, if not directly commissioned for the purpose, yet conspiring in effect to throw light on the ancient Scriptures; on the Hebrew and its kindred dialects. Call to mind the hosts of learned men in Germany, who are now employing the utmost critical tact, the profound

est acquaintance with antiquity, and the unwearied attention of a long life, in efforts to establish some point in sacred criticism, or to throw light on some obscure text, or to establish the genuineness of some ancient ecclesiastical document; all achieved very considerably by the aid of an acquaintance with the languages in question. In our own country the same cause has operated to excite an increasing interest in the German language, with results, which we cannot but regard as highly favorable to the cause of truth and righteousness, though possibly in a few instances prejudicial to the faith of ill-established believers.

Such are some of the reasons, which, in our opinion, justify, and even require the religious press to be, in a measure, biblical in its character. It is but falling in with a great tendency of the age, the tendency to study God's word on the principles of grammar, common sense, science, and true philology and philosophy. It is the strongest voucher which a publication can give of its soundness in the faith. Its theology is not partizan, but scriptural; not vaccillating but consistent and stable. Such, we hope, may ever be the reputation of this work."

2. An elevated, christian literature. We do not mean by this the protruding of denominational peculiarities on every possible occasion; nor the constant iteration of the language of cant and bigotry; nor the use of authorized theological terms in inappropriate company, or on inexpedient occasions; nor the merging of science and literature into technical or devotional theology. No one of these things is desirable. Either is an offence to good taste and to good morals. A treatise on chemistry is not the place for a moral lecture. Some histories, in many respects excellent, are disfigured by too frequent or perfectly obvious moral reflections, or by ill concealed attempts at religious sentimentalism.

On the other hand, there is an important sense in which every book should be Christian. As an illustration let us look for a moment at civil histories. Setting aside such obviously unchristian books as the historical treatises of Hume and Gibbon, we may ask, How the Rev. Dr. Robertson, a minister of the established church of Scotland, is to be vindicated from the charge of an indifference to Christianity, amounting to little short of positive infidelity? How could a heart glowing with. love to the Redeemer-all which was implied in his ordinationvows-write so frigidly about the glorious Protestant Reformation? How could he display such consummate stoicism while

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recording events, or speculating on their causes, when the religion of which he was a minister was passing through its agonies of trial? Dr. Robertson has found an imitator in this respect, in a late writer of great ability, Mr. Hallam. He is unquestionably a Protestant, and would wish to be considered as friendly to religion. Yet in holding the balance of a professed, philosophical historian, Christianity seems to be regarded by him, if not with suspicion, yet with studied coldness and reserve. He seems to be constantly on the watch lest her influence should bias his judgment. It is astonishing with what sang froid he can hold his critical knife in the dissection of character, while the axe of Mary and the fires of Smithfield are in sight. Yet he is a most able and, in general, impartial historian. We know nothing of his private character.

Instead of proceeding any further with criticisms of this nature, we may point to a very late author, who deserves eminently the character of a christian historian. We refer to James Grahame. He has written a history of the American Colonies, from their establishment to the Revolution, in a manner which entitles him to the thanks of every citizen of the United States, and of all Christians throughout the world. This work is not interlarded, like that of Rollin, with moral reflections. There is no unseemly obtrusion of the author's pious feelings. There is no effort as though he apprehended that his faith would undermine his impartiality. He has the fundamental qualification of being able to sympathize with the early settlers of this country. He enters completely into their spirit. He identifies himself with their interests. No one, who cannot do this, is fit to write their memorials. At the same time, he is not afraid to administer censure. His religious spirit does not degenerate into that of a partizan or time-server. He maintains the dignity and authority of the historian. We perceive that he is a christian writer, by an almost hidden charm which pervades his pages, rather than by any formal statement, or authoritative dicta. The christian reader can peruse his pages with sympathy. This sterling trait, joined with a good style, with great accuracy, and the most thorough research, renders his work the best which has appeared on our history.

The peculiar character of our people and of our institutions makes this general subject one of great importance. Our national literature is in a forming state. Established usage, literary standards, antiquity, family interests, control the taste much less in

this country than in Europe. We have no civil, nor scarcely any literary censorship. Our periodical reviews mostly confine themselves to commendation. Every man publishes what is right in his own eyes. No individual has appeared in this country with a flail like that of Dr. Johnson-with a power of rebuking vicious books and depraved authors, which was not to be gainsayed, or trifled with.

The rapidity of the transmission of thought is very great. There are few post-office systems more minute in detail, more penetrating or prompt than our own. A paragraph committed to a book or a pamphlet is soon gone beyond the power of control or recal. It is poisoning the minds of hundreds west of the Mississippi, or it is vindicating among the inhabitants of Florida the rights of the oppressed. The number of readers is great. There are few among the millions of the older States, who have the organs of vision, but can peruse the paragraph charged with libel, or the paragraph inciting to noble deeds. Volney and Voltaire, Abner Kneeland and Ethan Allen are found in the woollen manufactory, in the western steam-boat, in the Schuylkill colliery. Supposing the civil restrictions upon the press in Austria were removed; it would be of little service to millions of her population.

A correct public sentiment in this country, where it exists, is not made to bear promptly on this subject. A considerable time must elapse, after a publication is issued, before the virtuous part of the community utter their voice. They are so divided by denominational, or party lines, or so engaged in politics or commerce, that they do not rise up to condemn a book, till it has diffused its poison widely through the community. Their voice may be full and unequivocal when it comes, but it is too late. Public opinion is in a highly excited condition on all subjects. The appetite, already sadly perverted and depraved, must still be plied with all possible provocatives. There is a tendency, in some quarters, to denounce every thing like sound reasoning, mature investigation, and scholar-like criticism, as heavy, metaphysical and unintelligible. Now it is very easy for publishers, authors and editors to take advantage of this feverish state of the public mind. Give, give, is the demand. Take, take, is the reply. Perhaps in no quarter of the world, is personal defamation carried on, through the press, so extensively as in this country. Even the grave religious quarterly may not always be wholly free. Books must not only be ac

VOL. IX. No. 25.


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