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Sunday school teachers, a plain and simple explanation of the more common difficulties of the book which it is their province to teach.” The work is also designed for a harmony of the gospels. The different narratives are brought together, particularly in the notes on Matthew, on the principle, that the sacred narrative of an event is what it is reported to be, by all the evangelists. Throughout the whole, references to parallel passages of scripture, are made an essential part of the explanation of the text.
We have examined portions of these volumes, and are satisfied of the fidelity and accuracy of Mr. Barnes's labors. In respect to the interpretation of various passages, the appositeness of an illustration, or the legitimacy of an inference, there will be, of course, diverse opinions. With the general character of the book, for industry, skilful exposition, honest intention, and strong desire to write as become the oracles of God, there can be but one sentiment.
While on this subject, we cannot forbear to say, that, in our opinion, biblical geography demands far more attention than it now receives in our Sabbath schools and Bible classes. It is a source of unfailing interest. It stimulates inquiry, in respect to the present site of places mentioned in the Bible, the character of their inhabitants, and all the discoveries of modern travellers bearing on the subject. It is essential to the right interpretation of some passages, and to the perfect elucidation of many others. Not a few educated men, who are habitual readers of the Bible, are sadly deficient in close, accurate knowledge of the geography of the scriptures.
10.-- The Iliad of Homer, from the text of Wolf; with English
Notes, and Flaxman's Illustrative Designs. Edited by C. C. Felton, A. M., College Professor of Greek in Harvard University. Boston: Hilliard, Gray & Co. Cam
bridge: Brown, Shattuck & Co. 1833. pp. 478. The text of this edition of the Iliad is an exact reprint of the Leipzig edition, published by Tauchnitz, in 1829, after a most severe revision. A reward was offered for the detection of every error, and a text, comparatively immaculate, was thus obtained. In the preparation of the notes, Mr. Felton has selected those passages for comment, which appeared, from several years' experience in the class-room, most to require it. Among other commentators, Heyne and Trollope were freely consulted. A portion of the notes are designed to call the attention of the reader to the intrinsic poetical beauties of the Iliad.
The illustrations of Flaxman, designed originally for bas-reliefs, were enthusiastically welcomed on their first appearance, and have been repeatedly published in England, Germany, France and Italy. He has penetrated, says the London Quarterly Review, with a far deeper sense of the majesty of Homer, into the Iliad and Odyssey, than Canova, who dedicated his whole life to the renovation of the antique, nor has he failed to catch the peculiar inspiration of whatever poet his fancy selected for publication. To the aid of his art, he brought a loftier and more poetical mind, than any of the preceding English sculptors. He has the same grave majesty and severe simplicity, as his great originals. Flaxman died in London, in 1829, at an advanced age.
We rejoice that an individual, so well qualified as Mr. Felton, has brought out a new edition of Homer. The text is printed with a full and distinct type, on strong and durable paper. The notes occupy about eighty pages, and are inserted at the close of the volume. We quote one passage from Mr. Felton's preface.
“ The splendor of the Homeric dialect is worthy of the greatest admiration. There is a certain point in the progress of every people, when their language is most fitted for poetical composition. It is when they have risen above the state of barbarism to a condition of refinement, yet uncorrupted by luxury, and before the intellectual powers have been given much to speculative philosophy. Then the rudeness of language is worn away, but the words are still used in their primitive meanings. They are like coins, lately from the mint, with the impressions unworn by long and various use in the manifold business of life. The numerous secondary meanings which the ever-increasing intricacy of the social relations, and the new views and abstract ideas of science, impart to words, sometimes to the concealment of their original senses, have not yet confused or effaced the impressions. Such was the condition of our own noble language in the time of Elizabeth. The words of Shakspeare and Massinger have a truth to nature, a clearness and graphic power, a simplicity, force, and freshness, which few subsequent writers have been able to rival. Such was the condition of the Greek language in the age of Homer. Formed under the genial influences of a serene and beautiful heaven, amidst the most varied and lovely scenery in nature, and by a people of a peculiarly delicate organization, of the keenest susceptibility to beauty, and of the most creative imagination, the language had attained a descriptive force, a copiousness, and harmony, which made it a fit instrument to express the immortal conceptions of poetry. Its resources were inexhaustible. For every mood of mind, every affection of the heart, every aspect of nature, it had an appropriate expression, and the most delicate imagery. Its words and sentences are pictures; in such living forms do they bring the thing described before the reader's eye. The metrical harmony of the Iliad has never been equalled. The verse flows along freely and majestically, more like the great courses of Nature, than any invention of man."
United States. The American Encyclopedia is just completed in thirteen large octavo volumes. It was translated from the “ German Conversations Lexicon,” by Dr. Francis Lieber. It has received considerable enlargements in the department of American biography, history, and politics. Dr. Lieber was assisted by E. Wigglesworth and T. G. Bradford. It is calculated that the publication of this work in Boston, brought into the State of Massachusetts a sum exceeding $80,000. The proprietors live in Philadelphia. The work is one of great value, and inestimable for reference. We should have been better pleased with it if more attention had been paid to missionary and religious biography. No notice is taken of such men as Milne, Buchanan, Isaac and Joseph Milner, and other eminent men.
The plan of republishing foreign literature in periodical numbers, and at a very low rate, is becoming common in this country. The principal British Magazines are in this way in a course of wide diffusion. We rejoice that so much reading is rendered accessible to our communities in so cheap a form, though no reasonable man would wish that a considerable portion of what Bulwer, and Maryatt, and Prof. Wilson write, should find its way across the Atlantic. The principal “ Libraries,” are the Family, and the Boys' and Girls', of the Harpers at New York; Waldie's, Greenbank's, and Key and Biddle’s at Philadelphia. The last named, published in semimonthly numbers of forty-eight pages each, at five dollars a year, is preferable in its selection of matter to any which we have seen. It is called the “ Christian Library," and if the conditions of the Prospectus are complied with, it will well earn the public favor. The “ Christian Observer” is to be published as an appendix, at one dollar and twenty-five cents. Dr. Gregory's Life of Robert Hall, Smedley's History of the Reformed Religion in France, and Taylor's Life of Cowper, are already published in the Christian Library.
Rev. Dr. Jenks of Boston, assisted by several clergymen, is preparing for the press a comprehensive Commentary of the Bible, in five or six large volumes. Henry's Exposition is to be made the basis. Illustrations and notes are to be selected from all the other principal commentators. We learn that several thousand subscribers for the work are already obtained. An edition for the use of the Baptist denomination is also in a course of preparation.-Several ministers of the Lutheran church are engaged in the preparation of an original commentary on the New Testament, for the use of the Evangelical Lutherans. It will be published in numbers ; the gospel of Matthew may be expected in the autumn. It is said that such a work has long been desired by the members of that communion.
The complete works of Robert Hall and of Andrew Fuller are now republished in this country. Two abler men have rarely ever adorned the church of Christ in any age. An edition of the entire works of John Foster is a desideratum. Fuller's works, with a memoir by his son, have been lately published by Lincoln, Edmands & Co. of Boston, in two large octavo volumes, in a very superior style. Considerable portions of one of the volumes are now for the first time in print.
The Protestant, a celebrated work by the late William M'Gavin of Glasgow, which has passed through nine editions in Scotland, has lately been published in Hartford, Ct., with an appendix by an American editor, containing information of an important character. It is embraced in two large volumes octavo. A second edition will soon be issued. This publication is very opportune, in consequence of the controversies which are now pending in New York and Philadelphia, between several Protestant and Papal clergymen.
The geological survey of the State of Massachusetts is nearly completed. The trigonometrical survey is in progress. The legislature of Maryland have determined to survey that State, after the example of Massachusetts.
Rev. Sereno E. Dwight, formerly of Boston, has entered on his duties as president of Hamilton college.—Professor Dunglison, of the university of Virginia, has been transferred to the university of Maryland, at Baltimore.The Methodists have purchased the buildings belonging to Dickinson college, at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and are about commencing an institution.—The following sums, lately obtained by individual subscriptions, have been secured to various literary instutions: $100,000 to Yale; $50,000 to Amherst; $30,000, nearly, to Bangor theological seminary; the college of New Jersey is raising $20,000 ; Brown university a like amount; Washington, at Hartford, in addition to $70,000 received for its establishment, is now soliciting $40,000 more, for its professorships ; Jacksonville college, in Illinois, within three years, has received $46,000 from the Eastern States; $25,000 have been raised for Kenyon college, Ohio; and a successful effort is now making in behalf of the theological seminary at Columbia, South Carolina.—Dr. DeLancey has resigned his office as president of the university of Pennsylvania.--Alpheus Crosby has been elected professor of languages at Dartmouth college, in place of prof. Stowe, transferred to the Lane seminary, Ohio.-An effort is now making to establish, on a sure foundation, a manual labor school, in connection with Middlebury college.--Several meetings of gentlemen have been held, in various parts of New England, to consult in regard to the expediency of a female seminary, of an higher order than any which now exists.
Europe. The present number of students in King's college, London, is 834, of whom 501 are regular students, the remainder occasional. The increase over the preceding year is 170.—The whole number of students at Cambridge, on the books—not all actual residents—is 5,344 ; at Oxford, 5,303.The queen of Spain has contributed towards the erection of a monument to Sir Walter Scott, and also to the preservation of his grounds at Abbotsford. She has a taste for the fine arts, and has lately executed a painting The following American books have been lately republished in Great Britain : Abbott's Young Christian, in three editions; Ware's Life of the Saviour, and Formation of Religious Character; Dr. Sprague's Lectures on Revivals of Religion, in two editions; Stuart's Commentary on the Romans; Sparks's Life of Gouverneur Morris ; Payson's Sermons to Families; Pierpont's Reading Books; Bryant's Poems.–The Oriental Translation Fund Society, is prosecuting its labors with commendable activity. Its influence is felt over the continent. A branch committee has been formed at Rome, for the purpose of investigating the libraries and antiquities in that city. The institution has a very pertinent motto, Ex oriente lux. Its most efficient members are the Ouseleys, Johnston, the Earl of Munster, Wilson, Graves Haughton, Malcolm, &c.—Among the interesting books lately published in London, are Dick on the Improvement of Society, Major Archer's Tour in Upper India, a View of Roman Slavery, several of the Bridgewater Treatises on the connection between natural religion and the various natural sciences, from the pens of Prof. Buckland, Dr. Chalmers, Whewell, &c.
Victor Cousin, in his report on the state of education in Germany, strongly reprobates the practice of excluding clergymen and religious books, from schools. He thinks their influence to be decidedly beneficial.— The late Prof. Kieffer distributed 160,000 copies of the Bible ; in nearly every instance, accompanying the donation with a letter written by his own hand. Desgrange is appointed professor of Turkish in place of Kieffer; M. Stanislas Julien professor of Chinese in place of Remusat.--Horace Vernet has been sent to Algiers by the French government for the purpose of painting some of the actions between the French and Arabs.-Cuvier's widow has a pension of 6,000 francs, and the widows of Remusat, Saint Martin, and De Chezy, 3,000 each.—The French Chamber of Deputies have sanctioned the purchase of the library of Cuvier, at 72,500 francs; and the Egyptian MSS. of Champollion, at 50,000 francs. The MSS. are in the hands of Champollion-Figeac. They will fill 2,000 pages, accompanied with drawings.-An Egyptian grammar of Champollion, in four parts, is in press. Rossellini, of Florence, who went with Champollion to Egypt, is publishing another Egyptian grammar, in violation of good faith, as the friends of Champollion think.-M. Thiébaud de Berneaud, a librarian of the Mazarine library, is preparing a work on the manners, customs, languages, history, and religion of the ancient northern nations of Europe.-A complete edition of the works of Flaxman, is publishing in Paris.—On the 1st of January, 1833, there were 217 newspapers published in Paris, and 243 in 128 provincial towns; an increase of nearly 100 in one year.
Prof. Humbert, of Geneva, has an Arabic Chrestomathy in press.-Siebold's history of Japan will speedily appear. The author was detained several years in that country.-A lexicon Platonicum, by Prof. Ast, is announced.—On the 15th of March last, Sprengel, a distinguished professor of medicine at Halle, died. The second volume of Dr. Scholz's edition of the Greek Testament is delayed, because of the refusal of the Leipzig publisher VOL. I.