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That which concerns Pilate is stated both with accuracy and truth, and reflects much credit upon our author, as it shews no inconsiderable acquaintance with all the leading passions of the human heart. Nothing indeed can be more probable, and at all events more ingenious, than the description of the sentiments which must have influenced Pilate while he sat upon judgment against our Saviour; and though perhaps we cannot agree with Mr. Thruston upon the whole of his supposition, and of the motives which he attributes to the Roman governor, yet we must confess ourselves pleased with the ingenuity with which the subject has been stated.

“ Pilate could scarcely have been so long Governor of Judæa, and yet uninformed of the rumour, which prevailing over the whole East, and piercing even to Rome itself

, had a form and substance in his peculiar province, that a King was at that time about to be manifested : he could not have been unaware of the expected Messias, the King of the Jews; nor presuming that this man were supposed to have been actuated by ordinary ambition, would Pilate have been foolish enough to ask his prisoner, whether he were the King, or a King; nor would much credit for loyalty have been give, non a compulsory answer, that he was not." P. 195,

And again,

“ Nor had they at this moment relinquished Barabbas, and accepted Jesus as their King and their Christ, as Pilate, insisting on his innocence, so anxiously required of them, could Pilate have thought it possible that all would there have ended? Had the Messiah been liberated under the title of the Messiah, Pilate inust have perceived that his government would have been that instant at an end.

But instead of Procurator of Judæa, Pilate might have hoped a far more exalted station in the kingdom of Christ; or if indeed Pilate were not actuated by ambitious motives, in circumstances as seducing to an ambition man as can well be imagined, yet he must have perceived that, if he did not rise, yet he could not fall, and his dignity could not have been impaired. Under Christ, a righteous king indebted to himself for his life as well as for his royalty, he must, however, have hoped the station the nearest:to the throne." P. 211.

What has been said of Pilate may also in great measure be said of Judas; and the same spirit of ingenuity, and we may say of originality, which is so apparent in the first, has been shewa by Mr. Thruston, in finding out the motives of Judas.

9, « The faith of Judas,” says he " in the omniscience of his Lord was never, perhaps, well fixed, or it would have been impossible that he should have ventured to have been a thief, or in the glozing language of the day, a peculator. The mere principle of terror alone

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might have impeded the free exercise of the characteristic vices on account of which he was probably selected, had he ascended with the three other disciples into the mountain, and seen the heavenly vision, and heard the declaration respecting the Son of God; and for this reason, among other perhaps, the three disciples were commanded not to tell it to any one, of whatever affinity or con: nection, until he, the Son of Man, were risen from the dead. But the unbelief of Judas seems nevertheless to have been by no means settled. His attempt is clearly to carry things even between all parties, to be prepared for any emergency, to seem a zealous disciple of Jesus, should he assume the character of an earthly Potentate, or should the people force it upon him, as they had many times seemed to be exceedingly inclined; while, on the other hand, if the rulers prevailed, he proposed to stand well with them and their party in the state. Upon his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus had, most unaccountably as Judas probably thought, neglected the most inviting opportunity to seize, and almost without an effort, the reins of Government. He only looked about on all things : all this magnificence seemed to end in a noise ; and he quietly retired again from the city. This must have been a severe blow upon the ambitious hopes of Judas; and yet, after all he had seen, it could not entirely destroy his wavering belief that this might indeed be the expected Christ who should nevertheless take to himself, at his own time, his great power, and reign. He had heard indeed the fourth day before the crucifixion, something respecting a crucifixon and a burial, for which our Lord was anointed; and it must have staggered him, and he immediately went to secure himself with the rulers. They, when they heard his own forebodings respecting a burial, and the proposal of his faithless disciple, were glad, and promised to give him money; but there will nevertheless appear the utmost plausibility in an idea, that part of his intention, when he hazarded his delivery to that Court who, though the appointed Judges of prophetical claims, had no power to put any man to death, was to bring the affair to a crisis, to force Jesus to assume or to renounce the character of the Messiah, and no longer to harrass his disciples with journeyings and perils, and constant disappointments, and dismal presages. Judas thought perhaps, says Michaelis, that if, contrary to his belief, Jesus were really the Messiah, the measures concerted against him would be of no avail; but on the other hand, if he were an impostor, he would meet with the fate he deserved."

P. 31. In regard to the third position, that Peter after the three denials according to a distinct prediction three times apostatised, we do not feel quite so confortable, nor can we bring ourselves to agree with our author upon this particular point. Though now and then we tind, sentences and arguments which are very striking, and

appear for a moment to warrant his assertion, yet bis argument taken a whole is so indistinct, so detached, and

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so obscure, that it is impossible in any way to unravel its mysteries, or to make it bear upon the question. Indeed it is astonishing to lis how a man of Mr. Thrustou's abilities could have at once departed from his plain and natural style. Instead of stating and specifying properly and clearly every one of his assertions and every one of his arguments, instead of stripping the subject from all heterogeneous matter, and presenting the whole simply and positively to the reader, Mr. Thurston passing from one thing to another, entangles the thread of his argument, takes for granted many positions which though true, are not properly stated or proved, and therefore cannot be ad. mitted before they are so stated and proved; and what is more, introducing so wide a space between the assertion and the proof which is to support it, that even the mind of a chancery lawyer could hardly follow the train of his ideas and the fight of his imagination. Thus for instance, in the early part of the book he states the distinction of predictions, page 19, 20, 21, and it is much beyond the 100th page that he comes to speak of their being fulfilled.

It is true that this was the case in point of fact; for a cousiderable time did actually pass between the predictions which Clarist made to Peter, and the denials of this Apostle; and had Mr. Thruston confined himself merely to a simple statement of the historical facts recorded by the Evangelists and received them as they are, we should not have had any thing to urge against the arrangement. But when our author takes upon him. self to put a different construction on the text of the Gospels, when he endeavours to prove that Christ made six several and distinct predictions, predictions which were afterwards seyerally fulfilled by three denials and three apostasies of Peter, theu surely we should have imagined that the arguments in favour of so many predictions should have gone pari passu with the proufs in support of the fulfilinent of them, and the whole presented to the reader without breaking the narrative by the enumeration of intermediate events. As the matter now stands, the reader having lost sight of what has been said before is unable to go ou without referring to passages long turned over, and whilst be endeavours to recollect what he has forgotteri, forgets the very passage which has caused him to take so much trouble. Besides so great a fault, the book appears to have been written in a species of hurry which in many places renders it very obscure, and now and then bursts forth in contradic. tions. Thus in page 2nd, he talks of fulfilment of a double prediction aud three fold denials, and in page 6, he says that Peter res ceived three distinct warnings of the guilt. Again- In page 34, Judas tinds that our Saviour did know of his attempt to betray

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him, and two pages after he is represented as supposing he might conceal his villany from him.

It is true, that these and other faults of the same kind betray a wildness of imagination, which too full of its subject, disdaining every species of constraint--but it is equally true, that they render the perusal of the book a perfect task, and de duct much from the merit of originality which the production before us really must be allowed to possess. And though we are willing to give to Mr. Thruston every credit for the ingenuity and erudition which he has displayed, yet we should recommend him in good earnest to revise the book with accuracy, and adopt quite a different mode of arrangement. Whenever we may be inclined to engraft upon any part of the Scriptures, an explanation different from that which has been generally received, the first duty of an expositor is to adopt both method and perspicuity. If a reader is to puzzle his brains to find out the meaning of the exposition, he may as well be satisfied with the commentaries of ancient and approved expositors.

If in an exposition of the Scriptures a point of taste could for a moment be admitted, we should

be disposed to enter our protest against the opinion of Mr. Thruston, that the interest excited by this portion of Scripture would be considerably diminished, were we to diminish the prediction of our Lord and the fall of the Apostle to a single denial. As far as relates to the prediction of our Lord, we must confess one simple forewarning to give us a more awful idea of his prophetic than a repeated prediction of what was at last but a private event, and which, though furnishing á most striking admonition to the Christian of every age, related but to an individual. That Peter should at three several times solemnly deny his Lord, under the pressing circumstances of each occasion, is perfectly probable ; but that he should six times deny him argues rather apostacy through inclination, than apostacy through fear. It was not the love, but the courage of Peter which was to undergo so severe a trial.

Whoever shall be tempted to read the volume before us will be convinced that Mr. Thruston possesses a vivid and a powerful imagination united with no small insight into human nature. The doctrines which he labours to establish by his new mode, of interpretations are sound and good; but from the same principles of exposition applied in other cases, the most unwarrantable and fatal errors might also result. Originality is but a very questionable qualification in an interpreter of Scripture, truth is an essential. When therefore we think that we have discovered any new sense in an important passage of Scripture, so far from being primâ facie enraptured with our ingenuity, we should be

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inclined rather to distrust our judgment; and instead of running wild upon an hypothesis, however novel and ingenious, it would rather become us to submit to the severest scrutiny of calm and dispassionate research.

We trust that Mr. Turuston will not be discouraged in the prosecution of his labours; he has both piety and genius, but he has yet to learn precision in statement, accuracy in deduction, and sobriety in reasoning. There is much intricacy to unravel, and many excrescences to reduce. Would he be a suce cessful commentator upon Holy Writ, he must rein in his imaa gination, and ever apply to himself the advice represented to have been given to him who would direct the horses of the Sun,

Parce puer stimulis, et fortius utere loris.

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ART. VI. Charlemagne. An Epic Poem. By Lucien Buo

naparte. Translated by the Rev. S. Butler, D.D. and the Rev. F. Hodgson, A.M. 2 Vols. 4to. Longman, and Co.

1815. HAVING considered the history, the machinery, and the struca ture of this extraordinary Poem so much at length in our last pumber, we shall now proceed to view it divested of its original garb, and presented to us under the form of an English translae: ! tion. The gentlemen who have undertaken this task, stand deservedly high in the estimation of the literary world: Dr. Butler, the editor of Æschylus, as a powerful and distinguished scholar, and Mr. Hodgson, the translator of Juvenal, as a classical and an animated poet. We consider Lucien peculiarly fortunate in being enabled to submit his Poem to the hands of such translators, who cannot fail to add lustre, even where they found it not, and to attract the attention of the public to a Poem, which would otherwise have had very little interest in the eyes of the English reader.

The first six Cantos were placed by Dr. Butler in the hands of the Rev. Joha Maunde, by whom it was originally intended that the whole work should have been translated ; before howe ever he had completed even these, lie fell a vietiin to a lingering and a hopeless disease. He died, leaving them incomplete: Dr. Butler however from the imperfect state of Mr. Maninde's translation, and the perpetual alterations made by the author in the original Poem, was forced to undertake the laborious task of

f VOL. IV. JULY, 18 15.

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