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9.-- An Exposition of the Second Epistle of Peter. By the
Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St. Gregory's, London,
ernoster Row, London, 1839, roy. 8vo. pp. 899. This is a remarkable work ;-remarkable for the richness, originality, and force of intellect it displays, remarkable also from the fact of its having remained so long a hidden treasure, seldom found on the shelves of libraries or on the pages of catalogues. But it carries within itself its license to live, and it is now by the labors and enterprise of Editor and Publishers put beyond the reach of a second oblivion. As far as Mr. Sherman may desire any reward beyond what he enjoys in the thought of having conferred a lasting favor upon every class of theologians and philo-Biblists, he may doubtless promise himself a kind of secondary immortality, an appended perpetuity to his own name, in connection with that which he has thus happily lifted out of a long and undeserved obscurity.
Every lover of Scripture, expounded almost in the very spirit of its authors, is familiar with the worth of Leighton's golden comment on the First Epistle of Peter. In the exposition of Adams on the Second, we have a monument of equal, though differing talent, eloquence, unction, and all the other attributes of a head and heart of the rarest endowments. Of the author little is known, except that he was an Episcopalian in discipline, though a Puritan in faith and spirit, and that after laboring for forty years in Bedfordshire, he removed to London, where he continued preaching and publishing for several years longer, closing and crowning all his works with this masterly Exposition of Peter, in 1633. Though distinguished by the quaintness which was the fashion of the times, it is a surprising specimen of mental wealth and ministerial diligence, exhibiting as many thoughts in as few words as are to be found in the English, or perhaps any other language. Even Sallust himself is not more distinguished for the epigrammatic pith of his sentences. His acquaintance with Scripture is extensive and minute, and the felicity with which he brings one truth to illustrate another is scarcely to be paralleled. His quaint and punning style no doubt diminishes at this day somewhat the effect of his general excellence as an expositor, but the reader cannot but be penetrated with the conviction, which must have rested on the minds of his hearers, not only of his abilities and diligence, but of the immense labor he must have bestowed to bring all his resources to bear on this book. The consequence must have been a fixed attention and deep impression of the importance of a correct understanding of the sacred oracles. But as all our remarks will fail to convey an adequate notion of the work, we insert the following as a slight specimen of the author's style :-“The creatures are constrained to minister to the wicked desires of sinful men. The sun was fain to lend his light to those pagan monsters, while they committed their most execrable rapes and murders. The moon waits on the thief, while he acts his robbery. The stars hide not their aspects from atheistical astrologers. The winds, with prosperous gales, fill the sails of pirates. On the lands of oppressors the clouds let fall their fructifying burdens. Viands make fat the epicure ; and wine is ready for the unnatural thirst of the drunkard. Herbs and minerals are medicinal to the unholiest bodies. Jewels and precious stones shine on the proud. Birds are compelled to part with their feathers to stuff the bed of uncleanness. They are all forced to serve them that do not serve God. This is the bondage under which they groan, and from which they labor to be delivered, longing for the time when all these things shall be dissolved.” 10.-An Exposition of the Prophet Ezekiel, with useful obser
vations thereupon. Delivered in several Lectures in London, by William Greenhill, M. A., Rector of Stepney, and Chaplain to the Dukes of York and Gloucester, and the Lady Henrietta Maria, A. D., 1650. Revised and corrected by James Sherman, Minister of Surrey Chapel. London: Samuel Holdsworth, 1839. roy. 8vo. pp. 859.
Daniel Appleton, New-York. Mr. Sherman, the industrious Editor of Adams, above-mentioned, has laid the religious world under a fresh obligation by the reprint of this valuable relic of Puritan talent, learning and unction. It is got up in the same beautiful style of typography with the former, and destined to take its place on the same shelf. We cheerfully accord to the Editor not only the meed of our gratitude for the service performed, but of our cordial respect for the liberality of spirit which has allowed him to see sufficient merit in the works of one of the little handful of Independents in the Westminster Assembly, to engage his efforts to rescue them from oblivion. We have no doubt that equal treasures remain yet to be dug out of the same mine, and if we could flatter ourselves that these remarks would ever reach the eye of Mr. S., we would earnestly
solicit his attention to the works of Greenhill's associate in the Stepney Lectures, the Rev. Jeremiah Burroughs. The style of his Discourses, most of which were expository, is more homely, from his apparently aiming at a less cultivated class of hearers, than that of most of his compeers; and he has moreover a larger mass of merely temporary and local allusions, intermingled with matter of general, or rather of universal interest, but for originality and richness of thought, for felicity of illustration, and for a tact of educing the most striking practical applications of Scripture, we consider him absolutely unrivalled. We have the testimony of Flavel that few men in England were ever more blessed in their labors, though he died at the age of forty-three, of a broken heart, in view of the troubles and distractions of the church in the times in which he lived. His works, together with the choicer Treatises of Thomas Goodwin and Caryl, on Job, after being submitted to a judicious modernizing revisal, we yet hope to see reproduced for the benefit of the living generation of Christian men and ministers. They will serve at least as a perpetual fountain from which to transfuse the quickening streams of practical inference into the more predominantly critical commentaries demanded by the exigency of our times.
But to return to Greenhill. His exposition of the Prophecy of Ezekiel was delivered in Lectures in the city of London, and originally printed, a volume at a time, as a few chapters were concluded, till five small quarto volumes completed the Exposition. These were ever after held in the highest repute, but they gradually became scarce, and so difficult did it at length become to obtain a perfect set, that one has been known to have been sold at the enormous price of from seven to ten pounds sterling. The last volume became particularly rare, from its having
been, as is supposed, destroyed in the calamitous fire of London, in 1666. The whole is reprinted in the present edition complete.
The style of the work is in a great measure that of the age. It is characterized by the Editor as abrupt, not always chaste, often imperfect, and full of singularities; yet searching, bold, striking, and effective. His method of exposition is to go as fully into the literal meaning of his author as the critical furniture of his day would allow, and after settling the import of the Hebrew terms, which are copiously interspersed through his pages, to lay out 'the beginning of his strength, upon the pertinent and spirit-searching observations which he would point to the inmost hearts of his readers. It would doubtless be too much to expect of any commentator of that age a lucid and satisfactory exegesis of the dark things of Ezekiel's prophecy. Indeed the obscurities of that book continue still to defy the eradiating sagacity of Christian, as it has ever done of Jewish, critics; yet the Lectures of Greenhill are full of edification, and to use one of his quaint allusions, if the reader finds the strong meat of the literal sense too strong for his spiritual digestion, he can betake himself to the milk of the observations. 11.- A Grammar of the Idioms of the Greek Language of the
New Testament. By Dr. George Benedict Winer, Professor of Theology in the University at Leipsic. Translated by J. H. Agnew and 0. G. Ebbeke. Philadelphia:
Herman Hooker, 1840. pp. 469. Some months since we announced the proposed Translation of Winer's Grammar, etc., by Professors Agnew and Ebbeke. The work now appears, with the unqualified recommendation of Professors Stuart, McLelland, Hodge, Sears, Nevin, Mayer and Schmucker, prefixed. It is an octavo volume, and as far as we are able to judge, from a cursory examination, is sufficiently well executed.
Any one acquainted with the obstacles in the way of translating the German into smooth and correct English, and who will cast his eye over the pages of this book, and observe the almost numberless references and quotations which it contains, will at once perceive that the Translators have performed a work of great labor and difficulty. We trust it will be found, (on a more thorough examination than we are able at present to give it,) to have been accomplished in a manner at once worthy of their character as accurate scholars, and satisfactory to the numerous students of the New Testament to whom the laborious investigations and extensive researches of Dr. Winer are thus rendered available.
Among those who have had access to this work in the German, and who are qualified to judge, we have heard but one opinion expressed of its superlative excellence. Prof. Stuart says, “There is nothing like it. It is, beyond all question, a nonpareil of its kind. Dr. Hodge remarks, that it “is not properly a Grammar, but a “Grammatical Commentary on the New Testament ;-a work of the highest authority and usefulness.”
The following remarks of the Translators, which we copy from their preface, contain a candid and satisfactory notice of the author and his work,
"Dr. Winer commenced his labors in this department some twenty-five years ago, and soon after published a small Grammar, translated in 1825, by Professors Stuart and Robinson. At the time of the original publication he was Professor Extraordinary at Leipsic, his native city. In 1823 he became Ordinary Professor of Theology in the University of Erlangen, Bavaria, and on the death of Tittmann, in 1832, he was recalled to Leipsic to supply his place, where he remains at present attracting crowds to his Lectures. He is the giant of the Theological faculty at Leipsic, as Hermann is in the Classical.
“The volume now offered to the American scholar is the fourth and last edition (1836) of Winer's Grammar of the New Testament Idioms, and may be regarded as almost perfect in its line. ** * An examination of its pages
prove that it surpasses any thing published in the English language in the department of New Testament philology, and that it will be an invaluable auxiliary to the Theological student. The general classical scholar also will find it full of interest, both in its numerous references to ancient authors, and in its copious illustrations of grammatical principles in their application to the Greek language of classical writers. There is a constant comparison, on alì points, of the xowvdicaextos with the language of the New Testament in its syntactic rules.” 12.- An Address delivered in South Hadley, Mass., July 24th,
1839, at the Second Anniversary of the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. By Rufus Anderson, D. D. Published by request of the Trustees, pp. 24.
Boston : Perkins and Marvin, 1839. This is a valuable pamphlet. The author has not attempted a discussion of the principles which ought to control the arrangements and methods of female education. He has rather chosen to look calmly on the swelling and movement of the public mind on this subject, and endeavoured from the history of that movement for the last thirty years and from its present aspects to form some reasonable anticipations of what the future may be. No man is better fitted than Dr. Anderson to contemplate such a subject with close and dispassionate scrutiny, or to educe from shifting and uncertain appearances, probable surmises of far remote results. While the past and the present offer little that can satisfy, in this respect, the desires of the judicious friends of that sex, he sees the future full of hope. We join in his hope, and are cheered by his assurance.