תמונות בעמוד

which will necessarily be the case when one set of thoughts and anxieties is forced upon the mind; and the theme Prince dwells upon is the misery of his fellow-beings, arising from their defective education and evil habits. He repeats to them again and again, that happiness is not to be found in the gratification of evil passions, nor freedom won, still less secured, by acts of violence, which in their state of suffering offer too strong a temptation and too ready a means of proving to their rulers that they will not submit tamely to chains and starvation.

But with all this deep feeling for his class, there is no mixture of envy

towards those above him-no desire that all should be reduced to one level-no Utopian dreams of universal wealth and freedom from hardships. Even with regard to his own children, in an address to a little girl of eight years old, he ends thus:

Mine are two daughters of thy years,
Who have been raised mid toils and tears,

Untaught and unrefined;
I do not wish they had thy wealth,
But cheerful labour, food, and health,

And thy expanding mind." But though he may sometimes give way to despondency, in his life as well as his poetry, he is supported and inspired by strong confidence that the time is fast approaching when education will enlighten those sunk in ignorance, emancipating them from the worst evils of their condition, improvidence and vice; and obliging their rulers to set commerce free, and give to all who will work food and occupation. We will close with a poem, the only one we have given entire.

" Who are the Free ?
They who have scorned the tyrant and his rod,
And bowed in worship unto none but God;
They who have made the conqueror's glory dim,
Unchained in soul, though manacled in limb;
Unwarped by prejudice, unawed by wrong,
Friends to the weak, but fearless of the strong ;
They who could change not with the changing hour,
The self-same men in peril and in power ;
True to the law of Right-as warmly prone
To grant another's as maintain their own ;
Foes of oppression wheresoe'er it be :-
These are the proudly Free!

Who are the Great ?
They who have boldly ventured to explore

Unsounded seas, and lands unknown before ;
Vol. IV, No. 16.-New Series,


Soared on the wings of science wide and far,
Measured the sun, and weighed each distant star,
Pierced the dark depths of Ocean and of Earth,
And brought unwonted wonders into birth ;
Repelled the pestilence-restrained the storm,
And given new beauty to the human form ;
Wakened the voice of Reason, and unfurled
The page of truthful Knowledge to the world ;-
They who have toiled and studied for mankind,
Aroused each slumbering faculty of mind,
Taught us a thousand blessings to create, —
These are the nobly Great!

“ Who are the Wise?
They who have governed with a self-control
Each wild and baneful passion of the soul ;
Curbed the strong impulse of all fierce desires,
But kept'alive affection's purer fires ;
They who have passed the labyrinth of life
Without one hour of weakness or of strife;
Prepared each change of fortune to endure,
Humble though rich, and dignified though poor ;
Skilled in the latent movements of the heart-
Learned in that lore which Nature can impart ;
Teaching that sweet Philosophy aloud
Which sees the silver lining of the cloud,
Looking for good in all beneath the skies,

These are the truly Wise !

“ Who are the Blest ? They who have kept their sympathies awake, And scattered good for more than custom's sake, Steadfast and tender in the hour of need, Gentle in thought, benevolent in deed ; Whose looks have power to make dissension cease, Whose smiles are pleasant and whose words are peace. They who have lived as harmless as the dove, Teachers of Truth and ministers of love ; Love for all moral power, all mental grace, Love for the humblest of the human race,Love for the tranquil joy which virtue brings,Love for the Giver of all goodly things; True followers of that soul-exalting plan Which Christ laid down to bless and govern man ; They who can calmly linger at the last, Survey the future and recall the past ; And with that hope that triumphs over pain, Feel well assured they have not lived in vain, Then wait in peace their hour of final rest : These are the only Blest !”-p. 21.



TRAINING OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH BY THE APOSTLES. By Dr. AUGUSTUS NEANDER, Ordinary Professor of Theology in the University of Berlin, Consistorial Counsellor, &c. Translated from the Third Edition of the original German, by J. E. RYLAND. 2 vols. Edinburgh: Thomas Clark, 38, George-street. 1842.

The appearance of these volumes in the English language will be hailed with welcome by every real lover of truth, and by every friend to theological inquiry who is in any degree acquainted with the character of their author. It must be a no less pleasing subject of reflection to all liberal minds that they are issued under the superintendence of orthodox parties; containing as they do much with which no existing denomination in England will completely agree, and very much that will prove highly offensive to minds totally unaccustomed to a free examination of the contents of Scripture. They form the 35th and 36th No. of Clark's Edinburgh Biblical Cabinet: a series which has already shown marks of a liberal spirit, by including some of the writings of Ware and Channing; but which has never previously published any work so bold and dispassionate in its investigations into the acts, customs, and sentiments of the sacred writers as the one before us.

The value of a work like this depends first upon the character and talents of its author, and next upon the accuracy of the translator. On subjects which require a vast extent of reading, a free unbiassed judgment, and a powerful and comprehensive mind, it is very little becoming a critic to judge the value of literary productions by any consideration of the results which have been arrived at. Nor is it possible to enter into details respecting the various items which have been examined, to for the premises upon which the author has based his conclusions. One grand requisite in such cases appears to be a full confidence in the learning, judgment, and impartial candour of the writer in question. In any other way to judge the work before us would imply that the critic was more competent to decide upon the real opinions that were held in the days of the Apostles, and therefore upon the interpretation of Scripture, than one who has devoted his whole lifetime, with indefatigable perseverance and extensive resources before him, to this one subject. If we adopt anything like the candid spirit of Dr. Neander, we shall at least wait, before we condemn any one conclusion of our author, until we have compared with it that which has been formed, after at least as much attention, by some one equally competent to judge. It is for this reason we are not quite satisfied with the short biographical notice prefixed to this translation. We would fain know more of the habits and character of our author, in order to be aware how much confidence we have a right to place in his impartiality and power of judgment.

Dr. Neander is one of the many instances that have appeared of late years, of eminent literary men emerging from the longpersecuted and despised Jews. "He became, however, a convert to Christianity at an early age, and shortly after entered the University of Halle, being then seventeen. After ending his studies at Gottingen, he became a teacher of theology at Heidelburg in 1801, and in the following year, when only twentythree, one of the extraordinary professors in that University. He has been since 1813 professor at Berlin ; and now, at the age of fifty-three, he exercises a wider and more beneficial influence upon the religious opinions and theological government of Prussia than any other living mind. He has three regular lectures every day, except Saturday, when there are two, throughout the two semesters; the attendance upon which may average about three hundred each. The usual subjects of them are ecclesiastical history and the history of doctrinal opinion; exegetical lectures upon the three first Gospels and all St. Pauľs Epistles, and further lectures upon systematic theology. Besides this, he reads with some of the students parts of the writings of the early Christian Fathers, and devotes one evening a-week to social intercourse, at his own house, with eighteen or twenty of the more zealous among the theological students. Amidst all this labour, however, he still finds time to commit almost every year some of his investigations to the press; some contribution, generally, to the completion of his vast and extensive work entitled a General History of the Christian Religion and Church,' which was last year brought down to the conclusion of the 13th century. The present work is a preliminary to this larger one, and appeared in a third and enlarged edition last year, from which the translation is taken.

This may, perhaps, suffice to show the industry and real knowledge which Neander has of the subject, since in Germany no such extensive influence as above described can be obtained without the whole life and energy of an individual being devoted to his pursuit. The real independence of his character and inpartial judgment may be seen in the fact that even in Germany no religious party can claim him for their own.

All respect him-many fear him; but far more deeply venerate him. Owing to his vast intellect, Dr. Neander appears to be almost compelled to rationalize, in spite of himself, wherever a natural occurrence may

be discovered on close investigation to have originated any miraculous relation. This, however, is in most cases so accomplished as by no means to lessen the really marvellous in the event, but only to render it more graphic and intelligible. The divine, too, in every event is most carefully brought to light and impressed upon the reader, apart from all mere love of the extraordinary. Against all anti-supernatural common-places he manifests rather a feeling of their palpable ridiculousness than of disgust.

By those who are most attracted to Neander by his deeply religious tone of mind he may, perhaps, be looked upon as a Pietist, with which body at one time he was somewhat closely unitedBut their narrow-mindedness and bigotry, if not fanaticism, would never allow of any sincere union with them; and a short time since he explicitly withdrew from having even a. nominal connection with their organ, “Hengstenberg's Evangelical Church Magazine. Neither can he be numbered with the Orthodox party, since he has explicitly declared that there is no existing creed to which he could unreservedly subscribe.

It might be expected from this that Dr. Neander would form a school of his own. This, however, has not hitherto happened, nor is it likely that it will. His own views are not sufficiently marked and definite; nor even consequential enough to call around him any number of doctrinal adherents. It may even be doubted if he would wish for such a result any more than the apostle Paul, and for the same reason, that none but Christ should be their master. He is too many-sided, too capable and desirous of appreciating the good in all existing systems, to form a separate isolated one himself. He is, besides, not sufficiently systematic in his own views. In the emotional part of his character he may well be compared to Fenelon : since whose time, perhaps, there has not appeared a stronger instance of an almost excessive humility, along with deeply religious feelings and a vast and comprehensive intellect. In strength of character, however, Neander far surpasses Fenelon, and no mere external authority could incline his opinions a hair's-breadth from that which his conscience and reason assured him was correct.

In him, too, the perpetual struggle between those deep religious feelings which cling to the good and great in the past and present religious world, and that quick perception of truth, and hatred of error, which as constantly points to the future, to reform and perfection, seems to have ceased, and allowed these discordant elements to combine into an all-pervading desire for

« הקודםהמשך »