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clarations are opposed to the view of those who would convert the entire book into a history of the time of the end, and confirms the view which treats it as our companion through the whole course of history. Neither do those do it justice, who remark with Bengel, 'Therefore did the fulfilment begin immediately after the date of the book.' Not merely was the beginning in general ascribed to the immediate future, but such a beginning as was to be the beginning of the end. There is here a touchstone for the exposition of the book, before which that of Bengel and the old Protestant one cannot stand. For there, the main burden of the book refers to relations, of which no notion could as yet be formed. The Keeper of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps; I am with you always, to the end of the world;'-of these truths, the shortly coming to pass,' and the 'I come quickly,' of this book, are the necessary consequence. The boundless energy of the Divine nature admits here of no delay. There is nothing of quiescence or indolent repose in God. His appearing often to linger is merely on account of our short-sightedness. He is secretly working for salvation and destruction, when he seems to us, perhaps, to be standing aloof; and only when, by the execution of his judgment, we are called to enter into his salvation, do we learn consequentially what is meant by the 'shortly.' At every period when the book acquires new significance by Satan stirring up new wars against Christ and his church, the shortly' and 'I come quickly' also spring again into new life. Where the carcase is, there the eagles are constantly gathered together; and where the distress is the greatest, there the help is also nearest. God be praised, that we are never pointed to the far distant future: but that the retributive justice of God against sin, and his pity and compassion toward the wretched, tread closely on each other's heels." pp. 47, 48.
"But the prophecy does not come to an end with this first realization. It continually revives anew, whenever a new persecuting world-power steps into the place of the Roman. As another of this kind, Gog and Magog are named in this very book. The original passage also, Matt. xxiv. 29, has had more than one fulfilment :-the first, a provisional one, which our seer already saw be hind him in the overthrow of Jerusalem; a more general one in the breaking up of the Roman state; the most extensive one is still future, and may already be descried in its beginnings." p. 274.
A little further on, the learned Author seems disposed to apply the figurative language of this vision to the events which were passing before him. "With devout wonder we see before our eyes, how the stars of heaven are falling to the earth, precisely as a fig-tree, when violently shaken by the wind, casts off its unripe fruit. But," he adds, "the immediate fulfilment was, the overthrow of the possession of the old Roman power, the bright morning-star that shone in heaven at the time the Apocalypse was composed." (p. 279.) "Julian's exclamation, 'O Galilean, thou hast conquered !' was a fulfilment of our prophecy." (p. 282.) Here Dr. Hengstenberg seems to admit the historical interpretation of the sixth seal; and this being granted, ordinary consistency, one might have thought, would have led him to adopt a corresponding mode of interpretation in reference to the ensuing visions. But he rejects all "apocalyptic chronology," and for the strangest of all reasons;-because the "numbers" are be taken statistically, but theologically." (p. 296.) "In what form the wrath of the Lamb manifested itself in regard to the immediate object of the prophecy (of the sixth seal), against the all-dominant Roman power of St. John's time," he proceeds to say, “will be found in ch. xvii., in connexion with the ten kings whom he armed against Rome.” (p. 282.) The exposition of that chapter is not com
We cannot tell whether the Translator or his Author is responsible for the uncouthness of the phraseology in the last sentence. The entire passage is a singular tissue of piety and mysticism, truth and error. It forms, how-prised in the present volume; but we meet ever, not only a fair specimen of the style, but a general key to the exposition. Dr. Hengstenberg rejects at once the wild theories of the Futurists; he considers the book as our companion through "the whole course of history," and admits, therefore, that it is susceptible of historical interpretation. Yet, instead of regarding the prophecies as continuous, he appears to imagine that the whole of the predictions were primarily fulfilled in the "immediate future," but that they are receiv-proof of this, see ch. xiii. 11." (p. 25.) "The ing successive fulfilments under parallel circumstances, as Satan stirs up new wars against Christ and his church, and as now heathenism, now rationalism is the Anti
with several indications that the Author carries his theory of immediate fulfilment, and of synchronous interpretation, to the extreme of applying the visions of the xiiith and xviith chapters to the times of the Pagan empire. Thus, he observes: "The Revelation supposes that, at the period of its composition, the Antichristian action of the worldpower was accompanied with the Antichristian operation of the world-wisdom. In
Revelation was composed at a time when there was an organized bloody persecution which extended over all Christendom. Ch. xiii. 7 is alone sufficient to prove this." (p. 26.)
"Domitian, above almost every other, was a fit representative of the terrible bloody Beast, full of names of blasphemy, and of the horrible woman drunk with the blood of saints and of the witnesses of Jesus." p. 31.
But if, on the strength of these intimations, Dr. Hengstenberg should be claimed by the favourers of the Preterist theory of interpretation, we must undeceive them. We are not to confine the prediction to its immediate fulfilment. The seven-headed Beast may be Domitian, and it may at the same time be Louis Napoleon. Speaking of "the star fallen from heaven," in the vision of the fifth trumpet, the learned Expositor says: "The star denotes a ruler.. but the ruler here is no single historical person. The ruler is an ideal person, who appears in history in a whole series of real individuals. The last great embodiment of this star was Napoleon. But he shall not remain the last." (p. 352.) Ch. xii. 3, 4, is referred to "Herod, the servant of the dragon," seeking the life of the child Jesus. But, says the Expositor, "he has been manifesting the same wickedness also since, throughout the whole history of the Christian church, as often as Christ is born anew in the Spirit. He is always at hand to strangle, if he can, the nascent life. What he then did through Herod, is, because history, also symbol, a prophecy in action. With Bengel and other expositors, to put here one of those later imitations in the room of the great original, is quite arbitrary." p. 460.
The visions of the Apocalypse, Dr. Hengstenberg divides into groupes, each groupe bearing an independent character, standing by itself separate and complete; yet, the distinct groupes run parallel. (p. 327.) We are not, however, to seek the fulfilment in particular events, but to regard each as placing before us an entire species of Divine judgments." Thus, he remarks of the second trumpet: "The fulfilment of this prophesy is to be considered as still in progress." p. 345.
"The Revelation of St. John gives no regularly progressive disclosure of the future, advancing in unbroken series from beginning to end; but it falls into a number of groupes, which indeed supplement each other, every successive vision giving some other aspect of the future, but which are still formally com. plete in themselves, each proceeding from a beginning to an end." p. 446.
Had Dr. Hengstenberg simply maintained, that a distinct series of visions commences at ch. xii., he would so far have agreed with the best Protestant expositors, although differing widely from them in his interpretation. Bengel is here clearly wrong. But our Author begins a new groupe with the seven trumpets, arbitrarily connecting ch. viii. 1 with the close of ch. vi., and explaining the silence in
heaven as meaning "a silence like that of Pharaoh, when he sank with his host into the Red Sea." And these groupes are still running on.
"All the numbers in the Apocalypse have only an ideal signification. . . . We have here before us (ch. xi. 2), a representation which does not bring into view some particular period of time in the world's history, but the whole course of it, only that towards the end everything realizes itself in a more perfect manner. Wherever the world is found overflowing the church,-from that of which John himself saw the commencement, to the last (in ch. xx. 7-9), of which we have now the beginning before our eyes,—there, the substance of the prophecy always verifies itself anew." p. 396.
Such is the curious system of interpretation which has been pronounced to be the only one that approaches to the true scope and sense of the Apocalypse! We have taken some pains to place it before our readers in as distinct and intelligible a form as possible, in order to enable them to judge for themselves, how far it has the advantage, in point of simplicity, coherence, critical accuracy, and internal evidence, over the "historizing" interpretations of our own most judicious commentators. We must confess, that, in our judgment, his theory, while seeming to admit the historical fulfilment, deprives us of all evidence of the prophetic character of the visions, derivable from the events of history; while, in teaching us to look for successive fulfilments of the whole series, even in the events that are passing before us, it opens a wide door for fanatical speculations. Nothing can be more arbitrary and fanciful than many of his interpretations; and, like most expositors of his school, he mistakes the mystical for the practical. Thus, in reference to the flight of the emblematic woman in ch. xii., he remarks: "As for the church at large, so, for single individuals, the flight into the wilderness is a necessary stage." The piety of the Author's intentions is conspicuous in the general tone and spirit of his observations; and nothing would have gratified us more than to find that quality united, in the present work, with sound judgment and critical acumen. have intimated, Dr. Hengstenberg started with a foregone conclusion utterly erroneous. He assumed that the Revelation could be of no use for edification or comfort to the early Christians, unless the whole of the predictions were to receive their fulfilment in the immediate future; and, that Christians in after times could derive no profit from it, unless the prophecies were to continue to receive successive fulfilments to the end of time. The 'historizing" mode of exposition is deemed untrue, because "a woe" already long since past, has no edification for us; (p. 352;) while an historical fulfilment is supposed,
that violates all probability and common sense, by bringing the whole within the early ages of Christianity, because what was far off in the future could have no edification for Christians then. This twofold mistake proceeds upon a narrow and very defective view of the design of prophecy, overlooking or ignoring entirely its purpose as a branch of Christian evidence,-evidence dependent upon its exact fulfilment, and constantly accumulating with its progressive development. At the same time, it deprives the history of God's past dealings with his church of its instructive character, by encouraging the notion that we have no concern with events long since past. Moreover, it is contrary to all analogy in reference to the prophecies of the Old Testament, which may in some cases admit of a primary and an ultimate fulfilment, but never of a series of repeated fulfilments; and in which it is always found, that the predictions relating to the immediate future are designed, by their accomplishment, to afford an assurance of the certain fulfilment of promises extending into the far distant futurity, the precise nature of which was, for the most part, but dimly apprehended.
Dr. Hengstenberg himself approves of the view which regards the Apocalypse as our companion through the whole course of history; but he would make it our companion to little purpose, if all its communications were so vague, ambiguous, and mystical as his exposition makes them. Strange, that he should not see, that the only scheme which comports with this view of the design of the Apocalypse, is that which assigns to it a progressive and continuous fulfilment running parallel with the course of history, and at once verified and explained by the events! Having no better guide to the true historical interpretation than the devout, but rash and fanciful Bengel, it is the less surprising that he should lose his way. He has performed a useful service in combating and refuting the erroneous views and flippant criticisms of some of his predecessors; especially of Lücke (Moses Stuart's great authority) and Ewald, of Bleck, and Baur, and Züllig; but he does not very materially add to our critical appliances for expounding "The Revelation," while, most assuredly, he fails altogether of tracing the right lines of a correct interpretation.
MEMOIR AND REMAINS OF THE REV. JAMES HARINGTON EVANS, late Minister of Johnstreet Chapel. Edited by the Rev. JAMES JOYCE EVANS, M.A., Trin. Coll. Cantab., Chaplain to the Home and Colonial Training Schools. 8vo. pp. 694.
James Nisbet and Co.
HIGH expectations have been formed, in many circles, in reference to this Memoir; and we are happy to assure our numerous
readers, that reasonable expectation will not be disappointed. Fastidious, indeed, will be those admirers of the character of Mr. Evans who are not satisfied with this telling record of his life and labours. Seldom, perhaps, has a son succeeded in producing so impartial a memorial of a revered and beloved parent;-and when it is recollected that the biographer is a clergyman of the Established Church, too much credit can scarcely be given to him for the fair and honest manner in which, in every instance, he has suffered his late excellent father to speak for himself,
We cannot but commend the principle which Mr. Evans, Jun., laid down for the guidance of his conduct in writing his father's Memoirs. He resolved on carefully exhibiting the facts, and leaving them to produce their own impression. We are scarcely ever occupied with the personalty or opinions of the biographer; but are fixed intensely, throughout the entire volume, upon the labours, the correspondence, the character, the intercourses, the usefulness, the afflictions of the deceased.
Nor do we object to the form into which these Memoirs have been cast. Although something might have been gained, in impression, by interweaving the letters with the Sketch of Mr. Evans's Life, yet, from the character of the letters themselves, especially their great general excellence, they stand better by themselves than if mixed up with other materials.
The order of the volume is as follows:I. An Introduction, in which the history of the publication is interestingly told, the hinderances which retarded its appearance, and the reason for the particular form it assumes. II. The "Memoir" itself, in which, in ninetytwo pages, we are enabled to trace Mr. Evans's career, with great vividness of impression, through his school-boy and college life, his ministry in the Establishment,-his mighty struggle in turning to God,-his secession from the Episcopal Church,-his pas torate in John-street Chapel,-his temporary adoption of unscriptural views of the Trinity and the person of Christ,-his vast range of usefulness, pursued to the overtaxing of his powers,—his vicissitudes and deep afflictions,
and the melancholy event which terminated his valuable course. Seldom have we perused a narrative with so much real benefit and deep impression of heart. Truly he was a inan "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." III. We have his own touching Memoir of the first Mrs. Evans, in a series of Letters addressed to the Church and Congregation assembling in John-street. These are most rich and profitable letters, which cannot be too generally read. IV. We have his General Correspondence, extending from 1811 to 1849, and occupying from page 139 to page 412.
The idea upon which he has constructed his Essay is that, substantially, of Paley, in his Hora Paulina; though, instead of resting the strength of his argument, as Paley did, upon Undesigned Coincidence," he relies mainly upon another principle, viz., that of "Reconcileable Variation." With immense stores of information, and no slender share of Hermeneutical skill and learning, he addresses himself to his arduous task, meeting all the difficult questions which have sprung up in the path of the Biblical student, doing much to overturn the miserable fabric of Neology, and to establish the faith of those who have determined not to doubt, save on sufficient evidence.
In these Letters there is scarcely a single | their spiritual features as a Divine revela. topic in theology, in Christian experience, or tion." in human life or intercourse, that is not touched upon or fully discussed. They are the best series of letters on scriptural subjects that has seen the light in the present age; and could only have been produced by one who lived near to the Fountain of all goodness and truth. V. We have his Pastoral Letters, thirty-three in number, addressed to the Church in John-street. No one can read them without feeling that Mr. Evans laboured as in birth, that Christ might be formed in the hearts of his flock. VI. We have his Ministerial Letters, addressed to Bible Classes, Teachers in Schools, Deacons, &c., all breathing a seraphic spirit of undissembled wisdom and godliness. VII. We have Original Thoughts on Scripture, extracted from his Common-place Book. VIII. We have Sketches of Sermons. And, IX. We have the Commencement of a Commentary on the Ephesians.
We have risen up from the careful perusal of this volume, we trust, with a stronger purpose of devotion to the work of God. We commend it to the attention of all our brethren in the ministry.
HORE EVANGELICE; or, The Internal Evidence of the Gospel History. Being an Inquiry into the Structure and Origin of the Four Gospels, their Historical Consistency, and the Characteristic Design of each Narrative. By the Rev. T. R. BIRKS, M.A., Rector of Kelshall, Herts, and late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. 8vo. pp.
WE reckon Mr. Birks among the most indefatigable Biblical students of the age; and, though we do not always sympathize with him in his views of the destinies of Messiah's kingdom, yet we consider him to be so eminently sound in the faith, that we have great confidence in commending his works to the attention of our readers, and especially to the rising ministry of the day.
Though he has done good service to the church, in his Exposition of Daniel's Prophecies, and in his Memoir of the Rev. Edward Bickersteth, we have no hesitation in affirming, that his Hora Evangelica is the most valuable production of his active pen. It is a work of no little originality of plan; and is admirably fitted to demolish all those theories of the Gospels, which have any sympathy with the monstrous creations of Strauss.
The author's design is two-fold,-to furnish "a contribution to the historical evidence of Christianity," and "to throw a fuller light on the nature of the Four Gospels, the special design of cach narrative, and
One great service rendered to the cause of truth in this volume is, that it contains an English, and not a German answer to the works of such men as Strauss. Mr. Birks well observes, that "several of the answers, by foreign writers, are based on lax views of the gospels, both in their inspiration and historical accuracy, which happily does not prevail to the same extent among the Christians in our own land. However alien the mythical theory may be from the practical common sense of the British mind, it is never safe for poison to circulate, without some antidote being provided. And since the same line of inquiry, which most effectually refutes this novel form of unbelief, leads also to conclusions of historical interest, and of practical value to the Scripture student, I have thought that the results to which it has led would be an acceptable offering to the church of Christ in these last days."
We regret that our limits will not permit us to do justice to such a work as this; but we have a very high estimate of the ability displayed by the author in almost every page. Those who read it with a mind unprejudiced, cannot fail to benefit by its perusal; and we would fain hope that it will reclaim many from the doubts and perplexities they have imbibed from the German School. The whole subject is distributed into Four Books.
"The first Book," observes the author, "will inquire into the mutual relations of the Four Gospels, so as to establish their order of succession, and historical connexion, by the external evidence alone. The result thus obtained will be found to be in entire agreement with the current of early tradition. The second Book will investigate the chronology of the Book of Acts, the probable date of the Gospels, and the evidence of their authenticity. The third will inquire into the contradictions alleged to exist between them, and will show that these constitute, for the most part, a deeper evidence of their common veracity. The fourth and last, will enter on
a higher field, and briefly treat of the Gospels in their true ideal, as a Divine revelation, with especial reference to their miraculous character, the alleged fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies, and the great and glorious doctrines of the Incarnation, the Atonement, and the Resurrection, of the Son of God."
We should rejoice to find this volume in every Christian family throughout the land. In answering sceptics, it will make none; and this is saying much in favour of such a volume in our day.
THE WORKS OF LADY COLQUHOUN, OF
WHEN vital godliness finds firm footing in the higher walks of society, as it did in the powerful and highly-cultivated mind of Lady Colquhoun, it acquires an ascendancy often of the most gratifying and peculiar kind. But, in such slippery places, how resolute must be the struggle of faith to resist and overcome the blandishments of fashionable life! To feel and assert the claims of God and conscience, where everything is tempered down to a level far below the demands of God's impartial and unchanging word, is a proof of the working of that noble spirit which endures and acts" as seeing Him who is invisible."
In her own private circle, Lady Colquhoun was a striking example of consistent piety in aristocratic circles. She feared not to be singular;-she was not ashamed of the cross of Christ; she saw and felt that religion among the great was oftentimes denuded of its true glory by the lure of worldly conformity; and what she thus painfully beheld and deeply deplored, she resolved, by her example and by her writings, to endeavour to
The Essays contained in this beautiful volume, in the first instance published anonymously, are her noble contributions to the spiritual well-being of those who moved in a sphere similar to her own. We believe they were not published in vain. She lived to see that her labours were appreciated, and that, in some instances, they were greatly blessed. When their authorship came to be known, her own bland manners tended to give them effect;-and, while the world stands, they will deserve to be regarded as among the best works in our language to put into the hands of persons moving in the higher circles.
The Essays are five in number, all written in a purely Evangelical spirit: - I. Thoughts on the Religious Profession of the Higher Classes of Society. II. Impressions of the Heart, relative to the nature and excellence of genuine Religion. III. The Kingdom of God; containing a brief account of
its properties, trials, privileges, and duration. IV. The World's Religion, as contrasted with genuine Christianity. V. Despair and Hope, exemplified as a narrative founded on fact. ENCYCLOPEDIA METROPOLITANA; or, Syз
tem of Universal Knowledge, on a Methodical Plan, projected by SAMUEL TAYLER COLERIDGE. Second Edition, Revised. Third Division: History and Biography, Biblical Antiquities. By F. A. Cox, D.D., LL.D. With numerous Illustrations. Crown 8vo., pp. 516.
John Joseph Griffin and Co.
HAVING recently noticed, with much pleasure, Dr. Eadie's volume on Early Oriental History, we hail with equal delight, in connection with the same great undertaking, a volume from the pen of our friend Dr. Cox. From the great variety of its contents, and the care which has been bestowed in supplying the best possible materials, the volume cannot fail to be very popular. The subjects, which are distributed into Thirteen Chapters, will speak for themselves; and will show how valuable the volume will be to the Biblical student. I. Nature and Design of the Jewish Economy. II. Consideration of the probable intentions of Providence with regard to the Limited Scale of the Jewish Economy. III. Of the Hebrew Language and Literature. IV. Manners and Customs of the Israelites. V. The Tabernacle in the Wilderness. VI. The Temple of Solomon, with a View of the Jewish Worship. VII. The Jewish Synagogues. VIII. The Sabbath of the Israelites. IX. The Early Possessors of Canaan. X. The Geographical and Topographical Account of Canaan. XI. Natural History of Palestine. XII. Modern Judaism. XIII. Sects of the Jews. Scripture Chronology. Index.
The Pictorial Illustrations, from the most authentic sources, and executed in the best manner, are one hundred and eighty-six. No expense has been spared on the volume; and when our readers learn that it is actually published at the small sum of eight shillings, we are sure that they will promptly avail themselves of so valuable an accession to their libraries.
We thank Dr. Cox most sincerely for this truly useful and acceptable effort of his pen.
COMMENTARIES ON THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE ROMANS. By JOHN CALVIN. Translated and Edited by the Rev. JOHN OWEN, Vicar of Thrussington, Leicestershire. 8vo., pp. 592.
Calvin Translation Society. CALVIN has such high standing as a Commentator on Scripture, that it is almost superfluous on the part of any journalist to commend him. But we dare not withhold our opinion, whatever it may be worth, that he is