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often with a negligence disgraceful to the author's reputation. This is all well enough in a professed unbeliever; but it would not look so well in a Christian interpreter, who, if he really possessed a Christian spirit, would instinctively adopt the inverse method, as Vitringa, in his great work on Isaiah, has done. What has now been said in reference to insulated passages or parts of books, is also true of whole books, and we look at the selection which a writer makes, as some imperfect indication of his spirit and his way of thinking. We are not sure, however, that these observations, however just they may be in the general, admit of a specific application to the book of Genesis, because that book contains so much that is attractive to all classes of interpreters, the grammarian, the historian, the antiquary, the geologist, the man of taste, and the devout Christian. Of all these the last we are afraid is usually most apt to undervalue theimportance of the subject, not in itself considered, but comparatively. Judging of it merely by the amount of evangelical truth which it explicitly reveals, he naturally, and in one sense justly, sets it far below the subsequent and clearer revelations. But in so doing he is apt to overlook its unspeakable importance as an introduction, and to some extent a key, to those very revelations which seem so much clearer, but which owe their clearness, in great measure, to the gradual and incomplete developments of that inspired preface, which the Holy Ghost has placed at the beginning of the sacred canon. When we trace revelation hackwards from its full blaze to its dawn, the latter seems obscure and unsatisfactory, and we are naturally tempted to regard it as no longer worthy of attention; but experience teaches us that by pursuing our researches in an opposite direction, we may often find the paradox verified, that what is comparatively clear may be rendered more so by the aid of what is dark. The earlier parts of revelation were not merely temporary substitutes and preparations for a permanent and final one. If they had been so they would not have been preserved as inseparable parts of the canonical scriptures, but would long since have perished with a multitude not only of uninspired writings, but of inspired communications designed to answer only temporary purposes. With such impressions of the value of this sacred book, not only on its own account, but as a means of illustration to the later scriptures, we are glad to find that the prolific press is actively employed in bringing forth, for its elucidation, things both new and old.

Of this variety a striking sample is afforded in the title of the present article. The four books named there are the

productions of the great French Reformer, a German Professor, an American Professor, and an English Pastor. Calvin's book, in addition to the magic of his own name, is recommended by that of his editor, who may be regarded as his best representative among the writers of the present day. The book is printed on inferior paper and a type too small for comfortable reading; but these very circumstances bring it within the reach of a class of readers who, above all others, need to be made acquainted with the works of Calvin. We mean the German students of theology whose circumstances, for the most part, cut them off from all expensive reading, but whose education fits them to appreciate the literary worth, if nothing more, of such a writer. The cheap edition of his works on the New Testament, promoted and superintended by Tholuck, is said to have obtained an extensive circulation among German ministers and students of theology. We wish a like success to the edition of his works on the Old Testament, of which this is a specimen. It would be idle to attempt any detailed description of this commentary. Calvin is much the same in all his writings. The same laconic brevity, the same severe simplicity of style, the same clear perception of his author's drift, even where detached expressions are misunderstood, the same enlarged and elevated views of divine truth and the analogy of faith, the same collected courage in pursuing principles to their remotest consequences, the same decided and unwavering persuasion of the truth of his opinions, the same settled gravity of tone and spirit, the same awful reverence for God and revelation, and the same disposition to give every part of scripture a doctrinal or practical direction, appear in all his writings. One of his most marked characteristics, as an interpreter of scripture, is a sort of constitutional repugnance to all fanciful conceits and misplaced ingenuity, and an invincible determination to take words in their plainest and most obvious meaning. The indulgence of this feeling, or assertion of this principle, while it has certainly exalted him far above not only his contemporaries, but the majority of his successors during several centuries, has no less certainly betrayed him into some interpretations where important truth has been unconsciously sacrificed to the inexorable application of a rule which would be perfectly correct if it admitted some exceptions. But whatever may

be thought of some particuiar interpretations of this great Reformer, we have no doubt that the diligent perusal of his commentaries generally, and of this one in particular, besides the useful knowledge directly imparted, would exert an elevating, purifying, and expanding influence, on any mind already brought into subjection to the truth of God. A large part of this effect might be secured, no doubt, by a good translation ; but the noble Roman style of the original, if duly appreciated and observed, would exert an additional influence, not to be despised, upon the reader's taste.

The second work upon the list is by a young German professor of our own day. In every thing but mental cultivation, he and Calvin may be said to be antipodes. Without a tincture of religious feeling, without any faith whatever in the divine authority of scripture, without a belief even in the possibility of prophecy or miracle, but with an unlimited and undisguised ambition to discover something new at every step, it may be readily conceived that Dr. Tuch, with all his talent and learning, which are very considerable, has produced a work having no other points of resemblance to the one which we have just described, than such as a community of subject rendered wholly unavoidable. The good points of the work are to be looked for in its literary character exclusively. His mind is lively, perspicacious, and inventive, but exhibits the same absence of capacity to reason, in the strict sense of the terın, which has now become so common a defect among the partisan writers of Germany, and which may be regarded as a natural result of the incessant straining after novelty, to which the best minds of that gifted race are now habitually trained. Again and again we have observed in Tuch's performance an elaborate detail of imaginary arguments, in favor of some monstrous paradox, succeeded by the statement of objections, which the common sense of every readır feels to be conclusive, but which the author summarily sweeps away by simply saying that they certainly have no weight. And we do not hesitate to say that this description is justly applicable to a large proportion of the pretended reasonings by which the truth of scripture is attempted to be overthrown. Whatever ingenuity may be expended in the statement of reasons, the conclusion almost always rests at last upon the “feeling” of the author, which is pretty sure to lean in one direction. This abuse or destitution of all

logic we do not impute to sheer dishonesty, much less to mental imbecility, but rather to the absence of all moral sensibility in reference to truth, its sacredness, its preciousness, and the paramount obligation to receive it. It is not because the writers of this school deliberately choose to put light for darkness and darkness for light, nor because they are utterly incapable of making the distinction, but because they are so anxious to prove that to be light, which others look upon as darkness, that they catch at possibilities as sufficient to outweigh not only probabilities but certainties. If a new hypothesisis but conceivable, that is enough to entitle it to preference, in opposition to the strongest reasons, and the uniform belief of many ages. “ This,” says Dr. Turner very justly, in speaking of some such pretended argument, "may be produced as one among many illustrations of the logical character of that species of criticism for which our age is distinguished. It is easier to appeal to some internal feeling beyond the understanding, than to establish plain declarations on palpable evidence."--p. 23.

As a specimen of Dr. Tuch's improvements on the discoveries of his predecessors, we may state his theory with respect to a plurality of authors, and the peculiar composition of the book. It has long been a favorite notion in Germany, that the systematic interchange of the names Jehovah and Elohim can only be explained upon the supposition of two different authors, or of two distinct sets of documents, in which these two modes of expression respectively predominated, and from which the present book of Genesis was made up as a piece of patch-work. Out of this rare discovery have sprung the documentary hypothesis, the fragmentary hypothesis, and we know not how many more hypotheses, each of which has been maintained for a time, as self-evidently true, and then exploded. The last phase of the theory, before Tuch's appearance, was that two ancient documents, distinguished by the use of these two names, were formed into the present book of Genesis by an anonymous compiler. Dr. Tuch's improvement consists in dispensing with the services of a third person, and supposing the Jehovist as he calls him, to have merely amplified and filled out the briefer composition of the older Elohist. The vast probability that a writer, so addicted to the use of one divine name as to use it always, should incorporate in his own composition a writing in which 'another name was employed with equal uniformity, and without the

least attempt at assimilation, would present no difficultyto the understanding of a rationalist. It will be sufficient for our present purpose to observe that the same process which enables us to strike out of the theory a third author of Genesis, may possibly admit of such extension as to do away the second also.

With respect to grammatical analysis and archaeological illustration, Tuch, as might have been expected, displays rather an advance than a recession. Philology is cultivated to so high a point, and by so many persons, and with so much emulation, in the German universities, that even ordinary writers are enabled to exhibit some improvement on their predecessors; and it ought not to be overlooked, as a consolatory fact, that the very excellence of German commentaries as to this point very often furnishes the best corrective of the monstrous errours into which they are betrayed by their theology and philosophy, falsely so called.

A distinguishing feature of this work is the unusual proportion of its space which is allotted to analysis or synoptical views of the whole book, and of its parts, in their natural connexion, with continuous discussions of all important questions growing out of that connexion. This peculiarity has probably arisen, in a great degree, from the necessity laid upon the author of evincing, as he went along, the truth of his hypothesis respecting the Jehovah and Elohim. But whatever may have been the cause of this arrangement, its effect is certainly very favourable to the clearness, completeness, and intellectual character of the whole performance. Biblical expositions, to effect their purpose, must be something more than scholia on the successive clauses of the text. They must teach the reader to survey the subject as a whole, and in its larger parts, as well as in its minor subdivisions. There is no habit of study more adverse to a correct understanding of the Bible, than the habit of confining the attention to detached expressions, without looking at the general drift, the scope, and the design of a whole passage. The writer who would analyze the scriptures for himself, must, of course, ascend from its particular expressions, to its larger combinations and the general relation of its parts; but in applying the result of such a process to the instruction of others, he can spare them a large part of the labour through which he has passed, by an inversion of the order of proceeding; by possessing the mind first with a correct view of the subject in its out

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