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of the patriarch, which do not appear to exist at Harrân-el-Awamid. Mr. Porter briefly describes this village in his Hand-Book for Syria and Palestine (p. 497), but it does not seem to have occurred to him to associate it with Abraham.
The question must turn somewhat upon the location of Ur in Chaldea, which Rawlinson places at the junction of the Tigris with the Euphrates, near the head of the Persian Gulf.' Dr. Beke's argument is given in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society for 1862, and has also been published in a separate form, by Clowes and Sons of London, under the title of * Notes on an Excursion to Harran in Padan-Aram, and thence over Mount Gilead and the Jordan to Shechem." An important feature of this narrative is a vivid description of Mount Gilead, Jebel Ajlū, and of the route of Jacob from Padan-Aram.
It is well known that Dr. Robinson was engaged upon a Biblical Geography, which was interrupted by his death. His plan included both the physical and the historical geography of Syria and of the outlying regions. Only the physical geography of Syria is found complete among bis manuscripts. This exhibits upon every page his thoroughness of research and accuracy of statement. It will soon be published simultaneously in this country, in England, and in Germany, and it will at once take its place as a standard authority upon the physical geography of Palestine. The materials for a bistorical geography must be sought in the Biblical Researches.
NOTICES OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
SMITA's DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE.
We gave a favorable Notice of the first volume of this work, in the January Number for 1861, p. 250. For the general scope and character of the Dictionary, we refer to that Notice. The favorable opinion there expressed is fully sustained by the volumes just published. The work was originally intended to be comprised in two volumes ; but it was found, after the publication of the first, that the remaining topics must be very imperfectly treated if they were compressed within one more. The editor therefore has wisely extended the work to three volumes. This " bas enabled him to give at the end of the third an Appendix to Volume I, containing many important articles on Natural History, as well as some subjects
1 The Five great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World, Vol. I.
2 A Dictionary of the Bible; comprising its Antiquities, Biography, Geography, and Natural History. Edited by William Smith, LL. D. Boston: Little Brown, and Co. 1863. Vols. II. and III. &vo. pp. 1862. Appendix to Vol. I. pp. cxvi.
omitted in the first volume.” The three volumes embrace 3154 octavo pages, in small but clear type; and the contributions are made by sixtyeight different writers, most of them well known as eminent scholars. Professors George E. Day, C. E. Stowe, and H. B. Hackett, and Dr. J. P. Thompson, of our own country, furnish contributions.
Something is lost in symmetry and unity by so great variety of authorship, but it is more than compensated by the advantages gained. This division of labor gives to the several writers such subjects as they are particularly qualified to treat, and secures more breadth and thoroughness of investigation, and brings together the results of the most mature and critical study on all points tending to elucidate the Bible. Whatever has been gained from oriental travel, from exhumed and deciphered monuments, from geographical investigations, from the critical discussions respecting the canonical authority and genuineness of particular books, biblical chronology, biography, or history, is here made ready for the student's use. The subjects are generally treated with great fairness and candor, and are not shaped for the interests of any party. Persons of extreme views on either side will on some points find fault. Bishop Colenso thinks that the Article on the Pentateuch is as amenable to the sentence of the church courts as his own treatment of the same ; while other members of the progressive church will be dissatisfied with the Article, because it makes Moses the author of the whole Pentateuch. In questions admitting doubt, the leaning is generally to the received view rather than to a possible one, in favor of which some plausible arguments might be adduced. Thus the writers of the Articles “ The Epistle to the Hebrews" and " the Revelation" adopt the generally received belief that Paul and the Evangelist John were the respective authors. Still there is no such conservatism as rejects new facts, or new phases of truth that are well established.
But it would be too much to expect in a work of so great extent, and involving such a variety of topics, entire freedom from fault. A just measure is not always observed in the space given to the topics some having too much and others too little. Others, still, which deserved attention have been wholly omitted. The Mount of Olives is said to be “hardly more than 100 feet above the so-called Zion "; and yet by the table of elevations by Van de Velde, given on the same page (II. 624. b) as this statement, it is 187 feet above Zion. Bethlehem is made but three miles from Jerusalem (II. 989. b), while it is nearly six.
The views given of the position of Sodom, and the other“ cities of the plain,” seem not well founded; and some of them are contradictory. In the first volume, so far as the situation of Gomorrab is fixed at all, it is placed at the south part of the Dead Sea, the writer evidently coinciding with the views of Dr. Robinson, whom he quotes as placing it there (I. p. 703. b). But the writer of the Article “ Sodom” inclines to the opinion that the five “cities of the plain” (Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Zoar), were at the north part of the Dead Sea. True, in summing up the previous arguments, he says: " It thus appears that on the situa
tion of Sodom no satisfactory conclusion can at present be come to. On the one hand the narrative of Genesis seems to state positively that it lay at the northern end of the Dead Sea. On the other hand the long continued tradition and the names of existing spots seem to pronounce with almost equal positiveness that it was at the southern end” (III. 1340.1). Yet the author of this Article subsequently (III. 1856. b) refers to the considerations here presented as reasons for placing the “ cities of the plain” at the north end of the sea.
But the question, which in the Article “ Sodom” is left with little preponderance in either scale, takes a much more positive shape in the Article " Zoar," written by the same author as that of “ Sodom.” He says the definite position of Sodom is, and probably will always be, a mystery, but there can be little doubt that the plain of the Jordan, was at the north of the Dead Sea, and that the cities of the plain must therefore have been situated there, instead of at the southern end of the lake, as is generally taken for granted they were. The grounds for this CONCLUSION have been already indicated under • Sodom.'” (III. 1856. b).
The Article “ Lot" is by the same writer as “ Sodom” and “ Zoar.” In this Article (II. 144. b) he says : “ Where Zoar was situated not know with absolute certainty. If, as is most probable, it was at the mouth of Wady Kerak, then," etc. Now, Wady Kerak is at the southeast part of the Dead Sea, where Zoar generally has been placed. Under the Article “Lot," then, Zoar was “most probably" at the southeast part of the Dead Sca, and under the Article “ Zoar,” there “can be little doubt” that it was at the north.
We have not space to examine what seems to us the fallacy of placing these five cities at the north end of the Dead Sea. We add but a single point. The almost uniform belief and tradition has been that they were at the south end of the Sea. Tradition in that land, in regard to the situation of places, we know to be of little value generally; but it is incredible that tradition, wild as its vagaries often are, should place a city forty miles (the length of the Dead Sea) froin its true position ; and more incredible still that it should change to that extent the position of five cities that were near each other, two of which at least were prominent places. — Our faith is still unshaken in the received locality of the “ cities of the plain.”
The defects, however, in this Dictionary are very few compared with its great excellences. It is the most valuable work of the kind yet published; a monument of learning, and of patient, unwearied investigation.
HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE.
A HISTORY of Christian Doctrine of the various stages and courses of thought through which the church has come to the full maturity of faith, and the most exact and complete expression of belief in her symbols — is
1 A History of Christian Doctrine. By William G. T. Shedd, D.D. 2 vols. 8v0. pp. 408 and 508. New York : Charles Scribner. 1863.
certainly of the greatest consequence. No important doctrine can be fully understood, until we see something of the mental struggles through which the soul has gained the clear sunlight of an assured belief. Professor Shedd, in supplying a deficiency in our theological literature, has rendered an essential serivce to all thoughtful men, not only in their historical but their theological studies. The results to which we are brought, tend to show us the essential unity as well as the development of Christian ideas. It is one living, unbroken stream which flows down from the time of Christ and his apostles. Professor Shedd divides his work into seven books, according to the principal subjects which are discussed, and in each he shows the progress of scientific thought, from the earliest times to the period when the doctrine assumes its accepted and established form.
After an introduction on Methodology, the subjects of the several books in their order, are as follows: Influence of Philosophical Systems upon the Construction of Christian Doctrine; History of Apologies; History of Theology (Trinitarianism) and Christology; History of Anthropology; History of Soteriology; History of Eschatology; History of Symbols.
It is many years since a more valuable contribution has been made, in this country or in England, to theological literature; one, the study of which will yield riper fruits of Christian knowledge. We come to a full knowledge of the profound truths of theology only through long reflection, and sometimes by a painful experiencc. When we see, too, what assaults they have met and overcome, we are better prepared to understand and to prize those symbolical statements into which the church, after much pondering, has compressed its creed. Professor Shedd well says: “The endeavor to defend Christianity very often eficits a more profoundly phile. sophical statement of it. The defence of the doctrine of the Trinity against Sabellian and Arian objections, resulted in a deeper view of the subject than had heretofore prevailed. The subtle objections, and dangerous half-truths of the Tridentine divines, were the occasion of a more accurate statement of the doctrine of justification by faith without works than is to be found in the ancient church. Indeed, a clear, coherent, and fundamental presentation is one of the strongest arguments. Power of statement is power of argument." Thus, although the sum and substance of Christian truth is contained in the Holy scriptures, we gather up the various statements into one compact formula only after many struggles with ourselves and with unbelievers; and almost every dogmatic statement is the result of a battle. Hence different ages have been marked by progress in different elements of Christian thought; and a knowledge of past contests and victories is necessary, if we would save ourselves from error, or come to the fulness of theological attainment.
These volumes are marked by thoroughness of knowledge and clearness of statement, as well as by a certain vital element which pervades them, and which shows the love of the author for his great themes, and that he takes his position, not without but within his subject, and so relates the transformations and developments of religious thought, as if he had himself passed through them.
Craik's HISTORY OF English LITERATURE.' The increased attention paid to our own language and literature is among the more favorable signs of our general culture. Mr. Marsh's two learned, thorough, and independent volumes were an honor to American scholarship. And now the same enterprising publisher bas given us, in two ample and elegant volumes, a reprint of Professor Craik's really valuable work. It is now twelve or thirteen years since Professor Craik first published, in a thin duodecimo, bis “ Outlines of the History of the English Language,” the germ of the present publication, new editions having from time to time appeared, each fuller than the preceding, till we are favored with a work embracing all the old, and yet essentially new. Commencing with the earliest period of English history, the author brings his survey down to our own day. The first illustrative specimen is a fragment from a song which king Canute is said to have composed as he was one day rowing on the Nen, while the holy music of the monks of Ely came floating over the water. The last is from Leigh Hunt, who died in 1859. With what wealth of thought and feeling, of imagination and wisdom, is the interspace crowded! It is of course impossible to devote very much space to a single writer; but Professor Craik, by dwelling comparatively less on those poets who are inost familiarly known, has contrived to give a fair representation of all. His criticisms are temperate, candid and just, with a full recognition of the genius even of those against whom the moral objection might be the most strong To the poets, as of right, more ample room is assigned than to the prose writers. The selections are made with taste and skill. Chaucer he discusses with fulness and with ample illustrations, in sixty-two pages. To Shakspeare, as better known, he gives but nine. Spenser bas forty pages, and Milton but ten. The wisdom of Burke demands twenty-five pages, the poetry of Wordsworth twenty-three, and that of Coleridge nineteen.
Besides the general survey of literature, we have an account of the early universities and colleges; of the metaphysics and philosophy; of the progress of the natural sciences, of the Royal Society, and the establishment of the Royal Observatory, of whatever, indeed, has tended to swell that powerful current of thought which, for more than four hundred years, has been flowing with such ample and resistless volume.
With this history of the literature, the author combines also a history of the language, of England. This he divides into three stages : the first, that of Pure or simple English (commonly called Saxon or Anglo-Saxon), extending to the eleventh century; the second, that of Broken or semi-English, coming down to the thirteenth century; and the third, that of Mixed or Composite English, which includes our own time. On the whole, we think that no history of our language and literature has appeared so complete as this, or so valuable for assisting one to a general knowledge of the course of English thought in the departments of which it specially treats.
1 A Compendious History of English Literature and of the English Language from the Norman Conquest. By George L. Craik, LL.D., Prof. of Hist. and of Eng. Lit. in Queen's College, Belfast. 2 vols. New York: Charles Scribner.