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NOTICES OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS.
A. GERMAN WORKS.
SYSTEM OF CHRISTIAN CERTITUDE.' The aim of this work is to set forth the ground of Christian certitude and the mode in which it is arrived at in the actual experience of Christian believers. The following detached quotations will give our readers some notion of its scope and tendency: "The Christian possesses Christian certitude in that, and in so far as, he believes; and he can lose this certitude only by losing his Christianity." "His certitude is not always and at all points equally strong. It may be shaken, and that to such a degree as that all that constituted the real content and ground of his faith shall seem to have become totally uncertain. In such circumstances two courses are open to him—either his faith retains its hold on its object, though greatly beaten down, and then his temporary uncertainty will be seen by degrees to be a delusion; or he falls back into his natural state, — a result which is produced by spiritual unfaithfulness, never by intellectual difficulties alone, — and then he actually loses his certitude by losing his Christianity." Now, wherein consists this certitude? The inquiry here attempted differs from that of the apologies of Christianity in that, instead of aiming to produce Christian certitude, it presupposes its existence, and seeks only to give a scientific account and justification thereof. It differs, also, from the philosophy of religion (Religionsphilosophie), in that it is specifically theological, whereas the philosophy of religion seeks to establish the truth and necessity of Christianity by philosophical methods. Its difference from systematic theology the author describes as follows: "The system of Christian certitude has to do, of course, with the doctrines of dogmatics, because its object is to show the certainty of Christian truth. But whereas dogmatics views the system of Christian truth objectively, as an organic complex of articles of faith, our aim is to discover the point on which Christian certitude, the subjective guaranty of Christian truth as a reality, ultimately rests." Dogmatics presupposes an object about which the doctrine is formed, say, for example, God. Wherein consists the certainty that there is such an object? The proofs for his existence, some will say. This certainty is common to the unregenerate and the regenerate; nay more, sometimes the unregenerate may have a stronger appreciation of its force than the regenerate. Yet the latter has a certainty of his own, which differs
1 System der christlichen Gewissheit. Von Dr. F. H. R. Frank. Erlangen: A. Deichert. 1870.
from and is higher than that which he shares with the natural mind. So of all other Christian truths. This view is the subject of the author's inquiry, and an exceedingly interesting and important one it is. Whilst we agree with much that he advances, and find his suppositions and arguments often very suggestive, we cannot say that we have felt ourselves always satisfied. Perhaps it is our own fault. Perhaps one reason is that the style of the book is long-winded. The present volume (the first) deals with the following parts of the subject: 1. The Determination of the Task undertaken; 2. The Nature of Certitude in general; 3. Specifically Christian Certitude; 4. Antagonistic Elements; 5. Christian Certitude in its Relation to the Immanent Objects of Faith; 6. The Antagonism of Rationalism; 7. Christian Certitude in Relation to the Transcendental Objects of Faith; 8. The Antagonism of Pantheism.
We commend the work to the careful attention of our German scholars. We know of no subject more deserving of investigation in these days of positivism; and Dr. Frank's is the only attempt at a scientific solution of the problem with which we are acquainted.
HISTORY OF JESUS OF NAZARETH.1 — Of the first volume of this new Life of Jesus we gave a long notice in the Bibliotheca Sacra for April, 1869, pp. 373-381. Since that time three other volumes or parts have appeared, entitled, respectively: The Galilean Spring; The Galilean Storms; The Messianic March. The principles pursued in these later parts are the same as those laid down in the first; and yet, somehow or other, we lay down these parts with greater dissatisfaction than the first. There was more construction the first; here there is more criticism. We shall not now attempt to give a detailed view of the results set forth, for we should require a volume to do that; but will give our readers a specimen or two of this author's treatment of the miracles. Of the miracles of the loaves and fishes the explanation is adopted which Paulus advanced and Ewald has approved, namely, that through the influence and management of Jesus, the well-to-do Galileans and others of the entire neighborhood were induced to provide the thousands with a frugal repast, which was made to appear more complete and satisfactory than it was in reality by the good humor and sociality that prevailed. The miracle of Cana of Galilee he considers would be quite unworthy of Jesus, if he had performed it, and would lay him open to the charge on which Venturini laid stress, that he was a "glutton and winebibber." He accordingly calls the narrative in question. The account of Christ's walking on the sea is explained away into a kind of allegory: The sea is an image of life; Job spoke of God's walking on the sea; perhaps, too, Jesus may at some time or other
1 Geschichte Jesu von Nazara in ihrer Verkettung mit dem Gesammtleben Seines Volkes frei untersucht u. ausführlich erzählt von Dr. T. Keim. Zürich: Orell and Co. 1870-1871. Three Volumes.
have said that faith would enable any one to walk on the sea, just as he said it would enable him to cast mountains into the sea; and in this way the story may have arisen. And so on. We must confess we find these so-called critical discussions altogether dreary and unreal. They make one feel as though by such methods one would be able to be persuaded that blue is yellow, and yellow red, and anything anything else; nay, more, that one is one's self nothing, or, at all events, nothing fixed"everything by turns, and nothing long."
Where the miraculous element does not come in to give Dr. Keim a wrong direction, his remarks are frequently acute and suggestive, if not fully satisfactory. When finished, Dr. Keim's will certainly be the ablest attempt to write a Life of Jesus, without a denial of the supernatural in principle, but with its almost complete denial in practice, that has hitherto been produced. It is characterized, also, by considerable warmth, though we imagine there is not quite so much as one of the chapters of the first volume would have led us to anticipate.
CHILIASM. Dr. Volck, Professor of Theology at the University of Dorpat, here undertakes to defend Chiliasm against the attacks, in particular, of his colleague, Professor Keil, contained in the latter's Commentary on Ezekiel. Keil interprets the prophecies which relate to Israel and the land of Canaan typically. Dr. Volck says: "No; Israel as a nation has a vocation in the history of redemption, and that not only for Old Testament, but also for New Testament times. If we recognize the prerogative given by God to Israel, we must also recognize the significance of the land of Canaan; for it was bestowed in order to the fulfilment of the vocation. The unbelief of Israel has led to his loss of the kingdom; but a time will come when the people, as a people, will turn to God and thus bring about the consummation of the great history of redemption." We do not accept these views ourselves, but must allow that Dr. Volck expounds them with force and in a very fair spirit, especially toward his antagonist, Keil. The ablest essays we know on the subject of the Messianic prophecies are those by Professor Riehm of the University of Halle, printed in the "Studien und Kritiken" for the years 1865 and 1869. He takes neither Keil's nor Volck's view, but pursues an independent course.
COMMENTARY ON THE PROPHETS HAGGAI, ZECHARIAH, AND MALACHI.— As is usual, at the present day, the author of this Commentary discusses, in his prolegomena, The Literature; the Historical Circumstances or Background of the Prophecies; the Language; the Composition
1 Der Chiliasmus seiner neuesten Bestreitung gegenüber. Von Dr. W. Volck. Dorpat Gläser. 1870. Price, 24 sgr.
2 Commentar zu den Schriften der Propheten Haggai, Sacharja und Maleachi. Von W. Pressel. Gotha: Schlöszmann. 1870. Price, 2 Thaler.
of the Three Writings and the Authorship of the Last Three Chapters of Zechariah. He assigns the first eight chapters to a post-exile prophet; the last six to Zechariah, the friend of Isaiah, as their author, and to the reigns of Ahaz and Hezekiah as their date and that on account of the text, not merely on account of the style and diction. The commentary proper consists of a new translation, exegetical remarks, fundamental theological ideas, and homiletic suggestions. The work is commended as a reverential and thorough, though free and unbiased, contribution to the understanding of these difficult portions of the Old Testament.
DEUTSCHLAND (Germany).1 — The first volume or number of a new periodical, intended to appear at irregular intervals (we believe), under the editorship of Dr. Hoffmann, the well-known court chaplain in Berlin. It will somewhat resemble the American and English quarterlies, only, as might be anticipated, will be larger. The present volume comprises four hundred and thirty pages. Its contents are: Introductory Words, by the Editor; a German Letter to the Princes of Germany, by Germanus Sincerus; an essay on Idealism and Realism, by von Bethmann-Hollweg; one on The History of the Establishment of the German Zollverein; another by the Editor, on The Causes of the Present Alienation from the Church in Germany; one on Goethe and German Women, by a lady; and finally, one on Natural Science and the Bible, by Fürer. The volume is almost more than solid. The two essays by Fürer and the editor deserve special attention.
THE SUFFERINGS OF MESSIAH.- In this work the author undertakes to show, in opposition to rationalistic Christianity and modern Judaism, that the doctrine of a suffering Messiah forms a genuine part of the Old Testament; and that not only the early Christian church, but also the old Jewish synagogue, in all its undisputed productions, the Talmudic Haggadah, the Midrashim, and the more recent Sohar and Jalkut,—give expression to this conviction. It is divided into two parts; the first of which contains the proofs from the Old Testament, in two sections, treating, respectively, of the doctrine of the bloody sacrifices of the Bible, and of the verbal prophecies of a suffering and dying Messiah. The second part adduces and discusses the passages from the Talmud and the Midrashim which bear upon a suffering and dying Messiah. An appendix contains an examination of the later Jewish doctrine of a double Messiah - Messias ben-Joseph (or even ben-Ephraim), and Messias ben-David; the former living in poverty and misery, and at last dying; the latter undying, and ruling his people in everlasting glory.
1 Deutschland. Eine periodische Schrift zur Beleuchtung deutschen Lebens in Staat, Gesellschaft, etc. Berlin: Stilke and Co. 1870. Price, 2 Thaler.
2 Die Leiden des Messias in ihrer Uebereinstimmung mit der Lehre des A. T. und den Aussprüchen der Rabbinen, etc. Leipzig: Fues. 1870. Price 1 Thaler.
With regard to the bloody sacrifices of the Old Testament, he says that their design was propitiatory, and that there was connected with them the idea of a satisfactio vicaria. Hence the Jews, after the destruction of the Temple, were in the habit, in their prayers in the synagogue,of deeply bewailing the cessation of the Levitical sacrifices, and even of beseeching God to accept the diminution of their own fat and blood caused by fasting as a substitute for sacrifices. Hence, too, the prayers for the re-establishment of sacrifices, the longing for an intercessor,—yea, even for the intercessio patriarcharum,— and the sacrifice of a cock on the evening before the great day of atonement by orthodox Jews even down to the present day. The passages from Jewish writings are accompanied by a German translation, and are exceedingly interesting. Dr. Wünsche may be fairly said to have established his point, and thus to have rendered a good service to theology.
THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC LEGISLATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.1- - A splendid subject is the one that Herr Kübel has undertaken to discuss. To our mind it is a great pity that theologians, and especially preachers, do not more frequently and prominently set forth the regulations, social, political, and politico-economical, laid down in the Old Testament. We should, perhaps, find that whatever is good in Adam Smith and Carey, and the rest of our political economists, had been to a large extent anticipated in that despised old book, the Bible, and that what they advanced of new was scarcely good. The work is divided into five chapters, treating, 1. The Political and Social Constitution of the Israelitish Nation; 2. Property and Gain; 3. Poor and Rich; 4. Labor and Laborers; 5. Taxes and the Public Service. The author makes constant references to modern arrangements and ideas.
B. ENGLISH AND AMERICAN WORKS.
THE HOLY BIBLE According TO THE AUTHORized Version (1611),
We suppose that most readers are familiar with the history of this Commentary, so that there is no necessity for its being given here. This work possesses an advantage over certain other works of the same class, with which it would be quite natural to compare it, in that it is not a translation but was prepared by English scholars for the use of English readers.
Die Sociale und volkswirthschaftliche Gesetzgebung des alten Testaments unter Berücksichtigung moderner Anschauungen. Wiesbaden: Niedner. 1870. Price, 16 sgr.