« PreviousContinue »
made such progress. From every human mediator, and even every agreeable association must one be torn away, in order that he may place his sole reliance on the only Mediator.-What are the words of a teacher? If he has the truth, he has taken it from that source where I can find it also.-I cannot see the light except with my own eyes, and through the light. It beams upon me just in the way in which my eye is fitted to receive it. But if they [his teachers] are seeking after anything else than the only true God, whether it be nature, or the universe, or humanity, or art, or Satan-whatever it be, if it be not offered to him and sanctified by him, the voice of all nature, and charity itself will pronounce it a lie." He had before drawn a true picture of himself, when he said, in the same letter: “ The prõdu oɛavτóv, the aim and the substance of all theology, has been the goal and the guiding star of all my studies. I have been endeavoring to sink lower and lower into the depths of the soul to find there the light of the true God, who illumines and gives warmth to all."
Judging from these early letters of Neander, the only specimens of his private correspondence, which, so far as we know, have come before the public, we cannot doubt that should as full a record of the heart and inner life of Neander, in the form of jour. nals and private letters, come to light, as that which has recently been laid before the world from the papers of Foster, it would give a similar interest to his published works, and furnish a similar explanation as to their origin and character.
Neander, as a historian, has written no less from his heart, than from the records of antiquity. He has not, like most ecclesiastical historians, looked, through the cold medium of the intellect and of criticism, at Christianity and then at its history, as two outward objects, comparing them with each other and setting down the results. As a true believer, whose whole life was in Christ and for Christ, he studied Christianity, carrying to it an interpretation from his own heart; and he studied history in the same way. No man has examined either the New Testament, or the remains of ancient Christian literature with more scrupu lous care. No historian relies more exclusively on well authenticated facts in support of whatever finds a place in his narrative. But we do not so much perceive these facts themselves as we do the reflection of them from the mirror of the author's mind. To this union of the objective and subjective methods, to the sound principles which he entertains in respect to each, and to the thoroughness and fidelity with which they are followed out, the history
1847.] Faults and Excellences of Neander's Church History. 401
presented in this translation owes its chief interest and its chief value. As to the investigations on which the work is founded little can be said by way of objection. If the author's critical labors are not perfect, they are certainly unsurpassed. As to the coloring which Christianity itself and its history have received from his own mind, we feel disposed rather to be thankful that it is so good, than to complain that it is no better. Milner is nearly the only one with whom he can be compared in this respect, and he represents the piety of the English mind. The type of Neander's piety is less exclusive, or rather is less the product of any one country or of any one age. It is more comprehensive or generic, but also more indefinite. Hence he unites the suffrages of all parties more than any other writer; and yet scarcely any party is exactly satisfied with him. The historical school of Tübingen, under the able and learned Bauer as its Corypheus, are loudly protesting against Neandrizing Christianity and all history. While they profess great respect for Neander as an individual, they cannot endure to see his individuality transferred to the mass of the whole church. Though we have no sort of confidence in the projected reform of church history by that new and ambitious school, and infinitely prefer Neander's view of Christianity and of history to Bauer's, according to which a subjective and even Hegelian speculation is substituted for a subjective piety, still we think Bauer has assailed Neander at his weakest point. The careful reader of the "Planting and Training of the church under the apostles," will discover here and there that Neander has lent to the apostles a little of his own theology and liberal principles. So in his history of the church in later times, we are sometimes led to suspect that he has given a tinge of his own feelings to other men whose characters he was portraying. We are the more confirmed in this opinion from the fact, that he over-estimated the piety, or supposed piety, of some of his early companions. Chamisso did, indeed, possess, in early life, an unusual elevation of character, and had a good poetical conception of Christianity. Perhaps, in the time of his outlawry by Napoleon, he passed through an inward struggle in which the subject of religion was concerned. Still we cannot, without a smile, read such expressions in Neander's letters to him as, "My dear friend and brother in Christ."
Any extended examination of the contents of the volume before us, which we might wish to make, is precluded by the length of the preceding remarks. We have only room for a word in re
gard to the character of the translation. In general terms, it may be said, that it answers very nearly to the expectation which the public have entertained in regard to it. Few are at all aware of the number and magnitude of the difficulties which a translator of Neander must encounter. A strictly literal translation would be wholly unintelligible to the English reader, so peculiar are the workings of the author's mind, and his manner of expressing his thoughts. And yet the thought and the form of expression are so blended and inwrought into each other, that the former can hardly be recognized without the latter as its counterpart. The translator has wisely adopted a middle course, giving a literal version wherever the analogies of the language would bear it, and substituting other modes of expression, where a verbal translation would be intolerable in English. His ingenuity must have been often tasked to the utmost, and in a few cases he seems to have given over in despair. The truth is, complete success in representing Neander's thoughts in English is altogether out of the question. Very frequently the only alternative is to adopt a word which is not so used by English writers and leave the sense to be gathered from the connection, or to resort to loose and inadequate English expressions at the sacrifice of force and precision. The book would have been more attractive to the general reader, had both the phraseology and the structure of the sentences been less strictly conformed to the original. As it is, it must be studied in order to be understood, and with superficial and hasty readers, a great and constantly increasing class, the Entwickelungsprocess in finding out the meaning will be slow. But for such the author never wrote, and to such no transla. tion, perhaps, would be of any use. To those who bring to the perusal of this work habits of deep reflection and a love of fresh and original truth, it will not be difficult to follow the clear though unbeaten track of the author's mind, and to learn to associate both ideas and words in his way, though new to them. persons will highly prize this rich mine of thought, and will work it the more successfully for the strict fidelity of the translation.
Notes on Biblical Geography.
NOTES ON BIBLICAL GEOGRAPHY.
By E. Robinson, D. D., Professor at New York.
I. SITE OF HAZOR.
In the Number of this work for Feb. 1846, p. 213, after assigning the reasons which go to fix the position of Hazor" on the south of Kedesh in Naphthali, somewhere on the way between Kedesh and Safed,” I suggested that "it is a matter well worth the attention of future travellers, to ascertain whether there exists in that district any remains, or any name, which may correspond to the name and the features of the ancient Hazor."
I was not then aware, that something had already been done in this respect. On mentioning the subject to the Rev. Eli Smith, after the article was printed, he informed me that while at Kedes in April 1844, his attention had been directed to a large Tell called Khureibeh some distance south of Kedes, on which were said to be ruins. He kindly furnished me with the following extract from his journal, with the accompanying remarks. If Khureibeh be not Hazor, it is at least deserving of further examination; and we may hope that Hazor may yet be identified, either there or in that region.
"Khureibeh is a Tell, apparently with ruins on it, at the south end of the plain of Kedes. Its bearing from Kedes is 186°. Just there, in a deep ravine, the Wady el-Mûadhdhamiyeh [coming from near el-Jish] finds its way into the plain of the Hûleh, at the fountain of Mellahah.”
"The above is all the notice my journal contains respecting Khureibeh. We did not visit it; and I can add but little from recollection. It rises from an uneven tract, apparently on the north side of the deep ravine. I should judge it to be less than three miles from Kedes; and though aided by a spy-glass, I could not determine, whether the appearance of ruins on it might not be natural rocks. The name implies that it is a ruin. Should this turn out to be the Hazor of Scripture, perhaps the fountain Mellâhah may be the En-Hazor of Josh. 19: 37."
II. ANTIQUITIES ON THE ROUTE from Ba'albEK TO HAMATH AND ALEPPO.
It is singular that in respect to just these regions, certainly among the most accessible in Syria, we have less information than of almost any other. Of the tract between Ba'albek and Hums, we have as yet only Buckingham's meagre notes, (Arab Tribes, p. 486 sq.,) and the still briefer ones of W. H. Barker on his visit to the sources of the Orontes; Jour. of Lond. Geogr. Soc. 1837. Between Hamath and Aleppo, the direct
road usually followed by travellers and caravans, presents little of interest; but a route further to the west, which Burckhardt took, leads through a region full of antiquities, though that traveller has not fully described them. The following extracts of a letter recently received from the Rev. W. M. Thomson of Beirût, will serve to give the reader some idea of the interesting objects still to be explored in those regions. I subjoin at the close some explanatory remarks.
"Beirut, Dec. 14th, 1846.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,-My late tour to Aleppo gave me an opportunity to complete my exploration of the Phenician cities, and led me to many other places of interest, as Selucia, Antioch, Jebel Simûn, full of Grecian towns and temples, Aleppo and its neighborhood, the great salt valley where David conquered Hadadezer, etc. This Vale of Salt is the most extraordinary place I have yet visited. I could also say something about Zobah, Khanâsereh, etc. in this connection.
Returning from Aleppo, I first visited Jebel el-Aala, ten hours nearly due west of that city; a singular isolated mountain with some sixty-five or seventy ruined Grecian towns, beautiful temples, churches of old date, with many Greek inscriptions. This mountain is inhabited by Druzes; some of whom had once lived in Abeil. They were like old acquaintance. From Jebal el-Aala my route was south by Jebel Nusrîn to Edlip; then to Riha; then to the vast remains at el-Bâra, perhaps the largest ruin in Syria. I copied many inscriptions, all Greek. Next to Apamea, the ruins of which have never yet been described, or at least not in any book I have seen. Burckhardt could not have examined them. There is a single avenue from a mile to a mile and a half long, one hundred and twenty-three feet broad; with a colonnade twenty-four feet wide on each side for a foot-path. The columns were six feet apart. They were of various sizes, from three to four feet in diameter, and thirty-four feet high, with beautiful Corinthian capitals and cornice. The shafts of the columns were of all kinds, plain, fluted, flute inserted, double fluted, and twisted. There must have been about sixteen hundred columns, forming one of the most magnificent avenues in the world. But I cannot enlarge.
I visited Seijar and Hamath; and then kept along the eastern base of the mountains of the Nusairîyeh to the head of the Lake of Hums, called Kedes in the old Arabian geographers. Here I discovered the ruins of a Grecian city, called Kedes and also Kudesianos, at the head of the lake, from which the name of the lake no doubt came. I then followed up the Orontes to Riblah, the "Riblah in the land of Hamath," 2 Kings 23: 33; and thence to the great fountain of the Orontes, leaving Jûry, the Laodicea ad Libanum on my left. This fountain is near Hŭrmul. It is twice as large as that of the Jordan at Tell el-Kâdy. It rises under Lebanon, and sends out a strong river, which bears directly across the plain towards Anti-Lebanon, until it reaches Riblah, when it turns north and runs down into the lake. This almost impassable river forms the natural southern boundary for the kingdom of Hamath; and guides to the northern limits of the land promised to Israel. I was extremely interest