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the compass of 560 duodecimo pages the substance of the labors of the best informed and most judicious critics and interpreters. We know of no work in English, or in any other language, which affords in the same space so many helps to a correct understanding of the New Testament. To be sure it does not supersede the necessity of industry on the part of the reader. He must reflect and compare, but with the assistance of the remarks, hints, and references this little work furnishes, he will not find it difficult, in most cases, to arrive at a satisfactory result.
We mean not to say that Mr Dabney's views of every passage coincide in all respects wiih our own. In a work of this kind some sentiments and expressions must necessarily occur, which do not meet the approbation of all. Of two or more constructions of which particular passages admit, it is often difficult to decide which is entitled to the preference. In the main however, we think that Mr Dabney has correctly expressed the sense of those portions on which he comments. His style is not always as simple and perspicuous as would be desirable in a work designed for popular use. But still we feel grateful for what he has done, and cheerfully recommend his book to all who are desirous of possessing a concise and cheap commentary on the New Testament. Those who have not access to the works of learned foreign commentators will find it a valuable treasure.
We will conclude this brief notice of the Annotations by quoting from the preface a cautionary remark, which deserves to be attentively considered by those who would arrive at a correct knowledge of the real import of the sacred writings. In such a body of commentary, it is not to be expected that every part will be equally satisfactory; and it will be nothing strange, if opinions adduced, are, to the eye of many, new, singular, and even offensive. Candor and forbearance are, in respect to such, asked from the reader. He will do well, not angrily or hastily to reject what, for the moment, revolts him; and the aspect of which is so often found to be sensibly changed by longer acquaintance. That simple rule for the study of the scriptures, hinted at in the Prospectus, may stand in lieu, to the English reader, of a learned system of interpretation, viz. that the scripture use of terms and phrases is EVERYTHING; in the balance with which, modern associations and senses are of no account. What this use is, he can only learn by a long, faithful, and attentive study of the sacred writings.'
BOWLES' NEW SERIES OF ORIGINAL BOOKS FOR CHIL
It gives us pleasure to notice any improvement in books for children. There is no writer to whom we feel more grateful than to the author of a first rate work for juvenile readers. At the same time we exceedingly regret that so many undertake a task which they aren ot qualified to perform well. It seems to be thought that every one who is able to produce an interesting story should be encouraged to labor in this department of literature. What is the consequence? At least two or three fourths of children's books, issued from the press in this country, are almost useless; and a large portion of them deserves a much harsher epithet. Indeed, the standard of excellence, which we wish to see attained, has seldom been reached amongst us. Is it too high? We think not. Have we no writers who could accomplish all we desire ? Undoubtedly there are many such, if they had leisure and inclination for the work. Are we asked, to what compositions we would refer as models? We answer, to Miss Edgeworth's, certainly, if she had availed herself more of the motives and sentiments of the gospel; and to Mrs Sherwood's, perhaps, had she not spoiled her books, in many respects excellent, by interpretations of scripture extremely incorrect, and by a spirit of sectarian orthodoxy most revolting to liberal Christians.
But it was not our purpose to write an essay. We only wished to intimate to our readers, that the first three of Mr Bowles' New Series of Original Books for children, now before us, merit a place in our juvenile libraries. Their titles are, The Seymour Family, or Domestic Scenes; Infant Lessons; and Footsteps to Natural History. They are not entirely free from
but still we think them considerably superior to the majority of publications belonging to this class, now for sale at the book-stores.
REV. THOMAS BELSHAM, Minister of Essex Street Chapel, London, Author of Exposition of
the Epistles of St Paul, and of various practical and controversial works.
The latest English journals, which have been received, announced the death of Mr Belsham, which, they inform us, took place in November last at Hamstead, near London,-in the 80th year of his age; and after more than six years of complicated bodily suffering. Though some weeks have elapsed since we have heard of this event, and his character has already been respectfully noticed,* we are desirous of exhibiting in the pages of this journal, with somewhat more distinctness, the claims of this venerable man to the respect and gratitude of our christian community. He may be honored as one, eminent by many virtues, and for his devotion of a long life to whatever he regarded as the interests of truth and piety, of human freedom and happiness.
Mr Belsham was a native of Bedfordshire, and the son of a Dissenting Minister, who, as we have heard from one of his pupils, was honorably known by his friends for his worth of character, for his classic literature, especially his skill in writing Latin poetry, and for the natural vigor of his intellect. His son early entered upon the profession of his choice, having pursued his theological studies in the academy at Daventry, under Dr Ashworth ; and was first settled in 1778, as minister of a society in Worcester. Here he enjoyed the privilege of the friendship of that excellent man, the Rev. Job Orton, for whose simplicity and integrity, devotedness and usefulness as a minister, he was accustomed to express his high respect.
*See Christian Register, of January 23, 1830, from which some passages in this notice are repeated.
From Worcester he was called to the superintendance of the Theological School, at Daventry, of which he had himself been a pupil. While here, in the faithful discharge of his duties as divinity tutor, his religious views, which were before decidedly Arian, and perhaps on some points mingled with a qualified form of Orthodoxy, gradually changed.
He became a believer not only in the strict unity of the Godhead, but in the simple humanity of Jesus Christ ; and with an openness and integrity, which distinguished his whole life, he relinquished a place, for which, as was thought, his new opinions had disqualified him.
The remainder of his long and industrious life was spent first at Hackney, where he was associated in the instruction of the Theological Seminary of that place, with Drs Price, Priestley, Rees, and other distinguished men; and where, as at Daventry, he conciliated the affection and respect of his pupils; and, lastly, at London, as successor to the venerable Lindsey, and to Dr Disney, in the ministry of Essex Street Chapel. In this relation, which we believe was a source of mutual happiness to himself and to his hearers, among whom, at different periods, were the Duke of Graston, Percival North, Esq. and other distinguished men,