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Christianity, with an Appendix on the Gnostic System of Basilides. By Dr. A. HILGENFELD.—Most of our readers will be aware of the way in which the scholars of Germany bave divided, and are still dividing, the great field of learned inquiry into small allotments. In their temple of science there are a multitude of crypts, and chapels, and minor shrines, beneath or about the main body of the building. Every shrine has its own especial worshippers, to whom its importance appears supreme. A certain class of inquiries—after a little discussion, and a few books on this side or on that—receives a name of its own, and becomes quite a little science by itself. The word Apocalyptik is one of these
It is taken, in the first instance, from the Apocalypse of St. John. But there are, as is well known, a number of Apocalyptic writings, not, like that, of inspired authority, which take their place among the apocryphal books. Some of these belong to the Jewish, some to the Christian economy. The study of such works is one of no small historical interest. It is also important, on still higher grounds, as throwing some light, which can ill be spared, on the language and the symbols of St. John's Revelation, and as exhibiting the forms of thought and speech associated with the expectation of Messiah's kingdom, whether among Jews or Christians. A work on the Jewish Apocalyptik is, therefore, a work on those writings, practices, or social movements which sprang out of the expectations entertained by the Jews of a kingdom to be founded by Messiah. Recent researches have greatly increased the materials for such a study. It received a notable impulse from the publication of the Ethiopic version of the Book of Enoch, by an English scholar, Richard Lawrence, in 1821. Then followed a more correct edition of the Sibylline prophecies, with newly-discovered additions.
According to the author's definition, a book, to be apocalyptic, must be both eschatological and pseudonymous. No writing comes within his scope which is not, in his view, apocryphal, as well as more or less millenarian. At the head of the Jewish apocalyptic writings he places the book of Daniel, following Eichhorn and other rationalists in denying its genuineness. Apart from this injustice towards that book, we cannot accept a definition which would exclude from apocalyptic writings the
very book which gives them all their name. His results, and the value of his remarks on the nature of Messianic expectations among the later Jews, are not, however, materially affected by the error with which he starts; for, in either case, the book of Daniel, (unquestionably regarded as inspired by the Jews themselves) formed the model of all their apocryphal apocalypses. When prophecy had ceased, when all things in the world around looked dark, the disposition to fall back upon the past would increase. Attempts were made to recall and reproduce that past by the composition of encouraging and magnificent predictions invested with the sanction of ancient and venerable names. The Sibylline prophecies are attributed by Dr. Hilgenfeld to an Egyptian Jew, acquainted with Greek literature, writing in the latter half of the second century B.C.
The Essenes, and their brethren abroad, the Therapeutæ, are regarded Hilgenfeld's Jüdische Apokalyptik, dc. 279 .by our author as the practical outcome of the apocalyptic tendency. These associations arose out of a desire to continue, as far as possible, the schools of the prophets. These recluses believed that when the looked-for Elias appeared, he would find in them fit and expectant scholars. They nourished their souls by meditation on the glories of the Messianic reign. They withdrew from the secularised and haughty priesthood of Jerusalem. They sought, by abstinence, by prayer, by abstraction, to realise something of that closer access to God which the fathers had enjoyed when the gift of prophecy was with their people. Such expectations prepared a large class to receive with gladness the announcement of the Baptist that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Such was the practical development of the apocalyptic spirit, on the one hand. On the other, there sprang from its corruption and its impatience those desperate risings against Rome, and those aimless tumults which were so bloodily suppressed. Far more reasonable, to our view, is the hypothesis of the author concerning the Essenes, than that of Zeller, who makes them a kind of New Pythagoreans, and attributes both their doctrine and their practice chiefly to Hellenic influences.
The Selections from Herder's Remains (Aus Herder's Nachlass. Frankfurt-a-M.: Meidinger. 3 vols.), edited by H. DÜNZER and F. G. v. HERDER, is a valuable contribution to the history of German literature. These volumes contain the hitherto unpublished correspondence between Herder and his betrothed, with a number of letters -many of them highly characteristic—from Goethe, Schiller, Jean Paul, Lavater, Klopstock, Jacobi, Claudius, Lenz, and others. Similar interest attaches to R. Köpke’s Ludwig Tieck—(2 Bde. Leipzig : Brockhaus)—a memoir of the founder of the Romantic school, by a friend who enjoyed almost daily intercourse with the poet during the last four years of his life, and whose reminiscences were not only authenticated by Tieck himself, but enriched by him with additions. Two volumes have already appeared (a third will complete the work) of an able monograph on Demosthenes and his Age (Demosthenes und seine Zeit. Leipzig : Teubner), by Dr. ARNOLD SCHAFER. Dr. Alberte Imhoff's Flavius Domitianus (Halle) investigates with careful scholarship the incidents of a miserable time, and the growth in wickedness of the monster who did so much to make it miserable. The veteran historian of the eighteenth century has republished, with additions, some valuable essays on Dante (F. C. Schlosser, Dante, Studien, Leipzig: Winter.) The second essay contains a discriminating and generous appreciation (the first which appeared in Germany) of the services of Rosetti in this field. Remarks are appended à propos of the later criticisms of Picci; and the book as a whole will well repay the study of all who are interested in the grand representative man of the thirteenth century. E. H. F. Meyer's Geschichte der Botanik (History of Botany. Königsberg. 3 vols.) is a work full of curious learning. The first two volumes collect all the scattered notices which enable us to trace the progress of botanical science among the Greeks and Romans. The third volume investigates the botanical attainments of the Indians, Syrians Persians and more especially of the Arabians,—thence to the study of plants in the West, from the time of Charlemagne to Albertus Magnus. For the students of mediæval literature we notice a second edition of Diez's Grammatik der Romanischen Sprachen ; Zarncke's Beiträge zur Erklärung und Geschichte des Nibelungenliedes, and Bartsch's Denkmäler der Provenzalischen Litteratur. The last-mentioned work is published under the auspices of the Stuttgart Literary Association, and is the fruit of researches carried on during two visits to France in the years 1853 and 1855.
OCTOBER 1, 1857.
ART. I.-P. Papinii Statii Opera Omnia ex editione Bipontina cum
notis et interpretatione in Usum Delphini. Vol. I-IV. VALPY.
1824. THERE are a class of writers who, from their casual connexion with degenerate epochs, are apt to be overlooked in literary history. The impression generally prevails that as soon as the scholar has imbued his mind with the style and diction of the first writers of a language, he may consider its attainment complete, and that to pursue the study with writers of an inferior stamp would only tend to vitiate his taste, and to weaken the knowledge he had previously acquired. This opinion appears to us to be productive of mischief, not alone because it tends to throw a cloud of obscurity on a class of writers whose works are calculated to cast immense light upon the organism of their age, but because the steps by which a literature either consolidates or enfeebles its resources, present as many points of interest to the philological student as the features it exhibits in the days of its greatest brilliancy and power. They present the leading prerogative instances through which the nature of language can be revealed, and are the very examples Lord Bacon would have selected to guide him through that mass of philosophical laws by which language becomes the exponent of civilization, and binds up and concentres in itself the multiform elements of the social world. Nor is the advantage of such a study confined to mere speculative views, though these are of the largest and most essential kind. But the examples of turgidity and bombast which such views are destined to convey, will effectively deter the scholar from subjecting himself to any influences which are calculated to involve him in similar results. The philologist as well as the surgeon must be prepared to analyse diseased speciNO. LII.
mens along with those of a healthy character, if he wishes to obtain a practical insight into the organization of a language; and it is only by a judicious comparison of both examples that he can be led into a correct appreciation of the first-class writers to which there is too great a tendency to restrict his studies. With this view we enter on Statius, not so much to give the reader a complete paradigm of this department of literary history, which is beyond the limit of these pages, as to point out the objects which such a study may legitimately embrace, the spirit in which it ought to be prosecuted, and introduce the reader to a school of writers who will afford abundant examples for the pursuit.
It is just 1800 years ago since a man of ripe years came from Epirus to Naples, and established tutorial connexions with some of the families in Rome. Like most of us, he was one of an herd. At that time, Rome absorbed all the luxuries and wealth of the provinces, and a mob of hungry litterati left Achaia to exchange their already declining language for some of the ill-gotten products of power. The father of Statius was among the number. He opened a school at Mysenum, and subsequently in the capital, where he taught the sons of the noblest patricians the mechanical construction of language and the art of becoming eloquent in so many lessons. He aspired to teach poetry, having composed an epic on the Destruction of the Capitol, and drilled his pupils in dactyles and spondees, precisely as one would teach soldiers to fire in platoons. With rhetoric and the poetic art he allied theology, and presided over a species of ecclesiastical seminary, in which he expounded to the candidates for orders the dogmatic part of pagan divinity, the various degrees of kindred which existed among the gods and their adulterous offspring, and exercised them like a modern rubrician in the ceremonies relating to their priestly functions. Such a man was reckoned a prodigy in those times, and was gaped at by the Roman nobility quite as much as Goldsmith's schoolmaster by the ignorant peasants of Auburn. Though he knew not a syllable about God or man, nature or society,—though his entire curriculum of studies was confined to a mere jingle of words which an ordinary student might, by hard cramming, master in one term,—he was run after by the favourites of the Court, and pointed out to their children as a man of colossal erudition.
It is in this cradle of Statius's infantile years that we are to seek for those determining influences that moulded the peculiar organization of his mind, and decided his subsequent character. The stream did not belie its source. The career of the younger Statius was such as might have been determined upon à priori