« ÖncekiDevam »
thought, that, in the Redeemer of our race, I can find a brother man, a true member of the same human family with myself. But is this all ? O no! I seek for a more lofty brotherhood. I seek to be, and, if this doctrine be true, and I am a true disciple, I am a brother of the Lord of glory, the second Person of the equal and undivided Trinity. He died for me. His own self bore my sins.
When we speak of divinity and humanity, we speak of the two natures. And here, as we have said before, each retains, unchanged, and untransferable, its own properties. To say that the Deity suffered and died, or that humanity is a proper object of adoration, would be false. Deity is incapable of suffering; manhood never can be an object of worship. But to say that the Lord of glory suffered for our sakes, or that Jesus of Nazareth is the eternal Son of God, is but to ascribe the attributes of either nature to the one unchanged and undivided Person, from whichsoever nature the name applied to him may be derived. And this is right. God died upon the cross. Man holds the sceptre of the universe, and will judge the world. So have we a Saviour, who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; and yet is able, of his own proper divinity, to save
, unto the uttermost them that come unto God by him.
OBSERVATIONS ON. MEN, BOOKS, AND THINGS.
EXPLORATION OF THE DEAD SEA. — One of the most singular undertakings of these singular times of ours is the exploration of that living stream, the Jordan, and of the fatal sea in which it dies, which has been recently made by Lieutenant Lynch, under the auspices of our government. Though very much out of the common course of our national politics, it is by no means one of the worst undertakings of the navy department. In executing his commission, Lieutenant Lynch manifested astonishing intelligence, courage, hardihood, and perseverance. In describing it, he lays himself open to the criticisms of all literary Bedouins, “ whose hand is against every man” that dares to lift a pen. His prolixity and sentimentalism would, indeed, be lawful plunder for greedy reviewers; but his book disarms criticism, as being a sacred charity. It is understood that he has generously bestowed all the avails of his publication upon the orphan children of Lieutenant Dale, whose life fell a sacrifice to his toils in coöperating with Lieutenant Lynch, and who was soon followed to " the place of departed spirits” by his broken-hearted wife.
This volume settles some very important points, which have long been in dispute. It is ascertained that the sacred river, of which so much is said in the ancient history and the modern poetry of our religion, descends above a thousand feet, and winds over two hundred miles, in traversing the twenty leagues which separate the Dead Sea from the lake of Tiberias. It is ascertained also, that the surface of the Dead Sea is twelve hundred feet below the level of the Mediterranean ; and that its greatest depth is equal to twelve hundred more. The whole shape, and all the remarkable peculiarities, of the Dead Sea are now known by scientific survey. Many most interesting particulars in regard to it are either placed beyond a doubt, or are brought to light for the first time; and all the geological features of the region go to confirm the accuracy of the Mosaic narrative of the destruction of the guilty cities of the plain.
Visit TO MONASTERIES IN THE LEVANT. - The Honorable Robert Curzon, a wealthy commoner of England, and what is much more, a man of wit, and taste, and learning, has availed himself of some peculiar facilities for visiting these venerable retreats, many of which have been in existence above a thousand years. Most of them are almost inaccessible to the common traveller, and great is our obligation to Mr. Curzon for his " exploring expeditions," conducted with much expense and personal peril
, among the convents of Egypt, Syria, Albania, and Mount Athos. Adventures, most strange, romantic, or amusing, befel him at every turn; and nothing could have carried him through, but his bibliomania, which is of the most rabid kind. His main object was the collection of ancient manuscripts of the Scriptures and the classics ; and his zeal was not surpassed by that of the legendary Knights of the Round Table in their search for the Sangreal. We cordially recommend the purchase of this book to every one who desires to possess almost the only information to be had on a very interesting subject, presented in a form vastly readable and entertaining, as well as reliable. Monachism is full of queer things. Only think of that full grown monk of Xeropotamo, who “had never seen a woman, nor had he any idea what sort of things women were, or what they looked like;” and who, in the simplicity of his soul, asked of Mr. Curzon whether they resembled the stiffstarched pictures of the Panagia, the Holy Virgin, which hang in every church!
NINEVEA AND ITS REMAINS. - This work, in two large and well illustrated volumes, is worthy of a place in any collection of books, whether large or small. In this age of wonders, it is not the least of marvels that monuments of the oldest monarchy on earth, with sculptures and inscriptions probably coeval with Moses and Abraham, should be found in a high state of preservation, and once more, after a burial of thousands of years, be laid open to the eye of modern science. Thus the human race is recovering, one by one, the lost chapters of its earlier history. Divine Providence, the careful keeper of these forgotten records, is bringing them in due order from their profound obscurity. The decyphering of the hieroglyphics of Egypt, in which much has been done, and far more remains to be effected, prepared the way for understanding many of those Ninevite remains which, by the admirable skill and enterprize of Mr. Layard, have been exhumed from those prodigious mounds which, for silent and solitary ages have reposed on the banks of the Tigris. There is something awe-inspiring, in thus intruding into the long buried secrets of an elder world. These sculptured records, however, reluctantly render up their secrets ; for the language which is graven in the wedge-shaped letters is too imperfecıly understood as yet, to afford a revelation of what is written. But this impediment will give way before the enthusiastic studies of the scholars who are devoting their strength to its removal. That language, so long dead, will be revived so far as to tell all that these numberless inscriptions know of those who carved them. Meanwhile the work of excavation goes steadily on, and is daily regaining new treasures from those oblivious ruins. Expectation will be kept constantly awake, till, at no distant day, the original histories of our race will be reconstructed from its own monumental archives; and the glorious providence of God will be as distinctly read in the affairs of all nations, as it is now in those of Israel. It is gratifying to be able to say, what indeed we confidently anticipated, that so far as the historical discoveries which Mr. Layard describes, have any bearing upon the allusions in the Old Testament to Assyrian history, they add full confirmation to the Scriptures.
ECCLESIOLOGY. This is an era of new sciences and new names; and the science which treats of meeting-house fashions and fixings has attained to the dignity of a high place among the “ologies." The votaries of this sublime branch of knowledge have, in New York, an Ecclesiological Society, formed for its cultivation, — and have also an organ, “ The New York Ecclesiologist,” for garnering its fruits. With great earnestness and unction, and prodigious learning and simplicity, they discuss such edifying and important themes as the arrangement of chancels, the orientation of churches, the manufacture of altar-linen, and all that relates to the man-millinery of "holy mother.” Every rag of her scarlet vestments is discussed and arranged by these enlightened gentry with sedulous care. Learned in all the wisdom of the dark ages, they are tenderly scrupulous as to every nicety in the garniture of an altar, and the vesture of a priest. It is a pity that so much labor and solicitude should be lost. It is certain, from the “ Visit to the Monasteries in the Levant," elsewhere noticed in these pages, that “ the earliest Christian churches were not cruciform, and seldom had transepts, nor were they built with any reference to the points of the compass." The author of this book, himself a zealous antiquary and an Episcopalian, roundly asserts, that “the numerous well-meaning authors, who have written on the restoration of our older churches, appear to him to be completely in the dark. Gothic is not Christian architecture, – it is Roman Catholic architecture : the vestures of English ecclesiastics are not restorations of early simplicity, -- they are modern inventions taken from German
collegiate dresses which have nothing to do with religion.” Among the innumerable oriental churches inspected by him, were some whose construction dates from the days of Justinian, and other previous emperors. He says: “It is this systematic respect for every thing which is old and venerable, which renders the interior of the ancient Eastern churches so peculiarly interesting. They are the unchanged monuments of primæval days. The Christians who suffered under the persecution of Dioclesian may have knelt before the very altar which we now see, and which was then exactly the same as we now behold it, without any additions or subtractions either in its form or use. To us Protestants, one of the most interesting circumstances connected with these Eastern churches is, that the altar is not called the altar, but the holy table, as with us; and that the Communion is given before it in both kinds.” And so, with thanks to the Hon. Robert Curzon for his contributions to the rising science of “ecclesiology,” we drop the important theme !
THE APOSTLES' CREED. -Dr. Nevin, who appears to be chief cyclops, and forger of thunderbolts for what is called the “ Mercersburg Theology,” has turned his one eye, with vulcanian glare, towards us; and launched his lightnings at our heads, for a supposed want of respect for that venerable symbol, the so-called Apostles' Creed. In rebuking the flippancy of a sciolist, who had spoken as if it were an undoubted fact that this ancient form was drawn up by the Apostles, we had said that it “ was no more an apostolical invention than was Christmas pie.” In the sense in which we used the words, Dr. Nevin, like any man of ordinary learning, fully accords with us. And we hold, as firmly as he does, that the creed is truly apostolical in regard to “ the divine substance of its contents,” and as “representing from the beginning, the one unvarying faith of the universal Christian world.” There are other creeds which, in the same sense, are no less apostolical.
But Dr. Nevin takes occasion from this expression to charge us, and the Puritans generally, with a profane and superficial contempt for that "churchly," or traditional piety, which springs from other sources than the Bible. The reviving of this type of religion seems to be the distinct object of the "Mercersburg Theology," which is either Anglican piety Germanized, or German piety Anglicized. Which it is, may be very hard to decide ; – too hard to pay the cost of obtaining a decision. On contrasting the practical workings of Puritanism in New England and elsewhere, with the results which have followed from the prevailing religious philosophy in Germany and in the churches of German origin in this country, we are very well content with our side of the bargain. In the German character we see much to admire, and something to imitate ; but what has it done for the extensive and permanent revival of sound doctrine, pure morality, active beneficence, and civil and religious freedom, in comparison with what has been done by Puritanism, with far inferior numbers and resources ?
Our brethren of the New Englander seem to think, that “it is only necessary to organize a strong party against the Mercersburg views, and to denounce them as radically unsound and quite inconsistent with a profession of orthodoxy; and they will probably make a great impression.” But with all deference, we must think that the mistiness of those views, and the cloudiness in which they are phrased, are so great, that no degree of opposition, even to mobbing and stoning their spectral supporters, will give them body enough to make any very palpable impression on the genuine American mind.
FRENCH POLITICS. The French must be dear lovers of republicanism, as it is plain'that they are so eager to monopolize the article, as not to allow it to be enjoyed by the poor nations around them, who, excited by the example of France, have been grasping after a share of the precious commodity. While some of these aspiring young republics are suppressed by Austria and Russia, others are crushed by France herself. The recent transactions at Rome would seem to have sunk the glory of the French nation to depths of infamy, from which it can never be recovered. Many of the bitterest foes of popular rights in Great Britain, at the close of the last century, were made such by the excesses of the modern Gauls in their first revolution. At first, Coleridge and Southey, and many other young literary enthusiasts were all on fire, with dreams of Pantisocracy, and other socialist notions. But the “reign of terror cured them of their liberalism, and drove them back to the opposite extreme.
Coleridge, who never did any thing by halves, except his books and poems, cherished through the rest of his days a rabid detestation of every thing Gallican. He once astonished a literary audience in London, by lifting up his hands, in the midst of his lecture, and devoutly returning thanks to his Maker, for having never been left to learn “one syllable of that detestable jargon, the French tongue !" He tells of his admiring the statue of Moses, by Michael Angelo, at Rome, in the company of a Prussian. Their encomiums of this splendid work of art were interrupted by the clash of sabre-sheaths on the marble floor, announcing the approach of a brace of French cavalry officers, belonging to the garrison then in possession of Rome. The Prussian forewarned Coleridge, that as soon as these wretches should notice the pencils of rays on the forehead of the Hebrew prophet, they would proclaim him a “cornuto;"— which accord
;. ingly came to pass. As the profane and heartless jesters retired, the Prussian exclaimed, with suppressed rage :
“ A Frenchman is an animal, which by no possibility can be raised to the slightest sense of honor or religion !” And Coleridge added his heartiest Amen. At another time, he broke out in the assertion: “Your Frenchmen, Sir, are like grains of gunpowder; take them singly, and they are smutty and contemptible, - but mass them together, and they are terrible indeed!”
But while that mercurial people have given too much occasion for such reproaches, it would be going altogether too far to despair of a nation which gave birth to John Calvin. And many a noble, and many a hallowed, name beside may be arrayed, to retrieve her name from utter reprobation. And even in regard to these latest depravities at Rome, it ought to be known that there are thousands and thou.