Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

to us to be wholly irrelevant and gratuitous. We are quite ready to acknowledge the extreme beauty of the analogy between the earthly and grovelling life of the caterpillar, its subsequent temporary obscuration in the state of chrysalis, and its emergence therefrom in the aerial and almost spiritual form of the butterfly, and the moral and spiritual history of man; but this is mere poetical appropriation, and has, we regret to say, no basis in sound analogy. But if we find ourselves obliged, in sober truth, to demolish the fabric which the hallowed fancy of many a sincere and well-meaning votary has raised, we hail, on the other hand, with real satisfaction, every proof, and there are many, which a scientific knowledge of natural objects offers for the truth of the historical details of the Holy Scriptures. It is here that the true homage of science to religion is recognised; and we are led to these observations by a very satisfactory illustration of a fact which has heretofore excited some controversy, contained in the present number of Mr. Yarrell's work. The subject in question is as to the real species of bird which is intended by the word translated "Quail,” in our version of the Holy Scriptures; and as it is evident, throughout the whole history of miracles, that natural phenomena form, in almost all instances, the basis of them, it is very interesting to approximate, by a reference to such phenomena, to the actual means by which such unusual interpositions have been effected. Mr. Yarrell has very satisfactorily performed this good office in the present instance, by showing that the common quail is the only bird which, under the circumstances, could, without an unnecessary deviation from ordinary rules, (which it may be observed never happens) have served the intended purpose of gratifying the “lust” of the Israelites for “flesh.” We now proceed to quote a considerable portion of the passage in question :

A matter of considerable historical interest is associated with this bird, as there is the strongest ground for believing that it is the identical species, Tetrao Israelitarum, of whose instinct it pleased the Divinity to avail himself in supplying the famishing Israelites with food in the wilderness. Authors have differed with respect to the real nature of this food ; Rudbeck asserting that it was a flying fish, and Ludolph that it was a locust: but the 26th, 27th, 28th, and 29th verses of the 78th Psalm, determine it to have been a bird :-"He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls (fowl of wing) like as the sand of the sea : and he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations. So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire." (See also Exod. xvi. 13, and Numb. xi. 31, 32.)

Bochart and Dr. Harris state that the Hebrew word used is Selav, in Arabic Selwee, or Selvai (a Quail), which is constantly rendered by the Septuagint óptuyountpa, a large kind of Quail. Aristotle, indeed, calls the Rail (Rallus and Crex) ortygometra; but on the whole it is to be inferred from Bochart that the Greeks used the word rather to indicate the size of the optug, than as descriptive of a different bird ; and Josephus considers òptuyouhrpa and optuš synonymous, and states that Quails abound on the gulf of the Red Sea ; and we know that they abound in Egypt, Barbary, Asia Minor, and at certain seasons in Europe at the present day.

There is another mode to connect the bird of Scripture with the Coturnix dactylisonans, and this is readily done by the simple fact of its being the only species of Quail that migrates in multitudes; indeed we have not any satisfactory account that any other species of Quail is migratory. Aristotle mentions the habit; and Pliny states they sometimes alight on vessels in the Mediterranean, and sink them! Belon found Quails alight in autumn on a vessel bound from Rhodes to Alexandria ; they were passing from the north to the south, and had wheat in their craws.

In the preceding spring, sailing from Zante to the Morea, he saw flights of Quails going from the south northwards. Buffon relates that M. le Commandant Godelun saw Quails constantly passing Malta during certain winds in May, and repassing in September; and that they flew by night. Tournefort says that almost all the isles of the Archipelago are covered with them in certain times of the year. In the commencement of autumn, such great quantities are captured in the isle of Capri, near Naples, as in former times to afford the bishop the chief part of his revenue; and he was called in consequence the Bishop of Quails. M. Temminck says that in spring such prodigious numbers of Quails alight on the western shores of the kingdom of Naples, about

Nettuno, that one hundred thousand are taken in a day. They also arrive in spring in similar numbers on the shores of Provence, so fatigued, that for the first days they allow themselves to be taken by the hand. Sonnini states that they arrive in Egype in September.

With these facts before us, considering the positive testimony of the Psalmist that the unexpected supply of food to the Israelites was a bird, and that bird, agreeably to the Septuagint and Josephus, a Quail, that only one species of Quail migrates in prodigious numbers, and that species the sul of the present notice, we are authorized to pronounce the Coturnix dactylisonans to be the identical species with which the Israelites were fed. We have here proof of the perpetuation of an instinct through 3300 years,--not pervading a whole species, but that part of a species existing within certain geographical limits; an instinct characterised by a peculiarity which modern observers have also noticed, of making their migratory Alighi by night: And it came to pass, that at even, (query, "night?") the Quails came up and covered the camp." (Exod. xvi. 13.) As might be expected, we see the most ancient of all historical works and natural history reflecting attesting lights on each other.Pp. 358—360.

We have no room to add any thing on the general merits of this number, beyond the well-deserved praise already bestowed by us on former portions of this beautiful work.

Illuminated Atlas of Scripture Geography; a Series of Maps delineating the

Physical and Historical Features in the Geography of Palestine and the adjacent Countries, accompanied with an explanatory Notice of each Map, and a copious Index of the Names of Places. By W. Hughes, F.R.G.S. London:

Knight. 1840. Pp 47. Maps xx. The ingenious invention of printing coloured maps has brought within our reach Atlasses, which, if not so elegant at first sight as the engraved plates, are at least as clear and very much cheaper. The work before us is a useful specimen, and contains twenty maps of Palestine, under its different possessors, and at different periods of its history, and of those adjacent countries, a knowledge of which is requisite to the full understanding of the scripture narrative. The situations of places are marked by a set of signs contrived to show at the same time the degrees of certainty or uncertainty with which the respective sites have been ascertained; and the explanatory notices contain much information on the geography of the countries to which they refer. This atlas will be found a cheap and useful help to the study of the historical books of the Bible.

The History of the University of Cambridge. By Thomas Fuller, D.D.

(Chaplain in Ordinary to King Charles II. and Prebendary of Sarum.) Edited by the late M. PRICKETT, M.A. F.S.A. Chaplain of Trinity College, and Thomas Wright, Esq. M.A. F.S. A. fc. of Trinity College. With Ilustrative Notes. Cambridge: Deighton, and Stevenson. London: Parker. 1840.

Pp. xviii. 336. A Reprint of Fuller's History of Cambridge, detached from his large Church History, was, we think, a judicious thought; and the neatness of its execution is worthy of the University press. Equal approbation is due to the mode in which it has been edited, for we have here as pure a text as the editor could give, and he has corrected the author's more material errors in a succession of notes exhibiting much care and research. We applaud his decision of not continuing the history, in the present instance, though it only reaches to the year 1613; for as the attraction of much of Fuller's writing is sui generis, a sequel must have been either a travesty of the quaint manner of the old scholar, or a drier statement of facts, where the defects of the pristine scheme, in which the history was cast, would have been glaring, and unredeemed by the touches of fancy, humour, and oddity, which Fuller alone could bestow. This production of his does not, perhaps, contain quite so much of that rich vein of originality, which, as evinced in telling a story or drawing a character, has made

come.

this antique writer so perennial a favourite; but, nevertheless, there is so much of it as to keep curiosity afloat, and to refresh us amidst the most arid topics.

In the very sensible preface to this edition Mr. Wright has made it apparent that the time for a more extended general history of this University is not yet

He tells us that materials are daily coming to light, particularly respecting the details of separate colleges, which are in process of being made public; and much of this is almost indispensable, before a satisfactory generalization can be hoped for. We have also the welcome information that the . Memorials of Cambridge,' a work suspended by accidental circumstances, is now on the point of being renewed.” And it is justly remarked that Fuller's History will form an appropriate companion for that series of engravings. We may add, that the map which Fuller gave has been copied; prefixed to which Mr. Wright exhibits a more early one, and, together, they are highly illustrative of the progress of the town and colleges in those early times. We wish that all Fuller's works were accessible in this elegant and convenient form.

Pp. 154.

"The Spanish Armada, A.D. 1588; or the Attempt of Philip II., and Pope

Sixtus V., to re-establish Popery in England. By the Rev. Thomas LathBURY, M.A., author of Guy Fawkes, a History of the English Episcopacy,

8c. London: Parker. 1840. This historical sketch is intended by the author, like his Guy Fawkes, to illustrate the character and principles of popery. For this purpose he has collected a number of facts, which tend to show that the Spanish invasion was undertaken even more for religious than political purposes; and has interwoven them into a history of that memorable attempt. 'The narrative does not owe much to Mr. Lathbury's style, but it is convenient to the general reader to have information condensed for him into a small book. To such we would recommend this little work. We venture to add a word more. Mr. L. has corrected several of Dr. Lingard's errors and mis-statements, and by so doing has done good service to the cause of truth. But surely those who know anything of their own mental habits, will be ready to admit, that (charity apart) it is far more philosophical to attribute erroneous statements to prejudice, and the affections warping the judgment, than to wilful perversion and deceit. Fraud and hypocrisy are very hard charges, and ought never to be made or insinuated by one christian against another, unless upon very strong grounds; much stronger, surely, than the fact, that a Romanist historian, writing of events which nearly concern his church and religion, has viewed and placed them in a false light and distorted form. It is equally a duty to free truth from error, and to put the best construction we fairly can on the motives of those with whom the error originated.

The Former and the Latter Rain." By Mrs. Sherwood. Berwick : Melrose.

1839. 12mo. Pp. 142. This book is intended to contrast the conduct and education of two sisters, (the one under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the other in her natural state, and “dead in sin"). The particular theory of the authoress has led her to make some very exaggerated statements, and to describe the uniform obedience of Lucy, and the habitual and systematic violation of duty by Matilda, in terms which are entirely at variance with the experience of ordinary life. It is much to be wished that, in place of Mrs. Sherwood's volume, we could recommend a judicious treatise on the training up of children in accordance with their baptismal engagements.

Sermons, occasional and adapted for certain Seasons of the Church. By the Rev.

S. HOPKINS. London: Hatchards. 1840. Fcp. 8vo. Pp. xii. 228. If single sermons, which are not recommended by the name and character of the author, or the importance and interest of the subject, meet with few purchasers, we cannot help thinking that there are many volumes of homiletic divinity which find a very limited number of readers. Mr. Hopkins states in his preface, that " if this volume should prove acceptable, it will be followed by a second ;" and we are induced to notice them in the hope of persuading him not to carry his threat into execution. We can assure him that his sermons have little to recommend them. The doctrine appears tolerably sound; but the expressions are frequently ill chosen, and the arrangement is far from good. Mr. H. speaks of a sinner as “a nuisance;” and uses language with respect to Martha which can hardly be defended on any ground:-“There was a germ of malignity expanding into religious persecution : Lord, dost thou not care, &c.'”

-“ Like Satan surveying our first parents in bliss, she wished to disturb her [Mary's] repose.”-Pp. 8, 9. Well may Mr. Blunt, in his admirable lecture on the early Fathers warn the younger clergy against “wasting their strength, as they so often do, on this volume of sermons, or that, which happens to be the newest of the day.”—P. 14.

Gatherings ; a Collection of short Pieces, written at various Periods. By the

Author of The Listener.” London : Seeley and Burnside. 1839. Fcp. 8vo.

pp. X. 275.

Amidst much that is interesting and excellent, and which show the author of this work to be a person of sense, and, what is far more important, of piety, there are some crude and erroneous statements respecting preaching and the Sacraments, which are calculated (of course most unintentionally) to convey a very false impression respecting them. We allude more particularly to the paper on the Use of Ordinances, in which the question asked is,—whether the prayers or the sermon form the most important part of the public service of our church; and the author evidently intends it to be understood that preaching is the great object of public worship: One instance adduced in support of this view is very unfortunate, viz., that tie Church instructs the sponsors of a baptized child to “call upon him to hear sermons;" when it is remembered that she immediately adds, “but chiefly ye shall provide that he may learn the Creed," &c.

Essay on the Life and Institutions of Offa, King of Mercia, a.d. 755—794.

By the Rev. HENRY MACKENZIE, M.A., of Pembroke Coll. Oxford ; Master of Bancroft's Hospital. London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co.; Smith, Elder,

and Co.; and H. Wix. 1840. Pp. 36. This Essay, in 1836, gained a premium established by Alderman Copeland, during his mayoralty. It is now published in an elegant form, and contains much information on an interesting period of Anglo-Saxon history, carefully collected and digested into an agreeable narrative. The reign of Offa, indeed, would occupy a more prominent place in our early annals than has been gained for it by its victories and tragic incidents, could a conjecture of Mr. Mackenzie's be established, that the body of the statutes of Alfred was adopted or compiled from the laws of the Mercian prince. This is, however, but a conjecture, though not destitute of plausibility. It would be singular, if these early buttresses of British freedom could be proved to proceed from the same king, who aided the growth of spiritual despotism, by inviting the Pope's interference in the affairs of his clergy, and granting, or confirming, the tribute of Romescot.

Jerusalem, and the Jewish Cause : a Letter to the Right Hon. and Right Rer.

the Lord Bishop of London, respecting the State and Prospects of the Jews and the Jewish Mission in Syria. By the Rev. W. B. HURNARD, M.A.

London : Hayward & Moore. 1840. Pp. 48. It is undeniable that the tide of christian sympathy is again turning towards the East, and more especially towards that part of it which was the cradle of Christianity. Of this the letter, whose title has just been given, is one proof

amongst many. The author having lately returned from a visit to Palestine, with his heart full of all that he has seen and heard, and desirous to ameliorate the spiritual and temporal condition of the ancient proprietors of the Holy Land, naturally addresses his thoughts to that prelate to whose pastoral care foreign stations belong, and whose wise and christian plans promise to confer efficiency upon the missions of the Anglican Church. The letter contains much interesting information, and some propositions deserving attentive consideration.

The Church in the World, and the Church of the First-born: or an Affectionate

Address to Christian Ministers upholding Oxford Tract Doctrines. London :

Seeley. 1840. Pp. 84. Few persons can read this volume without coming to the conclusion, that, however dissatisfied the author may be with other men, he is on excellent terms with himself. From the tone of his work it may be inferred that, if he does not regard himself “as a learned controversialist,” nor lay an ostensible claim to infallibility, he yet looks upon his own decisions as final and irrefragable. His work is divided into two letters ; in the former of which he animadverts upon the doctrine of “ Apostolical Succession,” as being a special source of grief to “spiritually-minded Christians;” and in the latter he sets forth his own views touching the visible and the invisible Church. His object is to warn the supporters of what he terms “the new Oxford Theology” of “the error of their ways," and to lead them to reconsider their opinions.

Christianity the Guardian of Human Life. Sermon preached in the Church

of St. Nicholas, Deptford, on Trinity Monday, June 15th, 1840, before the Corporation of Trinity House. By Henry Melvill, B. D., Minister of Camden Chapel, Camberwell; and Chaplain to the Tower of London.

London : Rivington3. 1840. Pp. 24. It would be hardly fair to criticise, with any thing of minuteness or severity, a single sermon, preached on a particular occasion, where the author, instead of giving free scope to the bent of his own genius, is restricted and confined, both as to his topic and his mode of treating it, by the nature and the cause of the assembly which he addresses. It is enough, therefore, to say that the discourse before us bears evident marks of Mr. Melvill's eloquence, and, we must also add, of Mr. Melvill's mannerism. The subject is appropriate; and the preacher has suited his style to the occasion and the audience, by an exuberance of nautical metaphors. We could wish, that he had not indulged quite so much in his anapæstic alliterations, which make some of the sentences sound more like poetry than prose ;-as, for instance, when he closes the first paragraph with the words “ in firing the beucon and fixing the buoy.It appears to us, on the whole, that the composition, alth gh vivid and vigorous, is slight and superficial, and that, while much is strikingly graphic, much also, is in very questionable taste, strangely blending the literal and the figurative. Almost any other man might have been proud to have written it; but we cannot regard it as altogether a felicitous specimen of Mr. Melvill's oratory. The conclusion, which we extract, will, we think, bear out our opinion, both in its favourable and its unfavourable side.

Our exhortation, then, is, that ye prepare to "appear before the judgment seat of Christ,” lest, having reared the lighthouse, ye be yourselves dashed against the rocks; having furnished the pilot, ye be driven with no compass into eternity, that ocean unfathomable and without a shore. Terrible will be the hurricane, when, in the midst of dissolving elements, of falling worlds, the Son of man shall appear as judge of quick and dead. Then shall many a noble ship, freighted with reason, and talent, and glorious and beautiful things, be broken into shreds. Then shall many a bark founder, which has foated gracefully along, with every flag flowing as though life had been a holiday. And the only vessels, which shall ride out the storm, shall be those, which, having made the Bible their map, and Christ their light, steered boldly for a new world, in place of coasting the old.-P. 24.

« EdellinenJatka »