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demands every thing which is requisite to the existence and continued operation of such feelings of love, as will induce him who loves God and man perfectly, to keep the whole law. Deut. iv. 9. "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life." 1 Thess. v. 22. "Abstain from all appearance of evil." Matt. xii. 7. "If ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the innocent." Here right knowledge would have prevented a wrong action. Prov. iv. 23, 26. "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.-Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established."

"There are certain operations of man, which the constitution, given him by God, renders natural to him, and which, being neither required nor forbidden by any law of God, are in themselves neither morally good, nor morally evil; but they are nevertheless naturally good or naturally evil for mankind. For instance, God has neither forbidden nor required man to have certain perceptions of light through his eyes, and yet it is a pleasant thing to behold any beautiful, luminous object; but a protracted view of the sun is painful.

"To hear melodious sounds which reach our ears, to perceive fragrant odours from effluvia wafted to us from the flowers of the garden, and the new-mown hay, are naturally good mental operations; while to hear hoarse croaking discords, and to smell the scent of carrion, are naturally evil perceptions. None of these perceptions are the subjects of divine legislation. We may say the same of the sensations of cold and heat from the state of the atmosphere; of feeling hunger and thirst; of many conceptions of natural objects; of acts of consciousness; of our constitutional judgments; and of involuntary remembrance. All instinctive operations, and the performance of the involuntary animal functions of our nature come under the same law."-P. 165–167.

"Holy faith is any act of the judgment, that some proposition of God's testimony is true, which is exercised in consequence of our regard to the character of God, who delivers the testimony."-P. 173. That faith has for its object some proposition of God's testimony, and that it is an act of the judgment, is undoubtedly true: but in the nature of that faith which the scriptures require, there is something more than an act of the judgment; the heart is concerned, and yields its homage to the truth, by embracing offered mercy, and consenting to be saved by Jesus Christ. The term faith is, we apprehend, used in this latitude by the sacred writers. "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble:" James ii. 19. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on his name:" John i. 12. "For with the HEART man believeth unto righteousness." Rom. x. 10. "And Philip said," unto the eunuch who had requested baptism, "If thou believest with ALL THINE HEART, thou mayest:" Acts viii. 37. From these and other texts that might be cited, we may learn what ideas the sacred writers affix to the term faith. They manifestly use it as including an act of the heart, as well as an act of the judgment, or assent of the mind; and it is the duty of theologians to use it in the same latitude of meaning, without regarding the definitions of philologists or the affected precision

of speculating metaphysicians. The inspired use of any term is paramount authority. A better definition of faith in Christ cannot be given than that in the Shorter Catechism: "Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation, as he is offered in the gospel." In connexion with these remarks it is proper to inform the reader, lest he should misapprehend the views of our author, that he distinctly states that "we are brought to exercise this (holy) faith by the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit in governing our minds; and" that "the effects of it will always be such feelings, volitions, and conduct as correspond with the testimony believed."-P. 174.

"Every natural man," Dr. E. correctly observes, "ought sincerely to desire and ask for those influences of the Holy Ghost which will bring him to the exercise of acts of holy faith; and he may, while unrenewed, have many naturally, though no morally good motives, for willing to pray for such a blessing. Such prayers we have before shown, may be, and often are, answered by the God of all grace."-P. 174.

(To be continued.).

J. J. J.

A Dissertation on the Importance of Biblical Literature, by Charles Hodge, A. M. Teacher of the Original Languages of Scripture in the Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church at Princeton. Trenton, printed by George Sherman, 1822.-pp. 51. This dissertation was delivered before "a society formed in the Theological Seminary, at Princeton, for improvement in Biblical Literature." The author was induced to publish it at the suggestion of gentlemen to whose opinion he pays the highest deference. In giving this advice these gentlemen consulted the reputation of Mr. Hodge. How correctly they acted will appear to any one who reads the dissertation, and especially, if he recollect the youth of the author.

In this dissertation Mr. Hodge discusses the two branches of Biblical Literature, Criticism and Interpretation. In the first division, he sketches a history of Biblical criticism from the time of the celebrated ORIGEN, with whom it originated in the third century, down to the present day. In this brief history he notices JEROME, the astonishing industry of the MASORITES in taking care of the Hebrew text, MAIMONIDES and other Jews in the twelfth century, CAPELLUS, and WALTON, &c. down to GRIESBACK.

Having given this historical sketch, he shows, in reference, first to the OLD, and then to the NEW TESTAMENT, that this branch of literature comprehends a history of the sacred textan inquiry into the sources of the errors that have affected its purity-a consideration of the means of their correction-and VOL. II.-Presb. Mag.

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lastly, a knowledge of the application of those means for restoring to the text its original purity. To this branch of Biblical Literature belongs whatever relates to manuscripts and their classification, ancient versions and their authors, and the various quotations of scripture to be found in the writings of the Greek and Latin fathers.

Under the second branch of Biblical Literature, the INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE, Mr. H. shows that the interpreter ought to understand the original languages in which this book was written;-to "be acquainted with the character and history" of the inspired writers, and "the state of opinion in the age in which they lived;"-to be discriminating and cautious, humble and teachable, depending on divine instruction;-that he should become familiar with the general principles of language and understand the meaning of words;-that he should attend to the various circumstances that affect the signification of particular terms and phrases, and study the means by which the language of the New Testament is to be illustrated." In relation to one of these particulars, Mr. H. justly observes:

"Of all qualifications the most important, are piety, and a firm conviction of the divine origin of the Scriptures; without these we can never enter into the feelings and views of the sacred writers, nor have any proper impressions as to the design of the Bible, and therefore cannot be prepared to expound it.”

The author proceeds to state that it is necessary for an interpreter to investigate the meaning both of the literal and the figurative language used by the inspired writers, and to know the rules by which the different figures of speech employed by them are to be understood.

Besides what has now been mentioned under this branch of Biblical literature, as Mr. H. observes, are included the rules for interpreting the historical and doctrinal, and especially the typical and prophetical portions of Holy Scripture. And to this department belong, likewise, a knowledge of those systems of interpretation that have been applied to the whole Bible; such as the Cabalistic, the Allegorical, the Mystical, the Dogmatical, the Papal, and the Philosophical. "The history and claims of these several systems, and their respective influence on the church," says our author, " open to us as instructive a field of investigation, as any which ecclesiastical history affords."P. 29.

This general exhibition of the nature of this branch of Biblical Literature, he closes by stating that "the immediate study of the word of God," is the most important and interesting duty which it enjoins.

"With this we are to be occupied from the commencement, to the close of our course. The object of Biblical Literature, is to enable us to do this with the best advantage. Not contented with prescribing rules of Interpretation,

and furnishing the various means for the illustration of the Bible, it is a great part of her duty to oversee our actual application of them. It is therefore to the delightful employment of studying the Scriptures that she invites us."

And again:

"The importance of a course of study, whose object is to fix with certainty the Sacred Text, and exhibit the evidence that the Bible we now have, is the Bible which God delivered to his church; to assist us in discovering and exhibiting its meaning, by prescribing the principles by which it is to be explained, and bringing within our reach the various means of illustration; and, above all, which leads us so much to the immediate study of the Word itself:-the importance of such a course, is surely a subject on which diversity of opinion is impossible. It is my intention, therefore, in the remainder of this discourse, merely to make some remarks, intended to impress on our minds, the necessity of paying particular attention to this subject, the importance of which we must all admit."

Four considerations are submitted and illustrated by Mr. H. to produce the effect contemplated in the close of the preceding quotation."First, the difficulty of the subject ;-secondly, the great and prevalent ignorance of the Bible;-thirdly, that this course of study would result in our increased knowledge of the doctrines of the Bible and conviction of their truth;-and fourthly, the present state and future prospects of our country."

The reader will be gratified with the following passages, which we select from Mr. H.'s illustration of these considerations.

Speaking of the first:

"This difficulty, however, is slight, compared with that of explaining the Sacred Volume. The Scriptures are hard to be understood. This assertion is perfectly consistent with the cardinal doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture. As to their general import, they are perspicuous: it is easy to learn from them the path of duty and the way of life; but so to understand them as to enter fully into their meaning, and to be able "rightly to divide" them, is exceedingly difficult. This difficulty arises from many different sources; as from the antiquity of the Books; their being written in languages which have been dead for ages; being composed by individuals, and addressed to persons whose situation, habits, laws, &c. were so different from our own; containing frequent allusions to opinions and circumstances familiar to the writers and their immediate readers, of which we are ignorant. Besides, the nature of the subjects, and the manner in which they are treated, give peculiar difficulty to the interpretation of the Bible."-p. 32.

He says under the second:

"Without dwelling on this subject, it is sufficient to satisfy our minds of the extent of this evil as it regards ourselves, by asking how far we really understand the Bible? Do we understand the law of Moses? the system of government and religion it prescribed; the connexion between the two; its ceremo nial institutions and their typical character? Could we undertake to explain the book of Job, or the writings of Solomon? Which of the Prophets is it, with the origin, design, and fulfilment of whose predictions, we feel ourselves sufficiently acquainted? If we turn to the New Testament, will the case be in any great degree altered? Apart from those truths which blaze on every page, which every man knows, and by which we live, should we like to be called upon to explain any one solitary book, unfolding its design, tracing the relation of its parts, entering into the spirit of the author, understanding his peculia rities, and removing his difficulties? Let it not be supposed we mean to int>

mate such complete understanding of the whole Bible, to be within our reach; it is more than any man ever has accomplished, and is doubtless far beyond the compass of our powers. All that is intended, is to show that our ignorance of the Bible is much greater than we might at first imagine; and that a consciousness of it should rouse us to endeavour to gain all the knowledge of the Sacred Volume which well directed study, with the divine blessing, may secure.

"It may be proper here to remark that this ignorance of the Bible, results as much from our studying it improperly, as from not studying it sufficiently. We study the Bible too much in detached passages, as we find it quoted in different authors, or as it becomes necessary for the duties of the pulpit:—whereas we should study the entire Books, as continued discourses. We should learn the particular occasion of each; the immediate purpose it was intended to answer; and endeavour to enter into the spirit and design of the writer, following the course of his argument, marking the manner in which his exhortations arise out of his doctrines, and duty springs from truth. It is admitted that we here enter on a field which is boundless; but it is all important that we learn how to study the Scriptures."-p. 35.


"All that is expected of us here, is that we gain correct, and if possible enlarged views; that we adopt right principles, and learn how to apply them; and then go on to the end of life, when we shall find our feet are just entering on this ever widening field of truth and glory.”—p. 37.

Under the third particular, after admitting the importance of writings containing doctrinal discussions, supported by appropriate quotations of scripture, Mr. H. judiciously observes:

"In all doctrinal discussions, the testimony of scripture must be imperfectly adduced. From the nature of the case, it is only detached passages, or single assertions of the truth, that can be advanced. But when we turn to the scriptures themselves, and study the books in connexion, we find that these doctrines are not merely taught in single sentences, but by the whole discourse; that it is evidently the great object of the sacred writer, to exhibit and confirm them; that for this purpose he adduces arguments from different sources, presents his subject in different aspects, anticipates and answers objections, draws inferences and infers duties, which presuppose the doctrines. This is a testimony which cannot be quoted; yet it is one of the strongest kind. We feel that our faith does not rest on the interpretation of particular texts; that its foundation is broad as the Bible, and sure as God's testimony."-p. 38.

After noticing the influence of the clergy in society, and remarking that this influence depends on their knowledge, the author says, under his last consideration :

"If we wish, therefore, that society in some of its most important departments should be kept within the saving influence of the truth, and not resigned to the influence of cheerless infidelity, or the power of those who are fatally erroneous, we must keep pace with the country in its advances in knowledge. This is not only an argument for learning in the general, but also for attention to this particular department, because it embraces in its range many of the subjects which men of the world value, and the knowledge of which they respect. That a minister is a sound divine, they consider a mere professional attainment; but if he be a classical scholar, and acquainted with the ancient history of society and philosophy, the general principles of literature, and other subjects with which this department is more immediately connected, he is secure of their respect, and consequently better prepared to do them good."

Pursuing this argument, Mr. H., referring to that conflict which has commenced between the orthodox and the advocates

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