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Yet these qualifications, admirable as they were, would not alone have enabled Gesenius to maintain the ascendancy he had gained, or to direct the progress he had originated. So rapid was the advance of the study during his residence at Halle, that he would have been left far behind the movement he had commenced had he not been able, by comprehensiveness of mind, untiring efforts, and impartial examination, to maintain his position. "Unwearied personal investigation," said he, "and impartial examination of the researches of others; the grateful admission and adoption of every real advance and illustration of science; but also a manly foresight and caution, which does not with eager levity adopt every novelty thrown out in haste and from love of innovation: all these must go hand in hand wherever scientific truth is to be successfully promoted." Well did he prove that this language was sincere. He never refused to acknowledge the labors of others, however much and bitterly they opposed him. A comparison of his latest works with his first publications will go far to prove that, however valuable the suggestions he derived from others, the improvements he himself made on his earlier works were still more so. Indeed, the rapid progress of Hebrew study may be best learned from his own publications, and from the well known dissatisfaction with which he regarded his first efforts. He was the first, with any success, to point out the lexical connection between the Sanscrit and the Hebrew, and to lead the way to a more thorough investigation of Hebrew roots. His Grammar, revised by his pupil Roediger, still continues to be the favorite school Grammar in Germany; and his Lexicons, while they maintain their popularity, have, by their careful research and logical treatment, been the models by which Passow and Freund have illustrated the languages of Greece and Rome.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
How great is the difference, for instance, between the first fasciculus of his "Thesaurus" and the last! What an advance he had made within thirteen years!
One of the most important and responsible duties of an editor, is, as far as his opportunities will allow, to present to his readers, in advance, some idea of the most recent issues of the press; to indicate their character, and to guide in their selection. We have it in our power; fortunately, to accomplish this object to a considerable extent, by the patronage which we receive from several of the principal publishers in the United States. We invite particular attention to the subjoined list of works, many of which are exceedingly valuable. Our space will admit of only a few descriptive remarks.
Lectures on Ancient History, from the earliest times to the taking of Alexandria by Octavianus. Comprising the history of the Asiatic nations, the Egyptians, Greeks, Macedonians and Carthagenians. By B. G. NIEBUHR. Translated from the German edition of Dr. Marcus Niebuhr, by Dr. Leonard Schmitz, F. R. S. E., rector of the High School of Edinburgh. Three volumes. Philadelphia: Blanchard & Lea. 1852. The reputation of Niebuhr, as the traveller and the historian, especially, of Rome, is sufficient, of itself, to recommend any authentic productions of his pen. No one has more successfully labored in giving to history its proper basis; in distinguishing between myths and facts, and tracing events to their earliest ascertainable sources. The lectures on ancient Rome, having been long before the world, are omitted in the enumeration above. Those contained in these volumes, present the whole of ancient history, with the foregoing exception, down to the time when those countries were absorbed by the Roman empire. They were delivered in the University of Bonn, in 1829 and '30, and retain the freedom and freshness of this mode of instruction. We insert an expressive passage from the preface of Dr. Schmitz.
"The extraordinary familiarity of Niebuhr with the literatures of all nations; his profound knowledge of all political and human affairs, derived not only from books, but from practical life, and his brilliant powers of combination, present to us, in these lectures, as in those on Roman history, such an abundance of new ideas, startling conceptions and opinions, as are rarely to be met with in any other work." There is no source from which we can obtain so complete and accurate a knowledge of ancient history as from these volumes, together with that on Rome. We feel a hearty satisfaction in the possession of such materials.
Outlines of Astronomy. By Sir John F. W. Herschel, Bart. K. H. A new edition, with numerous plates and wood-cuts. Philadelphia: Blanchard & Lea. 1852.
The Cabinet Cyclopædia of 1833, contains the basis of the present work. That volume is well known in this country. It has been successively enlarged and improved, and, in this edition, presents all the latest achievements of the sublimest of the natural sciences. No living astronomer possesses greater endowments, or is more competent to bring down to the common mind the grandeur of the celestial sphere. We cannot too much admire his method; its elegant simplicity and perspicuity; its perfect adaptation to the progress of correct conception, from the removal of the very first error, to the highest acquaintance with the subject attainable without a knowledge of the severer mathematics. The chapter "of the planetary perturbations," is materially different from that in former editions. Let all those who desire a general knowledge of astronomy, on which they can rely, read and study these “Outlines."
Hand-Books of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy. By Dyonisius Lardner, D. C. L., formerly professor of natural philosophy and astronomy, in University College, London. Second course; Heat, Magnetism, Common Electricity, Voltaic Electricity. Illustrated by upwards of 200 engravings in wood. Philadelphia: Blanchard & Lea. 1853.
The publishers of this, and similar works, are doing a vast service to the country. There is no firm whose educational issues are of such sterling value, whether in literature or science; and they will meet with their reward. The "first course" of natural philosophy has been already noticed by us. The "second" merits equal praise. Dr. Lardner's professional abilities are well known in our colleges and academies; and it is a great felicity to have, from such a source, complete scientific manuals. These hand-books are prepared with a direct view to the wants of those who wish to obtain a knowledge of physical science, without minute mathematical details. While this does not impair the work for the scholar, it brings it within the reach of the less favored, but more aspiring classes of the community; a more benevolent exercise of elevated talent cannot be imagined. The topics discussed and illustrated in this volume, are of extreme interest in natural philosophy, and especially at the present time, when these forces are brought into incessant practical operation.
Memoirs of the Queens of Henry VIII., and of his mother, Elizabeth of York. By Agnes Strickland. Complete in one volume. Philadelphia. Blanchard & Lea. 1853.
The period, embraced in these sketches, extends from 1466 to 1548, about 300 years ago; the transition period between the Middle Ages and modern times; a period full of storm and tragedy; a period which, as it impressed its good, impressed also its evil influences upon coming ages. No monarch combined more adverse qualities than Henry VIII; none was ever more pas
sionate or capricious. He married and divorced his wives with astonishing and revolting rapidity. He had six, and divorced three. The characters of these, together with that of the mother of the king, are here portrayed by the strong and powerful hand which has delineated the Queens of Scotland and of England. Miss Strickland does not conceal the faults of her characters to produce a pleasing picture, but seeks to render historic truth triumphant. The personages whom she thus depicts, are Elizabeth of York; Katharine of Aragon; Anne Boleyn; Jane Seymore; Ann of Cleves; Katharine Howard, and Katharine Parr. The sayings, doings and sufferings of these royal ladies are presented with great force and eloquence, and cannot fail to awaken the deepest emotions in the reader.
Cornelii Nepotis liber de excellentibus ducibus exterarum gentium cum vitis Catonis et Attici. Philadelphia: Blanchard & Lea. 1853.
This is a continuation of the admirable series of classical books now issuing from the press of Blanchard & Lea. Whether as a book for the school or the study, it is replete with attraction, for its skillful delineation of character, and needed a careful and thorough examination of the text. This has been faithfully executed in this edition; to which are appended those judicious philological and historical notes for which these publications are so remarkable. The editors, Schmitz and Zumpt, are eminent scholars and critics, and are conferring invaluable favors upon our classical litera
The complete works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. With an introductory esssay upon his philosophical and theological opinions. Edited by Professor Shedd. In seven volumes. Vols. 1-4. New York: Harper & Brothers.
It is a little remarkable, that until the present time, we have not had a complete collection of the works of this wonderful man; one whose genius and character have excited, in literary circles, more attention than those of any other during the same period. In whatever light viewed, he was extraordinary. He was a philosopher, a theologian and a poet; and in each of these spheres, whatever of error he displayed, he evinced the magnificence and versatility of his almost unequalled powers; and those who most promptly discard the one, cannot fail to admire the imperial wealth and grandeur of the other. In philosophy, he was transcendental. In theology, it is really difficult to say what he was, from the successive changes which his system underwent, from Socinianism, through Pantheism, to an average soundness in Christianity. He appears even to have possessed great spiritual fervor. In poetry he is a little below the highest order, being too exclusively intellectual. Many of his tracts are of inestimable value for their nice and accurate discriminations, their noble speculations, their substantial information and their classic eloquence. His style, however, is occasionally obscure, the result no doubt of his mystic philosophy. We cannot venture farther, as to the authorship of these volumes. We
cannot, however, withhold our gratitude either to to the editor or publishers for this beautiful addition to our intellectual resources. Every scholar will feel himself bound to furnish his library with it. The style of the whole mechanical execution is exceedingly tasteful. The remaining volumes will soon be added to those which we have noticed, and we shall pos sess his works" entire and unabridged."
Pastoral Theology; or, the theory of the evangelical ministry. By A. Vinet. Translated and edited by Thomas H. Skinner, D. D. With notes, and an additional chapter, by the translator. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1853.
We do not hesitate to say, that, altogether, no work has issued from the American press, for many years, of such intrinsic value to the Christian pastor. We do most cordially endorse the commendations which it has already received. It contains, indeed, the true "theory of the evangelical ministry." The conception of the pious author, is eminently pure and lofty. Vinet was a professor of theology in Lausanne, Switzerland, and a powerful preacher, of rare and rich accomplishments. The book is the combined result of study and experience founded upon the inspired word, and the practice of apostolic times. It cannot fail, with properly disposed minds, to elevate the standard of pastoral excellence. It presents the rela tion in all its aspects and in due proportion, inspired with the breath of a true gospel life. It is translated by one of our most erudite clergymen, and contains a chapter from him, on a subject which, he supposed, required a more explicit statement. We give some indication of the topics discussed. After an introduction on some seven related points, such as the definition, necessity, institution, order, excellence, difficulties, advantages and call to the ministry; "part the first" is occupied with the " individual and internal life" of the ministry; in which we have a vivid delineation of this great arterial principle; this hallowing, consecrating element. Part second" defines his "relative or social life;" first, amongst the people: and then, in the domestic circle. "Part third" treats of the "pastoral life" in several sections; on worship, preaching, cetechising, care of souls, in general and individual cases. 'Part fourth" concludes the book with a view of "administrative or official life." The plan is exceedingly comprehensive. The details must be read to be appreciated. Being adapted to a settled ministry, a few facts would not interest an itinerant minister, but as a whole, it equally concerns all, and we heartily wish that its circulation may be co-extensive with its merits.
Interviews: memorable and useful. By Samuel Hanson Cox, D. D., Pastor of the first Presbyterian church, Brooklyn, New York. Harper & Brothers.
There is much that is very striking and instructive in these pages. Dr. Cox has some peculiar truths. He is bold, free, fluent, brilliant, verbose, with a manifest tinge of egotism. His views are generally sound and cath