Page images

ment was added in 1624. The defects and errors of this works are, in some instances, so gross, that it would seem utterly improbable that they proceeded from Henry Stephens bimself. The kind and number of them are assigned by Schmidt as the reasons for bis undertaking a revision of the work, and publishing his own improved edition. It was first published in 1638, and afterwards in an edition by Cypriani, 1717, who furnished a preface to it of more value as manifesting the Editor's piety, than as conferring any additional benefit upon the work itself.

Schmidt's “ Greek Concordance" has ever been beld in the highest estimation for its correctness and completeness. To some persons, it may perhaps appear as a blameable omission, that the definitions of words are not retained; but this deviation from Stephens's plan is evidently an improvement. A Lexicon is the proper place for the explanation of words : the unincumbered exhibition of them is the object of a Concordance. The method observed by Schmidt in distinguishing the several vocabules with their examples, by a line drawn across the column, is better than Stephens's mode of denoting them by a mark, and preserves the page from the confused appearance occasioned by this manner of distinction in the work of the latter.

The present reprint of Schmidt's Concordance, is from the press of Messrs. Duncan of Glasgow, and is very neatly executed. The division of it into two volumes, should have been avoided, as all works of reference are most commodious in an undivided forın ; this, however, is scarcely to be objected to the present edition, as both volumes may be bound up together without the book's assuming an unsightly appearance. The principal recommendation of a work of this kind is, its accuracy. We cannot be supposed to have verified all the reference of a Concordance. We have, however, taken some pains to form a judgement of this particular, by examining different pages of the volumes :—some few errors we have detected, but the work would seem to be on the whole laudably correct. In its present form, it is the neatest and most convenient of all the Greek Concordances to the New Testament.

Art. IX. An Arabic Vocabulary and Index for Richardson's Arabic

Grammar: in which the Words are explained according to the Parts of Speech and the Derivatives are traced to their Originals, in the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac languages. With Tables of Oriental Alphabets, Prints, and Affixes. By James Noble. 4to.

pp. 135. Price 10s. 6d. London, THE HE utility of a work of this description to the young stu

dent of Arabic, is sufficiently obvious. The grammar to which it is designed to be a companion, will be more advanta

geously studied with the assistance furnished by this collection of explained vocabules. Etymology is an important auxiliary to the linguist ; but the study and application of it are liable to much abuse, and require, therefore, the exercise of the soundest skill in directing the acquisitions which are gathered in the fields of learning. This caution, it is of some consequence to give in reference to Mr. Noble's Introduction, wbich is designed to recommend the study of Etymology, and to supply examples of its use in tracing the Oriental dialects to a common origin.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Art. X. Three Enigmas attempted to be explained. By John Frank

Newton, Esq. 8vo. pp. 184. Price 6s. London. 1821. MR:

R. NEWTON'S.“ Three Enigmas" are, The Import of

the Twelve Signs; The Cause of Ovid's Banishment; and, The Eleusinian Secret. The Twelve Signs, he considers as allegorically representing, in the first division which he makes of them, the meeting of the two primordial principles, light and chaos; in the second, the origin of the Universe ; in the third, the ascendancy of evil; in the fourth, the revival of the hopes of mankind. This allegory of the Signs, the Author conceives to have been the secret of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The proposed solution of the second Enigma, is, “That Ovid was • banished for publishing, unintentionally, and without the

slightest suspicion of his error, a portion of the Eleusinian se'cret; having neglected, through timidity, to initiate at the • Mysteries. And, finally, the great and important truth declared in the Twelve Signs, is, that virtue and happiness will accompany those who obey the decrees of Nature. The alle

gory,' says Mr. Newton, implies that man's proper food is

bread and fruit.' No truth, it must be confessed, can be more important than the secret of making mankind virtuous, happy, • and beautiful.' These are the very xanes and arada of philosophy, the desirable objects of all discreet speculation and laudable desire, and for the discovery of the means of attaining them, the world must contract a large debt of gratitude to the revealer of the Eleusinian secret. If ever the vegetable regimen should be extensively adopted for a long series of years, the happiest effects, we are assured, would follow :-not only would the buman race be virtuous, and fair, and happy, but, besides these great blessings, death would be disarmed of bis terrors; for, if the due order of things were restored, men would sink without pain to their graves.

• In fact,' says our Author, no rational plan, no just estimate of human life, can possibly be formed under the present mixed or carnivorous regimen. For, until it be known of what spontaneous cheerfulşess, of what natural festivity of temper man has been deprived by

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

a diet discordant from his anatomy, it cannot be guessed how many of our sorrows are factitious, how many inevitable.”

Now that we have obtained the long lost knowledge of the Eleusinian doctrine, we should be glad to receive a faithful biography of the initiated in illustration of its influence.

Art. XI. Hints humbly submitted to commentators, and more es

pecially to such as have written elaborate Dissertations on the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Revelation of St. John. By William

Witherby. 8vo. pp. 54. Price Is. 6d. London. 1821. ON perusing the title of this pamphlet, we were prepared to

congratulate the Author on the felicity of his choice in selecting the Writers of elaborate Dissertations on the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation of St. John, as the proper subjects of his admonitory counsels. For no class of writers are hints more necessary. It is scarcely possible, we think, for any sober person to recollect the various publications which have been circulated during the last twenty or thirty years, professedly in illustration of the prophecies of Scripture, without feeling strongly, that the dignity of Revelation was compromised in the numerous instances in which the contents of the sacred volume were made to subserve the prejudices and interests of party politicians, and to furnish incitements to war. The Dissertators themselves might perhaps now learn some salutary lessons from a serious and careful review of their owo productions ; and might be profitably employed in receiving the hints of some of their readers.

Mr. Witherby, however, does not assume so bigh an office as that of the corrector of the follies and errors to which we have referred. His “ Hints" are of another kind, and are intended to caution Expositors against adopting the common method of interpreting the notes of prophetical time by reckoning 'a day ' a year.' We have, he contends, no ground in Scripture for the distinction of prophetical days and propbetical years. The written text, be maintains, ought to be literally interpreted. The witnesses, for example, Rev. xi. 3, are described as two only, and are, therefore, not otherwise to be considered. The time of their testimony is forty-two months, during which they will perform those signs and wonders which are predicted of them. The pamphlet scarcely proceeds beyond the bare statement of the Author's priociple, and the enumeration of biblical passages adduced in its support. We entirely concur witb bim in the high estimate which he has formed of Archdeacon Woodhouse's work on the Apocalypse,-a work which is worthy of most honourable mention, and to which, perbaps, among all the volumes wbich bave been written on the Apocalypse, a competent judge would award the right of precedence.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"Art. XII. 1. Horæ Britannicæ ; or Studies in Ancient British History.

By John Hughes. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1818, 19. 2. The Welsh Nonconformist's Memorial ; or Cambro-British Biogra

phy. By the late Rev. William Richards, LL.D. 12mo. London. 1820.

[Concluded from Page 336.] WE are not aware that any consequence of the least impor

tance is connected with the adjustment of the question, whether the British Islands were ever visited by St. Paul. As to the point of honour between the Church of England and the Church of Rome, we are quite willing to concede to the latter,

in any case, an undoubted claim to remoter antiquity; that is 21

to say, we admit that there was a Christian church at Rome before there was one at either Caerleon, Glastonbury, or London. Whether St. Peter ever visited Rome, we cannot tell : we are quite sure that St. Paul did; but, after all that the learning of Bishops Stillingfleet and Burgess bas been able to bring in support of the hypothesis, we feel by no means assured that the Apostle of the Gentiles was ever eitber in England or in Wales. And what if he had been? Of any church which he might have founded in this Island, not a trace, assuredly, is left. Of either the circumstances or the results of such a visit, we have not an historical vestige; for, in the sixth century, no British ecclesiastical rec ds were in exist nce. It is all but certain, indeed, that the Gospel was conveyed to Britain in the Apostolic age, by the family of Caractacus; but the knowledge of Christianity appears to have been for a long time almost entirely confined to Siluria and the adjacent districts ; and even there, it made but little progress, owing, as it should seem, to the want of Christian teachers, and the powerful influence of the Druids. The Welsh Triads, the only historical documents which throw light upon the fact, state, that Brân (Brennus) the blessed, the son of Llyr the Stammerer, was the person who first introduced the Christian religion among the nation of the Cymry, from Rome, where he had been detained for seven years as a hostage for his son Caradoc (Caractacus). He is said to have been accompanied on bis return to this country, by Ilid and Cypvan, who are termed Israelites, and Arwystli, (conjectured to be Aristobulus,) 'a man of Italy. In the middle of the second century, Lucius, or Lleurwg, (called also Lleuser maror or the Great Light,) King of the Silures, and greatgreat-grandson of Brennus, wrote to the bishop of Rome, requesting, according to Bede, to be admitted into the Christian Church, and soliciting, as it appears from other authorities, the assistance of religious instructors. His request was readily granted, and two missionaries from Rome, named Dwyvan and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Fagan (Duvianus and Faganus), returned with the British envoys Elvan and Medwy to Britain; by whose holy labours, if we may believe the monkish chronicles, idolatry was abolished throughout Britain, and eight and twenty dioceses formed in a trice. Mr. Lingard's version of the story, ' after deducting froin the į account of Nennius and his brethren every improbable circum• stance,' is as follows: • That Lucius was a believer in the GosI pel ; that he sent to Rome Fagan and Dervan, to be more per

fectly instructed in the Christian faith; that these envoys were « ordained by the pope, Evaristus or Eleutherius, and at their re« turn, under the influence of their patron, increased the pumber of

the proselytes by their preaching, and established the British, afo ter the model of the continental churches. But, independently o of their authority,' he adds,' we have undoubted proof that - the believers were numerous, and that a regular hierarchy « had been instituted before the close of the third century. For • by contemporary writers the church of Britain is always put o on an equality with the churches of Spain and Gaul, and in 6 one of the most early of the western councils, that of Arles • in 314, we meet with the names of three British bishops, of · Eboriús of York for the province of Maxima, of Restitutus

of London for that of Flavia, and of Adelphius of Richborough • for that of Britannia Prima.'*

This legend reads very smoothly. But how came King Lucius to have it in his power to divide the whole Island into dioceses, by the help of Fagan and Dervan, when it is quite certain that be had as little authority in London and York as he had in Gaul or Spaio ? There could have been at this period not even a petty provincial sovereign who was not a vassal of the Romans ; and King Lucius was no more than this. Mr. Hughes says:

. Archbishop Usher has found in an old Saxon Chronicle, a narration respecting this affair, which makes Lucius king of the BritWalli or the Britons of Wales, which is a more probable account of him than that which makes him King of Britain: for there never was in ancient times any one monarch of Britain, excepting that the various princes occasionally elected some popular leader to be their supreme ruler and generalissimo upon extraordinary emergencies. He was in fact a Silurian prince, upon good terms with the Ronians, and beloved by his people. He is styled in the Triads, one of the three blessed princes, (the other two being Brân and Cadwallader,) on account of his being the founder of the first church, or place of Christian wore ship, which he erected at Llandaff; and he publicly acknowledged and afforded legal protection to all who prosessed the Christian faith. His territory extended not beyond the present county of Monmouth

* Hist. of England. Vol. 1. p. 49.

« PreviousContinue »