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troduction to the various New Testament books. The treatment is necessarily brief, but is not meager. The various critical opin ions held by scholars upon important disputed points are quite fully stated. The effort has been to put the reader in possession of the problems rather than of the author's opinions upon them. The book is primarily intended as a guide for professional students and others who may be presumed to be able to weigh evidence and make a study of the questions involved on their own account. Of course it is not so elaborate as the works of Weiss and Bleek, but it is much better adapted than either of these for class-room use, both by reason of its brevity and by reason of its dispassionate presentation of all sides.
The author has placed before his readers the data on which judgment is to be based, but has kept his own judgment in the background of his discussions. We do not learn his views of the relation of the Logia to the first gospel, nor his opinion of the authorship of James and the Hebrews. Yet we have the data on which every opinion must be based.
We consider the book-within its limitations--an excellent and serviceable one. It fills a place not exactly occupied before, and may be commended as a guide to those critical and literary questions which meet the student of New Testament literature.
The book is not free from inaccuracies, for example (p. 182): “Paul uses the Hebrew, not the Greek Bible.” On the contrary, Paul's citations are almost uniformly from the Septuagint.
GEORGE B. STEVENS.
ABBOTT ON ROMANS.*_This volume is the product of prolonged and careful study and, therefore, of firm conviction on the author's part concerning the character and bearing of Paul's teaching. Its appearance has been long delayed in order that the views which it embodies might be well matured. Dr. Abbott starts from the assumption that Paul was “an evangelist rather than a philosopher, a poet rather than a scholastic” (p.5). He believes that “scholastic theology has been imputed to Paul's writings, not deduced from them,” and that Paul is “ essentially a Christian mystic” (p. 5). The author considers the disputes over the Pauline conception of "righteousness” and “justification” largely a war of words and in general he dissents from
* The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, with notes, comments, maps, and illustrations. By Rev. LYMAN ABBOTT. A.S. Barnes & Co., New York and Chicago, 1888. pp. 230.
the views of the “forensic interpreters." He endeavors to penetrate to the substance of spiritual truth which underlies the apostle's conceptions and arguments, an attempt most praiseworthy in our judgment, but often leading him to disregard the form of Paul's thoughts. We like the theology of this commentary better than its exegesis. It is well to point out the vital and spiritual contents of Paul's thought-forms, but it is not well to explain away those forms or to make them identical with our own. For practical purposes the essential content is the main interest, but for critical and historical interpretation, it is needful to follow the very lines of the apostle's own thinking, and, for the time, to run our thought into his moulds. think Dr. Abbott has too frequently run Paul's thought into his own moulds. The work is one of much vigor and vivacity. It is an excellent and useful book, but it takes too little account of the peculiarities of the apostle's thought to be always reliable for critical study. Paul was certainly a mystic, but not a nineteenth century mystic. His mysticism was determined in its peculiarities by both his Jewish training and his own qualities of mind. His modes of reasoning were largely “ forensic," and the “forensic interpreters” so far have an advantage in interpreting his forms of thought, though they have always been in danger of identifying the forms with the substance and of building their systems as much upon the former as upon the latter.
The volume is nearly equally divided between expository remarks and essays or excursus on topics related to the course of thought in the epistle or bearing more generally upon the apostle's doctrine. The strictures which we should pass upon the work are no disparagement of its deep spiritual earnestness and practical helpfulness.
GEORGE B. STEVENS.
STEARNS' INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD TESTAMENT* is a brief handbook designed as a guide for the students of the English Old Testament. The general character of each book is succinctly described, its contents analyzed, and the literary and historical problems connected with it indicated. Copious references are given to literature bearing upon the various books as well as to discussions of special topics connected with them.
* Introduction to the Books of the Old Testament. By O. S. STEARNS, D.D., Professor in Newton Theological Institution. Silver, Burdett & Co., Boston. pp. 148
Great difficulties beset the preparation of a really useful volume of this kind. There are so many problems connected with the subjects treated that to omit them and try to state only what is certain often reduces the author's affirmations to a few meagre generalities. The shortest section is that noted as $5, under the article on Canticles. It reads: "Difficulties - many and unsolvable.”
Within the limits which the author set for himself he has certainly provided the student who seeks a general familiarity with Old Testament literature with much useful information and still further, has pointed out to him the sources from which he may obtain an immense amount of discussion and argument, if not always, information.
GEORGE B. STEVENS.
DR. BRADFORD'S SPIRIT AND LIFE.*- The best modern preaching deals with spiritual wants and vital truths. Judged by this test the sermons before us are worthy to be classed among the best sermons of the day. The author is already well known to the churches, and is respected and beloved for the catholicity of his spirit, for his Christian benevolence and enterprise, and for the sincerity, earnestness, and manliness of his preaching. The volume before us discloses the heart of a Christian pastor and lets us into the secret of the hold he has upon his people and the influence he exerts beyond the borders of his parish. The sermons are fresh, concrete, earnest, practical. They are constructed according to no conventional standard, but utter themselves daturally and freely and simply. The author had something which was important to himself, and which he regarded as important to say, and he has said it with a tone of reality and a straightforwardness which are very attractive.
are not elaborate, but suggestive. They deal not with arguments but with experience. They are not and do not profess to be profound, but they are helpful. Their range is not great but their insight is good. In rhetorical quality they are sometimes homely but they are vigorous and here and there are passages of genuine eloquence.
L. O. BRASTOW. * Spirit and Life. Thoughts for to-day. By A MORY H. BRADFORD, D.D., First Congregational Church, Montclair, N. J. New York : Fords, Howard & Hul. bert. 1888.
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