« PreviousContinue »
FROM JULY TO DECEMBER, 1807, INCLUSIVE.
Φιλοσοφιαν δε ου την Στωικην λεγω, ουδε την Πλατωνικην, και την Επικουρειον τε και Αριστοτελικην· αλλ' όσα ειρηται παρ έκαστη των αιρεσεων τουτων καλως δικαιοσυνην μετα ευσεβους επιστημης εκδιδασκούλα, τουτο συμπαν το ΕΚΛΕΚΤΙΚΟΝ φιλοσοφιαν φημι.
CLEM. ALEX. Strom. Lib. i.
Printed for LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORME, PATERNOSTER-ROW.
WITH sincere pleasure and gratitude, the Conductors of the ÉCLECTIC Review look back on the annual period of their labours now brought to a conclusion. Unless their endeavours have been singularly unsuccessful, and the testimony of their friends is more flattering than correct, they have not forfeited that pledge for the progressive improvement of the Publication, which they gave to their readers at the commencement of the year. With a resolute but candid avowal of evangelical sentiment, they have been so fortunate as to unite an exercise of literary talent, which intitles them to equality, and on some occasions a pre-eminence, in comparison with any similar production.
The very numerous assurances of approbation, of increasing support, and of deep concern for its prosperity, received from persons of high religious and literary eminence, are satisfactory proofs, not only of the merit, but of the efficacy, of their undertaking. To arouse the Christian world to a perception of the important influence which literature possesses, in obstructing, or accelerating, the progress of religious truth and human happiness, was the primary object, and to a very encouraging degree has been the result, of their disinterested efforts. It is, happily, no longer necessary to urge, that the customary employment of "such an engine against the interests of Religion and Morality,
is the clearest of all arguments for adopting it in their de fence.
The success of the Review is the more gratifying to the Conductors, as it has been obtained, not only by the fairest means, but in spite of no little opposition. They have had equally to contend against the apathy of unenlightened. piety, and the enmity of unsanctified learning,--against the ignorance which could not understand, and the intelligence which could not endure, the meaning and the purposes of their work. Their catholic and independent principles have been resisted by the prejudices of illiberal partizans, and their conscientious discharge of official obligations has excited the splenetic and insidious hostility of disappointed authors. From the influence of persons who cannot suppress one private wish, or sacrifice one personal feeling, for the attainment of an object of vast and comprehensive utility, the Conductors of this Publication appeal to the protection of the pious and enlightened, to whose favourite and sacred interests all their efforts are de. voted.
- While they perfectly rely on the continuance of that fa. vour which they have aimed so earnestly to merit, and acknowledge with so much pleasure to have received, they renew the assurances of their anxious wish to preserve the work from every imperfection, that has at any time been discoverable in its execution ; at the same time, they solicit from every reader, with the most respectful urgency, that individual support, and that zealous patronage and recommendation, which only can augment the diffusion and utility of their work to the extent of their benevolent ambition.
For JULY, 1807.
Art. I. A new Literal Translation from the Original Greek, of all the
Apostolical Epistles. With a Commentary and Notes, philological, critical, explanatory, and practical. To which is added a History of the life of the Apostle Paul. By James Macknight, D. D. Author of a Harmony of the Gospels, &c.' Second Edition, 6 Vols. 8vo. pp. 3040. Price 31. 13s. 6d. Longman and Co. London. Creech and Co. Edinburgh. 1806. A MONG the various employments of literary talent, few
are more valuable or more difficult than that of a commentator on Scripture. The truth or error of his interpretations may be of inestimable import to the happiness of multitudes. The influence of his opinions will extend far beyond the pages of his book , and on them it may frequently depend, in a measure, whether the careless shall be composed or alarmed, the profligate hardened or reclaimed, the sceptical fixed in delusion or converted to the truth. The difficulties and obscurities of the sacred writings, if he cannot rationally explain them, may become a weapon in the hands of the scorner, a cause of stumbling and offence to the devout, and a pretext for the follies and extravagancies of the fanatic. For the just execution of such an important task, integrity, learning, and judgement, in the commentator, are indispensable.' He has to attempt the explanation of ancient writings, composed in languages which have ceased long since to be vernacular, referring frequently to facts, and customs, of which modern inquirers can attain but an imperfect knowledge, and involving debated questions, some of which have been perpetually agitated with more animosity than success. To give a judicious explanation of the epistolary parts of the New Testament, is perhaps peculiarly arduous. In addition to those difficulties which are cominon to the other parts of . that volume, the Epistles, and more especially St. Paul's, are often obscure, from the free and irregular nature of their composition. They also occasionally refer to the existing state of the