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NOTICES OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS.
GRAU ON THE SEMITIC AND INDO-GERMANIC RACES.
WE gave the title and a brief notice of this volume in our January Number, but have since received from an English clergyman, now residing in Germany, the following more extended comments upon it:
Some few years ago attention was called to a new and most important field of investigation- the psychology of nations- by a journal entitled "Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft," published still in Berlin, and edited by Dr. Steinthal. As there is a psychology of the individual man, so is there a psychology of nations, which manifests itself in their language, religion, arts, sciences, and political and social institutions. That different nations, and families of nations, have very different characters is an old enough observation; but it is new to make these diversities the subject of accurate philosophical inquiry. One plot of this great field a field as wide as the world and history—has been selected for investigation by Lic. Grau, with view to winning new defences of Christianity against some of its modern German and French assailants, to wit, the psychological relation between the Semitic nations, that is, the Syrians, Hebrews, and Arabs, on the one hand, and the IndoGermanic or Aryan nations, that is, the Greeks, Romans, Celts, Hindoos, Persians, Slavonians, and the Romanic and Germanic people, on the other. Now it is a remarkable fact, whatever explanation may be given of it, that the former have been the great representatives and teachers of monotheism, with its belief in miracles and direct revelations, while standing at a low level relatively to art, science, philosophy, commerce, and politics; whereas the latter, though distinguished in other respects, have ever evinced a tendency to polytheism and pantheism. A writer in the "Revue des deux Mondes," for Dec. 15, 1864, remarks: “La science a constaté que la tendance originelle des peuples âryens est le panthéisme, tandis que le monothéisme proprement dit est la doctrine constante des populations sémitiques. Toute l'Europe est à la fois âryenne et chrétienne, c'est à dire pantheiste à son origine et par ses dispositions naturelles, mais habituee par une religion venue des Sémites à admettre le dogme de la création." The believer in supernatural interference and revelations might answer, the fact is the result of the action of God; God's action was not conditioned by any natural tendency to monotheism in the Hebrew. The truth, however, lies perhaps in the middle. Apart even from direct divine interference, Semitic nations have evinced a natural capacity for, and
inclination to, monotheism, witness the Arabs, whereas no Indo-Germanic race has inclined thereto. Of late it has become not uncommon in Germany and France to characterize the Semitic nations, because of their lack of science and so forth, as an inferior race: to say, their utterance regarding God and miracles do not rest on objective realities, but on a subjective, Semitic mode of looking at things; we of the Indo-Germanic nations, therefore, must translate, as Bunsen used to express himself, Semitism into Japhetism; in other words, modern atheistic science is the highest truth, and the Jewish and Christian religions are the product of a lower state of culture.
Lic. Grau concedes the psychological differences from which these conclusions are drawn, but tries to turn the flank of his antagonists, by maintaining that the Semitics being as superior in religion as they are inferior in science, the two great families in question mutually complement instead of contradict each other; both are designed to interpenetrate and mould each other. This explanation coincides, undoubtedly, with the course of history since the rise of Christianity, and would seem therefore to be in the main correct. The work contains many interesting and valuable hints, and though not quite up to the mark in point of logical closeness, is thoroughly deserving of attentive perusal as a new contribution to the apologetics of Christianity.
THE ADVANTAGES TO BE DERIVED BY THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH FROM THE LATE DISCUSSIONS ON THE LIFE OF CHRIST.
At the last "Deutsch-evangelischer Kirchentag," held in Altenburg, Professor Beyschlag of Halle delivered a lecture on the subject: "Welchen Gewinn hat die evangelische Kirche aus den neuesten Verhandlungen über das Leben Jesu zu ziehen?" which has since been issued as a book, under the same title. Professor Beyschlag tries to show that the attacks made by Strauss, Renan, and Schenkel on the orthodox view of the person of Christ, are in part the fruit of the undue stress laid on the divine, to the exclusion of the human, element in his nature. The truth in these "Lives," and in the general tendency of German and French thought, is the attempt to get close to Christ, and bring him close to us; they are false, of course, in supposing that if human he cannot be divine, and if divine not human; but, says Professor Beyschlag, we must profit by the lesson here read us, and seek to set forth and comprehend Christ both in his humanity and divinity. To lay exclusive stress either on the one or the other aspect is fraught, as the history of the church abundantly proves, with unutterable danger.
The little book is beautifully and clearly written; as such we commend it to our readers, without, however, by any means indorsing the solution of the great Christological problem suggested by Professor Beyschlag, -a
VOL. XXII. No. 86.
solution which is giving rise to a good deal of criticism. One thought, which, if we understand aright, seems to underlie some of the Professor's reasonings, we must briefly refer to, though our space is limited: that in judging of the possibility of an union of God and man, we ought to start, not with the abnormal man of common history -man defaced and dwindled by sin; but with the normal man, or the man of the divine idea, realized in Christ himself. Inquiry commences ordinarily with man as he has become under the influence of sin, which is as perverse as it would be for one who only knows African Bushmen to say: man could never paint as did Raphael, sculpture as did Angelo, or compose as did Beethoven.
THE WRATH OF GOD.
Vom Zorne Gottes. Ein biblisch-theologischer Versuch von Dr. Ferdinand Weber. Mit Prolegomenen über den bisherigen Entwickelungsgang begriffe der Versöhunngslehre. Von Professor Franz Delitzsch Erlangen. — The main divisions of the above valuable work are the following: 1. The Prolegomena, which contain a brief summary of the history of the doctrine of the atonement, including a controversy recently carried on between von Hofmann of Erlangen and Drs. Philippi and Thomasius. 2. Of the nature of the divine wrath. 3. The history of the revelation of the divine wrath, in four stadia: a. The beginning of the revelation of the divine wrath, or wrath of God and Adam's sin; b. The revelation of the divine wrath in the time of patience, or God's anger and the day of the Lord; c. God's anger and the work of Christ, or Christ the turning-point in the revelation of the divine wrath; d. The complete revelation of the divine wrath, or the wrath of God and the final judgment. The author's method, it thus appears, is rather historical than doctrinal. The general spirit of the treatise will be best understood from the following extract: "The wrath of God is the manifestation in act, of the jealousy of his love. Only by viewing it in this light can we reconcile the two expressions, d Oeds ȧyárn ἐστίν and ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν πῦρ καταναλίσκον. Absolute love asserts its exclusive right to the creature, by becoming a consuming fire to the creature which repels it. Fire shows how serious a thing love is. Holiness is the repellent principle in wrath, love the attractive; for wrath includes both. The former removes the enemy, the latter refuses to let him go, till he rends himself completely away. Because God loves his creature, therefore does he keenly feel its apostasy; this his feeling is divine jealousy; because he is holy, he manifests his jealousy in act. In short, anger is not opposed to, but is an expression of, love." Schenkel, and with him Unitarians say: "a God who feels anger is a God who does not love." Dr. Weber answers: "God is angry because he loves." This is one of the most beautiful and pregnant ideas of the newer school of theologians in Germany; and with some modifications needs vitally incorporating into our
own theology. To prevent a mistaken estimate being formed of Dr. Weber's tendency, however, we will supplement the above summarized extract by the following words: "The goal of the divine wrath in its various revelations of itself is the triumph of love over sin, whether by the restoration of the enemy to fellowship, or by the eternal exclusion of the sinner who wilfully persists in his enmity to God."
SCHNECKENBURGER'S LECTURES ON THE NEW TESTAMENT TIMES.
Vorlesungen über neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte. Von Dr. Matthias Schneckenburger, late Professor of Theology in Bern. — The posthumous work whose title we have just given is not a New Testament history, but a history of what was contemporary with the rise of Christianity. It aims at giving a view of the framework into which Christiantity was set; of the soil of event, life, thought, into which it was planted, and to which it owed, of course, its temporal form. With great clearness, though with perhaps too little detail, Dr. Schneckenburger has delineated, 1. The political and social history of the Jews, and of the Romans so far as the latter were connected with the Jews; and 2. The general religious physiognomy of the age, the religious state of Jews, Romans, and Greeks.
Few studies are more deserving of the attention of theological students than that to which this work is devoted. For lack of some of the knowledge which would be thus acquired, our exegesis is often chargeable either with deadness or perversity, and we regard much as novel or strange for which contemporary events and thought supply remarkable points d'appui.
A work of similar tendency to this, in two volumes, with far fuller details, though on the whole less reliable and independent, was published by Professor Lutterbeck (Roman Catholic) of Giessen, under the title of "Neutestamentliche Lehrbegriffe oder Das Zeitalter der Religionswende, die Vorstufen des Christenthums und die ersten Gestaltungen desselben."
Both works are exceedingly valuable, especially now, when the enemies of the old faith have taken to the cuttle-fish trick of envoloping all things connected with its rise in haze and uncertainty.
BÜCHNER ON FORCE AND MATERIAL.
"Kraft und Stoff. Empirisch-naturphilosophische Studien. Von Dr. Louis Büchner. Leipzig: 1864. This is the eighth edition since 1855, of one of the shallowest and most supercilious books that the vanity of the modern physiological school has yet produced. Why notice it then? Partly because it has created a great deal of stir and mischief among the middle classes of Germany, and is about to appear in an English dress; partly because honestly thoughtful, though doubting, minds can be supplied with no better spiritual emetic than Dr. Büchner's watery "Kraft
und Stoff." It is the favorite text-book of such as seek to persuade the working people of Germany that the overthrow of Christianity, and of faith in God and immortality, will clear the way for the "good time that is coming." Dr. Büchner says, in his preface: "If materialists were the rulers of the world, we should no longer hear of famine typhus; houses of correction would no longer be the main wheel in the social machine; and we should no longer encounter, day after day, phenomena which reveal a bottomless abyss of misery and corruption yawning behind them." This is the new gospel; listen to the new prophet: "Annihilate God, sweep away the dirty cobwebs of the immortality and spirituality of man, and so forth, and crime will cease, the millenium will dawn. Natural science is the cure-all of our physiological Germans." We can apply to this book with perfect truth the saying—" What is new is not true, and what is true is not new." Most of the arguments against the spirituality of man, and what goes along therewith, are a wretched hash of stale professed and real facts, that used to be adduced by English deistic writers, and which have been refuted or satisfactorily explained times without number.
THE EARLY PAGAN AND JEWISH OPINIONS CONCERNING CHRIST AND CHRISTIANS.
Die Urtheile heidnischer und judischer Schriftsteller der vier ersten Jahrhunderte über Jesus und die ersten Christen. Von Richard von der Alm. Leipzig: 1864. This book is intended to supply an answer to the interesting question: What opinion was entertained by cultivated heathens and Jews regarding the beginnings of Christianity? It collects in a convenient form all that was said by the contemporaries of Christianity in condemnation of our Saviour and his disciples; that is, all that is now extant; for a large proportion of the works witten with this tendency was destroyed at a very early date. Richard von der Alm is the author also of Theologische Briefe au die deutsche Nation, which are a popular resumé of the objections which have been raised against the Old and New Testament by the critical school of German theologians. Like owls which, purblind by day, see clearly by night, Richard von der Alm and most of his school, stumble at every step among the evidences for Christianity, but tread confidently and freely the moment they enter the gloomy, tangled waste tenanted by its antagonists. With singular fatuity he finds the objections and arguments advanced by Celsus, Porphyrius, Julian, the Talmud, and even that miserable production (as Dr. Gost, the Jewish historian, candidly terms it), the Toldoth Jeschu, forcible and credible; while he has nothing but sneers for Christian witnesses, notwithstanding they sealed their testimony with their blood. Such a collection of opinions, however, will have an effect on unprejudiced minds directly contrary to that desired by its author; they will reason, if Christianity were such as these heathens