Imágenes de páginas
PDF

LITERARY RECORD.

New Publications.

1. Bagster's Comprehensive Bible, with large and clear Type, being the only edition of the Holy Scriptures, which contains in One Volume, the Authorised Version, with the essentials required for pulpit, or study, or family use ; having copious Prefaces and Indexes, and more than 4,000 Explanatory Notes, and above 500,000 Parallel Passages. It is our intention to review and give an account of this valuable work in our next number. 2. Old English Sayings newly expounded, in Prose and Verse. By Jefferys Taylor, Author of Parlour Conversations, &c. 12mo, Price 4s. 3. The City of Refuge. By Thomas Quin, Esq., Second edition, with corrections. 12mo, Price 4s. 4. The Fortunate Employ; or, the Five Acres ploughed. A tale of real life. 18mo. boards. Price 2s. 6d. We had intended noticing this little work among the “Juvenile Publications” below, but have been so much interested by the perusal, that we cannot help giving it a distinct place in our columns. The tale is skilfully told—the interest is well kept up — the style is always correct, often elegant—and the tendency is decidedly good, combining the entertaining and the useful. 5. Juvenile Publications : viz. (1.) Sabbaths at Home. A present for sick Sunday Scholars. Price 6d. Very passable. (2.) A Present from my Teacher. Price 1s. Neatly printed, with a beautiful engraving. It contains three interesting tales, suitable for Sunday Scholars. (3.) Alexander Himkof; or the Russian Mariner. Price is. 6d. This is very likely to be a popular book among our young friends. The narrative is highly ''. and “ is sounded upon the authenticate adventures of four Sailors, who sailed from Mesen, in 1743, and returned to Archangel in 1749,” having been shipwrecked on a desert island, where they had resided in the interval. (4.) Affection's Memorial; or the Tomb embalmed. A brief Memoir of Jemima Thurgood Higgs, youngest daughter of the Rev. James Higgs, of Cheshunt. Price 6d. The family and connections of the deceased will be gratified by the perusal of this tract. For ourselves, we are stern critics, and should point out some blemishes – perhaps say something on the importance of sin

|plicity, and recommend a revision of the lass paragraph : but the author is a bereaved

parent — and we therefore refrain. 6. The Youth's Biblical and Theological Companion, in which the principal Terms of tho Sacred Scriptures are explained, the great doctrines of Holy Writ are unfolded— difficult passages of the Inspired Volume elucidated—and its apparent contradictions reconciled. By the Rev. Thomas Wood. R. Baynes. pp. 504. Price 7 s. 6d.

In the Press, &c.

Preparing for publication, A Reply to the Accusations of Piracy and Plagiarism exhibited against the Author, in the January Number of the Christian Remembrancer, in a Review of Horne and Carpenter's Introductions to the Study of the Holy Scriptures.” This pamphlet will contain some curious information on the art and mystery of book-making, as exemplified in the Rev. T. H. Horne's Critical Introduction to the Study of the Scriptures. By William Carpenter. The author regrets that it should be found necessary to defend himself against the disingenuous attacks of Mr. Horne, by the adoption of such a course as the one now proposed; but a regard to his moral, as well as his literary character, renders it imperative upon him to do so. The Rev. J. H. Hinton, A.M. of Reading, has in the press a work, entitled, Theology ; or an Attempt towards a Consistent View of the whole Counsel of God. With a Preliminary Essay, on the Practicability and Importance of this Attainment. Shortly will be published, a volume of Essays on Literary Subjects. By T. Hathaway. A Poem on Idolatry, in Four Cantos, by the Rev. W. Swan, Missionary, and author of the Memoir of Mrs. Patterson. A New Poem from the pen of Bernard Barton, to be entitled “The Widow’s Tale,” and founded on the melancholy loss of the Five Wesleyan Missionaries, in the Mail Boat, off the Island of Antigua, will shortly be published. Death on the Pale Horse, by the Rev. John Bruce, whl be ready for publication on the 1st of March. The author regrets that it should have been delayed by an unforeseen occurrence. The engravings and plate which were duly forwarded by the Édinburgh mail, never reached the publishers, so that they have been obliged to wait the execution of a new plate.

GLEANINGS.

Several sorts of material were anciently used in making books. Plates of lead or copper, barks of trees, brick, stone, and wood, were originally employed to engrave *ch things and documents upon, as men t desired to transmit to posterity. Josephus speaks of two columns, one of stone, the other of brick, on which the children of Seth wrote their inventions, and their astronomical discoveries. Porphyry mentions pillars preserved in Crete, on which were recorded the ceremonies practised by the Corybantes in their sacrifices. Hesiod's works were at first written on tablets of lead, in the temPle of the Muses, in Boeotia. God's laws were written on stone; and Solon's laws on wooden planks. In Job xix. 23, 24, there is mention made of writing in a book, engraving on lead, and cutting on a rock. In

Ezek. xxxvii. 16, 17, we read of writing upon a stick, a practice which was in use among the Greeks, and other ancient nations. Tablets of box and ivory were common among the ancients: when they were of wood only, they were oftentimes coated over with wax, which received the writing inscribed on them with the point of a style, or iron pen; so that what was written might be effaced by the broad end of the style. Afterwards, the leaves of the palmtree were used instead of wooden planks;

ANCIENT BibliographY.

also, the finest and thinnest bark of trees, such as the lime, the ash, the maple, and the elm ; hence, the word liber, which signifies the inner bark of trees, signifies, also, a book. As these barks were rolled up, to be more readily carried about, they were called volumen, a volume; a name given likewise to rolls of paper, or of parchment. Paper, papyrus, is a kind of reed which grows in the Nile. The stem of this plant is composed of several coatings, lying one on the other, which are taken off with a needle: they are afterwards spread on a table, and so much is moistened as is equal to the size which it is intended the leaves of papyrus shall be of. This first bed of leaves is covered with a layer of fine paste, or with the muddy water of the Nile, warmed; then a second bed of paper leaves is laid upon this paste, and the whole is left to dry in the sun. Such was the Egyptian papyrus, whence our paper takes its name, though its composition be so very different. Varro observes, and Pliny from him, that the use of papyrus, for writing on, was first discovered in Egypt, at the time of Alexander's building Alexandria. The kings of Egypt having collected a great library at Alexandria, the kings of Pergamus proposed to imitate their example ; but the Egyptian monarchs, either from envy, or some other motive, prohibited the exportation of paper, (papyrus) out of their dominions; which obliged the king of Pergamus to invent, or rather to improve and augment, the manufacture of parchment, from thence called pergamenum, or membrana, because made of the skin where with beasts and their members are covered. Of these leaves of vellum or parchment, books of two descriptions were made ; one in the form of rolls, composed of many leaves of wellum, sewed or glued together at the end. These were written on one side only, and had to be unrolled before they could be read. The other kind was like our present books, made of many leaves fastened on one another, were written on both sides, and were opened like modern books. The Jews still use rolls in their synagogues. The ancients wrote likewise on linen. — Pliny says the Parthians, even in his time, wrote on their clothes : and Livy speaks of certain books made of linen, lintei libri, on which the names of magistrates, with the history of the Roman Commonwealth, were written, which were preserved in the temple of the goddess Moneta. The manner of writing was suited to the material adopted. Thus, for writing on the harder substances they used a bodkin, or iron style; but when they wrote on linen or parchment, they used a reed (calamus), formed into a pen, and some colouring substance equivalent to ink; like Isaiah, when he wrote his prophecy, in ch. viii. 1. In Ezek. ix. 2, 3.11. we read of persons carrying ink-horns at their sides. The same is done at the present day among the Moors, in Barbary, and also among the Persians. These remarks will throw light on several passages of Scripture, which must appear very singular to persons unacquainted with the forms of ancient books. Thus Isaiah says, “The heavens shall be folded up like a book or scroll,” ch. xxxiv. 4. Here is an allusion to the method of rolling up books among the ancients, of which we have spoken." A volume of several feet in length was suddenly rolled up into a very sinall compass. Thus, the heavens should shrink into themselves, and disappear from the eyes of God, when his wrath should be kindled. These rolls were generally written only on one side; but that of Ezekiel (ch. ii. 10.) was written within and without ; i.e. on both sides, to shew the abundance of matter contained in it. Of the same kind, probably, was that of John (Rev. v. 1.) which, as “a book written within and without,” is difficult to conceive of.

[graphic]

* See a representation of one of these books in the accompanying wood-cut.

In Isaiah xxx. 8, the Lord says to the prophet, concerning a prediction relative to the Jews, “Now go, write it before them in a table;” and the father of John Baptist (Luke i. 63.) called for “a writing-table;" both of which passages refer to the tablets of wood, or other material, of which we have already spoken. The commentator on Varro, describing one of these Tabulae Literariae, says, “It is of a square oblong form, like those tablets for letters on which children learn to read and write, having on the upper part a round appendix, called the capitulum.”—See a figure of this kind of writing-tables, in the wood cut at the head of this article.

There is an expression in Psal. xl. 7, which has been ingeniously illustrated by the editor of Calmet : – “In the volume of the book it is written of me,” which is rendered by the LXX. “in the head (cephalis) of the book.” Chrysoston has described this cephalis as a wrapper (eilema), and supposed that on this was written a word or words, which imported “about the coming of the Messiah;” and Aquila uses the word eilema to express the Hebrew word, which we render volume. On this Mr. Harmer says, “The thought is not only clear and distinct, but very energetic, amounting to this, – that the sum and substance of the sacred books is, “the Messiah cometh;’ and that those words, accordingly, might be written, or embroidered, with great propriety, on the wrapper, or case, wherein they were kept.”* Admitting Mr. Harmer's conclusion to be just, Mr. Taylor thinks he has found better premises for it, in a picture which was discovered at Herculaneum, than Mr. H. had collected. This painting represents a portable book-case, apparently made of leather, and of the kind which was known to the Romans by the name of scriniarii. It is filled with rolled books, each of which has a ticket or label appended to it, which is very probably the genuine capitulum, or argument of the book, for the purpose of directing the person who was about to draw out a roll, to that which contained the treatise he wanted. In this view, Mr. Taylor proposes to read — “Burntoffering and sacrifice were not what thou didst require they were not according to thy will Then said I, Lo, I come as in the roll of the book (or, as the keri has it, the doubly-rolled-roll; i. e. the little roll upon the greater roll) is written concerning me: — I delight to accomplish thy will.” The representation of this case of books, at the beginning of this article, shews that these small labels were capable of being rolled up, till they were close to the greater roll to

* Observations, vol. iv. p. 10.

which they belonged, as seems to be the meaning of the reading which the keri has preserved." Besides books in the form of rolls, we also read in Scripture of letters being sent from one person to another. These were, in general, in the form of rolls also, and resembling prubably those in the East at this day. Thus, Niebuhr tells us that “the Arabs roll up their letters, and then flatten them to the breadth of an inch, and paste up the end of them, instead of sealing them."— And Hanway states, that “the Persians make up their letters in the form of a roll, about six inches long ; and that a bit of paper is fastened round it with gum, and sealed with an impression of ink, which resembles our printers' ink, but not so thick.” When letters were written to inferiors, they were often sent open, or in the form of an unsealed roll ; but, when addressed to equals or superiors, they were enclosed in a bag of silk or satiu, sealed and addressed. Hence the insult of Sanballat to Nehemiah, in sending his letter to him by his servant open. Neh. vi. 5. It was just now said that these letters were sealed. We may remark, as an additional circumstance, that the very ancient custom of sealing them, with a seal or signet set in a ring, is still retained in the East. See Gen. xii. 42; Esth. iii. 10, 12. viii.2.8.10; Jer. xxii.24. Thus, “ in Egypt,” says Dr. Pococke, “they make the impression of their name with their seal, generally of carnelion, which they wear on their finger, and which is blacked, when they have occasion to seal with it.” And Mr. Hanway remarks, that the Persian ink “ serves not only for writing, but for subscribing with their seal: indeed, many of the Persians in high office (he adds) could not write; but in their rings they wear an agate, which serves for a seal, on which is frequently engraven their name and some verse of the Koran.” So Dr. Shaw, in like manner, says, that “as few or none either of the Arab sheikhs, or of Turkish and eastern kings, princes, or bashaws, know how to write their own names, all their letters and decrees are stamped with their proper rings, seals, or signets (see 1 Kings xxi. 8 ; Esth. iii. 12; Dan. vi. 17; Eccles. xlix. 11), which are usually of silver or carnelion, with their respective names engraven, upon them on one side, and the name of their kingdom or principality, or else some sentence of the Koran, on the other.” It is, perhaps, to this that the apostle alludes, when he says (2 Tim. iii. 19), “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal or impression on the one side, The Lord knoweth them

• See Fragments to Calmet, No. 74.

that are his ; and on the other, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” Dr. Brown, to whom we are indebted for some of these observations, states, that he saw a letter addressed from a governorgeneral of India to the king of Persia, in Persic, on beautifully glazed white paper, fifty inches long, and twenty inches broad. The written part, however, was only two feet long and one foot broad, the rest being filled with a beautiful ornamental painting at the head of the letter, and a very elegantly painted border round the whole sheet. The bag in which it was to have been sent, and which the author also saw, was a cloth composed of gold threads and crimson silk. It was tied at the neck with a gold lace, which, after being knotted, passed through an immense seal, four inches in diameter, and about an inch thick, of red wax ; which seal of office was entirely covered with Persic characters, containing the titles of the company, those of the king being at the beginning of the letter. In order to preserve the seal and lace entire, the bag was opened at bottom, to extract the letter; but the natural way of opening it would be either by melting the wax, or cutting the lace between the wax and the bag. Mr. Wortley's courier, whom he sent from Essek, returned with the bassa's answer, in a purse of scarlet satin, somewhat similar to the above, but, as was to be expected, not so elegant. Whether the bag represented in our woodcut were appropriated to such a purpose we know not.—Carpenter's Popular Introduction to the Study of the Scriptures.

A Necdote.

“Some winters since, while the Congress of the United States were in session, a slave dealer was driving past the capitol of Washington, about forty slaves, chained together. Among the rest was a large negro man, who was not only chained, but also handcuffed. He was a very Caesar in appearance and spirit, and possessed an admirably fine voice for singing. The spectacle drew to the door many of the champions of freedom, and some of the veteruns of the revolution. At the moment when the wretched victims came opposite the hall, the negro above mentioned, on a lofty and bold key, struck up —

[ocr errors][merged small]

INTELLIGENCE.

FOREIGN.

AM ERICA.

The following are extracts from a letter recently received from the Rev. Irah Chase.

Boston, May 29, 1826.

Rev. AND very DEAR SIR, Since I wrote you last, our brethren have established a Theological Institution, at Newton, near this city. It has seemed to be my duty to become connected with it. I could be spared from the Columbian College; and my place has been well supplied by a very worthy brother, Professor Caswell, who was a tutor at the time of my being in Europe. I removed from Washington last September.

i have lately returned from the triennial meeting of the General Convention of our Denomination in the United States, which was held in New York. The measures adopted were such, I trust, as will conduce to the advancement of the cause of Christ; and it was refreshing, indecd, to meet with brethren from the different portions of our widely extended country. The seat of our Board of Managers for Foreign Missions is hereafter to be at Boston. It is for the purpose of attending a meeting of this Board that I am now in the city; and being informed that a gentleman is on the point of leaving this place for London, I could not omit to write you a few lines, though in great haste, and assure you of my affectionate remembrance.

Our Missionaries in Burmah, you know, have been passing through severe trials; but we doubt not, “’Tis all for the best.” For God will make the wrath of man praise Him, and the remainder thereof he will restrain. How consoling it is, amidst the darkest dispensations, to know and feel that the Lord reigneth that nothing can occur without his permission, and that All things work together for good to them that love Him. ...”

Baptist General Tract Society.

Since the annual meeting of the Baptist General Tract Society, its Printing Conmittee have procured stereotype plates for 164 pages of Tracts, and have printed,

during the same period, 883,000 pages. The Depository has issued about 700,000 pages, nearly one-half of which were sent to two Depositories, Charlotte Court House, Wa. and New Orleans, La. The demand for Tracts in other directions is repeated and urgent. Nothing is wanting but more funds to enable the Committee to publish all that may be required.— Columbian Star. aSWITZeRLAND.

In some preceding numbers we have given an account of those pious persons who have recently separated from the Established Church in the Canton de Vaud. An old calumny has, it seems, been raised against them. They have been accused of encouraging designs hostile to the civil government. In reply, they tendered a paper, in September last, to the Council of State, expressing their entire submission to “the powers that be,” in all civil matters, entirely renouncing revolutionary principles, while they claimed liberty of conscience in every thing relating to religion; and petitioning that this declaration might be made public, as an answer to the accusations that might be brought against them. The Council of State refused to receive their petition, on the ground that they could not recognise any Church, separate from the National Establishment. In the Canton of Grison, a decree against proselytism has been lately passed, of which the following is the substance : “That the communication of ideas on religious subjects is free; that every one has a right to give, to those who may consult him on these points, those explanations which in his conscience he believes to be true, provided they are not contrary to the doctrines of the two confessions acknowledged in the Canton; but that no person whatever ought to persuade others to leave their own church to join that to which he belongs. The authorities are directed to punish such attempts by fine or imprisonment ; and, if they are made by persons who are not inhabitants of the Canton, by temporary or perpetual banishment. No individual mnder twenty years of age is to remove his communion from our church to another, without the consent of his parents or guardians: conversions of this kind are declared null and void; the authorities are directed to prohibit and prevent them : and parents whose children shall leave the communion in which they have been brought up, before they are

« AnteriorContinuar »