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had been accumulated, towards the reduction of the premiums, was made obligatory.
8. The conditions of the insurance, which correspond to the policy in ordinary cases, were inserted in a schedule to the Bill, in which losses occasioned by lightning were included.
The immediate reduction of the premium on first-class risks from is. 6d. to Is. per cent. remained as originally proposed.
Such are the leading provisions of the Bill, as it now stands. It is clearly one which requires an almost unanimous expression of clerical opinion in its favour before it can receive the approbation of Parliament. The pecuniary interests of powerful Companies are touched. The number of Directors of Fire Insurance Companies in the House of Commons is about forty. Many of them are gentlemen of the most influential position. It would be quite unreasonable to expect them to be consenting parties to such a blow to the special interests which it is one of their duties to protect, unless they were made quite sure that those in whose behalf the legislation was promoted were united in desiring it.
It is difficult to ascertain the exact opinion of 15,000 clergymen, scattered over the length and breadth of England and Wales. The usual channels through which the voice of the clergy is expressed are Convocation, diocesan and archidiaconal meetings, Church conferences and congresses. Some of these have passed resolutions in favour of the principle of the scheme, some have not discussed it, and not one, we believe, has opposed it. By petitions to Parliament the wishes of the clergy are also directly recorded. One hundred and fifty-four petitions were last year presented in favour of the Bill we are considering, and six petitions were presented against it.
Some idea may be formed of the area of the possible operations of the proposed scheme under the optional, as well as the compulsory clauses, and of its possible future, from the following figures, which we believe approximate to the truth :
£ 11,000 parsonages-annual premiums.
1,000 Churches and Cathedrals
SHORT NOTICES. .
The Annotated Bible : being a Household Commentary upon the Holy
Scriptures, comprehending the Results of Modern Discovery and
Cambridge: Rivingtons, 1878.) ANNOTATED editions of the Holy Scriptures are neither few nor infrequent. We can call to mind three, if not four such, each of some mark, which are in course of publication at the present time. It is a very hopeful. sign that this should be so, and that each of these appeals to the care for and attachment to the Holy Scriptures should meet with, as far as appears, a considerable amount of public support.
The work before us has, we think, features which distinguish it from previous editions of the Holy Scriptures. The editor, Mr. J. H. Blunt, is widely and favourably known by his Annotated PrayerBook, Dictionary of Theology, and many other undertakings. The present work shows quite as conspicuously as its predecessors the qualities of sound judgment and unwearied industry, and will be not less valued, we should think, than they. This first volume contains the books up to Esther, with Introductions to each; and a General Introduction to the whole is prefixed, which is admirably calculated to supply necessary preliminary knowledge to a student of the Scriptures who is intelligent and fairly educated, but not versed in the history and antiquities of the Bible as a book among books. Indeed, we do not know any one publication in which the great mass of facts relating to the language, the transcription, the versions, and the extant copies of the Bible is contained in a form at once so comprehensive, so brief and succinct, and so pleasant to peruse. The fifth chapter,
On the Liturgical Use of Holy Scripture,' is highly interesting. Chapter IV. On the Interpretation of Scripture,' is confined perhaps too exclusively to the use of secondary helps, such as arise from study and learning, to the understanding of the Scriptures; and it might have been well to deal expressly with the function of Ecclesiastical Tradition eo nomine. We think we see in the editor a tendency, which should be carefully guarded, to dwell on the unity of the Bible almost as if it was a single book, and without sufficient regard to the strong and remarkable diversities of language and thought which the various books present. The peculiar 700c of Genesis or Exodus differs widely from that of the Books of Kings, and both of them differ again from that of Job or Ecclesiastes. Neither the literary style, nor the details of national institutions, nor the currents of thought which underlie the narrative, and form its background, are identical even in any two of the historical books. If we grind the history down to a tame uniformity, we destroy its verisimilitude, or rather we have not entered into its inner meaning at all. The Bible
is never really understood unless (1) it is considered as a collection of ancient records, which show the progress of a nation from infancy to maturity and culture; and (2) unless the unity looked for, beyond, of course, its historical consistency, is in the divine purpose that guided and watched over the process.
The execution of the work seems to us unequal. Nothing could be better done than this Introduction, as a whole; but those to the several books seem to us brief and jejune. The annotation all through is just what it should be, brief, suggestive, and clear. Mr. Blunt might sometimes, we think, have made more use of natural analogies to the supernatural events of the narrative, as e.g. in the plagues of Egypt. The two forms of the Decalogue are apparently not compared (Exod. xx.) The note on xix. 22 states that the priests there spoken of must have been the heads of houses or 'patriarchal priesthood,' because the Levitical priesthood was not yet instituted. It would have been well to insert here or elsewhere an excursus on this earlier priesthood. The note on the Rock of Horeb (xvii. 6) is good, and gives a probable solution of a long-standing difficulty.
It is a merit not to be overlooked in these notes, that the devotional or homiletic element is not neglected in them. Care is generally taken to point out the mystical or typical import of the passage under consideration, and the use that has been made of it by the Fathers. At the same time this is only done to a certain extent; the commentary might be greatly developed by any one who would collate (say) the Homilies of S. Augustine or S. Chrysostom for this purpose.
Mr. Blunt has, however, given his readers a glimpse of Patristic interpretation, which will be to their profit. We regard his work, as far as it has yet gone, with great satisfaction. It is not intended for scholars. But the intelligent and able notes will be to many persons a new light upon the pages of the older Scriptures; not unfrequently a help to clear up difficulties of interpretation, such as a school of critics in the present day delights to raise, and which seem to strike and fester sometimes in minds one might suppose the farthest removed from such dangers, and they will be found to tend always to help and to strengthen faith, never to weaken or diminish it. The Englishman's Critical and Expository Bible Cyclopædia. Com
piled and written by the Rev. A. R. FAUSSET, M.A., Rector of S. Cuthbert's, York. Illustrated by six hundred woodcuts.
(London: Hodder and Stoughton.) The volume before us consists of seven hundred and fifty-three large octavo pages, of clear but small type, three columns to the page, and the remarkable industry of the writer strikes us with sheer amazement. No doubt much of the work had been done to his hand. He has not, however, contented himself with a mere redaction of previous researches, and the articles are, as a rule, marked by the individuality of the writer. Indeed, this characteristic of the work runs into an undesirable narrowness of view. This is not so apparent in the articles on separate books of Holy Scripture, in which the author has been generally successful in retaining orthodox views, without neglecting the conclusions of modern critical science. It must probably be attributed to the design of the work that the Hebrew and Greek words are written throughout in English characters, and that, as a rule, critical conclusions, as, e.g. to authenticity and authorship of the various books, are simply stated, and little or no explanation given of the arguments by which these are arrived at and supported. Generally speaking, however, this class of articles are done very satisfactorily according to their proposed scale, and with praiseworthy care and accuracy.
The compiler, however, has chosen to combine with the Bible Dictionary a theological and doctrinal one, and, lookirg at the book in this light, we can by no means report so favourably of it. Under the head of doctrine we get too often the crude and one-sided utterances which form the shibboleths of a party, without even the pretence of impartiality; and, as might be expected, these articles, in too many instances, bear inadequacy on their face. Thus, for instance, the Power of the Keys' is referred to only casually under 'Key,' and we are then told that "it was given to Peter and the other Apostles, only at times, when and in so far as Christ made him and them infallible’-a statement which appears to us either ludicrous or unintelligible. Under ' Priest’ occurs a good summary of Old Testament facts; but this is preceded by a marvellous tissue of assertions, beginning with the bald dictum that the notion is contrary to Scripture, that Christ is High Priest, and Christian ministers. priests ;' and to pass over a number of similar statements, ending with the no less remarkable conclusion that, 'as sacrificing was the Temple priest's duty, so Gospel preaching is the Christian minister's duty. For ‘Sacrament’ we look altogether in vain. While he treats of the succession of the Scribes, he leaves out Apostolical Succession altogether. 'Lord's Supper' is not so violent as we might have expected, but the author fights the air and combats an imaginary doctrine, that the Lord's Supper is not a repetition of the sacrifice on Calvary--a theory which never has been upheld by any party in the Church. The article on Creation' is excellent, and the geographical articles generally have profited by the latest researches. The biographical element is also adequate ; the narratives are clear and definite, and embody a vast number of well-chosen and skilfully arranged facts. The numerous woodcuts are very helpful to the understanding of the text, though the beauty of the details is much affected by their small size. Upon the whole, this work is so generally painstaking, and so good in many respects, that we must strongly regret that it has not been confined to the function of a Bible dictionary, and left theology alone. The one is discharged on the whole very well; the other (although there are good articles on * Atonement,'' High Priest,' and Law) as ill as possible. The book is worth having as a very good, though condensed, Bible dictionary ; though less really valuable to Churchmen than its size and fulness, and the care, industry, and learning which have been spent on its composi
tion, would have made it, with a little more breadth of view and less of dogmatism. The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament, with an English
Translation, and with various Readings and Critical Notes.
Small 4to, pp. vi.—1134. (London: S. Bagster and Sons, 1879.) This handsome book is beautifully printed in small, but very clear Greek and English types, in double columns, but, owing to the unfortunately narrow rule adopted by Messrs. Bagster in all their Biblical publications, it does not contain the whole LXX., since the Deuterocanonical books belonging to the Egypto-Hebrew Canon are omitted
-a practice which, whatever insufficient defence may be set up for it on doctrinal grounds in works intended for merely popular use, is quite unpardonable in those designed for the use of scholars and for literary purposes : since Ecclesiasticus and Maccabees are quite as likely to be so needed as Proverbs and Esther. We may just observe that this crotchet is not entertained by German or Slavonic Protestants, and that the Bible Society's versions, cheap as they are, find no sale with them, because of the same foolish omission. A slight introductory sketch of the history of the version is prefixed to the volume, but it is not critical enough in execution, nor is any reference given us later than to the recensions of Lucian of Antioch and Hesychius. Nothing is said as to the labours of Aldus, of the Complutensian and Vatican editors, or of Grabe, Holmes, Mai, and Tischendorf; nor are we told what text is presented to us, though a brief inspection seems to show it to be the Roman. The translation is, the whole, fairly executed, but the translator has allowed himself to be too much swayed by the A.V. and by the Prayer-Book version of the Psalter, so that not infrequently, while we get the general sense of a passage correctly enough, we do not get a literal version of the actual Greek text before us. Thus, for example, in Psalm lxxviii. 33, the phrase και εξέλιπον έν ματαιότητι αι ημέραι αυτών is translated, “And their days were consumed in vanity,' adopting here the Prayer-Book verb in a sense which the intransitive ékleinw never has, whereas the literal rendering failed or came short would equally convey the idea of the Greek and, indeed, of the Hebrew original. Thus, this edition cannot be depended on by students unversed in Hellenistic Greek, for giving any finer shades of meaning, much less for throwing light on passages where the Hebrew text is now unintelligible, but where a clearer reading seems to have been in the hands of the Seventy. A book of this sort, to be of any real value, must be critical; and critical, unfortunately, is exactly what the volume before us is not. The Microscope of the New Testament. By the late Rev. WILLIAM
SEWELL, D.D. Edited by the Rev. W. J. CRICHTON, M.A.
(London, Oxford, and Cambridge : Rivingtons.) Few Anglican Churchmen of the present century have contributed more largely or more effectually to the advancement of Church and classical education in their more practical and higher aspects than the late Dr. W. Sewell, the well-known founder of S. Columba's VOL. VII.-NO. XIV.