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Our subject necessarily touches upon high schools. We have no word or thought of disparagement to utter with regard to them and the many noble men engaged in them. The truth is what we seek, and the petty spirit of rivalry and jealousy should be laid aside in the discussion of so vital a question. As already stated, higher institutions as provided for in the first Puritan school law, failed in New England. Similar attempts at the west have, on the whole, no better record. “ The usual influence of high schools,” says Pres. King, “is to turn their students into active life, while that of the academy is to turn them into the higher course of college.”
The results reached by the general discussion of the subject of higher education by the state, are about these: That the people should be taxed only for common schools; that costly edifices and appointments, to be enjoyed by only the few be provided by the individual; that only a small per centage pass on to the high school-one in sixty of the youth in Ohio, one in a hundred in some of the states—that the higher education is better and at less cost in the private schools—that each high school pupil costs, on an average, through the country, $60 a year-double the tuition in private schools in Chicago, $75, and in Springfield, Ill., $66 per scholar, while as an example of the expense of Polytechnic schools by the state, it has cost the people of Michigan, ten thousand dollars for every one of the thirty graduates of her agricultural college, and not one of them is engaged in farming. The logic of these facts is irresistible. The tax-payers will soon cease to look upon such impracticable enterprises with favor, and the wonderful hallucinations about people's colleges and universities will vanish, leaving us richer in experience than in the means of adequate education. Ultimately, the instruction and management of these institutions—the whole work of the higher education of those who are to be leaders in society—will fall back into the hands of the Christian churches, where it properly belongs. The prudent are already forecasting the future and providing for it. Other denoniinations are diligently seeking to meet their wants by the establishment of preparatory schools. What is to prevent the members of our association giving immediate and personal attention to this important work until an academy is founded in every one of our district associations ? Our colleges would at once feel the impetus of the movement lifting them to a higher position. The objection has been raised that means and pupils would be wanting to sustain such schools. When has Providence left a work, clearly of public necessity, to languish and die, if entered upon in faith? On every side are indications of a rising desire for such a movement. One place reports $10,000 ready for an academy, and other subscriptions of thousands and hundreds. “ Possuntur quia videntur.” The glorious history of the past will be repeated in the future. What has been done for the academies of New England will be done for those at the West. The great Christian heart of America beats the same on both sides of the Alleghanies, and always beats true to the cause of Christian learning. Witness Whipple Academy, at Jacksonville, Ill. The trustees of Illi. nois College had long desired the complete separation of the college from the preparatory department. In making their first experiment they looked to the high school of Jacksonville, in which the classics were taught. But this failing to ineet their wants in preparing students for college, they resolved to establish an academy. No sooner was the noble purpose made known than a benevolent man, whose heart the Lord opened, signified his willingness to give $10,000 for the object. There are doubtless other Whipples or Willistons in the West waiting the development of the requisite faith and action on the part of the natural guardians of our temples of science and religion. Says an experienced educator in Illinois : “ It seems to me that a mass or an organization of men, desirous to honor Christ through consecrated education, can find no field so promising as to equip and endow preparatory schools. Till such schools exist, the college, however well manned and endowed, must languish.”
It has been fondly hoped and devoutly prayed for, that the memories of this Jubilee year would so awaken all who are in the royal succession of the Pilgrim Fathers to the grandeur
of the heritage bequeathed to them, as to lead them to do something grateful for the past, something useful for the present, and something pregnant with hope for the future.
This something, we submit, is the establishment throughout our bounds of that Puritan institutionthe Academy.
BRIEF NOTES ON COMMENTARIES..
ALFORD'S GREEK TESTAMENT.— We begin with this work because it is one of the most important of modern English contributions to the interpretation of the New Testament. It combines a variety of excellences that are seldom combined. It is the result achieved by careful scholarship, governed by English good sense, working laboriously, and upon a wide range of the best materials. Individual treatises may surpass it in detail, and in each particular direction; yet as a whole it is one of the most valuable works for a Biblical student's library—one of the few to be mentioned first and without hesitation. The same amount of money (now about $30 to $35, we believe), can not be better expended on works relating to the New Testament, than by buying Alford's last edition. It has now reached the sixth edition of Vol I; the fifth edition of Vol. II; and we believe the fourth and third respectively of the other two volumes. These different editions correspond more nearly than would be supposed. The earlier volumes have been more often elaborated, because they were the experimental ones, and because certain materials were accessible in the later ones that were not in the earlier. All have now been corrected by the use of the Sinaitic Codex, and the more correct knowledge of the Vatican. Some of the qualities that mark the work, are
I. A beautiful and singularly correct typography. The face of the page, with its diverse type, both Greek and English, is a delight to the eye. The printing is done with a correctness, which, considering the complicated nature of the work, is admirable. If not immaculate, it is surprisingly accurate; -in strong contrast with the American edition of volume first.
II. A revised Greek text. Alford has devoted much attention to weighing evidences for diverse readings, and has had occasion in his later editions, considerably to modify both his methods and his results. Ile is not like Tischendorf, an original examiner of manuscripts to any considerable extent, but uses chiefly the material furnished by others. The two processes are quite distinct. The judgment of Dean Alford, although not carrying the weight of Tischendorf 's, or Tregelle's name, will command general respect. There is a general concurrence with the text of Tischendorf, although the the latter, in his cighth edition, has shown himself much more inclined to deviate from the received text or the strength of the earlier witnesses. In this light, Alford may be called more conservative; although Tischendorf might perhaps argue that he himself is more truly so. Both give us a simplified text; clearer of repetitions and superfluous words. This, indeed, is one chief result of modern Biblical text-criticism, to find the sense just as clearly, but more tersely and sharply given. On comparing the third chapter of John (taken at random), as given both by Alford and Tischendorf, out of some twelve slight deviations from the received text recognized by Tischendorf, we find that Alford has nine, and in two of the remainder, possibly it admits of a question which is right. On the chief variations of importance they usually coincide, as in omitting verse fourth, and the last five (Greek) words of verse third, in John fifth, and in accepting ós for Deus. 1 Tim. iii, 16, etc. So in John i, 18, where Tregelles reads “God” for “ Son,” Tischendorf and Alford both retain the common reading, though the latter prints it as more than usually donbtful;* and in Mark iii, 29, where both (and Tregelles) read åpapropiatoc for xpirews. Some times, however, they differ on texts of some moment, as where Tischendorf drops and Alford retains the words " and of tables." Mark vii, 4; also on Acts xx, 28, where Alford reads “God” with the received text, and Tischendorf reads "the Lord;" but where Alford thought doubtful is supported by the Sinaitic and Vatican manuscript, as well as the Vulgate and Syraic versions. But this topic is too broad to pursue in detail. It is sufficient that Alford gives a well considered text with thoughtful reasons for it, while no one set of decisions is ultimate. If not the very best text, it is a judicious approximation. We like the cautious spirit, that governs his decisions. If it does not carry the weight of Tischendorf's name, it is to be remembered that Tischendorf has differed greatly from himself in successive editions, and that his eighth is greatly modified from even his twelfth. In the four gospels alone he has made ten closely printed 18mo. pages of changes. And, according to Scrivener's statement, his seventh edition (1859), differed from his edition of 1849, in 1292 readings, of which 595 were restorations of a received text, which had been abandoned by him in 1849. And though Scrivener has still called him“ the first Biblical critic in Europe,” we should feel a more settled confidence even in his opinions, had they been somewhat less changeable, or did we know that we had reached his ultimate decision.
* Both proceed on interpal grounds to a considerable extent, and on patristic testimony, against both the Sinaitic and the Vatican, as well as Codices, C. L. 33, and the Peshito version.
III. A list of the manuscript authorities for the reading. This is less complete than that of Tischendorf or Tregelles, not aiming at such fullness as to give various readings that are merely capricious and manifestly blundering. But in general he gives the elements of a fair decision. His table has two conveniences; it is more readily caught by the eye on account of its arrangement, condensation and English form; and it usually states authorities on both sides. Occasionally he discusses the reading at length, if specially important. For most students it is sufficient.
IV. A very valuable set of Introductions to the several books of the New Testament. It is difficult to find the topics