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they are. The first is the rapidity with which the observance of the day had spread itself, and the celebrity it had attained within the space of less than ten years from the time when it was first made known in the East; the second relates to the census already alluded to; and the third is derived from the supposed time of the appearance of the angel to Zacharias, and is founded on the assumption that Zacharias was high priest, which Dr. Jarvis with others admits to be false, not to mention other elements of uncertainty, or manifest errors, involved in the computation. The second of these " proofs " is that on which Dr. Jarvis relies. But his premises do not justify his inference. For admitting that a record of the "enrolment " existed in Chrysostom's time at Rome, there is no evidence to show whether Joseph and Mary were registered before or after the birth of Jesus, or that the date of his birth is mentioned in it. What Chrysostom says is, that Jesus was born at the time of the first enrolment,' and "the time of that enrolment" might be learned from the "ancient records publicly deposited at Rome." The whole passage is in the usual loose, declamatory and confused style of his popular harangues, and affords a very insufficient foundation on which to build an argument requiring accuracy in dates and facts.

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But, says Dr. Jarvis, Chrysostom asserts that though the date, or the festival, of the nativity was unknown in the East until within a few years of the time in which he wrote, it was well known in the West "from the beginning," that is, from Apostolic times. Now Chrysostom does not assert this. The word which Dr. Jarvis translates "from the beginning," does not necessarily nor usually mean this. It is an adverb of place, and also of time, and refers to something "above" "before." Joined to the Greek article, it designates ancestors, or men of a former age or generation. It may be sometimes translated "from the beginning," but such is not its natural force, nor is there any thing in the connexion in which it here stands, which requires it to be so rendered. It means simply — in time past, in by-gone days, or long since, as the connexion may require. Besides, it is absolutely impossible to suppose, such was the frequency of intercourse between Christians of the East and the West,-that the day could have been celebrated for three centuries and a half at Rome, and yet the Christians of Antioch, where the disciples first took the name of Christians, and the Greeks generally, have remained in profound ignorance of the fact. On the whole, we feel constrained to say that, in our view, the writer leaves the date of the Saviour's birth, both as regards the day and the year, and the duration of his ministry, in the same uncertainty in which he found them. He introduces into his calculation too many doubtful or conjectural quantities, to authorize any degree of confidence in his conclusions. He main

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tains, for example, that Jesus was six years old at the commencement of our vulgar era, that when Luke says that he "began to be about thirty years of age" at his baptism, he means that he was a little more" than thirty, that his ministry continued three years and three months wanting twelve days, and that he was exactly thirty-three years and three months old at the time of his passion."

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We do not understand precisely what Dr. Jarvis means by his Original Harmony of the Gospels, now first arranged in the order of time." Numerous Harmonies of the Gospels have been made in the order, or supposed order of time, and the day of each discourse or event of our Lord's ministry, with the exception of a few, the date of which there is nothing to mark, has been assigned. If the writer intends to say that he is the first who has arranged them in the true "order of time," the assertion is not over-modest. We have been a little amused, too, with the naïveté with which he confesses in his preface, that he has inserted a calendar which is so blundering, that it was "earnestly recommended" to him by his "learned English friend" or friends, to whom he showed it after it was in print, (the volume having been printed in England,) to add a note upon it, if for nothing more, to screen him from the "imputation of ignorance. We would by no means assert that the author's researches, which on some points seem to have been unwearied, have been wholly thrown away. He does not always discriminate between writings of acknowledged, and of suspicious, genuineness; and he sometimes exhibits marks of credulity and want of solid judgment, and often, as we think, reasons inconclusively; yet, with all its faults, we welcome the volume to a place on our shelves.

L.

tis Clapp. 1845.

Essays. By THEOPHILUS PARSONS. Boston:
12mo. pp. 228. [On Life: Providence: Cor
the Human Form: Religion: the New Jerusalem.

with

If there is any system of faith that needs to be set fort great precision of language; any that demands that the employed to teach and explain it should be used in a defim. uniform, and fixed sense; such a system is Swedenborgianis al It fully requires all the logical faculty, and the mathematicat exactness of the author of the Arcana Calestia himself. would not be strange, therefore, if Mr. Parsons, with excellen It talents as a writer in general literature, should fail sometimes to escape confusion and indistinctness in a theological treatise; as we think he often does. To say, for example, that "God alone is life," and to say immediately after that "He alone is the

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Fountain; all other things are live drops of the ever rolling and unbounded stream of being," introduces perplexity into our ideas. It would be harmless rhetoric enough in an annual or a magazine, but in a work where we are anxiously struggling for light on certain abstruse and involved themes, it disappoints and annoys We always supposed that the stream is as really water as the fountain is. But this is only one instance which we happen to open upon, out of many. We have regarded it as a wellunderstood fact, that Swedenborg's Trinity embraced the three elements of Love, Wisdom and Action, as constituting the Deity; and so Mr. Parsons would wish to say, in his chapter on "Life." Yet in the essay on 66 the Human Form," he remarks, with an apparent carelessness, that "Love and Wisdom in their perfection constitute God." In treating of Unitarianism, although he is laudably desirous of giving no offence, he declares that, one thing only appears to be excluded from its creed, and that is a belief in a personal God (!) a belief of Him in any sense which can satisfy a clear understanding and an earnest heart.” This is really a new charge. Dr. Kirkland, whose conversation he quotes, could have told him otherwise, and so could a child in any of our Sunday schools. In another place he observes, in the way of concession, "This world is indeed the solid basis, the ultimate of all existence." We cannot conceive of a man looking up even into the material heavens in a clear night, without revolting from such a statement. Yet the author is evidently a devout man, and his mind is thoroughly occupied with the views he has embraced. We should say his imaginative faculty, unconsciously to himself no doubt, was under rather higher cultivation at present than his reasoning faculty. The introduction is about as modest a one as we have ever seen; and yet the book itself has an air somewhat oracular. It deals largely in affirmations, such as the prophet is privileged to utter, and but little in argument. Some passages are eloquent, and some others have a degree of practical value. On the whole, these Essays have been less interesting to us than Mr. Reed's, published a few years ago, on kindred topics. They are hard reading. We say even this with some compunction, for the Swedenborgians have such a quiet respectability in their religious proceedings, they manifest such a courteous avoidance of proselytism, that we hold them in an esteem such as we love to cherish. And we are unwilling to utter one unkind word of those who never thrust themselves ostentatiously into notice. If the writer's own fellow-believers are satisfied with his dissertations, as it would appear from the introductory notice they are, we ought to find no fault. But as we have laid down the volume, we have felt the conviction that we have less in common with Swedenborgianism than we had been inclined to suppose.

It has removed us by its, to us, absurd subtleties and wild imaginings, several stages from the gates of the "New Jerusalem.”

H.

Woman in the Nineteenth Century. By S. Margaret Fuller. New York. 1845. 12mo. pp. 201.

On the whole, we have been disappointed in this book as we like to be disappointed. A woman here vindicates the cause of her own sex without a very large infusion of special pleading

an achievement not slightly meritorious, and deserving no small praise. We took up the volume, we are willing to confess it candidly, expecting to find in it a considerable amount of mannerism, affectation, eccentricity and pedantry. It gives us all the more pleasure therefore, to acknowledge that our suspicions were, to a great extent, unjust. The number of inverted sentences, outré ideas, far-fetched comparisons and foreign idioms, is more limited than we had feared. Of pedantry, indeed, perhaps there is not an entire absence. Classical characters, and references to mythological fables, are introduced with a frequency which the best taste would hardly sanction; but the error is often committed with a gracefulness and appositeness which partially redeem it. We just notice these faults the more readily, because we believe Miss Fuller might easily be rid of them, and would gain greatly by the change. We observe that exactly in proportion as she becomes thoroughly in earnest, her style becomes straightforward and natural. An honest thinker, who occasionally wields the good AngloSaxon phrase so energetically, and with so much directness as she, ought to abandon at once all seeking after the novel, the strange and the startling. Like the class of writers to which she belongs, much read in the authors of another nation, and much delighted with them, she sometimes puts herself under a yoke, while she longs above all things to be free; adopts a constrained air, while particularly ambitious of unrestraint; and while aiming at a healthful exercise of the faculties, falls into a habit of thought that is morbid, inharmonious, without symmetry, and so, of course, unattractive, if not disgusting. Moreover, -to finish cleanly this ungrateful work of censure, - the book lacks method sadly, and should have been relieved to the reader by the kindly intervention, here and there, of a sectional or capital division. It is rather a collection of clever sayings and bright intimations, than a logical treatise, or a profound examination of the subject it discusses.

Whether Miss Fuller's ethical code would correspond precisely with our own, we should be able to declare with more

confidence if she had made it perfectly clear to us what that code is. The same may be said of her standard of manners. But of the general spirit of the essay we can, and we must, speak with sincere and hearty approbation. There is a noble and stirring eloquence in many of the passages, that no susceptible person can fail to be affected by. Great, lustrous thoughts break out from the pages, finely uttered. The pervading sentiment is humane, gentle, sympathetic. Miss Fuller says in one place, "I wish woman to live, first, for God's sake; " and she seems to be possessed by the reverential, devout feeling indicated by this remark. She casts a deserved contempt on the miserable trifling so often exhibited by men in their conversation and deportment with women, a custom that depreciates and openly insults their character. For our own part, we have often wondered at their patient toleration of the indignity, implied so palpably in this sort of bearing. Mean topics and flippant discourse are perpetually introduced in society for their entertainment, as if they were capable of comprehending nothing else. She urges in respectful terms their rights, both in property, and, as mothers, to their children, suggesting some worthy thoughts for law-makers. She would have woman respectably employed. She would elevate the purposes of their lives, and by dignifying their position and character, restore the ancient chivalrous respect paid them by every manly heart. Her notions do not seem ultra nor extravagant. She does not ask that woman may be thrust into man's sphere, but that she may have a right and honorable sphere of her own, whether as sister, daughter, mother, or "old maid." And, for ourselves, we admire the noble appeals, near the close of the work, in which she rebukes vice, and entreats for it a wise but prompt consideration. She has discussed a delicate topic delicately and fearlessly; without prudish folly, without timidity, as a true woman should. No tongue will dare to cavil at her. She is too evidently above all small criticism in this quarter, far up out of its reach. What she has said needed to be said, and, if the age has any necessity, needs, we firmly believe, to be repeated, felt and acted upon. The nineteenth century" has a mission to woman, as well as she to the nineteenth century.

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H.

A Commentary on the New Testament. By LUCIUS R. PAIGE. Vol. I. Matthew, Mark. Boston B. B. Mussey. 1844. pp. 401.

12mo.

EACH denomination of Christians among us is in a fair way, it would seem, to have a popular Commentary of its own; this of Mr. Paige being designed more especially for Universalists, as

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