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affection and tenderness and consideration for our private griefs and the wants of our affections, which we behold in Jesus Christ, who was Immanuel or God with us, God manifest in the flesh.

The directness, the immediateness, the condescension, the domesticity of God's love; his willingness to be the personal friend of each and every one of his children; his sympathy with private and personal griefs and sorrows and struggles,— this is the revelation made in the incarnation: "the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. It has been easy enough for the world in all ages to deify men and exalt human qualities into divine, but only Christ has humanized God, and brought divine attributes into human limitations and conditions.

The wonderful condescension of the almighty God - permitting us and entreating us to see him in a human creature, to know him in knowing a human creature, to interpret him by the conduct, affections, and sacrifices of a human creatureought to excite all our gratitude and all our wonder. Nothing short of this could ever have drawn human affections out of the supine indifference in which they lay dormant. In no climate less heavenly mild than that which Jesus Christ, the sun of righteousness, has made, the climate of warm, all-embosoming, and all-penetrating love from God, could the delicate sensibilities, the family affections, the personal aspirations, of humanity have dared to shoot and bud and blossom until they made that garden bower of homes and hearts which we call modern civilization. This is Christendom, the age and sway of personal affections, the era of the individual, when man dares to look at his personal stake in the universe; dares to believe himself known to God and dear to him; dares to look death in the face, and succeeds in looking its stony eyes out of countenance; dares to love the fragile and the death-struck, because they are still strong in God's care, and undying in their essence; dares to grow old and recognize his own decay, because so only can he renew his youth; dares to see his own

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imperfections and sins just as they are, because God loves him in spite of them, and because he is to have an endless opportunity of struggling with them and putting them away, and has an all-sufficient ally in his Saviour or his Father.

There is no end to the beauty and significance of the faith that God is seen in the face of Jesus Christ; no bound to the meaning and glory of the incarnation. It has changed general principles into personal affections, it has made religion from a public concern a private interest; it has brought the temple into the home and into the heart.

We know very well that this is bringing God too nigh to suit the views or the tastes of some: they do not want religion to be personal, individual, and, so to speak, human. They object to shutting up the soul to the study and contemplation of God in Christ; the limits shock or disturb them; they are willing to have Jesus Christ one among other holy teachers of divine truth, but not "the way, the truth, and the life." They have perhaps never sympathized with Philip's earnest request, "Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us," much less with Christ's answer, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father, and how sayost thou then, Show us the Father.'"

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There is another side to the personality of the gospel: while it brings our Father nigh, it brings our God equally near; while it supports and cherishes and consoles our afflictions, it probes our consciences; while it bends low to whisper its encouragements into our ear, it looks, with the eye that Peter could not meet, into the sinner's own heart, and summons him to an immediate, an urgent, and a personal repentance.

Receiving religion through a person makes it a personal matter; and it thus gets a hold on the conscience and will, as on the heart, which arouses the resistance or alarms the selflove, the pride, and waywardness of many. But, as a matter of observation, all the practical power, whether to console or to convince of sin and save, which resides in the gospel, resides in it by virtue of the incarnation of God in Christ coming

into direct personal relation with individual souls, and so, by a positive, circumstantial, and unescapable influence, shutting them up to a direct intercourse with the great Physician, who is also the great Consoler and Comforter of souls.

This is what our Orthodox brethren of every name mean, when they talk of the necessity of coming to Christ. They have, it is true, a great many theories about the efficacy of Christ's blood, and the virtue of the Atonement, and the power of the cross; but these are matters of theory and speculation and rhetoric. We do not think it necessary here to oppose or to explain them. But all that they mean is realized by every soul which, in any way and on any theory, comes into personal relations with Christ, as the Father's image and the Father's love brought nigh, and so made positive and influential and tender and predominating. If we do not want our religious and personal affections to be chilled to death; if we really desire that personal relation with God which shall make his service a positive and constant reality; if we wish Christianity to come to us, not as the message of the sovereign or president comes to every citizen of the state, but as a warm and tender communication, a letter from home, addressed to our private souls, then let us study God's will in Christ's face and in Christ's life and death; meditate upon and make ourselves masters of the purpose of our Lord's mission on earth. Consider what has been always, and what now continues to be, the secret of his power. Then we shall no longer worship a vague, or a merely just and holy God; but we shall find a heavenly Father, and find him quickening and cleansing our conscience, sanctifying our heart, consoling our griefs, confirming our faith, and renewing our souls, through the tender and all-sufficient hands of a personal, a devoted, a dying, a risen, and an ever-living Saviour.

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IT has been a joyous sight to see Italy born again into the family of nations, and renewing her youth and strength; and every new sign of awakening life is a fresh pleasure. We have here a book which helps to increase our hope, that Italy will soon have a theology more suited to her needs than the mass of superstitions which has been her inheritance. Our author is a pioneer in the cause of liberal theology there, and has had, it seems, not only to write his book, but to pay for its publication.

He has done his work in a thorough and scholarly way. He shows himself acquainted with German, English, and French authorities. He is very successful in his treatment of the two great objections to the unity of the Book of Ecclesiastes, that is, the presence in it of so many disjointed sentences and maxims; and, secondly, the apparently contradictory statements in it in regard to a future life and judgment, and on some other matters.

On the first point, our author, acknowledging his indebtedness to Ewald and Knobel for two suggestions at the basis of his view, considers the author of Ecclesiastes to have been an unskilful writer, who sometimes let his fancy wander outside the logical line of his argument, and afterwards did not correct and prune his work, as a more critical writer would have done. He points out, besides, that these disconnected sentences are mostly maxims of practical advice, -a common mode of teaching in the East, in which the accidental association of ideas in the mind of the writer would have freer play, and the connection of thought be less regarded, than in a theoretical treatise, such as the greater part of the book is.

Our author harmonizes the apparent contradictions in the book with its unity, by regarding the author of it as a "probabilist," as he puts it, or a sceptic, not absolute and thorough-going, but one who

* Il Libro del Cohelet, Volgarmente Detto Ecclesiaste, Tradotto dal Testo Ebraico, con Introduzione Critica e Note. Di DAVID CASTELLI. Pisa: Tipographia Nistri, 1866. A spese dell' Autore. pp. 305.

"denies nothing, but acknowledges every thing, yet recognizes nothing as true, but accepts every thing as probable,” one who, "considering things in their multiform aspects, reaches contrary conclusions, according to the different ways in which he examines questions;" "yet forced by necessity to follow some line of conduct in practical life, after passing in review the different opinions which wrestle together in his mind, rests finally in that conclusion which seems to him the least improbable." Yet these considerations are not enough, our author thinks, to reconcile the doctrine of the last six verses of the book (xii. 9-14) to that of the rest of it; but we have not space enough here to give his rather complex view of this subject.

We hope that the Italian exegesis which is to come will show as much care and thought and acuteness, and be as clear in expression, as this book is. If so, it will help, not only Italy, but the rest of the world besides.

F. T. W.

AFTER what late events have taught us, we should hardly have gone to Palermo in search of a liberal or a rationalist; but it seems, from the book before us,* that the spirit of free inquiry has penetrated even there. Our author belongs to a class of rationalists which we might expect to find in so backward a place. He is of the Voltaire and TomPaine school of Deists. To one used to a more modern mode of thought, there is something almost startling in this apparition from the past. It may be, however, that things are in such a bad state in Palermo, and in some other parts of Italy, as to give to Deism a strong excuse for being, and to call for the assertion of the great truth which this Deism contains, that the reason has its rights, which must not be trampled upon. And, so far as this book is an assertion of the rights of reason, it has our hearty sympathy. But our author, not content with this, strikes, in a rather vague but very bloodthirsty way, at all of us poor Christians, and attacks Christianity with a fierceness which seems more dictated by prejudice and ignorance than by that Reason of which he is so warm a worshipper.

Perhaps the strangest part of the book is found in the last chapter, where we are surprised, after the strong and indiscriminate abuse of dogmas in the chapters before, to read that "the programme of the rationalists" should be set out clearly in formulas, and spread abroad. Our author's attempt at a programme" of this sort seems


* Il Razionalismo ed il Signor Guizot. Per il CAV. B. GALLETTI. Palermo: Tipografia di Gaetano Priulla, 1866. pp. vii., 105.

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