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PROFESSOR SMYTH has made a very beautiful and curious book in defence of a very fantastic and untenable theory. He solves the meaning of the Great Pyramid in a strange way, which is more creditable to his ingenuity and piety than to his good sense. He separates the Great Pyramid by a broad line from all the other Egyptian pyramids. These may have been the tombs of kings; but the Great Pyramid is the divinely ordered and the divinely fixed standard of time, weight, and measure. It was set in its place by the special appointment of Jehovah, that all the world, henceforth and for ever, might know how to reckon days and weeks, feet and inches, pints and quarts, pecks and bushels. Such a standard was needed for the world, in the chaos of clashing opinions and customs; and, at last, after four thousand years, it has been revealed by Mr. John Taylor, whose interpreter and defender the Edinburgh astronomer is content to be. This monument was intended to outlast the ages; and, if the nations are wise, they will consult its symmetrical sides, its angles, its passages, its chinks in the wall, and especially the mysterious coffer in its central chamber, and adjust by this all their methods of time, space, and quantity. The riddle of the ages has at last been read, and England is summoned to pause from the sacrilege that would forsake the inspired pyramid-system for the profane decimals of unbelieving France.
Professor Smyth comes forth as a social and moral reformer in this key to the scientific marvel. It is to be feared, however, that he has damaged his scientific argument by his questionable exegesis of Scripture. His views of the Pentateuch are by no means in harmony with the views of Colenso; and he gives an earlier date and a more historic accuracy to the statements of the Book of Job than any careful critic will sustain. The scientific argument, too, has to be strained, in order to bring the tables of weight and measure which England uses into harmony with those lines of Egyptian stone. There are uncomfortable fractions which vex his calculations. All his enthusiasm for the new theory cannot blind his readers to the fact, that he leaves discrepancies unexplained, and that he twists resemblances into identities. We do not think that his fine drawings and photographs and diagrams dispel that mystery of the colossal monu
* An Inheritance in the Great Pyramid. By Professor C. Piazzi Smyth, F.R.SS., L. & E., Astronomer Royal for Scotland. With Photograph, Map, and Plates. London: Alexander Strahan & Co., 1864. 12mo. pp. xvi. 400.
ment which has reigned in all the stories of the Pyramid since the day of Herodotus. And, after reading the work carefully, figures, fancies, digressions, pious protests, and all, we are prepared to say that it is unsatisfactory; that the theory is "not proven;" and that science still waits for the solution of the problem. We do not think that the British Association will be hindered in its favor for a uniform decimal system by this solemn warning from a mountain of stone and an empty sarcophagus. Some other must answer for us the question, "Who built the Pyramid, and for what was it built?"
C. H. B.
In the expectant period of American poetical literature, thirty or forty years ago, perhaps no name was more prominent, or associated with more confident anticipations, than that of Percival. It is pleasant to freshen the associations, which school-books and popular reputation have connected with it, by the interesting and beautiful biography lately published.* The fame of the poet has grown somewhat dim. He soon wearied of the task of keeping it bright by renewal; and there was not the live quality in it, or the patient artist workmanship, to make it classic and imperishable. So that we learn, with a sort of surprise, how high his rank was once thought to be among our native poets. And it is with still greater surprise that one comes to know how utterly that brief youthful fame was eclipsed by the solid achievements of his later life. One of the rarest heroisms, one of the painfullest tragedies, one of the noblest martyrdoms, in the history of letters, we find recorded here. A narrative direct, simple, full, unobtrusive, is filled out with letters of personal reminiscence of singular interest. Fighting with penury, disappointment, baffled ambition, and a temperament morbid to the very verge of insanity, here was a mind of almost unequalled wealth of positive attainments of restless activity, of scholarly and scientific faculty, bordering close on the highest genius. We do not know whether to call such a life unhappy, though, in almost all its outward aspects, it is very sad. The biography is very instructive, if such a temper and mind could learn from precept or example. It is certainly one of the most interesting, curious, and valuable records that our literary annals have afforded.
*The Life and Letters of James Gates Percival. By Julius H. Ward. Boston: Ticknor & Fields.
NEW PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED.
The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke. Revised edition. Vol. IX. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co. pp. 493. (Containing Articles of Charge against Warren Hastings, and Speeches in his Impeachment.)
The History of Christianity, from the Birth of Christ to the Abolition of Paganism in the Roman Empire. By Henry Hart Milman, D.D., Dean of St. Paul's. 3 vols. 12mo. New York: W. J. Widdleton.
A History of the Gypsies; with Specimens of the Gypsy Language. By Walter Simson. Edited, with Preface, Introduction, and Notes, and a Disquisition on the Past, Present, and Future of Gypsydom, by James Simson. 12mo. pp. 575. New York: M. Doolady.
On Democracy. 8vo. pp. 418; also, The Making of the American Nation; or, the Rise and Decline of Oligarchy in the West. By J. Arthur Partridge. 8vo. pp. 523. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co.
An American Family in Germany. By J. Ross Browne. Illustrated by the Author. 12mo. pp. 381; The Race for Wealth. By Mrs. J. H. Riddell; All in the Dark. By J. Sheridan Le Fanu; Sir Brooke Fosbrooke. By Charles Lever; The Beauclercs, Father and Son. By Charles Clarke; Madonna Mary. By Thomas Oliphant. New York: Harper & Brothers. Melibus Hipponax. The Biglow Papers. Second Series. Ticknor & Fields. pp. 258.
The Poems of Alfred B. Street. New York: Hurd & Houghton. 2 vols. pp. 302, 338.
Flower-de-Luce. By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. With Illustrations. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. pp. 72.
Maud Muller. By John G. Whittier. With Illustrations by W. J. Hennersy. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 8vo. pp. 12.
The King's Ring. By Theodore Tilton. Illustrated by Frank Jones. New York: Hurd & Houghton. pp. 8. (Quaintly and tastefully illuminated; a beautiful fancy piece, with a moral.)
Reading without Tears; or, a Pleasant Mode of Learning to Read. Part Second. Sqr. 18mo. pp. 292. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Red Letter Days in Applethorpe. By Gail Hamilton. pp. 141; Stories of Many Lands. By Grace Greenwood. pp. 206; A Summer in Leslie Goldthwaite's Life. By Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney. pp. 230. Illustrated. Boston: Ticknor & Fields.
Ned Nevins, the Newsboy; or, Street Life in Boston. By Henry Morgan. Illustrated. Boston: Lee & Shepard. pp. 424.
The Arabian Nights' Entertainments. A new edition, revised, with Notes, by the late Rev. George Tyler Townsend. Sixteen Illustrations. New York: Hurd & Houghton. pp. 583.
The Sanctuary: a Story of the Civil War. author of "The Story of the Great March." pp. 286. New York: Harper & Brothers.
By George Ward Nichols,
Personal Recollections of Distinguished Generals. By William F. G. Shanks. 12mo. pp. 347. Illustrated. New York: Harper & Brothers. The Life and Light of Men. An Essay. By John Young, LL.D. (Edin.) 12mo. pp. 497. Alexander Strahan, London and New York.
First Years in Europe. By George H. Calvert. Boston: William V. Spencer. pp. 303.
Morning by Morning; or, Daily Readings for the Family and the Closet. By C. H. Spurgeon. New York: Sheldon & Co. pp. 403.
ART. I. - CHRISTIANITY AND PSEUDO-CHRISTIANITY.
In his volume entitled "Reason in Religion," Dr. Hedge opens his discussion of the position of Christ in the Christian Church with the following significant passage:
"In the various attempts which, during the last half-century, have been made to construe the veritable image of Jesus from the illdigested and often conflicting accounts of the four evangelists, no result is so conspicuous as the impossibility of any valid and final solution of that problem. The historical and legendary are so confused in these narratives, the genuine sayings of Jesus are often so undistinguishably blended with the comments and interpolations of his reporters, that criticism, incompetent to the work of elimination, can do no more than furnish an approximate and conjectural reconstruction. It comes to this at last, that every reader must construct his own Christ from the fourfold record, according to his own impression of the verisimilitudes of the case. And, on the whole, the impression derived immediately from the record by a thoughtful reader, with no theory to support and no case to make out, is quite as likely to be correct as any obtained through a foreign medium.
"Were it possible to reproduce, with exactitude beyond dispute, the portrait of the true historical Jesus, the image, I suppose, would be found to differ widely from the Christ of the Church, or the Christ received by the great majority of Christians." - Reason in Religion, pp. 227, 228.
VOL. LXXXII. -NEW SERIES, VOL. III. NO. II.
The interpretation of Christ and Christianity, which we are about to present, became matter of distinct and earnest conviction with us before we had been permitted to see any of the results of modern criticism, and when, as yet, our study of facts had not gone beyond the pages of the New Testament. The original traditional aspect of the matter with us had inspired us with implicit faith in Jesus as the ATONING GOD AND SAVIOUR of a sinful world. This faith was not at first disturbed by any direct results of study or of thought. Criticism had not yet touched for us the "fourfold record." Inquiry had not disturbed, in the least particular, our evangelical interpretation of that record. With the single exception of a consciousness of God, newly re-awakened and enlarged, every thing in us and around us conspired to persuade us of the truth of Orthodoxy.
We did not fall into unbelief at all. Our denials were not born of scepticism; and yet we did entirely throw off the yoke of tradition. Our attitude towards the Christian Church was completely changed.
This change, however, was no change of the inward life, save as growth is change. The supreme principle of our Christian faith, direct faith in God, was carried up to a degree which left far behind the subordinate parts of our faith. An indestructible conviction, that for all things God will provide, became our supreme rule of faith, replacing as such the old rule of Christ's words and of the Biblical catechism. It was a great overturning as to the outward setting forth of truth, and as to our outward relation to the Christian Church; but, as to the inward life of faith and the soul's relation to God, it was no more than a natural unfolding of pure belief. Belief in God, so much enlarged as to exclude every form of partial faith, was the law of faith under which we entered upon, and earnestly prosecuted, a diligent examination of the true significance, under God, of Christ and Christianity. This was our bias, our prepossession, our guiding principle. thoughtful reader, with no theory to support and no case to make out," says Dr. Hedge, is most likely to obtain a correct impression of what Christ in truth was. Does he mean