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Lord, in the presence of his disciples, adverts to this circumstance, as well to evince the sincere repentance and unseigned love of Peter, as also to shew his forgiveness of the offence, and to signify his pleasure that this disciple should be entrusted with the supreme governance of the Christian flock. Our Lord asks him thrice, Ist, in order lo impress the more strongly on his mind the injunction with which he followed up this question. 2ndly, to shew Peter how very acceptable was this his love to him. The address Sipwr 'I wyż, must have recalled to Peter's mind the time when Jesus had bestowed on him bis present name, (see John i. 42,) and commended his constancy : and this recollection must have filled him with shame,
By toutwy, Whitby, Pearce, Markland, Eder, and Bolten explain, “ these fishes, fishing vessels," &c. But this is a very frigid sense, and not supported by the subsequent words : and it is well observed by Dr. Jortin, (Serm. Vol. I. p. 382,) that Peter might love Jesus more than these things, and yet not love him much. The best interpreters, however, (as the Syriac Version, Enthymius, Lampe, Doddridge, Campbell, Kuinoel, and Tittman,) take it to mean, “ Dost thou love me more than they do ?" The question may thus be con. sidered (to use the words of Campbell) as having reference to the declaration made by Peter, when he seemed to arrogate a superiority above the rest, in zeal for his master, and steadiness in his service. Though thou shouldest prove a snare to them all, (says he, Matt. xxvi. 33,) I never will be ensnarell. This gives a peculiar propriety to Peter's reply here. Convinced, at length, that his master knew his heart better than he himself, conscious at the same time of the affection which he bore bim, he dares make the declaration, appealing to the infallible judge before whom he stood, as the voucher of his truth. But, as to his fellow disciples, he is now taught not to assume in any thing. He dares not utter a single word which would lead to a comparison with those to whom he knew his woeful defection made him appear so much inferior. To this interpretation, I know it is ob. jected, that our Lord cannot be supposed to ask Peter a question, which the latter was not in a capacity to answer; for, though he was conscious of his own love, he could have no certain knowledge of the love of others. But to this it may be justly answered, that such questions are not understood to require an answer from knowledge, but from opinion. Peter had once shewn himself forward enough to obtrude his opinion unasked, to the disadvantage of the rest, compared with himself. When his Lord said to them, “ This night I shall prove a snare to you all,” Peter was the only person who ventured to contradict him ; for, though he admitted that the prediction might hold good with respect to the rest, he affirmed that an exception ought to be made in his favour. “ Though thou shouldest prove a snare to THEM all, I never will be ensnared." His silence now on that part of the question which concerned his fellow disciples, speaks strongly the shame he had on recollecting his former presumption in boasting superior zeal and firmness; and shews that the lesson of humility and self-knowledge he had so lately received, had not been lost. "Dod, dridge, too, observes how modestly the reply is adjusted to the sense
above laid down. Peter does not in his answer add, “ more than they do," and this beautiful circumstance in the answer shews how much he was humbled and improved by the remembrance of his fall."
Vol. III. pp. 744—6. Mr. Bloomfield has evidently incautiously, we suppose) affirmed too much in explaining the words of Christ, as siguifying his pleasure that Peter should be entrusted with the supreme governance of the Christian flock. No charge is as. signed to him which was not common to the other Apostles, whose authority was, in respect to feeding the flock of Cbrist, equal to his own. Peter was not invested, by the delivery of this charge, with any superiority over the rest of the Apostles. The reasons assigned by Campbell are quite sufficient to account for the whole of the transaction. There is another construction of the words besides the two preceding instances, which Mr. Bloomfield might have noticed, and which, Campbell has remarked, is a meaning of which they are naturally susceptible, though it appeared to him less probable than the other explanations. “ Lovest thou me more than thon lovest these thy fellow disciples ?" This, however, is one of those passages which, in respect to the persons and occasions to which they refer, were rendered perfectly definite by the tone and manner of the speaker, but which, to readers, who cannot have the advantage of such modes of interpretation, are of difficult or doubtful import.
The whole of the Third Volume of the 'Synopsis,' comprising 860 pages, is occupied with Annotations on the gospel of John, derived principally from Lampe's Commentary and Tittman's Meleteniata Sacra. These works comprise the most valuable illustrations of the Evangelist in existence; and Mr. Bloomfield's selections will be found to supply to the student to whom these Expositions may not be accessible, the very best means of proceeding in the study of one of the most inportant of the books of the New Testament, and the difficulties of which can be appreciated only by the most attentive and patient readers.
To Mr. Bloomfield's learning and diligence, the whole of these volumes furnish an ample testimony; and we are bound to report, that the proofs of his skill and judgement are most abundant. If we object to his divinity occasionally, we are not so insensible to the prevailing character of his work, as to urge our dislike of the complexion of a few passages in abatement of its general excellence and utility. He is entitled to encomium, too, for the solicitude which he has manifested to assign to their respective authors the several portions of
his work, which are not original. His practice in this particular forms an advantageous contrast to that of some other writers, who have been little scrupulous about the means by which they could make a literary appearance, and appropriate the labours of others to theirown use and benefit. His references are generally distinct and satisfactory, but sometimes are too in. definite to be of service, e. g.' See Bloomfield on Æschylus.' • See Dr. Marsh.' We should certainly not mark with our slightest disapprobation the citations from Greek and Latin writers which might confirm the meaning of a word, or explain an idiom, or illustrate a sentiment of the New Testament ; but there is, we think, rather a redundance of classical quotation in these volumes. Many of the original remarks shew their Author to advantage as an accomplished scholar and a zealous and successful defender of the Gospels, We cannot hesitate strongly to recommend this work to the notice of theological readers, and particularly to Christian instructers of every denomination. We do so the more confidently, from the liberal feeling which Mr. Bloomfield has manifested in the selection and use of his materials. • He has endeavoured
to preserve the strictest impartiality, and is entitled to take credit for the fairness of his proceedings in this respect. We shall be glad to find that the patronage which he solicits, is extended to his work, and that the classes of persons for whose use and benefit the Author has been so laboriously employed, are availing themselves of its advantages. Of the utility of a Critical Digest of Sacred Annotations, collected from all accessible sources, in reference to that Book which is the most important that man can possess or understand, there can be but one opinion; and he who provides so abundantly and so appropriately as Mr. Bloomfield has done for the instruction of others, has no common claim on their thanks and support.
Art. VII. 1. Practical Wisdom ; or the Manual of Life. The
Counsels of Eminent Men to their children, comprising those
Lives of the Authors. 12mo. pp. 336. London. 1824. 2. Self-Advancement ; or Extraordinary Transitions from Obscurity
to Greatness : exemplified in the Lives and History of the Emperor Basil, Rienzi, Alexander V., Cardinal Ximenes, Hadrian VI., Cardinal Wolsey, Adrian IV., Thomas Lord Cromwell, Sixtus V., Masaniello, Cardinal Alberoni, Dr. Franklin, and the King of Sweden. Designed as an Object of laudable Emulation for the Youthful Mind. "By the Author of “ Practical Wisdom,"
&c. 12mo. pp. xii. 334. London. . 3. Triumphs of Genius and Perseverance; exemplified in the His.
tories of Persons who, from the Lowest State of Poverty and Early Ignorance, have risen to the highest Eminence in the Arts and Sciences. By Elizabeth Strutt, Author of “ Practical Wis.
dom.” 12mo. pp. 420. Price 78. London. 1827. The last of this useful series of publications has recalled
our attention to its predecessors, which had been passed over among the variety of well-designed and meritorious works for young people, which Reviewers, who write for cbildren of a larger growth, are compelled to leave unnoticed. We have been so inuch pleased, however, with the design of the present volume, and with the good sense which marks the prefatory observations, and its literary character is at the same time so superior to that of biographical compilations of a similar description, that we should not feel justified in withholding our warm commendation from the Author's praiseworthy labours.
The examples of triumphant merit selected in the present volume, are the following: Bishop Prideaux. Lord Chief Justice Saunders. Spagnoletto. Valentine Duval. Linnæus. Ferguson. Ludwig. Dr. Blacklock. Heyne. Joseph Haydn. Dean Milner and his Brother. Professor Murray. Belzoni, Mrs. Strutt has evidently studied variety in the selection, with a view to shew, that in every walk of life, and under widely different conditions of society, genius and perseverance will lead to similar results ;-that
.-If there be in glory aught of good,
The voluine is inscribed to the Author of the “ Calamities " of Authors,” not, indeed, under that designation, but as the advocate of the cause of indigent merit. It might, however, very fairly be considered as a sort of counter-statement, holding up the bright side of the subject. We are continually reminded of the Savages, the Chattertons, and the Dermodys : it is well that we should now and then have brought forward, the brighter and better examples of those individuals in whom genius has not proved a fatal treasure or an abused trust, whose chief claim to our sympathy does not spring out of the fruits of their imprudence, who have wrestled with adversity and-if we may be allowed the allusion obtained the blessing.
The Author of this modern Nepos anticipates an objection to the representation which the volume is designed to convey. . . It may be urged,' she says, “that, for one example of fortunate merit like those that are adduced in the following pages, hundreds might be brought of persons of superior ability, who, checked in every undertaking by
“ Poverty's unconquerable bar, In life's low vale remote have pined alone,
And dropped into the grave unpitied and unknown." But who shall say, even of these apparently unfortunate children of Genius, what gleams of delight may have irradiated the gloom of their obscurity-gleams which they have owed to mental effulgence alone :-how many a tranquil hour's enjoyment after labour they may bave secured in the perusal of some favourite author, all the treasures of whose mind, when once publislied to the world, may be imparted, in the present state of society particularly, to the poor, with almost the same facility as the rich ; and certainly with less expenditure either of time or money, than is incurred in the brutalizing enjoy. ments of the public house the only recreation to which those who are totally devoid of education or rational pursuit, will have recourse. Nor does it follow, that a love of reading, or a fondness for the study of any particular science, should interfere with habits of industry or the discharge of duty. Ludwig, the learned Saxon peasant, never rose above the condition of a day-labourer ; yet, he was not only contented, but happy; he was as indefatigable in his avocations as in his studies, though he declared that he would not renounce his books to gain the whole province in which he lived. Nor do we find that Ferguson, the Scottish shepherd, relaxed in the care of his master's sheep, because he employed himself, in his intervals of leisure, with marking on the grass the courses of the stars with little balls of wax and needlefulls of thread. It may indeed safely be pronounced, that he who neglects his proper occupations and the cares due to those around him, merely because he is engaged in any favourite pursuit, however praise-worthy in itself, would not have acquitted himself of them as he ought, even without any such diversion of higi attention. From the right cultivation of our intellectual powers, we Vol. XXVII. N.S.