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. By the union of christians of different denominations, on the principles of the Society, the establishment of schools becomes practicable in districts where it would be otherwise impossible to act efficiently ; a wise and equal distribution of the means of education is secured in thickly populated towns and cities; that unnatural and mischievous competition which so frequently dissipates strength, which reduces the remuneration of the teacher to the lowest point, and which renders any united system of school inspection all but impossible, is always checked and often prevented ; and the temptation to appoint unsuitable teachers, merely for the sake of securing persons of peculiar religious opinions, is to a great extent removed out of the way.
By confining religious instruction to the sacred scriptures, and by inculcating points which unite rather than those which divide real christians, it presents truth to the minds of children in its just proportions; it avoids the danger of forming sectarian partizans instead of enlightened christians; and it prevents the growth of mere prejudices, by withholding from the young sentiments and opinions which can have no practical hold either on their intellects or affections. It thus binds together, by common effort, in a common cause, those who are always too prone to separate ; it enables the stronger to assist the weaker, by generously bearing a portion of their burdens; and by manifesting to the world the identity of christian character, it tends to promote the fulfilment of the Redeemer's prayer, 'that they all may be one.'-p. 22.
While, therefore, we rejoice in the establishment and multiplication of congregational schools, and hail all such efforts as promoting the great and common cause of light against darkness, truth against error, and holiness against sin, we feel still bound to regard the education of the people as a national object, and therefore to be treated, whenever it is practicable, NATIONALLY; that is to say, 'with reference to the country rather than to parties, to towns rather than to churches, to districts rather than to congregations.'
In reading the Life and Correspondence of Dr. Arnold, we have been much struck with the accordance of that eminent person's sentiments on education with those which we have thought it right to advocate. His whole life, indeed, might be converted into one great argument for the British and Foreign School Society. He is perpetually insisting that 'with the exception of Unitarians, all christians have a common ground in all that is essential in christianity;' and beyond that he never wishes to go. Yet he is no persecutor. His letter to a parent holding Unitarian opinions is a model of christian integrity and candour.
Far from imagining that children cannot be trained in the fear and love of God without being separated into sects, he disclaims all wish to bias their opinions on unimportant points, and
labours to lead them to Christ in true and devoted faith, holding all the scholarship that ever man had, to be infinitely worthless in comparison with even a very humble degree of spiritual advancement.'
But then he had no exaggerated expectations. He had faith in what he believed to be a general law of Providence ; and he based his whole management on his early formed and yearly-increasing conviction, that what he had to look for both intellectually and morally, was not performance, but promise ;' and ‘he did not hesitate to apply to his scholars the principle which seemed to him to have been adopted in the training of the childhood of the human race itself. He shrunk from pressing on the consciences of boys rules of action which he felt they were not yet able to bear; and from enforcing actions which, though right in themselves, would in boys be performed from wrong motives. His aim, indeed, was rather to make christian men than to produce christian boys. He felt that with children school time is seed time, and he was content to see the blade' only, in the full belief that 'the ear, and the full corn in the ear,' would follow in due time.
Right views on this subject would do much to check the unreasonable expectations which are so frequently formed by those who establish schools for the poor; the language of mature and experienced piety, instead of being encouraged, would be felt to be inappropriate in tbe mouth of a child ; excited hopes would not be followed by collapse and disappointment; and abundant scope would be found for the sound christian instruction of young persons, without the introduction of topics ill sụited to their years, or the factitious development of religious affections.
But we have already far exceeded all bounds in the length to which this article has insensibly extended. We must now part company alike with Bell and Lancaster, and with the societies which respectively embody their principles and form their monuments.
Mr. Southey's book is, on the whole, heavy. It is much too large and loaded with correspondence. Here and there a letter from the Edgeworths, Wordsworth, Coleridge, or the lamented editor of the first volume, relieves a tedium which would otherwise be insupportable. Yet even these, though few in number, are sometimes uninteresting, and only add to the dreary and desolate feeling with which the eye wanders over the three thick octavo volumes which embalm the remains of Dr. Bell.
Mr. Corston's sketch, as a literary production, is not open to criticism. It is the last fond memorial of an old man trembling on the brink of the grave, and recalling scenes still fresh with the recollection of by-gone joys.
Art. II. 1 Isagoge in epistolam a Paulo apost. ad Colossenses datam, theologica, historica, critica. Confecit G. Böhmer. 8vo. Berol. 1829. 2. Theologische Auslegung des Paulinischen Sendschreibens an die Colosser. Von W. Böhmer. 8vo. Breslau, 1835. 3. Der Brief Pauli an die Colosser: Uebersetzung, Erklärung, einleitende, und epikritische Abhandlungen. Von W. Steiger. 8vo. Erlangen, 1835. 4. Commentar über den Brief Pauli an die Colosser. Von K. C. W. F. Bähr. 8vo. Basel, 1833. e
THE Epistle to the Colossians greatly needs an English commentary. There is no good exposition of it in our language. It is a part of the New Testament, confessedly difficult, and in various aspects most important. In the meantime, some one of the three commentaries at the head of this article should be translated into English. Bähr’s would probably be the most popular, although we should prefer Steiger's or Boehmer's. Olshausen’s, however, is superior to any other of the same compass. The light of history, especially the history of philosophy, must be brought to bear upon the letter before us. The allusions of Paul lie so much within the apostolic period, that it is impossible to understand the scope and bearings of his statements, or to attach definite ideas to many expressions, without a tolerable acquaintance with the influences which leavened the cultivated Jewish no less than the cultivated heathen mind of that age. To explore this is a task to which the indolent propensity of the English theologian is averse. It must be left to the laborious Germans who love such pursuits; while we are content with learning the results of their investigations. They accuse us of doing nothing to advance the interpretation of the Bible, and there is ground for the accusation; although themselves are not free from blame while boldly prosecuting their inquiries. In examining such questions as are suggested by the epistle, we shall pursue the following order, and inquire:— I. Who were the persons at Colosse whom the apostle condemns as corrupters of the church? II. Did Paul himself plant the church in that place? III. The authenticity and genuineness of the epistle. IV. The connexion between the epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians. V. The time and place at which the Colossian letter was written. VI. Its contents.
In discussing the first topic these particulars present themselves :
(a) Were the false teachers at Colosse of one sect or class, or did they belong to different and distinct parties?
(6) Were they Jews or Christians ?
errorists contradictory, a to describe minthe characteris
(a) When the various features ascribed by the apostle to these errorists are collected into one portrait, they appear at first sight so contradictory as not to belong to the same individuals. Rather do they seem to describe minds whose psychology is diverse. Hence Heinrichs attributes the characteristic traits enumerated to persons of various parties,-judaists, gnostics, and other heretics. In like manner Whitby thinks, that they point partly to Essenes, and partly to Pythagorean philosophers. Nothing improbable appears in the supposition that a judaising tendency is depicted in the words :- Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days;' and a gnostic propensity in the following :- Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,' (ii. 16, 18.) The writer does not affirm that all the errors he condemns were held by the same persons. No part of the epistle is directly or decidedly opposed to the hypothesis, that those who disseminated false doctrines among the Colossians belonged to classes essentially distinct; although, at the same time, a line of separation is not drawn between different parties. But when we reflect that Colosse was of comparatively small extent*—that the Christians there were not very numerous; and that the apostle uniformly censures the church as a whole, not certain individuals in it; that the errors in question are successively depicted without any intimation that they belonged to various factions; it is probable, that all the features unite in one portrait, and find their
It is often stated, that Colosse was a large, wealthy, populous city, and thence inferred that the church there was large and flourishing. This does not appear to be correct. In the time of Herodotus and Xenophon, it certainly was so; but not in the time of Pau). The former historian calls it Tólu peyaln (vii. 30); the latter, evdaipwv kai jayán,( Anab. I. 2. 6). But its ancient greatness sank when Laodicea and Hierapolis rebelled against the yoke of the Seleucidæ, and afterwards of the Romans. Strabo (xii. 8.) calls it Hóleopa, a little town, in opposition to Laodicea which was extensive and populous. Ptolemy has taken no notice of it in his catalogue of cities. It is true that Pliny reckons it one of the celeberrima oppida Phrygiæ,(Nat. Hist. v. 41). but oppidum means only a town; and the reason why he styles it very celebrated is obscure. His authority is of little weight against that of Strabo.
appropriate position in the same persons...A comparison of our epistle with the pastoral letters shews, that similar errors had been promulgated in Crete and Ephesus. It is therefore better to assume, with the majority of modern interpreters, that only one class of heretical teachers is depicted in the epistle. (b) Eichhorn maintains, that they were Jews, not Christians; a hypothesis afterwards modified by Schneckenburger, and adopted as so modified by Feilmoser. In support of it Eichhorn adduces the phrase, “not holding the head,' (ii. 19), which is explained, not believing in Christ. This, however, is obviously incorrect. Had they been mere Jews, there would have been no significancy in affirming that they did not believe in Christ. * Not holding the head’ must therefore denote, not holding fast by the head, not maintaining a belief in His essential dignity and power, but virtually lowering his pre-eminence by adopting and disseminating views in regard to his person, inconsistent with its true glory. Had they not made a profession of Christianity, the apostle would hardly have described, or warned the Colossians against them, with such particularity. The case would have been too obvious to require so much opposition on the part of an inspired writer. Jews would have been at once charged with absolutely rejecting the promised Messiah in the person of the Saviour, and thus condemned for their unbelief. It is manifest from the tenor of the epistle, that they were Christians not Jews, else the pains taken to refute them appear to be superfluous. (c) In Phrygia, there was a mixture of the oriental and occidental tendencies. The national character of the people appears to have been strongly tinctured with the enthusiastic and the mystical. Such a propensity, turned in a heathen direction, may be observed in the fanatical worship of Cybele; while in the direction of Christianity, it appears in the Montanism of the second century. During the apostolic age, many Jews were dispersed through Asia Minor. Considerable numbers had taken up their abode there previously to the birth of Christ. According to Josephus, Antiochus the Great ordered two thousand Jewish families, with all their effects, to be transplanted from Babylon and Mesopotamia into Phrygia, (Antiq. xii. 3.) Nor were the Jews who had established themselves in this region of one party alone;—they belonged to all the sects into which the nation was divided. Now the people of that time, both Jews and heathens, were prone to speculations respecting the invisible world. Eager to stretch their view beyond the material, they pushed their inquiries into the region of spirits and higher intelligences. It may be readily conceived, that the thirst after such aerial knowledge was accompanied by considerable *