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been more extensively blest in the conversion of souls than perhaps any other of his productions.
Of Howe's polemical works, it is enough to say that they abound in vigorous thought, nice discrimination and cogent reasoning. They are especially distinguished by a liberal and courteous spirit. We have already spoken of “ The Reconcileableness of God's Prescience with the sincerity of his Counsels,” &c. It would require more space than we can devote to the subject, to give any thing like an adequate view of his several treatises on the doctrine of the Trinity. We have doubts as to the correctness of some of his positions; but can unhesitatingly say, that his discussions upon this point are generally characterized by sobriety of views, great power of analysis and sound argument. His lectures upon the doctrines of the Gospel may be read with profit, as his general system of theology is free from all extremes, holding a middle course between hyper-Calvinism on the one hand, and Arminianism on the other. His views of the fundamental and “distinguishing” doctrines of Christianity are uncommonly just and scriptural.
Howe's principal work is “ The Living Temple," a production distinguished by great erudition and vast compass of thought, by metaphysical acumen and glowing eloquence. It was written, as he informs us, for the purpose of withdrawing the attention of men from the outworks of the temple of truth to the temple itself.
In order to prepare the way for a description of this temple, he first directs his attention to its great inhabitant -God-proving his existence, his infinite and eternal power, his intelligence and spirituality, his wisdom and goodness, his absolute and infinite perfection. By this means he establishes the fact of “his conversableness with man," and the propriety of dedicating a temple to his worship. In discussing these points, he grapples with the Epicurean philosophy, which was somewhat fashionable at the dissolute court of Charles, and was spreading its baneful influence through the nation. Throughout the whole discussion, he proves himself a perfect master of the art of reasoning. The infidel philosophy is shown to be weak and shallow; its wild theories and gilded sophistries are scattered to the winds. A storm of argument, wit and ridicule is poured upon the heads of “the atheistical tribe," while the most striking proofs and illustrations are given of the wisdom, power and goodness of God.
Howe gives many beautiful illustrations of the great principle of design; among others, that of a watch, the original, perhaps, of Paley's celebrated argument upon the same subject.
The discussion of the various arguments, to which reference has been made, occupies the first part of the Living Temple.
In the second part of this treatise, which was written several years after the first, he recapitulates his former arguments, and discusses the theoretical speculations of Spinosa. This philosopher maintained the unity and identity, and, in fact, homogeneousness of all substance, insisting that there is only one substance in the universe, and that this substance is God. He consequently denied the essential distinction between matter and mind, and maintained the eternity of all things. One of his favorite positions was, that no substance can be produced by another, by which means he virtually denied the creation of the world. And yet he defended his system as preëminently religious and Christian, prefixing to his work,Posthumous Ethics,-.the following passage of Scripture : 1 John 4:13, “By this we know that we dwell in God, and that God dwelleth in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.”
Having proved the absurdity of these notions, Howe addresses himself to the consideration of the Living Temple, of which that God, whose existence and “conversableness with man,” he had established, is the great Inhabitant. He first describes the temple in ruins, and yet retaining so much of its former state, as to indicate its primitive grandeur and beauty. The passage, in which this sublime conception is embodied, is inexpressibly striking and eloquent. We once heard it quoted before his class, by Professor Wilson, of Edinburgh, as one of the noblest passages in the whole compass of English literature. He compared it with a passage from Kant, on the infinitude of the universe, giving the preference to the one from John Howe.
“ The stately ruins are visible to every eye, that bear in their front, yet extant, this doleful inscription,-HERE GOD ONCE DWELT. Enough appears of the admirable frame and structure of the soul of man, to show the Divine presence did some time reside in it; more than enough of vicious deforinity, to proclaim he is now retired and gone. The lamps are extinct, the altar overturned; the light and love are now vanished, which did the one shine with so heavenly a brightness, the other burn with so pious fervor ; the golden candlestick is displaced, and thrown away as a useless thing, to make room for the throne of the prince of darkness; the sacred incense, which sent rolling up in clouds its rich perfumes, is exchanged for a poisonous, hellish vapor. * * * *Look upon the fragments of that curious sculpture which once adorned the palace of that great King; the relics of common notions; the lively prints of some undefaced truth; the fair ideas of things; the yet legible precepts that relate to practice. Behold! with what accuracy the broken pieces show these to have been engraven by the finger of God, and how they now lie torn and scattered, one in this dark corner, another in that, buried in heaps of dirt and rubbish. * * * You come arnidst all this confusion, as into the ruined palace of some great prince, in which you see here the fragments of a noble pillar, there the shattered pieces of some curious imagery, and all lying neglected and useless among beaps of dirt. He that invites you to take a view of the soul of man, gives you but such another prospect, and doth but say to you, Bebold the desolation,'-all things rude and waste. So that should there be any pretence to the Divine presence, it might be said, if God be here, why is it thus? The faded glory, the darkness, the disorder, the impurity, the decayed state in all respects of this temple, too plainly show that the great Inhabitant is gone.”—Living Temple, pp. 75, 76.
But the temple is to be rebuilt and reoccupied. This is done, as our author shows, by the incarnation of the Son of God, whom he represents as the great model temple, according to which all inferior temples are to be constructed. Under this head, he discusses all the great principles of the Christian system, in a manner highly scriptural and interesting.
Howe's style is somewhat surcharged with epithets, and is not unfrequently harsh and heavy, though much relieved by passages of great beauty and power. He abounds in divisions and subdivisions, a fault which he had in common with many learned divines of his age. His gold is rich and massive, though seldom wrought into beautiful and finished forms; and the reader must be willing to labor somewhat in order to find it.
One of the greatest charms of the old theological writers is, their all-pervading holiness, their forgetfulness of self, their simplicity and earnestness, their confiding faith, their love to God and to souls. It is this which gives them such power over the pious heart, and renders them so suc
cessful in converting souls to God. These characteristics appear conspicuous in the works of Howe. We feel, in reading them, as if we were conversing with one of the ancient seers. While the intellect is informed, the heart is made better, and thus while growing in knowledge, we grow also in grace. We feel “the vanity of man as mortal," aspire to become “living temples” of God, and pant after “ the future blessedness of the righteous."
A Biographical Sketch of Henry Stephens. By FRANCIS Passow. Translated from the German by the Editor.
INTRODUCTION. As the art of printing spread rapidly from its home in Germany, throughout all the countries of Europe, it every where called forth men, who could not be satisfied with perfecting and embellishing the mechanical part of the new invention, but who also labored to qualify themselves, by profound erudition, to prepare works of their own for the press, and to employ learned men under their supervision, in elaborating productions worthy of being perpetuated. When the threefold employment of printer, publisher and author was united in the same person, the numerous advantages arising from such a union could not remain unobserved; and it is not strange, that a business which had proved a father's source of wealth, and,—what was then of still greater account,-of just renown, should be transmitted to his son. This hereditary profession, to which we owe so much, first appeared in the family of the Aldi, at Venice. Soon after, their example was followed by the Junta, in Florence, by the Plantins, in Holland, and by the Wechels, in Frankfort, on the Mayn. But in no family did this arrangement continue longer, or extend itself into more branches, or achieve greater enterprises, than in that of Stephens (properly Etienne, or, as the family itself wrote their name, Estienne), which continued to flourish for nearly two centuries (from 1500 to 1684), first in Paris, subsequently in Geneva, afterwards in both at the same time, and again in Rochelle. It was allied by marriage with the families of Badius, Colines and Patissoe.
It reflects no small discredit upon the French, that as yet they have not in any manner honored the memory of such distinguished citizens. * These men do not, indeed, need such memorials, inasmuch as their own productions will never cease to proclaim their virtues. Still, as a consequence of this neglect, a great and almost fabulous obscurity rests upon the connecting links of their history, which nothing but documents, city archives, registers, company books and family papers can remove.
The office, which ungrateful countrymen neglected, was undertaken by Theodore Jansson van Almeloveen, of Holland, in his Lives of the Stephenses, 1683, and a litile later (1709), by Michael Maittaire, of England. Neither of them had access to any thing more than to published accounts, which, however, were diligently examined. But in regard to a historical arrangement and recasting of the materials, nothing was attempted by either.
As the writer is daily, in his own labors, t employed with the works of the most celebrated member of this family, the second Henry Stephens, he is desirous of presenting some token of his gratitude to that great man, by attempting to draw from the same materials some connected account of his eventful life.
But as there are frequently chasms of successive years in his history, which could be filled only by conjecture, it was found impossible to follow the chronological order; instead of this, an internal connection has been sought, which it is hoped will not mislead the reader.
HIS CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH. About the commencement of the sixteenth century, and in the reign of Louis XII, Henry Stephens, the first of his name and of his profession, of whom we have any knowledge, had a press in successful operation in Paris. About the year 1520, he left behind him, at his death, a wellarranged establishment, of which at first Simon de Colines,
• The only exception is, that F. Didot has given some notices of Robert and llenry Stephens in his Translation of Tyrtaeus.
tlu preparing his own Greek Lexicon - Ev.