21 JULY 1866, Page 22

The Critical English Testament. Edited by Rev. W. L. Blackley,

M.A., and Rev. James Hawes, M.A. 3 vols. Vol. I. The Gospels. (Strahan).— This work incorporates with Bengers Gnomon of the New Testament the results of modern textual criticism as represented by the works of Tischendorf, Alford, &c. It is cheap enough, each volume only costing six shillings, and will no doubt answer one purpose that it has in view, viz., that of enabling a reader unacquainted with Greek to realize more completely the meaning of the language of the New Testament. But apart from the critical explanations which are taken from other sources, the commentary of Herr Bengel seems to us common-place enough. We find, for instance, apropos of that sad dance on King Herod's birthday, the following reflections, that we really think most. people could have made for themselves:—" Great temptations to she accompany set days, such, for instance, as dedication feasts, fairs, &c., in which, as commonly held, disgust and sorrow too often follow empty pleasures. Nor will the world be advised to better things." Again, " She danced— a little matter to give rise to an event of the gravest. import." And once more,- on the finale :—" A sadden and violent death, even by decapitation, is not necessarily a miserable one." We should imagine that people would find this out without the assistance of a commentator or—not at all. It seems to us that this is a case in which the part of Hamlet might have been left out of the play with advantage ; the "results of modern criticism " would have been bettor appreciated without the Gnomon.