7 MARCH 1835, Page 19


MR. ROBERTS was employed for many years as a Missionary in the East, and mingled on terms of equality and intimacy with the Hindoos. He has seen the people in their hopes and fears, in their joys and sorrows—in calmness, in excitement, and in trouble. The similarity of many of their customs, actions, and expressions, to those alluded to in the Bible, appear at first to have turned his attention to the subject of this work ; and leading him to consider the Scriptures as an Oriental book, to determine to illustrate them by comparing such passages as admitted of the process, with Oriental practices as they now exist. With this view, he noted down upon the spot any thing which struck him; and on his re- turn to his own house, wrote out the commentary at length. The gradual result of this persevering labour is the volume before us; which professes to elucida:e upwards of a thousand texts of Script use.

The beok, it will be understood, is for reference or examination. So far as we have looked at it, the contents are critical, not doc- trinal. They give force and spirit to passages which before seemed foreign and without interest, from our unacquaintance with the life to which the allusions were made. But, as was to be expected, the connnentaries throw no light upon matters of faith or practice, veld .11 must of necessity he equally intelligible to all nations ; nor clear up any sceptical objections, which have been grounded upon the discoveries of modern science or upon discrepancies in the sacissl text. As regards the illustrations themselves, some are striking, some curious, and many interesting merely as indications of manners; but in the publication of several, Mr. ROBERTS'S anxiety in his laudable undertaking has somewhat biassed his judgment—he seems occasionally to have confounded coincidence with resemblance, and to have attached the same weight to ex- pressions springing from the natural similarity of the ideas or the universal character of the image, as to those arising from pecu- liarity of customs or localities. It is but right to add, that no labour has been spared upon the volume. There is an elaborate index and a list of all the texts Mr. ROBERTS has attempted to illustrate.