The Gospel (iy the Infancy and Other Biblical Essays. By the late Eric Burrows, S.J. Edited by E. Sutcliffe, Si., for the Bellarmine Society. (Burns Oates and Washbourne, 8s. 6d.).
Reliewed by HUGH POPE, O.P.
jr was a happy thought to publish these A posthumous essays which show us Fr. Burrows at his best. He writes for the expert and has to be read carefully.
Space forbids our dealing with more than one of the essays, se we will take the tirst, which gives title to the volume. Scholats are familial with the fact that the language of the Magnifica, Num. Dimitus, and Benedictus are couched in the language, often in the very words of the Old Testa
ment. But Fr. Burrows shows how the author of the first two chapters of St. Luke's Gospel has deliberately taken as his model the opening chapters of the story of Anna and her child, Samuel. This theme he works out with a fascinating minuteness of detail which carries conviction despite the startling character of some of his conclusions.
Those who have felt that there was some force in the attribution of the Magnificat to Elizabeth will find the answer here. Others who have been puzzled by "Didst thou know that I must be about my Father's business?" will also find an explanation here. Change the third person into the first throughout the story, remarked Piofessor Sanday long ago, and you have the very words of the Mother of God who alone could have known the details. But why should she have told them to St. Luke and not to St. John? That, however, suggests Fr. Burrows, is precisely what she did do. and St John told it to St Luke, who proceeded to tell the story in his own inimitable way.