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peated, usually Elohim, or one of its cognates and derivations.
In what he says of the flood, Mr. Greg has as much understated the truth, as in the last instance he overstated it. He describes the accounts in the two documents, as only slightly varying' (p. 40). But the fact is, the discrepancy between them is an important one. In the Jehovistic document (Gen. vii. 2, 3) Noah takes with him into the ark of every clean beast and of fowls, male and female, by sevens, and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female ;' whereas according to the Elohistic (ibid. v. 9), there went in two and two only of every kind into the ark.
The statement about the prophets (p. 54) is virtually incorrect; because, however true the particular facts recited, their naked presentment leaves a false impression on minds not familiar, like Mr. Greg's, with the historical significance of these remarkable phenomena. Of intentional perversion and exaggeration we believe, that there is very little evidence in the Old Testament, if we except perhaps the latest books, like Chronicles, which clearly betray their compilation under high sacerdotal influence; and therefore, though we agree with the author in doubting, whether one clear case can be produced of a distinct prediction of particular persons and remote events, we think, such sweeping charges as that of tampering with a narrative to make it suit the prediction, and the broad, unqualified assertion, that the Jewish writers habitually presented history in the form of prophecy, in other words, were deliberate deceivers*-ought not in a book of so
. grave a character and such high pretensions, to have been advanced without an attempt to substantiate them. That the latter part of the book which bears the name of Isaiah, from the fortieth chapter to the end, is not from the same hand as produced the great mass of the earlier oracles contained in it-we hold to be as legitimate deduction from internal signs, as the higher criticism ever drew :but when we remember, how the relics of Hebrew literature were probably collected after the captivity, and how uncritical a spirit arranged and combined the materials which then came to hand, we think there is an uncalled-for excitement of the odious associations attaching to the idea of what is forged and spurious, in the remark—that 'ignorance or unfair intentions have not scrupled to consecrate later and unauthentic productions by affixing to them the venerable name of the true propheť (p. 59). The impression which by far the greater part of the contents of the Old Testament leaves upon our mind, in the perusal of its myths, its legends, its songs, its oracles and its histories—is that of the infantine simplicity of a primeval time, recording without any exercise of critical judgment whatever it was told, unconsciously mingling its own beliefs and prepossessions with the facts it witnessed and the traditions it received-conceiving and interpreting all actions and events in the light of a faith at once deeply anthropomorphic and intensely monotheistic. If the Old Testament be read in this spirit, many difficulties will disappear, and its genuine meaning and character will come out comparatively distinct, natural and self-consistent-a most interesting and instructive monument of the human mind working under extraordinary influences, and in a particular phase of its development. We do not see, why fraud and perversion should be imputed, where the evidence of them is not convincing. Writers are sometimes suspected, because they are misunderstood, and we try them by a standard unsuited to their country and their age.
* See pp. 58 & 61.
Expressions sometimes escape the writer's pen, savouring of flippancy and the ambition to say a smart thing, which will unnecessarily repel and disgust. Such is the off-hand remark about Ezekiel. Few pretend to understand him' (p. 60). The observation is not just. Ezekiel, when his subject and his circumstances are once thoroughly embraced, will be found rather remarkable for the luminous force and distinctness of his style.*
* Most ancient writers that enter deeply into the events and feelings of their own time, require some study to comprehend them ; but one who is adequately prepared, says Eichhorn, speaking of Ezekiel (Einleit. in das A. T., iii. p. 209.9 550), 'seizes the sense of his whole composition, and can hardly imagine how any one should complain of obscurity. In the time of Ezekiel, the prophetic phantasy had begun to clothe itself in visions, and the speaker of the olden time was becoming, with the change of manners,
Mr. Greg lays great stress on what he assumes to be a fact, that the early religious condition of the Hebrews was not monotheistic. Here, as elsewhere, he puts forth his ideas in too broad and dashing a way, and does not duly take into account the necessary conditions of spiritual development. We should have no great difficulty in admitting, that the germs of their better faith did grow up amidst much that was idolatrous and polytheistic. But the most advanced minds of their nation early appropriated, and unceasingly cultivated and unfolded, the fertile idea of the Divine unity and sovereignty; and the final ascendancy of a pure monotheism was secured by the prohibition of the association of any other deity with Jehovah, as an object of the national worship.
We are again obliged to dissent from Mr. Greg in his assertion (p. 63), that the difference between the Christians and the Jews in their interpretation of the Messianic passages of the Old Testament, lay in this—that the former took them in a figurative or allegorical, the latter in their literal and obvious, sense. On the authority of the learned Pére Simon,* we venture to reply, that the Rabbis of our Lord's time, and for centuries afterwards, interpreted many passages of their scriptures allegorically, contending for a double sense; and that in this point, the Jews and the Christians were perfectly agreed. In the same paragraph our author seems to have overlooked, or undervalued, that intense yearning after an ideal futurity of good—ever right in its general aim, though constantly mistaken as to its particular object-often gross and secular in its outward form, but always sound and pure in its essential spirit—which pervades so wonderfully and so significantly all the utter
more and more of a writer, elaborating his thoughts in his chamber, like a modern author. Both these circumstances favoured a minuteness and intricacy of detail in the display of his imagery, which give hasty readers an impression of obscurity, that would be dispelled if they went deeper. The judgment of the first living authority on the Hebrew language and literature, is worth recording. Der Schriftsteller kann seine besondern, einem Propheten alter Art fremden Vorzüge haben ; und so überragt Hezequiel in der That als Schriftsteller an Fertigkeit Schönheit und Vollendung alle frühern Propheten, namentlich Jeremja'n: aber jemehr der Schriftsteller und Gelehrte wächst, desto mehr nimmt leicht der echte Prophet ab, eine Wahrheit welche sich gerade bei Hezequiel sehr deutlich bewährt.' Ewald, Die Proplieten des Alten Bundes, II. Hezequiel.
* Histoire Critique du Nouveau Testament, II. ch. xxi.
ances of Hebrew prophecy, and makes them an eternal guide to the true interpretation of providence. He has not done justice to the very fruitful idea, which Dr. Arnold held in common with Neander, and which the former has only injured by overdoing it, and trying to mould it into the precision of a scriptural law—that there is a primary and a secondary meaning in all genuine prophecya belief, first, in the final prevalence of those eternal verities which are revealed in our primary intuitions and expressed in the moral order of the Universe, and a discernment, secondly, of their partial realisation in the transactions of the outward world. This double sense, if may so call it, exists more or less in all religious natures, and is inseparable from every awakened state of spiritual consciousness. Had Mr. Greg recognised the element of truth involved in this doctrine, it would have given him, in some respects, what we deem a juster view of the subject, and withheld him from some expressions that have an air of harshness and contempt (pp. 63, et seq.).
We have felt it our duty to notice what we deemed faulty and defective points in the execution of this work, that it might not be supposed we had overlooked them, in recommending to the reader's attention the many just views, incontestable facts, and the much larger mass of matter for earnest and serious reflection, which it will offer him. A work may have many errors of detail, and yet be sound in its general argument and put forth much important truth. But there is a class of small critics, who fancy that when they have exposed the one, they have refuted the other
; who heap up minute objections to destroy an author's general credit, that they may turn aside the public mind from inconvenient or obnoxious conclusions, still resting, however, on facts that cannot be denied, and sustained by arguments that have never been answered. We observe much of this policy in our periodical literature respecting certain questions on which public opinion is remarkably sensitive. We cannot think it honourable and just, and we should be ashamed intentionally to follow it. The sections of Mr. Greg's work, which we regard as the most suggestive and important, and which we would especially commend to thoughtful and impartial consideration, as exhibiting views on which the general mind of this country is furthest in the rear of the ascertained facts of the case—are those which will probably be found most painful to the feelings and most subversive of the received ideas of the majority of religious readers—we mean the chapters on the origin of the gospels and their fidelity, and on the miraculous element which is so copiously intermingled with their narrative. We have not space in this article to examine either of these questions with the fulness which is due to their intrinsic weight and their direct bearing on the religious sentiment of the community. The author has treated them ably and candidly, with a clear and accurate statement of the phenomena which they involve. It remains for the reader to scrutinise what he has advanced, fearlessly and dispassionately ; to accept what is proved ; to reject what is baseless; but not to turn away from thorough examination, because its aspect and tendency are viewed with alarm-like the foolish bird of the desert, which hides its head under its wing, and thinks the danger passed, which it cannot see. Surely the days are not come, when we are going to renounce our ancient trust in truth, and to abjure the duty in which our fathers gloried, of free and honest search into its reputed foundations. Yet there are nervous and timid natures—wrapped up in their own fond prepossessions, and deeming themselves already at the ne plus ultra of liberality--to whom the wise and noble words with which Mr. Greg terminates his preface, may offer more seasonable advice than they are aware, they need.
“Those who flinch from inquiry because they dread the possible conclusion ; who turn aside from the path as soon as they catch a glimpse of an unwelcoine goal; who hold their dearest hopes only on the tenure of a closed eye and a repudiating mind,—will sooner or later, have to encounter tbat inevitable hour when doubt will no longer be silenced, and inquiry can no longer be put by; when the spectres of old misgivings which have been rudely repulsed and of questionings which have been sent empty away, will return to haunt, to startle, to waylay ;' and will then find their faith crumbling away at the moment of greatest need, not because it is false, but because they, half wilfully, half fearfully, grounded it on false foundations. But the man whose faith in God and futurity has survived an inquiry pursued with that 'single eye' to which alone light is promised, has attained a serenity of soul possible only to