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We must distinguish between the value of different authorities. We must not be content to quote a Father without ascertaining whether, on the point in question, he represents others besides himself. We must choose for our consideration writers of accepted position in the Church, and compare the opinions of these where they differ from one another. We must see that decrees of councils are more than local and temporary expressions of belief. In dealing with the opinions of men and of bodies of men, we must be afraid of anything which is individual. As we aim at the knowledge of the real meaning of Holy Scripture, so we must seek to know the real mind of the Church. And this involves the study of the history and influences which surround expressions of opinion both of writers and of councils.
We must welcome all secular learning as a means towards ascertaining what the Bible and the Church teach, and what are the needs of mind to which they correspond. We must be afraid to quote a non-Christian philosopher as deciding a question, but we must recognize his words as most valuable in showing the providential preparation for Christianity, and in illustrating the use of language and the process of thought within the Church.
Those who are acquainted with scholastic writings will see how greatly the details of this type of theology need to be modified if our conditions are true. We believe that under such conditions it may be of the very greatest service, for it would ensure the use of the highest human faculties in the most logical methods under the restraint of the truth revealed in Holy Scripture, and committed to the Church.'
Is not a need of our time a great treatise on Dogmatic Theology? We want a book, on an adequate scale, written
a with adequate knowledge, which will state with completeness what the revealed truth is, what is of faith, what are open questions, where probabilities lie, what is the relation of doctrine to doctrine, what are reasons which show that our beliefs are true. It would, of necessity, be the work of many years and of many minds. Behind it must lie copious stores of knowledge of various kinds. Those who have any con. ception of the mental toil required for the mastery of one section of a single subject will recognize how great are the requirements of such a treatise as we have in view. Is it too much to hope that at some future time combined and self
i On the need of restraint on philosophical reasonings it may be worth while to refer to St. Cyril Alex. Thesaurus, xi., De recta Fide, xvi., xvii. VOL. XXXIII.-NO. LXVI.
effacing work of trained and gifted minds may give to the English Church, perhaps from some religious house, a worthy treatment of the Catholic Faith as a whole ?
VII. We have strayed away from the Bampton Lectures for 1891, and the immediate subject of the Incarnation. In returning, we wish to express once more our sense of the high value of Mr. Gore's work. And if we may touch briefly a subject on which we could not dwell at length in the pages of a review, we may point out how the lectures bear the marks of the true generosity of one who has been willing to endanger his own peace of mind that he may help others more, and has therefore shrunk from entering into no perplexity or trouble or doubt or misbelief. And they show,
. too, the practical knowledge of the things of God and the keen sense of the thoughts of men which make the treatment of the Incarnation fruitful.
As we end a task which, if not untinged with regret, has been, for the most part, a work of thankfulness and joy, we quote a striking passage of personal appeal :
* You may depend upon it that you cannot be Christians by mere tradition or mere respectability. You will have to choose to be Christians. Let the figure of Christ, our Master, personal and living as of old, be before your eyes. He lays upon you a claim of service : varying as His vocations are various, as your faculties are various ; as clergy and laity, apostles and disciples, married and celibate, saint and penitent, have their place in His kingdom : but upon all of you He lays the same claim of service, of purity, of sacrifice, of brotherhood. He will make His yoke easy and His burden light, in manifold ways, as His consolations are manifold, but in proportion as you take His yoke and accept His burden with thorough loyalty. If you will to be His disciple, He will enrich your life, He will purge it of its pollution, He will conquer your lusts, He will enlighten your mind, He will deepen in you all that is generous and rich and brotherly and true and just. He will make your life worth having--yea, increasingly worth having—as you gain in experience of His power and His love, even to the end. He will touch your sufferings and your labours with the glory of His sympathy ; He will deepen your hopes for yourselves and others with the security of an eternal prospect. At the last He will purify and perfect and welcome you. Only do not make the fatal mistake of imagining that your life is Christian anyhow, or that it can be Christian by any other process than by your deliberate and courageous acceptance of the law of Christ, because you desire to be His disciple' (pp. 214, 215).
ART. II.-BISHOP ELLICOTT ON OLD TESTA
Christus Comprobator : or, the Testimony of Christ to the Ola
Testament. Seven Addresses by C. J. ELLICOTT, D.D.,
It is natural that the criticism of the Old Testament should be a prominent subject of thought at the present time. For on all sides it is agreed that certain critical questions have an important bearing on theological belief. There are those who think that some of these questions vitally affect central Christian truth ;' there are others who regard them as affecting the methods of revelation by which God teaches man;? others, again, consider that on them the relation of religious systems to one another largely depends. Different as are the points of view, there is agreement as to the importance of the results.
It may be well for us to trace, as briefly as possible, the history of the criticism of some parts of the Old Testament. The Christian Church inherited from the Jews a traditional view of the authorship of the Hebrew books. Among these, the Pentateuch, either wholly or with the exception of the concluding verses of Deuteronomy," was regarded as the work of Moses. This view formed the ordinary belief in the Christian Church from the first century onwards. Some heretical sects rejected the Old Testament altogether, and the Clementine Homilies regarded the Pentateuch as per
See, e.g., Liddon, The Worth of the Old Testament, preface to second edition, p. 14: “That question is whether He with whom, in life and in death, we Christians have to do, is a fallible or the infallible Christ.'
See, e.g., Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, preface, p. xv: “Those conclusions affect not the fact of revelation, but only its form.
See, e.g., Kuenen, The Religion of Israel, 1, pp. 5, 11, 12 (English Translation) :'• For us the Israelitish is one of those religions, nothing less, but also nothing more ;' its' (i.e. of the Old Testament) 'separate parts, regarded by the light of criticism, speak loudly for a natural development both of the Israelitish religion itself and of the belief in its heavenly origin ;' among the causes which have given rise to the more recent view of Israel's religion, the critical study of the Old Testament
.. could not be forgotten.' * Phil
. Jud. Vita Moys. iii. 39 ; Joseph. Antiq. IV. viii. 48. 5. Tr. Baba Bathra, fol. 14, in the Talmud, cit., e.g. Bleek, Introduction to the Old Testament, $ 68.
* Clem. Hom. ii. 38, iii. 47.
verted and corrupted by false prophets from the law which Moses had given orally to the seventy elders, but within the Church it was taken for granted that it was the work of Moses. In the twelfth century Aben Ezra? expressed his opinion that some passages had been added at a date later than the time of Moses ; in the sixteenth century Andreas Maseas 3 thought that parts of the present book are due to re-editing; a century later Hobbes 4 and Spinoza 5 attacked the Mosaic authorship. But with these and a few other exceptions, it was held that the five books were written by Moses. An epoch in criticism was made by the publication of a work by Dr. Astruc 6 in 1753, in which an attempt was made to distinguish by internal evidence, starting from the use of different naines for God, a number of authors in the book of Genesis, which was regarded as having been compiled from the writings of these by Moses. From that time to the present very many writers have thought it clear that the Pentateuch was a compilation by one process or another from various sources, and of late it has become common to assume that but little is Mosaic, and the whole, in its present form, later than the Exile.
A similar process has taken place in the case of the Psalms. Formerly, the titles were regarded as indicating the authors of the Psalms to which they are attached. Now, very many writers reject the titles altogether as untrustworthy, and it is held by some that no Psalm is by David, by others that only a very few of those ascribed to him are his composition. So, again, the book of Isaiah has been divided into parts and assigned to two or more authors; and the book
1. Bishop Perowne in the Dictionary of the Bible, ii. 770, states his opinion that · Jerome . . . had seen the difficulty of supposing the Pentateuch to be altogether, in its present form, the work of Moses.' The passage he there quotes from St. Jerome does not appear to mean more than that occasional chronological notes (e.g., the continuance of the ignorance of the place where Moses was buried) may have been added by Ezra. The words quoted and part of the context (C. Helvid. vii.) are:
Certe hodiernus dies illius temporis æstimandus est, quo historia ipsa contexta est, sive Moysen dicere volueris auctorem Pentateuchi, sive Ezran ejusdem instauratorem operis, non recuso. Nunc hoc quæritur, an id quod dictum est, usque in diem istum, ad illam referatur ætatem, qua libri editi sive conscripti sunt.'
See, e.g., Bleek, Introduction to the Old Testament, $ 68.
* Hobbes, Leviathan, chap. xxxiii.
& Astruc, Conjectures sur les Mémoires originaux, dont il paroit que Moyse s'est servi pour composer le livre de Genèse.
of Daniel regarded as a late work, probably of the second century B.C., describing in a prophetical form events then past.
Criticism has been at work, also, upon the contents of the Old Testament books. The historical character of the early parts of Genesis and, for instance, the narrative of Jonah, has been increasingly attacked. It has been thought that the speeches in the books of the Chronicles and the addresses which form the greater part of the book of Deuteronomy cannot, by any possibility, have been delivered by those to whom they are assigned. Thus, different types of criticism, increasingly prevalent, have been demanding a changed view of the history and character of the Old Testament writings."
The demand has been made by critics of different opinions. With Professors Kuenen ? and Wellhausen 3 it has aided an attempt to destroy belief in the supernatural element in religion ; in more moderate writers, such as Professor Delitzsch, it has been accompanied by expressed belief in the central truths of Christianity ; in England a position of the kind referred to has been defended, with important differences in the treatment of details, by members of the Church so eminent as Dr. Cheyne 5 and Dr. Driver.
Thus, a great problem has arisen which the Church must face. It cannot be said that the critical theories we have referred to are the work only of those who are the enemies of Christianity or of religion. Earnest and learned Christians have adopted them with greater or less fulness. Many who
· For statements of the views of authorship referred to, expressed with great moderation, see Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament. Dr. Driver thinks it doubtful whether any Psalm is by David. On the Pentateuch, Isaiah, Daniel, the Chronicles, Deuteronomy, he accepts the opinions which have been described.
? Kuenen, Religion of Israel, i. 5-12 (English translation).
3 Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Israel, pp. 241, 242, 344, 414-17 (English translation); Israel (reprinted from Encyclopedia
Britannica), pp. 430, 439, 449 (also in Sketch of the History of Israel and Judah, pp. 3, 4, 19, 20, 41, 42).
4 In his New Commentary on Genesis, published at Leipzig in 1887, Dr. Delitzsch accepted the main conclusions of the school of critics, which is referred to. But he expressed emphatically his continued belief in Christianity ; see vol. i. pp. v, 57 (English translation), 'I believe in the Easter announcement, and I accept its deductions ; ' We will interpret Genesis as theologians, and indeed as Christian theologians, i.e. as believers in Jesus Christ, who is the end of all the ways and words of God.'
5 Cheyne in, e.g., Bampton Lectures, pp. ix-xxxiv.
• Driver, Contemporary Review, February, 1890, pp. 215-31 ; Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament.