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cxperts that the appeal must ultimately be made; for they are deeply and closely interested in those results. They can no more leave the decision of a great question like this entirely

a to scholars than the population of this vast empire can leave questions of national defence and national government entirely to professional soldiers, sailors and politicians. It is possible, of course, to take the line of Mr. Gore in Lux Mundi, and assure non-experts in general that a belief in the criticism of Canon Driver and those who think with him will not in the least interfere with belief in Christ. But if we believe, or even have reasonable ground for supposing, that assumptions are made by experts which may undermine our whole belief in Revelation, in the character of the training by which God prepared the world for Jesus Christ, we are fully within our rights in demanding that these assumptions should be proved to the satisfaction of people in general, and in warning men not to accept them without such proof. We are especially justified in pointing out that this is a case where anything like definite proof is difficult, if not impossible, and that it is not unfrequently attempted by ordering all witnesses out of court on the other side. And we may therefore lament the surrender which many excellent men are disposed to make of the traditional view of Jewish history, from fear lest they should be found to make too great demands on the faith of their followers in these days of free discussion and inquiry. For the question, in spite of the positive assertions of men of light and leading,' is not settled -cannot be settled-on the grounds on which they profess to settle it. The so-called 'higher criticism'must be regarded as matter of opinion and conjecture, not of scientific demonstration. Even the question of the second Isaiah, which is supposed to be settled, and in favour of which there is doubtless much to be said, is not without its difficulties. As Dr. Stanley Leathes has shown,' the conclusion, whatever view we may take of it, rests upon grounds by which Isaiah might just as easily be assigned to four or five different hands. And one very practical consideration may be added to those we have advanced. On Canon Driver's principles, it will become utterly impossible to teach the Bible to any one of ordinary capacity or intelligence. Men of high scientific and mathematical attainments have already begun to remark that Canon Driver's volume is as abstruse and as difficult to understand as a chapter on the lunar theory. How can persons, lay or clerical, who are neither scholars nor critics, be indoctrinated into a con plicated system which involves a J, an E, a D', a D’, a P (and

· The Law in the Prophets, a volume well worthy of attention.

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possibly a P2 and a P?), an H, and a final redactor or redactors ? What result would be produced if we tried to impart it to our Sunday School teachers and their scholars throughout the land? How can they be made to comprehend even the very rudiments of such a system? What would be the practical impression produced on their mind by this resolution of the history into its supposed constituent elements? What ideas would they form of its historic value if it became a first principle of our teaching that a very considerable number of the events recorded are so contradictory and irreconcilable as they stand, that they can only be explained by the supposition that an editor pieced them together without perceiving the contradictions ?And what effect would it have on Christian congregations to be told that the sacrificial and festal system of the Law, so wondrously foreshadowing the Sacrifice of Christ, was not, as it is clearly represented in Scripture to be, the palladium of Israel's prosperity, the source whence all prophetic inspiration flowed, the splendid deposit of truth whose neglect would be heavily avenged, but the development of some unknown germ of ceremonial enactment reserved till the period when it could not possibly receive adequate expression, in a temple the glory of which was but a shadow of that which had departed, in an age when Israel no longer enjoyed the favour of God, but was the degraded vassal of a foreign power ? We are convinced that it is impossible that such a view of Jewish history can ever be accepted in the Christian Church at large, and still less by that portion of it which consists of a practical and common-sense people like ourselves.

Therefore, while we would protest against any premature adoption of the results of the new criticism, we would deprecate any needless anxiety. Let no one be in too great a hurry to denounce Canon Driver and those who think with him. There is no doubt a grain--perhaps even a good deal more than a grain of truth at the bottom of all their theories, and we should learn from them caution against committing ourselves irrevocably to any particular doctrine in regard to the origin or date of the Pentateuch. But let us be still more careful not to commit ourselves to any theory which may ultimately be found incompatible with its historical accuracy as a whole. The methods of criticism to which we have called attention in the foregoing pages, involving, as they do, a constant

That there may be occasional instances of such combination, as in the well-known instince of the account of Saul's introduction to David, may be accepted. But a narrative made up of such contradictions in almost every page can have little, if any, historic value.

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manufacture of inconsistencies and contradictions, must in the end destroy our confidence in the truth of the narrative as it stands. And if we lose our confidence in the general accuracy of the narrative, how long, it may be permitted to ask, will our belief in its inspiration survive? It is therefore most important that the whole character and tendency of these new methods should be fully discussed, and that the conclusions to which they must finally lead, whether intended or not, should be clearly pointed out. We have no fear, we repeat, for the issue. English people, as a rule, have no very great love for fine-spun theories and ingenious systems. They may be trusted to “think once, twice, thrice' before they adopt them. They may possibly be inclined in the long run to say of these conjectural reconstructions of their Bible what an English statesman once said of a combination equally ingenious and equally artificial: “He put together a piece of joinery, so crossly indented and whimsically dove-tailed, a cabinet so variously inlaid ; such a piece of diversified mosaic; such a tesselated pavement, without cement: here a bit of black stone and there a bit of white. . . . It was indeed a curious show, but utterly unsafe to touch, and unsure to stand upon.'

ART. V.-BISHOP CHARLES WORDSWORTH'S

AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

Annals of My Early Life, 1806-1846. With Occasional

Compositions in Latin and English Verse. By CHARLES WORDSWORTH, D.D., D.C.L., Bishop of St. Andrews and Fellow of Winchester College. (London, 1891.)

The historian of the Church of England during the nincteenth century is not likely to complain that a superabundance of materials is not provided for his guidance. There is, indeed, greater danger of embarrassment from a plethora rather than a poverty of authorities. Each portion of the penultimate past is being flooded with light by means of mémoires pour servir, and by biography from every section of Church opinion. The comparative slumber of the eighteenth century, the origin and progress of the Evangelical revival, the character of the Oxford Movement and the consequent and wondrous spread of Catholic principles, the growth of educational reform of every shade and grade, are still con

stantly being illustrated by new publications. And amidst them all there is ample room and a cordial welcome for the record of a life so full of scholarly and ecclesiastical interest as that of Dr. Charles Wordsworth, the venerable Bishop of St. Andrews.

It would afford a curious subject for discussion to decide what occult forces determine the direction which literary activity shall take at any particular period. Is the modern thcory of averages valid in the sphere of literature? Are there separate literary microbes, which, in a special mental or material condition, find an environment so suited to their development as to flourish at the expense of all competing germs. Outward circumstances may account for the change in some departments of letters, such as the decay in our time of elegance and finish in epistolary correspondence and the extraordinary growth of periodical literature ; but is it possible to trace the causes why a sort of epidemic breaks out at times amongst authors, so that poetry and philosophy and history and belles lettres become each the rage for a season and then again decline? Is there anything, for example, in the circumstances of the present moment exceptionally favourable to the genesis of that form of biography in which the writer is the hero of his own story? These questions are suggested by the fact that Bishop Charles Wordsworth's Annals appears at a season when it has been literally raining autobiographies, and every variety of writer is adopting this form of composition. Autobiography has, of course, its advantages and its dangers. The latter are sufficiently obvious. The varnish and restraint of modern culture may conceal, they cannot eradicate, the innate egotism which is a universal ingredient in human nature. When it was complained that Macaulay would not let anyone talk but himself, Lord Houghton rejoined, ' Nor would anyone else if he could help it.' But interesting as we all are to ourselves, we are not equally so to others, and it is perilously casy to pass the narrow line which separates the amusing egotist from the intolerable bore. On the other hand, autobiography, when skilfully manipulated, has an irresistible charm. In the easy flow of personal narrative we live over again the scenes through which the writer conducts us.

Bishop Charles Wordsworth is keenly sensitive to the dangers we have indicated, and has endeavoured, not without some success, to minimise them. His Early Annals are the record of years singularly devoid of incident, and engrossed in scholastic pursuits and ecclesiastical interests, first as a scholar at Harrow and Christ Church, and then as an Oxford tutor and as a master at Winchester. But the writer has thoroughly grasped the force of the maxim, 'Si vis me flere, dolendum est primum ipsi tibi,' and his own vivid enjoyment of the long past which his pages reproduce is contagious. That old age should encircle its memories with a golden atmosphere is natural enough, but the cases are rare in which an octogenarian bishop can throw himself back into so distant a time with so much of the sprightliness and elasticity of early days as these pages display. How far it is wise to introduce so largely, as Dr. Charles Wordsworth has done, complimentary letters from friends is an open question, to which we may again return at a later page. If the picture be worth painting, which we do not question, we should wish to have it complete ; but the skilful artist will produce a more vivid portrait, without the insertion of every line, than the most careful photograph can secure. The author has (he reminds us) outlived the days when men lay much store by carthly commendation, from whatever quarter it may come. Nor can we entirely acquiesce in the wisdom of the author's decision to extend his autobiography to two volumes. In his judgment, the lighter material of his earlier life requires to be kept apart from the graver tenor of his later years.

But there is nothing throughout these Early Annals at all inconsistent with subsequent development into a bishopric, and a simple, straightforward piety gives a chastened tone to the narrative. On purely literary grounds further compression would have been an unquestionable gain.

Charles Wordsworth came into the world on August 22, 1806, under conditions of somewhat exceptional advantage. He was the second son of Dr. Christopher Wordsworth, who at Charles's birth was Rector of Woodchurch and chaplain to Archbishop Manners-Sutton, through whose interest he subsequently became Master of Trinity and Rector of Buxted. To such blue ribbons scholastic and ecclesiastical--and those who know the sweet Sussex rectory of Buxted will not think the term an exaggerated one-was also added the Chaplaincy of the House of Commons. An elder brother, John, born in 1805, and a younger, Christopher, in after years the well-known Bishop of Lincoln, comprised all the family who survived the death of their mother at the early age of thirtythree. Forty years afterwards, when Charles Wordsworth paid a hurried visit to his mother's grave, he found it covered with fresh green turf, which was yearly laid on it by an old woman who thus gratefully cherished her memory. Owing

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