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which all is cloudy mist without landmarks, until we arrive at the closing period of Josephus' life, to which time we may assure ourselves there was no such thing as Christianity.
Several of the prominent actors in the Christian movement, such as Peter, Apollos, Titus, Timothy, Barnabas, Cleopas, and the four reputed evangelists, present themselves bearing Greek names. The whole of the Christian literature, including the sacred scriptures, is in the Greek tongue, and the citations therein made from the Jewish scriptures are drawn ordinarily from the Greek version of the Septuagint. These are features effectually disjoining the movement from Judea and Galilee and the times asserted for the uprise there of Christianity. The subject is well handled in a pamphlet in Mr Scott's series by the Rev. Thomas Kirkman, entitled “ Orthodoxy from the Hebrew Point of View,” which I now make use of. Mr Kirkman points out that eighteen hundred years ago the language spoken in Palestine was a form of Hebrew, and that it is amply apparent through Josephus, who was of the generation after the alleged Christ, that Greek in his day was unknown to the people of those parts. “In the last chapter of his Antiquities, which he says he wrote in the fifty-sixth year of his life, he gives this account of himself, adorned with terms of sufficient self-commendation :- I have taken pains to acquire a knowledge of Greek : I have become skilled in it grammatically, but the habitual use of my native tongue has prevented my accurate utterance of that language.'” “In his first book against Apion, § 9, he says, “Afterwards (i.e., after the siege) I got leisure at Rome, and when all my materials were prepared for that work, I made use of some persons to assist me in learning the Greek tongue ; and by these means I composed the history of these transactions.'” “Again and again he informs us that he was employed as interpreter; he was sent several times to parley with the besieged, in their native tongue.” The words, “Epphatha,” “Talitha Cumi," and the cry on the cross, Mr Kirkman observes, are the only words in the Christian scriptures representing the language of the people among whom the great scenes of the gospel are said to have been enacted. These are thrust in in just such a way as to show that the writer knew something of the language; and their presence, in this forced manner, serves to weaken rather than maintain the genuineness of the representations thus made. Mr Kirkman further observes we have a Hebrew gospel of Matthew spoken of, but not extant, and how it could have disappeared is not apparent; while there is substituted for it, under what circumstances we are equally ignorant of, a Greek version of the same alleged evangelist. It is not till the age of Constantine, observes a writer in the Edinburgh Review of the current year (1874), that, in the library established at his capital, we have any public collection of Christian literary efforts. In the more ancient libraries of Greece and Rome they had found no place. The writer feels the circumstance a singular one, but it is consonant to the conclusion to which all other indications tend. It was at this time that the movement attained solidity and public notoriety, its earlier traces being comparatively feeble, and its doctrinal lines immature and uncertain.
THE CONSTITUENTS OF CHRISTIANITY.
It is a distinguishing feature of Christianity, that in it everything is made to centre around the person of Jesus of Nazareth, appearing as the Jewish Messiah. Admitting the existence of the hope in such an advent of one who was to redeem Israel out of all their troubles, and give them their longed-for ascendancy over those who had been hostile to them, and had oppressed them, the assertion that there had been such an appearance might readily rise upon the lips of those who were desirous to work upon such a hope, and resuscitate the spirit of their co-religionists, especially in times when it was thought fair to resort to fiction to promote the religious sentiment. Between the period alleged for the accomplishment of this advent and the promulgation of faith in the event, there occurred, as there is room to believe, the interval of at least a century and a half, during which time there was ample opportunity for those concerned in maintaining the occurrence, to give it, out of the materials at their hands, the colouring suitable to promote its currency.
From the time of the Maccabæan struggles especially, the Jewish mind had been straining for such a deliverance as was to be wrought by their expected Messiah. Their aspirations found vent in such Psalms as the 2d, 18th, 46th, 47th, 72d, and 110th, where the heathen are represented to rage, and the kings of the earth to set themselves against the Lord, and his anointed, who was to have them assigned to him for his inheritance, to break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces as the potter's vessel. “ Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me. They cried, but there was none to save them : even unto the Lord, but he answered them not. Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.” “O clap your hands, all ye people ; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great king over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.” “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion : rule thou in the midst of thine enemies ... The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” These are effusions, some of which are probably due to the Maccabæan times, expressing the hopes the Jews entertained in the success of their then heroic leaders. It has been found convenient to apply them to the lowly and unwarlike Jesus of Nazareth, but in a non-natural and prophetic sense. The Jews have never had their looked-for deliverer; and the Christians, filching away their hope, have set their Messiah up for themselves, imaginatively, in another unforetold and ideal shape.
The character of the Jewish people, such as now known to us, was formed after their return from the captivity in Babylon. It is then only that we find current among them that sacred code by which they are so distinguishably marked. Previously they stood in no better position than the idolatrous tribes by whom they were surrounded. Each had their local divinity, who was Dagon, Chemosh, Baal, Milcom, &c. With the Jews it was Jahveh. After the captivity, the cultivation of the religious feelings became with them a true sentiment. Their thoughts centred upon the universal Creator, though they were still foolish enough to believe those who assured them they were the objects of his particular regards. Jerusalem became to them the city of God, where the throne of their exalted Messiah was to be established in supremacy over all other nations. An intense nationality sprang up, strengthening itself round the image of the sovereign coming to them, who was to be armed with superhuman power and attributes, as the express emissary of the Almighty. “The origin of the Talmud," which is a running record of the inner-life of this people for a thousand years onwards, dating from this period, is, says Mr Emanuel Deutsch, “coeval with the return from the Babylonish captivity. One of the most mysterious and momentous periods in the history of humanity, is that brief space of the exile. What were the influences brought to bear upon the captives during that time, we know not. But this we know, that from a reckless, lawless, godless populace, they returned transformed into a band of Puritans. The religion of Zerdust, though it has left its traces in Judaism, fails to account for that change. Nor does the exile itself account for it. Many and intense as are the reminiscences of its bitterness, and of yearning for home, that have survived in prayer and in song, yet we know that when the hour of liberty struck, the forced colonists were loth to return to the land of their fathers. Yet the change is there, palpable, unmistakable; a change which we may regard as almost miraculous. Scarcely aware before of the existence of their glorious national literature, the people now began to press round these brands plucked from the fire-the scanty records of their faith and history—with a fierce and passionate love, a love stronger even than that of wife and child. These same documents, as they were gradually formed into a canon, became the immutable centre of their lives, their actions, their thoughts, their very dreams. From that time forth, with scarcely any intermission, the keenest as well as the most poetical minds of the nation remained fixed upon them. "Turn it, and turn it again,' says the Talmud, with regard to the Bible, 'for everything is in it.' Search the scriptures,' is the distinct utterance of the New Testament" (The Literary Remains of Emanuel Deutsch, 12, 13). “The most monstrous mistake has ever been ... our confounding the Judaism of the time of Christ with that of the time of the wilderness, of the Judges, or even of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Ibid., 27). “In this same period,” (that is, succeeding the captivity), “all those fierce yearnings for a Deliverer, an Anointed, a Messiah-one of the highest and most ideal conceptions of Humanity—found their loudest and most glowing utterance” (Ibid., 167). “Every sermon, every discourse that treated of holy things, ended with the one comprehensive formula, ‘And may to Sion come the Redeemer" (Ibid., 143). “Of Messianic passages, Jonathan " (in his Targum) “has pointed out those mentioned below; a number not too large,