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WE hear a great deal just now of the efforts being made, more or less successfully, to prove Bishop Colenso wrong in the calculations by which he would upset the Pentateuch. The question concerns Christianity as well as Judaism; for, as has often been pointed out, Christ himself testified to the inspiration and Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch; and either his Divine knowledge or veracity is impugned, if on the one hand, we suppose him to have known no more concerning these records than any Jew of his day, or on the other, that he was willing to pander to a popular delusion. Many, therefore, are awaiting in tremulous anxiety the issue of the contest, feeling, notwithstanding the Bishop's assurances to the contrary, that their faith, as Christians, is involved in any ruin that may befal their faith in Moses; whether it be a disproof of his existence, or of the inspiration, the genuineness, or the historic truth of his supposed writings. The matter stands thus with them -Christ said, "Moses wrote of me," (John v. 46,) and declared, that Moses gave the law, (vii. 19.) He appealed also to things recorded in the Pentateuch as facts, in illustration of his own doctrine; for instance, "As in the days that were before the flood


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until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away. . . So shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matt. xxiv. 38, 39). "Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush." (Luke xx. 37). "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." (John iii. 14). But if it si discovered that Moses never wrote, never met God at the bush, never lifted up the serpent, or that Noah's ark and Noah's flood never existed, then Christ was in error concerning these narratives; and if Christ was in error, he was not God; and if he was not God, our faith is vain, "we are yet in our sins." The question in short, now agitating thousands of hearts, is essentially that which Christ himself put, "If ye believe not Moses' writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John v. 47); truly a significant and momentous query for Bishop Colenso, and all of us!

But we may go further than this in tracing the vital connection between the verity of the Old Testament events and the divinity of Christ; and we shall see that our faith in Christ as the Word, "Who n the beginning was with God, and was God," (John i, 1,) “by

whom all things were created," (Col. i. 16,)" who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God," (Phil. ii. 6,) is invalidated, if we deny his capability,-not only to pronounce infallibly concerning the inspiration and authenticity of Moses, as the historian of certain events, but to remember the very events themselves! For, if he spoke truth, when he said, " Before Abraham was, I Am,” (John viii. 58,) he did not depend on Exodus to know that the God of Abraham showed Himself to Moses at the bush; if he was "before all things," (Col. i. 17,) he had no need of Genesis to tell him the story of Noah's Flood. In other words, if He was indeed all that we have hitherto believed Him to be, He not only knew Moses for a true witness, but He was a witness Himself,-a far more direct and perfect witness-for Moses could only speak concerning events anterior to his own day, from revelation or from the records of earlier witnesses, but Christ from personal knowledge. Let it not be said, that while He was on earth, this knowledge was limited by His humanity; for if it be maintained that the Divine in his nature in no way impaired the integrity of the human, it must in consistency be allowed, that the human in no way impaired that of the Divine. True, it was not through his human nature that Christ could know certain things; but if then we declare that he did not know them at all, we imply that he had nothing but his human nature to guide him, and so necessarily come round to a denial of his Divinity, as the only possible alternative that remains after rejecting the belief that He knew all things.

Christ's humanity could not help, but neither (according to the New Testament story) did it hinder his Divine foreknowledge of the events described in Matt. xxiv. Now, we cannot believe that Christ could really look forward to the time of His own coming," with power and great glory," (ver. 30,) unless we are prepared to allow, that He could also look back to "those days of Noe," by which he illustrated it, (ver. 37.) Ah! if we will not allow this, what security have we for that? If Christ's belief in Noah's flood rested only on his faith in the Scriptures, shared by all Jews of his day, how do we know that his prophecy of the future was not drawn from study of other Scriptures, for instance, the writings of Daniel and Malachi, also believed by all Jews of his day? Christ himself however plainly intimated that he could look back to his pre-human existence. In that sublime prayer, which he offered in the presence of his disciples, before his final humiliation, he seems to appeal to a mutual memory between himself and his Father, of the glory which they had together before the world was. (John xvii. 5.) Now surely, if in the days of his flesh, Christ could look back to that,

his retrospective vision must have embraced all the intervening


The above remarks are not intended to beg the question, by assuming the truth of all which Christ and his Apostles asserted concerning Himself; but only to show that this is inextricably involved with the truth of the Mosaic records, so that we must make up our minds either to retain both or renounce both. Now, then, what shall be our mode of procedure in determining which of these two alternatives we will embrace? Shall we wait until scholars and critics have decided satisfactorily all the questions, arithmetical, chronological, geological, geographical, genealogical, philological, bearing on this subject, before we believe that Jesus Christ is the infallible Son of God? or shall we seek proofs of this momentous doctrine first, and then, if we find them, let all others fall into their right place, according to their natural relations with this central truth? For God's sake, and for our soul's sake, let us take the latter course! and if the evidences of Christianity, historical and spiritual, are such as to force from us Thomas's acknowledgment of his risen Saviour, "My Lord and my God!" we need not be afraid to teach as he did, that "Noe entered into the ark," and "the flood came." (Matt. xxiv. 38, 39.) That Moses met at the bush "the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." (Luke. xx. 37.) That "Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness." (John. iii. 14.) That he wrote of Christ, (v. 46;) and gave the law, (vii. 19;) that "the fathers did eat manna in the wilderness," (vi. 49 ;) and believing in the truth of these events, on Christ's own authority, we need not fear but that the work of critics on the Pentateuch will in the end tend to substantiate them. Meanwhile let us, still following the leading of Christ, "begin at Moses," and expound to our scholars "in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself," "that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Him," (Luke xxiv. 27, 44); not forgetting to warn them, that "if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one (the greatest One of all) be risen from the dead." (Luke xvi. 31.) H. L.


THE GOSPEL NARRATIVE VINDICATED; or, the Roman Census (Luke 11. 1-5) explained; and with reference to the Birth-day of our Lord, for the first time established on independent historical grounds. By Johannes von Gumpach. Samuel Bagster & Sons. pp. 16.

A VINDICATION OF BISHOP COLENSO-("GOOD WORDS" for February and March)-in Twelve Letters. Strahan & Co.

CONSIDERATIONS ON THE PENTATEUCH. By Isaac Taylor. (Second Edition.)
Jackson, Walford, & Hodder.

Christien. Elliot Stock.

Two Sermons by the Rev. John

WE have placed this assemblage of treatises at the head of this article together, because they have a common relation to a subject of high interest which is now occupying a large portion of public attention; namely, the trustworthiness of the Sacred Books considered as a History. The first of these relates to the New Testament, the remaining three to the attacks lately made on the Old by a dignitary of the English Church.

In the present instance, questions of chronology, of arithmetic, and of science, have formed the bases upon which the assailants have grounded their weapons of attack. Now, at the threshold of the enquiry, it naturally occurs to us to ask, whether this is the first and only occasion upon which similar doubts have arisen, and similar rash and presumptuous conclusions been formed. Upon looking back we shall only find another illustration of the old adage, that "there is nothing new under the sun :" and another proof of the vanity and weakness of man, when in the feebleness of his vision, the narrowness of his comprehension, and the scantiness of his information, he sits in judgment upon the word, the works, or the ways of God.

In questions of chronology relating to events of comparatively modern occurrence, doubts have sometimes arisen, notwithstanding the abundance of contemporary events, which serve as landmarks to determine the place of each other; but in reference to some of the events of ancient history, there has been nothing reliable, except that the occurrence of a simultaneous eclipse of one of the great lights of heaven, has enabled the historian to call in the aid of the astronomer to carry back his calculations so as to identify the period of the terrestrial event by the celestial phenomenon. It can easily be imagined how these difficulties of chronology increase, as we pass backwards into the darkness of remote ages. And in all the domains of history, there are none so ancient as some of those recorded in the Old Testament.


In careful researches for the purpose of settling the chronology of the Old Testament, perhaps no one has surpassed Archbishop Usher, whose conclusions are generally received up to the present time. Yet perhaps there never lived a man with more unshaken faith in the sacred oracles,

not simply as a true history, but as a divine revelation, which he made the foundation of his hope for the future life, as well as the rule of his conduct in this life; a rule in his view so sacred, that the last prayer of the venerable old man was, "Lord! pardon my sins of omission."

We have alluded to chronology, because the first pamphlet on our list is a reply to some objections that have been made to an incidental historical statement of the Evangelist Luke, which is stated to be incorrect, because it seems to be inconsistent with a statement of Josephus. Mr. Gumpach's object is to shew that both statements are correct, and that one is not inconsistent with the other.

And here the question occurs, why, when a writer of the Bible makes a statement of a certain fact, and a writer of profane history makes a different representation of the same fact, it is always to be assumed that the latter is right, and that the former is wrong? In the ordinary matters of life, such a partial and unjust assumption at the commencement of an investigation, would be held to indicate the wish of the heart, rather than the conclusion of the judgment.

If from chronology we pass to science, here we find the enemy posted in an apparently formidable vantage ground. Here we think a more threatening danger has already occurred than can ever recur again; the storm has passed over, and left the Bible scathless. We allude to the discovery, publication, and final establishment of the Copernican system of astronomy. Here, too, we had not only an exact science as an instrument, but the data on which it rested its calculations were as incontestable as those of Dr.Colenso are inaccurate, absurd, or untrue, and its conclusions are now universally received. These do not agree with some of those incidental expressions of Scripture, which (in mercy to an infantile condition of human intelligence) described the ordinary phenomena of the heavens only as they appear, and not as they are. If an opposite rule had been chosen, and the phenomena of the solar system had been described by Moses, not as they appear, but as they are, in all the rigidness of naked truth: if the earth had been described as going round the sun in an orbit the breadth of which was 190 millions of miles, (translated into the equivalent number of days' journeys,) and that the earth turned completely round on its own axis once in every twentyfour hours, who can conceive of the enormous stumbling blocks that would have been thus placed gratuitously in the way of the credence of a perverse and unbelieving people like the Children of Israel! It was in wisdom and mercy, that the Bible was not intended to be a guide in natural history or science, only in religion and morals: that it was to discourse authoritatively, not on the relations of man to the material universe, but on the higher and more important relations of man to God, to himself, to his race and to an eternal future.

Copernicus was a native of Poland, and a devout member of the Romish church. He dedicated his great work to Pope Paul III., who condemned it. In his own province, and in the last week of his life, his friend Gyvius, the bishop of Culm, wrote to him, "Men curse thy name in the streets, the priests excommunicate thee from their pulpits, and the university hearing that thy book was about to appear, has declared its intention to break the

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