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particular writer. We are not finding fault with Dr. Stauler, for he has fulfilled his promise to the reader, and has shown no disposition to blink the difficulties and problems which are unavoidably met with on the path he has chosen. But the observation we have made is an important one in reference to the whole flood of publications relating to Bishop Colenso and the subject of his work. First we must ascertain the structure, date, and historical value of the records, before we can reach satisfactory conclusions in regard to the events they describe.
Turning now to the manner in which our author has executed his plan, we have first to express our admiration of the grace and graphic beauty of his style. The felicitous discrimination in the use of language which appears on every page, is especially required on these topics, where the author's position might so easily be mistaken through an unguarded statement. The characters and scenes of that old Oriental life are made to stand before us in all their freshness. Dr. Stanley is possessed of the prime quality of an historical student and writer-namely, the historical feeling, or sense, as the Germans call it, by which conditions of life and types of character, remote from our present experience, are vividly conceived of and truly appreciated. Without this feeling, every attempt to describe the past must be, to a great extent, a failure, even when there is a purpose to discern and tell the truth. To take the characters of Scripture history out of their surroundings, put a modern dress upon them, and apply to them canons of judgment which belong to a wholly different state of society, is a habit that has belonged alike to skeptics unfriendly to the Bible and to preachers of narrow discernment. Abraham is a saint or a vagabond, Jephthah and Samson were ruffians or champions, in their barbarous way, of the cause of everlasting Right, according as we judge them by their times and by the blessing for which their lives were paving the way, or by the abstract rules and the lines of conduct by which we properly estimate character at present.
The general position of Dr. Stanley is that of decided supernaturalism. Many readers will complain that the limit between "the natural and supernatural” is, according to the advertisement of his intention in the preface, so often left undefined, and many will have occasion to differ from views which may, without offense, be characterized as latitudinarian. But he fully accepts the fact of a supernatural call to Abraham and a supernatural revelation to
Moses and the Prophets. In respect to the Old Testament, he is careful to insist upon “the gradual, partial, imperfect character of the revelations” preceding the Gospel. llis work, whatever faults may belong to it, will do a great service if it should succeed in impressing upon the English public the cardinal truth which lies at the root of all sound exposition of the Old Testament, that Divine Revelation is a gradually advancing system—the steps being ordered with reference to the growing degree of intelligence and receptivity in those to whom the light was communicated. The Christian as well as the unbeliever needs to remember the remark of Herder, that the faults of the Old Testament are those of the pupil and not of the teacher. Dr. Stanley further indicates his position by the remark (Preface p. xvi.) that “the rigid acceptance of every part of the Old Testament as of equal authority, equal value, and equal accuracy, is rendered impossible by every advance made in biblical science, and by every increase of our acquaintance with Eastern customs and primeval history. But it is no less true that by almost every one of these advances the beauty and the grandeur of the substance and spirit of its different parts are enhanced to a degree far transcending all that was possible in former ages." Very briefly in the text, (p. 137), and somewhat more fully in a note at the end of the volume, the question of the number of the Israelites at the Exodus is considered. We make a short extract:
“The arithmetical errors which have been pointed out (with more force and in greater detail than heretofore, but not for the first time, by eminent divines and scholars) in the narrative of the Old Testament are unquestionably irrconsistent with the popular hypothesis of the uniform and undeviating accuracy of the Bil lical history, or with the ascription of the whole Pentateuch to a contemporaneous author. But, on the other hand, the recognition of these errors would remove at one stroke some of the main difficulties of the Mosaic narrative. By such a reduction of the numbers as Laborde, for example, [who would set six hundred for the six hundred thousand), or Kennicott propose, many of the perplexities in the story of the Exodus at once disappear, and the incredibility of one part of the narrative thus becomes a direct argument in favor of the probability of the rest. And the parallel instance of a like tendency to the amplification of numbers in Josephus’s ‘Wars of the Jews' is a decisive proof of the compatibility of such amplifications, not, indeed, with an exact or literal, but with a substantially historical, narrative of the series of events in which these errors are embedded. No doubt, to those who regard the least error in the Sacred History as fatal to the credibility and value of the whole of the Bible, and to the Christian faith itself, such discoveries are full of alarm. But if we extend to the narrative of the VOL. XXII.
different parts of the Old Testament the same laws of criticism which we apply to other histories, especially to Oriental histories, its very errors and defects may be reckoned among its safeguards, and at any rate are guides to the true apprehension of its meaning and its intention. From an honest inquiry, such as that which has suggested these remarks, and from a calm discussion of the points which it raises, the cause of religion has everything to gain and nothing to lose."
We sympathize with the spirit of this last remark. There is no occasion, with Dr. Mahan of New York, to charge Bishop Colenso with “materialism" in the drift of his discussion, or with Dr. Green of Princeton, to accuse him (falsely, we believe) with a want of honesty, not to say of decency. The positions which the Bishop endeavors to establish, by way of inference from his mathematical criticism, can be refuted without much difficulty-even if his premises were to be granted. As we are upon this topic, we will just refer our readers to Mr. Grote's judicious remarks upon the estimate given by Herodotus of the number of Xerxes' army. Here the number is immensely overstated, while the circumstances of the expedition are acknowledged to be faithfully given, and the truthful character of the historian is unimpeached. The number of the army, Herodotus gives as it was stated to him by his informants.
There is one topic, we must not forget to say, on which Dr. Stanley modestly offers his contribution to knowledge. He has made two journeys through the lands which form the theater of the Old Testament history. These journeys were made under the best auspices. On the last of them, as the companion of the Prince of Wales—may every prince have so wise a companion !-he was permitted to penetrate within the “inaccessible sanctuary" that surrounds the cave of Machpelah; and the account of this remarkable visit may be found in the Appendix of the work before us. On various points of sacred geography our author is enabled to shed new light.
Dr. Stanley has expressed in various passages of this work, and elsewhere, the highest esteem for Ewald's History of the Israelitish People, and has followed Ewald more than any other author. With all that he says of Ewald's scholarship and learning, we should heartily concur; but the misfortune is that the judgment of the great German scholar is not proportioned either to the extent of his acquirements or to the general vigor of his intellectual powers. He is, therefore, not a safe guide. He is not the 6 Wolf or the Niebuhr who is to construct for us, from the records that remain, a picture of the primitive ages of the Hebrew people. It is true that our author does not uniformly accept his conclusions, nor does he yield to him a servile deference. Yet we are not without fear that the opinions of Ewald have had more weight in determining his impressions concerning points of criticism than justly belongs to them.
It is one merit of these Lectures that the ethical questions which present themselves to every Christian reader of Old Testament history are taken up, and while the higher stage to which Christianity has carried our conceptions of righteousness and humanity is distinctly noticed, the fundamental points of excellence in the imperfect characters and faulty deeds of the earlier time, are forcibly brought out. The remarks of Dr. Stanley on this branch of his subject are in the spirit of Dr. Arnold's admirable sermons on the interpretation of the Old Testament, from which he not unfrequently quotes.
One of the principal benefits of a perusal of these Lectures, as we think, is the single, continuous view that is gained of the Ancient Church. We once heard Tholuck say that on a certain occasion Gesenius took up a popular paraphrase of the Old Testament history which some of the younger members of his family happened to be reading, and that having turned over its pages, he said that the Old Testament history had more probability-verisimilitude-in his view, than it had ever appeared to have before. The habit of looking at isolated events, isolated passages and words, or isolated books even, may naturally engender skepticism; while nothing more conduces to the establishment of faith than a comprehensive view of the progress of the divine plan, from the call of Abraham and the foundation of the earthly kingdom in a corner of the world, through all the stages of the progress of that kingdom, until it breaks through its narrow form and becomes universal,--a kingdom which is not of this world.
Dr. Stanley has reason to be gratified at the reception which his writings have received on this side of the water. We know of no book that has exerted a more stimulating and salutary influence upon the young men of this country than his Life and Correspondence of Dr. Arnold. His work upon “Sinai and Palestine," having the character of a preparatory investigation for the present Lectures, has, also, been widely read in America. The same is true of the Lectures upon the History of the Eastern Church. And if the Lectures upon the Apostolic Church and the Exposition of the Epistle to the Corinthians, are less known, they will doubtless, as soon as they are reprinted, enjoy from the many the appreciation which they have already received from those to whom they are already familiar. The candor and manly gentleness of Dr. Stanley, will extort respect and fair treatment even from those who may be obliged often to dissent from his opinions.
THE LIFE OF our LORD UPON THE Eartu.*_This very unpretending volume is offered to the public in a preface so modest, and in its very subject matter proposes so little that is novel or erciting, that it runs some hazard of being overlooked by the mass of biblical students, and much more by the ordinary readers of the so-called religious literature. Both these classes of persons may conclude from its title, or from a hasty glance at its pages, that it presents little more than a dry repetition of the common-places of Commentaries on the Gospels, or a needless re-presentment of what has already been often presented in “harmonies” and arrangements for pupils in Bible Classes. Perhaps one more curious than the rest, may have been induced to turn over its leaves, in the hope of finding some vivid portraitures of the person and manners of our Lord, or some lively pictures of his life and times which might stimulate his faith by delighting his imagination, and inasmuch as he found little to excite his feelings, or attract his fancy, he may have closed the book with a disappointment that was akin to disgust, and have pronounced the book suited only for the learned and for the dullest class of these.
The attentive reader of a chapter or two of this volume, will find it distinguished by peculiar merits both scholarly and practical. As a book for biblical students, it differs from any life of Christ which is accessible, in confining itself solely to the outward relations of his earthly career without either carefully ignoring or studiously vindicating his supernatural origin and authority. It is neither conspicuously rationalistic nor designedly apologetic. It
* The Life of our Lord upon the Earth : Considered in its Historical, Chronological, and Geographical Relations. By SAMUEL J. ANDREWS. New York: Charles Scribner, 124 Grand street. 1863. Octavo. pp. 624. For sale in New Haven, by Judd & Clark. Price, $2.25.