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assumes that Jesus was the Messiah—and, as the Messiah, was also Divine; because it is impossible to understand the object or import of his earthly life, except as it was the fulfillment of a divine plan, and the development and vindication of a Divine Person. But in order that it might be all this, it must be a life on earth, according to the conditions of a human existence. It is to the exhibition of these human conditions, that this volume is, as it were, exclusively devoted.
The treatment of the life of Christ, in its human phenomena and relations, brings it at once into the sphere of biography and history; and subjects it to all those conditions to which the records of the lives of other men are subject. Every possible connection must be established between it, and the well known facts that history has accepted. Apparent inconsistencies must be explained; difficulties must be cleared up; and this separate portion of human story must, if possible, be woven into the warp and woof of common history, so as to form with it one connected and contin. uous whole.
Whatever is known of the reign of Herod and the procuratorship of Pilate, must be both joined and reconciled with whatever can be known of the outward life of Jesus. Hence the necessity of fixing and adjusting this life in all its historical relations. The determination of these involves, also, the determination of those which are Geographical and Chronological; inasmuch as every actual history must have a place and a time. In settling such questions, much light may be gathered or much difficulty experienced by resorting to other data. Now the determination of all these relations in respect to the life of Christ, is especially difficult from the absence of any considerable notice of him or his story in all contemporary history, and from the irregular and unchronological way in which his four biographers composed their narratives. Hence the variety of questions which have been raised by critics and scholars in all generations, in order to establish coincidences or to dispose of apparent contradictions. To adjust these matters is the sole object of the so-called harmonists and critics, and to them they have devoted long and learned dissertations, while ordinary commentators have made the discussion of them incidental to their chief aim of elucidating the import of the sacred narrative.
To the common and often to the clerical reader, the dissertations of the harmonist are unattractive, because their immediate rela
tion to the main points of the narrative is not closely established, or, in other words, because the consideration of these matters of detail does not naturally spring from and return to the life itself which it is designed to illustrate. In the Commentary, also, discussions of this nature seem to be intrusive, because they break up the onward course of discussion which is appropriate to other and more important themes. Hence they receive so little attention from the learned and the unlearned, or rather, we should say, they are invested with so little interest to the minds of both classes.
Mr. Andrews has wisely chosen the method of embodying all discussions of this sort, with one exception, in a continuous narrative of the life of Jesus. He has thus secured the interest which is appropriate to a connected story, and invested the discussions themselves with a manifest importance for every intelligent mind. Then, on the other hand, by professing to treat only of the earthly relations of this life, the consideration of such matters is not felt to be out of place. At the same time, the reference is so constant to the high import of the mission of Christ, that the danger is avoided of sinking these investigations to the low level of ordinary questions of history and chronology.
We have been thus explicit in explaining the aim with which this volume was written, in order that it may receive that attention from our readers which its peculiar merits deserve. It has been prepared with great care, and, as we are well assured, embodies the result of a long course of critical and scholarly research. We are confident that it deserves the general attention of both clergymen and laymen.
PROFESSOR GREEN'S PENTATEUCH VINDICATED.*-In the notice which we gave of Bishop Colenso, in our last Number, it was suggested that the special difficulties to which he had attached so great importance, might properly be considered by the Professors of Hebrew in our Theological Seminaries. When we saw the announcement that a volume was soon to appear from Professor Green, it was natural that we should congratulate ourselves that
*The Pentateuch Vindicated from the Aspersions of Bishop Colenso. By WILLIAM HENRY GREEN, Professor in the Theological Seminary, Princeton, N. J. New York: John Wiley. 1863. 12mo. pp. 195. For sale in New Haven by Judd & Clark. Price, $1.25.
so eminent a Hebrew scholar, as he is supposed to be, would devote himself to the special department in which his learning and critical ability might render so essential a service. On reading the Preface we found that our expectations were to be disappointed, as he there informs us.
"For scholars no refutation is needed; what is here written, has been prepared with the view of guarding the unwary from being imposed upon by bold assertions and baseless assumptions, and of affording those who have not the leisure for a more extended examination of the subject, the evidence that though the faith of some may be overthrown, nevertheless the FOUNDATION OF GOD STANDETH SURE." p. iv.
It is somewhat new to us to be told in substance, that there are no difficulties which deserve the special consideration of scholars. We find, however, some alleviation for our disappointment in being informed that "if the author's life is spared, he hopes to be able at some future day to prepare a more extended work upon the criticism of the Pentateuch, and, perhaps, upon that of the Old Testament generally."
The handling of Bishop Colenso is somewhat in the “mauling" style in which the Princeton gentlemen, at times, take such special delight, and in which, perhaps, they have achieved special eminence. That the author was utterly unconscious of his peculiar manner, may be gathered from the following sentences in his concluding remarks:
"We do not know what Colenso may have said in his new book, and we do not care. Our aim is answered as completely by what we have now done, as if he had written a thousand books and we had answered them all. We have shown, we believe, his utter incapacity to deal with the questions which he professes to handle. We have spent no epithets upon him. We have uttered no denunciation. We have simply examined his statements and his arguments: and if such a fact is capable of demonstration, we have demonstrated that he has neither the candor, the learning, nor the ability to discuss the topics which he has undertaken to treat, and upon which he pronounces so oracularly." pp. 193, 194.
We do not contend that many of the remarks of the author are not pertinent and decisive as replies to Colenso, nor would we at all deny that the unfortunate Bishop has demonstrated his own incapacity to reach the hight of his "great argument." But we think the replies of his critic would have been far more effective if they had been uttered in a tone less lofty and been couched in language somewhat more delicately chosen.
One or two assertions of the Professor could not fail to attract
our attention as slightly, or rather not slightly, rationalistic in their aspect. What shall we say of the reverence which he has for the authority of the inspired Apostle Paul, in a matter of history, when he says of his declaration in Gal. iii, 17:
"This language of the apostle, however, does not appear to us to be decisive of the point at issue. The interval of time is only incidentally mentioned. Precision of statement regarding it was of no consequence to his argument. An opinion existed, and prevailed more or less widely, that it was but 430 years from the promise made to Abraham to the Exodus. It would not serve his present purpose to argue this point, or to make a categorical revelation respecting it. Enough was conceded on all hands to answer the end at which he was aiming. The interval was 430 years at least, as all confessed: whether it was more than this, he does not say, but leaves us to ascertain from other sources.
"The evidence is, we think, conclusive, that the abode in Egypt lasted 430 years." p. 119.
Again, what shall we say of the inferences in respect to the inspiration of Moses, which are warranted by the following:
"We may here be indulged with a remark aside from the special topic before us, viz: that if scientific research should ever demonstrate what it cannot be said to have done as yet, that the race of man has existed upon the earth for a longer period than the ordinary Hebrew Chronology will allow, we would be disposed to seek the solution in this frequent, if not pervading, characteristic of the Scriptural genealogies. The Septuagint chronology, to which many have fled in their desire to gain the additional centuries which it allots to human history, is, we are persuaded, a broken reed. The weight of evidence preponderates immensely in favor of the correctness of the Hebrew text, and against the accuracy of the deviations of the Septuagint. But it must not be forgotten that there is an element of uncertainty in a computation of time which rests upon genealogies, as the sacred chronology so largely does. Who is to certify us that the antediluvian and ante-Abrahamic genealogies have not been condensed in the same manner as the post-Abrahamic? If Matthew omitted names from the ancestry of our Lord in order to equalize the three great periods over which he passes, may not Moses have done the same in order to bring out seven generations from Adam to Enoch, and ten from Adam to Noah? Our current chronology is based upon the primâ facie impression of these genealogies. This we shall adhere to, untill we see good reasons for giving it up. But if these recently discovered indications of the antiquity of man, over which scientific circles are now so excited, shall, when carefully inspected and thoroughly weighed, demonstrate all that any have imagined they might demonstrate, what then? They will simply show that the popular chronology is based upon a wrong interpretation, and that a select and partial register of ante-Abrahamic names has been mistaken for a complete one." p. 128.
PROFESSOR MAHAN'S ANSWER TO BISHOP COLENSO.*-This spirited little volume is devoted in the "main to an exposure of that deeper and more subtle fallacy which underlies, not Professor Colenso's arguments merely, but all the objections advanced by the so-called science of the day." In other words, it is the object of the writer to show, that in order to understand and criticise the Pentateuch of the Old Testament intelligently we must place ourselves at the point of view which was occupied by the writers of the ancient records. This point of view is essentially different, in respect both of science and chronology, from that which modern writers hold. In discussing this fundamental position, Dr. Mahan encounters the false, or rather the exaggerated doctrine of inspiration which places so great an advantage in the hands of those who attack the scriptures. Upon this subject he makes the following remarks.
"To speak without metaphor, it is worthy of God, and in consonance with all we know of the character of God, that, if He condesends to inspire men at all He should inspire them as men speaking to men: not as critics, not as word catch, ers, not as grammarians, not as arithmeticians, not as logicians; but simply astrue men, speaking truths, which, for the most part, were in advance of their age, but which had to be couched in the mind and idiom of the age to which they spoke. Men thus inspired would of course speak imperfectly, and in a certain sense, inaccurately. This being granted, it is again worthy of God, that Heknowing the imperfections and inaccuracies of human mind and human speechshould find the remedy in a vast variety of utterances, complementing, explain. ing, and guarding one another, rather than in one scientifically exact utterance, which nought but a perpetual miracle could keep exact. p. 19.
"For these and like reasons, the plan of inspiring a great literature, and of inspiring it in such a way as to make it a catholic literature, capable of translation into all languages without risk of serious error, seems better and wiser than any other imaginable plan.
"But a plan like this necessarily involves a theory of Inspiration in accordance with it.
"It involves not perfection in any one part, considered in itself; as, for example, that the historical books should be "historical," in the modern sense of the word. A perfectly true history may contain admixtures which require a sound and cautious criticism to determine whether they are literal facts or symbolic represen tations of large groups of facts. And we know that early historians delighted
* The Spiritual Point of View; or, the Glass Reversed. An answer to Bishop Colenso, by M. MAHAN, D. D., St. Mark's in the Bowery Professor of Ecclesi. astical History in the General Theological Seminary. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1863. 12mo. pp. 114. For sale in New Haven by Peck, White & Peck. Price, 75 cents.