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^ London: Printed by William Ci.uwa* and SuNk, Stamford Street. 

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No. IIL^ULY, 1848. 



By Professor A. Tholuck, D.D. 

Translated from the German by the Key. F. W. Gotcb, M.A., of Trinity College, 


I. Life of John the Evangelist. 

The ETangelist was the son of Zebedee, a fidierman of Galilee, and 
of Salome. He was probably bom at Bethsaida, a fishing village 
on the sea of Galilee (rrnt IT^y locus ad piscatum apttis), which 

was also the native place of Peter, Andrew, and Philip. This 
appears from his inhmate acquaintance with them, and from his 
bemg associated with them (Matt. iv. 18. 21 ; John i. 40). The 
parents of John were probably not poor. Zebedee had hired 
labourers (fjn<xQcjrot[) in nis service (Mark i. 20) ; and Salome was 
one of the women who ministered to the subsistence of Jesus 
(Matt, xxvii. 56), and who brought spices to embalm him (Luke 
xxiii. 55) ; at his death the Redeemer charged John to take Mary 
to his own home (ciV ra Xiia), That Zebedee was in a condition 
of comfort and respectability may perhaps also be inferred from 


* Dr. Tholuck i»too well known in this coontry to need to be introduced to our 
readers by any prefatory remarks. His Commentcurv on John first appeared in 1827, 
and has passed through six editions ; the last, which has been revised throughout, 
and from which the present article is translated, was published in 1844. Almost 
contemporaneously with its publication Dr. Tholuck furnished the articles on the 
different Gospels to the Cyciopadia if Biblical LUmUmy and the readers of the 

VOL. II. — NO. III. B article 

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2 InJtroductim to tlie Gospel of John. [July, 

the £BLCt that John was known to the high-priest (John xviii. 15). 
Under these circumstanoes we may reaaily suppose that the 
Evangelist had received some degree of instruction. In Acts iv. 
13 he is, indeed, classed with ue unlearned QiuiTou)y but the 
Pharisees reckoned as such all who were not devoted to the rab- 
binical studies of the law, who were not DVSTT H^^il, disdples 

of the Rabbins. Probably, even from an early neriod he had an 
inclination for the things of God. His mother Salome appears to 
have been a pious woman, so closely did she afterwards attach 
herself to Jesus ; she had also probably occupied herself with hopes 
relatmg to the Messiah, as we may judge^from Matt. xx. 20 ; and 
from the same narrative it appears that she cherished a very strong 
afiTection for her children. Such a mother mieht easily have 
awakened in her children a pious disposition, whicn in the case of 
John would be fostered by his mode of life as a fisherman. In 
this employment he must oft;en have watched on the water through 
the still mght, and that, too, in a delightful country, resembling 
the neighbourhood of the lake of Locarno.^ 

When John the Baptist appeared and proclaimed everywhere 
the near approach of the kingdom of God, it was natural tnat the 
youthful Jonn, prompted by pious desire, should attach himself to 
this herald of Christ. There is a tradition in Theophylact that the 
son of Zebedee was a nephew of the father of the l^aptist. The 
Baptist described in prophetic vision the sublime destination of 
Jesus ; he pointed from nimself as the forerunner, to Him who 
was the true light of the world. His obedient disciples turned to 
Jesus, and amongst these was John, who, together with Andrew, 
immediately on their first interview was so attracted that he 

article o& * John ' wiU notice that it ib to a very great extent an abridgment of the 
more extended Introduction now presented to them. The Ck>mmentary has been 
translated in America from an early edition, and we belieye has been there ezten- 
siyely drcnlated. The Introduction, howeyer, since that period, has been almost 
entirely re-written and greatly enlarged, so as to meet the present requirements of 
German theology in respect to this eyangelift Most Englisn readers unacquainted 
with German theologr will, we imagine, be astonished and probably shocked at the 
coolness with which these critics decide against the authenticity and credibility o. 
this or that portion of the New- Testament writings; and some may, perhaps, doubt 
whether there is any advantage in bringing such riews before the English public, 
eren when the objections are set forth, as they are here, only for the purpose of 
meeting and answering them. In reply to such a possible scruple, we would simpW 
remind our readers, that German yiews aYe disseminated in this country, and win 
continue to be so, and that it is needfol therefore that we should be prepared to 
oppose them if ihe^ are ftilse and injurious. One of the best and most ayailable 
ways of doing this is to become acauainted, by means of such articles as the present, « 
botn with the objections furnished by the * negative criticism ' of our continental 
neighbours, and with the answers which pious men engaged in the strife are able to 
present to them. 

^ See Seetsen, in Winer's Beal'Lex, s. y. Genexareth ; Clarke, in Raumer's 
PalmaHnOy Snd edit p. 58. 


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1848.] Introduction to the Gospel of John. 3 

remained with the Messiah whom he had now foimd, from the 
fourth hour of the afternoon until night. Nevertheless. Jesus did 
not yet bring him permanently into his society ; probably he accom- 
panied him a few days (see Comm, on ch. ii. 2). It belonged to 
the divine wisdom of the Redeemer's teaching to cast a serm into 
the soul, and to leave this gradually to develope itseu. John 
returned again to his occupation ; and some time after, as Jesus 
was walking by the sea of Galilee, he called the youth, who had 
been previously aroused, to constant intercourse with him. This 
call John immediately obeyed (Luke v. 10 ; Matt iv. 21). Thus 
this disciple is through his whole course of life the representative 
of that class of Christians who have become what they are by the 
gradual developement of their inner life ; as, on the other hand, 
^aul is of those who have been transformed by a sudden change of 
mind. In his intercourse with the Redeemer John now manifested 
such tenderness of heart, a disposition so impressible, an attach- 
ment so ardent, that he became especially dear to him — ^a &ct 
which John himself intimates, though without mentioning his own 
name (John xiii. 23 ; xix. 26 ; xx. 2 ; zxi. 7). It also appears 
from some statements in the Gospels that Jesus granted a certain 
degree of distinction to three of his disciples, and amongst these 
to JohnfMatt. xviL 1 ; xxvi. 37 ; Mark v. 37). Afl«r tfie ascen- 
sion of Christ, John took up his residence in Jerusalem, where 
Paul met with him on his third journey, about the year 52 (Gal. 
ii. 9), thou^ he is not mentioned on liis first visit (Gal. i. 19). 
Since he took the mother of Jesus to his own house, and according 
to Jesus' command fulfilled towards her the duty of a child (xix. 
27), and since this house was probably in Jerusalem, tradition has 
concluded that he did not leave Jerusalem before the death ot 
Mary, which, according to Eusebius, took place in the forty-eighth 
year after Christ. This much is certain, that at the time when 
JPaul was at Ephesus, t. e, in the year 58 or 59, John was not yet 
a resident in that city, the sphere of his later exertions ; for, on the 
one hand, Paul was not willing to labour in places which were 
already occupied by others, and therefore would not have entered 
into the provmce of John ; and on the other hand, mention could 
not fail to have been made of John in Actsxx. 17, if he had been 
at that time in Ephesus. Also, when Paul wrote his Episties to 
Timothy, addressed to him at Ephesus, John was not there. But 
yet, when Paul afterwards comes to Jerusalem (Acts xxi. 18\ he 
does not find John there ; his absence may probably have been 
merely temporary, as in Acts viii. 14. It was probably the deaUi 
of Paul that first furnished the occasion of Jonn's leaving Jeru- 
salem, or at least of his going to Asia Minor, where the (Jnristian 
communities were very numerous, but where, also, errors sprang 

b2 up 

Digitized by 


4 Introduction to the Oospel of John. [July, 

up most critically. These regions, therefore, stood in special need 
oi the oversight and care of an Apostle. This would lead ns to 
the year 65 or 66 after Christ In Palestine the Apostle had a 
strong tendency to the law, as is testified by Gal. ii. 9. The Apo- 
calypse also has, at least in great part, an Old Testament back- 
ground, and many men who sprang trom the school of John (if the 
expression is allowable), Papias, Uegesippus, Irenaeus, were Mil- 
lenarians ; Hegesippus was even inclined to the Ebionites. In 
reference to the celebration of Easter, the Apostle, and with him his 
disciples, followed the Jewish custom. If we consider the Epistles 
and the Grospel of John as the peculiar type of his doctrine, then we 
cannot well speak of the school of John ; since the Epistle of Pol^- 
carp, the Epistles of Ignatius, the Epistle to Diognetus, are more m 
accordance with Paul than with John, although accordance with the 
latter is by no means wanting. How is this to be explained? Lutzel- 
berger has on this ground msputed the residence of the Apostle in 
Asia Minor. Schwegler (comp. § 6) and other theolopans of the 
school of Dr. Baur, regarding the Apocalypse as the work of the 
Apostle, think that they must look upon the Gospel and the 
Epistles as supposititious. Tins is cutting the knot Perhaps we 
may say that wnat is characteristic of Jomi did not find imitators 
to me same extent as what is characteristic of Paul, and later times 
of thechurch mightconfirm this; to this we ma^ add the lessactive 
character of the Apostle externally — ^in Acts iii. 6 it is Peter who 
speaks and acts ; further, that the churches of Asia Minor were not 
founded but only tended by him ; that the Gospel and the Epistles 
are to be ascribed to the last period of his life ; that the more 
judaizing type had already become prevalent by means of the other 
Apostles, for Andrew and Philip also had laboured in Asia Minor.® 
During the labours of the Evangelist in these regions of Aaa Minor 
he was bimiBhed by one of the emperors to the island of Patmos, 
one of the Sporades in the ^gean sea, where, according to Bev. i. 
9, he wrote the Apocalvpse. Irenaeus, however (Adv. Hceres. v. 30), 
and Eusebius who follows him (Hist. Eccl. iu. 18), say that the 
Apocalypse was revealed to John at the end of the reign of Domi- 
tian ; it this report is to be received (comp. § 3), his banishment 
falls under the reign of Domitian, who diea a. d. 96. Moreover, 
we find in Tertullian (Prcescript. adv. Hosret. c. 36), and after him 
in Jerome (Adv. Jovin. i. 14 ; in Matt. xx. 23), the accoimt that 
under Domitian, John had been dragged to Rome and thrown into 
a vessel of oil, but miraculously delivered, and then had been 
brought to Patmos. Since, however, tlds account is given by no 
ancient writer, except the not very critical Tertullian, and since 

• See aUo p. 8 below. 


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1848.] Introdudian to the Gospel of John. 5 

this mode of death was unknown in Rome, no reliance can be 

{placed upon the report.^ That the Apostle suffered deadi for the 
aith is attested independently by the circumstance that Polycrates, 
Bishop of Ephesus, about the year 200, calls him imm^tus (Euseb. 
Hist. JSccL Y. 24). His return from exile has been placed in the 
reign of Nerva (Euseb. Higt. Ecel, iii. 20. 23 ; Hieron. Catal. 
script. EccL c. ix). In the tradition of the church he appears as 
the middle point of ecdesiaslical life in Asia Minor, so that in mat- 
ters of dispute, as in the question respecting Easter, and the contro- 
versy with the Gnostics, ne is referred to, and frequent mention is 
made of his disciples and hearers. He died at JBphesus, in the 
reign of Trajan, being upwards of 90 years of age ; accoiding to 
Jerome, he was 100 ; according to Suidas, 120. 

n. Character of John the Evangelist. 

If we take the picture which the Gospel and the Epistles of 
John give us of their author, together witn some traits of his life 
which antiquity has preserved to us, it appears that John possessed 
a soft, affectionate, rather feminine character, as is shown indeed 
in his indistinct^ undefined style, and particularly in the passages 
in which with the melancholy of elegy he speaks of the unbelief of 
the world, ch. L 10, 11 ; iii. 19, 32 ; xii. 37. Originally this soft- 
ness was susceptible of a hasty outburst of anger, as is frequentiy 
the case with feminine dispositions ; they are conscious of being 
not less yiolently repelled than attracted. An instance of this 
kind is mentioned by Luke ix. 54. From the stand-point of the 
Old Testament, the anger of the disciple in this case was indeed 
righteous, for it was an anger against the godless ; but the Lord 
put him in mind that such a feeling was unbecoming in a disciple 
of the New Testament* In another respect also his character in 
the evangelical history appears not to be purified. Selfishness i& 
discovered in the circumstance mentioned by Mark (ix. 38), in 
which he expresses himself enviously as to those who had received 
the miraculous gifts of the Gospel, without having left all, as the 
Apostles had, to follow Christ. He appears sel&h also in Mark 
X. 35 (comp. Matth. xx. 20), where, together with his brother, 
he applies to Christ, through ms mother, with a request for earthly 
distinction in the Messiah's kingdom. It may therefore be assumea, 

^ See Moeheim, Ditf. ad Hxat. Eed, vol. L p. 497, $q. 
• * Tb^ position of the word dfUis in verse 55 is to be remarked. The prevalent 
Tiew that John and his brothers receiyed their surname of 'sons of thonder' 
(Mark iii. 17) in oonseqaence of this circumstance has, according to oar view of the 
occurrence, little probability ; for, in that case, the words of Christ do not contain 
an absolute reproof, and, if not, they lose their sererity. At least the name would 
then be not simply a mark of censure, but would only point out the strength of their 
natural yehemence. 


Digitized by 


6 Introduction to the Gospel of John. [July, 

that that character of love, humility, and meekness, which is shown 
in the writings and in the later history of the evangelist, was the 
work of the transforming grace of God ; the influence of the q>irit 
of Christ on the mind of the disciple giving himself up to him. 
We are not however to imagine, that the softness of John, pene- 
Vated as he was by Christ, . was at all an effeminate weakness. 
With all that is indistinct in his style, a severe moral earnest- 
ness is expressed in his Epistles (1 John i. 6 ; iii. 9, 20 ; v. 16 ; 
- 2 John 10, 11). In the latter part of his life also, Polycarp 
reports from Irenseus an expression in which we recognize the 
disciple of whom Luke speaks ch. ix. 54. He fled out of a bath 
in which the heretic Cerinthus was, saying, that he feared the 
building would fall. But narratives are preserved also in which 
the same character of love is expressed as is shown in his Gospels 
and in his Epistles. Clemens Alexandrinus in his book entitled 
ris o (To/^o/xsvof ^Xo</(nos, c. 42, relates the following : ^ Listen to a 
legend, or rather a genuine tradition of John the Apostie, which 
has been fSedthfully preserved in memory. On his return from 
Patmos to Ephesus ne visited the neighbouring country to appoint 
bishops, and to set in order the churdies. Li a city not £sur from 
Ephesus, which some even mention by name, as he is exhorting 
and comforting the brethren, he perceives a fine ardent youth, who 
so attracts him that he immediately turns to the bisnop of the 
church with these Vords : " This youth I most eamestlycommend 
to thee before Christ and the church as witnesses." The bishop 
took charge of the youth, promising to do everything for him, and 
on his departure John repeated these words yet agam. The elder 
received the youth into his house, took care of mm and watched 
over him until at length he could admit him to baptism. But 
aflter he had received this seal of the Lord, the bishop remitted 
Jiis care and watchfulness. The youth, too early freed from disci- 
pline, falls into bad company. At first he is drawn into dissipa- 
tion, then he is led on to rob passengers by night. As a spirited 
horse that leaps from the right way, throws itself suddenly into 
the abyss, so also did his impetuous nature drag him into the 
depth of perdition. He now despaired of the grace of God, and 
vrished therefore, since he had to share the same fate as his com- 
panions, to perform something sreat He collected his associates, 
formed a band of robbers, and became their captain, surpassing 
them all in bloodthirstiness and acts of violence. After some time 
John was again called to the same city on business. When he 
had arrang^ everything else, he addressed the bishop : " Now, 
bishop, give us back the pledge which land the Saviour have 
entrusted to thee before the church." The bishop was at first ter- 
rified, and thought that he referred to money that had been em- 

Digitized by 


1848.] Introduction to the Gotpel of John. 7 

bezzled. But when John said, ^' I demand back the youth and the 
soul of nw brother/' the old man sighed deeply, and said with 
tears, **' Ue is dead." ^ Dead ?" asked the disciple of the Lord ; 
** And what kind of death V " He is dead to God,'' answered the 
old man ; ^^ he has forsaken God, and has become at last a robber. 
Now, instead of the church, he, with his companions, occupies » 
mountain." The Apostle, when he learnt this, rends his garment 
with a loud cry, and smites his head and exclaims, *^ O what a 
watcher have I left over the soul of my brother I" He takes a 
horse and a guide, and hastens to the place where the band of 
robbers maintained themselves. He is seized by those who are on 
the watch ; he flies not, but exclaims, ^^ It is for this that I am 
come ; bring me to your leader." He, armed, is waiting his arri- 
val. But when he finds that it is John who is approaching, he 
flees covered with shame. John meanwhile hastens after him with 
all speed, forgetting his age, and cries, ^^ Wherefore dost thou fly 
from me, my child ; from me, thy father^ unarmed, grey-headed. 
Have pity on me, my child I fear not I thou hast yet a hope of 
life. I will account for thee to Christ. If it is needful, I will 
willingly die for thee, as Christ died for us. I will lay down my 
life for thee. Stop 1 — ^believe— Christ has sent me." The young 
man, when he hears these words, at first stops and looks on the 
ground — then he throws away his weapons — ^then he begins to 
tremble and to weep bitterly. And when the old man approaches, 
he embraces his knees, and with the most vehement lamentations 
implores forgiveness ; by his tears he gives himself, as it were, a 
second baptism, — his ris^ht hand however he conceals. But the 
Apostle pledges himself with an oath that he has obtained 
forgiveness for him from the Saviour — ^he entreats — he throws 
himself on his knees, and kisses the hand which has been, as 
it were, cleansed by his repentance. Thus he brings him back 
into the church, and here ne prays with him so earnestly, and 
wrestles with him in fasting, and exhorts him by his discourses, 
that at length he can return him to the church, as an example of 
true change of heart and genuine regeneration.' To this narra- 
tive from the life of the holy disciple, which bears so completely 
the stamp of his disposition, Jerome adds the following trait : ' — 
' When John had reached a very advanced age, he was too weak 
to walk to the assembly ; he allowed himself to be carried in by the 
disciples. He could no longer speak much, but he continually 
repeated the words " Little children, love one another I" And when 
he was asked why he continually repeated this one word, his answer 
was, *^ Because this is the command of the Lord, and because 
enough is done if only this is done." ' 

' Comm, ad GaL vol. iii p. 314, Mart 


Digitized by 


8 * Introduction to the Ootpel of John, [July* 

In modern times by Neander, and especially by Liicke, ^ impe- 
tnoeity and passion' hftye been pointed out as 'the indiyidual 
temperament ' of the Apostle, but crfkinly we can only under- 
stand this of such impetuosity as is consistent with tenderness, and 
is as it were its opposite pole. On this subject some just remarks 
are made by Bruno Bauer^s and a comprehensive euibition of it 
is given by Frommann.^ 

ni. The Language of the Gospel of John^ and the time and place 
of its composition. 

The unanimous testimony of antiquity declares that the Gospel 
was written by the Apostle at Ephesus. To this conclusion we 
are led also by internal evidence, namely, that the author has 
regard to the Hellenistic-Judaic theosophy, and in general to 
readers not living in Palestine (John ii. 6, 13 ; iv. 9 ; v.l, 2) ; and 
also that he is versed in the Hellenistic Greek language. His 
acauaintance with Hellenistic Greek is so great, in comparison 
witn the style of the Apocalypse, that if the Evangelist John is 
the author of the latter, the Gospel, according to all appearance, 
must have been written considerably later. According to Irenseus 
(Adv. HcBres, v. 30. 3.), the Apocalypse was revealed (iupadvi) to 
John towards the end of the reign of Domitian, who died a. d. 96. 
Supposing that it was recorded immediately after it was revealed, 
the book of the Apocalypse must have been written about the 
year 95. K then we place the writing of the Gospel in the year 
100 (and we can scarcely put it later), there would still be only 
five years between the two writings, a period which appears to be 
too short to explain the great difibrence of language, if, according 
to very probable internal evidence, we place the record of the 
Apocalypse in the reign of Galba (a.d. 68 or 69), we have a length 
of time rally sufficient^ The recent investigations of Dr. Paulus, 
Hug, and Credner (1841), have made it probable that the Greek 
language was very widely spread in Palestine — even James the 
brother of the Lord, who never lived out of his £gither-land, wrote 
his Epistle in comparatively good Greek. Thus John also may 
have had some knowledge of Greek durine his residence at Jeru- 
salem. If his banishment took place after nis entrance on his new 
sphere of labour in Asia Minor, he would indeed have but little 
practice in it ; yet the period of from ten to twenty years after his 
return must, on the other hand, have exerted an essential influence.^ 
The style of the Gospel gives the general impression that the 

■ Kritik der evangeliachen GtKhichie des Johannetj p. 400, aq. 

^ Johann, Lekrhegriffy p. 22. 

' Comp. Dannemann, Wer tat der Vafeuaer der Offenbaruna Johanniaf 1841. 

^ See my GlaubwSrdigkeit der evangeluchen Geachickle, 2iuf edit p. 383. 


Digitized by 



1848.] Introduction to the Gospel of John. 9 

author was not much practised as a. writer, since the structure of 
the periods is deficient in an unusual degree. John stands in this 
respect far below Paul, yet the reason is to be found less in his 
using a language to which he was unaccustomed, than in the dif- 
ference of tneir individual temperament ; for dialectic thinking is 
completely foreign to John ; his mind appears to be in the highest 
degree plain and simple. His discourse throughout uniformly 
alternates between the particles St and oSv; it is indeed sur- 

}>rising how frequently the latter is used ; thus, in ch. xix., it is 
bund in ver. 20, 21, 23, 24 {his), 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 38, 40, 42. 
The simple connection by xai occurs as frequently, iii. 14 ; y. 27 ; 
viii. 21, 49 ; xyii. 11. Once we find ItMis ptevroi, xii. 42 ; xairoiye, 
iy. 2; /aevtoi alone, yii. 13 [iy. 27 ; xx. 5 ; xxi. 4] ; also jwti — 5i, 
•yi. 51 ; yiii. 16, 17 ; xy, 27 ; si — vt)v Se, ix. 41; xviii. 36. Not 
less is the uniformil^ in the use of fiskvourite words and phrases, of 
which especially the three Epistles furnish instances, to be attri- 
buted in great part to his mdiyidual turn of mind — a certain sim- 
plicity of mind, in accordance with which all his thoughts rather 
roimd a few comprehensiye terms, such as ixapruqiatj ^ witness, ^o^oe, 
* glory,' iX^ideia, * truth,' ^o/r, ' light,' tntorofy * darkness,' J«ii 
aitf^vfor, ^ eternal life,' /jtivciv, ^ abide ' (see ch. y. 38). Neyertheless 
we must believe that John possessed less readiness of language than 
is shown in the writings oi Paul, and certainly less than in the 
Epistle to the Hebrews. As to verbal improprieties, there are no 
examples that famish any difficulty greater than those which are 
found in many expressions of Paul ; though it is frequently assumed 
that there are, because Eusebius says that John wrote dvraiffTMs 
(Hist. Eccl. vii. 44). As to barbarisms, we have to mention, 
lyvwxav (xvii. 7), and according to Cod. B. D. L. rtnpwa^ 
(xvii. 6^ ; also, according to some MSS. f^xwren instead of uy^o^ 
(xv. 22) ; %ap'n9fitMu instead oi yj^pSi (xvi. 20, 22) ; oOJi^iws (iv. 
37 ; vii. 28), if it is taken in the sense otakriHs. As to solecisms, 
there are oi/ p^f in a dependent question (xi. 56), and in a direct 

auestion (xviii. 11), 7v<x after the demonstrative (xv. 8 ; xvii. 3) ; 
^e Hebraic construction (vii. 4, SccX To these we may add 
?-TT8 instead of 5re (ch. viiL 39), it with Griesbach we adopt 
the former readins. We may cite as good Greek, e. g.y the 
formula oi w^p\ Mo^fiffv (xi. 19); the use of the particle vt/v 
(xi. 8) ; vpo t^ w>tp£y (xii. 1) ; ^Ttsq (xii. 43) ; SfMios with 
the genitive (viii. 55, and in no other passage m the N. T.) ; 
'UpoijoXvfMt declined according to the Greek manner, whilst in 
the Apocalypse it is *U^<raXiifju, &c. As peculiarities of the 
style of John may be' noticed finrther his frequent use of the 
pronoun (vi. 71 ; vii. 7 ; ix. 39) ; the demonstrative with tvct 
(xv. 8 ; xvii. 3 ; 1 John iv. 17) ; the repetition of the positive 


Digitized by 


10 Introduction to the Gospel of John. [ July, 

thought in a negative form (i. 23 ; xy. 6 ; 1 John ii. 27 ; 2 John 
9) ; the construction with x«i — xal (yi. 36 ; ix. 379&c.); also that 
the second member of the sentence extends beyond tiie thought 
contained in the first (y. 41, 42 ; ix. 41 ; xiy. 10 ; 2 John i. 3). 
One cannot but wish that the characteristics of the language of 
the individual writers of the New Testament had been given by 
Winer in his New Testament Grammar. LtLcke, too, in his 
tliird edition of his Commentary on John has not given any such 
account. See in reference to the style of the Gospel, Seyffiirth, 
Beitrag zur Specialcharactertstik der johann, Schriften^ Leipz. 
1833, and in reference to the language^ Schott, Isagoge in N, 71 
p. 160. 

The uniform testimony of antiquity declares this Gospel to be 
the last written, and many internal marks also testify to the fact. • 
It presupposes the ^noptic narrative (see below) — ^it bears the 
character of completing that ; it reports the discourses of Jesua 
with less verbal accuracy, &c. 

IV. Obfect of the Gospel and Plan of carrying it out. 

In discussing the question of the object of the Gospel of John, 
we must distinguish between the general and the special object. 
All who recorded the evangelical history had in view the general 
object of spreading and establishing belief in Christ and in his 
saving doctrine. With this view Luke prepared his account for 
the benefit of Theophilus, as he says in the introduction to his 
gospel. John also had this general design, as he himself says, 
XX. 31. The question then is, whether beside this we have ground 
to suppose that there was a special object. The construction of 
this gospel might well lead to such a supposition. It has through- 
out a peculiar didactic character, it brings prominently forward a 
circle of truths different from thatwhich is exhibited in the syn- 
optic gospels, and to this it continually returns. Thus it may 
appear, that he was desirous of opposmg some definite foreign 
dogmatic tendency. The arrangement also, and the matter of his 
history, differ considerably from mose of the other evangelists. This 
might lead us to think that his object was to complete their 
accounts. A polemico-dogmatic object, besides the general one, 
is supposed even by Irenaeus {Adv, Ucer, iii. 12). He says that 
John 8 design was to oppose the errors of the Gnostic Cennthus. 
lliis statement of the early teacher of the church has been adopted 
by many ancient and modem theologians, most of whom, however, 
assume a more general polemical design against the Gnostic and 
Docetic opinions ; many have thought, moreover, that there is to 
be discovered in the gospel a polemical aim against the sect of 
the Zabeans, or disciples of John the Baptist. So tiie Socinian 


Digitized by 



1848.] Introduction to the Gospel of John. 11 

writers Schlichting and Wolzogen ; also Grotius, Herder,™ Over- 
beck,° who think Uiat it is directed especially against the Zabeans ; 
beside these, Michaelis, Storr, Schmidt, Hug, Kleucker, who sup- 
pose a polemical aim against both the Gnostics and the Zabeans. 
Some, as Kleucker, and more recently L. Lange,^ think that tliey 

Srceive a polemical design against carnal Judaizing Christians, 
le latest negative criticism of Liitzelberger comes back to a 
polemical aim against tiie disciples of John the Baptist (p. 275), 
and that of Schwegler (see § 6), who allows the gospel to have 
appeared at the end of the second century, finds in it a connection 
with the doctrines of the Gnostics, and likewise with those of the 
Ebionites, partly irenical, partiy polemical. 

If now the question is, whether expressions occur in the gospel 
which may be used in opposing Gnostic, Zabean, or Judaistic er- 
rors, no one will deny that this is the case. Yet a definite pole- 
mical object on the part of John would not be thereby proved, for 
when Christianity is brought forward in its purity, it always of itself 
comes into opposition to these errors. Then only would the form 
of the gospel oblige us to assume such a definite polemical object, 
when its peculiar didactic character could not be explained except 
from definite considerations of this kind, founded on history. This, 
however, is not the case. As to the opinion of Irenseus, it is known, 
that the teachers of the church in their contests with heretics were 
easily led to represent even the aposties as being definite oppo- 
nents of heresies. Irenseus, in tne passage referred to, assumes, 
that John intended to oppose also the errors of tiie Nicolaitans, 
which yet certainly is not the case ; and besides, Irenseus might 
easily, witiiout being led by any historical facts, arrive at the con- 
clusion, that it was the dennite design of the evangelist to come 
forward polemically against the Gnostics, simply on this account, 
that many expressions of John are capable of being used against 
them. To this may be added, that those passages which are taken 
as having a polemical aspect against Cerinthus (o Xoyos a-aq^ syivsro, 
^ the word became flesh,' p) and those which are looked upon as 
opposing the disciples of John the Baptist (John i. 8 ; iii. 28, seq.) 
do not accurately fulfil their polemical object, as Dr. Paulus has 
shown ; ^ and farther, that Cennthus might have made use of some 
passages in John in his own favour (p. 112). Moreover, this po- 
lemical aim cannot be shown to run tiurough the whole gospel. 
Under these circumstances we cannot admit, that John in writing 

» ErUui. zum iV. T. aus einer netterifffh. morgenL Quelle, p. 11. 

> I^eue Vers, iib. d, Eo. Joh. 

^ Beitrage zur aUesten Kirchena. 

P See Storr, Ueber den Zweck dee Ev, Joh. $ 43, eq. 

1 Inirod, in N, T. capita selecta, J&am, 1799. 


Digitized by 


12 Introduction to the Gospel of John. [Julyt 

his gospel had a definite polemico-dogmalic object in view, much 
less that this was his chief object. It is however quite probable 
that here and there (xix. 34, 35), and especially in the prolome, 
he incidentaUy took notice of erroneous opinions and doubts wnic^ 
were already current at that time.' Such an occasional I'^^gard to 
the circumstances of his time belonss to every writer. Tim ap- 
pears more in the first Epistle of the Apostle than in his gospel, and 
on this point Liicke forms a very correct opinion in his mtroduction 
to the first Epistle of John. 

If there exists no polemical object running through the whole, 
it may be inquired, whether John had the design of placing his 
gospel in a definite relation to the other gospels. Did he aim to 

S've a more spiritual representation of the te^u^ng and the life of 
e Redeemer ? This thought readily occurs to any one who is 
attracted by the wonderfully sublime simplici^, and the heavenly 
mildness which pervades tne whole composition, as well as the 
many express references to the higher nature of Christ The 
Alexandrians, who in general assumed a twofold spiritual stand- 
point for Christians, gave utterance to this thought Clement, in 
a fragment of his lost vroru^cua-sisy preserved by Eusebius ' says : 
Tov /bicSroi *Icjaiyynv %oyjxTO¥ ai/viScSyra, on ra ffcJ/jt^artKa h rois tvay^ 
ysKtois ieSiiXafrctty Tr^rpavivra vvo ro/y yycjplfjLOfy, ^vc^/xan dso^^« 
Oivratj wvBvfjLariKov woirt^ai evayyiXiovj ' that John, the latest, per- 
ceiving that that which was carnal had been set forth in the Gos- 
pels, bein^ ureed by those who were acquainted with him, and 
oeing inspired by the Spirit, wrote a spiritual gospel.' In a simi- 
lar way Liicke has viewed the three first gospels as proceeding 
from tne stand-point of faith (vions), that ofJonn from the stand- 
point of knowledge {yywtns)} Again, as John for the most part 
relates such speeches and miracles of Christ as the other Evange- 
lists do not mention ; many, both ancient and modem writers, as- 
sume that it was his intention in general, to complete the earlier 
gospels, but especially to supply what was wanting in their repre- 
sentation of the Divine in Cnrist (rj}> deoXo^/av). Thus Eusebius,^ 
and thus also Theodore of Mopsuestia,' who says, ^ But the faith- 
ful in Asia, judging that the blessed John was more worthy of 

r Thns Rettberg, An Jesua in exhibendaj &c., p. 9. 

• Hist. EccL vi. 14, < Lucke, Conm. l8t edit pt. 1, p. 160, aq. 

■ Hist. EccL iii. 24. 

' Catena in Eo» Joh. ed. Corder. Ant^r. 1630, &AA' ol ircpl r^v 'Atricty Tiarot 
i^imrurrSr^pop r&p \oiT&y cir r^if rov f^oyycXfov fioprvplav *ludyyriv Kpivvan^s cfnu 
rhv fuuiipiov^ 7rpoa4\vrfKW fikv oJn^ rhs filfiKovs, yatBuv livriva frtpl cUnSv fx*< "^^^ 
96^ay Ttu>* ainov fiov?<j&fif¥ou 'O 8^ 4'r]fy€<T€ iiky t^s dKrfi^tat rovs ytyfmp6rast l^i}<r« 
8^ fipax*a fi^r ainois «-apa\cXct!^ai, Koi r&y fjuAXiara dyayKOMP Xcx^foi Bavfidrttv rk 
McuTKaKucii iinufra fUKpov, Efra kciI Sctv 4^kutk^ rovs ircpl r^s iv <rapKi Topowrlat 
TOV Xpurrov 9w\€yofi4povs fofih rovs wtpH rijs B^^rriros \6yovs Tapa\iT€o>, ic. r. A.. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Introduction to the Gospel of John. 13 

trust than others, as to the testimony of the Gospel, brought to him 
their books, wishing to learn from him what was his opinion about 
them. And he commended those, who had written for their truth, 
but said that a few things had been passed over by them, and 
almost aU instruction as to the wonders that were most necessary 
to be read. Then also he said that it was needful that there should 
be those who told of the appearing of Christ in the flesh, but that 
the doctrines of his Diyinitv ought not to be passed by,' etc. Je- 
rome ' also speaks of the historical design of writing a supplement 
to the other evangelists. Similarly Storr, Huff, Teilmoser. A 
conscious contrast between the fourth gospel as oeing more spiri- 
tual, and the Synoptic Gospels, certainly belongs only to later 
times, which look upon the character of the di^rent documents 
fipom their own point of view. What Herder says ■ would probably 
express the view of the apostle himself — ' It may be called a Gos- 

Sel of the Spirit — ^be it so, but the other Gospels are not of the 
esh, they also contain living words of Christ, and are built on the 
same foundation of faith.' The design also of completing the three 
gospels, which were already in existence, cannot in this definite 
manner be received. Tliat this cannot have been the chief end is 
shown by the uniformity of its character: *This ^i^ospel is not 
nmply a piece of patchwork,' says Hase ; nor can it even be re- 
garded as a definite secondary object always before the mind of 
tne evangelist Opposed to this view are the following circum- 
stances, that so much is related in the fourth Gospel, which is 
found also in the three first : that not a few at least apparent dis- 
crepandes ap])ear which would have to be reconciled ; tnat, on the 
other hand, discrepandes of the synoptic Gospels themselves are 
not removed ; that we mi^t certainly have expected that this ob- 
ject should have been mentioned in ch. xx. 30 ; and finally, that 
whoever maintains strictly, that this is the object, is compelled to 
think of an editorial arrangement of a more modem kind. More- 
over, the churches at that time were certainly aoquunted with the 
history of our Lord, less firom the three written evangelical records 
than firom ora] tradition. Nevertheless, some truth lies at the 
foundation of this view. If John imparted much in his instruction 
which went beyond the circle of ordinary oral tradition, and there- 
fore also bevond the synoptic Gospels that flowed from that source, 
one cannot but think that he awakened amongst his friends the de- 
sire of possessing also a history of the Lord according to hig repre- 
sentation. If he yielded to this desire his gospel must of itself 
acquire a supplemental charluster, and only in tnis way can it be 

y Catal. de vir. illutt, c. 9. 

■ Vom Gotteuohn nach JohoMneM, p. 34. 


Digitized by 


14 Introduetum to the Gospel of John. [ July, 

explained that many important matters of tact are paased over, 
such as the baptism of Jesus by John, the aocomit of the tempta- 
tion, and of the transfiguration, die institution of the Lord's sup- 
per, the agony in Gewsemane ; that his readers were acquainted 
with the circle of ordinary tradition is plainly presupposed (ch. iii. 
34 ; xi. 2 ; also i. 32 ; to these we may add xiii. 27 ; xriii. 2, where 
the agreement of Judas with the council is presupposed ; xviiL 19, 
where the chief point in the examination before Caiaphas is passed 
over ; xix. 7 ; xxL 15).* That he has nevertheless commumcated 
larger sections, such as the history of the passion and resurrecticm, 
is not at all surprising, since without these no Gospel could be 
written, and besides J^m is in these sections peculiar ; moreoyer, 
ch. yi. 1-21, and xii. 1 are the only passages which a^ree with the 
synoptic Gospels. The historical section, ch. yi., is connected 
with the discourse that follows, although it may haye been given 
on account also of the miracle ; the narrative, ch. xii., 1, sq., might 
be given because of its furnishing a trait in the character of J u- 
das, whose black deed John is anxious to represent ^^Y* This 
view of the ori^n of the gospel, natural as it is in itself, is also 
confirmed by ecclesiastical tradition ; the account siven above from 
Clement is indeed by himself referred to the traidition of earlier 
elders {avkna^ev ^psfffiurBpoi). The expression of the apostie him- 
self (ch. xxi. 30, 31) serves at least to show that he made a selec- 
tion out of the mass of materials before him with a definite object ; 
what that object was, he does not say. 

Since he has formed a selection, tne question is, whether he in- 
tended simply to supply other matter, or whether this additional 
matter is itself placed in a definite point of view. Earlier times 
have scarcely at all reflected on the literary character of the Gos« 
pels ; recent criticism, especially the school of Dr. Baur and his 
followers, have carried this tendency to the extreme. Since 
Strauss, critics find in this Gospel especially, which they consider 
to be pseudonymous, the most conscious intention throughout, 
definite schemes and categories according to which the discourses 
and histories are presented, the following out of a definite object 
even in the most insignificant details, llie result of this is natural 
— ^in proportion as conscious design is assumed on the part of the 
pseudonymous writer, in that same proportion there is less of his- 
torical truth. Bruno Bauer, above all, proceeds arbitrarily and 
unreasonably. When one comes back from the study of this latest 
critic one fears to read the Evangelist with a clouded eye, ^ as 
Liicke says (Comm.i.'p, 183), * ton^e him more fiiU of meaning 
than he really is.' This criticism has directed attention especially 

- See Hug's EinleUung, ii. § 53. 


Digitized by 


^TJ^^^^ J J i . 'i i ' ^ 

1848.] Introducticn to the Gospel of John. 15 

to the fact that this Eyangelist has made it his business to repre- 
sent Jesus goinff forth into conflict with the Jewish rulers. Since 
this has been brought into view, those who acknowledge the 
genuineness of John have also gained a new insight into the com- 
position of the Gospel as Liicke in his third edition (compare De 
Wette), We might even say that the theme whiA this Gospel 
pursues from its very beginning is, the eternal cov^ict between the 
divine light and the corruption of man^ represented in the opposition 
of the hostile Jewish party to the manifestation of the Son of Gody 
and carried onward to the triumph of the light. As the opening 
strain of a musical composition expresses the idea which runs 
throughout it, so does the prologue of the Gospel express this 
theme, inasmuch as it tells of the opposition of the world to the 
Logos not yet become flesh ; and as the theme of the Epistle to 
the Romans lies in ch. i. 17, so the thought which runs through 
the Gospel of John is contained in ch. i. 11 — 13. Two principal 
sections are clearly discoyerable. The first extends to ch. xii. It 
comprehends the public ministry of Jesus, and concludes with a 
risum^ of the same (xii. 44—50). Preparation is made for the 
second section which contains the history of the passion and resur- 
rection of Jesus, by his discourse in ch. xii. 23 — 32. The ground- 
thought of this discourse is, the humiliation is necessary, since only 
thus can the exaltation follow. The history of the passion com- 
mences with ch. xiii., and even at the beginning, ver. 3, it points 
the disciples to the final glory. The exclamation of Thomas, 
' My Lord and my God,' the highest acknowledgment of the risen 
Saviour, closes the second part, and, by means of the words 
^ Happy are they who see not and yet believe,' forms the connect- 
ing Imk with the conclusion, * This is written that ye may believe 
that Jesus is the Son of God.' In the first part the gradual rise 
of the opposition of the Jewish rulers is set forth up to the deci- 
sive act of the raising of Lazarus and the open outbreak of their 
hatred which followed it. This account closes with the official 
determination of Caiaphas, ch. xi. 50, and this decree is an invo- 
luntary prediction of the meaning of the death of Christ. Former 
writers have remarked the practical religion {den religi&sen Prog-- 
matismus) of the Gospel^ how John throughout looks at the divine 
arrangement and sometimes refers to the now delaying, now hur- 
rying course of Providence (vii. 30, viii. 20, xiii. 1). According 
to our view of the plan of the work these intimations appear not 
simply as incidental expressions of relieious feeling, but as serving 
the purpose which the writer had in view. Nevertheless it is our 
distinct conviction that the history has presented itself to the mind 
of the Evangelist according to this plan in writing it down, and 
not from previous reflection. Had such a plan previously stood 


Digitized by 


16 Introduction to the Gospel of John. [July, 

before the mind of the Apoetle as a dbtinct scheme, would it not 
have been expressed in the concluding formula, ch. xx. 31, when 
the Evangelist had arrived at the termination of his history ? 

V. Contents and form of the Oospel of John in relation to the three 

first Gospels. 

In its contents and form this Gospel is throughout peculiar, and 
in this peculiarity there is a charm and a power of attraction, in 
consequence of which it has not only been preferred to the other 
Gospels, but by many has been placed above all the other books 
of the Bible. All the leaders otthe Church are full of its praise. 
Chrysostom writes thus : *If those who are spectators of the ath- 
letes and those who are both spectators and hearers of rhetoricians 
and flute-players sit with such readiness, how much eagerness and 
readiness ought ye to aflbrd us, when it is not some flute-placer 
or sophist who now comes into the arena, but a man speakmg 
from heaven and uttering a voice louder than thunder, for he 
occupies and seizes the whole world and fills it with his cry, not 
by shouting aloud but by moving his tongue with divine grace. 
And this liiily is wonderful, that though the cry is so great it is 
not at all harsh or unpleasing, but sweeter than any harmony of 
music, and more to be desired and more soothing : and in addition 
to all this, it is most holy and most awful, full of such secrets, and 
bringing such blessings as that those who receive and keep them 
with diligence and readiness cannot longer be men nor continue 
on the earth, but are raised above all the things of this life, and 
changing their condition to that of angels they live on the earth 
as thougn they lived in heaven.'*' In l^e manner Augustin says : 
< In the four Gospels or rather in the four books of the one Gospel, 
the holy apostle John, compared not imsuitably in respect to 
spiritual understanding to an eagle, has elevated nis preacning to 
a loftier and more sublime height than the other three, and in his 
elevation he desires to raise our hearts also. For the other three 
Evangelists, as though they were walking with the Lord as a 

^ E2 8^ ^opuc&y aJbXrrriKoiy re ical iSKrrruc&v iyBp&Pj r&p fih^ Oearalt t&v 9h 6fiov 
$€UfniT(d Kcd dKpoarai fierii rwrabrris ttiBtirrai r^s irpoBvfJilaSt ir6(nfw rifuv Koi <nrov6iip 
iro) 7rpo$vfjdt» &y «li^c ilicmoi wtpaax^tVt oIk alfXrirucoO rivos, oM cn^orucoO yv¥ th 
dy&ya KCiBihnoty <iXA' Mfi6s iiwh r&v ovpatmv ^Srfyofitwov, Ktd 0pornts XofiMporipoM 
hipiiirros ^y4pf\ Totray yiip tIiv otKovfidimiy hreax^ ko) Kori?<u$€, Koi ip4ir\7iiT€ rf fioff, 
ot r^ fUya hfOKporyuift d\kk r^ fierk r^s 0€ias x^*^^^ Ktyrjo'tu liir yX&rrcof. koI t^ 
8^ 0av/tfurT^y, tri otr^ fityd\7i ohra ^ fioh ohx t^ari rpax^td ris, oM dffiiiSf dXXh 
wdtnis ftawrtic^f apftaifUa ifittty Ktd ToB^wvripa ical BiXfyu hrurrafikvti TXiotr icol vp^t 
robots BfroKTip ayutrdTti koL ^iKu^fffrdrth koI roao^w y4fi<nHra Atrofifirrwyt Ktd 
rocaSra KOfii(owra dyctSdj h ro^t /a«t^ dxpifi^Uts iroi TpoOvfilas \afi6yras Ktd 8xa^v\(£r- 
rorras oIk tvi Xoirrhy dyOpAwovs cTvcu, ovU^ M r^f yijs fi^i^ty, «UA' dy«n4pw ToyroMf 
IotcCmu t&v fiurrtKuv, ko) vpht r^y dyy^KiK^iv fuOapfioa-afiiyovs Kij^iy, KoBdntp r^ 
obpeiy6y, oSrof r^ y^y olvciy.— ChrysoBtom Proosm. in Homm. in JoK 


Digitized by 


1848.] Introduction to the Gospel of John. 17 

man on the earth, have said little about bis diyinity ; but he, as if 
it grieved him to walk on the earth, has, by his utterance at the 
very beginning of his discourse, raised himself not only above the 
earth and all uie circle of the air and sky, but also above all the 
host of angels and the whole constitution of invisible powers, and 
has come to him by whom all things were made saying. In the be* 
ginning was the word, &c. The rest of his preaching was in 
accordance with the sublimity of such a beginning, and he has 
spoken of the divinitv of the Lord as no one else has. This he 

Sve forth as he had drunk it in. For it is not without reason 
it it is related of him in this same gospel that at supper he 
leaned upon the breast of the Lord. From that breast he drank 
in secret, and what he drank in secret he gave forth open1y.'<^ 
And Origen savs — ^ We are bold to say, tlierefore, that of all the 
Scriptures the Gospels are the chief, and that of the Gospels that 
according to John is chief, whose spirit no one could have received 
who had not leaned upon the breast of Jesus .... and such 
must he become who will be another John, just as John appeared 
to be Jesus from Jesus.'^ (Origen means that the interpreter 
must so enter into the spirit of John that John filled witn the 
spirit of Jesus should appear as another Jesus.) The pious £r^ 
nesti called this Gospel the Heart of Christ, Herder exclaims 
^ The hand of an angel has written it/ 

This impression is as much the result of the form which the 
writer has adopted as of the contents. As regards the contents 
they are more free from special Judaic references than is the case 
with the other Gospels, and they appeal in a more lively manner 
to the feelings than the teaching of the synoptic Gospels does, 
which is directed to action ; the superhuman in Christ, the neces- 
sity of faith in him, the new birth, the mystical union of believers 

<> In qnatnor eraogeliis "tea potios in quatuor libris nnius evangelii sanctos 
Johannes ajpostolus, non immerito secondom intelligentiam spiritalem aqnilie com* 
paratDS, altms maltoque snblimins aliis tribos erexit pnedictionem soam, et in ejoa 
erectione etiam oorda nostra erigi voloit. Nam csteri tree evangelists tanquam 
com homine domino in terra ambnlabaot, de diyinitate ejus panca dizemnt, ipsum 
antem qoasi pignerit in terra ambulare, sicut ipso exordio sni sermonis intonuit, 
erexit se non solum sup^ terrtun et saper omnem ambitnm aeris et cceli, sed super 
omnem etiam exercitnm angelomm, omnemque constitutionem invisibilinm i>otesta- 
tom, et pervenit ad enm, per quem facta sunt omnia, dicendo: In principio erat 
verbum, etc Huic tantSB sublimitati principii etiam cstera congrua prsdicaTit, et 
de Domini divinitate quomodo nnllus alius est locutus. Hoc ructabat, quod biberat. 
Non enim sine causa de isto in illo ipso erangelio narratur, quia et in couTivio super 
pectus Domini discumbebat De illo ergo pectore in secreto bibebat, sed quod in 
secreto bibit, in manifesto eructaTit — Augustinus, Tract, 36 in Jok, 

* rakfirtrdov roiwy c{rc7y chrapx^r fihp TcuritP ypwpSnf cTyvu rh ^borffiXia, r&v hh 
tlnryytXlmp iarapx^if rb Kwrk ^Utdivrpr oS rhv vow o^Sch Hpvrok hafiup fi,^ kmarwitw 

M rh orrfios 'Iijo-ou koI TiikucavTov Zik ycycVOcu 8<i rhp M/upoy &\}iav*ltidtnrnVi 

AoTff 4^w€l rhy ^Imimniy 8cix^>w ^vra *Ii|d^ovy kffh *Ii}(rov. — Origen. Cdmjr. p. 6, ed, 

VOL. II. — NO. III. c with 

Digitized by 


18 Introduction to the Gospd of John. ['^7* 

with him and with each other, the duty and the privilege of love, 
these are the principal themcB of John's teaching ; and to these 
many of the matters of fact related by him and peculiar to his 
Gospel correspond ; the condescending, seeking love of Jesus, the 
tender human relation in which he st<x>d to John ; his severe and 
at the same time forbearing treatment of the betrayer, his super- 
human knowledge, his majesty amidst his sufferings, the stubborn 
disbelief of the world are set before us. The peculiar character 
of John's mind which is clearly imprinted on ois language has 
given to these contents a form which in the highest degree speaks 
to the feelings. The noble simplicity of his style on the one nand, 
on the other its indistinctness and mysterious obscurity, the tone 
of sadness and of ardent desire with the feeling of love everywhere 
apparent, impart to the Gospel a charm and an original individu- 
ality to which out of the writings of John we can find no parallel. 
To this we must add the plastic power of conception which is 
shown in the narrative ; it points out with great exactness the 
locality, i. 28, iv. 5, v. 2, ri. 59, x. 23 ; the time, iv. 6, v. 9, vi. 4, 
vii. 2 ; personal circumstances, xi. 5, xii. 29, xriii. 10, vii. 25 ; 
manners, ii. 6, iv. 9, xviii. 39, xix. 31 ; behariour and feelines, 
xviii. 6, 8, xi. 35, 38. Further the circumstance that more of uie 
discourses of CThrist are communicated than of his external actions, 
and that the disciple not only has the history of the Lord before 
his mind, but (as it were) takes his position in it and during its 
transaction, and that, as is the nature of every work of art, he 
reproduces it from a noble subjectivitjr, and accompanies it with 
his own remarks (ii. 21, iii. 16, 31, vi. 64, vii. 39, x. 6, xii. 33, 
35—50, xix. 35 — ^xx. 30, 31), — all this contributes to give to his 
representation an extremely animated and animating character 
beyond that of the other Evangelists. The impression made by 
the first mentioned peculiarities is expressed in a very striking 
manner by Claudius :• ' I read St. John with the greatest delight ; 
in him there is something so completely wonderml— twilight and 
night, and through them the quick flashing lightninj;! a soft 
evening cloud and behind the cloud the large mil moon in reality ! 
— something so sorrowful, so sublime,^ so full of presentiment, 
that one cannot be satiated with it. It is to me always in reading 
John as though I saw him before me at the last supper l]^ng on 
the breast of his Master, as though his angel were holding the 
light to me, and at certain passages would fall on my neck and 
say something in my ear. I am fisir from understanding all that 
I read, but yet it is often as though what John meant were floating 
before me in the distance, and even when I look into a passage 

• Wandabecker Bote, pt i. p. 9. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Introduction to the Gospel qfJolm. 19 

which is altogether dark, I have yet the impression that there is in 
it a grand noble sense which one day I shall understand, and 
therefore I seize so eagerly on every new exposition of the Gospel 
of John. True, the greater part of them only curl the evenmg 
cloud, and the moon behind it is left at rest What Hamann 
says of him who from the tender gentle disciple of love himself 
learned thus to describe him, is equally descriptive of the Gospel 
of the disciple o£ love, — ' A Hght etiiereal essence which floats in 
the air even when the strings have ceased to vibrate, and which 
fills the heart with gentle sadness, rests upon thy harp I' 

Precisely these peculiarities of the Gospel, botii in substance and 
form thus celebrated by the most exalted minds of all ages, have 
nevertheless in recent times afforded the principal point of attack 
on its genuineness and credibility. In proportion as the fourth 
Gospel deviates from the type of the nrst three, as its histories 
and discourses are different both in form and substance, might 
doubts the more easily arise, first, as to its credibility and then as 
to its genuineness. Even thouffh the latter is left undiq>uted, the 
former may be put in peril. If we reflect, for instance, in the first 
place, on tne subjectivity which is so strongly iioprinted on this 
narrative of the life of Christ, both as regardfs the composition of 
the work and the arrangement of the matter in general, and in 
particular as regards the manner of relating the discourses — ^if we 
consider the late period at which it was committed to writing-* 
more than forty years after the events — ^if we remember that this 
John, when Paul met him in Jerusalem (Gal. ii. 9) stood forth as 
a Judaist, whilst the Gospel takes a thoroughly free stand-point — 
if we take into consideration the close affinity as to diction between 
the Epistles of John and the discourses of Christ as given in the 
Grospel — ^that there is even an appearance of John's having put his 
own words into the mouth of the Baptist (ch. i. 16 ; iii. 31), may 
not the thought occur that, if John is to be regarded as the author, 
his Gospel is in great part a free product of imagination drawn 
ftom a later period of life, when the recollection of events that had 
happened, and discourses that had been heard more than forty 
years before, had fiided away ; and instead there had arisen in 
the mind of the disciple a freer and more ideal manner of viewing 
the subject, in consequence of his intercourse with Asia Minor, 
where Hellenistic and Gnostic influences prevailed? Recently, 
Schweizer' has instituted an examination into those events of 
which we may suppose the Apostle to have been an eye and ear 
witness, and those at which he could not have been present, but 
must have received his information through the medium of others ; 

' Dtu Eo, Joh. aaeh mnem itmem Werthe und nach 9einer BtdmUung krUxMch 
wUenuchty p. S39, §q. 

c 2 such 

Digitized by 


20 Introduction to the Gospel of John. [ July* 

such as the discourse with Nicodemus and that with the Samaritan 
woman, the scene in the Sanhedrim, the examination before Pilate, 
&c., and this examination leads also to relative uncertainty as to 
the details. What may still remain as historical after all these 
deductions is the amount to which, in consequence of the attacks 
of Strauss and Weisse, the authentic part of the Gospel is reduced 
according to De Wette's view. And even this remainder is 
brought mto question by those who think that they are justified in 
rejecting the authenticity of the book ; indeed, the enthusiastic 
decision of former centuries on the contents and form regarded as 
a matter of taste has turned to the opposite side. The period of 
enlightenment at the beginning of this century has ^ven the fol- 
lowing judgment :» — * Our Gospel is adapted to the mfirmities of 
those on whom the philosophical spirit had not been poured out. It 
is of little' use to the Christians of our time !' Bretschneider has 
sought to show in his ProbaJnlia the inferiority of the discourses 
of Christ in the fourtii Gospel as compared witii those in the other 
three. In this treatise complaint is made of the/ loquadty ' with 
which Christ speaks respectmg the dimity of his own person ; of 
the ' obscurity of the words and artificial ambiguity ;' of the ' con- 
stant repetition of the same thin^ ;' of ^ a kind of sublimity foreign 
to the feelings of men and frigid, repelling rather than attracting 
the mind ;* ^ and, on the other hand, great praise is awarded to the 
practical richness and nervousness of expression of the first evan- 
gelists. The latest criticism since the time of Strauss has adopted 
this iudgment — ^it has even been carried so far, that in some articles 
in the Literary Journal of Halle * the representation of Christ 
given by John is charged with being that of an unworthy, boastful 
Thaumaturgus, which can furnish no moral ideal. It is asserted 
that there is one and the same manner according to which the 
histories and dialogues of Jesus are constructed by John, one and 
the same tone pervading the whole, want of understanding on the 
part of the hearers, the statement of sublime trutiis which lie 
beyond tiie circle of vision of the parties speaking, the long and 
tautological spinning out of single thoughts, altogether furnishing 
a proof of the unhistorical character of the events as well as of the 
discourses. We shall speak first of the everUSj then of the dis- 

When such dialogues as that with Nicodemus and that with the 
Samaritan woman have been pointed out as wanting the internal 

« Vog«l, Joh. und seine Ausleger vor demji/nggten Gericht, Pt 1, p. 26. 

*> Probabilia, ch. i. § 8. — * loquacitas— obscuritas ▼erbornm et artifidosa ambi- 
guitas, — ^molta eanindem remm repetitio,— sablimitas ista a hamaiiis sensibus 
alieua et frisida, animamqae magis abigens quam alliciens.' 

' Hallischen LiiUraturzeitungy 1841, No6. 15, 16. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Introduciian to the Gospel of John. 21 

marks of truth, it has, in the first place, arisen from exegetical 
views which cannot be conceded, as though it were to be insisted 
on — ^in particular this is the case with Bauer and Schwesler — that 
according to the representation of John, Nicodemus really under-- 
stood the words of Jesus respecting the new birth in a physical and 
proper sense— and the same in the other case. The true inter- 
pretation of such sections will evince that thev contain the internal 
marks of historical credibility. It is true John was not present at 
these transactions, but did not Nicodemus after his converaon join 
himself to the Apostles ? And as to the discourse with the woman 
of Samaria, did not she herself, according to ch. iv. 39, tell to her 
own countrymen what Jesus had said to her ? Jesus also with his 
disciples remained two days at that place, so that even if Jesus did 
not nimself make any communication to his disciples as to this 
discourse, there was sufficient opportunity of becommg acquainted 
with it That there is no ground for the assertion that a definite 
manner runs through all the dialogues given by John has been 
shown by Schweizer> That it was possible for tne matter to be 
imprinted on the memory no proof is necessary as regards the 
events; one cannot doubt that it would be so, according to the 
ordinary course of things. In proof that they would in fact be 
retained with great fidelity, we may appeal to the great concep- 
tivity of our Evangelist. It cannot indeed be denied that what 
Gibbon said of the Atiianasian creed, that ' it was rhetoric con- 
strued into logic,' holds good of innumerable apologies for Chris- 
tianity. It is, however, on the other hand, no more than a 
rhetorical artifice on the part of Strauss'^ to attempt to meet 
Heydenreich'a assertion that the indimdualization of the Gospel 
history sufficiently proves its unmythical character, by saying that 
in the same writer a couple of pases further on we stumble on an 
ar^ment contradicting mis, namely, that in fei^ed legends every- 
thmg is more detailed and more ornate. Certainly both assertions 
are quite true ; and it is clear that his opponent sets these two 
truths to drive each other mutually out of tne field only because 
he did not feel himself strong enough to enter into conflict with 
them. In the myth formed unconsciously and involuntarily from 
tradition, we shall not as a general rule find indimdtializaJtion^ 
whilst, on the contrary, in proportion as reflection works upon 
tradition designedly, individimlizatian will be found, though m a 
manner premeditated^ and therefore untrue. Has it not, on the 
one hand, been attempted to prove the mythic character of the 
feeding of the six thousand as well as of Jesus walking on the sea 
from this, that the conceptivity of matter of fact is wanting? 

^ Ubi supra, p. 90, sq. "■ Leben Jesu, pt i. p. 60, 1st edit 


Digitized by 


22 Introduction to ths Gotpd of John. [ Julyi 

And who knows not, on the other hand, that the legends of the 
Apocryphal Gospels hare a character of intentional individual!- 
£ation ? Has it not, on the one hand, been brought forward as an 
argument against the Pauline origin of llie Epistle to the Hebrews 
that it wants individual references, and, on tne other, has not the 
individual reference in 2 Pet. i. 17, 18, been brou^t forward as 
an ar^ment against the genuineness of tins Epistle on account of 
its bemg ' evidently intentional ? ' It may certainly be required 
that we should eive the marks by which such intentional indi- 
vidualizing mav be distinguished from that whidi is natural and 
really historical. This demand we shall be in a condition to satisfy 
up to a certain point ; but even supposing that we could not, this 
would embairass us just as little as it would a painter, who, with- 
out being able to give definite rules for his judgment, nevertheless 
distinguishes with certain tact which is a portrait^ which a itudy^ 
and which an ideal picture. And we confidentlv dare to assert 
that the student of history will acknowledge in John not an ideal 
seized by the fancy, but a portrait drawn from the original. 

The difficulties as to the discourses are greater. It is certainly 
true that the discourses of the Redeemer as given by John have a 
kind of indefiniteness and indistinctness^ and therefore are less easy 
to be retained in the memory, so that if it would have been in 
itself a difficult thing to imprint these discourses verbally on the 
memory, this difficulty amounts almost to impossibility wnen one 
thinks of the long intervening period. To this there is added the 
difference in substance of the discourses in the other Gospels— the 
diversity in form, inasmuch as here thoughts connected together, 
and uttered in an indistinct manner are presented to us, there 
parables and pointed sentences — further the similaritv between the 
thoughts and language of John in his Epistles and the discourses 
of Jesus in his Grospel, and particularly the circumstance that, as 
is asserted, the Evangelist even makes the Baptist speak in his own 
manner. All this seems to endai^er the certainty of these dis- 
courses in the highest degree. Let us neverflieless weigh these 
diflerent charges separately. 

The last mentioned circumstance Strauss himself has declared 
to be of ^ the highest moment in the matter ' (3rd edit. i. p. 713). 
There are three passages where the Evangelist has apparently 
attributed his owx. vn)rds either to the Baptist or to Jesus, ch. i. 
16, seq. ; iii. 16, seq. ; iii. 31, seq. 

We begin with ch. i. 16, seq. I think it will be admitted that 
if the author of the fourth Gospel had with design fisilsely attri- 
buted these words to the Baptist, he could not truly be considered 
a man of talent, which yet nis opponents consider him. The ex- 
pression, ' of Lis fulness have we all received,' points out too plainly 

a member 

Digitized by 


1848.] Iniroduetian to the Gospel of John, 23 

a member of the Christian community, whilst in the month of the 
Baptist it would be wholly incomprehensible. It cannot, however, 
be overlooked that the 16th verse b not at all connected with the 
15th, but with the last words of the 14th, mX-i^s xdpiros x^i 
dkn^sMfj * full of ffrace and truth/ The historical account of the 
testimony of the mptist follows in ver. 30 ; here his testimony is 
introduced, just as ver. 7 is, only to strengthen the £vangeli8t's 
own declaration ; and we must bear in mind that the word of the 
Baptist was of double weight to him in consequence of his havinjg 
been one of his disciples. The phrase, U row wXiv^oipuiTOf, ' of h£ 
fulness,' clearly appears to be the connecting link with wX^^r 
XApiTof xai dkfidwty * full of grace and truth,' and to these words 
agtun tile expression 4 x^€'^ *'^ ^ oXfi^sia, * grace and truth,' in 
the 17th verse refers. 

Thus we have here an indubitable proof that the Evangelist, 
without distinctly marking the transition, passes from the lan- 
guage of another to his own. Let us now turn to ch. iiL 16-21. 
That Jesus himself could not have uttered these words can be 
maintained with confidence only by those who have already laid 
down theprinciple that he did not in general speak as John repre- 
sents. We admit, however, that in these words the manner of 
the Evangelist appears more than in other discourses of Jesus. 
But what objection could be brought against the sunposition, that 
the Evangelist, from ver. 16, designedly expanded tne thought of 
the Redeemer, which he had just recoiled ? The example from 
the first chapter has given us a proof that he does not strictly 
mark the transitions ot the discourse. The first Epistle of John 
testifies throughout that it was precisely one of his peculiarities, 
not accurately to indicate the transitions of thought. Need 
we, however, here appeal to Ae peculiarities of the Evangelist? 
Would not every preacher amon^ ourselves, in a similar wav, 
connect with a text of Scripture nis own expansion of it ? ° If^ 
however, a definite example is required, it is presented in Gal. ii. 
14. After Paul has quoted, in a direct form, what he had said 
to Peter at Antioch, without marking the transition, he blends 
this discourse, from ver. 15 and onwardB, with what he himself has 
to say to the Galatians. Indeed, every one may here and there 
find similar examples. One has occurred to me in Jerome, who 

III! ■ .■■■I ■■ ^.^■^■^ I 1 —— ^iMi — 1— — — — — ^-aii I ■ .1 II 

• Asainst this •rgunent it ii oljected by Bauer (Kritik df Jok, p. 105. See 
also what Strauis says in reply to the example dted from Jerome, i. p^ 709, 2iid edit) 
that there is a difference between the two cases, inasmuch as the preacher has before 
him the utterance of another wlri<^ is capable of bein^ known, and which is 
distmetly ended. Oertainly : yet these utterances are more or less known. If the 
oritie says that a writer mMhi not to connect anything of his own with a passage 
from another whi<^ can be little known, and the ending of which is indistinct, that 
may be a good rule of style ; but has John never violatM any rule of style ? 


Digitized by 


24 Introduction to the Gospel of John. [July, 

says : ^ ^ Clement, an apostolic man, writes to the Corinthians 
thus : the sceptre of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, came not with 
the boasting of pride, though he had all power, but in humility, 
insomuch that being struck by the servant of the hish priest, he 
answered. If I have spoken evil, bear witness of me evil,' &c. 
If we were not in possession of the epistle of Clemens Romanus, 
we should resard the whole of this passage as his, as, indeed, 
Mardanay did ; but we learn from the text of the apostolic father, 
that beginning with the words in tantum, ^insomuch,' Jerome 
has annexed a reflection of his own. Add to this, that plainly 
John is accustomed to annex his own reflections to our Lord s 
discourses. As in ch. xii. 44-50, he briefly recapitulates the sub- 
stance of Christ's discoiu-se, may he not, when the opportunity 
offered, have annexed to an expression of Christ himself, in the 
third person, a statement of this fundamental doctrine ? 

We now come to the third passage, ch. iii. 31-36. That the 
Baptist himself uttered these words is very improbable. But that 
the Evangelist wished that they should be Uiought to be part of the 
discourse of the Baptist is at least as inadmissible. Let this be 
first of all considered. In order substantially to refute the opinion 
that the Evangelist has annexed his own reflections, one must be 
in a condition to show that there are mingled up with the words of 
tlte Baptist sentences which as evidently belong to the Evangelist, 
as verses 31 and 36 appear to do. But now the contrary is 
clearly the case. That the passage, ver. 27-30, corresponds 
throughout with the character of the Baptist, there can be no 
dispute ; at least the Evangelist John agrees here with the synoptic 
Gospels, Matt iii. 11-14. Great stress is laid on the parabolical 
element bein'^g so foreign to the author of the fourth Gospel ; in 
these few words of the Baptist, however, we have a gnome, ver. 
27, and a parabolical sentence, ver. 29. Verse 30 also is ex- 
pressed in the sententious manner of the Old Testament, not at 
all spoken in the style of the Evangelist. As, in the first chapter, 
after a sublime saying of the Baptist, which was connected with 
Ids own preceding statements, the Evangelist could immediately 
proceed with his own discourse, who can take ofience at his here 
making the words of his former beloved teacher, IxcTvov $er 
av^aimvy ^/:a6 $e kXarrov^^ai, ^ he must increase, but I must de- 
crease;' the starting point for his yet again setting forth the 
exaltation of Christ. In the first chapter, after mentioning the 
Baptist, he had added, ver. 8, oi/x ^v exsTvof to ^Sfs, oXX* Iva i^aprv^ 

o Comm, in laai, liii. ed. Vallanii, p. 612 : — * Clemens vir apostolicas scribit ad 
Corinthios : sceptnim Dei, dornimu Jesus Ghristus non venit in jaetantia snperbiiE, 
quum posset omnia, sed in humilitate, in tanUtm, ut Yerberatus a miuistro saoerdotia 
respondent : Si male locatas sum, argue de peccato,' &c. 

Digitized by 


1848.] Introducticn to the Gospel of John. 25 

w^ql rov pctfTos^ 'he was not the light, but that he might 
ear witness of the light' In accordance with this cautionary 
remark, he says here, ver. 31, 6 £v he rr^s y^r, €x xris yvis scrri x. 
T. X., * he that is of the earth, is earthly,' &c. Finally, just as 
in the first chapter, the foreign hand would haye too much 
betrayed its awkwardness if it tmd intended to put the 16th yerse 
into tne mouth of the Baptist; so also here, if after his disciples 
had said, wavrsf i^ovrat wqw avrov, ^ all come to him,' which 
he in his subsequent reply acknowledges and concedes, the con- 
tradictory words had been put into his mouth, koI r^v fjMprvpia^ 
ahrov ouhU Xapi/Savei, ' and no man receiyeth his testimony.' Is 
there not expressed in these words, as clearly as in ch. i. 16, the 
feeling of the disciple who stands in the midst of a small commu- 
nity opposed to the unbelieying world, in whose mipd the word 
of the Master resounds, which we read, ch. iii. 11, y. 38 (compare 
xii. 37)? 

We turn now to the second point, and consider the difference 
as to the contents of the discourses of Jesus, as they are giyen in 
the synoptic Gospels and in that of John. ' The Christ of John 
differs from the Christ of the other Eyangelists to such an extent, 
that sooner might two faces be found on one head, than that this 
double picture should be an equally true representation of the 
same inaiyidual.' In these words of Weisse, we haye the senti* 
ment expressed in the strongest manner. Now, leaying out of 
consideration for the present the form, we ask whether the sub- 
stance of the discourses of Jesus, recorded by John, may not be 
equally authentic with that of the synoptic accounts ? The differ- 
ence in the representation giyen of Socrates by Xenophon and 
by Plato, has long since been brought fcnrward as a parallel case. 
According to Xenophon, Socrates appears to be an unspeculatiye, 
thoroughly practical man ; according to Plato, he is a penetrating 
spirit, who seeks to trace back what is practical to its last elements 
— ^to the necessity of the thought. Against this parallel, which 
is further drawn out and established in my Credibility of the 
Gospel History,? it has been recently objected by Bauer,^ that so 
long as it is not proyed that Plato in his dialogues intended to 
giye historical notices of Socrates, and so long as it is clear, from 
existing history, that the philosophical scholar eyer acknowledges 
as his teacher him whom it is admitted he surpassed, the decision 
must hold cood, that Xenophon only has giyen a true picture of 
Socrates. We are content here to rest on the authorities already 
adduced in the work referred to. A different yiew from that 
of Bauer, in reference to the partially historical character of the 

P Glaubtnhrdigkeit derevaag, Ge$chichie, p. 819, Snd edit. 
« UH sttprOf p. 412. 


Digitized by 


26 Iniroduetim to the Gapd qfJohn. [July, 

Platonic Socrates, is taken by Scfaleiermacher, Brandes, Hegel. 
Brandes says,' ^ It was by no means usual in ancient, as it is 
in modem times, to regard the picture of Socrates whidi Xeno- 
phon drew as the true portrait ; the Platonic Socrates, on the 
contrary, as an ideal, which, like Plato's doctrine of ideas itself, 
was entirely wanting in reality.' And yet Plato did not at all 
intend to give a purely historical delineation, whilst the fourth 
Evangelist did intend it We apply to the subject before us the 
striking words of Bengel :' — ^ Ine same person may often relate 
the same thing on diflferent occasions, in a different manner, and 
yet each time with a basis of truth. Compare in the Acts of the 
Apostles ch. ix. and xxvi., and also ch. x. and xi., where the con- 
version of Paul and that of Cornelius are twice related. If one 
man paints a dty from the east side, and another from the west, 
each of them must, indeed, represent the highest and most re- 
markable towers and buildings : but in the rest the two designs 
may and must be verv different from each other, and yet both 
have given a likeness. That the character and weight of many 
expressions peculiar to John are of such a kind as that no one 
could possibly consider them to be the free invention of any 
Jewish Christian of that time, we will not urge ; yet even De 
Wette decides for the authentic character of manv expressions 
in John, on the ground that they ^ are radiant with more than 
earthly lustre.' May we not suppose that amongst the twelve 
Apostles one man was found of the same originality as Paul ? 
Let us imagine that John was one of those mystic spirits, a ' homo 
desideriorum,' as Am. Comenius expresses it, which certainly are 
but seldom found, from youth withdrawn from practical life, and 
turned to the invisible world — such select men would be called by 
the ancients, souls of Apollo — but that the other Apostles were 
just such as fishermen and tax-gatherers are still — ^then certainly 
the picture of Christ which would be imprinted on John's mind, 
the discourses which would be peculiarly weighty to him, must be 
different from those which would be regarded by the others I We 
speak here in great part hypothetically, but ^e proof that we are 
justified in making such an hypothesis may evidently be produced. 
To eoery thing that is peculiar in the doctrinal matter of Johne 
Crospely toe find at least some parallel passages in the synoptic Cr0s~ 
pels and in the Epistles of the New Testament. On this argument 
we lay the greatest stress. The discourses which seem most liable 
to exception as to their authenticity are the many discourses of 
Christ which relate to his mysterious union with the Father. Now 

Orundlinien der Lekre det Socratei in the Rheinitch. MuMeum, pt 1 , p. 122. See 
also Hegel » Ge»ch. der PkU^Bophicy in hii IfVAra, vol. zit. p. 124. 
■ Harmonie^ p. 615. 


Digitized by 


1848.] LdroduOum to the Gaq>d qf John. 27 

we find in Matthew (ch. xi. 25) one expression of Christ respecting 
his union with the Father which even in form is so like tne lan- 
ffoage of John, that those who are not rerj familiar with the 
Kble are always wont to look for it in John.^ A second instance 
of this kind is nowhere to be found in the synoptic Gospels. Let 
it be remarked, howeyery that in his discourses in the synoptic 
Grospels also, C3irist refers to Himself as the X^of that had already 
operated in the Old Testament, Matth. xxiii. 37 ; Luke xiii. 34 
(compared with Matth. xxiii. 34 ; the passage cannot be referred 
to the firequent [presence of Jesus in Jerusalem). Of the myste- 
rious communion of the Redeemer with those that believe in him, 
Matthew speaks ch. xxviiL 20 ; the promise of the Paraclete seems 
peculiar to John, but Luke also has it (ch. xxiv. 49\ Of love, in the 
general sense in which it is found in John, Chnst does not speak 
in the first Gospels ; but Paul speaks of it, and also of that mys* 
tical bTvcu h XptffT&j ^ being in Christ,' which runs through the 
Gospel of John. Now whether Paul were indebted fi>r this view 
to traditionary expressions of Jesus, or to the immediate operation 
of Christ on his mind, the doctrinal tjye of John is hereby proved 
to be that of genuine Christianity. Ohi the other hand, while we 
speak of their difierences as to contents, let not their agreement 
be forgotten. When John is not giving doctrinal discourses, when 
the discourses are connected with the history of Christ, there is an 
almost literal agreement, as in the narrative of Peter's denial of 
Christ, of the woman who anointed his feet /comp. ch. xii. 7, 8, 
with Matth. xxn. 10-12), and of Pilate. The account of the 
woman taken in adultery (ch. viii.) reminds us of the type of the 
synoptic Gospels, even allowing that it has been recorded by some 
one else from the report of the Apostle. We may notice the 
manner of arguing witn the Pharisees^ x. 34 ; the practical manner 
of opposing them, v. 39, 42, 45 ; viL 19. Add to this, moreover, 
that in all probability the Evangelist had before him the contents 
of the first Gospels, and principally designed to give what they had 
not given — ^and the difica^ence of contents can occasion no further 

We come now to the ybrm, and inquire how far the recording of 
the discourses can be called verbal. That they should be abso- 

* One expression of Matthew, in which Christ speaks of lus higher relation to 
Ood in a manner as deeplj spiritual as it. is original, has not been snilLciently 
noticed, tIs., chap. xrii. S6. He is not a sabject, bnt the son bom in the kingdom 
of God. The expression ' aiy father * in an emphatio sense, as in John, is foond in 
Lake ii. 49 ; Matt xr. 13; XTiiL 10, 19, 35 ; xx. 23 ; xxri. 29, &c. 

* To this snbjeet beloD|js the treatise occasioned b^ Bretschneider^s Probainlia 
by Bettberg, An Johmmes in exhibenda Jegu natura retiqui$ canonicia saiptU vere 
f s ptif mif Oott 1896. Of less valne is the treatise of Reineke on the same subject 
(1826) ; an essay in Heydenreich*s Zeii$chr\ft flr PrtdigtnMteMehaft^ Yol. i. 
pt 1. Compare also Schott, hagoge in N, T. p. 129. 


Digitized by 


28 Introduction to the Gospel of John, [July, 

lutely verbal is impoesible, since they have been transferred from 
Aramaean into Greek ; even in the synoptic Gospels the difference 
in the manner of relating the same discourse sometimes amounts 
to a formal contradiction. What judgment is to be made respect- 
ing the similarity of the languaj^e of John's Epistles and the dis- 
courses of Jesus in the Gospel r Origen long since, and more 
recently the treatise of Stronck,' proceed on the principle that the 
disciple had exactly acquired the language of the Master. How 
fi*equently this is the case in our own times I have endeavoured to 
show in the Credibility of the Gospel History^ p. 337, by some 
examples from modem literature. John stood precisely in such a 
connection witii Christ as to make a dependence of this kind 
credible ; between the disciple who leans on the Master's breast, 
and the Master, a closer personal connection exists. Grotius 
makes the ingenious remark, that John was more ^\tii<tws^ Peter 
more (piKoxp^^ros ; as Plutarch says of the two friends of Alex* 
ander, Hepfasestion and Craterus, the former was ^ikaXiiaviqoSf the 
latter fiKofiaaiXsus, As, in reference to the contents, such a connec- 
tion might operate to lead him to take up that which was deepest 
and most essential, so, in reference to the form, it might lead him 
to take up what was incidental, especially if we suppose softness 
and feminineness of character. Yet we need not assert this depend- 
ence in reference to those qualities of the language which render it 
indistinct ; the indefiniteness and indistinctness point rather to the 
character of the disciple than to that of the Master. We are, 
however, fully justified in supposing that the phraseology and the 
principal terms constantly recurring are to be put to the account 
of the Master ; and even Strauss y has yielded more than we might 
have expected in granting that the antithesis between joqii and 
orvEi/pia, 'flesh ana spirit,' pSj^ and (rxoror, ^ light and darkness,' 
^ofii and ^olvaror, ^ lire and death,' avu and xoro;, * above and be- 
neath;' and further, the mystical expressions aqrof r^r ^a^f, 
* bread of life,' viuq ^oJv, * living water ' (of which no trace is fowid 
in the synoptic Gospels), are elements of the original discourses of 
Christ which the author has only ' further developed in the Alex- 
andrian, or generally, the Hellenistic spirit.' But how could the 
disciple remember tiiese discourses forty or even sixty years 
after ? And if, whilst at Jerusalem, he had been shut up m gross 
Judaism, how was it consistent that at the same time ne should 
have bad such discourses of Christ in his memory ? Let us grant 
that the form, in respect to its indistinctness, is the peculiarity of 
the disciple ; that only the thoughts lying at the foundation belong 

* De doctrina ei dictione Johannis ad Je$u magistri doctrinam dictionemque 
exacte componta, 1797. 
7 Uln $upr<iy pt i. p. 676, 1st edit. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Introduction to the Gospel of John. 29 

to Chrigt ; and then the essential difficulty of this rememhranee 
disappears. The more fervent his spirit, the deeper would every* 
thing he impressed upon him. We are remmded that even 
amongst ourselves examples are not wanting of persons who owe 
their awakening to a new life to one or a few sermons, being able 
to remember these with tolerable accuracy even to the latest period 
of life. Irenaeus, in a passage preserved by Eusebius, and quoted at 
length in the following section, assures us that he remembered very 
accurately, even in old ase, the discourses which when he was a 
youth he had heard from rolvcarp ; and he ^ves utterance to two 
expressions, of which we may here make use — ^ for the instructions 
received in youth, growing up with the soul, become united with 
it ;' and ^ always, mrough tiie grace of God, I truly ruminate on 
these things.' * That «^hn meAe a record for himself in earlier 
times is, indeed, not in itself probable, but the possibility is cer- 
tainly not to be disputed. Who would believe that the tanners 
and shoemakers with whom Socrates conversed, took notes ? and yet 
of Simon the shoemaker this is reported. Also it is here and there 
mentioned of the disciples of tne Rabbins (DHWr)), that they 

wrote down the sayings of their masters. Finally, tiie promise of 
the Lord is to be borne in mind, that the Spirit should bring to 
the memory of the disciples what they had neard (John xiv. 26). 
Let the Spirit of the Lord, like an electric shock, touch the mind 
of the disciple generally, then no single spiritual power, and there- 
fore neither the remembrance of the religious truths which he had 
heard, could remain without life. He, then, who believes that 
Christ appears in history as the Redeemer according to the divine 
counsel, oelieves also implicit^ in the handing down of his discourses 
and his actions with essential fidelity. Also from the character of 
the existing discourses proofs may be adduced that the disciple 
has not invented them at his pleasure, and that De Wette also 
says too much when he speaks of an ' intoxication of spirit,' in which 
he has mixed his own with the words of Christ. Christ does not 
in these discourses designate himself as the Logos, and amidst all 
that is great which he declares of himself there are also precisely in 
John expressions which appear to derogate from him, ch. xiv. 12. 
28 ; X. 34. If it can be proved that the discourses of the Baptist 
in general are reported £aithfully and in i^^ement with the synoptic 
Gospels, would not this furnish ground ror a favourable conclusion 
as to the discourses of Jesus ? Bnt now we find in the discourses 
oftlie Baptist throuffhaut^ unth the exception of one expression (the 
questionable o 6iricaf y^ov hqx6iJi,z^os efji,7rpo(rhiv (mu ysVovev, ch. i. 15), 

■ al yh^ 4k tvUSw fM^atu orwad^ovam rp «^x^ ivo^yrtu oJbrg . . . . ira2 &c2 9i& r^v 
Xipw rov ecov yvnifftm ohrk iafofiaipvic&fuu. — Euflebins, Hist. Eccl, v. 20. 


Digitized 5y CjOOQ IC 

30 IntroductiM to the Ootpel qfJohn. [Joly* 

crdy either that which the first EvangdistM also give^ or that which 
can be explained from hie prophetic character as given in the Old 
Testament ; comp. i. 19-36 ; iii. 27-30. We have sam)OBed an entire 
discrepancj of form ; but thiB, like the discrepancy of matter, has its 
Emits. In reference to the gnomologic and parabolic form, comp. 
T. 85 ; iii. 8 ; iv. 34-88 ; ix. 39 ; x. 1, sea. ; xv. 1, seq. ; xvi. 21, 26. 
Many sentences agree in both the Gospel narratives, John xiii. 16 ; 
XT. 20 comp. with Matt x. 24 ; John xii. 24-26 comp. with Matt. 
X. 38, 39 ; John iy. 44 comp. with Matt. xiii. 57 ; J(^ xiii. 20 
comp. with Matt x. 40 ; John xiv. 31 comp. with Matt xxvi. 46. 
Agam, the first Grospels contain expressions which, in reference to 
form, remind us of John — Matt. xi. 25-30 ; viii. 22 ; vi. 22 ; xix. 
17 ; xxvi. 29 ; Luke vii. 35, 45 ; comp. Matt. x. 39 with John xii. 
25 ; the use of «Xifi&ivof and dXKorpiOf^ Luke xvi. 11, 12 ; vloi rov 
pofrify Luke xvi. 8 comp. with John xii. 36. A proof of formal 
accuracy in the recollection of the discourses of Jesus is found in 
John xi. 11, where a pause in the discourse is marked ; as also ch. 
yiii. 23, xal eTwiv avroTs. On the other hand, carelessness in 
respect to verbal agreement is shown in a remarkable manner in 
ch. xii. 34 ; xi. 40 ; x. 28 ; vi. 36. The verbal accuracy of the 
record is most evident in those cases where the Evangelist explains 
the words of Christ, ii. 20 ; vii. 38 ; xviii. 9 ; xii, 32, as to which 
even De Wette says, ^ it must be assumed as a matter of fact that 
Jesus made use of this expression.' But now the expression cL 
xii. 33 ; vii. 37 has the peculiar colouring of John I 

It remains for us now to discuss the last point, viz. whether the 
discourses of the Lord, indicating so free a stand-point, could 
have slumbered Iq him witliout producing any effect during the 
time when he continued in strict Judaism ? ^ Ihe question sounds 
weighty, but it supposes more than can be proved. For, wherein 
consists the difference between James, John, and Peter, as compared 
with Paul ? That the Gentiles were to be admitted they were 
all agreed, the only question is, whetha: they were to be released 
from the Mosaic law. It does not occur even to Paul forthwith 
to abolish it amongst Jewish Christians. The question was, whether, 
for the sake of unity amongst the Christians, the Grentiles should 
not also be bound by it. An agreement is brought about at Jeru- 
salem, which, in accommodation to the Jews (Acts xv. 21), imposes 
on the Gentiles merely to keep themselves from the grossest 
offences. Is there, in all the discoiu-ses of Jesus as given by John, 
anything inconsistent with this ? Can the scruples of the disciples 
otkud us, when Jesus himself, during his lifetime, submitted to 
the requirements of the law ? It would indeed be quite another 

• See Latselberger, UAer den Ap. Jok, p. 179. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Introduetian to the Gotpd of John. 31 

matter if John had made the justification of mankind dependent 
on the observance of the law. Yet the other Apostles never do 

VL On the Genuineness and Credibility of John, 

In the early church there was no other opposition to the Gospel of 
John than that which was made to it by the sect of the Alogi^ who, 
though they drew grounds of doubt from the historical differences 
between the Gospel of John and the synoptic Gospels, yet nrinci- 
pally, in consequence of their rejection of the doctrine of the Logos, 
were prejudiced against it on dogmatic grounds. Subsequently, 
doubts respecting its genuineness, taken from some aDonymous 
English deists, were first expressed at the close of the preceding 
and the be^nning of the present century. Itsgenuineness was 
attacked by Eckennann (1793), Vogel (1801), Horst (1803), and 
Ballenstedt (1812). Tlie great diversity in Jesus' manner of 
teaching, and the assumed agreement with the theology of Philo, 
furnished at that time the chief occasion for doubt. These assaults, 
however, were without a widely extended and particularly an his- 
torical foundation. This Bretschneider sought to ^ve in his 
Probabilia de Evang, et Epist. Johannis ApostoU indole et orifftne^ 
1820, and indeed on grounds and assumptions from which much 
has been borrowed in more recent times. According to Bret- 
Schneider's opinion, the author of the Gospel belongs to the first half 
of the second century, and is a writer of a dogmatic turn who, 
with the design of propagating the metaphysical doctrine of the 
deity of Christ, has composed this treatise. At that time, espe- 
cially on accoimt of the preiK)Ssession of the school of Schleier- 
macher in favour of John, this argument found no favour. The 
anthor retracted his doubts ; the principal answers are those by 
Calmberg « ([1822), Hemsen (1 823), and Crome (1824). Attach- 
ment to thb GoEnpel was only the more increased ; and on the 
contrary. With evident partiality, the synoptic gospels were depre- 
ciated. Unexpectedly Strauss appeared, and on the principles of 
internal criticism especially, the authenticity and the historical 
foundation of the foinrth Gospel were yet more decidedly attacked 
than those of the three first. If the three first were a dull but 
naturai echo of the original history of Jesus, that of John wa^ an 
artistic re~ech0y produced in part by tact and taste. One might 
now have supposed that with this judgment the iron age had 
come to the Gospel, but it was only the brazen age. It was the 
beginning of the end ; for now the single stones of the Straussian 
hypothesis were by diflerent persons differently employed, and 

^ Compare on this point Schweizer, ubi tuproy p. 2dS. 

« Jk antiquisi. patrum pro JBotmgdii Joh. oMcrrif UsiijmmiiM. 


Digitized by 


32 Introduction to the Gospel of John. [July, 

partly for the reariog of new edifices, or shall we rather say, castles 
ID the air. Weisse ^ first appeared with the following so-called 
attempt at accommodation. John himself, though with too power- 
fol fancy, noted down ^ studies for a bio^aphv of Jesus ;* one or 
more labourers have brought these studies mto the form of dialogue, 
and have added historical data ; yet all this is so * clumsily con- 
trived ' that his statement is overlaid with such predicates as the 
following — ^insipid, capricious, incongruous, confused, crabbed 
(geschraubt), bordering on nonsense.' The new hypothesis found 
only one adherent in Schenkel f it has been opposed by From- 
mann / and by Liicke, in his third edition. Gfrorer, who in his 
history of primitive Christianity, gives up the authenticity and cre- 
dibility of the first Gospels, refers to the fourth as * that which is 
holy, and the truth.' Here we learn the following : — The Gospel 
belongs to the Apostle John, but partly through his memory bemg 
weakened by ace, partly through nis fancy, he has related flie his- 
tory and the discourses, in great measure, falsely ; thus, e. ff. 
Lazarus is no other than the young man of Nain I the history of 
the man bom blind is only an embellishment of that which Mark 
relates (ch. viii. 22), and so on. De Wette, as usual, fluctuates 
in reference to this question between Yes and No ; but the Yes 
prevails, though with strict limitation as to credibility. Liitzel- 
oerger ^ thinks that he can prove that the Apostle never was in 
Asia Minor, and even that he died before Paul. His examination 
of the historical evidences of the genuineness contains much that 
is worthy of notice, but his positive opinions are as groundless as 
they possibly can be; according to him (ch. iv.) the unknown 
autnor was probably a Samaritan, who, supported by the Apostle 
Andrew, wrote the Gospel beyond the Euphrates. Bruno Bauer ^ 
has made the discovery that the Gospel is, throughout, the pious 
reflection of the later church, formed upon some scarcely dis- 
cernible, meagre, historical fragments, and, indeed, framed so 
awkwardly, and in so irrational a manner, that, e. ^., the ' falsariuB,' 
because he himself thought of Christ as having ascended up to 
heaven, committed the blunder (ch. iii. 13) of making the yet living 
Christ speak of himself as having already ascended up to heaven ! 
If, with regard to the judgment respecting the contents of the 
Gospel, the iron age may be said to have come with Bruno Bauer 
(for, viewed as a question of authorship, the reproach of stupidity 

^ Die evang, GexkichU krititch btarbeiteif 1838, 8 vols. 
• In the Stitdien u, Kriiiken, 1840, pt a 
' Stud, u. Krit. 1840, pt 4. 

8 Die kirkliche Tradition Hber den Apott, Joh, und ieine Schriften in ihre 
Grundlosigkeit nachgewiesen, 1840. 
^ Kritxk der evang ,Geachichte dea Joh, 1840. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Introduction to the Gospel of John. 33 

sinks a writer still lower than that of fraud), so, in reference to the 
estimation of the external grounds of genuineness, the brazen age 
seems to have come with Schwegler;* According to him the Gospel 
was written about the year 170, in Asia Alinor, amongst the 
adherents of the elder Apollinaris, and was attributed to John in 
order to cain over its Jewish-Christian readers ; it contains allu- 
sions to the disputes then existing in reference to Easter, and en- 
deavours to reconcile the parties of the Ebionites and Gnostics. 
Schweizer^ makes a new trial of the hypothesis of separate por- 
tions. According to him the supplementary chapter (xxi.), some 
single verses, and the history of the miracle of healing at Caper- 
naum, the miracle at Cana, the miraculous feeding of the multi- 
tude, have been inserted by another hand. 

We proceed to cite the external testimonies from tradition for the 
genuineness of the gospel. Here it is to be remarked, that up to 
the present time it is agreed that the Gospel and the first Epistle 
must have proceeded from the same author, and thus the witnesses 
for the ecclesiastical use of the epistle testify also to that of the 
gospel, although it does not necessarily follow that the Apostle 
John is the autibor. 

Respecting Papias, who must haye been contemporary with 
the disciples of the Lord, Aristion, and John the Presbyter, 
Eusebius says,"^ that he cited a testimony from the first Epistle 
of John ; Polycarp ■ also cites 1 John iv. 3. Thus the fourth 
Gospel must have been looked upon as a Christian document 
in tne time immediately after the deatii of the apostle. We 
might certainly expect to find in Polycarp, the disciple of the 
apostie, or since his emstle is short, at least m Ignatius, another of 
his disciples, from whom we have seven epistles, some citations 
from, or allusions to passages of the gospel. Yet only the Epistie 
of the latter to the Romans afiTords one certain allusion : ^ I desire 
the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, and the drink 
I desire [is] his blood ; ' ® compare John vi. 33, 54, 55. But we 
should remember that in epistles^ in hortatory writings, there was 
less occasion for making citations from the gospel history ; in the 
epistles of Ignatius there are only about five citations from the 
gospels, whilst there are from twenty to twenty-five from the 
epistles of the New Testament ; in the epistle of Clemens Roma- 
nus there are only two from the Gospels, and about twenty-three 

I See the treatise on the writings of John in his work entitled Der Montanismus 
und die ckriUL Kirche da zweiten Jahrhunderts, 1841. 

k Das Eo. Jok, nach ieinem ifmern Werlhe und seiner Bedeutung pr das Leben Jcsu 
kritisch mUertucht, 1841. 

■ ffwr. EccL iii. 89. ■ Ad Philipp, c. 7. , 

o iproy ecov $4Xm, Us ieri ffitp^ *Ii7<rov XpieroO — «cai ird/ia $4?^ rh oSfui a^rod, 
c vii. 

vou II. — NO. III. p from 

Digitized by 


34 Introduction to the Gospel of John. [ Juljy 

from the Epistles of Paul alone ; in the nine chapters of the 
Epistle of Polycarp about five from the Gospels, and about twenty 
from the Epistles ; in tlie Epistle to Diognetus only one reference 
to Matthew, and about nine to the EpisUes. The next witness is 
Justin Martyr in the middle of the second century : he writes thus, 
^ Christ says, Unless ye be bom again ye cannot enter into the king- 
dom of Heaven, but that it is impossible for those who have been 
once bom to enter into the wombs of those that bore them is mani- 
fest to a]l;'P compare ch. iii. 3-5. The grounds on which it is 
disputed that we have here a citation are insufficient. Credner and 
Schwegler suppose that the passage is taken from the Kinqvy/xa IIc- 
rpouj because the «m.^v a/xrii', * verily, verily,' which is character- 
istic of John, is wanting ; because too avayevvyid^vxi is used instead 
of avcjOsy ysyvfiBinyouj ^ being bom again,' and ^o'l'Keiet odqavwy^ 
* kingdom of heaven,' instep of /3. toD Oeou, * kingdom of God ; ' 
and further because the same passage occurs in the HomiL Clem. 
ii. § 26, and in these homilies it is not John, but the KvtqvyfjM Tli- 
rqou that has been used. But these homilies (3, § 52) quote also 
the expression which certainly belongs to John, ra e/jla vqi^ara 
AKovsi Tins €(ji.7i5 ^ft/vSf, ' my sheep hear my voice,' compare John x. 
27, and in the Recognitiones (lib. vi. § 9) the passage is quoted : 
amen dico vobis^ nisiquis denuo remUus frierit exaqua^ non introibit 
in regna coshrum (Verily I say to you, unless one is bom a^un 
of water, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven). Now 
since here, where a citation from John is yet more undeniable, the 
phrase regna coelorum is used, and not regna Dei^ it appears that 
m quoting from memory, the more usual expression from the first 
three gospels has been put instead of the regnum Dei which is pe- 
culiar to John. 

With our appeal to Justin Martyr we connect that to the Epistle 
addressed to Diognetus, which at latest must be placed in this pe- 
riod, if not in the Apostolic age."* Here we find (ch. x.) the ex- 
presaion : ' to whom (viz. to men) he sent his only begotten son,' 
and immediately after, ' how then wilt thou love him who thus first 
loved thee ; ' ' just as the same ideas follow each other in 1 John iv. 
9, 10, with which compare ver. 19, ^ptcTf aVasra/piEv aiJrov, on avTos 
v^ojros 'nyaTmcTBv ^/xa^. The testimony of the Valentinians like- 
wise to the use of the Gospel belongs to the middle of the second 
century.* Irenaeus * expressly declares that the Valentinians made 

^ '9 X/»t<rrbs cTrcr* hr fiii iyttytyiniOrirf, ob fiii fia4\0Trrt fls r^r fiaat\ti<ur tSov 
obpw&y Sri 9k iced aiwaroy tls rhs fi'irrfMS r&y rticovcr&y rohs fiira^ ytyyvfiivovs 
ififirivau ^oycp^v xouruf iorL — Apol, i. 61. 

«» See Semisch, Justin der Marturer, p. 185. 

' wpbs ots {Mp<iirovi) cb-cWciAc rhy vi6y uArod rhy /Moyoy^yri — 1j ireJs ay«w^€is 
ray oSrw Tpoaycaniirayrd o"* ; ch. 10. 

• Valentinas died a.d. 160. » Adr. Haer. iii. 11. 7. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Introduction to the Gospel of John. 35 

uae of the Gospel of John, in order that they might appeal to a 
disciple of Jesus. That Valentmus himself made use of it is in* 
deed not definitely mentioned, but his disciple Heracleon wrote a 
commentary on the Gospel, and it was used by Ptolemsus and 
Theodotus. Since this sect had its own gospel, * evangelium ve- 
ritatis,' they could only have adopted that of John, because it was 
acknowledged by the church, and m order to recommend their own 

After the middle of ihe second century, indubitable testimonies 
continually increase. The first that is to be mentioned is that of 
the Montanists.^ They declared that Christ's promise of a Para- 
clete had received its fulfilment amount themselves ; Schwegler ' 
has indeed endeavoured to maintain, uiat this sect did not borrow 
the name ' Paraclete ' from the Gospel but no one has agreed with 
him hi this opinion. Even Valentinus, who enumerates the race 
of iEons which have sprung from the connection of Mputwot and 
ixxXriffia, viz. Ila^axXviTos, Tllcris, 'EXflTiV, 'Ayol^v}, x. r. X., has 
without doubt borrowed these names from Christianity, and not, as 
this critic supposes, from Philo. Also liie letter of the church 
at Lyon and vienne in the year 177 contains the name vapd- 
xXnTOf, used in reference to the Holy Spirit ; in the same letter 
there is a quotation from John xvi. 2. Tatian, the disciple of 
of Justin, is to be placed yet earlier, who undoubtedly quotes the 
Gospel in his Apology, ch. ziii., rwri iffriv apa ro si^fjUitov * 4i ^xo- 
ria TO ^Hs owi KaraXaixfidvu^ ^ this truly is that which is said : the 
darkness comprehendeth not the light ; and in ch. xix. wivra v^' 
avrov xal x^€^^ eidrov yiyowy ouH h, * all thines [were made] by 
Him, and without Him was nothing made.' Tmit the Diatessaron 
of Tatian commenced with the introductory words of our Grospel, 
h d^ri h X^of, ^ In the beginning was the word,' Credner nas 
endeavoured to render doubtful, but without success, as is shown 
by Daniel.' The Apology of Atiienagoras likewise, written about 
tiie year 177, contains (ch. x.) some words from John i. 3, and 
allusions to John xvii. 21, 22, 23. References to this Gospel, 
which can scarcely be denied, are found also after the middle of 
the second century in Celsus ;' in the last of these the discourse 
is concerning a cbiBdlenge given to Jesus by the Jews in the temple^ 
which Jesus had not satisfied by a decisive sign. It is impossible 
here to mistake the reference to John ii. 1§. That none of tiie 
writers hitherto quoted mention John by name, and that commonly 
the words do not literally agree, is by no means strange, for it is 
known that citations by name from Kblical writers first began in 
the latter half of the second century, and quotations by book and 

" MontanuB appeared about a.d. 160. ' VH gunra, p. 188. 

' Tatianm dn Apolojftt, p. 89. * See Origen. eoiU, Cdt. ▼. 218 ; i. 66, 6?. 

D 2 chapter 

Digitized by 


36 Introduction to the Gospel of John. [July, 

chapter still later. Hie first quotation from the Gospel of John 
bi/ name appears in the Apology of Theophilus of Antioch, written 
about the year 180 (b. ii. ch. 22). To this same period belongs 
Irenaeus (who died 202 a.d.), in whose writings there are found 
repeated quotations by name from the Gospel, ue Apocalypse, and 
the first ^istle. His testimony acquires additional importance 
from the fact, that he originally came from Asia Minor ; that he 
had been acqusdnted with and had heard Polycarp, though only 
as vais iv rri irpwrri rikixi^, ^ a youth at an early age,' and that the 
Gospel as well on account of the use which the Valentinians made 
of it, as on account of its apparent opposition to the millennarian 
views favoured by Irenaeus, would less agree with his individual 
inclinations. In a remarkable public document he points out to 
Horinus, his friend and former companion as a disciple of Poly- 
carp, that the communications made by the venerable Bishop of 
Smyrna, respecting the doctrine of John, were in accordance with 
the writings of the apostle. ' I saw thee in my youth with Poly- 
carp in Lower Asia— ^or / remember the things which took place then 
better than those which have happened lately — since what we learn in 
youth grows with the soul, and is united with it so strongly that I 
can even yet describe the place where the holy Polycarp sat when 
he held his discourses, his going out and coming in, the peculiarity 
of his way of life, his bodily form, the discourses which he held 
with the people, and how he told of his intercourse with John and 
the others who had seen tiae Lord ; how he reported their dis- 
courses, and what he had heard from them respecting the Lord, 
respecting his miracles and his doctrine — ^all which Polycarp re- 
lated a£ he had received it from those who had been eye-witnesses 
of the Word of Life, in accordance with the Scripture : — ^this I 
listened to attentively at that time according to the compassion of 
God vouchsafed to me ; I remarked it not on paper, but in my 
heart, and according to God*s grace I carefully repeat this ever- 
more,' * 

This document has indeed been adduced by Liitzelberger in 
proof not only that Irenaeus had not received from Polycarp any 
testimony respecting the Gospel, but also that Polycarp knew only 
of oral instructions from the apostle ; altogether the testimony 
(according to him) is not to be rated at a high value, inasmuch as 
Irenaeus was then a youth, Credner even says ' a child.' Dodwell 
certainly goes too far in attempting to prove, that the term vais^ 
used by Irenaeus included the twenty-fiftti year ; but that we cannot 
50 below the sixteenth year may be concluded from the fact, that a 
[ad younger than this could scarcely have marked the teaching of 

• Easebins, Hist, JSccL v. 20. 



Digitized by 


18480 Introduction to the Gospel of John. 37 

the bishop so accurately, as this father himself declares that he did. 
Liitzelberger asserts that LrensBUS was under the most pressing 
necessity to prove the genumeness of the Gospel, since judging 
from the title which Irenseus gave to this polemical letter, Flori- 
nus had become an adherent to Marcionite principles, and there- 
fore also held the opinion that the Gospels had been falsified by 
Judaizing Christians, instead of which there is only an appeal to 
the oral teaching of Polycarp, and that too only respecting what 
John orally taught. To tiiis it is to be replied, tliat Liitzelberger's 
conclusion from the superscription of the letter, that Florinus was 
at that tiine a Marcionite is unfomided ; ^ that he possiblv had 
doubted of the genuineness of the Gospel may be conceded, though 
he might even at that time, as he did afterwards when he was a 
Valentinian, have availed himself of an artificial interpretation of ' 
it, in order to &vour his errors. But the fragment that has 
been quoted would only serve to support the assertion that Ire- 
nseus could have given no historical proof of the genuineness of the 
Gospel, in case no other design on the part of the father were 
supposable than that of convicting Florinus of his heresy from the 
writings of John. According to our view this, however, was not 
his design. Irenaeus reckoned rather on this, that the testimony 
of his writings, which could not be completely eluded without a 
consciousness of what was better, would speak more irresistiblv to 
the consciousness of the heretic, if he reminded him of what he had 
heard with his own ears from the aged disciple of the apostle, and 
had then with the fullest confidence received. To follow the course 
of tradition further than to Clemens Alexandrinus and Origen is 
superfluous after the testimonies already adduced. It need only 
be mentioned that the learned Origen, who commented on this 
gospel about the year 222, and who mentions every objection to 
ue New Testament writings, even those against the second and 
third Epistles of John, treats the gospel as genuine without the 
smallest scruple, and that Eusebius, the man who appears to have 
been acquainted with all Christian literature existing at his time, 
in the beginning of the fourth century calls it a ' Gospel known to 
all the Churches that are under heaven.' 

Let us yet direct our view to the testimony which is found in 
ch. xxi. 24, 25. Until the time of Tittmann these words were re- 
garded hy the far greater part of critics as the words of the Evan- 
gelist. Theodore of Mopsuesda was the first who pointed them 
out as a testimony by another hand ; then some Catholic writers 
censured by Maldonatus, later Grotius, Basnage, and all modem 
theologians. To John they cannot be ascribed. If they proceed 

^ See Neander*8 KtrchengeKh, i. 3. p. 11, 47. 


Digitized by 


88 Introduction to the Gaspd of John. [ July, 

from the same author as ch. xxi., then this itself belongs to another 
hand, and this is in so far a perilous concession as it would follow 
that others at that time besides John himself knew how to write in 
his style. But even the contrast between the simplicity character- 
istic of John in the foregoing part of the diapter, and the hyperbole 
in ver. 25, shows that this testimony proceeds fit>m another hand. 
The word oiSapwv ' we know/ also shows that the writer gave his 
testimony in the name of others as well as himself. What then does 
he testify ? What do the roireify and ravra < these thin^' refer to ? 
Do they relate simply to the preceding narration ? Tms is indeed 
not improbable. Since this was omy a supplement, these wit- 
nesses might feel prompted to attest, that it was written by the 
apostle's own hand, and might therewith be led to the remark that 
yery much more might have been added. Let it be noticed, 
however, that the writer of this verse seems to have had before 
his mind the conclusion of ch. xx. (verses 30, 31), and therefore 
it is more probable that he intended to refer the roureay and ravra 
to the whole Gospel ; that it was his desisn, by imitating this con- 
clusion, as it were, to point out the supplement as a portion of the 
whole Gospel. In this case what does he testify ? The avihen- 
tieity and credibility of the Gospel. Weisse® and Liitzelberger* 
however have raised the objection that a Gospel which requu^d 
such a testimony by way of postscript could not have been gene- 
rally acknowledged. ^ Are tne attesting words,' asks Weisse, ^ of 
such weight as that by them the suspicion is removed which is 
excited by the circumstance that previous to its publication the 
Gospel must pass through a foreign hand ? — through such a hand 
as might hope to impart to it, by a written appendix of its own, a 
higher credibility than it possessed in itself?' But do these words 
then suppose any €hubt as to its authenticity ? Is not the remark 
of Schweizer (p. 59; much more just that tiiis attestation, just as 
ch. xix. 35, has much rauther a practical object — earnestiy to urge 
the readers of the Gospel to lay it to heart? Yet how very un» 
frequent is such a testimony of one person coming forward in the 
name of many, who yet mentions no names I I considered myself 
entitled from this circumstance to draw the conclusion that this 
testimony could not at any rate proceed from Kfalsarius^ * Had 
any officious transcriber arfalsaritie of later times wished to affix 
an apocrvphal seal to the credibility of this Go^l, would behave 
appended this seal without adding a name, and tiiereby rob it of 
its weight?' Can this conclusion be fairly controverted? At 
any rate does not this follow with certainty, that an honest and 

• JEb. Gtich, p. 100. ^ Uhi tupra, p. 187, tq, 

• Olaubwurdigkeit der w. Gegehickte, p. 278, Snd edit. 


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1848.] Introduction to the Gospel of John. 39 

conscientious contemporary of the Apostle has attested the credi- 
bility of the Gospel? When Liitzelberger replies to this (p. 195) 
* that only stupid /aZ^nt specify everything exactly, and on that 
account are soonest convicted,' we might ast him whether he ever 
heard of eifalsarius so * stupid' as to think that he could render 
great service to his friend by a splendid testimony but without any 
name to vouch for it ? No, from an honest man such a testimony 
proceeds, but also from a prudent man. What purpose could such 
a testimony serve ? Liitzelberger says (p. 195), * In such circum- 
stances as those in which John must have been, it is useless, 
futile, even inconsistent and absurd.' But how if the first readers 
generally knew tlie man from whose hands they received the 
Gospel, if they probably even knew his handwriting ? Even the 
first Epistle of John has no precise designation of the writer either 
at the beginning or end. Grotius wrows out the suggestion 
whether this witness may not have been the presbyter of the 
Ephesian church — ^whether indeed it may not have been John the 
Presbyter. We might possibly think of a band of disciples who 
were in Ephesus in me second century, Aristion, John tne Pres- 
byter, Andrew.' Possibly the Gospel may have been in use at 
first only in the Ephesian church, and may have been by it com- 
municated at a later period to the surrounding churches, and thus 
this postscript would be still more readily explained. That this 
was the case is an old tradition to which Usteris gives his assent, 
and recently Baumgarten-Crusius,'^ who states confidently that 
the Gospel was written earlier than it was published. According 
to this we have confessedly a testimony to the genuineness of the 
Gospel of John from his contemporaries, and those who were knoum 
to him. 

Certainly we might advance stronger claims on the ground of 
external testimonies. Let us, however, confine ourselves to this, 
that with the exception of the Alogiy who proceeded on dogmatic 
grounds, no contradiction and no difierence of opinion has appeared 
from the beginning, and then it is only the strongest dogmatical 
difficulties that can render the genuineness a matter of doubt. We 
meet with only one point in this proof, which can at all furnish a hold 
for doubt. It is the testimony of Irenasus. On the same historical 
testimony, namely, that of the elders of Asia Minor,* on which he 
rests his belief in the Gospel being written by John, his belief also 

' See Credner, Einl. p. 2d7. 

9 Commeniatio in qua ev, Joh. genuinum esse, &c. Zurich, 1823. 

^ Comm. zum Joh. p. xxt. 

' We commonl J hear of the ' PreBbyten ' of Asia Minor as those to whom Iremeus 
owes his accoonts; the word, however, is more correctly translated by < elders' oc 
seniors' (Ael teste). Conipare the expression Awofinitiovt^/AaTa &iro(rroAiJicov rurof 
vptfffivrSp&v, £asebins, lust. EccL t. 8. 


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40 Introductim to the Oospel of John. [ Julj^ 

rests in the Apocalypse being written by the Apostle. If now, 
nevertheless, according to the opinion of Credner, Liicke, and 
Neander, this is not genuine ; if Credner, the zealous defender of 
the genuineness of the Gospel, ventures »to speak in reference to 
the Apocalypse, of the witnesses ^ which Irensus brags of,' what 
weight can tnese declarations of the elders have in reference to 
the Gospel ? The question comes to that with which Liitzelberger 
lurges the defenders of the Goepel, how such a man as Irenseus 
can be credited who furnishes from the tradition of these Asiatic 
churches nothing else than wonderful stories and accounts which are 
plainly false, such as (1) that the Apocalypse was revealed at the 
end of the reien of Domitian ; (2) the wonderful announcement put 
into the mouth of Jesus of the immense clusters of grapes in the 
kingdom of God ; (3) the tradition that Jesus was fifty years old.'' It 
is true that these circumstances require that we should cautiously 
examine the historical traditions of Irenseus. To begin with the last 
point, Credner^ has fi*eed the father from the charge which is made 
against him. The account, attributed to John and handed down 
by the Presbyters (C Htsr. v. 33) of an announcement of the Lord 
that ^ The oays shall come in which there shall be vines, each of 
which has ten thousand boughs, and each bough ten thousand 
branches, and each branch (Sen thousand twigs,' &c., which, accord- 
ing to the statement of Irenseus, Papias had also adopted in his 
book, certainly cannot belong to the cbscourses of the Lord in our 
Gospel — compare, however, the xanoy in Matth. xxvi. 29. May 
not some such word of Christ as this in Matthew lie at the founda- 
tion of the tradition, and may not those who were inclined to mil- 
lennarianism have thus coarsely expanded it ? If such accounts 
serve to lessen the value of orcd tradition, we ask whether, on the 
other hand, the worth of what is delivered in writing, which is 
free from every element of this kind, is not hereby enhanced ? As 
to the composition of the Apocalypse by John, our belief rests on 
another basis than simply tne testimony of the ancients. If it is 
not genuine, John the P.resbyter must at any rate be regarded 
as its author. This is required both on internal and external 
grounds. But no one will think of referring the Gospel to this 
otherwise unknown person. The author of our Gospel, says 
Liicke, must have had a much greater ' personality' than this pro- 
blematical presbyter possessed. That uie vision of the Apoca- 
Ivpse was placed by the elders of Asia Minor in the reign of 
Domitian, tnoueh internal marks appear to fix the time of §alba 
as the date of the writing, is certainly very derogatory to the his- 
torical authority of these witnesses ; still the exposition of the 

* Liitzelberger, p. 150, 151. » Einl i. 1, p. 215. 


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1848.] Introductiofi to the Gospel of John. 41 

Apocalypse has been carried out with so little satisfaction hitherto, 
that no one can feel justified in grounding a certain conclusion on 
this circumstance. We have entered into the argument against 
the historical authority of the witnesses to whom Irenaeus appeals, 
merely that we might not leave unnoticed the strong side of the 
negative criticism. The genuineness of the Gospel is not at all 
less certain even if we reject the testimony of Irensus. 

VII. The mosst important Commevdaries on the Gospel, 

As Introductions to the Gospel we have Dr. Wegscheider 
Vollstdndiffe Eirdeiiung in das Evangelium Johannis^ Gott., 1806 ; 
Bertholdt, Verosimilia de origine Ev. Joh. in his Opusc, ed. Winer, 

1. Origen (ob. 253), Comm. in Ev, Joh, In the time of Jerome 
there were eiitant 39 tomes or sections of Origeu's exposition ; 
Eusebius says that only 22 had come down to his times. We 
possess only a part, though by no means an unimportant one, of 
this great work (C^. Orw. ed. De la Rue, t. iv. Opera exegetica 
Orig. ed. Huet. 1. 1.). liowever important this commentary is in 
reference to the dogmatic views of Origen, and however beautiful 
some passages are as to their general Christian meaning, the 
remarks are nevertheless few which, in a strict sense^ serve for the 
exegesis of the Gospel. 

2. Theodore of Monsuestia (ob. 428), Apollinaris (400), Am- 
monius (250), Cyril oi Alexandria (400). Of all these impor- 
tant fragments are found in the Catena Patrum in Ev. Joh. ed. Cor- 
derins, Antw., 1630. They are in part valuable contributions 
to the exegesis of the Gospel, particularly the remarks of Am- 

3. Chrysostom (ob. 407), HomilL Ixxxvii, in Ev. Joh. (ed. Mo- 
relli, t. ii., ed. Montf. t viii.). These homilies are distinguished 
especially by their great richness in practical remarks. Chrysos- 
tom too expounds me text according to a sound grammatico-his- 
torical conception of it But the value in a purely exegetical 
view is here also lessened in consequence of Chrysostom*s endea- 
vouring too freely to make use of the text polemically against 
heretical views. 

4. Theophylact (ob. 1107), Comm. in quat. jEw., ed. Venet., 4 
vols. vol. li. He brings together what is most valuable from 
Chrysostom and other fathers : he combines this commonly accord- 
ing to his own judgment, and follows chiefly the grammatico-his- 
torical method of interpretation. 

5. Eutbvmius Zigabenus (about 1118), Comm. in quat. Ew. ed. 
Matthise, Lips., 1792, 4 vols., vol. iv. This commentary also is 
collected from the older fathers ; much is from Chrysostom. The 


Digitized by 


42 Introduction to the Gfospel of John, [July, 

collection is made with diBcrimination, and contains very much 
that is useful. 

6. Augustin (ob. 430), Tractatus 124 in Joh. ed. Antw. t. iii. 
These are homilies in which Augustin explains the text with great 
prolixity and many digressions. Tor the explanation of the Gospel 
on the principles of grammaticohistorical interpretation, they 
afford only here and there a ray of light, but they present an | 
abundance of deep Christian thought which has not been made i 
sufficient use of. | 

7. Maldonatus (ob. 1583), Comm. in quat, Ew. Par. 1668, 2 | 
vols. One of the best expositors of the Romish church. He i 
possesses great learning, especially on patristic subjects, and much | 
exegetical talent, which is unwillingly bound by the fetters of his ' 
church, though still it is bound by them. 

8. Luther has commented on the Gospel from ch. i. to xx., 
partly however only in fragments (Walch's ed. vols. vii. and viii.). 
In this commentary, when Luther does not write polemically, he 
can hardlv be said to comment on Uie Gospel ; he lives in it and 
brings it oefore the soul of the reader as a divine spring of life J 
for him who thirsts after life. In his exposition he commonly I 
seizes the right point if he does not always establish and carry out | 
his exegetical view correctly. ' 

9. Melancthon, Enarratio in Ev, Joh, (Opp, ed. Viteb. t. iv.), 
notes of lectures published by Caspar Crudger. In a dedication 
to Duke Maurice, Cruciger ascribes the work to himself. The 
explanations are natural. In general, dogmatic views prevail over 
exegetical. The shorter Annotationes by Melancthon, which Luther 
published in 1523, are a different work. 

10. Calvin, Comm. in Ev, Joh, {0pp. ed. Ams. t. vi.). Calvin's 
Commentaries on the four Gospels are less elaborated than those i 
on the Epistles ; nevertheless the great reformer in this work also, 

and especially in respect to John, is distinguished as an interpreter 
by his easy, natural, and at the same time deep explanations. As to 
exegetical talent we must give him the preference above his fellows. 

11. Beza, Comm. in N. T. Gen. 1565, Tig. 1653. In the 
Gospels Beza developes his knowledge of the language and his 
exegetical tact more than in the Epistles ; though he does not 
explain all the difficulties, and does not penetrate deep enough 
into the spiritual meaning. 

12. Zwingli Annott. in plerosque N. T. librosy Tig. 1581. 
Many conceptions of his own. 

The valuable collection of Marloratus {Expositio CathoKca N. T, 
Viviaci, 1605) forms a kind of Catena of the reformers, in which 
the best passages from Calvin, Melancthon, Bucer, Musculus, 
Brentius, and others are brought together. 

13. Grotius 

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1848.] Introductum to the Gospel of John. 43 

13. Grotius(ob. 1645), Comm. in quat. Ew. 1644. Halae, 1769, 
ed. Windheim, 2 vols. His Commentary on the Gospels is cha- 
racterized by its nnafiected exegesis and by the copiousness of its 
antiquarian and linguistic remarks, as well as parallel passages 
from profane writers, which, however, are not always apposite. 

14. Lampe (ob. 1729), Comm. exeffetico-analyticus in Ev, Joh,, 
Amst. 1735, 3 vol. 4to. Lampe puts this in a hu^e shell rudely 
constructed of abstract logic and unaccommodatmg dogmatic, 
nevertheless it has been used by following commentators as a light 
to their feet. Under the panoply of syllosism there beats a feel- 
ing heart, and his learning is so respectable that probably none of 
those who have come after him have exercised so much indepen- 
dent care on the Gospel. 

15. Bencel (ob. 1752), Gnomm N. T. 1773 (republished by 
Dr. SteudeT). His indications are sunbeams and his hints flashes 
of lightning. Where he treads in a beaten path he compresses 
into two or three words what others say in long pages, and fre- 
quently he opens new views through rocks and forests. 

16. Carl Christ Tittmann (ob. 1820), Mektemata Sacra sive 
Comm. exegetico-critico-higtor. in Ev. Joh.^ Lips. 1816. On the 
whole a very easy and natural exegesis, but it fails in depth as to 
the developement of id^as and in precision. 

17. Paulus, Comm. zu Evangel. Joh, in his Comm. zu den Evan-- 
gelienj vol. iv. 2nd ed. The Gospel of John is commented upon 
only as fer as ch. xi., i. «., as far as the history of the Passion. This 
Commentary is not on the whole so ample as that on the synoptical 
account That which is faulty in this Commentary is probably at 
the present time better known than its merits. If the commentator 
were as well acquainted with the things of heaven as he is with the 
concerns of earui his book would be excellent. The author would 
without doubt have been more happy in explaining ihe judicial pro- 
ceedings of Palestine than the life of Him m whose mouth no false- 
hood was found, and who was smitten for our sins. 

18. Euinoel, Comm. in Ev. Joh.^ 3rd ed. 1826. As a repertory 
of the views belonging to the exegetical period from 1750 to 1820, 
when the explanation of the words was just as deficient in acuteness 
as that of tne matter was in depth, tms Commentary may still be 

19. Liicke, Comm. zum Evang. Joh.^ 3rd ed. vol. i. 1840. In 
the first edition of this work there mished forth a youthfril enthu- 
siasm, which, however, like that of Herder, was not distinctly con- 
scious of its own existence ; yet this was the first exegetical work 
in which the believing spirit of the recent theology expressed 
itself in a living manner. The second and third editions are 
considerably altered, and are distinguished by the clearness and 


Digitized by 


44 Introduction to the Gospel of John. [July, 

finished character of the style as well as hy profoundness of in- 

20. Olshansen, Biblischer Comm. zu sdmmtlichen Schriften des 
Neuen Teat. 5 vols. 3rd ed. 1832. The excellence of this exposition 
consists in the endeavour to develope the individual manner of 
thinkins of the difierent writers of the Bible, in connection with the 
unity of the doctrinal views of the Bible in general. Yet it appears 
to us that the exposition of the three first Gospels is more carefully 
composed, and lays claim to a higher degree of ori^bality than 
that of John. 

21. Fikenscher, Biblisch-praktische Audegung des Ev. Joh.^ 
3 vols. 1831-1833. The work is a Biblical explanation for gene- 
ral readers of education, but it contains many hints which are of 
value to professed expositors. 

22. H. A. W. Meyer, Kritiach-exeget. Commentar fiber das N. T. 
Pt. 2, 1834. The Commentary of the author has improved in the 
succeeding volumes. The exposition of John must be designated 
as meagre. 

23. Kurze Erkl&rung des Ev. Joh., by De Wette, 2nd ed. 1839. 
The most important data for exposition are compressed in a judi- 
cious manner and with independent judgment, yet the mass of 
different notices compressed into so small a space prevents the im- 
j)ression of the whole ; the brevity of his own explanations also is 
not sufficient to gain an altogether satisfactory insight into the most 
important passages. The Straussian criticism also has exerted an 
influence on the exposition of this Gospel, although this is much 
less than in the three first Gospels. 

Great advantage may be gained preparatory to the study of this 
Gospel from Frommann, Johanneischer Lehrhegriff^ 1831, and 
Neander's Geschichte der Pflanzung der christlichen Kirche, 3rd 
ed. 1841, p. 757, sq. [History of the Planting of the Christian 
Church, translated by J. £. Ryland, vol. ii. p. 239, sq.] 

Whilst this Commentary was in the press there have appeared 
two works relating to this Gospel which deserve notice — the Com- 
mentary of Baum^rten-Crusius, vol. i. pt. i. (ch. i.-viii.), Jena, 
1843 ; and a treatise by Kostlin {Der Lehrbegriff des Ev. und der 
Briefe Joh. und die venoandten neu-testatnentlichen Lehrhegriffe. 
Berlin, 1843). 

The work of the now deceased theologian of Jena presents for 
the most part in the text only his own exposition of the author, and 
notices otner expositions principally in the notes with great brevity, 
as is the case with Liicke. It may lay claim to the merit of beins 
an independent exposition, penetrating into the spirit of the Gospel 
The position taken by the author, who does not decidedly belong 


Digitized by 


1848.] Introduction to the Gospel of John. 45 

to any of the present theological schools, in reference to the question 
of the genuineness and cred^ility of the Gospel, is worthy of remark. 
With n-eedom, firmness, and historical tact he presents briefly the 
principal grounds which oblige us to acknowledge its genuineness ; 
and as regards the credibility of the matters of fact, he maintains 
in general those views which the extreme criticism of the present 
day wishes to regard as antiquated, ap{)lying to them the name of 
' antiauated Harmonistic and Apologetic ;' only with regard to the 
miracles the deceased author assumes a negative but by no means 
a clear position. He defends also the originality of the discourses 
of the Kedeemer as given by John, though he does not deny the 
influence of an elaborating hand. We here quote only what he 
says respecting the doctrine of the Losos. This doctrine, accord- 
ing to the view of the author, cannot be regarded as an expansion 
and personification of the Old Testament doctrine of the word and 
wisdom of God — ^it is more probably an exotic growth of Judaism 
invented in Alexandria in onler to unite itself with the Grecian 
philosophy. * The probability on the other hand is, that tiie doc- 
trine of the Lo^ had found entrance and significance amongst 
Jews and Christians beyond Alexandria in the time of the compo- 
sition of John's prologue.' Individuals only had introduced it in 
the immediate sphere of the Evangelist, perhaps Apollos. John 
has not made it the object of his own speculation, but has received 
it only to obtain an expression answering to his sublime impression 
of Cmrist. 

The author of the new idea of John's doctrine {Lehrhegriff des 
jEv. Joh., &c.), which originally appeared in Tubingen as a prize 
essay, adopts the principles of naur and Schwegler. The Gospel 
(according to him) appeared in the second century, and is com- 
posed with the iremco-apologetical design of reconciling the 
opposite parties that existed in the Christian church. In Christ's 
discourses throughout, and even when John the Baptist is intro- 
duced, no one speaks except the unknown Evangelist. He has 
completely disensa^d himself from the principles of Judaism. 
The fundamental idea of the work lies in tne thought that 
Christianity, is the absolute religion. This absolute rehgion has 
appeared in a personal form in the Xoyof become man, by whom 
first light and life have been imparted to the world, so that out of 
him there is only deatii and darkness. The author lays claim to 
having risen in his work, considered as an exhibition of objective 
history, high above the stand-point of Frommann, but he has no 
right to claim this, except on the supposition that Dr. Baur's view 
of the history of the dogmas of the first and second century is tiie 
only one that has an historical foundation. 

"""""""""■ On 

Digitized by 


( 46 ) [July, 


By William M'Combie, author of < MotbI Agency, 
and Man as a Moral Agent,' ^cc. 

Truth may be viewed as objectiye or as subjectiye, and in all 
inquiries which embrace the operation of human tiliouffht and 
feeling, it is of importance that this distinction should be Icept in 
yiew. That Being has its modes, laws, and relations, not the less 
though these should not be appreliended or known by any himian 
mind, will be admitted by all, save the pure idealist. While this 
is what constitutes objective truth, subjective truth is the mental 
perception or apprehension of these. 

Truth ranges itself under various divisions, e, ^., scientific, 
speculative, historical, moral. Scientific truth, whether demon- 
strative or inductive, admits but of one uniform apprehension in 
all minds. It is not exactly so with historical truth, and still less 
so with economical, speculative, and moral. Many matters, poli- 
tical, social, and intellectual, may be very variously apprehended 
by diflTerent minds. Very different and even opposite views may 
be entertadned of them ; in their subjective state therefore they 
take the form of opinion. Moral truth, on the other hand, in its 
subjective state takes the form of conviction. Whether the 
former (opinion) induce to action or not is a question of expediency, 
the latter must be acted on (its very object is to induce action), or 
the moral sense suffers violence. Now we conceive that Revela- 
tion comes in as an authority only in the latter of these — moral 
truth, or what involves obligation. It binds duty, but leaves 
opinion free. 

On matters of natural science, of cosmogony, of history, on 
wliich the sacred writers may have had occasion to speak, we con- 
ceive that revelation neither precludes nor forbids- the fullest 
inquiry ; and that its proper authority is not in the least affected 
by whatever may be the results of such inquiry. The Bible is 
not a revelation of natural or of civil history (although it embodies 
the earliest observations extant in the former, and the most ancient 
and trustworthy notices of the latter), far less of physical science, 
but of man's relation to God as a moral being, and more especially 
of his state as a sinner, and the Divine scheme of redemption. 

If we inquire dispassionately, and apart from the influence of 
systems, what was the nature or measure of the influence called 


Digitized by 


1848.] (hi the Relation of Scripture to Human Inquiry. 47 

Inspiration, we shall find that, in entire correspondence with the 
view we have just stated, it extended to the message simply as it 
bore on the moral or spiritual being of man ; that the forms of 
history, poetry, apologue, were merely the shell or the setting in 
which the pearl of spiritual truth was conveyed. While it was 
meant to enlighten the mind, it was chiefly in order that it might 
reach the heart or soul, melt and subdue it by the love of God, 
and transform it into his image anew. Accordingly we find 
Divine truth in the Scriptures conveyed, for the most part, not in 
the abstract, but in the subjective form. It comes forth as the 
utterance of human hearts — ^hearts instinct with spiritual life — ^a 
life which fills and subjugates the whole being. And even in 
those places where God himself condescends to address men di- 
rectly, his voice is but the utterance as it were of a human sub* 
jectivity, expressing the hopes, the fears, the joys, the surprisals 
of a limited and embodied mind. This condescension — this 
anthropomorphising, is not without an aim. It has an object of 
the highest importance in view — nothing less than to reach the 
sympathies of the human soul. 

Spiritual truth, in addition to its coming to us chiefly in the 
subjective form, in contradistinction from the abstract or scientific, 
is linked, to great extent, to facts — facts in the history of nations 
and of individuals. Its varied and wondrous appliance of motive, 
as well as its moral code, is made to agreat extent to cluster 
round and spring out of those facts. The whole mechanism, if 
we may so speak, of the redemptive economy, from first to last, 
moves and plays amid human life and action, and is evolved by 
human agency. Had belief been purely or chiefly an intellectual 
state, it is probable Revelation would have come to us in the form 
of abstract statement, but being more a state of the heart or soul, 
it comes prevailingly in the form of interesting and afiecting facts, 
and bears in its speciality not the aspect of a formula, but of a 
testimony. Now testimdny is a form of communicating know- 
ledge or truth, which, when it bears on matters not otherwise 
ascertainable, demands confidence in him who gives it — an essential 
constituent of faith. 

It is the fundamental doctrine of Protestantism that the Scrip- 
tures are the rule of faith. What is the domain of fidth ? Only 
matters not ascertainable through experience or the exercise of 
reason. Whatever becomes matter oi science is removed from 
this domain. All matters then on which the sacred writers may 
have had occasion to speak, coming within the region of science, or 
which may be ascertainable by observation, induction, or inde- 
pendent investigation of whatever kind, are not matters of faith. 
Tlie Scriptures give no authoritative deliverance on them, but so 


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48 On the Relation of Scripture to Human Inquiry. [ July* 

far as they embody aay reference to them, edmply present before 
us the knowledge, the modes of thinking, and the impressions of 
the writers ; and it was no part of their special endowment for 
their work to place them aheisul of their times in matters coming 
within the spnere in question. Had it been otherwise, had that 
strict scientific accuracy which so many of those who seem to re- 
gard themselves as specially intrusted with the defence of Scrip- 
ture, unwisely assume to be necessary in order to the vindication 
of its peculiar claims, been an element in the Divine intention, or 
in the qualification of the various writers — ^had it been the 
Divine intention, we say, to secure such accuracy in all matters 
coming within the region of science, on which they had occasion 
to touch, the Bible would have been fully as much a revelation of 
science as of religion ; discovery would m manv cases, perhaps in 
nearly all, have been anticipated, the exercise of the human 
faculties superseded, and the spirit of inquiry, with all its attend- 
ant stimulus, intellectual expansion, elevation, and delight, been 
laid to sleep. 

God has pursued a very different course, and one more in har- 
mony with the intellectual and moral constitution of man. Man's 
intellect is stimulated, expanded, and invigorated by free and 
earnest inquiry, and God has left open to him the whole region 
where inouiry can be successful^ or attended with definite and 
sure results. But intellectual activity, or vigour, or expansion, 
has no necessary connection with spiritual life. All the intel- 
lectual activities may be Stirred, and yet the moral sense remain 
dead. It can be moved only by what addresses itself to the 
emotional being — ^by what makes obligation apparent and duty 
felt. In revelation this purpose is apparent from beginning to 
end. It treats not abstractly of the nature of God, of the soul, 
or of duty, but practically. Proceeding on the assumption that 
what man chiefly needed in his fallen condition was not so much 
materials for an objective apprehension (tliis he already possesses^), 
but a subjective realization ; its great aim throughout is to induce 
this — ^to make us feel and realize our relation to him in every 
pulse and movement of our moral being. It brings him before 
us not merely as the creator, sustainer, and governor of all things, 
but more especially as the father of our spirits, the inspector of our 
actions and our hearts, the suide of our ways, the protection of 
our weakness if we trust in Him ; but our strict and awful Judge 
if we violate his law, and despise his warnings. And then, m the 
redeeming economy, which constitutes the peculiar and distinctive 

* Rom. i. 20 : « For the invisible things of him (God) from the creation of the 
world are clearly seen, being uiderstod by the tilings that are made, even his 
eternal power and godhead." 


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1848.] On tlie Itelation of Scripture to HuTnan Inquiry, 49 

glory of revelation, he is brought before our view as pitving us in 
our condition of sin and ruin, as loving us so as to send nis Son to 
suffer and die for our redemption, and as plying us witii every 
motive which the compassion and love of his infinite mind could 
put forth to induce us to return to him and obtain salvation and 
peace. In a word, it is always the soul that is aimed at, though 
plied through the medium of the mind or intelligence by means of 
statements, facts, appeals, dehortations, promises, warnings. It is 
the soul that has come under the domimon of spiritual death, and 
it is there, as at the centre of the moral being, that spiritual life 
must be rekindled. What is it but a condition of the soul which 
the Scriptures present to us as the essence of all moral excellence 
and obedience — ' love is the fulfilling of the law.' It was not an 
intellectual quickening but a spiritual, that Christ came to effect 
— * the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are 
life ;' and he gloried in the realization of this distinctive feature 
of his mission — ' I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and 
earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, 
and hast revealed them unto babes.' Nay, more, we are dis- 
tinctly warned that the effect of the mere intellectual reception of 
the facts and announcements of Revelation is the most disastrous 
and fatal possible—* The letter killeth.' 

Does then piety most readily ally itself to ignorance and intel- 
lectual dormancy ? and is it true indeed, after all, that * ignorance 
is the mother of devotion' ? Not so : but piety demands a teach- 
able and submissive spirit. Intellectual vigour, refinement, and 
expansion are not the less to be aspired after, valued, and ho- 
noured. Nay, Revelation has been tne best stimulant to whatever 
dignifies and adorns humanity ; but the most refined and expan- 
sive intellect must be ready to yield when and wherever God 
speaks, alike with the most lunited and uncultured. Then reason 
must submit and faith come into exercise. * He that will not 
receive the kingdom of heaven as a little child shall in nowise 
enter therein.' This it is which renders it of so much importance 
that the sphere in which the divine authority is interposed should 
be rightly apprehended and well defined ; for the most disastrous 
consequences have resulted, and are continuing to this hour to 
result, from an undue and unwarrantable extension of it. Who 
shall attempt to depict the evils which have been produced by 
attempting to stretch this authority over the domain of Ihe intel- 
lect, when it was intended to embrace only the spiritual being 
and moral relations of man ? 

Revelation then neither interdicts nor limits any inquiry legiti- 
mate to the human faculties, or to which they may be competent ; 
and no course could in our apprehension be more unwise xm the 

VOL. II. — NO. III. E part 

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50 On the Belatian of Seriphire to Human Inquiry. [July, 

part of its advocates than to seem jealous of, or to frown on, any 
fair scrutiny, whatever relation such scrutiny may bear to any of 
the statements or facts it embodies. Rightly apprehended it 
stands upon a basis secure against all assaults from such quarters. 
It will hold on its course, maintain its integrity, and fulfil its 
purpose, whatever may be the bearing of such inquiries, or their 

For let us again for a moment revert to the (question : — ^what 
were the Scriptures intended to teach ? Not science, not chro- 
nology, not history for itself, not even theology strictly, but re- 
ligion, considered as a disposition of the heart and mind towards 
God. Why demand that a book with such a purpose should in 
its references to natural facts speak in the languaae of perfect 
science, or that its historical sketches should be elaborate pbilo- 
sophical digests ? In the countries and during the epochs in which 
the Scriptures were penned, if they were to come t)^t)ugh a human 
medium at all, or to be capable of taking any hold on human 
sympathies, tliese conditions could not but be violated. Unless 
tne entire feelings and impressions of the sacred writers in regard 
to matters of social life, and natural objects and phenomena, had 
been held in abeyance or overborne, it followed inevitably that 
those feelines and impressions must blend with their writings. 
The earlier books of Scripture were written in times and in con- 
ditions of society which we can now scarcely realize — times when 
the science of nature had hardly begun to lie cultivated, and when 
speculative questions which have now been discussed for ages with 
the greatest subtiety, had never once been stirred. Why then be 
so unreasonable as to make demands of Revelation the fulfilling of 
which was never embraced in its intention, and which the nature 
of the case did not admit of its fulfilling? Why boggle at sup- 
posed discrepancies between its statements and tlie results of 
modem investigation, when it was never intended to anticipate, 
embrace, or any way interfere with such results ? The cosmogony 
of Moses may not readily embrace all the geological chances and 
epochs : had it done so, it would certainly have been ahead of the 
present condition of geological science. It is enough that in its 
great lines, and in the main impression which it ms^es, it tallies 
with the results of the most extended observation and the soundest 
inference ; — ^that it teaches us the great truth that the universe is 
th^ work of one inde})endent and Almighty Intelligence, and that 
it was evolved and built up not by miracle but by labour — that it 
rose through successive and ascending stages, and was not called 
forth as the wonder of an instantaneous spell. 

Further, why should the proper authority of Revelation be re- 
garded as in the least invalidated though some historical discre- 

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1848.] On the JRekUion of Seripiure to Human Inquiry^ 51 

Sondes or chronological inaccuracies should be discovered in it ? 
we deal thus in any analogous case that comes within our own 
experience ? Suppose a friend should send a messenger request- 
ing our immediate attendance at his house, because a serious acci- 
dent had befallen one of his family ; should we neglect to comply 
with his request, or treat the messaae as a fabrication, because in 
the meantime we had happened to leam from another party that 
the messenger had fallen mto some inaccuracy respecting ihe time 
or the place at which the accident had occurred ? Clearly not : 
for this, instead of afFectine, would confirm our belief in the fact 
of the accident haying realW occurred. 

We have no sym][>athy whatever with that spirit which cannot 
rest secure in its faith so long as any difficulty remains insolved, 
or any discrepancy unharmonized. We, on tne contrary, regard 
the difficulties and the slight discrepancies which the Scriptures 
present as among the strongest bulwarks of our fedtb ; and there 
are few things we can more deeply regret than that Ibe demand 
for their complete reduction should even by implication have been 
ever concedea to sceptics as at all fair or even rational. What 
were faith where everything was clear and no difficulty ; that 
were not &ith but science — seeing, leaving no room for trust, and 
precluding hope and aspiration iSier future mental advances and 

But it may be objected that the theory of inspiration for which 
we are contending would introduce a painAil uncertainty as to 
many questions of £sLct found in the Scriptures. Once admit that 
Ae sao-ed writers were not secured against all inaccuracy and 
mistake, and what guarantee have we for the correctness of many 
of their statements, especially those of a supernatural kind ? In 
the first place, all that we have for the trustworthiness of human 
testimony generally, which we uniformly receive when it comes 
from parties who evince soundness of mind, competent informa- 
tion, and honesty ; unless there be some special reascms for sus- 
pecting or rejectinff it And then in addition to this, there is the 
important fact, which we assume to be admitted by all parties 
whom we are now addresang, that Scripture constitutes the 
vehicle of Grod's will and merciful intentions towards our race ; 
and therefore that the Bible is on the whole just what he 
intended it to be — possessed of all the fidelity and correctness 
compatible with its being conveyed through a human medium, and 
adapted to come within the comprehension and to enUst the sym- 
pathies of every class and nation of human kind. The general 
and effective but not perfunctory superintendence which we con- 
ceive to have been exercised on the part of God over tiie sacred 
writers, while sufihjent to sustain full confidence in their fidelity 

E 2 and 

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52 On the Relation of Scripture to Human Inquiry, [July^ 

and prevailing correctness, possesses the advantage of being free 
from the serious if not insurmountable difficulties which attach to 
the theory of verbal or plenary suggestion. And thus scope is 
not only allowed for the taith we instinctively repose in honest and 
competent human testimony, but for that which is inspired by the 
fact that the writings in question are the chosen vehicle of God's 
merciful intentions towards us. The lowest claim therefore which 
can be preferred on behalf of the sacred writers is that their tes- 
timony oe uniformly received, unless from discrepancies in the 
record itself, or from independent and certain sources of evidence, 
they are proved to be incorrect. As to supernatural facts: if 
once the Bible is admitted to embody a divine revelation at all, 
they, to our apprehension, require no greater evidence to render 
them credible than any other facts ; for such a revelation being in 
itself essentially and inevitably supernatural, the admission of its 
being of this character removes all improbability from whatever 
supernatural developments or attestations of it God may see meet 
to employ. 

The striking and literal fulfilment of prophecy in so many cases 
constitutes in itself alone a proof of the supernatural endowment 
of the sacred writers which can never be set aside. And the pro- 
gress of research and discovery will go on as it has hitherto done, 
to confirm increasingly the accuracy and fidelity of the Scriptures 
generally, and bring out these more distinctly and impressively 
to view ; at the same time we are satisfied it will evolve new points 
of difficulty to those who hold the sacred penmen to have been the 
subjects of an inspiration extending to all they wrote in its entire 
bearings and minutest detail. Our own conviction, the reader is 
ere this time aware, is that such a theory is untenable, nor can 
we help feeling a deep regret fliat any such should have ever been 

Amid discusfflons respecting points of externality, or questions 
of mere verbal harmony, the fact has not had sufficient importance 
accorded to it, that Revelation carries the witness of its divinity in 
itself. It has verified itself in human consciousness from age to 
age, and would continue to do so though all external proofs were 
swept away. Its moral truth and elevation have wrung a reluctant 
acknowledgment from the bitterest sceptics, and it can never want 
a witness so long as the human constitution remains unchanged. 
And then the admission of its moral truth must lead to an acknow- 
ledgment of its distinctive facts by all who fairly entertain the 
question, and are capable of judging of the springs of human 
action and motive. 

Having thus endeavoured to evolve an answer to the question. 


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1848.] On the Relation of Scripture to Human Inquiry. 53 

What is the relation of the Scriptures to science and human in- 
quiry generally, — ^it will now be expected of us to devote some 
attention to the more special inquiry. What is the relation of 
Scripture to theology? A satisfactory answer to this question 
cannot be obtained without ascertaining both what objects theo- 
logy embraces, and whence its materials are derived. As to its 
objects, theology may be defined the Science of the Relations of 
God to the Universe. It is usually divided into natural and re- 
vealed ; the former embracing whatever may be ascertained or 
inferred respecting those relations from nature, providence, and 
social life ; the latter deriving its materials firom Kevelation only. 
The field embraced by the former Revelation leaves of course as 
open as before, although itself anticipating and giving definite- 
ness to many of the results. 

In any such inquiry as the present it is of the utmost importance 
that it be borne in mind that theology is not one of the exact 
sciences, and therefore not standing forth in any such indepen- 
dence of Revelation as those sciences. The question as to the 
Being of God considered as a question of pure science does not 
belong to theology but to Ontology. It is the primary question 
when the reason proposes to itself the task of accounting K)r JBeinq. 
To those who have made mental processes their study, the reasons 
of the incertitude of theology as a science merely of observation 
and induction will readily present themselves. The distinctive 
feature of mental action is its voluntary character; in this it 
stands in contrast to physical action, and apart from the dominion 
of physical law. Then there is the fact that no one has a direct 
inspection of the processes of any mind but his own, and that these 
processes are often very difficult both to seize and to classify — all 
these elements contribute to make any branch of knowledge in 
which the actines of mind form a main part exceedingly recondite 
and difficult. STor will the difficulty be on the whole abated when 
the inquiry respects the actings and operation of the Infinite and 
Supreme Intelligence. For to other causes must in this case be 
added the moral darkness and the alienation of man's heart from 
his Maker. And thus it has been found that inquiries respecting 
the relations sustained by God both to the phenomenal and ra- 
tional universe, and more especially respecting the position and 
prospects of man under such relations, when pursued apart from 
a knowledge of revelation, have ever quickly merged into doubt 
and uncertainty, producing, even in the hands of those most 
earnestly devoted to such inauiries, and best qualified to pursue 
them, very little meriting to oe regarded as true science. Deeply 
conscious of such being the case, candid and enlightened vaxnoA 
will receive with thanknilness whatever Revelation may supply to 


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54 On the RdaJtian of Scripture to Human Inquiry, [July, 

them, adapted to aid or throw light on any investicationB they may 
institute respecting the manifestations of God in the universe, and 
the relations he sustains to its diversified existences. 

If the Bible be admitted to be a revelation from God at all, 
it may be expected to embody a large and peculiar repertory of 
materials towards the construction of a dinne philosophy. In 
taking careful account of its deliverances and facts, no £Eur mquiry 
is precluded, but, on the contrary, greatly stimulated aa well as 
aided. The waj in which the Scriptures treat of the relations of 
God to his rational creatures presents a striking contrast to the 
way in which they treat of material or physical relations ; for while 
in the one case they take np the current knowledjge, impressions, 
and modes of thinking, in tne other they maintain a determined 
warfare against current impressions and notions ; and, indeed, the 
whole drift of the Old Testament Scriptures, as well as of that 
theocratic economy about which so large a portion of them is 
conversant, was to withstand and repel their &tal proffress, and to 
present an organised and living manifestation before tne nations of 
the truth they so tended to subvert On the whole, then, in regard 
to the more general relations of God to the universe, both pheno- 
menal and rational, the Scriptures give a certain sound, while 
beyond byt a narrow limit, that of Nature, in the ears even of the 
most attentive and patient listeners, has ever been found uncertain ; 
baffling even the moral reason in its most earnest efforts to draw 
from it a distinct response. Yet the teaching of the former neither 
traverses nor supersedes that of the latter, but only, if we may so 
say, interprets its lispings, and supplements its defects. 

So much for theolo^ m its more general aspect In that more 
special department which embraces the relations of God to man, 
considered as a sinner placed under an economy of mercy, the 
Scriptures supply the whole and only materials. But in general 
it is the materials only — facts and announcements, not the grounds 
and relations of these. The sreat aim of the Scriptures evidently 
is to teach men relision, not abstract knowledge, not even theology 
(as we have already remarked) considered as a sdenoe. They 
do certainly aim at making men wise, but it is with a spiritual 
wisdom — it is ^ wise unto salvation.' It is a wisdom which has its 
origin in spiritual emotion. * The fear of the Lord is the begin- 
ning of wisdom,' and which from the centre of the moral being 
. radiates in every form of virtue — ' first pure, then peaceable .... 
full of mercy and good fruits.' 

It hence follows that religion may flourish not only in minds 
incapable of apprehending the relations in question, but in those 
also who, possessmg such capability, may nevertheless, from various 
causes, misconceive of them greatly, and even egregiously. The 


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1848.] On the Relation of Scripture to Human Inquiry. 55 

records of piety and Christian virtue in every age bear testimony 
to this. It is not the views which men entertam or take up regard- 
ing the relations which the facts and announcements of Scripture 
bear to each other, or to the great scheme of the Divine govern- 
ment, which bS&qX their spiritual condition, but the views they 
entertain of their own immediate rekition to God. A serious mis- 
conception has long prevailed and operated perniciously here. An 
adherence to objective truth — ^to what may have been deemed by 
some particular party a sound formula — has been put in thd 
place of a subjective reception or realization in the individual con- 
sciousness of God's testimony, or has been held as the sole instru-* 
ment of inducing this. And as a natural consequence, on the 
other hand, misconceptions or errors of opinion or theory have been 
ag^avated into heresies demanding the exclusion from Christian 
society of those entertaininff them, even though evincing the de- 
voutest hearts and the holiest lives. The heresy condemned in 
Scripture consists not primarily, we conceive, in error of opinion 
or tneory, but, springing from a perversion of spiritual or moral 
sentiment, takes the form of a practical rejection of Divine teach- 
ing, or of some portion of it in the inoral error, and not in the 
intellectual mistake or misconception, was its peculiar virus. 
Indeed, we have vet to be convinced that the Smptures either 
enjoin or exemplinr exclusion from the Church on account of in- 
tellectual error, when not wilful, nor produced or stimulated by 
a perversion of moral feeling. Those characterised as guilty of 
here^ in Scriptures are described as ^ denying the Lord who 
bought them ;' and their sin is classed with * works of the flesh,' 
and takes its place among the blackest crimes. In its primary 
sense, as used in Scripture indeed, heresy denoted a sect or 
development of schism ; and the heretic was not a propagator of 
doctrinal error, but a fomenter of division. 

The Scriptmres, then, teach religion directiy — ^theoloey by im-^ 
plication ; and the demand which they make on any one who would 
evolve a theology from them is, that whatever they contain should 
be readily recognised, and carefully and candidly weighed. Pre- 
senting no scheme of divine philosophy connectedly and in detail, 
of course no scheme purporting to be derived from mem is entitled 
to claim to be exclusively theirs ; and it must ever be an open 
question whether or not they underlie and support any particular 
one throughout — a question which no person or party can fairly 
assume to be settled by tiie Scriptures themselves, or can appeal 
to them exclusively as settiing, seeing the meaning of what may 
be held to be the srounds and proofe of this must, on the funda- 
mental principle of Protestantism, always be open to discussion. 
No theological system indeed, however widely sanctioned, can 
fiurly prefer any higher claim than this, of being an essay or 


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56 On the Relation of Scripture to Human Inquiry. [July, 

endeavour towards a deyelopment of the rationale of Scripture 
teaching. And that system is most entitled to reception which 
evinces herein the greatest consistency and success. 

That most important division of theology, then, of which the 
materials are denved from Scripture alone, is thus found to be in 
great measure a matter of induction and of inference ; and so far 
as it partakes of this character it must, considered as a science, 
be, not fixed, but progressive, capable of being advanced and 
matured, both by new light thrown on the sense of Scripture, and 
by patient and enlightened study and collation. The relation of 
Scnpture, then, to theolo^, is analogous to the relation of the 
quarry to the building, and in harmony with the relation of nature 
to physical science, so that labour, research, inquiry, induction, 
ana the application of a comprehensive reason, far from being 
interdicted or precluded, are stimulated and called into vigorous 
exercise. Thus the whole works and the word of God are found 
to harmonise ; as they conspire, not to repress, but quicken and 
stimulate our mental activity. 

Still there will be many reclaimers ; and from such (if candid) 
we would request attention to a few yet further remarks. That 
the Scriptures were not meant to teach a theology so mudi as a 
a life is, we conceive, evinced by what we may call the duality of 
their teaching. Instead of mamfesting, like philosophy, a restless 
striving after a sole universal principle, they everywhere teach and 
exempufy a double asency — we divine and the human. It is the 
active subject and the living divine stimulus. Its teaching, ' Work, 
man, work, strive even to agony,' has running alongside of it, 
* It is God that worketh in you.' Now the case is put as if on 
God depended all, and now as if on man depended an : no appre- 
hension of discrepancy shown — ^no care to evolve a theory, or to 
save one. Let those who list account for diversity originating 
out of unity, or solve the relation of the phenomenal to the 
absolute, or of the finite to the infinite ; the Scriptures own no 
concern with such speculations. They deal with the actual ; and 
address themselves to the rational soul, on spiritual and moral 
truths, which are instantly felt in every awakened consciousness, 
to take hold on the immutable and eternal. 

That the Scriptures embody no developed system of theology is 
further evident n*om the fact, that the supporters of the two great 
opposing theological schemes have each alike, and each very suc- 
cessfully, claimed a foundation in them — the one taking up and 
starting from the principle of the Divine agency, the other taking 
up and making its starting point of the human ; each respectively 
laying vehement claim to whatever declares or illustrates its appro- 
priat;ed rallying truth. The adjustment of this great and long- 
standing controversy it fiills not within our present pui^pose to 


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1848.] On the Relation of Scripture to Human Inquiry. 57 

inquire into ; though the intelligent reader will perhaps be able to 
infer in what direction we would seek it. But we cannot allow 
that aspect of the Scriptures which has called forth these remarks 
to pass from our view without observing how completely they thus 
steer clear of that onensidedness which has been to such a degree 
the bane of human systems in every age. 

Views like those we have been endeavouring to brine out in 
this paper, while securing to the Scriptures their just place and 
proper honour as the repository of God's truth and will in regard 
to our spiritual being and condition, would unsting the odium 
theolofficunij by preventing men from judging or pronouncing on 
each other's spiritual state or future destiny on account of their 
theological opinions. Then might every one come to the study of 
the Scriptures in a calm dispassionate spirit, and state the results 
of his honest investigation without eitner bitterness or fear ; that 
keen sectarian virulence being extinguished which now so much 
inflames theological discussion. And then might we ex{>ect as 
near an approadi to the solution of great theological questions as 
the present limitation of our faculties will permit ; at all events, 
a spirit of re^ct and forbearance would cnaracterise their inge- 
nuous discussion. And, above all, the avenues of the soul, now 
so often stifled by rigid dogmas and sectarian feeling, would be 
opened up to the direct entrance of the living word in all its 
divine freshness and power. 

Is there then sucn an uncertainty about the teaching of the 
Scriptures, as to allow of those who profess submission to their 
authority entertaining any sort of opinions notwithstanding ? There 
is no uncertainty about the teaching of Scripture in relation to its 
proper object. It possesses a spiritual vitality, and a moral certi-> 
tude and force, to which there is nothing to be compared. Nowhere 
is its precision and force so well described as in tne record itself : 
* The word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than any two- 
edged sword, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, 
and of the joints and marrow, and is a discemer of the thoughts 
and intents of the heart.' In their entire bearing, the Scriptures 
go to secure the highest order of harmony ; but it is b^ commu- 
nicating an identity of spiritual light and moral emotion. The 
image of God is impressed on the soul, and induces not an intel- 
lectual but a moral correspondence. ^ As in water face answereth 
to face, so doth the heart of man to man.' Uniformity of opinion 
was not enforced by apostolic autliority, nor secured by apostolic 
teaching. It was not even aimed at. Matters of opinion were left 
to individual persuasion, as matters of expediency were to indi- 
vidual option : * Let every one be fully persuaded in his own mind.' 
It is far otherwise in regard to matters of duty and faith ; no room 
for doubt or uncertainty is left in anything that has a vital bearing 


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58 On the Relatian of Scripture to Human Inquiry. [July, 

on these ; the law is conspicuouB and decifflve, * that he may run 
who readeth.' And then, though not the primary object of divine 
teaching, the, in reality, most effectiye course is taken to secure 
substantial harmony oi opinion in all ingenuous teachable minds. 
All the emotions appropriate to the spiritual life are stirred and 
kept aliye by a few great fects bearing the fullest attestation. Of 
these the great fact that ^ Christ died for our sins' stands like the 
sun in the centre, which, once revealed in its glory, irradiates the 
whole system. Accordingly we find the theology of the apostles 
projected from the cross ; and the divine scheme can only be seen 
m its full and relative proportions from the point whence it radiates. 
Delivered under the light of the Divine Sacrifice, it \b never abstract, 
never addressed to the intellect primarily, but to the rational soul, 
the centre and seat of the moral emotions. There quickened and 
stimulated by the entire teaching of Scripture, faith works by love, 
and through it reaches a substantial harmony, both subjective and 
objective. It is also worthy of being noted in this connection, that 
the teaching of Scripture is prevailingly in contact with social life. 
The discourses of Christ were addre^d to audiences drawn from 
and living in the society around him ; the greater part of the 
apostolic teaching was addressed in familiar letters to bodies of 
Christians, or to individuals sustaining the most important social 
and officifid relations. In each case me teaching was practical, 
bearing constantly on faith and duty. Replenished throughout 
the Scriptures are with the most momentous truth, but it is truth 
not of theory, but of obligation. It never terminates in making us 
think right, but passes on directly to the seat of responsibility, in 
order to make us feel risht and do right. When this is secured, 
there is small danger to oe apprehended from diversity of opinion ; 
and if this is missed, what is uniformity worth, though centring in 
the purest scheme of orthodoxy ever devised. 

All the great purposes of revelation might have been secured 
though theology as a science had never been developed, as they 
have been in myriads of redeemed and purified spirits who were 
never capable of taking it up as such. Philosophy is a want not 
of the moral but of the intellectual being, and tms bein^ has in 
every age remained dormant or undeveloped in the majority of 
the race. The speculative craving possesses but a small minority, 
thouffh in that minority it operates with the force of destiny, 
impelling them in the search axter * the reason of things.' But to 
emoody the fruits of the exercise of this temperament in a dog- 
matic torm, and constructing a detailed system of doctrinal results 
and checks, to demand its reception of all, as the embodiment of 
Scripture saving truth ; what course could betray a creater 
ignorance of human nature, or greater inattention to Divine 
procedure and example ? 

) THE 

Digitized by 


1848.] ( 59 ) 


By The Editor. 

Seeing how manifestly the Psalms of Dayid are the outpourings 
of the writer's heart, and how numerous are the allusions to his 
experiences and his circumstances which they afford, it has often 
surprised us how little they hare been used to illustrate his cha- 
. racter and history. Most judgments concerning him are deriyed 
entirely from the circumstances of his career which the history 
records, and little, if any, use has been made of those beautiAiI 
compositions in wldch he unfolds his whole heart and character to 
us, so that we may read it Uke a book. It is also very safe to say 
that if the history of David had not been recorded in the books of 
Samuel and Chronicles, the substance of it might be collected 
from the Psalms alone, with the addition of many circumstances 
which the history does not embrace. We have of late years been 
furnished with very ample and interesting bio^aphies of old poets 
and historians, founded on hi scantier materials than the Psalms 
afford concerning Darid. 

It is with the hope of illustratinff our meaning, rather than with 
the intention of supplying the deficiency thus indicated, that we 
here purpose to inquire what information concerning the youth of 
David, and the growth of his character, may be derived from his 
Psalms. We oiose this period for two reasons — ^because it is 
the period in which the historical information and the biographies 
founded upon it are most deficient ; and because, if it be true that 
* the child is father of the man,' this part of David's career is of 
importance, from the. interest we naturally feel in tracing the 
formation or early developments of one of the most remamible 
characters that any age has produced. 

We know, historically, that David was the son of a native of 
Bethlehem, named Jesse, and that this Jesse was a descendant 
from that seemingly wealthy Bethlehemite named Boaz, who 
figures in the history of Ruth. At the first riew it might seem 
that Jesse was the heritor of his wealth, and representative of 
the eldest branch of his descendants. But this is by no means 
clear from the known facts, as the genealogv of Jesse is mven 
merely for the sake of indicating the line dr descent whicn in 
the person of David was rendered royal, and ultimately became 


Digitized by 


60 * The Youth of David, [July, 

Messianic. Jesse might be of a younger branch in the descent 
from Boaz, and if he represented the eldest, the manner in 
which landed heritages were divided among children with the 
Hebrews, renders it unlikely that Jesse possessed the entire 
heritage of Boaz. llie matter is of some interest, as the 
recorded &cts and the intimations in the Psalms do not seem 
to be in accordance with the prevailing impression on the 
subject. It appears to us that Jesse was rather a poor than a 
rich man — ^not m abject poverty, certainly, but not in such circum- 
stances as to be able to keep his family entirely free fi^m 

It is important to observe that Jesse appears before us not, 
like Boaz, as a considerable landowner, but as a sheep-master, 
and that not of extensive flocks, but of a few sheep or a small 
flock, for which the care of his youngest son sufficed. This son 
was David. 

It will be remembered that when Samuel went to Bethlehem to 
anoint one of Jesse's sons, and all the elder sons passed before 
him, this youngest was not thought of by his fisither or brothers 
as having anything to do in such a matter, until the prophet 
pointedly asked Jesse whether these were all his childi^n, and 
then Jesse answered, 'there remaineth yet the youngest, and, 
behold, he keepeth the sheep' (1 Sam. xvi. 11), which seems 
clearly to imply that they were his sole charge. And this is con- 
firmed by what happened when David was sent to the camp of 
Saul by his father to inquire after his three eldest brethren, who 
were there with the army. On tliat occasion * David rose up 
early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper ' (1 Sam. 
xvii. 20), not with any of the three brothers who still remained 
at Bethlehem, or who, at least, were not with the army ; and the 
manner in which this is mentioned, seems to show that the keeper 
was specially employed for the occasion, and was not one who 
had ordinarily any charge of the flock. This interpretation is 
corroborated by the surprise expressed by the elder brother 
Eliab on his arrival, as to what would be done with the sheep in 
his absence, — * With whom hast thou left those few sheep in the 
wilderness T (1 Sam. xvii. 28). Had there been any other keeper 
than David, it would have been known or guessed that the sheep 
had been left in his charge during an absence intended to be 
short, and the question would have been superfluous. 

It appears, therefore, that Jesse's flock was small, as, indeed, 
Eliab expressly says ; and that David had the full charge of it. 
And by showing tne comparative humbleness of Jesse's circum- 
stances, a new and interesting light may be thrown upon those 
passages in which David, from his subsequent elevation, looks 


Digitized by 


1848.J illustrated from the Psalms. 61 

back upon the state from which he was taken ; as well upon those 
in whicn he speaks, probably from experience, of the exigencies 
and oppressions of the poor; and not less upon the allusions 
which are found to pastoral afiairs, for the position was one re- 
quiring much labour and constant vigilance, and was very different 
from Siat of a vounff master superintending and directing his 
father's shepherds. We may also trace the influence of these 
circumstances upon the views which the Psalmist often takes of 
the course of human life, and the contrasts which • he delights to 
draw between the hopes of the poor but righteous man, and the 
flourishing but evanescent prosperity of the wicked. 

It will be observed that the general tenor of the quotations we 
shall have to produce, sustain these impressions. Most of them 
are wanted in illustration of other points ; and, to avoid repetition, 
are not here produced for remark on this subject separately. We 
may, however, cite the following — ^not as bemg the strongest, but 
as best suited for separate production : — 

' Who is like the Lord our God, 
Who dwelleth on high ; 
Who humbleth himself to behold 
The things that are in the heaven and in the earth ? 
He raised up the poor out of the dust, 
And lifteth the needy out of the dunghill ; 
That he may set him with princes. 
Even with the princes of his people.' — ^Ps. cxiii. 5-8. 

* He chose David also his servant. 
And took him from the sheepfolds: 
From following the ewes great with young. 
He brought him to feed Jacob his people. 
And Israel his inheritance.' — Ps. Ixxviii. 70, 71. 

There is strong reason to suspect that David did not experience 
much kind treatment in his family. It is usual for a man to 
cherish, like Jacob, the son of his old age, and to prize him above 
his other children, especially when the lad is handsome, as we 
know was the case with David. Yet no act of tenderness or care, 
or even of appreciation, on the part of Jesse, appears in the history, 
under circumstances which might have seemed to reqidre his 
paternal kindness, and in which it would probably have been 
mentioned if it had been rendered. That Jesse did not produce 
David among his other sons before Samuel, and the slight way in 
which he at length, on being questioned, mentions the youngest 
who was away with the sheep, are suggestive circumstances. 
When Jesse sent David to the camp of Israel, there was nothing 
in it of regard to him, but for flie sons who were with the army, 


Digitized by 


68 77W Vcuih of Davids [July, 

to whom he wkhed to aend proYifflonSy and of whose welfare he 
desired to be assured. The only other circumstaQoe in which 
Jesse and his son are moitioned together is, that David, in the 
time of his trouble from the persecutionB of Saul, took his parents 
to the land of Moab for safety, showing that whateyer had been 
the treatment he had received, or rather, perhapa, whatever had been 
the neglect to which he had been subjected, he, on his part, was 
not unmindful of his filial duties. In corroboration of the im* 
mession which we have stated, it may be noted that in the Psalms 
David nowhere mentions his father but once, and that once in 
such a way as to sanction the impression we have been led to 
entertain. Taking this as a case of omission merely, it is of itself 
singularly su^estive in the case of one of so loving a temper as 
David, so susceptible of kindness, and so keenly alive as he was 
to all the tender influences of the paternal relation. When there 
is so much allusion in the Psalms to the unkindness and neglect 
of those nearest to him, and of the ingratitude of those he 
cherished, we may conceive the peculiar satisfaction which he 
would have felt in referring to the comfort he had found in his 
father's tenderness, had there been ground on which he could 
do so. 

The single passage of the Psalms in which David mentions his 
father is tms : — 

* When my father and mother fonake me, 
Then the Lord will take me up.' — ^Fs. xzvii. 10. 

It has been remarked that the hypothetical form ^ven to this 
verse in the Authorized Translation is not in accordance with the 
original, which would be better rendered, 

' For my father and mother have forsaken me, 
But the Lord will take me up/ 

Although this may seem to have special reference to the time 
when £e mad jealousy of Saul exposed all who belonged to 
David to trouble on his account (as is indicated by a rerage in 
the land of Moab being eventually necessary), and when he pro- 
bably had to endure many cruel reflections and hard speeches 
from them, yet it may seem, in connection with what has been 
already produced, to show that David was not, in his youth, blessed 
in any eminent degree with the comfort of a father s love. It is 
willingly granted uiat this passage taken by itself does not prove 
this ; but when taken with passages of a corresponding tendency, 
it does as to the father ; but it does not as to tne mouier, seeins 
that she is elsewhere mentioned by the son with kindness and 
respect That he does in such terms mention her and not his 
&ther, is a further corroboration of the conjecture we have 


Digitized by 


1848.] ittustraiedjram the Psalms. 63 

bazarded with respect to Jesse's want of strong affection towards 
his son. The passage shows, however, that on the occasion to 
which the text has reference, even the mother, habitually kind 
and good as she seems to have been, shared in the alienation from 
that seemingly unfortunate son who had brought so many troubles 
upon his fawer's house. With her it could bsLYe been but a tem- 
porary and anomalous state of feeling, if we rightly interpret the 
intimations ; but with the fistther, if the intimations concenung him 
have been rightly understood, this state of feeling was in accord* 
ance with his habitual temper towards his sou. 

Even with respect to the mother the allusions are not yery dis- 
tinct, and are certainly very different from the warmth of language 
in which Solomon speaks of himself as ' tender and only beloyed 
in tiie sight of his motiier ' (Proy. iy. 3) ; but the impression they 
make upon the mind is, that she was a good and pious woman, 
who broi^ht up her son in the nurture and admonition of the 
Lord. Ine yerses are only these : — 

^ Give thy strength unto thy servant, 

And save the son of thine handmaid.' — ^Ps. Ixxxvi. 16. 
* O Lord, truly I am thy servant : 

I am thy servant, and the.8<Hi of thine handmaid : 

Thou hist loosed my bonds.'— Fs, cxvi. 16. 

That David was not a fevourite with his stalwart brothers is 
clear enough. Nothing can be more indicative of this than, the 
disagreeable huffish numner in which the eldest of them attempts 
to t^e him down when he hears him asking questions about me 
state of afiairs, and the terms of the proposed reward, before he 
undertook the combat with Goliah: — 'why earnest thou down 
hither ? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wil- 
derness ? I know thy pride and the naughtiness of thine heart ; 
for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle ' (1 Sam. 
xvii. 28). It will be seen that these words are not such as express 
a merely temporary irritation, but indicate an habitual dislike to, or 
at least an habitual misappreciation of, his youngest brother. We 
ought, however, to take particular notice of them, because they may 
enable us to form some notion of the qualities which, during those 
youthful days, seemed in the eyes of jealous observers to dis- 
tinguish his character — ^for a common knowledge of human nature 
wiU suffice to reveal to us what those qualities really were which 
were liable to be misconstrued by such observers. K we revert 
for a moment to the case of Joseph, we shall see that his brethren 
hated him, first, as his father^s favourite, and, secondly, and still 
more, * because of his dreams,' which led him to believe that great 
distinctions and superiority over them awaited his future life. 


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64 The Youth of David, [July, 

Dayid's brethren had not, we judge, the first of these causes for 
their dislike of David ; but ijliey bad something like the second. 
The characteristic which seemed to them to distinguish him, and 
with which they were most ofiended, seemed to them his * pride/ 
This is a large word in its Scriptural use. The original word T^'Tt 

zddoTiy comes from a root which signifies * to boil,* or * to boil 
over,' as water ; and it signifies pride, arrogance, or haughtiness, 
not concentrated, but ebullient, and theretore manifested in the 
habitual tone of expression and ideas. We shall see presently 
from the Psalms, that David did entertain strong impressions that 
he was a special object of the Divine attention, and tnat the Lord, 
who was for a refuge to his thoughts in all the crosses from which 
even his early life was not free, had high destinies in store for 
him. And if he expressed these convictions and sentiments in 
the poetical compositions of his youth, as he did in the Psalms, 
some of which were in all likelihood substantially the produc- 
tions of that period, it is easy to see how this would be set down 
to an overweening pride. It is not necessary to suppose that any 
divine intimation was conveyed to him on this point, previous to 
his anointing by Samuel. The kindlings of an ardent tempera- 
ment, the internal consciousness of capacities for greater deeds 
and for higher duties than those whicn now devolve upon him, 
and the conviction that the Lord is able, as he often has done, 
to call into the proper sphere of action the gifts he has bestowed, 
are (juite sufficient to produce this result upon a man's mind ; 
and if he be a young man, he is as little likely as David to leave 
these conrictions and impressions undisclosed. It is just thus in 
ordinary hfe ; and until such aspirations are fulfilled, he who is 
imprudent enough to give utterance to them, is as likely as David 
to be set down, even by his brfethren — and, indeed, perhaps more 
by his brethren than by others — as an arrogant fellow, devoured 
by self-esteem and pride of heart. If his aspirations are realized, 
then, of course, the case is altered, and he obtains credit for the 
vaticinations which brought derision or dislike upon him at the 
time they were uttered. There are passages in the Psalms which 
may be regarded as a protest against these misinterpretations of 
his character. See, for instance, Ps. cxxxi. 1 : — . 

' Lord, my heart is not haughty. 
Nor mine eyes lofty ; 

Neither do I exercise myself in great matters, 
Nor in things too high for me.* 

In returning again to the words of Eliab, it is observable that 
he manifestly regards the journey of David to the camp with 
provisions merely as a cover for his real object, which was * to see 


Digitized by 


1848.] illustrated from tfie Psalms. 65 

the battle.' Such an idea could not have occurred to him, had 
not the warlike tastes of David already been well known to his 
£stmily. It is more than probable, from this and other circum- 
stances, that he had ardently wished to job the army in the first 
instance with his brothers, but had not been allowed by his 
friends to do so. But this is hardly sufficient to account for the 
expressions of Eliab, which must have been founded on wider ex- 
perience ; and to those who have studied the character of David, 
it will appear almost certain that he had often been led to speak 
of his desire to see Israel rid of the oppressors who had laid her 
honour in the dust, and of his hope to take some part in the great 
work of rending the Philistine yoxe from her fair neck. 

In connection with these circumstances it is interesting to note 
that none of the ax brothers of David are mentioned in his sub- 
sequent history, when he became king, and had the means of 
advancing them to honourable stations, and was encaged in great 
enterprises which ^ve him need for all the faithlul services he 
could command. This is the more remarkable, as the sons of 
Zeruiah his sister, Joab, Abishai, and Amasa, were much attached 
to his person and service, and the first of them obtained the chief 
military command, and rose to be virtually the second man in the 
state. This shows that David would not have been unwilling to 
advance his near relations to the high places of his kingdom ; and 
fi*om these facts, taken together, we may learn that the early 
alienation between him and his brothers was never wholly re- 
moved. That this was felt and lamented by him is clear from 
Ps. Ixix. 8 :— 

' I am become a stranger unto my brethren, 
And an alien unto my mother's children.' 

This last clause is important and emphatic. But for it, we might 
be uncertain whether David might not have been the son of Jesse 
by a later wife than she who gave birth to his elder sons ; or, from 
the existence of polygamy amon^ the Israelites, whether he might 
have been the child of another wife, while the mother of the others 
still lived. In either case, the frequent jealousies between step- 
brothers, and in the latter the heart-burnings between the difiTerent 
mothers, imparted to their children, would have rendered the 
alienation between David and his brothers but too much in the 
course of nature. But we see that they were his own full 
brothers, the sons of his own mother ; which rendered this aliena- 
tion the more deplorable in itself and the more grievous to 
David's affectionate heart 

And were, then, all the children of his father's house averse to . 
him ? Was there not one loving heart in which he could trust, 

VOL. II. — NO. III. F and 

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66 The Youth of David, [July, 

and to which he oould confide his hopes and his fears ? It is 
pleasant to think that there proHably was at least one. The 
marked manner in which his sister Zeruiah is mentioned by name, 
and the zeal with which her gallant sons devoted themselves to 
the cause of David, and shared his trials and his triumphs, may 
be regarded as forming a strong probabilibr that she at least re- 
garded her ardent, pious, accomplished, brave, and handsome 
young brother with true womanly sympathy and admiration, and 
bestowed upon him the rich encouragements of a sister's love. 

Precious as this must have been to him, it was not sufficient to 
remove those feelings of heart-loneliness and isolation from right- 
ful sympathies, in which he seems to have grown up. For this 
we can easily account by remembering that Zeruiah's eldest son 
Joab does not seem to have been much younger than David him- 
self ; she therefore must have been considerably older than her 
youngest brother, and being married away, was not a member of 
the same family during the season of David's youth, if she was 
such during his early childhood. There was therefore wanting in 
this relation, however kind, that sustaining character which is im- 
parted by the living presence of, and daily intercourse with, one of 
whose sympathies and appreciation we are assured. 

When David was brought into that sphere of action which 
afibrded to all the fine qualities of his character their proper de- 
velopment, in the presence of men capable of appreciating them, 
he won the love of many Mends ; and indeed, by bis hearmdness, 
exercised a kind of charm upon most of those who came within 
the circle of his personal influence. But there is reason to think 
that this was not the case when he was at home, among the vil- 
lagers of Bethlehem, who, if we interpret rightly the allusions in 
the Psalms, were incapable of appreciating the noble aspirations 
of David, his fine tastes, his elevating sentiments, his love to God 
and dependence upon Him, his admiration of the Divine law, and 
his realized experiences in the past history of the Hebrew people ; 
nor is it clear that they understood the power of his verse, or were 
even subject to the diarms of his harp, of which instrument he 
seems to have early made himself a master. It has alwajrs been 
true, more or less, that * a prophet hath no honour in his own 
country, and among those of his own house ;' and the same den- 
blindness which prevented the people of Nazareth fi'om seeing 
more than ^the carpenter's son' in the Lord Jesus, who had 
had grown up under their eyes, doubtless indisposed the Beth- 
lehemites to discover or recognise the germs of the kin^, the 
conqueror, the poet, ' the man after God's own heart,' in the 
shepherd boy of their own village. We may be sure that many 
contemned him as an idle visionary, many pointed the finger of 


Digitized by 


1848.] illustrated from the Psalms. 67 

scorn at hiin as one disposed to meddle with matters beyond his 
sphere, and that many, with boorish stupidity, hated him for the 
MUiant qualities which they could not understand or emulate. 
Birds of this feather soon grow too large for their own nest, and 
they are either chased away, or of their own accord depart fiiom 
the restaraining influences which prevent them from freely 'preening' 
their plumage, and from spreadm^ their wings even to ' the gates 
of light' From the analogies of human nature, as well as fit>m 
that OYer-eacemess to visit the camp which the known temper of 
David led Efiab to ascribe to him, there can be no doubt that the 
son of Jesse hailed with joy the day when the mandate of the king 
withdrew him bom his native place, and introduced him to the 
society of like-minded men. 

The circumstances which surrounded the youth of David doubts 
less tended to strengthen his intercourse with heaven. The less 
he had of human symnathjr to rely upon, the greater was the 
earnestness of heart witn which he threw all his hopes upon God. 
God was his father, God was his friend; God understood him, 
pitied him, cared for him, loved him ; and God would in due time 
vindicate his servant's trust and confidence. 

Let us turn to the Psalms, and trace some of the indications 
upon which these conclusions are founded. It is not necessary to 
confine ourselves to the Psalms which may be supposed to belong 
to the earlier portion of his life, for such of them, wherever com- 
posed, as do not distinctly refer to particular incidents of his 
later life, and even many of those that do, embody or indicate 
habits of tiiought and feeling which must equally have belonged 
to his youth, and were then probably in their utmost strength and 
vigour. Indeed, much that a man writes or utters in middle life 
and old luze is reflected frx>m the experiences of his youth, and form 
images of the thoughts which filled the mind, and of the emotions 
which engaged the neart when life was new. Much of one's life 
is spent in keeping alive, or in entombing with monumental 
honours, the feehngs and the thoughts of his early da^. We 
shall not therefore pause in every instance nicely to consider the 
time when this or msX Psalm fr^om which we quote was composed, 
though we shall endeavour as &r as possible to keep to what ap- 
pears fiiom certain indications to belong to or to refer back to the 
early period of David's life. 

' The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, 
A refrige in times of trouble. 

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee : 
For thou. Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.' — ^ix. 8, 9. 

The feeling here indicated that the Lord would always be 

F 2 found 

Digitized by 


68 The VoiUh of David, [July, 

found of those that sought him — ^that he would not &il, eyen for 
his own sake, to justify the confidence reposed in his protection, 
and that he would never forsake any that trusted in mm, occurs 
times witiiout number in the Psalms, and by showing the fixed 
habit of David's mind, discloses to us the secret of his spiritual 
strength. It was faith. But for this sustaining influence he could 
never have sustained the inner and outer trials to which his life 
had been exposed. 

' I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord 
In the land of the living. 
Wait on the Lord ; 

Be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart : 
Wait, I say, on the Lord.' — xxvii. 13, 14. 

^ The Lord is my strength and my shield : 
My heart trusted in hun, and I am helped ; 
Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, 
And with my song will I praise him.' — xxviii. 7. 

< Oh how great is thy goodness 
Which thou hast kud up for those that fear thee ; 
YHiich thou hast prepared for them that trust in thee. 
Before the sons of men. 

Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence. 
From the pride of man ; 
Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion, 
From the strife of tongues. 
Blessed be the Lord : 
For he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness, (as) in a strong 

For I said in my haste, 
I am cut off from before thine eyes : 
Nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplication, 
When I cried unto thee. 
O love the Lord, ye his saints : 
For the Lord preserveth the fidthful. 
And plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. 
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, 
All ye that hope in the Lord.'— xxxi. 19-24. 

' Thou art my hiding place ; 
Thou shalt preserve me from trouble ; 
Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. 
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked. 

But he who trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.' 

xxxii. 7, 10. 

* Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him. 
Upon them that hope in his mercy.' — xxxiii. 18. 

* I sought 

Digitized by 


1848.] illustrated Jrom the Psalms. 69 

' I sought the Lord, and he heard me. 
And delivered me from all my fears. 
They looked unto him and were lightened ; 
And their faces were not ashamed. 
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, 
And saved him out of all his troubles. 

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, 
And deuvereth them. 
O taste and see that the Lord is good : 
Blessed is the man that trusteth in him. 

fear the Lord, ye his saints ; 

For there is no want to them that fear him. 

The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, 

But they that fear the Lord shall want no good thing. 

The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, 

And his ears are open to their cry. 

The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants ; 

And none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.' — 

xxxiv. 4-10, 15, 22. 

But a life of faith is a life of patient waiting for the Lord's 
own time and mode of deliverance and action. We are not only 
to trust to his care, but to believe that his care will be exem- 
plified in the best time, and in the best way, David knew this. 

< I waited patiently for the Lord, 
And he inclined unto me and heard my cry. 
He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, 
Out of the miry clay. 
And set my feet upon a rock^ 
And established my goings. 
And he hath pu( a new song in my mouth, 
Even praise unto our God : 
Many shall see it, and fear, and trust in the Lord. 
Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust : 
And respecteth not the proud. 
Nor such as turn aside to lies. 

Many, O Lord, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, 
And thy thoughts which are to us-ward : 
Thgr cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee : 
If I should declare and speak of them, 
Thev are more than can be numbered. 

1 ddight to do thy will, O my God : 
Yea, thv law is within my heart. 

Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord : 

Let thy loving-kindness and thy truth continually preserve me. 

I am poor and needy. 

Yet the Lord thinketh upon me : 

Thou art my help and my deliverer, 

Make no tarrying, O my God.'— xl. 1-5, 8, 11, 17. 


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70 The Youth of David, [July, 

The fifty-sixth Psalm, to which we now torn, belonffs appa- 
rently, as the title states, to the commencing ^period of David's 
wandering from the wradi of Saul, but it abounds in phrases 
which mark the habitual state of feeling in the writer ; such as 
these : — 

< What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. 
In God I will praise his word ; 
In God I have put my trust : 
I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. 
Thou tellest my wanderings, 
Put thou my tears into thy bottle : 
Are they not in thy book r 

When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back. 
This I know : for God is for me.'— -Ivi. 8, 4, 8, 9. 

The reader is aware that the Psalms abound in passages of 
this tendency. We have not room for a third of toose which 
we had marked for quotation, but cannot forbear to add a few 
more : — 

* My soul, wait then only upon God, 
For my expectation is from him. 
He only is my rock, and my salvation. 
He is my defence; I shall not be moved. 
In God is my salvation and my glory : 
The rock of my strength and my refuge is in God. 
Trust in him at all times, ye people, 
Pour out your heart before him ; 
God is a refuge for us.' — ^Ixii. 5-7. 

^ The Lord God is a sun and a shield : 
The Lord will give grace and glory : 
No good thing will he withhold 
From them that walk uprightly. 
O Lord of hosts. 
Blessed is the man that trusteth in thee,' — Ixxxiv. 11, 12. 

^ Unless the Lord had been my help, 
My soul had almost dwelt in silence. 
TVlien I said, My foot slippeth ; 
Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.* — xciv. 17, 18. 

^ Like as a father pitieth his children. 
So the Lord pitie^ them that fear him.' — dii. 18. 

' I love the Lord, 

Because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. 
Because he hath inclined his ear unto me. 
Therefore will I ciJl upon him as long as I live. 


Digitized by 


1848.] illustrated from the Psalms. 71 

The Lord preaenreth the simple : 

I was brought low and he helped me. 

Return unto thy rest, O my soul, 

For the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.' — cxvi. 1, 2, 6, 7. 

< Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly, 
But the proud he knoweth aftr off. 

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me : 
Thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine 

And thy right hand shall save me. 
The Lord will perfect that which concemeth me.' — 

cxxxviii. 6, 7, 8. 

It remiuos to be seen bow the same ffeneral influences are 
exhibited in the views which David took of human life and human 
character. The Mosaical system held forth the promise of tem- 
poral prosperity, as among the rewards of a godly life. Chris- 
tianity, beinff more spiritual in its sanctions, ooes not hold forth 
this expectation to the faithful. It does not promise exemption 
from trouble and severe privations ; but it teaches us to regard 
them as fatherly discipline, designed to wean us from the world, 
and to fix our affections on things above. It promises grace to 
sustain them, and to profit by them ; and it pomts to a crown of 
glory that fadeth not away, as reserved in heaven for those who 
wage life's warfare well. Nevertheless, it is true, even under the 
Christian system, that, although it does not hold forth the goods of 
this life as the objects of our hope and expectation — prosperity is, in 
a settled social system, the frequent concomitant or even result of a 
religious life ; because with the religious character is inevitably 
connected those habits of life — the sobriety, the diligence, the 
perseverance, the probity, which in every well-ordered state 
conduce to temporal prosperity and success. The phenomenon 
which presented itself to ttie view of David in ^ contemplation 
of human life, and which most exerdsed his mind, was, that the 
righteous were often cast down and afflicted, while the proud and 
the wicked were often seen to be prosperous and happy. He 
admits, and confesses, that this tried his thoughts greatly ; but 
the conclusion to which he was led was, that the proM>erity of 
the wicked was all a vain show. There was nothinff real or sub- 
stantial in it, nor had it any permanence ; it passed away like a 
vapour, and became as a thing that had not been. But the 
afloictions of the righteous were not inconsistent with happiness 
so long as they trusted in God, and their desolations were sure to 
be in the long run turned into prosperity, and their sorrow into 
praise and joy. 

The Psalms which embody these general surveys of human 


Digitized by 


72 The Youth of Damd, [July, 

life, and the course of Divine Providence, are very remarkable, 
and in general engage the special attention of the most cursory 
readers. There are few of them which contain any allusion to 
the circumstances of the author's historical life, and tnere is much 
in them to suggest that, whenever set forth, they are substantially 
founded upon the meditations of his early years. We may direct 
particular attention to the thirty-seventh Psalm, vrfaich but for one 
verse, which beautifully connects his early and late experiences, 
contains nothing to suggest that it was not the result of his 
youthful thoughts. We must quote a few verses from it. The 
writer thus enjoins the righteous to abstain from fretfulness at 
the temporary prosperity of the wicked, but patiently to abide 
the course of the divine dispensations, by which they shall witness 
the full and satisfisictory development of God's dealings vdth 
mankind : — 

* Fret not thyself because of evil doers, 
Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, 
And wither as the green herb. 
Trust in the Lord, and do good : 
So shalt thou dwell in the land. 
And verily thou shalt be fed. 
Delight thyself also in the Lord ; 
And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 
Commit thy way unto the Lord ; 
Trust also in him ; and he shall bring it to pass : 
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, 
And thy judgment as the noonday. 
Best in the Lord, and wait patiently for him ; 
Fret not thyself because of him that prospereth in his way.' — 

zzzvii. 1-7. 

Here, speaking frx)m his own experience — the experience of a 
justified confidence — ^David expresses with great force the advan- 
tage and privilege of that unhesitating reliance upon the divine 
appointments, which had formed the charm and glory of his own 
career. After urging this great lesson further, and insisting upon 
the unsubstantial character of ungodly prosperity, he returns to 
the ideas which delight him most : — 

^ The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, 
And he delighteth in his way. 
Though he fill, he shall not be utterly cast down, 
For the Lord upholdeth him with hb hand. 
I have been young, and now am old ; 
Tet have I not seen the righteous forsaken. 
Nor. his seed begging bread.' — xxxvii. 23-26. 


Digitized by 


1848.] illustmiedfrom the Psalms. 73 

After more in this strain, the Psalmist comes forth with this 
noble image : — 

< I have seen the wicked in great power, 
And spreading himself like a green hay-tree : 
Tet he passed away : and, lo, he was not : 
Tea, I sought him, but he could not be found.' — 

xxxvii. 36, 36. 

Views of this kind resulted necessarily in that strong contempt 
for the prosperity of the worldlings, wmch he forcibly expresses 
in Psalm xlix. and elsewhere. He returns the scorn with which 
they regarded the unprosperous with a greater scorn — 

' That scorn of fools, which fools mbtake for pride ;* 


and all men were fools in his eyes, who made not God their 

In one very striking Psalm, the seventy-third, the Psalmist 
traces the course of one of ' those presumptuous sins,' of a tendency 
to which he was well aware, and against which he has left more than 
one prayer on record.* Here he acknowledges — 

* I was envious at the foolish, 

When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 

They are not in trouble as other men. 

Neither are they plagued like other men.' — ^Ixxiii. 3, 5. 

After ftuilier characterizing them, he adds : — 

* Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world : 
They increase in riches.' 

This leads to the thought, what avail righteousness and 
humiliation if the ungodly thus prosper, while tne upright suffer 
affliction and contempt ? 

* Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain. 
And washed my hands in innocency. 
For all the day long have I been plagued. 
And chastened every moment.' 

• It IB true that this U one of the PSalms ascribed to A8a|>h in the tide. Bat the 
titles of Uie Psalms are of no canonical authority, and it is certain that many of 
them are misapplied. This is particolariy the case with several of the twelve 
Psalms ascribed to Asaj^h, which are Jndgeid from internal evidence not even to 
belong to the age in which he lived. We cannot now enter into this question ; but 
it appears to va that the present Psalm is entirely Davidic in its character, style, 
and sentiments ; and this is also the case with the one quoted below (the 78th) as 
David's, although the title ascribes it to Asaph. 


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74 T/ie Youth of Batnd^ [July, 

He was at first baffled in attempt to solve this great mystery : — 

* When I thought to know this, 
It was too painful for me.' 

That is, it was too difficult, too arduous, for him to penetrate ; but 

* When I went into the sanctuary of God, 
Then understood I their end.' 

By this he intimates, that the matter being inscrutable to his 
understanding, he laid it in prayer before God, and then received 
such enlightenment, that he is filled with compunction at his pre- 
vious doubts and misgivings ; — 

' Thus my heart was grieved, 
And I was pricked in my reins. 
So foolish was I, and ignorant ; 
I was as a beast before thee.' 

But he takes comfort : — 

^ Nevertheless, I am continually with thee : 
Thou bast holden me by my right hand. 
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, 
And afterward receive me to glory. 
Whom have I in heaven but thee ? 
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. 
My flesh and my heart Mleth, 
But God is the strength of my heart, 
And my portion for ever.' — Ixxiii. 23-26. 

This Psalm, if it was not composed in early life, has all the 
characters of a retrospective glance to that period when the writer's 
mind was most subject to such exercises. It was surely not left 
for him to learn late in life, the lesson which was thus tau^t to 

It is one of the favourite emplovments of youth — that period 
so scant of experience, but so plentiful in hope — to picture forth 
the course of the life before us, and to resolve upon the manner 
of our conduct under the circumstances which we imagine to be 
in store for us. How seldom real life ofiers the circumstances 
which youth has imagined, need not here be told ; and the cir- 
cumstances which actually arise — the various antagonist influences 
which inexperience cannot take into the account, often render the 
actual conduct in life woftdly difierent firom, and infinitely short of, 
the purposes of our ^outli. Still these purposes are facts. When 
the mind is ft^ee to ima^e and to purpose what seems best to it, 
that which it does imagme and puipose, is indicative of its cha- 
racter and condition. We think we have seen that David had 


Digitized by 


1848.] illustrated from the Psalms, 75 

early impreseioDS that a high and glorious career awaited him : 
and if he had not, there was an interval, be it short or long, in 
which royal destinies became assured to him by the anointing of 
Samuel, without producing any present change in his condition. 
This interval, or that period, could not but be filled with resolu- 
tions and plans as to nis future conduct, under the circumstances 
which he viewed m the distance ; and we think we can trace them 
in the 101st Psahn. It seems to us to belong, either in fact or 
retrospectively, to this period ; for in later life many sorrowful 
ezpenences must have taught him the difficulty of giving full 
e£kct to such purposes, and the buoyant expressions of resolute 
will, must have been, after such experience, toned down by the 
consciousness of many fedlures and of much abortive effort. In 
the point of view which has been taken, the Psalm is uncommonly 
interesting : — 

' I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. 

I when wilt thou come unto me ? 

1 will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes : 

I hate the work of them that turn aside. 

It shall not cleave unto me. 

A froward heart shall depart from me ; 

I will not know a wicked person. 

Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: 

Him that hath a proud heart and high look will I not suffer. 

Mine eyes shall be upon the ftithful of the land, that they may 

dwell with me. 
He that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. 
He that worketh deceit shall not dwell in my house : 
He that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. 
I will early destroy all the wicked of the land, 
That I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord.' 

How far David was able to effect these purposes, and how far 
he found obstacles to their full accomplishment, the second book 
of Samuel may enable us to guess ; but there is no doubt that his 
public conduct was substanti^ly regulated by the principles which 
these purposes indicate. 

To a young man the means of instruction and materials for re- 
flection are furnished by observations on human life and character, 
by the associations suggested by the phenomena of nature and the 
characteristics of animal and vegetable life, by the conversation 
or instruction of others, by sdf-contemplation, by meditation 
on God's dealing with man, and by reading. On most of 
these points, in illustration of the youth of David, we have 
touched. iWt he was a keen and careful observer of nature, 


Digitized by 


76 The Youth of David, [July, 

and was in the habit of drawing instruction from all that 
passed before his eyes, and that bis observations supplied the 
numerous notices of, and images drawn from, the phenomena of 
nature, and from pastoral and rural life, which enliven his writings, 
it will be our pleasant task to show on some future occasion. 

With respect to reading, the age of David was not a reading 
age, and books of any kind must have been scarce. We cdn 
think of nothing of wnich the literature of that age may have 
consisted, save the few books of Scripture that then existed, with 
perhaps some old chronicles, and a few collections of ancient sones, 
unless the latter existed entirely in the memories of the people. 
It is clear, however, that David possessed the books of Scripture, 
and studied them deeply, till their contents were ever present to 
his mind, and formed, as it were, part of it. When it is cond- 
dered that the sacred books which existed in his time could by 
the most liberal calculation have been only the books of Moses, 
with those of Job, Joshua, Judges, and perhaps Ruth, forming 
not more than one-third of the sacred volume which is now in our 
hands, we cannot well help being conscience-stricken at our too 
often comparatively lukewarm emotions in presence of the sacred 
volume, in comparison with David's intense appreciation of the 
value and imnortance of a Bible which lacked the Psalms, the 
Prophets, the New Testament, and most of the historical books. 
Yet it was of such a Bible that David speaks in many elowins 
sentences, of which we can eSovA space for only a few, aU 
taken fit)m one Psalm, the 119th : — 

^ Wherewithal shall a young roan cleanse his way ? 
By taking heed thereto according to thy word. . 
With my whole heart have I sought thee : 

let me not wander from thy commandments. 
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, 

That I might not sin against thee. 

1 have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, 
As much as in all riches. 

Open thou mine eyes, 

That I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. 

I am a stranger in the earth ; 

Hide not thy commandments from me. 

Thy testimonies also are my delight, 

And my counsellors. 

I have chosen the way of truth : 

Thy judgments have I laid before me. 

I will run the way of thy commandments, 

When thou shalt enlarge my heart. 

Thy statutes have been my songs 

In the house of my pilgrimage. 


Digitized by 


1848.] illustrated from the Psalms. 77 

nnlet» thy law had been my delights, 

I should then have perishea in mine affliction. 

I will never forget thy precepts : 

For with them thou hast quickened me. 

how I love thy law ! 

It is my meditation all the day. 

Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine 

For they are ever with me. 

1 have more understanding than all my teachers, 
For thy testimonies are my meditation. 

I understand more than the ancients (elders), 

Because I keep thy precepts. 

I have refrained my feet from every evil way, 

That I may keep thy word. 

I have not departed from thy judgments, 

For thou hast taught me. 

How sweet are thy words unto my taste ! 

Tea, sweeter than honey to my mouth I 

Through thy precepts I get understanding. 

Therefore I hate every false way. 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet 

And a light unto my path. 

Thy testimonies have I taken as my heritage for ever. 

For they are the rejoicing of my heart. 

The entrance of thy words giveth light. 

It giveth understanding unto the simple. 

Thy word is very pure, 

Therefore thy servant loveth it. 

Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me, 

Tet thy commandments are my delights. 

Mine eyes prevented the night watches. 

That I might meditate in thy word.'^ 

It is easy to see from the Psalms that the historical portions of 
the Pentateuch engaged the particular attention of David. He 
had considered ana digested it well, dwelling with peculiar and 
earnest attention upon those parts which mamfested the power of 
God, and which evinced his care of, and his sreat pity for, his 
chosen people, particularly as exemplified in their deliverance from 
Egypt, and in their * march of mystery ' through the wilderness. 
A glance at a few of the Psalms will enlighten us as to his mode 
of viewing the historical portions of the existing Scriptures, and 
will indicate the kind of encouragement his mind was in the habit 
of deriving from them. 

»► Psalm cxix. 9-11, 14, 18, 19, 24, 30, 32, 64, 92, 93, 97-107, 105, 111, 129, 
140, 143, 148. 


Digitized by 


78 The Youth of Davidj [July, 

The seventy-eighth Psalm is a rapid summary of the transac- 
tions in Egypt and the wilderness, with the apparent object of 
magnifying the mercies of God, by showing that often as his 
people did turn away firom him and murmur asunst him, as often 
on their repentance was he appeased, and agam and again had 
pity upon them. After the racts are related we meet with the 
followmg striking reflections upon them : — 

^ For all this they sinned still, 
And believed not for his wondrous works. 
Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, 
And their years in trouble. 
When he slew them, then they sought him ; 
And they returned- and inquired early after God : 
And they remembered that Grod was their Rock, 
And the high God their Redeemer. 
Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, 
And they lied unto him with their tongues ; 
For their heart was not right with him. 
Neither were they stedfast in his covenant. 
But he, being full of compassion, 
Forgave their iniquity and destroyed them not : 
Yea, many a time turned he his anger away, 
And did not stir up all his wrath : 
For he remembered they were but flesh ; 
A wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.' — 

Ixxviii. 32-89. 

In the 105th Psalm is another survey of the same history, with 
a varied selection of circumstances, the object being to pomt out 
the Lord's faithfulness to the covenant which he made with Abra* 
ham, to give the land of Canaan to his seed for a possession. 
The whole history is thus viewed as a series of operations for the 
accomplishment of that promise. David seldom mentions per- 
sons in his Psalms ; but in this one he names Abraham, Isaac, 
Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron. They are all, however, but 
passingly mentioned, save one, on whose histoir he dwells for six 
verses. And who is this one ? It is no other than Joseph, whose 
Ustory presented, as we can easily see, points which must have 
been m the highest degree interesting to such a mind as David's. 
It must have ministered the highest encouragement to him in his 
youth, and must have tended in no small degree to the formation 
of that resolute confidence in the purposes of God which he so 
constantly expresses. We might be assured of this, knowing he 
possessed the history, even were the name of Joseph not to be 
found in his writings. But since it t^ found, the manner in which 
the facts struck the mind of a man like David, who must 


Digitized by 


1848.] illustrated from the Psalms. 79 

have seen in that history some analogies to his own career, be- 
comes a matter of no common interest. 

^ He sent a man before them, 
Even Joseph, who was sold for a servant : 
Whose feet they hurt with fetters : 
He was laid in iron. 
Until the time that his word came, 
The word of the Lord tried him. 
The king sent and loosed him ; 
Even the ruler of the people, and let him go free. 
He made him lord of his house, 
And ruler of all his substance ; 
To bind his princes at his pleasure, 
And teach his senators wisdom.' — cv. 17-22. 

David sees that it was God who in the course of his proyidence, 
and to work out the fulfilment of his designs, sent Joseph down 
into Egypt, where be sufiered his integrity to be exposed to many 
trials, until the appointed hour came when He, who has the hearts 
of all men and die course of all human events in his hand, 
changed the state of afiairs in a moment, causing the imprisoned 
slave to be brought forth from his dungeon, and his seat to be set 
but a little lower than the throne of kings. 

It is very certain that David must have been conversant with 
this history in his youth ; and there can be no doubt that we may 
count it among the sources of that confidence which he felt that 
God would in bis own good time relieve him also from all his 
troubles and brin^ to pass all Ins purposes concerning him. 
Hence the disposition which he manifested to aw^dt God s own 
time for the accomplishment of his promises, and his constant re- 
fusal, even when opportunities offered, to hasten the accomplish- 
ment of the great destinies which lay before him by any doubtful 
or unrighteous deed. 


Digitized by 


. ( 80 ) [July, 


By Professor Fuederick Tuch, D.D., of Leipzig. 
Traxttlated from the German by the Bev. Samuxl Davidson, LL J). 

Although it cannot escape the observation of any that the 
historical narrative in Genesis xiv., as it now lies before us, has 
been principally made use of only in so far as it tends to exalt the 
heroic spirit of Abraham, its onginal object being not to furnish 
an account of Canaanitish afiairs in relation to the inhabitants of 
the country and foreign rulers ; yet this very old historical docu- 
ment contains a number of allusions which lead us to cast a willing 
elance into a time whose memory is almoBt extinguished. U 
IS not the purport of these lines to bring them all together, after 
what we have adduced in our commentary on Genefids has received 
further confirmation, corrections, and enlargements, from Bertheau,^ 
and especially from Ewald.*" . But perhaps there still remain a 
number of questions partly relating to the geographical considera- 
tions that come before us. The discussion of tnese, and, as far 
as we are able, their solution, shall now be briefly attempted. 

K we inquire first of all into the historical event which occa- 
sioned the march of Abraham's army, it was owing to the dominion 
possessed by upper-Asiatic rulers over the five cities and the 
surrounding territories (v. 9), which they do not now acquire for 
the first time, but, according to verse 4, establish anew ; being 
thus, on the whole, a prelude to what appears in succeeding cen- 
turies in manifold ways as the common efibrt of the most cuverse 
dynasties. The fact of our finding such a state of things even at 
this ancient period cannot, however, rest on the transference of later 
occurrences to antiquity, because, on the one hand, a similar fact 
— judjge as we will regarding the Assyrian name — ^runs through 
historical tradition, when Ctesias, in Diodorus Sic, ii. 2, represents 
Ninus as subjecting to himself Egrpt, Phoenicia, Coele-Syria, &c., 
or Manetho in Josephus c. Ap. 1. 14, makes the Hykshos that 
had fled out of Egypt * for fear of the Assyrians, the rulers of 

' Translated from Heft ii. of the Zeitschrift der DeuUchen morgenlSndischen Ge- 
RelUchafty a new publication which we introduced to the reader's notice in our first 
Number. This able and elaborate paper, which throws some new light on the very 
difficult chapter of which it treats, will be of great interest to those who take plea- 
sure in the class of inquiries to which it belongs. A few unimportant notes haye 
been alone omitted by the translator. 

^ Berthean, Gegchichtt d. Israel. « Ewald, Geachichte desVolka la-., Th. I. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Jtemarks an Genens, Chapter XIV. 81 

Asia at tihat time ' entrench themselyes within a fortified city : 
while, on the other hand, the narrative itself contains particulars 
which, aereein^ well with one another, nuinifest a completely 
indiyidual relation. It is true that, as the histx>ry lies betore us 
{^ 4, sq.\ the revolt of the hitherto dependent Pentapolis is put 
into the tore-ground ; but it is eaqr to understand the reason of 
this, inasmuch as Lot, on whose captivity the whole representa- 
tion turns, had taken up his habitation in the midst of them. The 
Suestion tiien arises here, whether the afikir really concerned (mly 
lie Pentapolis. The thin^ itself, as well as the narrative, is de- 
cidedly a^unst an affirmative reply. For even if we were to pre- 
suppose that the limited tract in question presented no discoverable 
interest to rulers so fitr remote as those mentioned in v. 1 ; and 
were we to assume still further, that the wav to it had to be 
forcibly opened by the subjugation of the free innabitants of Basan, 
Gilead, and Moab Tv. 5) ; yet verses 6 and 7 annihilate every such 
assumption by the met, that the confederated troops surround the 
revolted Pentapolis, conquer the southern mountain and the wil- 
derness bordenng it on the west, and do not put to total rout, 
apparently without much trouble, the united army of the five 
cibes (v. 10), till their return (». 8, sqq.). In all this the territory 
to the west of Jordan, of whose dominion no trace can be discovered 
in the narrative, continues completely untouched both on the march 
and the return ; so that Abraham (v. 13) at Hebron, not &r dis- 
tant from the scene of war (comp. xix. 27 sq.), had first to be 
informed of what took place ; while (v. 7) tibe Amorites who 
oppose the invadine foe, certainly at the southern declivity of what 
was subsequently we mountain of Judah, where they are defeated, 
are designated Dy the addition ' that dwelt in Hazezon-tamar ' 
(comp. 2 Chron. xx. 2), as being located near the Dead Sea, and 
must therefore have been in the closest relation to the tribes on 
whom war is here made. According to this, the entire expedition 
was aimed at the great valley-depression north and south of the 
Dead Sea, or the Arabah (in the Old Testament sense), with its 
eastern mountains and western deserts, and there need scarcely be 
a dispute about the matter when we find it intimated in the course 
of the narrative, that all the tribes of that territory, which the 
same &te overtakes, stood in the same relation to those tyrants, 
and revolted fix)m them in common. 

This bein^ correctly apprehended, we are in a position to under-- 
stand the object, for which the rulers of lands so remote seized on 
the district m question. For them the rich pastures of Bashan 
and Gilead (Jer. 1. 19), or the once well watered meadows of the 
Jordan territory (Gen. xiii. 10), which might indeed have had the 
power of alluring nomades (Numb, xxxii. 1 ; Gren. xiii. 11), 
VOL. II. — NO. III. Q could 

Digitized by 


82 Remarks on Oeiiesis, Cliopter XIV. [July, 

could not possibly possess sufficient attraction to induce them 
to maintain the mastery for the sake of the locality itself, while 
the more blessed land to the west of Jordan remained un- 
heeded. Still less can we believe that the inhospitable Edomite 
mountains, the desert of deserts^ could furnish a motive strong 
enough to prompt such efforts by reason of their soil, which 
was regarded, even in the Old Testament, as unblest (Gen. 
xxvii. 39). 

If we are compelled to explain this phenomenon by other cir- 
cumstances, the true reason cannot be doubtful when we remem- 
ber, of what importance that extensive valley was at all times in 
regard to the intercourse of tribes with one another. It always 
formed (comp. Strabo xvi. 4, 18, s^.) the road marked out by 
nature itself, which, from the iElanitic gulf, divides the boundless 
wilderness watered by the Nile and Euphrates ; the medium of 
intercourse between Arabia and Damascus, to which, it is worthy 
of notice that even the allied troops smitten dv Abraham (Gen. 
xiv. 15) march back. To this may oe added, that not far from 
the soi|themmost borders of Canaan, and near the Edomite moun- 
tains, we meet with the point of intersection of the roads which 
lead from the coast of the Mediterranean to Arabia, from central 
Egjnpt to Canaan, and accordingly we find those allied warriors 
establishing themselves at this very place (v. 7). To have 
dominion over the whole of this important locality must have 
appeared of the greater consequence since, by tiie possession of it, 
the great sea of sand composing the wilderness could be converted, 
so to speak, into an inland sea. What shows this decisivelv is 
the circumstance, that (r. 1) Chedorlaomer of Elam, and Am- 
raphel of Shinar, t. 6., the rulers of the coast of the Persian Gulf, 
and of the highways made by the Euphrates and Tigris, appear 
as the very persons who also secure to themselves possession of 
the more western road. By this occupation Arabia in particular, 
with its choice productions (comp. £zek. xxvii. 19, sqq.), was 
completely enclosed ; and all commerce with the southern coast, 
and the bazaars in Western and Eastern Asia, came into the 
hands of one and the same power ; which was a sufficient reason 
for procuring these advantages by conquest, and for maintaining 
them against revolt by the putting forth of force. 

We pass over here, as having no necessary connection with the 
historical document before us, other inferences from what has been 
advanced, such as the necessary relation to Damascus, which was 
the point of egress to the great continental highways to Nineveh 
and nabylon, and other things relating to the nature and antiquity 
of commercial intercourse. But we cannot refrain from once again 
directing attention to the circumstance, that, by this antique frag- 

Digitized by 


1848.] Remarks on Genesis, Chapter XIV. 83 

ment, the narratiyes of Ctesias res{>ecting ancient Assyrian kings 
and their conquests, receive a definite direction which might well 
deserve the trouble of following farther in an historical method. 
Here we have yet to examine individual particulars, so &r as 
these are more definitely determined by the entire view of the 
passage at which we have arrived, or as they serve to furnish a 
more decided support of it 

If we glance at the road along which the allied troops march, 
they appear immediately (v. 5) at the northern boundaries of the 
rebnellious territory, east of Jordan. Hence the long march from 
Babylonia and Elymais thither has been passed over. But it is 
otherwise known, tnat the wilderness westward of Euphrates made 
the way by Damascus necessary to every army pressing forward 
firom Babylonia to Canaan. Accordingly we also find here that 
the march back (o. 14, sq.) is directed towards the north. The 
farther progress of the march (v. 5, sq.) is plainly laid down, so 
that the army proceeds from north to south through the lands 
eastward of Uie vale in question, and, tuming back bv ELadesh 
(i7. 7) to the Dead Sea, efiects its return through tne valley 
of Jordan to Dan (t;. 14), and by forced marches by wa^ of 
Damascus. Hence it traverses the subject prorinces pnnci- 
pally on their eastern side at first, and then on their western 

K now we endeavour to present the march palpably in detail, it 
cannot admit of a doubt that the hostile army followed at first the 
great highway from Damascus (v. 5), when it smites the Rephaim 
in Ashtaroth^kamaim. For thouffh this andent royal residence 
of Bashan has not been discovered up to the present time, with 
certainty,^ yet the situation in general is sufficientljr known from 
the nearness oiEdreiy attested by Deut. i. 4 ; Josh. xii. 4, xiii. 31 ; 
and by Eusebius {Onomast. in ^Astaroth'^ redLoned at six 
Roman miles from the Edrei of the midole ages, which is 
still in ruins, according to the old authorities :^ four days 
journey on the leading way from Damascus, where also Ptolemy 
(v. 17, 7) places his AdrOy and the Peutinger Tables (IX. F.), 
^e corresponding Adraha. The fall of the metropolis decides the 
fate of the territory, as the battle at Edrei does in Num. xxi. 
33, s^q. ; and (1 Mace. v. 43, sq.) the destruction of the same 
Earmon (equivalent to Kamaim) by Judas Maccabeus. 

' The author has added a postscript, to say that the Journal rfihe Royal Geogra- 
phical Society, for the year 1846 (vol. ii. p. 331), had jost made known to him 
Captain Newbold*to discovery of the site of Ashtaroth Kamaim, in the rains of 7W 
AiMereh, and that he regards the new fhct as a confirmation of his previoos state- 

• Istakhri, p. 57, and Edrisi Syr. (ed. RoeenmOller), p. 11 ; Abulied. Oeogr.^ 
p. 252. 

G 2 In 

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84 ' Remarks on GenesiSy Chapter XI V. [July* 

In relation to the progress of the march, Num. xxi. 32, sqq. 
comes under consideration, except that here there is no mention 
of JcucTy and just as littie as before of the Amoritish kingdoms 
and the Ammonites, but the cigantic aborigines appear as pos- 
sessors of those lands. It nas chiefly to do (v. 5) with the 
environs of the Jabbok, where the Zuzim (the Zamzummim of 
Deut. ii. 2(y) are defeated at Ham. Since Ham must be regarded 
as the chief city, it is perhaps the old name of the city, for which 
subsequentiy Kabbath-b'ne-Ammon, * Rabbath of the children of 
Ammon,' originally a predicate (compare Rabbath-Moab), was a 
proper name ; and then its locality would be indicated by Ammany 
the ruins of which still exist (see Abulfeda, &c.^ on the Hadj road 
from Syria. It is worthy of remark in connection with this point, 
that Ptolemy (y. 7. 16) mentions in the neighbourhood of this 
locality a place, Zf^a ; Abulfeda (I. c), * a pond, Ziza, about 
a day 8 journey southward from Amman ' ; Khalil ap. Shahin, 
Syr. (ed. Bx)senmiiller, p. 19), Zizat, as a border-place belonging 
to the eparchy of Kerak : possibly a memorial, continuing to a 
late penod of the expelled Zuzim, which may be compared with 
the Kephaite yalley at Jerusalem. The march now enters on 
the locality of the nrst conquests of Israel in succeeding times. 
Num. xxi. 21, s(j. The Emim (Deut ii. 11^, so called by the 
Moabites, are smitten in the yalley of Kirjathalm, a place, which, 
though not yet discoyered with certainty, was still known to the 
Onomasticon (in Cariatlunm\ 10 Roman miles westward of 
Madeba, whose ruins, as is fiimiliar to the reader, still bear the 
old name. It cannot therefore be doubted, that the battie-field in 
ceneral was the same with that also chosen by Salah-ed-d!n, when 
He drew up his army at Hosban (the Hebrew Heshbon, Num. 
xxi. 26) and pushed forward to Maain (the Baal-meon of Num. 
xxxii. 38, joined with ELiriathaim in Jer. xlyiii. 23 ; Ezek. xxy. 9) 
in order to wait for the Europeans who were encamped at the 
brook al-Wal.' Whether the territory southward of the Amon 
was also subjected by means of this engagement ; and whether 
the Amon was at that time a boundary or an interior riyer, as it 
was frei^uentiy^ both in subsequent times, the narratiye is silent. 
But it is certain that the allied troops could attack the Pentapolis 
directly from that quarter (comp. 2 Kings iii. 8, sq.). We may 
infer, howeyer, that they went round it, and first, turning to the 
south (y. 6), smote the Horites (the orinnal inhabitants, expelled 
by the Edomites, Gen. xxxri. 20, sq. ; Deut. ii. 12, 22) in their 
mountain Seir (i. e. esh-Sherah), from the fact, that thej did not 
take the way through the Arabah, into which the Edomite moun- 

f See Seetsen, in Zach's Monai. Correspond^ xyiiL 431. 


Digitized by 


1$48.] Remarks an Genesis, Chapter XIV. 85 

tains with their heatea-pointing perpendicular clifis, slope off; but 
followed the eastern edge of the mountain, where at the same time 
it was easiest to be assuled, probably pretty nearly in the way 
taken by the Israelites from Ezion-geber upwards, and which in 
after times the Romans made more accessible to commerce by laying 
artificial roads. It is therefore of special importance, especially as 
no notices respecting localities are elsewhere given, to determine 
with accuracy the poation of ^ £1-Paran, which lies at (i. e., at 
the commencement of) the wilderness,' yiz., the final point of the 
entire warlike expedition. The desert that comes under notice 
here is undoubtedly that whose name (Paran X^B\ is added to 

El (^TVt) to determine it ; and the more surely we must understand 

with the Septuagint and Peshito V^ el (as in Gen. xxxv. 4 and 

Judg. yi. 11, 19) to be a plantation of terebinth, the more easily can 
we consider ourselves justified in refierrinff that name to an oasis, 
situated, on any view of the subject, to me west of the Edomite 
mountahis, which one may at pleasure conceive of^ as more in the 
north or the south of the long wilderness border, according as we 
make the army advance to a greater or less distance. Nor can 
one make a mistake in venturing to conjecture of Paran that it 
was a place at that lime inhabited, after which tlie plantation of 
terebinths received its appellation. All these concurring circum- 
stances, however, are not sufficient to afford a clear view of the 
portion of things which is certainly (mite definite ; and the picture, 
which is of itself but approximative, oecomes more and more con- 
fused when we try to bring the narrative into harmony with the 
condition of the ground and the suppositions thence arismg. But 
fortunately there is no need here of vague circuitous guessing, 
since, on closer examination, it cannot admit of a doubt that 
£]-Paran is identical with Ektth = Aileh, ^ on the shore of the 
Red Sea' (1 Kings ix. 26), manifestlv at the extreme end of 
Wadi Arabah, wnich is still definitely marked, in regard to 
situation, by its ruins.' 

For^ 1. The allied troops must have penetrated thus far if they 
wished to attain the object of the entire expedition which was 
pointed out in page 82. They had done nothing if they did not 
master this point Aileh was properly the gate of Arabia. Here 
the Syrian and north-western Canaamtish roads, the former coming 
down firom the north, the latter leading down from the Philistine 
coast and the inland parts, united with the Egyptian running 
across fix)m west to east above the mount et^lih through the 
desert, thence to seek the interior of Arabia firom this point on a 

' Compare LAborde, Comment,, p. 124; Winer, Beal^wtfrteHmch. 3rd edit, i. 318. 


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86 Remarks an Genesis, Chapter XIV. [Julyt 

way along the east shore of the Persian gulf strongly traced 
out by nature, or to gain the water-courses which begin here.^ 
Aileh was therefore a possession important at all times, for whidi 
Edomites and Israelites fought with yarious success, which the 
Romans protected with strong garrisons. Crusaders conquered, 
and were compelled to gire back to the Moslems, &c. — ^yea, 
necessity demanded the making of it secure even at the present 
day, by establishing the fort Aqabah, though political and in- 
dustrial interests are whaHy altered. 

2. The identity of the name itself warrants the opinion, espe- 
cially since we find it again in Gen. xxxvi. 41, under the form of 

ThVk £ZaA— there the seat of an Edomite prince, and meet with it 

in 1 Eangs ix. 26 ; 2 Kings xvi. 6, even under a third subordinate 

form JT^V^ Eloth, 

3. The addition Paran, * the wilderness Paran,* of which we 
shall say more immediately, really terminated at Elath with 
Aqabah Aileh, t. e. the ^lanitic Pass,' so that the place in ques- 
tion lay with perfect propriety * at the entrance of the Great 
Wilderness * paiDH ^), as the situation of it is described in 

verse 6. All tlids is further confirmed by the fisLct, that now the 
way in which the army marched is perfectly plain, inasmuch as 
the route struck into Laborde's way from l^etra to Aqabah,^ 
at the eastern extremity of the mountain, u e. from the eastern 
wilderness-plateau, in the situation of the middle-ase places 
Maan and Humeimeh,'^ passing through Wadi el-I&n, ^the 
only connection between Aqabah and the Eastern Desert,' ° and 
descended in view of El-Paran to Arabah and the edge of the 
sea. By penetrating £Builier to the south, the army would have 
marched to Hedjaz, whose subjection did not come within the 
desi^ of the allies, nor indeed lay in their power. Hence it is 
said m the narrative, verse 7, ^ and they returned and came to Ain 
Mishpat,' t. e. Kadesh, so that here, as in verse 6, nothing more 
than the final pointis named at which they met with the Ama- 
lekites and Amorites. A closer perception of the relations afiect- 
ing the farther march of the army from the coast of the Red Sea 
to the southern borders of Palestine, depends partly on the state 
of the Western Desert, partly on a determination as accurate as 
possible of the situatioli of E!adesh. We must here enter into an 
examination of both, so far as our object requires it The 

^ Compare 1 Kings xl 18, with Ibn Hankal, bj MoUer, in Itiahh, p. 128. 
< Edrisi, Jaub. i. 332. 

^ Voyage en Arabie Petr^, p. 62, sq., or p. 206, sq., of the English edition. 
" Abolfeda, Oeogr^ p. 228, sq. > Robinson's Paiettine, i. 286. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Remarks an Genesis, C/tapter XIV. 87 

peninsula of Sinai, enclosed by the two tongues of the Red Sea, 
has for its boundary on the north, as marked out by nature, the 
limestone moimtain which follows the margin of the Sea at Suez, 
by the name of Jebel er-Rahah, at the distance of four to five 
hours, then at Has Wady Gharandel bends towards the south- 
east and east by the name of Jebel et-T!h, and running out into 
several radiating chains of rocks, ends in the northern head of the 
^lanitic Gulf. This mountain forms the ascent to the higher- 
lying wilderness which anks down towards the east precipitously 
into the Arabah ; and in the north and north-west is bounded by 
the southernmost mountains of Canaan and by the Mediterranean 
Sea, in the west by Ecypt. The extended tract of wilderness in 
question, which generally ascends from west to east, while it sinks 
considerably downwards from south tx) north, is intersected in its 
whole length by Wadi el- Arish (the * brook of Esypt ' of the Old 
Testament), leading to the Mediterranean Sea, ^ch commences 
close by the northern declivity of Jebel et-Tlh, and is divided by 
it into an eastern and western half. The latter is not at all, as 
Ibn-el-Wardi (ed. Hylander, p. 76) describes this desert generally, 
a horizontal plain, free from unevennesses, but is rather marked at 
its northern end, not to mention specially other hills and heights, 
by two mountains of no inconsiderable magnitude, Jebel Jelek 
and Jebel Helal, which point out the sloping of the hisher desert 
to the lower-lving wilderness-plain whicn surrounds ue plateau 
from the Meoiterranean Sea to the banks of the Nile and the 
coasts of the Red Sea. Yet it is distinguished from the eastern 
half by greater evenness. A branch that separates from et^Tih, 
viz., the mountain el-Oedshmeh, divides it from the other half at 
their common southernmost extremity, in such a form as that the 
Eastern Plain, interrupted by difierent heights, inclines towards 
the north-east, and leads through the Arabah to the Dead Sea. 
Yet this character of the wilderness, which difiers from that of 
the western half only by its slope, but in other respects is entirely 
sitaiilar, is suddenly altered in this respect, that about 30^ 40' 
north latitude, a ndge of rocks runninff from west to east, rises 
like a waU boldly from the plain, while uu-ee higher tops, the iso- 
lated most westerly promontory Jebel Ikhrimm, the western Jebel 
Araif en-Naqah, and the eastern cliff el-Meqr£h, situated in the 
vicinity of Arabah, form the boundary of it. This mountain-wall 
forms the southern border of a deft limestone mountain, which, 
stretching up eastwards to the Arabah, opens towards the west 
its ravines parallel to one another, and in perpendicular rocky 
clifis from three to four hundred feet high slopes off into the 
Western Desert, till it ends northward in the valleys Murrah and 
el-Kqreh, m order to rise up again on the other side of them, in 


Digitized by 


88 Remarks on GenesiSj Chapter XIV. [July 

the precipitous walls of the Emorite mountains. Such is a brief 
sketch of the desert, as we know it from Seetzen, Burckhardt, yon 
Schubert, Robinson, and others. 

If now we endeavour to recognise again in this province what 
the Bible says respecting the wilderness, we glamy meet with, 
first of all, the mode in wnich the Arabians designate the locality. 
They strictly distinguish the desert Jifir ( \ iJ \ from * the desert 

of the children of Israel' ( Ji\^1 ^ AJ). The former still 
belongs to Egypt, and its boundaries run from Rafah {fJfj, the 
*Pa^£ia of Ptolemy, v. 16. 6), along the bank of the Mediterranean 

Sea to the sea Tennis ((jm^), from thenoe to the fruitful 
meadows of the Nile-valley, alone to Kolzum, and by the edge of 
the desert et-Tih, back to the Mediterranean.* Jiiar is there- 
fore that deeper lying wilderness tract already mentioned, which 
encloses the higher desert in the west and nor&-westP Through 
it, beyond Jebel Helal, Wadi el-Arish takes a north-western 
direction to the sea. On the other hand the wilderness of the 
children of Israel, so called in memory of the record in the Pen- 
tateuch, as beinff, according to Kazwini (MS.), ^ the place in 
which Moses wandered about with the children of Israel, between 
Aileh, Esypt, the gulf of Kolzum, and the mountain esh-Sherah 
.... when they hesitated to penetrate into the holy land' (Num. 
ch. xiv.), embraces that wilderness-plateau itself above described, 
according to Istakhri, p. 28, and Abulfeda, p. 109, a desert con- 
sisting in part of sand, in part of firm soil, with some palm-trees 
here and there, and springs (of bad water), bounded by Jifib*, 
Palestine, and the environs of Mount Sinai (t. «. Jebel et-Tih). 
If we compare herewith the biblical ustis hauendi, it can admit of 
no doubt that to Jifar in general, ^ Shur tnat u before Egypt ' 
(Gen. xxv. 18 ; 1 Sam. xv. 7), corresponds ; while, on the other 
hand, the wilderness of Paran of the Old Testament coincides 
with Tih-beni-Israil. 

This is evident, jf?r«^ — With regard to the wilderness Shur, not 
only does the above designation, ^ Shur which lies before Egypt,' 
point thereto, but it is also in 1 Sam. xv. 7 ; xxvii. 8 ; Gen. xxv. 
18, pointed out as the western boundary, as far as which the 

« iHakhri, pp. 28, 31 ; Abolfed., Oeoa^ p. 106. 

p There U an interestiDg notice in ICazwini ooncenunff the wilderness of Ji&r. 
After some local description, he adds : — ' a species of birds is foand there, called 
el Morgh, which come thither from the land of R(km. They rcMmble qnails, and 
come at a particular time. The inhabitants catch as many of them as God wills, 
and then salt them.' It is difficult to ascertain to what species these birds belong ; 
bat there is no doubt that the fact of which Kazwini speaks, is the same as that 
mentioned in Elx. xvi. 13 ; Nam. xu 31. 


Digitized by 


ISlk.] Rmarha an Genesis, Chapter XIV. 89 

Amalekites (on the south border of Canaan, 1 Sam. izvii. 8) and 
the Ishmaelites in the wilderness Paran, Gen. xxi. 21, penetrated 
in their nomadic wanderings. Gen. xx. 1 ; the western determining 
point corresponding to the eastern, and situated still west of Gerar, 
Gen. xvi. 7, on the way firom Hebron to central Egypt But Shur 
is distinguished from SrSkr by this, that it, in complete accord- 
ance wiui the character of the country, takes a more southern 
extension alons the east coast of the bay of Suez, between the sea 
and Jebel er-Kahah. For, according to Exod. xv. 22, Moses 
leads the people through tiie sea to the wilderness of £3iur, ac- 
cording to Num. xxxiii. 8, to the wilderness of Etham, so called 
from the boundary-place situated northward of the top of the sea, 
V. 6, and follows the wilderness tract till the entrance into the 
^wilderness of Sin' (Exod. xvi. 1). In proportion as we can 
entertain little doubt that the station *by the Bed Sea,' Num. 
xxxiii. 10, at which the wilderness of Sin begins, is to be found 
at the lower end of Wadi Tajjibeh,<i so much the more certainly 
is the promontory Hammam Bluff, which runs out close by the 
sea, and which the Israelites must necessarily have ascended, the 
separating line between the deserts Shur and Sin (comp. Well- 
sted, ii. 34. 19). Thus, the desert of the Old Testament sur- 
rounds the higher Eastern Desert from the borders of Canaan 
to its south-western extremity » The very name Shur appears 
not to be entirely lost even at this day, for ^ a great chain of 
mountain nmning from north to south, somewhat to the east of 
the geographical length of Suez,' bears the name es-Sur in 
Wilbams' Holy City, p. 489. 

2. With regard to the wilderness Paran, it is first to be ob- 
seryed, that no part of it lies southward of Jebel et-Tih. For if 
the Israelites (Num. x. 12) march out of the wilderness of Sinai 
into the wilderness of Paran, the older narrative passes over a 
series of single stations^ to winch the later history, which supplies 
the omissions (ch. xii. 16), appends the notice, that the congrega- 
tion had arrived at Paran from Hazeroth, t. «., as is not improbably 
assumed, Ain el-Hadhrah, so that consequently they passed over 
the moimtain ridse. So dso Paran (1 Kings xi. 18) has nothing 
in common with Feiran' in a Wadi of the same name, as even 
Von Baumer' supposes. For when Hadad flees thitiier from 
Midian ^incorrectiy transplanted by Laborde to the eastern coast 
of the Smaitic peninsula) over Paran to Egypt, he must neces- 
sarily have gone up to Aileh ; and then, accompanied by guides 

"1 Kobinflon'B PaUstine. L 115. 


' io]ili of Makrizi, Gttch, dor Coptai^ ed. Wostenf, p. 
" Yon RMuner, Zng der Itr^ p. 3S. 

Digitized by 


90 Remarks an Genesis^ Cftapter XIV. [July* 

— ^as MoseSy ^too, required such persons in the desert (Num. x. 
29, sq.) — ^have struck into the Hadj-way, which is used at the 

f resent day, northward of Jebel et-'inh, throu^ the wilderness of 
^aran. And that, moreover, the wilderness of Paran is bounded 
on the west by Shur has been already shown above h^m Gren. 
xxi. 21 ; XXV. 18. It is also obvious from Gen. xiv. 6, as well as 
from Deut. i. 1 (see Robinson on the place, iii. 160), that Paran 
had its boundaiy in Arabah ; and if we assume besides, that, in 
Num. xiii. 3, the spies were sent forth from the wilderness of 
Paran to Canaan ; that it is described m Gen. sua. 21, as lying 
to the south of Beersheba ; that in 1 Sam. xxv. 1, even a part of 
the southern mountains of Judah could be reckoned to Paran ; 
and that in Josephus ^ too, Os^av is named as a valley in Idumaea 
and Acrabatene, abounding in caverns, and contiguous to Judea ; 
it is apparent that Paran is the appellation that embraces the 
whole wilderness-plateau even as fiur as the borders of Canaan, 
under which partictdar portions of the extended desert may have 
been comprehended, with peculiar names.^ Finally, re^ardins the 
^ mount Paran ' (Deut xxxiii. 2 ; repeated from it m Hab. iii. 
3), the poet understands by it not a single mountain, but the 
mountain-range of Paran, whether we are to refer this to Jebel 
et-Tih, or to the mountainous Quarter in the north-east of the 
desert Certainly, the nature ot the desert itself justifies even 
this expression. 

If now we turn back to the point where we left above the 
army's progress at the entrance of the sreat desert, and ask, Did 
the confederate troops march through ue wilderness of Paran, or 
did they go round it, following the way throu^ Arabah ? the 
whole question depends, as in the case of the journey of Israel 
to the promised land, on the place where the common boundary 
of both Kadesh (Gen. xiv. 7) and of Kadesh Bamea (Num. xxxii. 
8 ; xxxiv. 4 ; Deut i. 2, 19 ; ii. 14 ; ix 23 ; Josh. x. 41) must be 

Imt. Here the tradition which identifies Kadesh with Petra, 
osing sight of the locality entirely, is of no use to us. The posi- 
tion, therefore, can onlv be determined by means of the Old Tes- 
tament itself. According to Num. xx. 16, Kadesh lay on the 
borders of Edom. Thence Moses sends (ver. 14) to the kinss of 
Edom to ask for himself a fi*ee passage. The eastern site which 
is obtained by this means harmonises with Gen. xvi. .14, xx. 1 ; 
Jos. X. 41, where Kadesh constitutes the eastern extremity over 
against the western Bered, Shur, Ghazzah. Since, then, it is 
said (Deut i. 2) that they came firom Horeb to Kadesh in 

* BdL. Jud,, vr, 9, 4. 

" Compare < the wilderness of Beersheba' of Gen. xxi. 14, and < the wilderness 
of Etham' of Num. xxxiii. 8» equivalent to * the wilderness of Shur.' 


Digitized by 


1848.] Remarks an Genesis, Chapter XIV. 91 

eleren days, on the way to Mount Seir — not alanff mount Seir, 
as Robinson (iii. 171) mistakes the well-known idiom (fiwald, 
§ 286» b.) — Seir must be determined accordins to ver. 44; 
and eh. i. 19, is dedsive as to the meaning, where, as £gtr as 
Kadesh, they went through * the great and terrible wilderness 
on the way to the mountain of the Amorites,' t. e., the steep 
declivity ot Canaan, to the wilderness lying to the south. 
Eadesh, therefore, belonged to the north-eastern quarter of the 
desert above described, near the borders of the promised land, 
as may be indubitably inferred also from Num. xxxiv. 4 ; Josh. 
XV. 3 (see below). With this agrees the fact that the spies were 
sent forth from hence (Num. xxxii. 8 ; Josh. xiv. 6, 7) ; that they 
return to it (Num. xiii. 26) ; and (Deut. ix. 23) the people refuse 
here to undertake the conquest of the land ; and when, moreover, 
following the succession of events, it is related more accurately in 
Num. XX. 1, that the congregation at Eadesh (and that, too, for a 
long time, Deut i. 46) had settled down, when the first attempt 
to penetrate into the land of promise had failed (Num. xiv.), 
the difierence, inconsiderable in itself, leads us to perceive that 
the ascent to the mountain of the Amorites (at Hormah, Num. 
xiv. 44, formerly Zephath, Jud^. i. 17) and iKadesh were con* 
tiguous. According to Num. xiii. 26, Kadesh is situated within 
the precincts of the desert Paran ; according to ch. xx. 1, and xxvii. 
14, on the contrary, it lay in the wilderness Zin (pt), which is also 

directly explained (ch. xxxiii. 36) to be the same as Kadesh. 
From this it manifestly follows, that Zin must have formed a part 
of the more extensive wilderness Paran, and that, too, hara by 
the southernmost ed^ of Canaan, since the spies sent from the 
wilderness of Paran (Num. xiii. 3) search the land through (ver. 21) 
' from the wUdemess of Zin unto Hamath.' Still more accurately 
do we learn the relations of place from Num. xxxiv. 3, sq., and Josh. 
XV. 1, so., where the southern border of Judah from the Dead Sea 
to the brook of Egypt at the Mediterranean, t. ^., from east to 
west, is described in such a manner as that it runs out from the 
southern point of the Salt Sea, surrounds the ascent of Scorpions 
/U^inp^ Tybjgp maaleh Akrabbtm\ t. ^., according to Robinson's 

correct interpretation, the series of clifis which cuts across the 
el-Ghor (the Valley of Salt of 2 Kings xiv. 7), in the form of an 
irresular curve, forming the boundary between this valley and 
the Wher Arabah — ^passes over to Zin, and goes up till southward 
of Kadesh Bamea. If we put all this together strictly according 
to the import of the words of Scripture, it will be clear, that Zin 
embraces the tract of desert which winds from Ghor westward 
about the steep sides of the Amorite mountain, a broad tract of 


Digitized by 


d2 Remarks m Genesis, Chapter XIV. [July, 

land, which * runs up nearly fix)m E.N.E. to W.S.W. from the 
hills around Usdum and the south end of the Dead Sea to an 
indefinite extent' (Rohinson, iii. 144), bounded on the south by a 
ridge runnins parallel to the northern mountain rampart ;^ and, 
on visiting Uils part of the wilderness, Williams^at the most 
western part surveyed it from the mountain of the Amorites, 
eight hours almost due south below Beersheba, and says of 
it: ^Immediately below us lay a wide valley called Wadi 
Murreh,* which, some few hours to the east of this place, 
divides into two at a singularly-formed mountain Moddera ^ 
the southernmost retaining its name, and running east into the 
Arabah ; the other, called Wadi Hqreh (according to Robinson, 
situated beyond the middle of this tract, nearer tne foot of die 
Amorite mountain, the chief conductor of all the waters), leads 
north-east to the Dead Sea.' If, now, Kadesh lies in tins tract, 
el-Ghor, Ain Weibeh, and Ain Hash are necessarily excluded. 
On the other hand, the Jewish border-line points much farther up 
to the west ; and, at the same time, such a geographical situation 
is supported by the relation of Num. xiii. 26, to en. xx. 1, which 
the descriptions of places (Gen. xvi. 14 ; xx. 1), given according 
to the position of Kadesh, almost necessarily required. At the 
same time it should be observed, tiiat into the examination of 
Kadesh the entirely ungrounded and misleading assumption has 
recentiv intruded, viz., that the ascent to the mountain (Num. 
xiv. 44) chosen by the Israelites, unquestionably in the vicinity of 
Hormah=Ssephath (es-Sufey, diminutive of Sufeh), is tiie pass 
ess-Ssafah, one of tiie three rocky ascents which render the ap- 
proach from Arabah to the southern ridge of mountains possible. 
However, the very condition of the country itself contradicts this 
supposition. Let us hear Williams, when, unprepared, he trod 
the edge of the mountain: — *We found ourselves,' says he,^ 
^standing on a gigantic natural rampart of lofly mountains, 
which we could distinctly trace for 'several miles east and west 
of the spot on which we stood, forming as it were bastions 
of Cyclopean architecture, jutted forth in irregular masses 
from the mountain-barrier into a fnchtfidly terrific wilderness, 
stretched far before us toward the south. It was a confused chaos 

> Robinson, iii. 145; Seetzen, in Zach's MonaJt. Correspond,, zyiL 134; Scha- 
bert, Beiae^ ii. 443. 
/ WiUiams's Holy City, p. 488. 

* Described by Robinson, L 221, and Uie name given as jLi)) by Smith in Ro- 
binson, iiL^ Append., 116. 

• ^Xc ^7 Smith, 1. c. examined by Seetsen, and described in Zach, 1. c 
k Williams's Holy City, p. 487. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Remarks on Genesis^ Chapter XIV. 93 

of chalk, and had the appearance of an immense iiimace, glowing 
with white heat, illuminated as it now was by the fierce rays of 
the sun. There did not appear to be the least particle of yegeta* 
tion in all the dreary waste ; all was drought and barrenness and 

From Schubert*s measurements, we know that this mountain- 
wall rises steep from five feet below the surface of the Red Sea 
to 1434 feet aboye it Seetzen, who took his way to the valley 
through the pass Yemen, says, ^We reached the mountain 
edge, where, on a steep rocky eminence, we ascended into a 
fearfully wild, deep, and barren valley ;' and Robinson (iii. 149, 
sq.) ascended the pass ess-Ssafah only with great effort ; as also 
Schubert (ii. 447) reckons the ascent of it among the most toil- 
some hours of his life, expressly remarking, * The pass rose so 
perpendicularly, that it often appeared as thou^ it refused me 
breath, like a glowing oven.' In like manner md Robinson (i. 
246) hear the third more easterly pass described ; and still better 
known are the steep, dangerous passes from the Dead Sea to the 
land of Canaan, which do not need here to be further notified. 
Though these troublesome jxasses were not insuperable obstacles 
to the peaceful carrying on of trade, as Roman care had made 
the pass ess-Ssafiah — ^the direct way to Petra — ^more convenient and 
safe, being protected not only by fortifications, but by the erection 
of steps (Scnubert) ; yet we must still justly ask, Were they also 
adapted to the march of an army, to l>egin through them the con- 
quest of a country — these passes, I say, which were as easily closed 
by the most insignificant torce, as they were imattainable by the 
greatest exertions of power? From its nature — ^fi^r 2 Chron. xx. 
16, proves nothing to the contrary— C!anaan was as little assailable 
from this point, as the mountain of the Edomites from the Arabah ; 
and if Moses had led his people hither, expecting them to be^n 
the conquest thence^ he wotdd have deserved the reproaches which 
cowardice unjustly attributed to him. On the contrary, we know 
that, towards the west, as the valley rises, the mountains sink 
(Robinson, iii. 145), and are acouainted with the way which was 
passable even in the time of the Romans, and which westward, at 
Jebel Araif (see p. 87), passing Eboda ('E/3oS«, Ptol. 5, 17, 4, now 
ruins of Abdeh ; Robinson, i. 316) and Elusa (^E\Qvaa,, t. e., 
Khalassah), 661 feet above the sea, rising at first gradually, 
then steeper, conducts to the promontories Jebel Khalil, 1550 
feet, the village Dhoharijeh, 2040 feet, and Hebron, 2842 feet. 
At no other place than this could it have been Moses* design 
to penetrate mto the land ; and it is worthy of notice, where a 
closer examination of plan and locality is possible, that Rowlands^' 

« WiUiams's iToZy C»7y, p. 488. 


Digitized by 


94 Remarks on Gemrisy Chapter XIV. [JoIy> 

heard an indication of a place called Sepata, discovered hj 
the usual remains of ruins, 2^ hours down (t. ^., south of 
Khalassah), whose name Bobmson (i. 307) did not learn. 
From this very &ct we must conclude that the Israelites did not 
follow the way through the Arabah; but, as Von Ewald^ 
points out the march quite correctly, approached the borders 
of the land at the great wilderness-way from Jebel Araif; 
and Robinson's objection, viz., that this direction would have 
brought them straight tp Beersheba, and not to Kadesh, is quite 
inapplicable if Eadesh lav to the south of Beendieba, which follows 
as a matter of course. Besides, even in Num. xiii. 22, the spies 
turn back past Hebron to Paran at Eladesh (ver. 26), which this 
very way appears to presuppose rather than to contradict ; and in 
the whole course of the narrative Beersheba is not generally 
spoken of. To Uus we may now subjoin, that very recently the 
position of Kadesh has been correctly ascertained, according 
to all the indications. Williams® relates how his sheikh pointea 
out to him in a valley, some hours to the west of the above 
described station, the situation of 'Eladdese, the Eadesh of 
Scripture ;' and, according to Rowlands (in Williams, p. 489), 
Hagar*s well, Muweilih, bears amons the Arabs in the neigh- 
bourhood of Ghazzah the name ^Moilahhi Kadesah,' as it 
is topographically determined after Kadesh in Gen. xvi. 14. 
ELadesh, whose position here was already vouched for by various 
authorities, has been sought out by Rowlands.' From him we 
take the following accoimts, omitting all his useless combinations. 
At the place where the chain of mountains which bounds the 
north-eastern part of the great wilderness on the west (see 
p. 87) suddenly recedes, begins a plain enclosed by limestone hills, 
stretching from west to east (Robinson, i. 328), almost rectangular, 
from nine to five, or ten to six English miles, large enough to form 
the encampment of a wandering people. In the north-east of this 
plain, over against the most northerly extremity of Jebel Helal 
(see p. 87) in the east, and about twelve English nules (4^ hours 
on camel) E.S.E. from Muweilih, and consequently almost due 
south of Khalasaah, rises a naked rock as a single huge mass on 
the edge of the moimtains that are continued directly towards the 
north. At the foot of this rock a copiously flowing spring bursts 
forth, which fiedls in beautiful cascades into tiie bed of a torrent, 
and after from three to four hundred yards loses itself westward 
in the sand. This place still bears tiie name at this day, ^ Eudes,' 

t. e.y with the diminutive form (^<^!, as a great part of the names 

«* Ottch. Iwr^ ii. 192. • V^illiams's flb/y Ct<y, p. 488, 

' Williams's Hol^ City, p 490, sq. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Remarks an Genedi^ Chapter XIV. 95 

in this desert form diminutives, aooording to tiie account of the 
Beduins, ten to eleven days' journey from Sinai (Deut. i. 2), and 
in connection with Mount Hor by passable Wadis (Num. xx. 22) ; 
at the foot of the Amorite mountain, conformably to its nature 
(Deut. i. 19), and that in such a manner that the interchange of 
Faran and Zin is explained witiiout violence. Accordingly, I look 
on this question, as weU as that respecting the march of the 
Israelites, and that of C!hedorlaomer ana his allies to the mountain 
of the Amorites, as settled. 

The possession of this Kadesh was also of considerable import- 
ance to the peculiar purposes of the allied troops. All the roads 
from the peninsula of Sinai and the iElanitic Gulf unite before 
they lead past Kadesh, and do not affain divide till the other 
side of it, in order tiiat they may lead apart to Hebron or 
Ghazzah. In like manner^ the road from central Egypt (comp. 
p. 89) to Hebron, leads quite near this main way at Kadesh ; 
and idso, not far from it, the way approaches which leads from 
Ghazzah over die southern mountain ridge through Wadi 
Fiqreh to Arabah.8 Thus the possession of £1-Paran on one 
side, and of Kadesh on the other, commanded the desert and the 
traffic in it ; a sufficient reason for venturing into these wastes, 
and making a secure settlement there (comp. above, p. 82). 
And what way did they t^e to it? According to all preceding 
investigation, not through the Arabah, but they ascended the desert 
plateau from Aileh, either through the pass Akabat-Aileh (see 
p. 86), or, following the subsequent Roman road, through Wadi el- 
Bejaneh (see Robmson, i. 328) ; then went round Jebel Araif, 
since the mountain-wall opposite blocks up the passage through 
(p. 87\ and arrived on the edge of the eastern mountain at 
Aadesh. Let not the horrors of the wilderness (Deut. i. 19\ of 
which a single example is given in 1 Sam. xxx. 11, sq., be nere 
objected. K& Saul (1 Sam. xv. 7) fought in these aeserts, so 
David marched through them victoriously with his troops (1 Sam. 
xxvii. 8, sq. ; xxx. 10, sq.) ; as this wilderness was formerly peopled 
by Nomades, and is still so, for which reason Seetzen (in Zach, 
xvii. 138) can speak of a place, ' Eschabiji, southward of Mdara 
^see p. 92), about an hour distant, where traces of vineyards, 
cbc, are still to be found ;' as it miffht be gone through by the 
Israelites, and might possibly have oeen made their abode for 
many years ; — Chedoriaomer's army could also wander through 
it It should also be taken into account, that the want of water, 
complained of in Num. xx. 2, is dependent on the time of year. 
Moses came thither at the season of the first grapes (xiii. 20) ; 

« See BotunsoDy L 327, sq. ; iii 146. 


Digitized by 


96 Remarks an Genesis^ Chapter XIV. [July, 

andy therefore, at a time when the height of summer had ex- 
hausted the supply of springs. At other seasons of the year, 
circumstances are more favourable. Finally, the marching of an 
army through this wilderness is not more unintelligible than our 
seeing numerous armies, especially since the time of the Assy- 
rians, going through the wilderness Jifar, between Egypt and 
Canaan ; not more unintelligible than the fact, that the army of 
which we are here treating must have surmounted the dangers of 
the wilderness between Euphrates and Syria, before it entered 
Canaanitish ground. 

Arrived at this place, the confederates smite (Gen. xiv. 7) *ihe 
whole country of tfie Amalekites.' These people, who were sub- 
sequently the hereditary enemies of Israel, extended themselves 
along the south border of Canaan, even to the vicinity of Egypt 
( 1 Sam. xxvii. 8) ; and, in the time of Moses, had even a portion 
within the southern mountain (Num. xiii. 29 ; xiv. 43, sq.). They 
roamed as free sons of the wilderness, after the mode of the 
Beduins, over the broad flats of this desert (Exod. xvii. 8, sq. ; 
Dent XXV. 17, sq.). Always disposed to rob and plunder (1 Sam. 
xiv. 48 ; XXX. 1, sq.), they were mainly the party who disturbed 
free intercourse. Hence their subjection was required by the 
object of tiie entire expedition. Further on, they turn their arms 
(v. 7) against * the Amorites, who (comp. 2 Chron. xx. 2) were 
settled at Engedi, at the Dead Sea,' and must have been in the 
closest connection with the tribes who are here attacked, as has 
been already remarked (p. 81). Since the word 3^n in Gen. 

xiv. 7, means merely ' the habitation' of the Amorites^ but not the 

!)lace where the confederated troops fought with the Amorites, it 
bllows, in regard to the continuance of me march, that the army 
ascended from Eadesh north-east to Wadi el-Murreh, and at the 
foot of the Amorite mountain, following Wadi el-Fiqreh, directed 
its course to el-Ghor. But what is the nature of the connection 
between Kadesh and the north-eastern tract that slopes away to 
the Dead Sea ? Till the present day this cannot be definitely 
described, since here, at the distance of a few miles, we stumble 
on a territory still entirely unknown. We only know that the plain, 
at the rock ji^udes, is closed up on the east by a range of heights ; 
and beyond, the above-named Wadis approach. We must, there- 
fore, at present be contented with the account of the Beduins 
whom Rowlands mentions, that from this Kudes there is an avail- 
able communication with Mount Hor — as I conjecture through 
Wadi Kqreh, on the way taken by Schubert and Robinson — 
and this so much the more, since (Num. xx. 11) Moses intended to 
strike into this way, and afterwards the Israelites actually turned 
off into it 


Digitized by 


1 848.] Remarks on (Genesis, Chapter XIV. 97 

As soon as the army descends to el-Ghor, the battle of the 
rebellious PentapoHs takes place. Their rulers therefore {v. 8) 
forthwith drew forth the troops in array against the enemy, and 
the armies meet one another in the vale of Siddim, which was 
already explained in verse 3 by * the Salt Sea ;' so that this valley 
belongs to the tract of land which was afterwards sunk in the 
Dead Sea (ch. xix.). The geographical studies of the last ten 
years have set aside the former idea, that a lake never existed in 
this depression. With so much the more certainty have we to regard 
the Dead Sea in its ancient extent as the northern boundary of the 
vale Siddim, against which the conquering army marches from 
the south-west. This valley, which, agreeably to the passage Gen. 
xiii. 10, sq., was not reckoned as belonging to Canaan proper, 
contained the towns named in ch. xiv. 2 ; of which Sodom (judged 
from V. 17, 21, to have been the most important of them) lay 
not far from Zoar (xix. 20), all situated, according to ch. xiv. 
10, xix. 19, 30, to the west of the Moabite mountains. Of 
these cities, there remained in later times only the one, Zoar, 
designated in our narrative by the old name, wnich we may ven- 
ture to place nearest the mountains, even, according to ch. xix , 
on the margin of the sea; and, inasmuch as it was the most 
southern inhabited place, often employed as a boundary point over 
against Jericho, corresponding to it m the north. ^ It does not 
follow from this, that !6oar must have been situated exactly at the 
south point of the Dead Sea. Where the utmost point to the 
south IS mentioned directly, Zoar is never named (comp. Num. 
xxxiv. 3; Josh. xv. 2) ; where mention is made of it, it is never 
reckoned to Judea, but, according to the standard of llie times, to 
Moab (Isa. xv. 5 ; Jer. xlviii. 34), to Arabia Petraea (Joseph. 
Antiq., xiv. 1, 4 ; B, J., iv. 8, 4 ; Ptolem. v. 17, 5^. This leads 
us to place Zoar on the east coast of the sea. There the Cru- 
saders still found it after going round the south end of the Dead 
Sea, in one of the entrances to the Moabite mountains, just as 
Jerome in Isaiah xv. 5, designates it as the western key of Moab 
(Robinson, iii. 756). In like manner the Arabs are still acquainted 
with it, and that not merely by name, as Robinson supposes (lii. 
758), if Edrisi {Syr., p. 2) and Abulfeda (Geogr,, pp. 39, 
228) call the Dead Sea the Sea of Zoghar, and Abulfeda again 
(p. 228) states that the Wadi of Hasban borders on the low 
ground of Zoghar, — a fact which points more definij;ely to the 
situation — but they know that it lay two days' journey from 
Jericho, and three from Jerusalem ; and that, too, on the way 
which led from Jericho (crossed the Jordan and) passed Zoghar 

»» Deut xxxiv. 3. Comp. Jos. B. J, iv. 8. 4; Euseb. On<m. «. v, Bd^wrtra. 
VOL. II. — NO. III. H to 

Digitized by 


98 Remarks on Genesis^ Chapter XI K [July, 

to Jebal, esh-Sherah, and Maan (see p. 86). Abulfeda also 
refers (p. 48) the situation of it at the Dead Sea to a single loca- 
lity ; and Kazwini^ in the Athar eUBiL (MS.)) expresses himself 
still more circumstantially to this effect : — ^ Zoghar is a hamlet 
three days* journey from Jerusalem, at the extremity of the stinking 
sea. It is in an unhealthy, bad valley, in a district very incon- 
venient, inhabited by a population who are visited by the plague 
in many years, and who remain there only by virtue of attachment 
to their native country.' Should we recognise in this language 
the characteristics of the Ghor, as Robinson (iii. 31) also touches 
on them, Istakhri (p. 35) says, 'At Zoar there are dates, in 
Irak are none sweeter and finer than they;' and we know, 
from Edrisi, p. 2, that they were once exported from Zoghar 
by ship to Jericho and other places. From them *• Segor ' cot 
among the Crusaders the name villa palmarum^ and is cele- 
brated for its fine dates.^ Thus, there is no doubt that Arabs 
and Crusaders, notwithstanding the name vallis illnstris given 
by the latter, which forms so strong a contrast to the de- 
scription of Kazwiui, mean the same place. But this productiveness 
belonging to the locality, is only met with at the mouth of Wadi 
el-Karahi, which in the so-called Ghor ess-Safieh makes the culti- 
vation of wheat, barley, and dhurah possible (Robinson, ii. 489) ; 
and in the plain Ghor el-Mezraah, fructified by the Wadi Kera^, 
with fiTiit-trees and corn-fields (Robinson, ii. 467), the scanty 
remains of the Jordan meadow, once so well cultivated in conse- 
quence of its copious springs that have not yet disappeared (Gen. 
xiii. 10), in contrast with the salt desert of the central and western 
el-Ghor, which is destitute of all living plants, and of whose 
frightful desolation older, as well as recent travellers, speak with 
horror. In proportion as the improbability increasea of ever 
finding the name or remains of Zoghar, at the present southern 
extremity of the Dead Sea, after all the inquiries nitherto made to 
discover them, and as the idea of the mountain-path to the plain 
of Ghor ess-Safieh, described by Seetzen,^ being that road into 
which Baldwin's army struck, becomes less and less probable, 
because Wadi Kerak formed the proper gate of Moab, and 
still does so; the more likely is Kobmson's view, founded on 
Irby and Mangles' observations (Palestine, iii. 164, 754), that 
the remains of Zoar must be looked for in the not unimportant 
ruins at the running out of Wadi Kerak into the plain (comp. 
with this Blazwini's words). Hence the part of the sea lying 
south of the peninsula, which stretches out westwards far into the 

' Von Raomer, Paltntina, p. 222. 

^ Zach's Monat, Correspond.^ xyiii. 438. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Remarks on Genesis, Chapter XIV, 99 

sea like a protecting bulwark, must be reckoned tbe vale of Sidditn, 
which sank in Abrimam's time, in that catastrophe, with its fruitful 
meadows and populous cities (ch. xix.), being ever after over- 
whelmed by the Dead Sea. 

The fortune of war decided in favour of the allies (v. 10\ so 
that all the Pentapolitan fugitives that did not fall in the slime- 
pits (which^ once visible, still throw up at the present day, from 
the bottom of the sea, their ^ ^ . asphaltum, equivalent to the 

1Dn),» sought for safety in the ravines of the Moabite moun- 
tains. The conquerors plunder (r. 11) Sodom and Gomorrah, the 
former of which, as has been shown above, lay near Zoar. Of 
course, they march across the plain, and reach at Zoar the eastern 
bank of the sea, at that which was then the south-east point. This 
is decisive respecting the direction of the way back, that cannot 
have been up to Canaan alone the western bank, which is in 
various ways shut up through me steep pass Engedi (Robmson, 
ii. 438), but along the east bank of the Dead Sea, probably on 
the road from Jericho to Zoghar, mentioned above oy Istakhri. 
Certainly, however, the march of the army in the Jordan valley 
continues upwards, till it (r. 14) reaches the extreme point at the 
well-known Dan; and in proof of our standing here on purely 
historical ground, the remark may be made, that Hobah (v. 15), 
which is not elsewhere mentioned except in Judith iv. 4, xv. 4, 
lies to the left, t. e. northward of Damascus. But the great con- 
tinental roads to Nineveh and Babylon came down from the north 
to Damascus; and we see, from this short account, that those 
smitten by Abraham fled thither, whence they had come. For the 
rest see p. 83. 

If we have thus far found the narrative faithful in all its parts, 
and very accurate where the relative localities have been suffi- 
ciently known before, the right acceptation of the whole solves, in 
conclusion, the disputed question of the position of Shalem. Ac- 
cording to V. 14, sq., the victor, laden with bootv, returns from 
Damascus, as we suppose, along the great road wnich reached the 
Jordan valley on the soutii, at the sea of Tiberias. Those fireed 
by Abraham from their oppressors, and among them Melchizedek, 
kin^ of Salem, come fortn (r. 17, sq.) welcoming, wishing pros- 
perity to, and blessing their rescuer, at the place afterwards (ailed 
The Kim's Vale. But the more certain it is that the land west 
of the Jordan was wholly untouched by the march of the army 
here described, the less reason is there for regarding Melchize- 
dek's Shalem, in violation, at the same time, of the firmly esta- 

• See Istakhri, p. 35 ; Abnlfeda, Gwgr., p. 228. 

H 2 blished 

Digitized by 


100 Remarks on Genesis^ Chapter XIV. [July, 

blished historical usus loquendi {V^\ Jebus, D/tt^*1^ Jerusalem, 

not being poetically abbreviated into D/ltf Salem, till Ps. Ixxvi. 

3), as Jerusalem, which lies entirely out of the reach of the nar- 
rative, and for transplanting the King's Vale into the neighbour- 
hood of the metropolis. This combination, moreover, becomes an 
impossibility, from the fact that Abraham, who did not undertake 
the expedition for his own personal advantage, but nobly gave 
to every one a share of the booty (r. 22, sq.), could not take the 
way from Scythopolis through Samaria, but must rather have 
followed the Jordan valley to Sodom, in order to bring back thither 
the captives, among whom were his nearest relatives (v. 12), who 
are also represented at a subsequent time (ch. xix. 1) as still 
dwelling there. Even this leads to the Jordan valley, as.the locality 
of Shalem and the King's Vale ; and if we combine this with 
the accounts of Jerome, that the SaXeiV, mentioned in John iii. 
23, in the avKw SaXiQ/x, i. e, in the Jordan meadow (Judith iv. 4), 
and which still later, under the names Salem^ SalumiaSf at least 
according to a partial tradition, was connected with Melchizedek,° 
lay eight Roman miles south of Scythopolis, consequently on the 
way which Abraham must have traversed, then all the marks of the 

identity of our Salem (D^.^) with that (2aXs//x) agree so well, 

that there cannot be any longer a doubt on the point. The men- 
tion of the King's Valley (2 Sam. xviii. 18), where Absalom erects 
his monumentd pillar, is not opposed to this ; for Absalom had 
his possessions beside Ephraim. 

*» See the passages in RosenmilUer, Antiq. ii. 2. 134, sq. ; Von Raamer, Pal, 
p. 156, sq. 


Digitized by 


1848.] ( 101 ) 


By Mrs. Postans. 

The subject of the present paper is one on which, I believe, that 
too much cannot be said, nor to which remark and observa- 
tion of the most serious kind can be too frequently drawn. The 
value of all illustrations of Sacred History, as collected from the 
exhaustless sources of Eastern custom, must depend of course on 
the truthfulness of the facts, and their intimate connection with 
ancient and holy record ; therefore the kind of evidence afforded 
by an eye-witness should have pre-eminent authority : for, however 
useful m their way, this authority cannot, in full force, attach to 
gleanings from the works of travellers not having this especial 
object in view, nor being, perhaps, very intimately conversant with 
the domestic manners of the people among whom they journey. 

While myself approaching tms very interesting and important 
subject, I do so in all humility, yet with an earnest desire to bring 
to the ever-increaang mound of human knowledge such srains of 
experience as I have garnered during a long residence in tne East ; 
and^ whether my joumeyings have been on the banks of the Nile, 
in the city of Rameses, whence ' with a strong hand ' God brought 
forth his people Israel, or on the shores of the Indus ; whether 
wandering on desert plains or residing in Oriental cities, the same 
fact has ever in its full power constrained my earnest observation 
— the fact that, however the East may have been affected by 
changes of religion and dynasties, however it may have been rifled 
and enslaved by stranger powers, however its features of govern- 
ment and social ordinances may have been altered or modified by 
external and extraneous circumstances, yet that, to a very remark- 
able and interesting degree, the manners and customs of Uie people 
remain unchanged during a period of more than tiiree thousand 
years, so that, even as in our day, the summit of Mount Sinai may 
still be noted by the pilgrim traveller to the convent of St. Catherine, 
and die great wilderness may now be trodden by the foot of the 
Gentile whereon the rebellious children of Israel murmured and 
wept, the traveller in the East may yet note in the ordinary life 
about him, acts, customs, manners, and prejudices, in no way altered 
from what they were when Abraham fed his flocks on Mamre, 
when Shimei cursed David at Bahurim, and when the Saviour 
and his disciples walked with men in the holy city. 


Digitized by 


102 Secollections of the East, [July, 

The intelligent reader, seeking the instructive evidence as such 
experiences may aid him in obtaining, will not deem a fact trivial 
or unimportant which tends to illustrate any of the interesting 
portions of the sacred Scriptures : and in truth it is on those facts 
ukely to escape the casual observer of Eastern manners that I am 
disposed to lay most stress, from their peculiarly interesting cha- 
racter if conffldered in reference to their prototypes in Holy Writ, 
these passiages also being little likely to arrest the attention of a 
careless reader. It may be the result of natural association while 
writing on this subject, but I feel that my desire to awaken interest 
in the comparison between ancient and modem times in the East 
would be materially asasted by the reader's endeavouring to form, 
as a groundwork, some general idea of Eastern scenes, climate, and 
costumes ; to imagine its vast deserts, trodden only by the camel's 
foot, and producing but the camel's food ; to imagme the deep 
blue canopy of heaven, shining forth with the glorious lights that 

Save their earliest worship to the simple shepherds watching their 
ocks by night, in the vast plains of Chaldea; to imagine the 
burning heats of day, all nature stilled in languid rest ; me even- 
ing hour, with its refreshing breeze, its purple shadowings; the 
flat-roofed houses, crowded by a turbaned population ; the kine 
returning to the city, the maidens filling their vessels at the wells ; 
the luxuriant foliace of a tropic clime ; the simple life of the 
peasant tribes — with their little tent of goat's-hair, their loins 
girded, their staff in their hand ; and this done, I would at«once 
and with increased confidence proceed to draw attention to such 
facts as appear to me to be worthy of remark. 

In the 12th chapter of the book of Genesis, firom the 4th to the 
10th verses, we read of the journeying of the patriarch Abram 
from Chaldea to Canaan — ^ And Abram took Sarai his wife, and 
Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had 
gathered.' The people of the East ever thus travel, they and their 
mmilies, with their substance. It has frequently occurred to me 
to see movements of a similar kind, sometimes the result of 
scarcity, when men have travelled from a province devastated by 
famine, to eat bread ; sometimes the effect of political agitation, 
when tbe possessors of great flocks and herds among the pastoral 
tribes feared foray from their own military chiefe, or attack from 
bodies of horse sweeping down upon them from the enemy. This 
was particularly the case in Beelochistan, during the period of the 
late Cabul campaign, and the Kujjuck and other shepherd tribes 
of the hills brought tlieir families down to the plains and villages 
of Cutchee for protection. While travelling, the head of the 
family commonly rode upon a camel, his sons and brethren, armed 
with sword and matchlock, following on foot and guarding the 


Digitized by 


1848.] illustrative of the Pentateuch. 103 

women, who were, with their servants and children, mounted on 
ponies ; bullocks bringing up the rear with tents, water-vessels, 
grain bags, and all ' their substance.' And we see that at Bethel 
Abram ' pitched his tent.' The tents in present general use in 
the East, by Mohammedans and European travellers, whether in 
Syria or India, are formed of canvas or coarse cloth, occasionally 
dyed green by the Moslems, and decorated with stars and crescents 
of crimson embroidery ; but the pastoral tribes and mountaineers 
about the Afghan passes form their tents of goat's-hair spun by 
their women, tne advantages of warmth and facility of transit being^ 
considerably greater than attaches to the tent of cotton-cloth ; and 
as this species of movable house is supported on bamboos to be 
found in every eastern forest, and may be fastened either to the 
thorny shrubs of the desert or stones of the hill side, its advantages 
are undeniable ; and considering the early period in which Abram 
journeyed from Haran, and his patriarchal character, it is probable 
that the tent he pitched at Bethel was of hair woven firom the pro- 
duce of his flocks, by Sarai and her maidens. 

In the 13th chapter and the 2nd verse we are told that ' Abram 
was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.' The whole history of 
the patriarch's domestic condition is precisely similar to that wmch 
mignt be given of an Afghan or Belooche pastoral chief of the pre- 
sent day. 1 remember an instance in Sher Mohammed, who came to 
negotiate affiiirs in the province of Shikarpoor, and pitched his tent, 
with those of his wives and servants, on the desert. He was a fine 
looking man, with a handsome beard descending to his girdle ; a 
ponderous turban of white cotton encircled his head, and ffllver 
ornaments of rude but massive workmanship adorned his neck, 
arms, and hands — ^for he, like Abram, was ' very rich in cattle, 
in silver, and in gold.' And he carried his wealth of metal on 
the person of himself, his wives, and his children, as the custom is 
with Orientals; and his flocks and. herds travelled with him with 
their herdsmen, and were confined in pens about the tents, and 
Sher Mohammed and his femily subsisted on the milk and ghee 
they produced ; and when I quitted the tent, the chief, with true 
Belooche hospitality, pressed on my acceptance a kid of the goats, 
with butter in a brazen vessel. 

« In the 16th chapter and 3rd verse we see that ^ Sarai, Abram's 
wife, took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt 
ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband 
Abram to be his wife.' In the hareems of the East the women- 
servants, whether bond or free, are entirely under the authority of 
their mistresses. It may be remembered also that the desire of 
ofl^rins is the paramount consideration with an Aaatic. Accord- 
ing to tiie institutes of the Hindoo law^ver Menu, a man may 


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104 Becolledums of the Ea$tj [July, 

fmt away a childless wife, and she becomes a reproach to her fel- 
ows. Men in the East feel, with the king of Israel, that with 
many sons ' they shall not be ashamed when they speak with their 
enemies in the gates ;' and the reasons for this feeling are many 
and cogent. When a &ther becomes stricken in years, his sons 
dwell with him — honom*, protect, and provide for him. /JThey are 
as sight to his eyeB, and a staff to his steps. If he be a chieftain, 
they follow him in feud and foray, and his quarrel becomes theirs 
to the third and fourth generation. A native of the East is 
respected as much for the number of his sons as for the array of 
his armed retainers. The result of this social condition is an ea^r 
desire for children; and when incantations at a neighbounng 
temple by Hindu women £sdl, and vows of pilgrimages to Mecca 
and Kerbela by the Musulmanis, the wives of men of rank very 
usually adopt the plan pursued by Sarai, which averts repudiation 
and the introduction of a stranger to the hareem circle. In all such 
cases the child bom of the handmaid is recognised and spoken of, 
caressed and respected, as the child of her mistress. I recollect a 
fact very similar to the giving of the E^ptian maiden to Abram, in 
the family of his highness the Nuwaub of tfunaffhar in western India ; 
the prince, according to the privilege of Moslems, having four 
wives, but being still unblessed with ofi&pring. At length the 
chief wife gave her slave girl to the Nuwaub, and a son was bom. 
This infant was introduced to me as the child of the Burrah 
Beebee, and was always treated and spoken of in the hareem as 
such by the other wives. The mother, indeed, nursed the boy, 
but herself called it the son of her mistress, and it was only after 
much inquiry that I discovered he was in fact the offspring of the 
Beebee's bondwoman. A similar circumstance occurred in the 
family of the Rao of Cutch ; but when the prince married the 
daughter of a Rajpoot chieft;ain, who bore him a son, a little lad 
whom I saw, like the son of Jacob, clad in a * coat of many colours,* 
the bondwoman and her son were cast out, or at least the son of 
the bondwoman was no longer considered as heir to the Musmud 
of Cutch, with the son of the free woman. 

In the 27th chapter of the book of Genesis, and the 3rd verse, 
we read of the command of Isaac to his son Esau — ' Now there- 
fore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and* 
go out to the field, and take me some venison.' 

The bow is most commonly used in the hill country of India ; 
by Bheels and Mahrattas it is always so ; and these people use the 
flesh of the deer as a general food. The bow is fipequently made, 
like their shields, of rhinoceros hide, richly gilt and painted ; and 
not alone is the bow used as a weapon to slay the krge red and 
spotted deer abounding in the Dekkan, but, if the bearer of a 


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1848.] illtutrative of the Pentateuch. 105 

letter arrives after the closing of the gates of a town, the bearer 
fixes it in his arrow and shoots it over the wall. The shooting an 
arrow into an inhabited place is also, among the Mahrattas, a 
signal for war, or hostility in various shapes, according to the size 
and importance of the place, whether city, town, or village. 1 
recollect being in the fort of Jooner in the Dekkan with a small 
force acting in a country ravaged by a bandit chief, when an arrow 
was so shot into the town, and the Mahrattas immediately strength- 
ened the place, expecting attack. ' Thou shalt not shoot an arrow 
there,' was commanded m old time ; and a similar charge, as we 
see, would be applicable to a people of to-day, bent on the attack 
of a neighbouring city. The now, directed to be the weapon used 
in the taking of venison by Isaac, would be similarly used by an 
Oriental of to^ay, seeking food required by his family ; and of 
venison, it is worthy remark, that as the deer is a beast that 
* parteth the hoof, and is cloven-footed,' it is held clean above 
other beasts that chew the cud, even by Hindoos. In the 11th 
chapter of Leviticus and the 6th verse, we read — ' And the hare, 
because he cheweth the cud but divideth not the hoof, he is unclean 
to you.* I was at one period encamped in the jungles of the 
northern Koncan in western Indian, and my people, hummalls, 
horsekeepers, and others, were much harassed with hard labour 
and incessant marching ; still, the high-caste men ate but grain, 
and drank water ; but tne lower-caste men caught small fish in the 
rivers, and used them in curry with vegetables and unleavened 
bread made of Jowarri flour, and baked on the hearth. We had 
several sportsmen with us, and game was constantly brought into 
camp. I ofiered hares and quail to the people, but saw that they 
were thrown to the village dogs. On one occasion two large red 
deer were shot by the wageries (huntsmen) ; and to my surprise I 
observed a Purwarri hummall cooking a portion of this venison 
in his brazen vessel. On inqidring why he had cast the hares 
indignantly away, ' Lala ' ran, and bringing me the deer's foot, 
explained that tecause the hoof was cleft, he, as a Mahratta, 
was allowed to eat it ; but the hare was unclean to him, not being 
cloven-footed. Neither would this man touch the wild hogs that 
were frequently shot in the plains; as we read, for 'the swine, 
though he divide the hoof, and be cloven-footed, yet he cheweth 
not the cud ; he is unclean to you' (Levit. xi. 7). 

In the 22nd verse of the same chapter it is commanded — ' Even 
of these ye may eat ; the locust aft;er his kind ; and the bald locust 
after his kind.' I was in the province of Cutch when a flight of lo- 
custs devastated the land, and literally devoured every green thing. 
The cultivators were Hindoos, and some of the richer people (Ba- 
nians) were so strict that they would not suffer fishery on the coast, 


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106 Recollections of the East, [July, 

holding even fish as unclean for food. A mighty wind at length 
drave the locust band into the sea at Mandavie (an important trad&g 
city on the coast), and with the flood tide the sands were strewn 
with the bodies of these devastating insects ; the cultivators imme- 
diately collected them in bags, and afterwards dried and salted 
them for food, for ' the locust after his kind ' the priests permitted 
them to eat. And throughout the East, by the Arabs, as by the 
people of India, the dried locusts are constantly used as a pro- 
vision, when the people travel to places where fresh vegetaoles 
and fruits are not procurable ; the insect locust, I have observed, is 
much more generally used than the bean of the ' locust tree,' and 
to the desert traveller would be a more sustaining food. This 
fact induces the belief, that it was the winged locusts, and not the 
vegetable pod, which became, with wild honey, the food of John 
the Baptist in the desert of Bethabara beyond Jordan. 

In the 31st verse of the 11th chapter we read — * Whosoever doth 
touch them when they are dead, shall be unclean until the even.' 
A Hindoo, imless he be a Pariah, an outcast, can in no way touch 
the body of any creature that has died, or he would be constrained 
to fast, to perform ablutions, to say mantras, to make offerings to 
the temples, before he could become clean ; therefore, outside all 
Indian cities, and near all camps, ' Dairs,' or outcasts, reside in 
little clusters of huts, whose business it is to carry forth all dead 
cattle and other unclean things to a certain distance, where 
they feast on some portions, and either trust to the hungry dogs 
or carrion crows to clear away the refuse, or they kindle a fire 
and consume it. In the 35th verse of the same chapter we read — 

* Whether it be oven or ranges for pots, they shall be broken 
down.' The ovens of the East are generally made of clay mixed 
with chopped straw, raised with three sides and a flat roof; I re- 
collect to nave seen one of this kind, of large size, in the yard of 
a caravanserai near Kurrachee in Sindh, where travellers baked 
the bread they required for their journey ; it was always heated, 
either with charcoal or red-hot stones, and could very easily * be 
broken down.' The ' pots' used in the East are circular, and of 
copper tinned ; one person has generally four or five in use. The 
hearth on which he uses them is flat, raised some foot from the 
ground, and is formed of clay surfaced with manure, tempered 
with water, which when dried is peculiarly clean and smootn ; at 
the back and sides a little wall is raised, and divided by small 
projections ; between each projection is the receptacle for &re, and 
on each partition a circular indent is formed, the size of the cir- 
cumference of the pot, which thus remains steadily fixed, while the 
contents are cooking by the heat on either side ; these then are 

* the ranges for pots, and it may be remarked, that if a Brahmin 


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1 848.] illustrative of the Pentateuch. 107 

is cookmg his rice and pulse, when the presence or eyen the shadow 
of an unclean thing comes before him, ne not only throws out the 
food, carries his yessels and clothes to the river for ablution, but 
he breaks down his cooking-place, the oyen, and ranges for pots, 
and by and bye erects another, somewhat remoyed. 

In the 23rd chapter of Leyiticus and the 10th yerse we read 
the command — * When ye be come into the land which I give 
unto you, and shall reap the haryest thereof, then ye shall bring a 
sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest The Hindoo 
cultivators uniformly observe the custom of offering the first fruits 
of their fields to their temples, and in Cutch I recollect seeing 
processions, in which persons bore salvers, having grain or fruits 
thereon, while one or two were laden with sheaves of com. The 
fields of the East produce two annual crops, the ^ rubbee' or spring 
crop, and the autumnal ; thus we see in the 23rd chapter of Exo- 
dus, ^ the feast of harvest ' noted, * and the feast of mgathering, 
which is in the end of the year.' In the 23rd chapter of Leviticus 
and the 40th verse, we read — * And ye shall take you on the first 
day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the 
boughs of tmck trees, and the willows of the brook, and ye shall 
rejoice before the Lord your God seyen days.' On the first day 
of the Dewalli, a favourite festival held on the commencement of 
the Hindoo lunar year, the whole of the population of an Indian 
city bear branches of the sami, tulsi, and other sacred trees in 
procession, and walking round all Uie temples in the vicinity, offer 
salutation and prayers to the several deities to whom they are 
considered sacrenl. 

At the 28th verse of the 19tii chapter of Leviticus we read — 
* Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh* for the dead, nor 
print any marks upon you.' In all mourning ceremonies in the 
East, that are conducted with any pomp, it is customar;^ to hire 
persons to disfigure themselves, and make loud lamentation. At 
the Mohammeoian ceremonies of the Mohurrum not only do bands 
of women in green dresses follow the bier of Hoossein and Hassan, 
beating their oreasts and tearing their hair, but fakirs and mad 
enthusiasts dance around it, cutting themselyes with knives, and 
running skewers through their tongues. Some Moslem servants 
in our employment at Mandavie^ to whom we had given leave to 
attend Mohurrum, returned so much wounded as to be incapable 
of service for some time, so fiercely had they made cuttings in 
their ^ flesh for the dead.' 

Near Verawul Puttun, in the Sarastra peninsula of Western 
India, I visited a sacred spot on the river Rin-Nakshee, which was 
a &yourite resort of the Hindoo pastoral deity Krishna ; there 
were here pilgrims and devotees from every part of India, wor- 

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108 Recollections of the East, [July, 

shippers of Krishua» Siva, Devi, and Vishnu ; Jogees, Gosaens, and 
Gooroos, who had come hither from the Lidus and the Ganges, 
and now stood in rows, while a Brahmin with a red-hot iron, 
stamped with the design of a lotus flower, printed ' marks ' upon 
the right arm of each. The same custom was observed at the 
great temple of Dwaka, situated near the island of Bate on the 
gulf of Cutch, and all pilgrims to the sacred mounts and shrines 
of Western India earnestly desired to be so printed with the marks 
of the sun god Heri, who, bom at Vrij on the Jumna, ruled as a 
prince at Dwaka, and being deified by the Hindoos, is now held 
in great reverence. Colonel Todd compares his acts and charac- 
ter with those of the Apollo of the Greeks. 

In the 6th chapter of Leviticus at the 11th verse we read — * And 
he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and 
carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place.' This 
is spoken in commandment to a priest, encased in a holy office, 
and it is worthy remark, that the custom of changing garments is 
common also with the Brahminical priests, when engaged in prayer, 
or in the performance of any of their, to them, sacred rites. We see 
also that a linen garment is spoken of. A friend of mine, the 
Brahmin Vindaek Gungadhur Shastree, readent m Bombay, the 
son of the late minister of Baroda, occupies a large house, crowded 
with Brahmins of high caste. The Shastree, in matters of &ith, 
is very strict, conscientious, and devout. The greater portion of 
the day he passes in the exercises commanded by his religion, in 
ablution, prayer, and contemplation of the several attributes of the 
Deity. During this period, the Brahmin puts off his linen gar- 
ments ; while dining he wears silk, and after renewed ablutions, 
he replaces those of linen, of two parts, the one a piece of cloth 
girded round the loins and falling below the knees, and the other 
a ^ garment,* or body coat, called an ankrika. 

In the 12th chapter of Numbers and the 10th verse we read — 
* And Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.' 
And affain in the 14th verse — * Let her be shut out from the camp 
seven days.' The plague of leprosy in India is lamentably com- 
mon, and among the lower classes the ' reddish spot ' upon the 
dark skin, showing uncleanness, may be constantly observed. I 
recollect looking from my window at Anjar in Cutch, when the 
door of a hut opened, and a woman came forth, whiter than a 
EuropNean, to wash her cooking vessels. I imagined she might be 
a soldier's wife, perhaps deserted in this miserable village, and 
sent to inquire ; but in answer found that she was a Hindoo, who 
had thus become * leprous, white as snow.' On the Guzerat 
peninsula of Western India, I visited the temple of the ^ Datar Che- 
lah.' This man had been a great priest, and enjoyed the reputa- 

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1848.] illustrative of the Pentateuch. 109 

tion of a saint for his benevolence, which the word datar, or ffiver, 
conveys. The power of the saint is supposed to be peculiarly felt 
in this spot. To it those afflicted with leprosy resort, their clothes 
rent and their * head bare,' to beseech heaUng from the saint. The 
temple is surrounded with a dense forest, and in these wild soli- 
tudes lepers firom every part of India * dwell alone,' until they 
are cleai^sed, or devoured by wild beasts, with which these jungles 
abound. I felt it to be a very touching sight ; these unclad 
lepers, with their emaciated bodies and streaming hair, in earnest 
prayer, beseeching that * the merciful and good Datar would re- 
store them to their children, aUd to their beloved but far-distant 
homes.' For thus, unless thev would bring a curse on their de- 
scendants to the third and tour\h generation, must these poor 
creatures afflicted with the plague of leprosy * dwell without the 
camp ' until they are cleansed, or death relieves them from their 

In the 36th chapter of Numbers and the 6th verse, we read of 
the daughters of Zelophehad — * Let them marry to whom they 
think best ; only to the family of the tribe of their fathers diall 
they marry.' Thus is it with the Rajpoots of the present day. A 
Rajpoot girl can only marry in her fatner's tribe, ani as the fami- 
lies nave decreased m number, and marriage or degradation are 
the alternatives of a native woman, Rajpoot fathers, to avoid the 
former, became infanticides, and destroyed their female children 
immediately on their birth. I saw in Kattiawar a chieftain in the 
office of the Political Resident, charged with the murder of his 
daughter. He had, at the prayer of ner mother, suffered her to 
live to girlhood ; at this penod she became attached to one, not 
of her tribe ; the father called her from the hareem, and slew her 
with his own hand. In early periods, when Rajpoots were nume- 
rous and powerful in the land, this law was doubtless intended by 
the R^poot parent, like that ^ven to Zelophehad, ^ to keep to 
himself the inheritance of the tnbe of his £a.thers ;' but as circum- 
stances changed, prejudice engendered crime. 

In the llUi chapter of Deuteronomy and at the 9th and 10th 
verses it is written — ' For the land whitner thou goest in to possess 
it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where 
thou sowedst thy seed and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden 
of herbs. But the land whither ye go to possess it is a land of 
hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven.' The 
minute description of the method of irrigation, in a land depend- 
ing for its supply of water either on springs or the inundations of 
a river, deserves attention. Neither in Egypt nor in Sindh, coun- 
tries in the same latitude, can rain ever be expected to fedl, and 
the crops of fine jowarree, to be found equally on the banks of the 


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110 Eecollections of the East, [July, 

Nile and the Indus, depend on irrigation from the river. In both 
countries the cultivation forms but a belt on either side of the 
stream, and beyond it the eye falls on an arid waste ; but in India 
and Arabia, which are lands of hills and valleys, that drink 
water of the rain of heaven, the traveller sees the whole face of 
the country studded with clumps of trees, plots of cultivation, 
fields of waving com. After the inundations of the Nile and 
Indus, on the rich alluvial deposit, the farmers scatter their seed, 
and it is then watered with the foot ^ as a carden of herbs ;' the 
method pursued for this mode of irrigation 1 have seen constantly 
practised in my own gardens in India. The ground sown with 
seed, or planted with young plants, is divided into square plots, and 
round each, as in England we might place a bordering of box or 
thrift, is raised a little division of earth. Similar embankments 
enclose a watercourse leading from Hie well, which every garden 
possessed : at dawn, the Moat Wallah, as he is called, brin^ his 
bullocks, yokes them to the machinery, and then sitting easily on 
the ropes, urges and encourages by turns his well-trained beasts, 
as raising the full water-bass they quickly descend the inclined 
plain ; and after a brief halt, the. sparkling, gurgling, frothing 
water falls over into a trough, hollowed usually from the hewn 
stem of a palm-tree, and thence flows along the small channels I 
have descnbed ; but, as the rush of water would otherwise wash 
away and destroy the young seedlings and the tender herbs, the 
gardener watches its progress, and as it flows along he unth his 
foot breaks away in rotation a morsel of the embankment of each 
plot, and thus suffers the water to flow gradually into it, and soak 
round the roots of the plants. As each bed receives sufficient 
moisture, he replaces with his foot the earth previously removed, 
and the Uttle stream, turned back to its course, flows on to the next 
line of plots, which in similar manner the gardener waters with his 
foot, and 'the garden of herbs' looks fresh and green under the 
burning sun, although the ' rain of heaven ' may not have fallen on 
it for a period of eight months. 

In the 20th verse of the same chapter we read — ' And thou 
shalt write them upon the door-posts of thine house, and upon thy 
gates.' This command concerned the statutes or 'words' given 
as commandments to the children of Israel, that they should nave 
them always in remembrance, and by every possible means con- 
sider, speak of, and meditate on them, at all times and in all 
places, as we are told in the preceding verse. While residing in 
the family of Meer Jafiur AH, a Mohammedan nobleman in 
Bombay, I was much struck by the manner in which the words of 
the Koran, with prayers and invocations to the Deity, were con- 
stantly used by the persons about me. On the books the Meer 


Digitized by 


1848.] illustrative of the Pentateuch. Ill 

read was commonly inscribed, 'In the name of God the most 
merciful.' He entered his carriage with a prayer for safety, and 
descended from it, uttering a thanksgiving. For several hours 
during the day, and at midnight, he read the Koran, and medi- 
tated thereon. A verse of the ELoran was, in a beautifully written 
character, enclosed in a golden amulet, which the Meer wore on 
his arm : ' Bind them for a sign upon your hand,' was the order 
to the Jews ; and though devoid of all other knowledge, a Moolah 
taught the Koran earnestly day by day to the Meer's little 
daughters, as we suppose a righteous Jew, by means of a Rabbi, 
might have obeyed the injunction, *Ye shall teach them your 
children.' On the sides of wells, over the doors of houses, on the 
gates and guard-rooms of Moslem dties, we see, looking like 
arabesque ornaments, verses of the Koran ; the tent of his high- 
ness M!eer AU Moorad had a succession of such words wrought in 
seed pearl round the interior of a tent in which I saw that chief at 
Mobarickpoor in Upper Scinde. The large courtyard of the 
Jumma Musjid at Ahmedabad in Guzzerat is richly painted with 
such sentences ; over the door of a house they are supposed to 
ward away the evil eye, and thus, instead of a ^ bell and a pome- 
granate,' yery common decorations in the rich wood-carvings of 
the old Hindu houses, we see in Mohammedan cities emblazoned 
verses of the Koran, in blue, and gold, and scarlet, as we suppose 
in the cities of Syria cunning painters may have written ^ on the 
door-posts' of the Jewish houses, and upon the Agates' the ordi- 
nances of the God of Jacob. 

In the 27th chapter of Deuteronomy and the 5th verse it is 
written — * And there thou shalt build an altar unto the Lord thy 
God, an altar of stones ; thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon 
thenL' We find among the old temples of the Hindoos, and of the 
earlier Arabians, that Uie habit of erecting altars and places sacred 
to their deities, of piled stones, was very common, and travellers 
are surprised at the skill displayed in these erections, made long 
anterior to the period when architectural knowledge of the power 
of the arch and its key-stone was introduced by the Mohammedan 
conquerors to India. At Pooragud, a city in a very ruined con- 
dition in Cutch, a city said, in the traditions of the province, to 
have owed its erection to a deity, and its destruction to the curse 
of a dervish, I saw several temples and altars of stones used 
without mortar, or the lifting up ot any iron tool upon them. The 
altars in most cases were composed of one square block of stone, 
with one at its back, and one on either side of it, and the walls of 
the temple and doorways were equally formed of piled stones 
neatly fitted. At Castel Credi, on the island of Malta, a place 
twice conquered by the Arabs, I saw altars of stones, with temples, 


Digitized by 


112 Becollectians of the East^ [July, 

and places in their sides, with caves that had been used for se- 

Eulchres ; in the museum at Valetta may be seen the stone coffins 
rought firom thence, and jewels of gold and of silver that were 
found in them, rendering it probable that those so buried in them 
were rich men, who could anbrd to say to the owner of the stony 
field in which the temple sepulchres were foimd, as Abraham did 
to Ephron before the children of Heth, ' I will give thee money 
for tne field ; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there/ And 
thus the cave of Macpelah, in the field of the Hittite, became the 
possession of the patriarch. 

In the 27th chapter of Deuteronomy and the 8th verse, we 
read — ' And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of 
this law very plainly.' Connected with the writing of laws upon 
stones commanded .to the Jewish people, it is most particularly 
interesting to remark that the Hindoos (319 b.c.) in the same 
manner published their edicts, and that these writings on stones 
not only remain at tlie present day, but that learned labour 
has caused their characters to be deciphered. On the granite 
rocks of Gimar, of Dhauli in CuttacK, and near Delhi and 
Allahabad, are graven the leading maxims of Buddism in the ver- 
nacular idiom of India, when King Puyadasi, the ally of Antiochus 
the Syrian, and Ptolemy Philadelphus, reigned at Palibothra, and 
was converted to the Buddistical system of Deism. In Hindostan 
these written stones are called Lats, but I have myself only seen 
the Rock Edicts at Gimar. The characters on this rock are very 
clear and distinct, and contain the enforcements of Buddistical 
virtues on the people, honour to parents, charity to kindred, 
humanity to animals, temperance in all things, with directions to 
spread aoroad these truths ; in the words on the rock, to 'release 
them from the fetters of sin, and bring them unto the salvation 
which passeth understanding.' The Rock of Gimar stands on the 
highway to a sacred mount, and we know that the road was ever 
thus, by the mountain torrent, over which the old rulers erected 
bridees written of in Sanscrit history ; and we now see the edicts 
on that rock, fresh as from the chisel of the graver. The evident 
object was, to give a lasting memorial of commandment to the 
people, and it was placed on the highway, written on the living 
rock, that it might be so; and for a similar cause might the 
children of Israel have been commanded to write on stones the 
commandments of the law * very plainly.' 

Among the curses for disobedience in the 28th chapter of 
Deuteronomy, we read, at the 40th verse — ' Thou shalt have olive- 
trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself 
with the oil.' The Hindoos always anoint themselves with fresh 
oil ; they believe it to protect the skin from the heat, and also to 


Digitized by 


1848.] illustrative of the Pentateuch. 113 

presenre it from the bites of insects and stingg of mosquitoes. The 
▼egetables and trees of India produce larffe quantities of berries 
and fruits yielding oil ; and eyery Tillage nas its oil-mill, turned 
by a camel or a bullock. The oil of the castor-tree is much' used, 
and mustard-oil in large quantities ; these are perhaps most fre- 

auently employed by the natives for anointing their bodies, while 
lie finer cocoa-nut oil they store for lights and cooking. Sandal- 
wood oil is also used for anointing the person, by men of rank, 
ladies of the hareem, and dancing-women, but the anointing of 
themselves with oil after ablution, by all ranks, seems so essential 
to ease, health, and comfort in the East, from the beggar to the 
prince, that no curse could perhaps more heavily afflict a native of 
India than depriving him of the means for doing this, as it doubt- 
less did afflict the Israelites when thev were toM that their olive- 
trees should each * cast his fruit* And yet there came even a 
heavier curse upon them, as we read in the 42nd verse--' All thy 
-trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.' I have 
already alluded to my observation of the devastating effect of a 
locust band in Cutch, which came so thickly, that the servants in 
going out to the bazaar were constrained to roll their heads up in 
heavy cloths, and arm themselves with staves, to avoid being hurt 
and wounded by the flying of these insects against their £su3es. 
During the day, by means of tomtoms and shrill trumpets, the 
locusts were prevented from settling, but at night devoured 
every green thing in the fields of the poor cultivators, remain- 
ing as a curse on the land for three days and nights, while 
the want and misery that followed were indeed great, for those 
who had taken mucn jowarree seed into the field, gathered in 
but few ears at harvest, for the locust had consumed it in the 

In thus drawing attention to a few, and yet but a very few, of the 
interesting comparisons that may be made between fricts and usages 
described in the five earliest books of the Old Testament, and the 
manners and usages of the people of the East, of India particidarly, 
in the present day, I have . left unnoticed many prominent points, 
because as such they have frequently been spoken of by various 
travellers, and again to dwell on them might be considered useless 
as well as tedious. I allude to the reception of the travellers by 
Abraham on Mamre ; of his going forth to meet his guest, a point 
of etiquette always observed in Eastern hospitalities ; his offer of 
water, ' Let a little water I pray you be fetched, and wash your 
feet, and rest yourselves under the tree,* the most necessary re- 
freshment that can be offered to. Uie weary foot-sore traveller, and 
one which always precedes that of food. The preparation, again, 
of meal, and the making cakes upon the heartn by Sarai, dmilar 

VOL. II. — NO. III. I domestic 

Digitized by 


114 RecoUectioM of the East^ [July, 

domestic service to which may be hourly observed by the traveller 
in the East, inasmuch as the wife, whatever be her rank, must 
prepare the family food ; then, the standing of Abraham by his 
guests, this being the attitude of deep respect, always observed in 
the East, towards those to whom honour is to be shown ; the setting 
up by Jacob of a stone for a pillar before ' he poured oil upon the 
top of it,' such stones, as memorials of things remarkable or un- 
common, whether marking a halting-place, as in Sindh ; a foray, 
as in Kattiawar ; or a suttee, as in Cutch, being of daily erection, 
and always anointed with oil or ghee ; the meeting of the servants 
of Isaac with Rebecca at the well of Nahor, with its kneeling 
camels and Oriental groups ; of the damsels of Uie city at eventide ; 
the striving of the herdsmen at the wells of Gerar ; the circum- 
stances of the £Bimine that was ^ so sore in the land ' when Jacob 
fled to Egypt, — ^these are passages where the comparisons are so 
prominent, that they cannot have escaped notice by all travellers 
m the East ; but, as I have before said, it is in the minuter points 
that perhaps most interest lies : and the more we consider these 
things the more are we impressed with the idea, that *• men in 
parallel conditions are uniform beings;' that under a similar 
climate, with similar food, and influenced by similar exterior cir- 
cumstances generally, the result of a patriarchal state, and pastoral 
habits, we find an agreement of usage : thus, the manners and 
customs of the people of Eastern and Western Asia did not very 
materially difier, and the tracing these resemblances between what 
we see in the present with what we read of the past, appears to 

Sive a life, a vivid portraiture, an absolute presence, to tne ind- 
ents of sacred history, which seems to annihilate the mighty 
interval of many thousand years, and while in no way robbing 
antiquity of its majesty, but, on the contrary, awakening the dull 
mind more and more to its authority, these traced resemblances 
seem at once of more touching interest, and afiect more intimately 
our general sympathies. Beiore closing this paper I cannot avoid 
observing on the present character of the people of India, on their 
ignorance, apathy, and credulity. I have seen the snake-charmers 
of an Indian village, and heard the remarks of the people on their 

Sower. And this has easily induced the belief, or what the con- 
dence of Pharaoh may have been in the power of the magicians 
of Egypt. I stood by the side of one of the best navigators on the 
coast of India, when the first steamboat came into han)our against 
wind and tide, and the man said he saw no reason why 'if wind 
broi^ht a boat, fire might not, they were both elements.' I have 
witnessed in Brahmins and princes the most stolid indifierence to 
the most wonderful models of art and to their powers ; previous 
experience was contradicted, but the observers were ignorant of the 


Digitized by 


1 848.] iUustrative of the Feniaieuch. 1 15 

laws of nature. Were the Bun to stand still, as it did on Gibeon, or 
the waters to part and stand on an heap, as at Jordan, the native 
would scarcely express surprise ; and notins this characteristic in 
the Oriental mind, I have been less astonisned at the hardness of 
heart of the ignorant and enslaved children of Israel, who, coming 
from makinff bricks under the taskmasters of Egypt, forgot the 
mighty wonders wrought for them, and murmured and wept for 
rest and water. As me subject of this paper is enlarged on, ex- 
tended, considered, and illustrated, its matter must become more 
and more interesting, more and more valuable. Truth, past and 

E»ent, forms its (Uita ; facts, that meet the Eastern traveller in 
ordinarv life path, form a mirror reflecting with wondrous 
brightness tne mignty and most solemn things of ancient days, and 
afford proof that whatever industrious, intelligent, and well- 
informcMl travellers may tell us of the present condition of the 
East, its manners and customs, we shall vet find the sacred Scrip- 
tures to be our most certain text-book, and one which tells us 
infinitely more, of all that was, and is, and ever shall be. 





By Db. Ernst Bebtheau, 
Professor of Oriental Languages in the University of Gdttingen. 

Translated by John Nicholson, B.A., Ph. D. 

The first two periods of history, which are very precisely defined 
in our present book of Genesis — on the authority of an ancient 
historical work of which it has made much use — embrace the in- 
tervals from the creation of the world to the ffreat flood, and from 
the flood to Abraham's immigration into Palestine. Their chro- 
nolo^cal determination is almost exclusively dependent on the 

■ This Essay was read at a meeting of the ** German OrienUl Society," held at 
Darmstadt in 1845, and was then printed in the Society's Jahretberichijur 1845-6. 

I 2 data 

Digitized by 


116 On the Different Computations of the [July, 

data given in Gen. v. and xi., although scime other passages in 
the first eleven chapters, which we will enumerate further on, 
must be adduced to complete t^e calculation, and to define the 
compass of the periods exactly. Now it is notorious that the 
statements in Gen. v. and xi. have come down to us under dif- 
ferent shapes in the Hebrew and in the Samaritan texts, and in 
the version of the LXX. Christian chronologists — who firom the 
earliest times laid the greatest stress on the numerical statements 
of the book of Genesis, because, as the data of a sacred book, 
they appeared to afford a firm basis on the unstable ground of the 
chronology of the whole of ancient history, and in the labyrinth 
of the many chronological numbers which nations, such as the 
Egyptians and Babylonians, for instance, have fixed independently 
of each other — have instituted numerous inquiries into the dis- 
crepancies in the different texts ; and it would be profitable to 
give an account of them, but our space forbids it here. In recent 
times, in which the endeavour to make the dates of the Old Tes- 
tament the baas for an exact chronology of ^^e remotest periods, 
has taken a subordinate place, the purely critical question as to 
the superiority of the readings of one text to those of the others, 
has very much engaged the attention of the learned. Most of 
them, following the precedent of J. D. Mich'aelis, have decided 
that the numbers in the Hebrew are the most original, and, 
therefore, the most correct, on the ground that the numbers of 
the Samaritan text and of the LXX. betray systematic alterations, 
and do not agree with each other. Ewald is the only one who 
asserts that he by no means considers the Hebrew text to be, 
throughout and without exception, the preferable one,'' and 
grounds his opinion — which he does not, however, further confirm 
— on a deviation of the Samaritan text and LXX. from the He- 
brew, which, as is generally admitted, is likewise a consequence of 
systematic alteration, and which has hitherto been used as a 
proof of the superior correctness of the Hebrew text. The ques- 
tion which text is superior, is by no means to be decided by those 
systematic alteration which have hitherto been pointed out on 
tne ground of assumptions which appear at first sight correct : 
and the reason why they cannot, is this, because many discrepan- 
cies, and among them precisely those very important ones in the 
odd numbers in the case of Methuselah and Lamech, for instance, 
cannot be explained by them, as is evident to all who have studied 
these matters. All that was left for a man to do, who was un- 
willing arbitrarily to assume inadvertent alterations and errors in 

^ Geachichte des VoUu Itrael, i. S26. 


Digitized by 


1848.] First Two Periods in the Book of Genesis. Ill 

writing, and to amend them according to his discretioli, was can- 
didly* to admit that the enigma of tlie discrepancies had not yet 
been solved — an admission which I have never been reluctant to 
make. Nevertheless, I still entertained a hope that the problem 
might be solved ; first, because the statements of numbers have 
fortunately been preserved to us in three different recensions, and 
indeed with scrupulous accuracy on the whole— for the testimonies 
of Josephus, Julius Africanus, Eusebius, and later chronologists, 
as well as the fact that all three recensions agree in most odd 
numbers, are our security for the safe tradition of the numbers 
for the space of nearly eighteen centuries ; — and, secondly, be- 
cause the discrepancies were in part already considered to be the 
effect of systematic alterations : which fostered the encouraging 
presumption that a stricter investigation might succeed in ex- 
plaining all discrepancies in the numbers, and in accordingly 
attaining a minute and sure knowledge of the chronological data . 
and systems on which they depend. It is true that, if the chro- 
nological systems are discovered, the question as to the correct- 
ness of the numbers in one text or the other will lose its impor- 
tance, since they may all, however different they may be, be right 
within their respective systems ; and the only question that would 
still remain would be, which of the discovered systems deserves 
to be preferred before the others — which could hardly receive a 
positive answer. 

The idea that the statements of numbers in the three recen- 
sions are based on different chronological systems, has not only 
recently occupied my mind : I am induced to pursue it at present, 
partly in consequence of the chronological investigations into 
whicn I have entered in my Commentary on the book of Judges, 
and partly by Bunsen's excellent work on * Egypt's Position in 
the History of the World,' which, like all other really important 
historical mquiries, is distinguished, amidst other great merits, 
also by this, that it inspires courage in him who despaired of 
success in the elucidation of obscure problems, and cheers him on 
to venture a fredi effort with renewed energy. The present occa- 
sion only permits a brief statement of my researches : I hope it 
may exhibit the results in a clear and intelligible form. 

First Period. 
From Adam to the Flood. 

It is necessary to mve a tabular view of the numbers in the 
different recensions of the fifth chapter of Genesis. The first 
column constantly denotes the years before the birth of that son 
who carries on the genealogical series ; the second column, the 


Digitized by 


118 On the Differed Computations of the [July,* 

remainder of the years ; the third, the sum of the years, or the 
whole duration of life : — 

Sun. Text. Hefar. Text. LXX. 

Adam 180 800 980 130 800 980 S80 700 980 

Seth 105 807 912 105 807 912 205 707 912 

































962 • 
































, . 

, , 


• • 

• • 





• • 


• • 

• • 



Ounan • 


Jared • . 

Enoch . . 



Noah . . 

UntU the Flood 


If we disregard, first, the hundred years which the LXX. add to 
the first nine members of the series, and which the Hebrew thrice 
adds to the year of the age at procreation ; and, secondly, the 
reduction of the remainder of the years of life which is thus pro- 
duced ; we find a perfect accordance of the numbers in the first 
five members, and m the seventh, Enoch. The only discrepancy 
at the sixth member, Jared, is that the Samaritan text shortens 
the remainder of his life to 785, and the sum of his years to 847, 
instead of 800 and 862, which numbers we expect according to 
the Hebrew and LXX. It was necessary to reduce the numbers 
800 and 862 by 15 years, because, according to the latter num- 
bers, Jared's death would, in the Samaritan text, fall 15 years 
after the commencement of the flood. On the other hand, we 
find extremely important discrepancies at the eighth and ninth 
members, Methuselah and Lamech. In some of tnese deviations 
it is at once evident that they depend on the year in which the 
commencement of the flood is placed according to the assumptions 
of the difierent texts respectively. For, if the Samaritan text 
makes Methuselah live 653 years after the birth of Lamech, and 

• With regard to the 187 years which the LXX. assign to Methuselah, Eusebins, 
and, in conformity with him, Jerome (in the Chronicon), and Augustine (.De Civitaie 
Dei, lib. xy. ch. 11), say that Methuselah begot Lamech in his 167th ^ear, that he 
liyed 802 years afterwards, and altogether 969 years ; from which it is evident that, in 
the fourth centnrjr, the Samaritan reading of 167 instead of 1 87, was the prevalent 
one in the Christian church. The readmg 167 does not harmonise with the other 
numbers of the LXX. ; for, according to it, Methuselah, as is at once evident, 
would not have died until 14 years after the flood — an assumption which would 
without doubt be totally contrary to the meaning of the book of Genesis. According 
to Africanus (in the Cbronicon of Ensebius), Methuselah was 185 years old when 
he begat Lamech ; that is a mistake in writing for 187, as may be prored from 
Syncellus. The reading 187, which the Alexandrian Codex has, ana which was 
known to Africanus and to the most ancient Fathers, even to those above named, 
is the correct one, as we are enabled to evince with certainty, in what follows. 


Digitized by 


1848.] First Two Periods in the Book of Genesis. 119 

assigns Lamech an age of 653 years, the reason for that is, that, 
according to the computation of the Samaritan Pentateuch, the 
flood begins 653 years after Lamech's birth. According to the 
Hebrew text, the remainder of Methuselah's life is 782 years, 
because, according to its data, the flood begins 782 years after 
Lamech's birth. We are not yet able to assert whether other 
difierences in the numbers concerning Methuselah and Lamech 
are also respectively accommodations to the year in which the 
flood is placed ; but we shall soon see that that is the fact. 

The numerical statements of the table agree together for the 
most part. We already discover that individual discrepancies 
are a consequence of the different computations of the commence* 
ment of the flood. It is evident, therefore, that we must turn our 
attention to these different computations ; and we will now exa- 
mine the. texts severally. 

I. The Samaritan Pentateuch reckons 1207 years firom the 
creation of Adam to the birth of Noah's three sons, who are the 
progenitors of the new human race aA;er the flood ; and 1307 year9 
to tne flood. If we scan the series of numbers which define the 
ages at the dates of procreation— 130, 105, 90, 70, 65, 62, 65, 
67, 53, 500 — ^we find that, on the whole, they decrease. The 
only places where the regularity of the decrease is disturbed are : 
first, with Enoch, whose 65 years exceed the preceding number by 
3 — which does not surprise us, as we can at any rate conjecture 
the connexion of the tradition which fixes his life at 365 years, 
which may naturally be divided into 300 and 65 ;^ secondly, with 
Noah, who at a very advanced age begets those sons who were 
called by God to be the progenitors of the new race of men after 
the flood, and whose high importance and destiny is even indicated 
in the fact of their being the long-desired sons of an ased father ; 
and, lastly, with Methuselah, where we are struck with the increase 
to 67 in comparison with the foregoing number, and with the great 
and unexpected difference between 67 and 53 in comparison wit^ 
the succeeding number. In the case of Enoch and Noah, the 
numbers of the Samaritan Pentateuch are confirmed by the other 
recenaons, but not in that of Methuselah ; it miffht, therefore, be 
questioned whether the number 67 is correct. If, instead of 67, 
we found 60, which number evidently harmonises better with the 
general ratio of the series, then the interval from Adam to the 
birth of Noah's sons would be exactly 1200 years. But the text 
has 67 ; and that the Samaritan Pentateuch calculated the time 
firom Adam to the birth of Noah's sons at 1207 years is evident 
firom the numbers 785 and 847 with Jared, 653 and 720 with 

^ See Bwald'8 Geschidite d, Volhes Israel, i. 314. 


Digitized by 


120 On the Different Computations of the [July, 

Methuselah, 600 and 653 with Lamech — all of which would have 
to be reduced by 7, if that interval were only computed at 1200 
years. Up to this pointy therefore, we have no title whatever to 
consider the number 60 to be the original one, instead of 67. This 
title, however, will have to be conceded to us. We only say at 
present, first, that if this series, 130, 105, 90, 70, 65, 62, 65, 60, 
53, 500, did occur in the Samaritan text, the interval from Adam 
to Noah's sons would be fixed at 1200 years ; secondly, that it 
majr be proved from the Hebrew text and the LXX. that this 
senes must have originally worn this aspect ; and, thirdly, that 
the interval frt>m Adam to Noah's sons is now reckoned by the 
Samaritan Pentateuch at 1207 years. This question, therefore, 
arises : Why not at 1200, but at 1207 years ? We only suggest 
this question here, in order to pave the way for our subsequent 
attempt to answer it. 

II. The SeptuoffiiU. — ^In the Greek version, the interval from 
Adam to the flood is computed at 2262 years : the flood, therefore, 
is placed, first, 900, and secondly, yet 55 years later than it is by 
the Samaritan Pentateuch. The round number 2200 is increased 
by the superadded 62 years. Now observe : 2262 lunar years of 
864, or — as we may, with almost equal accuracy, and decidedly 
greater convenience, say — 365 days, are equal (all but a difierence 
of 10 days, which are, of course, inconsiderable in a computation 
by years) to 2200 solar years. Here, then, we evidently have a 
reduction of solar to lunar years, on the scale which it is notorious 
the book of Genesis itself gives in the history of the flood (cf. Gen. 
vii. 11, with viii. 14). He who refrises to admit such a reduction, 
contends against a fact which is plainly enough deduced from tlie 
numbers themselves, and one which, because it recurs again, leaves 
no room whatever for doubt or hesitation. Now the 2200 years are 
a round number, which no one, who has considered the character 
of the chronological numbers of the book of Genesis, will scruple to 
consider to be me more original one. After we have compared the 
Samaritan Pentateuch, we shall be obliged to say that it would be 
the result of the numbers in the LXX., if 160 years were assigned 
to Methuselah instead of 187, and 153 to Lamech instead of 188. 
In that case, the series for the ten members would be, 230, 205, 
190, 170, 165, 162, 165, 160, 153, 500. The reduction of the 
2200 solar years to 2262 lunar years renders it necessary for 62 
more years to be added to the account ; the numbers of the first 
seven members, and of the tenth, remain unaltered, as we learn 
from the agreement in all the recensions ; only the numbers con- 
cerning Methuselah and Lamech are increased, tiie former from 
160 to 187, because the latter is increased from 153 to 188. 
We may be surprised that the 62 years are so unequally divided 


Digitized by 


1848.] First Two Periods in the Booh of Genesis. 121 

into 27 and 35 years ; but we shall soon be able to indicate the reason 
for it. The text, therefore, must necessarily have once assigned 
to Methuselah the above-mentioned 160 years, instead of the pre- 
sent 167 of the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the 187 of the LXX. 

We avoid all lengthy discussion about solar and lunar years. 
It is enough for .us timt, although the history of the flood calculates 
according to lunar years, the existence of the solar year is neverthe- 
less known, as the flood from its commencement to its end occupies 
a complete solar year. It is notorious that the Jews in later times 
universally reckon by lunar years. Why was the reducticm at- 
tempted ? Was it, perhaps, in order to gratify a desire which is 
plainly to be discerned in the LXX., and which was sure to arise, 
as soon as ever the attempt to reconcile tlie numbers of the Old 
Testament mth the chronological dates of other nations — as the 
Egyptians, for instance — ^was prompted by the commencement of a 
science of chronology ? We will not follow this any further, for 
our only object is to give due prominence to the fact of the 

According to the LXX., therefore, 2200 solar years elapsed 
from Adam to the flood: as 600 years are counted between 
Noah's birth and the flood, there remain 1600 years for the period 
from Adam to Noah's birdi. These 1600 years cannot be made 
up, unless 900 years more than we find in the Samaritan Penta- 
teuch are taken into the account ; therefore, 100 years are seve- 
. rally added to the age of every one of the first mne members of 
die ten at the date of their procreating sons — if we regard the 
matter from the Samaritan point of view. The LXX. now cal- 
culate the interval from Adam to Noah's birth at 1662 ^ears, 
instead of 1600, because the difierence of the reduction is not 
distributed among all separate numbers the sum of which is 2200, 
but is only thrown upon the two numbers with Methuselah and 

III. J%e Hebrew text reckons the time from Adam to the flood 
at 1656 years. We must here remark, by anticipation, that, 
according to it, the time from the flood to Abraham's immigration 
into Palestine exactiy fills 400 years. According to it, therefore, 
there were 2056 years from Adam to Abraham's immigration. 
2056 lunar years of 365 days are equal — all but a difierence of 
120 days, wmch is of no moment — ^to 2000 solar years of 365 
days. The reduction makes a difierence of 56 years, which are 
again not distributed among the several numbers of the series, 
but put on the two numbers at Methuselah and Lamech, in almost 
equal divisions ; for 27 years are added to Methuselah, and 29 to 
Lamech. There must have been some objection to divide it into 
twice 28. The LXX. divide their 62 years more unequally into 


Digitized by 


122 On the Different Computations of the [July. 

27 and 35 ; for the sake, probably, of preserving an agreement 
with the Hebrew text in the case of Methuselah at least, they laid 
the difference between 56 and 62 on Lamech's number exclusiyely, 
and gave him, instead of the 29 years in the Hebrew text, 6 years, 
therefore 35 years more on the whole. — As the Hebrew text fixes 
1656 (1600^ years for the period which the Samaritan reckons at 
1307 (1300), accordingly, if we take the Samaritan text for the 
basis, three members out of the ten were obliged to have 100 years 
added to them respectively : Jared, Methuselah, and Lamech have 
all received 100 years more. 

After examining the recensions separately, let us survey thQ 
whole. The diversity in the numerical statements is wholly de- 
pendent on the date of the flood : according to the LXX., 2200 
solar years intervened between Adam and the flood ; therefore, 
900 years more than the Samaritan has, and 600 more than the 
Hebrew has, are here added to the account. 2200 years are equal 
to 2262 lunar years ; therefore we find 187 instead of 160 with 
Methuselah, and 188 instead of 153 with Lamech. The other 
niunbers concerning Methuselah and Lamech were, of course, now 
obliged to be altered likewise ; nevertheless, numbers of the other 
recensions, which rested on other chronological theories, could still 
be retained, provided the duration of Ufe came to a close before 
the flood : thus tlie LXX. actually fix Methuselah's duration of 
life at 969 years, in accordance with the Hebrew text (where these 
969 years, as we shall see, can be easily accounted for), and, in 
the case of Lamech, have retained from the Samaritan the 653 
years augmented to 753, for which reason they do not fix the 
remainder of Lamech's life at 600, as the Samaritan does, but at 
600 — 35 = 565, as they had increased the years at procreation 
not only by 100, but also by 35 more. All this tends to show 
that the numbers concerning Methuselah and Lamech were origi- 
nally equal. — The Hebrew text, instead of 1600 solar years, now 
reckons 1656 years between Adam and the flood ; 187 instead of 
160 at Methuselah ; 782 years from Lamech's birth to the flood ; 
thus 782 + 187 = 969 for the duration of Methuselah's life. With 
Lamech, it now reckons 182 instead of 153 ; Lamech dies at the 
age of 777, five years before the flood, whereas, according to the 
Samaritan, he perishes in the year of the flood, like Methuselah. 
— The Samaritan text reckons 1307 years between Adam and the 
flood, and 1 207 from Adam to the birth of Noah's sons : we are 
now in condition, after what ha^i gone before, to say with confidence 
that the superfluous 7 was not taken into the account ori^oially, 
although we are not yet able to explain it. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Fira Two Periods in the Book of Genesis. 123 

Second Period. 

From the Flood to AhrahmrCs Immigration into Palestine, 

We only require to exhibit a tabular view of those numbers in 
Gen. xi., which define the age of the father at the procreation of 
that son which carries on the genealogical series. 


Sam. Text 

LXX. ' 





Arpachshad • 




ar". : ; 







Eber . 




Peleg . . 





. 32 



Serug . 

. 30 



Nahor . 

. 29 


179 79 (129) 

Terah . 

. 70 



I. The Hebrew text has not the third member Cainan, who, in 
the LXX., is found here and also in chap. x. 24, and in Luke 
iii. 35. He must have originally stood in the Hebrew text ; for, 
first, it is only by the admission of his name that the series from 
Sem to Terah is completed to the number ten, just like the 
series from Adam to Noah ; secondly, the omission of the name 
Cainan may be explained, because it already occurs at chap. v. 9, 
and because the same number 130, or 30, is found with Cainan 
and Selah ; the interpolation of the name by a corruption of the 
original text is not very conceivable, since it would have been an 
easy thing to disguise and to hide the corruption, by choosing 
another name and another number; thirdly, the chronological 
system requires Cainan and his 30 years.® 

The series of numbers does not define the dxuration of the 
period. We must adduce other passages. First, according to 
Gen. vii. and viii., the flood comes and goes away in a year. 
Secondly, according to Gen. xi. 10, Sem begets Arpachshad two 

J ears after the flood, being aged 100 years ; we at once observe 
ere that, as Noah, according to chap. v. 32, begot Sem, Ham, 
and Japhet, when he was 500 years old, — as the flood happened 
100 years subsequent, according to ch. vii. 11 (yet it is ouite 
gone in the second month of the 601st year of Noah's life, Gen. 
viiL 14), — and as Sem was not 100 years old until two years 
after the flood : we are, therefore, obliged to say that cL v. 32 
does not mean to affirm that Noah begot his three sons when he 
was 500 years, but that he then began to beset sons, and that 
Sem was not bom until Noah was 502 years old. Thirdly, ac- 

* A different Tiew is taken of this by J. D. Michaelifl, in his Ccmmentationes per 
omiof 176^1768 fMata, p. 153, sqq. 


Digitized by 


124 On the Different Coniputations of the [July, 

cording to Gen. xi. 26, Tenth besot Abraham, Nahor, and 
Haran, when he was aged 70 years ; uiis cannot mean, any more 
than in the case of NcMih, that the three sons are begotten in the 
same year ; but while we find a statement concermng Sem, by 
which the year of his birth is fixed, we in yain search our present 
Genesis for such a statement concerning Abraham. Neyerthe- 
less, on account of the in other respects perfect parity of the series 
from Adam to Noah, who has three sons, Sem, Ham, and Japhet, 
and of the series from Sem to Terah, who likewise has three 
sons, Abraham, Nahor, and Haran, we must say that both 
Abraham and Sem, whose relatiye positions in the series of the 
three brothers exactly correspond, were respectively bom two 
years later than the eldest brother. This also acconls with the 
whole tenor of the book of Genesis ; for, as Seth, Sem, Isaac, and 
Jacob, are none of them the first-bom sons, we haye as little 
reason to expect to find Abraham a first-bom son : God's fistvour 
makes him, as a younger son, the recipient of revelations and 
promises, and gives him the pre-eminence before his brothers. 
We assert, then, that Terah was not 70 but 72 years old when he 
begot Abraham : and we do not assert this arbitrarily, but obtain 
the result by limiting the general statement in Gen. xi. 26, after 
the precedent of the more definite restriction which ch. xi. 10 
exhibits of the equally general statement in ch. v. 32 ; and, at 
the same time, by leaning for support on aphenomenon which 
constantly recurs in the book of Genesis. Therefore we intro- 
duce two years into the account, which are not expressly men- 
tioned in the Genesis ; and the result will evince that we are right 
in doing so. Fourthly, according to Gen. xii. 4, Abraham mi- 
grated mto Palestine when he was 75 years old. 

We have now taken all the statements into consideration. The 
dwation of the period is determined in the following manner : — 


Duration of the flood 1 

Arpachshad bom after the flood .... 2 

Arpachshad b^;ets, aged 35 

Cainan 30 

Selah 30 

Eber 34 

Teleg 80 

Reu . . . . ' 32 

Serug 80 

Nahor 29 

Terah 70 

Abraham is bom later by 2 

Abraham immigrates, aged . . *. .75 

From the flood to Abraham . . 400 


Digitized by 


1848.] Fira Two Periods in the Book of Genesis. 125 

These are the data of the Hebrew text. The individual num- 
bers which are brought into the account, produce in itself a satis- 
factory result, the correctness of which is confirmed by the 1656 
years of the first period, as the 56 years of overplus require 
1600+400 years, because 2000 solar years are equal to 2056 
lunar ones. 

n. JTie Samaritan Pentateuch, — ^It, too, omits Cainan, whom we 
have been obliged to rehabilitate in the Hebrew text The dis- 
crepancies appear in these points : first, that from the second to 
the eighth member (Cainan included), the date of procreation is 
every time placed 100 years later, by which the duration of the 
period becomes 700 years longer; secondlv, that Nahor is 79 
years old when he begets Ter^, instead of 29, which produces 
a difference of 50 years. If we leave these 50 years of overplus 
out of the account for the present, the Samaritan text fixes the 
interval from the flood to Aoraham's immigration at 1100 years ; 
we remember that, for the first period, it reckoned 1307 (l300) 

J ears until the flood, and 1207 (1200) years until the birtii of 
foah's sons. We are, accordingly, entitled to say that it begins 
the new period with the burth of the founders of ue new race of 
man, that is, the sons of Noah, and that it assigns an equally 
lone duration to both the first two {periods : frt>m Adam to the 
birSi of Noah's sons 1207, or — omitting this supernumerary 7, 
of which we will immediately treat — 1200 years ; and, from the 
birth of Noah's sons to Abraham's immigration, 1200 years. 

But how do we account fi^r the supernumerary 7 in the first 
period, and 50 in the second? As for the latter, it is involved 
m the 79 which are assigned to Nahor, instead of the 29 of the 
Hebrew text, and serves to moderate the sreat leap from Seme's 
130 years to Nahor's 29. ITiat it was exdusively devised for this 
purpose, we are not justified, by what we have already seen, in 
assuming ; but it is very possible tiiat the 50 years which had for 
other reasons to be added to the account, were assigned to Nahor, 
in order to lessen the distance between 130 and 29. According 
to the course which our inquiry has hitherto pursued, we are now 
to account for these supernumerary 7 and 50 years. We can- 
didly admit that we do not find the means of accounting for them 
in our present Samaritan Pentateuch. That will not surprise any 
one who considers the critical character of the Samaritan text, 
and the almost total want of critical auxiliaries in restoring its 
genuine form. Nevertheless, we may make the matter intelligible 
to us by the aid of a very difficult, but confessedly very important, 
passage in Josephus,' which states that Sem begot Arpachshad 12 

' ArcJuBol, i. 6. 5. 


Digitized by 


186 On the Different Camputatians of the [July, 

years after the flood, instead of 2 years, as the Hebrew has. 
These 12 years must surely have been found in a Biblical text 
somewhere ; we cannot assert that this somewhere was the Sa- 
maritan Pentateuch, but we may say that they would not have 
been out of place there. For, by these 12 instead of 2, we 
obtain 10 more years to add to the supernumerary 7 and 50, 
therefore 67 in all ; the 2400 years, which are here assigned to 
both periods, are equal to 2467 lunar years. I believe that, 
under existing circumstances, we may rest satisfied with this 
explanation. Another solution is offered in the numbers of the 
Samaritan codex, which Eusebius cites in his Chranicany by which 
Arpachshad was 130 years old when he besot a son, instead of 
135 ; now, as the year of the flood, and £e 2 years after the 
flood to the birth of Arpachshad, and the aboYe-mentioned 2 years, 
in the case of Terah, between the birth of Nahor and Abraham, 
might all be easily passed over, accordingly, the 67 years might 
possibly be latent in the supernumerary 57 years, and in the 10 
years omitted from the account. The former explanation satisfies 
me better. The reader must not, however, forget that the pre- 
ceding conclusions stand on their own basis independently of this 

ill. The SeptuaginJt. — Setting aside Cainan, we find here the 
following discrepancies from tlie Hebrew text : first, from the 
second to the ninth member, the time of procreation is regularly 
placed 100 years later, by which the whole period becomes 800 
years longer; secondly, at the ninth member, Nahor, 179 is 
given as the year of procreation, together with other readings : 
tiius we find 79 in the Alexandrian Codex, which in a remarkable 
manner fixes the remainder of Nahor's life at 129 years, and 
therefore mentions that number here, which, accordmg to the 
Hebrew text, we expect as that of Nahor's age at procreation. If 
we consider this, and the relative position of the Samaritan text 
to that of the LXX., we shall ascribe the numbers 79 and 179 to 
the influence of the Samaritan text, and, in conformity with the 
Hebrew text, shall consider 129 as the original and correct read- 
ing. According to this, the LXX. reckon 1200 years for our 
period. We find no supernumerary years ; therefore, either no 
reduction to lunar years has been attempted here, or it is con- 
tained in other readings of the numbers which are extant, but 
which we are not able to pursue minutely. 

And now for the result. Agreement m all the numbers of the 
three recensions, with the exception of those 100 years which are 
either re^Iarly added to, or subtracted from, the individual 
members, just as the assumed compass of the period happens to 
require ; and with the exception of those few augmented numbers 


Digitized by 


1648.] First Two Periods in the Book of Genesis. 127 

assiffned to Lamech and Methuselah, and perhaps to Nahor, in 
which the augmentation is the efiect of the reduction of solar to 
lunar years. 

We have repeatedly spoken of a chronological system. The 
assumptions of the Hebrew text, that the first two periods exactly 
conipnse 2000 solar years (2056 lunar years), 1600 of which so 
to the first period, and 400 to \he second ; the assumption of the 
LXX., that the first period should be fixed at 2200 solar years 
(2262 lunar years), 1600 of which elapse before the birth of 
Noah, and 60O from then to the flood, and that the second period 
is made up of 1200 years ; the assumptions of the Samaritan 
Pentateuch, that the first period to the birth of Noah's sons em- 
braces 1200 years, and the second period 1200 years likewise — 
these assumptions, what are we to call them ? Are they not 
actually the results of chronological systems, which supply the 
deficiencies of historical tradition by general computations and 
assumptions ? And these assumptions did not soon settle down 
to fixed and inviolable dates in the tradition of the Israelitic 
nation. Later generations must have known on what an unstable 
foundation they rested ; for, had they not possessed that know- 
ledge, the discrepant statements in the three recensions would 
have been utterly inexplicable. 

Here our investigation is at an end. We suggest the question, 
which system deserves the preference, and pass over into a pro- 
vince in which conjecture takes the place of demonstration. It is 
possible that the original system — ^by which I only mean the one 
that is easiest to fathom and to bring into harmony with other 
statements — may not be found either in one text or the other. 
If we consider that the historical books of the 01^ Testament, on 
the authority of an ancient historical work, plainly distinguish 
four ages, which, amidst manifold other characteristics, are 
espedany distinguished from each other by this, that in every 
prior one men attain — to speak concisely, but loosely — about 
double the duration of life to what they reach in the one im- 
mediately succeeding it ^ if we further consider that, in the fourth 
age, from Moses onwards — as far as they still counted by 
generations then — ^a generation is fixed at 40 years,^ that, there- 
rore, in the first age, the generations of men who lived four times 
as long may appropriately be fixed at 160 years, in the second 
age at 120, and in the third at 80 ; if we take these points into 
consideration, we shall be obliged to say that a chronology which 
assumes 160x10=1600 years for the ten generations from Adam 
to the flood, and 120x10=1200 years for the ten generations of 

' See Ewald^s Geach. d. Volkea Itrael, i. 325. 

^ See the Introdaedon to my CommaUarjf <m the Book rfJudget. 


Digitized by 


128 The ChruHan Sabbath.'* [July, 

this second period from Sem to Terah, presents us veij many 

Sints of contact with other assumptions and views. In met, our 
ebrew text conceals under its 1656 lunar years the assumption 
of 1600 years, that is, of ten generations of 160 years, for the 
duration of the first period. Tue second period is calculated at 
1200 years by the LXX., tliat is, at ten generations of 120 years ; 
and really we cannot disguise from ourselves that it would have 
accorded better if the Hebrew text, which only reckons 400 
years, had added 100 years to every one of the eight members 
between Sem and Terah, and had thus increased its account by 
800 years.* Unfortunately, we do not possess accurate numerical 
statements for the third age, from Abraham's immigration into 
Palestine to Israel's Exodus out of Egvpt ; I believe toat we must 
despair of finding the key to the understanding of these chro- 
nological statements. In the fourth age,* if I am not deceived, 
the first period, from the Exodus out of Egypt down to Samuel, 
is calculated, according to ten generations of 40 years, at 400 
years.^ Soon after, from the death of Solomon, an established 
chronology takes the place of computation by generations^ and of 
the determination of the time when they begin by general historical 


By the Bev. Peter Meabns. 

There are few atopics which have elicited discussion so earnest 
and prolonged as the question regarding the perpetmty and 
obligation of the Sabbath. Nor, perhaps, at any previous period 
has this question received greater prominence among British 
Christians than in the discussions of the present time. The 
periodical press has warmly taken up the subject ; even writers 
who are not wont to interfere with sacred themes, and who give 
ample evidence of this by their want of skill in handling them. 
Pamphlets and larger treatises, almost without number, have 
been issued, representing both sides of the question, and every 
variety of view in detail. There has been a firee and fiiU expres- 
sion of sentiment, and the friends of the Sabbath have reason to 
be gratified with the substantial agreement wliich is proved to 
exist among the various religious denominations in this land. 

> Comp. Ewald'6 Ge9ch, d. Volket ItraeU i. 326, note. 
^ See the Introduction to my Commentary on Judges, 


Digitized by 


1848.] The Cfiristim Sabbath. 129 

Our countrymen north of the Tweed have been long and justly 
noted for then* strict observance of the Sabbath. One of their 
poets has sung — 

* How still the morning of the hallowed day ! ' 

and his sentiments may be regarded as an index of the national 
mind. An external respect for this sacred day has hitherto cha- 
racterized the entire population. Recent circumstances, howeyer, 
have tended somewhat to diminish that respect, and have brought 
more into view the line of distinction between the godly and the 
godless. So far from being matter of regret, it is in some respects 
well that the insincere homage of the world should be withheld 
from this sacred institution ; but when it is found that many of 
the truly pious entertain serious doubts regarding the sanctity of 
this day, it becomes our duty to vindicate its divine authority. 

The writer of this paper entertains the belief that the first day 
of the week is to be distinguished in the Christian church from 
the other days, that it is to be observed as a Sabbath, and to be 

rt in reli^ous exercises ; and our present aim is to defend 
view agamst the contrary opinion. 

Just views on this subject are of great importance, as they 
directly influence our practice. Where the permanent obligation 
of the Sabbath is demed, we need not expect a practical recog- 
nition of its sanctity ; and where its obligation is doubted, the 
observance will be variable. 

The Scriptures are the only source whence the materials may 
be drawn for the settlement of this question ; and foreign aid is 
available only in the way of directing us to a fair interpretation 
and just application of the statements of the inspired volume on 
whidb our decision is founded. 

There are two £eu^ which lie at the foundation of our inquiry, 
and which are admitted to have an important bearing on the 
entire subject. 

The first is, that God rested on the seventh day from the work 
of creation. The inspired historian opens the second chapter of 
Genesis with this statement — ^ Thus tne heavens and the earth 
were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day 
God ended his work which he had made ; and he rested on the 
seventh day from all his work which he had made.' By rest here 
we are to understand mere cessation from labour. It is opposed 
not to weariness, but to action. God needed not the rest of re- 
freshment He might have made all things in a moment as easily 
as in a week. But we have here to regard God as the Father of 
his creatures, presenting an example for their imitation. God 
rested on the seventh day, that he might teach us to rest from 

VOL. II. — NO. III. K labour 

Digitized by 


130 The Christian Sabbath. [July, 

lab<mr a Beventh part of oar time. That bia procedure in this 
case was intended to appear to us in the light of an example may 
easily be inferred from the text we have quoted, and is abundantly 
evident from his own language in the fourth precept of the deca- 
logue. This rest was merely from creative agency, for he still 
conducts the operations of providence on the Sabbath as on other 
days. Admitting the obligation of the Sabbath, there is an 
analogy between uiis rest and that of man. We rest merely from 
secular employments to be actirely engaged in religious duties. 
Nor is it mere manual labour that is prohibited in the Sabbatic 
precept, but also mental exertion in regard to the things of the 

1>re8ent world. It is the allotment of Providence that some men 
abour with their bands, while others are employed exclieively in 
mental occupations ; but the latter must have their sabbatn as 
well as the former. Once a week a truce is to be proclaimed, 
and the busy cares of the world are to be kept in abeyance. The 
divine example of rest on the seventh day implies that all worldly 
labour should be abandoned on this day. 

The secoTui fru^ to which we have referred is, that God, at the 
completion of the work of creation, set apart the seventh day to a 
holy use. The historic record previously cited proceeds thus : — 
*' And God blessed the seyenth day, and sanctified it ; because 
that in it he had rested from aD his work which God created and 
made.' Nothing is said of the other six days of the week, but a 
peculiar blessing is connected with the seventh. The sanctifieation 
here referred to is obviously setting apart to a holy use^ This is 
not denied by any, nor can we conceive how any specified day 
could be *' blessed ' ex<^ept bj being made the appointed time for 
the oommunication of blessmes. There is here, then, a solid 
foundation for the permanent obligation of the Sabbath.*^ 

In farther illustration of this point we remark, that this con- 
secration of the Sabbath was made prior to the frdl of man. 
Adam was the last and noblest of the Creator^s works, and imme- 
diately after his creation God blessed and sanctified the seventh 
day. He was still in innocence, and yet he needed the Sabbath. 
This tad famishes in itself a sufficient answer to those who contend 
that the Sabbatic law was a part only of the ceremonial polity of 
the Jews, and that it isunsuited to the more spiritual dispensation 
oyer which Christ pesides. It is universally admitted that the 
observance of this sacred day was enjoined on the Jews, but it 
must also be admitted that it was not intended that it should be 

• Mr. Jordan (in hig Scriptural Views ijf the Sabbath of God, p. 7) regards the 
above text 'as revealing a principle to us, rather than formally expressing a law ;' 
bat contends that we * are honnd to recognise and reverence the revelation of snch 
8 princitile in liie tight of a law and to obey it aceovdingly.' 


Digitized by 


1848.] The Christian Sabbath. 131 

confined to that people. To deny it a place in the Christian 
Bystem on account of the spiritudity of that system, implies a 
mistaken idea of the true nature of the Sabbath. It was suitable 
for man in paradise ere sin entered to render the scheme of re* 
demption necessary. The labours of our first parents amid the 
pleasant shades of Eden were easy, yet a serenth part of time was 
appointed for rest, that it might be devoted to exercises exclusively 
religious. If this was deemed expedient then- by Him who ' knows 
our frame/ the fact is fitted to rebuke those who assert that every 
day is now alike sacred, and who denounce the contrary opinion. 
The Sabbath was suitable for man in innocence — it is equally 
so when he is created anew — and heaven itself is a perpetual 

We are aware that some respectable writers advocate the 
opinion that the historic record in the book of Genesis, now under 
review, was made in anticipation of the prcnnulgation of the deca- 
loffue at Sinai. This is intended to imply that the historian was 
well acquainted with the law, and that he introduced this early 
notice of the Sabbath the more to enforce the law regarding it. 
^ As the seventh day was erected into a Sabbath on account of 
God's resting upcm that day from the work of creation, it was 
natural in the historian, when he had related the history of the 
creation, and of God's ceasing from it on the seventh day, to 
add, ^^And God blessed the seventh day," &c., although the 
religious distinction and amnropriation of that day were not actu- 
ally made till many ages afterwards.'^ Such is the view of P^dey, 
the ablest opponent of the claims of the Sabbath. This view, 
however, does not harmonise with the natural and obvious meaning 
of the passage^ and is, m fietct, a mere gratuitotis assertion. It is 
admhtra that Moses, the inspired historian, was well acquainted 
with the law, but we deny that there is here any reference to the 
future fact of Uie promulgation of the law at Sinai. The his- 
torian simply ^ves a lustory of events as they occurred, in the 
order both of connection and of time, and says nothing of a future 
law. This is the natural and obvious view which an unbiassed 
reader would totm of the record, and it harmonises with all the 
circumstances which can be brought to bear on the case. Paley 
seems to have observed that this was the most obvious view, and 
he therefore adduces certain considerations that seem to oppose 
it ere he brings forward his own popcteed interpretation. His 
&r-fetched exphination, however, is utterly irreconcilable with 
the plain and unmistakable language of the record. ^ The nature 

»» PaleVs Moral attd PqlUicdl Philotophif, book v. chap. 7. The same view is 
adtocat^ by Dr. Peter Heylyn in his HUiory of the Sabbaih, ed. 1636, b. i. p. 6. 

K 2 ' of 

Digitized by 


132 Th$ Christian Sabbath. [July, 

of the thing, too, is all in Cayour of the simplest interpretation. 
If, as is admitted, the Sabbath was a commemoration of Gods 
iDorh of creation, then why should not the commemoration com* 
mence fix>m the time the work to be commemorated was com- 
pleted ? Was it not thus with the Passover ? Was it not thus 
with the Lord's Supper ? And why not with the Sabbath ?'* Most 
signally has Paley failed to thrust his unnatural interpretation on 
this record. The passage will not receive it, and, after * the ne- 
cessity of a theory ' has enlisted the efforts of ingenuity and high 
powers of reasomng, the record refuses to change its language, 
and proclaims the early origin and universal obligation of the 
Sabbath. *If,' says Paley, Uhe divine command was actually 
delivered at creation,' which we have seen cannot be reasonably 
disputed, ^ it was addressed, no doubt, to the whole human species 
alike, and continues, unless repealed by some subsequent reve- 
lation, binding on aU who come to the knowledge of it' This 
being decided in the affirmative, ^ precludes all debate about the 
extent of the obligation.' 

The fact of the Sabbath's institution immediately after the 
creation of man, seems to have been alluded to by our Lord when 
he said that ' the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the 
Sabbath ' (Marie ii. 21\ It was not one of the purposes for which 
man was made, that he might honour this day by his religious 
observance of it ; but the day was appointed immediately after 
his creation, for the benefit of man, tluit is, of the race at large, 
beginning from the commencement of time, and continuing till 
the consummation of all things. This was no national appoint- 
ment then for the Jewish people merely, but it embraced that 
people as a part of the human family. It was not for Abraham 
and hie descendants, nor for Moses and the Jews, but ' for man \ 
and the appointment was made long before the distinction of Jew 
and Gentile was known. 

But there are traces of the observance of the Sabbath during 
the two thousand five hundred years from the creation of the world 
to the giving of the law on Mount Sinai. The earliest recorded 
instance of the presentation of sacrifice appears to connect it with 
the observance of the Sabbath. It occurs in Genesis iv. 3, 4, 
where it hs said that Cain and Abel brought ea<^h their ofierings to 
the Lord, at the end of the days, that is, the last of the seven, this 
being the only division of days known at that time. The drcum- 
Btances are exceedingly well stated by Mr. Jordan,"^ thus : — 

« WardlaVs Tractate en the Sabbatky p. 2. 

^ See his Scriptural Views of the Sabbath (f Gody pp. 21, 22, in which are many 
ingeniouB and interesting illustrations of the arffument for the early oriein of the 


Digitized by 


1848.] Tlie Christian Sabbath. 133 

' The very &ct df their coming together, and that for the purpose 
of worship, would of itself lead to the supposition that the time must 
have been a stated one, and well known and recognised by both ; for 
otherwise we cannot conceive what could have induced the jealous 
Cain to unite with the pious Abel in the worship of Jehovah. Had 
there not been a special day set apart for worship, we should rather have 
expected Cain to avoid that which Abel chose, from hatred and envy 
of him. It is, however, plainly implied that there was a certain known 
time at which they both together worshipped God. The expression 
denoting this is rendered in the text of the Bible, " In process of time 
it came to pass," but in the margin, '' At the end of days it came to 
pass.'* Now this latter is not only preferable as a construction of the 
original, but it directly points to that day which was *' the end of days," 
the last, that is, of the seven, the seventh day, on which God ended the 
work that he had made, and which he had blessed and sanctified/ 

We insist not on the division of time into weeks, of which we 
have distinct mention in the book of Genesis, and we know that it 
prevailed among the heathen with the associated opinion that the 
seventh was sacred. We ask, however, to what origin may this 
universal practice be traced, if not to Uie tradition of the conse- 
cration of the seventh day at creation ? To us it appears singu- 
larly unhappy to refer this to the early adoption of lunar months 
(as IS done in the Cycl&pcedia of Biblical Literature),^ the week, 
or fourth part, corresponding to the phases or quarters of the moon. 
The phenomena of tne moon would rather have suggested the 
division of months and half-months ; and the quarter or week must 
be traced to another source ; but there is no other supposition 
which has even plausibility to support it except the existence of a 
primitive Sabbath. 

Much importance is justly attached to the historical record in 
the 16th chapter of the book of Exodus, as bearing on the early 
origin of the Sabbath. Dr. Paley boldly declares that, in his 
opinion, the transaction recorded in this chapter ^ was the first 
actual institution of the Sabbath.' Let the warmest admirer of 
Paley carefully and candidly peruse the passage, and, when he 
has fiuiished it, (unless we are greatly mistaken,) he will be conscious 
of some abatement in the confidence he has been wont to repose 
in the decisions of his favourite author. The passage contains an 
account of the miraculous supply of manna to the Israelites in the 
wilderness. This bread from heaven was given in daily portions, 
and the first supply was found on the ground early on the morning 

• I refer to the writer of the article Lord's Day, in Kitto's Cydopifdia, whose 
views on the above point are introdaced in the article Sabbath. Most of the 
argnments again&t the peimanent obligation of the Sabbath are given in these 
articles, and some recent pamphlets on the same side are largely indebted to this 
source of information. 


Digitized by 


134 Tlie Christian Sabbath. [July, 

of the first day of the week. On the »xth day there fell a double 
quantity, the people gathered twice as much as on other days, 
and the rulers — apparently apprehensive of incurring the penalty 
attached to the sin of reserving any portion of the manna till the 
following morning — came and told Moses of this superabundant 
gathering. The reflecting reader naturally proposes the inquiry 
— What induced the people to collect more on uie sixth thau on 
other days ? On reviewing the narrative, he finds it recorded at 
the 5th verse that l^e Lord said to Moses, the people ^ on the sixth 
day shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as 
much as Uiey gather daily ;' but it is nowhere recorded that Moses 
stated this fact to ttie people before the sixth day. On the con- 
trary, the conduct of the rulers, recorded in the 22nd verse, plainly 
implies a doubt as tjo the propriety of collecting a double quantity 
on the sixth day — a doubt which could not posfflbly have existed, 
had Moses made known to them this part of the divine appoints 
ment It appears that the people gathered a double portion of, 
their own accord,^ anticipating the Sabbath and preparing for it 
It follows that at this time the Israelites were mmiliar with the 
Sabbath. It is of little consequence to inquire whether this people 
observed the day of sacred rest in Egypt. The probability is that 
they were not allowed to do so while they were kept in l>ondage. 
But if this were proved, it would be no presiunption against tne 
previous existence and observance of the law, any more than the 
neglect of circumcision among the Hebrews, which frequently 
happened for a long course of years, could prove that the rite had 
not been observed by Abraham and his family. It is abundantly 
evident from the portion of history under review that the Sabbatn 
was known to and observed by the Israelites ere the maona was 
pven them. When Jehovah spake to Moses of the double por- 
tion of the sixth day he made no mention of the Sabbath, though 
its occurrence on the seventh day we know was the sole reason 
why this double quantity was given, and this omission is unaccount- 
able except on the supposition that the Sabbath was known to 
Moses. When the elders of the congregation told him of the 
conduct of the people on the sixth day, he made in reply only an 
incidental allusion to the Sabbath. He did not speak of it as an 
unknown institution, of the nature of which he would have had 
to give a detailed account ; but he dmply alludes to the Sabbath 
as an existing institution, and whose existence furnished the reason 
why there would be no manna on the seventh day. ' Six days,' 
said he, *ye shall gather it ; but on the seventh day, which is the 
Sabbath, m it there shall be none.' It is v£dn for Paley to insist 
on the absence of all mention of the Sabbath from the creation till 
this transaction. It is mere negative evidence, and will not sup- 

Digitized by 


1848.] Th» Christian Sabbath. 135 

port his view acainst the unquestionable evidence of a positive 
kind we have adduced in &vour of ours. It is moreover com- 
pletely neutralised by the fact, that no mention is made of the 
Sabbfliith in the historical books of Joshua and Judges, thoujgh the 
history embraced in these books ia sufficiently detailed and circum- 
stantial. Beyond all question, then, the transaction in the wilder- 
ness fetvours tiie opinion that the seventh day was held sacred from 
the creation of man. 

It is admitted on all hands that the Sabbath was observed by 
the Israelites before the ^ving of the law at Sinai. The historic 
record above noticed so distinctly attests this fact, that none have 
ventured to deny it At the close of the first week during which 
the people had received a daily portion of manna, some of tiiem 
went out to gather om the sevoith day, but Jeliovah reproved them 
by saying, * How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and 
my laws ?' — ^referring to tibe law of the Sabbath which had been 
revealed at creation. This law they are sl^>po6ed to be well 
acquainted with, and the only point on which a doubt could exist 
was the question as to whetlier it was consistent with this law to 

Sither food on the Sabbath ; and this point Jehovah decided in 
e negative by adding — ^ Let no man go out of his place on the 
seventh day' (Exod. xvi. 28, 29). But the law of the Sabbath 
is most distinctly and fiiUy laid down in the fourtii precept of 
the decalogue, and the language of that precept imphes the ex- 
istence of a primitive Sabbath. It begins with tne word ' Remem- 
ber,' and concludes with an allusion to the institution at creation. 
Some have sought to explain the word ^ remember ' of a future 
recollection of Sie precept, and deny that it has any reference to 
the past There would appear some plausibility in this explana- 
tion, if they had not themselves been compelled tc^admit the pre- 
vious existence of the Sabbath. There is a germ -pf truth in the 
argument founded on this word ; and the fair interpretation is, 
th^ the divine legislator so frames his language as to embrace an 
allusion to an existing institution identical with that enjoined in 
this precept — et the same time calling their attention to it as of 
the utmost importance — and enfnxnng its continued and caoad- 
entious observance. The w<»rds of institution, then, are not here. 
They are in the 2nd chapter of Genesis, and nowhere else. Nor 
is there any Jewish element in the precept The reason appended 
refers back to creation — ' For in six days the Lord made heaven 
and earth,' &c If anything was needed to confinn our opinion 
that the Sabbath was instituted when tiie Lord ' blessed the seventh 
day ' at creation, we have it here. By annexing thiiB reason God 
explains his own appointment of a holy rest every seventh day, 
for Adam and all nis descendants. Over a completed creation 


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136 Tlie Christian Sabbath. [July, 

God blessed the Sabbath, and from amid the awful thunders of 
Sinai the proclamation was made, * Remember the Sabbath day to 
keep it holy.' 

When we speak of the law of the Sabbath our thoughts usually 
turn to the fourth commandment. A day of rest is positively en- 

{'oined here : ' Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work ; 
)ut the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God : in it 
thou shalt not do any work,' &c. The extent of the period of rest 
is fixed to be one day in seven ; the cessation frt)m labour is not 
to be seldomer or ofliener. This precept has its place in the very 
centre of the decalogue, and is surrounded by all the sanctities 
which pertain to this portion of the laws of Jenovah. With the 
other nine precepts it was delivered to Moses, with awfiil solem- 
nity, on Mount Sinai. It was written by the finger of God on a 
table of stone ; and, with the other precepts, formed the only part 
of the law deposited in tiie ark of the covenant in the Holy of 
Holies. God has put no such honour on the other parts of his law 
as he has done on the decalogue, and yet men have dared to muti- 
late it They have gone into the very centre of this sacred sum- 
mary of duty, and drawn forth the Sabbatic precept, and, holding 
it up before heaven, have boldly declared that it is no longer 
binding. They break, not * one of the least,' but one of the most 
important of all the commandments of God, and ^ teach men so.' 
The position of this precept in the decalogue is instructive. It is 
the sacred centre, surrounded on each side by confessedly moral, 
and permanently binding, precepts ; and its breach or observance 
has an important bearing on the breach or observance of all the 
other precepts. What our Saviour said of the law generally is 
emphatically applicable to this command, that he came not to de- 
stroy it. There is no hint in any part of the word of God that the 
fourth command, or any other precept of the decalogue, is abro- 
gated. The requirements of tne command, however, are suffi- 
ciently met by the devotement of a seventh part of time to holy 
rest ; the allotment being six days for labour, and the seventh for 
rest. Admitting for the present what we shall afterwards en- 
deavour to prove, that the day is changed under the Christian 
dispensation, the language of this command is strictly applicable ; 
for we have still six days for labour, and the seventh for rest. 
The only difference is, that at first men began to count from the 
day on which God rested from creation, and we begin from the 
day after that, which was the day on whidi our Saviour rose from 
the dead. 

It is a strong and to us most conclusive evidence that the fourth 
commandment is not abrogated, that it was predicted by ' the holy 
prophets ' that the Sabbatn should be observed in the age of the 


Digitized by 


1848.] The Christian Sdbhath. 137 

Gospel. We have one such inspired prediction in Isaiah Ivi. 6, 7^ 
where Jehovah says, • The sons of the stranger ' * every one that 
keepeth the Sahbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my 
covenant ; even them will I oring to my holv mountain, and make 
them jovAil in my house of prayer,' &c. This passage unquestion- 
ably refers to the times of the gospel^ and in the 3rd verse the 
prophet alludes to the abolition of tne ceremonial law, and yet the 
&ibbath is said to exist, and be observed. The eunuch and the 
stranffer were to be freed from the restraint and exclusion of the 
Jewisn ritual, but not from the Sabbatic law. On no principle of 
figurative language can this passage be explained so as not to bear 
testimony in mvour of the Christian Sabbath. It is true burnt- 
offerings and sacrifices are mentioned with allusion to the grateful 
homage of the penitent and believing heart Such a use of sacrifice 
is not infrequent with the sacred poets, but they make no such use 
of. the Sabbath. On the contrary, it appears everywhere as a 
distinct and venerated institution, standmg amid the eternal 
verities of that law which is unaffected by time or circumstances. 
This passage, then, is quite decisive in reference to the error of 
those who would exclude the Sabbath frt)m the Gospel dispensation. 
It is now time that we proceed to glance at the evidence in 
favour of the change of the Sabbatic season from the seventh to 
the first day of the week. And we begin by observing that our 
Saviour very remarkably signalized the first day. He honoured it 
by rising fix>m the dead — appearing to his disciples — and sending 
the Spirit on it We do not adduce these facts as direct proo^ 
but as circumstances havine a direct and important bearing on the 
subject Were a person who knew nothing of the Sabbath to read 
the inspired history of our Saviour's resurrection, and subsequent 
appearances to his disciples, he could hardly fail to be struck with 
the circumstance that several of these appearances took place on 
the first day of the week, and that this fact is distinctly stated by 
the writer as apparently important. On the seventh-day Sabbath 
Christ was lying in the grave, and his work was incomplete till 
the close of the Sabbath. • It was he who formerly rested from 
creation on the seventh, but he had not finished the work of re- 
demption till the first day of the week. Early on the morning of 
the first day the women named in the gospel-narrative visited the 
sepulchre. On their way they were alarmed by an earthquake, 
and when they reached the tomb they found the stone rolled away, 
and the grave empty, for their master had risen, five different 
appearances on that same day are recorded by the inspired histo^ 
nans,' but there is no evidence that he appeared to any of his 

' See Pralenor Bobinson's Harmony cfthe GatpeU, p. 229. 


Digitized by 


138 The Chrutim SaUaih. [July, 

disdples during the week that int^rveued between tbe day of bis 
resurrectiou and tbe first day of the following week. On the other 
hand, it is certain that he was not seen by Thomas when he ap- 
peared to the other apostles on tbe evening of the day on which be 
rose, and that the whole of that week passed away, and the Jewish 
Sabbath which followed, ere be was seen by this apostle. It was 
on the following first day of tbe week, when the eleven disciples 
were met together, that he appeared for the first time to Thomas. 
Was not this putting very special . honour on the first day ? Can 
we think of any way in which our Saviour's example could be 
made more distinctly or impressively to teach us to honour this 
day ? And yet some deny mat our Lord's making this the chosen 
day for meeting with bis disciples after bis resurrection has the 
least bearing on tbe question at issue. The writer in the Cych- 
pmdia says — ^ We must class with very visionary mterpreters those 
who can see anything really bearing on the question, in the cir- 
cumstance of our Lord's re-appearance on tbe eiffhth day after 
his resurrection (John xx. 26), or in the disdples being then as- 
sembled, when we know that they were all along abiding together 
in concealment for fear of the Jews.' Who knows ' that they were 
all along abiding together f Some may erroneously suppose ttus, but 
the well-informed know that Peter was not with the rest of the 
disciples when our Lord first appeared to him on tbe day of tbe 
resurrection (Luke xxiv. 33, 34), and that Thomas was not with 
them when he appeared to ten of them that same evening (John 
XX. 24), and that it was not till the following first day (we may 
say CKristian Sabbath) that Jesus found them all assembled toge- 
ther. It is true that when assembled *the doors were shut for 
fear of tbe Jews,' but they did not all along remain together. 
More in accordance with Scripture is the view of Horsley :— ' The 
alteration seems to have been made by the authority of tbe apostles, 
and to have taken place on the very day in which our Lord 
arose ; for on that day tbe apostles were assembled ; and on that 
day sevennight we find them assembled again. Tbe celebration 
of these two first Sundays was honoured with our Lord's own 
presence. It was, perhaps, to set a mark of distinction upon this 
day in particular, that the intervening week passed ofi^, as it should 
seem, without any repetition of his first visit to the eleven apostles. 
From tliat time uie Sunday was the constant Sabbath of tbe primi- 
tive church.'K 

But we have said that the descent of the Holy Spirit on the 
apostles took place on the first day of the week. We learn firom 

8 See the last of his three tennons on the Sabbath.— &niiofi«, toL ii. pp. 252» 
253, ed. ISia 


Digitized by 


1848.] The Christian Sabbath. 139 

Levit xxiii. 16 tiiat the feast of Pentecost took place on ^tbe 
morrow after the Sabbath,' and from the 2nd chapter of the Acts 
we learn that on the day of Pentecost the disciples ^ were all 
with one accord in one place/ and ' they were all filled with the 
Holy Ghost, and began to speak with ouier tongues, as the Spirit 
gave them utterance.' It appears then that the disciples were 
assembled on this memorable occasion, though we know that they 
had often been separate since their master s resurrection. But 
why all this special honour to the first day rather tiban the former 
Sabbath, if our Saviour meant us to pay no particular respect to 
it ? There is in this surely a presumption that the first was to be 
the sacred day under the new dispensation. If this does not 
amount to independent proof, it is at least corroborative. The 
Jewish Sabbath was the only entire day during which our 
Redeemer lay in the crave, and the Sabbath is to be called by the 
Christian ^ a deliffht, but how cfin be feel peculiar delight on 
that day which brmgs to his recollection the affecting depth of the 
Redeemer's humiliation ? A ftill measure of joy, sprineinff from 
associated events of commemoration, is appropriate only tot the 
day on which the Saviour rose. 

On the page of ancient prophecy we read of the old creation as 
parallel with the new, and it is predicted that the latter will be 
especially remembered. In Isaiah Ixv. 17, 18, Jehovah says — 
' Behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth ; and the former 
shall not be remembered, nor come into mind ;' and it appears 
that it is a spiritual renovation which is meant, for it is added, 
^ Be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create ; for, 
behold, 1 create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.* 
The entire passage refers to the gospel-age. Other predictions 
present the same parallel, and the language of the New Tes- 
tament harmonises with such prophetic announcements. ^In 
Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor undbr- 
cumcision, but a new creature' (Gal. vi. 15). * God, who com- 
manded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our 
hearts ' (2 Cor. iv. 6). The language of the 4th chapter of the 
Epistle to the Hebrews is remarkably illustrative of this point. 
In this nassage there is a sort of combined illustration of two 
texts, * God did rest the seventh day from all his works,' and 
^ If llley shall enter into my rest ' (verses 4, 5). With allusion 
to the Sabbath appointed when God rested on the seventh day 
from all his works, the writer remarks, that ^ there remaineth a 
rest [or rather, a Sabbatism^ lliat is, " tlie keeping of a Sabbath," 
as our translators have well-rendered in the margin] to the people 
of God ' (V. 9). The reason why this Sabbath remains under the 
Gospel might be stated to be its appointment at the beginning of 


Digitized by 


140 The Ckrutian Sabbath. [July, 

the world, its moral ^ character as not essentially affected by the 
appointment or abrogation of the Jewish ritual, or its adaptation 
to man's physical, mental, and moral requirements in every 
variety of circumstances ; but instead of either of these aspects of 
its permanence the apostle here views it in the light of a com- 
memoration of the work of Christ — redemption, the groundwork 
of the new creation. * For,' says he (employinff the formula of 
an appended reason), ' he ^at is entered into liis rest,' that is, 
Christ, ' he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from 
his' (verse 10). The writer adds, ' Let us labour to enter into 
that rest,' not the Sahbatismy for this word is employed only in 
the 9th verse, but the rest of the heavenly Canaan, of which the 
inheritance of the earthly Canaan, referred to in the preceding 
context, was the type. According to this view of the passage, 
which we maintain is the correct one, we have here given, by an 
inspired writer, a very definite intimation of the change of the day 
of observance (since the work of Christ was finished by his resur- 
rection on the first day of the week), conjoined with a distinct 
announcement of the perpetuity of the Sabbath. We are aware 
that this is somewhat different from the common interpretation, 
the error of which does not consist in understanding a reference to 
heaven, but in excluding a refei'ence to the weekly Sabbath on 
earth. The view we have exhibited is amply sustained by a 
careful examination of the apostle's language in its connection. 
A very lucid statement and able defence of this view is made by 
Dr. Wardlaw, but we cannot afford space for it here, and we 
quote merely the sentence with which President Edwards concludes 
his remarks on the passage : — * In this expression, tliere remainethy 
it is intimated that the old Sabbatism appointed in remembrance 
of God's rest from the work of creation, doth not remain, but 
ceases ; and that this new rest, in commemoration of Christ's rest- 
ing from his works, remains in the room of it'' 

Adverting again to ancient prophecy, we notice an announce- 
ment that the day of the Saviour s resurrection should be sig- 

^ We mean Don-oeremonial, for there is a distinction between positive enactments 
and moral precepts : the former constitute an action right because it is commanded ; 
and in the latter it is commanded becanse it is right. (See Whately's Difficulties of 
St. Paul, Essay ▼., note b, p. 217, 5th ed.) As to the bearing of this point on the 
Sabbath question, consult also Archbishop Tillotson's Works, toI. ii. pp. 601, 602, 
ed. 1722; Warburton's Dtv. Leg., vol. li. pp. 405-407, 10th ed., Lond. 1846; 
Bumside's Remarks on the Weekly Sabbatk, pp. 13, 14, ed. 1825; and on the other 
side, Holden's Christian Sabbath, pp. 180, 181, ed. 1825; and an able article in 
the Crit, Bihlica, vol. iv. pp. 429-433, A.D. 1827. We may regard the Sabbatic 
law as partly moral and partly pontive. (See Dick's Lectures on Theology, vol. Iv. 
pp. 419, 455, 456, ed. 1838.) 

> Fifteen Sermons on Various Subjects, Sermon ziv. ; Works, vol. ii. p. 98, ed. 1834, 
London. ^ 


Digitized by 


1848.] The Christian Sabbath. 141 

nalized as a day of rest. We refer to the 118th Psalm, where 
we read, * The stone which the builders refused is become the 
head stone of the comer. This is the Lord's doing ; it is mar- 
vellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made ; 
we will rejoice and be glad in it.' From the psalm itself we 
might learn that it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is here said to be 
rejected by the builders, but subsequently exalted by God ; and 
the matter is placed beyond a doubt by the apostle Jreter's allu- 
sion to the psalm. Addressing the Jewish rulers on the subject 
of the impotent man who had been healed, the heaven-taught 
speaker said, ' Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of 
Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye 
crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this 
man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was 
set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the 
comer' (Acts iy. 10, 11). According to this inspired comment 
Christ was rejected by the Jewish mlers when he was crucified by 
them, and he was made the head of the comer when he was 
raised by God from the dead. Now the prophecy asserts that 
this was a day (that is, the day on which he rose) appointed by 
God to be celebrated with holy joy. This day of weekly rest is 
the only sacred day in the Christian system. 

The argument for a Christian Sabbath, founded on the fact 
that the early disciples met on the first day of the week for public 
worship, has received prominence from the writers on both sides 
of the question. We nave seen that our Saviour met with his 
assembled disciples on the evening of the day on which he rose 
from the ^;rave, which was the first day of the week, and that he 
met not with them again till the first day of the following week. 
We have seen also that the pentecostal day of the Spirit's efiusion 
was the first day of the week. It is true all these events took 
place at Jerusalem, but the report of them would very soon be 
extensively circulated ; and following out the chain of evidence 
fiimished by the inspired record, we find that the Christian converts 
at Troas — ^a great distance from Jerusalem — were in the habit of 
holding a weekly religious assembly on the first day of the week. 
The sacred historian informs us that Paul came to Troas, and 
there ' abode seven days. And upon the first day of the week, 
when the disciples came together to break bread, raul preached 
unto them, ready to depart on tbe morrow ; and continued his 
speech until midnight ' (Acts xx. 6, 7). This record is exceed- 
ingly clear and satisfactory ; it appears from it that Paul tarried 
seven days at Troas that he might have an opportunity of meeting 
with the Christian brethren on their day of public worship. It 
appears also that it was toeekly, and that it was just past when he 


Digitized by 


142 The Christiaji Sabbath. [July, 

arrived, for he had to tarry seyen days ere he could enjoy it, and 
it 18 called the first day of the week. The Jewish Sablmui, being 
the seventh day, must have passed during his stay, but it is evi- 
dent that this was not the day on whidi the Christians -met^ 
and no mention whatever is made of it, nor does he seem to 
have at all regarded it. There is evidence in the writings 
of 'the fathers' in favour of the opinion that the early 
disciples, who were Jews by birthy generally kept both the 
Jewish Sabbath and Christian Lord's Day ; and ' the observance 
of the Jewish Sabbath as a fast — or a season of preparation for 
the Christian ilrst Day — lingered through four centuries, and 
gradually fell into desuetude.'^ From the passage before us, 
however, it is abundantly evident that the Christians cenerally 
did not observe the seventh day ; at all events, that they were 
not accustomed to meet for public worship on that day, but on the 
first. The Apostles often went into the Jewish synagogues on the 
seventh day to reason with Jews assembled there; but they 
taught the Christians to meet, and met with them, on the first day. 
Our opponents admit that whatever was done by the early church 
in accordance with the instructions and examples of the inspired 
Apostles, was according to the mind of God, and here we nave 
both in favour of observing the first day of the week as the day 
for public worship. The writer in the CydoptBdia has on this 
point the strange remark — * The words of this passage have 
been by some considered to imply that such a weekly observance 
was then the established custom; yet it is obvious thiat the mode 
of expression would be just as applicable if they had been in the 
pactice of assembling dail^.' Seven days are mentioned by the 
historian as the period during which Paul waited at Troas, and of 
these one day is distinguished from the others as the fii'st day of 
the weeky and as the day on which ' the disciples came together/ 
and yet this writer thinks that the first day here is no way distin« 
guished from the rest of the week, and that the Apostle may have 
met with the disciples on each of the seven days during which he 
stayed at Troas. Almost any evidence may be turned aside in 
this way, but the careful interpreter will beware of the blinding 
influence of the love of a theory, which, we think, is manifest 
here. Every unprejudiced mind will admit the reasonableness 
of the remark of Paley — *• The manner in which the historian 
mentions the disciples coming tosether to break bread on the 
first day of the week, shows, I think, that the practice by this 
time was familiar and established.' 

^ Professor Eadie. See his able review of the pamphlet entitled Sunday Trains^ 
ffc. (the argumentB of which are chiefly drawn from the Cyclop, of Bib. LiQ, in 
UnUed Preab. Magazine, for July, 1847. 


Digitized by 


1848.] The Chriatian Sabbath. 143 

In oonnection with the historical record we have now noticed 
may be viewed the language of Paul in bia First l4H8tle to the 
Oorintfaianfl. ^ Now, concerning the coUecdon for the saints,' 
says the Apoatle, ^as I hare mven order to the churches of 
Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every 
one of you lay t)y him in store, as God hath prospered him, that 
there be no gatherings when I come * (chap. xvi. 1, 2). There 
must be some reason why the Apostle specifies the first as more 
appropriate than any other day of the week for making the coUec* 
tion for the saints. We find an explanation in the history of the 
Acts, where we are informed that it was distmguisbed as the day 
of public religious worship. On that day each was to contribute a 
portion of his week's earnings ; and the original may signify either 
that he was to lay it up by himself, or, rather, as the concluding 
clause seems to require, that he should cast it into the treasury 
of the church. But it further appears from this passage that the 
Christians were obserring the onj^al week — six days for labour, 
and one day for religious duty — ^with the specified change of the 
day of rest from the seventh to the first. Some might retain con- 
scientious scruples in r^ard to the Jewish Sabbath, but the 
Apostle makes no account of these^ and he takes it for granted 
that all would observe the first dav. His language implies a 
command to observe it, but onlv in the way of fully and distinctly 
recognising it as existing and observed. The writer in the Cydo^ 
pcBdia here throws in the remark, that some render *• upon <me of 
the day$ of the week,' instead of an the first day of tne week."^ 
He does not adopt this rendering, though he seems to favour it. 
It cannot be proved that the phrase ever acquires this rendering 
in the New Testament, but it can be proved that it will not admit 
it in some passaoes (for instance, Matt, xxviii. I), and that there 
it must signify tne first day of tihe week.° Such unquestionably 
is its reference here. The first day of the week then was the day 
on which the Corinthian converts held their weekly meetinjg for 
religious worship ; and it is presumed that it was a day of rest 
from their respective callings, for they cast a portion of their 
weeklv profits into the treasury of the Lord. Now this day of 
worship was among the things ^ delivered ' by Paul to the 
Corintmans, and here its observance is sanctioned by him, and 
some of its duties appointed. Nor was this enjoined only on the 
Corinthians, for he ^distinctly states that he had given orders to 
.the same effect to the churches of Galataa ; and he intended this 

" See alio an article by the Bey. £. Weiser, in the Amencctn Bib, Reposttoryt 
for 1845, p. 366. 

" *For the ordinal wpSrrdSt the cardinal cfs is oonstairdy employed in designating 
a day of the week.''-*Praf. Stoartfs SytUax ^the New TeaUment DitUed, Sect. 83. 


Digitized by 


144 The Christian Sabbath. [July, 

letter to be extensively circulated among the early churches, for 
he addressed it not only to Corinth, but also to ' all that in every 

{lace call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord ' (chap. L 1). 
t thus appears that this was generally recomised as the day of 
f)ublic worship by the early Christians, and mat in this they fbl- 
owed the precept and example of the Apostles. 

The last argument we shall adduce in favour of the consecra- 
tion of the first day of the week as a Sabbath is the fact that it is 
called in Scripture * the Lord's Day.' It receives this designa- 
tion in the Apocalypse, which was written by the Apostle John 
very near the close of the first century of the Christian era. * I 
was in the spirit,' says the Apostle, ' on the Lord's Day ' (Rev. 
i. 10). The plain meaning of this statement is, that John was 
under a peculiar influence of the inspiring Spirit on a day which 
he here calk * the Lord's Day.' It is not questioned that the 
day referred to is a natural day, and that it is named the day of 
the Lord Jesus Christ. The strange opinion, however, has been 
advanced, that as every day is the Lord's, we are not to under- 
stand here any particular day. This view does not harmonise 
with the Apostle's language. It is obvious that he meant to 
mark out a particular day. It is his design to tell us when he had 
the visions of which he gives an account, and he states distinctly 
that it was ' on the Lord's Day.' That it is the first day of the 
week which is here called the Lord's Day, does not well admit of 
doubt. Any objections which have been started to this view 
appear to us exceedingly feeble, and unworthy of notice. The 
writer in the Cyclopcedia thinks it probable ; and Dr. Paley justly 
remarks — ' I make no doubt that oy the Lord's Day was meant 
the^r«f day of the week ; for we find no footsteps of any distinc- 
tion of days which could entitle any other to that appellation.' 
The Apostle's use of the name presupposes that the cnurches of 
Asia Minor, to whom he wrote, were mmiliar with it. We have 
already seen that the Apostle Paul gave orders to the churches of 
Galatia, in Asia Minor, to make contributions for the poor saints 
on the first day of the week — the day on which they met for social 
worship ; and we are here furnished with the additional fact, that 
the Christians of Asia Minor were accustomed to denominate this 
* the Lord's Day.' We have now then satisfactory evidence from 
the Scriptures themselves that an entire day must still be conse- 
crated to the Lord's service — no part of it is ours — ^it is entirely 
the Lord's Day, The Jewish Sabbath and sacred seasons have 
passed away, and the weekly Christian Sabbath is all that remains 
m their room. * Viewed in this light, it is easy to see that what 
Paul says (Rom. xiv. 5 ; Gal. iv. 10 ; Col. ii. 16) concerning the 
unimportance of observing special days, u e. new moons and 


Digitized by 


1848.] The Christian Sabbath. 145 

sabbaths, is said of the Jewish days of this nature ; and so the 
context in all these places plainly indicates, for he is discussing 
matters insisted on by Judaizers. No Christian, as he avers, is 
bound to observe the Jewish holidays; although the man who 
does observe them should not be dealt hardly with on this account. 
What he thus says has of course no application to the proper 

* LordTs Day,* • Those who were familiar with the expressions 

* Lord's Supper' and 'Lord's Table,' as applied to the ordinance 
appointed to commemorate the Saviour*s death, would readily see 
the propriety of the name ' Lord's Day,' and soon familiarly use 
it, as applied to the first day of the week, as kept holy in com- 
memoration of His resurrection. The Jewish weekly sacred day 
was called the ' Sabbath of the Lord,' and the Christian's corre- 
sponding weekly period is denominate ' the Lord's Day.' Thus 
tne one stands for the other. Whatever is called by the name of 
the Lord is holy. Ip Daniel ix. 18, Jerusalem is said to be called 
by this name, and hence, in verse 24th of the same chapter, it 
is designated a * Holy City.* * ITbe Lord's Day,' then, is a day 
of weekly recurrence, and of sacred rest — a day to be kept holy 
to the Lord. It was in accordance with what we know to be His 
usual mode of procedure to &vour the beloved disciple with 
peculiar revelations on that day. He was an exile in the small 
and barren island of Patmos, and consequently tliis aged saint 
ex>uld not meet, as he was wont, with his fellow-Christians on this 
sacred^ day. But God met with him in his solitude. Li this 
there is an encouragement to the Christian to solicit and ex- 
pect the Divine presence when necessarily and reluctantljr absent 
from the weekly aisembly of the saints. The lowly contrite heart 
is God's temple. 

Having thus endeavoured to state the law of the Sabbath, and 
to elucidate those passages of sacred Scripture which relate to it, it 
would afford us pleasure to be equally explicit on the manner in 
which it ought to be sanctified ; but this is not comprehended in 
the object of the present paper. A sentence or two on this point 
may be permitted. We ought to spend the Sabbath in religious 
exercises. It is * the holy of the Lord,' and we are to call it ' a 
delight,' and / honourable ' (Is. Iviii. 13). It is a ' holy dav,' and 
therefore religious exercises are alone appropriate to it. Observe^ 
it is a day and not only part of a day. Were we in earnest 
about the things of eternity, equally with those of time, we would 
willingly devote at least a seventh part of our time to sacred 
service. The early hours of the Sabbath should be spent in 
meditation on divine things, private reading of the Scriptures, and 

• Stuart's Commentary on the Apocalypwe^ at ch. i. 10. 
VOL. II. — NO. III. L prayer. 

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146 ThB Ckrigtian SdbbatlL [July, 

prayer: Such exercises will form an excellent preparation for 
the service of the sanctuary. We perceive that tnere is wisdom 
in the divine appointment of public worship for the Sabbath. Sudi 
worship is needml for our spiritual improvement, and it could not 
be attended to unless suitable seasons — not distant from each 
other — were appointed for it. The weekly return of the Lord's 
Day supplies the most fitting season. Let the people of God avail 
themselves of it — * not forsaking the assembling of ourselves 
together, as the manner of some is ' (Heb. x. 25). Eabbath-school 
tuition, and the private instruction of the junior members of 
families, form an appropriate sequel to the more public services 
of the day. Thus should religious activity be conjoined with 
release from worldly toil and care. We are too apt to view the 
Sabbatic precept exclusively in its negative aspects— giving pro- 
minence to what is forbidden, and overlookinff what is required. 
*'Li reading books and hearing sermons on the subject, we have 
sometimes borne away a painful impression. Much was said 
about the things which ought to be forborne, but not so much 
about the many good and lovely thinss which we ought to do. 
We carried with us the image of someudng stem, and prohibitory, 
and threatening ; and if we had been asked to project upon can- 
vas the Sabbatic idea surviving in our memory, it would not have 
been the enraptured seer of Patmos, nor the ecstatic travellers in 
sight of Emmaus, nor the weeping congregation at Troas, but the 
man stoned for gathering sticks on the Sabbath day.* p 

Li the course of the preceding remarks we have noticed certain 
objections to our views, and virtually replied to others, but there 
are a few remainmg, without some examination of which our dis- 
cussion would be incomplete. It appears to us that they may all 
be fairly met, and satismctorily answered ; and the following com- 
prehend all that deserve consideration : — 

1. It is objected that the observance of a Sabbath anumg Chris- 
tians is a relic of Judaism. If by Judaism we are to under^ 
stand something peculiar to the Mosaic statutes — and this is the 
only sense in whicn the term serves our opponents — ^then we assert 
that the statement is not true, and we have already presented evi- 
dence sufficient to rebut it. Much ingenuity, however, has been 
displayed in attempting to prove that the SSabbath is peculiar to 
the Jewish system. It is said to have been * made Known ' to 
Israel— to have been * given' to that people — and to have been 
appointed * for a sign ' between God and them. But God is also 
said to have made known * his laws ' to Israel, which does not 
mean that these laws did not previously exist, for an apostle 

p North British Review^ Vol. iz.| No, xyii., art * Sabbath Obseryance/ p. 126. 


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1848.] 7%e Christian Sabbath. 147 

reasons that men einned, and that death, the penalty of sin^ was 
inflicted from Adam to Moses, and sin is not imputed where 
there is no law (Rom. v. 12, 13). So the making known of the 
Sahbath may simply imply giving instructions regarding its observ- 
ance, though it nad been instituted at creation. It was made 
known to Adam long ere it was made known to Israel. The 
rainbow, too, must hare existed before the time of Noah, for we 
are not at liberty to conjecture such a marvellous change in the 
immutable laws of nature as would have taken place had it ap- 
peared for the first time after the deluge ; and yet it was appointed 
for a siffn of the covenant with Nocm. Let the Master nimself 
answer the third argument : ^ Moses gave unto you circumcision 
(not because it is of Moses, but of tiie fathers),' John vii. 22. In 
like manner the Sabbath may be said to have been given to the 
Israelites, thoush it had existed and been observed from the crea- 
tion of the world. It was enforced on the Jews by arguments 
drawn from their special circumstances as a people, as well as by 
those which are applicable to mankind at large. These special 
arguments, however, form no foundation for tiie opinion tnat it 
was exclusively a Jewish institution. The truth is, as we have 
proved, that the Sabbath was instituted at creation, and will 
retain its obligation to the end of tiie world. 

2. But some advance a step farther, and contend that no part 
of the divine law revealed in the Old Testament is binding on 
Christians. Of course the decalogue, which contains a summary 
of the moral law, is included ; and its precepts are supposed to be 
binding only so £Bur as they are re-enacted by Christ and his 
aposties : in otiier words, the fiict of their presence in the Mosaic 
law does not render them obligatory. It has been usual with 
theologians to divide the ancient law into ceremonial, civil, and 
moral precepts, understanding the last only of these to be of per- 
manent obhgation : but some contend that ' neither Christ nor 
the apostles ever distinguish between the moral, the ceremonial, 
and the civil law, when they speak of its establishment or its 
abolition.'"! When the inspired writer of the Epistie to the He- 
brews says that Ood, who ^ spake in time past unto the fathers 
by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his 
Son ' (ch. i. 1, 2), these writers infer from this statement that we 
have nothing to do with the Old Testament, but only with the 
New, in which the Son of God speaks to us. Let Paul himself 
correct their error, which he does ijhen he says to Timothy — 
* From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are 
able to make thee wise unto salvation through fidth which is in 

4 Dr. BiallobloCiky, in Kitto's C^clop^ art Law. 

L 2 Christ 

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148 The Christian Sabbath. [July, 

Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and 
is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction 
in righteousness ; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly 
furnished unto all cood works' (2 Tim. iii. 15 — 17). It is the 
Old Testament of which the Apostle speaks, and he asserts that 
it is able to make wise unto salvation^ and is profitable for doctrine 
andcoTJ-ection^ that the Christian may by it h& thoroughly famisJied 
to all good works. This commendation of the study of the earlier 
revelation involves a reproof to those who propose to throw it aside, 
as if intended only for the generations of old, and not for us. 
Whately found this passage in his way, and he feebly remarks — 
* To consult a code of moral precepts for instruction is very dif- 
ferent from referring to that as a standard and rule of conduct ;'^ 
omitting what is said of doctrine and correction^ in fact mutilating 
the passage to facilitate his reply to those who adduce it, as if he 
felt unable to turn it aside in its entireness. « 

This view of the divine law revealed under the old economy 
has been long before the church, but it has not commended itself 
to general approval. It is found in the writings of the fathers and 
reformers, and Heylyn strenuously advocates it in relation to the 
Sabbath.' Whately,* Arnold,'' and others support the view in 
our own times. The argument for the Sabbath, however, docQ 
not so depend on it as to stand or fall with it ; and Baxter, who 
held it,' vet wrote a treatise entitled The Divine Appointment of 
the Lord s Day Proved;^ which contains an elaborate and tri- 
umphant reply to Heylyn's History.* 

(Jur space does not permit us to introduce here a lengthened 
refutation of this erroneous principle of interpretation, which hap- 
pily is not the prevailing one ; but we conscientiously and firmly 
oeUeve that the New l^tament itself repudiates it, as, for in- 
stance, in the text we have cited above. There is a harmony 
between the earlier and later revelations, and every portion of 
truth communicated by the Divine Spirit to man deserves our 
study and demands our obedience. We are relieved from tha 
ceremonial enactments of the Mosaic law, and obedience to itsi 
moral precepts cannot form our ground of justification before 
Ood, as the Apostle Paul proves at large in his epistle to the 
Romans, and also in that to the Galatians ; but the moral law 

' Difi". rf St. Paul, p. 192. • Hiti. of tJu &6., b. i. p. 70, 

• Diy. of St. Paul Essfnr t, » Life and Corrapondencey in several letters. 

■ See hig Practical Works, by Ofme, vol. xiii. p. 418. 

» Practical Workt, voL xiii. pp. 86d>512. 

" We natarallj expect a discQssion of this topio by Mr. Jordan in his fonrth 
chapter, but instead of this we have ofiensive prominence given to the style of con- 
fident assertion which abounds in his otherwise excellent volnme, and which must 
impair its useftdness among opponents. 


Digitized by 


1848.] 'The ChrMan Sabbaih. U9 

still serves as a rule of life.* We are released from it as a cove- 
nant, but not as a rule.^ The law of the patriarchal and Mosaic 
dispensations is recorded in the sacred volume for our * correction 
and inxtrtLction* except so far as abrogated by the later inspired 
writers. Now the Sabbatic precept is embraced in that law, and 
is not repealed, but sanctioned by Christ and his apostles. 

3. It IS further objected that, if the fourth precept of the deca^ 
logue is binding at all, it is so as to the particular day of the week 
which it consecrates, and that is the seventh, not the first. Whately 
remarks that ' throughout the whole of the Old Testament we 
never hear of keepins holy some one day in every seven ; but the 
seventh day ;' ^ and he presses this point, not because it is of the 
least importance to him in itself, but it serves as an argumenium 
ad haminem in dealing with those who contend for me divine 
authority of the first-day Sabbath. Such trifling is unworthy of 
this writer. Let the reader examine the precept, and he will find 
that it appoints six days for labour, and the seventh for rest ; and 
in so far as the strict language of the command is concerned, it is 
not of the least importance, in an uninterrupted succession, whether 
we regard the day of rest as preceding or following the other six. 
By divine appointment, from the bemming of the world till the 
resurrection of Christ, it was viewed m the aspect of posteriority ; 
and by the same autbarity, from the resurrection of Christ till the 
end of the world, it is to be regarded in the aspect of priority. 
The Jews commenced their day when the sun of the previous day 
went down, and we commence ours at midnight ; but the com- 
mand to consecrate one day in seven is not afiected by these special 
circumstances. Our Saviour rose probably about midnight, and 
in the morning, ^ when it was yet dark,' the sepulchre was foimd 
empty. The hebdomadal rest is that which nature demands, and 
we can trace the harmony between this law, which God has written 
on our constitutions, and that which he has written in his word. 
* The Sabbath as a Sabbath is firot in the precept, and the particular 
day is there but secondarily, and so mutably. ^ 

4. It is further objected that if the day of observance is changed, 
it is incredible that the change should not have been more prominently 

* The difBcnltj, hinted at by tome, of disdngnishing between moral and < 
monial. Is not a jmietical one. We eaalj distinenish between essential and non- 
enential; as, for instance, in the exhortation^ ' I wiU that men pray eyerrwhere, 
lifting np holy hands ' (1 Tim. ii. 8) ; the dnty enjoined is prayer, bnt ' lilung op' 
the hands is a matter of indifference.^ 

^ See this point accarately diefined by Dr. John Brown, with his nsnaf diserimina* 
tlon, in his valuable Exnotitory IHacoune$ on Firtt Petei, toI. i. pp^ 400-402. See 
also Hill's Lectwreg in iJimmty, toI. ii. pp. 296, 297, ed. 1837, 

" ThaughU on the Sabbath, p. 8, ed. 1845. 

* Baxter's Pract. WorkM, voL idiU p. 427, 


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150 The Chriaian Sabbath. [July, 

noticed. There is not much force in this objection, and it has 
been very satisfactorily answered by the writers on the other side. 
A few considerations will show that there is propriety in this 
apparent defect. There are many important subjects to which 
Christ scarcely at all adverted in the hearing of his disciples, and 
the fact that they were not able to bear them is the explanation 
of his silence (John xvi. 12, 13). How very seldom did he advert 
even to his death, the very foundation of our hope I and when he 
did bring forward the subject, it was often after some remarkable 
miracle, by which their faith in him as the Messiah had been con* 
firmed. He spoke more freely after his resurrection, but left 
much for the teaching of the Spirit. The Jews had a profound 
regard for their Sabbaths. Tney were taught to regard the 
Babylonish captivity as a punishment for the neglect of this sacred 
day by their ancestors — God had oft^n solemmy commanded its 
observance, and punished the breach of it — ^and nothing pertaining 
to their religion appeared to have so solemn a sanction as this. It 
is not wonderftil, then, that our Saviom* abstained from informing 
his Jewish followers of the law of the New Covenant regarding 
the Sabbath. If he did not instruct them respecting his vicarious 
and expiatory sufferings till the sacrifice was offered, so neither 
did he instruct them respecting the New Testament Sabbath till 
the completion of the work it was designed to commemorate. The 
Apostles imitated the example of their Master by dealing tenderly 
with the Jews in relation to their sacred customs. They gradu- 
ally informed them of the abolition of even the ceremonial observ- 
ances. It is probable that many of the Jewish converts observed 
both days, the seventh and the first The change was made 
gradually, 'yet God took special care that there should be 
sufficient evidence of his will, to be found out by the Christian 
Church when it should be more established and settled;' and 
* the mind and will of God, concerning any duty to be performed 
by us, may be sufficiently revealed in his word, without apar- 
ticular precept in so many express terms enjoining it.'® Christ 
rose on it, chose it as his day of appearing to his disciples, sent 
the Spirit on it, Ibe Apostles instructed uie early Christians to 
meet, and they met witn them for public worship on it, and its 
distinctive name (the Lord's Day) is given in Holy Writ 
. 5. It is objected that Christ is Lard af the Sabbath. It is not 
a little astonishing that this should assume the form of an objec- 
tion, and yet we occasionally find it paraded as such. Our oppo- 
nents who use it thus seem to think it equivalent to the statement 
that Christ has abrogated the Sabbath, which is a most egregious 

• Preflident Edvarde' Sermons on the Sabbath.-^ Works, voL ii. pp. 94, 100. 
London, 1834. 


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1848.] The Christian Sabbath. 151 

blunder. It only intimates his right to regulate the Sabbatic rest, 
which all admit, but it remains to be proved that he has abolished 
it. The fact is, that he has taken it under his care, and made it 
one of the institutions pertaining to the new order of things esta- 
blished by him. * He is Lord even of the Sahbath itself' xai rot; 
ezfi^rov. This certainly implies that the Sabbath was an institu- 
tion of great and distinguished importance ; and may perhaps also 
refer to that signal authority which Christ by the ministry of his 
apostles should exert over it in changing it from the seventh to .the 
first day of the weekJ We admit, then, that Christ is Lord of the 
Sabbath — it is his day — ^and we keep it holy with a due regard to 
his authority. 

6. It is objected that tohen Christ mentions the precepts of the 
deealoffue to the yowng man in the Gospel^ he omits the fourth^ im- 
plying that it is no longer binding.— See Matt. xix. 17-21. This 
IS a weak and foolish objection. The answer is at band. Our 
Saviour specifies the commands of the second table only, but the 
fourth precept is included in the first table. On the same absurd 
prindple our opponents might reason that it was not the young 
man's duly to love God. 

7. 7%^ observance of the Sabbath was not one of the articles 
evQoined on the Gentiles by the apostles and elders assembled at 
Jerusalem ; and this, it is asserted, militates against the supposition 
that it is of permanent obligation. See Acts xv. 29. It is not a 
little remarkable to find so judicious a writer as Paley bringing 
forward^ this worthless argument The answer to it is ready. 
There is no evidence that the assembly at Jerusalem were con- 
sulted about the Sabbath, and they limited their decree to the 
points on which their dedsion was asked. Yet this is a specimen 
of the sort of negative evidence to which the opponents of the 
Sabbath attach so much importance. 

8. The only attempt at producing the authority of an inspired 
writer in favour of the views adverse to those advocated in this 
article, is in the statement of Paul, that no one should judge us in 
respect of *the sabbath-days * (see Col. ii. 16, 17). In our opinion 
this is one of the least successAil efforts of a sinkmg cause. Hevlyn 
remarks that Paul here ' layes it positively downe that the Sabbath 
was now abrogated with the other ceremonies, which were to vanish 
at Christ's comming ;' ' and almost every writer on the same side 
since his time has referred to the statement with an air of triumph. 
We think that the apostle here refers to the Jewish sacred days in 
general, for he speaks of the Sabbath-^ay«, not day^ using a plural 

' Doddridge's Expontor on Mark iL 8S ; Works^ vol vi. p. 270, Leeds, 1604, 
« Hiii. of the Saibaihy b. ii. p. 80. 


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152 T%e Christian Sabbath. [July, 

word with a plural signification. It is well known to the readers 
of the Old Testament that the Jews had days of holy rest with 
which their ceremonies were connected ; but, as the sacred rites 
are now abrogated, the days of their observance are no longer 
binding. But even were we to admit with Baxter ^ that there is 
here a special reference to the Jewish Sabbath, it would only imply 
that those who observed the seventh day (as many of the Jewish 
Christians observed both the seventh and the first) were not to 
insist on others conforming to their practice. He does not blame 
the Jewish converts who continued to consecrate the seventh day-* 
he only declares that it is not obligatory. The apostle's statement, 
then, is utterly irrelevant as an argument against the sanctity of 
the Christian Sabbath. He does not object to a day of rest and 
sacred 8er\ice in the weekly circle. His reference is certainly not 
to the consecration of the nrst day of the week. * That he had no 
such reference (in Col. ii. 16 ; Rom. xiv. 1-5) is still clearer from 
the fajcX that we find him and the Christians whom he instructed 
actually distinguishing one day from another, by consecrating the 
Lord's Day to religious services. There is the same evidence, 
therefore, that Paul did not mean to declare the weekly observance 
of a day for the worship of God a matter of indifierence, as there 
is that Christ did not mean to condemn judicial oaths when he 
said, * Swear not at all.' " * 

9. Finally, the authority of greed and good men in the CJiristian 
church has been adduced in opposition to the consecration of the 
Lord's Day. The appeal to authority is rather unfortunate for 
our opponents ; for, if the matter is to be decided by authority, we 
have an overwhelming majority of the great and good on our side. 
The only authority we think of much importance is that of the 
'apostles, and it is admitted, almost universally, tiiat we have this 
in favour of the observance of one day in seven for assembling at 
least for public worship. Numerous quotations from the writings 
of the Christian fathers have been given by writers on both sides 
of this question. Baxter finds frequent cause to blame Heylyn for 
the use be makes of his authorities. There is the clearest evidence 
that the fiithers understood the Lord's Day to have come in place 
of the Jewish Sabbath ; and that the Christian Sabbath compre- 
hended an entire day in connection with the period of public wor- 
ship. Dionysius of Corinth says, T^y (nifAspov Kvpiaxriv ayiav ^im^ol^ 
Si9}ya7o^9)v, ' We keep the Lord^s day holy/^ Chrysostom has been 

»» Prod, Works, vol. xiii. p. 386. 

* Princeton's Theological Essays, Ist Series, art. 'Sunday Mails,' pp. 496, 497. 
This is an able article, but its interest is diminished b^ the graye consideration of 
certain singalariy feeble ar^ments in the American QuaHeriy Beview. 

^ Ensebu Hist. Eccles., lib. iy. cap. zxii. 


Digitized by 


1848.] The Christian Sdbhath. 153 

claimed -for the other side ; but in his 10th Homily on Grenesis he 
remarks that God sanctified the seventh day, ^aiSevA/y rJiv //./av 
yifMAqav ev rcjf xi/xX^; r^r l/3So/xa$of ivoLOvt dvxriBivau xa! dt^opi^eiy 
rri rofv wst/^arixa/y ipyatri^^ ^ teaching u« to set apart one entire 
day in the weekly circle^ and to devote it to spiritual exercises.^^ 
The reformers of the sixteenth centurv have oflien been referred to 
as adverse to the obseryance of the Christian Sabbath. Especially 
has this been asserted of Calvin, the reformer of his own age, and 
the theologian of every succeeding age. We do not approve of 
Calvin's sentiments on this point, and from him we appeal to 
Christ our Master. The reformers were disgusted with the 
Popish ceremonies and numerous holidays, and they went to the 
opposite extreme of declaring that no day, not even the Sabbath, 
is sacred. But Calvin would be ashamed of the sentiments of 
some who have quoted his as if in entire harmony with their own. 
He said, ^ It is customary among us to assemble on stated days 
for hearing the word, for breaking the mystic bread, and for public 
pravers ; and also to allow servants and labourers a remission from 
their labours. That in commanding the Sabbath the Lord had 
regard to both these things cannot be doubted ;' and with respect 
to assemblies on the Lord's Day, he asks, * Why should we not 
obey the rule which we have imposed upon us by the will of God ?' "^ 
Dr. Peter Heylyn wrote a long treatise on the Sabbath in the* 
form of a history, and the principal arguments produced by our 
own writers on Uie same side have been drawn from his pages^ but 
he used many which they have declined to endorse. In the pages 
of Paley, Powell, and Whately they are more carefully guarded 
and less easilv assailed than when first produced. When the 
reader of Heylyn comes to a point in the history on which there 
appears room for diversity of opinion, he naturally expects the 
author to attempt to establish his view by a process of reasoning, 
but instead of this, he finds a few quotations n*om the fathers, and 
with these the point is settled. Should any one dispute the sound- 
ness of his view of a passage, his answer is, virtually, — the fatherd 
(or at least some of them) have thought so, therefore it is so, and 
mat is an end of the matter. But even Heylyn contends that the 
first day of the week is sacred ; and he errs in resting this on the 
authority of the Church rather than that of the Apostles. ^ It iis 
true,' says he, ^ that in some tract of time the Churchy in honour 
of his resurrection^ did set apart that day on which he rose to holy 

X* See also the qnotations giTen by Pearson, Expos, qf Creed, art. ▼•PP- 265, 266, 
ed. 1669, and Staart's Commentary on the ApocdCvpBe^ on ch. L 10. Eosebios says 
of his own time, * We assemble after an inteiral of six days, and celebrate holy and 
spiritual Sabbath,' -^Comm. on Psalm xd. (xcii.). 

" InstitiUes of the Ckrittian Religion, by AUen, b. ii. o. Tiii. 8. 82. 


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154 The Chridian Sabbath. [July, 

exerciseB.'^ Paley admits that 'the authority of the apostolic 
practice ' has imposed * an oblisation upon Christians to comply 
with the religious observance of Sunday.' p Arnold and Whately 
complain that their sentiments have been misrepresented, and botn 
contend for the sanctification of the Lord's Day. Whately charges 
with the guilt of violating at once both tables of the divine law 
those who circulate the ' slanderous report ' that he is * unfavour- 
able to the religious observance of Sunday ;' ^ but, as he rests its 
obligation on the authority of the Church, and not of the Apostles, 
(to use his own phrase) he removes ^ it from a foundation of rock 
to place it on one of sand.' If the authority of a philosophical 
divme has weight with the reader, let him consult President 
Edwards' Sermons on the Saibathy which are admirable and 


(Pram Correspondents.) 

the Rev. J. F. Dcnham, M.A., F.R.S. 

Psalm czyiii. 22, 23. — ^'The stone which the bailders reftued is become the head 
stone of the comer. Thia ia the Lord'a doing [iiteraUy, Thia ia from Jehovah] ; it 
b maryellooa in onr eyea.' 

No text in the Old Testament is (j^uoted by the writers of the 
New so often as this, which is found m six dinerent places (Matt. 
xxi. 42 ; Mark xiL 10 ; Luke xx. 17 ; Acts iv. 11 ; Enh. ii. 20 ; 
1 Pet. ii. 4)9 in all of which it is considered as fulfilled in Jesus 
Christ. It is also admitted by R. Solom. Jarchi on Mic. v. 1, 
and Abarbanel on Zach. iv. 13, that tiie Jewish Rabbins under- 
stood this stone of the Messiah. The passage may originally 

• Hist, of Sabbath, h. ii. p. 7. p Moral and Political Philosophy, h. y. ch. viii. 

4 TTuntghts on the Sabbath, pp. 37, 88. 

' Works, pp. 93-103. Since the abo^e wu written, these Sermons hare been 
inoed in a neat tract form, with a pre&tory notice by the Bev. B. T. Walker, 


Digitized by 


1848.] Observations on Passages of Scripture. 155 

haye been founded in a literal feet. Bishop Home refers to ^ a 
Jewish tradition concerning a certain stone, which, having been 
by the builders of the second temple thrown aside among the 
rubbish, was at last found to be exactly fitted for the honourable 
place of the head of the comer/ — ( Commend, on Psalms,) MichaeUa 
also understands the passage literally, and thinks it 'probable 
that at the building of Solomon's temple one of those '* wrought 
stones" which David prepared "to build the house of God" 
(1 Chron. xxii. 2) was found fault with by the builders and 
declared to be useless,. and that God, for altogether different 
reasons^ commanded by a prophet that this stone should be made 
the head of the comer.' * The Orientals,' he observes, * regard 
the comer-stone as the one particularly holy stone in a temple, 
and think that it confers sanctity upon the whole edifice. It is, 
therefore, the more probable, that either by the Urim and 
Thummim (the sacred lot of the Jews), or by a prophet^ God was 
consulted which stone he would direct to be taken for die comer- 
stone. The answer was, that which they haveperseveringly rejected 
and declared to be quite unserviceable. Cfertainly it must have 
been for a very important reason that God positively appointed 
this stone to be the comer-stone ; but the Kew Testament dis- 
closes it to us in Matt xxi. 42 and 1 Pet ii. 7. The Jewish 
nation would conduct themselves towards the Messiah precisely as 
the builders did towards this stone, and would reject him ; but 
God would select him to be the comer-stone, which would support 
and sanctify the whole church,'* 

If such an occurrence took place, this stone would be vividly 
associated with the tradition respecting it in the minds of the 
Jewish people, and curiosity would be kept awake with regard to 
it till the career of the Messiah should ultimately illustrate this 
pre-arranged typical circumstance in the most strikinff maimer. 
There remain, however, certain points to be yet determined 
respecting this stone, which are essential in order to the full 
elucidation of the Soiptural allusions to it, viz., what was its 
precise jposition in tiie temple, and what were the uses it served. 
Bishop Middleton observes that * it is not very plain what this stone 
was ;' and it is remarked in a late valuable compilation of opinions, 
that 'the common interpretations certainly do not answer the 
reauisite conditions, and that so fer thej are unfounded.'^ The 
following attempt to unravel the subject is submitted to the 
bibhcal student : — 

It seems probable, even from the original passage (Ps. cxviii. 
22, 23), that this stone, in its place in the temple, was vieible, 

• Vide Uebermlx, u, Aumerh. ^ TroUope^ AJMletia. 


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156 Observations on Passages of Scriph&e. [July; 

In this Psalm some Jewish king appears to be approaching * thd 
gates ' of the temple on a public rcstival (y. 19, 20, 24), and to 
see this remarkable stone (22, 23). Our Lord and the Apostles 
combine with this passage some quotations from the prophets — 
comp. Luke xx. 18 ; Is. viii. 14 ; Dan. ii. 34, 35, 44, 45 ; Zech. 
xii. 3 ; but the additional particular thus introduced are doubtless 
in keeping with the position, etc., of this stone. From these 
quotations it is plain tnat its position was such that any one mi^t 
* fall on it ' (might dash himself against it, as St Peter's words 
import, who calls it X/do^ ^rpoaxo/jLfxaroSf 1 Pet ii. 8), and also was 
such that it might * fall upon him.' Consequently from these 
two particulars, which enter into nearly all the allusions to this 
stone, it appears plain that it was not what we understand by a 
foundation-stone, which is laid deep in the ground, nor yet the 
coping-stone at the comer, which lies on theupper tier of masonry. 
Indeed the distinction is clearly indicated in £ph. ii. 20, ^ and 
are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus 
Christ himself being the chief corner-stone ' — hxpoyannouos (which 
is the Septuagint word for comer-stone, Isa. xxviii. 16, quoted by 
St Peter, 1 ret ii. 6, and Symmachus's version of Psalm cxviii, 
22) : and that this axpoymiaias could not have been the foundation- 
stone is clear from St. Peter's representing it as possible for any 
one to have stumbled at it or dasn himselfagainst it. This stone 
must also have been of great size to satisfy our Lord's description 
of it, that if it fell upon any person it would 'grind him to 
powder/ literally smash him to atoms (comp. Luke xx.' 18, 
Greek, and Dan. ii. 44, Sept.) It would also seem from Eph. ii. 
21, that the circumjacent masonry was^ compacted with it — 
fTvyapfAoXoyov/xiim ; and the whole complexion of this passa^ inti>. 
mates that this stone not only sustained, but united toe biulding ; 
and such is the interpretation of its office bjr Chrjrsostom, Theo- 
phylact, (Ecumenius, Theodoret, and of Epiphanius (de Hcsres. 

E. 324\ As far then as we have gone we find this stone to have 
een single, of vast size, visible^ perhaps partly projecting like a 
buttress^ its lower end reaching nearly or entirely to the ground, 
jsituate at a comer of the temple, forming a large portion of the 
wall in which it stood, into and upon which the adjacent portion 
of that wall was built, as also the altemate portion of the wall 
forming the angle, and serving to unite both. We next find pre- 
sumptions that this stone served also the use of a sanctuary^ 
asylum^ or refuge. Thus Isa. viii. 14, * For he shall be for a 
sanctuary ; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of ofience 
to both tne houses of Israel.' Here a holy stone is clearly meant, 
and the remaining portion of the passage closely agrees with the 
other chief particulars of the stone in question. Ine connection 


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1848.] Ohseroations on Passages of Scripture. 157: 

between a temple, altar, consecrated statue, etc., and a sanctuary 
through all antiquity, is well known. Nor is further reference 
wanting to this connection in Scripture, for in Isa. xxviii. 16, a 
passage whose true meaning is obscured in our translation, but 
which is eminently concerned in this inquiry, it is said of this 
comer-stone, ^ he that believeth (trusteth to it) shall not make 
haste' (to seek another asylum or refuge, or, as St. Peter and 
St Paul render it, ^ he that believeth in him shall not be ashamed 
or confounded,' Rom. ix. 33 ; 1 Pet. ii. 6). A still clearer refe- 
rence to the refiigial use of this stone occurs in St Peter's re- 
markable use of the Psalmist's words (Acts iv. 11, 12), 'This is 
the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is 
become the head-stone of the comer. Neither is there salvation 
in any other.' If the word be rendered, as it may justly be, 
* neither is there safety in any other,' the reference to this use of 
the stone becomes plain, and the difficul^ so generally complained 
of, which attends the precise import ot the word * salvation ' in 
this passiage, is removed. Jesus Christ then appears as the 
corner-stone, the sanctuary or asylum in whom only safety is 
attmnable. Eypke also shows that the phrase h nvi aur^qiay ^Ivai 
is used by Aristophanes, Demosthenes, and Josephus for safety's 
being placed or lodged in a person or thing. The word a-wmpU is 
certainly used in this sense (Heb. xi. 7 ; Acts xxvii. 34). 

There are possibly other allusions, both in the Old and New 
Testament, more or less direct, to the several points included in 
this prolific subject The meaning of one passage already adduced 
is overlaid in our translation, and the verbiage employed in it has 
doubtless contributed to perplex the subject : ' Behold, I lay in 
Zion/or a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious comer- 
stone, a sure foundation : he that believeth shall not make haste ' 
(Isa. xxviii. 16). The exact rendering is, ' Behold, I establish or 
appoint in Zion a stone, an approved stone, a comer stone, pre- 
cious, immovably jixedy — as Lowth renders the latter portion. The 
word "ID^, though primarily meaning to lay b. foundation^ is meta- 
phorically used in the sense of appointing or ordaining, as in Ps. 
viii. 3. St. Peter in his quotation of this passage (1 Ep. ii. 6) so 
understands the word. But the introduction of the word foundation 
in the English version contributes to the impression that this 
corner-stone lay in the foundation. 


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158 Observationi en Pcusages of Scripture. [July, 

By the Bey. J. F. Denham, M.A., F.B.S. 

'The hone-leech hath two daughttm, crying, Giye, give.' — Ptoy. xxx. 15. 

This passage is well known for the perplexity it has occasioned to 
commentators, ancient and modem. The question is, what we are 
to understand by the * two daughters ' of the leech^ for there is no 
ground for the distinction of species introduced into the English 
yersion. Heb. n^T? ; Sept. BSsXXa ; Vul. Sanguisuga. 'fiiese 

two daughters cannot mean daughters in the sense of ofispiing, 
for the leech brings forth but one, of either sex, at a time. Every 
resource of criticism has been employed by Bochart,* who 
concludes by deriving the Hebrew word alukah, leech, from 
the Arabic alvk^ which means fate^ heayy misfortune, or im- 
pending destiny; whence he would infer that aliikah here 
means the &te of death attached to every man by the 
decree of God, and explains its two insatiable daughters as 
signifying hades and the grave. He endeavours to fortify this 
interpretation by some semblable terms of thought and language 
in the Scriptures, and in modem use, and shows that it was 
adopted by the Rabbinical vmters. The great objection to 
this solution is, that it involves a very unlikely mistake on the 
part of all the ancient translators who unquestionably understood 
the leech to be meant, and which creature is appropriately intro- 
duced into the passage among other emblems of avarice and 

The solution we have to offer is, that the ^ two daughters ' of 
the leech mean its two lips, for these it has, and most regularly 
formed, as the extemai parts of its complicated mouth. We 
found this explanation on those many instances in which the 
Hebrew word daughter is used in the sense of instrument^ process, 
adfunctj or any conjunction whatever. In the well known aescrip- 
tion of old age (Ecc. xii. 4), * and all the daughters of music,' or 
rather of song, ^ shall be brought low,' the word evidently refers 
to the lips, front teeth, and other instruments of pronunciation. 
The word daughter is also applied to the ^ apple of the eye,' or 
pupil (Ps. xvii. 8), literally the daughter of the eye, in re^urd to 
its appearance as a protuberant portion of that organ (compare 
the use of the Greek word xSpn^ and of the Latin pupa, pupilla^ 
and pupula). It is also applied to the branches of trees : Gen. 

* Hieroxoiam, & BosenmOller, iii 7S5, &c 


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1848.] Observations an Passages of Scripture. 159 

zlix. 22, ' Joseph is a froitfiil bou^, whose branches,* literally 
daughters, * run over the wall/ The phrase, * daughters of cities,' 
eyidently means the excrescent villages or towns belonging to the 
metropolis or another city (Num. xxi. 25, 82 ; Judges xi. 26 ; 
Josh. XV. 45 : Heb.). The analogical sense of the word might 
be pursued, as it appears in the various derivative senses of the 
word p, a son, sucn as a structure. It occurs in several Arabic 
words. Nor is it without a distant resemblance even in our own 
lanffua^, as for instance in the word keelson, the next piece of 
timber m a ship to her keel. 

Should this explanation of the ^ two daughters of the leech ' be 
correct, it will afford one case out of many of the utility of an 
immediate examination of nature in aid of biblical interpretation. 
This obvious method has hitherto been neglected in regard to tiie 
ant^ among other objects, and with reference to a passage found 
in die same chapter (v. 25), and which, in our translation, appa- 
rently favours the old and now exploded notion, at least in regard 
to die ants of this country, that the ant lays up stores of rood. 
The question in regard, however, to the ants ot Palestine is still 
left open to the dmdence expressed by Kirby and Spence, re- 
spectmg the inference that no exotic ants have magazines of pro- 
visions till their habits shall have been ^ more accurately explored.'^ 
For of all the persons who, in this age of^mprovements in science, 
have visited or resided in Palestine, we have not yet heard of any 
who has had the curiosity to test the question by examining an 
ant's nest during the winter. 

By the Bev. W. Niblock, M.A. 

* He (Christ) ahaU baptise yoa with the Holy Ghort and fire.' 

It is well known that the phrase * with fire,' as it is in the Authorized 
Version, has been variously understood by Biblical expositors. I 
do not intend, however, on this occasion, to trouble the readers of 

Jour Journal with an account of the different interpretations which 
ave been g^ven of it ; but simply with your permission to submit 
to the consideration of your readers what I conceive to be its 

^ LUrodvetioH to Entomology^ ii. 46. 


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160 ObservaHons on Passages of Scripture. [July» 

genuine meaning according to the usns loqnendi of the Sacred 

In order to understand the grammatical construction of this and 
similar passages, it is necessary to be intimately acquainted with 
the phraseology and style of tne Hebrew Scriptures, The pen- 
men of the New Testament were all Jews, and in writing Greek 
they occasionally employed the idioms and peculiarities of their 
natiye ton^e. It is absolutely impossible to be intimately ac- 
quainted with the niceties of the New Testament syntax without 
being familiar with the language of the Old. The phrase under 
consideration I regard as a hendiadys, a form of grammatical 
construction in which two nouns are put in the same case, and 
connected by a copulatiye conjunction, while in respect to sense 
one of them must be taken as a genitiye following the other, or as 
an adjective qualifying it. 

Any one at all acquainted with the original of the Old Testa- 
ment Scriptures must have frequently (^served that there is a 
creat want of adjectives in the Hebrew language in proportion to 
its substantives — ^indeed, so much so, that adjectives denoting the 
material of which a thing is made are not often to be met with. 
This deficiency in their language the Hebrews supply principally 
in two ways. First, when they wish to express some quality in a 
substantive which we wpuld express in English by means of an 
adjective, they employ another noun, and put the (qualifying sub- 
stantive in the genitive, after the one which it is designed to 
qualify. Thus, instead of saying a wpoden ark, thejr say an ark 
of wood, and for silver vessels tney say vessels of silver. This 
formula of expression having once become Seuniliar, it is retained 
even in cases where the language supplies adjectives, and it is 
frequently adopted by the New Testament writers in imitation of 
the Hebrew. 

The second plan which the Hebrews adopted for supplying a 
lack of adjectives, is the connecting together of two nouns in the 
same case by a copulative conjunction, while in respect of sense 
one of them must be regarded as an adjective qualifying the 

Examples of this mode of construction are numerous in the Old 
Testament Scriptures, and by no means seldom to be met with in 
the New Testament writers. 

In Zech. ix. 9, we have the expression * riding upon an ass, and 
upon a colt the foal of an ass.* The same phraseology is adopted 
Matt xxi. 5-7, where it is said 'thy kingcometh unto thee sitting 
upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass ;* and in verse 7, * they 
brought the ass, and the colt, and set him thereon.' This language 
means, as the same action is expressed John xii. 15, that toe 


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1848.] Observations en Passages of Scripture. 161 

disciples put their master upon an ass's colt. Both in Zeoh. and 
Matt, we have decided examples of the mode of expression which 
we have been explaining. In Gen. xix. 24, ^ brimstone and fire ' 
agnify ignited brimstone ; 1 Chron. xxii. 5, * of fame and of glory * 
mean of glorious fieune ; Jer. xxii. 3, ^ judgment and righteousness ' 
signify righteous judgment. In Acts xiv. 14, * oxen and garlands * 
import garlanded oxen ; and in Acts i. 25, ^ ministry andapostleship ' 
mean apostolic ministry. These are but a few of the examples 
that might be adduced to show the firequency of the occurrence 
both in the Old and New Testament writings of the idiomatic 
peculiarity under consideration. 

I am satisfied it is on this principle of exposition, the language 
^ he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire ' must be mter- 
preted. The phrase ^ and fire ' must be understood 8imi>ly as qua- 
lifying the baptism of the Holy Ghost — ^it is expressiye of the 
appearance and effects of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost 
particularly. Accordingly we are informed in Acts ii. 1-3, that 
* when the day of Pentecost was fully come, there appeared to the 
apostles cloyen tongues, like as of fire ; and it sat upon each of 
them, and they all began to speak with tongues, as the Spirit gave 
them utterance.' 

The meaninff of the term * fire ' used in connection with the bap- 
tism of the Hcny Ghost appears to signify that the apostles would 
on the day of Pentecost be baptized with the Holy Ghost in the 
shape of &^, and that this fiery baptism would effect a grand revo- 
lution in their understandings and hearts and lives. As fire 
purifies jzold and silver when submitted to its action, so the baptism 
of the Spirit and fire illuminated tiie minds and cleansed and 
purified the hearts of the apostles, and enabled them to speak 
with tongues and prophesy. 

According to the same principle of interpretation, we must, I 
thinkf understand John iii. 5, sav /x^i ns yvnm^ i^ viaros xai 
TviUfAotTos, Except a man be bom of water and Spirit ^ Bom of 
water and of Sipirit,' according to the form of hendiadys above 
explained, will signify ' bom of the water of the Spirit, or of 
Spiritual water ;' toat is, * bom ag^n or regenerated.' The words 
appear to me to be simply a description of the new birth, or of the 
regenerating and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, without 
containing any allusion whatever to Christian baptism. Water is 
a usual symbol employed by the Sacred writers as an illustration 
of the free and refreshing effects of the Spirit of God which the 
Saviour has promised to them that love him. In John iv. 14, 
CSbristsays, * whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, 
shall never thirst, but the water which I shall ^ve him shall be 
in him a well of water springing up into everlastmg life/ There 

VOL. II. — MO. III. M is 

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162 Observations on Fassoffes of Scripture. l^^Yi 

is no way, in my humble opinion, of understanding the exureasion 
i^ v^cLTor ttal vyiu/jLaros SO agreeably to the analogy of the doc- 
trines of the Bible as to regard it as a hendiadys, and signif^iuj; 
regeneration. It is a strong presumptive argument in fiiTOur of thifl 
mode of interpretation, that Christian baptism was not at this time 
instituted — ^that faith in the apostolic age was required as a con* 
dition for baptism, and that the whole current of revelation goes 
to establish tne fact that the word of God, and not baptism, is the 

Sand medium through which tiie Holy Spirit translates sinners 
>m darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. 
It is on the same principle that the phrase Titus iii. 5 is explained ; 
the language to which i refer runs thus in the English translation, 
which is quite good for my purpose — ' the washing of regeneration 
and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.' The phrase, * the rene^ring 
of the Holy Ghost ' is employed as explanatory of the preceding 
one, namely, washing of regeneration. That the language under 
consideration does not signify baptism, but regeneration, is, I think, 
manifest from the use of the phrase ' wasliing of regeneration,' that 
is the washing or cleansing which regeneration effects. If the 
phrase had been ' the regeneration of washing,' then it might be 
argued with some degree of plausibility that it means baptism ; 
but as it is, it must be regarded as denoting regeneration. 



By George J. Walkeb. 

The following re-translations of some words and passages in the 
Song of Solomon may not be new to many of your readers ; but 
they may, perhaps, be of use to some who have paid less attention 
to the original, and are interested in anything tnat contributes to 
the elucidation of the sacred text : and they may, at any rate, 
serve to direct attention to one of its richest portions. 

Chap. 1.-4. 'The upright love thee,' they love thee sincerely 
(i. e., the virgins, yer. 3). 7. 'Tumeth aside,' is veiled, marg. ; 
comp. Gen. xxxviii. 14, 15. The bride desires to avoid all ap- 
pearance of inconstancy. Gesenius follows Alb. Schultius in 
rendering 'as one who faints ;' but there is no passage where the 
word has this sense, and it does not seem required here. 

II.— 1. « Rose,' probablv narcissus. See Kitto's Biblic. Cyclop., 
art. ' Chabazzeueth.' * Lily,' probably lotus or water-lily. Ibid., 
art. * Shttshan.' 5. * Flagons,' cakes ; specially those made of 
grapes, dried and pressed together. 7. * He please,' she please ; 


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1848.] Observations an Passoffes of -Scripture. 168 

so ch. iii. 5, and viii. 4, a correction important to the expositor of 
this book. 14. ' Of the stairs/ of the cra^ (or clift). 17. * The 
day-break/ or, the day breathes Tor blows) ; the evening is meant 
according to Gesenius, Rosenmiiller^ &C.9 but I prefer with others 
to understand the morning (the U^^b of the Persians). In 
Jerem. vi. 4, ^ the shadows are stretched out ' describes the even- 
ing ; here it is said, * the shadows flee away,' which fitly desig- 
nates the morning. Perhaps ch. iii. 1, favours this view, if the , 
close connection of the two chapters be admitted. See also ch. 
iv. 6. * Mountains' of Bether :' in the art. * Bether/ Kitto's 
Cyclop. y this word is mentioned as occurring again, ch. viii. 14, 
which is a mistake. There seems little reason for rendering it as 
a proper name. 

ill. — 6. This verse may afibrd an illustration of the importance 
to the interpreter of consulting the original lan^ages of Scrip- 
ture. The JSnglish reader mignt easily be led mto the error of 
referring it to the same person as ver. 7. It can only refer to 
the bride. 9. * Chariot,* litter^ or palanquin. See Gesen. 10. 
^ The bottom ;' the back part seems meant, on which the head 
reclines. * Covering,' seat ; i, e,y cushions covered with purple. 
The last words of this verse are very obscure ; I would render, 
paved with love from (or by) the daughters of Jerusalem. I ap- 

f>rehend it is a metaphor (like ch. ii. 4, ^ his banner over me was 
ove '), expressive of the affection of these daughters to the king, 
whom, in the next verse, they are called upon to behold crowned 
with his nuptial chaplet. To the rendering ' totum intus amabi- 
liter exomatum a virginibus Hierosolomitanis,' which Rosen- 
miiller, without being satisfied with it, adopts from Schelling, may 
be objected that such tesselated or paved work was not likely to 
have been executed by women. 

IV. — 1. * Locks,' veil; so ver. 3, * appear from,' lie down on; 
so vi. 5. 3. ' Speech,' mouth. 16. Some assicn the whole verse 
to the bride ; but I think the latter half only belongs to her, 
< Let my beloved come,' &c., and the verse should properly have 
made two. 

V. — 1. * O beloved,' O beloved ones. 8. The vehement tone 
of this address is much better preserved by Rosenmiiller : — If ye 
find my beloved^ what will ye tell him? That lam sick of love. 
Its abruptness well expresses the impatient eagerness of love. 11. 
* Bushy, better rendered ,/fotmny. 13. * Sweet flowers,* mounds 
of balsams^ or, beds of perfumes. 14. *BeryV topaz. 15. •Coun- 
tenance,' aspect, 

VI.— 13. * Shulamite,' Shulamith. It is probably the femi- 
nine of Shelomoh (Solomon). The latter part of this verse seems 
correctly assigned by Rosenmiiller to the bride : — Why do ye look 

M 2 upon 

Digitized by 


164 Observations on Passages of Scripture. [J^Jy 

upon SkuJamith as upon a dance of two hosts 9 It is the expres- 
sion of modesty and basbfiilness^ 

VIL — 5. ' Galleries/ ringlets or tresses. 6. * For delights,' or, 
among delights. 9. Rosenmiiller supposes the first part of this 
Terse to be an unfinished sentence of the bridegroom, whom sleep 
has surprised. And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine — (the 
bride nnishes the sentence thus interrupted) — that goeth down 
sweetly to my beloved, flowing gently between the lips of those that 
are asleep; with allusion to sleep haying overtaken him — ^not 
perceiving the change of person has made translators often miss 
the ^eat beauty and elegant playfulness of this verse. No other 
version I have seen preserves it. 

VIII. — 1. ' As my brother/ as a brotlier tome: un mio firatello, 
Diodati. 2. The verbs should be rendered in the future tense — 
I will lead thee ; thou shalt instruct me ; I will cause thee. That 
is, since public familiarity cannot be, ^ I will lead thee, and bring 
thee into my mother's house,' &c. 3. We shall, probably, not be 
wrong in rendering this verse exactly as in ch. li. 6 ; or, it may 
be, 'His left hand shall be,' &c ; ' His right hand shall embrace,' 
&c. ; or thus, ^ Let his left hand be,' &c. 5. ' I raised thee up,' 
I aroused thee. This ought to begin a fresh verse ; the former 
part appears to be spoken by the daughters of Jerusalem. 6. 
' Cruel as the grave,' hard^ mars, (or inflexible), as hades, 
* Which hath a most vehement flame/ (like) the flame of Jehovah; 
i. e.f lightning. 7. ' For love,' for this love. 12. ^ A thousand,' 
the thousand. 




By Joseph Tompson. 

A BRIEF consideration of the text (Gen. x. 25), * For in the 
days of Peleg was the earth divided,' may perhaps enable us to 
account for the apparent mystery of finding manxind in islands 
remote from continents, which fact I conceive to be but very ill 
accounted for by the supposition of men being driven adverse by 
winds or carried by currents. 

In New South Wales, the islands of the Pacific, and most 
others, the European navigators found men — men in make, men 
in mind, men in instinct, men in spirituality ; in fine, all evidently 
of one family, possessing language and that peculiar feature of 
man's nature — progression. 


Digitized by 


1848.] * Observations on Passages of Scripture. 165 

Now, men neither drop from above, nor spring from beneath,^ 
but are the ofisprinff of the two sexes — a fact I particularly note 
for the purpose of observing that, admitting the possibility of 
winds or currents bearing a frail uncompassed bark some hundreds' 
of leagues without sails, there must have been both sexes in the 
boat, which, from known habits of aborigines, is highly improbable, 
and, taking all casesj imposable ; for it would show a compact in 
attempting a desperate enterprise uncongenial with man in a state 
of nature, where ease is far before adventure. 

But supposing the inhabitants of the continents had resolved to 
emigrate, there being no charts, they would have had to steer 
without di fixed destination^ which is an absurdity, considering that 
known principle of selfish interest which is the more apparent as 
men are the more rude. 

I would now come to a geological reason, which is, that fossil 
remains of the same species are round in the new and old worlds, 
especially of the elepnantine specimens : now, from their being 
evidently and most unquestionably ^ramm2t?(?r(m«, it becomes a 
matter of fact that the beasts^when in existence could not have 
traversed from one continent to the other bv the Arctic re^ons, 
where alone a communication exists, vegetation not there existing 
on which they could subsist during their migration. 

The existence in remote islands or on continents of birds of the 
same species, and beasts, incapable of long flight in the first 
instance, and swimming in the second, and too numerous in their 
genera for mere importation, may be deduced as another evidence 
tending to the same conclusions, against which the existence of 
native species does not militate, inasmuch as the latitudes and 
longitudes to which specific species are native are defined by very 
fine lines, and on wmch lines the disruption in some cases may 
have taken place. 

That man is of one common stock is proved, I think, by the fact 
of the uniformity of anatomical arrangement (whereas beasts, 
birds, ftc^ of the same genus difier in this particular in the most 
remarkable manner^ ; by the principle of progression and power 
of voice, as before aUuded to ; by the tsjct of corresponding vulues 
and vices ; by a reli^on and tne particidar of sacrifice, and by 
the hopes and fears of a future state. 

The foregoing arguments appear to me conclusive that man did 
not emigrate to the remote isiands from the continents, and that 
the islands were originally not disjoined from the main land, but 
that some great disruption at some remote period ipust have pro- 
duced those efiects and appearances which are now so obvious. 

This disruption I conceive to have been in the form of our 
modem landdips, which carry the cattle, etc., with them, leaving 

a chasm 

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166 CarreqHmdenee. * [J^^y* 

a chasm that intercepts their transition. But as great means were 
necessary for great ends, it is easy to suppose the power which 
created could increase — nor is it entirely impossible but that 
natural causes may have been adequate to the purpose — ^that the 
trembling continent may have cracked and fled asunder upheaved 
by forces firom beneath, and the ^ mountains may have been carried 
into the midst of the sea ' with all that was thereon. 

To these arguments of a purely philosophical character, I may 
add one reason more from the Bible, in whose first chapter we 
find it recorded that the waters were ^ gathered together mto one 
place,* which statement "would ill have applied to the gul& and 
mland seas of the modem world. The conjecture may further 
be hazarded, that the confusion of tpngues at Shinar not having 
accomplished its purpose of destroying the combinations of men 
for evU purposes, God in his wisdom of vengeance, which com- 
bined with mercy, determined to place those extreme barriers 
which we now behold with wonder and awe, and which was accom- 
plished when we are infi>rmed ^ In the days of Peleg was the 
earth divided.' 



From communications which have reached the Editor, it appears that 
bis statement respecting the state and prospects of the Jourual, which 
was given in the ' Correspondence * of the last number, has not in all 
quarters been rightly understood. It seems to be his duty to correct 
any erroneous impressions which may thus have been caused, and he 
knows not that this can be done better than by inserting the principal 
portion of a letter lately addressed by him to a friend on this very 
subject : — 

« Mt dear , Wokinffy May lOth, 1848. 

I am obliged by your congratulations respecting the Journal of 
Sacred Literature ; and I accept them the more cordially from the 
conviction of the strong interest you take in the success of this attempt 
to establish on so wide a basis an organ expressly devoted to Sacred 
literature. But I fear you have too sanguinely interpreted the 
expressions employed by me in the intimation given in the * Corre- 
spondence ' of the April number. That notification was written under 
the influence of the satis&ction which I felt in contemplating the fact 
that I had at length succeeded in working out a plan which, as you are 
so well aware, has been the cherbhed object of many years, and to 
which I have looked forward, not only as to the proper sphere of my 
own future usefhlness in this my day and generation, but as an impm^ant 


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1848.] Corr$9pondence. 167 

instrument for bringing into operation the means of rendering useful 
services to Biblical literature which exist in many quarters, but which 
lie dormant for want of an appropriate medium for their exhibition. 
You will not fail to perceive that it is not only the object of such a 
work to register exertions in the great cause of Biblical literature — in 
which every minister of God's word, and every intelligent student of 
the Sacred Book, is interested — but to exeiie exertion in every one who 
is capable of affording useful contributions to Biblical science, by the 
stimulus which the presence of an organ specially adapted to his com- 
munications with the public cannot ^1 to afford. That I have not 
miscalculated in this is shown by the fact that I already possess^ 
and the Journal has already contained,^ contributions to Biblical 
literature, which would probably never have been produced had the 
publication not existed ; as well as many others which, although 
written, would either not have been published, or would have been 
lost to the general notice of the Biblical public in sectional pub- 

Well, in contemplation of these facts — considering that I had been 
enabled to get over the great difficulties, commercial and literaiy, which 
exist in bringing forth a Quarterly Journal ; that all the machinery had 
come into fine working order much sooner than I had ventured to 
expect ; and that all the means for its progressive improvement were in 
full operation, I thanked God, and took courage. Perhaps I took too 
much courage; though it seemed to me that the statement which was 
drawn from me, and to which your letter refers, was sufficiently 
guarded in its expressions. 

You will see now that the source of my satisfaction — the exciting 
cause of my * song of triumph,' as you are pleased to call it, was that I 
had been enabled, by the blessing of God upon the means which had 
been taken, and by the vigorous aid of the contributors, to lay this my 
tribute fsirly before the public. This was a great matter ; and, which 
was asgpreat a matter, that tribute seemed to liave been well received. 
This is still more clear ito«7, since the appearance of the second number, 
if I may venture to judge not merely from the notices which have 
appeared in contemporary publications, but from the encouragement 
with which many of the most competent judges have, by their letters, 
cheered my heart and strengthened my hands. 

What I meant therefore to say was, that we, the Editor and Con- 
tributors, had pretty well done our part. Our offering has been 
brought up to the very horns of the altar ; the priests have pronounced 
it a fit offering ; and we have left it there. An attempt has therefore 
been made in which even failure were no disgprace to us, though there 
lire those to whom our failure would do no honour. This was the 
only matter on which we could take credit, or from which any just 
satis&ction could be derived. The rest remained, and remains, with 
the public ; and I cherish the hope that the public will now do its 
part. Considering the difficulties of the times, I am not prepared to 
say that it has not. We have made a Mr beginning, as times go ; and 
if we can but hold on long enough, while the work gets known, and 


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168 * Corrupandenee. [July, 

while the times mend, there can be no doubt of the result. But this 

* holding on' is difficult. The present sale is not enough to defiray 
the first commercial expenses, and at least double the circulation is at 
aneey or very soon, necessary to make us safe. This being realized, 
the publication would be sufficiently well known to ensure its further 
progress, and time would be given us to develop all our resources. 
£ut lam not $o circumstanced as to be able to carry on this enterprise 
long at a loss. My bread, as you well know, is not so abundant that 
I can find much to cast even upon these pleasant waters. I cast what 
I can — ^more, some say, than I ought ; but I do it in faith — the fiuth 
of finding it after some days, be they many or few, in some shape of 
advantage to the cause to which I have been enabled to devote the 
labours of my life, and which can hardly fail to be promoted by this 
attempt, whatever be its result. 

I know there are many who, like yourself, would be loth to see me 
brought into peril in the attempt to accomplish a useful service to 
Biblical literature, and to employ the resources at my disposal in the 
way which may, as I conceive, most efficiently advance the glory of 
Goid, and the knowledge of His word. I know there are many more, 
on whose consideration I have no personal claims, who would be 
anxious to see such a work succeed, in the conviction that it supplies a 
want in our theological literature, and that the precedent of its failure 
would for many years to come discourage any like attempt to supply 
that want. On such of either of these classes as are known to you, I 
must b^ you to exert your influence, to induce them to employ 
theirs in the present and efficient support of this undertaking. Those 
who intend to take the Journal in * next year,' or * when times mend,' or 

* when they have seen more of it,' must be reminded that their present 
support is ess^itial to the success of the undertaking ; and those who 
feel the Journal to be an advantage or a necessity to them, must be 
made to understand that their continued possession of it depends very 
much upon their exertions in making it known, and in promoting its 
eireulation. There arcj I am surCy very many who could induce 
several persons within their circles of influence to support this publi- 
cation ; but it is clear thai if every one of the present subscribers 
were to induce even one more to take it tn, the present object^ of safety y 
would be secured. You will do much more than your proper share of 
tills task ; and if others will do theirs, either as a &vour, a firiendship, 
or a duty, all will be well.' 

To this Letter we have only to add the information-^which may per- 
haps impart a further sttmtdus to the exertions of the friends of this 
enterprise — that the Journal of Sacred Literature is no bookseller^ s 
speculation^ but is entirely undertaken at the Editor* s own personal risk. 

Dr. Dobbin has sent us the following communication in reply to 
Mr. Robertson's letter contained in our last Number. We have just 
veceived, from another quarter, an article on the typical import of the 
ordinanoes of the Day of Atonement, in which the signification of the 


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1848.] Corrupondence. 169 

oidinaiioe of * the scape-goat ' is considered among tlie rest This we 
expect to print in the next Number : — 

SiB,-*I am obliged to Mr. Robertson, of Middleton in Teesdale, for 
his candid and courteous observations on my paper in the first Number 
of the Journal of Sacred LUerature^ and must crave space for a veiy 
few and brief remarks on his communication. 

1. Mr. B. waves the real point of discussion in suggesting a patri- 
archal origin for the ordinance of the scape-goat ; the real question 
being, Did the Jews adopt it from Egypt or not ? Dr. Hengstenberg 
elaborately maintains the affirmative ; and in his statements in support 
of that view lays himself open, as I think, to g^ve censure. 

2. The ground Dr. Hengstenberg takes in defence of its Egyptian 
origin, that it ^ could scarcely spring up ' in Israel, from Its palpable 
reference to devil-worship, ma!kes very decidedly against its being a re- 
institution of a patriarchal rite, because in this latter case it would be 
unexceptionable in its aspect, innocent and divine. 

3. While I fully acquiesce in Mr. Robertson's commendation of the 
article Scape-Goat in Kitto's Ct^elopacUa, as a carefully prepared 
paper, it is important to observe that it professes to be only a resum^ 
of Dr. Hengstenberg^s article on the subject in his book on Moses and 
Egypt The ability of the compend is only equalled by the candour 
of the writer, who, unconvinced by the reasonings he has taken the 
pains to present to his readers, thus modestly records his dissent :^- 
* The subject is one of the most curious and interesting in Biblical 
literature ; but it in also one on which it seems scarcely possible to 
realize an implicit conviction: and the present writer, in reporting 
the views of another ^ must admit that he^for himself^ has not bwn able 
to do so.^ The italics are mine ; but does not the sentiment entitle me 
to claim the writer for my side, quite as much as Mr. R. for Dr. Heng- 
stenberg's ? 

4. I needed not to be told that Azazel is emplc^ed by Jewish writers 
to signify the evil spirit or demon of the desert. I had read with some 
care Spencer's learned treatise in his book De Legibus Hebrteorum 
BituaUbuSj vol. ii. 4to. pp. 450-504, ed. Hagft Comitum, 1686 : nor 
did I fidl to make myself thoroughly acquainted with the Jewish tra- 
ditions, as given in the Mischna Surenhusii, vol. ii. fol. 226-250, 
Amsteladami, 1699, before I sent you my contribution. This latter 
so interested me, that I had some intention to translate it, with its 
voluminous notes, if thought admissible in the Journal, nor have I yet 
given up the idea. 

5. Assuming that my interpretation of the dead and scape goats is 
correct, as indicating remission by bloodshedding, it by no means 
follows that it excludes Mr. Robertson's view, if I apprehend it dis- 
tinctly, which I doubt. The ordinance of the goats, in my opinion, 
refers to the following parties : — 

1 . To the Israelites ; and expresses the sin of the people pmiished 
in the slain, and forgiven in the released animal. 

2. To the Messiah ; who was delivered for our offences, and raised 


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170 N€tim<fBo<*8. [July, 

agiin fi>r our jwdfieatioD, t. «., the hnmiliarimi» rteurrectioii, and 
triumph of Christ. And, 

3. To the entire church ; sin reigning unto death, the death of our 
surety, and the dese r ve d death of ourselves, and grace reigning unto 
eternal life, in our pardon, acceptance, and salvation. 

I hope the studied brevity of these remarks has not interfered with 
the clearness of my meaning ; but in truth I have as little time as you 
have of space for a controversy that I fear will interest few of your 
leaders. I am almost apprehensive I shall have to leave any future 
notices my papers may be honoured with in reluctant silence, unless 
they should be of such a nature as to enforce a public and honourable 
recantation of published opinions. 

HttU CUUge. Orlaitdo T. DoBBiir. 


T%e Atmlytieal Hebrew and Chaidee Lexicon : anuMng of tm 
Alphabetical arrangement of every Word and Inflection contained 
in the Old Testament Scriptures^ precisefy as they occur in the 
Sacred Text^ with a Grammatical Analysis of each Word and 
Lexicographical Illustration o/* the Meanings. A complete series of 
Hebrew and Chaldee Paradigms, with Grammatical Memarhs and 
ExpUmations. Bagster and Sons, London, 1848 ; 4to., pp. 874. 

Wk cannot look at this book and reflect upon the amount of very pre- 
cious time it would once have saved us, while acquiring />rac^<?e in the 
Hebrew language, without a pang of regret that it was not many years 
ago produced, allayed by the joy that the new generation should possess 
so important an addition to the fiicilities aflbrded to it for the acqui- 
sition of the sacred language. Mr. Bagster's undertakings in this line 
have rendered him a public benefactor ; and with the aids which he 
alone has afforded, even if there were no others, it must ere long 
become impossible for any minister of God's word, or for any real 
student of Scripture, to remain ignorant of the Hebrew tongue, with 
any credit or comfort to himself. It is true that the Hebrew is not so 
^ easy ' a language, to be thoroughly acquired, as is sometimes idly said. 
But although more difficult tlian some langtiages, it is easier than some 
others, and, with the present and other helps, which are such as no 
other language possesses, the Hebrew offers no difficulties which a very 
reasonable degree of persevering attention may not in due time 

As the study of Hebrew, unlike that of the classical tongues, is 
usually taken up in the busies^ period of life, students can hence 
rarely secure the advantage of oral instruction long enough to obtain a 
complete knowledge of Hebrew; and the entire body of words in the 


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1818.] Notieeio/Booki. 171 

Hebrew Scriptures, exactly as they are found in tiw test, an gmn in 
alphabetical order, with the usual lexicographical explanations. The 
word being thus explained, it is there exhibited with aH its suffixes, 
prefixes, and every modification of form it receives in Scripture, with 
references to the texts in which they occur. Every word thus laid out 
is concisely but fully parsed, its composition explained, and its simple 
form and root given. When we add to this that every word is so 
arranged as to be found with the utmost fiieility, some idea may be 
formed of the great advanti^es it offers to the student of the Hebrew 
language. No one need, however, be afraid that it will make the study 
* too easy ' to him. There is no royal road to the thorough mastery of 
the Hebrew or any other language. 

Those especially who seek to qualify themselves for the ministry, too 
frequently find their College terms expire without having attained pro- 
ficiency. Now experience has shown that multitudes of Hebrew 
students, after having overcome the first difficulties under the instruction 
of a living teacher, abandon further study for lack of a guide through 
the yet untrodden intricacies of the language. The present work, 
which embodies the seven years' labour of Mr. Benjamin Davidson, of 
the Jews Society's Hebrew College, is designed to meet this state of 
things, by supplying the student with the means of making speedy and 
sure after-progress. * Its object is to assist him in his practice of the 
sacred text, by enabling him to apply the rules he has learned and may 
be learning ; and by supplying him with an analysis of every single 
word in the entire language, under every form it can assume, it pro- 
mises him exemption from the tedium and disappointment of uncer- 
tainty in his investigations.' We are bound to say that this object has 
been most ably, and satisfiu^torily accomplished. 

A Wayfarer^$ Notes on the Shores of the Levant j and the VaUey of 
the £f tie : with a I Sketch of the Meligious Feaiwes o/* Syria^ and 
an Appendix on the Site ef the Holy Sepulchre, dj Cuthbbrt 
G. Young, B.A. Edinburgh, H. Kennedy, 1848. 12mo. pp. xv. 
We may recommend this book as furnishing the reader, at a small 
expense, with a sensible and clear account of the places visited and 
countries traversed during an extensive journey. We have accounts 
more or less full, of Malta, Greece, and its isles, Asia Minor, Syria 
and Palestine, £gypt, Nubia and Italy. Books of this kind — though 
they may not be able to furnish much that is new in the description 
of countries so well trodden — are necessary to bring down our informa- 
tion to the latest date ; and it is much to our advantage when we are 
enabled to secure this benefit at a small cost ; for a rapid succession of 
works on Palestine, at from one to two guineas each, is somewhat of 
a severe exaction upon the resourcee of the persons for wlKHn such 
productions are intended. 

The author of the present work is a thoughtful and pious person, 
who associates much with the missionaries of the places to which he 
came, and is hence enabled to impart much information with regard 


Digitized by 


172 Notices of BoM. [July, 

to their religious state and prospects, in which he obviously takes a 
stropg interest He possessed an advantage in travelling of which he 
does not appear to have been himself conscious, and which, therefore, 
he has not turned to such good account as we should have desired. 
This vras in the time of the year in which the journey was made, which 
enabled him to see the country under an aspect — ^with respect to 
climate and vegetation — in which it is seldom witnessed by travellers. 
The time generally chosen for a journey in Palestine ib the spring or 
early summer ; but Mr. Young was there in ^November ; and, to the 
best of our recollection, is the only traveller besides Cotovic, Gum- 
penberg, Des Hayes, and Burckhardt, who have been there in that 
mouth-»and of these the last only is a modem traveller. We think 
we may therefore pronounce that Mr. Young is the only British 
traveller who has spent any part of the month of November in 
Palestine. We have, therefore, looked through his pages with the 
express view of noting the aspects under which the country presented 
itself to his notice at that time of the year. This is a matter of some 
importance ; for we have often thought that the impressions concerning 
the appearance and vegetation of the country which travellers have 
conveyed, are to be re^uded as merely the points of view in which it 
was beheld at the season of the traveller's visit ; and that it is only by 
balancing the accounts rendered by those who were in the land at 
different seasons that a correct notion of the general aspect of the 
country can be formed. Thus, for instance, in our country the sum- 
mer is glorified by the crops of standing grain — ^but in Palestine the 
latest of the harvest is over by June, and the country being denuded of 
its crops, and the herbage parched and dried up by the heat and 
drought of the summer, a traveller who then traversed the country 
would see little to admire or cheer him, and would be inclined to pro- 
nounce that all was barren, from Dan even to Beersheba. But very 
diflRsrent is the aspect which the same country presents in spring, before 
the crops are gathered in, and while the herbage still retains the ver- 
dure which the rains of winter and early spring have imparted — or in 
autumn, when the return of rain has mollified the earth, and given 
life to the root and seeds which it held in its parched bosom. Those 
who have visited the country at these seasons will marvel greatly at 
the accounts of the blasting and sterility which the summer travellers 
describe as having fidlen upon the land. 

Mr. Young was at Damascus on the 1st of November, 1846, and 
having in the meanwhile passed through the Holy Land, was at el- 
Arish, on his way to Egypt, at the beginning of December. Turning 
over the one hundred and seventy pages devoted to this month in 
Palestine, the following particulars are those that, for the point of 
view we have taken, engage our attention. The traveller repeatedly 
speaks of heavy drenching rains. In the north, hill and dale are rich 
in foliage — ^and the Jordan, when its stream is plainly heard^ is hidden 
from view by the Muxuriant foliage' of its banks (pp. 180, 181). 
Between Safed and Tiberias heath and furze were abundant, besides 
trees of larger growth (p. 185). This, as regards heaih^ is a &ct of 


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1848.] Notieei of Books. 173 

some importance, as it has been ^nerally understood that no heath 
{erica) grew in Asia. We trust that Mr. Young was botanist enoueh 
to know that wliat he saw was really heath, and not something eue 
like it. On the 10th of November the traveller was at Tiberias, 
and he finds that the day, Uhough cool for Syria, was like the 
English July ' (p. 192). On the lake he saw ^ swallows, which, 
like us, had' left Europe to spend the winter in this warm clime' 
(p. 193). Between Tiberias and Mount Tabor he < passed through 
many fields of tall rank tares, thistles, hemlocks, and dandelions, 
all parched and crackling; the new green crop of com was just 
above the ground.' The same day, * ^fe tied our horses to a wide 
spreading fif^ tree, and under its grateful shade we lunched and reposed. 
There were some figs on this tree, and another near it was overloaded 
with multitudes of a small size, but none were ripe, for '' the time of 
figs was not yet" ' (p. 195). Of Mount Tabor it is said, < the whole 
mountain, as well as those near it, was covered with the richest con- 
ceivable luxuriance of wild foliage. The rocks were overgrown by 
clumps of myrtle and the low valonias' (p. 195). So at Carmel, 
' the rocks which abound there were covered with a profusion of myrtle 
and other shrubs, which gave a pleasant perfume ' (p. 205). This 
was after much rain bad fallen. At the same place, in the middle of 
the month, * the day was beautiful, the heat by no means oppressive^ and 
I felt the influence of the delightfully mild and soothing air ' (p. 207). 
At Jenin, < the cactuses formed hedges for the olive gardens, and there 
were a few majestic plane trees ' (p. 210). Notices such as the last are 
oi frequent occurrence, though we do not repeat them. At Nablous 
(Shechem), ' olives on the hills and in the valleys, and a few light-green 
fig-trees surrounded the city ' (p. 212). In the bazaar, at the same 
place, * figs old and new were offered for sale, and unripe oranges. I 
bought two immense strings for three paras. This land is still the 
land of the fig and the pomegranate, the olive and the vine, and hands 
alone are wanted to till the soil, and restore it to its former fertility 
(p. 214). The valleys of £phraim were found abounding in olives 
and fig-trees planted in terraces : ^ The fig-leaves were fiist falling 
(Nov. 19), and the fruit of the olive was thickly strewn around them. 
The women and children were shaking the trees, and others were 
eathering the berries and carrying them off in baskets' (p. 217). At 
Jerusalem the valley of the son of Hinnom, * that dreadful Grehenna,' 
now < abounds in olive-trees, and did not appear so savagely wild as I 
had anticipated ' (p. 236). Near the Pool of Siloam, < the smiling 
green of the gardens, in which are cabbages, salads, and other v^;etables, 
as well as fruit-trees, olives, and a species of tamarind, from which a 
delightful jelly is made, were more than we expected ' (p. 238). At 
the Dead Sea, near the end of November (27th), 'The day was such 
as is known only in the East There was a sky of the brightest blue ; 
fleecy white clouds, settling on the Moab mountains, produced the 
richest purple tinge \ the plain of Jordan, extended to the north as far 
as the eye could reach, and the long green line of verdure by that 
river's banks was refreshing and delightful to look upon. The Dead 


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174 Notices of Boohs. [July, 

Sea, partly fiitoaied by the weather perhaps, looked anything bvit 
gloomy ' (p. 251). On the Jordan the traveller ' was not prepared for 
such fresh green, and so much of it, along the banks' (p. 261). The 
valley of Jer^niah, leading to the plain of Bamleh, was ^ luxuriant in 
wild wood, carob trees, and myrtles, which were in flower.' Bamleh 
itself *■ is surrounded by olive-yards in the midst of a wide plain, and 
there was a delicious freshness in the green carpet around us for miles 
on all sides.' The immediate approach thereto was * among thick 
hedges of the cactus, through a field of poppies just above the gp^und ' 
(p. 275). The plains of Philbtia, near Ekeer (Ekron), ' began to be 
studded with crocuses, which continued to smile on us all day ' (p. 276). 
They were therefore in flower at the beginning of December. At 
Ascalon large flg-trees were seen laden with fruit, though at that 
season small and green (p. 278). In the southern plain towards el- 
Arish, on December 5, the heat was found to be very great from 11 
to 3 o'clock ; ^ the crocuses disappeared, wild heaths taking their 
place' (p. 284). Then there had been crocuses all through the 
Philistian plains at this season, and now approaching the ' so-called 
desert,' heaths are found. At el-Arish quarantine was performed 
from December 6th to 10th < on the arid sand, under a burning sun 
and brazen sky ' (p. 285). Here < there is a noble palm-grove near 
the shore, a miniature forest in extent. The dates were ripening in 
thick clusters ' (p. 287). At the same time and place — ^ The heat by 
day was intense, as in our July, or greater ; and the weather was very 
cold at night, accompanied by heavy dews and damp mists until the 
sun dispersed them.' During the first two days' journey through the 
desert from el- Arish, heaths grew luxuriantly, with occasional clumps 
of palm-trees. On the third day's journey the desert was without 
heaths, but one or two palm-groves were seen. The desert passed, the 
flat country near the Damietta canal ' looked beautiful with its 
thousand patches covered with luxuriant verdure ; indeed the fresh- 
ness of the green was rich beyond anything that I have seen in 
England after spring rains, and yet not a drop of rain had fallen here 
for months' (p, 298). This was on the border of Egypt, in the 
jniddle of December. In Palestine rain had been plentiful. 

The notices we have thus brought together seem to us to form an 
interesting series of &ct8, illustrative of the physical condition of 
Palestine during a season in which it has been most rarely visited ; 
and it will be observed that they extend over the whole length of the 
country, from the * waters of Merom ' to the southern wilderness. 

The Gospel in Advance of the Age : being a Homily for the Times. 
By the Rev. Robert Montgomery, M.A. Third Edition : Edin- 
burgh, T.and T. Clark, 1848; 8vo. pp. 508, 250 pages of new 

This work begins with an analysis of < the spirit of the Bible,' which 
is a more extensive subject than is announced in the title, and of ' the 
spirit of the age,' Each of these topics aflbrds a task of no ordinary 


Digitized by 


1848.] Natiees of Books. 175 

magnitude. The former involves the philosophy of Revelation, and the 
latter an exact acquaintance with the national character. In the state- 
ment of the spirit of the Bible, the author devotes Section iv. to the 
establishment of the position that ' the Bible proclaims the entire cor- 
ruption and total depravity of human nature ;' and adduces in proof of 
it the following passages, which we give literatim, ^ God saw that 
the wickedness of man was great in the earthy and that evert 


coNTiNUAiiLY.* * JSvery one of them is gone back^ they are ajlto- 
OBTHEE BECOME FILTHY, there is none that doeth goody noy not one.' 
^ Both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin.' * The heart is deceitful 
* Tke carnal mind is enmity against god.' The whole world lieth 
IN WICKEDNESS.' ^ By NATURE the children of wrathy even as 
OTHERS.' ' Ye must be born again.' < If any man be in Christ, he 
is a NEW creature.' These Mr. Montgomery gives as ' some of the 
attestations of Scripture to the radical corruption of the entire human 
race, without one solitary exception/ by which ^ the complexional dif- 
ferences of relative character and secular morality which* this world 
respects, are melted down into one black identity of our common guilt 
and pollution, as we stand in our relation unto I)eity ' (p. 35). 

The second part of the volume is devoted to the doctrine of regenera- 
tion, which the author thus defines : ^ Hence in principle Hb words, 
^* £xcEPT A MAN be bom again," &c. &c., imply and include the 
transforming omnipotence of the Holy Ghost, as officially applying 
His own REDEMPTIVE WORE, Until the last of the elected is gathered 
into his kingdom ' (p. 198). This view of the doctrine pervades the 
whole volume, and the passage in St. John's Gospel, from which the 
author derives it, is divided into as many heads nearly as it consists of 
words (p. 182, &c.), and is discussed * negatively and positively,' and 
illustrated by quotations from the wprks of Charnock, Jonathan Ed- 
wards, Bishop Hopkins, Truman, &c. 

The third part of the volume is entitled, < The principle of Divine 
regeneration applied to the character of the age ;' in which the author 
says, ' Perhaps we shall find that under the simple but sublime theology 
of the words except a maN be born again, &c., there is at once 
the wisdom that can alone interpret the real want of the age, and at 
the same time suggest the only manner in which that want can be 
adequately supplied ' (p. 256). He considers that * our true remedy 
exists in the saving action of the church ' (part^3, chap. iv.). He says, 
' Now the position we take is this, that man's entire corruption by sin, 
and his entire renewal by grace, such as Christ preaches to Nicodemus, 
are the two great truths which the officers of our church are bound, 
by every mode, means, and instrumentality in their power, to apply 
to the festering sores of political excitement, as well as unto all the 
teeming miseries and social horrors that are at work around ' (p. 274). 

The preceding particulars will convey to our readers an intimation 
of the theological doctrines propounded and applied by Mr. Mont- 
gomery, but upon the propriety of wKich it is inconsistent with the 
plan of this Journal to offer any opinion. •** 


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1 76 Notices of Books. [July, 

Hora Hebraicee, Critical Observations on the Prophecy of the 
Messiah in Isaiah^ chapter IX.^ and on other Passages of the Holy 
Scriptures. By Wiluam Selwtn, M.A., Canon of Ely, &c. 
London, John W. Parker; Cambridge, Deighton. 1848. 4to. 
pp. 130. 

This is a specimen of Scriptural criticism, highly creditable to 
British research and scholarship ; and those who enter into the spirit 
of the author's motto, ' Every particle of gold is gold,' wUl not be dis- 
posed to regard the criticism as too minute, or the results as un- 
important. The glorious prophecy (Isa. viii. 22; ix. 1-7) has been 
viewed with much interest from the high Messianic importance of its 
contents ; and hence the gpreat difficulties which some portions of it 
offer, have attracted the more attention. Some of these we conceive 
that Mr. Selwyn has cleared up, and of others he declares his own 
mind undecided— in a spirit of true Christian scholarship, by which we 
should like to see such inquiries more generally characterized. So of 
the first clause of Isa. ix. 1, which the Auth. Vers, renders ^ Never- 
theless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation,' he says,— 

' It is with great regret I am compelled to leave this danse still slmmded in 
obscarity. I have thought mach upon jt, bat cannot yet see light .... I have a 
thought respectiug it, but it is far fjrom being sufficiently matured for public 
view ' (p. 63). 

This is the true reverent mode of dealing with God's word, which 
it does one's heart good to witness. 

The crowning point of this piece of criticism is to be found in the 
conclusions which have been arrived at respecting the first clause of 
Isa. ix. 1 : the first two lines read thus in the received text- 
ile n^a-jn 

which Mr, Selwyn proposes to read 

The whole verse is given by the Authorized Version thus : — 

' Thou hast multiplied the nation. 
And not increased the joy : 

They joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, 
Or as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.' 

It is, as the writer remarks, very evident that there is something 
very unsatis&ctory in the received text of this passage and in our own 
and the other versions which are founded upon it. * it runs counter to . 
the sense of the preceding verse, and of the latter part of the verse itself; 
it contradicts the general scope of the prophecy ; it interrupts the full 

flow of the prophetic spirit Does not every reader feel that 


Digitized by 


1848.] Notices of Boohs. 177 

the word not mars the harmony and consistency and spirit of the 

His attention being thus drawn to the subject, he perceives that 
there b much uncertainty about this very word. Although the 
received text has VO noty the keri or marginal reading has v to him^ 
which also our public version puts into the margin. Some of the 
ancient versions follow the one and some the other. But although the 
second letter of this word is thus shown to be uncertain, the ^ remains 
fixed; and it struck Mr. Selwyn whether it might not once have 
belonged to the preceding word, from which it had been separated by 
some heedless transcriber; for if we affix it to that word, we not only 
remove the embarrassing not^ but obtain a word which makes the 
whole beautifully clear and consistent. It then affords the meaning 
thus expressed by the writer : — 

< Tboa hast maltiplied the gladness^ 
Thou hast iocreafied the joy ; 
They joy before thee aooorduig to the joy in liarVest, 
As men are glad when they divide the spoil.' 

Those who have paid any attention to the principles of Hebrew 
parallelism will see that the text may be said to require the sense thus 
produced, seeing that it gives to the first and fourth clauses that rela- 
tion to each other, which the corresponding relation between the second 
and third clauses shows that they ought to possess, but for which a 
perfect discordance is presented by the received text and versions. 

We are exceedingly averse to adopt conjectural emendations in the 
absence of any MS. authority for them ; but in this case, where the 
current reading is not only insuperably difficult, but uncertain, an ex* 
planation which has a good foundation in the text as it stands, and 
which has the merit of giving a crystal-like clearness to one of the 
obscurest passages of sacred prophecy, is well worthy of respectful 

The Mystery of the Gentile Dispensation^ and the Worh of the Mes- 
siah, By RiDLET H. Hebschell. London, Aylott and Jones, 
1848. 12mo. pp. 319. 

This is a well-considered and thoughtful book, by a well-known and 
devoted servant of the Lord Jesus, whcx*«e approved labours and tried 
earnestness, not less than his abilities and sound judgment, entitle him 
to respectful attention, and do honour both to his Hebrew birth and 
his Christian profession^ There is much matter for the serious reader 
to ponder over in this book. 

The title indicates two Dissertations, of which the latter, on the 
Work of the Messiah, occupies about four-fifths of the volume. The 
first, < The Mystery of the Gentile Dispensation,' is devoted to a con- 
sideration of Eph. iii. 1 — 11, in which the Apostle speaks of a ' mys- 
tery ' that had been specially revealed to him. If the reader examines 
the whole passage, he will see that the arrangement of the words in the 
authorized English version seems necessarily to imply that the mystery 

VOL. II. — NO. III. N revealed 

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178 Notices of Books. [July, 

revealed to Paul was — ^ That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and 
of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel.' 
But Mr. Herschell ur^^ that this oould not be the ^ mystery ' alluded 
to, because the participation of the Gentiles in the spiritual blessings 
of Israel was revealed from the very beginning. The most generally 
received explanation is — ^that the mystery consists in the admission of 
the G«ntiles into the church of God without submitting to Jewish rites. 
But our author conceives that the mystery must be the same to which 
the same Apostle alludes in Bom. xvi. 26 ; 1 Cor. ii. 7 ; Col. i. 26* 
He sees Uiat the subject which chiefly occupies the prophetic Scriptures 
is the glory that was to follow the advent of the Messiah. 

There are, it ii tnie, distinct intimations of ^ his coining in humility ; 
of his being despised and reiected of men ; a man of sorrows, and 
acquainted with griefs ;* but it is not until we are enlightened fay the 
Holy Spirit that we see the full devdopement of this * dispensation of 
humility,' into which our Lord first entered, and into which his Church 
must follow him. This, * in other ages was not nude known unto the 
sons of men ;' and it is still hidden from the Jews who believe not in 
that further revelation of God's will which came by Jesus Christ ; 
who, ^ having received gifts of men,' shed forth the gift of the Holy 
Spirit on his disciples, to guide them into all truth. Under the teach- 
ing of the heavenly Guide, we perceive how that which at first seems 
but a feature of individual chanoter, expands into the characteristic of 
a dispensation. We see that previous to the time wh0n Christ is to be 
^a great king over all the earth, he is to be the leader and com- 
mander of a chosen band, who are to follow in the footstqis of his 
humiliation,' to be * planted in the likeness of his death,' and ' buried 
with him in baptism.' The chosen band, this Church, is to be, like its 
leader, 'despised and rejected of men;' it is to be * hated of all 
nations ;' in the world it is to have tribulation ; it is to be in this dis- 
pensation as unlike the glorious church of the prophets as his leader, at 
his advent in humility, was unlike the mighty Conqueror predicted by 
them, who was to subdue all thinss under his feet. 

This intermediate state of time, discipline, and education to the Church, 
between the first and second advents of its Lord, is, as Mr. Herschell 
maintains, the mystery to which the Apostle refers ; and that it was a 
mystery is shown by the general expectation of the Apostles them- 
selves, that Christ was, at his first coming, to bring in a glorious sove- 
reignty ; and by, we may add, those expectations in the early church 
respecting the Lord's speedy return in glory, to which the second epistle 
to the Thessalonians particularly refers. The author considers that 
these expectations were justified by the manner in which the Old Testa- 
ment prophets generally overieap the intermediate dispensation, and 
* speak of the time when the redemption wrought by Christ shall be 
manifested not in the few but in the many.' He shows at length how 
inapplicable these representations are to the state in which the Church, 
has long subsisted. He will not allow tliat they have been spiritually 
accomplished. Indeed he raises a strong protest against the system of 
interpretation prevalent in this country (and indicated in the headings 


Digitized by 


1848.] Notices of Books. 179 

of the chapters and pages of the aathorized Bibles), which refers to the 
Christian church all those passages which will not fit into the p<ni 
history of the Jews, under the impression that the Jewish national his- 
tory is at an end. Many forcible reasons are produced by the author 
to show that this impr e s s ion is erroneous. 

The larser treatise of the two, that on « The Work of the Messiah ' 
is in the leading idea less new and striking than the other— «s it 
travels over more frequented ground ; but it is interesting and useful, 
and sets firm many such original suggestions as indicate the presence 
of one of those not very common charac te r s a man prepared by his 
attainments, gifts, and habits of mind, to exercise with vigour the good 
Protestant right of thinking for himself. We have already, as th^ 
writer remarlu, many books on the person and work of the Messiah. 
These may be divided into two chisses: those addressed to Jews, 
which have been chiefly occupied in proving Jesus of Nazareth to be 
the Messiah ; and those addressed to Gentiles, the subject of which 
has generally been the vicarious atouement of Christ for sin, and the 
consequent pardon and acceptance of those who believe in him. The 
present work is of wider scope, ^ including not only the deliverance of 
the Jews, and the justification of believers, but the redemption of 
creation from the curse ; thus embracing the whole work of the - 
Messiah as the Saviour of the world (1 John iv. 14), when he delivers 
creation from <* the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of 
the children of Grod." ' Bom. viii. 21. In executing this design the 
author glides us pleasantly and intelligently through the Scriptures, 
to point out what they teach of Christ and of his work«^not only of his 
completed work, but of that which still lies before him. This delicate 
part of his subject Mr. Herschell handles in the right spirit— speaking 
boldly where his own views are fixed, and caudidly avowing his uncer- 
tainty where he feels it. It will have been seen that the second 
coming of Christ, to reign on earth over a heavenly and happy king* 
dom, is firmly believed by the author. Much that he says throughout 
the book has reference to this, and towards the close he solemnly 
declares his persuasion that ' the hope and expectation of the coming 
kingdom is the best safeguard from all error.' 

The Rise and PaU of Rome Papal. By Robcbt Flemino. Be- 
printed from the first Edition in 1701 ; with Notes, Prefiice, and a 
Memoir of the Author. Houlston and Stoneman, London, 1848. 

Robert Fleming was a man weU known and much respected in his 
day. His fiither, being ejected from his Scottish living by the operation 
of the Glasgow Act, repaired eventually to Hollud, and became 
minister of the Scottish church at Rotterdam, in which charge he was, 
on his death in 1694, succeeded by his son Robert, who had previously 
been in charge of the English Presbyterian church at Leyden. From 
this he was in three years induced to remove to London, being chosen 
by the Scottish church meeting in Founders' Hall, Lothbury, to be their 
minister. In this charge he remained, eigoying the peculiar confidence 

n2 of 

Digitized by 


180 Notices of Books. [July 

of King William, and the friendship of Dr. Tillotson and other persons 
of note, of different denominations. The present is one of several 
works which he produced, all indicating a powerful and very original 
mind ; and the reader who may not be able to enter into all his views, 
will nevertheless be constrained to admire his vigour and independence 
of thinking. 

The principal object of the present work is to give a new solution 
of the gprand Apocalyptical question concerning the rise and fall of the 
great Antichrist, which he regards as represented by the Soman 
Papacy. Mr. Fleming supposes its rise to be announced by the sound* 
ing of the fifth trumpet, the consequent &11 of the star from heaven 
being an emblem of the departure of the Bishop of Borne from the 
heaven of his primitive glory and purity. This first rise of Antichrist 
he dates in a.d. 606, when the Pope first received the title of supreme 
and universal bishop ; firom which he computes that his reig^, of 1260 
prophetic years' duration, will expire in the present year 1848. But 
as he reckons that its full rise did not take place till 758, when he 
became a temporal prince also, he, by the application of the same num- 
ber of prophetic years to that date, computes that the papal kingdom 
will continue till the year 2000. 

The date 1848, with the present precarious state of the Pope's tem- 
poral power, has led to this republication, and has created something 
like a sensation with respect to this particular interpretation. But in 
point of £ict, what Fleming really means is, that it is the spiritual 
authority of the Pope as universal bishop which should be affected in 
1848, but that his temporal authority as prince of the Roman state 
would remain till 2000. Now it does not appear that the spiritual power 
of the papacy, or rather the influence of the papal system, is in a state of 
decline, or is in instant danger of any fatal blow ; nor would this power be 
much afiected by the loss of the small principality which constitutes the 
Pope's temporal state ; but if he did lose that temporal state, which is 
all that is in present danger, and if the Pope were actually deposed and 
Rome proclaimed a republic, as was lately rumoured, this, so far from 
confirming, would falsify Fleming's calculation, seeing that it allows 
the temporal power to stand till the year 2000. 

We have before us a volume composed of various treatises of Robert 
Fleming, some of which are now difficult to obtain : one of them is the 
reprint, in 1793, of the present treatise. That reprint was occasioned 
by a conjecture as to something that might happen to the French 
monarchy before 1794, just as the present reprint is occasioned by the 
intimation respecting 1848. What he says on this subject is, that the 
fourth vial, poured out upon the sun, so that men were burned with 
fire« and instead of being thereby turned to God, blasphemed his name 
the more, must be understood of the humiliation of some eminent 
powers in the Romish interest, produced by wars between themselves ; 
and as these powers are those of France and Austria, he looks chiefly, 
but not exclusively, to them, and sees the fulfilment of the first part 
in the wars in Flanders, about the middle of the seventeenth century — 
for this vial, he thinks, commences in 1648. The powers were to tor- 

Digitized by 


1848.] Notices of Books. 181 

ment one another ; and as, therefore, France had tormented Austria, 
Fleming expected that France would be tormented in her turn. He 
had, he thought, seen the beginnings of this in the humiliations consum* 
mated by the then recent peace of Ryswick, which obliged France to 
resign all her acquisitions in Flanders. He considers that the doom of 
this vial was to reach its highest pitch in 1717 (no very remarkable 
year, as it happened), and ' will run out about the year 1794.' On this 
system, which appears to us as fanciful as many other Apocalyptic cal- 
culations, Fleming says : ' I cannot but hope that some new mortifica- 
tion of the chief supporters of Antichrist will then happen ; and 
perhaps the French monarchy may begin to be considerably humbled 
about that time.' As he explains his meaning, he clearly intends that 
by contests between the chief supporters of the papal system, the 
strength of France would be so broken that it would sink below the 
level of the neighbouring states, and cease to be * a first-rate power in 
Europe.* But people caught at the words * The French monarchy 
may begin to be considerably humbled,' and fiincied that, as Louis XVI. 
was about to suffer on the scaffold, all had come to pass as he predicted. 
But he had looked to something very different. By Uhe French 
monarchy ' he meant the state or power of France as a nation, without 
a thought as to its form of government ; and the humiliation he con- 
templated was to the nation by the action of foreign nations, which would, 
as we should now phrase it, reduce France to the rank of a third-rate 
power. The conjecture with respect to 1794 has therefore been no 
more fulfilled than that respecting 1848 is likely to be; for although 
France has thrice cast off her kings, she has not ceased to be a first-rate 
power, and there have perhaps been fiew periods of her history in 
which that power has been relatively more formidable for defence or 
for aggression than at this moment. 

Sermons by the late Bev, Nathaniel Morren^ A.M.^ Minister of the 
First Charge, Brechin ; to which is prefixed a Memoir of the 
Author. Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh, 1848. 12mo. pp. 
xxxvi. 286. 

This volume comprises thirteen sermons, prefixed by a memoir of 
the learned and excellent author, whom we had occasion to mentioif 
in the first number of this Journal. The memoir is a pleasing notice 
of the uneventful life of a scholar and minister, and has certainly not 
the common &ult of being disproportionately large for the subject — on 
the contrary, we judge that it might have been made larger with advan- 
tage. Mr. Morren, as appears from this memoir, accomplished the 
following literary labours : a work (not completed) on Biblical Theo- 
loay ; translations of Rosenmiiller's Biblical Geography of Central 
Asia, and part of the same author's Biblical Botany^ for Clark's 
Edinburgh Cabinet Library ; Annals of the Assembly {pi the Scottish 
Church); articles in the Cyclopcedia of Biblical Literature ; contri- 
butions to M'Phail's Ecclesiastical Journal ; a portion of the notes of 
the Imperial Family Bible ; the notes of Blackie's Pocket Bible; 

a work 

Digitized by 


182 Notices of Books. [July, 

H work on Church Politics, with reference to the questions which 
agitated the Scottish Church at the time of its appearance ; and some 
tracts on the same subject, in which he seems to have interested him- 
self very much. 'This seems a good deal of work for a man having 
a pastond charge, and who died at the comparatively early age of 
forty-nine (March 28, 1847) ; but it seemingly bears but a small 
proportion to what he had designed to execute — ^for men of his cast, 
however great have been their labours, usually die--at whatever age — 
with the somewhat reg^retful impression that they leave a great part 
of the intended lat>our of their lives unaccomplished. 

The sermons are very good ; and, without any parade of learning or 
quotation, are full of substantial biblical knowledge, as well as of 
ripened Christian experience. All will see their informing ciiaracter, 
though only the biblical student will detect that this arises from the 
quiet way in which the author has fused down with the mass of his 
own thoughts the results of extensive reading and of elaborate critical 
investigations. We were prepared for this, but not for the fine imagi- 
nations, expressed in elegant words, which these pages occasionally 

Sacro-PoUHca, The Rights and Relations, Civil and Spiritual^ of 
the Anglican Church, examined toith and tested hy the Laws of 
England and the Principles of the British Constitution. By 
R. C. Sewell, D.C.L., Barrister-at-Law, Fellow of St. Mary Mag- 
dalene College, Oxford. London, Bell, 1848. 8vo. pp. 91. 

The subject treated of in this masterly work, by a learned civilian, 
though always of great abstract imp<Nrtance, is rendered especially 
interesting by the present position of most countries of Europe. 

The inquiry into the foundations of Government, both in Church and 
State, which hais hitherto been the occupation of learned leisure, is now 
called for by the grave emergency of forming or improving systems of 
legislation. The reader will find in this pamphlet a lucid account of 
the immense change in our system which took place at the Reforma- 
tion, and a comprehensive history of all the legal bearings of that event, 
with many curious anecdotes of that memorable period, together with 
specimens of the opinions and reasonings of its principal actors. It 
will be read with peculiar advantage by those who are interested in 
the g^duai re-ascendancy of the Romish church in this country. *^* 

Lectures on the Acts of the Apostles. By John Dick, D.D. Third 
Edition, corrected. Glasgow, Ogle and Son. 12mo. pp. 452. 

We are glad to see a third edition of a work so well known and so 
highly appreciated as Dr. Dick's Lectures on the Acts, which has 
been for some time out of print. Works of this kind, and so ably 
executed as this, deserve all encouragement, and indeed never fail to 
obtain it ; for we have always found them to be most acceptable to all 
religious readers, and we believe that few descriptions of theological 


Digitized by 


1848.] Notices of Books. 183 

books are better calculated to create and foster a taste for Biblical 
Literature. The present work is one of the best of its class, and were 
it not already so wellJLnown we should feel it a duty to direct particular 
attention to its great merits. . 

Lectures on the Bible to the Young ; for their Instruction and Ex- 
citement. By John Eadis, LL.D. Edinburgh, Oliphant and 
Son. 12mo. pp. 152. 

This it a yery intefesting and iDstructiTe Kttle book, by the talented 
successor of Dr. Dick, in the chair of Biblical Literature of the 
United Presbyterian Church. The Lectures bear the titles of Read 
the Bible— Understand the Bible— Believe the Bible— Remember 
the Bible— Practise the Bible— Circulate the Bible. It is stated 
that — 

* Though written £>r the risinff generation, these plain addre«e8 are not neant 
for mere children, ffinplicity has indeed been aimed at in their style and arrange- 
ment, in order to adapt theon to a class of juvenile readers whose minds hsTS 
already emoyed tome previons training and discipline. They ase desicned to 
stimulate thought, as well as impart information. The object of their publication 
is not only to promote present improTement, but also to foster in the youthfU spirit 
a hallowed taste for further study in the best of all the sciences. As conducive in 
some measure to the same desirable aid, brief quotations of sanctified genius, from a 
few authors not nsnally fiuniliar to the young, have been occasionally introduced.' 

These quotations are very interesting ; and the work may be recom- 
mended as an excellent speciment of a very superior class of books for 
religious youth, which the advanced cultivation of the age demands, 
and which we hope to see greatly increased. 

The Pastor's Gift ; or^ A Manual of Pastoral Instruction. In Letters 
from a Pastor to his Flock. By Auexardeb Gordon, M.A, 
London. Snow, 1848. 16mo. pp. 126. 

The * Listniction ' of this little book is of a practical nature ; and as 
tlie subjects embrace the whole range of Christian duty and privilege, 
are of universal concernment. They .are suited to be useful and profit- 
able far beyond the range of the circle of the author's own flock, for 
whose benefit they are primarily intended. We cordially recommend 
this ' Manual ' as a useful and interesting addition to any fiunily library. 
The letters are sixteen. The whole are pervaded by a fine catholic 
spirit and genial temper, which it is cheering to' witness, and which it 
is our duty to encourage. The following passages from the tenth letter, 
' On the Way to promote Unity among Christians,' will show this. 
After lamenting the divisions into which the Church is rent, the author 
gives the following useful ^ hints ' as to the course it behoves a Christian 
to take : — 

< 1. Tbk€ care always when coiled to expreae difference (^opinion, that it be done 
with aelf'diffidewt modesty, ^^llm is no proof that you are unsettled in your Tiews. 
The greatest selfdiflfideuce is perfectly compatible with the most enlightened and 
firmly held sentiments. It merely proves that you do not regard yourselyes, what 
indeed none upon earth are— as in&llible. Truth and modesty are twin sisters. 


Digitized by 


184 Notices of Books. [July, 

Self-KX>Dfideiice is % proof of self-ignorance, but is no CTidence of tmth. Whoever 
states his opinions, how much soever they may differ from those eutertuned and 
cherished by others, firmly, but modestly, precludes offence, paves the way for 
their candid consideration, and in the end, perhaps joyM reception. 

' 2. Concede readily to others the privilege you claim for yourselues^-that of Judging 
for themselves. — You think they are in error on some points, but they have the very 
same right to think you are in error. In the exercise of the right of private judg- 
ment you and they have come perhaps to different conclusions on the same subject 
While, therefore, you may regret thb want of unanimity, you are bound to honour 
the principle of independent thought which has led to it. 

' 3. Beware of exalting your peculiar views above others of greater importance on 
which there is a perfect agreement, — Men are naturally apt to forget their agree- 
ments in looking at their differences. This is to manifest more concern about the 
top-stone in the building — than either the chief corner stone or the foundation. 
Concern for the feet ana inferior members of the body must not be suffered to 
absorb attention to the neglect of the head, the bosom, or the right arm. Let 
agreement, therefore, on the great leading points of the Christian faith, which must 
exist among all true Christians, always have its due weight It affords a broad 
foundation for Christian love. Let not the people of God, bought with the blood 
of Christ, and sanctified by His spirit, holding with equal firmness the doctrines of 
his incarnation, supreme divinity, atonement, justification by fiiith — partakers of the 
same hope, and ripening for the same heavenly inheritance, lose signt of, or forget 
in their zeal for some mmor peculiarities, that agreement by which they are all one 
in Christ Jesus. 

'4. Never depreciate or appear to overlook the excellencies tf brethren who differ 
from you. — These are sometimes both numerous and very considerable. Are they 
zealous? Honour them for it Are they generous ? Commend them for it Are 
they active? Let them have all due praise. Some professors of religion seem 
almost blind to every form of excellence beyond the precincts of their own party. 
Away with such sectarian meanness. Wherein others excel, strive ye to excel also ; 
and let them have all due honour for what is truly honourable. No man can ever 
add to his own laurels, by attempting to undervalue or pluck those of another. True 
greatness of soul, while it refnses to flatter, is too magnanimous to hide or depreciate 
real excellence in whomsoever it appears. 

* 5. Be ever ready to co-operate with Christians holding different sentiments in 
every good work. — ft is wonderful what happy effect such co-operation frequently 
has. Working together, aiming at the same ends, and guided by similar motives, 
men naturally become assimilated in their habits, conformed in feeling, one in 
heart as well as in action. Thus their hearts become knit together in love. Besides 
they get to know each other better, and this is of great consequence. Much of the 
alienation of heart amonff Christians arises from ignorance of each other's feeling 
and character: kept asunder through the influence of their respective prejudices, and 
looking at each otiier through the medium of sectarian distinctions, they are apt to 
entertain views of each other very different from what they find to have been true 
on more intimate acquaintance.' 

Digitized by 



1848.] Biblical Intelligence. 185 


Dr. Samuel Datidson sends ns the following partionlars of a Hebrew manascript, 
the property of a lady in Liyerpool, which he has recently examined. It is a MS. 
of the Pentateach, very beautifully and correctly written on skins. The length is 
fifty -two yards, and the breadth a little more than two feet Dr. D. thinks it pro- 
bable that it was a synagogue roll. As to the aire, it is known to be extremely 
difficult from the shape of Uie letters, the nature of the skins, &c., to judge of the 
age of a Hebrew manuscript ; but Dr. D. thinks it certainly above 100 years old, 
but would not like to vouch for its being more than 200. By some, however, it 
has been considered 800 years old. It is, at any rate, a beautiful codex, admirably 
written, in excellent preservation, and would be a valuable acquisition to any col- 
legiate or biblical library. 

As we know that not a few of our readers take interest in the late Dr. Traill's 
translation of Josephus, the publication of which was interrupted by the death of 
the translator, we are glad to be able to state, on the authority of the editor (Isaac 
Taylor), that the next following Part, being the first of the second volume, will 
speedily appear. This volume will complete the History of the Jewish War. 

Mr. Barker, formerly British consul at Tarsus, has written a history of Cilicia, 
which is soon to be printed. It is said to be of no consequence as to the ancient 
history, but that it contains much important matter with respect to the history of 
the country in modem times, and its present condition. 

There is a prospect that Col. Chesney's long-expected history of his Euphrates 
expedition will ere long be produced. The delay has been occasioned by his ap- 
pointment to China, and by the loss of many of his manuscripts. 

We have received from Professof Bush, of New York, his new periodical 7%€ 
New Church Repository and Monthly Review. It is, as the second title expresses^ 
and as the existing views of the editor might lead us to expect, ' devoted to the ex- 
position of the philosophy and theology taught in the writings of Emmanuel Sweden- 
borg ;' but from the known abilities and attainments of the editor, is likely to contain 
matter of general Biblical interest. The second (February) number contains a 
curious paper on the Druidism of Ancient Britain ; its doctrines, rites, correspond- 
ences, &c., reviewed and compared with those of the ancient church. 

In the United States (Boston) a Bible has been published by Israel Alga, M.A., 
called the Pronouncing ^ible, * containing the Old and New Testaments, the proper 
names of which, and numerous other words, are accurately accented in the text, and 
divided according to the system of John Walker.' This is a useful idea, and it is 
a matter of wonder that it has not been earlier executed. 

At New York a new quarterly theological journal is to make its appearance on 
the 1st of July under the title of the Tlieoloaical and Literary JovamaL The editor 
is David N. Lord ; and it will be devoted chiefly, but not exclusively, to the inter- 
pretation of prophecy. 

At Montreal, Canada, a new magazine was commenced in January, entitled The 
Colonial Protestant^ and Journal of Ziterature and Science, edited by the Rev. J. 
M. Crump and Rev. F. Bosworth, assisted by ministers of various denominations. 
It is in 8vo., 32 pages. The first number is edited with much ability, oontaininff 
an unusual amount of valuable matter. It is, as its title indicates, specially designed 
as a bulwark of Protestantism against the assaults of Popery. 

Among the new periodicals in the United States is the Church Review and 
Ecclesiastical Register, a Quarterly, issued at New Haven. It is devoted to the 
interests of Protestant episcopacy, and promises to be conducted with taste and ability. 

Digitized by 


186 Biblical LUelligence. [July» 

A monthly publication, of 64 octaTo pages, has been commenced in the United 
States, by the American Evangelical Alliance, called The Christian Union and 
Religious Memorial, 

Another monthly publication, called The Family Chaplain and Church Chronicle, 
edited by the Ber. David Brown, is announced. 

A work, from the German of Tholuck, is announced for puUication in the United 
States, under the tiUe of Festal Chimes and Sabbath Musings, or the Circle of the 
Christian Year. 

A single Index to the subjects treated of in the principal Reviews and M acannes^ 
English and American, would be much prised by literary men and stu&nts, to 
whom it would render a vast body of important research and disquisition available 
without the immense expenditure of time and labour which the attempt to trace 
such materials at present involves. We therefore are truly glad to learn that some 
gentiemen of Yale College, in the United States, have prepared such an Index, 
which is now actually in tiie press. It will be confined to those publications which 
have not issued complete indices of their own ; and these are numerous and im- 
portant We shall be much disappointed if the principal theological publications 
are not included. We are not oware that any of these has provided its readers with 
a general index except the American BibUcal Repository. 

The proprietors of the Publisher's Circular have in preparation a Greneral Cata- 
logue G« all the books published in the United Kingdom since 1837, with a useAil 
Appendix, comprehending a Classification or Index. A good catalogue of modem 
books, arranged so as to be practically of easy reference, would be regarded by 
students and literary men as a valuable acquisition. 

We have received, firom the author, a most erudite and remarkable work which 
must be regarded as indispensable to all who take interest in chronological in- 
quiries. It is entided Ueber den Altenjudischen Kalender, zunSchst in seiner Bezie* 
hung zur Neutestamenlichen Geschichte, &c, von Johannes von Gumpach. Maqoardt, 
Briissel und Leipzig, 1848 — * On the Ancient Jewish Calendar, principally in its 
relation to New Testament History, a Chronological, Critical Investigation, and 
aid to Gospel Harmony.' There is no matter of difficulty within the scope of his 
subject which the author does not investigate and in many cases illustrate. The 
title will, however, convey no idea of the multifarious knowledge which this work 
embodies, and the numerous biblical questions which the author finds occasion to 
illustrate. We find, for instance, an interesting view of Joshua's miracle, on which 
subject the author has &voured us with a more detailed statement, for which we 
shall find room in the next number of the Journal. The book itself we hope to 
notice more fully on another occasion, and think it right meanwhile thus to record 
its appearance. 

We have received a most elaborate and learned work on Solomon*s Temple, in its 
Relations to Sacred Architecture, an octavo volume of 355 pages, by Dr. fiihr, of 
Karlsruhe, which appears to us far to surpass all the works on this subject which 
have yet appeared. The author j^pples manfblly with all the real difficulties of 
the subject, and succeeds in throwing light upon many of its obscurities. The title 
of the book is Der Salomonische Tempel mit Berucksichtigung seines Verhaltnisses 
zur heiligen Architectur vberhaupt, Karlsruhe, 1848. The scope of the work and 
the fulness of its investigations may be seen from a brief synopsis of the contents of 
the four chapters of which it is composed. 1. Introduction. — Subject of inqniry--- 
End and aim of the inquiry— Summary statement of earlier inquiries. 2. The 
Temple generaUv. — General description of the temple— General importance of the 
temple — Critical view of the most recent explanations of the temple generally. 
3. The Temple, particularly in its principal divisions. — The house with its adjacent 
buildings— The two divisions of the building^-^The fore-court. 4. The Utensils ^ 
the TempU.— The utensils of the holy of holies— The utensils of the holy— The 
columns Jachin and Boaz*— The utensils in the fore-court 5. Solomon's Thnple 
confronted with the Sacred Buildings ^ other Nations. — Belation to Egyptian and 
JPhosnician temples — Relation to heathen temple architecture generally — Belation 
to Christian church architecture. The last chapter is of peculiar antiquarian inte* 


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1848.] Biblical IrUeUigeiice. 187 

rest, and we shall perhaps find an eariy opportnnity of making our readers ao- 
qoamted with its contents. 

We haTe received, from the editor, the Rer. Ew W. Kmmmacher, of Dnisbnrg^ 
one yearns issue of a periodical of some standing, with which we had no prerions 
acquaintance, but which we think likely to be aooeptable to manT in this coontry 
who are acquainted with the German language. It bears the title of ManeherUi 
Gabem wid ein Geist—^Mtoiy Gifts and One Spirit;' — b^§[, it is added, * A Col* 
lection of Evangelical Testimonies, chiefly frcmi the Pmsuan Rhine Provinces.' 
Each monthly number, which is not bulky or dear, contains three sermons, mostlr 
of a practical nature, and calculated to give a much more favourable notion than if 
asuaUy entertained in this countrv of the style and spirit of modem German preach- 
ing. The authors are esteemed German pastors, and the names of some of them 
have reached this country. The great proportion are furnished by the five Krum- 
machers, Ball of Elberfeld, Graber of Gemarke, Hermann of Elberfeld, Keller of 
Mnltheim, Maas of Neuwied, Roffhack of Gemarke, Rudolf of WulArath, Wortmann 
of Ruhroth, &c The agent for this country is Mr. Frans Timms, of 88, New Bond 

There has been recently pablished at Berlin a work called the Handbook qf 
Eccienasiical Oeoortq>hy aiut Statistics, Jrom the tiwie (f this Apostles to the bogimning 

3r the Sixteenth Century, by J. E. Th. Wiltsch, from the best anthorilies. It w 
ivided into two parts: the first, fh>m the death of Christ to the pontificate of 
Gregory VII., or fh>m ▲ jk S3 to 1073 ; the second, from the pontiticate of Gregory 
yil. to that of Leo X., or firom a.d. 1073 to 1521. Such a work was mnoh wa^ed. 
We have not yet seen it ; but if we find it well exeooted, we shall fiimish a further 
account of it 

Austrian Universitiss, — The nine Austrian nniverslties, Vienna, Prague, Padua, 
Pesth, Pavia, Lemberg, Gratz, Innspmck, and Ohnlitz, contained, aecording to the 
last published accounts, 419 professors and assistants, and 15,794 students. The 
state expenditure for these seminaries is about 670,000 ffulden per annum. The 
sum of 33,072 gulden is given to 446 students as stipends. Besides these universitiea 
there are in Austria six mstitntions for the study of medioine, twelve for sorgical 
and veterinary studies, twenty-six for juridical, 114 for theological, and 124 Ibr 
philosophical.— ^t&/to(A0oa Sacra, Feb. 1848. 

Bv recent letters fh>m Syria we learn that a societr, mainly composed of young 
Arab scholars, lately fbrmed in Beirut, have purchased, in one erilection, 500 
Arabic MSS. They are nearly all Moslem, and many of them very old ; some of 
them between 700 and 800 years. The character is extremely bieautifbl. The 
library belonged to a noble family, so reduced as to be obliged to sell it. It is par* 
ticularly rich in Moslem theoloffy, law, grammar, rhetoric, and logic, with a fkir 
proportion of mathematics, medicme^ history, and philosophical works. The society 
m eight months have procured 700 volumes. — BibUothsca Sacra, Feb. 1848. 

The second edition of the second and last volume of the dictionarjr, French and 
Turkish, of M. Bianchi, for the use of travellers, consular agents, &c., in the Levant, 
has been published. Both volumes comprise 2300 pases. The work is said to be 
very satisfactorily done. The price is 60 francs. — Bimiotheca Sacra, Feb. 1848. 

A valuable grammar of Hindoui was published in 1847, entitled Rudiments de 
la Langue Hindoui, by M. Garein de Tassy, 8vo., price 10 fhmcs. The Hindoui 
is one of the languages which were fbrmed in India at the era when the Sanscrit 
ceased to be spoken. It is the language of the middle ages of those countries. It 
forms the transition between the Sanscnt and the modem Hindoustani, somewhat as 
the Romance langua^ signalised the passage fh>m the Latin to the French. The 
Hindoustani is the mixed laa^|;uage which was formed towards the begiiming of the 
eleventh century, in the tram of the Moslem invasion. The conquerors, having 
established themselves in the provinces where Hindoui was spoken, were necessarily 
compelled, in adopting the idiom of the conquered, to modify the grammar some- 
what, to soften the forms, and to bring in a great number of Arabic and Persian 
terms. Besides, faithfbl to a system universally followed by them in all the coun- 
tries where they have the preponderance, the^ compelled the use of the Arabic 
alphabet The Hindi is the Hindoustani vmtten in Sanscrit characters. The 


Digitized by 


188 Biblical InteUigence. [July, 

Hindoai was the idiom of the Hindoos before the Moslem iDvasion, used in many 
countries ; the Hindoustani is spoken by the Moslems of India, and the Hindi by 
the Hindoo Brahmans. The Hindoustani is in India what the French is in Europe. 
The Chinese excepted, it is spoken by more people than any other language. But 
the Hindoui is of greater importance for the philologist, the archseologist, the theo- 
logian, and the philosopher. It is of this language that M. Garcin de Tassy has 
prepared a grammar, which may be regarded as an entirely new work. It is pre- 
ceded by a yery interesting introduction. — Bibliolheca Sacra, Feb. 1848. 

The Frankincense Tree, — In the eleyenth number of the Journal of the Bombay 
Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, the fourth article is 'A Description of 
the Frankincense Tree of Arabia, with remarks on the Misplacement of the Libano- 
p borons Region in Ptolemy's Geography.' By Assistant-Surgeon H. J. Carter, 
Bombay B^tablishment Of this the Cfriental Christian Spectator states : — 

' Dr. Carter finds by actual observation and inquiry that the thuriferous district 
of Arabia is situated in the middle part of the south-east coast We are not 
certain, however, that he has convicted old Ptolemy of a blunder. He has, we 
think, been partly misled by Mercator's map. That of Dr. Vincent makes Ptolemy 
at one with our author. Ptolemy himself does not place the thuriferous district in 
Oman, like Mercator, but under the mountains of the Asabi, near the Cattabani. 
Ptolemy's district of the Omanits is obviously much more restricted than that of 
the modem Oman (vid. Ptol. Geog. p. 154). We are inclined to think, with Dr. 
Carter, that it may have extended &rther to the west than the modern province. 

* Of the Frankincense Tree Dr. Carter gives us the following account : — " In 
addition to India, and that part of Arabia which I shall presently point out, the 
Frankincense Tree is found in great abundance in Eastern Africa, on the lime- 
stone mountains which extend westward from Cape Gardafui through the country 
of the Somalis ; I have seen a living specimen in foliage brought from thence, and 
large quantities of the gum which is imported at Makalla for re-exportation to India : 
both the produce and the tree of Africa and Arabia appear to be the same, and I 
have BO doubt from Rumph's description of the Canarium hirsutum in Am^yna, 
we may also Rifely extend its geographical distribution eastward to the Molucca 
Islands. Ibn Batuta calls the tree al kanduru .Jodt* '^^ &"^ '^ called by the 

Arabs laban ^^UJ. The Mahras call the tree maghratft (Tshehazj^t^ *> (Jl^jk^ 

and the gum ahedaz •^s^ » ^*** *^« ^^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^"^ ^^^^ "* *>^^y ««°®- 

rally understood among the inhabitants of that part of Arabia in which the tree 
grows. The gum is procured by making longitudinal incisions through the bark 
m the months of May and December, when the cuticle glistens with intumescence 
from the distended state of the parts beneath : the operation is simple, and requires 
no skill on the part of the operator. On its first appearance the gum comes forth 
white as milk; and, according to its degree of fluidity, finds its way to the ground, 
or concretes on the branch near the place from which it first issued, from whence 
it is collected by men and boys employed to look after the trees by the different 
families who possess the land in which they grow. It is curious to observe how 
correct the ancients were in many of their remarks concerning the Frankincense 
Tree, and in their description of that part of Arabia' in which it grew ; curious, 
because in our days no one thinks it worth his while to go beyond the bare coast- 
line of Southern Arabia. Theophrastus and Pliny have written, that it was only 
to be found in a particular part of Arabia, and that the name of the country in 
which it grew was Saba, the capital Sahota, which was eight days' journey from 
the thuriferous region. The tree was about five cubits high and much branched, 
with leaves like those of the Acacia, and of an herbaceous green colour ;— a de- 
scription almost sufficient to enable one at the present day to fix immediately upon 
the tree in that part of Arabia where it grows. It grew on the mountains ana in 
the valleys beneath, and from the former small streams flowed into the plains. 
The soil was sub-argillaceous, sandy, and of a red colour inclining to white. To 
obtain the gum, slits were made in the bark, but no portion was cut away ; that 
part of the incense which adhered to the tree when taken off, carried with it por- 

Digitized by 


1848.] Biblical Intelligence. 189 

tioDB of the bark. The moontains and woods where it grew were divided among 
the Sabians, and there was a strict fhith observed towards each other respecting the 
parts they severally possessed ; bat for the disappearance of the Sabians and their 
towns I coold not offer a more correct description." ' 

The Jordan and the Dead Sea. — A paper on this subject, by the late Lieutenant 
Molyneux, of H.M.S. Spartan, was read at the meeting of the Geographical Society, 
on May 27. The following account of it is from the Athenoeum of April 1 : — 

' On the 20th of August last, Lieutenant Molyneux landed at Acre, taking with 
him three volunteer seamen and an interpreter ; and havine hired camels, horses, 
and attendants, he started early the next morning with the ship's dingey en route to 
Tiberais. For the two first hours the road was excellent On nearing the village 
of Abilin its character altered : the country became hilly, and some awkward passes 
were encountered. The village of Taran was reached the same nisht, after ten 
consecutive hours of travelling. On the following day the party arrived at Tibe- 
rais, where they encamped outside the walls of the town, and near the edge of the 
lake. Immense herds of camels were seen feeding in different directions. From 
the hills overlooking Tiberais the prospect was magnificent ; Djebel Sheikh, 
smothered in clouds, was distinctly seen to the left, beannff N.N.E. ; in front were 
the blue waters of Tiberais, surrounded by fine ranges of hills ; and to the left of 
Djibel Sheikh the white ruins of Szafed. On the 23rd they embarked on the lake, 
which is described as being larger than generally laid down : from Tiberais to the 
eastern shore, not less than eight or nine, and nt>m the entrance of the Jordan on 
the north to its exit at the south end, eighteen miles ; the latitude of the northern 
extremity of the lake is 82° 49^ 9" about three and a half miles to the south of the 
point usually marked. The Jordan is described as shallow, and crossed by numerous 
weirs, which greatly obstructed the passage of the boat In many places it might 
have been crossed bv stepping from stone to stone, without wetting the shoes ; its 
waters are muddy and fUll of fish ; its coarse tortuous in the extreme, and some 
waterfidls were found. Great reluctance was manii^ted by the natives towards 
the proposed descent of the river, and every possible obstacle thrown in the way. 
The Sheikhs demanded in some cases exorbitant sums for permission to pass through 
their provinces ; and altercations, annoying and incessant, were generally terminated 
by a display of fire-arms, and the thr^t to shoot them, anless they allowed the 
party to proceed. 

* On the 3rd of September, Lieutenant Molyneux embarked on the Dead Sea. 
The breeze gradually ft-eshened, till there was ^uite enouffh sea for the dingey. 
Steering about south by west, large patches of white frothy foam were several times 
passed, and as the sea got up, there was heard a most unusual noise, something like 
breakers a-head. At 2 a.m. on the 4th, considering they must be approaching 
the south end of the sea, they hauled to the wind, and stood over towards the 
western mountains, and at daylight were about five miles from the peninsula. 
From Ras-el-Feshkah to the north, nearly down to the peninsula to the south, the 
mountains on the western side rise, almost like a perpendicular wall, to the height 
of 1,20() or 1,500 feet The peninsula is connected with the mainland by a low 
neck, so that at a distance it would be considered an island. Having arrived at 
what was thought to be the deepest water, soundings were obtained at 225 fathoms ; 
the arming of me lead was clean, with some pieces of rock-salt attached to it Two 
other casts of the lead were taken at different times: one gave 178, the second 183 
fiithoms, with bluish mud or clay. The water throughout the Dead Sea is of a 
dirty, sandy colour, resembling that of the Jordan ; it is extremely destructive to 
everytliing which comet in contact with it, particularly metals, and produces a very 
unpleasant, greasv feel, when allowed to remain on the skin ; it has also an ob- 
noxious smell. At noon on the 5th, they returned to the tent whence they had 
embarked, thoroughly done up and thankftd for having escaped. Every thing and 
body in the boat was covered with a nastj slimy substance from the water; iron 
was corroded, and looked as if covered with coal-tar. No fish or any living thing 
-WBB found in the water of the Dead Sea. A broad strip of white foam, running 
nearly north and south, throughout the whole length of the sea, was observed, not 
commencing where the Jordan empties itself, but some miles to the westward ; it 
appeared to be constantly babbling and in motion, and over this, on both nights, 

Digitized by 


190 BibUcal LddHgence. [July, 

WM a white line of dood. hx alwre Ae sarftee. HaTing difembarked, the dingey 
was aecared apon the backs of two camels, and the party proceeded to Jenualem — 
within the wsJls of wlueh town entered the boat of a British ship of war. liea- 
tenant Molyneox returned by way of Jaffii, and died shortly after his retom to his 

Sacaed Gboobaphy. — ^At a late meeting of that praiseworthy institution the Ame- 
rican Ethnographical Society, lately established, a letter was read from the eminent 
geographer Dr. Carl Bitter to Dr. Robinson. The letter is printed in the American 
JMerarjf Worlds but is too long for as to insert here. The following is the part likelj 
to interest our readers from its reference to Palestine : — * It appears to me that this 
Holy City (Jemsalem) will yet, for a long time to come, offer a rich field for inves- 
tigation, to which you yonrself first opened the way, showing the plan on which 
fatare operations most be oonducted, and awakening the dry bones of antiquity to 
a new Ufe. It seems that absolutely certain results, in researches of thb nature, 
can be reached only with great difficulty, because one may set out with such differ- 
ent points of view ; thou|^ here, as elsewhere, the calculation of probabilities will 
produce a constantly nearer approximation to the truth ; and the inyestieations are 
always prodactiTe of fhiit, eren where the main object cannot be attained. To the 
Poseyism of Williams and the levity of Schnlts, you have doubtless administered a 
prober rebuke. Another opponent, however, has arisen against you in the person 
of Dr. Kraflt, of Bonn, and, as I hope, in a more worthy manner ; him you must 
not leave unnoticed. His production also 1 have not yet been able to read ; but I 
hear from joung Strange, his fellow-traveller, that he will issue a suf^lement to 
his work, with refisrence to your last publication. He has been made instructor in 
the Bhenish University, and is a nephew of Strangs, the Court preacher. Tou 
have found still another opponent in Lepsius, of Berlin, but he has occupied him- 
self less with contesting your views respecting Sinai, than advocating his own 
opinion that Serb&l is Mount Sinai. To this opmion I cannot assign the slightest 
probability, when I consider it in connecdon with ail the fiicts. It contains, to be 
sure, much that is plausible, owing to the modem condition of Wady Feiran, as 
contrasted with the other valleys of the Peninsula ; but it seems to me that the 
later condition of these valleys must differ very materially from their earlier one. 
Lepsius has made many new and interesting observations respecting the localities 
of tiie Sinaitic inscriptions, to which, chiefly in the north-western parts, be devoted 
special atteutbn. As he allowed me the use of his very accurately kept diary for 
the preparation of the part of my work which relates to the peninsula of Sinai (he 
himself being too much occupied at present with his ^yptiaca\ you will find 
something frhfoi it in mv next volume. For the extraordinary treasure contained 
in your (Sservations on this region, I cannot sufficientiy express mv thanks. You 
will recognise in the volume the f^oit of your labours, without which it would have 
been impossible, in my estimation, to compose a geographical description of these 
parts ; but with such assistance it is a real mental recreation. The unworthy man- 
ner in which the light-minded Frenchman, Laborde, has made mention of you in 
his Commentary, I was able to exhibit in all its deformity and injustice, although 
he also presents some fiivourable points, which should not, on that account, pass 
without aue acknowledgment Among these I reckon, as respects the Sinai group, 
his now, for the first time, established plun of Wady Sebaiyeh, at the southern base 
of Sinai, although he has inserted it in his outline map, together with the Wady of 
the same name, in a very fiuitastic and erroneous manner. This plain, equal to 
er-Raha in extent, which lies at the southern foot of Sinai, and was partly hidden 
from you when on the summit by gravel-hills, has been measured by Krafft and 
Strangs, and also by others. It seems to me that it certainly furnishes an important 
point for the eluridation of the giving of the law. 

' Your doubts with respect to the depression of the Dead Sea, when viewed in 
oonnection with the Jordan's course, I am obliged to share. Nevertheless I enclose 
another series of levels, sent me by Von Hildenbruch. That of the British survey, 
from official data, I have not been able to obtain firom the Admiralty. I admire 
your courage in wishing again to go to Palestine.' 

jBRnBALCM.— The fbllowing letter from the Rev. O. B. Whiting, American mis- 
sionary in Syria, to the Bev. Dr. Bobinson, was read at a late meeting of the same So- 

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1848.] BiMieal InteUigenee. 191 

dety, and has sinee been pnblislied in the New York Obterver newspaper, whence we 
reprint it Mr. Whiting has been raanj years resident in Jemsalem, and at the pre- 
sent mmnent its statements have an important bearing npon the qaestion as to the 
ancient topomphy of the Holy C^. We do not see how the facts produced can be 
gainsaid, ana they must, in onr judgment, be regarded as conclnsive on the points to 
which they refer. The establishment of the true course of ihe Tyropoeon 'valley is 
of so mnch importanee for the settlement of manv questions in the topography of 
ancient Jemsakn, that we rejoice in the confirmation of the positions laiddown by 
Dr. Robmaon, which had of late been so seriously impugned. 

' Abeih, Motmi Lebanon, 2Znd August, 1847. 

' Mt dkab Sir, — A few months ago I read with deep interest, and, I may add, 
with entire ntisfiMtion, your two articles in the Bihliciheca Sacra on the Topography 
of Jerusalem. Being then about to revisit the Holy City, I resolved to examine 
anew some points on which much stress is laid by Mr. Williams in his attempt to 
oivcrtiirow the position nuuntained in the Biblical Researches, in respect to the 
Tyropoeon valley, and the course of the Second Wall. 

' One of these points, and perhaps the most plausible one in Mr. Williams' argu- 
ment, is the alleged filet that, alouff the street running eastward from the Jafik 
sate at tibe northern baae of Mount Zion, where you find the commencement of the 
Tyropoeon, there are no traces of a valley to be fi>ond ; and that the street called 
** Harat-en-Nosara," or Christian-street, which leads out of the street last named 
towards the north, is perfectly level. Now it must be conceded that this '* Chris- 
tian-street" is, at the point where it leaves the other (the Jafla-gate street), nearly 
or quite level ; and yet as you go northward there certainly is a gradual ascent 
through almost the whole length of the street. And if, as you suggest, the 
course of the street were turned a few points westward, the ascent would be more 

* But a more conclusive answer to the argument of Mr. W. is the fact, also sug- 
gested by you, that there is undoubtedly a large accumulation of rubbish all along 
die northern base of Mount Zion, by which the old valle}^ has been filled up. This 
fkct is not onlv rendered extremely probable by the existence of a great depth of 
rubbish and old buildings on all the northern parts of Zion, as was found to be the 
case in digging fbr the foundations of the English church, and fbr those of the 
barracks erected by Ibrahim Pasha ; but it is now proved by excavations actually 
made at different pointe in the valUy itself. So that the argument upon the j^resent 
level appearance of the ground in question, is literally an argument resting upon 
rubbish. It has no solid foondation. 

' But I am detaining you too long from the information which it is the object of 
ibis letter to communicate, and which clearly establishes the important fiict in 
question. While walking, in company with the late Professor Fiske, through the 
enclosure once occupied by the mat palace or hospital of the Knights of St John, 
our attention was arrested l>y a large heap of rubbish f^hly thrown up, lying near 
by the little Greek church in the south-west corner of the enclosure. On entering 
the yard of this church, we found people digging fbr foundations on which to erect 
additional buildings. They had already excavated to the depth of some fifteen or 
twenty feet (as we estimated), through nothing but rubbish, and had just then 
oome upon the top of a vaulted room, the depth of which could not yet be seen. 
The men said it was understood there was an ancient chapel there, long since 
buried beneath the ruins and rubbish of other buildings. Whether the vaulted 
room, the top of which we saw, was the said chapel or not, or whether It belonged 
to the first, or the second, or the third story of a structure long since buried and 
lost, we of course could not tell. But supposing it to have been on the first or 
lower story, Ae original foundations must have been at least thirty or forty fieet 
below the present surface. They may have been much deeper than that. Now, 
this spot is within a few yards if the ** Jaffat-QoU** street — precisely where, on your 
theory, we should look for the T^roposon valley^ filled up with rublnsh. 1 need 
not tell you how much we were interested in this discovery, which we instantly 
resolved to make you acquainted with. 

* I proceed to mention another fact of the same sort. On this same " JaflGa-gate " 
street, at a point further up towards the gate, a large new building has lately been 


Digitized by 


192 Biblical LUelliffence. [July, 

erected. It stands opooote the castle, on the comer of the street leading north fit>m 
the main street towards the Latin convent Of course, then, this building stands 
directly over the bed of yoar T7ro]>(Bon Vallej ; and here also we should look for a 
considerable accumulation of rubbish. I inquired of a European merchant, who 
occupies a part of the building, and who said he was present when it was erected, 
whether, in digging to lay the foundations, much depth of rubbish was found. 
" A very great depth" he replied. ** How deep do yon think the excayations 
were ?" *< O, I don't know," he said, " but very deep. Look at the height of that 
castle wall ; the depth of our excavations was equal to that." The part of the 
castle wall to which he pointed cannot be less than forty or fifty feet high. " Are 
you sure," I said, ** your foundations were so deep ?" " Yes," he answered with 
confidence, '* quite as deep ae the height (fthai waU'* 

' Our English friends in Jerusalem, like ourselves, were much interested in these 
&cts ; and regarded them as proving beyond all controversy, that there was for- 
merly a deep vallcjjr or ravine along the course of this street. And it seems to me, 
that no unbiased mind can doubt, afier reading your very lucid reply to Williams 
and Schultz, that that valley was the TyropcBon. 

' The new building above referred to is perhaps not more than one hundred or 
one hundred and fifVy yards from the Jafia-gate. Is it not probable that the valley 
ori^nally extended quite through to the valley of Hinnom, leaving Mount Zion 
entirely surrounded b^ the two valleys ? 

' Much has been said by Mr. Williams and others about some supposed ancient 
remains, near the comer formed by the Jaiia-gate street and the street running 
north through the Bazars ; as also about a supposed ** Pier of an aucient gateway," 
in the open grounds on the west of the Bazars. Both of these points I took some 
pains to examine, in company with Professor Fiske. The remains first mentioned 
are nothing more nor less than a square comer, in a good state of preservation, of 
the celebrated palace uj the Knight* of St. John. You may recollect a row of arches 
almost entire, along the north side of this Jaffii-gate street, extending from near 
the Bazars almost up to the '* Christian-street" This row of arches, I believe, it is 
on all hands admitted, belongs to the Crusades, and evidently formed the south 
basement of the great palace of the Knights. The tquare comer alluded to, is a con- 
tinuation, or more correctly, tiie termination of tiiis row of arches. It is exactly on 
a line with them, and built in the very same style, the stones being of the same 
shape and size with those of the arches and buttresses. 

^ ' Looking northward from this corner of the old palace, we noticed, exactly on a 
line with the eastern face of it, and about midway between it and the north side of 
the palace enclosure, Mr. Williams' " pier of a gateway," which he says is, in its 
st^le of architecture, di£ferent fh>m anything he had seen in Jerusalem, and, as he 
thinks, of high antiquity. Now, if Mr. W. had carefully compared this relic with 
the row of arches above mentioned, he would have found that the style of archi- 
tecture is precisely the same in both. Even the shape and dimensions of the stones 
are the same in both. The stones are mostly of an oblong form, three or four feet 
in lengrth, as I should think, and perhaps a little less than two feet in breadth and 
thickness. And further, if he had looked from the top of the comer, already de- 
scribed, across the open ground to this " pier of a gateway," he would have been 
satisfied that both the ** pier *' and the " comer " are part and parcel of one and the 
same building, and that the old palace of the Knights of St. John. I think you 
have suggested in your review that this was one of the gates of the said palace ; and 
it seems to me that no one who carefully compares the several remains now alluded 
to can doubt for a moment that such is the fiM;t' 


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Digitized by 






No. 1V.-0CT0BER, 1848- 


By Dk. J. T. Gbat. 

rwM^rit «hi^ oldrtr iirrt r^ Oc^ wdrra t& Mpya ainov, Acti XT. 18. 

* Known nnto God are all his works from the be^mng of the 
world.' We have not transcribed this declaration of the divine 
prescience so much on account of any importance it possesses in 
itself, as with a view to the connection in wnich it occurs. It will 
be seen, on reference, immediately to follow a citation by the 
Apostle James from ancient Scripture, which he applies to the 
novel circumstances of the Christian churdi. Thus mtroduced, it 
seems to claim our regard as the principle on which the proprietv 
of such applications is to be vindicated. The coincidences which 
are observable from time to time between the events of actual 
history and the terms of prophetical description are not casual 
coincidences. The events were foreseen by one who ^ knows the 
end from the beginning,' and in such proportions as pleased him, 

The strict letter of the preceding text would confine these 
remarks to such , events as are direct results of divine causation, 
epya @sov. Little objection, however, will, we presume, be made 
to widening somewhat the applicability of this phrase. Human 

YOL. II. — NO. IV. p actions 

Digitized by 


198 On the Citations from the [Oct. 

actions being absolutely subject to the divine control, may be 
regarded as, permissivelyy divine ordinations : in this sense — 

Quicquid agunt homines, votum, timor, ira, voluptas, 
Gaudia, discursus 

all the events to which these various and often contending passions 
give rise, may, without any very violent straining of Tangua^, 
be styled 2/>y« @eov. They are, at all events, equally with tbe 
former class, objects of the divine prescience, and the appli- 
cations of propnetic descriptions to them stand on an equal 
basis of credibilibr and reason. Be the actors in such historical 
scenes more or less disposed to subserve the ends of a gracious 
providence, be the actions themselves of more or less interest and 
complexity. He to whom all varieties of event are * known from 
the oeginning,' can have had no difficulty in putting on previous 
record such particulars as may have pleased Him. 

It is, however, to applications of Scripture of a somewhat dif- 
ferent nature that we propose devoting a few remarks in the 
present paper. Certain of the coincidences which are remarked 
on in the New Testament between occurrences then taking place, 
and passages of ancient prophecy, may be considered as rather 
verbal than real — as rather circumstantial than essential. The 
case is this : — out of an apparently connected portion of prophetical 
Scripture, some detached expressions may be cited which nave an 
appearance of parallelism to New Testament events. The New 
Testament writers then speak of such events as * fulfilments ' of 
the prophecy. Can the propriety of such applications be sustained ? 
To adopt the turn of expression used by the Apostle (Gal. iii. 8) 
in a somewhat different instance of citation, can it be said that 
these desmptions of prophecy were penned in view of the Christian 
events ? Tfpo'iiovffa ti ypatpy^ • . . ^posurryye^io-aTo, If the question 
were one of mere naked possibility, the allegation of the divine 
prescience would, of course, as before, dispose of every difficulty 
aridng. We have, however, to consider not simply what the 
natural divine perfections, but what the moral also, will allow. 
In the discussion thus brought before us, is virtually involved 
the whole question of Scripture Hermeneutics. The question is 
involved whether any unity can be said to belong to prophetical 
Scripture, or whether it must be subdivided into a number of 
infinitesimal fragments, each a sort of Sibylline leaf. The question 
is involved, so often raised by the Romanists, (raised, too, not 
seldom with a triumphant insinuation, or rather proclamation of its 
negative,) of the intelligibility of Scripture — of the sufficiency, at 
least, of private judgment for its exposition. We must beware, in 
considering these questions, of accepting any conclusion which 


Digitized by 


1848.] Old Testament in the New. 199 

may eyen remotely seem to implicate reyelation in a charge of 
mystif)ring the subjects of which it treats. An inspired interpreter 
of Scripture disclaims most solemnly the * imputation (2 Cor. iy. 2) 
of using the word of God deceitfully ;* we may be, at least, as 
sure that in the inroired authorship of Scripture there is no 
similar use of the word of man. 

The grand principle which has been laid as the comer-stone 
of natural theology, yiz., that ^adaptation infers desiffn^* will be 
found of most seryice, we apprehend, in guiding to a present deci- 
sion : but before proceeding to its application, it may be as well, by 
producing one or two of the citations which we haye remarked 
on, to obeerye more particularly the nature of the difficulties 
which we haye to meet. We will take, then, as fiur specimens 
of these difficulties, the quotations which occur in the two opening 
chapters of the New Testament. We find no less than fiye such 
examples within this compass. Of these the original of one 
(Matt. ii. 23) is nowhere to be met with ; another (ii. 6) deyiates 
considerably from yerbal fidelity; the remaining three are applied 
to facts, to which, in their original connection^ the passages quoted 
appear to haye little or no relation. 

Dismissing from present consideration the two former passages, 
let us now look somewliat more minutely at the three latter. The 
first of these (ch. i. 28), being also the first citation in the New 
Testament of any kind, is the well-known prophecy by Isaiah 
(ch. yii. 14) respecting the conception and parturition of a yirgin^ 
which the eyangelist applies to the circumstances of our Sayiour's 
birth. Very serious objections, it must be confessed, present 
themselyes to this application. If we examine the connection of 
the original passage, it seems plain that its direct reference is to 
some contemporaneous eyent. The preceding context, e. g.^ speaks 
of the birth as to be a sign to the then veneration, its professed 
object being to reassure the confidence of Ahaz and his subjects. 
This yiew is strengthened almost to certainty by the succeeding 
context In y. 15, 16, the space of a few years is named as, so to 
speak, the range of the prophecy : * Butter and honey shall be 
eat, that he may know to refuse the eyil and choose the good. 
For before the child shall know to refuse the eyil and choose the 

food, the land which thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her 
in^.' It appears here as clear as language can make it, that 
the Immanuel just before promised was to be a contemporary per- 
sonage. A difficulty exists in determining who is the yirgin 
alluded to, whether the bride of the monarch, or the prophetess 
{vide ch. yiii. 3), or some priyate female ; but this cannot afiect 
the yalidity of the other inferences. 

The two remuning citations which we haye referred to, are 

P 2 those 

Digitized by 


200 On the Citations from the [Oct 

those which are made by the evangelist in verses 15 and 18 of the 
2nd chapter re?pectively. The first, * out of Egypt have I called 
my son/ is from the 11th chapter of Hosea, being the latter clause 
of the first verse. The second is from Jeremiah xxxi. 15, and is 
as follows : — ^ In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation and 
weeping and great mourning : Rachel weeping for her children 
and would not be comforted, oecause they are not.' 

Both these texts of ancient Scripture are said by the evangelist 
to have received their fulfilment in the early life of Jesus : the one 
in his return with his parents from his temporary sojourn in 
Egypt, the other in the distress occasioned to the mothers of Beth- 
lehem by Herod*s barbarous massacre of their infants. 

Now, when we turn to the original connection of these passages 
in the Old Testament, it seems undeniable that their reference is 
to events in the Old Testament history. The one appears plainly 
a retrospective reference to the national Exodus ; the other a pro^ 
spective one to the national captivity. It will be almost impossible, 
we conceive, for any reader to escape these conclusions who shall 
examine the original passages with a due attention to their con- 
text and historical parallels. 

It will be observed further, that in two out of three of the pas- 
sages thus noticed, the important events related are stated to have 
occurred for the purpose of fuljilling the prophecy. Thus the in- 
carnation of our Lord, with all its circumstances (toDto 8xov), took 
place, we are told, that what had been spoken by Isaiah mi^ht be 
fulfilled, and similarly his return from Egypt. This is a sufficiently 
startling view, it must be owned, of the mutual relations of fact 
and prediction. According to our ordinary notions of things, the 
rtieam are altogether of inferior importance to the end ; but here 
we have the most stupendous event which either earth or heaven 
had ever witnessed placed in the former position^ the credit of 
prophetic Scripture being assigned the latter. 

We shall not, however, embarrass ourselves seriously with this 
additional difficulty. It has been shown satisfactorily, we think, 
by Tittmann and others, that the particle ha has often an ^ ecbatic' 
as well as a *■ telic ' force ; that it denotes often a simple result, 
such as we express by the conjunction ^ so that ;' but, independently 
of this, we consider every requirement of passages like the above 
answered by supposing in each case a secondary design to be the 
one intended. It is by no means unusual with Uie sacred writers, 
whether of the Old or of the New Testament, thus to bring forward 
secondary reasons as if they were the sole ones. They sometimes 
do this in enforcing preceptive trutii. ' Be not forgetnil,' says the 
apostle^ ' to entertain strangers : for thereby some have entertained 
angels unawares ' (Heb. xiii. 2). We are not to suppose that the 


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1848.] Old Testament in tlie New. 201 

obligation of hospitality rests on the chances of an angelic visita- 
tion ; we are to do this sort of good, as every other, hoping for 
nothing again; but considerations of duty may be legitimately 
strengthened by considerations of interest, and sometimes the one 
class of motives made prominent, sometimes the other. Obedi- 
ence to parents in the jLord is, we know, right (see Eph. vi. 1), 
but in the decalogue the motive held out to this obedience is solely 
temporal reward (v. 2) ; and the preceding commandment is, as 
everv one may notice, enjoined on one ground in one passage, on 
another in another (comp. Exodus xz. 11 ; Deut. v. 15). It is 
thus we explain, then, the specification of purpose in the passage 
before us. Undoubtedly the primary object of the Most High 
in the marvellous providence nere spoken of was, as explained in 
the verse preceding, the redemption of his people ; but a subor- 
dinate object was also (assuming, for the present, the evangelic 
reference of the original passage) the redemption of his own pro- 
mise. This latter aim, though subordinate, is not to be regarded 
as unimportant, nor the corresponding motive feeble. The ob- 
ligation arising out of a divine promise amounts, in point of Ssict, 
to the strongest necessity. It is such a necessity apparently of which 
the Apostle Peter speaks in introducing a different citation (Acts 
i. 16)5 a necessity embracing both means and end. "Avlqi^s aSsXfoi 
eSci 7rXt}§a/d^vai rtiv y^a(^m ravrviv. We may consider the sub- 
junctive formula in the text of Matthew as importing that the 
obligation thus arising was borne in mind. The promise once 
given; the divine honour and veracity were alike committed to its 

To return, however, to the question of the proper application of 
prophecy : in estimating any examples of seeming misapplication, 
there are one or two general considerations which ought not to be 
lost sight of. In the first place, the purposely, and, to an extent, 
necessarily enigmatical character of prophetical language should 
not be forgotten. The design of. ancient prophecy was rather to 
excite curiosity than to ^o^i^ it ; no wonder, then, if, in examining 
its particular disclosures, even sanctified skill and industry should 
often be at a fault. Many undoubted instances may be produced 
from the New Testament in which the obvious sense, as it must at 
the time have been thought, of a prophecy was yet proved by events 
•to be erroneous. We will quote two of the single predictions 
uttered on diflerent occasions by our Lord, each recorded by the 
evangelist John ^see ch. ii. 19, xxi. 23). ' Destroy this temple, and 
in three days I will raise it up.' * Kl will that he tarry till 1 come, 
what is that to thee ? ' So much was the former of these predic- 
tions misunderstood by those who heard it, that it was even after- 
wards, as will be recollected, perverted into the materials of a charge 


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202 On the Citations from the [Oct 

against its author (see Matt. xxvi. 61^. The illusive expectation 
which was founded on the other is noticed by the evangelist in the 
same passage in which he gives the prediction itself: ' Then went 
this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should 
not die ; yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die, but, if I 
will,' &c. Our Saviour himself on a previous occasion found it 
necessary to rectify a misconception which prevailed respecting 
the purport of an ancient prophecy. It was the belief of the 
Jews, grounded on a passage m Malachi (ch. iv. 5), that Elijah 
would precede the appearance of their Messiah ; the real object 
of the prediction was, nowever, as our Lord explained (see Matt, 
xvii. 12^ also Luke i. 17), one who should come in 'the spirit and 
power of Elijah.* The most memorable example of all is, per- 
naps, that which occasioned the composition of the second epistle 
to the Thessalonians. From certain expressions in the first epistle 
(see especially ch. iv. 15, 17)$ the Thessalonian Christians had 
arrived at the conclusion that the day of Christ was at hand. No 
one who now reads those expressions will say that this was an 
unnatural or unreasonable inference. The Apostle speaks of him- 
self as one who would survive till the general resurrection, dis- 
tinguishing himself, as one belonging to this class of believers, 
from those previously dead in Christ. He places, apparently, those 
whom he was addressing in the same company. ^HfAelf ol ^o/vtes 
01 wegiXfiTTo/xevoi. Yet had he no design to convey this expectation, 
and found it necessary to remind his converts subsequently, that 
they had overpressed the import of his words : * We beseech 
you, brethren, — be not soon shaken in mind, or troubled, — ^by letter 
as fi*om us, as that the day of Christ is at hand ' (2 Thess. ii. 1, 2). 
What is the practical lesson which we are to derive from ex- 
amples of this nature ? Not certainly the duty of affixing a non- 
natural sense to prophetical expressions, but, first, generally, the 
need of caution in interpreting tiiem, and next, more particularly, 
a willingness sometimes to accept the ' minimum ' of significance 
which such expressions may convey.* 

There is no inspired author, we may next remark, for whose 
language a more lioeral construction of this sort is needed than 
the distinguished apostle just referred to. Almost equally at 
home in Jewish and in general literature, the disciple of Gama- 
liel, the champion of the cross, St. Paul is, of all writers, the last 

* In otherplaces we are equally wafranted in conteDdinff for a 'maximum' of 
meaning. Tne Apostle's exiraction of the doctrine of justification by ftiith from 
the passage ih Habakkuk (ch. ii. 4) may be considered an instance of this sort 
The amount of inference which he draws from the employment of <nr4pfM in the 
alngohir (see Gal. iii. 16) is a second instance, 


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.1848.] Old Testament in the New. 203 

to be sacrificed to the pruderies of a verbal commentator. In one 
instance (Heb. vii. 9) he himself claims the benefit of an its Ivor 
ilcrETv ; we must not, in any instance, * make him an offender for a 
word/ We haye, it is singular, in the New Testament, two criti- 
cisms, if they may be so called, on his compositions, the one fur- 
nished by an adversary, the other by a fellow apostle ; the one of the 
nature of a compliment^ the other of an apoloffy. The following is 
the former briet testimony, or rather concession, quoted (2 Cor. z. 
10) in the course of argument by the aposUe himself — ^ His letters 
are weighty and powerful' (/SfltgeTai xai i<Txv$ai). St Peter, the 
other witness, while recommending the study of his writings (2 Pet 
iii. 16), is yet obliged to admit that there are in them many things 
* hard to be understood ' (lv<n(mra) which such as were ^ unlearned 
and unstable ' {o^Aa^^Xs %at da^iipirtroi) wrested to their own de- 
struction. Our object, in bringing these extracts together side 
by side, b to observe that the quaJities which they respectively 
attribute to the Pauline epistles are not altogether perhaps un- 
connected. The two former epithets are fiilly sustamed by the 
rhetorical force which marks every page of these epistles, and of 
which even the single words and phrases which the writer uses 
are sufficient evidence. What more sublime than some of the 
apostle*s paradoxes ! He speaks of himself as less than the least 
(k>Mx^(^oTeqos) of all saints (Epb. iii. 8). He professes a desire 
to know the dimensions of a love which he acknowledges to pass 
knowledge (v. 19). He describes himself ^ as having nothing and 
yet possessing all things ' (2 Cor. vi. 10). In such expressions as 
these we discover the traces of a noble impetuosity of spirit which 
led the writer, especially when dilating on evangelic themes, to 
kindle as he wrote, uttering strong thought in strong language. 
The same vehemence, however, applied to the course of thought, 
is sometimes productive of obscurity, occasioning a neglect of the 
ordinary steps of logical progress. Paley observes {Horce Pau^ 
lincs^ chap. vi. No. 3) on a particular form of this impetuosity 
whidi, in his own homely style, he calls ^ going off at a word.' 
We think this going-cff tendency of the apostle, or, to speak more 
philosophically, this vivacity of the power of association in his 
mind, will account for some of the difficulties which we meet with 
in his citations of inspired passages. These difficulties, for the 
most part, attach, if we mistake not, to the latter of a series of 
texts adduced together rather than to the former. Such appears 
the case with the two texts quoted at the close of Heb. ch. i., and 
such also with the three occurring from v. 11 to 14 of ch. ii. 
There can be little doubt that the Tatter of these texts were sug- 
gested on the sudden to the writer's mind by the turn of expression 
in the former. It is observable that they are connected with the 


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204 On the Citationifrom the [Oct 

preceding texts by a simple x«i or xai iraXiv. What precise kind 
of addition to the argument these particles, in each case, indicate, 
it is somewhat difficult to determine ; their true force and propriety, 
we apprehend, must be sought less in any objective coherence of 
the surrounding truths than in the subjectiye process of associa- 
tion. In Hebrews ii. 11, the image exhibited is the appropriate 
one of brethren ; in t. 13 it is the more general one of family 
relationship ; but the transition was easy from the former of these 
to the latter, and we conceive that in the transition the apostle 
insensibly passes from the use of proof to that of illustration. We 
agree with Tholuck in regarding the two quotations v. 13 as a 
logical hendiadys. The whole construction may be regarded as 
in part pleonastic, and in part elliptical. As a further example 
of a habit of ellipsis in the writer, and of damage thereby to the 
apparent fairness of his ar^ments, we may quote two otner pas- 
sages from preceding epistles. We transcribe first the question 
and answer contained m 1 Cor. ix. 9, 10. Afler quoting the 
prohibition respecting muzzling the ox (Deut. xx. 6), the writer 
asks, * Doth God take care of oxen ? or saith he it altogether 
for our sakes ? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written ; that he 
who plougheth should plough in hope, and that he who thresheth 
in hope should be partaker of his hope?'— Now unless we may 
supply to the former of the above queries the adverb wdy^ and to 
the latter with its reply * as well as theirs,' or some similar 
combination, what but a most harsh, and might we not say, in- 
humane construction should we have of a divine precept ! It is 
just such an addition which we should propose making to the 
same writer's celebrated version of Old Testament history in Gal. 
iv. 22 — 30. * Which things,* says the apostle, after reodling to 
the recollection of his readers the cases of Hagar and Sarah and 
their children, ^ which things are an allegory' — that is, are an 
allegory, cls well as a real historical ac>count ; have an allegorical as 
well as an historical significance. ^ For this Hagar/ he continues, 
^ is Moimt Sinai in Arabia,' i. e. is representative of it, (is toell as 
a real personage in past history. The mutual relations which were 
sustained b^ Hagar and her mistress are significant of two higher 
relations, viz., those of the ancient and present churches. Even if 
we should object to allow that the expression of the apostle is 
elliptical throughout this passage, the substantive verbs which 
he uses will bear us out in the explanation adopted. Speaking 
(1 Cor. X. 4) of the rock which was smitten in the wilderness, 
he says, concisely, ' That rock was Christ' In the preceding 
part of the verse he had been calling the rock a spiritucu 
rock {TntBUfMLTixi), i, e. a typical one, symbolical of a spiritual 
reality, and the brief clause which follows is clearly designed as 


Digitized by 


1848.] Old Tedament in the New. 205 

an explanation of the type» Why may we not then suppoee a like 
latitude of phraseology in the previous instances ? Tne only dif- 
ference discernible between the constructions of the two passages 
is in the tenses which serve as copulae, the present verb being used 
in the one epistle, the past in the other. This difference is, how- 
ever, only the natural effect of the different points of view from 
which in the respective cases the two objects were regarded. In 
the Epistle to the Corinthians, the rock spoken of is contemplated 
by the writer as existing in the wilderness, an obfect of nature ; 
Hagar in the Epistle to the Galatians, on the other hand, is con- 
teinplated only as a Scripture character, an o^ect in inspired history. 

Even with all the aid which such distinctions and figures of 
speech can yield us, the apostolic version of this history must be 
confessed to be sufficiently startling. From the incredidity which 
would summarily and sneeringly reject it, we must take refuge 
in the axiom previously noticed, viz., that adaptation infers de* 
sign. The felicitous illustration which the facts adduced by the 
apostle afford to the truths he was enforcing will be scarcely ques- 
tioned. To the supposition of design the overruling providence 
to which the whole nistorical passage testifies, and which turned 
aside, as will be remembered, the natural course of events, may 
be thought to lend some weight. The dismissory order, ' Cast 
out,' &c., with which the apostle s quotations on the subject ter- 
minate, was, it will be recollected, contrary, in the first instance, 
to Abraham's wishes (see Gen. xxi. 12). It required indeed an 
express intervention on the part of God to procure his consent to 
the dismissal. 

We are fully prepared to admit that nothing whatever evangelical 
appears on the race of this narrative. The two matrons, if types 
01 Judaism and Christianity, may be said to be silent types ; but so 
also was Jonah of the head of Christianity himself. In the account 
which we have of Jonah nothing more appears than an instructive 
moral narrative ; in the circumstances of his submersion nothing 
more than a judgment tempered with mercy : yet was this sub- 
mersion, we know on the best authority, a sign of the burial of 
our Lord (see Matt. xii. 39, 40). b it less credible that the 
triumph of Sarah may have betokened the future supremacy of 
Christianity ? ' This organic conception,' says Bilroth, * and ex- 
position of historical phenomena (which, in a historical and philo- 
logical respect, is entirely free from the &ult of attributing a con- 
scious knowledge to times and men which could not take place 
till a later period) is capable of universal application, even in the 
scientific representations of mythology. Applied to the relation 
between the Old and the New Testaments, it at once puts an end 
to all the misunderstandings which have prevailed on this subject, 


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206 On the Citations from the [Oct 

and have given occasion to many complaints, and too often to 
spiteful witticisma.* 

Not to anticipate, however, a strain of remark which will find 
a place more suitably onward in the discussion, we are entitled to 
conclude from both the instances just named — and we mention 
this as a third consideration to abate the surprise which our evan- 
gelist's ^ fulfilments' must occasion — that the danger is rather of 
unc^l^rrating than of overrating the Messianic element in andent 
Scripture. ^ The testimony of Jesus,' says the author of the Reve- 
lation, ^ is the spirit of prophecy ' (ch. xix. 10). We take the 
word ^ spirit' here in what may be termed, perhaps, its chemical 
sense, to signify the essence or most important part. The decla- 
ration cannot mean less than that the testimony of Jesus pervades 
prophetical Scripture^ a view, we may observe, with which other 
and frequent statements of die New Testament are quite in ac- 
cordance (see Luke xxiv. 27 ; John v. 46 ; Acts iii. 24 ; x. 43 ; 
xxvi. 22). Let us now reduce these statements to the test of nu- 
merical proportion. A striking frequency of Messianic references 
in the books of the Old Testament can scarcely be said to satisfy 
the strength of the language employed ; we might expect a de- 
cided preponderance of such references. How is this expectation 
borne out ? Of the larger number of the ancient propnets and 
other inspired writers no such preponderance is certainly predi- 
cable. A solitary Messianic prediction is all we find in some entire 
{)rophetical books : in others, not even this. What plain predic- 
tion of the sort, for example, can be extracted from the prophecies 
of Obadiah ? what from Nahum ? we might almost add, what 
from Habakkuk ? The map of prophecy has, in an evangelic re- 
spect, its ^ loca inculta et deserta,' just as ordinary maps of terri- 
tory have, in a physical. The inference we draw from such 
comparisons is — not that references to Messianic times are wanting 
from the prophetical books under remark, but that they are not 
patent to a cursory perusal. Such an inference seems even sug- 
gested to us by the comparative ignorance on the subject exhibited 
on difiTerent occasions by our Lord's own disciples (see especiallv 
Luke xxiv.). Passages, which after being expounded by himself, 
clearly discovered to their minds either -the sufierings hereafter 
appointed him, or the glory which should follow, had yet escaped 
their notice. The superior illumination which we now enjoy does 
not render it impossible that we may be in a similar predicament 
Ancient Scripture is a mine whidi not only contains riches obvious 
to a first inspection, but which will continue to repay a more stu- 
dious search. It is a field in which are hid treasures of evangelic 
wisdom and knowledge. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Old Testament in the New. 207 

Our last observation of a eeneral Dature will respect the pro- 
priety, where the opportunity is given us, of allowing the later parts 
of ancient Scripture to be a commentary on the earlier. It is 
evident that the later prophets and other inspired writers, in giving 
a Messianic turn to previous predictions, could be under no bias 
from personal partialities — ^under no reflex influence from events 
themselves. Where they discover, then, in the language of their 
predecessors a testimony to the Messiah, there can bs little hazard 
m inferring that such testimony was designed. We will only pro- 
duce, by way of instance of the confirmation we are pointing out, an 
apparent reference which occurs in another prophet to a former 

f)rediction of Isaiah. We have, then, in Micah, chap, v., the fol- 
owing remarkable language respecting an unusual birth which 
was then in expectation, it occurs in the immediate connection 
of the well-known prophecy respecting the birth-place of our 
Saviour. ' Therefore will he give them up until the time that she 
who travaileth hath brought forth : then tne remnant of his bre- 
thren shall return unto the children of Israel. And he shall stand 
and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of 
the Lord his God ; and they shall abide ; for now shall he be 
great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace 
when the Assyrian shall come into the land,' &c. (Micah v. 3-6). 
Micah was a prophet contemporary with Isaiah ; in the preceding 
chapter he repeats, almost totidem verbis^ a prediction delivered by 
Isaiah : little reasonable doubt can be entertained that in the 
above words his allusion is to the birth of * Immanuel,' already 
foretold by him. If this be admitted, it amounts to a very deci- 
sive vindication of the evangelist in his appropriation of that name ; 
the evangelical reference of the passage in Micah is self-evident. 

In approaching now the more direct consideration of the diflB- 
culties of the subject, we may mention that there are three 
principal hypotheses which have been instituted as to the kind of 
fulfilment which the evangelist intends. According to the first, 
we are to regard the apphcation which he makes of the passages 
quoted as the true and sole reference of those passages : accordmg 
to the second, as a typical reference only ; according to the third, 
as simply an accommodation. 

We are not aware that any other than moral reasons have been 
assigned in support of the first of these opinions. ' On points of 
interpretation,' it is said, ^ as well as on points of doctrine and duty, 
the sacred writers must be our authorities. Whatever our views 
might otherwise be of the scope of an inspired passage, it becomes 
us to accept their decision as conclusive.' True : but the question 
is whether in the case before us we have any opinion of theirs on 


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208 On the Citations from the [Oct 

the point ; whether we have anything more than* an apparent deci- 
sion. The New Testament writers being in the habit of using 
\/&rvaa figuratively, like other writers, it is possible they may have 
so used the term ' fulfilled ' in the present instance, and we are 
not to assume it as a self-evident matter that they have not done 
so. There are moral reasons which may be urged on both sides 
of the question. 

It will readily occur, as one great diflSculty in the way of the 
acceptance of this first hypothesis, that it forthwith negatives any 
profitable or intelligent use of the Old Testament. If this is not 
amenable to the laws which regulate the interpretation of ordinary 
writings, we are completely *out at sea' amid its contents; 'we 
cannot read it, because it is sealed' (Isa. xxix. 11). It is plain 
that, if we are at liberty to set aside the obvious sense ot the 
language employed in one passage of ancient Scripture, we may do 
so in another, and are left without the means of certainty as to the 
signification of any passage. The value of the Old Testament 
revelation thus becomes to us a nullity. Except in the scanty 
portions of it, on which we are provided with a New Testament 
comment, it is little more than a collection of riddles, its pro- 

Ehetical oracles, in particular, becoming as ambiguous as those of 
eathenism. As Bishop Hurd justly observes, tne sasacity of a 
second prophet is needed to remove the obscurities of we first 

To remind us of the peculiarity which belongs to prophecy from 
its very nature, to be ambiguous till the time of its fulfilment, is 
not satis&ctory, for more than one reason. It greatly exaggerates, 
in the first place, the degree of this ambiguity. Obscurity may 
often hang over particular parts of a prediction which shall not 
afiect its general scope or bearing at all. The ancient church, we 
know from both Testaments, were successful in their exposition of 
various prophecies. They gathered truly, e. g. that Christ would 
be a descendant of David (see Matt. xxii. 42). They deciphered 
with sufficient accuracy the place and proximate time of his birth 
(Matt. ii. 5 ; Luke iii. 15 ; John vii. 42). They had been right 
in their calculations of some previous dates (Dan. ix. 2). Ancient 
prophesying, indeed, like the difierent gifb so called in the 
apostle's days (see 1 Cor. xiv. 22\ was very much for the use of 
those who believed. Unless it nad been intelligible enough to 
direct and sustain expectation, on their part, we may greatly doubt 
whether it would at all have engaged the attention of those who 
believed not. 

Besides, not a few, it should be remembered, of the passages 
said to be fulfilled in the life of Christ are not strictly prophetical 
in their character. The expression in Hosea is no further pro- 
phetical than as it is found in a prophetical book ; the same may 


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1848.] Old Testament in the New. 209 

be said of the sentence from Jeremiah ; both are historical descrip- 
tions or allusions. The picture of patriarchal life in Genesis, on 
which the Ai>ostle raises ms doctrinal allegory, is part of an historic 
record. If it is absolutely unsafe to yield ourselves up to the 
images and ideas which such passages suggest, why attempt to 
study them in any way ? Why not shut up the Old Testament 
altogether, and confine ourselves at once to tlie perusal of the 
New ? Other parts of the former, in which we have hitherto only 
seen historic, didactic, or devotional truth, may have high evangelic 
mysteries in them also. What limit can we set to this need of 
transmutation ? The spiritualizers who proceed throughout Scrip- 
ture with a systematic purpose of discardmg the letter everywhere, 
have really, on this hypothesis, the most reason on their side. 

It has been said, by way of obviating the difficulty thus arising, 
that we are not authorised to make any evangelical expositions of 
prophecy which have not already been made in the New Testament ; 
that whatever is not thus appropriated is open eround for common 
hermeneutics. This remark, it is evident, taciUy assumes that the 
New Testament writers have professedly exhausted all that is 
Messianic in the Old ; on what ground is this assumption made ? 
The evangelists not having given us a complete history of their 
Master, it is difficult to see how they could have opportunity to 
extract all prophetical reference to him ; in the Epistles quotations 
are made as occasion arises. It is observable, as to the mode of 
introducing these quotations, that they are much less frequently used 
in the way of authority than of reasoning. Our Saviour was in the 
habit of appealing to his auditors whether the testimony of their 
ancient oracles was not as he stated : his apostles, in this respect, 
follow his example. They reason with their countrymen out of the 
Scriptures, bestowing a special commendation on those who bring 
their own judgment to tne study of its records (see Acts xvii. 2, 
11). In a word, numerous as are the actual quotations in the New 
Testament from the Old* — ^no fewer than two hundred and fifty- 
five — we have to consider that they present us rather with 
principles thwi particulars. They set us in the track of interpreta- 
tion ourselves, holding out a reward to our vigilance and industry. 
It is matter of fact accordingly that many applications of inspired 
prophecy are current in tne Christian church which are not 
examples inserted in the New Testament. Who can quarrel with 
our thus applying the description of the ' covert from the storm ' 
f Isa. xxxii. 1) ; or of the conqueror, * mighty to save, from Bozrah ' 
{ixiii. 1) ; or of ' the fountain set open for sin and undeanness,' 
which toe prophet Zechariah saw (ch. xiii. 1). As an example of 

• See Dayison's Sacred Hermateuiic*, ohap. zi. 


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210 On the Citatiom from the [Oct. 

an entire prophetical composure the Messianic exposition of which 
is thus traditional, and traditional only, we may mention Psalm 
Ixxii. If it be said, that in each of the former instances the con- 
text of the passage directs us to an evangelic reference, we remark 
that there is no lesson so emphatically taught us by the hypothesis 
which we are now discussing as an utter disregard of context. 
No doubt the motive with many for accepting the literal inter- 

S rotation which this hypothesis recommends, has been the laudable 
esire to honour the &viour — the wish that in all parts of Scrip- 
ture * he should have the pre-eminence.' The sense so elidted is 
the true one, because it is a more evangelical sense than what 
appears on a first examination. That this will not, however, 
explain the language of Matthew, is easily shown from the appli- 
cations which he makes of other prophetical texts. In chap. viii. 
17, for example, we have a passage cited- from Isaiah, the sense 
assigned to which by the evangelist is decidedly less spiritual and 
evangelical than that ordinarily put upon it. The words are, 
^ Surely he hath borne our griefe, and carried our sorrows ' (Isa. 
liii. 4). And it is surely a more evangelical exposition of these 
words to imderstand them of a substitutionary or piactdar interpo- 
sition, on the part of our Lord, for our good, tnan of a merely 
miraculous, or, so to speak, medical interposition. Yet is the 
latter the application of them which Matthew makes. ' When the 
evening was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed 
with devils ; and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed 
all that were sick : that it might be fulfilled which teas spoken by 
Esaias the prophet^ saying. Himself took our infirmities, and bare 
our sicknesses.' A similar descent, if the expression may be 
allowed, fi^m the spiritual to the corporeal, may be observed in a 
case of alleged fulfilment, by the evangelist John. Our allusion 
is to John xviii. 9 : ' Jesus answered, I have told you that I am 
he ; if, therefore, ye seek me, let these go their way ; that the 
saying might be fulfilled which he spake, Of those whom thou gavest 
me, I have lost none.* The original reference of the declaration 
of our Lord here cited was plainly retrospective. We infer this 
with certainty from the limitation which, as seen in the preceding 
chapter, he attaches to the words * None of them is lost, but the 
son of perdition' (ch. xvii. 12). It is obviously the spiritual pre- 
servation of his disciples for which our Lord here expresses thank- 
fulness. The evangelist, notwithstanding, makes no scruple of 
applying the language to his care of their temporal safety. What 
is the advantage then obtained by taking such cases of ^ fulfilment' 
in the strict fiteraUty of their terms? It is, after all, only a 
balance of gain which is realised to the evangelic cause. As it 
respects the reverence felt for Scripture in general, we conceive 


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1848.] Old Testament in the New. 21t 

that this rather suffers than eaiiis by such interpretation. 
Whatever is saved to the credit of the ^lew Testament is at the 
greater expense of that of the Old. For one knot which is sum- 
marily cut, a hundred others are produced equaUy complicated. 

The consideration of the second solution which has been pro- 
posed of the difficulties in our quotations brings before us, at once, 
the question of a double sense in prophecy. In the minds of many, 
the idea of a double sense is associated mdissolubly with the idea 
of collusion — ^with the idea of phrases which palter with ex- 
pectation : 

* Which keep the word of promise to the ear, 
But break it to the hope.' 

Such unquestionably was a species of the verbal jugglery with 
which the ministers of ancient divination amused inquirers into 
futurity. The ^ duality ' of signification which belonged to their 
responses may be distinguished, if we may borrow a logical phrase, 
as a disjunctive duality ; the two senses were commonly discordant 
senses — often such that, whatever the event might prove, one of 
them should be applicable. A Delphic oracle, e.g,^ warned Sparta 
to beware of a maimed royalty : 

Mil cie^v aprlvoiof fiX^ X*'^^ /Boto'iActa. 

Now the lameness against which the Spartans are here cautioned 
mi^ht intend either a physical or a lineal defect — ^might respect 
eitner bodily infirmity or defective title. In the times of Lysander, 
it so happened that both these sorts of defect in the royal line co- 
existed ; the one in the person of Agesilaus, the other in that of 
Leotychidas ; and the consequence was a competition of claims. 
It is well known that, in the event, the physical carried the day 
over the genealogical ; but had the decision been the reverse, the 
credit of the oracle would not probably have been affected. Is it, 
now, a plural significance of this kind which the advocates of a 
double sense challenge for inspired prophecy ? Less a disjunctive 
we answer, than a successive duality. As the Hebrew gram- 
marians speak of a prcegnans construction we would similarly con- 
tend here for a prcegnans sensus. There are expressions in various 
distinct prophecies of Scripture which a merely temporal signifi- 
cance will not satisfy. The prophetical * dictum,' so to speak, 
overlays the merely temporal * factum.' As the prophet says, ' the 
temporal frame is shorter than that the dictum can stretch itself 
upon it, and the covering narrower than tbat it can wrap itself in 
it ' f Isa. xxviii. 20). It is, if we may use a typographical simile, 
as if these portions of the prophetical oracle were printed in larger 


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218 On the Citations from the [Oct. 

letters than the remaining — ^in capital Idjterg. There is a promi- 
nency and magnitude about them whi^ itself invites the mind 
onward to some remote and ulterior fulfilment. 

To impute an antecedent want of credibility to this hypothesis 
can only arise from a forgetfulness of the real authorship of pro- 
phecy, and only, therefore, be excused in a sceptic. The difficulty 
cannot be greater to a being who ' knows the end from the begin- 
ninff ' of framing a prediction which shall embrace a twofold fu- 
tunty, than that of framing a providence with a twofold end. If 
it be thought that the former result would imply verbal con- 
trivances, it is worthy of notice that in various parts of prophetical 
Scripture the marks of such contrivance are to be seen. We 
specify, in proof and illustration, the verbatim recurrence, already 
noticed in one instance, of the same formulae of expression in dif- 
ferent places. 

See, additional to 

Isaiah ii. 2, 3, 4, compared with Micah iv. 1, 2, 3. 
Jeremiah xlix. 16 , , , , Obadiah 3, 4. 

X. 12-17 , , , , Jeremiah li. 15-20. 

When we discover verbal accordances like these we may be 
almost induced to believe, conformably with the intimation of 
our Saviour (Matt. v. 18), that not an iota or apex in ancient 
Scripture but has been inserted advisedly. 

The passage in which the peculiarity in the authorship of pro- 

Scripture is of any private interpretation ' (vaaa v^ofiorcia ypa^y^s 
\ll»s hifiKva^Ms ou yiverai). Dr. £. Henderson {Divine Inspiration^ 
pp. 485, 486) enumerates no less than eight different principal 
interpretations which have been offered of this verse, comprising the 
celebrated one of Bishop Horsley, * No prophecy is of self-solution.' 
The last of the eight, to which the learned author adds his own 
8uffi*age, * No prophecy is the result of private or uninspired dis- 
closure,' i. e., of the divine purposes^ appears defective chiefly in 
the sense attached to eviXvuif^ the force of which, as far as analogy 
can ascertain it (for the substantive is an iva^ Xsyo/xsvoy in Scrip- 
ture^, is much better expressed by the term in the common 
version, ^ interpretation.' It is also our feeling that, to sustain 
the above rendering, the tense of the verb employed should 
have been different (lyevsro, not y/verai). We agree, however, 
fully with the author (whicii is the more important point) in 
his eloss on the word T^ios-, considering it as nearly tantamount 
to * human.' * No prophecy is of human interpretation,' t. «., is 
to be interpreted as if of human authorship, the term tiw rather 


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1848.] Old Testament in the New. 213 

than &v6pciirivof being used, as of more specific reference to indi- 
vidual authors. 

Now this character of prophecy, which is accounted for in the 
following verse, must be taken as distinguishing it not merely 
irom human compositions generally, but even from other inspired 
compositions. Tne highest form of inspiratipn presided over the 
production of prophecy. In the historical or in the didactic por- 
tions of Scripture it was sufficient for the sacred penmen to be 
under guidance and supervision — such supervision as should pre- 
serve them from error. Here, on the contrary, for the most part, 
direct dictation was necessary ; and we are to consider not the 
sentiments only, but even the diction as of divine origin. The 
omniscient Spirit, as in the case of Balaam (Num. xxii. 38 ; xxiii. 
5), put the very words into the mouth of its ministers, or suggested ' 
them to them when writing. It is plain that the subjects of pro- 
phetical announcement, speaking generally, were such as made 
this direct suggestion a matter of necessity. Events in the distant 
futurity far beyond any human ken — combinations in the great 
lottery, as to us it seems, of the world iar exceeding any finite 
powers of calculation— on such subjects the writers could have no 
opinion of their own. We know from good authority (see 1 Pet 
i. 11) that they derived only general impressions from the revela- 
tions of which they were the * medii :' 

' Visions of glory filled their aching sight, 
And unboru ages crowded on their soul.' 

But it was not given them so to master these phenomena as to 
present them in the order of their own preference. The frequent 
abruptness- of their transitions shows the constraint which was lying 
on their &cultie8 — an abruptness, one would think, almost as 
painful to themselves as it is emburassing to their readers. The 
objects of prophecy are brought before us, accordingly, rather in 
pictorial than narratory connection. Distinct trains of events 
appear on the same canvass, and the precise lines of separation 
of the foreground from the background are often obsciu'e. 

It must be confessed that the discovery of these boundary lines 
is one of the most difficult problems in theological science. That 
there is a fore and a background in prophecy — in other words, 
that it has oflen a double sense — ^we are siurprised that any who 
are familiar with the nature of the New Testament citations 
should question. The application made by the apostle (Heb. i. 5) 
of the well-known promise to David* appears to us decisive of the 
point That the primary reference of this promise is to Solomon 

»» See 2 Sam. vii. 12-16, particularly ver. 14, * I will be his father and he shall 
be my son.' 

VOL. II. — NO. IV. Q and 

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214 On the Citations Jrom the [Oct. 

and his immediate descetadants, none, we presume, will doubt. 
The Hebrew monarch himself expressly speaks of it as having 
receiYed fulfilment in his own person. This he does not in a single 
dubious expression, but once and again (see 1 Kings yiii. 15-20). 
Notwithstanding, we are given to understand, and that by the 
concurrent voice of the Old and New Testaments, that ' a greater 
than Solomon is here.' The testimony of the ancient church we 
may collect with sufficient certainty from Ps. Ixxxix. and cxxxii. ; 
we have the testimony of Peter in his Pentecostal sermon (see Acts 
ii. 29, 30) ; the testimony of Paul in the passage above. It may 
be observed that both the latter references are professedly of an 
argumentative nature ; but the evidence from the Psalms, though 
indirect, is not the less valuable. 

Another indisputable instance, as we cannot but think, of a 
double reference in prophecy may be found in the prediction of 
the virgin and her miraculous ofispring (Isa. vii.), so often already 
referred to. We have given our reasons for understanding a tem- 

Kral reference in this prediction already ; for its spiritual and 
essianic reference we may again quote the united authority of 
Old and New Testament. As to the latter, passing by, as our 
argument requires us, any evidence furnished by the citations in 
Matt. i. 22, and Hebrews ii. 13, we would point to the additional 
citation from Isa. ix. in Matt. iv. 15, 16. The passage thus quoted, 
though distant by a chapter from the one in which our prediction 
occurs, is yet plainly a part of the same entire prophecy. When 
we examine other parts of this prophecy, the most cogent reasons 
present themselves for regarding the * Immanuel ' of the prediction 
as fiir more than an ordinary cnild. In chap. viii. 8, he is recog- 
nized as the indubitable iJord and Sovereign of the kingdom ; 
and in the succeeding chapter, ver. 6, 7, the prophet breaks out 
into the following impassioned strain of utterance respecting him : 
* Unto us a child is bom, unto us a son is given ; and the govern- 
ment shall be upon his shoulder ; and his name shall be called 
Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, 
the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and 
peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon 
his kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and 
justice, from henceforth even for ever.' Is it necessary that we 
should stay to examine the exposition which would restrict ex- 
pressions like these to a son of Ahaz or of Isaiah ? If to notice 
such an opinion is to reftite it, we not only have forced upon us 
the idea of a double fulfilment of prophecy, but see that the 
secondary fulfilment may be an object of expectation even prior to 
the completion of the primary. 

The question now natiu-ally arises, What is the relation of 


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1848.] Old Testament in the New. 215 

these two fiilfilments to each other? Will the distinction of 
typical and antitypical, as some have thought, explain it ? Ac- 
cording to the commonly received notion, the relation of type and 
antitype is not unlike that of two concentric circles; the one 
differs in magnitude from the other, but in magnitude only. It 
is thus conceived by many, that a typical prophecy will apply, as 
a whole, equally to a type and its antitype, the sole difierence 
being in emphasis and degree. Taking a prophetical description, 
such interpreters will explain the expressions throughout, first in 
a lower and then in a higher sense ; they consider each expression 
of double applicability. If it were not beneath the dignity of the 
subject to represent a prophecy as a theological equation, it 
would be argued by such divines that each fulfilment must satisfy 
all the data of the equation. Are examples of such prophecy 
to be met with ? We feel compelled ourselves, after much ex- 
amination, to express our entire disbelief of their existence. So 
far from a perfect parallelism existing between the two references 
of a prophecy, the &uii rather is that both the nearer and more 
remote objects of reference have each important points to which 
nothing corresponds in the other. We would not a£5rm abiso^ 
lutely, that no prophecy as |i whole is applicable either to type or 
antitype ; but we have yet to learn that there is any applicable 
throughout to both. It is commonly a few only of the expressions 
which obstinately demand a secondary and hi^er fulfilment ; the- 
remaining expressions as obstinately refuse it. To take the two 
examples on which we were recently commenting, what could 
we make, if attempting to pursue the evangelic application of 
the prophecy in 2 Samuel vii., of such language as that in ver. 14, 
latter part, and of ver. 15 : — * If he commit iniquity, I will 
chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the 
children of men. But my mercy, shall not depart from him, as 
I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.' A case is 
here supposed as of probable occurrence, which could by no 
possibility arise in relation to the Messiah. In the prophecy of 
Isaiah, ch. vii., if the Virffin and child of ver. 14 have their true 
originals in the facts of the Christian incarnation, the butter and 
honey of ver. 15 have no less theirs in those of the Jewish 
history. Particulars of want of applicability to the Messiah, 
simikur to the one just noticed in 2 Samuel, may be observed 
in the prophetic Psalms xl. and Ixix. (See Ps. xl. 12, Ixix. 5.) 

We are of opinion that the correspondences of typical theology 
have been built up into a system by some divines. Tar more than 
Scripture will warrant ror the technical sense which is now 
attached to the word type, the Greek substantive <rxia seems 
rather the Scripture equivalent (see Col. ii. 17; Heb. x. I). 

q2 The 

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216 On the Citations from the [Oct 

The term ri^aros, if we mistake not, is only once so applied in 
the New Testament, viz., to our first parent (see Rom. v. 14) : — 
* Who is a figure {rinroi) of him that was to come.' It is ob- 
servable that in the illustration by the apostle of this typical 
relation, for one particular of resemblance which is given, there 
are two of contrariety. A like proportion may be noticed else- 
where (see Heb. iii. 1-5) in his comparison of Christ and Moses. 
We presume that the proprieties of systematic typology would 
reganl the two patriarchs mentioned, as bein^, in the latter 
respect, not types. Be this as it may, the partial nature of the 
resemblance (which, properly considered, will be found only the 
necessary result of human imperfection) may be allowed to throw 
some lignt on the but partial applicabilitjr of prophetic descriptions. 
Whether prophetic or historical, it was impossible that any single 
description of human actors sdiould adequately represent him, 
whose person and character were aUke ^ wonderAil * — who was at 
once the root and the cffspriiig of David, the ^ Son of Man ' and 
the ^ Son of God,' the Lion and the Lamb, rich vet poor, the 
man of sorrows and the Lord of glory — in a word, m wnom cha- 
racters of subordination of all kinds were combined with characters 
of supremacy. 

The determination of the nature of the unity belonging to 
the double prophecies, we have admitted, is yet a desideratum 
to be fumisned. In professing our own adhesion to what may 
be styled the ' complemental ' hypothesis, to which, in our judg- 
ment, the language of the apostle respecting a veil (2 Cor. iii. 15) 
affords some countenance^ we have no wish to disguise that it is a 
mitigation of difficulties only which must thus be noped for. The 
effect of the veil on Moses' face was rather to obscure hia features 
than to conceal tliem ; and thus there are many portions of ancient 
prophecy, the meaning of which an ignorance of Christian revela- 
tions will not so much ntAtVise as reduce and dilute. We may 
compare a prophecy of this description to a chamber with an 
exterior and an interior compartment, with double doors there- 
fore, and double locks. A key, simple in construction, shall 
open the exterior of these doors. We have then access into 
the outer sanctuary. But beyond this there is an inner cabinet, 
a holy of holies, replenished with far higher mysteries and far 
more costly furniture. To admit into this cabinet is needed, 
as was fitting, a key of far different workmanship and greater 
complicity. Such a key, however, is Christ io the intricacies 
of the ancient prophetic oracles. Whether these oracles respect 
the fortunes of the * house of David,' or other similar futurities, 
only the circumstances of his life, only the glories of his reign, 
will give them their just significance. After applying them to 


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1848.] Old Testament in the New. 217 

events in the then approaching future, there is still a residuum 
of meaning in them requiring to be filled up. Without some 
further and higher fulfilment, not a few of the expressions 
which they contain must be pronounced hyperbolic, and of the 
figures turgid. It is this camplemental fulfilment, then, which 
the gospel economy, with its wondrous occurrences, supplies. 
Exaggeration here becomes sobriety, and figures melt into facts ; 
the prose of the narrative outdoes the poetry of the prophecy. 

We must add, that we see no propriety in applying any of the 
above remarks to such quotations of prophetical Scripture as those 
in Hosea and Jeremiah, before noticed. How will any considera- 
tions of type and antitypes, for example, aid us in explaining the 
application of the former's language respecting the Exodus, to the 
return of our Lord from Egypt ? Israel, as a nation, was not so 
much a type of Christ as of the Christian church. This is an 
analogy recognized in almost every book of the New Testament, 
and than which there is none more certain. If language allusive 
to the Exodus could adumbrate, therefore, anything, it would be 
the spiritual deliverance obtained for Christians from the efiects 
of sins. The iron furnace of Egypt has its counterpart in the 
worse than iron bondage of Satan, himself the true antitype of 
the Egyptian king. Dr. Pye Smith pleads,^^ that the Exodus, 
with its whole preceding train of miracles, or succeeding, was, in 
order, to the manifestation in the fulness of time, of a future 
Redeemer ; that the one liberation would not have taken place, 
but with a view to the other. This remark, however, is obviously 
equally applicable to the whole series of acts of power and of merit, 
of which the Christian redemption is made up. There is no 
special relation in the Jewish deliverance — i. e., conddored as a 
means to an end — to the particular incident of our Lord's depar- 
ture fipom Egypt. It was equally necessary, in tiiis point of view, 
to his birth at Bethlehem, his sojourn at Nazareth, and to his 
visits to Capernaum. It was, in feet, not less related to his journey 
into Egypt than to his return from it 

There remains, then, no oUier resource to explain the nature of 
quotations like the present, but the third hypothesis which we 
mentioned — ^that of accommodation. The practice of accommo- 
dation has been so common in writers and speakers of every age, 
that a temperate resort to it in the books of the New Testament 
ought to occasion no surprise. Our Lord himself may be con- 
sidered to have set an example of it to his disciples. His appli- 
cation of the proverb which he quoted at Nazareth, ' Physician, neal 
thyself,' can scarcely be conadered as quite agreeable to its original 

• Scrip. Teii., vol. i., p. 369»e<tit. 1829. 


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218 On the Citations from the [Oct 

imrport. The use made by the apostle Paul of the Psalmist^s 
anguage respecting the heavenly bodies (see Rom. x. 18> com- 
pared with Psalm xix. 3), is agam a plain instance of accommo- 
dation. No Israelite of ancient times, we are confident, in reading 
the above passage, could have, for a moment, in his thoughts the 
travels and progress of the future missionaries of the gospel. The 
quotation is of the nature of an extract from a classical author ; 
tne application of a familiar form of wof ds to a new subject As 
a further clear example of accommodation, we may cite from the 
same chapter the use made by the apostle of the energetic lan- 
guage of Moses, formerly addressed to his countrymen (see Rom. 
X. 6-8, compared with Deut xxx. 12-14). 

The diflSculty which is felt by many in regarding any of the 
evangelists' quotations as simple accommodations arises, probably, 
from their almost uniform use of the term ' fulfilment ' in intro- 
ducing them. Enemies to evangelical theology have not hesitated 
to connect with their application of this term the imputation of 
either ignorance or fraud. Their insinuation is, that the evan- 
gelists either believed themselves, or wished their readers to 
believe, in the Messianic character of such quotation. The first 
part of the alternative may be considered as the Unitarian version 
of the charge ; the latter as the infidel version. Now in judging 
of the fairness of this imputation, some weight, we think, is due to 
the fact that the books in which this term is most freely used were 
not written with a professed probative aim. Tlie readers for whom 
Matthew's Gospel was designed did not need to be convinced of 
Jesus's Messiahship, being already believers. We prefer, how- 
ever, relying chiefly on internal evidence. Let us recur to the 
case of alleged fulfilment before noticed in John xviii. 9 : ' Jesus 
answered, I have told you that I am he : if therefore ye seek me, 
let these go their way, that the saying midit be fulfilled which he 
spake, '* Of those whom thou gayest me 1 have lost none.*' ' In 
what other light can we i*eg8^i^ this quotation than as a case of 
avowed accommodation ? The words, it will be recollected, are 
cited from only the preceding chapter. To suppose that within 
this brief interval, the evangelist wished to steal a conclusion on 
his readers, is really ridiculous. It would be no less so to seek 
any typical relation between the two passages. To represent the 
retrospective aspect of the words as typical of the prospective would 
be to make our Saviour a type of himself; it would be to make 
one event in his life typical of another event in his life ; nay, fur- 
ther, it would be to make the more important typical of tne less 
important, the spiritual of the carnal. For such an inversion of 
the understood laws of typical theology no one surely will contend. 
Another instance of alleged fulfilment to which we think it well 


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1848.] Old Testament in the New. 2 1 9 

to inyite renewed attention is that of the descriptive language — 
Isaiah liii. 4 quoted Matthew viii. 17. The same passage we find 
afterwards quoted by another inspired writer (1 Peter ii. 24) in the 
sense usually attached to the words. What unworthy motive then, 
we would ask, can we conceive to have prompted the evangelist's 
departure from the received meaning ? As to any theological bias 
which some may suppose to have influenced him, this would lead 
him surely rather to find evangelical applications where they were 
not, than to neglect them where they were. The Messiahship of 
Jesus would Qot suffer or gain either by one application or the 
other. We cannot but regard, then, the figurative use of the 
term fulfilment in this passage as of transparent perspicuity. The 
accommodation, as in tne previous instance, is undisguised. 

It may be said that if we accept a diluted sense of the term 
fulfilment in one instance we can have no certainty of its natural 
and proper use in any ; or we may be asked, sceptically. What 
criterion we have to propose for distinguishing the two ? Our 
answer to this query will be, that adaptation in every case must 
be held conclusive proof of design. The principles of revealed 
theology wesuppose those of natural, and it is sufficient defence of 
the New Testament writers, in allowing themselves such a licence 
of diction, that they have ftimished their readers with the means 
of discovering and correcting it Not studious to block up every 
posfflble avenue to misunderstanding, they speak as to wise men, 
capable of exercising judgment on what they say. 

We are not aware that the descent from the idea of proper ful- 
filment in vXripicj and its cognates to that of accommodation is 
greater than may be observed in the usage of some other Scripture 
terms. The wide divergence of the meanings of the particle ha 
from one another we have already glanced at. We properly 
understand, in general, by the phrase, ' the day of the Lord,' a 
phrase so often occurring in the New Testament, the day of final 
judgment ; but its manifest reference is frequently to the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem. A similar observation is applicable to the 
descriptions given us of the coming of Christ Even the idiomatic 
expressions of Scripture, expressions commonly so precise and 
dennite in their i^^rt, are not without shades of difference in 
different places. Tne formula xar avd^A/vov, e. a. {as a man^ or 
after the manner of men) is used both with and without the implied 
idea of imperfection ; it is applied sometimes to human exampk^ 
sometimes to human authority (see Romans iii. 5 ; vi. 19 ; 1 Cor* 
ix. 8 ; XV. 32). Where is the wonder, then, if a stiff uniformibr 
has not been observed in the use of the term fulfilment ? We 
must claim the same liberty for the evangelists and apostles as 
writers which they claimed for themselves as men : * Have we not 


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220 On the Citatiofisfrom the [Oct- 

power,' &c. (see 1 Cor. ix. 4). A r\gid adhesion to the law of 
literality was no more to be exacted of them in composition than a 
rigid adhesion to the law of necessity when they ate or drank. 

The question of the moral utility of quotations like those which 
have been before us — a di£Sculty which, perhaps, will still be felt 
to belong to the accommodation hypothesis — must not, we think, 
be pressed too nicely. In the Epistles it is easy to see that they 
often subserve the forcible expression of diought, on which prin- 
ciple we would account for botn the instances found in Romans x. 
Sometimes they appear employed as convenient formula of tran- 
sition from one thought to another — itiserviunt cantinuandce orationi. 
It is thus we would explain the quotation, respecting which expo- 
sitors have so much differed, in Hebrews ii. 6, 7, 8, taken from 
Psalm viii, : ' But one in a certain place testified, saying, " Lord, 
what is man that thou art mindful of him ? or the son of man/' ' 
^. We have never been able to persuade ourselves that the 
apostle is here interpreting the Psalm of the Messiah ; in our 
view, he simply introduces the extract from it, for the convenience 
of several phrases in it, which he afterwards uses. A clear instance 
of his introduction of a quotation with such an aim we have in 
2 Cor. vi. 2, not to mention other passages. 

We are well aware that neither of these explanations will apply 
to the texts quoted as fulfilled by the evangelists, these quotations 
being plainly related to the preceding matter rather than to the 
succeedinff. Why may we not, however, trace such quotations 
backwards to an instinctive feeling? We would beg here to 
transcribe, and with a view to no ludicrous effect, the account 
given by the immortal Bunyan of the composition of his Pilgrim. 

< It came from mine own heart ; so to my head, 
And thence into my fingers trickled ; 
Then to my pen : from whence immediately 
On paper I did dribble it daintily.' 

In a somewhat similar process we fancy we see the whole ra- 
tionale of our evangelist's quotations. It is artlessly remarked 
by the evangelist John, after relating an interesting incident in 
our Lord's life, that his disciples remembered that it was written, 
* The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up.' What more than such 
a law of memory is required to account for the quotations of Mat- 
thew ? As the striking applicability of the passage in Hosea, for 
example, was the cause oi its recurrence to the evangelist's mind, 
so was his confidence in the sympathetic approval of his readers the 
cause of his insertion of it. tt does not condemn this insertion that 
it appears to answer no purpose either of * doctrine, or reproof, or 
correction, or instruction in righteousness ' (see 2 Tim. iii. 16). 


Digitized by 


1848.] Old Testament in the New. 221 

The apostle's previous remark respecting the universal utility of 
Scripture can scarcely be extended to every single Scripture ex- 
pression ; there is a possibility of utilitarian excess in religious as 
well as in other inquiries. Our Saviour on one occasion (see 
Matt xxvi. 8-10) found it necessary to rebuke a tendency of 
this kind in his disciples ; and it appears to us that, as in that 
instance, a cui-bano scrupulosity is never more pitiful than 
when it would grudge contributions of respect to him. * Nihil 
est incommodi/ says Calvin, in relation to another quoted passage, 
*si allusiones in verbis [scriptor] qu^rat, ad omandam praesentem 
causam.' Whether the evangelist (which is doubtful) designed 
in his quotations any use of ornament or not, we may be sure that 
he would regard such deflections of Scripture words from their 
original purport, less as ververstans than as, so to speak, conse^ 
crations of them. * Wortny is the Lamb that was slain to receive 
riches — and honour and glory and blessing.' The riches of revela- 
tion no less than of nature are most appropriately his. Adapta- 
tions of prophetical poetry to evangelical narrative resemble the 
beautiful setting of a costly gem, ITiey are the wise man's 

* apples of gold in pictures of silver ' (^pD iTTDttrM 351? TPSil) 
Prov. XXV. 11. For ourselves, we confess, in reading a dry 
polemic treatise, such as that of Pearson on the Creed, we have 
felt the refreshment of an occasional happy adaptation of this kind 
to be like that of an oasis in the wilderness. We conclude by 
quoting one of the Bishop's best * This,' says he, * is the great 
hope of a Christian, — that Christ rising from the dead hath ob- 
tained the power and is become the pattern of the resurrection.' 

* The breaker is come up before them : they have broken up and 
passed through the gate^ and are gone out by it, and their king 
shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.' ^ 

<■ Pearson on the Creed, Dobson's edition, page 404. A still more felicitous 
application is that of Ezekiel xliv. 2 to the Catholic tenet of the yirginity. * As if/ 
says the Bishop, * the gate of the sauctaary in the prophet Esekiel were to be under- 
stood of her/ This gate, &c., page 263. 

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( 222 ) [Oct 


No. I. 


By Wiu^iAM Lindsay Alkxandsb, D.D., Edinburgh. 

Among the Commentaries which have been written in the English 
language upon the whole, or the greater portion of the Bible, The 
Exposition of the Old and New Testament^ by Matthew Henrj, 
must be allowed to occupy a high, if not the highest place. Tms 
work has now been before the public for considerably more than 
a century; it has been widely circulated and extensively read 
wherever tibe English language prevails ; it has been the store- 
house whence many a profitable sermon and many a felicitous 
illustration of sacred truth has been drawn ; and it has formed the 
favourite closet-book of pious individuals, from the monarch ^ to 
the peasant. Of the high estimation in which it has been held by 
the most competent judges it would be easy to fill many pages 
with testimonials. It may suffice, however, to quote here me 
opinion of two distinguished divines, one of whom has himself pro- 
duced a Commentary upon the Scriptures^ and the other of wnom 
enjoys the highest reputation as a man of sound judgment, ex- 
quisite taste, and accurate scholarship, whilst both possessed the 
advantage of forming their opinion from amidst the advanced 
biblical science and improved exegesis of recent times. The 
former of these, Dr. Adam Clarke, says of Mr. Henry's Exposition, 
* it is always orthodox, generally judicious, and truly pious and 
practical, and has contriouted much to difiuse the knowledge of 
the Scriptures among the common people — for whose sakes it was 
chiefly written.'* A still higher estimate of it was formed by the 
other individual to whom I have alluded, the late Robert Hall, of 
whom his bioerapher records, that * for the last two years [of his 
life] he read daily two chapters of Nf atthew Henry's Commentary. 
As ne proceeded, he felt increasing interest and pleasure, admiring 
the copiousness, variety, and pious ingenuity of the thoughts ; the 
simplicity, strength, and pregnancy of the expressions.'^ To 

• This is the first of an intended series of papers on the • Commentators,' British 
and Foreign, by different contributors. — ^Editor. 

^ The attachment of His Migesty George III. to Henry's Commentary is weU 

« General Preface to his Commentary, p. 9, edit 1836. 

<* Works, vol. vi., Sto. edit, p. 101. 


Digitized by 


1848.] No. L— Matthew Henry. 223 

these testimonies may be added that of one of the most learned 
and thoughtful theologians of the present day, the Venerable 
Archdeacon Hare, who, referring to Henry's note on John vii. 39, 
says ^ it has the genial freshness and the richness in scriptural 
illustration which characterise his excellent Commentary.'* Of a 
work so widely esteemed, and by the most competent judges so 
highly valued, it may be worth while to attempt a brief historical 
and critical notice. 

Matthew Henir commenced his Exposition in the closing part 
of the year 1704, whilst he was minister at Chester ; and two 
years afterwards (Nov. 1706) the first part of it, comprismg the 
!rentateuch, was published in one volume folio. A second volume, 
extending to the close of the historical bdoks, was ready by the 
middle of 1708 ; a third, comprising the poetical books, was pub- 
lished in March, 1710 ; a fourth, including the Prophets, and thus 
finishing the Old Testament, appeared in the middle of 1712, 
after he had settled at Hackney ; a fifth volume, embracing the 
Gospels and Acts, was ready by the end of April, 1714; and 
some progress had been made by him in preparing a sixth, which 
was designed to include the Epistles, when his valuable life was 
cut short by death on the 22nd of June, 1714. The notes which 
he had written on the Romans were so complete as to need only 
to be epitomized and arranged, which was done by Dr. John 
Evans; and his design was carried out to completion by the 
labours of others of his friends and admirers, who took each one of 
the remaining books of the New Testament^ and endeavoured to 
write a commentary on it in Henry's style and method, and in 
some cases with the help of notes which he had left behind or 
wluch had been taken down in short-hand from his pulpit exposi- 
tions. The parties thus employed, with the portion executed by 
each, were tne following: — Mr. Simon Browne, 1 Cor.; Mr. 
Daniel Mayo, 2 Cor. ; Mr. Joshua Bayes, Galatians ; Mr. 
Samuel Rosewell, Ephesians; Dr. William Harris, Philippians 
and Colossians ; Mr. Daniel Mayo, 1 and 2 Thessalonians ; Mr. 
Benjamin Andrews Atkinson, 1 and 2 Timothy ; Mr. Jeremiah 
Smith, Titus and Philemon ; Mr. William Tong, Hebrews ; Dr. 
S. Wridbt, James ; Mr. Zech. Merrill, 1 Peter ; Mr. Joseph 
Hill, 2 reter ; Mr. John Revnolds, 1, 2, and 3 John ; Mr. Jonn 
Billingsby, Jude; Mr. W. long, Revelations. 

From the above statement it appears that the part of the Com- 
mentary executed by Mr. Henry was the work of somewhat less 
than ten years, during which time he was also laboriously occupied 
as a pastor, first in the country, afterwards in the metropolis. It 

* Mission of (be Comforter, vol. ii., p. 467. 


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224 The Commentators : [Oct 

was during this interval also that he published the greater part of 
his minor works, consisting chiefly of sermons and devotional 
pieces. As the entire MS. of his Exposition was in his autograph, 
and was printed as ori^nally written, without transcription or any 
corrector s revisal, the amount of steady, patient, and deliberative 
labom* expended upon it by the author in preparing it must have 
been proaigious ; and were there nothing else to signalise the 
book we might well point to it as a remarkable monument of how 
much a resolute purpose and an economical arrangement of time 
may enable a man to accomplish in the way of literary composition 
even amid the pressure or many other duties/ Such diligence 
forms an excellent commentary on his own exhortation addressed 
to young ministers, * Whatever you do, take heed of idleness. 
That is the devil's anvil on which he hammers out many tempta- 
tions.' And we can easily believe such a man to have been per- 
fectly in earnest when he prayed thus, — * God by his grace help 
me tojill up time — ^to be busy while working-time lasts. « 

When Matthew Henry devoted himself to the work of an expo- 
sition of Scripture he undertook a task for the successful accom- 
plishment of which a combination of several qualifications — ^literary, 
mtellectual, and spiritual — ^is requisite. Of these he happily 
possessed no slender amount. 

Without being what could be called a profound or extensive 
scholar, his literary attainments were highly respectable. He 
had been in early youth introduced to the study of the classical 
languages, and was, even in those days of vast scholar^p, reputed 
more than an average proficient in Greek and Roman literature. 
This department of study he does not appear to have prosecuted 
to any extent after he entered upon the duties of the ministry, but 
his writings bear everywhere traces of his early familiarity with 
the ancient authors, and in his Exposition he frequently applies 
his classical reminiscences with much feUcity to the elucidation of 
a passage of Scripture. At a very early period also he became 
acquainted with the Hebrew, and during his career of preparatory 
study he made himself also master of the French. From the first 
he was a great reader, and being possessed of a capacious and 
retentive memory he was enabled to lay up a vast store of profit- 
able materials upon which he could at all times draw for illus- 
tration or proof. His knowledge of human nature also was 

' From a roagh calculation I conclade that he mnst have prodaced on an average 
every day, during these 9) years, matter sufficient to fill a folio page of letter-press. 
This, from a man who had other and onerous duties to discharge, who was often 
leaving home on duty, who was continually printing something else, and whose 
work was of a kind that required him to occupy time by consulting a number of 
books at every stage, is a feat of no ordinary magnitude. 

B Life of Williams, p. 175, 176. 


Digitized by 


1848.] No. L— Matthew Henry. 225 

remarkably extenriye and exact; he had closely observed the 
phenomena of individual and social life, for which (in addition to 
what he learned as a Christian pastor) his residence in the metro- 
polis at an early period of his career, as a student at Gray's Inn, 
and his frequenting of the courts of law whilst there, had afforded 
him important opportunities ; he had stored up the result of these 
observations ; he had condensed them into many a pithy gnome 
and apophthegm ready to be enunciated whenever occasion de- 
manded ; and he thus came to the exposition of that Book which 
more than any other unfolds the peculiarities and deals with the 
necessities of man's nature, furnished with an invaluable key to 
the meaning and index to the application of many of its state- 
ments. Perhaps in nothing does his Exposition more highly com- 
mend itself to the reader than in the innumerable felicitous 
elucidations which it supplies of the bearing of passages of 
Scripture upon the feelings, experience, and conduct of men. 

Henry's prosecution of the study of the law, to which he de- 
voted rather more than a year (from April, 1685, to June, 1686), 
was of advantage to him in reference to his great work in another 
way besides that just mentioned. It trained him to the work of 
documentary exposition, and it put him in possession of many 
important principles capable of being advantageously applied to 
the elucidation of Scripture. The study of law is, chiefly tne study 
of the meaning of written documents — prepared for the purpose of 
being understood, but frequently involved in obscurity in conse- 
cj^uence of obsolete phraseology, allusions to past customs, assump- 
tions the grounds of which do not readily appear, and other such 
like causes. The work of the student in sucn a case is principally 
one of interpretation. His task is to get at the exposition oi the 
statute upon grounds which will bear examination ; and the highest 
achievement of his science is to evolve from the words of the edict 
the sense wliich the framers of that edict meant that these words 
should involve. Now this is exactly, mutatis mutandis^ the busi- 
ness of the BibUcal expositor. His duty is to bring out the sense 
of Scripture, so as to put the reader in possession of exactly the 
idea wnich liie writer meant to convey ; and the highest effort of 
his skill must be expended upon this. For such an office it is 
easy to see that experience in the interpretation of legal docu- 
ments must form a valuable preliminary training, especially as the 
case of the legal student is not one which admits of that hasty 
dogmatism, into which the undisciplined student of Biblical inter- 
pretation is apt from various causes to be betrayed. That Mr. 
Henry's early legal studies were of advantage to him in the way 
of preparing him for his duties as a Biblical expositor, may be 
justly mferred from the clearness of statement, the precision of 


Digitized by 


226 TTie Commentators : [Oct. 

arrangement, and the skilful management of details by which his 
Exposition is marked. 

besides this, the knowledge he acquired of the general principles 
of law proved of service to him in his studies of Scripture. Much 
of the phraseology of the Bible^is legal, and it is full of allusions 
to forensic usages ; so that the expositor who comes to the study 
of it possessed of a familiarity witn legal formulae and practices, 
enjoys an important advantage over others for the due under- 
standing of it. In the case of Henir, it is hardly possible to 
avoid noticing the frequency with which he draws upon his know- 
ledge of law for the elucddation of passages of Scripture. Thus, 
for instance, on Matt, xviii. 23-27, ne commences his remarks in 
these words : ^ Every sin we commit is a debt to God ; not like 
a debt to an equal, contracted by buying or borrowing, but to a 
superior ; like a debt to a prince when a recognizance is forfeited, 
or a penalty incurred by a breach of the law or a breach of the 
peace ; like the debt of a servant to his master by withholding his 
service, wasting his lord's goods, breaking his indentures, and in- 
curring die penalty. We are all debtors ; we owe satisfaction, 
and are liable to the process of the law.' Again, on the same 
passage, he observes that ' sinners are insolvent debtors ; the 
Scripture, which concludeth all under sin, is a statute of bank- 
ruptcy against us.' So also on chap. xxii. 15, he says of the 
attempt of the Jews to * entangle ' our Lord by their questions, 
that their ^ design was to bring him into such a dilemma tliat he 
must make himself liable to the displeasure, either of the Jewish 
multitude or of the Romish magistrate ; let him take which side 
of the question he will, he shall run himself into a praemunire ; 
and so they will gain their point and make his own tongue to fall 
upon him.' Once more, on Matt. xxiv. 51, he has the following 
striking elucidation of the expression, * Appoint him his portion 
¥Fith the hypocrites :' — • Hell is the proper place of hypocrites. 
They are, as it were, the freeholders ; other sinners are but inmates 
with them, and have but a portion of their misery.' AH these 
instances of legal allusion and phraseology are hastily culled from 
the notes upon a few consecutive chapters, and may therefore 
serve to support what I have said above as to the frequency with 
which Mr. Henry drew upon his recollection of what he had 
learned at Gray's Inn in his subsequent labours as an expodtor 
of Scripture. 

There was much also in Henry's intellectual endowments which 
fitted him for the task of expounding the Bible. He possessed 
great natural acuteness and discrimination ; his memory, as 
already observed, was singularly capacious and ready; his judg- 
ment was sound and practical ; his apprehenaon was quick ; and 


Digitized by 


1848.] No. L— Matthew Henry. 227 

he had enough of fan<^ to aid him in the tracing of analogies, 
and the application oi passages to illustrate cases, without so 
much as might have seduced him into extravagance or reverie. 
Hence his Commentary is pervaded by a vein of good sense and 
practical utility, which has proved one of its principal attractions 
to readers of intelligence and piety. Though abounding with 
quaint remarks, and combinations of thought which provoke a 
smile — the efflux of a quiet but copious foimtain of humour that 
welled forth in the more hidden regions of his intellectual deve- 
lopment — ^his pages contain no idle conceits, no far-fetched hypo- 
theses, no visionary and fantastic dreams ; all is clear, simple, 
judicious, and practical. The reader has never to search for the 
author's meam'ng ; though entirely unadorned, nothing can be more 
perspicacious than his style. Nor is there the slightest confusion 
apparent in his thoughts ; whether we aeree with him or not, we 
know exactly what his ideas were, and leel that we are dealing . 
with one who, before he attempted to instruct others, took all due 
pains to present to his own mind a distinct and definite conception 
of what ne meant to convey. 

But, perhaps, it was in his spiritual endowments that Henry's 
great and peculiar qualification as a Biblical expositor lay. He 
was a man of deep devotion and sincere piety^ ooth of which he 
had imbibed, and was in the habit of sustaining, from the treasures 
of Scripture. He was not only eminently religious, but his reli- 
gion was altogether of a Biblical cast. A stranger alike to that 
religion which is merely sentimental, and to that which deals only 
in cold speculation, he soueht to sustain his spiritual life by that 
rich and substantial food which the All-wise Master has provided 
in the storehouse of his word for the members of the household of 
faith. He ^ obeyed from the heart that mould of doctrine into 
which he had been delivered.' Scriptural truth and feeling had 
become incorporated with his entire inner life. The phraseology 
of the Bible was to him not so much a lesson he had to study, as 
the highest and forciblest utterance of thoughts and emotions that 
dwelt continually in his own bosom. Hence he came to the ex- 
pounding of it to others with a sort of congeniality of mind which 
was of admirable service to him in enabhng him to set forth the 
sentiments it contains. He considered the statements of the 
sacred writers firom the same spiritual stand-point with themselves. 
He was, as it were, already ^joined with them in one spirit ;' he 
had a strong and pervading sympathy with them which wonderfully 
opened to him their meaning. They and he had associated so long 
and so intimately, that he could catch their intention from sisns 
which others either did not notice or could not understand. He 
bad thus, to a large extent, that exegetical tact for which Calvin 


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228 The Commentators : [Oct. 

has been so much and so justly lauded as an expositor of Scrip- 
ture ; which is to be traced in the latter principally to the same 
source as in the former, viz., his sincere, enhghtened, and tho- 
roughly biblical piety. No qualification is of more value to the 
inter{>reter than this. Sympathy with the writer is a guide to his 
meaning, for the want of which nothing can iiilly compensate. It 
is to this we are to ascribe tlie undoubted success of many un- 
learned men as biblical interpreters ; and the fact that on many 
difficult passages such men as Henry and others whose learning 
was not remarkable, cast a flood of light, where a Gesenius or a 
Hitzig, with all their prodigious reading, only succeed in making 
darkness visible. 

In connection with this part of the subject I must not omit to 
mention tliat Henry devoutly acted upon the maxim of Wiclif, 
that the interpreter of Scripture ' must be a man of prayer.'** He 
believed, with one whose writings he greatly admired and studied, 
that ' for a man solemnly to undertake the interpretation of any 
portion of Scripture without invocation of God, to be taught and 
instructed by liis Spirit, is a high provocation of Him.'^ It is 
interesting to observe how in recording the progress of his work in 
his private Diary, he continually carries along with him the con- 
sciousness that it is by divine aid alone that he can hope to succeed, 
and that it is by the grace of God alone that he had been enabled 
to accomplish what he records as finished. It was ' after many 
thoughts of heart, and many prayers concerning it,' that he first 
entered upon this large undertaking ; and, as he advances, it is in 
such terms as these that he records his progress and his anticipa- 
tions:— 'July 19 [1705]. Through the good hand of my God 
upon me I finished Genesis; the Lord still go on with me.' 
' Dec. 7. Finished Leviticus xix ; the Lord make me learned in 
his laws.' * Dec. 31. Having obtained help from Grod, I go on 
with much comfort in my Notes on the Pentateuch.' ' May 27 
[1706]. Studied, preparing to begin Joshua in the strength of 
God.' *Dec. 13. Christo auspice pergo.' 'Feb. 10 [1707-8]. 
I began Ezra, trirt JgaJ ; God go along with me.' ' Jime 1. After 
earnest prayer to God for his presence, I this morning began the 
third volume of Expositions.' 'April 10 [1710]. Began the 
fourth volume. Christo auspice pergo. I humbly begged the 
divine assistance, and go forth in the strength of the Lord God.' 
* Jan. 1 [1711]. What work I have to do for thee O God this 
year ; I depend upon thy grace thoroughly to assist me for it, and 
to work all my works in me ; particularly to assist me in the great 
work of my Expositions that I may ^rite nothing that is frivolous, 

•» Milner's Church History ^ vol. iv., p. 134. 
1 Owen, Pneumatologyt p. 332. London, 1808. 8vo. 


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1848.] No. L— Matthew Henry. 229 

or foreign, or foolish, or flat, that may give juat oflence, or lead 
any into mistakes ; but that all may be clear, and pertinent, and 
affecting : that I may find out genuine expositions, useful observa- 
tions, profitable matter, and acceptable words ; if it shall please 
God to spare me to go on with it. * ^F^^ ^^ t^^^jS' ^i"^'^®^ 
Acts, and mth it ue fifth volume, blessed be Grod that has 
helped me and spared me. All the praise be to God.' This was 
almost the last entry he made in his Diary : in less than ten weeks 
firom this date he had rested firom his labours. I have given 
only a selection of the devout utterances with which he accom- 
panied the record of his labours in that private journal ; at almost 
every stage they drop from his pen, so that ms course through 
Scripture may be compared to the joumeyines of the ancient pa- 
triarch, who at every place where he pitchea his tent * built an 
altar and called upon the name of the Lord.' Surely if there be 
any truth in the remark of Luther, * Bene precasse est bene 
studuisse,' we may confidently anticipate in a work, every section 
of which was thus prepared amid the incense of devotion, a large 
amount of instructive and successful investigation of the lessons of 
Holy Scripture. 

Mother circumstance in Henry's favour, when addressing him- 
self to this work, was that the practice of expounding, the Bible 
was one in which he was no novice. It was one in which, both in 
the family circle and from the pidpit, he had much exercised him- 
self for many years. He may, indeed, be almost said to have 
been trained in it from his youth up, and to have been an ex- 
pounder of Scripture by a sort of hereditary prerogative ; his 
venerable &ther, the excellent Philip Henry, having been so much 
attached to it that he made a point of regularly expounding the 
chapter read at family prayers, and requiring his children who 
were present to take notes of what he said.^ Of the notes taken 
by his son from these domiciliary expositions, the latter is said to 
have made ' full but judicious use ' in his own comment upon 
Scripture."^ Matthew Henry was also in the habit of expouncLing 
the chapter he read at family worship, and during his mmistry at 
Chester this exercise formed invariably, both morning and even- 
^^gj & pcu^ of the public services of the Lord's day ; so that before 

^ An interesting specimen of these Notes, taken from a MS. in the writing of 
Matthew Henry, was published some years ago onder the title of * An Exposition, 
with practical observadons upon the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis. 
By Philip Henry, M.A. London, 1839.' Henry, in referring to his own love for 
the study of Scripture, says, in the preface to the first volume of his Exposition, 
* It is that learning which it was my happiness from a child to be trained up in by 
my ever honoured fiither whose memory must always be verv dear and precious 
unto me : he often reminded me that a good textuary is a good divine.' 

" Williams's Life, p. 236. 

VOL. II. — NO. IV. B he 

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830 The Cammentatars : [Oct 

he left that sphere of labour he had more than once explained to 
his congregation the whole of the sacred oracles." It anpears 
also that before commencing his exposition of the entire Biole, he 
had been long in the practice of committing to wridng explana- 
tory notes on different parts of the sacred volume. ^ If any desire 
to know/ says he,^ * how so mean and obscure a person as I am . • 
.... came to venture upon so great a work, I can give no other 
account of it than this: It has long been my practice, what little 
time I had to spare in ray study from the constant preparations 
for the pulpit, to spend it in drawing up expositions upon some 
parts of the New Testament, not so much for my own use as 
purely for my own entertainment, because I knew not how to 
employ my thoughts and lime more to my satisSeustion. TrakU 
ma qybemque voluptas — Every man that studies hath some belaoed 
study J which is his delight above any atlisr; and this is mine/ He 
seems even to have gone the length of preparing some of them for 
the press, as appears from some extracts of letters ^ven by his 
bio^pher, and from the state of the MSS. which are still 

Before engaging in his onerous undertaking Mr.^ Henry had 
thus laid up a copious stock of materials upon which to draw. 
He did not, however, neglect on that account the help which was 
to be obtained from the writings of those who had preceded him in 
this department of sacred literature. Of these, on the contrary, he 
made oiligent use, especially his friend Matthew Poole's Synopsis 
Criticorum^ the Notes of ratrick, Hammond and Whitby, the 
Expositions of Calvin, and the learned researches of licntfoot, 
Ainsworth, aAd Cradock. The English Annotations of Poole 
apnear also to haye been c(»itinually under his eye, and to these, 
indeed, he seems to have regarded ms own work as in some degree 

Tins latter circumstance is one which ought to be borne in mind 
in judging of the merits of Henry's work. Complaints have been 
sometimes made of it as containing too much sermonizing and too 
little exposition. For this there is, in point of frict, no small 
ground as Henry seldom puts forth any great effort of exegiesis, 
usually contenting himself with stating in a few words the mean- 
ing of the passage which he adopts, or intimating that it may have 
more meanings than one, and then passing on to the practical 
application which it contains. But, howeyer much the absence of 
exegetical research in his Exposition may be regretted, it is 
hardly just to make this the subject of compliant against that 
work, inasmud) as the author distinctly disavows his intention of 

- Ibid. p. 112. • General Preftoe, p. 3, edit 18i4. p Willitfu, p. d02. 


Digitized by 


1848.] No. L— Matthew Henry. 281 

attempting anything of this kind. Assuming that the annotations 
of Poole nad ' got into most hands/ and iSlieving that for the 
purpose of explanation they were of ' admirable use,' he deter- 
mined * industriously to decline, as much as he could,' what is to 
be found there ; * for I would not,' he adds, ' actum agere— do 
what is done ; nor (if I may be allowed to borrow the Apostle's 
words) boast of things made ready to our hand,^ As an expositor, 
therefore, he rarely dwells on the meaning of phrases, or the 
clearing of difficulties ; and though he occasionaDy refers to dif- 
ferent yiews haying been taken of a passage, he hardly eyer 
attempts to decide, upon any other than tne most general grounds, 
which is to be preferred. His principal aim as an interpreter of 
Scripture is directed to the analysis under distinct heads of the 
train of thought or narratiye furnished by the sacred writers. He 
sedulously endeayours to ascertain the connection of each passage 
with the preceding context, to gather the general scope of it, and 
to present the whole under such an arrangement as sliall convey 
to the reader an adequate yiew of the intention and purport of 
the passage. In this, it must be acknowledged that he occa- 
sionally fails, and that his minute subdivisions, as well as his 
transpositions of the writer's statements, sometimes obscure or 

Eervert rather than explain the meaning. In general, however, 
e succeeds in his dedgn, and after all that has been said of his 
want of exegesis, we beueve there are few commentaries firom the 
perusal of wnich we shall carry away a more distinct and correct 
view of the general design and purport of a passage than from 

After explanation came, in Henry's estimation, the application 
of the truths educed. ^ When the stone is rolled away from the 
well's mouth,' says he, ^ by a critical explication of the text, still 
there are those who would botii drink tnemselves and water their 
flocks ; but they complain that the well is deep, and they have 
nothing to draw ; how then shall they come by this living water? 
Some such,' he adds, ' may, perhaps, find a bucket here, or water 
drawn to their hands; and pleased enough shall I be with this 
office of the Gibeonites, to draw water for the congregation of the 
Lord out of these wells of salvation.' These are not the words of 
a ^ feigned humility.' No one can peruse his Exposition without 
perceiving that they express the genuine feeling of his heart, and 
that in the humbler office of suggesting the practical application 
of Scripture to the circumstances and wants of the reader, he 
enjoys tar more of liberty and delight than in the higher duties of 
the expositor. The passage we have quoted may be taken also 
as a characteristic specimen of the style in which his practical 
obseiTations are for the most part presented ; its point, its quaint- 

R 2 nessy 

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232 The Commentators : [Oct 

nessy its interweaving of the language of Scripture with that of 
the author, its transient and allusory spiritualizations of Scripture 
incident — so diflPerent from the minute, heavy, and fantastic per- 
versions of the word of God to which this name is often applied— 
and its homely, yet not ungraceful, phraseology are all eminently 
characteristic of those practical observations, the use of which it 
is designed to explain and defend. 

I have no doubt that it is to the practical department of his 
work that Henry has been principally indebted for the extenrive 
and permanent popularity it has enjoyed. That it contains much 
valuable elucidation of Scripture I have already asserted; but 
without prejudice to that assertion, it may be nevertheless added 
that its chief charm and worth lie in the felicity and sagacity witli 
which the truths of Scripture are applied to the interests and 
emergencies of the Christian life. Li this department Henry's 
acquaintance with human nature, with the chan^n^ phases of 
the human heart, and with the peculiarities of Chnstian expe- 
rience admirably fitted him to excel ; and, as might be inferred 
from his own words already quoted, he threw ail his energies 
into it. The result has been the production of a work which, 
viewed as a homiletical commentary upon Scripture, is without 
a rival in any language — a work which has found a response 
in the bosom of Christians of every grade in society and cou* 
dition of life — a work to which the believer may betake himself 
under whatever emergency, secure of finding something suited to 
his case. 

Complaints have sometimes been made of the style of Henry in 
this work as deficient in dignity and good taste. These com- 
plaints, however, belong chiefly to a past ase, when a stiff and 
measured balancing of periods was deemed the acme of all 
rhetorical excellence, ana when the use of a homely simile, a 
quaint expression, or an obsolete word, was enough to spoil, in the 
estimation of the connoisseur, the best reasoning or the pro- 
foundest thought. To the sounder taste of the present day 
Henry's style will not appear to requure any great apolocy. That 
it is msfiffured by occasional instances of carelessness, uiat some- 
times it descends below the dignity of the subject, that frequently 
its quaintnesses are over-quaint, and may provoke a smile when a 
smile is not to be desired ; are admissions which we suppose his 
greatest admirers would feel constrained to make ; but at tne same 
time it must be admitted that his style has many excellencies ; that 
in plainness and perspicuity it has never been surpassed ; that it is 
often marked by exquisite pathos and sweetness ; that frequently 
it rises into vigorous eloquence ; that in its very quaintness there 
is a point and pungency which it would be a pity to lose ; and 


Digitized by 


1848.] No. I. "Matthew Henry. 233 

that above all, it is the genuine and unaffected symbol of the 
author's thoughts, and secures that greatest of all adyantages, of 
being at once easy to peruse, easy to understand, and easy to 
recollect. That Henry could when he chose command a much 
more dignified and imposing style is evident from several passages 
in the Pre&ces to the different volumes. 

The continuation of the Exposition by those individuals who 
undertook this duty after Henry's death is, as a whole, very 
inferior to the original work. Tne authors write evidently under 
constraint from the effort they make, not only to adhere to the 
general plan, but also to imitate the manner and style of their 

Eredecessor. It is, however, uncertain how Henry himself would 
ave succeeded with the doctrinal epistles, and it is, perhaps, 
hardlv fair to compare the performances of his friends upon these 
with ms own upon departments of Scripture of a very difierent 
character, and requiring for the successful elucidation of them 
talents of a different order. 

In finishing this notice of Henry's Exposition, the writer has 
performed a task which to himself has been a labour of love. He 
highly values the book, and the memory of the author is dear to 
him — thouffh not exclusively yet — chiefly for this book's sake. 
His own obligations to it for instruction, refreshment, and edifi- 
cation be feels to be immense. Without being blind to its fisiults, 
he ventures to aflSrm that taken as a whole, a richer legacy was 
never bequeathed to the Church of God by the learning, piety, 
iand diligence of any one of her members. 


By the Rev. F. A. Cox, D.D., LL.D. 

Hail to the memory of Quarles— the quaint, the sprightiy, the 

irious and instructive Francis Quarles ! Why, have not our m-and- 
athers and grandmothers in bygone times spent many a nappy 
hour in his fescinating society, and handed down his well-thumbed 
and worm-eaten pages as a kind of heirloom to their posterity ? 
Have we not, as they were wont to do, sat poring and palpitating 
again and again over the magic volumes ? Have we not, in the 
period of wondering infancy and youth— yea, even in riper age — 
preferred many of his beautiful conceits and racy descriptions — 


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234 Sketches of the Life and [Oct 

spite of all the talk about taste and so forth — to the level smooth- 
ness and ¥dre-drawn prolixity of many a modem poetaster? 
Have we not in childhood clapped our little hands at ttie curious 
pictorial mimicries presented to the eye (albeit then we knew not 
of the borrowing), and the explanatory stanzas which accompany 
them ? Have we not again and again looked sympathizingly at 
the poor'^heart — stricken, bleeding and oppressed in the vanous 
contortions of strange similitudes ? And shall we not honour the 
man, re-examine his writings^ and invite the reader to take a 
pleasing ramble into his wilderness of fact and fancy ? Yes ; it 
18 even yet enchanted ground ; the riches of genius are there ; 
the light of reliffion shines upon it. 

Pope and otners have denounced Quarles; and the writer 
regrets to imite the name of Henry Neele ■ with the number of 
his depreciators. Referring to the times of the Commonwealth, 
he writes^ with an unmerited sneer, ^Chaucer, Spenser, and 
Shakspeare were exiled from the libraries of the orthodox to make 
way for Withers, Quarles, and Herbert 1' Poor Neele knew not 
how to appreciate the relipious feeling of the times. Pope, how- 
ever, in a letter to Bishop Atterbury, says, * Tinnit^ inane est^ 
with the picture of one ringing on the globe with his finger, is the 
best thing that I have the luck to remember in that great poet 
Quarles — ^not that I forget the Devil at Bowls, which I know to 
be your Lordship's fevourite cut as well as favourite diversion.' 
But in the true spirit of self-contradiction, when alluding to the 
merit of the prints engraved by Marshall and Simpson in the 
first edition, he writes, — 

* Here the pictures for the page atone, 

And Quarles is sav'd by beauties not his own.' 

It is probable that this sweeping censure materially damaged the 
reputation of Quarles. Pope deserved to be put into his own 
Dunciad for its severity.^ It is curious how another poet, and a 
better jud^e, in later times, has precisely Veversed the two parts 
of this critical sentence. Southey calls the pictures ^ the most 
ridiculous prints that ever excited merriment,' while Pope desig- 
nates them ^ beauties ' which redeemed the versification ; while, 
on the other hand, Southey denominates as 'fine poems' the 
very compositions which Pope represents as saved fix>m contempt 
by the pictures.^: Thus is poor Quarles crucified between these 

* Lectares on EhiglUh Poetry. This distingniflhed yoniiff man was among my 
early acquaintances, and, in common with all who knew ana never can forget him, 
I throw the wreath of a sad remembrance upon his early tomb. 

^ Pope also cenimres Benlowes for being his patron. 

« Vide Critical Beriew for September, ISOl. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Writings of Francis Quarks. 235 

two poets, each labouring under the influence of his particular 
prejudices. In the view of a refined taste, the prints may, indeed, 
appear ridiculous ; but they must be taken in connection with the 
religious ideas suggested and illustrated by them ; and such is 
their united charm, that at the hazard of being exhibited in some 
new Dunciad, poetical or critical, the writer is not ashamed to 
say of Quarles as Cowper did of £ngland, * with all thy faults I 
km thee stilV 

Of his personal history little has survived to satisfy inauiry, 
and nothing to enable us to trace the growth of his mind. A brief, 
but very interesting portrait of his character was given afiier his 
decease by his surviving widow Ursula, which is introduced in 
the following modest and attractive manner : — 

^ Though it be inconsistent with the duty of a wife to be injurious in 
any respect to her husband, yet, in this, my bold undertaking, I fear I 
shall be 80 to mine, which I doubt not but he would have forgiven if 
he had been living, as proceeding firom love, and I hope his friends 
will pardon now he is d«Eui, as being the last duty I can perform to a 
loving husband. Those that see with what pen his works are written 
will say his life deserved a more skilful artist to set it forth, which 
office, though many might have been procured to undertake, and to 
which I doubt not but some would have voluntarily offered themselves 
if they had known that such a thing had been intended, yet have I 
(with much zeal, though small discretion) adventured upon it myself, 
as being fully assured that none can be more sensible of the loss of 
him thui I, though thousands might have expressed that loss to the 
world with more art and better judgment.' 

Frauds Quarles was bom at Rumford, in Essex, in the year 
1592, being tiie son of James Quarles, Clerk of the Green 
Cloth and Purveyor of the Navy in the reim of Queen EliaabetL 
He was educated at Christ's College, Canobridge, and aifterwards 
entered a student in the law at Lincoln's Inn. Subsequently he 
became cup-bearer to the Queen of Bohemia, daughter or James I., 
and on his return from that country was appointed secretai^ to 
Archbishop Ussher in Ireland. The rebelhon of 1641 involved 
him in the loss of all his property and endangered his person, but 
he was happy enough to make his escape. He also held the post 
of chronologer to the City of London till his death, which occurred 
at the age of 52, in the year 1644. Not long before he gave 
great oronce to the Parliamibnt by a work entitled The Loyal 
Convert; and taking part in the civil war, by joining the King at 
Oxford, he suffered the loss of his possessions, library, and 

His wife has recorded that he had eighteen children, bjdA 
* how £Bdthfal and loving he was,' she adds, * my pen and their 


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236 Sketches of the Life and [Oct; 

tears are not able to express.' He was reli^ous, loyal, and 
studious ; an early riser, even at three o*clock m the morning ; 
observant of all family duties and obligations ; courteous and 
affable to all. The description which l^ula Quarles ^yes of 
his last stage in life is yery interesting. 

' The blessed end of my dear husband was every way answerable to 
his godly life, or rather surpassed it : for as gold is purified in the 
lire, so were all his Christian virtues more refined and remarkable 
during the time of his sickness. 

^ His patience was wonderful, insomuch as he would confess no 
pain, even then when all his friends perceived his disease to be mortal, 
but still rendered thanks to God for his special love to him, in 
taking him into his own hands to chastise, while others were exposed 
to the fury of their enemies, the power of pistols, and the trampling of 

^ He expressed great sorrow for his sins ; and when it was told him 
that his friends conceived he did thereby much harm to himself, he 
answered they were not his friends that would not give him leave to 
be penitent. 

* His exhortations to his friends that came to visit him were most 
divine ; wishing them to have a care of the expense of their time, and 
every day to call themselves to an account, that so when they come to 
their bed of sickness they might lie upon it with a rejoicing heart. 
And, doubtless, such an one was his, insomuch as he thanked God 
that, whereas he might justly have expected that his conscience should 
look him in the fiice like a lion, it rather looked upon him like a lamb ; 
and that God had forgiven him his sins, and that night sealed him his 
])ardon : and many other heavenly expressions to the like effect. I 
might here add what blessed advice he gave to me in particular still to 
trust in God, whose promise is to provide for the widow and father* 
less, &c. ; but this is already imprinted in my heart, and therefore I 
shall not need here again to insert it. 

' His charity was extraordinary in freely forgiving his greatest ene- 
mies, even tliose who were the cause of his sickness, and by consequence 
of his death. For, whereas a petition full of unjust aspersions was 
preferred against him by eight men (whereof he knew not any two, 
nor they him, save only by sight), the first news of it struck him so to 
the heart, that he never recovered it, but said plainly it would be his 
death. And when his friends, to comfort him, told him that Mr. J. S. 
(the chief promoter thereof) was called to an account for it, and 
was near to be punished, his answer was, '' God forbid I I seek not 
revenge ; I freely forgive him and th^ rest ; only I desire to be vindi- 
cated from their unjust aspersions, especially that for aught they know 
I may be a Papist, whereas I never spake a word to any of them in my 
life/' Which imputation, how slanderous it was, may easily be dis- 
covered by a passage in his greatest extremity, wherein his discretion 
may perhaps be taxed by some, but his religion cannot be questioned 
by any : for a very able doctor of the Romish religion being' sent 


Digitized by 


1848.] Writings of Francis Quarles. 237 

unto him by a friend, he would not take what he had prescribed only 
because he was a Papist/ 

' These were the remarkable passages in him during his sickness. 
The rest of the time he spent in contemplation of God, and meditating 
upon his word ; especially upon Christ's sufferings, and what a benefit 
those have that by faith could lay hold on him, and what virtue there 
was in the least drop of his precious blood ; intermingling here and 
there many devout prayers and ejaculations, which continued with him 
as long as his speech, and after, as we could perceive by some imperfect 
expressions. At which time a friend of his exhorting him to apply 
himself to finish his course here, and prepare himself for the world to 
come, he spake in Latin to this effect (as I am told) : '^ O dulcis Sal- 
vator mundi, sint tua ultima verba in cruce, mea ultima verba in luce — 
In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum. Et quae ore meo 
fitri non possint, ab animo et corde sint k te accepta." (O sweet Sa- 
viour of the world, let thy last words upon the cross be my last words 
in this world — Into thy hands. Lord, I commend my spirit; and 
what I cannot utter with my mouth, accept from my heart and soul.) 
Which words being uttered distinctly to the understanding of his friend, 
he fell again into his former contemplations and prayers ; and so quietly 
gave up his soul to God, the 8th day of September, 1644, after he had 
lived two-and-fifty years; and lieth buried in the parish church of 
S. Foster, London. 

^ Thus departed that blessed soul whose loss I have great reason to 
bewail, and many others in time will be sensible of. But my particular 
comfort is in hi« dying words that God will be a husband to the widow ; 
and that which may comfort others as well as me is what a reverend 
divine wrote to a friend concerning his death, that our loss is gain to 
Mm, who could not live in a worse age^ nor die in a bHter time. 

In noticing a very few of the voluminous writings of Quarles, 
the first place is due to the work by which he is most generally 
Imown, entitled Emblems Divine and Moral. The plan upon 
which it is constructed is to ^ve a Latin motto, briefly explained 
in verse, under an illustrative print or {)icture, to prefix an appro- 
priate text of Scripture to some poetical stanzas^ to furmsn a 
significant quotation from one or more of the Fathers, and to sum 
up the whole in the epigrammatic form. Whatever is discover- 
able of originality is in the poetry, not in the plan nor in the 
tictures, wnich are, in many instances, as Pope alleges, ^not 
b own.' 

One of the earliest emblematical writers since the period of the 
Reformation was Andreas Alciatus, a Milanese law^^er, whose, 
ingenious ' Libellus Emblematum ' was printed at Pans in 1533. 
They consist generally of illustrations ot moral truths and pru- 

^ This passage illustrates the character of the times, and the absard prcgudiees 
•f some of the best of men. 


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288 Sketches of the Life and [Oct. 

dential principles. Each emblem occupies but a small page, 
including the print and the explanatory lines or mottos. l^is 
little book was subsequently republished in 1618 with a life of the 
author, and in a greatly enlarged form. From a mere pamphlet 
it then swelled into a venr stout octavo, having the foUowmg title : 
^ Omnia Andres Alciati V. C. Emblemata, cum Commentariis, 
quibus emblematum defecta origine, dubia omnia et obscura illus^ 
trantur. Per Claud. Minoemy J. C. Accesserunt huic editioni 
Fred. Morelliy Profess. Reg. Decani CoroUaria et Monita. Pa* 
risiis, 1618.'* 

Subsequently Hermannus Hugo publisbed Emblems in a Latin 
work of moderate pretensions/ called ^ Pia Desideria.' It consists 
of three books under the following divisions : — 
I. Sighs of the Penitent Soul ; 
n. D^ires of the Religious Soul ; 
III. Ecstaaes of the Enamoured Soul. 
There are occasional flashes of merit, but grievously intermingled 
with legends of saints and martvrs, and erroneous sentiments. 
These, and other productions of the same school, paved the way 
for our author. 

The poetical illustrations of the ^ Emblems' of Quarles bespeak 
a mind of quick perception, imaginative, and imbued with pious 
sentiments ; yet tending to an exaggerated view of the evils of 
life. The exaggeration, however, is perhaps rather in the mode 
of expression, representing positively what is intended compara- 
tively, than in the conception. The sparkle on his countenance, 
if the portraitures prefixed to some of his writings be correct^ 

* From the original ' Ldbellni ' of Alciatns the learned reader may be gratified to 
see a spedmen or two. A female is represented with a bridle in ner hands ; the 
following lines being sabscribed :«- 

' ABseqnitor, Nemensque Tirftm vestigia serrat, 

Continet, et cnbitum doraqoe ftena mann 
Ne mal^ quid facias, n^e improba verba loquaris; 
Et jabet in conctis rebos aaesse modom/ 
In another, entitled * Mntnal Help,' we have a blind man with a stick in his hand 
to grope his waj, and, with strong legs and firm ftet, carrying another who can see, 
bat whose legs have been amputated : — 

' Loripedem sublatam hnmeris fert lamine captns 

Et socii hsee oonlis mnnera retribnit; 
Qao caret alteruter, coucors sic prestat nterque 
Mutoat hie ocolos, mntoat ille pedes.' 
In a third, with a representation of Neptnne encircled by a serpent holding hit 
tall, we read as a titie, ' Ex literaram stadiis immortalitatem acqoiri :' — 
' Neptnni tabicen, enjns pars ultima oetnm 
.£qaoream fkcies inmoat esse Demn, 
Serpentis medio Triton comprenditar orbe 
Qui caadam inserto mordicos ore tenet ; 
Fama viros animo insignes predaraqne gesta 
Prosequitur, toto mandat et orbe legi.' 


Digitized by 


1848.] Writings of Francis Quarks. 239 

forbids the thoaght that he could be the subject of hypochoudriacal 
gloominess ; and it is a sparkle which seems to be transmitted 
through his pen to his page, and makes his very quaintness an 
element of delightful companionship. As criticism is not always 
conjoined with religion, we are not to be surprised that a worldly 
prejudice should prevent a due estimate of the neculiarities of 
a writer who is conversant with no refinements to adorn or mystify 
unwelcome truths, who dives without hesitation into the recesses 
of the human heart to drag forth its most low and vicious feel- 
ings, and who takes his reader amidst the pomps and vanities 
of the world, not to admire their glory, but to deprecate their 
emptiness. As a sentiment chastened by gratitude for acknow- 
ledged merdes, we say this is just, and eminently true when 
the panorama of this earthly scene is beheld in the light of 

Quarles ' too often, no doubt, mistook the enthusiasm of de- 
votion for the inspiration of fancy. To mix the waters of Jordan 
and Helicon in the same cup was reserved for the hand of Milton, 
and for him, and him only, to find the bays of Mount Olivet 
equally verdant with those of Parnassus. Yet, as the efiusions of a 
really poetical mind, however thwarted by untowardness of subject, 
will be seldom rendered totally abortive, we find in Quarles 
original imagery, striking sentiment, fertility of expression, and 
happy combinations ; together with a compression of style that 
ments the observation of the writers of verse.' ' 

In his three principal works, namely. Emblems Divine and 
Moral — Hieroglyphics of the Life of Man and The School of 
the Hearty a direct appeal is made to the eye as well as the mind. 
This is philosophical ; for while abstractions are littie adapted to 
produce a permanent effect upon mankind in general, and even 
simple truth may derive an advantage from pictorial representa- 
tions, it is a method of procedure wnich accords with the consti« 
tution of man, as a being not only of intellect, but of sense. The 
earliest impressions we receive are from the external world — our 
physical relations thus coming in aid of our moral impressions. 
The infant is first entranced by the light — ^then learns to distin- 
guish tiie objects presented to view — then comes with expanded 
mculties to reason upon and rejoice in the natural theology of the 
universe — then acquires information on subjects of intellectual or 
moral research, and then becomes prepared for the unfoldings of 
wisdom through the fine analogies of nature and Scripture — a 
species of instruction of which the Saviour of the world especially 
availed himself, and through which he poured the stream of his 

Headley's BeauOes rf Early Engluh Poetry. 


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240 Sketches of the Life and [Oct 

divine communicatioDS. This method has often been found to 
surpass in power the utmost force of words and of eloquence : 

' Segnii)i8 irritant animos demissa per aurem, 
Quam quae sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, et quae 
Ipse sibi tradit spectator.' 

When a hearer is pointed to a vine, a fig-tree, a sheepfold, or 
to the operations of a sower, a fisherman, a drawer of water, the 
same kind of method is substantially adopted as when the reader 
is called to survey apicture as the embodiment or reflection of 
important truths. The imperfection of the art or the deficiencies 
of the description may in some instances expose to ridicule what is 
meant to be the accessory of conviction, but this does not afiect 
the value of the principle or the general utility of the procedure. 

Say, if you will, there is much rubbish, many mere conceits, 
and various far-fetched analogies in these productions ; their truth 
to nature and experience, with their intermingled originalities of 
thought and diction, cannot fiiil to give them vitality ; and we mi^t 
almost say, in reference to the ocean of contempt that in some 
ages has overwhelmed them — chiefly, as we believe, from the 
irreligion of the critics — 

* Menses profundo, pulchrior evenit.' 

The plunge has not destroyed these curious works, but they will, 
we trust, excite fresh attention and come forth to public view 
fiedrer and brighter than before. 

Some of the pieces consist of a dialogue, and though perhaps 
they are not the best, they are nevertheless full of right sentiment 
and ingenuity in the construction. Others may rimcule, but we 
must acknowledge that we read the following beautiful specimen 
with the deepest impression of the truths insinuated, and feel as 
much attracted by the lively manner of the writer as when our 
littie fingers pointed out to our own and the glistening eyes of our 
infant companions. Justice with her scales, the Sinner with his 
clasped hands and downcast eyes, and Jesus with his pen in hand 
and glory round his head, sittmg in the seat of judgment. 

• Ps. cxliii. 2 : Enter not into judgment with thy servant; for in thy 
eight shall no man living be justified, 

Jesvs. Justice. Sinneb. 

Jes, Bring forth the prisoner, Justice. 

Just. Thy commands 

Are done, just Judge : see, here the prisoner stands. 

Jes. What has the prisoner done ? Say what 's the cause 
Of his commitment ? 


Digitized by 


1848.] Writings of Francis Quarks. 241 

Just* He hath broke the laws 

Of his too gracious God ; conspired the death 
Of that great Majesty that gave him breath, 
And heaps transgressioni Lord, upon transgression* 

Jes. How know'st thou this ? 

Just. Ev'n by his own confession 

His sins are crying, and they cried aloud ; 
Thgr cried to heaven — they cried to heaven for blood. 

Jes. What say'st thou, sinner ? Hast thou aught to plead 
That sentence should not pass ? Hold up thy head. 
And show thy brazen, thy rebellious face. 

Sin. Ah me ! I daore not : I 'm too vile and base. 
To tread upon the earth ; much more to lift 
Mine eyes to heaven : I need no other shrift ' 
Than mine own conscience. Lord, I must confess 
I am no more than dust, and no whit less 
Than my indictment styles me. Ah, if thou 
Search too severe, with too severe a brow. 
What flesh can stand ? I have transgressed thy laws : 
My merits plead thy vengeance, not my cause. 

Just. Lord, shall I strike the blow ? 

Jes. Hold, Justice, stay ! 

Sinner, speak on ; what hast thou more to say ? 

Sin. Vile as I am, and of myself abhorr'd, 
I am thy handywork, thy creature, Lord ; 
Stampt with thy glorious image, and at first 
Most like to thee, though now a poor accurst. 
Convicted caitiff, and degenerate creature, 
Here, trembling at thy hsa. 

Just. Thy fault 's the greater. 

Lord, shall I strike the blow ? 

Jes. Hold, Justice, stay I 

Speak, sinner ; hast thou nothing else to say ? 

Sin. Nothing but mercy y mercy ^ Lord I My state 
Is miserably poor and desperate. 
I quite renounce myself, the world, and flee 
From Lord to Jesus — ^from myself to thee. 

Just. Cease thy vain hopes : my angry God has vow'd 
Abused mercy must have blood for blood. 
Shall I yet strike the blow ? 

Jes. Stay, Justice, hold I 

My bowels yearn, my fainting blcKxl g^ws cold. 
To view the trembling wretch. Methinks I spy 
My Father's image in the prisoner's eye. 

Just. I cannot hold I 

Jes. Then turn thy thirsty blade 

Into my sides — ^let there the wound be made. 

« Shrif^ i. e,y WDtemfm ; an old word for amicalar oonletrion with Pspislt. 


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243 Sketches of the Life and [Oct 

Cheer up, dear soul ; redeem thy life with mine : 
My soul shall smart, my heart shall bleed for thine. 

Sin, O groundless ^ deeps ! O love beyond degree ! 
Th' offended dies to set th' offender free I' 

We do not so much plead in behalf of the poetry of the above 
extract, as for its truth, ingenuity, earnestness, and vivacity. 
Quarles, however, has produced passages which deserve to be 
ranked with the highest order of composition. Seyeral of these 
have long ago been searched out by Jackson of Exeter, in his 
* Thirty Letters on various Subjects,' and they are such as lustify 
a eidogy for which he has been unjustly blamed. While the 
excellences of some of oiu' first writers have blinded the critic's 
eye to their faults, the faults of others (and Quarles is one of 
these) have hidden from view their ments. The probability is 
that most of his denouncers have only read him in part, while tney 
have ill-understood his general drift ; acting towards him as we 
may suppose a casual observer to do who should condemn an old 
solid ecclesiastical structure for the grinning images at its angles 
and buttresses. 

No one can deny that the following verses, to which many 
others are equal, contain genuine poetry. They are written on 
Cant. iii. 2 : ^ lunJl rise and go about the citt/j and will seek him 
whom my soul loveth : I sought him^ but I found him not ;' — 

^ O how my disappointed soul 's perplext ! 

How restless thoughts swarm in my troubled breast I 
How vainly pleas'd with hopes, then crossly vext 

With fears I And how betwixt them both distrest I 
What place is left unransack'd ? Oh, where next 
Shall I go seek the author of my rest ? 
Of what blest angel shaU my lips inquire 
The undiscover'd way to that entire 
And everlasting solace of my heart's desire ? 

Look how the stricken hart that wounded flies 

O'er hills and dales, and seeks the lower grounds 
For running streams, the whilst his weeping eyes 

Beg silent mercy from the following hounds ; 
At length embost,'^ he droops, drops down, and lies 
Beneath the burden of his bleeding wounds : 
Ev'n so my gasping soul, dissolved in tears. 
Doth search for thee, my God, whose deafen'd ears 
Leave me, the unransom'd prisoner, to my panic fears.' 

The weeping of the stag when he finds himself successfully 
pursued is constantly affirmed by spoi*tsmen; but the mode of 
putting it is admirable — ^ His weeping eyes beg silent mercy.' 

^ Groundless, t. e^ without bottom. ' Embost, t. e., taking to nfner. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Writings of Francis Qaarles. 243 

You see him too flying over the hills wounded and bleeding, 
and at length drooping — dropping down and lying — ^so graphi- 
cally represents the scene, that it assumes almost the character of 
a visible reality. In many celebrated passages of the poets the 
vividness of the description compels your sjrmpathy with the pro- 
ceeding, as for example in Bloomfield — ^whose rusticity is more 
than redeemed by his genius :-— -describing Crazy Jane missing the 
pleasures of life which others of her age participate, the poet 
writes — 

' Joys, which the gay companions of her prime 
Sip, as they drift along the stream of time.' 

The word sip and its position force you to see and sympathize 
with the action. So here, it is impossible that the reader should 
not see the poor wounded animal at the successive points of his 
downfall. He is wounded — ^he flies to the water-brook — he weeps 
and begs silently for mercy from his fierce pursuers— he hangs 
hb head 'he drops down under a gradual exhaustion — ^he lies 
bleeding and dying. 

It is no small compliment to say, and no uniust one, that this 
passage is not unwortny of a comparison with Shakspeare's allu- 
sion in As You Like It — 

^ To the which place a poor sequestered stag. 
That from the hunter's aim bad ta'en a hurt, 
Did come to languish ; and, indeed, my lord. 
The wretched animal heavM forth such groans, 
That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat 
Almost to bursting ; and the big round tears 
Cours'd one another down his innocent nose 
In piteous chase : and thus the hairy fool, 
Much marked of the melancholy Jaques, 
Stood on th' extremest verge of the swift brook, 
Augmenting it with tears.* 

If this were not Shakspeare, a critic might offer some objection 
to Mnnocent nose,' though literally true ; he misht also intimate 
that the ^augmenting of the brook with tears bordered on a 
conceit, and sacrilegiously miuntain that the ^ big round tears in 
piteous chase,' though fine, does not equal *the weeping eyes 
bcffging silent mercy? 

xfor was this a lucky hit for once, like the happy dash of a 
painter's pencil, or the efibrt of 'single-speech Hamilton:' 
various passages of similar merit might be culled. You may 
open on almost any of the similes as beautiful. Thus> in the 
be^nning of the third emblem of the fifth book,, on the words of 
Cant ii. 16, * Mv beloved is mine^ and lam his * — 


Digitized by 


244 Sketches of the Life and [Oct, 

^ Ev'n like two little banlt-dividing brooks. 

That wash the pebbles with their wanton streams, 
And having ranged and searched a thousand nooks, 
Meet both at length in silver-breasted Thames, 
Where in a greater current they conjoin ; 
So I my best beloved's am, so he is mine. 

Ev'n so we met ; and after long pursuit, 

Ev'n so we join'd, we both became entire ; 
TSo need for either to renew a suit. 

For I was flax, and he was flames of fire : 
Our firm united souls did more than twine ; 
So I my best beloved's am, so he is mine.' 

It should be borne in mind that the allusions must be interpreted 
in the same manner as we interpret those of Solomon's Song — in a 
spiritual sense, as expressive of a holy and enthusiastic devotion : 
so that what in a literal sense might be deemed exaggeration and 
inflatedyt£r(?r, in this view partakes of a character ofpious rapture 
and sublimity. Hence the glow of such verses as the following 
in &e same emblem is both admissible and poetical — 

' N^, more ; if the fidr Thespian ladies all 
Should heap together their diviner treasure, 
That treasure should be deem'd a price too small 
To buy a minute's lease of half my pleasure : 
'Tis not the sacred wealth of all the Nine 
Can buy my heart from him, or his from being mine/ 

In the twelfth emblem of the fourth book we have this verse — 

^ Mark how the widow'd turtle, having lost 
The fidthful partner of her loyal heart, 
Stretches her feeble wings from coast to coast ; 
Hunts every path ; thinks every shade doth part 
Her absent love and her : at length, unsped. 
She re-betakes her to her lonely bed, 
And there bewails her everlasting widow-hed.' 

This, remarks Mr. Jackson, is very original in the expression. 
Tlie circumstance 

* Thinks every shade doth part 

Her absent love and her ' — 

is new, and exquisitely tender. The last line too is exceedingly 
poetic and impressive. 

We cannot, however, agree in the dispraise bestowed by that 
critic on a verse in the sixth emblem of the first book, and which, 
as characteristic of another peculiarity of Quarles's style, may here 
be cited — 


Digitized by 


1848.] Writings of Francis Ovaries. 245 

' Let Wit and all her studied plots effect 

The best they can ; 
Let smiling Fortune prosper and perfect 

What Wit b^an ; 
Let Earth advise with both, and so project , 

A happy man ; 
Let Wit or &wning Fortune vie their best ; 

He may be blest 
With all that Earth can give ; but Earth 

Can give no rest/ 

Is this, as it is termed, *an outrageous abuse of the world?' 
Certainly not The idea is common alike to the theologians and 
the pious poets ; and what is more, it is consistent with the uni- 
versal experience of mankind. Will any one take the affirmative, 
and maintain that wealth and worldly wisdom, with whatever else 
a transient life may bestow, are sufficient to make a happy man ? 
Will any one say that the multiplication of possessions and 
pleasures is the true means of happiness, or that m point of tajc^ 
earth, that is, temporal enjoyment, apart from religion, has ever, 
given rest to the mind ? If not, this assertion is not only not 
* outrageous,' but strictly true, as it is forcibly put. 

Nor can we agree witn the praise of the eulogist in comparing 
a passage of Quarles with that of Young — 

' See how the latter trumpet's dreadful blast 

Affrights stout Mars, his trembling son I 

See how he startles I how he stands aghast, 

And scrambles from his melting throne I 

Hark ! how the direful hand of vengeance tears 
The swelt'ring clouds ; whilst heav'n appears 
A circle fiU'd with flame, and centred with lus fears.' 

* Dr. Young,' says Jackson, ' has some lines on this subject 
which are much admired.' But though the subject be the same, 
it is differently circumstanced. Young's is a general description 
of the Last Judgment ; Quarles describes its effect on a single being 
who is supposed to have lived fearless of such an event : — 

' At the destined hour, 

By the load trumpet summon'd to the charge. 
See all the formidable sons of fire, 
Eruptions, earthquakes, comets, %htning8, play 
Their various engines ; all at once disgorge 
Their blazing magazines ; and take by storm 
This poor terrestnal citadel of man. 
Amazing period I when each mountain height 

VOL. II. NO. IV. 8 Out- 

Digitized by 


S46 Shetclies of the Life and [Oct. 

Out-burns Vesuvius ! — rocks eternal pour 
Their melted mass, as rivers once they pour'd ; 
Stars rush, and final JSutn fiercely drives 
Her ploughshare o'er creation/ 

^ Now to me,' observes Mr. Jackson, ' all this is a pestilent 
congregation of vapour. The formidable sons of fire spewing out 
blazing magazines — and Buiriy like a ploughman (or rather plough- 
woman), driving her ploughshare — are mean, incoherent images. 
How much more sublimely Quarles expresses the same, and 
indeed some additional ones, in the last three lines I' If this be 
not hypercritical, let the reader determine. It would only be 
necessary to change the terms a little, or alter the collocation of 
words, to render some of the finest of human productions ridi- 
culous. Take for example the very passage of Shakspeare 
recently quoted, and ask whether even his genius could resist the 
following alterations — * the wretched animal heaved forth such 
groans that the belching them out made his tou^h skin almost 
burst ;' and then, might the cold critic say, how absurd to make 
his ' tears run a race over his nose I' It may be taste, or a want 
of it, but truly it seems difficult to apprehend the contrasted 
sublimity of ' scrawblina Irom his throne,' and the ' hand of ven- 
geance tearing the stoeltring clouds.' It has been sometimes said 
the sublime and the ridiculous are nearly allied ; it is at any rate 
evident that a just discrimination is requisite to prevent the 
sublime from appearing ridiculous, and the ridiculous sublime. 
In oiu* judgment the two verses which follow the former one might 
have been quoted as more picturesque and more powerful : — 

' This is that day whose oft report hath worn 
Neglected tongues of prophets bare ; 
The faithless subject of the worldling's scorn. 
The sum of men and angels' prayer ; 

This, this the day whose all-discerning light 
Bansacks the secret dens of night, 
And severs g^ood from bad — true joys from false delight. 

You grov'lling worldlings — you, wliose wisdom trades 

Where Light ne'er shot his golden ray, 
That hide your actions in Cimmerian shades — 
How will your eyes endure this day ? 

Hills wUl be dead, and mountains will not hear ; 
There be no caves, no comers there, 
To shade your souls from fire, to shield your hearts firom fear.' 

Hieroglyphics^ or the Life of Man, is less various in its 
subjects, and briefer as a whole, than the Emblems, but not in- 
ferior in point of ingenuity. One theme is greatly diversified. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Writings of Francis Quarks. 247 

Life is a taper lighted by * an unknown flame which quickens his 
organs ;' it is then blown upon by the wind — wasted by trimming 
— guarded by angels, etc., each representation having its appro- 
priate motto and passage of Scripture, and its old-fashioned 
illustrative cut Every one is aware that the hicroglyphical 
method of communicatmg ideas was antecedent to the invention 
of letters, and as Warburton, in his * Divine Legation of Moses,' 
has stated, arose in its several species from nature and necessity. 
The first kind of hieroglyphics consisted of pictures; a moae 
adopted by the Mexicans for their laws and history. By what 
other means, indeed, could abstract ideas be intercommunicated 
in the ruder ages of the world ? Visible objects would naturally 
be employed to aid the conception of invisible things, and awaken 
the mutual sympathies of social beings. If it were desired to 
express strength and fortitude, the representation of a lion would 
be apposite and forcible ; or if docility and meekness, that of a 
lamb. Thus all creation might become a kind of symbolical 
chamber, replete with amusing and instructive delineations, while 
images of truth would reach the mental tabula as the figures of 
surrounding objects are reflected in the eye. By the combination 
of enigmatical symbols a variety of scenes may be presented to 
the mind ; and by making a principal circumstance illustrative of a 
combined mass of ideas, the power of picture-writing was greatly 
enhanced and extended. Thus in the hieroglyphics of Hora- 
poUo a battle is described by exhibiting two hands, one holding 
a shield, the other a bow; the imagination being led to con- 
ceive of the conflict of hostile forces, and thus representing 
something by the instrument of it, or one thing metaphorically for 
another : a sceptre suggests the notion of a xing, and a serpent 
in a circle, with variegated spots, the universe and its numberless 

It is believed that Hermes Trismegistus fiinit introduced hiero- 
glyphics into the heathen theology, whence they became associated 
m uie Jewish and Christian ; and on the ground stated by Hippo- 
crates, that sacred things should only be communicated to sacred 
persons, the Egyptians imparted their literary and religious secrets 
only to kings and priests. Warburton states that the Egyptians 
used their hieroglypliics two ways — the one more simple, by put- 
ting the part for tlie whole^ which was the curiologic hieroglypnic ; 
and the other more artificial, by putting one thing of resembling 
qualities for another, called the tropical hieroglyphic : thus the 
moon was sometimes represented by a half-circle, and sometimes 
by a cynocephalus. They employed tlieir proper hieroglyphics to 
record opemy and plainly their laws, politics, public morals, 
history, and all kiads of civil matters. Tnis is evident from their 

8 2 obelisks. 

Digitized by 


248 Shetc/ies oft/te Life and [Oct 

obelisks, which are fiill of hieroglyphic characters. The tropical 
hieroglyphics were used to divulge gradually produced symbols 
intended to conceal and wrap in mystery. Thus Egypt was 
sometimes expressed by a crocodile, sometimes by a burning 
censer with a heart upon it ; where the simplicity of the first 
representation and the abstruseness of the latter show that the 
one was a tropica] hieroglyphic for communication, the other a 
tropical symbol for secresy. 

it may be supposed as the invention of letters, which seem to 
have been in their first rude sketches imitations of external objects, 
superseded the use of symbols, and ideas became more fully and 
variously expressed through the refinements of language, that to 
adopt meroglyphical forms, as Quarles has done, to illustrate or 
enforce religious sentiment, was a retracing of the steps of im- 
provement, a return to the mere elements of knowledge, and the 
rudeness of barbarous ages. This, however, cannot be fairly 
alleged. The antiquity of pictorial representations shows they 
are true to nature and accordant vdth the earliest propensities and 
tastes of mankind, and consequeutlv adapted to produce permanent 
impressions. Besides, if we closely analyse the operations of the 
mind, it vdll be found that most ol our conceptions are connected 
with figurative representations, and that we are compelled to call 
in the aid of imagination to embody abstract ideas, and to fix our 
argumentative decisions. Scarcely any of our notions are, strictly 
speaking, abstract. The very blowing of the wind must be con- 
ceived of, as it aflects objects around us, ruffling the stream or 
bending the forest. Power, greatness, goodness, all suppose a 
being tnat is possessed of sudi Qualities, and that they exist as 
the manifestations of his agency. The invisibility of such a being, 
or of beings exhibiting these or other faculties, mcreases the diffi- 
culty of the conception, though it may have a tendency to purify 
and exalt it. But a condescending spirit of accommodation to 
human infirmity seems to have led to the primary revelations of 
Deity to man m the glory of external flame, the instrumentality 
of a rod, the towering magnificence of a pillar of cloud by day 
and fire by night, with other and successive demonstrations during 
the theocracy, and to the splendid adumbrations of the Apocalypse, 
displaying as in hieroglyphical scenery the future history of the 
world. The adoption of tnis method, therefore, is not the turning 
back to barbarism, but rather a happy combination of two modes 
of instruction, each having its separate advantages, and both 
together calculated, by bringing at once the mind and the senses 
into action, to give intensity to our moral and religious thoughts. 
This is the rather to be remarked since the taste of the present 
day, which is presumed to be in intellectual advance upon the 


Digitized by 


1848.] Writings of Francis Quarles. 249 

past, decidedly favours pictorial representations, and has intro- 
duced them into every department oi literature. 

The School of the Heart is intended to expose the nature 
of those disorders which sin has introduced, and to point out the 
cure. It is full of excellent sentiment, chiefly conveyed in dia- 
logue, Christ and the Sinner being sometimes the interlocutors. 
Generally, however, the heart utters its own feelings of repent- 
ance, humility, desire, and faith. There are no fewer than rorty- 
seven odes, mostly in the most restrained and quaint metres, 
bearing the titles of the Infection of the Heart, the Taking away of 
the Heart, the Darkness of the Heart, the Vanity of the Ifcart, and 
kindred subjects. The cutSy it must be admitted, are often ludi- 
crous ; and the poetry is, in oiu* opinion, generally inferior both to 
the Emblems and the Hieroglypnics. It required all Quarles's 
ingenuity to prolong one idea through so many pages, and to 
secure an instructive diversity. Still it possesses uie general 
character of his other productions sufficiently to render it worthy 
of preservation and perusal. A few verses selected from The 
Giving of tlie Heart will furnish an adequate idea of the style 
and manner of this production : — 

' Give thee mine heart ? Lord, so 1 would, 
And there 's great reason that I should, 

If it were worth the having ; 
Yet sure thou wilt esteem that good 
Which thou hast purchas'd with thy blood, 

And thought it worth the craving. 

* • * • « * 
Lord of my life, methinks I hear 

Thee say, that thee alone to fear, 

And thee alone to love, 
Is to bestow mine heart on thee ; 
That other giving none can be 

Whereof thou wilt approve. 

• « « « • 
Should I not love thee, blessed Lord, 
Who freely of thine own accord 

Laid*st down thy life for me ? 
For me, that was not dead alone, 
But desperately transcendent grown 

In enmity to thee ? 
« * » « « 

Lord, had I hearts a milHon, 
And myriads in every one 

Of choicest loves and fears ; 
They were too little to bestow 
On thee, to whom I all things owe — 

I should be in arrears. ' 


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250 Sketclm of the Life and [Oct. 

Grainger remarks that Solomon's Recantation^ entitled Ecelesi* 
astes Paraphrased^ with a Soliloquy or Meditation upon every 
Chapter^ is the best piece of poetry that Quarles wrote. It is 
undoubtedly in a considerable degree exempt from the conceits 
that abound in his other compositions, excepting in a few instances 
in the soliloquies, which are distinct from the paraphrase, and 
founded on its sentiments ; but it is also undistinguished by many 
of his brilliant touches. The nature of the work, indeed, scarcely 
admitted of either the one or the other. Its chief merit ought to 
be its adherence to the general sense of the original, expressed in 
harmonious versification, and such in truth it is ; harmonious, 
considering the time and disadvantages under which he wrote. 
The sense of the original is throughout well maintained ; it will 
always be worthy of perusal. Opening the book casually, the 
reader may light almost anywhere upon paraphrases as good as 
the following, which may be regarded as an average specimen of 
its excellence : — 

* A good reputed name is sweeter far 
Than breaths of aromatic ointments are ; 
And that sad day when first we drew our breath 
Is not so happy as the day of death. 
Better it is to be a funeral guest 
Than find the welcomes of a frolic feast. 
There may'st thou view thine end, and take occasion 
T* enrich thy thoughts with fruitful contemplation. 
Better to cloud thy fece with grief, than show 
The lavish wrinkles of a laughing brow ; 
For by the sad demeanour of thine eyes 
The heart 's instructed, and becomes more wise. 
The wise man's sober heart is always turning 
His wary footsteps to the house of mourning ; 
But fools consume and revel out the night 
In dalliance, and the day in loose delight.' 

Chap. vii. 1-4. 

The volume entitled Divine Fancies^ digested into Epigrams, 
Meditations^ and Observations, possesses great merit of the kind 
peculiar to Quarles and writers of his class. The sentiment is 
never-failingly good, but the maimer of its development is as 
usual curious enough : for mstance : — 

' On the Sacraments. 
^ The loaves of bread were five, the fishes two. 
Whereof the multitude was made partaker. 
Who made the fishes? God.— But tell me who 

Gave being to the loaves of bread ? The baker. 
Ev'n 80 these sacraments, which some call seven : 
Five were ordain'd by man, and two by Heaven.' 

* On 

Digitized by 


1848.] Writingi of Francis Quarks. 261 

' On the Hypocrite. 

^ No man's condition is so base as his ; 
None more accurs'd than he ; for man esteems 
Him hateful, 'cause he seems not what he is ; 
God hates him, 'cause he is not what he seems : 
What grief is absent, or what mischief can 
Be added to the hate of God and man ? ' 

One might cull innumerable little gems from this interesting 
cabinet, such aa — 

' We rail at Judas — him that did betray 
The Lord of life — ^yet do it day by day.* 

The mind of Quarles seemed to flow into poetry as naturally 
as the fountain into streams ; yet when he did write in prose, it 
was with power and pathos. In 1641 he produced a work of 
didactic morality, of the greatest merit. It is in reality full of 
practical wisdom, and perhaps merits the eulogium of Mr. 
Headley,'' ' Had this little piece been written at Athens or Rome, 
its author would have been classed with the wise men of his 
country.' In point of fact it has acquired much and lasting cele- 
brity, and, although several times reprinted, is now scarce. The 
first edition is in the British Museum ; and, as a matter of curiosity, 
it will not be displeasing to the reader to see the title-page in its 
original form. 


Institutions . 


DiYiNE J Contemplative. 


Fra. Quables. 

Printed at London by T. Coles, for 6. Huttov, in Ttame-stile-AlIey 
in Holbourae, 1641.' 

One or two extracts may suffice to show the nature of the 
work : — 

*• When the humours of the people are stirred by discontent or 
popular gprief, it is wisdom in a prince to give them moderate liberty 
to evaporate. Ue that turns the humour back too hastily makes the 
wound bleed inwardly, and fills the body with malignity.' — Cap. 67. 

' So long as thou art ignorant, be not ashamed to learn. He that is 
so fondly modest, not to acknowledge his own defects of knowledge, 

fc Lect. on Early Eng. Poetry. 


Digitized by 


252 Life and Writings of Francis Quarles. [Oct 

shall, in time, be so foully impudent to justify his own ignorance. 
Ignorance is the greatest of all infirmities ; and justified, the chiefest 
of all follies/— Cap. 92. 

^ Let the end of thy argument be rather to discover a doubtful truth 
than a commanding wit. In the one thou shalt gain substance ; in the 
other froth. That flint strikes the steel in vain that propagates no 
sparkles. Covet to be Truth's champion ; at least to hold her colours. 
He that pleads against the truth, takes pains to be overthrown ; or, if a 
conqueror, gains but &lse glory by the conquest.' — Cap. 22 {Cent, 2). 

' If thou hide thy treasure upon the earth, how canst thou expect to 
find it in heaven ? Canst thou hope to be a sharer where thou hast 
reposed no stock ? What thou givest to Grod's glory, and thy soul's 
h^th, is laid up in heaven, and is only thine ; that alone which thou 
exchangest, or hidest upon earth, is lost.' — Cap. 29. 

It must not be concealed that Quarles wrote some absurd 
pieces. Let them be assigned to a merited oblivion, but let not 
nis name be scoffed at on their account. There are many precious 
stones, as has been shown, among the pebbles; and they had 
better be gathered than thrown away. Whether his writings be, 
in connection with others of a similar cast, regarded as indicative 
or creative of the spirit of the age in which toey were produced, 
thej possess alike an intrinsic and historical interest. Li a word, 
if just and pious sentiment disgust, because clothed in an anti- 
quated dress or tinged with a religious enthusiasm — ^if it be not 
deemed worth while to traverse a region of rude rhymes and 
curious, perchance monstrous analogies, even though abundantly 
variesateid with the lilies and roses of a beaubful fancy, let 
Quarles be laid aside and forgotten ; but if the service he has 
rendered to sacred literature ought to be remembered, — ^if enter- 
tainment and instruction be desired for forthcoming generations 
calculated, however oddly expressed, to awaken their attention to 
important truths ; and if honour should be civen to whom honour 
is due, — then let Quarles (in a well-selected edition of his 
writings) never want a defender, nor a shelf to stand upon in our 
choicest libraries. 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

1848.] ( 253 ) 


By the Rev. Badbn Powell, M.A., F.R.S., 

Samlian Professor of Geometry in the University of Orford, 

The great principle of all Protestantism, the sufficiency of Scrip- 
ture^ or that it alone contains all things necessary to salyation, 
while it has been by some undervalued or rejected, by others has 
been stretched beyond all reasonable bounds ; and, while one party 
would reduce the office of Scripture to a mere confirmation or pre- 
viously-framed dogmas, another has been prone to find in it a 
species of literal authority which overrules all rational consi- 

In venturing to think for themselves in opposition to the pre- 
scriptive authority of the body calling itself the Church, the appeal 
of the Reformers necessarily was to me written Word alone as the 
sole authoritative or authentic depository of doctrines and precepts. 
Its decisions were to be received as final, and nothing insisted on 
as necessary truth but what was directly and distinctly delivered 
in the Divine Word according to its right sense and reasonable 

But this would of course imply some discriminating study of the 
sacred volume, and might involve considerable labour and be 
encompassed with many obstacles requiring much perseverance to 
surmount, and, after all, must (from the very nature of the prin- 
ciple) admit of endless diversity in the interpretation of Scripture 
doctrine. To have no other resource than an authority surrounded 
by so many difficulties^ would obriously but ill supply the loss of 
that comfortable certamty and undisturbed repose which the minds 
and consciences of men had been accustomed to enjoy in the bosom 
of an infallible church. And accordingly teachers were not long 
wanting professing to remedy this deficiency, and prej^ed wit£ 
methocb of religious assurance not less oracular in their preten- 
sions, and even more easy of application. 

The actual text of the Bible, it was contended, was wholly and 
entirely the very dictation of the Holy Spirit— every sentence — 
every expression — every word — the very breathing of inspiration : 
the entire volume one systematic complete scheme of truth, reli- 
gious, civil, and social — nay, even political, historical, and scien- 
tific—delivered into the hands of the faithful, who, at the same 


Digitized by 


254 On the Application and [Oct. 

time endowed with supernatural illumination, were enabled at 
once to see and to understand the whole compass and meaning of 
its contents : every part of which had its du*ect and immediate 
application, for nothmg was to be supposed written by inspiration, 
but what was addressed alike to readers in all ages and under all 
circumstances — not a sentence, not a word was to be overlooked — 
not a passage, however apparently barren of instruction, which was 
not to be made fruitful — not an expression, however apparently 
trivial, which had not its hidden and mystical meaning discover- 
able at once by the pfted reader. Discrepancies were not to be 
regarded, for each part must needs harmonize with every other part ; 
and the notion of orawing any distinction as to the different object^ 
design^ or application of different parts of Scripture — of regardinff 
any diversities of time, place, or circumstances, was accounted 
Kttle less than profane ; to question the rigidly literal sense of 
every passage or its immediate application in all particulars to men 
in all times, was looked upon as equivalent to little. less than ques* 
tioning its divine character altogether. If a doctrine was to be 
maintained, it sufficed to find anywhere within the limits of the 
sacred volume, any passage, the words of which, abstractedly taken, 
might apparently contain or imply it : to think of connection with 
the context, or of any other considerations which might limit or 
elucidate the meaning, was unnecessary, and in fact little less than 
impious. If a duty was to be enforced, a precept anywhere 
extracted from the sacred writings was held equally applicable to 
all persons under all circumstances, and in all ages. 

That such should be the view tsJcen by illiterate fanatics is no 
more than might be expected ; but that a mode of proceeding, 
little different from this in principle, has been common even among 
the superior class of divines, will hardly be disputed by any one 
at all versed in theological writings. And that it prevails widely, 
even at the present day, is as little questionable by any one who 
canvasses with but common precision the language and argument 
of hundreds of ordinary religious discourses and publications. But 
it will not be surprising that such notions should find ready accept^ 
ance with a lar^e portion of mankind; for, without going the 
lengths of fanaticism, even for the individual to have open before 
him an unerring oracle, every word and sentence of which he may 
take without further examination or consideration, as propounded 
immediately to himself from above, is an easy resource, which 
relieves him at once from all labour and perplexity in searching 
the Scriptures ; an object of all things the most desirable to human 

And in thus adopting without inquiry the first sense which 
appears on the surface, or which his imagination sees there, the 


Digitized by 


1848.] Misapplication of Scripture, 256 

reader comforts himself with the reflection that he is discharging a 
duty of reverence to the divine word, and claims ground of self- 
commendation for the exercise of much spiritual humility in thus 
placing his trust in the inspired text, and not presuming to be wise 
above that which is written : and assures himself that he is at least 
adopting a safe mode of interpretation. It would seem as if the 
theologian, in entering upon the field of sacred research, thought 
it not only allowable, but necessary, to discard all those principles 
of interpretation which he would in common reason have adopted 
in the exposition of any secular writings : and that the distinc- 
tions which in other cases are forced upon the attention, between 
fact and metaphor — between history and poetry — between local 
and national allusions, and truths of universal application, were all 
to be laid aside when the volume of Scripture was opened : that its 
contents were to be examined by some other rule : peculiarities 
and allusions, allegory and matter of fact, the connection of argu- 
ment, and the rererence to times, places, persons, and circum- 
stances, were all to be lost sight of in one undistinguishing blind 
adherence to the mere letter of texts : that the divine will was to be 
recognised in the mere letter of any single passage taken promis- 
cuously anywhere out of the multifarious writings contained in the 
volume of the Scriptures, new or old, Jewish or Christian, and 
applied with equal disregard of the context from which it was 
'wrested, or the conditions of the case to which it was to be 

A mass, of heterogeneous testimonies were thus strangely 
brought together to mix in a dogmatic system ; or, as an eminent 
writer has expressed it, ' They made an anagram of Scripture.' 
Instead of the rational, humble, and patient endeavour to discover 
the meaning probably designed in the *mind of the writer,' it 
seemed to be supposed that the sense of the text was rather to be 
disclosed by some mystical power in its mere letter, acting on the 
mind of the privileged reader. 

The belief in the iiispired character of Scripture majr of course 
impose peculiar restrictions on the course to be pursued in examin- 
ing its contents ; but allowing for considerable difference of opinion 
as to the meaning and extent of inspiration, it yet by no means 
follows that this consideration should make a difference so entire 
in kind, as that often supposed, in the way by which we are to seek 
to arrive at the meaning, or make our applications of the contents 
of the sacred books, whose instructions were all conveyed in human 
language and addressed through the medium of human ideas. 

The extreme doctrine of the enthusiast who rests in the mere 
letter of every detached text, as a direct message from on high to 
himself, extravagant as it may appear when broadly avowed, is no 


Digitized by 


256 On the Application and [Oct 

more than what, a little modified and softened down, coincides with 
impressions much more generally adopted. And we commonly 
find, too, the mass of mere worldly-minded nominal ChristiaDS 
most forward to pay this sort of blind, but easy, homage to Scrip- 
ture. The ^eat majority of ordinary professing believers follow 
' without inquiry the same mdiscriminate devotion to the mere letter 
of the sacred text, as a conventional and established point of reli- 
gion, without a thought as to its real purport, and even with a 
feeling of ofience and disgust at any attempt to break in upon the 
illusion, and to supply views of the subject more accordant with 
truth and reason, which they condemn as unsettling men's minds, 
hazarding the stability of established systems, and endangering the 
cause of religion ana all social obligations, and which the more 
zealous dogmatists no less anathematize as subverting the Word 
of God and undermining the Gospel of Christ 

That such ideas should prevail among the many is, indeed, not 
surprising, when we consider the fearful deficiency of all habits of 
reflection or inquiry on the subject. But that the same ignorant 
notions should also be commonly avowed or betrayed among 
those of better information, and even among the ministers of reli- 
gion, might excite surprise, did we not remark that, as this mode 
of referring to Scripture afibrds on the one hand (as we have 
already observed) an easy means of satisfying an uninquiring faith 
among the many ; so, on tne other hand, among the better instructed 
and instructors, it supplies a scarcely less ready mode of support- 
ing the cause of a party, of defending a peculiar dogmatic system, 
or of retaining a powerful and convenient hold on the minds of the 
multitude. But even honestly these ideas are almost unconsciously 
adopted in very many instances : where fi*om long habit no suspi- 
cion of their reasonableness has ever crossed the mind. Yet there 
can surely be few of the most ordinary discernment who do not, 
the moment it is simply stated, admit the imreasonableness of 
appealing to the isolated letter of a Scripture text in a way which 
they would reject as utterly puerile if it applied to any other 

' It shall greately helpe ye to understande Scripture, yf thou 
marke not onely what is spoken or wrytten, but of whom, and to 
whom, with what wordes, at what time, where, to what intent, with 
what circumstance, consyderynge what goeth before, and what fol- 
loweth ' (Myles Coverdale's Prologue unto the Christian Reader, 
Trans, of Bible, 15351 

Such is the simple out pithy advice of the Reformer. Its home- 
liness may be despised by some, but its importance may be better 
estimated from the continual errors into which some fall from the 
neglect of it. To show that the authority we quote was really 


Digitized by 


1848.] Misapplication of Scripture. 257 

designed to apply to the question in hand, were it not so, often 
overlooked, woula form a rule too obvious to require formally 
adverting to. The assertion of the inspiration of Scriijture is one 
thing : tne consideration of the purposes for which it is inspired, 
is another: while it is difficult to see how any one, in these 
obvious distinctions, can find ground of disparagement to the 
value of any portion of the Bible, or to the religious use which 
may be made of it by the discerning and enlightened Christian 
who * rightly divides the word of truth.' 

About the period of the Reformation, we perceive, in the preva- 
lence of this extreme worship of the mere letter of Scripture, the 
strong reaction of the emancipated spirit of Biblical inquiry, not 
as yet exercised in the more comprehensive and rational principles 
of interpretation ; but even to later times a similar spirit has been 
propagated, when the advance of intelligence, and the comparative 
cessation of those stirring causes of high excitement which accom- 
panied that great movement, might, in some degree, have been 
expected to be favourable to more calm and rational views. 

The literal application of texts has been the stronghold of theo- 
logical doffmatism in all schools ; and though, at the present day, 
we cannot but hope that a better spirit is manifesting itself among 
enlightened divines of all communions, yet if we look back at 
many of the harsh and almost revolting schemes of narrow doc- 
trine and illiberal exclusiveness which have characterized various 
parties, we may trace their strength to the predominance of this 
blind and bigoted adherence to a literal immediate application of 
Scripture, without distinction of times or circumstances. Never- 
theless, it must be owned that such systems have often had a con- 
sistency and completeness within themselves, which has formed 
their recommendation to acceptance with many. This first prin- 
cipje once admitted, they have appeared to stand on unassailable 
ground : fenced about with an array of texts, they defy the attacks 
of opponents. 

Thus, e, ff.y the system of Antinomianism has found many 
supporters. Built upon the literal application of peculiar Scrip- 
tural expressions, a system assailing the foundations of morality 
triumphed. Referring everything to the Divine counsels, irrespec- 
tively of their just interpretation, the most revolting conclusions 
appeared obvious inferences. Laying hold of certain detached 
texts, without regard to the grand characteristics evinced in the 
progressive development of the Divine dispensations, the advo- 
cates of these views discarded all moral considerations as carnal, 
and thence contended that all moral obedience is mere bondage ; 
the letter of the Divine law is merely the sentence of our condem- 
nation. In a word^ all distinction of goodness and wickedness is 


Digitized by 


258 On tlie Application and [Oct. 

purely arbitrary ; all notion of moral right or wrong, moral merit 
or demerit in our actions, results merely from the corrupt standard 
of our natural reason. Hence the denial of moral distinctions 
or responsibility in the carnal sense of the term. Hence men 
may sm without any conscious ill intention. Hence the most 
immoral profligate, and the man of the most heroic moral virtue, 
may be equally reprobates ; or, as Augustine said, ' the highest 
virtues of the heatnen were but splendid sins.' 

Extravagant and portentous as tnese and some other closely allied 
systems, followed out to their legitimate consequences, may appear, 
still, so long as the first principle of Scripture literalism is admitted^ 
they are unassailable. They have, as bishop Warburton once ob- 
served, no weak side of common sense on which they can be attacked. 
The way, and the only way, by which we can escape these re- 
volting inferences, is by the unhesitathig adoption of the simple 
ground of ratiorial interpretation^ the admission of an appeal to 
reason, the preference of the obvious and natiu*al to the hidden 
and mystical sense. The recognition of the conclusions of natural 
theology and morality, to correct and guide our conception of the 
declarations of revelation; the allowance of critical, historical, 
and philological aid in determining the sense of passages according 
to the context, and the general design of the composition, and 
tenor of the argument, of wliich they may form a part ; the re- 
ference to distinctions of time, place, and circumstances; of 
manners, prejudices, and opinions-; the due perception of meta- 
phor and allegory ; and the broad rule of qualifying particular 
assertions by the general tenor of Scripture. 

Let us but look into the works of those divines who are esteemed 
as the ^ most orthodox ' opponents of fanatical doctrines of these 
and other kinds here glanced at ; and what are their arguments 
throughout, but a continual exemplification and practical ac- 
knowledgment of the justice of the rules and principles here 
advocated ? 

The texts alleged by the ultra-predestinarian, the antinomian, 
and the like religionists, are examined and found to bear no real 
testimony of the kind supposed, because in one the expression is 
properly metaphorical ; in another it refers to some peculiarity 
of the Jewish dispensation ; in a third, it is not to be strained too 
literally, or is to be explained and modified by the context : or it 
is merely an accommodation of a passage in the Old Testament 
to the subject in hand, or containing particular declarations which 
are not to be unduly and exclusively dwelt upon ; but we are to 
be guided by the general tenor of divine revelation, and, above all, 
by the reference to what is consistent with the divine perfections, 
the moral nature of man, and his relation to his Creator. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Misapplication of Scripture, 259 

Such is the universal tenor of the writings of this respectable 
class of divines ; but it is remarkable how little they often seem 
to apprehend the force of their own principles — how readily they 
condemn as most dangerous neologism and heresy, opinions of 
other kinds, supported by the very same modes of interpretation 
and criticism on which they take their stand against the fanatical 
opinions alluded to. If the appeal to the same primary truths or 
rational rules of interpretation be allowed, then any other doctrine 
to which such principles may be applicable, though supported by 
the most formidable array of texts, may on such grounds be equally 
set aside ; that is, the texts will require a modified interpretation. 
Thus, e, ^., it is on no other ground than that on which some reject 
the tenet of reprobation, that others discard the eternity of future 
punishments altogether, or the theories of imputed sin and the 
divine satisfaction. 

Again, if we are to follow a slavish adherence to the letter of 
textSy we must unavoidably adopt the tenets of transubstantiation 
and unction of the sick. And when we hear some Protestant 
divines attacking those tenets, as superstitious or repugnant to 
reason^ we cannot but observe tliat they seem to forget the con- 
cessions involved. 

Gibbon relates that at one period of his life, he rejoiced at 
discovering a philosophical argument against transubstantiation ; 
as if in one sense it needed it, or in another could be affected by 
it. If the mere letter of divine dogmas (whether written or 
traditional) is to be impUcitly followed, then the real presence, 
though at once a miracle and a mystery, is not more at variance 
with reason than other miracles or mysteries ; on the other hand, 
the same arguments by which it is commonly set aside, would 
equally condemn some doctrines retained by Protestants, not per- 
haps intrinsically more level to the comprehension, or consistent 
with the theories which human imagination may suggest. 

But in another class of opinions very widely entertained at the 
present day, we may find further and important illustration of the 
principles here imder examination. 

Obligations of a practical kind have been supposed to arise out 
of passages even in the earliest and most obscure portions of 4he 
Old Testament ; and in what are represented in them as intima- 
tions of the divine will to individuals or nations (however pecu- 
liarly circumstanced, or in however remote an age), rules of more 
lasting, and even universal, application have been believed to have 
been intended. And some notions of this kind have become so 
generally prevalent, as even to lead to the impression, that the 
very basis of religious and moral duty is involved in these distant 
and imperfect announcements of the divine commands, delivered 


Digitized by 


260 On t/ie Applicatum and [Oct 

under such widely different circumstances to those at present 
prevailing. Thus (as has been already in some de^e noticed) 
theories have been largely adopted, in accordance with which the 
authority and obligations of the Jewish law haye been mixed up 
with those of the universal gospel, the precepts of the Old Testa- 
ment with those of the New, the religion of the Hebrew nation 
with the cathoUc religion of Christ, in ways which, to an unpre- 
possessed mind, would appear very extraordinary. If we profess 
to receive the New Testament as the record of Christianity, it 
must be apparent that on this subject we can obttdn information 
from no other source than the recorded declarations of the autho- 
rized teachers of Christianity. But even these, under the influ- 
ence of some of the theories already referred to, have been often 
interpreted in a sense widely remote from that which a due con- 
sideration of the circumstances under which they were delivered 
would seem to warrant. 

We know nothing of the Old Testament, of its precepts, or of 
its doctrines, except from the reference to it which is made by our 
teachers in ttie New. We can understand and apply it solely as 
they have represented its. claims; or be guided by it only so tax^ 
and in such a sense, as Uiey have taught us to apply it The 
frequent practice adopted both by Jesus Christ himself, the evan- 
gelists, and apostles, of appropriating to the pur[>ose immediately 
m hand passages from die Old Testament, which, except from 
such application, would not appear to have any, or at most only 
some verbal or accidental resemblance to the case, is one which 
cannot warrant such a practice among us at the present day, 
much less support the authority which some would give to the 
Old Testament law as applying to Gentile Christians. 

Christ and his apostles, in fact, refer to the Old Testament solely 
as argument potent with those they addressed^ and calculated 
to confirm some more extended Christian precept, as an illustration 
of some Christian truth, or as suggesting some analoey by which 
a Christian sense may be put upon the expressions or mcidents of 
the Mosaic or prophetical writings.* 

In doing so, however, the apostles doubtless make use of these 
allusions as a vehicle of much real and Christian instruction. But 

■ * Hoc prsBcipne consilio scimus et Christum et Apostolos ssepe adhibnifise e libris 
hebndcis sacris, aliqnas sententias aut historias ; non vero id egisse at cseteri omDes 
homines Jadsorum cunctas opiniones domesticas studiosissime arriperent, qnibus 
populi hujus omnis historia non sine superstitione solebat consecrari,^ atque religio 

lUa wwfjLoros kou a\ri0€ias per reverentiam in «t«xa <rrotxcxa impediri 

Ista qnas hie breviter observamas si quis omnia neglexerit commiBcebit in- 

spirationem atque oiKwofuay divinam com ipsa catholic^, revelatione : atqae non 
solum difficilis atqae 'molestns ad alios interpres, sed etiam impotens religionis 
ChristiazuB defensor fuerit'— Semler, Irutit. Breo. § ix. : see also § zxxii., p. 7, 8. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Misapplication of Scripture. 261 

the essential truths must not be confounded with the peculiar forms 
of adaptation in which the religion and laws of a particular dispen- 
sation were conyeyed. Real instruction may be dedudble, indeed, 
but it is not always that which lies on the surface. In seeking it, 
we can only be guided by the teaching of the apostles, as in Kom. 
XV., 1 Cor. X. If we would make tiie Old Testament applicable, 
it must only be in the way and in the sense taught by the New. 

Such are a few remarkable instances which distinctly evince the 
necessity for more rational considerations, and more enlightened 
principles of interpretation than many seem inclined to allow in 
the process of applying Scripture. In these instances every in- 
quirer of common discernment cannot but see and own the 
necessity for such use of reason in elucidating the true meaning 
of revelation. There are, nevertheless, those who exclaim against 
all such views as rationalistic. Yet, when closely examined, it is 
found that the broad principles referred to are no others than 
those which no theology beyond the lowest fanaticism can possibly 
dispense with. 

The legitimate use of the ruks of reasonable criticism can 
never be foreign to the investigation of truths professedly depend- 
ent on the right understanding of written records. It can only 
be the abuse and perversion of such criticism which can be fairly 
open to suspicion or reproach. 

But so wholly unreflecting is the ordinary mode of regarding 
the sacred volume, so little are professing believers given to think 
on or examine the pounds of their reception of its contents, and 
so narrow the prejudice on which, ratner than on any rational 
conviction, their veneration for the divine word is too commonly 
cherished ; and we must add, so great the ignorance in which the 
young (and not OTily the young) are often studiously kept on these 
points, and on whidi our divines are too often unwilling to allow 
others or even themselves the privilege of further enlightenment, 
— that upon the whole we can hardly be surprised at the preva- 
lence at once of narrow and unworthy views of Christianity, and 
the dread felt by the many at any attempt to inquire into its real 
doctrines in a more liberal spirit of free mquiry ; or that the very 
agitation of any question tending in the least to impugn what has 
received the sanction of established authority and admitted con- 
sent, should be denounced as dangerous and heretical. 

But the views thus combated as to the immediate and literal 
application of Scripture, whether in the more extreme or in the 
more modified sense, have been often defended on the plea, doubt- 
less, in a certain sense, most true and just, that the Bible altogether 
is one harmonious whole ; — that all its parts being no less than 
the dictation of one And the same Divine spirit, cannot but con- 

voL. II. — NO. IV. T spire 

Digitized by 


262 On Oe Applicatim and [Oct. 

spire together to one end and purport, and thns eveiy part must 
be -taken in connection with the rest, and from the close combina- 
tion of them all, one system of truth and duty must result. Now 
without in the least disparaging the general assertion, we may yet 
view this connected whole with a due reference to the mbordina- 
tion and distinctness of its several parts — and it will in no way 
follow from this view that a precept or institution delivered under 
one dispensation or one state of things will at all apply under 
another and a different stage of the deyelopment of the divine 
economy of grace. It is from the neglect of this conaderaticm 
that most of the allegations as to the moral law, the obligations of 
primeval institutions, the Sabbath, and other ordinances, take 
their origin. 

In a former article * On the Law and the Gospel' (No. U.) I 
have exemplified at large those views of the Christian dispensation 
which appear to me to result from duly taking into account those 
more reasonable principles of Scripture-application, which are here 
more specially aavert^ to. I have there noticed many opinions 
which are at present widely prevalent among British and American 
divines, as not a little at variance with such rational interpretation 
of Scripture. What I am anxious now to innst on is, that in all 
these cases^ the question really at isstte is^ Icanceivej a question of 
FIRST PRINCIPLES. If the literolist principle be granted even in 
its more modified form, those opinions with r^pird to the law and 
the Sabbath will no doubt follow as direct consequences. Into the 
various minor points of difference, such as the verbal int^retation 
of particular passages and the like, I do not now pretend to enter. 
My reasons in support of those interpretations ¥nll be suflSciently 
apparent from the remarks made in that article, as well as in 
others therein referred to. At present my object is to recall 
attention solely to the broad principles on which any such inquiries 
must be conducted ; and this more particularly from the appearance 
in the last number (III.) of this Journal of an article ' On the 
Christian Sabbatii,' by the Rev. P. Meams, in which that divine 
has with much zeal, diligence, and eloquence reproduced and 
enforced all the standard arguments (induding I believe all that 
can be urged) on the side of the question he has eqioused. It is 
not my intention to enter on any controversial details on the subject 
I merely wish here to observe that (as appears by the note ap- 
pended to my article in No. II.), Mr. Meams' paper was in the 
Editor's hands before mine appeared. Hence though we have 
each touched on nearly all the same topics, and though we each 
take for the most part totalljr opposite views of each point fi-om 
the fiu^ts of the case just mentioned, we both stand relieved from 
the otherwise unpleasant appearance of assuming an attitude of 


Digitized by 


1848.] Misapplication of Scripture. 263 

hostility. Our several views of each particular text or authority 
referred to are before the readers of this Journal, and to their 
candid judgment may be confidently left. 

I merely wish here to repeat my conviction that the whole is a 
question of first principles. The entire fabric and structure of the 
popular argument in support of the law and of the Sabbath is 
entirely buut up on the supposition of the amalgamation of all 
parts of Scripture into one, and the neglect of these distinctions 
which appear to me so essential between the different conditions 
implied m the successive portions of the divine dispensations. 
The advocates of these opinions seem to disregard altogether such 
considerations as these ; — ^that religious institutions anterior to the 
law of Moses are not therefore of any obligation at a later period, 
or designed for general adoption anymore than that law itself; 
that the predictions of the prophets as to the spread of the worship 
and kingdom of Jehovah must taivlj and consistently be inter- 
preted either as referring literally to the spread of proeelytism and 
the literal observance of the Sabbatiis and other ordinances of the 
law, or else spiritually to the spread of the Gospel, and by conse- 
quence to the Sabbaths and offerings interpreted in a figurative 
sense, as meaning typically the perpetual and spiritual Christian 
service and the future rest reserved for the faithful : — that the 
precepts and admonitions of our Lord respecting the law and the 
Sabbath were all addressed to the Jews as yet living under the law 
then in force : — ^while on the otiier hand the declarations of the 
aposties are explicit and unreserved, without ambiguity or excep- 
tion as to the emancipation even of the Jew from the terms of the 
old covenant, and as to the total absence of all such obligations 
in the case of the Gentiles— obligations whicli, as they had never 
existed^ could not be now imposed. Lastiy, that as to the apostolic 
authority for any observances in the Christian church, such as 'the 
Lord's f)ay, we have no right to form any conclusions beyond 
what the positive evidence of the New Testament history warrants, 
and from which it cannot possibly be mixed up with the Sabbath. 
These are a few of the General Considerations to which I would 
refer as those on which the views of any person ought to be pre- 
viously made up before he enters on the mere discussioii of particular 
authorities and passages in detail. 

There is only one point to which I would advert more parti- 
cularly, viz., it surprises me to find a writer of evidently so ex- 
tended reading and information as Mr. Mearos assuming, as if 
wholly unaware of the progress of opinion on the point, the literal 
authority of the Hebrew cosmogony, and in fact mainly grounding 
his argument on the narrative of the creation and the primseyal 
sanctincation of the seventh day: whereas no competentiy in- 

T 2 formed 

Digitized by 


264 On tlie Application and [Oct. 

formed person at the present day, I should have thought, could he 
ignorant that the now firmly established inductive tnittis of geology 
entirely overthrow the historical character of the narrative of the 
six days, and, by consequence, that respecting the seventh along 
with it. I need not here press this point farther, as I have already 
in other places gone faUy into the subject.** 

But apart from these considerations, this is in fact one of those 
eases which afibrd the most striking illustration of the general 
argument of the present essay. It is a remarkable instance, which 
shows the absolute necessity for more rational and discriminating 
views of the purport of Scripture than are commonly adopted, if we 
would avoid the only alternative, that of discrediting its truth alto- 
gether. No one competently informed on tiie subject can seriously 
reflect on the remarkable and notorious contradiction existing 
between the facts disclosed at the present iisLyhj geological research^ 
and the representations given of the creation in certain passages of the 
Old Testament, as literally understood, without perceiving that it is 
a subject which directly involves a train of consequences, bearing 
on the entire view we must take of the nature and tenor of revela- 
tion, and the discussion of which, the more we consider it, must be 
admitted to form a remarkable epoch in the history of theological 
opinions. Yet there are many who, whatever particular view of 
the subject they adopt, do not seem as yet disposed to assign it 
this degree of importance; but think the difiiculty sufficiently 
solved by the general remark that revelation cannot really be in- 
consistent with physical truth : and then to leave it without farther 
question or examination. Here, however, a distinct point not of 
abstract doctrine, but connected with tangible matter offact^ is 
brought to light, by which a positive renunciation is demanded of 
much which has been hitherto held sacred. Here the disclosing is 
not) and cannot be misrepresented as, mere matter of speculation 
and theory, but comes with the claim of evidence and certainty ; 
and when on the strength of such disclosure an unanswerable con- 
tradiction is made out, it is of material import : the case is not 
one which involves merely the question of the literal acceptation of 
a word or phrase ; it is not a parallel case with that {e. g,) of the 
incidental iScriptural expressions, implying the motion of the sun, 
or the existence of a solid firmament ; nor is it of the nature of 
any sceptical objection to a miraculous narrative ; but is an appeal 
to existing monuments of the process of the formation of the crust 

^ See my Connection of Natural and Divine TVuth, and article Creation, Kitto'8 
Cyclopadia if Biblical Literature, — ^Author. 

Among the Ohseryationg on Scripture in the present Number of the Journal, the 
reader will' find an interesting letter from an esteemed contributor, vith reference 
to ^e same view which is here advanced. — Editob. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Misapplication of Scripture. 265 

of the earth ; and this stands in obvious contradiction to what is 
recorded as the divine declaration from Mount Sinai in the form 
of a circumstantial narrative of the origin of the world. The dis-* 
crepancy is not one with any theory or partial discovery of science 
which future investigations may set aside, but with those primary 
facts which involve nothing hypothetical, about which no difference 
of opinion exists, and whicn are mixed up with the first principles 
not only of geology but of all inductive truth. Various interpreta- 
tions 01 the passages were once in vogue, suggested with a view of 
softening down the difficulty, but which recdly do no more than 
gloss it over rather than in any degree remove it. But these various 
expositions, however unsatisfactory in themselves, have yet been so 
far useful that they have in some measure prepared the public 
mind for more full and honest disclosures of tlie truth. And it is 
now generally allowed that as the only rational course, we are 
driven to confess that ux cannot regard the letter of the representa- 
tion as designed for a positive history of facts : our only alternative 
is to regard that which is not history aa poetry , if we would avoid 
impugning the truth of these accounts altogew£r.« 

The theological objections and the religious difficulties felt by 
many at the avowal of this consideration arise wholly from the 
adoption of those peculiar views with regard to the connection of 
the Old Testament dispensations with Christianity to which we 
have above referred. Difficulties of this kind therefore can only 
be removed bv those wider views to which the more careful study 
of the New Testament leads as to the limited design of the 
judaical revelation, whether as delivered from Sinai or afterwards 
amplified in the books of Moses. And the more the genius and 
spirit of Christianity is studied as a religion designed for all 
nations, and under which the peculiar institutions of older dis- 
pensations have no place, the more clearly will the topics so 
closely involved in the narrative of the creation be acknowledged 
as forming no part of the Gospel : and, in consequence, the con- 
templation of the contradiction in question will be regarded as 
even eminently useful and valuable, and, instead of injuring, as 
tending rather to enhance and uphold the purity of Cmistianity, 
by palpably reminding us of the distinction. 

But to return : I would only further observe that the discussion 
of questions relative to the law and the Sabbath seems to excite 
too commonly a far more violently polemical spirit than almost any 
others, — an evil, surely, to be strongly deprecated. Again, apart 

<> Josephus says (Pref, to Antiq.) that Moses wrote many thlogs enigmatically 
and metaphoricallyr 


Digitized by 


266 On the Applieatum and [Oct. 

from this, such discussions are too often carried on in the manner of a 
mere conflict, in which ^ther combatant is merely bent upon urging 
such topics as may make most strongly for his own side : bandyinff 
arguments and parading a host of texts. I do not think the truth 
in any case likely to be promoted by such a mode of proceeding. 
In the present instance especially I conceive the subject is one in- 
Tolvine those broader prindples which must be collected from a 
candid and rational inquiry into the historical characteristics of the 
several portions of the divine dispensations recorded in the Bible, 
and b^ looking at passages in accordance with the entire argument 
of which they form a part. The question ou^ht not to oe ap« 
proached in a polemical spirit, but will receive its solution to each 
inquirer's mind in proportion as he endeavours to look at Chris- 
tianity as a whole, in its purely evangelical character as elicited 
by a rational examination of the New Testament. Its historical 
peculiarities are precisely those which involve in a very prominent 
place the class of questions here referred to. It no doubt appeared 
to the world in the first instance imder a sort of Jewish guise, but 
it was soon seen by the intelligent Gentile inquirer that any such 
seeming appendages were only the results of a temporary adherence 
to Jewish prejudices and national peculiarities on the part of a 
section of its first teachers and professors. It was soon seen to 
possess a more extended and catholic spirit, and to be a system of 
spiritual reli^on and enlightened trutii, setting men free from the 
bondage to ' beggarly elements,' especially to * times and seasons, 
days and years.' In the conception of the enlightened Gentile 
convert there neither was nor could be any reference to what 
might be recorded in the earliest portion of the Hebrew Scriptures 
as in the slightest degree revived under the Gospel^ or as m any 
way difierent in its application fit)m what was contained more spe- 
cifically in the law. The Gentile knew nothing of any such earlier 
or general obligations : he embraced the Gospel as standing on its 
own ground, and in essential independence of all previaiu di^ 
pensationsj though from its Jewish origin the language of its an- 
nouncement mi^t be unavoidably mixed up with some references 
to Jewish peculiarities. 

In the course of a few centuries corruptions abounded ; and not 
the least of them were the increasing admixture of Jewish ideas 
and Old Testament views with the pure spiritualism of Apostolic, 
and especially of Pauline, Christianity. It is only astonishing 
that in the advance of such corruptions there was not evinced 
a greater disposition than we actually find, for introducing Sab- 
batism. But even the nearest approaches to it, in the expressions 
of Chrysostom, Dionysius and a few more, and in the decrees of 


Digitized by 


1848.] MisappUcaium of Scripture. 267 

the LaodicBBan and other ComicilB, are characterized by expreseioDs 
preserving a broad and marked distinction as to the ground and 
nature of any such observance. 

But the opinions of the &AeirBy and the decisions of councils, 
are of no authority to the Scriptural protestant He will be satis- 
fied to look only to the recorded doctrines of the apostles, and in 
every page of the writings of the great apostle of tne Gentiles, at 
least, he will find in their simple historical interpretation the most 
unequivocal declarations of the independence of Christian prin- 
ciples, and the simple character of that scheme of religious service 
by which the enlightened follower of Christ ^ worships the Father 
in spirit and in truth,' without distinctbn of days or places, without 
relation to those forms which may have been ordained in times past, 
and for other parties, as no doubt suitable to their position, but with 
whidi the Grospel owns no connection, — since ^ old things are passed 
away, behold, all things are become new I' 2 Cor. v. 17. 


By 6. M. Bell, 
Author of ' The Country Banks and the Curreney/ &e. 

In the prinntire ages of the world the wants of man were not 
only simple in themselres, bnt readily satisfied by the exyberant 
productions of nature around him. The Nimrclds of antiquity 
captured in the chase the venison for their daily repast, and in 
later times the flocks upon a thousand hills afforded supplies 
more than adequate to every demand. So long as men were only 
hunters or shepherds, subsbting on the produce of the chase or 
of the fold, their social wants were few and speedily gratified. 
The simplicity of tilieir food, clothing, and dwellings, was by no 
means greater than the fadlities with which they were surrounded. 
It is a diaracteristic of the primitive condition of man, in what* 
ever part of the world he is found, that his tastes, his desires, his 
wants, are simple and few ; they are also such as can be readily 
gratified by the means witldn his reach. The Esquimaux are at 
the present day one amons numerous instances of the truth of 
this remark. Their condition is not more primitive and simple 
than the means which Providence has provided for their sustenance 


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269 On the Abundance of the [Oct 

and enjoyment. Althon^ these are indeed few, yet they are 
adequate to a state in which man is, no doubt, quite as happy as 
the most prosperous European in the plenitude of his wealtn and 
power. It is only when men increase in number, when society 
spreads out and extends its boundaries and its desires, that the 
necessity of more activity, of greater intercourse with others, of 
an interchange of commodities, as well as of thought and of 
action, is forced upon the attention, and gradually develops the 
energies of all. 

As society progressed and extended in the early ages, men 
found out tliat they could not subsist altogether by the chase> or 
by attendance upon their flocks. To the occupation of hunters 
and of shepherds was therefore gradually added those of builders, 
artiGcers, and traders. The mighty hunters and the nomade 
shepherds s&w rising aroimd them the towns and villages which 
marked the prosress of civilizatioQ and of enterprise ; and in course 
of time the produce of the chase and of the fold, instead of being 
merely the means of their own subsistence, became the objects 
of barter and of sale. 

Every extension of society brings with it a subdivision of in- 
terest and of labour, and the reward of one man is supplied from 
the skill and the industry of another. All men could not con- 
tinue hunters and shepherds. Hence, ip the progress of events, 
those talents which were ori^nally directed only to providing the 
means of daily subsistence, became exerted to discover new 
sources of enjoyment and new modes of occupation. A town, a 
stronghold or fort, gradually crowned the surroimding eminence. 
This afforded greater opportunities for the cultivation of art It 
afforded also, what was perhaps of equal importance in those 
times,, a refuge and a defence from the nomade tribes of the 
plain. Cain built a city, and in process of time the hammer of 
Tubal-Cain resounded within its walls. In the succeeding days 
of the patriarchs, Palestine boasted of its * fenced cities.' Then 
came the workers in iron and in brass, artificers of every class 
and degree, and men who traded to all parts of the Known 

In the primitive aces to which we have alluded, what is now 
called money was litfle if at all required. It is only after men 
be^n to trade or exchange commodities with each other that 
something is found necessary to represent what is understood by 
money, some common medium of exchange. Originally traffic 
would be carried on by barter, one thing would be exchanged for 
another. In the course of time, a certain value being attached to 
one article, it would be considered equivalent to so many other 
articles, or a certain quantity of something else. Even in the 


Digitized by 


1848.] Preeioui Metals in Ancient Times. 269 

present day^ wilih soiiie of the North American Indians, the skins 
of animals killed in hunting are used as money ."^ In a pastoral 
state of society, cattle are used as money. According to Homer 
the armour of Diomedes cost nine oxen, and tibat of Glaucus one 
hundred.^ Cattle were the first money of the Romans, and also 
of the Germans.*^ A species of cyprtBa called the cowry ^ gathered 
on the shores of the Maldive Islands, is at the present £iy used 
in making small payments throughout India, and is the chief 
money in certain districts of Africa. The operations of trade 
would no doubt be carried on for a loDg perioa before the pre- 
cious metals were introduced as money. The peculiar quahties 
which so eminently fit them for this purpose would only be gradu- 
ally discovered. A sheep, an ox, a certain quantity of com, or 
any other article, would afterwards be barter^ or exchanged for 
pieces of gold or silver, in bars or ingots, in the same manner as 
they would formerly have been exchanged for iron, copper, cloth, 
or other commodities. The merchants, in efiecting exchanges, 
would probably first agree upon the quality of the metal to be 

E'yen, and then the quantity which its possessor had become 
> pay would be ascertained by weight. According to 
Plmy and Aristotle this is tlie manner in which the preaous 
metals were originally exchanged in Greece and Italy. 

The large quantity of the precious metals possessed by the 
nations of antiquity, is to be ascribed to the gradual extension of 
their trade and commerce. 

The quantity of money in circulation in ancient Egypt is sup- 
posed not to have been great, for as every man raised his own 
food, and prepared his own clothing, he had no occasion to make 
purchases, and therefore would not require money. It seems 
probable also from the history of Joseph, that the tax or rent paid 
to the sovereign was paid in the produce of the land, and not in 
money. There is every reason, however, to suppose, that al- 
though money, as such, was not much required for circulation, 
there was, nevertheless, a large accumulation of silver and gold 
in Egypt, even at a very early period. That country carried on 
a considerable commerce, and what is now called the balance of 
trade must have been greatly in her favour. The value of the 
exports must have greatly exceeded the imports, and the balance 
would be paid in the precious metals. In the days of Joseph 
com was sold for ready money. Other circumstances lead to the 
conclusdon that Egypt was a wealthy country. When the Israelites 
departed out of Egypt, every teaman borrowed of her neighbour 
jewels of silver and jewels of gold, and raiment, and as Aaron 

• Storch, TraUitEcommie PolUiqut. ^ Iliad, vi. 235. « Storch, 1. c. 


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270 On the Abundance of t/w [Oct. 

soon afterwards made a ^Iden calf in imitation of the Egyptians, 
it has been inferred that m Egypt the idols were made of cold. 
Nearly a thousand years afterwards the prophet Daniel speaSs of 
thegold, and the dlyer, and the precious thmgs of Egypt' 

The Carthaginians ccmducted a sort of carrying trade among 
nations. They might take from Britain tin, which they might 
exchange in Egypt for Unen cloth; they might take com from 
Egypt to Spidn, and gold from Spain to Egypt They appear to 
haye possessed a perfect knowledge of the working of metals. 
They employed about 40,000 men in the mines of Spain, from 
which they obtained gold, silyer, copper, and tin ; afterwards they 
obtained tin in greater abundance from the mines of Cornwall. 
They Ire^ularly yisited Britain, taking thence tin, skins, and wool, 
and leavmg in exchange salt, earthenware, and utensils made of 
brass. It is a singular circumstance, that although the county of 
Cornwall contains copper in as great quantities as tin, yet this 
appears to haye been quite unknown at the time of the Cartha- 
gmians ; the Britons, actually imported all the brass instruments 
they used. The people were probably unacquainted with the 
method of smelting copper, especi^ly as the coimty of Cornwall 
produces neither coals nor wood. The extraction of copper from 
the ore is a much more seyere process than the extraction of tin ; 
and copper, again, is extracted with less difficulty than iron. The 
Tynans are said in Ezekiel to haye obtained from Tarshish silyer, 
iron, tin, and lead. They obtained iron also from Dan and 

Commerce, strictly speaking, was the occupation of the Cariha- 
^ians. It formed the strength and support of their common- < 
wealth. Their power, their conquests, tneir credit, their glory, 
all flowed from this source. Situated in the centre of the Medi- 
terranean, Carthage stretched out her arms to the east and to the 
west. Her commerce embraced all the known world, including 
especially the coast of Spain, of Mauritania, of Gaul, and beyond 
the pillars of Hercules. Her merchants sailed to all countries, 
to buy at a cheap rate those superfluities which the demands of 
others made necessary, and whicn were sold by them at a higher 
rate. They carried into practice what has been enunciated in 
modem times as the true principles of commerce, ' buying in the 
cheapest market and selling in the dearest.' From Egypt they 
brought fine flax, paper, com, sails, and cables for ships ; from the 
coast of the Red Sea, spices, frankincense, perfumes, gold, pearls, 
and precious stones ; from Tjrre and Phoenicia, purple and scarlet, 
rich stufls, tapestry, costly fiuTjiture, and curious works of art. 

<* Gil bait's Lectures on Ancient Commerce, * GUbart, vt mtpra. 


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1848.] Precious Metab in Ancient Times. 271 

Whateyer could minister to the necessities, or gratify the desires 
and luxuries of life, formed the objects of their traffic. They 
brought home from the western parts of the world, in return for 
the articles they had carried thither, iron, tin, lead, and copper. 
By the sale of these various commodities, they enriched themselves 
at the expense of all nations. They became the factors and agents 
of every people, the lords of the sea, holding the east, west, and 
south under their commercial sway. Carthage rose to be the 
common city and centre of trade for all those nations which were 
separated from each other by the sea. The most important per- 
sonages in Carthage were engaged in trade, and prosecuted it 
with as much eagerness and industry as the meanest citizen. To 
this they were indebted for their immense wealth, their empire 
over the sea, the splendour of their republic, and that exalted 
power which enabled them for upwards ot a hundred years to resist 
the pretensions and the might of the Roman commonwealth. 

It must not be overlooked that the ancient gold and silver mines 
of &>ain were an almost inexhaustible source of wealth to the 
Cartnaginians. According to Diodorus,' the labour employed to 
come at these mines, and dig the gold and silver out of tnem, was 
incredible. The veins of these metals seldom appeared on the 
surface, but were obtained at great depths, where floods of water 
often interrupted the operations of the miners, and seemed to 
frustrate furmer attempts. By pumps, invented in Egypt by 
Archimedes, the Romans afterwards threw up the waters out of 
these pits, by which means they were completely drained. Innu- 
merable multitudes of slaves perished in these mines, which were 
dug to enrich their masters, by whom they were treated with great 
barbarity, and forced by heav^ stripes to labour and carry on the 
works day and night Polybius, as quoted by Strabo,^ mentions 
that in his time upwards of 40,000 men were employed in the 
mines near Neva Carthago^ and furnished the Romans every day 
with 25,000 drachmas, or 859^ Is. 6d. of our money. It is not, 
then, a matter of surprise that, even soon afler the greatest defeats, 
the Carthaginians were able to send fresh and numerous armies 
into the field, fit out immense fleets, and support at a great expense 
for many years the wars Uiey carried on in far distant countnes. 

The Carthaginians were indebted to the Tyrians for their great 
application to commerce, as well as for their origin, their manners, 
language, customs, laws, reli^on. They spoke the same language 
with the Tyrians ; and these, again, the same with the Canaanites 
and Israelites ; that is, the Hebrew tongue, or at least a languajge 
related to the Hebrew. From a spirit of reli^on, they likewise 

f I. IT. 812. » Ub. iii. 147. 


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272 On t/ie Abundance of the [Oct 

joined the name of God to iheir own, in conformity to the genius 
of the Hebrews^ They also sent annually to Tyre a ship laden 
with presents, as a quit-rent or acknowledgment of their ancient 
country, and an annual sacrifice was offered to the tutelar gods of 
Tyre. They never failed to send to Tyre the first-fruits of their 
revenues, nor the tithe of the spoils taken firom their enemies, 
as offerings to Hercules, one of the chief gods of Tyre and 

Phoenicia, of which Tyre was the chief city, comprised also 
the cities Ptolemais, Sidon, and Berytus, in the Mediterranean. 
Phoenicia was distin^ished by the variety of its vegetable pro- 
ductions, and the fertility of its soil, which was to some consider- 
able extent increased by the artificial assistance rendered by the 
dense masses of population which occupied its large mercantile 
towns. Its productions, according to Ammianus Marcellinus, were 
wheat, rye, and barley, besides the more ordinary fruits ; also 
apricots, peaches, pomegranates, almonds, citrons, oranges, figs, 
dates, sugar-cane, and grapes. It yielded cotton, silk, and tobacco ; 
and was adorned by the variegated flowers of oleander and cactus. 
The higher re^ons were distinguished from the bare mountains of 
Palestine in being covered with oaks, pines, cypress-trees, acacias, 
and tamarisks, and, above all, by majestic cedars. It also produced 
flocks of sheep and ^oats, and abundance of excellent honey ; and 
the sea abounded with fish. 

Phcenicia was eminently a mercantile nation, and the whole of 
the territory belonged to the various towns. Each of these had 
its own constitution, and generally its own king. Thus we have 
mention of the kin^ of Sidon, of Tyre, of Aradus, and of Byblus. 
It was favourably situated for trade, and for the exchange of the 

Jjroductions of the East and West. Libanus abounded in excel- 
ent timber for slup ; com was imported from Palestine, and wine 
was exported to Egypt. Purple garments were manufactured in 
Tyre, and glass in didon and Sarepta. Fleets were fitted out by 
them to In£a and to Ophir, and returned laden with the produer 
tions and the gpld of those respective regions. The names of some 
of the mercantile establishments of the Phoenicians on the coasts 
of Arabia, along the Persian Gulf, have been partly preserved to 
this day. In these places they exchanged the produce of the West 
for that of India, Arabia, and Ethiopia. From Palestine, and 
especially Judaea, they imported wheat, ivory, oil, and balm, and 
wool from the wandering Arabs. From Damascus they obtained 
wine, and fi-om the mountains of Syria wood. The tribes on the 
shores of the Caspian Sea furnished slaves and iron ; and the 

^ Bochart, I. iL c. 16. > Polybius, 944. 


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1848.] Precious Metah in Ancient Times. 278 

Armenians horsemen, horses, and mules. From Spain they im- 
ported gold, silver, tin, iron, and lead ; fruit, wine, oil, wax,- fish, 
and wool. They also imported tin trom the British Isles, and am- 
ber from tiie coasts of Prussia, The chief wealth of the Phoenicians, 
however, was no doubt derived from their Spanish colonies, which 
appear to have been founded at a very early period of histoiy. 

Phcenicia was at its greatest prosperity in the time from David 
to Cyrus, b.c. 1050-550. During this period were founded the 
African colonies, Carthage, Utica, and Leptis. The civilization 
of the Phoenicians had a powerful influence upon other nations. 
Their voyages are mentioned in the Greek mytholoCT as the ex- 
peditions of the Tyrian Hercules. They planted flouridiing colonies, 
prosecuted agriculture and commerce, amassed immense wealth, 
and cultivated the arts of peace.'' 

We have stated that the period of the greatest prosperity of 
Phoenicia was at the time from David to Cyrus, B.C. 1050-550. 
From the time of Tubal-Cain there is frequent mention of the 
precious metals in Scripture, — iron, copper, silver, and gold. The 
mountains of Palestine contained metals. Of this the Jews were 
aware, but they do not appnear to have understood the art of 
mining. The metals named in the Old Testament are iron and 
steel, copper or copper ore, silver, gold, and tin ; and these were 
wrought into articles for domestic use, weapons of war, and objects 
of ornament. The trade in these metals was almost entirely in 
the hands of the Phoenicians, who obtained them chieflv from their 
colonies in Spain (Jer. x. 9 ; Ezek. xxvii. 12), some from Arabia 
(Ezek. xxvii. 19), and some from the coimtries of the Caucasus 

The money of the ancient Hebrews, as in fact is the case in all 
new countries, was originally paid by weight. Abraham weighed 
unto Ephron 400 shekels of silver, current money with the mer- 
chant This seems to indicate a distinction from the money in 
ordinary use. It is supposed to have been silver in bars or pieces, 
bearing a stamp to denote its fineness and quantity, probably placed 
upon it by tiie Phoenician merchants. * The various particulars,' 
remarks tiie late Dr. Chalmers, ' of the transaction between 
Abraham and the children of Heth, evince very considerable pro- 
gress at that early period in economics, in commerce, in law. 
There is money, and of a given denomination or coin — ^balances 
for weighing it — a standard thereof, such as was current with the 
merchant — a superiority, therefore, in the metiiods of trade above 
the way of barter — forms in the conveyance and exchange of pro- 
perty before witnesses, as here in the audience of the people of 

^ Heeren's ReBearches, 


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274 On the Abundance of the [Oct 

Hetb — ^the terms and specifications of a bargain, by whicb its 
several particulars were made sure to Abraham in the presence 
of and before many witnesses.' ™ The practice of weighing money 
continued from the time of Abraham to the days of Jeremiah. It 
is also to be observed that, in ancient times, silver, not gold, was 
usually employed as money. We do not read of gold being 
employed as money until the time of David, when that monar<£ 
purchased the thrashing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite (1 Chron. 
xxi. 25 ; 2 Sam. xxiv. 24). Gold is often mentioned, but only as 
jewels and ornaments. 

The position of the Israelites, as inhabitants of Syria, in the 
close neighbourhood of the commercial settlements of the Phoe- 
nicians, led them gradually to increased communication with their 
neighbours, and, through that intercourse, to the possession of 
considerable quantities of the precious metals. But it was not 
until the reigns of David and Solomon that any thing like a syste- 
matic commercial intercourse existed between them. The com- 
merce of the Egyptians and Phoenicians had been Ions successfully 
prosecuted to all parts of the then known world. It was to the 
merchants travelling with caravans between Arabia and Egypt 
that Joseph was sold by his brethren. Their wealth, however, 
consisted chiefly of flocks and herds ; and it is presumed tiiat the 
ornaments of silver and • gold which they possessed, and which 
were not brought with them from Egypt, were obtained principally 
from the neighbouring merchants. 

In the reign of David, the power, the bravery, and the wisdom 
of that monarch, tended so far to consolidate his kingdom, and to 
establish the security of his people, that a greater inducement was 
held out to them for enlarging their agricultural pursuits, and for 
engaging in commercial enterprise. Accordingly, during his reign 
the condition of the Jews is found to be characterized by greater 
wealth and commercial prosperity than in any previous period of 
their history. The king himself, although a man- of war from his 
youtii, and more or less constantly embroued in warlike adventures, 
took every means to promote the wealth and prosperity of his 
people. Much of the ^eat riches he accumulated was the spoil 
taken in his numerous victories, and the contributions of dependent 
or subjugated powers. The commercial intercourse of his people 
with the Phoenician merchants would also tend to promote the 
national wealth ; but it was reserved for his successor, Solomon, 
to display the splendour and success of commercial enterprise. 
David cultivated a friendly intercourse with Hiram, king of Tyre, 
at that time the most prosperous commercial city in the world, 

"* Dailv Scripture Readings* 


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1848.] Precious Metals in Ancient Times. 275 

He employed Tynan workmen, and purchased large quantities of 
cedar from Hiram. 

The career of Solomon was one of surpassing luxury and mas- 
nificence. He employed the wealth collected by his £Bither in works 
of architecture, and in strengtheuing and improving his kingdom. 
He built the famous temple and fortifications of Jerusalem ; and 
many citiei» among which was the celebrated Tadmor or Palmyra. 
From the king of Tyre he obtained cedar, and fir or cypress timber, 
and large stones hewn and prepared for building, which the Tyrians 
conveyed by water. Great numbers of workmen were also sent 
from Tyre to assist in the works carried on by Solomon, and to 
instruct his people in the difierent arts, none of whom had skill 
even to ^ hew timber like the Sidonians.' Some of the arts for 
which the Phoenicians were at that time remarkable are enumerated 
in the letter addressed by Solomon to the king of Tyre : — * Send 
me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold and in silver, 
and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue ; 
and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with 
me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my &ther did pro- 
vide. Send me also cedar-trees, fir-trees, and algum-trees out of 
Lebanon, for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in 
Lebanon ' (2 Chron. ii. 7, 8). Solomon, in exchange, furnished 
the Tyrians with com, wine, and oil, tiie produce of Palestine, 
and received a balance in gold. He also entered into a trading 
speculation with the king of Tyre ; and accordingly Tyrian ship- 
wrights were employed to build sUps for both kings at Ezion^ber, 
Solomon's port on the Red Sea. There he himself went to ammate 
them with nb presence (2 Chron. viii. 17). These ships, managed 
by Tyrian navigators, sailed in company upon trading voyages to 
those rich countries called Ophir and T^rshish, regarding the 
position of which the learned have multiplied conjectures to little 
purpose. They traded on both sides of the Red Sea, to the coasts 
of Arabia and Ethiopia, and the Persian Gulf, and might possibly 
run up the Tigris and the Euphrates, as fSeir as these rivers were 
navigable. The voyages occupied three years, but appear to have 
been uniformly eminently prosperous. The ships returned laden 
with gold, ebony, apes, parrots, and peacocks. There does not 
seem any reason to believe that these fleets penetrated to India ; 
on the contrary, it is more than probable that the Jews obtained 
all the Indian productions they required from the Ph€enician& 
We are indeed expressly informed that the Jews traded in the 
fam of Tyre (Ezek. xxvii.) ; and we know that all the produc- 
tions of India were exposed for sale in those fidrs. The chief 
Indian productions for which the Jews seem to have had occasion 
were spices and frankincense, to bum in the temple. 


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276 On tlie Abundance of the [Oct 

The immense quantity of ihe precious metals accumulated by 
Solomon, the splendour and magnificence of the famous temple 
wliich he built, of his own palaces, and of his personal retinue, are 
recorded in the sacred volume in language calculated to impress 
the reader with the most enlarged ideas of his wealth and dignity. 
There is indeed every reason to believe that his riches and splen- 
dour far exceeded those of any previous monarch. The sources 
from whence this immense wealth was derived appear to have been 
various. In the first place, a large amount of treasure had been 
collected by his father David, partly as the spoils taken in his 
numerous idctories, and as subsidies from his enemies ; partly as 
presents from his own people and from other nations. M udi of 
this treasure David had reserved for the purpose of assisting in 
the building of the temple. In the second place, the reign of 
Solomon was one of peace. The tribes beyond Jordan had 
become enriched by the plunder of the Hagarenes, and inhabited 
an extensive district where their cattle were fed and multiplied. 
Those tribes which followed agriculture inhabited a soil and 
climate in most respects eminently fruitful, rewarding the toil of 
the husbandman with abundance and to spare. Nothing was 
required to develop the resources of the country but markets for 
the disposal of its various productions. Their exports consisted of 
wheat, barley, oil, and wine, which are supposed to have been 
chiefly in demand ; and to these may perhaps be added wool, 
ludes, and other raw materials. This tra£Bc contributed to the 
wealth of the people. In addition to his patrimony, the revenues 
of the king were increased partly by contributions in kind from 
his own people, and from the subject nations, and partly from his 
commercial pursuits. He had no doubt large tracts of country, 
and extensive flocks and herds of his own. Some of his numerous 
matrimonial alliances, particularly that with the daughter of 
Pharaoh, king of Egypt, would also augment the sources of his 
wealth. There is every reason to believe that his exactions from 
his own people were heavy and severe, not merely as regarded 
their contributions to him in produce, but in the great numbers 
that were compelled to work at the various buildings and under- 
takings which ne carried on, Justifying the subsequent complaint 
of tiie people to his son : — ' Thy father made our yoke grievous ; 
now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and 
his heavy yoke, which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve 
thee ' (1 Kings xii. 4). Kin^ and governments have in all ages 
been extremely expert in devising means for drawing into their 
own cofiers a large portion of the wealth of their subjects, and 
tiiere is no reason to infer from his history that Solomon was at all 
deficient in this branch of worldly wisdom. 


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1848.] Precious Metals in Ancient Times. 277 

The great source of the wealth of Solomon, however, undoubt- 
edly lay in his trading speculations. As a monarch he j^ossessed 
advantages and enjoyed facilities for entering into trade, mfinitely 
superior to any of his subjects. It is not difficult to see that his 
trade, as regarded the people of his own country, must have been 
entirely a monopoly, and aided by the skill, the enterprise, and the 
experience of the l^rians, b»;ked by the authority and assistance 
of Hiram, king of Tyre, it was impossible it could be otherwise 
than eminently successful. His vessels traded to the richest 
shores, and returned laden with the gold and the treasures of 
every land. Tyre, whose merchants were princes, and whose 
traffickers were the honourable of the earth, had a king whose ffreat 
business seemed to be to extend and increase his commercial re- 
lations, and having entered into a commercial league with the 
wise and wealthy king of Israel, their united argosies swept every 
sea, and visited every shore in their search after those immense 
treasures which ministered to the power and greatness of the one, 
and to the vanity and magnificence of the other. 

It is impossible to form anything like a correct idea of the 
wealth possessed by Solomon from tne accounts which are ffiven 
in Scripture, as they are deficient in that precision whi<£ in 
modem times is essential to eluddate any financial statement. 
Thus the money prepared for the temple by David, is computed 
in 1 Chron. xxix. 4, at 3000 talents of sold and 7000 of silver, 
while in chap. xxii. 14, it is called 100,000 6f gold and 1,000,000 
of silver. Again, the sum fi>r which Darid buys the floor of 
Araunah, is in 2 Sam. xxiv. 24, 50 shekels of silver, but this in 
1 Chron. xxi. 25, is become 600 shekels of gold. Efibrts are 
made to resolve the former difficulty, but they are superseded 
by the latter, and by numerous other 'manifestly exaggerated 

There is no question that the precious metals abounded in large 
quantities long even before the days of Solomon. They were 
used partly for the manufacture of jewels and ornaments, and 
vessels for domestic use, and partly as money. Those nations 
appear to have possessed the largest quantity of them which 
were engaged ii} trade and commerce. In met, the quantity 
in existence in any country will generally be found to bear 
some correqK>ndence to the internal or external trade that is 
carried on. 

The precious metals have in all ages been more or less articles 
of mercnandise. We have seen that they were so in the days of 

• Kitlo's Cjrc2op. i^Bib. LUeraiun, art. ' Solomon.' 
VOL. II. — NO. IV. u Solomon, 

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278 On the Abundance of the [Oct. 

Solomon, and lon^ previous to his time ; they were so among the 
Esyptians, Phoemcians, Carthaginians, and all the people with 
whom they traded ; they were exchanged for com, wine, oil, wool, 
purple, and other materials of traffic. The demand for them 
usually increases with the wealth and prosperity of every country, 
for the purposes of ornament and use, as well as for money. The 
acquidtion of wealth is indeed essential to the advancement of 
society in civilization and refinement. No people have ever been 
distinguished in philosophv or the fine arts without having been 
at the same time celebrated for their riches and industry, rericles 
and Phidias, Petrarch and Raphael, adorned the flourishing ages 
of Grecian and Italian commerce. The influence of wealth is in 
this respect almost omnipotent. It raised Venice from the bosom 
of the deep, and made tne desert and sandy islands on which she 
is built, and the unhealthy swamps of Holland, the favoured abodes 
of literature, science, and art In our own country its efiects 
have been equally striking. The numl)er and eminence of our 
philosophers, poets, scholars, and artists, have always increased 
proportionally to the increase of the public wealth, or to the means 
of rewarding and honouring their labours.® 

It will be observed that the supplies of gold and silver in an- 
cient times were obtained principally from the mines of Spain, 
from the coasts of Africa, and from those countries to which the 
Phoenidans and Carthaginians traded. They were articles of 
commerce, and in the days of Solomon gold, chiefly for the 
purposes of ornament, was so much in demand, and obtained 
m such large quantities in exchange for other commodities, 
that silver, thougn vastly more abundant, was in a great measure 
superseded ; it was a metal little accounted of or esteemed in 
his day. 

In modem times the use of these metals has been more gene- 
rally difiused among the nations of the earth, and owe their abun- 
dance chiefly to the same causes which operated in the days of 
old, the extension and influence of trade and commerce. Since 
the discovery of America the principal supplies of gold and silver 
have been derived from that continent. M. Humboldt's estimate 
of the total annual produce of the mines of the new world at the 
beginning of the present century, taking the dollar at 4«. 3<f., b 
9,243,750/. The annual produce of the European mines of Hun- 
gary, Saxony, and other parts, and those of Northem Asia, at the 
same period, he valued at about 1,000,000/. more. The quantity 
of gold produced in America, compared with the quantity of 

» Smith's Weaith qfNtUiotu, Introd. Bis., 


Digitized by 


1848.] Precious Metals in Ancient Times. 279 

silver, was as 1 to 46, and in Europe as 1 to 40. The value of 
equal quantities of gold and silver was in the proportion of 15 or 
15^ to 1. From 1810 to 1829 the total produce of the South 
American mines was estimated hy M. Jacob at 65,372,615/. The 
average amiual supply of the American and Russian mines during 
the ten years ending with 1829 is estimated at about 3,146,000/. 
The total estimated produce of the American, European, and 
Russo- Asiatic mines in 1834 was about 6,000,000/. Since that 
period the supplies have greatly increased. Within the last few 
years, indeed, an unusual quantity of gold has been steadily im- 
ported into Great Britain. Among the many reasons assigned for 
the increased importation is the increased productiveness of the 

g>ld mines and washings of Siberia and the Ural Mountains in 
ussia. Large quantities of gold were imported into England 
from St. Petersburg in 1846, and the statistical returns of the 
Russian mines show that their productiveness has increased im- 
mensely during the last ten years. In a recent article in the 
Mining Journal, on the progress of French mining, the value of 
the gold extracted in five years from the Russian mines is esti- 
mated to amount to 12,792,000/. The value of the precious 
metals applied to mere purposes of ornament and luxury in 
Europe and America has been estimated by M. Jacob to be about 
5,900,000/. annually. 

The advantages of trade and commerce in ancient times were 
not more striking and more enriching than they are at the present 
day. Nature seems to have taught us that the natives of different 
portions of the globe ought to exercise a kind of dependence upon 
each other, and be united by one common interest. In the words 
of Addison, almost every degree produces something peculiar to 
itself. The food often crows in one country and the sauce in 
another. The fruits of Portugal are corrected by the productions 
of Barbadoes ; the infusion ofa Chinese plant is sweetened with 
the juice of an Indian cane. The Philippme Isles give a flavour to 
our European bowls ; while the single dress of a gentlewoman may 
be the production of an hundred climates. The muff and the fan 
are brought together from the different ends of the earth ; the 
scarf firom the torrid zone, the tippet from beneath the pole. The 
brocade petticoat rises out of the mines of Peru, and the diamond 
necklace from the bowels of Hindostan. Our ships are laden 
with the gold and the harvests of every land ; our tables stored 
with spices, oil, and wine; our rooms filled with pyramids of 
China, and adorned with the workmanship of Japan. Our morn- 
ing's draught is brought to us from the remotest comers of the 
earth; we repair our bodies with the drugs of America, and 

u 2 repose 

Digitized by 


280 Precious Metals in Ancient Times. [Oct. 

repose under Indian canopies. The vineyards of France are our 
gardens, the Spice Islands our hotbeds, the Persians our silk- 
weavers, the Cbnese our potters. * The earth is the Lord's and 
the fidness thereof.' p 

P As pertinent to the subject of this article, we add the fbllowing paMase from an 
old book which has now become yery scarce. The title is, 7%e State ^ the Greatett 
King, aet forth in the Greatneea of Solomon and the Glon/ cf hie Reign, By G. 
Benolds, Professor of the Mathematics, Bristol, 1721. * To some it may seem in- 
credible that David and a few of his subjects should giye such immense sums 
towards the building of the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, because at this time 
there is not so much money to be found in all the kingdoms and republics in Europe ; 
ibr six of the greatest kingdoms in it would reckon themselTes pT^atly oppressed, 
if, for once only, they were obliged to pay an annual tax, amounting but to as much 
as only a few of the subjects of King David gaye freely and willingly towards the 
building of the Lord's house in Jerasalem. uoX to such it will seem to be more 
creditable (credible) if they consider that firom the time of David and Solomon, and 
fbr above a thousand years afterwards gold and silver was in much greater plenty 
in the world than either of them is at present. 

( The immense riches which Solomon had in silver and gold ; the prodigious quan- 
tities of both thste which Alexander found in the treasuries of Darius, the vast 
quantity expended upon Shnshan, the chief city of Persia, where Tithonus and his 
son Memnon, when they built it, caused the stones of the building to be joined to- 
gether with gold, as Caasidorus writeth, and the vast loads of them which we find 
often to have been carried in triumph before Boman generals when they returned 
from conquered provinces, and the excessive sums some of the Boman emperors 
expended in their luxurious and fantastical enjoyments, and in donations to their 
armies, and many other, with what private persons bad and expended (some of 
which shall be mentioned afterwards), sufficiently prove this. But at length, the 
mines which fhmished this plenty, especially those of the Southern Arabia (where 
it is supposed the Ophir of the ancients was) being exhausted ; and the buminff of 
cities, and great devastations of countries, which after foUowed from the eruptions 
of the Goths, Vandals, Huns, and other barbarous nations in the west, and of the 
Saracens, Turks, and Tartars in the east, having wasted and destroyed a great part 
of the gold and diver which the world afbre abounded with : this introduced that 
great scarcity of both which afterwards ensued, and which the mines of Bfexioo^ 
Peru, and BrazU, have not as yet been able fblly to repur.' 


Digitized by 


1848.] ( 281 ) 



By the Bev. O. T. Dobbin, LL.D., of Trinity College, Dublin. 

We shall not succeed in giving a full and fair vievr of die causes 
which have contributed to the corruption of Christianity in Ger* 
many, unless we take into account tne influence of the Teutonic 
philosophies upon religion. We shall scarcely say too much if we 
aflSrm that the Germans are a peculiarly thou^html and refl^tive 
people, and that metaphysical disquisition, with the processes of 
investigation it implies, must have for them an especial charm. 
Nor again would it be going beyond the warranty of facts to 
allege that, among a people to whom philosophy was so germane, 
it would produce a very ooservable effect upon Uieir theology, and 
give it a complexion ot subtlety and idealism such as it would not 
exhibit under other circumstances. In fact, the theology of the 
schools in any country or age will be very much as the philosophy 
of the place or period may be ; and Christianity from the first nas 
felt and had to deplore the undue but very natural influence that 
human philosophy has exercised over the doctrines of revealed 
truth. The facts are patent to the eye of every observer, and do 
not need the weighty authority of Locke to win them belief. Our 
English philosopher, however, says : — 

' He that shall attentively read the writers after the age of the 
Apostles will easily find how much the philosophy they were tinctured 
with influenced them in their understanding of the books of the Old 
and New Testament. In the ages wherein Platonism prevailed, the 
converts to Christianity of that school on all occasions interpreted 
Holy Writ according to the notions they had imbibed from that philo- 
sophy. Aristotle's doctrine had the same effect in its turn ; and when 
it degenerated into the peripateticism of the schools, that too brought 
its notions and distinctions into divinity, and afiixed them to the terms of 
the Sacred Scripture. And we may see still how at this day every one's 
philosophy i^gulates every one's interpretation of the Word of God.' 

But this will be pre-eminently the case in a region where a 
speculative philosophy has made her abode, and where the minds 
of the learned are more than ordinarily subject to her sway. The 
honour put upon philosophy in the simple fact that one of the 
most exalted University degrees in Germany takes its designa- 

• This article must be regarded as supplementary to those on German Ba- 
tionalism which have appearod in the preceding nambers of 'The Joamal of 
Sacred Literature.' 


Digitized by 


282 Influence of Modem Philosophy upon [Oct 

tion from that branch of science, and the array of professors devoted 
to this study in the schools counting by hundreds, are sufficient 
to show that while with us philosophy is a mere appendage or a 
very subordinate part of a good education, with our Teutonic 
neighbours it is a large, essential, and very important portion. 
A good share of the student's curriculum is devoted to it, and in 
modem days at least the profession of attachment to some pre- 
vailing form of philosophy is almost essential to the reputation of 
a literary man. 

With Leibnitz, the independent disciple of Des Cartes and 
opponent of Locke, may be said to have commenced the career of 
modem philosophy in Germany. But this man of most compre- 
hensive genius and all but universal attainments either had not 
sufficient time or had too little concern to expound his system, 
and give it that elaboration and expansion which were requisite in 
one whose qualifications might make him the head of a school of 
philosophy. He flung his thoughts forth on this subject, as he did 
upon a multiplicity of others, liKe a shower of fireworks, all lumi- 
nous, all desultory, while he seemed regardless of their future 
fate — the mere ebullitions of an ever active mind. His chief work 
in answer to Locke is posthumous. But what circumstances for- 
bade him to do, allowing him indeed to be a constant creator, but 
rarely a methodizer and harmonist, his follower. Wolf, did for his 
philosophy. The disciple, however, while he reduced his master's 
ineenious and grand thoughts to system, erred upon the other 
side, of being too systematic ; and while by his logical arrange- 
ments he did Leibnitz service, and made him intelligible and com- 
plete, he did at the same time lay bare the faults that a looser 
arrangement had partially concealed. His system was geometry 
applied to the human mind, forgetting that the mind is neither 
square nor circle, neither marble tablet nor plastic clay. He 
fjuled in his attempt to subject spirit to the laws of matter, and 
Logic retired dispirited from a field where she displayed her weak- 
ness as well as her strength. ITie incongruity is still more observ- 
able in its application to sacred science, though Wolf and his 
enthusiastic followers for half a century thought not so. By 
means of his philosophy all difficulties of revelation were to be 
removed, all doctrines expounded, all precepts enforced, all mys- 
teries comprehended, and the hard skeleton of a logico-philoso- 
phical methodism was to become the mate of the warm, living, 
inspired spiritualism of the Bible. To no mistake are the words 
of the poet more applicable than to that of John Christopher 
Wolf and his clerical disciples — 

< There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamed of in our philosophy V 

Digitized by 


1848.] Christianity in Germany. 283 

It may not be superfluous to say that the common sense of the 
da^ looked on with amazement and distrust at this invasion by 
philosophy of a domain hitherto deemed too sacred for the intru- 
sion of metaphysical speculation, while infidelism jeered at this 
"mongrel compound of philosophy and theology. Wolf was a 
devout man, relied in his dyins hour professedly upon the atone- 
ment of the Son of God, and m his divinity system never forsook 
the grand outlines and substantial verities of the Christian faith ; 
but by seeking to prove everything, demonstrate everything, and 
by figiiling, as lie necessarily must, to do so, he did more damage 
to the religion of the Saviour incUrectly than his direct efforts to 
accredit it could ever repair. 

His system, his learmng, his character, had fascination for the 
leading theologians of that age, and gave shape to their repre- 
sentations of revealed truth. Baumgarten or Halle, Bibov of 
GSttingen, Carpzov of Weimar — Reusch and Toellner, Reinbeck, 
Canz and Schubert, addicted themselves to this philosophisiDg of 
Christianity ; and while none perhaps would decline the name of 
rationalists more pertinaciously than most of these, it cannot be 
doubted that its morning twilight rays gleam out here and there 
in their writings. They shift uie basis of Christianity altogether, 
and build upon a sandy foundation. Logic, reason, with aU their 
apparatus of process and nomenclature, are put in the place of 
divine revelation and human testimony ; and when their insuffi- 
ciency for the work they were employed to do is proved by the 
results, then, by an unhappy confusion of their pretensions with 
the object of their labours, the Bible shares in the reproach that 
follows their ill-success. 

But there have been more recent and also more celebrated and 
influential philosophies in Germany than that of Leibnitz matured 
by Wolf. The first claiming to be named is that of the distin- 
guished Prussian metaphysician, Lnmanuel Kant, with its strongly 
subjective tendencies ; next, its modifications by Reinholdt and 
Fidite, which leaned still more than even their master's toward 
subjectivity ; that of Schelling, with his intellectual intuition and 
absolute identification of God with the subjective and the objective 
worlds ; and finally that of Hegel, with its absolute idealism, and 
its resolution of Deity into a dialectic process, a logical formula, 
a mode of thought. We should not be wide of the mark were 
we to aver that even the most novel of these theories had its coun- 
terpart centuries back, in the schools of the pagan philosophers of 
•Egypt* Greece, and Rome — ^nor have the specmations of the older 
Brahmans failed to take some one or other of these directions. 
We cannot reflect upon the subjects of inquiry amon^ the philo- 
soj^ers of all ages, (jrod^ the world, man and his destinies, without 


Digitized by 


284 Influence of Modern Philosophy upon [Oct. 

seeing in modern speculation the mere repetition of world-old 
theories, divertimenti upon themes that have been played on for 
three thousand years, and with the disadvantage to the modems 
. that there is a poative revelation against which the sin of lese- 
Majeste is done whenever philosophy determines in unbelief. It * 
were mere waste of time to attempt to show how evangelical 
Christianity must have been undermined by the successful attempt 
to mould it after the fashion of any of these philosophies. Tief- 
trunk, Heydenreich, and Krug distinguished themselves by tiieir 
efforts to maintain the dominion of Kantism in the region of 
theology. Fries was a connecting link between Kant and the 
more fully developed idealism of Fichte. Schleiermacher and 
De Wette, who have variously modified it, have all given extreme 
unchristian prominence to the notion that the Christ of our ap- 
prehension is all in all to us in religion, while the historical Christ, 
as he cannot well become a link in a chain of abstract reasoning, 
is of no essential moment to our creed — ^that whether he existed 
or not is a question comparatively indifferent to us, since the 
record of his life is of more value as a symbol of certain ideas 
than as a narrative of facts — that the ideas exist as the necessary 
product of 'a certain stace of civilization, essential links in the 
philosophy of religion, independent of the symbols furnished by 
the career of the great Bemrmer of Nazareth, and that if those 
symbols were destroyed the ideas would nevertheless remain. 
Those symbols had a use in the state of feeling of the early 
Christian church ; they were the appropriate teaching for the child ; 
but we have got beyond the state of pupilage, and can dispense 
with the picture-book and the chamber of imagery.** Philosophy 
in &ct usurps the place of theolog;^, whereas in the earlier stages 
of its intrusion into her domain, it came with offers to trim her 
robe and do her homage. Philosophy is now the mistress and 
theology the hand-maid, the latter being patronized only on the 
condition of good behaviour, and compliance with the behests of 
the former. Philosophy can now do without theology in Germany, 
because all the desirable results we have been accustomed to trace 
to positive revelation have been sained by reasoning alone, 
whereas poor theology cannot do without philosophy, it requiring 
all the ingenuity of modem logic to reconcile the legendary and 

^ * La philosophie ne Ait plus pour elle [la th^logie] une alH^ ni one eoDemie ; 
eUe se fit th^logie, en adoptant son langage, et en ne c<fdant aucune de ses an- 
ciennes pretentions ; de sorte que Ton pent appeler le rationalisme modeme, la 
th^ologie absorb^ par la philosophie. 11 est Trai qne les th^logiens ne Tont pas 
ayou^; ilfl ont toujoars eu Tair de faire servir la philosophie d'&ppui aux d^isions 
de lenr esprit sp^cnlatif ; en r^lit^ cependant c'est la philosophie qni a dict^ leurs 
d^isions, et qui, malgx^ eux, a doming tous leurs nouveaux syst^es.' — Histoire 
du Roimuditme, p. 828. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Christianity in Germany. 285 

fabulous aspect of documental Christiamty with enlightened reason. 
Hence white we hear of Schleiermacher and Marheinecke, of De 
Wette and Bretschneider, of Baur and Strauss as developing 
rationalistic or infidel tendencies on the Continent^ we hear a great 
deal more, and justly so, of Leibnitz and Wolf, of Kant and 
Fichte, of Schelling and Hegel, of Jacobi and Herbart, their 
philosophic masters. The process all modem theologians seem to 
haye pursued is this : they have adopted severally the tenets of 
some particular school of philosophy — ^whether one that reasons from 
without to within, or from within to without, or a combination of 
both ; and upon this favourite system, like a Procrustes' bed, they 
have laid the fair form of God's revealed religion, and they have 
chopped off this undue development here, and pruned away that 
anomalous excrescence there, and curtailed the other unmanage- 
able elongation elsewhere, until that lovely being, God's daughter 
and mans immortal friend, who looked forth upon the world 
dear as the morning, beautiful and benign as the daysprin^ from 
on high, has been made a mockery and a mutilation — a pitiable 
torso — ttie relic of man's remorseless ravage — a tacit rebuke of the 
bungliuff Frankensteins that would invade the province of Heaven, 
whose alone it is to create a religion — a melancholy desecration of 
all that is divine, worshipful, and good. Truly ^ this is a sorry siffht ! ' 
But in what, it will be asked, has this daring, yet false j^lo- 
sophy issued — what good has it effected — w&at previous un- 
certainty has it rendered certain — ^what of the mysterious has it 
revealed — what of the perplexed disentangled ; where has it 
satisfied scepticism, and where established faith ; where has it 
comforted sorrow, and where solved doubt ? These interrogatories 
are fairly put, because that which professes to explain, to modify, 
to correct, and accredit the faith of universal Christendom, chal- 
lenges the severest ordeal and courts the final test. So far from 
establishing religion, it cannot establish itself. Philosophy itself 
has been disintegrated into some fifty different schools ; the greater 
part of the men of any mark on the Continent, while they range 
themselves under some very few distinguished philosophers, being 
each master of some modified or subordinate system shooting out 
in endless ramifications, all as eager in the cry as ever — ^What is 
faith ? and confessedly as far as ever from the object of their 
quest. And the effect of philosophy upon revealed religion has 
been one of subversion, not construction. It can build nothing 
but syllogisms or hypotheses ; it is all negation ; it has no posi- 
tiveness except positive nihility ; it is an ignoble thief, not a 
splendid beneractor ; it can pilfer and rob, not award and bestow ; 
it is a liar and a murderer, as its author was from the be^nning ; 
it promises the wisdom of a God which it cannot give, and it filches 


Digitized by 


286 Infhence of Modern Philosophy upon [Oct 

away the life of the soul which it cannot restore ; it has, it is true, 
its ad captandum jargon for the ear, its polylogies and logo- 
machies, its kenophonies and antitheses, but it has nothing for the 
heart but disappointment, corrosion, and woe ; it is, in the words 
of God's own book, a '^wIwwims yva/(nf, 'a sdence falsely so 
called.' Nay, to apply die coarser, but not less deserved rebuke 
of the Homily concerning the idolatry of the Church of Rome, it 
is ^ a foul, filthy, old, withered harlot ; the foulest and filthiest 
harlot that ever was seen,' not fit in verity to be the mate of 
the immortal mind of man : no perfumes can make her sweet, no 
dizening render the Jezebel attractive. None may rightly win 
man's best affections and control his heart but that Christianity 
which visits the abode of our nature, alike blessing and blest, with 

' Grace in all her steps, Heaven in her eye — 
In every gesture dignity and love !' 

pure as the heart of angels, faithful as the compassions of God, 

* without spot or blemish, or any such thing.' What is a con- 
sistent logic to us without God, the most faultless philosophy, 
the most recondite lore ? I may admit that Hegel has reasoned 
God out of the universe, or Schelling imprisoned him in it ; but 
my heart and my common sense cannot be satisfied with series of 
ratiocination or tne enumeration of categories. I want somethins 
greater, wiser, and better than myself on which to rely, in whi(£ 
to confide, and which to love and reverence with all my conscious 
being ; the very yearning of my soul after it is the strongest 
evidence that it exists. I find tins in God. Can a perverse loffic 
extinguish God — chains of argumentation affect him — atheism, with 
its cry *' no God,' annihilate him ? We feel that there is a God ; 
a feeling that demonstration cannot strengthen, just as no reason- 
ing can remove it. It is an instinct that precede ratiocination, 
just as a mother's love antedates precept and supererogates duty. 
Cease then, vain man, that wouldst be wise at the expense of 
piety and at the risk of thine eternal peace— cease from thy fruitless 
endeavour ; darken not counsel with words without knowledge ; 

* Be not overmuch wicked, neither be thou foolish : why shouldest 
thou destroy thyself?' Neither Sophdom nor Satandom can 
prevail against the Most High. ^ Hast thou an arm like God, 
or canst thou thunder with a voice like him ? Lay thy hand 
upon thy mouth, and thy mouth in the dust, before the presence of 
the Lord and tiie glory of his majesty ; and repent of this thy 
sreat wickedness, and pray that the thought of thy heart may be 
rorgiven thee.' Nor despair of forgiveness, for he is of ereat piti- 
fiilness and of tender mercy, not willing tiiat any shoidd pensh ; 
his goodness endureth for ever. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Christianity in Germany, 287 

The identification of God with thought, one creature, is not very 
distant from identifying Him with all creatures, the direct tendency 
of both being to atheism. Schelling has been the most influentiid 
professor of the one in modem days, followed with sundry modifi- 
cations by such men as Blasche, Troxler, Eschenmayer, Stefiens, 
Daub, Schwartz, Schleiermacher, Twesten, and Nitsch. Of the 
other, flchte has been the unquestioned master, followed by a 
goodly number of disciples ; but his system has run up into a 
higher species of development than its master gaye it, and has 
identified itself with other names. And the combination of these 
two is Hegel, who outnumbers in zealous and gifted yotaries 
them both — votaries, however, who have diverged from each other, 
some few to the maintenance of Christian truth, the great body 
to rank unbelief.® Marheinecke, Ganz, Schulze, Von Henning, 
Rosenkranz, Michelet, Forster, Bruno Bauer, and Strauss, profess 
to be Hegelians. 

The philosophies of the modem schools of Germany it is not 
our province here to expound, nevertheless we cannot acquit our- 
selves of the self-imposed task of sketching the prominent features 
of the continental theology without naming a few of the writers and 
schemes to which they have given birth. Philosophy had a ten- 
dency to develop itself chiefly in two directions, sufficiently distinct 
within certain limits, but ultimately one — the Pantheistic and 
Idealistic. Spinoza might represent me earlier source of the one, 
while Leibnitz may be regarded as the father of the other. They 
constitute obviously two very distinct classes of philosophy, yet, 
pushed to extremes, closely verge upon each other, fichteism run- 
ning into Spinozaism without difficulty. These philosophies have 
ripened into bitter fruit in the region of theology. The garden of 
God ha£ been devastated, and every wholesome plant has been in 
turn rooted up and thrown aside. * The boar out of the wood 
doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.' 
The weeds of error have grown rank and luxuriant in the soil 
from which evangelical truth has been excluded. Planck, Stai&d- 
lin, Gabler, Ammon, Krag, Scbott, Nitsch, R5hr, Tzschumer, 
Augusti, Zimmermann, Bohme, Baumgarten-Crusius, Lofter, 
Henke, Wegscheider, — ^these, with a host of others, have been 
philosophising and theorising upon Divine truth, some in the 

<> Can the impie^ and folly of subjectivism go ftirther than in Hegel who aTen 
explicitly ransdriicklich) that God does not know himself at all, has no existence 
at all, until he arriyes at a consciousness of himself in men ? 

' Gott kenne sich selbst gar nieht, sey gar nicht Yorhanden, sondem komme erst 
in den Menschen sich selber znm Bewusstseyn,' &c — DU DevUcha LUeratur yon 
W. Menzel, i. 316. 

We detest the strle of scorn and banter in which Menzers book is written, bat 
haye been indebted to his four fhll little Tolumes for much information. 


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Inflvjsnce of Modem Philosophy upon [Oct. 

department of criticism, and some in that of dogma, until of the 
seamless robe of revealed religion scarce one &agment remains 
which has not suffered from their violence. 

The latest form of infidelity, and that which bids fidrest for a 
wide acceptance, is doubtless that denominated the mythic, from 
its professing to find in the superhuman machinery of the Scrip- 
tures, not the interposition of a God, but fabulous representations 
of long past incidents, made, it may be, with entire good faith on 
the part of the chronicler, but nevertheless having no claim to 
historical reality. The idea is not a new one, but its systematic 
application to the Old and New Testaments is, it must be owned, 
a melancholy phenomenon reserved for the * scoffers ' of these 
* last days ' to show.^ Its connection not remotely with the philo- 
sophies we have named, and the unprecedented development it 
has received in the remarkable volumes of Dr. D. F. Strauss, on 
the Life of Christy will justify a little amplification. The prin- 
ciple received as an axiom in reference to profane literature and 
history which Heyne has so tersely expressed — * A mythis omnis 
priscorum hominum cum historia tum philosophia procedit'* — has 
been forced into the service of interpreters of the Bible ; nor is 
there room to complain that it has not been vigorously worked. 
If the knowledge oi the infidel party were equal to their industry 

d The strangest form of the Mvth with which we are acqaainted presenti itself 
in a work bearing the lofty title *La V€rit^,' and published neariy a century 
back. Its language, its scholarship, and its infiimy proclaim its natal soil to be 
France, and its author from among the servants of the beast The full title is 
' Les Mysteres du Christianisme approfondis radicalement et reoonnus physique- 
ment yrais.' ' Le nom de la verity declarera sur chaque fenillet de ce liyre, qn'elle 
seule en a dict^ le contenu li oelui qui le met an jour : il deyoit ce tribut k sa 
gloire. L'ordre que demandoit cet ouvrage a n^cessit^ sa division en deux parties : 
Siaqne parde forme un volume. 

' La Ire developpe THistoire Genesiale du monde ; base des saints livres qui 
constituent TAncien Testament des Chretiens. 

< La 2de eclaircit les 3 grands mysteres, ainsi que les 4 evangiles de Jesus ; base 
de nos 7 sacremens, de tons nos dogmes theologaux et de toutes les ceremonies de 
notre Loi nouvelle.' 

In this work the whole evangelical history is resolved into a generative myth, by 
the adoption of a philological cabbala — ^to whose unscrupulous legerdemam as to 
the almightiness or God * all things are possible/ The ingenuity this scheme dis- 
plays is contemptible, its profaneness palpable— but its opposition to the historic 
truth of the Gospels no greater than that of Strauss and his compeers. We shall 
furnish a sample of the insane etymologies on which the myth is built, the applica* 
tion of which is to be surmised rather than to be explained : 

7%« Virgin Mtwy — M^ Xa — ^manus unica; also fHaprlpwyta — testium vis et 

Jesus^lil^rt oio-fo— mittit existentiam. 

Christ — XpKrrhs tarhs — ^unctum malum. 

Galilee — ra-XiA-aTo — Generandi cnpidinis terra. 

Bethlehem — as a place has only a mythic existence. Its true meaning is found 
in its elements $ia, robnr,Jf6of, domicilium, \4as fi|CM»y— lapidis jaculator. 

• Ad ApeUod. Athen. Biblioth^ note, p. 3. 


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1848.] Christianity in Germany. 289 

and zeal, they had turned the world upside down long ago. The 
children of this world are wiser in their generation l£an the chil- 
dren of light. They are as diligent in their vocation to overthrow 
the religion of Jesus as their means 'are unscrupulous, unrelaxing 
effort thrusting home the point which hatrea employs. From 
different motives in a few cases, hut from dislike to revelation in 
most, various writers of modem Germany have found myths or 
legendary recitals from the beginning of the Old Testament to 
the close of the New. As the philosophers used to defend their 
assailed heathenism by declaring its fables instructive allegories 
or pious legends, so some conceived they were defending the cha- 
racter of Holy Writ when they patronized an allegorical or 
mythical interpretation of its wonders ; but the greater part have 
been scarcely concealed enemies of the truth. Amiough Eichhom 
interpreted the Scriptures on other principles, yet even he found 
a mythic element in the narrative of the fall, and discerned under 
the garb of fable the philosophic truth, that the longing for undis- 
covered good is the bane of man and the source of aU evil in the 

Semler had already regarded the histories of Samson and 
Esther as myths. Gabler,^ formerly joint editor, with Haenlein, 
Paulus, and Ammon, of the Neuestes Theolag. Journal^ and after- 
wards conducting the same periodical alone, patronized the mythic 
view. Schelling ^ was a mythist ; Wegscheider ^ a mythist ; 
Ammon ^ a mythist; Kayser a mythist; Vater"^ a mythist; 
Bauer ^ a mythist; Krug ^ a mythist ; De Vatke ^ a mythist ; De 
Wette a mythist ; Bertholdt and Sieffert mythists ; and above and 
beyond all, David Frederick Strauss a mythist. The myth has 
been distributed into various kinds and called by different names, 
the philosophical, the historical, the etymological, the poetical, and 
so forth, in order that it may accommodate itself to the various 
exigencies of hermeneusis, and unravel every knot of the marvel- 
lous in the book of God. The Bible is thus a book of fsLbles, but 
not like iEsop or the Hitdpadesa ; not like its parables or pro- 
verbs, allegorical fables curiously constructed to convey moral 
lessons in an interesting guise ; no, but philosophical and poetical 
fables, the natural grow% of the human mind under the given 
circumstances that produced them. The actual personal history 
of Jesus of Nazareth developed itself into the forms in which we 
now receive it through the four Evangelists, when it came to be 

' Allgemeine BxbliuK EifdeUung in das A. T, 
s Mecefu. vcn Pauhu Commentar. W. T. L 1801. 

b Uebar M^hen, in Paulus Memorabilien. > Institutiones Theol. Chr. Dogmat. 
^ Ammon in Pott and Raperti's Syllogs, ^ Vater, Uthet den Pent. 

> Baner, Ueher Mytheu. « Krng. Henke's Museum, p Mnleii, in d, iV. T, 


Digitized by 


290 Irifbience of Modern Philosophy upcn [Oct. 

looked back upon through the haze of the generations that must 
have elapsed before it was committed to writing. As objects 
seem large, or appalling, or sublime, in proportion to the mistmess 
of the intervening air ; so the wonderful teacher of Galilee, who 
awakened so much interest by his life, and still more by his death, 
filled the field of vision of the Christians of the second century 
with marvels, the creations of their wondering and loving minds, 
rather than with simple facts and moral doctrines. That this is a 
sufficient account of the character of our Gosnels Strauss contends, 
and holds himself exempt firom the task or separating the real 
firom the fictitious in the history of Christ. And in support of his 
general view that much of the basis of the Christian reli^on is 
mythical, he alleges that all existing religions are mythical ; and 
it were contrary to analogy to suppose Christianity alone free from 
myth. We acknowledge neathenism to have its myths relating to 
its deities, and Islamism in regard to its prophet ; why then not 
Christianity in regard to its founder ? But it is urged in reply, 
the documents of the Christian religion have been written by eye- 
witnesses of the events which tiiey record, consequently legend had 
not sufficient time to wrap them in its folds or tamper with their 
historical fidelity : to which he rejoins, the date of the sacred 
books is an open question, still unsettled ; and their early date is 
a mere assumption. Could their early date be demonstrated, he 
concedes that it might alter his position. 

' It would most unquestionably be an argument of decisive weight 
in favour of the credibility of the Biblical history could it be indeed 
shown that it was written by eye-witnesses, or even by persons nearly 
contemporaneous with the events narrated.*^ But this alleged ocular 
testimony or proximity in point of time of the sacred historians to the 
events recorded is mere assumption.' 

By the ground Strauss here takes he reduces his mythic theory 
to the test of ordinary Biblical criticism, and rests its tenableness 
on the later or earlier date of the evangelical books. But in 
point of fact no concession is made, as the closing words of the 
quotation prove. He prejudges the whole Question, and leaves 
no room to believe that ever so early a date oi the Gospels would 
alter his opinion as to their mythical character. For instance, he 
lays down rules whereby we may ascertain the presence of the 
myth in any narration of the life of Jesus — rules that would 
exclude miracle from an autograph of our Lord just as well as 
from a memoir. His starting-point, like that of the naturalists, 
is * THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF MIRACLES,*' wheucc it is casy to con- 
jecture what will be the nature of the rules which shall indicate 

4 Strauss, L\fe ofJwu, Introd. § IS. ' Introductioii, § IS. 


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1848.J Chriaianity in Germany. 291 

the intrusioQ of myth into history. They are in brief these, and 
these are the clew to his whole elaborate work : — 

1 . When the narration is irreeoncileable with the known and 
universal laws which govern the course of events : e. g. When 
we meet with an account of certain phenomena or events of which 
it is either expressly stated or implied that they were produced 
immediately oy God himself (divine apparitions, voices from 
heaven, and the like), or by human beings possessed of super- 
natural powers (miracles, prophecies), such an account is in so Jar 
to be considered as not histoncal. And inasmuch as the inter- 
mingling of the spiritual world with the human is found only in 
unauthentic records, and is irreeoncileable with all just concep- 
tions ; so narratives of angels and of devils, of their appearing m 
human shape, and interfering with human concerns, cannot pos- 
sibly be received as historical. 

2. When the law which controls the succession of events is 
violated : e. g. If we are told of a celebrated individual that he 
attracted as much notice at his birth and during his childhood as 
in his manhood ; if his followers in a moment recognise him for 
all that his extraordinary pretensions claim, and pass in an hour 
from the extreme of despondency to the height of joy— this is not 
to be regarded as history, — ^this is opposed to all psychological 
laws ; as also that the Sanhedrim should believe tne story of 
Christ's resurrection and not punish the sleeping guards, and that 
long discourses should be retained in memory and recorded as 
those of Jesus in the evangelical narrative. Tnese tests, however, 
that regard the laws of mental action must be cautiously applied, 
as men of genius and vivid minds possess idiosyncrasies that may 
account for almost any inconsistencies. 

3. A positive historical contradiction will evidence the presence 
of legend. Or 

4. When the differences in sundry circumstances are so great 
in the narration of the same account, such as time, place, number, 
names, etc., that both cannot be true, legend may be supposed to 
have been busy there. 

5. If the form of narration be poetical, and the actors con- 
verse in hymns, or in a more diffuse and elevated strain than 
persons in their situation might be expected to do, that cannot be 
regarded as historical. 

6. If the contents of the narrative strikingly accord with ideas 
pre-existing in the minds of the people from whom it proceeded, 
such ideas being rather the fruit of their conceptions than tlieir 
experience, it is more or less probable that it will be found of 
mythical origin : e. g. If the Jews are known to have been fond 
of representing their great men as bom of parents who had been 


Digitized by 


• 292 Ir^uenee of Modem Philosophy upon [Oct 

long childless, one is led thereby to suspect the historical truth 
of the narrative of John the Baptist's birth ; and again, when it 
is known that the same people saw predictions in all the writings 
of their poets and religious teachers, and in the lives of their 
holiest men types of the Messiah — when we read in the life of 
Jesus incidents evidently shaped after these prototypes, we cannot 
but believe there is more of poetical than historical truth present 

Under the guidance of such premises as these, it will be readily 
conceived that Dr. Strauss finds little difficulty in almost wiping 
away the evangelical narrative altogether ; for it consists in a sreat 
decree — ^in every substantial sense — of those very elements of mi- 
racle which he denounces as myth. Never was such wholesale 
demolition as he perpetrates. The besom he employs is * the besom 
of destruction ' — destructive of historical Christianity, destructive 
of revelation, for if there was no later, there certainly was no 
earlier revelation — destructive of faith, hope, immortality, and 
heaven. What must we think of a theologian and professor of 
divinity who writes thus — * A life beyond the grave is the last 
enemy which speculative criticism has to oppose, and if possible 
to vanquish' ?^ i et, sinning as he has done against God, we should 
not wonder that he sins also against his kind, and filches with 
Promethean craft the fire of immortality from his brother man, 
who amid the sorrows of life finds this his consolation, that 
^ Bound to the earth, he lifts his eye to heaven I' 

Applied to the Gospels, Strauss's system destroys the historical 
verity of the accounts of the Annunciation of John the Baptist, 
the Davidical descent of Jesus according to the genealogies, the 
supernatural conception and its attendant circumstances, his birth 
and early years, his visit to the temple and education, the rela- 
tions between Jesus and John the Baptist, the baptism and temp- 
tation, the locality and chronology of his public life, the Messiamc 
office of Jesus, the disciples of Jesus, his discourses in the three 
svnoptic Gospels and in the fourtb respectively, the events of his 
life exclusive of the miracles, the miracles themselves, the trans- 
figuration, the«^iscourses in anticipation of suflering, treachery of 
Judas, last supper, agony in the garden, arrest, trial, condemna- 
tion, and crucinxion, prodigies attendant on the death and resur- 
rection of Jesus, the ascension with all that precedes and attends 
it. All these are shown to be so completely impregnated with 
the mythic that the merest shadow of a shade of truth may lie at 
the bottom of these legendary tales, at the same time they possess 

* Ixfe ofJeauB, IntroductioD, § 16. 

' ChrMiehe GUutbeiulehret &o. Sec, 1S40. 


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1848.] Ckrigtianity in Germany. 293 

the secondary truthfulness of correctly representing the idea the 
early Church entertained of Christ To call such a system Chris- 
tian, or such an expositor a believer, would be an abuse of either 
term. Unconcerned about that allegiance to Christianity which 
his garb and profession might exact, Strauss voluntarily assigns 
himself a place amongst its enemies. He thus speaks of 
himself in another work : * With the conviction that ihp truth 
of the evangelical history is neither altogether nor in part 
tenable with philosophy, but must be entirely left free to the 
scrutiny of historical criticism, I would take my post upon the 
extreme left of the Hegelian School.'^ After this spontaneous 
abnega^on of Christianity in the sense in which it is generally 
held, it were waste of words to discuss where we shall put him. 
Here, therefore, we must leave him.* 

After the survey we have just taken of the state of reli^on in 
Germanv and the serious deterioration it has undergone in the 
hands of certain of its professed teachers, 'it may be thought not 
unsuitable to inquire wnat have been the causes that have issued 
in this deplorable condition of affairs. How comes it that true 
religion, which in all other countries wears but one aspect, one of 
conscious progress and cheerful anticipation, should appear to 
have been losing cround in the birthplace of the Reformation and 
gradualljr failing in its hold upon the general regard and esteem ? 
Is Christianity dying out, and will Germany be its place of inter- 
ment, the cave of Macpelah for the lifelong companion of our 
pilgrimage ? Far from it, we deny the premisses and dissent 
from the conclusion. We record our solemn conviction, upon a 
review of the whole case of continental religion, that it is not on 
the wane, that it is not putting on ^the sere, the yellow leaf;' 
nay, are assured that the religion of the Lord Jesus in Protestant 
Germany is buoyant with vigour and rife with promise, never more 
than, never so much as, now. 

At the same time we must allow that the portrait we have 

" From Dr. Beard's Stramm^ Hegd, and thnr Opiniona. 

* We cannot bat regret that any competent person should have taken the pains 
to translate Stranss's work into English, and that any respectable pablisher should 
have brought it out in this country. Not that it has not been and wiU not be snf- 
ficienUy answered, but it wiU do mischief in quarters where the answers to it will 
neyer reach. It is an abase of the ftvedom of the press to employ it in writing 
down reyealed religion, robbing man of his sustaining hopes, and morality of its 
firmest stay. We could not, indeed, bring ourselves to the dopotism of fettering 
that freedom, nor to the barbarism ot denouncing the Phcenician mvention, letters — 
* PhcBuices primi, fiuwe si creditur, ausi^ 
Mansnram rudibus Yocem signare figuris ;* 
but we should have been proud of the good feeling and good sense of our country- 
men if they had left the patronage of Strauss to the low infidel party whose claim 
to learning and honesty, good sense and good feeling, are about upon a par. 

VOL. II.— NO. IV. X drawn 

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294 Influence of Modem Phihs&phy upon [Oct 

drawn of treachery and unfuihfulness in the high places of 
theology and literature in that land is sudi as should awaken pain 
and c3i to exertion. We cannot reiterate our indignation in 
tones sufficiently loud that the betrayers of the ark to the Philis- 
tines should be the men specially intrusted with its defence. 
Eichhom, Semler, Emesti, Gabler and his colleague Griesbach^ 
Micha^lis, Gesenius, Paulus, Bretscbneider, Henke, De Wette, 
Wegscheider, and a host besides, down to Strauss, were of the 
clerical order, and most of them professors cS diyinity. Our hope 
is in the masses, who are yet sound in the faith. They yet 
belieye that ^ God spake in times past unto the fathers by the 
prophets,' and that these holy men of God spake ^ as they were 
moved by the Holy Ghost* They yet believe that * for us men 
and for our salvation' the Son ol God wa« bmn in Bethlehem, 
* a Saviour — Christ the Lord !' They yet believe that there is 
something more than trope and metaphor, allegory and parable, 
accommodation and exaggeration, legend and myth, in the 
miracles and doctrines of the Bible. They are reasonable without 
rationalism, unsophisticated without naturalism, believers in the 
Most High without deism, and true philosophers without Pan-* 
theism. There must be religious life to a vast amount amongst 
those who have been so visibly and extensively moved by tne 
recent attempt at a reformation from Rome. The language of 
the Bible has established — the invaluable Jewish books have esta- 
blished, to the heart and conscience of the world, what philosophy 
never could enunciate and philosophy never can overttirow— the 
distinct individual personality and aeency of God. It is confessed 
that the Old Testament Scriptures have done so at the sacrifice 
of a philosophical terminology ; they have not been solicitous to 
express their marvellous doctrines concerning the divine nature in 
the language of abstractions, but it is their glory that they have 
just done what it was most important they should do— marked the 
individuality, creative power, and controlling providence of God 
in such terms as made it impossible to confound him with his 
works, to reduce him to an ideal conception or a lo^cal expres- 
sion, or, in any moment or mood to forget Him. In the Bible 
Grod stands out distinct from all, beyond all, over all the agents 
and objects in the universe, — 

< The Maker and Monarch and Ruler of all ! ' 

He appears the creator of all creation, the causer of all causes, 
the enectuator of all effects, but as remote from these, as incapable 
of confusion with them, as the motive power with the body moved, 
as the hand that turns the wheel with the helm that guides the 
ship. The thunder awakes our wonder, but that is not God ; 


Digitized by 


1848.] Christianity in Germany. 295 

and at the blast we stand appalled, but that is not God ; He is 
something more and higher than these : but at the still small voice 
our hearts are glad, for there is God (1 Kings xix. 11-13). No 
natural agent, great or snudl, is God. The fire and the wind, 
light and electricity, are his mmisterB that do his pleasure, but 
they bear no resemblance to Him, who is Lord of them all. God 
is a spirit, whom no eye hath seen or can see, the blessed and only 
Potentate, King of Kin^ and Lord of Lords. How ^andly and 
how properly is the distinct objectiye existence of this spiritual 
God, and his omni])otent energy brought out in that lofty strain 
of Isaiah, in this point but the counterpart of the other inspired 
authora (Isa. xl.) : — 

* To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal, saith the Holy 

Lift up your eyed on high, and behold who hath created these things, 
that bringeth out their hosts by number ; he calleth them all by names, 
by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power ; not one 

Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, my way is hid 
from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God ? 

Hast thoo not known, hut thou not heard, that the everlasting God, 
the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth, fiiintetk not, neither is 
weary ? there is no searching %3& his understaadiiig. 

He giveth power to the fiunt ; and to them that have no might he 
increaseth strength. 

Even the youths shall faint and be weary and the young men shall 
utterly &11: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their 
strength ; they shall mount up with wings as eagles ; they shall run 
and not be weary,, and they shall walk and not faint.' 

This style of biblical instruction has been too long and deeply 
imbedded in the heart of the German nation to be either under- 
mined by the stealthy advances of a philoBophieal idealism or torn 
up by the violent assault of an unscrupulous iufidehty. We 
repeat it, our hope under Grod is in the masses of the people. 

Nor must we leave out of the account of our encouragement 
derived from them, the new agencies which modem times have set 
to work for the religious amelioration of the people of that in- 
teresting country. Originating with ourselves, Bible and Tract 
Sodeties have not been confined to Great Britain, but have trans- 
ported their simple yet most efiective machinery beyond the 
German Ocean, and are turning there, as with ourselves, the raw 
material of a fallen nature into a fabric fit for the master's use. 

It cannot be that nearly ten millions of comes of the Holy 
Scriptures, in whole or in part» have been issued on the continent 
of Lurope within the last thirty years without desnrable results 

X 2 ensuing; 

Digitized by 


296 Influence of Modem Philosophy upon [Oct 

ensuing ;.nor will the other seed of a more directly evangelical kind 
fail to produce its expected fipuit. We look with most hopeful eye to 
the ingathering of a large harvest at some coming day in return 
for the labour and faith and prayer now expended upon the evan- 
gelization of the world. From many causes Germany mav not be 
flie earliest field to repay our toil. Nevertheless, even there the 
corn will ripen beneath the sun, and there the wain will reel 
beneath its load, and there the heart of the husbandman will 
dance with * the joy of harvest.' But * here is the patience of tlie 

Having emphatically denied, and attempted to show some 
reason for denying, that reli^on is running a backward course in 
the Protestant kingdoms on the Continent, a conclusion seemingly 
inconfflstent with the revelations of this paper, we now resume our 
purpose of observing upon theprobable causes of the wide de- 
parture from the feith of the Gospel on the part of those who 
nave been here reflected on. And as it will clear the ground for 
what we have to say on this head to state what we deem not the 
causes of it, we will at once proceed to our deliverance upon that 

We differ, then, toto cosloy at first starting and throughout our 
whole career, with Mr. Dewar and all of his school, who allege 
the Protestant principle of the private judgment of Scripture to 
be the pregnant cause of all the rationalism of Germany, putting 
the tradition of the Church instead of the Scriptures of God. 
Thus writes this divine : — 

^ With the philosophy of Wolff commenced that series of systems 
and theories which have continued in rapid succession to arise and to 
be exploded ; each of which in its turn has been made, what Catholic 
consent alone ought to be, the guide and the rule by wJiich the faith ot 
Christians is to be framed, according to which the sense of the Bible, 
nay, the authority and the truth of the Bible, is to be judged and deter- 
mined.' — p. 87. 

Again : ^ There are doubtless very few among those who in £ng« 
land contend for the right of exercising their own judgment in tiie 
interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, who would not shrink from a 
system of which they saw a denial of their inspiration forming a part ; 
and yet how will they prove this doctrine ? Will Scripture prove its 
own inspiration ? Does it anywhere claim to be inspired ? It would, 
I think, be difficult for them to prove either of these positions. 

« We have seen how difficult it is to maintain the doctrine of the 
inspiration of Holy Scripture without appealing to the proof afforded 
by the concurrent testimony of the Catholic Church. We have found 
that there are two principal objections raised by the Rationalists of Ger- 
many, which, it must be confessed, are unanswerable. The first is, that 
there is no passage of Scripture which distinctly asserts the whole to be 

inspired ; 

Digitized by 


1848.] Christianity in Germany. 297 

inspired ; there is not even a single book of the New Testament, ex- 
cept perhaps the Revelation of St. John, which professes to emanate 
directly from God. The second objection is, that if there were such 
assertions in Scripture — if the meaning of such passages as may seem 
to bear upon the question were clear and distinct — ^yet it would be a 
proof which is logically inadmissible.' — pp. ll?, 118. 

^ We cannot be surprised at these practical results of the principles 
of Rationalism. We cannot be surprised that every pure and noble 
feeling was blunted by the cold sceptical nature of that religious be- 
lief, or rather unbelief, which is, and ever will be, the ultimate conse- 
quence of the exercise of the boasted right of private judgment. And 
can we wonder that there were some among the sons of Germany who 
saw and acknowledged the utter hopelessness of anything but evil 
springing from this evil principle ? '— p. 146. 

And so on, ad nauseam^ in repudiation of the only principle 
which justifies his own Protestantism, and in imitation of the 
unholy tactique of the Romish church, whose incurable scepticism 
invalidates all evidence whatsoever, in order to induce the implicit 
submission of the understanding to her sway. On the self-asserted 
inspiration of the Scriptures we could say much, and might defend 
at length the right of private judmient, were this * an occasion 
meet'— but must confine our rarther notice of Mr. DeWar's in- 
teresting enough little compilation to one remark, corrective of a 
sophism or mistake running through the whole of his statements, 
concerning those who hold the principle he abhors. He maintains 
that they reject altogether the testimony to the doctrines and text 
of the Holy Scriptures furnished by the consent of the Catholic 
Church. Mr. Dewar must have read our faith upon this point in 
difierent manuals from anv which we have studied, for all the 
Protestant divines, with whose works we are familiar, distinctly 
declare that the voice of the Church is invaluable in the settlement 
of many points, especially of the canon ; but then we only receive 
it in any case as an evidence, and nowhere as an authority. The 
Church witnesses, but the reason enlightened by Scripture decides. 
This surely, and not Mr. Dewar's caricature, is the correct repre- 
sentation of the matter. 

Nor, again, is the application of reason to the solution of re- 
ligious questions the cause of Rationalism, nor the critical study 
of the Scriptures, nor philosophy — ^no, not one, nor all — reason is 
good, criticism good, and philosophy good — therefore we must 
seek elsewhere for the origin of this monster Rationalism — and we 
find it in infidelity. This is the remote and primary cause. It is 
infidelity in one form or other making its way into every profes- 
sion, and at last finding admission into the theological. There 
are proximate causes, or predispodng ones, afiecting this particular 
dass. May we name two. The one is professional femiliarity 

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298 Influence of Modem Philoeopby vjHjn [Oct. 

with the sacred records, and tke other is the iotmsicHi of unooii- 
▼erted men into the mimstry. 

Germany is the hind which save the Kbie to the people of 
Eorope, by the work of die Rerormation, and the leanuw and 
labour of Dr. Lnther. Like a powerful angel, the cooTerted Monk 
came down and released not only Peter from the prison in which 
Anti-christ had bound him, but all the evangelistB and apostles 
of our Lord, bidding them be for ever free, and no more stay 
their tongues from proclaiming the words of eternal life. Ever 
since that pmod the Bible has oeen not only the text^book of the 
preacher, and the common standard of appeal for himself and the 
nearer, but also a household guest with ev^ fomily, a piece of 
furniture as essential to domestic comfiurt as the bed or board. It 
is the breast from which the babe has drawn its early nurture — 
the unadulterated milk (1 Peter iL 2) : it is the fiduntain into 
whose placid bosom the aged man has gazed, and seen mirrored 
there the purity, the peace, the joy of heaven. It is all this to the 
minister of the Gospel and the theolodical professor, and something 
more. It is his tool, his implement, his instrumentuin artis, without 
which his voice has no charm, his hand no power. His occupa- 
tion throws him into a more than ordinary umiliarity with it, not 
for the purpose of edifyixig himself but instmctinff otiiers, and the 
danger *to be apprehended is, that he may come uways to scan it 
with a critical eye, to the complete abrogation of the devotional. 
If ever he be led to do so, his ministry is ruined, and his ^fessorial 
teachings become pernicious. There is more in the KUe than 
vocables and various readings, than rhetoric and poetry, than the 
lower or faiffher criticism ; and he who forgets, because be no longer 
feels, its qmckenin^ and moral power, beneath whidi the livmg 
tendon of the sensitive soul thruls, — he is a paralyzed and lost 
man as a leader of others. The belief is fifteen centuries old at 
least, but not the less true for its antiquity, that God does not 
reveal himself as Father and Son by the Divine Spirit, to those 
who only know him by modes of syllogistic reasoning.^ The 
teacher may be learned, graceful, eloquent^ but he is bund, and 
leads the blind astray, aoid the highest purpose of Scripture teach* 
ing is abandoned, which is to make the man of God ^perfect, 
throughly furnished unto all good woriis.' And where such a 
process as this is perpetuated through two or three generations, 
each succeeding one oeing worse than its predecessor, is it to be 
wondered at that Bationalism, which has gone parip^ away all 
that is beyond the grasp of its intellect and the frigidity of its 
feelmgs, til at last the entire superhuman element has been cut 

^ Ejdph. filer. adT. Aetium. 

« off 

Digitized by 


1848.] Christianity in Germany. 

off from the records of the Qiristian faith, should at length settle 
down in mere infidelity ? To ns the process seems so natural, that 
it could not be otherwise. First, the olade, Rationalism ; secondly, 
the ear, Naturalism ; and thirdly, the fall com in the ear. In- 
fidelity. The Bible could not become other than these have made 
it in the hands of such men. Approached coldly, dogmatically, 
perhaps reluctantly, for the purpose of critic^ue or homily, it be- 
came to them a dry bone, the marrow of a divine origin or divine 
signification having been long sucked out, and being thus left to 
their rationalistic mandibles, ' very diy.' Nay, the book, though 
robbed of its divineness, scarcely retains with diem the credit of 
a respectable human composition. It is contradictory, fabulous, 
childish, a thing to move one's mirth in certain moods ; the in- 
fallibility of the writers, a jest, a play upon one's credulity ; the 
whole might be described, as to their sentiment respecting it, and 
its influence on their life, as 

vivrot yi\Q)ft xat vdvra xovir, xal vivra to m^Scv. 

The second cause which has contributed to the amazing growth 
and iNrevidenoe ai Rationalism in Protestant Germany has been 
the intrusion of unconverted men into the ministry of the Gospel. 

Where a competent share of leanung and subscription to a 
formulary of fiiitn is the cheap and ready means of aamission to 
public service in the church, that service nimishing a profession of 
respectability, and a humble, it may be, yet sufficient maintenance, 
many will enter by the open door who should not, and 'the 
abomination that maketh desolate' will enter with them. No 
truth is so intimately interwoven with the pro^rity of reli^on, 
nay, none so essential to its very esistence, as that the ministers 
of its sanctuary should be, each in his order, ' Holiness unto the 
Lord !' Only to the clean are all things clean : to all besides 
their v^ heart and conscience will be defiled. To such persons 
there will be always objects of greater moment and interests of 
dearer appredation than the ministry they desecrate by their in- 
trusion, and the souls for whom they watch not, but will have to 
give account Literature especially will have charms for them 
as men of education, either in the depth of its sdence or in the 
attractiveness of its fascination. The literature of the Bible will 
probably become their prindjpal study from their professional bias 
and the nature of their position, but they know nothing of that 
sacred and awfiod spirit that should attend the contemplation of 
sacred things. They loose not tlie shoes of their worldliness 
from their feet when they tread on holy ground, ^ intruding into 
those things which ' they have ' not seen, vainly puffed up by ' 
their * fleshly mind.' The most trivial, as well as the most weighty, 


Digitized by 


300 Influence of Modem Philosophy upon [Oct 

questions will attract their attention and engage their research, 
and a positively exhaustive erudition will be expended upon * trifles 
light as air.' No one not conversant with the many voluminous 
Bibliothecse published in Germany, could conceive the immense 
range of topics, small and great, embraced within their discussion, 
or the multifarious learning that has unworthily employed itself in 
the elucidation of some. Now, men thus minded and busied, are 
not the men to resist the onslaught of infidelity. These are not 
the teachers to inspire the people with an earnest and practical 
devotion, the surest safeguard of the &ith, since they have it not 
themselves. "^The spirit of the Lord is to raise the standard 
against the enemy coming in like a flood, but tliese men, destitute 
of that spirit, the Canutes of the Gospel, sit in their ea^ chair and 
enjoy their literary leisure, while the tide of infidehty rises in 
terror around them, or their people are sinking in the deep of in- 

Nay, some of tiiese professed ministers become themselves the 
preacners of infidelity and apostles of Antichrist. How many a 
name that writes D.D. after it has been linked with the enemies 
of the cross of Christ ! We have sufficiently guarded what we 
have said in a previous page against the belief that all whom we 
have quoted and condemned have been divines : too many have been 
such, but some have been unprofesrional laymen and schoolmasters. 
But where they have been ministers of tne sanctuary who have 
sacrilegiously lent their hand to its demolition, what tongue may 
tell the mischief they have done, the souls they have destroyed ? 
Like Samson, they themselves perii^ in the ruin they occasion ; 
but while they render this reluctant compensation to justice, it 
goes but a little way to repair the monstrous wrong they do. 
Compare their course with their supposed determination when in- 
vested with the holy office thev have sought, and with their openly 
expressed vows at the altar of God, and who does not shudder at 
the fmpiety of their procedure, and cry aloud in condemnation of 
their enormous sin ? 

But to the sin of infidelity, some, as if unconscious of the base- 
ness of the act, as if their infidelity had robbed them of their 
moral sense, have sought to cloak their unbelief under the garb of 
conformity to the formularies of the Lutheran church, that they 
might receive its pay as orthodox, while no more than deists or 
infidels in fact. Strauss would eat the church's bread, while stealthily 
yet strenuously labouring to vitiate the church's faith. He con- 
tends that a man may preach a Supematuralist creed in compliance 
with the prejudices of the vulgar, and yet indulge himself in the 
utmost licence of speculation m private, nay, settle down in con- 
firmed imbelief. When Rohr, superintendent of the clergy of 


Digitized by 


1848.] Christianity in Crermany. 301 

Weimar, recommended the open declaration of infidelity on tlie 
part of the Naturalists, and their separation into a new sect distinct 
nrom the existing Christian churches, of his numerous abettors in 
his unbelief he found only one ready to pursue the honest track he 
prescribed. Temporal considerations, it were scarcely uncharitable 
to allege, hare had some weight with Bretschneider, in inducing a 
recantation of the strange surmises of his Probabilia, when they, 
on his own confession, prompted his defence of German theology 
against the attack of Rose in nis Cambridge Lecture. Persons may 
take advantage of the English clergyman's publication, he says, 

* To misrepresent the German theology, and also to cry down many 
respectable and highly esteemed divines as corrupters of religion, and 
thus do them much injury with statesmen, ministers of government, 
and princes, who usually learn such matters through the medium of 
other persons." 

WTiat have ministers of government, statesmen, or princes to do 
with opinions orthodox or otherwise in Protestant Germany? 
Nothing whatever, save to give or withhold the emolument attach- 
ing to parochial tenures. But it was the same at Geneva, it is 
the same all over the world : the broad shield of subscription and 
ritual conformity is allowed to cover any deviation from truth and 
righteousness. Our impression of the morality of those who avail 
themselves of this disingenuous subterfuge is low indeed. The 
mystery of iniquity was long at work in the bosom of the Genevan 
clergy ere their Unitariamsm was avowed, and their change of 
sentiment was zealously guarded from the detection of the sister 
communions of Europe as a * secret which, if revealed at certain 
epochs, would have revolted the minds of men.' " So, too, the 
Congregational ministers of Massachusetts, whose sentiments had 
become Unitarian, owed their detection to the indiscretion of an 
Englishman, and not to their own candour. Over them and over 
then* sleeping churches an angel of death had been silentiy passing 
during the night of their presumed orthodoxy, and ' when tney arose 
early in the mominc,' at the bidding of a sympathizing observer, 
* behold, they were sSl dead corpses,' bereft of the life of evangelical 
religion, bereft moreover of the soul of integrity and honour. 

But ascribing, as even the best* of the Kationalists do not 
hesitate to do, without even seeming conscious that they are doing 
dishonour to them, unmanly compliances and deliberate and con« 
tinned deceptions to the apostles of our Lord and to our Lord 
himself, we need not be surprised if their rule of personal honesty 
and duty be very circumscribed or seriously defective. The tree 
is bad, how then can the fruit be good ? 

' Geneve MeUgieuse, by Ami Boet. " Wegscheider, InstU. Tkeal. 


Digitized by 


302 Influmce of Modem Phih$ophy upon [Oct 

The task we prescribed ourselves is nearly done, our ' dieme* 
will shortly die * into an echo.* We have travo'sed with some 
pains a land of little promise ; have dipped somewhat deeply into 
the history of an unprofitable literature, although want of space 
rather than want of matter has prescribed the present limits to our 
researdbesy yet we neither regret the pains we have taken nor de- 
plore the efiect of the survey on our own mind. We will not say that 
all Bretscfaneider's probalnlia are improbable, we have not found 
them so ; nor Strauss's legends all golden clouds, indd>ted for 
their brightness to his imagination, i(x such they are not ; we will 
not say uiat tlie Rationalists in tlieir various orders, from the de- 
clared infidel up through the grade of Naturalism to the hi^er 
Rationalism that receives Christianity as a positive revelatioo, 
although not fiillv in the sense of the Supematuralist divines, have 
not learning and loffic, science and reason, for this were untrue. 
They are amply eqmpped with all that can contribute to form the 
accomplished scholar and divine, if we except the humility of 
children and the teaching of the Holy Ghost They are in good 
sooth and in all verity richly furnished with all wisdom except 
that ' which is from above.' But the want of the moral qualificar 
tions is the greatest want we are bound to deplore in the religious 
teacher, and their misapplied learning and carnal wisdom nave 
made them the spoilers oi God's church. The plaint of Tertnl- 
lian's day is ours : ' Philosophi patriarchse hsreticorum, eoclesis 
puritatem perversa maculavere doctrina.' The pride of intellect 
and a false philosophy have led themselves astray, and made their 
errors and tneir innuence pernicious to others. 

But the deluge is subsiding, and has been for the last twenty 

! rears. The devastating tide nas reached its spring, and the dry 
and of hope and purity, and truth and promise, has been showing 
itself higher and clearer every succeeding day, to the gladdening 
of the heart of God's people and to the dismay of the unbeliever. 
The sun of vital religion is traversing Germany with a heaUng 
warmth in his beams unfelt since the era of the Reformation. The 
separate and collected works of Luther and Calvin are published 
in that country with an amazing acceptance. Students of theology 
are be&^nning to doubt whether they can do much better than sit 
at the feet of the great Gamaliel of the Reformation, their own 
magnificent Luther, or fire themselves with divine science at the 
altar of its Paul, the unequalled Calvin, who so much and so 

* ID brevissimo curriculo 
Didicit, preestitit, docuit.* 

The influence of the metropolitan university, with its fine corps of 
Christian professors, is widely felt, together with that of those, 


Digitized by 


1848.3 Christianity in Germany, 303 

such as Halle and Bonn, where healthy influences prevail ; while 
the neologian universities are on the decline in reputation and 
seneral regard. The doctrines of grace are proclaimed with a 
mlness unknown for centuries ; and to this more than even to the 
powerful apologies for Christianity, which the assailants of it have 
provoked, do we look for the conversion of the bulk of the people 
to the religion of Jesus. Hie work of defence is well, is necessary 
m its way, but the use of the sword must never supersede the 
operation of building. To expose, to confute error, is unques- 
tionably the teacher's duty, but to inculcate truth is his office. 
This oueht to be the ' one thing he does.' Seeing then that tbe 
philosophy and infidelity of Germany have nearly discharged all 
their venom, exhausted- their strengui, and are on their decline, 
while the true church of Christ is only awaking firom the sleep of 
ages, to a sense of her responsibility, the discharge of her duty, 
the imminency of her danger, and the omnipotence of her re- 
sources, — ^as she girds herself for the conflict, we look most hope- 
fully on, knowing that the victory is secured to ha* by covenant 
and oath ; that ^ He who sitteth in the heavens will laugh ' at 
every device of the enemy; that 'the Lord will hold them in 
derision.' Disasters of a minor class may occur, but not defeat. 
The scale of success may appear for a time to fluctuate, but the 
ultimate decision is fixed. Individuals may be sucked away into 
the vortex, destroyed by the violence or deceived by the smooth 
appearance of the waters, but the Church oannot be hurt. For 
amid all these seeming changes of fortune there is no chance dis- 
tribution of good (X bad ; and under the many-coloured coat of 
vicissitude one purpose is being wrought out in favour of the child 

' The foundation of the Lord staadeth sure, having this seal. The 
Lord knoweth them that are his.' 2 Tim. ii. J 9. 

^ The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice ; let the multitude of isles 
be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about him : righte- 
ousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. A fire goeth 
before him, and bameth up his enemies round about His lightnings 
enlightened the world ; the earth saw and trembled. The hilLs meltod 
like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of 
the whole earth. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the 
people see his glory.* Ps. xcviL 


Digitized by 


( 304 ) [Oct 


SPOKEN OF IN 2 Peter iii. 3—18. 

Translated from the Latin of Camfbgius Vitbinga,* by the 
Bey. Chables Wiu^ B.A . 

2 Peter iu. 3-13, tcfOto irpdrov yan&ffKwrtSj 8ri ^Xc^rovrw iff itrxdrov tSaw 
4ifitp&y iv ifiinuyfwy^ ifjorcuKraif Koerii riis lUica ubr&v imBvfiias 'rop9v6ti€wn KtH \4yoy 
TfS' iroS iariy ^ hrayytXia rqs irapawrias ahrov ; c!^* {s yap ol irarrip^s ixoifiiiOriffcaf, 
irdyra oUt» Ziofihu At^ <2f>X^9 ncrfirewj. XwBdy^i yap airrobs rovro OtXorraSt JJrt 
oifpayol ^aop tianXai icol yn i^ SSoros iced Hi* C^aros avvtffr&ira r^ rod 0€ov XjSy^j it 
&y 6 r6r€ K6(rfios ffSort KoreucKucrB^U dwAXero. ol 9h vw ovjpoyoi ical 4 tyrj t^ ccur^ 
XSyt^ TtBTia-ttvpurfUifoi €la\ wp2, nypov/icyot ctf jifidpay Kpiatws K<d AvwAc/os rwi^ Afft^v 
iifQpAirmv, tv Z\ ToGro /i^ XofOoMiru ifuis, dyamjrolf Uri fua ^t*^pa irapii Kvpi^ &s 
X/Aia fn} Koi x^^^ ^"^ ^' ^m4^ M^ ^^ fipaJ^^u 6 K&ptos r^s iwayytXlaSt &s rw^s 
fipaZvTTJra 4iyovirrcu, dXXa /JUucpoBv/itT us ^/ms, fiii fiovkoft^s rufos dwo\4ffOaif dXXii 
irdtrnu tls furdyoMy X"^^"^ ^{** ^^ ^ Vf^P<* icxtplou &s K\4wrris, 4y p ol ovpayol ^t- 
(flUhy mptXt^aoyrai, aroix^Ta 8c Rawroifjutva XvOiiffovrm icol yrj jcol rh 4v airrp tpya 
MaroKo^o'ertu. ro&rtty ovv itdyrttv \vofi4iwy irorairobs Set Ihrdpx^''^ ^fMS ; iy aytais 
ivaarpotpats jcal €6<rc^cfalt irpo<r8oicwKras koI <nrcv8ovrat rj^i' mpowriay r^s rov^ 0€ov 
rifi4past St* ^y ovpayol wpovfi^yoi Kud^orrai koX vtoixml Kcaxroinimra r^fccroi. imiyobs 
t\ ovpayohs Kcd y^y Koiv^y Karii rh hcdyy^Xfta uJbroQ irpoalioKWfity, iy ofs Zutcuoaivii 

Common Version. — Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days 
scoffers, walking after their own lasts, and saying : Where is the promise of his 
coming? for since the fkthers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the 
beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the 
word of God the heavens were of old, and the eanh standing out of the water and 
in the water : whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, 

Eerished ; bat the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are 
ept in store, reserved anto fire agunst the day of judgment and perdition of un- 
godly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day u with 
the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand year^ as one day. The Lord is not 
slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness ; but is loug-sufiering 
to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repcul- 
ance. But Uie day of the Lord will come as a thief [in the night] ; in the which 
the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall mdt with 
fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burnt up. See- 
ing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner ^persons ought ye to 
be, in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming 
of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be £ssolved, and the 
elements shall melt with fervent heat ? Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, 
look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelletii righteousness. 


* From his ObeervaHones Sacrae, Book iv. chapter 16. The full title of this 
dissertation contains the words : * Wherein is shown by solid reasons, that the 
apostle Peter, in the third chapter of his Second Epistle, where he mentions the 
coming of the Lord for the punishment of the godless bv fire, is not to be under- 
stood of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, which is the opinion of some 
British theologians ; but of the last coming of Christ to judge all mortals, and of 
the baming of the visible world that shall follow.' The Ooservationes Sacrae of 


4)igitized by VjOOQ IC 

1848.] On the Burning of the World. 305 

The apostle Peter, towards the end of the second Epistle which 
bears his name as the author, very clearly speaks of a certain 
coming of the Lord to punish godless men, and to shake the whole 
fabric of heaven and earth wiu a great noise, and destroy it with 
the force of fire. The heavens^ according to the apostle, in that 
last time he speaks of, ^ sliall pass away with a great noise, and 
the elements shall melt unth fervent heat, the earth also, and the 
' works that are therein, shall be humt up ; ' — m all which language 
his belief is expressed in chap. iii. 10, besides many other passages 
on that matter in the same context, which we shall cite presently. 
The ancient fathers everywhere suppose that the iipostle in this 
discourse graphically delineates the state of things in the last age, 
— and the coming of the Lord thus spoken of, and the fire accom- 
panying the Lord's coming, they interpret concerning the last and 

' glorious coming of Christ Jesus, when he will appear from heaven 
as Judge of the dead and living, and inflict the last punishment' 

i on the wicked, fresh-fisishioning at the same time this imiverse. 
Of the fethers of the earlier age, this opinion was held by Ter- 
tullian,** and especially Augustin, who treats largely of this matter 
in the books of the City of God."^ Of commentators on the Scrip- 

the elder Vitringa, the great commentator, must not be confounded with the />i»- 

sertatioRes Sacrae of his accomplished son, the heir of his learning and virtues. 

They are sometimes confounded, as both bore the Christian name of Campegins. 

Our Vitrinffa (the elder) was bom in 1659 and died in 1722, and was professor of 

divinity ana ecclesiastical historr in the University of Franeker. He was one of 

I the most learned and elaborate of the Dutch theoloffians. Of the work fh>m which 

I this dissertation has been translated, Orme in his Bibliotheca Biblica says : < The 

I ObaarvatioMg have been frequentl^r reprinted, and contain an immense mass of 

miscellaneous and learned dissertation on difficult passages of Scripture, and on 

i questions of sacred criticism, theology, and antiquities. Even a list of the subjects 

would occupy more room tluui can be spared in this work ; but they are all treated 

1 with great learning, and often with considerable originality. Some of the senti- 

I ments, however, are not strictly correct ; and perhaps prepared the way for the 

greater aberrations of the modem German theologians. Walch commends the Oh- 

servatiomei as specimens of exquisite erudition/ It is our intention to have a few 

of the most interesting of these dissertations translated for the Journal of Sacred 

lAteraiure. — ^Editob. 

p ^ Advert. Marc. lib. iiL c. xvii. 

* When they are judged who are not written in the book of life, and are sent into 
I everlasting fire (what sort of fire this is, or in what part of the world or of the uni- 

( verse it is to be, I think no man knoirs, unless it nas happened that the Divine 

Spirit has taught him), then the fkshion of this world shaU pass away by the burn- 
ing of the fires of the world, as the flood was made by the overflow of the waters of 
the world. Therefore, as I have said, by that burning of the world, the qualities of 
the conruptible principles which were meet for our conruptible bodies, shall alto- 
gether pass away in the heat ; and matter itself shall have those qualities, which by 
wonderful change shall be meet for deathless bodies; so that indeed the world 
made new and better, shall be well meetened for men even in the flesh made new 
and better.— City cf God. Book xx. ch. xvi. 

Peter has here said nothing of the rising of the dead, but much indeed of the ruin 

' of this world. Also when commemorating the ancient flood, he seems in a manner 

to teach how fiur we most believe that the world will perish in the end of Uiis age. 

Digitized by 


306 On tie Burning of the World. [Oct 

tores in more recent times, I may here mention only Calvin,^ 
PiBcator, and amonsst the Remonstrants (the Dutch Arminiaiis.k 
Vorstius. For to cite more would be superfluous. 


For he says, that at that time, the world which then was» perished ; Dot only tk 
glohe of earth, but also the heaTena, whidi howerer, w« vndentaiid to he those 
aerial hearena, the plaee and space of which was then eneroMhed oa hj the watef's 
increase. Therefbre all, or nearly all that air subject to wind (wluch he calk 
heaven or rather heavens, but those of coarse that are lowest, not those hi^KS, 
where the son and moon and stars are established), was changed to a moist natorr; 
and in this way perished with the earth, the former &ce of whidi earth was of 
coarse obliterated by the flood. * Bat,' he says, ' the heavens and the earth, wUA 
are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved onto fire against the day of 
jadgment and perdition of angodly men.' Therefore the heavens and eutfa, that is, 
the world, which instead of that world which perished by the flood is kepit in stcre 
fk-om the same water, is itself reserved for the last fire against the day of judgmait 
and perdition of angodly men. For he hesitates not to say that there will be a p^ 
dition of men also by reason of some great change $ when, however, tkcm^ ia 
everlasting ponishment, their natore will reauun. Perhtqw some one may ask, if 
after jadgment is done, that world will be consamed, until a new heaven and earth 
be prodnoed instead hereof, even daring its burning, where will be the saints, sanoe, 
baring bodies, they most be in some corporeal place. We may answer, that tfaty 
will be in the higher regions, whither the flame of that fire will not reach, as neither 
did the wave of the flood. For they will have such bodies, that where they wish 
there they will be. Bat made deathless and incorraptible, neitiier win t&ey be 
mtnid of the fire of that baming, — like as the corruptible and mortal bodies of the 
three men could live unhurt in die fiery fomace. — Id. ch. zviii. 

' Calvin on verses 5, 6. With one argument only he reftites the aooff of the 
godless, to wit, that the worid once perished by a flood of waters, when notwith- 
standing it stood by the water. Bat stnee the history was snfikleDtly known and 
celebrated, he says that they erred willingly, that is, of their own accord. For they 
who infer the perpetuity of the worid fh>m its long-continued, state, wickedly shot 
their eves, lest they should pereeive so manifest a judgment of God. Tke world 
certainly derived its origm from the waten ; for chaos, from which the eardi was 
produced, is called waters by Moses, Gen. i. 2. Then it was upheld by the waten; 
but the Lord employed the waters for its destruction. Whence it appears that the 
force of nature is not therefore of itself sufBcient to cherish and preserve the world. 
as there is rather included therein the means of destruction, as oflen as it may 
please God. For we most always think that the world stands by no other power 
than of the word of God, and therefore that inferior causes borrow thence their 
virtue, and are in a manner acted on, so as to produce divers eflfeeta. Thus the 
world stood by the water ; but the water by itself could do nothing, but vras rmther 
subject as an inferior instrument to the word of God. Therefore when onoe it 

S leased God to destroy the earth, the same water rendered its service as a deadly 
elage. Now we see how greatly they err, who tely on die mere elements, as 
though perpetuity belonged to them, and their natore was not rather to be bent 
according to the Divine nod. With these few words, their perversenesa is abos- 
dantlv refuted, who arm themiselves with argoments flt>m nature to oppose God. 
For the history of the fiood, Geu. vii. 17, is a sufficient witoess that die whole coder 
of nature is governed only by the command of God. It, however, seems nnrensoo- 
able that he says, the world perished by the flood, when he had before mentioned 
heaven and earth. I answer, that heaven also was then drowned (submersom^t 
that is, the region of the air, which is spread out empty between the two waters 
For that distinction which Moses speaks of, Gen. i. 6, was destroyed ;->and the 
name Aeooens is often taken in this sense. If any one wish forther infonnntion, let 
him read Aneustin's City of Ood, Book zx. 

Verse 7. He does not draw this as an inference. Nor had he any other object 
than to refhte the subtietyof the soofiers concerning the lasting state of nature, snch 
as we see many at Ibis day, who with a slight sprinklmg oi the rodimenls of phi- 

Digitized by 


1848.] On the Buminff of the World. 807 

This hypothesis, so certainly true, has been approved by the 
Rev. Dr. Thomas Buniet, who has lately composed with learning 
and ingenuity, * The Sacred Theory of the Earth,^ forasmuch as 
while fully treating of the burning of the world, he has nowhere, 
so far as 1 could observe, even questioned whether this passage of 
Peter is to be understood of that last burning of the whole of this 
globe of earth, but has everywhere supposed this a» a ground of 
unassailable truth to his dissertation, especially where he expounds 
in the work this portion of Peter's Epistle.* 


losophy, for wliich thev give themseWes out u great philosophers, only seek for 
proone specnlations. Bat this, however, is clearly apparent from the abore, that 
there is nothing unreasonable when the Lord foretells that the heaven and earth will 
one day be oonsomed by fire, since there is one rule for water and fire. For it was 
a fkmiliar doctrine with the aneients that from these two great principles ail things 

Verse 10. What IbUowt ooaceminff the hnmiDg of heaven and earth, needs not 
a long exposition, if we eonsider its CMsign. For ne does not here mean to treat 
snbtilel^ of fire and storm, and other things, but only thence to infer an exhorta- 
tion which he presently adds, to wit, that we also should strive after newness of 
life. For be reasons thus, that heaven and earth will be purified with fire, that 
they may be sattable to the retgn of Christ : therefbre it is far more necessary that 
men should be renewed. Those interpreters are therefore wrong who spend much 
laboar on sabtile speculations, when the apostle accommodates this entire teaching 
to pious exhortations. Heaven, be says, and earth will pass away for our sakes ; 
does it then become as to be overwhelmed in the world, and not rather to aim at a 
holy and godly lifb ? The defilement of heaven and earth will be purified with fire, 
though they be pure creatures of God : what then nrast we do» who are filled with 
80 many pollutions? In the word t^^fitUus, godlinesses, he uses the plural for the 
singular, unless we tahe it for acts of godliness. Of the elements of the world, I 
will say this one word, that they will be consumed only to acquire a new nature, 
while the substance remains, as may be easily gathered from Rom. viii. 81, and 
other places. 

• Thomas Burnet, LL.D. bom 16S5, died 1716. The curiout and now obsc^ete 
work above l e fferred to has the following passage : — 

We suppose that the conflagration will end in a dissolution and liquefieustion of 
the elements and all the exterior region of the earth ; so as to become a tree deluge 
of fire, or a sea of fire overspreading the wlK>le globe of the earth. This state of 
the eoaflagratioii, I think, may be plainly proved, IMTtly by the expressions of 
Scripture concerning it, and ^rtly fh>m the JUmovatum of the earth that is to fol- 
low upon it St. Peter who m our chief guide in the doctrine of the coofiagratiou, 
says, 2 Pet iii. 10, 1 1, < The elements will be melted with fervent heat;* besides 
burning up the works of the earth. Then adds, ' Seeing all these things shall be 
dissolved,' &c These terms of tiquefaction and dia$oluitm cannot, without violence, 
be restrained to simple devastation and superficial scorching. Such expressions 
carry the work a great deal fhrther, even to that fhll sense which we propose. 
Besides, the prophets often speak of the melting of the earth, or of the hills and 
mountains, at the presence of the Lord, in the day of his wrath. Isaiah xxxiv. 3, 
4 ; Ixiv. 1,2; Nahum i. 5 ; Pndm xevii. 5. And St John, Apocal. xv. 2, tells 
OS of a 400 of^laa»j mingUd with fire ; where the saints stood, singing the song of 
Moses, and triumphing over their enemies, the i^ritual Pharaoh and nis host, that 
vrere swallowed up in it The sea ofgUtu must be a seaof aiobea glass ; it must be 
fluid, not solid, if a sea; neither can a solid substance be said to be wangled with 
Jire, as this was. And to this answers the * lake of fire and brimstone,' which the 
Beast and fUse prophet were thrown into alive, Apocal. xix. 20. These all refer 
to the end of the world and the last fire, and also plainly imply, or express rather, 
that state of liqadhetioa which we suppose and assert 


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308 On the Burning of the World. [Oct 

And yet there have not been wanting in this age, and there 
may be found now, those who ai*e learned and skilled in Sacred 
Literature, who are far from understanding this digres^on of the 
apostle Peter of the last illustrious coming of Christ Jesus, to 
pass sentence concerning the life and character of all men, and 
either to destroy or change this our world, so long subject to 
vanity and the godlessness of mankind ; but rather understand it 
of the particular judgment to be inflicted by God pn the unbe- 
lieving and godless Jews, and the coming of the Lord to overthrow 
their commonwealth, or ecclesiastical polity, which was done by 
the Romans. Thus among English divines, openly favouring and 
maintaining this opinion, are Lightfoot,' Owen,^ and Cave ; ^ and 


Farthermore, the RenooaSiom of Uie world, or the new htavau and new earth, 
which St Peter, out of the prophets, tells us shaU spring oot of these that are hamt 
and dissolved, do suppose tbis earth reduced into a fluid chaos, that it may lay a 
foondation for a second world. If you take such a skeleton of an earth, as your 
scorching fire would leave behind it; where the flesh is torn firom the bones, and 
the rocks and mountains stand naked and staring upon you -, the sea, half empty, 
gaping at the sun, and the cities all in ruins and in rubbish ; how would you raise 
a new world from this ? and a world fit to be a habitation for the righteoue ; for so 
St Peter makes that to be, which is to succeed after the conflagration, S Peter iiL 
13, and a world also without a tea; so St John describes the new earth he saw, 
Apocal. xzi. I. As these characters do not agree to the present earth, so neither 
would they a^ree to your foture one ; for if that dead lump could revive and become 
habitable again, it would however retain all the imperfections of the former earth, 
besides some scars and deformities of its own. Wherefore, if you would cast the 
earth into a new and better mould, you must first melt it down ; and the last fire, 
being as a R^nei'e fire, will make an improvement in it, both as to matter and 
form. To conclude, it must be reduced into a fluid mass, in the nature of a chaos, 
as it was at first ; but this last will be a fiery chaos, as that was watery ; and from 
this state it will emerge again into a paradisaical world. — Sacred Ineorif of the 
EaHh, Book iii. ch. iz. 

Burnet afterwards explains the passa^ thus:— < The apostle answers to the 
scoffers, that they willingly forget or are ignorant, that there were heavens of old, 
and an earth, so and so constituted ; consisting of water and by water; by reason 
whereof that world, or those heavens and that earth, perished in a deluge of water. 
But saith he, the heavens and the earth that are now, are of another constitution, 
fitted and reserved to another fiite. And after these are perished, there will be new 
heavens and a new earth, according to God's promise.' He expounds the passage 
at length, and argues for its reference to the * natural world.' He says, * The sacred 
basis upon which the whole theory stands, is the doctrine of St Peter, delivered in 
his second epistle and third chapter, concerning the triple order and succession of 
the heavens and the earth. That comprehends the whole extent of our theory ; 
which indeed is but a large commentary upon St Peter's text' — iv. 10, T^ns. 

' Work on Chronology, Part ii. p. 116, « Theoloff. Lib. iii cap. i. § 1, 2. 

^ Peter teUs us of these scoffers that should come in the last days ; that is, before 
the destruction of Jerusalem (as that phrase is often used in the New Testament), 
that they should say, * Where is the promise of his coming ?* Which clearly respects 
their making light of those threatenmgs of our Lord, whereby he had foretold, that 
he would shortly come in judgment for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish 
nation. This he now puta^ them in mind of, as what probably he had before told 
them of, vivft voce, when he was amongst them. For so we find he did elsewhere. 
Lactantius assuring us, B. iv. ch. xxi.,' That amongst miinv strange and won- 
derful things which Peter and Paul preached at Rome, and left upon record, this 
was one, that within a short time, God would send a prince who should destroy the 


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1848.] OntheBumingof the World. 309 

' even Hammond, who however holds the following opinion peculiar 
to himself. 

Hammond ' supposes that there is in this chapter a direct men- 
tion of the destruction of Jerusalem. For that judicial coming of 
Christ was mocked at by the profene of that time, v. 4, which 
therefore Peter proceeds with from v. 8, to the end of the chapter. 
In the verses between, however, the 5th, 6th, and 7th, he thinks 
that Peter indirectly mentions that last burning of the world. 
For Peter, in those clauses, ai^ Hammond thinks, refutes as 
by parenthesis the argument with which the profane scoffers, 
V. 4, had endeavoured to confirm their godlessness : to wit, ^ since 
the fathers fell asleep, all things continue cls they were,^ This 
profane supposition, Peter, in Hammond's opinion, refutes, first by 
the flood, then by the burning of the world ; when he returns to 
the subject itself, and maintams the hope of believers concerning 
the overturning of the Jewish commonwealth. But this is an 
evident wresting of Peter's language in a plain and clear 
matter, which has been carefully examined, and learnedly and 
solidly refuted by Le Clerc*' on this passage, so that we need 
say no more. Peter speaks in this chapter of a coming of Christ 
Jesus, one and of one kind, to punish his enemies, and to chanse 
the face of heaven and earth. This coming must be either the 
coming of Christ to destroy the religious polity of the Jews, by 
punishing them through the Romans ; or the coming of the last 
day to judge and severely pimish all godless and wicked men, his 
enemies, and purify this world wherein we dwell, from the defile- 
ment of wickedness and evil. The latter opinion seems to me 
most true, which by leave of those who think differently, we will 
now strive according to our strength to confirm, that henceforth 
the meaning of this celebrated passage may be clearly settled 
amonest the lovers of truth. 

I think sojjirgty because Peter plainly says of those scoffers who 
mock at the hope of believers concerning the coming of the 

Jews, and lay their cities level with the ground, straightly besiege them, destroy 
them with fitmine, so that they should feed npon one another : that their wives and 
daughters should be ravished, and their children's brains dashed out before their 
faces. That all things should be laid waste by fire and sword, and themselves per- 
petually banished from their own country : and this for their insolent and merciless 
usage of the innocent and dear Son of Uod/ All which, as he observes, came to 
pass soon after their death, when Vespasian came npon the Jews, and extinguished 
both their name and nation. And what Peter here foretold at Rome, we need not 
question, but he had done before to those Jews to whom he wrote this epistle, 
Wherein he especially antidotes them against those corrupt and poisonous |>rinciples, 
-wherewith many, and especially the followers of Simon Macns, began to infect the 
church of Christ. And this but a little time before his deaSi, as appears from that 
passage in it, where he teils them, i. 14, that he knew he must shortly put off his 
earthly tabernacle.— Cave's Life of Peter, x. 6. 

' Commentary on the passage. ^ Annotations on Hammond. 

VOL. II. — NO. IV. Y Lord, 

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310 On tlie Burning of the World. [Oct. 

Lord, not that they have comsj but that they will come at last, f v* 
liTxji^ou Tft?v ifjispwv^ in the last days ; since surely if Peter by to 
If^X^rov r&y V«c^' the last time, luul intended the last time of the 
old economy, he ought to have said, that those soofiers had already 
come, because the apostle doubtless wrote this Epistle a few years 
before the overthrow of the Jewish state by the Romans, at which 
time those scoffers must have already come, if any were to be 
looked for at all before the destruction of the Jewish common- 
wealth. For the Jews at that *time either were already or were 
presently to be involved in that war with the Romans, which 
proved mournful and Csital to their commonwealth. 

I Rrant, therefore, here that ro itrxotrof rwv 4/uk€/>a)v, ' the last 
days, if taken indefinitely, may mean what the advocates of the 
other opinion wish, to wit, the last time of the old economy^ which 
ended at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans ; or in 
general, even the time of the new economy, when the old economy 
IS ended : bnt I deny that in this place that interpretation can be 
admitted, because by such an exposition Peter's discourse would 
not be consistent with itself. Peter wrote this Epistle not long 
before that death which awaited himself. He underwent it two 
(or four) years, according to the opinion of the more learned, before 
the overUirow of the Jewish commonwealth by the Romans, at 
which time Jewish aflbirs either had been or would presently be 
in disorder. How then could he write at that time that scoffers 
would come in the last times f Peter manifestly speaks of a thing 
to come after an intervening delay of no small time. 

What I have here stated, that Peter wrote this Epistle a short 
time before the overthrow of the Jewish state, may be re^irded as 
most certain. For it is evident in this very Epistle that reter has 
foretold his death as something already near. ^ I know,' he says, 
ch. i. 14, Sti TA^i^ri lariv i diroQsais tov (ncnwfJMTOf /AOUf that I 
must shortly put off P^iB] ^y tabernacle^ as our Lord Jesus Christ 
hath showed me. Therefore this epistle was written not long 
before his death. Moreover that Peter suffered crucifixion, 
according to Christ the Lord's prediction, John xxi. 19, in the 
latter years of Nero's reign, is an assertion in which the best 
chronologists^ ancient and modem, agree, whether on the ground 
of the tradition of the andent church, or of the comparison 
of history. Eusebius indeed refers the martyrdom of Peter 
to the fourteenth or last year of Nero's reign, which corre- 
sponds to 67 and 68 of Christ, according to the vulgar sera of 
his birth. This opinion is followed by Onuphrius, Baronius, and 
among others by Cestriensis, a most competent judge in such 
matters. But Epiphanius places Peter's death in the twelfth year 
of Nero, during the consulship of Nerva Silianus and Vestinus 

Atticus : 

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1848.] On the Burning of the World. 311 

Atticus : which is favoured by the catalogue of the ancient Pon- 
tifices, and amount the scholars of our day by Henschenius, 
Papebrochius, Pagius, and Toynard. This year corresponds to 
A.D. 65. It is certain that by Clirist's prediction, Peter would 
die old. "Oray yeqdariff says the I^ord, ' when thou shalt be old^ 
thou shalt stretch forth thine hands, and another shall gird thee/ 
(the hands doubtless being bound to the transverse beam of the 
cross, when the cross was about to be carried by him to the place 
destined for his execution,"* as already remarked by the learned,) 
*and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.' The probability 
therefore is, that his life was prolonged until the latest part of 
Nero's reign. And besides, when it is known both from the 
epistle of Clement (to the Corinthians, v."), and especially from 
the prediction of the Lord, and its interpretation added by the 
evanselist John, %si. 19, that Peter, like his Lord, really ended 
his life on the cross, who could be reasonably induced to believe 
that that was done before the persecution of the Christians by 
Nero ? This indeed, according to the conjectures of the learned, 
resting on probable argument (which cannot be rehearsed here, 
through fear of greater prolixity in this argument than is fit), did 
not happen before tlie tenth year of Nero. If any one chooses^ 
with the Rev. W. Cave, to place the death of Peter also in the 
same year, it would amount to almost the same in my argument ; 
although the middle opinion, which throws the death of Peter to 
the twelfth year of Nero, pleases me the best. 

It may now be considered, as has been well proved by Pagius, 
that the warlike movements which proved fatal to the tJews, 
occurred in the thirteenth year of Nero, a.d. 66, and that Jerusa* 
lem was assailed by Titus, and overthrown witii the Temple in 
70 of the vulgar sera ; then, according to the reckoning of Eusebiua, 
that Peter wrote this epistle in the very torch of that ruinous war 
already fired among the Jews ; but according to Epiphanius, 
Peter wrote it one year, according to Cave, three years before 
that pernicious war. If this be true, how could Peter speak in 
this his epistle, of ^ scofiers of the last time,' as if about to be mani- 
fested long after this time f Peter doubtless wishes believers to 

" Another explanation is, that in crucifixion itself the limbs and even the body 
were sometimes girt or bound to the cross. * The feet were occasionally boond to 
the cross by cor&, and Xenophon asserts that it was usual among the Egyptians to 
bind in this manner, not only the feet but the hands.' — Dr. Kitto's C^cl^^csdia, art. 
* Crucifixion/ — Tramslatob. 

* The criminal was nailed or bound to the cross. The latter was the more pain- 
Ail method, as the sufferer was left to die of hunger. Instances are recorded of 
persons who survived nine days.'^Dr. Wm. Smith's JHctionary qf Greek and Boman 
Antimtities, art ' Crux.' — ^TaAMSLATOB. 

" Peter, by unjust envy, underwent not one or two only, but many travails, and 
having thus witnessed, departed to the destined place of glory, 

y 2 * know. 

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312 On the Burning of the World. [Oct. 

' know, first, on sXec/^vrai sir* k^irov ta/v ifAsqSy i/MVaXKracif thai 
there shall come in the last days scoffers^ saying, sroi; cerriv % 
6Votyys\ta nrhs va^ovaias abrov ; where is the promise of his coming V 
Doubtless there were already, and had been a long time among 
the Jews, many □''it^ scomersy Ps. i. 1, who mocked at the hope of 
Christians, and lived in unrestrained godlessness. There were 
among the Christians themselves those wno had departed from the 
faith of Christ Jesus, and yielded themselves to lusts, an example 
of whom already began to appear in the Gnostics, who, as time ad- 
vanced, would be more openly discovered. But in that space of 
two, four, or, if you please, six years, which preceded the ruin of 
the Jewidi commonwealth, no new persons of that kind were, as I 
think, about to appear ; and therefore if Peter had intended the 
scoffers and the godless of that time, he would have rather said, 
that scoffers of that kind tjoere already in the world, and had come 
according to the prediction of Christ and the apostles, than that 
they \oould cane in the last days. Nor had there been any mean- 
ing in these scoffers asking, ^ where is the promise of his coming Y 
for the overthrow of the Jewish state, when Judaea was already 
heated by those movements, which all the wise easily saw would 
bring ruin on the commonwealth. And yet, which is especially 
to be noticed here, not only in this passage, but also in the context 
following, Peter speaks or the day of this judgment as something 
by no means near, but which as yet was subject to a long delay. 
For what else can be the meaning of what he says in v. 8 ? ' But 
beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with 
the Lord as a thousand yearsy and a thousand years as one day.' 
What need had Peter of producing as an example the delay of a 
thousand years, for the sake doubtless of sustaining the fainting 
hope of believers, if he knew what, as Christ's apostle, he could 
know and take for granted, that the ruin of the Jewish common- 
wealth was to be looked for in a very short space of time ? Why 
does he not rather plainly say, that there is no place for mockers 
to deride that expectation oi believers from the so great delay of 
that Divine judgment, since that coming of the Lord is now in- 
deed near at hand, and those mockers will within a few years 
experience God's avenging hand ? The celebrated Cocceius, by 
whom everywhere the same opinion which I am maintaining in this 
dissertation is stated and defended in his commentary on this 
epistle (and truly I may not conceal the pleasure this affords me), 
well writes on this matter, that Peter, verses 8, 9, * hints that a 
long delay vnll take place ;' and that * he intends that day in which 
God's longsuffering will cease.' That is precisely what we assert 
and enforce. 

To this first of my reasons, which has, I think, been sufficiently 


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1848.] On the Burning of the World. 313 

illustrated, another may succeed, to wit, that the objection which 
these profane mockers brought against believers, and the answer 

f provided for it by Peter, does not agree to the hypothesis of those 
earned men who here differ from the received opinion, nor can it 
be easily reconciled therewith. This we must prove in order. 

The objection which these profane scofiers brought against tlie 
hope of believers concerning the Lord's coming to execute judg- 
ment and change the system (<rx>iM«) of heaven and earth, is ex- 
pressed by Peter nearly in these words : — * Where is the promise 
of his coming ? a(p' ^s ya^ ol Trariqis iKOifjiriBviffay, vdi/ra oStw he^jjysi 
dv dpxris KTio'iojf.for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue 
thus (in the same state) from the b^inning of the creation^ By 
the &thers who are said to have fallen asleep, are doubtless to be 
understood the patriarchs (especially Enoch and Noah), and the 
prophets (especially David and Isaiah, whose words Peter quotes 
in tne succeedinj^ context of his discourse), who were thought to 
have predicted God's future general judgment of all men, and the 
destruction of the present fiishion of the world. But these 
mockers say, since tne time that the fathers died, even from the 
earliest days of the world, the universal nature of things remains 
in the same position and order ; and therefore vain is the hope of 
believers concerning any such great change of things, or extraor- 
dinary judgment, as godly Christians looked for for their benefit 
and salvation. Let us now see whether this objection agrees more 
to our own or the opposite hypothesis. 

To proceed : wnat appearance does this objection make, if we 
suppose that Peter in this chapter speaks de fAepixu, or of a par- 
ticular judgment, such as was God's judgment to i)e executed on 
the Jews, and of the overthrow of a certain particular state, such 
as the Jewish state of course was, although formed by God in a 
manner peculiar to itself? Have * all thmgs continued as they 
were from the beginning of the world,' with regard to the civil or 
sacred existence of the greater number of the more important of 
commonwealths, which the world, from the time of the founders of 
empires, has seen as the most flourishing ? So far is that trom 
the truth, that, on the contrary, no one but a child can deny that 
there have appeared in the world very many and dreadful examples 
of God's judgments in overthrowing the largest and most powerful 
empires, besides lesser polities and states, as the Jewish, and 
cities, as Jerusalem. Did not Nineveh, Tyre, Capua, Saguntum, 
Thebes, Carthage, sustain a &te most similar to that of Jerusa- 
lem, in the fall of which city was iilvolved the overthrow of the 
Jewish ecclesiastical polity ? Yea, who of those scoffers, even of 
the most profane mind, could be ignorant of or deny, that the 
Jewish polity was founded by MoBe8,a]id had been once already 


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314 On the Burning of the World, [Oct. 

overthrown by the Babylonians ? Could they then say with re- 
gard to this polity, that * all things continaed as they were from 
file beginning of the creation ? ' Could it seem a new thing to 
them for the Jewish commonwealth to be destroyed by the Romans, 
which had been already overthrown by the mbylonians ? Yea, 
did not the wiser of the Jews, even those of profane minds, fear, 
and easily foresee what was shown by the event to have been im- 
pending r But if it is supposed with us that Peter speaks in this 
chapter of a general judgment to be brought by God in the last 
time, and a future change of the sy8tem(<rxriAta) of the world, not 
figuratively but properly so called, the force of this objection is 
evident to ever^ one. i e Christians, said the scofiers, preach and 
look for a burning of the (sublunary) heaven and earth, t(^ether 
with a coming oi Christ trom heaven to pronounce judgment 
solemnly on aU men. But those thines hardly deserve belief, as 
the world has remained in the same place and order for so many 
years and ages, without difierence or remarkable change, and it is 
now a long time since the patriarchs and prophets who predicted 
those things, departed this life. Since their predictions have not 

Jet met with tlieir fulfilment, it is not likely to happen in the 
Let us now see what Peter answers to the difficulty thus brought. 
* For this,' he says, • they willingly are ignorant of, that by the 
word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of 
the water and in the water : 'Si' arv 5 rort xiff/j^s vSart KaTakKvaBus 
dTciXero ; by which (the lower as well as higher waters, as Hammond 
rightly here observes) * the world that then was, being overflowed 
with water, perished.' As if Peter had said, — ^why do uiose scofiers 
object to us, that the nature of things has always preserved its 
own order, witiiout any extraordinary and remarkable change : 
when truly it is known from both sacred and profane history, that 
the globe of earth itself whereon we dwell, was of old, even all of 
it, overwhelmed in water by God's dreadful and memorable judg- 
ment, that God might punish all the godless and wicked dwellers 
on earth ? Who thereiore can reasonably wonder much, that we 
believe and declare that this earthly globe will in the last time 
undergo some such destruction hjjire as it has already experienced 
by uxiter f 

But if it is supposed that Peter speaks of the destruction of the 
figurative heavenly and earthly system {ayfif^) which is the dis- 
annulment of the ecclesiastical economy which Moses founded by 
Divine command ; then truly these words of Peter will have far 
less force and emphasis. For Peter will say, according to that 
hypothesis, that it is not an absurd belief diat God wilfdisannul 
the economy of the law founded by Moses, and overthrow the 


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1848.] On the Burning of the World. 315 

commonwealth of the impious Jews, gince already, of old, thetcorld 
overflou>ed with toater has perished. If indeed here by v)orld be 
especially understood, men themselves, inhabitants of we world ; 
what need had the hoi y apostle to seek so far for what was obvious 
and plain ? For first, toere was no reason or shadow of reason to 
render it absurd to believe that the Romans would destroy the 
Jewish, common wealth, or that God would severely chastise the 
profane and godless Jews. Then, if notwithstanding, any one 
should, with no reason whatever, think that a thing improper for 
belief, what would have been easier for Peter tlmn to seek an 
example in the former overthrow of the Jewish polity by the 
Babylonians? Why have recourse to the flood, in which, although 
God severely punished godless and wicked men (in which respect 
I acknowledge it bore a resemblance to the judgment executed on 
the Jews) ; were was, however, no ecclesiastic^ polity, which is 
equivalent to the figurative system of heaven and earth, overthrown 
or destroyed. But it is uncertain whether )c6<rM0f, * world,' does 
not here really mean the frame of the sublunary world, and 
especially this our earth itself, which he had spoken of. This, 
Peter says, passed away, for at the time it really seemed to have 
^ perished, overflowed with water,' and it appeared with a new and 
difierent face after the flood. If this was tne meaning of Peter in 
this passage, then trvlj these words of his can in no way be recon- 
ciled with the opposite hypothesLs. For what has the destruction 
of a figurative neaven and earth in common with the ruin of a 
sublunary heaven and earth, properly so called ? 

But tins itself suggests the third argument for the support of 
our opinion. Doubtless the apostle Peter speaks of a ' heaven and 
earth ' of the same kind as were the heavens preserved by the 
word of God, and- the earth overflowed by the waters of the flood ; 
and therefore by heaven and earth here he does not intend us to 
understand the ecclesiastical system {<rxi/JM) of the Jewish people. 
Peter's words in the following context are, 61 Se vuv ovqa^ol xal i 7^, 
but the heavens and the eartn which are now, by the same word 

* are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment 
and perdition of ungodly men.' Here evidently, * the heavens 
and earth which are now,' are by Peter distinguished from and 
opposed to the heaven and earth which were of old. But the 
heaven and earth which were of old, are that very fabric of the 
world of heaven and earth, as, preserved by tbe word of God, it 
appeared before the flood. This indeed is evident from verse 5 : 

* For this they willingly are ignorant oi^ that by the word of God 
the heavens were SxvaXai, ofold^ and the earth standing out of the 
water and in the water.' If this is true and certain, as indeed it 
is most certain, how will this antithesis of the apostle be consistent 


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316 On the Burning of the World. [Oct 

with itself? How will the heavens and earth mystically so called, 
be opposed to heavens and earth properly and truly so called ? 
For opposition ought to take place between things of the same kind. 
Nor, moreover, could I easily persuade myself, that Peter in the 
simple and epstolary style, such as is and ought to be the diction 
of tnis Epistle, would, without at all warning us of a distinction, 
call the Mosaic economy^ heaven and earth. In prophecy, whose 
adornment agrees with tiie construction of figures, that properly 

diction perspicuous, plain and easy to be understood, unless any 
one might choose to call certain ApostoHc Epistles, as those of 
James and John, by the name of prophecies, rehearsing in order 
the destinies of the New Testament church, as thus certain ge- 
niuses of our time loye to play with the interpretation of God's 
word. But that, as I for my part think, is plainly viri^^wy v%q 
o ^sr^^ovfiTv, thinking more mgnly [of themselves] than they ought 
to think. 

However, not to mention more which might be referred to here, 
we observe, /bttr^A/y, that Peter the apostle speaks in this context 
of that commg of Christ the Lord, before which those who are 
chosen in God's counsel to be led to salvation, will have been 
called to a fellowship of gracious benefits, and will have obeyed 
that their calling ; which werefore cannot be the coming of Christ 
to destroy the «^wish polity, but must be the last coming of Christ 
Jesus topass judgment concerning the state and character of all 
men« Tnat this is altogether the truth, we are taught by Peter's 
words in verse d : *' The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, 
as some men count sladcness ; but is longsuffering to us-ward, /i^ 
. ^vXotiA^os rivar xvokMai kWa vavraf sit pieravoiffv %oj^(Tau^ not 
willinff tliat any should perish^ but that all should come to repent- 
ance.^ There were those who blamed the Lord's long delay of 
that His bright coming, to bring salvation to the godly, ruin to 
the godless. For many Christians of that time were tinctured 
with an opinion that the Lord's coming was near : and the soofiers 
pretended there was no reason wheretore the Lord should delay 
that coming of his. There is a reason, says Peter. * God willeth 
not that anv should perish, but He wishes to lead vditras, all to 
repentance. Hiese words of Peter agree so well and exactly to 
the hypothesis of the last coming of the Lord for the general 
judgment of all men, as not at all to the opposite opinion. For I 
beseech consideration, whether Peter^s language would be consist- 
ent thus : Christ has hitherto not executed judgment on the un- 
righteous Jew«, because he willeth no one to perish, but to lead 


Digitized by 


1848.] On the Burning of the World. 317 

all by repentance to salvation. For after the godless Jews were 
punished, were not many other men led to salvation by the preach- 
ing of the Gospel ? In what way then could the accomplishment 
of God's counsel concerning the chosen who were to be called, 
occasion delay to Christ's coming for punishing the Jews ? But 
it may be said, Peter does not here speak generally of all men as 
to be led to salvation by God's counsel, but of Jews alone. Peter's 
meaning therefore is, that Christ delayed to come for the chas- 
tisement of the Jews, because he was unwilling that any of the 
Jews who were destined to salvation should pensh, but wished to 
lead all to salvation. Well, be it so, although it is true that 
Peter's language is by no means restricted, but will admit the 
widest interpretation. But let us try whether Peter's declaration 
will hold good ; to wit, that God delays inflicting punishment on 
the faithless Jews, because He willeth not any Jews to perish, but 
to lead all (Jews effectually called according to God's counsel) 
by repentance to salvation. Can, I ask, this declaration of Peter's 
hold good ? After the example of tiie Divine severity that was 
given in the overthrow of the Jewish commonwealth, were there 
no Jews converted to Christ Jesus, or after conversion, could they 
not be led to salvation ? Did not many thousands of Jews, about 
the time tiiat the Romans chastised the rebellion of the Jews of 
Canaan, settle in Egypt, Asia, and Greece ? Were none of these, 
after the destruction of the Jewish commonwealth in Canaan, 
brought to repentance ? On the contrary, it is likely that there 
were Jews, who when they beheld that hope fail them, which had 
hitherto rested in the Temple and Jerusalem, the citadel, as it 
were, of their relinon, were by this very reason induced to era- 
brace the faith of Christ Jesus. The words of Peter cannot theu 
be properly harmonized with tiie hypothesis of the opposite opinion. 
But with ours they can exceedingly well. For it is sufficiently 
evident, that after that last and general judgment which Christians 
look for, there will be no more place for repentance. All those 
who are chosen by the decree of God's counsel, will then have 
been already called and brought to repentance. The reason 
therefore that the Lord delays His coming for a longer time, 
surely is, that His counsel concerning bringing all the chosen to 
salvation, mav be fulfilled. This is Peter's clear and plain mean- 
ing. After that time, ^ God's longsuffering will have been finished,' 
as we have seen is well said by Cocceius. 

We have adduced sufficient arguments in &vour of our hypo- 
thesis, although it would be easy to add others. Let us now 
briefly see what can be brought by learned men against it. But 
these are not all of one kind. Some are brought from Peter's 
language itself, of which we have treated above ; others from the 


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318 On the Burning of the World. [Oct. 

subject itself, which, to those who are regardful of human reason, 
may seem more difficult to be apprehended and explained. 

With Peter's langua^ two difficulties are connected by the 
learned John Owen ; which shall be given entire in his own words, 
lest they should lose any of their force from me : — 

< The apostle here speaks,' says he, ' of a twofold world, the old one 
which had perished by water, and the present one to be consumed by 
fire ; after whose destruction he foretells the introduction of a third, 
in the thirteenth verse, xaiyovc 2c ovfMivovc Koi yfiv Katviiy^ Kara to 
hr6,yytkfta aitrov^ vpoffhoK&fUPy ir olc hucaio^yri icaro<xci--^Neverthe- 
less we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new 
earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. In neither place does the 
apostle treat of a visible heaven and earth with regard to substance. 
For when the old world was destroyed by water, there remained never- 
theless the frame of the heavens and earth. That u^orU therefore was 
the men living in the world. When they were extirpated by the flood, 
another world must be raised for the right discharge of the service oi 
God. Moreover God laid the foundations of this world in Noah's 
family : the building and adornment of the Jewish church completed 
the whole structure. And therefore that was the world which Peter 
foretold should be destroyed by fire ; that is, in the prophetic style. 
So we read in Isaiah li. 15, 16, 1 am the Lord thy God, that divided the 
sea, whose waves roared : the Lord of Hosts is his name. And I have 
put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of 
mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of 
Ihe earth, and say unto Zion, Thou fart] my people.' — OeoXoyov/ieva, 
sive de Naiurd^ brtu^ Progressu et Studio vercB TheohguBy iii. v. 2. 

The force of the argument by whidi the learned man supports 
his opinion, we see rests on this, that Peter speaks of the world 
that perished, by which worlds he says, cannot be understood the 
frame itself of heaven and earth, which indeed was not destroyed 
by the flood, but rather men themselves, who perished in the 
flood, and after that time would be punished by fire. Respectitie 
this we observe, i. That the consequence drawn bv the learned 
man, to wit, that Peter by the world which perished b^ the flood 
understands men ; therefore he does not speak of the visible world, 
— by no means follows, nor is admitted by me. For Peter, in 
treating of the flood that happened to the old world, does not use 
here the word u)orld only, (which perhap could here be taken so 
widely as to include men also,) but speaks plainly of the * heavens, 
which were of old, existing by the word of God, 9fA of the earth 
standing out of the water and in tibe water,' which was overflowed 
in the flood. Owen has willingly past this over ; which ought 
not to have been done. For what are those heavens produced of 
old, and existing by the word of God ? And what is that earthy 
which ' of old stood out of the water and in the water V Are not 


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1848.] On the Burning of the World. 819 

these the frame itself of heayen and earth ? By those heavens 
and earth can we possibly understand either men who perished in 
the flood, or the church system before the flood ? ^o Mend of 
reason, I think, would say so ; nor durst Owen say so plainly. 
Why then does he say that ' die apostle does not treat of the 
visible heaven and earth V Yea, surely, the apostle does plainly 
and clearly speak of the visible heaven and earth, ii. Althougn 
without injury to our argument, it could be quite granted, to take 
the word world so widely here as to include men likewise, de- 
stroyed by the flood, yet it is indeed my opinion that Peter does 
not here mtend that word to be taken so widely. With me it is 
a settled matter, that Peter by toorld intends here that frame of 
the sublunary world which in the preceding verse he had called 
heavens and earth. But, says the learned man, that frame of 
heaven and earth did not perish by the flood. But I reply, yea it 
did truly perish, according to Peter's meaning and opinion. For 
Peter means simply to say, that the order of nature was then 
disturbed, and the frame of this sublunary world also as it were 
dissolved. The waters^ which had hitherto kept within the bounds 
marked for them by God at the first creation of this world, broke 
forth with great strength from the depUis of earth, and brought 
ruin far and ?ride. The clouds^ which had hitherto taken and 
held waters gathered from mists, with great meetness to mankind, 
outpoured them so largely on the earth, that the expanse of heayen 
seemed destroyed and broken to pieces. The earthy which had 
heretofore by God's law lifted her head above the waters, now 
seemed wholly to have perilled, as indeed it had perished. Thus 
the order of nature was altogether as it were overturned and dis- 
turbed, until God had satisfied His severity ; which godless men, 
living in Noah's age, thought would never by any means happen. 
Tfie substance qf the sublunary heaven and earth did notperish^ I 
acknowledge. But that is what Peter neither means nor cares 
for. Neither will that take place hjjire in the last time. For it 
is most certain, that the substance itself, or matter of heaven and 
earth, cannot be eflaced or destroyed by fire. If God wished to 
destroy it, he would not employ fire. But what Peter means is 
this, tiiat what God once determined on doing by uxiter^ that He 
might destroy the wicked, and fresh-fashion the earth cleansed 
from evil, even th^ same will be done hy Jire in the last time, and 
the order of nature be almost in the same way as it were dis- 
turbed. Flames will then enwrap all things, and blaze to the 
terror of the godless. Other things in this passage of the cele- 
brated Owen, which might be observed and discussed, concern- 
ing the new world and its foundations, as I study to be brief, 
I will here pass over. 


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320 On the Burning of the World. [Oct 

Owen proceeds to seek a new argument for his own opinion 
from the words of Isaiah, quoted by Peter, in which God pro- 
mises to the church new heavens and a new earthy which, he con- 
tends, cannot be understood of the heavens and earth properly so 
called, but manifestly refer to the state of the church under the 
new economy. He says : 

* The Apostle exhorts the fisuthful, since the consummation of the 
age (tov aiwro^ a-vrriketa) had not yet arrived, to look for another 
world, new heavens and a new earth, according to God's promise. 
That promise exists in Isaiah Ixv. 17, and in the same words in Ixvi. 
22. " Behold," he says, ^' I create new heavens and a new earth ; 
and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." In 
these passages the prophet describes the state of the church afler Christ's 
coming, when God would '' take of the Gentiles for priests and for 
Levites," as the words are, Ixvi. 21, that is, would found the Grospel 
ministry. Whence the state of the church, after the burning of that 
second world, was called ^^ the age to come,'* and '^ the world to come " 
(Heb. ii. 5 ; vi. 5). Thus then, the^^r^ or old world perished by the 
flood of water ; the second, then existing, the Apostle foretells shall 
perish by flre ; but asserts that the coming one shall last even until the 
consummation of the age.' — Theolog. iii. v. 3. 

Yea, Peter does indeed say, that he, with the truly believing 
Christians, after that coming of the Lord to destroy Uie godless 
by fire at the last day, * looked for new heavens and a new earth 
wnerein dwelleth righteousness,' and this indeed, Kara to ivayyiKt^a 
rov deot), according to God's promise, to wit, in the passages of 
Isaiah quoted above, which does not seem capable of reconciliation 
with our hypothesis. For, first, Is^ah does not speak in those 
places of a state of things which shall follow the last judgment, 
out rather of the state of the diurch under the new economy, 
whence it seems to follow that the coming of the Lord, here de- 
scribed by Peter, which must precede the new heavens and earth 
produced by God, is not that coming of the last time to judge all 
men, but some coming of the Lord before that. Further, it does 
not seem as if it could be said of the earth, destroyed and laid 
waste by fire in the last time, that therein righteotisness should 
dicelL For this earth is not the place wherein God's glory and 
the salvation of His chosen will be consummated. The raised 
saints will be * caught up with Christ into the air,' and carried to 
that place which Scripture calls tov t^iVov ov^avov, the third heaven, 
and vaqaietaov, paradise. This is the hope of believers. If then 
the earth is to be dwelt in by righteousy it would seem that 
righteous and saints are to be produced therein afresh by God, 
which is by no means likely. 

I do not deny that this objection has force and plausibility, 


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Google J 

1848.] On the Burning of the World. 321 

which, therefore, if we overcome, we shall not he easily hindered 
elsewhere. I would therefore observe concerning it : — I. From 
the connection of the whole of Peter's discourse it is suflBciently 
evident, that the passage in Isaiah concerning the new heaven and 
earth to be hereailer produced by God, is understood by Peter of 
such a change of things hereafter to happen, as would involve, 
that heaven and earth shall at some time oe entirely purged from 
wickedness and wicked men. I mean, that Peter understood 
those passages of Isaiah, so that the force and emphasis of the 
Divine promise therein contained should include an abolition 
of all codlessness, and that new and better construction of the 
state of this world, which should see the good and holy masters 
of all things, and the heavens and earth no longer subject to 
vanity on account of sin, which will not happen until the last 
time. In the mean time I do not deny that those passages of 
Isaiah are to be understood first of some economy, or state of the 
church in this world, to be changed for a diflTerent and better one ; 
whether this be the legal economy^ as Owen understands these 
passages, or the Romish papacy, as Cocceius. But this must be 
noticed, that Peter, acconiing to the usual manner of New 
Testament writers, regards the blessing promised to the church 
in these passages, in the light of his own perfection, without 
which pertection that blessing could not hold good, and without 
regard to which, that could not have been promised to the 
church in that fulness and richness of words wnich is found in 
Isaiah. Doubtless all blessings which God grants to His church 
in this world for perfecting and consummating its state, will 
receive their complement^ in that most perfect and consummate 
state of the church which is to be revealed in the last time. 
Therefore whatever is promised to the church in this world 
with great fulness and majesty of words, is really promised to 
it with regard to that state of perfection : and it thus seems 
to me that the Holy Ghost would not have used phrases so 
full and emphatic in the description of those blessings, as He does 
both in these chapters and in chapters xxxii., xxxv., xlix., Ix., Ixi., 
and in many other passages in the prophecies both of the Old and 
New Testament, unless He had referred to this perfection 
of the church. Which when Peter perceived, much more 
clearly of course than we now understand it, it is not to be 
wondered at that he refers tliis oracle to the complement of 
that state, to whose rudiments this oracle, according to the mind 
of Isaiah, is properly to be referred. I will illustrate with a 
single example what I have here laid down. John, in the 
Revelation, near the begbning, writes thus of Christ : ^ Behold 
he Cometh with clouds ; and every eye shall see him, and they 

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322 On the Burning of the World. [Oct 

[also] which pierced him : and all kindreds of the earth shall 
wail because of him ' (\, 7). It is certain that John speaks here 
of the last coming of tne Lord, It is not less certain that John 
borrowed these words from Zechariah (xii. 10). That passage of 
Zechariah is, however, by no means to be referred to the last day 
of judgment, but to some time of the new economy coming before 
it What then ? Does John in alleging this passage transcend 
the meaning of Zechariah ? I would not readily say so : although 
a certain very learned mau,^ who has excellently commented oa 
the Revelation, plausibly argues that John uses Zechariah's words 
in another sense than that prophet We have no need to say that 
It is enough, according to our hypothesis, to say, that John refers 
to his own ivorsXeafjiay complement^ what the prophet Zechariah 
affirms of the preceding time or state of the church, which would 
receive its complement in that last state. 11. That which Peter 
adds here, iv ols ^Matotjiyn narotKeT^ wherein (the new heavens and 
earth) dwelleth righteousness, is thus plainly to be taken, as I 
judge ; that in the new heaven and eartn no unrig fUeaumessohoxxH 
have place ; that thev should no longer be subject to vanity ; 
that tney should be freed from all defilement of wickedness, and 
of godless and profane men ; which Paul, treating of the same 
subject, says in the Epistle to the Romans (viii. 21). That is 
expressed affirmatively^ which is to be understood negatively ; as 
is well remarked by 6]a8sius,P < some expressions are to be under- 
stood as denying their opposites in an affirmative form.' I will 
^ve a sinffle instance in the words of Jehovah to Satan, in Job 
li. 6. ^ And Jehovah said unto Satan, behold he is in thine 
hand ; but his life *^tt^, watch over^ or preserve,^ that is, as 
Glassius well observes, touch not, or take not ^ from him his life. 
That is expressed by an affirmative sentence, which must be 
taken negatively. The (sublunary) heavens and earth will no 
longer suffer the vanity tS^ $9og«j, of corruption. These things 
we know for certain, and they here ought to, and can satisfy us, 
although more may be thought and said by those who here wish 
to indulge their ingenuity : and it is sufficiently clear that the 
apostles could have known and affirmed concerning the economy 
ot things to follow the last day, little more than we, who are to 
so great an extent hedged in by ignorance. 

Finally, III. It is brought by some learned men against the 
common interpretation, that it seems a new thing, and removed 
from common apprehension, that heaven and earth, properly so 
called, will perisn by fire in the way we maintain ; neither does 
Scripture in other places favour this hypothesis. To which a few 

o Launeans. p Thiciat. Hi. C«n. xix. Thictat. y. Can. xx. 


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1848.] On the Buminff of the World. 323 

words. First : That the hypothesis oonceming that last burning 
of this earth by no means disagrees with argument, not probable 
merely, but also unquestionable, has been already fully proved 
by the celebrated Burnet. Certainly the constant tradition and 
belief of all antiquity has held that it will at some time so 
take place, which has been already proyed by Grotius,** and we 
might mention others,' were the matter douWul or uncertain. 
Secondly : That so flEir from this hypothesis being a stranger to 
other parts of God's word, on the contrary, it is very clearly and 
plainly contained in the most ancient monument of the Mosaic 
nistory. A little after the flood, doubtiess, God said. Gen. yiii. 

22, T^^VT^}^, All the days of the eaHh, ^seed time and 
harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and 
night, cdiall not cease.' To the earth here, its own days, its own 
time is appointed, which, as is always remarked by interpreters 
of this passage, certainly indicates some destruction of tiie earth, 
and some other change of things in this sublunary world, to be 
expected in the last time. But when God, just after the flood 
(Gen. ix. Ill signified, by Noah's rainbow, His long sufiering 
to be hereaner exercised towards them, God plainly instructed 
and informed them, that He would no more destroy tne earth by 
the waters of a general flood, in which very words the indication 
is not obscure, that it would one day happen \>yfire. This belief 
was preserved by tradition in the ancient church,' and confirmed 
by Christ Jesus our Lord himself,* 

9 De VeritaU JUl. Chr. Lib. i. Aniiot. etJLib. it 

' Senecse Consolatio, ad Polybiam, xx., aii Marciam^ xx^i. Now if the common 
lot can be any relief to thy longing, know that nothing shall remain as it is : eld 
will overthrow all, and bear it away with her; nor wUl she make sport with men 
only, for how small a nart is that of the foroe of fortune I bat with places, and with 
countries, and with diTisions of the world ; sink many mountains, and elsewhere 
force flresh rocks to heaven; suck up seas, drive, away rivers; and breaking the 
dealing of nations, melt away the fellowship and the meetings of mankind. Else- 
where she will draw cities into yawning gulft, shake with fears, and from the depth 
send forth pestilential breaths, and cover with overflowings every dwelling : more- 
over she will slay bv the drowning of the world all which lives, and with huge fires 
scorch and burn all that can die. And when the time is come for the world to 
perish, that shall renew itself; dying by their own strength, stars will rush on stars, 
and as all things glow, whatsoever now shines in order will bum in one fire. 
• Job xiv. 12. Ps, cii. 26. Is. li. 6, « Matth. v. IS. 

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( 324 ) [Oct 


By the Rev. W. Fitzgebai.d, M.A., 
Professor of Moral Philosophy in the Uniyersitj of Dublin. 

The question which has been raised, Wliether the translation of 
the Pentateuch by the Seventy was made from MSS. in the Sa- 
maritan character, and belonging, in general, to the Samaritan 
recension, or from our present Hebrew text ? is one which it is 
very difficult to answer precisely either way. The more prevalent 
modem opinion is in favour of the hypothesis that the translation 
was made from MSS. of the Samaritan recension.* 

The evidence upon which this opinion rests is partly external 
and partly internal. 

i. Jerome, in his Prohgtte to the Books of Kings^ thinking it 
necessary to prove that there are but twenty-two letters in the 
Hebrew alphabet^ observes^ that the Samaritans have the same 
number, whose letters, he goes on to say, are indeed the original 
Hebrew character, the figures, but not the number, of which 
were changed by Ezra. And *even still,' he adds, 'we find 
the name of God, the Tetragrammaton, in some Greek MSS. 
expressed in the andent letters.' The context, and his use 
elsewhere of the term antiquce litterce in this sense, seetn to place 
it beyond all doubt, though not unfortunately beyond all question 
(for what will not the impudence of such men as Tychsen*^ call 
in question?) that Jerome is here speaking of the Samaritan 

• Postellos (in his Tabvla duodecim Linguarum) appeftrs to have been the first 
to hold this opinion. The resemblance between the Septnagint and Samaritan 
readings was also observed by De Dieu {Commera. on Matt, xix. 5) who had 
intended to publish notes upon the Samaritan Pentateuch; and by Selden {Mare 
Clausum, p. 37J. The whole question was very carefully examined by Hottinger 
(TAes. Philol 1. 1. c. 3. sect 3, quast. 4.) who inclines, though with much hesi- 
tation, to Postellus's theory. It was maintained with considerable acuteness by 
Whiston {Essay towards restoring the true text of the O, T,, p. 48, and Appendix) ; 
but most successfully by Hassencamp (in his Endeckte wahre Urspruna der alien 
Bibel'Uebersetzungen^ Minden, 1775, 8vo.; and Dissertatio Hist, Cnt, de Pent. 
LXX. Ittterpretum Graco non ex Hthrao aed Samaritano textu converao, Marp. 1 765, 

b Samaritani etiam Pentateachum Moysi totidem Uteris scriptitant, fignris 
tantum et apicibos discrepantes : oertumque est Esdram Scribam, legisque doctorem, 
post captam Jerosolymam et instanrationem tempi i snb Zorobabel, alias literas 
reperisse quibns nunc utimnr : qnnm ad illud usque tempus iidem Samaritanorum 

et Hebrseomm characteres fuennt Et nomen Dei Tetragrammaton, in qui- 

busdam Grsecis voluminibus usque hodie antiquis expressnm Uteris invenimus. 

« Tentamen de codd. V. T. p 159, note. 


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1848.] Samaritan Text of the Septuagint. 325 

characters, and hence it is argued that the MSS. from which this 
version was taken must have heen in that character: for we 
can hardly, it is said, ascribe this peculiarity to later transcribers, 
who were either too ignorant of the original languages to attempt 
it, or, if not, would certainly have introduced the square cha- 
racter rather than the Samaritan : as indeed it is not improbable 
that some of them did. For the same Jerome elsewhere* tells us 
that *the Tetragrammaton is written with these letters JDIT, 
which, through a confusion of them with the Greek characters, 
some, when tney found them in Greek MSS., were accustomed to 
read ^ivi.' It has been indeed suggested that the mistake here 
spoken of arose not from the square letters in iDiT, but from the con- 
tracted way of expressing the ineffable name by two jods, which 
was certainly used by the later Jews, and whicn it is supposed 
may have bien used by the old Samaritans.* If we were at 
Kberty to assume the existence of such a practice, it would indeed 
account very well for the thins to be accounted for, since two 
Samaritan jods, rrt at , are as like mm as could be wished. But 
I do not think that we have any right to make such an assump- 
tion, especially when Jerome distmctly speaks of the four letters 
of tiie name nVT. Nor does this circumstance necessarily esta- 
blish the evidence (such as it is), which Jerome's other statement 
affords of the Septuagint being originally derived from MSS. in 
the Samaritan character : since, as I liave said, nothing would be 
more natural than that the transcribers should occasionally have 
exchanged the less known and more awkward for the more fami- 
liar and facile characters. There is a passage, however, in a 
fragment of Origen's, published by Montfaucon in his Hexapla^ 
which — if understood in the sense which was put upon it by 
Montfaucon himself and Kennicott after him— would greatly 
detract from the weight of this evidence. Those learned men 
understood Origen to mean tTiat in the more accurate Hebrew 
MSS. the tetragrammaton was expressed in the Samaritan letters. 
If this were so, the expression of this name in those letters would 
prove nothing as to the general text of the MSS. from which the 
Septuagint version was made. But for my part, I think that 
Ongen speaks of the same thing as Jerome, and means Greek, 

^ Epist 136 ad Marcellum, opp. T. 2. p. 704. ed. Bened, * Nomen rerpteypdi*- 
fAorop, qaod A^fir^nrroy id est iiM&bile pataYerniit ; <^Qod his Uteris scribitur niH^ ; 
qaod qaidem non iDteUigentes, propter elementorom similitadinem, cum in GrcecU 
tibru reperirent^ Pipi (irwi) legere ooDsueyemiit.' 

• Nouveau TraiUde iHplomatiqae^ P. ii. 8. 2. c 6. pp. 599, 600. 

' in Aneodotis e cod. Reg. 1818. rh ds^K^Artrrov rerpaypdfifurroi^ ^r '>';" 

dKpi$4(ri rmv dyriypd/^w 'EfipaSKOis ifxoiots ypdfiftMTt yiyptewraij dw* o^x^ rois v^- 
^m\ yiip T^ "Y^rZpw Mpots xM<ra<rOoi fierit r^v oixjjiaXwriav. Cf. Montfaucon 
Palasogr. Graec p. 120, and Kennicott, cited by Tychsen, Tentamen. p. 161. 

VOL. II. — NO. IV. Z "^ 

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32S On the sfuppoted Samaritan [Oct 

not Hebrew, MSS. Yet still I am not so perfectly satisfied as 
most modem critics seem to be, that this {Mractice must have origi- 
nated with the translators themselTes. It might be, perhaps, not 
unreasonably contended that it was introduoed by tbe superstition 
of Jewish and Samaritan transcribers, who, following their several 
prejudices, made use, eadi party, of their owa peculiar letters to 
express the Divine name. For I do not know why it should be 
assumed that all the scribes were too ignorant to spell that word 
in the original, or that none of them could have been Samaritans.' 

ii. Another argument much insisted upon by the supp<»rters of 
this opinion is derived from those peculiar mistranslatioDS in the 
Septuaffint wUch seem to presuppose a confusion of letters which 
resembte esxAk other in the Samaritan, but not in the present 
Hebrew alphabet This has been strongty urged by Hassencamp, 
from whom Eichhom selects the following matances as some of the 
most striking. 

1- A (^) is supposed to have been confounded with JS* (i1), 
Genu xlvi. 16, where for P2tt< the 70 have ©«(T/Sav. 

But the use of the present yy for Jl in the Samaritan alphabet 
is of modem date ; and we know from the express testimonies of 
Origen and Jerome, as well as from the <dd coins of the Maoca* 
bees, that the Thau in the time of the Seventy was written in the 
figure of a cross -f • 

2. ^ n) confounded with 2 P> Gmi. xxxvi 36^ TUCm, LXX., 

"LaiMLlx. Numb. iii. 24, bvh, LXX., Aa^X. 

But here, not to mention that the Samaritan are hardly more 
alike than the Hebrew letters, the mistake is most likely to be in 
the Greek — ^the uncial A and A being, as all critics know, per- 
petually confounded in Greek MSS.^ 

3. m C) with ^ W- Deut xxxii. 26, DrWBH ; LXX., $««- 
ojFipw avrovs, reading it as two words, DiT ySM. 

But here the mistake may have been of the square ^N for ^ — a 
mistake often made in MSS. So^ in another instance, JllTH for 
Jn2inrT, the mistake may have occurred in the Hebrew MS. by 
the transcriber's first confusing the "V with 2J, and, after he had 
copied it so, recognizing the 1. 

4. i6 p>witii:Sa.(0). Deut xxxiii. 14,1300; LXX., xcrd' 
&pxy. i:iDD. 

But it is very doubtful what the LXX. read here ; and, at any 
rate, the square 3 and D are sufficiently alike to account for the 

K The Samaritans were numeroiis not onlj in Syria, bat in Egypt also. Joseph. 
Antiq. xi. 8 ; xii. I ; xiii. 3. 

■^ Thus, in the Book of Judges, Dalilah's name is written AoAiSd; and 1 Sam. i. 
5, tlie Alexandrian Ma has 'HM for'HAel. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Text of the Septuagiivt. 827 

5. :i (:)) with :s (S>). Gen. iv. 7, nnsh\ LXX., JieX-rir, HnA; 
cf. Lev. i. 17 ; V. 8. 

This seems a reasonably &ir instance. 

6. V (y) with Y (p). Gen. xiv. 2, ;r^3 ; LXX., B«X«c ; xxiii. 
2, WIK ; LXX., A/>/Sox. 

But here the square characters may have been confounded ; not 
to mention that we know too litUe of the old pronunciation of 3^ 
to be very positive about it 

7. <1 0) with y (p). Lev. v. 2, rw^ ; LXX., /SJeXt^y/xa yp». 
But the words seem like enough in the square letter also to 

account for the confusion, though I think this, on the whole, rather 
a cood instance. 

However, this general answer may certainly be ffiven to these 
and similar instances — ihat^ even assuming them all good, they 
may be accounted for by supposing that the mistakes which they 
imply existed in the Hebrew MS. from which the Septuagint was 
made, and which must have been taken either directly or in^rectly 
from one in the Samaritan character. 

iii. Another argument is derived from the probable cireunv- 
stances of this version. The Jews who settled in Egypt probably 
carried copies of the Law with them ; which, having been made 
before the return from Babylon, would not exhibit the traces of 
Babylonian influence, nor in general the peculiar marks of what 
is called the Esdrine recension. Lxdeed, the &buIous Aristeas 
relates that Eleazar sent not only interpreters, but a Hebrew copy 
of the Law, to king Ptolemy : but none of the more respectable 
authorities appear to go so &r. Yet this seems to be the cuiTent 
opinion amongst the Jewish Rabbins, which Azarias. has en- 
deavoured to reconcile with the hypothesis of a Samaritan text. 
^ In the time of the second temple,' says he,* ^ the Jews had two 
MSS. of the Pentateuch ; one in Assyrian letters (e. «. the square) 
and the holy tongue, agreeing with the conceet books which we 
have now. And this is that which Ezra the scribe arranged and 
corrected, perceiving that the copies had been corrupted and dis- 
ordered, partly through the faulty negligence of our Fathers under 

> Tempore tempi! II. faernnt Judseis bini Pent MSS. — ^anuB Uteris Assyiiauis et 
lingua sancta, secundum libros rectos qui sunt apud uos ; hicque est quern disposuit 
et correxit Esdras scriba, yidens quod comipta vel confnsa Aierint exemplaria, 
partim culpa et negligentia patrum nostrorum templi I^ de quibus dictum est, 6l 
oblitus a Legis Dei tut, partim bb seiasuras qnas in illas irrepseruut in eaptivitaCe 
Babylonicd^ Huncque librum rectum, quern ille scripsit, dedit sacerdotibns et Tins 
Synedrii pertractantibus Legem ut nos perdocerent Alter yero Pent, liber paullu- 
tum hie vel illic diversus, qui spargebatur in plebe,et seriptos erat literi» Hebraicist' 
seu transfluvialibus, qufls relicta sunt idiotis, translatus autem lin^^ Arameea vel 
ChaldsBa, quse erat tune sermo eomm commimis. LXX semores qui vocati 
fuerunt ad Ptolemseum existimarant bonum, et eonsultum ipsis visum fiiit, ut 
transferrent Legem ex illo exemplari. — Imre Binahf cap. v. fol. 38. 

z2 the 

Digitized by 


328 On the supposed Samaritan [Oct. 

the Krst Temple .... and partly, by reason of the injuries 
which they sustained in the Babylonian Captivity. This correct 
book which he wrote out, he gave to the pnests and ministers of 
the Sanhedrim, who explained and administered the Law, to teach 
us. But the other book of the Pentateuch, here and there slightly 
differing from this, was commonly used by the people, and was 
written in Hebrew (Sam.^ letters, which were left to the unlearned. 
It was translated too mto the Aramaean or Chaldee tongue, 
which was then their common language, .... and the 70 elders 
who were called in by King Ptolemy thought proper to translate 
the Law from that copy.* 

The truth is, that we know too little of the history of the sub- 
stitution of the modem for the ancient Hebrew character, to be 
positively certain that, even if the MS. which the Greek trans- 
lators used were sent from the archives of Jerusalem, it could not 
have been written in the Samaritan letters. Those letters were 
certainly used by the Maccabees upon their coins, and we have 
little better than very suspicious Rabbinical testimony to assure 
us that they were not used in the sacred books also. Arguing 
upon the mere probabilities of the case, one would be apt to come 
to an opposite conclusion to that of R. Azarias : for it would 
seem likely that the Samaritan letter was retained in the sacer- 
dotal copies longer than in the popular ones, since the change was 
most probably made in consequence of the people's greater fami- 
liarity with the square character which they nad been used to 
in Babvlon. 

iv. But far the most important argument upon this side of the 
question is derived from the frequent agreement of the Septuagint 
with the peculiar readings of me Samaritan Pentateuch. Has- 
sencamp nas urged this point strongly, and I do not deny that 
there is great real weight m the evidence which he has adduced ; 
but, at the same time, I must not conceal my conviction that its 
weight has been sometimes estimated too highly. A correct 
judgment of its value can only be formed by a fair estimate of 
the whole phenomena ; and those who look only on the points of 
agreement between the Greek and Hebrew on one side, or the 
Greek and Samaritan on the other, will form a very imperfect 
notion of the true state of the case. I have examined this matter 
myself with some care, and I think it must be allowed that in 
several minute particularities — such as, for instance, the insertion 
or omission of the copula^ — the text which the LXX. used agreed 

^ Hassencamp observes that there are more than 300 places in the book of 
Genesis alone in which the Septaagint affrees with the Samaritan against the 
Hebrew in adding or omitting the Tau. This is tnie ; but there are alao many 
places in which it disagrees with the Snmaritan. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Text of the Septuagint. 329 

more with that upon which the Samaritan recension is based 
than with our present Masoretic recension. Probably the agree- 
ment would be closer if it were not for the tampenng of tran- 
scribers, who used the Hebrew text, or Aquila's version of it, as 
a kind of standard to determine the value of various readings 
in the MSS. of the Septua^nt. But in the more important cases, 
it appears to me most prooable that the agreement between the 
Septua^nt and Samaritan is the result (not of the former 
being copied from the latter, but) of the operation of similar false 
principles of criticism — principles adopted equally by the framers 
of the Samaril^m text, and by the makers or moulders of the 
Septuagint translation. 

That these principles, though often applied with similar results, 
were independently applied by the Alexandrian and Samaritan 
Aia^KBuaa-rai, will appear, I think, upon an impartial examination. 

Gen. i. 6. The Alexandrian Critic, perceiving awantof concin- 
nity in his text, in order that the accomplishment of the Divine 
command might be related immediately after it was said to be 
issued, transposed the clause xaJ lyevcTo oSreas from v. 7 to the 
end of this verse. This did not strike the Samaritan, and therefore 
he let the text stand as he found it. For the same reason the 
Greek added xai ifSsv o deor Sn xaXov at v. 8, and the clause xal 
a-uvinx,^ ^' '*'• ^» in v. 9, which are precisely of the same character 
as several of the Samaritan's emendations in other places, but 
which did not happen to occur to him here. But in Gen. ii. 2 the 
difficulty of the Hebrew lection was too manifest not to strike 
both, and the remedy of reading the sixth day instead of the 
seventh too easy not to be adopted by both. In the same way 
Gen. iv. 8, they have both filled up the apparent gap in the same 
manner, and, as I think, fix)m the same source — the apocryphal 
traditions of the Jews. This seems plainly intimated in the Greek 
Scholia™ upon the place, which I have transcribed in the margin. 
The clause is found also in some Hebrew MSS.,and, withfurtiner 
embellishments, in the Targums of Jerusalem, and the Pseudo- 
Jonathan. In Gen. v. 3 — 28 the Alexandrian and the Samaritan 
follow each a method of his own. The common object of both 
seems to have been to produce a greater uniformity than they 

"» The first is from Origen— ^y ry *E0patK^ rh Afx^^v ^h tow Koir irp^f t^ 
"AfitK oh yiyptarrtur koL ot ir^pX 'Ak^^jw in^t^av 8ti h t^ *Aroicp^^ ^aalr ot 'Efipatoi 
Kua6tu rovro. This is sabstantiaUy th« same as the note in Dr. Holmes's Moscow 
MS. 127 : — rovra ix rou iaroKpv^wv 96k€i &wh r&v 6 clA^^cu* ix^iv [1. ^x«] '^ ^^^ 
itai T^ 'XattapttriK6ir hf y^ ry *I.0patK^ w ytypcarrat, 5v8^ 4w ro7s wX rhy 'Ax^Aoy. 
So another Scholiam -which Morinns mutilated and falsely ascribea to Cyrill. I 
gi^e it as restored by Hottinger : — ira^ M^yi r&v KoiirSiy Ktsrai rit piifiara rov Katv 
wp^s rhy "AfitXf &AA ob9k iraf 'BfipaloiSt ^^^ ^^ 'AwoKpi^ ^xurL irapa 8^ rots 6 
KM-tUf tx^i di ci^r^ fcol T^ Saftafvctrtjc^y. Cf. Fabriclos Ck>d. Pseadep. 1. p. 104. 


Digitized by 


830 On the mpposed Samaritan [Oct. 

found in the Hebrew text ; but they went to work independently, 
and chanced upon different ways of effecting their object." The 
Samaritan proceeds by subtractimi, the Greek by addition, as will 
appear by tne following scheme : — 

Years before the Birth of a Son. 
















Caioan . 












Enoch . 








Lomech . 




The Samaritan's is certainly the more ingenious plan of the two ; 
and 1 have no doubt that if tne Greek had seen it, he would have 
preferred it to his own. 

It will be worth while to compare with this the other patriarchal 
genealogy in Gen. xi. 10 — 26. Here the same false criticism is 
applied with greater uniformity of effects ; yet there are also suffi- 
cient differences to show the independence of the two applications 
of it. The Samaritan has shaped this genealogy into a perfect 
conformity with that in chap. v. by adding at each link the total 
sum of the years of each patriarch's life, and the notice of his 
death. The Greek is satisfied with interpolating only the latter, 
in the clause Koti dmQxve. The object of both is to gain a longer 
extent of time than the Hebrew text allowed, in order to make 
room for the events of profane chronology ; and this they both 
seek to compass by adding 100 years to the true numbers. But 
in this process the Samaritan stops sibort at Nahor — ^the Alexan- 
drian not till Tera. The Greek text also exhibits a second 
Cainan by whom it gains a full 130 years, whom the Samaritan 
knows as little as the Hebrew. 

Again, Gen. 7, the Alexandrian, being struck as itwould seem by 
the curious interchanges of the names HVP and D wK throughout 
the narrative, has endeavoured to compound matters by generally 
reading* Kiqios 6 ©coy. The Samaritan is satisfied with correcting a 
remarkable irregularity in ver. 9, by reading mrP for DT6>^, which 
the other had suffered to escape his notice. At ver. 2 they both 
agree in the obvious correction Jio, iuo ; but in the next verse the 

■ The ingenious conjecture of George Synoellns, who is incUned to suspect Ae 
integrity of the Hebrew text, is worth preserving i—ictyoS/iai fffyieort Iou8a/wv fftyw 
lir rovro To\fAJi<rdinofy awrruKcu kvSl hriraxvvtu rohs xp6 t^j iraiSoroitos j(p6vws Ari- 
rpowf TAXTFAMIAS. Chronic, p. 84. Paris. 1652. 


Digitized by 


1 848.] Text of the Septmgint. 331 

Samaritan is satisfied with adding the limitation which seemed to 
be required by the preceding verse of clean animals, while the 
Greek not only coincides in £is, but adds the further safeguard 
of the clause jus! duo ^rarrw rwn w^ruuSh rSw fJLfi KaOaqwy ivo iua, 

Elsewhere, howerer, the Samaritan's critical sagacity is more 
wakeful than the Greek's (Gen. x. 19^ He changes the text 
entirely, giving the more extensive limits as assigned in Deute* 
ronomy, * firom the river of Egypt to the great riv^r, the river 
Euphnttes, and to the western sea.' But the Greek is satisfied 
with the Hebrew. Again, in xii. 16, the Samaritan's delicacy is 
hurt at the odd arrangement, ^ he-masses and men-servants, and 
maid-servants, and she-asses, and camels,' which he alters to 
' men-servants, and raaid-fiervants, and he-asses,' &c, but the 
Greek lets it stand. 

But XX. 2, the Alexandrian has thought it necessary to imeit 
from xxvi. 7, the explanatory clause I^j8iid« yap £iwcry Srt ywi fjLou 
69X1, ftr7}«orE dwoKnivofffn aurii oi avipss 'As ft^tws Si* ft^ijv, which 
the Samaritan omits : and xlvi. 20 he has filled up the genealogy 
of Manasseh (fi*om 1 Cfaron.vii. 14, SO, 31), which the Samaritan 
leaves as he found it. 

In dealing with the book of Exodus both editors allow them- 
selves considerable liberties. But the Ghreek is, on the whole, by 
much the more modest of the two. He scarcely ever recognizes 
the bold transpositions and supplements which we have elsewhere 
noticed in the Samaritan, but, (Hi the other hand^ in the last four 
chapters of the book he has re-cast And abridged the narrative in 
a way peculiar to himself. He observes a more regular order of 
classification than the Hebrew, ^ving an account first of the 
priestly vestments, then an inventory of the furniture of the 
tabernacle, and lastly, a specification of the whole expense — 
everywhere clearing away superfluous redundancies, and bringing 
all into a clear and compendious abstract of the original. 

It is worth while noticing some ndnor marks of independent 
criticism in this book. 

In the famous passage Exod. xii. 40, the Greek and the Sama- 
ritan both perceive the chronological difficulty, and both endeavour 
to rectify it in the same way ; but the Greek's attempt is the 
more timid and imperfect of die two. He reads, *H il xaroUnaif 
Tfl/v via/y 'la-p^viK ^v xaTaJxr)(yav Iv y^ Alyvvru [xat Iv yp Xavaav] 
It9) T^rpaxotrioc rpiaxovra. The Samaritan's is bolder and more 

This reaches the desired point efiectually, and is so necessary 


Digitized by 


332 On the guppoaed Samaritan Text of the Septuagint. [Oct. 

for perfecting the criticism of the Greek text tiiat, as appears 
from the AlexaiDdrian MS., some scholiast or transcriber after- 
wards took the hint, and remoulded the reading of the Septuagint 
thus, ^y xara)xy}9av £V y^ PCtyintrca xai cv y^ Xavaav, OLvroX xai oi 
varipis avriy. Yet even here, the marks of independence are 
distinct enough. For, in the Samaritan we have DJ112R) placed 
regularly after ^KllC^, while in the Greek it is introduced as a 
kind of aft;erthought out of its natural position ; in the Sama- 
ritan, the order is — ^the land of Canaan and the land of 
Egypt — ^in the Greek, the land of Egypt and the land of 
Canaan. Is it pos^ble, then, that the Alexandrian translator 
could have had the Samaritan text before him ? Is it not rather 
evident that they both had a text before them substantially 
agreeing with the present Hebrew, which both endeavoured to 
correct upon the same principles, but with difierent degrees of 

In Exod. xxiii. 19, the Samaritan introduces an odd interpola- 
tion, of which the Greek presents no trace ; but at verse 22, the 
Greek inserts a long period equally unknown to the Samaritan ; 
and so in many other instances throughout the Pentateuch. 

(mi^N) ELOHIM/ 

By the Rev. Gbobok Bai^debston Kidd. Scarborough. 

The following researches concerning the meaning of this remark- 
able and very important word were privately communicated to a 
confidential friend in the year 1825, and have since been men- 
tioned to a few others : but they have not until now been laid 
before the public. The paper written in 1825 is as follows : — 

I think it may be deduced from the nature of language, and the 
cases wherein the plural form is used with more or less of a sin- 
gular meaning, in the ancient languages, and in ours, that the 

■ Since this raper was copied oat for insertion here, the writer has read with 
much pleasare Dr. W. L. Alexander's paper in the second number of this Journal, 
' On certain Idiomatic Usages of the Plural in Hebrew ;' but he does not find that . 
it requires either the suppression or the alteration of any thing he had written. 
Most of Dr. A.'s views agree very well with what is advanced here ; the brief dis- 
crepances which may be discerned by a careful reader, may be left to his unaided 


Digitized by 


1848.] Proposal of an Interpretation of the icord Elohim. • 333 

plural form of D^Tpi^ would be immeasurably more likely to 

suggest or perpetuate the idea of some plurality in the object of 
Israelitish worsnip, than not to do this. And the use of plural 
verbs, &c., in connection with W^V{ when put for the true God, 

sufficiently proves, I think, that an idea of plurality did exist. 
On this part of the subject the reader is referred to the Rev. Dr. 
J. Pye Smith's Scripture Testimony to the Messiah, Book ii. 
ch. iv. sec. 33, in the third edition (1837), sec. 34. 

The question now is, Of what kind was the plurality associated 
in the tnoughts of the ancient worshippers with the use of the 
word Wlbl^ for Jehovah ? 

It was used by the serpent and by Eve in paradise : for it is 
not very likely that the sound of the name given to the Deity in 
that fatal conversation should be altered or lost in the course of 
a few generations. Its insertion by Moses in the speeches (Gen. 
iii. 1, 3, 5), without any other name of the Deity, is the more re- 
markable, as in the narrative from Gen. ii. 4 to iii. 23. Moses, 
speaking in his own person, mentions the Deity twenty times, in 
every one of which he calls him DVl/K J1)T\**, And that Eve was 
not unacquainted with the name rrtiT appears from Gen. iv. 1. 
The name DTt^M seems therefore to have been more suitable to 

the ideas of tliat conversation, than any other known title of the 
Creator. But so little is said of the revelations to our first 
parents, and indeed of subsequent ones, down to the times of Job 
and Abram, that it seems difficult to gather the meaning of the 
word DTl/K with any certainly from those brief records. 

There is more hope from the history of Abraham, He was in 
ignorance and idolatry before Grod called him out of this darkness 
(Josh. xxiv. 2), that divine knowledge might be perpetuated and 
increased in his descendants. He was taught tnis name by the 
Deity himself. Will the records of his life mtimate the meaning 
he would probably affix to it ? 

It is remarkable that from Gen. ix. 27 to Gen. xvii. 3, the 
word DTt^N is not once used. Moses calls the Deity simply 
rrtrr ; or m Gen. xvi. 7, 9, 10, 11, TtfT "^Vibo ; and the dif- 
ferent speakers whose words he introduces in Gen. x. 9 ; xii. 
8 ; xiv. 19, 20, 22 ; xv. 2, 7, 8 ; xn. 2, 5, 11, 13, 14, make no 
use of the word DV6k, though in all those verses the Deity is 

mentioned. These facts suggest the inquiry. Had the word 
DTt^h^ as a name of the One &ipreme Being gone into disuse a 

few centuries after the flood 7 


Digitized by 


334 PrapOBol of an Interpretation cfthe word Ebhim. [Oet 

It ifl thought, I snppoBe on good gronnds, that the zpeechti m 
the book of Job give a lively representatioD of the style and 
religious sentiments of the most pious persons in an age prior to 
the call of Abram. In that book the word OTbN occurs in the 

speeches of mortals only eight times : ch. i. 5, 16 ; iL 9, 10 ; 
Y. 8 ; XX. 29 ; xxviiL 23 ; xxxiv. 9 ; in speeches of the Deity, 
three times, cL i. 8 ; ii. 3 ; xxxviii. 7. And it is once used by 
Satan, ch. i. 9. Other divine names, aflten^ards but seldom usec^ 

occur in this ancient book yery frequently ; and the name 0T6k 

afterwards so common, is used but sparingly. It may be said, it 
was unpoetical in Job's time, and the wss immediately following. 
But we find it in the poetry of Noah (Gen. ix. 26, 27), of Moses 
(ExoduB xy. 2 ; Deut xxxii. 3« Vl\ and of Dayid in yery many 
places. We eannot suppose thai any awkwardness of sound was 
the reason of its sparing use in Job ; nor was it in the times of 
Noah, Mosee, and David, destitute of that dignity and solemnity 
which made it proper for sacred poetry. If it were in Job's time 
less comnMm as a name of the One Supreme, or less dignified 
than in other ages, this will aceount for its unfrequent use. But 
our curioaitj is excited respecting the cause of this difierence. 

Though m Abram*s time the word was little used, if at all, as 
a title of Jehorah, we haye some reason to think it was coming 
into use as a name for image$. Both Laban and Jacob, in the 

second century after Abram's call, apply the word DVI^K to 
the images stolen \s^ Rachel, Gkfh. xxxi. 30, 82. Moses calls 
them TOU^n. And some years after, Jacob calls the images 
in his family, probably the same that Rachel stole, ^33n Vl^K» 

Gen. xxxy. 2. Joshua, too, mentioning the objects to which the 
ancestors of Isaac and of Laban had paid their worship in Meso- 
potamia, calls them DHH^ OVt^h^, Josh. xxiv. 2 ; see also tn?. 14, 


It may desenre notice that Laban only imee used the word 
DVTTO put absolutely, for the Supreme rieing ; Gen. xxxi. 50, 
and that is on a peculiar occasion, in swearing a y^ solemn oath ; 
also, he seems anxious to enumerate all the titles of the Deity he 
could remember. He used the word DNT^N in a relative sense 
for the true God, in Gen. xxxi. 29; DD'»n»^rlV» and v. 53, 

.OTO» VI^K JO^JU 5KD9tt^ iVra Tt^KI DmnK Vft» 

It is not certain, howeyer, that he did not, in the last quoted 
yerse, mean to include all the deities Terah and his sons had 
worshipped in Mesopotamia. If he did, we at once see why 


Digitized by 


1848.] Proposal of an Interpretation of the word Eiohim. 335 

Jacob swore ^ by the fear of hie father Isaac,' making no mention 
of Abraham. For Isaac had never worshipped any but Jehovah. 
When Laban mentions the Deity absolutely, ne calls him Jehovah, 
GexL xxiy. 31, 50, 51 ; xxx. 27 ; xxxL 49. His dau^ters indeed 
use OwM put absohitely for God: but whether they had 
learned this m>m their father or their husband does not appear. 
Perhaps the latter is the more probable ; as Leah in Gen. xxix. 
32, 33, 35, uses Tf\rV^' 
* To return : — ^it seems not unlikely that, in Mesopotamia, during 

Abram's residence there, the word UTD^ was used for visible 
representations of the powers that were believed to protect or 
afflict mankind: and that Jehovah^ a word seldom pnmouncod 
perhaps, was not wholly lost as the name of the Supreme Deity, 
whatever might be their notions concerning his essence or govern- 
ment And if D^rPM really had this idolatrous meaning while 
Abram dwelt in what was long after called the land of graven 
images (Jer. 1. 38), it is not wonderful that for more than twenty 
years after he left it, the use of a word which had been so de- 
graded should be avoided both in divine commimications, and in 
tbepatriarch's conversation. . . 

During this period he was fiivoured with at least five very sur- 
jnising communieations from the Deity ; the^r^^ recorded in Acts 
vii. 2, 3, and perhaps rrferred to in Gen. xii. 1-4; the second in 
the last-named verses ; the third in Gen. xii. 7 ; the fourth in 
Gen. xiii. 14-17; and the fifth in Gen. xv. 1-21 ; beside a sixth 
communication granted to Hagar, Gen. xvi. 7-14. 

In the firsts thirds and ffth of these communications, we are 
expressly told, a visible and glorious appearance was perceived by 
Abram ; whether the effect on his nund were produced by means 
of material lisht reaching his eye, or by the Divine Spirit influ- 
encing, or rather inspiring^ his souL And it is highly probable 
there was a visible appearance in the second^ fourth^ ana sixth of 
those communications. I imagine it is certain that the Israelites 
in the wildenien, to whom the book of Genesis was addressed by 
Moses, would think so. In all these interviews mcious promises 
had been pronounced ; and the beginning of their fulfilment in 
Abram*s safety and happiness exdited his daily gratitude. Such 
visits from the Most High he reckoned unspeakable favours, and 
probably in their intervals, wlndi mi^it be Icmg, was extremely 
desirous of another visit. They re-assured his fiaiith, and fortified 
him against any temptation to relapse into idolatry. His former 
neighbours, and many perhaps in Palestine, might please or terrify 
themselves with worthless images ; it was his suolime happiness 
occasionally to see^ and daily to remember, glorious representations 


Digitized by 


336 Proposal of an Interpretation of the word Elohim. [Oct 

of the Deity, such as no creature might imitate. That it was 
One Jehovah who appeared to him, he knew from the divine 
words ; and possibly it might be intimated by some observable 
similarity of the appearances. That he firmly believed Jehovah 
to be present with mm when he did not appear, is proved both by 
his expressions {e,ff. Gen. xiv. 22, 23) and his conduct, which 
showed firm faith in the divine promises, whereof God's presence 
with him was an article most strongly implied, if not expressed 
in Gen. xv. 1, &c. . 

These direct revelations to Abram were not the only means he 
had of increasing his knowledge of God. Not to mention the 
operations of nature, it must be remembered that he was now in 
the neighbourhood of Melchisedec ; and from him he would pro- 
bably leam the substance^ though perhaps not all the peculiar 
phrases, of the book of Job. One very important use of that 
venerable document seems to be, to show us how much (or it 
might be better to say how little) there was of divine knowledge 
wiw the most pious men before Abram was called. The solemn 
gloom that hangs over that sublime book was much of it dissipated 
by the promises to Abram at his call, from the minds of the pious 
few that believed them. Before, the Deity had appeared to be , 
withdrawing his manifestations, and retirmg in anger from an 
apostate world. Now, he re-entered in a new character, unequi- 
vocally engaging to bless each one who should bless Abram, and 
at length to spread happiness, by means of his seed, through the 
whole world. Thus Abram and Melchisedec might each instruct 
the other ; though to the latter, as an aged worshipper of the true 
God, was given the precedency. 

We come now to notice the occasion on which the Deity first 
used the word DwK in speaking to Abram. The relation is 
in Gen. xvii. As if to intimate that something of this kind is to 
be mentioned, Moses calls the Deity, in ver. 3, DTPh> ; having 
said in ver. 1, D*OirbK rrtiT ^1^ ; and in the course of the 

chapter he names the Deity by the single word DTPK six other 
times, ver. 9, 16, 18, 19, 22, 23 ; but doses the narrative of that 
day without inserting the word TTHiV once more ; as if by this 
frequent use of the word D^H^K, after having penned the seven 
preceding chapters without inserting it once, he would fix the 
attention of his readers on the introduction of it into the language 
of the church. The interview was distinguished by the change of 
Abram's name and Sarai's, and the institution of circumcision. 
These circumstances gave the strongest security conceivable, 
against its being forgotten ; and may justify its being accounted of 
peculiar importance in the illustration of the word D^H^M. 


Digitized by 


1848.] Proposal of an Interpretation of the word Elohim, 337 

On that memorable day, the Deity, among other promises of 
amazing kindness, tells Abraham he engages D'^ribh^p ^ ^"^ 
T30^ ^^H^j and ill ver. 8 tKl!?H^ BT^ ^-P^- The question 
is, ^Yhat meaning would Abraham probably affix to the word 
DTOH in these clauses ? 

It is very easy to assert, but I think impossible to prove, that 
while God pronounced this mysterious word, by his Spirit he sent 
into the patriarch's mind some knowledge of a plurality of persons 
in Jehovah. Of this there is no evidence. There seems to be 
evidence against it, in the very turn of the expression. If God 

had designed the word WTVlk to be primarily a memorial of 
plurality in his essence, it would have been more natural for 

Him to say, DVt^J^ ^ilj, or D^rt^h^H ^DiHt, according to the 
form of speech in Gen. xv. 7, xvii. 1 ; Exod. xx. 2, &c. In the 
clauses in question, Dwl^ has evidently a relative sense. God 
declares, not what he is in himself from etemi^, but what he will 
be to Abraham and his posterity. The revelation was intended 
for the use of the patriarch's family, and his dependents (Gen. 
xvii. 10-14, 23-27), as well as for his own ; which increases the 
difficulty of supposing the plural form of DVhl^ to be primarily 
an intimation or memorial of the Trinity. And stronger reasons 
will, I apprehend, be found against such a supposition, in reviewing, 
by a cautious and comprehensive examination of Scripture, the 
recorded methods whereoy God trained his church gradually as 
fipom infancy (Gal. iii. 23 to iv. 5), imparting ever-brighteninff 
intimations and proofs of this sublime truth in successive ages, till 
all that may be Known of it on earth was completely revealed in 
the apostolic instructions. 

To return. — The word DTPK in these clauses had a relative 
sense. It is all but certain that in a relative sense, it was already 
in common use ; for it was employed both before (Gen. ix. .26) 
and after (Gen. xxxi. 29, 53, 30, 32^ in a relative sense. How 
far was tiiat established sense applicaole to the clause in question ? 

The Chaldean and Syriac elohim were the heavenly bodies, 
images, or imaginary beings. The former two classes were visible 
substances ; the last, though usually invisible, were supposed to 
be seen occasionally, and to have constantly a form and parts ; as 
it was imagined there was a real resemblance between the images 
and the deities they represented. Thus, visibleness in a greater or 
less degree belonged to the heathen elohim, Poioer also over 
human affairs was universally ascribed to them. It was attributed 
even to lifeless images ; for, when the emigrants of the tribe of 
Dan had stolen Micah's gods, both he and they thought that by 


Digitized by 


338 Proposal of an Interpretation of the word Ehhim. [Oct 

thifl forcible transfer of a little silrer from one party to the other, 
the cnae had lost and the other had gained the surest means of 

Srospentv (Judges xviL and xyiiL, particularly xviiL 24V Oba 
esign of tnat narratiye seems to be, to show the gradual way in 
whicn idolatry insnares and besots the human mind ; and it may 
be applied to the explanation of the idolatry prevalent in AbrsH 
ham 8 time. He talismans and charms of later ages betray 
similar stupidity, I aj^rehend that a careful attention to the 
laws and the strength of the associatinff principle in the human 
mind, yiewed in comiection with man's aeprayed disposition, might 
folly explain all the phenomena of idolatry; but the attempt 
would be out of place here. 

As idols were property as much as implements of husbandry or 
weapons, it was as natural to say * my elohim^' as * my bow,' ' my 
plou^ ;' and * their elohim/ as ' their city.' Those who wor- 
shipped the heavenly bodies, called these * their ehhim^ in contra- 
distmction to the idols of others. IKfferent nations had their 
different objects of worship ; &niiHes had their family deities ; and 
the same individual had often more than one guairdian Avinity. 
Thus between the objects of worship and their worshippers, there 
was a relation as familiar to laen's thoughts as that between master 
and servant. Tbb relation implied reciprocal expectations : the 
worshippers looked for protection ; the deity was believed to locdt 
for homage. 

The ehhim of the heathen, then, were objects frequently seen 
by them