Collected Writings of J.N. Darby: Apologetic 1

Table of Contents

1. Irrationalism of Infidelity: To Francis William Newman
2. Preface
3. Introductory Remarks
4. Principles on Which the Examination Is Carried On
5. How, and How Far, Can God Be Known by Man?
6. Animus of the Examination
7. God Is Excluded
8. Objections Considered
9. General Principles
10. Particular Objections - Genealogy in Matthew
11. Alleged Mistakes in Acts 7:16
12. Discourse of Gamaliel
13. The Slaughter of the Infants
14. Zacharias, Son of Barachias
15. Names of the Apostles
16. Harmonizing the Gospels
17. The Rivers in Paradise
18. The Sentence on the Serpent: Serpent Worship
19. Two Accounts of the Creation
20. Opinion of Dr. Arnold of Rugby
21. Joseph
22. The Longevity of the Patriarchs
23. The Ark
24. Infallibility
25. The Entrance of Death
26. The Fall
27. Objections Dependent on Science
28. The Song of Deborah
29. Genealogy in Matthew
30. The Sacrifice of Isaac
31. Mr. Newman's Notions of Inspiration
32. The Deluge
33. Abraham and Sarah, and Isaac and Rebekah, in Egypt
34. Small Phrases
35. Quotations From the Old Testament
36. The Prophecy of Enoch
37. Paul's Recognition of the Old Testament
38. The Introduction to Luke's Gospel
39. Demoniacal Possession
40. Character of John's Gospel
41. Star of the Magi
42. Herod's Massacre of the Children
43. Egypt and Nazareth
44. Character of Luke's Gospel
45. Character of John's Gospel
46. Cures Effected by Napkins
47. Catching Away of Philip
48. Curse on the Barren Fig Tree
49. The Tribute Money
50. Divine Sympathies - Rending of the Veil
51. The Earthquake
52. The Miracles of Elijah and Elisha
53. The Death of Uzzah
54. Abimelech, and Esau
55. Abraham's Visitors at Mamre: Elijah's Ravens
56. Arnold on the Gospels
57. Elohistic and Jehovistic Sources of Mosaic History
58. Difficult Narratives
59. Noah and the Flood
60. Pharaoh and Abimelech
61. Useless Miracles
62. Double Account of Circumcision
63. Jacob Named Israel, Bethel
64. Beersheba
65. The Name Jehovah, Elohim, El-Shaddai
66. Two Fold Miracle of the Quails
67. The Water - Aaron's Rod - the Rock - Meribah
68. Double Consecration of Aaron and His Sons
69. Double Promise of a Guardian Angel
70. Death of Aaron
71. Joshua Arresting the Sun and Moon
72. Song of Moses
73. Fragments of Poetry
74. Book of the Law Found by Josiah
75. The Samaritans
76. Hezekiah's Prophets
77. Dean Graves
78. Sham Science
79. Mr. Newman's Hebrew Monarchy
80. Deuteronomy
81. The Revelation, Especially Chapter 17
82. The Song of Solomon
83. The Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews
84. Esther
85. Insignificance and Significance
86. Paul Misrepresented
87. Grounds of Faith Proposed in Scripture
88. The Testimony of Christ
89. Revelation of God
90. Paul's Reasonings Like Gamaliel's: Plato, Philo, the Targums
91. Faith at Second Hand
92. Divine Truth Communicated by God: Adequate Proofs
93. Historical Objections Conquest of Canaan
94. Purification of the Temple
95. Assumption of God Speaking From Without
96. Simon Magus and Demas
97. Christians Under Constantine
98. Prophecy
99. Acts 13:33-35
100. Isaiah 55, 50, 53, Psalm 22, Zechariah 12, 13
101. Daniel 9
102. Matthew 24:42 to 25:30, and Daniel 12
103. Daniel 12
104. The Apocalypse
105. Coming of the Lord
106. Daniel, and Desolation to the Time of the End
107. Prophecies of the Pentateuch
108. The Old Testament a Continuous History
109. The Gospels
110. The Discourses of the Lord
111. Special Views of Christ's Person
112. John's Account of the Raising of Lazarus, and of the Healing of the Man Born Blind
113. Characteristics of John's Testimony
114. Observations on Miracles
115. Mr. Newman's Remarks on Tongues
116. Paul's Preaching of a Glorified Christ, Peter's Witnessing
117. Appendix
118. General Remarks: Modern Logic
119. Modern Logic
120. Messianic Prophecies
121. Zechariah and Jeremiah
122. Christ's Ascension
123. Faith and Conscience
124. The Narrowness of Dogmatism
125. Closing Remarks
126. Is God Otiose, or Active in Grace?
127. Inspiration of the Scriptures*
128. The Human Element in Inspiration
129. Of the Name of Isaac

Irrationalism of Infidelity: To Francis William Newman

(London 1853)
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 2 Tim. 2:19.
You will not be at a loss to discover the author of this attempt at a reply to your last publication, so strangely entitled "Phases of Faith;" nor to recognize one once well known to yourself.
I have had no thought of sparing your book. You have denied and dishonored in it the Lord that bought me, to whom I owe everything a soul can know in blessing and God reveal in grace. I have no sympathy with cold indifference in such a case. It is a duty to feel. Not to feel proves we have never felt what it seeks to pull down.
With yourself the case is somewhat different. Not that I can distinguish, as some do, between a book and its author. If the book is a guilty one, its author is guilty of it.
But there is another feeling arises as to the author, which does not as to the book. To the book I can measure out, without a pang, unmingled feelings of disgust and contempt; to the author I could not. The thought of him awakens sorrow, regret, pain, a thousand feelings which the evil I find in his work, the thoughts as to Christ once expressed by him and supposed genuine by me, and my own love to souls, however feeble, as alas! it is, contribute to produce. I do mourn; and hence it is I add these few prefatory words.
I have known you, supposed you loved Christ, took for granted (as one unsuspectingly does) you believed in Him, heard a testimony from yourself to your spiritual delight in Him, as the joy, the food, and delight of your soul. Was all a delusion? Is not your present book? Did you feel these things? Were they, as you thought, livingly linked up with a Christ known to yourself? Does your book prove a greater moral elevation? Forgive me, if I think that, independent of all dogma, it proves frightful descent from what at least restrained your steps, your lips, then, if it did not possess your heart. Can you compare what then expressed your joys with the feelings and manner of thinking (I am not talking of views or groundwork of judgment, but of their effects) which your book betrays, and feel happy at it? Take some of your own letters, and say. I have some which, of course, I cannot quote here for these expressions of your feelings. But what a difference when I read them! I cannot bring myself to believe that there was nothing real in them. My soul looks out for some gleam of such thoughts in the book your infidelity has produced; but I can only find a miserable nature let loose by it. Who can tell how deep something else may be buried by such a mass of nature's ruins and filth, which the mighty grace of God may yet disencumber and make grow, and thus the old serpent lose its natural and congenial haunt?
But I write that you may at least feel that my attacking your book is as far as possible from bitterness toward you. I have no desire to spare your book. I am dealing with a book-with principles and with minds that may be affected by it. I believe it a dishonor to yourself; but as regards your book, you are but a name attached to the moral condition of mind contained in it, and there presented to the public. I am not dealing with you about it, but with it before God and my reader. The thought of yourself, which intruded itself necessarily upon me in reading it, was one of deep sorrow-I trust of gracious feeling. My answer to the book was not the place to express it: I can here assure you of it. If you read my book, you must expect no concealment of a severe (I believe a just) judgment of your publication.
You have here the unfeigned expression of what I feel as regards yourself-not in its strength, as this must be public (and I hate published feeling), but at least the true character of it-pain—sorrow—I trust divine love—and a lingering clinging to the hope that, however low he may have fallen, it is impossible that one who has expressed the feelings you have in bygone times could have done so without some reality.
May the Lord, who alone has power to blot out and overcome our wretchedness, and new-create the heart, make you-as in other ways He has me-a monument of His almighty and infinite grace!
I remain, as one well known to you, and desirous of remaining unknown to others,
Yours with earnest desire in Christ.

Preface

I HAVE no pretension to learning or leisure, yet I have written and now present to my reader a book, the size of which, when I see it complete, alarms myself. It may be asked why I undertook such a task when I knew that I had neither. My answer is this: When any one loves, confides in, and is deeply indebted to another (and in this case the debt is infinite), he will seek to defend, if he has any heart, the beloved object when it is attacked, without perhaps exactly measuring his power to be fully successful in its defense.
One qualification (none is of any value if God be not with us) I may boast of-profound, unfeigned (I believe divinely given) faith in the Bible. I have, through grace, been by it converted, enlightened, quickened, saved. I have received the knowledge of God by it to adore His perfections-of Jesus, the Savior, joy, strength, comfort of my soul. Many have been indebted to others as the means of their being brought to God, to ministers of that gospel which the Bible contains, or to friends who delight in it. This was not my case. That work, which is ever God's, was wrought in me through the means of the written word. He who knows what the value of Jesus is will know what the Bible will be to such a one. If I have, alas! failed it, in nearly thirty years' arduous and varied life and labor-at least such, as far as the service of an unknown and feeble individual usually leads, I have never found it fail me: if it has not for the poor and needy circumstances of time, through which we feebly pass, I am assured it never will for eternity. "The word of the Lord abideth forever." If it reaches down even to my low estate, it reaches up to God's height because it comes thence: as the love that can reach even to me, and apply to every detail of my feebleness and failure, proves itself divine in doing so: none but God could, and hence it leads me up to Him. As Jesus came from God and went to God, so does the book that divinely reveals Him come from and elevate to Him. If received, it has brought the soul to God, for He ha revealed Himself in it. Its positive proofs are all in itself. The sun needs no light to see it by.
This, indeed, has made me hesitate as to how far it is to the purpose to go through much of the matter of this book-that part, I mean, which takes up the objections to scripture. My only reason is, that they are thrown down before a multitude of minds, as every one knows, in these days-a heartless and sickly age, which finds its refuge, from the cold and desolate waste of infidelity and human willfulness, in the more pleasing imagery of imposed superstition. The man of intelligence produces human infidelity. The man of imagination will give us human superstition, colored over with the haze of antiquity, for fear what it really is should be too clearly seen. Both give me man. The scriptures alone give me God. Hence the peculiar form of modern infidelity is, attack on the written word-the scriptures. Superstition takes exactly the same ground. The cry of "Bibliolatry!" sounds alike from the intellectual and from the superstitious infidel. Both have the same object of attack, both are infidels-one an intellectual, the other an imaginative one. Both would persuade me that the Bible cannot itself command my conscience and oblige me to faith as coming from God. Do they not both seek to do this? Is it not infidelity? Doubtless, through the sinfulness of man's will, without divine grace, he never will really receive the word as it is in truth-the word of God. But is that his fault or the word's? Infidels and superstitious persons will both tell me that the word itself has not divine authority over my soul; that I cannot receive it as such on its own authority without something more to prove it. It is hard to say who is guiltiest here: he who denies it is the word; or he who, not denying that it is, declares that what God has said cannot bind the conscience of man unless validated by some authority other than its own.
I should not certainly have entertained these objections even in order to reply to them; but they had already done positive mischief to many, and shaken the comfort, and agitated the minds, more or less, of many accustomed to confide simply in the word with real faith. Most Christians have met with examples. One which came in a painful way under my own observation led me to read, and, in result, to answer the book. Some who have read the MS. have desired that it should be printed. It was not like a book of edification, which, if it failed to attain its end, came simply under the negative charge of being profitless or stupid. It was worse than this to occupy the mind with questions, if there were not positive good to be done by it. The book is meant for those who have been already occupied with these questions. Knowing that to feed on the word is what the soul wants, not to discuss it, I have no desire that any should read it before whose mind the subject has not already come. But how large alas! this class is now as well known to most interested in these subjects.
I desire to add one remark here in reference to inspiration. I beg to avow, in the fullest, clearest, and distinctness manner here, my deep, divinely-taught conviction of the inspiration of the scriptures. That is, while of course allowing, if need be, for defect in the translation and the like, when I read the Bible, I read it as of absolute authority for my soul as God's word. There is no higher privilege than to have communications direct from God Himself. I say this, because, in reasoning with infidels in the body of the book, I have sometimes done so on their own ground, to show how untenable their positions were-how unreasonable their complaints, even setting aside inspiration. Indeed, did not the scriptures claim this authority, no one would dream of calling in question their authenticity or the evidence on which they rest. Such a method might lead some unguardedly to suppose hesitation or want of depth of conviction on my part. My joy, my comfort, my food, my strength, for near thirty years, have been the scriptures received implicitly as the word of God. In the beginning of that period, I was put through the deepest exercise of soul on that point. Did heaven and earth, the visible church, and man himself, crumble into nonentity, I should, through grace, since that epoch, hold to the word as an unbreakable link between my soul and God. I am satisfied that God has given it me as such. I do not doubt that the grace of the Holy Spirit is needed to make it profitable, and to give it real authority to our souls, because of what we are; but that does not change what it is in itself. To be true when it is received, it must have been true before it was so.
And here I will add, that although it require the grace of God and the work of the Holy Ghost to give it quickening power, yet divine truth, God's word, has a hold on the natural conscience, from which it cannot escape. The light detects "the breaker-up," though he may hate it. And so the word of God is adapted to man, though he be hostile to it-adapted in grace (blessed be God!) as well as in truth. This is exactly what shows the wickedness of man's will in rejecting it. And it has power thus in the conscience, even if the' will be unchanged. This may increase the dislike of it; but it is disliked because conscience feels it cannot deny its truth. Men resist it because it is true. Did it not reach their conscience, they would not need to take so much pains to get rid of and disprove it. Men do not arm themselves against straws, but against a sword whose edge is felt and feared.
Reader, it speaks of grace as well as truth. It speaks of God's grace and love, who gave His only-begotten Son that sinners like you and me might be with Him, know Him-deeply, intimately, truly know Him-and enjoy Him forever, and enjoy Him now; that the conscience, perfectly purged, might be in joy in His presence, without a cloud, without a reproach, without fear. And to be there in His love, in such a way, is perfect joy. The word will tell you the truth concerning yourself; but it will tell you the truth of a God of love, while unfolding the wisdom of His counsels.
It is because I have found it all this, feeble and unworthy as I am, and because it is the scriptures that have made God thus known to me through grace, that I have ventured on ground to which I am not much accustomed; from which I gladly retire, to use the word which I here in a particular case attempt to defend. I have sometimes feared I might be a little like David with Saul's armor on. I have done it, I trust, in love to the Lord and to the souls of others, yet with some reluctance. Let me add to my reader, that by far the best means of assuring himself to the truth and authority of the word is to read the word itself.
In fine, I would say, that as I am conscious I have no claim to literary honor, so I neither pretend to nor desire it. I hope I may have been, in general, sufficiently clear to be understood. I would only beg my reader kindly to remember, that sometimes the subjects are somewhat abstract; and while he who publishes anything must expect, of course, to be criticized (if what he writes is indeed worth it), I would so far claim indulgence as. one may who has snatched from hours of rest almost the whole time occupied in composing what the reader has before him (service in ministering amongst souls from day to day, and other labors in the Lord's field, needless to mention, fully occupying all ordinary hours of toil). If I am useful to any, and the Lord accepts it as service done to Him, I am content. I think one or two points are twice referred to from being connected with different subjects. It is not very material. If it be so, the reader will excuse what other labors forbid my now correcting.
I draw the attention of my reader to one point, on which this whole question of revelation greatly hangs in the reasoning of those with whom we have to do. I have noticed it in the body of the book from feeling it was really the basis of their reasonings. I have since seen it laid down as the foundation of them by a French writer of this class in his attacks on scripture. It is this -that man is not capable of other ideas than those his own mind can create or produce. These may be awakened by some occasion, but they must exist in an abstract sense. This is true, as to mathematics, because they are the expression of the relationship of quantity or form, and these are perpetually inherent in what is subject to the mind of man, and what he has the capacity of pursuing to all its consequences. But in moral facts it is quite otherwise. Every being who has a superior moral nature to mine will produce acts, of the influence of which I am susceptible, though quite incapable in virtue of being morally inferior. Nay, so true is this principle, that the same act done by beings of a superior nature or position has an entirely different moral character and effect. If that nature and position are infinitely superior, the difference is infinite, the obligation quite of another character; yet the act may be quite intelligible, even through my wants. I do not measure it, but I know a love, if the act be one of love, which is beyond my measure.
Thus Christianity tells us, that "God was manifest in the flesh" to fulfill a work of self-sacrifice for me. A man's sacrificing himself for me would present the highest human claim on a grateful heart; but God's doing it (that new, lovely, yet infinite fact, capable of filling the whole moral world,) puts all that world in a new condition. Again, take the moral difference merely: man could die for a benefactor perhaps, but he is not capable, in true simple-hearted love, of unostentatiously dying for an enemy; God's becoming a man to do it silences the heart, and creates, by the sovereign title of love, a new order of feeling.
The result is, that the notion that new moral thoughts which no human investigation could reach cannot be produced, cannot be communicated, is utterly and stupidly untrue; and of these truths man is abstractedly incapable of judging but by the effect and thoughts produced by them. He becomes capable of estimating them by the change which takes place in his state in virtue of them, and not by pre-existing thoughts; he receives the new moral ideas from the objects and grows up into them. This is eminently true of Christianity, as an unexampled divine act, for and in man. I reserve the answer to the French rationalist for another occasion, if God permit. He has stated more definitely the basis of the argument; and, consequently, the gross absurdity of the system is more palpable.
The heart and conscience, then, is capable of impressions, of effects, which neither could produce; because beings in a higher order of moral nature can act on principles, and with rights entirely above man, and yet can act on and towards him in things he was wholly ignorant of before, which meet his need, but which no moral effort could, by any possibility, have produced, because they proceed from a nature superior to his. It is a false assumption, that man is so constituted that he is not capable of a certain impression by an act of which he was wholly incapable of forming an idea before it was accomplished by another. He knows it as so accomplished by the superior being in the effect produced in his heart by it. I do not doubt that there is a divine work wrought in communicating the knowledge of it; but on that ground I do not enter here.

Introductory Remarks

WHEN a man makes his own mind the measure of his knowledge of good, he soon sinks to the level of that by which he measures it; indeed he is already sunk there morally.
This is the case with Mr. N. He judges of what God ought to be, of what a revelation ought to be if there was one, by his own mind and feelings.
A book presents itself as a revelation from God; and he judges that it is not one. By what rule is his judgment formed? By what his own mind is, independent of revelation, which he subjects to the test of his own thoughts, when the book is presented to him as such. He can do this only in virtue of the competency of his mind to judge, before he has received it, what a revelation ought to be. That is, his own mind, and even his own mind in its present state, is the measure by which revelation is to be judged of. Were it so, the mind of God must be on a level with the mind of man, and even of the particular man who judges. But the fallacy of such a principle, as well as the excessive self-sufficiency of it, is evident.
First, the measure of what the divine Being ought to be or require (for if it be a revelation by Him, it must declare what He is, or what He requires) will vary with the moral condition or the natural disposition of each individual who seeks to form a judgment.
More than this, it will vary with the circumstances in which a man is placed, with the age of the world in which he lives, with everything through which he has passed in emerging out of the state of natural ignorance of all things in which he began his life, and which have exercised an influence in forming his character.
It would be mere folly and ignorance of human nature, blindness to the most obvious facts, not to recognize these influences in the forming and molding of the human mind, and thus their power in coloring its judgment of all around and above it. Does Mr. N. think he has not profited by the influence of the Christianity he rejects? He miserably deceives himself if he does. But, to do him justice, he does not think so. In another volume of his (it is well the confession is absent from this) he avows (speaking of the New Testament, with the devotional parts of the Old, and declaring his intimate knowledge of it), "to it I owe the best part of whatever wisdom there is in my manhood." (Soul, p. 242.) But of this farther on. He will not suppose that he himself soars entirely above the ken of the moral discernment of others as to his own condition, since he accounts himself capable of judging what God and a revelation ought to be. He has profited, he tells us, by the wisdom and piety of this false Messiah. But he thinks he has emancipated himself from the trammels of a revelation which he does not believe, and emerged into the truthful results arrived at by the logical and philosophical workings of the human (let us say the word, of his own) mind.
But here a question arises: Have all emerged alike into the same thoughts of God and moral truth? Have these philosophers, these rare men few and far between (for the mass have followed stupidly some religion or other), this élite of the human race- have they all formed the same estimate of good and evil, of God and His relationship with men? Have Stoics and Epicureans, Platonists and Peripatetics, come to the same result? I might almost ask, have they come to any result? Are the rationalist infidels of Dr. Paulus's school (of which Germany is well nigh tired), or the spiritualist infidels of Dr. Strauss's (of which it has been, for the moment, enamored), the true interpreters of what they are agreed to doubt about and cast off? Is the "desolating pantheism which is abroad" (ib. preface xii.) the same as Mr. N.'s objective relationship with a God whom he knows as a personal Deity by specific sense, but of whose mind he knows no more "than a dog does of his master's?." (Soul, pp. 119, 121.)
Mr. N. and others tell us of "following truth." (Phases, p. 116.) What is the truth they are following? Where is it? The truth they are following is truth they have not got. What is it-this truth they are seeking? They do not know. If they knew, they would not be following it.
Mr. N. may here object, that he arrives at this conclusion, that God has sympathy with individual man. (Ib. p. 201.) Now the sympathy of God with individual man is rather a vague word. God does not sympathize with sin, with lusts, with passions, with ambition, with avarice, with violence. I suppose Mr. N. will not deny that there are such in the world-alas! that they largely prevail in the world in general. Indeed, he tells us elsewhere (Soul, p. 44) that there is "prevailing wickedness." The sympathy of God is a lovely word, a gracious thought: but what is this sympathy, if it cannot be exercised in reference to so very large a portion of man's moral existence in the state in which it is actually found? Mr. N. shall tell us. "The Christian advocate," he says in the same page (Phases, p. 201), "assumes that God concerns Himself with our actions, words, thoughts- assumes, therefore, that sympathy of God with man which (it seems) can only be known by an infallible Bible." Is this the sympathy of God with individual man? He "concerns Himself with our actions, words, thoughts." No doubt He does; but this may be in the way of a judge, mere responsibility on my part, as well as sympathy on His. The law of England concerns itself about my actions and words, at least, without much sympathy. In what way does God do so? This is the serious question.
Now I believe there is a consciousness in man that God does concern Himself about our actions, words, and thoughts. But then, in spite of clothing this with the graceful name of "sympathy," what I am concerned to know is, Who and what is the God that does concern Himself about them? Is He a righteous Judge? By what rule does He judge? Is He love? When my conscience tells me I have sinned, when some vile wretch feels in bitterness what he has done, what resource is there for him? How is his conscience to be purged? How is he to get happy with the God he has offended? In a word, what is the God that does concern Himself about my very thoughts? This is the important point to know. All religion assumes what Mr. N. says it does, as he explains it; because all consciences feel that God does so concern Himself about our actions, words, thoughts. But in what manner? What is He who does so? For this we need revelation; but Mr. N. denies us it altogether-the only thing I want, because we have the consciousness that God concerns Himself about us.
Revelation does not tell me that I have a conscience and aspirations; it gives me the answer to them. And this is what I want, and not to be told I have got such. I do not want a book for this: I want a certainty of what God is, to answer the need of my soul. I know what He is by His revelation of Himself in Christ. Of this Mr. N. can tell me nothing; and he deprives me of that which tells me everything. There I find perfect love to me as a poor sinner, and thus have the possibility of truthfulness and honesty in a sin-conscious soul. There I find a love which is consistent with God's maintaining that absolute righteousness and hatred of sin which my soul has learned He ought, and which my heart (now renewed in knowledge) desires Him to maintain, and could not own Him as the God I desire if He did not maintain. In Christ I am (I will not say restored to Him, but) brought to know Him in perfect peace, as nothing else could make me know Him, love Him, walk with Him, as a known God who loves me.
Would I exchange this with Mr. N.'s aspirations and thoughts of God? Can he give me this? Doubts he can give me (this is easy work), difficulties in scripture doubtless, uncertainty as to everything I supposed to be truth. Philosophers (like Mr. N.) think that they can prove, that what has made my heart divinely happy has made me bless God, because of a goodness I never dreamed of till I knew it in Him; that what has consecrated the hearts and lives of thousands, and changed, where the heart was not consecrated, the whole condition of the world (for men are ashamed of doing in the light what they would do in the dark, though they are not changed in heart)-they think, I say, that all this has been done by a fable, an imposture. Poor human nature! Ay, the reader will see that Mr. N. thinks this of himself. But the truth they are following-Where is it? What is it? Why, they are following it: how can they tell you what it is till they get it? True, they cannot, and I must wait.
" Rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis; at ille Labitur, et labetur in omne volubilis avum."
Is this all? Not quite. They are the only really honest people, save some blinded persons who are led by others (as Mr. N. once was) in an honest delusion. They are honest because they believe nothing, and are following-following they cannot tell me what. Their honesty is in following without believing anything, and in trusting all the conclusions of their own minds, in rejecting what they supposed they did believe. And their descending steps in this are called "phases of faith!"
But, perhaps, the age is enlightened. Be it so; though in philosophy and moral apprehension it may perhaps be doubted. But be it so, I repeat. Is the age's opinion of itself to content me in my measure of God, and of what a revelation of Him ought to be? Millions in previous ages have believed in a revelation-in the revelation which Mr. N. rejects-enlightened men too, philosophers even, wearied with searching after a truth they never found. They are all wrong.
But why am I to think we are arrived, just in our day, at the perfection of the human mind, so that we are exactly right now? Mr. N. will tell me that they were superstitious ages. The age in which Christianity was introduced or made progress among the Gentiles, was very far otherwise. Witness the various forms of mind, the Philos, the Celsuses, the Porphyries, the Alexandrian School of the Neo-Platonists, the Lucians, and others, whose reputation is publicly known (without any pretension to learning), to say nothing of earlier Grecian philosophy which led the way. But suppose it was superstition: what does that prove but this, that the theory that man's mind is the measure of revelation and of what God ought to be, makes truth and error, and the very character which God ought to have, depend on the age a man lives in? I speak of facts.
Men, and men of able intellectual minds, have received the revelation which Mr. N. rejects as being unworthy of God. They have thought it very worthy of Him-have adored the God revealed there as alone worthy of adoration, as supremely worthy. I am not now seeking to prove that they are right. But the fact cannot be denied. They had minds enlarged by stores of knowledge, they were of a philosophical turn of thought, they had considered all, or almost all, the objections which Mr. N. presents in his book (for on this head there is little or nothing new in it: his objections are mostly as old as the Celsuses of the first centuries, and other such objectors); and, in spite of all, they have bowed before the God of the Bible as supremely good, supremely just and wise. Mr. N., applying his mind as the measure of it, thinks it all utterly unworthy of the God which his mind has pictured to itself: for what other has he?
Now, to say nothing of the heathen, who had gods to please their lusts, for lusts men have after all; nor of those who made God a kind of soul of the world, or who do, as there are many, with a "desolating pantheism," make Him an all-pervading power or influence, so that everything is God; but to take such men as Mr. N., Sir Isaac Newton, Pascal, Paul, Justin Martyr (Mr. N. loves such associations), I must either judge that Mr. N.'s mind and judgment are the sole true measure, or that the human mind is not a competent measure of what God ought to be, or what should characterize a revelation from Him. Nay, should I think Mr. N. and his school alone right, I should not have gained much, for I should then have to consider all other minds incompetent; and he would, if he has not a revelation, be himself a Deaster, and the sole revealer of truth. What does Mr. N. think?
I beg the reader to remark, I am not here supposing Sir Isaac Newton or Paul to be right. I only show that they differ from Mr. N. in his idea of what a revelation ought to be (quot homines, tot sententice); and that I learn thus that the human mind is not a competent measure of a revelation. Mr. N. and his school will surely forgive me if I do not think they stand alone in their competency to measure what becomes God. How can I tell that the author has arrived at the end of his "phases"? I humbly conceive, from his own statement, that he never has had faith at all (unless in the Irish clergyman). Would I could believe he had! How gladly would I commit all this to the fire! He may alter yet once more; light may break in upon his mind; he may learn to see a beauty in Jesus he has never seen yet. The Lord grant it may be so! What a joy to think it is true that all (even his writing against that Blessed One) would be freely forgiven! And O how does the thought of Christianity refresh the heart in the midst of all the cold logic of infidelity, if logic such confusion can be called! But all his previous estimates were false-were "phases" of the state of his own mind. And can he assure me this is not one which some subsequent illumination ("movement," p. 233, is the word) will throw into equal discredit? The Lord grant that it may be so!
Nor is this without example in history as to men in general. Where superstition has bound down the will and degraded religion below the standard of natural conscience, it awaits only an adequate impulse from good or from evil to break the chains. I leave aside the good now; but the working of the mere will of man, under the impulse of evil, brought about such an event in the French Revolution. The Bible was not there as a restraining power, nor as formative of human inquiry and thought. Superstition and a hollow state of society came down with a tremendous crash, and all reverence for God was buried in its ruins. Man had emancipated himself; to have-what? Uncertainty in everything, and a ruin from which he found no resource. Conscience and the Bible, under God's good hand, had emancipated at the Reformation (imperfectly perhaps, but really); man's will without the Bible, at the French Revolution. In the country in which it burst forth superstition had continued; and society, as it was, was attacked with it, and all fell together. But man is a dependent creature; and, when he pursues his own will like a naughty child, he ere long tires himself, and is not always agreeable to his neighbors. Its energy is a feverish and feeble thing. Men as they are in general, that is, man as such, must have something certain to lean upon; he tires of uncertainty-tires of wandering he knows not whither. He is feeble, he wants rest; and, after a certain effort, he will have it. What has resulted in the case we refer to? Men have gone back, alarmed, disheartened, and weary, to the superstition which at any rate clothed itself with the certainty of Christianity; and, as far as they dare, impose on conscience, for peace' sake, what never satisfied nor purified any conscience before the God with whom men have to do. They have given an outward stability to what pretended to certainty, and had sufficient influence to make that certainty available to quiet the mass, sufficient remains of Christianity to deck itself with its name, that they may have what, at least, can be called certain, and may so far give rest to society, if not to conscience. The will broke loose; the will of tired man would have rest somewhere. Corrupt Christianity was better than nothing.
It will be said, "This will not endure." I believe, undoubtedly, it will not. But we are seeking what certainty the human mind can in itself secure to us, and whether this enlightened age can afford me the rest which the soul seeks after; we are inquiring into its competency to measure truth-if its present phase is really a resting-place.
And even for what this age does possess of what is morally superior to every preceding one-to what is it indebted? To Christianity. Activity of intellect was not wanting, nor acuteness either, in other times. If ever a tongue showed nicety of thought and mental cultivation, it is the Greek. Nor was elaborate and striking speculation on the soul and on God wanting, nor development of systems of large theoretical conceptions of what is hidden from material observation in the Godhead. Philosophers will tell you that the christian scriptures (such as the gospel of John) borrowed, as to their highest elements of thought, their ideas from some of these. Civilization was not wanting, nor study. Yet who can deny that, where Christianity is received, you would find in the mass of mankind truer notions of God, and of right and wrong, beyond all comparison now than then? Yea, the peasants and beggars have a truer knowledge of God, and more real, more holy, more instructed affections when its doctrine has taken effect, than the most elevated philosophical mind in the Academy at Athens, or its imitators at Rome. This is due, Mr. N. tells us, to an enthusiastic imposture-an imposture of a most audacious character, for Jesus pretended to be Son of God (Son of man according to Dan. 7)-an imposture ill reported too. Is this credible? Does man want an imposture to bring him out of mental and moral degradation, and make him know God? Such is Mr. N.'s theory. Nay, as we have seen, he owes most of what his manhood knows of wisdom to this imposture.
But does not the knowledge of God-produced where Christianity or even Judaism has existed, and that even where no aspirations after God exist, where the heart is not practically changed-prove that there was a revelation of God? For it is in the knowledge of God there is such amazing general progress. It is really the statements afforded by this revelation which have drawn out Mr. N.'s aspirations. This formed his boyish mind, this communicated his manhood-wisdom. Can I believe, then, his theory? Why should this ardent piety which now attracts him, these energetic statements about God which have drawn out his soul, have sprung up among these narrow bigots of ordinance-bound Jews, rather than from the finely cultivated understanding of an academician, if there had not been a revelation of God so as to produce them? The world moralized by imposture and enthusiasm! What a world it must be! And such a mind as Mr. N.'s gets almost all his manhood-wisdom from it! What an imposture it must be!
Let us consider other religions. Mohammedanism has borrowed much from revelation; but it has met the lusts of men as on God's part, who, as He is there represented, will and does satisfy them: Christianity does so not even in thought.
Again, let us turn our eyes in another direction.
So exceedingly strong, even according to Mr. N., is the moral power of Jesus's character, or the effect produced by His agency, that the very attempt to portray it in pictures has given an entirely different tone to the ideal of those pictures, and imprinted on them a grace and expression of which the highest and most perfect works of art are otherwise entirely destitute, and such a tone of moral loveliness as was conducive to moral improvement all through the dark ages. This result he connects with the effect of the highest moral qualities of man, the absence of which in heathen statues deprived them of this power. These were wholly wanting, he says (see Soul, pp. 20, 21): "meekness, thankfulness, love, contentment, compassion, humility, patience, resignation, disinterestedness, purity, aspiration, devoutness." He does not say these were in Christ; but he is speaking of what was wanting in the Apollos and Mercuries of antiquity, in contrast with the pictures of the Savior, conducive during centuries to the spiritual improvement of men, and the effect of the character of Jesus on the human spirit.
Let us now turn to see what Jesus, who produced this immense moral effect on after ages, was in Mr. N.'s judgment-what He was, in whose imperfect portrait the above enumerated graces more or less shine forth.
"The cause of all this [the mischief of present Christianity] is to be found in the claim of Messiahship for Jesus." (Phases, p. 225.) "He selected `Son of man' as His favorite title, which is a direct annunciation to us that He based all His pretensions on the seventh chapter of Daniel, from which that title is adopted. On the whole, then, it was no longer defect of proof which presented itself, but positive disproof of the primitive and fundamental claims." (Ib. p. 198.) "My positive belief in its miracles [those of Christianity] had evaporated." (Ib. p. 187.) "He [Jesus] had receded out of my practical religion, I know not exactly when. I believe I must have disused any distinct prayers to Him, from a growing opinion that He ought not to be the object of worship, but only the way by whom we approach to the Father; and as in fact we need no such way at all, this was (in the result) a change from practical di-theism to pure theism. His mediation was to me always a mere name, and, as I believe, would otherwise have been mischievous." (Ib. p. 188.)
"Thirdly, while it is by no means clear what are the new truths for which we are to lean upon the decisions of Jesus, it is certain we have no genuine and trustworthy account of His teaching. If God had intended us to receive the authoritative dicta of Jesus, He would have furnished us with an unblemished record of those dicta." (Ib. p. 213.)
Mr. N., then, has acquired nearly all his manhood-wisdom, ages their highest moral tone, and the world its beau idéal of grace, from (the Lord forgive even the thought in one's mind!) a bold impostor-One who, having found a spurious prophecy (which, however, must have been pretty ancient to be so used), pretended to be the object of it, pretended to work miracles Which He never wrought, and sent others to pretend to work them, He and they being alike incapable of doing so, whose deception was deliberate and intentional. For, speaking of riding on the ass, Mr. N. says, it was "a deed which Jesus appears to have planned with the expressed purpose of assimilating Himself to the lowly king here described." (Ib. p. 195.) What kind of piety and wisdom, which attracts and adorns his mature and manhood-thoughts, must Mr. N. have learned from such a One? Yet this is philosophy; this is logic-the philosophy of one who has been in the East, and can tell what majnún means I
It was the character of Paganism that their deities had nothing to do with conscience, unless it were a future gloomy Pluto. They were the helpers and satisfiers of their lusts and wishes. Christianity alone acts directly and immediately on the conscience, puts God in connection with it-an immense benefit, and yet takes away fear by revealing love; and unites perfect love and perfect righteousness in the character of God in the doctrine of atonement, so that the conscience and heart may be elevated to the height of God Himself-a God known in love. What the human soul never did before for itself, what it never could do, nay, what it never ought to have supposed, Christianity has done. Another thing characterizes it as introduced into the world-its activity towards souls. Others may have since imitated this. It is not the activity of souls about God, come for money who may to learn, but the activity of God about souls. Hence it is what has (as far as this has been done in spite of human nature) moralized the world, nay, Mr. N. himself. It acts on man for good. Who and what does this? Mohammedanism is active. Ambition is active. Corruption is active. But what is that activity which has permanently moralized the world, taken in the mass of men, and elevated their notions of God? Whence did the activity flow?
Mr. N. has attempted to compare the progress of Christianity with that of Mohammedanism, by introducing the wars of Constantine, and the Saxon conversions by the sword of Charlemagne. But the Mohammedan conquests were the avowed principle of the religion from the beginning. The conduct of Constantine and of Charlemagne was contrary to its principles and to its practice for three hundred years. But Mr. N. is here feeble, in spite of himself. Constantine used the Christianity which existed, and which was (though suffering up to that hour, as is well known-for Diocletian's persecution had not long since been raging) strong enough for a competitor for the throne to secure his pretensions by. Mr. N. says that Constantine's christian army established Christianity. Perhaps on the throne it did; but how did the christian army come there?
But there is another ground on which to rest the proof of man's incapacity to measure what God and what a revelation ought to be. Men have lusts, passions, ambition, avarice: alas! though restrained by Christianity so that society is altered, yet the heart of man is still influenced by all these evil principles. Now all this must dim the spiritual perception, and render it more or less incapable of rightly judging of God and a revelation. How is it to get the thought of God which is to set it right? Christianity has no need to be ashamed of its axiom, "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God." How are the impure to be capable of judging? Mr. N. has no revelation to act on them. Is the soul, when governed by corrupt lusts, that is, corrupt desires, perhaps habits (and with how many is this true), capable of judging? If not, this large class is incompetent to form any estimate of the scriptures. These lusts will not correct those who are under their power. What is to be done for them? They may sink, on Mr. N.'s plan, to the level to which their lusts may carry them.
In fine, in whatever aspect we view man, all is uncertainty if man's mind be the measure of truth. But you will say, This is undermining everything-it is the Pyrrhonism of a Pilate.
No; the Christian believes God has spoken-has been active in love towards man; and he bows. He is not a judge, but a receiver of truth. He desires, as a newborn babe, the sincere milk of the word, that he may grow thereby, having tasted that the Lord is gracious. I am not saying he is right or wrong in receiving it, or on what ground he has done so. I am only showing that he is not on the same ground on which he is who considers man's mind to be the measure of truth. He has said, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth." "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" He has bowed to what he believes to be absolutely certain, and to be the truth-absolutely such. He may have a great deal yet to learn of it, but he believes it is there revealed by God. " He who hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true; for he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God." Faith, then, has certainty, because it bows to Him who cannot lie, and receives His word as the truth itself.
And here is the real question. Mr. N. takes the soul's thoughts, and excludes wholly God's making Himself known. The believer brings Him in, and this changes everything. On this I shall enter into some detail farther on; I merely state the real point in question here. There is not a greater fallacy, a more impudent presumption of man's self-sufficiency, than that it is the capacity of the organ (as men speak, that is, of the soul), in itself, which is the measure and limit of its knowledge; embracing even, in the word "capacity," all knowledge acquirable by its own powers, and all affections acted on by objects known within these limits It can be acted on by that which it has no intrinsic capacity to acquire; as light enters into the eye, and gives á capacity of seeing by acting on it; as medicine or even food on the body. A susceptibility of being acted on, so as to have effects and even powers produced, is not a capacity in oneself to measure or acquire. The entering in of the word gives light and understanding to the simple. Now this is the operation of a revelation where it is really received. No doubt it is adapted to man in every sense, to his conscience, to his actual state, to his heart; but it is nothing acquirable by man as he is. God is active in communicating to him what operates on his soul, but which is true whether it operates or not, and which has no place in the soul, nor ever will, nor its effects, unless it be positively communicated. Evidently a revelation has this for its proper character, though it may enforce known responsibilities by sanctions known only by that which is revealed, or by the authority of the Revealer, whose perfections and claims are made known. Has man no need of such communications? Has God nothing to communicate which may be a blessing to man, which may morally and spiritually elevate him? Is He incapable of doing it?
And this leads to another very important point.
Morality, properly speaking, is relative; that is, it flows from relationships in which we stand to others, and in which we owe such and such things to them in virtue of the claim upon us which their position gives them. I do not mean by this that intrinsic purity of heart is not to be sought, and the subjugation of passions in their workings within us. No Christian could question it for a moment. It is peace in itself. We ought to be pure: it is a good in itself, and it is the practical condition of communion with God: "Be ye holy, for I am holy;" and, as it is stated in a passage we have already cited, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." This claim of purity distinguishes Christianity as revealing God. No other religious system knew it; for none associated man with a God known to be light, and who called us to walk in the light as He is in the light. Love also in exercise where it is not relatively due is the proper characteristic of the Christian. And these two distinguishing characteristics flow from this blessed and glorious truth-that the Christian partakes of the divine nature, and hence is called to imitate it in practice. "That eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested to us" (as John teaches us, in Christ, so that He should be an absolute practical example to us) is also "true in Him and in us" whose life He is, "because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth."
This is the christian life. Without disputing about words, I do not call this morality, though it be really that which is the spring of and accomplishes it; because the proper and natural display of life in us is not properly obligation, though that life may, in this display, fulfill those obligations. Now morality, I apprehend, is, properly speaking, the maintenance of obligation. Of this latter we will now speak. In its nature, and by the force of the term obligation, it is, as I have said, relative.
Before entering on this point, I would notice the connection, as stated in the scriptures, between the two; that is, between our partaking of the "divine nature," and our fulfillment of moral obligation.
"Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Here this principle of the divine nature communicated to us accomplishes what would be a moral obligation enforced by the law; but the two things are distinguished. And then love goes farther also, because there is positive active energy in it, where there is no relative obligation. While I say no obligation having this nature, I clearly have it to live in it, and so also please God, which itself is the highest obligation. Hence, "he that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." So the Lord Himself united both, even to the giving of His life. "But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath given me commandment, so I do." The precepts of the gospel are the guidance of this nature, according to the perfection and perfect wisdom of Him who is its source; they are needed by us in the obscurity of our feeble nature and distracting passions, and give (as ought to be the case, as it was in Christ) to the movements of the divine nature in us the additional character of obedience.
It remains then true, that what is called generally and properly "moral obligation" is necessarily and in its nature a relative thing. And hence the measure of it is the claim which the being in relation to whom I stand has upon me in virtue of that relationship.
In this sense it is, though the expression be very incorrect, that morality is eternal. First, if we consider as morality our own (or, to use the modern word, our subjective) state (to which the term is hardly properly applied), the love and holiness which become a man are the communication of the nature of God Himself, and are eternal in their source and character. But secondly, morality, properly so called, drawing its source from the claims attached to certain beings with whom I am in relationship, in virtue of which they are in that relationship, is as unchangeable as the relationship itself. For "eternal" in this case has only the meaning of absolute and unchangeable when the relationship exists; that is, the relationship being known, the duty attaches to it essentially. Thus, father and son, for example, is a known relationship. The relationship of father and son cannot exist without certain relative duties necessarily arising. The obligation is inherent to the relationship of father and son amongst human beings, and so in other cases.
But this shows the importance of a revelation.
As to the first (that is, our likeness to the divine nature), it is absolutely necessary; for God is unknown in His real perfection without it.
In the latter (that is, moral obligation properly so called), it has equal importance in another way, namely, that the revelation which God makes of Himself creates an obligation commensurate with that revelation. If the Son of God has died for me-is my Savior and my Lord, it is clear He has a claim morally upon me, according to what He is as so revealed, and what He has done. That is, a revelation creates a part of morality; just as a woman's marriage does by her entering upon a new relationship with her husband, with this difference, that the obligation of marriage is abstractedly known in itself, whereas what is newly revealed then first begins even to be known as an obligation. The obligation takes its origin from it.
Some remarks may be added here. The mere capacity of nature to enjoy or stand in certain relationships does not constitute a base of morality; the relationship itself must exist. An orphan may have a nature susceptible of all the feelings and obligations of a child toward a parent. The moral tie does not exist, because the claim of the parent cannot be there.
Next, holiness in its nature, and love, as we speak of it here, suppose sin, though it may be only known as the opposite of the nature which knows it. Innocence is not holiness; it is ignorance of evil. God is holy, for He knows good and evil, and is perfectly good, and evil is perfectly abhorrent to Him. We have the knowledge of good and evil; hence naturally our conscience is bad; but if holy, and as far as holy, we abhor the evil we know, and know as evil, when it is present, in the measure of our holiness.
Love too, as we know it in God, is exercised in respect of evil; for evil exists and exists in us, and He loves us in that state.
Now, the understanding of perfect holiness by a sinful nature is, as to its own capacity, impossible. Conscience may so far understand it as to see its opposition to sin, and angrily or in terror dread the consequences; but an unholy nature does not comprehend or know a holy one in its separation from evil, as to affections-will—delight; for it has contrary ones. So, indeed, of love: "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
To say that a man is not a sinner is mere folly and insensibility to good and evil, and the strongest possible proof of ignorance of God and hardness of conscience. "Thou thoughtest," says he whose piety Mr. N. declares he delights in (Phases, pp. 223, 232), speaking in God's name, "that I was altogether such a one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set before thee the things that thou hast done." To say that he is a sinner is to confess his incapacity of knowing God, or judging of Him, or the revelation He gives of Himself, unless sin (that is, an' opposite moral nature in thought and desire-in insubjection too of will) be the capacity to know Him.
But if we consider morality, properly speaking, as grounded on relationship, it is clear and easily made evident that man cannot, and ought not, to suppose in his own mind the only thing which God can be to his comfort. For in that for which man is responsible to God he has failed. I ask not the cause. I am willing here to take the ground Mr. N. takes (proof as it may really be, as I shall show, of indifference to God's presence and favor). I will suppose that sin is come in neither by following Adam, nor by inheriting his fallen nature; that it is all the pure fruit, without other cause, of man's own individual will. Be it so.
He has failed, then, in the relationship to God and man in which he stood as a responsible creature, and that by his own proper perverseness. He needs mercy. He needs, then, forgiveness. He needs a God of goodness, who cannot hold the guilty for innocent, and yet forgives iniquity. But if a person has sinned against One to whom he owes so much, his taking it for granted that he is to be forgiven, as a matter of course, is hardness and impudence of heart.
If my child had been very naughty and offensive to me (and it is nothing compared to sin against God), and he were to say, "Of course my father will forgive: forgiveness is a proper thing that suits his character-is becoming conduct;" would not his state be really worse than his offense-his conscience shown to be hard? Conscience-right feeling-thinks of what we have merited from those good and gracious, when we have offended them, and judges itself, though it may be attracted by grace. The heart which coolly expects forgiveness, because it suits the character of Him we have offended, is in a state which unfits it for receiving it.
If God reveals it, it does indeed suit Him; and I bow in thankful adoration when He has shown Himself such (but this is revelation): to expect it is to be insensible to it-to be unfit for it.
And here I may take up Christianity itself, because I only show that, being what it is, there must be a revelation to communicate it: the sinner's mind ought not and could not judge it, or appreciate it, or suppose it, unless it were revealed. It declares a love of God which gave His only-begotten Son, One with Himself, the object of His infinite delight before the world was, for vile and polluted sinners. It declares that the Son came in the exercise of this same love, giving Himself for them to put away their sin and bring them to God-thus known to be perfect love to themselves-and with a conscience which knows that He imputes no sin to them at all (without diminishing, nay, giving a far deeper sense of His holiness), because His character had been perfectly glorified about it.
The Father did not spare His Son, but delivered Him up. He freely and in the same love gave Himself for it, to glorify God and save us. Could a sinner expect such a dealing? Would it not have been a presumption which increased his offense, and showed his pride and the naughtiness of his heart? Revealed, it is a love which nothing else could manifest, and the glory of Him who has love for His nature.
That is, not only the human mind, as such, is incapable of appreciating in itself God and the revelation of Him, but, seeing we are sinners, it cannot, morally it ought not, to suppose the revelation to be such as it must be, if of any use to man, seeing he is a sinner. The supposition constitutes unfitness to enjoy and profit by what is supposed. Known by revelation, grace is the perfection of God as He manifests Himself. The expectation of it destroys its nature (for it would not then be mere goodness), and debases still further him who expects it.
All these considerations show that the mind of man, and specially of sinful man, is incapable of estimating what God ought to be, and what the revelation which He would give of Himself should be.
Hence utter uncertainty in the soul as to what He is. This is, indeed, an unquestionable fact-He concerns Himself about our words, actions, thoughts. Solemn thought! for if He does so, it is because He has a right and a will to do so. But what is He who does? Here all is solemn or irritated silence, or an effort to believe Him good, so as to set the conscience easy and the will free.
Mr. N. would take away what I have, if he could. He will give me his thoughts instead, but no revelation of God. I must take his thoughts (worse than secondhand faith), or my own, or everybody his own:-that is, everything beyond the thought that God concerns Himself about our actions, words, and thoughts; and almighty power and Godhead are the sport of every man's mind, and of the fancies which a sinful will may have about the God men have to say to. For what else than his own notions can Mr. N. give them?
And does Mr. N. deny this horrible uncertainty, this incapacity to judge of revelation?
He cannot and he does not. I am not here supposing that he does not give us his thoughts about God: these we may hereafter examine in a measure. But we are here examining his views of revelation. On this head all is avowed uncertainty and incapacity. "There is no imaginable criterion," he tells us, "by which we can establish that the wisdom of a teacher is absolute and illimitable." (Phases, p. 213.)
Now this is not a statement that the Bible is not a revelation of God because of what it is; but that no revelation can be established as certain to man.
If there be no imaginable criterion by which it can be established, man is incapable of judging of the certainty of a revelation; for he has no criterion to judge by. I do not deny that some might be proved to be false, by evident contradictions, or such other proofs as are within the measure of man's appreciation, for which he has a criterion. If a pretended revelation declared there were many gods, and of the basest immorality and born in time, such as Jupiter and Venus, and the like, it could not be a revelation of the one true God, whose "eternal power and Godhead" men ought to know without a revelation given by inspiration. (Rom. 1.) But for receiving a revelation as certain in a positive way, man has no criterion; that is, he is incapable of judging of it.
It cannot be pretended that God cannot reveal anything (that is, state anything with certainty as to the past, as to the future, or as to what is unseen). Only man, according to Mr. N., has no criterion by which to judge that it is such. That is, man is incapable of judging with certainty of it; he is capable of uncertainty in such a case, and that is all.
A poor condition to be in if God be capable of giving such a revelation! Mr. N. tells us (Phases, p. 212) it would be very "undesirable;" but he cannot say in principle that God has not revealed and does not reveal anything, for he has no criterion to judge by in order to assure himself of it.
But let us measure this proposition a little more accurately. It affirms very clearly what I have stated as to man's incapacity, supposing him to be the judge of revelation. He is, it is confessed, a totally incompetent one.
But morally (that is as regards man's responsibility before God, or his comfort or enlightening from God, and God's competency to place man under responsibility or to comfort or enlighten him,) it goes something farther; for it assumes that man's criteria are the only means of the certainty of a revelation; and, in doing that, it affirms that God is incapable of giving a revelation which can bind the conscience of man as being God's revelation to him. I say morally, because I admit that sinful corrupt-minded man is an incompetent judge of a revelation. But Mr. N. admits no other way of its reception than the a priori moral competency of man; and on this ground his proposition really declares that God is incapable of so revealing Himself to man as to make Himself known, or bind the conscience, or assure the heart, by such revelation.
For if there be no imaginable criterion by which man can be assured certainly of its authority, and man's judgment be the only way of receiving it, God in no imaginable way can communicate his mind or will so as to make it certain to man as such, and thus binding on him, or a comfort to him. This is a bold proposition. It is always well to know what men do really mean; sometimes it is enough to state it to see its falseness.
This statement declares God's total incapacity to communicate with man. He must remain, as far as He is concerned, an unknown, perhaps an Epicurean (i.e., an indifferent) God. Any expression of love to His creature He is debarred from, as well as that of righteousness. For any revelation of His character to instruct man He is incompetent. He has made man in such a way as that all communion to him on His part is forbidden. Would He elevate man to an increased knowledge of Him? He cannot. Would He manifest any love to him in his sins and sorrows? He must resign Himself to be silent, shut up in His own perfection, if perfection an inactive love, incapable of telling itself to the one it loves, can be called. Such is the theory of Mr. N. But this is not all.
For if God cannot reveal Himself to man, man's thoughts of God must be entirely within the limits of his own mind. I shall just now show Mr. N.'s theory false as to fact, on ground not yet noticed, but I take it now as he states it.
Now if God be brought within the limits of man's thoughts as such, if by searching Him man can find Him out, then is He really not God at all, or man is. At least, his mind is equal to the divine infinity; for when it comes to power instead of presumptuousness, the difference is soon found out.
I remember (for I also have had my "phases of faith") when first awakened to serious and, in some measure, continued moral thought, I was reading, partly through desire of knowledge, partly alas! through the vanity which likes to possess it, Cicero's "Offices," and I came to the passage, nearly the only one which remains to me unobliterated by an active life, "subjecta veritas quasi materia," that is, "truth subjected as a material" to the mind. I said to myself (or rather the divine truth flashed across my mind), "This cannot be in the case of God, for my mind must be superior to the matter which is subjected to its operations; if it be, that which is so is not God. Faith alone can put Him in His place, which, if He be God, must be above me, as much as God must be above man."
Is not this true? But then there must be a revelation of God in some way, or I (deplorable condition!) remain in total ignorance of Him. I am not saying man is so, but that he must be so if there be no revelation of God. I believe conscience knows that there is a God-Mr. N.'s conscience, my conscience; but it wants something more than it knows: for conscience knows responsibility, and it knows sin-sin lying on itself-on him who has the conscience of it.
Argumentatively, it is an absurdity to make man's mind the measure of God.
Morally, it is a horrible iniquity as well as a folly.
But perhaps the reader will consider it unjust in argument, and even morally, to impute to Mr. N. such a thought, as that which the Psalmist, whose piety he admires, puts into the mouth of God, being inspired so to do, as a charge against the wicked, "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself."
But Mr. N. has reasoned out his principles too boldly to their consequences to conceal them. Any God known by revelation is too entirely excluded from his thoughts to make him fear to bring out his God such as He is according to his theory. He tells us, indeed, that we must regard Him as morally more perfect than man. Still his conclusion on the whole matter is, that "the perfections of God are justly called a projected image of our own highest conceptions." (Soul, p. 41.) That is, as a fact, God is more morally perfect than man, which is not, indeed, saying much; but, adding boundlessness to our idea, our highest conceptions are the moral measure, as to kind, of His perfections, though it be a projected enlarged image of them.
The truth is, all this attempt to project God out of our conceptions is confusion, just because we are creatures, and excellence in a creature is a different thing. And hence there is incompetency to see what God ought to be or must be; though I may in a measure know what He may approve in me, which is another thing, but which will never carry us up to the being which approves. Secondly, we are sinful creatures; hence what God can be to us ought not even to be estimated by us. And lastly, no conception of mind can estimate love. "He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love." It never can be said, Man is love. A creature cannot be; he is bound to something else which bars him from supreme love. He may know it in supreme love to him as a sinner, and thus, but thus only, rise to its source. He knows it supreme and infinite, because it reached him: supreme, because there was nothing lovely in its effect; infinite, for nothing is so far from supreme love as enmity against it, and this was the condition of his proud heart. So even Mr. N. confesses, for he admits an antagonist will. And what else is that but open moral opposition against supreme good, and a refusal to bow to it? How is that to be loved and if loved, is it to be sanctioned? or how reconcile entire condemnation of it, and yet perfect love to him that is in it? This the cross has solved, but not Mr. N. He has known too much of Christianity not to make all his system absurd by that which he has introduced into it, as it was, without this, by all it left out.
The cross, Mr. N. will tell us, is not just. No; it is love. But it is love exercised in such a condemnation of sin as makes its exercise consistent with righteousness, that is, the necessary and desirable display of God's opposition to evil. Christ was willing to offer Himself up, that God might be thus known and man saved.)
Now, the mental absurdity of this I am not answerable for; nor is it surprising in logicians and philosophers meddling with God's nature, and measuring it by their own. Absurdity is the necessary result.
But it is evident that the addition of boundlessness changes everything morally, so that the application of a limited nature to judge of a boundless one by is moral nonsense. If boundless love and boundless power go together, the result must be entirely different in kind from the responsibility by which I judge my conduct, who have but very limited power.
The title to use goodness sovereignly is a different thing from obligation under which I lie to God (if, indeed, Mr. N. admits any); for I am bound in my use of that by the obligation. Infinite goodness, coupled with infinite power, is free to act from itself.
But with this point I am not here concerned. I cite the passage from Mr. N.'s other book, to show that his system does establish our mind as the moral measure of what God is, though we may attach the idea of greater degree to it.
Such is the necessary result of the exclusion of inspired revelation.
I have said, however, that it is really false in fact. Man does not, nor ever can, form his idea of God without his mind being acted on in the way of revelation, though it be not a direct inspired communication from God. He is surrounded by a system altogether beyond his power and control, which witnesses a Being that rises in divine supremacy beyond all his thoughts, which tells of a creating God. Yet, mark, he sees around him a confusion, a disorder, in the condition of those set as masters over the lower part of this creation, which tells a tale of their moral position before God which no wit of his can solve-too bad to be such as it ought to be, with too many signs of God having to say to it-of goodness and mercy, to think it possible it should not be a system of responsibility with which God has to do, with which He will deal otherwise than He does as yet-which put Tartarus and Elysium into the minds of the heathen, a vague and anxious future into the breasts of all: the very insoluble enigma of which shows some mighty moral relationship in disorder, proving by its very greatness that it must refer to God, and hence that it is only His coming into it which can give the key to all, or set it right, in fact.
Mr. N. admits "prevailing wickedness" (Soul, p. 44) in the creation of a Being of perfect goodness. How strange! He tells us, with cold calculation which one would think had never visited man's sorrows, that sorrow is needed to perfect man morally. A poor comfort to thousands of despairing souls, writhing in misery and complaining of God because of it! A poor answer to millions worshipping stocks and stones, and, according to Mr. N., a supposed devil, through fear! Is this necessary for Mr. N.'s philosophical happiness and moral perfecting of man? If Christianity had produced all this, what would he have said? Had it done so, that would not alter the fact. There it is for coldhearted drawing-room philosophers to pronounce it necessary at their ease.
Mr. N. tells us, indeed, that had we had it all to arrange our own way, man could not have done it better. Man could not have done it better! Is that all he has to say? Could God have done it no better? is the question, if we are to take it up as Mr. N. does, as being the original ordered system of God. Is prevailing wickedness, as the necessary result of all a supremely good God could do, the projected image of our highest conceptions? I dare say it is; but does it not then betray the true nature and competency of these conceptions? Mr. N. also declares there is an antagonist will in man. Is this also necessary to his moral perfecting?
But further, as evil is finite and transitory, Mr. N. thinks, while lamenting the actual state of the world, that in prevailing wickedness, however intense and whatever misery it causes, there is nothing to inspire rational doubt of the divine goodness. (Soul, p. 45.) Is this all the soul and its aspirations can give us? The chance that evil will be transitory taking away rational doubts of God's goodness, when what is intensely the contrary prevails, and that goodness is almost universally unknown! Is this Mr. N.'s highest conception, projected as an image with boundless proportions of abstract goodness?
The Christian has no such difficulty; he believes that there is alas! an "antagonist will" (Soul, P. 47), a rebellious and sinful nature, with all the miserable consequences of its "intense wickedness" (ib. p. 45); but he believes that God has come into the midst of it to win man's heart away from this perverse and miserable enmity to God by surpassing goodness, and to make Himself known to man as love in the midst of the fruit of his ways; yea, finding in all the misery and sin the occasion of showing it, and at all cost of love to Himself. He does not rationally suppose God is good, because, in cold philosophy, man's sorrows are necessary to his moral perfecting. He sees in the sorrow (such as none ever had; for who could have such?) of God, come down to carry man's, and redeem and bring him out of it, the proof of that love which makes God known, alike in its greatness and its nearness, in its height above sin and its condescension to those sunk in it; according to that grace which could reach from the throne of God to the vilest of sinners, yea, to be made sin for them, and so bring up the heart, by reaching it there where it was, to the throne from which that grace had descended, and the God of whom it was the perfection. For the highest exercise (or, at least, display) of that perfection which dwells on the throne of heaven was that which visited the lost sinner upon earth, linking his soul to itself, and making known God as He is. Yes, there was a revelation, a revelation of what man wanted, and which God alone could give, and which made Him known.
But I must return to the point I was upon. A certain revelation of God is necessary, and exists, and that revelation is the basis of all Mr. N.'s reasonings-that is, "the things that are made." Rom. 1. From these Mr. N. deduces design, a designer, and so on. No doubt Christianity fully recognizes this. But, then, this is only one way of God's revealing Himself-the lowest way. It reveals His eternal power and Godhead. But this raises other questions. Undoubted traces of goodness are infallibly seen in the creation; but while order reigns in the material world so as to leave no doubt of One of infinite wisdom who designed it, in the moral, such is the "intense wickedness," the confusion, and discontent that, if a man attempts to unriddle what he sees, he falls into a labyrinth from which there is no way out.
A mind which feels that God has to say to the world cannot, with the flippancy of philosophy turning despot in its despair, say, Evil is only transitory-hang the man that troubles society (as Mr. N. would do), and from the reasonableness of this deduce that God may leave the majority of mankind in such a state that even the heart that could reason thus "laments" over it, yet counts it good enough after all. (Soul, p. 43; the whole passage will be quoted hereafter as characteristic.) It cannot say, It is a part of the perfection of beasts of prey to be cruel and destroy, therefore the misery of the destroyed is intelligible; because it may say, "How is it they have such a kind of perfection? What is come in, that, in proportion as created being approaches man, evil begins to manifest itself; that where creation is without a will, all is material order, all lovely where man cannot reach; where will comes in, where man meddles, all is misery and sin? How is it that, if the beast's furious passion passes away with its occasion, man uses his intellect to perpetuate and perfect his vengeance? Is this for moral perfecting?"
The Christian does see that there is a revelation of God in His works which are seen, such as leaves man without excuse in not owning His eternal power and Godhead. He sees, plainly enough, that Mr. N.'s highest conceptions did not, and could not, take a step without it. But he sees that he wants something else from God to explain the riddle of the moral confusion which exists, since there is a God; and that as God has to say to it, and evidently it has to say to God (for His creatures surely have something to say to Him), God, and God alone, can give the key and the answer to that in the midst of which his soul groans. He sees, moreover, that such as Mr. N. depend on a revelation of God as much as any: only that, in order to maintain man's importance, they take the lowest, the one morally inadequate to solve the grand question of the eternal interests of a soul with God, and reject that which would reveal God fully, and make man dependent on Him.
Why, if God has partially revealed Himself in His works, is it impossible He should reveal Himself in some other way? Is that the only possible one? If God can give in mere nature infallible evidence that it is He, why cannot He reveal Himself in some other way with adequate evidence that it is Himself who does so? This, we have seen, Mr. N. declares Him incapable of doing. But who will take his highest conceptions as an adequate guide to God? Why is he to use a partial revelation in which God has not left Himself without witness, if haply man might feel after Him and find Him, and deny all other? Mr. N., while using Christianity really to elevate his account of what God is, would reduce us to that which God's revelation points out as true, but as of the lowest kind. That is all his books amount to. The christian revelation recognizes this testimony: but it shows from the plainest facts, which Mr. N. very wisely passes over, that such a testimony, though it left man without excuse, had been perfectly useless, through man's perverseness, to elevate man above the corruptions of his own heart; that its existence had even left idolatrous reveling in abominations not fit to be named, and making gods to themselves to help them in them. Christianity owns the testimony, and shows that man's soul when in possession of it sank into the utmost degradation. Mr. N. avails himself of Christianity, from which he avows he has got almost all his manhood-wisdom, to prove the competency of this previous partial revelation to lead man up to God and render all other unnecessary, and to deny the Christianity which has given him the results and ideas to which the other never in fact led man. Which is the most philosophical, the most logical, the most true?

Principles on Which the Examination Is Carried On

I turn now to the revelation itself on which Christianity is based. The real object of Mr. N.'s book is to destroy the Christianity from which he gained almost all the wisdom he has. It is not very kind to others. Would he be the only depositary of it in some improved shape into which it has been refined in his mind?
Our task now must be to examine Mr. N.'s reasonings as to the revelation he rejects.
And here, at the outset, I stumble on what proves the whole course of his argument, from one end of the book to the other, to be utterly illogical and unsound. His inquiry really is as to the truth and certainty, and hence the authority, of the revelation which the book called pre-eminently "the Bible" professes to give. Is it a credible authoritative revelation from God? Now, by his own confession, he has conducted this inquiry upon a principle which makes it impossible ever to receive any revelation at all as such. That is, he begins his inquiry, and carries it on, on a principle which shows the whole inquiry itself to be absurd and useless. The conclusion was come to before he began, it being contained in the principle on which he set out. He inquires into the authority of a revelation on a principle which in itself denies such authority in any case.
"We cannot build up a system of authority on a basis of free criticism." (Phases, p. 213.) This, Mr. N. puts in italics, as the grand result he comes to. Why then inquire, if such or such a one be authoritative, by free criticism? Effectively, if my mind is superior to the object it is exercised upon, it cannot have, morally, authority over me.
But this only shows Mr. N.'s book to be an illogical absurdity; and that he assumed his conclusion in principle before he set out.
Mr. N. states, as to what practically amounts to this same principle, "Perhaps I could not have gained this result by any abstract act of thought, from want of freedom to think: and there are advantages, also, in expanding slowly under great pressure, if one can expand, and is not crushed by it." (Phases, p. 200.)
Now it is possible his mind had to go through a long process before it could divest itself of the outward influence of revelation. But when he had discovered that his inquiry was absurd (for it is absurd to inquire if a particular revelation is authoritative on a principle which denies the possibility of any being so), why should he communicate this absurd process of his own mind to others?
Not to show justness of logical reasoning to those who had power to estimate its justness! That is a clear case. Had truth been really his object, he would have stopped and said, "Whatever results as to details I may have arrived at, my inquiry has been carried on on an illogical absurd principle; and as the principle involves the impossibility of an authoritative revelation, my inquiry must be, Is there no other means of ascertaining whether there is one or not? Is free criticism (I speak of it such as Mr. N. presents it) itself the just means of trying the question?" But this would not have been Mr. N.'s book nor answered Mr. N.'s purpose.
But now I ask, What does Mr. N. mean by "free criticism," such as, in its nature, to exclude all possible authority? It means the absolute supremacy and competency of man's mind to judge everything. God is wholly excluded. And this is the grand principle of Mr. N.'s book: for to judge God, if He be there, is absurd and impossible. His authority and word must prevail; if He be there, He must be perfect and right; but He judges and cannot be judged, or He is not there as God. Mr. N. supposes a man judging whether something be of God or not; but if criticism excludes authority, it certainly excludes God Himself. It supposes the absence of God and His word always. It means-I exclude God, and judge of all for myself without Him; and I will never do anything else. So thought Job, till he met with Him, and found his own littleness. But this is the whole of Mr. N.'s principle. He will in no case allow God to come in; for then, surely, criticism ends. This, stated here in principle, is found in every page of the book. Bring God in in thought-and all is false. But for man to exclude Him is always false. It leaves out the grand spring, test, and key-stone of all moral truth.
If man says, "What, then, is to be done? Must not I judge morally before I receive anything as of God? Otherwise I may receive Hindooism or Mohammedanism." I will tell you what to do, if this be really so. Confess that you are away from Him. Is this the normal state of man? You are away from God, ignorant of God; or you would not need to use all this effort to know whether anything be of Him or not. I add, if you are away from Him, then confess your need of Him. But that would suppose a revelation or ruin. And such is the truth, and the efforts of free criticism involve it.
But, taken as a just human instrument, criticism, in the true sense and legitimate use of it, does not destroy authority. I admit that, morally, God's grace is necessary, because a corrupt -an "antagonist will" is to be dealt with; but, in the human sense, criticism does not exclude it. I may ascertain that a letter of my father is really his. When adequate evidence is acquired of that, his letter assumes at once his authority over me. Now the only thing that makes a difference in a divine communication is, that man is incompetent to judge of God, and has an antagonist will which will not receive Him. But this proves the necessity of a revelation and of divine grace-that is, of Christianity-unless man is to remain ignorant of God and opposed to Him.
The real secret of Mr. N.'s book is, that he desires to destroy confidence in Christianity. It is a common, very common, misfortune, through the weakness of our corrupt natures, to find invaluable moral truths mixed up with the grossest human corruptions. The divinely-wise man separates "the precious from the vile," and he becomes as God's mouth, being subject to truth from God. The self-confident man rejects all together, because his intellect is capable of seeing the corruption, and incapable of valuing the truth.
Such has been Mr. N.'s case. One knows it to be the case of millions who wear a transparent garb of popery, or, if bold enough or honest enough, have cast it off, and languish often in true and unsatisfied aspirations. How many have I met with in this state! How many, whom true Christianity made tell their thoughts of popery-ay, and the sorrows of their own hearts too -though they might not have the courage (that is, were not spiritual enough) to find a sufficient motive for being anything else!
But is there not this will, this desire, to destroy Christianity and all revelation? The whole book witnesses it; and often the speech of the author betrays him.
Thus, in a passage I shall permit myself to translate: "O false-named theology! O may the last part of so long a life remain to me, and energy (or breath), and whatever may be sufficient, to tell your deeds!" (Phases, p. 131.) Is there no will here?
Again: "If by independent methods, such as an examination of MSS., the spuriousness of the chapter could now be shown, this would verify the faculty of criticism which has already objected to its contents: thus it would justly encourage us to apply similar criticism to other passages." (Ib. p. 108.) Encourage us! What does that mean?
These show the animus of the book.
Let my reader allow me here to make a few remarks on the moral sentiments connected with a rejection of scripture. No doubt prepossessions of any kind warp the judgment; but indifference to what ought to have a place in the affections if true- indifference, that is, to its truth-chews a heart incapable by moral defect (while in that state) of judging justly in a moral question.
I have long, I suppose, looked at the portrait of my mother, who watched over my tender years with that care which a mother only knows how to bestow. I can just form some imperfect thought of her looks, for I was early bereft of her; but her eye fixed upon me the tender love which had me for its heart's object -which could win when I could know little else-which had my confidence before I knew what confidence was-by which I learned to love, because I felt I was loved, was the object of that love- which had its joy in serving me-which I took for granted must be, for I had never known aught else. All this which I had learned, and which was treasured in my heart and formed part of my nature, was linked with the features which hung before my gaze. That was my mother's picture. It recalled her, no longer sensibly present, to my heart. A retailer of pictures comes in, and tells me that, from the painter's name and style, it could not be my mother's. The date proved it. It could, at best, be an unlike drawing from memory. Is the quiet indifference of criticism here the proof of a right state of mind? I am astounded. I may be forced to acknowledge my mistake, to give up the much-loved memorial that brought her back to my thoughts; but I shall groan in heart-turn away-wish it were not so. Indifference would prove, not a good critic, but a worthless heart.
Is Christ's picture in the word less precious to me? He was taken early from man's sight, to whom He had shown this tender love. I have found-thought I found-His traits in the word. I know I have loved Him, and felt His love. That word recalls His love, gives me the expression of it. It is, has been, His look of love to me. Shall I feel "encouraged" to pursue criticisms which are to prove it all a fraud? He who has never tasted His love may; not I. Were I forced, I would cast it by with sorrow, lingeringly, if I must. I have lost what brought known love to my mind, what re-awakened thoughts and an image I had difficulty to recall. Be it so; His love may be true; but I sit down in sorrow. To pursue the criticism which "picks holes" in it I cannot. I lay it aside; I forget it; I do not trust it: but I shall not forget my sorrow. Did I take it up, it would be associated with my affections to what I know is true. I leave it, therefore, and admit it is better not to associate mistake with affection. But the loved Object I know of undoubtedly in my soul. That Mr. N. does not, never did, if I am to take his own account. The picture is gone, by what he supposes is sound criticism of these connoisseurs of pictures, and all is gone with it; for he had but the picture, and nothing else: and why should he not judge a picture, which is nothing else-worse than nothing, therefore, if a false one? For him Jesus is gone, with the written revelation of Him. He will believe enough of the history, indeed, to set Him down as an impostor, but has seen no trait of beauty in Himself which makes him regret to find Him such.
He has only by the process degraded his own mind to the point of considering an impostor among the most excellent of the earth.
Mr. N. must forgive me if I do not think he has gained by the process which has produced this result. I do not believe that he, when a professed Christian (though we know that where there is mere profession, men may be very wicked-away from God- and that we may all fall, though sincere), or any one who professed Christianity, would have associated with inquiries about God and His truth, the low-minded insinuations which are found in Mr. N.'s book, and which certainly I shall not copy. I am but a poor sinner, I well know: real Christians are inconsistent beings. The reality may be wanting when the doctrine is professed; but no one, even merely professing it, would have connected God's name and truth with filth. It is for an infidel to do that. That I may not seem unjust to Mr. N., I shall mention the pages where it is found, and no more. (Phases, pp. 129, 150.)

How, and How Far, Can God Be Known by Man?

WHEN a man makes his own mind the measure of his knowledge of good, he soon sinks to the level of that by which he measures it; indeed he is already sunk there morally.
This is the case with Mr. N. He judges of what God ought to be, of what a revelation ought to be if there was one, by his own mind and feelings.
A book presents itself as a revelation from God; and he judges that it is not one. By what rule is his judgment formed? By what his own mind is, independent of revelation, which he subjects to the test of his own thoughts, when the book is presented to him as such. He can do this only in virtue of the competency of his mind to judge, before he has received it, what a revelation ought to be. That is, his own mind, and even his own mind in its present state, is the measure by which revelation is to be judged of. Were it so, the mind of God must be on a level with the mind of man, and even of the particular man who judges. But the fallacy of such a principle, as well as the excessive self-sufficiency of it, is evident.
First, the measure of what the divine Being ought to be or require (for if it be a revelation by Him, it must declare what He is, or what He requires) will vary with the moral condition or the natural disposition of each individual who seeks to form a judgment.
More than this, it will vary with the circumstances in which a man is placed, with the age of the world in which he lives, with everything through which he has passed in emerging out of the state of natural ignorance of all things in which he began his life, and which have exercised an influence in forming his character.
It would be mere folly and ignorance of human nature, blindness to the most obvious facts, not to recognize these influences in the forming and molding of the human mind, and thus their power in coloring its judgment of all around and above it. Does Mr. N. think he has not profited by the influence of the Christianity he rejects? He miserably deceives himself if he does. But, to do him justice, he does not think so. In another volume of his (it is well the confession is absent from this) he avows (speaking of the New Testament, with the devotional parts of the Old, and declaring his intimate knowledge of it), "to it I owe the best part of whatever wisdom there is in my manhood." (Soul, p. 242.) But of this farther on. He will not suppose that he himself soars entirely above the ken of the moral discernment of others as to his own condition, since he accounts himself capable of judging what God and a revelation ought to be. He has profited, he tells us, by the wisdom and piety of this false Messiah. But he thinks he has emancipated himself from the trammels of a revelation which he does not believe, and emerged into the truthful results arrived at by the logical and philosophical workings of the human (let us say the word, of his own) mind.
But here a question arises: Have all emerged alike into the same thoughts of God and moral truth? Have these philosophers, these rare men few and far between (for the mass have followed stupidly some religion or other), this élite of the human race- have they all formed the same estimate of good and evil, of God and His relationship with men? Have Stoics and Epicureans, Platonists and Peripatetics, come to the same result? I might almost ask, have they come to any result? Are the rationalist infidels of Dr. Paulus's school (of which Germany is well nigh tired), or the spiritualist infidels of Dr. Strauss's (of which it has been, for the moment, enamored), the true interpreters of what they are agreed to doubt about and cast off? Is the "desolating pantheism which is abroad" (ib. preface xii.) the same as Mr. N.'s objective relationship with a God whom he knows as a personal Deity by specific sense, but of whose mind he knows no more "than a dog does of his master's?." (Soul, pp. 119, 121.)
Mr. N. and others tell us of "following truth." (Phases, p. 116.) What is the truth they are following? Where is it? The truth they are following is truth they have not got. What is it-this truth they are seeking? They do not know. If they knew, they would not be following it.
Mr. N. may here object, that he arrives at this conclusion, that God has sympathy with individual man. (Ib. p. 201.) Now the sympathy of God with individual man is rather a vague word. God does not sympathize with sin, with lusts, with passions, with ambition, with avarice, with violence. I suppose Mr. N. will not deny that there are such in the world-alas! that they largely prevail in the world in _general. Indeed, he tells us elsewhere (Soul, p. 44) that there is "prevailing wickedness." The sympathy of God is a lovely word, a gracious thought: but what is this sympathy, if it cannot be exercised in reference to so very large a portion of man's moral existence in the state in which it is actually found? Mr. N. shall tell us. "The Christian advocate," he says in the same page (Phases, p. 201), "assumes that God concerns Himself with our actions, words, thoughts- assumes, therefore, that sympathy of God with man which (it seems) can only be known by an infallible Bible." Is this the sympathy of God with individual man? He "concerns Himself with our actions, words, thoughts." No doubt He does; but this may be in the way of a judge, mere responsibility on my part, as well as sympathy on His. The law of England concerns itself about my actions and words, at least, without much sympathy. In what way does God do so? This is the serious question.
Now I believe there is a consciousness in man that God does concern Himself about our actions, words, and thoughts. But then, in spite of clothing this with the graceful name of "sympathy," what I am concerned to know is, Who and what is the God that does concern Himself about them? Is He a righteous Judge? By what rule does He judge? Is He love? When my conscience tells me I have sinned, when some vile wretch feels in bitterness what he has done, what resource is there for him? How is his conscience to be purged? How is he to get happy with the God he has offended? In a word, what is the God that does concern Himself about my very thoughts? This is the important point to know. All religion assumes what Mr. N. says it does, as he explains it; because all consciences feel that God does so concern Himself about our actions, words, thoughts. But in what manner? What is He who does so? For this we need revelation; but Mr. N. denies us it altogether-the only thing I want, because we have the consciousness that God concerns Himself about us.
Revelation does not tell me that I have a conscience and aspirations; it gives me the answer to them. And this is what I want, and not to be told I have got such. I do not want a book for this: I want a certainty of what God is, to answer the need of my soul. I know what He is by His revelation of Himself in Christ. Of this Mr. N. can tell me nothing; and he deprives me of that which tells me everything. There I find perfect love to me as a poor sinner, and thus have the possibility of truthfulness and honesty in a sin-conscious soul. There I find a love which is consistent with God's maintaining that absolute righteousness and hatred of sin which my soul has learned He ought, and which my heart (now renewed in knowledge) desires Him to maintain, and could not own Him as the God I desire if He did not maintain. In Christ I am (I will not say restored to Him, but) brought to know Him in perfect peace, as nothing else could make me know Him, love Him, walk with Him, as a known God who loves me.
Would I exchange this with Mr. N.'s aspirations and thoughts of God? Can he give me this? Doubts he can give me (this is easy work), difficulties in scripture doubtless, uncertainty as to everything I supposed to be truth. Philosophers (like Mr. N.) think that they can prove, that what has made my heart divinely happy has made me bless God, because of a goodness I never dreamed of till I knew it in Him; that what has consecrated the hearts and lives of thousands, and changed, where the heart was not consecrated, the whole condition of the world (for men are ashamed of doing in the light what they would do in the dark, though they are not changed in heart)-they think, I say, that all this has been done by a fable, an imposture. Poor human nature! Ay, the reader will see that Mr. N. thinks this of himself. But the truth they are following-Where is it? What is it? Why, they are following it: how can they tell you what it is till they get it? True, they cannot, and I must wait.
" Rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis; at ille Labitur, et labetur in omne volubilis avum."
Is this all? Not quite. They are the only really honest people, save some blinded persons who are led by others (as Mr. N. once was) in an honest delusion. They are honest because they believe nothing, and are following-following they cannot tell me what. Their honesty is in following without believing anything, and in trusting all the conclusions of their own minds, in rejecting what they supposed they did believe. And their descending steps in this are called "phases of faith!"
But, perhaps, the age is enlightened. Be it so; though in philosophy and moral apprehension it may perhaps be doubted. But be it so, I repeat. Is the age's opinion of itself to content me in my measure of God, and of what a revelation of Him ought to be? Millions in previous ages have believed in a revelation-in the revelation which Mr. N. rejects-enlightened men too, philosophers even, wearied with searching after a truth they never found. They are all wrong.
But why am I to think we are arrived, just in our day, at the perfection of the human mind, so that we are exactly right now? Mr. N. will tell me that they were superstitious ages. The age in which Christianity was introduced or made progress among the Gentiles, was very far otherwise. Witness the various forms of mind, the Philos, the Celsuses, the Porphyries, the Alexandrian School of the Neo-Platonists, the Lucians, and others, whose reputation is publicly known (without any pretension to learning), to say nothing of earlier Grecian philosophy which led the way. But suppose it was superstition: what does that prove but this, that the theory that man's mind is the measure of revelation and of what God ought to be, makes truth and error, and the very character which God ought to have, depend on the age a man lives in? I speak of facts.
Men, and men of able intellectual minds, have received the revelation which Mr. N. rejects as being unworthy of God. They have thought it very worthy of Him-have adored the God revealed there as alone worthy of adoration, as supremely worthy. I am not now seeking to prove that they are right. But the fact cannot be denied. They had minds enlarged by stores of knowledge, they were of a philosophical turn of thought, they had considered all, or almost all, the objections which Mr. N. presents in his book (for on this head there is little or nothing new in it: his objections are mostly as old as the Celsuses of the first centuries, and other such objectors); and, in spite of all, they have bowed before the God of the Bible as supremely good, supremely just and wise. Mr. N., applying his mind as the measure of it, thinks it all utterly unworthy of the God which his mind has pictured to itself: for what other has he?
Now, to say nothing of the heathen, who had gods to please their lusts, for lusts men have after all; nor of those who made God a kind of soul of the world, or who do, as there are many, with a "desolating pantheism," make Him an all-pervading power or influence, so that everything is God; but to take such men as Mr. N., Sir Isaac Newton, Pascal, Paul, Justin Martyr (Mr. N. loves such associations), I must either judge that Mr. N.'s mind and judgment are the sole true measure, or that the human mind is not a competent measure of what God ought to be, or what should characterize a revelation from Him. Nay, should I think Mr. N. and his school alone right, I should not have gained much, for I should then have to consider all other minds incompetent; and he would, if he has not a revelation, be himself a Deaster, and the sole revealer of truth. What does Mr. N. think?
I beg the reader to remark, I am not here supposing Sir Isaac Newton or Paul to be right. I only show that they differ from Mr. N. in his idea of what a revelation ought to be (quot homines, tot sententice); and that I learn thus that the human mind is not a competent measure of a revelation. Mr. N. and his school will surely forgive me if I do not think they stand alone in their competency to measure what becomes God. How can I tell that the author has arrived at the end of his "phases"? I humbly conceive, from his own statement, that he never has had faith at all (unless in the Irish clergyman). Would I could believe he had! How gladly would I commit all this to the fire! He may alter yet once more; light may break in upon his mind; he may learn to see a beauty in Jesus he has never seen yet. The Lord grant it may be so! What a joy to think it is true that all (even his writing against that Blessed One) would be freely forgiven! And O how does the thought of Christianity refresh the heart in the midst of all the cold logic of infidelity, if logic such confusion can be called! But all his previous estimates were false-were "phases" of the state of his own mind. And can he assure me this is not one which some subsequent illumination ("movement," p. 233, is the word) will throw into equal discredit? The Lord grant that it may be so!
Nor is this without example in history as to men in general. Where superstition has bound down the will and degraded religion below the standard of natural conscience, it awaits only an adequate impulse from good or from evil to break the chains. I leave aside the good now; but the working of the mere will of man, under the impulse of evil, brought about such an event in the French Revolution. The Bible was not there as a restraining power, nor as formative of human inquiry and thought. Superstition and a hollow state of society came down with a tremendous crash, and all reverence for God was buried in its ruins. Man had emancipated himself; to have-what? Uncertainty in everything, and a ruin from which he found no resource. Conscience and the Bible, under God's good hand, had emancipated at the Reformation (imperfectly perhaps, but really); man's will without the Bible, at the French Revolution. In the country in which it burst forth superstition had continued; and society, as it was, was attacked with it, and all fell together. But man is a dependent creature; and, when he pursues his own will like a naughty child, he ere long tires himself, and is not always agreeable to his neighbors. Its energy is a feverish and feeble thing. Men as they are in general, that is, man as such, must have something certain to lean upon; he tires of uncertainty-tires of wandering he knows not whither. He is feeble, he wants rest; and, after a certain effort, he will have it. What has resulted in the case we refer to? Men have gone back, alarmed, disheartened, and weary, to the superstition which at any rate clothed itself with the certainty of Christianity; and, as far as they dare, impose on conscience, for peace' sake, what never satisfied nor purified any conscience before the God with whom men have to do. They have given an outward stability to what pretended to certainty, and had sufficient influence to make that certainty available to quiet the mass, sufficient remains of Christianity to deck itself with its name, that they may have what, at least, can be called certain, and may so far give rest to society, if not to conscience. The will broke loose; the will of tired man would have rest somewhere. Corrupt Christianity was better than nothing.
It will be said, "This will not endure." I believe, undoubtedly, it will not. But we are seeking what certainty the human mind can in itself secure to us, and whether this enlightened age can afford me the rest which the soul seeks after; we are inquiring into its competency to measure truth-if its present phase is really a resting-place.
And even for what this age does possess of what is morally superior to every preceding one-to what is it indebted? To Christianity. Activity of intellect was not wanting, nor acuteness either, in other times. If ever a tongue showed nicety of thought and mental cultivation, it is the Greek. Nor was elaborate and striking speculation on the soul and on God wanting, nor development of systems of large theoretical conceptions of what is hidden from material observation in the Godhead. Philosophers will tell you that the christian scriptures (such as the gospel of John) borrowed, as to their highest elements of thought, their ideas from some of these. Civilization was not wanting, nor study. Yet who can deny that, where Christianity is received, you would find in the mass of mankind truer notions of God, and of right and wrong, beyond all comparison now than then? Yea, the peasants and beggars have a truer knowledge of God, and more real, more holy, more instructed affections when its doctrine has taken effect, than the most elevated philosophical mind in the Academy at Athens, or its imitators at Rome. This is due, Mr. N. tells us, to an enthusiastic imposture-an imposture of a most audacious character, for Jesus pretended to be Son of God (Son of man according to Dan. 7)-an imposture ill reported too. Is this credible? Does man want an imposture to bring him out of mental and moral degradation, and make him know God? Such is Mr. N.'s theory. Nay, as we have seen, he owes most of what his manhood knows of wisdom to this imposture.
But does not the knowledge of God-produced where Christianity or even Judaism has existed, and that even where no aspirations after God exist, where the heart is not practically changed-prove that there was a revelation of God? For it is in the knowledge of God there is such amazing general progress. It is really the statements afforded by this revelation which have drawn out Mr. N.'s aspirations. This formed his boyish mind, this communicated his manhood-wisdom. Can I believe, then, his theory? Why should this ardent piety which now attracts him, these energetic statements about God which have drawn out his soul, have sprung up among these narrow bigots of ordinancebound Jews, rather than from the finely cultivated understanding of an academician, if there had not been a revelation of God so as to produce them? The world moralized by imposture and enthusiasm! What a world it must be! And such a mind as Mr. N.'s gets almost all his manhood-wisdom from it! What an imposture it must be!
Let us consider other religions. Mohammedanism has borrowed much from revelation; but it has met the lusts of men as on God's part, who, as He is there represented, will and does satisfy them: Christianity does so not even in thought.
Again, let us turn our eyes in another direction.
So exceedingly strong, even according to Mr. N., is the moral power of Jesus's character, or the effect produced by His agency, that the very attempt to portray it in pictures has given an entirely different tone to the ideal of those pictures, and imprinted on them a grace and expression of which the highest and most perfect works of art are otherwise entirely destitute, and such a tone of moral loveliness as was conducive to moral improvement all through the dark ages. This result he connects with the effect of the highest moral qualities of man, the absence of which in heathen statues deprived them of this power. These were wholly wanting, he says (see Soul, pp. 20, 2I): "meekness, thankfulness, love, contentment, compassion, humility, patience, resignation, disinterestedness, purity, aspiration, devoutness." He does not say these were in Christ; but he is speaking of what was wanting in the Apollos and Mercuries of antiquity, in contrast with the pictures of the Savior, conducive during centuries to the spiritual improvement of men, and the effect of the character of Jesus on the human spirit.
Let us now turn to see what Jesus, who produced this immense moral effect on after ages, was in Mr. N.'s judgment-what He was, in whose imperfect portrait the above enumerated graces more or less shine forth.
"The cause of all this [the mischief of present Christianity] is to be found in the claim of Messiahship for Jesus." (Phases, p. 225.) "He selected `Son of man' as His favorite title, which is a direct annunciation to us that He based all His pretensions on the seventh chapter of Daniel, from which that title is adopted. On the whole, then, it was no longer defect of proof which presented itself, but positive disproof of the primitive and fundamental claims." (Ib. p. 198.) "My positive belief in its miracles [those of Christianity] had evaporated." (Ib. p. 187.) "He [Jesus] had receded out of my practical religion, I know not exactly when. I believe I must have disused any distinct prayers to Him, from a growing opinion that He ought not to be the object of worship, but only the way by whom we approach to the Father; and as in fact we need no such way at all, this was (in the result) a change from practical di-theism to pure theism. His mediation was to me always a mere name, and, as I believe, would otherwise have been mischievous." (Ib. p. 188.)
"Thirdly, while it is by no means clear what are the new truths for which we are to lean upon the decisions of Jesus, it is certain we have no genuine and trustworthy account of His teaching. If God had intended us to receive the authoritative dicta of Jesus, He would have furnished us with an unblemished record of those dicta." (Ib. p. 213.)
Mr. N., then, has acquired nearly all his manhood-wisdom, ages their highest moral tone, and the world its beau idéal of grace, from (the Lord forgive even the thought in one's mind!) a bold impostor-One who, having found a spurious prophecy (which, however, must have been pretty ancient to be so used), pretended to be the object of it, pretended to work miracles Which He never wrought, and sent others to pretend to work them, He and they being alike incapable of doing so, whose deception was deliberate and intentional. For, speaking of riding on the ass, Mr. N. says, it was "a deed which Jesus appears to have planned with the expressed purpose of assimilating Himself to the lowly king here described." (Ib. p. •195.) What kind of piety and wisdom, which attracts and adorns his mature and manhood-thoughts, must Mr. N. have learned from such a One? Yet this is philosophy; this is logic-the philosophy of one who has been in the East, and can tell what majnún means I
It was the character of Paganism that their deities had nothing to do with conscience, unless it were a future gloomy Pluto. They were the helpers and satisfiers of their lusts and wishes. Christianity alone acts directly and immediately on the conscience, puts God in connection with it-an immense benefit, and yet takes away fear by revealing love; and unites perfect love and perfect righteousness in the character of God in the doctrine of atonement, so that the conscience and heart may be elevated to the height of God Himself-a God known in love. What the human soul never did before for itself, what it never could do, nay, what it never ought to have supposed, Christianity has done. Another thing characterizes it as introduced into the world-its activity towards souls. Others may have since imitated this. It is not the activity of souls about God, come for money who may to learn, but the activity of God about souls. Hence it is what has (as far as this has been done in spite of human nature) moralized the world, nay, Mr. N. himself. It acts on man for good. Who and what does this? Mohammedanism is active. Ambition is active. Corruption is active. But what is that activity which has permanently moralized the world, taken in the mass of men, and elevated their notions of God? Whence did the activity flow?
Mr. N. has attempted to compare the progress of Christianity with that of Mohammedanism, by introducing the wars of Constantine, and the Saxon conversions by the sword of Charlemagne. But the Mohammedan conquests were the avowed principle of the religion from the beginning. The conduct of Constantine and of Charlemagne was contrary to its principles and to its practice for three hundred years. But Mr. N. is here feeble, in spite of himself. Constantine used the Christianity which existed, and which was (though suffering up to that hour, as is well known-for Diocletian's persecution had not long since been raging) strong enough for a competitor for the throne to secure his pretensions by. Mr. N. says that Constantine's christian army established Christianity. Perhaps on the throne it did; but how did the christian army come there?
But there is another ground on which to rest the proof of man's incapacity to measure what God and what a revelation ought to be. Men have lusts, passions, ambition, avarice: alas! though restrained by Christianity so that society is altered, yet the heart of man is still influenced by all these evil principles. Now all this must dim the spiritual perception, and render it more or less incapable of rightly judging of God and a revelation. How is it to get the thought of God which is to set it right? Christianity has no need to be ashamed of its axiom, "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God." How are the impure to be capable of judging? Mr. N. has no revelation to act on them. Is the soul, when governed by corrupt lusts, that is, corrupt desires, perhaps habits (and with how many is this true), capable of judging? If not, this large class is incompetent to form any estimate of the scriptures. These lusts will not correct those who are under their power. What is to be done for them? They may sink, on Mr. N.'s plan, to the level to which their lusts may carry them.
In fine, in whatever aspect we view man, all is uncertainty if man's mind be the measure of truth. But you will say, This is undermining everything-it is the Pyrrhonism of a Pilate.
No; the Christian believes God has spoken-has been active in love towards man; and he bows. He is not a judge, but a receiver of truth. He desires, as a newborn babe, the sincere milk of the word, that he may grow thereby, having tasted that the Lord is gracious. I am not saying he is right or wrong in receiving it, or on what ground he has done so. I am only showing that he is not on the same ground on which he is who considers man's mind to be the measure of truth. He has said, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth." "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" He has bowed to what he believes to be absolutely certain, and to be the truth-absolutely such. He may have a great deal yet to learn of it, but he believes it is there revealed by God. " He who hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true; for he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God." Faith, then, has certainty, because it bows to Him who cannot lie, and receives His word as the truth itself.
And here is the real question. Mr. N. takes the soul's thoughts, and excludes wholly God's making Himself known. The believer brings Him in, and this changes everything. On this I shall enter into some detail farther on; I merely state the real point in question here. There is not a greater fallacy, a more impudent presumption of man's self-sufficiency, than that it is the capacity of the organ (as men speak, that is, of the soul), in itself, which is the measure and limit of its knowledge; embracing even, in the word "capacity," all knowledge acquirable by its own powers, and all affections acted on by objects known within these limits It can be acted on by that which it has no intrinsic capacity to acquire; as light enters into the eye, and gives á capacity of seeing by acting on it; as medicine or even food on the body. A susceptibility of being acted on, so as to have effects and even powers produced, is not a capacity in oneself to measure or acquire. The entering in of the word gives light and understanding to the simple. Now this is the operation of a revelation where it is really received. No doubt it is adapted to man in every sense, to his conscience, to his actual state, to his heart; but it is nothing acquirable by man as he is. God is active in communicating to him what operates on his soul, but which is true whether it operates or not, and which has no place in the soul, nor ever will, nor its effects, unless it be positively communicated. Evidently a revelation has this for its proper character, though it may enforce known responsibilities by sanctions known only by that which is revealed, or by the authority of the Revealer, whose perfections and claims are made known. Has man no need of such communications? Has God nothing to communicate which may be a blessing to man, which may morally and spiritually elevate him? Is He incapable of doing it?
And this leads to another very important point.
Morality, properly speaking, is relative; that is, it flows from relationships in which we stand to others, and in which we owe such and such things to them in virtue of the claim upon us which their position gives them. I do not mean by this that intrinsic purity of heart is not to be sought, and the subjugation of passions in their workings within us. No Christian could question it for a moment. It is peace in itself. We ought to be pure: it is a good in itself, and it is the practical condition of communion with God: "Be ye holy, for I am holy;" and, as it is stated in a passage we have already cited, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." This claim of purity distinguishes Christianity as revealing God. No other religious system knew it; for none associated man with a God known to be light, and who called us to walk in the light as He is in the light. Love also in exercise where it is not relatively due is the proper characteristic of the Christian. And these two distinguishing characteristics flow from this blessed and glorious truth-that the Christian partakes of the divine nature, and hence is called to imitate it in practice. "That eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested to us" (as John teaches us, in Christ, so that He should be an absolute practical example to us) is also "true in Him and in us" whose life He is, "because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth."
This is the christian life. Without disputing about words, I do not call this morality, though it be really that which is the spring of and accomplishes it; because the proper and natural display of life in us is not properly obligation, though that life may, in this display, fulfill those obligations. Now morality, I apprehend, is, properly speaking, the maintenance of obligation. Of this latter we will now speak. In its nature, and by the force of the term obligation, it is, as I have said, relative.
Before entering on this point, I would notice the connection, as stated in the scriptures, between the two; that is, between our partaking of the "divine nature," and our fulfillment of moral obligation.
"Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Here this principle of the divine nature communicated to us accomplishes what would be a moral obligation enforced by the law; but the two things are distinguished. And then love goes farther also, because there is positive active energy in it, where there is no relative obligation. While I say no obligation having this nature, I clearly have it to live in it, and so also please God, which itself is the highest obligation. Hence, "he that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." So the Lord Himself united both, even to the giving of His life. "But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath given me commandment, so I do." The precepts of the gospel are the guidance of this nature, according to the perfection and perfect wisdom of Him who is its source; they are needed by us in the obscurity of our feeble nature and distracting passions, and give (as ought to be the case, as it was in Christ) to the movements of the divine nature in us the additional character of obedience.
It remains then true, that what is called generally and properly "moral obligation" is necessarily and in its nature a relative thing. And hence the measure of it is the claim which the being in relation to whom I stand has upon me in virtue of that relationship.
In this sense it is, though the expression be very incorrect, that morality is eternal. First, if we consider as morality our own (or, to use the modern word, our subjective) state (to which the term is hardly properly applied), the love and holiness which become a man are the communication of the nature of God Himself, and are eternal in their source and character. But secondly, morality, properly so called, drawing its source from the claims attached to certain beings with whom I am in relationship, in virtue of which they are in that relationship, is as unchangeable as the relationship itself. For "eternal" in this case has only the meaning of absolute and unchangeable when the relationship exists; that is, the relationship being known, the duty attaches to it essentially. Thus, father and son, for example, is a known relationship. The relationship of father and son cannot exist without certain relative duties necessarily arising. The obligation is inherent to the relationship of father and son amongst human beings, and so in other cases.
But this shows the importance of a revelation.
As to the first (that is, our likeness to the divine nature), it is absolutely necessary; for God is unknown in His real perfection without it.
In the latter (that is, moral obligation properly so called), it has equal importance in another way, namely, that the revelation which God makes of Himself creates an obligation commensurate with that revelation. If the Son of God has died for me-is my Savior and my Lord, it is clear He has a claim morally upon me, according to what He is as so revealed, and what He has done. That is, a revelation creates a part of morality; just as a woman's marriage does by her entering upon a new relationship with her husband, with this difference, that the obligation of marriage is abstractedly known in itself, whereas what is newly revealed then first begins even to be known as an obligation. The obligation takes its origin from it.
Some remarks may be added here. The mere capacity of nature to enjoy or stand in certain relationships does not constitute a base of morality; the relationship itself must exist. An orphan may have a nature susceptible of all the feelings and obligations of a child toward a parent. The moral tie does not exist, because the claim of the parent cannot be there.
Next, holiness in its nature, and love, as we speak of it here, suppose sin, though it may be only known as the opposite of the nature which knows it. Innocence is not holiness; it is ignorance of evil. God is holy, for He knows good and evil, and is perfectly good, and evil is perfectly abhorrent to Him. We have the knowledge of good and evil; hence naturally our conscience is bad; but if holy, and as far as holy, we abhor the evil we know, and know as evil, when it is present, in the measure of our holiness.
Love too, as we know it in God, is exercised in respect of evil; for evil exists and exists in us, and He loves us in that state.
Now, the understanding of perfect holiness by a sinful nature is, as to its own capacity, impossible. Conscience may so far understand it as to see its opposition to sin, and angrily or in terror dread the consequences; but an unholy nature does not comprehend or know a holy one in its separation from evil, as to affections-will—delight; for it has contrary ones. So, indeed, of love: "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
To say that a man is not a sinner is mere folly and insensibility to good and evil, and the strongest possible proof of ignorance of God and hardness of conscience. "Thou thoughtest," says he whose piety Mr. N. declares he delights in (Phases, pp. 223, 232), speaking in God's name, "that I was altogether such a one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set before thee the things that thou hast done." To say that he is a sinner is to confess his incapacity of knowing God, or judging of Him, or the revelation He gives of Himself, unless sin (that is, an' opposite moral nature in thought and desire-in insubjection too of will) be the capacity to know Him.
But if we consider morality, properly speaking, as grounded on relationship, it is clear and easily made evident that man cannot, and ought not, to suppose in his own mind the only thing which God can be to his comfort. For in that for which man is responsible to God he has failed. I ask not the cause. I am willing here to take the ground Mr. N. takes (proof as it may really be, as I shall show, of indifference to God's presence and favor). I will suppose that sin is come in neither by following Adam, nor by inheriting his fallen nature; that it is all the pure fruit, without other cause, of man's own individual will. Be it so.
He has failed, then, in the relationship to God and man in which he stood as a responsible creature, and that by his own proper perverseness. He needs mercy. He needs, then, forgiveness. He needs a God of goodness, who cannot hold the guilty for innocent, and yet forgives iniquity. But if a person has sinned against One to whom he owes so much, his taking it for granted that he is to be forgiven, as a matter of course, is hardness and impudence of heart.
If my child had been very naughty and offensive to me (and it is nothing compared to sin against God), and he were to say, "Of course my father will forgive: forgiveness is a proper thing that suits his character-is becoming conduct;" would not his state be really worse than his offense-his conscience shown to be hard? Conscience-right feeling-thinks of what we have merited from those good and gracious, when we have offended them, and judges itself, though it may be attracted by grace. The heart which coolly expects forgiveness, because it suits the character of Him we have offended, is in a state which unfits it for receiving it.
If God reveals it, it does indeed suit Him; and I bow in thankful adoration when He has shown Himself such (but this is revelation): to expect it is to be insensible to it-to be unfit for it.
And here I may take up Christianity itself, because I only show that, being what it is, there must be a revelation to communicate it: the sinner's mind ought not and could not judge it, or appreciate it, or suppose it, unless it were revealed. It declares a love of God which gave His only-begotten Son, One with Himself, the object of His infinite delight before the world was, for vile and polluted sinners. It declares that the Son came in the exercise of this same love, giving Himself for them to put away their sin and bring them to God-thus known to be perfect love to themselves-and with a conscience which knows that He imputes no sin to them at all (without diminishing, nay, giving a far deeper sense of His holiness), because His character had been perfectly glorified about it.
The Father did not spare His Son, but delivered Him up. He freely and in the same love gave Himself for it, to glorify God and save us. Could a sinner expect such a dealing? Would it not have been a presumption which increased his offense, and showed his pride and the naughtiness of his heart? Revealed, it is a love which nothing else could manifest, and the glory of Him who has love for His nature.
That is, not only the human mind, as such, is incapable of appreciating in itself God and the revelation of Him, but, seeing we are sinners, it cannot, morally it ought not, to suppose the revelation to be such as it must be, if of any use to man, seeing he is a sinner. The supposition constitutes unfitness to enjoy and profit by what is supposed. Known by revelation, grace is the perfection of God as He manifests Himself. The expectation of it destroys its nature (for it would not then be mere goodness), and debases still further him who expects it.
All these considerations show that the mind of man, and specially of sinful man, is incapable of estimating what God ought to be, and what the revelation which He would give of Himself should be.
Hence utter uncertainty in the soul as to what He is. This is, indeed, an unquestionable fact-He concerns Himself about our words, actions, thoughts. Solemn thought! for if He does so, it is because He has a right and a will to do so. But what is He who does? Here all is solemn or irritated silence, or an effort to believe Him good, so as to set the conscience easy and the will free.
Mr. N. would take away what I have, if he could. He will give me his thoughts instead, but no revelation of God. I must take his thoughts (worse than secondhand faith), or my own, or everybody his own:-that is, everything beyond the thought that God concerns Himself about our actions, words, and thoughts; and almighty power and Godhead are the sport of every man's mind, and of the fancies which a sinful will may have about the God men have to say to. For what else than his own notions can Mr. N. give them?
And does Mr. N. deny this horrible uncertainty, this incapacity to judge of revelation?
He cannot and he does not. I am not here supposing that he does not give us his thoughts about God: these we may hereafter examine in a measure. But we are here examining his views of revelation. On this head all is avowed uncertainty and incapacity. "There is no imaginable criterion," he tells us, "by which we can establish that the wisdom of a teacher is absolute and illimitable." (Phases, p. 213.)
Now this is not a statement that the Bible is not a revelation of God because of what it is; but that no revelation can be established as certain to man.
If there be no imaginable criterion by which it can be established, man is incapable of judging of the certainty of a revelation; for he has no criterion to judge by. I do not deny that some might be proved to be false, by evident contradictions, or such other proofs as are within the measure of man's apprecation, for which he has a criterion. If a pretended revelation declared there were many gods, and of the basest immorality and born in time, such as Jupiter and Venus, and the like, it could not be a revelation of the one true God, whose "eternal power and Godhead" men ought to know without a revelation given by inspiration. (Rom. 1.) But for receiving a revelation as certain in a positive way, man has no criterion; that is, he is incapable of judging of it.
It cannot be pretended that God cannot reveal anything (that is, state anything with certainty as to the past, as to the future, or as to what is unseen). Only man, according to Mr. N., has no criterion by which to judge that it is such. That is, man is incapable of judging with certainty of it; he is capable of uncertainty in such a case, and that is all.
A poor condition to be in if God be capable of giving such a revelation! Mr. N. tells us (Phases, p. 212) it would be very "undesirable;" but he cannot say in principle that God has not revealed and does not reveal anything, for he has no criterion to judge by in order to assure himself of it.
But let us measure this proposition a little more accurately. It affirms very clearly what I have stated as to man's incapacity, supposing him to be the judge of revelation. He is, it is confessed, a totally incompetent one.
But morally (that is as regards man's responsibility before God, or his comfort or enlightening from God, and God's competency to place man under responsibility or to comfort or enlighten him,) it goes something farther; for it assumes that man's criteria are the only means of the certainty of a revelation; and, in doing that, it affirms that God is incapable of giving a revelation which can bind the conscience of man as being God's revelation to him. I say morally, because I admit that sinful corrupt-minded man is an incompetent judge of a revelation. But Mr. N. admits no other way of its reception than the a priori moral competency of man; and on this ground his proposition really declares that God is incapable of so revealing Himself to man as to make Himself known, or bind the conscience, or assure the heart, by such revelation.
For if there be no imaginable criterion by which man can be assured certainly of its authority, and man's judgment be the only way of receiving it, God in no imaginable way can communicate his mind or will so as to make it certain to man as such, and thus binding on him, or a comfort to him. This is a bold proposition. It is always well to know what men do really mean; sometimes it is enough to state it to see its falseness.
This statement declares God's total incapacity to communicate with man. He must remain, as far as He is concerned, an unknown, perhaps an Epicurean (i.e., an indifferent) God. Any expression of love to His creature He is debarred from, as well as that of righteousness. For any revelation of His character to instruct man He is incompetent. He has made man in such a way as that all communion to him on His part is forbidden. Would He elevate man to an increased knowledge of Him? He cannot. Would He manifest any love to him in his sins and sorrows? He must resign Himself to be silent, shut up in His own perfection, if perfection an inactive love, incapable of telling itself to the one it loves, can be called. Such is the theory of Mr. N. But this is not all.
For if God cannot reveal Himself to man, man's thoughts of God must be entirely within the limits of his own mind. I shall just now show Mr. N.'s theory false as to fact, on ground not yet noticed, but I take it now as he states it.
Now if God be brought within the limits of man's thoughts as such, if by searching Him man can find Him out, then is He really not God at all, or man is. At least, his mind is equal to the divine infinity; for when it comes to power instead of presumptuousness, the difference is soon found out.
I remember (for I also have had my "phases of faith") when first awakened to serious and, in some measure, continued moral thought, I was reading, partly through desire of knowledge, partly alas! through the vanity which likes to possess it, Cicero's "Offices," and I came to the passage, nearly the only one which remains to me unobliterated by an active life, "subjecta veritas quasi materia," that is, "truth subjected as a material" to the mind. I said to myself (or rather the divine truth flashed across my mind), "This cannot be in the case of God, for my mind must be superior to the matter which is subjected to its operations; if it be, that which is so is not God. Faith alone can put Him in His place, which, if He be God, must be above me, as much as God must be above man."
Is not this true? But then there must be a revelation of God in some way, or I (deplorable condition!) remain in total ignorance of Him. I am not saying man is so, but that he must be so if there be no revelation of God. I believe conscience knows that there is a God-Mr. N.'s conscience, my conscience; but it wants something more than it knows: for conscience knows responsibility, and it knows sin-sin lying on itself-on him who has the conscience of it.
Argumentatively, it is an absurdity to make man's mind the measure of God.
Morally, it is a horrible iniquity as well as a folly.
But perhaps the reader will consider it unjust in argument, and even morally, to impute to Mr. N. such a thought, as that which the Psalmist, whose piety he admires, puts into the mouth of God, being inspired so to do, as a charge against the wicked, "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself."
But Mr. N. has reasoned out his principles too boldly to their consequences to conceal them. Any God known by revelation is too entirely excluded from his thoughts to make him fear to bring out his God such as He is according to his theory. He tells us, indeed, that we must regard Him as morally more perfect than man. Still his conclusion on the whole matter is, that "the perfections of God are justly called a projected image of our own highest conceptions." (Soul, p. 41.) That is, as a fact, God is more morally perfect than man, which is not, indeed, saying much; but, adding boundlessness to our idea, our highest conceptions are the moral measure, as to kind, of His perfections, though it be a projected enlarged image of them.
The truth is, all this attempt to project God out of our conceptions is confusion, just because we are creatures, and excellence in a creature is a different thing. And hence there is incompetency to see what God ought to be or must be; though I may in a measure know what He may approve in me, which is another thing, but which will never carry us up to the being which approves. Secondly, we are sinful creatures; hence what God can be to us ought not even to be estimated by us. And lastly, no conception of mind can estimate love. "He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love." It never can be said, Man is love. A creature cannot be; he is bound to something else which bars him from supreme love. He may know it in supreme love to him as a sinner, and thus, but thus only, rise to its source. He knows it supreme and infinite, because it reached him: supreme, because there was nothing lovely in its effect; infinite, for nothing is so far from supreme love as enmity against it, and this was the condition of his proud heart. So even Mr. N. confesses, for he admits an antagonist will. And what else is that but open moral opposition against supreme good, and a refusal to bow to it? How is that to be loved and if loved, is it to be sanctioned? or how reconcile entire condemnation of it, and yet perfect love to him that is in it? This the cross has solved, but not Mr. N. He has known too much of Christianity not to make all his system absurd by that which he has introduced into it, as it was, without this, by all it left out.
The cross, Mr. N. will tell us, is not just. No; it is love. But it is love exercised in such a condemnation of sin as makes its exercise consistent with righteousness, that is, the necessary and desirable display of God's opposition to evil. Christ was willing to offer Himself up, that God might be thus known and man saved.)
Now, the mental absurdity of this I am not answerable for; nor is it surprising in logicians and philosophers meddling with God's nature, and measuring it by their own. Absurdity is the necessary result.
But it is evident that the addition of boundlessness changes everything morally, so that the application of a limited nature to judge of a boundless one by is moral nonsense. If boundless love and boundless power go together, the result must be entirely different in kind from the responsibility by which I judge my conduct, who have but very limited power.
The title to use goodness sovereignly is a different thing from obligation under which I lie to God (if, indeed, Mr. N. admits any); for I am bound in my use of that by the obligation. Infinite goodness, coupled with infinite power, is free to act from itself.
But with this point I am not here concerned. I cite the passage from Mr. N.'s other book, to show that his system does establish our mind as the moral measure of what God is, though we may attach the idea of greater degree to it.
Such is the necessary result of the exclusion of inspired revelation.
I have said, however, that it is really false in fact. Man does not, nor ever can, form his idea of God without his mind being acted on in the way of revelation, though it be not a direct inspired communication from God. He is surrounded by a system altogether beyond his power and control, which witnesses a Being that rises in divine supremacy beyond all his thoughts, which tells of a creating God. Yet, mark, he sees around him a confusion, a disorder, in the condition of those set as masters over the lower part of this creation, which tells a tale of their moral position before God which no wit of his can solve-too bad to be such as it ought to be, with too many signs of God having to say to it-of goodness and mercy, to think it possible it should not be a system of responsibility with which God has to do, with which He will deal otherwise than He does as yet-which put Tartarus and Elysium into the minds of the heathen, a vague and anxious future into the breasts of all: the very insoluble enigma of which shows some mighty moral relationship in disorder, proving by its very greatness that it must refer to God, and hence that it is only His coming into it which can give the key to all, or set it right, in fact.
Mr. N. admits "prevailing wickedness" (Soul, p. 44) in the creation of a Being of perfect goodness. How strange! He tells us, with cold calculation which one would think had never visited man's sorrows, that sorrow is needed to perfect man morally. A poor comfort to thousands of despairing souls, writhing in misery and complaining of God because of it! A poor answer to millions worshipping stocks and stones, and, according to Mr. N., a supposed devil, through fear! Is this necessary for Mr. N.'s philosophical happiness and moral perfecting of man? If Christianity had produced all this, what would he have said? Had it done so, that would not alter the fact. There it is for coldhearted drawing-room philosophers to pronounce it necessary at their ease.
Mr. N. tells us, indeed, that had we had it all to arrange our own way, man could not have done it better. Man could not have done it better! Is that all he has to say? Could God have done it no better? is the question, if we are to take it up as Mr. N. does, as being the original ordered system of God. Is prevailing wickedness, as the necessary result of all a supremely good God could do, the projected image of our highest conceptions? I dare say it is; but does it not then betray the true nature and competency of these conceptions? Mr. N. also declares there is an antagonist will in man. Is this also necessary to his moral perfecting?
But further, as evil is finite and transitory, Mr. N. thinks, while lamenting the actual state of the world, that in prevailing wickedness, however intense and whatever misery it causes, there is nothing to inspire rational doubt of the divine goodness. (Soul, p. 45.) Is this all the soul and its aspirations can give us? The chance that evil will be transitory taking away rational doubts of God's goodness, when what is intensely the contrary prevails, and that goodness is almost universally unknown! Is this Mr. N.'s highest conception, projected as an image with boundless proportions of abstract goodness?
The Christian has no such difficulty; he believes that there is alas! an "antagonist will" (Soul, P. 47), a rebellious and sinful nature, with all the miserable consequences of its "intense wickedness" (ib. p. 45); but he believes that God has come into the midst of it to win man's heart away from this perverse and miserable enmity to God by surpassing goodness, and to make Himself known to man as love in the midst of the fruit of his ways; yea, finding in all the misery and sin the occasion of showing it, and at all cost of love to Himself. He does not rationally suppose God is good, because, in cold philosophy, man's sorrows are necessary to his moral perfecting. He sees in the sorrow (such as none ever had; for who could have such?) of God, come down to carry man's, and redeem and bring him out of it, the proof of that love which makes God known, alike in its greatness and its nearness, in its height above sin and its condescension to those sunk in it; according to that grace which could reach from the throne of God to the vilest of sinners, yea, to be made sin for them, and so bring up the heart, by reaching it there where it was, to the throne from which that grace had descended, and the God of whom it was the perfection. For the highest exercise (or, at least, display) of that perfection which dwells on the throne of heaven was that which visited the lost sinner upon earth, linking his soul to itself, and making known God as He is. Yes, there was a revelation, a revelation of what man wanted, and which God alone could give, and which made Him known.
But I must return to the point I was upon. A certain revelation of God is necessary, and exists, and that revelation is the basis of all Mr. N.'s reasonings-that is, "the things that are made." Rom. 1. From these Mr. N. deduces design, a designer, and so on. No doubt Christianity fully recognizes this. But, then, this is only one way of God's revealing Himself-the lowest way. It reveals His eternal power and Godhead. But this raises other questions. Undoubted traces of goodness are infallibly seen in the creation; but while order reigns in the material world so as to leave no doubt of One of infinite wisdom who designed it, in the moral, such is the "intense wickedness," the confusion, and discontent that, if a man attempts to unriddle what he sees, he falls into a labyrinth from which there is no way out.
A mind which feels that God has to say to the world cannot, with the flippancy of philosophy turning despot in its despair, say, Evil is only transitory-hang the man that troubles society (as Mr. N. would do), and from the reasonableness of this deduce that God may leave the majority of maní ind in such a state that even the heart that could reason thus "laments" over it, yet counts it good enough after all. (Soul, p. 43; the whole passage will be quoted hereafter as characteristic.) It cannot say, It is a part of the perfection of beasts of prey to be cruel and destroy, therefore the misery of the destroyed is intelligible; because it may say, "How is it they have such a kind of perfection? What is come in, that, in proportion as created being approaches man, evil begins to manifest itself; that where creation is without a will, all is material order, all lovely where man cannot reach; where will comes in, where man meddles, all is misery and sin? How is it that, if the beast's furious passion passes away with its occasion, man uses his intellect to perpetuate and perfect his vengeance? Is this for moral perfecting?"
The Christian does see that there is a revelation of God in His works which are seen, such as leaves man without excuse in not owning His eternal power and Godhead. He sees, plainly enough, that Mr. N.'s highest conceptions did not, and could not, take a step without it. But he sees that he wants something else from God to explain the riddle of the moral confusion which exists, since there is a God; and that as God has to say to it, and evidently it has to say to God (for His creatures surely have something to say to Him), God, and God alone, can give the key and the answer to that in the midst of which his soul groans. He sees, moreover, that such as Mr. N. depend on a revelation of God as much as any: only that, in order to maintain man's importance, they take the lowest, the one morally inadequate to solve the grand question of the eternal interests of a soul with God, and reject that which would reveal God fully, and make man dependent on Him.
Why, if God has partially revealed Himself in His works, is it impossible He should reveal Himself in some other way? Is that the only possible one? If God can give in mere nature infallible evidence that it is He, why cannot He reveal Himself in some other way with adequate evidence that it is Himself who does so? This, we have seen, Mr. N. declares Him incapable of doing. But who will take his highest conceptions as an adequate guide to God? Why is he to use a partial revelation in which God has not left Himself without witness, if haply man might feel after Him and find Him, and deny all other? Mr. N., while using Christianity really to elevate his account of what God is, would reduce us to that which God's revelation points out as true, but as of the lowest kind. That is all his books amount to. The christian revelation recognizes this testimony: but it shows from the plainest facts, which Mr. N. very wisely passes over, that such a testimony, though it left man without excuse, had been perfectly useless, through man's perverseness, to elevate man above the corruptions of his own heart; that its existence had even left idolatrous reveling in abominations not fit to be named, and making gods to themselves to help them in them. Christianity owns the testimony, and shows that man's soul when in possession of it sank into the utmost degradation. Mr. N. avails himself of Christianity, from which he avows he has got almost all his manhood-wisdom, to prove the competency of this previous partial revelation to lead man up to God and render all other unnecessary, and to deny the Christianity which has given him the results and ideas to which the other never in fact led man. Which is the most philosophical, the most logical, the most true?

Animus of the Examination

Before examining the details of Mr. N.'s book, I would yet make a general remark.
The kind of opposition men make to Christianity proves its truth in the main-proves in it the consciousness of a real claim of God on the soul.
No doubt men have attacked Paganism as false. They have resisted Mohammedanism, though its sword was its principal argument, so that there was less of this.
But the constant and laborious exercise of free criticism, the close and sifting examination the Bible has gone through for ages, the anxious research after errors or contradictions within, proves anxiety to show that it is not what it pretends to be. Why all this anxiety? Those not immediately under the influence of Mohammedanism are long satisfied that it is false, and leave it there; but these minute researches after a flaw in the scriptures continue-are repeated-renewed. Men take it up on every side. Astronomy and geology are called in aid. Geography is ransacked: history, antiquity, style, manuscripts of all kinds, foolish writings of the fathers, absurd writings of heretics, apocryphal imitations of its contents; nothing left unturned to find something to discredit it; wise writings of philosophers to prove they could do as well, or were the source of the good, or even of the alleged absurdities of doctrine; every other influence sought out which could have moralized humanity, that it may not be supposed to be this. Why all this toil? Why, if it be a doctrine like Plato's, should it not have produced its effect, and our philosophers be as cool about it as about other things? It has-their conscience knows it has-God's claim and God's truth in it; and they will not allow that the true God, that Christ, is the source of it; for then they must bend, and admit what man is.
And this shows itself in the most curious way. Though they pretend to think nothing of Christ, or that He was an impostor, they will not allow that the authorized books of His religion give a true account of the doctrines of the religion. If I read the Koran, I am satisfied to take it as the account of Mohammedanism, absurd as it may be; and I say Mohammedanism is absurd. So of the Vedas and Puranas.
But when the christian books are in question, not only are they charged with error, contradiction, &c., but the free critics will not even allow them to teach the real Christianity after all. They are not a true, not an authentic account of Christianity. Why (if it be a mere fable, an imposture) so difficult about the exactitude of the account of it? Surely the main propagators can give a sufficient account of the imposture and its doctrines, for anything that concerns us. But no. There is the consciousness that God is in Christianity. The conscience, in spite of the will, knows it has to do with God here; and it wants a true revelation, a real and authentic account of what that God is. It is right. But though curiosity and a favorite subject may absorb many for a time, or an individual all his life, men are not so continuously, so perseveringly anxious to get at the truth of a fable. They do not reject the sacred books of any other religion, as not being a true account of that religion. They take them as they are, because they know they are a fable; or, even if it be known to be the work of men's minds, it is the same. A stranger to Lutheranism takes the symbolical books of Lutheranism as being Lutheranism, let him agree to or dissent from them. Why not the christian books as stating Christianity? An infidel cannot let God and His truth alone, because it is His truth. He is a zealot against it; for his will is engaged. He is a bitter zealot because his conscience is uneasy. He will laugh at a Mohammedan carpenter, who thinks he only has the true religion; he will curse a consistent Christian who thinks he has, and denounce and abhor such if they do not let him amongst them when he denies their Lord, and only wish for energy and all needed to proclaim their deeds. Why this difference?

God Is Excluded

In running through the contents of Mr. N.'s book, I shall first notice that the grand object, as the grand fallacy of it all is, the getting rid of God; and this, whatever the subject may be. Only introduce God, and argument after argument crumbles and disappears. If there be only man, the difficulty may be great. Let God be acknowledged, and all is necessary and plain. If this be so, the real meaning of the book, what its reasonings are worth, will not require much other argument. The consideration of the passages I shall refer to will show, I think, that all real knowledge of God, all sense of His value, was wholly absent from Mr. N.'s mind.
Here I would remark, that when we are reasoning on the force or meaning of a christian doctrine, we are entitled to receive it, hypothetically, as true. This does not prove it to be so: but if I can show it to be right and consistent with other truths, assuming it to be true, this removes the difficulty alleged against it on the score of what it means.
For example, in Phases, p. 8, Mr. N. says, "I certainly saw that to establish the abstract moral right and justice of vicarious punishment was not easy."
Now, I will first say that no one dreams of the abstract moral right or justice of vicarious punishment. He who undertakes it does so in love, not in justice. If I pay another man's debts, it is love. Kindness makes me do it. When it is done, it is then just in the creditor not to exact the discharge of them from the debtor, and the latter owes it to my love. The doctrine of Christianity is, that Christ gave Himself, offered Himself, was willing to suffer, to make good His Father's righteousness and glory, and to redeem guilty men. There is no idea of compensation, properly speaking, in it. Sin dishonored God in the sight of the whole, universe. His holiness, His truth, His justice, His majesty, all were compromised; and the simple exercise of love to the guilty would have been acquiescence in the evil, frightful disorder in the universe. Christ willingly gives Himself, that God may be perfectly glorified. On the cross all that God is is perfectly and infinitely glorified, and so is Christ in the highest way. "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him." God's majesty is vindicated. What could have so done it? His just judgment against sin is shown-His perfect love to the guilty is displayed in a higher manner than could be otherwise conceived -His truth, which had pronounced death against sin, established in the highest way.
In the garden Satan had persuaded man that God was not good -had kept back the wisdom-bearing fruit lest man should be like Himself. He had persuaded man that He was not truth, that man would not die, that God would not execute the judgment. Had God executed it simply against man, there was no love; had He not, there was no truth nor righteousness.
But Christ gives Himself up an offering for sin. God does execute judgment in a way amazingly conspicuous in its moral character, so that angels desire to look into it. His truth is displayed, His despised majesty vindicated, His perfect love exercised, and that in a way far surpassing all possible thought of ours. If we say, But He gave up another to the suffering; no doubt it is love to me, but how love and justice to Him given? I answer, He gave Himself in the same love, and it is His highest glory, that in which a motive-bond of love has its source even between Him and the Father. "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again." Here, too, death, and the power of death, and he who had it, were overcome, to the divine glory and our perfect comfort; so that death has wholly lost its sting. Now, leave God out of it, and what does it become? To make out the fact of any "compensation" was "harder still." (Phases, p. 8.) That is, admit the christian doctrine as true; and every truth as to God finds its place, and is exalted by it. But God has no place in Mr. N.'s judgment as to the doctrine we have here touched on.
Mr. N.'s friend argued, that "carnal reason could not discern that human or divine blood, any more than that of beasts, had efficacy to make the sinner as it were sinless." (Ib.) Human or divine blood had no more efficacy than a beast's! But, on the one hand, Christ's shedding His blood is giving His life; and, on the other, for us death, morally, is man's plague, Satan's power, and God's wrath. So, according to Christianity, Christ underwent it. Is that nothing more than a beast's dying? If Christ was " God manifest in the flesh," was the love shown in His dying nothing? Was the bearing wrath nothing? For such is the christian doctrine as to it; and it is that we are now considering. Is it nothing that the Son of God does, and bears all this even to death? No more than a beast's being killed? The author himself could not, then, quite receive it; because in the Epistle to the Hebrews the sacred writer "seems to expect his readers to see an inherent impropriety in the sacrifices of the law, and an inherent moral fitness in the sacrifice of Christ," (Phases, p. 8.) It is not fitness but value, "greater efficacy," that is in question now. And is there no more value in the death of Christ-" God manifest in the flesh," who attached the value of divine goodness and a divinely perfect will (which yet was perfectly obedient), of a divine person, to every act He did as man-than in the death of bulls and goats? instructive no doubt as figures, and a witness to the universal sense of need which the conscience of man feels of an expiation.
Am I not right in saying that God is left out? He who knew divinely infinite love knew infinitely divine wrath; and He who was the "Holy One" felt, in the proportion of that holiness which is beyond all measure, what it was to be made sin before the God of holiness. I know carnal reason (that is, philosophy) has no capacity to understand this: but that is not the fault of Christianity, but of the "antagonist will" which needs it while it rejects it.
Again, on another important point, speaking of the Athanasian Creed and the Trinity, the author says, "It came distinctly home to me, that, whatever the depth of the mystery, if we lay down anything about it at all, we ought to understand our own words."
(Phases, p. 13.) Now this seems very plausible; but bring in God, or anything connected with Him, and if it be meant that we ought to be able to define the human words employed, it is necessarily and wholly false, because God is in another order of being from that to which our words belong. Words express man's thoughts in the way of definition-can do nothing else; but man's thoughts are finite, and God is infinite; and therefore it is impossible in the nature of things, that human language can be an adequate (or properly speaking, a just) expression of what God is. Yet almost all Mr. N.'s growing infidelity sprung from this evident fallacy: any real faith in God or knowledge of Him became impossible the moment he laid down this absurd and really illogical rule-illogical, if we admit there is a God. Take Mr. N. himself as witness. He says, in another work, "Concerning the divine nature, we know that our metaphorical language must be inaccurate; but it is the best we have got. To refuse to speak of God as loving and planning, as grieving and sympathizing, without the protest of a quasi, will not tend to clearer intellectual views, [for what can be darker?] but will muddy the springs of affection. Metaphorical language on this whole subject is that which the soul dictates, and therefore must surely express our nearest approximation to truth, if the soul be the eye by which alone we see God. Jealousy m resist metaphor does not testify to depth of insight." (Soul, p. 39.)
Now, it is true, he speaks here of metaphor alone; but why is metaphor used? Because of the incompetency of the human mind to use, as to God, the language of exact definition. It flows from the fact that man is man, and not God, and his language the expression of his nature, be it in its affections or its intellect. Hence it must speak as man speaks (i.e., use the expressions suited to the measure of man's nature, because man can do nothing else). If these are used as definitions of God's nature, they are necessarily inaccurate; if as means of communicating particular thoughts about Him, they are true, though inadequate. But if it be insisted that a man should know what he meant, that is, define his ideas, he cannot. Our language as to God, not merely our metaphorical language, must be inaccurate. It is, as Mr. N. professes it to be, our nearest approximation to the truth. It will be said here, "I do not ask you to define God, but the words you use about Him." But the definition of the words, by Mr. N.'s admission, makes them inaccurate, for they are to express something about God. But in exactitude of meaning they must be inaccurate. To this exactitude Mr. N. seeks to reduce them. Nor let the reader be alarmed at this impossibility of definition: it is the case with all the ideas he is most certain of, or most delights in. Let him try to define a straight line, a right angle, beauty, love, one's country, home. Yet these words convey either most accurate or exceedingly powerful ideas.
Again, as to christian evidences, whether miraculous facts or moral character were the bases, Mr. N. finds that neither system went to the bottom of human thought, or showed what were the fixed points of man's knowledge. (Phases, p. 41.)
Now this ground takes man's mind as the measure of evidence, to the exclusion of God. Can God, if He comes in (and the object of a revelation is to reveal Him)-can God give no evidence of Himself demonstrative of His presence and testimony, which is entirely beyond any previously fixed points of man's knowledge? If there be a revelation of God, it must do so. It may make man morally responsible by that which it brings.
Besides, Mr. N.'s reasonings here, as to which proof was the best and a warrant for the reception of the other, only show narrowness of apprehension; because two proofs of a distinct order may corroborate each other, and make the truth of what they attest certain, when one only would leave it uncertain, though it might not prove it false. Thus a miracle, to sustain the doctrine that there were many unholy gods whose business was to please men's lusts, might test and try the heart and spirit, but could never prove the message to have the authority of one holy God; nay, a miracle by itself might be an inadequate proof of the authority of a message which was not in itself grossly inconsistent with such a Being. On the other hand, though moral truths are, perhaps, even a surer, if not so striking a kind of evidence, yet they may not (though they may go very far towards it) prove the mission of any one to be what he asserts it to be. But when plain and evident miracles (such as the restoring sight to one born blind by a word, or making a man with crippled feet of forty years' standing able to leap and walk before all immediately, the man being well known by all previously, or such as the raising the dead) are accompanied by a doctrine which has morally (as nothing else ever before it had) the stamp of goodness and holiness upon it, and of a divine knowledge of human nature, not of its lusts and character so as to use them, but of hearts so as to judge them:-when these things go together, they may, by being united, afford a proof which the unbelief of the will may surely resist and reject, as it will everything, but which will make it guilty and prove it such, if the testimony be rejected.
In a measure, too, Mr. N. loses sight of the fact that these evidences, as given, were before the eyes of men. They are not before our eyes; but we have undoubted historical proof of the effect produced by them then-of the character of the witness- the wide spread of Christianity which resulted (though no human force was used for its propagation for three hundred years); and we have the moral doctrine which produced this effect still subsisting, not only in the documents which profess to contain this revelation, but which are cited by friends and foes during all this period, as containing the authentic instructions of the religion the one professed and the other attacked. This countercheck of evidences of a different and independent character, in the way of proof, will be found to pervade scripture and to be characteristic of it, and a principal safeguard of the minds of the simple and true against subtle or fanatical pretensions.
If conversion were the subject in question, Mr. N. had never any thought of God's acting.
"How," he asks, "could such moral evidence become appreciable to heathens and Mohammedans?" "Mere talk could bring no conviction.' (Phases, p. 43, and so on to p. 45.)
Again, in speaking of the very being of God, he proves, in referring to the Athanasian Creed, that the compiler "did not understand his words;" because, had he spoken of three men, he must have meant "three objects of thought, of whom each separately may be called man." So of God; so that on this ground there must be three gods. (Ib. p. 48.) What is this but excluding all idea of God even from Godhead, and reducing our thoughts of the divine nature to the limits of our own circumscribed one? Can there be any more entire exclusion of God from a person's thoughts? Besides, there is a gross fallacy even in the terms of the reasoning. Language is formed on thought. The word " God," being one and distinct in nature from all else means not only a being, but a nature. "A God," save metaphorically, or in heathen mythology (ein Gott and die giitter), revolts the moral ear. When I say, "the Word was God," I use "God" for a nature which none else can have but the true God; but I use it as speaking of His nature. When I say, "God created," I speak of a Being who did so. "A God," speaking of the truth of divine existence, is nonsense. But if I say, "the Father is God," I say that He is ineffably possessed of everything that belongs to that nature which partakes it with none else: for none is God but God. Now I could not say, God is the Son; because then I should speak of Him as that one only Being, and exclude the Father and the Holy Ghost from the term "God" in my phrase.
This is perfectly plain in English; the Greek distinguishes these two uses by the article-θεὸς ἧυ ὁ λόγος. Ἐυ ἀρχῆ ἐποίνσευ ὁ θεός. Ὁ λόγος ἧυ πρὸς τὸς θεόυ. Now Mr. N. overlooks entirely this double use of the term in English, and confounds all ideas on the subject by the use of the senseless term "a God."
Having the unity of the Godhead constantly asserted in scripture, the manner of the divine existence is a subject of mere revelation. There I find that the Holy Ghost wills and distributes; the Father sends; the Son is sent; and yet He and His Father are one. I find that the "Word is God," that the Son is "the true God," that "all things were created by him." If it is said of the Holy Ghost, "All these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit," I read in the same passage, " It is the same God that worketh all in all." Now, I have no better word than "person" for one who is sent, who wills, who distributes, who sends, and so on. It cannot give me that circumscribed idea of "person" which the word applied to man does (for then one existence excludes another); but I have no reason whatever to impose the limits of my manner of being on God's, but rather the contrary. Now all Mr. N.'s reasoning is merely the reducing the Godhead to the strictest limits of creature-nature, which is a mere absurdity and a miserable exclusion of all above us, and a leveling of God to man-the necessary degradation of man too, for he is elevated in knowing God.
I remember I always regarded with indignant contempt Mr. Hume's argument against miracles-that it was contrary to experience that a miracle was true, but not contrary to experience that testimony was false. It was really no argument at all; because the use of the word "experience" in itself excluded the idea of miracle, and the question is, if the testimony was true, not whether the testimony could be false: otherwise I should believe nothing I had not experienced. But making man's experience the limit of knowledge and of the elevation of man's thoughts, seemed almost to me a mixture of insolent self-sufficiency and degradation at the same time, which did not deserve reasoning about. It was degrading nonsense, making itself the limit of all possible power and knowledge. It was sufficient to state it to despise it, and all that flowed from it.
I add, that the Christian has a knowledge, by the Holy Ghost dwelling in him (not of course of the manner of union in the Godhead in any adequate way, but), of such a union as gives him a competency to understand that God can indwell in a way wholly above any creature-communication; and hence he knows that what he knows is beyond his knowledge. " In that day," that is, when ye have received the Comforter, "ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." "He who searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to God." Is this the saint's heart or the Holy Ghost? Both. It is my groan, the real groan of my heart; but it is the Holy Ghost dwelling in me who gives me the feeling, and the groan too, according to God. And it is His intercession. This is indeed God's sympathy with man. I am well aware that philosophers may mock at this. Of course, as such, Christianity supposes them not to have it-to be ignorant of it. "Whom the world," says the Lord, "cannot receive, for it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Hence it is no proof for them in the way of argument. But it is for those who possess it in a way beyond all argument, and a way of understanding too that which argument will never teach. I cannot make a prayer to God without the whole Trinity. "Through Christ we have access by one Spirit to the Father." It is the hourly exercise of the Christian's faith, and better known there than in the Athanasian Creed, and by those who never knew what Trinity or Person meant; for definitions are poor things. What can be defined is not God, for God is infinite.
Mr. N. takes this same ground as to the Spirit's personality. (Phases, p. 52.) I do not go over it again. I only remark that he always had a repugnance to it; that is, he had never known it. Now, if I see willing, distributing, coming, teaching, guiding, being pent, I have no better word than "Person" to use. I have no attachment to the term, but the true Christian believes this of the Holy Ghost, and he knows Him as a divine Person dwelling in himself. God's love is shed abroad in his heart by the Spirit given to him. Now, supposing that the "Spirit of God" meant in the New Testament "God in the heart," as Mr. N. says, is not God a real Being, that is, a Person, in a real though inadequate and imperfect use of the term? I believe the New Testament means often by this expression "God in the heart;" and if the Holy Ghost be such, He is God; and, according to the New Testament, He is what is best expressed by the word "Person," for He is sent by the Father and from the Father, another Comforter, on the Son's going away. I repeat, I have no better language than "Person" when I have another who wills and acts. And what is Mr. N.'s question here? "Who by logic or metaphysics will carry us beyond this?" (Ib. p. 52.) Could any one more nakedly confess how God was shut out of his mind even when the subject was God's presence in the heart? a doctrine he admits to be taught in the New Testament; and then turns to logic and metaphysics to carry us farther in the knowledge of it.
So, in his conversation with an infidel, he has no thought of the possibility of God's acting. (Ib. p. 54.)
Even on the question of his reception among Christians, of which we will speak historically in a moment, he never suspects that it can be of any importance that he should hold the truth about God and His salvation. He was to be received upon some personal qualities, or, at any rate, without any truth as to God being considered to be material. He calls this "dogma." What he was was sufficient; what God was, immaterial. (Ib. p. 59.) And again (ib. p. 60), he never supposed union was on the ground of intellectual propositions. Is God an intellectual proposition only to him, then? So as to our thoughts and comments on scripture, he "most rigidly demanded a clear, single, self-consistent sense" (ib. p. 65); that is, not a living, perhaps imperfect, communication of divine truth, but something fully reduced to the level of man's mind, and not in anything passing its limits. It must be a human truth. Now it is just this human singleness which distinguishes human from divine truth. Have I human thought? I have it: my mind measures it as it is; I have it all within my own limits. Afterward there is nothing new. When I get the word- the communication of divine truth-I get what is linked with God as flowing from Him; it is part of infinite divine knowledge into which I am introduced; and though I know only in part, I am introduced into that which is infinite in itself, infinite in its relations and bearings. If I am a man, I am a man: everybody knows what that means. But if God becomes a man, I know it: yet is it now limitable by my notion of a man-my just, single, self-consistent notion? So to limit it would at once destroy it altogether-would falsify, by its pretension, the whole truth with which I am come in contact. How endless are the consequences in love, power, dominion, grace, obedience, communion, righteousness! The very character of everything is altered. Such is Christianity. It is the bringing in of this in the midst of the world of misery in which man's heart is plunged, and from which he sees no exit. And your philosopher would reduce me again to his one single self-consistent sense of the word "man."
Christianity may be true, or it may be false; but such a way of taking it up is not power but imbecility. It professes to bring God in as a resource to the misery of man-a misery which is there, whether it be true or no, and much greater where it is not received. And the philosopher tells me to take God out of it, and then it will have a single self-consistent sense-then it will be intelligible! Will it? How will leaving God out of it make His coming in intelligible? Who by logic or metaphysics will carry us beyond this?
The reader may see, too, how Mr. N. (ib. p. 71) sets cultivated understanding as a purifier of religion (i.e., above it). Now what does this mean, if God be not excluded from religion? Is the human understanding to purify the truth of God? Would one who thought of the living God in religion dare to speak so? I am aware that Mr. N. may say that your religion is not necessarily God's. But he does not say "my religion," but "religion," adding, that religion and fanaticism are the same in embryo. Do they not come from man, then-entirely from man? Are they not a passion, a phrenological bump, a propensity of which understanding is to correct the uncertain tendency? Is it possible more entirely to exclude God even from religion? For certainly, if any religion comes from God, man cannot purify it.
Hence, Mr. N. naturally concludes that "morality is the end, spirituality the means, religion is the handmaid to morals." (Phases, p. 72.) That is, man and his conduct is the end, anything of God (for where am I to find Him if not in religion?) a mere means. God comes in for His share, because the love of morality proves His excellence, who "is the embodiment of it to his heart and soul." But this exclusion of God is thus summed up-" It was pleasant to me to look on an ordinary face [i.e., not evangelical], and see it light up into a smile, and think with myself, There is one heart that will judge of me by what I am, and not by a Procrustean dogma." (Ib. p. 73.) Now, I conceive that making man-what man is-as morally amiable, to the total exclusion of any importance in what God he owned, what he thought of God, whether he denied one faith or every faith, whether he had any- could not be more clearly stated. That is, God is totally excluded. It is indifferent what a man thinks about Him, if that man is amiable towards me.
Again (ib. p. 75), even when he speaks of worship, he "worshipped [he says] in God three great attributes, all independent -power, goodness, wisdom." That is, he worshipped some ideas. He did not worship God Himself as his God, but certain qualities which he approved of: these he must discern, and then he would condescend to approve of God, and admire qualities; for as to worshipping qualities it is nonsense. We worship somebody.
That is, really, though he attached a name to certain qualities, though this name embodied these ideas of his own mind, God Himself was not owned at all.
Again, as to sin, he "saw that it was an immorality to teach that sin was measured by anything else than the heart and will of the agent." (Ib. p. 78.) Elsewhere he boasts of discovering that morality was eternal, of eternal ethics. A strange way of having them so, for they vary with every heart and every will. But how is God excluded here? Man's heart and will are the only measure of his wrong! Morality is eternal, as already explained; but its measure depends on the relationship which creates the obligation, and hence is measured by the claim of the being with whom we are in relationship. That, in grace, ignorance may be a real occasion of mercy is true, but the sin is not measured by it, if I would elevate my soul to any real morality, to what it is in itself; or morality changes with caprice. I should not treat a Hindoo widow as a professing Christian, if she burns herself; but her ignorance does not make the measure of sin, though I may have compassion on her because of it: otherwise the grossest and most cruel superstitions become the measure of sin. But God is excluded, and hence man's heart and will become Mr. N.'s measure of sin too.
And see the practical consequence. A man degraded in seeking the satisfaction of his own lusts is for Mr. N. "a good-humored voluptuary." (Phases, p. 81.) How was he "to think that he deserved to be raised from the dead, in order to be tormented in fire for a hundred years?" Give an account of himself to God! This is all nothing to Mr. N. His morality is far better than christian truth. The voluptuary may go on in his good humor without troubling himself. Sin is only measured by a man's will and heart. God need not be in all his thoughts. And this is correcting and improving on Christianity! See this character treated in his contempt of and indifference to the misery of his fellow-man in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. But I proceed.
As to relationship of the divine Persons, there is the same reducing everything to man's level in speaking of "begotten.' It must signify a beginning of existence, since it does with man. Scripture warrants another use of it: "I will make him my firstborn," is said of Solomon; and "Israel is my son, my first-born." "Only-begotten Son" is a term of relationship, not a low, carnal, human idea of begetting (the use of which, in respect to God, only proves the degradation of thought of him who so uses it, when referred to Godhead). And what is Mr. N.'s way of reasoning here? A doctrine which could not be proclaimed in English cannot be true! That is profound philosophy! Yet he admits what we say of God as loving, repenting, &c., must be inaccurate cannot be a single, self-consistent idea. The want of it here raised unspeakable loathing. A man who could not define a circle, which everybody can understand and see, would define the manner of divine existence by terms which should have the precise, definite sense which they have when applied to man.
It may be seen how entirely he has lost the idea of God, when he affirms that it became clear to him "that polytheism as such is not a moral and spiritual error, but, at most, only an intellectual error; and that its practical evil consists in worshipping beings whom we represent to our imaginations as morally imperfect." (Phases, p. 89.) Otherwise, also, if a man "made the angel Gabriel a fourth person in the Godhead, to worship him would be no degradation to the soul, even if absolute omnipotence were not attributed-nay, nor a past eternal existence." (Ib. p. 89.)
Could one more clearly state, as to oneself, the loss of all real knowledge of one true God? To suppose the possibility of these "gods many" shows that the idea of one true God has lost its place in the soul-that one has not the knowledge of God. One may admire qualities, as one may in man or any one else; but a God who begins must begin somehow, and owe his existence to the creative will of another, and hence be under obligation to a superior. True Godhead would not be there. Could any one who knew God speak of there being many not eternal, not omnipotent, as indeed they could not be if there be many? Does not the mind of one who knows God feel at once there must be the one true One behind all these?
Am I not right in saying God is unknown to Mr. N. is excluded by his reasonings?
Hence it was a question, solved only by other considerations, whether the doctrine of Christ's having a superior nature was not an indifferent thing. If His nature was a good one, and He only a man, why not worship Him? Can God be more completely excluded? (Ib. p. 90.)
Again, take the fall. "Adam fell by the first temptation; what greater proof of a fallen nature have I ever given? I was surprised to discern that there was, a priori, impossibility of fixing on myself the imputation of degeneracy, without fixing the same on Adam." (Phases, p. 96.) Now this assumes the truth of the fall for the sake of the argument. Now, is the enjoying God's benefits in innocence the same thing as the actual "antagonistic will" which Mr. N. has? Is the existing alienation from and enmity against God of a carnal mind nothing? Take the history. Adam abandoned God-was turned out of His presence. Mr. N. begins there. That is all nothing to him till he commits a sin, because God is nothing. Adam fell; he falls-all is one, says Mr. N. accepting the history.
Adam was with God, Mr. N. was not. That this makes any difference does not enter into his mind. Liability to fall in a creature, he understands, it regards man's condition; being in the presence of or absent from God does not make even a part of his inquiry, or subject-matter of his reasoning. Why?
Again (for he is speaking of a period when he professed evangelicalism), as to the person of Jesus, he says, "So, if any one dwelt on the special proofs of tenderness and love exhibited in certain words or actions of Jesus, it was apt to call out in me a sense that, from day to day, equal kindness might often be met. The imbecility of preachers who dwell on such words as `Weep not,' as if nobody else uttered such, had always annoyed me." (Ib. p. 102.) Could anything more mark the total absence of any sense that God was there? Other men were fully as kind as Jesus!
Again: "If one system of religion may claim that we blind our hearts and eyes in its favor, so may another; and there is precisely the same reason in becoming a Hindoo in religion as a Christian." (Ib. p. 114.) Now how totally does this deny the fact that God can bring in that which can enlighten man? Christianity and Hindooism lie there, and "the moral and intellectual powers of man must be acknowledged as having a right and duty to criticize the contents of scripture." (Ib. p. 115.)
Is it impossible, then, for God so to reveal Himself as to command the responsibility of man? Is He incapable of enlightening the mind by His truth? Must He remain the subject matter of man's judgment, according to a human standard previously possessed, as much as Hindooism? Can anything more entirely deny God, and shut Him out from revelation itself? Again this is thus expressed:-" If we are to blind our eyes in order to accept an article of king Edward VI., or an argument of St. Paul's, why not," &c. (Phases, p. 119.) Now, if God reveal anything, as Christians believe God did by Paul, this argument applies just as much; that is, God is absolutely excluded from all authoritative revelation whatever. He must not interfere.
Again as to proofs given: "Why should I look with more respect on the napkins taken from Paul's body (Acts 19:12) than on pocket-handkerchiefs dipped in the blood of martyrs?" (Ib. p. 13o.) Is it forbidden to God, for man's sake, and to overcome his incredulity, to "confirm the word by signs following?" God acts by one, He does not by the other. One was a divine act, the other a human. It is not a comparison of a napkin and a handkerchief-Paul's body and a martyr's blood-but of God's acting or not; but this does not even enter into Mr. N.'s mind.
See, too, his remarks on miracles, and "useless miracles," such as Christ walking on the sea. Useless! to whom? to man? Was it useless to learn Christ's power over creation, and the way faith could use it, and unbelief lose it? "What was to be said of a cure wrought by touching the hem of Jesus's garment, which drew physical virtue from Him without His will?" (Ib. p. 131.) Was it nothing to show that humble, trembling, unfeigned faith, could find resource in Jesus when all else failed, and find health and blessing there, approach ever so timidly? It is all nothing to Mr. N. But what does that prove? That such proofs of divine presence and goodness, such cheering encouragement to those whose trembling but unfeigned confidence might otherwise stay far off, have no charms for him. Intellectual power to judge God, if He ventures to show Himself -that is all well. Divine goodness-health and cure for the poor and otherwise failing heart, so as to knit it to God; the assurance that it can surely get the blessing, there is no "moral dignity" in. What a judge of it!
Again (ib. p. 143), he treats the distrust of one giving up all revelation of God in scripture, as proving the existence of an artificial test of spirituality. Are, then, the largest and most intimate communications from God nothing? Is the fact of His so communicating with us, treating us, as Jesus expresses it, as "friends," by telling us all that can be divinely communicated to man, nothing? Is its existence, and the reception of it, a mere artificial test of spirituality-a small hanging branch gone, and all as well as ever? Is this Mr. N.'s value for communications from God?
We are not now discussing whether those which profess to be such are genuine, but whether their rejection, supposing they are, is of any consequence. For Mr. N. it was of none-a mere artificial test of spirituality. This is his estimate of communications from God. What is his value for Him who makes them? Did I treat my friends so (i.e., if I were indifferent to having them or not), what would it prove as to my feeling towards themselves?
Mr. N., indeed, states this indifference as to God, in connection with His word, with singular clearness:-"Meanwhile, I sometimes thought Christianity to be to me like the great river Ganges to a Hindoo. Of its value he has daily experience: he has piously believed that its sources are in heaven; but of late the report has come to him that it only flows from very high mountains of this earth. What is he to believe? He knows not exactly, he cares not much: in any case, the river is the gift of God to him: its positive benefits cannot be affected by a theory concerning its source." (Ib. p. 153.)
The title of Mr. N.'s fifth period is remarkable, "Faith at second-hand found to be vain." This sounds well. Faith must surely be in God Himself. "Abraham believed God." But is every one to have God so speaking to himself that he is infallibly directed by it? Each communication being absolutely limited to the one who receives it, and excluded from going farther, all communication of truth being impossible. If it passed the one who had the vision, it is second-hand faith in the sense of Mr. N. And the favored and exceptional visionary or auditor of God Himself cannot even be known, for then others would receive it as a revelation of God; but this would be believing at secondhand. Any one, therefore, receiving moral truth, or any truth which concerns men, would be an impossibility; for if confined to himself, it would not be such. That is, again, all possibility of any communication from God is denied.
He looks for a broader foundation for his creed than any sacred letter. Creed he had none yet; that is, he believed nothing. But the result is that it is impossible to believe anything. You may reason out a god of your own mind, as a spider the cobweb out of its bowels; but believe you cannot: for who is to tell you anything to be believed? You may be taken in the cobweb of Mr. N.'s spinning; but God must hold His peace. Can God be more wholly excluded?
"Without caring on what grounds they believed, though that is obviously the main point." (Ib. p. 146.) "An ambitious and unscrupulous Church that desires, by fair means or foul, to make men's minds bow down to her, may say, `Only believe, and all is right. The end being gained- obedience to us-we do not care about your reasons.' But God cannot speak thus to man." (Ib.)
It "is obviously," says Mr. N., "the main point" to know on "what grounds" we believe. "God cannot speak" as "an ambitious and unscrupulous Church"... "Only believe, and all is right." Well, if God speaks, I should think He must say, "Only believe, and all is right." If He speaks, the ground for certainty is that He is speaking. That He will and does, in the most gracious way, give adequate proof to make man know it is He that speaks, I undoubtedly believe: it is worthy of His grace. But if He speaks, rejection of His word is rejection of Him, of His authority, of His truth. That is, it is the condemnation of him who rejects it. An ambitious Church doing so has not the same effect, because it is not God. God's speaking and man's speaking is not the same-has not the same claim nor the same consequences. For Mr. N. it has, because God is not in His thoughts. Bring Him in-his reasoning is not worth a straw. Suppose I ascertain clearly that the ambitious Church speaks- a matter hard enough, it is true; what then? Nothing: men have spoken. Supposing I ascertain God has spoken; is the consequence the same? The ground of faith that God must give -the only ground of divine faith, i.e., of certainty-is that He has spoken. If man reject His word, what can he be but condemned?
The ambitious Church does not say, Only believe God: it says, "Only believe" (i.e., "believe me"). God says, "Believe me." Is that the same? Yes, says Mr. N. He says God cannot speak thus. How else should He speak?
But it is merely this-God is excluded from his thoughts.
"A question of logic, such as I had here before me, was peculiarly one on which the propagator of a new religion could not be allowed to dictate." (Ib. p. 147.)
What else could God do? He may afford proofs that it is He, and so He has; but if it be He, He must dictate.
But what is Mr. N.'s only idea? "Let Hindooism dictate our logic." (Ib.) Think of such an idea as God dictating logic! You have the measure of the "moral dignity" with which Mr. N. measures miracles or any of God's gracious dealings-that is, of God Himself. How dreary to the heart to deal with such reasoning! He has not a thought beyond logical notions. "If logic [he says] cannot be a matter of authoritative revelation [he cannot get beyond man's mind], so long as the nature of the human mind is what it is," &c. (Ib. p. 147.)
Now, even speaking logically, introduce God and it cannot be commensurate with the human mind, because God is not man; and reasonings deduced from what God is cannot be according to what man is. The premiss is an unknown one, and incommensurate; adapted in grace to man, if you will; but grace is not logic. Thus Mr. N. reasons that it is not just one should suffer for another. Perhaps not; but if God becomes a man and gives Himself, what logic can solve this? There is no grace in mere justice, no love; and God is love, yet He is just. Paul's reasonings (that is, the Holy Ghost's) are drawn from what God is, and Mr. N.'s from what he is himself. Can we be surprised that they are different? From what else does Mr. N. derive them?
"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all: how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" There is the glorious and divine logic which draws its reasonings from the actings of immeasurable divine love. So "if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life." How do these truths come home with divine power to the heart, as founded on the bright and glorious display of what God is, and His ways, as interested in us! It is logic of invincible power, founded on what God is, known by faith. Mr. N. may tell me that it is not suited to man's nature as it is. Not to his evil to sanction it, but to his wants it is. It is suited to the knowledge of God: if he means, to man without it, no more is the light of the sun to some creatures; but this does not prove the daylight to be evil to those who have eyes for it; but that the animals are themselves owls or bats. They cannot see in the light while their nature is what it is. Be it so: I dare say it is so. Thank God, in man's case, we may hope for a change.
As regards the means by which Paul was convinced, which Mr. N. requires to know, it is to me, as to my own conviction of the truth, quite immaterial. The point for me is, that I should have proof that it is a divine revelation. Supposing my conscience is reached by a word "sharper than any two-edged sword," and all my secret thoughts revealed to myself, so that I see I am worthy of judgment, and in the presence of a holy judge-that I am conscious, as a defiled being, I am in the presence of God. Supposing I search long-known prophecy, and find it accomplished in what meets my moral need. Supposing the notorious facts of Christ's life put the seal of truth and divine goodness on Him and His testimony, and make the allegation of imposture moral nonsense. Supposing this word, which searches my heart, accompanied by miracles which in their number and character leave no room for anything but an "antagonist will" to reject them-that I have seen a known blind man restored to sight, and a dead man raised. I get proof then, in every way, that God is now interfering and dealing with me, and that he who bears this message bears God's message and commission. What is it to me, save as an interesting collateral subject, how he came by it, how he was convinced? I am by adequate evidence, and that is the point. It is not second-hand faith to me; it is I who believe a present word of truth, which I believe to be God's.
I see, moreover, by the fruits when it is so received, that God's power is in it. Lusts are overcome; habits, long cherished, are changed; peace given; the love of God shed abroad in the heart; joy, happiness, intelligence, moral capacity, the knowledge of God, flow in. Activity of love ensues; the whole man is morally a new creature, and knows God as love. Mr. N. may be without this evidence. Others are not. He is not without it in its external parts. The process of the teacher's receiving has nothing to say to the matter. The proofs with which he delivers it are what concern me. To set a number of sinners to analyze the manner of a divine revelation is certainly the last thing that God who gave it would set them to do; to give them the adequate proof to conscience that it is one to them, is worthy of Him, and it is what He has done. Nothing can be more absurd than Mr. N.'s reasoning here. In principle Mr. N. is only showing what the Savior tells us, that the mind and will, thus acting and criticizing, can receive nothing from God. Mr. N., having refused all else besides this criticism, ends, as we have already seen, in this gross absurdity-the incompetency of God to communicate in any way with His intelligent creatures.
He then takes the visionary acts of prophets, used to represent the iniquity of Israel and God's patience, as an injunction, to practice immorality (taking, moreover, his inward judgment as the only valid rule). Now there is a natural conscience, a knowledge of good and evil; but it is a gross mistake to suppose that it cannot be corrupted, or that it is, in fact, an adequate measure of it; which Mr. N. always assumes. But this point I reserve for the questions of objections to scripture.
I only remark in this part, as connected with my present subject, that, where he objects to Christ's making the whip of small cords, and asks, Would a miracle "authorize me to plait a whip of small cords, and flog a preferment-hunter out of a pulpit?" (Phases, p. 151.) The divine authority, and divine authority of righteousness which respected God's acknowledged house, is wholly overlooked. If a church or chapel were owned of God as His house, and men were making a riot in it in time of service, any one would be justified in arresting the scandal with a high hand. But I notice here, that all this is leaving out God. Jesus did it with the declaration, that "One greater than the temple was there"; that if they destroyed "the temple of his body, he would raise it up in three days." He was Jehovah.
I will take up the grounds of faith farther on.
Mr. N. says, "The New Testament teaches that God will visit men with fiery vengeance for holding an erroneous creed." (Phases, p. 168.) One could understand his objection if God were but an opinion of the brain of man. But it does not teach any such thing; unless, as for Mr. N., God is nothing but an idea. It teaches that man will be condemned for rejecting God manifested in the most gracious way as the light itself, to which He had called man by every means grace could devise-prophecies, promises, John Baptist going as herald before to summon man's attention, miracles. It says they are condemned; or, to use the very words of scripture, "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." Christ says, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. If I had not done amongst them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin; but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father."
But God is a mere opinion in man's head, for Mr. N.; to reject Him, because we have an "antagonist will," is consequently a mere erroneous creed. God is not in all his thoughts.
Again, he says, "As for the Old Testament, if all its prophecies about Babylon, and Tire, and Edom, and Ishmael, and the four monarchies, were both true and supernatural, what would this prove? That God had been pleased to reveal something of coming history to certain eminent men of Hebrew antiquity. That is all. We should receive this conclusion with an otiose faith." (Ib. p. 170) That is all! Is it nothing, then, that God does speak to man-interest Himself in his affairs? Had He no purpose in it? Is it connected with no moral relationship with these persons, with this people? Is it no proof that He meant men to give heed to the course of events He spoke of, the system in the midst of which the revelation was given, and to which it referred? Is "otiose faith" the suited feeling when God is admitted to have spoken? Is such stupid insensibility to such an immense moral principle as God's communicating His intentions or the future in any case to man, really "moral dignity?" God has spoken, and "that is all!" How does this betray the real state of mind-of what value God and His thoughts are to him who makes such a remark! What immense consequences flow from it!
God can reveal, it seems. Nay, He has revealed. He can demonstrate to the mind that it is He who speaks. It has been proved to be a revelation by the event. Then He interests Himself in man in the way of revelation. Is it with no purpose, no plan, no special thoughts as to man, his destiny, the world's destiny-which, without this, remains to us hid in dark enigmatical clouds-that He has made these revelations? Do God's thoughts confine themselves to some petty interest of Tire or Edom, and leave all else to darkness or to fate? Is this logic? Were such a lightning-flash to shine in a sunless world, it would make a living mind desire a general permanent light. Does it not lead me to say, Can there be such prophecies of private interpretation? or, if "holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," surely God's thoughts, God's interest, must go farther than this? Why to them, why to Hebrews, rather than to others? Has He no purpose in it? Is there no divine future? No; "that is all!"
Mr. N. will shut out God if he can; if he is forced to let Him in, he will make God's own voice as unimportant to others, if he can, as it is to himself. "We should receive this conclusion with an otiose faith." (Ib. p. 170.) That is, you would; but it proves far more of what your mind and heart and will are morally, than of the value of the fact that God has spoken to man. If He has, O what a field is open to the heart of those who have any! He does come in to speak to us. He has spoken. He can prove it is He who has spoken. What has He said?
In speaking of John's Gospel, he assumes this absence of God's inspiration. "Is it possible for me to receive them [the miracles] on his word?" (Ib. p. 175.) Perhaps not; perhaps yes. But the question is, Is it God's word? I am not here saying it is God's word (though I need hardly say I fully and thankfully believe it, and bless God for it, as the best treasure of my soul); but I say that is the question, and asking "How can I believe on his word?" is begging the question. You are seeking to prove it cannot be inspiration; the reason you give for it is, that you cannot believe it on his word. But the whole question is, Is it on his word? That is, you exclude God. And I here recall to the reader that what Mr. N. calls faith at second-hand is alone faith at all, unless each person is to receive a message from God immediately.
Again, Mr. N. says, "It is with hundreds or thousands a favorite idea, that they have `an inward witness of the truth of [the historical and outward facts of] Christianity.' Perhaps the statement would bring its own refutation to them, if they would express it clearly. Suppose a biographer of Sir Isaac Newton, after narrating his sublime discoveries, &c.... to add that Sir Isaac... was himself carried up to heaven one night while he was gazing at the moon; and that this event had been foretold by Merlin: it would surely be the height of absurdity to dilate on the truth of the Newtonian theory as `the moral evidence' of the truth of the miracles and prophecy." (Ib. p. 199.) Now, what does the reader think of this argument? That Mr. N. is ignorant of all internal evidence of Christianity we may alas! take on his own word. But I avow my esteem for logic is not heightened, if Mr. N. is to be taken as a specimen of what it is. The history and facts of Christianity are identified with a public claim, that the subject of them was God manifest in the flesh. Have the doctrines and truths, of which He was the revealer, nothing to do with the proof of that historical fact? Supposing the case of a wife; that is a mere historical fact, a legal question. Does the husband merely know by the register that it is his wife?
Is relationship with God less real, less known, less important? Doubtless they are to Mr. N., but not to those who enjoy them. But he leaves God out. He is not in his thoughts, however he may commend his present state of piety, which, he tells us, is as bright and real as ever.
The logic is no better. Sir Isaac's going up to heaven has no connection with the truths he has discovered; one does not depend on the other. They remain true whether Sir Isaac be in the moon or not. And if Sir Isaac be in the moon, it does not depend on the attraction of gravitation. Is that so of Christ? If He be not ascended up on high, if His miracles are all willful impostures, does not that affect His doctrine? And is not the revelation of relationship with God such as none else ever made, a "speaking that He knew?" Has not His "testifying of what He had seen" a discovery, in a word, of things belonging to God which none other even approached-something to do with His coming from God? Does it not tend to validate His declaration that He was going there? Where is the absurdity? In the Christian who sees the connection, or in Mr. N. who sees none?
The Christian has an inward witness (not of the historical facts of Christianity, as Mr. N. says, but) of "eternal life" in his own soul, "and that life is in Christ." He knows it in daily enjoyment, and knows Him better than Mr. N. knows his best friend. How does Mr. N. know the sympathy of God he speaks of? Is it a sympathy never exercised? If it be exercised, God can make Himself known to the soul. The Spirit, he says, is God in the heart. Well, the Christian so knows Christ. Does that afford no proof of the truth of what is said of Christ (and what is said of Him constitutes the important historical facts of Christianity) when he finds Him in the record given of Him- when every feeling of his soul is identified with the Christ he sees there? The facts, in a great measure, make the Christ he knows, because they are the revelation of Him-the expression of what He is. Mr. N. sees "historical and outward facts," because he leaves God out. God's presence would be an historical and outward fact. Would His words, doctrines, revelation of what He is, action on the heart, unfolding relative truths, have nothing to do with the proof that it was He? What is Mr. N.'s argument, but a total insensibility as to what God is, a leaving Him out in his own mind?
To say no more, is this logical, when the whole question is, Is it a true revelation of God?
It is the logic to which nothing can be compared in absurdity, because nothing can be God but Himself; and to leave Him out when I am inquiring after Him, is to leave all void of the only thing I am looking for. How should I find Him then? This only is an infinite mistake, an infinite absurdity.
A child would settle the duties to parents in the world by denying there are any; because, if there are, the child could not reason for himself to know what he owes them. Man reduces himself to his own measure to judge if there be a God, because letting God in would not be logical-would not leave it in the measure of man's competency, which must be allowed if a man is to judge. And having made this famous step, he discovers that on this ground God cannot be known; and then writes a book to show this, and calls it logical, and thereupon rejects revelation, and says it is only a question of history and outward facts.
But if the outward fact, or pretended fact, be that God Himself was manifested among men, he who would say that the truths taught-sublime discoveries of God, remarkable doctrines -were no proof of this fact (this great miracle unfolded in a thousand others) would prove-whose absurdity? The word is not mine; I borrow it from Mr. N. What I am showing is, that Mr. N.'s book is a mere universal leaving out of God, when the revelation of Him is the matter in hand. Could there be a plainer proof of it? Nor can you separate the claim of the divine Person from the whole miraculous history. "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." What does the Lord here make of His resurrection-the grand fundamental miracle of Christianity? His body is a temple. God is there, and He will raise it up again. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work," when He had healed the paralytic. So in Matthew, He is "Emmanuel" (that is, "God with us"). He is called "Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins."
Again, when Mr. N. was a Christian by profession, his belief "assigned an intellectual creed as one essential mark of this people" (ib. p. 202), the people of God. Is it simply a question of an intellectual creed when the subject-matter of the creed is a person, our relationship with whom involves the highest obligations? Supposing I were to say, that Mr. N.'s wife being such was a question of historical facts, proofs in a church register, and legal definitions-that the possibility of any owning her as such must depend on the historical proofs of the celebration of his marriage; would it remain an intellectual creed, his believing that fact? Yet there are these proofs. Now, whenever a fact implies an obligation, the acknowledging the fact is not intellectualism; it is morality. If Christ is my Savior, if the Holy Ghost the Comforter be sent, if the Father has not spared His Son, who is one with Himself-to own all this is not a mere intellectual creed (though, of course, anything may be held intellectually); it involves the highest obligations-obligations paramount to all others. Everything is changed relative to goodness and piety themselves, unless God have nothing to say to either: and this is really the force of the argument of Mr. N. "To judge rightly about it is necessarily a problem of literary criticism" (ib. pp. 202, 203); "to judge wrongly about it may prove one to be a bad critic, but not a less good and less pious man." (Ib. p. 203.)
Mr. N. may state it in the lowest way as a question, whether Jesus, the Jewish teacher, be the Messiah; but every one knows that the question reaches to what I have said, and much farther too. Infidels are as pious as Christians, according to Mr. N. But if they are, the knowledge of God has nothing to do with piety-a very singular proposition, at any rate, which cannot exist where God is known. But Mr. N. leaves Him always out. Even supposing the Christian is got into an entire delusion about God; that his notions of God's justice have destroyed a right estimate of His goodness; that his thoughts of Christ's expiation have nurtured a cruel idea of God; that mediation has done him much mischief, as Mr. N. tells us; will his piety remain uninjured? Is it a mere affair of literary criticism, all this? But surely it is the question in scripture. No, no; Mr. N. would not have written his book-nay, his books-if it had been a problem of literary criticism. Does he not think it more than that? Does he wish for energy while life lasts to expose its deeds as a problem of literary criticism? Does he believe what he says? No; he knows that if Christianity be true, he has lost a Savior; if it is false, I am leaning on a false one, on an impostor, for my soul's salvation.
I am well aware that Mr. N. thinks that piety may be nourished by an imposture; nay, that in them that believe in it as the true revelation of God piety is found; nay, that this imposture itself, the Bible, "is pervaded by a sentiment which is implied everywhere, viz., the intimate sympathy of the pure and perfect God with the heart of each faithful worshipper," and that this is found "in christian writers and speakers," and "is wanting in Greek philosophers, English deists [except, of course, his own school], German pantheists, and all formalists." (Phases, p. 188.) But this intimate and exclusive connection of deep piety and imposture, though of course logical and beyond criticism, seems singular to some; or how so monstrous an imposture as pretending to be Messiah and the Son of God is pervaded by the sentiment of the sympathy of the pure and perfect God. Is it not the time to say, "he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?"
The next discovery Mr. N. made, as to the happy effect of the "positive disproof" of Christ's claim, was that of being delivered from the selfish theory "that his first business must be to save his soul from future punishment." (Ib. p. 203.) Now, here again, I find God really left out. Is the sense that I have so sinned against God, that I have ruined myself, that, like a prodigal, I have turned my back on my Father to have my own way more comfortably, and have perhaps been eating husks with the swine, so that I am no more worthy to be called a son- is the sense that I am lost by this, and that at all cost I must get back to God, if only there be such goodness that I should be admitted on any terms-is this (though in it I am dependent on God for salvation, and fly to His mercy from the everlasting ruin I have brought upon myself), is this, I say, a bad selfish feeling? Such is the view Christianity gives us-I do not pretend to say what Mr. N.'s thoughts may have been-of the prodigal's return to God. It is very right that it should be felt as mercy to oneself. It puts one in a low, helpless, guilty position. The sense of this is right, and really known in no other way. It is not all we shall attain to when we have peace, but we begin rightly there. A child who has grievously sinned against his father ought to feel that he wants mercy for himself. If he does not, he has not found his right lowly place.
Now, what hinders Mr. N. from seeing this? He sees only man in the matter; and hence it is only, to him, the selfishness of the man who wishes to be saved. God is not in his thoughts. But Christianity brings Him in. "I have sinned against heaven and before thee." There is the sense of guilt, of having deserved to be shut out from the Father's house, in the soul come to itself. This is perfect, infinite misery; when God's presence is come into the thought, it is perfect infinite misery to be shut out of it. The knowledge of what sin is makes us see that we ought not to be let into His presence. One says while falling in apparent inconsistency at His feet, not "God is good!" though he would not fall at His feet without some (no doubt, imperfect) feeling of it; but "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" He is jealous for what God is, because he knows Him. If I know God, I must desire to be saved from being shut out from His presence forever, and I know that I have been morally unfitted for it. Mr. N. excludes God, and, therefore, has no other thought but safety from future punishment.
Again, in p. 206, the Bible is an evil, because it professes to reveal the will of God, and leaves our own inward powers unexercised. Is conscience, then, never to look to God? never to get light from Him? Is He to be excluded even from declaring His will? from even teaching us what is right? Is doing right to have no reference to God? With Mr. N., going into God's presence to know His will is like going into a priest's. He objects to both alike. "The Protestant principle of accepting the Bible as the absolute law acts towards the same end." I thought a priest mischievous, because he came in between us and God; and that getting into His presence was getting into the light, and that which did exercise the soul and conscience. Mr. N., of course, is independent of any such presence or direction of God. His αὐταρκεια is morally absolute. Obedience is no part of morality with him. But others find that that word pierces "to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart;" and that when they found "all things naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom they had to do," they found themselves much morally exercised-could not deny it was right, though in many things it condemned them. Yes, I rejoice in this light; I love to obey it. It is my meat to do the will of Him I serve, and I am glad to know it because it is His-glad He has deigned to communicate it to me-glad to have it perfect as He gives it. Light does not hinder the eye from working, nor is groping without it (though there may be more exercise, in a certain sense) a better position to him who knows what eyes are worth, and what it is to see. I am not exercised in the same way; I walk in happy unconsciousness of difficulty, where without it I should be tormented to find my way; but it leaves me free for a thousand exercises, full of joy and worthy of an intelligent being, which groping in the dark would deprive me of.
Assuming the Bible to be the revelation of God's will (and Mr. N. assumes it here), the possession of it is a singular evil. Besides, an antagonist will, a thousand temptations, and the absence of the circumstances in detail in which I am placed, leave abundant room for the exercise of the spiritual powers. Only they are exercised in God's light, instead of in darkness. Mr. N. prefers being without God, and to trust his moral powers. But what does this love of God's absence while he finds his way, and confidence in himself, show? That he does trust his moral powers. But the discovery that conscience will be benumbed by being brought into God's light which manifests and judges everything, and thus fall into disuse, is not such a result of trusting in them as would lead others to do so-at least, it would not me.
Besides, Mr. N. is wrong when he says, that "so long as an opinion is received on authority only, it works no inward process upon us." (Ib. p. 206.) First, as to God, it is wholly false, because all morality is judged of responsibly in His sight. Thus, if I receive on God's authority the opinion that I am to be judged for all I do, will that work no inward process upon me? (a singular phrase, by the by; but let that pass.) But even as to man's, it is not true. It supposes no previous inward process perhaps. I say "perhaps;" for often there may have been very great exercise which seeks a revelation, i.e., another's light when the mind is at fault, the communication of the mind of Him who has light as well as authority. And Mr. N. has no right to separate them even in man: for in submitting to authority (not force), I suppose light may just give that thought which sets the whole confused elements of thought in perfect order, though I receive it-i.e., depend for the certainty of its truth-on the authority which affords it me. Whoever has put in the keystone, the arch is solid when it is there. Yet I may receive it only on the authority of my teacher; not to say that the bowing of will by it is an inward process.
Thus, suppose the case of a converted heathen from among those who used to get rid of their fathers when too old to be useful; and one working in thought as to the foundations of a parent's position and a child's obligation. A missionary, whom he has learned to trust, tells him that God has told us to honor our fathers and mothers. He receives this solely on the authority of the teacher; he has no other reason to believe God does command it but the teacher's authority over his mind. Does the introduction of the idea of God's authority and will into the relationship not produce an immense result, and alter all his feelings towards his father? Ask him why he has received this idea. He can only tell you that the missionary, whom he believes God sent, told him so. Here a vast process is the result in his mind: all his thoughts are fallen into order. God Himself has become the keystone of his whole moral condition in this respect. Yet the opinion is received on authority only. Put the Bible in the missionary's place-he is more directly in contact with God, no doubt. The authority is in God Himself in his mind; and great good results from this; for whatever brings us near God is a good, even though we should own authority as well as find light. But in both cases it is authority. The mind may be profited by light as well as by exercising itself on it, and more too. But the use of the word authority here leads by its equivocal force to a sophism. Authority in this argument merely means the certainty of something being the revelation and will of God-that is, puts me directly in presence of His will and authority. It is absurd to say this does not work a moral process on man. It is exactly what does. But again we arrive at the same point in Mr. N.'s system: God must be excluded. That I am right in my estimate of the argument is evident from what follows just after.
I have already remarked on Mr. N.'s absolute exclusion of all possibility of God's ever communicating anything knowable by man. I now only refer to it as showing how even here the idea of God is excluded from his mind. "All that we can possibly discover is the relative fact, that another is wiser than we." (Ib. p. 213.) Can anything more entirely exclude God from all teaching? "There is no imaginable criterion by which we can establish that the wisdom of a teacher is absolute and illimitable." (Ib.) Now, supposing it be God who teaches, would not this establish it? Could there be a comparison of wiser, if He whom God had sent spoke the words of God, as John actually says of Christ? No; this is merely saying, a priori, that it is impossible for God to communicate anything to man. If He can, Mr. N.'s statement is nonsense. The moment I ascertain He has, I have a teacher whose wisdom is absolute and illimitable. But Mr. N. will not have God, nor allow Him to come in.
Again, in the same page, Mr. N. says, "If we arc to submit our judgment to the dictation of some other, whether a church or an individual, we must be first subjected to that other by some event from without, as by birth, and not by a process of that very judgment which is henceforth to be sacrificed." I have already noticed this, to show that Mr. N.'s whole book is fallacious. I do so now for another purpose. Why "whether to a church or an individual?" Why shut out God totally? Will Mr. N. not allow God to "dictate" to him? That is, is God's word, if He speaks, not to have authority with him? Again, in the most open way, he excludes God out of his supposition: he assumes that it is a church or an individual-that God never can. If he reply, " I only assume so on the supposition of a man's reasoning;" then I recur to what I said before: "Your reasoning assumes the thing not to be possible which we are reasoning about, and therefore is good for nothing:" or, as applying it to our present point, he assumes as data the exclusion of God, as if His speaking were an unsupposable case. Besides, Mr. N.'s reasoning is itself fallacious. I may ascertain a document to come from a person who has authority, and consequently the document itself as coming from him. Hence a critical examination can result in the ascertained authority of the instrument, though it could never give it. Mr. N.'s argument confounds giving authority, and ascertaining the fact; if this were true, I must abrogate my criticism, because the person has authority. I may criticize the proofs whether it is He, but not Him when it is proved to be so.
Again, "He will feel that the will cannot, may not, dare not, dictate whereto the inquiries of the understanding shall lead." (Phases, p. 219.) Surely not. That the will does is one of the evident moral disqualifications in the case of Mr. N.'s book. But is there nothing but will and understanding? Is there no God at all? Can the knowledge of Him or His mind never close an inquiry? Not for Mr. N. He does not suppose such a case. Is it the wise man who has said in his heart, "There is no God?" This absence of all thought of God from his mind shows itself in a curious shape in page 223. "The law," he says, "of God's moral universe, as known to us, is that of progress. We trace it from old barbarism to the methodized Egyptian idolatry; to the more flexible polytheism of Syria and Greece; the poetical pantheism of philosophers, and the moral monotheism of a few sages." God's moral universe, methodized Egyptian idolatry, and flexible polytheism! Does Mr. N. think this God's moral universe? This is what logic and philosophy afford us, and on which the Bible is to be set aside-a standard of moral judgment in man, which can call the worshipping an onion or a bull, or the making prostitution worship, to be part of a law of God's moral universe! Ohe, jam satis! Can any one sink lower in mental perception than this? But if the true God be lost, can we be surprised at anything?
I leave Mr. N.'s analogous arguments from the Bible; because, he says elsewhere, he believes the most important part of it invented, or, at least, first authoritatively promulgated in Josiah's reign; and that when he says, "Jesus was needed to spur and stab the conscience of his contemporaries, and recall them to more spiritual perceptions" (ib. p. 223), he has by the force of habit forgotten that he is speaking of an impostor, of whose teaching "it is certain that we have no genuine and trustworthy account," and whose authoritative dicta God never intended us to receive. (Ib. p. 213.)
In pages 228, 229, we have, perhaps, the most complete exclusion of God anywhere. After bringing in the church of the Romanist, and the spiritualist who judges it as erroneous; and then the Bible, in which also Mr. N. alleges there are contradictions and immoralities; and the Protestant who claims submission to it, while he joins the spiritualist in judging Rome; he in result declares that "in principle there are only two possible religions: the personal [i.e., the inward law] and the corporate; the spiritual and the external." And is God to have none? Is there only man's or the church's? So it is according to Mr. N. Church or man, God can have nothing to say to it, but as an otiose object, if He be one, of what man may find proper to think about Him, if Him it really is; for, false or true as it may be, man's thought only is possible, whether it be old barbarism, or flexible polytheism, or the moral monotheism of a few sages, in whose number Mr. N. of course ranks himself. God must not interfere in religion or communicate a single truth; it is "an unplausible opinion, that God would go out of His way to give us anything so undesirable." (Phases, p. 212.) It "would paralyze our moral powers exactly as an infallible church does." (Ib. p. 213.) Is not God excluded?
I have omitted an example of this which has its importance.
"Each established system assures its votaries; that now at length they have attained a final perfection, that their foundations are irremovable: progress up to that position was a duty, beyond it is a sin." "The arguments of those who resist progress are always the same, whether it be Pagans against Hebrews, Jews against Christians, Romanists against Protestants, or modern Christians against the advocates of a higher spiritualism." (Ib. p. 224.) Now what does this really mean? "The advocates of a higher spiritualism" mean persons who exclude revelation, because man is superior to any need of a revelation of God. Now the progress of man, as a means of knowledge, has nothing to do with a revelation, however the latter may cause progress. A revelation may be partial or complete; but it always, as such, has the absolute authority of God, in which there can be no progress, though there may be a further and clearer revelation of His will. But Mr. N. shuts out God, and hence only speaks of progress in man's condition-progress up to man's condition. It is evident such a statement has no place at all, if there be a revelation. This brings in God. Mr. N. simply excludes Him. Such, then, is the sum of all Mr. N.'s reasonings: God must on no account interfere or reveal Himself in any way. It is unplausible and mischievous. That, after all, there were only a few sages who arrived at monotheism without it; that those who believe in this revelation have alone the principle of the sympathy of a pure and perfect God with the sincere worshipper, to the exclusion of all others-this is no matter. Mr. N. will use the wisdom he has acquired from it to pronounce it an imposture, and to decide that, though an imposture has produced this blessed result, yet a real revelation of God would be very mischievous; and he would engage us to believe his logic and respect his moral judgment-the inward law or spiritual man-as the competent judge of the whole question.

Objections Considered

I NOW turn to some details. For, while the pride of man's heart would have no God (at least, not one who should interfere with him or reveal Himself), he is very anxious really to get rid of One which besets him, which exposes his lusts and his pride, closes in his conscience on every side, and bars his will, and tells him that God does concern Himself in his thoughts, words, and actions, yea, though He do it in love. I turn, then, now to Mr. N.'s objections to scripture. In treating of objections made to the word of God, it is well to consider what is objected to.

General Principles

I cannot here, of course, write a book on the positive evidences of Christianity. But no one is ignorant that there are such, and that the positive proofs of it-proofs such as no event, no system, no person on earth has for itself-have been detailed in the language of every civilized people. Now particular objections leave this all out of sight; yet, where anything has been largely, positively proved, the dwelling on the objections that may be raised, without estimating the positive proofs of the whole system, is a totally unsound mental process. It is a way of judging of the truth of anything which would be admitted in no other case whatever. I do not object to the examination of every difficulty in detail.
In the case of scripture, the positive proof is that of the divinity of the system as a whole. If the system at large is positively proved, a difficulty attached to it which I cannot solve is a demonstration, not of the falseness of the system, but of my incompetency to deal with the difficulty. In such a case, a sound minded man is content to say, "I do not know." The historical facts and documents of Christianity are proved, with an evidence such as no other universally believed event or acknowledged book has any evidence to be compared with, and if proved show that it is divine. It has met with an opposition which made every document and fact to be scrutinized with a closeness which left only what was incontestable uncontested. This was to be expected, because it presented the claims of a holy God, to which the antagonist will of man never would submit. Hostile heathens, philosophical adversaries, heretical corrupters, foolish advocates, elaborate historians, voluminous commentators, every kind of author and character has been occupied with it from the time of its promulgation, and authenticated its history and its doctrines even when opposing them; and this in the presence of the hostility of religions divinely established or nationally and deeply enracinated on the one side, and skeptical scorn on the other. The books on which the smallest doubt could be cast, doubts were cast upon; and their authenticity made a subject of question as they are by objectors now.
The internal difficulties by which Mr. N. seeks to invalidate the inspiration of the New Testament, or at any rate the greater part of them, were noticed already in the second century and answered. The Jews were as desirous to prove Jesus was not the Messiah as Mr. N. could be now. In a word, we are on ground traveled over for eighteen centuries. Old infidelity dressed up in a new form, to be met by increasing light and increasing proofs, which God in His goodness affords, both internal and external.
The history of Christianity no one attempted to deny when any denial of it would have been of the smallest value. They hated it, opposed it, sought to destroy it by force, and to subvert it by argument and ridicule; but it was there to be hated. No man thought of denying that. The documents were reasoned against, and objections made to them; but they, and they only, were received, by friends and foes, as the authentic documents of the religion professed by Christians. This is beyond all question. The Jews exist to this day the living witnesses of the truth of this history. They possess the books of the Old Testament, which we do. Their state confirms the Christianity they deny. It is well known that the Talmudists confirm the history of Christ's death, His flight into Egypt, and His miracles (though attributing them to sorcery He had learned when there, or, as some say, He wrought them by the means of God's ineffable name, which He stole).
If we turn to the internal testimony, there is no book in existence to be compared to the New Testament scriptures. Nothing in the least degree approaches its simplicity, power, moral depth and moral purity, profound knowledge of God, adaptation of His love to the heart of man; none that displays God so much, brings Him forward so constantly, without ever committing itself by anything unworthy of Him; brings Him down so near man, and yet only more fully to show Him always to be God; reveals Him in person, in doctrine, in precept, in His ways, in prophecy; and by Mr. N.'s own testimony, it alonehas produced the sense of the sympathy of a pure and perfect God with the sincere worshipper. It has done more; it has manifested Him as the Friend of publicans and sinners-a way of which Mr. N. has no idea. For them (and how many are there!) he has no God; and yet He is never more evidently God than when we see Him thus.
If, with a God of law, the unclean leper must stand off from man as well as God, Jesus will touch the defiled one with a holy power that dispels the evil by which it cannot be contaminated, while perfect suited love is revealed in the act.
But, further, take in general the account given of this manifestation of God in flesh. There is a divine infinitude in the relationships revealed and developed. We can feel, if indeed we can discern God, that we are occupied with what is infinite. Yet he who speaks is so at home in what is infinite, that the expression of it is simple, as God is to Himself-as everything is to Him. There is no bombastical effort to elevate expressions to what one's heart does not reach; no enlarged and labored periods to unfold what remains secret and unknown after all, if indeed all be not in expression. What produces the inexpressible feeling is stated; but the statement has the simplicity of known and perfect truth. When Paul would sometimes express his feelings as to it, you may see him laboring beyond the bounds of human language, to give vent to the thoughts of a heart which possesses what is too great for it to contain. Yet this is only feeling produced by it.
Take the revelation of the facts, and all is simple. Read the scene with the shepherds, when that great event is announced which brought in reconciliation and the bringing together of a fallen world and God by the incarnation. Can anything exceed its simplicity? Yet what thoughts are unfolded in a few words: "Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will towards men!" What accomplishment of promises-what revelation of grace-what an untold and ineffable mystery-what a God is revealed in love! Men, angels, Israel, the world, are all concerned. Where is there a word that is not characteristic of simple divine revelation? where is there an epithet seeking to elevate what such working of the human mind can only lower? Read all through the New Testament: never will you find an epithet attached to the name of Jesus. He carries His own beauty: others may talk about it, express their feelings about it; it is very right; it has its just and holy place. But Jesus is to be the thing revealed, if it be a revelation, not the expression of man's feelings about Him. What a testimony is this, that the Holy Ghost, and not Luke, or John, or Mark, or Matthew, was the real writer of these histories of Jesus! There is a divine stamp on the whole history, the not discerning of which proves, not the failure of the evidence, but the incompetency of him who is insensible to it to perceive that which is of God.
Again, take the whole body of scripture, a collection of books written by various persons during a period of fifteen hundred years-of about eight hundred, by Mr. N.'s admission. All these develop an immense system. The sacrifices of the old are far the fullest development of every moral truth contained in the great historical fact and doctrine of the new, yet comparatively without meaning, till that fact appeared and that doctrine developed its bearing-circumstances and histories, full of instruction for our present walk, which in themselves are simple histories of patriarchs or of Israel (the application of them being totally unknown to those who wrote)-a unity of design, a completeness of structure (yet written when the connection of the subsequent part with the former was impossible to be known to man), which proves the unity of the mind of the Being whose revealing power and controlling thought and knowledge run through it all from beginning to end.
It may be said that this is natural, where one people has been the scene of the development. But the fact is not so. This people rejected, and has been totally set aside by this development. The law in its own proper nature does not admit the gospel; and the gospel sets aside as a system in Coto the law, and yet confirms it all as divine, as the law and the prophets all prove the gospel when it arrives.
The doctrine of the Church is brought out, of which there is no mention in the Old Testament whatever, yet it alone fills up the gap, and satisfies what these prophecies have revealed. Without it the world would have remained without any direct revealed association with God. This the revelation of the Church affords, for it is heavenly, which the world and Jewish government cannot be; yet these were to be set aside for a long while, and nothing earthly could fill up the gap.
It is revealed when the time is come and not before, because it sets aside the whole previous system of Jew and Gentile, a revelation which, if made before, would have destroyed all the authority of what existed. Yet it is necessary, when it does come, to the whole order of God's ways, as revealed in the system it sets aside. Now it is alleged, there are difficulties in detail as to this vast and wonderful system, externally authenticated as nothing else in the world is, which has internally the impress of its divine authorship in its whole character, morals, doctrine, and structure. If I lose the effect of the positive evidence, I prove my incapacity of estimating the value of the revelation of God, instead of simply my incompetency to solve the objection, as is the case if I accept the whole thus proved, and avow I cannot explain the difficulty, supposing such to be the case; as a man who reasoned what the sun was from an eclipse, and could not see when it shone. Suppose some phenomenon in nature which I cannot explain. That there are such, and even monsters, every one knows. I find around me (Mr. N. will not deny it) proofs of divine operation, and of a constant law (which is the strongest proof of divine operation) and power-a vast universe bearing (as a whole and in the minutest part) the proof of the power of God as having created and as sustaining it. If it be indeed God, nothing can be hid from this power; the very proof it is His is its universality, infallibility, and constancy, and that what grasps the whole cannot let the minutest part escape its attentions. It is not an outward show. That man could produce in his little measure. Go search within: see the springs, the details. Man's work is but the scene of a theater, a fair show by dim light, and it is moved by what may fail at any moment. Follow God's into detail. See all His works in scrutinizing light. Does He fail anywhere? Has anything escaped Him? Nothing. How came the monster there then? Is there some Arimanes, some evil Demiurge, that has had at least his share in the work? One failure proves that God is not there! Such is logic-at least the logic of objections. I find some inexplicable phenomenon, some lusus natura as it is called, some monstrous birth. It is a proof that there is no God, no perfect Creator and Sustainer of the universe! Is this sound reasoning with the proofs I have of it? No, the wise man, sure of the former by irrefragable proofs, says, I do not know why this is. He knows indeed, if taught of God, that evil is come in, and that sorrow and confusion is the fruit of it-evil which he does not attribute to God, save as permitting it externally for correction.
It is in vain to say, I can show by the order of physical laws how it must have happened. Who made physical laws necessarily producing monstrosities? The sense that it is a monstrosity, moreover, is proof of the conscience of a universal order. Why then is a particular inexplicable difficulty adduced as an objection to revelation, and urged as a proof that the whole is false? There is but one reason. Revelation controls the passions, which creation does not. A judgment to come, sin, having to answer to God-these are what revelation treats of; and they are what man does not like. A God of providence he will have and reason about, because he wants Him, and he prides himself on having to say to the Almighty as he (man) likes to have to say to Him. But to be judged by Him, or even to own himself a sinner, and to be in so humble a condition as to be loved by Him and to need it-ah! that is another matter. The principle then on which the reasoning drawn from objections goes is a false and hollow one. Still, as they trouble the mind, I shall refer to them, without pretending to solve every difficulty that can be raised. That is merely a question of my competency, not of the truth of scripture. To judge of these we must advert to another principle which affects directly the whole force of any objection to any writing whatever, and that is the object of the writer. If my object is to show the spirit and bearing of a course of action in which many isolated facts have the same moral force, I may neglect chronological order without anything being changed by it. If I were showing the progress of an individual mind in them, chronological order would be everything. Again, if I am showing that a person's public life had a given aim or object, I select the facts proving it, and neglect a multitude of others, without which, as a personal history, it would be necessarily imperfect and disconnected; but it is not incomplete in the view in which I have written it. If I were showing the filial piety of the same person, and the way he kept up the ties of family to the end, only such parts of his public life would be related as might show, that, in spite of its importance and activity, this tie was always felt and acted on. And so on.
Take again, as an example, the Code Napoleon. Did I speak of it as a monument of his genius, I might select particular parts in which the bearing of law on society, an intuitive perception of just results in details, and the vast scope of design were manifest, and show that these originated in his mind Did another history seek to show his power in employing instruments, it might show the very same parts drawn up by men able in their vocation; and a caviler might find difficulty to reconcile the drawing up of all by these instruments with the originating mind which had set all agoing and directed it throughout. Were I showing the progress of legislation in the world, I might allege these very same parts as the necessary consequence of the progress of society, and that they flowed as the evident consequences from the preceding steps in this process, as one idea leads on to another; and, in appearance, Napoleon's originality would disappear. All these histories might be true-nay, we may suppose, absolutely true-yet impossible for one who had only these to reconcile them in everything, because he has not the additional elements and a knowledge, which would be really divine, of the whole order of man's mind and history, which would be absolutely necessary to put them together. Is God's history of His Son in the world less vast in conception, less multifarious in the relationships it speaks of, than Napoleon and a code of laws?
Take, again, a scriptural example: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear him." If I quote this desiring to rest His claim to be heard on His being Son, in contrast, say, with Moses or Elias, I may quote it: "This is my beloved Son, hear him." If I were showing the delight of God in Him, I might quote the former part, leaving out "hear him." If I refer to His Father's perfect approbation of Him as a reason why He should be the expression of His mind, I should quote the whole passage. These different citations, instead of being contradictions or mistakes, are proofs of the intention with which the statement is quoted.
Now, if God gives us a history, He must have an object. He cannot write a history even of His blessed Son merely to amuse man with a history of true facts. Hence He will, in a revelation, give what may be quite disconnected as a history. Thus, if God be unfolding the character of Christ as Son of man, He will select what does reveal Him in that character, not what presents Him simply as Messiah come on earth among the Jews. Consequently, in selecting the facts, large gaps may be found in the history. The connection will be the character of Son of man and facts really connected together historically in moral consequence, which are not in mere chronological order.
So of other great principles developed in the history of Christ. Many facts may be common to different features of His character, or necessary to the whole history. Thus grace in every case will shine forth; but not perhaps in the same application. No one can, in fact, read the gospels, without seeing that Jesus is presented in different characters in them. Matthew gives us His connection with Israel in His coming; that is, with the promises made to Israel: hence the constant quotation of prophecy. In John He is God Himself come down from heaven. In the beginning He was with God, and was God. Then the Word was made flesh. There is no manger of Bethlehem here. His genealogy is divine, so far as there is any. The Abrahams, the Davids, and the Adams have no place here, save so far as Christ takes one among their posterity by being a man. The Jews are treated as rejecting Him in this character from the first. Luke has his point. The Son of Adam is at once on the scene, though His connection with the Jewish people be historically given. Mark gives us the gospel-service of Christ, and we have nothing before John Baptist's ministry.
Now I say not that God has given a revelation, however truly I believe it; but that if God does give a revelation, He must have an object, and hence that the revelation must have a character suited to that object, or it would be imperfect and inefficient; the work would be that of an incompetent workman. The objection must lie, if valid, against such a work as pursues thus its object; for God must surely accomplish His purpose in this manner, if He does give revelation: and hence, to prove He has not, the objection must show that the passage objected to is contrary to a purpose so pursued. God's revelation will not seek the satisfaction of man's curiosity in another way, nor to satisfy man at all (save so far as, in grace, not to turn him aside), but to instruct him. Did it do so, it would prove it was not God who wrote it.

Particular Objections - Genealogy in Matthew

I turn to the particular objections.
The first is, that Matthew was under manifest mistake in inserting fourteen names instead of eighteen, and in saying that there were only fourteen generations. This is a poor objection in presence of the moral power of the gospels; it shows a mind descended on low ground: but we will consider it. That Matthew has omitted three kings, none disputes; but this does not prove he made a mistake in doing so. The point he is showing is Christ's legal connection with the throne of David: this, the omission of the three names did not in the smallest degree affect. The descent and the proof of it remain identically the same. Matthew and every one else knew of these three kings. What was his motive in omitting them may or may not be discoverable; but it does not affect the descent. What he gives is perfectly right. Mr. N. says, "I was struck with observing that the corruption of the two names, Ahaziah and Uzziah, into the same sound (Oziah), has been the cause of merging four generations into one." (Phases, p. 107.) Now this is a mere assertion without the smallest foundation whatever. In the genealogy in Chronicles, where the names are found together, there is no similarity in sound or anything else. Uzziah is not used, but Azarias, which does not resemble Ozias in sound or in any way. In the general history there are long chapters of details which absolutely preclude all confusion. Where did this corruption of both names into the same sound exist? Not in the LXX: there, where brought together, we have Ὀχοζίυς and Ἀζαμίας. Nor is there any confusion between these names. Uzziah is called Ozias by the LXX in 2 Chronicles. But there is not the smallest ground whatever for saying there is any confusion with Ahaziah. Azariah and Uzziah are much more alike in Hebrew, and even interchanged; but it is Ozias in Greek where it is read Uzziah, and Azarias where it is read Azariah. But with Ahaziah there is never any confusion whatever.
This argument is merely one which plays in the ear of the English reader..
If Matthew used the Septuagint, and it is there Ozias is found, the Septuagint gives no occasion to any confusion. If the Hebrew, Ahaziah and Uzziah could lead to none; they are in different parts of the history, and the letters are so different they could not mislead.
If Matthew, indeed, looked at the genealogies, it could not be mistake-he would have copied the genealogy as he found it; if at the history, then there is no possible ground for confusion. Nor did the circumstances of the history afford any occasion thereto. It is a perfectly gratuitous supposition, without any foundation in fact. Matthew has left them out intentionally, or what he was led of God to copy did; and there is no mistake: he has counted the generations he has given, and he has counted them correctly. Had he put them in and said there were fourteen, mistake might have been alleged. He has omitted the first three descendants of Athaliah-Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah. It is easily to be believed that the Spirit of God led Matthew to take the Jewish registers, for such would be the authentic means of proving a genealogy where the public fact was to be proved. To men it would have been even more suited to his purpose than any other, for they could not reject it. To the believer the revelation of the fact was sufficient; but an appeal to what men acknowledge is a means the Holy Ghost uses continually in grace. No one who has paid the least attention to Hebrew genealogies can have any difficulty whatever. Whole families are given under a name, nay, whole peoples, or even under the name of a district, if they were known by it; they are recommenced again, if any one had the character of a new stock. Many links are often left out, provided the family relationship is established; little else is generally aimed at. This is evident, on comparing them.
The taking this from the registers, and to take it as it was there, would be the natural way, I may say the right way, to authenticate it to the Jews. Faith has no difficulty in it. It believes on other grounds that Christ was the Son of David, as the gospels also set it on other grounds of proof. To have departed from the registers would have hindered the testimony, nay, destroyed the effect of this testimony.
Was it anything unworthy of God to use it in grace?
To use it is really of no avail, and evidently unascertainable, and hence, I may add, a good field for an objection when we wish to find one. That Matthew was familiar with scripture is evident, unless he is admitted to have quoted it by inspiration; if he did, we need not reason about the genealogy. If he was familiar with it, all this argument about a mistake is perfectly absurd, because there is no ground for it in reading the Old Testament. The histories of Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah are as largely related, or more so, than those of the greatest number of the kings.
The term "begat" is constantly employed in Hebrew for a descendant. But whatever the motive of Matthew, there is no mistake. He has left out three kings, the children of an apostate woman, recommencing with him in whose reign the prophecies of Messiah dawned brightly on Israel, and he has counted his genealogies aright. It is very possible that the words " Jehoiakim" and "Jehoiakin" are blended in Jechonias, because this happens in other authors, that is, the two names are written the same. But Mr. N. does not see that this makes no difficulty. Jehoiakim, or Eliakim, was older than Jehoahaz, and is named with his brethren, Jehoahaz being omitted, and Jechonias, or Jehoiachin, is spoken of only in Babylon, whither he was carried. Or Josias, being the last independent king of David's family, and Jechonias, being the one actually carried away, is put forward as marking the epoch, and Josias named as being the last king who had any free place in Israel, for Jehoahaz was carried, after three months' reign, into Egypt, and Judah never after raised its head; hence the whole family is thrown together as the children of Josias, Jechonias being singled out as the person led captive and the fresh royal stock in Babylon. In either case, the descent of David's family remains alike made good.
The reader will remark that the three epochs are characteristic of the state of Israel or Judah, beginning, of course, with Abraham. These objections, then, have not the least weight. No one is called to believe that fourteen is eighteen. Matthew counts the generations he has given in the Jewish style of twice seven.
The Spirit meant to show the legal descent of Christ, so as to inherit the royal title; and this He has done perfectly by that which was the legal proof of it, and inspired Matthew to do it, and to do it in this way, which was the only right and valid one. It was the proof that Joseph, of whom Christ was heir legally, was descended from David, and so from Abraham.
How was this to be legally done? Not by inspiring a genealogy, but by showing it by the admitted tables. This is what is done. That it is the legal descent or title is evident; for the evangelist does not for a moment leave a cloud on the fact that Jesus was not Joseph's son. He says, "The husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ." He publishes carefully what he is doing-that he is not giving the natural descent. Christ's miraculous birth follows, to make this clear. It is His legal title which is deduced here, and in the legal, right, and valid way. The designation of Joseph, by the angel, as son of David, confirms the truth of what I say as to the design of this part of Matthew.
Even if the chapter were spurious, this would encourage Mr. N. (so he says) to apply similar criticisms to other passages. Would he be glad to be thus encouraged in a classical author?
The very ancient objection of the difference of the two genealogies is then brought forward-a difficulty, amongst others, as old as Celsus and Origen. Mr. N. settles for his readers (assuming, I suppose, their ignorance) that "neither gives the genealogy of Mary, which alone is wanted." (Ib. p. 108.)
No one could object to his seeking to prove this, if he wished it; but to state it as an uncontested fact is merely trading on the credulity of the English public. It is, he says, an undeniable mistake, in spite of the "flagrant dishonesty with which divines seek to deny" it. (Ib.) Thus the subject is dismissed. Who can dare answer in face of such a judgment? Modesty might say, "I cannot disentangle a difficulty which depends on registers we have not got;" but this would not be the βασιλικὴ ἀτμαπὴ), the royal road to certainty needed to gain credit as a skeptic. I have no great respect for theology, nor can I pretend to be learned. Still I can say, that this is not quite so clear a matter as Mr. N. thinks. There is enough to "encourage criticism" on such a decision.
As regards the genealogy of Matthew, it is undoubtedly the genealogy of Joseph, and given as such.
Mr. N. says, this is not what we want. Now I apprehend Matthew must have known much better than Mr. N. (for I do not assume his inspiration here) what was required in his days, either from the expression of it by others, or the habits of his own mind formed by the same circumstances. The truth is, this was of great importance. If Jesus presented Himself to claim the throne of David, and Joseph had at that time a separate and hostile title in the direct line from Solomon, Jesus's title would have been void legally; and it was material to show Him rightful heir by this title. And we find, in fact, that Joseph never once appears after Christ makes the claim, though we have mother (and, remark, confided to another at the cross), brothers, sisters- never Joseph. Jesus had succeeded him in his title, in a Jewish way, to the crown of David and throne of Israel. Matthew, then, gives what was needed in this respect; and gives it suitably. Jesus was the legal heir of Solomon.
Mr. N. ought to know, if. he writes on such a subject, that many learned men think that the genealogy in Luke is that of Mary pursued in the order of nature up to Nathan. I am well aware others have thought it that of Joseph also; and as Salathiel was son of Jechonias, and Zerubbabel his grandson through Pedaiah-so also he may have been collaterally, or by his mother or grandmother, descended from Nathan. If there were no brothers of such mother, he would rank as such. They have applied the same reasoning to Eli as regards Joseph. The truth is, in these Jewish genealogies, where grandsons are called sons- nephews and cousins, brothers-and children raised up to a man by a brother taking his widow, whose seed is called then after her dead husband, with the registers we have defective as a mere human testimony-no objection is of much weight, and answers can only be suppositions. But these last are quite sufficient; because, when a contradiction has to be proved, a case possible by supposition shows absolutely there is no contradiction.
If we consider it as the Lord's genealogy through Mary, it would stand thus: But Jesus Himself was beginning to be about thirty years of age (being, as was supposed, son of Joseph); and τοῦ Ἡλί may be directly in connection with Jesus' Ιούδας Ἱακώβου, or, still more exactly, Ἐμμὸρ τοῦ Συχέμ. This abruptness would result from its being an extract of genealogical tables. Υἱὸς may be understood in these cases as ἀδελφὸς is in the case of Jude in Luke, and πατὴρ in Acts 7 (if we adopt the ordinary reading), and Herodotus 6: 98, quoted by Wetstein on Matt. 1:17. As to abruptness, 1 Chronicles begins with far greater in an analogous case. The τοῦ refers entirely to the person of Heli, and marks its case as dependent on υἱὸς understood. The use of the article with names is habitual in genealogies, and constant in the gospel. Mark has τὸν τοῦ Ζεβεδαίον... Ἰάκωβου τὸν τοῦ Ἀλφαίου, and in the whole genealogy of Matthew. So John 19:25: so that the absence of υἱὸς, and the presence of τοῦ, is nothing extraordinary. The form of it here is more abrupt. Were I to say ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὁ τοῦ Ἡλί τοῦ Ματθάτ, it would be an easy and the correct form of speech; but to begin the extract of genealogy with ὁ τοῦ Ἡλί, after the long interruption, would be extremely unnatural; the rather as He had been said to be supposed the son of Joseph, so that υἱὸς as naturally suggests itself to the thought as it is commonly left out. But the example of many Greek genealogies would lead, as Luke generally writes correct Greek, to the supposition, that the connection of the series is with Joseph. The reader who possesses Wetstein's Greek Testament may see such examples in the notes.
If taken as Joseph's natural descent, this would prove that the object of the genealogies was, not to give Christ's descent according to the flesh by Mary, but, first, the natural descent of Joseph from David, and, secondly, His being that one of such descendants to whom the crown belonged; Matthew giving the latter, Luke the former. The descent from David, which was only necessary to the accomplishment of Jewish promises, was rested, to the Jews, on their known authentic records and acknowledged principles.
The fact of actual descent, if to be taken in the material and not in the legal sense, would rest on the uniform testimony of the gospels that He was Son of David, such as the angel's to Mary, a testimony resting on the general proofs of their authenticity. There is no mistake, for Luke is as careful to say, "being (as was supposed [or reckoned]) son of Joseph" as Matthew; so that, if it be Joseph's descent, he well knew and meant to express what he was thus proving. It remains to be proved whether, in any accomplishment of such a promise among the Jews, and made to the Jews, any other relationship was needed, and whether such relationship is not to be taken according to Jewish (scripturally Jewish) relationship, and not English. For instance, it is well known the widow's child by the brother was reckoned the son of the dead. This is foreign, we know, to all our thoughts; but, as a divine national law (for it was merely a national law connected with the inheritance of the land), every Jew did and was bound to count him so. The brother was guilty and despised who did not do it.
Now scriptural language is to be taken as it is given to us in scripture. It is quite evident, that this legal title was judged important, whatever fancies Mr. N. may have as to it as an Englishman-important where alone this promise had its proper and peculiar importance as to its effect, for Matthew, who especially occupies himself with the accomplishment of such promises, gives this only.
It is certain that in general the evangelists rest the Jewish part of the question on Joseph's position. (See Luke a: 4.) But, instead of being irreconcilable, these genealogies are open to so many explanations that the difficulty arises thence. Thus, if Mary had no brother and was the daughter of Eli, the Lord was descended from Eli; and Joseph would be called Tog `H2i as heir and representative of Eli. If Matthat and Eli were brothers, and one died without children, then Joseph would be counted the seed of one, though really child of the other, and might be heir of both.
Now these show that there is no contradiction, supposing both the genealogies Joseph's; their credit will then rest on that of the writer. Hence different persons, as Africanus (whom Augustine follows), who pretends to give it from relations of Jesus's family, and others, have adopted different ones. None can be proved: all prove there is no contradiction. If the genealogy be Mary's, there is clearly none. It may be however given as Joseph's, who through Mary would be τοῦ Ἡλὶ, representative of Eli in the family. In this case Luke would give the union of the legal and natural title, and the structure of the phrase would be, according to Greek genealogies, ὢν (ὡς ἐν.) υἱὸς Ἰωσὲφ, τοῦ Ἡλὶ, &c., and yet Eli would be the father of Mary, and the genealogy really hers. Its being thus the natural descent by Mary, though legally passing through Joseph, would meet another point in the genealogy of great importance in Luke's gospel, its being traced up to Adam, so that Jesus is Son of man, to which His natural genealogy has more reference. It would make Him also naturally son of David. Thus the natural genealogy would be traced and brought through Joseph, its legal representative; and this I rather apprehend to be the case, but I attach no kind of importance to it. I would add, "according to the flesh" has a broader meaning than mere natural descent, though founded no doubt on fleshly descent.
On the whole, I am satisfied that the descent itself is Mary's. I may add here, that the apocryphal vision of Isaiah, which is probably of the year 68, declares Mary to be of the lineage of David, as Joseph also. This I refer to merely as showing the popular general apprehension of that day. In Kaye's Tertullian, it is stated, that Tertullian uniformly appeals to the census as establishing the descent of Christ from David through Mary. It is the more likely that it may be so, as the Jewish Talmudists speak of Mary as the daughter of Eli, saying she is tormented in the other world.
On the whole, then, there are two questions. First, Do the generations contradict each other? This, it is clearly demonstrated, that there is not the slightest possible ground for asserting. With this all objection really falls to the ground. Secondly, Is Luke's genealogy that of Joseph or Mary? It may be legally Joseph's and naturally Mary's. But this is a question for theologians, not for infidels; for, whichever the Lord may have thought proper to have given, an infidel has nothing to say in the matter.
The question of inexactitude no human being can settle by any subsisting registers, for there are none. To impute it, therefore, is mere wantonness. To the question of inspiration it has nothing to say. The proofs of this rest on totally other ground. Were the genealogy as accurate as law could make it, it would not prove it inspired. Were it inspired, I should have no proof of its accuracy from other sources; I must rest it on inspiration proved in another way.
The fact of Christ's being in every sense Son of David, is rested, in the gospels, on proofs of quite a different character. On the other hand, His legal title to sit on the throne of David is given in a way which was conclusive to the Jews. The fact of His natural birth of Mary would not have proved it, Joseph being alive; nor if there were other relations of Joseph, unless He was his legal heir. Even if there were not, the legal title through Eli by Mary might be important to give also, as it was allowed He was not naturally Joseph's son. Thus every way He was heir, and the two genealogies had their just place.

Alleged Mistakes in Acts 7:16

The next objection (Phases, p. 108) is Acts 7:16: "And were carried over, and placed in the sepulcher which Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Hamor, the father of Sychem." That there is a difficulty in this passage is beyond a doubt; and some mistake difficult for us now to solve. There is a name which is inexactly connected with an historical fact in the Old Testament. It is also one of those difficulties long since discussed. But to call in question inspiration because of it, is to put what an error in copying would produce, in competition with all the moral and spiritual evidence of divine power, manifest in the whole contents of the book itself, and in its effects in the world for ages. It is so falsely measuring the intrinsic importance of evidence, and the character of proof, that the person rejecting the scriptures because of it would prove nothing but his own incompetency to measure evidence. A book two thousand years old has a mistake in a sentence, which the omission of a word entirely rectifies, without changing anything-a word very likely to creep in. And this is used to discredit what bears the largest, fullest, strongest, positive proofs of every kind, of being the testimony of God, and has produced, and does produce, effects which nothing but the testimony of God could do.
The objection is this: Abraham is said, as the passage stands, to have bought the place of the sepulcher of the sons of Emmor. It was Jacob, if the sons of Emmor be rightly here, not Abraham, who did so. The solution of it is, in one sense, exceedingly easy. The only question is, Is it really the true one? The word "Abraham" being left out, all difficulty disappears. "Jacob died, as did also our fathers, and were carried over to Sychem, and placed in the sepulcher which he bought," &c. Now Joseph was buried there; and Jerome states, that Paula saw the sepulchers of the rest; and Wetstein quotes Syncellus and two Jewish writers to the same purpose. The omission of Abraham is given credit to by this-that one uncial MS, ancient and of good authority, has an addition here which gives strong ground to suppose Abraham to be an interpolation.
I would lead the attention of my reader to another point here. Let him read Stephen's speech, and he will find.a very brief but most perfect and complete summary, for application to the consciences of the Jews, of the history of the patriarchs from Abraham to the end of Joseph's history-a summary which supposes the most perfect and accurate knowledge possible of the details of the history; a man thoroughly master of the whole account given in Genesis, and carrying it in his mind, as all perfectly well known, so as to give in few words the whole moral bearing of all its parts. It would have been impossible for any one, leaving aside inspiration (and if inspired, the question is at an end), for any one not perfectly familiar with every part of it to have given such an abridgment of the history. But it would have been equally impossible for a person so informed, and master of his subject, to have made such a mistake; because the facts were connected with most interesting points in Jewish history, which made the deepest impression on their memory, and connected themselves with their earliest and strongest associations, and are in the history itself too entirely distinct, and accompanied with far too great a detail of different circumstances to allow of the supposition of any confusion of mind between the two. The supposition, therefore, that Stephen confounded the two, is, in every point of view, the most improbable solution of any one that can be made. This, it is true, is nothing for a skeptic, because he gains his point by it, or at least raises a doubt. That his reasoning is very absurd is no matter to him; because, if he can produce a doubt, faith is at an end. Hence he uses arguments which would be absolutely unreasonable in any human inquiry, and at once rejected.
Now I am bold to say, that nothing can be more unreasonable than that an author who could have produced such a summary of the patriarchal history as Acts 7 should make the blunder supposed to be made in verse 16. The mere literal authority would lead to correct it by leaving out Abraham; but the internal evidence would lead me, I confess, to believe "the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem" interpolated; and it would run thus: "in the sepulcher which Abraham bought for a sum of money." I would add, that the Peschito Syriac reads the verbs in the singular: "Jacob died, as also our fathers, and was carried over to Sychem, and laid in the tomb which Abraham bought for a sum of money." The point seems to be, that he had it when Israel was not in possession of the land, Sychem being mentioned as showing God's title over the whole land: for it was now the seat of Samaritanism, a point in Stephen's speech of moment, as was his showing that the best and most blessed of their ancestors had nothing there at all but what they bought-were still pilgrims and strangers, as the saints now were becoming through the Jews' rejection of Messiah and the Holy Ghost's testimony in Stephen's own person. It is the whole tenor and bearing of Stephen's speech-the rejection of the lawgiver whom God sent as a deliverer, and the delivering to the Gentiles Him who was their preserver of life, and hence the stranger's place for the true-hearted, Solomon's temple itself being rejected by the testimony of their own prophets. Some one, seeing "Sychem, where Jacob was carried over," added the "Emmor father of Sychem," and left "Abraham" in the text.
In result, it is fully confessed that a difficulty exists in the text as it stands.
The reason assigned for it by the infidel is the most improbable of any, humanly speaking.
We are not in possession of means to correct with certainty the mistake that exists.
There is a very probable way of accounting for it, without doing any violence whatever to the text as it stands, when one word is omitted, or if the last words naming the persons are omitted; for the account of the transaction, if either be, is perfectly exact: the mistake is in the name only.
This last remark is material; namely, that it is a mistake which a transcriber might make, or a marginal reference to a name introduce: no moral error, no mistake, even in the facts, setting aside the name, exists. The teaching of the Holy Ghost in the passage is in no way in question, otherwise than in the insertion of a name.

Discourse of Gamaliel

The next difficulty presented is in the discourse of Gamaliel, Acts 5. (Phases, p. 108.) Theudas, it is said, was after Gamaliel's time, instead of before Judas's; and appeal is made to Josephus, whose testimony is considered infallible and complete, because it is not inspired. Valuable and important as the information afforded by Josephus is, the accuracy of this servile worshipper of Vespasian as the Messiah of an apostate heart is not so absolute as the author would lead people to suppose. But I do not see reason to call in question his account of Theudas. It happened (according to his account), as we learn by comparing the dates, in his childhood; and he mentions Cuspius Fadus as the governor under whom it happened; so that there is no reason to suppose that he was not well informed. But Luke is also an historian of extreme and undoubted accuracy. Few give such proofs of it by reference or allusions to a multiplicity of historical and geographical details or customs, in which a stranger would betray himself.
Now Josephus mentions a Theudas who rose up after Gamaliel's time; Luke, one who rose up before it.
Mr. N. assumes that they are the same, and that it is Luke's mistake. He says, "Of both the insurgents we have a clear and unimpeached historical account in Josephus." (Ib. pp. 108, 109.) The reader might suppose that there were two insurgents only in those days. The fact is, they hardly ever ceased for forty or fifty years. There were a multitude of them.
It has been shown that, between the death of the first Herod and the destruction of Jerusalem, there were three Judases and five Simons. Lardner makes, I think, four Simons in forty years, and three Judases in ten; one of whom, Usher is decidedly of opinion, is the Theudas mentioned by Luke, as to which I do not pretend to offer an opinion. Usher thinks the name the same. At any rate the name of Theudas was so very common, as well as the change and assumption of names, that an insurgent Theudas is the most easy thing to credit that possibly can be. A statement of "both the insurgents," as if there were only two, and the two Theudases the same, is, to say the very least, as unfounded a one as possibly can be made.
Remark further, that Luke, in his account of Judas, is thoroughly accurate. Though generally called Judas Gaulonitis, he was a Galilean; for so Josephus also calls him. It is supposed, that having the means of being thus accurate as to one, he is wholly inaccurate as to another fact, drawn from the same sources. When the whole difficulty is this, which is really none, that in a multitude of abortive efforts of the Jews against Roman power, Josephus has omitted one which Gamaliel mentions, we knowing that he omits many others, the name being a very common one indeed, as Wetstein has shown, and the fact being ascertained that there were five such efforts of persons having or assuming the same name of Simon, and three more assuming another within ten years; so that a second of the same name, and that a very common one, in fifty years, has not the smallest improbability whatever.
Further, the only circumstance to prove them the same is the death of the leader, and the dispersion of his followers; an event which probably occurred in every case in these vain and desultory efforts of partial rebellion. One point in which detail is given may be noticed, to show they are not the same; for Luke gives the number of Theudas's adherents as about four hundred; whereas Josephus says they were "a great multitude," τὸν πλεῖστον ὄχλον. Indeed, though much cannot be rested upon the word, the result was somewhat different; for in Luke they were "scattered," διελύθησαν, and brought to naught. Of those under the Theudas against whom Cuspius Fadus sent a troop of horse, many were slain and many taken prisoners, among whom was Theudas, who was beheaded. Now, though, as a general result, dispersion and coming to nothing might be stated, on the whole, the impression is different. And remark, that Luke has evidently accurate information here, for he is able to tell the number of his Theudas's followers as about four hundred. Yet he is an historian who is remarkably exempt from all appearance of pretension or exaggeration.
And here note, that I am not called upon to prove that Luke is right, but that the objection is an unfounded one. And I judge that what we have seen proves it not only to be unfounded, but unreasonable; and that the expression, "both the insurgents," is an unwarrantable assertion, to say the least.
The truth of the history rests on the general credibility of the historian; for I am not to suppose inspiration here, though the abundant independent proofs of that preclude all these questions altogether. The effort to show it improbable entirely fails. Perhaps the reader may suppose that this is an answer invented now to meet the case. Alas! all these objections have been made centuries ago. This one in particular by Celsus, some sixteen hundred years ago or more; and the Christianity these philosophical heathens tried to subvert then, as the philosophical deists, boasting of their greater spirituality, do now (borrowing their objections from the heathens, and their spirituality from the Christianity they seek to subvert)-this Christianity, I say, has subsisted after all their efforts, and saved millions of souls taught by it, as Mr. N. has admitted, the sympathy of the pure and perfect God with the sincere worshipper, in spite of the opposition, and in spite of the still more dangerous corruptions which have for the most part disfigured it. It has subsisted and produced an energy of love which "philosophical faith" never thinks of, not only because it is the truth of God, but because the God of truth Himself is in and with it, and has proved it in revealing Himself to the hearts of poor sinners saved and made happy by it. What has Mr. N. that he has not borrowed from it? He must not be surprised that we claim the feathers he has decked himself in. He may be assured that my heart would earnestly wish them to be livingly his own. Nor would I, if stripping him of what is borrowed, peck at himself. I would not spare his work, seeking as it does to deprive souls of what alone is blessing and life. I feel my feebleness in commenting on it. What I can I will do to show it groundless and unreasonable. But I add the proof how ancient this account of Theudas which I have given is.
Origen, who had read Josephus, and gives him the character of truthfulness of research, says, in reply to Celsus, "We say that there was a certain Theudas among the Jews, before the birth of Jesus, alleging himself to be some great one;" and again, "Judas the Galilean, as Luke has written in the Acts of the Apostles, chose to say he was some great one, and before him, Theudas." Elsewhere he says the same thing. Hence learned men have remarked, that the fathers here constantly refer to these two as the thieves and robbers who came before Christ, showing that they supposed Theudas did so. This merely shows that they accepted Luke's account as certain, in spite of Celsus's objection already cited.
Eusebius, overlooking all difficulty of date, takes for granted Josephus's Theudas and Luke's to be the same; he places him in the reign of Claudius, that is, seven or ten years after Gamaliel's speech, which must have been before the death of Tiberius, or in the beginning of Caligula's reign.

The Slaughter of the Infants

Under the general head of "undeniable mistakes" (for infidels must not be expected to fail in hardihood of assertion) we have, "The slaughter of the infants by Herod, if true, must, I thought, [how easy to think a doubt and find the thing doubted an undeniable mistake!) needs have been recorded by the same historian." (Ib. p. 139.) Why? Is it so very likely that a Jewish infidel historian should have recorded a particular act of local cruelty, which would have been the strongest testimony possible that Jesus was the Messiah? He must have given some reason for such a very peculiar and specific act of cruelty out of Herod's family, where he was cruel enough, and for which no conceivable reason could have existed, but some extraordinary testimony that the Christ was born in David's city. This would have been too much for Josephus's history and his heart. Indeed the omission of one local cruelty in a village is nothing extraordinary in an historian. The killing a few children was nothing to the hardheartedness of Josephus and Herod, if there was no particular reason. If there was, it was the last thing Josephus would mention. It was not his affair to give proofs that the Christ was come. But that the cruelties of Herod at this time referred to some pretensions of the coming Messiah, though the slaughter of the infants would have been inconveniently precise, is plain, from a passage of Josephus, which, though as obscure as a man avoiding the whole truth could make it, yet very distinctly shows these cruelties to refer to the hope of a miraculous king.
Further, the story in Matthew falls in perfectly with Herod's general character, both as to its cruelty and the jealousy of anything which affected his title and government, which habitually gave rise to this cruelty. The saying of Augustus is well known -that it was better to be Herod's hog than his children.
Further, this story of the slaughter of the infants, though confounded with other incidents, was believed by the heathen as a recognized fact in subsequent ages, as well as owned as such by those called fathers. Macrobius among the former, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and others, among the latter, are witnesses of this. It is the merest unfounded assumption that there is any mistake whatever here, and only proves the disposition of the one who makes, or rather renews, this old objection.

Zacharias, Son of Barachias

Zacharias, son of Barachias, is the next. As to mistakes as to names, no Christian would attach any great importance to them, from the fact of their easy introduction in copying from the margin when written there by some one who supposed it to be such a one. Suppose, for instance, "from Abel to Zacharias" were in the text, some one adding "son of Barachias" in the margin as a remark, it is soon inserted as part of the text. Evidently it is not like a part of the sentence, affecting the sense. I say this as a general remark, for it is not necessary to have recourse to such a supposition here. Supposing the name to have been simply Zacharias, nothing could have been more natural than the Lord so speaking. 2 Chronicles being the last book in the Hebrew Bible, it would have amounted to this:-The blood of all the martyrs in your history, from Genesis to 2 Chronicles (as we should say from Genesis to Revelation, without ascertaining the date even of the latter book), will be required of this generation. It imputes no error whatever to the blessed Lord. The martyrs from Genesis to Chronicles were all the martyrs whom Jewish hatred of truth had sacrificed. The Lord does not chronologize their martyrdom, saying, the last of the martyrs. Those who take this view would drop the words "son of Barachias." This is confirmed by the fact that they are not found in St. Luke; and St. Jerome informs us, that in the gospel of the Nazarenes (an impure and corrupted gospel according to Matthew, as it seems adopted by Judaizing Christians) the reading was "Zacharias, son of Jehoiada." Now I do not adopt this reading; I refer to it as tending to confirm the absence of "son of Barachias." Evangelaria and scholiasts give Jehoiada, and the latter affirm that Barachías had also the latter name, such a change being the commonest thing possible amongst the Jews, as is well known; and from Jerome downward this has been the thought of different learned men, the names having nearly the same signification, as in the case of Eliakim and Jehoiakím. But I see no need to rest on these details, which, though sufficient to explain it, may be thought to savor of effort. It is not proved that Zacharias, the son of Jehoiada, was slain between the temple and the altar, which is noticed as aggravating the sin in both Luke and Matthew. It is very possible, as he was addressing the people in the court: and he may have fled into the inner court when attacked, and been slain there. The people had no business there; but if it was a violent and riotous murder commanded by the king, breaking through the consecrated limits and profaning the inner count would not be very astonishing. The Jews attached extraordinary importance to this murder; they say that his blood bubbled up till avenged by Nebuzaradan, who slew ninety-four thousand of rabbins, of their scholars, and of the people. Their fables are not important, but as showing how it had impressed itself on the Jewish mind; and the Lord refers to what was notorious amongst themselves. The presence of the addition "son of Barachias" would, then, be easily accounted for, and the reference of the Lord to the case of the other Zechariah the most natural possible. The change of names, according to the notion of Jerome and the old Greek scholiasts, would, in Jewish nomenclature, take away all difficulty too.
But there is a circumstance which would tend to make me judge otherwise of this question, besides the all but uniform testimony of MSS and versions, of which the earliest have "son of Berachiah," such as the ante-Hieronymean Latin ones. It is this. The Jewish traditions state, that Zechariah, the son of Iddo, a prophet and priest, was slain. Zechariah, the son of Berachiah, of whom the text, as it stands, speaks, was grandson of Iddo, and is called twice "son of Iddo." (Ezra 5:1; 6:14.) Further, Iddo was a priest, who came up from Babylon with Zerubbabel. (Neh. 12:4.) And in verse 16 of that chapter, we have, Of Iddo, Zechariah. So that we have these facts.
The prophet Zechariah, son of Berachiah, was grandson of Iddo, and is called son of Iddo twice in Ezra. We have a priest Iddo, whose son or descendant is called Zechariah precisely at this epoch; for Zechariah, the son of Iddo, was a chief priest in the days of the son of Jeshua the priest. The Jewish Targum states, that Zechariah, the son of Iddo, a prophet and priest, was slain in the sanctuary. Further, the name of Iddo in Zechariah and Ezra is the same (the latter adding a silent aleph), and so is the priest in Neh. 12 (See Ken, and 5. 4.) I am aware some have referred the Targum on Jeremiah to Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, taking Iddo for this latter name; but there is no relationship between the two names whatever. Not only this, but the way Ezra speaks of Haggai and Zechariah is remarkable: he calls Haggai, in both the passages, Haggai the prophet. But Zechariah has, as his title, Zechariah the son of Iddo, not Zechariah the prophet, though shown to be such. The reason seems evident. This was Haggai's only distinction. Whereas, Zechariah, the son of Iddo, was a well-known personage, Iddo being a chief priest over his brethren; that is, Zechariah, though a prophet, had a distinct and well known title by which he would be designated: he was a priest, and Iddo was a well known chief priest, so that he was called his son, though really his grandson. Hence, as the Targum declares that a prophet and priest of the name of Zechariah, the son of Iddo, was slain in the sanctuary- Zechariah, the son of Iddo, being certainly son of Berachiah, and a priest and a prophet, why should I be surprised if the Lord should say, that Zechariah, the son of Berachiah, was slain in the sanctuary?
Has the infidel any proof that Zechariah, the son of Berachiah, the son of Iddo, was not slain, so as to confute the statement of Matthew? Absolutely none. It is not stated in scripture that Zechariah the prophet was so killed. How could it be? There is no subsequent historical book. Is it stated of any other prophet? Of none. Yet the Lord-and so does Stephen-charges them with treating all the prophets in general in this manner, so as to add, "It cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem." Jeremiah, and Baruch his scribe, had their lives given them as a prey by a special deliverance on God's part. Why, then, must the Lord be wrong? Because the infidel thinks He ought to be so. There is really no other reason whatever.
The Lord makes a statement which there is nothing to confute. Say Matthew does; because he does, it is not to be believed, though, from the general conduct of the Jews, nothing can be more probable. Most generally, persons who do not accept the statement as it is, turn to the history of the son of Jehoiada in the Chronicles, which, from its similarity, they suppose to be here referred to. This is a question of criticism which humble inquirers into scripture may listen to, however it may be decided. We are certain, I think I may say, that both Zechariahs were priests as well as prophets; so that the place of their death is not a surprising one. But Mr. N. rejects all this and the Chronicles with it; yet he uses these books now to prove the inexactitude of Matthew. Now his rejection of them takes away his title to the use of them for this purpose. At any rate, he will not have this history to be the one referred to, so that he has no right to infer inexactitude from it. However, as men have doubted who it was, he will have the New Testament wrong somehow. And he chooses the most improbable, nay, I think I shall show, impossible supposition, for such only it is, to prove that Matthew, if Matthew it be, has made an undeniable mistake.
Josephus has mentioned a Zacharias, son of Baruchus, killed in the temple, and it is to be he; at least Mr. N. cannot "shake off the suspicion" (Phases, p. 109) that it is. On what ground, we are left to divine.
In the first place, Baruch and Berachiah are not the same name. Both are used; and neither in Hebrew nor in the Septuagint are they confounded.
In the next place, the Lord addresses the Jews as guilty already, referring to their previous acts, and saying, "Fill ye up the measure of your fathers, that this blood may come upon you." This would have no force at all, if it were not a past act of which they were not personally guilty. They would commit similar ones willfully and complete the dreadful series, so that the time of vengeance should arrive, and all the accumulated guilt of past ages, as to which God had exercised forbearance (if peradventure they would repent), would bring its accumulated consequences on their head. But this supposes that the Lord refers to the past acts committed by this people, but not by this generation, and to acts of which their consciences were fully aware. If it be said, But the question is, Did the Lord say it? If it were He, of course then all objection would be set aside, for it would be a prophecy if He referred to the son of Baruchus; while Matthew saying so leaves the argument just as strong, for it arises from the internal force of the words, which he could not have put into the Lord's mouth. Their meaning, be they whose they may, cannot apply to Baruchus.
Moreover, Baruchus was no prophet; nor, for aught we know, a righteous man. Josephus says he was very rich, and a hater of evil men. But Luke, in the parallel passage, makes the Lord speak only of prophets.
Further, Zacharias, the son of Baruchus, was killed by the zealots just before the temple was besieged. Now, according to all historical evidence, Matthew was written before that-many think, long before it. The siege of Jerusalem, at which time Zacharias the son of Baruchus was killed, took place in the year 70. Some think Matthew wrote his gospel in the year 41, a date borrowed from Eusebius, that is thirty years before the siege of Jerusalem, and the death of the son of Baruchus; and the common account given in the immediately succeeding period, the first centuries, was, that he left it for the use of the Hebrews, when he went forth to preach the gospel elsewhere. Others, founding themselves on a passage in Irenaeus, think he wrote it so late as 61 or 62, and even as 64. But this is the latest date assigned by any who have examined the subject. That is, if historical evidence be of any weight at all, the latest period at which Matthew can be supposed to have written his gospel, was six years before the death of the son of Baruchus; so that if he put it in, he was inspired, which after all is absurd, for he could not by inspiration attribute to Christ what He did not say.
To pretend that Matthew is not the real author is to deny all historical evidence whatever.
Further, we have Matthew quoted in the Epistle of Barnabas, and quoted as scripture. The author of this latter book, it is not material to my purpose to know. Its early date cannot, I believe, be questioned. The epistle is considered to have been written in 71 or 72, that is a year or two after the death of Zacharias, the son of Baruchus, and in his epistle Matthew's Gospel is already quoted.
Clement of Rome, the companion of apostles, quotes Matthew about the same period. His words may be taken as Luke's, as the passage is nearly the same in both evangelists. Thus we have additional proof of the extreme improbability (I may, indeed, say impossibility), historically speaking, of Matthew's Gospel referring to the son of Baruchus, or of its having been written afterward; for it is quoted as scripture within a year or two of his death. The consideration of the testimony of St. Luke confirms this more than improbability.
If Matthew refers to the son of Baruchus, so of course must Luke. It is the same person who is alluded to, as no one, I suppose, doubts. Now Luke, in the Acts, refers to his gospel as a previous treatise which he had written: but in the Acts he closes with St. Paul's imprisonment in Rome; that is to say, the year 65. So that his gospel was already written in that year, that is, five years and more before the death of the Zachariah of whom Josephus speaks. That is, it is impossible that he can refer to him, for he speaks of an act already committed; indeed, were it not so, it would be inspired prophecy as in Matthew. But this is evidently not so; it refers to a past act.
In a word,-the supposition or suspicion of Mr. N. is the most improbable possible, and really impossible to be true; and there is no pretension to any evidence which contradicts the statement of St. Matthew's Gospel as it stands (that is, no proofs of any kind that Zacharias, the son of Barachias, was not slain). We have no scriptural evidence anywhere to look for, to confirm the fact that he was, no more than in the case of the other prophets. There is no subsequent scriptural history, nor any complete authentic history, of the times to relate it. But we have a statement of a Jewish doctor of high repute, that a Zechariah, son of Iddo, prophet and priest, which is the prophet's exact description, was killed in the sanctuary.
That is, the objection has no foundation whatever, unless the will to object, because of the divine claim on the conscience, be one. Further, if Zechariah the prophet was martyred, he was the last so martyred, as far as we have any testimony of those who shine in the authentic scriptural history of the Jewish people; for we know nothing of the sort concerning Malachi, nor indeed is he mentioned in the historical books of the Old Testament.

Names of the Apostles

It is natural for Mr. N., when seeking to justify an infidelity which has not been convinced by the divine power of the word- has not bowed to it as morally evidencing itself to be of God-it is natural for one who has proved his mind to be insensible to the grace and truth contained in it (a grace and truth which bears the stamp of God upon it) to accumulate all the difficulties which the reader, willing to be an infidel, may accept without inquiry as insurmountable, and the unwilling be troubled or perplexed by. There is, he tells us, an "impossibility of settling the names of the twelve apostles." (Phases, p. 109.) Supposing we could not do so, what then? We should be ignorant how some one came to have two names, the very commonest thing of all common things among the Jews. What could that prove? Just nothing at all, except this-that the gospels are genuine, and not a forgery; for had they been, the forger would not have created a useless apparent inconsistency. Now there is this proof of independence. But the real truth is, though it be perfectly immaterial "settling" them, yet there is no kind of difficulty in it. Levi had also the name of Matthew, as Saul had that of Paul, Simon that of Peter, as numberless others in scripture. So that if we had even but the two names, no kind of difficulty would arise-Levi would have the name of Matthew also. But we have the particulars of his call given by two of the evangelists, the one of whom calls him Levi, the other Matthew; so that the proof that he is the same is really incontestable by any sober-minded person, and there is nothing to "settle." One Gnostic heretic, Heracleon, has the names Levi and Matthew in speaking of the same apostles who, he says, had not suffered martyrdom. But it is supposed he refers to Lebbaeus, that is, Thaddaeus: if not, it is of very little consequence, as we have the account of his call under the two names.
Grotius alone, that I am aware of, fancied Levi and Matthew different persons, founding his opinion on a questionable passage of Origen, who in another clear place treats them as the same, and on the statement of Heracleon before mentioned. The whole fact is, that some confusion has arisen in one or two minds from Thaddaeus having the name of Lebbaeus; but at the most only in one or two instances, and those uncertain: just as his being called son of Alphaeus in one gospel has made one or two transcribers confound him with James; and some fancy him his brother- of which it suffices to say, perhaps he was, perhaps he was not.
But there is no real uncertainty whatever about it, unless a mistake of some careless or ignorant person outside scripture is to make uncertain what is perfectly clear in it, and accepted as certain historically by all well known authorities who have spoken of it. For there is no doubt they were received as the same in the early Church. Jerome says, Matthaeum cοgnοmentο Levi, "Matthew surnamed Levi," as an acknowledged unquestioned fact. How different the spirit of Eusebius! He notices, taking for granted they are the same person, that Matthew out of abundant modesty calls himself, when sitting at the receipt of custom, by the name he was known by as an apostle. Luke and Mark give him his apostolic name in the list of apostles, and his previous popular name when sitting as a publican. It is, at least, refreshing to meet with something of the spirit of grace in the midst of such criticism. And how true it is, too! how much it discerns of what mere miserable criticism never did and never will! We may remark that Luke says, "Levi made him a great feast in his house;" Matthew only, "as he sat at meat in the house."
There is no other question as to the apostles' names but Thaddaeus and Judas, names confessedly interchanged, or rather, as learned men have urged, the very same. Simon, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, James, Simon, Judas Iscariot, are the same in all.

Harmonizing the Gospels

As to harmonizing the gospels, it is a great mistake in principle. The Spirit of God has (as I have said, and as is evident to an attentive reader) given in each gospel what referred to a particular character and particular instructions of Christ; and facts referring to this subject are recorded, and such parts of discourses as apply to them; the connection of the facts being in many cases the object, and not the historical order-many being related without any date at all, the Spirit of God not attaching any the least importance to the time when, but to what was said, in what circumstances. In some respects, there is a progress in the development of certain subjects which is chronological, such as the growing spirit of rejection of Jesus among the Jews, and the substitution of a new order of things. Yet in giving this general chronology (which is seen, for instance, in Matthew very evidently, and all relating to the subject fully developed), the details which point out certain parts and moral elements of unbelief may be classed according to the subject, in order that we may understand their bearing. The same fact may be confirmed by another evangelist and put in historical order exactly, or in some other moral connection. We dislocate the whole purposed contexture of the gospels in trying to put them into common continuous order. It may be in some respects interesting to search it out, but quite subordinate to the general purpose for which they are written. I have tried so to arrange them, and I have not found the thing impossible; but I have found it takes the passages quite out of the order in which they were meant to stand.
Besides, we have a very limited portion indeed of the facts of the history, which enormously increases the difficulty of putting it together; because the links which connect the facts historically are often wholly wanting. There may be six months between two facts mentioned in one verse, in the same sentence, if these two facts refer to one subject; and these two facts may be dispersed amongst a number of others in quite different connection elsewhere, and if one be morally important on a particular subject, it may be put after one chronologically subsequent, without a note of time. This is actually the case; because the object of the Holy Ghost is to give us certain moral pictures of Christ as Son of David, Son of man, and as Son of God, a divine Person, and of God's ways with men in Him-not to make out a full biography. Such alone, I am bold to say, could have been God's way of dealing.
I put a case, to show how easily the omission of a fact seems to produce contradiction, if the fact be not known. A person, desirous of showing my kindness and condescension, states that I accompanied him from Reading to Oxford on foot, though it was almost more than my strength permitted, and unfolded my mind to him, all the way, enlarging on what I said. Another has a point to prove, namely, that it was on a certain day (which is this selfsame day) he was with me, and that I had informed him of a certain event; and he states that he overtook me on the Oxford road going to Reading. This was just half an hour before the other spoke of walking with me. A third states positively that I only arrived in Oxford that day, and never left it afterward. Now there seems contradiction here; for how could I have been overtaken on the Oxford road to Reading, and never have left Oxford that day, and have, on the contrary, gone from Reading to Oxford, not having even strength to go more than one way? Yet one fact makes all easy, which was immaterial to all the parties who had spoken of it. I had forgotten my pocket-book, and had turned back again after two miles' walk, and was overtaken a few minutes afterward going to Reading, and then set out again. And, so far from being a contradiction, I never should have met the person I walked to Oxford with had I not been back to Reading. Now, this is a simple and obvious case; I refer to it to illustrate the danger of reasoning from such apparent difficulties.
Judas is called of Galilee in the Acts; Josephus calls him a Gaulonite. Geographers have difficulty how Gaulonitis can be Galilee. Here is a difficulty almost insuperable-" an undeniable mistake "-nothing to impeach Josephus's statement. Luke is an incorrect historian, not an inspired writer. How can we correct it? Simply thus: Josephus has, as the title of his chapter, "Of Judas the Galilean." If it had not been there, what a triumph for critics! Yet they would have been all wrong, on the now united testimony of two accurate and exact historians. Have the geographers explained it? Not that I know of; but Josephus, not being a Christian, is to be believed, and hence Luke may be. This is not the only such case.

The Rivers in Paradise

The next difficulty is the geography of the rivers in Paradise. It is "inexplicable." (Phases, p. 110.) This is very possible. But I apprehend that the inexplicable thing is the text which speaks of geography, not the geography of the text. If so, which certainly is the case, I should think Mr. N. had better waft till he can explain or rather translate it before he raises an objection from ít. The interpretation of this exceedingly brief statement is not easy. If it were explicable, perhaps Mr. N. might find no objection arising out of it. A river went from Eden to water the garden; from thence it was separated, and it became four heads. Now, that there were four rivers is pretty clear, for of four heads we have two well known named ones which are rivers-Tigris and Euphrates. The other two are not clearly ascertained. Two systems have been maintained: one that Gihon and Pison were the two rivers which form or formed the mouths of Tigris and Euphrates, which, after uniting, separated again. But this presents many difficulties. Others, who have placed the garden in Armenia, near the sources of Tigris and Euphrates, seek Gihon and Pison in rivers in that country. No opinion has been clearly proved, because the text itself presents serious difficulties as to its meaning.
The first words, "a river going out from Eden," present a difficulty. The general idea, that the garden of Eden was not without this refreshment, is clear; and Tigris and Euphrates give a general idea of the country it was ín. Eden supplied this water; that general idea is given. Eden may have contained the general source of waters, hence called Nahar generically; but the waters of this common springhead separated, and four principal streams were formed from them.
Nο rivers had yet been mentioned, though seas and dry land had. The source of these was the territory from which God had ordered that blessing should flow. Thus Nahar would be used generically (as I might say land in contrast with sea). Nahar, river-streams, took their source in Eden. The garden was thus watered. Their freshness all was there. From thence the waters flowed here and there, and surrounded and characterized by their course other countries. Thus the sense would be-"And a river-source was in Eden to water the garden; and from thence [Eden] it was distributed, and became four principal streams." Of these we know two, and two are uncertain-a circumstance not very astonishing; while there are such, and which answer accurately enough to such description. This sense has its perfect place in the general moral bearing of this pan of scripture. There were the streams of refreshment found. The primary object was the garden; but thence they flowed around the world which needed it. The context of the passage speaks of the different things that characterized the garden; and this account of the river which refreshed it then comes in. Every reader knows the place which a river holds in every description of what God has established. There is "a river which makes glad the city of God." "God is in the midst of her." This last could not be said of the garden.
Here what follows is-"Jehovah Elohim took the man and placed him in the garden;" and then goes on to show the responsibility under which he was placed-a contrast with the security flowing from God being in the midst of her. It was not the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High; but the place of all those blessings and testimonies of goodness by which He had surrounded man when He had placed him under the responsibilities, which He must have done if all the wondrous scene which we know, and which infidelity is ignorant of and incapable of discerning, was to unfold itself before the angels and the universe of God-responsibilities of which we know the consequences, and (if we believe in the Second Adam) the glorious remedy.
Of these analogies, and developments, and proofs of truth flowing from the link which God's ways and hand in it afford between all the parts of this wonderful book, infidelity, of course, is ignorant; cannot pretend to the knowledge of. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will show them his covenant." With Mr. N. it is a question of geography; as if God, in unfolding the first steps in that wondrous scene which angels desire to look into, were giving us some additional elements to settle a point in Rennel's Geography. I admit scripture ought to be accurate in everything, without going beyond the forms of knowledge of those to whom it was addressed at the time, or it would not have been suited to them, as God does condescend to suit His instruction to us; as, if we know His grace, we might expect He would. And where is the book which-addressed, in ages earlier than otherwise known history, to a despised people- has stood the test of increasing light as the Bible has on every point? Take the Koran, and see the nonsense that is found in it: yet this was in the seventh century. Take the Fathers. Take any book pretending to give an account of what are called fabulous ages, and see how the marvelous prevails; the little grains of fact to be picked out of these large stories; the prodigality of marvelous nonsense, from which we must in a mythical way conjecture some historical idea (if there is any). The only effect of which is, when we have discovered it, to show that what we have as plain history in scripture is the true origin of the distorted fables we meet with in profane accounts and ceremonies-ceremonies of which the vulgar know nothing but the outside, as the religion of their fathers; but which show, when investigated, that what we have in scripture is really the world's history-is that which, however distorted, has formed everywhere the basis of the whole system which knit portions together as one people, and separated them as different peoples too; which acted on their fears and conscience, and impressed their imagination-had been the origin of their different religions, which were but the conscience of having had to say to God in these gradually forgotten wonders, of which Satan had possessed himself to acquire the veneration and govern the lusts of those who had utterly departed from, and forgotten, the true God who had wrought them.
This leads me, in connection with the next objection, to the exceeding little-mindedness of infidelity.

The Sentence on the Serpent: Serpent Worship

Mr. Newman sneers (he must forgive me the word) at the sentence on the serpent (Phases, p. 110), the meaning of which is evidently the entire humiliation of the serpent. Going on its belly and eating dust would present this thought to any one familiar with scripture. The import of the words is, beyond all question, the expression of judicial degradation, and the feeding on it even to its fullest extent in the symbol of death.
Hence his full final judgment is expressed in these words: "And dust shall be the serpent's meat." But this one sentence, thus ignorantly scorned, gives the source, explanation, and judgment of what has characterized the universal race of man over the whole globe, to an extent without rival; unless, perhaps, the worship of the sun, which was generally identified with it. Where the polished idolatry of Greece and Rome (with which, I dare say, Mr. N. is well acquainted) has never penetrated, the exaltation of the serpent has reigned paramount, and even in all its details proved the truth of the Mosaic account of the fall. Indeed, the allusion of Mr. N. here is unfortunate; for the fact that a single verse of simple statement accounts for what has governed the whole world, though it embraces nothing of the corruption that characterized what so governed it, is the strongest possible proof of the divinity of the record we possess.
It is evidently impossible for me here to give an account of the Ophiolatreia, or Serpent worship. I can only notice some of the remarkable elements of it. It is found in China, Egypt, Babylon, England, France, Ireland, North America, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Scandinavia (i.e., Sweden and Norway), Greece, Italy, Africa in its most savage parts, Palestine, India-in a word, all over the world. It is connected with the principal gods of the East, of Greece, of Rome, and with the most solemn worship of the countries I have mentioned. In Sweden and Norway, and in Macedonia serpents were kept in the houses as household gods; in Greece and elsewhere, in temples as public ones. They were considered the preservers of Athens, as of Whidah on the coast of Guinea; and the savage of Louisiana carried a serpent and the sun, as the symbols of his religion, and tattooed them on his skin.
If we turn to the elements which characterized it, we find it accompanied with a tree, and a naked woman constantly its priestess. In India and Mexico, the deliverer 1s bitten in the heel by the serpent, which in these and other cases is destroyed by being smitten on the head. Further, he is worshipped often erect, and not prostrate on his belly, and was fed alive with sweet cakes of honey. We find him frequently associated with a tree, and conversing with a woman. And this in countries, in sculptures, and in heathen accounts, which leave no possibility of alleging fraud or intention.
It has been shown that the early history of Greece relates to colonies partly from Egypt, but partly from Hivites, serpent worshippers driven out from Palestine by Joshua, as indeed were the Carthaginians. Can any one doubt for a moment of the bearing and origin of all this, and the importance of sheaving that "that old serpent," which had elevated himself to be the god of all the world, was, by present ocular proof, a venomous prostrate reptile? There he was, manifested and marked out by his condition under the finger of God. And when we see the whole world full everywhere with these traditions of the serpent, of the worship of the serpent (and of the serpent erect and not on his belly), is not the immense moral importance of this declaration (which in one little word explains it all, gives the terrible and real secret of it all, and reveals the ruined condition of the rebellious and disobedient man) evident to any serious sober-minded person? Scripture has not invented these facts; the whole state of the world, as the research and learning of the nineteenth century have brought to light, has demonstrated the truth of the account given it in Genesis-the divine importance of the key given in a few short words. That is, the whole history of the universe demonstrates the folly of the flippant sneers of ignorant or willfully blind infidelity, spinning thoughts out of itself, as a spider its web, to catch those who may be foolish enough to fall into it, and neglecting the universal testimony of the world.
I may just add, as curious, that a living serpent was kept in the temple of Esculapius, the god of healing. So serpent amulets among the Britons were supposed to preserve from all harm. Serpents were carried in baskets by the Bacchanals, Bacchus having in Greek the same name as the object of serpent honor in India, as indeed was the case with another name in Egypt.
Another remarkable fact connected with it was, that the notion of gaining wisdom from serpents was universal. This •Kent even to the notion, that eating their flesh gave it. They gave oracles. The progress of idolatry seems to have been this: Satan seized upon the idea of God in men's minds, and the obscure traditions of what had happened. Where he could, he connected this directly with himself; and serpent worship was universal, as we have seen. Still, the sun being the great and splendid benefactor of man, and in unity, man's heart connected this with the one supreme God. This allied itself with the universe. Thus the serpent and sun worship (both being intimately associated with the idea of the unity of Deity and the universe) became connected.
Sometimes the worship of the sun drove out the serpent worship in its grosser form, yet was always connected with it: how should it be otherwise? Thus Apollo, who is the sun, established his worship at Delphi by slaying Typhon, an immense serpent, who was also said to have been cast down from heaven by Jupiter. Tie then gave oracles in his place. Still the serpent was sacred to him, and was otherwise associated with the Delphic worship. So in the Scandinavian mythology, the great serpent produced by the evil spirit, Loke, against the supreme God, is cast into the sea. He is the enemy of the gods; Thor will destroy him, but he will die in doing it. So the wolf, produced by the evil spirit, now chained, will in the end break loose and devour the sun.
On the other hand, Hercules, and other such mystic personages answering to Thor in many respects, a kind of god-man, destroys serpents in all manner of fables. And Krishna in India, and Teotl in Mexico, reproduce traditional accounts of scripture redemption, connected with what is said of the serpent in Genesis. Caesar produces as the doctrine of the Druids, that man's sins could only be expiated by man's death.
Now idolatry, as far as we can say from scripture, came in only after the Hood. Hence we have the next step in idolatry, a vague tradition of a reign of bliss under Saturn, which recalled Paradise; and then his three sons, Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto, who become the supreme gods of heaven, earth, and sea; that is the three sons of Noah (the ark being so distinctly remembered, that in the grand procession they carried a statue about in a kind of ship). Indeed, it is very probable that the Greek word translated "temple" is really identical with that of "ship." In fine, the worship of the serpent connected itself with that of the sun and whole host of heaven; and, in cultivated Greece and Rome, merged, though retaining both, into traditions as to Paradise, Noah's three sons, and the flood. The purest of all serpent worship was perhaps in England.
This serpent worship retained its power longer than we suppose. In idolatrous Egypt, so judged in scripture, there was a sect of Gnostics who connected it with their pretended Christianity, and, under the name of Ophites (that is, "serpent worshippers "), had a living serpent, which was let out to glide over the sacramental elements to consecrate them, it being the source of wisdom (exactly as was done with Isis, the great object of serpent worship, on whose temple was written, "I am all that hath been, and ís, and shall be; and my veil no mortal hath ever removed;" and exactly as the worship in England was carried on in the serpent temple at Abury and other places, as recorded in British bards' writings of that day): so in Brittany in France, where the remains of these dragon temples are abundant, it is curious to see the mounts ("barrows" as they are called) where the sun was worshipped with the serpent, now all dedicated to St. Michael, whom the Revelation presents to us as the destroyer of Satan's power. And within man's memory, in a village wake, the serpent worship was commemorated, though none understood what it meant.
But I have said enough to demonstrate the importance of sheaving that the serpent was to go on his belly and eat dust. The world has consecrated it-has shown the place the serpent had in its history. The connection of it with the worship of the host of heaven is shown in the fable that Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, seized hold of the great serpent that was attacking Jupiter and the gods, and flung it into heaven, where it became the constellation Draco. Indeed, all the constellations are idolatrous gods. And, to this day, the planets known to antiquity are all marked by the symbolical signs connected with this worship-that of a circle and cross.
In a word, while many traditions of truth were preserved, the serpent was deified. The Englishman little knows, when he tends his sheep or plows over Hackpen, that the hill he has beneath his feet has for its name "the serpent's head," for such, in old British, is the meaning of "Hackpen" (and there was the head of the immense serpent formed by stones, the circle of deity through which it passed being in the center, and known as Abury, a name which is undoubtedly supposed to recall the universal name given to the serpent as worshipped); nor that Arthur Pendragon is " Uther of the dragon's head;" nor that when he calls his "mother," he uses most probably one of the names of Isis, the Egyptian goddess, which identifies death and the woman, for Moth signifies "death."
The reader who wishes to have more details on this must consult Bryant and Faber; or, if he has not access to these, a work more popular, but with, perhaps, fuller information-Deane's "Worship of the Serpent." He will find the facts I have only alluded to, and an abundance more, which it is, of course, impossible for me to give here.
Universal testimony renders it unnecessary for me to dwell upon the pain and peril of childbirth. The apprehension of death which so often accompanies it tells a tale in a woman's heart which a man's indifference (Phases, p. no) to it will avail little against. I am aware that Mr. N., who thinks it mawkish sentiment to make difficulties about hanging people for the good of society, and takes evil for granted, must, among other evils, take for granted that of parturition. But one who believes in goodness, though he believes God can bring good out of evil, and that He has attached increase of suffering to seeming greater ease, that men's lot may be more even-one who believes God is good may naturally ask, "Why was suffering attached to the bringing in an innocent babe into the world? Why was this special suffering attached to woman, and man left exempt from it necessarily and always?" For, whatever the reason, general and universal suffering, more or less, there is in this respect. Were the Bible an imposture as to this, it could only found such an imposture on the universal consent of man's universal knowledge of the fact. There was not such extravagant effeminacy of habits when Moses wrote the Pentateuch. A person who founds his infidelity on an assertion that suffering does not, as a general rule, accompany childbirth, must be wonderfully fond of the infidelity he is sustaining.

Two Accounts of the Creation

The next objection is, "that the two different accounts of the creation are distinguished by the appellations given to the Divine Creator." (Phases, p110.)
Now that God, in the revelation of Himself, employs different names for the purposes of that revelation, which bring out some particular character in which He is pleased to act in the display of Himself, every one who has paid the least attention to scripture is perfectly aware of.
There are three names especially which constitute so many grounds and bases of relationship with Him. He always was what is revealed in each one; but He was not so formally in relationship with man, until revealed for that purpose.
God is the general name of the Being-Elohim.
Almighty was the name He took as the special protector of Abraham-Shaddai.
Jehovah, as in relationship with Israel, the abiding One, "who was, and is, and is to come," who will accomplish in power what He has promised and undertaken in grace. (See Ex. 6:3.) As this was the name He thus formally took with Israel, to whom these oracles were given, He is careful to show, from the outset, that Jehovah their God was the Elohim Shaddai (" God Almighty") of creation and of Abraham; and hence the name of Jehovah is introduced from the beginning of any relationship of God with His creatures, though it was not the name of formal revelation and relationship.
The third name is Father. This is with Christians. Hence it is said in 2 Cor. 6:17, 18, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and Ι will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" That is, the living God (see ver. 16), Jehovah Shaddαi, makes Himself Father with those who come out and believe.
Now this is the whole matter in what is objected to. As soon as God begins to unfold His ways with His creation, to be in relationship with it as a subsisting thing, and the ground on which this is based and manner in which it has been formed is developed, He reveals Himself as being that very Jehovah whom the Jews knew as their God. When it was the mere fact of creation in power, the great thing was to show that God, as such, did it. Elohim created, Elohim made; but when God is teaching what He was for this creation, and how He took such a place, He takes a name of relationship in which those to whom the revelation was addressed knew Him as their God. He is not called simply Jehovah, but Jehovah-Elohim, so as to connect the two thoughts, and show the Jehovah their God as Elohim the Creator, the supreme source of all things. And this was of the very last importance. Germans and infidels, who are altogether ignorant really of the whole scope and purport of scripture, naturally find some reason within the scope of their infidelity (which cannot reach beyond a question of documents) for what is really altogether a perfection, and a pretty evident one for such as are at all attentive to scripture.

Opinion of Dr. Arnold of Rugby

As to Dr. Arnold (Phases, p. 111), the interesting character of whose mind and talent I need not enlarge on here, there was one characteristic trait of his mind which always furnishes a solid ground for distrust of any-that is, its very great confidence in itself. Breaking through the narrow boundaries of an Oxford education, which is more occupied with the means of knowledge than with knowledge itself, it broke forth into what was to it an unknown region, and soared out not quite aware whither. Amidst a thousand moral benevolent theories, the spiritual right-mindedness of a regenerate mind kept him safe as to what concerned moral foundation for himself. But there was no kind of moral or intellectual measure, in his own mind, of the sphere into which he got, nor of man's powers in relation to it. He knew that he had broken loose from many things that were mere trammels, which he then despised; but he never knew what the world, into which he had wandered out of the happy valley of the Isis, really was. Hence many a question started, which, to a mind not substantially kept right by spiritual instinct, as his was, became infidelity. I should say of this interesting man, that he was one of the most interesting, but unformed, I know within the little circle of my knowledge. He never was in the mature manhood of his mind, which accounted to itself for its own thoughts and real bearing. Here, for instance, drawing the juice, I doubt not, from much of scripture, he leaves the husk of infidelity to Mr. N. It was immaterial to him what the morass of difficulty was which he thus lightly tripped over, and thought thus to help others over too. To Mr. N. there was the morass of doubt, and that was all.
To Arnold "the Mosaic cosmogony" was cosmogony, and that was all. To Mr. N. it was questionable cosmogony, and that was all he found in it.

Joseph

"The history of Joseph" is "a beautiful poem": only it is a true one-a wonderful picture of Christ's relationship with the Jews, yet written confessedly centuries, to say no more, before it happened, and by those who could not possibly foresee its accurate application. Nay, it is prophetical, I doubt not, of that which is yet to come. Here, however, Mr. N. merely suggests there are difficulties, without entering into any detail or proof, so that we are relieved from answering him.

The Longevity of the Patriarchs

He objects to the long lives of the patriarchs (Phases, p. 110); but he does not say why. Nor is there any reason why a man should not be constituted to live nine hundred as well as seventy years. It is a question of the sovereign power of God, on which mere reasoning is absurd. The longevity of the patriarchs would have rendered the peopling of the earth easier, as well as the communication of true knowledge more secure. But Mr. N. does not even state the difficulty with any accuracy; for the earth must have been peopled from two persons (or, at any rate, from six since the flood) according to the Mosaic account. After that, five hundred years, four hundred, and so on; and on the division of the earth in Peleg's days two hundred years were the allotted term of man's life, and, ere long, "three-score years and ten." But if we take the flood as the point of departure, the universal tradition, mythology, and worship of men confirm the account of Moses, and of the existence even of the three sons of Noah.

The Ark

The statements of ancient eastern writers, preserved for the most part in Josephus and Eusebius, are as clear and distinct as possible, confirming the account of Moses even to the sending forth of the birds. And the traditional mythology of Egypt, Greece, and all the neighboring countries preserves the various facts and words connected with the flood, the ark, and Noah; tracing up their history each one to this same personage, making a god of him. And the eight became, in a remarkable manner, the sacred divine number in Egypt (the great converter of Mosaic history into fabular divinities); while he is in many fables represented as hid in an ark from the fury of a mythical representative of the deluge, and coming out by a new birth, and celebrated as the inventor of wine. A sacred ship was carried in procession in many places. The very word "ark" (in Hebrew, תֵּבׇח teba) having given its name to many of the places in which these superstitious memorials of it were preserved. The preservation of the ark on Ararat is recorded by the most ancient historical records in existence; and in various places, where temples connected with these events were erected, a vast cleft was shown, through which the waters of the deluge are said to have retired.
In the East, the general historical account was preserved more clearly and fully-a very natural result of the fact that it was from thence, according to the Mosaic accounts, that the various colonies of the human race started: whereas in Greece and places connected by colonies with it, each (though stating it in a way which, even to their own serious writers, proved it a far earlier history) attributed it to the first king of their own colony and localized it. But they all agree in doing the same, each for his own colony, thus proving its universality, and in many instances acknowledging that their founder came from Egypt, and in one case in a very peculiar ship, thence held sacred-the very one which was carried in procession in the rites of Isis, in which the ark and the deluge were celebrated.
Besides this, the tradition of a deluge is universal all over the world. I may add, that the ablest naturalists, such as Cuvier, allege it to have been universal. Where does this universal tradition come from? Whence its connection with the author of the human race preserved in an ark, and beginning again the history of man, who had perished by a deluge?
I may add, that there is an ancient medal of a city in Asia Minor, called by the Greek name of the "ark," on the reverse of which you have an ark, with a man and woman in it: the top taken off, and a bird flying with a small bough in its bill, and another resting on the ark. A man and woman are also outside, come down on the dry ground. All these, remark, are heathen notices of the deluge.
Mr. N. suggests physiological difficulties as to the peopling of the earth. (Phases, p. 110)
Some physiologists have thought, on physiological principles, that the earth must have been probably more populous at the time of the deluge than now; but to such mere probable calculations it is really useless to have anything to say. The population of the earth increases so much more rapidly under some circumstances than under others (so amazingly faster, too, in proportion to the space over which the population has to spread), or, on the other hand, diminishes from oppression or misery; that assertions, made off-hand as to possible numbers, really prove nothing else than the disposition of the objector. Mr. N.-who has not confidence in scripture, because he will not believe it to be God's word, and who has great confidence in these surmises, because he is sure they are man's-considers the latter, of course, certain, the former of no authority, and talks of demonstrations; though as to demonstration, for instance, of the antediluvian population, it is a mere absurdity to talk of it. Does he suppose he has any demonstration that there has been no deluge, the testimony to which, and even to the Mosaic account of which, is everywhere, and the proofs of which, according to the authority of such men as Cuvier, are everywhere also? All this shows simply the will to make objections, and the hardihood of objectors.

Infallibility

I would just remark here, that the word "infallible" is used by Mr. N. in a very loose way, in which, indeed, he is not singular. God alone is infallible; for "infallible" means one who can in no case err. The most perfect truth cannot be called "infallible;" it is the opposite to error, not to fallibility. This word does not apply itself to anything already expressed. The mass of truth to us yet unknown in scripture gives a certain applicability of this word to it (meaning, that we are sure that whatever we do thus find will be truth). But the moral difference of infallibility and perfect truth is very great indeed; because when I judge of the infallibility of scripture, I am pronouncing on an abstract question about the book. When I reject positive truth that is there, I am facing what acts directly on my conscience. I do not discuss infallibility with an infidel. For, in strict logic, none but one who is incapable of erring in what he may pronounce is infallible. But in scripture all is pronounced: it is truth or error. The business of the infidel is, therefore, to pronounce that such and such things are truth or error.

The Entrance of Death

I turn to the question of the entrance of death. Mr. N. examines the present condition of man's body, which scripture declares and every one knows to be mortal; and states, that as it is constituted it must be so, and hence argues that it must have been so in a state which he knows nothing about. And that is called logic! Is it impossible that it should have been in another state? Of course, as it is, it is mortal. But could not God have sustained it? All things subsist by Him. An animal that lives a century or two, or an insect that closes its life with the evening of its birthday, are all constituted so by Him with whom are the issues of life. Could He not have ever sustained the life of him whom He had made in His own image? A heathen, Callimachus, will tell him, that in Him we live, and move, and have our being. Mr. N. will tell us that the earth could not have held them. Who told him they would have stayed there? All this is mete gratuitous supposition.
One thing is certain, that some dire and ruinous confusion is entered in; and whatever Mr. N. may dream in his closet, the misery, the violence, the horrors of the four quarters of the globe proclaim an unintelligible Deity, or a desolated and ruined, because a sinful, world. He must be as hard-hearted as the god his imagination would content itself with, or admit that sin has brought in desolation and misery. Death is but the seal and stamp that characterizes an existence over which it casts its fear, if thought allows anything but a willful folly which is worse; and indeed it extends its power and gloom over man in spite of folly, so as to make a Savior weep, though he that denies Him can look at it with indifference, because he can hide it from his heart, till it meets his eye, or-which God forbid-too late, appalls his conscience.
But Mr. N. will teach us more than scripture. Man is like the brutes that perish, and must have always been so. Death could not have come upon animals. Geology, he says, tells us so. Now I do not pretend to judge this absolutely. The apostle, in speaking of death entering into this world, says nothing whatever of what has happened in others, or with other creatures. He does not even speak of beasts. Now man has not been found in any ancient fossil remains.

The Fall

What the apostle says is this: "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Now here he evidently is entirely occupied with the effect of sin in bringing man under death, as the beginning of death declares. Neither in Genesis nor in Romans is anything said of the beasts. In both, men alone are spoken of as the specific subject. In Genesis, and to that the apostle refers, it is a sentence previously pronounced on man. When man was created, God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, a thing never said of beasts. Death was pronounced in case of failure. As far as any other testimonies go, the New Testament rather speaks of beasts, as indeed does the Old, as perishing beings-" The beasts that perish." Peter says, "Natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed." Now I grant this does not positively prove anything, because the psalmist and apostle may refer to their present condition. But it shows how little ground there is for the objection. For with a holy wisdom, the word of God does not answer our curiosity, but leaves beasts as they are before our eyes. We are told, indeed, that the creature has got into misery and ruin by our fall, and, as a system, will not be restored till we are manifested in glory; and this is true even of our bodies. This was morally important for us to know, that we might be humbled by the sense of the way in which we had dragged down subordinate creation with us-encouraged by the thought that our glory would be the occasion of the restoration of the blessing. But no further curiosity is indulged.

Objections Dependent on Science

To talk of physiology is mere nonsense, because physiology can only examine man as he is-a state which scripture and all men pronounce to be that of mortality. What he was is the question; and of this I apprehend a dissecting infidel surgeon is about as ignorant as his neighbors; and more so than many, if he supposes that the God who created man could not sustain him in a present immortal condition. No creature can subsist per se, that is, independently of God. God had constituted man not dying, and then sentenced him to be a dying creature as he is. Why is "wear and tear" (Phases, p. 113) essential to life? Now it is, no doubt; but this is not essential to life, but to man's present state of life. The Paradisiacal state is mentioned by Plato in a curious passage. He says, "They lived naked in a state of happiness, and had an abundance of fruits, which were produced without the labor of agriculture, and men and beasts could then converse together. But these things we must pass over, until there appear some one to interpret them to us."
It is certainly remarkable, how everything in the Mosaic history is preserved, at least as disjecta membra, bits of truth amidst masses of error and superstition, corrupted into a mythological system by Egyptians, into a fabular system by Hesiod and Homer, into a monstrous system by Hindoos, but preserved. While Moses (who certainly did not derive it from extracting it by morsels from Híndoo, Egyptian, Grecian, and Mexican fables, or from Plato, who lived centuries after him) has given a concise, simple account of immense moral import, infinitely elevated above the whole range of the heathen fables which pervert its elements, placing the supreme God-man-good-evil-responsibility-grace-law-promise-the creatures-marriage, all in their place; which short statement accounts for all that we find dispersed over the whole world, of traditionary notions of the primeval history of man-so accounts for it, that with a little pains, we can trace all the fables to their source. How comes this? It is God's most brief but divine account of the whole matter, preserving by its very brevity its true character of the moral seed, so to speak, of all that has been afterward developed of good and evil. It was meant to be such and not more. The germ of all was there in that form. It is divinely given. With further details it would have lost this character. It would have had only its own moral consequences for the parties concerned, like other acts of individual men. But in the Mosaic account, creative goodness, the knowledge of good and evil, conscience, judgment, the way of the tree of life closed, and promise in the woman's seed given, all involving immense principles, are brought out. We see ourselves that the whole world is concerned in it, the immense drama of which angels and principalities and powers are the wondering spectators; and the conflict of good and evil, the moral of the tale, is opened with those in whose persons it was to be all developed; and the suggestion of His coming in grace and power, who would close, in the glorious triumph of good, putting down evil, what had begun in the solemn lessons of a lost paradise. But the drama was a reality; and all was involved in that one man and his failing companion. Yet from her who failed recovery was to spring, for grace was to be brought out and magnified (that is, God in His dealings with man) And these things angels desire to look into.
But Mr. N. will find faults if he can-old moral ones, for the old ones that depended on "science" are abandoned. We hear no more of the Zodiac of Dendera, or the millions of years of Hindoo chronology, or the more moderate thousands of Chinese dynasties. All these have disappeared before increased information. The Zodiac, on which the Volneys would found the ruin of revelation by its proofs of the long ante-Mosaic existence of the world, has been proved, by the discovery of the meaning of hieroglyphic symbols, to have been made in the reign of Augustus Caesar. The Indian eclipses are proved to have been calculated backwards, and the earliest observation to have been made not earlier than 700 years before Christ, that is, scarcely so early as Hezekiah's reign. And the time is known when all ancient books were destroyed in China, so that all is fable before. No history exists before the latter part of the history of the Jews: and, what is remarkable, all well-authenticated ancient history centers round that people.
Take Herodotus, and you will find that he has no nations with a history to tell you of but such as were in connection with the Jews-the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Babylonians, and such like -I name only the earliest. All the rest is vague and dark. Outside this we have some Chinese dynasties and some dark Hindoo traditions, which tend to confirm the early Mosaic accounts; and in monuments which no fraud could have reached. In Egypt, we have pictures of Jews making bricks under the lash; and, what is remarkable, we have evidently Jewish overseers, and besides them Egyptian directors, or head-overseers-exactly what is stated in the book of Exodus. For if infidelity can find doubts to stumble and fall upon, God has given to a simple faith what even externally confirms its confidence, and confounds the folly of the false science that will not believe. Such proofs are never the foundation of faith; they cheer and confirm it.
Remark another thing, that history groups itself also round exactly that center which Moses has made the cradle of mankind. While the peculiar people of God, placed at the point of contact of the three parts of the old world, formed the center field of active power, as they certainly did for Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, all are grouped round it; the hivings off of people in all directions are found to be from the center, in which Moses placed it. It was the real officina Gentium. So late as the barbarian inroads into the Roman empire, the invasions were in a great measure determined by advancing hordes from the east. In general, all languages and all records show that, from about Mesopotamia, and the country north of it, as a center, the world has been peopled. Though, of course, many of the movements are lost in the obscurity of ages, and secondary colonizations took place subsequently, as Hivites and Phoenicians peopling Greece and Africa, when driven out by Joshua, of which there is very ample evidence; and colonies from Egypt to Greece, and Greece to Italy; from Phenicia over the whole Mediterranean at least. But this only confirms the general fact, and that very strongly in some of its details. The Phoenicians went even to Ireland, and the first of May is still called in Irish, as pronounced, Boul tinne, that is, Baal teine, Baal's fire, teine meaning fire in the Celtic. I turn now to some other objections- the moral ones to which I have alluded.

The Song of Deborah

Mr. Newman's first moral objection is to the song of Deborah; and his objection is, that "the prophetess Deborah, in an inspired psalm, pronounces jael to be blessed above women, and glorifies her act by an elaborate description of its atrocities." (Phases, p. 113.) But who told Mr. N. that Deborah's song was "an inspired psalm?" That the writer of the judges was inspired to give it to us, I do not doubt; but that is entirely a different matter. I believe in the fullest way in the inspiration of scripture; but this does not mean, that all that it contains was inspired in the mouths of those who uttered it. We have Satan's words, wicked men's words, human accounts of divers facts, recorded by inspiration, but not themselves inspired. Α revelation should give (it is what it means) the perfect presentation of the Divine mind on the subject of which it treats, to one spiritually capable of understanding it. But in doing this-as to man, as to Israel- it must give me a true real picture of what man, what Israel, is; and this it does, not merely by a dogmatic statement, but by a large historical development of what man has done, what he has felt, what he has been in various circumstances, under various advantages, and in various stages of progress through the revelations already afforded him. If the Bible had merely given us God's judgment, we never should have had the same testimony to conscience as we have, by its affording us man's actual history under the various dispensations of God towards him. But to do this, I must have him as he was, his feelings expressed as they were in him; whether without God, or under the influence of piety, yet ill-informed in God's mind; or animated as to his heart by God's Spirit, yet the result a mixed one, and taking the forms of thought and feeling, which were and must have been such as his state of moral education would have produced. Otherwise it would not have been the true and needed account of man (consequently, not a divine one).
In the midst of all this, we get positive revelations from God, given in order to act upon men in this state. In this last case, I get inspired testimony of what God's own mind is. Yet even here grace has adapted it to the conscience and spiritual information possessed, and God's dealings with men in such or such a state. If He deigned to deal with them, thus He must in condescendence have done for their blessing. He leads them up and onward indeed; but it is them He is to lead. A gracious father speaks to his child according to what suits it, yet never what is unworthy of himself: it is worthy of him to suit himself to it. So has God dealt with men, with Israel. How else could He have dealt with them, if He meant them to be morally developed?
Thus, in the Old Testament, we have a perfect, divinely-given picture of man, under this gracious process, in the various relationships in which he was placed with God, so as to get his whole condition fully brought out; that by a divinely-given history we might know ourselves, and at the same time the whole course of God's dealings, and what man was under them, till his need of perfect and supreme grace should be manifested, and God manifested in Christ as the supreme grace he needed, and man and God get into the relationship which was His full purpose according to the security which flows from the unchangeableness of His nature and the perfectness of His love. When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Hence it is said, "for the forgiveness of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare at this time his righteousness." He dealt with them for the full development of His ways. He received them according to His knowledge of the perfect work to be accomplished in Christ.
Now God has given us a perfect revelation of all this; but we should not have the knowledge either of man or of our God Himself, and of His wondrous and all-perfect and patient ways with us, if we had not men at each step exactly as they were: it would not be the truth else. The statement of morality simply by God would, no doubt, have shown what man ought to be.
That we have in the law. But it would not have shown us what man ís-what he is under the various dealings of God. Now we have this; and, I repeat, to have it we must have man, even when under the influence of God's Spirit, just as he was under it (the effect produced being according to the degree in which his own soul was acted on, the medium in which he lived, and the measure of revelation afforded him).
Such was Deborah's song. It is not a communication of God's thoughts, but of Deborah's feelings. Doubtless, her heart was moved by the Spirit in thankfulness for the deliverance of God's beloved people; but there is not a sign of its being a communication from God to that people. Now such a song may vary in the spiritual conformity to the highest measure of light which is possessed-may be more or less mixed with man, and may be colored by the general condition of the people, and the nearness of the individual's soul to God. It may express much greater nearness, because the mass are far gone from Him, as in Hannah's, whose weakness is entirely cast on God, and hence points vividly to Christ; or Simeon's, whose soul can go in peace, because the hope of his devout heart is fulfilled in the midst of the desolations of Israel; or (if God interferes in outward mercy and gives a temporal reviving, because He will not destroy, but makes Himself known, and that in mercy to His people) the thanksgiving or the praise will descend to the measure of the present interference, by which God has hindered His people from having their remembrance blotted out of the earth.
Such is, in fact, Deborah's song. It does not rise above it- I mean above the present measure of Israel's blessing. If Ι am to know what Israel was then, it should not-if I am to know the way of God's dealings with them, it must not-pass beyond it. Israel gradually sunk; and the character of deliverers and deliverances sunk, till God had to come in afresh in Samuel and David, when "He had delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand." How am I to learn this, and know what the real condition of the people and the truth of God's dealings were, if Ι do not have them just as they were? A song of David, of Simeon, or of Hannah, would have been morally out of place to celebrate the deeds of Barak the son of Abinoam, and of the prophetess of the palm-tree in mount Ephraim. The thing objected to is a perfection in the revelation. I judge many things in the revelation by a clearer light. I learn many things in God's ways. How could I, if they were not there?
Mr. N. neither states the fact correctly, nor reasons justly from what he observes. It is never given as an "inspired psalm." It is only said, "Then sang Deborah, and Barak the son of Abinoam." I pass a moral judgment on many things in the Old Testament, because God has given us the true light, and the darkness is now passed. But how does that show that it is not an inspired revelation that has given me them? I judge them in the perfect light. But it is He who is light who has given me them to judge of, and the light to judge them by. He means to inform my spiritual judgment, and to reveal His ways to me, to show me that He has never ceased dealing with men-that the world has not gone on without His knowledge. He has given me the key to everything, and therefore He has afforded me all these elements with divine perfectness, on which and by which my judgment is to be spiritually formed, and my senses exercised to discern good and evil, as man has learned it through ages, or as it has been displayed and developed in his history; while Christ has given the perfect key by which to judge of it all. Hence Paul says, the scriptures are "able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus." And so, when poor Peter would have put Moses and Elias in the same rank with Christ, they disappear, and "a voice came from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And... Jesus was found alone."
Then, besides these historical pictures of God's ways and of their effect on man, I do get direct addresses to the conscience at the time in the prophets, and the eye of the saints suffering under the evil state of God's people directed to that better day which the Christ who should visit them as the dayspring should bring in to set all things right. They looked on to it, and were saved by hope, as we are; if not so clear a hope, yet as true, and indeed the same, though only partially revealed, and in its earthly part, yet so as that heaven was necessarily brought in by it. Abraham rejoiced to see Christ's day; and he saw it, and was glad; and, a stranger in the Canaan which had been promised him, he looked for "a city which bath foundations, whose builder and maker is God;" in the glory of which he will enjoy the blessings of the inheritance of his children in a better and sweeter way than those who shall actually possess them. The Old Testament is gained, not lost, thus; we have it from our God's own hand to instruct us. What happened as proofs of God's present interference in a temporal way to them-which was what suited their state and God's government of the earth -is spiritual instruction for us, written for our learning, which is what we want, that by which we can more fully know God; while all He teaches in it is perfect, and from that I learn His ways.
Mr. N. is false in his theory, and mistaken in his fact. First, I can "pass a moral judgment." (Phases, p. 114.) The history of men in the Old Testament is given me for the purpose; and instead of its being lost thereby, or the battle in its defense, it gains all its real value. And, secondly, as to Deborah's song, his statement is unfounded.
Yet this does not depend on "my powers" (ib.), save as God may use them; nor on "my scientific knowledge" (ib.), on which, in his own case, Mr. N. places so much reliance; nor on "blinding my moral sentiments" (ib.), because I have the perfection of Christ to judge by. It does depend on my spiritual progress, my moral state, as to being able to use the word; and this is exactly what ought to be.

Genealogy in Matthew

I turn to the particular objections.
The first is, that Matthew was under manifest mistake in inserting fourteen names instead of eighteen, and in saying that there were only fourteen generations. This is a poor objection in presence of the moral power of the gospels; it shows a mind descended on low ground: but we will consider it. That Matthew has omitted three kings, none disputes; but this does not prove he made a mistake in doing so. The point he is showing is Christ's legal connection with the throne of David: this, the omission of the three names did not in the smallest degree affect. The descent and the proof of it remain identically the same. Matthew and every one else knew of these three kings. What was his motive in omitting them may or may not be discoverable; but it does not affect the descent. What he gives is perfectly right. Mr. N. says, "I was struck with observing that the corruption of the two names, Ahaziah and Uzziah, into the same sound (Oziah), has been the cause of merging four generations into one." (Phases, p. 107.) Now this is a mere assertion without the smallest foundation whatever. In the genealogy in Chronicles, where the names are found together, there is no similarity in sound or anything else. Uzziah is not used, but Azarias, which does not resemble Ozias in sound or in any way. In the general history there are long chapters of details which absolutely preclude all confusion. Where did this corruption of both names into the same sound exist? Not in the LXX: there, where brought together, we have 'OxoC vg and 'Aauíás. Nor is there any confusion between these names. Uzziah is called Ozias by the LXX in 2 Chronicles. But there is not the smallest ground whatever for saying there is any confusion with Ahaziah. Azariah and Uzziah are much more alike in Hebrew, and even interchanged; but it is Ozias in Greek where it is read Uzziah, and Azarias where it is read Azariah. But with Ahaziah there is never any confusion whatever.
This argument is merely one which plays in the ear of the English reader. 1*.
(* 'Oxoi-tcas and 'ONías are not only different, but are never used together.)
If Matthew used the Septuagint, and it is there Ozias is found, the Septuagint gives no occasion to any confusion. If the Hebrew, Ahaziah and Uzziah could lead to none; they are in different parts of the history, and the letters are so different they could not mislead.
If Matthew, indeed, looked at the genealogies, it could not be mistake-he would have copied the genealogy as he found it; if at the history, then there is no possible ground for confusion. Nor did the circumstances of the history afford any occasion thereto. It is a perfectly gratuitous supposition, without any foundation in fact. Matthew has left them out intentionally, or what he was led of God to copy did; and there is no inistake: he has counted the generations he has given, and he has counted them correctly. Had he put them in and said there were fourteen, mistake might have been alleged. He has omitted the first three descendants of Athaliah-Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah. It is easily to be believed that the Spirit of God led Matthew to take the Jewish registers, for such would be the authentic means of proving a genealogy where the public fact was to be proved. To men it would have been even more suited to his purpose than any other, for they could not reject it. To the believer the revelation of the fact was sufficient; but an appeal to what men acknowledge is a means the Holy Ghost uses continually in grace. No one who has paid the least attention to Hebrew genealogies can have any difficulty whatever. Whole families are given under a name, nay, whole peoples, or even under the name of a district, if they were known by it; they are recommenced again, if any one had the character of a new stock. Many links are often left out, provided the family relationship is established; little else is generally aimed at. This is evident, on comparing them.
The taking this from the registers, and to take it as it was there, would be the natural way, I may say the right way, to authenticate it to the Jews. Faith has no difficulty in it. It believes on other grounds that Christ was the Son of David, as the gospels also set it on other grounds of proof. To have departed from the registers would have hindered the testimony, nay, destroyed the effect of this testimony.
Was it anything unworthy of God to use it in grace?
To use it is really of no avail, and evidently unascertainable, and hence, I may add, a good field for an objection when we wish to find one. That Matthew was familiar with scripture is evident, unless he is admitted to have quoted it by inspiration; if he did, we need not reason about the genealogy. If he was familiar with it, all this argument about a mistake is perfectly absurd, because there is no ground for it in reading the Old Testament. The histories of Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah are as largely related, or more so, than those of the greatest number of the kings.
The term "begat" is constantly employed in Hebrew for a descendant. But whatever the motive of Matthew, there is no mistake. He has left out three kings, the children of an apostate woman, recommencing with him in whose reign the prophecies of Messiah dawned brightly on Israel, and he has counted his genealogies aright. It is very possible that the words " Jehoiakim" and "Jehoiakin" are blended in Jechonias, because this happens in other authors, that is, the two names are written the same. But Mr. N. does not see that this makes no difficulty. Jehoiakim, or Eliakim, was older than Jehoahaz, and is named with his brethren, Jehoahaz being omitted, and Jechonias, or Jehoiachin, is spoken of only in Babylon, whither he was carried. Or Josias, being the last independent king of David's family, and Jechonias, being the one actually carried away, is put forward as marking the epoch, and Josias named as being the last king who had any free place in Israel, for Jehoahaz was carried, after three months' reign, into Egypt, and Judah never after raised its head; hence the whole family is thrown together as the children of Josias, Jechonias being singled out as the person led captive and the fresh royal stock in Babylon. In either case, the descent of David's family remains alike made good.
The reader will remark that the three epochs are characteristic of the state of Israel or Judah, beginning, of course, with Abraham. These objections, then, have not the least weight. No one is called to believe that fourteen is eighteen. Matthew counts the generations he has given in the Jewish style of twice seven.
The Spirit meant to show the legal descent of Christ, so as to inherit the royal title; and this He has done perfectly by that which was the legal proof of it, and inspired Matthew to do it, and to do it in this way, which was the only right and valid one. It was the proof that Joseph, of whom Christ was heir legally, was descended from David, and so from Abraham.
How was this to be legally done? Not by inspiring a genealogy, but by showing it by the admitted tables. This is what is done. That it is the legal descent or title is evident; for the evangelist does not for a moment leave a cloud on the fact that Jesus was not Joseph's son. He says, "The husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ." He publishes carefully what he is doing-that he is not giving the natural descent. Christ's miraculous birth follows, to make this clear. It is His legal title which is deduced here, and in the legal, right, and valid way. The designation of Joseph, by the angel, as son of David, confirms the truth of what I say as to the design of this part of Matthew.
Even if the chapter were spurious, this would encourage Mr. N. (so he says) to apply similar criticisms to other passages. Would he be glad to be thus encouraged in a classical author?
The very ancient objection of the difference of the two genealogies is then brought forward-a difficulty, amongst others, as old as Celsus and Origen. Mr. N. settles for his readers (assuming, I suppose, their ignorance) that "neither gives the genealogy of Mary, which alone is wanted." (Ib. p. 108.)
No one could object to his seeking to prove this, if he wished it; but to state it as an uncontested fact is merely trading on the credulity of the English public. It is, he says, an undeniable mistake, in spite of the "flagrant dishonesty with which divines seek to deny" it. (Ib.) Thus the subject is dismissed. Who can dare answer in face of such a judgment? Modesty might say, "I cannot disentangle a difficulty which depends on registers we have not got;" but this would not be the flaatAmii dzaar), the royal road to certainty needed to gain credit as a skeptic. I have no great respect for theology, nor can I pretend to be learned. Still I can say, that this is not quite so clear a matter as Mr. N. thinks. There is enough to "encourage criticism" on such a decision.
As regards the genealogy of Matthew, it is undoubtedly the genealogy of Joseph, and given as such.
Mr. N. says, this is not what we want. Now I apprehend Matthew must have known much better than Mr. N. (for I do not assume his inspiration here) what was required in his days, either from the expression of it by others, or the habits of his own mind formed by the same circumstances. The truth is, this was of great importance. If Jesus presented Himself to claim the throne of David, and Joseph had at that time a separate and hostile title in the direct line from Solomon, Jesus's title would have been void legally; and it was material to show Him rightful heir by this title. And we find, in fact, that Joseph never once appears after Christ makes the claim, though we have mother (and, remark, confided to another at the cross), brothers, sisters- never Joseph. Jesus had succeeded him in his title, in a Jewish way, to the crown of David and throne of Israel. Matthew, then, gives what was needed in this respect; and gives it suitably. Jesus was the legal heir of Solomon.
Mr. N. ought to know, if. he writes on such a subject, that many learned men think that the genealogy in Luke is that of Mary pursued in the order of nature up to Nathan. I am well aware others have thought it that of Joseph also; and as Salathiel was son of Jechonias, and Zerubbabel his grandson through Pedaiah-so also he may have been collaterally, or by his mother or grandmother, descended from Nathan. If there were no brothers of such mother, he would rank as such. They have applied the same reasoning to Eli as regards Joseph.* The truth is, in these Jewish genealogies, where grandsons are called sons- nephews and cousins, brothers-and children raised up to a man by a brother taking his widow, whose seed is called then after her dead husband, with the registers we have defective as a mere human testimony-no objection is of much weight, and answers can only be suppositions. But these last are quite sufficient; because, when a contradiction has to be proved, a case possible by supposition shows absolutely there is no contradiction.
(** Wetstein, for instance, considers the genealogy of Luke as the natural or direct genealogy of Joseph, and Matthew, the derivation of the royal title which was in the collateral line. This is a question really of the construction of the Greek phrase; for as we have not the registers to settle which it is, it may be of course, as to the names, either. It does not affect the substantial question as to our blessed Lord in the least. The inspiration of the gospels, and His mission as Son of David, rest on other proofs altogether; and that once proved, and His claim authenticated by His miracles and all other evidence, He is certainly Son of David, and the particular object of the genealogies is an independent question. Mr. N. has assumed that it was to prove Him really and naturally the son of David; but this is merely his assumption.
Matthew certainly deduces his legal title, not his natural descent. What Luke's is is a question interesting in its place, but only so for its own merits. The total want of force in Mr. N.'s argument is shown in this, that supposing Luke had given an unexceptionable genealogy of Mary-that is, one to which no objection could be raised-and given it avowedly as Mary's genealogy, what possible proof should we have now that it is exact, but faith in his inspiration, and the absence of proof to the contrary, or his general fidelity as an historian? That is, its correctness must rest on the general proofs of Luke's fidelity or inspiration, which are to be looked for elsewhere. And in fact, in the gospels the testimony that He was Son of David is always rested on other grounds; while it does not appear, on the other hand, that the genealogy was ever contested. It is a mere delusion to advance the difference between the two genealogies as an objection, because Matthew's is avowedly the royal legal title in Joseph. Now if the natural genealogy were given in Luke, there would be no kind of necessity that they should be the same. If it be counted from Mary, for the greater part it could not be.)
If we consider it as the Lord's genealogy through Mary, it would stand thus: But Jesus Himself was beginning to be about thirty years of age (being, as was supposed, son of Joseph); and Tov `11 ti may be directly in connection with Jesus' lotíóas `laxt fiov, or, still more exactly, ' Els,udn Toz5 2'vzé,u. This abruptness would result from its being an extract of genealogical tables. Yids may be understood in these cases as (115E:).0g is in the case of Jude in Luke, and rcniin in Acts 7 (if we adopt the ordinary reading), and Herodotus 6: 98, quoted by Wetstein on Matt. 1:17. As to abruptness, 1 Chronicles begins with far greater in an analogous case. The nor) refers entirely to the person of Heli, and marks its case as dependent on viós understood. The use of the article with names is habitual in genealogies, and constant in the gospel. Mark has róv roil Zef ebaíov..... 'Iáiawf3ov rdv roil'AATaíov, and in the whole genealogy of Matthew. So John 19:25: so that the absence of vias, and the presence of roil, is nothing extraordinary. The form of it here is more abrupt. Were I to say, 6' friaoi5g 6 rob `HAí robMarOár, it would be an easy and the correct form of speech; but to begin the extract of genealogy with 6 Tor) `1-12i, after the long interruption, would be extremely unnatural; the rather as He had been said to be supposed the son of Joseph, so that viós as naturally suggests itself to the thought as it is commonly left out. But the example of many Greek genealogies would lead, as Luke generally writes correct Greek, to the supposition, that the connection of the series is with Joseph. The reader who possesses Wetstein's Greek Testament may see such examples in the notes.
If taken as Joseph's natural descent, this would prove that the object of the genealogies was, not to give Christ's descent according to the flesh by Mary, but, first, the natural descent of Joseph from David, and, secondly, His being that one of such descendants to whom the crown belonged; Matthew giving the latter, Luke the former. The descent from David, which was only necessary to the accomplishment of Jewish promises, was rested, to the Jews, on their known authentic records and acknowledged principles.
The fact of actual descent, if to be taken in the material and not in the legal sense, would rest on the uniform testimony of the gospels that He was Son of David, such as the angel's to Mary, a testimony resting on the general proofs of their authenticity. There is no mistake, for Luke is as careful to say, "being (as was supposed [or reckoned]) son of Joseph" as Matthew; so that, if it be Joseph's descent, he well knew and meant to express what he was thus proving. It remains to be proved whether, in any accomplishment of such a promise among the Jews, and made to the Jews, any other relationship was needed, and whether such relationship is not to be taken according to Jewish (scripturally Jewish) relationship, and not English. For instance, it is well known the widow's child by the brother was reckoned the son of the dead. This is foreign, we know, to all our thoughts; but, as a divine national law (for it was merely a national law connected with the inheritance of the land), every Jew did and was bound to count him so. The brother was guilty and despised who did not do it.
Now scriptural language is to be taken as it is given to us in scripture. It is quite evident, that this legal title was judged important, whatever fancies Mr. N. may have as to it as an Englishman-important where alone this promise had its proper and peculiar importance as to its effect, for Matthew, who especially occupies himself with the accomplishment of such promises, gives this only.
It is certain that in general the evangelists rest the Jewish part of the question on Joseph's position. (See Luke a: 4.) But, instead of being irreconcilable, these genealogies are open to so many explanations that the difficulty arises thence. Thus, if Mary had no brother and was the daughter of Eli, the Lord was descended from Eli; and Joseph would be called Tog `H2i as heir and representative of Eli. If Matthat and Eli were brothers, and one died without children, then Joseph would be counted the seed of one, though really child of the other, and might be heir of both.
Now these show that there is no contradiction, supposing both the genealogies Joseph's; their credit will then rest on that of the writer. Hence different persons,* as Africanus (whom Augustine follows), who pretends to give it from relations of Jesus's family, and others, have adopted different ones. None can be proved: all prove there is no contradiction. If the genealogy be Mary's, there is clearly none. It may be however given as Joseph's, who through Mary would be rov HV, representative of Eli in the family. In this case Luke would give the union of the legal and natural title, and the structure of the phrase would be, according to Greek genealogies, ¿v (ó.,; iv.) vi&s'Iox.r gv, aov `HRi, &c., and yet Eli wóuld be the father of Mary, and the genealogy really hers. Its being thus the natural descent by Mary, though legally passing through Joseph, would meet another point in the genealogy of great importance in Luke's gospel, its being traced up to Adam, so that Jesus is Son of man, to which His natural genealogy has more reference. It would make Him also naturally son of David. Thus the natural genealogy would be traced and brought through Joseph, its legal representative; and this I rather apprehend to be the case, but I attach no kind of importance to it. I would add, "according to the flesh" has a broader meaning than mere natural descent, though founded no doubt on fleshly descent.
* The reader may consult, if he will, Eus. Hist. 1: 7, and Quxstiones et Responsiones ad Orth., 131-133, conf. 66, which seem to adopt Africanus's system.
On the whole, I am satisfied that the descent itself is Mary's. I may add here, that the apocryphal vision of Isaiah, which is probably of the year 68, declares Mary to be of the lineage of David, as Joseph also. This I refer to merely as showing the popular general apprehension of that day. In Kaye's Tertullian, it is stated, that Tertullian uniformly appeals to the census as establishing the descent of Christ from David through Mary. It is the more likely that it may be so, as the Jewish Talmudists speak of Mary as the daughter of Eli, saying she is tormented in the other world.
On the whole, then, there are two questions. First, Do the generations contradict each other? This, it is clearly demonstrated, that there is not the slightest possible ground for asserting. With this all objection really falls to the ground. Secondly, Is Luke's genealogy that of Joseph or Mary? It may be legally Joseph's and naturally Mary's. But this is a question for theologians, not for infidels; for, whichever the Lord may have thought proper to have given, an infidel has nothing to say in the matter.
The question of inexactitude no human being can settle by any subsisting registers, for there are none. To impute it, therefore, is mere wantonness. To the question of inspiration it has nothing to say. The proofs of this rest on totally other ground. Were the genealogy as accurate as law could make it, it would not prove it inspired. Were it inspired, I should have no proof of its accuracy from other sources; I must rest it on inspiration proved in another way.
The fact of Christ's being in every sense Son of David, is rested, in the gospels, on proofs of quite a different character. On the other hand, His legal title to sit on the throne of David is given in a way which was conclusive to the Jews. The fact of His natural birth of Mary would not have proved it, Joseph being alive; nor if there were other relations of Joseph, unless He was his legal heir. Even if there were not, the legal title through Eli by Mary might be important to give also, as it was allowed He was not naturally Joseph's son. Thus every way He was heir, and the two genealogies had their just place.

The Sacrifice of Isaac

As regards the sacrifice of Isaac, Mr. N. shows here, as elsewhere, his monstrous setting aside of God and His authority.
The act is not given as a rule of morality nor of conduct in any way, but as a special case in which Abraham's faith was put to the test. "It came to pass that God did tempt Abraham." Hence there is no kind of analogy with "those who sacrificed their children to Moloch." Men, through a perverse, unnatural, and cruel custom, gratifying the suggestion of their depraved nature, without any command whatever, accomplished of their own will this horrid barbarity, which was done as due to, and as liked and approved by, the god which their nature had pictured to them, as a practice pleasing to him. They got over conscience and affection through the hope of having their lusts and vengeance gratified, so as habitually to treat their children thus. It was their own practice to execute this cruelty-their state of mind.
In Abraham's case it was not, nor ordered of God to be so. God had placed the promises in Isaac in a positive manner; and God puts Abraham to the test, to show whether he had such entire confidence in Him, that he would give up all the promises as possessed (trusting that God would somehow and at all events accomplish them, and raise up Isaac again, for in him God had said that the promises of a seed should be accomplished), and obey God in an express command, let it cost him what it would. When this was proved, God suffered not the child to be touched.
What analogy has this with a practice of passing their children through the fire as agreeable to their self-made god-an act done on their own part? There is no kind of similarity in the cases whatever. Would you say, that a man who hazarded his life to save his father (as the young Munro, who was bitten in two by a shark), was the same as justifying suicide, or pirates offering a man every voyage to a shark, to satisfy some supposed impure god of the sea, and gain men's own ends? And mark how the express command of God (Abraham's sole motive for doing it) is entirely left out here. In the other case it was the habitual violation of the tenderest and strongest moral obligation, to please a god who, if that habitually pleased him, was certainly a devil. Here it is a single case where the supreme and express claim of a God known as sovereign and sovereignly good by Abraham is not caviled with, however little he could account for such a command.
I am at this moment answering objections; but, in the midst of them, Mr. N. inserts these conclusions:-
"I. The moral and intellectual powers of man must be acknowledged as having a right and duty to criticize the contents of scripture.
When so exerted, they condemn portions of the scripture as erroneous and immoral.
The assumed infallibility of the entire scripture is a proved falsity, not merely as to physiology and other scientific matters, but also as to morals," &c. (Ib. p. 115.)
I have, in principle, discussed this already; but it is well to notice it here.
Express it thus: The moral and intellectual powers of all men must be acknowledged as having a right and duty to criticize the contents of scripture. If not, it is merely the personal pretension of some individuals who plume themselves on their own capacity. That is, all men are in a state fully competent to judge of what is becoming to God. That is proved by Abraham's being as bad as Moloch's worshippers! and thousands of enlightened persons having been so far from discovering it, that they thought Abraham a blessed man, and Moloch's worshippers atrocious men and unnatural parents! I should have thought these last a proof that men, whatever the reason, were not capable of forming a just judgment of what becomes God. They clearly prove the assertion false; indeed, one has only to state the proposition to see its falseness. In the first place, the majority have accepted heathen atrocities without a murmur. In the next place, the immense majority of those who have not have accepted the scriptures (which Mr. Ν. condemns as giving a false idea of God, and stating of Him what does not become Him) as the most absolutely perfect revelation of God.
They differ entirely from him.
Mr. Ν.'s statement amounts to this-he condemns certain portions of scripture as erroneous and immoral. Hundreds of infidels and millions of heathens have criticized the scriptures, or heard them criticized, and found proof that they are of God. They have examined them as a whole, and seen a perfect development of God's ways with man; the rule of man's conduct given to him; but the moral apprehension of the conscience, and the whole system dependent on it, being imperfect when God was only partially revealed (for all depended on the light given), they have seen the God of supreme patience condescending to deal with men according to the light they have from Him; but always with evidence enough to prove to the conscience, by things suited to it in the state in which it was, that it was God it had to say to. They have seen that in due time He has revealed Himself perfectly. Mr. N., availing himself of this light, though rejecting it as an imposture, condemns the previous state of imperfection by it. God bore with it, "as a father pitíeth his [little] children," though correcting and leading them on. Which is worthiest of God? But the fact of man's passing four thousand years, either accepting some Moloch-god, or considering as perfection the testimony Mr. N. condemns, proves that the supposed moral power of man was not fit to criticize, unless Mr. N. suppose that the true God was made for his happy self and his companions.
He says, as we have seen, that the infallibility of scripture is a proved falsity. Proved by whom, and to whom? Not to me, by a person who can compare the habitual burning of children to Moloch with an extraordinary putting to the test of one who knew God by seeing if he would give up natural grounds of confidence as to possession of promise and trust wholly in the known and true God. Such a person seems to me morally incapable of judging of right and wrong, and much too far from God to be able to judge of anything. Not one who can criticize a song as inspired without giving himself the trouble of inquiring whether it be so. Nor one who can flippantly comment on a verse as ridiculous when it accounted for and judged the most universal evil influence in the world which he had either ignorantly or culpably passed over.
Mr. N.'s moral and intellectual powers have condemned, or his will has sought reason for condemning, certain portions of scripture carved out from all the rest. But how is this to guide those who only see in such condemnation moral incapacity of judgment in the proofs given, and incorrectness or ignorance as to the facts alleged, or those connected with it?
Mr. N. cannot pretend he is the only one who has examined scripture. Does he pretend that the immense mass of moral intelligent men have not judged quite differently from him? You will say, This does not prove the truth of scripture. I grant it. But it proves that what Mr. N. says in these three conclusions is only immense complacency in his own opinion; for the moral and intellectual powers in question were his own. For instance, why am I to suppose Cuvier's and Buckland's powers, who believed in a universal deluge, inferior to or less exercised than Mr. N.'s who denies it? Can any one tell me any reason Mr. N. has to give me for it except one? Again, take the moral powers of Paul and James, who cite the case of Abraham. They never suspect anything wrong. Were Paul's moral powers unexercised? Mr. N. will say he did not dare to criticize scripture. Were his moral powers then really numbed by it? Was he in the same condition in virtue of believing in scripture as those who gave their children to Moloch? This is Mr. N.'s theory; for he cites, as an admirable act, a deed Mr. N. thinks equally bad. It is not referred to as an act pardoned for ignorance' sake, or passed over in silence, but adduced as a proof of the power of faith. I have read Paul's works, and I have read Mr. N.'s. Which has the truest knowledge of God, and what became Him? What were the effects produced in righteousness, love, devotedness, selfrenouncement, strict holding fast of eternal righteousness and truth, largeness of heart, and flexibility in grace towards all, power of abstraction to embrace combined truth and vast plans in one glance as a whole-power of individuality which concentrated his affections on particular objects as if there were none else, a purity of mind which apprehended right and wrong with instinctive clearness, a spirit of obedience which bowed as a child in humility to the Master whom he knew as his Lord and God? We see powers moral and intellectual, exercised in the most various ways; heathen philosophers and poets, studied at the renowned Tarsus, and rabbinical lore imbibed at the feet of Gamaliel equally well known-a rabban among rabbis; and all these acquirements brought into practical exercise and adaptation to men in the most active life, by one occupied with every kind of character eminently real in his power, and yet carrying perfect abstract theory into the reality. All ended in his taking as a choice excellence what was, "if the voice of morality is allowed to be heard" (Phases, p. 114), not less culpable than sacrificing children to Moloch; nay, he quotes it as excellence "ín heart and intention" (for there was no actual performance), exactly where Mr. N. finds the guilt. Now I humbly conceive that Abraham's heart and intention in giving up all, and the promises too (as to present possession) on the true God's own word, through confidence in Him, and counting on Him to restore Isaac, was not the same as an habitual disposition to put man's own children through the fire, as actually and always agreeable to the heart and nature of "Moloch, horrid king." Moses presents it as a special trial, and the apostle notices it as such. I conceive that the parallel does not prove the immorality of this portion of the scripture, nor the superiority of "the moral and intellectual powers" which think they can criticize it; but something very different from that (and that is moral incapacity to judge), and that Paul, who, by divine teaching, received the scriptures as from God, had his moral and intellectual powers much better formed and much better exercised by the reception of what was divinely superior to himself, than he has, who, depriving himself of all above him, pretends to criticize what Paul bowed to.
It is well Mr. N. should learn another truth. We may be morally exercised on that which is above us without calling it in question. Nay, the highest and only really profitable exercise must be of this kind. Ignorance of God is not the best cultivation of moral powers. The highest, best exercise of moral and intellectual powers is on Him; but if I own Him as such, I own Him above me in supreme authority. I do not call Him in question. He is not the subject of criticism, or the idea of God is lost. But we have already seen that Mr. N. shuts Him always out.
He never gets beyond man. But man, what is he? If it is his judgment, it is every man's-ít is that of the most deceived. There are millions of judgments; that is, there is none, if we speak of a rule. You will tell me there is conscience, which is substantially common to all. I admit it fully; but, where real, it owns the authority of God, always in His supremacy-owns itself the object of His judgment, and does not pretend to be His judge: conscience ceases to act when we do. Hence, though the will be unbroken, and the passions unsubdued, the word of God, the scriptures, tell on it, speak to it, make it quail, attract it as good. And, as far as conscience goes, it does not cavil or criticize; for conscience is in a sinner, and it knows the word is holy, and knows it has to say to God in it. It is a subjective element, and is acted on as to responsibility, is aware of it-and the word acts on this. Felix will tremble, though he may say, "Go thy way," and hope for money, and leave Paul bound.

Mr. Newman's Notions of Inspiration

A few words are also needed in this place as to inspiration, which Mr. N. introduces here in passing. He says, "But in what position was I now towards the apostles? Could I admit their inspiration, when I no longer thought them infallible? Undoubtedly.... The moderns have erringly introduced into the idea of inspiration that of infallibility, to which either omniscience or dictation is essential." (Phases, p. 120.) Mr. N. is so exceedingly loose in his way of stating things, that one is forced sometimes to be tedious to bring out clearly what has really to be answered. But as popular notions are often the same, such a process in answering may have a certain general utility. In reasoning on the reality of a divine revelation, however, such looseness is unpardonable. In popular language it is comparatively immaterial. Thus when men speak of the infallible word of God, they mean that they may rely upon it as having all the infallible certainty of what God says; and they are quite right. But no person speaking carefully would say the apostles were infallible. We have one of them rebuking another to his face, so that he did not think so. Thousands of devoted Christians have canvassed St. Paul's vows and purifyings at Jerusalem. No true and sound-minded one has questioned the divine authority and truth of the scripture that speaks of it. What I look for in a revelation, as I have said, is a perfect representation of the divine mind, as to all the ways in which God is pleased to make Himself known in dealing with man. In order to have this, I must have a full display-an exposure of man as he really is; and this, being historically and dogmatically given, affords the ground of human conscience and divine light. Now this is the greatest boon, save the power to use it, that God can give to man (not now speaking of the salvation itself which it is the means of making known to him); he gets the knowledge of himself and of God, and of what God is towards himself, such as he really is; and he is brought into the perfect light, and that in grace.
But for this purpose, how many things very different from God's will and thoughts, contrary to what God would have inspired, and of a mixed character when He has acted on the affections, shall we find! If God shows us the truth, we must have things as they really are. We must have an apostle's failures as well as all else-man's path, under the highest power of the Holy Ghost bestowed upon him. For this end he must often express himself. Only with this we need the positive revelation of God's own mind in an unquestionable way to be able to judge, supposing we are spiritual, of all this; and that the scriptures afford us. This human character is, in the New Testament, especially drawn out and unfolded. In the Old, we have the history of man divinely given, and certain oracles imparted with "thus saith the Lord," with comparatively little, save in the Psalms, of the effect of the working of the Holy Ghost in man, so as to produce affections and thoughts in which the divine spring is seen, but the forms of human thoughts, because it was the Holy Ghost working in man. In this latter case, there may be various degrees of spiritual clearness of thought according to the state of the person in whom the Holy Ghost works. It may be such as spiritual men have now, only of course the thoughts conformed to the state of the dispensation. Thus it was, as we have seen, in the case of Deborah's song; and if I am to know man and God's dealings, and man under them, I must have this. Α person may be filled with the Holy Ghost, and so express his mind, that though it be his feelings, and so given, yet what nature would have produced is absent; and it is only what the Holy Ghost has produced, though in his heart. Thus his heart is a proper vessel of the Holy Ghost; and his utterance may be recorded as being really of God, and proper inspiration, though in a human heart. Thus the song of Hannah has, I doubt not, this character, though not given as inspired, and expressive of her own feelings and apprehension of God's ways, as such must be to be real. So Elizabeth's song in Luke 1-Zachariah's in the same chapter-Simeon.'s in chapter 2. In these cases, such outgoings of heart, being directly from the Spirit, will be prophecies, properly speaking. Such we have in the Psalms, though they be expressions often of feelings in the writer's heart at the time, and, I doubt not, prepared for the remnant of Israel in the latter day, as giving them divine comfort in their tried feelings and exercised hearts then.
Of David's psalms we are expressly informed by himself, the sweet psalmist of Israel, "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue."
This kind of working of the Holy Ghost even in our hearts, and that in cases where our minds are not sufficiently taught of God to know what to look for, is spoken of in Rom. 8, where he says, "He who searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered." It is merely saying, that the Holy Ghost can work in the affections where the intelligence may not be sufficiently formed to express itself on particular subjects, or point out the positive answer to these affections. If before-hand God communicates the answer to a heart so exercised, it becomes real prophecy or inspired truth, as well as divinely given feelings. If even the Spirit gives such expression to the sorrow of the heart that it should be according to God, this may be more than personal, though it be such, and rise to the full revelation of that personal or sympathetic sorrow, which was in the heart of Jesus, from the same causes more fully developed, and without counteracting or modifying evil. And this might be without the knowledge, in him who uttered it, of what it applied to. Such a principle is clearly recognized in the New Testament; for Peter speaks of the prophets who, by the Spirit of Christ which was in them, testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory which should follow, and they searched what and what manner of time it referred to, and found it was not for themselves but for us. The Jews had the same notion, and as an opinion it was well founded, though they joined unsound notions as to inspiration with it. They taught that there was the gradus Mosaicus, or "Moses' degree;" the gradus propheticus; and the Bath-kol, or "Daughter of a voice"-the first two founded on Num. 12:6-8, and the third characterizing the chetubim or hagiographer. This did not touch the authority but the character of the writings, but it is often of deep interest to know the manner of God's speaking to us; though, in whatever way He may speak, His word has always the same authority. Not one jot or one tittle can pass from the law, and all that is written in Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Christ, must be fulfilled. Yet when the apostle says, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spake in time past, hath in these last days spoken to us by the Son [in the Son, in the person of the Son ἐν υἱῷ]," is it not of the deepest possible interest to see the testimony of God brought to us in the person of the Son Himself?-God Himself speaking there? For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God, "for God giveth not the Spirit [to Him] in measure." Everything there was the expression of God Himself. It was not "Thus saith the Lord," for some precious sentences, and then a man's relapsing into his ordinary though perhaps sanctified existence. All that came forth breathed God-God in human kindness, philanthropy; as the apostle speaks, "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself." If He took up a child; if He spoke to a sinner; if He sat at the well wearied, with a yet more weary and desolate heart beside Him, a woman who came alone at that strange time to draw water, one justly in one sense ill seen by men, and yet however dark, perhaps with secret wants beyond them, a sign to His eye that the fields were white for harvest; if He touched an outcast leper with a gracious and sovereign "I will"-all told that God was there, amongst men-with men, because of men; and gracious words proceeded out of His mouth. Surely they made men wonder; for how long had they been away from God. And if a prophet's words were just as sure because the Spirit of Christ really spoke to them, yet surely I need not speak of the bright and blessed interest which accompanied the existence of such a testimony as His who spake as never man spake. A Savior's words came, if indeed heard, with divine grace itself to the ear. It was the mercy that it spoke of. "If thou knewest the gift [free-giving δωνεὰν] of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink [who has come so low as to be dependent on you for a drink of water]; thou wouldst have asked of him [entire confidence of heart in God-such a God!-would have been produced, nor would it have been disappointed in grace or in power to answer], and he would have given thee living water."
This was indeed revealing God. Here we have not a long and dreary because a true picture of man cultivated in vain by the great Husbandman, and the testimonies and warnings of God sent to him, or prophecies of brighter days to come through grace. We have perfect gracious man walking before God, for our eyes to rest on and learn, and God walking before men in all the near grace they needed, come to them just as they were, that they might learn what He was, and by it be drawn out of what they were. It was presented to them in all their distance from God, and in all their misery where grace could be best felt, that they might be drawn out of that misery, and know with joy the God who had done so. It is this that Mr. N. despises- treats as an imposture. Man shall by searching find out God, and boast of his capacity-with such a history as he has; but God neither has nor shall reveal Himself to him. That is an evil, and forbidden by spiritual men! As for unspiritual they may shift for themselves; that is not a philosopher's affair: misery is necessary for general development, as hanging is good for society. It is a mere "morbid notion" to object to it!
"More permanent disturbance of mind is caused to good men who have no extensive view of human nature, nor habit of mental analysis, from the prevailing wickedness of mankind. It avails not here to say that human goodness is only a relative idea, and that however much better men were, we should still think them bad, since our standard would have risen. In a mere moral view, indeed, such a reply suffices; for all tribes of men have some morality. Those who are ferocious towards foreigners are often tender-hearted towards their own peοple; and the difference of savage from civilized virtue is one of degree. But religiously the case is otherwise; for there is a chasm between loving God and not loving Him, serving Him and not serving Him. We cm easily suppose such an improvement in human nature, that though all would of course be still imperfect, yet none should be irreligious: and men will ask, Why does a good God leave so large a part of mankind in irreligion? To many this is an exceeding severe trial of faith, because irreligíon has been invested with eternal consequences, which binds the understanding in a net absolutely inextricable. But let the Gordian knot be cut; let it be discerned that the infinite cannot be the reed of the finite; then, while we lament the actual state of the world, we shall not find it hard to understand that it has necessarily resulted from the independence of the human will, which must be left free and capable of resisting the divine will, otherwise we should not be men, but brutes or machines. Assuming then that evil is finite, transitory, and only an essential condition towards the attainment of a higher and permanent good, we find nothing in human wickedness, however intense, and whatever misery it causes, to inspire rational doubt of the divine goodness.
That there is abroad among us an unsound view of supreme goodness (or benevolence, as it is called), cannot, I think, be denied. It is akin to that spurious humanity, which so shudders at putting a criminal to death, as to prefer keeping him alive even where there is no human hope of his being recovered to virtue, but every probability of his incurring more and more desperate hardness. The benevolent man is supposed to shrink from inflicting bodily pain on any one, whether for his own good, or as a necessary process for defending others; and where this morbid notion prevails, we must expect people to be much shocked at the broad facts of the natural history of animals, to say nothing of man himself.... Pain and suffering are undoubtedly among God's most efficacious means for perfecting all His creatures, and, not least, man; but they must needs be with Him means not ends, if we are to attribute to Him in any sense that which we are able to recognize as goodness; and consequently they must be His plans, either partial and subordinate, or finite and transitory. All theology which contradicts this, darkens and distorts the face of God to us." (Soul, p. 43-46.))
But to return. The inspiration of the New Testament is interesting in another way. The Holy Ghost Himself is come down to dwell in the saints, and to take the things of Christ and show them to us; and He dwells in us as a seal that we are children of God, heirs of all, and joint-heirs with Christ. He at the same time brings all the love of God into the sorrows of the way, enables us to apprehend according to God the present state of things, while it marks out a road suited to those who are one with Christ in heaven, for His members by the way. Hence the New Testament is not, in the general tenor of its revelations, a mere testimony of "Thus saith the Lord." It has this prophetic character sometimes; but in general it is the expression of the mind and the sympathies of God in all that concerns the saints on earth. It is the Holy Ghost in a man, who is a member of the body, communicating all the privileges of the body to it, and entering into all its sorrows, while it reveals the love and wisdom of the Father and the Son, leading into all truth, and casting the perfect light of God on all that went before, and sheaving things to come; in this last having more the character assumed before in prophecy, as we read, "The Spirit speaketh expressly;" "Let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches," &c. Hence there ís-while often rising to the most glorious testimonies of blessing in the revelation of God, and of His designs for the glory of Christ and the Church with Him-a familiarity, an entering into detail as to all that concerns the body, and what becomes its heavenly path down here-an expression of the feelings of the instrument who addresses it, which gives the most touching picture of the effect of the presence of the Holy Ghost, and brings down the love of God into the detail and circumstances of man's christian life. It is not, indeed, after we pass the gospels, Christ Himself; but it is His Spirit lifting His members up to Him by the revelation of Him, and coming down to them in all their trials and conflicts, in all through which they pass, to be the spring of feeling there, through His assured sympathy. Such God would show Himself; and surely all that He says there has the tenderest claim and the perfect authority of Him who speaks thus in love. It is the word of God; the Holy Ghost on earth, in the apostle or prophet, speaking generally in the Church; but not an inferior, separate Spirit; but as He hears so He speaks, in union with the Father and the Son-the wisdom of God amongst men.
The scriptures of the New Testament are the perfect expression of the divine mind as communicated to, or working in, the Church of God; suited to the relationship in which God has thus placed them with Himself.
I turn to the nature of inspiration. As to the apostles being infallible, no one dreams of such a thing. A truth communicated, as I have already said, cannot be infallible: it can only be absolute truth; and truth is truth. It is nonsense to speak of its failing or not failing. A person only can be infallible The apostles may have been divinely kept while communicating truth, and thus not suffered to fail while thus used of God. In this secondary sense alone can they be, in any proper use of the word, infallible at that moment; but this is not the real meaning of the word. I do not doubt that God took care that all they have left to us in the scriptures should perfectly present His mind; but this did not make the apostles infallible. God alone is infallible (that is, incapable of failing).
Mr. N. says, omniscience or dictation is necessary to infallibility. Neither has anything to say to it. Omniscience and inspiration are a contradiction in terms: for inspiration is the communication of truth or facts; omniscience supposes, or rather means, that all is known already. Nor is dictation necessary either. Suppose, as to historical scripture, if God acted on my mind or memory so as to call up facts He chose to have related, in the way, the connection, the order in which He chose them to be in my mind, and associated with the feelings which He thought proper to be produced in my soul by it, and the utterance of my memory and the expressions of my feelings to which they naturally gave rise when thus produced, to the exclusion of all distracting or modifying thoughts of any kind, to deteriorate what the Holy Ghost produced in my mind and soul-and that I write this down as thus formed and producing itself in my mind, being full of the Holy Ghost, so that no other idea whatever intruded itself, but such as the Holy Ghost had produced, and that He approved the necessary expression of it, acting on the mind, not on the lips-should not I have and give the perfect mind of God, only through the mind of a man?
Again, if Christ had spoken, and the Holy Ghost recalled to my memory His words, or a particular pan of His words, and I write down these words; so of facts. This would not be dictation. Supposing He formed in my soul the substance of what passed, and I wrote it down from the perfect spiritual apprehension of it, as He put it in my mind, to the exclusion of all else, I should have the perfect mind of God; yet the Holy Ghost acting in my mind would use it as an instrument, and the communication have the form of the mind it passed through. Why, if God has expressly formed the instrument, can He not then use it for the purpose for which He has formed it, according to what He has made it? Now that is style. To deny it, and declare dictation necessary, is merely to suppose that the Holy Ghost cannot use a man's mind, such as it is, and govern his words, without annihilating him mentally, and making use of his lips as of the dumb ass's to rebuke the prophet.
The apostle does not speak of the mere use of the organ without the intelligence as the highest kind of inspiration, but as the lowest, and that it was of a higher order when the man was mentally made partaker of what he communicated, and communicated therefore with his own thoughts and feelings engaged (which produces style), though the Holy Ghost produced those thoughts and feelings. The spout which gives a form to the current that flows from it may transmit the water as pure as it flows in. I do not say the Holy Ghost did not give the words; but that it was not necessarily dictation of them merely. Nay, if He did dictate them, He could do it in the form of mind and thought of the person He deigned to use, so that it should be his style. So that every part of the statement of Mr. N. is unfounded. The Holy Ghost gave the thoughts; and they were not left to the uncertainty of man's account of them. He caused them to be communicated in words He taught; but why should not He work in a mind according to the mind He had designedly given it? See 1 Cor. 2:12-14.
Human minds were left to the instruments, but they were acted on and used by the Holy Ghost to the absolute exclusion of all other influence from within or without. If I played every note of a piece of music exactly, not allowing a discordant sound to come in, note for note being settled long before, yet the tone of the instrument on which I played would remain the same. Had I not played, it would have been silent; nor while I play, can another note, but what I please, sound at all. God had framed the instrument with that tone, as well as used it. It is merely want of apprehension that the Holy Ghost could act in the mind, and take possession of it for its own purposes, and so govern the words. That leads to the statement I am discussing. Mr. N. says, "Their knowledge [of God's message], however perfect, must, yet in a human mind, have co-existed with ignorance, and nothing but a perpetual miracle could have prevented ignorance from now and then exhibiting itself in error of fact or argument." (Phases, p. 121.) Why co-existed? Ignorance does not exist, it is a mere negative. Supposing they were ignorant of every other possible idea, they would have given just the inspired message, and it would have been God's sent message, being produced in their minds exactly in that form. It would have been mingled with nothing else, for there would be nothing else to mingle with. Now that was the practical effect of the Holy Ghost, because He •so filled their minds, and with that, that it excluded all else from their minds as much as if it did not exist for them. Every real teacher is inspired in the sense of having thoughts and feelings communicated by the Holy Ghost, but He does not so fill him and control his natural actings as that his own thoughts or will may not mix themselves up at all; so that he cannot be trusted as giving absolute truth as an authority, though all he teaches may be the truth, and he may spiritually profit his hearers. Besides, I doubt not that all his materials are already revealed in the scriptures. The Holy Ghost uses them by His ministration of them; but they are revealed, even if not generally known.
I do not know what Mr. N. means by a "perpetual miracle" (Phases, p. 121), to which he objects. The apostles were not perpetually writing epistles, nor evangelists histories. If God was communicating truth, He did whatever was needed to secure its being His, whenever He did so. That is a self-evident, necessary, and simple proposition. Mr. N. speaks of "revering" the apostles' "moral and spiritual wisdom." (Ib. p. 121.) That has nothing to do with God's word. The apostle himself distinguishes them. Mr. N. speaks of not obtruding miracles on the scripture narratives. What he seems to mean is this, that when the scriptural history gives a plain narrative of fact, he is not to make a miracle of it to explain a physiological difficulty.
This has really no force in it. The historians relate a fact: if the fact is out of the order of nature, they relate it as it is. If they are credible, I am to receive it as what it is-something out of the order of nature. If it is not, I consider it natural.
Mr. N. speaks of their not "sheaving any consciousness that it [the fact he narrates] involves physiological difficulties." Α man that presents himself as giving by the Holy Ghost a narrative of what really happened does not occupy himself with questions, but communicates what is revealed. Did he do otherwise, it would make his "consciousness" of being inspired doubtful. Mr. N.'s remark supposes the thing in question, namely, that it is their doing. I do not invent a miracle, I believe a fact not in the general order of nature. It is one of the perfection of scripture, that it states the fact without any bombastic, or indeed any comment on what was done. There is the fact needed for one's knowing the truth. It is to produce its impression. The impression produced on the writer's mind is not the subject of revelation. You will find it in human Thaumaturge's lives, but not in a divine narrative. It is to produce (not, in general to record) impressions, unless these impressions form part of the divine history of man. What is it to my soul what the writer feels about the matter, provided he gives me the fact? Mr. Ν. does not seem to know what the true character and purpose of a revelation is.

The Deluge

But Mr. Ν. goes on to the deluge. I have already shown that there are proofs from universal tradition throughout the whole world of this great event. "Geologists," he says, "have rejected it." Some do, very likely; but it most certainly is not the case with all. Of the ablest there are those who do not. I do not doubt its universality; so that I leave any reply founded on a contrary idea aside.
Mr. Ν. asserts as to the question, "Whence could the water come?" (Phases, p. 122) that it is represented as coming from the clouds, and perhaps from the sea. Scripture states that "all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." Now this last may be a figurative expression for a very extraordinary quantity of rain from clouds; but it is either descriptive of what for quantity would be a miracle (for it uses an expression never repeated), or else it is some miraculous outletting of water other than from the clouds. The expression, "All the fountains of the great deep were broken up," if it is not some miraculous outpouring of the sea itself, must mean some outbreak of waters from below, which, as never repeated, is to be called, so far as such events can be, miraculous.
Mr. N.'s statement of what scripture narrates is as unfounded as possible. Language never used elsewhere is used for the purpose of sheaving that it was an extraordinary, and, save in this one case, unheard of, outbreak of waters in some never else known way. Mr. Ν. says, "from the clouds and perhaps from the sea:" as if clouds were certainly one source of the waters of the flood; and, if there were anything else, the thing to be added was the sea. Now something besides the clouds is certainly mentioned. Would any one suppose, from Mr. N.'s words, that if it was not the sea, it certainly was some divinely-caused outbreak of waters from some hidden source? He certainly does not dream of a "miraculous creation and destruction of water." (Phases, p. 123.) Be it so. But why two extraordinary words? Does not the narrative speak of some outburst of water known on no other occasion? But let us be more precise as to the fact. The passage speaks neither of clouds nor sea. But besides rain, it speaks of the fountains of the great deep being broken up, and the windows of heaven opened. It is never said the water drained back into the sea, but that "the waters returned from off the earth continually;" and declares the fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. That is, the narrator does present it as having its source and its arrest in the extraordinary intervention of God -call it "miracle" or what you please.
In a word, it is certain that the sacred writer does, in the distinctest way, point out some very overwhelming outbreak of waters from an extraordinary source.
The reader may remember, that when God began to form the world, what subsisted as already created was one vast mass of waters, called "the deep:" "darkness was upon the face of the deep," and "the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters." The earth stood indeed by God's power out of the water; but what unknown mass of waters was engulfed is not stated, nor what were the waters which were above the firmament or expanse. Whatever store of waters there was below, broke forth over the earth, and from above came down upon it. Mr. N.'s statement of the passage is a total misrepresentation of it.
He states that the ark was not of dimensions sufficient to "take in all the creatures" (Phases, p. 123)-more exactly, the animal races belonging to the dry land. It has been proved, over and over again, that it was. It has been calculated that it was a vessel of more than forty-two thousand tons, being four hundred and fifty feet long, seventy-five broad, and forty-five high; eighteen times as much as the largest man-of-war (one of which can stow, say, a thousand men, with provisions, for a very much longer time than the flood lasted, besides an immense weight of guns, shot, &c.) so that it is evident that the ark could easily have received the animals that could not live in the water.
As to the dispersion of animals, the discovery of many remains of different kinds, as of large elephant species, embedded in ice in Siberia-hyenas and their prey in a cavern in Yorkshire-has remarkably confirmed the deluge. The extinction of many species and introduction of others in the most unlooked for way renders such speculations of no weight whatever.

Abraham and Sarah, and Isaac and Rebekah, in Egypt

Mr. Newman objects to Abraham's saying twice, and Isaac once, that his wife was his sister, as being improbable. (Phases, p. 124.) Now it is stated that Abraham and Sarah had agreed to do it on beginning their wanderings. Nor is it therefore very extraordinary that Isaac should have thus learned it in his father's house.

Small Phrases

Mr. Newman alludes to certain "small phrases which denote a later hand than Moses." (Phases, p. 124.) There is no reason to doubt that, whatever Samuel may have done, Ezra edited the sacred writings after the return from Babylon: from these sources the expression "to this day" is no doubt drawn. The prophets, Josephus informs us, were the authority on which books were revered as inspired, and that the canon closed in the time of Artaxerxes.
He notices particularly that "the kings of Israel are once alluded to historically." (Phases, p. 124.) In Gen. 36:31 it is said, Before there was any king in Israel. So that "alluded to historically" is rather an inaccurate expression; their nonexistence is alluded to. Edom had kings before Israel had any; that is all that is said. Edom's having any when Israel had had none was the point wished to be recorded. It was a settled nation ruled over regularly, before God's people Israel were so. In the chapter before, kings had been promised to arise out of the loins of Jacob. Yet the natural went first in apparent strength: God's people must wait His time. The list of kings in Edom consists of eight. Now Phinehas was the seventh from Jacob, and he was in full activity and vigor in the time of Moses. So that the kings of Edom, as mentioned in Genesis, very possibly did not extend beyond the time of Moses; though data are not given to determine when they commence. The reader will remark that it is not said, before kings, or the kings reigned, as if it were a history; but, before a king or any king reigned, which rather seems to belong to a time when there was none at all that was known. Yet kings had been promised to Jacob, and the pre-eminence, and none to Esau; yet Esau had them when Jacob had none. The contrast is not with kings in Israel and none in a by-gone time, but of kings in Edom when Israel had none.

Quotations From the Old Testament

Mr. Newman next refers to quotations. He tells us that no "unbiassed interpreter" would have dreamed of applying Isa. 7 to Jesus. (Phases, p. 125.) Why not? From Adam's time, the woman's seed was the subject of promise. It was confirmed, with fuller and more specific details, to Abraham, confining it to Isaac's line, then to Jacob's, then to Judah's family, and at last, as is well known, to David's family, in a very definite way, so as to have been the constant expectation of the Jews at the time Christ came-as Tacitus declares in a well-known passage. To the Jews the place where He was to be born was familiarly known. The coming of Christ, then, we know to be the grand object always kept in view in the Old Testament; and, on the supposition of God being the Author of the scriptures, a continual reference to this, accompanying a direct appeal to conscience connected with an already given law, would characterize the books which compose the Old Testament. An "unbiassed" and intelligent reader must expect to find it continually-it is the great object of the book; and to find it particularly in connection with David's family and with the restoration of Israel in a spared remnant, whom David's Son would save. No attentive reader of the Old Testament can dispute this.
Now Isa. 7 begins by alluding to a prophetic and mystic son of the prophet-a common prophetic figure-called, "the remnant shall return." (Shear-jashub.) According to the Old Testament doctrine, this would immediately suggest the thought of Messiah. So we find the pious Simeon and Anna prepared at once for the thought, and the disciples asking, Are the σωζόμενοι, the spared remnant, few in number? [translated, "few that be saved"? Luke 13:23.] Now Ahaz began the apostasy of David's family, the last stay of Israel; for, on the people "Ichabod" had long ago been written, and David raised up, and the peace and safety of the people made dependent on the faithfulness of his family in an express manner. 2 Chron. 7:17-21.
Now Ahaz walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and made his son pass through the fire; he made molten images also for Baalim, and (though perhaps after this prophecy) introduced an idolatrous altar, after a Damascus pattern, into the temple, and set aside the brazen altar for himself to use as an oracle. To him Isaiah comes with his "remnant shall return," and addressing himself to the house of David, and referring to their unbelief and rebellion, judges it, and gives as a sign from God the birth of the virgin's son. Now that a virgin should marry and have a child is nothing that can be a sign from God, nor anything particular to do with the house of David. Nor would there be any reason for calling his name Immanuel, that is, God with us. I know it has been said-Mr. N. does not condescend to say why "an unbiassed interpreter" would not apply it to Jesus that Hezekiah was meant, in whose reign there was deliverance for Israel. Now Hezekiah had been born several years before the date of the prophecy. Thus the application of the prophecy to David's promised Son is the most natural and only intelligible one of the passage.
"Out of Egypt have I called my son" may present more difficulty, as supposing more knowledge of the ways of God.
The Son of man is presented in scripture as beginning in a new way of grace the whole condition of man. He is called the Second Adam.
So is it with respect to Israel. Christ was to begin all Israel's history over again under the new covenant, as the true stock in whom the promises were to be enjoyed, the old vine having been proved worthless. Thus, in John 1 do not doubt with reference to this, it is said, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman," referring to Isa. 6 and Psa. 80:8, to the end. The disciples thought He was a chief branch perhaps of the old vine, but that was not the true one now. He was the vine, the real fruit-bearing plant of God, and they the branches.
This substitution of Christ for Israel was taught in a very plain and remarkable manner by the prophets. Thus, in Isa. 49, the prophet begins with presenting Israel as addressing the nations as being the One in whom Jehovah was to be glorified. Then, verse 4, Messiah says he has in that case labored in vain; and then, verse 5, the Lord places Him with a yet more glorious inheritance in Israel's place, though gathering Israel too to God. He takes the place of servant to glorify God. In the end of the prophecy the faithful remnants are found as the servants.
This word "servant" is just the key to the whole prophecy from chapter 40 to the end. First, Israel is the servant to show forth Jehovah's praise. He failed. Messiah becomes His servant for it and is rejected by Israel, who thus fills up his guilt; and then the remnant, who, when the body becomes adversaries, are separated from it, and are the servants, accepted and delivered by Him at His return. Hence Matthew, or really the Spirit of God, applies this passage according to the whole tenor and purpose of the prophets-this judgment of Israel, Messiah being rejected, and the setting up of the kingdom in Him according to the prophecies, being the great subject of this gospel. Such too was the constant judgment of the Jews in a crowd of passages. It is not spiritualizing. Jesus was not brought out of the world in any spiritual sense. He came down from heaven. Egypt is a great deal to Messiah, as taking up the lot of Israel itself.
As to John 10:35, Mr. N. entirely perverts what is said. He says (Phases, p. 125), "Psa. 82 rebukes unjust governors, and at length says to them, `I have said, Ye are gods,'" &c. In other words, "though we are apt to think of rulers as if they were superhuman, yet they shall meet the lot of common men," and then accuses the Lord of using this "as His sufficient justification for calling Himself Son of God: for 'the scripture cannot be broken.'"
Now, this is either a good deal of ignorance, or, to say the very least, very culpable carelessness. At any rate, Mr. N.'s paraphrase has nothing to do with the matter. "We are apt to think" is on the face of it a very different thing from Jehovah's saying "I have said." Further, the Lord is not saying anything to prove what He is, but convicting the Jews of unreasonableness in their blame of Him, on the ground of their own scriptures. What He says is perfect, as surely it must be. In the psalm, Elohim is judging amongst the Elohim, and declared that He had called these judges-perverse as they had become, so as to call judgment down on themselves-Elohim.
Now that is just the fact. In the Pentateuch frequently the parties are directed to be brought to the Elohim (as Ex. 21:6, 23; 22:8, 9, twice), so called, because in judging they were to act in God's stead. (See Deut. 1:17.)
They have this name, particularly in the instructions given from Sinai, for causes to be brought to them-the parties were to make it good according to [the award of] Elohim-God or the judges. Hence the Lord says, "If the scriptures, which you own have irrefragable authority, give the name of Elohim to persons instructed by the word, how can you call it blasphemy that I apply the title ' Son of God' to one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world?" The argument is of the plainest force to show their injustice, which is the Lord's object.
Mr. N. has not only misrepresented the reasoning of the Lord, but he has misrepresented what He says.
Mr. N. then takes in, in the lump, all the quotations of the New Testament: some had always been "a mystery" to him. Now they were clearly wrong; if canvassed, "it may appear that not one quotation in ten is sensible and appropriate." (Phases, p. 126.) Then it is assumed, that "it is so manifest that they most imperfectly understood that book," that the decision of the New Testament writers concerning the value and credibility of the Old Testament is not to be accepted. Thus it is settled. The only answer one can give to an assertion of this kind is, that it is not manifest. The only thing manifest that I see is, that Mr. N. has not the smallest notion of the purport and character of the Old Testament, as clearly expressed in it. The passages he has referred to certainly will not make any "unbiased interpreter" think so.
It is merely setting up his decision, after having shown himself to be singularly incompetent to judge, not only above that of the New Testament writers, but above the clear judgment of hundreds, founded on sound reasoning and investigation, and intelligent study of the real bearing of the Old Testament, as the expression of the purpose of God. The decision of one who can turn "I have said, Ye are gods"-the plain fact which we find in the Psalms, and in a remarkable part of the Old Testament, applying to the subject-into "We are apt to think rulers superhuman" is not worth much attention in the investigation of the applicability of passages of the Old quoted in the New.

The Prophecy of Enoch

Mr. Newman next refers to another common objection. Jude has quoted the prophecy of Enoch. He has this excuse that this is commonly so stated, since Archbishop Lawrence published his book; and Origen has taken it for granted.
But I beg leave to say, that there is not the smallest proof of any kind that he has done so. The fathers are historically very useful, like all contemporaneous authors; their judgment, and not the least so Origen's, is nothing worth.
Now what proof have we that Jude quoted this book? Just none. It is evident that there was a traditional account that such a prophecy existed. This book of Enocli records it. Jude authenticates the prophecy as far as his authority goes. But that Jude took it from the book of Enoch, there is not the slightest proof whatever.
Enoch, all know, was favored of God; the prophecy ascribed to him, is a testimony of a doctrine established by a multitude of passages. Its written preservation in christian times was more timely, as then Christ's coming in glory was the immediate and proper hope of the Church. While at all times a most solemn prophetic warning, it was less suited to be preserved as a part of the divine record, while God was still carrying on His government under the law. Everything is in its place.
It is the simple fact of the existence of the passage in both Jude and Enoch, which is used as a proof that it is quoted, which is no proof at all, because it is evident each may have taken it up if it was current by tradition. And the copying is very much less probable than the latter supposition, because the passage is not the same in both. It is thus given by Archbishop Lawrence: "Behold, He cometh with ten thousand of His saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done and committed against Him."
Thus it stands in Jude: "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodhly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Now, that these passages refer to the same prophecy I see no reason to doubt; but I do not see the smallest sign that one was copied from the other. They differ very sensibly one from the other. There is nothing about what ungodly sinners have spoken in the book of Enoch-no expression such as "destroy the wicked" in Jude. The phraseology too in Jude is quite different and very peculiar. I should say, from the language and omissions, that it certainly was not a quotation.
But, further, the doctrine also is very different. The book of Enoch makes God come to execute judgment on His saints. There is no such doctrine as this in Jude. And the book of Enoch distinguishes particularly executing judgment on them, the saints, and destroying the wicked. No such idea as this exists in Jude. Nor is it a mere question of Ethiopic, which I certainly could not solve. It is the positive doctrine of the book of Enoch, "while judgment," it is said, just before, "shall come upon all, even all the righteous." Thus His executing judgment upon them [the preserved] is the specific doctrine of the passage. It certainly is not that of Jude; for he says Enoch prophesied of the reprobate. And, while speaking of executing judgment on all, there is no such a thought as executing judgment on the saints and destroying the wicked. Jude goes on to speak of His convicting the ungodly for their deeds and their words against Him. So that the substantial meaning of the passages is quite different, as one contains what the other does not; and the language is quite diverse too. I conclude, with undoubting certainty, that one was not quoted from the other (unless the author of the Book of Enoch used Jude in his own way), and that Jude's is divine, accordant as it is with the whole testimony of the word, and the apocryphal Enoch's human.
But further: What proof have we that the book of Enoch was written first? I doubt it exceedingly. Dr. Lawrence takes as his fixed point of departure, in making the inquiry, that the quotation of Jude proves it was written before his epistle. But this is begging the question. I have already shown that, to say the least, it is an assumption without any proof (what can be adduced in the way of evidence proving, as I judge, the direct opposite).
Indeed, the proof that the writer was before Jude is to me very doubtful.
There are passages which seem to be quoted from the New Testament. Some of them I should not insist upon, because they may have been proverbial, and so used by the Lord Himself among the Jews.
They are the following:
"It would have been better for them had they never been born." "At that time I beheld the Ancient of Days while he sat upon the throne of his glory, while the book of the living was opened in his presence, and [while] all the powers of the heavens stood around and before him." "And he, the Son of man, shall be the light of nations" (this may be from Isaiah). "But in the day of their trouble the world shall obtain tranquility." "In these days shall the earth deliver up from her womb, and hell deliver up from hers that which it has received." "The word of his mouth shall destroy all the sinners and all the ungodly, who shall perish at his presence." "Trouble shall come upon them as upon a woman in travail." "Before the Son of man, from whose presence they shall be expelled."
These look very like allusions to passages in the New Testament. But there is another circumstance. The writer says, referring to the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem, "Then I grieved extremely on account of the tower, and because the house of the sheep was overthrown. Neither was I afterward able to perceive whether they again entered that house." Now this comes after a passage (chap. 88: 92) where it is said, "I saw, too, that he forsook the house of their fathers and their tower, giving them all into the power of every beast," which refers to the Babylonish captivity; and after he had announced the call of seventy accountable shepherds, which Dr. Lawrence himself applies to the rulers from Nebuchadnezzar down to Herod the Great. So that the destruction here alluded to was under or after the seventy shepherds; whereas their accountable rule began with Nebuchadnezzar: so that this was evidently another overthrow of "the house of the sheep." At any rate, as he gives the Jewish history up to Herod, he must have known they had their house again; indeed, he speaks evidently of Zerubbabel, Joshua, and Nehemiah or Ezra, and of the rebuilding of the temple. (Phases, p. 113.) This would lead one then to suppose that he wrote after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and was thus unable to say that the temple would be restored.
One passage looks very much as if he considered the Christians as a perverse race; but that a remnant would be preserved, to whom the power and glory would be given. At any rate, he speaks of the Jews being perverse at this epoch. These are his words, "Afterward, in the seventh week [coinciding with that in which Christianity appeared], a perverse generation shall arise; abundant shall be its deeds, and all its deeds perverse. During its completion the righteous selected from the plant of everlasting righteousness [a remnant of the Jews] shall be rewarded, and to them shall be given sevenfold instruction concerning every part of his creation." (Chap. 92: 12.) After this they shall execute judgment on oppressors, sinners shall be delivered up into the hands of the righteous, and the house of the great King shall be built up forever.
That is, he promises, after this week of perverse men, the full establishment of Jewish privileges in a Jewish way.
He speaks much of the Son of man, the Elect, the concealed One revealing the wisdom of the Lord of spirits; but Judaism is set up by power. And the only notice of the christian week is perverse men doing a great deal.
It would rather appear to me the work of a Jewish writer, who, when Christianity had come, sought to buoy up the hopes of the Jews in their own expectations, when now given up a prey to the lions and all beasts.
The house was destroyed, perhaps Christianity prevalent. He made use of the name of Enoch as being one of which tradition had preserved some memorial. The Cabalists seem to have possessed this book from allusions in the book Zohar, quoted by Dr. Lawrence.
There is a difficulty apparently in the twelve shepherds, which Dr. Lawrence applies to the Asmonean princes and Herod. But he introduces Matthias, which I should judge doubtful, and Alexandra, a woman. Take away these two, and you have two shepherds after Herod. Were it not so, it would be merely closing the account of native princes with Herod, after which the state of Palestine was so uncertain (either a tetrarchy or a province, or for a little while again nearly united under Herod Agrippa) that he drops the history of it as a distinct thing. The view that I have presented is corroborated by chapter 89. After the twelve shepherds, he gives a sword into the sheep's (Jews') hands to slay the beasts of the field; and the Lord judges. That is, he puts power into the hands of the Jews at the close of this period.
I need not pursue this subject any farther. It suffices to have shown that there is no probability whatever that Jude quoted from this spurious book-I may say a certainty that he did not, and that there is great ground to suppose that the Book of Enoch was written after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. But if Jude has not quoted it, it is very little matter when a mere spurious book full of nonsense was written. It is useful historically, as showing the Jews' opinions in those days. I may remark that he is most distinct in his assertion, that there were openings for the abyss of waters to break forth from beneath for the deluge, and clefts for it in which to run back again, just, indeed, as the heathen sheaved at Delos and other places for the retreat of their deluge.
This objection of Jude's quoting from the Book of Enoch I hold to be totally unfounded. It certainly is wholly unproved. The ancients supposed it merely; they give no evidence as to the fact.
Mr. N. goes on to say, that "it does not appear that any peculiar divine revelation taught them [the New Testament writers] that the Old Testament is perfect truth." (Phases, p. 126.) They did not need one. They knew prophets had delivered it from God, as Peter says, and had not spoken by the will of man. But I further answer, they had; for the Lord confirmed this their faith in the Old Testament over and over again in the most explicit way.

Paul's Recognition of the Old Testament

Mr. Newman's statement as to Paul is wholly unfounded- worse than unfounded. Paul recognizes the authority of the Old Testament in the fullest possible manner, always using it as conclusive authority. He maintains also, and insists on the full authority of the law, but shows that its action against us was averted by the death of Christ. We are not bound, he argues, by a law of a relationship which subsists no longer, as it cannot when a man is dead. But he takes particular care to show that he does not undermine the authority of the law. Christ's bearing its curse (Gal. 3) is the strongest possible proof of that.

The Introduction to Luke's Gospel

As to the introduction to Luke's Gospel Mr. N.'s remarks are equally unfounded. "He could not possibly have written thus," he says, "if he had been conscious of superhuman aids" (Phases, p. 127); and just before: "He opens by stating to Theophílus, that since many persons have committed to writing the things handed down by eye-witnesses, it seemed good to him also to do the same, since he had `accurately attended to everything from its sources (ἄνωθεν).' " Now I beg leave to say he says no such thing. He says nothing like that I may "do the same." These are his words, "Since many have taken in hand to compose a narration of the things believed with certainty amongst us, as they have delivered them to us, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and servants of the word, it seemed well to me fully acquainted from the beginning with all things [and that] accurately, to write to thee methodically, most noble Theophilus, that thou míghtest know the certain truth concerning the things in which thou hast been instructed."
Now this contrasts (whether we accept Origen's interpretation of taking in hand or not) what he had done with what them had; it declares that he had written differently, and with more certainty than the others-in a word, that he had not done the same. If the others had given the ἁσφἀλειαν, the demonstrated certainty of the things, as he did, he need not have spoken of them as he does. I do not say that he alleges them to be false; but they were not such as hindered him from giving an account of the same thing, that Theophílus might have positive certainty about the history of the Lord.
Further, Mr. N. translates ἄνωθεν "from the sources." Mr. N. is undoubtedly a better scholar than I; but here dictionaries are adequate authority, and I think I may venture to say that the English translation is correct, and that ἄνωθεν has not the sense at all which Mr. N. gives it; ἄνωθεν does not mean "from the sources," i.e., from some other originals. It has it neither by etymology nor by use. It has the sense of "from above," hence, "from heaven," "anew," "from the beginning." I have searched Liddell and Scott, Scapula, and Stephens' Thesaurus, and I find no trace of such a meaning. The English translation is the natural clear meaning of the word so used. If by "the sources" is merely meant "from the outset," as tracing a river from its source, it is the same thing; and why change it, suggesting the meaning of other sources, not inspiration?
But as this preface is often adduced, a few more words here may be justly offered to my reader.
No historical book is edited by the writer with "Thus saith the Lord." It would have been quite unsuited. The contents were not words spoken as such directly and solely from the Lord to men, but an account of various historical circumstances, often of very bad ones done by men; and when of good or even perfect ones, as in the case of Jesus, mixed up with others in a variety of transactions. The business of inspiration then was to secure the water's giving a true account of what passed, to fix his attention on the right objects, and to connect them in such a manner as to produce the more picture the Spirit meant to produce. Thus the Lord says, the Holy Ghost should bring to their remembrance what He had said. Now what was thus brought to their remembrance, in the form divinely suited to God's object in their history, they so set down. If they remembered it themselves as God would have it set down, God having for their own sakes so impressed it on their spiritual affections, the Spirit had only to lead them to record what they so already remembered. If it was recorded even by some one else already, or recounted by an apostle; if led by the Spirit to adopt such account, the case would be the same. The only thing to be looked for, was, that the result produced was (in result, as a whole, in everything, and in all its parts in their connection) exactly what God Himself meant to give as the history of His beloved Son, or indeed of any other part of the divine history. So in what they saw. If Luke was present when Paul and the disciples knelt down and prayed on the shore, and the Holy Ghost had given him the feeling and impression about it which He meant to act on others by, he put it down in that way exactly under His power. He knew the thing as an eye-witness. The facts had not to be communicated to him by inspiration, though his manner of presenting them is perfectly according to the mind of God, and comes from Him. Now every one feels how entirely inappropriate it would be and out of place to introduce, "Thus saíth the Lord: Then we went out to the sea-shore and knelt down."
In a word, the historical accounts are given under the care of God, by the Holy Ghost recalling if needed, directing in the use of known facts, fixing the attention exactly on the part of a transaction suited to the object of the history (for God must have an object in it), which has produced God's own history of the Lord's life, or other scriptural subjects. Now that is exactly what we want. He used men and men's minds for this; and what they used as means for it is perfectly immaterial. God allowed their circumstances to be such as to render the objections of infidel men the height of folly as to the general truth of Christianity. This is not the ground on which the believer receives it indeed. Taught of God, he enjoys, according to his progress in the divine life, the unfolding to his soul of all the rich truth which God has treasured up there, in a book that unfolds all that lies between the extremes of the sin of man and the love and holiness of God, and all the means which divine love has employed to bring back those who lay in one, to the sweet and blessed enjoyment of the other, and that in the development of those divine counsels which attach themselves to the person of Jesus.
But the circumstances in which the writers of the New Testament were show the gross absurdity of the infidel on human grounds, so as to leave him without excuse. The truth of Christianity, as a general fact, is established as no other history in the world is; so also are its true character and the details which establish the divine power connected with it. God has granted an external and internal evidence which confounds the infidel- convicts him of being utterly unreasonable; and, of course, graciously strengthens as an outwork, the heart of the true disciple. The infidel pretends to know God so much better before-hand than anybody else, that he can show that Christianity cannot be true. But the man that would attempt to show it was not true would prove himself a fool in his wisdom. On no other subject would he be considered of sane mind, if he disputed on such evidence. It is the consciousness, as I have already said, that it is divine, and that it has a claim on the conscience, which is the reason of its being disputed. Were it not, no one would attempt to do it; but man cannot bear God Himself, though he may pride himself on his own thoughts about Him, if he can judge Him.
Let not my reader suppose that I have a thought of weakening in the smallest degree the fullest, highest character of inspiration in the historical books of scripture. Far from it: I believe it entirely and completely divine. It is the joy of my heart, as the security of my understanding, to receive it directly from God-my God. The thought that He thus deigns to converse with and instruct us is inexpressibly sweet. No one can know God, and not feel this.
But I do not allow that dictation (that is, the communication of words without the exercise of the mind of him who receives it) is the only means of this. God can wield a mind and a heart as He wields lips, and He can govern and produce impressions on them so entirely that the expression of them, while still that of the heart itself, shall be entirely and without mixture that of God's mind. So of the memory. The result is the same, with the difference, often very important, of making the heart and mind of the inspired person the vessel as well as communicator of it. Both may be true. He may teach the words (and that even at another moment from the first acquirement of the thoughts) exactly; but He may act in the mind, and make it His instrument in unfolding truth (or fact) as He means it to be unfolded.
Having said this, I turn again to the preface of Luke, to examine its force, which seems to me very simple. Many had taken in hand to compose a narrative of what Christians had received from eye-witnesses. Theirs was a human work, very well intended very likely, and perhaps correct in many things; but a work undertaken and executed by men. It was very natural when such wonderful and interesting events had taken place. But God had fitted Luke as a means to use for this purpose; he had an exact knowledge of all from the outset. The word employed and translated "having had perfect knowledge" is the same as in 2 Tim. 3:10, where Paul says Timothy had fully known everything about him. Now this means "personal acquaintance with." St. Luke said he had this from the outset; he does not say how, nor do I pretend to say. Others had them from eyewitnesses. This he does not say himself; but only that he had thorough, personal, detailed, and accurate acquaintance with everything from the very outset. This is the force of παμηκο λουθηκότι ἄνωθεν πᾶσιν ἀκμιβῶς. And he writes this, that Theophilus may know the certainty of the things he had been instructed in.
Now suppose Matthew or John gave an account in the same manner as Luke. They were, we know, personally companions of the Lord. No doubt this fitted them as witnesses (so the Lord, indeed, says, John ι, and as to the Lord's person and glory, the same principle was established in the case of Paul. He could say, "Have I not seen the Lord?") Did this render unnecessary the work of the Holy Ghost, which should bring to their remembrance what Jesus had said, so as to give it with divine accuracy? Quite the contrary, as the same Lord promises, John 14:26; so 16:13. Why should it then not be thus with Luke? He had the means of very accurate knowledge of everything. This did not preclude the divine aid of inspiration; for it is positively promised to those who were eye-witnesses with the same object. And this is what we want. Not that suitable instruments should not be employed that there is divine fitness in, but that God should use these instruments so that we should have the word of truth from Him, and really His word. The heart wants it and joys in it. Man's need requires it. It is what is worthy of God. He mixes Himself up, so to speak, with men -blessed be His name!-employs them intimately-often in a way their hearts can feel; but He always remains Himself. We want both these to be thoroughly happy; and God would make us thoroughly happy.

Demoniacal Possession

Mr. Newman then takes up (Phases, p. 127) the accounts of demoniacal possession and brings, as a proof that it cannot be, the belief among the Arabs that it is. This may be very forcible; but I am too blind to see the value of the reasoning. That superstition may be mixed up with it among unenlightened Arabs is possible; but why their conviction of the truth of it is a proof that it is not true is beyond my capacity. They believe, I suppose, that God made the sun, and yet this is true, though they have Mohammedan superstitions connected with it. So of many facts of Jewish history connected with Abraham, Ishmael, Esau, the passage of Israel through the desert. As in the case of all nations who derive their origin from those who were at the sources of truth, you see proofs of the existence of that truth mixed up with superstitious traditions. This any one, soberly inquiring into facts, will find to be the universal truth on this matter. But details of facts are disagreeable to infidels.
So of witchcraft: Mr. N., founding himself on the popular infidelity of the day, takes for granted that there is no such thing. Now I humbly beg leave to say, that I judge that this is very unphilosophical. I am quite aware that, when mere infidelity is established, it is itself a shorter way to shut God out. But it is a very convenient thing to the enemy, in the case of ignorant and superstitious minds, to do that which establishes his authority in a way more suited to their state. And he has done so the wide world over. I grant that nine-tenths of it are priestly imposture; but an accurate examination of facts does not allow the denial of a kind of power, which is not merely human, exercised over men. That when this power is gamed, and in the hands of men, it is used to deceive and impose on credulity, no man in his senses, or believing in the word of God, would for a moment deny. But how came this influence all over the world? The devil-some mischievous, terror-striking, corrupt being (call him Teufel, or Sammael, or Obo, or what you please)- has got himself worshipped by means of some influence over men's minds. That is a fact. Those who have carried on the mysterious influence, and have been delivered from it, have acknowledged the greater part to be imposture; but have also declared that they were under an unknown influence at times. Take the history of the oracles. I doubt not corruption; but they existed, and there was a mysterious influence. So of various effects beyond human power. The cessation of oracles when Christianity began to prevail; the undoubted deliverance of persons laboring under certain distressing symptoms during and subsequent to the apostles' days; the fact of man's universal sense of some superior agency (and as shown in terror and evil no righteous mind will attribute it to the true God)-all concur to prove that there is an evil power exercising a real influence over the bodies and minds of men. I have no doubt of the existence of positive power in witchcraft in England at this day. I do not doubt there is superstition and imposture; but I defy Mr. Ν. or any infidel to account for facts, perfectly well authenticated, on any rational or philosophical principles. I despise the arrogant pretension to philosophy which neglects facts. The world's history shows the existence of an unknown power acting on the minds and bodies of men-a power from which Christianity entirely delivers.
There are various forms of disease. In a general way all come from the evil one; but in the sense of "possession," his power cannot be applied to all of them: such diseases may be accompanied by possession or not; and so they are treated in scripture. We find the Lord healing diseases and casting out devils. We find lunatics and demoniacs distinguished in the same phrase.
And now mark Mr. N.'s way of reasoning: it is genuine philosophy, which is a mere popular prejudice after all. Arabians believe in possession. I read a treatise of Farmer which convinced me they were diseases; but not that the evangelists treated them as such. "Nay, the instant we believe that the imagined possessions were only various forms of disease, we are forced to draw conclusions of the utmost moment, most damaging to the credit of the narrators." (Phases, p. 128.) Be it so. But we have no proof yet. Then follows, "Clearly they are then convicted of misstating facts under the influence of superstitious credulity. They represent demoniacs as having a supernatural acquaintance with Jesus, which it now becomes manifest they cannot have had. The devils, cast out of two demoniacs [or one], are said to have entered into a herd of swine. This must have been a credulous fiction." (Phases, p. 128.) This came upon me by surprise. I had read indeed that Arabians believed in genii, and that in Eastern countries possession was believed in. I had read that Mr. Ν. was convinced, by a treatise of Farmer's, that a belief of demoniacal possession was not a superstition more respectable than that of witchcraft. But to tumble then on "Clearly they are then convicted of mis-stating facts" brought me up, I confess, rather suddenly in the argument. Is it the Mohammedans' believing in possession, or Mr. N.'s being convinced by Farmer's book, which clearly convicts the evangelists of mis-stating facts? Logic here has lost its breath by the surprise; and then Mr. Ν. runs may so tremendously fast that one has no chance, in such a state, to regain or overtake the argument. It is now manifest that the devils did not know Jesus, and the story of the swine must have been a credulous fiction. And then "at first sight" (it appears, with Mr. Ν., at last sight too), and no wonder this acts so as "to impair our faith in His [Jesus's] miracles altogether." (Phases, p. 128.) And the evangelists are convicted of their misstatements by Mr. N.'s believing that the imagined possessions were diseases, and by the Arabians' believing that they were not. How easy to settle things by "must have been," when we are convinced! It saves an amazing deal of trouble as to facts and consequences.
It is well known that in the second century Justin declares to the whole Roman world that persons living at Rome had been healed, and others yet were healed of demoniacal possession by Christians adjuring them by the name of Jesus; and Tertullian states in the beginning of the third, that those pretending to prophesy among the heathen or possessed would confess it was a demon if adjured by a Christian (saying, they had only to bring them before their tribunals, and to try). I would add, that I see no need to call even this a power of working miracles.
At any rate, a sober man must have something more conclusive than Mr. N.'s reasoning to do away with the universal mass of facts not only in ancient but in modern times. See the accounts of the Angekoks in Crantz's "Greenland," or Brainerd's account of those whom he met with among the North American Indians. The denial of powers above those of man is, it seems to me, a low, proud, and foolish philosophy. A fancy that nothing can be above oneself is a ridiculous and suspicious fancy, and that in the presence of facts which show results in good and evil which man has never been able to explain on mere human principles -immense and lasting results too. It is an old and just remark of Tertullian and Justin, that the demons led men into something like the truth in connection with natural conscience, that superstitious minds might think all religious systems equally true, and philosophical ones all equally false; and thus, either way, gain their end. I must be forgiven if I do not see much to prefer in the indiscriminate rejection of self-sufficient philosophy to the indiscriminate reception of credulous superstition.

Character of John's Gospel

The different character of John's Gospel, noticed by Mr. Ν. (Phases, p. 129), is deeply interesting; but he relates not only no miracles, but no facts that are not immediately connected with some great doctrine or remarkable discourse.
I am not aware why Mr. N. (ib.) places Matthew seventy or eighty years after the fact, as no critic in existence places it at that epoch (the very latest of all is A.D. 64; many placing it so early as A.D. 38). None of the Gospels was written so late as seventy years after Christ's birth, not even John's. I do not think it needful to make any further remark on this part of Mr. N.'s statement.

Star of the Magi

MR. NEWMAN speaks (Phases, p. 130) of the star accompanying the magi. It is a common but very strange error. The scripture not only gives no hint of it, but contradicts it. "When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy." They had seen it in the east, and after they had made inquiry of Herod, it appeared again and pointed out the birthplace of Jesus. I see nothing wonderful, if the Son of the Highest was born into the world, that it should be marked out by an extraordinary phenomenon, suited to the wise men's minds, and attracting the attention of all. The presence of the Son of God in the world was much more wonderful than that of the star. It was evidently a local supernatural phenomenon.

Herod's Massacre of the Children

Why must Herod's massacre of the children be rejected? I would remark, that Mr. N.'s plan seems to have been a very useless and unphílosophical one. It would have been much more simple to have rejected the New Testament altogether, when it had lost its divine authority with him. What matter whether the details were true or not? To spend his time in disproving details, when he really did not believe any, was foolish work. It had, indeed, one natural use-to discredit the book with others. It has another-to show the utter groundlessness of what satisfied Mr. N.'s willingly convinced mind.
Now has Mr. N. any reason for rejecting the massacre of the infants? None. Josephus does not mention it: that is all. Mr. N. says it was unknown to him. But that is a mere supposition, an invention of Mr. N.'s. Is it anything extraordinary that an historian should omit a fact which another records? Has Suetonius related all that Tacitus has, or has Tacitus related all that Suetonius has? The contrary is well known. The objection has no force whatever. It is really tedious to reply to such futilities.
But in this case there is more than this. There was the strongest reason, if Josephus did know it, for not mentioning it; for he must have given some reason for the massacre-an account of what occasioned it-if he had spoken of it. That is, he must have spoken of Herod (whose jealousy as to his government was the principal source of his horrible conduct) having received the intimation, accompanied by such very remarkable circumstances, that the Messiah was born. It was not jealousy of a grown-up competitor, or of a rival son even. To slay a number of infants in a particular place, and that place David's city, where all knew that Christ was to be born, must have had some cause which pointed out an infant who claimed the throne born there at that time; and an infant's claim was not made by himself. It must have been the circumstances that marked him out -hence some extraordinary circumstances which would have designated the child with peculiar evidence as Messiah the King. Was Josephus likely to record this carefully? Roman interests and Jewish national prejudices would concur to close Josephus's mouth, parasite as he was, as to the event itself. Besides this, there is some strong reason to believe, that he has attempted to conceal it under a very obscure account of court intrigues just at that moment, which he speaks of as occasioning the jealousy and anger of Herod. The passage is obscure, and has something concealed under it of a king to be set up with miraculous power. I do not pretend to decide as to what gave occasion to it. Two passages in his works refer to it. (Antiquities, book 16, last chapter, at the end; and ibid. book 17, chapter 2, section 6.) They may be seen in Lardner.
If Matthew wrote his Gospel A.D. 38, as many suppose, living witnesses must have known the truth or falsehood of it; and even sixty years afterward it would hardly have been forgotten. Justin, Irenaeus, and Origen refer to it as a known fact; and in the fourth century a heathen author, Macrobius, speaks of it; this I mention merely as showing it was notorious. This difficulty is one for those who will have one.

Egypt and Nazareth

The next has more appearance of reason in it to a person who does not believe, nor consequently apprehend the bearing of the gospel accounts. It is this: Matthew states that the Lord was taken into Egypt; Luke, that after they had performed all things according to the law for Him, they returned to Nazareth. I cannot of course take popular habits of traditional belief in such an inquiry. Mr. N. of course can take them, and trouble people's minds by an objection to them. Such traditions it may be difficult to reconcile with other facts related, although the soul may sometimes lose little by the difference between the tradition and the history. Such traditions may be a mere careless interpretation of a particular fact. Thus it is assumed that the Magi's visit was at the time of Christ's birth. Who has not seen them from early youth represented amid asses and oxen, kneeling before a mother and a new-born babe with glories round their head? Now, morally, the departure from the history, if such means are to be used at all, is not very material. But there is not a tittle in the history given in scripture to prove that the Magi came at the moment of Christ's birth, but a good deal to show that they did not. It is pretty evident from Herod's inquiry as to when the star appeared (Matt. 2:7), that that appearance was at His birth. Now they may have taken their time to prepare to start; they certainly must have taken time for their journey- how much I do not pretend to say. Some little time was spent at Jerusalem before the visit. Further, Herod sends and kills from two years old and under, according to the time which he had accurately inquired of the wise men. Now we may well allow that Herod's jealousy and cruel character would have left margin enough to secure Him at all events, and that he was not particular about how many suffered. But, as it is said, according to the time accurately ascertained from the wise men, it must be certainly rather supposed that Jesus must have been on towards two years, or at least not just born. The woman's offering for a male child was thirty-three days after its birth. To kill all from two years and under, after accurately ascertaining that the child was less than thirty-three days old (which must have been the case if their visit was before Mary's presenting Him in the temple), would have a character of needless cruelty beyond all reason, particularly when it is said that he did so according to the time which he had diligently or accurately inquired of the wise men. There is a relation between the age of the children killed and the babe's age in Herod's mind accurately formed, and he slays them according to that accurate information. Now if he had ascertained Him to be less than a month old, and killed all under two years old, there was no relation between them whatever. All this shows that the presenting in the temple preceded the visit of the Magi, and there may have been even ample time to go to Nazareth and return to Bethlehem for the visit of the Magi. But that that visit was not made in the crowded state of the inn, spoken of at the time of His birth, is made probable by the fact, that the wise men came into the house to offer their gifts. There is no appearance of Jesus being then in the manger. Whatever other call they may have had, His parents certainly came up once a year at the feast of the passover. Their being, therefore, again at Bethlehem was nothing extraordinary.
Now in answering an alleged contradiction, to show that the facts can be reconciled, is a complete answer. Now both the narratives in this way may be true. Even supposing Luke is speaking of an immediate departure, it is a very probable thing that, being enregistered, and having performed their duty in the temple, they should go home; while the occurrence of such circumstances as accompanied the birth of Jesus would almost naturally bring them back to David's city, with the Jewish feelings they had; and these poor people had nothing to connect them with Nazareth more than another place. They were in that miserable place perhaps from poverty. It was not, at any rate, a place they had any tie to. If their son was the divinely-sent Heir to David of Bethlehem, whither would such a thought lead them? The circumstantial probabilities connected with the slaying of the infants tend to show some time had elapsed. The birth of the babe mentioned in Matthew connects itself with the regal title associated with that place in every Jew's mind, and not with the date of the event. The important matter was that He was born there; for so not only prejudice but prophecy claimed; and it is in this connection it is used in Matthew. But the fact is, the "when" in English (which to the simple English reader is a natural note of time) has nothing to answer to it in the Greek, which is merely "Now Jesus having been born in Bethlehem of Judea "-a fact of all importance to His history, and to this passage in particular. There is no note of time more particular than "In the days of Herod the king"-a fact also indirectly material to His history, and which tends to set aside the idea of a more accurate note of time being given in the same passage, and to give a general character to the statement. Hence nothing is more easy than the connection of the facts, while the objection falls to the ground.

Character of Luke's Gospel

At the same time, I must express my conviction that, while Luke says nothing but what is quite consistent with Matthew's history, he does not mean to give any note of time in the passage. The Spirit's object in Matthew was to show Christ's meeting the fulfillment of all that Jewish scriptures declared of a Jewish Christ, and such a one's rejection. In Luke's Gospel it was quite otherwise. He was showing a Christ who, connected with Adam by His human nature, though He sinlessly fulfilled all looked for in a Jew, opened the door of faith to Gentiles in spirit; who was, in a word, Son of man.
Hence, having shown Him duly accomplishing what the law required, this gospel at once transplants Him, neglecting all else, to the position in which all the Gospels place the Lord, as having given up the Jews, considered as attached to the temple and Jewish hopes as a nation, and laboring in despised Galilee (according to Isa. 8 and 9) in the gathering a remnant by faith. Even if it be chronologically exact, that it was at that moment He returned to Nazareth, as it well may be, still I should judge the object of the Spirit in Luke was not that exactitude, but the moral fact that He did accomplish legal requirements, but, that once done, took His place among the poor of the flock, far from Jerusalem. We find an analogous instance in what follows, in His coming up to Jerusalem at the passover, and being subject to Joseph and Mary, but, His true character coming out, though He was not yet to act upon it: He came to be a Nazarene; He came to be about His Father's business. Luke marks this distinctly before He enters on His public ministry, that it might be seen to be connected with His person, and not to depend merely upon His office. He was the Pastor of the poor of the flock in spirit and character. It belonged to Him. He was the Son of the Father, though He might abide God's time for showing it. This is just as much according to the tenor of Luke's Gospel, as what Matthew recounts is in accordance with the tenor of his. Luke 2:39 contains the whole moral history of the place the Lord took in Israel. Of course Mr. N. is insensible to these things, because the intention of God in the scriptures is, by the position he has taken, wholly unknown to him.

Character of John's Gospel

Mr. Newman speaks of John's omitting the temptation. (Phases, p. 130.) Of course he did. He was sheaving the divine character of Jesus above all dispensation, as God before the world, as the Creator, and the totally new thing He was introducing into the earth, without reference to anything man was before, except setting it aside. Hence His infancy, His temptation, and all relating to His dispensational position on earth, is entirely left out. It begins before Genesis, and gives the origin of the saint's life, its place in Christ before the world. Thus it suffices to say, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not." Those who did He entitled to take the new position He was introducing man into-gave them authority to become the sons of God. From that time onwards the Jews are treated as reprobates; and, beginning with His discourse with Nicodemus as to the new nature, and the cross, and the heavenly things, and with the woman of Samaria as to new spiritual worship of the Father seeking such in grace, the new thing is opened out. All is perfectly consistent. And I recall to the reader's mind what I have already said-that if God does inspire a book, it must be with a moral purpose, and not merely to write a history. With that purpose, as gathered from the tenor of each book, all that Mr. N. objects to is perfectly in keeping.
Had it been otherwise than it is, he who had seized the purpose of the book would have been sensible of defect.

Cures Effected by Napkins

The reason why napkins from Paul's body had an importance, that pocket-handkerchiefs dipped in martyrs' blood had not, is as simple as possible. In Paul's case God was confirming the word preached by Paul by signs following; in the other case He was not. I must say, if a person has not some more sensible objections to make, it is hardly fair to waste rational people's time with such as these.

Catching Away of Philip

That the Spirit of the Lord (Phases, p. 131) caught away Philip depends of course on the authority of the book otherwise proved. There is perfect consistency, because the whole book is developing the extraordinary intervention of God Himself. His obedient servant had gone into the desert; God miraculously brings him back. The difference between oriental stories and this (to which Mr. N. seems always insensible) is, that God was acting here, and in order to make Himself known as interfering in grace, and attesting the words of these men in a way which authorized the setting aside a system which He had Himself established, and attested the pretension of Jesus to be the Son of God, which He had made to rest on His sending the Comforter, whose presence was now sensibly proved in a miraculous way.

Curse on the Barren Fig Tree

The curse on the barren fig-tree was peculiarly appropriate. The fig-tree was the symbol of the Jews as a nation, as the vine represented them figuratively as a religious system. Now the Lord had come seeking fruit, and just at this moment was really passing sentence on the nation. Each part of it, Herodians, Pharisees, Sadducees, lawyers, scribes, priests, come up in turn to question in appearance, but really to receive their judgment at His mouth. Christ takes, therefore, this symbolical tree, and pronounces the curse on it forever. So it was now with Judaism under the old covenant. Hence, it is added, The time of figs was not yet. Many have shown that there might notwithstanding have remained some of the old crop, for it is double on the fig tree. But Israel was not really to bear fruit under the old covenant. All the prophets bear witness, that it is when they are brought back through grace, and under the new covenant and the Messiah, that Israel will blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. The Lord had a right to seek fruit as they were; but it was not the time. The real crop was to come, though there was plenty of profession-leaves, but no fruit. Nothing could be more significant, or closely applicable in the instruction it afforded.

The Tribute Money

The tribute-money in the fish's mouth again is one of the most beautiful and perfect of the New Testament incidents. Christ had just been opening to His disciples the closing of His career of ministry among the Jews-had forbidden them to speak of His being the Christ to them, for He was going to suffer as Son of man: they must suffer with Him. Then, to three who were to be pillars, He shows His glory as Son of man, to encourage their faith in seeing Him rejected by Israel and all the religious authorities, and in taking up their cross. Just after this, Peter is questioned in a way which amounted to asking whether Jesus was really a good Jew. When he enters, Christ anticipates him by showing His divine knowledge of what passed; but, while assuming the place of the Son of Jehovah of the temple, so as to be free from the tribute which kings did not take of their own children, He, with infinite grace, puts Peter, and in him all of us in principle, in the same place as Himself (just what He has done by redemption, when rejected as Messiah): "Then are the children free; nevertheless that we offend not." And this He does just when He had shown His divine knowledge of Peter's thoughts, and what had passed. He then shows, in a way particularly intelligible to Peter from his occupation, that, far from being a mere Jew debtor to the temple, He disposes of creation though subject in grace to men. And, having shown divine power and title over creation as He previously had divine knowledge, He again associates His poor disciple with Him, saying, "That give for me and for thee." Besides the touching grace of this communication to Peter, see what is brought out-His real character relative to the temple, the setting aside thereby, though submitting to, the relation in which as a Jew He stood to it; the divine glory of His person in wisdom and power; and yet the power of the redemption He was just going to accomplish to be such (and this was, as we have seen, precisely the topic in hand) that, viewed as Son of the Lord of the temple, He would set His disciples in the same relationship with God as Himself. What a touching, tender, and yet glorious way of rebuking the unbelief of Peter, and what a mass of truth is brought out exactly on the point treated of in this part of the gospels-the transition from the old things to the new! It may be clearly seen in Matthew where the establishment of the Church and the kingdom are connected with His being Son of the living God, and then His glory as Son of man brought out. Then, about to leave the faithless and perverse nation, He opens out (in the passage objected to) the full new relationship into which He was bringing those that trusted in Him, through the glory of His person and work. There is not a more beautiful and striking passage in every way than that which is here caviled at. It affords the reader an example of the capacity of infidelity to judge of the bearing and importance of scripture facts, and the moral proofs a believer has which infidelity cannot touch, and which prove that it is ignorant of the elements of judgment.

Divine Sympathies - Rending of the Veil

As regards poetry, or divine sympathies, it is not difficult to see that they are foreign to Mr. N.'s habits of thought. But he is certainly unfortunate in his choice of objections to the genius of the extraordinary events mentioned in scripture. If any one have the most obvious meaning and at the same time be of the highest possible importance, and especially characteristic meaning, it is the rending of the veil. Under the Jewish system, God had conferred benefits, given laws, sanctioned them by judgments; but man had been kept at a distance. God had never revealed Himself. He dwelt "in the thick darkness;" and if He condescended to dwell amongst men, He was within the veil, where none could approach-ín a word, unseen. He governed from His throne; but direct approach was forbidden. The thick darkness and the barrier of Sinai, or the veil of an unlighted holy of holies, secluded Him from man. Had He shown Himself in light to a sinful world, it must have been utter condemnation. Darkness had no communion with light. Unseen, He might in patient grace bear much which man's ignorance committed, and govern in mercy. But in due time, when man had been fully proved in all possible ways-without law, under law, under promise, prophecy, government, and even grace in the mission of God's own Son-and proved utterly bad, the time was come for God to show Himself in grace, such as He really was. Had He done so before, man could not have been properly put to the test. This he now has been; and then in infinite grace, when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ dies for the ungodly. Now if God came forth merely as light or holiness when man was wholly wicked-his will antagonistic, as Mr. N. admits -He must, in the nature of things, have driven man out of His presence, unless holiness means allowing sin, whereas it means not allowing it. Yet God must be holy (that is, He cannot allow sin when He deals with it, or He would be morally like it, which would be a blasphemous denial of Him). How, then, does He act? In the death of Christ He manifests His holiness in the perfect taking may of sin, that His perfect love may flow out, never so shown to men as in this act. Now God can fully reveal Himself without a veil. His holiness is perfect blessing, because shining out in absolute love, sin being put away. As a sign of this wonderful all-changing change, the veil which before hid Him is rent in twain from the top to the bottom, signifying Christ's death, according to the whole figurative arrangement employed to typify these things. And so the New Testament uses this event: "Having therefore... boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath opened to us, through the veil, that is to say his flesh... let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith," &c. Again: " Into the second [that within the veil] went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood... the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure," &c.
Now here we have the veil and its accompaniments declared to have precisely this force in the mind of the Holy Ghost. According to the whole system of scripture, and that in its deepest moral elements, whether of man's relationship with God, or in reference to the peculiar position of Israel, which we know historically was then closing in, the rending of the veil had the most clear and weighty significance. Nothing could have had so much. It was the central expression of the whole change of the divine way of dealing with man, and of man's relationship with God by the cross. And here I would remark, that to ascertain the importance and "genius" of a fact relating to a given part of any system, I must take such system within itself. It is another question whether the whole system be right or wrong. But within itself-and the veil was a part, and a central part, of the system then established of God-nothing could have such a distinct signification as its rending. It signified, as I have said, the change of the whole relationship of God and man. If I refer to a veil and its rending, I must consider the meaning of its being there, to know the importance of its being rent. God's being concealed or revealed is not an unimportant idea; and the rending, at Christ's death, of the veil which concealed His throne and glory, is not difficult to understand. It is a figure, of course, as all these parts of the tabernacle or temple were, but a figure of the most intelligible simplicity, and pregnant with meaning. It seems to me that the end of this page of Mr. N.'s book is an unfortunate occasion to ask people, as he there does, to withdraw the charge of being "superficial."

The Earthquake

As to the earthquake, I cannot see anything out of place in God's marking, by an event peculiarly calculated to attract attention and overawe the mind, the solemn moment of the death of His beloved and only-begotten Son. If there were no God, or if creation were not in His power, it would be another affair; but I should have thought this eventful act of man's enmity against God, and the death of the Lord in the world which was made by Him, passing unnoticed and unmarked by some notable signal of its importance and character, would have been much more surprising. An earthquake was ever felt as sheaving God's noticing, and solemnly marking that notice, of things on earth. Could there be such an occasion of doing so as the rejection and death of His beloved Son by wicked men, and the accomplishment of His mighty and wondrous work?

The Miracles of Elijah and Elisha

If the miracles of Elijah and Elisha, which form the next subject of Mr. N.'s objections, are examined, it will be seen that those of the former are judicial on evil; of the latter (save the case of the children devoured by bears, showing that judgment will accompany, for despisers, the return of blessing), saving, and characterized by grace and life-giving. Elijah, declaring all attempt to bring back Israel useless, passes through each place which characterized Israel's relation to God, until he reaches the place of the curse, and the well-known symbol of death, and ascends up. Elisha's ministry does not proceed from Sinai, nor return to it: heavenly glory is its starting-point. He crosses Jordan again, takes away the curse from Jericho, and all his miracles were accomplished in saving, healing, cleansing, taking away death, and the like, save the one noticed. One of these remarkable servants of God marked out the course of Him whose Spirit they both had, under the law, through the curse, up to heaven; and then the other in life-giving power and blessing, as taking away the curse. This character of Elisha's ministry is closed and crowned by sheaving the resurrection power attached to that which it so vividly presented. When Romish saints do such things it will be time to discuss the analogy alleged by Mr. Ν. to exist in this case.

The Death of Uzzah

As to Uzzah, God did not make Himself known under the law as "the Father of mercies and God of all comfort." He maintained in this particular case His holy majesty, when Israel had grievously forgotten it. They were all in flagrant contravention of the law in what they were doing. It was the consequence of this to which the rash Uzzah exposed himself. He never would have been so exposed if the open violation of the law had not been going on. And this stroke produced a just sense of their being in such a state. David remembered the law, and recognized the neglect of it as having brought on this sad judgment.

Abimelech, and Esau

As to Abimelech (Phases, p. 132), it was not justice that God was displaying; nor was He in the case of Esau. (Ib.) In that of Abraham and Abimelech, it was divine care over one He had called out to walk before Him. "He reproved even kings for their sakes, saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." God cares for those He calls to walk before Him. Abimelech had wantonly taken by tyrannical power a member of Abraham's family. God shows that He will not suffer His people on earth to be touched with impunity-that He would show Himself careful of those He thus owned. He was made known by it in connection with His people; and this was of the last importance.
Esau and Jacob were distinguished, that it might be seen that it was God's grace, and not man's more agreeable character, which makes the difference between men.

Abraham's Visitors at Mamre: Elijah's Ravens

The materialism of Mr. N.'s mind is extraordinarily shown out in the two following objections, as to God's visiting Abraham, and feeding Elijah by means of ravens. The gracious intimacy and intercourse of God with Abraham, which gained for the latter the glorious title of "friend of God," to him is nothing but a physical question of eating. It is astonishing how this system debases everything it touches. There is not a lovelier picture to be found than the gracious condescension (fitted, indeed, to man's childhood in revealed blessings) of God to Abraham; while the mystery in which it was clothed added to the solemnity, and exercised faith, and indeed instructs us now in the relationship of God with the earth in Christ. Abraham was unfit to know the high spiritual privileges for which this very condescension prepared the way; but Elohim in this did the principal thing that was needed. He assured the heart of His servant, in a way in which he could seize and feel it, of His interest in him, of His affection and, I may say, confidence. Now this is everything with us. No doubt this is known now by fuller, more spiritual means; but the assuring the heart of it was the great thing-the assuring it in practical exercises. We see the effect in Abraham's pleading for Sodom.
It was the same in feeding Elijah by means of the ravens, during. the famine by which Israel was judged. Would Mr. N. prefer indifference on God's part to those He had called to trust in Him, and who were suffering for Him? Now temporal care was the sign then of mercy. So the touching interest shown by angelical ministry to His weary-hearted servant in the lengthened journey his impatience had cast on him. And here the peculiar fitness of God's dealing is evident. Had he been, like Moses or Christ, sustained by a kind of abstraction from a human state, it would have been out of place. Elijah, though a man of extraordinary faithfulness and devotedness, at this moment quailed before the dangers that beset the faithful, and retired to Sinai to complain to God. His journey there was in one sense ordered of God. Man could not restore the authority of a broken law. Elijah, who sought to bring back Israel to faithfulness, to Jehovah, and His law, has to go to Jehovah and tell Him it is in vain. No means could be more appropriate than the sense of failure in him who attempted it; yet he returns to Sinai as a divine witness of this failure. Hence he comes to God with the peculiar solemn separation from the world, in a measure, which marked the intercourse of Moses with God, and the temptation of Jesus; but while there was something of this solemnity in the intercourse, yet, as he was flying through failing courage to God, it was not the moment for unmingled manifestation of power. Was he to be repulsed? No. What he failed in was the adequate sense of God's interest in His people. Hence, if there was not all the peculiar glory of the forty days' abstraction from the conditions of human existence which were found in Moses and in Christ, there was what showed this tender regard of God, and care over the smallest circumstances which concerned His people, and sustained them for the difficulties of the way to come to God. The ways of God are perfect; they have been ever condescendingly suited to men's, in circumstances which spoke great principles to the heart, and were immaterial save as sheaving the nearness, condescension, tenderness of God, and His interest in His people-most unspeakably precious, as having this character in a human way, which could alone give the intimacy and the nearness to human thought which was fully realized in Christ. To the infidel it is a question of cakes! This is quite worthy of the system which shuts out God in His gracious nearness to man, and therefore never rises, in judging of circumstances, above the low necessities of the human mind. " Sir, give me of this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw," is the level of an unreached conscience. Conscience must be reached, to get the intelligence which can perceive that it is a prophet, and that there are higher thoughts to be had than these.

Arnold on the Gospels

Mr. Newman refers (Phases, pp. 132, 133) to Arnold's rationalist thoughts as to scripture, as confirming his views as to the first three gospels, and leading him to accept John's at this period of his researches. Arnold meant well, doubtless, in building chiefly on the gospel of John, as Mr. N. states; but yielding to infidelity never does any good, because it is accepting its title to judge God. If I do, it has an equal right and equal reason to reject John as Matthew, or anything else it likes. It is infidelity; and woe be to it! It will be judged by the word it has rejected, and know that it is God's then, when it is a sword in Christ's mouth instead of a gospel.

Elohistic and Jehovistic Sources of Mosaic History

The statement as to "Elοhistic and Jehovistic" sources of the Mosaic history (words which I hope my readers have never heard before, and very worthy of their German infidel source, and which they are happy if they never hear again) is without any other foundation than ignorance and the low German habits of criticism. I say, low habits. There is (at least in what I have seen) a plodding diligence, no doubt, to find out something which has the character of human learning, no matter what, but something which will make a book (which somebody else has not made); but then it has all a downward tendency, and never rises above a groveling pre-occupation with the external means of truth, or the spinning out their ideas of what ought to be. Take even Michaelis, a learned man and attractive by his modesty. When he comes to touch the interpretation of scripture, it is puerile to the last degree. A child who reads the scriptures with a little simple intelligence would smile at the wonders he finds out by Syriac and Hebrew (and, if Marsh is right, often a very slovenly use of them), and the working of his own mind. It is such naϊf nonsense, and brought out with such good faith, that it produces the kindly feeling one has for the foolish questions of a child which betray his innocence. The mind of God in the passage never seems to occur to him, though he believes scripture to be inspired. Now Jehovah and Elohim are always used each in its own proper sense: the latter as the Creator God, God in His own being as such; the former as made known to Israel, a personal name in which He dealt with Israel, and even with the world though they did not own Him. The appropriateness of each is always sensible to him who seizes the bearing of the passage in which it is used. When the relationship or work of God known in relationship to Israel is expressed, we have "Jehovah." When the account is simply historical, God (Elohim) is used. In some cases either would give, if not so perfect sense, yet very little different; since Jehovah is the true Elohim, and Elohim is Jehovah; and the use of Jehovah in these latter cases amounts to the writer having God as known to himself in his mind.
The Psalms notably show the different use of the two terms, as does the Book of Jonah. I will take a special example from the Psalms to show this-Psa. 14 and 53. These are very nearly the same; but in one Jehovah is used, in the other Elohim. In Psa. 14 Jehovah is used. Hence it says, "They were in great fear, for [Elohim-God Himself] God is in the generation of the righteous." The relationship, the consequence of this name Jehovah, is expressed in the presence of Elohim with the righteous in verse 6. "Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because Jehovah is his refuge." Now in Psa. 53 Elohim is used; it is the historical fact of what they were in the sight of Elohim. Hence we have, "There were they in great fear, where no fear was; for Elohim hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee; thou hast put them to shame, because Elohim hath despised them." These psalms convey the same truths; but the thought of relationship prevails where Jehovah is used; whereas, where Elohim is used, we have the general result as regards the enemy.
Again, look at Jonah, where there is not and cannot be the smallest pretense of two accounts. The intercourse between Jonah and God is under the name Jehovah. When the seamen learn who his God is that he is running away from, they fear Jehovah, and call upon Jehovah. Where it is a general testimony of repentance in strangers (Jonah 3: g to the end), it is Elohim. And when we have the general supreme dealings of God with Jonah, to make Him show what He was with man as God, it is again Elohim. Now in Jonah this has peculiar force, because the relationship of Israel with Gentiles, and of Gentiles with Jehovah, is in question. It is the last public direct testimony of God to Gentiles before Christ. And this goodness of God to Gentiles is really what Jonah dreaded, as discrediting his message of judgment, which Jewish pride might like to see executed. (See Jonah 4:2.) Hence on one side we have Gentiles brought, in the moment of judgment on the Israelite, to confess Jehovah; and on the other, God, as such, showing Himself good, the faithful Creator, who thought of those who could not distinguish between their right hand and their left, and even of the cattle. At the same time the proper relationship of Jehovah to His prophet, as such, is also fully maintained, and the word Jehovah, his God, more than once repeated.
Now here we have the elements of Jehovah's grace, and Elohim's true character and supremacy; what, in the nauseous systematizing of ignorance, is reduced to some imaginary documents, which none of them know anything about, but suppose. We have, I say, these two titles brought out in the clearest and most instructive way, as unfolding divine relationships for those who have the heart to delight in them, and justify that wisdom which is the joy of her children. The infidel must imagine and suppose some external cause, because he knows nothing of the real divine force of these things. And I would remark, that I am not here bringing an external proof of the truth of the Jewish system; but that, supposing its existence, the reason for the distinctive use of the words Jehovah and Elohim is fully given within the system itself-is consistent and appropriate. This the infidel ought to have seen or at least examined; because it is a part of the system he pretends to judge (and there are adequate proofs of its consistency within itself, which make his arguments perfectly futile): for what he finds imaginary reasons for is accounted for on the plainest principles of the system he is judging. For everyone can see that Jehovah was a proper name of God to Israel, and declared positively to be such, though the name of the one true supreme God. Now for the believer the use of the names of God carries blessed divine instruction with it, for all His names have a meaning: Almighty, Jehovah, Father, all have a sense to his soul. But it is not even rational to seek for a reason in imaginary causes, when the real reason lies within the system and makes a clearly stated and characteristic part of it. Now such is the difference between Jehovah and Elohim.

Difficult Narratives

As to these alleged "difficult narratives" Mr. N. is very obscure. One might suppose that the double accounts he alleges to exist are in every case distinguished by the use of Jehovah and Elohim. This is not the case. But I suppose he uses the fact of these names being employed to establish, at least, the existence of two documents, and their use by the author of the book of Genesis, from which they are drawn. But even this is untenable ground; because, if the two documents were distinctively characterized by these two names of God, an account alleged to be drawn from one of the distinct documents would not, as it often does, employ both of these names; nor two accounts, alleged to exist because the writer copied two distinct documents, employ, both of them, only one and the same name. Such accounts cannot be referred to two distinct documents characterized by the distinct employment of each. Mr. N. slips over all this with a convenient looseness habitual with infidel objectors.
However, none of his objections on this ground (rather a favorite one with German discoverers) has the least validity. It was important, in a book addressed to Israel, to show that Jehovah, their God, was the one true supreme Elohim, the Creator, in contrast with the demon gods of the heathen. Hence, in Genesis, where creation and the ante-Israelitish history is given, we have these two names brought in together (the force of which is much lost in our English translation), or so used, as to make it clear that Jehovah is Elohim and Elohim is Jehovah, though this last was taken as a name of relationship only at the Exodus, on which we will say a few words farther on. The very creed, as I may call it, of Israel marks clearly the use of these words: אֶחׇד יְהוׇֹה אֱלחֵיגף יׅהוׇֹה יִשְׂדׇאֵל שְׁמַצ "Hear, O Israel, Jehovah, our God, is one Jehovah." "And what nation is there that hath Elohim," says Moses, "so nigh to them as Jehovah, our Elohim, is in all things that we call upon him for?" "Did ever people hear the voice of Elohim speaking out of the midst of the fire?" "Or hath Elohim assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, &c., as Jehovah, your Elohim, did for you in Egypt before your eyes? Unto thee it was sheaved, that thou mightest know that Jehovah, he is Elohim; there is none else beside him." So the people, when Elijah brought down fire from heaven, cry out, "Jehovah, he is Elohim; Jehovah, he is Elohim."
Having thus the undoubted importance of these words, let us apply this clear principle to that part of the history in which it was necessary to show that Elohim was Jehovah, the Creator, Israel's God.
I have already alluded to the creation. We have there, first, as a general history, Elohim (God) creating everything in succession; and Elohim rests. (Gen. 10:2:1-3.) Then we have Jehovah Elohim, and the particular condition of things under Him, this kind of repetition being universal in scripture history, when subjects are considered in a new light (as, if I give Benjamin's progeny as such, and Saul's royal one for example as such). I am not exactly aware of three accounts, as Mr. N. alleges, of man's creation. We have, besides Adam, a special account of Eve's creation. In this second chapter we have a detailed account of the condition and circumstances of man-the peculiar position he was placed in as lord of the creation his wife's to him-out of what he was formed-how he became a living soul: details as essential all of them, when his relationship with Jehovah Elohim was unfolded, as the historical account of Elohim's creating all things in general (among which man had his place) was in its place too.
In this there is only a perfect communication of divine truth, each thing being perfectly in its place.

Noah and the Flood

Let us turn to Noah and the flood.
We have the sons of Elohim. (Chap. 6: 2.) As to them, and in connection with His peculiar dealings with man, Jehovah said (ver. 3), "My Spirit shall not always strive with man." We have "sons of Elohim" (ver. 4), because here the expression is characteristic. "Elohim saw" (ver. 5), because here it was God in His own nature and character looking at man as such. "Jehovah repented" (ver. 6), because here it is His special thoughts and dealings about man as His-His feelings in connection with this relationship. Again (ver. 7) Jehovah, and Jehovah in relationship with Noah. Noah (ver. 9) "walked with God:" here it was morally characteristic, not his relationship to Jehovah under that name.
"The earth was corrupt before Elohim"-again it refers to God's abstract nature and character. (Ver. 11, 12.) So (ver. 13) Elohim takes up His creation to declare its end to Noah. He had the Creator's title to destroy His creation. Elohim Himself commanded Noah what to do in this case. In chapter 7 we enter into the full relationship of God with Noah as a deliverer; and it is Jehovah, just as we saw with Adam. There Elohim created. Jehovah had to do with Adam in a special way in the garden. Here Elohim is going to destroy His creation, and Jehovah has special relationship with Noah in the ark, as we have seen in chapter 6: 3, 6-8, the peculiar relative feelings of Jehovah, not the simple character and supremacy of Elohim.
Yet, fully to identify the two accounts and connect them, we have in chapter 7: 16, "And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as Elohim had commanded him, and Jehovah shut him in" Now here we have the general command of Elohim given in the preceding chapter about His creatures to preserve them as Creator; and then Jehovah shut him (Noah) in-that is, in the same verse, the special name of relationship in case of the faithful and chosen patriarch. Mr. N. says, "The two documents may indeed in this narrative be almost rediscovered by mechanical separation." (Ib.) Certainly it would not be more than mechanical; for German theology nothing more, indeed, would be wanting.
Again, in chapter 8, in preserving mercy we have Εlohim's care of His preserved creation, and its deliverance to subsist on the recovered earth again. Then Noah builds an altar (ver. 20), and Jehovah's name immediately appears again, because it was important to show that it was indeed Israel's God that was thus worshipped-God in relationship with man from the beginning. Elohim then (chap. 9) begins the world, so to speak, again; but the moment it is a question of relationship (ver. 26), we have Jehovah the God of Shem.
I need not pursue this farther. One point only remains to be noticed-the twos and sevens of the animals. In the accounts of Εlohim's directions for saving the different races of creatures, they are directed to be taken two of every sort, the male and female, to keep them alive. Nothing can be more simple than the meaning of this. When Jehovah is stating His thoughts as to Noah, and giving His directions in respect to His relationship with man and the earth, He directs Noah to take of clean beasts by sevens, still two and two, male and female; and they all go in two and two, as Elohim had commanded: thus identifying, in the text itself, the two names in a way which would make the dissevering them difficult, even on the mechanical process. The reason for distinguishing the clean beasts (still two and two, male and female) is too obvious to make the smallest difficulty. The twos refer, moreover, to male and female on a general principle. One must be very hard run up for a difficulty, or for a discovery, to find a contradiction here. The fowls of the air, which went in by sevens, are meant evidently clean ones too, as may be seen in chapter 8: 20.

Pharaoh and Abimelech

The cases of Pharaoh and Abimelech only confirm the remarks we have made. Moreover, in the parallel part of the passage, Jehovah is used in both cases. Jehovah plagued Pharaoh with great plagues. Jehovah had fast closed up the wombs of the house of Abimelech. Only there is added in Abimelech's case, God having known Abimelech's integrity in the matter, that He (Elohim) warned Abimelech in a dream. Now here Jehovah the God of Israel would have been quite out of place; for Abimelech was a Philistine, and Abraham already distinctively called. Yet, as a gracious God in nature and character, Elohim could chastise Abimelech temporarily for his error, and warn him, though He would preserve the integrity of the family He had chosen.
Here let me remark, that undoubtedly Abraham was to blame.
In the day when God judges the secrets of men's hearts, all this will have its place between God and Abraham; but in His government of the world, all having fallen into idolatry, God was showing His special care over one called out in grace to bear His name, and walk under His protection. Hence that special care of him and his descendants, till there was no remedy, because they respected the name of Jehovah less than a heathen, as was shown in Zedekiah's conduct with Nebuchadnezzar. He that touched them, Jehovah's called ones, touched Jehovah Himself, who declared He would protect them as ΕΙ-Shaddai, the Almighty, such a one touched the apple of His own eye. Jehovah's power as Almighty had to be made good against the apostate and guilty heathen, for the sustaining the faith of His called ones, and the knowledge that there was a God of the earth.
But the statement, that these names are contrasted in Abraham's case with Pharaoh and Abimelech, is unfounded. There is no divine warning to Pharaoh; and Jehovah's care of Abraham, in judging each, is related under the same title Jehovah.

Useless Miracles

As to "useless miracles "-what would Mr. N. mean by a useful miracle? I suppose one that displayed God would be quite useless to him. He does not want a revelation from God. He is too competent to know Him to need it. Useful in his point of view would mean for some human profit; for moral degradation in reasoning cannot be separated from infidelity, which makes man its end and shuts out God. Now doubtless Jesus was healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him. But surely it is conceivable that a miracle which showed that a divine Person was come amongst men; and rendering this sensible to them, might have some usefulness in it. All men are not so able to do without God and a positive revelation of Him as Mr. N. is. They have found it useful to them to have Him revealed, a delight to them even to hear His words. They have wondered at His condescension and grace in thus communicating with them. They have understood that, where that power is, a man can walk on the waves of this troublesome world, and are glad to know that, by keeping the eye steadily fixed on Him, they can do it too; they have found it so, and that, if forgetful of this grace and power they begin to think of difficulties, they begin to sink. They go out on His word to meet Him. They have been helped when they failed; and they believe that when indeed He shall rejoin His tossed people, they will be at land immediately. They see this all fully developed in the circumstances of the miracle-Christ, acknowledged as prophet, refusing to be king, and going up to be alone on high, the disciples having to struggle on without His presence, while at last He will return, and all will be rest from labor. They see even that the whole subject of John 6, where it is largely spoken of, shows Christ as the food of His people during this outward separation. He had been satisfying the poor with bread (see Psa. 132), but the time was not come for His being king; He satisfies the saints meanwhile with far better bread-Himself come down from on high, with His flesh too and His blood: so must He be eaten to live by Him. It is again a full development of the new thing, preceded by a complete picture of the historical positions Christ would take-prophet, priest, and king-each in its place connected with it. To Mr. N. it is a "useless miracle." I am sorry for him-yes, unfeignedly sorry.
Such wonderful testimony as "many saints coming out of their graves" after Christ's resurrection, surely was not useless to show that death was then overcome. In order to furnish such a testimony they must have appeared. Their doing so "to many" precluded the idea of its being the heated imagination of an individual, or the fraudulent story of a few favorers of Jesus's pretensions.

Double Account of Circumcision

I do not know what Mr. N. means by a double account of the origin of circumcision; I know of but one, that in Gen. 17 It is referred to Elohim, but He is called, as appearing to Abraham, Jehovah, and yet gives His name as ΕΙ-Shaddaí. It was a command connected with the character and nature of God. They were to be a separate people to Him, and the flesh be mortified. This "was not of Moses," who brought in specially the name Jehovah as the ground of relationship, "but of the fathers," antecedent to the special relationship of the Jews with Him, and connected with the name "God Almighty," that Abraham might be a father of many nations.

Jacob Named Israel, Bethel

God confirms the name of Israel to Jacob; but there is no double account of its origin. On the first occasion God had a controversy with Jacob, but blesses him, strengthens him to prevail in the conflict, and gives him the name of Israel-"a prince who prevailed with God;" yet chastises him, and does not reveal Himself to him. Jacob after this goes up to the place where his real meeting with God in blessing was to be, and puts may idols out of his house, knowing he is going to meet Him. Then God begins by revealing freely His name, and confirms to Jacob the title He had given him before. Here there is no kind of pretense for making two accounts-one using the word "Jehovah," the other "Elohim." Jehovah is used in neither. In the case of Bethel, God appeared to him when he left the land of Canaan, and he called the name of the place "Bethel." God tells him, on returning, to go up there, calling it already Bethel; and then appears a second time there to Jacob, and Jacob thereupon confirms to it the name of "Bethel." He had a double reason; but it is called in the second part of the history Bethel already before he gets there; so that the case is very simple and very clear, and there is no pretense of a reason to speak of it as two distinct independent accounts which are referred to.

Beersheba

The name of "Beersheba" was confirmed by Isaac when he also established by oath his boundaries there with Abimelech, as Abraham had done. These circumstances both gave occasion to this name. Being the boundary-wall, the engagement was repeated; and both engagements contributed to give it this name But here there is not the smallest ground whatever for supposing that it was inattention to some other document, for it is stated (26:18), "And Isaac digged again the wells of water which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham. And he called their names after the names by which his father had called them;" and then it goes on to give an additional personal reason why the last had the same name.

The Name Jehovah, Elohim, El-Shaddai

As regards God's saying, "But by my name Jehovah was I not known to them," the meaning is as simple as possible. The words are-"And Elohim spake unto Moses" (in the previous verses it is "Jehovah," showing how unfounded is the supposition of their belonging to distinct documents), "and said unto him, I am Jehovah: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty; but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them." Now here we have Elohim, Jehovah, El-Shaddai, all spoken of the one supreme God as different names; and then the Lord declares, exactly according to Genesis, that to the patriarchs He had revealed Himself as El-Shaddai. (See Gen. 17; 35:11.) This was the name the power of which He was specially to make good in their favor, in protecting them in their wanderings, "what time they went from one nation to another people."
Now that He was calling His people, He reveals Himself to them by another name, as the ground of relationship and of the expectation of faith on their part, as the existing One "who was, and is, and is to come," though still the Almighty. He who now promised would live ever to perform, unchanged and unchangeable. Jehovah was God's proper and peculiar name with His redeemed people. He had never taken this name as the ground of His dealings with Abraham, nor laid it as the basis on which his faith was to act.
In the New Testament, God takes yet another-that of Father. Hence He says, "I will be a Father, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." That is, God (Elohim), who had the two former names, Jehovah or "Lord," and Shaddai, "Almighty," now took this special one of Father with the saints. From the first calling out of the world to be separate from it, God Almighty, Jehovah, Father, characterized successively the position which God assumed for faith. Nothing can be plainer. I believe He is now God Almighty; but it is not the name by which He is known to me: He is known to me by the name of Father. "To us there is one God, the Father." If this be all German discoveries are worth, they deserve to be designated by a name which I shall not, however, permit myself to give them. I am sure they are not distinguished by any intelligence of the bearing of the work they are exercising their wits upon, nor the force of the expressions contained in it.

Two Fold Miracle of the Quails

The twofold miracle of the quails is, in each case, perfectly in its place, and distinctly dated, and has its own proper moral character. Mr. N. is pleased to say, one shows unacquaintedness with the other. This kind of assertion is very worthy of the boldness of an infidel, but of no one else. An attack upon such a history as the scripture, taken second-hand from flippant German assertions (for such, I must say, they are), without really investigating the grounds of them, does not, I confess, shine, morally speaking, to my eyes. God has permitted, though they have done the best they can, that they should find difficulties (and they are obliged to rest in what is apparent-beneath the surface the conscience would be set at work); as to which the answer is certain and complete in the text (proving that they are superficial, and have not given themselves the trouble to examine the book they judge.) The dates of these two sendings of quails can be accurately ascertained, almost to a day. The only reason Mr. N. has for saying, that one shows un-acquaintance with the other, is that the circumstances of one are different from the other, proving they are not the same.
Quails were given before the giving of the law (Ex. 16), immediately after leaving Elim, on the fifteenth day of the second month after leaving Egypt. They stayed a year at Sinai, for the giving of the law, and constructing the tabernacle, &c. "And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up... and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran" (Numbers 10:11) after three days' journey. (See ver. 33.) Then came the complaints, the judgment on which gave the name "Taberah" to the place; and immediately after, they stopped and pitched their tents at a place called, from the judgment that fell on them, Kibroth-hattaavah, "the graves of lust." This was their first station after leaving Sinai. We have thus clearly ascertained that a year and eight days, and possibly one or two more, elapsed from one of these events to the other. Their moral character is perfectly in keeping with the epoch at which they happened. If the reader examines the history, he will find that, from the Red Sea to Sinai, all is pure grace. They murmur-and it is said, they shall see the Lord's glory; and they get manna and quails without a reproach. They murmur-the rock is smitten, and they get water without a reproof. Conflict arises-they are made to feel their dependence; but the blessing is maintained, and the Lord is their banner- their conflicts are His.
At Sinai they undertake to obey, and to receive the blessing under the condition of their own obedience. They put themselves under law-fruit of that pride of heart which pretends to be able to satisfy God's requirements, and hence is willing to make its blessing depend on its own powers.
The proof is soon given of what the result must be. Before the law is brought down written, they have cast off God altogether. It is broken by them, and Moses breaks the tables.
Mediation comes in; so that they are yet borne with, put again under law, only that they are governed by patient goodness; and chastening and judicial government comes in-a principle which characterized their history up to the Babylonish captivity. Hence when they murmur again, despising the gracious provision of manna (of which the description is thereon again incidentally given), and insist on meat, and persevere in eating it (though divine power, which they doubted, was shown in sending it, so that they ought to have been ashamed of their request), while thus gratifying their lust without shame, wrath comes upon them. That is, we see in the most distinct way, the difference of that grace shown in redemption and exercised towards the redeemed in their need, and the effects of proudly putting oneself under law, and finding, not the fruit of obedience, but the just consequence of those lusts which hinder our walking according to it.
Nothing can be more deeply instructive than the double giving of quails. Neither, without the other, would have given the instruction which the different events afford.

The Water - Aaron's Rod - the Rock - Meribah

Take again the water. If the reader reads from Numbers 10, he will see grace condescending to lead them; the ark, which by right ought to have been in the middle of the host, goes before for three days' journey, to seek a place for them to rest in-as Jesus goes before His own sheep. This was grace. The Lord serves them as guide, above and beyond the legal relationship. From Num. 11 onwards we see Israel's rebellion, and the working of the flesh developed in its different forms: Taberah-Kibroth Hattaavah—Miriam and Aaron despising Moses—despising the pleasant land after sending the spies-the open rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, against Aaron and Moses, priest and king in Jeshurun. How are the people to be led through? Destruction may be just, but cannot lead us to the end of our journey. Here then is given a sign of the principle. Aaron's (that is, the priest's rod) is to guide and govern them, and that not in judgment, as the use of Moses' had been, but in life-giving resurrection power-the dry stick blossoms and bears fruit-the sign of priesthood with divine power of life. Grace in this way can alone lead us through-Moses' rod of law and judgment cannot. With this, consequently, is given what might seem otherwise out of place-the means of cleansing unintentional defilements unwittingly incurred (Num. 19, the red heifer), the connection of which with our subject is evident. Murmurs come in again for water, and Moses is told to take the rod and speak to the rock, and it should "give forth his water." There is no need to smite it with the rod of judgment now. But Moses does not rise to the height of divine grace, but, occupied with himself, talks of himself and Aaron, and smites the rock with his rod instead of glorifying God. God rises above the unbelief even of Moses, and gives the water, glorifying Himself; but shows that on the legal principle it is impossible to reach the land. Moses is shut out of it. The first time the rock had to be smitten ("and that rock was Christ") to have the spiritual stream to drink of; but afterward it was not so: it was only to be spoken to, and it would give its water. That is, under the grace of priesthood, which we need not for redemption, which is already accomplished, but for the weakness of the wilderness, it has only to be asked for and obtained. Thus we have sovereign grace giving freely and gratuitously; then legal condition, and failure and judgment; then priestly care and living grace affording, in spite of failure, the needed supply as the means of carrying the people through the wilderness to the promised land, after every form of the unbelief of the heart had been brought out. I may add, to complete the instruction, that quite at the close the question arises, Can these failing ones enter? The full justifying grace, and blessing too, is brought out, and in presence of the enemy it is declared as the full answer, "He bath not seen iniquity in Jacob, nor beheld perverseness in Israel."
Am I going out of scriptural principles to indulge my own fancy in these things? No; "they happened unto them for ensamples (τύποι types-forms of truth), and are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come." And in these admirably instructive accounts, whose doubling gives them their peculiar character and force, infidelity sees, that is, imagines, two documents. And what more? Nothing? Yes, UNDENIABLE error. There may have been fifty documents, for aught I know; only, if there were, God has marvelously used the contents for our instruction. Meribah means "strife," and the two cases of striving were called strife. That is very surprising. As to a second appointment of elders, I may have easily, it is true, forgotten something; but I know of none. There were rulers of tens, fifties, hundreds, and thousands probably, appointed by the advice of Jethro; but that is quite another thing.

Double Consecration of Aaron and His Sons

There is not a double consecration of Aaron and his sons. There is the full detail of all the tabernacle, and along with it the ordinances for the consecration of the priests; and there is the historical account of its being done elsewhere, but there is nothing extraordinary in that. And so perfectly in its place is the account of what was to be done when first given, that in Exodus the ordinances for the consecration of Aaron come in between those articles of the tabernacle which were the display of God, or connected with the people, and those which the priests particularly used in drawing near as such. These last are described after the priests' clothing, and the ordinances for their consecration. Articles in the same part of the tabernacle are thus separated from one another, and connected with that part of the service to which they belong. To a careless observer the order seems disorder. The moment you perceive there are the two parts (God's dealing with the people, or displaying Himself in any way; and men, i.e., priests, approaching Him) the distinction and order is as clear as possible, and the introduction of the priests' garments and consecration has peculiar appropriateness, and gives a force to all that it could not have without-just as the sacrifice for passing defilements did in the midst of Israel's failings in Numbers. That the consecration should be historically given is most natural; the whole order of Israel depended on it, and circumstances are mentioned there of the very last importance and largest import.

Double Promise of a Guardian Angel

The statement (Phases, p. 134) that "there is a double promise of a guardian angel" can have weight only with those who do not give themselves the trouble to read the passages. In Ex. 23 the Lord says, "Behold, I send an Angel before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him and obey his voice; provoke him not, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him." God goes before them by angelic power, by what He calls (ver. 23) "mine Angel." That is, an intervention of God in that way which was really Himself, only in the way of angelic power. Thus Jacob says (Gen. 48), "God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads." So where God, as I AM, manifested Himself in a flame of fire in the bush, He is called "the Angel" in the bush. Where Jacob declares at Peniel (i.e., the face of God) that he had seen God face to face, and lived, Hosea says "he had power over the angel and prevailed." So in the case of Manoah it is said "the angel of Jehovah did wondrously," and Manoah says "we have seen God," and the words are received as Jehovah's, telling them such and such things. He is called all through the passage the Angel Jehovah, as many translate it. Subsequently to what is spoken of in Ex. 23 Israel made the golden calf, and the Lord would have refused to go with them, as, if present, He must consume them, and declared He would send an angel with Moses. Moses intercedes, and the Lord says His presence shall go with him. To make of this general promise and the special dealing in reference to their guilt and God's prolonged mercy a double promise, is mere trifling.

Death of Aaron

As regards the difficulty arising from the passage in Deuteronomy regarding Aaron's death, it is one of those passages which are the strongest possible proofs of not only the authenticity but the personal knowledge of the author, because there is apparent contradiction, which is immediately solved when you examine all the details-a proof that it is written by one who knew them, and, having the consciousness of the links which united the parts, was not sensible of the necessity of making it hang together as a fabricated story.
It is quite true that, in appearance, Deut. 10 makes Aaron die before reaching Meribah-kadesh, where, according to Numbers, he sinned and incurred the penalty of death. Mr. N.'s proof is Num. 33:31-38. Moseroth being mentioned in verse 31 before Kadesh, where Moses sinned; Mosera, in Deuteronomy 10 as the place of Aaron's death, which would be thus before coming to Meribah, where he sinned; for in Deut. 10 it is said he died at Mosera, consequently at Moseroth (Numbers 33: 31); but in this list of Numbers this Moseroth is before he came to Kadesh-barnea, where the sin was committed for which he was condemned to die in the wilderness. In one word, Mosera, where he died, Deuteronomy 10, is in Num. 33:31 before Kadesh, where he sinned.
Now, if we look at these accounts superficially (Mr. N. must forgive me if I employ the word he has consecrated to this use), this objection may seem plausible enough. But it is perfectly certain that Israel went from Moseroth to Ezion-gaber, back to Moseroth, and again back to Ezion-gaber, then to go round Edom. This circumstance, which clears up the whole matter, shows that the knowledge of the facts was of that personal kind which is not aware of the difficulty of one who is a stranger to them, because personal consciousness of the whole is a continual explanation of them. If the reader pays attention, the first two places mentioned in Deuteronomy are in inverse order to that in which they are named in Num. 1 may first remark that they continued in this neighborhood thirty-seven years; so that many journeys might have been made; but there is something more precise than that. In Num. 33 they go from Moseroth by Bene-jaakan, Hor-hagidgad, to Ezion-gaber. From Ezion-gaber they go back to Hor. (Num. 21.) After Aaron's death they go from Mount Hor back to the Red Sea—that is, to Ezion-gaber—to compass the land of Edom, and go up the other side of the mountain district. That is, we have one journey from Moseroth to Ezion-gaber, another back to Mount Hor, where Aaron died; and, as Num. 21 shows, a journey from Mount Hor back to Ezion-gaber. At the end of the second of these journeys Aaron dies; that is, when they had gone back to Mount Hor.
That the last journey from Mount Hor to Ezion-gaber was after the death of Aaron is certain from Num. 21, because we have the attack of Arad the Canaanite there, and also in Num. 33:40. So that after the last verse we have a journey from Mount Hor to the Red Sea (as in chap. 21); but in chapter 33 we had one already from Moseroth to Ezion-gaber through a district called Hor-hagidgad. Hence they must have gone back from Eziongaber to the place Aaron died at, still on the west side of Edom; for it is only on the last journey they turned round to go up on the east side.
The first journey from Moseroth to Ezion-gaber was by Benejaakan or "the sons of Jaakan," Hor-hagidgad, and Jotbathah. The second journey was back from Ezion-gaber to the place where Aaron died. Now the journey in Deuteronomy is from the wells of the children of Jaakan to Mosera (that is, part of a journey back along the road they had come, at the end of which, in Mosera, Aaron dies); exactly as, in Numbers, we have seen them go back from Ezion-gaber to Hor where Aaron died, and thence set out again for Ezion-gaber.
But this is not all. We have in Deuteronomy some stations after Aaron's death in Mosera, whither they had returned from Ezion-gaber, as in Numbers we have seen they did. They go thence to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah (that is, the road back again to Ezion-gaber, which is exactly the route spoken of in Num. 21 and 33). In a word, Numbers gives us a journey from Moseroth to Ezion-gaber-one back to Hor-and thence back to Ezion-gaber, or the Red Sea, finally to leave the district. At the end of the one back to Hor Aaron dies.
Deuteronomy gives us the last two stations on the second journey, or the one back. Then Aaron dies; and then, after his death, we have two stations on the road, which, from Num. 33:32, 33, we know was the road back to Ezion-gaber-exactly the one we know, from Num. 21:4, the Israelites took on leaving Mount Hor. That is, there is the most perfect exactitude in the account; yet so given as to show it must have flowed from personal acquaintance with facts, or it never could have come out in the order it does. Deut. 10 gives us demonstrably the end of the second journey (i.e., the one back from Ezion-gaber, and the beginning of the third-Aaron dying at the end of the second, exactly as in Numbers). The only additional circumstance in Numbers is, that Aaron went up Mount Hor to die. Deuteronomy names only the station, which must, by the order of the journey, have been in the district of the Hor range. All the details confirm this order of march.
Thus, instead of being incompatible, they are the fullest confirmation that nobody could have written these accounts but one personally acquainted with the facts. I may add that their passage by Kadesh is omitted in Deuteronomy; but this is no way surprising, as it only gives us the last two stations-Bene-jaakan and Moseroth.

Joshua Arresting the Sun and Moon

Next, as regards the miracle of the sun and moon being arrested in Joshua 10, Mr. N. says, "It has long been felt as too violent a derangement of the whole globe, to be used by the Most High as a means of discomfiting an army." Long felt by whom? It is a very, stale objection of infidels, like most, for they generally copy one another, so that, in the sense of its repetition usque ad nauseam, it has been long felt. But the object was not simply a means of discomfiting the army; it was a public testimony before the world that God interfered for His people, and would answer and put honor upon Joshua. And the sacred writer speaks of it in this way; "The like was never known," he says, "that the Lord hearkened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel." The miracle is as plainly stated as physically true. But Mr. Ν., who always shuts God out of everything, forgets that it was as easy for Him who created the world to stop it as to make it go- to hold it in equipoise for a moment in its place, as to create the laws which kept it in its course. Joshua thought much more of God and His power; Mr. Ν. (as if there were neither) much more of the earth and its ordinary course, because it went naturally on. It seems to me that Joshua's was a higher, truer, nobler thought than that of Mr. Ν. The thought that counted on God's goodness to His people and 1-us almighty power was nobler and truer than that which excludes Him out of His own creation, and forgets that, if God did make these admirable general laws, He must sustain their power every moment, and can never abrogate His own rights for a mass of earth. The earth was stopped turning round, and the sun and moon are spoken of just as we do, and as Joshua must have done. We know well it is the earth which turns round, and yet we say, the sun rises, sets, &c.
As to Jasher's being a poet, it is a mere copying anther's notions without any proof. There is not the remotest semblance of proof that Jasher was a person at all. All this is taken for granted by Mr. Ν.; yet his whole argument depends upon it. There is no proof of Jasher's being a poet, nor of the word meaning a person. Mr. N.'s prosaic commentator speaks of the moon as well as the supposed poet. If one stopped, the other must too. But in afterward stating the effect, the historian speaks of the sun, because it was of course the sun which gave its continuous light for the task which Israel had to accomplish. It is Joshua, not Jasher, which gives the order to the sun and moon to stop; and it is the plain prosaic fact recorded by the commentator, as Mr. N. calls him, which is said to be found in the book of Jasher. It is not said of the elevated poetical appeal. In every particular, what Mr. N. says is totally unfounded. Moreover, it can hardly be doubted, that Joshua was ignorant of the rotation of the earth; and it is remarkable that he should have claimed not the stopping of the sun, but of sun and moon, the necessary effect of that which 'was wholly unknown to him, and yet he asks for that which, unless indeed God had disturbed the whole creation by unnecessary miracle, must have been the effect of the intervention of His power. Untaught by God, Joshua would have said, Sun, stand still. Taught of God, he asks for sun and moon to do so, which is just what God's power acting in the simplest way would do. He could not have answered precisely as to a man fully taught of God, if Joshua had asked for the sun to stop and not the moon, without a very extraordinary derangement of the celestial system. To make the moon go on in its just apparent course, when the earth was stopped, would have put the moon really out of its place. To have stopped the moon, unasked, as well as the sun, would not have been the same testimony to Joshua, though a wonder. But Joshua is taught to ask both. The rotation of the earth is arrested, and all is done at his word, though Joshua never knew the earth turned round, and that sun and moon would thus stop together.

Song of Moses

As regards Ex. 15, Mr. N's statements are without the smallest foundation. He would again persuade us that the historical account is merely drawn from the poetry of chapter 10. But the historical account is one continuous narrative, out of which it is impossible to take this bit without destroying it all. It is referred to in other books too, continually. Mr. N. says, "This song of Moses implies no miracle at all." The song states the miracle as simply as the history which had previously related the facts-" With the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together; the floods stood upright as a heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea." (See Ex. 14:21, 22.)

Fragments of Poetry

As regards Num. 21 one of the alleged fragments of poetry is a song of Israel at the well. Nothing very extraordinary historically: a very interesting figure of the refreshing springs found when the wilderness is passed and Jordan approached. The other two are perfectly apposite and important. They are well known records, cited to prove that the country in question was in the hands of the Amorites, and not of Moab, when Israel took possession. This was of the utmost importance, because Israel was forbidden to touch Moab, whereas the country of the Amorites was given up to them. Now Israel's statements, of whatever authority for themselves, would have been no record against their enemies. Hence, to maintain the title of Israel to these lands, well known popular memorials of the previous conquest of Moab by the Amorites, and the acquisition of this territory by the latter, are given, and of the border as it then was. And this is so truly the case, that the children of Ammon claimed precisely this territory in the time of Jephthah (Judg. 9), and Jephthah goes over all this very ground as that which justified Israel in maintaining possession of the country. It was not Ammon's nor Moab's either. Nor did Balak, king of Moab, pretend to it then. The Amorites, he says, were in possession, and Israel dispossessed them. The common records of the country preserved in their popular songs, and the well known account of the books of the wars of the Lord, were the important point here, and these are preserved in Numbers.

Book of the Law Found by Josiah

The next point maintained by Mr. N., namely, that the book of the law was not found in Josiah's reign, but "evidently then first compiled, or, at least, then first produced and made authoritative to the nation" (Phases, p. 137), is too monstrous, I may say, audacious, a disregard of all evidence to bear the light for a moment. All history, all existing testimony, concurs in authenticating these books. They were held in honor as sacred books, watched with jealous care. But this is not all. We have prophecies undoubtedly of the reign of Hezekiah.
Now I have no pretension to be anything of a Hebraist; but if we may trust those certainly the best informed in the language, the character of the Hebrew of the Pentateuch leaves no doubt as to its being of far greater antiquity than the prophetic writings. Even usages of grammar are different. The use of Hu, as being a common gender for the feminine Hi, is popularly known as marking the antiquity of the Pentateuch, as is the same grammatical peculiarity as to Nahar, a young person.
1. "They do not arise from the forgery of any one individual. Whoever is endowed with adequate knowledge and investigates with impartiality the question-whether the writings of the Old Testament are genuine-must surely answer it in the affirmative. No one deceiver can have forged them all. This every page of the Old Testament proclaims. What a variety in language and expression! Isaiah does not write like Moses; nor Jeremiah like Ezekiel; and between these and every one of the minor prophets a great gulf is fixed. The grammatical edifice of language in Moses has much that is peculiar; in the book of Judges occur provincialisms and barbarisms. Isaiah pours forth words already formed in a new shape; Jeremiah and Ezekiel are full of Chaldaisms. In a word, when one proceeds from writers who are to be assigned to early periods of time to those who are later, he finds in the language a gradual decline, until at last it sinks down into mere Chaldaic terms of expression.
"Then come next the discrepancies in the circle of ideas and of images. The stringed instruments sound aloud when touched by Moses and Isaiah; soft is the tone when David handles them. Solomon's muse shines forth in all the splendor of a most luxurious court; but her sister, in simple attire, wanders, with David, by the brooks and the river-banks, in the fields and among the herds. One poet is original, like Isaiah, Joel, Habakkuk; another copies, like Ezekiel. One roams in the untrodden path of genius; another glides along the way which his predecessors have trodden. From one issue rays of learning, whilst his neighbor has not been caught by one spark of literature. In the oldest writers strong Egyptian colors glimmer through and through; in their successors they become fainter and fainter, until at last they disappear.
"Finally, there is, in manners and customs, the finest gradation. At first all is simple and natural, like to what one sees in Homer, and among the Bedouin Arabs even at the present time; but this noble simplicity gradually loses itself in luxury and effeminacy, and vanishes at last in the splendid court of Solomon.
"Nowhere is there a sudden leap; everywhere the progress is gradual. None but ignorant and thoughtless doubters can suppose the Old Testament to have been forged by one deceiver.
2. "They are not the forgery of many deceivers.
"But, perhaps, some one may reply, 'Perhaps many forgers have made common cause, and, at the same time, in some later period, have got up the books in question.' But how could they forge in a way so entirely conformed to the progress of the human understanding? And was it possible, in later times, to create the language of Moses? This surpasses all human powers. Finally, one writer supposes the existence of another. They could not then all have arisen at the same time; they must have existed successively.
" 'Perhaps, then,' it may be further said; 'such forgers arose at different times, who continued onward, in the introduction of supposititious writings, from the place where their deceitful predecessors had stopped. In this way may all the references to preceding writers be explained; in this way may we explain the striking gradation that exists in all its parts.'
"But, first, how was it possible that no one should have discovered the trick, exposed ít, and put a brand upon the deceiver, in order that posterity might be secured against injury? How could a whole nation be often deceived, and at different periods? Secondly, what design could such a deceiver have had in view? Did he aim at eulogizing the Hebrew nation? Then are his eulogies the severest satires; for, according to the Old Testament, the Hebrew nation have acted a very degrading part. Or did he mean to degrade them? In this case, how could he force his books upon the very people whom they defamed, and the story of whose being trodden under foot by foreign nations is told in plain blunt words?")
This has led Gesenius (rationalist enough not to be anxious to maintain any theory as to the Old Testament, and hence a better witness here) to say, "The point of time at which we should date the commencement of this period, and of Hebrew literature in general, is certainly as early as Moses, even if the Pentateuch did not proceed from him in its present form." And then he refers to different forms in the Pentateuch as proving it.

The Samaritans

Further, the acceptation of the Pentateuch by the Samaritans, even supposing it was in the time of Sanballat, helps to show the absurdity of this invention (a notion which, though quite modern, is, I understand, fast hastening to the tomb of all the Capulets, like other ideas of the "learned Germans," few of which subsist beyond a moth's life; and, indeed, it is well for them they can prove nothing really, for it would entirely spoil the next discovery; whereas, by dying off thus, each leaves a fair field for the next inventor, while it serves just as well to create doubts for the moment; and if the doubt dies out with the objection, a new one has but the better chance). Besides, the whole Jewish polity was founded on the Pentateuch-the Prophets referred to it: not a sacrifice was offered, not an institution maintained, which was not there recorded. And was ever such an absurdity as supposing that Josiah or Huldah could persuade a whole people, and in the presence of watchful Samaritan enemies-not to embrace a certain system, others have done that-but that they and their ancestors had always carried on this system, though it was then produced for the first time? The temple was there; and, however they might have neglected its order and their duty, there was not a vessel, not a pot, nor a flesh-hook, nor a layer, nor a candlestick, which did not bear witness to the previous existence of what the book said did so exist. And note this, there is a regular history of the Jews uninterruptedly from Moses to Josiah-that of other nations too in connection with them. All had to be invented, as well as the style of the epoch, then unknown; and we are to be persuaded this fabulous account of what they were living in, and their fathers before them, and which connected itself with all this history, only now invented in a book, was palmed on them as their own true history, for the book, it is alleged, was now compiled! Was the account of the temple compiled, which it is impossible to separate from it? These were institutions which bore witness to its authenticity.

Hezekiah's Prophets

The reproaches of "Hezekiah's prophets" all suppose this history. Their reproaches to the people have to a great extent no meaning if the whole Jewish history be not true. Persuading a people, some fine day, that a detailed voluminous history is their own, demands a credulity to be found only in an infidel, particularly when no proof whatever is alleged of it. Its ground is simply probability. But, it will be said, it was only the book had to be invented to flatter the people with the notion of the antiquity of their neglected worship. But then it did not do so. There was enough to prove the history all true; but the Pentateuch gave the tabernacle, not the temple-one candlestick, not ten; an ark with two cherubim looking towards it, and no cherubim stretching their wings to either side of the house. To invent something different to please the people by its antiquity, was absurd; and if they took the account in Samuel of the temple of Solomon, they found the oxen gone from under the layer, and they found, moreover, the authenticity of the books confirmed, for, in that case, Samuel's book was an authentic account. But, indeed, to suppose a history invented when every existing monument, changed, mutilated, or perfect, proved the whole history true from beginning to end, and its comparative dates at the same time; and that, confirmed by well-known public history, is an absurdity fit only for the credulity of an infidel, who will believe anything provided it be not the truth, for that is from God.
The fact of the introduction of "there it is to this day" is the simplest thing possible. Ezra necessarily re-edited the Old Testament on the return from Babylon. And nothing could be more natural, if I were editing an ancient history, when the origin of ancient monuments is referred to, than to add, as confirming the history, "and there it is still." This is the allusion to subsequent times which is found in Old Testament history.

Dean Graves

The reason why Dean Graves (Phases, pp. 138, 139) and others take the Pentateuch as ancient, is incomparably stronger than that on which Homer and Hesiod or Caesar are received. They have been handed down for ages as such, translated two or three centuries before Christ, being then counted as the undoubted sacred books of the Hebrews. They are connected successively with the whole history of Israel, which is confirmed throughout by every kind of collateral proof. The whole history of the world is founded on the statements contained in it. The Jews, who detest Christians, preserve them as authentic books just as we have them: the son of Sirach, Josephus, Philo did the same. The style confirms the dates ascribed to them: every institution of the Jews is inseparably connected with their truth. The alleged inconsistency is accounted for by a well known fact recorded in the book itself. Is it unreasonable to accept these books, historically speaking, as genuine, and answer objections if they are made? The use of the article in Greek, as a pronoun, proves Homer ancient. The use of the article Hu and Nahar is a perfectly analogous proof in the Pentateuch.

Sham Science

Where is "sham science" (Phases, p. 138) really found in this case? As regards the difficulty of supposing that the law had been so neglected that the king's attention had not been turned to it, it is really none at all. Sixty-seven years had elapsed, during fifty-seven of which all fear of Jehovah had been wholly cast off- a captivity had taken place, and all was confusion and ruin-the house of God neglected, and out of repair. Persecution had raged; the images of idolatrous groves had been brought into the temple itself, and idolatry and neglect of Jehovah filled the land. That the scriptures were neglected, and not known to the young king, is not surprising. He may have known there was such a thing generally, yet never have examined it so as to see the condition Israel was in.

Mr. Newman's Hebrew Monarchy

I have looked into the history of the Hebrew monarchy by Mr. Ν., and examined particularly what relates to this point; but I have found, besides some examination of collateral history and dates, Nothing but an imitation of the absurd German self confidence and theories, whose authors, provided they can invent something which nobody else has thought of, are very indifferent as to its credibility.
Mr. N. places the prophecy of Joel about 840 years before Christ, Isaiah in Hezekiah's reign, and recognizes (for 'tis suits his purpose) the destruction of the brazen serpent, the existence of the priesthood and temple. Now the allusions in Joel are all based on the Levitical law, even to the peculiar use of the silver trumpets. Isaiah refers to it in terms, saying, if they spake not according to it, there was no light in them. The deliverance out of Egypt is also spoken of several times; in one case, as affected by the rod of Moses being lifted up over the sea. Again, Micah refers to the ordinances of the law as to sacrifices, in express terms; he refers to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, to Balak and Balsam, and the details given as to them in Numbers. Mr. N. puts Micah in 723 before Christ; Josiah he puts in 651. Yet, in spite of this, he declares that the law was promulgated in Josiah's reign, when, it is pretended, it was found. This being too grossly absurd, he tells us that the first four books of the Pentateuch are to be regarded as a growth, not as a composition. Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers did not now begin to exist, but now received their final shape, and their public recognition in that shape. That is, that the code of religious laws and ceremonies was never made up till the nation, which had certainly subsisted for centuries, and had established an immense system according to the code, was just on the eve of dissolution! And mark, the code establishes, as I have already observed, an order of things quite different from what subsisted. It recounts the forming of the tabernacle by divine direction, according to the pattern made in the mount, the authority for the change being given in books written, according to Mr. N., too late to be of any avail for the priestly objects to which he attributes the compiling of the Pentateuch; so that the priests invented a divinely ordered ritual and instruments of worship, which left their own existing one quite unauthorized!
There is nothing like the excessive absurdities of infidels to show what people are reduced to, when their "antagonistic will" rejects the plain revelation of God.
I regret to be obliged to add, that the reader must never trust the statements made by infidels as to books, or passages of scripture, without reading the passages themselves. It is not that there is always an intention to deceive, but a loose general view suits a theory; and when this loose general view is examined, it very often turns out to be wholly unfounded.

Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy, we are told, favors the Levites rather than the priests: "In the whole book there is not a line whereby it could be learned that a Levite was not, equal to an Aaronite for all purposes of sacrifices." Now it is the people in Deuteronomy who are put into a peculiar place, such as they are in no other book- their relationship with God being made much more immediate. But the priest is definitely distinguished much more than the Levite. The subject is not sacrifice, in any way; but where they are alluded to, the priest's part is definitely distinguished. Levi is looked at as the head of the whole tribe, as we know he was. Hence in the blessing in the close all is attributed to him, as the Urim and Thummim, which the high priest alone wore. Mr. Ν. contrasts the prophecy of Jacob and Moses as to him as contradictory. It is, on the contrary, remarkable how both were fulfilled. Jacob threatens him, for his sin, with dispersion in Israel for his cruelty at Shechem; and he is dispersed, as Deuteronomy recognizes, and has no inheritance as a tribe in Israel. Moses declares that, for his faithfulness under Sinai, the priesthood should be in his family; and so it was.
Mr. N.'s statements as to the contents of the first four books are inexact. He speaks of "the scattering of Israel by piracy and invasion, into many distant lands," but says there is "nothing at all clear which needs to be referred to later times." Now this is not at all exact. Lev. 26 speaks of very much more than scattering by piracy and invasion; it speaks of the total desolation of the land, so that it should enjoy its sabbaths, and of its possession by enemies; of the sanctuaries being ruined, and the people pining away in captivity, and promises restoration on repentance. This was not the case in Josiah's reign. He repaired the temple, governed Judea, and, it may be almost said, reigned over the whole land. The Assyrian holds a place in all prophecy, which the Chaldees do not, because the Assyrian attacked Judah when owned of God; the Chaldees held them in captivity when they were not.
Mr. N. says, "the book [the Pentateuch] is familiar with the tribes of Israel, and their distribution." Now Deuteronomy is put aside by Mr. Ν. as a distinct work from the rest of the Pentateuch; and to Genesis the expression of the distribution of the tribes has no intelligible application. The only one whose locality is spoken of certainly, never had the one there given him before Josiah's time. Now it is perfectly incredible that, if a person was arranging the book with the historical facts before him, he should have invented a prophecy which those facts contradict. If we take in Deuteronomy, the same observation applies. Naphtali is said to possess the west and the south, and, in general, no distribution is given which can in any possible way connect it with Josiah's time. All there is on this point proves it could not possibly have been written then from the knowledge of historical facts preceding that epoch. Indeed, if we embrace Deuteronomy, the whole argument is absurd; because we get in that book, especially in chapter 32, prophecies which have no kind of reference to anything yet fully accomplished, and which, so far as they are partially, have no reference to anything connected with the history of Israel before Christ's time, and yet are positive and absolute assertions.
On the whole, a saint may gather, if he be following God's will, good out of everything, may turn it to use; but, otherwise, Mr. N.'s book on the Hebrew monarchy, considered as an examination of scriptural history, is not deserving of any serious attention; unless theories without proof, idle speculations which lower everything they touch, assertions as to the records inquired into which show they have never been really or fairly examined, and statements which destroy all rational grounds of historical proof of anything, be worthy of a sober man's attention and respect. It betrays, also, what we soon find on going farther, the earnest wish to get rid of scripture.

The Revelation, Especially Chapter 17

Why was Luther's having repudiated the Apocalypse an interesting fact, but that Mr. Ν. wished it? If! am not an infidel, or if I am even indifferent, such a fact is not thus caught at as interesting. I regret it, or I examine it, as affording no proof of anything
As regards the Apocalypse, I leave the question of style, which flows evidently from its being the representation of visions, and many peculiarities of which have been shown to be similar to those of John's gospel. I leave it, because Mr. Ν. does not insist on it, though for a reason of very little force, and adopted with a view to govern the interpretation by the date. Mr. Ν. gives no other reason for judging it spurious but that he doubted about it, and had his doubts confirmed by Neander.
He then gives his view of chapter 17 in a passage which is just an example of the excessively careless and superficial manner in which he treats every subject. "Chapter 17," he says, "appears to be a political speculation, suggested by the civil war of Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian, and erroneously opines that the eighth emperor of Rome is to be the last, and is to be one of the preceding emperors restored-probably Nero, who was believed to have escaped to the kings of the east." (Phases, p. 140.) Now I would only beg my reader, learned or unlearned, to read the chapter (it is always the truest way of judging of scripture), and say if he can find the slightest ground whatever for this interpretation, or for one of the thoughts contained in it, save that Rome, and its empire, was in question, and that an eighth head was a restored one, and even then with symbols that showed that it was shadowed out in ages long beyond John's time-correctly or not I do not now say. Where is there a word of civil wars, or three heads at once? And, further, Mr. N. certainly ought to have more classical lore a great deal than I have: still I do not understand how he can reconcile his statement with universally known history.
This is the succession of emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian.
Now, according to the system adopted in Mr. N.'s book, John wrote in the reign of Galba, for, he says, five are fallen, one is, and Galba is the sixth, Otho the seventh, Vitellius the eighth, and Vespasian the ninth-a very curious reason for judging that the eighth emperor was to be the last. If the civil war between Otho and Vitellius is said to be a reason for considering these two as one, then it must be from historically knowing that the two emperors were, or had been, on the scene-a strange reason for saying that the sixth, Galba, who in that case had already disappeared, was then, and the seventh not yet come. In a word, the pretense that this prophecy is taken from subsisting events, is, I must be forgiven for saying, mere nonsense. And here I beg the reader to remark, that all relation to the ten horns is unnoticed by Mr. N., yet these were kings which had received no kingdom as yet. Let any one notice, not only the majesty of the statements, but the connection of the beast spoken of with the whole of the latter part of the prophecy, and judge whether the civil wars from Galba to Vespasian in any way meet the announcements of the prophecy. If the prophecy were not even an inspired book referring to future events, nothing which had then happened can be received as giving rise to its statements. A year's fighting between these three chiefs, and the subsequent accession of Vespasian, do not correspond in any way to what the author professes to unfold in his book.
Galba was murdered after a very brief period (about seven months, January 15, A.D. 69), and Otho succeeded him. Otho, beaten by the lieutenants of Vitellius, killed himself, April 16th; Vitellius, his army having been overthrown by Antonius Primus, was deposed, or, rather, abdicated, Dec. 20th, A.D. 69, and soon after was ignominiously killed. The only value of a decision come to against the Apocalypse, on such ground as this, is to show the value to be attached to the judgment of the objector on such a subject.
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The Song of Solomon

I have no remark to make on what Mr. N. says of the Song of Solomon (Phases, p. 140) than that it is just an example of what I have said of the whole system-a bringing down everything to the low level of the writer's mind.

The Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews

Mr. Newman settles, with equal facility, the authority, or rather, the question who is the author, of the epistle to the Hebrews. Now, the inquiry, whether a particular book belongs to scripture, is quite another thing than denying the word of God. It is merely a question whether that particular book makes part of it. Guessing as to it is folly, on such a subject. I have no doubt that the epistle to the Hebrews is Paul's. The omission of his name has raised a question on it from early days. The Roman Church did not receive it for a long time, but I am satisfied it did at the first. I judge that Clement's epistle, addressed as it is in the name of the whole Roman Church, is a plain proof of it. The desire to get rid of passages in chapter 6 and το which seem to favor a peculiar rigidity of discipline, led that church to cast a doubt upon it, on account of the controversies it was engaged in on the subject (the epistle's being addressed, as it evidently is, to Jews connected with Jerusalem and Palestine, making it less known than those addressed to Gentile churches). Its inspiration, I hesitate not to say, stands far above all question. It is different in style from St. Paul's familiar epistles addressed in intimacy, if we except that to the Romans, to particular congregations he knew. In this last, also, we find a long course of elaborate argument, and the use of Jewish scriptures. Still it is addressed to them in a character which extended to those he had never seen. The epistle to the Hebrews is a treatise elaborately composed as a last warning to the Jews, whose polity was just going to be put an end to, and urging them to have done with it as ready to vanish away, and to go out without the camp. The contrary conduct had been borne with hitherto. Now this was urgent. Who so fit for this as Paul? It was at the close of his career; for he refers to Timothy being set at liberty, and himself as free, and to the saints in Italy.
The neglect of his counsel produced the bastard Christianity, if Christianity it can be called, of Nazarenes, and the still worse sect of Ebionites, whose hatred to Paul, consequently, was most violent. They rejected indeed all his writings. The subject of the epistle to the Hebrews is of the highest and most elevated character. It affords instruction, which no other part of scripture does, on the personal glory of Christ, yet it confirms and is confirmed by all. It treats these subjects with a method and reasoning drawn from the depths of divine relationships, and yet possessing perfect clearness-a union which flows from divine inspiration alone characterizes it. Passages of scripture (the connection of which with the whole scope of the divine mind, as revealed in the word, is brought out when Christ is applied as a key to them) are here quoted in a connection which, when the link of thought is given in Him, has a beauty and evidence which leaves no doubt of the divine hand that has been at work-a connection which shows, when given, that that alone could be their full bearing, and yet, without that blessed key, they remained locked up to the human mind, the connection when thus made plain affording a complete testimony to Christ, and, at the same time, by Him, not only establishing inspiration, but giving a divine fullness to the word itself, and such a combination of it as proves the unity of mind in the whole book, and that mind to be God's, who alone could conceive or unfold such a plan.
Now the Hebrews furnish, in a very remarkable manner, such an unlocking and connection of scripture, and with a power of reasoning and unity of scope and purpose, pursued with an energy of mind and thought which peculiarly characterizes St. Paul. The blessed apostle is specially occupied with the counsels of God, the divine plan of dispensation, as John with the manifestation and communication of divine life; Peter, with the pilgrim character of it here, connected with the hope of a suffering and rejected Savior, the Son of the living God, whom he had known, and knew to be risen and gone up, and hoped for again.
With this dispensational character of Paul's writings the epistle to the Hebrews clearly classes itself. It has a more finished style as being an essay. It is, in its contents and reasonings, suited to Jews, because addressed to them. Perfectly satisfied that it is scripture, and a part of it whose loss would be irreparable, having the stamp of the divine gift upon it, I do not in the least doubt it is St. Paul's, from its character and the details alluded to in it. The reader is aware, that in 2 Peter it is expressly stated Paul did write to the Jews. The omission of his name is perfectly according to God. He was not apostle of the circumcision, he was a doctor; for all that he could teach in the Church of God. In the form of the epistle he was in his only true divinely given place in thus writing. The effect of this is seen, and so it ought to be, in the style.
As to the unanimity of the "learned Germans" to whom Mr. N. alludes, it is very possible. Every one admits, without being a "learned German," the difference of style; it is natural that the style of an elaborately drawn up essay should be different from that of familiar epistles addressed to those immediately within the exercise of Paul's apostolic office. The question is, What conclusion is to be drawn from it in connection with other far stronger and more important points, which affect the authorship of the epistle? The doubt of its divine inspiration, whatever Rome may have thought for its own reasons for two centuries, would only excite pity in my mind. There are proofs of inspiration which have a character that infidelity does not touch, being connected with the development of divine counsels and wisdom in the word, of which the infidel does not possess the elements, and cannot, because he is an infidel. I admit that these are intellectual proofs to the believer; but they do astonishingly secure and confirm the faith of him who has some acquaintance with these counsels- just as, in the case of a perfect tally, or a broken piece of metal, he who has only one piece has no proof as to the other; but he who has both has not a doubt as to the connection of one with the other. And divine things are yet more certain; for man could imitate in material things, in some cases, though, in most, doubt would be irrational-in divine, he cannot. The connection is unknown till discovered.
Difficulties, we have seen, have arisen as to the Epistle to the Hebrews, from Paul's not naming himself as an apostle. Besides what I have said as to his not being apostle of the circumcision, there is another point I would notice here. It connects itself with another objection to his being the author-his saying that it was confirmed unto them by those who heard him.
Now, if we examine the manner of presenting things in this epistle, if St. Paul be the author, he could not have introduced himself as an apostle, writing to them as such.
He is addressing the Hebrews, who had already faith in the scriptures, and basing all his arguments on them, in unfolding the person and offices of the Lord Jesus Himself. It was not apostolic announcement of doctrine in the way of revelation with authority, but application of admitted scriptures to Christ, to show that He ought to be such, and be on high according to them; and to show the necessary coming in of the new covenant. Old Testament scriptures were necessarily his authority here-the whole matter he had in hand, to which his apostolical authority added nothing Nay, their authority was what he had to insist on, using the word of wisdom in applying them.
Now this he does in a manner which entirely shuts out all possibility of introducing his own apostolic authority. He brings in God speaking Himself in the Old Testament-an acknowledged truth with the Jews. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spake in time past... by the prophets, hath, in these last days, spoken to us in [the] Son [or, more nearly, as Son, that is, in the person of the Son]." Now this took a ground which left no room for beginning-Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ. God Himself, who had spoken of old by the prophets, had now spoken in the Son Himself. Hence we have that which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord. That is, it was the great Prophet Himself, nay, the Lord Himself, who had spoken to the Jews. And hence, as referring to what He had said when on the earth, the personal address of Jesus, he speaks of those who had heard Him; God bearing them witness by signs, &c. Now that was exactly the way in which God had dealt with the Jews; and the christian testimony itself was thus appropriately and peculiarly brought before them; it was by that the nation had been made responsible, and not by Paul's teaching. But it was, in writing to them, just his place to refer to it; and peculiarly his to unfold the whole glorious position of Christ as mounted on high; as indeed it was given to him only to declare; and to show how He put Jews in immediate connection with heaven in this way; and thus to pave the way for the passing away of all connected with the old covenant, and exhort them to go outside the camp, as being no longer of God. The great sacrifice of atonement was offered; the high priest was gone within with the blood; the body was burnt without; the middle holy place of Judaism, suited to its day, was now naught. In spirit we were within the veil; in suffering in the flesh, without the camp, bearing the blessed Victim's reproach.
Now the unfolding this was just Paul's place, not Peter's. Yet it was just his place too to refer to that very testimony which made the Jews responsible to do so; which was not his own, but that which he derives down from God speaking by the prophets; and then as in the person of the Son (ἐν υιῷ), thus making it God's direct testimony to them (i.e., the Jews, with whom he joins himself, as a Jew, in the most beautiful and gracious way, as he had said the fathers, not your fathers) and only bringing in even apostles themselves as confirming it. He does not associate these with God's testimony, or with the Lord's; only they come into assure it to others; and even then he brings in God bearing them witness; and then proceeds to exalt and glorify Christ's person. In a word, he addresses himself perfectly to Jews as such, yet to bring them out of their Judaism. Had he not been thus above the Jewish position, he could not have given it the place he does in the character of the testimony given to it. It was taking them high enough up to the source of the testimony to lift them above the system formed beside it. Indeed prophecy was the link of God with Israel when in the way of righteousness under ordinances He could have nothing to say to them. He interfered by a prophet to bring them out of bondage or back to Himself. "By a prophet he brought them out of Egypt; by a prophet were they saved." It was God's sovereign way when there was no other. God's great Prophet had now appeared to lead them out for a better salvation; He was the Apostle of their profession. Peter could not lead them out of a Jewish position. He had ministered to them still in and under it. Paul's ministry as an apostle was directed elsewhere. He graciously makes Christ their Apostle, while owning in its place that of all the apostles among them, yet as hearers of the Lord.

Esther

As regards Ruth and Esther, the first was of the utmost importance, as introducing David's line on which all hung, in a most touching and instructive narrative; and that in connection with the all-important fact of a poor Moabitess coming by grace "under the wings of the God of Israel," and being mother of Messiah Himself. The names bear, in a most evident way, a mystic signification, on which I cannot enlarge here, allying themselves immediately with the subject. Naomi ("my pleasant one") loses her husband Elimelech ("God is King" or "my King"), loses her sons, and becomes Mara ("bitterness"). Devotedness of heart to her in this state brings Ruth (a poor lost one and a stranger) by grace, to raise up the family of the deceased, through the redeemer ("in whom is strength") Boaz, the Goel; and the child is born to sorrowing Naomi, the widow-though in fact Ruth's.
The importance of Esther is most evident, besides typical instruction. Nothing could be more so in its place. It is the providential care of Israel scattered among the heathen, when God could not own them at all outwardly or publicly. Hence He does not appear in the book. It is His unseen hand that does it in a providential way.

Insignificance and Significance

Mr. Newman speaks then in general of the Old Testament losing its authority. Nothing can exceed the narrow mindedness and want of enlarged scope of view in all these remarks. There is no perception of a whole; no idea of the unfolding of dispensation, of the ways of God, of various parts of His ways, each brought out in its place, by which He was known. If there is not something which is the expression of the petty mind of man, which may suit Mr. N., then it is "insignificant." Α star is insignificant to an ignorant person. It is part of an immense system to an enlightened astronomer, which, as a whole, confounds by its stupendous character. The significance of a thing sometimes depends on the intelligence of him who is occupied with it. The Arundel marbles made beautiful lime for the masons of the Earl's house. To them that was all they signified.

Paul Misrepresented

We get a famous sample of Mr. N.'s reasoning in this part of his book. He says, "That faith in the book was no part of Paul's gospel is manifest from his giving no list of sacred books to his Gentile converts." (Phases, p. 141.) I do not know how Mr. Ν. knows this. Infidels, it is true, do get their knowledge at wonderful little cost; and the advantage of this is so great that one can never get them to acquaint us with the sources from which they procure it. Still, it is always "manifest." But there are some difficulties in the way of slower minds in admitting the force of this. First, the list was already universally and fully known: half the first converts were Jews, of whom not one had a question as to what they were; and then the apostles, addressing Jews and Gentiles together, appeal to these very books over and over again, as of unquestionable authority. A list by Paul would have been a very foolish thing, because he appealed to them as of already recognized authority. No doubt this was adding his to them; but, besides this, it was drawing the authority of what he himself said from them, which was much more important, and a very much more solemn way of owning their authority. If faith in a book be not proved by Paul's writings, what would prove it? A list would have been ridiculous: the whole book was perfectly well known. He calls it "the scriptures."
And here I must beg leave to say, that Mr. Ν. most grossly misrepresents what the apostle says to Timothy. He makes him say, "Although now you have the Spirit to teach you, yet that does not make the older writers useless; for `every divinely inspired writing is also profitable for instruction," &c. (Phases, p. 142.) Now Paul says nothing of the kind. There is no contrast of the Spirit with the scriptures, but something totally different. The apostle is showing what is the especial safeguard of the Christian in the perilous times of the last days, and, besides his own instructions, he refers Timothy in á particular manner to the scriptures (did he want a list?), to the written word of God, as able to make men wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. The apostle is so far from contrasting it with the Spirit's teaching us, that though speaking of the Spirit, as announcing these perilous times, he refers especially to the scriptures, without naming the Holy Ghost, as competent to make the man of God perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. I am satisfied no one can profit by the scriptures without the Holy Ghost; but here the apostle had occasion to bring in a safeguard for the Church, exterior to her or any man's pretensions.
Mr. N. gives us the beginning of the phrase-which he is very careful not to finish-in a translation of his own, without noticing in any way that of the authorized version. It would not, indeed, at all have suited him. Quoted as it is there, in English, it would have utterly overthrown his statement. Now although I admit people may raise a question on it, I beg. leave to say, that I am thoroughly convinced the English translation is right, and that the passage (though I know some have so taken it) will not really bear the sense here put upon it. But Mr. N. might have spared himself the trouble of reasoning thus on the Old Testament-Christ certainly declares, in what amounts to a list, its authority. He, indeed, could give it such. Hence, when Mr. N. did not admit it as having such, as so quoted by Jesus in all its parts, he had given up Christ's authority altogether even as a prophet. He might have saved himself the trouble of commenting on any further details; he was completely an infidel already. All the rest was totally illogical. He did not know what he was about, or he was indulging his "antagonist will" in the hope of troubling others who yet cling to the blessed authority of the life-giving word of God. No doubt the scriptures are "a means"-but what a means-of knowing God's mind is His own communicating it! He who loves Him who gives it will love the communication. He who knows his own weakness and ignorance will rejoice in that which gives him certain, divinely sent knowledge of God and of all His ways. "The Bible was made for man." No doubt-God be thanked. But by whom was it made? But to set man up in self-importance, and to put God aside, is the natural desire of an infidel-the uniform practice of Mr. N.

Grounds of Faith Proposed in Scripture

ANOTHER general point now opens before us, though some particular objections connect themselves with it. The grounds of faith proposed in scripture. Is moral truth to be received in obedience to an apparent miracle of sense, or are we to believe in sensible miracles because of their recommending some moral truth? Such is the way in which Mr. N. approaches the question. He proceeds to accuse the Bible of great inconsistency on this point. "In one place Jesus reproves the demand of a miracle, and blesses those who believe without miracles. In another, He requires that they will receive His doctrine (and submit to it as little children), because of His miracles." (Phases, pp. 145, 146.)

The Testimony of Christ

Now, before going further, I would remark that that to which Mr. N. objects here carries the moral evidence of its justice in itself in the simplest and plainest manner. If the moral excellence took effect on the conscience, so much the better. It ought to have done so: man was in an evil state if it did not. But then, with such miracles as Christ did, men were left without excuse in not receiving such a doctrine. Thus Christ says, "Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me, or else believe me for the very works' sake." What can be simpler? Again, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin." " If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin; but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father."
Mr. N. has, however, stated a question which, as to the matter in hand, is perfectly absurd and irrelevant. Is he to believe miracles on account of morality, or doctrine on account of miracles? Neither. No doubt immorality of doctrine would tend to discredit a miracle, and if the miracle were certain, it would not accredit what was certainly wrong; and purity of doctrine helps to accredit a miracle, as a miracle confirms the authority of a teacher. But we are not called on to believe a doctrine because of a miracle, or a miracle because of a doctrine; we are called on to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, because He offered both these proofs together; so that all Mr. N.'s abstract reasoning on the difficulty of arriving at truth, or the grounds of truth, is an irrelevant question of his own mind. Christ appeals to both kinds of proof as evidence of who He was, and of the truth of what He said: "Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?" Again, "I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me." Mr. Ν. then is astray as to the whole matter in hand.
But there is another thing which Mr. Ν. of course keeps entirely out of sight; he continues, after what I already quoted, "Now this is intelligible, if blind external obedience is the end of religion, and not truth and inward righteousness, an ambitious and unscrupulous Church that desires by fair means or foul to make men's minds bow down to her, may say, Only believe; and all is right. The end being gained-obedience to us-we do not care about your reasons. But God cannot speak thus to man.... It peculiarly vexed me to find so total a deficiency of clear and sound instruction in the New Testament, and eminently in the gospel of John, on so vital a question. The more I considered it, the more it appeared as if Jesus was solely anxious to have people believe in Him without caring on what grounds they believed, although that is obviously the main point." (Phases, p. 146.) Indeed! Is the logic, which is to govern their principles of reasoning about it, the main point, when God is there? For we are supposing (Mr. Ν. as well as myself) the case to be that of God speaking to man, and our inquiry is, How is He to speak? He is mainly (says Mr. Ν.) to explain to them the logical grounds on which they ought to go! This is quite worthy of Mr. N.; but I avow I know not of whom else. The Lord does give them clear grounds of faith. (See the close of John.) John Baptist's testimony-the Father's testimony-His works' testimony-the scripture's testimony. But as to teaching them logic, I must leave it to infidels to count it the worthy occupation of God teaching in the world. Yet why He should teach this is hardly apparent on Mr. N.'s showing, for "a question of logic, such as I have had before me, was peculiarly one in which the propagator of a new religion could not be allowed to dictate." (Phases, p. 147.) But a man's reasoning cannot rise above what is in his mind. Think of God being in the world to give "clear views" on "a question of logic," which is yet so the province of man's mind that He "could not be allowed to dictate!"-and this man is to tell us the just grounds of faith!
Now I leave to every honest-minded reader, how much the life and words of the blessed Jesus resembled the conduct of "an ambitious and unscrupulous Church." It is a great thing, when we have to do with the vaporous reasonings of infidels, to get at things as they are-man as he ís-history as we have it- Jesus as He was. They cannot bear facts; and if an "unscrupulous Church" is not to be trusted, I avow (and Mr. N.'s book has not enfeebled my conviction) scrupulosity is not the burden that weighs down an infidel.
But I say, that if God do come into the world, or if He send even a revelation into the world other than a claim of law, His great end must be to reveal Himself. He has to do so because men have departed from Him, or (for whatever reason) are ignorant of Him; were it not so, there would not be place for the revelation. Now He is the source of all blessing. He knows it; He would make man happy by it. The knowledge of Him, as the Lord states it, and of Jesus whom He has sent, is eternal life. But He will have this, of course, real, moral, in the soul-hence by faith. lie is not thus revealed as God exacting, though He will judge all, but acting for us so as to take away every obstacle, while maintaining fully the highest standard of conscience-existing, in order to bless us in Himself, for He is love. Thus, believing in Him, I have perfect peace and living joy in Himself. Now, if lie thus come to bless, and by such a knowledge of Him, what can He do but engage men to believe in Him? His words and ways are the revelation of His so coming. In mercy to men He appeals to them; and, seeing how many obstacles there are to the simple perception of what is good and the embracing of it, we can understand that goodness adding sensible proofs by the exercise of power to overcome those obstacles and to show by that power who it is that is really come. No doubt men ought to see the grace and truth in itself. So the Lord says; but He adds condescendingly external proofs to confirm the testimony and help man's mind. On the other hand, if the conviction as to the glory of the messenger and truth of the message be produced merely by the miracles, the Lord rejects such faith because there is merely a conviction of the mind; the moral perception is wanting, which really recognizes His person and receives the power of the truth. "When he was in Jerusalem... many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them... for he knew what was in man." (John 2:23-25.)
In fine, the ground Mr. N. takes is this, that the question is, Are we to believe miracles for doctrine's sake, or doctrine for miracles' sake?
I say that Christ calls us to believe in His person and revelation by reason of both; and that the question Mr. N. puts on the matter is absurd. The doctrine and works confirm each other. Which of these two statements is according to fact? For it is a question of fact.

Revelation of God

Next Mr. N. says (I would repeat it with reverence), that when God teaches He should explain the logical grounds of faith to man without dictating; as that could not be allowed in the propagator of a new religion.
I say, that if God reveals Himself, He would give all that love could of the display of Himself, in nature, conduct, word, and work, which would not destroy the responsibility of man-that He would give the display of His nature in act, doctrine, and power. He would give, in a word, the grounds for faith in its object, not the logical grounds of faith. He would present what the conscience, heart, and intelligence of man ought to recognize as a revelation of who was there. That was what He, He alone, could do for man-what would be a revelation-what man wants; not an humble conversation on what grounds a man might believe; carried on by one not allowed to dictate. That He condescended, as we have seen, to plead with man on the grounds he had for faith, is most true. Nothing was too low for His love, if it might be a blessing to man; but that is another thing.
If Mr. N. merely means that he is quite ignorant of what the grounds of faith are, and wants instruction as to them-that I believe is true. He does not even know what the question is. But that is a strange reason for writing a book on it. His theory is, There can be no possible grounds for believing. Let me suggest, that when we seek a ground for faith, we must look for it in the proofs given of the thing proposed to us to be believed, not in discussing the abstract principles in which the human mind can believe, and neglecting the proofs of what it is called upon to believe; for the grounds of divine faith can be given only by divine testimony, by what God reveals (and hence known only in looking at that), not by settling whether one kind of proof is to be believed on account of the other, where both are direct proofs of something else-proofs which confirm each other.
But further, if God presents Himself as the object of faith- He who is the sole and perfect source of blessing, our alienation from whom is our ruin, can He do anything else than call on men to believe on Him? Can He give reasons for doing it other than the adequate display of Himself? Having given them to believe in Himself is everything as to human responsibility, and the necessary pursuit of divine love. He could do nothing but call men to this faith if He meant to bless. And what shall we say of the reasoning of one who compares God calling unhappy man to come to Himself for blessing, to the act of "an ambitious, unscrupulous Church, that desires, by fair means or foul, to make men's minds bow down to her?" It may be said that I am begging the question in saying "God calling." But this is a mistake, because we are inquiring what is suitable if God does address Himself to man. Mr. N. says, "But God cannot thus speak to man." I reply, He must thus speak to man. He must claim obedience as necessary in virtue of the revelation of Himself. He must call men to believe on Him if He means to bless. The Church's pretension to do it sets aside God-God's pretension to do it brings Him in. He must show that the rejecting of Himself will be everlasting ruin.
If He be really God, it cannot be otherwise. If it be He, He cannot claim less than absolute obedience, nor do otherwise than call to believe in Himself. The taking any other ground would prove it was not He, however He may condescend in grace as to the means of display and proof. Mr. N. is blaming the character of address, as not suiting God if He does speak. Hence His speaking is necessarily assumed. If God speaks, He must do what Mr. N. blames; and what Mr. N. requires is the most unfitting and monstrous thing possible (that is, that if God reveals Himself, He is to discuss the logical grounds on which men are to receive evidence, instead of giving adequate evidence, and throwing upon them the responsibility of receiving Him). The evidence God has graciously offered, in contrast with that afforded by false religions or corrupt systems, is here avoided by Mr. N.; and he puts in his argument "an ambitious Church-Hindooism—Mahommedanism "-on the same ground as God, excluding the only real question (that is, the evidence attached to each), in order to discuss the human grounds of judging, without introducing the object about which he is to judge. Now, though God in grace can afford every kind of evidence, and has done so, He cannot subject Himself to man's ά priori judgment, but must place man under responsibility to Him, and call him to come to Him, if He means to bless him. And this is what we find in the gospel. God, by positive truth, has met every kind of working in the human mind, groping after means of truth. He has, working in men, adapted His reasonings to their condition. But the thing revealed is always itself, and in its own divine perfection. The manner of revealing and teaching is grace; the thing taught is truth itself, and (blessed be God!) is grace also.

Paul's Reasonings Like Gamaliel's: Plato, Philo, the Targums

This is my answer to what Mr. N. says of Paul's reasoning like Gamaliel, and talking of subjects such as Philo reasons about. I have no doubt that glimmerings of needed truth were apprehended through the wants of the natural mind. The mind of man (through some traditional rays of light, affected by the creation through which it moved, by its conscience, by its sense of the want of something to meet a thousand questions which arose out of all this, and the heavings of an immortal soul within) felt that something was wanted to answer a craving, a void, which gave no clearness or certainty of what that answer would be. The revelation given in the Old Testament, the secondary effect of which was undoubtedly widely spread, furnished some clue to a large apprehension of the divine nature-opened up inquiries to the mind which it did not satisfy either. These floated about in various forms, and may be resumed in the western world, in Plato and the Targums, or perhaps Philo. The revelation of God in the New Testament met all these by the perfect revelation of God Himself, in His own being, and in every relation in which He stood with creation. Hence, while it gave the whole positive truth as to God, it left no room for the inadequate or erroneous views current on the same subjects in various forms. It took all the elements of truth which floated in men's minds and systems- rani nantes in gurgite vasto-and connected them in their true place with the center of all truth. Chaos became perfect order, and associated with the vast expanse of heaven, with which it took its true place and relationship; while it left no room for the pride of man to pretend to have stores of wonderful knowledge (for he is proud of everything he discovers himself); for all true knowledge was a matter of revelation, and who can boast of that? Hence we find the hazy notions of the Platos, Philos, and Targums, absorbed into perfect truth, and the gnostic reveries and pretensions anticipated and judged. We get the λόγος with divine certainty and clearness, the πλήρωμα in all its simple, divine, clearly defined truth and perfectness. We get the φῶς and ἀλήθετα, everything that man might indulge his imagination and his pride about, in the form of real truth. We get infinitely more knowledge, and certain, yea, divine knowledge, but no room for speculation; and (the perfection of the Godhead being revealed in Christ) all the development of ancient or modem gnostics is shut out by that all-important divine word-" That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life. For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us." •
Either the living person of the Son of God is not the object of faith, and the perfect revelation of God and the Father in Him not the subject matter of those who speak of development; or the pretense to add anything to it is the blasphemous denial of His perfectness. Infidelity is openly the latter; Puseyism and Popery have their choice to make between the two. In either case they are not Christianity. THAT WHICH WAS FROM THE BEGINNING is the superscription of that book of scripture which, above all, especially guards us against seducing spirits. Modem infidelity professes to be development; so does modern Popery and Puseyism; and, strange to say, when Mr. N. renounced Christianity and became a developed infidel, he renewed, he tells us, happy intercourse with Mr. J. H. Newman, who is a developed Puseyite or Roman Catholic. Let the saint remember, that if he will be a Christian, he must hold to that which was from the beginning-the truth once delivered to the saints; and he may know, if he trusts an apostle, that he "has everlasting life," 1 John 5:13.

Faith at Second Hand

But it is well to remark some other points on which the chapter we are occupied with depends. Its title is, "Faith at second hand found to be vain." Now the reader will observe that, though "second-hand faith" seems to be a very uncertain ground of confidence, the real meaning of the phrase is this, that there can be no faith at all except by a revelation made to the individual who receives it; and that it can never pass any farther. That is, that as regards the revelation of truth, or any revelation for men in general, none such can exist; for, if Peter or Paul have received a revelation, it is for me a revelation at second hand. That is, all revelation of truth must be a perpetual personal miracle, and exercise of God's power, without, consequently, any exercise of responsibility whatever in its reception. The scripture presents revelation as given, in order to be communicated for the good of others. Which is most rational (I go no farther here), if there is any real blessing-to give a revelation so as to produce absolute divine certainty in the mind, with no possibility of communicating it so as to put man under the responsibility of receiving it, and thus, if a blessing, to require a renewed miracle to each person,- or to communicate divine truth by a chosen instrument, with sufficient evidence to place men under responsibility of bowing to it when it is presented to them? But, further, Mr. N.'s reasonings on it are nothing whatever to the purpose. He requires to be informed how Paul got it. The question is not, What has been the means of assuring him? but, has he given adequate evidence of the truth he preaches, so as to bind me to receive it? It is evident that this last is the whole question with me. If any one has got possession of my father's will leaving me an immense fortune, the question is, not by what means he was convinced it was his, so as to keep it safe and communicate it to me; but whether I have, and can produce in court, adequate testimony that it is my father's, now it is in my possession. Mr. N.'s reasonings here are totally irrelevant. It is merely a denial of any revelation, and discrediting all by a point, difficult perhaps to solve for any of us whom God does not employ as instruments of communicating one, but perfectly irrelevant when the question is, Am I bound to receive it? If I prove my father's signature, and that of the witnesses, how the finder was convinced is all one to me.

Divine Truth Communicated by God: Adequate Proofs

The meaning of any one's having a divine revelation is very simple. It is divine truth directly communicated to him by God, with divine certainty, whatever the means of such communication (and they were various) may be. With Moses it was face to face; with prophets, a vision or dream; in the New Testament, often, evidently, the Holy Ghost acting on the intelligence; in certain cases, though the coming of the word of the Lord was certain in the Old, the full bearing was not understood at the time of revelation. This difference may have its interest to the believer. It is nothing to an unbeliever; with him the question is, With what evidence is the truth presented to him? To say that God cannot communicate His thoughts to man, giving certainty to the mind that it is Himself, is to say that He cannot do what man is perfectly capable of. To say that He cannot afford certainty when the truth is communicated to a third person, by adequate evidence accompanying it, is an absurdity worthy of an infidel only. But if he can, "faith at second hand" is not vain. It is founded, or may be so, on adequate proofs. Yet this is the proposition of the chapter. Whether there are such proofs is a question of fact which Mr. N. leaves aside to inquire how Paul received the revelation, and knew it to be such, which has nothing whatever to say to the matter. Supposing prophecies clearly accomplished, and even finding a meaning by the event, while otherwise inexplicable:-supposing, in him who is the subject of revelation, a perfection of individual walk wholly without parallel, the invention of which, even as a tale, would have been a greater miracle, man being what he is, than its existence, if a divine Person was really there:-supposing this person, after accomplishing prophecies and working notorious miracles, publicly and undeniably over the whole country, promises to communicate, when gone, to others who had it not, a power more conspicuous than that exercised by Himself-that a doctrine and practice, entirely beyond their age and country, characterize these persons, their whole tone and conduct being founded on the communication they impart, and that they perform publicly, in view of their enemies, notable miracles, which there is no gainsaying-that with a few words these men, once ignorant, confound all their adversaries, not by contentious learning, but by the power which, in the plainest terms, guides and fills their speech-that the promise of power from Him gone away is thus demonstrably fulfilled-that ignorant fishermen, whose provincialisms betrayed their country, now suddenly speak many tongues, so that men brought up in each understood them:-supposing all this true, should I not have proof that the testimony about this admirable and unequaled Being was true? That is, I should have proof, moral, prophetic, miraculous, in my conscience, my understanding, that their testimony was divine-that it was a revelation, though many historic points otherwise cognizable might confirm it; for I suppose the thing not done in a corner. In what manner this wonderful Being, now absent, has communicated to them what they preach about Him, does not touch the question whether I am bound to receive it. That depends on the evidence offered to me, not on that afforded to them. Now, it may be said, "You are supposing all this." I am: because the question is not whether Christianity is true, but whether, as a general proposition, faith at second hand is vain; that is, whether a denial of all revelation to man, as being an impossibility, can be reasonably maintained. Secondhand faith is the best and highest kind. It has an amazingly higher moral character, and so the Lord assures us in the case of Thomas, John 20.
I do not again go over in detail the case of Abraham, here again referred to. Mr. N.'s argument is of no use whatever here, because Abraham went on the supposition of having a direct command from God; and St. Paul and St. James reason on that supposition as to the proof of faith contained in it, and on nothing else. He reckoned on God's restoring him his son, says St. Paul. He sheaved this faith in his act, says St. James. But Mr. N. is unreasonable, even as to that by which he seeks to act on the feelings of men to set them against the true God, the God of the Bible. There are cases, he tells us, elsewhere, in which it is a mere "morbid notion," to complain of men's being put to death. Men are to be put to death; and it is counted useful and proper as an example for the good of society. That is, there are motives which make it right that man should dispose of human life for the good of others. Mr. N. must think it to be approved of God -not perhaps as absolute good, but as needed and useful to man as he is; and life is taken away accordingly. Now, if there are reasons why we should, there may be reasons why Abraham should have been ordered to do it. There was no malice: it was done because God commanded it, in perfect obedience to Him. Now I believe (indeed no person can deny) that more good, incomparably and beyond all question more good, and of a more positive excellent kind, has been done by the example of Abraham's faith in this, and that for ages, than by the execution of a criminal for the space of a year after his suffering. No one ever had the idea, or could draw it from the history, that it was right or allowable for a man to kill his child of his own will-quite the contrary. The sovereign claim of God, who forbids it to man, was enforced by it. There is this difference, that men cannot restore the life of a man whom they sacrifice to the good of society, whereas God could that of Isaac; and so Abraham believed. And, indeed, He could hinder his being even put to death, and did so as soon as Abraham's faith was fully proved in the way presented by Paul and James.
Many prophetic accounts which Mr. N. refers to are, evidently to me, visions only, and demonstrably so meant, to represent the character of Israel to the prophet's mind. I shall again omit noticing particularly some of the miserable insinuations which are worthy only of an infidel, or of a corrupt mind, if, indeed, they are to be distinguished, a conclusion to which, certainly, this book would not lead us.

Historical Objections Conquest of Canaan

Some historical objections remain to be noticed.
First, the well-known one of the conquest of Canaan. That, in the public government of the world, men have dealt thus and worse with conquered people, is certain; so that what Mr. N. considers as man as God made him has so acted-and God's government has so ordered it. This is Mr. N.'s notion. The fact of similar conquests is notorious in history. The only difference between Mr. N. and me is, that I hold, though such inroads may be used for judgment, as is shown in Habakkuk, Joel, and frequently in the prophets (the book of Job explaining, so to speak, the secret springs of all this), yet that it is the sin of man which has given such a character to the government of God.
Now in Israel's history God did not go out of this character of government. He merely took a nation in which He showed its direct operation and the motives of it, so that that government should be learned by a law. So that man should say, "Verily there is a reward for the righteous, verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth." Israel, therefore, is put in relationship with God as a nation, and national laws given to them. As a whole, the law given to them was not a code of everlasting righteousness with a fully revealed God. Christ declares even the contrary. God was hidden behind the veil, and said that He would dwell in the thick darkness. Hence those who walked really with God suffered in Israel, as now in the world-a riddle too hard for them till in the sanctuary they learned the way of God in judgment. Grace, though secretly working and shown in daily mercy, was unrevealed. Judgment and government were the principles on which God dealt, though patient goodness marked this government. The basis of it is laid in Ex. 34:6-9; 32:33. No doubt individuals saw beyond this to eternal things, as the Abrahams, the Davids, and a crowd of holy men in whom real faith was. But the principle brought out in God's dealing with the nation was God judging in the earth.
This it is that has produced confusion in the minds of many with such a book as Warburton's "Divine Legation of Moses". They could not but feel that they are not to be heard who feign that the fathers did look for mere transitory promises; while, on the other hand, the argument of Bishop Warburton's book is, in the main idea, incontestable. But all is simple if we see that the earthly government, carried on-under Moses, did find its public sanction in present earthly judgments, while individual saints (suffering under the sin of others, and even plunged in deep sorrow because God's people were under judgment for their sins, and the public glory of God and His worship cast down through it) still looked, by present personal piety in which their hearts were elevated to God, beyond it all, and became more heavenly by this very means and the non-accomplishment of earthly promises. At the same time the great principles of everlasting righteousness were interspersed through the national enactments of the law, so that they who had hearts to perceive them should learn and be imbued with them; and they are brought out as such by the divine and perfect wisdom of the Savior, while faith, as to the nation as the vessel of promise, was sustained by the assurance of the coming of a Messiah, who, executing judgment against every oppressor and bringing in everlasting righteousness, would also accomplish, in grace on God's part, the hopes of faith and the infallible promises of God in favor of the residue of the people whom He had called. This is entirely to come: for now God is calling the Church exclusively to a heavenly place, "blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ," that the purpose of God for the administration of the fullness of times might be accomplished, that is, to gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and on earth, Eph. 1:8-10.
This is not the time of judging the earth in connection with His people (though providentially, of course, all is under God's hand), but of grace, heavenly hopes, and suffering with Christ. Nothing can be clearer in scripture than this. Christ did not judge the earth when He came; He refused to do it in the least thing. He was condemned by its judges, wielding externally God's power and authority in the place of judgment, Jewish and Gentile. All judgment was set aside, and the Just One was the victim of man's judgment and the bearer of God's wrath. This was indeed, morally, the judgment of the world, and of its prince the enemy of man. But the execution of judgment is yet wholly future, and so is the resulting accomplishment of divine purpose; and this is the true answer to Mr. N.'s cavils against a second fulfillment. The purpose of God declared in prophecy has never been fulfilled at all. Christ's sufferings have been, no doubt, but nothing else, save the consequent dispersion of His earthly people; but this is not God's purpose properly speaking. Particular local judgments have been executed, but neither are these His purpose. That remains wholly unaccomplished. God has not yet shown Himself, according to His purpose, the judge of the earth. When the wicked shall be cut off, who are open adversaries of His power, a King will reign in righteousness, and the Prince of Peace will exercise His dominion in the world. Christ, at His first coming, declares that it was not to bring peace on the earth, but a sword. Shall then this blessed character of Prince of Peace remain unfulfilled? Certainly not. For the moment sin had the upper hand in the world, because God was graciously doing a still greater work, and showing Himself above all man's futile sin in making it the instrument of an eternal and heavenly salvation. But this earth will be the scene of peace and blessing under the government of God wielded by the hand of the Son of man, whom He hath set over the works of His hands. Grace has made us His joint-heirs.
Having given this general view of the connection of the whole subject, I return to the conquest of Canaan. The scriptures are express in presenting it as an example of God's positive judgment after all patience had already been shown to be useless (as in the case of Sodom and Gomorrha); of His power against the enemies of His nature, purposes, and people; and of His faithfulness to these last. Abraham was told that his descendants must go down and dwell in Egypt for a long period, for the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full; and this took place. Israel was clearly informed of the cause why they were thus judged: "Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, but for the wickedness of these nations, the Lord doth drive them out before thee," Deut. 9:5; 18:12. This truth is expressed in the strongest possible manner (Leviticus 18) in warning Israel not to fall into the like abominations. "And the land is defiled, therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes... that the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you." Thus a people, allowed to ripen up to their full height of wickedness, are taken as the occasion of showing God's righteous wrath and power. Israel is fully warned and apprised of the principle on which it was done. It is a great public sample of God's full judgment in the earth. They were to be destroyed by the judicial power of God. It was also (as the case of Achan fully shows) the occasion of showing God's power and faithfulness, but His strict judgment of evil in the midst of His people.
In the case which Mr. N. cites, he carefully omits that, outside these specially guilty people, peace was to be offered to every city, and not one was to be touched if accepted. If they preferred being adversaries, then of those who were thus hostile they were not to make slaves (which would have been their desire and profit), but to slay them as adversaries; the women and spoil, who were not in this case, were given them. But this was totally forbidden as to the seven wicked nations. All, as a judged race, were to be dealt with in God's name. Now this imprinted a clear character on the act; for it is quite certain that, as to national habits and personal interests, they would have made slaves of them all. That these national habits were according to the rude feelings of that age, there is no doubt; and God deals with them nationally according to their state. But He leads them on in various parts of it far beyond all surrounding nations, checks their will and passions by the sense of responsibility, encourages them by the favor of their God, and gives (enchased in their external and passing ordinances) the great principles of everlasting righteousness-love to God and one's neighbor, and maintains the great landmarks of society and family, as men speak now.
All this, I say, is not to be confounded for a moment with the eternal ground of man's relationship with God. The moral law, as far as it went, availed to show that man as a sinner could have no such relationship on that ground. It convinced man of sin, and revealed nothing else of God but that He was a just Judge who condemned it. For the wisdom of the infidel, all this is jumbled together without distinction.

Purification of the Temple

We have a singular example of the perfect absence of all moral discernment in the reasoning of Mr. N. in his reference to the Lord's conduct in purifying the temple. A father chastises his child, and the profound wisdom of the infidel discusses whether it is a warrant for its brother to beat it. "Could it authorize me to plait a whip of small cords, and flog a preferment-hunter out of the pulpit?" (Phases, p. 151.) How sovereignly ridiculous such a remark in a moral point of view! Yet Mr. N. is treating it as a moral question. Now there are cases where the offensive character of an act puts the scourge in everybody's hand; and it was really such in this case. The men whom Christ drove out were making God's temple and God's worship an occasion of trafficking extortion as to the poor who had victims to buy. But this is by no means all. The Lord distinctly presents Himself as Jehovah; and (in one of the instances in which He thus cleared the temple) as at the same time the King, the Son of David, the Messiah, to whom such an office belonged. In the early case in John He says "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." "He spake of the temple of his body." In the other, He sends for the ass, to accomplish the prophecy of Zechariah, saying "The Lord hath need of him," and enters publicly into Jerusalem as the King Messiah. Think of Mr. Ν. asking if it would authorize him so to act! He must forgive me saying "such questions go very deep into the heart" of the moral (perhaps I should say, common) sense of the writer.

Assumption of God Speaking From Without

I may now come to the second part of Mr. N.'s chapter-the discussion of the grounds of faith as he views them. Many general principles have been discussed in my introductory portion, to which they properly belong; but some details and the answers to some objections and difficulties find their place here. Nothing can be more supremely absurd than one remark which is made as to the knowledge of God-a remark, however, which is the sum of Mr. N.'s book.
"But next the analogy assumes, most falsely, that God, like man, speaks from without; that what we call reason and conscience is not His mode of commanding and revealing His will, but that words to strike the ear, or symbols displayed before the senses, are emphatically and exclusively revelation. On the contrary, of our moral and spiritual God we know nothing without, everything within. It is in the spirit that we meet Him, not in the communications of sense." (Phases, p. 152.)
Was ever anything more futile, to say nothing of assuming the whole question, and deciding it with an αὐτὸς ἔφη--" We know nothing without, everything within?" Α Pythagorean bean-worshipper could not be more certain of truth. But let that pass here, as well as the use of the scripture language to a very different purpose from scripture truth.
What is the sense of this contrast of without and within? "words to strike the ear," or "symbols displayed before senses," in contrast with thoughts within? If words strike the ear, are they not then in an intelligent human being thoughts within? Has not God, by a most wonderful process, which no man can fathom, made the moving of the air by my lungs and lips the producer of the highest and most wonderful thoughts in another man's mind? Senses, no doubt, are in exercise; but is that all? Are not minds and thoughts in communication? yea, these thoughts created in me by this communication from another? This is really too futile, too absurd for a reasonable man.
But further: if God does not speak from without but from within, on Mr. N.'s theory, reason and conscience must be God (for otherwise He must speak somehow to reason or conscience); and they must be God in the highest way, for they have God's thoughts (have they all of them?) without His communicating them. This is just the grossest form of the desolating Pantheism from which Mr. Ν. pretends to deliver us. For, either God is without, i.e., outside reason and conscience, and communicates to them thoughts which they have not within them; or if they have them within themselves without God's communicating them, they are God in the highest sense; they think the thoughts of God themselves without His communicating to them. Good reason had the apostle to say, "No man knoweth the things of God but the Spirit of God." Now if these things are communicated to reason and conscience by the immediate action of the Spirit of God, that is just inspiration. And when speaking of intellectual subjects, that is from without, though not by the senses and not within. The use of anything which may act on the senses is a mere question of means, by which God, in His wisdom, may see fit to act and produce impressions, man being so framed as to receive them in this way. But without the inward power of the Holy Ghost there would by this be no certain revelation. One must be able to add, "I was in the Spirit- immediately I was in the Spirit." Reason and conscience are man-a part of his being. Hence, if they cannot have a revelation (i.e., knowledge which it requires a communication from God to possess), that is, unless it be really from without; or, in a word, if it be, as Mr. Ν. alleges, from within, uncommunicated, man is God. But then what he says is a contradiction; for it is not then a revelation at all. But to talk of the communications of sense, as if ideas were not conveyed, feelings not produced by words spoken without, is a communication not indeed of sense but of nonsense. If God speaks at all, He must speak from without, in any real sense of the word; if not, man is God, and to talk of revelation is absurd. The employment of the senses as a medium is the merest question of means. Immediate communications (i.e., from God) are inspirations.
Faith is within, but not "from within," for it must be in a revealed object, the evidence of which is adequate to convince. For I do not here speak of the effectual working of grace in lifegiving power overcoming the "antagonist will," which produces faith. Faith ought to flow from adequate testimony. The reception of this is a moral question, because the will and passions indispose to receive such a testimony. Further, as to our responsibility, the evidence ought to be adequate and cannot be overpowering, though grace may lead the heart to receive it, the will being otherwise opposed. Hence, "to try people's faith," though we may all understand it, is an incorrect expression; and Mr. N.'s reasoning on it is playing on words. For if faith is there, there is nothing to try. It is the heart that is put to the test. Adequate evidence is offered, and man will not believe. That is the state of his will: the state of his heart is shown, because, though the thing to be believed be perfectly certain, and adequate evidence be offered, he will not receive it; and when it is said, "overpowering evidence is not given," it merely means such is given as is sufficient if the will be not opposed, and hence detects its opposition if it is. To give what would destroy this test would take away its moral character. Grace does not change this. It acts in disposing the heart; but this is not my subject now. "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light."

Simon Magus and Demas

Mr. Newman then puts the case of two men, one simple hearted and thus easily deceived, the other acute and shrewd, being exposed to the juggleries of a Simon Magus. Now I do not answer here, that this, as Mr. Ν. always does, excludes God's care altogether. But I take the mere human ground, and I say an humble godly mind would, in such a very serious matter, wait till it got clear light-would seek for God's guidance. Such a mind has principles to guide it, which the shrewd Demas has not. There are tests of holiness, of truth, of respect for the word of God, which enable "a sheep" to discern the voice of the Good Shepherd. It may not be able to say what anther's voice is; but till it recognizes the voice of the Good Shepherd, it fears to follow. A stranger will they not follow, because they know not the voice of strangers.
Demas has no such safeguard; he must judge the thing himself; for himself; by his own acuteness. If the pretender is cleverer than he, he is deceived. How often is this the case! Nay, in many cases he is pre-disposed by false motives towards error and deceit; for unholy motives and deceit coalesce. At any rate he has no safeguard but his own acuteness; and he may easily fall. Now the godly, serious, simple-hearted man has. If it is not what his soul knows as truth, or according to it, he does not receive it. No new truth ever upsets old truth, but builds upon it-they mutually confirm each other. How many shrewd ones, like Demas, received false Christs and Barchochebahs! How many simple ones refused the judases and Theudases, and received Christ! How many clever shrewd men have received the most monstrous imposture ever palmed on infatuated man -that of Mormonism! A simple-hearted believer escapes, because he has got what guards him from the motives which lead a man to receive it. Mr. N.'s estimate of the capacity of shrewdness to escape is not borne out by a just moral estimate of what places a soul in safety, nor by facts.
A miracle is a confirmation of truth in scripture-"confirming the word by signs following." Men are not called on to believe the miracle, but to believe because of the miracle, though not for its sake alone. Now this is a very different thing; because, to be useful as a miracle, it must in general be incontestably self-evident to the persons to whom it is presented. This was the case with all scripture miracles. I may have to judge an apparent miracle in certain cases, and show that it is only apparent. That which has to be proved does not serve as a proof-as a sign given. On the other hand, I do not deny that professed religion may sink below the standard of natural conscience-the case supposed by Mr. Ν. in Spain. When it does, natural conscience will judge it-perhaps be driven into infidelity by it. What then? I admit it freely and fully-have seen it in thousands myself. A strange phenomenon to employ to accredit Mr. N.'s competent human nature, that of pleasure-hunting infidels, or communists and deceiving religionists! I, who believe in the power of sin and Satan, am not at a loss here, though I bow my head in sorrow. How Mr. N.'s "good God," or even his law of progress, has ordered all this, he must explain. But this fact has nothing whatever to do with the concurrent testimony of incontestable miracles wrought on thousands who profited by them and saw them-of doctrines of the simplest truth, and the most elevated knowledge of God, and of a life of perfect holiness, which, if it were imposture, would prove an imposture to be better than all the realities that ever were. This is the case Mr. Ν. has to deal with. "He healed them all." Would this, repeated over and over again, not prove the existence of power? If not, what would? It was not a case of miracles arranged among favoring people, isolated instances, or pre-arranged individual cases. They were public, when men pleased, where men pleased, and as often as they pleased. Along with this power, truth, and goodness were there. If deceit can do these two things, it is not deceit at all, but the truest mercy that can be. If juggleries accompany conduct which shocks natural conscience, let natural conscience judge it. It is, as we have said, a sad case if there be but that natural conscience to judge deceit, for it is but negative. It rejects, but possesses nothing. Our case is with positive holy truth which judges conscience, confirmed by signs which none could counterfeit.

Christians Under Constantine

Mr. Newman's historical reasoning only condemns his system. The positive and superior instructions of Christianity were soon, he tells us, corrupted and polluted. How then is man able to get at truth for himself? He corrupts, on the contrary, what he has got. As to his account of Judaism, the only thing to be said is, that it is as untrue as can possibly be, as every tolerably instructed person knows.
He tells us that "before Constantine Christians were but a small fraction of the empire." (Phases, p. 161.) In the East this certainly was not the case, nor, indeed, in the West, though it had not prevailed as in the East. But how did the Christian soldiers conquer the empire, if Christians were only a small fraction? Constantine was able to found his pretensions to empire on the strength of the christian party. No doubt, as Mr. N. says, he conquered the empire for Christianity, but whence came the Christians who conquered it if they had made no more progress than Mr. N. states? Mr. N.'s assertions are not to be trusted. "There is nothing in all this to distinguish the outward history of Christianity from that of Mohammedism." (Phases, p. 162.) Now I ask any one in the smallest degree acquainted with history, if this is true? Christianity, unarmed and persecuted for three hundred years, had increased to such a degree that an ambitious chieftain could take up the profession of it to secure the empire for himself. No one can contest this, whatever judgment he may form of Constantine's sincerity, or Eusebius's account of his vision of the cross. Everyone knows that all the progress of Mohammedism was by arms. In the thirteenth year of Mohammed's setting up for prophet (that is, the very year of the Hegira, or flight from Mecca to Medina), he and his friends entered into a covenant engaging themselves to fight, and paradise was promised to those who were killed. Six years after this his public warfare began by the attack on Mecca. Indeed, he began in a small way at once, and a battle gained in the second year of the Hegira was (according to Sale) the foundation of his greatness. A person who can say that the first three hundred years of Christianity are not different from this does not deserve to be listened to. He who begins to consider its means of progress only three hundred years after it was established is not much better entitled to attention.

Prophecy

Prophecy, St. John's Gospel, tongues, and St. Paul's conversion, are next considered as to the evidence afforded by them -for this is our subject now.
It is well, as to prophecy, to notice a great principle called in question by Mr. N.-what he calls "double interpretation." "No one dreams of a `second sense,' " he tells us, "until the primary sense prove false." Now I meet this assertion by saying, that there cannot be a doubt that from the fall of Adam there was one grand subject of promise and prophecy, of hope and expectation-the seed of the woman who should bruise the serpent's head-the seed of Abraham-the seed of David. To say that this was not produced in the universal mind of Israel, at all times with which we are acquainted (and with no nation are we acquainted so long, or so well at this early date), would be to deny the most certain fact, sustained by the most incontrovertible evidence. It is much more certain than that Mr. N. is author of "Phases of Faith," and was once a Fellow of Balliol. The testimony of Josephus, Tacitus, and Suetonius concur, it is well known, as stating that through all the East a notion prevailed, that, at the time Christ arose, He should arise who would possess the empire of the world. In a word, so strong was the testimony and the expectation, that all over the East it had reached the Gentiles, and was well enough known in the West to be recorded by the two Gentile historians of those times. All prophecy must (if God's promise was such and true) have centered here; and so, in fact, it does-sometimes clearer-sometimes more obscure- sometimes given as a relief and encouragement to oppressed saints-sometimes breaking through the dark cloud of judgment, like the sun in a stormy day; but, from Gen. 3 to the last chapter of Malachi, beginning, middle, and ending, every ray of light converged to this point, that Messiah was to come. This is the first enduring sense, the key and object of all prophecy. All the rest is subordinate to, and conduces to this.
I have no doubt myself that this leads us to the sense of "private interpretation" in 2 Peter 1:20. We have not God's mind in it unless we take His scope in the whole. No prophecy of scripture is ἰδίας διαλύσεως, of its own interpretation. It must have its meaning as part of a great whole. Now, no doubt, partial temporal judgments were announced, which were parts of this great whole; and the prophetic word passed on to the grand summing up at the close, when all the parties to the wondrous drama that is enacting will meet in its eventful dénouement on the stage of this world. In this way only is there a double sense. That partial displays (of the spirit of that which is to be judged in its full manifestation) may be dealt with as anticipative of the great final event, is an unquestionable scriptural principle. "Ye have heard," says St. John, "that antichrist shall come, and even now are there many antichrists, whereby we know that it is the last time." Here the manifestation of the same spirit is taken as indicating the epoch, and accompanied by the clearest testimony that it is not the fulfillment. I believe that various passages, applied by some to previous events, are spoken of final ones: others, completely fulfilled in previous ones, have been applied to ultimate ones.
Prophecy is much simpler, in general, than is supposed. But that characteristic evil may be partially, as well as fully developed, is undoubted; and as prophecies have generally a moral character, and those in whom the character is judged, a local habitation and a name, the principle of application to characteristic things or events, while fulfillment is to be sought at another time, is perfectly sound and easily intelligible. There has been mischievous spiritualizing. But no one can doubt that Jerusalem, Babylon, and even Egypt, embody certain great principles and systems, which may be variously developed, and judged according to this development.
Now, this is not a question of a "second sense"; it is a sound and enlarged view of what is undeniable in principle, and unquestionably true in its application to scripture. What the believer has to do is to ascertain the principle involved, and the facts referred to in connection with it. The actual accomplishment of the prophecy is to be sought according to the plain testimony of the passage.
And here I would add a remark or two. Nothing can be simpler or more natural than that some great characterizing principle should be embodied in some system, and this have its center in some place Or people where it finds its development and full maturity, as we speak of Rome being this and doing that, meaning the corporate system of papal power. Now scriptural statements, as to these systems and places, are most useful, as guiding the mind in its judgment of the principles embodied. Prophecies declare the ultimate judgment of God on these systems, showing out the principles judged therein. When Christians apply these prophecies to partial developments of the principles, it is not morally false, although as an interpretation it is inadequate, and may be mistaken as to the letter. But the soul is guided in the judgment of the real principles by the actual judgment of it at the end. It does morally what God will do in power; and while there may be mistakes in interpretation, there is moral rectitude of judgment. The ultimate judgment of God is the application of power to the judgment and removal of the whole system, which is justly judged meanwhile morally in all its partial manifestations. Of course it is important, in interpretation, to keep to what is really and fully meant; without this, even our moral judgment will not be correctly formed.
The addresses to the seven churches call for even individual application and use of the judgment pronounced on what was locally verified in certain places, as to which the Lord declared His mind, and the results which would follow from the neglect of it.

Acts 13:33-35

I may now turn to some particular assertions. "The three prophecies quoted (Acts 13:33-35) in proof of the resurrection of Jesus are simply puerile, and deserve no reply." (Phases, p. 169.) I doubt the application of Acts 13:33 to the resurrection. Raising up Jesus is in the same sense as raising up a deliverer. Why "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hades, nor suffer thy Holy One to see corruption" does not mean resurrection, I do not know. Mr. N. should show us the puerility of it. In reading the psalm (the application of which to Messiah is, in my judgment, incontestable) we have the plainest evidence that it is the resurrection. What should make flesh rest in hope, and lead to the presence of Him in whom is fullness of joy, "and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore," if it be not the resurrection?
The words themselves also depict it, and that it should take place without His seeing corruption, in the clearest way. Α man's soul not resting in hades, and his body not seeing corruption, can only be by a speedy resurrection. I am aware of the difficulties raised as to Shachath (שׁחת), one of the words here used, but I see nothing in it to shake the certainty of the Septuagint, Vulgate, English, and other translations (maintained by the soundest Hebrew authorities). The context makes the meaning certain, and the whole psalm treats of the humiliation of Jesus in the most beautiful manner possible. The beginning of it is cited by Paul, as containing, among many other psalms, the great leading principle of this humiliation. Though a divine Person, He took upon Him the form of a servant. Messiah takes a place in which He calls Jehovah His Lord, and declares all His delight to be in the godly remnant of Israel.

Isaiah 55, 50, 53, Psalm 22, Zechariah 12, 13

I turn next to the quotation from Isa. 55, and its application to the resurrection of Christ. This also is objected to in the supercilious language above quoted. If the sense and meaning of a prophecy is to have any influence on the interpretation of it, we are led here at once to the subject of which the apostle speaks. The chapter is a summons, in the fullest largeness of grace, addressed first to the Jews, but so. as to open it out to all by the terms of the invitation-" every one that thirsteth "-to all who sought after righteousness from God. Thus in principle, though not in immediate address, it lets in the Gentiles, so that, according to the whole tenor of scripture, we must look for Messiah, and for a change in the relationship of God with Israel. Still the address is to Israel. Thus it is the apostle Paul constantly draws out this class of passages, sheaving the address to the Jew first, and yet a principle contained which let in the Gentile if he had faith and spiritual need. This is further developed in the following verses. Verses 4 and 5 proclaim some remarkable personage, who is not named, but who is supposed to be known by the previous testimonies of God, who is to be a witness and a leader of the nations-translated people, in English, but which is in the plural le-ummim (לאומים)-and then the call and influx of the nations through his means is announced. But then in verse 3 this includes an everlasting covenant to be made, particularly with the people of God (the Jews), that is, the assured mercies of David. These mercies of David are incontestably the establishment of permanent blessing in the promised seed of David, in whose time the righteous should flourish (in a word, in Messiah, the Christ). Hence the existence of Messiah in the power of an endless life is most certainly announced here. Nor is this a new thought. The Jews say, "We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth forever: and how sagest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up?" Yet, if it were Messiah (as a Jew under the law), known, as the apostle calls it, "after the flesh," the Gentiles could not have thus been let in in common with the Jews. Indeed, we who know the need of redemption can say "the corn of wheat" would have abode alone. Thus we get elements in the passage which show that, for their accomplishment, Christ must have been raised. An everlasting covenant in the accomplishment of the sure mercies of David, and Gentiles called, supposed (when duly weighed) a closing of the strict Jewish system, and yet a Messiah who was to abide forever-a difficulty felt by the Jews in the question above referred to when our Lord alludes to His rejection. Now Christ was rejected and put to death. Hence the apostle introduces to the Jews (objects of this everlasting covenant and holding themselves to be such) the resurrection, as alone accomplishing, or securing the accomplishment of, the sure and abiding mercies of David.
Nothing could more largely and perfectly bring together all the elements of dispensational truth, and give the key and keystone of the manner of their accomplishment. It is nothing but the miserable narrowness of mind of those who can see nothing of God's ways out of their own petty circle of ideas, which could make the objections which German skeptics, and their imitators, do. They comment on a book of which they know nothing, the object and import of which they have not even studied-an immense scope of connected thought and system, reaching from Genesis to the melting away of time into eternity-all its parts hanging together, and developing every form of relationship between God and man, historically pursued, yet morally and individually realized-in which each part fits into the other, like the pieces of a dissected map, proving the perfectness and completeness of the whole-all this system, I say, making a complete whole, in absolute unity, yet written (for written it was, as the best testimony proves) at long intervals, over a space of some fifteen hundred years, pursued through every various condition in which man can be placed, of ignorance, darkness, and light, with principles brought out into intended contrast, as the law and the gospel, yet never losing its perfect and absolute unity or the relationship of its parts-all this is passed over by these skeptics. They are not conscious of the existence of it. They have about as much knowledge of the Bible as a babe who took the dissected map and would put together two parts from the antipodes, because they were colored red and would look pretty.
That Mr. N. (who does not believe it himself, and evidently did not at the period of his history) should have found difficulty in pointing out the sufferings of Christ in the Old Testament, is very natural. Had he as much faith as a Jew in the Bible, he would have had none. Let the reader turn to Isa. 50; 53 Psa. 22; Zech. 12; 13, and indeed a crowd of other passages, which, having cited these, it is needless to enumerate, and he will be at no loss to find a suffering Messiah. Besides, a crowd of sacrifices (for, as I said, all the parts of scripture unite in one whole) sheaving atonement for sin, which certainly the blood of bulls and goats could not effectuate, pointing to a suffering Messiah; the portion of Joseph and David (which, though not direct proofs, all confirm by analogies which show the mind of God in quite as strong a way when we have the facts and doctrines as direct proofs); the universal position of the saints; the expression of sentiment provided in the Psalms for those who were associated with Messiah, and for Himself, and so used in many instances by Him-all, as does the whole tenor of the Old Testament, point to the sufferings of Him who was to be "exalted and extolled, and very high," but had "his visage so marred more than any man, and his countenance more than the sons of men." I am not aware what Isa. 53 has to do with a double sense. I know that the Rabbis have sought to apply it to Israel, to avoid its application to Christ; but this is a simple sense, and, to any one who reads the chapter, simply absurd. To make of "He" in the phrase, "He was wounded for our" &c. to be a personification of "our," both meaning Israel, and so on, is an effort worthy of the natural opposition of a Jew in raising an objection, and of a German skeptic to be stopped by.

Daniel 9

As to Dan. 9 some terms may fairly be contested in the English translation. The only just change, however, in the words which affect this point, confirms their application to the death of Christ. "Messiah shall be cut off not for himself," goes, I apprehend, beyond the force of the words of the Holy Ghost. It should be "Messiah shall be cut off, and shall have nothing" -that is, shall then possess nothing of the kingdom and glory which belongs to Him in Israel. For the prophecy relates to Israel, and the accomplishment of prophecy as to that people, and the taking away their iniquity and re-establishing them in peace. Consequently, after this, the wars and troubles which are to come on till that which is determined be poured out are announced. Daniel never goes on to the time of peace, but only to the putting an end to evil.
De Wette's translation is "An anointed one shall be snatched away, and no one is there [or existing] who belongs to him." Now is simply "there is nothing to him." De Wette's is a paraphrase which, while giving the sense, fixes it to a person, "no one," and adds "there" (or existing). With this difference, it gives the sense so as to afford us the clear certainty of the grand meaning of the passage. His translation (it is a learned and rationalist one) is, wird ein Gesalbter weggerafft, and keiner ist vorhanden der ihm angehert. The Hebrew is yekarith Mashiach (יברתמשיח), "Messiah shall be cut off," as simply as possible; Messiah, as all know, means anointed; ve-aen lo (לו ואין) "and there is nothing to him," i.e., He has nothing. Now take this plain and simple passage in the best German renderings, and what has "evaporated?" Something perhaps of an effort to undo the application to Messiah; only that the text was so plain and strong that the Anointed One's cutting off is impossible to be got rid of; and we have the fact of his having nothing as the consequence-His laboring in vain, as He says (Isa. 49), with regard to His then taking the kingdom and glory in Israel. That He will have it, Isa. 53 and Dan. 7 tell us plainly. We know (as Dan. 9 teaches us) that He was cut off and that He got nothing. No one can deny that De Wette's is a paraphrase, and that "ve-aen lo" means "and had nothing." Interpreters have confined the passage to Christ's death, and its application to the Church now; whereas I have not the least doubt (whatever the present efficacy of His blood) that the passage applies to Israel, their establishment, their treatment of Messiah, and their consequent sorrows, which we have before our eyes, till God takes them up again in grace. But the cutting off of Messiah, is as plain as words can make it. The word employed is that always used for "that soul shall be cut off from his people," or from Israel-just what happened to Messiah. De Wette elsewhere always employs another word for the Hebrew one than that which he has used here.
I may just add, that Messiah (translated an anointed one by De Wette here) is not used with an article in Hebrew, as far as I can find; and, when used without a possessive pronoun, is elsewhere always translated by De Wette with the article (der Gesalbter, the anointed). Here, as it must be applied to Messiah if so translated, he puts ein Gesalbter, an anointed.
In fine, the passage of Daniel is as clear as language can make it of the cutting off of Messiah.

Matthew 24:42 to 25:30, and Daniel 12

I turn to Matthew's prophecy chapter 24. The Lord gives in this chapter down to the end of verse 31, the position of the testimony of His disciples, and in general of the elect remnant in Israel; their position in the exercise of their testimony down to the end of verse 14; from verses 15-28, the position of the faithful remnant during the tribulation, when testimony was useless, and they were to flee; and then, from verses 29-31, the coming of the Lord and the gathering of the scattered elect of Israel from the four winds. I beg the reader to mark, I am stating the contents of the passage, and not interpreting them. That this applies to Jews is on the face of the passage from the reference to Jerusalem, and Daniel, the holy place, the sabbath, &c.
From Matt. 24:32 to 25: 30 the Lord gives a practical comment on this solemn subject, and in these parables instructs the disciples as to their just position as Christians during His absence; verses 31 to the end take up the consequence to the Gentiles of His coming to judge the earth. Thus we have, in connection with the Lord's going away, what concerned the Jewish people, christian responsibility, and the judgment of the Gentiles in connection with their responsibility as to receiving the messengers of the kingdom, Christ's disciples (His brethren, as He calls them here), when sent to them.

Daniel 12

To return to the prophecy which regards the Jews, the testimony of the disciples was to be carried on in the midst of difficulties and reach out to all the world for a witness to all nations, and then the end should come. This was the general history of their position. Whatever we may gather of dates from comparison of other passages, which is not my business here, it reached down from the time of Christ to the end of the age. Remark here that the end of the age is not only not the end of the world, but it is not the age of Christianity, but the end of the age of the temple standing under the law till Messiah came. This was the object of the question. Of this, whatever light may be given by the Lord, there can be no question if we read the passage. But in verse 15 a specific definite time is marked out by a particular event-the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet. This leads us at once, and in a positive manner, to the subject of which the Lord speaks. His own words, moreover, establish in the most complete and evident manner, that He is speaking of Jerusalem and Judea. Of this there can be no question.
Now Daniel (chap. 12, where the abomination of desolation is spoken of) speaks of twelve hundred and sixty days and twelve hundred and ninety days, at the end of which the Lord would interfere in favor of Israel, dating them from that to which the Lord here referred. Let the reader pay attention to this. Daniel declares that from the time the abomination is set up, there shall be twelve hundred and ninety days, and the blessing in thirteen hundred and thirty. Further, he connects this-indeed it is the grand subject of the last three chapters of his prophecies-with the closing history of Israel. He speaks of a king who will prosper till the indignation be accomplished at the time of the end.
It is indeed the grand topic of the book, and must have been: for the ultimate fate of Israel would have been the thought which governed the prophetic writing, whether it was God's love to Israel, or Daniel's which was in exercise; and it was undoubtedly both. Hence we have the last beast destroyed in chapter 7; the image ground to powder in chapter 2, and the kingdom of blessing set up and filling the world. So, in the details in chapter 8, the prophet is shown what is to happen in the last end of the indignation, when the king of fierce countenance is to stand up against the Prince of princes, and be broken without hand. He gives the series of Gentile monarchies from the first of them, which was set up in his days, and set aside the throne of God at Jerusalem, established in the family of David, to which all the promises were attached; and he pursues these Gentile monarchies in two symbolical prophecies, which gives the whole series (chapters 2 and 7) on to the end, and the setting up of the kingdom of the Son of man.
Nothing can be clearer than what the prophecy thus professes to do. Objections to the execution of it will be considered hereafter, when we meet with them. This is not the point now. Then, in some particular prophecies, the grand crisis which settles the fate of Israel is discoursed of in connection with particular nations and events (besides facts then happening), which realized and at the same time foreshadowed the principles which would characterize the apostate Gentiles, who were the possessors of power, and the adversaries of Israel (for all in Daniel relates to Israel). Now the particular prophecies which relate to the ultimate fate of Israel, though they may be linked on to those among the beasts which had their power established in the countries in which Palestine is situated, yet necessarily speak of and have for their object what closes the scene. That close is yet future, as is seen, not only by the plain testimony of scripture, but in the fact that we have the Jews yet as a nation with their ultimate fate unsettled. This is a living fact around us.
That Daniel does go on to the end is unquestionable, whatever ideas we may have of the time he expected it to happen. We have alluded to the proofs, which indeed lie on the surface of his writings. His book closes with a promise that he shall stand in his lot at the end of the days-a promise which leaves no obscurity as to the period which he was looking for and referring to in his prophecy, be he right or wrong. The difficulty of interpretation arises precisely from the circumstance we have mentioned-i.e., that Daniel links (chapters 8 and 9) the state of things at the end with the Grecian monarchy which possessed the East, where all was certainly to happen, for that was where Cancan was situated; but he as certainly teaches that another monarchy was to arise which would take a great, and even principal, share in these events. When we set about to interpret the prophecy, the difficulty is to allot its proper share to each of these powers. His introduction of the one certainly does not exclude the other; and many other prophecies declare that all the heathen shall come up against, or be in possession of, Jerusalem in the latter day. We have now, however, to do with the particular prophecy of chapter 12.
In the beginning of that chapter Daniel speaks, just as the Lord does, of the time of trouble such as never was; when Michael shall stand up for the Jews. So that we have the grand final desperate trouble of Daniel's people; and yet at a time when the power of God interferes to deliver them. Just as Jeremiah also represents it: "Alas, for that day is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be delivered out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: but they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up to them." This last prophet declares, moreover, that it shall embrace the whole nation of Israel, as well as Judah in a very particular manner; and that it shall be by a new covenant and not by the old; and that, as sure as the heavens stood, Israel should be a special nation, and Jerusalem be restored. All this, observe, refers to God's government of the earth and the nations. The heavenly blessing of the Church in no way meets it.
That is, we have in Matthew, in Daniel, in Jeremiah, a time of unparalleled trouble at the close of Judah's history; and Judah delivered out of it, and full blessing brought in (the Lord declaring in Matthew that He referred to what Daniel spoke of; and all in their prophecies, not merely in this, but in other prophecies, professedly referring to this closing scene, declaring that it would be brought to an issue by the raising up of the seed of promise in David's family by the coming of the Son of man, by God's interference in favor of His people, whom He never would give up). With this all prophecy, from Moses downwards, coincides; and in many all the details are entered into. It is the grand subject, though many events leading to it, or illustrative of the principles and motives of God's government which is to be fully displayed in it, are noticed for the instruction of the people in them, and as samples of God's ways.
Now what Daniel spoke of in chapter 7, as arriving at this epoch of divine judgment, when the saints would have the kingdom (namely, that the Son of man would come in glory), the Lord also expressly declares; referring, in a positive and most remarkable manner, to another prophecy of Daniel, relating to the same epoch, and unfolding the special tribulation of which He spoke, and His coming in glory, which would be consequent on it. Every statement of scripture, in various parts of it, and by different prophets, concurs in this, and concurs in placing these events in the grand closing scene of God's government of the earth, viewed as the scene of man's national responsibility, Israel being the center, in God's view of it (see Deut. 32:8), of all this government. The Lord (or Matthew, if Mr. N. pleases), so far from confounding anything, gives warnings for the conduct of the disciples in their testimony in the midst of Israel, while that testimony should be carried on there; adding that the testimony of the kingdom should go out to all nations, and that then (not before) the end of the age (not of the world, as every scholar knows) should come. Then, with verse 14, He closes His general history and directions. This is beyond controversy; because the question of the disciples was as to the end of the age; and He says (ver. 14), "Then shall the end come." Then He takes up a very particular point, which He definitely connects with Daniel's prophecy of what was to happen at this "end of the age" (that is, that at that epoch, or twelve hundred and sixty days before the end, it would not be a time of testimony, but that they were to see). The sign would be an idol set up in the holy place, which idol was to cause the desolation of Jerusalem. Now this has never yet taken place at all. Titus did destroy Jerusalem, but no idol was set up in the holy place, which caused the desolation. Michael, the prince, did not stand up for Daniel's people-and to this the New Testament writer refers; nor was any deliverance of Jacob wrought, nor did Daniel stand in his lot, nor did the sign of the Son of man appear, nor did thirteen-hundred-and-thirty days bring any blessing. That is, to the believer there certainly was not the accomplishment of the prophecy. But what is the conclusion we must draw? No person writing, as Mr. N. supposes, after the event, would have written an account, of which the contradiction and falseness was in the hands of all, and of public notoriety. He could not pretend that the Son of man had appeared, and that the elect Jews were gathered-that the blessing of Daniel was arrived. If he lived after the event he might have given a flaming description of Titus's siege, which history would have furnished him with; but at this point it becomes (to use Mr. N.'s phrase) "clearly and hopelessly false" in Mr. N.'s application of it. That is, it certainly was not written after the event. No man would write, in forging a prophecy, what was already clearly and hopelessly false at the time he wrote it. For, as Mr. N. justly insists (by putting it in italics), it is stated that "immediately after that tribulation," &c. So that nothing but the utter nonsense of infidel credulous invention could have explained Matt. 24 as Mr. N. does. That infidels should be ignorant of the abundant confirmation given in the prophets of the real force of the passage, was only to be expected. They have never really examined the contents of the book. They are not capable, by their position, of getting beyond literary speculations. Perhaps we must also expect from them that they should seek to persuade us that a rational account of the passage is, that the writer composed, to deceive them, an account of what was happening among themselves, which was notoriously false at the time he wrote it, to gain the credit of a true prophet for his master!
It may be asked by some, if I give no place here to the destruction of Jerusalem. I think it had a very important one. It closed altogether for the moment the application of the passage we are considering, and of all such, to the testimony in the midst of Israel, to which it referred. God's ways were then to be looked for solely in the Church, whose portion is in heavenly places; and hence (though Providence ever governs all things) not the proper occasion of the display of God's government of the earth. It was, as Paul says to the Ephesians, the proof to principalities and powers in heavenly places, that the wisdom of God was "πολυποίκιλος" very various in its character.
This interruption, as regards God's ways on the earth, is developed in Luke, who looks at all these dispensational questions in a Gentile point of view, when he says, Jerusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles, till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled-exactly the general instruction we have found in Daniel. Jerusalem would be set aside, and all God's dealings consequently with it, till the period allotted in the decrees of God, for the Gentile supremacy was closed. Then the signs and judgments should take place. So Paul, in Rom. 11, "blindness in part" happened unto Israel till the "fullness of the Gentiles be come in"-till, during this time of dealing specially with Gentiles (though every Jew is equally received) all that have ears to hear were brought into God's fold. And then God would begin again with His earthly people in exercise, judgment, and deliverance, and so accomplish all His promises (on earth) in a restored people. The broken-off branches would be graffed in again into their own olive-tree, the fruit-bearing tree of promise springing from Abraham-of course, in the highest sense from God Himself.
Mr. N. may seek, perhaps, to escape from the absurdity of supposing that a forger would invent a prophecy, proved (to be false) by well-known public events, though he does not dare to say it very clearly, by supposing that though it be said "immediately after the tribulation," yet that the author would have time between the tribulation and the "immediately after" to compose and publish his book, that thus he could give a history up to that, and to be mistaken as to what followed. Now, to say nothing of the universal testimony to the contrary (because suppositions are always more attractive to an infidel than history, because they are the fruit of one's own mind, which is a great point with them), the supposition is of this probable character, that a forger would commit himself to a very full and clear statement of what was immediately to occur; and thus determine his book to be a forgery as soon as it should be read! And this is only a trifling part of the difficulty; for we must also suppose that the book was received and read as true, without its being found out that it was falsified by facts-that such a thing as the coming of the great day of judgment should be announced and not arrive, and nobody suspect that the announcement of it was false. That is, he leaves us with the choice of two cases: either that he forged a prophecy, false upon the face of it, and publicly known to be so, in respect of such an event as the non-arrival of Christ for the grand judgment; or, that the pretended prophecy, published "very soon after," preceded what was to happen "immediately after," and committed itself to what would immediately prove it false in the most public way, and yet that thousands, who, by their existence, proved it was false, and knew that the great day of judgment had not arrived, immediately after believed it to be true all the same.
And mark this. All testimony is directly contrary to the date necessary to Mr. N.'s system. He has nothing for it but its own probability. Yes, I am wrong there: there is his assertion, and yet scarcely that-ít is insinuated. To insert the publication of the gospel between the destruction of Jerusalem and "immediately after," would have suggested the inquiry for some proof- a thing not to be had. Hence, where it suited him, there "it is unreasonable to doubt that the detailed annunciation of Matt. 24 were first composed very soon after the war of Titus" (Phases, p. 170), after the siege. When a dream is in question- it is written by an unknown person seventy or eighty years after the nativity. The former date would be either the year of the siege, according to the vulgar era, or (by the correction of chronology, generally received) four, or according to others, five years before it; but then seventy or eighty left margin for that, if the four years' error was known by the reader; and a loose period of five or six possible years after left it possibly just at the critical moment, without too much danger of interfering with "immediately after." It is very nicely arranged.
One point remains-the expression "this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled." Now the whole state of things did, for the time, close some forty years after; and Israel no longer existed as the place of testimony. Still I have no doubt that the word has another force than this. "Generation" is habitually used in scripture otherwise than for the period of human activity, or from the birth of a son to the birth of his son -the length of a man's active life; and it is peculiarly used in reference to Israel in the other sense, which the following quotations present-" the generation of the wicked shall never see light"-"a crooked and perverse nation [the word is the same] among whom ye shine "-" this is the generation of them that seek him." So, many others. That is, it is a class of persons having a given character, as well as those who have their common period of life together. If the reader turn to Deut. 32, he will find, in verses 5 and 20, the word used in this sense in immediate reference to Israel during its protracted rejection up to the end. "They are a perverse and crooked generation." "And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be; for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith." And then Moses speaks of the bringing in of the Gentiles, in a passage which Paul quotes, in reference to the very time we are treating of: the Lord declaring that that generation should not pass-a declaration of which we see the accomplishment to this day. God has hid His face from them to see what their end shall be; yet they have not passed away. There they are till every jot and tittle of Christ's word be accomplished.
The objections, then, to what Matthew says are without foundation; the prophetic declarations in chapter 24 are distinctly referred to Daniel (the application of which leaves no doubt as to the sense and application of Matthew), and clearly establish its reference to the end of the age, of which indeed the Lord was speaking. On the other hand, the suppositions advanced to prove it forged are the most absurdly improbable that can possibly be, besides being contrary to all historical evidence.

The Apocalypse

We have already seen the value of Mr. N.'s objections to the prophecies in the Apocalypse, to which he again briefly refers without adding any new matter. That not "one of these can be interpreted certainly of any [past] human affairs" may be granted without the least detriment to the book; for (while I doubt not that some have had accomplishment by systems, the principle of which judged in the book was partially developed, and that certain objects of the prophecy have appeared-though not full grown-on the scene) I myself believe that its proper accomplishment has not yet arrived. I think the language of the Apocalypse proves it is not, because we have what the prophet had seen- the things that are-and the things after them. It is to my mind certain, that "the things that are" are not yet passed; and hence the prophetic part, beginning chapter 4, has not yet begun to be accomplished, though many things symbolized in it exist more or less.

Coming of the Lord

As regards the coming of the Lord, the purpose of God is evidently to make saints always wait for it as a present expectation; and this is shown in never telling them the moment. Nothing can be more explicit than scripture on this head. St. Paul then made no mistake in expecting "the speedy return of Christ from heaven." He waited for God's Son from heaven and taught others to wait for it continually. He never prophetically announced the time. In each he was perfectly guided by the Spirit of God. That this was the Lord's mind as presented in scripture, the following passages show: But "let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like unto men that waft for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that... they may open unto him immediately.... And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.... Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." So again, "If that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite... the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him... and shall appoint him his portion with the hypocrites." Yet in the very same discourse, directly after, the Lord says, "While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made," &c. That is, if the heart counted on delay, it betrayed its wickedness; yet the Bridegroom would delay, so trying the faith of His own. Yet, adds Peter, "the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish... the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation." That is, the delay is not slackness in His promise to us, but God's patience with men prolonging the time of grace and salvation. But the same apostle warns us that there would be scoffers, saying, "Where is the promise of his coming?" The apostle, then, taught of the Holy Ghost, acted in the spirit of Christ's direction to His disciples in holding and nourishing the lively, and joyful, sanctifying, yea, energizing constant hope of His coming, and yet never predicted the time, which He had put in His own power who had said "Sit on my right hand till Ι make thine enemies thy footstool."
Mr. N., pressed by proofs, seeks to avoid the effect or what he does not dare deny, while sheaving his unwillingness to admit it, "That God has been pleased to reveal something of coming history to certain eminent men of Hebrew antiquity," adding, "That is all." Now I call this profoundly immoral, and an absurd state to be in. Because, to say of divine communications to man, and in mercy, "That is all!" is, in the worst sense, immoral. And it is absurd; because, to suppose that God should have revealed something about Moab, and Ishmael, and Tire, and Edom, to some eminent men of the Hebrew monarchy, and nothing at all else, is unreasonable. To have given some local facts about some petty nations, and to have concealed everything about all the temporal and eternal interests of men, His own government and salvation, is an absurd supposition.
But, further, these eminent men to whom God has been pleased to give this, have said a great deal more on more important subjects, and give the particular revelations spoken of as minor parts of a vast scheme of government, ending with Messianic glory, with the same evidence of truth-the same power of testimony. As to the former, according to Mr. N., they are the confidants of God, and as to the rest impostors and deceivers; yet such as God chose as eminent men, to make them the special confidants of these particular revelations: and all this is logic and philosophy! But this is not our subject now. Mr. N. "receives this conclusion"-i.e., of their inspiration on these points-"with an otiose faith." But his logic has failed him here; because then, at any rate, second-hand faith is not vain. Mr. N. may be indifferent, "otiose;" but that is not the point. Here is faith at second-hand-real and convincing to those concerned-
of vast importance to sustain their hearts, to encourage them to trust in God, and to avoid the powerful current of all which was set in, through the assurance of divine interference in favor of the faithful, and the powerlessness of human resources; in a word, through the assurance that God governed and was to be trusted. This was the effect of faith, secondhand faith (i.e., the truly excellent kind of faith subjectively). For while, for the purpose of testimony to others, eye-witness was the just means employed; yet, even as to the eye-witnesses, it was the spiritual sense of the value of these things that was real, moralizing, efficacious faith before God. Even as to Israel, they happened to them for figures, and are "written for our admonition on whom the ends of the world are come." That is, the admission of this one paragraph totally sets aside the whole chapter. It is not true; it is totally untrue (evidently untrue for one who has examined scripture) that these prophecies have nothing to do with Christianity. They are part of one vast scheme. They are not Christianity of course. We have the true light; but the first fresh dawn of mercy, and God's patient ways with ignorant man-always His ways-have not lost their interest for those who can see clearer.

Daniel, and Desolation to the Time of the End

We now come to the Book of Daniel in general. The reader will remember the positive and direct proofs, from different parts of the book, of the fact that Daniel distinctly refers to God's final dealing with the Jews. He must do so, if showing God's ways as to them in government. For what else should definitely display these? All the prophets who so take them up do so; indeed, all do when rightly understood. Daniel positively declares it. And remark here, that we have positive historical and ocular testimony that he who does this must (whatever the final result be with this people) leave an immense gap unfilled up, because they have been set aside as a people for a long period. Hence, again, Daniel gives us specifically the "times of the Gentiles," whether it be the apostate principles on which they would govern, or general historical views on to the end; or particular prophecies connected definitely with the end, which was the grand epoch in view, as the Spirit declares to the prophet.
These particular prophecies (i.e., chap. 8:10-12, the last three chapters being one prophecy) refer to the Eastern or Grecian kingdom; for there the final scene was to be unfolded. Not that the Western power would not come in-that was the grand general power at the close; but another local one was also to be depicted.
We may now examine chapter 20, to which Mr. N. objects. Here we shall find exactly what I stated-a particular prophecy, as to the Eastern or Grecian power, taken up from its commencement and pursued quite to the end. The king of the north comes to his end, and none helps him; and Michael stands up at the same time, in the time of trouble which has no parallel-of which the Lord speaks in Matthew. Further, in chapter 10, the messenger of God declares, "Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for [many] days"; and in chapter 12: 4, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to the time of the end." So also in chapter 11:40-exactly the prophecy in question: "And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him," &c.-that is, at the king who does according to his will. So that we have in the writer's mind details down to Antiochus Epiphanes, as I agree; and afterward, right or wrong, other details as to what is to happen at the end in the latter days-those days in which Michael was to stand up; and at the close of thirteen hundred and thirty days blessing comes in, and Daniel stands in his lot. But this, it will be said, leaves a great gap. No doubt. To be exact, it must do so, because, as we know, the Jews have been set aside for centuries.
But let us see with greater exactness, how and where the gap comes in, and is introduced. The prophet does, as alleged, pursue the history down to one who, I doubt not, is Antiochus Epiphanes-that is, the last king of any importance of Grecian Syria, and the great persecutor of Israel, who profaned the temple, and destroyed, or at least sought to destroy, all the books of the law, and prohibited the Jewish worship. The ships from Chittim are then introduced upon the scene, that is, the Romans -the power under whom the whole Jewish system was to remain in abeyance. But another important element was still more in the mind of the Spirit here (that is, the alliance of the local Gentile power with the apostates of the Jews). This, and the profanation of the temple, were to be, and will yet be, the special characteristics of the last days. A full picture of this state of things is drawn so far as the elements go which characterize it (that is, the intervention of the Western Roman power, apostasy among the Jews, profanation of the temple, and interruption of Jewish worship, and of all service rendered to the true God). This will be the final state of the Jews, as presented in scripture, till delivered by the coming of the Lord. Hence the elements and vivid picture of it in these comparatively early days is given to us.
But there will be a remnant active and energetic then, but having also another general character, instructors of the people of the Jews in the truth. Still the people shall fall under their enemies [many] days. God shall permit even those who, having been faithful to God, might have hoped to escape, to be cut off also by their enemies: but it is for purifying and making white even to the time of the end. That is, we have just the gap onward from the introduction of the Romans at the close of the Syro-Grecian kingdom, and that up to the very end.
We have not here the Roman destruction of the Jewish polity in detail: that had been given at the end of chapter 9, and could not be the anticipative picture of the latter days, because the Jewish affairs are to take the form they had in Antiochus Epiphanes' time, that of the apostasy of the Jews, and their being linked up with the heathen. This was in no way the case in the time of Titus. The unclean spirit of idolatry was not entered in with seven others more wicked than himself; so as to make their last state worse than the first. They were empty, and swept, and garnished. They stumbled on the stumbling stone and were broken: in the end it will fall on them.
But we have the general desolation to the time of the end. Then, when that has been shown, we get a king doing according to his will, setting up idolatry, rejecting the God of his fathers, which Antiochus never did, disregarding all Jewish hopes as something which is supposed to belong to him, exalting himself above every god, and distributing the land among his chiefs. The king of the south pushes at him at the time of the end (that is, he who shall be in Ptolemy's geographical place); and the king of the north comes against him (that is, he who shall have Antiochus's geographical place); so that the willful king cannot be Antiochus Epiphanes. Yet it is a full and minute prophecy of what is to be at the time of the end, when the great gap is over; and it goes on to state the course of the king of the north, and his ruin; and in chapter 12 the trouble that accompanies this period, the duration of the trouble, and the deliverance of Israel -the contrast of the wicked and the wise; all of which would come out at the time of the end, not before; when Daniel also, as we have seen, would have his share in the blessing in the end of the days.
This part it is which the Lord also quotes as to be fulfilled at the end of the age. There is, then, as much particularity as to the events at the end as there is to those previous to, and during, the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. With the speculations of interpreters in applying it I have nothing to do, with Mr. N.'s objections I have; and they, as to the facts of the chapter, are totally groundless. As to the enduring days of desolation and captivity, we are witnesses of its truth, that is, of the truth of the very part where Mr. N. says it breaks down. The fulfillment of all the rest cannot yet be proved, because it is at the time of the end, which we all know is not yet come. No one can say it becomes false. The triumphs of the Maccabees, and the long period of desolation and captivity, are true; and that is what is stated.
As to chapter 7, Mr. Ν. informs us that "the four monarchies in chapters 2 and 7 are the Babylonian, the Median, the Persian, the Macedonian. Interpreters, however, blend the Medes and Persians into one, and then pretend that the Roman empire is still in existence." "Chapter 7 also is confuted by the event; for the great day of judgment has not followed upon the fourth monarchy." (Phases, p. 171.) There is nothing like being bold enough: somebody will believe it, or at least, somebody will doubt; and nothing will be certain. "Interpreters, however, blend the Medes and Persians into one." Indeed! It is not very extraordinary; because, though distinct nations, they are blended in history, though "the highest came up last. " But is it only interpreters who do this? What does Daniel do? He says, in interpreting Upharsin, "Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians." That is, he brings them in on the scene together. It may be said, "But Darius, who was of the seed of the Medes, was set over the realm of the Chaldeans." One "interpreter" has used this to prove that it was still the Babylonish empire. Where was this distinct empire of the Medes to which the Persians succeeded as another? Cyrus, king of Persia, takes Babylon, and the temple is built by his orders. Darius may have ruled in Babylon till Cyrus had finished his conquests and had settled the empire; but the Persians were, at the epoch of the fall of the Babylonish empire, joint possessors with the Medes of the imperial power as a people.
Mr. Ν. says, consequently, on his Median scheme, that the last empire is the Grecian. The ten horns have no kind of analogy with the Grecian kingdom, which Mr. Ν. supposes the prophet to be describing as a thing past. But not only so: Daniel himself most positively describes (for, unhappily, he is, as to this point, one of the "interpreters," or, at least, the angel who explained the vision is) the Medo-Persian empire as one beast, and by the well-known Persian emblem: "The ram which thou sawest, having two horns, are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia." That is, it is absolutely certain (for he says so) that Daniel considers the Medo-Persian as one empire, or beast; and that, consequently, the whole of Mr. N.'s argument is not worth a straw, unless it be to show that the prophet does really give ampler details of what was future, and is so yet, on to the day of judgment, than he does of what Mr. Ν. would make historical. For, if the Medo-Persian empire be one empire (that is, the second), then the Roman is confessedly the last-that with the ten horns. Now, even supposing the unfounded assertion to be true, that the author of the book ascribed to Daniel wrote in the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, yet still the Roman empire (that which is given with far the greatest detail, and whose division into divers kingdoms is a matter of history) was future. That is, he acts, wherever you put him as to date, as a prophet, and commits himself fully to the details of future events, such as the subdivision of the Roman empire into ten kingdoms, its final blasphemous character, and judgment.
At any rate, as the kingdom, according to Daniel, was given to the Medes and Persians, his four monarchies cannot be made out by making of the Medes and Persians successive kingdoms.
Not only so; but the fact of the declaration of the writer, that the Medo-Persian kingdom is one only, considered as a beast, destroys the whole foundation of Mr. N.'s reasonings. He states that "he [Daniel.] gives the Grecian kingdom, under which he lived, as the last, and then passes to the general judgment," "the great day of judgment has not followed upon the fourth monarchy." Now, if the Medo-Persian be one only, then he gives a beast or empire after the Grecian, and that with very much greater detail than as to those which preceded; and the allegation is so far from having any foundation, that we have historical proof that he is right; for another kingdom has succeeded the Grecian, divided into many horns-that is, he is a prophet. I need not say, that I agree with all existing testimony, that it was Daniel the prophet, the captive in Babylon, who wrote it.
In fine, Mr. N. says the book of Daniel cannot be proved to have existed earlier than the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, that is, than the last events it describes. The reader will remember that this is casting off the New Testament altogether-that is, really, Christianity-because the Lord there cites his book as that of a prophet. But, as to other proofs, it is beyond all controversy that, at all times of which we have any evidence, this book has been received by the Jews as Daniel's, written during the captivity. The Talmud has put it among the Cherubim, or Hagiographa, with Chronicles, Psalms, Proverbs, &c. But none has called its inspiration in question. Josephus is very particular; he gives the number of the books of the Old Testament, and refers to Daniel as the most renowned of prophets. He moreover declares, that the Jewish canon was closed in the reign of Artaxerxes, that is, with Malachi; so that he bears the strongest possible testimony to the date of Daniel as an authentic book.
It may be asked, "On what are the assertions founded of the recent date of the composition of the book?" The answer is, "On nothing." The objectors think there cannot be prophecy: hence, they argue, there is not. Hence, when an era is spoken of, the book must have been written after it. In this case, indeed, the book of Daniel must have been written after the division of the Roman empire; for he speaks of that; and the history of Josephus must have been also written subsequent to that division into two kingdoms, for he speaks of the book of Daniel which refers to it. But Mr. N. cuts this all short by saying nothing about the passages which speak of the end; and by making (contrary to history and the positive assertion of the book itself) the Median and Persian two consecutive empires, and maintaining a profound silence on the ten horns.
Not only does Josephus present the number of the books of scripture as composing a whole, divided into three parts, and Daniel as one of the most admirable among them, thus assuring us the Old Testament such as we have it was a known volume, but the Wisdom of Jesus, the son of Sirach, refers to this volume, though not distinguishing the books, in the same threefold division-the law, the prophets, and the other books. That is, he shows the body of scripture complete. Not only so, but he refers to these being translated, declaring that the law, the prophets, and the other books had not the same force in the Greek tongue, That Daniel lived in the time of the captivity, we have proof from Ezekiel, who names him by name, and who wrote at that period. The book of Daniel, moreover, had its place in the Septuagint translation. It is not, indeed, the one we have, which is Theodotian's; but there was one, of which fragments are now extant in the Chisian MS. Now this translation was probably as early as the beginning of Antiochus's reign, that is, B.C. 175, Mattathias's revolt being in B.C. 167. The book of Maccabees, probably from the contents dating about B.C. 130, refers to Daniel. In sum, if we receive the New Testament, we have the authority of the Lord Himself for Daniel's being a prophet. Further, we have (for the historical truth of his existence as a remarkably well-known man at the period the book of Daniel refers to) the testimony of his contemporary, Ezekiel. We have Josephus, thoroughly versed in Jewish lore, bearing witness that Daniel was of special eminence among the prophets, and the complete volume of the books of scripture specifically noticed, saying that they had not a multitude of books, but twenty-two (now made twenty-four by the separation of Ruth from Judges, and Lamentations from Jeremiah); that they were all completed by the reign of Artaxerxes, thus letting in Malachi and Esther, and no more; that there were indeed other books among them, but that they had not the same authority because there were no prophets to authenticate them.
Nothing can be simpler than this. Without entering into details which change nothing of the substance, we have, on clear and intelligible grounds, the canonical scriptures and the Apocrypha. The canonical books are divided into three parts: the law, prophets, and hymns; or, as the Lord says in Luke, the law, prophets, and psalms. But this is not all. The first book of Maccabees refers to Daniel, and no doubt to the LXX translation. This book was written some hundred and thirty years before Christ. Jesus, the son of Sirach, refers to the canonical books, by their well-known tripartite division, and to a translation of them; that is, Daniel existed then, and was translated into Greek. The lowest date for this is B.C. 130. Some place the son of Sirach B.C. 200. The Septuagint translation, of which Daniel formed a part, was made from B.C. 280 by degrees. The revolt of Mattathias was more than a hundred and ten years after it commenced to be made. It is supposed by some that Esther was translated in the reign of Ptolemy Philometer, and this would tend to show that the translation was complete earlier. Now we have no authorities whatever to refer to during the interval between Malachi and the Septuagint translation. But we have the concurrent voice of all the authority we possess that Daniel is authentic; and the fact of its being part of the Septuagint makes it to the last degree improbable that its date could be any later one; while the Jews, who certainly knew their own canon, most undoubtedly received it as the book of the prophet (Josephus also, who was thoroughly versed in the question, giving, not his opinion, but dearly and elaborately the Jews' judgment upon it, and the very intelligible grounds of it). All other authorities agree, not merely as authorities, but refer to these very books as the books known (settled by authority) and received of the nation. We have not an earlier testimony than the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, for none exists; but we have a testimony to the earlier and universal reception of these books as scripture. Hence, it can be proved to have existed earlier, for it was then fully received by all as an authentic book, and translated as a part of scripture, probably some time before the period referred to, certainly then as being fully acknowledged, which is exactly the same thing as to our present question (that is, that it was not written for the occasion, for it was then translated as a well-known book).

Prophecies of the Pentateuch

In order to connect the Pentateuch with the time of Hezekiah, Mr. Ν. declares the first reference to be in Mic. 6:5. The reader may remember that in another part of the book Mr. Ν. declares that it was never given out as an authentic book till found in the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign, that is, it is referred to by Micah about seventy years before it was brought out, and referred to as well known to the people. But Mr. Ν. is on slippery ground here. His friend, Mr. Theodore Parker, the translator of De Wette, thus gives his author in English (vol. 2, p. 154, second edit. Boston, 1850): "About B.C. 790 we find that Amos unites the Elohistic and Jehovistic fragments in Gen. 19:29. Therefore he must have had the book of Genesis in its present form (see chap. 2: 9), he says, `Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them.' Accordingly, he seems to have been acquainted with the book of Numbers. About B.C. 785 Hosea affords us a trace of its existence. (Chap. 12: 3-5.) Here the allusions are obvious to the story of the birth of Esau and Jacob in Gen. 25:26.... Again chapter 9:10. This refers to Num. 22:3." I do not go any farther. He refers to Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, whose "acquaintance with our present Pentateuch," he says, "is pretty clear." Moreover, I apprehend no unprejudiced, intelligent person can doubt the reference of Joel 2:1, 15, 16, to Numbers 10:1-10. Now De Wette, as do many others, places him in B.C. 810; some so far back as B.C. 870, 865; Mr. Ν. (in his Hebrew Monarchy) between B.C. 840 and 818. That is, mark, that the Pentateuch is quoted as soon as there is a prophet to quote it. But to apply these facts to Mr. N.'s statements; if we take in Joel, we have prophecies referring to the Pentateuch about a hundred years before Hezekiah's reign, and nearly two hundred years before Josiah's. Omitting Joel, we have, at any rate, prophecies in B.C. 790 and 785, which, according to De Wette, prove that these prophets had two books at least of the Pentateuch in its present form.
1 "The first apparent reference is by Mic. 6; 5, a contemporary of Hezekiah, which proves that an account contained in our Book of Numbers was already familiar." (Phases, p. 171, and note.))
Josiah, according to Mr. Ν., mounted the throne in B.C. 640. The law was found in his eighteenth year: that gives us B.C. 622
That is, according to De Wette and Parker, the prophets had the Pentateuch, as we have it now, about a hundred and seventy years before it was composed as it is now, and published, according to Mr. Ν. And the proofs of Dr. De Wette are founded on the newest and most accurate discoveries of Elohistic and Jehovistic documents afforded us in the book which Mr. Ν. himself refers to. I should add, perhaps, to make every allowance, that Mr. Ν. places Amos in B.C. 770; so that, according to his sheaving, the Pentateuch, as we have it now, would have been quoted only a hundred and fifty years before it existed!
This paragraph of Mr. N.'s has puzzled me a little: "Next, as to the prophecies of the Pentateuch, they abound, as to the times which precede the century of Hezekiah; higher than which we cannot trace the Pentateuch." (Phases, p. 171.) He adds, in a note, "The first apparent reference is by Mic. 6:5, a contemporary of Hezekiah." The object of this is obvious: it is to prove that they were composed just then, and gave out history for prophecy. That is plain enough-a very strange thing to urge, when they were most certainly, as he tells us elsewhere, compiled and published in Josiah's days, and never before. "As I considered the narrative, my eyes were opened. If the book had previously been the received sacred law, it could not possibly have been so lost that its contents were unknown, and the fact of its loss forgotten. It was, therefore, evidently then first compiled, or, at least, then first produced and made authoritative to the nation." (Phases, p. 137.) But the former was a discovery. His eyes were opened. But I pass from this now: it lasted thirty-three pages; and that is something for a German discovery-provided, that is, that it suffices to raise a doubt. But now why this singularly vague expression-"as to the times which precede the century of Hezekiah?" They contained accurate accounts, it is to be supposed, as to the times preceding his century. Now we have found from De Wette that these books existed, and were referred to as well-known public documents nearly seventy years before Hezekiah's accession, about eighty years before his sickness in the middle of his reign. Now where are we to begin "Hezekiah's century?" If we set fifty years before and fifty years after him for his century, then we have prophecies existing twenty or thirty years before it, and so clear that Mr. N. takes them for histories. If we take B.C. 800 to B.C. 700 as Hezekiah's century, we have, according to De Wette and Parker, prophecies proving the Pentateuch to be well-known public books, appealed to by
prophets in Judah and Israel in the first ten years of his century; and Joel, whom De Wette does not mention, but in whose prophecy the reference is equally clear, proving their existence before Hezekiah's century some thirty years, perhaps many more. That is, the Pentateuch, according to Mr. N., is full of prophecies as to the times in which it is proved to be publicly referred to as a well-known authentic book already in existence. What does this prove? And why all this vagueness as to times in Mr. N.? Why this omission of the testimony of the book he recommends, in which passages are given as a certain proof that the Pentateuch existed long before Hezekiah's reign, Micah alone being referred to by Mr. N.-a book, too, as infidel as Mr. N. could wish-nay, which is his grand armory?
Of course, Mr. N. is not bound to adopt the opinion of the author he recommends; but is it quite candid to say the first apparent reference is Micah without alluding to the citation of passages of the Pentateuch in Amos and Hosea, in the book he himself uses and recommends? But a doubt upon a doubt is a shocking thing when all depends on boldness of assertion to create one in the mind of the reader. But to return: it is true that, vague as it now is, the passage in the "Phases of Faith" will, if not closely examined into, disarm the testimony of De Wette and Parker of its effect, because their proofs of the existence of the Pentateuch are within the century preceding Hezekiah; and the note, if we do not compare it with the text, will bring proofs down to Hezekiah's own days, and cut off, for him who does not pay attention, about another century of proof. But this is, to say the least, a strange passage, not helped out by a declaration elsewhere, that they were compiled in Josiah's days, and could not at any rate have been known before. The fact is, the Pentateuch is referred to most distinctly in the earliest of the prophets, whom Mr. N. puts about B.C. 830, so that the only thing Mr. N. proves here is, that the Pentateuch abounds in accurate prophecies, written, at any rate, a good while before the event.

The Old Testament a Continuous History

But if the Old Testament be attentively examined, we shall soon see that it is a continuous history, whoever was the means of making it so (God, as its divine Author, I doubt not), with moral and prophetic addresses joined to it, beginning with the creation and ending with the re-building of the temple 'and city, after their destruction by Nebuchadnezzar; not setting aside, however, the Gentile dominion, which had taken the place of God's throne in David's family in Jerusalem-a dominion which will continue till Christ takes His, and that at Jerusalem again, as David's son. But this continuous history is in each successive book carried on, with just so much reference to the previous parts, and especially to the Pentateuch, the foundation of all, as was real and true in the state of the time they refer to; the last verse of Malachi throwing back (while announcing the coming of the great day of the Lord) the thoughts of the hearer to the days of Horeb and of the law. In first Samuel we have seven references to the Pentateuch, one to Joshua; in the second, two. That the law was forgotten in practice is most certain. But the whole of the Old Testament has the character of a successive history stamped on it in the very plainest possible way. This is its clear, natural, intrinsic character.
Mr. N. states that "no prophecy of the Pentateuch can be proved to have been fulfilled, which had not been already fulfilled before Hezekiah's day." (Phases, pp. 171, 172.)
I take the opportunity of this note to insert a statement from Lightfoot, in reference to the period at which the Magi came up, the sheet to which it properly belongs being already printed off. He supposes, as I have done, that the Magi came up some time after the birth of Christ, making the interval at least a year.
"Since, therefore, only fourteen years passed from the nativity of Christ to the death of Augustus, etc., we must reckon that Christ was not born but in the last years of Herod. 'Thus we conjecture:
" In his thirty-fifth, Christ was born.
"In his thirty-seventh, now newly begun, the wise men came: presently after this, was the slaying of the infants-and after a few months, the death of Herod.")
This assertion is so flatly contradicted by the contents of Lev. 26, and the well-known public history of the Jews, that it is needless to go farther. It is quite clear that Israel had not been scattered among the heathen before Hezekiah's reign, and quite clear they have since, and that God's sanctuary has been destroyed.

The Gospels

We now come to the Gospels. In the first place, though there is a remarkable similarity of spirit and doctrine in the gospel and epistles of John, they are very easily distinguished by any attentive reader. The presenting of the person in the way of historical fact in the one, and the deduction of the nature of God, Christ, and the new man, from that manifestation in the other, are respectively the characters of the gospel and epistles. This renders the epistles much more abstract; and hence the connection of the reasoning is known only where the inward thread of divine life, which links it, is known; whereas Christ in the gospel is clearly and definitely presented, though the divine glory of His person is brought out.
I do not in the least agree with the assertion, that the divine nature of Christ is not clearly taught in the first three gospels. Take the word Emmanuel, "God with us." Again, "Thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins." I cite these as examples which present themselves at once. A multitude are found at the beginning and end of the gospels, if we except the beginning of Mark, which commences with His service; and the same truth is found there in the course of that service-as for example, the comparison of the healing of the paralytic with Psa. 103, and of the feeding of five thousand with Psa. 132 That the Holy Ghost selected for its communication by John what related to the Lord's person is beyond controversy: that, with the sending of the Holy Ghost, is the grand object of the book. Hence he has given what John Baptist taught his disciples, and not merely his public testimony. Moreover, there are but two verses in what john Baptist says, which can give occasion to any remark (chapter 3:35, 36). The rest is a touchingly beautiful comparison by John of himself with Christ. Otherwise there is nothing like John the Baptist's testimony. The testimony that he that believes has everlasting life is the only thing that passes in its character the general spirit of John's teaching, that is, the witness to the person of Christ. But it is not in elevation of doctrine more than being Son of God-Lamb of God-Baptizer with the Holy Ghost-and this last is even more remarkable because it belongs to the display of Christ's power after His departure, as much and more than as having eternal life by Him, and is immediately connected with the Father's having put all things into His hand. There is one thing very clearly proved by Mr. N.'s remarks in this page-his insensibility to divine things; for it is notorious that John's gospel has delighted, fed, drawn out, and comforted the hearts of thousands, perhaps more than any other book of scripture-for a simple reason, that it presents more of Christ Himself, and more immediately Christ Himself. Mr. Ν. finds it "monotonous."

The Discourses of the Lord

I recall to the reader the very convenient form of Mr. N.'s book for administering doses of infidelity: as he is merely recounting the course of his own mind, he can give a conviction as it formed itself, without the least proof. Thus he has a "high sense of the lucid force with which he [Strauss] unanswerably shows that the fourth gospel is no faithful exhibition of the discourses of Jesus." (Phases, p. 174.) What has produced this conviction we are left to imagine; of course it is supposed to be something. Before this, however, Mr. Ν. says, "It had become quite certain to me that the secret colloquy with Nicodemus, and the splendid testimony of the Baptist to the Father and the Son, were wholly modeled out of John's own imagination." (Phases, p. 174.) How did it "become quite certain?" It is left to be supposed because it is "quite certain." One can only, to such kind of assertions, answer in the negative-that it is not " quite certain."
Such assertions have this immense difficulty standing in the way:-that it is a "splendid testimony" on subjects which Alexandrian philosophers have essayed to teach-that this testimony contains the holiest and truest teaching on man's real condition, and what he needed-the profoundest knowledge and application of the Old Testament, and the connection between the universal principles it contains and the particular application in which a Jewish doctor ought to have understood them-and yet the clear distinction as to how, in their universality as applied by God in grace, they would reach to all (besides the positive revelation of what introduced the heavenly development of the character to which these general spiritual principles lead), and that connected with what we know to be historically true, and prophetically announced, though contrary to all Jewish thoughts, and in its actual form only discoverable in prophecy by the key which the person of Christ gave to it-yet, with that key, as simple as possible. All this, and much more than this, in the compass of a few verses (and such is John 3), we are told, is the invention of an impostor, and quite certainly such. It is a pity Mr. N. does not tell us why. If imposture be such, and so true, and has such a stamp of divine knowledge on it, what is truth? And what must the original living witness and exhibition of this truth have been? And besides, however profound, nothing can be simpler. There is nothing obscure and mythically mysterious about it.

Special Views of Christ's Person

It may be well here to say a few words on the manner in which the discourses of the Lord would be given to us, assuming the Holy Ghost to record them. For it is the character which would result, not the proof of the fact by evidence, that I now seek. First, it is perfectly certain, that we have a very small portion indeed of the discourses of Jesus. The Holy Ghost would give us those which divine wisdom considered permanently useful to the Church in all ages-that which brought out great principles and abiding doctrines; and such is in fact the case. Take the sermon on the Mount, Matthew 13, Luke 15; 16, and the discourses in John, and the like: all bring out some special view of Christ's person, God's ways with men, or the principles of His rule as Father. Even in the same discourse He would give us, according to the connection in which it was recorded, that part which applies to the subject treated. Thus, supposing it had been said, "They killed at Jerusalem the Son whom the Father had sent," I might say, if the guilt of favored Jerusalem was in question, "They killed the Son at Jerusalem;" if the mere extent of their guilt in respect of the dignity of His person, "They killed the Son." If I sought to show the slight of the Father and the contempt of His love, I might say, "They killed the Son whom the Father had sent." And all these representations would be perfectly true; and in the pursuit of an object, such as God must have in recording these things, my leaving out a part which did not immediately bear on the purpose of God in the revelation would only give a truer force to the words-more of the sense and meaning, according to the mind and teaching of God. Now each gospel might give only one of these (much more pertinent and instructive, but) incomplete citations; and hence there would be a difference. But so far from there being an inconsistency, there would be a great help to understanding the mind of God in the word.
Would any man say of these, that any one was not a true account? It would be a great deal truer if the object be to communicate God's mind in the discourse to me; and what else can it be if God inspired the account of it? I repeat, we have not a hundredth part of Jesus's discourses. We have what the Holy Ghost was sent to give for the permanent good of the Church- the very words Jesus used, if needed, for the divine teaching, perhaps the substance perfectly fitted for future ages, or some of the words which had a permanent application.
Again, suppose there were a question of blaming me for taking some one to a distance, and it were affirmed that I had, on the contrary, said to him, "Come into the next room;" whereas I had said, "The next room is airy and will suit you: come into it." The report made to justify me is not literal, but it is exactly true. Now I do not doubt that the Holy Ghost, by the apostle, has given the discourses of Jesus, not necessarily in every case literally, but in the way alluded to in the example I have given, so as that they exactly communicate the mind of God in them which He meant to be preserved in writing, and word for word when that was needed so to do. Many things may have been said, and undoubtedly were, by which what He said was adapted to the persons and circumstances which surrounded Him, but made no part of the truth to be conveyed. These would be only so far preserved as would be needed to give a perfect idea of what He said to them, and how. Hence the force of the discourse would be, as the Holy Ghost used the mind and pen of John, or any other writer, exactly what the Holy Ghost meant to communicate.
Now this is much more really a divine communication by the Holy Ghost, than a mere repetition by human memory of what the Lord meant only for the good of the individuals at the moment, or forms of expression adapted to suit what He said to them, and not for the permanent good of the Church, and the full revelation of Himself. I have His instructions with divine perfection, as He meant them to be given for the permanent use of the Church, written by the power of the Holy Ghost. If the Holy Ghost employed John or Matthew to convey a particular part of the truth as to Jesus, as He undoubtedly did, their writings would necessarily take the form of the particular truth or aspect of Christ they were employed to set forth. Thus Emmanuel shines through Matthew, and Jehovah King in Zion; in John, the Son's relationship in every way with the Father, both in nature and mission: Judaism is quite set aside. The vessel used was fitted for its use, but conveyed exactly what it was meant to convey. The form, as we have said, of the jet was according to the fountain-maker's design, but the water which took that form was unmixed and pure.

John's Account of the Raising of Lazarus, and of the Healing of the Man Born Blind

Mr. Newman objects to John's account of the raising of Lazarus, and of the healing of the man born blind, on the ground of their not being mentioned by the other evangelists, and John's writing long after. Now the miracles Mr. N. objects to were immediately in connection with the subject the Holy Ghost employed John to treat of. One was in demonstration of His Sonship in the direct way of power; and the other, of the light-giving power which accompanied the recognition of His mission, leading to the owning of Him as Son. Now I repeat here what I have already said, that the Holy Ghost must have an object in writing such histories. He is not-could not be-a biographer, to write a life with circumstances which there was no divine reason for communicating. He was revealing Christ under various characters of glory, Son of God, Son of David, Son of man, Emmanuel.
Now let us examine whether there is not such a definite bearing of the two miracles referred to as is to be expected in a history given of God; whether they do not bear the stamp of a divine revelation of Jesus. From chapter 4, John's Gospel had systematically unfolded the new thing in contrast with Judaism. Spiritual worship of the Father instead of at Jerusalem or on Gerizim. (Chap. 4.) Life-giving power, instead of human strength using ordinances; judgment executed to secure Christ's glory in those who rejected Him: here He is the life-giving Son. (Chap. 5.) Next, He is the humbled Son of man instead of King Messiah in Israel, the spiritual food of faith while away, having come down from heaven and been crucified. (Chap. 6.) Then, the time for His glory before the world being not yet come, the Holy Ghost is to be given to believers, witnessing His heavenly glory as Son of man. (Chap. 7.) Then He is the light of the world in contrast with the law; but His word is rejected (chap. 8); as is the evidence of His works (chap. 9), of which hereafter. He will at any rate have and save His sheep. (Chap. 10.) That closes the direct revelation of Christ in the gospel.
From chapter ii we have the public testimony given by God to Him who was rejected:-first, as Son of God, life-giving, resurrection-power was His proper glory; and Lazarus is publicly raised. This sickness was not unto death, but for the glory of God, and that the Son of God should be glorified thereby. Hence all say, "If thou hadst been here, he had not died." They knew His miraculous power of healing; but now close to Jerusalem, the most public testimony possible is given to His life-giving power as Son of God. How truly this is in its place is seen by this, that after this we have His glory as Son of David publicly proclaimed by His entry into Jerusalem, and the time come for His glory as Son of man marked by the Greeks coming up; and then the Lord shows that to this the cross is necessary, and looks in spirit at the coming hour. Thus the peculiar bearing of this remarkable miracle is clearly seen-the public indication of Christ as Son of God who raises the dead.
Now Matthew is employed by the Holy Ghost to present Christ in another way-that of Emmanuel, Messiah. Hence the Spirit does not give what was specially used to prove another point; but He does give with much more detail the riding in as Jehovah, the King Messiah, with all that followed on it-in the judgment of Israel, chief priests, Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians -every class, in a word, and the whole moral position of those who rejected Him; and then shows from Psalm 110 that the Messiah ought to leave them, and to ascend up on high, because He was David's Lord as well as David's Son. That is, he gives in greater detail what was suited to his subject.
Again in the case of the blind man, the same considerations apply. We have the contrast between the blind receiving sight from Him who is the true light of the world, and the judgment of those who set up to be lights, and that by the most ignorant believer who finds his place with the rejected Son of God. And mark the process. First, in the typical act, He puts clay on the man's eyes-a figure (I doubt not, from what the apostle says) of Christ come in the flesh. But this operation in itself produces no effect; but the moment he washes in Siloam (which, says the apostle, signifies "sent"), he sees. That is, the moment he, by the purifying word and Spirit, recognizes that Christ is the sent One, all is clear. In result, the poor man, the subject thus of the delivering power of Christ, honest of heart, bears witness to the power of which he had experienced the effect, knowing Jesus only as a prophet; but, having received in his heart the authority of His word and mission, he immediately receives Him as Son of God, and prostrates himself before Him. The rest are blinded; for the effect of His mission is, that they that see not might see, and that they that see might be made blind.

Characteristics of John's Testimony

Now this unfolding of particular testimony to Sonship, in contrast with the blinding of the Jews, is John's subject all through. Matthew's, as we have seen, is different; as is Luke's, who gives us the Son of man, and what is suited to the display of that truth. But there is such total and profound ignorance in all these infidel writers of the purpose of the author, that they do not understand the scope of a single passage. How should they? It is as if some wise housemaid should clean out a powerful voltaic battery, because dirty wire and plates and useless water were in it.
And I beg the reader to call to mind, that if God was writing a book, He must have such objects. Adequate evidence of the facts proving His mission in Israel among the Jews was given in Matthew's Gospel among themselves, and I suppose (it is hardly to be doubted from the evidence we have) in their own tongue as well as in Greek, before the destruction of Jerusalem. John was employed (when Christianity was now, in one sense, established, and no longer in the cradle of Judaism) to give the great leading truths concerning the person and glory of Jesus, and the presence of the Holy Ghost needed for its building up and consolidation, and the guarding it against the inroads of heretical pravity. Could anything be more suitable, more timely, or more gracious on God's part? He preserves also an apostle himself, that, as external proof, we might have an eye-witness, and one most especially intimate with Jesus-one we may reverently call His bosom friend-to show what really was the true doctrine of Christ when there was danger of departure from it, and need of building up in it; when it was no longer sufficient to believe that Jesus was the Christ in order to be preserved from the machinations of the enemy. And this is what we have in John. He is occupied entirely about the person of Christ, and the testimony of the Holy Ghost operating in the saints, whether to convict the world by, or to build up the Church in, the glory of that Christ. Meanwhile, if God chose fitting instruments, the Holy Ghost Himself, as Christ had promised, was the Author and Inspirer of all, whether in Matthew or in John, or any other. Now John was just the person fitted for this. The time was the time it was required, the thing done exactly what was called for: just as the general course of Christ's working was recorded by Matthew; but in Matthew, hundreds of miracles in a verse or two, to introduce the true character of the kingdom of heaven, which was his subject (all his detailed miracles bearing on his subject, as the few john relates do on his; and Luke's in an equally remarkable manner on his-the healing, cleansing, forgiving, and quickening of man lost in sin).

Observations on Miracles

Hence nothing can be more out of the way than Mr. N.'s remarks. If john had in Asia Minor (if he was there), after the destruction of Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the Jews, given the general history of miracles and acts as a proof of the truth of his mission as Messiah to the Jews, then, though it would not hinder one taught of God from believing, there would be something plausible in what Mr. N. says, in objecting to a new history of miracles at so late a date. This was already done; and that John should then develop Christianity doctrinally and in its spirit, relating only two or three miracles of Jesus, specially connected with this, is exactly in place and keeping. John's testimony as eye-witness was just as valid. These events must have been much more vividly impressed upon him than more recent ones. The Holy Ghost, while acting suitably as to His instruments, and for His purpose, always acts in His own divine power.
Mr. N.'s low and disgusting introduction of John as a witness is without sense or force. He puts a question which only shows his ignorance of the matter. The Holy Ghost acted on his memory, "He shall bring to your remembrance." Does he mean to say that God cannot call to a man's memory what He thinks fit? Such a notion is ridiculous-a man can do it. But He puts the memory into activity, and recalls to it the images of what had passed before it. How many scenes and thoughts has the sight of a person called back to our minds! How well does the sinner know that when God acts convertingly on his conscience all his sins come up fresh into his memory! Could God not do as much as to the life of His blessed Son, and control the memory in its activity so as to give what He wished, if He purposed to give a revelation by eye-witnesses? This is what Jesus said the Holy Ghost should do. Hence it is not a "romance," but a history- a real history by eye-witnesses, and a real history by God Himself through their instrumentality. It is much more incredible that He should have sent and given His Son, and not given such a history of Him, but left it unknown, or only traditionally guessed at in after ages.
Further, I repeat, miracles may arrest and draw attention to truth; and truth may arrest and fix attention on divine power shown by miracles; but the fact is, both were concurrent testimonies to the person and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. On this point also Mr. N. only shows he is far from the plain and very simple state of the case. Suppose the anxious father, who entreated deliverance for his son, found that the fever left him exactly at the moment that Jesus said, "Go thy way, thy son liveth"; and thus, giving ear to Jesus, found that truth, the entering in of which gives light and understanding to the simple, would an infidel's skepticism or the parent's conduct be more just? In the main, the Gospels just give us an authentic history of those things, and of plenty of skepticism too, which has not happily succeeded in anything save confirming, in the state of the skeptic Jews, the prophecies and warnings which they disbelieved and rejected.
Suppose, on the other hand, one heard Him who spake as never man spake, and received precious truth in his soul, yet remained pondering as to who He should be who spake, and whether all His claims were real, and, as John's messengers, saw that the blind received their sight, the lame walked, the lepers were cleansed, the deaf heard, the dead were raised, and, in the absence of all the pride and selfishness of religious grandeur, the poor had the gospel preached to them; was it not a just means of receiving Him who spake grace and truth itself, and confirmed the word by signs following? Or must he have settled the knotty, logical point whether miracles were to be believed on account of doctrine, or doctrine on account of miracles, before he did; or remained in torturing doubt if the Savior he wanted was there, or in proud and indifferent ignorance? He had nothing to settle. Truth and power concurred in assuring his soul that Jesus was the Christ the Son of God. If he did not believe it, it was that his heart was so hard that it resisted both. We have lost the sight of the miracles and possess the truth more complete as a whole, and an historical testimony which nothing but folly and self-will can dispute: an historical testimony which makes the whole course of miracles more powerful morally, though less impressive to the senses. Christianity exists. It arose from something. What it did arise from is believed by all the world except voluntary skeptics and mythical dreamers like Dr. Strauss, who will serve for a nine years' wonder for the Germans, as the Paulus school did before them.
It will be said, "But people believe Mohammedanism too": so do I historically, though far less fully authenticated in detail than Christianity. The difference is this, that if the history of Mohammedanism be true, it is an imposture. If that of Christianity be true, it is incontestably divine. But you might better deny the history of Mohammedanism than of Christianity. I turn to the examination of St. Paul's testimony.

Mr. Newman's Remarks on Tongues

I think I never read more thorough nonsense than Mr. N.'s remarks on the tongues. The Irvingites were a convenient loophole of escape, indeed, as regards the remarkable testimony afforded by the tongues; but I cannot say that Mr. Ν. has managed it well, though in some respects subtilely enough. Indeed it was a difficult task. St. Paul's speaking tongues more than they all is slipped in at the end as "hallucination." It was an awkward fact to deal with. And now let us examine Mr. N.'s dealing with the facts of the case. They were the same, he says, as the Irvingite tongues. St. Paul's "moral sobriety of mind was no guarantee against his mistaking extravagances for miracles." So that the tongues which Paul spoke were extravagances like the Irvingite tongues. And "Luke (or the authority whom he followed) has exaggerated into a gift of languages what cannot be essentially different from the Corinthian, and in short from the Irvingite, tongues." (Phases, p. 179.) So that Paul, in speaking the tongues he boasted of, was never understood. They were mere extravagances, "hallucination!"
He, whether through delusion or imposture, encouraged others in the thought that they had these tongues, and only boasted of having more "extravagances" than they, and of course different kinds of extravagances; for he spake several tongues-a thing hard to conceive, that he should speak several kinds of jargon as if they were languages, and yet remain an honest man. Did he mistake his own diversified extravagances for miracles? It is very credible for a skeptic, but for no one else, I should think. If it comes under the class of logic or philosophy, I know not; but it certainly seems an "extravagance" to a plain mind that a man should speak a number of tongues which were no tongues at all, and never find out he was deceiving himself, nor think of deceiving others; but appeal to others who indulged in like extravagances, and without smiling, like Cicero's augurs, when they met each other. I have known some who held that Paul's tongues were simply languages that he had learned and was thankful to use. Mr. N. treats this notion as cheaply as it deserves, by not noticing it, and distinctly declaring the tongues to be an extravagance; whereas it is clear enough there is no extravagance at all in speaking a language we know to those whose language it is. Nothing more wise or simple. I say as cheaply as it deserves; because to suppose that people's speaking a language they had learned at school was a proof that the Holy Ghost had come upon them, is really not worthy of consideration. And not only on the day of Pentecost, but at Samaria, and at the reception of Cornelius, the speaking of tongues is advanced in a very specific and distinct way as a proof of the descent of the Holy Ghost, and in the last case as a warrant for receiving the Gentiles into the Church of God (God having given them the like gift as to the apostles). Now, that a man's speaking a tongue he had learned in an ordinary way should be a warrant for so doing, is too absurd an idea to entertain for a moment. No: they were extravagances or a miracle.
But there is this untoward difficulty in the way of their being fancied tongues, that all the different nations to whom the tongues belonged understood them. "Are not all these which speak Galilean? And how hear we every man in our own tongue wherein we were born?" And then Peter speaks to the Jews in theirs. Now this fact is the substantial point of the whole affair. It was that which struck the multitude. Three thousand people were converted by it. The Church begins its existence, and was formed in virtue of this multitude understanding what was said. Christianity was planted and rooted in the world by it.
It was this was the proof that the Holy Ghost was indeed come down. It marked and characterized the day of Pentecost. Mr. N. says, it "cannot have been essentially different from the Corinthian." Surely not; but there was this difference, that there was nobody at Corinth who understood the strange tongues. It was not needed, and it was not for edification; and, therefore, with his usual "moral sobriety," Paul forbade the exercise of this gift unless there was an interpreter, because then, as is evident, it would edify.
He would not preclude its use, as it was a sign of divine power, provided it was for edification: all was to be subservient to that.
Thus all was the very opposite of extravagance. An immense aid was given to the propagation of the gospel, obvious to all, as well as a sign of divine power accompanying it.
Now it seems to me, not only was such a miraculous aid peculiarly appropriate for a religion propagated by preaching; but, besides that, there was a very special and gracious meaning in this gift.
In Babel, where man had once been of one lip, and one language, God had confounded their pride, and men were shut up into a dissociable condition, used of God for providential purposes, but which set up barriers which precluded common communications. Israel had one of these tongues perhaps, and, probably, the original one; and the true knowledge of God was confined to them. When Christianity came ín, power was not yet going to set the world right, but grace was overstepping these barriers, and the over-flowing love of God saluting the heathen where they were, in their darkness and misery, without compelling them to bend their neck under the galling yoke of Judaism. What could be more expressive of this than speaking to every one of them in their own tongue? The barrier was gone-at least God's love had over-stepped it, and visited every heart where it was at home, where judgment, indeed, on man's pride had placed it. Was there not something most beautifully significant in this? Surely there was. Hence it became a kind of distinctive miracle.
So when Samaria was received, they spoke with tongues. When God would outstrip man's tardy love, and He visited the Gentiles in the person of Cornelius, He put His seal on the Gentiles before the Church had put hers-an unusual act. Yet surely the first place in grace belonged to Him; and how could the apostle refuse those to whom God had given the same seal as to the Jews and the apostles themselves? But when they were used for personal vanity, and not for edification-for of what is not man capable?-then they are restrained; not absolutely, which would have taken away a just testimony to the Holy Ghost's presence, but unless there was an interpreter who could turn it to edifying, which was certainly the Holy Ghost's purpose. With Mr. N. this is the same thing as Irvingite extravagances. What profound moral judgment, and estimate of facts!
But I must here (without any reproach to Mr. N., as it is a matter of memory) recall some facts, and rectify some statements. At Pentecost the languages were universally understood by those who spoke them; the Irvingite tongues never by any one: a notable difference. And this is so true, that after first trying their hand at making Chinese of it, it was suggested among them that it might be the tongue of angels, as it was said, "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels "-delightful idea!
Mr. N. is not quite exact in his account of the report of the "Irish Clergyman," or at least of what the "Irish Clergyman" saw and heard. There was a pretended interpretation. Two brothers (respectable shipbuilders at Port Glasgow, of the name of M'D-), and their sister, were the chief persons who spoke, with a Gaelic maid-servant, in the tongues, and a Mrs. J-, in English. J. M'D- spoke, on the occasion alluded to, for about a quarter of an hour, with great energy and fluency, in a semi-latin sounding speech-then sung a hymn in the same. Having finished, he knelt down and prayed there might be interpretation; as God had given one gift, that He would add the other. His sister got up at the opposite side of the room, and professed to give the interpretation; but it was a string of texts on overcoming, and no hymn, and one, if not more, of the texts was quoted wrongly. just afterward there was a bustle; and apparently some one was unwell, and went into the next room; and the gifted English-speaking person, with utterances from the highest pitch of voice to the lowest murmur, with all strange prolongation of tones, spoke through (if one may so express oneself, as if passing through) the agony of Christ. Once the Gaelic servant spoke briefly in "a tongue," not, if the "Irish Clergyman" remembers right, the same evening. The sense he had of the want of the power of the Holy Ghost in the Church made him willing to hear and see. Yet he went rather as deputed for others than for himself.
The excitement was great, so that, though not particularly an excitable person, he felt its effects very strongly. It did not certainly approve itself to his judgment; other things contributed to form it. It was too much of a scene. Previous to the time of exercising the gifts, they read, sung psalms, and prayed, under certain persons' presidence (one of them a very estimable person, whom he has since seen free from all this, and a minister of an independent or some dissenting church in Edinburgh, then a church-elder). This being finished, the "Irish Clergyman" was going away, when another said to him, "Don't go: the best part is probably to come yet." So he stayed, and heard what has just been related. He was courteously admitted, as one not believing, who came to see what was the real truth of the case. The parties are mostly dead, or dispersed, and many freed from the delusion, and the thing itself public; so that he does not feel he is guilty of any indiscretion in giving a correct account of what passed.
It may be added, without of course saying anything that could point out the persons, that female vanity, and very distinct worldliness, did not confirm, to his mind, the thought that it could be the Spirit's power. The M'D-s were in ordinary life, quiet, sober men, and, he believes, most blameless. Their names were so public that there is no indelicacy in alluding to them, but the " Irish Clergyman" did not think they had that kind of peace and deliverance from legal thoughts, which is a sign in another way of the Spirit's power. They never received the apostolic pretensions of London and Albury, but repudiated, in the strongest way and on full inquiry, the blasphemous doctrine of the Irvingites as to the person of the Lord. Mr. N.'s reporter, the "Irish Clergyman," doubts that they were in the least aware of it at the time they professed to receive the gifts; but they certainly entirely repudiated it when he saw them afterward.
It may not be generally known that the "gifts" among the Irvingites were founded on this doctrine of Christ's being a sinner in nature like ourselves. Mr. Irving's statement was, that he had long preached the "gifts," but there were none, because there was nothing for the Holy Ghost to testify to; but that when he preached this doctrine, they came as a witness to it. His teaching moreover on the subject was confirmed by what was received as the prophetic power amongst them. I am afraid the tongues are not quite "exploded" yet, as they have allied themselves with other influences suited to the world (that is, the spirit of Romanism and Puseyism). At any rate, there is one consoling fact, that as yet, in God's patient mercy, in spite of efforts from without and provocations of many Mr. N.'s from within, the lapse of eighteen hundred years, instead of three, has not "exploded" the effect of Paul's "extravagances" and "hallucinations," and Luke's "exaggerations." We possess the blessed testimony that the Holy Ghost has given to the glory of the person of the Lord Jesus; and, despite their many sins, mercy is yet extended to the Gentiles.
The rest of Mr. N.'s remarks on the tongues are not worthy of an answer. The term "barbaric jargon" is avowedly used because it was not understood by the hearers. He that spoke was "as a barbarian." The rest is composed of a kind of sneer, which, in the presence of the proofs and facts, throws scorn on the sneerer, not on the things sneered at.

Paul's Preaching of a Glorified Christ, Peter's Witnessing

The next point noticed is St. Paul's preaching a glorified Christ, not a lowly One. It is quite true: and equally true that he was not called to be a witness of Christ's oral teachings. So it is declared in his mission as distinguished from that of the twelve. He was to be the great witness of that part of truth which put Jew and Gentile on the same footing in a heavenly way, which could only be in connection with a glorified Christ. But if that be supposed to mean, that he attached no importance to the history of Christ's humiliation, nothing can be more false; only he takes it up, as he does all else, as a part of the vast counsels and plans and purposes of God.
The following passages, not to speak of unnumbered ones which speak of the cross, will prove what I say. In John 15:26, 27, it is said, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." They were eye-witnesses of His life down here. As to Paul's ministry, it is said, Acts 26:16, "But rise and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee." Here we have the two commissions clearly stated.
So Peter calls himself a witness of Christ's sufferings, and a partaker of the glory to be revealed. Paul not only speaks of "the gospel of the glory," but says, "for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus" his Lord; and, instead of speaking of himself as a witness of the sufferings and partaker of the glory, seeks "the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings." He descends, so to speak, into the sufferings, because of the glory, and as the way to his high calling above. He does not speak of waiting for its revelation. And this was so very distinct, that Peter proposes, in Acts 3, to the Jews repentance, that Christ may return to them; Paul never. Peter's testimony had been rejected, and Stephen killed and received on high; and there was no thought then but receiving Jew and Gentile through the ministry of him whom grace had called away from Stephen's martyr-ground, and from the apostleship of Jewish hatred, to Christ, to be the witness of heavenly things connected with that glorious Christ, by the vision of whom on the way to Damascus he was arrested, and his pride laid low. The Holy Ghost also opened his spiritual eye on the Lord, leading him to preach Him whom once he destroyed.
Hence he boldly declares, after speaking of the "gospel of the glory," that he does not know Christ in the former or Jewish way, after the flesh; and that if any man was in Christ, there was a new creation-he belonged to what took him out of Jew and Gentile; as it had been said to him by Christ, when He appeared to him by the way, "Delivering thee from the Gentiles, to whom now I send thee." But this only fills up the perfectness of the gospel revelation in its place. And the humiliation of Christ takes, in Paul's view, all its immense and vast importance in the counsels of God, and is not a mere personal history, perfectly interesting and divinely instructive as that is in its place; for the gospel has a thousand aspects in one divine truth.
Paul was eminently the vessel of the counsels of God in Christ. Does that make the personal history of Jesus less interesting, less profoundly, divinely, though humanly, instructive? No; the heart goes back to study in every detail, One who in every detail was divine love and holiness, near enough to man's eye to study it for himself. But how does Paul speak of this? See the sweep of truth with which he brings Christ's humiliation in: "Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." What a place does His humiliation fill here! Again, take His, so to speak, official exaltation: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow."
Thus the history of Christ's humiliation was looked at by Paul, through the Holy Ghost, not in the touching detail of Christ's individual life, of which he was not witness, but as one immense fact, and a cardinal one, in the vast scheme of God. This was exactly in its place, and in keeping with the service for which he was employed. John gives us the divine nature; Paul, the divine counsels; Peter, the walk of him who has a lively hope through the resurrection of One whose walk he had known and followed in its bright display on earth, towards the heaven into which resurrection is meant to introduce us (all founding the accomplishment of blessing on the redemption which He has wrought out for us).
Mr. N. next complains of Paul not affording us the grounds on which he believed the facts as to Christ's resurrection.
I have, in principle, answered this. The business of a revelation is to afford the objects of faith in such a full display as makes the evidence of it, not to discuss the logical grounds of its reception. Nothing can be more absurd, more demonstrative of the petty narrowness of mind which cannot discern the true character of what is before it, than the claim of such a logical discussion in scripture. Moral appeals of the most touching character to all, the evidences given and slighted, are indeed found. That we can understand. But I venture to say, there is not a right-thinking man in existence, who would not (if he had found in the New Testament a discussion on the logical grounds of evidence) have at once concluded that it was not, or at least that such a portion formed no part of, a revelation of God.
Even as to logic, I must beg to be entirely exempted from partnership in that of Mr. N. "Our" is a very comfortable, comprehensive word; as if his reasoning were the universal grounds of enlightened modern conviction. I must beg to think, poorly as I esteem men's competency in such matters, that is far from being the case: Take the example Mr. N. appeals to Paley. He has examined all these subjects with a clear and accurate mind; he has come, and written to show why he has come, to the full conviction of the authenticity and divine authority of that to which Mr. N. denies both. What kind of logic had he?
("How different was the logic [Paul's] from ours! To see the full force of the last remark, we ought to conceive how many questions a Paley would have wished to have asked Paul; and how many details Paley himself, if he had had the sight, would have felt it his duty to impart to his readers." (Phases, pp. 181, 182.))
But let us ourselves examine the evidence St. Paul affords in writing to the Corinthians. The question was, Will the saints rise again? The proof of the resurrection, insisted on as evidence, is the fact of Christ's resurrection; for if there be no resurrection, then Christ is not raised; and the whole gospel, which is really founded on it, falls to the ground. Besides, therefore, a doctrinal statement (to which the evidence of his own mission, already afforded, gave authority), he appeals to historical proofs. And what are they? Some one apparition to an excited individual, whose imagination may have misled him? No; different and repeated manifestations of Himself by Christ to persons who very well knew Him. The apostle states (besides these manifestations of Christ taking place often to those who were intimate with Him) on one occasion He appeared to some five hundred persons, of whom the apostle takes care to say that the greater pan are still living to testify, if needed, to the truth of the statement. Now what so good evidence can you have of a person being actually there, as being repeatedly seen by those who knew him well, his daily companions; and (if prejudice or feeling may be alleged as leading a dozen of them to concur in and continue a most elaborate falsehood, and suffer for it) having the certainty of the truth confirmed by His being seen by above five hundred persons at once, who were then most of them living to tell the story? It is difficult to imagine what "our logic" could have, in the way of evidence, more convincing.
St. Paul, it is true, does not discuss its validity; but he produces what is valid; and that is just what he had to do. We are discussing it now; we do not want St. Paul for that. When he wrote, they were living to be examined who had seen Him. What other kind of evidence would Mr. N. require? What other could he have? Would he require some palpable proof of its being real? Christ eats and drinks with them after He arose from the dead. Is he still unbelieving? Thomas, happily for us, had the same skepticism; and Christ's wounded side and pierced hands extorted the acknowledgment of the fact, and of the divine person to whom such a fact testified.
And remark here, we are discussing the nature of the evidence afforded. It will be said, "You should bring the proof of enemies as well as friends." Were such adduced, it would have been equally alleged, they would not have known Him; and if convinced, were they to be excluded as witnesses, because they were honest enough to become friends? Must a man be necessarily a skeptic to have truth and sense? I judge a man more honest who avows his convictions and suffers for them. I can produce thousands, ay, millions, of skeptics, who are constantly making profession, for their ease' sake, of this and many things besides, which they do not believe. This was certainly not the course of those who received and professed the testimony of Jesus. But I do bring the best proof of that kind (that is, of thousands of enemies thoroughly convinced by the evidence they had where the facts occurred, so that they embraced and suffered for the truth of it).
Among them was St. Paul, who, not for his conviction but that he might be an eye-witness, did see Him when he was an enemy. He very modestly introduces this, with the expression of the sense of his own unworthiness, but declares expressly here in Corinthians, as he does elsewhere, that he saw the Lord. St. Paul then produces five hundred witnesses, and declares they are alive. The simplicity of the proof needed no comment. It has the dignity of a plain, unanswerable testimony. It wanted no "extravagating," no "reveling" in it. It carried its own weight. He adduces his own testimony in the same simple way-" Last of all he was seen of me also."
Mr. N. asks, "Did he see Him as a man in a fleshly body, or as a glorified, heavenly form?" (Phases, p. 182.) There was such a manifestation of glory as left no mistake with any present, though they were not intended to be eye-witnesses of Jesus, nor to hear His voice. The general blaze of glory and the sound from heaven confounded them, and they fell to the earth. Paul, to whom the Lord meant to reveal Himself, then saw the glorified Lord, and heard His voice speaking to him-answered Him, received His reply at large and in detail. He made no mistake as to the glorious light; and when One who gave such plain proof of glory, and whom he saw in a glory which surpassed the sun's brightness, declared to him Himself that He was Jesus, Paul believed the glorious One he saw from heaven. Perhaps Mr. N. might not have done so, might have been "disobedient to the heavenly vision;" but I know not that he would have proved his wisdom in his disobedience. And, though Mr. N. does not like threats, there certainly is a day which will declare it, or the grace (as the Lord grant it may be!) which has forgiven it.
But this was not all the evidence Paul had, nor all he refers to. A godly, sober man, well reported of by his enemies and the truth's, but whom he did not know, comes to him unsent for, and declares to him that he has had a vision, and that he has been sent to him by the same Jesus who had appeared to him by the way; and not only this, but that he had been sent to give him back his sight, which accordingly took place, and moreover that he should receive the Holy Ghost. Accordingly we find Saul, previously astounded by the vision, and the immense revolution it must have produced in his mind to find he was fighting against the Lord of glory, and that all the heads of his religion were the bitter enemies of the glorious Christ of the God they professed to serve-we find him, I say, boldly, with great force and conviction, proving that the Jesus whose disciples he persecuted was indeed the Christ, and soon naturally becoming himself the object of persecution, but persevering to the end.
Now was the glory seen by all-the confounding voice from heaven-the vision of His person by Saul-the detailed conversation in which he was convinced and his mission given to him, confirmed by the independent evidence of Ananias the righteous Jew-his receiving his sight and such spiritual power as confounded the Jews that dwelt at Damascus-all confirming the reality of the positive declaration of One whom he saw in glory, that He was Jesus-evidence which changed the man's whole life -of such a character as proved a man had "lax notions of evidence," because he was convinced by it? I apprehend that when he had himself seen the Lord, talked with Him, received from Him sight and power, he did not think much about notions of evidence, because he had a full revelation for himself. He might leave it easily to skeptics, and wonder at their notions, well convinced that "if his gospel was hid, it was hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine into them." He had seen that Just One and heard the words of His mouth. He had told him who He was. All was confirmed by signs of power and holiness and truth. What needed he more?
And remark here, that all the testimony of the apostle bears the stamp of this for some thirty years after. His gospel is "the gospel of the glory of Christ." He knows Him only in this way, knows Him for himself-his doctrine, the union of the Church with Him who said, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest"-the deliverance from Jewish habits of thinking in so remarkable a way-the very hatred of the Jews perpetuated to this day-all bear the stamp of the origin of his mission by this vision of Christ. As to the character of his testimony, Mr. Ν. does not deny it; but effects show, more or less, their cause. And then here it was exactly what was needed, if it be true; just the point of progress at which Christianity had arrived. The Jews who sent Saul had denied and rejected it. The time was come to bring out the Church as such, and the Gentiles into a place common to them and to the Jews, dropping the privileges of the Jews (forfeited by rebellion persevered in against mercy); for they had "filled up their sins, and wrath was come upon them to the uttermost." The doctrine of Paul (of the reception of the Gentiles, and the building of the Church in union with its Head, Christ in glory) all flows naturally and necessarily from the vision on the way to Damascus; the sovereign grace which gave it to a Saul, stamped its character throughout.
My business is not with the logic of the apostle, but with his truth, with his testimony. I may look for it in Mr. Ν.; and his reasonings, which expect logic from a witness instead of his testimony, are as illogical as they are narrow and petty in their scope of apprehension of the character and effect of the evidence.
Mr. Ν. says, "Peter does not attest the bodily, but only the spiritual resurrection of Jesus." (Phases, p. 184.) I can only say to this, that Mr. N.'s views of Greek are as narrow as of logic. Indeed, he must be a hardy man, and have very "lax notions of evidence," who could allege Peter as one who attested only the spiritual resurrection of Jesus. He it is who declared the twelve were witnesses of it, having eaten and drunk with Him after He rose from the dead. They preached Jesus and the resurrection- that neither did His soul remain in Hades, nor His flesh see corruption. He it was who proposed that one of those who had constantly accompanied Jesus should be with them-a witness of His resurrection.
But will Mr. Ν. say that ζωοποιηωεὶς πωεύματι or τῷ π. means simply that His sprit was raised and not His body? Is that the simple force of the dative in Greek (viz., to be the direct object of the active power of the verb)? Mr. Ν. knows just as well as I do that it is not; and that his remark has no solid foundation whatever. For if Mr. N.'s remark has any weight, it is that ζ.π. meant that His spirit was made alive. On the face of it this would be absurd, because the only thing put to death, if we so take it, was the flesh; for it is said, θανατωθεὶς μὲν σαρκί. The inquiry as to the Messianic prophecies remains.

Appendix

1. Mr. NEWMAN refers to one subject on which I will touch, as I think it will be generally useful. He objects to mediation as mischievous. Having never had any just conviction of sin, he does not feel the need of it. No one who has for himself felt what sin and grace are can hesitate a moment as to the value of it. Let the reader consult Job 9, and he may see the working of a true yet vexed soul under God's hand. It is all well talking of awe and reverence, &c., and love, as Mr. N. does: but the denial of the need of a mediator is the denial of a holy judge, and our sense of God's being so. But it is important to have a cleat apprehension of the nature and work of the Mediator.
Mr. N.'s objection to it is this: that all moral profit arises from being brought into the presence of God, and that the notion of a mediator is a hindrance to this. Now this is plausible, because moral profit does arise from being brought into the presence of God; but it is altogether a fallacy. For our sense of the need of a mediator arises from the effect of our being brought into the presence of God; or (what is morally the same thing) so true an estimate of what God is, as makes us feel the impossibility of our standing before Him.
In the passage I have referred to in job, this is evidently seen, whatever temper he met it in. He could not answer God "one of a thousand." If he called himself "perfect," his own mouth would condemn him. If he would "leave off his heaviness and comfort himself," God would not hold him innocent. If he should "wash himself with snow water, and make his hands never so clean, God would plunge him into the ditch." And he adds, "Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, who should lay his hand upon us both." Now I am not commenting here upon the spirit in which Job takes the matter up, for it was a wrong one: I adduce it to show that the sense of the need of a mediator arises from the conviction of sin, and does not hinder it.
This doctrine is sometimes used in a way calculated to give a false idea of God-not precisely as to the effect of the presence of God upon the conscience, but as hiding divine love. The effect, as I have already said, of that presence is to present God as simply a Judge, and very often, while this thought of God remains unchanged in the mind, Christ is, on the other hand, looked at as One in whose love we can confide. But scripture is not answerable for this. God is a Judge; but Christ is never presented as an Intercessor with a Judge.
The scriptural doctrine of a mediator is quite different from this. It not only leaves the full effect of God as light upon the soul, but brings it down close to the moral eye; and does it in the way of love, that we should be able to walk in that light. Christ is God manifest in the flesh. But while He is the light itself, this manifestation is love.
See how John puts this point: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of life (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us).... This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." Here we have no hindering the full discovery of God to the soul: it is that discovery, "The darkness is past, and the true light now shineth." "The life was the light of men. That was the true light which lighteth [shineth upon] every man." And, it did tell upon men's consciences, the presence of that living Word; and, if sin was confessed, attracted in grace; if sought to be hidden, it vexed, irritated, and alarmed; humble and unassuming as was the garb in which grace, for love's sake towards men, had clothed the light. So it is with the truth. It is indeed grace in testimony; but it reaches the conscience, and judges all men by the revelation of God Himself.
What could have brought light and love (and morally speaking that is God) so near to man as the incarnation? It was in the way of reconciling, not imputing trespasses; but this was to engage man, away from sin (if that had been possible), by coming in grace and goodness towards himself. Mediation is, in this respect, the revelation of God Himself close to us, bearing directly on the conscience and heart of man; and so is the word of the gospel now.
But there is yet more in Christianity, that we might be fully brought into the presence of God.
Christ is not merely God manifested to us down here, He has suffered in our place, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. Looking at God as righteousness, as having "purer eyes than to behold iniquity" (and surely this does not hinder the effect of His presence as regards conscience), the just sense of sin would make us feel that we could not come into His presence, nor appear, defiled as we are, before His holy majesty. There is no just sense of sin, no real effect of His presence on the conscience, till this is felt-no proper jealousy of right and wrong, till we estimate it thus, and bring God and ourselves together in thought, so as to produce it-ourselves, who owe everything to Him. But we could not. He ought not, in justice, to allow such in His presence. But Christ gives Himself for these sins; and, putting them away, appears in the presence of God in the efficacy and in virtue of that work.
I go into the presence of God with His full character maintained in holiness and love. He is more glorified as to both of these in what has been done by Jesus about sin, than if there had been no sin at all; and it is Jesus' glory in every way to have done it. I now appear, in virtue of (yea, being) this divine righteousness, in God's own presence, through infinite love and righteousness, which I thus know, and never should have known else; for it is not mere human righteousness. God is known as He is in glory, which Christ alone could meet in face, so to speak; and I am there with the full light of it upon me, without fear, because in virtue of the redemption in which that glory has been morally displayed and satisfied, and that as to and about sin itself now put away for me, and I appearing as made the righteousness of God in Him. My being there is that righteousness; it is the righteous answer to, and fruit of, the travail of Christ's soul; and what that was, He alone can tell who knows what wrath is to Him who dwelt in the unity of love-what sin is to Him who was in the unity of the divine holiness. I am in the presence of God in a righteousness adequate for His glory-and it is according to that glory that I judge sin now-a righteousness, as wrought out in Christ, competent to take righteously its seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high; for, God being glorified in it, God's glory was its just reward: and this in the fullest sense connected with the person of Him who accomplished it.
Now I find my place in God's presence in virtue of this. I sit down in heavenly places. Not where the personal accomplishment places Him who accomplished it, as a just reward; but, morally, as fully in the presence of God. Yet, in fact, I am a poor, feeble, erring creature; rising above sin in a heavenly way in mind, through the Spirit, but, alas! by virtue even of that which I see, seeing the wretched inadequacy of all my steps down here. There is always feebleness, often failures. Here mediation comes in again-not to obtain righteousness, but to maintain a feeble, failing creature in the enjoyment of the place where our being made righteousness in Him places us. It is the reconciling the state in which I actually am with the position in which that has set me. It is the only thing which can maintain a poor, feeble creature experimentally up to the height of that divine presence. To pretend to be there in the condition in which we actually are, would be mere madness, and prove we had never known it. We should even, as men, rather fall at His feet as dead. Yet if not, we must lose the full power of that presence to judge evil and good by, to know love by, to estimate the glorious counsels of God by. But Christ appears in the presence of God for us. His blood is on the mercy-seat. He is there in virtue of this blood-shedding, which places me there. I can abide there in peace to learn it all.
Am I to ignore, then, my feebleness and failing? No, I judge what I am by what I see of this glory, which is mine; and my feebleness and failure become the occasion of the exercise of grace, which does not lower God to the level of my failures, but which meets in the way of mercy the wants they prove to be in me, and lift me up out of them. We have a High Priest touched with the feeling of our infirmities, who was in all points tempted like as we are, without sin; so that we come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hence, in this also, mediation maintains for us the full display of God to ourselves, and alone can do so, and in the way of faith and grace, so as to be morally elevating while judging all inconsistent with itself. If Mr. N. thinks he could stand in the presence of God's majesty as he is and what he is, and compare himself with it, he knows neither himself nor God. Divine righteousness sets me there according to God; constant mediation obtains all the grace I need in the actual state I am in, and maintains me (without hiding my actual worthlessness from myself) in the full enjoyment of divine favor as known there,-restores me if need be,-maintains a just, practically holy, intercourse with that glory. Who has not this has none. Hence it is said, "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (that never alters) "and he is the propitiation for our sins."
The first part of Christ's mediation is the revelation of Christ to man here, so that he might be directly in His presence. The second part is when righteousness has given man a place in God's presence in glory, and made him know it, and placed him in it through redemption, maintaining the intercourse of a feeble, failing creature with God in love, in the place where righteousness has set him; that is, in the presence of God fully revealed, as Christ the righteous Son is there-keeping us, on the one hand, in the sense of that glory unobscured, and, on the other, the true and sweet sense of a weakness which is the occasion of constant and unfailing mercy, which is working in it to bring us up to the actual enjoyment of such glory as that righteousness is entitled to. Such are God's wondrous, perfect, and gracious ways with us, which alone reconcile divine perfection and human weakness, and find in -the latter, and even in its sin, the occasion of the display of the former in its highest glory, His ways in Jesus Emmanuel, to whom-Lamb of God, who takes away sin- belongs all glory forever and ever, the joy and crown of those who trust in Him, the everlasting delight of God the Father.
May he whom I now answer know how sovereign is God's goodness-how great the grace in Christ-by finding all his attacks and blasphemies against it forgiven through the very grace which he has attacked and despised!
2. I pass by a multitude of passages I had marked as sheaving the excessive looseness of argument indulged in by Mr. N., and the marvelous absence of all spiritual apprehensions. Thus, as to this last point, he speaks of his old belief as depending on the interpretation of "the old scriptures," and of establishing "how much of the biography of Jesus in the new is credible. To judge wrongly about it may prove one to be a bad critic, but not a less good and less pious man." (Phases, p. 203.) That is, the credibility of Jesus's history is absolutely devoid of any moral element whatever. " In point of fact, I never did look much to futurity, nor even, in prospect of death, could attain to any vivid anticipations or desires, much less was troubled with fears." (Phases, p. 203.) Neither death nor Jesus could awaken a moral element of any kind in his mind, nor had the Lord's coming more effect, save to trouble his conscience; but none in the affections of his soul. It "awoke only now and then to reproach and harass me for my unfaithfulness to it." (Phases, p. 204.) What an expression of incapacity to receive a spiritual idea above the level of his own mind! "If I am not [to criticize Jesus by the received laws of human morality], then I have no ground for praising or admiring Him!" (Phases, p. 210.) What a denial of any capacity in the human soul to receive a thought of excellency beyond its present acquirements and apprehensions, any above itself as it is! My delight is to have some new excellency, which, as far as I know it, the human measure has never yet reached. But I leave all this, and the "clearlys" and "therefores," of which there is no proof, to touch on one subject, which, as a scripture one is important, and which will afford me an opportunity of referring more fully than I have done to one of the most interesting and important in its place of all the books of scripture.
"The old Hebrews," says Mr. N. (Phases, p. 189), "believed only in evil spirits sent by God to do His bidding, and had no idea of a rebellious spirit that rivaled God. That idea was first imbibed in the Babylonish captivity, and apparently therefore must have been adopted from the Persian `Ahriman,' or from the `Melek Taous,' the `Sheitan' still honored by the Yezidi with mysterious fear. That the serpent in the early part of Genesis denoted the same Satan is probable enough: but this only goes to show that that narrative is a legend imported from further East; since it is certain that the subsequent Hebrew literature has no trace of such an Ahriman."
This is a curious passage, in point of argument, singular in its logic, but more singular still in showing how a theory forced into one's service to get rid of truth fades away, in spite of the effort, before the truth it seeks to get rid of. First, reader, you have it all clearly settled, "that idea was first imbibed in the Babylonish captivity." Now if you believe this (though why we should we are not told. However, Mr. N. says so; and it is not certainly second hand faith with him: he believes it on his own authority), we may indeed be "peculiarly vexed to find so total a deficiency of clear and sound instruction on so vital a question" as "why we are to believe it;" as if one "were solely anxious to have people believe without caring on what ground they believe, although that is obviously the main point." But if you do believe this, then you have a singularly nicely graduated logical progression: it was first imbibed then, and "apparently therefore" "must have been"-so that now it cannot be otherwise than "adopted from the Persian Ahriman." So that now we have indeed got "further East."-from the Hebrews to Babylon; and, since it certainly was imbibed in the captivity, it must have been from Persia. Well, I thought we had here got far East somewhat rapidly. But the reason puzzles me.
Mr. Ν. admits that the serpent in Genesis denoted the same Satan. But, then, why travel so far East for it? We have it in the first literature of the Hebrews-why is its being in the ante-Babylonish period a proof that it came from the farther East? Why might not Abraham have brought the same doctrine with him from Ur of Mesopotamia, if it was lost afterward, or found it in Canaan? For, after all, Mr. N.'s account is, that we have it in the earliest writings of the Hebrews, but not in the subsequent ones-a very curious reason indeed for its being first imbibed in the Babylonish captivity. This is what is called "modern logic." But then other difficulties arise. The Pentateuch, in which this history occurs, was first completed and published, as Mr. Ν. assures us, in the reign of Josiah, when it was pretended the book of the law was found. Now this was about a century before the captivity; but it is there the serpent, Satan, is found. Why it should then be imported from the further East, or be first imbibed in the captivity, one is at a loss to tell. If we are to believe De Wette, as we have seen, it was certainly taught two hundred years before the captivity-at least two hundred years; for he says, the Pentateuch, as we have it, is quoted at that period (that is, by the earliest prophets whose writings we possess).
But if we abide by Mr. N.'s theory, "our logic" is in still greater embarrassment. The reason that its being in Genesis shows that it is a legend imported from further East is, that the subsequent Hebrew literature has no trace of such an Ahriman. Now if the Pentateuch was first published in Josiah's reign, there was no subsequent Hebrew literature previous to the captivity, save at the utmost a small part of Jeremiah. All Hezekiah's prophets preceded the Pentateuch, as of course those of "the century preceding his reign;" and then, in what is subsequent Hebrew literature, Satan is certainly found. Thus Zechariah and Chronicles use the term unequivocally. Why then does Mr. Ν. say that "subsequent Hebrew literature has no trace of such an Ahriman?" It can only really be thus: he forgot his theory; and his conscience, more true than his memory, in happy forgetfulness, recognized the Pentateuch as the genuine, ancient, most ancient, "literature" of the Hebrews, written long and long before Hezekiah's prophets, time enough for the nation to have forgotten the doctrine of the Persian Ahriman, if they ever did.
But, if we come to examine the facts, instead of what "apparently therefore must have been;" if they first imbibed it in the Babylonish captivity from the further East, where they were not that we know of, further difficulties start into view. Psa. 109 speaks of Satan, and Job very fully and largely indeed: where did these scriptures get it? I am aware that Psa. 109 is decided by "learned Germans" not to be David's. But it has not yet, as far as I can learn, found its place among the "latest positive results of criticism," so as to fix a date for it. So that it stands either before Hezekiah's prophets, and Mr. N.'s date of the Pentateuch, and disproves his whole theory; or, if after these, subsequent Hebrew literature has such an Ahriman. No one that 1 find has placed it after the captivity. And Job-where is he to go? Here the "latest positive results" are most untoward. De Wette, in his first four editions, had fixed the date of this book after the captivity. Whether his finding Ahriman in it had any influence in producing this judgment I know not; at any rate in his last we find: "We cannot place its date so low as the Chaldee period, but near it; in the time when the kingdom of Judah was sinking into ruin." Ewald and Hirzel place it, one at the beginning, the other at the end of this century (i.e., the seventh B.C.)-from Josiah to the captivity. That is, the fullest instruction we have as to Satan in the Old Testament is, according to the latest authorities, before the captivity, and exactly in "the subsequent Hebrew literature, which has no trace of such an Ahriman." It "apparently therefore must" not have been adopted from the Persian Ahriman, or "Melek Taous."
There is indeed a way of getting rid of this, suggested in Parker's De Wette, vol. 2, p. 563.
"For the sake of the perfection of the poem, we could wish these historical passages were away. Accordingly they have been rejected by Hasse, Stuhlmann, and Bernstein"-what lively jealousy for the reputation of the unknown author! But De Wette's conscience seems to have been growing as he advanced in his inquiries and his years; he continues: "But the prosaic style, the occurrence of Satan therein, the use of the name of Jehovah (while Eloah is elsewhere used in the book for its poetic effect), prove nothing against the genuineness of these passages."
But here we get a most curious discovery. Herder, Eichhom, Stuhlmann, and Bertholdt, think the Satan mentioned here "is not the common one!" However, we are assured in the same note, that "this is contrary to all analogy." What the analogy is I must leave to the reader to discover in De Wette's Biblische Dogmatík. But I must say, if ever there was a specimen of incapacity to seize the purpose of a moral author-self-sufficiency and a total want of all intelligence, it is in the learned German's account of the merits and contents of the book of Job, as given in the American edition of De Wette.
Discussions as to the date of a book which affords none, which affords no direct proof of any, so that it is to be drawn from internal criteria, cannot be surprising; and such there have been amongst those who fully bowed to the book of Job as the word of God. It does not seem to me a very difficult question; but I should not presume to impose an opinion, or dogmatize upon it. That it is inspired scripture no true believer doubts. It is cited in the New Testament, and certainly referred to by Ezekiel. When it was introduced into the canon is comparatively immaterial. I have not myself the least doubt of its antiquity. I am not Hebraist enough to pretend, in any way, to judge of the style; but many of those who are have not found it an obstacle to their conviction.
Besides, I confess I have not very great confidence in the decisions of skeptics as to Hebrew language. I open one writer of credit on these points, and he tells me, "In respect to the language, to the contents and entire spirit, the book belongs not at all to the golden age, but to the later period of Hebrew literature." I beg leave to demur to the contents and spirit; I cite as to the Hebrew. I open another book of credit, and I find: "The nature of the language employed is of itself sufficient to show that its origin must be referred to a period antecedent to the compositions of the Psalms In Job the use of Aramaisms is strongly marked, evidently pointing to a period prior to David, in whose time language was purer. Besides, these Aramaisms differ essentially from the later ones, exhibiting an ancient and primitive character quite distinct from the corrupt and degenerate Aramaisms of a later age," and then several examples are given. Indeed, in a language of which so little remains as there does of Hebrew, it requires uncommon nicety of judgment and depth of knowledge, both of the language, and, I may add, of cognate dialects, to judge from such a criterion (except in very clear cases, such as comparing the Pentateuch with the Chaldean period, or even with books written earlier than that). Gesenius mentions a fact which shows the full examination such a ground of judging of age requires: "The ancient Hebrew agrees, in its grammatical structure, more with the modern Arabic than with the ancient." He states how this has arisen, which is not my present subject. He places job in the golden age of the language in his grammar; in his history of the language, next to Proverbs; in date of style, between the golden and inferior style.
It may be well to mention here, that it appears modern German critics have abandoned their old notion of the Josiah date of the Pentateuch, to which Mr. N.'s "eyes were opened" as "he considered the narrative." It is, even for them, at least as old as David and Solomon; for opinionum commenta delet dies. I may add that the greatest masters of the subject are clear that writing began two thousand years at least before Christ, or, as another expresses it, "more ancient than any history is able to disclose. It was a privilege enjoyed by the Shemitish nations a long time before Moses made his appearance in history."
I cite the opinion of German rationalists.
I recall this, as attempts arc made to becloud this point too. The result is, that we have Satan (according to Mr. Ν. himself; the believer cannot have a doubt of it) referred to in the earliest historical books, in the history of the serpent. He is very largely, and with very particular development and purpose, introduced in the book of Job. He is spoken of in Psa. 109; and fully in Zechariah and Chronicles, after the captivity. That is, from the beginning to the end of the Old Testament. So much for "no trace of such an Ahriman," and legends "imported from further East." The latest authorities and best Hebrew scholars of Mr. N.'s views place Job before the captivity (many making it very much earlier; some, indeed, the most ancient book in existence).
But the criticisms on the book of Job are useful to refer to in this way. When the discussion is on historical prophecy, many subjects come before the mind to which natural intellect can apply its powers (dates, historical facts, and the like). The results are just as false as in books more properly didactic; and some unhappy English skeptic, unable to go at the pace at which light German wit and diligent German labor travel in doubt, finds his "eyes opened" some years too late on something on which those of his more assiduous neighbors have already closed again; and we get some Josiah date of the Pentateuch published in English, when no one of the originally opened eyes can see it any longer. But the moral scope of a book abides for every one to examine. Job pretends to no ostensible date. The ways of God are simply and directly in question; and here the glaring incompetency of these unhappy skeptics becomes too evident to bear the light. A converted child-nay, any one who had retained some respect for God-could judge the unimaginable flippancy, the utter incapacity to seize hold of the purport and connection of the divine writings, exhibited by these critics. "Elihu's speeches are spurious; they do not introduce God well; they subvert the scope of the book."
I may feel unable to judge whether an Aramaism is an old one or a new, whether there are Arabisms in Job, or whether they are not such as have passed through an Aramean crucible, and become genuine poetical Hebrew; but Elihu's speeches are before us all; and an English reader, if he has not the linguistic niceties, has the subject fully before him. It is a relief to turn to it. It has been, at least, a comfort to me in my present task to have an opportunity of occupying myself and my reader from time to time with the contents of scripture.
The reader of the book of Job is let in at once into what was really going on, that he may know God's purpose and ways. Job is not. It would have destroyed the effect of the gracious, though painful, process. God takes notice of His saints-" Hast thou considered my servant Job?" Satan's attention thus attracted to them in a way which shows that God, whatever Satan's malice, is the real source of all that is to follow, he becomes the accuser. Thus the great scene, of which man (and, we must add, the saint) was the object, really opens.
God, whose purpose is only disclosed at the end in the profit done to Job's soul (though His being the source of all is revealed), leaves Job, in a measured way, in the hand of the adversary for temptation and trial. Such is the scene and spring of action from within. But all comes on Job from without by apparently ordinary causes. The predatory hordes of Sabeans, Chaldeans, and the like, make razzias on his flocks and herds; a violent wind from the desert throws down his house when his children are feasting; and at last a disease of the country attacks his own body: rapidly accumulated no doubt, but all ordinary events, however trying. What was Job's own character? He was, in his general character, a godly, upright, gracious man, fearing God, eschewing evil, and gracious with those around him. Why should evils, if there be a divine government, fall on such a one? If this world be simply the present manifestation of divine government as such, then indeed it would be incredible. But though Providence overrules all, and God delights to bless even temporarily; and though in result, when He takes to Him His own great power and rules, the blessing of the righteous will fully arrive; yet now, in a world of sin, He is carrying on another purpose, the perfecting of saints for the full enjoyment of Himself. This, since sin and will are come in, is wrought in two ways-judgment of self, and submission to God.
Now Job needed, and God saw that he needed, this. He was gracious and pious, but he did not know himself; and he had never so seen God as to be brought to a real knowledge of himself in His presence. God deals therefore with him in a way to bring his sinfulness fully out, and then places him with it, manifested to his conscience, in His own presence. Elihu's place we shall see in a moment. He gives the key to God's ways in grace, in order that the soul which God was dealing with might be brought into God's presence, as under discipline, not under judgment. Job had acted well, for grace had acted in him; but he did not know himself before God. Thus he speaks: "When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me; because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor; and the cause which I knew not, I searched out." All very right and gracious; but was it all that was in Job's heart? What did the thinking of it produce there? What did it show? Men waited for Job, no doubt; but where was Job's heart? What was it? Well, God allows Satan, in his malice, to sweep all he could entirely away; and here more good is displayed in the sufferer. He is patient in his sorrow: he blesses God, and bows his head to Him who gave and saw fit to take away.
But Job's heart was not yet reached. Its reflections on itself there was nothing to change. Men would have said, "What more can you want than grace in prosperity, and patience in adversity?" Such a knowledge of myself as makes God everything to me, and me morally capable of enjoying Him. Had God stopped here, though outwardly preparation had been made for His further work, Job would have been better pleased with himself than ever. Had God restored him now, mischief would have been done. Satan had done all he could. Job's friends arrive, and sympathy or shame (for God will have His blessed work fully done) reveals Job to himself; and he who has become the type of patience curses the day in which he was born. The surface is broken through, and Job, and his friends too, come out in their reality. His friends take the ground of a present certain government of God manifest in all His ways; in which they are wholly and in every sense wrong. Did He directly govern, He could allow no sin at all. He who could suppose this present evil world the expression of the just and adequate results of God's character in government must have an awful idea of God Himself. They were pretty much on Mr. N.'s ground. They had a pre-existing standard of morals, and judged God and all things by it. God loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: Job was under His afflicting hand; consequently, he was a hypocrite. They pronounce, indeed, many "wise saws," common-place truisms, which explained nothing, and reached no man's conscience, not even their own; and hold their tongues, vexed that their wisdom is despised.
In Job two things are brought out-an unbroken, impatient will, which set up to judge God and say that he was more righteous than He; but, at the same time, a heart which had a sense of relationship with God, though in rebellion against Him and writhing under His hand-a perception of qualities in God which showed a personal knowledge of Himself, which only longed to find Him, and knew when he did he should find Him such. He could not indeed find Him: He was in one way, and who could turn Him aside? But if he did, he would order his cause before Him: God Himself would put words in his mouth. There was that confidence in Him, that he counted upon His heart towards him. When he can get rid of the stupid importunities of his moralizing and heartless friends, he turns to cry after God with an "O that I might find Him!" In justice, he sees it is no use. How can a man plead with God? But in heart he will trust Him, if He slays him. Nothing can be more beautiful than the way he turns thus, casting aside his friends as he nay, to throw himself into the arms of God, if he could only find Him. But all was not ready yet: the confidence would be sustained; but the will must be broken, self-complacency destroyed. In this process all manner of feelings come out-impatient anger presumptuously arraigning God, acknowledging present government in pious justification of his ways; clearly proving that it was no present adequate proof of what God thought of a man, a deep personal heart sense of what God is expressed in confidence in Him. The heart was fully exercised: its evil brought out, its good-its faith in God-brought into play: but the riddle was not yet solved.
Elihu then comes in, an interpreter, "one among a thousand," and brings in this truth-that God deals personally with man. Α general superintending government no doubt there is-a God that judges the earth; but there is another kind of government- that of souls. He turns man from his purpose. He hides pride from man. He hides not His eyes from the righteous. They are with kings; but He binds them in affliction and cords of iron to show them their works, their transgressions, that they have exceeded. He chastens, He restores, He governs with a view to blessing-and souls in a moral relationship with Himself. He was not God to terrify Job; yet Job could not answer, when God, acting in respect of an unjudged conscience and an unsubdued heart, was brought out.
Yet, while judging the conscience and sheaving the sin of the will and pride of heart, such reasoning sheaved God's active, condescending, painstaking grace to a soul that had the integrity that was found in Job. Thus God's ways were revealed by the interpreter, and self-righteousness totally set aside. Still one thing remained: where gracious ways had softened the heart of the willful one for submission, God's own majesty was to be revealed to show Job his utter folly-worms and sinners that we are. Hence God is displayed in majesty and power; and Job acknowledges his vileness, first by shutting his mouth before God, staying his presumptuous words, and then by opening it in unfeigned confession before the gracious God who dealt with him, in whose presence he now stood in a truth and reality he had never been in before: "I have heard of thee, by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Then God can fully bless him, and pardon his friends, putting each in his place.
These were, so to speak, the parties in question-self-righteousness referring to present government now; a saint, yet unsubdued and not knowing himself as a poor sinner before God; and the God of majesty with whom they all had to do. Elihu was but an interpreter by the way, and hence not seen when the judgment is to be pronounced. He answers to the intelligent spirit of Christ, acting by the word to teach God's ways as the Church ought to know them. Thus "we have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." We can add that the Daysman, whom Job sought in vain, has presented for us a perfect, divine, and accepted righteousness before God. Surely He was not one on earth in whom God brought His terror on the sinner. Such, I apprehend, is the purport of this book for every soul-the most instructive revelation of God's ways with men. I do not doubt its application to Jewish's history; for in the Jews God will ultimately display His government of the earth, as He has already to those who have spiritual intelligence to discern it. But that history is but a large picture of man's heart and God's ways that we may learn them.
There are higher revelations no doubt in the New Testament. But the sovereign grace and righteousness there revealed have not superseded these principles of intercourse of God with godly men-with the redeemed, and with men in general-which are brought out, independently of all particular dispensations, in this wonderful and most beautiful book. It carefully shuts out thus all special dispensational character or Jewish legal form of knowledge, or God's taking a people specially to Himself, while picturing the dealings developed in them. Ι have no doubt, from the kind of idolatry referred to, the patriarchal manners and other characteristics of the book, that it is of Mosaic date at least; but however this may be, of its spiritual place and purpose in the holy book of God I have not the least doubt-a godly man, standing with God in government in the earth, and his acceptance before Him.
The reader will remark that sacrifices are introduced as the means of escape from the consequences of our folly and sin in respect of God. The book of Job is the testimony now (independent of all peculiar dispensational truth and blessings; and it was the testimony before there were any) of the great fundamental truths on which all relationship between God and man on earth rests, dispensationally brought out.
I would add, that I have no doubt that 1 Cor. 7:37, 38, applies to the man's own state, and not in any way whatever to his daughter's.
Mr. N. speaks of the difficulty which scientific men have of determining what a miracle is; and that the course of nature must be known to know what a deviation from it is. This remark shows how reasoners create difficulties for themselves. The object of a miracle is to show the intervention of God. If God did, in favor of some one or many, in a day what man would take ten years to do but could do if he had time, it would be a miracle in the truest sense of the word. But if Lazarus was raised from the dead, did any one doubt it was out of the course of nature? If a blind man received his sight from clay and the pool of Siloam, did he doubt it? If a cripple of forty years old from his birth, not expecting it, could leap and walk in a moment, does Mr. Ν. think that he, or any one in his senses, would wait till science had settled the course of nature to know whether there was a miracle or not?
Let the reader remark, I am not now discussing whether these things happened or not, but the difficulty of ascertaining their character, supposing they did happen.

General Remarks: Modern Logic

ONE or two general remarks may be in place here.
The rationalists, having not the least idea of God's thoughts and plan in scripture, never of course can weigh the bearing of its parts in reference to it. Hence their comments are the most childish things imaginable.
Their system-" our logic"-is this: They first settle that there can be no prophecy nor miracle. Consequently, when certain facts are prophetically stated, it is an evident and necessarily conclusive proof that the book containing them was written after the event referred to. Then they discuss all the possible events alluded to, and each has his notion, so that you are in a sea of conjectures. Divers documents are discoveted; good Hebrew and bad Hebrew-at any rate contradictory Hebrew is set in movement to settle the dates; and Jewish malice against the Gentiles, and every other notion imaginable, is referred to, to explain what Hezekiah's or somebody else's prophets mean. The false prophets were as good as their neighbors; only, not supporting the Levitical priesthood, they went to the wall. In my judgment, it is impossible to conceive anything more puerile.
But there is one thing in "modern logic" that I confess is a riddle to me, i.e., why such amazing time and labor is spent- why year after year some new Einleitung appears, so that a man must have a good constitution to "keep up" with the ephemeral systems which teem from German imagination, and a memory (hopeless in attainment for most) to keep in all he gets through- why, I say, all this labor should be spent upon a book, of which the contents are but the lucubrations of a very ignorant age, a very prejudiced people, and upon productions which are the grossest impostures, pretending to be prophecies, but written aprés coup.
Think of persons writing long introductions to the Sibyl oracles, which they believe to be a fabrication, or even on the Koran, which is only an imposture!
Mohammedans, no doubt, discuss this; but at least they believe it. Targums and Talmuds expound or add to the law, add to the prophets; but their authors own what they comment on to be divine. It was reserved for rationalists to exercise their laborious ingenuity, one after another, in expounding and discussing the merits, dates, circumstances of publication, character, object, intentions, style, and import of what they believe to be a priestly and prejudiced imposture.
How mighty is the word of God! It not only flows deep, clear, fructifying, gladdening, saving, for him who drinks its exhaustless waters, but extorts the inevitable homage of those who deny it.
If I must go to Germany, I would say we had thought that our Rhein Strόr was ours; but if its Wegthal serves as a barrier only between us and our enemies, our stream shall excite their wonder and admiration; and they will seek to profit for themselves and their glory of what they would deprive us of. Though dwelling on the other side of the barrier, they must still speak the language of this. If the wickedness of Ashdod is come in, they half speak the Jews' language.
But another difficulty presents itself here to our reception of Mr. N.'s and the rationalists' view of the origin, character, and authorship of the prophecies of scripture. The prophets delivered their prophecies to the people. They were published prophecies. "Hezekiah's prophets prophesied publicly in Hezekiah's time." Is it not a singular thing that they should have been able to impose histories as prophecies on those who heard them? They must have written them afterward, we are told; because, after all, they do not speak of certain events. But then how could they appear to be prophets to persons who knew the history, and who must have been glad enough to have shown that they were not prophecies, on account of the way in which these prophets denounced their conduct? Either the events are not so spoken of as to prove they wrote after them, or it is for rationalist credulity alone to suppose that they could present them at the time as prophecies of the future.

Modern Logic

ONE or two general remarks may be in place here.
The rationalists, having not the least idea of God's thoughts and plan in scripture, never of course can weigh the bearing of its parts in reference to it. Hence their comments are the most childish things imaginable.
Their system-" our logic"-is this: They first settle that there can be no prophecy nor miracle. Consequently, when certain facts are prophetically stated, it is an evident and necessarily conclusive proof that the book containing them was written after the event referred to. Then they discuss all the possible events alluded to, and each has his notion, so that you are in a sea of conjectures. Divers documents are discoveted; good Hebrew and bad Hebrew-at any rate contradictory Hebrew is set in movement to settle the dates; and Jewish malice against the Gentiles, and every other notion imaginable, is referred to, to explain what Hezekiah's or somebody else's prophets mean. The false prophets were as good as their neighbors; only, not supporting the Levitical priesthood, they went to the wall. In my judgment, it is impossible to conceive anything more puerile.
But there is one thing in "modern logic" that I confess is a riddle to me, i.e., why such amazing time and labor is spent- why year after year some new Einleitung appears, so that a man must have a good constitution to "keep up" with the ephemeral systems which teem from German imagination, and a memory (hopeless in attainment for most) to keep in all he gets through- why, I say, all this labor should be spent upon a book, of which the contents are but the lucubrations of a very ignorant age, a very prejudiced people, and upon productions which are the grossest impostures, pretending to be prophecies, but written aprés coup.
Think of persons writing long introductions to the Sibyl oracles, which they believe to be a fabrication, or even on the Koran, which is only an imposture!
Mohammedans, no doubt, discuss this; but at least they believe it. Targums and Talmuds expound or add to the law, add to the prophets; but their authors own what they comment on to be divine. It was reserved for rationalists to exercise their laborious ingenuity, one after another, in expounding and discussing the merits, dates, circumstances of publication, character, object, intentions, style, and import of what they believe to be a priestly and prejudiced imposture.
How mighty is the word of God! It not only flows deep, clear, fructifying, gladdening, saving, for him who drinks its exhaustless waters, but extorts the inevitable homage of those who deny it.
If I must go to Germany, I would say we had thought that our Rhein Strόr was ours; but if its Wegthal serves as a barrier only between us and our enemies, our stream shall excite their wonder and admiration; and they will seek to profit for themselves and their glory of what they would deprive us of. Though dwelling on the other side of the barrier, they must still speak the language of this. If the wickedness of Ashdod is come in, they half speak the Jews' language.
But another difficulty presents itself here to our reception of Mr. N.'s and the rationalists' view of the origin, character, and authorship of the prophecies of scripture. The prophets delivered their prophecies to the people. They were published prophecies. "Hezekíah's prophets prophesied publicly in Hezekiah's time." Is it not a singular thing that they should have been able to impose histories as prophecies on those who heard them? They must have written them afterward, we are told; because, after all, they do not speak of certain events. But then how could they appear to be prophets to persons who knew the history, and who must have been glad enough to have shown that they were not prophecies, on account of the way ín which these prophets denounced their conduct? Either the events are not so spoken of as to prove they wrote after them, or it is for rationalist credulity alone to suppose that they could present them at the time as prophecies of the future.

Messianic Prophecies

But I turn to what is more important. The result of the rationalist system is, that they never examine the prophetic scriptures as a whole, and hence are totally incapable of estimating the value or real bearing of the parts. Mr. N. has had greater advantages than they, and often seeks to use them against the christian faith. It is a painful thing to see how often he speaks the language of Canaan, while he labors in the spirit of a Philistine. Still he has chosen to take up the rationalist system. Now, I affirm, that according to its own clear contents, be they true or false, all scripture is Messianic from Genesis to Revelation. From the promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head-yea, from "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (for according to scripture all things were created by Him and for Him),-until "Even so, come, Lord Jesus"-"the first and the last," the testimony as well as the purposes God refer to (have as their object) Him who, the Wisdom of God before the worlds, was all His delight in this, who first descended and then ascended that He might fill all things.
Now there are two great subjects of scripture besides. That is, first, it speaks of man's sin, the change in him needed to enjoy the blessing, and the redemption accomplished, that we may be with God, with all its varied effects and glories; and, secondly, of the government of this world. Some true and devoted Christians have looked only at the first, as being the great vital necessity (as it is), but, having thus dropped the other when the scriptures which applied to it were before their minds, they were bewildered as to the interpretation of them. There are the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow. These glories include many parts, inasmuch as God, for the administration of the fullness of times, will head up all in Christ, of things in heaven and things on earth. Every family in heaven and earth comes under the name of the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, no doubt the Lord Jesus suffered amongst the Jews; and this made one ground of Jehovah's judicial dealings with them, as Isaiah and Zechariah and the Psalms abundantly testify. But the government of the world is the great subject treated of in the prophetic books. And we are expressly told in Deut. 32:8, that "when the Most High divided unto the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel." God made Israel the center of His earthly government. The profane history of nations, in fact, centers round it; Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, all contend for it; are known in connection with it, or actually get their full imperial possession and character at the time they acquired possession of it-I do not say by gaining possession of it, but at the epoch at which they did. Clouds of dark traditions, scarce pierced by modern researches, hang over all the rest, and obscure the history of nations, while they reveal their existence.
In the neighborhood of Israel all is light. Prejudiced, ignorant, barbarous as they may have been, they possess and shed the light of their history on all the nations around them. It is preserved almost with modern accuracy, when a few fragments scarce rescue from entire oblivion other ancient histories. We must disentomb the remains of Thebes and the Ninevehs to get at the history of their ancient monarchs, to know their dynasties, and say even if there were two Assyrian empires or one, while, by God's providence, that which gives some historic data to the glories of Mizraim and Asshur confirms in its detail that of which we have already the minutest particulars in Israel's authentic history. We find, in pictures yet fresh on the lore-covered walls of the country of the Pharaohs, the very kinds of overseers over the Jews making their bricks, of which Moses speaks in the Book of Exodus. Modern research alone has given the place and importance to these countries which the scriptures had already assigned them.
Now, when is this great drama of this world's history to find its dénouement and its close, according to the scriptures? Not clearly till the end. It would be an absurdity to suppose such a thing-a denial of the terms in their proper meaning. Scripture places it at the end-speaks of the Lord coming in glory, of the destruction of the Assyrian, of the beast, of the false prophet, of Gog, and that by a grand day which should "burn as an oven" -a day in which the glory of the Lord should be revealed, and all flesh see it together, in which by fire and sword the Lord would plead with all flesh, and the slain of the Lord should be many-a day when a man should be more precious than the fine gold of Ophir; when God would punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; when the Lord would come forth out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; when the earth would uncover her blood, and no more cover her slain. Is it not equally declared that when He came there was no man, when He called there was none to answer-that He should give His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair, nor hide His face from shame and spitting-that His visage should be so marred more than any man, and His countenance more than the sons of men, even that Servant who was to be exalted and extolled, and be very high-that He was to be despised and rejected of men, to make His soul an offering for sin, and bear their iniquities- that they should look on Him whom they had pierced, and mourn for Him? Accordingly we find in the Psalms the expression of the deep sense of these sufferings, as Psa. 22; 69, 102, and others.
Do not these scriptures, in their general tenor-confirmed as they are by hundreds of others and the constant course of God's moral ways in putting suffering on the path of glory-do they not most clearly point out two distinct scenes: a time when the great subject of prophecy, the Son of man, the Son of God, should suffer; and a time when glories should follow, in respect of the government of this world, and that by judgment being in His hand?
See Psa. 2, compared with the general expression of feeling in the Psalms. Is not the first a declaration of Messiah, He who is King in Zion, and Son of God, set as God's King in spite of all enemies-Adonai laughing to scorn their efforts in the day of His wrath? Yet are not the Psalms, as a whole, the expression of the sorrows and sufferings of the righteous, and of Messiah with them? Is He not David's Lord, called to sit at God's right hand, till He makes His foes His footstool, and the rod of His power goes forth from Zion, ruling in the midst of His enemies? Such is the uniform tenor of scripture in every part. The first song we have after the exodus (Hannah's, in the beginning of Samuel) sings with a heart confiding in goodness, after its sorrows, the same truths as to Christ, naming Him as the object of hope.
Now, I ask, Is the destruction of the Assyrian connected with deliverances in power and judgment, or with the suffering of Christ? No one who has read scripture can hesitate for a moment as to the answer. The destruction of tl is powerful enemy, no doubt, will be connected with Him who suffered, but not with the time of His suffering. The two parts of His history (not the length of the interval, because that did not belong to Israel, but to the Church) are as clear and distinct as possible. The argument, therefore, of Mr. N. that Messiah could not be Jesus, because the prophecies relating to Messiah are connected with the destruction of the Assyrian (Phases, pp. 192, 193), is worse than worthless. I am persuaded he knows better than his pages bear upon their face. That these testimonies of future glory and deliverance then given were comforts to the souls of believers, and sustained their faith in the midst of evil, and the consequent judgments which fell on the beloved people, I do not doubt; and they were, I doubt not, meant to be so; but the things they prophesied of were different from the present comfort conveyed, though rationalists cannot distinguish these things, nor suppose, with the evident reason for it in the history before them, that God was merciful enough thus to consider the brokenhearted faithful whom He had taught to confide in Him.
They understood it; and, though with much obscurity of mind and many prejudices, gracious confidence in God was maintained; and, through all their darkest times, there were those who feared the Lord and spake often one to another, and who waited for redemption in Israel. I do not spiritualize it; I believe it. I do not believe Jesus has fulfilled the prophecies which speak of the revelation of His glory in judgment and government; but I am sure that that Stone on which those who stumbled have been indeed broken, as we know, will grind to powder those on whom it shall justly fall-that "Stone which the builders rejected, and which is become the head of the corner"-when Hosanna shall be sung, not only by babes and sucklings, to confound the adversary, but by a people to whom every promise shall be fulfilled, and by a world dwelling in peace under the blessing of Him for whose law the isles shall wait, and whose scepter shall be their confidence and their blessing-the King of righteousness and King of peace.
I will now show that on this point Mr. N. is as incorrect in detail, as he is narrow and superficial in his apprehension of the whole-more than narrow; for he connects parts of which the least attention or understanding would show the distinctness. Indeed, his remarks prove, either that he has not attended to what he is talking about, or that he is incapable of seizing its bearing. Not a prophecy connects the Assyrian with the sufferings of Christ. But Mr. N. refers particularly to a passage in Micah, which he declares cannot apply to Jesus: "The Messiah of Micah however was not Jesus; for he was to deliver Israel from the Assyrians, and his whole description is literally warlike." (Phases, p. 192.)
We had better have the passage: it will help to show the value of "our logic," and of rationalist comments in general. It is as follows:-"Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the Judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto m that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren 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 our land," &c. Then we have victories attributed to the Jews; and they become the source of blessing to the earth-are as a lion and yet as a dew among many people. (Mic. 5) Now, whatever the explanation of the details, which I do not think indeed exceedingly obscure, it is quite clear that the smiting of the Judge of Israel on the cheek is followed, not by the destruction of the Assyrian, but by being given up for a period designated by "until she which travaileth shall have brought forth." Whatever may be in the womb of God's purposes, till it be accomplished the Jews will be given up. There is, first, one period or order of things; the Judge of Israel not warlike, but smitten, and they given up in consequence. Then we have another, He stands and feeds in the majesty of the Lord, for now shall He be great to the ends of the earth; and when the Assyrian comes into their land, this Man-this same Jesus-will be the peace, and Israel great and glorious. Can anything be plainer than the distinction of these two conditions of the Judge of Israel, and of the two states of Israel-given up at one time; and at another defended, in peace, victorious, and a blessing?
And this is adduced to show "that the Messiah of Micah was not Jesus, because he was to deliver Israel from the Assyrians, and his whole description is literally warlike"-"and Micah conceived of a powerful mo