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Luther has finely remarked, "I have learned that he is not a theologian who knows great things, and who can teach many things; but he who lives holily, and as becomes the gospel."*

If the private declarations were called for of such men as Melancthon, Bucer, Zanchius, Pareus, etc. on the subject of the importance of union among those who unite in their reception of the doctrines of grace, we could fill pages with them.

Such then was the church, when in the hands of the blessed men whom God so signally honored as the instruments of reclaiming it to vitality and righteousness. And if there is a prayer to which our inmost soul will fervently respond, it is that of the feeling and experimentally pious Bernard, which we would adapt to our own day. "Quis mihi det, antequam moriar, videre Ecclesiam Dei, sicut in diebus antiquis." †

Who can tell what blessings the great Head of the church may have in store for his people? The composing of the unhappy differences which have so long palsied their very best energies, and led them to turn against each other those weapons which are mighty to pull down the strong holds of Satan, may be the signal of the returning favor of the Messiah. It is a test of love and obedience that he has the right to require at our hands; and it may be the signal of his bursting the fetters of paganism, and of his raining down righteousness upon America, till she shall bud and blossom as the garden of God. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. -And all nations shall call you blessed; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts."

* "Ego hoc video, non esse theologum, qui magna sciat, et multa doceat: sed qui sancte et theologice vivat.” Vide Prefat. Luth. in Psal. ad Theologiae Studiosos.

"Oh that, before I die, I may behold the church of God as it was in ancient days!"

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ARTICLE VIII.

CAUSES OF THE DENIAL OF THE MOSAIC ORIGIN OF THE PENTATEUCH.

Translated from the German of Prof. Hengstenberg of Berlin. By Rev. E. Ballantine, Assistant Instructor in the Union Theol. Sem. Prince Edward, Va. [Concluded from Vol. XI. p. 448.]

Naturalism.

HAVING shown that the general denial of the genuineness of the Pentateuch cannot be satisfactorily accounted for by the universal tendency of the age to historical skepticism, we must now endeavor to point out its true cause.

It lies in the tendency of the age to Naturalism-that system which seeks to explain all events by the common laws of nature-and this tendency has its root in the estrangement of the age from God. Because men have not had within themselves experimental proof of the existence of a living God, therefore they seek to eradicate all traces of him out of history. Because within themselves every thing goes on entirely according to fixed natural laws, therefore they think every thing without them must have happened in the same way.

This mode of thinking and reasoning has, by those who adopted it, been called by the dignified name of refinement (Bildung.) But this certainly unjustly. Naturalism could be considered an advanced stage of refinement only on the ground that its modern advocates had discovered that what had before been held to be supernatural through ignorance of the laws of nature, can be fully accounted for by those laws. But as the modern extended knowledge of nature does not affect this matter at all, as that is still looked upon as supernatural which was before held to be so, it is only through gross insolence that the name of refinement can be arrogated. This pretension brings with it many absurdities. It must, in the first place, against all evidence, be maintained that the advocates of the mythos-theory, at the present time, are more cultivated than the defenders of the truth of the Bible. Then again, there is in the history of

* The word expresses the highest stage of advancement in every respect, especially in knowledge and taste.-TR.

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opposition to the Pentateuch a partie honteuse, which those on that side endeavor carefully to conceal, and of which one gets not a hint from histories like that of Hartmann. If the denial of the genuineness of the Pentateuch is to be eulogized as refinement, then they also must be considered refined, whom we have always hitherto been accustomed to regard as rude and uncultivated in the highest degree. Take, for example, the free-thinkers of Calvin's time, the dogs, hogs, and fools, as he constantly calls them, who in that day made sport of the Pentateuch. Also the author of the Catechisme de l'honnete-homme,+ who says, p. 10, "the events recorded in the Pentateuch astonish those who judge only by their reason, and in whom this blind reason has not been enlightened by special grace." This author, it seems, then possessed already that cultivated understanding,' which is, according to De Wette, a priori confident of the spuriousness of the Pentateuch, because it contains accounts of miracles and prophecies. Refinement is to be ascribed too to the vulgar Edelmann, who makes the Pentateuch to be nothing but "pieces thrown together, put into their present order by nobody knows who," but probably "the crafty rabbi, Ezra." (See his Moses mit aufgedecktem Angesicht, p. 9. u. a. Stellen.) Also to the two abandoned and half-crazy nuns in a cloister of Tuscany, who according to De Potter, Vie de Scipio Ricci, T. I. p. 115, Ed. II., declared on trial that they believed Moses and the authors of the other books of the Bible to be worthy of no more regard than for example Plutarch, or any other profane writer. Singular fathers and mothers of refinement! harbingers of the rising sun of illumination!

* See for instance his Commentary on Gen. 6: 14 (on Noah's ark), "Hoc Porphyrius vel quispiam alius canis, fabulosum esse obganniet, quia non apparet ratio, vel quia est insolitum, vel quia repugnat communis ordo naturae. Ego regero contra, totam hanc Mosis narrationem, nisi miraculis referta esset, frigidam et jejunam, et ridiculam fore dico." On Gen. 49: 1, "Sed oblatrant quidam protervi canes: unde Mosi notitia sermonis in obscurio tugurio ante ducentos annos habiti." Catechism of the genteel man.' "Les événements recontés dans le Pentateuque étonnent ceux qui ont le malheur de ne juger, que par leur raison et dans qui cette raison aveugle n'est pas eclairée par une grace particuliere."

"Que Moise et les autres auteurs des livres qui composent la sainte bible, fuissent plus dignes de consideration, qu'un Plutarque par exemple, ou quelque autre écrivain profane."

That Naturalism is the real vital principle of the opposition made to the Pentateuch, appears plainly from the violent efforts made before the final step of denying the genuineness was taken, in order to bring the Pentateuch to coincide with the reigning spirit of the times. Eichhorn, who shows what bis ground is in regard to religion by the following few words: (Einleitung Th. 3. s. 176) "For us who have investigated the causes of things, the name of God is often, in such cases, an expletive that may be dispensed with." Eichhorn labors, by explaining away everything that is supernatural, to set aside whatever presupposes the existence of a living personal God. That he and his contemporaries were ready to make the immense sacrifices which were necessary in order to carry through such a plan of interpretation, shows how strong the motive was which influenced them, and how entirely it accounts for the course afterwards taken, when it was no longer possible to conceal the defects and difficulties of this one. A few examples will show what sort of reverence for the hand in the clouds' was maintained while the genuineness of the Pentateuch was still admitted. Eichhorn thinks (Einleit. Th. 3. s. 303) that the destruction of Korah and his company creates no difficulty, if we will not mistake the nature of symbolic language. "Might not the writer, in order to represent very strongly the awfulness of the unusual punishment which was threatened, viz. the burying them alive, call it a swallowing up by the earth, a going down alive into the pit?" It is just as easy, according to him, to free the budding of Aaron's rod of its miraculous character. "If, when, by a new trial by lot with staves, Aaron obtained for himself and his family again the office of high-priest, his staff was twined with buds, leaves, and fruit, and thus carried through

* With what difficulty the determination was made to take this final step, and how strong therefore the proofs of the genuineness of the Pentateuch are, (even those that lie on the surface; for of such as lie deeper, men had then no conception,) is shown by a remark of Corrodi in his Beleuchtung des Bibelcanons, 1792, Bd. 1. s. 53: “At present, independent thinkers and lovers of truth regard it no longer as audacity to express their opinion freely as to the antiquity of the Pentateuch. Yet most friends of Bible study are inclined to think that it is still safer not to use so much freedom in regard to the Pentateuch as is taken with the other books of the Old Testament. I can also easily conceive that I shall be very unwelcome with my doubts of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch.”

the camp as a sign that it had decided in his favor, and was then placed in the sanctuary for an eternal proof of the fact against any future denial, what is there improbable in all this?" The shining of Moses' face could, he thinks, be regarded miraculous only so long as the nature of electricity was unknown. Had Eichhorn been in the storm on mount Sinai, instead of Moses, he would on descending have shone in the same way, and that even down to his toes, if he had before stripped off his clothing. "As he came down from the mount at evening, and they who saw him perceived that his face shone (the rest of his body being covered by his clothes), and he and his contemporaries were not able to explain the phenomenon from physical causes, was it not natural for him to ascribe it to that, of the reality of which he felt assured, viz. his intercourse with the Deity," s. 280. The pillar of cloud and fire was, in his opinion, nothing more than the usual signal given in marching by the smoke of the caravan-fire, s. 298. In regard to the plagues of Egypt, "it has been proved that Moses brought about the deliverance of his people from Egypt by means of those natural evils to which that country is every year subject," s. 253. This proof he considers himself as having given in his essay de Egypti Anno Mirabili, out of which we could quote many more rare things. But what has been already adduced will suffice to show that an inducement which was strong enough to lead to such a total giving up of common sense, was also strong enough to lead to a rejection of the genuineness of the Pentateuch without and even against all evidence derived from the Pentateuch itself.

Yet the real design of these efforts was declared with perfect. openness an openness which proceeded from confidence in the omnipotence of the spirit of the age. And not till afterwards, when the universal reign of that spirit had ceased, and men began to feel that mere presupposition or assertion was not proof, did this design begin again to be concealed and the pretence made that only historico-critical reasons were regarded, aside from all doctrinal presupposition, and that without any bias whatever and even against inclination, the genuineness of the Pentateuch must be given up. Lately, however, that spirit has again obtained more power and is conscious of that power, and

* Rosenmueller has considered this essay of sufficient importance to have its substance embodied in his Commentary.—TR.

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