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ground. In addition to this, the proud ternper of the age lost more and more the spirit of love, which enables one to open himself to what is good in others, and thus improves the power of the understanding. What was not understood it was considered perfectly right to reject.

This universal change in the position of the times in regard to history must not be passed over when we are investigating the causes of the change in their position in regard to the sacred books and especially the Pentateuch. How every thing of a special character rests here upon something general, how the attacks on Homer for instance had in one point of view the same origin as those against the biblical books, has been already shown by others. Thus Schubarth remarks (Ideen ueber Homer und sein Zeitalter, S. 236): “Since the middle of the last century there has prevailed a young and vigorous spirit, which has led men to believe that the human mind is able to draw all its nutriment and sustenance from itself. Of course the productions of past ages, which had till now been the only resort for counsel, light, culture and edification, lost at once much of their former estimation and importance. There appeared more and more an active, bold, rash, nay insolent spirit of contradiction against the past. And accordingly we see that after men had endeavored to rid themselves of a burdensome restraint in regard to the Bible, the same spirit of disruption spread itself upon every thing received from former ages, with the effort rather to throw it off altogether, than to ascertain and defend its true worth and importance.

Still the general explanation is altogether insufficient to account for the course of opinions in regard to the Pentateuch. It can, considering the strong proofs of genuineness, account at most only for the denial of that genuineness by individuals, and as a temporary thing—not for the obstinacy with which this denial has been maintained, and the wide prevalence it has found. In profane literature, the period of this levity of skepticism came soon to an end; and if single cases of it now still appear, and show that this perverse spirit has not yet wholly died out, yet it exists only in individuals, and can never again become general. External proofs are granted more of their just weight, and there is less levity in handling the internal. There is some effort to understand before condemning. Where there is no stronger motive, there pride at least urges, by way of change, to build up again that which pride had pulled down. Every (ancient) writer who had unjustly lost what belonged to him is in process of being restored in due time in integrum. The turn which the investigations on Homer have of late taken, is known. Eren those who still continue to doubt differ materially from their predecessors. Where these saw nothing but confusion and chance, there their followers discover profound.unity and organic connection-very different from what is the case in regard to the Pentateuch, where the absurd assertion of a fragmentary compilation is continually repeated. The orations of Cicero which were rejected by Wolf are again acknowledged to be genuine. Socher's rash judgment on some dialogues of Plato was received with dissatisfaction, and even the rejection of sone smaller and less important ones by Ast, is now admitted to have been too strong. Instead of rejecting them at once and entirely upon the assertion of their external spuriousness, men are satisfied that they are immature products of the Platonic spirit. See Richter, Geschichte d. Philosophie, Th. 2. S. 170 ff. and Ackermann, Das Christliche im Plato, S. 21. The eighth book of Thucydides was denied to be his, on account of its differing from the rest in mode of representation. Niebuhr regards this inference as a cutting of the knot, as stupid capricious

“I think I see,” says he, in his klein Schriften, Th. I. S. 409," in this very difference, this great master's just sense of propriety :—that as the solemnity and dignity of the style rise higher and higher until the catastrophe in Sicily, so after the importance of the events ceases, the narration itself assumes another tone. An inferior writer would have thought it neces. sary to maintain the same pathos to the end. For the history of events toward the end of the war, Thucydides would have returned to his loftiness of style. But the period of long distress and torture during the undecided contest required a simpler narrative.” How much more obvious than this is the reason of the difference of manner between Deuteronomy and the other books of the Pentateuch-how much less tact of observation is necessary in order to discover it than Niebuhr here shows. It occurs of itself to every unprejudiced mind; and that it is nevertheless so disdainfully rejected, that we constantly hear the assertion, the difference of style proves unanswerably a different author, shows very manifestly that here interests come into play from the influence of which profane literature is free. When we consider the universal disapprobation with which even a inoderate tendency to historical skepticism was regarded even in men of such standing as O. Müller, we think we may confidently assert that if such ridiculously arbitrary criticism as that of De Wette had been directed to disprove the genuineness of a profane writer or against any part of profane history, it would be already forgotten, and would have only served to obtain for its author the sorry celebrity of a Harduin. But even if De Wette excited some attention at first, a book like that of Vatke* would, if he had chosen to employ his acuteness on Herodotus for instance, instead of the Pentateuch, have been carried immediately from the womb to the grave. It would have been looked upon as lying beyond the limits of the field of science.



How little the universal tendency of the age to historical skepticism can satisfactorily explain our problem, is seen from the fact, that many who decidedly deny the genuineness of the Pentateuch, and the credibility of what it contains, show in other cases an utter want of historical criticism, and are more ready to admit the genuineness and credibility of ancient writings than any inquirer of note in earlier times. The same Volney for example who with true Voltaire-audacity, denies all historic foundation for the Pentateuch, who heads the fourteenth chapter of his · Recherches sur l'histoire ancienne,' with du personage appellé Abraham' (concerning the personage called Abraham,) appeals as to an unexceptionable witness to Sanchoniathon, whose false pretensions to antiquity even the criticism of the unenlightened times had long before exposed, and uses him as a lapis Lydius by which to try the pretensions of others. " Let us hear (says he, t. 1. p. 166, Brussels,) Sanchoniathon, who wrote about 1300 years before the Christian era.” Late writers such as Nicol. Damascenus, Aler. Polyhistor, and Artapanus, whose accounts on these matters are evidently only the echo of Jewish tradition, and who have therefore no independent weight as historians, are according to him important in the highest degree, and capable of affording weapons against the truth of the sacred history. And it is not a mere accident, that that very German critic who bas succeeded best in concealing the theological bias which influences him, and who could therefore venture with a good hope of producing effect, to designate as naif the charge of doctrinal predilections—that Ge

Vatke is professor at Berlin—a colleague of Hengstenberg and professes to be a follower of Schleiermacher. See an extended critique on his Biblische Theologie, infra, p. 24 seg.-TR.

senius has had to show before the eyes of all Europe how easy it would be for him to acknowledge the genuineness of the Pentateuch, if the matter were to be decided simply in the forum of historical conscience. He first ran into the trap of a French marquis, who for the sake of sport gave out an inscription fabricated by himself as a relique of great antiquity. Gesenius acknowledged it as an important monument for the history of Gnosticism, and commented on it in bis essay.de inscriptione nuper in Cyrenaica reperta, (on the inscription lately found in Cyrene.) Scarcely had he got over the smart which the confession of his error, now no longer to be deferred after the exposure of the fraud by Böckh, Kopp and others, must have caused hiin-scarcely prepared himself to cover this error in oblivion by important publications on paleography, than he fell into a far worse difficulty. What had happened to hima before in regard to a few lines, occurred again with a whole book. What a wide distance between the youthful Dr. of medicine Wagenfeld, and the ancient Sanchoniathon! If it was a salto mortale from Wagenfeld to Philo, how much more from Wagenfeld to Sanchoniathon !*

Judgment of late Historians. Another important proof that the solution of the problem (why the genuineness of the Pentateuch has been so universal ly denied) must be sought elsewhere than on ground common to all branches of literature is the fact, that the judgment of late historians and of other learned men not theologians in regard to the Pentateuch differs so essentially from that of theologians ; a phenomenon which can be explained only in this way, that the theologian shuts bis eyes to every thing until he finds how it stands in relation to his preconceived opinions, and in accordance with the result he obtains here, decides upon the former question ; while the historian, although he may share the same opinions, is yet not so much influenced by them as to be induced to violate his historical conscience and turn traitor to history. This matter is so important that we shall be justified in taking time to illustrate it by a few examples. That the Pentateuch would even now regain universal acknowledgement as the work of Moses if it had to do only with historical criticism, and had only to pass through the ordeal of the universal tendency to historical skepticism, is made the plainer by the facts about to be quoted, when we remember that this is one of the subjects on which the historians are most dependent upon the theologians, on account of their want of the knowledge of the necessary languages, and the vast extent of the field which they have to occupy; and which therefore the theologians have tried every way to confuse and darken for them. It must be remembered too, that the historians are also, as we shall hereafter show, always under a certain influence of the theological principles of the times. If then, under such disadvantages, historians still regard the Pentateuch as authentic history, the fact is so much the more important.

* Dr. Wagenfeld of Bremen pretended to have discovered a Greek Manuscript of the work of Pbilo Byblius the pretended translator of Sanchoniathon. See infra, p. 34, note 1.-TR.


Heeren's position in regard to the Pentateuch deserves first to be attended to. He has, it is manifest, designedly avoided expressing himself decisively and fully on this subject. But this very avoiding of the subject is a plain proof of his want of confidence in the investigations of the theologians. Without permitting bimself to be deceived with their confident air, he will first see what issue the matter comes to. So far as the cause of the accused comes under his cognition he finds no fault in him. The loud crucify,' of theologians does not deceive him. Also, there is not in all his works, one doubt expressed in regard to any historical statement of the Pentateuch. When he quotes it, especially in that volume of his Ideen which treats of Egypt

, he uses it without qualification as a source worthy of confidence. The principal facts of the Pentateuch are acknowledged by him to be historically established in his Geschichte des Alterthums, 4te Aufl. S. 40. In the same book S. 58 (p. 51 of the English translation) he remarks that the accounts of Moses, although they give no continuous history, yet give a true picture of Egypt in his time.

He mentions as a subject for further oral explanation to his classes) importance and excellencies of the Jewish accounts so far as they are purely historical.' Particularly important however is a remark of Heeren made very lately in a notice of a new volume of Rosselini's work on Égypt, in the Gött. gel. Anz. 1835, S. 1328. “We cannot close this notice without expressing the wish that some learned orientalist would subject to a critical and impartial examination the chapter contained in pp. 254—270 of this work, and the drawing in the Atlas belonging thereto, monumenti Vol. XI. No. 30.


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