Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

But no one can habitually utilize reason in seeking

How to o'errule the hard divorce

Which parts things natural and divine, without being constantly reminded of Dr. H. Ballou's aphorism:

Nothing is more easy than simple religious sensibility, nothing more difficult than sound religious principle. Or of the two not wholly dissimilar definitions :

Religion is living all the truths we possess.-Augusta Cooper Bristol.

Religion is the practical recognition of God: Christianity is the practical recognition of God in Christ.— Rev. Henry Shute.

More recently has this co-operation of the intellect, the sensibilities, and the will, in Biblical interpretation, found further pithy expression :

One must have what I can only describe as the faith-temper, a delicate and disciplined sensitiveness and loyalty to the spiritual aspects of life. This temper will express itself in one man in a very definite belief in a personal God and a personal immortality. Another man, in whom the faith-temper is no less fine and deep, will hesitate to define God as “ personal,” or to affirm how much of its present elements the soul carries into its future life. But in both of these men there will be a spirit of reverence, humility, passive trust, and active loyalty toward some transcendent and divine reality. It is a spirit hard to analyze or define; but, whenever a man has it, it is felt by those he meets, felt more quickly, more powerfully, more beneficently, than almost any other personal trait. If a preacher has this, the reality of faith, of which a theological creed is but a shadow or simulacrum, it will pervade his sermons, his prayers, his words and tones and gestures, as subtly as the perfume of a flower, as vitally as the air that feeds the life of man. Whatever ideas, whatever methods he may employ, his people will be helped and uplifted by him ; they will get the "enlarged horizon,” the “transfiguring view," and in their own lives and characters some transfigurations will be wrought.-Geo. S. Merriam (Christian Register, March 2: 1882).

Now let five “woman-wise" witnesses conclude the chapter:

Reason, guided by humility and reverence, is never "unassisted.” “Every good gift cometh from above.”- Lydia M. Child.

O thou of little faith, lift up thine eyes!

Are the ten thousand glowing stars of night

But a vain dream, because thy feeble sight
May not behold them in the noonday skies?

Mary Howitt.

[blocks in formation]

Perhaps, however, in a future chapter, we shall conclude that Reason will eternally keep company with Faith; and this, without denying the testimony of Dr. Edward Young, that

Swift Instinct leaps, slow Reason feebly climbs;. although John Dryden's inquiry, “How can finite grasp infinity ?” may have to go unanswered.

Life grows dark as we go on, till only one clear light is left shining on it; and that is faith.- Anna S. Soymonof Swetchin.

CHAPTER II.

CONSECUTION. What is the Chronological Order of the Early Records of the

Life and Teachings of Jesus? The data necessary for precisely determining this are not available. The first New Testament was compiled by Marcion, A.D. 145. It contained ten Epistles of Paul. He knew of no Epistles to Timothy, to Titus, or to the Hebrews; or, if he did know of them, he did not consider them genuine. It had but one Gospel. This closely resembled Luke, but was much shorter. Canon Westcott, Baring-Gould, Griesbach, and Schleiermacher acquit Marcion of the charge of using -or at least of corrupting — the Luke Gospel. The three most ancient Gospels now extant are, according to Judge Waite,* the Protevangelion, circa 125 A.D.; an Aramaic Gospel, called by Origen the “Book of James”; the Gospel of the Infancy, C. 130 A.D.; and the Acts of Pilate, c. 130 A.D. One copy of the last, containing many patristic interpolations, is known as the “Gospel of Nicodemus." The two first-named Gospels have also many interpolations. They are, however, supposed by recent collators, named by the last-cited author, to afford evidence of interpolations in the four canonical Gospels in the final redactions thereof. But earlier Biblical students have been of the opinion that those three uncanonical Gospels are wholly fabrications gotten up to 6 fill the bill ” as to certain references made by Justin Martyr, c. 150 A.D., to Gospels of those names respectively. Partial exceptions may be mentioned. Thus, Bishop Ellicott, † while rejecting the rest, accepts the Acts of Pilate. Some have thought that portions of Luke were taken from the Protevangelion.I

By Charles B. Waite.

*History of the Christian Religion to the Year 200. Chicago, 1881.

Cambridge Essay, 1856.
I See Schleiermacher on Luke, p. 24.

As to the chronological order of the canonical New Testament records, students differ. * After citing Prof. G. P. Fisher † in support of a view that the Fourth Gospel could not have appeared later than “a few years after the beginning of the second century," Rev. Joseph Cook says that "the upper date of A.D. 34 and the lower date of A.D. 60, as established by exact research, are the two merciless blades of shears between which the latest and most deftly woven web of doubt is cut in two. [Applause.]”!

The following table presents the conclusions of three very careful and industrious investigators ; namely, Dr. Samuel Davidson, $ Dr. Abraham Kuenen, Professor of Theology at Leiden,li and Judge Waite, above cited.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

* See Prof. J. H. Scholten's answer to Tischendorf's When were our Gospels written ?

Essays on the Supernatural Origin of Christianity, 1870. Preface, p. xxxviii.

Transcendentalism, p. 32. (Published Lectures.) $ Introduction to the Study of the Vew Testament. London, 1868.

|| See The Bible for Learners, by Drs. Kuenen, Oort, and Hooykaas, vol. iii., p. 696.

Davidson. Kuenen. Waite. II. John, . . . . . . . . .

A.D. 131 Before 150 (?) 130 III. John, . ......... 13 Before 150 (?) 130 John, .. . ... · · · · · 150 Before 150 (?) 178 II. Peter, ........

170 After 150 (?) 170 It is not within the scope of this Manual to set forth the grounds of different writers' conclusions as to what is the actual order of these records.* It may, however, be for occasional convenience here to note Dr. Kuenen's order of portions of the older Jewish literature.

Before the Assyrian Period: the “Decalogue”; Song of Deborah (Judges v.); David's Poems (II. Samuel i., 19–27 and iii., 33, 34); Genesis xlix. ; “ Book of the Covenant” (Exodus xxi., 1-xxiii., 19).

In the Assyrian period, circiter 800-700 B.C.: Psalm xlv.; Deuteronomy xxxiii.; Numbers xxii.- xxiv.; Amos; Hosea; Zechariah ix.- xi.; certain narratives in the Pentateuch, in Judges, and in Samuel; Song of Solomon; Micah; part of Isaiah, of the Proverbs, and of Deuteronomy.

In the Chaldean Period, c. 700-500 B.C.: Nahum; Zephaniah; Zechariah xii.-xiv.; Habakkuk; Jeremiah; many of the Psalms; earliest edition of Joshua; Judges; Samuel; Kings; Lamentations; Isaiah xl.- lxvi.; xiv., 4-21; XXXV., etc.; Jeremiah li., lii.

In the Persian Period, c. 500–300 B.C.: Haggai; Zechariah i.-ix.; Joel; Book of Origins; many of the priestly laws in Leviticus and Numbers; Ruth; Jonah; Malachi; Job; many of the Psalms and Proverbs.

In the Greek Period, 300-50 B.C: final edition of the Pentateuch and Joshua; Chronicles; Ezra; Nehemiah; Esther; many of the Psalms; Proverbs of Jesus ben Sirach; Ecclesiastes; Daniel ; Psalms xliv., lxxiv., cxviii.; Baruch; Epistle of Jeremiah; oldest portions of the Book of Enoch; I. and II. Maccabees; additions to Esther; Tobit; Prayer of Manasseh.

In the Roman Period: (B.C.) Psalms of Solomon; Ascension of Moses; (A.D.) Susanna; Bel and the Dragon; III. Maccabees; Wisdom; Philemon; IV. Maccabees; Book of Jubilees; Judith; Apocalypse of Baruch; IV. Esdras; Josephus; The Talmudic Mishna.

The Bible for Learners, vol. iii., p. 697. (For other tabulations, see Rev. G. F. Piper's Sunday-school Lessons, etc., Part II.,pp. 55, 71, and 83. Also Rev. J. W. Chadwick’s The Bible of To-day, pp. XV.-xviii.)

A single illustration of the mode of determining relative dates must suffice. Take Daniel : Jesus ben Sirach, c. 200 B.C., makes no mention of Daniel or of his three friends, although a place might have been given them with such per

* See II. Kings xxi., 13 ; xxii., xxiii.; II. Chronicles xxxiv., 14-32; II. Maccabees ii., 13, 14; iii., 3; Ecclesiasticus.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »