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which we must remark. In the first place, then, the title strikes us as rather ambitious, if not inappropriate. From the foregoing summary, the work will be seen to be rather an historical account of the sources of Biblical criticism, than "a systematic view of that science." By such a title we should have understood a more abstract presentation of the principles of criticism, and less of the outward helps and appliances to it. The work, however, may not be the less useful for this. The title may have had its reason in the author's wish to distinguish it from that of his “ Lectures on Biblical Criticism," of which this is an enlargement.

But the most serious defects of the work lie in its style and manner. Dr. Davidson’s habitual prolixity renders his books tedious and difficult of perusal. The topics may be appropriate, but, like the Germans, he cannot leave them without exhausting them. All that he says is good matter, and perhaps to the point, but it is too full of detail to sustain the interest of the reader. This is a fault in all the author's works that we have seen. There is sometimes as much skill in knowing what not to say, as in knowing what to say. As a result of this expansion, the author often shows a sort of indecision in his opinion, in consequence of having discussed opposite views, and pursued the conflicting arguments to such length, that both he and the reader are left in the fog as to the true merits of the case. No doubt his candour, and desire to present the subject fairly, have led him into this; but his usually good judgment does not always avail to extricate him from the labyrinth. A little positiveness is a good stiffener to the mind in passing through "doubtful disputations."

What contributes to this diffuseness is a peculiar mode of construction in the sentences. The ideas are expanded in a series of short clauses, each nearly repeating the meaning of the preceding, and broken into disconnected sentences by full stops. The whole book is thus jerked into fragments, in a way very unpleasant to the reader. We take an instance, almost at random, from vol. i, p. 374;

“ If theological conjecture were adopted it would soon open the door to corruption. Unscrupulous partisans would speedily introduce many changes into the Bible. They would give a bias to places, more or less marked in favour of their own creed. The number of passages supposed to need emendation would be increased. Many parts of the Bible would be suspected. The book would become an uncertain rule of faith. It would not be appealed to as a standard capable of settling all disputes in theology. Every one might then believe or disbelieve as best suited his own principles. The prejudices of party or sect would influence the treatment of the sacred records. According to the complexion of creed would be the character of the changes proposed.”

Here the same idea substantially is drawn out in ten successive sentences in the space of twelve lines. The whole might have been expressed by simply adding to the first sentence the following clause, -"for unscrupulous partisans; who would alter the Bible at pleasure according to their creed, until it would become useless as a general rule of faith."

As a whole, the style and general literary execution of this work is inferior to that of the author's recent “ Introduction to the New Testament." Yet it is a book of so much merit, and of so great value to the Church, that minor blemishes are trifling. We join heartily in the author's prayer that the book “may help the cause of truth in the world, promote the progress of righteousness, and contribute to a better acquaintance with those divine writings which form the basis alike of social order and of personal happiness.” We are inclined to think there would be demand enough for the work in this country to justify the publication of an American edition.


[From the German of Rinck, in Theol. Stud. u. Krit.]

The difficulty of explaining the origin of evil from the pure creation, as it proceeds from the hand of God, leads to many untenable assertions. Thomas Aquinas, Beza, Leibnitz, Schleiermacher, Hegel and Rothe, by presupposing evil as fundamental, and its development as necessary, only avoid the difficult explanation of its origin, and in a greater or less degree attach blame to the Creator of the human race. It is as if an individual, to avoid deducing the finite from the infinite, should resort to the hypothesis of an eternal creation, by which the subject is rather obscured than explained.

Leibnitz assumes a metaphysical imperfection of the creation as the source of evil. According to Hegel, sin is a speculative, logical (intelligible) necessity, because without it the good could not realize itself: good had need of evil as a spur to its progressive movement. He regards sin ás included in the very conception of humanity. Dr. Rothe Ethik, vol. ii, p. 180) places the essence of sin not merely in self-seeking, but also and mainly in the necessity of matter. The passage through sin, in his opinion, is a metaphysical necessity. He conceives of our first parents not as mature at their creation, but destined to spiritual development; consequently their material part, in the absence of training, must gain the upper hand; and imperceptibly, and without blame, they found themselves, by their development, in sin. Hence evil lies in the divine world-plan, not merely as something permitted,—it lies unavoidably in the creature, on account of his origin,-in the fact of his coming into existence in contradistinction from God: but as creature-evil has been ordained in the plan of the world, so also has its destruction, as it may come to light. Rothe (p. 204) openly declares that the effort to separate evil from all connexion with the divine causality must ever remain an idle undertaking;” although even he himself, in a measure startled at this result, imagines himself to hold the causation of human sin entirely apart from God. He says: “The divine production of evil is at the same time its absolute destruction. Within the sphere of redemption the necessity of sinning is not entirely removed, but is conceived of as constantly vanishing."

According to Dr. Julius Müller, (Lehre Von der Sünde,) on the contrary, sin does not lie in the divine order of the world, but arises through man himself, -through his self-determination, and is not necessary, but evitable. Because he finds himself unable to fix in time the point at which evil begins,-unable to prove and comprehend it, he assumes a self-determination of the transcendental freedom before our individual existence,-a spiritual original evil: sin arose when the embryos of personal being yet lay, as it were, in the womb. Since no one knows anything of this original state, we may imagine many things therein, whose entrance into the sphere of reality we are not able to explain; but it is always perilous to imagine such a condition of our race merely for the purpose of solving a riddle, -especially such an ideal condition in which there must have been still less incitement to evil than in the material existence.

The Mosaic record, in its ancient simplicity, and in agreement with our knowledge of God and of ourselves, appears to explain the difficult question of the origin of evil much better than our philosophers and theosophists, with their dialectical wisdom. The question whether the Bible account of the fall should be taken literally or figuratively does not concern our argument; for should it be taken literally, there lies in the representation in the shell less than in the kernel; and this kernel is in any case a concealed meaning, which is to explain the origin of sin, and on which alone it depends.

God caused the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil to grow up in the midst of the garden, and commanded man: “Of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat; for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This tree of knowledge, as planted by God, is not yet evil, but contains in


itself the choice between good and evil,—the innate possibility of sinning, which possibility is bound up with the very conception of 3 free being, whose liberty is not the divine necessity, but lies outside of it. It is a tree of divine commands and prohibitions,-objectively conceived, the object of knowledge; or, subjectively, the possibility of transgressing the command, the object of free choice. Alongside of this stands the tree of life; and both are united to prove that the mere possibility of evil, which is involved in the creation of man, is not yet anything evil or death-bringing. Only with the realization of the possibility does opposition to the tree of life arise; i. e., the true life is forfeited, and death, curse, and destruction appear in its place. The tree of life which the living God had planted for man, and his expressed will not to eat of the tree of knowledge, presuppose the possibility of not transgressing: because God could neither require anything impossible of man, nor involve him inextricably in the meshes of a scheme which would certainly exclude him from the tree of life. The origin of evil from absolute good must forever remain inconceivable; not so with relative good. If we hold fast to this difference, the objection of Rothe will not hold: “The religious-moral perfection of the first parents of our race would exclude all psychological possibility of the fall." But this possibility is explained by the creation of man, who, as it were, stands out of God; not holy and perfect like God, and yet not a mere creature like the beast: he is not under and in the law of necessity, but possesses the likeness of God and freedom. The perfection of a creature is not divine, not absolute. The want of such perfection in a creature casts no shadow upon the Creator: if it did, we should be compelled to blame him for becoming a Creator. According to the doctrines of emanation and pantheism, which mix God and the world, the fall cannot be explained; but only according to the doctrines of God and of the creation. When, then, by the creation, God set free beings out of himself, then the possible departure from God was given, and the question,

- Wherefore did not God hinder the evil that he foresaw? is entirely inadmissible. God does not prevent evil, because by so doing, contrary to his own will, he would injure and destroy the province of freedom (the divine image.) Thus, our Saviour did not hinder the murderous blows of his enemies, while at the same time he did not will or excuse them. In like manner, God was Lord over the parents of our race, and over the serpent: but if he by his own will restrained his highest power, and left free play-room to free created beings, and still retains the government, he is not therefore destitute of power, but only consistent, and worthy to be adored.

Dare the creature be so bold as to ask the Creator: Wherefore hast thou placed the tree of knowledge in the midst of Paradise, by the side of the tree of life,—wherefore hast thou given me the liberty, whose abuse thou foresawest? Shall the work speak to the master, and say, why hast thou made me thus? Man should rather complain of himself, but give thanks to God that he has endowed him with such prerogatives, and glorify him with soul and body, which are God's. There was no necessity at all to sin; that complaint can only be established on the ground that, as Rothe teaches, evil inevitably developed itself. Besides, from the beginning of the world God had provided for the human race, whose fall he foresaw, the most perfect means of grace and gifts, in order to make that injury abundantly good, and to lead back the fallen ones to himself and his kingdom. Indeed, as all evil, so also must the sin of our first parents redound to the praise of the merciful God; because by it was conditioned the mission of the second Adam as the Redeemer of the world. Now is he that is least in the kingdom of heaven greater than the greatest born of woman: for it is not with the gift as with the sin. (Rom. v, 12–15.) Let it therefore be far from us to complain of the Creator, on account of sin which he neither caused nor consented to, and which must only contribute to the glory of his unfathomable grace.

But the possibility of the fall without blame to the Creator being admitted, another question arises: Through what untoward incitement did it become a reality ? Even to this question the Scriptures give a satisfactory answer : it took place through outward prompting, —through evil spiritual influence, which was already existing in creation. Upon the basis of a created but still spiritual existence, the possibility of being moved and poisoned by an influence at enmity with God must be admitted. The inexperience of our first parents, who were not isolated in the new world, corresponded exactly with the subtlety of Satan in the form of a serpent. The kingdom of Satan, as a spiritual power, and the peccability of the first pair, whose pure self-determination was ensnared and obscured through that power, furnish a satisfactory explanation of the fall. The fall itself was certainly a free self-determination, otherwise no blame could attach to it; but not altogether so: both the decision and the guilt were shared by the devil, as the murderer from the beginning : it was a coöperation of human freedom with the temptation of the evil principle himself. The power, however, of the spiritual contact and influence is great, and far stronger than that of the sun upon the planets in the kingdom of nature. The complete expulsion of the evil principle is reserved, according to the

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