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by men who wish to discredit the teaching and destroy the authority of the Old Testament. No doubt, much of what is known as the Higher Criticism has been the work of men who do not believe in a God Who has cared for man, Who has spoken unto man, and can save man from his sins. It is unquestionably true that criticism has often been used by such men as a means for the destruction of belief in the supernatural, and for the rejection of everything which cannot be expressed in terms of the natural. The way to deal with such criticism is not to deny whatsoever facts of Scripture have been brought to light by their investigations, but to bring to the surface their underlying assumptions and to deal with these on their merits. The criticism of the New Testament, carried on with such vigour and acuteness by the Tübingen School, has resulted in a surer knowledge and a firmer grasp of the historic truth of the New Testament. While the assumptions of the school have been discredited, yet to that vigorous and prolonged controversy we owe a large increase of knowledge and a surer grasp of principles. Such is the state of the matter also with regard to criticism of the Old Testament. A criticism of the Old Testament is possible which shall not proceed on the assumptions of Kuenen and Wellhausen. When criticism is reverent, when it does not assume that the supernatural is unhistorical, when it does not ignore the possibility that God can reveal Himself to man, and when it proceeds on the usual principles of historical investigation, it does not appear why Christian men should object to it. At all events, it is with us, and it does not appear likely to depart. What it is we may readily see, for we can watch its processes and its results as these appear in the hands of believing men. How very different the spirit and method of criticism are in the hands of Dr. Driver and of Wellhausen, while in many instances the results of their criticism are identical.

My purpose here is not to inquire into the methods of the Higher Criticism, nor to enter into the merits of the controversy which is still going

Agreement has not by any means been attained as yet. There are competent men like Professor Green and Principal Cave who still contend for the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. There are other men who believe that the Pentateuch had not attained its present form until after the Captivity. We are not to attempt to decide on so great an issue and between combatants of such vigour and prowess. When we look back on the history of the Higher Criticism, and observe the points on which something like unanimity of opinion has been obtained; when we observe the increasing number of believing men—men who believe the Old Testament to be a revelation from God-who believe also in Criticism, it is obvious that it is not possible for us to act as if the Higher Criticism were not in existence. It is obvious, too, that the Higher Criticism has proceeded on a legitimate method, and has had regard to facts and phenomena which are in the Scriptures themselves. It has proceeded in the way described by Bishop Butler, “by particular persons attending to, comparing and pursuing intimations scattered up and down


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the Scriptures, which are overlooked and disregarded by the generality of the world." There are things in the Old Testament Scriptures which press for comparison with one another, and when these are compared they lead to certain conclusions. There is the fact that there are different names for God in different sections of the Book of Genesis. How can the fact be explained ? When men set themselves to follow out the hint contained in this fact, it leads them on step by step until the conclusion is reached that there are different documents in the Pentateuch. Each of these supposed documents have notes and marks peculiar to itself which distinguishes it broadly from all the others. There is a wonderful agreement among critics as to the characteristics of these documents, as to their extent, and as to their limits; that' there are the Deuteronomic document, the prophetical narrative of the Hexateuch--for the Book of Joshua belongs to the first five books of Scripture, and must be considered along with it—and the priestly narrative of the Hexateuch. Critics, as has just been said, are agreed as to these documents, and it is not likely that their verdict will be reversed. They are not in agreement as to the date of these, nor as to the relation which the prophetical has to the priestly narrative, though there are signs that here, too, there is a growing approximation to agreement. It may be remarked in passing that there are great difficulties with regard to the view which make the books descriptive of ritual latest; for, as Professor Saussaye says, “ The materials connected with ritual are the most original among the elements of religious life, are more permanent. Ritual customs last for centuries, are differently combined and joined with other ideas, cease to be officially ritual and become popular, but remain, for all that, the most stable elements of religion, carrying us back to the most distant time" (Manual of Science of Religion, p. 68). Thus criticism of the Old Testament seems to lead to a position unlike that which obtains in other religions. There are other difficulties also, but we are not to argue the question.

For we are brought face to face with certain facts and arguments as to the structure of the Old Testament. There is the fact of the documents of which Principal Rainy has said, “I do not think that the evidence can be resisted in favour of the use and incorporation in the Book of Genesis of independent documents, distinguished, among other peculiarities, by the names they apply to the Divine Being. .. . I believe it to be quite true, and capable of proof, that distinct and distinguishable documents look out upon us from large portions of the text of Genesis" (The Bible and Criticism, p. 125). But the evidence for distinct documents is as clear for the whole Hexateuch as for the Book of Genesis. If the documentary hypotheses are once admitted, we cannot say at once how far it may carry us. But this must be said, that the question is one to be determined by evidence, and cannot be foreclosed by any predilection of ours. What we have to ask is, Is there anything in the Higher Criticism as it is wrought out by believing men inconsistent with the Inspiration and authority of Holy Scripture ? Is it less consistent with Inspiration than the other phenomena of Scripture already enumerated ? It were somewhat hazardous to affirm this. One thing is evident, that there are men who are both critics and believers in the authority of Scripture. Dr. Driver, for instance, says, “Criticism in the hands of Christian scholars does not banish or destroy the Inspiration of the Old Testament; it presupposes it; it seeks only to determine the conditions under which it operates, and the literary forms through which it manifests itself; and thus it helps us to frame truer conceptions of the methods which it has pleased God to employ in revealing Himself to His ancient people of Israel, and in preparing the way for the fuller manifestation of Himself in Christ Jesus” (Driver's Introduction, preface p. xix.). One might refer also to the venerable name of Delitzsch, "clarum et venerabile nomen,” whose praise is in all the Churches, and whose services have been so conspicuous. His changing attitude to this class of questions, as it may be traced through the successive editings of the Commentary on Genesis, is most instructive, and perhaps may be typical. Every reader of his New Commentary on Genesis knows how large were the concessions he made, and how many of the conclusions of criticism he accepted. Not one of these would he have made had he thought them inconsistent with the Inspiration of the Old Testament. The Divine authority of the Old Testament was a fundamental belief of his, not to be hazarded or surrendered on any terms. If men of the type of Driver and Delitzsch, so competent in every way, so Christian, have been able to reconcile criticism and faith, is there not a presumption that a reconciliation is possible?

Suppose the results, or some of them, true—what is our attitude to be ? Are we to declare them inconsistent with Inspiration, as perhaps is the first impulse of some of us ? Or are we to say that as we have found Inspiration to be quite consistent with many phenomena, which in former times seemed to be quite inconsistent with it, so we shall find in the present instance ? We may have thought, as the conclusions of the Higher Criticism forced themselves on our view, accompanied as they were with a hostile attitude to all that is precious to a Christian man, that such results were quite incompatible with any doctrine of Inspiration. But a calmer reflection followed, and a closer examination of the facts; and it was seen that many things pointed out by the critics were indisputable facts of Scripture. What happened then was this, that we had to widen our conceptions of the phenomena of Scripture; that the great boon of Holy Scripture had not come to man in the simple way we had supposed; that the process of the delivery and preservation of the oracles of God was much more complex, and involved a much more lengthened process than we had conceived ; but is there anything in the discovery of this fact--supposing it to be a fact—which should interfere with the authority of Scripture? Inspiration is consistent with all the phenomena of Scripture, and is consistent with all that the Higher Criticism can find to be true phenomena of Scripture. For my own part, I have not been able to accept all the results, either of Dr.

Driver or of Delitzsch, and on the whole question a great deal of work remains to be done. But surely there is a modus vivendi possible which shall leave men like them time to work out the whole subject, without being suspected, or unduly interfered with.

Accepting, for the sake of argument, the result of the Higher Criticism as set forth by Dr. Driver, in what position do we find ourselves ? Are we constrained to surrender that view of Scripture which looks at the Scriptures as the Word of God and the only adequate rule of life? Far from it. When we have exhausted all that the Higher Criticism has had to say as to the conditions under which the Old Testament Scriptures were given to men, and the literary forms in which they are presented, we have untouched the moral and spiritual qualities of the Old Testament itself. We have its view of God, of man, and of the world, and the influence which these exert on the heart and conscience of mankind. From our increasing knowledge of the religions of the world, and of the forms which these have assumed in the course of time, we are enabled to see that in the religion of Israel we are in the presence of a phenomena which is without parallel in ancient literature. Let us grant that the Hexateuch had not reached its final form until after the Exile, yet even then we are in the presence of phenomena which demand an adequate historical explanation. Five centuries before the beginning of our era, Israel was in possession of truths about God which no other people were in possession of at that time; truths which the most thoughtful and cultured peoples of the world have found adequate to the expression of their highest thought and of their deepest religious feeling. Israel had reached that Ethical Monotheism, that conception of the unity and omnipotence of God, of His creative power, of His providential government, of His ethical character, His holiness, justice, goodness, and truth, which has obtained such wonderful expression in the second part of the Book of Isaiah. The attempt to apply that law of progress which some students of the history of religions have thought they have found in other religions, has failed in the case of Israel. From Animism and Fetishism, through Polytheism to Theism, is the line of advance. We do not speak at present of the difficulties which almost all religions place in the way of the acceptance of this law as an adequate statement of the case. But, at all events, it has failed in the case of Israel. There is an entire absence of those intermediate steps by which the transition is supposed to be made from Animism to Theism. Many of the causes which are supposed to lead to Theism-such as political unity, increased geographical knowledge, a growing sense of the unity of things, increased scientific knowledge, increased powers of generalized statement, or a universal conception of the reign of law-have no place in the history of Israel. But Israel had somehow attained to the knowledge of God, and of His relation to man and to the world. There is a great difference too, we might say the greatest possible contrast, between the kind of Theism reached by Israel and that reached by any other people in the history of the world. Plato could reach the abstract idea of Being, and describe it as the centre and source of all that is. Aristotle could reach self-thinking thought, busied with itself, and removed from all else, incapable or unwilling to come into contact with an actual world of men or things ; and Cicero, generalizing from the features of Roman law, could think of gods and men as a community living in relations defined by law. But these are the highest efforts of the human mind outside of Israel. Here, then, is a people with no wide dominion to raise them to wider views of the unity of things, with no power of abstract thought to lead them to the abstract idea of existence, with no wide grasp of the thought of law to lead them to the conception of an ordered cosmos, who yet rose to a higher view than Greek or Roman ever had. They came to think of a God who in the beginning made the heavens and the earth, of a God not remote nor removed from the world, but who indeed did dwell with men on the earth, of a God of holiness, truth, and love, and they spoke of Him as the living God. How came Israel to rise to so great a height? The answer is obvious. God had revealed Himself to Israel, had dealt with them as He had dealt with no other nation, and has recorded the story of His dealings with them in such a way as to make the record live and move and breathe to this hour with the mighty energy of His continual presence. Even when we grant the results, or all the legitimate results of the critical movement, give to criticism all the rights it can claim, we have still all the mighty resources of arguments of the kind we have outlined, wherewith to vindicate the Divine authority and inspiration of the Scriptures, and their claim to be the Word of God and to be the guide and inspirer of men. But this is an argument which can scarcely be used by men who tie us to the formal discussion of a theme which limits itself to the question : Are there or are there not errors in the Scriptures ?

Another consideration which ought to give us some equanimity in the present crisis is the fact that the Bible does not come to us as an untried book, or one whose merits, worth, and claims have, for the first time, to be sifted. The Bible comes to us to-day with the testimonies of many generations of men as to its Divine truth, and as to its power to guide and

It has been the means of making bad men good, of implanting unselfish motives in the hearts of selfish men; it has been productive of a kind of life which, in the opinion of all people, is the highest kind of life which the world has ever seen. It has, in many respects, made the world new; it has emancipated the slave, has purified personal and family life, has entered into the social, national, and international life of the world; bas made itself to belong to the literature of every nation, and, more than any purely national literature, has become the literature of every people.

While the Bible has thus incorporated itself with the life and literature of the human race, there are many things in it which are at the present moment unappropriated even by the highest Christian nation. The kind of life it embodies and commands, and presents in concrete form, stands out before us as an ideal not yet attained by any man or nation. The worth and excellence of that life is not denied by any one.

If the life contained in

save men.

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