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cosmologist, astronomer, zoologist, or chronologist ? Does not a question of land and brotherly peace lie nearer His province than questions of cosmological and astronomical science ? “ The very essence of faith and its contents is seen in the fact that Holy Scripture shall bear the shame and lowliness of the cross. The essence of faith is that its teaching, which is all life, and power, and blessing, shall be hidden under weakness and death, suffering and shame. So it was with Christ, the Lord of glory. So it is with the whole of our Christian life up to death and the grave. Luther says, “If faith is to exist, all that is believed must be concealed; and it cannot be more thoroughly concealed than when the exact opposite appears and is experienced. God makes alive by killing, justifies by counting guilty, raises to heaven by taking to hell. He conceals His eternal mercy under eternal wrath, His righteousness under unrighteousness.' Can it be out of harmony with God's Word that in it also life should be hidden by death, truth by error ?” What, it is asked, are the moral and religious defects of the book of Esther, or the scientific and chronological errors of Ecclesiastes, in comparison with the moral faults of the heroes of the Old Testament? “It sounds very religious when Bonaventura asserts a sevenfold sense of Scripture - historical, allegorical, tropological, analogical, symbolical, synecdochical, hyperbolical-whereas Lyra retains only the well-known four: Litera gesta docet, quid credas allegoria, moralis quid agas, quo tendas anagogia ; and, in our century, Stier is satisfied with the double sense. There is something very suspicious in this human glorifying of Holy Scripture."

Luther's attitude to Scripture is appealed to. He made light of one or two books, and put others in the foreground. “We come back to the question whether the faith of the orthodox Fathers of the seventeenth century and their representatives in the nineteenth was better than Luther's? Luther, the ignoramus and novice; Quenstedt and Calov, the masters and models! Luther looked at the whole of Scripture from the view-point of justification. What agreed with this he saw with perfect clearness; what did not, he overlooked. Is this a fault? For the theorist and scholastic certainly. But the Church and kingdom of God is no school or academy, but a harvest-field, growing from stage to stage; and each stage of growth is not the whole, but only a part, yet a part full of life, and therefore one with the living whole."

What Luther said of justification must be affirmed of Scripture: “Nothing can be given up, though heaven and earth fall. On this everything that we teach and do against Pope, devil, and all the world, hangs. Therefore, we must be certain of this, and not doubt, else all is lost, and Pope and devil carry it over us." Here also his saying applies: “Fides vero si tangitur, tangitur pupilla oculi nostri.” What does all this apply to? “Not law and morals, not theology or doctrine, to say nothing of philosophy and speculation; but it is the simple and childlike Bible-history, which our children learn, or ought to learn, in the schools. This simplest and most despised among the subjects of modern days contains heavenly treasure for him whose heart God opens; still, "we have this treasure in earthen vessels.' . ... This fact of the Cross, which the Apostle calls the folly and weakness of God, cannot be understood and prized, unless we get into the line of the history just spoken of. in distinction from the revelation of the Creator in nature, of His wisdom and power, that history is the revelation of God the Redeemer, of His mercy and lowliness, His self-humbling, nay, sacrifice unto death. This history is the history of true religion. In the sense of the natural man, religion means that man judges himself by God's law, keeps His commands, and lives to His glory. Really it is not so, but man deceives God and himself. But in that history God judges Himself by man's law, condescends like a Father and pities like a Father, and at last lets wickedness and

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craft triumph over Him. This is the Divine drama of the sacred history. That is, the Divine folly is wiser than men, and the Divine weakness stronger than men. Only from this drama do we come to know God truly. If thou canst believe in this God, in Him thou hast forgiveness, righteousness, and eternal life.”

These extracts show the doctrinal position of the writer. We have not quoted the strongest statements respecting the distinction to be made between the spiritual and the material element in Scripture. The last sentence runs: “The cornerstone, on which we are built as living stones, is no dead, passive stone, nor yet a book, but the living person of our Lord and Saviour, as it meets us in the sacred history of the Old and New Testaments. This living Saviour let no one bind with doctrines or commands of any kind as with graveclothes, even though he professes to take them from Holy Scripture."

Another representative is Dr. Frank, one of the ablest of orthodox Lutherans, author of the System of Christian Certainty. In an article in the Neue Kirchliche Zeitschrift (1892, Second Part) he expresses the fear of divisions in the Lutheran Church on this question. The danger arises chiefly from the desire of those who hold the rigid views of the dogmatists of the seventeenth century to make absolute inerrancy a test of orthodoxy, in other words, to make, not inspiration, but a mode and method of inspiration a fundamental question. Such an effort was made at the general Lutheran Conference at Hanover in 1889, though nothing came of it. It was not disputed on any side that, as the confessions say, the writings of the Old and New Testaments are the limpidissimi et purissimi Israeli fontes, the unica regula et norma, by which all teachings and teachers must be judged. But beyond this some wanted to declare that error of any kind is incompatible with the truth of Scripture. Dr. Frank points out that such a decision could only be arrived at after the most patient and minute investigation, such investigation as is now going on, though no one knows when it will at all approach a conclusion. There is also a previous question, viz., to what extent the received text, especially of the Old Testament, has been modified or corrupted ? “Who can say definitely that no errors have crept into the numbers of the Old Testament text by the fault of copyists, while we are not in a position to discover them as in the case of the New Testament ? How much uncertainty remains even in the New Testament!” If we argue, as old writers did, on à priori grounds, that God could not permit such corruption in the text, or that since Scripture is God's Word it must be free from error, we might remember the saying, which may also be inspired, “ My ways are not your ways, and My thoughts are not your thoughts.” “Is it not similar in our own lives? We know God's hand is at work in them, and yet our faith would teach God what He should do. God's plans are certainly right, but they are more intricate than ours. We may be perfectly agreed in accepting the statements of confessions respecting Scripture, and yet may be unable to give a definite judgment on special questions. This or that expert in Scripture study perhaps ventures to do so; others would not go so far, perhaps never would do so. Would it not be prudent to recognize this state of things instead of prematurely forcing a decision, and so occasioning divisions ?"

Dr. Frank criticizes an effort which is being made in certain provinces to establish a new Lutheran Conference" for the discussion of “ doctrinal questions of all sorts” on this basis among others—the acceptance of Scripture as “God's Word without error.” The proposal decides and assumes one of the questions most in discussion at present. “The Lutherans allied there have, as it seems, the solution of this question behind them; we have it before us. How they have succeeded in

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settling it so rapidly, I know not; perhaps it is in the characteristic way of inference from assumed premisses." “Hitherto we have had patience with Luther when he, perhaps wrongly, used expressions which contradict the strict doctrine of Inspiration. It is hard to see why we cannot still bear the contradiction, if there is any, at least until the subject under discussion has been really threshed out. The Church's custom has been to adopt definitions of doctrine only after their truth has been inwardly felt and approved. That this has not yet been sufficiently done I think I can safely assert, and the future will not deceive me if I assert further, that the doctrine of the old Lutheran dogmatists of the seventeenth century, which never became the doctrine of our Church, never will become its doctrine if God's Spirit shall still guide our Church into all truth. It must come to this, that the Church, not merely theologians, will come to see that the affirmation of Holy Scripture as God's Word, of its inspiration and freedom from error, by no means involves the exclusion of mistakes, which, whether original or arising in the lapse of time, do not prejudice saving truth. For the rest, I hold to what I have already said : The wealth of grace and life which the confession of our Church has opened out to us is so abundant and comprehensive, that we have in it enough to meet the needs of our souls and our churches, notwithstanding the ever-advancing process of knowledge. For it can never be that open questions will not occupy theology and the Church ; to deny this is to deny that saving truth is inexhaustible, and that the Spirit continually leads us into such truth. The important point is that we have found the right ground from which to carry on this advance, and to which we inay return when in danger of going astray."

Dr. Grau refers to the opinions of Beck and Hofmann, two great Biblical theo. logians of recent days. Both were men of singular originality and independence of thought. Their whole life was given to the study of Scripture, apart from the teaching of theological schools and systems. Beck in particular was a worthy follower of Bengel. Both also are objects of intense dislike to the so-called “modern " and critical school. Beck writes: “As in general the spirit obtains by conversion an independent insight into Divine things and into their bearings on the natural relations of men, without therefore being raised above the purely human and outward circumstances of natural learning, so is it with Theopneustia. It applies to the mysteries of God's kingdom, spiritual truth, and to the outward and human only so far as it is essentially connected with the former; it raises its organs in this field to a knowledge of truth transcending all human wisdom, but does not instruct them or preserve them from mistakes in things quite indifferent to spiritual truth and belonging to common knowledge, like chronological, topographical, purely historical subjects. The kingdom comes not and stands not in such outward observations, and they are just as incidental and indifferent to the spiritual inerrancy of the authors who deal with spiritual mysteries as to the genius of the poet or philosopher.” Hofmann, in his Hermeneutics, writes : “What belongs to the system of things established by creation is the subject of natural knowledge and perception; only that which is the subject of faith is certain to faith. Holy Scripture is Holy Scripture to us only as the record of that which has the nature of faith. Our certainty of faith, such as we give to Holy Scripture, does not extend equally to that which has and that which has not the nature of faith. Holy Scripture is not an errorless manual of cosmology, anthropology, psychology, &c.; Biblical history is something else than an errorless segment of universal history. This is evident at once in the exposition of the first page of Scripture. Every view of the creation story is erroneous which would make scientific inquiry into creation superfluous or make it depend on the Biblical account. The task of the scientist is quite different from that of Genesis. Holy Scripture is something

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better than a book without mistake; and the mistakes found in it do no injury to that which distinguishes it from all other writings. When one makes its Divine character depend on the proof that it is infallible in what is matter of natural inquiry and knowledge, of mere intellectual research and memory, we judge the operation of the Holy Spirit, whose work it is, by an end which it had not in view.”

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GERMAN OPINIONS on English Books. It is evident that modern English theology is much more read in Germany now than formerly, often receiving respectful mention in reviews. The Theol. Literaturzeitung for February 6th contains no fewer than five notices of English books. Prof. J. Weiss, of Göttingen, reviews the Rev. C. Campbell's Critical Studies in St. Luke's Gospel, and Bishop Moorhouse's Teaching of Christ. Both works are to the taste of the critic and of the review. While finding fault with Mr. Campbell for not distinguishing between what is due to the “redactor" and the sources he used, the critic commends the skill with which the “demonology” and the “ Ebionite” spirit are traced in the third Gospel. “ The author furnishes a really praiseworthy and extremely careful contribution to a description of the third evangelist. . . . . Luke depicts the Lord's life as a conflict of the Son of the Most High, armed with God's Spirit, against the kingdom of Satan.” On the second subject also there is a great number of “fine, perhaps too fine, observations.” The Bishop's very broad treatment of inspiration is scarcely broad enough for his critic. The three other notices, by Drs. Schürer and Harnack, refer to two essays in the Cambridge Texts and Studies, and an account of Syrian and Palestinian Inscriptions, by Prof. J. R. Harris. Dr. Harnack finds a congenial subject in reviewing the new editions of the Passion of St. Perpetua and the Fragments of Heracleon. His criticism is exceedingly minute, and has nothing but praise for the care and accuracy of the editors. The number for March 5th has notices of Prof. Driver's Introduction to the Old Testament, and Rev. G. A. Smith's second volume on Isaiah. Of the first, Prof. Siegfried, of Jena, says, “ The critical results are, generally speaking, those of the new Dutch and German school, which, however, he judges independently, and here and there modifies in detail, or which he further confirms by observations of his own. Quite rightly he often calls attention to the difference between the certainly proved and the merely probable.” K. Budde finds it “a pleasant duty” to commend Mr. Smith's volume. “It is worthy,” he says, “ of the first; it shows the same careful scientific labour, the same courage of a scientific conscience before the Church, the same force and depth of practical exposition, the same delicacy as in the former special discussions." The Theol. Literaturblatt also has careful notices of the Cambridge Texts and Studies, on January 8th of The Apology of Aristides, on January 29th of the Passio Perpetuae, and on March 4th and 11th of The Lord's Prayer in the Early Church. The last essay does not commend itself in every respect to the critical judgment of Th. Zahn. While praising the essay as a whole as giving evidence of diligence, thorough in outward matters and useful, he criticizes the title and most of the conclusions on the different points discussed. The title leads one to expect an account of the use and interpretation of the Prayer in the Early Church; what it really contains is an account of the various forms of the Prayer in Scripture and the Early Church.

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CURRENT FRENCH THOUGHT.

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Good GREATER THAN EVIL. By L. Choisy (Revue de Théologie).--The picture which one might draw of the disastrous effects of evil is of a kind to leave a painful impression upon the imagination, and to incline the mind to pessimistic conclusions. The inability of evil to construct or to preserve astonishes us when we consider the tenacious life and widespread influence which it manifests. How can we explain this tenacity when an examination of matters would lead us to believe that the days of evil are numbered ? At the risk of being paradoxical, we assert the greater power of goodness—that evil is not only inferior to it, but subject to it. We think that an analysis of the problem will show that both in its own nature and in the extent of its influence goodness is incontestably greater than evil.

The first conclusion to which we come is that evil is an intruder. The mere fact that it disunites and destroys proves that it is secondary in origin; it assails a system of things, an organization and unity that testify to a good creative principle. Moral evil presupposes the existence of the moral law, already invested with the character of authority. But for this, evil would not wear the appearance of rebellion. It is because of the abnormal, strange, and destructive character of evil that we have a keener sense of it than we have of good. Disease is more easily recognized and described than health, sorrow than joy, vice than virtue. Why? Because the exception is more striking than the rule, that which ought not to be than that which ought to be. It is because we all feel that in point of time, and in right to rule, light precedes darkness, good evil, and life death, that we consider our present state a fallen one. If good were an ideal to be attained to, evil would be simply & defect, and both the general interest in the question as to the origin of evil, and the impression of its subordination to good, would be inexplicable. We always say, “I am not what I ought to be," and not "I am not yet what I ought to be." And this is because goodness is not an ideal to be striven after, but a reality to which we should remain faithful.

The sovereign character of goodness is also clearly discerned when we observe that evil is a parasite which lives on it, and at its expense. The idle, e.g., live at the expense of the industrious; the vicious prey on the virtuous; and, like a cunning parasite, evil still renders homage to goodness by borrowing from it certain elements which help it to live. A troop of banditti obey their chief. Devotion, reverence, fidelity are thus enrolled in the service of rapine and murder. The stolen booty is kept for the use of all, and is shared according to fixed rules. Justice itself is thus employed in the service of dishonesty. The greatest triumph of this kind is when evil succeeds in winning the title of goodness, and even in gaining for itself the worship due to goodness. When under the sacred name of religion (i.e., the highest good) crimes are committed-murder, impurity, robbery, and persecution, are condoned, or even regarded as holy actions, is not this the highest triumph of evil ? Yet it is only under the guise of goodness that that triumph is won. Goodness can confer a title, but needs none; it can do without evil, but evil cannot do without it.

So great is the power of goodness, that evil is not satisfied with being merely a parasite upon it, it would like to be identified with it. It is ashamed of itself, of its name and lineage, and constantly imitates the voice and manner of goodness. Evil is from the first a disreputable personage, a kind of criminal in flight from justice,

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