But the representation here given of the state of sacred philology is so utterly unlike the reality, that one wonders how any person of the acquirements and knowledge of Dr. It must be supposed, by those who read it without the means of correcting the statements by an enquiry into German criticism, that the philologists of Germany have made the spuriousness of the books of the Old Testament so apparent, and have so con- futed the older notions about prophecy, that no man, who had any regard for his reputation as a scholar, would venture to maintain the antiquity and genuine- ness of the Pentateuch, or express a belief in the existence of prophecies which in former ages were appealed to in proof of the great truths of Christianity. In short, that if a man maintained thesis publishing that Moses wrote the Pentateuch or Isaiah prophesied of Christ, he would be met by " a storm of ridicule" under which life would be intolerable. I fear, if all who venture, notwithstanding the sneers of Dr. Williams, to main- tain these opinions, were to follow his prescription, the channel of the Neckar would soon be choked up. But the result of the discussion has been of a very different character from that which Dr. The defenders of the old opinions are now more than maintaining their ground against the impugners of the truth of Scripture. Do Keil, and Havernick, Heng- stenberg and Delitzsch, Lange and his coadjutors in his Bibelwerk, Tholuck and Lechler, with many others of similar powers, find it necessary to " drown them- selves in the Neckar," or to hide their heads coursework psychology in privacy? It is easy enough to make such an assertion in the pages of a volume addressed to general readers in England, but if the assertion had been made in Berlin, it would probably have raised so great " a storm of ridicule," that the author would have been glad to find himself at Lampeter again. The tide has turned, and although some writers of great philological at- tainments, like Ewald and Hupfeld, maintain the rationalist opinions with all the violence which seems a natural inheritance of rationalism, yet the prevailing tone is conservative, and that in a degree which is constantly increasing f.
Williams calls a " destructive" pro- cess, the rationalist authorities were in agreement, or at least, not in direct contradiction to each other, f It is a significant fact that the clever and eloquent sermons of L. Harms, who assails the rationalists continually, and gives them no quarter, have been eagerly listened to by crowds, and created an unexampled sensation throughout the kingdom of Hanover. But when you examine their opinions, you find that they seem to agree in nothing except a determination to reject the theory- of the truth of Scripture. And the consequence is that their theories are often, not only divergent, but contradictory and mutually de- structive. There are among these writers three who have done considerable service in certain departments of Hebrew philology, I mean Gesenius, Ewald, and Hupfeld, and I am very glad to avail myself of the fruit of their labours, but when they begin to reason on the books of Scripture, I find it necessary to watch every assertion with the utmost vigilance, almost every step.
If these men differ so entirely in these minor matters, is not their agreement in one conclusion, viz. It might have some weight in the general argument, if it rested on other and independent grounds, but when that agreement is founded on arguments which each new hypothesis destroys, it appears to me that its value is nothing. Perhaps this may be best illustrated by an example.
If a person is enquiring into the age of the Pentateuch, he would naturally coursework psychology read what Gesenius has said concerning the age of the Hebrew language.
He has laid it down as a rule that the language of the prose writers in the greater part of the Bible is identical with that of the Penta- teuch in its prose, and of the poets with that of the poetical parts of the Pentateuch, such as, e. He assures us that with the Captivity a new epoch of the language begins. Gramberg tells us that some of the books of the Pentateuch were written at the conclusion of the Captivity, and Yon Bohlen declares it altogether to be a production of the age of Josiah. It is true, they all agree in rejecting the Mosaic origin of the Pentateuch, Testament, Sfc, p. There may be prejudices against its Mosaic origin, as well as prejudices in its favour, and if men are de- termined at all events to reject it, one can understand why they differ when they begin to frame hypotheses to suit the facts. But if they are led by these en- quiries to reject it, any two out of these three base their rejection of it on grounds overthrown by the third.
Again, the Song of Solomon is declared by Gesenius to have been written at a time when the Hebrew language had been altered by an admixture of Chaldaic forms and phrases. Suppose, with this decision fresh in our minds, we take up one of the latest publications by a great authority on the Semitic dialects, — I mean Ernest Eenan, — who handles all Scripture matters as freely as our Essayists could wish, we are assured that the Song of Solomon cannot have been written later than towards the end of the tenth century before Christ!