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But it is to be remarked that the contradic- tions I have brought forward are chiefly contradictions on the very subject on which alone these men would be entitled to speak with any authority, — I mean the determination of date and authorship from the language of a book. Williams would lead us to believe, for what he considers an absurd dictum on prophecy, we might quote number- less absurdities from these critics of the most flagrant kind. Did Jerome ever patronize so preposterous a notion as that the name Noah was derived from the Latin no, or raw, (!
Williams about the state of Biblical criticism in Germany. They shew that the impression which any reader of his Essay would in- evitably derive from it on this subject, is entirely m Von Bohlen on Genesis, vol.
Whether he has wilfully and intentionally misled those who cannot check his statements, can only write my essay affordable be known by himself and by Him Who searches the heart, and to Whom he stands or falls.
But if this Essay gives a false impression with regard to the state of Biblical criticism in Germany, its representation of the progress of opinion in Eng- land as to prophecy is still more glaringly unjust, and is calculated to convey a still more false impression of the actual state of prophetic exegesis. Nay, the author seems to give us a descending scale by which we may measure the gradual diminution of faith in prophecy during the last century. Williams have taken the trouble to ascertain what Bishop Chandler does say, before he made so loose a statement? To name them all would carry me into too great length. Williams knows even less of Bishop Chandler than he appears to know of Bishop Butler. Paley was not writing a book on pro- phecy, but in treating of the evidences of Christianity he contents himself with quoting only one prophecy, and assigns his reason for limiting his quotation to that one, viz. It is not that he " ventures to quote" only this as if he were afraid to meet the question, but he actually refers to the book where these questions which lie write my essay affordable out of his own path are specially treated. And now, what becomes of the list of prophecies, " fine by degrees and beautifully less" as years roll on, which Dr.
Williams would persuade his readers have been given up till a grave divine " ventured to quote" only one! The subject is really too sacred, too solemn to be treated in a manner like this.
On any subject such misrepresentation would be very discreditable, but in treating of the evidence for the truth of Holy Scripture it becomes positively criminal.
But if Paley and Bishop Chandler are thus mis- represented, what shall we say to the insinuation about Bishop Butler? So that in the repre- sentation of Bishop Chandler, Dr. Paley, and Bishop Butler, the author of this Essay may be said to have misrepresented every one of them, and to have inter- woven his misrepresentations together into a state- ment which it would be difficult to parallel for its contempt of truth. I have no wish to charge the author with toilful misrepresentation, and I trust he may not have thought of the impression his words would inevitably leave on the mind of any reader of his book, but I appeal with confidence to every reader of plain common sense, whether that is not the only impression they are calculated to make?
Wil- liams may one day be entitled to a tithe of the reverence due to those whom he has thus depreciated. He adduces and answers three lines of objec- tion: 1. It was an objection which had been often made, it formed a strong point of attack, and Butler quietly write my essay affordable points out that it has no force. To those who have a knowledge of the writings of Chandler, Butler, and Paley, or to those who have the patience to examine each assertion of this author, and place it at its true worth, these ob- AND DR. I do not address myself to them, but I address myself to those who might be expected to look to a man of the repu- tation and position of Dr. Williams for guidance in such matters, and would receive his statements with trust. And this is effected by a series of misrepresentations, which it would not be easy to parallel. Let those therefore who read these pages endeavour to learn from the examination of such assertions as these, what depend- ence they may place on other portions of this Essay where they have less means of testing the justice of the statements. Williams has the reputation of an expe- rienced controversialist, it may be desirable to point out one subterfuge, to which he has no right to have recourse : I mean by a quibble on the words " directly Messianic. His whole Essay is constructed on the principle that there are no real " predictions " in the Bible, with two or three insignificant exceptions. This Essay would take away all belief in such pre- dictions, and utterly banish inspired prophecies as 86 BUNSEN, THE CRITICAL SCHOOL, a source of evidence. If he admits that they are inspired predictions, it matters not whether they are so in a primary or a secondary sense. And it is well to suggest to his readers, that although Dr. Williams appears to think it sufficient to deny each prophecy individually to apply to Christ, no attentive reader of the Bible can fail to see that the image of the Messiah is foreshadowed and pourtrayed in its integrity by the combination of these individual features, each of which may be contained in a single prophecy. They are full of wonder when considered individually, but united, their strength is, or ought to write my essay affordable be, irresistible.
Before we leave the general notion of prophecy as having a real element of prediction, we would ask those persons who have been led astray by the assertions — I cannot call them arguments — of this author to read attentively the prophecies in which the fall of the great powers of the world is predicted, and to compare the predictions with the present state of those powers, e.