תמונות בעמוד

“Before you produce your main objections to the genuineness of the books of. Moses, you assert that there is no affirmative evidence that Moses is the author of them.'—What! no affirmative evidence? In the eleventh centuty Maimonides drew up a confession of faith for the Jews, which all of them at this day admit; it consists of only thirteen articles, and two of them have respect to Moses; one affirming the authenticity, the other the genuineness of his books. The doctrines and prophecy of Moses are true. The law that we have was given by Moses. This is the faith of the Jews at present, and has been their faith ever since the destruction of their city and temple ; it was their faith in the time when the authors of the New Testament wrote; it was their faith during their captivity in Babylon ; in the time of their kings and judges; and no period can be shown, from the age of Moses to the present hour, in which it was not their faith. Is this no affirmative evidence ? I cannot desire stronger."

When, then, Dr. Colenso states that he waits for the answer of the bench of Bishops, may he not be answered that their reply is needless, seeing that his objections-not his indeed, but the objections which were made long before he was born, and there. fore only objections used by him-have, at the hands of those as learnedly competent as the Bishop himself, received a full and sufficient answer?

J. J.

NEGATIVE ABTICLE.-IV. No seriously minded Christian needs feel alarmed, as if the mainstay of his faith were shattered, because we assert that “the Pentateuch " was not " written by Moses," and that its contents are not “historically true." By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit has been granted under the christian dispensation to teach us what we are to believe, and so to bring comfort to those whose souls “hunger and thirst after righteousness." If belief is to be effective on human life, to give it a divineness and a holiness it cannot otherwise possess, it must be by entering into and working within the heart with Deific power-with transforming efficacy. The philosophy of belief has yet to be learned in its merest elements by those who think it absolutely necessary to regard every letter, figure, syllable, word, and sentence of the Bible in the form we have it as directly, specifically, and individually written under the inspiration of the one only living and true God. This is the veriest idolatry of the letter which killeth, and the most foolish neglect of the spirit which giveth life. God can and does work out His own purposes with and by, in and upon us, among and in spite of our follies, vices, and sins-as He worked out of old times the going down into Egypt by a dream, and the going out thence by miraculous plagues—the destruction of Goliath by a pebble from the brook, and of Sisera by a woman's treachery, of Absalom by an accident, and of Joash by a conspiracy of his own servants. Ordinary human agencies are pliable in the counsels of the Omnipotent for the working out of extraordinary, because Divine ends. So if out of our individual beliefs God works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure, all is well.

It cannot be denied that the Jews believed the Pentateuch, and that influenced by it they became a separate and peculiar people a forerunner people who should prepare the way for the Messiah; but this does not necessarily imply the historical accuracy of the Five Books, much less does it prove that these were the veritable writings of Moses. True, Jesus says they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them ; but that only implies a reference to these books under their common designation, and no more proves the actual authorship than Paul's adoption of the language of Menander in his speech at Athens is evidence of the harmony between Greek mythology and the Christology of the apostle to the Gentiles. The Greek's mythology was a grand series of pictorial and sculptural fancies, but in so far as it influenced the Greek mind, it produced historic results upon an unhistoric basis.

No apprehension needs be felt, therefore, at the negative of this question being proven to be the correct opinion on the subject. No essential of salvation is involved in the question, and no article of christian faith is really negatived by its assertion. All Scripture” may still be regarded as “given by inspiration of God" (though it is to be observed that these words were written before our canon was complete); for only by the inspiration of God, that is, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit in them that by faith receive them, are they made, or can they become, effectual for salvation.

In regard to the first portion of the matter of this debate, we observe,

The Pentateuch neither possesses the unity of tone, feeling, style, or narrative which we always expect in the works of one author,-for example, in the writings of Herodotus, Livy, Thiers, or D'Aubigné. The flowing, picturesque record of Genesis, full of grand Idyllic poetry—the magnificent “visions” of the creation, Noah's life, Abraham's wanderings, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the biography of Isaac, and the world-renowned pastoral of Joseph and his brethren, &c.-is quite distinct from the minute, technical, bondaging Book of Leviticus; and the jejune catalogues of Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, cannot be harmonized, but contain more divergencies and divarications than all the four Gospels, with their Straussian loopholes, afford-especially in their sabbatism. See Exod. xx. 8-11, where the rest of God is given as the reason for observing the sabbath; and Deut. v. 12–15, where the release from Egypt is given as the reason. The alterations in the Deuteronomic law, and that contained in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, are very numerous, and incapable of reconciliationas the productions of one and the same author. Read even the 1st chapter of Deuteronomy, and mark the transition of style between the first six verses and those contained in chap. i., verse 7, to chap. iv., verse 41; and again, chap. iv. verse 41, to chap. v. verse 1, and the work of an editor will be plain. So also in chaps. xxix., xxxiii., and xxxiv. In all these passages, and many besides, the hand of an editor is palpably present.

Moses must have known his own age, yet the writer of Exodus makes him eighty years of age when he asked Pharaoh to release the Hebrews, and makes the Jews eat manna forty years in the wilderness, yet the writer in Deuteronomy makes Moses die aged 120 years.

To the same purpose I present to the reader an extract from the English translation of Spinoza's “Tractatus Theologico-politicus," of date 1689, kindly furnished to me by the possessor of this rare work, viz. :

"First, the writer of these books doth not only speak of Moses in the third person, but also testifies many things of him, namely, God spake with Moses, God spake with him face to face, Moses was the meekest of all men,' Numb. xii. 3; "Now the man Moses was very meek, above all men upon the face of the earth, • Moses was wroth with the officers of the host,' Numb. xxxi. 14 ; 'Moses, the man of God,' Deut. xxxiii. 1 ; Moses, the servant of the Lord, dyed,' Deut. xxxiv. 5; * And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses,' ver. 10, but in Deuteronomy, where the law which Moses wrote and declared to the people is set down, Moses speaketh and tells them what he did in the first person, chap. ii. 1, 17:' The Lord spake unto me, and I prayed; but then again, after the historian had repeated Moses' words, he goes on and again speaks in the third person, declaring how Moses delivered to the people in writing that law which he had published. Lastly, the historian relates how Moses warned and admonished the people, and ended his life; all which-namely, the manner of speaking, the testimony and character given of Moses, with the context of the whole history- fully satisfy that the books were not written by Moses, bat by some other person. Secondly, it is to be observed that this history doth not only relate how Moses dyed, was buryed, and that the Jews mourned thirty days for him, but making likewise a comparison between him and all the other prophets that lived after him, saith, he excelled them all, Deut. xxiv. 10, which, as it is the testimony Moses could not give of himself, so could no other man who immediately followed him, but it mast necessarily be one who lived many ages after him, because he speaketh of the time past, saying, there arose not a prophet since; and of his burial he saith, 'No man kpoweth it unto this day. Thirdly, it is to be noted that the history calls some places by names wbich they had not in Moses' time, but by others given long after. Gen. xiv. 14 it is said, Abrabam pursued bis enemies unto Dan, which pame was never given to that city till long after the death of Joshua, as appears by Judges xviii. 29, ' And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born uuto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Luish at the first.' Fourthly, it is to be observed that the histories are continued for a longer time than Moses lived; for Exodus xvi. 32 it is said, “The children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to the borders of the land of Canaan,' namely, till the time mentioned in Josh. . 12. In the book of Gen. xxxvi. 31, · These are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom before there reigned any king over the children of Israel,' the historian, without doubt, there declareth what kings the Edomites had before David conquered them and set governors over them, as appears in the second book of Samuel vi. 11, 14. By all this it is as clear as day that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses."— Pp. 200—203. See also Hobbes' "Leviathan," Part III., par. 33, for the grounds of believing that it is “sufficiently evident that the five books of Moses were written after his time."

Similarly it may be argued that, inasmuch as the Pentateuch

affected the national life of the Jews, and subserved the purposes of heaven, it has had a place in the record of God's providential dealings with humanity, not for its literal truth, but for its operative power upon that nation, and upon the subsequent evolutions and revolutions of history. They are exhibited to us as the origins of the Jehovistic monotheism of the Hebrews; as the grounds of their historic isolation, as the means by which the turn of their thoughts, habits, life, and worship was changed, and kept different from the idolatrous nations around them, and as the means by which they were prepared for the reception of that Divine One in the fulness of time, in precise accordance at once with the purposes of God and the interests of man. The Jehovistic worship inaugurated by the Pentateuch went on side by side with the Egyptic, the Ninevetic, the Chaldaic, the Babylonic, the Greek and Roman mythology. Each had its own historic purpose to fulfil, and then perish. They are all but impotent; this is yet the most powerful and efficacious form of worship, in its christian development, in the wide circle of humanity. Civilization smiles where it spreads.

Moses says in Exodus that he got his name because he was drawn out of the water; yet his name is Hebrew, and not Egyptic. Again, Moses praises himself-if we suppose him to be the author --in a way more egotistical than Xenophon, Cæsar, or Rousseau have done. Exod. iv.; Numb. xii. 3; Deut. ix., &e. The character of Moses is not consistently maintained throughout, nor is the tenor of the philosophy of Exodus at all like that of Deuteronomy; - the former is hortative and persuasive, the latter is full of cursing and bitterness. The chronology of the Creation, Deluge, Exodus, the institution of the Levitical priesthood, does not harmonize with that of any other history, nor do the events of the various books fit into each other with exactness either in their narration or their style. Who cap harmonize Deut. xxxiii. 1–5 with the other parts of the Pentateuch! The second verse seems borrowed from Hab. iii. 3 and Dan. vii. 10; and the fifth from Job xxix. 28. When was Moses king in Jeshurun! and where do we find a record of his reign! The 33rd chapter of Deuteronomyis evidently a paraphrase, or rather imitation, of Gen. xlix. The chapters in Numbers v. to x. are for the most part additions to those given in Exodus and Leviticus-afterthoughts, as it were and on a careful perusal it will be found difficult to reconcile several of its passages with the parallel ones in Exodus. The following passages do not seem to us capable of any explanation upon the hypothesis that Moses was the writer : Exod. vi. 13–29; xi. 1-3; Numb. xxxii. 41 ; Deut. 3. 6, 9. To criticize the various discrepancies of the holy text would demand an extent of space not available here; but the writer believes that the readers of the British Controversialist are thoughtful and honest, and that they will inquire diligently, and search the Scriptures reasonably, and if they do so he does not doubt that they will at least learn this lesson from its perusal, viz., That in all matters of belief, tolerance is our duty; that matters of practice alone demand our moral reprobation; and that in all things a reasonable belief is better than a superstitious acceptance of dogmas : but especially that the fear of the Lord is better than any sacrifice, least of all the sacrifice of our character as intelligent creatures and worshippers. And may the Great Instructor enable each one of us so to read the word of God, as to derive from it the lessons of eternal life.




AFFIRMATIVE ARTICLE.-I11. We are not of those who would advocate any question from party spirit; in fact, the British Controversialists are not partisans; they are seekers after truth for the love of it, and follow its leadings wherever its light indicates the path of duty. It is customary for the affirmative of this question to be held by conservative politicians, and its negative to be advocated by those violent demagogues, those dangerous fellows, that rabble, the Radicals. Of the latter class of politicians, we happen to be an insignificant unit; but we hold most tenaciously the affirmative, that the permanent connection of the colonies with the mother country is desirable. It may provoke risibility on the part of our opponents, but we cannot help it. We are sincere ; but as living martyrs to the truth, we conscientiously adhere to our convictions, until he who hath more light shall dispel the gloom of darkness and ignorance which he considers now overcasts our mental constitution.

It may be tauntingly said we are, as Radicals, disloyal subjects, and unfaithful to our country. We reply, We are the only true conservatives of our country's best and truest interests, and the most loyal of our beloved Queen's subjects. The fact that we advocate the affirmative of this question is proof of the truth of this assumption. We ardently long for the perfect unity and invincible power for good of the Anglo-Saxon race, feeling convinced that it is the great moving power of civilization in this pineteenth century. Hence we are the best patriots, the most loyal Britons.

M. H. commences by an apparent truism, but which in reality is a fallacy. This question can only be viewed as all other questions of a similar nature, in its mutuality of relationship; for in all questions of social politics there is the constant relationship of

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