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second, third, and fourth stories, no crowded garrets and underground cellars. In that case the offal of these sacrifices would have had to be carried by Aaron himself, or one of his sons, a distance of six miles; and the same difficulty would have attended each of the other transactions above mentioned. In fact, we have to imagine the priest having himself to carry, on his back on foot, from St. Paul's to the outskirts of the metropolis, the skin, and flesh, and head, and legs, and inwards, and dung, even the wbole bullock, and the people having to carry out their rubbish in like manner, and bring in their daily supplies of water and fuel, after first cutting down the latter where they could find it ! Further, we have to imagine half a million of men going out daily—the 22,000 Levites for a distance of six miles-to the suburbs, for the coinmon necessities of nature ! The supposition involves, of course, an absurdity. But it is our duty to look plain facts in the face."
We are not surely to believe the statement as historically true, that the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, besides children; and a mixed multitude that went up also with them, and flocks and herds, even very much cattle; the human beings computed in the total at two millions? It is, as Dr. Colenso says, "utterly incredible and impossible” that this vast body of people of all ages, summoned to start at a moment's notice, actually did start at a moment's notice, not one being left behind, with all the flocks and herds, which must have been spread over a large space of country.
We are not further required to believe the statement relative to the duties of the priests at the exodus to be historically true. There were but three priests-Aaron and his two sons. They were to bare for their own use, and the use of their families, the skins of the burnt offerings, and the shoulder and breast of the peace offerings of a congregation of two millions of people! They were also to have the whole of the sin offering and trespass offerings, except the suet, which was to be burnt upon the altar, and the whole of the meat offerings, except a handfal to be burnt as a memorial, and also this was to be eaten only by the three males, in the most holy place! We are not further surely to believe the statement to be historically true, that during the Passover lambs were to be killed, during the space of two hours, by the priests, within a court capable of holding only 5,000 people, at the rate of 1,250 lambs a minute ?
There is no claim set up that these things were done by any Divine aid. They were not the subject of miracle at all. They are clearly errors of statement, to say the least, which necessarily involve the consideration of the Pentateuch as unhistorical. How is it possible, indeed, that the statements in detail of the Pentateuch can have for us any historical importance, proved, as they have been proved, to be absolutely impossible? It is not a question of policy, or discretion. We don't believe, whoever else may believe, that if "ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." Even if ignorance were bliss, we should consider it wisdom to be wise. Let the fullest and clearest light be thrown upon all subjects, however sacred. “Let there be light,” should be the motto attached to every subject. Shirk no difficulty; hide from no obstacle. If the Pentateuch be historically true, let it be demonstrated; if it be not true-and in its details it cannot be true-then let us know how much is true, and how much untrue. If any portion of the Pentateuch, through imperfect translation, is capable of amendment, let it be amended, and so get quit of much of the objection of the intelligent sceptic, who withholds his faith because his reason is not convinced. Christianity is a reasonable and a rational service; and so is the demand made upon us in our belief of historical incidents. If they are contrary to reason, it is not reasonable that we should believe them. You may affirm that black is white, but your affirmation does not make it so.
One class of writers and speakers affirm that the Pentateuch is historically true, because of the frequent reference made to it by Christ, by Stephen, and by Paul. But do they, by their reference, prove that things which were impossible were possible ? Do they not prove, by their reference to the writings of Moses, that, as Jews, they took advantage of any portion of the Pentateuch which would aid them in their object, and which had for the Jews the highest authority? Not that they, by their reference, proved the truth of the Pentateuch any more than Paul, when he referred to the games of the athletes, expressed his approval of the games. This evidence is, therefore, quite outside of the subject. It should not have been dragged into the controversy. It is simply asking Christ, and Paul, and Stephen to acknowledge errors in numbers, and difficulties and obstacles which are physically impossible. We content ourselves with believing that the reference Christ and Stephen and Paul made to the Pentateuch was to illustrate and enforce some doctrine, which reference would have for the Jews & special charm and interest. But it is the height of absurdity to maintain that, because Christ and the apostles referred to the Pentateuch, the books of Moses must therefore be bistorically true. This is logic run mad. It will, however, be the method of proof adopted by the declaimers in this controversy, but it will by no means be the stronghold of reasoners.
However, be the Pentateuch proved historically true or his. torically false, the Bible will still have for us, as it ever has had, the charm of being the divinest book in the world. We shall still look to its promises, and reverence its commands; and if we cannot implicitly believe its every word,—its words of detail in its historical portions, we know we can and do believe its great fundamental doctrines that have reference to the life here and the life hereafter, and which are quite unaffected by the verity or otherwise of the books of Moses. And we further believe that the spirit of inquiry, which has been generated by this book of the Bishop of Natal, will resound to the praises of Him who is all truth. We have no fears. The truth will not suffer. If, in the process of inquiry, it should be found that the record is clogged with some of the dust of the ages through which it has been handed down, he surely must be con. sidered its truest friend who points out, with a reverent hand, its imperfections and additions,-not to destroy it, but to build it up in the higher and holier thought of men. Happily, this spirit of intelligent and serious inquiry is receiving the sanction of "the lords spiritual.” The Bishop of London, in his recent charge, said, “ As to free inquiry, what should we do with it? Should we frown upon it, denounce it, try to stifle it? This would do no good, even if it were right. But, after all, we were Protestants. We had been accustomed to speak a good deal of the right and duty of private judgment.
Was he convinced of the heavenly origin of those great truths for which the Church of Eng. land had been appointed by the Lord Jesus as the chief witness upon earth? And should he, from a craven fear lest these truths be shaken, disparage the use of the great instrument of reason which God had given to man for the investigation and defence of truth?
He would set himself to work as being conscious of the value of that priceless gift of reason, to discipline himself and help others, that they might use it as God directed, and he should feel confident that its investigations, rightly and
reverently conducted, must result in furthering the cause of the God of truth. As members of the guild of British Controversialists, we hail these words of the good Bishop. They might well form the motto of the British Controversialist itself, and entitle their author to a cherished place amongst that band of brothers, ay, and of sisters, who agree to differ.”
E. H. K.
IS AN AGE OF GENERAL INTELLECTUAL CULTURE UNFAVOURABLE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF GREAT MEN?
GREATNESS is, of course, a relative term. · The distant hill, Primrose,” is called by a novelist, “the Mont Blanc to which London is the Chamouni.” Snowdon is a lofty hill in Wales, Ben Nevis in Scotland, and the Peak in England; but what are they compared with the awe-inspiring Alps, the heights of Dhawalagiri, or the sky-reaching Chimborazo?
“ The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
Neighboured by fruit of baser quality." So, in the old times of the world, “blind Mæonides" sung his matchless epic regarding the relentless wrath of Peleus' son, while
the world was little learned. Socrates, too, in an age of ignorance, gave profound impulses to philosophy. In an age of barbaric mobs and unreflecting crowds, Sophocles graced the stage of Greece with stately spectacle. In the Middle Ages the great schoolmen acquired fame by learning at which a member of a country mechanics' institute laughs. In America, where common schools abound and everybody does verses, there are no great poets; and in Scotland, where everybody dabbles in Latin and Greek, there are no great scholars, or at least they are few and far between. In the days of railway invention there was scope for the display of originality of mind, and we had the Stephensons and Locke; but now that the laws and limits of engineering have been, as it were, made into a sort of orthodoxy, ingenuity is at a discount, and Scott Russell or Brunel are thought unsafe. In the days when new feats are in many paths possible, the opportunity for distinction is manifold, and in many ways fame may be attained. To start out from the beaten track is itself a certain kind of greatness; a greatness which, however, in settled times is called oddity, eccentricity, or madness. When all the avenues of industry and effort are filled with plodding, safe men,men who go by the rules of former great men, and therefore prove themselves to be only second-rate ones,--there is a positive risk in trying anything new or beneficial. The intense conservatism of the human mind, which dwells with complacency alone on the safe, the usual, the customary, the tried, acts as a Bramah press upon the minds of men, to pack them down to the common level, and to keep them there. In the days when few men could read, the "benefit of clergy" was granted to all who could manage to mumble over a paternoster on a book. They were great because all was little. In the years when monks alone could write, and even lords knew no way of signing their own names, the monks were great, and gained the fat and riches of the land, because of their skill. Now, when every man can scribble, who thinks mere penmanship-unless of a very high class indeed—a ground for admiration ? Every single power or attribute that grows common among men increases the difficulty of becoming great, just as in an age of extensively distributed wealth it is difficult to become rich. The nobleman whose lands afforded him a lofty place among moneyed men, is now no longer reckoned wealthy; for there are many millionaires and millowners who can look down on his immense rent-roll as a paltry pittance compared with their magnificent incomes--incomes which make them princes, while the other remains-only a lord.
The widest induction possible inakes the truth of this statement indubitable. The olden times were the days of notables. The gun in warfare levels distinctions of height and muscular fibre; the cannon sweeps its vast circuit, whatever opposes it ; and modern heroism is less and less remarkable. The opportunity is wanting. Individual bravery is a rare thing ; the bravery of masses now most distinguishes men. In the workshop men are wrought far more into a levelness of power by the division of labour, and yet, thougla all human skill is employed to refine and train that single sense engaged in the execution of the day's work, who ever hears of great men being developed in the workshop at their particular arts ? Individuality of power, thought, labour, aspiration, become rarer and rarer every day. Fashion places an extinguisher upon the human spirit, and every original mind puts its light under the bushel of rontine, custom, and payableness. To be original is to be suspected, is to make life's pathway uphill and arduous; to be an ordinary individual is to be safe, sure, and respectable.
Look at the long, dreary days of apprenticeship served by Dickens before fame and fortune reached him. Take Thackeray as another instance; read his minor works, and reckon the task-work he performed prior to his success. Jerrold is an instance still more german. Compare Tennyson and Alexander Smith; the one aequired his fame after nearly twenty years of toilsome effort-the other flashed into a banble reputation before the number of his years were much more than twenty. Take the essays of Brimley, and the portrait galleries of George Gilbllan, and try their worth seriously; and then poll heads for those who know the megalotherium of metaphorists, and those who have heard or read the choicest English criticism of our age. Spurgeon and Trench, R. H. Horne and Mr. Tupper, Cumming and Mansell, Dixon and Spedding—where can more singular contrasts be found ? and do not these contrasts emphatically prove, that, in an age of general intellectual culture such as ours, to be a mere average patronageable man is far easier than to gain a due reputation ?
General intellectual culture manufactures mediocrities: mediocrities are almost always safe, often well connected ; and so the places, encouragements, and honours of an age are heaped on them. This depresses the great man. He is voted a Bohemian. So strange, wayward, fantastic, and unstable--are the words applied to him. He is held aloof from place and power ; he is kept in a continual struggle, and he often dies in the midst of that harsh fight, forced upon him by the mediocrity-loving world in which he lives. Who cares about encouraging a young lawyer, a new author, an untested actor, a fresh statesman, an ingenious engineer, an unknown inventor, or even an unrecognized clerk? Who would not rather trust an octogenarian, palsied in heart, brain, and body, rather than a brisk, bran-new, studious lawyer to conduct a case in the Court of Chancery? The age is not pliable upon topics of this sort; nothing can make it consent to new men, unless the power they bring is so intense as to astound, and perhaps frighten the world. Currer Bell's life shows how hard the world is to striving merit.
Everybody sees the tendency of the present age to monotonize life,-to dress, educate, and train all women alike, to fix men into peculiar sects, sets, parties, lines of business, forms of speech, and habits of life; to make even the reading of a man of a class description. All this is inimical to true greatness—to greatness of any kind-except that of rascality, which has been wondrously rampant