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readers that "the power of pardoning offences is granted to an earthly sovereign, and denied to the Supreme." But excess of light seems to have blinded our philosopher, for he perceives not that, if an earthly sovereign would maintain the stability of his government, and the order of his empire, he must not ccmpromise law in pardoning offences, or, in other words, he must have a reason for the exercise of his clemency. If Mr. Alison can perceive this, and if "nature" and "experience" will permit its entrance into his understanding, he can have no difficulty in admitting the doctrine of an atonement; for atonement is simply a valid and sufficient reason for pardoning offences. But we fear he is so inflated with a sense of his own in measurable superiority to all other men, and so deeply rooted in his prejudices against the Christian atonement, that everything in the form of argument or reason has lost its power upon him. What, indeed, can be expected of a man who forbids all appeal to the Scriptures on this great subject, simply because he has the audacity to affirm that our translation is incorrect; and who has the hardihood to declare that Luther and Calvin had no right conception of the doctrine, because they either did not know, or overlocked the perfection of the Creator? Surely, without any detriment to our readers, or any violation of charity, we may say, "He is joined to his idols-let him alone!"

This volume abounds with other absurdities, to which cur space dces not permit us to advert. We can only, in conclusion, express our astonishment that a man so utterly destitute of candour, and so devoid of all necessary qualifications, should set himself up as a teacher of mankind on the most momentous questions.

THE CREED OF CHRISTENDOM: its Foundation and Superstructure. By WILLIAM RATHBONE GREG.

London: John Chapman. THE great controversy between Christianity and Infidelity, in that peculiar aspect of it which has so long been exhibited in Germany, is now evidently extending itself to the soil of Britain. Increasing acquaintance with continental languages and literature is producing among us, as might be expected, this fruit-that, with some amount of gccd, there is imported among us a large measure of what is positively noxious. The infidel writers, which the last century produced in this country, have long since been routed and driven from the feld. They sleep now in merited oblivion. Their works are to be found now only in the libraries of the curious. Their successors of the present day rarely mention their names, and never quote from their writings, a fair acknowledgement that an alliance with them would be an alliance

with feebleness and defeat. But what their own country's literature, and, we may add, their own critical learning and acumen, cannot supply to them, they are seeking in the newly-constructed arsenals of German ir fidelity, and from thence they are fetching those weapons with which they are now so vigorously, though so vainly, assaulting the citadel of our faith.

The writer of the work, the title of which we have placed at the head of this article, is cne of those minor stars now seeking to shed their borrowed and disastrous light on what they regard as the religious darkness of their country. Mr. Greg possesses some little acquaintance with the writings of the German Illuminati, and he has got this good quality in him, that he is a most decile learner. He sits at their feet with the sin plicity and with the credulity of a child. De Wette is with him a "first authority." For Strauss he has evidently the very highest reverence. They and their compeers are "men of the highest eminence in this very difficult branch of intellectual research." "In the conclusions arrived at by this scientific process," we are informed that, "unlearned students must acquiesce, as they do in those of astronomy, or philology, or geology." "Very few, in this country, even of our educated classes," it seems, "are at all acquainted with this scientific criticism, though it proceeds on established and certain principles." Greg, therefore, who has got beyond our educated classes in this respect, is here doing "all that can be done, which is to give them a very brief glimpse of the mode of inquiry adopted, and the kind of proof adduced." pages 35, 36. The following are the conclusions he arrives at, as stated in his preface:"That the tenet of the Inspiration of the Scriptures is baseless and untenable, under any form or modification which leaves to it a dogmatic value;-that the Gospels are not textually faithful records of the sayings and actions of Jesus, but ascribe words to him which he never uttered, and deeds which he never did; and that the apostles only partially comprehended, and imperfectly transmitted, the teaching of their Great Master."


In the outset of our observations, we think we had better give our readers one or two specimens of this "scientific criticism," as adopted from his German masters by Mr. Greg. They will find, if we mistake not, that its science is akin to that of the ancient sophists, who knew so well how to overlook all the main points of an argument, and in spite of obstacles, which other men would have found to be impassable, to find their way to the conclusions they wished to arrive at. Take the following from the Old Testament.

Mr. Greg is endeavouring to prove what

to a certain extent, we are not inclined to dispute with him, that the Theism of the Jews was progressive. In order to exhibit the advance of one period on another, he arranges in parallel columns a series of quotations from the different books. In connection with the well-known passages in Exodus, about the Hebrews, on their departure from Egypt, borrowing from the Egyptians, and the Egyptians lending to them, he gives Prov. xii. 22, "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but they that deal truly are his delight." We need hardly inform our readers that this transaction was not one of borrowing and lending. This is evident on the very face of the narrative. That the Egyptians, when they were driving the Hebrews from their country, and were urgent with them to depart, with no expectation and no desire for their return, should lend to them, is utterly incredible. We can understand how, in their terror, they might give to them to hasten their departure, and we think that the Hebrews were perfectly justified both in asking and in receiving all that they carried away of Egyptian property. However much it was, it could be but a miserable tithe of what they were justly entitled to, in compensation for their long, and precious, and unrequited toil. It is well known, however, that the translation is an erroneous one. Even "unlearned students" are aware of this. The word which is translated borrow should be rendered ask. It occurs, for example, in Psa. ii. 8: "Ask of me, and I will give thee for thine inheritance the heathen." We should be quite as much justified in rendering this passage, "Borrow of me, and I will give thee the heathen," &c., as our translators were justified in so rendering the word in the passages in question. As for the expression "lent,”- -"The Egyptians lent to them"

-we find Hannah, the mother of Samuel, making use of the same term with reference to her infant son, 1 Sam. i. 28: "Therefore also I have lent (given) him to the Lord." Now, Mr. Greg, who takes no notice of this criticism, was either acquainted with it, or he was not. If he was not acquainted with it, his ignorance would prove his utter incompetence to deal with the subject at all. If he was acquainted with it, his dishonesty in passing it over will suggest another application of the passage from the book of Proverbs,-"Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but they that deal truly are his delight."

The following is another specimen, from the New Testament. He asserts, p. 181, that "The apostles unanimously and unquestioningly believed and taught that the end of the world was at hand, and would arrive in the lifetime of the then existing generation." In support of this assertion he quotes, among several passages, 1 Thess. iv. 15-17: "We

who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep," &c. He takes no notice, however, of what the apostle has written in his second epistle, for the purpose of correcting the erroneous interpretation which the Thessalonians gave to his words in the first epistle, 2 Thess. ii. 1-3: "Now we beseech you, brethren, . that ye be not soon shaken in mind,




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as that the day of Christ is at no man deceive you by any For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first," &c. The apostle then goes on to describe a long train of events which were to happen prior to the coming of Christ, and which, we think any candid reader will at once admit, he must have regarded as destined to occupy a long series of years, if not centuries. The apostasy in the Christian church, the removal of the obstacles that hindered, viz., the heathen empire of Rome, and then the full revelation of the man of sin, were events which the apostle could not possibly have imagined were destined to happen during his own lifetime; and as he warned the Thessalonians against supposing that the day of Christ would come until these events had transpired, it is perfectly clear that the assertion which we have quoted above, regarding the apostolic belief on this point, is entirely erroneous. Mr. Greg, however, takes no notice of this passage. It seems to be quite in accordance with the principles of his "scientific criticism" quietly to ignore it, though the criticism of common sense and common candour point it out as of first importance in connection with this branch of the controversy.


We are the more particular in alluding to this point, in as much as the infidels of the present day make use of it as one of their main arguments against the inspiration of the apostles. Of course, if they really believed that the world was to end during the lifetime of the then existing generation, the question as to their inspiration is settled at once. would be impossible to maintain it in the face of so palpable a mistake. There is not, however, in the writings of any one of them, a solitary passage which will fairly bear this meaning. The circumstance of Paul using the language we find him employing regarding the coming of Christ, when he evidently did not believe that coming would take place till after the lapse of a long series of years, if not of ages, sufficiently accounts for and explains the language made use of by the rest. Some of the passages have reference to the predicted coming of Christ in the exercise of power and judgment, at the destruction of Jerusalem, and others of them to his coming to individual men in the article of death.

It will be seen, from the specimens we have given above, of the way in which this writer

deals with the sacred volume, that nothing like either candour or fairness is to be expected from him. A man of truly honest mind would be incapable of thus passing over, without notice, the main difficulties in the way of the conclusion he wishes to establish. But Mr. Greg is constantly doing this. We hardly meet with anything even approaching to fair argument in the entire volume. This will become more apparent as we proceed.

The following is Mr. Greg's judgment in reference to the Pentateuch:-"It results from inquiry, that the Pentateuch assumed its present form about the reign of King Josiah, B.C. 624, eight hundred years after Moses; that the book of Deuteronomy was probably composed about the same date; that the other four books, or rather the separate documents of which they consist, were written between the time of Samuel and Solomon, or from four to five hundred years after Moses; that they record the traditions regarding the early history of the Israelites then current among the priesthood and the people, with such material additions as it seemed good to the priests of that period to introduce; and that there is not the slightest reason to conclude that they were anything more than a collection of the national traditions then in vogue." Page 42.

Here then are some of those conclusions in which "unlearned students must acquiesce as they do in those of astronomy, or philology, or geology." Nine pages, not very closely printed, and not entirely devoted to this subect, is all the space Mr. Greg needs in order to establish them, that is, to his own satisfaction. We are not going to occupy our space with any examination of the three or four arguments by which he endeavours to sustain them. Those of our readers who feel interested in the subject, will find them most ably refuted in the pages of Havernich and Hengstenberg. Our purpose at present is to contrast the conclusions stated above with the theory advanced by our author in another chapter, on the progressiveness of the Theism of the Jews. We wish to show how completely his theory upsets his conclusions, and what valuable matter Mr. Greg himself supplies for his own refutation.

It is part of our author's creed, then, that the Theism of the Jews was progressive; that during the early periods of their history, their conceptions of God were crude, contracted, and grovelling; but that they gradually advanced with the advance of the national mind, till they attained the lofty and pure standard to which we find them raised in the writings of the later prophets. He informs us, page 71, "That the Jews, as a nation, were not monotheists, i. e., believers in the exclusive existence of one sole God,-till a very late period of their history; that their early and popular notions of the Deity were eminently

coarse, low, and unworthy; that among them, as among all other nations, the conceptions of God formed by individuals varied according to their intellectual and spiritual capacities, being poor and anthropomorphic among the ignorant and coarse-minded, pure and lofty among the virtuous and richly gifted; and, finally, that these conceptions gradually improved, and became purified and ennobled as the Hebrews advanced in civilization-being, generally speaking, lowest in the historical books, amended in the prophetical writings, and reaching their highest elevation among the poets of the nation."

Here, then, Mr. Greg himself supplies us with a standard, which, for the present, we may make use of to enable us to form a judgment as to the time when the books in question were written. According to this standard, those books of the Old Testament in which the conceptions of God-to use his own language-are "low and unworthy," must have been written at a very early period. Now, as it is chiefly in the Pentateuch that he finds those unworthy notions of God, the Pentateuch must have a very early date assigned to it. Mr. Greg, however, thinks that he fixes a date sufficiently early, when he gives, for the first four books, the times between Samuel and Solomon; and, for Deuteronomy, the reign of king Josiah. Let us inquire, then, how his dates harmonize with his theory.

It is quite a truism that Mr. Greg propounds, when he says that the Theism of the Jews was progressive. Though he announces this as a discovery, it is nothing more than is generally believed and maintained among Christians. It was only gradually, and, as it were, step by step, that God unfolded to man his character and purposes. The light which began again to shine after the knowledge of God had been lost, did not at once burst forth in all its fulness. It dawned gently on man at first, and slowly increased as age after age rolled on, until the perfect day of the Christian revelation. This gradual discovery of God's character and purposes to man is quite in harmony with the gradual advance of man himself in knowledge and intellectual capacity. A wise teacher will suit his instructions to the attainments of his pupil. No one would address himself to a child in the same way in which he would address himself to a man of advanced intelligence. So with classes of men. Instruction communicated to them must be adapted to their capacity for receiving it. We find this principle acted on in the successive revelations made regarding God in the Old Testament history. The revelations of God in the Mosaic age advance on those of the Patriarchal times. Those of the era of David and Solomon advance again on those of the era of Moses; and those of the

prophetical era, on them all. What is this, however, but God, in wondrous condescension, adapting the discoveries he makes regarding himself to the measure of man's capacity. Abraham, previously to his being called by God, had been an idolater. This is admitted by Mr. Greg, and is taught in Josh. χχίν. 2. He had grown up to manhood in ignorance of the true God, and of true religion. Let it be remembered, that the human race was then in the infancy of its advancement, and that this remarkable man must have occupied a very different intellectual position from that occupied by those who lived many generations after him. He was standing (if we may use the figure) at the foot of that ladder of Divine knowledge which was gradually to be climbed by his posterity as they became capable of the ascent, till at length the summit should be gained, and man should have learned all that in this life could be learned of the character and plans of God. The discoveries of God which were made to Abraham were thus just what were suitable to Abraham's stage of advancement.

So with the manifestations of God which were made to the Israelites in Egypt, and at the Red Sea, and afterwards in the wilderness. They were just what were then suited for the people. The great mass of them were rude and ignorant, prone to idolatry, and as thorough slaves to sensuality and vice as they had formerly been slaves to the Epyptians. To win such a people from idolatry, to destroy in them the evil tendencies which had been the growth of centuries, and which had been nourished and strengthened in them by the degrading bondage in which they had so long been enthralled; to accustom them to juster views of truth; to train them, in short, to be witnesses to the world for the true and living God, and the future expounders to the world of the true religion ;-this could be no easy task. It appears to us, that the training which they received was just the kind of training which they needed. The signs and wonders which were wrought in Egypt and at the Red Sea, would tend to convince them that Jehovah, he was God. The destruction of Pharaoh and his army would impress them with a sense of the Divine justice. The awful displays at Sinai were precisely adapted to awaken in them the conception of the Divine holiness. These ideas regarding God would be more deeply impressed on them by the teachings of the Mosaic law; while, at the same time, a way was discovered to them by which the mercy of this awful God could be reconciled with his purity and righteousness in its exercise toward themselves. This teaching, indeed, produced its legitimate effect on the Israelites but very slowly. They continued, in spite of it, for many successive ages, obstinately prone to idolatry. No one,

however, will wonder at this, who looks at modern India, and sees how tenaciously the inhabitants of that country cling to their abominable superstitions, in spite of all the light that has been poured on them by the aid of all the combined facilities which the present day enables us to make use of, and in spite of their constant intercourse with the most advanced nation of the age.

We have made the above observations for two reasons. One is, that we may exhibit to our readers-for a purpose which will soon become apparent-the gradual advance of the knowledge of God among his ancient people; the other, that we may expose the absurd and ridiculous notions advanced by this writer regarding the early Theism of the Hebrews. He informs us (pages 72, 73) that "the representations of God in the history of Abraham leave little doubt that the God whom he worshipped was a family God, selected, for some reason unknown to us, out of a number of others who were worshipped by his fathers and his tribe. . . . . In process of time, the descendants of Abraham became a numerous people, and naturally continued the worship of that God who had done so much for their forefathers. Thus the family God of Abraham gradually enlarged into the national God of the Israelites. As the history

proceeds, the conceptions of this God become purer and loftier, till, in the mind of Moses,

.. they reached to a sublime simplicity of expression rarely surpassed. Still there is no reason to suppose that Moses disbelieved in the existence of other gods. The God whom he serves is still the God of Abraham.

He is never asserted to be the only God." Nothing can be easier than to manifest the utter absurdity of these statements and their inconsistency with Mr. Greg's own avowed sentiments regarding the origin of the Pentateuch. The language from which he deduces the novel idea, that Abraham and Moses were polytheists, is precisely the same as we find repeatedly used in the New Testament, and as we are in the constant practice of using ourselves. Christ speaks of "the God of Abraham." Was Christ, therefore, a believer in other gods? Paul speaks of "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Was Paul, therefore, a Polytheist ? We speak, at the present day, of "the Christian's God," and of "our fathers' God." therefore, admit a plurality of Gods? Our Missionaries, in addressing idolaters, often compare our God with their gods. Do they thus allow their gods to be really gods? "But," says Mr. Greg, "we do not find the expression, the only God,' in the Pentateuch." What of this, when, throughout the whole of the five books, the Divine Being is constantly named, in sublime simplicity, GOD? This, of itself, implies that he is the


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only God, the true God, the living God. Is he not represented, at the opening of the Genesis, as creating the heavens and the earth? The Pentateuch was not written to prove that that Jehovah alone was God. It takes this for granted. It proceeds throughout on the supposition that this is true. Yet, because Jehovah is not called "the only God" in the Pentateuch, he was merely "the family God of Abraham, selected from a number of others, worshipped by his fathers!" Mr. Greg tell us, how those writers, who, according to him, between the times of Samuel and Solomon, wrote the first four books of the Bible, could have represented God as the creator of the heavens and the earth, and yet, at the same time, as only a god selected by Abraham out of a number of others? Is it a different God they speak of in relating the history of Abraham, from him whom they exhibit to us as "finishing the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them?" What Mr. Greg has written on this point gives us a very mean idea of both his head and his heart.

But we return from this digression to our main argument. If the first four books of Scripture were written between the times of Samuel and Solomon, and Deuteronomy was written in the reign of Josiah, as Mr. Greg affirms, then they must contain traces of the Theism of these periods. The national mind, according to his own theory, must have made great progress during the four hundred years that elapsed between the era of Moses and that of David.* And we are not without the means of judging as to the degree of advancement in Divine knowledge at which the Jewish people had arrived at the latter of these


We have them in the Psalms of David, and in the writings of Solomon,- men in whom, we are justified in affirming, was embodied the religious sentiment of the most advanced minds then in the nation. Mr. Greg himself admits David and Solomon to have been the authors of at least much that is attributed to them. He speaks (page 227) of Jesus as having been "nourished on the wisdom of Solomon, the piety of David, the poetry of Isaiah." Here, then, in writings which he himself acknowledges to have been composed by David and Solomon, he had the means of applying a test of the very highest kind to his ideas as to the time when the Pentateuch was written. But he has not applied this test. Perhaps he did not think of it.

Or perhaps he had a secret conscious ness that it would fail to sanction the conclusion he was anxious to arrive at. Or, it may be, that he wished to show how this "scientific criticism," of which he boasts so much, could enable him to vault over obsta

We mention the era of David as the middle point between Samuel and Solomon.

cles, of the most formidable kind, to the most astounding results! However this may be, Mr. Greg's whole reasoning proceeds on the supposition that the Theism which we find in the Pentateuch is far behind that of these two Hebrew monarchs. How, then, can he account for the books which contain the Theism of a former age being written in a later age? How is it that, while we find in them only the Theism of the era of Moses, they were not written till the era of David? It would help Mr. Greg a little to establish his conclusion as to the post-Mosaic origin of the books in question, could he point out in them traces of a post-Mosaic Theism. But he does not attempt this. On the other hand, the simple man occupies not a little of his space in proving that they contain nothing of the kind. He tells us, in effect, that they contain not a trace of a Theism in advance of the era of Moses, though they were not written till the era of David! We grant, then, to Mr. Greg, that the Theism of the Jews was progressive; that that of the Davidic age must have been in advance of that of the Mosaic age; but this conveys, to our mind, a most convincing proof, that the Mosaic age was the age when the books in question were written.

The same argument is applicable, with still greater force, to the book of Deuteronomy, which, according to Mr. Greg, was not written till the reign of king Josiah; that is, eight hundred years after Moses, four hundred after David, and one hundred after Isaiah. What he affirms, therefore, of Christ, must have been true of the author of this book. He, too, must have been "nourished on the wisdom of Solomon, the piety of David, and the poetry of Isaiah." Is there any trace of proof, then, in the book of Deuteronomy, that the author of it enjoyed these advantages? On the other hand, is not its Theism identical with that of Exodus and Leviticus? We venture to affirm, that it would be utterly impossible to adduce any proof of this kind in support of the notion that Deuteronomy was written at a later period than the era of Moses. We defy Mr. Greg, or any one of his school, to bring forward a solitary vestige of such proof. All the indications of this kind, which the book of Deuteronomy contains, go to show that it was written during the Mosaic age, and therefore at the same time with the books that precede it.

We may give our readers a specimen of the way in which Mr. Greg refutes himself in conducting his argument. We have stated that, in exhibiting the advance of the conception of God among the Israelites, he arranged a series of passages in parallel columns from the different books. On the reader's left, are the passages which contain "low and unworthy" conceptions of God. On the right,

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