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first, yet a better state of things was very generally expected, as we learn from Virg., Ecl. 4. Even if this beautiful idyl had no reference to the Messiah, and was not based on any prophecy,—a point about which there is as yet a great difference of opinion,—that much is certain, that the poet with others looked forward for a better state of things, and believed this new state to be near at hand. When this universal expectation about the time of the Saviour-was not realized, and when even believers found it hard to understand the spiritual nature of the kingdom of God, the human mind fell back once more upon the universal conflagration, which such men as Seneca and Pliny believed to be near at hand (Sen., Quaest. nat., I., 3, and Pliny, Hist.nat., VII., 16, and Sec. Epist.) The eruption of Vesuvius was widely considered as the forerunner of the great catastrophe,--people, however, spoke not of the last day, but of the last night. Lactantius (Inst., 7, 14), who himself believed the end of all things to be near at hand, could, therefore, say with good reason : "The heathen prophets, agreeing with the divine prophets, predict the end of all things while describing the extreme old age of decaying
As among the heathens, so we meet with the same expectations also among the Jews in the post-prophetic times. The platonizing Philo was acquainted with and combated the notions of the Stoics about a burning up of the mundane system; he says in his treatise: IIepi apo apoias Kóruov:
: άψθαρσίας κόσμου : “if, indeed, the transgression of nature's laws by the other creatures of God is the cause of corruption, but in the world all the members have been distributed according to nature, the world cannot justly be called corruptible—it is not destroyed by fire, but is incorruptible.” He was, at the same time, deeply impressed with the close sympathy between man and the physical world, and looked for a change of the enmity of wild beasts against man, saying beautifully: “All beasts are at war with all men, and no mortal can put a stop to this war: the Eternal one can stop it.” And in another place: “ One must not despair, that when the intelligent creatures-men-shall have been tamed, the beasts also will be tamed; and then, as it seems to me, the bears and lions and panthers and Indian elephants and tigers, etc., will be
tamed according to the notions of men.” Of the restoration of all things the Talmud speaks often, and in Kethuvoth, fol. III., c. 3, we are positively told how many feet the human body will measure in the Messianic kingdom, how the holy land will then produce cakes, clothes of the finest wool, what will be the length of the wheat, what will be the size of the grains of wheat, of the grapes, etc., thus creating a complete fool's paradise. In these Jewish and heathen expectations the real cause of the corruption of the physical world, i. e., sin, had been lost sight of, and they had, therefore, no proper idea of the necessity of the removal of this cause, in order to remove its effect also. But the main question that concerns us here, is: whence is this universality of this almost perfect agreement on subjects, of which, as we shall presently see, modern science has even not the most distant idea? If what rationalists and deists and other opposers of the Bible have said were true, viz., that the writers of the New Testament had borrowed their ideas from Jewish and heathen writers, although it needs not be mentioned, that the New Testament writings have added elements which are altogether wanting in the works of their predecessors,-if, we repeat, this position of the enemies of the Bible were granted, the state of things would scarcely be changed--there would still be the same agreement and the same universality, and there is only one reasonable answer to this question, which is : When men left the common house of their fathers, where they had learned both the tradition and the expectations, they took the remembrance of them with themselves to their new homes and transmitted it by oral teaching to their children. That the traditions assumed, according to the innumerable differences of influences under which men came, different shapes, that their expectations were modified to the same, or a still higher degree, is perfectly intelligible, appears as an absolute necessity; but the essence of both tradition and expectation remained the same, and the origin of this tradition, etc., can no more be rationally accounted for in any theory outside of the Bible, than the origin of man himself, and the origin of language can be accounted for in any manner, not stated in the Bible, that is not obnoxious to the charge of absurdity. Whether the Usherian chronology, according to which Jesus was born 4,004 years after the creation of Adam, is correct, or whether it shall be found to require emendations; whether the six days of creation were ordinary days of twenty-four hours each, or whether each day was a period of unknown length,--about these and similar questions there may be differences of opinion, and we shall be greatly obliged for all the light that science may shed on these subjects, and this light will teach us to understand the Bible itself better. But if we have given to us, in the name of science, propositions which are palpable absurdities, involving the absence of a specific difference between man and beast, the descent of man from a “learned gorilla,” the dingdong and the bow-wow theory of the origin of language, including, at the same time, a renunciation of all faith in the Bible: then it is high time to stand still and to ponder the subject well with all the consequences it involves, before we take a decisive step. We intimated above, that there is absolutely nothing in the nature of matter, or of the natural world, which could have suggested the idea of the one or the other of the subjects considered. For what does science, what do astronomy and geology in the second half of the nineteenth century say about the future fate of this earth ? That it cannot remain in its present state, that it cannot exist forever. On this point all are agreed; but what will become of it no one knows, although both geology and astronomy demonstrate the possibility of two diametrically opposite ways by which the final destruction or utter uninhabitableness of our planet will be effected. According to geology onr earth may become a perfect desert, every drop of water disappearing from its surface--by sinking into the interior, thereby creating, perhaps, such an amount of steam as would shatter the whole body to atoms, or the earth may be completely set under water, so that its whole surface forms one uninterrupted ocean. According to astronomy the earth may be drawn into the sun, causing, perhaps, some wind for a few hours on its surface, or the sun may exhaust its heat as the planets have done, or are supposed to have done, thereby converting our earth, as well as all the other planets, into
masses of ice, where neither animal nor vegetable life.can exist. Any other way of destruction science does not know, and how radically different are they all from the ultimate fate of the earth as predicted in the Bible and the universal expectation of our race?
Art. III.-Life and Writings of Juan de Valdés, Spanish Re
former in the Sixteenth Century. By BENJAMIN B. WIFFEN.
With a translation from the Italian, of his Hundred and Ten Considerations, by John T. BETTS. London : 1865.
SPANISH civilization has not been particularly admired by the heirs of Protestant liberty. No free people cherishes gratitude to Spain for any great blessing that she has bestowed upon society during the last three centuries. Only at this late day have we the sample of a free press in that country. On our table lies the fifth number of a small weekly paper, entitled “El Eco del Evangelico," the first Protestant journal ever published in Spain, and it bearing the date of the last year. It is refreshing to see that it comes from Seville, once so notorious for the Inquisition. If the stones of that city could cry out, what revelations would be made! And yet, three hundred and fifty years ago, on Spanish soil, there was growing up a literature in advocacy of that same Reformation, which gave a new civilization to Germany, the Netherlands, and Great Britain. It surprises many of us to learn the quantity and quality of the Reformed writings then and there produced.
The world knows little of the late Don Luis de Usoz i Rio, but the results of his labors may yet be enjoyed with gratitude by goodly numbers of Protestant readers in Christendom. He collected and edited the “Reformistas Antiguos Españoles”—the various writings of the early Spanish Reformers. “He was," says Mr. Wiffen, "like Valdés, by birth uno caballero, a gentleman; and, like him, a person of sound and
exact learning, of great simplicity and modesty, of genuine truthfulness both in his life and writings. He loved his country, lamented its historical decline, and disinterestedly sought its highest welfare. With the exception of two of them, the twenty volumes of the “Reformistas,' besides others not included in the series, were edited by his own labor during five and twenty years; and, with the exception of a single small volume, they were printed entirely at his sole cost and charges, without connection with any society or association, religious or literary; and one private friend alone aided him to procure the recondite materials.” We learn also that but a limited number of copies were published, and these not intended for public.sale. It is to be hoped that some of our libraries in this country may be enriched with these historical treasures.
This scholar, in concert with Dr. Edward Boehmer, of IIalle, and Mr. Benjamin Wiffen, a Quaker gentleman of England, has brought to light very much interesting matter relative to the brothers Valdés. It is not long since the historian Ranke said, “unfortunately the writings of [Juan] Valdés have wholly disappeared.” His most important work, the “CX. Divine Considerations," is now put forth in an elegant English dress, as one of the several modern editions and translations. An English version ran through two editions in the seventeenth century. Nicholas Ferrar translated it, and "the sainted George Herbert” added his notes. They knew almost nothing of Valdés. He was to them a mythic personage, who, with veiled face, had exercised a surprising influence in Italy at the dawn of the Reformation.
Izaak Walton, in his “Life of Herbert,” thus drew the portrait, to us quite amusing: “This Valdesso was for his learn
“ ing and virtue much valued and loved by the great Emperor Charles V., whom Valdesso had followed as a cavalier all the time of his long and dangerous wars; and when Valdesso grew old and weary of the world, he took a fair opportunity to declare to the emperor that his resolution was to decline his majesty's service and betake himself to a quiet and contemplative life, because there onght to be a time between fighting and dying. The emperor had himself, for the same or other reasons, taken