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subject, is the distinction which he carefully preserves between JHVH, the Syrian name of Deity, adopted by the Israelites, and honored in the cruel and sensual way common to the Syrian worship; and JEHOVAH, the type of that purer faith created and developed, through the centuries of the national existence, by the inspired succession of the prophets.
It is this Name that characterizes the successive revisions and expansions of the narrative we find in Genesis. Assuming the band, or, at any rate, the age of Samuel, as that to which the earlier sketch is most probably inscribed, we are justified in assigning these several revisions (as many as four or five) to as many periods, marked by the increasing familiarity and frequency of its mention. It is here that the parallel investigation of the Psalms offers such important evidence. The names of Nathan and of Gad, prophets in David's reign, and of Jeremiah, as contemporary with the Deuteronomic recast in the reign of Josiah, suggest themselves, if not as the actual writers, at least as representing the successive dates, of the composition. We may fairly presume, that bonâ fide traditions and actual historic names have made the groundwork of much that we find in Genesis. But it would not be against the genius, the mental habits, or the good faith of the composers, if we were to suppose that considerable portions are free, dramatic narrative, - as much so as “ The Pilgrim's Progress or “the Prodigal Son," — composed purely with a view to edification, and with no thought of conforming to historical fact. We have only to assume (the suggestion is our own), that the cycle of patriarchal tradition which we find in Genesis made the conventional stock of material for this style of composition, just as a narrow cycle of myth and legend made the stock of material for the Greek drama; and, without any very violent effort of literary imagination, we may conceive our present, fragmentary narrative, so artlessly pieced together, to be the débris of a body of religious tradition vastly more voluminous, as it was recovered from the wreck of the Captivity, and recast by the hand or the school of Ezra. If Colenso's theory, as it stands, is incomplete, it is, we think, for lack of some such link connecting it with the later traditions. This link, it seems not too much to hope, his future labors may supply, along with a fresh examination of those strange statistics of the later Pentateuch, which have been expanded on such a truly Babylonian scale.
J. H. A.
It might have seemed a hopeless attempt to verify the theory we have sketched, relative to the early history of Hebrew faith and worship, from any sources outside the usual lines of history and criticism. But the ingenuity of a Dutch scholar, Dr. Dozy,* has found, in an obscure passage of the Old Testament (1 Chronicles iv. 39–44), the hint of a migration out of Palestine, as early as the time of Saul or the first years of David ; and has built upon it, with such help as might be gathered from Arabian sources and local names, until he has wrought a shapely sketch of a very curious episode in the Hebrew story. It would appear, that a portion of the tribe of Simeon, already “scattered and dispersed in Israel” when the Oracle of Jacob was composed, — being either expelled (as Dr. Dozy thinks) by Saul, for their slack service against the Amalekites, or (as Colenso holds) driven by pressure of numbers and want, migrated somewhere beyond the territory of Edom, and established themselves by conquest and massacre, after the manner of their fathers, somewhere in the Arabian peninsula, where they founded a sanctuary and a worship of their own. These were no other, argues the Dutch expounder, than the old sanctuary and worship of Mecca, which, after subsisting more than fifteen hundred years, were overthrown by Mohammed, in his first onslaught on the idolaters. If this could be established, — and the philological argument seems plausible,t - it would throw a little gleam of cross-light on the obscure path of the early Hebrew annals. In particular, it would confirm the adoption of the name Jehovah as the symbol of the national worship, at a period at least as late as that assigned to the migration. The old worship of Mecca, with the Arabian traditions referring thereto, make no mention of that name; while in “ Hobal” there is a trace of the name “Baal,” which has been seen to be the generic title of gods in Palestine. Dr. Dozy, it would appear, employs the argument to prove the identity of Baal-worship with the early religion of the Hebrews; his Dutch critic insists upon the distinction between Baal as the Syrian, and Jehovah as the Israelite Divinity; while Colenso maintains that (as above explained) the
The Worship of Baalim in Israel; based upon the Work of Dr. R. Dozy, The Israelites in Mecca." By Dr. H. Oort. Translated from the Dutch, and enlarged with Notes and Appendices, by the Right Rev. John William COLENSO. London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 8vo. pp. 94.
† The word in verse 41, rendered " habitations," is' rendered by Gesenius as a proper name, “Minæi,” — the name of a well-known tribe inhabiting the Arabian peninsula.
Syrian JHVH became, in popular superstition, “ the Baal" of Israel, - a conception assumed, enlightened, and spiritualized by the prophets. This little treatise gives the briefest and clearest general view of that theory which Colenso has elaborately maintained elsewhere.
The essay of another Dutch scholar in this department, though attractive in its title,* offers little help in the study of the topics just referred to. It deals largely with the testimony of monuments and inscriptions, and has the vague, dry, and unsatisfying character that seems inseparable from that style of exposition. Its argument traces an antagonism between the Asiatic and the Egyptian elements in the Hebrew religion. The Patriarchs, descending from the interior highlands, worshipped the deity El-Shaddai, the god of pasturage and husbandry; and, making part of that armed migration known as the invasion of the Hycsos, carried their worship, victorious, into Egypt. The name “ Seth” is not, as we might fancy, derived from the mythic ages of Hebrew genealogy; but from the hieroglyphs of Egypt, where various inscriptions are made out seeming to identify this divinity with that worshipped by the Hyesos, — first an object of reverence, and then of abhorrence, to the pious Egyptians. Along with this, sundry Levitical rites — the “scape-goat,” the sacrifice of the red cow, &c. are identified with Egyptian custom; and the theory is held, that the “ Jehovistic” or Mosaic faith was developed out of Egyptian elements, and was maintained by the Levitical body in hostility to the popular feeling which clung to the Syrian superstitions of Baal, Moloch, and the rest. But the way of transition to the name and worship of Jehovah is not indicated; there is no attempt to trace the development of the religious idea, only the genealogy of a ritual; the critical opinions respecting the Hebrew Scriptures, though free enough, seem second-hand and vague; and, except as a guide in one very narrow line of investigation, we imagine that the book will be of little value. We cite it as an example of the very wide, and perhaps erratic, course which criticism is taking, as it strives to compass the problem of the Hebrew religious history.
The rapid and vigorous development of the modern spirit is nowhere more evident than in the wide-spread effort of religious faith to adjust itself to the results of rational thought. It is in the interest of this
* La Religion des Pre-Israelites : Recherches sur le Dieu Seth. Par W. PLEYTE. Utrecht: T. de Bruyn. 8vo, pp. 256. 10 plates.
effort that “ Present Religion” * is written. Miss Hennell is known as an exponent of the most sincere and the most uncompromising radicalism, - to use this term in its best sense. She wishes to go to the root of the matter, and trace the growth through which religion has reached its present condition. To many minds there will be a sense of something very sad in the work as it is here done, as if faith were pulled up by the roots, and left to bleed and die ; but no considerate critic can fail to see that this argues nothing against the work, or against the method in which it is done. On the contrary, it but indicates that the peculiar “ cross," incident to the task, has been conscientiously accepted. Therefore we deem it of the first importance to say, that whatever, in the results of Miss Hennell's labors, may seem injurious to faith, should on every account be held under patient advisement by the student, rather than peremptorily condemned. The general conviction with which “ Present Religion” is offered to the reader, Miss Hennell expresses in the following:
“It is to me, I desire to assert, a blessed conviction, that not any of the revolutions, which it is the nature of religious faith to undergo, can ever shake its permanency, or prevent its being to us the most vitally efficient part of our constitution.
“Nevertheless," she continues, “it is quite true that a contrary feeling is most naturally to be entertained upon the matter. For by whatever easy and almost insensible steps the change now in question has been effected, yet, when we cast our eyes backward upon the whole distance it has led us, the result is one of such astonishing magnitude as may well prostrate our spirits before it in terror at the contemplation, if it does not actually succeed in producing the contrary, and, as I conceive, rightful effect, of commanding them by the very force of its grandeur into admiration; and, moreover, the latter impression is inexplicable to those who have not yet experienced it: just because, in the nature of the case, the perception of it cannot possibly arise till the very last point in the transformation has been gained. As long as but a single link is wanting to complete the demonstration of the perfect revolution'as having been accomplished, no hint of the real purport of the revolution is apparent.” — p. 3.
The importance of the consideration here presented is quite overlooked by those among us who are in terror of the ravages of “naturalism.” It must be remembered, as it is not in some instances, that,
* Present Religion, as a Faith owning Fellowship with Thought. By SARA G. HENNELL, author of “ Thoughts in Aid of Faith.” Part I. London: Trübner & Co. 1865.
men and brethren” adopt “naturalism" as a method of faith, they cannot be presumed to have lost the life of faith, however much they have changed the form of it. It is the object of Miss Hennell's present work to delineate the change which religion has passed through from the earliest origin of the elements of Christianity to the present time. The spirit in which the task is undertaken is that of the ripest Christian faith. Miss Hennell, indeed, claims throughout an equal share with the Orthodox themselves in the “ faith once delivered to the saints,” although in a sense quite different from that of the Orthodox; and no one can deny that the claim is thoroughly honest, and, from her point of view, perfectly just. In dealing, as she does, with the accredited form of the Christian religion as fatally defective, and destined to perish, the author of " Present Religion ” does not omit to vindicate and applaud Hebrew and Christian religion in the past. She “ believes beartily” in Isaiah, Matthew, and John, and in the Athanasian Creed; only the method of her believing is not that of assent to authority, but that of naturalism.
In the whole explanation of matters of faith, the naturalistic method proceeds upon the assumption of a true life of faith in human history. In this it claims to contrast favorably with the method which it supplants, and to make this latter method appear essentially, in the comparison, sceptical. In the comparison, we say; for in fact, and upon the principle of the new method, the old method represents a stage of the life of faith, and the stage next preceding that to which faith has now passed. If the radical critic should enlarge upon conservative infidelity, in connection with the writings of Mansel, or Henry Rogers, or others of the school fitly named “ Hard Church,” it would only be in the spirit which honors a corpse by giving it decent burial. That is to say, the radical critic finds the life of faith gone out of the old form, and thus, of necessity, considers it no work of faith to urge that form, as a form, against the new results of criticism and meditation. So long as living men, imbued with living faith, confess their faith under the old form, the naturalistic critic cannot object, except to present the appeal of reason. In this sense he adheres to the past. He believes heartily in Matthew and in Athanasius with his creed. The seuse in which he does not believe in the past is this: He does not accept for himself the conceptions under which the past expressed its faith. Entering into the minds in which those conceptions originated, he sees that these minds themselves indicated a stage in the progress of faith, and thus were on the way to a living, and so genuine,