alive. It has all within itself, and proclaims aloud, 'I am, and there is none besides me.”

The opponents of the genuineness of the Pentateuch are divided still further in this, that some of them ascribe a very considerable agency in the formation of the Pentateuch, and its introduction as a sacred book, to design and deception; others endeavor to avoid this supposition as much as possible. As this supposition of deception is unavoidable on the ground of the antagonists of the Pentateuch, as is hereafter to be shown, it is a testimony in favor of the Pentateuch, that the most endeavor to escape it, or at least (a proof of a bad conscience) try as much as possible to conceal it. See for example De Wette, Bd. 1. s. 178 ff. Bd. 2. s. 405 ff. Vatke also, however he may generally seek to avoid the supposition of a fraudulent forgery, sometimes admits it. See for example s. 220, where he says Jeremiah charged the priests with it. Only Gramberg (Geschichte d. Religionsideen Th. 1. s. 63,) and v. Bohlen adopt with shameless openness the supposition of deception.

Finally, the views of the opposers of the genuineness of the Pentateuch, on the relation of the different books to each other, on the time when each book was written, and the time when the whole was collected together and received as the work of Moses, offer to us a whole host of varieties. (The opinion defended by De Wette, viz. that Deuteronomy was the latest of all the books, and is the mythical key-stone of the mythical whole, an opinion which appeared to have gained universal assent, is now beginning to give place to just the opposite one, that Deuteronomy is the very oldest of the whole. See e. g. George, 1.c. p. 7 ff.) The great principle of subjectivity,' bere celebrates its triumph. No two of the more important critics agree in their mode of solving the most important problems. It is a war of every man against every man. We had intended to present to the view of our readers the laughable spectacle of these contests, in order that from the confusion and contradiction of the positive results of the later criticism, which is consistent with itself no further than its champions are united by a common doctrinal interest, they might form some conclusion about the boasted certainty of their negative results. But we feel an unconquerable disgust at the business, and we cannot bring ourselves to enter upon the field of arbitrary speculation, and collect together the masses of fancies that lie scattered there. Every one can easily supply this lack by taking in hand a few VOL. XII. No. 32.


of the works on this subject, and comparing them together. The impression made by such a labor would be apt to resemble that which one gets on visiting a Jews' school.

The Prospect for the Future. The result of the history of opposition to the Pentateuch just given, is by no means cheering to its defenders. If that opposition has its deep and fixed root in the spirit of the age, if they who do homage to that spirit, must and will continue their opposition, even after all their arguments, which are not based siinply on their doctrinal views, have been refuted, and after the genuineness of the Pentateuch has been most plainly proved, then may a man well say, after having laboriously and in the sweat of his brow accomplished the work, I have labored in vain, and spent my strength for nought. But, if on one side the

prospect is dark, on the other it is clear and bright. Not all have sold themselves unconditionally to the service of the spirit of the day. Many are not disinclined to let the doctrinal principles of the two parties be for the present more or less undecided, and first to inquire which of them conquers on the field of historical criticism. It is these homines bonae voluntatis from whom the true laborer may expect his reward. And there is at the present time another encouraging circumstance. Originally the attacks on the Old and the New Testaments went hand in hand. Both opposers and defenders had no other idea but that both must stand or fall together. The Wolfenbüttel Fragmentist for example looked upon the whole sacred bistory as a closely formed phalanx ; and acted on the supposition that with the passage through the Red Sea, he would annul the resurrection of Christ, and with the resurrection also the passage through the Red Sea. Bauer wrote a Mythology of the Old and New Testaments. De Wette declared openly that the Mythical principles which he had applied to the Pentateuch must also be applied to the New Testament. And how could it be otherwise? The connection between the Old and New Testaments is so intimate and so manifest that every child sees it. The New continually refers back to the Old. How can the fortyyears' temptation of the children of Israel in the wilderness be mythical, and the forty-days temptation of Christ which answers to it, be historical ? the appearances of angels in the Old Testament mythical, and those in the Gospels historical, when the angels in both are exactly the same even to their names? the miracles of the Old Testament mythical, and those of the New historical, when these last are almost entirely of the same kind, and in their symbolic meaning are based entirely on the Old Testament ? Truly, such a transition from fiction io truth, such an apeing of what is human by that which is divine, would be the greatest absurdity imaginable. But the active zeal of those concerned was successsul for some time in concealing from themselves and others the manifest absurdity. Religious feeling had awaked anew, but with many not in such strength, as that they could break entirely with the spirit of the age. Their religious feeling made it impossible for them to give up the New Testament; their adherence to the spirit of the age, to receive the Old. For a short time this seemed to go very well: all warning voices were drowned, or even derided and reviled. Then appeared Strauss's Leben Jesu (Life of Jesus), and the intrinsic connection of what had been arbitrarily and interestedly separated could be no more denied. The critical course which Strauss took with regard to the Gospels is so entirely the same with that of De Wette in regard to the Pentateuch, that one can hardly see how it is possible to give up here, and still hold on there ; especially as Strauss has used great industry in showing that the Old-Testament element, is so considerable in the New, that he who has given up the Old, must also bring himself to reject the New. Just now therefore it is a favorable moment for the defenders of the Old Testament, and especially for those who are laboring to free the foundation with which the whole stands or falls from the rubbish which covers it : for, those who held on to the New Testament on a deeper principle, that of true faith, will now, when the great alternative is placed before them (of adopting the Old Testament, or rejecting both), free from the indifference and aversion they have hitherto felt toward the Old Testament, lend as willing an ear to its defenders as they have hitherto done to its opposers. And how much soever individuals may resist this fatal necessity, the matter will soon come back again to its old position, and there will be left only one great difference viz, between believers and opposers of the Bible.



1.-Scripturae Linguaeque Phoeniciae Monumenta quotquot super

sunt edita et inedita ad autographorum optimorumque exemplorum fidem edidit, additisque de Scriptura et Lingua Phoenicum commentariis, illustrarit Gul. Gesenius. Lipsiae, 1837. pp. 481 to.

It is well known that Gesenius, some time since, turned aside from the Hebrew Thesaurus to the investigation of the Phoenician language, with the special design of studying its relations to the He. brew. This work is the fruit of his studies. It consists of a quarto of nearly 500 pages of text, and another thin quarto, containing 76 lithographs of alphabets, coins, inscriptions, etc., very neatly done. Great interest has long been felt in the study of these remains of antiquity. But little progress, however, has hitherto been made in attempts to arrange them and to decipher their meaning. This has been owing to several reasons; one has been a want of the necessary aids to the study. The remains themselves, as well as the commentaries of learned men upon them, are contained in so many works, some of them expensive ones, and widely scattered over many countries, that they could not be collected together without much labor and expense. Besides, the fac similes of the inscriptions are not accurately edited. Some were negligently taken from autographs of little or of no authority. Those editions of the remains whose integrity and fidelity no one could doubt, are so arranged, that one who should confine his attention to the figures, would lose his pains. In the third place, we have wanted a full and critical exposition of Phoenician palaeography, exbibiting at once the obser. vations of former writers, arranged in proper order, and the results of as many new investigations as possible, filling up the immense lacunae in this subject left by former writers, and thus laying more stable foundations. The renewed dispute respecting the nature of the Phoenician and Punic dialect, has been a great impediment to progress in these investigations. Bochart and many others have supposed that the Phoenician language, with a few exceptions, was identical with the Hebrew. The late learned Hamaker calls this a perverse and rash opinion, and attempts to show that the Phoenician is composed of forms from all the Semitic dialects.

Such being the circumstances in which this subject is placed, Ge. senius has attempted to give, in a regular digest, all the monuments, edited or inedited, which have survived the wreck of Phoenician lite

rature. Spurious and doubtful remains are rejected. If new monuments, or more perfect copies of those which now exist, should be discovered, these can be appended in a supplement to the present work. In the second place, the author has taken great pains to give the most perfect copies of the existing remains, corrected where it could be done, by the original autographs. About eighteen months were spent by the author, in London and Leyden, in examining and copying some very important relics. Special pains were also taken to ascertain the value of the Phoenician remains in Paris, Italy, Sicily, Malta, Athens, Egypt, North Africa, etc. In the third place, instead of giving a prominent position to a delineation of palaeography, special pains have been taken with the commentaries on the remains themselves. In addition to the remarks on the Numidian and Phoe. nician letters, particular attention has been given to the subject of the Libyan letters, which have hitherto been nearly unknown, and in il

ustrating whose origin and history palaeographists may now employ their talents. Again, the agreement between the remains of the Phoenician, Punic and Numidian dialects and the Hebrew is pointed out, while what have been regarded as Arabisms, Syraisms, Samaritanisms, etc., are shown to rest on a false interpretation of the examples. All the remains of these dialects, of every age, are collected and arranged in proper order. Great labor has been bestowed on this part.

From these investigations, some valuable light has been drawn for the illustration of sacred and profane studies. The mode of writing the Hebrew language, and the reasons for some of its usages, may be rendered more certain. The Aramaean-Egyptian literature, which was as it were the origin and cradle of written language, is here placed very clearly before us. Certain Hebrew words, and those of rare occurrence in the Old Testament, are explained by the more frequent use of the same in the Phoenician. The pronunciation and grammatical conformation of the Hebrew, which is contained in the Masoretic points, are greatly confirmed by the pronunciation of the Punic language.

We must here close our account of these interesting volumes, by giving a brief synopsis of the contents. Book I. Phoenician Palae. ography. Literary and bibliographical history, time and countries in which the Phoenician language was used, Phoenician and Numidian alphabet, the Aramaean-Egyptian mode of writing, various kinds of writing which took their rise from Phoenicia, numeral signs. Book II. Inscriptions found at Malta, Athens, Sicily, Sardinia, Carthage, Egypt, etc. Book III. Phoenician coins. Book 1V. Phoenician language. Nature and history of the language, remains of the language in inscriptions and coins, remains in Greek and Roman writers, Phoenician and Punic grammar. Various appendices and indices close the work.

« VorigeDoorgaan »