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were annihilated if the critical and logical conclusions reached, as regarded the authenticity and inspiration of the Scriptures, were against existing impressions.

While therefore we witnessed the violence and alarm with which all critical investigations which seemed to throw doubt upon the received views of the Scriptures, were resisted, we observed with regret, that in this process the critical faculty was viewed with suspicion, lest it should destroy religion, and religion was looked upon with fear and doubt, lest it should be destroyed by the criticism. Even scholars divested themselves of that calmness and patience with which they should always regard critical inquiries, because they fell into the lamentable error of supposing that in attacking, as they called it, the Scriptures, that is, investigating (often it must be avowed in obedience to some most extravagant passion for a given hypothesis, and therefore in a very one-sided and untrustworthy spirit of excess) all the literary questions connected with the age, origin and character of the Scriptures, the critics were attacking the very principle, sentiment and authority of religion in human nature itself, and in the express providence of God. For our own part, we listened to everything with seriousness, as we would to anything issuing from

any genuine department of human knowledge, but received nothing without a much more full and cautious investigation of the general questions at stake, than the limited province of the critic demanded of himself. We are sorry, therefore, but not surprised, to see men who had regarded the truth of religion as depending on the truth of certain of their own critical notions, sadly shaken in the foundations of their religious belief. The simple result, however, of these inquiries, as far as they can be certainly affirmed, and it is an incontestible result,) is the shifting off of religion from its entire dependence upon the absolute inspiration, or even authenticity, of any documents, and placing those documents in the much truer position of instruments to be used by religion, and existing for her service—they in fact depending for their value on religion, not religion (except incidentally) on them. Religion, therefore, was to take them for what they were, not for what they were not.

The recent controversy on the real age, value and au

thenticity of the Scriptures, has partaken something of the nature of one that we might suppose, for illustration, to exist in medical science, in which the Physician should declare that he had always understood such and such to be the facts and phenomena of the human frame, that the whole science of healing, not merely as at present practised, but in itself and necessarily, depended on these facts and phenomena always continuing to be regarded as true; that if we ever ceased to regard them as true, the art of healing would be destroyed. And when there were at least some indications that these facts were not as he supposed, instead of simply investigating the nature and worth of these indications, he should resolutely deny them, and say that the Anatomist asserting the same, was an enemy to the health of man, to the medical profession, and the science of cure.

The real position of the Physician and his science is in truth far above this vulgar and degrading fear. His duty and glory is to make facts and truths, whatever they are, subservient to the great and essential object he has in view. It is not for him to fall down before anatomy, but for anatomy to afford assistance to him; and especially if there be reason to believe that any anatomical or physical facts have been loosely or incorrectly stated, and require investigation, he should be prepared to enter, on its own merits, and apart from the consideration of supposed consequences, into the question of actual fact. Anatomy is not to declare, “Certain facts, which I myself have supplied to you, are incorrect; I now offer you the results of other investigations in which I have since been engaged ; they are inconsistent with your present mode of treating disease; therefore the art of healing is destroyed, and your pretended science is a fraud.” But curative knowledge is to say, "I will consider these facts calmly, and on their own merits ; I will consider them in connection with others which have not been included in your investigations; in as far as they are falsely or insufficiently supported I shall entirely or for the present reject them ; in as far as they are true, or appear to have an element of truth in them, I shall be benefitted by the discovery of them, and endeavour to make them useful to me.

This is the relation of the Divine to the Critic-and as

the Physician should be able to embrace a wider view of relations and results than the mere operator on a particular limb for a particular purpose, or than the trier of a few experiments—so the Divine has to consider and to test, not only the facts put before him by the critic-put before him often with a single eye to that critic's callingbut the cognate facts and necessities of the spiritual frame, and the history of religion.

The recent books, then, published in this country, such as Foxton's, Froude's, Newman's, excite in us no surprise-excessive as we think the strain is, which they put upon the logical and critical tendencies, when they employ them exclusively: and they supply us with no results which we had not anticipated, and anticipated as in part well-founded. It must gradually appear to the public mind incontestible that the old theory of the infallibility of the Scriptures as written records, and their absolute truth in every doctrine and statement delivered in them, must cease to be the foundation of our religion : that even in the matter of the authenticity of the Gospels as wholes, we must be prepared to meet with what shall be proved, or rather must be prepared to find the common views of their authenticity, whatever be still the presumption in favour of it, incapable of positive demonstration : and the result of this must necessarily be that the Scriptures will have to be received as instruments of religion, not as lords of religion. Religion is not to bow before them as supreme over her, but to accept them gratefully as handmaidens and attendants given for her use and service by the Lord of all. Thus freely and thankfully received, they will be judged of, not according to any untenable theory of infallibility and inspiration, but according to their essential service to the human soul. Notwithstanding all that the critical and logical faculties have done—and as the logical faculty, consistently with its own laws, may reason us out of a belief in the existence of a material world, the critical faculty may also, consistently with its own laws, disprove the trustworthiness of the Gospels and Epistles-we believe on wider grounds than these, though accepting the aid of these faculties with others, that we have a holier and higher, a truer and more commanding, revelation of God's moral character and will, and our

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duties and hopes in the New Testament, than in any written book upon this earth; and that, without believing that the portrait of Christ contained in any of the Gospels has the precise and unerring faithfulness and literalness of a Daguerreotype, we believe that it is a faithful portrait of a living reality, drawn on the tablets of human hearts, in the undying colours of truth and nature. And of that original we further believe that he of all men that ever lived was in the fullest spiritual communion with the Divine Being; and that he is to us, at this day, the one Way unto the Father.

The connection between some present remark-worthy tendencies of the religious mind, and a portion of the subject before us, has led us into this digression. Each age has a great tendency to carry some decided characteristic into all its pursuits. There is no possibility of holding any special influence exercising itself upon any one of the three great departments of mental effort, theology, metaphysics, or literature, off any of the others. The metaphysics of an age affect its theology and its literature, and the literary tendencies of an age affect the religious. That man must have a very feeble discernment who does not at once see what Wolf on the Homeric Poems has had to do with Strauss on the Gospels; what Eichorn has had to do with Niebuhr, and Niebuhr with Ranke. The current of thought at present in England, as recently in Germany (and the word recently applied to Germany necessarily of course precludes the possibility of the same thing continuing to exist when that word is penned), is in the mythical direction; and, therefore we can see no better reason), Mr. Grote turns the scale in favour of a mythical Homer. For ourselves, while reading such speculations with interest and a species of literary curiosity and amusement, we are as little affected by them, as regards all our stabler and more practical convictions, as we are by Bishop Berkeley's irrefutable reasonings, about there being no outward world. Strauss's à priori Messianic confabulators produce about as much effect upon us as Wolf's Homeridæ; and both are as real to us as those interesting personages who descended to take a part in the loves and hates of certain human realities one summer night in a wood near Athens. We believe in Shakespeare all the time, though not in Oberon and Titania; in Homer, though not in the Homeridæ ; and in like manner the gigantic spiritual reality, which we cannot bring ourselves to name in this sentence, stands out in everlasting duration, while the host of inventors of what that reality might have been, should have been, ought to have been, and therefore was, pass before us like a train of ghosts.

We listen to the Chorizontes, arguing that the Iliad and Odyssey are not from the same hand; we listen to the ultra-separatists (for it is the ultras who answer the intras), showing how even these poems, separately considered, are not integers, but that there are some dozen little poems (only all of giant-limbs) in the Iliad itself, just as we listen to Schleiermacher “rightly dividing the word” of Luke's Gospel, and showing in the most irrefragable manner, exactly where each of some twenty Gospelets in this Gospel begins and ends. And though these criticisms bring out a thousand unobserved features and points of interest, and though we even grant something to the theories themselves, in as it were an infant and unfledged form, we no more think of ceasing to read, to admire and to reverence the Iliad as a glorious Unity, and to believe in Homer as a transcendant Poet, than we think of ceasing to apply to those formations of pure and living water (so pure and living that no argument can either show them to be so, or show them not to be so), which we and our fathers have found, and our sons, wiser than their fathers, shall more wisely find, to be a main sustenance of our spiritual life: or denying the existence of Him, in the image handed down to us, who is simply as real to us as our own souls.

While Wolf, Payne Knight, and their admirers, amuse themselves with their respective anatomies, and anatomical theories, operating as upon a dead body, but finding it determinedly living still, resisting all their efforts to point out how the living whole is the result of a leg put on there, and an arm there, a heart, and a brain, and a lung, variously contributed by clever and disinterested gentlemen-who retire, having made their contribution, without leaving their names- -we are believing in Homer all the time, reading him, loving him, no more doubting him and his, than sensible men shall doubt Milton (of whose unity

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