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The relation between the Divine and human elements in Holy Scripture : eight lectures preached before the University of Oxford in the year MDCCCLXIII .. online

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neighbourhood — an assertion which requires proof — let the Book
of Job be taken as a less suspicious instance of the dealings of God
with the heathen. Job was a Pagan in the same sense in which
the Eastern nations are Pagans in the present day. ... K it be
objected that Job lived in a less corrupted age than the times of
ignorance which followed, Scripture, as if for our full satisfaction,
draws back the curtain further still in the history of Balaam. There
a bad man and a heathen is made the oracle of true Divine messages
about doing justly and loving mercy, and walking humbly; nay,
even among the altars of superstition, the Spirit of God vouchsafes
to utter prophecy.' — Newman, Avians, pp. 90, 91.

' Other nations or persons, ordinarily, were not obliged to become
Jews ; and therefore Moses did not insist upon it with his father-in-
law Jethro ; neither did Elisha expect it of Naaman the Syrian,
nor Jonas of the Ninevites, nor Daniel of Nebuchadnezzar ; neither


did the prophets insist upon it with the Chaldeans, Egyptians,
Sidonians, Tyrians, Edomites, or Moabites, as Grotius has well
observed : but though they were not obliged to become Jews, they
were obliged to admit the true God, and the most substantial parts
of true religion ; the knowledge of which had been handed down by
tradition, and was often renewed and revived by means of the Jews,
who were the standing witnesses and memorials of it.' — "Waterland,
Works, v. 25. ' There is no absurdity in supposing that God might
have some prophets (abroad in the heathen world) who were not
of Israel. Job was undoubtedly such an one ; and why might not
Balaam be another?' — lb., 749. 'Whenever God brought His
people into any relation with other people, He made Himself known
to them. The mode of His manifestation varied ; the fact remained
uniform. So He made Himself known to Egypt through Joseph
and Moses ; to the Philistines at the capture of the ark ; to the
Syrians by Elisha ; to Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar by Daniel ;
as again to Darius and Cyrus.' — Pusey, Introduction to Jonah;
Minor Prophets, p. 247. Compare Mr. Gladstone, Homer, &c,
ii. 6, 7.

That the ' Hebrew midwives ' of Ex. i. 15 were Egyptian women,
appointed by the king to act as midwives to the Hebrews, see
Josephus, Antiq., II. ix. § 2; Kalisch, Exodus, p. 15; Horsley,
I. J.,' p. 47.

Bishop Hampden remarks, that the verse Micah vi. 8 ' may be
inscribed as its motto on any authentic record of the Divine will.' —
Philos. Evidence of Christianity, p. 26. Now we have a long series
of English theologians who take that view of the dialogue in Micah
which places the words in the mouth of Balaam ; Butler, Sermon
VII. p. 89 ; Lowth, de S. P. Ilebr., Prael. xviii. p. 201, ed. Lips.,
1815; Horsley, 1. 1., p. 102; Faber, Eight Dissertations, i. 337;
Newman, 1. 1, p. 91, and Parochial Sermons, iv. 28 ; Burgon,
Inspiration and Interpretation, p. iii. note ; Stanley, Jewish Church,
p. 189, adding a confirmation of the exposition from 2 Kings iii. 27 ;
and several others.

Note 8, page 48. The precise relations of Heathenism, Judaism,
and Christianity are drawn out in different aspects in most of the
books enumerated above, Note 4 ; and whatever is said of Judaism
and Christianity can be adjusted to the Holy Scriptures, when the
position of the sacred record has been accurately defined. Dr.
Stanley traces out such distinctions as these ; that from the days of


Abraham himself, ' the interval between the human and Divine is
never confounded ' {Jewish Church, p. 14) ; that the passage of the
Eed Sea ' was a fit opening of a history and of a character which was
to be specially distinguished from that of other races by its constant
and direct dependence on the Supreme Judge and Ruler of the
world ' (ib. } p. 129) ; that Moses received a positive revelation at
Sinai, ' the very reverse of a negation or an abstraction ' (p. 151) ;
that ' the union of the qualities so often disjoined in man, so little
thought of in the gods of old, "justice and mercy," " truth and
love," became henceforward the formula, many times repeated, the
substance of the creed of the Jewish Church' (p. 152) ; that ' not
from want of religion, but (if one might use the expression) from
excess of religion, was this void left in the Jewish mind,' — ' the
dimness of its conception of a future life ' (p. 154) ; that the prophets
were distinguished, in the first place, by ' their proclamation of the
Unity and of the Spirituality of the Divine nature ' (p. 440), &c.

All other distinctions, however, must be brought to their centre in
the recognition of ' the one image of God in humanity, as the source
of their Divine life, which is the vital principle of Christianity.'— ^
Mill, Pantheistic Principles, i. 116. 'What is the reason which all
sects and Churches are most likely to agree in, were they asked their
reason for this veneration of the Bible ? Surely, because it contains
the records of a Life, of the conditions which preceded it, and of the
consequences which followed it ; because we read there the history
of Him, without whose Divine life the world was not, and without
whose human life the Church was not.' — Chretien, Letter and Spirit,
p. 41 ; cf. pp. Ill, 114. ' The Word and the Sacraments are the
characteristic of the elect people of God.' — Newman, Arians, p. 89.
' With the two ideas of Redemption and Salvation the entire frame-
work of Revelation is inseparably connected. To the first man was
given a hope of the redemption of his race ; and beyond this the last
of the prophets cannot go. The appearance of the Redeemer Himself
did no more than give reality to such anticipations.' — Lee, p. 13.

Note 9, page 49. The doctrine of the Divine name is worked out
by Dr. Moberly, Sayings of the Great Forty Days, p. 200, and Law
of the Love of God, p. 98 : ' The third commandment no longer
speaks of God as He is in Himself, but of the Name of God ; of God,
that is, as He can be named or spoken of in human words ; of God,
not as the intellect of man contemplates Him, or the faith of man
holds fast the belief in Him, or the piety of man worships Him ;


but as He is pleased to allow Himself and His being to be projected,
if I may so express myself, upon the imperfect media of human and
earthly things : His Name named in words, His Nature confessed in
creeds, His Truth made known by inspiration to the hearts of men,
and by them spoken in speech, and written down in books, His
Presence attached in some manner to persons, things, and places.'
Cf. p. 101. ' The name of a person is that which brings him before
the mind as all that he is ; and is often used in Scripture as a sum-
mary of the character or qualities.' — Vaughan, on Horn. i. 5.

The controversy, which has been recently reopened, can be traced
through all the larger commentaries on the Pentateuch. Waterland's
solution of the difficulty is not very satisfactory. {Works, i. 312.)
Lightfoot closes his exposition thus : ' The name Jehovah, and the
significancy of it to the utmost, did the holy Fathers know before
Moses. But they saw not experience of the last signification named,
namely, the faithfulness of God in His promise made to Abraham
concerning His delivery of his seed from bondage, and bringing
them into a land flowing with milk and honey. God gave them the
promise by the name of El Shaddai, God Omnipotent ; and they
relied upon His omnipotency, because He that promised was able to
perform : but they beheld it afar off, and tasted not of My perform-
ance of it. But now will I show Myself Jehovah, faithful to bring
to pass and accomplish what I promised.' — Works, i. 704, ed. 1G84.
The word ' significancy,' at the beginning of this extract, must be
qualified by what is said at the end of it. If the name was not
known by personal and practical experience ; if, indeed, there was a
sense in which God could say, ' By My Name Jehovah was I not
known to them ; ' its ' significancy ' could not have been disclosed
' to the utmost ' to the Fathers. And nearly so Pearson : ' It cannot
be denied but God was known to Abraham by the true importance
of the title Adonai, as much as by the name of Shaddai; as much
by His dominion and sovereignty, as by His power and all-suffi-
ciency ; but by any experimental and personal sense of the fulfilling of
His promises, His name Jehovah was not known unto him.' — On
the Creed, Art. ii., p. 184, ed. Oxon. 1843. Compare Stanley,
Jewish Church, p. 110. ' The assertion is not that the word
Jehovah was not used in the patriarchal language ; but that the
name Jehovah, as a title of honour, whereby a new idea was affixed
to an old word, was unknown to them.' — Warburton, D. L., iv. § 6 ;
ii. p. 300, ed. 1846.


Of what lie calls ' the ordinary mode of " reconciling " these dis-
crepancies,' as exhibited by Kurtz and Kalisch, Bishop Colenso says,
that it is ' evidently an assumption made only to get over a diffi-
culty. If Abraham made use of the name Jehovah at all, then God
was known to him in some measure — in some sense or other — by
that name, if not known so perfectly as by the Israelites in later days'
(§ 299) ; which no one, I think, need wish to deny. The name
Jehovah might have been known, and unquestionably was known,
as a denotative, long before its complete connotation was revealed.
That is to say, Jehovah was known ' in some measure — in some sense
or other — by that name,' though the usage did not amount to what I
have called the ' high and special significance,' ascribed in Scripture
1 to the knowledge of the name of Jehovah, and connected with the
fulfilment of His promise.

Note 10, page 50. ' In the second place, I observe that this moral
revelation, made by the succession of Prophets, holds an interme-
diate j^lace between the Law of Moses and the Gospel itself. It is
a step in progress beyond the Law, and preparatory to the Gospel.'
— Davison, On Prophecy, p. 43. ' In the Prophets there is a more
luminous, and more perfectly reasoned, rule of life and faith than
in the primary Law ; and therefore God's moral revelation was pro-
gressive. It is more perfect in the Prophets than in the Law ; more
perfect in the Gospel than in either.' — lb., p. 44; cf. p. 61. Also
Dr. Stanley, Jewish Church, 436, 447-9. But, again, we must not
draw the line so sharply, as to forget what has been before suggested
on the difference between comparative and absolute exclusion ; above,
pp. 19, 220. So Mr. Morris urges : ' The ceremonial law was not the
real object of the legislator, even from the very first : the moral law
was given first in the decalogue ; the ceremonial was added after,
because of transgressions.' — Essay towards the Conversion of Hindus,
p. 72. ' Revelation has all along been progressive, but not on that
account self-contradictory.' — Browne, in Aids to Faith, p. 315,

Note 11, page 52. ' The true intent and scope of these Positive
laws (and it may be of such an external promulgation of the Moral),
seems to be nothing else but this, to secure the Eternal Law of
Righteousness from transgression.' — John Smith's Select Discourses,
p. 154, ed. 1673.

We may compare the account of Justice in Eth. JS T ., V. 6, which
shows how the universal principles of right and wrong, to which the


hearts of all mankind bear witness, receive a peculiar shape and
impress, in each separate state, from the enactments which are
requisite to give them efficiency. "We are thus taught to distinguish
between the eternal law and its temporary form ; between truths
which admit of no exception, and can nowhere be transgressed
without sin, and statutes which are shaped by local needs and
local conveniences, and possess no more than a territorial obligation.
The province of equity, in conformity with this distinction, is
defined to be that of recalling us, in doubtful cases, from the rule to
the principle, so as to guard against the danger, which is immi-
nent in all human arrangements, lest special wrong should be
inflicted under the name and authority of Justice. For an application
of this principle to the Mosaic code, and for the value of its precepts,
as ' moral rules ordained by God,' I may refer to Discourses on the
Fall and its Results, pp. 239-41. See also below, Lecture IV.,
Note 10.

Note 12, page 54. The diversity of human characters is recog-
nised in most of the writers quoted above, Lecture L, Notes 3 and 4.
With regard to human learning : — ' There is in the world no kind
of knowledge, whereby any part of truth is seen, but Ave justly
account it precious ; yea, that principal truth, in comparison whereof
all other knowledge is vile, may receive from it some kind of light;
whether it be that Egyptian and Chaldean wisdom mathematical,
wherewith Moses and Daniel were furnished ; or that natural, moral,
and civil wisdom, wherein Solomon excelled all men ; or that
rational and oratorial wisdom of the Grecians, which the Apostle
St. Paul brought from Tarsus ; or that Judaical, which he learned
in Jerusalem, sitting at the feet of Gamaliel : to detract from the
dignity thereof were to injure even God Himself, who being that
light which none can approach unto, hath sent out these lights
whereof we are capable, even as so many sparkles resembling the
bright fountain from which they rise.' — Hooker, E. P., III. viii. § 9.
' To descend to Moses the lawgiver, and God's first pen : he is
adorned by the Scriptures with this addition and commendation,
that he was seen in all the learning of the Egyptians. ... So
likewise in that excellent book of Job, if it be revolved with
diligence, it will be found pregnant and swelling with natural
philosophy. ... So likewise in the person of Salomon the
king, we see the gift or endowment of wisdom and learning, both in
Salomon's petition and in God's assent thereunto, preferred before



all other terrene and temporal felicity,' &c. — Bacon, Advancement of
Learning ; Works, iii. 297-8, ed. Ellis and Spedding. For Bishop
Bull, see above, Lecture L, Note 5. On the quotations in St. Paul,
cf.Bull, I. L, p. 244-5; Milton, Preface to Samson Agonistes; Donald-
son, Greek Lit., iii. 316. It has been thought that the list is not
exhausted by the instances ordinarily given. See Humphry on
Acts xiv. 17 : ' both the language and the rhythm of this passage
lead to the conjecture (which does not appear to have been pro-
posed before), that it is a fragment from some lyric poem.' ' Very
improbable,' says Dean Alford. Another suggestion, which is, how-
ever, still more improbable, will be found in Donaldson's Christian
Orthodoxy, p. 292. See also John Gregory's Note on Jannes and
Jambres, Works, 1G84, i. Gl. For a collateral enquiry of singular
interest in a different field, see Dr. Neale's Essay On Liturgical
Quotations ; Essays on Liturgiology, &c, No. XV.

Note 13, page 55. See the details in the works of Dbllinger and
De Pressense ; or in Tholuck's Essay On the Nature and Monti
Influence of Heathenism. Compare Mr. Jowett's Essays On the Con-
nexion of Immorality and Idolatry, and On the State of the Heathen
World; Epistles of St. Paul, ii. 64, 68, 1st ed. Dr. Vaughan
marks the following steps in St. Paul's argument, Rom. i. 18-32 :
' 1. Knowledge abused ; 2. Ignorance and unbelief; 3. Gross cor-
ruption ; 4. Judicial hardness.' — Comm. in loc. Yet, ' in behalf of
revelation, I should press for the superiority of the civilised Gentile
world in art and science, poetry and eloquence, and every depart-
ment of intellectual culture, together with all the wisdom of civil
and political institutions derived from that source, and bright
examples of patriotism, courage, and many other virtues ; in a
word, in all respects but one — the true religion, the possession of
the oracles of God. This contrast between the inferiority of the
chosen people in all secular advantages, and their pre-eminence in
religious privileges, seems to me an argument which cannot be too
strongly insisted on by a Christian advocate.' — Bishop of St. David's,
Letter to Dr. R. Williams, p. 65. So from M. Renan's point of view :
' C'est la race semitique qui a la gloire d'avoir fait la religion de
l'hunianite' {Vie de Jesus, p. 5); yet, ' c'est beaucoup moins dans
l'ordre politique que dans l'ordre religieux que s'est exercee leur
influence. . . . C'est, par excellence, le peuple de Dieu et le
peiiple des religions, destine" a les creer et a les propager ;' but ' La
race sdmitique, comparee a la race indo-eurupeenue, represente


reellement une combinaison inferieure de la nature humaine.' —
Hist, des Langues Se'mitiqnes, i. 8, 4.

Note 14, page 56. The remark constantly suggests itself to
students of ancient mythology, that the worshippers were often
better than their gods. Compare Jowett, I. L, ii. 70 (2nd ed.) :
' The deities of the Homeric poems are not better than men, but
rather worse; compared with heroes, they have a fainter sense of
truth and justice, less certainly of moral greatness.' ' Not front
religion, but from philosophy, come the higher aspirations of the
human soul in Greece and Rome.' — lb., 72. ' Nothing can more
clearly demonstrate that man was better than the gods he had
created.'— De Pressense, 1.1, p. 27 ; cf. pp. 78, 80, 168-9, 170.
See also Mr. Cox's Introduction to his Tales of the Gods and Heroes :
' The contrast is very marked between the character of the people
and that of their theology.' — P. 4. ' It would be difficult to dis-
cover a more" marvellous combination of seemingly inexplicable
contradictions ; of belief in the history of gods utterly distinct from
the faith which guided the practice of men ; of an immoral and
impure theology with a condition of society which it would be
monstrous to regard as utterly and brutally depraved.' — P. 7. ' It
is the character of the religions which men invent, that they begin
purely and end in corruption. . . . On the contrary, in the
O. T. Scrij>tures, it is always a growing light.' — Mr. R. P. Smith,
Messianic Interpretation of Isaiah, p. vi.

Note 15, page 58. ' All superstition, all idolatry, has its root
in the belief that God is made in our image, and not we in His ;
the most prevalent assumption of the modern as of the ancient
sophist is, that man is the measure of all things ; that there is
nothing great or holy which is not his creation.' — Maurice, On the
Lord's Prayer, p. 22. ' In order to show that there really is this
essential distinction between that which we call revealed religion,
and all the systems of belief and worship which ive can trace to a
It union origin, it is necessary that we should, however briefly,
examine the different modes in which the intellect has grappled
with religion, and contrast them with those views respecting the
personality of God and the nature of sin, which are to be found
only in the religion of Jesus Christ, and in that part of the religion
of Moses which the Gospel has accepted and ratified. It may be
said with truth, that all false religions fall into three main classes,'
namely, Polytheism, Dualism, and Pantheism. — Donaldson, Christian


Orthodox)/, p. 101. ' It is no matter from what point of view we
commence our examination ; whether, with the Theist, we admit
the coexistence of the Infinite and the Finite, as distinct realities, or,
with the Pantheist, deny the real existence of the Finite, or,
with the Atheist, deny the real existence of the Infinite,' &c. — ■
Mansel, B. L., p. 68. Compare M art's Conception of Eternity, p. 10 :
' Pantheism and Anthropomorphism (using the latter term in its
widest sense) are the two alternatives of religious thought; the one
representing the negative, the other the positive side.' Also, Second
Letter to Professor Goldwin Smith, p. 2 : ' From the earliest days in
which Philosophy and Christianity came in contact, the aim of the
Church has been to keep a just middle course between two extremes,
both in themselves errors, yet both only exaggerations of truths : —
the tendency to Pantheism, which perverts the true doctrine of the
unity and simplicity of God, and the tendency to Anthropomor-
phism, which perverts the true doctrine of His personality.' So
again p. 17. Compare De Pressense, I. L, p. 248; E. T. of Saisset,
Modern Pantheism, ii. 203 ; M. Muller, Comparative Mythology,
p. 48 : ' It was a mistake of the early Fathers to treat the heathen
gods as demons or evil spirits, and we must take care not to com-
mit the same error with regard to the Hindu god. Their gods
have no more right to any substantive existence than Eos or Hemera
— than Nyx or Apate. They are masks without an actor, the
creations of man, not his creators ; they are nomina, not numina ;
names without being, not beings without names.'

Note 1G, page 60. Of Bentley's eight Boyle Lectures (in Works,
vol. iii., ed. Dyce), four are based on Acts xvii. 27, and three on
Acts xiv. 15, &c. He points out the clear-sighted prudence with
which, under Divine guidance, St. Paul adjusted his speech on the
one occasion to the ' philosophers and that inquisitive people of
Athens;' on the other, ' to the rude and simple semi-barbarians of
Lycaonia,' pp. 120-1. The one passage suggests to him arguments
against Atheism, ' from the faculties of the soul,' and ' from the
structure and origin of human bodies ;' the other passage suggests a
confutation ' from the origin and frame of the world.' In the
former series he analyses the elements of partial agreement which
would extend to portions of the Apostle's hearers : the populace
would admit the appeal to poets, and possibly also the Divine
creation ; but would not agree with his attack on images and tem-
ples, or on the belief that the leasts of men were pleasing to the


gods : the philosophers would accept his spiritual view of Deity,
but would differ on almost every detail of his argument. ' The
presiding idea of this portion of my work, is that which animated
St. Paul in his discourse at Athens, when he found, even in that
focus of Paganism, religious aspirations tending to Jesus Christ.' — De
Pressense, l.l., Preface to E. V. ' We cannot fail to notice how the
sentences of this interrupted speech are constructed to meet the
cases in succession of every class of which the audience was com-
posed. Each word in the address is adapted at once to win and to
rebuke.' — Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul,
i. 408. Compare the recent Essays towards the Conversion of Hindus;
Morris, p. 16 ; Williams, pp. 1, 380, &c.

Note 17, page 62. "Oripiv to'iwv elarl fyvati tiveq ol per eXevdspoi o't
$£ SovXoi, tyavipov, olg Kcti av^ipei to SovXevew kcu SIkcubv kari, — Ar.,
Pol., I. 5, fin. ' Where the Greek saw barbarians, we see brethren.'
— Miiller, Comp. Myth., p. 4. ' Very early in their history the Greeks
explained the institution (of slavery) as grounded on the intellectual
inferiority of certain races, and their consequent natural aptitude for
the servile condition.' — Maine, Ancient Law, p. 163. On the
superiority of the Hebrew law in this respect to both Greek and
Roman theory and practice, see Mr. Goldwin Smith on American
Slavery, p. 49.

Note 18, page 62. To yap pnQh' ek /jt? ovtoq yiyvtaQai nav
<T <!£ ovtoq, (t-^e}6v diravTbtv lori koij'ov doypa tu>v irepl tyvaEiuQ. — Ar.,
Metaph., K. 6 ; p. 1062, b. 24. With regard to Plato, on whose opinions
a doubt has been raised, compare Mr. W. Mills's Essays and Lectures,
p. 72 ; Professor Thompson's Note on Archer Butler's Lectures on
Ancient Philosophy, ii. 190; Rawlinson, Christianity and Heathenism,
Sermon I., note 1 ; Mansel, B. L., Lecture III., note 12, p. 335.
' The later Platonists, and even the Christian Fathers, speak of Plato
contradicting himself, by sometimes saying that matter was eternal,
and sometimes that it was created. The Platonists went so far as to
assert that Plato did not hold that matter was eternal. But the
assertion was undoubtedly false.' ' Plato certainly did not believe
the world to be eternal, though such a notion is ascribed to Aristotle.
Plato held the eternity of matter ; but he believed the arrangement

and harmony of the universe to be the work of the Deity.' Burton,

B. L., pp. 59, 61. More generally : 'As it was impossible for them
to conceive the creation of matter, the workman, in the Stoic

Online LibraryJ HannahThe relation between the Divine and human elements in Holy Scripture : eight lectures preached before the University of Oxford in the year MDCCCLXIII .. → online text (page 21 of 30)