W. H. (William Henry) Fremantle.

The world as the subject of redemption; being an attempt to set forth the functions of the church as designed to embrace the whole race of mankind. Eight lectures delivered before the University of Oxford in the year 1883 on the foundation of the late Rev. John Bampton online

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Online LibraryW. H. (William Henry) FremantleThe world as the subject of redemption; being an attempt to set forth the functions of the church as designed to embrace the whole race of mankind. Eight lectures delivered before the University of Oxford in the year 1883 on the foundation of the late Rev. John Bampton → online text (page 31 of 35)
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the ' Guardian ' of Sept. 27, from Charles Darwin to a
student at Jena.

Sir, — I am very busy, and am an old man in delicate
health, and have not the time to answer your questions
fully, even assuming that they are capable of being an-
swered at all. Science and Christ have nothing to do
with each other except in so far as the habit of scientific
investigation makes a man cautious about accepting any
proof. As far as I am concerned, I do not believe that
any revelation has ever been made. With regard to a
future life, every one must draw his own conclusions
from vague and contradictory probabilities.

Wishing you well, I remain, your obedient servant,

Charles Darwin.
Down,
Jtme 5, 1879.

NOTE XIII.

The Influence of Greek Philosophy and Roman Law on
Christian Theology, from Sir H. Mayne's 'Ancient
Law,' p. 257.

'Why is it that on the two sides of the line which
divides the Greek-speaking from the Latin-speaking pro-
vinces there lie two classes of theological problems so
strikingly different from one another ? . . . I affirm with-
out hesitation that the difference between the two theo-



348 Keshub Chunder Sen on Christianity, [app.

logical systems is accounted for by the fact that, in
passing from the East to the West, theological speculation
had passed from a climate of Greek metaphysics to a cli-
mate of Roman law. . . . Almost everybody who has
knowledge enough of Roman law to appreciate the
Roman penal system, the Roman theory of its obligations
established by Contract or Delict, the Roman view of
Debts and of the modes of incurring, extinguishing and
transmitting them, the Roman notion of the continuance
of individual existence by Universal Succession, may be
trusted to say whence arose the frame of mind to which
the problems of Western theology proved so congenial,
whence came the phraseology in which those problems
are stated, and whence the description of reasoning em-
ployed in their solution.'

NOTE XIV.

Keshub Chunder Sen on Christianity for Europe and
Asia.

From ' Lectures and Tracts of the Brahmo-Somaj,'
PP- 33, 34.
' If, however, our Christian friends persist in traducing
our nationality and national character, and in distrusting
and hating Orientalism, let me assure them that I do not
in the least feel dishonoured by such imputations. On
the contrary, I rejoice, yea, I am proud that I am an
Asiatic. And was not Jesus Christ an Asiatic ? Yes, and
his disciples were Asiatics, and all the agencies primarily
employed for the propagation of the Gospel were Asiatic.
In fact, Christianity was founded and developed by
Asiatics, and in Asia. When I reflect on this, my love
for Jesus becomes a hundredfold intensified ; I feel him
nearer my heart, and deeper in my national sympathies.
Why should I then feel ashamed to acknowledge that



NOTE XV.] Mill on the use of Hypothesis. 349

nationality wliich He aclcnowledged ? shall I not rather
say, He is more congenial and akin to my Oriental
nature, more agreeable to my Oriental habits of thought
and feeling ? and is it not true that an Asiatic can read
the imageries and allegories of the Gospel, and its descrip-
tions of natural sceneries, of customs and manners, with
greater interest, and a fuller perception of their force and
beauty, than Europeans ? In Christ we see not only the
exaltedness of humanity, but also the grandeur of which
Asiatic nature is susceptible. To us Asiatics, therefore,
Christ is doubly interesting, and his religion is entitled to
our peculiar regard as an altogether Oriental affair. The
more this great fact is pondered, the less I hope will be
the antipathy and hatred of European Christians against
Oriental nationalities, and the greater the interest of the
Asiatics in the teachings of Christ. And thus in Christ,
Europe and Asia, the East and the West, may learn to
find harmony and unity. '

NOTE XV.

An Extract from Mill's Logic (Vol. ii. pp. 16-18) on the
USE OF Hypothesis in Scientific Investigation.

'The function of hypothesis is one which must be reck-
oned absolutely indispensable in science. When Newton
said, "Hypotheses non fingo," he did not mean that he
deprived himself of the facilities of investigation afforded
by assuming in the first instance what he hoped after-
wards to be able to prove. Without such assumptions
science could never have attained its present state : they
are necessary steps in the progress to something more
certain ; and nearly everything which is now theory was
once hypothesis. Even in purely experimental science,
some inducement is necessary for trying one experiment
rather than another.



350 Books of the Old Testament [app.

'Neither induction nor deduction would enable us to
understand even the simplest phenomena " if we did not
often commence by anticipating on the results ; by mak-
ing a provisional supposition, at first essentially conjec-
tural, as to some of the very notions which constitute the
final object of the inquiry " (Comte's Philosophie Positive,
ii. 434, 437). Let any one watch the manner in which
he unravels a complicated mass of evidence ; let him ob-
serve how, for instance, he elicits the true history of any
occurrence from the involved statements of one or of
many witnesses : he will find that he does not take all
the items of evidence into his mind at once and attempt
to weave them together : he extemporizes, from a few of
the particulars, a first rude theory of the mode in which
the facts took place, and then looks at the other state-
ments one by one, to try whether they can be reconciled
with that provisional theory, or what alterations and
additions it requires to make it square with them. In
this way, which has been justly compared to the
Methods of Approximation of mathematicians, we arrive,
by means of hypotheses, at conclusions not hypothe-
tical.'

NOTE XVI.

An Excursus on the Books of the Old Testament
as a basis for history.

It is unsatisfactory to make any statements such as
those contained in the Second Lecture on the Hebrew
Commonwealth and Laws without forming a clear esti-
mate of the sources whence our information is drawn.
Putting aside the slight intimations which are found in
Egyptian writings, especially those of Manetho which
are not without value for the history of the Exodus, we
have to consider solely the books of the Old Testament.
Are we justified in basing history upon them? The



NOTE XVI.] as a Basis for History. 351

answer to this question is that, though many things
remain uncertain, the ground is sufficiently secure. It
becomes more possible every year to fix the historical
value of the books.

In the first place, the writings of the prophets, with the
exception of Daniel, the later part of Isaiah, and the
later part of Zechariah, are unchallenged. We have thus
a mass of literature of the highest importance from the
eighth to the sixth century B.C., blended in the most inti-
mate way with the history of the contemporary period —
a period when Greek and Latin history is still fabulous,
when Greek literature only existed in the shape of the
songs of the rhapsodists or of Hesiod, a period mostly
before Buddha or Confucius. The Psalms, also, though
the dates of many of them are as yet sub Judice, are gen-
uine productions, on which we can rely as evidence of
the national sentiment. The historical books, again,
from Judges to 2 Kings, though they have undergone a
rehandling from their latest contributor in the time of the
exile, are trustworthy documents ; nor are the books of
Ezra and Nehemiah (originally one book) subject to any
serious question. The books of Chronicles, which
formed a sort of preface to these, are undoubtedly a late
composition, and as such were placed last in the Jewish
Canon of the Old Testament. They are a rehandling of
2 Samuel and i & 2 Kings under the sacerdotal influences
prevailing in the days of Ezra ; but they appeal to
various ancient documents since lost. While, therefore,
criticism needs to be on the alert, we are, as regards the
prophets and the historical books, mainly on firm ground,
and can accept the framework which they present for our
historical conceptions.

It is unnecessary for the purposes of the second of these
Lectures to enter upon the questions raised as to the
second part of the book of Isaiah, or the book of Daniel
and the second part of Zechariah. By whomsoever writ-



352 Books of the Old Testament [app.

ten and at whatever date, the second part of Isaiah
evidently relates to the Babylonian exile, while the book
of Daniel and the second part of Zechariah are written
in view of the Maccabaean era : and neither of them
furnish anything of great importance for our present
purpose.

Neither need we enter into questions relating to the
books called by the Jews Hagiographa. Of the Psalms I
have already spoken : the book of Job is a speculative
poem, and, though its date and origin are matters of
religious and literary interest, it has little bearing on the
history or laws of Israel. Of the book of Proverbs, a book
of universal rather than Judaic morality, the same maybe
said. As to Ecclesiastes, it is evidently the production of
a late age, probably the same time as Malachi, and, though
of a high and peculiar religious value, is only a witness
to the mode of thought among the Jews of a certain class
at a particular epoch, probably that of the last Persian
kings. The Song of Songs has no assignable date, and,
though it is an idyll in praise of chaste married love as
opposed to licentiousness, and thus touches one of the
springs of the later Jewish greatness, may have had as little
to do with the peasants of Shunem as the bucolics of
Theocritus and Virgil had to do with the real life of the
peasants of Sicily and North Italy. The book of Esther
is evidently of much later date, and not to be depended
on for historical purposes. The books of Chronicles,
which were reckoned by the Jews among the Hagio-
grapha and formed the last book of their Canon, are now
recognized as belonging to the time of Ezra or his imme-
diate successors, and as representing a Levitical rehand-
ling of the history of the kings of Judah, though drawing
partly from different sources than those used by the
compilers of the earlier histories.

Of the three great divisions of the Old Testament,
namely, the Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa, we



NOTE XVI.] as a Basis for History. 353

have spoken of two. It remains to speak of the most
difficult part, the Pentateuch and the book of Joshua, or,
as it has been called, the Hexateuch, on which the battle
of criticism has raged, and is not yet finally decided.

The critical questions relating to the Pentateuch have
been needlessly complicated by doctrinal controversy.
It has been assumed that the Mosaic authorship and the
exact accuracy of the books are involved in the acknow-
ledgment of their religious value as parts of the Bible.
But, since they make no statements as to their authorship,
and the common appellation of them as Books of Moses
and the allusions in the New Testament to ' Moses' writ-
ings ' need imply no more than allusions to David's
Psalms or Solomon's Proverbs, we may put aside this
difficulty, while recognizing inspiration, according to the
true meaning of the term, in the spirit which breathes
through the books. That this spirit is in the main that
which as Christians we acknowledge to be divine, though
expressed according to the capacities of a backward age,
and only tending by progressive increase towards the
perfect holiness of Christ, may easily be discerned. The
religious value of the Hebrew law has been fully vindi-
cated in the Lecture.

When we once admit into our minds the possibility
that parts of the Pentateuch may have been written
subsequently to the time of Moses, we can hardly fail to
assign a much later date to the book of Deuteronomy.
Not only is its style eminently prophetic, recaUing the
manner of Jeremiah more than that of any other Scrip-
tural writer, but some of its provisions are such as it
seems impossible to believe could have been known
during the earlier history. The chief of these is the pro-
hibition in Deuteronomy of sacrifice at any but the one
central sanctuary. It is evident that no such law was
acknowledged in earlier times. Not only did men like
Samuel and Elijah sacrifice on special occasions at other
23



354 Books of the Old Testament [app.

places than the central sanctuary, but in the life of Samuel
we find that on all solemn occasions when there was a
' sacrifice of the people, ' he came in to bless it in the city
where he dwelt (i Sam. ix. 13) ; he inaugurates the choice
of David by a sacrifice (i Sam. xvi. 2, 5) ; David's family
had a yearly sacrifice at Bethlehem (i Sam. xx. 6) ; Absa-
lom, during David's reign, sacrifices at Hebron (2 Sam.
XV. 12) ; Joshua makes a pillar at Shechem (xxiv. 26) ;
God appears to Solomon when he worships and sacrifices
at the great high place in Gibeon (i Kings iii. 4) ; Isaiah
declares that there shall one day be a pillar to Jehovah in
the border of Egypt (xix. 19), whereas the Deuteronomic
legislation requires that all pillars, groves (asheras or
poles), and high places should be destroyed. This is
precisely what was attempted by Hezekiah and accom-
plished by Josiah. It is therefore natural to place the
writing of Deuteronomy at some time in the age from
Hezekiah to Josiah.

But the contrast is not only between the ideas of wor-
ship in Deuteronomy and in the historical books, but
between Deuteronomy and all the Pentateuch from Exo-
dus XXV. to the end of the book of Numbers. In Deute-
ronomy the Priests and Levites are one, in Leviticus
xviii. the distinction is drawn between them in the strong-
est manner. In Deuteronomy the Levites who come in
to Jerusalem are nourished by the same offerings as those
given to the Priests ; in Numbers xviii. the Levites have
a different support assigned them, that of the tithes : in
Numbers xviii. again, the tithes are assigned to the sup-
port of the Levites, in Deuteronomy xiv. 22-29 they are to
provide a family feast, of which the Levite partakes only
on the same terms as the stranger, the fatherless, and the
widow. The general tenor of the Deuteronomic legisla-
tion is also quite different from that of those parts of the
Hexateuch with which we are contrasting it ; for in those
parts the idea of the service of God is almost wholly



NOTE XVI.] as a Basis for History. 355

sacrificial and ceremonial ; in Deuteronomy it is almost
wholly moral and political.

Turning to the historical and prophetical books, we find
that in the time of Josiah the priests of the high places
were brought in from the cities of Judah into Jerusalem
(2 Kings xxiii. 8, 9), when the high places were defiled
and broken down, though some of these priests did not
come up to the altar of Jehovah at Jerusalem, but ate of
the unleavened bread among their brethren. This seems
to correspond with the provisions of Deuteronomy xviii.
6-8, that the Levites who should elect to come to Jerusa-
lem should serve with the Levitical priests and have their
portion there like them. On the other hand, this is in
contrast with what we read in Ezekiel xliv. 10, that the
Levites because they had gone astray should be merely
keepers of the door and assistants, and these are evidently
the general body of the Levites as contrasted with the
priestly family of Levites who were descended from
Zadok. This representation of Ezekiel agrees with the
representation of the books of Numbers and Leviticus,
and also with that of Ezra, when the Levites are com-
paratively insignificant in numbers and office (ii. 36-40;
ix. I ; Nehem. viii. 9).

The historical theory which appears best supported by
these facts is as follows : — The law of Israel grew up by
gradual development. The first sketch of the law in
Exodus XX. -xxiii. may be believed to have come from the
earliest times, and from this probably grew up the body
of customary law by which the people were governed in
the days of the judges and the early kings. This law, as
also the constitution of the nation, was in many points
vague and elastic. To pious and orderly minds it was
held together by the consciousness of the indwelling of
Jehovah as their king, which is the true theocracy. But
there was much lawlessness, as indicated by the expres-
sion of the book of Judges (xix. i ; xxi. 25) : 'In those



356 Books of the Old Testament [app.

days there was no king . . . every man did that which
was right in his own eyes.' The law was more fully en-
forced by kings such as David and Jehoshaphat ; but the
worship of Jehovah was still very generally of a debased
character, notwithstanding the protests of individual
prophets like Elijah ; and the law partook of the character
of the worship. Then came the great prophetic outburst
of the eighth century B.C., which purified both the worship
and the law, and which synchronizes with the reforms of
Hezekiah. These in their turn give rise to the legislation
of Deuteronomy, to the more stringent reforms of Josiah,
and to the directly spiritual teaching of Jeremiah and
Ezekiel.

But now in the prophets of the exile and the return a
new sacerdotal and sacrificial element appears. Even in
the second part of Isaiah we read of the doom entailed
by ceremonial impurity (Is. Ixvi. 17) : the test of the
strangers who join themselves to Jehovah is that they
should keep the Sabbaths, and the promise to them is
that they should offer acceptable burnt sacrifices (Iv. 6,
7) ; and the ideal for those who return from exile is that
of them some shall be taken for priests and Levites (Ixvi.
19-21). In Ezekiel, who was himself a priest, we find
an elaborate system of sacrificial worship drawn out,
which appears to have been the model followed by the
restored community. It may well be that the sense of
the need of atonement was so great at that time that it
could only be satisfied by the intensifying of this ele-
ment. That this element existed from the first is not
denied, and that some kind of a priestly Torah was
formed of customs and decisions relating to sacrifices
and ceremonies. (See the allusions to ceremonial cus-
toms in I Sam. xiv. 33, xx. 26, 29; 2 Kings iv. 23.) But
when we consider that the passover was never celebrated
as a national feast from the time of Solomon to that of
Hezekiah (2 Chron. xxx. 26), nor the feast of tabernacles



NOTE XVI.] as a Basis for History 357

from the time of Joshua to that of Ezra (Nehem. viii. 17),
we may beHeve that little attention was paid to the
details of the sacrificial system, and that the offerings,
however numerous, were spontaneous and irregular.
The best evidence of the change from this irregularity to
the subsequent precision is to be found by comparing the
earlier prophets with those after the exile. Especially we
may compare th« teaching of Jeremiah who declares that
no law had been given to the fathers as to offering and
sacrifice (vii. 22) with Malachi whose expostulations
with the people are all connected with the sacrificial sys-
tem. ' Cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a
male, and voweth and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt
thing' (Mai. i. 14). Such a sentence as this could not
have occurred in the earlier prophets ; nor again the
sentiment of iii. 9, 10, where the removal of the curse
upon the nation is made dependent on the payment of
tithes.

It is natural to infer from these facts that the sacrificial
system became much more stringent after the return from
Babylon. The saying that ' post-exilian Judaism was
rabbinical and not sacrificial' is true only of the later
times. It may be that the sacrificial system did not last
long after it was reduced to a stringent system. It is not
uncommon for a practice to be pursued with an extreme
fervour at the moment when it is about to pass away, as
was the case with the Roman temple-architecture under
Antoninus Pius just before its complete debasement
under Caracalla, or of the building of vast towers to
churches and monasteries just before the Reformation.
But the men of the age from Ezra to Malachi, during
which, according to the Jewish tradition, the whole of
the older documents were revised and re-edited, must
have set about their task with minds deeply imbued with
the importance of the sacrificial system and the priestly
office. This appears distinctly in the books of Chroni-



358 Books of the Old Testament [app.

cles, which were unquestionably written at this time.
It is most natural to believe that the book of Leviticus
also was compiled or reduced to its present state at the
same time. The same tendency, it is believed, is to be
traced in the rehandling of the other books of the Penta-
teuch, especially the later part of Exodus and the book of
Numbers. The book of Deuteronomy, being a con-
nected whole, is not susceptible of such treatment ; but
the book of Joshua is coloured by it.

We have, then, three periods of Jewish literature and
legislation. First, the simpler period, to which belongs
the underlying substance of the books of Genesis, Exo-
dus, Numbers, and Joshua, and the whole of the earlier
histories ; secondly, the Deuteronomic period, to which
belong the book of Deuteronomy, the prophets except the
prophets of the exile and return, and the later part of the
history ; and thirdly, the Levitical period, to which
belong the prophets of the exile and return, the books of
Leviticus and the Chronicles, and the general rehandling
of the Pentateuch except Deuteronomy and the book of
Joshua. The Psalms belong to all the periods : and the
Hagjographa bear only incidentally upon the history.

In the views now expressed Kuenen, Colenso, and
Robertson Smith substantially agree, and, though with
some differences, Wellhausen. It is obvious that they
are of great importance for a correct estimate of the
Hebrew history, and make it more harmonious with
what we know of history generally, though in the case of
Israel the sminal point is different from that to be found
in other nations, being nothing else than a conscious
relation to the Supreme Unity and Holiness.



NOTE XVII.] Mayne on Customary Law. 359

NOTE XVII.
On Customary Law as described by Sir H. Mayne

Sir H. Mayne, in his ' Ancient Law, ' pp. 11-13, distin-
guishes two epochs antecedent to the reduction of Laws
to Codes ; the first that of almost arbitrary commands, or
'Themistes,' the second that of Customary Law. Of the
first he says : —

' It is certain that, in the infancy of mankind, no sort
of legislature, not even a distinct author of law, is con-
templated or conceived of. Law has scarcely reached
the footing of a custom, it is rather a habit. It is, to use
a French phrase, "in the air." The only authoritative
statement of right and wrong is a judicial sentence after
the facts, not one presupposing a law which has been
violated, but one which has been breathed for the first
time by a higher power into the judge's mind at the mo-
ment of adjudication. . . . An Englishman should be
better able than a foreigner to appreciate the historical
fact that the Themistes preceded any conception of law,
because, amid the many inconsistent theories which pre-
vail concerning the character of English jurisprudence,
the most popular, or at all events the one which most
affects practice, is certainly a theory which assumes that
adjudged cases and precedents exist antecedently to
rules, principles and distinctions.'

Of the second, the customary period, he says that it
coincides with a period in which aristocracies were
formed and became the depositaries of the law : —

' Customs or Observances now exist as a substantive
aggregate, and are assumed to be precisely known to the
aristocratic order or caste. . . . Before the invention of
writing, and during the infancy of the art, an aristocracy
invested with judicial privileges formed the only expe-



360 Sir H. Mayne on Customary Law. [app.

dient by which accurate preservation of the customs of
the race or tribe could be at all approximated to. Their
genuineness was, so far as possible, ensured by confiding-
them to the recollection of a limited portion of the com-
munity. The epoch of Customary Law, and of its cus-
tody by a privileged order, is a very remarkable one.
The condition of jurisprudence which it implies has left
traces which may still be detected in legal and popular
phraseology. The law thus known exclusively to a
privileged minority, whether a caste, an aristocracy, a
priestly tribe or a sacerdotal college, is true unwritten



Online LibraryW. H. (William Henry) FremantleThe world as the subject of redemption; being an attempt to set forth the functions of the church as designed to embrace the whole race of mankind. Eight lectures delivered before the University of Oxford in the year 1883 on the foundation of the late Rev. John Bampton → online text (page 31 of 35)