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ARTICLE X.-NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.
KADESH-BARNEA.*_The first impression made by this book, after observing its elegant construction, is the pleasant impression of thoroughness. We are presented with a volume of 478 pages on a single biblical site. The body of the book consists of six chapters, which all tell the reader of Kadesh-Barnea : (1) Its manifold Importance; (2) the Biblical Indications of its Site; (3) the Ancient References to it outside of the Bible text; (4) the later Attempts at its Identifying; (5) the Story of a Hunt for it; (6) its Sites compared. These six chapters are followed by a special study of the Route of the Exodus, and by some thirty pages of well-made Indexes.
The question is inevitably raised : Why should there be a book, and especially so large a book, upon a single biblical site ? Anticipating this question, the author answers it in his introduction by noting the facts, that “Kadesh-Barnea was a site of importance forty centuries ago," that it was more than once the scene of events on which, for the time, the history of the world was pivoting,” and that for nearly twenty centuries its location has been “a matter of doubt and discussion among Jewish and Christian scholars.” To the answer of the author we will add one of our own. It is worth while for biblical scholarship to do all things thoroughly. It is worth while to make every practical protest which can be made against the haste and shallowness that are the bane of American students of the Bible, and against the demand (fostered, alas ! by too many of our religious papers) that Christian scholarship shall yield no fruits that are too large and too solid for the so-called popular taste. It is particularly well worth while for an editor to give to the younger students of theology and crititism a product that shows thorough work.
The peculiar value of this book, and of the work of its author, consists in this, that it confirms by another eye-witness the discovery
of Rowlands in 1842. By Dr. Trumbull's visit to 'Ayn * Kadesh-Barnea. Its Importance and probable Site, with the story of a Hunt for it, including studies of the Route of the Exodus and the Southern Boundary of the Holy Land. By H. CLAY TRUMBULL, D.D., Editor of the “Sunday-School Times." New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1884.
Qadees (or 'Ain Kadées as Rowlands would spell it) most, if pot all, of the objections which are urged against the identification of this place with the ancient Kadesh-Barnea are removed. The name of Rev. John Rowlands, therefore, fitly stands first of the three to whom this book is dedicated.
To him who reads between the lines a certain lesson of moral import may be learned from this book. After Rowlands' discov. ery, many of the leading German geographers and biblical students, judging the matter on the basis of the evidence, accepted his view. Winer wrote (in his Biblisches Realwörterbuch, 1847): “This conjecture (viz. that of Robinson), which has no positive evidence at all in its favor, must yield to the discovery which Rowlands made in 1842, when he accurately investigated the re gion south of Gaza and Gerar.” But the opinion of "the critical, thorough and impartial scholars of Germany” (p. 216) was lost upon the English and American public through the influence of “ the followers of Robinson on this point-men who controlled the avenues to popular biblical knowledge.” Robinson had identified Kadesh-Barnea and 'Ain el-Waybeh, a desert spring near the western slope of the 'Arabah (p. 208f). In the effort to sustain the identification of Robinson, Rowlands was accused of confusing 'Ain el Qadayrât with 'Ayn Qadees-an accusation which, says Dr. Trumbull (p. 224), a single reference to his original report would have corrected-and in general of being “fanciful, visionary, and full of credulity." In 1874, President Bartlett, being deceived by his escort, “ brought a new element of confusion into the discussion, by asserting that there was really no such fountain as ’Ayn el-Qadayrât in Wady el ’Ayn.” (p. 232). This assertion was made with all the more confidence because he (Bartlett) had searched the wady thoroughly. At the same time, Bartlett, standing at 'Ayn Qasaymeh,“ one of the two sites named by Rowlands as westward of 'Ayn Qadees,” and of course, not finding it correspond to Rowlands’ description of the latter place, had no hesitation in speaking of this discoverer as exhibiting "excessive confidence," and of bis statement as loose,”
," "overdrawn,” and “confused.” But where there are conflicting opinions, time shows which is mistaken, confused, and over-confident. In this particular case, therefore, the indications of Rowlands, from these accusations, so needlessly and carelessly made, has a certain moral value.
EXCURSIONS OF AN EVOLUTIONIST.*_The title of this book suggests the nature of its contents by a charming figure of speech. It both wards and invites us not to expect a very thorough or serioas discussion of any particular subject. There is to be no campaign or long journey in any of the well-known or the unexplored fields of inquiry. The word “Excursions” fitly describes the light, rapid, and stimulating, but rather unsatisfactory way in which the author comes into contact with the edges, as it were, of a number of difficult and important truths. That the excursionist proposes to himself to consider everything from one point of view-viz: from that of an “evolutionist,” or, more definitely, from that of a pretty thorough-going believer in evolution of the Spencerian type—is also made clear in the title. Casting quick glances at a variety of objects from this one point of view, the author enables us to see with him how it is possible for an evolutionist of this particular type to philosophize a little about them all. We have presented to us chapters on the Arrival of man in Europe, on our Aryan Forefathers and their language, and on a Primeval Mother Tongue, on Hero-worship, on Protestantism, its Origins and True Lessons, on Evolution and Religion (speech at a farewell dinner given to Herbert Spencer, in New York, Nov. 9, 1882), on Mind Stuff, and In Memoriam of Charles Darwin. All these subjects may be said to be presented as they appear almost at first blush to a devoted disciple of one kind of the developmenttheory.
It need scarcely be said that these essays are never tedious; on the contrary, there is not a page of them which does not contain some remark that is interesting and stimulating. To be sure, the interest is often one of quiet wonder or amazement; the stimulus often of the kind which provokes to a gentle opposition. The style is pure and clear; the remarks indulged in, not infrequently show much penetration and acuteness. A certain quantity of diaveté, both of thought and expression, lends an additional charm to many passages. For example: The author recollects (p. 283) once asking Mr. Spencer's opinion on some question of pure ontology.” To this question that great master-whom our author believes to “have made greater additions to the sum of human knowledge than have ever been made by any other man since the beginning of the world ”- replied that he had no opinion. The reason for Mr. Spencer's remarkable confession of ignorance is
Boston; Houghton, Millin & Co. 1884. pp. 379. Price, $2.00.
stated to be that “ he was so entirely occupied in working out the theory of evolution .... that he had not time and strength left to expend on problems that are confessedly insoluble.” Of course, it could never have occurred to our author that there be those who think that Mr. Spencer has made greater additions to the cruder assumptions of ontology than almost “any other man since the beginning of the world.” Again the author praises highly (p. 331) the “ beautiful method” and “fresh light” of Clifford's theory of “ a universe of mind-stuff.” But he thinks that a trifle too much of “anti-theological bias” led Clifford to overstep the bounds of his own theory, and declare “that the complex web of human consciousness cannot survive the disintegration of the organic structure with which we invariably find it associated.” But this conclusion of Clifford's concerning the soul, is really the very foundation of his theory of mind-stuff.
What further can more strikingly illustrate this same charming naïveté than the author's declaration (p. 296) in his after-dinner speech, that “ Mr. Spencer's work on the side of religion will be seen to be no less important than his work on the side of science ?" Nevertheless, the way in which he conceives of these important services of Spencer, and the statement (p. 369) that the final effect of Darwin's work may make him one of the best of religious teachers, because “he who unfolds to us the way in which God works through the world of phenomena" may well be called such a teacher, are only two among many tokens that Mr. Fiske possesses gifts of prophetic insight which enable him to see much further into the real truth of religion than either Clifford, Spencer, or Darwin. .
Clavis Rerum.*_ The history of human thought is largely made up of speculations as to the nature and destiny of the universe, and “Clavis Rerum” is perhaps the latest attempt at what has hitherto baffled human ingenuity. The author tells us that this brief essay is the result of many years of study, observation, and reflection.” He has strived to formulate a harmony of the universe. It would be impossible adequately to criticise a theory of the universe in two or three pages, and so we must content ourselves with an imperfect attempt to give some idea of the author's style and reasoning.
The author at different times appears in the threefold character of a Platonist, an Evolutionary Pantheist, and a Christian
* Clavis Rerum, pp. xiv., 142. Norwich, F. A. Robinson & Co., 1883.
Mystic. At other times we seem to be reading a revived and invigorated Neo-Platonisn. We constantly meet with examples of the Platonic theory of ideas. Evolution, too, finds a prominent position in these pages, while the Emanation theory of Plotinus, and its complement, absorption into the infinite Divinity, may perhaps be said to form the basis of the system advanced in Claris Rerum. All this is of course unadvoidable in an eclectic system, for it is the aim of the writer to gather fragments of truth wherever he can find them and with these fragments to form a symmetrical structure. The Universe, according to this theory, is made up of the following “elements” or “modes of being": Matter, “ characterized by Extension and Impenetrability.”
Intellect and Will.
Consciousness of God.
Uncreatedness. Then comes an exposition of the combination of these elements:
Matter and force appear in their lowest form in natural phe
Matter, force, and life appear in their lowest form in plants, thence rising to animals and men.
Matter, force, life, and soul enter into the constitution of animals and man, the first three forming their bodies, while soul forms their intellect and will. Man receives the further endowment of spirit giving him consciousness of God. The author then describes the epochs, causes, and development of these combinations which make up the world. These elements proceeded from God or were created by him, the consummation is their assumption into His being. The soul of man is trained by its previous existence in animals. In other words, "the animal creation is, and has been, (, training school for souls." This Platonic theory he makes further use of. Throwing away the doctrine of innate ideas and apparently deeming Spencer's race experience inadequate to account for some of the primitive notions, be advances the theory that these notions are the results of the experience of our animal existence in the immense past.
In matters of style we think the author has too great an inclinotion for fine writing. The temptation is strong of course to try to relieve such a discussion of heaviness by the use of graces of VOL. VII.