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became attached to the word much later. If this be the true genesis of meanings, it would serve to elucidate a very obscure region of Semitic thought and usage. It would also furnish a better explanation of facts than the apparently hopeless inversion of ideas suggested by Robertson Smith: “The holiness of the Gods is an expression to which it is hardly possible to attach a definite sense apart from the holiness of their physical surro

roundings; it shows itself in and by the sanctity attached to the persons, places, things, and times through which Gods and men come in contact with one another” (Ibid., p. 133). Doubtless such a view is based on a wide area of observed usage, and the prevailing use of the kal of the Hebrew verb tells in its favour. Yet I must confess that the 140 pages devoted to this subject in Bandissin's Studien zur Semitischen Religionsgeschichte (Heft II.), valuable as they are as a repertory of facts, shed for me no definite light on the actual genesis of meanings, leaving us only in the forlorn impasse of nescience to which Dr. Davidson remorse. lessly conducts his readers : "The term “holy,' as applied to Jehovah, is very elastic, and may embrace much or little, one thing or another. To call Jehovah . holy' tells nothing in (regard to Him further than that He is God with the attributes of God" (p. xl.). With this, however, we must apparently be content for the present. Certainly the author shows himself well acquainted with whatever side-lights Assyriology can furnish. Of this we have evidence in his citation of the much-abused Prolegomena of Prof. Fried. Delitzsch, to illustrate the tachash of Ezek. xvi. 10 (comp. also note on xl. 16), and in the frequent use made elsewhere of the historic data of cuneiform discovery.

Respecting the Commentary, Dr. Davidson has displayed admirable judgment. Certainly the advanced student will not turn to it in vain, but will find the gathered lights of deep and wide scholarship focussed on every real obscurity. Nor are the younger students forgotten, and we find a useful note inserted on Ezek. xxxix. 17, to remind them that the eating of flesh was comparatively rare in the ancient world, and was regarded as sacrificial, or in Robertson Smith's words, was “ eucharistic." Respecting the vexed question of the relation of Ezekiel's programme of the Restored Temple and Nation to the “ Code of Holiness” (Levit. xvii. to xxvi.), quite enough is said on p. liii. to indicate the nature of the problem to the intelligent reader. More than this was hardly possible within the limits of the work. To encumber the Commentary or Introduction with any discussion that is not complete in treatment would be a waste of valuable space, and hardly serviceable to the ordinary student, for whom the intricacies of the Higher Criticism possess as a rule no attractions. On the other hand, the figured illustrations designed to explain the minute description in chap. xl. of the Temple, its gateway, and its courts (pp. 294, 299), and also the diagram of the ideal distribution of the tribes in the restored Commonwealth (p. 354), will be welcomed by all students of the text. A diagram of the altar (xliii. 13-27) would have placed them under still greater obligation.

Correct renderings of the Hebrew text are introduced in the Commentary wherever the A.V. is deficient and required amendment. In one special case a continuous revised translation is given of the Kinah or lamentation (dirge) over the Princes of Judah (Ezek. xix), admirably adapted to give the reader a more vivid conception of the graces of Hebrew literary form. In conclusion, we heartily congratulate the syndicate of the Cambridge University Press on this excellent addition to the already valuable series of the Cambridge Bible. The volume on Ezekiel is a worthy companion to Dr. Davidson's Commentary on Job, and to Canon Cheyne's work on Hosea.






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A SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF THE DOCTRINE OF PRAYER. By G. D. ARMSTRONG (The Presbyterian Quarterly).—I. Prayer instinctive (Jonah i. 4-6). The scene depicted so graphically in these verses is one which has been repeated many a time, on every sea, and in every age of the world.

“Wherever there is religion, true or false," writes Dr. Dabney, “there is prayer. Even the speculative atheist, when pressed by danger, has been known to belie his pretended creed by calling in anguish upon the God he denied. This natural instinct of prayer reposes for its ground on God's perfections and man's dependence and wants. As long as these two facts remain what they are, inan must be a praying creature. ... To tell him who believes in God not to pray is to command him to cease to be a man.”Theology, p. 715.

If the statements quoted above are true, then (1), The legitimate effect of prayer is not exhausted in producing a certain subjective condition in the praying soul, as some would have us believe, but in the words of Dr. Chalmers :

“Prayer, and the answer to prayer, are the preferring of a request upon the one side, and compliance with that request upon the other. Man applies, God complies. Man asks a favour, God bestows it. These are conceived to be the two terms of a real interchange that takes place between the parties—the two terms of a sequence, in fact, whereof the antecedent is prayer lifted up from carth, and the consequent is the fulfilment of that prayer in virtue of a mandate from heaven.”—Chalmers' Works, vol. II.,

And (2), Prayer on the part of man is instinctive — instinctive in the strict scientific sense of that term. What is the meaning of the word instinct as it is used by scientific writers ? Paley defines it, “A propensity prior to experience, and independent of instruction.” Whateley defines it, “ A blind tendency to some mode of action, independent of any consideration on the part of the agent of the end to which the action leads." Sir William Hamilton says, “An instinct is an agent which performs blindly and ignorantly a work of intelligence and knowledge."

In further exposition of the nature of instincts, I remark, 1. Instincts vary only slightly, if at all, from generation to generation. Instinctive methods are capable of improvement, and experience teaches that they are not liable to deterioration. The honey-bee builds his cell to-day in the same fashion that its progenitor did 6,000 years ago in the garden of Eden; and the first-born child of the human race drew its nourish. ment from its mother's breast just as the child of to-day does. Because the instincts of animals are thus invariable, scientists have always regarded them as among the best guides in classification, and the most trustworthy characteristics in defining natural species. 2. Whilst instincts are thus invariable from generation to generation in the individual, they are capable of atrophy from disuse. 3. Instincts in animals are congenital, although in some instances they may not be called into active exercise until long after birth, e.g., the nest-building instinct of the bird. 4. Sir Wm. Hamilton's definition of instinct is : “An agent which performs blindly and ignorantly a work of intelligence and knowledge." In its nature and operation it is like a conclusion reached by a process of sound reasoning, and laid up in the memory for subsequent use. 5. Instinct, in its proper sphere, is the most perfect guide of conduct with which we are acquainted. If we conceive of instincts as results of the reasoning of God, the Creator, implanted in the mind of the creature at birth, all this is satisfactorily accounted for, and we can understand how it comes to be true that instinct, within its proper sphere, is a safer, more trustworthy guide than reason. my soul the

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Following our instincts, we are following the guidance of God; following human reason, we are following the guidance of man.

Such being the nature of instincts, if God has implanted in instinct of prayer, and I know through consciousness that such is the fact, then has He laid upon me an imperative obligation to pray, and to believe in the efficacy of prayer. It may be that difficulties are suggested and cavils uttered-difficulties which I cannot wholly remove, and cavils I cannot satisfactorily answer. What then? Shall I cease to pray, and give up my faith in the efficacy of prayer ? By no means. There is no belief which man holds concerning which difficulties have not been suggested.

II. Prayer ordinarily answered through the operation of second causes. In answering prayer, as in all other works of His Providence, God ordinarily secures results through the agency of second causes. Our world is a law-governed worldnot law-governed in the sense in which the materialist understands that expression, a sense in which the laws of nature are so many mechanical forces, and the world itself an automatic machine driven by those forces; but law-governed in the sense implied in God's immanence in nature; and the laws of nature--in the words of Sir Isaac Newton-are but "the established modes of the Divine working."

The true doctrine on this point is well taught in the old Greek fable of "The Waggoner," who, when his loaded waggon stuck fast in the mud, and he, falling upon his knees, called upon Jupiter for help, received for answer—“Put your shoulder to the wheel, and then call upon the gods."

III. The nature of true prayer. Prayer is, in the language of the Shorter Catechism, an offering up of our desires unto God (Ans. 98). Though words are the ordinary, they are not the only means by which man may make known his desires unto God. Actions have as articulate a voice for the ear of God as words have. When the woman that " was a sinner" came behind our Lord as He reclined at table in the Pharisee's house, and weeping, “ washed His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head," she gave a more eloquent expression to her desire for the pardon of sin than she could possibly have done in the use of words.

This truth will enable us to understand the language of Paul, “ Pray without ceasing " (1 Thess. v. 17); “ praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance" (Eph. vi. 18). Paul's exhortation to Christians is not, as his words are sometimes interpreted, to always maintain a spirit of prayer, so that if occasion offers they may be ready to pray, but to “ pray always," to "pray without ceasing.” This the industrious farmer does, in so far as his daily bread is concerned, not only when in the morning, on bended knee, he utters the words, “ give me this day my daily bread,” but just as distinctly, and to God's ear just as intelligibly, by the turning of every furrow with which his fallowground is broken up, by every stroke of the hoe with which his crop is cultivated, by every thrust of the sickle with which the ripened grain is gathered at the harvest season. On a certain occasion, after preaching this doctrine on the Sabbath, on Monday morning I had occasion to pass a field in which a farmer, who had been one of my hearers the day before, was engaged in cultivating his crop, when he said to me pleasantly, “ You see, Doctor, I am busy praying for my daily bread." ** Yes," was my reply, “and you expect an answer to your prayer, do you not ?” “Certainly," said he. • Now, my friend,” said I, “ if you will pray for the salvation of your soul in the same earnest, honest way, I doubt not you will secure an answer to that prayer also." In the sweat of the brow of the honest labourer there is a language which God understands as truly as in the tears of the penitent. And so it


comes to pass that a man's life is full of prayer and the answer to prayer of which we take no account.

IV. The range of effective prayer. “ The natural instinct of prayer reposes for its ground on God's perfections and man's dependence and wants," and hence, it would seem fairly to be inferred, that the range of effective prayer, as testified to by instinct, is co-extensive with man's necessities; that it is not confined, as some would have us believe, to securing relief for man's spiritual wants alone, but covers man's physical necessities as well. Prayer is an efficient power in the material universe, not directly, as light, heat, and gravity are; but indirectly, by calling into active exercise the will-power of God. The efficient putting forth of the will-power of God in the affairs of our world constitutes His providential government of the world, and this extends to "all His creatures and all their actions.” In the words of Dr. C. Hodge

“The theory of the universe which underlies the Bible, which is everywhere assumed and asserted in the sacred volume, which accords with our moral and religious nature, and which, therefore, is the foundation of all natural as well as revealed religion, is that God created all things by the word of His power ; that He endowed His creatures with their properties and forces; that He is everywhere present in His universe, co-operating with and controlling the operation of second causes, on a scale commensurate with His omnipresence and omnipotence, as we, in our measure, co-operate with and control them within the narrower range of ou efficiency."Theology, vol. iii., p. 698.

No good reason can be given why the range of effective prayer should not be as wide as the range of God's Providence; and the teachings of Scripture on the subject seem to imply that such is the fact.

As already remarked, our world is a law-governed world, and there is a necessity that it should be such if it is to furnish a suitable habitation for man. But this fact is in no way inconsistent with the efficient putting forth of the free will-power of man in such a way as to control and direct the operation of law-governed mechanical forces so as to bring about results such as man desires. If the will-power of man can operate in this way, why may not the will-power of God also ?

Study the prayer our Lord taught His disciples to offer—“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. vi. 11). How do thoughtful Christian men expect this prayer to be answered ? Not by miracle-God's raining down bread from heaven, as He did upon the Israelites in the wilderness—but by God and man co-operating, and by will. power controlling the operation of second causes fitted to secure that result. Man breaks up his fallow-ground, casts in his seed, and cultivates the growing crop. God sends from heaven His showers and sunshine, and so makes for man a fruitful season. In this law-governed world of ours the one agency is as indispensable, and in its proper sphere as efficient, as the other.

V. Natural and Christian prayer. By natural prayer, I mean such prayer as instinct alone would lead a man to offer, prayer which is simply the cry of a needy, dependent creature to a being, in whom he believes, superior to himself and therefore able to help him. By Christian prayer, I mean such prayer as instinct supplemented by revelation leads the Christian man to offer, prayer which is the cry a needy dependent sinner addresses to his reconciled Father in heaven, in the name of Christ Jesus, through whom this reconciliation has been effected. Had man never sinned, made as he was " in the image of God," he had been a perfect law unto himself, and his natural instinct would have proved an unerring and sufficient guide in prayer, as his reason and conscience would have been in the duties of life.

One of the first effects of the degrading influence of sin—though by no means the

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only one—is to obscure, if not obliterate, the idea of the Fatherhood of God, and all filial feeling on the part of man. God becomes a stern tyrant, and man a crouching slave. Christianity, which is a revelation from God, aims to restore the original relationship between God and man, in fact, and to the apprehension of man. Hence it comes to be true, that while all prayer is instinctive, man needs to be taught to pray a Christian prayer : there is need that revelation should supplement the work of instinct here. The Christian, conscious of his own ignorance and liability to err in judgment, and having thorough confidence in the unerring wisdom and perfect love of his Father in heaven, will naturally always pray with entire submission to the Divine will.

"There is nothing more contemptible than the presumptuous claim that God has subjected the universe to our dictation. Every really holy soul must prefer a million of times that God should reign absolutely, and do with him and his as seems good in His sight. What child of an earthly father can judge in any case what, upon the whole, and in the long run, is best for itself? How much more ould we insist upon leaving every decision at the disposal of our heavenly Father.”—A. A. Hodge's Lectures on Theological Themes, pp. 102, 103.

To the doctrine of the advocates of the “ faith-cure," as it is called, there is one fatal objection, viz., that in the rejection of appropriate means, it ignores the truth that,except in the case of miracles-God answers prayer through the agency of second causes. A second equally fatal objection to that doctrine is that it calls for faith without submission, a thing impossible in the case of a reverent, loving child of God.

VI. Tyndall's prayer-test. A few years ago a proposition was made-originating with Sir Henry Thompson, but brought to public attention by Professor Tyndall, and so generally spoken of as Tyndall's prayer-test--to determine the efficacy of prayer for the sick experimentally, in a way which, it was claimed, ought to be satisfactory alike to all.

1. I cannot believe that Professor Tyndall, when he proposed thus to test the efficacy of prayer in healing diseases, used the word prayer in its low, heathen sense, of the mere repetition of a form of words--an incantation, a charm. No Christian believes in the efficacy of incantations. No teacher has ever denounced the worthlessness of the mere repetition of a form of words more emphatically than our Lord (see Matt. vi. 5-8). As Professor Tyndall, in conducting such an experiment as this, would insist that the medicines should be pure, the genuine articles, he surely will not question the Christian's right to demand that the prayer used should be genuine also. It is to the heart of the worshipper God's eye is directed, and it is that which He sees there, and that only, which constitutes prayer. A man may impose upon his fellowman, he may even impose upon himself as to the true nature of his desires; he cannot impose upon God. The Christian can pray honestly for the recovery of a sick friend, with an earnestness correspondent to his love for that friend. He can pray for the recovery of the sick in general, with a real, though feeble desire, through sympathy with all sufferers, and as the outcome of his love for his brethren according to the flesh. But the prayer Professor Tyndall's experiment calls for is altogether different from such prayers as these. The prime object of that prayer is, not the relief of a suffering friend or fellow-creature, but the shutting of the mouths of certain cavilling philosophers, who, rejecting God's plan of settling a question, would fain excuse that rejection by proposing an entirely different plan. Certain I am that this is the form the

prayer would have to assume, if I attempted to offer it. It is a well-known, wise, and just principle governing God's adminstration of His kingdom of grace, that He will give such proof of the truth of the Christian religion as a whole, and of its several doctrines in particular, as shall thoroughly satisfy the ingenuous inquirer, but not

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