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Apostle's writings, the theory that his views underwent change from the less clear and less broad, to the clearer and broader, is rather confirmatory of the claim to inspiration. For inspiration is through life, and according to the laws of life. It is not the imposition upon a soul of a mass of truth, but rather the utterance in a soul of that which its own nature and education and longing fit it to hear and to receive. What the development was between his conversion and the date of his first letter, written seventeen years later, is almost wholly a matter of conjecture. The teaching of the discourses belonging to that period which are recorded in the Acts harmonizes with his later teaching, with the exception that in the matter of meat offered to idols the rule laid down in the Epistles to the Corinthians and Romans differs from that which he imposed on churches in accordance with the decree of the Jerusalem Council (Acts xvi. 4). In the period covered by his epistles very few changes of belief can be safely affirmed. Evidence is wanting that his conception of Christ's work, of man's need, or of the way of salvation experienced any essential development. It may be quite positively held, however, that his view of the Parousia did change between the composition of the Thessalonians and the end of his life. When he wrote to the Thessalonians, he thought the Parousia might occur within his own lifetime. When he wrote the Pastoral Epistles, he had given up the hope of living to witness the Parousia. His younger fellow-labourer, Timothy, might live till Christ's coming, but for himself the time of his departure was at hand. The brightness of his early hope had become dim. That great event on which his thoughts dwelt so much when he was in Thessalonica had receded not a little into the future. But it must be clearly noted that the one point in which change can be definitely registered, is the point of time. St. Paul still believed in the Parousia, and believed that it had an important bearing on the Christian life. It is not only in the Thessalonian Epistles that he makes large practical use of the Parousia, following the example of Christ, but also in the Philippians, and in the Pastoral Epistles. But as regards the time of the Parousia he had been compelled to alter his view. We may go somewhat further than this. From a comparison of the Thessalonians with the Pastoral Epistles, it seems fair to infer that at the earlier date the Apostle was much more concerned with the future than he was at the later date. Of course this was natural. Present things would grow in importance as the Parousia receded into the background. In the letters to the Thessalonians the Parousia controls everything; in the Pastoral Epistles it is barely alluded to. It is hidden, as it were, behind the urgent matters of the present day. St. Paul's view regarding the nearness of the Parousia was not different from that which was held by other New Testament writers, and the change that came over his view must apparently have been a common change, for the men of that generation, one after another, died without seeing the day which they had longed to see.
On this question of the Parousia, therefore, the Epistles of St. Paul plainly show development, but a parallel case can scarcely be found. St. Paul was mature
when converted, and had been a Christian some sixteen or seventeen years when he composed the first of his extant letters. And the larger part of this long period had been spent in active Christian work, which had brought him into contact with all classes of men, and with all the questions of the time. It is natural, therefore, to believe his doctrines were clearly and firmly held when, at last, in the providence of God, be began to express them in written form.
JUDÆA.-In the Expositor for June, Prof. G. A. Smith gives the fourth of his very fresh and luminous articles on the historical geography of the Holy Land, and shows with great clearness how the physical surroundings in which the Jewish people were placed affected the national life. “Like England,” he says, "Judæa has all the advantages of insularity. It is singular how much of an island this inland province really is. With the gulf of the Arabah to the east, with the desert to the south, and lifted high and unattractive above the line of traffic that sweeps past her on the west, Judæa is separated as much as by water from the two great continents, to both of which she otherwise belongs. So open at many points, the land is yet sufficiently unpromising and sufficiently remote to keep unprovoked foreigners away. Thus Judæa was designed to produce in her inhabitants the sense of seclusion and security, though not to such a degree as to relieve them from the attractions of the great world which throbbed closely past, or to relax in them those habits of discipline, vigilance, and valour which are the necessary elements of a nation's character. In the position of Judæa there was not enough to tempt her people to put their confidence in herself ; but there was enough to encourage them to the defence of their freedom and a strenuous life. And while the isolation of their land was sufficient to confirm the truth of their calling to a discipline and a destiny, separate from other peoples, it was not so complete as to keep them in barbarian ignorance of the great world, or to release them from those temptations to mix with the world, in meeting which their discipline and their destiny could alone be realized. . The physical geography of Palestine not only makes clear such subordinate things as the campaigns and migrations of the Old Testament, but signalizes the providence of God, the doctrine of His prophets, and the character He demanded from His people. It was a great lesson the Spirit taught Israel, that no people dwells secure apart from God, from character, from common
But the land was the illustration and enforcement of this lesson. Judæa proved, but did not exhaust, nor tempt men to feel that she exhausted, the will and power of God for their salvation. As the writer of the Hundred and Twenty-first Psalm feels, her hills were not the answer to, but the provocation of, the question, Whence cometh my help? and Jehovah Himself was the answer. As for her prophets, a great part of their sagacity is but the true appreciation of her position. And as for the character of her people, while she gave them room to be free and to worship God, and offered no inducement to them to put herself in His place, she did not wholly shut them off from danger or temptation; for without danger and temptation it is
impossible that a nation's character should be strong." The whole article deserves to be carefully read; it not only treats what one might have expected to be a somewhat arid subject in a very attractive manner, but throws new light on many passages both in the Old and New Testaments.
PENTATEUCHAL CRITICISM.—Prof. Scrimger, of the Presbyterian College, Montreal, expresses, in an article in The Treasury, the hope which probably many would be glad to entertain that the old conservative view of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch may yet be triumphantiy re-established. He suggests that it may possibly be re-stated, so as to account more adequately for the facts that have been brought to light by the patient and thoroughgoing investigations of the past century. Thus, for example, the question of the literary methods of Moses has not received as yet the attention it deserves. Many of the alleged difficulties arise from the supposition that, being a continuous work, the Pentateuch must have been written continuously; whereas it may have undergone repeated revision from Moses' own hand, and his own material, as well as earlier material, embodied in it in various ways. This would account for a good deal in the way of variety of style and difference of standpoint. Everybody was recently reading Stanley's latest work, entitled In Darkest Africa, giving account of his expedition for the relief of Emin Pasha. The work is well written; but it presents some curious literary phenomena. It is said to have been written in fifty days, almost at one sitting ; but any one can see at a glance that there are two quite different styles in it-one, terse, disjointed, scrappy, being that of his diary during the expedition, which has evidently been transferred to the work without much change; the other, the more flowing style of continuous composition. Almost every question is discussed from two different standpoints, and sometimes from more, as events developed themselves. We happen to know that it is all by one hand. But if this work had been written three thousand years ago, and we had known less about the author than we do, our critics would have had a problem very similar to that of the Pentateuch, and would no doubt have solved it in very much the same way. The same work may also furnish an apt parallel on another important point. The critics make a great deal of the fact that certain portions of the Pentateuch laws were disregarded, even by good men, at a time long after the days of Moses. They conclude from this that they were really unknown and non-existent. The sad history of Stanley's rear-column shows only too plainly how the clearest instructions may be completely disregarded by men who give fullest evidence of their earnest sympathy with the objects which these instructions were meant to secure. The truth is, our critics, with all their literary acumen, show a great ignorance of human nature, and make little allowance for the possibilities of misinterpretation, the vagaries of popular opinion, and the unconscious perversities of good men. Assuredly the last word has not been spoken in this controversy ; but it is safe to say that advanced criticism is very far as yet from having made good its whole claim. That the work is in some sense composite in its origin seems altogether probable; but Moses may very well have been the compiler even of his own materials. That it has been edited since the days of Moses, and somewhat modernized, is also probable ; but it is by no means certain that the changes or additions have been at all considerable.
THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE PASSION WEEK.—Those who are interested in the Chronology of Passion Week may like to examine a curious diagram drawn up by David Duke, Great Easton, Leicestershire. This diagram proceeds on the hypothesis that the Evangelists reckoned by Christian days, commencing and closing at midnight, but that they divided these days into Jewish hours. Pursuing this line, it is sought to show that reckoning by Jewish days we should have to place the crucifixion on Thursday, Nisan 14th, and that Christ would consequently have lain in the grave four days, but that adopting Christian days we have the crucifixion on Friday, Nisan 15th (ŷ Tapas Kevị thus having its usual signification), and Easter day on Nisan 17th, giving the usual three days' rest in the grave. Thursday, Nisan 14th, is regarded as the Passover day, but the attempt to reconcile John xviii. 28 with this reads like special pleading, and cannot be regarded as satisfactory. To those who have not approached the question before the diagram is intricate, but would easily be followed by one already versed in the controversy.
DATE OF THE SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH.
By Rev. H. D. ASTLEY, M.A.
In the May number of THE THINKER (a Magazine which all students of theology have hailed with delight) the Editor gives the first place in his Survey of Thought to a paper by Dr. W. Wilson, of Utica, U.S., on the above subject. The Doctor calls attention to what seems to him a controlling fact" (in the controversy as to the origin of the Old Testament), viz., “ the existence of the Samaritan Pentateuch.” He argues that it could not have been received from the Jews in the time of Ezra, for by that time the Jews had already come to have no dealings with the Samaritans, nor at any time subsequent to the division of the kingdom under Jeroboam (circ. 950 B.C.). He then proceeds to assert that “the Samaritans” had a copy of the Pentateuch at that date! Here let me point out a confusion of thought on the part of Dr. Wilson—for surely he must be well aware that the Israelites of the northern kingdom from 950 to 720 B.c. (when Samaria fell, and the people were taken captive to Assyria) were a very different race from the mongrel people of later days to whom alone the name of “Samaritans" is applicable. But where does the Doctor learn that the northern Israelites were in possession of a book practically indistinguishable from the Pentateuch in
a the days of Jeroboam, 950 B.C. ? Proceeding, however, on this assumption, he argues that on his premisses the “Samaritan Pentateuch” must have come down in its completeness from the time of Moses, and thus thinks he has discovered a difficulty which the advocates of the Higher Criticism will find it hard to overcome. He concludes by saying, “ I have never seen this point stated, and I do not see how it can be answered or evaded.”
What, then, is the most probable date and the most likely origin of the Samaritan Pentateuch ? It certainly is a remarkable fact that such a document should be in existence, and still more so that those who possess it should reverence no other part of the Old Testament as Holy Scripture. How may it be accounted for?
Without pretending to any special knowledge on the subject, I would refer Dr. Wilson and the readers of THE THINKER to Prof. H. E. Ryle's recently published book on the Canon of the Old Testament, pp. 91-93. The Hulsean Professor of Divinity at Cambridge is discussing the question of the formation of the “First Canon,” and he is engaged in proving that it consisted of the Pentateuch only. After referring to the facts that (1) it was always a distinct group, (2) the object of peculiar reverence in the post-Exilic writings, and (3) in later Jewish literature, and that the name Torah, Law, was often applied in later days to the whole Hebrew Canon of Scripture, has come to the very point which is here under discussion, and his words are so important that I must beg leave to quote them verbatim. He says: “The Canon of Scripture recognized by the Samaritan community, even down to the present day, consists of the Pentateuch alone. It has been very generally and very naturally supposed that the Samaritan community obtained their Torah, which, save in a certain number of comparatively unimportant readings, is identical with the Jewish Torah, from the renegade Jewish priest, of the name, according to Josephus, of Manasseh, who instituted on Mount Gerizim a rival temple worship to that on Mount Moriah (Jos. Ant. xi. 7, 8). Josephus has placed this event in the days of Alexander the Great, but here he is a victim of the strangely erroneous views of chronology which the Jews of his and of later times have commonly entertained respecting their nation's history, in the interval between the return from the Exile and the victories of Alexander. We need have little hesitation in connecting Josephus' account with the ejection by Nehemiah of the grandson of the high priest, Eliashib, who had married the daughter of Sanballat, and had thus disgraced the family of the high priest (Neh. xiii. 28). This latter event happened almost exactly a century before the age of Alexander's victories. It is hardly likely that two events, so similar in character and yet so near in point of time, narrated the one by Nehemiah and the other by Josephus, should be unconnected with one another. We may safely assume that the events are the same, and that the grandson of Eliashib is the renegade priest, Manasseh. When this priest, at the head