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views. First of all, he has no words strong enough to express his admiration for the high qualities of Dr. Cheyne's work—its learning, thoroughness, acuteness, fulness of suggestion. “Every page bears witness to restless, self-sacrificing, conscientious toil, but the real note of the book, giving it the greatest value, its real fascination, is that of courage.” “The reviewer is filled with admiration for the exact labour, and the subtle ear for the pulse-beat of the Psalms." “ The notes following every lecture conceal a boundless store of most valuable hints on the different subjects.” ' A book resting, like the present one, on such strong supports, distinguished by deep religious feeling, extensive and thorough knowledge, and long, conscientious labour of an uncominonly subtle and fine intellect, cannot but bear rich fruit.” Generally speaking, Dr. Budde agrees with the lecturer's conclusions, but with similar reserves to those we noted in Dr. Kautzsch. He cannot accept Dr. Cheyne's most extreme positions. He questions Dr. Cheyne's favourite theory of extensive Persian influence on prophetic teaching. On this point he says, “All the learning and all the ingenuity applied to the subject have not, so far at least, been able to convince me that any considerable Iranian intluence is to be supposed in explaining the traces of faith in immortality found in the Psalms, and I must think it misleading, on the ground of such a supposition, to find more in the passages than one has reason for doing apart from it."
Still more, Dr. Budde cannot accept the post-Exilian date of all the Psalms, and gives strong reasons for his opinion. “I regard the decided rejection of pre-Exilian or Exilian portions of the Psalter as an exaggerated attitude of opposition to the traditional view, and since I cannot renounce an historical, genetic explanation of the growth of psalm-composition, I must suppose that much that is pre-Exilian has passed into the flesh and blood of the post-Exilian temple-songs. I do not consider myself in the least bound to point out these pre-Exilian parts. For certainly all the songs of the Psalter are post-Exilian so far as they were received into the hymn-book of the second Temple, and so far as they were adapted to the new position. To justify my postulate, I appeal to the author himself as a witness, with his unique and astonishing postulate of a 'second David,' who has to explain the literary character of the book of Amos and the oldest Psalms. Much more necessary seems to me a • third David,' in the form of a pre-Exilian psalm-composition, to explain the postExilian,"
The critic also argues at length and cogently against Cheyne's “ personification theory.” By this, of course, is not meant the individual psalmist speaking for others. Every poet does this. “The kernel of the theory is the assertion that all the psalms were immediately composed for the temple service; that none, or the fewest possible, were adopted into the service afterwards. So far as I can see, this is to deny all non-official religious composition; and this I hold to be impossible, above all for the post-Exilian period, after Jeremiah had successfully vindicated the religious rights of the individual. The fountain of song for public worship would soon have dried up if it had not been constantly replenished from a powerful source behind.” It may be interesting to quote a portion of the argument used in support of the criticism. “When Cheyne himself finds in 3ks. iv. and v. far more frequently definite signs of public use, and explains it by the circumstance that the older psalms were not in all points sufficiently adapted' to a later situation, this distinction of more or less necessarily points to religious composition not originally for public use. We cannot forbid the Jewish Church to draw from such a source; by doing so we should again renounce an organic explanation of psalm-composition. Cheyne himself points out that we should be in contrast with Chaldæan, Vedic, and Zoroastrian hymns; I refer to the more accessible analogy of the hymn-book of the German Protestant Church,
despite the 2,000 years between. The adoption of pre-Exilian songs by the temple of Jerusalem must have been much easier to the Church of the second temple than the adoption of pre-Reformation hymns by the Reformed Church, which was far from uncommon. And as then, despite the express manufacture of hymns for a new book, individual compositions were constantly raised into church-hymns and drove out worse ones made ad hoc; as the hymns continually changed in the process, in the course of a few centuries often enough beyond recognition, there is not the slightest reason for denying such things to be inapplicable to the Church of the second temple, a people whose whole life pulsed with religious feeling.” He also thinks that the theory prevents any historical explanation of the Psalms. The chief means for determining date is the strain of the psalm, whether joyous and jubilant or sad and plaintive. To find such moods of feeling in historical periods will be very difficult. These are far better explained as the outcome of personal emotion. The idea of composing for public use is not a particularly inspiring one.
J. S. BANKS.
CURRENT FRENCH THOUGHT.
AUTHORITY IN MATTERS OF RELIGION. E. MÉNEGOZ (Revue Chrétienne).—In the recent controversies on the subject of authority in matters of faith, the discussion has specially borne upon the points of divergence between the two tendencies, sprung respectively from old-fashioned Protestant orthodoxy and from that which is erro. neously called the “ new school” or the “ new orthodoxy." We would sooner designate the two parties as the evangelical right and the evangelical left. In the following paper we would prefer to direct the attention of our readers not so much to the points of divergence as to those in which theologians of the two schools are in agreement.
And, first of all, they agree on the idea of authority. In spite of differences of expression and definition, both parties understand by authority a sovereign utterance which we accept without discussion. It is not easy to give an unexceptionable definition of the word "authority”; but a very good description of what is meant by it is given in a remark of Cicero (De nat. deor.) about the disciples of Pythagoras.
“Sine ratione valet auctoritas (“They accept his authority without discussion "). This is the true character of submission to authority. The child believes his father's words without thinking of discussing them. What his father says is true, just, and good. And this authority of a father is the most perfect type of authority as the word is to be understood in the debate between the two evangelical parties.
If we go a step further and consider what the authority is to which we submit, we again find agreement between the two parties. Both of them recognize but one and the same authority—that of God. This is undeniable. The most advanced left, as well as the most conservative right, would sign the statement, without a shadow of reserve, “We recognize no other authority than that of God.” All are Protestants : all reject the authority of the Pope. And as for the decisions of the Church, they accept them only on their own merits. In spite of their respect for ancient councils, synods, and other ecclesiastical assemblies, they do not dream of appealing to them as authoritative. The confessions of faith that belong to Reformation times they treat with deference, but they allow themselves to discuss them. They attach great value to the judgments of eminent theologians, ancient or modern; but they do so with the feeling that they have full liberty to criticize them. The only authority that closes discussion is that of God. They accept it in the most absolute sense : submit to it fully and sincerely. This, I think, can be said of both parties.
But God does not appear to us in a visible manner, nor speak to the outward ear. He has chosen another mode of communication. If we ask what it is, both parties give the same reply. They say, with the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, “God having of old times spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in His Son. .... And the salvation spoken by the Lord has been confirmed unto us by them that heard” (Heb. i. 1, ii. 3). In other words, God speaks to us by Holy Scripture. He speaks to us in a still more direct manner-to our conscience, by the Holy Spirit. This double testimony, external and internal, springs from the same source. It is the same Holy Spirit which spoke through the holy men of the Old and of the New Testaments who speaks to-day to the conscience of each of us. There is perfect harmony between the internal and the external testimony, but the difficulty for man is to perceive that testimony clearly and surely—to discern what is from God and what is not from Him.
We are not now dealing with theories, but with facts. Both parties admit the revelation of God in the Old and New Testaments; for both, Holy Scripture is the word of God, the sovereign authority in matters of faith. Both recognize equally that there are human elements in Scripture--matters personal to the writers of a local, temporary, accidental character; information of an historical, literary, and scientific kind, which they do not consider as “the word of God," nor as the objects of religious faith. They admit that in matters of this kind the sacred writers have shared the views-at times, the errors--of contemporaries, and that the Bible is not free from mistakes of this sort. God does not reveal to us facts for the discovery of which we have the light of reason. He only reveals facts and truths which our reason is incapable of discovering ; facts of a moral and spiritual order, truths relative to our salvation. At this point we hear the objection, “ You give up the old and precious doctrine of verbal inspiration, and thus overthrow the very foundation on which our faith is based.” But we are not called to discuss this objection. Both classes of modern theologians reject the theory of plenary inspiration. They have good reasons for doing so which have at last convinced the immense majority of theologians of all countries. On this point we may say the discussion is closed. The few belated theologians who make desperate efforts to retain the old theory have no following, and may be left out of account. Both the modern schools of theology admit that there is need to distinguish between the human and fallible elements in the Bible, and those that are Divine and infallible. But what method, what criterion are we to adopt for this purpose ?
We ask theologians of the left and of the right schools, and they give the same reply: “ Together with the light of reason, knowledge gained by study, and the illumination of the Holy Spirit, there must be combined all that we have gained from religious education, from the testimony of the Church, from our relations with faithful Christians, and from the experiences of our own spiritual life. From all these quarters have come Divine rays which have lit up our intelligence, conscience, and heart. It is with these feelings, these dispositions, and this knowledge that we examine the Holy Scriptures, and endeavour to hear the voice of God.” It may be said that this is a subjective, others would call it a rationalistic, criterion. But what kind of a criterion do those critics make use of who utter this reproach? Have they not also subjective reasons for admitting the authority of the Bible rather than that of the Koran ? As for us who admit no other authority than that of God, we follow the recommendation of St. Paul—we “prove all things” in order that we may “ hold fast that which is good,” we interrogate the Holy Scriptures in order to hear the voice of God.
But, it will be asked, do you not accept the teaching of Christ as “the word of God ?” Certainly we do. But still it remains to make sure what are the words of Christ. Christ did not choose to commit His revelation to writing, and thus to transmit it directly to us. He did not even lay on His disciples the charge of drawing up a sacred literature. To find His words we have to seek for them behind the human medium through which they have come to us. We may regret it, but it is a fact that it has pleased God that we should seek for His word in the teaching of His Son, as we seek for it in that of His other messengers. Christ became like men in all things except sin. He spoke the language of His contemporaries. He shared their views in matters of ordinary knowledge. Some theologians consider that in some points He accommodated Himself to the ideas, and even to the prejudices of those of His time. We always find ourselves in the presence of a text in which human and Divine elements are combined, and we see it to be necessary to apply to the words of Jesus, as reported by the Evangelists, the same criterion as we use for those of prophets and apostles. Holy Scripture is a work at once Divine and human, and God summons us to make use of all our faculties to discern His thought, His will, His revelation.
To some this will seem very unsettling; they will think that no firm foundation for faith is left. But if we are not to impugn the Divine wisdom, we must accept the laws of the spiritual world as God has established them. Jesus Christ has said, * Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice.” This is the law of the spiritual world. Knowledge of God, perception of His voice, discernment of His revelation depend on subjective dispositions. There is a mysterious affinity between the spirit of man and the spirit of God-an active, personal, living reciprocity. And it is in consequence of this that the word of God discloses itself to our minds and hearts, and creates in those "who are of the truth the certainty of faith. This is a certainty which cannot be shaken-of a different kind from scientific certainty, but quite as absolute. So far, then, from being afraid to apply to Scripture our subjective criterion, we have the consciousness that in applying it we are conforming to the will of God.
But though both schools are at one in the matter of authority, and in that of the criterion by which we recognize that authority, there are divergences between them, not of a theoretical, but of a practical kind. The workmen apply their tools differently. The theologians of the right, while in theory giving up the doctrine of the infallibility of Holy Scripture, have yet in practice clung more or less closely to it. Under the influence of the dogma of verbal inspiration they are inclined to admit in the Bible only a minimum of errors that are absolutely undeniable, and to endeavour to defend others, however doubtful they may be. As far as possible, even at the risk of doing violence to the text and to history, they apply themselves to bend facts to harmonize with the dogma. Their doing so is to be explained rather by a certain mental tendency-a conservatism natural to some minds—than by a definite theory. On the other hand, the evangelical left is under the influence of a different mental tendency. It is inclined rather to bend dogmas to facts than facts to dogmasto pay no attention, indeed, to dogmatic teaching or to traditional ideas, however venerable they may be, but to Biblical documents themselves ; to study them with scientific exactness, and to learn from them the secret of their origin, composition. and primitive meaning.
NO. 1.- VOL. II.-THE THINKER.
It is not surprising, therefore, that though there may be agreement in principles, writers of these two schools should arrive at different results. The instrument is the same, the workmen differ, and if we ask, On which side is truth? who is to judge between them ? we must beware of being coerced by any external authority, whether it be that of the Pope, or that of a theologian who sets himself up as a Pope—who has himself gone a certain distance on the line of negation, and anathematizes those who dare to go a step further. God has spoken to us by His messengers, and by the immediate testimony of our own consciences. There is thus established in our souls, between the external and internal testimony, a living relationship, which creates, developes, strengthens, purifies, and illumines our religious life, our thoughts, feelings, and wills, and puts us in the way of hearing the voice of God, of understanding it better, and of yielding to it as the only authority. Truth is complex, and God is pleased that we should make efforts to acquire it. No roundabout way will enable us to escape the difficulties which He calls us to surmount. As we earn our daily, so must we earn our spiritual bread, by the sweat of our brows. But we know that God is just and good, and that He asks nothing that is above our strength. He only asks one thing from us, that we should each be faithful to the light He has given us, and say with entire sincerity of heart, “ Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth."
CURRENT SWISS THOUGHT.
FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE. A. GLARDON (Le Chrétien Evangélique).—What is faith, in the ordinary acceptation of the word ? It is the confidence which man has in the evidence of his senses. He can only enter into relation with the world through his senses. They receive impressions on which he is compelled to rely for direct knowledge of the external world. But man does not simply receive impressions; he is able to compare, estimate, and judge them, and by the exercise of intelligence to form an idea of the things which his senses have revealed to him. And in so doing he passes from the domain of faith into that of knowledge. But in these processes he may often make mistakes ; his generalizations may be hasty and erroneous, his defects of temperament or intellect may warp his judgments. Hence the uncertainty and variations which are found in the region of knowledge. The existence of the sun, e.g., is revealed to us by two of our senses, those of sight and touch, which receive impressions of its light and warmth. We thus believe in its existence intuitively, without any exercise of reason. This is the domain of faith. From this belief we may proceed to study the phenomena of light and heat, in order to form an idea of the sun, and thus enter the domain of knowledge.
In like manner our souls have spiritual senses—that of sight, the moral sense, or conscience, and that of touch, which is generally called the heart, the seat of emotions and affections. By means of them, and by means of them alone, we enter into relation with the spiritual world; we receive through them impressions of that world as truly as we do of the material world through the bodily senses. This is religious faith. In like manner, as in the case of impressions received through the material senses, man proceeds to reason upon the spiritual impressions received through the conscience and heart, and thus enters the domain of theology. The domain of religious faith and that of theology are, therefore, quite distinct, though closely connected with each other--so closely that the human mind passes involun. tarily and almost unconsciously from the one into the other. The existence of God,