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Articles, on the minds of the candidates for the ministry whom Mr. Maurice has been indoctrinating? If they believe their teacher, they may enter the Church with mental reservations, fatal alike to their own truthfulness, and to the peace and edification of others. Their reasoning, on the principle taught them, will be* We believe the Articles, and are willing to subscribe them, but we will only be bound by their letter, boldly and rigidly interpreted. Anything which is not forbidden in them in so many words, we are not bound to refrain from teaching, and we therefore are able, notwithstanding we have signed them, to repudiate much that is antiquated and conventional in Christian teaching.'
Will Mr. Maurice's strong statement, respecting the Divine benevolence, and his assertions of a great desire to administer to minds diseased,' compensate for the loose morality thus taught? We willingly believe that Mr. Maurice would deprecate such results from his teaching, but may they not be legitimately inferred from it? This constitutes one of the most serious objections we have to the Essays,' that they leave so much indefinite, and appear to be so reckless in reference to consequences. We would hope that the almost unanimous voice of those who have written on the subject, may lead Mr. Maurice to reconsider, calmly and prayerfully, the whole train of subjects lie has brought before us, and be led to see that his cast of thought' is neither for his own usefulness and honour, nor for the well-being of others.
Mr. Maurice must not complain if we speak decidedly and warmly. He does so for what he conceives to be the truth, and we claim the same privilege. Our province is not only to treasure up facts and criticisms, but also to maintain great principles relating to Biblical interpretation. We hoped to have been able to put in a word on behalf of a zealous and cultivated mind; but we grieve to say conscience forbad us to be charitable when, on reading the Essays, we found all we value in the Bible is at stake. Let Mr. Maurice's principles prevail, and the consistency, and harmony, and influence of the Christian system must quickly disappear.
Although we hope our meaning will not be mistaken when we refer to the uniform belief of the Church in all ages, it will probably be well to remark that we mean the belief of the Church professedły founded on the Holy Scriptures ; for this alone, in our opinion, can be called the orthodox faith. Wherever the Bible has been studied and preached, and made the standard of appeal both for Christ's ministers and people, there a generally uniform
opinion has prevailed as to the essential doctrines of Christianity. In Churches where the Bible is either ignored in reference to the people, or made subservient and inferior to the tradition and authority of a hierarchy, we there recognise a backsliding or an apostacy, and refuse to consider the opinions there entertained as those of the orthodox Church. Gross errors have always prevailed in such cases, and the doctrines of such communities are not included by us in the expression, the general faith of Christendom. It is true we exclude, by this process, a very large proportion of those who profess and call themselves Christians, but we cannot help it. Where the Scriptures are slighted, we have no reason to expect the fulfilment of Christ's promise to give to his disciples the Spirit, to guide them into the truth. It is sad to reflect that so many are thus shut out from so precious a boon ; but, on the other hand, it is pleasing to know, that when the Bible is made the standard of belief, there is a uniform Christian experience produced, in the midst of many external differences.
RECENT HEBREW LITERATURE.
The steady advance of the study of the Hebrew language is plainly indicated by the publications which issue from the press, either intended to assist those willing to learn, or written for those who have some advancement in so desirable an acquisition. The works indicated below are far from being all that the British press has produced during the last few months; but they are enough for our present object. We shall introduce them severally to our readers, with such observations upon their merits and defects as the faithful, though perhaps imperfect and erring discharge of our duty may suggest.
Úr. Drake aims at the same object as was contemplated in the paper on Clerical Education in the last number of the Journal, confining himself however to the Hebrew language, as the necessary acquisition of every clergyman. His appeal is plain, faithful, and convincing, and we sincerely hope it may tend to the accomplishment of the reformation he wishes to bring about. He states the case as it is, in the following paragraphs :
“The Church of England may still continue to produce here and there among her ministers men mighty in the Hebrew Scriptures, and able to draw upon the living fountains of Divine Truth for that supply of spiritual instruction which it is their duty to minister in her congregarions, but she can never, with entire confidence, claim the title of a Church distinguished for her scholarship, until the great body of lier ministers ’are able to elucidate the Sacred Text by a competent knowledge of Hebrew, and have served at the least an apprenticeship in the attainment of those other cognate dialects, which recent and still progressing discovery has made of 'such deep value to the extension of Biblical illustration, and to the evidence of Scriptural truth. With what scorn should we dismiss a claim to the honours of classical scholarst ship from a man whose knowledge of Homer was limited to Pope's translations! With whát contempt should we reject his guidance to the criticism or poetical appreciation of the Iliad or the Odyssey ! And yet 'how readily are we satisfied to have Isaiah's noble poems expounded to us by men who know not even the form of the letters, niuch less the structure of the language, i in which the Hebrew Prophet wrote !
* 1. A Plea for the Enforcement of a Knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures in their Original Tongue, upon Candidates for Holy Orders, addressed to the Bishops of the Church. By W. Drake, M.A., Hebrew Examiner in the University of London, and formerly Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. London: Hope and Co. 1853. 8vo., pp. 23.
2. Notes, Critical and Explanatory, on Jonah and Hosea, by the same. Cambridge: Macmillan and Co. 1853. 8vo., pp. 180.
3. Phraseological Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Book of Genesis. By Theodore Preston, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Cambridge: Deighton. 1853. 8vo., pp. 290.
4. An easy practical Hebrew Grammar, with Exercises for Translation, &c. Arranged in a series of Letters from a Teacher of Languages to au English Duchess. To which is attached, The Fountains of Salvation, being a Translation, with Notes, Critical and Explanatory, of Isaiah liii. With a Key to the Exercises. By the Rev. P. H. Mason, M.A., Tyrwhitt's University Hebrew Scholar, St. John's College, Cambridge ; and Hermann Hedwig Bernard, Hebrew Teacher in the University, Cambridge. Cambridge: J. Hall and Son. 1853. 2 vols. 8vo., pp. xl.-1014.
5. A. Comparative Grammar of the Hebrew Language, for the use of Classical and Philological Students. By J. W. Donaldson, D.Ď., Head Master of Bury School. London: Parker. 1853. 12mo., pp. 96.
6. A Handbook of Hebrew Antiquities, for the use of Schools and Students. By the Rev. H. Browne, M.A., Prebendary of Chichester, and Chaplain to the Bishop of Chichester. London: Rivingtons. 1852. 12mo., pp. 173.
7. Questions proposed to Candidates for Holy Orders at the Eighth General Ordination of Samuel, Lord Bishop of Norwich, November, 1853.
* This state of learning, or rather of ignorance, among the clergy of the English Church in regard to the language of the Old Testament, is a deep reproach to her fidelity to the Scriptural principles on which shel is founded. The practical result of what is required by the universities and by the Bishops in their examinations for Orders, may perhaps be sufficient, though scarcely satisfactory, as respects the New Testament. Accurate Greek scholarship and critical proficiency are still the heritage of the laborious few; but as a general rule, the clergy of the Church of England must possess that knowledge of Greek which will enable them
appreciate the works of the Evangelists and Apostles in their orib ginal form, and to speak with some degree of authority to their people on are inadequate to convey. I can conceive no sufficient reason why the Scriptures of the Old Covenant should not be thought worthy of equal honour at the hands of their keeper, the Church, since God has declared them to be of equal value and authority, by combining them in one book with the Scriptures of the New.
I« That others have felt this is evident from the numerous appeals which from time to time have appeared in behalf of a more general acquaintance with the Hebrew tongue in those who are commissioned to expound the Word of God. If I add my voice to those of previous protesters against the practical neglect of so large a portion of Divine Truth, it is not that I hope to add anything to what has been already of the
importance of the subject at this time constrains me to do more than give a silent vote in the matter.'
9.783 vit 1. It is very difficult to account fully for the inattention shown to the claims of the language of the Old Testament, although some causes are obvious enough. As a matter of scholarship, and for the honour of the profession of the holy Ministry, the defect should be remedied; but there are more weighty reasons, which are alluded to by Mr. Drake.
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But the Seriptures of the Old Testament not only are imperfectly elueidated in the pulpit, by reason of this unacquaintance, with Hebrew in those to whom they are entrusted ; they also, for the same reason, come in some danger of being more and more neglected, and even banished altogether. A large majority of modern preachers almost wholly confine their expositions to the pages of the New Testament, wisely preferring ground where they feel themselves at home, and where they can speak with authority and with confidence. With the exception of those portions of the Old Testament which are directly explained in the New, and concerning which there can arise no question as to their meaning, we seldom find the difficulties and obscurities of the Old Testament grappled with and explained in ordinary sermons. I cannot but look upon this fact as one deeply to be deplored. The grand assault of modern scepticism upon Christianity is being delivered through the side of the historical books of the Old Testament. It is here that Satan's chief effort of these latter days is being made. The integrity and unity of the Bible ought to be the watchword, as in it is involved the salvation of the Church ; and yet we are content to have a large portion of God's Word, one and indivisible, practically omitted from our preaching, and thus to lend countenance to the vulgar error that the New Testament is rather the supplanter than the supplement of the Old. 20 Another and important consideration in favour of a knowledge of Hebrew, is its value as an evidence to the authenticity of the entire Word of God. The incidental coincidences of structure and of phiaseology, which link the several parts of the Holy Volume together, and couneet the inspiration of the Old with the inspiration of the New Testament, are of inestimable value in the controversy against unbelief, and shonld alone furnish motive to every minister of the Gospel to qualify himself for the use of them by the study of Hebrew. Indeed, with regard to the language of the New Testament, Hebrew is in many cases scarcely of less moment than Greek itself to one who would rightly appreciate the peculiar structure and idiom in which the Evangelists wrote, and thus be enabled to lay hold of the full meaning of his author,
We are much pleased with the way in which Mr. Drake meets the objections taken against a higher degree of learning in the Clergy, especially the alleged want of the Church, at this time, of a large accession of labourers.
If I am reminded that in asking to have such knowledge universally exacted from candidates for the sacred ministry of the Church, I shall be raising a new obstacle to the fuller supply of ministerial labour at a time when the Church is languishing for want of men to do her work, I fall back upon the question, “What is her work? Is it not to preach the Word of God to a perishing world? Is it not to maintain the integrity of Scripture?" And can we expect men to be able to do this work, to whom the greater portion of the Bible is a sealed book? Can we expect such men to be workmen that need not be ashamed in