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whole rests on his single enormous error of rejecting consciousness as one basis of knowledge. Agree with him in this rejection, and you are logically forced to reduce all science to a classification of phenomena, to deny the existence of causes, and the existence of any other intell gence or life in the universe than that which resides in your own body; in short, you are forced to a universal reductio ad absurdum. The very fact of your supposing there is any one to argue with you, shows you have quit your ground.
But admit the validity of this argument from consciousness, admit that you can logically arrive at the conviction that other men have minds like your own, and you are then logically forced to admit the Being of God, — God in no pantheistic sense, as a Universal Substance, or Principle of action, — but God as a Creator and Governor of the universe, a Being whose thoughts are the laws of science, expressed in the phenomena of earth and heaven.
And if our belief in Revelation is true, (there being no logical hinderance to examining its evidences, when once the truly scientific view of God is attained, then we must expect and desire the day whose advent is predicted by Comte, in which all the laws of morality will be reestablished by a scientific view of the human constitution and human history. Nothing can be a stronger proof of the reality of the revelation in the Gospel, than the sublimity of its morals when tested by the increasing knowledge of our day. There can be no doubt in the mind of a scientific man, that the scientific method will finally achieve all the triumphs predicted by Comte, except that of destroying religious faith. But when science has thus brought its strength to the task of indorsing upon every moral law a certificate of identity with natural law, (as it has already indorsed, for example, the laws of chastity and temperance,) the precepts of Jesus will have gained, not lost, in weight and power.
Art. IV. – TO A DEAD TREE, WITH A VINE TRAINED
The dead tree bears ; - each dried-up bough
With leaves is overgrown,
Of verdure not its own.
The unsightly branch a grace;
The green shoots interlace.
To Hermes' hand assigned, -
First leaves, then serpents, twined.
Than in Hebrew rods of power;
Or budded into flower.
Would ne'er have learned the way
And mantle thy decay.
By Sorrow's barren aid !
The blights that Time has made.
Still hang thy gentle veils ;
When other foliage fails.
With kindly growths o'erspread ;-
Some life on what is dead.
N. L. F.
Art. V. – THE HEBREW PROPHETS.
We give below the titles of two works which will be found about as accessible and convenient guides as any to the more recent exposition of Hebrew Prophecy. The services of Ewald in this and in kindred departments of criticism have been characterized in a recent number of this journal,t in terms to which we have little to add at the present time. The work before us consists of a translation of the Prophets (excepting Daniel), in sections arranged after the author's own chronology; together with notes sufficiently copious, an Introduction on the function of Prophecy in general, and special prefaces to the several books or chapters, — some of them being of much interest and value. The work of Knobel is the one most frequently referred to in the department which he chiefly treats, that is, the antiquarianism of the subject. It consists of a series of essays somewhat dry and prolix, but having, we suppose, the merit of telling all there is to be told in the author's particular line of investigation.
To the weary discussions of this latter we are indebted in part, and in part to the curious and suggestive preface of Ewald, for what we have to say. We esteem it also our duty, in this connection, to refer to the volume of excellent sermons recently published by Professor Maurice, under the title, “ The Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament.” As the most recent work in English on the subject, of any fulness, it will afford valuable glimpses and hints towards a true comprehension of the period under review, especially in respect of its religious character. The intellectual subtilty and skill of its author, together with the pliancy and breadth of his religious sympathies, are here exhibited in a very favorable light. But his purpose might easily be mistaken from his title. The salient points of history he uses as texts, not for
* 1. Die Propheten des Alten Bundes, erklärt von HEINRICH Ewald. [The Prophets of the Old Testament expounded.] Stuttgart. 1840, 1841. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 404, 572.
2. Der Prophetismus der Hebräer, vollständig dargestellt, von A. KNOBEL. [Prophecy among the Hebreus, completely exhibited.] Breslau. 1837. 2 vols. 8vo.
+ See Christian Examiner for September, 1853.
illustration ab extra, but for practical application, or development from within. The religious reader will find in them rich food for meditation : the historical student will be disappointed if he seeks any clear or vigorous exposition. Each dignus vindice nodus of criticism is blandly evaded ; and while symptoms of a generous scholarship appear here and there, it is only to enhance the positiveness of his appeal to conscience, and not to intellect, as the only arbiter he acknowledges in the cause at issue. So far, therefore, as our own purpose is concerned, excepting a few critical postulates on the side of orthodoxy, he leaves the field wholly unoccupied.
But, besides what any merely scholastic help can avail, the subject must be studied in that light which can be shed only by the Old Testament records themselves, taking the history and the literature as a whole. It is the result of this study that we chiefly desire to present, as faithfully as we may, in the remarks which we shall offer. It will be our design, avoiding as far as possible all points of mere antiquarianism, or controversy, to exhibit in its various bearings this most important element in the Hebrew life. We aim to give the positive results, not the distasteful processes, of criticism. Accepting the conclusions which seem to be most plausibly established by recent investigation, we design to · use them simply as illustrations of the interior life of
that peculiar people, whose records have been, to so large a portion of mankind, the fountain-head of religious truth, if not its only authentic and infallible source.
For it is in the class of men called Prophets that the characteristic religious genius of the Hebrew finds its most complete manifestation and most perfect expression. This peculiar genius, as we trace it through the Old Testament writings, works perpetually on the material given in history or tradition. It gives its distinctive coloring to political events and institutions. It is the established and recognized guide of the popular culture, the formative element, so to speak, in the national mind. It reflects the old Hebrew life and fortunes in a literature of high and peculiar order, and so becomes its representative to all subsequent ages. And, finally, which most concerns our present purpose, - it is the influence that moulds the nation from within ; the first, or spontaneous, element in its religious progress; and 80, the needful preparation for the later stages of that evolution which has made this people the harbinger of spiritual life to the entire family of mankind. We shall not, therefore, be thought to exaggerate the importance of the subject, if we endeavor to convey, somewhat fully, what appears to us to be its true place and significance, as a feature in the Hebrew commonwealth.
There is a vague sense in which we may speak of every extinct nationality as a growth never quite completed, or as prophetic of what only a distant future can bring to fulfilment. But the Hebrews are nearly, if not quite, alone in consciously accepting this as their appointed destiny. Their gifted men were powerfully aware of a mission connecting them with the future yet more vitally than with the past; and they constructed their forms of religious thought, or national development, in the vast spaces of an endless hereafter. This it is which distinguishes that race from every other, and makes the religious value of its history inexhaustible. .
This was the peculiar place, and one eminent service of what, for want of another name, we call the prophetical office among the Hebrews. But in interpreting the phrase to the modern mind, we have to free it of its accidental modern associations, especially those which identify it with a particular department of the Hebrew literature. Prophecy, in the original sense of it, was not a literature, but an act. It included, in its larger meaning, all that we understand in the broadest sense of the term “ spiritual power," as distinguished from the temporal power of the state, and (though more loosely) from the ecclesiastical power of the priesthood. In other words, it implied all the religious, moral, and intellectual agencies which were brought to bear vitally on the popular mind and conscience, - all, of course, limited by the standard of culture in a rude age, and shaped by the peculiar religious temperament of an Oriental people. It might be, and it often was, administered by a priest “ in full orders”; but in its essence it was wholly distinct. The priest had to do with ritual and stated services. He was, so to speak, the people's delegate to the throne of its invisible Sovereign; his office was to