But none of these considerations availed in his behalf at first. The outcry against the wo

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But none of these considerations availed in his behalf at first. The outcry against the work was deafening: churchmen and dissenters rushed forward to attack it. Archdeacon Denison, chairman of the committee of Convocation appointed to examine it, uttered a noisy anathema. Convocation solemnly condemned it; and a zealous colonial bishop, relying upon a nominal supremacy, deposed and excommunicated its author, declaring him "given over to Satan." On both sides of the Atlantic the press groaned with "answers," some of these being especially injurious to the cause they were intended to serve, and none more so than sundry efforts by the bishops themselves. One of the points upon which they attacked him was his assertion that the reference in Leviticus to the hare chewing its cud contains an error. Upon this Prof. Hitzig, of Leipsic, one of the best Hebrew scholars of his time, remarked: "Your bishops are making themselves the laughing-stock of Europe. Every Hebraist knows that the animal mentioned in Leviticus is really the hare;... every zoologist knows that it does not chew the cud."[[351]] On Colenso's return to Natal, where many of the clergy and laity who felt grateful for his years of devotion to them received him with signs of affection, an attempt was made to ruin these clergymen by depriving them of their little stipends, and to terrify the simple-minded laity by threatening them with the same "greater excommunication" which had been inflicted upon their bishop. To make the meaning of this more evident, the vicar-general of the Bishop of Cape Town met Colenso at the door of his own cathedral, and solemnly bade him "depart from the house of God as one who has been handed over to the Evil One." The sentence of excommunication was read before the assembled faithful, and they were enjoined to treat their bishop as "a heathen man and a publican." But these and a long series of other persecutions created a reaction in his favour. There remained to Colenso one bulwark which his enemies found stronger than they had imagined--the British courts of justice. The greatest efforts were now made to gain the day before these courts, to humiliate Colenso, and to reduce to beggary the clergy who remained faithful to him; and it is worthy of note that one of the leaders in preparing the legal plea of the com mittee against him was Mr. Gladstone. But this bulwark proved impregnable: both the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and the Rolls Court decided in Colenso's favour. Not only were his enemies thus forbidden to deprive him of his salary, but their excommunication of him was made null and void; it became, indeed, a subject of ridicule, and even a man so nurtured in religious sentiment as John Keble confessed and lamented that the English people no longer believed in excommunication. The bitterness of the defeated found vent in the utterances of the colonial metropolitan who had excommunicated Colenso--Bishop Gray, "the Lion of Cape Town"--who denounced the judgment as "awful and profane," and the Privy Council as "a masterpiece of Satan" and "the great dragon of the English Church." Even Wilberforce, careful as he was to avoid attacking anything established, alluded with deep regret to "the devotion of the English people to the law in matters of this sort." Their failure in the courts only seemed to increase the violence of the attacking party. The Anglican communion, both in England and America, was stirred to its depths against the heretic, and various dissenting bodies strove to show equal zeal. Great pains were taken to root out his reputation: it was declared that he had merely stolen the ideas of rationalists on the Continent by wholesale, and peddled them out in England at retail; the fact being that, while he used all the sources of information at his command, and was large-minded enough to put himself into relations with the best biblical scholarship of the Continent, he was singularly independent in his judgment, and that his investigations were of lasting value in modifying Continental thought. Kuenen, the most distinguished of all his contemporaries in this field, modified, as he himself declared, one of his own leading theories after reading Colenso's argument; and other Continental scholars scarcely less eminent acknowledged their great indebtedness to the English scholar for original suggestions.[[352]] But the zeal of the bishop's enemies did not end with calumny. He was socially ostracized--more completely even than Lyell had been after the publication of his _Principles of Geology_ thirty years before. Even old friends left him, among them Frederick Denison Maurice, who, when himself under the ban of heresy, had been defended by Colenso. Nor was Maurice the only heretic who turned against him; Matthew Arnold attacked him, and set up, as a true ideal of the work needed to improve the English Church and people, of all books in the world, Spinoza's _Tractatus_. A large part of the English populace was led to regard him as an "infidel," a "traitor," an "apostate," and even as "an unclean being"; servants left his house in horror; "Tray, Blanche, and Sweetheart were let loose upon him"; and one of the favourite amusements of the period among men of petty wit and no convictions was the devising of light ribaldry against him.[[353]] In the midst of all this controversy stood three men, each of whom has connected his name with it permanently. First of these was Samuel Wilberforce, at that time Bishop of Oxford. The gifted son of William Wilberforce, who had been honoured throughout the world for his efforts in the suppression of the slave trade, he had been rapidly advanced in the English Church, and was at this time a prelate of wide influence. He was eloquent and diplomatic, witty and amiable, always sure to be with his fellow-churchmen and polite society against uncomfortable changes. Whether the struggle was against the slave power in the United States, or the squirearchy in Great Britain, or the evolution theory of Darwin, or the new views promulgated by the _Essayists and Reviewers_, he was always the suave spokesman of those who opposed every innovator and "besought him to depart out of their coasts." Mingling in curious proportions a truly religious feeling with care for his own advancement, his remarkable power in the pulpit gave him great strength to carry out his purposes, and his charming facility in being all things to all men, as well as his skill in evading the consequences of his many mistakes, gained him the sobriquet of "Soapy Sam." If such brethren of his in the episcopate as Thirlwall and Selwyn and Tait might claim to be in the apostolic succession, Wilberforce was no less surely in the succession from the most gifted and eminently respectable Sadducees who held high preferment under Pontius Pilate. By a curious coincidence he had only a few years before preached the sermon when Colenso was consecrated in Westminster Abbey, and one passage in it may be cited as showing the preacher's gift of prophecy both hortatory and predictive. Wilberforce then said to Colenso: "You need boldness to risk all for God--to stand by the truth and its supporters against men's threatenings and the devil's wrath;... you need a patient meekness to bear the galling calumnies and false surmises with which, if you are faithful, that same Satanic working, which, if it could, would burn your body, will assuredly assail you daily through the pens and tongues of deceivers and deceived, who, under a semblance of a zeal for Christ, will evermore distort your words, misrepresent your motives, rejoice in your failings, exaggerate your errors, and seek by every poisoned breath of slander to destroy your powers of service."[[355]] Unfortunately, when Colenso followed this advice his adviser became the most untiring of his persecutors. While leaving to men like the Metropolitan of Cape Town and Archdeacon Denison the noisy part of the onslaught, Wilberforce was among those who were most zealous in devising more effective measures. But time, and even short time, has redressed the balance between the two prelates. Colenso is seen more and more of all men as a righteous leader in a noble effort to cut the Church loose from fatal entanglements with an outworn system of interpretation; Wilberforce, as the remembrance of his eloquence and of his personal charm dies away, and as the revelations of his indiscreet biographers lay bare his modes of procedure, is seen to have left, on the whole, the most disappointing record made by any Anglican prelate during the nineteenth century. But there was a far brighter page in the history of the Church of England; for the second of the three who linked their names with that of Colenso in the struggle was Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Dean of Westminster. His action during this whole persecution was an honour not only to the Anglican Church but to humanity. For his own manhood and the exercise of his own intellectual freedom he had cheerfully given up the high preferment in the Church which had been easily within his grasp. To him truth and justice were more than the decrees of a Convocation of Canterbury or of a Pan-Anglican Synod; in this as in other matters he braved the storm, never yielded to theological prejudice, from first to last held out a brotherly hand to the persecuted bishop, and at the most critical moment opened to him the pulpit of Westminster Abbey.[[356]] The third of the high ecclesiastics of the Church of England whose names were linked in this contest was Thirlwall. He was undoubtedly the foremost man in the Church of his time--the greatest ecclesiastical statesman, the profoundest historical scholar, the theologian of clearest vision in regard to the relations between the Church and his epoch. Alone among his brother bishops at this period, he stood "four square to all the winds that blew," as during all his life he stood against all storms of clerical or popular unreason. He had his reward. He was never advanced beyond a poor Welsh bishopric; but, though he saw men wretchedly inferior constantly promoted beyond him, he never flinched, never lost heart or hope, but bore steadily on, refusing to hold a brief for lucrative injustice, and resisting to the last all reaction and fanaticism, thus preserving not only his own self-respect but the future respect of the English nation for the Church. A few other leading churchmen were discreetly kind to Colenso, among them Tait, who had now been made Archbishop of Canterbury; but, manly as he was, he was somewhat more cautious in this matter than those who most revere his memory could now wish. In spite of these friends the clerical onslaught was for a time effective; Colenso, so far as England was concerned, was discredited and virtually driven from his functions. But this enforced leisure simply gave him more time to struggle for the protection of his native flock against colonial rapacity and to continue his great work on the Bible. His work produced its effect. It had much to do with arousing a new generation of English, Scotch, and American scholars. While very many of his minor statements have since been modified or rejected, his main conclusion was seen more and more clearly to be true. Reverently and in the deepest love for Christianity he had made the unhistorical character of the Pentateuch clear as noonday. Henceforth the crushing weight of the old interpretation upon science and morality and religion steadily and rapidly grew less and less. That a new epoch had come was evident, and out of many proofs of this we may note two of the most striking. For many years the Bampton Lectures at Oxford had been considered as adding steadily and strongly to the bulwarks of the old orthodoxy. If now and then orthodoxy had appeared in danger from such additions to the series as those made by Dr. Hampden, these lectures had been, as a rule, saturated with the older traditions of the Anglican Church. But now there was an evident change. The departures from the old paths were many and striking, until at last, in 1893, came the lectures on _Inspiration_ by the Rev. Dr. Sanday, Ireland Professor of Exegesis in the University of Oxford. In these, concessions were made to the newer criticism, which at an earlier time would have driven the lecturer not only out of the Church but out of any decent position in society; for Prof. Sanday not only gave up a vast mass of other ideas which the great body of churchmen had regarded as fundamental, but accepted a number of conclusions established by the newer criticism. He declared that Kuenen and Wellhausen had mapped out, on the whole rightly, the main stages of development in the history of Hebrew literature; he incorporated with approval the work of other eminent heretics; he acknowledged that very many statements in the Pentateuch show "the naive ideas and usages of a primitive age." But, most important of all, he gave up the whole question in regard to the book of Daniel. Up to a time then very recent, the early authorship and predictive character of the book of Daniel were things which no one was allowed for a moment to dispute. Pusey, as we have seen, had proved to the controlling parties in the English Church that Christianity must stand or fall with the traditional view of this book; and now, within a few years of Pusey's death, there came, in his own university, speaking from the pulpit of St. Mary's whence he had so often insisted upon the absolute necessity of maintaining the older view, this professor of biblical criticism, a doctor of divinity, showing conclusively as regards the book of Daniel that the critical view had won the day; that the name of Daniel is only assumed; that the book is in no sense predictive, but was written, mainly at least, after the events it describes; that "its author lived at the time of the Maccabean struggle"; that it is very inaccurate even in the simple facts which it cites; and hence that all the vast fabric erected upon its predictive character is baseless. But another evidence of the coming in of a new epoch was even more striking. To uproot every growth of the newer thought, to destroy even every germ that had been planted by Colenso and men like him, a special movement was begun, of which the most important part was the establishment, at the University of Oxford, of a college which should bring the old opinion with crushing force against the new thought, and should train up a body of young men by feeding them upon the utterances of the fathers, of the medieval doctors, and of the apologists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and should keep them in happy ignorance of the reforming spirit of the sixteenth and the scientific spirit of the nineteenth century. The new college thus founded bore the name of the poet most widely beloved among high churchmen; large endowments flowed in upon it; a showy chapel was erected in accordance throughout with the strictest rules of medieval ecclesiology. As if to strike the keynote of the thought to be fostered in the new institution, one of the most beautiful of pseudo-medieval pictures was given the place of honour in its hall; and the college, lofty and gaudy, loomed high above the neighbouring modest abode of Oxford science. Kuenen might be victorious in Holland, and Wellhausen in Germany, and Robertson Smith in Scotland--even Professors Driver, Sanday, and Cheyne might succeed Dr. Pusey as expounders of the Old Testament at Oxford--but Keble College, rejoicing in the favour of a multitude of leaders in the Church, including Mr. Gladstone, seemed an inexpugnable fortress of the older thought. But in 1889 appeared the book of essays entitled _Lux Mundi_, among whose leading authors were men closely connected with Keble College and with the movement which had created it. This work gave up entirely the tradition that the narrative in Genesis is a historical record, and admitted that all accounts in the Hebrew Scriptures of events before the time of Abraham are mythical and legendary; it conceded that the books ascribed to Moses and Joshua were made up mainly of three documents representing different periods, and one of them the late period of the exile; that "there is a considerable idealizing element in Old Testament history"; that "the books of Chronicles show an idealizing of history" and "a reading back into past records of a ritual development which is really later," and that prophecy is not necessarily predictive-- "prophetic inspiration being consistent with erroneous anticipations." Again a shudder went through the upholders of tradition in the Church, and here and there threats were heard; but the _Essays and Reviews_ fiasco and the Colenso catastrophe were still in vivid remembrance. Good sense prevailed: Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, instead of prosecuting the authors, himself asked the famous question, "May not the Holy Spirit make use of myth and legend?" and the Government, not long afterward, promoted one of these authors to a bishopric.[[359]] In the sister university the same tendency was seen. Robertson Smith, who had been driven out of his high position in the Free Church of Scotland on account of his work in scriptural research, was welcomed into a professorship at Cambridge, and other men, no less loyal to the new truths, were given places of controlling influence in shaping the thought of the new generation. Nor did the warfare against biblical science produce any different results among the dissenters of England. In 1862 Samuel Davidson, a professor in the Congregational College at Manchester, published his _Introduction to the Old Testament_. Independently of the contemporary writers of _Essays and Reviews_, he had arrived in a general way at conclusions much like theirs, and he presented the newer view with fearless honesty, admitting that the same research must be applied to these as to other Oriental sacred books, and that such research establishes the fact that all alike contain legendary and mythical elements. A storm was at once aroused; certain denominational papers took up the matter, and Davidson was driven from his professorial chair; but he laboured bravely on, and others followed to take up his work, until the ideas which he had advocated were fully considered. So, too, in Scotland the work of Robertson Smith was continued even after he had been driven into England; and, as votaries of the older thought passed away, men of ideas akin to his were gradually elected into chairs of biblical criticism and interpretation. Wellhausen's great work, which Smith had introduced in English form, proved a power both in England and Scotland, and the articles upon various books of Scripture and scriptural subjects generally, in the ninth edition of the _Encyclopaedia Britannica_, having been prepared mainly by himself as editor or put into the hands of others representing the recent critical research, this very important work of reference, which had been in previous editions so timid, was now arrayed on the side of the newer thought, insuring its due consideration wherever the English language is spoken. In France the same tendency was seen, though with striking variations from the course of events in other countries--variations due to the very different conditions under which biblical students in France were obliged to work. Down to the middle of the nineteenth century the orthodoxy of Bossuet, stiffly opposing the letter of Scripture to every step in the advance of science, had only yielded in a very slight degree. But then came an event ushering in a new epoch. At that time Jules Simon, afterward so eminent as an author, academician, and statesman, was quietly discharging the duties of a professorship, when there was brought him the visiting card of a stranger bearing the name of "Ernest Renan, Student at St. Sulpice." Admitted to M. Simon's library, Renan told his story. As a theological student he had devoted himself most earnestly, even before he entered the seminary, to the study of Hebrew and the Semitic languages, and he was now obliged, during the lectures on biblical literature at St. Sulpice, to hear the reverend professor make frequent comments, based on the Vulgate, but absolutely disproved by Renan's own knowledge of Hebrew. On Renan's questioning any interpretation of the lecturer, the latter was wont to rejoin: "Monsieur, do you presume to deny the authority of the Vulgate--the translation by St. Jerome, sanctioned by the Holy Ghost and the Church? You will at once go into the chapel and say `Hail Mary' for an hour before the image of the Blessed Virgin." "But," said Renan to Jules Simon, "this has now become very serious; it happens nearly every day, and, _mon Dieu_! Monsieur, I can not spend _all_ my time in saying, Hail Mary, before the statue of the Virgin." The result was a warm personal attachment between Simon and Renan; both were Bretons, educated in the midst of the most orthodox influences, and both had unwillingly broken away from them. Renan was now emancipated, and pursued his studies with such effect that he was made professor at the College de France. His _Life of Jesus_, and other books showing the same spirit, brought a tempest upon him which drove him from his professorship and brought great hardships upon him for many years. But his genius carried the day, and, to the honour of the French Republic, he was restored to the position from which the Empire had driven him. From his pen finally appeared the _Histoire du Peuple Israel_, in which scholarship broad, though at times inaccurate in minor details, was supplemented by an exquisite acuteness and a poetic insight which far more than made good any of those lesser errors which a German student would have avoided. At his death, in October, 1892, this monumental work had been finished. In clearness and beauty of style it has never been approached by any other treatise on this or any kindred subject: it is a work of genius; and its profound insight into all that is of importance in the great subjects which he treated will doubtless cause it to hold a permanent place in the literature not only of the Latin nations but of the world. An interesting light is thrown over the history of advancing thought at the end of the nineteenth century by the fact that this most detested of heresiarchs was summoned to receive the highest of academic honours at the university which for ages had been regarded as a stronghold of Presbyterian orthodoxy in Great Britain. In France the anathemas lavished upon him by Church authorities during his life, their denial to him of Christian burial, and their refusal to allow him a grave in the place he most loved, only increased popular affection for him during his last years and deepened the general mourning at his death.[[362]] In spite of all resistance, the desire for more light upon the sacred books penetrated the older Church from every side. In Germany, toward the close of the eighteenth century, Jahn, Catholic professor at Vienna, had ventured, in an _Introduction to Old Testament Study_, to class Job, Jonah, and Tobit below other canonical books, and had only escaped serious difficulties by ample amends in a second edition. Early in the nineteenth century, Herbst, Catholic professor at Tubingen, had endeavoured in a similar _Introduction_ to bring modern research to bear on the older view; but the Church authorities took care to have all passages really giving any new light skilfully and speedily edited out of the book. Later still, Movers, professor at Breslau, showed remarkable gifts for Old Testament research, and much was expected of him; but his ecclesiastical superiors quietly prevented his publishing any extended work. During the latter half of the nineteenth century much the same pressure has continued in Catholic Germany. Strong scholars have very generally been drawn into the position of "apologists" or "reconcilers," and, when found intractable, they have been driven out of the Church. The same general policy had been evident in France and Italy, but toward the last decade of the century it was seen by the more clear-sighted supporters of the older Church in those countries that the multifarious "refutations" and explosive attacks upon Renan and his teachings had accomplished nothing; that even special services of atonement for his sin, like the famous "_Triduo_" at Florence, only drew a few women, and provoked ridicule among the public at large; that throwing him out of his professorship and calumniating him had but increased his influence; and that his brilliant intuitions, added to the careful researches of German and English scholars, had brought the thinking world beyond the reach of the old methods of hiding troublesome truths and crushing persistent truth-tellers. Therefore it was that about 1890 a body of earnest Roman Catholic scholars began very cautiously to examine and explain the biblical text in the light of those results of the newer research which could no longer be gainsaid. Among these men were, in Italy, Canon Bartolo, Canon Berta, and Father Savi, and in France Monseigneur d'Hulst, the Abb Loisy, professor at the Roman Catholic University at Paris, and, most eminent of all, Professor Lenormant, of the French Institute, whose researches into biblical and other ancient history and literature had won him distinction throughout the world. These men, while standing up manfully for the Church, were obliged to allow that some of the conclusions of modern biblical criticism were well founded. The result came rapidly. The treatise of Bartolo and the great work of Lenormant were placed on the _Index_; Canon Berta was overwhelmed with reproaches and virtually silenced; the Abbe Loisy was first deprived of his professorship, and then ignominiously expelled from the university; Monseigneur d'Hulst was summoned to Rome, and has since kept silence.[[364]] The matter was evidently thought serious in the higher regions of the Church, for in November, 1893, appeared an encyclical letter by the reigning Pope, Leo XIII, on _The Study of Sacred Scripture_. Much was expected from it, for, since Benedict XIV in the last century, there had sat on the papal throne no Pope intellectually so competent to discuss the whole subject. While, then, those devoted to the older beliefs trusted that the papal thunderbolts would crush the whole brood of biblical critics, votaries of the newer thought ventured to hope that the encyclical might, in the language of one of them, prove "a stupendous bridge spanning the broad abyss that now divides alleged orthodoxy from established science."[[364b]] Both these expectations were disappointed; and yet, on the whole, it is a question whether the world at large may not congratulate itself upon this papal utterance. The document, if not apostolic, won credit as "statesmanlike." It took pains, of course, to insist that there can be no error of any sort in the sacred books; it even defended those parts which Protestants count apocryphal as thoroughly as the remainder of Scripture, and declared that the book of Tobit was not compiled of man, but written by God. His Holiness naturally condemned the higher-criticism, but he dwelt at the same time on the necessity of the most thorough study of the sacred Scriptures, and especially on the importance of adjusting scriptural statements to scientific facts. This utterance was admirably oracular, being susceptible of cogent quotation by both sides: nothing could be in better form from an orthodox point of view; but, with that statesmanlike forecast which the present Pope has shown more than once in steering the bark of St. Peter over the troubled waves of the nineteenth century, he so far abstained from condemning any of the greater results of modern critical study that the main English defender of the encyclical, the Jesuit Father Clarke, did not hesitate publicly to admit a multitude of such results--results, indeed, which would shock not only Italian and Spanish Catholics, but many English and American Protestants. According to this interpreter, the Pope had no thought of denying the variety of documents in the Pentateuch, or the plurality of sources of the books of Samuel, or the twofold authorship of Isaiah, or that all after the ninth verse of the last chapter of St. Mark's Gospel is spurious; and, as regards the whole encyclical, the distinguished Jesuit dwelt significantly on the power of the papacy at any time to define out of existence any previous decisions which may be found inconvenient. More than that, Father Clarke himself, while standing as the champion of the most thorough orthodoxy, acknowledged that, in the Old Testament, "numbers must be expected to be used Orientally," and that "all these seventies and forties, as, for example, when Absalom is said to have rebelled against David for forty years, can not possibly be meant numerically"; and, what must have given a fearful shock to some Protestant believers in plenary inspiration, he, while advocating it as a dutiful Son of the Church, wove over it an exquisite web with the declaration that "there is a human element in the Bible pre-calculated for by the Divine."[[365]] Considering the difficulties in the case, the world has reason to be grateful to Pope Leo and Father Clarke for these utterances, which perhaps, after all, may prove a better bridge between the old and the new than could have been framed by engineers more learned but less astute. Evidently Pope Leo XIII is neither a Paul V nor an Urban VIII, and is too wise to bring the Church into a position from which it can only be extricated by such ludicrous subterfuges as those by which it was dragged out of the Galileo scandal, or by such a tortuous policy as that by which it writhed out of the old doctrine regarding the taking of interest for money. In spite, then, of the attempted crushing out of Bartolo and Berta and Savi and Lenormant and Loisy, during this very epoch in which the Pope issued this encyclical, there is every reason to hope that the path has been paved over which the Church may gracefully recede from the old system of interpretation and quietly accept and appropriate the main results of the higher criticism. Certainly she has never had a better opportunity to play at the game of "beggar my neighbour" and to drive the older Protestant orthodoxy into bankruptcy. In America the same struggle between the old ideas and the new went on. In the middle years of the century the first adequate effort in behalf of the newer conception of the sacred books was made by Theodore Parker at Boston. A thinker brave and of the widest range,--a scholar indefatigable and of the deepest sympathies with humanity,--a man called by one of the most eminent scholars in the English Church "a religious Titan," and by a distinguished French theologian "a prophet," he had struggled on from the divinity school until at that time he was one of the foremost biblical scholars, and preacher to the largest regular congregation on the American continent. The great hall in Boston could seat four thousand people, and at his regular discourses every part of it was filled. In addition to his pastoral work he wielded a vast influence as a platform speaker, especially in opposition to the extension of slavery into the Territories of the United States, and as a lecturer on a wide range of vital topics; and among those whom he most profoundly influenced, both politically and religiously, was Abraham Lincoln. During each year at that period he was heard discussing the most important religious and political questions in all the greater Northern cities; but his most lasting work was in throwing light upon our sacred Scriptures, and in this he was one of the forerunners of the movement now going on not only in the United States but throughout Christendom. Even before he was fairly out of college his translation of De Wette's _Introduction to the Old Testament_ made an impression on many thoughtful men; his sermon in 1841 on _The Transient and Permanent in Christianity_ marked the beginning of his great individual career; his speeches, his lectures, and especially his _Discourse on Matters pertaining to Religion_, greatly extended his influence. His was a deeply devotional nature, and his public Prayers exercised by their touching beauty a very strong religious influence upon his audiences. He had his reward. Beautiful and noble as were his life and his life-work, he was widely abhorred. On one occasion of public worship in one of the more orthodox churches, news having been received that he was dangerously ill, a prayer was openly made by one of the zealous brethren present that this arch-enemy might be removed from earth. He was even driven out from the Unitarian body. But he was none the less steadfast and bold, and the great mass of men and women who thronged his audience room at Boston and his lecture rooms in other cities spread his ideas. His fate was pathetic. Full of faith and hope, but broken prematurely by his labours, he retired to Italy, and died there at the darkest period in the history of the United States--when slavery in the state and the older orthodoxy in the Church seemed absolutely and forever triumphant. The death of Moses within sight of the promised land seems the only parallel to the death of Parker less than six months before the publication of _Essays and Reviews_ and the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency, of the United States.[[367]] But here it must be noted that Parker's effort was powerfully aided by the conscientious utterances of some of his foremost opponents. Nothing during the American struggle against the slave system did more to wean religious and God-fearing men and women from the old interpretation of Scripture than the use of it to justify slavery. Typical among examples of this use were the arguments of Hopkins, Bishop of Vermont, a man whose noble character and beautiful culture gave him very wide influence in all branches of the American Protestant Church. While avowing his personal dislike to slavery, he demonstrated that the Bible sanctioned it. Other theologians, Catholic and Protestant, took the same ground; and then came that tremendous rejoinder which echoed from heart to heart throughout the Northern States: "The Bible sanctions slavery? So much the worse for the Bible." Then was fulfilled that old saying of Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg: "Press not the breasts of Holy Writ too hard, lest they yield blood rather than milk."[[368]] Yet throughout Christendom a change in the mode of interpreting Scripture, though absolutely necessary if its proper authority was to be maintained, still seemed almost hopeless. Even after the foremost scholars had taken ground in favour of it, and the most conservative of those whose opinions were entitled to weight had made concessions showing the old ground to be untenable, there was fanatical opposition to any change. The _Syllabus of Errors_ put forth by Pius IX in 1864, as well as certain other documents issued from the Vatican, had increased the difficulties of this needed transition; and, while the more able-minded Roman Catholic scholars skilfully explained away the obstacles thus created, others published works insisting upon the most extreme views as to the verbal inspiration of the sacred books. In the Church of England various influential men took the same view. Dr. Baylee, Principal of St. Aidan's College, declared that in Scripture "every scientific statement is infallibly accurate; all its histories and narrations of every kind are without any inaccuracy. Its words and phrases have a grammatical and philological accuracy, such as is possessed by no human composition." In 1861 Dean Burgon preached in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, as follows: "No, sirs, the Bible is the very utterance of the Eternal: as much God's own word as if high heaven were open and we heard God speaking to us with human voice. Every book is inspired alike, and is inspired entirely. Inspiration is not a difference of degree, but of kind. The Bible is filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit of God; the books of it and the words of it and the very letters of it." In 1865 Canon MacNeile declared in Exeter Hall that "we must either receive the verbal inspiration of the Old Testament or deny the veracity, the insight, the integrity of our Lord Jesus Christ as a teacher of divine truth." As late as 1889 one of the two most eloquent pulpit orators in the Church of England, Canon Liddon, preaching at St. Paul's Cathedral, used in his fervour the same dangerous argument: that the authority of Christ himself, and therefore of Christianity, must rest on the old view of the Old Testament; that, since the founder of Christianity, in divinely recorded utterances, alluded to the transformation of Lot's wife into a pillar of salt, to Noah's ark and the Flood, and to the sojourn of Jonah in the whale, the biblical account of these must be accepted as historical, or that Christianity must be given up altogether. In the light of what was rapidly becoming known regarding the Chaldean and other sources of the accounts given in Genesis, no argument could be more fraught with peril to the interest which the gifted preacher sought to serve. In France and Germany many similar utterances in opposition to the newer biblical studies were heard; and from America, especially from the college at Princeton, came resounding echoes. As an example of many may be quoted the statement by the eminent Dr. Hodge that the books of Scripture "are, one and all, in thought and verbal expression, in substance, and in form, wholly the work of God, conveying with absolute accuracy and divine authority all that God meant to convey without human additions and admixtures"; and that "infallibility and authority attach as much to the verbal expression in which the revelation is made as to the matter of the revelation itself." But the newer thought moved steadily on. As already in Protestant Europe, so now in the Protestant churches of America, it took strong hold on the foremost minds in many of the churches known as orthodox: Toy, Briggs, Francis Brown, Evans, Preserved Smith, Moore, Haupt, Harper, Peters, and Bacon developed it, and, though most of them were opposed bitterly by synods, councils, and other authorities of their respective churches, they were manfully supported by the more intellectual clergy and laity. The greater universities of the country ranged themselves on the side of these men; persecution but intrenched them more firmly in the hearts of all intelligent well-wishers of Christianity. The triumphs won by their opponents in assemblies, synods, conventions, and conferences were really victories for the nominally defeated, since they revealed to the world the fact that in each of these bodies the strong and fruitful thought of the Church, the thought which alone can have any hold on the future, was with the new race of thinkers; no theological triumphs more surely fatal to the victors have been won since the Vatican defeated Copernicus and Galileo. And here reference must be made to a series of events which, in the second half of the nineteenth century, have contributed most powerful aid to the new school of biblical research. V. YICTORY OF THE SCIENTIFIC AND LITERARY METHODS. While this struggle for the new truth was going on in various fields, aid appeared from a quarter whence it was least expected. The great discoveries by Botta and Layard in Assyria were supplemented by the researches of Rawlinson, George Smith, Oppert, Sayce, Sarzec, Pinches, and others, and thus it was revealed more clearly than ever before that as far back as the time assigned in Genesis to the creation a great civilization was flourishing in Mesopotamia; that long ages, probably two thousand years, before the scriptural date assigned to the migration of Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, this Chaldean civilization had bloomed forth in art, science, and literature; that the ancient inscriptions recovered from the sites of this and kindred civilizations presented the Hebrew sacred myths and legends in earlier forms--forms long antedating those given in the Hebrew Scriptures; and that the accounts of the Creation, the Tree of Life in Eden, the institution and even the name of the Sabbath, the Deluge, the Tower of Babel, and much else in the Pentateuch, were simply an evolution out of earlier Chaldean myths and legends. So perfect was the proof of this that the most eminent scholars in the foremost seats of Christian learning were obliged to acknowledge it.[[371]] The more general conclusions which were thus given to biblical criticism were all the more impressive from the fact that they had been revealed by various groups of earnest Christian scholars working on different lines, by different methods, and in various parts of the world. Very honourable was the full and frank testimony to these results given in 1885 by the Rev. Francis Brown, a professor in the Presbyterian Theological Seminary at New York. In his admirable though brief book on Assyriology, starting with the declaration that "it is a great pity to be afraid of facts," he showed how Assyrian research testifies in many ways to the historical value of the Bible record; but at the same time he freely allowed to Chaldean history an antiquity fatal to the sacred chronology of the Hebrews. He also cast aside a mass of doubtful apologetics, and dealt frankly with the fact that very many of the early narratives in Genesis belong to the common stock of ancient tradition, and, mentioning as an example the cuneiform inscriptions which record a story of the Accadian king Sargon--how "he was born in retirement, placed by his mother in a basket of rushes, launched on a river, rescued and brought up by a stranger, after which he became king"--he did not hesitate to remind his readers that Sargon lived a thousand years and more before Moses; that this story was told of him several hundred years before Moses was born; and that it was told of various other important personages of antiquity. The professor dealt just as honestly with the inscriptions which show sundry statements in the book of Daniel to be unhistorical; candidly making admissions which but a short time before would have filled orthodoxy with horror. A few years later came another testimony even more striking. Early in the last decade of the nineteenth century it was noised abroad that the Rev. Professor Sayce, of Oxford, the most eminent Assyriologist and Egyptologist of Great Britain, was about to publish a work in which what is known as the "higher criticism" was to be vigorously and probably destructively dealt with in the light afforded by recent research among the monuments of Assyria and Egypt. The book was looked for with eager expectation by the supporters of the traditional view of Scripture; but, when it appeared, the exultation of the traditionalists was speedily changed to dismay. For Prof. Sayce, while showing some severity toward sundry minor assumptions and assertions of biblical critics, confirmed all their more important conclusions which properly fell within his province. While his readers soon realized that these assumptions and assertions of overzealous critics no more disproved the main results of biblical criticism than the wild guesses of Kepler disproved the theory of Copernicus, or the discoveries of Galileo, or even the great laws which bear Kepler's own name, they found new mines sprung under some of the most lofty fortresses of the old dogmatic theology. A few of the statements of this champion of orthodoxy may be noted. He allowed that the week of seven days and the Sabbath rest are of Babylonian origin; indeed, that the very word "Sabbath" is Babylonian; that there are two narratives of Creation on the Babylonian tablets, wonderfully like the two leading Hebrew narratives in Genesis, and that the latter were undoubtedly drawn from the former; that the "garden of Eden" and its mystical tree were known to the inhabitants of Chaldea in pre-Semitic days; that the beliefs that woman was created out of man, and that man by sin fell from a state of innocence, are drawn from very ancient Chaldean-Babylonian texts; that Assyriology confirms the belief that the book Genesis is a compilation; that portions of it are by no means so old as the time of Moses; that the expression in our sacred book, "The Lord smelled a sweet savour" at the sacrifice made by Noah, is "identical with that of the Babylonian poet"; that "it is impossible to believe that the language of the latter was not known to the biblical writer" and that the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife was drawn in part from the old Egyptian tale of _The Two Brothers_. Finally, after a multitude of other concessions, Prof. Sayce allowed that the book of Jonah, so far from being the work of the prophet himself, can not have been written until the Assyrian Empire was a thing of the past; that the book of Daniel contains serious mistakes; that the so-called historical chapters of that book so conflict with the monuments that the author can not have been a contemporary of Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus; that "the story of Belshazzar's fall is not historical"; that the Belshazzar referred to in it as king, and as the son of Nehuchadnezzar, was not the son of Nebuchadnezzar, and was never king; that "King Darius the Mede," who plays so great a part in the story, never existed; that the book associates persons and events really many years apart, and that it must have been written at a period far later than the time assigned in it for its own origin. As to the book of Ezra, he tells us that we are confronted by a chronological inconsistency which no amount of ingenuity can explain away. He also acknowledges that the book of Esther "contains many exaggerations and improbabilities, and is simply founded upon one of those same historical tales of which the Persian chronicles seem to have been full." Great was the dissatisfaction of the traditionalists with their expected champion; well might they repeat the words of Balak to Balaam, "I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them."[[374]] No less fruitful have been modern researches in Egypt. While, on one hand, they have revealed a very considerable number of geographical and archaeological facts proving the good faith of the narratives entering into the books attributed to Moses, and have thus made our early sacred literature all the more valuable, they have at the same time revealed the limitations of the sacred authors and compilers. They have brought to light facts utterly disproving the sacred Hebrew date of creation and the main framework of the early biblical chronology; they have shown the suggestive correspondence between the ten antediluvian patriarchs in Genesis and the ten early dynasties of the Egyptian gods, and have placed by the side of these the ten antediluvian kings of Chaldean tradition, the ten heroes of Armenia, the ten primeval kings of Persian sacred tradition, the ten "fathers" of Hindu sacred tradition, and multitudes of other tens, throwing much light on the manner in which the sacred chronicles of ancient nations were generally developed. These scholars have also found that the legends of the plagues of Egypt are in the main but natural exaggerations of what occurs every year; as, for example, the changing of the water of the Nile into blood--evidently suggested by the phenomena exhibited every summer, when, as various eminent scholars, and, most recent of all, Maspero and Sayce, tell us, "about the middle of July, in eight or ten days the river turns from grayish blue to dark red, occasionally of so intense a colour as to look like newly shed blood." These modern researches have also shown that some of the most important features in the legends can not possibly be reconciled with the records of the monuments; for example, that the Pharaoh of the Exodus was certainly not overwhelmed in the Red Sea. As to the supernatural features of the Hebrew relations with Egypt, even the most devoted apologists have become discreetly silent. Egyptologists have also translated for us the old Nile story of _The Two Brothers_, and have shown, as we have already seen, that one of the most striking parts of our sacred Joseph legend was drawn from it; they have been obliged to admit that the story of the exposure of Moses in the basket of rushes, his rescue, and his subsequent greatness, had been previously told, long before Moses's time, not only of King Sargon, but of various other great personages of the ancient world; they have published plans of Egyptian temples and copies of the sculptures upon their walls, revealing the earlier origin of some of the most striking features of the worship and ceremonial claimed to have been revealed especially to the Hebrews; they have found in the _Egyptian Book of the Dead_, and in various inscriptions of the Nile temples and tombs, earlier sources of much in the ethics so long claimed to have been revealed only to the chosen people in the Book of the Covenant, in the ten commandments, and elsewhere; they have given to the world copies of the Egyptian texts showing that the theology of the Nile was one of various fruitful sources of later ideas, statements, and practices regarding the brazen serpent, the golden calf, trinities, miraculous conceptions, incarnations, resurrections, ascensions, and the like, and that Egyptian sacro-scientific ideas contributed to early Jewish and Christian sacred literature statements, beliefs, and even phrases regarding the Creation, astronomy, geography, magic, medicine, diabolical influences, with a multitude of other ideas, which we also find coming into early Judaism in greater or less degree from Chaldean and Persian sources. But Egyptology, while thus aiding to sweep away the former conception of our sacred books, has aided biblical criticism in making them far more precious; for it has shown them to be a part of that living growth of sacred literature whose roots are in all the great civilizations of the past, and through whose trunk and branches are flowing the currents which are to infuse a higher religious and ethical life into the civilizations of the future.[[376]] But while archaeologists thus influenced enlightened opinion, another body of scholars rendered services of a different sort--the centre of their enterprise being the University of Oxford. By their efforts was presented to the English-speaking world a series of translations of the sacred books of the East, which showed the relations of the more Eastern sacred literature to our own, and proved that in the religions of the world the ideas which have come as the greatest blessings to mankind are not of sudden revelation or creation, but of slow evolution out of a remote past. The facts thus shown did not at first elicit much gratitude from supporters of traditional theology, and perhaps few things brought more obloquy on Renan, for a time, than his statement that "the influence of Persia is the most powerful to which Israel was submitted." Whether this was an overstatement or not, it was soon seen to contain much truth. Not only was it made clear by study of the Zend Avesta that the Old and New Testament ideas regarding Satanic and demoniacal modes of action were largely due to Persian sources, but it was also shown that the idea of immortality was mainly developed in the Hebrew mind during the close relations of the Jews with the Persians. Nor was this all. In the Zend Avesta were found in earlier form sundry myths and legends which, judging from their frequent appearance in early religions, grow naturally about the history of the adored teachers of our race. Typical among these was the Temptation of Zoroaster. It is a fact very significant and full of promise that the first large, frank, and explicit revelation regarding this whole subject in form available for the general thinking public was given to the English-speaking world by an eminent Christian divine and scholar, the Rev. Dr. Mills. Having already shown himself by his translations a most competent authority on the subject, he in 1894 called attention, in a review widely read, to "the now undoubted and long since suspected fact that it pleased the Divine Power to reveal some of the important articles of our Catholic creed first to the Zoroastrians, and through their literature to the Jews and ourselves." Among these beliefs Dr. Mills traced out very conclusively many Jewish doctrines regarding the attributes of God, and all, virtually, regarding the attributes of Satan. There, too, he found accounts of the Miraculous Conception, Virgin Birth, and Temptation of Zoroaster, As to the last, Dr. Mills presented a series of striking coincidences with our own later account. As to its main features, he showed that there had been developed among the Persians, many centuries before the Christian era, the legend of a vain effort of the arch-demon, one seat of whose power was the summit of Mount Arezura, to tempt Zoroaster to worship him,--of an argument between tempter and tempted,--and of Zoroaster's refusal; and the doctor continued: "No Persian subject in the streets of Jerusalem, soon after or long after the Return, could have failed to know this striking myth." Dr. Mills then went on to show that, among the Jews, "the doctrine of immortality was scarcely mooted before the later Isaiah--that is, before the captivity--while the Zoroastrian scriptures are one mass of spiritualism, referring all results to the heavenly or to the infernal worlds." He concludes by saying that, as regards the Old and New Testaments, "the humble, and to a certain extent prior, religion of the Mazda worshippers was useful in giving point and beauty to many loose conceptions among the Jewish religious teachers, and in introducing many ideas which were entirely new, while as to the doctrines of immortality and resurrection--the most important of all--it positively determined belief."[[378]] Even more extensive were the revelations made by scientific criticism applied to the sacred literature of southern and eastern Asia. The resemblances of sundry fundamental narratives and ideas in our own sacred books with those of Buddhism were especially suggestive. Here, too, had been a long preparatory history. The discoveries in Sanscrit philology made in the latter half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth, by Sir William Jones, Carey, Wilkins, Foster, Colebrooke, and others, had met at first with some opposition from theologians. The declaration by Dugald Stewart that the discovery of Sanscrit was fraudulent, and its vocabulary and grammar patched together out of Greek and Latin, showed the feeling of the older race of biblical students. But researches went on. Bopp, Burnouf, Lassen, Weber, Whitney, Max Muller, and others continued the work during the nineteenth century more and more evident became the sources from which many ideas and narratives in our own sacred books had been developed. Studies in the sacred books of Brahmanism, and in the institutions of Buddhism, the most widespread of all religions, its devotees outnumbering those of all branches of the Christian Church together, proved especially fruitful in facts relating to general sacred literature and early European religious ideas. Noteworthy in the progress of this knowledge was the work of Fathers Huc and Gabet. In 1839 the former of these, a French Lazarist priest, set out on a mission to China. Having prepared himself at Macao by eighteen months of hard study, and having arrayed himself like a native, even to the wearing of the queue and the staining of his skin, he visited Peking and penetrated Mongolia. Five years later, taking Gabet with him, both disguised as Lamas, he began his long and toilsome journey to the chief seats of Buddhism in Thibet, and, after two years of fearful dangers and sufferings, accomplished it. Driven out finally by the Chinese, Huc returned to Europe in 1852, having made one of the most heroic, self-denying, and, as it turned out, one of the most valuable efforts in all the noble annals of Christian missions. His accounts of these journevs, written in a style simple, clear, and interesting, at once attracted attention throughout the world. But far more important than any services he had rendered to the Church he served was the influence of his book upon the general opinions of thinking men; for he completed a series of revelations made by earlier, less gifted, and less devoted travellers, and brought to the notice of the world the amazing similarity of the ideas, institutions, observances, ceremonies, and ritual, and even the ecclesiastical costumes of the Buddhists to those of his own Church. Buddhism was thus shown with its hierarchy, in which the Grand Lama, an infallible representative of the Most High, is surrounded by its minor Lamas, much like cardinals; with its bishops wearing mitres, its celibate priests with shaven crown, cope, dalmatic, and censer; its cathedrals with clergy gathered in the choir; its vast monasteries filled with monks and nuns vowed to poverty, chastity, and obedience; its church arrangements, with shrines of saints and angels; its use of images, pictures, and illuminated missals; its service, with a striking general resemblance to the Mass; antiphonal choirs; intoning of prayers; recital of creeds; repetition of litanies; processions; mystic rites and incense; the offering and adoration of bread upon an altar lighted by candles; the drinking from a chalice by the priest; prayers and offerings for the dead; benediction with outstretched hands; fasts, confessions, and doctrine of purgatory--all this and more was now clearly revealed. The good father was evidently staggered by these amazing facts; but his robust faith soon gave him an explanation: he suggested that Satan, in anticipation of Christianity, had revealed to Buddhism this divinely constituted order of things. This naive explanation did not commend itself to his superiors in the Roman Church. In the days of St. Augustine or of St. Thomas Aquinas it would doubtless have been received much more kindly; but in the days of Cardinal Antonelli this was hardly to be expected: the Roman authorities, seeing the danger of such plain revelations in the nineteenth century, even when coupled with such devout explanations, put the book under the ban, though not before it had been spread throughout the world in various translations. Father Huc was sent on no more missions. Yet there came even more significant discoveries, especially bearing upon the claims of that great branch of the Church which supposes itself to possess a divine safeguard against error in belief. For now was brought to light by literary research the irrefragable evidence that the great Buddha--Sakya Muni himself--had been canonized and enrolled among the Christian saints whose intercession may be invoked, and in whose honour images, altars, and chapels may be erected; and this, not only by the usage of the medieval Church, Greek and Roman, but by the special and infallible sanction of a long series of popes, from the end of the sixteenth century to the end of the nineteenth--a sanction granted under one of the most curious errors in human history. The story enables us to understand the way in which many of the beliefs of Christendom have been developed, especially how they have been influenced from the seats of older religions; and it throws much light into the character and exercise of papal infallibility. Early in the seventh century there was composed, as is now believed, at the Convent of St. Saba near Jerusalem, a pious romance entitled _Barlaam and Josaphat_--the latter personage, the hero of the story, being represented as a Hindu prince converted to Christianity by the former. This story, having been attributed to St. John of Damascus in the following century became amazingly popular, and was soon accepted as true: it was translated from the Greek original not only into Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, and Ethiopic, but into every important European language, including even Polish, Bohemian, and Icelandic. Thence it came into the pious historical encyclopaedia of Vincent of Beauvais, and, most important of all, into the _Lives of the Saints_. Hence the name of its pious hero found its way into the list of saints whose intercession is to be prayed for, and it passed without challenge until about 1590, when, the general subject of canonization having been brought up at Rome, Pope Sixtus V, by virtue of his infallibility and immunity against error in everything relating to faith and morals, sanctioned a revised list of saints, authorizing and directing it to be accepted by the Church; and among those on whom he thus forever infallibly set the seal of Heaven was included "_The Holy Saint Josaphat of India_, whose wonderful acts St. John of Damascus has related." The 27th of November was appointed as the day set apart in honour of this saint, and the decree, having been enforced by successive popes for over two hundred and fifty years, was again officially approved by Pius IX in 1873. This decree was duly accepted as infallible, and in one of the largest cities of Italy may to-day be seen a Christian church dedicated to this saint. On its front are the initials of his Italianized name; over its main entrance is the inscription "_Divo Josafat_"; and within it is an altar dedicated to the saint--above this being a pedestal bearing his name and supporting a large statue which represents him as a youthful prince wearing a crown and contemplating a crucifix. Moreover, relics of this saint were found; bones alleged to be parts of his skeleton, having been presented by a Doge of Venice to a King of Portugal, are now treasured at Antwerp. But even as early as the sixteenth century a pregnant fact regarding this whole legend was noted: for the Portuguese historian Diego Conto showed that it was identical with the legend of Buddha. Fortunately for the historian, his faith was so robust that he saw in this resemblance only a trick of Satan; the life of Buddha being, in his opinion, merely a diabolic counterfeit of the life of Josaphat centuries before the latter was lived or written--just as good Abbe Huc saw in the ceremonies of Buddhism a similar anticipatory counterfeit of Christian ritual. There the whole matter virtually rested for about three hundred years--various scholars calling attention to the legend as a curiosity, but none really showing its true bearings--until, in 1859, Laboulaye in France, Liebrecht in Germany, and others following them, demonstrated that this Christian work was drawn almost literally from an early biography of Buddha, being conformed to it in the most minute details, not only of events but of phraseology; the only important changes being that, at the end of the various experiences showing the wretchedness of the world, identical with those ascribed in the original to the young Prince Buddha, the hero, instead of becoming a hermit, becomes a Christian, and that for the appellation of Buddha-- "Bodisat"--is substituted the more scriptural name Josaphat. Thus it was that, by virtue of the infallibility vouchsafed to the papacy in matters of faith and morals, Buddha became a Christian saint. Yet these were by no means the most pregnant revelations. As the Buddhist scriptures were more fully examined, there were disclosed interesting anticipations of statements in later sacred books. The miraculous conception of Buddha and his virgin birth, like that of Horus in Egypt and of Krishna in India; the previous annunciation to his mother Maja; his birth during a journey by her; the star appearing in the east, and the angels chanting in the heavens at his birth; his temptation--all these and a multitude of other statements were full of suggestions to larger thought regarding the development of sacred literature in general. Even the eminent Roman Catholic missionary Bishop Bigandet was obliged to confess, in his scholarly life of Buddha, these striking similarities between the Buddhist scriptures and those which it was his mission to expound, though by this honest statement his own further promotion was rendered impossible. Fausboll also found the story of the judgment of Solomon imbedded in Buddhist folklore; and Sir Edwin Arnold, by his poem, _The Light of Asia_, spread far and wide a knowledge of the anticipation in Buddhism of some ideas which down to a recent period were considered distinctively Christian. Imperfect as the revelations thus made of an evolution of religious beliefs, institutions, and literature still are, they have not been without an important bearing upon the newer conception of our own sacred books: more and more manifest has become the interdependence of all human development; more and more clear the truth that Christianity, as a great fact in man's history, is not dependent for its life upon any parasitic growths of myth and legend, no matter how beautiful they may be.[[384]] No less important was the closer research into the New Testament during the latter part of the nineteenth century. To go into the subject in detail would be beyond the scope of this work, but a few of the main truths which it brought before the world may be here summarized.[[385]] By the new race of Christian scholars it has been clearly shown that the first three Gospels, which, down to the close of the last century, were so constantly declared to be three independent testimonies agreeing as to the events recorded, are neither independent of each other nor in that sort of agreement which was formerly asserted. All biblical scholars of any standing, even the most conservative, have come to admit that all three took their rise in the same original sources, growing by the accretions sure to come as time went on--accretions sometimes useful and often beautiful, but in no inconsiderable degree ideas and even narratives inherited from older religions: it is also fully acknowledged that to this growth process are due certain contradictions which can not otherwise be explained. As to the fourth Gospel, exquisitely beautiful as large portions of it are, there has been growing steadily and irresistibly the conviction, even among the most devout scholars, that it has no right to the name, and does not really give the ideas of St. John, but that it represents a mixture of Greek philosophy with Jewish theology, and that its final form, which one of the most eminent among recent Christian scholars has characterized as "an unhistorical product of abstract reflection," is mainly due to some gifted representative or representatives of the Alexandrian school. Bitter as the resistance to this view has been, it has during the last years of the nineteenth century won its way more and more to acknowledgment. A careful examination made in 1893 by a competent Christian scholar showed facts which are best given in his own words, as follows: "In the period of thirty years ending in 1860, of the fifty great authorities in this line, _four to one_ were in favour of the Johannine authorship. Of those who in that period had advocated this traditional position, one quarter--and certainly the very greatest--finally changed their position to the side of a late date and non-Johannine authorship. Of those who have come into this field of scholarship since about 1860, some forty men of the first class, two thirds reject the traditional theory wholly or very largely. Of those who have contributed important articles to the discussion from about 1880 to 1890, about _two to one_ reject the Johannine authorship of the Gospel in its present shape--that is to say, while forty years ago great scholars were _four to one in favour of_, they are now _two to one against_, the claim that the apostle John wrote this Gospel as we have it. Again, one half of those on the conservative side to-day--scholars like Weiss, Beyschlag, Sanday, and Reynolds--admit the existence of a dogmatic intent and an ideal element in this Gospel, so that we do not have Jesus's thought in his exact words, but only in substance."[[386]] In 1881 came an event of great importance as regards the development of a more frank and open dealing with scriptural criticism. In that year appeared the Revised Version of the New Testament. It was exceedingly cautious and conservative; but it had the vast merit of being absolutely conscientious. One thing showed, in a striking way, ethical progress in theological methods. Although all but one of the English revisers represented Trinitarian bodies, they rejected the two great proof texts which had so long been accounted essential bulwarks of Trinitarian doctrine. Thus disappeared at last from the Epistle of St. John the text of the Three Witnesses, which had for centuries held its place in spite of its absence from all the earlier important manuscripts, and of its rejection in later times by Erasmus, Luther, Isaac Newton, Porson, and a long line of the greatest biblical scholars. And with this was thrown out the other like unto it in spurious origin and zealous intent, that interpolation of the word "God" in the sixteenth verse of the third chapter of the First Epistle to Timothy, which had for ages served as a warrant for condemning some of the noblest of Christians, even such men as Newton and Milton and Locke and Priestley and Channing. Indeed, so honest were the revisers that they substituted the correct reading of Luke ii, 33, in place of the time-honoured corruption in the King James version which had been thought necessary to safeguard the dogma of the virgin birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Thus came the true reading, "His _father_ and his mother" instead of the old piously fraudulent words "_Joseph_ and his mother." An even more important service to the new and better growth of Christianity was the virtual setting aside of the last twelve verses of the Gospel according to St. Mark; for among these stood that sentence which has cost the world more innocent blood than any other--the words "He that believeth not shall be damned." From this source had logically grown the idea that the intellectual rejection of this or that dogma which dominant theology had happened at any given time to pronounce essential, since such rejection must bring punishment infinite in agony and duration, is a crime to be prevented at any cost of finite cruelty. Still another service rendered to humanity by the revisers was in substituting a new and correct rendering for the old reading of the famous text regarding the inspiration of Scripture, which had for ages done so much to make our sacred books a fetich. By this more correct reading the revisers gave a new charter to liberty in biblical research.[[388]] Most valuable, too, have been studies during the latter part of the nineteenth century upon the formation of the canon of Scripture. The result of these has been to substitute something far better for that conception of our biblical literature, as forming one book handed out of the clouds by the Almighty, which had been so long practically the accepted view among probably the majority of Christians. Reverent scholars have demonstrated our sacred literature to be a growth in obedience to simple laws natural and historical; they have shown how some books of the Old Testament were accepted as sacred, centuries before our era, and how others gradually gained sanctity, in some cases only fully acquiring it long after the establishment of the Christian Church. The same slow growth has also been shown in the New Testament canon. It has been demonstrated that the selection of the books composing it, and their separation from the vast mass of spurious gospels, epistles, and apocalytic literature was a gradual process, and, indeed, that the rejection of some books and the acceptance of others was accidental, if anything is accidental. So, too, scientific biblical research has, as we have seen, been obliged to admit the existence of much mythical and legendary matter, as a setting for the great truths not only of the Old Testament but of the New. It has also shown, by the comparative study of literatures, the process by which some books were compiled and recompiled, adorned with beautiful utterances, strengthened or weakened by alterations and interpolations expressing the views of the possessors or transcribers, and attributed to personages who could not possibly have written them. The presentation of these things has greatly weakened that sway of mere dogma which has so obscured the simple teachings of Christ himself; for it has shown that the more we know of our sacred books, the less certain we become as to the authenticity of "proof texts," and it has disengaged more and more, as the only valuable residuum, like the mass of gold at the bottom of the crucible, the personality, spirit, teaching, and ideals of the blessed Founder of Christianity. More and more, too, the new scholarship has developed the conception of the New Testament as, like the Old, the growth of literature in obedience to law--a conception which in all probability will give it its strongest hold on the coming centuries. In making this revelation Christian scholarship has by no means done work mainly destructive. It has, indeed, swept away a mass of noxious growths, but it has at the same time cleared the ground for a better growth of Christianity--a growth through which already pulsates the current of a nobler life. It has forever destroyed the contention of scholars like those of the eighteenth century who saw, in the multitude of irreconcilable discrepancies between various biblical statements, merely evidences of priestcraft and intentional fraud. The new scholarship has shown that even such absolute contradictions as those between the accounts of the early life of Jesus by Matthew and Luke, and between the date of the crucifixion and details of the resurrection in the first three Gospels and in the fourth, and other discrepancies hardly less serious, do not destroy the historical character of the narrative. Even the hopelessly conflicting genealogies of the Saviour and the evidently mythical accretions about the simple facts of his birth and life are thus full of interest when taken as a natural literary development in obedience to the deepest religious feeling.[[390]] Among those who have wrought most effectively to bring the leaders of thought in the English-speaking nations to this higher conception, Matthew Arnold should not be forgotten. By poetic insight, broad scholarship, pungent statement, pithy argument, and an exquisitely lucid style, he aided effectually during the latter half of the nineteenth century in bringing the work of specialists to bear upon the development of a broader and deeper view. In the light of his genius a conception of our sacred books at the same time more literary as well as more scientific has grown widely and vigorously, while the older view which made of them a fetich and a support for unchristian dogmas has been more and more thrown into the background. The contributions to these results by the most eminent professors at the great Christian universities of the English-speaking world, Oxford and Cambridge taking the lead, are most hopeful signs of a new epoch. Very significant also is a change in the style of argument against the scientific view. Leading supporters of the older opinions see more and more clearly the worthlessness of rhetoric against ascertained fact: mere dogged resistance to cogent argument evidently avails less and less; and the readiness of the more prominent representatives of the older thought to consider opposing arguments, and to acknowledge any force they may have, is certainly of good omen. The concessions made in _Lux Mundi_ regarding scriptural myths and legends have been already mentioned. Significant also has been the increasing reprobation in the Church itself of the profound though doubtless unwitting immoralities of _reconcilers_. The castigation which followed the exploits of the greatest of these in our own time--Mr. Gladstone, at the hands of Prof. Huxley--did much to complete a work in which such eminent churchmen as Stanley, Farrar, Sanday, Cheyne, Driver, and Sayce had rendered good service. Typical among these evidences of a better spirit in controversy has been the treatment of the question regarding mistaken quotations from the Old Testament in the New, and especially regarding quotations by Christ himself. For a time this was apparently the most difficult of all matters dividing the two forces; but though here and there appear champions of tradition, like the Bishop of Gloucester, effectual resistance to the new view has virtually ceased; in one way or another the most conservative authorities have accepted the undoubted truth revealed by a simple scientific method. Their arguments have indeed been varied. While some have fallen back upon Le Clerc's contention that "Christ did not come to teach criticism to the Jews," and others upon Paley's argument that the Master shaped his statements in accordance with the ideas of his time, others have taken refuge in scholastic statements--among them that of Irenaeus regarding "a quiescence of the divine word," or the somewhat startling explanation by sundry recent theologians that "our Lord emptied himself of his Godhead."[[391]] Nor should there be omitted a tribute to the increasing courtesy shown in late years by leading supporters of the older view. During the last two decades of the present century there has been a most happy departure from the older method of resistance, first by plausibilities, next by epithets, and finally by persecution. To the bitterness of the attacks upon Darwin, the Essayists and Reviewers, and Bishop Colenso, have succeeded, among really eminent leaders, a far better method and tone. While Matthew Arnold no doubt did much in commending "sweet reasonableness" to theological controversialists, Mr. Gladstone, by his perfect courtesy to his opponents, even when smarting under their heaviest blows, has set a most valuable example. Nor should the spirit shown by Bishop Ellicott, leading a forlorn hope for the traditional view, pass without a tribute of respect. Truly pathetic is it to see this venerable and learned prelate, one of the most eminent representatives of the older biblical research, even when giving solemn warnings against the newer criticisms, and under all the temptations of _ex cathedra_ utterance, remaining mild and gentle and just in the treatment of adversaries whose ideas he evidently abhors. Happily, he is comforted by the faith that Christianitv will survive; and this faith his opponents fully share.[[392]] VI. RECONSTRUCTIVE FORCE OF SCIENTIFIC CRITICISM. For all this dissolving away of traditional opinions regarding our sacred literature, there has been a cause far more general and powerful than any which has been given, for it is a cause surrounding and permeating all. This is simply the atmosphere of thought engendered by the development of all sciences during the last three centuries. Vast masses of myth, legend, marvel, and dogmatic assertion, coming into this atmosphere, have been dissolved and are now dissolving quietly away like icebergs drifted into the Gulf Stream. In earlier days, when some critic in advance of his time insisted that Moses could not have written an account embracing the circumstances of his own death, it was sufficient to answer that Moses was a prophet; if attention was called to the fact that the great early prophets, by all which they did and did not do, showed that there could not have existed in their time any "Levitical code," a sufficient answer was "mystery"; and if the discrepancy was noted between the two accounts of creation in Genesis, or between the genealogies or the dates of the crucifixion in the Gospels, the cogent reply was "infidelity." But the thinking world has at last been borne by the general development of a scientific atmosphere beyond that kind of refutation. If, in the atmosphere generated by the earlier developed sciences, the older growths of biblical interpretation have drooped and withered and are evidently perishing, new and better growths have arisen with roots running down into the newer sciences. Comparative Anthropology in general, by showing that various early stages of belief and observance, once supposed to be derived from direct revelation from heaven to the Hebrews, are still found as arrested developments among various savage and barbarous tribes; Comparative Mythology and Folklore, by showing that ideas and beliefs regarding the Supreme Power in the universe are progressive, and not less in Judea than in other parts of the world; Comparative Religion and Literature, by searching out and laying side by side those main facts in the upward struggle of humanity which show that the Israelites, like other gifted peoples, rose gradually, through ghost worship, fetichism, and polytheism, to higher theological levels; and that, as they thus rose, their conceptions and statements regarding the God they worshipped became nobler and better--all these sciences are giving a new solution to those problems which dogmatic theology has so long laboured in vain to solve. While researches in these sciences have established the fact that accounts formerly supposed to be special revelations to Jews and Christians are but repetitions of widespread legends dating from far earlier civilizations, and that beliefs formerly thought fundamental to Judaism and Christianity are simply based on ancient myths, they have also begun to impress upon the intellect and conscience of the thinking world the fact that the religious and moral truths thus disengaged from the old masses of myth and legend are all the more venerable and authoritative, and that all individual or national life of any value must be vitalized by them.[[394]] If, then, modern science in general has acted powerfully to dissolve away the theories and dogmas of the older theologic interpretation, it has also been active in a reconstruction and recrystallization of truth; and very powerful in this reconstruction have been the evolution doctrines which have grown out of the thought and work of men like Darwin and Spencer. In the light thus obtained the sacred text has been transformed: out of the old chaos has come order; out of the old welter of hopelessly conflicting statements in religion and morals has come, in obedience to this new conception of development, the idea of a sacred literature which mirrors the most striking evolution of morals and religion in the history of our race. Of all the sacred writings of the world, it shows us our own as the most beautiful and the most precious; exhibiting to us the most complete religious development to which humanity has attained, and holding before us the loftiest ideals which our race has known. Thus it is that, with the keys furnished by this new race of biblical scholars, the way has been opened to treasures of thought which have been inaccessible to theologians for two thousand years. As to the Divine Power in the universe: these interpreter's have shown how, beginning with the tribal god of the Hebrews--one among many jealous, fitful, unseen, local sovereigns of Asia Minor--the higher races have been borne on to the idea of the just Ruler of the whole earth, as revealed by the later and greater prophets of Israel, and finally to the belief in the Universal Father, as best revealed in the New Testament. As to man: beginning with men after Jehovah's own heart--cruel, treacherous, revengeful--we are borne on to an ideal of men who do right for right's sake; who search and speak the truth for truth's sake; who love others as themselves. As to the world at large: the races dominant in religion and morals have been lifted from the idea of a "chosen people" stimulated and abetted by their tribal god in every sort of cruelty and injustice, to the conception of a vast community in which the fatherhood of God overarches all, and the brotherhood of man permeates all. Thus, at last, out of the old conception of our Bible as a collection of oracles--a mass of entangling utterances, fruitful in wrangling interpretations, which have given to the world long and weary ages of "hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness"; of fetichism, subtlety, and pomp; of tyranny bloodshed, and solemnly constituted imposture; of everything which the Lord Jesus Christ most abhorred--has been gradually developed through the centuries, by the labours, sacrifices, and even the martyrdom of a long succession of men of God, the conception of it as a sacred literature--a growth only possible under that divine light which the various orbs of science have done so much to bring into the mind and heart and soul of man--a revelation, not of the Fall of Man, but of the Ascent of Man--an exposition, not of temporary dogmas and observances, but of the Eternal Law of Righteousness--the one upward path for individuals and for nations. No longer an oracle, good for the "lower orders" to accept, but to be quietly sneered at by "the enlightened"--no longer a fetich, whose defenders must be persecuters, or reconcilers, or "apologists"; but a most fruitful fact, which religion and science may accept as a source of strength to both. [End.]


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