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not from any rabbinical school. He drew freely and directly from the ful. ness of the Divine Spirit. He could say, as no other man could,“No man knoweth the Son, but the Father ; neither knoweth any man the Father, savethe Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” (Matt.xi.27.)
Professor Delitzsch's article has done good service in directing attention to the contrast between the training and authority of Hillel, the Jewish rabbi by eminence, and the training and authority of the blessed Saviour of the world.
It is to be hoped that the editor of the “ Quarterly Review” will not again grant his sanction to a covert attack on Christianity, such as has been made in its pages by a Jewish contributor; and that the proprietors and readers of the “Quarterly” will protest against a repetition of it.
THE“Quarterly Review” for October (1867) contains an article on the Babylonian Talmud, which has drawn such attention to that The. saurus of Jewish traditionary lore as is unprecedented in this Christian country. Many learned men had written on the subject; but they wrote for students, rather than for the public, and charms of style and imagination were wanting to interest general readers, and, at the same time, command the admiration of the few, the very few, who have sufficient knowledge of Rabbinism to appreciate the nearly perfect mastery of the Quarterly reviewer. The marvel is, that so profound a student of those twelve immense folio volumes, closely printed in small Rabbinical Hebrew letter, which it is often hard to translate, and much harder to understand, should not have fallen into a style as enigmatical as that of the Talmudists themselves.
In saying that the reviewer's mastery of the subject is "nearly" perfect we make a necessary reserve. On the one hand, his attributing a very high and almost primitive antiquity to the Talmud must be received with considerable abatement. The Mischna, or text, compiled about A.D. 150, consists chiefly of the sentences of Jewish expositors of the law of Moses, relating almost entirely to the ceremonial of religion and the administration of justice; and after having read, as we believe, every word of the Mischna, we confess ourselves unable to receive the impression of any such antiquity as is claimed for it. The men of the Great Synagogue, the last of whom, Simon the Just, guided of course by his knowledge of the mind and faith of his nation, set the seal on the canon of Old Testament Scriptures nearly three centuries and a half before Christ, are but feebly represented in the Mischna. “Hillel said,” “Shammai said,” “ The Rabbins say,” “Some say,” are the formulo most prevalent in its chapters. There are, undoubtedly, exceptions numerous enough to claim regard; and one document, " The Chapters of the Fathers,” usually quoted as Pirkey Aboth, appended to the Sěděr Nezeekeen, or “Order of Injuries,” in the second volume of Surenhusius, is a precious, nay, an invaluable, remnant of purely Hebrew ethics. The truth, however, is, that soon after the publication of the “Six Orders of the Mischna,” by Rabbi Judah the Holy, the zeal and learning of the Jews in Palestine and Babylonia were engaged in collecting more copious expositions of this traditionary law, whether in writings then existing and unwritten sentences, or by the composition for themselves of written comments on the Mischnaic text. This process probably began about the close of the second century or beginning of the third of the Christian era; and the redaction was completed in the year 498, under the direction of the rector of the famous school at Sora, on the Eaphrates. Dispassionate critical students of the Talmudic writings will estimate each of those writings on its own merits, and learn to appreciate its relative worth. The young student may reasonably expect more from the elder traditionists than from their more degenerate successors in later times, with a few bright exceptions,—such men, for example, as Maimo. nides. It is alleged, moreover, that many of the Talmudic writers teach a morality more nearly scriptural than did the old Pharisees, who were, if you please, the Ritualists of their times, whom our Lord condemned for making the commandments of God of none effect by their traditions : and this we entirely believe. “The Chapters of the Fathers,” just men. tioned, give evidence of such a superiority; and so do the abundant glean. ings of Lightfoot and Schættgen, in their Hore Hebraicæ et Talmudicce, and many of the extracts collected by Wetstein and others in illustration of the New Testament. This purer teaching may be taken to represent the better class of Jews in the time of Christ-a class continuing four or five centuries after, in the descendants of the sincere and devout Israelites that were clearly distinguished by His constant commendation from the “Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.” Thus much we may concede, but no more.
Another exception, which, in our admiration of the article in the Review, weregret to make, is that it exhibits the want of correct appreciation of the New Testament Scriptures and of Christianity. It lacks the full, unreserved, devout, earnest acknowledgment of that sempi. ternal verity which speaks out in all inspired Scripture, and of that supreme and independent authority which belongs to the New Testament. The reviewer does not recognise, as the inspired writer of the Epistle-or treatise-to the Hebrews taught, the Divine supremacy of the “Only Begotten” Son of God over angels, over Abraham, and over Moses; but any criticism on this divergence from the great body of Christian theologians should be conducted very seriously and with full scope, and therefore cannot be attempted here. Perhaps the writer in the “Quarterly" may himself see fit to show us that he has been misunderstood; and it will be well if no controversy is found necessary that would interrupt the speedy accomplishment of the work we hope he has initiated, namely, a thorough study of Rabbinical literature, and an application of the results to the purposes of Christianity.* A writer in a recent number of the “ Contemporary Review” treats this point well. He does not state it controversially; but, more wisely, because more effectually, he propounds the truth according to his own view of it, a view in which we can safely agree.
. At the time these sentences were pen ned, the present writer was not aware that the author of the article in the “ Quarterly" is himself a Jew.
A paragraph from the latter Review, bearing the signature of “Reginald Stuart Poole,” hints at much that should be said on the respective characteristics of Judaism and Christianity as to ethics.
“ They (the Jewish) are rather similar than identical, rather parallel than historically related, if we compare them with those of the Gospel. The Talmudic adage says, “ Above all things, study.” Christianity teaches the simplicity, almost the ignorance of childhood. Jewish ethics were, if not limited to the doctors and schools, yet their property; Christian ethics were preached to the common people, the ignorant, and the vicious, 'publicans and harlots.' Jewish ethics had a fragile and tender beauty that made them scarcely equal to pass from the ideal calm of learning into the great conflict of the world. Like certain taking modern systems, the systems of pure-minded idealists, they almost failed to realize the existence of evil. But, after all, there is evil, and any system that does not look it in the face, and fight it to the last, must go down in the wear and tear of life, if indeed it do not end in self-righteous separation from it. Christianity, while in no way inferior in its ethics, recognises the existence of evil, combats it, releases its slaves, points sternly to the end of its servants. The Mischna has no hell.”
The article in the “Quarterly” has caused quite a sensation. The discovery of Pompeii, Nineveh, or Babylon, could hardly have caused more; and this mere fact leads to the disclosure of a negligence, to say the least, that is not creditable to our country. It would not have been so two hundred years ago. The names of Lightfoot, the Buxtorfs, Castell, Drusius, and others, were then familiar to the clergy of Protestant Europe. But their thorough way of learning Hebrew could never be followed by any other than diligent and earnest men; nor yet their application of Hebrew learning to the elucidation of the New Testament, as well as the more correct perception of what is written in the Old. The Hutchinsonian folly rose up like fungus on the oak, to indicate the decay of that hard-earned scholarship which gave to the Western Church the Vulgate, and to Protestant Germany its imperish. able Bible, and to England her glorious authorized Version. The Talmud, now known only by its disjected fragments, was idly laughed at by the many, and despaired of by the few. Even University men needed to ask "What is a Targum ?” The great Hebrew commentators could not find readers ; and the “ Fiery Darts” of Wagenseil, who took the Jewish infidels as his target, did little more than show men like Volney how to cry down Christianity, and help the despisers of the Jew to hate him yet more bitterly. Those dark days are past. Hebrew studies may revive again, and their real value may be understood better than ever, seeing that oriental learning now covers a far wider field, and even the Talmud has latterly found some laborious expositors. The golden little book of the late Dr. Etheridge, entitled, “ Jerusalem and Tiberias: Sora and Cordova," or, more briefly, “ Hebrew Literature, "* is a full and trustworthy manual, open to the youngest beginner, but useful to the more advanced reader of volumes long unintelligible, that will now, as we expect, rise in value in the market, in answer
* Longmans, 1856.
to a new demand, and be treated with a firm yet discriminating criticism.
Best of all, it is to be hoped that there will be a more kindly and respectful feeling in the bosom of Christians towards their brethren the Jers. What if a persuasion should gain upon the parties on both sides the wall of separation, that Christ is He who alone can break it down, and make us one? Some little community of study may help us all to breathe the Spirit of the crucified King of Israel, and to emulate the tender compassion of that great Apostle of the Gentiles, wbo never loved his brethren according to the flesh so ardently as when the love of Jesus became the constraining motive of his life.
"STUDIES ON THE BARBARIANS AND THE MIDDLE
M. EMILE Littré is one of the most indefatigable men we have ever met with. Not only has he published single-handed a French Diction. ary before which all others dwindle into insignificance, and thus obliged the celebrated "Forty” of the Académie Française to blush for their own dilatoriness; he now edits a periodical intended to vindi. cate the claims of Positivism, and finds time, besides, to contribute to the Journal des Savants articles remarkable both for their learning and for the amount of research they evidence. These articles, collected from time to time, acquire fresh value on their being reprinted in the shape of goodly volumes; and it is to such a recueil that we would now direct the attention of our readers.
The essays composing the octavo, which M. Littré entitles Studies on the Barbarians and the Middle Ages, are eight in number, and they treat of a large variety of subjects; but although apparently disconnected from one another, they are really written under the inspiration of one leading thought, and are destined to illustrate one grand idea, namely, the continual progress of civilization according to the laws of “Positive” pbilosophy.
Persons acquainted with the various schools of French historians which have obtained during the last two centuries, need scarcely be reminded of the strong contrast noticeable between the views taken of history by Bosenet and his school, and those with which the name of Voltaire must ever be identified. In the Bishop of Condom's Discours sur l'Histoire universelle, the superintending action of Providence is directly and unmistakably vindicated. The writer places himself at the Christian point of view, and he shows us the whole course of human events tending towards the accomplishment of God's everlasting ptlrposes in the redemption of His chosen people, through the Atonement made by our Lord Jesus Christ. Such is the text which Bossuet develops, so to say; and it is quite clear that the idea of progress, rightly conceived, is perfectly compatible with this theory of history.
• Etudes sur les Barbares et le moyen Age.
Par F. Littré, de l'Institut. Paris :
Now, if we turn from the Discours of Bossuet to Voltaire's Essai sur les Maurs, and to the other historical compositions published under the influence of what was called, a hundred years ago, the "spirit of philosophy," we find ourselves in the presence of a totally different order of ideas. Instead of Providence, mere chance is presented to our view. We are told that the affairs of this world are subjected to nothing but a sort of hap-hazard administration, and that we are tossed about, up and down, any how and every how, in a kind of vortex, above the surges of which a few clever knaves alone manage to keep their balance. No progress, no harmony, no law of design. The middle ages are blotted out altogether as an epoch of unmitigated darkness, intellectual and moral, resulting from Christianity, and for which religion is accountable. Such is the pro-. gramme of the sceptical historians who took up the cue of Voltaire. They called themselves philosophers, but they knew nothing whatever of the philosophy of history, because such an idea implies the acknowledgment, the recognition of some law; and of law, either in genere or in specie, they had not the faintest conception.
In this last respect, the infidels of our own times have certainly more “ method” in their “madness” than their predecessors; but the very appearance of impartiality they assume makes them infinitely more dangerous, and therefore no opportunity should be lost of denouncing their sophisms in every possible manner. M. Littré, we are sorry to say, is one of this class; and a glance at his introduction to the present Etudes is absolutely essential here.
“Those persons," says M. Littré," who are not acquainted with posi. tive philosophy, will no doubt be astonished when I tell them that it could only manifest itself at the moment when history became a science; that is to say, when the fundamental law of history had been discovered. And, let me add en passant, this necessity imposed upon Positivism is not the least of the differences which separates it from theology and metaphysics: these have been able to exist without his. tory being reduced to the proportions of a science; in fact, history, considered as a science, may not unfrequently prove for them an impediment.”
The first error we have to expose here is that which makes the science of history so modern a discovery, due to Positivism alone, and deriving from it all its reality. We are quite willing to admit that Bossuet did not know technically the science of history, such as we understand it in the present day; still more willingly would we agree that Voltaire knew nothing either of the science or of the spirit of history ; but, certainly, if the power of tracing events to their true causes, and of showing by what law the political world is governed, deserves the name of philosophy, Bossuet, and all Christian historians, are a great deal more entitled to the name of philosophers than our Positivist friends, including M. Littré himself. The learned author of the Studies on the Middle Ages will perhaps tell us that God is not the Representative of the ideal law: we shall answer that this is an assertion which the whole Positivist school has as yet failed to prove.
Another mistake into which our opponents are constantly falling,