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So, to fill out her model, a little she spared
That the music had somehow got mixed with the whole.'
• Now it is not one thing nor another alone
But, clapt hodge-podge together, they don't make a tree.'
• It should reach with one impulse the end of its course,
With a wave-like up gathering to burst at the end.'
• If her heart at high floods swamps her brain now and then,
Could they be as a child but for one little hour!' We leave the 'Fable,' with thanks to the anonymous author for the treat which his truth and freshness, his richness and drollery, his just judgments of men and things and his amusing combinations of words, his serious sentiments and his fantastic fancies, have afforded us. We hope to show our gratitude by a due reverence for the admonitions and reproofs with which he has favoured critics.'
ART. VII.-An Historico-Critical Introdi tion to the Pentateuch. By
H. A. Ch. Hävernick, Dr. and Professor of Theology in the
Academy. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark. 1850. THE late Dr. Hävernick's Introduction to the Old Testament' is well known to those who have studied the more recent German theology in its sources, as a work of eminent value and promise. We say promise, because the author had published but two parts of it, a third probably of what he had contemplated as its extent, before he was removed by death. We are ignorant if his preparation for the next part was so advanced as to justify the expectation that any more of the work may be looked for. We fear there is no hope of this. But we must be so much the more grateful for what we have, as being, in every respect, worthy to be ranked with its lamented author's earlier work on ‘Daniel,' and his more recent one on · Ezekiel.' With these impressions of its value, derived from a careful study of it in the original, we were glad to see that it was included in Messrs. Clark's series of translations, and not less so that the translation had been undertaken by Dr. Alexander and Mr. Thomson. The part confided to Dr. Alexander is that which treats of Old Testament Introduction' generally; Mr. Thomson's, the special introduction to the Pentateuch is the volume now before us.
The work is, to a very large extent, apologetical, and has for its object to vindicate the genuineness and authenticity of the Pentateuch, in opposition to the host of objections, for their name is legion, which have been raised against it. While the attacks of older writers have not been neglected, particular attention has been directed to those of more recent adversaries, such as De Wette, Von Bohlen, and Vatke.
The method adopted by Dr. Hävernick is first (8 5), to show that in the Pentateuch itself Moses is named as its author. This he defends, in the next section, from objections raised by Hartmann and Von Bohlen. He then takes up the question of the unity of the Pentateuch, detailing in $6 the positive evi. dence in its favour, and examining, in $S7--14, the contrary hypothesis of its construction from earlier documents or fragments. Of this part, $s 10-14 are occupied with an examination of the five books in their proper order. Then follows, what may be regarded as the staple of the work, a very minute inquiry into the credibility, or authenticity, of the historical narrative, as deducible from its own internal evidence. This also follows the order of the Pentateuch itself, and occupies $S 15—30. In § 31 Dr. Hävernick takes up the bibliographical history of the Pentateuch, the traces of which, as a national, literary, and religious document, he points out in the subsequent Old Testament books, SS 32–38. The volume closes with a section (39) on the Samaritan Pentateuch ; the testimony of the New Testament to the genuineness of the (Hebrew) Pentateuch, $ 40; a history of the attacks made upon its genu- . ineness, $ 41; and (§ 42) some general concluding remarks.
It will be apparent, from the preceding description, that the principal controversies are not merely included, but extensively examined. The treatment of the internal evidence to the historical credibility of the Pentateuch is indeed more continuous and careful than is elsewhere to be met with, even in the larger, but more desultory, work of Hengstenberg. While claiming for Hävernick, however, a more satisfactory, as well as more concise and lucid treatment of the multifarious questions they have both discussed, it is but fair to notice that he has derived no small advantage from Hengstenberg's labours, as his predecessor in this field of study.
To some who may take this translation in their hands, the question will probably suggest itself, was all this worth translating? We cannot agree with those who would say No to this. We admit that Dr. Hävernick's book is in some respects more calculated for the meridian of Germany than of Britain. We admit that many of the objections to the genuineness of the Pentateuch, which he has answered, are frivolous and flippant in the highest degree.
But this is not the case with all. Many of them are such as all earnest thinkers have been arrested by in the course of their studies of this part of Scripture. And while it was impossible for Hävernick, when writing for a German public, to overlook objections which, though they would not tell on us, had evidently told to a great extent on the nonpractical, speculative mind of Germany, we may well be thankful to possess the work as it is, though much of it should appear to us, as we imagine it will, beating the air, or fighting with a man of straw.'
We are, indeed, not seldom astounded at the unnatural arbi. trariness, amounting sometimes to dogged perverseness, at other times revealing the veriest obtuseness, which the objections of Hartmann, De Wette, Von Bohlen, and Vatke display. But if in these instances it is wearisome to follow the discussion, no thoughtful man would regret either possessing or perusing such evidences as they afford of the temerity of these à priori critics, We call them, a priori critics, for it is manifest that every one of them sets out to examine the Mosaic records with the foregone conclusion that they must be false, and the determination to prove them so. Not one of them, we undertake to say, ever perused the Pentateuch with the desire to take up, even hypothetically, its leading principle, and to view its details in their organic connexion with that principle. Not one of them has fairly attempted to deduce the principle from the details. But ascribing to it first a principle of their own invention, or rather adoption,—and which they have adopted because they have before assumed that there is no such thing as inspiration, revelation, or prophecy in the proper sense, though the sacred writers explicitly claim all these, ---ascribing to it, we say, first on such grounds the false principle, that it was written long after its professed date, to give the venerable sanction of antiquity and divine authority to the more modern impositions of Jewish kings and priests, they then apply themselves, with a diligence and ardour worthy of a better cause, to pick out of the disjecta membra of these records (for such they are, cut off from their true principle) the proofs of their uncritical assumption. From the slapdash way in which they proceed in this, and the impracticable ground they traverse, they might be called the steeple-chasers of theological controversy, but that steeple-chasers do not commence their fool-hardy runs by tying a handkerchief over their eyes. In other respects, however, they resemble steeple-chasers but too well. There is, for instance, no historical fact or physical truth, at which Von Bohlen, in his daring ignorance, will not ride; and though De Wette, more experienced, and also by nature more wary, was too knowing to break his head in the same way against stubborn, ascertained facts, yet was there no fence which he would not on emergency take with the help of a conjecture. In other respects, too, the parallel is very close : the whole tribe of them ride for an object which is not worth the risk (to their scholarship) which they incur, and tread down, without compunction, everything, however valuable, which lies in their way.
It is commendation enough to say that Dr. Hävernick has fairly grappled with all the more considerable objections which these and other older writers had advanced, and that his replies are usually relevant and successful. That he has also noticed objections which most of us would consider too trivial or too farfetched and improbable to deserve attention, is also, we think, true. But this licence must always be conceded to a German. In another respect, too, his work is truly German. Though far more direct and relevant in the course and substance of his argument than German writers, and Hengstenberg in particular,
usually are, his style has all the roundaboutness so characteristic of his countrymen.
From this fault of the author flows the only fault, if it be one, of the translator, who has but too faithfully reproduced the style of his original. Great as is the merit of this, when the style of an author is individually characteristic, and especially when it is distinguished for excellence of any kind, we could have spared a few epithets, redundances, and German turns of expression, in this work without any sense of loss. The translation has, however, the not too common merit of being studiously faithful, and shows, even without the aid of the useful notes which Mr. Thomson has occasionally added (e.g. pp. 230, 237, 380), that he has thoroughly understood his author. The reader has, therefore, in this volume, notwithstanding its too frequent diffuseness, especially in diction, and the frivolousness of many of the statements it exposes, unquestionably the most scientific book, not excepting Hengstenberg's, which our language contains. In the compass of its argument it is more comprehensive than any work of British origin upon the subject, although upon particular branches of argument many native writers might be named who are more thorough and more instructive.
Having attempted briefly to characterise the respective critical habits of Hävernick, and of those from whose attacks he vindicates the genuineness and authenticity of the Pentateuch, it is our wish to give our readers, as far as one extract may suffice, an opportunity of judging for themselves of the fairness of our representation. A single extract is of course not much to judge from, but we have taken no pains to select one more favourable than others to our view. We here give the first passage which, on reopening the volume, has presented to our notice the three names of which we have most spoken, in connexion with a topic sufficiently brief to be extracted as a whole. It is a vindication of the authenticity of the narrative in Gen. xv. With this, therefore, and our own hearty commendation of the work, the translation, and, we are happy in this instance to add, its typographical appearance and correctness, we leave the volume to our reader's judgment.
* Passing on to ch. xv. [of Genesis] we there first meet with a remark that is quite cursory and unintentional in ver. 3, but which discloses a very ancient custom that afterwards had nothing corresponding to it. According to that, in case of childlessness, a slave was heir; but this slave (Eliezer of Damascus] here appears under the very peculiar appellation, referring to special nomadic relation, appp.
Not less peculiar is the covenant sacrifice that is here described, which is especially remarkable in its relation to the theocratic covenant sacrifice, which differs very much from it in its rites : see Exod. xxiv.