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strange people are. It is only the artist in travel, “always roaming with a hungry heart to follow knowledge like a sinking star," who is also “a part of all he meets.” To those who understand this instinctively it will not seem strange if we have dwelt even to weariness on the uses to which a journey in the most hackneyed parts of Europe may be turned.

ART. VI.-EWALD ON THE JOHANNINE WRITINGS.

Die Johanneischen Schriften übersetzt und erklärt. Von Heinrich

Ewald. Göttingen, 1862. Geschichte des Volkes Israel. Von H. Ewald. Siebenter Band. Göt

tingen, 1859. Zehntes Jahrbuch der Biblischen Wissenschaft. 1859-1860. [The following Article is intended to furnish a digest of Ewald's views, and does not

aim at giving an estimate of the questions connected with St. John's Gospel

generally.] Few readers can study the Johannine writings of the New Testament with merely ordinary feelings of curiosity and interest. To the devout and thoughtful, the Gospel of St. John has ever been the revelation of the highest spiritual truth given to man, and the setting forth of the divine character with a glory which is found nowhere else in human letters. Readers of this class know that their own apprehension of the book depends upon the love and the light which are in them, upon the hold which the unseen realities, the subject matter of the book, have upon them. And the critical student, who engages in the study out of the resolve to let no writing of the ancient world escape his inquiry, whose aim it is to discover the authorship, design, and history of every book which has told powerfully upon the course of human thought, and who will not be deterred from this task because any such writings are clothed with a sacred character, or because many will consider the inquiry over bold, if not profane,,he, we dare say it, does not long study the Gospel of St. John as he would another work. He meets in it with thoughts, words, and deeds which the critical faculty is inadequate to explain. He finds the mere historical insight fail him. He learns that this Gospel speaks less to his intellect than to his affections; that he must find its meaning and explanation in the experiences of his daily working life with and among men, as well as by the aid of the understanding. And he acknowledges at last that, to know the Gospel as he would wish to know

another book, he must be in relation with the mind of the writer. We think that both the critical and the devout reader, likeminded and sincere in their aim, arrive at the same conclusion.

With the Gospel we class the three Epistles, which bear indisputable marks of the same handwriting. Indeed, the longest of the three, which may be entitled the Epistle of St. John, is but the expanding and applying to immediate wants of the church the discourses narrated in the last chapters of the Gospel, and stands or falls with the Gospel as the work of the apostle.

The remaining book of the series awakens its own interest, though of a different kind. The dramatic form of the Apocalypse, “ the majestic image of a high and stately tragedy, shutting up and intermingling her solemn scenes and acts with a reverential chorus of hallelujas and harping symphonies;" the passionate glow of devotion which pervades it; the vivid character of its symbolism, at once so real and so strange, making us feel that the book is treating of actual things under a form and dress altogether foreign to present modes of thought; and again, the fact of its being the one prophetic book of the New Testament, and that the old Hebrew spirit appears in it anew, clothed in still more fiery language, --combine powerfully to attract students to the study of it. Rarely does the study prove satisfactory. On the very threshold the want of some guide is felt, and not a few offer themselves. No other book has been more frequently commented upon,* to the bewilderment rather than to the help of the student. The largest class of expositors with all the confidence of dogmatism hammer out of the book their own theories of the divine government of the world since Christ came till now, which bear the odium theologicum upon their front, and are too plainly the issue of that mother of monstrous fables and fancies. The student who is told to believe the Apocalypse a catalogue of unfulfilled predictions which contain the history of Christendom written out in enigma, and who finds that the different theories of interpretation, even when based on the same principles, are mutually destructive, gives up the study as hopeless. The book becomes to him the name for what is past finding out. The neglect into which the book bas fallen, and the low esteem in which the study of it is held, even as a weakness, lie heavily at the door of the expositors. We would not seem unmindful that the book retains its place among writings which are the spiritual food of men. We know how children and untaught peasants pore over it with delight and wonder. But the simple faith that the book bespeaks the ultimate triumph of the cause of God and his saints over the oppression and injustice of the world, that he hears the prayer of the poor destitute, and will yet cause right to be done, renders it a living book and prized possession to many a wayfarer. The fortitude and patience with which its pages have inspired the afflicted and distressed, the betrayed and persecuted, the confessor hiding to pray in the catacomb, or fleeing to the caves and dens of the earth for shelter, from the first age of Christianity till now, more than justify its place in the canon. The book has a special meaning for special times, and is then most felt to be true when most needed. While we recognise these facts, we cannot withhold the inquiry what the book means, whether the symbolism which is its most distinguishing feature may not have been most intelligible to its first readers deeply read in Old Testament prophecy; and whether the time of its composition, once clearly established, will not clear away many difficulties, by showing how earnestly the events which were happening and just about to happen, the strong fears and cries of Christendom, called for a revelation of the kind. The historian, the scholar, the critic, who should furnish this key, would open a storehouse of truth hitherto well nigh closed. It is equally in their province to make the study of the Gospel more fruitful. We have expressed our conviction of the one essential condition, without which no appliances of learning will avail. Deeply as we feel the need of that, --the fear of God in our hearts and good-will towards men in our lives,—we shall eagerly seek for every gleam of light that knowledge can shed upon the least letter of the text. This Gospel differs in one respect from the earlier Gospels. It has a more evident reference to the time and circumstances when it was written, to the thoughts and beliefs which stirred the first Christian communities. The historian who should reproduce this environment of the apostle, who should set us in the midst of one Christian congregation and acquaint us with the minds of its elders and members, would make the form, yes, and the spirit of the Gospel more easily understood, and he would deserve well of the student. We want to stand near the men who were the first to read this book, to know how they understood the language which came to them fresh from the lips of the beloved disciple ; how it became, as far as any even the most sacred book is capable of this, their guide and counsellor. Who is sufficient for such a task? On the brief roll of those who can without presumption undertake it, we place among the foremost Heinrich Ewald. It is unnecessary to mention the great works which have earned him the high place he holds among biblical scholars. Those of us who know nothing of foreign theological literature, who look with suspicion upon every German school and author, cannot be ignorant how very much the ablest writers of the most recent work of English biblical scholarship, Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, even when widely dissenting from his points of view, are yet indebted to him. We will add, that only such as have studied the Geschichte des Volkes Israel, the work of twenty years' unceasing study and thought, and Die Propheten des Alten Bundes, and compared them with the most valuable

* “Si quâ in re libera esse debet sententia, certè in vaticidiis, præsertim cum jam Protestantium libri prodierint fermé centum (in his octoginta in Anglia solâ, ut mihi Anglici legati dixere) super illis rebus, inter se plurimum discordes." Grot. Epist. 895, quoted by Hallam, Literature of Europe, 5th edition, vol. ii. p. 455, n.

papers in Smith's Dictionary, can estimate the extent of the obligations of our own best writers to Ewald.* We are glad that it is so. The letter of Scripture needed to be read anew, that the spirit which underlies it might no longer be hid. It was time for traditional comments and glosses to be tried and sifted; for the date, authorship, and composition of the most sacred books in the world to be examined by the plain rules of criticism, and to be judged in the same court of inquiry as all other ancient books, that their true place in the realm of literature might be assigned. It was time for acquiescence to be disturbed, for genuine belief to be strengthened by the conviction of unbelief, by the satisfaction of every honest doubt, by the refutation and overthrow of every false one. Only those who mistrusted their own belief in the sacred books, or who in their hearts feared that the nation's faith stood on no surer ground than props of unquestioned testimony, or who “cared for none of these things,' could fear the inquiries of our time, whether on the part of Germans or Englishmen. The works of H. Ewald, more perhaps than of any one single writer, are typical, and have set a mark upon our century. He has given his life to the study of sacred literature, and of all other literature that could illustrate it; his abilities and acquirements, more humano, are vast enough for the task. He seems to converse with the great minds of the ancients as though the men themselves were present; to possess in an uncommon degree that rare gift, not only of imagination, but of intuition, by which the history of the past is recalled to life as the history of actual men. We might suppose Ewald to have seen and heard the kings and prophets of the old dispensation, the apostles and disciples of the new, and to have escaped the waters of Lethe in his passage to the midst of us.

It is unfortunate that our author's language, in which sure historical facts are told clearly and with photographic minuteness, but ideas and reasons too often loom through the mist, render it unlikely that his works will be soon accessible to English readers.

Since this was written, Canon Stanley, in the preface to his Lectures on the Jewish Church, has warmly expressed his own high estimate of Ewald's studies, and adequately acknowledged the help they have been to him.

Seeing how much there is in his last published work on the Johannine writings of the greatest value for a right understanding of them, and how many difficult points connected with their date, authorship, and design are to our mind decidedly cleared up, we propose to lay before our readers some account of Ewald's studies, such especially as bear upon the aims and composition of the Gospel. We premise that, while we estimate most highly, and gratefully acknowledge, the help which this book affords us, there is an absence in it of much that we would wish to find ; most of all do we miss sufficient reference to the guiding, informing Spirit of him, for whom and by whose aid these works were written. And we find much affirmed positively, as it seems to us, on insufficient grounds. But we are in the hands of a critic and historian whose constructive power is the marvel of every reader, whose conclusions are never hastily formed, and who is frequently careless of stating all the reasons which lead to them. The longer and the better we are acquainted with him, the deeper becomes our respect for his judgment, the less confidence we feel in our own when at variance with it.

Ewald thinks that the doubt as to the authorship of the Gospel is wholly unscientific and baseless. The doubt cannot be regretted in presence of the diligent inquiry it has awakened, and the very able reply it has found. Reasons for our author's strongly expressed belief, as well as the relation between the Gospel and the life of the apostle, will be best examined after the Gospel itself. Our author assigns its date to the year 80. From the description of localities, it is plain that Jerusalem had already fallen (xi. 18, xviii. 1, xix. 41)." Why the apostle came

. to the task so late in life, and so late in the history of evangelical literature, will appear from a review of the opinions and state of the church at the time.

His main design was undoubtedly to compose a true gospel, one of those books which gave briefly or at length the true historical outline of Christ's earthly appearance. There were already many gospels in existence; his own, from the fact of its being the last, could not but serve as their complement and correction. Each of these had set forth some one side in particular of Christ's earthly appearance. The apostle's design was to bring all the sides of that appearance into one great connected image, to unite the divine and the human side, the works and the words of Christ's earthly life, in one perfect history; and in this lay the peculiarity, as well as the glory and independence, of his work.

Another aim of the apostle was to present a complete chronological arrangement of our Lord's life, which was wanting to

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