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The Pentatecohai. Nabrative Vindicated, from the Absurdities Cluirged against it by The Bishop of Natal. By John Collyer Knight. London: Samuel Bagster A Sons. pp. 16. Price Eightpence. God's Wobd Defended, and Infidelity Repulsed; being an Answer to Bishop Colenso. By William Cooke, D.D. London: H. Webber, pp. 10. Price Twopence. An Attempt To Remove Those Objections of Dr. Colenso which are contained in the Second C'liapter of his Work. By Daniel Benham. London: Printed for Private Circulation, pp. IS. Bible Inspiration: Wliat it Is, and What it Is Not. By the Rev. Charles Bulloch, Rector of St. Nicholas, Worcester. London: Wertheim, Macintosh, <i Hunt, pp. 61.
These four pamphlets are amongst the many publications which Dr.
Colenso's attack on the Pentateuch, and the Book of Joshua, has been the
means of bringing out. Tho first deals with the Bishop's objections to the
Book of Exodus, going through them seriatim, and answering them so far
as they are capable of being answered; but concluding with the very
"The text from which our common English version of the Bible was made, is the text of some of the very earliest printed copies; and this text, Kennicott, and some others, have represented as being especially faulty with regard to the numerals and proper names. How far a corrected text may remove any of the Bishop's numerical or genealogical objections, we cannot pretend tosay.':—p. 16.
Dr. Cooke's examination of Dr. Colenso's objections is somewhat fuller, and in a more popular style. It will, we think, carry conviction to the mind of every reader, that the objections made are without any solid foundation. He refers very justly to the searching examination which the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua had to undergo, not only from those who yielded to their authority, but from those who would have been glad to be able to show that they were without historical authority,—such as the idolatrous worshippers in Israel, the Samaritans, the Sadducees; and he justly appeals to the Septuagint translation, made 280 years B.C., as a proof of the estimation in which those books were then held.
"The migratory Jews, who used this version, were familiar with all the facts. Among them were men of enquiry and research. Travel and intercourse with Gentile nations sharpened their judgment, and inspired freedom of thought; yet they were one with the Jews of Palestine in their belief of the Pentatench and the inspiration of the prophet Moses."—p. 14
We think our readers will thank us for quoting an extract from the concluding portion of this pamphlet, as to the opinion formed by the ancient Jews on the subject.
"What is the testimony of the ancient Jews, especially of those whose education, and life-long residence in Judea rendered familiar with all the facts to which Dr. Colenso objects? The Pentateuch and tho Book of Joshua were not written merely for remote nations and foreigners, who had not the best means of testing their truthfulness, bnt for the Jews themselves, who lived in Judea, who knew all about the wilderness and the scenes of Israel's encampments, marches, and sufferings; whose religion and habits of life entered largely into all the institutions, festivals, and ceremonies of the Mosaic law; and who had access to all the genealogies of their ancestors. The five Books of Moses and the Book of Joshua were constantly accessible to them. The people were commanded to read them, and they did so. These books, indeed, were almost the only literature they studied. They wrote out copies for themselves; they scrutinized every page, they numbered every word, every letter. A thousand times over they must have compared the records of Moses and Joshua with the scenes around them, and with the ceremonies of their religion. A thousand times over every fact objected to by Dr. Colenso must have passed under their review; and yet, with all their knowledge, with all the advantages of their position, with all their facilities to detect errors, to find out discrepancies in dates, numbers, or facts, they found none; and they found none, because thnre •were none to be found. They believed the record because it harmonized with nature, with facts, with genealogies, with history, with everything. It bore on its face the evidence of truth and the visible stamp of Divine authority. Yet there were strong inducements to disbelieve and deny, had not overwhelming evidence restrained them. The Levitical code was burdensome and expensive. There were rival sects, and there were dark apostacies. Jeroboam set up a rival worship in Samaria, and guilty Ahab and Jezebel multiplied the priests of Baal, and four hundred and fifty of them at one time danced frantically around the altar of their god, and loudly importuned his interposition to defend his cause. How easy for those wily priests to have alleged the inconsistencies and contradictions of the Books of Moses and of Joshua, had not facts, stubborn facts, and overwhelming evidence forbidden tho attempt."—pp. 13, 14.
The third pamphlet on our list consists of an Essay read before the Christian Union Institute, and the Chronological Institute of London, by Mr. Daniel Benham, of whom Mr. Mann spoke in his address delivered at the commemoration of the Jubilee of our periodica], as one "who was a very interesting companion at their early breakfasts, and contributed paper s of great historical value to the Magazine, for which he possessed a peculiar aptitude." Mr. Benham's object is to shew the fallacy of Dr. Colenao's calculations, as to the history contained in the Pentateuch, of Judah and his family.
The last work we have to notice is the largest of the four, and takes a wider range than any of them, and is well worth tho perusal of our readers. The writer thus states his design:
"I.—To offer a few general remarks on the question of Bible Inspiration— What It Is, And WnAT It Is Not.
"II.—To point out the Fallacy Op Some Of The Principal Difficulties And Objections Advanced By Dr. Colenso.
"III.—To commend as the very pivot of the whole controversy Our Lord's Conclusive Testimony To The Inspiration Of The Pentateuch; and in conclusion :—
"IV.—To press upon my readers The Momentous Practical Bearinos Of The Subject."—p. 8.
Mr. Bullock thus deals with one of Dr. Colenso's numerical "impossibilities."
"He finds repeated commands in Exodus and Numbers that 'all the congregation' shall appear beforo 'the door of the Tabernacle' or 'before the Lord;' and he reads that ' Moses and Joshua addressed all Israel.' He measures the tabernacle, and he estimates the power of tho human voice; and he pronounces tho words ' impossible !'—' inconceivable!'
"A Reviewer comments on this objection with an allowable degree of severity: "Not more ' inconceivable,' than that a grown man, who has hitherto been supposed to have an average knowledge of ordinary affairs, Bhould complacently print and publish such trash as this! Where can this writer have been liring, that he should be so entirely in the dark as to the commonest usages of mankind? Matthew of Westminster tells us, that in A.d. 1297, the king, being involved in two wars and finding it necessary to lay heavy burdens on the people, summoned the people of London to meet him at Westminster Hall, when he addressed them and explained his position. Bishop Colenso might take out his pencil, demonstrate that 50,000 or 100,000 people could not stand in, or in front of Westminster Hall, and that the king's voice could not reach them, and so prove—to his own satisfaction—that the story was 'inconceivable,' and that Matthew's Chronicle was'unhistorical,' i.e. untrue 1 But all common-place people could tell the bishop that such things occur in common life every year; that 20,000 men are frequently summoned to meet in Guildhall which could not admit one quarter of them. To urge objections of this kind against the Pentateuch ig the very wantonness of scepticism."—p. 25. As to the Bishop's objections to the march out of Egypt, it is remarked— "The movements of so large a body of people seem incredible to him. We may remind him, that Herodotus records the march and passage across the Hellespont of the army of Xerxes, numbering 1,700,000 foot, and 80,000 horse. Bishop Thirlwall remarks—' There seems no sufficient ground for supposing that these estimates are greatly exaggerated.' Would Dr. Colenso conclude, because of the number of Xerxes's army, that Herodotus has palmed fiction upon us in the place of history ?"—p. 20.
The writer's design is admirably carried out, and it would afford us pleasure to present to our readers numerous specimens of the manner in which the very important subjects referred to are treated. But this the space at otu disposal will not permit, and as the argument is much condensed, it becomes very difficult to select where all is so interesting and valuable. We have probably done enough to induce many of our readers to read this pamphlet with care; and we would commend to them the concluding portion, on the "Practical bearings of the Subject," as being especially valuable. We would also recall to their attention the article in our last Number on the "Historic character of the Books of Moses," as well adapted to remove any difficulties which may have been raised in their minds by the extraordinary statements of Dr. Colenso.
Daily Bible Illustrations. By John Kitto, D.D. Antediluvians and Patriarchs. Edinburgh: William Oliphant Co. pp. 434.
This is the first volume of a re-issue of this useful work. It will be completed in eight monthly volumes, Six Shillings each. Four of the volumes are designed for morning readings, and four for the evenings. In this way, the whole Scripture is gone through in the course of the year; and any individual or family steadily pursuing this course of reading, would find themselves possessed gradually of a store of information on all Biblical subjects that would assist them wonderfully in reading the Bible themselves, and in the healing it expounded from the pulpit. The work is already well-known and highly esteemed, and we hail with pleasure this attempt to increase its circulation.
Moenino. A Book for Mothers and Children. Edinburgh: niUitm Oliphant d Co. pp. 108. ■
This is an elegantly printed little volume, in which an American mother gives some account of the earliest years of her two little girls. The incidents related were, no doubt, dear to a mother's heart, but we doubt their exciting much emotion in strangers. So much is made of trifling incidents as to prevent our feeling the interest the author evidently anticipates. It does not appear adapted for children, but it may afford useful hints to mothers in training their very young children.
Was He A Hero? or, Roger Milbrook's Buttle in Life. London . Wertheim, Macintosh & Hunt. pp. 107.
We took this book with us on a journey, and, when we began to read it, were glad to find we were alone in the carriage, or we should, probably, have had to give some explanation as to what was exerting such an influence on our feelings. We mentally determined that, when we got home, we would take up a number of pamphlets on Bishop Colenso, that awaited our perusal, in order that we might sober down over his arithmetical calculations. If any of our readers wish to forget themselves for a season, let them get a copy of this book, and when they have read it they can present it to any young friend. We think neither will be inclined to leave the volume until they have finished it. We may add that it is not only deeply interesting but highly instructive.
Science Elucidative Of Scripture, and not Antagonistic to it. By John Radford Young. London: Lockuood <t Go. pp. xiv. 240.
The object of this work is to discuss the objections which science has been alleged to oppose especially to the doctrines revealed in the Mosaio account of the creation. It has been written under the impression that in the " Essays and Reviews," which excited much attention some time since, both science and Scripture have been equally misrepresented.
Mr. Young appears to adopt the Mosaic narrative in its most literal sense, and his object is to shew that science does not reveal anything in opposition to it. The geological discussions introduced exhibit views very different from those generally considered the correct ones, and which, it is supposed, will remove all the scientific difficulties. Our readers who take an interest in such subjects, will read this volume with pleasure.
We were much pleased with the author's view of miracles. He says, "Those who deny the possibility of a miracle, do so on the assumption that nothing ever did happen, or ever can happen, in the material world, except in obedience to the laws of matter;" whereas, he shews that experience is daily proving that mind is perpetually coercing matter, and if the human will can thus mould matter to its purpose, surely there can be no difficulty in believing that the Divine mind can do so also. The only question with regard to an alleged miracle is its credibility, which must be determined, as every other event, by the evidence adduced in support of it.
This volume will be acceptable to our thoughtful and scientific readers. It is not one that can be hastily run over,—its propositions require to be mastered and made the matter of careful study. We have no fear of scienco being found antagonistic to Scripture when rightly examined.
The Wandering Sheep. An Allegory. Translated by the Author of "Think Kindly," "Little Kindnesses," dc. London: Wertheim, Macintosh, and Hunt. pp. 23.
A pretty allegory; nicely worked out, and suitably applied.
Thy Kingdom Come. An Address to the Young. By E. D. Wood. London: C. Bevan. pp. 15.
This address is published by request, and for the benefit of an Orphan Asylum. We shall be glad if our notice of it tends to assist the object contemplated. The sentiments contained in it are excellent, and the mode of stating them simple and interesting.
Whose Child Are You? A Xetc Year's Question for the Young. By Eer. R. Robinson. Stop And Think: or Words of Counsel for the Xcw Year. By the Author of " Why do I live f" Hailing A Wherry. By Rev. J.B. Owen. Truthfulness: or Wise Counsels to Parents. By Mrs. Hugh Kennedy. London: Book Society.
These four penny books, containing 32 pages each, and very nicely got up, are additional proofs how much energy the Book Society is shewing in providing a supply of useful and interesting literature. The names of the authors afford a sufficient guarantee for the adaptation of these little works to the purposes designed.
The Boys'Packet. The Girls'Packet. The Infants'Packet. London: Book Society. Price Od. each.
Each of these packets contains 10 little books of 8 pages. The picture and coloured cover will recommend the truths designed to be taught to the attention of the young folks for whom these books are provided.
Workers And Their Work: or Counsels and Stimidants to Spiritual Labourers, pp. 34. Jesus C Alls Thee. By Rev. Samuel Martin, of Westminster, pp 30. Lucy Page, the Young Lady's Maid. pp. 04. Daniel In Babylon. By Rev. J. P. Choum, Bradford, pp. 40. London: Book Society.
Four two-penny books published by the Book Society, the titles of which sufficiently describe their objects. The names of the authors of two will sufficiently recommend them: mid we can cheerfully commend the (wo anonymous ones as well suited for the purposes intended.