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senius has had to show before the eyes of all Europe how easy it would be for him to acknowledge the genuineness of the Pentateuch, if the matter were to be decided simply in the forum of historical conscience. He first ran into the trap of a French marquis, who for the sake of sport gave out an inscription fabricated by himself as a relique of great antiquity. Gesenius acknowledged it as an important monument for the history of Gnosticism, and commented on it in his essay de inscriptione nuper in Cyrenaica reperta,' (on the inscription lately found in Cyrene.) Scarcely had he got over the smart which the confession of his error, now no longer to be deferred after the exposure of the fraud by Böckh, Kopp and others, must have caused hiin---scarcely prepared himself to cover this error in oblivion by important publications on paleography, than he fell into a far worse difficulty. What had happened to him before in regard to a few lines, occurred again with a whole book. What a wide distance between the youthful Dr. of medicine Wagenfeld, and the ancient Sanchoniathon! If it was a salto mortale from Wagenfeld to Philo, how much more from Wagenfeld to Sanchoniathon !*
Judgment of late Historians. Another important proof that the solution of the problem (why the genuineness of the Pentateuch has been so universally denied) must be sought elsewhere than on ground common to all branches of literature is the fact, that the judgment of late historians and of other learned men not theologians in regard to the Pentateuch differs so essentially from that of theologians ; a phenomenon which can be explained only in this way, that the theologian shuts his eyes to every thing until he finds how it stands in relation to his preconceived opinions, and in accordance with the result he obtains here, decides upon the former question ; while the historian, although he may share the same opinions, is yet not so much influenced by them as to be induced to violate his historical conscience and turn traitor to history. This matter is so important that we shall be justified in taking time to illustrate it by a few examples. That the Pentateuch would even now regain universal acknowledgement
* Dr. Wagenfeld of Bremen pretended to have discovered a Greek Manuscript of the work of Philo Byblius the pretended translator of Sanchoniathon. See infra, p. 34, note 1.–TR.
as the work of Moses if it had to do only with historical criticism, and had only to pass through the ordeal of the universal tendency to historical skepticism, is made the plainer by the facts about to be quoted, when we remember that this is one of the subjects on which the historians are most dependent upon the theologians, on account of their want of the knowledge of the necessary languages, and the vast extent of the field which they have to occupy; and which therefore the theologians have tried every way to confuse and darken for them. It must be remembered too, that the historians are also, as we shall hereafter show, always under a certain influence of the theological principles of the times. If then, under such disadvantages, historians still regard the Pentateuch as authentic history, the fact is so much the more important.
Heeren's position in regard to the Pentateuch deserves first to be attended, to. He has, it is manifest, designedly avoided expressing himself decisively and fully on this subject. But this very avoiding of the subject is a plain proof of his want of confidence in the investigations of the theologians. Without permitting himself to be deceived with their confident air, he will first see what issue the matter comes to. So far as the cause of the accused comes under his cognition he finds no fault in him. The loud crucify,' of theologians does not deceive him. Also, there is not in all his works, one doubt expressed in regard to any historical statement of the Pentateuch. "When he quotes it, especially in that volume of his Ideen which treats of Egypt, he uses it without qualification as a source worthy of confidence. The principal facts of the Pentateuch are acknowledged by him to be historically established in bis Geschichte des Alterthums, 4te Aufl. S. 40. In the same book S. 58 (p. 51 of the English translation) he remarks that the accounts of Moses, although they give no continuous history, yet give a true picture of Egypt in his time. He mentions as a subject for further oral explanation (10 his classes)'importance and excellencies of the Jewish accounts so far as they are purely historical.' Particularly important however is a remark of Heeren made very lately in a notice of a new volume of Rosselini's work on Égypt, in the Gött. gel. Anz. 1835, S. 1328. “We cannot close this notice without expressing the wish that some learned orientalist would subject to a critical and impartial examination the chapter contained in pp. 254—270 of this work, and the drawing in the Atlas belonging thereto, monumenti VOL. XI. No. 30.
civili, No. 49; representing the making of bricks. If this monumental device is a representation of the enslaved children of Israel at their labors, it is a relique equally important for exegesis and for chronology. For exegesis, because it would be
striking proof of the high antiquity of the Mosaic writings and especially for the book of Exodus, the description in which, chs. 1, and 5, this monument most faithfully exhibits and illustrates, even down to subordinate matters. For chronology, because it belongs to the time of the eighteenth dynasty, and the reign of Thutmes-Moeris, about 1740 years before Christ, and would give fixed points and landmarks both for sacred and profane history. According to the inscriptions which stand as usual above the figures, it is the monument of an inspector of the royal edifices, of the name of Roscéré.” How manifold must the proof of the genuineness of the Pentateuch have before been to one who gives a hearing to this new witness but just out of his grave—a witness whom the theologian would at once have given a rap on the mouth-like the negro, who, when one supposed to be dead raised himself up in his coffin, immediately pushed him back again, exclaiming, I have it in black and white that you are dead.'
After Heeren let us hear Johannes V. Müller. He has always been consistent with himself in admitting the genuineness of the Pentateuch. He maintained it even before his religious principles had become fixed. The historian had preceded the Christian in this conviction. He is open to internal proofs of genuineness, and if such exist, he knows how to set aside whatever else may appear to contradict them. Thus in his Allg. Geschichte, 3te Auf. Th. I. S. 444, he says, “Every trait of the first book (Genesis) has relation to a state of things and to objects which accord only with Moses. When he makes mention of the head of his own race he shows the boldness of truth. The whole air and manner is peculiar to him. Even trivialities prove the genuineness. But it was the custom in the most ancient times, passing over details, to represent the more important occurrences in lofty terms as the will and work of the great first cause; because the practical spirit and object of the narrators, filling their souls with an earnest solemnity, led them, unincumbered with theoretic technicalities, to urge upon their fellow-men dependence upon their Sovereign-Ruler and obedience to his ordinances as expressed to us in nature.” Theologians see in the ceremonial law a monument of refined priestcraft
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system of external religious rules, which originated in an age when the spirit of religion was unknown. See for example De Wette, Krit. S. 270 ff. To Müller it appears as entirely worthy of one sent of God, as perfectly according with the spirit of Moses, and with the character of his age. secrated,” says he, S. 441, “ a great symbol, consisting entirely of ceremonies; so that while the simple fundamental law contained nothing but what their fathers had believed, with the addition of a few admonitions, the ritual law gave the people con.tinual employment in rites which engaged the senses.
There is a tradition the truth of which is made probable by some remaining vestiges, that Moses explained the meaning of these usages, and that these explanations were preserved among the elders : yet he might foresee that their substantial meaning would not, even without such explanation, escape men of understanding. In other places also he puts aside with little pains rocks of offence which theologians had cast in the way.
" The repetitions,” says he in his Anmerkungen zu den Büchern Mosis (Remarks on the books of Moses) in the Appendix to the Blicken in die Bibel by his brother J. G. Müller 2ter Band, Winterth. 1830, S. 476, “the repetitions are in the spirit of those ancient times.” Also, (ibid. S. 476,) “As soon as we think of the greatness of the object, no repetition is tedious--every thing shows what it is for. On the genealogies and list of nations in Gen. 10, to maintain still the historical character of which, is held by theologians, to be a ridiculous anachronism, he, the historian, who is not, like them, so credulous as to receive at once every new discovery as true, nor like them so unscientific as to regard facile etymologies as sufficient data for constructing histories and for overthrowing them, he says (ibid. S. 458), “ The data are geographically entirely true. From this chapter universal history ought to begin.” These Remarks show also that his opinion as to the genuineness of the Pentateuch, cannot be explained as a prejudice originating in accident and maintained by ignorance, but that it is the result of fundamental and persevering study. If the Pentateuch bas in fact such pitiful historical pretensions as theologians assert, then Johannes Von Müller must be struck out of the list of our great historians.
Neither does Luden show any great desire to accept of these "Grecian presents' without examination. He shows without disguise that the Pentateuch makes upon him a very different impression from what it does upon the theologians. And though he does not venture to take ground in decided and entire opposition to them, yet he very carefully avoids making any decided concessions ; thinking that the matter may easily take another turn, and then his admissions would only cause him regret. In his Geschichte des Alterthums, 2te Aufl. Jena, 1819, S. 60, he remarks, “If it is considered how and when those writings probably originated, and if the relation is never forgotten in which the Israelites supposed themselves to stand towards Jehovah, and that they relate their fortunes always in accordance with that relation, then to be sure some of the details may be matter of doubt, but on the whole the course of events is truly given us." Id. S. 61 : “ Their great increase in Egypt in the course of more than four hundred years is in accordance with nature; the severe oppression which they were finally called to suffer is very conceivable ; and still more conceivable their longing after the never forgotten native land.” Id. S. 62: “ The forty years residence in the wilderness was a wise measure; and exhibits Moses in all his greatness.” Id. S. 63: “The law which God gave to Israel through Moses from time to time, under awful and terrible circumstances, is remarkable in the highest degree, and deserves profound investigation, not only because it is the oldest, or because it is distinguished by its great general principles, but also, and especially, because in it foreign (Egyptian) regulations are adapted with such wisdom to the manners and national character of the Israelites.” Id. S. 64: “But forty years in the wilderness with signs and wonders had not succeeded in training up and making holy to the Lord that degraded and stiff-necked people. The sublime songs of Moses did not secure devotion to Jehovah. The record of his miraculous providence in regard to them the oldest monument of written history—held not the people in fidelity toward God.”
Wachler in bis Handbuch der Geschichte der Literatur (Manual of History of Literature), 2te Ausgabe, Th. I. S. 78, thus speaks: “ Moses the author of the Hebrew constitution, was, as lawgiver, poet and historian, a model for after generations. The five books which bear his name are, with the exception of some small additions, of the greatest antiquity, and belong to the times of his glorious administration. They contain views on divine and human things--political reflectionsclear views into futurity-and the gushings forth of deep feel