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survey of 1896 properly comes to its close, is the conclusion of a treaty with the United States for the arbitration of the Venezuelan dispute. The year opened gloomily indeed, and to none more gloomily than to those of us who have always refused to consider the English-speaking race as other than a unit. To see this English-speaking family suddenly threatened with civil war because of a ridiculous quarrel about some trumpery swamps in South America, the location of which was unknown to nine hundred and ninety-nine English-speaking men out of a thousand, was one of those fantastic nightmares of the devil which can only be conceived because they have actually existed. No mere artificer of works of imagination could have conceived anything more criminal and insane than the war to which the two foremost nations of the world were even passionately
whether as a sign for good or evil, that neither Parliament nor Congress either promoted or retarded this rapprochement of the peoples. The mobilisation of the peace forces of each country was effected by extra-parliamentary action, but however they were put in motion, the mere appearance of these battalions was sufficient to convince the rulers that as the nations would not fight, some settlement must be arrived at. That which has been come to is a very satisfactory first step towards the establishment of a permanent Court of Arbitration. The United States have been gratified by our unreserved acceptance of arbitration, while we on our part have obtained all that we needed and more than we ventured to expect. In the treaty we have succeeded in saddling the United States with the logical corollary of the Monroe doctrine, which has always been talked about in
invited by many men holding pens and having access to public newspapers in the United States. The question at issue was one that helped us, by its very insignificance, to measure the danger which we incurred by allowing the English-speaking race to continue any longer without a permanent apparatus, in the shape of a Court of Arbitration, for the purpose of settling its disputes. But if this was one gain, another which was hardly less important was the demonstration which the year afforded us that the forces making for peace are capable of mobilisation almost as rapidly as those making for war. In both countries, as soon as the peril was perceived, the sober second thoughts of the peaceful, sensible, religious community asserted themselves. Committees were formed in both countries to which the representatives of all that is best and most influential in the social and religious life of the land gave in their adherence. It is notable,
the States but seldom acted upon. Uncle Sam will settle his difficulties with John Bull, but John Bull will expect Uncle Sam to foot the bill and collect any award that may be given. This is very good news for John Bull, but Uncle Sam will probably find that the bargain of which he is so proud may be very inconvenient. That is the first gain. There is another almost as important. The Americans have denounced the doctrine of what they call “squatter sovereignty,” by which it was contended that it was possible to establish political rights over any territory by the simple process of goin: and living in it and recognising a different political control from that of the State within whose boundaries you have established yourself. This doctrine has now found its way into international law, or at any rate, Anglo-American law, for by the treaty which closes this controversy, fifty years of uninterrupted occupancy gives a proscriptive right to the territory in the districts
in dispute. If British subjects have occupied the land for fifty years without recognising the Venezuelan Government, or being in any way molested by the actual exercise of its sovereignty, that territory upon which they live will not be submitted to arbitration, but will be regarded as part and parcel of the British Empire. The recognition of the principle of fifty years' prescription is a gain, the importance of which can only be appreciated by those who have been familiar with the difficulties confronting those who have urged that all disputes should be referred to arbitration.
Thus 1896 has brought us good things. It has been a year that began with war and has seen much fighting; but, substantially, it has advanced us far on the road towards an Anglo-American Union and the proba
still remains a magnet to lure the adventurous explorers of all nations into the jaws of death and into the mouth of a hell whose heat burns frore.
At home the removal of the legislative restrictions which have herotofore barred the introduction of motor carriages on public highways has encouraged expectations and stimulated invention, for the fruit of which we shall have to wait until 1897. The passage of the Light Railways Act, which was one of the legislative fruits of a somewhat barren session, also indicates a helief that the facilitation of intercourse will tend to the multiplication of business. Towards the close of the year the heart of the British farmer was cheered by the sudden rise in the price of wheat, though the increased charge this rise entailed in the bakers' bills of the nation far exceeded
bility of federated action, not only among Englishspeaking peoples, but even in the United States of Europe.
In literature, 1896 will not rank among the great vears of history. In popular science it is chiefly famous 02 account of the discovery of the X rays. Professor Röntgen may or may not have laid the foundation for a revolution in surgical practice, but he has certainly rendered yeoman service in familiarising the public mind with the idea which all previous teaching had failed to do, that there is no reason in the nature of things why we should not be able to see through opaque substances. The X ray has not merely revealed the bones of the hand, it has rendered thinkable to many persons much that has hitherto been regarded as the wild fantasies of occultists.
In travel the honour of the year belongs to Dr. Nanse:1, who, with his little ship, the Fram, has come nearer reaching the North Pole than any person before him. But he failed in achieving his great quest, so that the Pole
the benefit which accrued to the farmer, for only a fractional part of our daily bread is produced at home.
The obituary of the year has contained some notable names. The sudden demise of the Archbishop of Canterbury has removed one who has long been one of the most familiar figures, and generally one of the most respected Churchmen of our time. 1896 has been a sore year for the Academy, for it is without precedent that the same twelve months should see the death of two presidents in such quick succession. Lord Leighton was succeeded by Sir John Millais, who in his turn made way for Sir E. Poynter before he had even an opportunity of officiating at the annual function of the body over which he had been called to preside.
In literature we have lost two poets, Mr. William Morris and Mr. Coventry Patmore. In fiction Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, who had long since ceased to write, has gone, leaving her sister as the only survivor of a very celebrated family.
LEADING ARTICLES IN THE REVIEWS,
A NEW BIBLE FOR THE PEOPLE;
OR, THE HIGHER CRITICISM IN POLYCHROME. Fifty years ago the ordinary belief of the ordinary man in Christendom was that the world had been created in six days about six thousand years ago. Even to-day there are millions of good people who regard any suggestion that the process of creation was a much more continuous, elaborate, and at once ancient and modern affair than was implied by the legend in Genesis, as savouring of infidelity.
THE SCIENTIFIC GENESIS OF THE WORLD. In face of the story of the rocks, and the evidence afforded on every page of the book of Nature, there is no room for doubt that the world is a much more composite
is a much more composite affair, and one infinitely more marvellous, or if you like miraculous, than the globe which was supposed to have been turned out spick and span, finished in every detail as the result of six days' handiwork of the Divine Artificer. Between the publication of the “ Vestiges of Creation ” and the present day there lies a great battlefield covered with indefensible positions once occupied by the retreating force of the champions of verbal inspiration, out of which they have been turned, not so much by any direct attack as by the gradual increase of our knowledge of the world. This increase, day by day, has rendered the stronghold, so passionately defended by good men and better women in the last fifty years, as untenable as the tide renders the sand castles of our childhood. The dismayed and discomfited defenders, driven back before the flowing tide, find to their amazement that, after all, their faith in the living God and in the divine mission of Christ survives the loss of all the outworks which they at one time believed to be indispensable for the maintenance of faith in the invisible and eternal.
--AND OF GENESIS ITSELF. For some time past, the educated world has been passing through a similar period of trial in relation to the Bible itself. That battle which is usually described as raging around the results of the Higher Criticism of the Biblical text is now pretty well fought out with the same result as that of its predecessor. The learned world has come to the same conclusion about the Bible as the geologist fifty years ago arrived at about the world. Instead of the Bible being divinely inspired in every detail and the finished work of Infinite Wisdom, as it has been held to be by many preceding generations, it is now declared that the Bible itself, as we have it, is as much a growth as the world which it interprets. As there is evidence of a long series of periods during which the world was slowly being fashioned into a place fit for the habitation of man, so the variety of texts in the Sacred Writings show a not less stratified formation which can be distinctly perceived by modern scholarship. Hitherto,
y modern scholarship. Witherto, however, the knowledge of this discovery has been confined to the cultured few. The great masses of the millions of mankind, who attend church on Sunday have never appreciated the extent, much less the significance, of this discovery. But that period of ignorance is about to pass, and the Book which will act as a revelation of the new basis on which the theory of inspiration must rest is
the “Polychrome Bible," a most interesting account of which is published in the American Review of Reviews for December.
PROFESSOR HAUPT AND HIS WORK. This article, written by Mr. Clifton Harby Leavs, entitled “ Professor Haupt and the Polychrome Bible," describes an attempt, which will probably be a brilliantly successful attempt, to display the results of the Higher Criticism of the Scripture texts by the aid of colour. Mr. Leavy says:
Six years ago the plan of the “Polychrome" Bible was first apnounced, although some years must have been consumed in perfecting that plan. The originator of the idea, we might call him the general of the scholarly forces, was Professor Paul Haupt of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Professor Haupt was but thirty-two years of age then, but to the scholarly world appeared to be inuch older, for he had already accomplished a very large amount of research covering a very broad 'field of endeavour. No matter when the thought took shape and form, it was an answer to a crying necessity felt in two quarters. The “ King James' Version " is three hundred year vears old, filled with mistranslations, obsolete words and incomprehensible Hebraisms. The “Revised Version" lately produced, has not removed these obstacles, controlled as it was by English conservatism. The cry has gone up from all sides for a “ Bible that we can understand” without dictionary and glossary. The new version was designed, primarily, to meet this reasonable demand. "
There was another cry, equally insistent, if not so general, for an understanding of the critical theories about the Bible: “What are the crities trying to do?" And the “Polychrome Bible" seeks to answer this question fully and fairly.
A NEW TRANSLATION OF A NEW TEXT. Believing that the Bible is the greatest and grandest literature known to man, they feel that it should all the more be cleared of all stupid accretions and presented in its pristine clearness and beauty. We have happily passed that age in which it was believed that good will alone was sufficient for interpreting the Bible.... The general editor wished to present this suminary in such a shape that “ he who runs may read." It would be invaluable to the scholar, but it must also be intelligible to the ordinary reader of but little culture. To this end he devised a special plan of publication, remarkable for siniplicity and effectiveness. Since the time and con«litions of composition bear so important a relation to these writings, forming their actual background. he determined to indicate the various periods and authors by printing the text and the translation upon backgrounds of different colours. Hence the name Polychrome, many coloured. As his coadjutors, Professor Haupt selected the leading scholars of the world, many of whom had devoted their lives to the special study of certain books, which were, of course, assigned to them.
DR. HAUPT's COADJUTORS. Among Professor Haupt's coadjutors in England are Canon Driver Dr. Georse A. Smith. Dr. Paterson the Rev. C. J. Balí. Professor Cheyne, and others. Mr. Leary then gives the following account of the way in which the Polychrome Bible will be printed :
The entire work will probably be completed within two at the three years, affording much food for thought and broadenin: our conception of the Bible not a little. Each book is separate and distinct, accompanied by all needed explanations of colours and text, so that each may be read leisurely as it is issued. The historical and literary introductions prefaced to each book form a most valuable aid to its comprehension.
HOW THE COLOUIS ARE USED.
scholarly, throwing new light upon much that was hitherto obscure. Each speech or poem has an appropriate heading and the date of its composition, as nearly as can be deterwined. It is indeed a masterpiece.
of the mole of presentation. The dates are, of course, before the present era, and the colours in brackets indicate the colour of the background, as explained : In Genesis the most ancient document is the “Prophetic Narrative" (purple, 610], made up of the Judaic document composed (850] in the Southern Kingdom, nnd the Ephraimitic  composed in the Northern Kingdom. The older strata of the Judaic [dark red], the later strata (light red), and the Ephraimitic (blue] form the greater part of the test. These are supplemented by the expansions of the writer of Deuteronomy (green, 560-540), with the Priestly Code (plain, 500], its later additions (brown) and extracts from a still later Midrash, or popular expansion (orange). So, seven different elements are found in the first book of the Bible, not to mention glosses (relegated to the foot-notes) and editorial additions.
In Leriticus we find only the Priestly Code (plain) as the basis, with some later strata (brown) and the Book of Holiness yellow, 570), so called from its care for ceremonialism.
Joshua is considered as belonging to the Pentateuch, thus giving us a Hexateuch, or six books compiled from the same documents. The same colours appear as in Genesis..
In Samuel the primary document is the old Judaic (plain). with later additions (light red], as well as the old Ephraimitic [dark blue, 750] and its later accretions (light blue]. These were combined by some editor (650), who made certain additions (light purple). There are also traces of the Deuteronomist (light green], and still later additions by a second editor (414, yellow). Extracts from a late Midrash (orange] and the songs [light orange] complete its various elements.
The work of the “ Chronicler" appears upcoloured in Chronicles, but he utilises some ancient sources not extant in the Old Testament [dark red], together with parts of the Old Testament (light red]. Later additions appear (dark blue], together with the latest sections (light blue].
The “ Chronicler,” too, has given us much of Ezra-Nehemiah Splain, 3007, to which earlier (dark green] and later [light green] additions have been made. The bases of the book are the " Memoirs of Ezra ” [dark blue, 425) with some modifica
. tions (light blue), and the “Memoirs of Nehemiah” (dark red, 425) with certain modifications (light red). Other documents of their time [dark purple, 430-410] have also been utilized, together with some later additions, as well as an Aramaic document (yellow, 450].
In Daniel the background is left plain, the Hebrew portions being printed in black ink, the Aramaic in red.
In Psalms the headings are in red ink, and the text in black.
In Job the device of coloured backgrounds is again necessary. The genuine utterances of Job form the greater part of the text, but parallel compositions (blue) are found, besides some polemical interpolations (green) directed against the tendency of the poem, and other interpolations [red] conforming Job's doctrines to the orthodox idea of retribution. The speeches of Elihu (Ch. 32-37) appear as an appendix to the book.
Jeremiah realizes in its arrangement, the dream of many Bible students who have hoped for a proper arrangement of that Prophet's discourses in chronological order. For no greater havoc has ever been made of sense and consistency than the jumble of the prophetic speeches as set down in the accepted versions. The book is divided into three sections, the first containing Jeremiah's discourses delivered during a ministry of twenty-three years. The second comprises a collection of the biographical chapters concerning Jeremiah's life. Finally, some sections written by neither Jeremiah nor his biographer. Read in this order the personality and power of the Prophet come to us almost like a new revelation.
But it is in the Book of Isaiah (advance sheets of which have been kindly submitted) that we appreciate fully the importance and utility of this critical edition. It may be said to be the crowning work of Professor Cheyne's life-long devotion to the study of this single great book. For the last thirty years he has been studying Isaiah, and has published three exhaustive books upon the subject. It may be stated, without exaggeration, that it would be impossible to find any other man so rell titted as he for this task, and the result proves it. For it is discriminating, careful, exact and
WHY FRANCE DWINDLES. PERHAPS the most valuable paper in the Westminster Review, for December, is Mr. Stoddard Dewey's on the depopulation of France. He reviews M. Edmond Deschaumes' “ Bankruptcy of Love." M. Yves Guyot "estimates roughly that one-fifth of the families of France have no children, and that this state of things is regularly against the will of the parties concerned ”; but the writer approves M. Deschaumes' conviction that the gradual depopulation of their country is due to the deliberate refusal of French men and women to become parents. Among causes leading to this unwillingness are mentioned (1.) the legal difficulties in the way of marriage which are so numerous in France; (2.) the social tradition which makes a dowry necessary to a daughter's marriage, and gives preference to a son's career over a daughter's dowry; (3.) tho barrack life, during the natural pairing-time, which teaches the soldier to do without a wife, and to practise nameless vices, whence sterility ensues; (4.) corsets and want of exercise which make maternity fearfully dangerous ; and (5.) the sense of duty which makes provision for a child for lite, ani obligation. Where this is not seen to be possible, children are not born. Increase of taxation has made this possibility more remote. What is wanted is a change in the laws, fiscal, military, and civil, which will check the voluntary diminution of the number of births. . The spectacle of an entire nation, by collective legislation and individual volition, deliberately resolving to dwindle away is one of the tragic paradoxes of modern times. Yet if the decay be still under control of the individual and collective will, there is hope of a change ; and Mr. Dewey concludes with a strange speculation as to the salvation which the working classes may yet bring to France :
Much that has been said applies only to the middle classes. The census already shows that it is mainly the working men --the labourers for days' wages-who are propagating the French race. Here is a new problem in Democracy. The French working man is least affected by bourgeois traditions ; yet, as by sheer force of multiplication he pushes his way up, he becomes middle-class himself-il s'embourgeoise. Will Democracy, then, by breaking down the traditions which aro striking at the race's life, bring a remedy to this curious national disease ? . If the working classes, as the fittest to survive, finally transform France, it is possible that the natural struggle for national existence has still undreamed-of solutions to our political problems.
It may be added, that when vice and selfishness and artificial life refuse to propagate their species, and parentage is only assumed by the morally fit, the perfectparentage is only ass ibility of the race will soon pass out of the region of conjecture into that of ascertained fact. -
“ SOME Natural Artillery” is the title of a pleasant little study by Rev. Theo. Wood in the Sunday Magazine, The Japanese fish known as the beaked Chaetodon shoots drops of water on insects out of reach, and so brings them into the water, where they form an easy prey. The Archer-fish similarly projects its watery missile at an object three or four feet distant. The bombardier beetle discharges from the rear a puff of bluish-white smoke, a spray of pungent and acrid liquiil, accompanied with a detonation.