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proving the character of a people, with a special application to the Hebrew nation. But we pass his argument on this point, without an analysis of it, for the purpose of seeing what he has to say in the fourth lecture, on the subject of the necessity of general and sound education to civil freedom, and on the provisions of the Hebrew code in relation thereto. A commonwealth has been aptly compared to a pyramid, whose base is the common people. Unless the base is strong and well fitted to its place, the edifice will be weak and tottering. Hence the importance of rendering a free people an intelligent people. The duties of government demand inquiry, thought, judgment, firmness. These are qualities which must be developed and perfected by culture and discipline. Under a popular constitution, power belongs to the people, and the duties connected with the exercise of it devolve upon them. Hence they must be trained up, educated, to understand their privileges, to appreciate their responsibilities, and to discharge their trusts. Let us see, then, what, in our author's estimation, God ordained on this point for the nation of the Hebrews, when he organized them into a commonwealth.
He thinks that there has hardly ever been a nation, in which the rudiments of learning were so universally taught. It is evident that the ability to read was very general among the people in the time of our Saviour. This appears from his frequent appeals to the common people in such words as these : “Have ye not read what Moses saith? Have ye not read in the Scriptures ?” The same thing appears from the fact, stated by the evangelical historians, that the title placed over the head of the Redeemer was “read by many of the Jews." This, however, only shows how the express law of the Hebrew code was carried out. It was an explicit injunction of that code upon parents, that they should teach their children the statutes and ordinances that God had revealed. Now how was this instruction to be given ? The law says: “Thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way; when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." "But," inquires our author, "was this oral instruction all they were bound to give ? Was there no other mode of teaching enjoined ?" The law adds : “Thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes; and thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates." Here parents are enjoined to instruct their children in God's law by writing it for them. Must they not, then, have been required to teach them to read it when written? This seems a just inference, for otherwise the writing would have been comparatively useless. Here we see the importance which the Most High attributed to the ability to read, as a means of preparing a free people for the discharge of their various duties as men and citizens. Accordingly, Jewish writers testify that the school was to be found in every district throughout the nation, and under the care of teachers who were honoured alike for their character and their station. Josephus affirms, that if any one asked any of his countrymen about their laws, they would as readily tell them all as they would tell their own names. But more than this: the law rendered it obligatory on parents to see that their children were suitably educated, especially in the knowledge of the constitution, laws, and history of their own country.
Schools, designed to impart the rudiments of knowledge to the masses of the people, were not the only institutions of learning among the Hebrews. There were higher seminaries among them, known as the “Schools of the Prophets.” It must not be inferred from the name of these institutions, that prophecy was taught among the Hebrews as the mechanic arts among us are. The schools of the prophets were, in all likelihood, primarily designed for the study of the Jewish law; but they included also, in their plan of instruction, other branches of knowledge, which were reckoned among the pursuits of learning in that day. These schools were under the care of men distinguished for their attainments, standing, and ability. Samuel is commonly regarded as the founder of them; and he took a part, notwithstanding the abundance of his other public cares, in teaching the young scholars of the nation, who were afterwards to be its leading men, in both Church and State.
The result of such a wise attention to learning was seen in what may be called the golden age of Hebrew genius and literature. Solomon and his court were, in their day, the centre of attraction for the admirers and lovers of knowledge in all nations, and Jerusalem was more than the Athens of that
“The wisdom of Solomon excelled all the wisdom of the children of the East country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. He spake of trees, from the cedar in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall. He spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. His songs were a thousand and five, and his proverbs three thousand.” Thus it appears that the royal scholar was a voluminous writer on scientific, literary, and ethical subjects. And while he excelled in these departments, his temple reared its magnificent proportions before the world, a monument of architectural skill and taste, which rendered it in after ages the model of grace, majesty, and grandeur.
Such gifted luminaries in the intellectual world, our author well remarks, do not shine alone. They usually belong to a constellation; and the king who sets such an example is not likely to be without followers. There was, indeed, one cardinal feature in the Hebrew polity which was pre-eminently favourable, at all times, to the cultivation of knowledge. The whole tribe of Levi were set apart for the service of religion and letters. While many were employed in the temple, many others were devoted to study. Of these, not a few reached a high name for their attainments in the science of their age, and the fidelity with which they made their knowledge available for the benefit of the people. Among the Hebrews there was no monopoly of knowledge among a favoured few. Intelligence was general, in the degree and of the kind adapted to the various duties and pursuits of those among whom it was spread. The tongue and the pen of even learned royalty were industriously employed in gi ing to knowledge that condensed and practical form, which might bring it within the reach, and make it available for the advantage of all of the shepherd and vine-dresser, as well as of the sons of the prophets. When the learned act with this generous and dutiful spirit, they are always sure to reap as they sow. The minds of those who receive instruction will react upon the minds of those who give it, imparting to them higher aspirations, and leading them to greater acquisitions.
These provisions of the Hebrew code for the perpetuation and diffusion of knowledge, cannot be regarded otherwise than as excellent and admirable enactments. They have, as our author truly says, been sanctioned by universal history as inseparably interwoven with national prosperity. No people can rise from civil or social degradation without education; and no ruler deserves the reputation of a public benefactor, who would not give his unremitting care to this object, as of paramount importance.
In his concluding lecture, Dr. Matthews treats, with much ability, the subject of agriculture, as an auxiliary to civil freedom. Ownership in the soil, he says, is indispensable to the best cultivation. On this principle the Hebrew agrarian law was framed. Small proprietorships, and the land farmed by its owners, was the policy of Moses. The tendency of the Hebrew land laws was to make the people both owners and cultivators, and to give importance and honour to husbandry. The entire territory of the Canaanites was to be divided among the whole six hundred thousand free citizens, in such a manner that each should have a full property in an equal part of it. And this estate was to descend to his legal heirs by an indefeasible entail in perpetual succession. The fee simple of the soil could not be sold; nor could any alienation of a landed estate take place exceeding fifty years. This was a fundamental principle in the
Hebrew polity. It was a principle of utmost importance in promoting both public and private prosperity. A man's property in his land could never be permanently alienated. It might cease to be his for a term of years, but the year of jubilee restored it to him free of all encumbrance. Nor, indeed, was it necessary for him to wait till the jubilee to re-enter his alienated field, provided he had the means to redeem it; for the right of redemption remained always in the owner. The necessary effect of such a system of landed property was to make the Hebrews a nation of farmers. The cultivation of the earth was stimulated to the highest degree. The occupation of the husbandman was held to be the most honourable pursuit of man, and it became, as a natural consequence, the most general. The most illustrious citizens were husbandmen. Saul, David, and Elisha, may be noted as examples; and of King Uzziah it is recorded that he loved husbandry.
The agrarian laws of Moses were attended with several striking economical advantages, which are well stated and illustrated by our author.
1. They stripped poverty of its worst evils: they soothed it with the hope of better days; they softened its sense of degradation; they kept the poor man's heart whole; they preserved within him the love of home; they nourished in him a feeling of independence. Whatever else he had lost, his land remained, and no power on earth could deprive him of the title to it.
2. These laws tended strongly to prevent the accumulation of debt. Few would have occasion to borrow; and there was little inducement to lend, since no man was permitted, by the Mosaic laws, to make profit out of a loan.
3. The agrarian laws of Moses tended also to cherish among the people a spirit of equality, and of sympathy one with another. Under their operation there could be, properly speaking, neither nobility nor peasantry, neither lords nor serfs, but a brotherhood of hardy yeomen.
4. Agriculture strengthens the sentiment of patriotism. The heart of the husbandman is bound to the fields on which he bestows his labour, and which respond to his industry by clothing them with the beauties of spring and the riches of summer and autumn.
Such are the leading positions taken by Dr. Matthews in his work. He has certainly succeeded in showing a very close connexion between the Bible and the science of civil government, and also between the Bible and the enjoyment of civil liberty. The ability and judgment with which he has executed the present treatise, have quickened our appetite for his more extended work on the connexion between science and revelation.
ART. VIII.-ORIGEN OR HIPPOLYTUS ?
Ωριγένους φιλοσοφούμενα ή κατά πασών αιρέσεων έλεγχος. E Codice Parisino nunc
primum edidit EMMANUEL MILLER. Oxon.: 1851.
WE rejoice to notice this book as one of the richest fruits of antiquarian research in modern times. Its importance in the sphere of ecclesiastical history and antiquities cannot be overrated.
The work was printed at the Clarendon press, under the direction of M. Miller, librarian to the national library, and well known for his skill in Greek letters, and for his sagacity in searching out ancient manuscripts. The MS. itself was brought from Greece in 1842 by M. Mynas, who was employed by M. Villemain to make search for literary treasures in the Levant. It was described as a
MS. on cotton paper, containing a refutation of heresies by an anonymous author," and, as such, was deposited in the Royal Library. It remained for M. Miller to suspect its value, and to bring it forth from obscurity. He has done his editorial work with great skill and judgment, making many silent corrections of obvious errors, and offering many shrewd conjectural emendations for the consideration of the learned. The text, however, is still in a very corrupt condition, and demands a great deal of critical labour. The work has already attracted much attention in England, and the (London) Quarterly Review, for June, contains a very learned and spirited exposition of its contents. It will excite still greater interest and study in Germany, as it is full of value for the history of the first three centuries of the Christian Church, a period to which German theologians have devoted themselves with the most industrious and persevering research.
It is well known to those who are versed in Church history and antiquities, that we had, before the discovery of this MS., a book under the name of Philosophoumena Origenis, (edited by J. C. Wolff and others,) which was supposed by some to be really Origen's, while other critics denied its genuineness. But one book was given in this volume, while the whole work was known to have comprised ten. The newly-discovered MS. gives seven books more-the second and third are still wanting. M. Miller does not hesitate to ascribe the whole to Origen, and this view is followed by the article in the Quarterly above referred to. We trust we shall be able to show ample grounds for a different opinion, founded upon a close study of the book, of the time to which it belongs, and of all the accessible evidences that bear upon the question of its origin.