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replied: "I am disappointed in you, and surprised, 100, that after all your study and knowledge of these things you still cling to the old-fashioned notions of the Bible." Nor is this one student alone that has understood the Doctor in the same way, or misunderstood him, if that is the more correct term to use.
It is possible that Dr. Harper proposes to limit the use of that God-given faculty, the human reason, to those who by great learning have proved their ability to apply it properly and correctly; but shall we not need some infallible teacher to tell us when we have reached that point in learning? Will Dr. Harper undertake that responsible office, or will he content himself with expressing his surprise when unusually bright students prefer the old-fashioned ways of buying the truth and sell. ing it not-no! not even at the market-place of our enliglitened, educated reason ?
Professor Harper has been diligent in affirming his orthodoxy as a teach. cr; but the dynamite from New Haven dissipates that profession into thin air, and rebukes the teacher for his hypocrisy. On the publication of these facts the Professor made it convenient, as one of our bishops said, to go to Europe.
What is Professor Harper ? He denies that he is “neutral,” though one of his intimate friends, a theological professor as reliable as his Yale friend, assured us that he preferred to be known as being neutral, and occasionally the “on-the-fence” spirit is manifest in the Old Testament Student; but we will allow that whenever he gets down on the ground he is usually on the side of the highest criticism. In our published reference to his analysis of the Pentateuch, as it appeared in the Webruien, we alluded to him as the “spokesman of the analysts,” which he gladly accepted as descriptive of his position. On first thought this sounds like neutrality, for if he were merely “spokesman,” it were proof that he was disposed politely to serve them, without indorsing their position; but a spokesman is usually in sympathy with the cause he represents, or why does he speak for it? When Paul stood by at the stoning of Stephen, holding his clothes, he consented to his death, though he did not throw a stone; and when Professor Harper consents to be the mouthpiece of the enemies of our religion, it is time to ask if he is not one of them. Suppose Bishop Merrill should assume to be spokesman for agnostics, and Bishop Foss for infidels, urging their arguments with all vehemence, would they expect to be recognized as orthodox? There is a mistake somewhere, and the Professor should correct it. His periodicals have been the avenues for the objectionable Higher Criticism, and he cannot escape responsibility by shouting that he nevertheless is orthoxlox; nor can he overthrow the suspicion that he is in sympathy with Germau rationalism, when his work is in the same direction, by saying that he does not mean to be on the wrong side.
As regards the charge of Higher Critics substituting illumination for inspiration, Professor Weir of Yale is one of our authorities, but Professor Harper avoids the quoted source and argument, and is content with denying the general statement. He is really almost skillful in refuting charges never applied to him personally; for we never based our criticism of him on this fact at all, but on other grounds, which lie would do well to examine, and for refuting which he might find it necessary to employ all his reserved skill and ability.
In the reported “interview" to which we refer Professor Harper, knowing that what he would say would go to the world, is as orthodox in expression as the most exacting conservative would desire; and in the August number of the Ou Testament Student is a contributed article on “Errors in the Bible” which we can approve, and an editorial on “ The Bible Pre-eminently Supernatural," apparently indicating that the Professor is swinging to the right side. But, as in previous numbers, so in this one, there are compromises, shiftings, and a direct going over to the wrong side. On page 66, Professor Harper says: “Men are beginning to see more and more clearly that the essential element of prophecy is not prediction, but religious instruction.” What does this mean? The kernel of the prophetical books is the predictive element, or they are valueless to us as arguments for the doctrine of inspiration. Theologians rely upon prophecy as a pillar of Christianity, and Bishop Foster, in the third volume of his recent work, uses with tremendous force the proof of the supernatural element in the Scriptures from the predictive feature of prophecy. This, now, must be abandoned at the dictation of the critics who are only following in the footsteps of the rationalists of one hundred years ago. The import of this position is, that the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Micah, and Joel must no longer be regarded either as proofs of a supernatural element in the Scriptures or as evidence that the Messiah was the subject of antedated contemplation of the great writers of the Jewish Church. In short, as to prophecies, we have none, and as to prophetical books, they are merely for purposes of instruction in religion. Professor Harper carries the view so far as to say, applying it to the New Testament gospels, that they cease to be history or biography, and considered as written chiefly for religious instruction their real meaning is best made apparent. Hence, “while the gospels remain historical in the highest sense, still they are not history, but prophecy,” or books of religious teaching. On a single page he disposes of the prophetical books as inspired fore-announcements, and of the four gospels as inspired histories, thus identifying himself with the extreme positions of German and other rationalists in the same field of inquiry. A thousand certificates of his orthodoxy from the most eminent scholars in the world are not worth the ink required to write them, in the presence of his own pronouncements respecting the questions involved in this controversy.
The disposition of the historical, prophetical, and supernatural elements of the Scriptures is the goal of Higher Criticism. In the August number of the “Contemporary Review,” Dr. Cheyne, of England, proposes a basis of union for Conservatives and Progressives in criticism which is interesting because it frankly acknowledges the purposes of the critics. He insists that we shall agree that the Pentateuch is composite in character and post-exilic in construction; that the Book of Deuteronomy is post-Mosaic and perhaps post-Solomonic; that Isaiah is the product of two or more authors, the Messianic portion-the most interesting and the most valuable-having a Babylonian origin; that Daniel did not write the book bearing his name, and that the “visions” were composed in the time of the Maccabees; that Solomon did not write Ecclesiastes, but who did is not stated; and so on, setting aside well-established orthodox views, and asking that these new assumptions, contradicted by history, science, logic, and the highest reason, shall supersede the categories of Christian faith respecting inspiration and cognate doctrines. It is significant that Dr. Abbott says, in reference to Dr. Cheyne's proposed views, “We give them to our lay readers as a concise and semiauthoritative statement of the lines along which, and the goal toward which, modern biblical criticism is moving.” The goal! From this "goal" even Dr. Abbott, so bold at Chautauqua in disposing of the Pentateuch, apparently turns back, because he says, “We state these results without expressing any independent opinion respecting them, either pro or con." The goal of biblical criticism is the attempted reconstruction of the Bible as an inspired book; and Professor Harper is beaded in that direction, for we do not discover any separable difference between his pronounced views and those of Dr. Cheyne.
57-FIFTH SERIES, VOL. V.
In the July number of Our Day is an article on “The American Board and its Patrons,” by Dr. Cyrus Hamlin, who alludes to the “ rationalistic brethren of Andover and Yale” as obstructionists, and defends the Board against the sway of their influence, and urges that it act independently of them. But who are the “ Yale rationalists?" It is too late in the day, when scholars of all names are referring to them as enemies in the path of progress, to deny that biblical criticism in its degenerate tendency is a dangerous instrument, or that many of the school critics are the willing disciples of the older rationalistic party. We might ask at this point, if there is nothing in our accusation why is there so much ado about it? Why such tremendous efforts to resist it? Why pyrotechnics, dinners, reporters, suborned attorneys, and a masquerade of all the appliances of a genuine defense if only a sky-rocket has been discharged ? Verily, the conduct of the critics is proof that our exposure is founded on facts they cannot contradict.
It has been asserted that the Bible is in no danger from Higher Criticism and that it should not quail before new facts or discoveries, all of which is true. It is also true that the Hellespont did not quail before Xerxes, nor would Saturn quail before the pop-guns of the Chinese navy. It is true the Bible is in no danger of extinction, because it is the Bible, and the attempts to shear it of its supernaturalism are as reckless and inutile as would be the attempt to unseat the occupant of the divine throne. But because it may endure all assault is no reason why the assaulter should undertake to destroy it; he is not excusable because he is impotent, nor is he justified by claiming that, as a final result, he has established the integrity of the Bible. The final result is not because of his attack, but because of the Gibraltar-like irresistibility of the Bible. The credit of its stability belongs, not to the critic, but to the Bible.
When it is said, however, that Higher Critics are not attempting to undermine established faith in the divine book, we must discriminate between those who, like Professor Green, know the limitations of criticism, and those who, like Wellhausen and Kuenen, care nothing for barriers or consequences. Professor G. H. Schodde, of the Capital University, Columbus, O., in a well-considered article in the July number of the Homiletical Monthly, points out the weaknesses and dangers of modern biblical criticism, among other things saying that it neglects or ignores that factor in revelation which other generations made prominent; that the traditional views respecting the Old and the New Testament are not only antagonized, but in some cases considered hopelessly undermined; that the radical methods adopted in many cases exclude the possibility of honest investigation and judgment; that the biblical books in their present shape do not support the critical reconstructions, and that in some respects modern criticism is a revival of the Tübingen spirit of interpretation.
In the Sunday-School Times, August 24, speaking of “ The Central Problem of Old Testament Discussion,” he says, “the denial of the Mosaic authorship (of the Pentateuch) is a part and a portion of a critical and analytic process which aims at a complete reconstruction of what the Christian Church has all along regarded as the correct scheme and system of Old Testament history and religion;" and as to the Critics, “they claim the right of sitting in judgment over these records themselves, of going behind the evidences and testimonies as they exist, and, according to principles and laws of their own reflection, to pass upon the value and worth of these sources;” and finally, “the method of treating the Old Testament records from a standpoint which implies that they are pious frauds, arranged and shaped with a more or less pronounced intention to deceive the reader, is abhorrent to a spirit that has learned to recognize in these books a divine revelation and the history of such a revelation.” What have the Critics to say in response to this exposure of their “ policy?" Professor S. I. Curtis, of the Chicago Theological Seminary, in the August number of Our Day, writing of the effect of biblical criticism on the Bible, says the Critics assume a progress from fetichism through polytheism to monotheism, but the Bible shows a lapse from monotheism into polytheism as the order of history, and thus the critics are at war with facts; he also says that the Chaldean Genesis exhibits polytheism, but the Mosaic Genesis does not, showing that the latter was not derived from the former, as the Critics claim; and again, "we should maintain the infallibility of every (scriptural) statement bearing upon history and science, as well as the infallibility of those which bear upon doctrine and life;" but this is controverted by the Yale Critics. The Theological Monthly has arrayed itself boldly against Higher Criticism, pointing out its infidelity; and Principal Dawson, in the June number of the Contemporary Review, hammers the Critics for their treatment of Genesis, and is orthodox in every utterance. As the scholars are aroused they discern the precipice of rationalism, and refuse to plunge into the abyss.
In the maintenance of the rights of orthodoxy against the inflated claims of the Critics we have had the unsolicited support of the Methodist clergy, the Methodist press, which, with one unenviable exception, has not published a line in sympathy with the rationalistic movement or with the assailed Critics, and many thinkers of the different denominations in the country. One of our bishops said: “You have them on the hip. You have compelled them to avow the orthodox position, which is an abandonment of their own and the confirmation of the justice of your attack. You have nipped rationalism in the bud.” Another says: "You have stirred up the constituencies of the schools to inquire into the soundness of their Faculties; and you have suggested that wavering Methodists hold in check their sympathies with the Critics.” Another says: “I want to tell you that I am in greatest accord with your aggressive method of defense. General Grant said his notion of strategy was to get close to the enemy." The venerable Dr. D. Wise writes: “I incline to think that the spirit of Dr. Whedon must have stood at your elbow when you wrote your articles, for they remind me of his way of putting his critics to silence. . . . You have sustained your averments. ...I think one can scarcely doubt, if not concrete rationalists, your opponents are yet teachers of the germs out of which rationalists are formed.” Dr. S. L. Bowman, Dean of the Theological Department of De Pauw University, writes: “I have called at your office twice to congratulate you on your 'fight' with Ladd, etc. I am glad you hit him so hard. Hit him again!” Professor R. J. Cooke, of Grant Memorial University, writes: “Professor Harper's reply amounts to this: I am a very loyal evangelical professor, although I am always showing in the most brilliant way I can that the Church is very stupid, woefully superstitious and selfwilled, and that all wisdom and theological lore are on the side of the rationalists and their kin.” Dr. Joseph Horner, of Pittsburg, writes: “It is astonishing to see how sensible men can allow themselves to jump at conclusions as some of the Higher Critics are doing, and so accept the most absurd conjectures, if only they can be used to discountenance or overthrow the long and well-established anthority of the inspired word.” The Rev. Dr. R. Yeakel, editor of the Vierteljahrsschrift, Cleveland, O., writes, “I thank God who gave to you the ability and the courage to expose the insidious rationalism which is building its nest in some of the highest schools of the land. . . . Let us hear your trumpet again." Dr. Jacob Rothweiler, an eminent German presiding elder in Kentucky, writes: “You are taking the right position toward rationalism. . . . It is spreading. . . . Your warning will do good.” Dr. Crook, of Louisville, Ky., writes: “It is something to put rationalism on the defensive, and faith on guard. This might have stayed the flood in Gerinany; but it came in as an angel of light, and now is lifting its black wings for flight. Why should it light at this late day on America ? Abraham drove away better birds than this." The venerable Dr. McCabe, of the Ohio Wesleyan University, says: “Poor Ladd! You have slain him." The Rev. Thomas Stalker, of California, writes: “Your positions cannot be overthrown, buttressed as they are by facts and invulnerable logic." We might fill the Reviero with extracts from letters of similar import from our clergy all over the land; but it is unnecessary. Without being