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certainty among other ancient nations, is here, through every book, and throughout the whole course of the history, set in the clearest light. If a person had never heard of the sacred books of the Hebrews, and after having read the ancient writings of other nations, should for the first time take up the Holy Scriptures, he would undoubtedly be struck with astonishment at this doctrine concerning God, and be filled with reverence and esteem.-See LELAND on the advantage and necessity of Revelation ; Less über Religion, I. Th. S. 1—95. 243-—467; NIEMAYER, Charakteristik der Bibel, III. Th. S. 94—124. 210—254; LUEDERWALD, Untersuchung einiger Zweisel über die Aufrichtigkeit und Gottlichkeit Mosis, 1782, S. 102–116; HaSSENKAMP, die Israeliter die aufgeklär. teste nation des Alterthums in der Erkenntniss der Heiligkeit und Gerechtigkeit Gottes. Leipsig, 1790.)

(0) Man appears, even in the very beginning of these books, in all his dignity, as the image of God. In consistency with this view, they enjoin respect even to foreigners and slaves, who in all other nations were held in very

little estimation : Gen. i. 26. 8. v. 1, 3. ix. 6, compare Lev. xix. 33. s. xxiv. 10, 22. xxv. 39–41. Num. xv. 15. Ps. viii. 5–10. The system of morality given in these books is the best that can be found in the whole ancient world, extending even to the internal thoughts and inclinations ; Exod. xx. 17. Deut. vi. 4—9. x. 12. xi. 1, &c. The whole of the religion which they contain tends to the moral perfection of men, and even the numerous religious customs, which were adapted to the existing state of character, and could not be otherwise without a complete failure of the purpose for which they were instituted, were justly estimated as means of exciting attention, and never made objects of principal conceru: Deat. vi. 449. x. 12—xi. 11. xxx. 20. 1 Sam. xv. 22. Hos. vi. 6. Mic. vi. 6-8. Isa. i. 11-13. lviii. 1-14. Ps. xl. 6-10. li. 16-19. &c. Even the prayers which occur are not offered for unworthy objects, but for the most part aim immediately at the excitement of pious affections, and the acquisition of knowledge and power to lead a virtuous lise, as is especially evident in the Psalms. See, for examples, Ps. i. viii. xv. xix. xxv. xxvi. cxix. &c. Jesus professedly founds the morality of his owa system upon these books, when he affirms, Matt. vii. 12. xxii. 36-40. that the whole contents of the Law and the Prophets, i. e. of all the books of the Old Testament, is “ Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” This is actually the centre to which every thing in the religion of these books is directed, and consequently the station from which all must be viewed. He who has taken this stand will be no more scandalized at the curses against enemies which occur in the Psalms, than he would be at hearing that the best of princes had put his name to much greater curses,

namely, to the death-warrants of criminals; or that he had ordered the effigy and title of a fugitive malefactor to be affixed to the gallows. He who can maintain that all this system of religious doctrine and worship was designed, not for the promotion of morality, but for political purposes, (Kant, Religion innerhalb der grenzen der bloszen Vernunft, S. 176,) must have merely looked, in a careless manner, at scattered portions of these books, and must also have judged them by a standard of morality too rigid for observation by any but perfect beings.—Comp. GARVE Uebersicht der Vernehmsten Principien der Sittenlehre, 1798, 8. 274279; LUEDERWALD, Untersuchungen einiger Zweifel, S. 116–119; NIEMAYER, Charakteristik der Bibel, Th. III. S. 254–302 ; STAEUDLIN, Comm. de Legis Mosaicæ momento, Goettinge, 1795–1797, and Theologiæ Moralis Hebræorum ante Christum Historia, in Comm. Theol. ed. a VELTHUESEN; T. II. p. 360-394; MICHÆLIS, Moral, B. III. 1799. S. 59-416; Kurzer abrisz der Geschichte des Moral des Hebr. von R. 1800; Flatts Apologie der Mosaischen Religion, im Magazin für Christl. Dogm. und Moral. Th. III. S. 76—132; BERGER, Practische Einleitung ins A. T. 2 Theile. 1779, 1800, Leipzig ]

(c) Among the many things worthy of notice in this history, one in particular perpetually forces itself upon our observation, namely, how difficult it was in ancient times to attain to the knowledge of the true God : this had been remarked by Plato, who says, (Timæus. Tom. III. Opp. p. 28,) that it is difficult to find out God, and yet more difficult to make him known. It was only by a long succession of ordinary and extraordinary preparations and events, that the Hebrews were brought to remain steadfast in the worship of the true God. Even as late as the time of Antiochus Epiphanes and of the Maccabees, the more cultivated Hebrews, who had become acquainted with the Grecian religion and philosophy, made open and rapid advances to the introduction of idolatry. Their subtle and violent attempts, although unsuccessful, on account of the resistance of the better disposed part of the nation, will yet remain a perpetual monument of the great truth, that the knowledge of the true God was not so light a thing in the old world, where all believed in a plurality of gods, as we are accustomed to think it at the present day, when 800 millions of the inhabitants of the earth profess his worship.]

(d) It is this general extension of the fundamental principles of religion, presenting them so nearly and familiarly to our view, which prevents many from observing and prizing this inestimable benefit, received from the sources mentioned in the preceding section. They overlook its value because it has been so familiar to them from their youth up-Comp. Hess, vom Reich Gottes, 2 Th. 8., especially the preface to the rst volume; and JACOBI, Abhandlungen über wichtige Gegenstände der Beligion, III. Th. S. 178. ff.]

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[On the subjects of the whole of this section, see an excellent dissertation by TAOLUCK, entitled Hints on the study of the Old Testament, of which a translation by Professor Patton has been published in Hodge's Biblical Repertory, Vol. III. No. 3. pp. 364–426. Tr.]

§ 4. What is meant by an Introduction to the Books of the old


Since Jesus and his Apostles valued these books so highly, and since their antiquity is so great and their contents are so excellent, it is of great importance to inquire, by what authors and at what times they were written; whether they have come down to us incorrupt; whether they are worthy of belief, and on what foundation their au. thority rests; by what means we may be enabled to understand them ; what external and internal vicissitudes they have undergone ; and how the errors which perchance have crept in may be corrected. Such a critical examination of the history of the books of the Old Testament, to the end that they may be rightly valued, and correctly handled and understood, is called an INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOKS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, which, inasmuch as it comprises particulars common to all these books, or such as are peculiar to each individual book, is called either GENERAL OG PARTICULAR.

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Particulars relating to the Literary History of Introductions to

the Old Testament.

The ancient ecclesiastical writers, especially those who answered the adversaries of the books of the Old Testament, have constantly examined this history of the books, and yet have never professedly written on the subject. AUGUSTIN was the first who collected the materials of this kind which then existed, with additions of his own, into a separate work, which he did in his books on Christian doctrine (de doctrina Christiana.) He was afterwards followed by others, among whom Marcus AURELIUS CASSIODORUS (A. 562), who published Institutio divinarum Scripturarum, was pre-eminent.-In the age of Scholastic Theology, whatever related to the history of the sacred books was considered as appertaining to the rudiments of Theology, and for that reason treated of in the preliminaries (prolegomena) to that science. At length, when the study of the Scriptures

revived, many Introductions, Keys, Annotations, Prologues, Prologomena, Prefaces, Disquisitions, Essays, and Biblical Apparata appeared. Most of these works related to the books of both the Old and New Testaments. The following are among the principal. - The Bibliotheca Sacra of Sixtus SENENSIS was published at Venice, in 1566, in two volumes folio, and often reprinted.[a] It was in every body's hands, until in 1636 the Officina Biblica of MICHAEL WALTER appeared at Leipzig. This was in its turn surpassed and superseded by the Thesaurus Philologicus or Clavis Scripturæ Sacræ of JOHN HENRY HOTTINGER, printed at Zurich in 1649; a work which is even yet useful, on account of its extensive collections from Christian, Jewish, and Oriental writings. - The Prolegomena to the London Polyglott, printed in 1657, surpasses all the older productions of this sort, for which reason it has been printed separately even so late as 1723 and 1777. -To these the Philologus Ebræus of John LEUSDEN, printed at Utrecht in 1656. and his Philologus Ebræo-mixtus, printed at the same place in 1663, are inferior. They are, however, much excelled by the Histoire Critique du Vieux Testament of RICHARD SIMON, published at Paris in 1678 ; an excellent work, which nevertheless has had many adversaries.[6] The genuineness only of the books of the Old Testament is treated of in the Demonstratio Evangelica of PETER DANIEL HUET, bishop of Avranches, which was published at Paris in 1681. -An Introduction to the Old Testament is combined with a system of Archaeology in the Apparatus Biblicus of BERNARD LAmy, which was published in the French language at Grenoble in 1687, and has since been translated into Latin, and several times reprinted.[c]

-The limits of an Introduction are better observed in the Dissertation preliminaire, ou Prolegomenes sur la Bible, of Louis Ellies Du Pin, published at Paris in 1701;[d] and in HUMPHRY Hody's Libri quatuor de textibus Bibliorum originalibus, folio, Oxford, 1705.—The Dissertations qui peuvent servir de Prolegomenes de l'Ecriture Sainte of AUGUSTIN CALMET, published in 1715 and 1720, and since translated into several languages, treat of various subjects in which accurate and acute judgment is wanted.

A new epoch was commenced by John GOTTLOB CARPzov, in his Introductio ad libros Canonicos Veteris Testamenti, published at Leip

zig in 1721, and in his Critica Sacra, printed at the same place in 1728. His steps were followed by John GOTTFRIED EICHHORN in his Einleitung in das Alte Testament, of which the third edition appeared in three volumes in 1803.* The Einleitung in die göttlichen Schriften des Alten Bundes of John David MICHAELIS, published in 1787, comprises only the books of Moses and Job.—LEONARD BERTHOLDT has collected the different opinions of modern critics in his Historisch-kritische Einleitung ins Alte und Neues Testament, Erlangen, 1812–1814, 6 Th. 8vo.[e]

Many separate pieces relating to an Introduction to the books of the Old Testament may be found in the modern periodical publications, such as John DAVID MICHAELIS's Orientalischer exegetischer Bibliothek, 24 vols. 8vo. from 1771 to 1785: his Neuer Orientalischer und exegetischer Bibliothek 9 vols. from 1786 to 1793 : John GOTTFRIED EICHHORNS Repertorium für Biblische und Morgenländische Litteratur, 18 vols. from 1777 to 1786: his Allgemeine Bibliothek der Biblische Literatur, 1787–1802 : EBERL. Gottl. PAULUS Neue Repertorium für Biblische und Morgenländische Litteratur, 3 vols. and his Memorabilien, in 8 parts : and HENKE's Magazin für Religionsphilosophie und Kirchengeschichte, 1793-1803.

{a) The edition printed at Leyden in 1580 and again in 1591, is valuable on account of the corrections and additions of Joan Hay. The last edi. tion, printed at Naples in 1742, deserves notice on account of its being dedicated by its editor the Dominican MILANTA, to Benedict XIV, who accepted the dedication although the book, on account of many of its opinions, and especially on account of its numerous corrections of the fathers, was disliked by many theologians.]

[b) The three editions of this work printed at Amsterdam by the Elzevirs are very incorrect. From one of these a Latin translation was made by NOEL AUBERT DE VERSE, which was printed at Amsterdam, in 1681. The Rotterdam edition of the Histoire Critique of 1685, corrected by Simon himself, is far superior to any of the others.] [Simon's work has been translated into English (London, 4to. 1682) but by a person very incompetent to the task. Among the opponents of Simon, Dupio, De Viel, Le Clere, and Spanheim, were the most conspicuous. See ROSENMUELLER Handbuch für die Litteratur der Biblische Kritik und Exegese, I. Th, S. 115–137. Tr.]

[* The fourth at Goettingen in 5 yols. in 1823. Tr.]

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