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Spirit, asserting its genuine character and proper energy in the same degree that it shakes itself free from every adhesion of the ancient law and antecedent prophecy. The deep significance of the past must, it is true, be kept distinct from the mere hieroglyph under which it is hid; still less must we confound the narrow sacerdotalism and the rabbinical subtlety of an age verging rapidly to decline, with the great idea that vibrated in the thought of an earlier and a nobler time: but we are persuaded, that no one can have penetrated to the inner heart of the old religious poetry and prophetic lore of the Hebrews, or ever bent his spiritual ear with reverent heed to the grand, solemn undertones of the harmonious inspiration which pervades them, without being perpetually conscious of the presence of those great seminal truths which expanded into full life in the Gospel --without experiencing from time to time, under all the heat and oppression of the dark and lowering passions which overcloud such extensive tracts of this wonderful literature, a breath, as it were, of fragrance and refreshing from some distant land of liberty and love, towards which we cannot but feel that we are journeying. Nor can any one, we think, cast a reflective eye on the pages which we have already turned over in the great book of human history, and not recognize the specific function which God has assigned to different nations in evolving the destinies of our race, and ripening the elements of its future civilization. Strike out of that record the few paragraphs which exhibit the inward and the outward life of the Israelitish people, and our present condition becomes a perfect riddle; in the wide expanse of the past we cannot find a place for the living root of Christianity; and we are surrounded by phenomena of which all the depth and beauty and refinement of Hellenic wisdom afford no adequate explanation.

“ The violent severance,” says our author, “of the two Testaments, through a misunderstanding and even a contempt of the Old, has in modern times done only too much mischief. For thirty years past, at the two universities * where I have been a teacher, I have constantly resisted it; and yet I still find it as necessary as ever to place again continually in the clearest possible light, the close connexion between them, which was comprehended in the original design of the present work. The general history of the people is precisely the place where we discover this connexion to be the most intimate and necessary-where we are, therefore, obliged to acknowledge it in the distinctest manner, as it existed from the first in facts themselves In both Testaments so many similar thoughts and words occur repeatedly:-yet these alone

* Göttingen and Tübingen,

a nearer

could not furnish the best and the most direct proof of this close connexion. It is only the progress and consequential development of the entire general history itself, which teaches, beyond dispute, how necessarily the Old leads on to the New, and how the latter has a retrospective effect on the former. Particular instances of

or remoter connexion between them, which on other grounds might be truly affirmed, are themselves set, for the first time, in their proper light, through this undeniable coherence which binds together the whole general history. For this reason, the ensuing history, which might have been given separately as the history of primitive Christianity,' we have chosen to unite closely with the entire work. From this whole history and the general contents of the Bible, Christ cannot be so completely disengaged, as to permit us to look upon him and treat him as the exclusively Holy One, and every thing in the Bible external to him as unconsecrated land: what is truly great and unique in him, grows up on the broad, firm, general ground of that holy territory to which he originally belonged. But like everything else which can truly be considered holy, neither he, nor any particular relating to him, pass into the clearness and vividness of historical presentment, only to become subjects of misapprehension and misapplication.”—(Preface, pp. viii. x.)

Ewald has too much learning and too much genius to be capable of writing anything without interest and value. Passages full of instruction and richly suggestive are largely interspersed through the present volume. But the author has not fulfilled, as might have been expected, the promise held out in the preceding extract, nor exhibited with sufficient amplitude and clearness the concrete realities which link the age of Jesus with the co-existing civilization and with the foregoing periods of Jewish history. When we close the narrative, a certain haziness and indistinctness of impression remains on the mind, more like that of a dream than of a history. We seem less to have been made acquainted with positive facts than introduced to the grand and vague ideas which the narrator has associated with them, and which invest them in a sort of gleaming mist. The author appears to have anticipated this objection to his work, when he tells us in his preface that it would have gone much more into detail, but for some preliminary researches contained in his “ Translation and Explanation of the Three First Evangelists,"* and in his disquisitions “On the Origin and Constitution of the Gospels,'t which he wishes to be considered as supplementary to the present undertaking. In the

* Published in 1850.

+ These disquisitions have appeared in the “ Jahrbücher der Biblischen Wissenschaft," and were not completed when the present work was published.

can excuse.

volume before us he professes to give us simple results, not the critical processes which have led to them; and this is right enough ; only a history, to deserve its name, should be a clear and intelligible relation of facts, not a mere exposition of principles which they are presumed to illustrate, or the display of a theory of Providence which has been woven out of them. The more recent historical school of Germany is chargeable, we think, with this tendency to excess of idealism; it is too subjective to satisfy a mind that is craving for objective truth. We must also thus early enter our protest against the author's style. It is entangled, knotted, and obscure, beyond anything we ever before encountered in German, even in the pages of Niebuhr, and betrays a reckless disregard for the reader's time and temper, which no merits of another kind, however great,

The sense does not offer itself spontaneously, but has to be hunted up, often after painful and repeated re-perusal, from the holes and corners of a straggling, loosely-jointed sentence, spread perhaps over a considerable portion of an octavo page. As if gratuitously to increase the difficulty of deciphering his meaning, Ewald has discarded the good old German practice of marking substantives by capitals, and is fond of running two or three particles into one many-syllabled word; so that verbs and nouns, adverbs and conjunctions, float in one undistinguished mass before the eye. These are small matters to remark in so important a work; but we observe a growing disposition to neglect style as wholly beneath the notice of instructive and original writers, which ought to be checked. A perspicuous and expressive style, if not the unerring sign, is certainly the fitting medium of clear and earnest thought; and when a thinker opens direct communication with other minds, the least that can be demanded of him is, to put his ideas in such a form as shall not expose them to needless difficulty of apprehension. Another feature of the present work we cannot pass over without animadversion; its inordinate pretension to originality, and its ungenerous ignoring of the fruits of other labourers in the same field. From anything that appears in its pages, no one could infer that such writers as Schleiermacher, De Wette, Neander, or even Strauss, had ever existed. But for a passing sneer at some anonymous innovators of the Tü. bingen school, it might be supposed that the “ History of Christ” was now for the first time critically treated. With the exception of the ancients, almost the only works cited as authorities are the author's own. He seems determined to owe everything to himself. He marches triumphantly through the country with the air of a discoverer, as if no one had set foot in it before, and boldly breaks up its surface, and erects arbi


trary landmarks, as if there were not a trace of previous occupation. Such absurd arrogance brings its own punishment, by spoiling the use of the highest faculties. We could point, we think, to more than one instance, where his natural acuteness and fine sense of historical truth have been withheld from the conclusion to which they must else have led, by simple aversion to follow in the track which others had already trodden. If he sees one footprint in the soil before him, it is a sufficient reason for going out of his way, and forsaking the shortest and straightest road to the truth. This is one of the circumstances which give an unsatisfactory character to his work. Great and noble qualities are damaged by this extravagant self-love; for Ewald, with all his faults, is not a mere philologist or theologian. We cannot open his book without feeling that he is deeply imbued with the spirit at once of poetry and of religion. Amidst the freest historical criticism, he never loses sight of the high spiritual purpose of Christianity, and the exalted sanctity of the life in which it is revealed. His attachment to truth, in the largest sense, in spite of the besetting infirmity to which we have alluded, it is impossible to doubt; for he has attested it as few have done, by the fearless sacrifice, on a memorable. occasion, of his worldly prospects to his convictions.

It is a pregnant suggestion with which Ewald opens his subject, that the future condition of this western world was involved in the providential relationship of Israel and Rome, each cherishing the deep consciousness of destination to a world-wide rule, though conceiving its .object under a very different aspect, and looking to means entirely diverse for its accomplishment. Christianity acquired the conditions essential to its existence from their inevitable collision, and emerged from the disruption of the old national chrysalis as the immortal spirit of a glorified Israel.* Such is the text on which the present work may be regarded as an expanded commentary. The author has traced at some length the steps by which the Romans attained their ascendency in Palestine, and has set in a clear light the difficulties with which the predominance of a wild Messianic spirit in its population, embarrassed the usually cautious and conciliatory policy of the conquerors. Of ancient and established religions the Romans were always tolerant; it was only when religion was mixed with a fanaticism which might ferment the seeds of political innovation, that they viewed it with jealousy and checked it with rigour. But never before had they encountered a fanaticism so deadly and in

Das neuverklärte unsterbliche Israel, p. 9.


vincible as that which was now working in large masses of the Jewish people; they regarded it with a loathing allied to dread, as something demoniacal and unearthly. It was their obvious policy, as it had been that of the Herods, who paved the way for their dominion, to bring the high-priesthood completely under their control, and to allow it no semblance of authority but what was derived openly from the civil governors of the · country. The Sanhedrim was reduced to the mere shadow of a tribunal. Its members might wrangle to their hearts' content on rabbinical subtleties, and regulate the minor points of domestic law; but all substantial power was taken out of their hands; they retained no political jurisdiction whatever. This subjection of the Church to the State was symbolically expressed, as we learn from Josephus, in the following way: The high priest's robes of state-his pontifical insignia-were kept under lock and key by the civil governor, who gave them out on the eve of each of the great festivals, and received them back into custody when it was over; as if our bishops, before they could ordain or confirm, hold a visitation, or preside in convocation, must go to Downing-street for their rochets and lawn sleeves, and deliver them up again when the occasion for which they were required had passed.* This encroachment on the theocratic principle of the constitution produced a vehement - reaction in the party whose distinguishing doctrine it was-based, as they believed, on the express authority of the Law and the Prophets—that Jehovah was their only Ruler and Lord, and that to call any earthly sovereign by the same title was treason to Him. · Men holding these views formed a kind of sect (reckoned by Josephus as the fourth sect of Jewish philosophyt), agreeing with the Pharisees in everything but their accommodating worldliness of spirit. The founder of this sect was Judas the Gaulonite, I whose peculiar principles,

Joseph. Antiquit. XVIII. iv. 3. These sacerdotal robes were deposited in the tower Antonia, adjoining the Temple, in charge of the commander of the garrison (Tôv Opovpápxov) in a stone vaulted chamber, where a lamp was constantly burning ; just as the regalia of England are kept in the Tower of London. They were delivered seven days before the feast; when the high priest having purified them (for they were considered as defiled by heathen custody,) wore them for one day (“ the great day of the feast," John vii. 37), and then replaced them where they were before. The Herods, whose power was built on the overthrow of the sacerdotal rule of the Maccabees, had previously introduced this method of signifying their authority over the priesthood. When Vitellius was proconsul of Syria, to gratify the Jews, he remitted the pontifical garments into their own keeping; but the nation was now so completely subdued, that the concession might be made without danger.

† Antiquit. XVII. i. 6. | Acts v. 37. Gamaliel's speech to the Sanhedrim ; where he is called


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