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Wer over the emerally
lapses of merely.
up and be apparently magnified in it, was an intolerable nuisance to him. He wanted to deal with ideas in the broad daylight, and to see them in their right proportions, just as they were. This peculiarity of his mind, for in the degree in which he had it, it was a peculiarity, gave a certain character, often remarked upon, to his style of preaching. In presenting a truth in the pulpit, he could not feel satisfied until his hearers had been made to see it all round, and all through, just as he loved to see it himself. He therefore reiterated much, and dwelt long upon a single thought. If it was a fault, we are inclined to think it was a fault that his audiences generally thanked him for, and that gave him real power over them. His repetitions were not repetitions merely. They were, as Robert Hall remarks, like the lapses of a kaleidoscope, presenting identical substances indeed, but ever in new and beautiful forms. His very repetitions had all the force of new thoughts, and it is fairly questionable, whether they were not thus even more pleasing and more instructive. It was a theory with him, and who will venture to dissent from it, that one important thought fully comprehended, and wrought into the mind, is worth more than any number partially, and insecurely possessed.
One of the very best evidences of Dr. Chalmers' greatness, is the fact that his popularity never waned. He did not acquire his position by overtaxing his powers at any one period of his life, but by doing, from the first, what his heart prompted, and what his genius fully enabled him. The time never came to him when, with a mind and body enfeebled by over-work, he found himself burdened with a reputation too mighty to be sustained. Great as was his fame, he did not go beyond himself in the labors by which it was acquired. He acted out himself, and the fame came to him. Had he ever been troubled about his reputation ; had he ever come to that pinching-place in the paths of common great men, where he would have found it necessary to substitute the keeping up of his name, for the honest, true-hearted and Christian motives that had actuated him in the labors by which he acquired it, there would certainly have been an abatement, before he died, of the interest which, as a preacher, he excited. But he was above this evil, and above this folly.
We propose, at some future time, if God will, to devote another article to a consideration of Dr. Chalmers' writings, and to his course in relation to several great questions of general interest and utility. We desire, especially, to consider the character of his theology, and to discuss the principles upon which he acted as an ecclesiastical politician. There is much, also, to be said in regard to his plans for the evangelization of large cities, and for ameliorating the condition of the poor, which might be useful to us in America. For the present, enough has been said, and we take leave of our readers, expressing the hope, that as Chalmers' greatness lay so much in what Divine Grace did for him, and can do for all, we ourselves may seek to share more largely in the same elevating and ennobling influence.
Art. II.—INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF DANIEL.
[Concluded from page 83.]
§ 3. CONTINUATION OF THE ARGUMENT FOR THE GENUINENESS AND AUTHENTICITY OF THE BOOK OF DANIEL.—Positive Proofs of its Genuineness and Authenticity.—Having thus examined at length the objections which have been made to the genuineness and authenticity of the Book of Daniel, we proceed now to notice the positive proofs that it was written at the time when it is alleged to have been, and by the author whose name it bears. This need not detain us long: for if the objections which are made to the genuineness of the book are not well founded, there will be little difficulty in showing that the common sentiment in the Church, in regard to its authorship and authenticity, is correct. It has undeniably for a long time had a place in the sacred canon; it has been received by the Christian Church at all times as a sacred book, on the same level with the other inspired books; it has had a place among the books regarded by the Jews as inspired, and if it cannot be displaced from the position which it has so long occupied, the conclusion would seem to be fair that that is its proper position. We have seen, in the previous discussion, that it was ranked by Josephus among the prophetic books; that it was held in high estimation among the Jews as one of their sacred books; that the canon of Scripture was closed some four hundred years before the time of the Saviour, and that, from the nature of the case, it would have been impossible to foist a
book of doubtful origin, or an acknowledged fiction, into that canon in a later age. ..
In looking now at the positive evidence of the genuineness and canonical authority of the book, the only points that are really necessary to be made out are two: that it is the work of one author, and that that author was the Daniel of the captivity. If these two points can be established, its right to a place in the canon will be easily demonstrated. Our object, then, will be to establish these two points, and then to show how, if these points are admitted, it follows that the book is inspired, and has a right to a place in the canon.
I. It is the work of one author. That is, it is not made up of fragments from different hands, and composed at different times. It is a book by itself, every part of which is entitled to credit if any part of it is, and entitled to the same credit on the ground of being the composition of the same author.
The evidence of this lies in such circumstances as the following:
(1.) It is apparent on the face of the book that the design is to represent it as the production of one author. If the book is a forgery, this was no doubt the intention of its author; if it is genuine, it was of course the design. No one, on reading the book, it is presumed, could fail to perceive that the design of the author was to leave the impression that it is the work of one hand, and that it was intended to represent what occurred in the lifetime of one man, and that one man had committed it to writing. This is apparent, because the same name occurs throughout; because there is substantially one series of transactions; because the transactions are referred to as occurring in one place-Babylon; and because the same languages, customs, usages, and times, are referred to. All the internal marks which can go to demonstrate that any work is by one hand would be found to be applicable to this; and all the external marks will be found also to agree with this supposition.
There are two things, indeed, to be admitted, which have been relied on by some, to prove that the work is the composition of different authors.
(a) The one is, that it is divided into two parts :—the one, (ch. i.-vi.,) in the main historical; the other, (ch. vii. xii.,) in the main prophetical. But this is no argument against the identity of the authorship, for the same intermingling of history with prophecy occurs in most of the prophetic books; and it is no objection that these occur in separate continuous por
tions, instead of being irregularly intermingled. In fact, the same thing occurs in Isaiah, where the first part (ch. i.-xxxix.) is made up, in a considerable degree, of historic allusions mingled with prophecy; and where the second part (ch. xl.-Ixvi.) is wholly prophetic. Besides, any one must admit, that on the supposition that Daniel was the sole author of the book, nothing would be more natural than this very arrangement. What objection could there be to the supposition that one part of his book might relate to historic incidents mainly—though even these have a strong prophetic character—and that the other should be composed of prophecies? What would there be in his condition or character that would forbid such a supposition?
(6) The other circumstance is, that, between these two parts, there is a change in the person of the writer; that in the first portion, (ch. i.-vi., he uses the third person when speaking of Daniel, and in the other, (ch. vii.—xii.,) the first person. This is, in the main, true, though it is true also that in the second part, the third person is sometimes used when speaking of himself, (ch. vii. 1, x. 1.) But in regard to this, it may be observed, (1.) that it is no uncommon thing for an author to speak of himself in the third person. This is uniformly done by Cæsar in his Commentaries, and this fact is never urged now as an argument against the genuineness of his work. (2.) This is often done by the prophets. See Is. ii. 1, vii. 3, xiii. 1; Ezek. i. 3. So Hosea, throughout the first chapter of his book, speaks uniformly of himself in the third person, and in chs. ï. and üïiin the first person; and so Amos, ch. vii. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, speaks of himself in the first person, and again, vs. 12, 14, in the third person. It may be added, that it is the uniform method, also, of the Evangelist John to speak of himself in the third person; and, in fact, this is so common in authors that it can constitute no argument against the genuineness of any particular book.
It may be observed, also, that, in general, those who have denied the genuineness and authenticity of the Book of Daniel, have admitted that it is the work of one author. This is expressly admitted by Lengerke, p. ci., who says, “ The identity of the author appears from the uniformity of the plan, and the relations which the different parts bear to each other; that the historical and prophetic parts are related to each other; that there is a certain uniform gradation (Stufenfolge) of the oracles from the uncertain to the certain; that there is a remarkable similarity of ideas, images, and forms of speech; and that in
the respective parts of the Hebrew and Chaldee, there is great similarity of style.” The same opinion is maintained by Dereser, Gesenius, Bleek, De Wette, Kirms, Hoffmann, and Hengstenberg; though nearly all of these authors suppose that it was written in the time of the Maccabees. They admit, however, that it is the work of a single author. Eichhorn and Bertholdt appear to have been the only authors of distinction who have denied it.
(2.) The identity of the book appears from the manner in which it is written in respect to language. We have already seen that a part of it is written in Hebrew, and a part in Chaldee. From the beginning to ch. ii. 4, it is Hebrew; then from ch. ii. 4, to the end of ch. vii. it is Chaldee, and the remainder (ch. viii.—xii.) is Hebrew. Now, it may be admitted, that if the historical part (ch. i.—vi.) had been wholly in either of these languages, and the prophetical part (ch. vii. xii.) had been wholly in the other, it might have constituted a plausible argument against the identity of the book. But the present arrangement is one that furnishes no such argument. It cannot well be conceived that if the work were the production of two authors, one would begin his portion in one language and end it in another, and that the other would just reverse the process in regard to languages. Such an arrangement would not be likely to occur in two independent compositions, professedly treating of the same general subjects, and intended to be palmed off as the work of one author. As it is, the arrangement is natural, and easy to be accounted for; but the other supposition would imply an artifice in composition which would not be likely to occur, and which would be wholly unnecessary for any purpose which can be imagined.
(3.) The identity of the book appears from the fact that it refers to the same series of subjects; that the same great design is pursued through the whole. Thus, in the two parts, though the first is mainly historical, and the last prophetical, there is a remarkable parallelism between the predictions in ch. ii. and in ch. vii. The same great series of events is referred to, though in different forms; and so throughout the book, as remarked above in the quotation from Lengerke, we meet with the same ideas, the same modes of speech, the same symbols, the same imagery, the operation of the same mind, and the manifestation of the same character in the authors. The Daniel of the first part is the Daniel of the last; and, in this respect, the similarity is so great as to leave the irresistible impression