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most complicated path. It has chosen the narrow way, the steep way, the upward way, and it has maintained its choice. in spite of infinite obstructions and innumerable actual

reverses.

Do not misunderstand me. I am not arguing against the doctrine; I am arguing against its exclusive agency. Nature has made a choice-a selection; and it is not a natural selection. It has chosen to go up the hill, with two other alternatives before it. That choice indicates something as special as a special creation. Why do we value the belief in a special creation? Is it not simply because it implies a purpose, a choice on the part of nature? Here, in the very heart of evolution, there is necessitated the same choice; things go up when they might go down, when they might remain moveless. We take our stand beside the seer of Patmos; we look back. We expect to find the elements of decay, or, at the most, the forms of stagnation. Instead of that, what do we see? The steps of an ascending stair as aspiring as the ladder of Jacob. We hear the sound of a trumpet behind us; the voice of the past is a voice of triumph. Each move is a movement forward, each act is an ascent. The block of dead matter, the crystal, the plant, the animal, the primitive man, the tribal man, the national man, the cosmopolitan man—all these rise before us like the sloping steps of an altar. A hundred influences are present to interrupt their ascent: but they climb pertinaciously to their sabbath, and pause not till they reach the goal. What is that but a deliberately selective purpose-a revelation of the fact that, when the foundations of the earth were laid, Divine Wisdom was there.

This, then, to us, as to the seer of Patmos, is still the sabbath rest of the soul. He sought his revelation from the past. The joy of the Apocalypse is mainly a retrospective joy. All its songs point back. All its notes of jubilee are

over the triumph behind-the triumph that came out of the tragedy. If men cease not day nor night to praise, it is from the vision of yesterday, the vision of the crown through the cross: "worthy is the Lamb that was slain." Some such vision awaits our retrospect too. It is through the cross of struggle that the world has reached the present goal, its upward goal. It is through the midst of the forces making for stagnation or for retardation that this wondrous piece of mechanism has cleared its way, steering ever toward the stars. In the light of such a fact, the mode of its origin seems a small thing. Call it creation, call it evolution, call it emanation, call it what you will, the fact remains inviolate and inviolable, that it moves along a path of purpose, and selects a course demanding intelligent choice. With such a retrospect as that, we may well be in the spirit of the Lord's day.

GEORGE MATHESON.

THE LINGUISTIC HISTORY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT AND MAURICE VERNES' DATING OF THE DOCUMENTS.

IT has long been recognised that the linguistic characteristics of literary documents provide a valid criterion when the origin of a particular literature is under discussion. The saying “ ή ἡ λαλιά σου δῆλόν σε ποιεῖ” (Matt. 26. 73) applies also to books. And the fact has been grasped and applied by the historians of profane literature. For example, Th. Vogel,1 in reference to a dialogue ascribed to Tacitus, has proved by linguistic arguments, "Universum colorem sermonis adeo esse Quintilianeum, ut non modo aequalem ejus sed amicum discipulumve scriptorem fuisse

1 Th. Vogel, De Dialogi qui Taciti nomine fertur sermonc Judicium. Lipsiae,

1881.

2

statuendum sit." Further, Dittenberger wrote: "Where there is a question as to the genuineness or non-genuineness of any work, there can be no more trustworthy ground of investigation than an accurate and searching observation of linguistic usage. This is recognised on all hands, at least in principle, although in practice this is unfortunately not the method always followed." Dittenberger's principle and result have quite lately been examined and established by Joh. von Arnim. He has given an exhaustive examination to the "formulae affirmationis" which are employed in Plato's writings: in the first place to the "adverbia quae vim augendi habent” (πάνυ, μάλα, σφόδρα, παντάπασιν, ναὶ, πάντως, παντελῶς, ὑπερφυῶς, and κομιδῇ), and subsequently to form other "genera affirmationum." In the course of this examination he has discovered such important distinctions between the different works of Plato that he is able, by the aid of these distinctions, to arrange them in a chronological series.

1

It must be observed, however, that in the application of literary arguments derived from linguistic features it is, above all, necessary to distinguish carefully between the two following groups of linguistic phenomena. We must separate such linguistic differences as can be described as coaval because they appear in authors of the same linguistic stage, from those which are to be called successive because they present themselves in consecutive periods of the language in question.

For example, the differences which Dittenberger and Von Arnim have observed in Plato's writings are coæval, and differences of the same kind can be established in the Old Testament. Observe the linguistic peculiarities of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, which I pointed out in my previous

1 Dittenberger (Professor in Halle), "Sprachliche Kriterien für die Chronologie der Platonischen Dialogie" (in Hermes, 1881, pp. 321-345).

2 V. Arnim, De Platonis Dialogis quaestiones chronologicae, 1896.

article (EXPOSITOR, 1896, p. 90 f.). But still more noteworthy in this respect are the two pairs of actual contemporaries-Jeremiah and Zephaniah, Haggai and Zechariah. The latter pair, for instance, agree together in the frequent use of the Infinitive Absolute in place of the Finite Verb; cf. Haggai 1. 6 (four times), 9; Zechariah 3. 4; 6. 10; 7. 3, 5. But the one, in order to move his hearers to earnest zeal, employs the simple expression, “Be strong" (Hag. 2. 4, three times); the other says, "Let your hands be strong" (Zech. 8. 9, 13); cf. Haggai 1. 5, 7; 2. 15, 18, with Zechariah 1. 4.

Still more important, however, are the successive differences in diction. The fact that these differences appear in the style of the Old Testament did not wholly escape the scholars of earlier centuries. Buxtorf1 himself, for instance, remarked on 2 (Eccles. 5. 14; 9. 12; 10. 3; 12. 7), "Apud Rabbinos frequentissimus est; at in Bibliis nonnisi in Ecclesiaste reperitur." This was an indication that the form of Hebrew which appears in Koheleth marks a stage of transition from the old Hebrew to the new. Similarly, in our own time, Kauler has concluded, "At the very first glance into the Hebrew text of the Book of Ecclesiastes the conviction forces itself upon every competent student that the Hebrew here bears the marks of a much later linguistic period than the Solomonic, and even than the classical period of Jewish literature as a whole."

But the successive differences which are found within the Old Testament literature were accurately recognised for the first time in our own century. In particular Gesenius

1 Buxtorf, Thesaurus Grammaticus, 1651, p. 538.

2 Franz Kauler (Professor of Catholic Theology in Bonn), Einleitung in die Heilige Schrift, 1892, ii. 393.

3 Gesenius, Geschichte der Hebräischen Sprache und Schrift, 1815, p. 20 ff.: "With the exile there begins a new epoch of speech and literature, which is distinguished especially by approximation to the East-Aramaic dialect, to which the Jews had become accustomed in the land of the Exile.

already distinguished "two eras" in the diction of the Old Testament. Since then, however, these successive differences in Old Testament Hebrew have been established

with far greater care. An important achievement was the observation of the respective frequency with which the two expressions for "I" ("N and DN) are used in the different writings of the Old Testament. Especially important also was the investigation of the different combinations of numerals and their manifold collocations with their substantives. I quote a single instance. stands before its substantive in Genesis 11. 13, 15; Exodus 23. 14, 17; 27. 1; 34. 23 f.; 38. 1; Leviticus 19. 23; Numbers 22. 28, 32 f.; 24. 10; Deuteronomy 4. 41; 14. 28; 16. 16; 19. 2, 7, 9; Judges 9. 22; 16. 15; 1 Samuel 20. 31; 2 Samuel 13. 38; 21. 1; 1 Kings 2. 39; 7. 4 f.; 9. 25; 10. 22; 15. 2; 17. 21; 22. 1; 2 Kings 13. 18 f., 25; 17. 5; 18. 10; 24. 1; 25. 17; Isaiah 16. 14; 20. 3; Jeremiah 36. 23; Ezekiel 40. 48; 41. 22; Amos 4. 8; Job 1. 2; 42. 13; 1 Chronicles 21. 12; 2 Chronicles 8. 13; 9. 21; 12. 2; 31. 16; but w follows its substantive, Joshua 21. 22; Daniel 1. 5; 1 Chronicles 25. 5; 2 Chronicles vi. 13; 11. 17 (twice). Exactly similar is the successive change of usage in regard to the other numbers, as I shall show in my Syntax by the collection of all the relative passages.

There is therefore an historical progress of Old Testament diction to be recognised, and the natural character of this process is moreover guaranteed by the fact that it is found to be in most remarkable parallelism with the course of development of other languages, both old and This also has been proved in my Lehrgebäude by a comprehensive comparison of Semitic and other languages. Of this knowledge of the historical development of Old Testament diction I propose in this article to make only a single application. For I will only raise and answer the question, What have the successive differences in Old

new.

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