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very centre of the Egyptian greatness, might only increase his apprehension at the thought of braving it. He was, as we have said, one of the noblest minds of humanity. But even his splendid endowment of moral and mental gifts could not so entirely have removed the traces of such predispositions as that they should not make themselves visible, and count for something in accounting for what we speak of. Bearing in mind these essential facts-the lingering infusion of weakness which the fine and noble character of Moses had not yet succeeded in shaking off, and the completeness of his former ill success in the rôle of a popular leader-we shall be able to come to the consideration of this episode of his career with something like adequate appreciation of it.
Moses then meets the divine call with a succession of excuses. First, he puts forth the plea (iv. 1) that the revelation made to him will not be credited. Driven from that ground by his being furnished with a miraculous credential, he then pleads: I am not eloquent, 77, iKavòs Tрò Tηs XOès, &c. (LXX.), but I am slow of speech (ioxvóówvos) and of a slow tongue (βραδύγλωσσος). These epithets might fairly be understood to have a reference to Moses' long solitude in the desert, during which he had neither heard nor spoken his own native Hebrew nor the vernacular Egyptian. But, in fact, this disability of speech, even if not altogether imaginary and having its root in Moses' secret reluctance to confront the stubborn tribes, the sneering courtiers, and the awful majesty of Pharaoh, had no real weight, and was instantly disallowed. Aaron, a man naturally Moses' inferior, but who had enjoyed a continuous familiarity both with the Egyptian and the Hebrew tongues, should serve as interpreter. Even then the shrinking of Moses from the offered mission found expression in the entreaty,' Send some one else, O my Lord!' The natural inquiry is, why are we to take this alleged hesitancy of speech as representing actual literal fact, when no other of the pleas put forth by Moses is so taken, and all the probabilities go to show that it was merely the weakness of the reluctant, self-distrusting human nature recoiling before the prospect of a mission which it would require skill and tenacity almost more than human worthily to perform? Yet the usual idea as to Moses' hesitancy of speech seems to be founded on no better reason than such an invalid inference. There is absolutely no trace of this hesitancy in the subsequent narrative, or on any one of the many subsequent occasions when 'Moses spake unto the people.' An initial slowness there may always have been-the vis inertia of a
large nature, whose forces are as difficult to get into play as they are irresistible when once aroused to action; but that the Moses who (even upon every rationalist hypothesis) wrote, at all events in great part, the Pentateuch, and was a poet of so high a rank as his songs extant show-should be slowwitted and stammering we shall be slow to believe. There is a certain proportion in the faculties of a great mind, and it is unlikely that a genius of the very highest order should allow itself permanently to be hampered by a mere physical defect, if such existed. And our view, as we have explained, is that there was none; but that the pleading of imaginary, or almost imaginary, defects would be quite in keeping with the long exile of Moses and the reluctance he showed to undertake the mission to which he was called. So far, therefore, as the unlikelihood of the Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy is supposed to follow from the inability of Moses to deliver the lengthened discourses of which it is in great part composed, that unlikelihood appears to us altogether ill-founded.
Taking then the fact as established that Deuteronomy originated in the Mosaic age, we have finally to inquire what indications the book itself affords of its history. It may be roughly defined as consisting of:-1st. A brief introduction. 2nd. Three discourses delivered by Moses to the Israelites, in anticipation of his approaching death, during the first ten days of the eleventh month of the fortieth year from their coming out of Egypt. And 3rd. A somewhat heterogeneous collection of pièces historiques, comprising--(a) the formal appointment of Joshua; (b) the Song or Psalm of Moses; (c) his blessing or valedictory address to the tribes; (d) an account of his death and burial. It is apparently the work of one hand, and that probably the hand of the scribe who wrote down the addresses. There are not wanting traces of such an official (Deut. xxxi. 19), and the various occasions (xxxi. 9, 24) upon which the statement is made that 'Moses wrote this law' must be understood that he caused it to be written, dictated it, and was responsible for what was so written. We need have no doubt that it was substantially the Book of Deuteronomy as we have it (as far at all events as the end of chap. xxx.), which was put into the keeping of the priests, 'the Levites' (xxxi. 25); whilst the remaining chapters are clearly contemporary, and must have been added certainly during the same generation, probably by the same hand. That the bulk of i.-xxx. was actually delivered to the people as speeches there can be little doubt. The extempore style, which is very different (we need hardly say) from that
of ordinary literary composition, full of repetitions (xxviii. 3-7, 15-19), strongly contrasted clauses (vv. 11-13), vivid rhetorical pictures full of details (vv. 30, 31, 56), speaks for itself. Possibly the legal documents incorporated in these discourses (xiv. 3-21; portions of xxi., xxii., xxxiii.) may have been 'taken as read.'
The Book of Deuteronomy may be called a popular digest of the Mosaic Law. It includes a good many details, and all the great principles upon which that law is constructed. It is plain, simple, popular, not shunning continual repetition, because its author knew the exceeding density and 'slowness of heart' of the people with whom he had to deal. If we compare one of the earliest of the Mosaic 'institutes,' the Ten Commandments, with the curses in Deut. xxvii. 15-26, which are one of the latest, and are obviously modelled upon them, we shall see how great was Moses' skill in statecraft, and how much he appreciated the advantages of perfect plainness, teaching by concrete instances, and continual repetition. It is a further proof of this practical wisdom that the book is directed to be read aloud once every seven years at the feast of tabernacles before the assembled tribes (xxxi. 10, II), i.e. in the Sabbatical year, when the usual culture of the land was intermitted, and the Israelites had leisure to assemble for the purpose. We cannot indeed suppose that this far-seeing intention of the lawgiver was carried out. This beneficent provision also, like so many parts of the Law, probably remained inoperative. But that such an expedient should have been enjoined is sufficient of itself to constitute an extremely strong preiudicium in favour of the early date of the book. Quite other modes of publication were in vogue by the time, e.g., of the Captivity; the Sabbatical years themselves had ceased to be observed; and we may ask what conceivable forger would have invented a mode of publication of the Law of which no one (on the rationalistic hypothesis) had ever heard, and which would strike him as altogether inadequate to the requirements of a great and by that time widespread population? Similarly the requirements to be fulfilled by a king of Israel, which are often quoted as a proof of the lateness of the date at which it was composed, seem to us, on the contrary, a proof of its antiquity. For in what age could such a list of postulanda have originated if not in the Mosaic? In the days of the early kings? But it is the exact point of the rationalistic case that the Law was then entirely unknown; and we presume no one would seriously maintain that a forger would compile the book with
such great care and skill, and then put it by for 150 years to mellow and get aged, as sham antiques are buried, with the intent that it should come out, say a hundred years later, after the writer himself was dead, to deceive every one into the belief that it was authentic. Nor could it well have originated under the later kings, who, for the most part, violated in their ascent to power and in their lives every one of its prescriptions. It would hardly have been a safe undertaking during those times of sudden and illegal violence, when the royal power was literally (like the Turkish power has always been) without any check save that of superior force, to have been known to have thrown a sort of doubt over the royal title in a book to appear during the life of the writer. If it did not
appear at once, then motive would, as in the former case, be wanting; and besides, we come upon admitted historical notice of the book by that time. And thus one line of investigation after another leads us back to the earlier date which the book itself claims.
Here, however, we must leave the subject. We may have overrated the cogency of the arguments which, to our mind, show decisively the authenticity of this book and the inconclusive nature of the innumerable assaults which have been made upon it. But we do not overrate, we are convinced, the importance of the subject. To establish the authenticity of the Book of Deuteronomy is to establish that of the entire Pentateuch; and the Pentateuch is the guarantee at once of natural religion, and of the entire dispensation of Moses. But if this divine legation of Moses' be accepted with all its incidents, then the whole question of the supernatural is virtually ruled. Locutus Moses; causa finita est.
ART. VII.—THROUGH NATURE TO CHRIST.
Through Nature to Christ; or, the Ascent of Worship through Illusion to the Truth. By EDWIN A. ABBOTT, D.D., formerly Fellow of S. John's College, Cambridge. (London: Macmillan and Co., 1877.)
THERE are two distinct methods of Christian apology, and as long as the division between minds that see likeness and minds that see difference holds good, there will continue to be two; the defensive method, which, entrenching itself within the limits of the ancient dogma, is content to treat all the forms of antagonistic opinion as 'not proven,' and the aggressive method, which goes down to meet them all in the arena, and claims from each its special and peculiar contribution to the sum of truth. One is more especially the method of old age, when the love of novelty has passed away, and disturbance from without become impossible, and men retire, as the night closes over each avenue of sense, to meditate in the inner chamber of their souls on the faith once delivered to the saints. This is the method of S. John. But the other, with its buoyant hopefulness, is the method which attracts the young. It is the especially missionary method; that of S. Paul preaching at Athens, of Clement, and all those who before and after him came from the great Catechetical School of Alexandria, of the Alexandrians, of the Oratorians, and of all who in any age have advanced the Church's frontier, by becoming all things to all men, that by all means they might save some. And complementary though the two are, and always must be, to each other, their relative importance cannot but vary immensely from age to age. At a time when antiChristian opinion is negative and sceptical, but not active in construction, it is best encountered by the reassertion of old. truths in their majestic changelessness; but in an age like the present, when a variety of positive and aggressive systems are claiming to supersede Christianity, on the ground that they can offer a more true and consistent explanation of the facts of life, the function of the apologist is altogether different. And it is to the young of the present age that Dr. Abbott appeals in the book before us :
'I address myself principally,' he says, 'to the young. I do so, not because I would not gladly address myself to the old as well,