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Lectures are practically a reply to him, and both text and notes abound with references to him. The aim of these Warburton Lectures is thus described:
'My object......has not been so much to treat of the entire mass of Old Testament prophecy as to illustrate the special relation of a few salient and typical samples of it to Christian evidence. If their value can be established, it would seem that a solid ground is discovered for our estimate of prophecy as a whole; or at all events we cannot set it aside as a whole if parts of it are characterised by features so remarkable. For that these are the only parts so characterised is not for a moment to be supposed. They are merely treated as specimens of the rest.' (P. vi.)
Professor Leathes has his own views about the office of prophecy, and the argument to be drawn from it; on these we shall have something to say in the sequel, but for awhile we pass them by, to trace his line of thought and reasoning about two or three selected prophecies.
The First Lecture has for text St. Peter's words: To Him give all the prophets witness, etc.' (Acts x. 43.) Whether or not St. Peter actually spoke these words-whether, that is, the Acts of the Apostles is genuine history or a pious forgery-they witness to the faith of the early Church. It is an indisputable fact that the fulfilment of prophecy was a powerful engine in the original founding of the Christian Church, and the first promulgation of Christianity.'
'The writers of the several books of the New Testament, whether of those whose genuineness has never been called in question, or of those whose claim to it has indeed been disputed, though without adequate, or at all events conclusive reasons, are alike unanimous in their appeal to prophecy as that which had received a new and unexpected light in the recent and notorious events which they proclaimed, and as something which vouched for the importance of those events. It is a phenomenon in these writings which has yet to be explained, how it was that the prophetic language of the Old Testament lent itself with such
marked facility to the purposes of their authors, and how they of all men were the only persons to avail themselves of it, if, as it might be alleged, that language was inherently devoid of any significance, and did not become unexpectedly significant and luminous when applied by them.' (P. 4.)
Here is a broad and general coincidence. The apparent fulfilment of prophecy certainly exercised a mighty influence over both Jews and Gentiles, to whom first were preached Jesus and the Resurrection. a marvellous thing that the apostles of a new religion should find ready to their hand prophecies that were in form predictions, and which so strongly resembled recent events that the latter were currently regarded as the fulfilment of the former. may well make us pause before we accept the notion that the broad and general-we might add, detailed and minute-coincidence was only a happy accident, a lucky chance, rather than that it was designed of Providence. The only escape from this dilemma is the assertion that
Jesus Christ deliberately set Himself to the fulfilment of prophecies that were never meant to be fulfilled, in order that His apostles might have for their use a potent weapon of deception-an idea too absurd to need refutation. And even if true, it would require explanation how the wonderful weapon came to be there.
Professor Leathes devotes two Lectures to the promise given to Abraham: Unto thy seed will I give this land; . . . . and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' (Genesis xii. 7,3; xxii. 18; xxvi. 4; xxviii. 14.) Historical criticism allows that the record that enshrines this promise was a very ancient one at the time of Christ; the Book of Genesis could not at that time be less than a thousand years old. The record asserted that the promise was much
older than the Book that contained it, and generally that Book was deemed far more than a thousand years old. But let us accept the date advanced liberal criticism' assigns to the Book, and ask no higher date for the promise. After all, the prophecy is acknowledged to have preceded the event which we believe to be the fulfilment of it. Yet in the very earliest ages of the Christian Church the promise could be claimed in support of the religion of Jesus Christ, and the writer of the Epistle to the Galatians could comment: 'And to thy seed, which is Christ.' And, on the face of it, the incarnation and atonement of our Lord remarkably answer to the promise, while the resemblance is not of that character which will allow us to say that Jesus Christ performed such and such works simply that He might accomplish the prediction and thereby entice men into the acceptance of Himself and His doctrines. Nor
is the promise found solely in Genesis, imbedded there like a mere relic of antiquity, without practical effect upon the life of the nation. It was the charter by which Israel held the land of Canaan; without it the exodus and the invasion are unfathomable mysteries; and the national literature is full of it: prophets appeal to it, poets sing of it, historians refer to it. Every reader of the Old Testament may easily verify this statement.
The Book of Genesis that records
the promise to Abraham records also
promise made to Adam concerning the seed of the woman. 'Looking at the Book of Genesis merely as a literary production,' can it be doubted that the author intended us to connect the two promises? And, if so, we must then look at the promise to Abraham, not only in the light of all that followed after it, but also in that of something likewise, which went before it. And then the difficulty is increased of accounting for those various phenomena as so many designed and intentional features in a merely fictitious narrative.' And the literature subsequent to Genesis contains, even in its historical portions, promises of a prophet, priest and king to come, which were never satisfied under the Old Dispensation. The Prophets and the Psalms expand these promises in such a manner as to place it beyond question that Israel expected world-wide rule, and to be constituted the channel of world-wide blessing. The evidence is overwhelming that such was the continuous expectation of Israel that grew with the national growth and strengthened with its strength, and that no misfortune quelled. Can we account for this living hope otherwise than by accepting the reality of the promise to Abraham? And if we accept that, how much of the demand Christianity makes on prophecy can be refused?
(To be concluded.)
Kuenen, as might be expected, tries to break the force of the promise by translating "the families of the earth shall bless themselves (or one another) with Abraham,' and expounds shall wish for themselves, or for one another, the blessing which Jahveh bestowed upon him.' Dr. Leathes has a learned note defending the English version. We must leave the two Hebraists to settle their own disputes; the ordinary reader of the original, ignorant of previous translations, would probably at first sight render the pas sage after Kuenen's fashion, but he would not doubt that it was grammatically susceptible of the other meaning. It must be borne in mind that the Apostles did not give this signification to the words, but found it in current use. It is the translation of the Septuagint.
NOTES ON CURRENT SCIENCE:
BY THE REV. W. H. DALLINGER, F.R.S., F.R.M.S.
THE Rede Lecture for this year was delivered at the Senate House of Cambridge University by Professor Humphrey; and dealt with the prehistoric condition and present state and possible future of man. was an able and careful exposition of our present knowledge on a profoundly interesting subject; and was treated with caution and accuracy. After dealing with anatomical questions, and pointing out that the differences between man and other animals consist in the proportion and relations to one another of the various parts of the body, more particularly the balancing of the head and trunk upon the lower limbs, the size of the brain and the repression of the jaws, -he was able to show clearly that the skulls of the earliest prehistoric inhabitants of this island, for example, so far from showing approximation to the brute, were, on the contrary, refined, well-proportioned, with their brain cavity larger than the average of modern Europeans, and that they were marked on the interior, in such a manner, as to indicate that the brain convolutions were as numerous they are in the finest type of skull at this day. Nor were there any signs of degradation in any other part of the skeletons found. Stone implements were, of course, used; and the earlier of the two races who used these were of short stature, with heads elongated from front to back. Judging from racial characteristics and other indications, it is supposed that these people were very widely spread over Europe, before the Aryan migration from the Northern highlands of the Himalaya mountains populated this immense tract of the earth's surface, forming the IndoEuropean peoples. This primitive race is now represented by the Basques; and their traces are left in
the Midland Counties of England, in Wales, and in Ireland. In precisely the same way the skulls from the older caves on the Continent tell the same truths. The Engis and Neanderthal skulls, so celebrated in the prehistoric relations of man, as well as others from the South of France and Italy, all showed ample brain space, good formation of limbs, and unquestionable human character. The Geological evidence hitherto produced, it was asserted, had given no indications of the evolution of man; and Professor Humphrey affirmed that it could now hardly be thought probable that they would ever be found in the Northern Hemisphere. Professor Mivart and Dr. A. Wallace have both shown that man is outside the sphere of the operation, by itself, of the simple law of the survival of the fittest. At least this was clear, and fairly admitted by all, as the evidence afforded by the present, that whilst every year, every week, brings further proof of the operation of variation and the survival of adapted forms in preference to others, over the entire range of the organic forms below man, all investigation hitherto has failed to show any gradation leading from man downwards.
The power of adaptation in animal forms is most striking. Indeed, the discoveries of the past twenty years in this matter would present a new field for the elaboration of a new Teleology, which would be as much richer and more sublime than the older, as the facts are more marvellous. The design' which only ends in rigid adaptation to specialized and fixed conditions, is surely not to be compared with the 'design' which looks prospectively forward to every conceivable variety of surrounding to which an animal or a plant may,
in the future, be subject, and provides it with a potential power of adaptation. To make a steam-engine without a 'governor' was a great thing, but to devise the self-regulative power of the 'governor' was a vast intellectual advance.
The present writer wanted, for certain purposes of investigation, to devise a source of heat, arising from a gas-flame, which should be 'static' --that is, constant-preserving to a fraction of a degree an unalterable temperature in a fluid exposed to its influence. It is well known that the pressure of gas varies; and many other things affect the amount of heat given off in a given time. Now, if the temperature required be an unalterable one, it is not so difficult to hem the source of heat round with conditions that shall make its temperature moderately equal. But the difficulty was to alter the intensity of the temperature at any time to any required point, and yet make the apparatus self-regulative; so that such a temperature would be, by the very construction and adjustment of the instrument, rigidly maintained. Now, such a self-regulative apparatus must surely be more beautiful than one simply keeping rigid and unalterable conditions to which alone it was once and for ever adapted. And the economy of the animal and vegetable forms on this earth have adaptations equivalent to this. They are not only adapted to their present conditions, but if new and unexpected ones arise they are prospectively endowed with a power of adaptation to them. This is the power which man plays upon, as uponthe keyboard of an instrument, in producing, by new surroundings, all the varieties of animal and vegetable so useful to civilization, commerce and art; and so capable of ministering alike to the wealth of nations and the most refined sense of beauty of which man is cognizant. The dray-horse
and the swiftest winner of the Derby,' all the varieties of 'prize' cattle, poultry and pigeons, as well as such superb varieties of form and colour as are obtained by the horticulturist in pansy, palergonium or rose, with a thousand others, are obtainable only on the condition that there is universal in vital forms a power to vary, and by such varia tion to engender new adaptations in future forms that will meet new conditions. The manner in which this has been done under the eyes of man, for the very short time during which he has been an observer of the phenomena, is a magnificent evi dence that design' in nature is deeper and broader than present adaptations it prospects, omnisciently, potential adaptation to all the infinite variety of conditions possible in all the future. Is not this a most glorious design'?
This line of reasoning and thought is evoked by the discovery by Fritz Müller of an Entomostracon-that is, an animal allied to the cyclops and the shrimp, living in trees. We know that there are crabs amphibious animals who have a power, when the need presents itself, to traverse whole tracks of dry land, and climb into trees; but this is an instance of a form whose congeners all live, in sea, and pond and stream, that has, by the exigencies of the past, adapted itself to an arborescent life; and lives amongst the leaves of the bromelaids. But more than this, it is never now found in neighbouring waters, salt or fresh; and although it does not exactly resemble a single living form of entomostracon, it is, save that it is five times less in size, almost exactly, in a general way, like one found in silurian strata as a fossil. It has no power of locomotion from tree to tree, yet all the trees are found to contain this tiny denizen in great abundance; and it is found that it makes the beetles, and other animals
of flight, which are common inhabitants of the same trees, its charioteers to bear it from tree to tree, and part to part of these primæval woods. To the naturalist, who has traced out nature's methods of action in such matters, this is, in all its details, a case of nature's adaptation, corresponding to those adaptations effected by man; but showing in the great Mind from whence the powers of nature and vital form take their rise, unmeasured prospection and purpose the projection of potential adaptation through an unending series of ever-altering conditions.
We can never weary of finding the evidence of the interdependence of animals on plants, and plants on animals. We call repeated attention to these because, as each fresh instance presents itself, it is a fresh proof of the prospective, and therefore infinitely intelligent, design' spoken of above. It is not likely to be inferred beforehand that large numbers of human beings depend at times for their existence upon certain little gall-flies of Asia Minor. In the first place, they actually determine the fertilization of the fig. In the end, if there were no pollen carried from fig-flower to fig-flower, there would be no figs. Just, therefore, as these minute flies are more or less active, is the fertility of the fig crop made more or less complete. The fruit of the fig is not, as in most cases, placed within the flower, but it is a common calyx or receptacle in which the flowers are enclosed. In the centre of this receptacle the cavity is lined with flowers, but the pollenbearing flowers are on one plant, and theseed-bearing flowers are on another. They must be brought into contact with each other. This is accomplished by the little fly orgnat, which desires to enter the cavity for the deposition of its eggs, but in doing so carries the fertilizing pollen.
But there is a small beetle in
Kamtschatka which has more than once been the means of saving the lives of an entire population in the most barren parts of Greenland. They must have perished from starvation, but for the providence of this little beetle! It is one of the features of the flora of the neighbourhood that a certain form of lily grows in great abundance, forming actual pastures' in appearance. This small beetle delights in the bulbs of these lilies, and during the long season of their multiplication they hoard these, in preparation for the long winter of months of dayless night in this inhospitable region; and when all other sources fail, the Greenlanders dig and hunt for the vast hoards of delicate bulbs stored by the beetle, and so live on, until the light once more brings life and vegetation to this dreary clime.
A remarkable electric Tornado has been carefully observed by Professor Tice, of St. Louis, at Marshfield, Missouri. There was no wind attending the storm; but it destroyed every building which had a metal roof, or with any metal of any kind in its construction. It passed directly over several buildings with stone and slate roofs, and tore to fragments others with roofs of metal. A mill which was situated a quarter of a mile from the centre of the cyclone had its chimney torn out and carried a long distance, but the mill itself suffered very little. The bark was torn off trees on all sides, and the sap was sent up in visible vapour; but dead and dry limbs and twigs were not affected, though in immediate contact with the moist ones which were shattered. The storm had all the appearance of an ordinary cyclone, but there was sweep of air, all the damage being effected by a revolving current of