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to which their religious consciousness had attained; consequently every thing that relates to the people, whether public or private, is referred directly to him. But it is different with the use of the name Elohim : this is a general name for the Deity, and has reference to no particular historical development of the religious consciousness. It is a plural in form, but used in the singular : it is not a plural of majesty, for it is used in the singular when speaking of a single Heathen Deity, as Dagon, 1 Sam. v. 7, &c.
It was therefore a general term and always used by the Jews when the introduction of the name Jehovah was considered as derogatory to its supreme dignity and importance. So we find in the Jehovah Document that the serpent uses Elohim, and also it is Elohim who blesses Japhet, ix. 26, but Jehovah who blesses Shem. Here we clearly see there is no merely mechanical use made of the different names for the Deity, and hence we must recognize in the use of the name Jehovah, as well as the introduction of the Mosaic ritual into the ante-mosaic times, a specific object. Nor does this seem difficult to discover. When the Hebrews began to give themselves with enthusiasm to the service of Jehovah, the idea of a gradual development of the knowledge of God appeared too cold: nay, to their feelings it became impossible that men so excellent as the great patriarchs of their race should have been deficient in a knowledge now not denied to the meanest; and the same class of feelings which now induce many Christians to believe contrary to all evidence that the Trinity and Atonement were ideas familiar to the Jews, must have acted far more powerfully at a time when knowledge of the real state of facts was more difficult to be obtained, and fancy was allowed in every respect a more unconfined range. Need we wonder then that they welcomed with approbation the work of a later author, who without destroying the original document rendered it by interpolation so much more suitable to their wishes and their religious wants; for every one can easily see that as a work for religious edification it is wonderfully improved by these copious additions : by this means the Patriarchs no longer appear as mere models of moral excellence, but they become patterns of the attentive observance of the law.
Nor is it difficult to see how the introduction of this new element must have brought many other changes into the way of viewing antiquity; instead of seeing merely the mercy of God preserving Sarah to Abraham as in the case of her being taken into Abimelech's house, as is recorded in the Elohim Document, chap. xx.; we find in the Jehovah Document, chap. xii., that “ Jehovah plagued Pharoah and his house with great plagues," on account of a similar transaction, and left them to learn by
Egyptians of his anachronis evil they had do troducerea of Jehovw by experihe author
suffering to find out the evil they had done, though by a continuation of his anachronism the author probably supposed the Egyptians to know by experience that great plagues were the language of Jehovah to them. Again, when Jehovah was introduced as giving Jacob the birthright in opposition to his elder brother, this was no longer a sufficient guarantee, as Esau now no longer worshipped the same God, and hence we find Jacob is represented as obtaining, by fraud, his father's blessing in order to give validity to the promise before made to him. But we need enter into no further enumeration of details before we draw our general conclusion of the respective value of the two documents. And if we admit that the first is historical in its general features, we must allow that the latter is mythical in its entire point of view, and mode of representation.-We shall, perhaps, the more readily admit this conclusion, if we consider the difference between Tradition and Mythos. In the first a real occurrence is the groundwork, and if we could suppose the tradition correct in all its parts, it would present to us true history, but we are well aware, that from this tradition is far removed, for the treachery of memory must inevitably impair its correctness and truth. Indeed a perfectly correct tradition would be a greater miracle than direct revelation, because a miraculous influence would have to be exerted over a greater number of individuals. In the Mythos, on the contrary, an idea is the basis, and the narrative form is merely the covering in which it is clothed. That it should often assume the form of real history must arise from the desire to give it greater apparent probability; we find too the details are often given in it with a minuteness which an eye witness alone could with truth record—this circumstance is therefore sometimes most erroneously adduced as a proof of the purely historical nature of such memoirs. If we consider the additional records which are given us of the patriarchal times in the Jehovah Document we shall find that they bear all the impress of Mythi, for we can easily trace the cause of their invention in all those cases in which the Patriarchs follow the Law of Moses,-indeed the reason is too obvious to require more than the short statement which has been given before, and many of the Mythi bear too strong an impress of national hate to require us to seek further for their origin. This is particularly obvious in the curse inflicted by Noah on Canaan his grandson on account of his father's transgression, chap. ix. 22—27. It is probable that, urged by the apparently older genealogy which the earlier possession of Canaan gave to the Canaanites, the Jews were induced to invent the story of Cain and Abel, probably finding it more easy to vilify the character of their ancestors than to deprive them of the claim, and to this seems to agree that Cain is a husbandman, and to his posterity the origin of the arts is traced, while Abel was a keeper of sheep. In the same way we may suppose the murderous design attributed to Esau to have been invented, xxvii. 41. These are but a few of the instances which might be adduced, and of which a great many may be found either by an attentive perusal of the book itself, or by a reference to 6 Die Genesis," von P. von Bohlen, Professor zu Königsberg, 1835, or “ Kommentar über die Genesis," von Dr. Friedrich Luch, Privat docent au der Universität zu Halle, 1838. The perusal of either of these works would be found extremely interesting, the former more excites to thought, the latter attends more to the solution of minor difficulties. But both speak their sentiments with a freedom and impartiality not often found in the theological writings of this country.
ART. III.—THE COMPLAINTS OF A LAYMAN.
THERE is at present in England a large class of men, comprising many of the most cultivated, influential, and reflecting minds which illustrate and adorn our country, who seldom take up a professedly religious book at all; or, if they do, speedily replace it on the shelf with mingled feelings of disappointment, dissatisfaction and disgust. They seldom enter a place of worship; or, if they do, they leave it in a discontented and indignant frame of mind, which it certainly should not be the effect of religious exercises to engender.
Yet these are men of serious and sincere feelings ;—too acute to despise—too thoughtful to neglect Religion ;—too deeply imbued with all the profounder sympathies, and all the warmer affections of our Nature, not to be painfully alive to the want of something to satisfy the devotional spirit and the tendency to remote and sublime speculation, ever inherent in the highest order of intellects. They are “ Beings holding large discourse, looking before and after." Such men would not only be brilliant ornaments, they would be invaluable allies of the Religious World. Yet they belong not to it. They stand apart from it. They have no sympathy with it. Does the fault in this case lie with the Writers and the Preachers, or with the Readers and the Hearers ?
We can scarcely find any inoffensive and permitted terms strong enough to express the loathing we have felt, when, as has often happened, it has been our lot to encounter men, gifted by nature with the feeblest intellect,-possessing only the meanest acquirements, and the narrowest culture,-asserting the natural aversion of the human heart for topics of sacred interest,—and gravely appealing for the confirmation of their assertion, to the indifference or reluctance with which their own writings or discourses are received! The doctrine of the natural alienation of the mind from God has been an error of fatal tendency in more ways than one. But in no way—and we speak it deliberatelyin no way has its operation wrought more deadly injury, than by blinding the eyes of Teachers of Religion, and leading them to look in the moral deficiencies of their audience, instead of in the intellectual deficiencies of themselves, for an explanation of the sad and humiliating result of their labours,—of the general preference of profane to sacred literature,—and of the symptoms of weariness and impatience which, they cannot fail to perceive, are the frequent effects of their prelections. They are at first
feeling n therach Witit the avou
puzzled at the meagre and miserable harvest which crowns their labours; but they find a ready solution of the problem in the assumed stoniness of the soil, when a still readier and truer might be found in the poverty of the seed, and the scanty skill of the husbandman.
Without attempting to enter into an elaborate refutation of the doctrine just mentioned, it is sufficient for our present purpose to affirm that the men to whom our remarks have reference, are so far from feeling any distaste towards sacred subjects, that there are none which they revolve more frequently or more fully,—none which they approach with so intense an interest, none on which they so earnestly solicit the aid and the sympathy of superior minds,-none on which they would hail with equal rapture the advent of a brighter light. They cannot therefore think that the fault lies wholly or chiefly with themselves. When they take up works by Professors of other walks of intellect,-of Science-of Philosophy—of Literature,—they are rewarded by finding new and original views,—discoveries of patient and profound research,—useful and beautiful illustrations drawn from all cognate subjects,--and the vivifying spirit of a vigorous and brilliant intellect diffused over the whole. They feel that they have been communing with minds from which their own can derive assistance and support, and that their previous conceptions have been corrected, enlarged, and carried forward. And to such works they recur with never-failing zest.
But when these men, with minds cultivated by long study, with a taste refined by intimate intercourse with the classical writers of ancient and modern times—patient of research, and inured to habits of close and fearless reasoning-open the religious writings, or attend the Religious Teachers of the day, the impression is a very different, and a very painful one. Too often the subject, far from being elevated, is depressed; far from being adorned, is divested of its native charms. Religion, in such hands, resembles the beautiful captive in the Arabian Tales, who, whenever her master approached her, became cold, motionless, and frightful, and from an object of desire became an object of aversion. The disappointed reader of religious works too generally finds in them ignorance of Nature and of Historypoverty of illustration, clumsiness of style, the most shallow and ordinary conceptions, and attempts at reasoning, which present no logical sequence, and no moral cogency. Instead of finding his feelings carried deeper, and his conceptions carried higher, the one has been deadened, and the other been repressed. He is thrown back upon his own resources; and a few repeti