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we read, that “the king of Babylon made Mattaniah king, and changed his name to Zedekiah.” Two of these names, moreover, are apparently derived from those of Babylonish idols.
In Dan. ii. 5, iii. 6, there are tokens of an accurate acquaintance with the forms of capital punishment in use among the Chaldees; while in the sixth chapter, a new sort is described as usual with the Medes and Persians.
The description of the image, in the third chapter, corresponds remarkably with what is known from other sources of the Chaldee taste in sculpture; and the use of music at the worship of it, completely tallies with their well-known fondness for that art.
We find in ch. v. 2, that women were present at the royal banquet. So far was this from being usual in later times, that the Septuagint translators have expunged it from the text. And yet we know from Xenophon, that before the Persian conquest, such was indeed the practice of the Babylonian court.
On no point, however, is this minute knowledge more remarkably displayed, than in relation to the ecclesiastical and civil polity adopted by the two great dynasties which had their seat in Babylon during the life of Daniel. The distinction of ranks, the official functions, and the very titles of the ministry and priesthood, are either stated or alluded to, with a precision, which has forced even Bertholdt to confess, that some parts of the book must needs have been written on the very spot.
Upon this part of the subject Dr. Hengstenberg bestows great pains. A large space is occupied with minute etymological discussion, which we pass by to concur in his concluding interrogatory. How can knowledge so accurate, extensive, and minute, be ascribed without absurdity to any writer, at a perio late as that of the Maccabees, and in a country so remote as Palestine?
8. There are some things peculiar to the prophecies of this book, which clearly indicate that he who was the organ of them, was a bona fide resident in Babylon. In the earlier predictions of this book, as in Zechariah and Ezekiel, we find less poetry and more of symbolik, than in the pure Hebrew prophets. Every thing is designated by material emblems. Beasts are the representatives of kings and kingdoms. The imagery likewise appears cast in a gigantic mould. All this
is in accordance with the Babylonish taste, with which the Prophet was familiar, and to which the Holy Spirit condescended to accommodate his teachings. A striking confirmation of this exegesis is, that this mode of exhibition ceases suddenly and wholly with the Chaldee dynasty. The last four chapters which were written under the Medo-Persian domination, are without a trace of it.
Again, Daniel's visions, like those of Ezekiel, have the banks of rivers for their scene. Does not this imply, that the author had resided in a land of lordly streams? This minute local propriety would scarcely have been looked for in a Canaanitish forger, though writing in full view of the very “ swellings of Jordan."
Again, Daniel, still like his fellow in captivity and the prophetic office, displays a chronological precision quite unknown to earlier seers, but perfectly in keeping with the character of one who had been naturalized among the great astronomers and chronologers of the old world.
9. Our author closes the whole argument with one or two minuter proofs of genuineness, which we need not copy. The weightiest of them may, for substance, be expressed in these two propositions—that the book abounds with things which would be wholly out of character, as coming from a Jew of later times—and that between the historical and prophetic parts of the book, there exists a unity, a sameness, a consistency of character, especially in relation to the writer himself, which stamps the whole as ONE, GENUINE, and AuTHENTIC.
We have read this work of Dr. Hengstenberg with unfeigned satisfaction, and we close it with a high opinion of the author's erudition, ingenuity, and love of truth. The perusal has suggested two reflections, which we are the more disposed to put on paper, for this reason, that they never could arise from a simple reading of the very mcagre abstract which we have presented. There are two things, then, which have struck us very forcibly, since we began this volume. The first is the astonishing diversity of arts to which the devil has resorted for the subversion of men's souls, and the exquisite skill with which they are adapted to successive ages and conditions of society. A Nero or Domitian would, perhaps. have been amazed at the idea of suppressing Christianity by subtle speculations. Hume, in his turn, seems to have had no relish for Voltaire's asp-like sarcasm, or the coarseness of Tom Paine. Rousseau's infidelity is yet another compound of romance and poetry, eloquent inconsistency, and scientific paradox. All these, however, and indeed the whole herd of French and English Deists may hide their diminished heads before that most refined and sublimated form of unbelief—the pseudo-theology of modern German critics. This has incomparably more the air of truth, because it wears her outer garments, mimics her motions, and adopts her phraseology. Against a professed or reputed Deist, common sense is on its guard; but not against Doctors and Professors of Divinity. This seems to be the master-piece, this assumption of truth's colours by the pirate ships of error, this possession of truth's body by the demon of mendacity. Nor does the execution fall below the rare device. Such caution, such nicety, such tact, such remote investigations, such microscopic scrutiny, such diligent employment of "appliances and aids,” such displays of candour, such rigorous adherence to established canons, in a word, such efficacious means have never been adopted in the cause of truth, as for years have been effectually and constantly employed by these Scribes and Rabbies in the Synagogue of Satan. Nothing can easily exceed the subtlety evinced by some of these ambuscades in their attacks upon the Bible. Metaphysical sophistry may unsettle the belief, or cloud the understanding; but it can soon be reduced to the standard of first principles, and is commonly, moreover, an enemy professed. But in this new warfare, there is, or seems to be, so much common ground, the foe concedes and parleys and negociates so much, that we are perfectly bewildered. We defy any man who has been only familiar with the tactics and strategics of old fashioned infidelity, to commit himself a fortnight to such trusty guides as Eichhorn, de Wette, &c. &c. &c. and at the end of that time to tell whether his own belief is standing on its head or feet. It has been so universally the practice for the skeptic to set out by a rejection of the Scriptures, (as the word of God,) that when we find a critic not merely doing no such thing expressly, but confronting us boldly with a long array of lexicons, and grammars, expositions, illustrations, and critical apparatuses, it seems unfair to regard him with suspicion. These things may appear to have a very slight connexion with this work of Dr. Hengstenberg; but as we said before, that work has now suggested them, although they have of course been often present to our thoughts on different occasions. He has been obliged to quote a multitude of arguments from his opponents, for the purpose of refuting them, and we are free to confess that we have been astonished at the plausibility and air of truth which some of them exhibit. It is true, that they are wanting in consistency; the same writer shifting the very basis of his reasonings, again and again, to provide for some new exigency; but it is in this very thing that their cunning is most visible. It is by breaking up the surface of a subject, so to speak, by clouding the general view, and confining the attention to detached particulars, by means of minute discus. sion and the parade of accuracy even in minutiæ, that the object is effected. The first thing to be done in opposition to their acts, is to bring the aggregate amount of evidence in favour of the truth to bear at once upon the reader's mindthe next thing is to sweep away the particles of rubbish which, like ants or beetles, they have heaped up one by one. Both these, Dr. Hengstenberg has skilfully accomplished in relation to the highly important subject of his volume.
* Dan. viii. 2-X. 4. Ezek. i. 1, 3.
But it is time to name the other thing which strikes us with such force. That other thing is, the depth of the riches both of the knowledge and wisdom of God, as seen in the overruling of these very artifices, to the praise of the glory of his grace. We may perhaps be charged with treating mere contingencies as facts, and describing what at the furthest is yet future, and may never happen, as a present reality. We do believe, however, that the end of all this will be gloriousthat not a grain of the dust which has been thrown into our eyes will be without its use; but that all this apparatus which the enemy has reared against the battlements of Zion, shall be finally applied to the mighty pulling down of his own strong holds. In this very book, for example, there are objections stated, which, if taken by themselves, without any sort of antidote, would shake the faith of any man. Every dark corner of antiquities, geography and history, appears to have been ransacked for the weapons of this warfare. Now, while these remain unvanquished, the effect must be pernicious. But only suppose the enemy disarmed, and the advantage is a glorious one. We have not only merely recovered what appeared to have been lost; we have done more. We are masters of his stores and ammunition, and have gained a vantage ground, which renders every onset irresistible. This
change in the fortunes of the fight is now begun. It was in vain to cry peace when there was no peace, by affecting to denounce all learned criticisms as a sin and folly. It was equally vain to pass the matter by, as concerning none but Germans, and arising from their idiosyncracies of intellect. The cordon was passed, and a defence was wanted. The abuse of learning calls not for ignorance, but learning well applied. A better safeguard against the biblical skepticism of the Germans, could not have been provided, than that improvement in biblical literature which has actually taken place in England and America. But to carry the war into the enemy's country, something more was necessary. It was necessary that champions for the truth should arise in the very midst of its assailants, armed with their armour, skilled in their devices. The ablest foreigner would find it hard to wield their lances and direct their darts; and against all other weapons their habergeons are impervious. Let us rejoice, then, that the providence of God has raised up some even there, to battle for the faith; and let us pray that while they are engaged in this sharp conflict, the Lord, their strength, will teach their hands to war and their fingers to fight. We have reason, likewise, to take courage from certain movements in the enemy's camp. Extreme minuteness of investigation, seems, after intoxicating some minds, to have begun to sober them again. Rosenmüller has here and there abandoned an outwork once tenaciously maintained; and the first Hebrew scholar of the day, erroneous as he is, falls very far below the pitch of infidel credulity which some of his disciples and admirers have attained. This seems to show that it is not much learning,” but the smattering of sciolists, that tends to make men mad. At any rate, we may indulge the hope that when a few more Hengstenbergs and Tholucks have arisen, the victory, even in the schools of Germany, will be confessedly upon the side of truth.