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of His work and by express predictions of facts in His life. The work of prophecy is not rightly described unless each element is given its proper place.
This, we claim, is the view of prophecy to which the study of the Old Testament by itself points. It is, withoubt doubt, that which the New Testament teaches. It is frequently said by the Evangelists that particular events happened that the words of the prophets might be fulfilled,' and the fulfilment of prophecies of specific facts was regarded both by our Lord Himself? and by His Apostles 3 as a proof that He was the Messiah. It is a serious thing to minimize a side of the predictive power which can only be questioned by doubting the historical truth of the Old Testament and the soundness of some of the arguments upon which the Messianic claim of our Lord was based.
Dr. Kirkpatrick, as we have already mentioned, omits the Books of Jonah and Daniel. It is true that in some respects the Book of Jonah is 'a book by itself. But it has a most important bearing on the subject of the preparation for the Incarnation. In an older series of the Warburtonian Lectures Mr. Davison remarked that Jonah ... compensates for the absence of any direct Christian prediction in what he delivers by the typical prophecy embodied in his personal history. He is himself a prophetic sign of Christ.' His deliverance .. is the expressive image of the resurrection of Christ.' 'The truth and certainty of this type' are'fixed' by our Lord's own teaching. In Jonah's history, then, Mr. Davison inferred, there is 'a concealed prophecy which the completion explains.' 4
It may be true of other parts of the Old Testament that they contain 'concealed prophecies. While it is, in our opinion, in some respects the most likely interpretation of Psalm xxii. that as David thought over his own troubles he was vouchsafed a vision of the Cross and uttered words which he must have known to be inapplicable in all their details to himself, there are many prophecies in which it is likely that the prophet was unconscious of the meaning of much of the message. But it does not follow that the meaning was not there, or that there was any uncertainty about its detailed fulfilment. When Moses laid down the regulations for the making of the Tabernacle and for the observance of
| E.g. St. Matt. i. 22; St. John xix. 36.
the Day of Atonement, he may have been ignorant that he was directing actions which in the most remarkable way foreshadowed the Christian system and the Sacrifice of Christ. Yet it was ordained by God that in these should be a type of most profound Christian truth, and in all probability that the smallest details each had their meaning. Similarly we believe that if the methods of exegesis of the Fathers were faulty, and if they often assigned meanings to passages which they cannot bear, yet in their principles of interpretation they knew what the Old Testament meant and were right in seeing in prophetic details imagery which the prophets themselves can hardly have understood.
In passing by the Book of Daniel Dr. Kirkpatrick has, we think, failed to discuss one of the most important parts of the Old Testament, so far as this particular question is concerned ; for if the Book of Daniel be of the date to which it has been assigned by tradition, it contains express predictions of specific facts which in details were fulfilled. There is much that is difficult in the critical problems about the book, but we do not think there is reasonable ground for doubting that at least the substance of the prophecies is the work of Daniel himself, and if this is the case it is obvious how strongly it corroborates our belief that the side of prophecy to which we have been referring is most unduly minimized in many modern works.
We have described this point as one of supreme importance. We think it so because, in our opinion, there is a fulness of meaning in the prophets which will not yield its treasures to any other view, and because it seems to us that the credit of the New Testament writers is involved in it. It is only as the details of the prophecy are divinely ratified that the fulfilment of the details can be rightly used as an argument to support a claim. Such an argument there is, as we have pointed out, in the New Testament.
It is, of course, true that a poetic imagery may clothe a prophet's message with a colouring and form which are not part of the message itself;? it is not such details as these, but those which are really predicted to which we refer.
It may be said there are Old Testament prophecies of which there was no exact fulfilment. If it is meant that there are definite predictions with regard to which there is no proof of fulfilment, such a statement would be true ; 3 but so long as more cannot be said than that there is an absence of
Heb. ix. 5, tepi Ev oỦk foti vûv déyelv katà pépos. 2 E.g. Isa. xi. 10-16.
3 É.g. Isa. xvi. 14.
proof in these cases they cannot rightly be quoted as the basis of the argument against the position which we have maintained. Such an argument requires proofs of the failure of definite predictions as clear as the proofs of fulfilment which we have mentioned, and these cannot be found. In the early editions of Lux Mundi there was a note which gave instances of anticipations in the prophets which were said not to be ‘historically fulfilled in details.' The passages to which reference was made were briefly discussed in an article which was published in the pages of this Review, and reasons were given for an opinion that they did not indicate mistakes in the prophecies in question. In the tenth edition of Lux Mundi, while a note was added to show that there was less intention to depreciate detailed prophecies than had been supposed, the mention of the particular passages which had been criticized was omitted, and a reference to Dr. Riehm's Messianic Prophecy substituted.
An attempt, too, may be made to lessen the significance of the New Testament phrase that an event happened that the words of a prophet might be fulfilled by pointing out, as Dr. Kirkpatrick does, that “St. Matthew introduces the quotation of Hos. xi. 1 with the same words as that of Isaiah vii. 14—“that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet” (p. 188, note ?). In the light of what we have already said in reference to the history of Jonah and the typical character of the Tabernacle and the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement, this circumstance does not afford an argument against our position ; for the words which Hosea wrote, being a description of a fact which was itself a prophecy in type, were a true prediction.
And it would be difficult to retain anything approaching an adequate idea of inspiration if it should be allowed that, while the doctrines contained in the New Testament are true, the arguments by which they are supported are unsound.
The Old Testament controversy is one of the problems of the present day, and if those who are interested in it are to maintain or to gain a firm hold on truth in criticism, in history, in theology, there is need of the just and patient consideration of all the elements in the problem. We welcome the accurate scholarship for which, in the end, through the providence of God, truth will be the gainer. We welcome
Lux Mundi, p. 346, note'.
typeings which pathetic are able story in Oidhow review
the skill with which, as in the work we are now reviewing, the ways of life and the course of history in Old Testament times are shown to us. We are able to suppress our indignation at the unsympathetic dissection and unjust treatment of writings which are dear to us in books of a very different type from The Doctrine of the Prophets in the thought that such publications may lead Christian students to pay more attention to branches of knowledge to which they have not always given sufficient thought. But if the whole question is to be properly considered, there is need of more than accurate scholarship and historical and critical skill. True science requires investigation by more methods than one. Specialists are always prone to exaggerate sides of truth or to make still more serious mistakes. One science requires to be balanced by another. In the just discussion of such a subject as prophecy theology has its place as well as criticism, and there is no hope of right conclusions unless the teaching of the New Testament and of the Christian Church is kept in view.
We are heartily thankful that Dr. Kirkpatrick does not forget this fact, but a fuller regard for it might, we think, have made a difference in a noticeable feature of his lectures and have saved him from liability to the criticism which he himself anticipates of devoting 'too little attention to the consideration of special fulfilments of prophecy' (Preface, p. x).
If we are critics of The Doctrine of the Prophets we are not without appreciation of its value in the knowledge, the skill, the deeply religious tone of its author, and we may end our review by quoting an admirable passage on the permanent significance of Old Testament prophecy.
Old Testament prophecy is still a living message for the Christian Church. Its fulfilment does not mean that its use is at an end, so that it may be laid on one side, because its purpose and significance are exhausted. Nor does it mean that for us the sole use of prophecy is as one of the credentials which attest Christ's mission. It is this, and as such it would claim our reverent study; but it is far more. It is not fulfilled and exhausted, but fulfilled and illuminated, and we must read it in the light of that illumination.
'Thence we may derive comfort and courage, as we watch the methods by which God works out His purposes, educates the world, establishes His kingdom in it. There we may see that He is indeed the living God, who rules in the affairs of men, “ the Alpha and the Omega, the Lord God, which is and which was, and which is to come, the All-Sovereign" (Rev. i. 8). The inspired optimism of the prophets, maintained in the teeth of present appearances by their resolute faith in Jehovah, supplies a wholesome antidote to the
temptation to a despairing pessimism, as commonly felt in the present day. That optimism was justified in the event, though the event was long delayed; and it bids us look forward with confidence, though the vision may yet tarry long.
"And the ethical teaching of the prophets still abides for our instruction. It is illuminated, elevated, fulfilled by the teaching of our Lord, but it is not superseded. Some rudimentary elements there are in it, which fall away in the fuller growth; some temporary forms which belong only to the old order. But the foundation of eternal truth abides and lives. “As long as the world lasts," wrote one whose view of the Old Testament is often stimulating if inadequate, “all who want to make progress in righteousness will come to Israel for inspiration, as to the people who have had the sense for righteousness most glowing and strongest; and in hearing and reading the words Israel has uttered for us carers for conduct will find a glow and a force they could find nowhere else.”] Yes ! for they are gleams from the eternal Sun of righteousness, who has arisen upon us with healing in His wings. ...“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy ;” and in the light of historic experience it bids us rest assured that the work of Redemption which we see carried to a point of completion which is in itself a new and unique beginning will not fail or be frustrated, but will finally reach that supreme conclusion, when God shall be “all in all ”' (pp. 525-7).
The Life and Work of John Ruskin. By W. G. COLLING
WOOD, M.A., Editor of The Poems of John Ruskin, &c., with Portraits and other Illustrations, in two Volumes. (London, 1893.)
The century is drawing to a close, the sands of the hourglass are fast running out, and the number of its years will soon be told. And as the hurrying march of time bears us onward, the men who have made this nineteenth-century England of ours what she is are rapidly passing out of sight. One by one they have left us, these giants of old days, who fifty years ago bore the brunt of the battle, and fought their way through storm and stress. Carlyle and Newman, Browning and Tennyson, poets and prophets, painters and thinkers, we have seen them die full of years and honours, leaving a bright track of light to guide our footsteps through the darkness which hides them from our eyes. Here and there one remains to make us wonder at the fire of an ardour
1 M. Arnold, Literature and Dogma, p. 42.