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Gomorrah. 25 Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and the sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts, my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

Even Samuel is represented as saying that Jahveh is better pleased with obedience than sacrifice. 26 The prophets explicitly denied that sacrifice in any way binds the Deity as in a sort of reciprocal covenant, and guarded against the error that the slightest coercion was exercised upon the Divine will by any kind of ritual. As soon as inward moral purity and the avoidance of social crimes are insisted upon as a Divine law, the province of ethics coincides with that of religion. When strict and righteous conduct is regarded as the proof of reverence for the Supreme Being, the exaltation of the Divine will induces man to strive, consciously or unconsciously, to raise the value of his own existence by the fulfilment of higher duties.

The conceptions of God himself become more and more re

25 On this passage Steinthal observes, "The transition from the comparison of misfortune to the equality in wickedness of Judah and Sodom has always appeared to me of such overwhelming force, that I doubt whether in all rhetorical literature there is another such striking passage."

26 I Sam. xv. 22, and Ewald Hist. of Israel.

Psalm li. 18, 19.

Enlightenment in Exile.

moved from crude sensuousness. It was as a nomad that Jahveh went down to Egypt with Jacob, but on the other hand we read that no one can escape from the omnipresent God of the Psalmist, even "with the wings of the morning." 27 God, unlimited in space, is also recognized as eternal. He is conceived of as existing before the visible world of matter; nor do human ideas of time affect one to whom "a thousand years are as one day, or as a watch in the night."

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Thus, without observation, and not suddenly but by gradual transitions, a constantly new and newer God is revealed, purer and more moral, corresponding to the purer and more moral views to which the Jewish people were matured, when they had been educated to greatness and purified by sore trials.

The Scriptures lie open to every one, and in them we can pass through in history what the Hebrews experienced in their own persons.

As the monotheism taught by the prophets was a true gain, it necessarily proved its worth in the hour of unspeakable calamity, when the inhabitants of Judea were led into captivity at Babylon, as the ten tribes had previously been by the Assyrians. Of Zion and the temple there remained only the bare walls, and a garrison was quartered in the desolate spot to warn away any who might come to perform their secret devotions in the sacred places. The future was completely dark; there gleamed no ray of the most distant hope that this once strong and envied people, who were now dispersed and scattered over the great kingdom of Babylon, should ever be reunited. When, to use the words of their singer, they wept by the waters of Babylon, and hung their harps upon the willow trees, because they could not sing the Lord's song in a strange land, their deeply troubled minds answered their selfinquiries as to the future with the cruel words, "All is over." It was over with Judah and Zion even as the kingdom of the ten tribes had already passed away.

When the period of their kings, during which they ruled from the sea to the desert, had passed away with its terrible conclusion like a vanished dream, and when fully restored to consciousness,

27 Psalm cxxxix. 9.

they found themselves transported into the midst of the Asiatic marvels of Babylon and surrounded by sensual pleasures, where it was possible for any one of them to stifle his yearnings after his home in rocky Palestine, by abandoning himself to the enjoyable realities of the moment-to the varied luxuries and revelries of the voluptuous capital beneath the groves of the Euphrates, and to the superfluity of artificially irrigated gardens. This was done by the greater number: they employed their exile in earning a better livelihood, and perhaps thought it a fortunate dispensation that they had been delivered from the poverty-stricken monotony of their former lives. Had all accommodated themselves to their new position in a manner so spiritless and worldly-wise, nothing would now have remained of Judaism but the name of a people in cuneiform writing, which modern erudition would decipher as hebr or something similar: one name more among the other meaningless names.

But the uncorrupt nucleus of the Jewish nation did not forget, but transmitted to the following and succeeding generation the yearnings after the places where its higher emotions had been imparted to it. The exiles closely observing their new masters, seeing a nation stronger and more wisely governed, favoured by nature and enriched by skill and technical dexterity, yet degrading itself daily by the absurdities of idolatry, acknowledged to themselves that they still remained the chosen people. To us, who are able to survey the subsequent course of history, the exile seems most like the curve of a parabola round its focus. Judaism had not ended, for the very thing to which it owed its highest value, the conception of the unity of God, was destined merely to alter the direction of its course to a higher enlightenment. Misfortune did not harden the Jews, but when they ate their own bread with tears they were softened towards all the suffering that they beheld around them. Each of us who has striven to obtain clear ideas, has attained some explanation of the world, which is not merely the sum of what he has discerned for himself or gained from the experience of others, but of all that has happened to him or before him. The historical adventures of a nation greatly affect such results as the creation of a religion of its own, the adoption of a strange one, or the maintenance of an adopted one. Emmanuel

Immortality of the Soul.

Deutsch 28 was thus enabled to show that even in the earlier writings of the Talmud, the same tendency to gentleness and humanity appear, which rendered Christianity preeminently the ideal religion of the heavy-laden, and whence for more than eighteen centuries it has derived its best strength. These Talmudical passages belong to the period of the Babylonian captivity, the time of woe and oppression, and it is to this purifying school of misfortune that the tone of justice and softness, of tenderness and charity to others is due.

XIV. THE DOCTRINES OF CHRISTIANITY.

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THE Hebrews who had known the cosmical views and the theistic conceptions of the Erânians more or less correctly before the captivities, but learned them with full accuracy during the captivity itself, could not remain entirely unaffected by this mental contact and impregnation. To this we must primarily ascribe the fact that in scattered portions of the Old Testament, an incarnate instigator of evil suddenly appears, although the already vigorous conception of the unity of God does not allow conception of the devil as an Ahriman equal in rank to the Deity, but only as the minister of the Lord and an instrument in his designs. But far more important in its effects than the acquisition of Satan, of which little use is made, was the acquaintance with the Erânian opinions of the immortality of the soul as well as the doctrines of the resurrection of the dead, and of a judgment of their course of life. These ideas were originally so alien to the Israelites that in the time of Christ the Sadducees 2 still rejected a future life as contrary to the

1

28 Quarterly Review, October, 1867.

1 Ewald (Hist. of Israel) attributes the book of Job to the time of the last kings of Judah, but he also shows that the knowledge of the Zarathustrian dogmas made itself felt in the religious conceptions of the Hebrews in the 10th, and more plainly in the 8th century, especially in the more liberal apprehension of the opposition betwixt good and evil. As to the few passages in the Old Testament besides Job, in which Satan appears, comp. Roskoff, Geschichte des Teufels.

2 Matt. xxii. 23.

Scriptures. Even to the disciples the doctrine was so new that they questioned what the rising from the dead should mean. Many passages in the Old Testament actually deny every hope of another world. The righteous is rewarded with promise of a long life and a numerous offspring, or else actual worldly abundance in garner and cellar is held out as a recompense for religious reverence and strict worship. "What profit is there in my blood when I go down to the pit?" cries the Psalmist to the Lord. "Shall the dust praise Thee? shall it declare Thy truth?" In Job we find the entirely desponding expression that there is hope of a tree if it be cut down that it may sprout again, but that when the sons of men lie down they shall not be raised out of their sleep.3 The conclusion of this dramatic poem is unsatisfactory. The glimpse which we should have expected into a world of glory does not open on the trials of the sufferer, but Job is restored to health, supplied anew with flocks and progeny, and dies full of years. The Old Testament, indeed, speaks repeatedly of an abode of the dead, which in our translation is termed hell, but which must not be regarded as a place of moral atonement, but as Job portrays it, as a dark region full of everlasting terrors. Moreover, this Sheol, which corresponds to the Hades of the Greeks, is nowhere mentioned in the legislative ordinances of the Old Testament. The germs of other and more elevated views appear only in the later portions. The consolatory doctrine is taught that man was God's idea, and therefore had existed from the beginning. As this doctrine is otherwise to be found only in books of less consideration, it is an important fact that it occurs in Jeremiah also (i. 4). If another beautiful chapter in the Book of Wisdom, in which the expectation of a Nirvâna is rejected as a doctrine of the wicked, is not received on account of its apocryphal origin, on the other hand, we have the doctrine of the preexistence of man, as God's idea, in Psalm cxxxix., which Ewald ascribes to Zerubbabel. In the Proverbs 5 the same view is expressed in

3 Job xiv. 7-12.

4 The doctrine of the preexistence of man before birth is, according to Schrader, of Assyrio-Babylonian origin.

5 Prov. viii. 22–31.

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