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that they were ignorant of these things, and that these were not observed in Israel in their times.
(5) Silence is cumulative evidence of non-observance. The argument from silence increases with the amount of ground covered, until at last it becomes exhaustive in evidence, and exclusive of the matter in question. The argument is increased by its extension in time, place, variety of authors, variety of styles, and of writings. The silence of Job is greatly increased by the evidence of Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes, of the same class of Wisdom Literature, as to the same matters. The argument from silence in the Psalter is enhanced by the great number of Psalms of different authors, styles, and periods of composition. The argument from silence of the earlier Prophets Joel, Amos, and Hosea, is enhanced by that of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and the later minor Prophets. The argument from silence increases in weight in writings of the same class, but it is increased to a vastly greater extent by combining together the silence of whole classes of writings, from the Wisdom Literature, the Psalter, and the Prophets, and the Historians, and amounts to one of the strongest lines of evidences, all the more valuable for the induction and generalizations through such a wide range of literature.
Now there are certain things about which all these Hebrew writings are silent. As we have elsewhere said, some of the institutions of the religion of Israel most characteristic of the Priests' code do not occur in the pre-Exilic Literature. The sin offering first and alone appears in the pre-Exilic history in the reform of Hezekiah (II. Chron. xxix. 20–24), and here it is not offered according to the Priests' code. It is not found in the Wisdom Literature, or the Prophets. The Dux is found in the Historical books only as a fine of emerods and gold mice paid by the Philistines (I. Sam. vi. 17), and as trespass money (II. Kings xii. 16), and not as an animal sacrifice. The OvX occurs in the Prophets only in Is. liii., where it is not in accordance with the Priests' code in idea or importance. It is not found in the Psalter or Wisdom Literature. The offerings of the pre-Exilic Literature are those common to the religion of Jehovah in the Covenant codes, and to the religion of Baal.
The purification in the use of water is occasionally found in the Psalter, Historical books, Prophets, but nowhere in all this literature are the characteristic purifications of the Priests' code to be found.
The sacred feasts upon which the Psalter and Prophets lay stress are the New Moons. The later Prophets also lay stress on the Sabbath. The Historical books speak of the Passover as observed by Solomon and Hezekiah, but, according to II. Kings xxiii. 21 sq., Josiah was the first to observe it in accordance with the Deuteronomic code, from the Conquest to his day. There is no allusion to the Passover in the Wisdom Literature, Psalter, or Prophets. There is no allusion to Pentecost anywhere. The feast of Tabernacles was first observed in accordance with the Priests' code after the exile (Neh. viii. 17). Hence we are not surprised to meet it for the first time in the Prophet Zechariah. The day of Atonement and year of Jubilee do not appear.
Now it seems to us that this weight of silence is conclusive proof that these things were not known to these Biblical writers, and were not in public observance in the times of silence.
The Priests' code was not observed in Israel until after the exile, and even then only by degrees could its provisions be enforced. The Deuteronomic code was not observed until the reign of Hezekiah. The religion of Israel was, prior to Hezekiah, in accordance with the simpler Covenant codes, in constant conflict with the religion of Baal, at first under the divine direction of Shophetim, and then under the divine direction of the Nebiim, who gave authoritative divine Toroth suited to the circumstances of Israel.
The argument forces us to this result. It is confirmed by other arguments which it would be out of place to consider here. It will not be out of place, however, if we consider just how much this argument from silence involves, and guard it from misuse. We hold that it involves public and general ignorance. There are those who go so far as to argue from it the non-existence of the Pentateuch and the Mosaic codes. But this seems to us going beyond the argument from silence. Before one could conclude from the silence of the Scriptures as to the Pentateuch, that it was not in existence, one would have to prove that it could not exist without being known. This is difficult to prove. We are constantly finding lost documents and long-forgotten books. The book of Deuteronomy was lost and forgotten, as we learn from II. Kings xxii. Some think this carries with it the whole Pentateuch. We believe that Deuteronomy alone is referred to. But it is an easy and natural conclusion that, if the simple code of Deuteronomy could have been lost and forgotten, the more elaborate Priests' code would have been more likely to have been lost and forgotten. If the narrative be true, and there are no good reasons to question it, it supports the argument from silence by positive argument that these Biblical authors were indeed ignorant of the existence of the Pentateuchal codes in their present combination, and that the Priests' code
was not observed prior to the exile. It also prevents the adoption of the conclusion that they had no previous existence. Indeed, it is not uncommon in history that certain institutions are forgotten and buried under others that have assumed their place; or that certain laws, and even codes, become obsolete and forgotten ; or, indeed, that certain codes, as well as laws, never go into operation in the life and experience of the people. It is also not uncommon in the history of opinion for earlier opinions to pass out of use and become utterly forgotten with their authors. The argument of silence cannot go beyond the ground covered, and can prove nothing as to the existence of those codes and institutions prior to the literature which is silent about them and ignores them.
The argument from silence is capable of vast illustration. There are many important points that we have not had time or space to present, such as the silence of the Pentateuchal narratives as to the period of the captivity in Egypt, and the prolonged wanderings of Israel in the wilderness. These are dark spots in the midst of full and elaborate narratives. Would Moses be likely to pass these periods over in silence if he wrote the narratives of the Pentateuch? what were his reasons for the silence in this case? It could not be from ignorance : it must have been intentional; and what good reason can be given? If these narratives were not written by Moses, does the silence imply ignorance, and show that the author had no materials or sources of information as to these events? We suggest these as specimens of inquiry as to the force of silence in the Historical books.
Thus far our induction of the facts of the case leads us. We have established the following forms of the argument from silence :
I. The matter in question lies beyond the scope of the author's argument. It is then (a) an absence of evidence as to the matter in question, or (1) an evidence that it did not possess any of those characteristics that would bring it within the author's scope.
II. The matter in question lies within the author's scope of argument. It was, then, omitted (a) for good and sufficient reasons, intentionally, or (5) unconsciously, from ignorance of the matter.
III. The argument from silence is cumulative, as it extends over a number of writings, of different authors, of different classes of writings, and different periods of history. In this case it implies either (a) external restraint for good reasons, or (b) a public ignorance, and, in the case of institutions and laws, a non-observance of them.
BY PROF. E. P. GOULD.
HIS section of the Epistle to the Romans contains a discussion
of the question Why God rejected the Jews, and how this consists with His original choice of them to be His people? Does not this imply a failure of His word, and so a change in the immutable God? Paul sees that it does, if the choice was, as the Jews supposed, a selection of them as a nation, irrespective of other considerations. And, therefore, his first argument is intended to show that the divine choice was not based on considerations of heredity simply. The original promise was to Abraham and to his seed, and yet not to his seed as such, but to a part of it only, making a choice among his children, on some other basis than mere descent, necessary. In contrast with this, he shows that it was not the mere child of Abraham's body, but a child of promise, a child coming to him as the direct and supernatural result of a divine promise, in whose line the chosen people are to be found. Then, even in the children of this child of promise, there is a further discrimination made, one being taken and the other left. And here Paul takes up another theory of the ground of choice, and shows that it does not apply to this case, and is, therefore, untenable. It had been supposed that the Jews were chosen on account of their good works. But in this case, certainly, in which the promise precedes the birth of the children, it did not originate in their works, but in the God who called them to their several positions. And yet it was not an arbitrary choice, for, as Paul shows by a quotation of Malachi i. 2, 3, it was based on God's love of the one, and His hatred of the other. And love and hatred are not arbitrary or voluntary feelings, but the necessary results of qualities in the object; that is, the love of being as such is indiscriminative, and has its root in the person loving only ; but the love that implies choice and corresponding hatred is based on the qualities of the person loved.
But in thus carrying the matter back to God, and not resting it on the desert of the person chosen, is there not involved an imputation on the divine righteousness? Is not God under obligation to give to
every man his deserts? The reply to this is the familiar and fundamental Pauline axiom, that this whole matter is not one of retributive justice, but of mercy; and that mercy is self-moved, or, in any case, is not determined by desert. It is not the will or endeavor of the man that produces it, but the very nature of the merciful God. The example that Paul adduces of this principle is not, as we should expect, from the number of the chosen, but from the enemies of God whom He rejects. “For this reason," God said to Pharaoh,“ did I provoke thee, that I may show in thee my power, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore, since God has purposes to be accomplished by the pity shown to one, and by the hardening accomplished in another, both are to be traced originally to God's active volition. Now, this is a very important item in the final determination of the apostle's meaning. For this hardening is what makes operative and manifest the divine rejection, and its exact opposite would be not the mercy itself, but that softening which manifests the divine mercy and choice. And if the one is to be traced to an action of God beyond what appears, and which is compulsory and creative in its nature, as is claimed for the gracious action, then the conjunction of the two in this discussion, so that either can be used as an illustration of the principle of God's spiritual action upon men, would seem to demand that the act of hardening be also the simple result of God's action, and not the complex result of that action, together with the yielding or resistance of the man ; that is to say, inasmuch as Paul uses an instance of God's hardening action as an illustration of His gracious action, it follows that there must be an identity of principle in the two; and that if the one is purely a divine act without buman co-operation, then the other must be the same. In fact, this case of the hardening of Pharaoh is very helpful in determining the scriptural answer to the question whether God's spiritual action in changing and directing the moral attitude of men is absolute and creative, or only influential, depending for its result on the response of men. At the beginning, Ex. iv. 21, God announces His purpose to harden Pharaoh's heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then, there follows a series of signs wrought by Aaron and Moses, but paralleled by the magicians with their enchantments, in which the hardening that results is natural, and easily accounted for. But after the second plague, Pharaoh relents, and the plague is removed. Then, we are told that when he saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them, as Jehovah had said. Here, the hardening results from the withdrawal of the punishment that had