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years and begat Abram. After this, the history of Abraham is given chapter after chapter. The history of Noah and of others is introduced in a similar way. Now prominently Matthew begins in this Old Testament fashion, and as quietly assumes connection, and the same sort of connection, with the Old Testament as appears in Moses between the previous chapters of his Genesis and the twelfth, where he begins the story of Abrabam. And under this assumption there is another, viz., that Matthew is continuing the Old Testament story, so that the two are intimately joined.
The same in large measure is true of Luke, although he does not begin his Gospel with the table. While Mark and John have no table, the latter obviously connects his Gospel with the first chapter of Genesis by a higher genealogy. This appears in two things. First, the similarity of thought, even of words. Genesis reads: "In the beginning God created.” John says: “In the beginning was God.” Genesis, in detail, tells how God created all. John summarizes: “All things were made by Him." Genesis gives the origin of life and light. John says: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.' But, secondly, who fails to observe that John throws up and forward into such a flood of light that nothing else meanwhile appears, the év ápxì, the very first words of Genesis in the Septuagint. Observe, too, the same sublime assertion about “light” and “darkness.” The similarity between the first five verses of Genesis and the first five in John cannot be accidental.
While Mark has no genealogical table, and no other sign of immediate connection, does not his abrupt initial statement seem to assume as well understood what Matthew and Luke more formally state? The Gospels do not begin a story, they continue one. Without the Pentateuch they would be each a torso.
II. There is an unmistakable relation in subject matter between the Pentateuch and the Gospels. They give the same origin of the race—Adam; the same God-Jehovah, with the same character-holy. They deal largely with the same nation and a peculiar nation. They trace that nation to a common ancestor, Abraham. In a word, the Pentateuch and the Gospels have a like relation to a circle, first of great moral thoughts, and secondly of historical incidents interwoven with them.
And yet these things are but details. To stop here is to leave almost wholly out the main subject. The Gospels are not treating primarily about Abraham and Moses, about law and sacrifice, about precepts and ethical principles. They are chiefly concerned about the Christ -portraitures of Him.
Says Edersheim, in his preface to the "Life and Times of Jesus”: “Rather must the Gospels be regarded as four different aspects in which the evangelists viewed the historical Jesus of Nazareth as the fulfillment of the divine promise of old, the Messiah of Israel, and the Saviour of men." This has been the belief of the Church since the days of Irenæus, whose “ comparison of the four Gospels to the four living creatures mentioned in the Apocalypse" + is well known. The Gospels are not memorabilia, not memoirs. They are a fourfold disclosure of the character of Jesus—fourfold, shall we say, that our single conception may be complete? But this Jesus is Himself the fulfillment of the law, its filling out. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law," the Pentateuch. am not come to destroy, but to fulfill"; to fulfill, shall we understand not alone in what He said, but more strikingly in what He was? The law was symbol, He was reality. As John writes: “ The law was given by Moses, but grace
* Pref. ad init.
+ Ellicott's “Life of Christ,” pp. 31, 32.
and truth came by Jesus Christ.” The double antithesis in this sentence is instructive. Law is contrasted with truth. Then the law is not truth, it is the symbol of it. Again, the law was “given,” but the truth “came ”— came to be by Jesus Christ, who says elsewhere: “I am the truth.” He embodied it in His person, character, and life.
The question now comes to this: The Gospels being a portraiture of Christ-one homogeneous character stereoscoped, if we may so speak, from the four varying pictures—in what relation does IIe stand to Moses, or Moses to Him? How does He fulfill ? He Himself said: “ Moses wrote of me.” How? Incidentally mentioning Him prophetically here and there, dropping symbols of Him now and then; or, when He says, “Moses wrote of me," does He speak comprehensively, intending to say Moses wrote of nothing else—that the outline and substance of the Pentateuch are wholly about Christ? This is a question that only a volume can answer. volume satisfactorily considers it. The Pentateuch has not yet received its profoundest study. When it is no longer considered merely as history, but also as Gospel, a shadow of the truth, light will begin to break forth. It does relate most intimately to Christ. “ A righteousness of God hath been manifested”-in Jesus Christ—“being witnessed by the law.”
Dr. Alfred Cave, speaking of the difficulties presented to a devout mind by the Old Testament symbols, goes on as follows: “But immediately the Jewish and Christian theories are compared, these stumbling-blocks are the very things which prove most conclusively the fact of a common architect. The priesthood has its rationale in the ‘priest forever,' the tabernacle in the incarnation, the atonement by blood, in Calvary, the non-dissected feast in the great Paschal Lamb, the passover in the daily appro
priation of the merits of a crucified Jesus, the Feast of Ingathering in the dispensation of the Spirit, the Feast of Tabernacles in the rejoicing of the saints through Christ. And these resemblances, which must have been preordained, are innumerable.” * A connection of this sort between the old covenant and the new must be admitted.
But what is lacking here, and what nothing but the profound and devout study of the most evangelic mind can hope to find, is the kind of relation between the two, the comprehensive principle underlying the Pentateuch that explains its form and substance, and accounts for these (resemblances which are innumerable."
When such a relation of subject and substance is once sufficiently clear, two beneficent results immediately appear: First, in the line of apologetics. The attack upon the Old Testament to-day is critical. It is not rationalistic or mythical. It takes up the Books of the Old Testament, examines and compares their contents, and attempts to condemn them on their own showing. Kuenen strives to prove that the Pentateuch was written by the Jewish priests about the time of the return from the exile -not all at once, of course, but that it reached its final form at this date; that the object was to secure their own office as priests of the nation; that Deuteronomy was written first, Genesis last, and the rest meantime. The priests had already gained such a place in the political and religious life of the nation at the time of its return from the exile that they could perpetrate this frand successfully. For effect, the whole was ascribed to Moses, who, many years before, had led their ancestors in a migration; who had given them some rudimentary precepts, now wrought out in the Ten Commandments, and some method of sacrifice, and who had a traditionary reputa
* Princeton Review for 1879, Vol. I., page 614.
tion. Now this theory is not unreasonable. It is apparently supported by many facts, cited by its earnest advocates from the Old Testament itself. These citations are being reweighed. The higher criticism will be confronted with its own methods.
It is shown already that the date fixed for the composition is untenable. The Samaritans have a Pentateuch. Where did they obtain it? The enmity between them and the Jews arose about this time. If they did not possess this long before this date, they never would have accepted it from the Jews afterward.* But there is a quicker and no less effective way to meet these theories. The Mormon elders to-day might write a fivefold book as the documentary source of their entire religious and domestic system. For effect, they might ascribe it to Solomon, who worshipped in a temple and had numerous wives, and, however absurd, the people might be persuaded to accept it as a revelation from God, because it explained in large measure their system.
Such book might be embellished with numerous cases of prophecy and accounts of subsequent fulfillment adorned with miracle and with many instances of providential interference. Even incongruities, absurdities, and immoralities might find place in its pages, which a rude, uncritical age and people would not detect.
It would pass down the Mormon national current for five hundred years, its credibility constantly increasing in the flow of time until some learned Kuenen skilled in criticism should finally lay bare its fraudulent origin and its contradictory character. Such a book might be written in such a way. The case is supposable.
But what now, if at the end of this time a man should
* "Recent Theories of the Pentateuch," British Quarterly, January, 1884.