Notice Of Davidson’s Introduction To The New Testament -- By: Anonymous
BSac 6:22 (May 1849) p. 357
Notice Of Davidson’s Introduction To The New Testament
The value of this elaborate work will depend, in part, on the answer to the following question, Is it wise to bring before the British and American public objections to the genuineness and authenticity of the canonical books, which have been urged only in Germany, and which may possibly never be heard of in any other country, even if these objections are met by able and satisfactory replies? Shall the antidote be furnished where the disease is unknown? We are disposed to answer this question in the affirmative. Some of these cavils, indeed, for they are not worthy of the name of objections-, are so trivial that they will not repay the time and talent necessary to describe them. Not a few of the allegations of such writers as Schwegler against the Gospel of John, might be suffered quietly to float into the limbo that speedily awaits them. It is degrading to an honorable man to try to discuss them. It is true, also, that objections which have weight or plausibility with a German, may find no favor with an Englishman or an American. They rest on a German basis only, are fitted to a German idiosyncrasy. One, who has a tolerable measure of common sense, even if inclined to skepticism, would perceive no special pertinence in them. One educated under the influence of the views on mental philosophy prevalent wherever the English language is spoken, finds it difficult to understand fully either the objections or the answers to them. Accordingly, to discuss biblical topics in the German method, requires caution, sound judgment, acquaintance with the peculiar character and tendencies of the English and American mind. In our well-meant but ill-advised efforts, we may perplex and unsettle the faith of Christians; the objection may occasion an injury which the answer can never repair.
Still, we are disposed to welcome a treatise like that of Dr. Davidson, which goes so thoroughly into the recent German criticism on the Gospels, adducing and overthrowing the most plausible objections to the truth of the evangelical history, which the “latest form” of German neology has brought forward. In the first place, in the final result, the Gospel will stand on a firmer basis. Every new assault only reveals its impregnable position. Every fresh trial only shows the
BSac 6:22 (May 1849) p. 358
sterling character of the gold. An attempt to degrade Shakspeare or Milton from the position which they now occupy, only excites wonder or contempt, and is sure to recoil on the head of the assailant. So it will soon be in relation to the Gospels, ultimately, even in Germany, Books that can outlive such an array of learning and ingenuity as has been directed against the evangelists within the last twenty years, must be divine. The effect of th...
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