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general. Now as Science and Reasoning, when separated from all regard to religion, or to true religion, and placed in opposition to it, are two of its most dangerous ene'nies, therefore we read so much of the troubles which these two nations brought upon the Israelites ; but as, nevertheless, they are capable of being rendered extremely serviceable to true religion, and are themselves exalted by being submitted to its influence; therefore we meet with predictions of a state in which this union should be effected Thus it is said in Isaiah, “ In that day, there shall be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord;"* words, which plainly indicate the complete submission to a divine influence, of the principle, power, or faculty, represented by Egypt, from its inmost essence— the midst”-to its last extreinity— the borders thereof." &c.' p. 279.

Again.

• Jericho was situated just at the entrance to the land of Canaan ; and as the land of Canaan represented the church, Jericho, in a good sepse, would represent the first state experienced on full admission into it, and, indeed, the principle by which such admission is effected; which is, instruction in doctrinal truths, accompanied with obedience of life. But while the land of Canaan was occupied by idolatrous nations, every place in it had a signification opposite to its genuine one : and, in this sense, Jericho represented the disposition to resist instruction, by opposing to it such sentiments as the corrupt tendencies of the human heart incline the understanding to invent in their excuse. The city itself, then, was the type of such doctrinal sentiments as resist or profane the pure doctrines of the Church ; and its wall signifies such false persuasions and confirmations by fallacious arguments as defend such false doctrine, and prevent those who hold it from discerning the evidence of truth. The marching round the city, denotes the explanation of the quality of the principle represented by it; and the action upon it of the sphere of Divine Truth from the Lord was represented by the carrying round of the ark, and the sounding of the trumpets before it by the priests. The sounding of trumpets, in the representative dispensation of the Jews, was a symbol, by an obvious analogy, of the revelation, manifestation, communication, or bringing down of the Divine Truth, from a higher region towards a lower : the priests were representatives of whatever in man truly worships the Lord, which is all that belongs to the true love of his name, and which, of course, is the medium by which divine communications are received from him ; the shouting of the people expresses consent and confirmation on the part of the inferior faculties, &c.' pp. 465, 6.

In this manner does Mr. Noble proceed to deal with other passages of the Bible, resting the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures on the typical and representative character belong

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ing, as he insists, to its verbal expressions, a spiritual sense being included in the letter of Scripture. Such is the criterion by which, according to his method of determining the case, the proper word of God is to be distinguished. It is, however, glaringly manisest throughout the volume, that the spiritual sense which Mr. Noble exbibits as the proof and criterion of Inspired Scripture, is nothing more than the fançiful suggestion of his own mind. There are unquestionably many important parts of the Bible which are of a figurative and symbolical character; but what serious and sober interpreter would ever dream of establishing the claims of the Scriptures to the character of a plenary Inspiration by such a process as Mr. Noble has adopted ? To discover the law which governs the relation between natural objects and spi

ritual essences,' is an undertaking of far too difficult a nature for him to have achieved ; nur is it to a mind of his order that the application of that law to such analogies, were its infallibility made known, could be entrusted. The theory which he advances is wild and visionary in the extreme, not defined by any intelligible principle, and limited by no controlling laws. Instead of removing, it increases the obscurities of Scripture, multiplies its difficulties tenfold, and transforms the rule of faith and duty into a book of enigmas. Before Mr. Noble's method, it is true every difficulty must give way, every obscurity must vanish. His explanations belong to his assumptions, and his assumptions are prepared for his explanations ; and by similar means the hieroglyphics of the Egyptian pillars and temples might themselves be with facility deciphered.

The professed object of this strange hypothesis of Inspiration is, the refutation of all objections to the divinity of the Scriptures ; and the Author commences this part of his labours by severely reprehending the labours of those advocates who adhere to the literal interpretation of the Bible. There cannot, he maintains, be a greater mistake than to imagine, that the first chapter of Genesis is intended to be an exact description of the process of the Creation of the world ; nor are all the events which follow, down to the time of Abraham, intended to give the history of mankind as to their outward transactions, but a history of mankind as to the state of their minds, and their reception or perversion of divine gifts or graces.

--The early chapters of Genesis treat of the people wbo were of this character and genius,-both of those who had an intuitive perception of spiritual things in natural objects, and of those who enjoyed the knowledge of them by science and study; and therefore that part of the book is written in a style similar to that which those people used; that is, spiritual and interior subjects are described in language borrowed from the appearances of nature,—in the form of apologue and allegory,~in a narrative that appears in the letter to relate only to natural and ordinary facts.' p. 570

This view of the subject, we are told, (p.575,) solves all difficulties, and is, itself, absolutely unattended by any. The literal history was never intended to be understood as such; it therefore can contradict nothing, (p. 576.) Such is Mr. Noble's confidence in the perfection of his rule ! Doubtless, having performed such a service to the world, by putting it in possession of his notable discovery of the true and only rationale of Biblical interpretation, he is fondly anticipating the gratitude of every Christian, and the surrender on the part of unbelievers of all their objections to the truth of Revelation. Our readers may judge from the following examples, how far the application of Mr. Noble's theory affords a probable means of convincing and satisfying any class of objectors. An unbeliever may, indeed, from Mr. Noble's representations, be induced to believe that · Divine Wisdom deems it of no im“portance whatever, if an impression be left of transient events

different from the true one;' (p. 577.) and he may readily accept the Author's explanation of such a case as the following: In the gospel of St. Matthew, Chap. xxvii. 9, 10. the name of the prophet Jeremiah occurs in connexion with the citation of a passage which is found in the prophecy of Zechariah. The mistake of an early scribe might be imagined to be a probable source of the erratum. But let us hear Mr. Noble.

• If the Word of God be the Word of God indeed, it is a mere truism to affirm, that the Spirit which dictated it cannot possibly regard it as the work of men: consequently, that Spirit can never mean to ascribe any of its books to the men whose names they bear. Every prophet who was commissioned to deliver any portion of the Word of God, became, ipso facto, a representative type of the Word of God itself; specifically, of that portion of it which he was the instrument of writing. When, therefore, a prophet is cited by name in the inspired writings, it is not that prophet, personally, that was in the mind of the Spirit of God; nor even the specific book that bears his name: but his name is used as a symbol of all that portion of Scripture which is of the same character as belongs generally to the writings of the prophet' named, whether occurring in his book or in any other. The weeping prophet, Jeremiah, we have noticed, though a real character, is a striking personification of that species of Divine Truth, or of that portion of the Divine Word, which treats of the utter corruption of the Jewish Church, and its mal-treatment of the Word: the latter is precisely the character of the divine declaration which is here cited as from him. And whilst this passage is so deci.. dedly of the same character as distinguishes the writings of Jeremiah,

it as evidently does not at all belong to the general character of the book of Zechariah, which is mostly composed of a cheering strain : wherefore the Spirit of Inspiration designates the statements which even Zechariah delivers on the former subjects, by the name of its proper type, Jeremiah.' pp. 603—5.

How satisfactory and how beautiful, exclaims Mr. Noble, is this explanation !'. It is a perfectly easy solution of a difficulty which, upon every other theory, is insurmountable.' But is Mr. Noble able to produce the sanction of the Scriptures for this beautiful' explanation? Can he point out a single instance of the kind in the Bible? In the entire absence of all such examples, and of all other evidence, the presumption of the Author is equal only to his marvellous self-complacency. Such a theory is adapted to produce effects on the minds of unbelievers very different from the removal of their prejudices. . Here is another specimen of the application of his theory.

. - Most certainly, none but such views as we have offered of the nature of the Israelitish dispensation, can meet the objections of the Deist on the score of the immoral conduct, and the acts of wrong and outrage, committed by those who, if we refuse to look beyond the letter, were the personal favourites of heaven. You deny (most of you) a typical character to any persons or actions which are not ex. pressly recognised in that capacity in the New Testament. You deny then such a character to Jael and her slaughter of Sisera : then how justify or excuse them? It is in vain to say, as some have done, that this was a transaction for which the performer alone was account. able, it not being owned by the God of the Scriptures ; whereas it is expressly eulogized by the voice of prophecy. With what sort of feelings do you read of a woman's killing her guest in his sleep, while you believe that it was the act itself, and not something represented by it, which was really agreeable to him who hath said, “ Thou shalt not kill?” Beautiful and impressive does the narrative become, when we read in it the manner in which wicked persons of the specific character represented by Sisera, endeavour to escape detection, by lurking behind the assumed appearance of that species of good of which Jael is the type : and how, when they have thus filled up the measure of their iniquity by adding hypocrisy to their other vices, they sink into a merely natural state, of which sleep is the symbol, and thence pasa, unconsciously, into complete spiritual death; nailed to the earth,—to earth-born feelings,-for ever. Jael is thus seen as the representative of goodness of a genuine kind, which does not suffer itself to be prostituted by being made a cover to vice. Here is something on which the Divine approbation cannot but rest; but without it, how vindicate the transaction ?'

Now, how beautiful soever this may appear to Mr. Noble, there are some considerations belonging to the subject, which he would find to require his attention before he could

pp. 620, 21.

procure the admission of his explanation by an objector, even if he had been successful in establishing the solidity of his theory. Is there, it may be asked, any reality in the narratives detailed in the book of Judges ? Whether they be typical or not, whether they be symbolic actions and descriptions or not, if they are real transactions, then, the facts being as they are stated, the theory of Mr Noble cannot make the slightest possible difference in respect to the character of the facts as approveable or blameable; and if the transaction cannot be vindicated without Mr. Noble's theory, it is equally indefensible with it.

Art. III. 1. Popular Tales and Romances of the Northern Nations.

In Three Volumes, small 8vo. pp. 1010. London. 1823. 2. German Popular Stories. 12mo. pp. 252. Price 78. London.

1823. 3. Peter Schlemihl : from the German of Lamotte Fouqué. 12mo.

pp. 165. Price 6s. 6d. London. 1824. 4. The Magic Ring; a Romance, from the German of Frederick,

Baron de la Motte Fouqué. In Three Volumes, small 8vo.

pp. 1010. London. 1825. CIRCUMSTANCES very remote from habits of romance

or novel reading, have recently made us acquainted with these whimsical volumes; and we are willing to give up a few paragraphs to some of the speculations which have been suggested by their perusal. We might, perbaps, even in a common way, be more profitably employed; but it is our business to take a general view of the field of literature, and we shall avail ourselves of the little excursion that we have just made, to describe some of the prospects we met with in our tour. And, after all, if the belles lettres are worth cultivating, their history must be worth investigating; and if this be done with any regard to accuracy and completeness, the annals of fable must be carefully traced. What are the drama and the epopee,

but fictitious narratives of a higher order, with a more artificial arrangement, and with decoration more varied and more vivid ? In short, the fictions of a nation are to a great extent illustrative of its history, and characteristic of its tastes and feelings.

We are not quite expert enough in these matters to enter on a specific discrimination of the marking features of romantic jovention and fictitious composition, as observable in the lite. rature of different and distant countries ; but we have been struck, so far as our knowledge reaches, with the general supe

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