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of Divine power, when everything points to a continuity of the same original plan of action, that has previously manifested itself in the progressive evolution of the highest Mammal from the primordial jelly-speck?
To myself the conception of a continuity of action which required no departure to meet special contingencies, because the plan was all-perfect in the beginning, is a far higher and nobler one than that of a succession of interruptions, such as would be involved in the creation de novo of the vast series of new types which Palæontological study is daily bringing to our knowledge. And in describing the process of evolution in the ordinary language of Science, as due to “secondary causes,” we no more dispense with a First Cause, than we do when we speak of those Physical Forces, which, from the Theistic point of view, are so many diverse modes of manifestation of one and the same Power. Nor do we in the least set aside the idea of an original Design, when we regard these adaptations which are commonly attributed to special exertions of contriving power and wisdom, as the outcome of an all-comprehensive Intelligence which foresaw that the product would be “good," before calling into existence the germ from which it would be evolved. We simply, to use the language of Whewell, “ transfer the notion of design and end from the region of facts to that of laws,” that is, from the particular cases to the general plan: and find ourselves aided in our conception of the Infinity of Creative Wisdom and Power, when we regard it as exerted in a manner which shows that not only the peopling of the globe with the Plants and Animals suited to every phase of its physical conditions, but the final production of Man himself—the heir of all preceding ages, with capacities that enable him to become but "a little lower than the angels ”—was comprehended in the original scheme.
And, lastly, I would point out that the doctrine of Evolution presents its greatest attractiveness, when viewed, not merely in its Scientific aspect, as the highest form of the Intellectual interpretation of Nature, but in its Moral bearings—as one which leads Man ever onwards and upwards, and encourages his brightest anticipations of the ultimate triumph of Truth over Error, of Knowledge over Ignorance, of Right over Wrong, of Good over Evil,-thus claiming the earnest advocacy of every one who accepts it as scientifically true. And it is under this conviction that I have now brought the subject before you; in the hope of, at any rate, weakening what I cannot but regard as the prejudices of some, and strengthening in others that disposition to regard it favourably, which its cordial acceptance by many of the ablest leaders of Religious Thought may have already engendered.
DR. KUENEN'S HIBBERT LECTURES.
R. KUENEN ingeniously discovered an unappro
priated, but most important, aspect of the history. of religions, from which to regard it in the course of Hibbert Lectures, delivered by him last spring. Dr. Max Müller had gone deeply into the question of the essence of religion, of its origin, original character, and subsequent development, till it reached the stage of nature-myths exhibited in the early Indian Vedas, which were his proper theme. Yet in all those preliminary chapters we look in vain for any allusion to a division of existing religions into those limited to one nation, and those that spread from one nation to be adopted in an unlimited circle beyond. And Mr. Rhys Davids, while treating of Buddhism, one of the universal religions that sprang up on the soil of one of the typical national ones, does not, as far as I can see, emphasize the distinction in question. To have avoided this precise aspect of the religious systems of the world is no reproach to either lecturer. They had abundant and overflowing matter without it; and Dr. Max Müller's object was to classify religions according to their internal character, not according to their history. But the consideration that so many courses had already been delivered on the history of religions without any discrimination of the national and the universal, makes us rejoice that
Lectures on National Religions and Universal Religions. Delivered in Oxford and London. By A. KUENEN, LL.D., D.D., Professor of Theology at Leyden. Hibbert Lectures, 1882. Williams and Norgate.
Dr. Kuenen has seen fit at once to supply the want. It is a distinction on which all speculators on the history of religion will find it profitable to ponder, and which may therefore well be found fruitful by future lecturers on this foundation. It is here introduced, in the most natural combination, in connection with a course dealing with the pre-eminently national religion-Yahwism,* or the religion of the Old Testament, and with the universal religion that sprang from it-Christianity; illustrating the subject by a subsidiary treatment of the two other known universal religions—Buddhism and Islám.
All religions begin by being national, if indeed even this is not too extensive an appellation to bestow on the small tribe held together by the same religious ideas. The tribe speaks the same language, and therefore holds the same ideas, for ideas are conterminous with words. Others, however near geographically, not having the same words, cannot hold the same ideas. The religious ideas and the practices resulting from them must in the primeval age have been extremely few and simple. Every family, indeed, in patriarchal times, when the family-bond-in far later times regarded as the germ of the state-bond-actually was the state-bond, must have had its distinct religious rites. Of this we have many proofs wherever the separate life of the family has not been eclipsed by the later combination of many families to form a larger state-in the Latin gentes, the German and Norse clans, the Arabic families. When such adjacent clans had in progress of time found their common interest in dropping their separate existence, and gradually losing their dialectic differences of speech, and began to be fused into a larger nation, their language was enriched by the adoption into the common speech of words that had been the exclusive property of one only of the former clan; and, similarly, the ultimate religion was an amalgamation of the religions of all the clans. Thus a more complicated religion is the resultant, in which we shall not be surprised to find several distinct gods to represent each of the powers of nature or of the mind, and many distinct forms of ritual to propitiate the divine powers. In later times the separate origin of these deities, with similar attributes from distinct clans, is likely to be forgotten, and then systematising mythologists will attempt to discriminate them by their attributes-against the true history, if it could only be known; or, again, of two names, one will be accepted as the only true name, and the other explained away as an epithet. With such difficulties is the investigation of religions everywhere beset. As the original. ideas, and even the language, of the early clans are generally pre-historic, or at best known only in very general outlines, it must in most cases be extremely difficult now to disentangle the complicated system. Who can say, for instance, what elements of the Roman religion are derived respectively from the Romans, the Latins, and the Sabines ? or even what the Greeks owed to the Æolians, the Dorians, and the Ionians? Yet when once we recognise the fact that what we call the Religion of the Romans has been
* This term is perhaps the best that could be adopted for the religion of the Old Testament—the worship of Yahweh. Mosaism means the system of the Pentateuch ; Judaism, the post-exilian system of the tribe of Judah, when they became “ Jews.” But the spelling, at least, is open to question. It is my strong opinion that changes in orthography should be made systematically in all words of similar formation or origin) or not at all. Until, therefore, we are prepared to transliterate the Hebrew , and, in all proper names by y and w (writing Yoseph, Yoel, Yirmeyahu, Yeshayahu for Joseph, Joel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Hawwah, Washti, Ewi. Merodach, Awwim for Eve, Vashti, Evil-M., Avim), we ought not to introduce confusion by writing exceptionally Yahweh instead of Jahvek; if we do so, we obliterate all similarity to other names similarly formed from the imperfect tense (Jeremiah, Joseph, &c.), and act as perversely as one who should coin a new English word, based on a Latin in atio, and speil it ashyun, or aishun. Even as to pronunciation, there is no more reason for pronouncing the j correctly (i.e., as y) in Jahveh than in Joseph ; or if any of us think there is, it should be done through special instruction about the word Jahveh being exceptional, just as is done without difficulty in the anologous case of Hallelu-Jah,