|NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE.|
XX.—FROM THE DIVINE ORACLES TO THE HIGHER CRITICISM.
FORMERLY PRESIDENT OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY.
THE storm aroused by Essays and Reviews had not yet subsided when a far more serious tempest burst upon the English theological world.
In 1862 appeared a work entitled The Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua Critically Examined, its author being Colenso, Anglican Bishop of Natal in South Africa. He had formerly been highly esteemed as fellow and tutor at Cambridge, master at Harrow, and author of various valuable text-books in mathematics. Had he exercised his powers within the limits of popular orthodoxy, he was evidently in the way to the highest positions in the Church; but he chose another path. His treatment of his subject was reverent, but he had gradually come to those conclusions, then so daring, now so widespread among Christian scholars, that the Pentateuch, with much valuable historical matter, contains much that is unhistorical; that a large portion of it was the work of a comparatively late period in Jewish history; that many passages in Deuteronomy could only have been written after the Jews settled in Canaan; that the Mosaic law was not in force before the captivity; that the book of Chronicles was clearly written as an afterthought to enforce the views of the priestly caste; and that in all the books there is much that is mythical and legendary.
These statements, which now seem so moderate, then aroused