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biographical narratives covering the period from Samuel to the Maccabean triumph. The work, apart from the notes, chiefly textual, and an introduction on the character of the narratives, is simply an edition of the Old Testament arranged according to subject-matter; thus, in the present instance, the historical materials are disposed, not in the canonical order, but according to the chronological sequence of events. It is, in fact, a sort of harmony of the Old Testament, which gives us at a glance, in parallel columns, all the narratives referring to any particular event, precisely as a gospel harmony or synopsis. Thus, for the reign of David, we have the parallel accounts of Samuel and the Chronicler; for the Maccabean times, of First and Second Maccabees, the editor includes not only the bistorical books proper, but also the historical portions of certain prophetical books, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Haggai. The excel. lent maps and chronological tables will be welcomed as valuable aids by the student-if the cost of the six rather expensive volumes, which will comprise the set, do not keep them out of his reach.
The Catholic reader will be pleased to note that the learned Yale professor includes the two books of Maccabees among his historical sources, and favors their admission into the canon. He will be pleased likewise to see that high historical value is accorded to the first book of Maccabees, and that some historical elements, at least, are recognized as existing in the second; and while he will regret that this scholar has been unable to accord a higher degree of historical trustworthiness to these books of Sacred Scripture, he will better comprehend the reason for it on learning that the erudite Jesuit commentator, Father Knabenbauer, until recently the very bulwark of conservative criticism, has felt constrained to take an attitude on this question essentially similar to Dr. Kent's. The errors and inaccuracies which the Jesuit author points out in these books are ascribed to popular rumor; but they are reconciled with the doctrine of inspiration by an admirable application of the theory respecting the intention of the writer.
The book of Esther is placed by Dr. Kent among the historical writings; not that he regards the facts it relates as real history, but because the work exhibits the temper of the chosen race in the second century before Christ. On his own ground, then, we fail to see how he can in consistency omit Judith and Tobias. An impartial criticism will not rank them below Esther in historical worth; and a devout mind will find in them far more food for edification than in the story of Vashti's rival, especially as it stands in the Protestant Bible. We do not doubt that if Judith and Tobias were found in the Protestant Canon, our author could reconcile his conscience to including them among the historical books, just as easily as he has found room for Esther. Dr. Kent's method of dealing with Esther has been followed by the Catholic Cosquin with respect to Tobias; and the Sulpician Father Vigouroux, the present secretary of the Biblical Commission, with unwonted boldness, has added his great authority to the application by giving it his encouragement, if not entire acceptance. If this radical method of dealing with the deutero-canonical historical books is to prevail in the circles of Vigouroux and Knabenbauer, objection on the part of scholars like Dr. Kent to including them in the Canon would probably disappear. Our author's favorable view of Maccabees leads us to hope that he is free from the bias which so unwisely excludes from the Canon the beautiful books of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus; and that perhaps the day is not far distant when the Church's position respecting the Canon of the Old Testament will be fully vindicated by non-Catholic scholars.
The attitude which the Yale professor takes up in reference to Ezra and Nehemiah is an indication that Van Hoonacker, the distinguished Louvain professor, is at last about to come into his own. The priority of Nehemiah to Ezra in the work of reforming the restored Jewish community, first mooted and then, post multa certamina, proven by Van Hoonacker, is fully upheld by Dr. Kent; and it seems likely that the great restorer of Israel will receive the place in history that he deserves. The Ezra of Dr. Kent, however, is far too shadowy a figure to appeal to the historical sense of the Dutch critic.
The general plan of the present volume and its execution are worthy of all praise; but many incidental blemishes, particularly its freedom in questioning or denying the trustworthi. ness of many narratives, prevent us from recommending this otherwise admirable work as a manual suitable to Catholic students of the Bible.
This book is a study of the A STUDY IN APOLOGETICS. methods of apologetics. This desBy Gardeil.
ignation of its character is an in
dication of its timeliness. In what relation to the supernatural act of faith, stand the motives which prompt our belief that God has given a supernatural revelation, and our assent to the truths contained in that revelation? This problem Father Gardeil considers from the subjective and the objective points of view, and resolves by the principles of St. Thomas. The work, which, considering the scope of the question, is very moderate in size, is divided into three books.
In the first the notion of credibility, the degrees of reasonable credibility, and its special character, are expounded. The credibility of faith, Father Gardeil concludes, is usually based on motives which have a relative force. Nevertheless, the second book proceeds to establish the possibility of rigorously demonstrating the fact of a divine attestation of revelation, in accordance with the words of the Vatican Council: cum recta ratio fidei fundamenta demonstrat. In the third book Father Gardeil applies his principles and conclusions to the appreciation of the various methods of apologetics. The existence of scientific apologetic, a type of which is Zigliara's Propædeutica, Father Gardeil argues, is a possibility following from the possibility of having demonstrative proof of the credibility of revelation. His next step is to show that, while the motives of credibility, for the most part, do not in themselves possess demonstrative force, yet, grouped under the hegemony of theology, which may be done without falling into a vicious circle, they are adequate. The author then proceeds to examine the subjective method in general. While he concedes to it some subordinate utility and efficacy, his verdict on it is: “ L'apologetique immantiste n'aboutit pas comme doctrine; si il semble aboutir dans des consciences individuelles, c'est en vertu des causes qui ne sont pas du ressort apologetique.”
In support of this conclusion he examines, successively, the three subjective methods, the pragmatist, the moral, and the fideist. If the pragmatist method confines itself strictly to its own resources, it is incapable of resulting in a doctrine; but if, illogically, instead of building solely on action and life, it assumes the existence of the supernatural in Christian life, it may be granted a limited utility in certain cases. In examining the moral method, which he condemns as either inefficient, or, if it assumes the existence of the supernatural, a mere begging of the question, Farther Gardeil, of course, has his eye on Newman. His most significant, direct criticism of the Cardinal's doctrine is contained in a footnote:
* La Crédibilité et L'Apologetique. Par le Pere A. Gardeil. Paris: Lecoffre.
From the very first page of his Grammar of Assent, Newman debars himself from reaching apologetically the specifically Christian assent of faith. That assent, in fact, is essentially propter testimonium. Now the assent of which Newman speaks all the time, in his Grammar and elsewhere, is not an assent essentially relative to veracious testimony, but a belief that is the highest form of opinion, but never transcends the sphere of opinion, which is created by the vraisemblances and internal harmonies between the external world (les choses) and our interior dispositions. At bottom, Newman, through the Kantian Coleridge, whose influence on him he acknowledged, has his views colored by the Kantian idea of faith, which is characterized by the objective insufficiency and the subjective sufficiency of the motives on which adhesion is based.
A disciple of Newman would reply to this stricture by contending that for Newman a convergence of high probabilities may, by their cumulative force, beget an assent accompanied by complete certitude. In an appendix consisting of a further discussion on the availability of miracles as a proof of credibility, the author brings his principles to bear on the views expressed by Le Roy, Lebreton, and some other recent writers who have advocated the “phenomenalist " position on this subject. This remarkably logical treatise will repay a thorough study. In a closing note Father Gardeil observes that he was putting the finishing touches to the last lines just as the Pope's Encyclical against Modernism appeared, which document, he continues, confirms the views and conclusions of the book, and, in particular, of the appendix, concerning phenomenist philosophy and apologetics.
If one desires to measure the disRELIGION AND HISTORIC tance traveled by German ProtestFAITHS.
antism, under the guidance of in. By Pfleiderer.
dividualism, since Luther formu.
lated the principle, Dr. Pfleiderer, professor of Protestant theology in the University of Berlin,
and a widely acknowledged leader and light of contemporary English and American Protestant thought, may be accepted as the register. The readings of that index display the fact that this Protestantism has broken with everything that the first reformers considered essentials of Christianity. The present work though comparatively small, and superficial in character, consists of a series of lectures delivered to a general audience in Berlin University, and exhibits the professor's valuation of Christianity. In that estimate the supernatural is rejected as mythical, the dogmatic has no place; Christianity is reduced to its purely ethical element, and its Founder is shorn of all superhuman authority. These are the proportions to which Christianity is reduced in order to meet the needs of the vast mass of people in the various Protestant sects who refuse to believe in the traditional faiths of these bodies and yet desire to keep up some profession of Christianity. This Protestantism, eviscerated of the last traces of supernatural religion, is a mere natural theism which graciously accords to Jesus of Nazareth a primacy of honor among the great moral teachers of the world. And it is this conception of Christianity that is accepted, for the most part, among moral and religious teachers of our American secular universities. No wonder that sincere Protestants who still retain allegiance to the creeds of their fathers, and know the present trend of thought, are beginning to admit that all hope of saving supernatural religion from being utterly swept away by the onflowing tide of rationalism and positivism must be placed in the Catholic Church.
If the first half-score of the lectures contained in the col. lection were issued as a separate volume it might be recommended as a defence of the universality of the religious instinct as manifested in the great ethnic religions of the ancient world. But though, like the curate's egg, parts of it are excellent, the objectionable section is of a character too pernicious to permit any recommendation of the volume.
The eloquent Dominican, Father
Proctor, after an interval of three
years, has given to the public at large the course of sermons on Catholic ritual which he deliv.
* Religion and Historic Faiths. By Otto Pfleiderer, Professor of the University of Berlin. New York: B. W. Huebsch.