Note on Bunsen's Biblical Researches.
SINCE the Essay on Bunsen's Biblical Researches was in type, two more parts of the Bible for the People' have reached England. One includes a translation of Isaiah, but does not separate the distinguishable portions in the manner of Ewald, or with the freedom which the translator's criticisms would justify. The other part comprehends numerous dissertations on the Pentateuch, entering largely on questions of its origin, materials, and interpretation. There seems not an entire consistency of detail in these dissertations, and in the views deducible from the author's Egypt, but the same spirit and breadth of treatment pervade both. The analysis of the Levitical laws, by which the Mosaic germs are distinguished from subsequent accretions, is of the highest interest. The Ten Plagues of Egypt are somewhat rationalistically handled, as having a true historical basis, but as explicable by natural phenomena, indigenous to Egypt in all ages. The author's tone upon the technical definition of miracles, as distinct from great marvels and wonders, has acquired a firmer freedom, and would be represented by some among ourselves as painfully sceptical.' But even those who hesitate to follow the author in his details must be struck by the brilliant suggestiveness of his researches, which tend more and more, in proportion as they are developed, to justify the presentiment of their creating a new epoch in the science of Biblical criticism.