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MODERN BIBLICAL CRITICISM.
Rev. EDWIN GOULD, M. A.
II ENRY H. & T. W. CARTER,
13 BEACON STREET.
SEVERAL excellent works have appeared, embodying the principles of the New Church, as taught in the theological writings of EMANUEL SWEDENBORG, in relation to the nature and origin of the Holy Scriptures,-among which may be mentioned, in addition to the works of Swedenborg himself, Noble’s • Plenary Inspiration,’ Rendell’s ‘Peculiarities of the Bible,' Silver's Symbolic Character of the Sacred Scriptures, and “Holy Word in its Own Defence,' and others. The object of the present publication, however, as its title indicates, is somewhat different.
First, it has been sought to furnish a kind of Introduction, of a popular nature, to the Historical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, from the point of view of the New Church, as well as to exhibit the principles of Scriptural interpretation unfolded in the writings of Swedenborg, in their relations to the various theories concerning the nature and origin of those Scriptures in vogue at the present day. Secondly, the author has desired to rescue a great name from the obscurity, among scholars at least, in which it has too long lain buried : a task which he hopes he has, more especially in the opening chapter of the second part of this work, in some measure accompiished.
In the execution of his work, the author trusts that he has been throughout guided by principles of perfect fairness and impartiality, and, in exhibiting the views of others in particular, has everywhere aimed to do so in an entirely unprejudiced and candid spirit. Should he, however, in any instance, have been betrayed into anything that appears hostile to this spirit, he here takes the opportunity, once for all, of craving the pardon of his readers, and of exhorting them to regard it as rather the offspring of controversial heat, than the result of any party-prejudice, still less of any form of the odium theologicum, from which he claims to be, in principle at least, wholly exempt. While speaking in reference to this topic, the author would further express his regret that, in several cases, he has not had access to original sources in making quotations from, or giving the views of other writers, especially in Germany, but trusts that the known reputation of most of the authorities from whom he has borrowed in those instances, will be sufficient guarantee for the accuracy of the statement of principles set forth.
The work is now submitted to the public in the hope that it may supply a want, and that, notwithstanding its necessarily sectarian, or, at least, denominational character, it contains information which will be of use to the scholar as well as to the general reader.