in general were ignorant. Sacrifices in other places only accompanied special divine manifestations, which made the recipient temporarily a priest. Even if it were proved that the law with regard to a central sanctuary was not observed, it would not show that the law did not exist, any more than violation of the second commandment by Solomon proves his ignorance of the decalogue, or the medieval neglect of the New Testament by the Roman church proves that the New Testament did not then exist. We cannot argue that ?where there was transgression, there was no law? (Watts, New Apologetic, 843, and The Newer Criticism).
In the light of recent research, however, we cannot regard these replies as satisfactory. Woods, in his article on the Hexateuch, Hastings? Dictionary, 2:365, presents a moderate statement of the results of the higher criticism, which commends itself to us as more trustworthy. He calls it a theory of stratification, and holds that ?certain more or less independent documents, dealing largely with the same series of events were composed at different periods, or, at any rate, under different auspices, and were afterwards combined, so that our present Hexateuch, which means our Pentateuch with the addition of Joshua, contains these several different literary strata? The main grounds for accepting this hypothesis of stratification are
(1) that the various literary pieces, with very few exceptions, will be found on examination to arrange themselves by common characteristics into comparatively few groups;
(2) that an original consecution of narrative may be frequently traced between what in their present form are isolated fragments.
?This will be better understood by the following illustration. Let us suppose a problem of this kind: Given a patchwork quilt, explain the character of the original pieces out of which the bits of stuff composing the quilt were cut. First, we notice that, however well the colors may blend, however nice and complete the whole may look, many of the adjoining pieces do not agree in material, texture, pattern, color, or the like. Ergo, they have been made up out of very different pieces of stuff? But suppose we further discover that many of the bits, though now separated, are like one another in material, texture, etc., we may conjecture that these have been cut out of one piece. But we shall prove this beyond reasonable doubt if we find that several bits when unpicked fit together, so that the pattern of one is continued in the other: and, moreover, that if all of like character are sorted out, they form, say, four groups, each of which was evidently once a single piece of stuff, though
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