finite humanity.? A little fire can kindle a city or a world; but ten times the heat of that little fire, if widely diffused, would not kindle anything.
(6) That of original delivery to a single nation, and to single persons in that nation, that it may through them be communicated to mankind.
Each nation represents an idea. As the Greek had a genius for liberty and beauty, and the Roman a genius for organization and law, so the Hebrew nation had a ?genius for religion? (Renan); this last, however, would have been useless without special divine aid and superintendence, as witness other productions of this same Semitic race, such as Bel and the Dragon, in the Old Testament Apocrypha; the gospels of the Apocryphal New Testament; and later still, the Talmud and the Koran.
The O.T. Apocrypha relates that, when Daniel was thrown a second the into the lions? den, an angel seized Habbakuk in Judea by the hair of his head and carried him with a bowl of pottage to give to Daniel for his dinner. There were seven lions, and Daniel was among them seven days and nights. Tobias starts from his father?s house to secure his inheritance, and his little dog goes with him. On the banks of the great river a great fish threatens to devour him, but he captures and despoils the fish. He finally returns successful to his father?s house, and his little dog goes in with him. In the Apocryphal Gospels, Jesus carries water in his mantle when his pitcher is broken; makes clay birds on the Sabbath, and, when rebuked, causes them to fly?; strikes a youthful companion with death, and then curses his accusers with blindness; mocks his teachers, and resents control. Later Moslem legends declare that Mohammed caused darkness at noon; whereupon the moon flew to him, went seven times around the Ka?ba, bowed, entered his right sleeve, split into two halves after slipping out at the left, and the two halves, after retiring to the extreme east and west, were reunited. These products of the Semitic race show that neither the influence of environment nor a native genius for religion furnishes an adequate explanation of our Scriptures. As the flame on Elijah?s altar was caused, not by the dead sticks, but by the fire from heaven, so only the inspiration of the Almighty can explain the unique revelation of the Old and New Testaments.
The Hebrews saw God in conscience. For the most genuine expression of their life we ?must look beneath the surface, in the soul, where worship and aspiration and prophetic faith come face to face with God? (Genung, Epic of the Inner Life, 28). But the Hebrew religion needed to be supplemented by the sight of God in reason, and in the beauty of the world. The Greeks had the love of knowledge, and the esthetic sense.
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