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revival: men of contrary temperament these, but belonging to the same epoch and produced by the same influences as Loyola and Luther by the Renaissance, or Laud and Cartwright by the Puritan revival; Joel is a moral poet of uncertain date who draws from so simple an incident as a devastating flight of locusts a symbol of the judgment day of Jehovah; Jonah is a satire written by an unknown author on the narrowness of Israel and a testimony to the universality of Jehovah's lovingkindnesses and tender mercies; and Daniel is latest of all the prophets, and his apocalyptic visions, like those of his antitype in the New Testament, are still a perplexity to the spiritual and a peril to the literalist.

If we attempt to combine in a single sentence the message of these prophets it will be something like this we learn from Amos that God is a just God who will not spare the guilty; from Hosea that he is a merciful God, tender, patient, and longsuffering; from Micah that he is the God of the poor, and will punish those who wrong his poor; from Isaiah and Nahum that he is the God of nations, the real power in all history and behind all powers; from Zephaniah that he cannot be deceived by pretentious and superficial reforms; from Habakkuk that the soul can trust in him when it cannot understand his ways; from Jeremiah that he is the God of individuals and that no nation can be righteous in his sight whose individual members are unrighteous; from Ezekiel that he is the Universal Presence, in the desert as in

the Temple; from the Great Unknown that he is the God of all hope and will redeem the world from sin and suffering by sinless suffering; from Jonah that he is a God of all peoples, Jew and Gentile; from the prophets of the restoration, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, that the religion of form and the religion without form are both acceptable to God, if there be the real spirit of faith and hope and love in either the one or the other; and last of all, from Joel that God will come to judge the world with righteousness and the people with his truth.

But the prophets have another function to perform than to testify to the meaning of righteousness in God and in man; the consideration of that function must be reserved for another chapter.



"By religion," says John Henry Newman, "I mean the knowledge of God, of his will, and of our duties toward him."1 By religion the ancient Hebrew included also the acceptance of reliance upon God's promises. The relation of man to God is one of dependency; but a relation of dependency involves mutual obligations, those of the dependent to his superior, those of the superior to the one who is dependent upon him. It is the distinctive characteristic of the religious teachers of the ancient Hebrews that they frankly recognize this mutuality of obligation between God and man, between the Creator and the creature; between the divine Sovereign, Father, Husband, and the human citizen, child, wife; to speak more accurately, they represent Jehovah himself as recognizing it. Jehovah is a King the citizens owe loyalty to the king, but the king also owes protection to the citizens; Jehovah is a Father: the child owes obedience to the father, but the father also owes counsel and sustenance to the child; Jehovah is a Husband: the wife owes fidelity to her husband, but the husband also

1 Grammar of Assent, p. 378.

owes love and guardianship to the wife. This recognition of mutual obligation is implied in the word used to designate the relation between God and men, Covenant or Testament, and so identified with the relation which the literature seeks to describe that it is made the title of the entire collection. A covenant necessarily implies mutuality, and this mutuality is directly affirmed, and, what is more important, tacitly assumed by Jehovah in all his revelations of himself and in all his dealings with his people. Religion, in the thought of these Hebrew writers, consists not merely of the obligation which man owes to God, but also and equally of the obligation which God has assumed toward man, and it is not too much to say that scarcely less stress is laid in the sacred writings on what God will do for man, than on what man ought to do in fulfillment of his duties toward God. In short, these writings are not less promises of divine counsel, comfort, protection, and support than they are summons to human loyalty and obedience. In this respect, as in some others, the religion of the ancient Hebrews is unique. The gods of the Greeks and Romans are represented as sometimes rendering special favors to special favorites, but I do not think any pagan religion represents the deity as entering into a covenant with the human race or even with a special people, and binding himself by pledges to them, so that the history of their national life consists of the history of his fulfillment of this covenant and their fulfillment of

it, or failure to fulfill.

But this is in the Hebrew history and the Hebrew literature the distinctive characteristic of Jehovah: he is a covenant-making and a covenant-keeping God.

This mutuality of obligation between Jehovah and Israel is accompanied by explicit promises and pledges on his part to Israel. And these promises give to Israel's religion another distinctive peculiarity. Their religion is forelooking, it is anticipatory, it appeals to hope, it is an incentive to progress. The golden age of the ancient Hebrews was in the future; that of other ancient nations was in the past. In general, pagan religion is essentially conservative if not reactionary. It recalls or imagines a position of glory from which the nation has fallen; it turns the thoughts of the people toward the past; it rehearses their sins and demands of them some expiation; it is so busy in providing this expiation that it has no time or thought to interpret present duties or inspire future hopes. It is true that the Hebrew religion had in its legends the story of a garden of innocence and a fall. But that story once told was never repeated. It is not referred to again in all the Hebrew literature. Never does poet or prophet recall to the people their Eden or call on them to go back to it. It is true that the sins of Israel are clearly depicted and judicially condemned, and the people are summoned to repentance. But they are told to show their repentance by a new life; Daniel's message to Nebuchadnezzar summarizes the message of all

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