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CHAPTER IV. CHRIST AND CRITICISM.
BY SIR ROBERT ANDERSON, K. C. B., LL. D. AUTHOR OF “THE BIBLE AND MODERN CRITICISM,” ETC., ETC., LONDON, ENGLAND.
In his “Founders of Old Testament Criticism” Professor Cheyne of Oxford gives the foremost place to Eichhorn. He hails him, in fact, as the founder of the cult. And according to this same authority, what led Eichhorn to enter on his task was “his hope to contribute to the winning back of the educated classes to religion.” The rationalism of Germany at the close of the eighteenth century would accept the Bible only on the terms of bringing it down to the level of a human book, and the problem which had to be solved was to get rid of the element of miracle which pervades it. Working on the labors of his predecessors, Eichhorn achieved this to his own satisfaction by appealing to the oriental habit of thought, which seizes upon ultimate causes and ignores intermediate processes. This commended itself on two grounds. It had an undoubted element of truth, and it was consistent with reverence for Holy Scripture. For of the founder of the “Higher Criticism” it was said, what cannot be said of any of his successors, that “faith in that which is holy, even in the miracles of the Bible, was never shattered by Eichhorn in any youthful mind.”