26 JUNE 1880, Page 22

The Old Testament According to the Authorised Version. With a

Brief Commentary by Various Authors. Prophetical Books, Isaiah to Malachi. (S.P.C.K.)—This is a useful volume, which may be safely recommended to those who want a ready help for difficulties which may occur in their Bible reading, and will be content with a moderately orthodox reply to them. The names of the writers are respectable, and in one case, at leant, something more, but naturally they are not among those who favour free inquiry. It would have been better, perhaps, to have avoided disputed topics altogether, as it was impossible to treat them adequately. The Dean of Canterbury, for instance, who has commented on Isaiah, would have done better to take the unity of the prophecy for granted, than to write such a sentence as this,—" If any one can believe that the relation of the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah with the Gospel is fortuitous,

such an one may believe in two Isaiahs and two Shakespeares ; for the aberrations of the human intellect are infinite." Now, to believe that there are two Isaiahs is a very different thing from holding that the "relation of the fifty-third chapter with the Gospel is fortuitous." It is quite possible to believe in the Messianic character of this prophecy, and yet to hold that it was written by a writer of a date consider- ably later than the contemporary rof Hezekiah. We do not see that there is anything essential in the date, but the Dean goes beyond even the intolerance of the Athanasian Creed, and damns all who will not accept, not only his theology, but even his criticism.