27 JANUARY 1900, Page 12

A Literary Study of the Bible. By Richard G. Moulton,

M.A. (Isbister and Co. 10s. 6d.)—We have noticed from time to time the successive voltimes of Professor Moulton'a " Modern Reader's Bible." This volume, which is a revised and partly rewritten edition of a book published some little time ago, is a working out in detail of the same principle. The literary aspect of the Bible is incontestably obscured by its theological character, and it is well to have it presented in a regular manner. Not less im- portant is the bearing which the set of facts thus brought into prominence has on questions of criticism. Some of the professors of the higher criticism take it upon themselves to pronounce judgments on questions which are really beyond their competence. The linguistic test can hardly be decisive where the materials for a comparison are so scanty, and the critic is often found to speak ex cathednd on literary matters upon which he is, to say the least, not more competent than others. Professor Moulton gives an instance very much in point. In Micah vii. there is .a marked contrast in tone between verses 1-6, where the prophet seems to despair of everything and every one, and verse 7, where he breaks out into an assertion of confidence in God. According to Well- hausen, " a century yawns " between the two verses. Professor Moulton is satisfied with the hypothesis of a change of speakers. This is a literary question, and we frankly say that some of our most confident critics give us no proof of their competence in these things, the Germans, as a rule, least of all. A chapter ii given to Hebrew versification, and the various forms of poetry. epic, elegiac, &c., are successively treated. To readers who may not be already acquainted with the book we can recommend it without hesitation.