Henry Parry Liddon, in a letter to Charles Gore in 1889, writes:
Criticism is an equivocal term, and is applied to very different kinds of Textual or Exegetical work. Dr. Pusey in one sense was a great critic; in another, Strauss and Bruno Bauer and Feuerbach were. What the young “exports”, such as Professor Cheyne, mean by criticism now, is, I suppose, that kind of discussion of doctrines and of documents which treats the individual reason as an absolutely competent and final judge, and which has the most differentiating merit of being independent of church authority…. Criticism with Dr. Pusey was… the bringing of all that learning and thought could bring to illustrate the mind of Christian antiquity, which really guided him. All criticism, I suppose really proceeds on certain principles, preliminary assumptions for the critic to go upon. The question in all cases is, Whence do these preliminary assumptions come?… Certainly these placita which abound in the new “Old Testament criticism” do not appear to come from the text itself; they are imposed on it from without. (Cited in A. G. Herbert, The Authority of the Old Testament, 27.)"Whence do these preliminary assumptions come?" This really is the essential question when approaching the findings of modern Biblical criticism (or, for that matter, of any sort of academic criticism).