(1854-58. Contributions by W. Kelly.)
The identifying code is the year, month, day, and page number of the contribution.
5_01_20 p.15. — Isaiah 18:1|
5_01_20 p.20. — Rev. 13:8
5_02_03 p.27. — Ezekiel 38:13
5_02_03 p.28/9. — Hebrews 7:8
5_02_10 p.49/50. — Crowned Elders and the Cherubim
5_02_17 p.57. — Matthew 27:52-53
5_03_03 p.66/7. — Synoptical Study of the Gospels
5_03_31 p.94/5. — Romans 5:7
5_04_14 p.106. — 1 Timothy 4:1
5_04_21 p.119. — Matt. 13:44 - 46
5_04_21 p.126. — Revelation 20:4-5
5_05_12 p.147. — Mark 16:9
5_05_26 p.154/5. — Future State in the Pentateuch
5_06_09 p.173. — The word
5_06_16 p.180. — Isaiah 40:3-11
5_06_16 p.186. — 1 John 5:8
5_06_16 p.187. — Clement's Epistle
5_06_23 p.200/1. — Two Resurrections
5_07_07 p.207. — Synoptical Study of the Gospels
5_7_21 p.219. — Romans 2:15
5_07_21 p.223. — 1 Corinthians 15:29
5_08_04 p.231. — Texts Misapplied or Misquoted.
5_08_11 p.247. — Jer. 30, 31
5_08_11 p.247. — Matthew 5:48; 1 John 3:9
5_08_18 p.256. — Two Resurrections. — Rev. 20
5_08_18 p.259/60. — Texts Misapplied or Misquoted
5_09_01 p.270. — Texts Misapplied or Misquoted
5_09_01 p.273. — 1 John 2:1-2
5_09_15 p.284. — Texts Misapplied or Misquoted
5_09_15 p.284/5. — Genesis 1:1-2
5_09_15 p.286. — Mark 16:16-17
5_09_15 p.287. — Revelation 17:8
5_09_15 p.288. — Ὑπάγω
5_09_29 p.295. — Texts Misapplied or Misquoted
5_09_29 p.296/7. — Exodus 20:10
5_09_29 p.299. — Matthew 25:40
5_09_29 p.301. — Berleburg Bible
5_10_13 p.314/5. — Watching for the Lord's appearance
5_10_27 p.320. — Zechariah 14:5
5_10_27 p.321/2. — Matthew 11:2-3
5_10_27 p.322. — John 2 and 3
5_10_27 p.322/3. — 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8
5_10_27 p.325/6. — Full Assurance
5_11_03 p.330. — Joshua 20:6
5_11_03 p.331. — Ezekiel 28:13-15
5_11_03 p.334. — Matthew 26:52
5_11_03 p.335. — John 3:16
5_11_03 p.338. — 1 Thessalonians 1:10
5_11_03 p.338. — 1 Timothy 3:16
5_11_03 p.338. — 1 Timothy 4:10
5_11_03 p.338/9. — 2 Timothy 1:10
5_11_03 p.339. — Titus 3. 1-8
5_11_03 p.339. — high priest's offering for the sins of himself
5_11_03 p.339. — Hebrews 11:35
5_11_03 p.339. — 2 Peter 2:1
5_11_03 p.340. — 2 Peter 3:10
5_11_03 p.340/1. — 2 Peter 3:12
5_11_03 p.341. — 1 John 4:2
5_11_03 p.341. — Revelation 1:1
5_11_03 p.341. — Revelation 1:4
5_11_03 p.342. — Revelation 3:10
5_11_03 p.342. — Revelation 13:1; 17:3
5_11_03 p.342. — Conscience
5_11_03 p.342. — Jews
5_11_03 p.343. — The Gift of Tongues
5_11_10 p.351/2. — John 15:2, 6
5_11_10 p.352. — Acts 2:8, 11
5_11_10 p.352. — Acts 13:25
5_11_10 p.352. — Hebrews 1:9
5_11_10 p.354. — Christ's Intercession
5_11_24 p.365. — Ephesians 2:2
5_11_24 p.365. — Ephesians 3:15
5_12_08 p.375. — Ecclesiastes 3:21
5_12_08 p.375. — Isaiah 2:22, and 2 Chronicles 35:21
5_12_08 p.376. — Ezekiel 38:17
5_12_08 p.378. — Daniel 12:2
5_12_08 p.382. — Romans 16:7
5_12_08 p.382. — 1 Corinthians 4:4
5_12_08 p.382. — 2 Cor. 5:20
5_12_08 p.384. — 1 Peter 1:18
5_12_22 p.391. — Genesis 3:22
5_12_22 p.392. — Judges 15:4
5_12_22 p.395. — Mark 9:43-49
5_12_22 p.395/6. — Acts 26:28-29
Isaiah 18:1. — Woe to the land, etc. Vol. I. p. 271.
It is scarcely to be doubted that the first word ought to be a call to attention, as "Ho," rather than a denunciation of sorrow, as in the English version. Zech. 2:6, may be compared. "Woe" is its most frequent force.
Rev. 13:8 "… the book of life of the Lamb slain," Vol. I. p. 336.
M. S. M. is correct in thinking that the true link is between the names written (not the Lamb slain) from the foundation of the world. Christ was foreordained as a lamb before the foundation of the world, but not slain till the due time. But why say that the patriarchs walked by faith, we by sight, in the teeth of 2 Cor. 5:72? Doubtless we have accomplishment in Christ, and not promise merely; but this is a very different statement.
Ezekiel 38:13. Vol. II. p. 16. — Without pretending to say why the LXX adopted the rendering ἔυποροι Καρχηδόνιοι, I suppose one may venture to call it an interpretation, i.e. their judgment of the class intended rather than a translation, which our version gives faithfully. Ἔμποροι Θαρσίς, or ἔμπ. Κ. καὶ Θ. are given in some copies. The same thing is found in Ezek. 27:12, where we have Καρχ. ἔμπ. Nor is this peculiarity restricted to the Septuagint version of this prophet, for in Isa. 23:1, we read, Ὀλολύξατε πλοῖα Καρχηδόνος. Compare, also, ver. 6, 10, 14. Three anonymous interpreters (οἰ Γ.) read θάρσεις in ver. 1 and 6. Elsewhere Isaiah uses θαρσίς, as in Isa. 60:9; Isa. 66:19, and such is the general practice of the Septuagint translators. Their reason for considering Carthage to be Tarshish is another question; its Tyrian origin and commercial fame may have inclined them to that view.
Hebrews 7:8. Melchisedec. Vol. I. p. 222, (also Heb. 7:1-3, pp. 235, 323). — There is really no solid ground for denying that Melchisedec was a man, as simply as Abram, Lot, or any other personage that figures in the description of Gen. 14. The mystery consists not in the person, but in the way in which the Spirit of God records his appearance and action in the scene, so as to make of him a suitable type of the Lord Jesus. Thus not a word is said of his birth, or of his death; there is total silence as to his ancestors; and no hint is given of the lapse of his office, or of any successor. The Holy Ghost, by Paul, argues from this silence (which is so much the more striking as contrasted with the well known pedigree and succession of Aaron), and thus illustrates Christ's priesthood, which had really those features that are here shown to be typically foreshadowed in Melchisedec. For instance, while verse 8 refers to Melchisedec, all that is meant of him is that the testimony Scripture renders is to his life, not his death; whereas it frequently speaks of the death of Aaron and his sons. The same principle applies to his "abiding a priest continually." The Bible does not speak of his institution, nor of his resignation. When first we hear of Melchisedec he is a priest, and as such we leave him: no son, no successor appears. The name, "King of Righteousness," the place, "King of Salem," his sacerdotal office, especially in connection with a peculiar title of God, "priest of the Most High God," (which, in its full import, implies the possession, de facto as well as de jure, of heaven and earth,) the circumstances, ("met Abram returning from the slaughter of the Kings,") the character of his actions, ("blessed him," and not merely sacrifice and intercession,) are all obviously and eminently typical. There is scarcely more difficulty as to Melchisedec than as to Jethro, priest and king of a later day; though of course the latter could not furnish so apt an illustration, in the circumstances of the case, as the former. Both were real, historical, and not mere mystical persons. Two remarks maybe made towards the better understanding of this chapter and epistle. The first is, that, if the order is that of Melchisedec, the exercise is that of Aaron, as is most plain in Heb. 9, 10. The second is, that in verses 18, 19 of our chapter, we must take "for the law made nothing perfect" parenthetically, and suppose an ellipse of γίνεται (not of ἐτελείωσεν) with ἐπεισαγωγὴ. In other words, "did" ought to be left out of the authorised version.
The Crowned Elders and the Cherubim. Vol. II. pp. 10, 11. — If we are to adopt the text of Rev. 5:9-10, as suggested in vol. I. p. 324, it is plain that the usual proof for identifying the living creatures, or cherubim, with the redeemed, is entirely gone. The persons whose redemption is in question, are the saints referred to in verse 8, and who are evidently on earth, while the elders, and the cherubim, are in heaven. The use of the cherubim, in the Old Testament, in no way supports the conclusion that the redeemed are intended, but rather, that they are the executors of the judicial power of God; at least, such seems to me their force from Genesis to Ezekiel, and clearly, the living creatures are connected with His providential judgments in the Apocalypse. On the other hand, the evidence that the elders represent the heavenly intelligent redeemed, does not depend on Rev. 5:9-10. Their thrones, their white raiment, and their crowns of gold, if we only look at Rev. 4:4, are no mean indications of redemption; especially as thrones and crowns are never, that I recollect, in Scripture coupled with angels. Moreover, it ought to be borne in mind that they are seen as four-and-twenty elders, a symbol which, in my opinion, points to 1 Chron. 24, 25. In other words, they seem to set forth the heavenly redeemed, viewed in their priesthood, and with the service of harp and song before the Lord.
Matthew 27:52-53. Vol. II. p. 17. — Permit me to observe that it is, in my judgment, an inadequate as well as unwarranted remark on this passage, that a shock of the earthquake tore asunder the veil of the temple. The bare reading of the passage ought to show the amazing importance attached to the rending of the veil, which was in truth the death-knell of the Jewish ritual priesthood and system. It is named distinct from and before the account of the earthquake and its effects; and perhaps it may bear upon this point to notice that it was rent not from below but from above, "from top to bottom."
Synoptical Study of the Gospels. (Continued from Vol. II. Page 55.)
MATTHEW AND LEVI. Vol. II. p. 4.
May I be permitted to express the following objections to Mr. Alford's reasons, and above all to his conclusion, that Matthew and Levi are distinct persons? It is agreed (1), that "the three narratives relate to the same event;" and (2), that "the almost general consent of all ages has supposed the two persons to be the same." But, so far from allowing that his third fact is almost inexplicable, I can only admire, with Eusebius, the humility and candour of Matthew, who gives himself the same name at the receipt of custom by which he was afterwards known as an Apostle. The other two Evangelists call him Levi as a publican, and Matthew as an Apostle, which is surely a very intelligible thing, on the supposition that he bore both names. Thomas is called Didymus by John only; and Thaddeus (or Lebbeus — as in Matthew and Mark) is called Judas by Luke and John, not to speak of his own epistle, with scarcely a note of identification. As to the 4th point, or "early tradition," that which separates the two persons is as minute as it is suspicious. Clement of Alexandria quotes the heretic Heracleon, to the effect that Matthew, Philip, Thomas, Levi, and many others, had not suffered martyrdom. Is this most vague statement of a Gnostic — even if it were clear and certain, which it is not, that he means by this Levi the Levi of Mark and Luke — to weigh against the plain and strong presumptions of 1 and 2? As to (5) Origen's testimony (contra Cels. i.), it seems in this passage to distinguish between Matthew and, not Levi, but, Λεβης. It is notorious that, elsewhere, Origen identifies Matthew with Levi. So that I am wholly amazed at Mr A's No. (6): "It certainly would hence appear as if the preponderance of testimony were in favour of the distinctness of the two persons." His notions of evidence must be strange indeed, to set the assertion of Heracleon, even if precise instead of being loose, and the statement of Origen, if confirmatory instead of being adverse elsewhere, and, as I think, even here, above his own first two arguments; especially as he is compelled to own how inexplicable on this supposition it is, that Matthew should, in his account, omit all mention of Levi. In fact, such a theory, if true, would turn the seeming modesty of Matthew into scarcely honest concealment of him who really gave the great feast. I have no doubt, therefore, that the common view which identifies Matthew with Levi, as two names of the same individual, is perfectly sound, and the only tenable one.
Romans 5:7. Vol. II. pp. 35, 70. — I perfectly agree with the Editor's objection to conjectural emendation. In the present instance the conjecture is founded on a manifest blunder of the Peschito Syriac, which stands alone, not here only, but, as far as I know, in the hypothetical structure which it gives to the preceding verse 6. The ancient and modern MSS. are unusually consentient, and there is no proof that the reading of a single copy is indistinct, as the sense and reasoning are strong and unambiguous. Experience, as well as the history of mankind, testifies to the distinction which the spirit of God draws between δικαίου and τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ (the article in the latter, not in the former case, being strictly correct), both of which are in contrast with our condition when God commended His love to us. I am of opinion, therefore, that the conjecture of W. B. M. is not baseless only, but destructive of the real scope of the passage.
1 Timothy 4:1. Vol. II. p. 66. — It must, I presume, have escaped the memory of Mr. Roberts, as well as of the Editor, that we have already had our attention drawn to this gloss of Epiphanius, which has so strangely been adopted into the text of Wechelius' Greek Testament (See CHRISTIAN ANNOTATOR, Vol. I. p. 94). It can scarcely be doubted that the addition is unauthorised. I am not aware of a single MS., ancient or modern, which contains the words, nor of any version which supposes them. Origen, Hilary, Lucifer, etc. who confirm the readings of the best MSS. as regards the context, are here, I believe, quite silent. In short, I have never heard of any apparent reason for their insertion, save the alleged testimony of Epiphanius, which ought, on such a question, and in the face of a counter evidence, to have no weight. The version of Beza, which contains Tremellius' Latin translation of the Syriac, edited by Francis Junius (folio, Hanoviae, 1623), omits all notice of such a clause.
Allow me to take this opportunity of correcting a common misapprehension of this and the following verse, the sense of which is inaccurately rendered in the authorised Bible. Many who read it might suppose the Spirit of God meant, that those who depart from the faith, are the same class that speak lies in hypocrisy, etc. This is not the case. The former are the victims of the latter, who are energised by the seducing spirits of which the passage speaks. Thus, the real force is, that in the latter times some depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars having their own consciences seared, etc.
Matt. 13:44 - 46. Vol. II. pp. 62, 91. — It is evident to me that, as there is a close link between the preceding parables of the tree and the leaven, so there is a still closer analogy between the hidden treasure and the pearl. Popular tradition has made sad havoc in the true bearing of them all; but, as an explanation is sought of the latter two only, I would ask now, in what just sense could any soul be said to buy the field (i.e. the world) in order to get Christ, if He be supposed to be the treasure? or what goodly pearls does the unconverted man seek before he finds Christ, supposing Him to be the "one pearl of great price?" For various reasons, I have little doubt that, while they who are Christ's have his mind, it is Christ himself who fully answers to the man who found the treasure and the pearl; and that the former forth the value, the latter the peerless beauty in his eyes, of the heavenly saints, the Church. Phil. 2 may in a measure illustrate our Lord's renunciation; but there are at least two important checks to be observed: 1st, our Lord does not, and cannot, cease to be "God over all blessed for ever;" and 2nd, the bowing of "things under the earth" does not refer to the saints, nor anything gathered under His headship (as in Eph. 1:10), but rather to the beings which are compelled by power to own the lordship of Jesus.
Revelation 20:4-5. Vol. II. p. 35. — Your Correspondent does not appear to have sufficiently considered the first part of ver. 4, "I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them;" a purposely vague and broad statement, so as to include the saints generally of both Old and New Testament times, martyred or not, risen or changed. Then follow two clauses which bring into relief the sufferers, earlier and later, of whom the Apocalypse specially treats. These sufferers compose two classes, one beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God, the other refusing the worship and the mark of the Beast. Now if this explanation be true, and I have no doubt of it, the rest of the dead are necessarily the dead who are left in their graves, etc. after all the righteous who had died up to this time had been raised for the first resurrection, and of course only the wicked are thus left. The righteous dead who were not martyrs are included among those who sat on thrones, and are in contrast with "the rest of the dead."
Mark 16:9, et seq. Vol. I. pp. II, 35, 355; Vol. II. p. 21, etc. — Having long since protested against those who treat this passage and the beginning of John 8 with suspicion, I proceed to state my reasons, passing over the disputed place in John, which has been already well defended in Vol. II. p. 83.
Even Mr. Alford, who certainly does not err on the side of credulity, admits that the authority of the close of Mark is hardly to be doubted. Eusebius and the Vatican MS. omit it, and several others note its absence in certain copies, but generally add that it appears in the oldest and best. All else of the Greek MSS. all the Evangelistaria, all the Versions (except the Roman Edition of the Arabic), and a large proportion of the earliest and most trustworthy Fathers, are allowed to be in its favour. Lachmann, in spite of his notorious tendency to follow the very slips of the most ancient copies, edits the entire section without hesitation.
In his notes Mr. A. urges that the passage is irreconcileable with the other Gospels, and is disconnected with what goes before; that no less than seventeen words and expressions occur in it (some of them repeatedly) which are never elsewhere used by Mark, whose adherence to his own phrases is remarkable, and that consequently the internal evidence is very weighty against his authorship; that is, he believes it to be an authentic addition by another hand.
Before examining these criticisms, I must object to a reasoning which affirms or allows that to be Scripture which is irreconcileable with other Scriptures. If its authority be clear, every believer will feel that, with or without difficulties, all must be really harmonious.
But, it is said, the diction and construction differ from the rest of the Gospel. Did Mr. A. or those who think with him adequately weigh the new and extraordinary circumstances which had to be recorded? In such a case strange words and phrases would be natural if Mark wrote (nor does he by any means want ἅπαξ λεγόμενα elsewhere); whereas "another hand," adding to Mark, would as probably have copied the language and manner of the Evangelist.
Πρώτῃ σαβ. (ver. 9) is alleged to be unusual. Doubtless; yet, of the two, it is less Hebraistic than τῆς μιᾶς σ. (ver. 2), and each might help the other to a Gentile or a Roman ear. And, so far from being stumbled by the way Mary Magdalene is mentioned here, there seems to me much force in Jesus appearing first to her, out of whom He had cast seven devils. Who so suitable first to see Him and hear from Himself the tidings of His resurrection, who through death annuls him who had the power of death, that is, the devil? As to the absolute use of the pronoun in 11, 12, is it not enough that the occasion here required what was needless elsewhere? If πορευ. is found only in 10, 12, and 15, it is because the simple word best expressed what the Holy Ghost designed to say, whereas elsewhere the Evangelist employed its compounds in order to convey the more graphically what was there wanted. Thus, he uses εἰσπορ. eight times, while Matthew, in his much larger account, has it but once. Is that the least ground for questioning Matt. 15:17? So, again, Mark has παραπορ. in four different chapters, Matthew once only (Matt. 27:9), Luke and John not at all. Leaving this trivial point, the phrase τοῖς μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ is to me an argument for rather than against Mark's authorship. Compare with it Mark 1:36; Mark 3:14; and Mark 5:40. As to ἐθεάθη ὑπ᾽ αὐτῆς and its difference from τοῖς Θ. αὐτόν, the answer is, that the word is most appropriate here and uncalled for in other places, and if the difference prove anything it would show two hands instead of one supplementing Mark's narrative! Thus, for instance, the same verb occurs but once in all the Epistles of Paul; are we, therefore, to suspect Rom. 15? Matthew has θεωρέω only twice; are we for a score of such reasons as these to speculate that "another hand " added Matt. 27 and 28? As regards the reiterated mention of unbelief, and the Lord's upbraiding the Eleven with it, what more instructive, or in better keeping with the scope of the context and of the Gospel? It was wholesome for those who were about to preach to others to learn what their own hearts were, and the Lord, in His own ministry, sets them right before announcing their great commission. Even if we only look at the word ἀπιστία, it occurs in Mark 6:6; Mark 9:24. If the verb is found only in Mark 16:11, 16, what more marvellous than Luke's having it only in his last chapter (ver. 11, 41), and never once using the substantive either in the Gospel or in the Acts of the Apostles? It is true that μετὰ τ. and ὕστερον are found in no other passage of Mark, but his customary precision may be one reason why the former is not more common; and the latter occurs once only in Luke and John. It is confessed that τὸ εὐαγ. π. τῃ κτίσει is in Mark's style. The fact is, neither of the later Gospels contains the noun εὐαγ. and Matthew always qualifies it as "the Gospel of the kingdom," or "this Gospel." whereas, whether or not Mark has the qualified phrases in Mark 1:14 and Mark 14:9 (for MSS. etc. differ), he repeatedly has "the Gospel" elsewhere, as Mark 1:15; Mark 8:35; Mark 10:29; Mark 13:10. This, then, affords no slight presumption that the passage is the genuine production of Mark, as well as authentic. Παρακολ. in 17, and ἐπακολ. in 20, occur nowhere else in Mark, and that for the best of reasons; the accuracy which the compounded forms impart was demanded here, and not before, where the simple form sufficed. And this is the less surprising, inasmuch as the former appears only in Luke's preface, the latter nowhere else as far as the four Evangelists are concerned. As to the singularity of καλῶς ἕξουσιν, what simpler, seeing that this promise (as well as that about the new tongues, serpents, etc.) is revealed here only, and was unquestionably verified in the subsequent history. It is the natural converse of a common Scriptural designation for the sick, οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες, and if the occurrence of ἀῤῥωστος should be here objected to, the reader may find it twice already in Mark 6 while Matthew and Paul use it each only once.
Only one further objection remains worth noticing, the use of κύριος in 19, 20. In Mark 11:3, I suppose it is equivalent to Jehovah, and at any rate I would not press this as in point. But the absence of such a title before seems to me a beauty, not a blemish, in Mark, whose business was to exhibit the service of Jesus. But now that God had vindicated His rejected servant by the resurrection, now that He had made Him both "Lord" and Christ, what more natural, or even necessary, than that the same Gospel which had hitherto traced Him as the Servant, Son of God, should make Him now known as "the Lord?" But this is not all. The Lord had uttered His charge to those who were, at His bidding, to replace Him as servants, and in a world-wide sphere; was received up to heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. Now it was Mark's place, and only Mark's, to add that, while they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord was working with them. Jesus, even as the Lord, is, if I may so say, servant still. Glorious truth! And whose hand so suited to record it as his who proved by sad experience how hard it is to be a faithful servant, but who proved also that the grace of the Lord is sufficient to restore and strengthen the feeblest? (Compare Acts 13:13; Acts 15:38; Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11.)
5_05_26 p. 154/5.
Doctrine of a Future State in the Pentateuch. Vol. ii. pp. 64, 74, 115. — The Apostle Paul tells us, that life and immortality (i.e. incorruptibility, ἀφθαρσία), were brought to light by the Gospel. These truths were but dimly made known before, though there had ever been sufficient for faith to lay hold of. Thus, the very first book of the Bible shows us the care and solemnity which the wandering patriarchs attached to their burial (Gen. 23, 25, 35, 47, 49, 50); and the Apostle, in writing to the Hebrew Christians, affirms that it was by faith (not fasting, customs, or superstition) Joseph gave commandment concerning his bones. He believed in a God that raiseth the dead, in a God who will surely raise them by and by, and give them a glorious link with the promised land, as well as with the city which hath foundations — the better and heavenly country. Again, our Lord convicted the Sadducees of not knowing the Scriptures, or the power of God as to a future resurrection state, and a present living to God, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and this from God's words to that Moses who is said by Gibbon to have omitted the doctrine, but who, on the contrary, records this revelation in the same book of Exodus which contains the law of Sinai. (Comp. Luke 20).
I fully admit that there was a considerable measure of obscurity on this, as on many other truths, till He came who was the brightness of the glory of God, and the express image of His substance. But this was in perfect harmony with the Levitical, or Jewish system, in which the veil was not yet rent, and God was governing a nation on earth as the vessel of His presence and testimony among the Gentiles. The faith of His elect, of course, penetrated much further, as may be seen in Job 19; Ps. 16, etc. But I am now explaining one simple and satisfactory reason why we should not expect a fuller statement of a future existence in the Pentateuch. It is because the main question there is of a people called to know the manifest exercise of righteous government on the part of a God who dwelt, and that even visibly, in their midst. Individual Saints saw much more all through; but God's government of Israel on the earth is the grand topic of the Old Testament, and the true solution of this seeming difficulty, which is really in perfect keeping with the times, place, people, and circumstances where it occurs.
The word αἰώνιος. Vol. I. p. 56. — Before treating of the force and usage of this adjective, it is well to examine briefly into αἰών, from which it is formed. The earliest application of the substantive in Greek writers (as Homer, Hesiod, Pindar, the tragic poets, and Herodotus) is in the sense of a man's life, or lifetime. In the later history of the language (not to speak of its medical application to "the spinal marrow") it denoted a long period of time (Ãschin. Axioch. 17), while the philosophers employed it in contradistinction to χρόνος to express the duration, αἰών of eternal and unchangeable objects, χρόνος of such as are transient and corporeal. Hence αἰών was used in the ancient philosophy as = the infinite and immutable eternity of God, and by an obvious metonymy = God himself, and subordinate spiritual beings who were supposed to proceed from Him, the term of duration being also extended to those invisible agents or entities themselves. Thus Philo Judaeus says, ἐν αἰῶνι δὲ οὔτε παρελὴλυθεν οὐδὲν οὔτε μάλλει ἀλλὰ μόνον ὑφέστηκε. This is important, as showing that in Hellenistic Greek authors of the same age as those of the New Testament the word was used properly and specifically to set forth eternity. "In eternity nothing is past or future, but only subsists." Equally plain is its application to the invisible beings or aeons of Oriental philosophy, as may be seen from the following extract, cited by Mosheim, from Arrian: — οὐ γὰρ εἰμὶ Αἰὼν ἀλλ᾽ ἄνθρωπος, μέρος τῶν πάντων ὡς ὥρα ἡμέρας, ἐνστῆναι μεδεῖ ὡς τὴν ὥραν καὶ παρελθεῖν ὡς ὥραν. Excluding the imaginary personal force, nothing can be clearer than its use in the time and language of the New Testament inspired writers to represent what is immutable and eternal. Aristotle, I may add, derives it from αἰὲν ὤς (De Coelo, i. 11).
Besides, when qualified by words which modify its sense, it is used in Scripture for the continuous course of a given system ruled by certain principles, as in Matt. 12:32; Matt. 13:39-40; Matt. 24:3; Matt. 28:20; or, again, in a moral rather than in a dispensational sense, as in Gal. 1:4; Eph. 2:2.
I conclude, then, that while αἰών may be so used as to express the continuous existence of a thing which from its nature does not last for ever (as human life, an unbroken age or dispensation, or the general course of this world), its proper sense, taken by itself; is to express eternity. And the same thing is true of αἰώνιος. It is used in certain special connections, as in Rom. 16:25; 2 Tim. 1:9; and Titus 1:2, where χρόνοι modifies its force, and gives a relative rather than an absolute sense; but its natural meaning, unless positively restricted, is eternal in contrast with temporary. It occurs seventy-one times in the received text of the New Testament, the examination of which need leave no doubt on the believer's mind. Donnegan gives. Philemon 15 as exceptional; but he is, in my opinion, mistaken.
5_06_16 p. 180.
Isaiah 40:3-11. Vol. I. p. 234. — It is true that there is to be a special preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom before the end comes; a preaching not to those in Judea only, as in the days of John Baptist, and of our Lord's earthly ministry, but to all the Gentiles in the entire habitable earth, who will be subsequently dealt with according to their conduct in respect of its messengers (compare Matt. 24:14; Matt. 25:31-46). Still it appears to me that this passage of the Prophet does not touch the question, and that the cry "all flesh is grass," etc. (ver. 6) was fulfilled at the first advent, quite as much as any part of the proclamation in verses 3-5. Nay, it is even plain that this proclamation had only an inchoate accomplishment in the past, being arrested by the unbelief of Israel.
1 John 5:8. Vol. II. pp. 23, 49. — It is plain that "the Spirit" (τὸ πνεῦμα) means the Holy Ghost. He only is truth (ver. 6). Allow me to take this opportunity of expressing my regret that Prof. Gaussen (Plenary Inspiration, pp. 192, 193) should venture to defend the text. rec. of the two preceding verses, and in doing so to mis-state, of course through inadvertence, the evidence. He ought to have known that the alleged testimonies of some early Latin fathers are very questionable, and that the most ancient MSS. of the Latin Vulgate are against the insertion of the disputed clause, not to dwell on the fact that the three Greek MSS. containing it, against near 150 which omit it, are not older than the fifteenth or sixteenth century; at least, if the Cod. Neapol. belong to the eleventh century, the reading here is a correction made 500 years later. As to the two grammatical considerations which he borrows from Bishop Middleton, I would briefly reply:
1. That the words τρεῖς οἱ μαρτυροῦντες, and οἱ τρεῖς (verses 7, 8), are no insuperable difficulty. They are masculine, it is true, while the words to which they relate are neuter; but the difficulty is nearly if not altogether the same, if the passage remained entire, as in the common text. If in that case the principle of attraction is used to justify this irregularity, the principle of rational concord applies to the correct text; and the more especially as τὸ πνεῦμα, that well-known personal object whose power wrought in the saints, is the first of the three witnesses who are specified immediately after. They are, as it were, personified as witnesses, and the gender is accommodated to the sense rather than in strict grammatical form.
2. The next objection is founded on the article being coupled with ἕν, as if it necessarily supposed a previous mention, which only occurs in the retrenched clause. But this is so far from being necessary that, even if ἕν, were rightly read in verse 7, the object and force of τὸ ἕν in verse 8 is wholly different. In other words, supposing the passage in question to be spurious, the anarthrous form would be an error, and the article is required (i.e. τὸ ἕν) in verse 8; for the idea intended is not the numerical unity, but the uniform testimony of the Spirit, the water and the blood.
It may be added, that all three, I believe, of these MSS. which contain the passage, omit the article before πατήρ, λόγος, and πν. ἅγ. which I venture to say is not even correct Greek, but just such phraseology as might come from an unlearned forger translating from the Latin. It was Erasmus who supplied the article to each of these words, with no other warrant than his own erudition.
Clement's Epistle. Vol. II p. 63. — If "Mr. Davis" had taken due notice that chap. 55 refers to Gentile examples outside Scripture, he would have seen that Clement's use of Judith proves nothing as to the estimation in which the book was held in his day. No doubt he cites the faith of Esther, and possibly he alludes to such Christian instances as Rom. 16:4; but his allusion to ὑποδείγματα ἐθνῶν shows that he is enforcing devotedness on the Corinthian Church by appeals even to heathen testimonies, without raising the question of the value of the writings which contained them.
I agree with Mr. D. that Clem. 27 refers to Dan. 4:35, quite as probably as to Wisdom 11:22, 12:12. Polycarp x. may refer to Prov. 10:2, Prov. 11:4; but the analogy to Tobit is closer. There is no ground, that I see, for supposing that Clem. 46 quotes either Wisdom or Ecclesiasticus; but there is a remarkable instance at the beginning of the chapter, where the writer quotes (evidently as Scripture) that which is found neither in the Bible nor Apocryphal Books: — Γέγραπται γὰρ κολλᾶσθε τοῖς ἁγίοις, ὅτι οἱ κολλωμένοι αὐτοῖς ἁγιασθήσονται. In fact, it is quite contrary to the legal requirements of the Old Testament, either as to persons or things (cf. Ezra 9:10; Neh. 13; Haggai 2:12). There may have been some confused thought in the mind of the writer suggested by 1 Cor. 7:14; if so, the application is as irrelevant as can well be conceived. Whatever may be the references to the Apocryphal writings in early writers, or even the reading of them by the early Church, it is certain that Jerome himself, the author of that version which Rome accepts as authentic, declares repeatedly that there are twenty-two books of Old Testament Scripture; clearly and absolutely excluding the Apocrypha, however useful he considered it might be: so Athanasius also.
Two Resurrections. Vol. II. pp. 11, 31, 50, 60, 98, 188. — I think that the just inference from a comparison of the various texts cited from the Peshito-Syriac is, that this venerable version is lax in representing the true force of different phrases in the Greek New Testament on the subject of the resurrection; not only confounding things which are distinct, but adding, in most or all cases, an idea not suggested by the original.
As to the Greek, there are the strongest reasons for doubting that ἐξανάστασις τῶν νεκρῶν is an inspired expression — I scarcely think that it is a correct one. But it is certain that A B (C is here defective) D E read, in Phil. 3:11, τὴν ἐξανάστασιν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν (F and G giving τῶν ἐκ, which seems to be a slip for τὴν ἐκ), while only two uncial MSS. of the ninth century, viz. J K, read τῶν without ἐκ. Accordingly, critics, with wholly different systems of recension, like Scholz, Lachmann, and Tischendorf, reject the received text in spite of Griesbach's adoption of it, though he marked the right reading as probable.
It is not surprising that J. H. has failed to seize the exact point of ἐξαναστάσεως νεκρῶν. The phrase is purely characteristic, and hence is anarthrous. The preposition is not omitted before νεκρῶν for the sake of euphony, as Mr. Birks supposes in a recent volume; but ἐξἀναστάσεως in Acts 26:23, and Rom. 1:4, indicates the mode or condition in which Jesus should show light to Jew and Gentile, and be defined as Son of God in power; while νεκρῶν was added, it seems to me, as a complement to denote that it was a resurrection in a proper, strict sense (not figuratively, as in Luke 2 and elsewhere).
It is a mistake to suppose the presence or absence of the preposition immaterial. The truth is that, while the resurrection of Christ, or of the just (i.e. those who are Christ's), like that of all others, is or may be styled ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν, never is the resurrection of the unjust designated ἀνάστασις ἐκ νεκρῶν — a phrase restricted to those who rise before the wicked. In other words, " the resurrection from the dead" (which it ought to be in Phil. 3:11, as it is in Luke 20:35, where the expression in Greek is rather the weaker of the two) is, Ã fortiori, "of the dead" — but the converse does not hold; and this suffices to prove their distinctness. I believe that the reader who is familiar with the Scriptures will the most readily acquiesce in this statement.
5_07_07 p. 207.
Synoptical Study of the Gospels. (Continued from Vol. II. page 66.)
THEIR GENERAL DESIGN.
It admits of the clearest possible internal proof — of course, of all accumulative kind — that the Spirit of God employed Matthew to present the Lord Jesus as "the Son of David, the Son of Abraham," i.e. in descent from the two leading points of Jewish glory and promise. Mark is occupied with "the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God," and thus naturally details the ministry, in all its varied circumstances, of one who was the ready, patient, and withal powerful servant of all the need that surrounded Him — of one whose dignity as the Son of God "could not be hid" in His least work here below. Next, the genealogy of Luke traces Jesus up to Adam, that is, as connected with the whole race, Gentiles no less than Jews, as Son of Man and not merely the Messiah. These observations help to explain the comparatively large use of the Jewish prophets by the first of the Evangelists; while Luke, with equal propriety, depicts "that Holy thing," born of the Virgin, who increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man; and Mark, just as admirably, omits all notice of his parentage, his birth, his childhood, etc. and commences at once with the ministry of His forerunner and of Himself. Last of all, John gives a portrait of the Lord, in a point of view higher than the others, as the Word made flesh, who in the beginning was with God, and was God, the true light, full of grace and truth. For this reason, as well as because the Jews are here regarded as merged in the universal darkness and death, no genealogy is given: His person and divine relationship, not His human one, is the subject. It is not that the same truths are not recognised everywhere; for Jesus is owned as Son of God in Matthew, and as Son of David in John. Enough is afforded by every Evangelist to show an unbiassed soul that He, whom they all described, was God manifested in the flesh. Nevertheless, it remains true that each has his own proper and peculiar line; that what has been already stated is the grand characteristic testimony of those inspired writers; and that in this lies the real key, not only to the differences of language in what are called parallel passages, but also, as I believe, to whatever is inserted or omitted in the several Gospels. The Holy Ghost may allude to other glories of the Lord, in a biography which is specially devoted to trace Him in one very prominent character; and with perfect wisdom He has thereby cut off the objection that the writers differed in their comparative estimate of the Lord. Not one of the Gospels, for instance, fails to notice His inflexible obedience, whatever the office sustained, whatever the light in which He was regarded. He could not but shine in this moral perfectness; yet even here, the attentive reader may perceive that it is pre-eminently Luke whose business it was to illustrate His real and untainted humanity, as the obedient "second man," the Lord from heaven, in contrast with the first man, rebellious Adam; in a word, as the woman's seed, rather than, as in Matthew, the true Messiah and rejected Emmanuel.
It is familiarly known that Matthew and Luke furnish two distinct pedigrees from David, the latter Nathan's line, the former Solomon's, which was the elder and of course, Jewishly, the more important branch. As was usual in legal genealogies, the line of the husband is given by Matthew, who for the same reason records the supernatural dreams of Joseph; whereas in Luke, Mary is everywhere the more prominent personage of the two, and accordingly, as showing the source of His human nature, the genealogy here given is that of His mother. (NOTE) — Hence, it is said by Luke, ὢν υἱός, ὡς ἐνομίζετο, τοῦ Ἰωσήφ, κ. τ. λ. that is, reputedly, or in the eye of the law, son of Joseph, but in fact, Mary's, as had been carefully shown in the preceding chapters. Thus, it is plain that there is nothing contradictory in these various accounts: nay, that each is as and where it ought to be, and is found in that Gospel whose character demands it, and there only. The Messianic descent of Matthew would be out of place in Luke, as the last Adam genealogy of Luke would not suit the historian who speaks emphatically of the Messiah, His relation to the Jews, His rejection, and consequently the transition to a new dispensation, which was to go on in mystery and patience, before the Son of Man returns to establish it in manifestation and power; of which last phase the prophets had treated. Luke, on the other hand, was inspired to develop the great principles of God's grace towards man, and the broader moral grounds which they assume; and this is so true that in the body of his Gospel events are grouped in their moral connections, not in their chronological sequence, save where this is require for the truth of the narrative.
Romans 2:15. — The work of the law written.
Not the law, but law's work written, etc. The common misconception predicates of the unconverted Gentile a distinctive blessing of the new covenant. The Apostle merely speaks of some particular right, act, or work, from whatsoever source learnt, which bound the conscience thenceforth.
1 Corinthians 15:29. Vol. II. p. 175. — I presume that Mr. Myers must have failed in accurately punctuating this text. I see no reason for doubting that an old and common interpretation is the best, as it certainly flows from the obvious construction, and a very ordinary meaning of the words employed. After the positive revelation in verses 20-28, the Apostle resumes his argument with εἰ ὅλως νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγ. which he had pressed in verse 16, with its consequences as to Christ, themselves, and the dead. Here the Apostle repeats the phrase of that verse, in view, first, of those who take the place of those who were fallen asleep in Christ; and secondly, of a lot in this life most miserable, if hope be there only. Compare 29 with 18, and 30 with 19. To enter the company of such if the dead rise not, would be folly indeed. Every proper lexicon or grammar will show to those who may not be aware already, that ὑπέρ has regularly and not infrequently the sense, "in the place or stead of," which here, in my opinion, accords best with the previous context, the general reasoning, and the actual phraseology of this particular verse. Αὐτῶν is of course to be read at the end rather than τῶν νεκρῶν, as having the largest support of the best authorities, MSS. versions, and fathers. A question might arise, as it has arisen, whether the first note of interrogation ought to follow βαπτ. or ἐγ.; but the substantial sense remains the same.
Texts Misapplied or Misquoted.
Romans 3:22. — Unto all and upon all them that believe.
Not as if the two clauses comprised the same persons exactly, as is sometimes thought, but "unto all," the general direction, and "upon all them that believe," the actual effect. Compare Rom. 5:18, where the true force is clearly not "upon" but unto all men (bis), because there it is a question of the simple universal tendency, and not of the result.
Romans 3:25-26. — The passing over (or pretermission) of sins that are past, not our past sins, much less sins before baptism, as some have vainly taught, but the sins of God's people in past times in contradistinction to His ways at this time.
If Mr. HAWARD bears in mind that, previous to the Lord's restoration of Israel, as described in Jer. 30, 31, etc., there is to be a partial return of Jews to Jerusalem, and that this partial return is to furnish the occasion for a fearful siege, at the close of which the Lord will appear to the discomfiture of their foes, all is plain. The great ingathering of Israel is a subsequent event.
Matthew 5:48; 1 John 3:9. Vol. II. p. 227. — The first of these texts has no bearing whatever on the question of perfection in the flesh. It is the revelation of the name of our Father which is in heaven, and the character practically which suits the kingdom of heaven. The mere Jew was responsible to render testimony to the righteousness of Jehovah: the believer now is responsible to show forth the grace of "our Father." Vengeance on the Canaanites was then a righteous thing; now "if, when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." The children are bound to sustain the family character, "that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. … Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Other Scriptures prove, if proof were needed, that sin still abides in the saint here below, however bound he is to disallow and mortify it. This text simply exhorts us to imitate our Father's grace, even to those who deserve His judgment.
The other Scripture (1 John 3:9) regards the child of God in that point which distinguishes him from the world, in the possession of a life from God which is absolutely sinless. No intelligent Christian will therefore forget that the flesh is still in us, though we are no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit.
Two Resurrections. — Rev. 20. Vol. II. p. 98. — I am glad to perceive by the editorial note to F. L. W. that a too common misapplication of 1 Thess. 4:16, is disclaimed. The truth of two distinct resurrections does not require such pressure of texts into its service. The question of the length of the interval was of minor importance comparatively, but it is answered in that book which admirably and appropriately treats of it — the Apocalypse. May I be allowed to add that 1 Cor. 15:23 has just as little to say to the resurrection of the wicked as the passage in 1 Thess. 4. Nor had Mr. D. BROWN the slightest authority from Scripture to connect what he calls "the trumpet blast" with any save the righteous. None else are considered in either scripture. "The end," in 1 Cor. 15 does not mean the wicked who are supposed to rise then, but the close of all God's dispensational dealings, even of "the kingdom," viewed from that point, which his been given up; and that clearly supposes all judgment of quick and dead to be over. In other words, "the end" is after the wicked dead have been raised and judged.
As to J. H.'s nice distinction between ὥρα ὅτε and ἐν ῃ, I do not think he has applied it aright in setting it against the plain statement in Rev. 20 of the period that transpires between the resurrection of the blessed, and that of the rest of the dead. It was as uncalled for in the Gospel as it was in harmony with the Revelation of John, to enter into chronological times and seasons. Yet the Lord carefully guards against our inferring a common or general resurrection. All are to hear His voice and to rise; but we have as distinctly as possible a resurrection of life and a resurrection of judgment, as in Rev. 20. They were not to marvel if He quickened souls; for, at another epoch, He would be in such manifestation of power that he would raise bodies; but the Gospel decides nothing as to the particular points in the ὥρα when good and bad should rise, the Apocalypse does. It seems to me not unlikely that the true reason why not ὅτε, but ἐν ῃ is used in John 5:28, is to distinguish an epoch where the action is immediate (as in John 4:52-53, also) from one wherein it is continuous or sustained (as in John 4:21, 23, and 16:25). This, however, in no way clashes with the fact of there being two distinct and contrasted resurrections, nor forbids our believing that one act is at the beginning, the other at the end, of this ὥρα, while both are immediate, not prolonged.
Texts Misapplied or Misquoted.
Romans 4:12. — The real meaning is, father of circumcision, i.e., of true separation unto God, not only to the persons characterized by circumcision, but also to those who walk in the steps, etc.
Romans 5:5. — The love of God to us, not ours to Him, which last is so feeble and unworthy as to cause shame to every renewed soul; whereas His love is so full and rich that the hope even of His glory does not make ashamed: if the Holy Ghost, given unto us, has shed it abroad in our hearts, such a hope is but suitable to, and the natural complement of, the love which has already done so great things for us.
Romans 8:19-22. — Clearly it is the creation distinguished from us of the new creation. We are already delivered, and are exhorted to stand fast in the liberty of grace: creation itself also shall be delivered into the liberty of glory, i.e., when we, the children of God are manifested in glory. Till then we groan, and creation also.
Romans 8:29. — The conformity here treated of is not a present moral likeness to Christ, however true that may be, and certainly taught in other Scriptures, but a future and complete assimilation in a state of resurrection-glory. The context is decisive as to this.
Romans 16:26. — Not "by the Scriptures of the prophets," but by prophetic scriptures, or writings, i.e. of the New Testament.
Texts Misapplied or Misquoted.
1 Corinthians 2:2. — The Apostle is in no way limiting the Church or the believer to "Jesus Christ and Him crucified:" on the contrary, in this very Epistle, he furnishes ample light upon many other topics of great practical and doctrinal importance, as the unity of the body, the teaching of the Spirit, the mutual relations of those ministering and ministered to, discipline within, lawsuits without, earthly relationships, connection with idolatry, the Lord's Supper, spiritual gifts, their exercise in the Christian assembly, the resurrection, etc.; all of which he wished the saints to know, and not merely that foundation-truth on which the soul reposes for its salvation. The Apostle is really speaking of what had been his all-absorbing theme when he first came and preached in the voluptuous and refined city of Corinth. The Corinthians would have liked mazy speculations in which mind and fancy could revel. St. Paul urged on them God's solemn testimony about the Cross of His Son — a truth which, while it blights man's pride and pleasures, is the best proof of God's holy interest in saving lost sinners. But the moment men are established in the Gospel, this same chapter shows that the Apostle desired to lead them into others, and all truth: "We speak wisdom among them that are perfect," etc. It is a good thing, and in certain cases the best and only right thing, to testify repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ; but this is no reason why, when persons have received the Gospel, we should shun to declare unto them all the counsel of God. (Cf. Acts 20:21, 27, 32.)
1 Corinthians 2:9. — Eye hath not seen, etc. How often one hears this verse dislocated from what follows, and used is a plea for continuing in ignorance of that which God has now revealed to us: where the prophet stopped, the Apostle could go on, and our wisdom is to follow.
1 Corinthians 2:13. — ". …comparing spiritual things with spiritual." Much is often built on the last clause, which is, I think, foreign to the intention of the Spirit, though fairly deduced from the authorised version. The word understood as πνευματικοῖς, I believe to be λόγοις: so that the sense is rather, "communicating spiritual things by spiritual words." The same Spirit of God is the power of revelation, of communication, and of intelligent reception.
1 John 2:1-2. Vol. II. p. 227. — I see no reason for giving up the common view of Christians, that Jesus is called Paraclete, as taking up the cause of believers with the Father; as for a similar reason the Holy Spirit is so styled by John, as to His place in and with them on earth, though of course carried on in a different way (John 14:16). It is not correct to say that the propitiation of Jesus is here stated to be for the sins of the whole world. The English version says so, I know, but it is by inserting words which are better left out. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. There is provision for it to the uttermost; but Scripture never speaks of the sins being borne away, save of believers. And it is to me as plain as possible that this very passage discriminates between "us" and "the world," even as to expiation; while advocacy with the Father is in no way connected with the world, but with the family of God.
I have looked at Marycy's edition of Philo Judaeus without discovering the passages referred to. The word παράκλητος may be said of an atoning priest, in so far as he acts or pleads for another; but that would never prove the word to have the sense of atoning priest there, much less in Scripture.
5_09_15 p. 284.
TEXTS MISAPPLIED OR MISQUOTED.
1 Corinthians 12:7. — ". … the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." It is painful to be obliged to deny the notion of some, so opposed to the grace of God, that this verse treats of the work of the Spirit in a man for his own salvation (as in Barclay's Apology, etc.) The question here is of the Spirit's manifestations in the church, of which common profit was the design.
1 Corinthians 13:2. — ". … though I have all faith … ." Of course "all faith" in this verse has no reference to believing in the Son of God (for he that believeth hath everlasting life), but solely to faith as a miraculous power, which might be in an unregenerate man (Matt. 7:22-23).
Genesis 1:1-2. — It may interest some of your readers to know that it is no mere modern exposition, adopted to square the Bible with geological research, to take the first verse of Genesis, as an account of the original creation of the heaven and the earth, and the second verse, as a sketch of the chaotic condition which immediately preceded the state of things which God ordered during the subsequent six days, with a view to the creation of man, and His own moral dealings here below. If I am not mistaken, several of the so-called fathers, in spite of their lack of spiritual intelligence, had light enough to see this; and Luther, in some editions of his German Bible, separated the first two verses from what follows, making the first day's work commence, and that justly, with the third verse, and not with the first. How many years, or thousands of years, may have elapsed, is not said, because the Spirit hastens to God's moral history of man; and it is very clear that man did not exist before Adam. Hence the mere physical arrangements, and their catastrophes, which may have intervened between the first formation of the universe, and the Adamic earth, are passed by; for, however interesting to the natural philosopher, they are nothing in a moral book, and that a revelation from God to man is and must be. Still it was of great value to know that the heaven and the earth had a beginning. Almost all the ancient sages were in the dark about it; whereas every Jew, even the most ignorant, knew it with certainty. Next, it was interesting to learn that, after some interval, less or more, and from whatsoever disturbing causes, all was in ruin just before God formed all afresh, in order to the trial of man upon the earth, and the display of His own ways.
Allow me, however, to ask what your Correspondent means in p. 241, when he says, "I believe that the earliest notices of the universe are to be sought and found in the records of the angelic kingdoms which owned Messiah's sway before the world was?" Where are those records? If the are in the Bible, let them be produced; if they are not, it is but intruding into things which he has not seen. I did not feel increased confidence about this mystical reverie when I read, immediately after, an attack upon all the English translations, in the Hexapla, and Luther, who are said to have "unaccountably followed the gross error of the Vulgate in their rendering of. Col. 1:17." This I totally deny: the error is in your Correspondent, not in these versions. The special force of συνέστηκεν is exactly what the authorised Bible gives, viz.: the present continuous efficacy of a past action. It does not deny such a consistency as a present thing. This is the well-known distinction between the Greek perfect and the aorist, which last is the regular historical past tense; an instance of which may be seen in the verse preceding, where you have ἐκτίσθη in reference to the past fact simply, and ἔκτισται in reference to the subsisting consequences of that action. Every Greek scholar, critically acquainted with the language, will admit that our translators, etc. are quite right, and Mr. Greaves singularly wrong. Nor should I write thus strongly, if I did not believe it to be a duty to guard Christians against assaults, such as these, on our Bible, which are due, like so many other quasi-emendations, to a want of knowledge, alike of the Scriptures, and of the original. I deny not the breach spoken of in Gen. 1. 2; but Col. 1:17 reveals another truth, which is fairly presented in the English Bible.
Mark 16:16-17. Vol. II. p. 227. — I am not aware to what commentators H S. alludes, but I hope he is mistaken in thinking that all give a future sense to the aorist participle. It is difficult to convey the force of the Greek better than is done in the authorised version without a paraphrase, though I admit the English wants the precision of the original, and hence is open, perhaps, to such a misconception as is here alleged. But I do not see how the meaning of these participles, however fully given, excludes Mormon pretensions, nor how the supposed misconstruction supports their delusion. Whether those signs follow believers or not is a question of fact which ought not to be long debated if they be real. I deny that one word is here said about their permanence.
Revelation 17:8. Vol. II. p. 228. — I suppose that the meaning of the verse in its correct form is, that the beast, or Roman empire, is viewed in three ways: 1st, in its original imperial form; 2nd, in its fall, or non-existent state as an empire; and 3rd, in its resuscitated condition, by diabolic power, when it goes to perdition. It is this revival of the empire which draws out the wonder of all who dwell on the earth, when they behold the beast, for he was, and is not, and shall be present. The ten horns are ten kings, who receive power as kings for one and the same time (μίαν ὥραν) with the beast.
5_09_15 p. 288.
Ὑπάγω and πορεύομαι. Vol. II. p. 23. — The difference, so far as there is any, between these words in the texts cited, seems to me, that while both may be rendered "go" or "depart," the former chiefly regards the terminus Ã quo, and the latter the terminus ad quem. In the New Testament there are not less than sixteen different Greek forms of expressing this idea, including those modified by prepositions, and about seven or eight which are independent of a composite force. The distinction is often so minute as to defy transfusion into a translation, without an awkward paraphrase; but these shades of expression may claim, in their place, the consideration of such as confide in the unerring certainty of inspiration.
5_09_29 p. 295.
Texts Misapplied or Misquoted.
1 Corinthians 15:28. — ". … that God may be all in all." The last member of this passage is often confounded with the close of Col. 3:11. The latter applies now, the former not till the end of the millennium: it is the grand characteristic of the eternal state (see Rev. 21:1-8). Even now Christ is all and in all; his death and resurrection have blotted out before God and to the eye of faith all mere human and earthly features in those who are one with Him. "There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all, and in all." The one thing which the Apostle would have us to see in the saints is Christ, and Christ in every one of them. Such is the standing of all as united to Christ in heaven, and there only: for there are other points of view in which the same persons are regarded in Scripture, and differences of position which have their just place assigned by God. The condition of things in which God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) shall be all in all is in contrast with the Son's administration of, and exaltation in, "the kingdom." If the kingdom be delivered up to God by the exalted Lord, it is that the human holding of it should cease its mediatorial character. God, as such, makes all things new. Christ reigns and subdues all things — work which God the Father has committed to Him in His creation. Christ as man, having held this special kingdom for purposes of subjection, and having put down all other authority, gives it up, that the power may be God's exclusively.
Exodus 20:10. Vol. II. p. 266. — There are, at least, two fatal objections to the statement that the Fourth Commandment enjoins, simply, one day in seven, or a seventh day. The first is, that the Hebrew is precise, the definite article, or demonstrative, being used uniformly, not in different parts of the Commandment only, but in the very numerous allusions to the Sabbath elsewhere. And so all translations, ancient or modern which I have examined, understood the phrase; the Vulgate can scarcely be regarded as an exception, as the Latin language does not thus define. But every unbiassed scholar will admit that the Hebrew is as to this no less explicit and unambiguous than our own version, which is perfectly accurate in representing its force. But, secondly, besides the verbal pseudo-criticism involved, there is a false principle: for the first, or Lord's day, stands on another and far higher basis then the seventh day, the latter being as plainly connected with creation ended and the law, as the former is with the full grace of God displayed in the resurrection of Christ. Hence the seventh day, or Sabbath, was a sign between Jehovah and Israel, and it was buried in the grave of Christ, who rose on the first day, the head of the new creation. On that day the risen Lord met His own, and on that day after he ascended the Church continued to assemble and break bread in His name. Scripture never confounds the two days, the seventh being as characteristic of mere creation and the law, as the first is of accomplished redemption, and life in resurrection. To distinguish them is absolutely necessary to maintaining the importance of each in its place.
P.S. — For Gen. 20:10, in T. G.'s communication, read Ex. 20:10.
Matthew 25:40. Vol. II. p. 267. — I think that it is clear and certain that those whom "the King" designates as His brethren here, are a distinct class from the sheep. It is not denied that all God's saints are, or may be, viewed as "sheep." All that is now contended for is, that in this scene we have certain godly Gentiles blessed and inheriting the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world, but at the same time distinguished from others styled the King's brethren, who had previously put these sheep to the test, and been the occasion of showing their difference from the goats, or the unbelieving Gentiles, who had dishonoured the King in His messengers. I add that the scene is a millennial one; not the gathering of the saints risen or changed before the millennium; not the judgment of the dead after it, but a scene on earth of living nations dealt with according to their reception or rejection of the King's brethren just before this judgment (Matt. 24:14).
5_09_29 p. 301.
Berleburg Bible. Vol. II. p. 76. — Though I am unable to speak from personal knowledge, yet in the absence of better answers, I may say that this is a German version in six ponderous folios filled with notes. The version is said to be the most literal of German translations, accompanied by notes of universalist tendency. It was made about a century and a half ago, I understand, and derives its name from a Westphalian Count, under whose auspices the work was carried on. I am not aware that there has been any reprint of the work, nor any edition of the version separate from the Commentary.
5_10_13 p. 314/5.
Watching for the Lord's appearance. Vol. ii. p. 291. — A good deal of the difficulty of INDIANUS, as of many others, arises from using the terms, "Lord's people," in a loose sense. Thus, the only persons who are now so recognisable are Christians, the Church. But by and by the Jewish remnant will be so called also. Now, there can be no question in your Correspondent's mind, I presume, that Ezekiel 36 - 39 and Zech. 12 - 14 refer to Israel, and not the Church; so that it would not follow that, because the former are to see many wonders, and to pass through extraordinary trials before they see their king, the same path is reserved for the latter. To me it is perfectly plain that not the Church, but a converted Jewish remnant, whose hopes as well as experience are bound up with their land, is contemplated in Matt. 24:29-31, and Luke 21:25-27. The proofs of this the reader may see in "Plain Papers on Prophetic Subjects" (Partridge and Oakey). St. Paul always supposes the Church to be waiting for Christ, apart from all question of dates, signs, or revealed events, as necessarily antecedent. 2 Thess. 2:1-2, which is often quoted to show that there must be the apostacy and the revelation of the man of sin first, proves rather the contrary: for the Apostle exhorts them, by the coming of Christ, not to be frightened, as if His day were come. Doubtless, the day of the Lord presupposes many important changes which are not yet arrived. But His coming, or presence, is another and previous thing, and with it the gathering of the Church is associated; and then the Jewish remnant will begin to be formed in view of the day of the Lord, and must pass through the terrific storms which precede it.
Zechariah 14:5. Vol. II. p. 227. — It is evident, I think, that Azal is the name of a place, joined, as its origin indicates, or near, to the Mount of Olives. As it never occurs elsewhere in the Bible as a proper name, save of a person, it is not surprising that commentators have differed as to its exact locality, some placing it at the eastern, others, as Henderson, at the western extremity, very close to one of the gates on the east side of Jerusalem. The meaning I believe to be that Jehovah, standing in that day on the mount (which is most precisely described, as if to cut off the idea of mere "beautiful poetical imagery") shall cleave it in twain from west to east, half receding towards the north, and half towards the south; and that, if He fights with the nations which shall be then gathered against Jerusalem to battle, the Jews are to flee to the valley of His mountains (so called because thus wonderfully cloven), for the valley reaches to Azal, whether it be considered as the terminus Ã quo or ad quem. The earthquake referred to is the same signal one from which Amos dates his prophecy. The Vulgate, it may be observed, takes lx'a; as an appellative, and gives us "usque ad proximum;" the Septuagint agrees with the authorised and most other versions as to this, but apparently follows the erroneous reading ÂµT;Âµ]nIw“ (which is actually that of four of De Rossi's MSS, not to speak of other authorities), instead of ÂµT,Âµ]nIw“ , i.e. the Septuagint gives φραχθήσεται ἡ φάραγξ, κ. τ. λ. (the valley shall be stopped up, etc.) in verse 5, which is evidently contrary to the best readings, and to the plain force of the context. It is scarcely needful to say that this prophecy has never been fulfilled. Even supposing that the Roman army under Titus could be meant, as Dr. Henderson affirms, by "all the nations," it seems extraordinary indeed that so sensible a person could see the rest of verse 2 accomplished there. I should have supposed that the impression left on the mind by the accounts of Josephus or any one else was rather that the city was taken, and that if half the people went into captivity, the rest were cut off from the city. But if there could be reasonable doubt as to that verse, can it be pretended that at that time (and it is all closely linked in the prophecy) Jehovah fought with those nations, and that His feet stood in that day on Olivet, and that the mount was split in the midst? It is a weak and impotent conclusion that the flight to Pella, long before the city was taken by the Romans, is what is here so sublimely but withal most graphically predicted. When we take the latter part of the chapter into the account, the hypothesis is beyond measure harsh and contrary to facts. I would only add that the sense seems to require us to close one paragraph with "the days of Uzziah, King of Judah," and to begin a new one with "And Jehovah my God shall come, [and] all the holy ones with thee." The prophet suddenly addresses the Lord, and then proceeds with that day from a point of view which differs altogether from the preceding section, because it introduces His relationship permanently established with the whole earth, consequent on His vengeance upon the nations.
5_10_27 p. 321/2.
Matthew 11:2-3. Vol. II. p. 267. — I apprehend that one reason which has hindered many from seeing the failure of John Baptist is, that we are all slow in learning and owning our own weakness. The heart that has proved its own faltering in devotedness and testimony for Christ, will readily understand how John, as well as his disciples, may have been cast down, when the herald of Messiah was himself bound and gone to prison in sorrow, instead of the ransomed of the Lord coming to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads. But if the Lord notices indirectly, in verse 6, the stumbling of His tried servant (or certainly the blessedness of him who is not stumbled), He turns round to the multitude and graciously indicates the more than prophet place of John. I do not believe that verse 11 contains the least reflection on the Baptist, any more than verse 13 does on all the prophets. On the contrary, the former verse asserts for him the most distinguished place possible in the old economy; while it discloses at the same time the surpassing glory which attaches to the least in the kingdom of heaven (i.e. the new dispensation, which was then preached, but only set up when the Lord, rejected by the earth, took his seat in heaven). I am aware that some shrink from what appears such strange and undue exaltation of the New Testament saints; but our wisdom is to accept whatever God gives in sovereign love. It is His to order all for the glory of His Son, while Satan would cheat us of His blessings through a spurious humility, which is really unbelief; especially as the privileges given are the measure of responsibility. If we lose sight of what God intends, we shall proportionately fail in our walk and worship.
5_10_27 p. 322.
John 2 and 3 Division of Chapters. Vol. II. p. 215. — I agree with the suggestion that John 2:23-25, forms the proper and natural introduction to the chapter which follows. But it is a mistake to regard τοῦ ἀνθρώπου as the individual. It is true, of course, that the words are capable of such an application, if any one had been previously named or referred to; but it is clear that in this passage such is not the fact. The simple meaning, therefore, is that Jesus knew all, and had no need of testimony about man; for He Himself knew what was in man. It is the great, general truth, which the special case of Nicodemus so aptly exemplifies. Man at his best estate was unfit for the kingdom of God, and, therefore, needed to be born afresh, or from the very beginning.
2 Thessalonians 2:6-8. Vol. II. pp. 163, 211, 310. — It appears to me that the Spirit here treats of the restraining influence and person with a certain studied obscurity, and that, if wise, we should not too hastily form conclusions. It must be borne in mind that the epistle was an early one, written to young converts who had enjoyed the Apostle's oral teaching on the subject of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus (cf. Acts 17:7, with 2 Thess. 1), as well as on the matter in question (ver. 5). Further, if we attach any value to the idea, so prevalent in the early Church, that the Roman empire was "the letter," or "what withheld," it is natural that the intimation should be but dim, especially if previously taught by the Apostle. If the hindrance consisted in the presence and power of the Holy Ghost, whether personally in the Church or governmentally in the world, one can understand how nothing more is here given than the assurance of a restraint up to a certain point. Thus, while the powers that be (whatever the form) are ordained of God, there is a time coming, as we know from Rev. 11 - 13 when this shall cease, and the beast shall rise out of the bottomless pit (i.e. be resuscitated by diabolic agency in an exceptional and frightful way), when the dragon (i.e. Satan) gives him his power and his throne and great authority. The withholder will have then disappeared, or at least cease to act as such. The apostacy will have come, and the man of sin be revealed in the fullest way: for I do not deny a partial application of the prophecy to the papacy, while looking for a far more complete development of the evil. The revelation of the lawless one, who is clearly, I think, "the king" of Daniel 11:36-40, will be characterised by an unprecedented energy of Satan "with all power, and signs, and lying wonders," similar language as St. Peter uses of Jesus, "a man approved of God" by miracles, and wonders, and signs which God did by him. Mr. STREANE is mistaken in supposing that verse 6 will bear "and ye know what is now restraining;" for νῦν is here a particle of transition, and fairly enough given in the English version. No more is implied than their general knowledge that there was a some one or thing which restrained; but ὁ κατέχων ἄρτι in verse 7 does mean that he restrains now. Next, ἐκ μέσου is correctly rendered "out of the way." It is its regular known force in sacred and profane authors, whether connected or not with verbs implying separation, as any good lexicon may satisfy Mr. S. Thus, in ἐκ τοῦ μέσου καθέζεσθαι (Herod. iii. 83) the verb has nothing to do with that sense, which the phrase does carry. See also Dem. 323, 327 (Reiske). Accordingly the authorised version rightly connects eὥς ἐκ μ. γ. with ὁ κατέχον, while the beginning of verse 8 answers to the beginning of the 7th. If the phrase ἔως ἐκ μ. γ. applied to "the wicked one," and meant "till he appears," the force of καὶ τότε ἀποκ· would be weakened and useless.
Full Assurance. Vol. II. p. 272. — Allow me to suggest that the extract from Mr. Fawcett's sermon referred to is incorrect. It is not true that "full assurance of understanding" is the first of the three mentioned by St. Paul, but the last and highest. "Full assurance of faith" is the first: it rests upon the blessed work and sacrifice of Christ as a finished and accepted thing (Heb. 10) The next is "full assurance of hope," which looks for and anticipates with joy the time of glory and the inheritance of the promises (Heb. 6) "Full assurance of understanding" supposes intelligence of God's ways in their height and depth, as developed in the mystery of Christ's heavenly glory, or, as it is said, "to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God." How many there are who are perfectly clear as to their acceptance, and who enjoy the hope of Christ's return and reign, and yet are most indistinct and uninstructed in "the mystery," as taught in Ephesians and Colossians. So utterly false is it that "the full assurance of understanding," spoken of in Col. 2 gives birth to the other two.
Joshua 20:6. Vol. II. p. 137. — The true application of the type is, I believe, not to departed spirits, but to the Jews, who are providentially kept of God, but kept withal out of their inheritance, until the close of the High-priesthood which Christ is now exercising in heaven. He will then come out and bless the people of Israel, to whom the glory of the Lord shall appear. They knew not what they did when they smote and killed the Prince of Life. In the city of refuge they remain till the close of Christ's (heavenly) priesthood, after which they return to the land of their possession.
Ezekiel 28:13-15. Vol. II. p. 215. — Strong as are the expressions used of the Prince of Tyrus in the preceding portion of this chapter (verses 1-10), I think it will be felt generally that, in the intermediate paragraph (11-19), we have language which, though it alludes, particularly at the close, to the history which gave rise to the whole strain, yet goes far beyond, and not obscurely links with it the fall of Satan, the prince of the world imaged in this King of Tyrus. Ezek. 31 may show how kings are spoken of as trees in Eden, the garden of God: this allusion naturally associates with it the ways of Satan before and in the literal Eden. In him was found the perfection of creature beauty: "every precious stone was thy covering;" representing, I suppose, the various lights in which God's glory was reflected in creation. "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth" shows that he was charged with the execution of God's judgments, and that intelligently — the anointed cherub. "Thou wast upon the holy mountain of God," the seat or symbol of His holy authority. He had walked "in the midst of stones of fire," representing, it would seem, how conversant he had been with the display of God's moral glory, before which evil is consumed and disappears. And yet, perfect as he had been, his heart became lifted up because of his beauty, and iniquity was found in him. Such, alas! is the creature — such fully was Satan.
Matthew 26:52 ( Ἐν μαχαίρᾳ ἀπολοῦνται). Vol. II. p. 267. — There need be no hesitation in accepting the common version, and in rejecting Mr. READ's quasi-emendation, for which there is absolutely no reason. Thus, if we try a somewhat similar Scripture (Rev. 13:10), by Mr. R.'s mode of translation, the result would be "he that killeth with the laying down of the sword, must be killed when the sword shall be taken from them:" which is evidently absurd. The true sense both here and in Matt. is "by or with the sword.'"' It is a common and correct translation of such phrases, as may be seen in Rev. 2:16, 23, 27; Rev. 6:8; Rev. 9:19-20; Rev. 12:5; Rev. 14:10; Rev. 16:8; Rev. 17:16; Rev. 19:15, 21; to quote from but one book of the New Testament.
John 3:16. Vol. II. p. 267. — I believe that their interpretation is sound who take οὕτως as equivalent to "so much." And so far is this from being unusual, that it is the regular force when, as here, οὕτως is followed by ὥστε, ὡς, or the relative, which tends to define the quantity more strictly. Sometimes in Greek, as in English, there is an ellipsis, and οὕτω, or οὕτως, has this force by itself, as e. g. Herodot. iii. 12, etc. But there is another and more serious defect in Dr. Baylee's comment, as cited by Mr. C. H. DAVIS, and that is, that the grand point of the statement is lost, viz. the measure of divine love, — if measure can be said of that which is measureless — God's giving His only begotten Son: for that is what answers to "God so loved the world," while the rest of the verse brings out the intention and consequence as regards him who believes. In other words, the exposition proposed is not merely defective on grammatical grounds, but it leaves out the idea, which is above all precious in the verse, and absolutely essential to be taken into the account by him who would understand this Scripture as a whole. "In this manner" might do well enough (cf. verses 14, 15), if we had not the clause ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν αὑτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν; but that clause being inseparably linked with and answering to οὕτω γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, the sense is modified accordingly, and rightly given in our authorised Bible and other good versions. Verse 14 lays down the absolute moral necessity for the cross of the Son of man, if the believer was to have everlasting life. Still, blessed as this is in meeting need ("even so must the Son of man be lifted up"), it is far from the whole gospel of God's grace; "for God so loved the world that He gave His Only begotten Son (one who was not merely Son of man, but God's only begotten Son), that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." It is no longer a question of need, but of a boundless love, which goes out to the uttermost, and makes its object forget his own poverty in riches of grace beyond all reckoning.
1 Thessalonians 1:10. Vol. I. p. 211.
There need be little doubt that the Thessalonians were taught by St. Paul, and encouraged by the Holy Ghost, to look for Christ as their constant, proximate hope. Nothing was revealed, as necessarily putting off His coming for them, though undoubtedly certain events must precede His day upon the world.
1 Timothy 3:16. Vol. I. p. 248. — "Justified in the Spirit" means, I suppose, that Christ was justified in the power of the Spirit, and so characterised. It was true morally in His life, and in power in His resurrection. See Rom. 1:4, and 1 Peter 3:18.
1 Timothy 4:10. Vol. I. p. 248. — The Apostle had been showing how little profit there is in bodily exercise, whereas godliness is valuable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This he pronounces a faithful word, and worthy of all acceptation: the reason appears in our verse. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach (painful as it may be for the present), because our settled hope is in the living God, who is the preserver of all men, specially of the faithful. The question here is of His preserving care, and not of salvation only; and this the Apostle shows to be most true of those who are most tried by reason of their faithfulness.
5_11_03 p. 338/9.
2 Timothy 1:10. Vol. II. p. 202. — In answer to T. B., I beg to say that in this Scripture our Saviour is represented as having abolished death (here personified, as is sin in Rom. 7). Of course this does not mean that men no longer die as a fact, but that He has annulled the title of death as regards His own; as in Heb. 2 it is declared He took part of flesh and blood, "that, through death, He might destroy (καταργήσῃ, the same word as here) him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." But He has done more: He has brought to light life and incorruption (the body being in question, and not the soul only) through the Gospel. It is not said nor meant that either was absolutely hidden, for enough was suggested for the faith of God's elect to show that resurrection and heaven were in His mind, and not earthly blessing only, as Matt. 22:23-33, and Heb. 11 abundantly prove. Nevertheless, under the law, these were obscure subjects, because the ordinary and normal application of the law was found in present visible rewards or punishments from a God who dwelt between the cherubim on earth. The Gospel does not speak of life and incorruptibility as utterly unknown before: on the contrary, it supposes them to have been partially seen gleaming here and there through the darkness; whereas now they stand out in bold relief, the grand theme of evangelic testimony, as viewed in the person of the Lord Jesus. "Which thing," as St. John says, "is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is past and the true light now shineth."
Titus 3. 1 -8. Vol. I. p. 158. — It is evident that there is a connection between the third and fourth verses, the ποτε of the former being answered by the ὅτε of the latter. "When" is, of course, the literal rendering of ὅτε; but our translators gave "after that" here, as in Matt. 27:31, to make the sense clearer. It is impossible to take verses 3-5 as parenthetical, nor 3-7 either, though that might be less difficult. Πιστὸς ὁ λ. refers to what immediately precedes, at least as much as to verses 1 and 2; as to which I would just observe, that πειθαρχειν = obey, in general, and not the particular case supplied by the authorised version, which is rather the bearing of the preceding clause.
Clearly the high priest's offering for the sins of himself as well as of the people is in contrast with Christ. It is the case of priesthood among men, however Aaron might be called to it, contrasted with the Son of God.
Hebrews 11 (not 2) 35. Vol. I. p. 158. — The allusion is to ἐξ ἀναστάσεως, "raised to life again," and cases recorded one sees in 1 Kings 17, 2 Kings 4. The others who were tortured, refusing the deliverance which men offered, await a better resurrection by and by, and are better known in heaven than on earth.
5_11_03 p. 339.
2 Peter 2:1. Vol. I. p. 248. — The truth that Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it, is one thing, and quite another His title over all men, a title which He has not by creation only, but by purchase, which is the idea here, where he is viewed as Δεσποτης (cf. Jude 4). The reader may compare John 17:2, where you have the twofold thing; first, the large grant of power over all flesh; and second, the narrower gift of eternal life "to as many as thou hast given Him."
2 Peter 3:10. Vol. II. p. 216. — I think it will be found that, while all three Scriptures are equally inspired, and therefore certainly and unmixedly true, our text takes a middle place, as to measure of light given, between the prophecy of Isaiah (65, 66, to which the reference is clear) and the Apocalypse. And this exactly accords with its season historically. The Apostle of the Circumcision adds to the light we might have gathered from the Jewish prophet; for he discloses new heavens and new earth, not merely in a moral and incipient way, which finds its centre, if not its scope, in the millennial condition of Jerusalem and her people, but in a full, physical sense, consequent upon the day of the Lord wherein the heavens pass away and the earth is burned up. But it was not the business of Peter but of John to lay down the positive landmarks of time, though he does give us certain elements with more precision than the Old Testament promise he refers to. Accordingly, it is in the Apocalypse that we meet the unambiguous statement that the reign of Christ and the glorified saints for 1000 years, besides a brief space after that, takes place after the partial accomplishment of Isa. 65 and before the fulfilment of Rev. 21:1. It appears to me that 2 Peter 3 embraces both these thoughts within the compass of "the day of the Lord," which is used in the largest application of the term, so as to include the acorn of Isaiah and the full-grown oak of St. John, who alone was given to see, or at least to make known, the exact times and seasons and years connected with the entire scheme. If Mr. BROWNE bear in mind that the millennium is styled "the regeneration" in Matt. 19, it may help him to see that his difficulty is not insuperable. "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature," or there is a new creation. That work done in the soul, one can take up the language of faith and say, "Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new:" while yet it is evident that, as to fact, the full change does not pass over the man until the coming of the Lord. Just so is it with the earth: — the millenium is "the regeneration," and so, even then, Isaiah can speak those rapturous words which, nevertheless, will not have their actual physical completion till that dispensation is closed. Besides, if the latter is to be insisted on, Mr. B. has no right to include the millennial Palestine, or what he calls "the earthly paradise," among "all these things" that shall be dissolved: for Peter is speaking solely of present things, or things of a like nature, whereas the hypothesis Mr. B. combats supposes a vast and essential difference, at least as to Palestine, commenced at the beginning and complete at the end of the day of the Lord; not as regards that land only, but the earth and the heavens as a whole. Now it is of the last or perfect change that Rev. 21:1, speaks, as it is there that we let the fullest light which revelation affords on this subject. And I must remind him of Bengel's wholesome words, "Antiqui et ea autem et involutiora dicta ex novissimis quibusque et distinctissimis interpretari, non illis ad haec enervanda et eludenda abuti debemus." Isaiah 65 and 2 Peter 3 give no countenance to, while Rev. 20, 21, positively excludes, the wild fancy which has been revived, after a long slumber, that the nations, Gog and Magog, are the wicked dead resuscitated. And this is only one of the many absurdities into which a departure from the plain drift of these chapters reduces the wanderer.
2 Peter 3:12. Vol. I. p. 211. —
1. The Millennium does not precede, nor is it subsequent to, but rather included in, "the day of God," as used here by St. Peter. That day means, as I suppose, the entire course of divine intervention, from the appearing of Christ in glory till the new heavens and earth. The millennial reign is a part of that grand scheme. Nor is there any serious difficulty in accounting for the existence of Gog and Magog (Rev. 20), and of sin and death, up to the close of that reign; because, even supposing none left alive in their natural bodies on earth at its beginning, save the righteous, it does not follow that their children must be. So that one can readily see how, during so long a period of unbroken peace and blessing, there might be hosts of unconverted Gentiles, on whom Satan, when loosed, immediately acts in deceit, mustering them for the last rebellion against God. I must be excused if I think the solution which Dr. Cumming endorses contrary to Scripture. I see no ingenuity, but painful confusion, in viewing these nations, which are in the four quarters of the earth, as similar to the dead in their graves. Not the devil, but God, raises them, after all rebellion is over.
2. I think Mr. B. will find that the main root of his next difficulty lies in confounding the coming with the day of the Lord. Thus, as he says, the early Church was taught to expect the coming of Christ as that which might be at any moment; while, on the other hand, events were revealed as antecedent to the day of the Lord (not the παρουσία merely, but the ἐπιφανεία τῆς παρουσίας αὐτοῦ), which must necessarily occupy some years at least.
1 John 4:2. Vol. I. p. 212. — The true force of the Greek is, I believe, "every spirit that confesseth Jesus Christ come in the flesh is of God," not the fact merely, but the person.
Revelation 1:1. Vol. II. p. 202. — I see no ground for supposing that the mystical character of the Revelation is alluded to in the word ἐσήμανεν, any more than in the five other occurrences of the verb in the New Testament. I remember that Mr. Birks put forth such a thought in his Elements of Prophecy, but neither he, nor any one else, as far as I know, has ever produced a single undoubted case of such a sense from any author, sacred or profane. It is not that I question that the book abounds in figures, symbolical visions, etc. but the proof of this must be sought in something more solid and certain than such a sense of the word σημαίνω. I am not aware that σῆμα means a mystical sign or symbol. It is often used for a mark or token whereby to know a person or thing. At any rate more ought not to be assumed, whether as to the verb or noun, without evidence.
Revelation 1:4. Vol. I. pp. 53, 248. — C. H. D. is mistaken in imputing to the Papists, if he mean them only, the idea that "the seven spirits" refer to seven presence-angels; for so also thought Clement of Alexandria and Andreas of Caesarea in ancient, and Beza, Hammond, Stuart, etc. in modern times. But evidently to wish grace and peace from at least two persons of the Godhead, adding a third source in mere creatures, however exalted, is an unworthy thought, and the more, as these supposed angels are put between persons unquestionably divine. The truth is, that, if the Holy Ghost be here spoken of in a peculiar way, it is because the scope of the Revelation so requires. Therefore is it not the Father, but "He who is, and who was, and who is to come," Jehovah the Governor, the Eternal; and in exact accordance the Spirit is regarded not in His unity, but in his various perfections as acting governmentally ("before the throne"). Compare Isa. 11:2, where we have a sevenfold variety of attributes as to the Spirit in connection with the Lord Jesus: also Rev. 3:1; Rev. 4:5; and Rev. 5:6: Zech. 3:9; Zech. 4:10. Next, as to Mr. H. Noel's question, I think it will be found that, though in principle the Holy Ghost be invoked in addressing God, for He is God, in fact the general doctrine and practice of the New Testament, after Pentecost, are founded on His actual, personal presence in the Church, as well as in each Christian here below; and therefore what we find in the Epistles is rather praying in than to the Holy Spirit.
Revelation 3:10. Vol. I. p. 336.
1. The "hour of temptation" is not yet past. There may have been, as in all the circumstances of the other churches, so in this, a partial accomplishment; but the full thing is future.
2. I am of opinion that τῆς οἰκουμένης ὅλης is larger than the Roman world, though there is no doubt that, by a species of imperial pride, they might be and were identified, as in Luke 2:1, perhaps elsewhere. But it seems to me plain, though Wahl and others differ, that the word is in general used in Scripture for the habitable, known world, or its inhabitants.
3. The only question to my mind, in identifying such descriptions as 2 Thess. 2:9-12, and Rev. 13 with this "temptation," is, that I apprehend it will be of still vaster extent, including the range of the two beasts within its ample and unsparing circle.
Revelation 13:1, and Revelation 17:3. Vol. I. p. 235. — May I remind your Correspondent that the last of these chapters is one of explanations, not of history, properly so called; and accordingly it speaks of conditions utterly remote in point of time, as e.g. the harlot riding the beast, as well as the beast and the kings leading her, and even the Lord's subsequent judgment of themselves. In the next place, nothing is said about crowns, or no crowns, in Rev. 17:3. I suspect that the passage is Rev. 12:3, where crowns are seen on the seven heads, not on the ten horns; but none, I suppose, would contend that this verse describes the present state of Western Europe.
5_11_03 p. 342.
Conscience. Vol. II. p. 228. — Scripture shows, I think, that conscience has a twofold character, which is rarely distinguished: 1. Sense of responsibility to God; and 2. Knowledge of things as good or evil in themselves. It is evident that Adam had the first character of conscience in Eden as well as out of it; but the second he had not till the fall gave him a bad conscience. Previously he was innocent, — not holy, but ignorant of evil, as an unfallen creature in the midst of what was very good. Before the fall he did not know what lust was, nor anything else of what we call moral evil. For the eating of the apple was evil, not in itself, but by God's command to abstain.
Jews — Questions connected with their restoration. Vol. II. p. 279. — The difficulty of SIMPLEX is not surprising, though it be far from correct to affirm that the reunion of Judah and Israel, as to their restoration to the land, are always spoken of in immediate connection with Babylon's fall. Sometimes it is not so even in Isaiah (11, 27, 30, 60 - 66) and Jeremiah (3, 23, 30, 31, etc.), and it is never true of Ezekiel, who dwells most fully on their reunion as well as restoration; and the same remark applies to several of the minor prophets. Still the language of Isa. 13, 14, and Jer. 50, 51, is such that some have looked for a rebuilding of a Chaldean Babylon in the latter day. The true solution, however, I believe to lie in the germinant character of divine prophecy. In other words, the Spirit of God, in predicting the judgment of the power which led Judah captive, launches out into the magnificent scenes which precede and accompany "the day of the Lord" in the full sense, a type of which was afforded in the part fall of Babylon and the consequent return of the Jews, when Cyrus said to Jerusalem, "Thou shalt be built, and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid."
The Gift of Tongues. Vol. I. p. 248. — It is clear from 1 Cor. 14 that the gift of tongues was not only miraculous, but a sign to unbelievers, as distinguished from prophesying, which was expressly for edification. Hence it was forbidden to speak "in a tongue" in the Christian assembly, unless some one present could interpret the unknown language for the profit of the saints. It is the sign-gifts, which the Holy Ghost has seen good to withdraw, though still vouchsafing all others which are needful for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edification of the body of Christ. Such a gift as that of tongues was beautifully suited to this dispensation, and especially at its beginning, both for its practical value to the Evangelist, and, above all, as the witness of that race which now published God's wonderful works in the very languages which originally sprang out of a divine judgment (Gen. 10, 11) The infidel inference that this gift never existed, because it does not now, though deeply wanted for unbelievers, deserves no reply.
John 15:2, 6. Vol. I pp. 246, 247. — Permit me to remark that there is no greater difficulty in understanding the fruitless branch, than the unfaithful servant, or the foolish virgin (Matt. 24 and 25) It is not exactly a question of life but of fruit-bearing in John 15 though it is clear that no fruit unto God can be where no life is. But responsibility is another thing, and that is independent of life, while it is immensely increased by the profession of being a branch of the true vine.
Acts 2:8, 11. Vol. I. 307. — The two words διάλεκτος and γλὼσσαι are by no means synonymous. When the Spirit desired to express the language of each, the former was appropriate: when the point was the aggregate of various and many languages, the latter was the suited expression. Γλ. might of course be used in the singular or plural, as the case might require; but δ. is always used in the singular by St. Luke, who is the only inspired who uses the word. The idea of γλ. meaning here, or anywhere else, "varieties of musical tones," cannot be maintained.
Acts 13:25. Vol. II. pp. 35, 300. — Y. E. N. E. will perhaps be gratified to hear that Dr. Tischendorf has edited this verse as he suggests, Τίνα με ὑπονοεῖτε εἶναι, οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐγώ. Luther had evidently so taken the clause, "Ich bin nicht der, dafÃ¼r ihr mich haltet," following the Latin, probably. Raphelius and Wolf contended, one for, and the other against, this construction: so that I think your Querist may be assured that the Greek will bear it, though it is somewhat unusual. There can be no doubt that in profane authors τίς is sometimes used for ὅστις in oratio obliqua after verbs expressive of a doubt, question, or the like, and this not merely with the optative, but where the verb of the indirect question passes into the indicative. Compare Xen. An. iii. 3-18, ed. Schneider. Tischendorf also gives τίς σοφός, αὐτῳ προσκολλήθητι (Sap. Sir. vi. 34), while Valpy has τίς σοφός, κ. τ. λ. from the edition of Holmes and Bos. Without pretending what is happily an insignificant question, for the sense either way is substantially alike, I do not go too far in concluding that the interrogative force is not so universal but that a relative sense is possible.
Hebrews 1:9. Vol. I. p. 272. — It is evident, from his punctuation, that Tischendorf must have taken the clause as C. H. W. proposes; for he has ἔχρισέν σε, ὁ Θεός, ὁ Θ. σου, κ. τ. λ., as also Kunivel, Rosenmuller, and Stuart, not to speak of translators such as Beza, Osterveld, etc. It is, however, too strong to say that the Greek will not bear "God, (even) thy God," etc. The fact is, that either construction is allowable grammatically: the question is really one of the sense best suiting the context.
Christ's Intercession. Vol. I. p. 222. — Perhaps it may be deemed a sufficient reply to the question to say that Christ's deprecation of immediate judgment on Israel (evidently symbolised by the fig tree), which was heard, and delayed longer than He asked, strengthens, rather than weakens, our confidence in our Lord's intercession. Hence there is nothing to reconcile with John 11:4: they are manifestly harmonious. At the same time Christ's advocacy, as in 1 John 2 or intercession, as in Heb. 7 is a closer thing, and in every case infallibly efficacious. Compare Rom. 5:10.
Ephesians 2:2. Vol. II. p. 267. — Scripture explicitly proves the existence of Satan's power in a special and positive way over the minds and bodies of men, and nowhere intimates its cessation when Christianity began or prevailed. There is generally no little imposture along with it, so that the sceptic may find an appearance of reason in attributing all to human craft and superstition. But facts there are, and have always been, which attest a spiritual foe working still among men, and especially the heathen. See Crantz, Brainerd, etc. Our text, however, speaks not of such demoniacal powers or possessions, but of that universal influence which Satan exercises over all unconverted persons.
Ephesians 3:15. Vol. I. p. 295, I humbly think that it is wrong to speak of what we lose by giving up a wrong translation for a right one; and it is confessed that "every family" is here required. Sure I am that the true rendering suggests not merely views equally valuable, but much more so than the false one, which has really confused and prejudiced the minds of Christians against that which otherwise might have been apprehended and enjoyed. I do not doubt that the phrase embraces the sum of God's intelligent creation, at least what is blessed, whether in the heavens or on earth, angelic or human.
Ecclesiastes 3:21, Vol. II. p. 290. — While preferring the English Bible, I think it would be going too far to deny that the words are susceptible of the suggested version. Certainly they appear to have been so understood by the Septuagint and Vulgate translators, not to speak of excellent modern versions. The difficulty here, like so many elsewhere, seems to spring from a misapprehension of God's object in a book. "What is under the sun" (not the revelation of what is above and beyond it) is being discussed. Hence, in this place, it is the mere result of human experience, which is utterly ignorant of all after death. The solution of all moral perplexities is found only in the unseen — in the Word of God, not in the world that now is.
As to the other text cited in the same page (Luke 23:43) the authorised version gives the true sense. The rendering which connects "today" with "I say" is absurd. It was utterly needless to mention when the Lord was speaking, which could only be at that moment. The precious truth which He thus solemnly reveals was that the poor thief should be that very day with Himself in paradise, and not merely be remembered when He comes in His kingdom by and by.
Isaiah 2:22, and 2 Chronicles 35:21. Vol. I. p. 335. — Mr. CAINE seems surprised that ld't: should be translated "cease ye," and in 2 Chron. 35:25, "forbear." The fact is the word is rendered by eight or nine other English equivalents, for all of which it might be difficult to account, if one did not remember the fondness of our translators for variety. At the same time, a difference seems to me in this instance natural, seeing that man is in question in the prophecy, God in the history, which modifies the version. So the Vulgate has quiescite in one case, and desine in the other. De Wette also distinguishes, and the Septuagint, if we read the last verse of Isa. 2 with the Aldine and Complutensian editions, for it is wanting in the others.
Those who identify the Assyrian with Gog need find no difficulty: for the earlier prophets, in particular, such as Joel, Micah, Nahum, and Isaiah, had dwelt much in that enemy of Israel. The difficulty is greater, in appearance, for those who discriminate and consider Gog to be a later enemy. Probably Isa. 33 refers to him; but it is evident that Ezekiel may also include prophets who predicted without committing their prophecies to writing.
Daniel 12:2. Vol. II p. 318. — Many Christians, whose judgment is to be respected, apply this passage to a literal resurrection. But they are involved in difficulties, from which ingenuity essays in vain, as I think, to extricate them. Instead of commenting on what appears to me mistakes, let me state my firm conviction that a national resuscitation of Daniel's people, i.e. Israel, is in question here, as in Isa. 26 and Ezekiel 37. This being understood the entire context is plain. It is at the time of their deepest distress that Michael stands up, and not merely are all those elect Jews delivered who have been glanced at in the previous parts of this prophecy, but, many who are dispersed, as it were buried, or at least slumbering, among the Gentiles, awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Compare Isa. 66 sub finem). Then follows the peculiar blessedness of the "Maschilim," i.e. the understanding ones, that instruct the mass in righteousness, who, instead of going out like the moon, though it may appear again, shine as the stars for ever and ever. This figurative application of a resurrection to Israel's circumstances at the close of the age, is of course perfectly consistent with a real bodily resurrection of saints before, and of the wicked after, the millennium, as in Rev. 20:4-12.
I am aware of the assertion that the phrase hL,aew“ — hL,ae is never used elsewhere in Hebrew as distributive of a general class previously mentioned. But I believe it to be unfounded. The reader has only to examine Joshua 8:22, and he will see that the pronoun is used in a similar way, Israel being the general class, and the same expression as here taking it up distributively. Accordingly, our English Bible in both cases, and in my judgment rightly, translates "some … and some." Of course, it is not denied that in certain circumstances "these" and "those" would well represent the meaning. My opinion is that the other is an equally legitimate rendering wherever required by the context, as I conceive it to be in both the texts cited. And such, I find is the view of the Vulgate and Luther as to Daniel 12:2.
Again, I have no sympathy with those who apply this verse to mere temporal deliverance. But it is not a necessary inference, on the other hand, that the words "everlasting life" imply a resurrection-state. People forget that the saved Israelites in question are supposed to possess eternal life, which certainly may be before any change as to the body. It may help some readers to notice a somewhat parallel case, both in good and evil, as respects the Gentiles in Matt. 25:46. Plainly, they are the nations at the beginning of the millennium discriminated as sheep and goats, and dealt with by the king without delay. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal." So, when Israel reappears in that day, sad examples are to be there, whose "worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring to all flesh;" while others are to be brought an offering to the Lord, who shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. These awake to everlasting life; the others are abandoned to shame and everlasting contempt, apart from the question of resurrection. It will be a time, not of national deliverance merely, but of signal mercy and judgment from God; and this for Israel after their long sleep among the Gentiles, as well as for such Jews as will have figured more in the previous crisis in the land. The Maschilim seem to be a special class still more distinguished (ver. 3).
Romans 16:7. Vol. I. p. 51. — Your querist is aware, doubtless, that we have very scanty data whereby to decide the epoch of St. Paul's conversion, and that the mass of learned divines and chronologists reject Dr. Burton's reasoning, and interpose several years between the crucifixion and that event. This, however, would only afford more ample space for such as Andronicus and Junia to hear the Gospel, while it weakens the evidence (if such it is to be called) for their being the fruit of St. Peter's preaching on the day of Pentecost. Bengel seems to think that they were themselves Apostles, in virtue of having seen the Lord, and testifying thereto (cf. 1 Cor. 15:6); that is, of course, Apostles in a subordinate sense. This, if true, would scarcely harmonise, I think, with Acts 2:10, as applied by Mr. DAVIS.
1 Corinthians 4:4. Vol. II. p. 355. — The true force is, "For I am conscious to myself of nothing "or" I have nothing on my conscience;" but the whole passage is rendered loosely in our version, which confounds ἀνακρίνω, in verses 3, 4, with the simple verb in verse 5.
2 Cor. 5:20. Vol. I. p. 247. — It is clear that the true connection of ὑπὲρ Χ. is with δεόμεθα, and not with the last clause. In other words, the question here is not the means of the reconciliation, which we have in the following verse, but the character of the embassy, and the prayer or entreaty.
1 Peter 1:18. Vol. I. p. 110. — I doubt that J. S. A. has caught the exact point, of the verse. At least, my opinion is that there is a contrast between the Father on whom these converted Jews (for such they were) called, and all the vain round of traditional ways transmitted by their fathers. We are redeemed from "the fair show in the flesh," as well as from what is immoral and depraved. Compare (verses 15, 17, with 18). The father who had called them was holy: therefore were they to be holy in all manner of conversation. They were now calling on a Father who deals impartially; therefore should their conversation, during this their time of walking through the world as aliens be with fear, not because they did not know their redemption, but because they did, and it was not with corruptible things as silver and gold, which were in keeping with their old walk, which, empty in other respects, was most glaringly so in its traditional religions. From all they knew themselves redeemed by the precious blood of Christ.
Genesis 3:22. Vol. II. p. 367. — I believe that there is no ground for the interpretation to which R. D. F. alludes. The rendering of the English Bible agrees with the best translations that I know, and seems to be simple and exact. The proposed one puts an evidently false sense upon "one of us," for that clearly answers to the serpent's temptation in ver. 5 ("ye shall be as gods"), and not to Gen. 1:26-27. Next, it appears to assume the cessation of that image by the fall, contrary to James 4:9. Again, it dislocates the knowledge of good and evil from the being as Elohim, with which it is inseparably connected in verses 5 and 22.
Judges 15:4. Vol. II. pp. 367, 373. — It is the notion of Kennicott and Donne, who convert the animals in question into wheaten sheaves, which deserves derision. For the same word occurs in about half-a-dozen other passages of the Bible, and is always translated "foxes." It will hardly be argued that wheaten sheaves, great or little, spoil the vines, or that those who seek my soul to destroy it shall be a portion for wheaten sheaves. But I must forbear exposing anything so baseless. I do not pretend to say that jackals may not be meant, as some have thought, partly, I suppose, because their gregarious nature seemed better to chime with the 300, than the solitary ways of the fox. Such reasons appear to me of little weight. Both animals however were common in that neighbourhood, and, after all, the question between is of small moment. The LXX, Josephus, the Vulgate, Fr. Junius, the German of De Wette and the Dutch, the Italian, and the French support the English version. Indeed, common sense demands it; for, while one can understand the wide-spread conflagration, which must have followed such a number of fleet creatures rushing hither and thither with a flaming firebrand between each pair, what sense would there be in so tying a couple of wheaten sheaves? Roman antiquaries mention a sacrifice to Ceres of a fox, which not a little resembles and to some may confirm the common view.
Mark 9:43-49. Vol. II. p. 367. — It is plain that a physical act is employed as a mere vehicle for forcibly describing a spiritual cutting-off and casting-out. Nothing is to be spared that is a snare, if it seemed as near and needful as the hand, foot, or eye; for eternity is in question, and a judgment which none can evade, and which spares nothing contrary to God. The meaning is not, I suppose, that in the time of glory those who have mortified the flesh will bear marks to their shame, but rather that such shall be there; and how infinitely better thus than, unmortified and allowing the desires of the flesh and the mind, to be cast into hell-fire!
Acts 26:28-29. Vol. II. p. 142. — May I be permitted to examine the criticism which has been rather confidently applied to this passage? It will be seen that the usual view, with a slight modification, his little to fear from its rivals. Far from being "philologically" or "exegetically" impossible, it seems to be a legitimate and even a necessary construction.
1. It is a mistake if it be supposed that we are restricted to ὀλίγου for the meaning "almost." The Dean of Christ Church and Dr. Scott are no mean witnesses as to such a point; and they give ὀλίγου, or ὀλίγῳ, as so far equivalent, though doubtless the former is the more common, while παρ᾽ ὀλίγον is not infrequent in the Septuagint, and Aquila (in Ps. 71:2) has ὡς ὀλίγον in the same sense. Whatever may be thought of the spirituality of "most of the ancient commentators," it would be strange if Greek fathers, able and eloquent, like Chrysostom for instance, perpetrated the alleged blunder as to their own mother tongue. Who, again, can doubt Theodoret's idea, after reading the following allusion to our text, παρ᾽ ολίγον με πείθεις ὁμοουσιαστὴν γενέσθαι (v. 930, ed. Schulz.) I infer from such circumstances that the phrase was capable of the meaning "almost," in the judgment of those who ought to be eminently competent to treat of the question.
2. It is agreed that χρόνῳ, though often supplying the sense where ἐν ὀλιγῳ occurs in ordinary Greek, is inadmissible here from contextual reasons. What Dr. Davidson says (Introd. N. T. vol. ii. p. 95) after Hemsen and De Wette, is quite unsatisfactory; but I need not dwell on it, as Mr. Alford also rejects it.
3. If any word is to be supplied to the phrase, μέτρῳ, μέρει, or some such noun, would make good sense, but it is better left general. The old English word "lightly" (i.e. with little pains) is as unsuitable to Eph. 3:3, as to our text, and these are the only occurrences in the New Testament. For, in the Epistle, the Apostle does not want to imply that he had written before with little pains; which I must be forgiven for pronouncing an absurd interpretation. He alludes to the previous scanty or brief notice, as compared with the fuller development the subject was now receiving at his hands. The idea of little pains, or ease, is out of the question, and it is wrong to slur it over as equivalent to "few words." On the other hand, the sense in a little [measure]" is clear in itself, and evidently consistent with the purport of the verse and the context. It is equally in keeping with Acts 26:28-29, "In a little measure," said Agrippa, "thou art persuading me to be a Christian;" and Paul rejoins, taking up his words in a similar sense, "I would to God that, both in a little and in a great measure, not only thou but also all that hear me this day were such as I am, except these bonds." Paul's use of the Prophets, who showed long before that the Messiah should suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, was the more striking and seasonable, as their testimony tallied exactly with the facts most objected to in his preaching. The King knew the facts, and believed the Prophets. Accordingly the Apostle appealed to his conscience, and Agrippa confesses that he was in a measure convinced, in spite of the odium associated with the name of "Christian." Thus the present tense is no difficulty whatever, nor the appellation; for his mind might easily allow the propriety of that which contrasted strangely with his worldly position, and the verb expresses the actual effect on the King, not his intentions. Whether one looks at verse 27, or at verses 31, 32, it is an incongruous notion that Agrippa was so insensible to the solemn appeal as to answer ironically. Besides, as I have already pointed out, to make ἑν ὀλίγῳ mean "lightly," "with little pains," or "with ease," is to put an intolerable sense on Eph. 3:3; and it is not pretended that it has a different meaning there and in Acts. What is more, that construction, no less than De Wette's, compels us to take the copulative in a disjunctive sense, which, I am bold to say, is unjustifiable, especially where two occur, as here, together. It is manifest that Matt. 7:10, James 4:13, are not parallel, even if the readings were indisputable. I have no hesitation, therefore, in stating my conviction that Mr. Alford's rendering (i.e. "rightly," in verse 28, and "whether with ease or with difficulty," in verse 29, which, I presume, would require εἴτε or the like) upsets the grammar of the last verse, affords a jejune meaning which coheres with the context neither before nor after, and reduces Eph. 3:3, to nonsense, if the same phrase be supposed to carry the same force, which is intimated. The Syriac, Vulgate, Diodati, Martin, Ostervald, De Genoude, the Lausanne version, etc. maintain in substance the old and truer view. Guernsey, Nov. 1855.