Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford
by John Burgon
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[589] Preached at St. Mary-the-Virgin, Whit-Sunday, May 19th, 1861.

[590] Acts xxiii. 8. For the phrase in the text, see Essays and Reviews, p. 151. Also p. 174.

[591] See the Appendix (C).

[592] Should one not as readily acknowledge a hint which was gathered from the conversation of the thoughtful Vicar of Stanford-in-the-Vale, as if it had been derived from some of his published writings?

[593] 1 Sam. xv. 6.

[594] Numb. x. 29-32.

[595] A hint has here been taken from one of Dr. W. H. Mill's admirable University Sermons, pp. 239-40.

[596] Judges iv. 6.

[597] Ibid. iv. 17.

[598] Ibid. v. 6.

[599] Judges v. 6, 7, 11.

[600] Ibid. iv. 4, 5.

[601] Ibid. v. 7.

[602] Ibid. v. 5 and 9.

[603] 1 Sam. xii.

[604] Gen. xlix. 5.

[605] Comp. Judges v. 14, 17, with Numb, xxxii. 39, 40, and Josh. xiii. 31.—Consider Ps. lxxx. 2.

[606] 2 Kings vi. 16.

[607] 1 Kings xx. 42.

[608] St. John i. 17.

[609] 2 St. Peter ii. 16.

[610] Numb. xxii., xxiii., xxiv., xxv., xxxi. 8 and 16. Joshua xxiv. 9, 10: xiii. 22. Micah vi. 5. Nehem. xiii. 1, 2 (quoting Deut. xxiii. 3, 4.) 2 St. Peter ii. 14-16. St. Jude ver. 11. Rev. ii. 14.

[611] Exod. xiv. 19-31, &c. is thus referred to in Josh. ii. 10: iv. 23. Judges v. 4, 5. Job xxvi. 12. Ps. lxxiv. 13: cvi. 7-11: cxiv. 1-8: lxxvii. 14-20: lxvi. 6: lxxviii. 12-31. Amos ii. 10. Hos. xii. 13. Is. lxiii. 11-13: xliii. 16: li. 9, 10, 15. Micah vi. 4-5. Jer. ii. 6: xxxii. 20-1. Dan. ix. 15. 2 Sam. vii. 23. 2 Kings xvii. 7. Neh. ix. 9-21. Acts vii. 30-41. 1 Cor. x. 1-11. 2 Tim. iii. 8. Hebr. xi. 29. Rev. xv. 3.

[612] Gen. i. 1, (Heb. xi. 3:) 3, (2 Cor. iv. 6:) 5, (1 Thess, v. 5:) 6, 9, (2 St. Pet. iii. 5:) 11, 12, (1 St. John iii. 9:) 14, (Phil. ii. 15: Rev. xxi. 11:) 24, (Acts x. 12: xi. 6:) 26, (St. James iii. 9:) 26, 27, (Col. iii. 10:) 27, (1 Cor. xi. 7: St. Matth. xix. 4: St. Mark x. 6:) 28, (Ps. viii. 6-8, commented on in Heb. ii. 5-9: 1 Cor. xv. 25: Eph. i. 22.)—Gen. ii. 2, (Heb. iv. 4, 10:) 7, (1 Cor. xv. 45, 47:) 9, (Rev. ii. 7: xxii. 2, 14, 19:) 18, (1 Cor. xi. 9:) 22, (1 Tim. ii. 13:) 23, (Eph. v. 30:) 24, (Eph. v. 31: St. Matth. xix. 5: St. Mark x. 7: 1 Cor. vi. 16:) &c.

[613] "It is a very misleading notion of Prophecy," says Dr. Arnold,—(a writer to whom, more than to any other person, I conceive that we are indebted for "Essays and Reviews;" that unhappy production being the lawful development and inevitable result of the late Head-master of Rugby's most unsound and mischievous religious teaching:)—"It is a very misleading notion of Prophecy, if we regard it as an anticipation of History." (Sermons, i. p. 375.) "I think that, with the exception of those prophecies which relate to our LORD, the object of Prophecy is rather to delineate principles and states of opinion which shall come, than external events. I grant that Daniel seems to furnish an exception." (Life and Correspondence, p. 59.) This was written in 1825. In 1840, we are informed:—"The latter chapters of Daniel, if genuine, would be a clear exception to my Canon of Interpretation.... But I have long thought that the greater part of the Book of Daniel is most certainly a very late work, of the time of the Maccabees; and the pretended prophecy about the Kings of Grecia and Persia, and of the North and South, is mere history, like the poetical prophecies in Virgil and elsewhere.... That there may be genuine fragments in it, is very likely." (Ibid., p. 505.)—In other words, Dr. Arnold, rather than suppose "my Canon of Interpretation" (!) worthless, is prepared to eject the Book of Daniel from the Inspired Canon. Any thing is "very likely," in short, except that God could foretell future events, and Dr. Arnold be in error!... Ar' ouch hybris tad'?

[614] Analogy, P. II. ch. vii.

[615] Throughout the volume entitled "Essays and Reviews;" while the third Essay is simply an affirmation of their impossibility.

[616] And yet, Bp. Butler says,—"The facts, both miraculous and natural, in Scripture, appear in all respects to stand upon the same foot of historical evidence:" ... "and though testimony is no proof of enthusiastic opinions, or of any opinions at all; yet, it is allowed, in all other cases, to be a proof of facts."—Analogy, P. II. ch. vii. (ed. 1833, pp. 285 and 293.)

[617] Essays and Reviews, p. 140.

[618] Ibid., p. 104.

[619] There are some admirable observations on this subject in the 'Preliminary Essay' prefixed to Dean Trench's Notes on the Miracles.—See pp. 10, 12, 15, 60, &c.

[620] Dr. Temple.

[621] Mr. Babbage's Bridgewater Treatise, (2nd. Ed. 1838,) p. 92.

[622] "Why we should pray for Fair Weather: being Remarks on Professor Kingsley's Sermon,"—by a Member of the University [of Cambridge,]—12mo. Cambridge, 1860, p. 8.

[623] "The view taken of Miracles in chapter viii., is the same as that contained in the work of Butler, on the Analogy" &c.—Babbage (as above), p. 191.

[624] Edinburgh Review, for April 1861, p. 486.

[625] How exactly, in this instance, has Dr. Whewell's anticipation received fulfilment!;—"We may, with the greatest propriety, deny to the mechanical Philosophers and Mathematicians of recent times any authority with regard to their views of the administration of the Universe; we have no reason whatever to expect from their speculations any help, when we ascend to the first Cause and supreme Ruler of the Universe. But we might perhaps go further, and assert that they are in some respects less likely than men employed in other pursuits, to make any clear advance towards such a subject of speculation."—(Whewell's Bridgewater Treatise, p. 334.)—Scarcely less acute is the remark which the late excellent Hugh James Rose has somewhere left on record, concerning the chapter wherein the preceding remark occurs,—That the world would not easily forgive Dr. Whewell for those two chapters on "Inductive" and "Deductive Habits."

[626] Babbage (as before), p. 92, (heading of ch. viii.)

[627] See the Analogy, P. II. ch. iv. sect. iii.

[628] St. Mark i. 24. St. Luke iv. 34: viii. 28, 30-32, &c. &c.

[629] Exod. xvi. 18-21: 22-24:—25-27: 31: 33-34. Add Wisdom xvi. 20-1.

[630] Exod. xvi. 35, and Josh. v. 12.

[631] Exod. xiv. 22, 29.

[632] St. Matth. viii. 26. St. Mark iv. 39.

[633] St. Matth. viii. 15.

[634] Edinburgh Review, (art. on 'Essays and Reviews,') April 1861, p. 487.

[635] Edinburgh Review, (art. on 'Essays and Reviews,') April 1861, p. 487.

[636] I have softened the expression originally employed in this place, out of deference to the opinions of some wise and good men. But I do not think that St. John, (the Evangelist and Apostle of Dogma,) would have thought my language too strong: nor St. Paul either. Ei tis ou philei,—

[637] 1 Cor. xv. 14.

[638] From a Sermon by the pious and learned chaplain to the English congregation at Rome, the Rev. F. B. Woodward,—CHRIST risen the Foundation of the Faith,—preached on Easter Day, 1861. (Rivingtons.)

[639] Van Mildert's Bampton Lectures for 1814, ("An Inquiry into the general principles of Scripture-Interpretation,")—pp. 242-3.

[640] The reader is particularly requested to read what Dr. Moberly has said on this subject in Some Remarks on 'Essays and Reviews,' being the Revised Preface to the Second Edition of 'Sermons on the Beatitudes,'—p. xxii to p. xxv.—The constructive value of the 'Remarks' of that excellent Divine will long outlive the occasion which has called them forth. I allude particularly to the considerations which occur from p. xxxii to p. lxiii.

[641] St. Luke xix. 14.

[642] 2 Tim. iv. 2.

[643] 1 Sam. xx. 3.

[644] Ps. xvii. 16.

[645] Jer. vi. 4.

[646] Song of S. ii. 17: iv. 6.


(p. 16.)

[Bishop Horsley on the double sense of Prophecy.]

"I shall not wonder, if, to those who have not sifted this question to the bottom, (which few, I am persuaded, have done,) the evidence of a Providence, arising from prophecies of this sort[647], should appear to be very slender, or none at all. Nor shall I scruple to confess, that time was when I was myself in this opinion, and was therefore much inclined to join with those who think that every prophecy, were it rightly understood, would be found to carry a precise and single meaning; and that, wherever the double sense appears, it is because the one true sense hath not yet been detected. I said,—'Either the images of the prophetic style have constant and proper relations to the events of the world, as the words of common speech have proper and constant meanings, or they have not. If they have, then it seems no less difficult to conceive that many events should be shadowed under the images of one and the same prophecy, than that several likenesses should be expressed in a single portrait. But, if the prophetic images have no such appropriate relations to things, but that the same image may stand for many things, and various events be included in a single prediction, then it should seem that prophecy, thus indefinite in its meaning, con afford no proof of Providence: for it should seem possible, that a prophecy of this sort, by whatever principle the world were governed, whether by Providence, Nature, or Necessity, might owe a seeming completion to mere accident.' And since it were absurd to suppose that the Holy Spirit of GOD should frame prophecies by which the end of Prophecy might so ill be answered, it seemed a just and fair conclusion, that no prophecy of holy writ might carry a double meaning.

"Thus I reasoned, till a patient investigation of the subject brought me, by GOD'S blessing, to a better mind. I stand clearly and unanswerably confuted, by the instance of Noah's prophecy concerning the family of Japheth; which hath actually received various accomplishments, in events of various kinds, in various ages of the world,—in the settlements of European and Tartarian conquerors in the Lower Asia; in the settlements of European traders on the coasts of India; and in the early and plentiful conversion of the families of Japheth's stock to the faith of CHRIST. The application of the prophecy to any one of these events bears all the characteristics of a true interpretation,—consistence with the terms of the prophecy, consistence with the truth of history, consistence with the prophetic system. Every one of these events must therefore pass, with every believer, for a true completion."

BP. HORSLEY's Sermons, No. xvii. Vol. ii. pp. 73-4.


[647] Gen. ix. 25-7.


(p. 50.)

[Bishop Pearson on Theological Science.]

"Ad publicam Theologi professionem electus et constitutus sum; cujus cum prstantiam dignitatemque considero, incredibili quadam dulcedine perfundit mirificeque delectat; cum amplitudinem difficultatemque contemplor, perstringit oculos, percellit animum, abigit longe atque deterret.

"Cum Artes omnes Scientique Athenis diu floruissent, cum novam sedem Alexandri occuparent, cum ingenia Romana toto terrarum orbe personarent, etiam tum dixit CHRISTUS ad Apostolos, Vos estis lux mundi. Omnes ali Scienti, etiam cum maxime clarescerent, tenebris sunt involut, et quasi nocte quadam sepult. Tum sol oritur, tum primum lumine perfundimur, cum DEI cognitione illustramur; radii lucis non nisi de coelo feriunt oculos; ctera, qu artes aut scienti nominantur, non Athen sed noctu. Quid enim? nonne animis immortalibus prditi sumus, et ad ternitatem natis? Qu autem Philosophi pars perpetuitatem spirat? Quid Astronomicis observationibus fiet, cum coeli ipsi colliquescent? Ubi se ostendet corporis humani peritus, et medicaminum scientia prclarus, cum corruptio induet incorruptionem? Qu Music, qu Rhetoric vires, cum Angelorum choro et Archangelorum coetibus inseremur? Si nihil animus prsentiret in posterum, e covis sibi scientiis aliquid solatii carpere fas esset, secumque perituris delectari: sed in hoc tam exiguo vit curriculo, et tam brevi, quid est, tam cito periturum, quod impleret animum, in infinita sculorum spatia duraturum? Sola Theologi principia, tern felicitatis certissima expectatione foeta, aur divin particulam, coelestis su originis consciam, et sempitern beatitudinis candidatum, satiare possunt.

"Ctera Scienti exiguum aliquid de mundi opifice delibant, norunt; hc, aquil invecta pennis, coeli penetralia perrumpit, in ipsum Patrem luminum oculos intendit, et audaci veritate promittit, DEUM nobis aliquando videndum sicut et nos videbimur.

"Quantum igitur moli corporis [anima materi expers,] quantum operos conjectur divina visio, quantum brevi temporis spatio ternitas, quantum Parnasso Paradisus, tantum reliquis disciplinis Theologia prferenda est.

"Sed hanc severam rebus humanis necessitatem imposuit DEUS, ut qu pulcherrima sunt, sint et difficillima. Si Sacrarum Literarum copiam, si studiorum theologicorum amplitudinem prospicias, crederes promissionem divinam, sicut Ecclesi, ita doctrin terminos nullos posuisse.

"Scriptura ipsa, quam copiosa, quam intellectu difficilis! histori quam intricat! propheti quam obscur! prcepta quam multa! promissiones quam vari! mysteria quam involuta! interpretes quam infiniti! Lingu, quibus exarata est, et nobis, et toti orbi terrarum peregrin. Tres in titulo crucis consecrat sunt; satis ill erant, cum CHRISTUS moreretur; sed pluribus nobis opus est ut intelligatur. Latina parum subsidii prbet, originibus exclusa. Grc magna est utilitas, nec tamen illa, si pura, multum valet; nam aliam priorem semper aut reddit, aut imitatur. Hebra satis per se obscura, nec plene intelligenda, sine suis conterraneis, Chaldaica, Arabica, Syriaca. Non est theologus, nisi qui et Mithridates!

"Jam hc ipsa oracula Ecclesi DEI sunt commendata, ad illam a CHRISTO ipso amandamur; illa testis, illa columna veritatis. Nec est unius aut vi, aut regionis, Ecclesia DEI: per totum terrarum orbem, quo disseminata, sequenda est; per Orientis vastissima spatia, per Occidentis regna diversissima: antiquissimorum Patrum sententi percipiend, quorum libri pene innumeri prodierunt, et nova tamen monumenta indies e tenebris eruuntur.

"Quid dicam Synodos, diversarum provinciarum foetus? quid Concilia, e toto orbe coacta, et suprema auctoritate prdita? quid canonum decretorumque infinitam multitudinem? quorum sola notitia insignem scientiam professionemque constituit; et tamen Theologi nostr quantula particula est?

"Quot hreses in Ecclesia pullularunt, quarum nomina, natura, origines detegend: qu schismata inconsutilem CHRISTI tunicam lacerarunt; quo furore excitata, quibus modis suppressa, quibus machinis sublata!

"Jam vero, scholasticorum qustiones, quam innumera! Ad hc omnia subtiliter disserenda, acute disputanda, graviter determinanda, quanta Philosophi, quanta Dialectic necessitas! qu leges disputandi, qu sophismatum stroph detegend!

"Hc sunt qu me a professione deterrent, hc qu exclamare cogunt, =tis pros tauta hikanos?;"

BP. PEARSON's Oratio Inauguralis, 'Minor Works,' (ed. Churton,) vol. i. pp. 402-5.


(p. 71.)

[The Bible an instrument of Man's probation.]

"Multa enim propter exercendas rationales mentes figurata et obscure posita."—Aug. De Unit. Eccl. c. v.—"Obscuritates Divinarum Scripturarum quas exercitationis nostr caus DEUS esse voluit."—Id. Ep. lix. ad Paulinum, tom. ii. p. 117.

"The evidence of Religion not appearing obvious, may constitute one particular part of some men's trial, in the religious sense: as it gives scope, for a virtuous exercise, or vicious neglect of their understanding, in examining or not examining into that evidence. There seems no possible reason to be given, why we may not be in a state of moral probation, with regard to the exercise of our understanding upon the subject of Religion, as we are with regard to our behaviour in common affairs. The former is as much a thing within our power and choice as the latter."

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"Nor does there appear any absurdity in supposing, that the speculative difficulties, in which the evidence of Religion is involved, may make even the principal part of some persons' trial. For as the chief temptations of the generality of the world are the ordinary motives to injustice or unrestrained pleasure; or to live in the neglect of Religion from that frame of mind, which renders many persons almost without feeling as to any thing distant, or which is not the object of their senses: so there are other persons without this shallowness of temper, persons of a deeper sense as to what is invisible and future; who not only see, but have a general practical feeling, that what is to come will be present, and that things are not less real for their not being the objects of sense; and who, from their natural constitution of body and of temper, and from their external condition, may have small temptations to behave ill, small difficulty in behaving well, in the common course of life. Now when these latter persons have a distinct full conviction of the truth of Religion, without any possible doubts or difficulties, the practice of it is to them unavoidable, unless they will do a constant violence to their own minds; and religion is scarce any more a discipline to them, than it is to creatures in a state of perfection. Yet these persons may possibly stand in need of moral discipline and exercise in a higher degree, than they would have by such an easy practice of religion. Or it may be requisite for reasons unknown to us, that they should give some further manifestation what is their moral character, to the creation of GOD, than such a practice of it would be. Thus in the great variety of religious situations in which men are placed, what constitutes, what chiefly and peculiarly constitutes, the probation, in all senses, of some persons, may be the difficulties in which the evidence of religion is involved: and their principal and distinguished trial may be, how they will behave under and with respect to these difficulties."—BISHOP BUTLER's Analogy, P. II. ch. vi. (ed. 1833,) p. 266. and pp. 274-5.

Further on, (p. 277,) Butler has the following note:—

"Dan. xii. 10. See also Is. xxix. 13, 14: St. Matth. vi. 23, and xi. 25, and xiii. 11, 12. St. John iii. 19, and v. 44: 1 Cor. ii. 14, and 2 Cor. iv. 4: 2 Tim. iii. 13; and that affectionate as well as authoritative admonition, so very many times inculcated, 'He that hath ears to hear let him hear.' Grotius saw so strongly the thing intended in these and other passages of Scripture of the like sense, as to say, that the proof given us of Christianity was less than it might have been for this very purpose: 'Ut ita sermo Evangelii tanquam lapis esset Lydius ad quem ingenia sanabilia explorarentur.' (De Verit. R. C. lib. ii. towards the end.)"

APPENDIX D. (p. 72.)

[St. Stephen's Statement in Acts vii. 15, 16, explained.]

In a work like the present which purports to deal solely with the grander features of INSPIRATION and INTERPRETATION, it is clearly impossible to enter systematically into details of any kind. If, here and there, something like minuteness has been attempted[648], it has only been by way of sample of what one would fain have done,—of what one would fain do,—time and place and occasion serving. In the same spirit I will add a few remarks on the famous passage in Acts vii. 15, 16; for, confessedly, to a common eye it seems to contain several erroneous statements. The words, as they stand in our English Bible, are these:—

"So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our Fathers; and were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem."

For obvious reasons, it will be convenient to have under our eyes, at the same time, the original of the passage:—

Kateb de Iakb eis Aigypton, kai eteleutsen autos kai hoi pateres hmn kai metetethsan eis Sychem, kai etethsan en t mnmati ho nsato Abraam tims argyriou, para tn huin Emmor tou Sychem.

On this, Dr. Alford, Dean of Canterbury, delivers himself as follows:—

"There is certainly, and that not dependent upon any Rabbinical or Jewish views of the subject, an inaccuracy in Stephen's statement: for the burying-place was not at Sychem which Abraham bought, but at Hebron, and it was bought of Ephron the Hittite, as you will find in the 23rd of Genesis from the 7th to the 20th verses. It is not worth while for us now to read the account, but so it is: Abraham bought a field at Hebron of Ephron the Hittite. There is no mention at all made of its being for a burying-place. But it was Jacob who bought a field near Shechem 'of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father.' These two incidents, then, in this case are confused together. And again I say, if it is necessary to say it again, that there is no reason at all for us to be ashamed of such a statement—no reason for us to be afraid of it, or in any way staggered at it. It was not Stephen's purpose to give an accurate history of the children of Israel, but to derive results from that history, which remain irrefragable, whatever the details which he alleged."—Homilies on the former part of the Acts of the Apostles, by Henry Alford, B.D., Dean of Canterbury, London, 1858, p. 219.

A northern Professor, (Patrick Fairbairn, D.D., Principal and Professor of Divinity in the Free Church College, Glasgow,) also writes as follows:—

"Now, there can be no doubt, that viewing the matter critically and historically, there are inaccuracies in this statement; for we know from the records of Old Testament history, that Jacob's body was not laid in a sepulchre at Sychem, but in the cave of Machpelah at Hebron;—we know also that the field, which was bought of the sons of Emmor, or the children of Hamor (as they are called in Gen. xxxiii. 19), the father of Sichem, was bought, not by Abraham, but by Jacob."—Hermeneutical Manual, or Introduction to the Exegetical Study of the Scriptures of the New Testament, &c. Edinburgh, 1858, p. 101.

Now when it is considered that the speaker here was St. Stephen,—a man who is said to have been "full of the HOLY GHOST," so that "no one could resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake," (Acts vi. 3, 5, 8, 10.)—there is evidently the greatest prim facie unreasonableness in so handling his words. But let the adverse criticism be submitted to the test of a searching analysis; and how transparently fallacious is it found to be!

First, we have to ascertain the meaning of the passage. And it is evident to every one having an ordinary acquaintance with Greek, that the words Emmor tou Sychem cannot mean "Emmor the father of Sychem." This is a mere mistranslation, as the invariable usage of the New Testament shews. The genitive denotes dependent relation. The Vulgate rightly supplies the word "filii;" and there can be no doubt whatever that what St. Stephen says, is, that Abraham bought the burial-place "of the sons of Emmor, the son of Sychem."

Next, it is evident that "our Fathers," (hoi pateres hmn,) exclusive of Jacob, form the nominative to the verb "were carried over" (metetethsan.) In English, the place ought to be exhibited as follows:—"he and our Fathers; and they were carried." But, in truth, the idiom of the original is so easy, to one familiar with the manner of the sacred writers[649]; and the historical fact so exceedingly obvious; that it must have been felt by St. Luke, in recording St. Stephen's words, that greater minuteness of statement was quite needless. Who remembers not the affecting details of where Jacob was to be buried, as well as the circumstantial narrative of whither his sons conveyed his bones[650]? Who remembers not also that the bones of Joseph, (and, as we learn from this place, the rest with him,) were carried up out of Egypt by the children of Israel, at the Exode[651]?

Where then is the supposed difficulty? Moses relates (in Gen. xxiii.) that Abraham bought of Ephron the Hittite, the son of Zohar, the field and the cave of Machpelah: and says that Machpelah was before Mamre, otherwise called Kirjath-Arba, and Hebron. St. Stephen further relates that Abraham bought the sepulchre at Sychem in which the Twelve Patriarchs were eventually buried, of the sons of Emmor, (or Hamor.) May not the same man buy two estates?

True enough it is that Jacob, when he came from Padan Aram, "bought a parcel of a field" at "Shalem a city of Shechem," "at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father." But there is no pretence for saying that these last two transactions are identical, and have been here confused together: for the sellers, in the one case, were "the sons of Emmor, the son of Sychem;" and in the other, "the children of Hamor,"—father of that Shechem whose tragic end is related in Gen. xxxiv.: while the buyer was in the one case, Abraham; in the other case, Jacob. Not to be tedious however, let me in a few words, state what was the evident truth of the present History.

It is found that Jacob, in order to build an altar at Shechem with security, judged it expedient to purchase the field whereon it should stand. Who can doubt that the purchase was a measure of necessity also? If, at the present day, one desired to erect a church on some spot in India, where the value of land was fully ascertained[652], and where there were many inhabitants[653],—how would it be possible to set about the work, with the remotest purpose of retaining possession, unless one first bought the ground on which the structure was to stand? I infer that when Abraham first halted at Sichem[654], and built an altar there[655], (the Canaanite being then in the land,) it is very likely that he bought the ground also. But when St. Stephen informs me that the thing which I think only probable, was a matter of fact; am I, (with Dean Alford,) to hesitate about believing him? Abraham then, in the first instance, bought Sichem, Shechem, or Sychar; and there built an altar. To that same spot, long after, his grandson Jacob resorted. What wonder, since the wells of Abraham were stopped during his absence, and had to be recovered by his son, (as related in Gen. xxvi. 17-22,)—what wonder, I say, if Jacob, on coming to Shechem after an interval of nearly 200 years, finds that he also must renew the purchase of the cherished possession? The importance of that locality, and the sacred interest attaching to it, has been explained in a Plain Commentary on the Gospels, on St. John iv. 1-6, and 41. See also a Sermon by the same author,—One Soweth and another Reapeth.


[648] As in the case of the healing of the two blind men at Jericho, (p. 67.): 'Jeremy the Prophet,' (p. 70.): the type of Melchizedek, (pp. 152-6.): a passage in Deut. xxx. (pp. 191-5.): the conduct of Jael, (pp. 223-230.): &c., &c.

[649] The nominative has, in like manner, to be supplied in the following places:—Gen. xlviii. 10. Exod. iv. 26: xxxiv. 28. Deut. xxxi. 23. 2 Sam. xxiv. 1. 1 Kings xxii. 19. 2 Kings xix. 24, 25. Job xxxv. 15. Jer. xxxvi. 23.—St. Matth. xix. 5. St. Mark xv. 46. St. John viii. 44: xix. 5: xxi. 15-17. Acts xiii. 29. Eph. iv. 8. Col. ii. 14, &c., &c.

[650] Gen. xlix. 29-32; l. 5-13.

[651] Ibid l. 25. Exod. xiii. 19. Josh. xxiv. 32.

[652] Gen. xxiii. 15.

[653] Ibid. xxiii. 10 to 12, 18.

[654] Ibid. xiii. 7.

[655] Ibid. xiii. 7.


(p. 74.)

[The simplest view of Inspiration the truest and the best.]

"I suppose all thoughtful persons will allow that intellectual licentiousness is the danger of this our intellectual age. For speculation indulges our pride. Faith is an inglorious thing; any one can believe, a cottager just as well as a philosopher: but not all can speculate. The privilege of an intellectually advanced person is that. And the more novel the view he offers, the more evident the proof it gives of an independent mind. Therefore the danger of a highly advanced state of society like our own, is Theory, as distinguished from Catholic Truth. And the most inviting field of theory, is that high subject, the intercourse which hath gone on between the Intellect above us, and our own; the communications which have been made from the Creator to His creatures. In a word, man is under a temptation to frame a theory of Inspiration; whether his attempts to frame one have been successful, is a matter of much interest to consider.

"I am going to offer a few plain remarks on what the Bible professes to be. I say, professes to be, because those whom I speak to will believe that what it professes to be, it is. I mean they will not suspect the writers of any dishonesty or ambitious pretence. But there may be some readers of the Bible, among persons whose profession is the exercise of the intellect, who are impatient at being left behind in the intellectual race; who, when continental critics are going on into theories of inspiration, do not like the imputation (so freely cast upon us by foreign writers) of being unequal to such things, of having no turn for philosophy. So they must have a theory, or go along with one; they must receive the Bible,—for they do receive it,—in some intellectual way; through some lens which they hold up; with a consciousness of some intellectual action in receiving it, something which not every one could practise, something beyond the mere simple apprehension of terms, and simple faith in embracing propositions.

"But in striking contrast with all such views and all such desires, stands the singular character of the sacred volume itself. It manifestly addresses itself to a mind in an attitude of much simplicity; to a mind coming to receive a theory, not to hold up one; coming to be shaped, not holding out a mould to shape a communication made. For it presents itself as a document containing a message from on high; as conveying the Word of GOD; nor can all that is ever said on the subject get beyond this plain account of its contents, 'the Word of GOD.' Nor need any one who desires to impress on his own mind and that of others the true character of the sacred page, try to do more than to remind himself that it professes to convey to him the Word of GOD."—Sermons by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 148-150.

"What I desire to impress upon myself and those who hear me is this, that the words of GOD are always perfect, always complete; and that the feeling with which a poor cottager sits down to his Bible is the right one, and that the student hath the best hope of successful study who in attitude of mind is most likened to him."—Ibid., p. 192.

"The conclusion, then, is this; that Faith hath not been wrong through these many years, in her simple acceptance of GOD'S Word. To come round to simplicity, is what we have always had to do in the great questions of Divinity. There have been great questions; they have agitated the Church; but, as I said, to come round to simplicity hath ever been her work first or last. When in the fourth century men refined upon the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and Arians and semi-Arians would be telling us how these things could be, the unity of GOD in three Persons; to come round to the simplicity of the Athanasian doctrine, and to disown the several explanatory statements which, offering to explain, explained away, was the Church's work. I am not sure that since the clays of the Arian dispute, a more important question has arisen than that which seems likely to be ere long forcing itself upon us, of the Inspiration of Holy Writ. I freely permit myself to anticipate that the simplest possible view of the subject, that on which rich and poor may meet together, is the one to which we shall come round."—Ibid., pp. 172-3.


(p. 107.)

[The written and the Incarnate Word.]

"I suppose we all have learned from the language used by the Evangelist St. John, always to look on each of these two employments of the expression, (the WORD OF GOD,) with reference to the other; and to see in each, the other also. I shall not attempt to express more definitely this connexion; I only need to suppose that we all apprehend it as existing. But I shall claim from it thus much to my present purpose;—that as He whom the Evangelist saw riding in the heavenly pomp on high, and who was revealed to him as bearing this title, 'The WORD of GOD[656],' was the same who rode as at this time into Jerusalem; in humiliation here, in glory there; here veiled, there in brightness unveiled:—I would now associate the two, and would regard that sacred volume which the poor cottager knows as the 'Word of GOD,' as placed under the same dispensation; as veiled here, reserved for Revelation hereafter. I say, as all the other circumstances of our condition are certainly to be regarded in this aspect, viz., as things waiting for development; so ordered by a Divine wisdom as that they shall sustain faith and instruct piety now, but shall shew themselves for what they are, (if ever to a created being, yet) only in a later stage than that to which they were given as its present religious provision: as other things, so the written page (I will assume) which speaks of GOD. I assume that in this world we are using sounds which mean more than we know. I assume that in our churches we are in the highest sense singing the songs of Sion, of the future and heavenly Sion. If Saints in Heaven shall sing (as we are told they shall) the song of Moses, then the song of Moses is already a song for Heaven; only there we shall know its meaning, or more of it than now we do. And the use which I make of the reflection is, to suggest (as I said) the frame of mind in which we should approach the consideration of the sacred page; such a frame of mind as that no future revelations of the import of that page shall have power to reproach us as having dishonoured it by our interpretations here, and having betrayed an inadequate feeling of what Inspiration was."—Sermons, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 180-2.


[656] Rev. xix. 13.


(p. 112.)

[The volume of the Old Testament Scriptures, indivisible.]

"In regard of the Old Testament, it will be observed that the whole volume stands or falls altogether. In whatever sense we understand the falling or standing, the volume stands or falls together. Each page of it is committed to the credit of the rest, and the whole book or collection of books is committed to the credit of each page. For this plain reason, that the book as we have it, is the book which, being known in the Jewish Church as the volume of her authentic and sacred Scriptures, our blessed SAVIOUR accepted and referred to as such. By whatever marks the canonicity of the several books was in the first instance attested,—marks which were sufficient for GOD'S purpose, and which did His work,—there is the volume. 'It is written,' said our SAVIOUR; that is, in a book which all His nation knew of, and understood to be inspired. The scrupulous care which the Jews shewed in preserving their sacred writings intact, is one of the most remarkable facts in history; it is a fact of which the Christian student can give perhaps the right account, seeing it to have been so ordered in the good providence of GOD, that we might have firm ground in calling the book, as we have it, the Word of GOD. The volume stands or falls then together; which we may with advantage bear in mind, because it makes an argument which is available for any portion of the volume, available for the whole; and no one can now say, 'You do not surely hold the genealogies in the books of Chronicles, to be inspired: Isaiah and the Psalms may be inspired; but do you mean the same of the long extracts from mere annals?' No man, I say, can take this freedom, until he can extract and remove those chapters from the book which our blessed SAVIOUR unquestionably referred to as the canonical Scriptures of the Church. If a verse stands, the Old Testament stands."—Sermons, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 152-3.


(p. 115.)

(Some remarks had been partially prepared for insertion in this place, on Theories of Inspiration: but my volume has already been delayed too long, and has extended to a greater length than was originally contemplated. The paper in question is therefore reserved for the present.)


(p. 117.)

[Remarks on Theories of Inspiration.—The 'Human Element.']

"It will be allowed by all persons accustomed to a calm and charitable view of Theological differences, that in those differences there is generally on each side some great truth wrongly held, because taken out of its due place, and wrongly set. Applying this topic to the subject before us, we are led to consider whether a mistake has not been made in bringing forward the Human Element of Inspiration, instead of permitting the eye to rest upon that which GOD presents to us,—the Divine. The Human Element no doubt is there; no doubt our Maker acts through our faculties in every respect; no doubt He is acting through laws when He seems to suspend laws; and even in Miracles, employs the powers of Nature instead of thwarting them; but then this is His machinery, which He has not explained to us. He presents Himself to us, acting sometimes supernaturally; i.e. in a way above nature as we understand nature. He made the Sun to stand still for Joshua; what refractive cloud came in and held the daylight that it should not go down is not made known to us; GOD said that it should stay, and it stayed; there was the miracle. To have set the Creation going two thousand years before in such a way and train that in that hour a cloud should rise to refract the sun's rays for a time, because in that hour the LORD's armies would need the interference, the prolonging of the daylight,—that was miracle enough. We say not that GOD interrupts His own laws; nay, rather we believe that He hath them always in smooth and orderly operation. Similarly of Inspiration; we know not the way in which GOD acts on human minds, the Spirit on the spirit; for He hath not told us. But, as I said in the beginning, in an age like the present, where analysis of process is the work of men's minds, the way in which man is feeling his strength in every direction, it is not very unnatural that the operations of this philosophy should have been carried beyond their due line; into the subject, namely, of the secret communication between the Divine Spirit, and the spirit and apprehensions of Men, i.e. the Work of Inspiration. To accept the Bible as the word of GOD, just as a cottager or a child in a village school accepts it, is an inglorious thing. He whose intellect is his instrument, that which he is to work with, wishes to feel his intellect operating on any subject which he has to meet. He feels a desire, in apprehending a thing as done, to have as part of his apprehension, a view of how it is done, more or less. It is natural to him to take what he feels to be an intelligent view of a subject. In accepting the Bible therefore as the Word of GOD, he must have a view as to how it is the Word of GOD; the nature of the illapse which the Spirit from on high makes on the spirit and faculties of the man. In a word, he would get between the Creator, and man to whom the Creator speaks; and there would make his observations. But how little encouragement have we to do this in the Word of GOD! When GOD sent prophets to speak to men, to convey a message to them from their Maker, or when He tells Apostles to speak to us, doth He invite us to come within the veil with our philosophy, and examine? I shall offend the piety of those who hear me by pursuing the thought. But I cannot but think that something of this kind has been done by those who have presented us with theories of Inspiration, setting forth to us that which it cannot be shewn that GOD hath set forth to them, or to any one. Yes, they are right; our Creator makes use of our faculties; and when He hath given to one man faculties different from those given to another, faculties of whatever kind, of intellectual power or of moral temperament, He employs them all. Hath He a message of Love? He employs a St. John to utter it, and to prolong the delightful note. Hath He a message of freedom, that liberty wherewith CHRIST hath made us free? He hath a Paul ready to accept and to fulfil the congenial errand. But GOD speaks, not man; and they who would have us be dwelling on the Human Element, when GOD invites us to be lost in the Divine, are doing not well. Yes, GOD employs all our faculties: He hath made us different, as He made the flowers of the field different, and Christianity shews us why He hath so made us; because He hath a work for each of us to do,—a work which none else could do so well. Doubtless He employs all our faculties, doing violence to none. This doubtless is His glory, that He can bring about His results by the means which He Himself hath made. Who has not felt, in reading some sacred narrative, the history, e.g. of Joseph, that the wonderful part of it was this, how naturally all came about,—all by natural operation of human motives and man's free will? So in Inspiration. No doubt GOD's instruments which He hath made are enough for His work; no doubt He employs men as they are; not their tongues only, but their minds and spirits, acting on them and employing them as they are. Only in that great process, the point which I call attention to is this,—GOD speaks of it as divine, and fixes the thought of those who hear Him on the divine element: we, dropping our view on the human, are not wise. He shews us providence; He condescends to shew us His work: we do not well when we shew an interest rather in lower parts of the scheme, especially when in those we may so greatly err, having so little information."—Sermons, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 164-170.


(p. 145.)

[How the Inspired authors of the New Testament handle the writings of the Inspired authors of the Old.]

"Let me repeat:—The question is, how we should address ourselves to the study of the sacred page? For example, how am I to regard, and how to deal with, the great diversities there are between the several sacred writers? For there is the greatest diversity of mind appearing between them. St. Paul is no more the same with St. John, than any two good men now are perfectly alike in their constitution of mind. Nay, the diversity seems especially great in the case of the sacred writers: as if to forbid us to adopt any theory which should ignore or neglect that diversity. It is striking. How shall I deal with these and like circumstances?... Can it be suggested to me what a good and wise man would do in this matter?

"In answer; it can apparently be suggested; and through that which is the best and safest of arguments, the argument from analogy. For there has been a parallel case; the case of the inspired writers of the New Testament dealing with the Scriptures of the Old. To this parallel I now invite your attention. If we can observe how and upon what great principles, piety and wisdom, guided by Inspiration, dealt with the volume of the Holy Scriptures which were then its whole volume, namely the Old Testament; we have so far forth a parallel case to the case of Christians now. The first Christians looked back on the Old Testament as their sacred Scriptures. If we can discern how they regarded their sacred volume, and how they proceeded in interpreting it, we have a pattern to guide us in regard of the question, how we shall regard the sacred volume, and how proceed in the study and interpretation of it; they with the Bible that they had,—we with the Bible that we have, the completed volume.—In this point of view I cannot but regard it as most distinctly providential that there are introduced in the pages of the New Testament so many quotations from the pages of the Old. For they furnish us with an answer applicable in every age of the Church to the question, How shall piety and wisdom deal with a sacred volume; that volume being from the pen of many writers; but with this aggravated difficulty in the former case, that the writers there were widely separated from one another in point of time, were in contact therefore with most difficult forms of life and stages of society? How in approaching a volume so originated, did the New Testament writers regard and deal with its contents?"—Sermons, by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 183-5.

"And it is impossible for us to imagine,—I say the thoughtful reader of the Holy Scriptures will find it impossible to imagine,—an Evangelist or Apostle, evoking out of its grave the Human Element of the ancient prophetic communications; disinterring it once more as if to gaze upon it. I am sure the impression left on the mind by the passages in the New Testament where the Old is referred to, is in accordance with what I say. In other words,—(for it is but in other words the same,)—these divinely instructed students,—these inspired readers of the sacred page,—are aware of that which they read, being inspired; GOD its author, and not Man. And they shew this consciousness, putting off their shoes from their feet, as if on holy ground. A divinely instructed mind, interprets a divinely indited Scripture; the Spirit His own interpreter; and we are taught,—not by man but by the Author of Inspiration,—how Inspiration is to be dealt with.—Let him who would deal aright with the sacred pages of the New Covenant, observe in due seriousness what instruction he may gain from the consideration now suggested to his thoughts. Let him learn from the sacred page, how to deal with the sacred page. And if he has observed these things; if he has seen how the writers of the New Testament, discern in lines and words of the Old Testament, that which speaks to them,—(for it speaks to CHRIST, and in Him to His Church, i.e. to them:) ... how these utterers of inspired sounds are found, when their words receive at length an authentic interpretation, to have been speaking of the Christian Church, its terms of Salvation, its spiritual gifts;—a reader of the Holy Scriptures practised in these observations will have learned in some measure how to approach the sacred volume; with a sense not only of its unfathomed depth, but also of its unity of scope; and a conscious interest rather in its universal truths,—its ever present truths,—than in those transitory imports which some of its pages can be shewn to have had, over and above their Evangelical meaning."—(Ibid., pp. 186-9.)


(p. 199.)

[Bishop Bull on Deut. xxx.]

"Jam hic etiam qustionem unam et alteram solvendam exhibebimus.—Quritur, An nullum omnino extet in lege Mosis SPIRITUS SANCTI promissum? Resp. Legem, si per eam intelligas pactum in monte Sinai factum, et mediatore Mose populo Israelitico datum, (qu, ut modo diximus, est maxime propria ac genuina ipsius in Paulinis Epistolis notio atque acceptio,) nullum Spiritus Sancti promissum continere, manifestum est. Si, inquam, per eam intelligas pactum in Sinai factum; quia in hagiographis et Scriptis Propheticis, (qu nomine legis et Veteris Test. laxius sumpto non raro veniunt,) de SPIRITU SANCTO, tum ex grati Divin promisso, tum precibus hominum impetrato, passim legimus. Imo et in Mosaicis scriptis, licet non in ipso Mosaico foedere, promissum (ni fallor) satis clarum de gratia SPIRITUS SANCTI Israelitis a DEO danda reperire est.

"Ejusmodi certe est illud Deut. xxx. 6: 'Circumcidet JEHOVA DEUS tuus animam tuam et animam seminis tui, ad diligendum Jehovam Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo,' &c. Etenim circumcisionem cordis, prsertim ejusmodi qu ad DEUM toto corde diligendum homines prparentur, non sine magna SPIRITUS SANCTI vi atque efficacia fieri posse, apud omnes, qui a Pelagio diversum sentiunt, in confesso est. Sed hoc etiam ad Evangelicam Justitiam pertinebat, quam sub cortice externorum rituum et ceremoniarum latitantem primum Moses ipse, dein prophet alii, digito quasi commonstrarunt. Justitia enim Fidei, qu in evangelio pephanertai olim erat hypo tou nomou kai tn prophtn martyroumen,—ut diserte affirmat Apostolus. (Rom. iii. 21.) Dixi autem, exerte hanc SPIRITUS SANCTI promissionem in ipso Mosaico foedere non haberi. Addam aliquid amplius,—partem eam fuisse Novi Testamenti, ab ipso Mose promulgati. Nam foedus cum Judis sancitum, (Deut. xxix., et seq., in quo hc verba reperiuntur,) plane diversum fuisse a foedere in monto Sinai facto, adeoque renovationem continuisse pacti cum Abrahamo initi, h. e. foederis Evangelici tum temporis obscurius revelati,—multis argumentis demonstrari potest. (1) Diserte dicitur, (cap. xxix. 1.) verba, qu ibidem sequuntur, fuisse 'verba foederis quod DEUS prcepit Mosi, ut pangeret cum Israelitis, prter foedus illud, quod pepigerat cum illis in Chorebo.' Qui renovationem tantum hic intelligunt foederis in monte Sinai facti, nugas agunt, quin et texts ipsius apertissimis verbis contradicunt. Neque enim verba foederis in Sinai facti repetita ac renovata ullo sensu dici possunt verba foederis, quod DEUS sancivit prter illud, quod in monte Sinai pepigerat. (2) Diserte dicitur, hoc foedus idem prorsus fuisse cum eo, quod DEUS juramento sanciverat cum Israelitici populi majoribus, Abrahamo puta, Isaaco et Jacobo, (ejusdem cap. ver. 12, 13,)—quod foedus ipsum Evangelicum fuit, obscurius revelatum, ipso apostolo Paulo interprete, Gal. iii. 16, 17. (3) Nonnulla hujus foederis verba citat Paulus, ut verba foederis Evangelici, qu fidei justitiam manifesto pr se ferant. (Vide Rom. x. 6. et seq. Coll. Deut. xxx. 11, et seq.) Haud me fugit esse nonnullos, qui statuunt, hc Mosis verba ab Apostolo ad fidei justitiam per allusionem tantum accommodari: sed fidem non faciunt, cum Paulus verba ista manifesto alleget ut ipsissima verba justiti fidei, h. e. foederis Evangelici, in quo justitia ista revelatur. Atque, ut verum fatear, semper existimavi, allusiones istas (ad quas confugiunt quidam tanquam ad sacrum su ignoranti asylum,) plerumque aliud nihil esse, quam sacr Scriptur abusiones manifestas. Sed non necesse erat, hoc saltem in loco, ut tali krsphyget uterentur. Nam, (4) qucunque in hoc foedere continentur, in Evangelium mire quadrant. (i.) Quod ad prcepta attinet, prscribuntur hic ea tantum, qu ad mores pertinent, et per se honesta sunt; illorum rituum, qui, si verba spectes, pueriles videri possent, quorumque totum foedus legale fere plenum est, nulla facta mentione. Addas, totam illam obedientiam, qu hic requiritur, ad sincerum sedulumque studium Deo in omnibus obediendi referri. (Vid. cap. xxx., 10, 16, 20.) (ii.) Ad promissa quod spectat, plenam hic omnium peccatorum, etiam gravissimorum, remissionem post peractam poenitentiam repromittit DEUS; (cap. xxx., 1-4.) qu gratia in foedere legali nuspiam concessa est, ut supra fusius ostendimus. Deinde, gratia SPIRITUS SANCTI, qua corda hominum circumcidantur, ut JEHOVAM diligant ex toto corde atque ex tota anima, hoc in loco, de quo agimus, (nempe prdicti capitis ver 6.) clare promittitur. Hui! quam procul ab usitata Mosaicorum scriptorum vena!... (5) Foedus illud, de quo prdixit Jeremias, (xxxi. 31. et seq.) foedus esse Evangelicum, negavit Christianus nemo; cum Divinus auctor Epistol ad Hebros idipsum expresse doceat, (viii. 8, et seq.) Jam qu de pacto isto prnuntiat propheta, omnia huic foederi Moabitico ad amussim respondent. Appellat suum foedus Jeremias 'foedus novum; ab eo, quod cum majoribus populi Israelitici gypto exeuntibus pepigerat DEUS, omnino diversum.' Idem etiam de Moabitico foedere dicit Moses. Causam reddit Jeremias cur novum DEUS pactum, Sinaiticum aboliturus, molitus fuerit; nempe, quod Israelit, prpotentiore gratia destituti, Sinaiticum illud irritum fecissent, prceptis ejusdem non obtemperando, (ver. 32.) Eandem causam et Moses manifesto designat; 'Nondum,' inquit, 'dederat vobis JEHOVA mentem ad cognoscendum, et oculos ad videndum, et aures ad audiendum, usque ad diem hunc:' (Deut. xxix. 4.) h. d. Pactum prius vobiscum pepigerat DEUS, in quo voluntatem suam prceptis, tum promissis tum minis, tum denique miraculis omne genus satis superque communitis, vobis ipsis patefecerat. Sed vidit foedus illud parum vobis profuisse; vidit vobis opus esse efficaciore adhuc gratia, qua nempe corda vestra circumcidantur, &c. ideoque novum foedus meditatur, in quo gratiam illam efficacissimam vobis adstipulaturus sit. Eandem autem cordis circumcisionem procul dubio designant verba Jeremi, v. 33, prd. cap.; 'Indam legem meam menti eorum, et cordi eorum inscribam eam.' Porro remissio ista omnium peccatorum, qu poenitentibus promittitur a Mose, (Deut. xxx. 1. et seq.) a Jeremi etiam clare exprimitur prdicti cap. ver 34. 'Ero propitius iniquitatibus eorum, et peccatorum ipsorum et transgressionum ipsorum non recordabor amplius.' Denique Jeremias claritatem ostendit adeoque facilitatem prceptorum, qu in novo suo foedere continebantur, ob quam Dei populo non opus esset laboriosa disquisitione, aut exactiori disciplina, ut prcepta istius foederis cognoscerent implerentque, (Ejusdem capitis, ver. 34.) Idem Mosen quoque voluisse manifestum erit, (si verba ejus Deut. xxx. 11, et seq. cum iis, qu Apostolus ad eundem locum disserit Rom. x. 6, et seq. accuratius perpenderis.) Mihi certe clara videntur omnia. (6) Ac postremo, ut res hc tota extra omnem controversi aleam ponatur, ipsi Hebrorum magistri ea, qu Deut. xxix. et deinceps continentur, ad Messi tempus omnino referenda censuerunt. Testem advoco fide dignissimum P. Fagium, qui (ad Deut. xxx. 11,) hc annotat; 'Diligentur observandum est, ex consensu Hebrorum caput hoc ad regnum Christi pertinere. Unde etiam Bachai dicit, hoc loco promissionem esse, quod sub Rege Messiah omnibus, qui de foedere sunt, circumcisio cordis contingat, citans Joelem, ii. 28.' Fagio consentit Grotius in ejusdem capitis ver. 6.

"In his ideo prolixius immorati sumus, tum, ut vel hinc manifestum fieret, omnia, qu in Mosaicis scriptis continentur, ad foedus Mosaicum, proprie sic dictum, nequaquam pertinere; adeoque quam vera ac prorsus necessaria sit distinctio Augustini, (de qua aliquoties jam dictum est,) legem veterem =kyris= sumptam ad solum pactum in monte Sinai factum restringentis; tum imprimis ut exinde etiam clare eluceret optima ac sapientissima DEI =oikonomia=, quam in dispensando grati su foedere usurpare visum ipsi fuerit. Pepigerat DEUS cum Abrahamo foedus illud gratiosum multis ante latam legem annis; cui postea placuit ipsi superaddere pactum aliud, multis, iisque operosis, ritibus ac ceremoniis conflatum, quibus rudem et carnalem Abrahami posteritatem, recens ex gypto eductam, adeoque paganicis ritibus ac superstitionibus nimis addictam, in officio contineret, i.e. ab ethnicorum idololatrico cultu arceret. Quod optime expressit Tertullianus (adversus Marcion. 2.) his verbis: 'Sacrificiorum onera, et operationum et oblationum negotiosas scrupulositates nemo rcprehendat, quasi DEUS talia proprie sibi desideraverit, qui tam manifeste exclamat, "Quo mihi multitudinem sacrificiorum vestrorum?" et, "Quis exquisivit ista de manibus vestris?" sed illam DEI industriam sentiat, qua populum pronum in idololatriam et transgressionem ejusmodi officiis religioni su voluit adstringere, quibus superstitio sculi agebatur, ut ab ea avocaret illos, sibi jubens fieri quasi desideranti, ne simulacris faciendis delinqueret.' (Conf. Gal. iii. 19.) Sed prvidens sapientissimus DEUS, fore, ut hoc ipsius propositum populus obtusi pectoris non intelligeret, post latam istam carnalem legem, prcepit Mosi, ut Israelitis novum foedus promulgaret, seu potius ut vetus illud, cum Abrahamo ante multos annos initum, (quod spiritualem imprimis justitiam exigebat, et gratia ac misericordia plenum erat,) renovaret: ut hinc tandem cognoscerent Judi, pactum Abrahamiticum etiam post latam legem ritualem adhuc viguisse, adeoque pro foedere habendum fuisse, cui unice salus ipsorum inniteretur. (Conf. Gal. iii. 17.) ... Quis hic cum Apostolo non exclamet, = bathos ploutou kai sophias kai gnses Theou!= (Rom. xi. 33.) Sed hc obiter, etsi haudquaquam frustra. Pergo."—From Bp. Bull's Harmonia Apostolica, cap. xi., sect. 3.—Works, vol. iii. pp. 197-201.


(p. 218.)

[Opinions of Commentators concerning Accommodation.]

Cornelius Lapide, on this place, writes us follows:—"Licet Cajetanus, Adamus, Pererius, Toletus, putent Mosem ad litteram loqui de Christo et Christi justiti, referunt enim hc ejus verba ad poenitentiam, de qua eodem capite egerat Moses, ver. 1; (Poenitentia enim et dilectio Dei, ac consequenter peccatorum venia, ipsaque justitia sine fide Christi haberi non potest;) tamen longe planius est, ut non litteraliter, sed allegorice tantum alludat Apostolus ad Mosem. Moses enim ad litteram, sive in sensu litterati loquitur, non de Christo ejusque Evangelio, sed de lege data Judis, ut patet eum intuenti. Ita Chrysostomus, Theodoretus, Theophylactus, Oecumenius, Abulensis, Soto.... Hc, inquam verba, Mosem ad suos Judos literaliter loqui plan certum, evidens, et manifestum est; ita tamen ut eadem hc ejus verba allegorice Evangelio ejusque catechumenis et fidelibus optime conveniant. que enim, immo magis, ad manum est omnibus jam Evangelium et fides Christi, quam olim fuerit lex Mosis: ita ut fidem hanc omnes facillime corde, id est mente, complecti: et ore proloqui, itaque justificari et salvari possint."

Our own learned Hammond writes as follows:—"The two phrases of 'going up into Heaven,' or 'descending into the deep,' are proverbial phrases to signify the doing or attempting to do some hard, impossible thing.... These phrases had been of old used by Moses in this sense, Deut. xxx. 12." [And then, the place follows.] "Which words being used by Moses to express the easiness and readiness of the way which the Jews had to know their duty and to perform it, are here by the Apostle accommodated to express the easiness of the Gospel condition, above that of the Mosaical Law."—So far Dr. Hammond; whose notion that there was any accommodation here, I altogether deny. As for his belief that the paraphrase in the Targum of Jerusalem, ["Utinam esset nobis aliquis Propheta, Jon similis, qui in profundum maris magni descenderet,"] is the "ground of St. Paul's application" of the place to the Death and Resurrection of Christ, I can but feel surprised to find such a view advocated by so learned a man, and so excellent a Divine. But it is not Hammond's way to write thus. In his "Practical Catechism," he often expounds similar Scripture, (e.g. St. Luke i. 72-5,) after a very lofty fashion.

Again:—"Hunc locum accommodavit ad causam suam B. Paulus, Rom. x. Nam cum proprie hic locus pertineat ad Decalogum, transfertur eleganter et erudite a Paulo ad fidem qu os requirit ut promulgetur, et cor ut corde credamus."—Fagius, ad Deut. xxx. 11, apud Criticos Sacros.

Occasionally, however, we meet with a directly different gloss:—

"Locum hunc divinus Paulus divine de Evangelica prdicatione ac sermone fidei est interpretatus, tametsi sensum magis, ut quum est, quam textum ad verbum expresserit; ut illius etiam alibi est mos. Satis enim fuit, atque adeo magis consentaneum viris Spiritu Dei plenis significare quid idem Spiritus in Scriptura intelligi vellet."—Clavius, ad Deut. xxx. 14, apud Criticos Sacros.

Concerning the general principle of Accommodation, (as explained above, p. 188,) the following passages present themselves as valuable.

"Men have suggested that these things were accommodations of the Sacred Writers; and that the New Testament Writers, in the interpretations they gave of passages in the Old, meant to say, that the texts might be applied in such way as they applied them. But the suggestors of this view can hardly have considered carefully those conversations of our Blessed SAVIOUR with His disciples going to Emmaus; and afterward in the evening of the same day, in which He distinctly reprehends them for their dulness of heart in not seeing in the pages of the Old Testament the predictions of His Death and of His Resurrection; though, of His Resurrection the intimations are, in those ancient Scriptures, to our view so scanty and obscure. He unfolds to them as they walk the reference of the Old Testament Scriptures to Himself. Then in a later interview He resumes the instruction and 'opens their understanding,' (it is said,) to discover the same; the relation of the Old Testament Scriptures (namely) to Himself.—He is a bold Commentator who having seen the Disciples thus instructed,—having witnessed this scene,—then, when he meets with these same Disciples' interpretations of the ancient Scriptures in relation to CHRIST, calls them 'Accommodations,' and gives them to a human original. But I ask leave to turn from this theory."—Sermons by the Rev. C. P. Eden, pp. 189—190.

"If we believe that the Apostles were inspired, then all idea of accommodation must be renounced.... The theory of Accommodation, i.e. of erroneous interpretation of the Scripture, cannot be thought of without imputing error to the SPIRIT of Truth and Holiness; or to Him who sent the SPIRIT to recal to the minds of the Apostles all things which He had said to them, and to guide them into all Truth."—From a Sermon by Dr. M'Caul, The Hope of the Gospel the Hope of the Old Testament Saints, (1854,)—p. 8.


By the same Author.




Transcriber's Notes:

* Italics and bold in the original have been represented by ... and $...$ respectively. Greek has been transcribed and marked by ..., except where Greek letters have been used for enumeration. These are represented by 1, 2, 3 for the original alpha, beta, gamma etc. Increased letter-spacing in Greek (used for emphasis) has also been represented by .... * Footnotes have been renumbered to run from 1 through the book. Where there is reference to a particular footnote in the text, the original text has been left, but [our 330] inserted to advise what the reference now is. * The author's unusual punctuation style has been preserved, notably in the following respects. * Footnote markers appear before punctuation. * Punctuation appears before closing parentheses. * When a quotation is followed by a page reference, the page reference is normally followed by the same punctuation as the quotation ended with. * The use of hyphenation in the book was inconsistent. Where words were hyphenated at the end of a line, other examples in the text have been followed. Cases where there was some doubt were "pre-existing" (p. li), "co-extensive" (p. lxxvi), "frostwork" (p. cxxii), "overrule" (p. 20), and "twofold" (p. 38). * Roman numerals used for punctuation are sometimes followed by a period, sometimes not. * i.e., and e.g., have been standardised to have no space. * The following words are either archaic spellings or typographical errors and have been left as in the original. Those known to the transcriber as valid archaic spellings have been marked [*] * "Pourtrays/pourtrayed" (p. xxv), * "recal" for "recall" (p. xxviii and others) * "inuendo" (p. liv) [*] * "pr-Adamic" (p. cvii) * "Meanwile" (p. cxii) * "expence" (p. cxxxiii) [*] * "Poictiers" for "Poitiers" (p. cxlvi) [*] * "tenour" (p. ccvi) * "Analagy" (p. ccxv) * A printing error in the Greek was corrected: "Apostoln" in (our) footnote 209 had the wrong breathing.


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