« AnteriorContinua »
and should also advert a second time to the title of the chapter in which the above remark is found, namely, on the Unity of the Deity, what would be his surprise on being told that nothing more was meant by this unity than a unity of counsel! A unity of counsel! he would say, between whom and what? Between God and himself? Or between one God, and certain other gods possess ing the same essence and the same attributes? The first interpretation he would reject as meaning nothing, and the second he would consider as set aside by the combined force of the two chapters on the personality and the Unity of the Deity, in which it seemed to be proved that God is one intelligent agent or person.
"The whole argument for the Divine unity goes no farther than to an unity of counsel." If by unity of counsel we are to understand, according to the natural meaning of the words, an agreement of purpose be tween more minds than one, it may be justly observed, that nature gives evidence of no such thing. Nor, indeed, is it possible that mere uniformity of design should suggest the notion of more than one designing mind. To say then that the argument for the Divine unity goes no farther than to an unity of counsel, is to say, that it goes no farther than that to which it neither does nor can go. In one sense, indeed, of the word counsel, Dr. Paley's observation is true enough; since uniformity of design, in itself considered, proves only unity of will or purpose. But when it is allowed that nature points to one Creator alone, and Dr. Paley's reasonings have proved that Creator to be a person, nothing seems more clear than that, according to the evidence of nature, God is one great and undivided Mind. But this is a conclusion which Dr. Paley seems to have been unwilling to admit. And, if I understand him rightly, to guard against this conclusion he has emphatically said, "Certain, however, it is, that the whole argument for the Divine unity goes no farther than to an unity of counsel." In other words, the whole argument for the Divine unity
• Natural Theology, p. 483.
by no means proves that God is one;
Should any one say that I have taken advantage of the use which Dr. Paley has made of the term person, I answer, that when he defined God to be a person, and also an intelligent Being, he spoke the language of reason and common sense; and if there is a theological hypothesis with which this language is at variance, let those look to it whom it may concern.
I cannot dismiss the subject with out expressing my conviction that no Trinitarian, when reading the Natural Theology of Paley, ever conceived of God as consisting of more than one person; nor do I believe that the mind of the writer was ever fixed on more than one person, except it was when he penned the sentence which I have been considering. Indeed, I question not but that Trinitarians universally, except when their minds are engaged on their particular doctrine, or when they are contemplating what they call the scheme of redemption, annex the same idea to the term God which the Unitarian annexes to it, that of one great Intelligence which first created
and now governs and pervades the
Chrestus exists even among the Gen-
I name Xpisos into Xonsos, with the double view of characterising him as a good demon, and his doctrine as useful. To this interpretation Justin Martyr, Apol. I. p. 6, thus alludes, doOY TE EK τῷ κατηγορουμενου ήμων ονοματος χρηςοτατοι ὑπαρχομεν, i. e. from the mere name which is imputed to us as a crime, we are the most excellent. In the next page he calls the Christians Xonsavo, and he then adds, "To hate, Chreston, what is good is not just." To this signification Tertullian (Apol. cap. iii.) also alludes when he thus writes concerning the Christian name: De suavitate vel benignitate compositum: oditur itaque in hominibus innocuis nomen innocuum. Eusebius refers to the same interpretation, in styling it παντιμος και ενδοξος προσηγορια. H. E. lib. v. cap. i. Lactantius ascribes the change to the ignorance of the Greeks, Qui propter ignorantium errorem, cum immutata litera Chrestum solent dicere. Lib. iv. c. 7. But Lactantius is himself to be charged with ignorance or rather with duplicity ; for he could not but know, that an alteration in the name, calculated to screen our Lord from unmerited odium, or to express his character as a superior being, must have originated with those who at least pretended to be friends of Christ. His enemies, however, applied to him the name thus altered. For Suetonius thus designates him in his life of Claudius, cap. xxv. More over, Lucian in a book entitled Philopatris, represents Critias as asking Triephon, who professed to be a Christian, "Whether the affairs of the Christians were recorded in heaven," and receiving for answer, "All nations are there recorded, since
Now, it is my object to shew that the Apostle Paul in two places has an obvious reference to the above interpretation of the word X505. The
live is Christ, and to die is gain," where the parallelism requires X41505, in the sense of Xps, to correspond with xepdog.
Onesimus was a slave of Philemon, a friend of Paul, and his brother in Christ. While at Rome, that person was converted to Christianity by the Apostle, who being now in chains, and as such having occasion for his service, detained him for some time from his master, and then sent him back with this letter as an apology to Philemon, "I beseech thee, in behalf of my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds, and whom I again send back to thee, receive him as my own bowels." His argument is this: "As Onesimus, while yet a stranger to Christ, was a mnere eyeservant driven by fear and compulsion, and therefore worthless to his master, so by imbibing the spirit of Christ, he is now become a faithful and valuable servant-Toy more cos a χρησον, νυνι δε σοι και εμοι ευχρηςον, i. e. τον ποτε, ως αχριςον ώτα σοι αχρησον, νυνι δ', ώς εν Χρισῳ σοι και εμοι εύχρηςον. The paronomasia is perceptible only to those who understand Greek, and cannot be translated into any modern language.
Every contribution of Mr. Cogan to the Repository I peruse with pleasure, as the production of an amiable man and accomplished scholar. That in the last, notified in the title-page as "Mr. Cogan on a Criticism of Porson's," more than usually excited my curiosity. But I confess that I was somewhat disappointed, when I saw that it consisted only of the assertion that auraλhere, the reading of Porson, was wrong, and that, if it
gitimate government. Besides, the
were the right reading, he should adopt
Nov. 29, 1823.
Notes on Passages in the New Tes
ATT. xxvii. 50: "Jesus, when he had cried again, with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost" [admke To]: in Mark xv. 37, and Luke xxiii. 46, ECETVEURE, ESERVEVOEY; in John xix, 30, TAPEDNICE TO TELL. There is an abundance of examples in the classical Greek writers, to prove that the phrase describes simply the act of " dying, or expiring." But a far greater stress may fairly be laid on a text in the Septuagint Version, Gen. xxxv. 18, where Rachel's death has been represented in these words,
Tapieval authy Thox and a similar mode of speaking occurs in Isa. liii. 12.
That Jesus voluntarily shortened his sufferings on the cross, is an opinion, which, if true, and if justly pursued, would lead to the most revolting, absurd and dangerous conclusions. By the late Dr. Price it was once entertained: but with his characteristic ingenuousness, he afterwards and publicly avowed, that he considered it as destitute of all support. In vain is an appeal made to John x. 17, 18, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down any life, that I may take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it
* Appendix to Sermons on the Christian Doctrine, &c., Note Ff.
down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."* These words of our Lord were verified in his willing surrender of himself into the hands of his enemies: he would not avert his death, by the exercise of his miraculous endowments in his own defence, but was an unresisting victim, Matt. xxvi. 53-55. Thus, and thus only, he laid down his life, that he might take it again. The strong ery," which he sent forth, just before he expired, is no proof that he dismissed his breath before the vital principle was subdued. In circumstances like his, shrieks are sometimes the result of a convulsive effort of nature, and have been known to precede immediately the moment of dissolution. Let me transcribe the judicious and excellent note of J. G. Rosenmüller on Mark xv. 39-" Interpunge: ότι όντως, κραξας εξεπνευσεν, quod ita, (ut nempe comm. 33, 34, 37, dictum) clamore édito expirasset. Non clamor (hic enim non plane insolitus moribundis) sed miracula, de quibus paullo ante dictum, in admirationem rapuerunt centurionem." I will add, that our Saviour's language-"it is finished-into thy hands," &c.-appears to have followed his " loud voice," or shriek.
John xvii. 3: “ the only true God." This appellation is explained by the parallel text in 1 Thess. i. 9: 66 ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God" which passage Hallet has overlooked, in his observations on the phrase. According to that ingenious and learned annotator,§the expression, The only true God, signifies the same as the alone most high, or supreme, God. The true God signifies the same as the chief God, The God, by way of emphasis, the God in the most famous and extraordinary sense. In this criticism I cannot acquiesce. The sovereign dominion of God would seem to imply his Unity and it were pleonastic to speak
of him as "the alone most high."
Grot. on Matt. xxvii. 50, Benson's Life of Christ, p. 514.
+ Doddridge's Expos., in loc.
"The God of gods," in Psa. cxxxvi.
Gerard's Institutes, &c., 2d ed., pp. 2, is " the Lord of magistrates," &c. 321, 322. + See Hosea ii. 1, in the original, and § Notes, &c., Vol. I. pp. 14, 15. Bahrdt's Note on it: App. Critic. in loc.
1 Cor. iii. 2: "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for you were not then able to receive it; neither are ye even yet able." On this declaration Mr. Belsham (Translation, &c., in loc.) pertinently asks, "Qu. What was that meat which the Corinthians could not digest? that doctrine which they could not receive?" Doubtless, we can only conjecture, what it was; and there is much difficulty in the employment. I might, indeed, answer generally, that it was some instruction which their contentious, worldly spirit disqualified them for admitting and using. Ver. 3, &c. Still, a more specific reply is desirable. If in the second epistle to the Corinthians Paul had discussed any point of religious doctrine, concerning which he is silent in the former, our perplexity might be removed or lessened. But I discover no such difference between these two letters, which, in truth, are particularly characterised by local references, and a local application. Probably, the apostle does not, in this passage, allude to any one tenet: all which he means, may be, that, as the consequence of the unhappy state of things in the church at Corinth, and of the prevailing habits of its members, he forbore to touch on certain matters, to which his commission extended, and in which he felt a deep interest; these he waived, as he could not, for the present, write on them with advantage to the infant society and he consulted, as became him, their urgent wants. "The variety and worthlessness of all their boasted systems of philosophy," had not entirely escaped his attention; as is clear from the preceding part of the epistle. Of" the perfect spirituality of the Christian religion" much could, unquestionably, have been said by him and this, perhaps, was a subject on which he would have enlarged, had circumstances permitted.* Another favourite topic of his thoughts and pen, was the liberty of converts from among the Gentiles to the Gospel:
He who carefully peruses the account, which J. D. Michaelis (Introd. &c., IV. 44) has given of these circumstances, will not be astonished that Paul does not now enlarge on many general topics.
yet Mr. B. rightly intimates, that the apostle was not called upon to treat of it, in the letters to the Corinthians. I have sometimes thought that Paul might refer to the future state of the church of Christ, and the fuller disclosure of the existence, nature, claims and acts of an antichristian power. Concerning all these points he seems to have been in possession of prophetic knowledge: and to his friends at Thessalonica, who, certainly, were spiritual, in comparison of those at Corinth, he writes, with much freedom, on the man of sin, &c. 2 Thess. ii.
Let me not finish this note, without remarking, that Mr. Belsham's Translation, &c., of the Epistles of Paul, is honourably characterized by some of the most luminous and impressive statements, which can any where be found, of both direct and presumptive evidence in behalf of Christianity. 2 Cor. viii. 2: the abundance of their joy, and their deep poverty." Dr. Mangey (Bowyer's Conject. in loc.) would read xpaas, instead of xapas. Were the emendation requisite, nothing could well be happier than this reading: were the text in so desperate a condition, as to baffle the established principles of criticism, we might gladly have recourse to this conjecture. But a glance at Griesbach's edition will shew that all the MSS. and versions, &c., are in favour of the clause, as it now stands and the attentive reader will perceive that the apostle represents the predominant joy of his Macedonian friends in their Christian privileges as inciting them to make uncommonly generous efforts for the relief of some of their yet poorer brethren, and as thus enhancing the merit of their contributions. Dr. M.'s conjecture is extremely ingenious: I cannot think it solid, and it strongly proves the impropriety of attempting to alter the text of the New Testament only on conjecture.
1 Tim. v. 8: 66 if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house i. e. says Hallet," for those of them, who are of the household of faith," or Christians; in illustration and support of which comment he cites Gal. vi. 10. Now in that passage the
* Notes, I. 31.