« AnteriorContinua »
"one new man, ‚""one temple," are in both epistles the figures under which the society of believers in Christ, and their common relation to him, as such, is represented.* The ancient, and, as had been thought, the indelible distinction between Jew and Gentile, in both epistles, is declared to be "now abolished by his cross.' Beside this consent in the general tenor of the two epistles, and in the run also and warmth of thought with which they are composed, we may naturally expect in letters produced under the circumstances in which these appear to have been written, a closer resemblance of style and diction, than between other letters of the same person, but of distant dates, or between letters adapted to different occasions. In particular we may look for many of the same expressions, and sometimes for whole sentences being alike; since such expressions and sentences would be repeated in the second letter, (whichever that was,) as yet fresh in the author's mind from the writing of the first. This repetition occurs in the following examples:†
Ephes. i. 7. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins."
upon the revelation that had been imparted to him, he exhibits it frequently to the conception of his readers under images and allegories, in which if any analogy may be perceived, or even sometimes a poetic resemblance be found, it is all perhaps that is required.
Ephes. i. 22.
15. with ii. 15.
Ephes. ii. 14, 15.
Colos. i. 18.
i. 18-21. ii. 7.
When verbal comparisons are relied upon, it becomes necessary to state the original; but that the English reader may be interrupted as little as may be, I shall in general do this in the notes
† Ephes. i. 7. Εν ᾧ εχομεν την απολύτρωσιν δια του αίματος αυτου την αφεσιν των παραπτωμάτων.
Colos. i. 14. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins."*
Beside the sameness of the words, it is farther remarkable that the sentence is, in both places, preceded by the same introductory idea. In the Epistle to the Ephesians it is the "beloved" (nyanus); in that to the Colossians it is "his dear Son” (υίου της αγαπης αυτου,) “ in whom we have redemption." The sentence appears to have been suggested to the mind of the writer by the idea which had accompanied it before. Ephes. i. 10. All things both which are in heaven and which are in earth, even in him."+ Colos. i. 20. "All things by him, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."
This quotation is the more observable, because the connecting of things in earth with things in heaven is a very singular sentiment, and found no where else but in these two epistles. The words also are introduced and followed by a train of thought nearly alike. They are introduced by describing the union, which Christ had effected, and they are followed by telling the Gentile churches that they were incorporated into it. The dispensation of the grace of God, which is given me to you ward." Colos. i. 25. "The dispensation of God, which is given to me for you."
Ephes. iii. 2.
* Colos. i. 14. Εν ᾧ έχουν την απολύτρωσιν δια του αίματος αυτού, την αφεσιν των ἁμαρτιών.
ever, it must be observed, that in this latter text many copies have not δια του αίματος αυτού.
+ Ephes. i. 1o. Τα τε εν τοις ουρανοις και τα επί της γης, εν αυτῷ. f Colos.
20. Δι' αυτού, είτε τα επι της γης, είτε
τα εν τοις ουρανοις
4 Ephes. iii. 2. Την οικονομιαν χαριτος του Θεου δοθεισης μοι εις ὗμας.
| Colos i. 25. Την οικονομίαν του Θεού, την δοθεί σαν μοι εις ύμας,
Of these sentences it may likewise be observed that the accompanying ideas are similar. In both places they are immediately preceded by the mention of his present sufferings: in both places they are immediately followed by the mention of the mystery which was the great subject of his preaching.
Ephes. v. 19. "In psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."*
Colos. iii. 16. "In psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."+
Ephes. vi. 22. "Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts."‡
Colos. iv. 9. "Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts."
In these examples, we do not perceive a cento of phrases gathered from the one composition, and strung together in the other; but the occasional occurrence of the same expression to a mind a second time revolving the same ideas.
2. Whoever writes two letters, or two discourses, nearly upon the same subject, and at no great distance of time, but without any express recollection of what he had written before, will
* Ephes. v. 19. Ψαλμοις και ύμνοις, και ῳδαις πνευματικαίς, ᾄδοντες και ψάλλοντες εν τη καρδια ύμων τῷ Κυρίῳ.
t Colos. iii. 16. Ψαλμοις και ύμνοις και ωδαις πνευμαγικαίς, εν χαριτι εδοντες εν τη καρδιά ύμων το Κυρια † Ephes. vi. 22. Οι επεμψα προς ύμας εις αυτό τούτο, ένα γνωτε τα περί ήμων, και παρακαλέση τας καρδίας ύμων.
} Colos. iv. 8. Ὃν επέμψα προς ύμας εις αυτο που το, ίνα γνώ τα περι ύμων, και παρακαλέση τας καρδίας ύμων.
find himself repeating some sentences, in the very order of the words in which he had already used them but he will more frequently find himself employing some principal terms, with the order inadvertently changed, or with the order disturbed by the intermixture of other words and phrases expressive of ideas rising up at the time: or in many instances repeating not single words, nor yet whole sentences, but parts and fragments of sentences. Of all these varieties the examination of our two epistles will furnish plain examples: and I should rely upon this class of instances more than upon the last; because, although an impostor might transcribe into a forgery entire sentences and phrases, yet the dislocation of words, the partial recollection of phrases and sentences, the intermixture of new ideas with terms and ideas before used, which will appear in the examples that follow, and which are the natural properties of writings produced under the circumstances in which the epistles are represented to have been composed-would not, I think, have occurred to the invention of a forger; nor, if they had occurred, would they have been so easily executed. This studied variation was a refinement in forgery which I believe did not exist; or, if we can suppose it to have been practised in the instances adduced below, why, it may be asked, was not the same art exercised upon those which we have collected in the preceding class?
Ephes. i. 19. ii. 5. "Towards us who believe according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead (and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that which is to come. And hath put all things under his feet: and gave him to be the head over all things, to the church, which is his body, the fulness of all things, that filleth all in all;) and
you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins, (wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we had all our conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewithal he loved us,) even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ."*
Colos ii. 12, 13. “ Through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead and you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of the flesh, hath he quickened together with him.t
Out of the long quotation from the Ephesians, take away the parentheses, and you have left a sentence almost in terms the same as the short quotation from the Colossians. The resemblance is more visible in the original than in our translation; for what is rendered in one place, “the working," and in another the "operation," is the same Greek teen ενέργεια in one place it is, τους πιστεύοντας κατά την ενεργειαν; in the other, δια της πίστεως της ενέργειας. Here, therefore, we have the same sentiment, and nearly in the same
* Eph. i. 19, 20 ; i. 1. 5. Τους πιστεύοντας κατά την ενεργείαν του κρατους της ισχύος αυτου. ἣν ενήργησεν εν τῷ Χριστῷ, εγείρας αυτόν εκ νεκρών και εκαθισεν εν δεξια αυτού εν τοις επουρανίοις---- και ύμας όντας νεκρούς τοις παραπτώμασι και τοῖς ἁμαρτίαις και οντας ἡμας νεκρους τοῖς παραπτωμασι, συνεζωοποίησε των Χριστῷ.
+ Colos, i. 12, 13. Δια της πίστεως της ενέργειας του Θεού του εγείραντος αυτόν εκ των νεκρων. Και ὗμας νεκρους οντας εν τοις παραπτώμασι και τη ακρο βυστία της σαρκος ύμων, συνεζωοποίησε σὺν αὐτῷ.