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sion of ideas as clouds the text, and, by conse: quence, weakens the impression it would otherwise make upon our minds. It may be said indeed, that the import of such expressions in Scripture is now so well known, that they can hardly be mistaken. But I am far from thinking that this is the case. Were it said only that they are become so familiar to us that, without ever reflecting on the matter, we take it for granted that we understand them; there is no sentiment to the justness of which I can more readily subscribe. But then, the familiarity, instead of answering a good, answers a bad, purpose, as it serves to conceal our ignorance, even from ourselves. It is not, therefore, the being accustomed to hear such phrases, that will make them be universally, or even generally, apprehended by the people. And to those who may have heard of the exposition commonly given of them, the conception of the kingdom of heaven, as denoting a sort of dominion upon the earth, a conception which the mind attains indirectly, by the help of a comment, is always feebler than that which is conveyed directly by the native energy of the expression. Not but that the words βασιλεια των ερανων are sometimes rightly translated kingdom of heaven, being manifestly applied to the state of perfect felicity to be enjoyed in the world to come. But it is equally evident that this is not always the meaning of the phrase.
§ 4. THERE are two senses wherein the word heaven in this expression may be understood. Either
it signifies the place so called, or it is a metonymy for God, who is in Scripture, sometimes by periphrasis, denominated he that dwelleth in heaven. When the former is the sense of the term spavol, the phrase is properly rendered the kingdom of heaven; when the latter, the reign of heaven. Let it be remarked in passing, in regard to the sense last given of the word spavot as signifying God, that we are fully authorized to affirm it to be scriptural. I should have hardly thought it necessary to make this remark, if I had not occasionally observed such phrases as the assistance of heaven, and addresses to heaven, criticised and censured, in some late performances, as savouring more of the Pagan, or the Chinese, phraseology, than of the Christian. That they are perfectly conformable to the latter, must be clear to every one who reads his Bible with attention. Daniel, in the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, says", Thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the Heavens do rule. The Prophet had said in the preceding verse, Seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men. Thus he who is denominated the Most High in one verse, is termed the Heavens in the fol: lowing. The Psalmist Asaph says of profligates », They set their mouth against the Heavens ; that is, they vent blasphemies against God. The phrase in the New Testament η βασιλεια των ερανων,
is almost as common as και βασιλεια τα Θεε. And though it may be affirmed that the regimen in the one expresses the proprietor of the kingdom, in the other the place; it is evident that this does not hold always. In parallel passages in the different Gospels, where the same facts are recorded, the former of these expressions is commonly used by Matthew, and the other as equivalent, by the other evangelists. Nay, the phrase & Baccheta Tov spavov, is adopted, when it is manifest, that the place of dominion suggested is earth, not heaven ; and that, therefore, the term can be understood only as a synonyma for SEOS. The prodigal says to his father", Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before thee ; that" is, against God and ther. Otherwise, to speak of sinning against an inanimate object, would be exceedingly unsuitable both to the Christian theology and to the Jewish. The baptism of John', says our Lord, whence was it; from Heaven, or of men ? From Heaven, that is, from God. Divine authority is here opposed to human. This difference, showever, in the sense of spavos, makes no difference to a translator, inasmuch as the vernacular term with us admits the same latitude with the Hebrew and the Greek,
$ 5. That Baochela ought sometimes to be rendered reign, and not kingdom, I shall further evince when I illustrate the import of the words xnpuoow,
• Luke, xv. 18. 21,
? Matth. xxi. 25.
Evayye aisw, and some others. Isaiah, Daniel, Micah, and others of the Prophets, had encouraged the people to expect a time, when the Lord of hosts should reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, when the people of God should be redeemed from their enemies, and made joyful in the Messiah their King. It was this happy epoch that was generally understood to be denominated by the phrases βασιλεια τα Θεου, and Baoinela ToV spavwv, the reign of God, and the reign of Heaven : the approach of which was first announced by the Baptist, afterwards by our Lord himself, and his Apostles. Baci hela is applicable in both acceptations, and it needs only to be observed that, when it refers to the time, it ought to be rendered reign, when to the place, kingdom. For this reason, when it is construed with the verb κηρυσσω, ευαγγελιζω, καταγγελλω, or the noun ευαγγελιον, it ought invariably to be reign, as also when it is spoken of as come, coming, or approaching.
6. The French have two words corresponding to ours, regne reign, and royaume kingdom. Their interpreters have often fallen into the same fault with ours, substituting the latter word for the former: yet, in no French translation that I'have secn, is this done so uniformly as in ours. In the Lord's Prayer, for example, they all say, ton regne vienne, not ton royaume, thy reign come, not thy kingdom. On the other hand, when mention is made of entrance or admission into the faoideia, or exclusion from it, or where there is a manifest re
ference to the state of the blessed hereafter; in all these cases, and perhaps a few others, wherein the sense may easily be collected from the context, it ought to be rendered kingdom, and not reign.
$ 7. THERE are a few passages, it must be acknowledged, in which neither of the English words can be considered as a translation of Baochela strictly proper. In some of the parables", it evidently means administration, or method of governing; and in one of them”, the word denotes royalty, or royal authority, there being a manifest allusion to what had been done by Herod the Great, and his immediate successor, in recurring to the Roman senate in order to be invested with the title and dignity of King of Judea, then dependent upon Rome. But where there is a proper attention to the scope of the place, one will be at no loss to discover the import of the word.