« PoprzedniaDalej »
are to accomplish, by shewing, that all such passages, as contribute to its support,“ are either interpolated, corrupted, or misunderstood"--(see Mr. Thomas Belsham's Review of Mr. Wilberforce's treatise, pp. 272, 273.) Entrenched be. hind this oddly marshalled phalanx, this gentleman feels perfectly secure.
It seems indeed somewhat strange, that, encouraged by such powerful aid, he has not thought fit, to offer a single text, in support of his own opinion ; nor a confutation of any one of those, which have been urged by his adversaries in defence of theirs.
In the face however of this polemic array, and in defiance of those extraordinary powers of modifying Scripture which we find here ascribed to it, I have not hesitated to cite the passages referred to in the beginning of this Number. And when we find the great person who is there spoken uf, described repeatedly, as having come down from Heaven, as from a place of settled abode previous to his appearance among men, (see John iii. 13. 31. vi. 38.62. xiii. 3. xvi. 28, &c.): when we find him declared by St. Paul (1 Cor. xv. 47.) to be the Lord from Heaven: and again (Phil. ii. 6,7, 8.) to have been in the form of God, yet to have taken upon him the form of a servant, and to have been made in the likeness of man: when again we find him represented (Hebr. i. 2, 3.) as that Being, by whom God made the worlds; and as the brightness of his glory: which GLORY, as has been already noticed, he had with God before the world was : and when again we are told (Coloss. i. 15, 16.) that he is the image of the invisible God; and that by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth: when these, and numerous other passages of the same import, are to be met in the Evangelic and Apostolic writings, and the whole tenor of Scripture is found perfectly corresponding; I own, I can not feel this essential article of the Christian faith much endangered, either from the confidence of this writer's assertions, or from the force of those arguments, under whose mighty shade he is content triumphantly to repose.
Lest however curiosity may have been excited with respect to those αναποδεικτοι συλλογισμοι, , which Mr. B. and his friends, profess to have at their command; I subjoin the following specimen.-The passage in Heb. i. 2. which directly assigns the work of CREATION to Christ, will be admitted to be one of those, that “ seem to assert his pre-existence." In what manner is this fallacious semblance to be removed?--Ai xai T* alwvas emongev, Grotius translates, FOR whom he made the worlds : and thus gives to the word dia, a signification, which not only has no parallel in the entire of the New Testament, but is in direct opposition to the established rule of all Grammarians: doc, with a genitive case commonly signifying the means by which ; but never implying the final causė, unless when joined with the accusative. See Phavorinus*, Scapula, Stephanus, Hoogeveen in Viger. Glassius, &c. See also, on the application of the word in the New Testament, Sykes on Redemption, pp. 196. 221. 241.—but particularly Schleusner's enumeration of its various sensest, which seems to be quite decisive on the point. The solitary instance which Grotius has been able to discover in defence of his translation of the word dia, is to be found in Rom. vi. 4; in which it is manifest that his criticism cannot be maintained. Schleusner so pronounces upon it in the most peremptory terms.
Whilst Grotius thus violates the rules and analogy of the language, in one part of the sentence, later Socinians,* finding this mode of distorting the sense indefensible, have betaken them selves to another, where they have exercised an equal violence on the original.—T85 awas, which elsewhere in this very Epistle (xi. 3.) is allowed to mean the material world; and which is always used plurally by the Jews, as implying the inferior and superior worlds; and in its connexion here, exactly corresponds with the things in Heaven, and the things in Earth (Col.i. 16); and upon the whole clearly means the physical world, or the Heavens and the Earth*; is yet strained by the Socinians, to imply the Evangelical dispensation : so that the entire passage is
* Δια, προθισις, οτε μεν συντασσεται γενικη, δηλοι μεσιτειαν. οιον, δια σε εποιησα τoδε, μεσιτενοντος σε δηλονοτι. οτε δε αιτιατικη, αιτια.
diee GE Stroinoa tode. Phavor. p. 480. + Amongst the multiplied texts which Schleusner has col. lected, the only one, which seems to him not to coincide in the general result, is from 2 Pet. i. 3. But this is manifestly a mistake, as may be clearly seen on consulting Rosenmuller, Newcome, and indeed almost every commentator, upon the passage. It is to be noted also, that under the head of dock coupled with the genitive, the 20th sense ascribed by Schleusner, bears no reference to the final cause, though the Latin term which he makes use of, may at first sight seem to imply it.
I do not mean by this expression to intimate, that Gro. tius is, strictly speaking, tobe ranked among the followers of Socinus. I am aware that this charge advanced against him by the author of L'Esprit de M. Arnauld has been refuted (see Bayle's Dict. Vol. V. pp. 581, 582.) And his single treatise, De Satisfactione Christi contra Faustum Socinum, might be judged sufficient to redeem him from the appellation. But his exposition of most of the passages of Scripture relating to the divinity of Christ, is so clearly favour. able to the main principle of the Socinian scheme, that with some latitude the term Socinian is not unfairly applicable.Dr. Lardner, in his Letter on the Logos, (vol xi. p. 112: Kippis's Edition of his Works) written expressly for the purpose of establishing the proper humanity of Christ, affirms, that “Grotius explains texts better than the professed Socinians.”_Whether Lardner, then, viewed him as far removed from the pale of the Fratres Poloni, is surely not difficult to decide.
. made to signify, merely, that by Christ's ministry, there should be, as it were, a new creation; that usage. And
* See Whilby and Rosenmuller, in loc. and Col. i. 16. likewise Peirce and Hallet :- also Krebs. Observ. on Col.
is, a new church begun upon earth. Now it deserves to be considered, on what principle of just interpretation, such a translation can be adopted. It is true, that Christ, in some of the Greek versions of Isai. ix. 6. has been stiled, Tatue T8 uelLovtos alwvos. But, admitting the word here to imply a dispensation that was to come, does it follow that this one dispensation is to be expressed by the plural word awvas? To force upon
it this meaning, is again to do violence to grammar and
yet this is done, because the plural interpretation, by whom he constituted the AGES or DISPENSATIONS, lets in the obnoxious idea of pre-existence, as completely as the sense of a material creation can do. It may
be worth while to enquire, in what way Mr. Lindsey has treated this subject, in an Essay written by him, in the 2nd. vol. of the Theological Repository, entitled “ Brief Remarks concerning the two creations ;” the express object of which is to shew, that none but a moral or spiritual creation was to be ascribed to Christ. He never once notices this passage of Hebrews; but directs his attention almost entirely, to the text in Colossians, and to that in Ephes. iii. 9. And this is the more remarkable, as he refers to a passage to the same purport, in the very same chap. of Hebrews. The reason of this however, it may not be difficult to discover, when it is considered, that in the passages which he has .ex