« 上一頁繼續 »
Christian worships God, the God of nature, in Christ Jesus, and through him. And if we were allowed to think that such worship were all that he means by religious homage due to Christ, we should have no controversy with him on the subject. But this we are not allowed to suppose. The whole of his reasoning on the subject, and the example which he has given at the close of the sermon, clearly imply, that not subordinate, but supreme worship is intended; that worship, which is only due to the supreme God, the eternal Jehovah.
On this subject we will only recommend to the attention of the author, the following passages, viz. John xv. 16, and xvi. 23; Rom. i. 8, and vii. 25, and xv. 6; 1 Cor. xv. 57 ; Eph. iii. 14— 21, and v. 20; Phil. iii. 3; Col. i. 3, and iii. 17; Heb. xiii. 15; 1 Peter i. 17, and iv. 11, which we regard as designating the true object of supreme religious homage, and the manner in which it is proper for Christians to present it. According to these passages, and we assert that the general current of scripture accords with them, the supreme object of religious homage is not Jesus Christ, but God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Him we are to worship, to him we are to pray in the name of Christ, or as his disciples. We could mention no doctrine, that is more clearly stated by our Saviour than this, though the author of the sermon, with these texts before him, insists on that worship being rendered to the Son, which is due to the Father only, and, if we understand him right, would deny the name of a Christian to him, who would not consent to do it.
One word more only we would say, to guard against misapprehension of the import and design of some of the remarks above. The reader is reminded, and the author of the sermon, if these pages should fall into his hands, that we make no objection to the statement of his opinions, as to what are the essential doctrines of Christianity. Whatever these might be, it was his right, in common with every Christian, to express them freely, publicly, distinctly, without fear of censure or rebuke from those who think them not even to be doctrines of the gospel at all. What we censure,and think deserving of rebuke is, the denial of the christian name to those, who are unable to admit these doctrines into their creed. And this we do, not only because we think it to be in itself an unwarranted and presumptuous act, but on account of its pernicious practical tendency; because we cannot doubt its tendency to the hostility and separation of those, who ought to live together in love, in christian fellowship, in offices of kindness, keeping the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, and not allowing themselves to be alienated from each other by an unavoidable dissonance of faith.
Notices of lUcrot iDufiUcflttons.
A Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament, from the 'Clavio Philologica' of Christ. Abr. Wahl, late senior Pastor of Schneeberg, now Superintendent of Oschaz, Saxony. By Edward Robinson, A. M. Assistant Instructer in the department of Sacred Literature, Theol. Bern. Andovcr. 8vo. pp. 852. Andover, 1825.
The Lexicon of Wahl, especially in the form, in which it is given to us by Mr Robinson, is a valuable present to the students of the Greek Testament. It has several points of advantage over Schleusner's, though it by no means supersedes that most copious and elaborate work. It is less cumbrous, less of a commentary. The significations of words are not unnecessarily multiplied as in that and the arrangement of them is much more simple and philosophical. Wahl is a philological key excellently adapted to its uses. Schleusner is a critical treasurehouse, full of the richest materials, which are yet, it must be confessed, somewhat extravagantly accumulated, and often lying about in disorder.
We believe that little more remains to be done in the way of lexicon for the New Testament. The meanings of single words are sufficiently made out and agreed on. Phrases will continue to be differently explained. Interpreters may wrangle about the doctrine contained in periods and paragraphs forever. Whether one or another signification of a term is to be applied in a particular case, will be often disputable. But it is generally only the application that is subjected to such an uncertainty. The several ways in which each term will bear to be translated are sufficiently plain, and adopted with great uniformity. It must seem surprising to one to whom the subject is new, to find how easily the mere lexicographer of the New Testament avoids the fields"of religious controversy. We remember but one instance, in which Wahl has occupied polemical ground, and then it is by departing from his proper province- We refer to the sixth definition pf mtZfui, spirit; 'i. e.' he says, ' that certain subjectum which the writers of the New Testament represent as being most intimately united with God the Father and Son; but yet as distinguished from God the Father and Son in certain respects, although possessing the same attributes, which are ascribed to God the Father and Son.' Are we reading in a lexicon or a system of dogmatical theology?
In a few instances, it admits of doubt whether a Greek word will fairly bear a construction sometimes given to it. The most remarkable of these is in the word miin. The question is often agitated, whether or not it ever denotes the material world. Wahl, like Schleusner, allows it that signification; but the only passage, which he adduces in proof is the common one, the Septuagint version of Ecclesiastes, iii. 11;' He hath set the world in their heart,' &c. This passage, however, is wholly irrelevant. Its real import is uncommonly obscure, but it would perhaps be best rendered thus; 'he hath set their heart upon the future, (or the eternal,) although no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.' We know of but one clear instance in which means the world, the visible creation. It is in the Wisdom of Solomon, xiii. 9, where text and context seem to demand such a rendering.
Another case comes to mind, though of very little consequence, in which the authority cited is inadequate to the object for which it was brought forward. The much tormented phrase fTi,3ceAa•i, txAais, Mark, xiv. 72, is translated 'rushing out he wept,' and appeal is made to 1 Maccabees, iv. 2. The reference is an unfortunate one, and but serves to confirm us in the conviction, that /3«AA« with cx< in composition, cannot signify to rush out. The construction is as harsh as Schleusner's in and o out of, of which we took notice some months ago in speaking of Winer's Grammar of the New Testament. The passage, hVseems to us, cannot be so well translated as by our idiomatic expression, which perfectly corresponds to the Greek one, 'he burst into tears.'
We have ventured to say, that not much more remains to be done for the lexicon of the New Testament,* and have given this reason for the assertion ; that the import of each individual
* Since the publication of Wahl in Germany, another lexicon of th* New Testament has appeared from the hand of the celebrated Bretschneider. It is spoken very favorably of in Beck's Allgemeines Repertorium.
term is now pretty well settled and generally recognized, and all beyond this, as presented in a fair translation, belongs to criticism, and commentary, and systematical divinity, rather than to a dictionary. We might give other grounds for such an opinion. Do but consider the incredible labor, the ingenious research, that have already been devoted to this department of study! The writings of almost all ages and tongues have been ransacked for contributions to it. What a disproportionate part of the study of the learned for the last few hundred years has flowed towards it! And yet it is not one of those subjects which lies before us, still before us, and cannot be exhausted; not one of those which expand with our conceptions and can never be fully understood. It is not like moral or political wisdom, which advances with our race, which waits to be developed with future circumstances. It is all fixed in the past. It is a lifeless, stationary thing. You may examine it as with a microscope, and that is the way in which it has been examined for many a generation. There is nothing more concerning it of any consequence to be discovered or done. A little better method may be here and there introduced, or some inconsiderable conjecture illustrated; but that is the whole. The words of a dead language must have been well defined, by the literary acuteness that has so long been brought to bear upon them, or remain in hopeless obscurity.
And then, every scholar must have observed, that biblical studies have not been devoted so much of late to critical minutiae as formerly. What are literally 'the jots and tittles,' are valued at less and less every day. Men have tired of poring over letters and syllables. 'The light that is yet to break forth from God's word,' is not to come through such slender crevices. The lower criticism, such as belongs to the mere philologist, begins to be thought to have had its full share of attention and to be sufficiently provided for, and the higher criticism, the great scope and design of the sacred writers, their age and circumstances, and the whole intellectual history of their times, has become the prominent object of interest. O the libraries of minute verbal disquisition that will never be read again! How many clavises have grown rusty! How many thesauruses become as useless as the miser's coffers!
We again thank Mr Robinson for his labors on Wahl. He has discharged the duties of translator and editor with great faithfulness and accuracy.
13. The Claims of Puritanism. A Sermon, preached at the Annual Election, May 31, 1626, before His Excellency Levi Lincoln, Governor, the Honorable Council, and the Legislature of Massachusetts. By Rev. Orville Dewey, Pastor of the First Congregational Church, in New-Bedford. 8vo. pp. 32. Boston, True & Greene, 1826.
From the pulpit and on public occasions, so much has been heard of late of our pilgrim forefathers, of Puritanism and the Puritans, that one would think the subject were exhausted. But the author of the admirable sermon now before us, has shown that it is not so. He has managed to give us upon these reputed threadbare topics, not only one of the ablest, but also one of the most interesting and original discourses we have for a long time seen. At his touch, the Puritans seem to have awakened to a new existence. Puritanism, which to common superficial judgments seems an every day, familiar thing, starts from his mind almost a novelty. But should we go on to say all we think of this impressive and eloquent performance, some might suspect us of indirectly praising our own pages. For the sermon bears distinct marks of all the peculiarities and excellences, in thought and style, of an author, whose contributions to our work are well known to be amongst the ablest and most popular in it. It will therefore on all accounts be safer to let it speak for itself.
'The principal and ultimate object' of the discourse, we are told, 'is to vindicate the honors of Puritanism in America.' 'But to open the way for this,' the author first gives us a masterly sketch of ' the character and claims of the Puritans of England.' He traces them, from their rise about the middle of the sixteenth century, through their various struggles and persecutions for religious and civil liberty, to the middle of the seventeenth century, when they ' took the name of Non-Conformists, embracing the Independents, Presbyterians, and Quakers,' and thence to later times in which they have received 'the denomination of Dissenters.' The author then observes, 'that the odium which was attached to this great and increasing body of the people of England, began where the name has ended—in their ditsent.'—' Their first crime—was simple and inoffensive dissent.' After an eloquent defence of the Puritans on this point, from which we would gladly enrich our pages with extracts had we room, it is next maintained that they ' were the first successful asserters of the free and liberal principles of modern times;' that their history, though written by their enemies, shows them to have been men of intelligence, firmness,