« 上一頁繼續 »
Besides it deserves to be noticed that in the quotations in this epistle from the Old Testament, the septuagint version is constantly used, and is followed even in some passages in which it departs from the original. This would scarcely have occurred to one writing in the Hebrew language.
We have followed our author through this volume, with great, we had almost said with unmingled satisfaction. If our convictions have not always been as strong as those expressed by Mr. Stuart, we have certainly not been able any where to suggest an hypothesis more probable, than the one he defends. li his discussions should be considered in some instances prolix, it may be replied, that intending this commentary as a work of reference, he may have considered it a duty to notice every doubt which has been thrown on this epistle, and'the charge of tediousness, dullness, of fastidious criticism and insufficient research, must be alleged against those who have rendered this laborious examination necessary. This volume is honourable to the literature, the talent, and the patient industry of our country, and we hesitate not to join with other journalists in expressing our opinion that this work must rank among the permanent commentaries on the writings of St. Paul, and that no one hereafter will examine critically, faithfully and thoroughly, the Epistle to the Hebrews, without consulting the volumes of Professor Stuart.
In our notices on the second volume, we shall be brief. The translation varies frequently in its expressions from the common version, and does not always improve it. Into a close examination of the translation however, we shall not enter, tempting as the subject may be. It is here, and in the commentary succeeding it, that we should be most likely to differ from Mr. Stuart. Our differences, perhaps, would in few instances, be of much importance. On two or three particular phrases or passages, we shall offer some remarks..
The quotation in Hebrew 1:9, which Mr. Stuart has translated “Therefore, O God, thy God hath anointed thee," instead of the common reading, “ Therefore, God, even thy God,” will startle we believe some unlearned readers—and while he admits that the phrase is equally susceptible of the old translation, we are surprised that he should have followed the opinion of Theophylact, and introduced a change that, to say the least, seems unnecessary. In chapter 2: 1, we should prefer for Fagageuõusv, lest we should " suffer them to pass away,” which is after all only a change of words with the present translation, rather than the phrase of Mr. Stuart, “lest we should slight them.” This ap
VOL. III.--N0. 6.
pears to be no improvement, and we are the less disposed to adopt it from the extreme difficulty of ascertaining the exact meaning of the original—a difficulty sufficiently exhibited by our author in his commentary on this verse. In chapter 10: 26, we thiuk the authorised version “for if we sin wilfully," is more expressive, even if not more literal than “voluntarily," which Mr. Stuart has substituted. In the commentary it is remarked that the original means deliberately, with forethought, with settled intention, either of which, if he did not like the present expression, we should have preferred to the one he has adopted.
We had intended to examine many of the variations which he has suggested as improvements on the received version, but we wish not to exhaust the patience of our readers, and many of them are only modifications of the present expressions, and would require a small dissertation to shew the grounds of our difference. It is beneficial on the whole to the cause of truth and to sound learning, to have the meaning of every important passage in the Scriptures examined and ascertained by men of competent learning. Every translation of any portion of the Scriptures made with candid and upright intentions, and with a critical knowledge of the language in which they are written, tends to render our knowledge of them more accurate, and to remove the errors which ignorance and presumption sometimes throw over the doctrines they contain,
The Dissertations (Excursus) attached to the second volume, upon questions of great importance which arise out of expressions in this epistle, will, we think, be read with pleasure by every reader-every learned one we must add. If in these discussions he touches subjects that separate the different denominations of Christians, he does it in such a manner that those who differ froin him, will read them without offence. Into controversies between churches we wish not in this work to enter, we shall consider them all as of one family, even if they will not so consider themselves. This will not, however, prevent us from occasionally presenting the views which different sects may give of their own opinions. There are many such in these disquisitions, which, if time permitted, we would gladly offer to our readers. In opposition to a notion very common among the orthodox commentators, Mr. Stuart observes in Excursus XX.
“Nor does that scheme of interpretation, which admits a double sense of Scripture, relieve our difficulties. This scheme explains so much of the Psalm, as will most conveniently apply to David, as having a literal application to him; and so much of it as will conveniently apply to the Messiah, it refers to him. Truly a great saving of labour iu inves. tigation, and of perplexity and difficulty, might apparently be made, if we could adopt such an expedient! But the consequences of admitting such a principle should be well weighed. What book on earth has a double sense, unless it is a book of designed enigmas! And even this has but one real meaning. The heathen oracles indeed could say, Aio te, Pyrrhe, Romanos posse vincere ; but can such an equivoque be admissible into the oracles of the living God? And if a literal sense, and an occult sense can, at one and the same time, and by the same words, be conveyed; who that is uninspired shall tell us what the occult sense is? By what laws of interpretation is it to be judged. By none that belong to human language; for other books than the Bible, have not a double sense attached to thein." Vol. ii. pp. 382-383.
The first dissertation upon the 'Text, Heb. 1:2, “ Al Oūnai Tous csūvao Enoinos" “ By whom also the worlds were made,” is the most elaborate, and exhibits some of the author's peculiar opinions. In the following extract, in which Mr. Stuart tries to obviate the objections inade against the term “person,” and which may be equally made against the word “Trinity," and in the discussion connected with this subject, we doubt whether his views will be entirely satisfactory to any party, or his reasoning considered as conclusive:
“The views which have now been presented, may serve to explain the reason why many find it so difficult, or (as they think it) impossible, to admit the true divinity of the Logos. “How can he,' say they, 'be the second person in the Godhead, and yet be one with the first? How can he be with God, and yet be God himself ?'
“ And truly, it must be confessed, that this cannot be, provided the words in question are to be construed altogether more humano, i. e. in their logical, common, usual acceptation. But is it analogous, is it proper, to construe them thus? Does it develope a spirit of candid and fair inquiry, to insist that these terms shall be construed altogether according to their common acceptation, when there is not, as we have seen above, a single term significant of a divine attribute, which we ever construe in such a manner ?
“If this be correct, (and I may venture to say it cannot be reasonably disputed) then I see no very urgent reason why the use of the word person, in order to designate a distinction in the Godhead, should be rejected. It is true, it is not a word which is applied by the Scriptures to the Godhead, (for ÚRÓCTATIS in Heb. 1: 3 does not mean person); it is also true, that many well meaning individuals have been misled by it in regard to their conceptions respecting the Deity, and that those who reject the doctrine of the Trinity, have made great use of this word in order to render the sentiments of Trinitarians obnoxious: so that one might almost wish the word had never been introduced into ecclesiastical usage. But when the matter is examined to the bottom, it will be found that objections of a similar nature might be urged against the application of any anthropopathic expressions to God The simple and the untaught may be easily misled by them; and often are so. · How many, for example, believe that God is really angry, repents, &c. more humano, because such expressions are found in the Scriptures? Shall all such expressions be laid aside, because they are misunderstood or perverted ? And if so, where shall we stop? for we have seen, that all which is used in order to describe God, must be taken, of course and by necessity, in a qualified sense. The abuse of a thing is no valid argument against the use of it.” Vol. ü .p. 322.
But in the following observations we doubt not there will be a very general acquiescence :
“ As for the illustrations attempted by divines, ancient and modern, of the physical nature of the distinctions in the Godhead, drawn from finite, material, created objects, the bare mention of them is enough to shew, that they must be imminently exposed to error. Who can draw any perfect analogies between created and uncreated beings, in regard to their physical nature and properties ? And all the terms, and names, and dogmas, which have resulted merely from such comparisons, may be rejected in a mass, salvâ fide et salvå ecclesiâ ; and they ought to be rejected, if we would not expose the awful mystery of the doctrine in question to doubts, if not to rejection, by men who are not influenced in their opinions by tradition, nor by the authority of the schools. When the simple Biblical view of this subject is embraced, and the simple es. position of the sacred writers maintained, without adding to it any explanations or definitions merely of our own invention, then may more unity of opinion on this subject, be expected among professed Cbris. tians; and then will truth be less exposed to assault, from those who reject it.”
“The effort to explain every thing, to define every thing, has led to the unhappy consequence of introducing scholastic phraseology and definitions, in respect to every thing about the doctrine of the Trinity. This not only bewilders many, but makes others believe that they have a knowledge of things, because they can use abundance of technical words; while the opposition of another class, who can detect the inconsistency and emptiness of these terms, is excited against the whole doctrine. The day, however, is coming, if not already arrived, wben mere names will be regarded by the church as of little worth, provided they do not convey intelligible ideas. For the good of the church, also, it may be hoped, that the time is very near, when men will learn to stop, in making their inquiries, within the boundaries of human knowledge, and neither to assert nor deny that, about which they know nothing and can know nothing. Well was it said by a very sensible writer, 'He who will not undertake to explain what is incomprehensible, but will seek to know where the boundaries of this begin, and simply acknowledge them when and where he finds them; he does most to promote the genuine knowledge of truth by man.'” Vol. ii. pp. 330-332.
While with the style of these volumes we have generally been pleased, as correct and sometimes polished, we have been surprised to find such words as “correlate," “ derivate," which are frequently used "Heaven wide," " Latinizing English," “hold to an opinion”—and to find a sentence like the following, which is at least careless :
“More reasons offer themselves in favour of the supposition that our epistle was originally sent to the church at Cesarea, than in favour of any other place. I cannot, therefore, but regard it as a probable event." Vol. i. p. 73.
Neither is the following sentence more correct :
“ The Church at Cesarea, in the time of Origen and Eusebius, (both of whom lived there) do not appear to have retained a tradition that our epistle was directed to them." Vol. i. p. 72.
These, however, are trifling blemishes, which may be easily removed.
We must again express our gratification in being called upon to notice such works issuing from the American press. We hope the labours of Professor Stuart will continue to adorn the institution where he is placed, and to benefit the church at large. And we trust that his good example will be followed by many in all sects and of all denominations.
ART. IV.-Manuel du Fabricant de Sucre et du Raffineur. Par
M. M. BLACHETTE et Zoe'GA. Paris. 1826.
The cultivation of the Sugar Cane is becoming a subject of so inuch interest, has awakened so many hopes, and excited such sanguine expectations throughout the Southern States, that as members of that portion of the union, and feeling deeply all circumstances connected with its prosperity, we consider it in some measure incumbent on us to devote a few pages to this important topic.
Since the early part of this century, the public attention in Georgia and Carolina has been occasionally directed to this object. Mr. Spalding, of Sapelo, in Georgia, introduced the culture of the Sugar Cane on his plantation as early as 1805, and succeeded in our climate, even in his first experiments.