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when a man lays aside his pastoral work after a service of fifty-three years with the same congregation. Perhaps we shall not soon see its like again. Whether the old times of long pastorates will return to those Churches which have a settled ministry we know not. Certain it is that the retirement of Dr. Storrs offers an opportunity for earnest reflection, and that his career will prove a valuable study for the younger ministry of the day.
THE POTTER AND THE CLAY-INTERPRETATION AS AFFECTED BY
ALLUSIONS - Rom. ix, 21-23.
The New Testament abounds in allusions to Old Testament history, and many passages can only be interpreted in the light of their historic reference. The writers assume on the part of their readers a thorough acquaintance with the history to which these allusions refer. Nor can a careful student of the New Testament fail to notice this familiarity with the Old Testament Scriptures which the writers possess,
and assume on the part of their readers.
This is particularly the case with Paul. The Epistle to the Romans abounds in quotations and allusions which are intended to enforce his elaborate arguments. So, an allusion which has led to much effort at interpretation is that of the potter and the clay, in Rom. ix, 21–23. Two things are necessary in order properly to interpret those allusions whose import does not lie on the surface: first, an understanding of the line of thought of which the allusion forms a part; and, second, a thorough knowledge of its original setting and application. The passage in the apostle's thought is no doubt Jer. xviii, 1–10. This extract contains first an expression of divine power: “Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel." Like other portions of this chapter, the reference is to the nation and not to indi. viduals: “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation” (verse 7). It is further stated that this proclamation of Jeremiah was intended as a warning, and not as a final exclusion from salvation because of a divine act. “Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words” (verse 2). It is also shown in Jeremiah that the clay in the illustration was not impassive material, without thought or volition, but a nation who had voluntarily sinned and must voluntarily repent and turn to God.
At this point the setting of the passage in Jeremiah becomes apparent. If the verses in Romans were considered by themselves, it would seem as if the persons referred to were mere subjects of divine power, and that their condition was entirely apart from their own volition. But, if we turn to Jeremiah, we find an explanation which relieves us of any idea that God regarded his people as passive clay whose destiny he controlled without reference to their own character and conduct. “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a king
dom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; if it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them” (verses 7-10). On this point Whedon says: “Thus the clay was the house of Israel; according as were their temper and conduct would they be molded into a vessel of honor or dishonor. So that the very clay is a living free agent, the Potter is a wise, impartial, divine Reason, and the being made a vessel of honor or dishonor is conditioned upon the voluntary temper and doing of the agent.”
Further, Rom. ix, 22–24, enforces the same need: “[God) endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” By whom they were fitted for destruction has been much in dispute. The verb translated “fitted” may in the Greek be either in the middle or the passive voice. If the former, it would mean, “Who fitted themselves for destruction;” if the latter, they were fitted by some power external to themselves. The former is the view of Chrysostom and others. Meyer affirms that God “fitted them for destruction.” The passage says, however, that they were vessels of wrath, and as such were fitted for destruction. Their being vessels of wrath-sinful in the sight of God-was antecedent to the destruction which was to come upon them for their sins. Gifford in his Commentary affirms that the description, "• vessels of wrath fitted to destruction,' was eminently applicable to the Jewish nation in St. Paul's day.” He says, “Both factors, God's probationary judgments and man's perverse will, conduced to the result, and it is the result only that is herein expressed by the participle.” Sanday's paraphrase of verse 22 is: “But what becomes of your talk of injustice, when you consider how he has acted ? Although a righteous God would desire to exhibit the divine power and wrath in a world of sin, even though he were dealing with those who were fit objects of his wrath and had become fitted for destruction, yet he bore with them, full of long-suffering for them.”
The purpose of the passage is to emphasize “God's freedom of action,” and brings into view the sublime plan of God for salvation in providing a way of faith by which Jew and Gentile might alike become the participants of God's favor. When it is carefully viewed, this passage is another link in the chain by which Paul establishes the divine right to save men by faith, instead of by legalism or national privilege. It is but another illustration of the fact that a careful study of the Old Testament in the light of the New is very important, as also that of the New in the light of the Old. Allusions of this kind should be received as understood by the writer and reader alike, and a careful comparison of the related passage will he helpful in correct exegesis.
ARCHEOLOGY AND BIBLICAL RESEARCE.
RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS TO ARCHÆOLOGY.
Though the past year has not been fertile in new discoveries in the field of biblical archæology, yet during no period of our century has there been manifested a greater interest in this branch of study; and though no monuments or inscriptions have been unearthed which throw new light upon the sacred pages, yet the many objects discovered, together with the old materials, have been studied during the past twelve months with unusual zeal and by a greater number of students than ever before. Not only have individual scholars and learned societies in Europe and America been devoting much of their time to archæological research, but several well-equipped groups of specialists have been diligently engaged in excavating promising fields in several Bible lands. Scarcely a week passes without discovering valuable treasures which, though not revealing many new facts, yet afford additional light which tends to strengthen and confirm former deductions. A number of Assyriologists and Egyptologists have been busily at work in London, Paris, Berlin, Constantinople, Gizeh, and elsewhere in deciphering and classifying the various finds from different fields, and in placing these monuments in such shape as to make them more accessible to the ever-increasing number of oriental scholars in Europe and America.
No one has done more to popularize the study of archæology than Professor Hilprecht, of Philadelphia, who for this reason is better known to the general public as an archæologist than any other scholar of his rank. His monthly contributions to the Sunday-School Times are always fresh, instructive, and reliable. His experiences at Nippur, where he is now and will be for some months, and where in times past he was associated with other scholars in carrying on excavations among the ruins of the very ancient temple of Bel, have been of great value to him. So also his extensive acquaintance with the great museums and the noted archæologists of the world has contributed much to his success. Moreover, he enjoys the confidence of the sultan of Turkey to such a degree as to afford him access to the most valuable treasures of the Imperial Museum at Constantinople. Our readers need not be told that almost all the important discoveries of the recent past which are of interest to biblical students have been on Turkish soil. The same may be said of most excavations now in progress. Moreover, all the antiquities discovered within the sultan's dominions are legally the property of the Turkish government. The law governing this matter, as may be seen by this extract from the imperial statutes, is very explicit and rigid: “The remains left by the ancient populations of the States forming at present the dominions of the Ottoman empire-that is to say, the gold, silver, and other ancient coins, and the inscriptions containing reference to history, and statues and sepultures and ornamental objects in clay, stone, and other materials, utensils, arms, tools, statuettes, ring-stones, temples, palaces, circuses, theaters, fortifications, bridges, aqueducts, bodies and objects in tombs, burying mounds, mausoleums, and columns—are regarded as antiquities.” After this express and lengthy definition of antiquities we find another comprehensive statement, namely, that “all the antiquities discovered in the Ottoman territory, be it on the surface, underground, or exhumed, picked up in the sea, the lakes, the rivers, the streams, or the valleys are the property of the government.” We further read that foreigners authorized to carry on excavations in any part of the Ottoman empire have only the right to take drawings or molds of the object discovered, and that under no condition may anything be imported unless the Museum already possesses a duplicate of the same. In view of these laws, the opportunities of Professor Hilprecht and the advantages offered the University of Pennsylvania for securing duplicates can scarcely be overestimated.
Another American who has enjoyed great facilities for oriental study and has made excellent use of his opportunities is Professor Craig. He has spent a good portion of the past few years in studying the rich collections at the British Museum. His translations of the cuneiform inscriptions are models of scholarship and accuracy. A small volume edited by him, just out of the press, is entitled Astrological-Astronomical Texts, Copied from Original Tablets in the British Museum. This work is of interest only to the very few who possess a reading knowledge of the original. Professor Sayce, very justly, it seems to us, criticises Professor Craig and others engaged in similar work for not furnishing an English version of the texts copied by them. Indeed, the Oxford Assyriologist maintains that every attempt at translation on the part of a competent scholar, however tentative or imperfect it may be, is a furtherance to the study of Assyriology and an assistance to those who come after us. Professor Sayce, however, may be, at least partially, to blame for what he chooses to style "the pernicious habit” of the younger Assyriologists who do not accompany their texts with translations, for he himself has too often rushed into print with very defective work. Time and again has he manifested undue haste in deciphering inscriptions and translating them, only to be ridiculed by slower but more careful scholars. Those familiar with archæological criticism know full well how unmercifully Professor Craig has criticised bis English critic in the matter of faulty translations. We are therefore not surprised at a little manifestation of human nature on the part of Sayce, who gently insinuates that Professor Craig's failure to give a translation of the texts just published is “due either to excess of modesty or deficiency of knowledge." Professor Craig is also engaged in editing for a large publishing house in this country a "Series of Handbooks in Semitics.” One volume has already appeared; the others, eleven or more, are to follow at short intervals. This first book of the series is by Professor Sayce, and treats of the everyday life and domestic customs of the ancient Babylonians. As the professor has already written so much on these topics, no one must be disappoint if he finds but little that is really new in these pages. The writers of the remaining volumes include the names of Glazer, Hilprecht, Hommel, McCurdy, and others less known.
But among the most important contributions to the study of biblical antiquities, during the past few months, are the large number of articles written by some of the foremost archæologists for the two new Bible dictionaries now passing through the press. Those alone on Assyria, Babylonia, and Egypt published in one of these dictionaries with little amplification might be made into a good-sized volume. In these are discussed, in the light of the most recent discoveries, questions pertaining to the religion, history, chronology, language, literature, and the international relations of the peoples and countries to which reference is made in the Bible. These volumes when completed will be of incalcu- . lable value to every student of history and archæology. The less pretentious volume published by Professor Davis, with the cooperation of several colleagues at Princeton, must not be passed unnoticed. The articles in this smaller Dictionary of the Bible are naturally shorter, but in all other regards they are the equals of those in the larger works above mentioned. Indeed, every page displays a wonderful knowledge of the records and monuments left by the nations in and around Palestine. The whole book is not only erudite and trustworthy, but is also permeated with a spirit of fairness, and is entirely evangelical—just such a book as we would like to see in the hands of the young people of our churches. This little dictionary is also a clear demonstration that not a few of the most eminent biblical scholars in the United States are still true to the faith of the fathers, and have not been carried away by the vagaries of Wellhausen and his school.
Another book, written in much the same spirit and by a very competent scholar, is The Monuments and the Old Testament, by Professor Price. The object of this timely volume is to furnish an answer to the question, “Where shall I find in concise form the best reliable information furnished by the monuments illustrative of the Old Testament ?” The thoroughness of discussion, the perspicuity of style, the absence of wild speculation, and the religious spirit of the book cannot be too highly recommended. It is a capital manual of archæology, and should find a place in every study.
Here we may call attention to a volume, edited by D. G. Hogarth, entitled Authority and Archæology. As the title-page indicates, this book is composite, the several parts being the work of specialists. Mr. Hogarth has the chapter on “Prehistoric Greece,” and Professor Gardner the one on Historic Greece." Mr. Haverfield writes concerning the Roman world, while F. Llewellyn Griffith treats of Assyria and Egypt, and Mr. Headlam discusses archæology in its relation to the