Imágenes de páginas



In the

passage from the Pseudo-Athanasius, which he has labelled No. 2, the writer finds it convenient to accommodate the original words of the text to his purpose, as you also do your version of them. He reads εν τη βασιλεια κυριε και θεε, not only changing the adjective xpose

into a substantive but omitting the article also. A very material change ! making it much more natural, easy, and agreeable, to the greek idiom, to refer the words thus altered, than to refer Paul's original words, to one person. Your ideal friend would attribute the change to an error in transcribing ; but the sentence immediately following, in which is twice repeated, with an evident reference to the use of the same word before, forbids this supposition. Besides, the writer, in the words immediately preceding, nutilates another of Paul's texts (Rom. ix. 5.) to suit his purpose. It is therefore more probable that he altered this by design. But he never would have altered it if he had known your rule, and had thought that the words, as they originally stood, must be explained according to it.

In the passages, Nos. 15 and 16, from Cyril, and consequently in No. 29, which is only a transcript of No. 15, that writer contends that Christ is God, because Paul has here declared the kingdom, by which word Cyril understands power, or dominion, of the one, to be that of the other; and because, whoever naturally and necessarily has a divine power inherent in him, must be a divine being. Now Cyril never would have gone about to prove the divinity of Christ by a deduction from Paul's words, if he


had considered those words as directly asserting the fact without any deduction. Nay, Cyril's argument evidently goes upon the supposition, that Christ and God are mentioned in this text as two distinct

persons, which is quite contrary to your rule.*

In No. 17, the same writer argues also from the power or dominion, not from the form of words : for, having mentioned Christ as being by nature tord, he adds, in this way, Tavin, (which the latin translator renders by the word quare, which, though not quite accurate, might still have served to keep your correspondent from the mistake he has fallen into) Paul says so and so; and then he quotes the text; but in a way which renders it unfit for the purposes

of your theory. Your correspondent has

* I will give you a translation of a few words in the passage, No. 15, and also of a few more in No. 17, because some sos-disant critics have mis-translated them, and what more nearly concerns you and me, they call themselves British. The words in No. 15, are ιδε σαλιν χριςον ονομασας ευθυς αιθον εισφερει και θεον, which they render : “ Observe again, that having named Christ, 5 he immediately adds, that he is God also,” very different from the true sense, which is : “ Observe again, that having named « Christ, he immediately introduces him and God, as, &c.The words in No. 17, Xpisov avlor wrounds xxı sev, stw asywn, which they render : “ He calls Christ himself God also, when he thus “ speaks,” ought to be rendered : “ He names him Christ and God, saying thus," &c. And then follows the text, in which it appears that the word Christ was taken by Cyril as a proper name, a sense which was fully established in that father's days by the usage of the church, though but little countenanced by the scriptures, and which you know makes a material alteration, not only in the application of your rule to the text, but in the sense which the fathers would put upon the text.



given you the quotation inaccurately, for he insert's the article before

XP58, ,

which article Cyril omits. In No. 21, Theodoret, altering the text, reads εν τη βασιλεια χρισε τε θεε, which, according to the compiler, “is carelessly and unsuspectingly put down • as the equivalent expression to that in the original. But every school-boy knows that these two expressions are by no means equivalent. That which Theodoret has chosen to substitute for Paul's, is what grammarians call an apposition, a figure of speech which they all point out as expressly marking an identity of person; and you have done the same thing in your second and third rules, which, though delivered with all the parade of a new discovery, are nothing more than the old figure of apposition. Now, as this last mode of expression is so pat to Theodoret's purpose, as he has also, in the words immediately preceding, mutilated for the same purpose the text of Rom. ix. 5, and has moreover added, with perfect rhodomontade, that there are ten thousand other texts to the same tune, there are few persons, I believe, who will not be apt to suspect that the alteration of the words in this place, of Ephes. v. 5, was wilful, and that it was made because he thought Paul's own words were not quite so unambiguously expressive of identity of persons, as you would persuade us.

In No. 24, from Anastasius, Paul's words are again altered and turned into an apposition. And to mark that apposition, and the consequent identity of persons, more clearly and strongly, the prom noun nuw is added after 988.



And thus, Sír, seven out of the ideal painter's nine clear testimonies for your interpretation, turn out to be against you. The two remaining, viz. Nos. 11 and 20, are neutral.

In the first of these, which your correspondent pronounces ' sufficiently express,' there is nothing express, except that Chrysostom means to apply the text to the proof of Christ's divinity. It does not at all appear in what


he means to apply it, or how he argues. The probability is, that he means to argue from it in the same way as Cyril and the rest of his fraternity, the greek and latin fathers,

that is, to contend that Christ is a divine being, because Paul has here said that Christ's kingdom of authority is the same as that of God. But you, you know, Sir, argue from, and apply this text in a very different way, in order to bring out your mystery. You contend that Christ is here proved to be a divine being, because the words Christ and God are so circumstanced, that by the idiom of the greek language they must necessarily relate to one and the same person. Your argument is of such a kind that, doubtless, you would not have a tittle of the words altered for the world. But all the argu'ments of the fathers produced by your correspond. ent, which are at all express, are grounded, either upon an alteration of the words, or are a deduction from the unity of dominion. If Chrysostom, therefore, in No. 11, be not against you, on which side certainly the probability lies, the most that can be said is that he is neutral, for assuredly he decides nothing in your favour.

In No. 20, Theodoret quotes the text also to prove the divinity of Jesus, without explaining in what way he applies it.

he applies it. And he places it between two other texts, from the latter of which, viz. Luke ii. 11. he can only deduce the doctrine from the supposed dominion and sovereignty of Jesus. From the former, which is Tit. ii. 13. he may perhaps, though even that is not quite clear, mean to argue directly from the title or appellation of God, given, as you and some others would have it, to Jesus. And thus it is perfectly doubtful how Theodoret understood the text, and consequently the passage is neutral.

So much for your friend the compiler's nine clear testimonies! and for his second letter; of which I shall now take my leave, I hope for ever, after observing that some of those passages which he reckons as indeterminate, make against you; as, for instance, No. 26, from John of Damascus. The compiler calls this passage obscure: but I see no obscurity in it. The writer clearly understands the text as speaking of two distinct persons.

And the comment, though taken from a miserable expositor, is the best and most christian explanation of Paul's words that is to be found in the compiler’s farrago : for it makes him assert, that the kingdom of Christ is the kingdom of God, or, in other words, a kingdom of moral righteousness,* the privileges and blessings of

* Hilary, the deacon, also understands the kingdom of God, to mean a kingdom of moral righteousness. “ Ad hoc enim re. “ demit nos Deus, ut puram vitam sectantes, repleti operibus “ bonis, regni Dei hæredes esse possimus."--Hil. Diac. as quoted by your correspondent, p. 100.

« AnteriorContinuar »