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tvhich no one must expect to inherit by being a mere believing christian ; which, no doubt, is the drift of the apostle's reasoning.
Were it the design of any writer studious of accuracy, to convey to a reader that meaning which you attribute to this text, and to convey it in such a way as you describe, viz. so that the words must be necessarily taken in your sense, and no other, he would have expressed himself thus : εν τη βασιλεια τα xar xaise xai Jee,“ in the kingdom of him (or of one) 66 who is both Christ and God.” Or thus, ev on Barra REDĘ TY XP158 és €51 Jeos, as in 2 Cor. iv. 4. Luke ii. 11. Or thus, 78 Xp158 787551 78 Jer, as in Heb. vii. 5. : though in this last mode some ambiguity would still continue; and it would not be altogether certain whether the writer meaned to say that Christ was God, or only that the kingdom of the one was that of the other.'
In the two former modes there would be no doubt of the writer's intention to call Christ God. But it would still remain to be determined in what sense he so called him, whether, metaphysically, on account of his nature and essense, or only metaphorically, on account of his virtues. And this question could only be settled by the context, and by the genea ral tenor of the writer's sentiments and doctrines. So far are your texts from proving the divinity of Jesus, even if we suppose them to be so worded as to leave no doubt whatever about their calling him God.
Our common version of this text, by referring the two nouns to different persons, avoids all the harsha
ness and violence of your interpretation, and is therefore much preferable to yours: though in what sense exactly the translators understood the words does not appear from their naked and literal version. The true way of construing the passage, however, I take to be this :—to supply by ellipsis before fex all those words which precede Xpise, and to understand xam exegetically. Then the rendering will be: “ In “ Christ's, that is, in God's kingdom.”
In this way of explaining the text, we see great reason for Paul's adding the words xoo Jex, which now appear to contain not a mere nugatory, out-ofthe-way assertion, foreign to every thing that he was talking of; but an important explanation, closely and intimately connected with his subject, and car. rying on what is the great object and design, not only of this, but of almost all his epistles.
In our Saviour's life time, the nature of the Messiah's kingdom was grossly misunderstood by the Jews, who expected that their nation was to be raised to temporal power and dominion; and though, after his death, the Christians, in consequence of that event, and of the apostles' preaching, were soon pretty well undeceived as to any expectations of earthly grandeur, yet numbers of them, for a long while, continued to make the Messiah's kingdom so much of a worldly kingdoin, as to contend bitterly with each other for pre-eminence, on the mere ground of external worldly distinctions, and to agitate the question, whether the circumcision, or uncircumcision, were greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
To counteract such notions, our Saviour declared that his kingdom was not of this world, calling it, on all occasions, the kingdom of heaven and of God. And Paul, with the same views, labours, in all his epistles, to shew that it was not meat and drink, but righteousness and
and joy, in a holy spirit or temper. (Rom. xiv. 17. and comp. Ephes. iv. 23.) Accordingly when he here (Ephes. V. 5.) mentions the kingdom of Christ, he adds, to guard against. the prevailing error, that that kingdom was the kingdom of God. In this
way the text is understood by most of the greek and latin fathers, as your correspondent's collections will shew you. I do not mean to say, that their suffrages give any great weight or authority to the interpretation : for of all the expounders of scripture, your post-nicene father is, generally speaking, the most miserable.* But if your corres
* « The most learned and inquisitive of our protestant divines, “ and even those who pay the greatest reverence to the characa • ters of the fathers, are forced to confesso..... that their in“ terpretations of the scripture are generally so unnatural and “ extravagant that, instead of being the dictates of a divine in« spiration, they seem to be the effects rather of an unsound 6 mind and disordered reason." -MIDDLETON's Vindicat. of his Free Inquiry. Works, p. 190. vol. ii. 8vo. edit.
We have seen a curious specimen of interpretation taken from the Works of Tertullian, (see above, note upon p. 60.) which, however, doubtless, came from some post-nicene father. I will give you another specimen from Basil the Great. He finds Jesus to be God, of the same substance with the Father, because, yea verily, because he says, (John xiv. 28.), “ my Father is greater « than 1.” Εγω δε και εκ ταύλης της φωνης, το, ομοεσιον ειναι τον υιον τω walgia on. Jai WJETTIŞEVXO. His argument is, that comparisons are G 2
pondent had paid more attention to this circum. stance, he would have understood more, and misapplied less, of the rubbish he has raked together.
We will now turn from this text, which has detained us too long already, and go on to the rest, which I hope we shall dispatch in less compass.
Καθα την χαριν τε θεα ημων, και κυριε Ιησε χρισε.
2 Thess. i. '12.
Your version of these words is by no means so obvious and natural as the established translation. In order to obtain it, you must transpose the words Jesus Christ, and also either transpose the huwv, as in your first rendering (p. 37), or understand an ellipsis of it after xupis, as in your second.
always appropriated to things of the same kind; thus one angel is greater than another angel, one man more just than another man, one bird swifter than another bird. Since, therefore, things which are brought into comparison with each other, are always of the same kind, and the Father is here said to be comparatively greater than the son, therefore the son must be of the same substance with the father. See Basil's Epist. ad Cæsarienses. Epist. VIII. vol. iii. p. 84. edit. Benedict. In other editions it is epist.
It is in the same epistle, p. 81. E. ejusd. edit. that he answers the charge of tritheism, by confessing that he held God not to be one in number, but in nature only ; # Tu augabraço arda ta quoel. And he has some reasoning to justify this bold assertion, which however is above my comprehension. The reader of this specimen will perhaps be inclined to think, that the epithet of Great has been very judiciously annexed to the name of Basil, because, being an adjective, it leaves every one at liberty to join whatever substantive to it he pleases. For another specimen of paternal logic, see what is said of Ambrose, below, note on page 92.
But no accurate and exact, writer, who meaned that either of these things should be done, would have given to the words Jesus Christ, or to the pronoun, their present situations.
Upon this text, the ideal painter tells you (p. 39), he has not one decisive passage' to produce; but no matter for that, he contrives to spread out a table with several dishes of what he calls · bare ex
tracts,' which it must be owned are bare and barren enough. He recommends them as philological
probabilities, which must be felt, but cannot be de• scribed. (p. 42). He is quite right. I dare say, if you have' waded through all that he has set before you, you have felt, much more than you can de. scribe.
He who meaned to deliver with a precision, that must be attended to, the sense you give to this text, should have expressed himself thus; xala thu gapos. Ιησε χρισε τα ημων και θες και κυρια. .
The common version, which refers 98os and xupios to different persons, is unquestionably more obvious and easy than your's. But there is one more obvi. ous still, which refers both nouns to the same person, viz. not to Jesus, but to the God of Jesus, which I am persuaded is the true version of the text. It is this :-“ By the blessing of the God of us, 6 and Lord of Jesus Christ.”.
Ενώπιον το θεα, και κυριε Ιησε Χριςο.
1 Tim. v. 21. 2 Tim. iv. I.
wander from the plain highway of interpretation, by transposing the proper name Jesus