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whom all are taught from God! one faith! one hope ! one Spirit, which must animate all! one oracle in the hearts of all the voice of the Spirit which proceeds from God! and all citizens of one heavenly kingdom, with whose heavenly powers they have already been sent forth, as strangers in the world! When the Apostles introduced the notion of a priest which is found in the Old Testament into Christianity, it was always only with the intention of showing, that no such visible distinct priesthood, as existed in the economy of the Old Testament, could find admittance into that of the New; that, inasmuch as free access to God and to heaven was once for all opened to the faithful by the one high priest, Christ, they had become, by union with him himself, a holy and spiritual people, and their calling was only this, namely, to consecrate their whole life, as a sacrifice of thanksgiving for the mercy of God's redemption, and to preach the power and grace of Him, who had called them from the kingdom of darkness into his wonderful light; and their whole life was to be a continued priesthood, a spiritual serving of God, proceeding from the affections of a faith working by love, and also a continued witness of their Redeemer. Comp. 1 Pet. ii. 9. Rom. xii. 1. and the spirit and connection of ideas, throughout the whole Epistle to the Hebrews. And thus also the furtherance of God's kingdom, both in general and in each individual community, the furtherance of the propagation of Christianity among the heathen, and the improvement of each particular church, was not to be the concern of a particular chosen class of Christians, but the nearest duty of every individual Christian. Every one was to contribute to this object from the station assigned to him by the invisible head of the church, and by the gifts peculiar to him, which were given him by God, and grounded in his nature--a nature, which retained, indeed, its individual character, but was regenerated and ennobled by the influence of the Holy Spirit. There was here no division into spiritual and worldly, but all, as Christians, in their inward life and dispositions, were to be men, dead to the ungodliness of the world, and thus far departed out of the world ; men animated by the Spirit of God, and not by the spirit of the world.” The History of the Christian Religion and Church, vol. i. pp. 180-183.
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CHURCH.—“The name of presbyter, by which, as we have before remarked, this office was first distinguished, was transferred from the Jewish synagogue to the Christian church. But when the church extended itself farther among Hellenic Gentiles, with this name borrowed from the civil and religious constitution of the Jews another was joined, which was more allied to the designations of social relations among the Greeks, and adapted to point out the official duties connected with the dignity of presbyters. The name ETIO KUTOL denoted overseers over the whole of the church and its collective concerns; as in Attica those who were commissioned to organize the states dependent on Athens, received the title of ERLO KOTOL, and as in general it appears to have been a frequent one, for denoting a guiding oversight in the public administration. Since then, the name ETLO KOTOS Was no other than a transference of an original Jewish and Hellenistic designation of office, adapted to the social relations of the Gentiles; it follows, that originally both names related entirely to the same office, and hence both names are frequently interchanged as perfectly synonymous. Thus Paul addresses the assembled presbyters of the Ephesian church, whom he had sent for as ETLO KOTOUS. So likewise in 1 Timothy iï. 1, the office of the presbyters is called ETLO KOTY, and immediately after (verse 8) the office of deacons is mentioned as the only existing church-office besides; as in Philip. i. 1. And thus Paul enjoins Titus to appoint presbyters, and immediately after calls them bishops. It is, therefore, certain that every church was governed by a union of the elders or overseers chosen from among themselves; and we find among them no individual distinguished above the rest who presided as a primus inter pares, though, probably, in the age immediately succeeding the apostolic, of which we have unfortunately so few authentic memorials, the practice was introduced of applying to such an one the name of ETLO KOTOS by way of distinction. We have no information how the office of president in the deliberations of presbyters was held in the apostolic age. Possibly this office was held in rotation or the order of seniority might be followed-or, by degrees, one individual by his personal qualifications gain such a distinction; all this, in the absence of information must be left undetermined ; one thing is certain, that the person who acted as president was not yet distinguished by any particular name.
“The government of the church was the peculiar office of such overseers; it was their business to watch over the general order,--to maintain the purity of the Christian doctrine and of Christian practice,--to guard against abuses--to admonish the faulty—and to guide the public deliberations; as appears from the passages in the New Testament where their functions are described. But their government by no means excluded the participation of the whole church in the management of their common concerns, as may be inferred from what we have already remarked respect. ing the nature of Christian communion, and is also evident from many individual examples in the Apostolic church. The whole church at Jerusalem took part in the deliberations respecting the relation of the Jewish and Gentile Christians to each other, and the epistle drawn up after these deliberations was likewise in the name of the whole church. The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, which treat of various controverted ecclesiastical matters, are addressed to whole churches, and he assumes that the decision belonged to the whole body. Had it been otherwise, he would have addressed his instructions and advice principally, at least, to the overseers of the church. When a licentious person belonging to the church at Corinth was to be excommunicated, the apostle considered it a measure that ought to proceed from the whole society; and placed himself therefore in spirit among them, to unite with them in passing judgment; 1 Cor. v. 3—5. Also, when discoursing of the settleInent of litigations, the Apostle does not affirm that it properly belonged to the overseers of the church ; for if this had been the prevalent custom, he would no doubt have referred to it; but what he says seems to imply that it was usual in particular instances to select arbitrators from among the members of the church; 1 Cor. vi. 5." - History of the Planting, &c. of the Church, vol. i. pp. 167–170.
THE ELECTION OF CHURCH OFFICERS—"Respecting the election to offices in the church, it is evident that the first deacons, and the delegates who were authorized by the church to accompany the apostles, were chosen from the general body; 2 Cor. viii. 19. From these examples, we may conclude that a similar mode of proceeding was adopted at the appointment of presbyters. But from the fact that Paul committed to his disciples Timothy and Titus (to whem he assigned the organization of new churches, or of such as had been injured by many corruptions), the appointment likewise of presbyters and deacons, and called their attention to the qualifications for such offices, we are by no means justified in concluding that they performed all this alone without the co-operation of the churches. The manner in which Paul was wont to address himself to the whole church, and to take into account the co-operation of the whole community, which must be apparent to every one in reading his epistles,-leads us to expect, that where a church was already established, he would admit it as a party in their common concerns. It is possible, that the Apostle himself in many cases, as on the founding of a new church, might think it advisable to nominate the persons best fitted for such offices; and a proposal from such a quarter would naturally carry the greatest weight with it. In the example of the family of Stephanas at Corinth, we see that those who first undertook office in the church, were members of the family first converted in that city.”-Ibid. vol. i. p. 181.
THE AUTHORITY OF THE FATHERS." The next ecclesiastical writers who come after the Apostles, are the so-called Apostolical Fathers (Patres Apostolici,) who come from the Apostolic age, and must have been the disciples of the Apostles. The
remarkable difference between the writings of the Apostles and those of the Apostolical Fathers, who are yet so close upon the former in point of time, is a remarkable phenomenon of its kind. While in other cases such a transition is usually quite gradual, in this case we find a sudden one. Here there is no gradual transition, but a sudden spring; a remark, which is calculated to lead us to a recognition of the peculiar activity of the Divine Spirit in the souls of the Apostles. The time of the first extraordinary operations of the Holy Spirit was followed by the time of the free development of human nature in Christianity; and here, as elsewhere, the operations of Christianity must necessarily be confined, before it could penetrate further, and appropriate to itself the higher intellectual powers of man.
“The writings of the so-called Apostolic Fathers are, alas! come down to us, for the most part, in a very uncertain condition; partly, because in early times writings were counterfeited under the pame of these venerable men of the church, in order to propagate certain opinions or principles ; partly, because those writings which they had really published were adulterated, and especially so to serve a Judæo-hierarchical párty, which would fain crush the free evangelical spirit.”—History of the Christian Religion, &c. vol. ii. p. 329.
With another extract from Dr. Woods, Jun., respecting the private habits and opinions of Neander, we must close this article :
"In his private character and deportment Neander is kind and amiable, emphatically doing good to all as he has opportunity.' His friends relate, that the writings of John are his favourite books of Scripture ; and they ascribe this to a similarity between his tastes and feelings and spirit, and those of the beloved apostle. In his personal appearance and manners there is nothing remarkable or pleasing ; they are those of a recluse student. In the afternoon of a sunny day, he may sometimes be seen loitering in the walk Unter den Linden, or wandering in the alleys of the Thiergarten ; but he is never found in any mixed or general society. In conversation he does not possess that flow of interesting and striking remark, for which Tholuck is so much distinguished ; his thoughts come out with more abruptness and sententiousness ; but are not perhaps on that account less impressive. Neander was almost the only theologian in Germany, known to the writer, whose views of the divine and native power of Christianity were such, as to lead him to wish every where to trust religion itself with its own support. In the minds of most, it seemed to be regarded as necessary, that religion should be established as a matter of state policy, and receive support as such from the state. These latter reasoned from the existing state of things in Germany and the adjacent countries ; Neander drew his conclusions from the nature and spirit of Christianity itself, and was accustomed to appeal to the present aspect of the American churches in proof of the soundness of his views.”*
We hope that this article will direct the attention of many readers to the original and learned works of the first ecclesiastical historian of the age.
* American Biblical Repository, vol. iii. p. 73.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A KNOWLEDGE OF HEBREW TO
THE INTERPRETER OF SCRIPTURE.
ALTHOUGH almost all languages are united by numerous affinities, and pervaded by the same fundamental principles of grammar, there are, nevertheless, many obvious peculiarities in their general structure and style by which they may be classified and distinguished. There is, indeed, no language, from the rude and scanty dialect of the inhabitants of a wilderness, up to the rich and polished forms of speech employed by a highly literate people, that is not characterized by a variety of idioms, or modes of expression, which are at once the elements of beauty and the signs of distinctiveness. And these distinctive features of all languages become numerous and prominent in proportion to their progress in copiousness and refinement, so that it is extremely difficult, if not absolutely impossible, to transfer the real spirit, beauty, and emphasis, of one tongue into another, through the medium of a translation. Translations, it is true, when happily executed, may furnish us with tolerably distinct conceptions of the subject, whether philosophy, history, or theology, but must necessarily fail to preserve the point, energy, and expressiveness of the language in which it was originally clothed. All the beauty and effect of idiomatical phrases, and all the emphasis of peculiar combinations of words, generally evaporate in the processes of translation. Nor is it possible to prevent this. For, in order to translate with any degree of felicity and success, the wide difference of languages in what is deemed beautiful and expressive in style, renders it necessary that the idioms and peculiarities of one should be carefully excluded from another. If the forms of expression, and the arrangement of sentences, employed by an author in one language, are closely imitated when he is translated into another, his strength will inevitably be transmuted into weakness, and his beauties, however numerous, will be marred and distorted. A style which is highly eloquent and expressive, fitted not only to echo, but to invigorate the sense in Hebrew or Greek, would become pointless, obscure, or unintelligible, if literally translated into French or Latin. And productions which, in their original languages, are distinguished by all that is finished and beautiful, and are deemed models of perfection, if subjected to the tor
ditmel modfasi oh, pertetet eine the hunted comt. turing process of a literal translation, would, like the human form, when submitted to the corrupting action of the grave, be but the skeletonised remains, or defaced memorials of themselves. The simple majesty and power of Homer, the finished beauty and gracefulness of Virgil, and the impassioned oratory of Cicero and Demosthenes, if literally rendered into one language, according to the idioms of Greek and Latin, would appear little better than the fruitless efforts of incapacity, or the incoherent rhapsodies of mental aberration. Hence, as translations to be intelligible, or felicitous, must not be servile imitations of the idioms and peculiarities of the original languages, they can yield but indistinct conceptions of the power, beauty, and passion of the writers of “olden times.” It is, indeed, as impossible fully to appreciate the colossal strength and immortal beauty of the great masters of ancient literature, whether sacred or profane, when presented to us in the garb of modern phraseology, as to understand and enjoy the sublime harmonies of Handel in the broken, indistinct, tones of an echo, or to realize the unrivalled genius of Correggio, or Raphael, in prints or engravings of their splendid creations. A translation may furnish us with a knowledge of the subject, which has occupied the attention of the historian, or the moralist, the prophet, or the apostle, and in like manner a print, or engraving, may enable us to arrive at some conception of the forms of beauty which have started into being from the creative pencil of the painter; but as the latter cannot present to us all the magic of light and shade ; the delicate blending and harmony of colours; and the perfect keeping of the original painting which seems instinct with life, and ready to descend from the canvass, so the former cannot preserve those felicities of style and idiomatic peculiarities of the original language, on which the meaning as well as the beauty of an author not unfrequently depends.
Whilst, then, all, who have any knowledge of what are styled the classic languages of antiquity, must admit that it is impossible fully to understand and appreciate the exquisite productions of the poets and orators of Greece and Rome, from translations even the most perfect and felicitous, it must with equal candour be confessed by the Hebrew scholar that the “burdens," the magnificent songs, and the moral disquisitions of the sons of Zion, are divested of much of their beauty, and occasionally enveloped in obscurity, when presented in any language save the original. And hence, if it is necessary to study the languages of Greece and Rome, in order to be fitted to appreciate the vehement diction of Demosthenes, and the flowing eloquence of Cicero, the elaborate histories of Thucydides and Livy, and the splendid poetry of Mæonides and the Mantuan, surely it cannot be less necessary to study the simple but expressive language of Judea, in order fully to understand the productions of poets and historians, who were trained and commissioned to expatiate on the loftiest themes to which the attention of intelligent beings can be directed. Moreover, apart from their inspiration and high spiritual design, the writings of Moses are not inferior to the classic histories, which are so generally studied and admired, nor is the poetry of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the Psalmist, less magnificent in conception, or brilliant in figure, than that of Homer and Virgil, to which all nations have yielded the homage of admiration. Had, then, the Hebrew Scriptures no claim on our attention but that which arises from their power, magnificence, and beauty, as efforts of genius, they ought to be