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sands a year, for then only the great and the rich could have the honour and privilege of paying; but our ministers have a smaller sum, and, blessed be the Lord, he hath given us that are poor this great luxury-to help to pay the Lord's servants by a penny a week. Let us say, with David, I will not offer “ unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing."' 2 Samuel xxiv, 24.--Pp. 88–90.
Another important part of the duty of a class-leader—the visitation of sick and absent members at their own homes—was diligently performed by this excellent man, even when he was venerable with years :
Many modern leaders think they do their duty by meeting (with something approaching to regularity) those members who may come to them on the class-night; they, perhaps, send a message by a member to the sick, the lame, and the lazy;' or they content themselves by scolding the delinquents in their absence, thus troubling the members present with the condemnation of faults which they at least have avoided. Not so this admirable leader. To estimate aright the following statement, let it be borne in mind, that until Father Reeves was seventy years of age, he had to work daily for his living; that on Sundays, for many years, he was, except during very brief intervals, in the chapel from seven in the morning until eight o'clock at night, and after that at a neighbouring prayer-meeting; that every evening in the week, but one, was spent in the chapel, school-room, or vestry, in some religious service; and yet he undertook and accomplished an amount of house-to-house visitation of his members, such as made his person well known through the neighbourhood, to saint and sinner, and kept up the numbers and spirit of his classes to an unparalleled degree.
His visits, during the early years of his leadership, were few, or were not fully recorded; but, taking his class-books from 1825 to 1852, nearly thirteen thousand visits may be traced—an average of four hundred and fifty a year; and, during the last five years, they averaged six hundred and fifty a year. These are exclusively to his classes—to those detained by sickness, business, or temptation, and entirely apart from his visits on account of the Strangers' Friend Society, or his visits to members who had unavoidably left his classes
. Were these added, it is probable that his domiciliary visitations would amount to one thousand a year for the last three years. These visits,' says an old member, “were seasons of considerable interest; solicitude for your temporal welfare was not omitted, but his absorbing anxieties were directed to spiritual concerns; no member of the household was forgotten. My wife has remarked, “ Your old leader is always about his Master's business." "Few men within the sphere of my observation won more respect than did he from those who had been educated in accordance with other Church systems. A poor woman, who with her husband met in Father Reeves's Sunday class, writes: If we have been absent from class, through illness, he has been sure to call the next morning before nine o'clock. Many a time he has helped us out of his own pocket, for fear we should not have bread.'”—Pp. 93-95.
The chapter which treats of his own personal religion is replete with instruction, but we must forbear further quotation. We trust that this book will find its readers by thousands upon thousands, and that, like Carvosso, Father Reeves may " lead" even more souls to heaven after death than during his life.
I. Meaning of trihaußáverai in Hebrews ii, 16. Ου γαρ δήπου αγγέλων επιλαμβάνεται, αλλά σπέρματος 'Αβραάμ επιλαμβάνεται.
TO THE EDITOR.
The view taken by Dr. Rounds in the April Number of the Review, as to the signification of énchaußúveral in Hebrews ii, 16, is certainly one that at first strongly recommends itself to the student; but a further examination has led at least one of his readers to think that the signification “ took on him," after all, derives its chief plausibility from our familiarity with it in the common English translation of that passage. Without designing to enter into any controversy on the subject, I will give some of the reasons that have brought me to a different conclusion from Dr. Rounds : if they have any weight, he will doubtless be as free to admit their force as myself; and if they shall appear inconclusive, let them pass for nothing.
1. The proper sense of the word. This, it is acknowledged, is rather indeterminate; but it is claimed that the middle form of trihaußúvojual favours the idea of assumption to one's self. We do not find, however, that this reflexive force ever belongs to the word in the New Testament, although it always occurs there in the middle voice; and the classical usage of the verb makes no such distinction between the senses of the active and the middle voices, nor indeed ever assigns to either of them the idea of appropriating, except in a violent manner. In proof of this I need only refer to the citations in the lexicons and philological commentaries in general. The strict middle sense would be, to seize upon one's self; and the indirect middle sense would be, to take hold of in order to support one's self, or bring near to one's self. The meaning, to take hold of in order to render assistance, is indeed a very indirect application of the middle voice; but every student knows that such applications of that voice are very usual in the New Testament, and in this case it is the one clearly indicated in Luke xiv, 4, and sustained by classical examples. In Philippians ii, 7, claimed as a parallel passage, the verb is in the active voice and simple form, aaßúv, and is especially distinguished from this case by the absence of the peculiar construction presently to be noted.
2. The tense of the verb. It is impossible to make énchaußúveral here a historic present by comparing it with étaloxúveral, five verses preceding, when the historic aorist intervenes and follows, in immediate reference to the same event: for example, petrowe, verse 14, übelde, verse 17. The present tense here plainly describes an event continuous and extending to the period of writing; and how our translators ever came to render it by “took,” is a mystery.
3. The construction of the object. If we take ttihaußúveral in the sense of assuming, we must supply an ellipsis before åyyk2wv and onépuatos, by understanding til popohv, qúolv, or some such accusative, as our translators have done; for, to make the genitives depend upon the verb in this direct transitive sense, would be wholly ungrammatical, and at variance with its usus in the Scriptures as well as classics : such an ellipsis, to say the least, would be very harsh and unauthorized by any similar passage, -in fact it would be an omission of the main word upon which the whole import of the passage would rest, and it might
be filled up very differently by different readers. On the other hand, these genitives would very properly depend upon the verb, if used figuratively in the partitive sense; as in Matt. xiv, 31, éneúßero avtoù, q. d. helped him by taking hold (of a part) of him, and raising him to the same posture with him self. The same construction and meaning obtain with úvtehúßero in Luke i, 54.
As to the Doctor's endeavour to make out that by úyye2.ou must here be meant only good angels, and that as these never stood in need of salvation, the argument of the apostle would be nugatory, I cannot see that this would follow: it surely would be entirely pertinent to say that Christ did not undertake their salvation, precisely for the reason that they did not require such an enterprise. But it is not correct to infer that ủyyehou here refers to good angels exclusively, simply because that term is never used in this absolute form to designate fallen spirits: it is of angels as an order of beings, irrespective of moral character, that the apostle has all along been speaking, in contradistinction from Christ both as man and as God; and on this account the article is omitted in every case,-had the article been used, the sense would have been restricted either to good or bad angels.
A similar remark with regard to the use of onépua obviates the objection against its extension to cover the human race: being without the article, it of course only points out the class of beings in general to which the Jews belonged, in distinction from angels, to which it is expressly opposed by annú. This mode of designating humanity is readily accounted for by the prominence given to the chosen nation in the eyes of a native Jew writing to Hebrews themselves. To infer from his mentioning them only, that the apostle could mean no others, would be to exclude Gentiles from more than half the promises of the Old Testament, which are couched in similar phrase. But suppose we set out to take σπέρμα 'Αβραάμ in its strictest sense, and επιλαμβάνεται in the sense of assumel, what follows? Why, we are compelled to insert such an adjunctive term before onépuatos as makes it equivalent to “the nature of the seed of Abraham;" in other words, we after all extend it to denote human nature in general. Thus, in fact, Dr. Rounds himself at last falls into the same so called inconsistency for which he so roundly rates other commentators. The plain state of the case is, that άγγελοι and σπέρμα 'Αβραάμ are here so contrasted, that no interpreter can avoid making them in the end refer to two distinctive orders of beings. The only question is, whether these terms, thus indefinitely used, mean the abstract natures of these beings, or the concrete beings themselves, collectively considered; and even this difference is practically unimportant; but whether important or not, it can only be settled, as a matter of interpretation, by the meaning of επιλαμβάνεται itself. .
4. Finally, the scope and argument of the passage and context require επιλαμβάνεται to be taken in the sense of relieving, and are impaired by the other
Dr. Rounds has correctly stated the general argument of this and the preceding chapter, but fails entirely to see the mode in which this verse articulates into that argument. Having vindicated Christ's divinity in chapter i, the apostle in the preceding verses of this chapter states Christ's humanity, and quotes various passages of the Old Testament to prove that the Messiah was to be of the same nature as the saints of God, (verses 10-13.) Verses 14 and 15 then state the propriety of this identity of nature, and refer to the glorious result that would flow from it. Then follows the verse in question, assigning an additional and the principal reason for this identity, which is therefore introduced by rúp. Now nothing could be more appropriate as a
reason why Christ should assume human nature, rather than an angelic nature, (as might otherwise have been expected,) than the fact that he was to save that very human nature, and not that of angels. But if we make this verse affirm the assumption of humanity, it would be so far from constituting a reason for the preceding verse, that it would in fact be a mere repetition of the same idea. In like manner, verse 17 follows with a conclusion from this reason, introduced by ölev; which of course is tantamount with the statement of the fact before given, for which that reason had just been assigned. Whereas if verse 16 contains the fact of the incarnation, how could the same fact, in verse 17, follow from itself? In short, our view makes étrchaußúverai refer to the reason of the parallel statements Meteoxe (verse 14) and bowwhîval on either side, whereas the other view confounds all three in one reiterated assertion. This assignment of such a reason is a very different thing from “interrupting the tenor of remark to lug in a thought which is not suggested either before or afterwards in any part of the epistle.” The contrast een men and angels that prevails throughout these chapters appears to me to be very strongly “suggestive” of the “ thought” that Christ did not die to save angels. This thought was the best possible reason why he should not have become an angel; it would have cut off all sympathy with the objects of his mission, as verse 17 goes on to explain. A reason so palpable and conclusive did not need to be repeated in express terms; but it is implied in the whole course of reasoning here pursued.
The only way to avoid coming to this view as to the course of thought, is by regarding yúp here as introducing an illustrative clause, rather than a reason, that is, as more fully explaining the alța kaì oápf of verse 14, by a contrast with angels; and the force of 60ev (verse 17) must then be confined to the qualifying clause katù trávra. But this, after all, makes this whole verse in question weak and uncalled for; since no one could imagine a human and an angelic nature in any manner compatible. Such a meaning of yup is forbidden also, if I mistake not, by the particle dñtov, here added to it. The import of this latter word, it is true, is usually rather indeterminate, and its application somewhat varied; but in this case, taken in connexion with ou and yup, it appears to have a peculiar and appropriate intensive force. A strict analysis would here probably resolve it into two elements, the concessive dh going to strengthen the argument of yup, and the indefinite rov imparting additional exclusiveness to the negation in ov; so that the whole may justly be rendered thus : "[And this assumption of humanity was the more appropriate,] inasmuch as he certainly is not a Saviour of angels at all.” This view of dýrov properly brings out the bearing of this clause, as a ground assigned for the preceding verse, and at the same time exhibits its incidental introduction, as a point not calling for proof.
I have examined this passage thus in detail, because the question at issue is a properly philological one, and therefore requiring for its solution a careful inspection of the words in which it is expressed.
JAMES STRONG. FLUSHING, May 8, 1853.
Was not John the Baptist (and not Elijah) with our Lord on the Mount
of Transfiguration ?
COMMENTATORS, we believe without exception, understand by Elias, in Matt. xvii, 3, the Prophet Elijah. May there not be ground to doubt this interpretation, and to answer the question proposed at the head of this paper in the affirmative ?
God, by the prophet, (Malachi iii, 1,) declared that he would send his messenger, who should prepare the way before him. This prophecy was pronounced five hundred years after the translation of the literal Elijah, and four hundred years before the birth of John the Baptist. The Jews yet expect its fulfilment. But John the Baptist is acknowledged by the Christian Church to be the subject of this prophecy. As such he was the forerunner of Christ, “coming in the spirit and power of Elias;" and, on some occasions, he is called by that name, as, in fact, he was the spiritual Elijah of the New Testament. Christ calls him " that Elias which was for to come.”
On the mount of transfiguration was a personage called Elias, who, together with Moses, was conversing with Christ. As they came down from the mountain, our Saviour charged the disciples to tell the vision to no man until he had risen from the dead. They inquired, as they could not comprehend the injunction, if Christ should pass away and the literal Elijah not appear:-"Why then say the scribes, that Elias must first come ?” Jesus replied, that " Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed ;” and as he had suffered, so “ likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them."
Here is a positive affirmation that Elias had already come, and a brief description of the treatment he had received from the Jews, and an announcement that as he had been put to death, so also should the Son of man suffer like treatment at their hands. The disciples then understood that Christ spoke to them of John the Baptist.
In this conversation our Saviour mentioned an Elias which should "come and restore all things;" from which it is evident that reference is had to two personages : of one Christ speaks in the past tense—"is come already;" of the other
Elias shall first come,” evidently referring to the future. John at this time was dead, and consequently he could not literally make his appearance among them. Now when the deputation from the Sanhedrim inquired of John if he was Elias ? he answered, “I am not,” but referred them to the prophecy of Isaiah xl, 3, for a description of his character and to prove the authenticity of his claim to be the forerunner of the Messiah. According to the received explanations, these are evident contradictions; and the only mode in which they can be reconciled is to assume that the Scriptures refer to two distinct personsthe Elias of the Old Testament and the Elias of the New Testament. John the Baptist was not the Elijah of Malachi iv, 5; he was only to possess the "spirit and power of Elijah:” not the power of working miracles, which the former Elijah possessed; but the sternness and power of reproof, the superiority to softness, ease, or worldly ambition, and the same influence over his fellow countrymen,