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notice. While at Tübingen, troubled about the various readings of the Greek Testament, and forced to leave it for future study, the splendid critical edition of our own Dr Mill appeared at Oxford, the fruit of thirty years labour, and finished only fourteen days before his death, (2 vols. folio, 1707.) It was said to contain upwards of 30.000 various readings, and was assailed in 1710 by Dr Whitby, in his learned but undiscriminating and narrow-minded Examen Millii,”* whose arguments and accusations, however, were reiterated all over England and the continent, as if the authority of the New Testament had been endangered by Mill's work. The history of this controversy is well known to all readers of the modern "Introductions to the New Testament." Bengel, with characteristic penetration, soon saw what now had to be done, and with the calm ardour which distinguished all his labours, determined, at whatever eost of time and pains, to do it. As only a perpetual and preposterous miracle could have kept all the transcribers of the New Testament in every age and country absolutely exempt from mistake, and as the faultiest classics are precisely those of which the fewest manuscripts remain or have been made use of, he quickly perceived that the greatest service that could then be rendered to the New Testament would be, in addition to a careful collection of the results of all former collations, a fresh collation of all the unexamined manuscripts extant, and a critical investigation of those canons by which the choice of readings was to be decided. To this great, and at that time immensely difficult, work he addressed himself very soon after his settlement at Denkendorf. By 1725, he had collected such a mass of materials, that he sent, with a request for manuscripts, to all the seats of learning where he was likely to be successful, copies of his proposals for a new critical edition of the Greek Testament. He was far more successful than he expected, and the manuscripts with which he was favoured added greatly to the value of his work. At last it appeared in 1732 (4to), with an “ Apparatus Criticus" appended, extending to more than double the number of pages a monument of his critical learning, uncommon sagacity, and in this particular walk, still more uncommon piety. It was assailed, however, like Mill's, in unmeasured terms by the orthodox clergy; though he had resolved to disarm hostility as far as possible by promising, against his own judgment, not to insert a word in the text which had not before appeared in some printed edition-a promise from which he felt that the Apocalypse should be excepted, on account of the very deficient sources from which it had • It will be frand appended to vol i of his Paraphrase and Commentary on the New Testament.

been printed; still he was run down as an enemy to the Scriptures. But Bengel's already high reputation for piety and wisdom was now a tower of strength to him; and those who would have dreaded or disdained to touch such a book as his Greek Testament and Apparatus, were won over by their perfect confidence in Bengel, first to examine, and then to fall in with his views. "The writings of Bengel, therefore," (says Michaelis, the best of witnesses here,) "had more readers than those of most critics; and his readers have become in general his friends and disciples."† No other man probably could, at that time of day, have done what Bengel did. Searching criticism was coming in with an irresistible tide, and was soon to sweep away ancient landmarks. In prospect of this, some man of God was needed with qualifications high enough, and heart stout enough to enter the perilous region, and clear a channel for the waters of life, which all the splendid rubbish of an erudite rationalism would not be able to choke up. That man was John Albert Bengel, and he has had his reward in the testimonies rendered to him, not only by the admirers of his piety, but by the most distinguished critics to this day. Even Wetstein, his contemporary, and in some respects his rival in this walk, admitted that his Testament was the best that had ever before been printed. Semler assigns him the palm of judgment decidedly above both Mill and Wetstein;§ so does Michaelis; so does the Roman Catholic Hug; and so do critics generally, down to the latest.

Fain would we have noticed his apocalyptic researches; not certainly for the purpose of exposing the mistaken principles on which his calculations were based-time has sufficiently done that, and the enemies of all attempts to penetrate one of the most precious portions of God's Word may be left to make merry, if they list, over Bengel's strange confidence on this subject-but to show that when this and other mistakes have been set down to human infirmity, he has left enough in this department to lay the Church even still under a debt of obligation, which those who see his mistakes the most clearly will not be the last to own. And we confess it is with some reluctance that we re

* "If every bookseller is to take it into his head to treat the New Testament in this manner, we shall soon get a Greek text totally different from the received one. The audacity is really too great for us not to notice it; especially as such vast importance, it seems, is attached to this edition. Scarcely a chapter in it has not something either omitted, or inserted, or altered, or transposed. The audacity is unprecedented."-(A paper by "certain ministers of God's Word," inserted in a periodical entitled, "Early Gathered Fruits," 1738).

+Introduction (Marsh) ii. part i. p. 466, (ut supra).

Prolegomena, passim.

Apparatus ad Liberalem, N. T., Interpretationem, p. 42.

Page 466, ut supra.

Introd. to New Testament (Wait.) i. p. 329. "Wetstein may justly be censured for not having adopted and appreciated Bengel's beautiful critical ideas."

frain here from replying, as we purposed to do, to a paragraph in the recently published "Discussions" of Sir William Hamilton, which even in a literary point of view, to say nothing of the painful and undignified animus which pervades it, is simply disgraceful. "How," says Sir William, "could Mr Pearson make any opinion touching the Apocalypse matter of crimination against Semler and Eichhorn? Is he unaware that the most learned and intelligent of Protestant, of Calvinist divines, have almost all doubted or denied the canonicity of the Revelation? The following rise first to our recollection. Erasmus, who may in part be claimed by the Reformation, doubted its authenticity. Calvin and Beza denounced the book as unintelligible, and prohibited the pastors of Genera from all attempt at interpretation; for which they were applauded by Joseph Scaliger, Isaac Casaubon, and our countryman Morus, to say nothing of Bodinus, &c. Joseph Scaliger, of the learned the most learned, rejecting also the Epistle of James, did not believe the Apocalypse to be the writing of St John, and allowed only two chapters to be comprehensible; while Dr South, a great Anglican authority, scrupled not to pronounce it a book (we quote from memory) that either found a man mad or left him so."—(P. 506.) With the illustrious baronet's reputation in his own walk, we shall not be presumptuous enough to meddle. "The Law of the Conditioned," and other speculations in the region of pure thought, on which rest Sir William's European fame, draw from us only the homage due to the subtlest of intellects. Even beyond his more peculiar province, his power as a writer is great, and the range of his literary illustrations immense. But when he thrusts himself into every body's province, and insists that he knows a great deal more and better about matters than those who have made them the study of their lives,-when the things, too, about which he swaggers so disdainfully are tender points, affecting all that is most dear to us as Christians and Protestants, and when the statements he puts forth are, to crown all, one string of mistakes-what stripling need be afraid to make use of his sling and his stone? As for the paragraph we have quoted, it is about as full of errors as lines. It were easy to show this did space permit, but every one competently read in the literature of this portion of Scripture can do it for himself. Each of Sir William's select list of authorities would afford rich materials for castigation, but the crowning one is that "great Anglican authority, Dr South." Very much as if you should adduce Sidney Smith as a great Anglican authority in Hebrew roots!—risum teneatis?

But to return to Bengel. His light soon shot beyond the precincts of Denkendorf. Shortly after his settlement there, he was offered the Greek chair of his alma mater (Tübingen), but he

declined it. In 1720, he was invited to the divinity chair at Giessen (Hesse-Darmstadt), and urged to accept, but this also he declined, though for domestic reasons. Another professorship at Tübingen was offered him in 1735, but at Denkendorf he would remain till, in 1741, the vacant prelacy (or superintendency) of Herbrechtingen, in his own Würtemberg, being presented to him as a station of comparative otium cum dignitate, he felt himself at liberty, after the hard labour of so many years and under a sense of growing infirmity, to accept it. But before we follow him thither, as we have seen only the literary side of his work at Denkendorf, let us observein a few sentences, too brief for their preciousness-the other, and to many of our readers far more interesting aspects of it. When the students left the seminary, he invited them freely to correspond with him, and consult him on every subject of difficulty; nor, amidst his numerous engagements, did he ever grudge an affectionate and often full reply, never assuming the air of a superior, but communicating with them as a father with his sons, and almost as a brother with brothers, though so much his inferiors in age and attainments. To correspondents whom he valued he would communicate the result of his own studies, in the most confidential and, to his young friends, most winning manner. How often (writes one to him), yes, how often still sounds in my ear your word of dismissal, which you always used to leave with us as your advice after prayer on Saturday evenings-your colligite animos! (compose your minds!)* "Before our evening devotion yesterday (writes he in his diary one day), such a freedom of spirit was bestowed upon me, that I found more access to the hearts of the students than ever. May He who granted it bestow a farther blessing on it, that fruit may come forth, even fruit that may remain!" To poor students he would sometimes write weighty letters, enclosing them considerable sums of money, and counting himself the privileged party." Either refrain, dear Reuss, from writing to me, or do not apply to me such superlative expressions. I should quietly, like a fond father, place it all to the account of your love, were I not afraid that to allow it will bring upon me a heavy responsibility. For the same reason, I wish it were not said here at daily prayers (offered up by the students), 'our most revered tutors.' I believe, that if Herod had been displeased with the acclamation, It is the voice of a god and not of a man,' he would not have been struck dead in such a horrible manner. God's honour is an awfully tender thing, and may be injured before we are aware."

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In 1727, being "laid on Hezekiah's couch, where I could obtain neither help nor comfort from any human being, God made me to learn how insignificant I am, and how little loss the world would have sustained had I been removed out of it. I did not feel any wish to live, even for completing my works, though I had no express anticipations of death, most dangerously ill as I was. I gave myself up entirely to the divine disposal, and thus it was ordered that I should recover." At this date, his critical edition of the New Testament was in such a state of advancement, and his "Gnomon," yet but in manuscript, was acquiring such shape, that to him removal "without completing his works," not to speak of his prophetical researches, which by this time were somewhat advanced, must have been to nature a trying prospect. more, then, must we admire the holy superiority over all such considerations to which he had attained. A rare union of intense engrossment of mind in these peculiar walks of study, with a heavenly weanedness of spirit, was found in this blessed man-the fruit, doubtless, of his continual communion with God in these very studies. Several of his letters about this date refer to the Wolfian philosophy, with whose application of the metaphysical principles of Leibnitz to the establishment of the great principles of natural and revealed religion, a vast number of German divines were at first intoxicated. Scholastic orthodoxy was crumbling, in fact, to pieces; and those who neither were prepared to part with it, nor could find in the living oracles themselves sufficient footing for their faith, were fain to entrench themselves behind this new rational bulwark. Bengel never liked it from the first, and warned his students frequently against it. Some of his remarks on it are as full of sagacity as of spirituality. "Our philosophical men," says he, "make a great parade of I know not what sublimated metaphysical theories of the universe; but solid natural philosophy is most sadly neglected. The ancients did much the same; they disguised their real ignorance or uncertainty in the details of physical science by a parade of general notions and universal ideas. Mathematical science is a good collateral help in certain respects; but there are truths of the utmost importance that lie totally out of its province, and which it even tends to unfit us for apprehending and embracing. . . . As truths are of different kinds, they require different means for their apprehension. . . . The various susceptibilities or faculties with which the human soul is gifted. for entertaining various kinds of truth have among themselves a kind of natural balance, a mutual equilibrium for mutual strength; so that whichever of them is overburdened to the neglect of the rest, the equipoise is proportionately destroyed.

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