Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

§ 6. First, in regard to the usage of the Seventy, it cannot be denied that they employ the two words indiscriminately ; and, if the present inquiry were about the use observed in their version, we could not, with justice, say, that they intended to mark any distinction between them. They are, besides, used indifferently in translating the same Hebrew words, so that there is every appearance that, with them, they were synonymous. But, though the use of the Seventy adds considerable strength to any argument drawn from the use of the New Testament writers, when the usages of both are the same, or even doubtful; yet, when they differ, the former, however clear, cannot, in a question which solely concerns the use that prevails in the New Testament, invalidate the evidence of the latter. We know that, in a much shorter period than that which intervened between the translation of the Old Testament, and the composition of the New, some words may become obsolete, and others may considerably alter in signification. It is, comparatively, but a short time (being less than two centuries) that has intervened between the making of our own version and the present hour; and yet, in regard to the language of that version, both have already happened, as shall be shown afterwards 117. Several of its words are antiquated, and others bear a different meaning now from what they did then.

117 Diss. XI. Part II. § 5, &c.,

1

!

Ø 7. Let us therefore recur to the use of the New Testament. And here I observe, first, that where this change of mind is inculcated as a duty, or the necessity of it mentioned as a doctrine of Christianity, the terms are invariably uETAVIEW and LETAVOLA. Thus John the Baptist and our Lord, both began their preaching with this injunction, MetaVOELTE 118, The disciples that were sent out to warn and prepare men for the manifestation of the Messiah, are said to have gone' and preached iva ueTavonowOL 119. The call which the Apostles gave to all hearers was, μετανοησατε, και επιςρεψατε, και βαπτισηow exaços 'vuwv 120, reform your lives, return to God, and be baptized. Peter's command to Simon Magus, on discovering the corruption of his heart, is, ueTOνοησον απο της κακιας ταυτης

When it is men. tioned as an order from God, παραγγέλλει τους ανθρωποις πασι πανταχα μετανοειν 122. The duty to which Paul every where exhorted was, μετανοειν και ETUIGPEPELV ETL Tov Osov 123. The charge to reformation given to the Asiatic churches in the Apocalypse, is always expressed by the word YETAVonqov, and their failure in this particular by ov METEVONJE 124. The necessity of this change for preventing final ruin, is thus repeatedly expressed by our Lord, Eav un LETAVONTE, MAVTES ano eloSE 125. And, in regard to the noun,

[ocr errors]

121

118 Matth. iii. 2. iv, 17.
129 Acts, ii. 38. jii. 19.
122 xvii. 30.
124 Rev. ii. and iii. passim.

119 Mark, vi. 12.
121 viii. 22.
123 xxvi. 20.
125 Luke, xiii. 3. 5.

wherever mention is made of this change as a duty, it is μετανοια, not μεταμελεια. It was εις μετανοιαν that our Lord came to call sinners 129 ; the baptism which John preached was βαπτισμα μετανοιας 17. . The fruits of a good life, which he enjoined them to produce, were a&lrs LETAVOLAG '28. What the Apostles preached to all nations, in their Master's name, as inseparably connected, were μετανοιαν και αφεσιν αμαρτιων 120. Again it is given as the sum of their teaching, την εις τον Θεον μετανοιαν, και πιςιν εις τον Κυριον ημων Ιησουν Χριςον 130. The same word is employed when the offer of such terms is exhibited as the result of divine grace 131. Now, in a question of criticism, it is hardly possible to find stronger evidence of the distinction than that which has now been produced.

.

[ocr errors]

0 8. There is a great difference between the mention of any thing as a duty, especially of that consequence, that the promises or threats of religion depend on the performance or neglect of it; and the bare recording of an event as fact. In the former, the words ought to be as special as possible, that there may be no mistake in the application of the promise, no pretence for saying that more is exacted than was expressed in the condition. But, in relating facts, it is often a matter of indifference,

126 Matth. ix. 13.
128 Matth. iii. 8.

Acts, xx. 21.

127 Mark, i. 4.
129 Luke, xxiv. 47.
131 Acts, xi. 18.

130

[ocr errors]

whether the terms be general or special. Provided nothing false be added, it is not expected that every thing true should be included. This is the less necessary when, in the sequel of a story, circumstances are mentioned, which supply any defect arising from the generality of the terms. Under this description may be included both the passage formerly considered, úsepov LETAMENnDeus annase ; and that other connected with it, in the reproach pronounced against the Pharisees, for their impenitence and incredulity under the Baptist's ministry, 8 LETELeanOnte vsepov T8 TLÇevOAL AUTW 132. The last clause in each

perfectly ascertains the import of the sentence, and supplies every defect.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Ø 9. Ler it further be observed, that when such a sorrow is alluded to, as either was not productive of reformation, or, in the nature of the thing, does not imply it, the words MeTavola and JeTavoEw are never used. Thus the repentance of Judas, which drove him to despair, is expressed by ustaueandels 133 When Paul, writing to the Corinthians, mentions the sorrow his former letter had given them, he says, that, considering the good effects of that sorrow, he does not repent that he had written it, though he had formerly repented. Here no more can be understood by his own repentance spoken of, but that uneasiness which a good man feels, not from the consciousness of having done wrong, but from a ten.

132 Matth. xxi. 32.

133 Matth. xxvii. 3.

derness for others, and a fear, lest that which, prompt. ed by duty, he had said, should have too strong an effect upon them. This might have been the case, , without any fault in him, as the consequence of a reproof depends much on the temper with which it is received, His words are, E. equinoa vuas ev on επιςολη ου μεταμελομαι ει και μετεμελομης 134. Ας it would have made nonsense of the passage to have rendered the verb in English, reformed instead of repented, the verb μετανοεω instead of μεταμελομαι, would have been improper in Greek.

There is one passage in which this Apostle has, in effect, employed both words, and in such a man. ner, as clearly shows the difference. 'H xata sov λυπη μετανοιαν εις σωτηριαν αμεταμελητον κατερyasetau 135 : in the common version, Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of. There is a paronomasia here, or play upon the word repent, which is not in the original. As both words μετανοεω and μεταμελομαι are uniformly translated by the same English word, this figure of speech could hardly have been avoided in the common versiori. Now, had the two words been also synonymous in Greek (as that trope, when it comes in the way, is often adopted by the sacred writers), it had been more natural to say μετανοιαν αμετανόητον. Whereas the change of the word plainly shows that, in the Apostle's judgment, there would have been something incongruous in that expression. In the

.

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »