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equally apply to Dan. 12: 3. where a case of the same kind is found? We have there shown that everlasting does not refer to endless duration of either happiness or punishment, or to any thing beyond this state of existence. When we come to consider Matth. 25: 46. we shall show that this is a comment on Dan. 12: 3. and that both refer to the same everlasting punishment and happiness.

When people end the Old Testament they seem to forget that the New is the revelation of the same God addressed originally to the Jews; that it was written by Jews, and that its ideas and language are borrowed from Moses and the prophets. The writers adopt the words, phrases, and idioms used in the Old Testament, as well as quote formally from it. Dr. Campbell assures us that our Lord and his apostles spoke to the Jews in the dialect of their own Scriptures, and used words and phrases with which they were familiar. And Mr. Stuart calls their writings the Hebrew Greek of the New Testament. If we would understand this book, we must not sit down to it as Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists or Universalists, but as Jews. The question is not, what sense do any of these sects put on the words, phrases, and idioms which are found in it, but in what sense were they understood among Jews from their own Scriptures.

Is it asked-How are we to know this? I answer, from the Old Testament, from whence the New Testament writers borrowed them. The Old Testament is our dictionary of the language of the New, for the writers spake, not in the words which man teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth. While the New Testament is interpreted by sectarian dictionaries, how can Christians ever come to be agreed? Can any thing else be expected but bitter contentions. among them? The meaning and extent of the words

and phrases to come before us were well understood among the Jews. It is to be no concern of mine, how any sect now understands them, nor how I have firmly understood them myself, but how were they understood by the Jews, or what is their current sense in their sacred books. I am to consider myself, and the reader ought to consider himself, as living eighteen hundred years ago, as being born and brought up a Jew; as familiar with the Old Testament; habituated to words, phrases, and idioms of language common among the Jews; and in fact, as far as possible, to enter into the feelings, habits of thinking, and even the prejudices of that wonderful people.

New Testament usage of a word or phrase, is another very important rule of which we shall avail ourselves in interpreting the passages which shall be brought before us. For example, in Matth. 24: 3. we have the phrase the end of the world. Now, if this phrase does not mean here the end of this natural world, but the end of the Jewish age, we think it ought to have the same meaning in other places, unless the subject and scope of the writer entirely forbids it. When I therefore come to this phrase, or others in the course of this investigation, all the places in which such phrases are found, will be brought forward at once and considered. This will save repetition of remark, and will enable the reader to form a more correct judgment of the true Scripture meaning of such phrases. Besides, if any inspired writer uses a word or phrase, and its sense is ascertained, if he uses it again, or repeatedly, it ought to be understood in the same sense, unless he by some way shows us he is to be differently understood. This is nothing more than every writer or speaker is entitled to, whom we wish to treat with common civility. If he uses it in another book, or if

it is used by other sacred writers, our means of ascertaining its true sense are increased.

Much misunderstanding of the Scriptures has arisen from our overlooking what some may think but trifling circumstances. For example, some seldom take into view the writer, the time when he wrote, or the circumstances in which he was placed. They also overlook the persons to whom he addressed himself, the circumstances in which they were placed, and the subject on which he discourses to them. The scope and drift of his discourse from the context, is seldom considered. Hence words, phrases, and verses are quoted, to prove what was never thought of by him. His words are quoted, and a sense affixed to them agreeable to the religious creeds of the persons, which, if the context was but consulted, would show them their mistake, and that, though unintentionally, they were perverting the Scriptures. We also may err, and fail in what we propose, but we shall at least make the attempt. Infallibility is no article of our creed; we would only do all in our power to produce a correct understanding of the Scriptures, without which, endless division and debate must exist among Christians.

22*

SECTION V.

ALL THE PLACES NOTICED WHERE AION AND AIONIOS ARE RENDERED AGES, COURSE, NEVER, FOREVER, EVERMORE, ETERNAL, EVERLASTING; BUT WHICH HAVE NO RELATION

TO PUNISHMENT.

THE word aion is rendered ages, in the common version, in the following places.

Eph. 2. 7. "That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace." It would have been absurd to have rendered it here, "that in the eternities to come." Nor would it have sounded well to have said, "that in the worlds to come," for the question might have been asked, Pray how many eternities or worlds are to come? Our translators, then, not only own that this word signifies age, but were compelled to render it so in this passage.

Col. i. 26. "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations." The remarks on the last text equally apply here. It would not have done to have said, "even the mystery which hath been hid from generations," for the term generations is used immediately after in the passage. Macknight on this text, says, "The mystery which was kept hid from the ages and from the generations.' In the parallel passage, Eph. 3: 5. it is, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy apostles.' So likewise Rom. 16: 25. the mystery which hath been kept secret,' povos aioviois, in the times of the ages, or during the Mosaic dispensation. For the meaning of

the words mystery and ages, see Eph. 1: 9. Tit. 1: 2. notes. Though the salvation of mankind by faith, was promised in the covenant with Abraham, and spoken of by the prophets, it was not understood by the Jews, see Eph. 3: 5. note, and therefore it is here called a mystery, or thing kept secret, in allusion to the heathen mysteries."

I shall also quote the following from Pierce, on this passage, as it sheds general light on this whole subject. The mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations. The expression of το μυσήριον το αποκεκρυμμενον απο των αιώνων, is rendered by our translators, Eph. 3: 9. the mystery hid from the beginning of the world; but it is manifest from this place, where it is joined with anо Tv Yevev, that it is rightly translated here hid from ages, and that it ought to have been so translated in that place also. The same thing is meant when he speaks of the revelation of the mystery, χρονοις αιωνιοις σεσιγημενε, which we translate, kepi secret since the world began; but Mr. Locke better renders it in the secular times, that is, the times under the law. I shall here transcribe his remark upon the words, Rom. 16: 25. because it gives much light to this matter. 'Why the times, under the law were called Xeovos diwviol, we may find a reason in their jubilees, which were alwves, sæcula, or ages, by which all the time under the law was measured: and so xgov v divi v is used, 2 Tim. 1: 9. Tit. 1: 2. And so aves are put for the times of the law, or the jubilees, Luke 1: 70. Acts 3:21. 1 Cor. 2: 7. 10: 2. Eph. 3: 9. Col. 1: 26. Heb. 9: 26. And so God is called the rock, στις 19 αιώνων, of ages, Isai. 26: 4. in the same sense that he is called the rock of Israel, Isai. 30: 29. i.e. the strength and support of the Jewish state; for it is of the Jews the prophet here speaks. So Exod. 21: 6. EIS TWY alwva, signifies not as we translate it, forever, but to the jubilee; which will appear if we

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