Billeder på siden
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The Editors of this intended periodical assign, as a reason for its appearance, the opinion of a very learned writer on prophecy in the preface to his excellent work.

“In presenting my reasons to the public for having undertaken and published this work, I may remark, in the first place, that it has long been my opinion, (which I persuade myself has been formed upon observation and some experience,) that the study of the Scriptures, and hence a deep and accurate acquaintance with Theology, is in this country in a state far beneath what it ought to be.” Six Sermons, &c. by the Rev. S. Lee, B. D. &c. &c. The cause of this deficiency is assigned by the same writer in another part of the same work. "People generally read the Bible as they do a newspaper, and as if all had taken place only yesterday, destitute of all acquaintance with oriental idiom, usage, and antiquities; and hence have arisen the never-ending varieties found among us.” p. 217. These remarks made in 1830, are equally true in 1844. The evil consists in defective Biblical knowledge, arising from unfixed and discordant principles of interpretation, and producing general disunity among professing Christians. We have, not only a multiplicity of sects, but almost every sect has its periodical, devoted to its peculiar tenets, and systematically excluding all others from its pages. As, however, there have been no infallible teachers since the days of the apostles, inquiring individuals can no otherwise arive at a rational conviction on disputed points, than by an impartial examination of the arguments, by which they are supported. considerations have suggested to the Editors and their associates the utility of some general medium of communication, in which they might submit their views to public scrutiny; in which those of opponents might meet with a candid and fair examination; and thus afford to both an opportunity of mutual confirmation or correction, in that temperate and conciliating spirit, which is best adapted to the promotion of knowledge,


edification, and an increasing interest in the truths of revelation. THE BIBLICAL INQUIRER is accordingly issued for these purposes, restricted only to the common ground of belief in the inspiration of the Scriptures, and in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, without which it could not be a Christian publication at all; but open to every other question. Such being its nature and objects, it is hoped the Christian public will co-operate in the undertaking ; seeing that it will be a public enterprise, by the public becoming joint contributors.

THE BIBLICAL INQUIRER will, for the present, appear every two months; and will comprise articles of the following description, in such order as may be found most convenient.

An examination of the correctness of some generally admitted views; and, as the subject of our Lord's second coming is beginning to excite peculiar interest, a prominent place will be assigned to it.

Objections and inquiries.
Hebrew and Greek criticisms, and explanations of parti-

cular passages.

Contributions to Scripture parallelism.
Occasional reviews.

Occasional extracts of valuable matter from other works, in order to its more general circulation.

Communications to be addressed to the Editors, post free, at Mr. W. C. Pollard's, Printer, North-Street, Exeter.


There are perhaps few subjects, on which greater misconceptions have arisen, for want of due inquiry into the original meaning and usage of their peculiar terms and phrases, than on that of the second coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Much indeed has been lately done towards removing these misconceptions by Professor Lee in the Dissertations subjoined to his Six Sermons, by Mr. Stark in his Diagram, and by Mr. Wilkinson in his Pamphlet on “ The Last Days;" but, as the subject is still pressed with some difficulties, the present brief attempt is made in the hope of exciting more attention to it.

As the system of Parallelism, or Correspondence, occasionally applied in these pages, is but little known, it becomes necessary to say a few words on its nature and use. It has been gradually developed in the writings of Bishop Lowth, Bishop Jebb, and the Rev. Thomas Boys; and exhibits the method observed in the composition of the Sacred Writings. This method consists in an orderly recurrence of corresponding topics pervading every subdivision of the matter, from the greatest to the least ; and, when these topics are visibly distinguished by their position, they are perceived, almost at a glance, to throw so much light on each other as makes the Bible, in a pre-eminent degree, its OWN INTERPRETER.

I shall produce words or passages in such order as may cause the preceding to contribute most effectually to the explanation of the following; and, when the same are repeated, either by citation or reference, it is for the

purpose of establishing assumed meanings, or of placing them in some new connection, to elicit some further proofs or inferences.

Alwv, an age,--often erroneously translated world, and thus either obscuring or misrepresenting the sense. The apostolical succession of the clergy, is chiefly built on this translation, in Matt. xxvii. 20, which, in the original, limits the promise to the apostles themselves. It is translated, in the plural, worlds, in Heb. xi. 3, which is thus defended by Primate Newcome. This term is explained, in the following clause, by the things which are seen : so that it must be understood of the visible material world, called into being by the word or command of God." The universe, no doubt, was created by the command of God; but this is not the sense of the passage. The Scriptures no where speak of worlds ; and the things which are seen are not the material objects which he supposes. Ewing gives, in his Lexicon, the true sense, as follows. “By faith we understand, κατηρτισθαι τους αιωνας ρηματι θεου, that the ages were framed by the word of God, so that things which are (now) seen, did not arise out of things which did (previously) appear. Compare verses 1, 7, 26, 27.Hence God is called “the king of the ages.” 1 Tim. i. 17.

Alwvios, etaneous, * of or belonging to an age or ages. This word is most frequently translated eternal or everlasting ; but, as these words are generally understood as synonymous with endless, they do not convey its meaning. It is thought to express endless duration, when joined with Osos, God; but without sufficient reason. As God is called “ the king of the ages” in Tim. i. 17, he is equivalently called “the etaneous God” in Rom. xvi. 26. The Spirit also is called “ the etaneous Spirit” in Heb. ix. 14. God appoints, rules, and operates in, all the ages or dispensations.

Aïdios. The following is Parkhurst's explanation ;-
Aïdios, from ael, ever, always.

I. Eternal, absolutely, without beginning or end.—Rom. i. 20.
II. Eternal, in a restrained sense, or a parte post, perpetual, with-

out end.—Jude, verse 6." The word occurs in these two places only; and in Jude the Syriac translation is unknown, implying a derivation from a and elow, which agrees much better with the context in both. This is shown in Rom. i. 20, by the following arrangement.

For the invisible things of him,
by the things which are made, s are clearly seen :

, , even his unknown { Godhead. To which I may add, that, beside the similarity of invisible and unknown, there is also a contrast between these epithets and the words understood

This word, similarly derived from atas, an age, supplies a most exact translation of alwvios ; its adoption would remove one source of controversy; it is as much wanting as the compound coetaneous ; and would soon become equally familiar. Indeed, the Scriptures would wear a new face in a faithful and uniform



and clearly seen, very like that in Ephes. iii. 19, “to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.”—In Jude also

under darkness,

to the judgment of the great day, certainly gives a more consistent sense throughout, than that of endless chains to the judgment of the great day,which day is a limited time.

Zwn, life-applied pre-eminently to Christ, and to that divine, spiritual, and immortal life, which he bestows on an elect portion of mankind in the present, and on all in a future state of existence.—John, v. 25, xiv. 6, i Cor. xv. 22. This life, as concerns the elect, is accordingly called etaneous life;" and when they are said to “enter into life,” or to `inherit etaneous life," the expressions are equivalent to “entering into the kingdom,” or “inheriting the kingdom.”—Matt. xviii. 8, xix. 29, v. 20, xxv. 34. Indeed, as “etaneous life occurs no where in the Old Testament, except predictively, in Dan. xii. 2, of the age of the Messiah, it exclusively relates to that period.—See Balfour's Second Inquiry, p. 353, 354. This appears more clearly in a literal translation. “ And many of the sleepers of earth dust shall awake: some (ow wn) to the life of the age, and some (712773 obw 778773) to the shame, to the contempt of the age.” That this is the strict rendering is evident from the word "77, “life," being in regimine, and from the words for “shame” and “contempt” being in a similar position.* Our Lord calls this awaking a resurrection to life, or to condemnation, or judgment, in John v. 28. 29, which apparently refers to this passage ; and Paul uses both terms: " Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Ephes. v. 14.

Oavaros, deathoften applied to the carnal mind, which all inherit from Adam; and, in this sense, contrasted with the spiritual mind derived from Christ. “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”—Rom. viii. 6. Hence, though the Adamic nature is not better in believers than in others, and though subject, in like manner, to the original sentence of natural death, they are said to have “passed from death to life,” and “not to see death;" because the higher spiritual life conferred on them cannot be lost.—John v. 24, vii. 51, x. 28, 29. These remarks are applicable to such other words as atolata, destruction, perdition; olɛpos, destruction; 8c. by which the temporal condition and end of the ungodly are distinguished from those of the saints.

IIapovola, presence, coming. “When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the consummation of the ?” Matt. xxiv. 3. As our Lord's answer to this question affects many other passages; and, as a partial misconception of it has long fostered the erroneous opinion of a coming, still future, in judgment on the whole human race, I shall examine it more particularly.

The disciples put this question to our Lord after showing him the buildings of the temple, and hearing, in return, his declaration, that one stone should not be left on another, which should not be thrown down.


* I observe, for the information of the English reader, that a noun, which governs a genitive, is said, by Hebrew grammarians, to be in regimine, or construction; and that masculines plural, in this position, drop their final. Thus », if not in regimine, would be on. The plural form of this word, for the singular, is idiomatic.

« ForrigeFortsæt »