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uninterrupted flow of the juices of the parent stem: may perhaps refer to quality as well as quantity, although the latter is the principal thought.
Verse 3 (see ch. xiii. 10). Judas had now departed, and this verse affords a corroboration of the view that true believers only are contemplated throughout the passage,-those who as to their standing are clean, and who for that very reason come under special cleansing as branches.
The instruction of verses 4 and 5 is perfectly consistent with the view here taken of the passage. A real Christian may often not have on the armour of God (Eph. vi. 11, &c.); his work may be burned, and he may suffer loss, yet he himself may be saved, yet so as by fire (1 Cor. iii. 15); he may not be in this world a vessel unto honour, sanctified and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work' (2 Tim. ii. 21). So also he may not abide in Christ, in the sense of this passage, and thereby he is rendered unfruitful, for apart (or separate, xwgis) from me ye can do nothing.'
Verse 6: If any one abide not in me, he is cast forth as the branch, and is withered; and they gather them, and cast (them) into the fire, and they are burned.'
The strength of expression in this verse has probably, more than anything else, led some to regard it as descriptive of the judgment on such as were never really Christ's people. But just as the context of Matt. iii. 10, vii. 19, leads us rightly to apply similar language in those places to such persons, here on the contrary it seems to require another application, and to signify the utter destruction of the branch relationship, not wrath and judgment on the person, the gathering and the burning being but an expansion of the first part of the second verse, as it were exegetical of αἴρει.:
Ezek. xv. is probably the groundwork of this passage in John: 'What is the vine tree more than any tree, the branch which is among the trees of the forest?' (ver. 2); i. e. such a vine as grows wild in the woods. This was Israel's degenerate condition. Other trees are useful in their way for timber, &c., but the vine, when not fruitful and uncultivated, is utterly worthless (ver. 3): and as the useless vine is only fit to be burned, so divine judgments are threatened on Israel (ver. 6-8); and desolation was to be the penalty of their unfruitfulness and unprofitable state. But there is this difference between the two Scriptures, that in Ezekiel the burning is a distinct act of temporal judgment, being expressly so interpreted: whereas in John it is the full and necessary result of
The use of the indicative of the aorist in this verse is to express a general truth, irrespective of any particular time. See Green's Gram. of the N. Test. Dialect, p. 16. unfruitfulness,
unfruitfulness, without involving the idea of a new and special penalty. One who being in Christ (in the peculiar sense of this passage) ceases to abide in him, is rendered unfruitful; he is consequently cast forth as a branch and is withered. When it is added, and they gather them,' &c., we have, it would seem, merely the extension of the general metaphor rather than a new feature with some special significancy attached to it. The taking away in ver. 2 really includes the whole; withering is the natural consequence of being cast forth, but the latter part of ver. 6 puts the climax or finish on the comparison; q. d. and withered branches are only fit to be collected as fuel,' the force of which is sufficiently obvious, without its being necessary to interpret the burning even of temporal, much less eternal punishment.
By some who regard the expression in me' as signifying union with Christ of a fundamental and perpetual nature, such, that is, as is possessed by every true believer, the excision is understood as hypothetically put, and as having the weight of a solemn warning for the purpose of preserving the believer in his faithfulness. The general wording of verses 2 and 6, as contrasted with the direct address in 3 and 5, has been thought to confirm this view. It is true that Scripture does often thus address true disciples, warning them what the consequence must be if they draw back, &c., yet not implying thereby that any one either has fallen or ever will fall away finally. Acts xxvii. furnishes an apt illustration of the principle. God had expressly and absolutely insured the safety of all who were sailing with Paul (ver. 24). Yet after this we find the Apostle as distinctly declaring, except these abide in the ship ye cannot be saved' (ver. 31). But it is difficult to set aside the impression produced by the entire passage that excision is an actual not a hypothetical case; just as it is not a mere hypothesis that he that lacketh certain things necessary to prevent his being barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord, is blind and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins' (2 Pet. i. 5-11). And if some (as observation as well as Scripture proves) are actually in this state, if some are saved only as by fire, whilst to others an entrance will be ministered abundantly into the kingdom, the former cannot be said to 'bring forth much fruit,' which would be the case if they were abiding in Christ (John xv. 5). Thus even if it were admitted that taking away is hypothetically put, unless it were granted also that fruitlessness is equally an ideal case (which is impossible), the above view founded on the expression in me' would appear to be untenable. Besides that, as already remarked, the nature of the figure indicates an earthly and temporal rather than a heavenly and eternal relationship. CORRESPONDENCE.
PROFESSOR VON EWALD'S
REPLY TO PROFESSOR
LEE'S LAST LETTER.
[Communicated by Dr. NICHOLSON.]
To the Editor of the Journal of Sacred Literature.
MY DEAR SIR,-The last Number of your Journal contains a letter from Professor Lee, in which he adduces the testimony of a correspondent, who asserts that 'Dr. Ewald saw Professor Lee's Grammar in my possession in the year 1832, and I believe, at his request, I left it with him a short time for his inspection.' The name of this correspondent is, I know not for what reason, withheld; but Professor Lee humanely avails himself of this reticence to feather the shaft of an imputation of wilful lying; for he adds, "I need not inform Dr. Ewald who this Englishman is, for he well knows it.' Further, Professor Lee has not only, curiously enough, no hesitation in identifying his correspondent as the very Englishman' whom Von Ewald had mentioned as showing him that book, for the first time, in 1835, but also, as a matter of course, treats this mystery' as a fresh proof of the plagiarism, and as a loud impeachment of his adversary's honour. Now, I will not stop to inquire what grammatical sense is to be attached to the anonymous correspondent's testimony,-whether he merely believes he lent Von E. the book, although he certainly requested the loan of it; or whether he is positive he did lend it him, and merely believes it was at his own request,-but I must assure you that I am myself the Englishman to whom Von E. referred; and that as I was then engaged in translating his Hebrew Grammar, I very naturally showed him Professor Lee's work, which I had brought with me. I mention this here, in order to explain my friend's subsequent allusion to this occurrence; and I take this occasion to declare my perfect memory of the incident to which he refers.
As for the accusation itself, I lost no time in making Von Ewald acquainted with it; and I am enabled to cite from his letter to me the following passage in reply to it: I do not know what Englishman Professor Lee means, who lent me his book for a short time in 1832. So many Englishmen, besides yourself, were at Göttingen between the years 1827 and 1837, and generally on transient visits, that I must have an extraordinary memory if I were still able to remember them all. Let it then, for my part, be granted to be quite possible that some Englishman showed me Professor Lee's book in 1832;-whether such a thing actually occurred, or not, I am utterly unable to recollect-but the fact is also of no importance: because, if you were not the first person to show it to me in 1835, but if it really
was shown to me in 1832, it is quite certain that I must have thrown the work aside after a few minutes' inspection, without thinking it worthy of anything like perusal,—just as I quickly returned it to you in 1835 (and you will hardly have forgotten the circumstance), and remarked to you that I could not read it through. But in 1835, on account of the undertaking in which you were then engaged, I certainly did look at it with somewhat closer attention than I did in 1832 (assuming always that I did get a sight of it then). It was not, however, until 1845 that I had any occasion to recollect when I first saw the book; if I was then no longer able to recall the circumstance of having seen it in 1832, that is surely very excusable. This matter is of the least possible moment; the real point is, that the charge of plagiarism is in itself utterly ludicrous, or, I should rather say, atrocious; because any intelligent person can discern that my grammatical views are entirely different from those of Professor Lee, and most of all so in the very points which are supposed to prove the plagiarism.'
Von Ewald thus abides by his original defence (as contained in 'The Churchman's Review' for May, 1847), namely, that the immense discrepancy between his theory of the Hebrew tenses and accentuation, and those of Professor Lee, renders it impossible he can have 'purloined' them from him. Every sound scholar, therefore, will, after due comparison of the two Grammars, be quite competent to decide how justly Von Ewald would incur the suspicion of plagiarism, even if it could be proved that he had learnt Hebrew out of Professor Lee's Grammar as a boy."
It is, however, a striking fact that the merits of this controversy have not, as far as I am aware, been honoured with even a trivial notice in any English periodical. This indifference—which is, perhaps, to be ascribed to the general torpor which has seized Hebrew philology among us, and the consequently limited number of persons competent to appreciate the real gist of such discussions; to the delusion that the interests of orthodoxy are in any way involved in the victory of such a champion as Professor Lee; and to a mistaken patriotism, which sets a higher value on the triumph of our countryman than on that of science and truth-renders it impossible to estimate the effect of my friend's former vindication, and difficult to judge how far the addition of a seasonable word might now conduce to evince the unimpregnable
"It is desirable to mention that Von Ewald's Ausführliches Lehrbuch der Hebr. Sprache, 1844, contains by far the fullest as well as the maturest representation of his views-particularly on the accentuation. It is no insignificant evidence of the acceptance which his theory of the Hebrew Tenses has found in the home of all philology-his own country-that Professor Roediger has adopted it in the last two editions of Gesenius's Grammar. Some of your readers may be glad to have their attention called to an excellent essay on the Hebrew Imperfect,' by Prof. Dietrich, which occupies from pp. 95 to 194 in his Abhandlungen zur Hebr. Gram., 1846. Prof. Herling has written an essay, Von der Dichotomie der Tempusformen, &c. (in Welcker's Rheinisches Museum for 1837, pp. 522-572), in which he designates the Imperfect as the Present-without any mention of Prof. Lee's name. I hope I shall not hereby expose him to a charge of plagiarism,
strength of his defence. I will, however, venture a few remarks, to indicate the motives which induce him to decline all further controversy with his accuser, and to account for the tone of undissembled indignation which pervades his last reply. I must then remind your readers that this charge of plagiarism was not only preposterous in itself, but that it was expressed in terms of the most offensive coarseness, and that it was repeated after a long interval—all before a line appeared in reply. My friend's short vindication (in The Churchman's Review) contained the most emphatic denial both of the commission of the ‘pillage' imputed, and even of the opportunity to commit it, and further offered some irrefragable arguments to show that, on the precise points in dispute, Professor Lee's views were utterly erroneous, and therefore irreconcilable with his own. Now I should like to ask whether—even in a case in which there was sufficient resemblance between two competing systems to give a colourable pretext for the charge of plagiarism-any Christian gentleman has the privilege of treating the solemn asseveration of the accused party with nothing but insulting unbelief. However great the coincidence of two theories may be, the actual fact of plagiarism can generally be only known to the accused. Should not his strenuous denial (even unsupported by argument) be enough, in civilised society, to bar all direct re-assertion of the charge? Is not such forbearance as much due to the self-respect of the person making the charge, as it is, by courtesy, due to the position of the accused? The exercise of this reasonable forbearance as to the once denied accusation of plagiarism would, nevertheless, leave it open to the accuser to follow up the most searching inquiry as to the degree of identity between the respective views, or as to the priority of their discovery; and the successful settlement of these two questions—which, as being mainly matters of mere science and date, could surely be discussed without violating the commonest decencies of life—would afford ample satisfaction to the vanity of even a jealous author. Now Professor Lee was so far from paying this respect to the solemn denial of so eminent a man as Von Ewald, that he published a large pamphlet in reply, and perpetually reiterated the charge of 'purloining' in every shape of vulgar insolence; and, by so doing, gave him the lie direct in every page! Therefore, if any man wonder why my friend declines any further dealing with such an opponent, I must ask him whether he himself (assuming him to be a man of honour) could condescend to prolong even the intercourse of controversy with a man who had repeatedly and directly given him the lie. But even this is not all: my friend is indignant at the painfully immoral tone of Professor Lee's pamphlet. He considers it as a tissue of disingenuous evasions, a repertory of the low artifices of a controversialist by trade, who will rather resort to any subterfuge than once admit he was in error, and who will not scruple at any device (even down to the cry of heresy) which may ensure a temporary triumph among the ignorant. As he has formed this estimate of his accuser's conductand how justly, any scholar, with a sense of honour, may judge for himself—it would certainly be demeaning himself were he to consent