Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

test among as, to that from which our opponents profess to derive their examples, their arguments, and their authority ? This has been already most successfully done by Mr. Taylor in his Ancient Christianity; but it is not enough that he, or that any other, should have rendered good service in the cause; every student of the subject, who wishes to know his ground well and to maintain it, must commence investigating for himself. And for this purpose we account the work before us particularly valuable, as furnishing strong incentives and important aid for entering on the study of the fathers. The mode and spirit in which the author has treated his subject, deserve our highest commendations. It has received from him no superficial or hasty review, nor has he had recourse to it, as an arena where he might assert the cause of a party. The prosecution of it has evidently been 'a labour of love,' as he himself terms it: for without a strong interest he could not have followed out his investigation to such an extent, and with such careful minuteness, as he has done. That our readers may form some idea of the plan and contents of the work, we shall proceed to give an abstract of it, passing briefly over those parts on which we shall afterwards dwell more at length.

After giving a general account of the martyr's life, where every ascertainable point is noted, with the authorities, which occupies book I.; he discusses in book II. the genuineness of those writings to which the name of Justin is commonly affixed. The two apologies—the longer of which was addressed to Antoninus Pius and his colleagues, together with the senate and people of Rome; and the shorter to the Roman senate, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius-have never had their genuineness disputed by any one but Father Hardouin, and may therefore be regarded as altogether unimpeachable. The dialogue with Trypho remained undisputed as Justin's, until 1700; when Koch, from a desire to maintain the martyr's orthodoxy, endeavoured to set it aside as spurious, and to represent it as a production of that Trypho in the third century, who is mentioned as a learned pupil of Origen. Wetstein, in his Prolegomena to the New Testament, followed up this attack on another ground, namely, the difference between the Old Testament citations in the Dialogue, and the present text of the Septuagint. His objections, which were unsuccessfully dealt with by Gallandi and Stroth, have now been satisfactorily obviated by Credner, * who has made it extremely probable that the copy of the Septuagint which Justin used, was one that had undergone such emendations as the versions of Theodotion and Symmachus afterwards adopted, these being, in fact, successors to previous revised editions. In some passages of the Dialogue, however, the original reading of the quotation has undoubtedly received subsequent alteration. * But, not to mention the proofs supplied by the frequent use which Irenæus and Tertullian have made of the Dialogue, and the references contained in it to historical events, no one, who will pay any regard to its close correspondence with the Apologies, can fairly deny it to be the work of Justin. For that correspondence is not limited to a general agreement in their style, their apologetic principles, their methods of proof, and their doctrinal views; which to us, indeed, would be perfectly conclusive, if no decided evidence existed on the other side ; but it extends also to peculiarities, a coincidence in which cannot be explained, as is attempted with the former, by the influence of prevailing modes of thinking, or by regarding them as designed imitations. Some of these we shall mention, both as illustrative of what Justin was as a writer and as an apologist, and also because they are evidence furnished by our author additional to what others have brought forward on the same side.

* In his Contributions to an Introduction to the Biblical Writings, (Beyträge zur Einleitung, &c., Halle, 1832.)

Though Justin speaks of the Gospels occasionally by that common appellation, he generally distinguishes them by the peculiar name Records of the Apostles (απομνημονεύματα των αποσTów»,) a title nowhere else to be found in the Christian writers of his own or any other period. In this the Dialogue agrees with the longer Apology: the shorter Apology has no bible quotations. Again; those biblical citations which, both in the Apology and in the Dialogue, are at variance with the text of the Septuagint, and that of the canonical gospels, bave an extraordinary agreement with one another, and such as evidently results from the fact, that it is the same writer quoting from memory in both cases, and giving the passages not with verbal accuracy, but in the form in which his mind habitually retained them; e. g., Isaiah, i. 9, is quoted in both writings, abbreviated thus; 'If the Lord had not left us a seed, we should have been as Sodom and Gomorrah :'-Is. lxvi. 1, transposed thus; 'What house will ye build me? saith the Lord. Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.' Psalm xix. 6, is referred to in both as a description of Christ, and as having given rise to the heathen fable of Hercules. The passage in the Dialogue (c. 69) is as follows; 'When they speak of Hercules as mighty, and as having travelled round the whole earth, and as being born by Alcmena to Jupiter, and say that after his death he ascended into heaven; do I not see that here the scripture passage

* We may remark that, in the first instance which our author gives, from c. 58, where all editions hitherto have read επάλαιεν άγγελος μετ' αυτου έως πρωί -the edition of Otto has now restored the genuine reading &nálauv ävOpwros, corresponding with the Septuagint.

spoken concerning Christ-mighty as a giant to run on his way,' has in like manner been imitated'? In the parallel passage of the Apology, the verse is quoted in precisely the same words, thus differing from the Lxx, where the word mighty, on which so much stress is laid, does not occur, nor is it ever found as a various reading, or used by any other of the fathers. In the Apology, Gen. xlix. 11, is taken as a prophecy of Christ : 'binding his foal unto the vineis applied to the circumstance of our Lord's ordering his disciples to bring to him the foal of the ass at Bethphage, when he made his entry into Jerusalem; 'washing his garment in the blood of the grape" (this is a mixture of the two clauses in the Lax) is predictive of our Lord's passion, and the redemption from sin which believers-called metaphorically his garment, because he dwells in them-enjoy through his atoning blood, the divine origin of which is inti. mated by the fact that the blood of the grape is made, not by man, but by God. This singular, but certainly ingenious exposition is repeated in the Dialogue, with certain additions. Peculiar stress is there laid on Christ's ordering the ass to be brought along with the foal, and that proceeding is regarded as typical ; the foal signifying the Gentiles, who, first through the gospel, were brought to wear the bit and bridle, and the ass the Jews, who had already been accustomed to the yoke of the law. Besides, the latter half of the verse is there quoted fully, and in the exact words of the Lxx. And thus, in many instances, while there is an agreement in the leading points, there is such a difference in subordinate particulars as shows that the coincidences are not the work of an imitator, but arise from both writings being unquestionably produced by the same author.

There remain, besides, of Justin's genuine writings, though not undisputed, only the Exhortation to the Greeks, (óyoç rapalVÉTIKOS 7 pos 'Ellnvas) and the fragment on the Resurrection, which last would have shared the fate of several other of his works, had it not been incorporated by John of Damascus in his Parallels, in a manuscript of which it was first discovered by Halloix, who printed it in his Vita et Documenta Justini, philosophi et martyris, 1622. The genuineness of both is, in our opinion, successfully vindicated by our author with great accuracy and diligence of investigation. He shows that the former is identical with the piece which is attributed to Justin by Eusebius, Jerome, and Photius, under the title of "Eleyxos, a Confutation, which is its appropriate name, its contents being argumentative, and not hortatory, though the words with which it commences (ápxóuevos της προς υμάς παραινέσεως) have induced some transcriber to alter its original for its present title, which must have been done in some copies as early at least as the eighth century.

There are but few MSS.of Justin remaining, and most of them

6

areof little worth, sincethey contain only this last-mentioned piece, and some others that are evidently spurious, as they make mention of sects and opinions of a much later date. Such are An Epistleto Zenas and Serenus, Questions and answers to the orthodox, &c. Passing over these, as not requiring notice, our author proceeds to the examination of the Oration to the Greeks, the treatise on the monarchy of God, and the Epistle to Diognetus, which are still maintained by some to be productions of Justin. The title of the second is the same as that of one of Justin's lost writings, mentioned by Eusebius, but the contents are different, and of no value. In the first, the style is much superior to that of the martyr, (which is true of the last also,) being compressed, nervous, full of life and historical colouring,' quite different from the loose, negligent, and common-place style of his acknowledged writings; several of the opinions expressed are also different from his, as well as the account which the author gives of his conversion. The Epistle is equally far from bearing any resemblance to Justin's modes of thought, expression, and argument, and is altogether of a higher order than his productions. No one can read it without regretting that so very few compositions of such a stamp have reached us. Yet it is not so likely that such have existed and are lost, as that minds which could produce them were exceedingly rare in the early church. It is indeed to be hoped that there were not a few who could have written like Clement of Rome, had occasion required them; but for one who could have written this epistle and appreciated it, there were a hundred that would have rivalled the false Barnabas, and Hermas the visionary.

In book III. the moral and religious character of Justin, his intellectual abilities and literary attainments, and his general characteristics as a writer and as an investigator, are delineated with great fairness and completeness. The presentation of his apologetic methods and doctrinal sentiments contained in book IV. merits equal praise for its thoroughness, impartiality, and the clearness of its statements. It is also ample, and descends to particular topics, occupying about a hundred pages of the first, and the whole of the second volume in the translation. We have, as usual, to thank the accuracy of the German character for the notes appended, which, though plentiful, are here by no means tiresome, furnishing as they do, in most instances, the quotation from the original text at length, and always giving the necessary references. Neither are our obligations to the translator small. Of the fidelity of his translation we are sorry that we cannot speak from personal knowledge, not having seen the original; but we are fully disposed to trust it, both from the evidence of previous performances that are creditable to him, and also from what is supplied in several passages of the present

work, where, on account of the peculiarity of expression, the words of the original are subjoined. The English style is, on the whole, sufliciently easy and agreeable; and we suppose that the use of the unpleasant words cultus for worship, and charisms for gifts, was adopted in deference to the original, and not as in itself defensible. Still we would suggest that charismata, the plain Greek, would have been far preferable to the latter barbarous word. We mention this, because it is from the translation and study of foreign literature, that any language has the most to dread as sources of adulteration. And now that a Teutonic jargon and Teutonic crotchets are coming into fashion, it becomes us to be more than ever on the alert to denounce such contraband dealings. Most of the Greek passages are rendered into English ; whether in consequence of their being translated in the original, we cannot say; but their translation is certainly a boon in the present case— not because of the difficulty of the Greek, far from it — but because of the extreme inaccuracy with which it is printed. This has been a great drawback to our pleasure in reading the work, and seriously detracts from its value; for in many cases the quotations would be unintelligible, without the light that is thrown on the blunders in them by the appended translation. Nor are the errata confined to the Greek and Latin sentences : we meet with the following in the English text, which are not corrected in the list. In vol. i. p. 183, note, unnecessary for necessary; p. 277, disposition for opposition; p. 281, suppresses for supposes, &c. We mention these things because we deeply regret that Mr. Clarke's series of publications, valuable in themselves, should have their value so much lessened by faults of this kind. We would mention farther, before passing from these minute matters, that in one instance the translator has surely committed an oversight, and rather an important one, though it be only the mistake of a conjunction; his rendering in the text being both wrong in itself-(it occurs in the translation of a Greek passage) -and quite opposed to the opinion maintained in the note. It occurs on line 3, p. 182, of vol. ii: since for when*. The author is showing that it was the opinion of Justin that the Logos was eternal, not as a separate person, but as immanent in God, that is, as a part of God, or as a property of the divine nature, and that he came forth from the divine essence and assumed a separate personality immediately before the creation of the world, for the purpose of effecting that work. The truth of this representation rests chiefly on two

The sentence stands as follows; the original is given above: “The Son of God, who alone, in a proper sense, is called Son, the Logos who was with him, and begotten before his works, since by him in the beginning he created and arranged all things, * * is called Christ.

« ForrigeFortsæt »