Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

an argument may not correspond in all their parts, to the subject to which they are applied; so that in the adjusting of the allegory, language may be used, or minor points on either side may acquire a prominency, which, in plain argument, would not have appeared. A few instances will make this matter plain. In the conclusion of the parable of the unjust steward, Christ says, Luke xvi. 10–12. “He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have been unfaithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if

ye

have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?” The whole form of these three verses, owes it occasion to the parallel intended to be run between secular and eternal things, or rather, to Christ's design of speaking of eternal things in language borrowed from the circumstances of those merely secular, and no one will say that in the circumstances of the spiritual things themselves here spoken of, there is any thing of itself sufficient to account for the language chosen. Consequently, in the actual interpretation of the discourse, we have to abate from the apparent force of many of the expressions, and receive the views given under material modifications derived from other literal passages. Again, Luke xix. 26. “For I say unto you, that unto every one which hath shall be given, and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him,” &c. and the similar passages. Here also it is plain that the doctrine taught is thrown into a shape, borrowed from the circumstances chosen by which to convey it, which it would not of itself have assumed. There is a palpable, bodily outline given to it, which if we regard as the native inseparable shape of the truth itself, we shall greatly err.

Keeping these things in mind, let us now inquire, what circumstances, connected with the doctrine which the Apostle was inculcating, and with the historical events and personages to which he refers, were capable of being worked up into an allegorical costume, with which to invest his

argument. To show what he meant by the words, “ which things are allegorical,” he says, “ for these (i. e. these women, Sarah and Hagar) are the two covenants." The various reading here* does not alter the sense. Now, if we can under

The article és before siadáxar is omitted in some manuscripts.

stand how Sarah and Hagar were the two covenants, we shall know the exact meaning which the Apostle attached to šalia yopoúreva. As to the covenant referred to, there can be no doubt, v. 24. Hagar is the covenant from Mount Sinai; Sarah is the Jerusalem which is above. Hagar is the covenant under which the lovers of Judaism were ; Sarah, that under which Paul, and those who had embraced his doctrines, had placed themselves. Hagar and Sarah were not literally, of course, but allegorically the two covenants. Absolute expressions in such a sense are very common in the oriental idioms. We need only refer to such as occur in 1 Cor. x. 4. Gen. xli. 26, &c. And no one, familiar with those idioms, or even with the English Bible, need be told, that by the phrase « children of a covenant,” Paul means those who are parties to a covenant; who are within its provisions, and controlled by its arrangements. This use of the words children, son, daughter, is a genuine Orientalism, and is to be met with every where in the Old and New Testaments. Thus, citizens are called “ children of the kingdom," Mat. xiii. 38; companions of the bridegroom are called “children of the bride-chamber,” Mat. ix. 15; the inhabitants of Zion, are called “children of Zion," Ps. cxlix. 2; hostages are called “sons of suretyship,” 2 Kings, xiv. 14. So extensive and uniform is this phraseology, that it was the most natural and obvious language by which Paul could have expressed his idea. Christians, therefore, were children of the “covenant of grace;" Judaisers were children of the covenant made on Sinai. It has been shown that Isaac was really under, i. e. was a child of the first; and that Ishmael was really under, i. e. was a child of the last. But Isaac was a child of Sarah ; Ishmael the child of Hagar. So that, by a kind of necessity, resulting from the idiom of the language, and the views taken of the parties concerned, the two women and the two covenants are respectively brought into correspondence; and Sarah represents the covenant of grace, and Hagar the old Mosaic dispensation. Further, though Isaac is referred to in his personal history only, yet, as he was one of the whole multitude of the spiritual seed of Abraham, what is true of him, is true of all, so that his standing and his fate are a perfect exemplification, and, therefore, representation of theirs. For the same reason, the standing and fate of Ishmael are, as has been before remarked, an exemplification of those of the whole party to which he belonged. And we have in the Old

Testament, the history of his being actually sent away, as a non-participator in the blessings promised to Abraham. When, now, the Apostle says äriva, &c. he appears to refer to these circumstances just enumerated. He refers to these, and introduces them for the sake of the allegorical form which they enabled him to give to his argument.

We have endeavoured already to forestall an objection that may be made; that, in the Epistle, the two women are brought forward into a prominency, and an importance is given to them which are not sustained by the explanation which has been given. Reference was made to similar instances in the parables of Christ, and the number might be greatly increased. The same reference will bear out the modification and limitațion, which must be made in the sense of several of the terms used. The most important one of these is ananyopoéμενα. It is granted that the strict, full meaning of the word, as shown above, is not exactly preserved, i. e. that the narrative quoted is not really and strictly an allegory, in the rhetorical signification of that term. But it is maintained, that the circumstances which have been enumerated did give the whole passage an allegorical exterior; and, as it had the out

' ward form, so Paul applies to it the name of allegory, though in that limited sense which facts show to be the true one. Further, it is very easy to show that similar uses of words and modifications of meanings appear very frequently in the New Testament. Some of the New Testament uses of daiμων, βασιλεία του θεού, άρχων της εξουσίας του αέρος, λόγος, &c. are instances of this sort. Nay, in the very passage under consideration, we have several examples of this fact; tñ võv ‘leρουσαλήμ to denote the Mosaic dispensation; ελευθέρα, and especially i vw ‘lepovoaan. All these words have attached to them, in this passage, meanings of which no examples could be brought from classical or Jewish writers. But in this, and similar cases, the derivation of the particular use of a word, from the known and usual one, is so clear, and so clearly pointed out by all the circumstances and connections, that no doubt can remain as to its proper acceptation. In this way, we clearly understand i Svw 'Ispovoarnu to signify the covenant of

grace; and, in the same way, it may be inferred, that in using the term áranyopoúueva, the Apostle refers, to the corresponding relation sustained by Sarah, and by the covenant of grace to Isaac; and by Hagar, and the temporal part of the Abrahamic covenant to Ishmael; also to the fact of Isaac's being one of the whole number of Abraham's spiritual seed, and Ishmael one of the multitude of those not of this number; and lastly, to the casting out of Ishmael, as the actual consummation of his exclusion from the spiritual inheritance ; an exemplification and earnest of the exclusion of all who are not united to Christ and to Abraham by faith.

It was not originally intended, nor is it now, to enter into the particular illustration of all the phraseology of the passage. This has been often done already by abler hands, and I have nothing new to offer. No objection can, as I conceive, be drawn from any part of the passage not yet noticed, unless it be the first part of υ. 25. Το γάς "Αγας Σινά όρος εστίν εν τη

v. . Αραβία. 'Agaßic. This passage is variously read, and variously interpreted, and even its genuineness has been called in question. Almost all agree in throwing it at least into a parenthesis; since, if the passage be read without it, every thing is plain and natural. The reading of di for gás is of little or no importance. The word "Agae is omitted by many witnesses, viz. of MSS. E. F. G. 17 (probably) and a.; by the Ethiopian, Armenian, and Vulgate versions, and of the Fathers, by Cyril in some places, Epiphanius, John Damascenus, Origen, Ambrosiaster in his text, Jerome, Augustine, Sedulius, and Beda. This reading is preferred by many of the latest commentators. Then the word will mean,"for Sinai is a mountain in Arabia.” But did the Galatian Christians need to be told where Mount Sinai was, especially after the teachers of the law had been preaching so zealously and so effectually among them? Or was Paul in the habit of throwing in such geographical notices into the midst of a warm argument on the doctrines of faith in Christ, especially when the notice answers no purpose ? Vater says that the variations are so many, and the testimonies so divided, that the true reading cannot be determined. This one from the considerations just offered, may safely be rejected. On less authority depends the omission of the word Evvã. The words then will read, “for Hagar (i. e. the word Hagar) signifies émountain' in Arabia.” Nothing could be more tame. To notice the accidental coincidence of the name of one of the parties he had introduced, with an Arabic word, signifying a mountain, seems beneath the sobriety of an Apostle. Besides the Arabic word is not 7007, the Hebrew name of Hagar, nor yet "Ayas, according to the Greek, but 700. It is

true the letters 77 and 1 are sometimes interchanged in the different dialects, (See Gesenius) but this will not justify the use made of the fact. According to this rendering identity is required. And further, the primitive and common meaning of an is, as commentators say, not a mountain, but a stone, a rock; and then a rocky place or country. So that its application to a mountain is secondary, and then has reference to its being a rocky one.

On the whole, it may be said of this reading, it gives a sense tame and irrelevant, and is not supported by sufficient authority. The common reading which retains both the words, is best supported. It has been rendered in two ways. By the first the words to "Ayas are referred to the woman—" for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia.” But the neuter article rò forbids this rendering, and the idea would be a mere repetition of that immediately preceding. The neuter article permits but one translation, <for in Arabia, Hagar is (i. e. is the name of) Mount Sinai. The most learned of the late commentators say, proof is wanting that Mount Sinai was ever called Hagar. Blomfield, however, remarks that the fact is asserted by all the ancient commentators, and especially Chrysostom, himself, a native of the east. Grotius

says there was a city near Mount Sinai, called by Pliny, "Aypa, by Dion Cassius, 'Aydépa; that Strabo and Stephanus call the nation that inhabited it 'Axpañol, which was changed by the later Greeks into 'Agapnuos. If this testimony is admitted, and I know, not why it is objected to, it will indeed be true that Hagar, or rather Agar, is the name of Mount Sinai; but still there are very serious objections to the words, and objections that put their genuineness very much in question. The variety of readings, so great as to make it impossible to arrive even at strong probability as to the genuine words, is a circumstance throwing great suspicion upon it. Such variety is always a circumstance connected with interpolation: for instance, the subscriptions to the epistle. Again, its character is just that of a marginal gloss. Geographical, historical, and other notices were frequently written in the margin of manuscripts, and thence by the next copyist inserted into the text. Two or three instances will illustrate this remark. In Acts, xii. 1. after the words,“Herod the king," one copy reads, “he who was called Agrippa.” The last part of v. 10. of the same chapter, reads thus: “and they went out and descended the seven steps, and passed through one street,” &c. See also Clark on Acts, x.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »