Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

instance, and our parable suggests a similar one. It was customary for the common people to feast on the animals so sacrificed, after the fat had been offered by fire to the Lord and certain other parts assigned as the priests' portion. The typical aspect of these animals, so sacrificed, looked not ultimately to the death of Christ (for many animals were wont to be so sacrificed at once), but to the destruction and spoiling of all the enemies of God's people, the great pacification which He by destroying the enemies of peace should bring about. These enemies the animals typified in the sacrifices, and these they allegorize in our parable. And to say that they are slain and ready to be served up and eaten, is to intimate that their antitypes are brought to nought, and their strong-holds ready for spoliation. This was the message of the second set of servants, after that Christ had through death, whereby Satan had hoped to be victor, destroyed him that had the power of death, and subjected to himself the invisible powers and principalities of wickedness and oppression ; thus putting out the life and soul of all visible forms of oppression, and leaving them like slain victims ready to be served up and eaten. For what was the Roman domination, or any other visible oppression, if the devil were vanquished, but a slain victim, a body without its breath ? And when Israel shall be willing in the day of Christ's power, shall they not banquet on all such? So should they erst have done, had they been willing to come to the King's feast : for, I repeat that to taste of that feast meant to eat in the reality of present glory; and Israel was summoned to come and eat. [I do not overlook an objection which many would here urge; but to obviate it now would lead me to anticipate nearly all which I have to say concerning the second part of the parable.]

Verse 5 : “But they made light of it, and went their ways,” &c. - These unwilling guests, having, as is implied by ver. 3, originally accepted the King's invitation, must be supposed to refuse ñow to

to his feast for some other reason than because they despise his table, for the persuasion of his second summons stands in the assurance that “ all things are ready;” and it is this assurance of the readiness of the feast which they of.” The messengers said, Come, for the oxen and fatlings are slain ;” but they, as it were, said, 'Except the flesh of those beasts, made ready for the table, be brought unto us, we will not come. So said the Jews in their unbelief, who would fain have had displayed to their sense' in the flesh what was proposed to their faith in the spirit. But faith is the substance of things unseen, and these guests saw nothing which to their minds could assure them that the feast was ready ; and so they made light of the message, that the feast was ready, or (to recur to our

come

“ made light

ways" of

synonyme) that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. They made light of the assurance, and “would not come”- that is, would not repent—but “ went their ways,” that is, continued to sin after their several inclinations. And the verse which we are considering, with the following, distributes the sinful people into three classes ; for I must suppose that all the three“ ways their own which the guests went are of special application, since the third of them (ver. 6) is so in fact. The first two went their own ways : one, els toy còlov aypov,“ to his own farm or field;" the other, Eis TNV Epitoplav avrov, “to his merchandize or trading.” The first suggests a cultivator of the soil at home; the second, a trafficker with strangers. The first went his way, from the hearing of what he deemed an idle message, to mind his own local interest ; the second did likewise to follow up the speculations which he had entered upon with strangers. The one seems to intend that portion of the people whose prejudices were peculiarly national, whose zeal was peculiarly Jewish, who went away from the foolishness of preaching to look with carnal eyes to their own scheme of subsistence in Judaism : the other, that portion of the people which, falling easily into the state of things brought about by Roman intercourse and dependence, might be said to have a subsistence in Romanism. That two such classes existed, cannot be disputed; and, did our space permit, mach might be said to shew the propriety of the application : suffice it, however, that both stupidly hastened away to their respective schemes of subsistence, as more solid matters of concern than the idle message of the King's servants.

Ver. 6: But the remnant, or such as were not included in the two former kinds, which may be said generically to include all honest callings-the remnant, an idle and malicious set, without a regular way of subsistence (signifying neither bigoted Jews nor easy Romanizers, but such as hated truth for itself rather than neglected it for other matters)—these went not their ways, as the former, but “took the King's servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.” And, presuming that the reader needs no proof of the treatment answering to this which the preachers of the Gospel of Christ's kingdom received at the hands of the more wicked of the Jewish populace, I am content to add the issue of the whole matter, as far as they were concerned : That when the wickedness of the people, thus fully manifested, came up before the

Father, he commissioned the Roman armies to go forth, under Titus Cæsar, and to slay those wicked ones, and to destroy their city, Jerusalem.

Such is the sum of the first part of our parable, which I must here break off from considering; reserving the remainder for another paper, in which I trust the reader will find what has been here urged corroborated by many considerations.

G.A.S.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

TESTIMONY OF THE FATHERS TO THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT. An opinion appears to prevail very generally in the church, that what are called the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost ceased with the immediate successors of the Apostles; but that such was not the case, will, it is trusted, appear evident from the following extracts from the writings of the Christian Fathers of the first three centuries. The extracts have all been carefully made from the originals, and the translations given are, with one exception, which will be noticed in its place, taken from the xiiith chapter of Biscoe's Boyle Lectures

on the Acts of the Apostles, delivered in the years 1736-7-8. These translations, from the pen of an eminent English divine who lived about eighty years ago, have been preferred

to any new rendering of the passages, not only on account of their general correctness, but in order that those persons who are not acquainted with the Greek and Latin languages may feel satisfied that these extracts are not presented to them so construed as to suit the views of any sect or party. The following are the Fathers from whose works the quotations are made; and the dates, taken from Cave's Lives of the Fathers, shew the years in which the authors died :

Justin Martyr: died A. D. 165.
Irenæus : died in 202.
Tertullian : some of his writings bear date A. D. 207 and

208, but the time of his death is uncertain.
Origen: died A. D. 254.
Cyprian: died in 258.
Arnobius: was converted about A. D. 303, and is supposed

to have been alive in 327. Lactantius : is supposed to have died in 316. The immediate friends and successors of the Apostles, such as Ignatius and Polycarp, are generally allowed to have possessed the power of working miracles : no reference need therefore be made to their writings; and particularly as there is a translation, by Archbishop Wake, of what are called the Apostolical Epistles of Saints Ignatius, Barnabas, Clement, and Polycarp. St. John, the last of the Apostles, is supposed, according to St. Jerome, to have died sixty-eight years after our Lord's crucifixion, which event took place A. D. 33—or, as some say, four years later-so that St. John's death may be placed in A. D. 101 or 105; and on comparing these dates with those

assigned by Cave as the years in which the Fathers quoted from died, it will be evident that signs and miracles were performed by Christians who could not have received from the last of the Apostles the imposition of hands, by which, as it has been asserted, though without sufficient foundation, the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost could alone be conferred. The first Father quoted from is Justin Martyr, whose testimony is also brought forward by Archbishop Wake, in the xth chapter, 12th section, of his Preliminary Discourse to his translation of the Apostolical Epistles, in proof that miracles were truly performed in the church after the Apostolic times. Justin Martyr thus writes :

« Και νύν εκ των υπ' όψιν γινο- “ And this you may even μενων μαθεϊν δυνασθε. δαιμονιο- now learn from those things ληπτοις γαρ πολλοις κατα παντα which happen under your view. τον κοσμον, και εν τη μετερα πολει, For many of our Christians, πολλοι των ημετερων ανθρωπων των adjuring the demons by the Χριστιανών, επορκιζοντες κατα του

name of Jesus Christ, who was ονοματος Ιησού Χριστού του σταυ

crucified under Pontius Pilate, ρωθεντος επι Ποντιου Πιλατου, υπο

have healed, and now do heal, των αλλων παντων επορκιστών και επαστών και φαρμακευτών μη ια

many that were possessed by θεντας ιασαντο, και ετι νυν ιωνται,

demons through the whole καταργούντες και εκδιωκοντες τους

world and in your city, disapκατεχοντας τους ανθρωπους δαιμο- pointing and chasing away the vas."— Apologia i. p. 45, A of demons which had possessed the Paris Edition.

them; and this when they could not be healed by any other exorcists and enchanters

and sorcerers.' Again he says:

« Παρα γαρ ημίν και μεχρι νύν With us the prophetic gifts προφητικα χαρισματα εστιν. εξ ου remain even to this day; whence και αυτοι συνιεναι οφειλετε, ότι τα ye ought to understand, that παλαι εν τω γενει υμών οντα εις they, though formerly in your ημάς μετετέθη.-Dialog. cum

nation, are transferred to us.” Tryphone, p. 308, B.

« Και παρ ημίν εστιν ιδείν και “ With us also are to be seen θηλειας, και αρσενας χαρισματα από both men and women having του πνεύματος του θεού εκοντας.” gifts from the Spirit of God.” -Ibid. p. 315, Β.

Irenæus thus writes :
« Διο και εν τω εκεινου ονόματι

« The true disciples of Jesus, οι αληθώς αυτού μαθηται, παρ αυτού receiving favour from him, λαβοντες την χαριν, επιτελούσιν επ' perform works for the benefit ευεργεσια τη των λοιπών ανθρωπων, of other men, as every one hath καθως είς έκαστος αυτών την δωρεαν received the gift from Him. ειληφε παρ αυτόυ. οι

μεν γαρ
δαι-

For some cast out devils truly

And again: :

μονας ελαυνουσι βεβαιως και αλη. and really, so that oftentimes θώς, ώστε πολλακις και πιστεύειν the persons who were cleansed αυτους εκείνους τους καθαρισθεντας from those evil spirits have απο των πονηρών πνευματων, και themselves believed, and are in ειναι εν τη εκκλησια. Οι δε και the church. Others have the προγνωσιν εχουσι των μελλοντων, knowledge of things future, και οπτασιας, και ρησεις προφητικας. Αλλοι δε τους καμνοντας δια της

and visions, and prophecies.

Others, by the laying on of των χειρών επιθεσεως ιώνται, και

their hands, heal the sick, and υγιείς αποκαθιστάσιν. ηδη δε, καθως εφαμεν, και νεκροι ηγερθησαν, και

restore their health. Also, as παρεμειναν συν ημίν έκανοίς ετεσι.

we have before said, even the Adversus Hæreses, lib. ii.

dead are raised, and have con

tinued with us many years." And again : « Καθως και πολλών ακουομεν

As also we hear many. αδελφών εν τη εκκλησια προφητικα brethren in the church having χαρισματα εχοντων, και παντοδα- prophetical gifts, and speaking παίς λαλουντων δια του πνευματος by the Spirit all kinds of lanγλωσσαις, και τα κρυφια των αν

guages, and revealing the secrets θρωπων εις φανερον αγοντων επι το

of men for public good, and συμφεροντι, και τα μυστήρια του Θεού εκδιηγουμενων.” – Lib. V.

expounding the mysteries of God."

Cap. 57.

Cap. 6.

Biscoe translates the above passage in the past time, thus : “We have heard many brethren in the church who had the gift of prophecy :” but the verb akovojev is the present tense, and the other verbs are in the present participle. The verb akovw governs a genitive of the person. The translation, therefore, which has now been given of the passage-namely, “We hear many brethren” –is as correct as if rendered «We hear of many brethren having prophetic gifts;" and, indeed, the contexts shew that Irenæus speaks of manifestations of the Spirit which he himself had witnessed in the church.

Tertullian thus writes of the miraculous operations of the Holy Ghost in the age in which he lived :

“Et quanti honesti viri [de “ How many men of note vulgaribus enim non dicimus] and rank [for we speak not of aut à dæmoniis aut à valetu- the vulgar] have been delivered dinibus remediati sunt. Ipse from demons, or cured of disetiam Seuerus, pater Antonini, eases ! Even Severus himself, Christianorum

fuit. the father of Antoninus, was Nam et Proculum Christianum, mindful of the Christians : for qui Torpacion cognominabatur, he diligently sought out ProEuhodiæ procuratorem, qui eum culus, a Christian, who was per oleum aliquando curauerat, surnamed Torpazion, procurator requisiuit et in palatio suo of Euhodia, who had formerly habuit

usque ad mortem ejus : cured him by anointing him

memor

« AnteriorContinuar »