Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

know that the luminaries there mentioned are, in the original, Aaptades ; and that the word in our translation is rendered lamps. It would be a complete instance of the Sus Minervani, were I to pretend to inform any classical scholar, that, Aaunas, is not what ordinary English readers understand by a lamp ; (what we call a lamp, being Auxros. Lat. lucerna, from which, comes lucerna dismyxos, a lamp with two nozles : trimyxos, one with three, &c. See Martial. Epig. xiv. 41. Lucerna polymixos); but Aaunas, truly signifies a torch.

“This however, being well known, a question may occur, how the oil was applied to such an instrument, or luminary, as a torch.

“Now, what occurs in India, presents us with a ready answer. When we are going to travel at night through unfrequented places in that country, where keeping up a light is very important, we do not trust ourselves to a lantern, as in a town or station; but a man is hired, who 'carries in his right hand a kind of torch, having a large head of tow, or other bibulous substance, and in his left a vessel, (the egyetoy.

Matt. xxv. 4.) out of which he keeps occa. sionally pouring oil upon the lighted tow. This makes a large, strong flame, much stronger than that of the wick of a lamp, The blaze brightens the whole path, and defies the power of rain or wind to extinguish it.

“Before I was set to thinking, by observing this, I remember sometimes inaccurately quoting Holy Scripture, by exhorting the people of a congregation to have oil in their lamps. I believe I was not singular : whereas, if we look into St. Matt. we find no such expression ; but it is there, ' Oil in their vessels with their lamps.'*

The principal use of this criticism is, that it rescues the figure of this awful parable from a great degradation, to which, in the

* Oil in their vessels with their lamps. Admitting this criticism to be correct, of which we have little doubt, it will appear by consulting the spiritual sense of the passage, that the ocyyeloy, (vessel) Matt. xxv. 4, refers to the human WILL, which is the vessel or receptacle of the DIVINE LOVE, this love being signified by the oil, which is necessary to be constantly kept in the vessel. The Majitas, lamp or torch, from which the light emanates sig. nifies the UNDERSTANDING; for this is the receptacle of DivinE TRUTH, which to every Christian is that TRUE LIGHT which enlighteneth every man wbo cometh into the world. When the human Will is thus filled with the Divine Love the vessel filled with the oil, and all the affections advaneing in purity and order, then the will, being thus filled with the divine oil, influences the Understanding in its beavenly pursuits, and produces with man that bright light, that inextinguishable flame, which not only enables him to distinguish between Truth and the dark and unwholsome mists of ignorance and falsehood, but guides him safely in all his journey through this wilderness of life, and will finally introduce him into the realms of an eternal day. Edit.

[ocr errors]

present form, it is subject, from the misapprehension that a mere English reader has of it. We know that it is the will of our blessed Lord and of the Holy Spirit, in other parts of the Scriptures, to picture that terrible event in some of the grandest descriptions that can strike upon the feelings of the hearer, or the reader; as in Matt. xxv. 31, &c.; 1 Thes, iv. 26; 2 Thess. i. 7,9. If, then, we imagine the persons to be lying down, as is usual in those countries, with the dress they happened to have on, in order to take some sleep, and all at once the great cry or shout of many voices to be set up, and ten such torches to be ignited together, making whole streets, and the houses in them, to reverberate their light, and these joined, as I conclude, by others of the bridegroom's friends; here is a striking scene, of such a kind as must have forced the attention, and thrilled the nerves of the hearer who understood the allusion. The whole representation is in harm with the grand descriptions of the same subject in the holy Word.

“There is a passage in a profane writer, to which these critical remarks apply; namely, in the Agamemnon of Æschylus, v. 91, et seq. where Clytemnestra has been lighting up the city, and the chorus wonders what it means, and says.

Αλλη ' αλλοθεν

оuooyounxns
Λαμπας ανίσχει,
Θαρμασσομενη χρισματος αγνου
Μαλακαις αδoλoσι

παρηγοριαις, ,

Πελανω μυχοθεν βασιλείω. . This is exactly the process used with our Indian torch ; only here the oil is enriched into a chrism, either for scent, or finer light, by the solution of some preparation kept in the royal store for this purpose. But the Malaxos napnaopas, or cherishing revivals, with which the instrument is anointed, answer remarkably to our application of the oil.”*

ON THE PROPOSED SUBJECT CONCERNING JEHOVAH

OR GOD THE CREATOR. AMONG the subjects proposed for consideration in your increasingly interesting Magazine, there is one couched in the following terms: viz.—"Gen. i. 1. Swedenborg in his Apoc. Expli. n. 294, translates this verse thus: “In principio creavit JEHOVAH Cælum et Terram:" In the Arcana Cælestia, n. 16, it is thus rendered : “In principio creavit Deus Cælum et Terram :". Quere, Which is the correct translation, “ creavit Jehovah, or creavit Deus ?” On this subject it may be remarked that the Latin Vulgate

* Christian Observer, March, 1826.

gives the same translation as that adopted by the above celebrated Scribe in Arc. Col. Gen. i. 1. that is,—"creavit Deus.” The Greek version also gives the above passage of Sacred Scripture thus :Εν αρχη εποιησεν ο Θεος τον ουρανον και την γην. . Here the name DEOS (Theos) is used: and as Parkhurst says ;-"The seventy have constantly (very few passages excepted) translated the plural name onbx when used for the true God, by the singular eos, never by the plural @eos.” In the New Testament also @sos generally answers to the plural of the above Hebrew word, and answers to the English word God. It may be observed too, that the Hebrew word Jehovah is by far the most frequently translated into the Greek Scriptures by the name Kupsos and this term when used in the New Testament most commonly corresponds to the name Jehovah. Thus far we see, that the Latin and Greek versions are in favour of the expressions creavit Deus,-God created. But it is yet necessary to proceed a step farther, and make the enquiry; how do these words stand in the Hebrew Scriptures ? And on refering to the place Gen. i. 1, it will be found they stand thus :Duba xua Bara Elohim, that is, literally, the Gods created, or as commonly rendered, God created, &c. and this is the true rendering; not Jehovah created, &c. for the word Jeliovah in the Hebrew stands thus nino as may be frequently seen in Gen. ii. where it first, and frequently begins to occur in the bible, and is most appropriately translated by the word Lord.

But since we see that, In principio creavit Deus Caelum et Terram, In the beginning GOD CREATED the heaven (heavens) and the earth, is the true rendering, it may next be asked, How then came Swedenborg to use the expression, “In principio JEHOVAH CREAVIT Cælum et Terram.” In order to answer this question, it will be necessary to make enquiry on what particular point his argument runs, in the place where he uses the words Jehovah created, &c. On investigating this part of the subject, Ap. Ex. 294, we find that the topic on which he is reasoning is this: “Quia Tu creasti omnia ;” Because thou hast created all things. Rev. iv. 11. Hereupon he shows that not only all existence and creation are from the Lord, but that all life is from him

The subject of discussion runs upon the word create ; not upon the particular qualities or exclusive identity of the Creator: and hence we may perhaps see why some little laxity in the use of the term Jehovah has been admitted, which, it is apprehended would not have been the case had he been treating respecting the identical character of the Lord, or concerning Divine Good or Divine Truth from him. In the above passage in the Apocalypsis Explicata, where he has cited Gen. i. 1, 2, 3, 27, he, in respect to these words of scripture,

primarily introduces them to show the signification of the words ; the creation of heaven and earth, and in elucidating the above portion of the Holy Word, he never once notices the word Jehovah, though he makes use of Deus or Dei (God) no fewer than six times. In the explicit use of terms no writer is more particular than Swedenborg especially in Arcana Cælestia.

But the word Jehovah is not the only one in the verses above mentioned wherein there is a difference between Swedenborg's translation and the original Hebrew. He gives the 2nd verse thus: “Et Terra erat vacua et inanis, et tenebræ super faciebus abyssi ; et spiritus Dei se movebat super faciebus TERRÆ.” i. e. and the earth was void and empty, and darkness upon the faces of the abyss; and the spirit of God moved itself upon the faces of the EARTH. What is here rendered earth is in the original Sin which literally, as rendered in our English version, is, the waters. This would lead us to suppose that our author, either transcribed from copies wherein these differences existed, or that he used much freedom, (as if it were from memory) when the particular word or expression upon which he was commenting did not require him to use great explicitness as to the very words or terms adopted. But these freedoms or varieties in no sense whatever militate against the doctrines he has delivered, for wherever necessity requires it, he delivers himself with much regularity, system and precision, so that ambiguity, scarcely in any degree, enters into his compositions. But let me remark, that however valuable or necessary criticisms at times may be, there is something which is far more valuable, and that is the spirit and life of the Holy Word ; and seeing we have dwelt for some time upon its outward things, it would perhaps be unpardonable not to notice its internal contents; which cannot be better or more briefly done than in the words of the New Jerusalem Scribe. For he says, “In the beginning Jehovah created the heaven and the earth; and the earth was void and empty, and darkness upon the faces of the abyss ; and the spirit of God moved itself

upon the faces of the earth. And God said, let there be light, and there was light; and God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.” Gen. i. 1, 2, 3, 27, treating there concerning the establishment of the first church on this earth; the reformation of the men of that church as to their internal and as to their external, is understood by the creation of heaven and earth in that chapter, that before there was no church, because men were without good and truth, is signified by the earth being void and empty; and that before they were in dense ignorance and also in falses, is signified by the

Vol. 1: No. 6.

N

darkness upon the faces of the ahyss; their first illumination is signified by, the spirit of God moved itself upon the faces of the earth, and God said let there be light and there was light; by the Spirit of God is signified Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord, and by to move itself upon the faces of the earth is signified illustration; the same is signified by light, and by light was made, is signified the reception of Divine Truth : that God created man in his own image, signifies that he was in the love of good and of truth, and corresponded to heaven and its likeness, for the love of good and of truth is an image of God, and hence also the angelic heaven is an image of God, why also the angelic heaven is in the sight of the Lord as one man, may be seen in the work concerning heaven and hell, n, 59 to 76, &c. That he created them male and female signifies that he reformed them as to truth and as to good, male denotes truth and female denotes good. From these considerations it appears, that it is not the creation of heaven and. earth, but the new creation or reformation of the men of the first, church," Ap. Ex. 294. Such is the edifying instruction resulting from the contemplation of the internal beauties of the Holy Word, which bear testimony, beyond all mere external criticisms and evidence, that it is in reality spirit and life to all those who receive the same with genuine affection of heart.

T. P. H.

TRINITARIAN VIEWS OF THE DEITY. Just views of God are essentially necessary to christian welfare ; but we do not apprehend that any one will be condemned for mistaken notions, or incorrect forms of faith : “this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.” John iii. 19. Believing in the promise of our Saviour to his enquiring disciples, “ behold the time cometh when I will shew you plainly of the Father;" John xvi. 25., and being firmly and rationally convinced on the testimony of the sacred Word as now revealed in the doctrine, concerning the Lord, that there is only one God on the throne of heaven, and that it is he of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke, ix. 6. “ Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and his name shall be called the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace;" we shall undertake to point out the errors into whịch christians have fallen with regard to their ideas of God. And in doing this we trust we are influenced by no other motive than the love of truth for its own sake, and the desire of making known those heavenly doctrines which are at this day revealed.

« EdellinenJatka »