Sivut kuvina

Scriptures, in contradistinction from the Septuagint, Veritas Hebraica ; and when he undertook a translation, he translated from the Hebrew. Origen was of the same opinion with Jerome. It is also well known, that the Jews always cherished a profound veneration for the Hebrew Scriptures.

Designed alterations resulted from erroneous judgment, from a false opinion in transcribers that they were supplying defects or correcting mistakes. Transcribers might intend to improve a word or phrase, not perhaps regarding the peculiarity of idiom in the sacred writers. They might also purpose to complete an account in one book by supplying from another. They might even alter the quotations in the New Testament from the Old, in accordance with their own copy of the Septuagint. There was also a custom of writing notes in the margin of manuscripts; some of which notes might have been, in subsequent copies, transferred into the text. These notes consisted of geographical, historical, or chronological, or even of doctrinal observations. Difference of orthography likewise in respect to Vav and Yodh, in pointed Hebrew manuscripts, would occasion various readings.

It would thus seem that diversity of readings in respect to words and phrases ought to be expected as the natural result of frequent transcription. This manner of accounting for various readings must certainly go far towards allaying the fears which the first mention of the subject often excites. But we proceed to the more distinct consideration of the question, whether the great abundance of various readings which the critical investigation of manuscripts has brought to light, is a just cause of aların ?

Here then let it be noted, that what have been called various readings, have been needlessly inultiplied. The distinction between mere errata and real various readings has not always been duly regarded. It may be difficult to draw precisely the line of distinction between the mere errors of the copyist, and those departures from any adopted text which are worthy of a more important designation. Still, if any variation from an adopted test can manifestly be traced to mere mistake in the transcriber, it certainly is not entitled to notice, excepting as affording a means of estimating the value of the manuscript in which it occurs.

Again, many various readings are merely different modes of orthography. Of the multitude of various readings in Hebrew manuscripts, it has been stated that nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand relate merely to the use of the Vav or Youh in the syllables which may have them or not, without impropriety.

Looking now simply at those variations which are confessedly of importance, it should be remembered by us that manuscripts were written in countries and at periods of time widely distinct from each other, and by individuals of exceedingly various character. If now every manuscript presented exactly the same text without variation), might we not be justly called upon to make our choice between two causes which could produce this result, viz., the miraculous interposition of the Divine Being, or a concerted plan of certain interested persons to gain a favorite object? To prove the miraculous interposition would indeed be difficult; and to disprove the charge of a concerted plan might be attended with serious difficulty. As the matter now stands, we are not called upon to prove miraculous intervention ; and we may safely leave opposers of revelation to explain how such a quantity of manuscripts, written at so many different and remote places and times, and by so niany different individuals, unknown to each other, though all having certain differences from one another, should yet all agree in the leading historical facts, and in the preceptive and the doctrinal statements which they communicate, in some other way than by the authenticity and genuineness of the sacred records.

But this is not the only advantage gained by various readings. Various readings in the manuscripts prove of course that the Scriptures have been repeatedly copied, and that numerous copies of various dates are extant and accessible. Now the more numerous the copies of an ancient work, the greater is the probability of attaining a genuine text. The remarks of Dr. Bentley, as quoted in Horne's Introduction, Vol. II, p. 310, note, are exactly in point. “In profane authors, as they are called, whereof one manuscript only had the luck to be preserved, as Velleius Paterculus among the Latins, and Hesychius among the Greeks, the faults of the scribes are found so numerolis, and the defects so beyond all redress, that notwithstandVOL. XIII. —NO. LII.


ing the pains of the learnedest and acutest critics for two whole centuries, those books still are, and are likely to continue, a mere heap of errors. On the contrary, where the copies of any author are numerous, though the various readings always increase in proportion, there the text, by an accurate collation of them made by skilful and judicions hands, is ever the more correct and comes nearer to the true words of the author.” What has thus been found true in classical literature, will be acknowledged also in sacred literature by those whose occupations have led them to cultivate this branch of learning.

Various readings, then, injure not the inspiration of the Sacred Volume; they impair not its credibility. They do indeed decisively prove that the inspired records have not enjoyed, just as other divine blessings have not enjoyed, a miraculous intervention to exempt them from the necessary results of human imperfection; and such a miraculous intervention, neither the Scriptures themselves, nor their judicious advocates, pretend to claim.

But let us not now verge to the other extreme, and regard the collecting of various readings in Biblical manuscripts as merely learned trifling, unfit to occupy the thoughts and the time of cultivated and pious minds. Does not the scholar wish that his copies of the Greek and the Roman classics may be as perfect as an extensive collation of manuscripts can make them ? And does he not think with gratitude of the labors which have been bestowed upon the collation of manuscripts, and the endeavor this to lay before him the very thoughts and words of a favorite author ? And shall not Christian scholars contemplate with gratitude the laborious and patient researches which are intended to exhibit as perfectly as possible the words of him who taught as never man taught, and of those men in whom dwelt his Spirit, moving them to make the record of his will ? Shall we account any labor trifling, which may contribute in any degree to exhibit those "Scriptures which are able to make us wise unto salvation ?"



Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them

that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. Romans 5: 14.

ANALOGY enters largely into the composition of all argument. Especially is this the case when the subject to be presented is a new one. Indeed, without its aid it is difficult to perceive how any new thought can be presented to the niind, or any new subject submitted for its investigation. The things or thoughts which are unknown are submitted to the mind by their analogy to things which are known.

Analogy is the only ladder by which we are enabled to ascend to the contemplation of heavenly things. And it may be doubted whether, without its aid, a description, or revelation of things unseen, is, or can be given. It is, so to speak, the only bridge on which we can go out one inch beyond the grave.

So far as argument is concerned, analogy may be fictitious or real. In the parables of Christ, and in most parabolic instruction, the basis of the analogy is supposititious. But in many cases, figurative analogy is founded in fact. Thus, Abraham and his covenant of circumcision are analogous to Christ and his covenant of grace. And so Hagar and Sarah are figures of the law and of grace, of bond and free churches. See Gal. 4: 24. So in this case, the analogy is founded in fact. The apostle presents Christ and his relation to his people, in his work of redemption, to us by an analogical reference to Adam, in his position and relations to his posterity, as the figure of him who was to come. It is on the ground of this analogy that Christ is called the second Adam.

To ascertain the extent and limitation of this analogy between the two will be the aim of this brief essay.

This analogy consists in the fact,

First. That they are alike the generative heads of a posterity. Whatever is peculiar in the personal character of man is regarded as derived from Adam. Thus it is said, that “Adam begat a son in his own likeness.” And again, in 2 Cor. 15: 47, where this analogy is a matter of special reference, it is said, “ The first man is of the earth, earthy," and "as is the earthy, such are they, also, that are earthy.” The character of the head is stamped upon all the members.

So also in the passage at the head of this article, “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death hath passed upon all, for that all have sinned." Here it is asserted that sin so entered by that one man as to attach itself to and to assume an active form in all his posterity! In his entire progeny there is no exception; "all have sinned." The empire of death is bounded by the extent of sin. It could only pass upon all, as "all had sinned.” But how have they all sinned? Sin is the transgression of the law, and the law is transgressed in one of two ways. It is either by a positive violation of its precepts, or by an inherent state of the mind which is opposed to the law itself. It must have been transgressors of the latter description to whom the apostle alludes, when he says, “even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression.” Over such, as well as positive transgressors of the divine precepts, death reigned. That is, death reigned over infants and such as died without an opportunity for the development of the inherent principle of sin in the transgression of preceptive law. It was in this, (as well as a more summary way, which will be noticed in its place,) that “by one man's sin many were made sinaers." In that transgression our concentrated nature fell-was changed. It then imbibed a moral taint or sinful tendency, which, by the mysterious power of propagation, flows on through all his posterity. So inherent and abiding is this law of moral propagation that not a bud, or branch from this degenerate stock, has been free from this moral taint-this never failing tendency to evil. And this is sin-original sin. Passive and guiltless it may appear to the eye of the philosopher, and to the metaphysician, but to the eye of God, and to his holy law, sinpositive and active. Nor does the eye of death, who

« EdellinenJatka »