صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

of the doctrine of types and literal prophecies. We have been accustomed to look upon the passage, where John (xix. 36,) quotes the injunction relative to the Paschal Lamb, and applies it to Christ, ("neither shall ye break a bone thereof," Exodus xix. 46,) as one of the plainest instances of a most natural application of language, which was in every body's lips, to a similar case. Dr. Bloomfield, however, in his note on the passage, thinks otherwise. He says;

"That the Evangelist did mean to represent the Paschal Lamb as a type of Christ, and consequently that such must be the only true view, no person who fairly considers the words can doubt. What can offer so probable a reason for the otherwise unaccountable injunction, that not a bone of the Paschal Lamb should be broken, as that it might point to the sacrifice of that Lamb, as a type of the sacrifice of Christ ?"

We would ask if there is anything more unaccountable in the injunction that the bones of the lamb at the celebration of the Passover should not be broken, than in the other injunctions attending the yearly ceremony? It was to keep in the memory of the Jews their safe and sudden deliverance from Egypt; therefore they were to eat while standing, prepared with scrip and sandals, as if ready for a journey. Every thing was to be expressive of haste, consequently they were not to carry the flesh of the lamb from house to house, nor to break its bones to extract the sweet marrow.

In conformity with the fundamentals of his Church, Dr. Bloomfield would prove that the seven deacons, who were chosen (Acts vi.) to take from the Apostles the burden of distributing the necessaries of life to the poor among the early Christians, were invested with ecclesiastical as well as with secular authority. He bases his argument upon these three points; — that the Apostles directed the brethren to select seven men, who, as our Translation expresses the original, were "full of the Holy Ghost;" that the functionaries were ordained by the laying on of hands; and that some of them did in fact exercise spiritual functions. These arguments have often been satisfactorily answered. We leave it to be decided by every attentive reader of Scripture, whether the term and the office of deacon do not better apply to those officers in the Congregational Churches who distribute the elements at

the Lord's Supper, and attend to the secular concerns of the body, its registers and its charities, than to the ordained candidate for the ministry in the Church of England.

Dr. Bloomfield is most zealous in the support of two out of the three interpolated texts, which, in spite of all the disclaimers of Trinitarians, are most relied upon for the support of their peculiar doctrine. In Acts xx. 28, he retains the reading Θεοῦ Κυρίου. so in preference to Kugiov. Let any one, however, examine the argument even in his own statement of it, and we think he will deny that the evidence preponderates in favor of Dr. Bloomfield's reading.

Dr. Bloomfield likewise in I. Timothy iii. 16, retains eos in preference to ös or 8, and says that "Griesbach edited ős without any sufficient reason; for the external evidence in favor of it is next to nothing." This assertion is certainly most unwarrantaable. Against Dr. Bloomfield, by his own confession, are arrayed three Manuscripts of Griesbach's most valued Recension, namely, the Occidental, besides most of the Versions, all the Latin, and a fair proportion of the Greek Fathers. Is this "next to nothing?" The matter rests in no small measure upon the lawful or unlawful position of a little stroke in the o of oz of the Codex Alexandrinus. It is well known that the stroke has been retouched by a modern hand; but it is contended that there was one there before. Messrs. Berriman, Hewitt, and Pilkington, armed with a spy-glass and assisted by a bright sun ray shining upon the book, thought that they could detect the old transverse line. Mill, too, who in a first inspection failed to discover it, in a second thought he succeeded; but Wetstein, accompanied by a friend, could not find it, and supposed that Mill was deceived by the line of an Epsilon shining through the transparent vellum. But Woide testifies that the position of the Epsilon will not justify this dodging of the argument.

Finally, of the celebrated passage I. John v. 7, Dr. Bloomfield had said, in his "Recensio Synoptica," "To me it appears probable that the verses are genuine ; but I am inclined to agree with the learned Bishops Horsley and Middleton, that they will, if genuine, not decidedly prove the doctrine of the Trinity, and therefore by far too much anxiety about the determination of the critical question, as to their authenticity, has been felt and expressed by the Orthodox in general." Mr. Valpy marks the text with "possible spuriousness and ex

punction," though he inclines in favor of its genuineness. He likewise says, "It has been a question with many, whether a too pertinacious, at least too warm a zeal, has not been shown by some, to secure the authenticity of this text, as if the doctrine it contained rested solely on its authority. For, as Dr. Bentley observes, if the fourth century knew that text, let it come in, in God's name; but if that age did not know it, then Arianism at its height, was beat down without the help of that verse; and let the fact prove as it will, the doctrine is unshaken." Dr. Burton in his edition inclines against the genuineness of the verse.

Dr. Bloomfield is remarkably concise in his remarks upon the passage in his present work. We would ask his purpose when he refers the reader to eight of the best authorities in support of the authenticity of the verse, and to only four of the writers against it, and they too of the least weight. Again; we think there is some unfairness in what follows; "I must content myself with laying before the reader two paraphrases of the whole passage, one without, and the other with, the disputed portion." Sir Isaac Newton is selected as the champion against the verse, and he is arrayed against Bishop Burgess for it! Dr. Bloomfield's conclusion is ominous of future volumes on the question-"we are neither authorized to receive the passage as indubitably genuine, nor, on the other hand, to reject it as indubitably spurious; but to wait for further evidence." From what quarter he expects it, he does not say. Is this a proper conclusion to such a discussion?

We admire the candor which is displayed by the organ of a body of the English Dissenters, famed for its Orthodoxy, in reference to this Text. "From the very commencement of its existence, the Eclectic Review has opposed itself to the intrusion of a passage into the Greek Text of the New Testament, the admission of which would require the surrender of the soundest principles of criticism, and leave us no longer in the possession of those rules of evidence which enable us to determine the genuine readings of ancient writings. We have not seen any reason in our latest examination of the arguments and representations urged by the advocates of the verse, to alter our judgment in respect to its character. But while they have left us to retain, without change or abatement, our view of the whole subject, some of the publications put forth in defence of the rejected passage have furnished us with very

[ocr errors]

sufficient ground for remarking, that other arguments have been used in its support than those which could be derived from the application of critical learning.” *

G. E. E.

ART. IV.-Cours de Droit Naturel, professé à la Facultié des Lettres de Paris, par M. TH. JOUFFROY. Premiere partie. Prolegomènes àu Droit Naturel. 2 Tomes; 8vo. Paris: 1834 et 1835.

BEFORE proceeding to a special examination of these very interesting and valuable volumes on the ground of Moral Obligation, we propose to offer a few remarks on philosophy in general, and on French Eclecticism in particular. We do this because both, in our estimation, are somewhat misapprehended, and, as a consequence of being misapprehended, they receive far too little or else a wrong kind of consideration.

We almost every day meet people by no means deficient in good sense and general information, who entertain strong prejudices against philosophy, and manifest no slight contempt for all philosophical pursuits. These people, in general, profess a great attachment to common sense, and count it a great piece of folly to look for anything superior to that. In their estimation, philosophy is mere speculation, and to philosophize is merely to construct, out of the phantasies of one's own brain, various and ever-varying hypotheses on God, the human soul, and human duty and destiny; hypotheses which disdain the aid of fact and experience, and which, however pleasing they may be to the professed metaphysician, can answer no good purpose in practical life, and must ever vanish away before the first breath of common sense. They therefore regard philosophy as a vain pretence, as a worthless pursuit, and not only as worthless but mischievous, inasmuch as it consumes that time and thought which we need for other purposes. If they be right, we are most certainly wrong in filling up any portion of our pages with notices of philosophical works; and did we be

* Eclectic Review, Third Series, Vol. 111,, p. 169,

lieve them right, we should by no means take the trouble to review philosophical works, or even to read them.

But, with all becoming modesty be it said, we do not believe that they are right. Their conclusions appear to us to be drawn from false premises. Their objections to philosophy are founded on mistaken views of what philosophy really is, of what is its legitimate province, and of what, in point of fact, it professes to be able to accomplish. Unless we have ourselves greatly misapprehended it, philosophy is something widely different from mere speculation. The true philosopher eschews all hypothesis as scrupulously as the good man eschews evil. He is far from doing business on credit, from speculating on merely fictitious capital; he must have facts, good substantial facts; and when his stock of facts is exhausted and he feels unable to increase it, he retires from business, and counts his work achieved. He does not undertake to manufacture the truth, nor does he profess to have any means of discovering it, which are not equally within the reach of every one who will but use the faculties which God has given him. Philosophy originates and can originate none of our ideas. It works and must work with materials which have been furnished without its aid, and which are furnished to the simplest ploughboy in equal quantity and variety as to the profoundest philosopher. The difference between the philosopher and the mere common sense man does not consist in the fact, that the one has any means of knowing or any ideas which the other has not, but in the fact, that the one does and the other does not know, does not comprehend what he knows. The common sense man knows as much of the nature of things, of God, the soul, man and man's destinies as the philosopher; but his knowledge is vague, obscure, confused, and independent of his control; whereas the philosopher's knowledge is clear, definite, precise, and entirely subject to his will.

This distinction is intelligible, and in our estimation very important. Men who find, when they want them, all the great truths needed for the chief practical purposes of life, and who, nevertheless, are not conscious of having ever philosophized at all, are not a little puzzled to discover the very great worth which the philosopher ascribes to his favorite pursuit; but we think their difficulties would be in a great measure removed, if they would observe the distinction we have here indicated, distinguish between knowing and comprehending, and learn

« السابقةمتابعة »