Page images

should bind on earth should be Ministers. This is true ; but nei. bound in heaven, &c.; which is ther in the passage now cited, nor exactly the same as he had said to in any other, is there evidence that Peter "singly; and serves to show, Christ bas delegated his royal authat the promise, mean what it thority to any : nor is it necessary; might, was not given to Peter only. for he is always and everywhere preThe third passage shall be examined sent to reign over his people. But afterwards; and, passing by the no this manner of expressing incommumination of Peter, and the mention nicable prerogative was familiar to of the gates of hades, we confine the Jews, and is found in their our attention, for the present, to ancient writings, of which the folthe matter of the keys.

lowing are examples, overlooked, as Our first inquiry must be after it would seem, by the commentators the signification of the metaphor, on these passages. The author of which is variously employed in holy the Jerusalem Targum on Gen. Scripture; and this is the more Xxx. 22 writes thus : “ There are easily ascertained, as the theological four keys delivered into the hand of language of the synagogue coincides, the Lord, who is the ruler of all the in the present instance, with that of world, which he does not intrust to the Prophets and Evangelists. In any angel or seraph: the key of short, the “ key” denotes either the rain, the key of nourishment, the faculty of teaching, or that of go- key of the sepulchres, and the key verning. There are gubernative and of barrenness.” This he illusmagisterial keys; and they may use trates by scriptural reference, in the the latter, to whom it is not permit- usual manner of the Targumists. ted to handle the former. Here fol. And in the Talmudical Tracts, low two sets of illustrative exam. Sanhedrin, and Taánit, it is laid ples :

down as a doctrine to be rememThe faculty of governing is thus bered in the conduct of human expressed in a prophecy of Isaiah : affairs, and in the offering of prayer, “I will call my servant Eliakim the that “there are three keys in the son of Hilkiah : and I will clothe hand of the holy blessed One, which him with thy robe, and strengthen are not given into the hands of any him with thy girdle, and I will com Minister: and these are, the key of mit thy government into his hand: life, the key of the resurrection of and he shall be a father to the inhas the dead, the key of rains, and some bitants of Jerusalem, and to the say the key of sustenance.”+ The house of Judah. And the key of same truth is expressed in the words the house of David will I lay upon of Christ: “I have the keys of his shoulder; so he shall open, and hell” (or hades) “and of death." none shall shut ; and he shall shut, (Rev. i. 18.) On which place Wetand none shall open.” (xxii. 20—22.) stein brings a valuable collection of That is, he shall be an absolute passages, similar to these now cited. King, like other eastern Sovereigns. And as the Rabbin will say that But the power of our Lord Jesus God does not confide the keys of Christ over his church is absolute; government unto any creature ; 80 and in his Epistle to the church at does Christ say that he does not Philadelphia, dictated to John the confide the keys of his own incomDivine, he claims this honour and municable authority to any man. dignity for himself alone ; and does so in the very style of the prophecy: These things saith he that is holy, , 727, 789 Innbo 1997

, : of David,” (being King.) " he that openeth, and no man shutteth ; and

'. shutteth, and no

.” (Rev. iii. 7.) It might be said, that nnon ono noon nabo izum 3w delegate the executive to inferior



עלמא ;" ולא מסי יתהון לא למלאן he that is true

he that hath the key
זלא לשוף מפתח מטרא
פרנסה מפתח קבריא מפתח עקרתא :
ולא נמסרו לידי שליח והם מפתח "

.man openeth
+ שלשה מפתחות בידו של הק"ב

ויש אומרים מפתח של even an absolute Sovereign might גשמים פרנסה :

He openeth, and no man shutteth; the emblems of his office. And be shutteth, and no man openeth. the Saviour elsewhere uses impliHence it follows that he did not citly the same figure, when he give to Peter, nor to the other disci- charges on the Pharisees the sin of ples, the keys of absolute authority having “shut up” the kingdom of to admit into his church, or to ex heaven-not heaven itself, but the clude from it; and it is worthy of enjoyment of true religion-against observation, that it was with refer- the people. ence to a question of church com Although the verbs “shut,” or munion that the Apostle of the cir- “lock,” and “open,” or “unlock,” cumcision displayed so culpable a would seem

most consistent with weakness, that St. Paul withstood the idea of a key, the inspired bim to his face, because he was to writers, both of the Old and New be blamed ; (Gal. ii. 11 ;) for through Testament, prefer to say bind,” fear of the Jews he would have dis- and “ loose.” But a few examples, owned the Gentile converts, by deal out of the many which might be ing with them as if they were ex adduced, will assist the English communicate. This is much the reader to understand the phrasesame as if one Priest should absolve ology of the passages before us. It a dying person, and another refuse is said, in Psalm cv. 21, 22, that him absolution. Would such an Pharaoh made Joseph “the Lord of one be bound over to hell, or would his house, and ruler of all his subhe be loosed for heaven? For each stance, to bind his Princes at his Priest, being episcopally ordained, pleasure, and teach his Senators is said to have power to bind or wisdom." But it does not appear loose committed unto him, and his from the history, nor can it be reaact is said to be ratified in heaven. sonably supposed, that Joseph did Our Oxonian Doctors might say, literally bind the Princes of the

Send the man to purgatory, until Egyptian court at his pleasure ; nor the Church shall prevail for his deli- that his Sovereign would have dared verance by her suffrages.”

to invest him with such a dangerous The faculty of teaching with au- and unnecessary prerogative. But thority, pronouncing judgment ex the exegetical clause, And teach officio, or propounding doctrine his Senators wisdom," defines the ex cathedrá, is indicated by the same meaning of so remarkable an attriemblem. It was mentioned by bution of authority. The SeptuaChrist when reproving the Jewish gint translators understood it in teachers : “Woe unto you, lawyers ! this sense, and, accordingly, renfor ye have taken away the key of dered the Hebrew thus : Toù knowledge : ye entered not in your wardevoai tous õpxovras aŭtoù ws selves, and them that were entering avtòv, “To teach his Princes as in ye hindered.” (Luke xi. 52.) himself;" reading Ywasinstead of They were much like their modern wo33— With the Septuagint agree successors. They neither taught the Ethiopic, St. Jerome, the Itala, well themselves, nor did it please the Vulgate, the Mozarabic Psalter, them that any other should; nay, and, in short, all the published not even Christ. That the “ key, Latin versions and Fathers, who in this place, signifies the office of agree in rendering, Ut erudiret Printeaching, is illustrated by an appo- cipes, &c., “That he might teach site sentence from the tract Semacót, bis Princes,” &c. : so that there are, which Lightfoot and others after a host of witnesses attesting that him produce :

“ When Samuel the “to bind” signifies “to teach.” Less died, they hung the key and Another host of modern translators the note-book of the deceased on might be appealed to; but one of his bier," (that is, to be buried with them, Martin Luther, shall speak him, as were old synagogue-books lately with Rabbi Herschel, of Lon.

. don)

“ because he had no successor,"--no one worthy to carry

: Vol. XXIII. Third Series. JUNE, 1844.

2 K

• כשמות שמואל קטין תלו מפתחו ופנקטו של מת בארונו מפני שלא דיה לו בן :

for all : Dass er seine Fürsten unter binders and loosers committed them. weise nach seiner weise, “ That he selves, by that evasion, into a tacit might instruct his Princes after his acknowledgment confirmatory of our own manner.” And sometimes the exposition of the figure. verb has the sense of prohibition, as Perhaps it is the universal manin the Targuin of Onkelos on Num. ner of the Orientals to employ these xi. 28, where the Hebrew of “My verbs in the same sense.

One senLord Moses, forbid them,” is ren. tence from the History of the Dy. dered by the Chaldee 199708 " bind nasties, by Abool Faraj, a writer of them."

the thirteenth century, may be proPerhaps the phrase came into use duced here. Describing a persecuafter the Babylonish captivity, as tion suffered by some Jews, he says, part of the artificial phraseology “He who yesterday was a person in then engrafted on the Hebrew. authority, and bound and loosed, and There is an interesting example of was clothed in splendid apparel, is the corresponding unbind in the to-day clad in sackcloth, and blackBook of Daniel. When the mys ens bis hands, as if he were a dyer, terious handwriting appeared on the and not a scribe.(Dynast. xi.) So wall of the palace, and Belshazzar that it was the office of the scribe, had sought in vain to get it ex as well as of the Priest, to bind and plained, the Queen recommended loose. Daniel as a person likely to satisfy If the terms be taken distinctly, his anxiety, by explaining the mys- “ to bind ” may signify to instruct, terious characters; saying that or place under moral discipline; and in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar “to loose” is to explain, or ex. "an excellent spirit, and knowledge, pound, law or doctrine. If they be and understanding, interpreting of taken together, “to bind and to dreams, and showing of hard sen loose” is to exercise the authority of tences, and dissolving of doubts, teacher, speaking, as we say, és were found in the same Daniel.” cathedrá. (Dan. v. 12.) In the original Chal And here it must be noted, that dee, an explainer of dreams is things, not persons, are the subjects. pos ni uby * a looser of dreams;" Christ does not commit the persons, and dissolver of doubts is but the doctrines, to the ministra190p 799 "an untier of knots.” tion of his Apostles. He does not The King himself repeats the same say éáv Tiva," whomsoever,” but words in addressing Daniel ; so that Ô d'àv, “whatsoever, thou bindest," this manner of speaking was cur &c. Lightfoot, in his Horæ on the rent, it would seem, at the court of first of these passages, has collected Babylon.

many quotations to the point. To But a yet more apposite example express difference of opinion beoccurs in the first book of Esdras : tween Doctors, it is said that one «Esdras took the book of the law binds, and another looses : that one before the multitude ; for he sate consulted a wise man, and he bound honourably before them all. And it; therefore he will not consult they all stood upright when he ex another, lest that other should loose pounded the law.” (ix. 45, 46.) it. And some one is cited as say. These words, "When he expounded ing, It was never known that they the law,” are, in the original Greek, loosed us a crow, (permitting it for év tỘ Tūrai Tòv vómov,“ during food,) nor bound us a pigeon (forthe loosing of the law;" where ex. bidding it to be eaten). • °And it is position of the law of God is called in the ordinary style of the syna* loosing," or "unbinding.” The gogue to say '110'* “bound” for Romanized Latin version, faithful forbidden, and 7719 “loosed" for to the cause of sacerdotal power, allowed. From all this we infer, neatly introduces a various reading, that the keys of the kingdom of -cum absolvisset legem, instead of heaven are the faculty of teaching solyisset ; making it to say, “ When he had finished the law.” But those

* For the originals refer to Lightfoot.


authoritatively under the Christian prayed to God that he would pardon dispensation.

sinners, and exhorted them to ask But there is an obvious difference of hiin forgiveness of their sins ; between ordinary and extraordinary but they neither bound nor loosed teaching ; between the infallible in one soul. They bound not Simon struction of the Apostles, and the Magus, Elymas, nor Ananias and expository lessons of uninspired Sappbira; nor did they loose the Preachers. The former is obliga. multitudes at the day of Pentecost, tory on the conscience; but the lat. Cornelius, the Ethiopian eunuch, ter is not, except as far as it con nor the Philippian jailer. Had sists therewith.

Christ invested them with so superThe only questions now remain natural a prerogative, so calculated ing, in regard to our first two pas to give dignity to their ministry, sages, are, how St. Peter and his and to conciliate the veneration of fellow-disciples exercised their pre- mankind, they could not have burogative; whether others can do the ried the inestimably precious talent, same; and, what is meant by the nor refrained from making full proof ratification of their acts in heaven. of their authority, without incurring

St. Peter and his colleagues in the guilt of disobedience, and of the apostolate bound and loosed in contemptuous infidelity to the authe manner explained above. By gust commission. Therefore we their divinely-inspired discourses cannot but infer that they did not and writings, they gave the law of understand the promise of their life and doctrine to the Christian Lord as uttered in a sense at vachurch in their time, and in all suc riance with the established forms of ceeding ages. As the Father had language, as conveying the doctrine sent Christ, so Christ sent them. which the clerical binders and As the Father had given Christ a loosers of later ages teach. kingdom, so Christ gave them a But if they had been empowered kingdom, and set them on twelve to damn or save,—which, however, thrones, or seats of magisterial dig- cannot be granted,—it would not nity, to judge—that is, to declare follow that others after them should judgment to—the twelve tribes of be; for the Apostles, as Apostles, Israel. (Luke xxii. 29, 30.) He had no successors : else would there breathed on them, signifying the have been a succession of men able plenary inspiration of the Holy Spi- to work miracles and write canonical rit, which he then bestowed on Scriptures. The Church of Rome them as an extraordinary gift; and cannot evade this conclusion ; and, appointed them to be witnesses of therefore, she boldly allows it, and bis death, resurrection, and ascen. professes to have held Councils, and sion into heaven. They most faith- that some of her members have fully discharged this commission, - written books, by the assistance of preaching, teaching, and witnessing the Holy Ghost, of authority in for Christ as no other men could matters of faith. She says, that she do. But they never professed to can still perform miracles, and does admit into, nor to exclude from, often delude the vulgar with lying heaven, although the Jews were but wonders, and pretends to perforin too familiar with terribly-sounding sacramental acts of divine efficacy, forms of priestly excommunication. by help of the Holy Spirit ; and this They never assumed authority in to keep up the notion of an aposthe matter of any man's personal tolical succession ! Just in the salvation. They never pronounced same way did a few enthusiasts, such words as, “ By the power com. some years ago, profess to “speak mitted unto me, I absolve thee from with new tongues," and did vociall thy sins.” Whatever else they ferate an unintelligible jargon, to were commanded to do, they com the reproach of religion, and to their pletely performed. They raised the own shame.

No rational person dead, healed the sick, cast out expects to wituess such miraculous lepers, spake in foreign languages, gifts nuw, because neither proinised

nor needed; while yet, if the doc. Chanina the elder says, in the name trine we controvert were true, and of a Kabbi who has committed a sin the special mission of the Apostles of which he is ashamed, that all sins did extend into all ages, they should are forgiven hiin. But how shall be sought earnestly by prayer in we know that he is forgiven in hea. faith.

ven? Sanhedrin, fol. 105, 1. And We must, therefore, understand you may consider the words of Job, the binding and loosing which was • He looseth the bond of Kings,' exercised by the first and infallible &c. ; (xii. 18 ;) that is to say, thou masters of Christendom to have hast decreed below, and the most been exercised by theinselves alone, bigh God hath confirmed thy word and receive their work in the books above. Targ. Cant. viii. 17. When of the New Testament; for in these, thou sittest, and absolvest or conagreeably to an intimation of St. demnest, I will consent to all that Peter, they diligently made provi- thou doest. (Ruth iii. 17.) From sion (orodáčovtes) that, after their which we know how it is decreed in decease, we might have those things heaven. Sanhedrin, fol. 103, 2; always in remembrance. (2 Peter Job xxxviii. 15. Why is the letter » i. 15.)

of the word d'y suspended ? But how is that bound in heaven, Because when a man is made poor which the Apostles bound or loosed (wy) on the earth, he becomes poor on the earth? According to the in heaven ; that is, when a wicked Popish notion, sinners might be man is hateful to the upright in this bound in hell, certainly not in hea- world, he becomes hateful to God ven, which is not a place of bond also in the world above. (John xx. age. It is not a local and real obli. 23.)” The cabbalistical nonsense gation or remission that is spoken of this last passage does not invali. of, but a ratification in heaven of date the illustration of the texts that which has been done here be- before us, derived from the above low. To the proof:

quotations. The Jews believed that When the Apostles were laying whatever the Priests did by divine down the law, either by the living command, was confirmed in the voice, or by the pen, it was not they heavenly sanctuary; and the author who spake, but the Spirit of their of the book Sohar, on Leviticus, Father which spake in them ; (Matt. says, that " when the Priest, on the X. 20 ;) and they preached or ex. day of atonement, offers two goats pounded as he gave them utterance. on the earth, in the like manner (Acts ii. 4.) The work was not so they are offered in heaven; and so much theirs, as of God, who was of lots. The Priest casts lots on working with them. But although the earth, and a Priest casts lots in the fact is undoubted, and no one heaven. As one goat is left for will pute that their ministry was God on the earth, so is one left in approved in heaven, the phrase be- heaven," &c. fore us is to be explained; for The idea of which we have now which purpose we must refer to a seen but a puerile representation, is few examples demonstrative of the prevalent in many passages of the use of similar expressions by the New Testament, and arises from the · Jewish theologians. A few shall be intimate relation between things temextracted from the volumes of Wet- poral and eternal. So the Chrisstein and Schoettgen. The entire tians on earth and in heaven are note of the former commentator is said to be “one entire family." as follows :-“ Bereschith, R. lxxv. 8. (Eph. iii. 15.) So, at the same time The blessed just ones who are that angels attributed glory to God blessed in heaven, are also blessed in the highest, or heaven, peace was on the earth, (Isai. Ixv. 16,) that proclaimed on the earth, and goodthou mayest know that with all the will towards men. (Luke ii. 14.) blessings with which Isaac blessed The consecrated mansions, or chamJacob, God equally blessed him bers, of the temple of Jerusalem from above. Berachoth, i. 4. Rabbi were chosen by Christ to represent

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »