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be convinced, that the Bible is a complete rule, both of faith and practice. “ The Law of the Lord is perfect.” What a treasure have we in the Old and New Testaments! Here, God speaks to us by his Lively Oracles. The truth is taught so plainly in this sacred volume, that he who runs may read. The way of life is delineated so distinctly, that the wayfar ing man, though a fool, shall not err therein. We have, indeed,
a sure word of prophecy, to which ye do well that ye take heed, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts."*
There is nothing lacking to him that is in possession of the Scriptures; for, “ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” †
Let us then be grateful to God, and give him unceasing thanks for this precious deposit, which he has committed to his church; and which, by his Providence, he hath preserved uninjured, through all the vicissitudes through which she has passed.
Let us praise God, that in regard to us, that night of darkness is past, in which there was a famine, not of bread, nor of water, but of the word of the Lord; when the light of this brilliant lamp was put out, or rather “put under a bushel,” and the feeble erring light of tradition was substituted in its place.
Let us be glad and rejoice that we have lived to see the day, when copies of the Bible are multiplied, and when many run to and fro to circulate them; and let us wait in assured hope for the day, when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea. Even so, come Lord Jesus, Amen
* Note I. | 2 Tim. iii, 16, 17.
NOTES TO PART II.
A, p. 90. We are rather surprised, after Bishop Marsh's note on this statement of Michaelis (Introduction, c. vii, $ 6), that Dr Alexander should have adduced Melito, às expressly declaring that a Syriae version of the Bible, which, if there be any cogency in the statement, must have included the New Testament, existed in his time. For, according to this learned Annotator, the evidence on which Michaelis rests his opinion is of no authority whatever, being founded solely on a Scholion printed in the Roman edition of the Septuagint, Gen. xxii, 13, and there ascribed to Melito, which says, Ο Σόρος και ο Εβραιος κρεμάμενος φησίν ως σαφέςερον τυτών τον σαυρόν: 1. e. “ The Syriac and the Hebrew have the word · hanging (instead of caught' or 'holden') by the horns, that it might more mani. festly typify the cross.” He then shows that, even admitting the Scholion to be gentine, which is, however, a matter of doubt, it not only does not follow
that i Esgos denotes the Peshito, or oldest Syriae version, but that it is impossible the Peshito can be meant; because that version, in Gen. xxii, 13, has a word expressive not of xg fecepissos, hanging,” but of extixóc!vos, “caught," or * holden," the reading of the Septuagint. The Scholion, indeed, he thinks most probably spurious, and written long after the death of Melito; “ for, when the Greek fathers quote • Euges, they understood not the Syriac version, but a work written in the fifth century. After all,” as he justly adds, “ though the Scholion were genuine, and the old Syriac version intended to be expressed, the only inference that could be deduced would be, that the Syriac version of the Pentateuch existed before the close of the second century.”
No doubt, Dr Routh, in his Reliquiæ Sacræ, or Fragments of Authors who lived during the second and third centuries, but whose whole works are now lost,” has given an extract from two Vatican MSS. of a Catena in Octateuchum, by Nicephorus, in which not only the substance but the precise words of the Scholion, referred to by Michaelis, are contained. This, however, as will be at once perceived, in no respect invalidates the legitimacy of Bishop Marsh's inference as stated above. Nor does his quotation from Eusebius, lib. iv, c. 22, who there says that Hegesippus “ brought forward some things from the Syriac Gospel according to the Hebrews, and peculiarly from the Hebrew tongue,” at all affect that inference; for he immediately adds, “whether these words of Eusebius throw any light on those of Melito, others may seek to find out; but, most probably, Melito speaks of some version of the Ancient Scriptures either into Greek or Syriac, whilst Eusebius certainly does not speak of any ver. sion of the Gospel, but of the Syro-Hebraic Gospel." - Vol. I. p. 142.
B, p. 90. So far is this from being the case, that, according to Michaelis, the learned are divided in opinion, whether the Armenian translation was made from the Greek original or the Syriac version. And after stating the opinions of various writers, with their authorities for these opinions, he adduces the following relation of Moses Chorenensis (lib. iii, e. 8), as perfectly decisive in favour of its Greek origin—"Our translators: returned (from the council at Ephesus) and delivered to Isaac and Miesrob the letters and decrees of this assembly, with a copy of the Bible carefully written, which, as soon as Isaac and Miesrob received, they cheerfully submitted to the task of again translating what they had translated twice before. But as they were deficient in knowledge, and many parts were rendered imperfectly, they sent us to the famous school at Alexandria to learn this excellent language.” “Here,” says Michaelis, “ is a full and credible account of the care bestowed by the Armenians on that version of the Bible, and that they translated it twice from the Syriac, and a third time from the Greek. Hence we may assign the reason why the readings of the Armenian version are so frequently different from the Greek."
It is but justice, at the same time, to our author, to say that this statement, instead of weakening, greatly strengthens his argument for the very early existence of a Syriac translation of the New Testament.
C, p. 163. “ The words iy rõ igicons,” says Mr Bloomfield, “ almost all modern Commentators unite in rendering in an epistle,'« an earlier epistle: and they suppose it to have reference to some former Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians ; though no such has come down to us, nor has the existence of any such been (alleged) on any credible evidence of ecclesi. astical antiquity. Indeed, this hypothesis involves much difficulty, and is liable to many objections. Why (for example) should it not have been preserved as well as the later ones? Now, those who dress up the abovementioned notion in its most specious shape, tell us, that the Epistle in question was a very brief one, and just sent off when the messengers
from the Corinthians arrived. All this, however, is gratis dictum. There is not a particle of evidence in support of it. For, as to the words themselves, they can by no means be tortured to signify any such thing, even by implication. To admit this interpretation, something ought to have been before said of this Epistle, which, as they pretend, almost passed the messengers on the road, and of which, had there been such an Epistle so written and so șent, the Apostle could not but directly have made menuon. Besides, who can tolerate such a licentious use of the article, which would be unparalleled in irregularity?”
For these reasons, Mr Bloomfield accedes, and we think rightly does so, to the opinion of the Greek Commentators, most Latin ones, and many, though only a minority, of the moderns, that arm is for ravon, as in kindred passages at Rom. xvi, 22, 2 Thess, iii, 14, Col. iv, 16, 1 Thess. v, 27; many other examples of which idiom are adduced by Glassius and Macknight. -"Eygata, “ I have already or just) written to you,” namely, at verses 2 and 7 of this chapter. That flygaya may have this signification, none can doubt who know the force of the Aorist; and so it occurs in ix, 15, 1 John ii, 12, 14. Otherwise, as Bishop Middleton observes, the sentence at verse 11, svi di Pyeaya, would have been suvi dè ygépw, but now I write.' And though in 2 Cor. vii, 8, sv TN origoan in the Epistle,' has reference to the former Epistle, yet there the Epistle had been mentioned. Mr Slade (after Bishop Middleton) renders •I have been writing to you;' which comes to much the same sense.”
“ The chief difficulty in the last-mentioned interpretation is involved in word, now,' which Middleton and Slade elude by rendering, ‘But on the present occasion I have been writing to you;' or, my purpose in writing to you is this. There is, however, something so languid in this signification of surd, and so arbitrary in the sense thus elicited from ilggaita ymir,
that it is utterly inadmissible. Indeed, it cannot be true. For it was not the main purpose of St Paul in writing this Epistle to forbid Christians to associate with immoral brethren. (See the Introduction of Krause and Macknight to this Epistle.) I prefer to adopt the opinion of Wolf, that the wví is not opposed to the preceding phrase • I have written unto you,' but is rather explicatory of it."
“ I am not aware that any of the ancient Fathers ever referred the words to any other Epistle than the present; yet Theodoret seems not to have been ignorant of the opinion; for he says, i, solą iriçoan; in what Epistle?" by avrh taurñ, in this very Epistle.'.' And he there observes, that the whole passage is explanatory of what was meant in the preceding one." – Critical Digest, vol. vi, p. 342.
D, p. 165. “ Some,” says Theodoret, “ imagine Paul to have written an Epistle to the Laodiceans, and accordingly produce a certain forged Epistle so entitled; but the holy Apostle does not say Thu II POE Aasdızsias, the Epistle to Laodicea,' but an EK A codixsías, 'the Epistle from Laodicea.'
E, p. 198. Dr Alexander has committed a small oversight here; for the words “all which he had heard was in accordance with the Scriptures,” precede instead of coming after his former quotation.
But we notice this, chiefly with the view of giving the whole passage from Irenæus' Letter to Florinus, as recorded by Eusebius.“ While but a youth, I saw you in lower Asia with Polycarp, acting illustriously in the royal court, and earnestly striving to recommend yourself to his esteem. For what then took place I recollect much better than I do more recent events; the lessons of youth growing up with the mind and actually entering into it; so that I can speak of the very spot where the blessed Polycarp sat whilst discoursing; of his manner when approaching and retiring from it; the whole impression of his character and appearance of his frame; the ad. dresses which he made to the people; the familiar intercourse which, as he related, he had held with John, and the rest who had seen the Lord himself; and how he rehearsed their words, and all that he had heard from them concerning him. All things likewise respecting his miracles and doctrine which he had received from those who had themselves been eye-witnesses of the Word of Life, Polycarp narrated in exact accordance with the Scriptures. And these things I then, through the mercy of God bestowed on me, diligently listened to, recording them not on paper, but on my very heart; and still, by the grace of God, I fondly remember and meditate on them. I can testify also, before God, that if that blessed and apostolic presbyter ever heard any thing of that kind” (viz. heretical or contrary to Scripture doctrine), “ he would exclaim, and closing his ears, as he was wont, say, · O gracious God, to what times hast thou kept me, that I should have to endure such things!' Then would he fly from the place where he was sitting or standing, when such doctrines reached his ears; as may be clearly proved also from the letters which he sent either to neighbouring churches, strengthening them, or to some of his brethren, admonishing and exhorting them."
F, p. 201. Our author's translation of this clause is particularly incorrect; unless his edition of Irenæus be very different from any we have seen. For it stands thus in the original, or rather the Latin, the Greek of this passage being lost, “ In unum Deum credentes fabricatorem cæli et terræ, et omnium quæ in eis sunt, per Christum Jesum Dei Filium: Qui propter eminentissimam erga figmentum suum dilectionem, eam quæ esset ex Virgine generationem sustinuit, ipse per se hominem adunans Deo, et passus sub Pontio Pilato, et resurgens, et in claritate receptus, in gloria venturus, Salvator eorum qui salvantur, et judex eorum qui judicantur, et mittens in ignem æternum transfiguratores veritatis, et contemptores Patris sui et adventus ejus : i. e. ' Believing in one God, the Maker of heaven and earth, and all things that are in them, by Christ Jesus the Son of God: who, for his exceeding great love towards his own creature, underwent the generation that was to be of a virgin, himself uniting by himself man to God, and having suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising again, and being received into the brightness (i.e. of heaven), will come in glory, the Saviour of those who are saved, and the judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire the perverters of the truth, and the contemners of his father, and his own coming."
Though from the want of the article in Latin, it is not a little difficult at times to determine the precise meaning of clauses which its presence, if they had been given in Greek, would have rendered perfectly definite, there may be some doubt whether, by the words eam quæ esset ex Virgine generationem sustinuit,” more was designed to be expressed than simply our Lord’s “submitting to be born of a Virgin,” as Dr Alexander translates them; we are disposed to consider Irenæus as having intended to specify His generation or birth of the promised Virgin, as being an article of the primitive faith, both in distinction from, and in addition to that “ prolatio inenarrabilis, or præclara ab altissimo Pater genitura, i.e. that “unutterable bringing forth, or glorious generation from the Most High Father,” on which he elsewhere repeatedly, and at large, insists.
G, p. 202. Here again, we regret to say, Dr Alexander's translation of this important passage is by no means what could be wished: several clauses being entirely omitted, while others are very inaccurately rendered. And this is the more unaccountable, that we have the advantage both of the Greek and Latin, for enabling us to understand and translate it aright. In the following rendering, we have given it as nearly as the idiom and construction of the English will admit :
“ The church planted by the Apostles and their disciples throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, have received the faith; which is, In one God, Father Almighty, who made the heaven and the earth, and the seas, and all things that are in them: And in one Christ Jesus the Son of God, who was made flesh for our salvation: And in the Holy Spirit, who by the prophets proclaimed the (ras ouxovopesas) dispensations, and the advents, and the generation of (or, birth by) a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the embodied reception into the heavens, of our beloved Lord Christ Jesus; and his coming from the heavens in the glory of the Father, to gather together into one all things, * and to raise every individual possessed of humanity; that to our Lord Christ Jesus, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the good pleasure of the invisible Father, every knee may bow of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth, and every tongue confess to him, that he may execute righteous judgment upon all:-send wicked spirits, and fallen and apostate angels, and ungodly, and unjust, and lawless, and blaspheming men, into eternal fire: but, gratuitously bestowing life on the just
ανακεφαλαιώσασθαι, Ephes. 1, 10.