Page images

length. The utility of this version may possibly not be known to all our readers.

• The importance of the Septuagint version for the right understanding of the sacred text has been variously estimated by different learned men: while some have elevated it to an equality with the original He. brew, others have rated it far below its real value. The great authority which it formerly enjoyed, certainly gives it a claim to a high degree of consideration. It was executed long before the Jews were prejudiced against Jesus Christ as the Messiali

; and it was the means of preparing the world at large for his appearance, by making koown the types and prophecies concerning him. With all its faults and imperfections, therefore, this version is of more use in correcting the Hebrew text than any other that is extant; because its authors had better opportunities of knowing the propriety and extent of the Hebrew language, than we can possibly have at this distance of time. The Septuagint, likewise, being written in the same dialect as the New Testament, (the formation of whose style was influenced by it), it becomes a very important source of interpretation : for not only does it frequently serve to determine the genuine reading, but also to ascertain the meaning of particular idiomatic expressions and passages in the New Testament, the true import of which could not be known but from their use in the Septuagint. Grotius, Keuchenius, Biel, and Schleusner are the critics who have most successfully applied this version to the interpretation of the New Testament.' Vol. i. pp. 277, 278.

The principal editions of the Septuagint, namely those of Alcala, Aldus, Sixtus V, and Grabe, are subsequently noticed, as is the edition of Dr. Holmes.

It is utterly impossible for us to notice the whole contents of these crowded volumes, or even to select and display particular parts of them in a manner satisfactory to ourselves, or that should do complete justice to the Author. The membra discerptu do not afford proper means of judging of the proportions and beauty of the whole frame; and in such a work as Mr. Horne's, where the reputation of the writer is to be estimated not only by the character of the separate portions of the work, but also by the proofs of a skilful combination in the use of his materials, apparent in the regularity and harmony of its construction, it is not by detached quotations that the merits of the Author can be brought out, though they may suffice to shew the nature of the subjects of which he treats, and the value of his labours. Our report of this Introduction has not as yet extended beyond the external apparatus requisite to the critical knowledge of the Scriptures, nor have we noticed even the wliole of this. We could with pleasure enlarge our remarks, and multiply our extracts from the pages which we are passing, over, but our limits impel us to proceed to the consideration of those branches of the subject (the Interpretation of Scripture) VOL. XI. N. S.


which occupy the remaining portion of the present volume. And these, we are ipduced to remark, will be found higbly serviceable to many who may not be able to avail themselves of the aids enumerated in the preceding sections. Original languages and ancient versions, as means of understanding the Scriptures, and of becoming accomplished in biblical knowledge, we shall not be supposed to depreciate ; but there are a great number of most respectable persons, whose usefulness as Christians, and even as Christian teachers, can be but little indebted to this kind of learning. And though the beauty and force of the sacred writings must necessarily be more adequately appreciated by (cæteris paribus) a Hebrew and Greek scholar, than by a mere English reader, yet is the latter capable of estimating them in a very bigh degree, if he be not wanting in the use of those requisite means, which were never better collected and arranged than they are by the present Author.

Many judicious remarks will be found on the purallel pas. sages of Scripture, verbal, real, and poetical, on the context and the means of investigating it, and on the scope, as will be perceived from the following brief summary of particulars (which are severally illustrated) relating to the last subject.

• II. The scope of a book of Scripture, as well as of any particular section or passage, is to be collected from the writer's express mention of it, from its known occasion, from some conclusions expressly added at the end of an argument, from history, from attention to its general tenor, to the main subject and tendency of the several topics, and to the force of the leading expressions; and especially from repeated, studious, and connected perusals of the book itself.' 'Vol. i, p. 347.

The fourth chapter, (pp. 363—430) on the figurative language of Scripture, is principally an abridgement of the second volume of Dathe's edition of Glassius's Philologia Sacra, and is ably executed. This is an important subject, and cannot be too carefully studied by every person who wishes to be an intelligent reader of the Bible, since on the correct conception and interpretation of the tropes and figures occurring in the sacred writings, the sense of many important passages depends.

The language of the Scriptures is highly figurative, especially in the Old Testament. For this two reasons have been assigned ; one is, that the inhabitants of the East, naturally possessing warm and vivid imaginations, and living in a warm and fertile climate, surrounded by objects equally beautiful and agreeable, delight in a figurative style of expression; and as these circumstances easily impel their power of conceiving images, they fancy similitudes which are sometimes far fetched, and which, to the chastised taste of European readers, do not always appear the most elegant. The other reason, is that many of the books of the Old Testament are poetical : now it is the privilege of a poet to illustrate the productions of his muse, and to render them


more animated, by figures and images drawn from almost every subject that presents itself to his imagination. Hence David, Solomon, Isaiah, and other sacred poets, abound with figures, make rapid transitions from one to another, every where scattering flowers, and adorning their poems with metaphors, the real beauty of which however can only be appreciated by being acquainted with the country in which the sacred poets lived, its situation and peculiarities, and also with the manner of the inhabitants, and the idioms of their language.' Vol. i.

p. 365.

[ocr errors]

In the explication of the metonymies of Scripture, the following example occurs of a metonymy of the cause.

4. The Holy Spirit is put for the influences or gifts of the Spirit, as in 1 Thess. v. 19. Quench not the spirit. The similitude is borrowed from the ancient altar of burnt-offering, on which the fire was to be kept continually burning. The Holy Spirit is here represented as a fire, because it is His province to enlighten, quicken, purify, and refine the soul, and to excite and maintain every pious and devout affection. The Christian therefore must not quench the sacred flame of the Holy Spirit in any of His influences by committing any act, uttering any word, or indulging any sensual or malevolent disposition, which may provoke Hiin to withdraw both His gifts and graces. Neither must the Christian extinguish the gifts of the Spirit, but keep them in constant exercise, as love, joy, peace, long-suffering; gentleness, goodness, fidelity, meekness, &c. So, in 2 Tim. i. 6. Saint Paul's advice, Stir up the gift of God which is in thee, means the gift of the Holy Spirit. 'See also 1 Tim. iv. 14.' Vol. i, p. 377.

Metaphors are the next class of figures explained and illustrated in this chapter. Of the prosopopeia or personification, the following examples among others, are given, the latter of which will shew how entirely Mr. Horne's view of a striking passage of Scripture, coincides with' our own as expressed in our review of Mr. Wilson's work on the Person of Christ.

• Of the prosopopoeia or personification, there are two kinds : one, when action and character are attributed to fictitious, irrational, or even inanimate objects; the others, when a probable but fictitious speech is assigned to a real character The former, Bishop Lowth remarks, evidently partakes of the nature of the metaphor, and is by far the boldest of that class of figures ; it is most frequently and successfully introduced by the sacred writers In Psal. xxxv. 10. how admirable is the personification of the divine attributes !

Mercy and truth are met together;

Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. • How just, elegant, and splendid does it appear, if applied only (according to the literal sense) to the restoration of the Jewish nation from the Babylonish captivity! But if we consider it in a most sacred and mystical sense, which is not obscurely shadowed under the ostensible image, viz. that of the method of redemption by the sacri. fice and mediation of Jesas Christ, in which the divine perfections

were so harmoniously displayed, it is beyond measure grand and elevated. Again, what can be more sublime or graceful than the personification of wisdom, introduced in the Proverbs of Solomon, particularly in chapter viii. verse 22–31. She is not only exhibited as the director of human life and morals, as the inventress of arts, as the dispenser of honours and riches, as the source of true felicity, but also as the eternal daughter of the Omnipotent Creator, and as the eternal associate in the divine councils.' Vol. i, p. 393.

(To be continued.) Art. III. The Scriptural Doctrine of Man's Salvation. A Sermon,

preached at the Cathedral Church of Chester, before the Judges of the Assize, on Sunday, September 6, 1818. By George Henry Law, D. D. F. R. and A. S. Lord Bishop of Chester. Third edi.

tion. Published by Request. 8vo. pp. 32. THE passage of Scripture selected by his Lordship, as the

motto of this discourse, is contained in the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth verses of the third chapter of the Epistle to the Romans.

• It shall be my object,' says his lordship, in the following Discourse, and one more important, or more deserving your serious attention, I know not-it shall be my object, I say, to lay before you, in a clear, connected point of view, the sum or the result, of all that has been delivered by Christ and his Apostles, on this much agitated Question.' (The method of Man's Salvation.)

His Lordship proceeds to state what appears to bim to be an apparent contradiction in the doctrine of the Bible on this subject. After adducing texts on each side of the supposed difficulty, he asks :

• How are these conflicting assertions to be reconciled to eachi other? How can we be saved by Christ alone, and by our deeds also ? The answer to this seeming discrepancy is most satisfactoryand it is this. Two different periods and states of Salvation, are distinctly pointed out or alluded to, throughout the sacred writings. The primary state of Salvation was procured for man by the sole goodness of that all-gracious Being, who brought Life and Immortality to light. It was purchased for the whole human race, by the atoning blood of the Author and Mediator of the New Covenant. In consequence of this act of Love, Man was raised to a capability of Salvation, was blessed with the hope of an ulterior state of being, and attained, what he had not before, the promise of an inheritance which fadeth not away. Eternity and Heaven were opened to his view; conditions were proposed on which he might ensure them. Truly then are all men said to be saved by Christ, because the means of Salvation are derived through him alone. But not unto them who rejected the glad tidings, did “the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings. He came down from Heaven to purify unto himself a peculiar people, but it was to be “ a peculiar people-zealous of good works." "Whether, therefore, they who are redeemed will also finally be saved, whether they will enter the straight gate and the path, which are marked out for them, whether they will follow the steps of their heavenly Master, this is in a great degree to be determined by their own judgement and choice, though under the aiding influence and co-operation of God's holy Spirit. It is, after all to be ascertained, by our obedience or disobedience to the divine commands, by our use or abuse of the means so graciously bestowed, by those things which are recorded of us in the Book of Life, whether We shall be in the happy number of the Blessed, or have our portion with them who are cast out from the presence of God.' pp. 12, 13.

Two different periods and states of salvation! It seems to us that if there be more than one state of salvation, there are, on the avowed principles of the Bishop of Chester, four states, even exclusively of ihe state of consummated salvation in the world to come. Nor can we indeed, on these principles, allow that this quadruple division is liable to the charge of being a mere scholastic subtilty. In the first place then, there is, as we here learn, this • primary state of salvation--purchased for the whole human race, • by the atoning blood of the Author and Mediator of the New • Covenant.' This belongs alike to every individual of mankind. In the second place, there is the state of salvation' which is induced upon the limited portion of mankind that is happily subjected to the mysterious initiating rite of the true Church. It is a supposition not admissible, that he who, in baptism, hath become truly · regenerate,' is made a member of Christ, a « child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven,' and who hath promised and vowed' the three things' which comprehend the whole of Christianity, remains nevertheless, and after all, but in the same state of salvation with those unbaptized, or beretically baptized persons, who are left to the uncovenanted

mercies of God.' To confound these states, would surely be to give licence to a most irreverent disesteem of the reality and the utility of the priestly commission. In the third place, there is that state of salvation in which those are, who, according to the Bishop of Chester, do truly believe, but are yet not truly Christians; such, for example, as those to whoin St. James writes, persons converted-beloved brethren, who had the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ' (page 24), that belief which muy

and ought to lead to the saving of their souls (p. 27), but who • still are nominal and not real Christians'* (p. 25). In the

We subjoin here the paragraphs from which we extract some of the above quoted expressions. We request our readers to observe the con istency of the sentences we have distinguished by italics. · To

persons however of a very different description (from those addressed by St. Paul) was the reasoning of St. James applied. These were per. sons converted. These were beloved brethren who had the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was therefore necessary to warn them, while



« PreviousContinue »