Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

So likewise St. Peter, 1 Epist. ii. 21-24, “ For even bereunto were ye called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness. By whose stripes ye were bealed."

See Pbilip. ii, 1–11, and many other places, and all the gospels, wherein are recorded our Lord's sufferings, and especially his last.

All these things are thus insisted upon as very considerable, and of great importance to christians. So that it seems very strange, that they should be reckoned by any trifling . and insignificant, and no trial of obedience.

There is, I think, plainly a difference between this great author, and our apostles and evangelists. Whence should this come to pass ? Is it not, that he preacheth another Jesus? According to them, Jesus is a man like unto us, and suffers such evils as men in this world are liable to, in the steady practice of virtue; and he has set before us a most amiable, most aniinating, and encouraging example, under a great variety of contradictions and sufferings. For all which he has been highly rewarded by God the Father Almighty, who alone is perfectly wise, and perfectly good.

But according to this author, Jesus is an embodied angel, or archangel, and not capable of being much, if at all, affected by all the sufferings, and tortures, which human . nature could possibly undergo. These, surely,' he says,

could never have moved him in so high a degree,' p. 136, 137, or 486.

Indeed this writer pleads, that if the buffetings of Satan, or such sufferings, as he contends for, are not described to us in the scriptures, but his sufferings in the flesh; this

we ought to conclude was done in .condescension to our • understandings, which are unable to comprehend, or have • any notion of his inward sufferings,' p. 137, or 486.

For certain, all men, who advance a doctrine, without express authority from scripture, will endeavour to find out some reason for the silence of scripture about it. But no good reason can be assigned for the omission, here supposed and granted. His outward sufferings,' the writer says,

m So likewise says the prophet, “ A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief," Isa. liii.

6

. were insignificant and trifling, and could not possibly be * any trial of his obedience.'— If they were not, should not some others have been recorded ? The not doing it, surely, must be reckoned an inexcusable omission and neglect in the sacred penmen.

However, it is certain, they have recorded such sufferings, as they supposed to be a trial of our Lord's obedience; and his patience under them, as an example and pattern to us.

Our great author would have us suppose, . Satan let loose • upon our Lord, by the permission of God, and empowered

to attack him in his nobler part, his angelic nature,' p. 137, or 486. And speaks of the buffetings of Satan,' p. 138, or 487,—' and the insults of Satan, p. 133, or 483. But why should such things be supposed, when all the writers of the New Testament are silent about them? If any will invent, and describe such sufferings, it must be altogether unscriptural, and could be no better than a philosophical or theological romance.

And may I not ask, what good purposes can be answered by this scheme? For we are neither angels, nor embodied angels, but men, placed here in a state of trial. And our trial arises from the good and evil things of this world, by which our hopes and our fears are much influenced.

To me then the contrivance of our great author appears both unscriptural and unprofitable. Nor can I forbear joining in with the apostle, and saying: “ But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolisbness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God; because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men,” 1 Cor. i. 23–25.

However, at p. 138, or 487, it is argued after this manner : . And therefore, when he was betrayed, and seized by the • officers that were sent to apprehend him, our Saviour said • unto them : “ This is your hour, and the power of darkness,"

,” Luke xxii. 53. Giving them thereby to understand, and us through them, that it was not only the hour of * men's wrath, but “ the hour of the power of darkness,” * that he so much dreaded, when he prayed to God the • Father, to

save him from that hour." At which time he bad not only the contradiction of wicked men to strive with, but knew that this was the time allotted by God for • Satan, the prince of darkness, to exercise and employ his whole power in afflicting him.'

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

But really no such conclusion can be drawn from those words; where one and the same thing is expressed in a twofold manner, the more emphatically to represent the greatness of the trouble then coming upon our Saviour. As if he had said, “ But this is your hour: and indeed it is a very dark and afflictive season.' Dr. Clarke's paraphrase is in these terms : * But this is the time, wherein the infinite wisdom of God has appointed me to suffer. And Providence has now • given you power over me, permitting you to execute your . malice and cruelty upon me, that the scripture may be • fulfilled, and the eternal counsels of the divine wisdom for *the salvation of men fully accomplished. To the like purpose Grotius upon John. xiv, 30.1

And that this is the meaning of the words, may be argued from our Lord's manner of expression elsewhere, speaking of the same thing. So in John xvi. 32, 33, “ Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, —that ye shall leave me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I bave overcome the world.” And therefore when he mentions Satan, it is in the character of " the prince of this world.” John xiv. 30, “ Hereafter I will not talk much with you; for the prince of this world cometh: and “ hath nothing in me;" wbich is thus paraphrased by Dr. Whitby. •“ The prince of this world

cometh" by his ministers, Judas, and the rulers of the • Jews, “ and findeth nothing in me:" he himself having no

power to inflict death upon me, in whom is no sin, and . they finding nothing in me “ worthy of death,” Acts xüli. • 28. Though therefore I am to suffer death, I do not suffer • for any fault that can deserve it, or on account of any . power he or his ministers have over me to inflict it. But • I give up myself to death, in compliance with my Father's • will, and what follows.'

Venit autem per homines sui plenos, quorum vis erat etxola te groTeS. Grot. in Joh. xiv. 30.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

UPON THE TWO EPISTLES ASCRIBED TO CLEMENT OF ROME,

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

WITH LARGE EXTRACTS OUT OF THEM, AND AN ARGU

MENT SHOWING THEM NOT TO BE GENUINE.

I. Extracts out of these epistles, for showing the Author's

testimony to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. 11. External evidence against the genuineness of these epistles. J1ļ. Internal evidence to the same purpose, and their time. IV. The Author anonymous. V. The importance and use of these epistles. VI. The Con

clusion. EXTRACTS. I. My extracts from these two epistles will relate chiefly to the books of scripture quoted therein.

1. In these epistles several books of the Old Testament are quoted ; the book of Genesis several times; Exodus; the Judges, and several of the following historical books; the book of the Proverbs, often; the book of Ecclesiastes once; Isaiah once, and also the story of Susanya.

2. Out of the New Testament are taken several passages of Matthow, onea of Luke, several of John's gospel. The Acts of the Apostles may be supposed to be referred to. I cannot tell whetlierc 'there be a reference to Acts xxvi. 25, in some words, which I place below, that others may judge. There are also passages out of the apostle Paul's epistle to the Romans, both the epistles to the Corinthians, the epistles to the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, the first and second to the Thessalonians, the first and second to Timothy, the epistle to the Hebrews,

* Domino Jesu Christo ministrârunt mulieres e possessionibus suis. Ep. 2. n. 15. Vid. Luc. viii. 3.

b Porro Paulus, et Barnabas, et Timotheus, cum cæteris, quorum nomina scripta sunt in libro vitæ. Ep. i. c. 6. Conf. Philip. iv. 3.

--et loquimur cum illis verba exhortationis et honestatis. Ep. 2. cap. 1.

с

و ور

two or three quotations, which will be taken notice of preseptly, and many passages out of the epistle of James. But I have not clearly discerned any passages out of the epistle of Paul to Titus, or Philemon; nor out of the epistles of Peter, or John, or Jude, or the book of the Revelation.

3. I say, there are passages out of the several books of scripture before mentioned. But there occurs not the

name of any book or writer, either of the Old or the New Testament; except in general, in the gospel, the apostle, meaning Paul, and the like.

4. The passages of the epistle to the Hebrews are these : • But," brethren, we are persuaded of you, that you will think of these things, which are necessary to your salvation. But we thus speak of them, because,' and what folJows. Where the author must have had an eye to Heb. vi. 9.

5. I suppose likewise, that there may be a reference to Heb. vi. 15–19, as well as to Isaiah lvi. in a passage whiche I transcribe below.

6. Again : * Forf he said : “ Honour your elders, and when you see their conversations, and their manners, imitate their faith.” Which must be allowed to be a reference to, or quotation of, Heb. xiii. 7.

7. The forms of quotation are such as these : For he said,' in the place just quoted : • They & who are truly virgins, for God's sake, hear him, who said. Where bc quotes divers passages from the book of the Proverbs. Suchh virginity the Lord calls foolish, as he says in the gospel.' See Matt. xxv. Therefore he said rightly to that generation.' · Andk of such servants it is said." • Asl it is written.'. • And m they hear not hiin, who says. Quoting the epistle of James. • And again he says.' Haveo you not read of Amnon

d Confidimus autem de vobis, fratres, vos cogitaturos ea, quæ necessaria sunt aluti vestræ. Sed ita loquimur de is, quæ loquimur, propter famam et rumorem malum, &c. Ep. i. c. 10.

e--sed desiderat spem promissam et præparatam et positam in cælis Deo, qui promisit ore, et non mentitur; qui major est filiis et filiabus, et dabit virginibus locum celebrem in domo Dei- -Ep. i. c. 4.

Dixit enim : Seniores vestros honorate; et quando videtis conversationes eorum, et mores eorum, imitamini eorum fidem. Ep. i. c. 7.

8 Qui autem vere sunt virgines propter Deum, audiunt eum qui dixit. Ep. i. c. 2.

h Dominus enim virginitatem talem stultam vocat, sicut ait in Evangelio. Ep. i. c. 3.

Propterea recte dicit generationi tali. Ep. 1. 8. * Et dictum est de talibus servis, i. 9.

I Sicut scriptum est. i. 10.

m Et non audiunt dicentem. i. 11. A Et iterum dicit. i. ll.

onne legisti de Amnone et Thamare, liberis Davidis ? ü. c. 11.

o

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »