« AnteriorContinuar »
factory end, of the children of men in general, I must leave the impression to take hold of the reader's mind, without lengthening this already too long article by minute analysis.
For a similar reason I shall leave a number of reflections which naturally suggest themselves, till the remainder of this first address of Eliphaz has been glanced at; and close for the present with a few sentences on a point of some importance in regard to the use we make of this portion of Scripture-I mean, the book of Job : the point namely, what degree of authority we are to attach to the speeches of Jot': friends. It is a truth, that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness”—2 Tim. iii. 16. Yet it is self-evident, that we must not take for granted, as truth, whatever is found within the limits of the Bible, by whomsoever spoken. For in that case, the first lie itself would eome in with a claim upon our faith. We know for certain, from the recorded issue of the controversy, that the general principle maintained by Job's friends was erroneous. Were we, then, to adopt all they say as truth, we should go widely astray. We should “believe a lie.” But they do speak much truth; and important truth too. Paul quotes from Eliphaz. Compare Job v. 13 with 1 Cor. ii. 19. The sentiment quoted is thus sanctioned as a just one. It is one, indeed, in harmony with many other parts of the inspired record. Here, then, lies our obvious duty. If they were wrong in the principle maintained by them, we require to be on our guard even in respect to what they advance in support of it. There may be much truth blended with error, much fact with mistaken deductions from it; premises which cannot be questioned with conclusions altogether fallacious. It becomes necessary therefore that we take “the shovel and the fan,” and subject their speeches to a careful "winnowing.” We must bring what they say to the test of other parts of the inspired volume, receiving what agrees, and rejecting what differs. There are two ways of imparting truth to us in the Bible. When God speaks directly to us by his inspired servants, all is truth, and to be received, when duly understood, with implicit faith. But in such a case as the one before us, we must distinguish between the general scope or design of the book, and the particular sentiments introduced in the course of the discussion. The design of the book is, the establishment of a great general principle. That principle, therefore, it should be our special aim to ascertain correctly, and to fix in our minds as one of the "things most surely believed among us.” But the establishment of this principle is here the result of a controversy, in which opposite sides are taken, and in which one of the parties does not "speak concerning God the thing that is right.” It would obviously, therefore, be wrong, to take a text from any of the speeches, either of Job or of his friends, assuming its abstract truth, without first testing it, both by the general principle of
the book and by its agreement with the rest of Scripture. And hence the proper object of an exposition of the book should be, not to explain and enforce all the particular sentiments, but to give a general and clear view of the course and scope of the dialogue, the connexion of its parts, the way in which the speeches arise successively out of each other, and the relation of the whole, in its progress, to the general conclusion.
REV. F. W. GOTCH'S REJOINDER TO DR. HENDERSON.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE.
DEAR SIR, -I avail myself of your permission, to make a few remarks on Dr. Henderson's review of my pamphlet on the renderings of the word Barticw, which appeared in your Magazine for May. It will not be improper for me to state, that the length of time which has elapsed between the appearance of that review and the present observations, is owing, as you are aware, to accidental circumstances, over which I had no control.
I cannot but express my satisfaction at finding, that in Dr. Henderson's judgment, I have not, though freely commenting on the statements he had made, been led, as is too often the case, into a strain of remark calculated rather to wound the feelings of an opponent, than to effect any good by the discovery of truth. Two or three observations, however, I feel it desirable to make, in order to set myself right, with those of your readers, who take their views of the controversy from Dr. H.'s animadversions.
The first point is altogether a personal one. I had hoped that I had sufficiently guarded against my "Examination” being esteemed a defence the Bible Translation Society, and I was therefore sorry to find that Dr. H. seemed to identify my pamphlet with that society. “It does appear to me,” he says, " after a careful and impartial perusal of Mr. Gotch’s ‘ Examination,'that he has effected little in refutation of the statements originally put forth in these pages, or in justification of the steps adopted by some of the leading members of the denomination to which he belongs.” I am not now at all concerned to state my opinion of the society referred to. I merely wish to repeat what I have said in the pamphlet, that it was no part of my design “to support or vindicate by an ex-parte statement the movements of any particular section of the Christian church ;” that my object was “to ascertain the truth, not to further the views of any party.”
In speaking of the Arabic versions, Dr. Henderson has misquoted what I have said, and given the meanings of the verb ghasala, a word which is not used in the Polyglot to signify Christian baptism, to the verb tsabagha, which is very frequently employed for this purpose. This oversight is the more remarkable, as the quotation which Dr. H. gives, had a special reference to his own letter, where the same meanings of the former word are partially given. In regard to the latter word, I may be allowed, without entering into the general controversy, to point out the manifest inconsistency between Dr. H.'s statements of its meaning in Arabic and in Syriac. I feel sure that Dr. H. will admit that it is the same word in both languages. In Arabic, however, where it is used to translate Bantiów, Dr. H. gives the meaning, "wet, moisten, stain.” In Syriac, where it is not so used, he relies upon the fact of its never being thus employed, as proof that the Syriac translator did not intend to express dipping. If he had, Dr. H. considers that this very word would have been employed. Both positions surely cannot be maintained.
With respect to the German and other cognate languages, Dr. H. appears to have overlooked the remarks which I made on the use of such phrases as “mit wasser taufen” to baptize with water. Dr. H. says, “I still maintain, without fear of contradiction, that' mit wasser taufen,' &c. mean to baptize with, not to dip in water.” A reader of the review would be led to think that I had controverted this statement, whereas, pp. 39, 40 of the pamphlet, I have expressly said, that “the translators join the verb with a preposition not applicable to immersion, and have shown in what way this usage arose.” My explanation remains quite unaffected by Dr. Henderson's renewed assertion.
I have no intention of commenting on the whole review, and have only further to say, with all deference and every feeling of respect to Dr. H., that I do not see any reason for altering the opinions I have expressed in my pamphlet. Being still convinced of the correctness of my conclusions, it seems not unreasonable to request those of your readers who feel an interest in the question, not to take either Dr. Henderson's statements or mine upon trust, but to examine both fairly, if they would ascertain the truth.
Thanking you for your kindness in allowing me to make these observations, I now take my leave (I hope a final one) of the controversy, and remain,
Yours very sincerely, Boxmoor, Sept. 14, 1841.
F. W. Gotch.
ON THE WORSHIP OF THE SON OF GOD.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE.
MY DEAR SIR,-Will you allow me to speak a word, through your readers, upon the importance of worshipping the Son of God? This subject appears to me a wide one ; upon which, therefore, I may hereafter trouble you. I will confine my observations, at present, to one
point; or rather to a few thoughts connected with one word in the Greek New Testament, often occurring-pookuveîv, " to worship."
The appeal may be made with certainty of effect to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ, that they would not be satisfied with manifesting to him the same conduct, in any one point, as it would be right to observe towards the devil. This person it is deemed by them religious to oppose to the uttermost. Far from denying to him the possession of great and sleepless powers, they are yet very far from granting to him the right to be worshipped. It is characteristic of heathen men that they sacrifice to devils and not to God; but to Christians it belongs to sacrifice to God, and not to the devil. The object of this personage in tempting men, is to take away their homage from the living God, and to concentrate it upon himself. The aim of all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, is to resist the devil and to draw nigh to God. Strange, indeed, would it be, if the same conduct were proper to be manifested to the Saviour and to the destroyer of the human family ; to him who came down from heaven that he might give life unto the world, and to him who was cast out of heaven for having brought into the world sin and death; to him who, from the state of the Creator, condescended to come into the form of a bondman, that he might bring a whole race of bondmen into the glorious freedom of the children of God; and to him who, being one of the most exalted of God's creatures, became by transgression, a rebel; induced an innumerable multitude beside, of his own nature, to become rebellious; and then associated them all with himself to bring about the endless ruin of the whole family of man! To worship this creature—this Satan--adversary-devilslanderer-dragon-serpent-old serpent-mankiller-liar-liar and mankiller from the beginning-deceiver of the whole world-must be the deepest infatuation into which the nature of man can be plunged ! Such worship, however, this chief of the fallen angels sought for himself, when Jesus Christ was upon the earth, through the medium of the word, pookuveiv. From Jesus Christ, as the representative of the human family restored, did the adversary of God and man attempt to obtain this worship, which, however, the Son of Man with indignation and triumph, refused him; avowing that such worship as is intended by the term TT POOKUVēly belongs of right to the Lord God of man, and to him only. Now, in many ways and in many Scriptures, has Jesus himself claimed from man that very worship of which the idea is contained in the abovenamed word; and if we refuse supreme worship to the Lord Jesus Christ, we just place him upon the same footing as it is right for us, in imitation of his example, and believing in his power, to place the devil. It is right to say to the angel that tries men—No; I must not worship thee; because I ought to worship the Lord my God; and thou, Satan, art not my Lord and God. But is it not right, 0 thou believer in Jesus, though thy believing may not be greater than that of Thomas, to say, I
must and will worship thee, O my Saviour ; because I have been taught to worship and serve only my Lord and my God, and because my Lord and my God art thou ?
Moreover, with confidence may every believer in the Son of God be appealed to, as to his unwillingness to place his Saviour in the sam condition of dependence as that occupied by his servants, the creations of his own power. They can perceive, indeed, a great difference between common and inspired men. They would not rank Peter, John, Paul, with any of the ordinary ministers who have in any age succeeded them. But still less would they assign the same position in the Scriptures to those apostles, or even to the holy angels of heaven themselves, as to him beneath whom are placed not only the ministers of his church on earth, but also all angels, principalities, and powers. Right, undoubtedly, it were for one of those men to say, “Sirs, why do ye these things, seeing that we are men of like passions with you, who have been sent to command you to turn from these vanities, and to serve the living God ?”—for another to bid Cornelius, the heathen centurion, when he would have worshipped Peter, opening, for the first time, the door of believing in Christ for salvation to the heathen world, “Stand up, for I myself also am a man,”—and for the angel who showed the great rerelations of the last part of God's word to John, to say to that enraptured evangelist and apostle, “See thou do not worship me : because I am thy fellow-servant : but worship God"--all this was right, and faithful, and true. But then for any person to act towards Jesus Christ, as if he were no more than Peter, or John, or Paul, or a created angel ; when the New Testament is full of the teaching that he is the Lord of all flesh both of the dead and of the living, as well as of demons, angels, and men, would be no less than for that man to awaken against himself all those degrees of power, or rather all that power which is beyond degree, whereby the Lord Jesus Christ has in life, manifestation, doing, suffering, atonement, resurrection, righteousness—in all things, become pre-eminent. You, Christian, will not, by refusing habitual worship to the Son of God, lower him to the same ground as Paul, who, with all his gifts, was not crucified for you ; nor as the created angels, to whom, with all their powers, that world has not been subordinated, even as to direct ministration, of which Jesus Christ is the Author, King, and Lord. Would you distinguish him from those his creatures, exalted as they confessedly are? To worship him is the chief, if not the only way. Peter durst not receive the act indicated by a pornuveis, nor Paul, nor one of the high angels ;-they all refused, on the ground that they were not worthy, because no more than creatures. But did the Son of God ever refuse? On the other hand this supreme worship, contained in “APOokuvely," was many a time given him when in his humiliation, and he both received it, and applauded the worshippers.
What then can be more clear than the duty marked out for the