« ПредишнаНапред »
him what Hesiod, for instance, became to the later Greek world. He does not regard it as a great repertorium or storehouse of quotations, which might be accidentally or fancifully employed to illustrate the events or the theories of a later age, and to which accordingly he had recourse for purposes of literary ornamentation. On the contrary, St. Paul's is the exact inverse of this point of view. According to St. Paul, the great doctrines and events of the Gospel dispensation were directly anticipated in the Old Testament. If the sense of the Old Testament became patent in the New, it was because the New Testament was already latent in the Old a. Προϊδοῦσα δὲ ἡ γραφὴ ὅτι ἐκ πίστεως δικαιοῖ τὰ ἔθνη ὁ Θεὸς, προευηγγελίσατο τῷ ̓Αβραάμ. Scripture is thus boldly identified with the Mind Which inspires it; Scripture is a living Providence. The Promise to Abraham anticipates the work of the Apostle; the earliest of the Books of Moses determines the argument of the Epistle to the Galatians. Such a position is only intelligible when placed in the light of a belief in the fundamental Unity of all Revelation, underlying, and strictly compatible with its superficial variety. And this true, internal Unity of Scripture, even when the exact canonical limits of Scripture were still unfixed, was a common article of belief to all Christian antiquity. It was common ground to the sub-apostolic and to the Nicene age; to the East and to the West; to the School of Antioch and to the School of Alexandria; to mystical interpreters like St. Ambrose, and to literalists like St. Chrysostom; to cold reasoners, such as Theodoret, and to fervid poets such as Ephrem the Syrian; to those who, with Origen, conceded much to reason, and to those who, with St. Cyril or St. Leo, claimed much for faith. Nay, this belief in the organic oneness of Scripture was not merely shared by schools and writers of divergent tendencies within the Church; it was shared by the Church herself with her most vehement heretical opponents. Between St. Athanasius and the Arians there was no question as to the relevancy of the reference in the book of Proverbs b to the pre-existent Person of our Lord, although there was a vital difference between them as to the true sense and force of that reference. Scripture was believed to contain an harmonious and integral body of Sacred Truth, and each
St. Aug. Quæst. in Ex. qu. 73: 'quanquam et in Vetere Novum lateat, et in Novo Vetus pateat.'
b Prov. viii. 22. Cf. St. Athan. Orat. c. Arian. ii. 44. p. 113, ed. Bright.
part of that body was treated as being more or less directly, more or less ascertainably, in correspondence with the rest. This belief expressed itself in the world-wide practice of quoting from any one book of Scripture in illustration of the mind of any other book. Instead of illustrating the sense of each writer only from other passages in his own works, the existence of a sense common to all the Sacred Writers was recognised, and each writer was accordingly interpreted by the language of the others. To a modern naturalistic critic it might seem a culpable, or at least an undiscriminating procedure, when a Father illustrates the Apostolical Epistles by a reference to the Pentateuch, or even one Evangelist by another, or the dogmatic sense of St. Paul by that of St. John. And unquestionably, in a merely human literature, such attempts at illustration would be misleading. The different intellectual horizons, modes of thought, shades and turns of feeling, which constitute the peculiarities of different writers, debar us from ascertaining, under ordinary circumstances, the exact sense of any one writer, except from himself. In an uninspired literature, such as the Greek or the English, it would be absurd to appeal to a primitive annalist or poet with a view to determining the meaning of an author of some later age. We do not suppose that Hesiod 'foresaw' the political doctrines of Thucydides, or the moral speculations of Aristotle. We do not expect to find in Chaucer or in Clarendon a clue to or a forecast of the true sense of Macaulay or of Tennyson. No one has ever imagined that either the Greek or the English literature is a whole in such sense that any common purpose runs persistently throughout it, or that we can presume upon the existence of a common responsibility to some one line of thought in the several authors who have created it, or that each portion is under any kind of obligation to be in some profound moral and intellectual conformity with the rest. But the Church of Christ has ever believed her Bible to be throughout and so emphatically the handiwork of the Eternal Spirit, that it is no absurdity in Christians to cite Moses as foreshadowing the teaching of St. Paul and of St. John. According to the tenor of Christian belief, Moses, St. Paul, and St. John are severally regarded as free yet docile organs of One Infallible Intelligence, Who places them at different points along the line of His action in human history; Who through them and others, as the ages pass before Him, slowly unveils His Mind; Who anticipates the fulness of later revelations
by the hints contained in His earlier disclosures; Who in the compass of His boundless Wisdom 'reacheth from one end to another mightily, and sweetly ordereth all things .'
Such a belief in the organic unity of Scripture is not fatal to a recognition of those differences between its several portions, upon which some modern critics would lay an exaggerated emphasis. When St. Paul recognises an organic connection between the distant extremities of the records of Revelation, he does not debar himself from recognising differences in form, in matter, in immediate purpose, which part the Law of Moses from the writings of the New Testament d. The unlikeness which subsists between the head and the lower limbs of an animal is not fatal to their common share in its nervous system and in the circulation of its blood. Nay more, this oneness of Scripture is a truth compatible with the existence within its compass of different measures and levels of Revelation. The unity of consciousness in a human life is not forfeited by growth of knowledge, or by difference of circumstances, or by varieties of experience. Novatian compares the unfolding of the mind of God in Revelation to the gradual breaking of the dawn, attempered as it is to the human eye, which after long hours of darkness could not endure a sudden outflash of noonday sunlight. The Fathers trace in detail the application of this principle to successive revelations in Scripture, first, of the absolute Unity of God, and afterwards, of Persons internal to that Unity f. The Sermon on the Mount contrasts its own higher moral level with that of the earlier dispensation 8. Ethically and dogmatically the New Testament is an advance upon the Old, yet both are within the Unity of Inspiration. Different degrees of light do not imply any intrinsic contrariety. If the Epistle to the Galatians points out the moral incapacity of the Mosaic Law, the Epistle to the Hebrews teaches us its typical and unfailing significance. If Christian converts from Judaism had been called out of
• Wisd. viii. 1.
d e. g. cf. Gal. iii. 23-25; Rom. x. 4; Heb. viii. 13.
• Novatian, de Trin. c. 26: Gradatim enim et per incrementa fragilitas humana nutriri debet, . . periculosa enim sunt quæ magna sunt, si repentina sunt. Nam etiam lux solis subita post tenebras splendore nimio insuetis oculis non ostendet diem, sed potius faciet cæcitatem.'
St. Epiphanius, Hæres. 74. 10; St. Gregor. Nazianzen, Orat. xxxi. n. 26: ἐκήρυσσε φανερῶς ἡ Παλαιὰ τὸν Πατέρα, τὸν Υἱὸν ἀμυδρότερον. Cf. Kuhn, Dogmatik, Band ii. p. 5.
St. Matt. v. 21, 22, 27, 28, 33, 34; comp. Ibid. xii. 5–8.
darkness into God's marvellous light h,' yet still 'whatsoever things were written aforetime,' in the Jewish Scriptures, 'were written for the learning' of Christians i.
You will have anticipated, my brethren, the bearing of these remarks upon the question before us. There are explicit references to the doctrine of our Lord's Divinity in the Old Testament, which we can only deny by discrediting the historical value of the documents which contain them. But there are also occult references to this doctrine which we are not likely to detect, unless, while seeking them, we are furnished with an exegetical principle, such as was that of the organic unity of Scripture, as understood by the Ancient Church. The geologist can inform us from surface indications, where and at what depths to find the coal-field or the granite; but we can all recognise granite or coal when we see them in the sunlight. Let us then first place ourselves under the guidance of the great minds of antiquity, with a view to discovering some of those more hidden allusions to the doctrine which are found in earlier portions of the Old Testament Scriptures; and let us afterwards trace, however hastily, those clearer intimations of it which abound in the later Messianic prophecies, and which are indeed so plain, that 'whoso runs may read them.'
I. (a) At the beginning of the Book of Genesis there appear to be intimations of the existence of a plurality of Persons within the One Essence of God. It is indeed somewhat remarkable that the full significance of the two words, by which Moses describes the primal creative act of God, was not insisted upon by the primitive Church teachers. It attracted attention in the middle ages, and it was more particularly noticed after the revival of Hebrew Letters. When Moses is describing this Divine action, he joins a singular verb to a plural noun. Language, it would seem, thus submits to a violent anomaly, that she may the better hint at the presence of Several Powers or Persons, Who not merely act together, but Who constitute a Single Agent. We are indeed told that this Name of God, Elohim, was borrowed from Polytheistic sources, that it was retained in its plural form in order to express majesty or magnificence, and that it was then united to singular verbs and adjectives in order to make it do the work of a Monotheistic Creed k. But on the other hand, it is confessed on all sides that the promulgation and protection of a belief in the Unity of God was the central i Rom. xv. 4. J Gen. i. I, DİN 272. k Herder, Geist der Hebr. Poësie, Bd. i. p. 48.
I St. Pet. ii. 9.
and dominant object of the Mosaic literature and of the Mosaic legislation. Surely such an object would not have been imperilled for no higher purpose than that of amplification. There must have been a truth at stake which demanded the risk. The Hebrew language could have described God by singular forms such as El, Eloah, and no question would have been raised as to the strictly Monotheistic force of those words. The Hebrew language might have 'amplified' the idea of God thus conveyed by less dangerous processes than the employment of a plural form. Would it not have done so, unless the plural form had been really necessary, in order to suggest some complex mystery of God's inner Life, until that mystery should be more clearly unveiled by the explicit Revelations of a later day? The analogies of the language may indeed prove that the plural form of the word had a majestic force; but the risk of misunderstanding would surely have counterbalanced this motive for using it, unless a vital need had demanded its retention. Nor will the theory that the plural noun is merely expressive of majesty in Db, avail to account for the plural verb in the words, 'Let Us make man!' In these words, which precede the final act and climax of the Creation, the early Fathers detected a clear intimation of a Plurality of Persons in the Godhead m. The supposition that in these words a Single Person is in a dramatic colloquy with Himself, is less reasonable than the opinion that a Divine Speaker is addressing a multitude of inferior beings, such as the Angels. But apart from other considerations, we may well ask, what would be the 'likeness' or 'image' common to God and to the Angels, in which man was to be created or why should created essences such as the Angels be invited to take part in a Creative Act at all? Each of the foregoing explanations is really weighted with greater difficulties than the Patristic doctrine, to the effect that the verb, 'Let Us make,' points to a Plurality of Persons within the Unity of the One Agent, while the 'Likeness,' common to All These Persons and itself One, suggests very pointedly Their participation in an Undivided Nature. And in such sayings as 'Behold the man
1 Gen. i. 26. Cp. Drach, Deuxième Lettre d'un Rabbin Converti aux Israelites ses Pères, Paris, 1827, p. 26.
m Cf. the references in Petavius, de Trinitate, ii. 7. 6.
n‘Non raro etiam veteres recentioresque interpretes, ut □ de angelis intelligerent, theologicis potius quam exegeticis argumentis permoti esse videntur; cf. . . . Gen. i. 26, 27, ex quo Samaritani cum Abenezra hominem ad angelorum, non ad Dei, similitudinem creatum esse probant.' Gesenius, Thesaur. in voc. n. 2.