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readiness in Latin expression, so as to have no need to envy
the most elegant Latin scholars; and, above all, he will become daily more desirous and susceptible of divine things, as by following these advices, he never loses his relish for the majestic and allcommanding simplicity of revealed truth."
After thus editing Cicero's Letters, he completed a translation of them into German. This also he had intended, with Weissensee's assistance, to have published ; * but was prevented by having now undertaken works of a more extensive kind, and more intimately connected with the cause of Christ. He had also, during the earlier part of his residence at the seminary, collected materials for a new edition of Ovid's Tristia (chiefly after the Verpoortinian edition,) and upon the same plan as that of his Cicero's Epistles; likewise materials for a similar edition of Persius; but neither of these were ever published.
2. The next work he edited was Gregory's Panegyric upon Origen.f This too was occasioned by the necessities of his pupils; for they had to read some father of the church, as an accompaniment to the study of the Greek Testament; and he selected the above work, with the consent of the directors of the Institution: "first, because Gregory has there shown, by his own example, that a youth of an inquiring spirit can find no true and solid satisfaction in all the heathen philosophical systems, many as may be their advantages and claims of interest to those who study them for other purposes; but is compelled, by a sense of his own needs and necessities, to seek refuge in the substantial truths of Christianity.-Secondly, because the 'Panegyric' contains verities of the highest importance, which, as most fully responding to the soul's inquiries, far surpass all others in moral efficacy.—And, thirdly, because it is here demonstrated what great care is needful for any thing like sound scriptural exposition, and that those only can become good expositors, who have the eyes of their understanding enlightened by the Spirit of God.”
* “ After completing,” he said, my researches among the classics and the fathers, my next undertaking was the New Testament. Daily relish for the sweet language of divine inspiration had now superseded with me that of all other dainties, though I was not insensible of their charms.”—It was in the very midst of his classical occupations, in the year 1717, that he wrote to a friend,"I have more need to be stirred up by you, than you by me; for I often find my (spiritual) strength at a very low ebb among these dead heathen (classics.) But my toil becomes lighter every day, and the Divine wisdom has hitherto so preserved me, while busied in these little things, that in the main I get no harm. Neither among my young flock have I frittered away my jus postliminii (i.e I have not become estranged from beloved theology by my duties as a classical tutor;) indeed, I hope soon to have the privilege of pasturing less interruptedly among gratifications more solid and substantial.”
+ Bengel's title of this work runs thus :-“ Gregorii Thaumaturgi Panegyricus ad Originem, Græcè et Latinè; et omnibus qui sapientiam, ut illi, Christianam, vel cum linguâ Græcâ, vel etiam citra eam docent, discunt, et colunt, eo accommodatus instituto, cujus ratio in proæmio explanatur; operâ Jo. Alberti Bengelii : Stuttgardiæ, sumtu Jo. Bened. Mezleri, 1722."
Thus did the present work afford Bengel a valuable opportunity of impressing upon his scholars, the decided superiority which that holy faith they were destined to preach, holds over every human system; because the latter, being but inventions of blinded natural reason, are as destitute of the most needful kind of truth, and still more, of all completeness in the same, as they are of all satisfactory credentials: whereas, the very opposite is true of the system of Holy Writ; as, the more deeply its fundamental verities are inquired into, the more richly and abundantly do they reward our diligence.
He followed the example of former editors in furnishing the Greek text with a Latin translation; and gave an appendix of appropriate notes from G. Vossius, Is. Casaubon, D. Hoschelius, and L. Rhodomannus, with many original notes of his own. *
3. From the following extract of a letter to Weissensee we learn, that, as early as the year 1715, Bengel had thoughts of publishing, for the use of his pupils in the Theological seminary, a new edition of Chrysostom's Treatise in six books “ Upon the Priesthood."
“ Denkendorf, Aug. 15, 1715. “I find it will be useful, when I have gone through the Greek Testament with my students, to connect with it some other author, as a lecture book; and, with my present class, Chrysostom's seven select Homilies, printed at Tübingen in 1709, with a preface by J. M. Jäger, appear to me very suitable for the purpose. I think, however, that that ancient and eminent father's noble and concise work, De Sacerdotio,' would do still better, as being rich in elegancy of words and phrases, much commended by writers ancient and modern, and decidedly the best production of his pen. I prefer it as especially excellent upon the pastoral office; and it may make upon my young people an early and deep impression of the sanctity and vast importance of that ministry for which they are designed. I even think of preparing a Greek and Latin edition of it, with annotations and indexes, and have collected a variety of materials towards it, for it is more than a century since it was printed, in Germany. Meanwhile I must wait for the appearance of Montfaucon's promised edition of the whole of Chrysostom's works."
*Buddeus expresses his opinion of this work, in his “ Isagoge,” p. 109, as follows :Quæ editio ut summo studio adornata, ita, et notas variorum selectas, ac com plures novas, imprimis est commendanda,”—(i. e.“ This edition merits the highest commendation, as well for the beauty, and most critical accuracy of the text and version, as for its judicious selection of notes from various commentators, combined with many new ones of its own.”
This last observation shows why his own publication was so long delayed. Though the first volume of Montfaucon's edition came out in 1718, and contained the treatise « On the Priesthood," yet Bengel's inquiries for it at Strasburg, and among various booksellers in Germany, were unavailing. He was therefore obliged at last (this was in 1724) to apply to Bernard de Montfaucon himself, who had the kindness immediately to send him the treatise in a set of proof sheets; (as a whole first volume could not well be separated from the rest, and to purchase all the volumes would have been too expensive for Bengel.) The delay, however, gave him opportunity of carefully collating the preceding editions, and for availing himself of some valuable manuscripts which had not been noticed in them.* The form of this edition resembles that of his “Gregory:" containing the revised Greek text, and the Latin version at one view, on opposite pages. The notes are at the end, and consist of a compressed selection of the best remarks of preceding commentators; many new notes of his own; and some of the best thoughts of the best writers on pastoral theology. In all which appendages he endeavoured to confine himself to what was most absolutely requisite; as it was one of his rules for editing an ancient author, that we are not to act as architects, who plan, perfect, and accomplish their own original ideas; but like some tasteful and diligent gardener, who sets off the native and appropriate beauties of a spot of ground in their simplest and most attractive form. To this work he also annexed an interesting tract, entitled, “ Prodromus, N. T., &c.," which we shall have to notice in the following chapter.
* His work is entitled, “Joannis Chrysostomi de Sacerdotio libri sex, Græcè et Latinè, utrinque recogniti et notis indicibusque aucti, eo maximè consilio, ut cænobiorum Wirtembergicorum alumni, et cæteri, qui N. T. Græco imbuti sunt, ad scriptores ecclesiasticos suavi gustu invitentur, facilique methodo præparentur. Accedit Prodromus Novi Testamenti Græci rectè cautèque adornandi : operâ Jo. Alberti Bengelii: Stuttgardiæ, apud J. B. Mezlerum et C. Erhardum, 1725."-In the year 1825 there appeared (as if for a memorial of the value of this edition, after a hundred years,) a beautiful stereotype impression of its Greek text, published by Charles Tauchnitz, [of Leipsic.]
Moreover, he wrote “ Annotations upon Macarius,” whose Greek text, with its Latin version, he improved in various important passages, and elucidated upon many points of philology and divinity. These annotations Dr. Pritius had intended to insert in an improved edition of his favourite Macarius, which his death prevented him from completing, so that it never was published. Lastly, Bengel wrote, “ Annotations to Ephrem Syrus,” which were left in the same condition.
HIS CRITICISM OF THE GREEK TESTAMENT.
SOME ACCOUNT OF GREEK TESTAMENT CRITICISM TO BENGEL'S
In order to do him justice as a critic in this department, it is but right to take a brief review of what had been done before him. The earliest printed Greek Testament was that of the celebrated Aldus of Venice, who, in 1504, sent from the press the first six principal sections of St. John's Gospel. It was not till 1516, the year
before that from which we usually date the commencement of the Reformation, that any thing like the entire Greek Testament was printed. But in that year the first edition of the kind was published by Erasmus, partly from MSS. which he had met with at Bâsle, and partly from collations of the Latin version. Its rapid sale multiplied it to four quickly succeeding editions ; in each of which he still availed himself of fresh MSS., though he seldom furnishes any particular references to them.
In 1525 the Alcala Bible, (Biblia Complutensia,) which had been completed under the superintendence of Cardinal Ximenes, received the Pope's imprimatur. This edition contains the advantages of the Vatican MSS., with those of a codex Rhodiensis, and doubtless of such MSS. as were then discoverable in Spain.
Robert Stephens (Stephanus,) made it his object to combine the excellencies of these two principal editions, and of others less noted, (as of Asulanus's Venice edition of 1518), with his own collations from MSS. in the Royal Library of Paris. Thus
* In this and the ensuing sections we follow, principally, his own historical account of New Testament Criticism in his “ Apparatus Criticus,” and Dr. J. Leonard Hug's “ Introduction to the Scriptures of the New Testament,” vol. i. p. 54, at.