Images de page
PDF
ePub

The next Hebrew word above them.” Evidently this mind is the alluded to, is v), which primarily spirit of man recognised in the signifies breath, but is applied in other passages by the same Hebrew its secondary meaning to the in- word, and which in Zach. xii. 1, it corporeal spirit. Job asks, chap. is said, “ the Lord, who stretcheth xxvi. 4-"Whose spirit came from forth the heavens, and layeth the thee?” It is a question which Job foundations of the earth, and formputs to Bildad, in the cutting reply eth the spirit of man within him.” which he makes to the allegations These passages are sufficient to of his friend. Solomon has used show a prevalent meaning in the the same term, Prov. xx. 27, with use of those terms in the Old Tesapplication to the soul of man; tament-a meaning which need not “The spirit of man is the candle be mistaken, and which cannot, of the Lord.” But there is a pas- without violence to the plain imsage in Isah. lvii. 16, which is very port, be applied to any thing else decisive. « For I will not contend than the immaterial soul of man. forever, neither will I be always Can any man read attentively these wroth: for the spirit should fail and hundreds of other similar pasbefore me, and the souls which I sages, without perceiving that such have made.” This solemn decla- a spirit is ascribed to man, and that ration of Jehovah concerning the it constitutes by far the noblest part souls which he had made, must have of his being? We think not. But reference to the incorporeal spirit, we have yet to examine some pasand decides the meaning of the sages of the New Testament, where term as here used. It can have no. we find the same principles recogother application consistent with nised. the scope and design of the prece

The Greeks used several terms ding and subsequent verses. to designate this immortal and in

The remaining Hebrew word is corporeal principle. More comni which has nearly the same sig- monly two are used in the New nification as the first, and is trans. Testament, viz. Tverra and yuxne lated breath, wind, air, and spirit. but vous and diavose are sometimes It is very often used to denote the used. These words are not invariably immaterial soul of man. We cite a used in the same sense, nor are few of the many. The prayer of they precisely synonymous in their Moses and Aaron is worthy of no- meaning. What we affirm is, that tice, Num. xvi. 22. “ And they fell the sacred writers have used all upon their faces, and said, oʻGod, these terms to denote the same the God of the spirits of all flesh, thing. We have not room to disshall one man sin, and wilt thou be cuss the various meanings of

πνευμα, wroth with all the congregation.” nor is it necessary, since the prins Moses used the same form of ex- ciple which we allege is so conspipression, “ God of the spirits of all cuous throughout the New TestaHesh,” as is recorded in Num. xxvii. ment. It is doubtless true, that 16. In the thirty-first Psalm, verse TOYEUMO, like the Hebrew word for 5, we have the words of David, which it is used in the Septuagint, “into thine hand I commit my spi- means breath, air, and wind. But rit.” To the same purpose is the sen- it may be doubted whether the New timent of Solomon, Eccl. xii. 7 Testament writers ever use it for “ The spirit shall return unto God wind. It is rendered wind in but a who gave it.” In the prophecy of single passage, John iii. 8, and the Ezekiel, chap. xi. 5—“Thus saith correctness of that translation is the Lord I know the things that questionable. However that may come into your mind, every one of be, it is perfectly certain that the

It was

New Testament writers applied of believers, we are “ of them that this word to something belonging believe to the saving of the soul.to man, and something distinct In James v. 20—"he who convertfrom the body which it inhabits. It eth a sinner froin the error of his was this arve upce which Jesus yielded way, shall save a soul from death.” up and commended to the hands of We mention but one passage more, his Father, Luke xxiii. 46.

found in the first epistle of Pet. iv. the same which the martyr Stephen 19. “Wherefore, let them that sufbesought the Lord Jesus to receive, fer according to the will of God, Acts vii. 59. It is the same which commit the keeping of their souls knows the things of man, as stated to him in well doing as unto a faithin Paul's interrogatory to the Co- ful Creator.” An examination of rinthians, 1 Cor. ii. 11. It is that these passages, to say nothing of in which we are commanded to glo- 'many others which occur, are suffirify God as well as our bodies, 1 cient, not only to show a common Cor. vi. 20. It is the same which is meaning of the term, but to prove described as completing the first the doctrine, so fully ascertained man Adam, 1 Cor. xv. 45. But from the Old Testament, of a spi. quotations might be extended to ritual existence, antecedent to all very great length. All the New its acts, and distinct from its exTestament writers use this term ercises. for an immaterial and immortal For the Greek words vous and soul,

deavorce which are sometimes figuraThe other word, toxin, is fre- tively used for mind or soul, we requently used by the same writers fer the reader to some of the pasin the same sense as treure, but is sages where they may be found. more commonly applied to life. We Rom. i. 28, also vii. 23 and xii. 2; had marked seven or eight differ. Eph. iv. 17, 23; 1 Tim. vi. 5, and 2 ent shades of meaning, in the one Tim. iii. 8. In these passages, if hundred and four times which it we mistake not, vous will be found to occurs in the New Testament. But indicate man's immaterial soul. it would extend this article to un The following passages may furreasonable length to give them here. nish a specimen of the same meaning We cite a few passages to show one attached to the use of diavola, Eph. of its common meanings, Matth. ii. 3-"fulfilling the desires of the x. 28—" Fear not them which kill flesh and of the mind,Col. i. 21the body, but are not able to kill “ Alienated and enemies in your the soul ; bat rather fear him who mind.” See also Heb. viii. 10, also is able to destroy, both soul and x. 16; 1 Pet. i. 13; 2 Pet. iii. 1. To body in hell.” To the same purpose all these many other passages both as it respects the meaning of toxine from the Old and New Testament is Matth. xvi. 26. “ For what is a might be added, which teach in plain man profited, if he shall gain the terms that man has a soul or mind whole world and lose his own soul; incorporeal, a simple, spiritual subor what shall a man give in ex stance. This is a first principle in change for his soul." See also in our philosophy, and which bears the Luke xii. 20—" This night thy soul test of divine revelation. We have shall be required of thee.” In Acts spent more time on this topic, than xiv. 2, mind is used in the transla was perhaps necessary to prove the tion-"But the unbelieving Jews truth of the doctrine. But as it lies stirred up the Gentiles and made at the foundation, it seemed proper their minds evil-affected against the to give a somewhat connected view brethren." See also Pbil. 1. 27, and of the revealed fact. Heb. xii. 3. In Heb. x. 39, it is said The next radical principle to be Ch. Adv.Vol. X.

2 K

examined is, that the mind possesses But this, with the other principles, three distinct faculties, which we will constitute the subject of a fu

F. call understanding, heart, and will, ture number.

Review.

REVIEW OF SCOTT'S THIRD VOLUME.

corrected his opinions on predesti

nation-paved' the way for the Concluded from page 231.

Calvanistick controversy, and for We proceed to offer some con that decline in vital religion and cluding reflections, and they shall really Scriptural truth which overbe brief, on particular points in the statements invariably occasion. character and theology of Calvin. Arminianism, Semi-Pelagianism, We of course allude to his doc- cold-hearted orthodoxy without trines relating to the predestina- spiritual life, and the acerbity of tion and election of Almighty God. theological debate throughout the These are the chief grounds of Reformed churches, were in no odium against bis theology, for small measure the consequences which we at once frankly avow of Calvin's incautious language. that some cause was given. He But after this admission, let it carried his metaphysical deduc. still be remembered, that his doc. tions from Scripture beyond the trines upon the deep and difficult statements of the inspired oracles; subject of the Divine purposes, he employed the word reprobate in were, upon the whole, no peculiaria sense in which it does not occur ties of his; that they were not his in the Bible; he alluded too fre- main subject; and that on nearly quently to the secret will and pure all the additional points which poses of God, and spoke of men in have been called Calvanism in that point of view so as sometimes later times, he took the opposite to seem to contradict the general side to that which his supposed foltenor of Scripture, and the univer- lowers occupied. We will briefly sal practice of the inspired teach- corroborate these statements. ers; and he framed too boldly a With regard to the first, it is resystem, which was drawn, as he markable, as Mr. Scott justly obconceived, from Scripture princi- serves, that we pass through more ples, but certainly not found ex than half of the twenty-eight years plicitly in the sacred volume. of Calvin's ministry without even

The consequence of this admix- hearing of the question of predesture of over-statement was, that a tination. His sentiments were becontroversial air was given to Pro- fore the world on that subject, and testantism; that the Lutheran he never varied respecting it; but churches were by degrees cooled no controversy arose upon it among in their communion with those of Protestants. Calvin, though he Switzerland, and the separation reduced the tenets he held on this occasioned by the Sacramental head to a more regular system, and question was widened. And, what sometimes carried them, as we is worse, the first encouragement have remarked, to a faulty excess, was given to all those subsequent yet invented none: he has said systems and courses of preaching, nothing which St. Augustine had which, going far beyond Calvin, not said eleven hundred years beand omitting the sound and prac- fore he was born. And what is tical views, which, in his theology, more important, he rather softened

[ocr errors]

than aggravated what had pre- opposite; though it is obvious that
viously been taught by Luther, Me. the former term has an unlimited
lancthon, Zuingle, and others in extent, while the latter is confined
the earlier period of the Reforma- to one particular subject. And it
tion. As that blessed work pro- is in the wide view, rather than the
ceeded, the other churches sunk restricted one, that both Luther
back, and Geneva went somewhat and Melancthon seemn chiefly to
beyond them, without being con- contemplate the doctrine.”
sidered as furnishing the least The other passage is in the vo-
ground of variance between them. lume before us. It relates to the
To the last, Calvin venerated and interpretation of particular texts
loved Melancthon, and used to call of Scripture. The text is the much
him “ The Divine;" and it was not controverted one, Romans vii.; but
till 1552 that he published his work the remark is peculiarly applicable
on Predestination.

to the passages which speak of the
We entirely concur with Mr. Divine purposes.
Scott's observation on this point, “ It is to be regretted that those who
and especially on the fault of im- have strongly taken opposite sides of the
puting motives to pious and devout question respecting this important pas-
men who take different views of overlooked the obvious fact, that, accord-
this profound question. Let the ing to the general view which they take
facts be allowed, that man is capa- of the meaning, and application of the
ble of nothing spiritually good by whole will be the interpretation which
himself, and that it is God who they respectively put on particular phrases

or sentences. Ile who understands the worketh in him to will and to do passage at large to describe the experience of his good pleasure, and the doc. of the true and even advanced Christian, trines of the Divine purposes, in qualifies his exposition of the clauses whatever way they are explained, I would, I do not; but the evil which I or if they are even wholly abstain- would not, that do I,” &c. so as to render ed from in public discourses, will them compatible with that interpretation. not disturb Christian unity. We He, on the other hand, who reduces the have not room for the passage of the protests of conscience against

passage to little more than a description to which we allude, pp. 47–49; prevailing depraved inclination, must at but we inust cite two remarks of least equally lower down the meaning much moment. The first is in the of the sentences, “ I delight in the' law of second volume of the Continuation, I would not, that do I”—“now then it is no

God after the inner man"_" the evil which It can hardly have fail more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in ed to be observed how very unde- me," &c. to make them at all agree with fined, how popular, and almost en

such an interpretation. Let each party tirely practical, are all those pas. his own exposition of particular parts, and

apply to the other's general interpretation sages which have been adduced he will find it easy to fix upon

his

OPPO • either by Dr. Milnor or myself, nent charges of absurdity, and even im from this great Reformer's (Lu- piety, which by no meaus really belong to ther) writings on the subject of the

. predestination of men to eternal life. So much for the doctrines them. In fact, both he and Melancthon selves, as propounded by Calvin. but sparingly apply the doctrine to The proportionate space which they the great and awful subject of hu- occupy in his theology should next man salvation, to which, in modern be noted in order to form an impartimes, we are apt almost exclusive- tial view of the case. For instead ly to apply it; the term Predesti- of these deep questions filling the nation seems, in the apprehension volumes of Calvin, there is little of numbers, synonymous, or nearly comparatively on the subject in synonymous, with election or its them. Even in the Institutes they

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of

occupy only about a twentieth part of evidences of faith being appealed of the work. The longest chapters to; though, in opposition to the are on Prayer and the Moral Law. Popish doctrine of perpetual doubt Out of eight hundred pages, scarce as to the acceptance, he sometimes ly more than fifty are allotted to seemed to confound the assurance this mysterious topick; and not with the essence of faith; he scruonly so, but all the other doctrines, ples not to use the word condition precepts, and warnings of Scrip- as indispensable to acceptance with ture, hold their proportionate posi.. God; he allows the term co-operation in his instructions; a position tion, on the part man, after grace more prominent, more extensive, received. On final perseverance, more influential, than the onesto. he is so moderate, that he which so much objection is raised. Read his learned and most able

"speaks of the special call,'' when by Commentaries from one end of the

the inward illumination of the Spirit, God

causes the word preached to sink into the seven folios to the other--you find heart," as " for the most part vouchsafed the most luininous and conscien- only to the fathful;' but sometimes comtious exposition of the Holy Scrip- municated to those who, on account of tures-a penetration which solves and struck with greater blindness.'” p.

their ingratitude, are afterwards forsaken almost all difficaties—an honesty 578. and good sense which seize on the main point-a fairness and impar These points practically modify, tiality which seem to know no syg. and guard, to an extraordinary detem. After three centuries, the gree, his doctrine of the Divine Commentaries of John Calvin re. purposes; and we mention them in main unrivalled. The doctrine of justice to a great name, of which a predestination was not his great wrong estimate has been very gesubject; it was not that which nerally formed. mainly engaged his powers, much We should have been glad, if less that on which he exclusively our space allowed, of adding vadwelt.

rious other extracts; but we must Our third remark was, that on content ourselves with referring, almost all the additional points without citation, to the letters to which have been called Calvinism our Reformers in England, pp. 387, in later times he took the opposite 464, 469; the passages illustrating side to that which his supposed fol- Calvin's views of baptism, pp. 251, lowers occupy. We can only enu 305, 312, 423, 415, 466, 468, 551, merate; we cannot quote. Calvin 592, 594; and those which detect held the universality of redemption, the mischiefs occasioned by new and expressly avowed his belief of doctrines, and an unsteady changeit, as if carefully to prevent any able mind, which are well deservmistake as to his opinion, in his ing of notice, at pp. 95, 97, 158, will. Four times within a few lines 162, 172, 251, 272, 347, 355, 362, does he on one occasion assert the 364, 377, 379, 382, 453, 456, 459, universality of the promises and 469, 480, 505. offers of the Gospel. On free will, We might, in justice to the auhe is far more moderate than Lu- thor, add numerous passages illusther or Melancthon in their early trative of the soundness of mind, writings. He did not hold the duc- the moderation in doubtful points, trine of the imputation of Adam's and the impartiality which he has sin to all his posterity; he main. displayed throughout his work. tained the authority and obliga. We can afford space only for a tions of the moral law as the rule brief specimen. The following are of life: he enforced the necessity of the highest order. The propo

« PrécédentContinuer »