Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

suppose, returned to their allegiance, and took the proper oaths to the King: yet not all who were drawn into the rebellion by the Pretender. Now would there be any impropriety in saying in this case, As by the Pretender many had been drawn into the rebellion, so by that other person many were brought back to their allegi ance? The former many is allowed to be more extensive, than the latter; yet there is a manifest antithesis in the propositon; an antithesis as manifest as there would have been, if the men who returned to their alle, giance, had been just as numerous as those who engaged in the rebellion, and had been the same individuals. Equally manifest it is, that though the many, who died in Adam, be more numerous than the many who are the subjects of saving grace by Christ; yet there is a proper antithesis in this proposition,-"If through the offence of one, many be dead; much more the grace of God by Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."

2. The word many, woλλ, means all men, because the article is joined with it, or λ, the many.*—If this be evident at all, it must be evident either from the general use of the adjective λ, when connected with the article, or from the circumstances of the particular case in which it is used in this passage, Rom. v. 15 and 19. If the validity of the argument now under consideration, be evident from the general use of was in the plural with the article; then generally when used by good authors, and especially by the authors of the New Testament, it means a strict universality. Let us therefore attend to particular instances.-Acts xxvi. 24. "Much learning doth make thee mad;" Tα zona ypaμμx7ce. But no man will say, that this expression means all learning. The use of the article however is very proper, and the expression means the much learning of which the apostle * Page 60.

99

was possessed.-2 Cor. ii. 17; "For we are not as many, οι πολλοί, which corrupt the word of God.” If οι πολλοί here mean all men, the apostle in direct contradiction to himself in this very expression, means that he him self, and all the other apostles, as well as the rest of mankind, did corrupt the word of God.-Rev. xvii. 1: "I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore, that sitteth upon many waters, των ωδαίων των πολλων. All waters, or all people cannot be meant, because by far the greater part of the nations of the world never were under the influence of the great whore.-The only other instances in the whole New Testament, in which woλus in the plural is used with the article, are Mat. xxiv. 12; Rom. xii. 5; ch. xv. 22; 1 Cor. x. 17 and 33, which the reader may examine for himself, and it is presumed, he will find, that in no one of them is a strict universality clearly intended. If this be so, it is by no means evident from the general use of λs in the plural with the article, that λ, many, in Rom. v. 15 and 19, means all men. Nor is this more evident from the circumstances of the particular case, in which many of oλ, is used in Rom. v. 15. Let it be translated as Dr. C. chooses to translate it, thus: If through the offence of one, the many be dead, much more the grace of God, by one man, Jesus, Christ, hath abounded unto the many. Nothing appears from the expression, but that the meaning of the apostle may be, what it has generally been understood to be, that the many who were connected with Adam, and whose life or death depended on his standing or falling, became dead through his offence: and the many who are connected with Christ, and with a particular design to save whom, He died, shall be made the subjects of the abounding grace of God in their most glorious salvation.-I say, nothing appears, either from the general use of or from the particular use of it in this case, but that this

and this only is the real sense of it, in this instance. And for Dr. C. to wish his readers, before he has given them a reason, to give up this sense in favour of his own, is for him to come to them in the humble character of a suppliant, and not in the dignified character of a cogent

reasoner.

3. In the 18th verse, it is expressly asserted, As by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men, eis tavlas avepanovs, to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men, eis avlαs avoρwπovs, to justification of life: whence Dr. C. concludes, that the words all men, in both parts of the comparison are used in the same extent; and says, "It can be no other than a flat contradiction to the express words of the apostle to say, that in the latter part of this comparison not all men are meant, but believers ònly; that is, a few of them." ""* It is indeed a flat contradiction to Dr. C's sense of the apostle's words; but that it is,a contradiction to the true sense of those words, does not appear. If it should be further granted to be a contradiction to the most literal sense of those words taken by themselves, it would not thence follow, that it is a contradiction to the true and real sense of the words. The real sense of words in all authors, is in thousands of instances to be known, not from the words themselves merely, but from their connexion and other circumstances.

The Dr. rightly asserts, that the words all men in verse 18th, mean the same with the many in verse 15th. And as it has been shown, that there is no evidence given by the Doctor, that the many, to whom grace abounds through Christ, mean all men; so all men in the 18th verse meaning, by his own consent, the same with the many in verse 15th, must, until we have evidence to the contrary, be understood with the same restriction.

* Page 32.

To carry on the comparison, and maintain the antithesis, there is no more necessity of understanding the words all men, when applied to the saved by Christ in the 18th verse, to mean the whole human race; than there is of understanding in that extent, the many in the latter part of verse 15th.

Beside; the meaning of those words is abundantly restricted by the context: as verse 17th, "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign by one, Jesus Christ." The 18th verse is an inference drawn from the 17th, and is introduced by apa ovv, therefore. But the 18th verse would be no just inference at all from the 17th, unless the words all men in the latter part of the 18th verse be equally restricted as the words they which receive abundance of grace, in the 17th verse. Let us make trial of understanding those phrases in a sense differently extensive, thus; For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more true believers in this life, who are the subjects of the peculiar and abundant grace of God, shall reign in eternal life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men universally to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men universally unto justification of life, whether in this world they believe or not. The whole force of this reasoning is more briefly expressed thus; Those who believe in this life, shall reign in life eternal: therefore also all men, whether they believe in this life or not, shall in like manner reign in life eternal. But who does not see, that this consequence by no means follows from the premises?

Although Dr. C. supposes "this therefore" [in verse 18th.] "is the same which began the 12th verse :”—yet

66

he allows, "it will make no essential difference in the apostle's reasoning, if we should suppose, that the 18th and 19th verses introduced by apa ovy, are a conclusion from the three foregoing verses: :”* And it is evident by the Doctor's own discourse, that he himself was full in the opinion, that the 18th and 19th verses, are a conclusion from the three preceding verses, though he was of the opinion that those three verses, are an INTERPOSED parenthesis." Let the reader notice the following passage; "The view of the apostle in interposing these verses" [the 15th, 16th, and 17th,]" was that he might argue from the gift in this abounding sense, when he came to prosecute the comparison between Adam and Christ-And if the gift through Christ might be supposed to abound beyond the lapse, in the 15th, 16th, and 17th verses, why not in the 18th and 19th ?"†

Indeed the Doctor himself allows, that the all men in the latter part of the 18th verse, is no more extensive, than they which receive abundance of grace in the 17th verse. But he supposes that the latter expression is equally extended with the former, and that the former extends to all mankind. I say, he supposes this: but his opponents in this controversy suppose the contrary; and how does it appear, but that their supposition is as good as his? If the Doctor wished that we should give the preference to his supposition, he ought to have given

us some reason.

The Doctor with the help of a "learned friend" has given us a long dissertation on the 17th verse, and on the Greek verb λaußava, with a design to prove, that

außavovles, they who receive, mean not those who receive the grace of God actively, voluntarily and with a heart to improve it; but those who are the "objects of this grace,"

† Page 68.

?

* Page 67.

« AnteriorContinuar »