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fiable rendering, imposed upon another text of Isaiah'-" The angel of his presence saved them;" which they translate « 8 πρεσβυς, εδε αγγελο», αλλ'
Avtos—not a legate, nor an angel, but HE HIM
SELF;” thus plainly indicating inferiority, unsupported by the original. Indeed Dr Bull builds as much upon the
μεγαλης βελης αγγελG-” of the Septuagint, as if it were the canonical language of Scripture, nor ever so much as hints at its being an interpolation. With more candour, Dr Waterland thinks, that it might have been a corruption of the Jews after our Saviour's time; and then adds, “ it is “ the less to be wondered at, if we meet with this “ text but seldom cited, in proof of Christ's divinity, “ since the LXX, which the primitive Fathers
chiefly followed, and quoted from, exhibited an“ other sense of the passage 1."
1 Isaiah lxiii. 9.
2 Serm. vi. p. 219.
IT cannot, I think, be well denied, but that the Septuagint translation, as Dr Waterland has acknowledged, having been chiefly followed by the primitive Fathers, was the cause of the mistake into which they have fallen, on the subject of angelic appearances. And it is inatter of strong probability, that their mistake, on this head, was greatly fortified by the doctrines of the Jew Philo, respecting the · Logos' and the 'angel.' For, let the Doc, tors Bull and Allix, with the other admirers of Philo, say what they will, his notions respecting Logos, must be regarded as different from the notions of Scripture; being of a piece with the notions of his predecessor, if I may not call him his master, Plato. And, although Plato does confessedly speak much of a Logos, yet does he carefully place him at a great distance from the supreme God. The two Doctors above-named have quoted from the works of Philo, on this interesting subject. But even the passages, which they have quoted, are found to require the mollifying hand of the translator. Thus Dr Bull inforins his readers, that Philn terms the Logos, " πρεσβυτατον, και γενικοτατον των οσα γεγονε--flie
" oldest and noblest of all creatures,” The harshness however of these superlative epithets, the good Doc. tor is at no small pains to polish down, by rendering them, in the comparative degree, 'vetustiorem, Sc. older and nobler than the creatures'.' This, I am sorry to say, is no uncommon practice with Dr Bull. But, having used the same freedom with the same superlative term, when quoting from Origen, Mr Whiston, the advocate of Arianism, takes the Doctor roundly to task for it, and that upon grammatical grounds.
This poßurcza doya, Philo calls, in one part of his works, ogyavov O:?,' the organ, or instrument of God : in another part he terms him the “arch
angel ;" and introduces him, saying of himselfουκ αγεννητών ως Θεό ων, ουτε γενητG- ως υμας-αλλα με
COV TWV anpwrI am not unbegotten as God is, nor “ made as you are, but a midille between these er" tremes."
Now, there is in Alexander of Alexandria's first letter against Arius, as recorded by Theodoret, a passage, which, if it is not borrowed from the above description, is similar, alas ! too similar to it. The passage is as follows—" ayvosy
οι ανασκητοι ως μακρον αν μη μεταξυ πατρός αγεννητο, και των κτισθέντων υπ αυτ8 εξ εκ οντων, λογικεων, και αλογων « “ων μεσιτευεσα φυσις μονογενης, δι ης τα ολα εξ ουκ οντων εποιησεν ο πατήρ, το Θ:ε λογο, η εξ αυτά τε οντος πατρόν γεγεννηται. ? On this passage Whiston greedily lays
I Def. S. 1. C. 1. § 17.
hold; and translates it, but in such an ungrammatical manner, as a critic, of his skill, has cause to be ashamed of. The unskilful are ignorant, how inighty a distance is between the unbegotten Father, and these rational and irrational crea“tures which were made by him out of nothing; • between whom the only begotten is a middle nature, whereby the Father of God the Word made all things out of nothing, and which itself was begot• ten of the Father'.” The passage is quoted, and rendered thus into French by the Abbé Fleury• Ne voyant pas la distance, qu'il y a entre le Pere * non engendré, et les creatures qu'il a fait de rien, * au milieu de ces deux extremes est le fils unique le • Dieu verbe (i. e. in the middle of these two extremes is the only Son, the God word ) par qui le Pere a tout • fait de rien, que le Pere a engendrè de lui meme?! It is also quoted, and translated thus into Latin, by Dr Bull_“ Multum interesse inter patrem ingeni
tum, et res ab illo creatas ex nihilo, tam ratio*nales quam rationis expertes : Inter quæ duo, me
dia interveniens unigenita natura Dei verbi (i. e. between which two there intervenes in the middle, the only begotten nature of the God word) per quam Pa• ter universa condidit ex nibilo, ex ipso vero patre progenita est 3:
Although none of these translations is quite literal, the points in which they differ may easily be perceived. Dr Bull attempts to soften the Arian aspect of the terms « μεσιτευεσα Φυσις-the middle na“ ture,” by a marginal note. But this very note affords matter of controversy ;-“ Naturam sumit pro
Prim. Christ, vol. IV. p. 194. 2 Hist. Eccles, liv. x, s. 30. 3 Def. Sect. III. c.9. S 11.
persona; intelligit enim Quo vy EV UTOS ACH, ut paulo “ ante locutus est Valesius in locum.” Strange that neither Dr Bull, nor Valesius could have fallen upon some expression more consonant to the Scriptural use of the term " μεσιτεύεσα,’ than the simple word · middle.' Might it not have been rendered • mediatorial ?' This rendering would have been equally applicable to the description given in the passage at large, and would certainly have had a better effect in vindicating the orthodoxy of its original author. From the quotation howeyer, as viewed by the controversialists of either party, it is sufficiently clear, that the Alexandrian Christians of those days, had their minds somewhat engrossed by the Platonic philosophy, as it had been adopted, and rendered more fit for their purpose, by their Jewish countryman Philo; who, as he early obtained, so does he still retain no mean credit in the Christian world. Of this credit, besides the instances already adduced, we have sundry others equally well authenticated. Such is the introduction of the “ cherubim and seraphim-angels “ and archangels,” into the worship of the true God'. And such is the arrogant conceit of the pseudo-Ignatius, who contends, that he was able to
1 Constitutions Lit. B. 8. 13,