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judgment, as well as a correct knowledge of the original, is essential to the character of a useful interpreter.
Were we, however, to concede that avaσraois EK VEкρWV might fairly admit of being rendered "a resurrection from the state of death," it does not follow that such would be the true rendering in the passages before us. Were this the only phrase employed, it might be more questionable; but we find another expression (αναστασις νεκρων) which must be translated consistently with the former. Philanastasius conceives that the expressions are perfectly synonymous; yet in so interpreting them he is obliged to attach a different meaning to the word νεκρων : which in the one case he translates "the state of death;" in the other, "dead persons." Is it not much more easy and natural to suppose that the same writer means the same thing by the same expression? that if St. Paul writes avaσraois veкpwv, meaning thereby a "resurrection of dead persons;" when he writes αναστασις εκ νεκρων, he means 66 a resurrection from dead persons?" It does also appear somewhat extraordinary, if we receive Philanastasius's view of the expressions being synonymous, that they are always used in the places where the distinction, which I have contended for, would require them to be used. In no one instance do we find ƐK VEKρwv where we should expect VEKρWV, nor vice versa.
I may here also mention an additional argument in favour of the rendering of EK VEROWY, to be deduced from Luke xvi. 30, 31. When Dives speaks of sending one from the dead, aro vεкρwv, απο νεκρων, it will be admitted that he means "from those who were dead;" and this is expressed in Abraham's answer, in the next verse, by εκ νεκρων.
της εκ νεκρων,
The reasons given by Philanastasius for the remarkable language employed by our Lord, Luke xx. 27, &c., seem to me to be quite inadequate. AV EKELVOs, I agree with him, refers to the dispensation of the Millennium; but upon his rule of interpretation I cannot perceive how "the addition of the words TNS EK VEROWY,' that from the state of death,' shews that the resurrection which shall synchronize with the opening of this dispensation will be positively a literal resurrection :" for every resurrection, whether literal or spiritual, must be from a state of death, a phrase which implies no speciality. Neither can I admit that there is any ambiguity at all in the word αναστασις. Through the whole of the New Testament it is never once used but in a sense strictly literal.
2. The next objection of Philanastasius is taken from the interpretation given to avaσraois. As the argument does not depend upon its being written in one word or two, I will not here enter upon the discussion of that point. Let it be taken either way, and in my view it supports the proposed distinction.
I admit that the two passages, Acts xxvi. 23, and Rom. i. 4, may be translated, as Philanastasius proposes, by "a resurrection of dead," i. e. of dead persons. But how does this translation suit the sense of the passages? How, for instance, was Jesus declared or defined ipio0evros, to be the Son of God with power, by a resurrection of dead persons? Perhaps it may be answercd, that it refers to those who came out of their graves after his resurrection (Matt. xxvii. 52, 53). To this I should not very much object; but I greatly prefer the rendering which our own translators have given, who consider the passages as referring to the resurrection of Jesus alone, and which the original unquestionably admits; the EK before veкpwy being omitted for the sake of the euphonism.
Philanastasius's translation of Phil. iii. 11, εiç тηv εžavaoтασiv των νεκρων, "unto the resurrection of the dead out of-" is very questionable in a critical point of view; but a still more fatal objection to it is, that it destroys the whole force of the passage. What does the Apostle say, according to this rendering? “If by any means I might attain to a resurrection of the dead out of their graves" that is, it makes him guilty of the absurdity of striving with all his might to attain an object which it was physically impossible for him to avoid; for St. Paul well knew that every individual descendant of Adam must be raised up from a state of death. The rendering proposed in my former paper, and which Philanastasius seems to admit may be the true one, gives a perfectly good and worthy sense to the passage. There is a resurrection of the saints at Christ's coming, which is their peculiar privilege to the attainment of which St. Paul laboured, "lest, after having preached to others, he himself should become a cast-away." By Philanastasius's quere he appears to think that St. Paul, being one of the elect, and on that ground assured of a participation in the first resurrection, had no need to labour for it. But this is an abuse of the doctrine of election: we are chosen to the means as well as to the end. Therefore, while it is abstractedly true that St. Paul, as one of the elect, was certain of a part in the first resurrection, it is no less practically true that he could not attain to it without a holy fear of apostasy, and constant effort to "make his calling and election sure." By these remarks it will appear, that, in reference to Philanastasius's quere, I consider that all the saints— i. e. the whole mystical body of Christ-will be raised at the commencement of the Millennium. The following passages appear to me decisive on this point: 1 Cor. xv. 22, 23; 1 Thess. iv. 14-18; Rev. xi. 15-18. In these passages the terms are quite general, excluding, as I think, the idea of any exception: They that are Christ's' -"them which sleep in Jesus""the dead in Christ"-" to thy servants the prophets, and to
the saints, and to them that fear thy name, small and great."
3. The next observation of Philanastasius is upon Dan. xii. 2. It will be remembered that I referred to that passage in my former paper, in order to obviate an objection which might be deduced from the apparent discrepancy between it and John v. 28, 29. If Philanastasius's criticism will stand, the difficulty is more satisfactorily cleared, and in the harmony of the Prophet and Apostle the argument in favour of two resurrections is strengthened. I should feel disposed to agree to his rendering of "from out of those sleeping;" giving the same force to
in Hebrew, which I would give to ex in Greek. But his interpretation of the two relatives, NN, is much more questionable. The passage is certainly one of considerable difficulty.
In reply to Philanastasius's second quere, I would observe, that John v. 28, 29, does not, in my view, give any countenance to the idea of a partial resurrection of the wicked along with the righteous. Our Lord merely mentions a life-resurrection and a condemnation-resurrection, without specification of time. Rev. xx. 5, absolutely forbids the supposition: "They (the saints) lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years: but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished."
4. I would not lay much stress on the use of the double сориlative, Acts xxiv. 15, 21; nor did I intend to deny that our translation was correct according to the Greek idiom. In fact, there is no difference of meaning between "both of just and unjust;" and "of the just, and also of the unjust." The design of the remark was merely to convey to the English reader that the distinction between the resurrection of just and unjust is rather more marked than if it had been written δικαιων και αδίκων. The observation, however, is of little importance, and quite collateral to the main argument.
I beg here to observe, not so much in reference to what has fallen from Philanastasius as to what has appeared elsewhere, that it was never intended to prove the truth of the whole doctrine of the Millennium by the use of a Greek preposition. It is not probable that any great leading truth of our religion should rest for its main support on verbal criticism. I have been accused by a writer in the Christian Observer, who styles himself an unprejudiced inquirer into prophetical truth, “ of retailing other's arguments," and, to use his own elegant language, "jumping to conclusions, and then seeking for arguments to support them." In replying to his observations, I thought it unnecessary to notice an accusation so perfectly gratuitous. But I would here observe, that the proper office of Scripture criticism
is rather for the confirmation, than for the discovery of Divine truth. Surely it will not be contended that we should withhold our belief of a doctrine until we have discovered all the arguments by which it may be supported. The truth of the doctrine of the first resurrection rests, 1. On its being the universally received doctrine of the church in the first three centuries of Christianity; 2. On the express testimony of Holy Scripture, confirming the testimony of the church. But when the opponents of this doctrine endeavoured to overthrow it by resolving the language of St. John (Rev. xx. 4, 5) into a mere figure, telling us that there is no literal first resurrection, it became us to search the Scriptures, to discover on what authority they founded so bold an assertion. In doing this, it occurred to me to examine closely the language in which the Apostles spoke of the resurrection, to see whether any thing could be inferred from it, either supporting or opposing the view of a general resurrection simul et semel and I think it must be admitted as remarkable, by every unprejudiced inquirer, that wherever the resurrection of the saints is spoken of it is expressed by ɛ, simply or in composition, preceding νεκρων, ΟΙ των νεκρων and that where the general resurrection is spoken of we have no preposition, but simply αναστασις νεκρων ΟΙ των νεκρων.
Such is THE FACT. How is it to be accounted for, on any other principle than that maintained in this paper?
Since writing the above, the Christian Observer has appeared which professes to contain my reply to his correspondent. The paper has been altered and mutilated without my consent, which I must think in itself an act of editorial unfaithfulness. The Editor was at least bound to give me the option of withdrawing it, after he had made his proposed amendments. This he had neither the justice nor the courtesy to do. But, besides this act of injustice, he has inserted a note, in which he gives his readers to understand that I have employed some very irritating language, unfit for the public eye. He professes to quote the word "insulted," as if I had used that term in an angry and offensive manner. The sentence, which he seems so greatly to disapprove, in reply to the gentle conciliating language of his own correspondent, was, I believe, nearly as follows: "The uncourteous style of this communication, and the unfounded imputations on the character of one wholly unknown to the writer, need no remark. With a parade of charity he acquits me of wilful dishonesty! and intentional untruth! by affixing upon me an imputation scarcely less insulting." Such is the sentence to which the Editor affixes the charge of " pungent retort," and " personal animadversion." And the following expressions of his own correspondent applied to an unknown opponent are, I must presume, in his judgment, characteristic of "good temper, fraternal kindness, and calmness of judgment:""Taking up the sentiments of others;" "taking incredible liberties with the word of God;" "manufacturing one word out of two;" "building on the authority of others;" "retailing their arguments;" "jumping suddenly to conclusions, and then seeking for arguments to support them."
So much for the Christian Observer's profession of impartiality. Perhaps it would not have been worth while to notice this unfairness, but that it may account for the silence of the contributors to the Morning Watch, if in future they should choose not to reply to objections advanced in periodicals of this description. If we cannot gain a fair hearing, it is useless to attempt a defence. W. D.
MR. BORTHWICK's paper is again unexpectedly delayed, but we can positively promise it in our next. The paper of FIDUS is also postponed. Two from Sevenoaks are under consideration, and several shorter ones. We request communications to be sent two months before the day of publication, having experienced some inconvenience in our arrangements from wantof sufficient time. In answer to applicants for our first Number, we have to state, that the SECOND EDITION will be ready for delivery at the end of September.
CONTENTS OF NO. IV.