Imágenes de páginas
PDF

“own opinions on others, instead of exhorting them “to study and obey the Gospel of Christ; have arisen “strifes and contentions, hatred and uncharitablemess, schisms and divisions without end. From “whence, says Saint James, come wars and fightings “among you? Come they not hence, even of yout “lusts which war in your members? From a zeal for “the religion and for the commandments of Christ, “from a concern for the promoting of truth, righte“ousness, and charity, it is evident, in the nature of “things, and in the experience of all ages, that wars “ and fightings, hatred and animosities, never have, “nor can proceed. These precious fruits have al“ways sprung from that root of bitterness, a zeal for “the doctrines and commandments of men, a stri“ving for temporal power and dominion. At the first “beginning of the mystery of iniquity, the builders “ of hay and stubble on the foundation of Christ, “went no farther than to censoriousness and un“charitableness towards their brethren. Against whom “Saint Paul argues; Why dost thou judge thy brother, “ or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? We “shall all stand before the judgment-seat, of Christ. “But in process of time, as water, at a further dis“tance from the fountain, divides itself continually “into more streams, and becomes less pure ; so when “men had once departed from the simplicity and “purity of the doctrine, and from the charitableness “of the Spirit of Christ, their hatred and animosities “against each other increased continually, till they “literally fulfilled that remarkable prophecy of our “Saviour, in which is contained a most severe re“proof of those corrupters of the Gospel of truth and “charity, who he says would arise in following ages. - “ I “I am come to sendfire on the earth, Luke xii. 49. And, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth : “I came not to send peace, but a sword: for I am “come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and a man's “foes shall be they of his own household: Matt. x. “34. Nay, even that description which he gives of “the persecution which the Jews should bring on “his disciples, the time cometh, that whosoever KIL“LETH you, will think that he doeth God service; even this, in time, came to be fulfilled by one Christian, “ (so they still called themselves,) it was fulfilled, I “say, by one Christian upon another".”

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

5 Kal or ovoiès row rtirov copaysła, #xura rātpire &s aiyovre." "Etxs. [Kai too, * 138 irré wixas, 9 5 x2%ius, 9 in aëri, txa, o, i. r; xugi aôrs. 6 Kai #xera, £wrov iy wido, two roaadowy owy Aiya

da,” Xoiyā; airs

cHAP. vi. wer. 5–6.

5 And when he opened
the third seal, I heard ||

the third living-crea-
ture saying, “Come:"

[and I beheld] and lo! |

a black horse! and he
that sat on him hav-
ing a yoke in his band:
And I heard a voice
in the midst of the
four living-creatures,

saying, “A choenix of

“wheat for a dena

5

And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come, and see. And I beheld, and lo,

a black horse; and he

that sat on him had a pair of balances in his

6 hand. And I heard

a voice in the midst

of the four beasts say,

A measure of wheat for a penny; and three * Is, l. 3. Jer. iv. 20. xiv. 2.

[ocr errors]

5. Lo / a black horse 1) Another change now ensues, still for the worse; by a colour the very opposite to white; a colour denoting mourning and woe, darkness and ignorance". What a change in this pure and heavenly religion but history will shew that

Christianity, as professed and practised on earth,

underwent this change; which will appear from the following notes. Ib. He that sat on him having a yoke in his hand.] The word ovyoc, which in our common translation is rendered by a pair of balances, I have translated a 3oke, for reasons now to be assigned. 1. Zvyov, and not Zovyov, is used by all the Greek writers, whether of the Old or New Testament, to signify oiy yoke, either in its proper or metaphorical sense; the latter word expressing not the yoke, but the pair of oxen, horses, &c. which go under it; (Lev. v. 11. Luke 1 1. 24.) whence it comes to be used by the scriptural and other Greek writers, to signify pairs of any kind whatever. 2. Zwyor, when used by the scriptural writers to signify a balance, is seen seldom, or perhaps never, to stand alone, as in this passage of the Revelation, but is joined to some other word or expression in the context, which points out this its borrowed significa

tion; such as Zvyo; elabuww, Zvyo. 3 weios, 23.40s, avopoo, "Porn ovys, and the like; without which, ovyo; would necessarily be understood to mean simply a yoke : for it is only in a borrowed and secondary sense that ovyc; can be taken to signify a balance. In its primary signi

fication it is a yoke; that is, a staff, which having a

link or small chain fixed to the middle of it *, was thereby suspended on the beam of the plough, or of the pole of the chariot, or wain, (like the swing-tree used in modern agriculture,) and from this, so suspended, the two beasts were to draw, the two ends of the staff or yoke being fixed to the necks or horns of the beasts. To render their draft equal, it was necessary that the staff, or yoke, should be divided equally at the point of draft, at the place where it was fastened by the link to the beam or pole; it was necessary also that it should hang loose, and play freely upon the pole. Such being the construction of the yoke, it is evident, that when the beasts were taken from under, it would remain suspended from the pole so evenly, and so freely, by the middle, as to exhibit the figure, and answer the purpose of the beam, or yard of a balance, or of a pair of scales. And it seems probable that this instrument, first used to fasten two beasts to a plough or carriage, in such a manner as that they might draw equally, afforded the first idea of determining weights, by fixing ropes and scales to each end of the yoke. Thus it seems that the word ovyos, yoke, used with words in the contert denoting the act of weighing, (but not otherwise, ) came to signify a balance f.

A de

* Megaa Azov. Hom. Il. X. 212.

+ The manner in which the yoke was fastened to the pole, and the

A description of the ancient plough, with its pole or beam (temo), and its yoke (jugum), may be seen in Virg. Georg. i. 169. Temo dictus a tenendo, says Varro"; is enim continet jugum. Which jugum (from ovyoc, yoke), being, as above described, a staff or rod, passing over the necks of the beasts, was early and very universally used, for the badge and symbol of slavery. “Thou shalt serve thy brother,” says the Patriarch to his eldest son; “and it shall come to pass “when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt “break his yoke (ovyov) from off thy neck f. It was under this kind of yoke, or under a staff, beam, or spear representing it, that the nations of antiquity had the custom to pass their conquered enemies, in token of subjection.

It is in this its obvious and primary sense that I understand the word ovyo; in this passage. In this sense it is used throughout the New Testament; and in no other sense whatsoevert. It is used metaphorically to signify the burthensome ceremonies of the Mosaic law, from which the Christian “law of liberty” has delivered us $; and in this law of liberty we are exhorted to “stand fast, and to resist every attempt “to subject us to ordinances and a yoke of bondage|.”

the horses brought under it in ancient carriages, is minutely described by Homer: Ts (scil. Bose) 3 of aeyveros founs wouv' alae in ano Anas xevauov xano, ovyov, or 3: Airaora. Kaa’ Gaas xevau” bro 3, §70, roast, How ‘Iwres wwroas. IL. v. 729—733. * Lib. vi. t Gen. xxvii. 40. See also Is. ix.4.x. 27. Nah. i. 13. Jer. xxvii. 2–15. ! Matt. ii. 29, 30. 1 Tim. vi. i. Acts xv. 10. Gal. v. 1. § Jam. i. 25. ii. 12. || Gal. v. i. Col. ii. 16. 1 Pet, ii. 16.

« AnteriorContinuar »