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usage to consider the noun which follows the verb as the subject of it, but the next verse appears to us to decide the question. "This was in the beginning with God." What is the antecedent of "this?" Surely not "God;" the writer would not say, " God was in the beginning with God." "The Word" is the antecedent; the subject of the first two clauses is the subject of the fourth also, and we can hardly avoid, therefore, regarding it as the subject of the intervening clause. In the third verse, Mr. Folsom rightly guards against expressions by which nearly all preceding translators have given to the verb ¿yévero a much stronger meaning than it possesses. We are not sure, however, but, that in avoiding the idea of creation, the term he selects suggests another, which goes beyond the meaning of yévero in a different way. "Arose into being" seems to imply growth, if not self-creation. Mr. Sawyer, though not always happy, seems to us to have here the right word, "existed." We agree with Mr. Folsom's translation of" it," rather than "him" for avrov. Neither rendering is adequate, because either excludes the meaning of the other, while the original admits both.
We will not pursue further an examination of Mr. Folsom's rendering of this important passage. Enough, perhaps, has been said, to show the care with which the task has been performed, and the claim which this rendering, and the note which accompanies it, have to the attention of all who desire fully to understand this "Golden Proem."
In his notes to John v. 1, and vi. 4, Mr. Folsom states briefly, but very clearly, the grounds of different judgments respecting the length of the Saviour's ministry, with the names of the most distinguished scholars who have favored the respective opinions. His own conclusion appears to be that the "feast," mentioned in John v. 1, was not that of the Passover, but of Purim; that, consequently, three Passovers, and only three, were included in the ministry of Jesus, making its whole length about two and a half years.
Still more important is the note on John xii. 1, in which the translator examines the alleged discrepancy between the Fourth Gospel, and the Synoptics, with regard to the time of
VOL. LXXXVII. -NEW SERIES, VOL. VIII. NO. III.
the institution of the Last Supper. The grounds on which this discrepancy has been asserted, are examined by Mr. Folsom, in his usual condensed but thorough manner. He considers the words "before the feast of the Passover" as referring, not to what occurred at the supper, but to the knowledge which was in the mind of Jesus. The writer does not mean, "Before the feast of the Passover, Jesus washed his disciples' feet," but "before the feast of the Passover, Jesus knew what was about to occur; and, loving his disciples, he was thus induced, when the Passover had come, and they were all met together, to give them this striking lesson of humility and attachment." He points out that the expression," Buy what we have need of for the feast," John xiii. 29, may have related, not to the paschal supper, but to the continued festival; and, in regard to the scruple of the scribes against entering the Prætorium, "that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover" (xviii. 28), he observes that, conceding that the paschal supper is meant, "precautions not to be defiled would be entirely groundless, on the supposition that the supper was not to be until the next evening; for, by bathing in the course of the day, before they ate, they could wash away the defilement." He therefore supposes their participation in the Passover supper to have been delayed by their eagerness for the arrest and condemnation of Jesus; and that, their purpose now was, as soon as that condemnation was decreed, to return to their homes and satisfy the demands of the law, by partaking of the Passover before sunrise.
On John xviii. 39, Mr Folsom well remarks, that "the proposal of Pilate to release a prisoner, according to his custom at the Passover, is more appropriate to the festival having already commenced." On the word " preparation," as applied to the day when Jesus was crucified (xix. 14), he shows that it could not mean preparation for the Passover, but simply, according to common usage, and as evidently employed in other verses of the same chapter (31, 42), preparation for the Sabbath, that is, Friday.
Thus the imagined discrepancy, not only between this
Gospel and the others, but between this and the well-attested practice of the Apostle John, disappears when fully investigated; and we are not compelled to believe that in the midst. of the Quartodeciman controversy, about the time of keeping Easter, a book was surreptitiously introduced as the work of the Apostle John, and found unopposed reception, which gave testimony on that subject contrary to the well-known opinions and practice of John himself.
Of the Notes in this volume, more than half are on the Gospel of John, and they constitute a valuable commentary on that most spiritual book.
The volume of Mr. Folsom is not, like some new translations of works that had never been well rendered before, a book to be taken up for the mere pleasure of meeting with obvious improvements. Most readers will prefer the old version to this, or to that of Dr. Noyes, or to any other that could be made; for there are dear and sacred associations with the venerable book which has done so much, through three centuries and a half, for the language, the mind, and the heart of the English race. But of new translations of the Bible, and especially of this, the value is to the student, — to the intelligent reader, who, though, perhaps, familiar only with the English language, yet wishes to know the true meaning of what prophets and apostles wrote in Hebrew and in Greek; and would fain have a distincter knowledge than the common manuals afford, of that region wherein so much of learned labor has been expended, of the collation of manuscripts, and the comparison of interpretations. In this region, the translation of the New Testament by Dr. Noyes covers a wider ground; and, besides departing less from the old rendering, possesses the advantage of a more idiomatic English style, which the book before us has sometimes lost, through its exceeding faithfulness; but this affords, with regard to that portion of the New Testament which it renders, advantages in the careful presentation of authorities, in its valuable notes, and often in its attention to the finer shades of meaning. We anticipate for it, among scholars of various denominations, abroad, as well as heré, not certainly general popularity, but
a respectful reception, and a continued and increasing appreciation; and though we cannot expect that it will make, to the diligent and faithful scholar by whom it has been prepared, any adequate return for the amount of learning and of labor which he has devoted to it, we trust that it will gain for him an honored place among those who have devoted years of toil to the illustration of the sacred volume.
ART. IV. THE DIVINE TEACHINGS IN NATURE. A Vacation Sermon. Preached in the Boston Music Hall, Sept. 19, 1869.
"Doth not even Nature itself teach you?"-1 Cor. xi. 14.
WHEN a generous man on a winter night sits in his comfortable house, snugly sheltered from the elements, and hears the tempest rattle against the window-panes and howl over the chimney-tops, he cannot but feel a pang of commiseration for the homeless wanderers in the storm, and the poor families through whose dilapidated dwellings the rain oozes on bed and hearth. When friends crowd around him with cordial words and smiles, and every load is lifted and every sorrow sweetened by social kindness, the heart of such a man will ache for the outcasts who go on their way bleeding and fainting, with none to stanch their wounds or speak the words of pity for which they sigh. So the man who is privileged to lead a blessed inner life of books, meditation, philosophy, and sentiment, when he thinks of his favored lot, must feel unutterable gratitude for such prerogatives, and be sensible of an obligation, in return, to do something for those who are shut out from these high ranges of thought and beauty, this ideal world of truth and emotion. Contemplating the great multitude doomed to sweat under the hardships of physical labor, he instinctively asks himself, By what right am I thus exempt from the yoke of muscular drudgery and the cares of business? How is it, that, while so many others are enslaved
in the anxious routine of the world, I, without one vexing thought of outward traffic or toil, am lapped in elysian studies and dreams of order, truth, beauty, and goodness; soaring beyond the heaven of heavens in imaginative contemplation, kneeling before the throne of God in visionary worship, thrilled with rapture at the prospect of human redemption and blessedness in the happy ages far ahead?
Evidently for no merit of his is he so distinguished; and the duty is consciously borne in on him that he ought to distribute whatever of peace, delight, ideal glory, soothing belief, and helpful wisdom, these peculiar advantages may afford him, to soften what is hard, to enrich what is meagre, and to elevate what is low in those on whom the harsher work and weariness of the world have fallen.
Many a time has this vein of feeling risen in me, my friends, during these last golden weeks which have flown so swiftly and are ended now so soon. When I have sat on some cliff overhanging the sea, and looked on the mystery of its blue glancing wastes, or listened to the monotonous plash with which its everlasting ripple kisses the strand, when I have stretched myself in the clover while the hand of God cooled my brow, taking the fragrant breeze of summer for his fan, - when I have climbed to a mountain-top, and gazed for hours on the fields and ponds and villages of our dear free New England spread smilingly below, when, spellbound in the study of the upper chamber and gorgeous upholstery of the atmospheric powers, I have watched the ineffable pomp of clouds, lazily marching, gathering, floating, dissolving against the intense azure ceiling of noon, I have said to myself, How else so well can I repay my people for the kindness which allows me to enjoy these luxuries of unbroken quiet and unveiled nature, while the most of them stay at their tasks in the hot and noisy city, what better can I do than describe to them the stainless pleasures I have enjoyed, recount to them the holy lessons I have learned, that they may take home to themselves the same instruction, and thus share in the profit I have known? Accordingly, the subject of my sermon this morning is the Divine Teachings in Na