Page images
PDF
EPUB

mons which they hear through the personal character of the preacher ; and what, with very frequent changes of pastors, and the continual learning of the ways of the new-comer, and the utterance of contradictory sentiments from the same pulpit, can we hope for our New England so-called blessed in the Faith? We long for parish ministers who will inculcate right philosophy, right religious views, and show a right character. We long for something very difficult to find; and perhaps God never intended that we should have religious teachers much freer from imperfections of character and thought than ourselves, if so be they can only treat successfully human frailty with human frailty — screws helping screws to get on in life. But here we must leave the “Recreations,” hoping the author will continue to write, as men and women show new traits of character to him. In a collection of papers which has given us so much genuine pleasure, we do not care to dissect out literary blemishes — there always will be some — nor yet to indi

— cate just what exceptions might perhaps be taken to here and there an opinion. We willingly pass by this, in hearty gratification that at last we have found a Christian philosopher in a practical essayist.

ARTICLE V.

TWO PICTURES, JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN.

AS DRAWN IN GALATIANS 4: 21-31.

PICTURE-WRITING is primitive and universal. Especially does the Oriental mind fall naturally and freely into this mode of expressing ideas. It allegorizes as spontaneously as it thinks. This kind of word-painting (says Lord Kames) is in every respect similar to a hieroglyphical picture, excepting only that colors give place to language. Their effects are precisely the same. The hieroglyph raises two images in the mind, - one seen which represents one not seen: an allegory does the same. The representative subject is described; and resemblance leads us to apply the description to the subject represented. A most correct and beautiful example of the true allegory (cited by Kames) is found in the eightieth Psalm, where the Church is portrayed by a vine brought from Egypt, and a vineyard propagated from it; but this religious application of it is wholly left to the reader's discovery, from the nice blending into it of the characteristic features of that which was designed to be thus delineated.* This definition is adopted by Trench in substance. Distinguishing the allegory from the parable he says that the latter differs from the former by comparing one thing with another, at the same time preserving them apart as an inner and an outer ; not transferring, as does the allegory, the properties and qualities and relations of the one to the other.f

According to these authorities, the passage now to be investigated is not an allegory, in strict terms. Our English translators have so entitled it rather, apparently, from the coincidence of sound between the original and the vernacular word - alanyopovpeva — than from a close keeping to the rules of criti

αλληγορουμενα cism. And Macknight is in error in making this an illustration of what he calls the natural, in distinction from the instituted, allegory. But as, in a connected passage of his elaborate pref

, aces to this epistle, he speaks of David's and Jonah's histories, and the whole Levitical ritual, as allegorical emblems of specific events and institutions of the gospel-economy, the conclusion suggests itself that the allegory and the type were regarded by this commentator as the same. Ellicott also retains this phraseology; but afterwards calls these correlated facts types and antitypes. This expressing one thing by another is the common quality of these three modes of literary representation. But each has its own laws, which are not to be confounded. Each is pictorial. But the allegory is a single picture, which must reveal its own intended double. The parable is a twofold

. picture, the second part explaining the first. The type is a pattern or general similitude to a person or event or thing which is to come. [cf. Calmet.

The words used by Paul -"Ατινά εδτιν αλληγορούμενα – are not grammatically rendered, “ which things are an allegory.”

* “Elements of Criticism," II. 197, 198. † " Parables," p. 16.

The form of the participial verb should not be thus given as a substantive, even if the allegorical sense be held; for to allegorize a history is not to convert it into allegory. (Bloomf. in loco.)

An early construction reads the phrase : " which things are spoken per allegoriam ;” i. e. as if in allegory; and later annotators have modified this into “ which things sunt allegorizata,” — are, have been, are to be allegorized, or under

stood of the gospel-state in some loose way of accommodation to it. Conybeare and Howson follow in the same lead. A condensed review of these criticisms (anterior to his date) may be found in Bloomfield, who rejects them, and maintains, after reputable authorities cited by him, that there is too close a correspondence between the correlated histories introduced to justify any less strict rule of interpretation than that of type and antitype. The new translation of Ellicott is here given for convenience of immediate reference.

the one

“ (21) Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law ? (22) For it is written, that Abraham had two sons; one by the bond-maid, and one by the free-woman. (23) Howbeit, he who was of the bond-maid was born after the flesh; but he of the freemaid was through the promise. (24) All which things are allegorical (read, typical]; for these women are two covenants from Mount Sinai, bearing children unto bondage ; and this is Agar. (25) For the word Agar signifieth in Arabia Mount Sinai; and she ranketh with Jerusalem which now is, for she is in bondage with her children. (26) But Jerusalem which is above is free, and she is our mother. (27) For it is written, Rejoice thou barren that bearest not ; break forth and cry thou that travailest not: for many children hath the desolate one more than she which hath a husband. (28) But ye, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. (29) Still as then, he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the spirit, even so it is now. (30) Nevertheless, what saith the scripture ? Cast out the bond-maid and her son : for the son of the bond-maid shall in no wise be heir with the son of the free-woman. (31) Wherefore, brethren, we are not children of a bond-maid, but of the free-woman."

The tendencies of the Galatian church set strongly towards a relapse into the bondage of a Judaistic ritualism. The whole drift of St. Paul's epistle to its members was, to stem that cur

a

rent at its beginning by a clear and earnest exhibition of the one doctrine of human salvation and gospel liberty through Christ. This

purpose
he follows up

with almost more than his wonted cogency of argument and directness of appeal. Indeed, the whole communication bears evidence of the mental and moral stimulus of a very righteous indignation against certain bewitching teachers who were attempting to steal away his spiritual children to their sacramentarianism, by denying that he was really in “holy orders,” that is, in the apostolical succession, as if the Damascus ordination was not sufficient. It was most natural that Luther, in the early times of the Reformation, should have seized upon these fervent chapters as the text of his daily preaching to the people just awaking from the long sleep of popish paganism. The apostle's sword plays through these pages with a double-edged execution, sweeping down error and its authors with that uncompromising straightforwardness which both deserve, when to the poison of religious falseness is added the personal overbearing of its disseminators. The controversy which this epistle has handed down to us seems to be essentially, both in the wrong doctrine taught and in the wrong temper of its teachers, the same with that of the ritualistic or sacramentarian crusade of modern times, as embodied especially in prelatic, but not exclusively papal, pretensions.

Prosecuting his exposition of Christian grace as the ground, and Christian freedom as the results, of human redemption, the writer introduces, by way of illustrating his position, the incident of Abrahamic history here recorded. Those who were so zealous for the law and the fathers he summons (v. 21) to hear what was spiritually taught by these ancient scriptures. “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons ; one by the bond-maid, and one by the free-woman” (22). These are brought forward as the type and antitype of the “two covenants,” or rather dispensations (institutio – Aladnxn; diarionul, dispono; Bretchsneider) of the Old and New Testaments. The points of correlation are thus set down after an early English bishop :

Bondage,
Hagar,
Ishmael,

Liberty;
Sarah;
Isaac;

Law in Sinai,
Jerusalem that now is,
Jews circumcised,
The Paschal Feast,
The Sabbath,

Gospel by Christ;
Jerusalem above;
Christians baptized ;
The Lord's Supper ;
The Lord's Day.

If this parallelism covers more ground than all will admit to be pertinent thereto, its substance is undeniably true and scriptural. Hagar, the patriarch's bond-slave, Ishmael, born of her by unassisted natural strength, “after the flesh,” describe exactly the polity of the Hebrew church — a restricted economy in every sense, shut up under symbols and shadows, tutors and governors, a condition of partial ecclesiastical and spiritual emancipation ; yet with a glorious jubilee in prospect. This was the legal captivity of Sinai which the bond-maid Hagar prefigured, as her name by a singular coincidence was a popular appellation of the Sinaitic range of mountains in Arabia Hagar signifying a rock, and thus probably coming to denote the rocky Sinai. So Chrysostom: also Grotius, who says that in that vicinity there was a city named from Hagar ; hence the mountain was so called by synecdoche. Hence, also, in Psalm 83: “ Hagarenes." (cf. Alexander in loco.) So Ellicott says, " It is thus obvious that this interpretation presupposes that "Ayap was a provincial name of the mountain. The best authority for the assertion seems to be the careful and diligent Büsching, who adduces the statement of Harant, that Sinai was still called Hadschar in his time; . . . there seems nothing unnatural in supposing that "Ayap actually was, and possibly may be now, the strictly provincial name of the portion of the mountain now commonly called “Dschebel Musa.” This St. Paul might have learned during his stay in that country."

This legal inthralment was both ceremonial and moral: the first, to a wearisome and most punctilious ritual, which, however, had its important disciplinary and educational uses ; the last, to the hopelessness of salvation from sin on the basis of obedience to a perfect code of religious duty to God and man, which cuts off the claim of Socinian self-righteousness as entirely as its other arm demolishes the formalist's hope. The seed of Hagar was Ishmael, inheriting his mother's fortunes. The offspring of

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »