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piecede the list in the field is Godark_
What but the undue and uncontrolled influence of individual bias, can account for his persisting in throwing to the winds the unanimous consensus of antiquity as to the interpretation of 2 Thess. ii., and fastening on the Bishop of Rome that awful description of the "Avouos, the “Man of Sin," who is to “set himself against (énů) all that is called God or that is an object of worship,” “ showing himself that he is God”l—the Diabolic counterfeit of “God manifest in the flesh”-whose Revelation is immediately to precede the llapouoia of Christ, and who is to be destroyed at His Second Coming ;-a description, which the plain and obvious meaning of the words themselves, the context, the illustrative light of other and parallel passages which refer to these terrible times and tell of the same Dread Being, the consentient voice of the whole early Church-all, with conspiring testimony proclaim to refer to the last foe of the Church-the Antichrist himself.
The specialty and singularity of Dr. Wordsworth's "view" is this : he has too genuine a respect for the teaching of the Church to dare to deny its strong, universal, and all-constraining belief concerning the “ Antichrist which is to come :" but at the same time he has too much faith in his own anti-papal instincts to allow him to forego the aid of this formidable piece of Scripture ordnance wherewith to batter the walls of the Vatican :-50 he satisfies himself with the strange conclusion that Antichrist is to come, but that this passage does not refer to Antichrist.
In this interpretation we believe he has the satisfaction of standing alone. For although it is most true that many pious Protestants expound the passage in the Thessalonians as the Canon of Westminster does (just as Estius and other Roman Catholic writers explain the & Octavia of the falling away from the Pope and the Church of Rome); yet they believe the Pope to be Antichrist (just as the others believe of Luther and the Protestants) and so are at least consistent in their interpretation, and follow so far the teaching of the early Church, which never dreamt of Antichrist and the “Man of Sin” being separate persons.
While referring to the subject of personal and individual bias, we cannot forbear alluding, in passing, to a strange (we trust unique) instance in which this has been permitted to display itself even in what professes to be a literal translation of the sacred Volume.
We have before us a French Translation of the New Testament, authoritatively set forth," par les Theologiens de Louvain," printed at Bordeaux, 1686, “ Avec Approbation et Permission.” In this,
comethis interprethough it in the The
i So Dan. xi. 36. “He shall exalt himself and magnify himself against (éml) every God, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods."
Comp. S. Irenæus (adv. Hær. v. 25, 1.) “Receiving all the power of the devil, he shall come, not as a just and lawful king, subject to God, but as an impious, unjust, lawless one; an apostate, a wicked one .... Summing up in himself the Diabolical Apostasy. Putting away idols, in order to persuade men that he himself is God, he will set himself up as the one, sole object of worship (unum idolum), &c.
the private “views" of the translators are not confined to notes (for there are none : it merely professes to be a literal translation “ from the Latin") but are quietly introduced into the text.
Here is an example from 1 Cor. iii. 15 : “If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss : but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.” These last words are rendered, “ainsi toutefois comme par le feu du Purgatoire.”
Again : 1 Cor. xi. 26; “For as often as ye eat this bread,” &c., “ toutes les fois que vous mangerez ce pain vivant :” and at v. 28, “ ainsi mange de ce pain vif.”
And again: 1 Tim. iv. 1, &c., “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly,” &c., “ Or L'Esprit dit clairmant, qu'en derniers temps quelques uns se separeront de la foy Romaine ..... condamnans le Sacrement de Mariage," &c.
Once more: 2 S. Peter i. 15, “I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance," “Mais j'auray soin de vous en particulier apres mon trepas, afin que vous ayez memoire de ces choses," &c.
Now we doubt not, these estimable “theologians” were fully persuaded of the substantial truth and orthodoxy of their renderings : we doubt not, that in surreptitiously insinuating into their version these and kindred glosses, they were actuated by a belief that they were doing what was for the greater edification of the faithful, and “ad majorem Dei gloriam:" we doubt not that in thus tampering with the inviolable integrity and sanctity of God's written Word, and stretching forth their hands to save His Ark, they deemed they were “ doing God service:” but still less can we doubt, in what estimation such unhallowed impertinence would be regarded by Him whose Word they were thus presumptuously seeking to correct and improve.
But we must pass on.
4. Another indispensable qualification for the faithful Conimentator is a full and constraining belief in the plenary Inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures—a deep and solemn conviction that, in them, it is none other than God the Holy Ghost who, in sundry manners, and through divers human organs, is speaking to man; that, although the activities mediately employed and primarily discernible, are simply those of the ordinary human instruments, yet it is by the Inspiring SPIRIT Himself, and for the conveyance to man of His communications, that these activities are energised and set in motion ; that Holy Scripture, moreover, is no mere accidental combination of ancient religious documents, but one divinely perfected whole-History, Revelation, Prophecy, Doctrine, Ethics, being all blended together into one complex organism, one complete and multiform unity, to constitute the Ipan, the Divine Scripture, the written vehicle and Tabernacle of the Word and Wisdom of GOD;-hence, that in no single instance throughout its pages are there to be heard the mere pñuata yuurd of men subject to human weaknesses, errors, imperfections, but only the words of men speaking and writing as inwardly pepóuevou by the Holy Ghost, and by His effectuating influence kept from the possibility of error; and that, although we are able to recognise diversities of gifts in the several writers, subjective peculiarities, varieties of endowments natural and acquired, yet we discern all these, only as assumed, employed, sublimated, energised, by the One Informing Spiritas pressed into the service of God, and made subservient to the elucidation of those particular phases of truth with which the several writers had special natural affinities, and of which, therefore, they were respectively qualified to be the chosen exponents. ;
Where there is not this full and hearty persuasion as to the entire Inspiration of the Sacred Volume, there will be no reverent and loving delight in tracing the tokens of Divine perfection, design and beauty, even in the very minutiæ (so to speak) of the Inspired “ Letter;" there will be no holy and earnest curiosity (" I opened my mouth and drew in my breath”) to hearken to the exact message which God has to communicate; to ascertain its primary object, its precise form and material structure; and thence to proceed, through the “ letter," into the innermost recesses of the “ spirit," so as to draw therefrom edification and “instruction in righteousness."
6. We need hardly add that the Commentator himself must hold firm, in all its integrity and entirety, the Catholic Faith. What Commentator for instance, who has not a firm grasp of the great Cardinal Doctrine of the Incarnation, and of the supplemental Mystery of the Sacramental self-extension of the Body of CARIST, can ever enter into the heart of that most profound Epistle to which we have been referring—the Epistle to the Ephesians ? We rejoice to testify how heartily these grand verities are apprehended by Mr. Newland, and what ample recognition they meet with in his truly Catholic exposition.
An unbelieving or misbelieving interpreter will enter upon his work with eyes blindfolded, and will never be able to conduct his followers into the green pastures and amid the still waters of that sacred Realm whither he is taking upon himself to guide them. He will lose his way: he will not understand the directions: he will be ever misleading, or doing his best to mislead.
Who would go to the Commentary of such a man as Professor Jowett to learn the mind of God as revealed in His Holy Scriptures? Such half-believers possess not the faculties to see those things which are spiritually discerned. There must be the clear intuition, the purged vision of the New Man; not merely the showy intellectualism and delusive spiritualism of the natural man.
A real Commentary which shall find its way into the very heart of God's Church ought to be written (so far as human frailty will
admit of it) emphatically, ły Ilveúpati. . It should be the product of all the activities, vital, intellectual, emotional, of the regenerate nature. It should be undertaken and carried on in full sympathy of belief and feeling with the whole mystical Body; under the influence of that new Life, new Reason, new Will, which breathes, thinks, and loves in the one Body of the New Man. Thus only, will the holy sympathy be communicated from the writer to the readers; and they, in turn, be enabled to understand and feel what is contained in the “Scriptures of Truth," and to enter into the full meaning of some of those “ deep things of God" which He has revealed in His written Word
7. It is very necessary, moreover, that the Commentary should not be written merely for the erudite, but that it should be adapted for the ordinary Christian reader of moderate education and intelligence. Hence, though really learned, exact, accurate, critical, it ought to make no parade of learning. The critical element should be kept as much as possible in the background, the devotional and exegetical come chiefly into prominence. The sole and simple object of the Commentary should never be lost sight of-viz., to explain the text, to evolve what may be discovered of its hidden meaning, and present a faithful transcript and development of what is therein implicitly contained ; and so to interpret the whole, as to make it subservient to purposes of spiritual edification. Hence, grappling resolutely with all real difficulties and consciously evading none, it will pass lightly over what is clear and obvious, reserving its strength for what is obscure, aiming only at proving itself a trustworthy and serviceable guide into those sacred enclosures whereinto it claims to conduct the devout reader. All superfluous matter not absolutely requisite for the elucidation of the text, should be carefully excluded, as causing needless distraction of the attention. The pages of the Commentary must not be converted into a miscellaneous repository for criticism, archæology, history, geography, philology, lexicography, grammar, chronology, controversy : all wearisome parade of names, and discussion of rejected interpretations, which serve merely to bewilder, should be eschewed. These things may be all most suitable and necessary in their proper places, but not in the pages of a Commentary. This must deal with results rather than with the processes whereby they are obtained, and must aim at informing the head, only with the ulterior view of thereby affording nourishment and edification for the heart.
It appears to us that the practice adopted by Dr. Pusey, in the admirable fragment just published of his Commentary on the Minor Prophets (a work for which-together with the Plain Commentary, and a few others of a similar character—all English Churchmen have cause devoutly to “thank God and take courage”). it appears to us that the plan adopted by Dr. Pusey, of adding occasional critical notes in a lower margin, is most useful and much to be commended. These friendly and unobtrusive aids towards the intelligent apprehension of the original, will not interfere with the regular flow of the Commentary so as to distract the ordinary reader, but will prove a great boon to a large and growing class of devout students for whose instruction also the work is designed, to whom such occasional explanations will be most welcome and necessary.
To this good undertaking, and all like it, we heartily wish God speed.
If we would desire to see a body of able Theologians in our Communion; if we are anxious that our Branch of the Church should be really sound at heart, with spiritual senses “ exercised to discern between good and evil,” in the “ perilous times” about to come; let us remember that there is no single pursuit which can, under God, more assuredly tend to these happy results, than that one, to which the English Church appears, with peculiar earnestness, to be instinctively betaking herself-the accurate and devotional study of the Holy Scriptures.
It should ever be borne in mind, as a consideration well worthy of attention, that it is in special and emphatic reference to the “ last days,”-the coming times of lawlessness, when men shall be
self-lovers,' blasphemers,' 'unthankful, unholy,' despisers of those that are good,'having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof,' 'resisting the Truth,' reprobate concerning the Faith,' waxing worse and worse,' . deceiving and being deceived' —that the Inspired Apostle gives the solemn charge to the Man of God' (the faithful Church of that period): “ Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of” (here is the Old Faith, the quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus : no recognition of newly invented dogmas) “knowing of whom thou hast learned them : and that from a child” (from the days of the Church's infancy, and early Faith) “thou hast known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in CHRIST Jesus.”