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rendered “to be quickened” signifies the communication of a larger measure of life to the living. No example to this effect has occurred in our reading. The term is not so used in any other passage of the New Testament; and it is rather too much to invent a new sense merely for the purpose of helping us out of a difficulty from which there is otherwise no escape.
The plain and simple meaning of the Apostle, then, is, having become dead in the body, but living in the soul or spirit.' But the learned doctor may retort, where is sworrondeis to be found merely with the import of living? We reply, that if Havatwieis can signify having become dead,' Swortoinkis may denote “ living or continuing to live. No more violence is done to the etymology of the word in the one case than in the other ; and there must be a perfect contrast betwixt the two terms. We add that there are examples of this meaning to be met with, and in justification of it we would only further refer to Steiger on the passage.
Although, however, the writer in the late number of the Journal of Sacred Literature has completely demolished Dr. Brown's hypothesis regarding the spirits in prison,' we feel compelled to deny that he has been equally successful in establishing his own. The best way, perhaps, of arriving at the truth will be to take the language of the Apostle in its literal and grammatical meaning, and to inquire what it teaches irrespective of all the opinions that have been put forth on the subject. Enough appears to have been said already in regard to Bavarwtels mèv σαρκί, ζωοποιηθείς δε πνέυματι. The next statement of the sacred writer is that Jesus, having thus ' become dead in the body, but living in his human spirit,' went and preached to the spirits in prison. Now, if we will be guided by the unvarnished words of Peter, we must believe that the preaching here referred to-be it what it might-took place betwixt the death and resurrection of the Saviour. It was while his body was in the grave that his spirit went and made the proclamation stated by the Apostle. There is no possibility of fairly putting any other construction on the declaration. Attempts have indeed been made to explain away • TopEvdes, he went,' as a pleonasm. But the reply is easy. If the word was intended to have no meaning: why was it introduced by the Apostle at all? Undoubtedly it was his object to intimate that our Lord went somewhere or other to announce the glad tidings. Nor will know evnyyedioato (Ephes. ii. 17)—the expression usually employed for this purpose-justify such a pleonastic use of word. There the meaning of the Apostle plainly is, that Christ came to the earth to publish the glad tidings of salvation—to make known the covenant of peace, which he also established by his death. So far, then, all seems clear: our Lord went, betwixt his death and resurrection, in his disembodied state, and preached to the 'spirits in prison.'
But it still remains to be considered who were the spirits in prison,' and what was the nature of the proclamation made to them. In regard to the first question, we are inclined to understand the expression as intending the souls of men in their disembodied condition-in that intermediate state in which we have reason to believe them to exist from the period of death till the resurrection. That there is such a state
might almost be taken for granted. It is not our purpose to enter into any formal discussion of it. The conclusion seems warranted by the words of Jesus to the thief on the cross, “ To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise.' We know that our Lord did not ascend to heaven immediately on the crucifixion : that great event did not take place till a considerable time after his resurrection. “Touch me not,' he said to Mary, 'for I am not yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.' Where then could his spirit be during the intervening period except in that state of conscious peace where the souls of believers rest until the resurrection? There are many other passages that are believed to teach the same truth. A reference to one of them may be all that is required further: it forms part of the instructive history of the rich man and Lazarus, where the souls of the righteous and of the wicked are described as being detained in two adjoining, indeed, but very separate regions. The representation, it is true, is parabolic. Still it must have its foundation in truth; and it plainly teaches that there is such an intermediate state of happiness or misery, where the souls of the righteous and of the wicked are preserved in safety betwixt death and the resurrection.
In the language of Peter, as rendered in our translation, that state is called a "prison.' There is, however, reason to doubt whether the original word is necessarily confined to signify a place of punishment, such as is now commonly understood by the term ; all that it appears to denote, in many of the places where it occurs, is merely a place of safe keeping.' If the above statement is denied, we shall only say that this seems to us the natural meaning of the word almost wherever it
We would also refer to the following passages, where the cognate verb is also used in the same sense : John xvii. 12; 1 Peter ii. 5; Jude 24; 2 Thess. iii. 3; 2 Tim. i. 12; John xii. 25. Many others might be adduced ; but there is no necessity for it; and if the verb undoubtedly has this meaning we have strong reason for believing that the same signification may be extended to the noun.
It may, however, be asked why the Saviour went and preached to the departed spirits. The question is one which we may be unable to answer, and yet there may have been wise reasons for it notwithstanding. But the original term does not necessarily imply that he preached to them in the sense which we give to the expression, although it might be taken in this sense too, as in the 6th verse of the following chapter, where it is said that the gospel was preached even to the dead ;' not to the dead in trespasses and sins, as Dr. Brown affirms—for to whom else could the gospel be preached ? not to those who are now dead, although they were alive when the gospel was preached to them-for, in the language of Dr. Brown, that is to give the words a meaning which they will not bear; but to the literally dead -- to those whose bodies were in the grave, but whose souls were living in the habitation of departed spirits. All, however, that évýgućɛ denotes is that there was a pr clamation, such as was made by a herald when sent to announce peace
Might not, then, the assertion of the Apostle be to this
effect—that the Lord Jesus Christ made a declaration to the righteous, that their faith and repentance were accepted through the merits of that atoning sacrifice which he had just offered up; and to the wicked, that through their impenitence their doom was irrevocably sealed ? But were there any righteous-seeing that the announcement, be it what it might, seems to have been confined to those who é sometime were disobedient when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah'? In reply, we ask, does not the expression motè, once upon a time,' imply that they had ceased to be disobedient? Is it to be believed that in the whole world before the flood there was not a single faithful servant of Jehovah except the eight persons who were saved in the ark ? There is charity in the thought, nor is there any good reason to doubt, that there might be many who had not corrupted their ways. They had no confidence, it is true, in the coming deluge; and they suffered the penalty of their unbelief. Or it may have happened that many who had resisted the preaching of Noah changed their minds when they saw the approach of the threatened judgment, and were rescued, if not from temporal death, yet from everlasting destruction. Still these are points which, as the Scripture has not explained them, admit only of conjecture. It does not become us to be wise above what is written.
It would seem, from what is said in the Journal of Sacred Literature, that the view thus put forward resembles, in some degree, that of the late Bishop Horsley. It is matter of regret to the writer that he has not the dissertation of that learned divine at hand. But he has not consciously allowed himself to be swayed by any human authority. It has been his endeavour to follow the leading of the Apostle ; and if he has been at all successful in ascertaining his meaning, the opinions both of Dr. Brown and of the contributor of the article in a late number of the Journal of Sacred Literature must fall to the ground. Indeed it seems impossible to uphold them on any fair principle of exegesis, and therefore impossible to uphold them at all.
PROFESSOR MÜLLER AND THE · DOCTRINE OF SIN.'
Sir,—Although Dr. Müller's great work was noticed in the April number of the Journal, there are a few particulars I should wish to bring before your readers, not contained in that paper. I consider it one of the most important contributions which have been made of late years to the science of theology, either at home or abroad. In Germany it has enjoyed a very wide circulation ; it has established the claims of its already well known author to be considered one of the most genial writers of the day; and an extensive study of it, even in its English dress, cannot fail both to deepen and quicken the stream of theological opinion in our own land.
Within the limits of a letter it is not possible for me to offer anything like a complete analysis of these volumes, or to enlarge upon those conclusions to which their author is led in the course of his profound, if sometimes perhaps too lengthened, investigations; and I conceive that I shall best promote the profit of your readers if I make one or two remarks upon the position which Professor Müller occupies in the strangely varied theological circles of his country, upon the objects which he has in view in this particular work, and upon the results which might be expected to flow from its engaging the attention of our own theologians at home. Müller is a disciple of Neander. In the preface to the first edition of this work he speaks of him as his beloved and honoured teacher Neander;' and to the time when he sat at the feet of that truly Christian and nobleminded instructor he traces the formation of those views and impulses which led to most of the investigations whose results, in one form or another, he has since given to the world. Imbued thus, at an early period of life, with the principles of one who exercised a power over his students hardly ever equalled in the academical chair, Müller occupies a kind of midway position between that strict orthodoxy upon the one hand, whose inost distinguished representative is to be found in Hengstenberg, and those multiplied forms of heterodoxy, upon the other, whose representatives are to be found in that “legion of German teachers who prefer the untried to the tried, and pursue the startling rather than the true. He belongs to the same class to which, disregarding some slight differences by which they may be separated from one another, we should assign Nitzsch, and Twesten, and Tholuck, and Dorner, and Lücke, and Ullman, and Harlesz; in short almost all in whose learning the inquiring spirit of the present generation may have confidence, and to the deep reality of whose Christian convictions humble piety can look in hope. Profoundly penetrated by the conviction that Christianity is from God, receiving the Scriptures as a revelation of his will, and looking to the gospel as the leavening principle of the world, it is the main effort of these celebrated teachers so to bring it into connection with the spirit of man that the answer in the breast' may be its chiefest evidence; that it may not only be a revelation to him, but may become a revelation in him, and that thus it may assume its highest and noblest form not merely of a doctrine but a life.
I will not say that in all respects I am prepared to adopt their conclusions. In particular it is impossible not to feel that the subjectivity of their system endangers the simplicity with which we are to receive the Bible as a perfect revelation of the will of God, unsettles our notions of inspiration, and lies at the bottom of much of the nonsense now uttered in our own country with regard to changing the form of our doctrines while we yet preserve their substance. In the main, however, the efforts of the class to which we refer seem more calculated than those of any other to meet the peculiar conditions and to heal the peculiar wounds of Germany. Around this band most of the interest, if not all the violence, of the struggle centres. We feel that they will fail in many respects, or rather we anticipate that, before they attain that final triuinph which we earnestly trust is in store for them, they will be led beyond their present standing point, and that their theology will be of a still more positive and dogmatic character than it is at present. Christianity to be effective must be dogmatic, just because it cannot separate itself from the past without ceasing to exist. This, however, has to be yet in some degree learned by the theologians of Germany; it can only be learned effectually in the school of experience; and of this we feel assured, that once thoroughly learned there by the parties to whom we refer, they will stand forth before the world the best equipped champions of the faith, the most single-minded as well as the most successful proclaimers of the gospel, that the church of Christ in any part of the world can produce. Professor Julius Müller occupies amongst these men the very
foremost rank. In profoundness of theological view he may probably be surpassed by one or two, but I doubt if he stands second to any in extent of theological and literary attainment, in acquaintance with the philosophical systems of his country, and in that power of subtle analysis which is of such inestimable importance in questions relating either to the mental constitution or the moral condition of man. Add to this a lively feeling of the power of Christian truth, and a vigorous and often eloquent style, and we have an author from whom good service may be calculated on in the cause of Christ.
The object of the work now before us is to present us with a comprehensive treatise on the doctrine of sin, as that doctrine is contained in Scripture and borne witness to in the consciousness of man. It is divided into five books: on the Reality of Sin ; on the Principal Theories for the Explanation of Sin; on the possibility of Sin (where the whole question of the freedom of man and its relation to the omnipotence and omniscience of God is treated in a very masterly and exhaustive manner); on the Diffusion of Sin ; and on the Enhancement of Sin in the Development of the Individual. Each of these books again is divided into various subdivisions, chapters, and sections, so that, notwithstanding the great voluminousness of the work, and the immense variety of questions of which it treats, a degree of order and regularity is preserved which at first we should hardly have thought possible. Within the compass of these volumes, in short, every question connected with the presence of sin in the individual or the race, every dogma regarding it to which either Romanist or Protestant theology has given rise, and every attempt to explain it away which has emanated from the schools of German philosophy, will be found treated in a manner whose fairness is only equalled by its ability. Philosophical acuteness, critical skill, and historical and dogmatical learning, combine with the calm impartiality of the German theologians to raise our admiration and to win our confidence; and were the work nothing more than a highly favourable specimen of a style of writing of which we have few specimens in our native tongue, we should feel disposed cordially to recommend it. But it is a great deal more. I would recommend it as a work
peculiarly needed at the present time. We shall strive in vain to render our theology suitable to the wants of the age by the mere republication of the works of our old divines. Let me recommend the student to read these in the noble folio with its massy boards and ponderous weight, and not in the hot-pressed octavo or the elegant duodecimo, which suits
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