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βραδύς εις το λαλήσαι, βραδύς εις οργήν. Moreover, the oft-discussed passage (Pro Imagin. 28) is probably to be traced back to a Biblical
Lucian had ascribed to a female friend of the emperor the beauty of all the goddesses. This was too much ; and she found therein partly unmerited praise and partly neglect of the reverence due to the goddesses. Lucian therefore justifies his encomium, and first calls attention to Homer, who has transferred divine predicates to men, and then proceeds: oi Deoi oidè töv äpoτον των φιλοσόφων ήμύναντο, εικόνα θεού τον άνθρωπον
ειπόντα είναι. Wieland (3, 339) shows in detail that Epicurus—in Lucian's opinion the best of philosophers—has no such thought; and moreover that Plato, in the Timæus (92), names the word only, and not man, eixwv JEOū. Diogenes the cynic says, to be sure, that good men are the images of the Divinity ; but the word of Lucian obviously looks like a quotation, and we must therefore think of Gen. i. 27, unless we are willing to assume that the thoughts or writings of the Christian apologists were known to him. See Tatian, Adv. Grecos. 7, ο λόγος εικόνα της αθανασίας τον άνθρωπος εποίησε ; or chap. 15, μόνος άνθρωπος εικών και ομοίωσις θεού. In like manner Theophilus says (Ad. Autol. 1, 14), av Apatos Théoua vai ciuws Degū. The passage in Jupiter Trag. 32, where Hercules wishes to shake the pillars of the hall in order to cast all the plunder on the head of Damis, the atheist (την στοάν διασείσας εμβαλώ τώ Δαμιδι), brings to mind the vengeance of Samson (Judges xvi. 25, seq.). A striking similarity of expression occurs in the Fugit. 5, where Zeus pities the human race sinking ever deeper in error, and sends to them philosophy, which alone can furnish aid (róvon icono dai dúvatai). Finally, one is reminded of Christian doctrines in regard to the creation, and especially of Lactant. Instit. Divin. 7, 5, by a passage in the Prometheus (15), where it is given as the end of man's creation, that the beauty and glory of the universe might not be without a witness (usi yeyroμένον των ανθρώπων αμάρτυρον συνέβεινε το κάλλος είναι των όλων). The Hermotimus (24) speaks of a Tónis Taveudziuwv, in which poor and rich, alien and native, small and great, have equal part-estimation depending not on property or external things, but wholly and alone in judgment and striving after goodness. Lucian says that an old man gave him, fifteen years before, an account of this city, but from the youthfulness of his understanding he was unable to follow him. Roth (im Schönthaler Program. 1844, de satiræ Romanæ indole, p. 14) believes this passage must refer to Christianity ; but the whole connection points clearly to the philosophical schools. Lucian says (chap. 22), čotw ý á geta olov nóris; and in chap. 25 Hermotimus will seek such a city among his Stoics. Wetzlar (de vita, ætate, et scriptis Luciani, p. 36) rightly con
jectures that the old man who spoke of this city was the Platonist Nigrinus. At least Nigrinus (chap. 4) answers fully to the description in the Hermotimus; and the city, as an emblem of organised moral life, reminds one of Plato's Republic.
Finally, we remark that Lucian, in his two principal writings against the superstition and fanatical credulity of his time, the Alexander and Nigrinus, quotes also the Sibylline oracles. While it is known that these were composed in part by Christians, and were employed by their apologists in argument (comp. Just. coh. ad Græcos, 16, 37, 38; Apol. 1, 20, 40; Theoph. ad Autol. 2, 3, 9, 36; and Orig. contra Cels. 7, 53); and while the composition of many Sibylline oracles, according to Thorlacius and Bleek, belongs to the period 100-170, it would not have been impossible for Lucian to make mention of them as a phenomenon of the time known to himself. He says (Alex. 11), eignto xenouós ús Eißúrans προμαντευσαμένης ; and Peregr. 29, Σίβυλλαν έφη προειρηκέναι ; and
; both times he proceeds to make the verses himself
. He does not indeed think of any use of such Sibylline words by Christians; but they should not fail in his satirical picture of the times, which everywhere relates to superstition.
ON THE SPIRITS IN PRISON.' Sir,-- In the fourth number, first series, of the Journal of Sacred Literature, Dr. Brown's Expository Discourses on the First Epistle of Peter are noticed with unqualified praise— the doctrinal and the practical, the critical and the popular, being, we are told, admirably combined in them, with many other laudatory remarks of a similar nature. But the reviewer calls our attention particularly to the dissertation on the 18th verse of the 3rd chapter. The discussion, he says, which displays most originality and power is that regarding the spirits in prison. Our immediate purpose in the strictures which we are about to make is to show that the explanation so highly applauded involves misinterpretations of the sacred text which render it altogether untenable, and partly to give expression to our own views upon the subject.
Let then the sentence θανατωθείς μεν σαρκί ζωοποιηθείς δε πνεύματι be taken. These words are thus rendered in the new translation :
Having become dead with respect to his flesh, but quickened with respect to the spirit.' The former of these clauses is further explained in the commentary : He became dead in the flesh, he became bodily dead.' The expression bodily dead' is not very elegant, nor is it very easy to ascertain the exact shade of meaning which it was intended to convey, although the reason of its being employed will soon appear. Believing, however, the intended import of it to be that our Lord died as to his body '—that he died like other men--we are willing to accept of it as communicating the sense in which the Apostle used the original words. Dr. Brown continues : “to be quickened in the spirit' is to be quickened spiritually.' It is impossible to approve of this explanation. The two clauses are exact counterparts or contrasts to each other. Together they describe what happened at the crucifixion to the Saviour's human body and to his reasonable spirit. The one died; the other lived. His body became dead; his spirit continued to exist. Bodily dead' and spiritually quickened' do not fully correspond. The former is used in a literal sense ; the latter in a figurative acceptation. But that cannot be admitted. Both of them must be taken in the same
If the one is understood literally, so must the other. Both must be explained figuratively, or neither. Now the Redeemer died literally; consequently he was alive before that event; and, if Dr. Brown's interpretation be correct, he must literally have been spiritually quickened—implying that before he was thus quickened he was 'spiritually dead. The conclusion is one which the reverend doctor would shun with horror ; but, seeing that it is a natural one, he endeavours to avoid it by maintaining that, among its other meanings, 'the word
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 swotvindeis to be found merely with the import of living? We reply, that if Hayatweig can signify . having become dead,' śworroindeis 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 ó 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 θανατωθείς μεν 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 TopEvleis, 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 éxow súnyyedioato (Ephes. ii. 17)—the expression usually employed for this purpose-justify such a pleonastic use of the 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 auduced ; 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 i the grave, but whose souls were living in the habitation of departel spirits. All, however, that évýguće denotes is that there was a proclamation, such as was made by a herald when sent to announce peace
Might not, then, the assertion of the Apostle be to this