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celibacy' (J. S. L., July, p. 435); so that commentators cannot conjecture to whom else he could have referred.' He therefore concludes that his conjecture, and not the one just mentioned, has got "probability to recommend it.' Of course the opinion is grounded on the simple fact, &c.; and until J. C. K. can produce the simple fact' that our Lord's forerunners lived in celibacy, he must expect his conjecture’ to have anything but “probability to recommend it.' For it is just the fact that the
Essenes lived in celibacy, that gives probability to the opinion that they are alluded to. Until it is proved that our Lord's forerunners lived in celibacy, we cannot (unless J. C. K. is prepared to give a different meaning to the word eunuch than is now given to it) maintain that it is in the least probable that they are alluded to. In my former letter I have challenged J. C. K. to give this proof, and seeing he has not done so, he must expect that his hypothesis about the celibacy of the Baptist's followers cannot but be considered as the most improbable an investigator after truth could conceive. He takes also for granted two most important assertions, which ought to have been first proved, thus twice committing one of the forms of a most common fallacy (taking for granted the thing to be proved). The assertions are, (1.) That our Lord's forerunners' had made themselves eunuchs' (J. S. L., July, p. 436); in other words, had refrained from marriage. (2.) That they were eunuchs because they could, in consequence of living as such, 'more wholly give themselves up to the preaching of repentance and of the kingdom of God. When from profane or sacred history instances are given proving these assertions, then legitimate conclusions may be obtained from them; but until this is done, it is useless, nay utterly absurd, to notice further in such a valuable journal as the J. S. L., any lengthened remarks about the celibacy of John the Baptist and his followers !' I do think that, had J. C. K. given due attention to the remarks on this subject in my former letter, and not considered every portion of it “irrelevant,' he would surely not have written the words last animadverted upon.
I will now give the only inferences which I can draw from his conjecture,' as enunciated by him, briefly remarking on a few of them. (1.) 'Honourably speaking of them as men who had made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom,' &c. (p. 436.) If Christ did so, then he certainly considered celibacy as a more perfect state than marriage. There is nothing in the New Testament to lead us to imagine anything of the kind.
But there are instances recorded (e. g., the marriage feast in Canaan), which prove that our Lord was entirely of a different opinion, as nearly all his actions show that he could not have considered celibacy to be a more perfect state than marriage. (2.) That those who are unmarried more wholly give themselves up to the preaching of repentance,' than those who are married. Remarks on this inference are uncalled for, and would only be a repetition of what I stated in my former letter, where it is shown from Scripture and ecclesiastical history, that on the contrary, reasoning from recorded instances, the reverse is the case, the married being more zealous in their calling than the unmarried. (3.) That those Christians
who resemble John the Baptist in living a life of great self-denial and privation,' have, in consequence of remaining unmarried, a better regard to the interests of the kingdom of God than those who are married. The candid inquirer, in order to find if this statement is true or erroneous, must first consider the condition of an existing state of things. Few I am sure, in the least acquainted with the history and working of the two great parties in the Christian Church-those who maintain that the clergy can marry, and those who deny marriage to the clergy-can acquiesce in supporting such a statement; because none but the most bigoted would dare to affirm that the unmarried parish priest is more frequently met with at the bed of the dying than the married one. This, however, we must believe, if we maintain that an unmarried Christian has, in consequence of being so, a better regard to the interests of the kingdom !
Very likely J. C. K. will maintain that these are not legitimate inferences, and that he never meant his words to be so understood. If he did not, then he has not expressed himself so as to enable any one to obtain a different meaning from them; and, consequently, I am surely as a Protestant entitled to consider his interpretation as not only mischievous, but as totally at variance with what we know of our Saviour's sojourn in this world, as we do not read of his having mixed more in the society of those who refrained from marriage than of those who did not, which he would have done if he considered the former worthy of honourable mention.
Admitting, what I never denied, that õrd is frequently used in the New Testament in the sense of 'from regard to,' it does not follow that dá must be understood in the sense of “in order to obtain,' if my interpretation be correct. To prove this I will, with your permission. repeat my words, with the addition of giving diá its full force. “And the reason why he did not thus express himself, was because the motive (from regard to the kingdom of heaven, i. e., in order to obtain it, or to have a right and a claim to enter heaven, because of their having made themselves eunuchs solely for that purpose), was selfish,' &c. (J. S. L., Oct., p. 178.)
With reference to one of my remarks, J. C. K., at p. 437, affirms that it is his belief ‘P. S. commences his reply, as though I had unfairly quoted him,' &c. Does J. C. K. imagine that I do not write what I think, as he seems also to have done in the first paragraph of his letter? If I thought he had “unfairly quoted' my words, would I allow him to be the first to mention such a thing? Had I imagined my words unfairly quoted, let me inform J. C. K. that I should have mentioned that such was my opinion long before writing this sentence. I was obliged to supply the omitted portion of the quotation from Neander, not from supposing that J. C. K. had “unfairly quoted' it, but to show that our Lord's words did not require to be interpolated in order to prove that they could be understood as giving a
b J. S. L., p. 479. Interpolate-to add a spurious word or passage to the original.'-WEBSTER's Dict.
strong decision on the subject, and that they were actually so interpreted by one of the most learned of Biblical scholars. I am convinced that had J. C. K. investigated the subject under consideration without being influenced by previous opinions, he never would have written, after quoting the whole of our Lord's answer (as contained in the 11th and 12th verses), the dogmatic sentence ;' unless therefore we interpolate our Lord's words, he neither approves nor condemns the eunuchism of which he is speaking.' This, however, is more plainly stated in the beginning of my former letter. It is, I suppose, in consequence of maintaining the above-mentioned strange opinion that your correspondent thus concludes his epistle,-alluding to the interpretation I maintain, he says, I would not have attacked that interpretation, but that I believed it to be most mischievous.'
There is one passage in his letter which I must now quote entire, as I cannot otherwise make my animadversions understood; it is as follows:- The hypothesis so zealously maintained by me is not that our Lord's words approve of ascetic celibacy, but only that our Lord does approve not of celibacy only, but of any and every act of selfdenial for the gospel's sake, “ if circumstances demand it ”' (J. S. L., July, p. 437). I never asserted this to be his hypothesis, but, on the contrary, that it was as follows:-Jesus Christ in his words approves of ascetic celibacy “ for the kingdom of heaven's sake”' (J. S. L., April, p. 181). If the sentence went no further than the word
celibacy,' then J. C. K. would have been misrepresented. His words are, “The hypothesis suggested in the course of the above remarks, viz. that the term is applied to the parties referred to (whoever those parties were) in honourable recognition of the greatness of their selfdenial, more especially in reference to marriage and to the comforts of domestic life in general,' &c. (J. S. L., Jan., p. 482). All his arguments in that letter are brought forward to prove that celibacy for the kingdom of heaven's sake cannot but be approved of by Jesus Christ. It appears therefore very strange that he should now maintain his hypothesis to be, 'that our Lord does approve not of celibacy only, but of any and every act of self-denial,' &c., when not one of his arguments in his former letter are brought to bear upon any act of self-denial but one, viz. celibacy.
I do not think that any writer has a right (as J. C. K. has done) to call a quotation from any commentator very ungracious words. He must know that every one has his distinct characteristic; some are timorous and very guarded in their expressions, e.g. Henry, &c.; others again are bold and full of assurance; of this number is Macknight, whose words therefore must sometimes be very ungracious' to those who differ from him in opinion. Since the opinion of commentators must be quoted in controversy, let us by all means refrain from treating their words as if they too were our opponents.
Your correspondent has in both of his letters alluded to a celibacy • demanded by circumstances.' Now I assert and maintain that there never did happen circumstances of a religious nature where celibacy was necessary, but in cases of persecution only; see 1 Cor. vii. 25, 26.
The circumstance mentioned by J. C. K. as demanding celibacy, viz. activity in the service of Christ, I have already shown, in my answer to his former letter, to be untenable. But it is likely that he considers my remarks under this head “as irrelevant as any portion of my letter, and, being such, of course they require no reply. If controversy could be carried on in this quick and decisive manner, what paper, pens, and ink would have still remained in the storehouses of our manufactories !
It is now time that this controversy should end, as the point at issue is by no means so very important as J. C. K. believes ; and he must remember that
“Men's judgments are like their watches,
None go aright, yet each believes his own;' and powerful arguments, and not that logomachy which obliges an opponent to repeat his statements, can make one who differs from us in opinion incline to any of our favourite theories. I admit that in this and the former letter I have expressed my opinion strongly, as was to be expected, having been accused indirectly of interpolating' our Lord's words, by one whose arguments I consider most weak and unsatisfactory; but I have never made use of a single word that could hurt the feelings of any one. And let me inform J. C. K. that it is anything but agreeable to have an opinion stigmatised as an interpolation of the words of that Book which we all venerate, by a writer who never received the least provocation.
In conclusion, let me remark that I defend (besides other reasons) my interpretation of Matt. xix. 12 from the different interpretation maintained by J. C. K. (viz. that our Lord's words are to be considered as favouring celibacy for the kingdom of heaven's sake'), because I consider it more becoming a Roman Catholic than a Protestant to defend (as it strongly favours) one of the favourite and most unscriptural dogmas of the Church of Rome.
I will now conclude this communication with a very brief remark on the Therapeutæ, which I trust will attract the notice of one, at least, of
Your correspondent who signs himself James Elmes (J. S. L., April, p. 170) has considered the origin, &c. of the Essenes more minutely than I have done, as he has not confined his excellent remarks, as I was obliged to do, to the Essenes alone, but has noticed the offshoots from this remarkable Jewish sect; and he has brought such knowledge to bear on this most interesting subject that it would, I am convinced, be highly desirable that his investigations, which seem most valuable, were published either in this Journal or through some other channel. Do try, at least, Mr. Editor, to persuade him to give us an account of the Caraites. Are they an ancient or a modern Jewish sect? Do they resemble the Essenes in any of their dogmas ?
In the meantime let me mention an opinion which your valuable correspondent has not noticed, perhaps not being aware of its existence. The fact is this, that the Therapeutæ are considered by Eusebius to be Christians. After investigating, evidently with a view to establish a favourite theory, Philo's account of the Therapeutæ and Therapeutrides, this historian comes to the following conclusion :-'But whosoever desires to have a more accurate knowledge of these things may learn them from the history already cited; but that Philo, when he wrote these statements, had in view the first heralds of the gospel and the original practices handed down from the Apostles must be obvious to all' (Eccles. Hist. b. ii. ch. xvii. ; I quote from Dr. Crusè's translation, not having the original at hand). To imagine that the Christian religion was so well established in Egypt at such an early period (A.D. 70) is to believe what is at variance with great historical facts. The opinion maintained by some writers, that they are to be considered as a branch of the Essenes, who had migrated from their original abode on the banks of the Dead Sea, is, I think, by far the most correct, as the Therapeutæ are mentioned by Epiphanius by the name of 'Essæi' (i.e. Essenians).
P. S. August 4th, 1853.
* As each of the writers concerned in this controversy has written twice on the disputed topics, and as it can now have no public interest, it is desirable it should close. This opportunity is taken of stating the impossibility of inserting, in future, mere personal matters, as an injury is thereby inflicted on our readers at large. We cannot refrain from saying that we think P. S. has drawn from the statements of J. C. K. inferences which they do not justly admit of. It would be strange indeed if our dislike of Popery should lead us to deny so obvious a doctrine, that there are cases in which Christianity would be better served in the single than in the married life.—ED. J. S. L.
ON THE RIVERS OF DAMASCUS.
DEAR SIR,- Having observed among the 'Contents' of your July number of the Journal of Sacred Literature,' as advertised in the papers, an article entitled “ The Rivers of Damascus,' I procured a copy of the work for the purpose of carefully perusing it. Having also, about five years ago, written a memoir on part of the same subject, I was extremely gratified to find, in reading the Rev. J. L. Porter's article, a confirmation of what I had previously written respecting Abila, and the identifying of the ancient river Abana with the modern Barada, or Barda, although I am sorry to find that the learned traveller, Dr. Lepsius, still considers the Barada to be the celebrated Farfar of the Eastern poets' (p. 401, · Letters from Egypt, &c., edited by McKenzie). I take the liberty of calling your attention to my memoir, which was read before the Royal Geographical Society, 25th of June, 1849, and was published in 1850, in the Journal of that Society, vol. xx.
The second scriptural river, the Pharpar, or Pharphar--the appap of the Septuagint--is clearly more to the south of Damascus, and is most probably the present Nahr-el-Awaj. A friend (Mr. Lemprière)