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which hardly could have failed to win attachment and love. The following descriptions will assist us in conceiving his personal appearance in the latter part of his life. The first is from Hutchinson's History of Durham, and the second from Surtees' account of the same place :
“He was of a most reverend aspect: his face thin and pale; but there was a Divine placidness in his countenance, which inspired veneration, and expressed the most benevolent mind. His white hair hung gracefully on his shoulders, and his whole figure was patriarchal.”
During the short time that Butler held the See of Durham, he conciliated all hearts. In advanced years, and on the episcopal throne, he retained the same genuine modesty, and native sweetness of disposition, which had distinguished him in youth and in retirement. During the ministerial performance of the sacred office, a Divine animation seemed to pervade his whole manner, and lighted up his pale, wan countenance, already marked with the progress of disease, like a torch glimmering in its socket, yet bright and useful to the last !"
He was regular in his attendance upon Parliament, but never spoke in the House of Lords. This fact led Horace Walpole to say, that “the Bishop of Durham had been wafted to that see in a cloud of metaphysics, and remained absorbed in it!"
Such was Butler. His pure, transparent character needs no elaborate summary. His was not one of those close, hidden natures, which elude and perplex us after the most searching study. The marks of truth and goodness here are so plain, that he who runs can read them. He was no illustration of Bacon's aphorism, that "The way to great place is by a winding stair." No crooked courses, nor time-serving, nor dancing attendance upon the great, brought him to eminence. His dignities were thrust upon him. It does not in our land (saving as a proof of the esteem of his contemporaries) heighten our regard, to know that he was invested with the lordly honours of an English See. All that was the transitory, the outward decking, which in itself has no lustre. But his scrupulous conscientiousness, his sincerity of purpose, his honesty of action, his life-long endeavours to do good,—these are the abiding, the immortal, and stamp him infallibly as a true man.
His position in Theology has been compared with that of Bacon in Philosophy. Both were close and patient observers; both strenuous opposers of hasty theorizing; both rested their systems upon the solid ground of fact. Indeed, analogy and induction involve similar mental operations. In these departments of inquiry, to which his attention was chiefly directed, Butler enjoys the good fortune to have written nothing which is yet cast aside as error ; with the lapse of time, men's confidence in his views has increased. His influence upon the thinking world has been deep and wide; for he has
spoken through others, as well as in his own person. His friend Secker, in his own day, popularized him; Paley has translated him in his incomparably executed Evidences; Chalmers has gloried in being his expounder; and our Wayland has acknowledged him as the principal source of his theory of Ethics. If any judgment can be formed from the variety of editions issued, his works are more read now than ever.
He has reared for himself an enduring monument. John Wesley, long ago, said, “that the Analogy was too deep for the men for whom it was written ;' for he had found that free-thinkers were not usually close thinkers." It has, however, proved a precious legacy to the Church: for often the very objections which are boastfully urged by the sceptic, afflict and distress the believer's heart. To him, these unanswerable reasonings are then a help and relief, to clear his vision, to quiet his doubts, to animate and strengthen his fondest hopes.
ART. V.--SPIRITUAL INTERPRETATION OF ISAIAH IV.
THERE are two extremes in respect to the spiritual interpretation of the Bible: that which spiritualizes everything, and that which makes it a virtue to get rid of a spiritual sense wherever it is practicable. In the former, we see Origen, resolving the plainest narratives into mere allegory; Cocceius, asserting that the Scriptures are to be understood in every sense of which they are capable; and the Rabbinic schools, who assume, to the same effect, that upon every point of the sacred writings hang "mountains of sense.” Time was, when the Church was verging too far in this direction. But under the influence of German rationalism, her judgment is now in danger of being warped to the opposite extreme. As that semiinfidel school have excluded miracles from the Gospels, so they would banish prescience from the prophecies. And none can long peruse their vain lucubrations, without feeling as did Mary, when looking into the empty sepulchre: “ They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” It now behoves the Church to hold up prominently the truth, that in the Scriptures, as well as in the hopes of believers," Christ is all and in all.” And he who strives to rescue a single passage from the hands of the corrupter, is engaged in a good cause.
Principles in the light of which the Chapter is interpreted.
I. The great design of all Scripture is, to present Christ as the Saviour of the world. This is the grand central idea, which explains the whole Bible, and gives it significance, unity, and import
The Old Testament predicts his coming, and prepares the way for it. The New gives a history of that event, and of the doctrines and events which grow immediately out of it.
From the moment of the fall of man, the subject of prime interest with him was restoration. The fall brought upon us depravity, sin, condemnation, and death—a death spiritual, temporal, eternal. It was, from that instant, a question of superlative importance with God and man, How shall the lost race be restored ?-how raised again to purity, reconciliation, happiness ?—to life in its three-fold
To the solution of this question the Bible is devoted. Restoration could only be effected by a Divine Redeemer. Accordingly, the very next event after the original transgression, was the promise of a Saviour. And this hope, with various degrees of development, pervades the entire ante-christian Scriptures. To those who doubt or overlook this obvious fact, Christ would say, as to the two travellers to Emmaus :* “fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?" Or, as he said to the assembled eleven: “ These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me." Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” And observe, in these passages, the words "ought,” and “behoved,” refer not to what was abstractedly necessary, but to events required to take place, in order to make good the predictions concerning himself “in all the Scriptures;" this last expression being used as exegetical of “the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms.” The great topic, then, or train of topics, running like a golden thread through the texture "of all the Scriptures," judice Christo, is, that the Messiah was to come, suffer, rise from the dead, enter into glory, and cause repentance and remission of sins to be preached throughout the world in his name. Upon this broad principle Christ is to be looked
• The quotations in the remainder of the paragraph will be found in Luke xxiv, 26–47, to which the reader is referred.
for always in the Bible where the idea is not excluded by the context, or by the rules of exegesis. And we are never to pare down to a dry historical statement, in which only individuals are concerned, a passage, big with meaning for all, and in which the hopes of the world are involved.
II. The remark thus made, in general, of all Scripture, is especially true of the prophets. The first prediction after the fall, as we have already intimated, foretold a Saviour, who should bruise the serpent's head, while the serpent should bruise his heel; or, as Paul expresses the same things more fully, a Saviour who “through death might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them, who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." In most comprehensive terms the angel of the apocalypse declares to John that “the spirit of prophecy”—its glorious, constant burden—"is the testimony of Jesus :" as a system, it all has relation to a Saviour. Peter was especially impressed with this thought. He says, in Acts X, 43, “ To Him give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." But this apostle's most remarkable declaration is in his first Epistle, i, 10-12: “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you, by them that have preached the gospel unto you, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven." The Spirit, then, by which the prophets were inspired, was "the Spirit of Christ," i. e., of the Messiah. They spoke as they were moved upon by him. It was Messiah speaking through them. But Messiah's relation to this world was entirely evangelical. His whole work on earth was evangelical. "The Lord anointed him," non, made him Messiah, “to preach the gospel to the poor.” Could we, then, anticipate that the burden of his messages would be anything else than evangelical? We could not, even if nothing more had in this place been spoken. But, instead of silence, there follows here as full a declaration of the plenary evangelism of the prophets as perhaps language can express. First, they speak of "galvation :"_"the salvation of souls "* from sin in the present world, and “salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Compare verses 10, 9 and 5. † Explained in verse 4, as "an inheritance-reserved in heaven."
Secondly, the prophets speak “ of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow;" when, under the meritorious cause of man's redemption, and the glorious effects produced by that cause, is summed up, with wondrous brevity, the whole gospel scheme. Thirdly, they had not only a general view of the subject, but “ministered” in detail, “the things now reported to you by them that have preached the gospel unto you;" i. e., the apostles. The prophets declared the gospel itself; and the difference between them and the apostles was, that the latter reported what was past, the former, what was future. "They testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow." How monstrous, by the side of such a statement, appears the infidel assumption of the Neologists, that the prophets had no prescience of a Messiah, and indeed no distinct apprehension of anything in the distant future!
III. As all the prophets foreshow a Saviour, so Isaiah does this most of all. He is called the evangelical prophet, because his predictions " seem almost to anticipate the gospel history: so clearly do they foretell the Divine character of Christ, his miracles, his peculiar qualities and virtues, his rejection and sufferings for our sins, his death, burial, and victory over death; and lastly, his final glory, and the establishment, increase, and perfection of his kingdom; each specifically pointed out and portrayed with the most striking and discriminating characters.” Blessed at one time with the vision of Messiah’s glorious person, Isaiah never lost the impression. And though called sometimes to reprove Israel, and other nations, for their sins, yet he always hastens back with evident delight to the all-absorbing topic, the kingdom and coming of Christ.
Translation and Notes.
Verse 1. On the first verse we remark: 1. The sense evidently connects it with the preceding chapter; and as evidently forbids its connexion with this. 2. It contains the closing denunciation of the prophet against the proud and wicked daughters of Zion; intimating clearly that the number of the males (ona, mariti, chap. iï, 26) should be so reduced by impending judgments that their ratio to the females would be not more than one to seven. 3. The “reproach," therefore, spoken of in this verse, is the reproach of widowhood, (chapter liv, 4,) or celibacy, and consequent bar
Verse 2. As there is considerable controversy concerning some of the expressions in this verse, we give the original of it entire :
FOURTH SERIES, VOL. II.-17