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on this deeply interesting subject; and many a rash and positive assertion is to be retracted,
I must relinquish the further pursuit of this topic for want of room. . I would merely hespeak the patience of my readers, while I make a few miscellaneous remarks in regard to the production before us.
Beyond all question the author was of Hebrew origin. A deep and familiar acquaintance with the Hebrew Scriptures is manifest, through every part of his work ; so manifest, that an attentive reader of it needs no proof of this assertion, for not a shadow of doubt can rest on his mind. Not only the Jewish Scriptures are familiar, but the country of the Jews, and specially Jerusalem and its vicinity are familiar objects of reference. There can be no question of his acquaintance with Jewish objects and Jewish history.
But, on the other hand, there are parts of his book which show a foreign literature. His astronomy is not Hebrew. It must be either Egyptian or Chaldean; most probably the latter. The images of light, glory, splendour, radiance, are so frequent and full in his work, as to argue an origin from, or at least a familiar acquaintance with, Middle Asia, the region of Zoroaster, and of his theosophy which was all encircled with light and splendour. Among the speculations of this theosophy is the idea, that garments, all splendid and shining are made for the righteous, by Izeds or female angels, and kept in heaven, to be worn there after a life of piety. In Enoch 02: 18, seems to be an expression which has its basis, perhaps, in this notion, which unconsciously had insinuated itself into the writer's mind: “ The saints have been clothed with the garment of life fafter their resurrection] ; thy garment of life is with the Lord of spirits." Throughout, the tone and tenor of the book has many resemblances to passages in the Zend Avesta.
It is evident from Acts 2: 9, that “ Parthians and Medes, and Elamites," i. e. Jews from the region of those nations, were accustomed to frequeni the great feasts at Jerusalem. What if we suppose our author to have been a descendant of the Jews, who had long been scattered over these regions; to have been an occasional worshipper at Jerusalem ; to have gone up there at a time when Christians were persecuted by the Jews or Romans; to have been converted there to Christianity, and to have had some slight acquaint:
ance, from a cursory reading, with the records of this religion ? We cannot, in the absence of positive and direct testimony, prove these to be facts; but we may say, without much danger of presumption or even of errour, that these suppositions well accord with the internal state of the book of Enoch. Farther than this, the devastations of time do not permit us to go.
But if it be supposed that the author was a Christian Jew, I shall be asked how we can account for it, that the incarnation, sufferings, and expiatory death of the Saviour, are not brought to view, - nor any where insisted on in the work?
The question, I admit, presents some serious difficulty. But still, I do not apprehend that it can decide against so much internal evidence as has already been produced. I might appeal to the Old Testament prophecies, and ask : Where, except in Ps. xxii., Is. liii., and perhaps Ps. xl., are there any predictions of the sufferings and death of the Mes. siah, mere hints being exempted from this inquiry ? A Jew, then, who was deeply versed in the Old Testament Scriptures, would be prone to think of his Messiah as King and Lord, as an irresistible conqueror, and possessed of universal dominion. So he appears in the book of Enoch. So, I may add, (and this is more directly to my purpose,) does he appear almost entirely throughout the Apocalypse. Whatever is different from this, appears to be incidental, rather than a part of the main design. And, as I have already hinted more than once, the main design of the book of Enoch and of the Apocalypse, is similar in a striking degree. To console the righteous under affliction, and to intimidate the wicked, is the leading object of both. What wonder then, with an imperfect knowledge of Christianity, and with the Old Testament predictions respecting the Messiah in his eye, the writer of the book of Enoch should present the Son of Man to his readers, as Judge and Lord of the world, rather than in any other point of view ? It was a natural effect of his condition and of his design.
As to the book itself, it comes before us under many disadvantages. It has been dislocated, in several of its parts; some of it, too, has been lost; at least we must judge so, when we compare some of the quotations of the fathers, with the present book of Enoch, as it comes before us from
the Ethiopic. Yet there are other passages quoted, so numerous and extensive, as to establish beyond all reasonable doubt, the general identity of the present book with that quoted and appealed to by the ancient Christian fathers.
That we cannot find in it some things which are quoted, only proves that the book has suffered by the negligence of translators, or by the ravaging hand of time.
But I must withhold my hand. Of one thing I am sure ; and this is, that every critic on the Apocalypse will most sincerely rejoice in the publication of this long-lost volume. It affords so many and such striking illustrations of particular passages ; it gives such a clue to the angelology and demonology of the common people in the first century ; it exhibits such a state of taste for the writing of visions and dreams; and such views of the Messiah and his dignity; that no writer on the New Testament can justify himself for neglecting the sources of illustration which it discloses.
I have confined myself in the present discussion mostly to one topic of which the book before us treats. There are other things in this work which ought to come before our religious public. The subject of eternal punishment of the wicked, is one that is often brought to view in this early production ; and whether the book be Jewish or Christian, it will serve to give at least the views which were entertained, when the author wrote, in relation to this subject. Most fully does it accord with the Scriptures in regard to this matter. But I must take another opportunity, should it be deemed desirable, to illustrate and confirm this assertion.
I engaged, in the commencing part of this communication, to make some remarks on the quotation of Enoch by the apostle Jude. Under present circumstances these remarks must of necessity be brief.
Of the passage in Jude, Joseph Scaliger says: Ex hoc fragmento [i. e. ex Libro Enoch, which Syncellus has quoted], manifesto excerptus est ; Not. in Euseb. p. 405. And so decide Fabricius, Grabe, Walton, and also most critics of the present day. Others, viz. Pfeiffer, Calovius, Pomarius, etc., suppose that the words apparently quoted by Jude, were immediately suggested by divine inspiration. Cave, Simon, Witsius, and many others, suppose that Jude has quoted a traditional saying or prophecy of Enoch. Taking this to be the case, they liken it to the tradition respecting the
etce presentabrici.xcerptus Enochseph S
etc., susent day. 148, Grabe, tij. Not.inc
dispute between Michael and Satan concerning the body of Moses, mentioned in Jude v. 9; or to the account of Jannes and Jambres who withstood Moses, as mentioned in 2 Tim. 3: 8. Jude might have known something of the prophecy of Enoch, in the like way that he came to the knowledge of something respecting the contest of Michael and Satan, or as Paul came to his knowledge respecting the contest with Moses, i. e. in all probability, by traditional communication.
The possibility of this will not be denied. The probability, however, that such a prophecy of Enoch had been perpetuated in this way, has been denied, and strongly controverted. Yet I am unable to see what there is of improbability in it. Enoch was surely a very distinguished character, and his end equally distinguished. That some solemn and remarkable saying of his should have come down, through Noah, to his posterity, presents us with nothing strange or unexpected. That tradition could preserve this, as well as it did the poems of Homer, will not, I suppose, be confidently denied. Jude might have quoted this saying, from the same source as that from which the author of the Book of Enoch took it; and so neither of these writers be dependent on the other. I am rather inclined to this supposition; and the more, because the passage in Jude contains, as the reader may see by looking back and making the comparison, some considerable departure from that in the Book of Enoch.
But we will adopt, for the sake of argument, the opinion that the passage in Jude is a real quotation. Then the question arises : Does this authenticate the book of Enoch, and entitle it to a place in the canon? Why should it ? When Paul quotes Aratus, in Acts 17: 28; or Menander, in 1 Cor. 15: 33; or Epimenides, in Tit. 1: 12; and when he not only quotes, but vouches for the truth of the sentiment quoted ; does this authenticate the whole works of these three Greek poets? I trust not. A heathen book may have much truth in it, which an apostle might sanction. And yet it would contain many other things for which he would by no means vouch. And so it may be with the Book of Enoch. The prophecy ascribed to him, in the passage quoted, may be truly ascribed to him ; and therefore the apostle might set his seal upon it. But this would no more involve an approbation of the whole book, than quotation involves this in the case where it is made by Paul. Even if it be asked :· Why has not Jude
given us some caution against the Book of Enoch as a whole? I might reply: Why has not Paul given us some caution against Aratus, Menander, and Epimenides ?
In the preceding part of this communication, I have gone upon the ground that quotation is matter of fact in the case before us. Yet I have done so principally because this is, at present, altogether the predominant opinion among critics. Indeed, this opinion, it must be acknowledged, cannot well be disproved. The discrepancy between the passages in the two books, extending to several minute clauses, is still not enough to raise much serious doubt concerning quotation; for many passages of the New Testament, taken from the Old Testament, are quoted, as we well know, with even less exactness than is here apparent. Still, it is easy to see, that although the fact of quotation cannot be disproved, yet neither can it be proved. We can account for the resemblance between the two passages, on the ground of a traditional preservation of the brief prophecy of Enoch, which is ascribed to him in the book of Jude. In such a case, Jude and the author of Enoch both drew from one common source.
As to those who maintain a direct suggestion of the passage before us to Jude, by the Spirit of God, it might suffice to ask : Whether any accession, in such a case, is made to the weight and authority of the book ? The Spirit, speaking by Jude, was a's credible as the Spirit who spake by Enoch. But in case the apostle could truly superadd the weight of tradition in favor of what the Spirit directed him to regard as true, then one of the deepest toned chords in the heart of a Jew would be touched and moved, viz., his reverence for the sayings of remote ancestors.
That the book before us was translated out of a Greek copy into Ethiopic, there can scarcely be a doubt, on account of the shape of some of the original Greek words which are still retained in this translation. On the other hand ; that the first and original language of the production was the later Hebrew of the times, I think we cannot well doubt. The names are so numerous, and withal are, almost without exception, so much of pure Hebrew origin; the style is so exclusively of the Jewish cast; the objects aimed at are so intimately connected with the welfare of the Hebrews; that, at all events, the author was at least of Jewish origin and education. · With Laurence and Hartmann, I