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a quickened the antithesignan nature.ecause it was under the
loci. Having taken for granted that the term flesh desig. nates the human nature of Christ, and the term Spirit his divine nature, they saw indeed that the latter clause might be translated, agreeably to the rule of grammar, quickened by the Spirit ; but they could not see how the former could be rendered put to death by the flesh; for it would have been absurd, as well as false, to say that Christ was put to death by his own human nature. They preferred, therefore, though they must destroy the antithesis by it, to render the clause," put to death in the flesh ;" because it was true that Christ suffered in his human nature. But they could not now restore the antithesis by translating the second clause " quickened in the spirit ;" for this would have involved the absurdity of supposing that the divine nature of Christ had died as well as the human; and that it was made alive, while the human nature was left in death. Here was an exigency indeed; but it arose out of their first error; and it should have caused them to suspect the truth of an opinion which they had taken for granted, rather than to violate both grammar and exegesis.
The respected brother before referred to has translated this clause so as to preserve the antithesis, but to destroy the sense. “Christ," says he, “ is said to have been put to death as to the flesh, but to have remained alive as to the Spirit.” He evidently took the Greek verb (Worosqua in a Hebrâistic sense, supposing that like the Hebrew verb 77777 which signifies both to live and to remain alive, it might be rendered in this way. It is true that Hebrâisms are of frequent occurrence in the New Testament; but a Hebrâism of this sort would hardly occur. The active form [Worossw to make alive, to quicken, corresponds to the Piel or to the Hiphil conjugation of the Hebrew verb, but not to the Kal, in which alone that verb signifies to live and to remain alive : the passive form (WOTOLEOMas does not answer to either of those conjugations. This translation has been chosen to meet another exigentia loci, which, like the former, arose out of the error of taking the flesh for the human nature of Christ, and, while that erroneous interpretation was retained, could not be avoided. The proposed translation of this worthy brother is, however, a very unsatisfactory expedient to meet this exigency. It makes the apostle tell his readers that, when Christ was put to death
Spiritistic sense, suppo live and true that I
in his human nature, he remained alive in his divine nature! Could the apostle imagine that any one needed to be informed that the divine nature did not die with the man Jesus ?- That the Godhead, the Creator and Preserver of the world, did not die when Jesus died? If he had thought them capable of such an absurdity, he must have felt that his whole epistle was very far above their capacity; and why then did he write to them in such a style ?
The true interpretation of this text is given in the translation we have made above, He was put to death by the flesh, but was quickened by the Spirit. The term flesh does not designate the human nature of Christ, but man, mankind. In this sense the term flesh often occurs. David says, “I will not fear what flesh can do to me.” Ps. 56: 4. Compare Jer. 17: 5, Dan. 2: 11, Matt. 24: 22. The flesh, that is, man put Jesus to death; but man did not revive him ; this was done by the Holy Spirit of God; neither would the Holy Spirit suffer the effect of man's malignity to continue, but put an end to it, and took occasion from it to put the highest honor upon Jesus by quickening him in the grave and raising him up from among the dead. This interpretation is unconstrained, natural, easy, and in accordance with every rule of exegesis ; and the sense which it elicits from the text is therefore, undoubtedly, the true sense; and so interpreted, it confirms the exposition we have given of the text at the head of this article.
I do not mean, in what I have said, that a noun in the dative case, construed with a passive verb, or its participle, is always the dative of the agent; it may always be so if the connection permit; and it must be so if the text does not yield a consistent sense without it, and this construction be therefore demanded by the connection.
Perhaps some person will object to me the manner in which the terms oagul, ev dagxi, and rara avdgwTous ongxi opposed to xata dEOV avEvpati, occur in the passage I Peter 4: 1-6. I admit that in all these examples oapxi and įv gagxs may be rightly translated in the flesh; but I see nothing in them that militates against the preceding argument ; inasmuch as the connection does not require that we should take them as the dative of the agent. The phrase in the flesh, that is, in the body, means in the present life or state of being, as distinguished from the future state, which is out of the fesh.
As it would carry me too far, were I to undertake a minute examination of this text, I shall only give what I take to be its meaning in the following paraphrase.
Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us, being in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, being ready, while you live, to suffer for his sake, whatever men may inflict upon you, were it even a violent death like his. All the suffering of which men can be the cause, is limited to the present state of being, and cannot reach beyond it to the future world: as it cannot now affect Christ, so it cannot then affect you. And this suffering, so far from doing you any real harm, will be of great service to you in subduing the sinful propensities of the body: for he that hath thus suffered in the flesh, (sv cagxı,) hath ceased from sin, in such a sense that he does not, henceforth, live the rest of the time, during which he continues in the flesh (sv pagri,) in obedience to the lusts of men, but in obedience to the will of God. For the time of our life which is past is enough for us to have done the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lascivi. ousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: in which things they think it strange that ye run not with them into the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you. They, as well as others, are the persons who shall give account of their deeds to him who is ready to judge the quick and the dead ; not confining his judgment to the living, but extending it to the whole race of men, whether they be living or dead. For it is to this end that the gospel was preached to those of our brethren also who are now dead, and for that reason seem to the infidel to have nothing farther to hope for from the promise of Christ's coming, that, inasmuch as, agreeably to the plan of the gospel, the body indeed is condemned to death, because of the sin which adheres to it; but the spirit is appointed to life, because of the righteousness which is formed in it, (Rom. 8: 10,) so they may be condemned indeed in the flesh (oapx) in the view of men (xara av&pwrous) who cannot see beyond the visible flesh in this life, but may live in the spirit, in the spiritual nature of body and soul, (rveupati) in the view of God, (xata dov) who sees what is beyond this present state of being. Their faith in the gospel did not, indeed, save them from that condemnation which is come upon all mankind by the first sin, nor, perhaps, from a premature and
violent death, which men think the lot of those only whom the Deity disapproves; but it has secured to them an eternal life in heaven; and while in the judgment of men they are condemned, in the judgment of God they are happy.
the best heaves in the jud
REMARKS ON “An EssAY ON Cause AND EFFECT, IN CON
NECTION WITH FATALISM AND FREE AGENCY :" Am. Bib.
By Rev. Leonard Woods, D. D, Prof. of Theol. in the Theol. Sen., Andover, Mass.
To the Editor of the American Biblical Repository,
Dear Sir, I have read with no ordinary interest, the Essay in the last number of the Repository “on Cause and Effect in connection with the Doctrines of Fatalism and Free Agency." I have read it again and again, and have bestowed no small attention on every part of it. The name of the writer is withheld, you say, on account of very peculiar circumstances. As there are no such circumstances in my case, I shall offer remarks on the Essay in my own name.—The writer of the Essay may be one, for whom I entertain a very sincere esteem and affection, I choose to think that he is so; and it will be altogether most agreeable to my feelings to proceed in my remarks with the appre. hension distinctly in my mind, that the anonymous author of the Essay, who has given such evidence of ability to write well, possesses also a sincere love of the truth, a full conviction of the narrow limits of human intelligence, humility, candor, reverence for the Scriptures, and every other quality which belongs to the Christian character. Such an apprehension may have a salutary influence upon what I am to write. It will, at least, render my employment in writing very pleasant.
After all, my concern will be exclusively with the subject. And while I shall take the liberty to call in question some
of the principal positions which I find in the Essay, it will be my endeavor to guard scrupulously against every thing which would be unjust or disrespectful to the author. Indeed I shall refer to the Essay chiefly as an occasion of introducing several topics, which seem to require special attention at the present day.
The subject under consideration, it will be perceived, is of a philosophical or metaphysical nature, and ihe following remarks are intended for those, who have a capacity for metaphysical enquiries, and who have so far attended to matters of this kind, that they are prepared to begin where the present discussion begins, without any pains on my part to prove or explain the common and established principles of mental science.
Considering the nature of the topics introduced in this Essay, I should hardly deem it proper to busy myself in preparing remarks upon them, were it not that they have a bearing upon some very important principles of revelation. The manner in which we regard those principles will unavoidably be affected by the views we take of the general subject presented before us by this ingenious, but anonymous writer.
Let me say, however, that our mode of thinking on this subject cannot alter the facts in the case. If all the men and all the women in the world should happen to think, that our being uniformly influenced in our volitions by motives, and our choosing invariably according to the strongest motive, is inconsistent with free moral agency, it would not make it inconsistent. Should they be ever so confident, that moral necessity, as explained by Edwards, Day, Abercrombie, and others, is the same as Fatalism; still it would not make it so. If it is a law of our nature, that our volitions invariably follow that which is, on the whole, the strongest motive; then whether we admit or deny this in our speculations, this law will stand and we shall conform to it in practice; and, in all respects, we shall proceed to choose and act under the influence of the strongest motive, without the least infringement of our rational or moral freedom. The writer of the Essay, I cannot but think, does himself really act on this principle, though against his speculative theory. There were reasons, I suppose, for and against his publishing an Essay on this subject; and probably he will find, on reflection, that these reasons were very carefully weighed, and that,