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not have hesitated to burn the Scriptures, which declare that the Gentiles should inherit life, and that the people of Israel should be disinherited from the grace of God *.
P. S. Since the foregoing paper was finished, a note has appeared in the periodical work alluded to in p. 431, implying that there is no ground for alleging a discrepancy between the words of St. Paul in Acts xiii. 20, and those of the Old Testament in 1 Kings vi. 1; and the reason assigned for this assertion is, that we must distinguish between time in the dative and time in the accu ative. I in consequence of this consulted the learned Professor of Greek in one of our Scottish universities, who, though I am personally unknown to him, returned a most polite and ready answer to my letter. By him I am assured, that, according to the canons of Greek criticism, there is a material difference between an expression of time when marked by the accusative and when marked by the genitive or dative. “ The accusative does not always designate duration, yet duration must always be expressed by the accusative.” “The invariable force of the dative in such expression is, to answer the question when, or in what time; not for what time.” Our translation of the words in Acts xiii.20, ÙS ETEOL TETPAKOGLOS KAL TEVTYKOVTA,“about the space of 450 years," is therefore incorrect : that meaning would demand the accusative. The learned Professor then adds, that the explanation of Mills, which refers the calculation of the 450 years to the period between the birth of Isaac and the division of Canaan, is certainly that which the canons of Greek criticism require.
Having, in reply to the letter of the learned Professor, communicated to him a short syllabus of the chronology of the period from the division of the land to the death of Eli, shewing that it exactly accords with the number of years in Acts xiii. 20, and having also noticed that the Syriac renders the clause in the same sense as our English version-(the rendering is, XX” y2781
“ guve to them Judges ")—the learned Professor still informs me that “nothing but the admission of an anomaly in syntax will reconcile the Greek of Acts xiii. 20 with the English version.”
To the high authority of this eminent Professor I feel that I must yield the most implicit deference, as it respects the canon of criticism. My own ignorance of such a canon is not wonderful, seeing it has escaped the attention of all the commentators and versions that I have access to in the country. Whitby,
and four hundred and fifty years he " שנין יהב להון דינא וחמשין
* Iræn. Adver. Hæres. lib. iii. chap. xxiv.
Scott, Dr. Hales in his Chronology, and Dr. Russell in his Connection of Sacred and Profane History, the Syriac (as we have already seen), Castalio in his Latin version, and Bishop Kidder in his Demonstration of Messiah, all receive the words in the same sense as our English version *. Whitby, in his note on the verse, considers and refutes the interpretation of Grotius and Usher, who, on the authority of a various reading, would fix the four hundred and fifty years to the period from the birth of Isaac to the division of the lands. Moreover, in the foregoing paper that period has been demonstrated to be in exact accordance with the detailed chronology of the Books of Judges, First of Samuel, and St. Paul's testimony of the length of the reign of Saul.
The conclusion, therefore, which seems to be forced upon us is, that in Acts xiii. 20 we must admit an anomaly in Greek syntax. Nor do I see any difficulty in this, seeing that even Mills's explanation requires the supposition of two ellipses, marked as follows, parenthetically and in italic: “After these
“ things” (which took place)“in” (a period of)" about four hundred and fifty years, he gave them judges." Now if this be ad
, mitted, where is the difficulty of supplying one parenthesis ? receiving the passage in the usual sense : "After these things, in” (a very long period of time, being)“ about four hundred and fifty years, he gave them judges +.
I have thought it right to set before you the above remarks in reference to the point in question, seeing that the objection, if unanswered, would so deeply affect the reasoning of the foregoing paper.
I wish also to add, that since I forwarded my paper to you I have had an opportunity of very hastily looking into the 19th of the Prolegomena of Bishop Walton, in his Polyglott Bible, on the comparative authority of the chronology of the Hebrew text and the Seventy. I was quite surprised to discover that some parts of my own reasoning so exactly accord with the Bishop's as to amount to a verbal agreement; although I can with truth affirm, that I did not borrow even the ideas, far less the language, from Walton, or any other writer whatever. I had just time to copy the following example of almost verbal identity :* Nec diffidere potuit Sara se propter senectutem parituram ' aut Abraham voluptati operam daturum cum Abraham erat
* Doddridge is an exception to this remark. He endeavours to apply the number of four hundred and fifty years to the period which elapsed from the birth of Isaac to the division of the land, and moulds his translation and paraphrase accordingly; but a perusal of his note on the text will shew how much he was embarrassed by the difficulties of his own hypothesis. Dr. Gill also, though he does not attempt to alter the words of our English version, puts them to the torture, by applying them in a manner quite inconsistent with their genuine meaning, and carrying back the number to the same period as Dr. Doddridge.
+ My time has not permitted me to submit this remark to the learned Professor,
tantum annorum 99 Sara aliquot annis junior et oculis utrique • viderent avos, abavos, tritavos et eorum avos et abavos annorum ducentorum 300 et 400 filios procreantes.'
ON THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST, 666. In communicating to you the remarks upon the Number of the Beast, which were inserted in the MORNING Watch No. VII., I by no means wished them to be considered as affording a satisfactory solution of that difficult prophetic problem, but as merely exhibiting another of those coincidences which might, harmlessly at least, if not profitably, be admitted to appear among the numerous attempted illustrations of the subject. I now, on the other hand, with a greater degree of confidence, though with a feeling of humility not less profound, desire to state, that, upon a more careful examination of the text, I am strongly disposed to doubt whether we are in possession of the real number originally penned by the Apostle, and so may have been prosecuting our inquires upon principles altogether false ; and whether, instead of 666, the true number were not originally 1260. For, in looking at the Greek text, in various printed copies, they state that in the earliest and best manuscripts the number in question is given, not in words, but in the Greek numerical characters xts, which, it must be allowed, according to the present system of notation, does signify 666. But it should be recollected, that according to another usage, equally authentic, the letter x signifies also 1000 (xAcou); and, by a mistake easily committed, the other two characters might be so altered and transposed in the copying as to form the present reading. Assuming, therefore, the number to be originally 1260, and that in the first century it was written xsč, or xcą: when this came to be copied, in the second century, the s final might be first lengthened 10 s, which its position would seem to require; and, the x being taken to represent 600, the present number 666 would be the result. And this slight change being supposed, the transcriber would naturally so adjust the numeral letters as to suit the regular arithmetical order, converting it into xás. Admitting the correctness of this supposition, the real number would be:
And thus we obtain a number frequently referred to, as of undoubted prophetic import, and most obviously connected with the dominion of the beast: and as this number had already been twice repeated in words at full length (xi. 3, xii. 6), I think it probable that here it was thought sufficient to give it in this abbreviated form of numerical characters.
In justification of the above opinion, or at least as some sort of sanction for the doubts expressed, I beg leave to lay before you the observations upon this point contained in the notes to the Greek Testament printed at Amsterdam by Wetstein and Smith, 1735; for in that edition, which is professedly from the best accessible authorities, the number in question is given x6s in the text, but in the notes another reading of x's is given, from one of the Petavian MSS. in the Vatican; which reading is nevertheless allowed to be erroneous, and accounted for upon the supposition of the transcriber being misled by the similarity of the ancient characters. The words are these : “In numero x&s, 666, Petavii unus habet xes. Alter omittit totum versum. Ex Irenai, lib. v. cap. xxx. patet jam olim errorem in numeris hisce fuisse commissum; asserit ille tamen lectionem editam verbis : Ignoro quomodo erraverunt quidam sequentes idiotismum, et medium frustrantes numerum nominis, quinquaginta numeros deducentes; pro ser decadis unam decadem volentes esse. Hoc autem arbitror scriptorum peccatum fuisse, ut fieri solet, quoniam et per literas numeri ponuntur, facile literam Græcam, quæ sexagessimam enunciat numerum, in iota Græcorum literam expansam; post deinde quidam sine erquisitione hoc acceperunt. Putat illos erroneos descriptores pro xts, 666, edidisse xes. '
I must not, however, attempt to conceal, that the authority of Irenæus, as far as it extends, is most decidedly opposed to the idea I have suggested ; inasmuch as he does, in the plainest terms, assert the number to be 666; and strenuously labours to substantiate his assertion by the fact of its being so given in all the old and most approved manuscripts—(omnibus antiquis et probatissimis et veteribus scripturis)
-also by the testimony of those who had seen St. John ; as well as by the evidence of reason itself: shewing a correspondence existing between these numbers and certain historical circumstances noticed in the Scriptures.
With regard to this last argument, I believe there are but few at the present day who would assent to its truth, or at all admit the aptness of the illustrations adduced. And the statement respecting the testimony of those who had seen St. John, although upon matters of a more general description it may be perfectly valid and satisfactory, yet with regard to a subject the investigation of which requires such critical accuracy as the
VOL. 111.-NO, II.
present, I humbly submit that such testimony is of too vague and hearsay a nature to be received as proof.
The statement concerning the authenticity of the manuscripts appears at first view to demand a greater degree of attention, as they would doubtless bave weight sufficient at once to decide the question, could such authenticity be satisfactorily established. But, so far from this being the case, we have no information whatever respecting their particular date; nor the slightest intimation that any one of them was indited either by St. John himself, or under his sanction. So that, upon the whole, it appears to me that Irenæus's assertions prove nothing more than that even as early as his own time there existed a different reading of this number, and several different opinions of its import.
Notwithstanding, therefore, the opposing testimony of Irenæus, from the first-cited authority for the easy confounding of the Greek letters when used as numerical characters, and the avowal that such errors are of common occurrence (ut fieri solet) among ancient transcribers; with the daily experience of the difficulty attending the production of a faultless copy, even from the press; and, moreover, with the instance of two different readings of this very text before me; I trust I shall be acquitted of presumption if I harbour an idea, that, could a manuscript of the first century be discovered, the number of the beast would be found to be 1260.
DR. WHATELY ON ROMANISM.
The Errors of Romanism traced to their Origin in Human
Nature. By Richard Whately, D. D. Principal of St. Alban's
Hall, and late Fellow of Oriel, Oxford. The design of the learned author of this volume is to point out the errors of Popery as being the errors of human nature; of which a particular form, indeed, is manifested in that system, while the principles themselves are to be found in every child of Adam. The plan of the work is original, although the idea has been frequently expressed by many writers and speakers; and the author has developed it with his usual ability. It is obvious, that if the position laid down can be satisfactorily maintained, as we have no doubt that it can, nothing whatever is gained to the cause of real religion by the downfall of Popery. A new form of error, of the same errors, will be seen; but superstition, idolatry, reliance on the opinions of others, persecution, &c. will be equally prevalent in the world in one shape or other, ' The superstitions,' says our author, and the other errors of