Page images

cording to the occasion, and be suited to the capacities and circumstances of the persons to be taught, and therefore, that it should be left to the discretion of the teacher. No variation was necessary, or even proper, in the other, which was no more than the public notification of a fact, with a warning to prepare themselves.

In the charge which our Lord gave to his Apostles, after his resurrection, he says

205, Go throughout all the world, κηρυξανε το ευαγγελιον, proclaim the good news to the whole creation. And as the call to reformation was enforced by the promise of remission in the name of Christ, these are also said 35 κηρυχθηναι εις παντα τα εθνη, to have been proclaimed to all nations. Indemnity for past sins is the foundation of the call to reform, with which the proclamation of the reign of God was always accompanied. It is proper to remark, that the form, nyyine yap, used first by the Baptist, then by our Lord himself, and lastly, by his disciples in his lifetime, is never repeated after his resurrection. And we have reason to believe, from the material alteration in cir. cumstances which then took place, that they have then said, not as formerly, myyixe, but nase yap

o in Bacinela TWV spavw. The reign of heaven, that is, of the Messiah, is come.

§ 7. Further, I must take notice, that though announcing publicly the reign of the Messiah, comes

205 Mark, xvi. 15.

206 Luke, xxiv. 47

always under the denomination, xnpvogelv, no moral instructions, or doctrinal explanations, given either by our Lord, or by his Apostles, are ever, either in the Gospels, or in the Acts, so denominated. Thus, that most instructive discourse of our Lord, the longest that is recorded in the Gospel, commonly named his sermon on the mount, is called teaching by the Evangelists, both in introducing it, and after the conclusion 207. Opening his mouth, edidaoXEV avtrs, he taught them, saying : and, when Je. sus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished, eni on Sidaxn avto, at his doctrine, his manner of teaching. It is added, yap Sidaoxwv avtus; for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the Scribes. He is said to have been employed in teaching 208, when the wisdom, which shone forth in his discourses, excited the astonishment of all who heard him. In like manner, the instructions he gave by parables, are called teaching the people, not preaching to them 209; and those given in private to his Apostles, are in the same way styled 210 teaching, never preaching. And if teaching and preaching be found sometimes coupled together, the reason appears to be, because their teaching, in the beginning of this new dispensation, must have been frequently introduced by announcing the Messiah, which alone was preaching. The explanations, admonitions, arguments, and motives, that followed, came under the denomination of teaching. Nor does any thing else, spoken by our Lord and his disciples, in his lifetime, appear to have been called preaching, but this single sentence, Μετανοειτε ήγγικε γαρ η Baochela TWV spavwv. In the Acts of the Apostles, the difference of meaning in the two words is carefully observed. The former is always a general and open declaration of the Messiah's reign, called emphatically, the good news, or gospel; or, which amounts to the same, the announcing of the great foundation of our hope, the Messiah's resurrection : the latter. comprehends every kind of instruction, public or private, that is necessary for illustrating the nature and laws of this kingdom, for confuting gainsayers, persuading the hearers, for confirming and comfort. ing believers. The proper subject of each is fitly expressed in the conclusion of this book 241 ; where, speaking of Paul, then confined at Rome, in a hired house, the author tells us, that he received all who came to him, κηρυσσων την βασιλειαν το Θεό, και διδασκων τα περι τα Κυριε Ιησε Χρις8. Announcing to them the reign of God, and instructing them in every thing that related to the Lord Jesus Crist.

207 Matth. v. 2. vii. 28, 29. 208 Matth. xiii. 54. Mark, vi. 2. Luke, iv. 15. 22, 209 Mark, iv. 1, 2.

0 Mark, viii. 31.

♡ 8. Let it also be observed that, in all the quotations in the Gospels, from the ancient Prophets, neither the word xmpvoow, nor any of its conjugates, is applied to any of them beside Jonah. What is quoted from the rest, is said to have been spoken,

911 Acts, xxviii. 31.

or foretold, or prophesied, but never preached. Jonah's prophecy to the Ninivites, on the contrary, is but twice quoted; and it is in both places called xnpuyua, rendered preaching, properly cry, or proelamation. The same name it has, in the book itself, in the Septuagint, and with great propriety, according to the explanation above given of the word, for it was a real proclamation which God required him to make through the streets of Niniveh. Thus he is charged 213, Go to Niniveh, that great city, and preach to it the preaching that I bid thee. The very words are prescribed. It may be observed here, by the way,

that both in the Hebrew, and in the Greek, it is the same word which is here rendered preach, and in verse fifth, proclaim, when used in reference to a fast appointed by the king of Niniveh, for averting the divine anger, and notified to the people by proclamation. In obedience to the command of God, Jonah began to enter into the city, a day's journey, and to cry, as he had been bidden. Now, what was the preaching which God put into his mouth? It was neither more nor less than this, Yet forty days, and Niniveh shall be overthrown. This warning the Prophet, at proper distances, repeated as he advanced.

In one passage of the Apocalypse 215, the word occurs so manifestly in the same sense, that it is one of the two places (for there are no more) in the New Testament, wherein our translators have ren.

213 Rev. v. 2.

212 Jonah, iii. 2. VOL. I.


dered it proclaim : I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? That is, whosoever is worthy to open the book and to loose its seals, may come and do it. This is the whole of the angel's xnpuyud, preaching or proclamation. In the Acts and Epistles, we find the verb xnpvoow followed by τον Χριςον, τον Ιησεν, or something equivalent. This is entirely proper. To proclaim the advent of the Messiah, and that Jesus is the person, was the first step of their important charge, and necessarily preceded their teaching and explaining his doctrine, or inculcating his precepts.

§ 9. So much for the primitive and most common meaning of the word xnpvoow in the New Testament. But, as few words in any language remain perfectly univocal, I own there are some instances in which the term is employed in this part of Scripture with greater latitude. The first and most natural extension of the word is when it is used by hyperbole for publishing any how, divulging, making a thing to be universally talked of. The first instance of this is where we are told of the leper that was cleansed by our Lord, and charged not to divulge the manner of his cure. But he went out, says the historian 214, and began to publsh it much, xnpvogelv 70λα. . So our translators, very properly, render the word. In some other places we find it in the same

214 Mark, i. 45.

« PreviousContinue »