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lar, which have been in most familiar use with the old interpreters, and have been current in the explanations given in the Hellenistical synagogues and schools, have, with their naturalization among the Israelites, acquired in the Jewish use, if I may be allowed the expression, an infusion of the national spirit. Though the words therefore are Greek, Jewish erudition is of more service than Grecian, for bringing us to the true acceptation of them in the sacred writings. Would you know the full import of the words αγιασμος, for example, and δικαιοσυνη in the New Testament? It will be in vain to rummage the classics. Turn to the pages of the Old Testament. It will avail little to recur to the Greek roots αγιος and δικη. Examine the extent given to the signification of the Hebrew roots op kadash, and p73 tsadak, which have given occasion to the introduction of those Greek terms into the translation of the Seventy,
2. CLASSICAL use, both in Greek, and in Latin, is not only, in this study, sometimes unavailable, but may even mislead. The sacred use, and the classical, are often very different. We know the import of the word sanctitas in the Vulgate and in ecclesiastical writers, and that it answers exactly enough to our own word sanctity derived from it. Yet from Cicero's account, it is plain that, in modern European tongues, we have no word corresponding to it in its primitive and classical use. “ ÆQUITAS," says he, “tripartita dicitur esse.
Una ad superos
“ deos, altera ad manes, tertia ad homines pertinere ;
prima pietas, secunda sanctitas, tertia justitia no“minatur *.” According to him, therefore, the Latin word sanctitas imports equity or suitable regards towards the infernal gods.
But, in no instance, does the classical sense of a word differ more from that which it has invariably in the sacred pages, than in the term TATÈLVOS, which, with the former, is always expressive of a bad quality, with the latter, of a good. With us, it is a vir. tue, with them, it was a vice. Nor can it be justly affirmed that the word expressed the same disposition of mind, with Pagans, as with Jews and Christians, and that the only difference was, in the opinion or judgment formed concerning this disposition ; that the former looked upon it with a favourable eye, the latter with an unfavourable. For this is far from being the case. The quality of which it is expressive, in classical use, is totally different from that which it expresses, in the sacred writings. In the first it corresponded exactly to, and was commonly translated by, the Latin humilis, which in profane authors, always conveys a bad meaning, and denotes such a feeble, mean, and abject temper, as is the very reverse of that fortitude, that superiority to death, shame, and pain, which the law of Christ so peremptorily exacts, and with which the faith of Christ so powerfully inspires the genuine disciple. TaTELVOTNS, the abstract, is comprised by Aristotle " under uixpo
41 Περι αρετων και κακιων. .
fogua, pusillanimity; or, as explained by lexicographers, “ animus demissus et abjectus ;” and contrasted to peyahofuxia, magnanimity, “ animi cel“ situdo.” And to evince that the Latin term, in heathen authors, has the same meaning with the Greek, I need no better authority than Cicero, who says “, “Succumbere doloribus, eosque humili animo “ inbecilloque ferre miserum est, ob eamque debili
tatem animi, multi parentes, multi amicos, nonnul“ li patriam, plerique autem seipsos penitus perdide“runt.” To this he opposes, “ Robustus animus " et excelsus, qui omni est liber cura et angore, cum “ et mortem contemnit,” &c. The temper of mind here condemned by Cicero, every Christian will condemn as much as he; and the application of the term humilis to this temper, is a demonstration, that, with him, the word was the sign of an idea very different from that, of which it has since, in conformity to the style of the Italic translation, been made the sign, by ecclesiastical authors.
We may observe, by the way, that the English word humility, though borrowed directly from the Latin, conveys not the classical, but the scriptural sense of the word ταπεινοτης or ταπεινοφροσυνη, which Cas. talio, over-zealous for the Latinity of his style, never renders humilitas, but always modestia. This word modestia, however, does not express adequately the sense of the original. Modesty relates only to the opinion of men, humility relates also, and principally,
42 De Finibus, 1. i.
to the unerring judgment of God; and includes such a combination of qualities as no species of polytheism could give a foundation for. It implies, along with a modest self-diffidence, a sense of unwofthiness in the sight of God, accompanied with a profound ve. neration of his perfections. Accordingly piety, meekness, and modesty, make, if I may so express myself, the principal figures in the groupe.
So far from involving any thing of that weak timidity and irresolution expressed in the passage quoted from the philosopher, as comprehended in the classical sense of the term humilis ; it, on the contrary, implies, in every situation, a submission to the will of Heaven, without repining or reserve, founded in a consciousness of ones own ignorance of what is best, upon the whole, and an unshaken confidence in the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, by whose providence all events are over-ruled.
This is one of those terms which, in the mouth of a Jew or a Christian, an idolater could not comprehend, till he had previously acquired some notion of the Biblical theology. To some people it may appear strange, that so much knowledge should be thought necessary for qualifying one to understand the words in current use in any language. But to those more deeply versed in these matters there will be nothing surprising in the remark. They will be sensible that the modern names, pedantry, gallantry, foppery, coquetry, prudery, and many others, could not be translated into any ancient language, otherwise than by circumlocutions. Mon
tesquieu os observes of what is called honour in the monarchies of Europe, that it is unknown, and consequently unnamed in the despotisms of Asia, and that it would even be a matter of some difficulty to render the term, as understood by Europeans, intelligible to a Persian.
§ 3. I SHOULD not have been so particular on the different acceptations of some words, as used by Jews and by Pagans, but in order to illustrate more effectually that important proposition, that Scripture will ever be found its own best interpreter ; and to evince, what was remarked before, that the manners and sentiments of a people, being closely connected with their constitution and customs, sacred and civil, have a powerful influence on the language, especially on those combinations of ideas, which serve to denote the various phases (pardon the unusual application of the term) both of virtue and of vice, as displayed in the characters of individuals. For, though some traces of all the virtuous, and all the vicious, qualities of which human nature is susceptible, will perhaps be found in every country; these qualities are greatly diversified in their appearance, inasmuch as they invariably receive a kind of signature, or peculiar modification, from the national cha
One plain consequence of this doctrine has been already considered, namely, that there will be
43 L'Esprit des Loix, liv. iii. ch. 8. Let. Pers, 88.