תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

“ own opinions on others, instead of exhorting them " to study and obey the Gospel of Christ;' have arisen

strifes and contentions, hatred and uncharitable

ness, schisms and divisions without end. From “ whence, says Saint James, come wars and fightings

among you? Come they not hence, even of yout “ lusts which war in your members. From a zeal for “ the religion and for the commandments of Christ, from a concern for the promoting of truth, righte“ousness, and charity, it is evident, in the nature of

things, and in the experience of all ages, that wars " and fightings, hatred and animosities, never have,

nor can proceed. These precious fruits have al

ways sprung from that root of bitterness, a zeal for “ the doctrines and commandments of men, a stri

ving for temporal power and dominion. At the first

beginning of the mystery of iniquity, the builders "" of hay and stubble on the foundation of Christ, “ went no farther than to censoriousness and un“ charitableness towards their brethren. Against whom “ Saint Paul argues; Why clost thou judge thy brother,

or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? We “shall all stand before the judgment-seat, of Christ. “ But in process of time, as water, at a further dis“tance from the fountain, divides itself continually "into more streams, and becomes less pure; so when

men had once departed from the simplicity and

purity of the doctrine, and from the charitableness of the Spirit of Christ, their hatred and animosities " against each other increased continually, till they “ literally fulfilled that remarkable prophecy of our “ Saviour, in which is contained a most severe re

proof of those corrupters of the Gospel of truth and "charity, who he says would arise in following ages.

"I am come to send fire on the earth, Luke xii. 49. And, " Think not that I am come to send peace on earth : I came not to send peace, but a sword: for I am come to set a man at variance against his father, " and the daughter against her mother, and a man's "foes : shall be they of his own household : Matt. x. “34. Nay, even that description which he gives of “ the persecution which the Jews should bring on « his disciples, the time cometh, that whosoever kil

LETH you, will think that he doeth God service; even " this, in time, came to be fulfilled by one Christian,

(so they still called themselves,) it was fulfilled, I 'say, by one Christian upon another *."

Clarke's Sermons, vol. iii. 312—315.

PART II.

SECTION 'V.

The opening of the third Seal.

CHAP. vi. VER. 5-6.

5 Kai őrt hoge th5 And when he opened

τρίτην σφραγίδα, , the third seal, I heard ήκωσα το τρίτο ζώο the third living-creahéyourQ "EpX8. ture saying, “ Come;" [Kai sidov,] xj idol [and I beheld] and lo! inno miras, y

a black horse! and he και καθήμεν επ' that sat on him hayαυτόν έχων ζυχόν εν ing a yoke in his band :

Kuigi aútg. 6 And I heard a voice 6 Kai nera qurinn in the midst of the

εν μέσω των τεσ four living-creatures, σάρων ζώων λέγα saying, “A chenix of σα" Χοίνιξ σίτε “ wheat for a dena

5 And when he had

opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come, and see. And I beheld, and lo, "a black horse; and he that sat on him had a

pair of balances in his 6 hand.

And I heard à voice in the midst of the four beasts gay, A measure of wheat for a penny; and three

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors]

5. Lo ! a black horse!] Another change now ensues, still for the worse; by a colour the very opposite to white; a colour denoting mourning and woe, darkness and ignorance". What a change in this pure and heavenly religion ! but history will shew that Christianity, as professed and practised on earth, underwent this change; which will appear from the following notes.

Ib. He that sat on him having a yoke in his hand.) The word tuyos, which in our common translation is rendered by a pair of balances, I have translated a yoke, for reasons now to be assigned.

1. Zuyos, and not Zevyos, is used by all the Greek writers, whether of the Old or New Testament, to signify Siz yoke, either in its proper or metaphorical sense; the latter word expressing not the yoke, but the pair of oxen, horses, &c. which go under it; (Lev. v. 11. Luke 11. 24.) whence it comes to be used by the scriptural and other Greek writers, to signify pairs of any kind whatever.

2. Zuyos, when used by the scriptural writers to signify a balance, is seen seldom, or perhaps never, to stand alone, as in this passage of the Revelation, but is joined to some other word or expression in the context, which points out this its borrowed significa

* Is, 1. 3. Jer. iv, 20. xiv. 2.

tion; such as Ζυγος σταθμιων, Ζυγος δικαιος, αδικος, ανομος, 'Porry Guys, and the like; without which, Guyos would necessarily be understood to mean simply a yoke : for it is only in a borrowed and secondary sense that Suyos can' be taken to signify a balance. In its primary signification it is a yoke; that is, a staff, which having a link or small chain fixed to the middle of it *, was thereby suspended on the beam of the plough, or of the pole of the chariot, or wain, (like the swing-tree used in modern agriculture,) and from this, so suspended, the two beasts were to draw, the two ends of the staff or yoke being fixed to the necks or horns of the beasts. To render their draft equal, it was necessary that the staff, or yoke, should be divided equally at the point of draft, at the place where it was fastened by the link to the beam or pole; it was necessary also that it should hang loose, and play freely upon the pole. Such being the construction of the yoke, it is evident, that when the beasts were taken from under, it would remain suspended from the pole so evenly, and so freely, by the middle, as to exhibit the figure, and answer the purpose of the beam, or yard of a balance, or of a pair of scales. And it seems probable that this instrument, first used to fasten two beasts to a plough or carriage, in such a manner as that they might draw equally, afforded the first idea of determining weights, by fixing ropes and scales to each end of the yoke. Thus it seems that the word Suyos, yoke, used with words in the context denoting the act of weighing, (but not otherwise,) came to signify a balance t.

A de

Mecca 2a6wv. Hom. II. X. 212. + The manner in which the yoke was fastened to the pole, and

the

A description of the ancient plough, with its pole or beam (temo), and its yoke (jugum), may be seen in Virg. Georg. i. 169. Temo dictus à tenendo, says Varro*; is enim continet jugum. Which jugum (from Suyos, yoke), being, as above described, a staff or rod, passing over the necks of the beasts, was early and very universally used, for the badge and symbol of slavery. “Thou shalt serve thy brother,” says the Patriarch to his eldest son;

(6 and it shall come to pass “ when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt “ break his yoke (Suyov) from off thy neck f. It was under this kind of yoke, or under a staff, beam, or spear representing it, that the nations of antiquity had the custom to pass their conquered enemies, in token of subjection.

It is in this its obvious and primary sense that I understand the word Guyos in this passage. In this sense it is used throughout the New Testament; and in no other sense whatsoever f. It is used metaphorically to signify the burthensome ceremonies of the Mosaic law, from which the Christian " law of liberty” has delivered us g; and in this law of liberty we are exhorted to “stand fast, and to resist every attempt " to subject us to ordinances and a yoke of bondagell.”

the horses brought under it in ancient carriages, is minutely described by Homer :

Τε (scil. διφge) δ'εξ αργυρεος ρυμος σελιν" αυλας επ' ακρω
Δησε χρυσειον καλον ζυγον, εν δε λεπαινα
Καλ' εβαλε χρυσει'υπο δε ζυγον ηγαιν Ηρη
Ιππος ωκυπoδας.

Il. v. 729-733. * Lib. vi.

# Gen. xxvii. 40. See also Is. ix. 4. X. 27. Nab. i. 13. Jer. xxvii. 2-15.

Matt. ii. 29, 30. 1 Tim. vi. i. Acts xv. 10. Gal. v. 1.
Jam. i. 25. ii. 12. Il Gal. v. i. Col. ii. 16. ; Pet, ii, 16.

« הקודםהמשך »