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have also a remote or hidden sense, which the words do not convey to us, it would be presumptuous to question the existence of that sense, by opposing the result of our own researches to the decisions of uner. ring wisdom.

Notwithstanding the difficulties therefore, which attend the notion of secondary senses in general, we must allow, that there are some passages of the Old Testament, which really have a secondary sense. But, since in every instance, where a passage of the Old Testament has a secondary sense, the existence of that secondary sense depends entirely on the divine authority, which has ascribed it to the passage, we must wholly confine the application of a secondary sense to those particular passages, to which a secondary sense has been ascribed by divine authority. There is no supposed logical propriety, no supposed moral fitness, which can either establish the existence, or lead to the discovery, of such senses. It is authority, and authority alone ; though we may fairly presume from the very exercise of such authority, that in every instance where a secondary sense is applied by such authority, there is a moral fitness for the application. But then the application does not depend on such moral fitness : it depends on the authority itself. And since this authority is confined to individual cases, the doctrine of secondary senses is reducible to no system. As in the relation of types to antitypes we cannot go beyond thosc particular examples, which


are ratified by divine authority, so in every instance the same divine authority must be produced, before we can recognise, in a prophecy of the Old Testament, both a primary and a secondary sense.

Indeed, if we once transgress the limit prescribed by this authority, it will be difficult to find


limit to the introduction of secondary senses. For since the secondary sense of a passage is a sense, which the words do not convey of themselves, it is manifest that, as soon as we begin to trust in our own interpretation, we shall interpret without rule or guide. Though no passage can have more than one grammatical mean. ing, yet, as soon as we begin to indulge ourselves in the invention of mystical meanings, it is impossible to say, where we shall stop. We shall come at length to that wantonness of interpretation, which is displayed by most of the Jewish Commentators, and by many among the Christian Fathers. We have already seen, that there is no analogy between the interpretation of prophecy and the interpretation of allegory, unless indeed it should so happen that an allegory was meant to be prophetic, which however is not its usual character. But such was the fondness for allegorical interpretation, that instead of confining it allegory itself, both Jewish and Christian Commentators have extended it to history and prophecy, where it is wholly inapplicable. When allegorical interpretation is employed where it properly belongs, namely, in the interpretation of a real allegory, there is always a



connexion between the literal and the allegorical

There is always a clue, which leads us from one sense to the other. But if we endeavour to find an allegorical sense, either in history or in prophecy, we endeavour to find a sense, with which the literal sense is wholly unconnected. The sense therefore will be supplied by mere imagination : and not only will different interpreters inyent different senses, but even the same interpreter may invent as many as he pleases. Indeed there have been Jewish Commen. tators, who have boasted, that they could discover seventy Midrashin, or mystical meanings in one sen

Some limit therefore is absolutely necessary: and enough has been already said to shew, that the only limit, in which we can confide, is the limit as. signed by the authority of Christ and his Apostles.

This appeal to authority, as the foundation of secondary senses, is consistent also with the plan, which is adopted in these Lectures. For it bas been already shewn, that there are prophecies, which fore. tel the coming of Christ, according to their literal and primary sense. By these prophecies, united with the argument from miracles, we establish the divine authority of Christ and his Apostles, independently of secondary senses. When we appeal therefore to their authority in proof of secondary senses, we are not liable to the charge of arguing in a circle. Such a charge applies only to those, who, while they under. take to prove the truth of our religion from prophecy,

yet argue only on the supposition of secondary senses. For, as the existence of secondary senses depends on the authority of Christ and his Apostles, we cannot argue from those senses to the truth of our religion without taking for granted the thing to be proved. But, on the other hand, though we cannot apply them to that particular purpose, there are other purposes, to which they may be applied. For though they prove nothing by themselves, yet when combined with those prophecies, which relate to the Messiah in their primary sense, they serve at least to illustrate that unity of design, which connects the Jewish with the Christian Dispensation.

If we further undertake to examine, what particular passages of the New Testament afford exam. ples of prophecy applied in a secondary sense, we shall find it to be a question, in which there ever has been, and probably ever will be a diversity of opin. ion. For not only are commentators at variance on the question, what are literal prophecies of our Sav. iour, and what are not, but even they who are agreed on this previous question, are still at variance as to the question, what appellation shall be given to those passages, which are applied to the period of our Saviour's ministry, and yet literally belong to another period. That there are such passages we cannot doubt: and we may allege, as an instance, that passage in the thirty-first Chapter of Jeremiah, which is applied to the massacre of the children at Bethlehem. The words of Jeremiah are, “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping: Rahel weeping for her children, refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Thus saith the Lord, Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears : for thy work shall be rewarded saith the Lord, and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.” This passage evidently relates to the carrying away of the Jews into captivity, and their future return. For it appears from the fortieth Chapter of Jeremiah, that Ramah was the place, to which Nebuzaradan, the captain of Nebuchadnezzar's guard, first brought his captives from Jerusalem. According to its literal meaning therefore it is obvi. ously a prophecy of a totally different event from the massacre of the children in Bethlehem by order of Herod. Nor do we perceive how it can be a propbecy of this event even in a secondary sense. For not only were Ramah and Bethlehem two distinct places, the one lying as far to the north as the other to the south of Jerusalem, but the consolation, afforded to Rahel, that her children should come again, was a consolation, which could not be afforded to the moth. ers of the murdered children in Bethlehem. A comparison therefore of the sorrow, expressed in the one case, with the sorrow, whicb was felt in the other, appears at least to constitute the sole ground of application. Such applications of passages in the Old Testament to events recorded in the New, various

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