« PreviousContinue »
certum est, libellos hos in codicem seu volumen unum digestos fuisse non divino jussu aut impulsu, sed consilio studioque humano, licet sancto pioque, etc.—He laid great stress upon the fides humana-viz., that the sacred penmen both would and could speak truth, etc. Comp. c. 2.
* “ Socinianism, in accordance with its dualistic and mechanical stand point, could not regard the special mode of the influence of the Holy Spirit in any other aspect than that of an unmediated interposition of the divine causality in the very midst of human individuality; in this respect, Socinianism stands on the same position with the older Protestantism and Catholicism ;" Fock, Socinianismus, p. 329. Thus Socinus says, in a very orthodox way, that the sacred writers wrote--ab ipso divino Spiritu impulsi, eoque dictante (Lectiones Sacræ, p. 287; in Fock, ubi supra). Yet he restricts inspiration to what is essential, and concedes slight errors in what is unessential (leviter errare) ; see the passages in Fock, p. 332; and Socinus De Auctoritate Scripturæ, Racov., 1611 (Opera, i. p. 263, sq.)
• The Consensus Repetitus Fidei veræ Lutheranæ (ed. Henke, p. 5), asserts against Calixt, Punct. 6: Profitemur et docemus, omnia scripta prophetica et apostolica dici divina, quia a Deo ceu fonte sunt et divinities tradita veritas, nihilque in illis inveniri, quod Deum non habeat auctorem, vel Deo inspirante, suggerente et dictante non sit scriptum, testibus Paulo, 1 Cor. iii. 13; 2 Tim. iii. 16; et Petro, 2 Pet. 1, 20. Rejicimus eos, qui docent, scripturam dici divinam, non quod singula, quæ in ea continentur, divinæ peculiari revelationi imputari oporteat, sed quod præcipua, sive quæ primario et per se respicit ac intendit scriptura, nempe quæ redemptionem et salutem generis humani concernunt, nonnisi divinæ illi peculiari revelationi debeantur. (Even passages like 2 Tim. iv. 13, form no exceptions.) This rigid adherence to the very letter of Scripture (grammatolatry) manifested itself especially in the Formula Consensus, 1: Deus O. M. verbum suum, quod est potentia ad salutem omni credenti (Rom. i. 16), non tantum per Mosen, Prophetas et Apostolos scripto mandari curavit, sed etiam pro eo scripto paterne vigilavit hactenus et excubavit,* ne Satanæ astu vel fraude ulla humana vitiari posset. Proinde merito singulari ejus gratiæ et bonitati Ecclesia acceptum refert, quod habet habebitque ad finem mundi sermonem propheticum firmissimum ; nec non lepà ypáụuara, sacras litteras, ex quibus, pereunte cælo et terra, ne apex quidem vel iota unicum peribit (2 Pet. v. 19, 2 Tim. iii, 15, Matth. v. 18). 2: In specie autem hebraïcus V. T. codex, quem traditione Ecclesiæ judaïcæ, cui olim oracula Dei commissa sunt (Rom. iii. 2), accepimus hodieque retinemus, tum quoad consonas, tum quoad vocalia sive puncta ipsa sive punctorum saltem potestatem, et tum quoad res, tum.quoad verba OEÓT VEVOTOS, ut fidei et vitæ nostræ, una cum Codice N. T. sit Canon unicus et illibatus, ad cujus normam ceu Lydium lapidem universæ quæ extant versiones, sive orientales sive occidentales, exigendæ, et sicubi deflectunt, revocandæ sunt. (But compare Schweizer, Die theol. ethischen Zustände, p. 37).—The Lutheran theologians also maintained that the Hebrew vowel points were original ; Joh. Gerh. Loci Theol. i. c. 14, 15; Quenst. i. 272, ss., and Hollaz. Prol. iïi. Quæst. xliii. and others. The controversies respecting the purity of the Greek of the New Test. belong to the same class (Purists and Hebraists); see Winer, Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Sprachidioms, Einleitung, and Gass, ubi supra, 159. In the year 1714, G. Nitsch (who died 1729, superintendent in Gotha), even raised the question whether the Holy Scripture was God himself or a creature? See Walch, Relig. Streitigkeiten innerhalb d. evang. Kirche, iii. p. 145, and i. p. 966. Tholuck, ubi supra, p. 253, sq.
* How much this mere watching and guarding of a dead treasure is in accordance with their lifeless notions of God, and the relation in which he stands to the world, is evident. Nothing creative, either in the one case or the other!
* Thus the idea of inspiration was more precisely defined ; it was at first identified with revelation but afterwards treated of by itself (see Heppe, p. 250). Comp. Gerhard, Loci i. c. 12. $ 12: causa efficiens Scripturæ Sacræ principalis est Dens. 8 18: Cause instrumentalis fuerunt sancti homines. Scripserunt non ut homines, sed ut Dei homines h. e. ut Dei servi et peculiaria Dei organa. Hollaz, Prol. iii., Qu. vi., p. 75.... : Sicut scriptura, quam homo alteri in calamum dictat, recte dicitur verbum humanum in litteras relatum, ita Scriptura a Deo inspirata verissime dicitur verbum Dei litteris consignatum. Quæst. xvi. : Conceptus omnium rerum, quæ in sacris litteris habentur, prophetis et apostolis a Spir. S. immediate inspirati sunt. Qu. xviii.: Omnia et singula verba, quæ in sacro codice leguntur, a Spir. S. prophetis et apostolis inspirata et in calamum dictata sunt. Compare other passages quoted by De Wette, Dogmatik, and Hase, Hutterus Redivivus.—The divinity of Scripture was founded partly npon the fides divina (the testimony of the Holy Spirit), and partly upon the fides humana (avdevria and åčloTiloría); it then served in its turn as the source from which the so-called affectiones Sacræ Scripturæ were derived. These were: I. Affect. primariæ: 1. divina auctoritas, 2. veritas, 3. perfectio, 4. perspicuitas (semetipsam interpretandi facultas), 5. efficacia divina; II. secundariæ: 1. necessitas, 2. integritas et perennitas, 3. puritas et sinceritas fontium, 4. authentica dignitas. Attention was also directed to the simplicitas et majestas stili, etc. Comp. Gerhard, Loci l. C., Calov. Systema T. i., p. 528 ss., and the other compendiums of systematic theology. (See Hase, Hutterus Redivivus, p. 99 ss., De Wette, p. 39.) Compare Gass, Geschicte d. Theologie, p. 235 sq. Heppe, Dogmatik des deutschen Protest. i. 240 sq.
• Luther was no stranger to the thought, that the external word alone is not sufficient, but that the Holy Spirit, working internally in the hearts of the readers (hearers) is needed to produce a right understanding of the Scriptures: see his Letters in De Wette's edition, v., p. 85, No. 1784 ; and the passages cited by Heppe, p. 235. The later orthodox theology, too, was familiar with the idea of the testimony of the Holy Spirit ; see Kaiber, Die Lehre der altprotestant. Dogmatiker von dem Testimonium Spiritus Sancti, und ihre dogmatische Bedentung, in the Jahrbücher für deutsche Theologie, 1857. But the mystics of the Protestant church were the chief opponents of the literal orthodoxy. Thus Jacob Böhme said: “Though reason may cry: Give me only the letter of Scripture, yet the external letter does not impart sufficient knowledge, although it may guide us in our researches; the living letter also, which is the independent and revealed word, and nature of God, must through the medium of the revealed word, be laid open and read in the man, who is taught and instructed by the Holy Ghost
himself;" in the preface to his work: Von der Geburt und Bezeichnung aller Wesen, quoted by Umbreit, in his Jakob Böhm, p. 66.- Previous to the time of Böhme, Sebastian Frank of Wörd (who lived in the sixteenth century) had maintained that “the devil bimself may be well versed in Scripture, and even adhere to its very letter, as he is now doing in the case of so many sects which have nothing in their favor but mere Scripture,” etc., quoted by Umbreit, l. c., p. 60; see § 241. Weigel, Postille, vol. ii., pp.
1 62, 63 ; iii., p. 84, says: “Scripture, as such, is a dead letter, and an empty word, which sounds through the air ;" and in another work, entitled Gulden Griff, c. 19 : “ It is not enough to say, here is such a writer, and he has the Holy Spirit, he can not make a mistake. My dear friend ! first of all prove the truth of thy statement; thou wilt find it a difficult work to prove and demonstrate it. Who is Cephas? who is Paul ? says the apostle; who is this man or that? They are all men. It is God, God, God alone, who works by faith, and imparts judgment to try the spirits and discern the writings ;" comp. Walch, Einleitung in die Religionsstreitigkeiten, vol iv., p. 1044, 45. In the same manner Christian Hoburg (quoted by Hollaz, ed. Teller, p. ':5) expressed himself as follows : Scripture, is an old, cold and dead thing, which makes men mere Pharisees.”—Arnd, Wahres Christenthum, p. 28, used more moderate language, but more to the point: “God did not reveal his Holy Word that it might remain a dead letter, but that it might become a living power within us, and create in us an entirely new and spiritual nature, otherwise it is of no use. All that Scripture teaches externally must be worked into man through Christ, in the spirit and in faith." 'Ibid., p. 89; “ The living Christ
p is the book which we must read, and from which we must learn.” On the Rothmann controversy about the efficacy of the word of the Bible, see Cotta, Præf. in Gerhard, p. 24; Walch, Einleitung in die Religionstreitigkeiten der Lutherischen Kirche, i., p. 524 sq; Gass, ubi supra, p. 265.
Spener agreed with the mystics in this, that the dead letter avails nothing. But he opposed quite as decidedly the preeminence assigned to the Spirit without Scripture. Thus he said, in opposition to the notions of the Quakers : “Our feelings are not the norm of truth, but divine truth is the norm of our feelings. This rule of truth exists in the Divine Word apart from ourselves ;" see the passages quoted by Hennicke, pp. 6 and 7.-Concerning the right of the laity to read and search the Sacred Scriptures, he expressed himself as follows (Geistliches Priesterthum, Francfort, 1677, p. 29) : “Since the epistle of our heavenly Father is addressed to all his children, no child of God is to be excluded from its perusal; all have not only this right, but are also commanded to read it.” " They must also search the Scriptures that they may be enabled to examine the doctrine of their minister, in order that their faith may not be founded upon the authority and testimony of men, but upon divine truth.” But Spener made special efforts to render the Bible practical,* both among the people (by a more popular interpretation of Scripture), and among theologians by his Collegia Biblica. See his Pia Desideria (Francf. 1712.) p. 94 ss.
* Spener thought it even desirable (p. 38) that the laity should study Greek and Hebrew, “to be enabled to understand the revelations of the Holy Spirit in his own language;" nevertheless, “ the want of acquaintance with foreign languages does not exclude pious Christians from a true knowledge of that which God has deemed necessary for the edification of their souls."
• The Universities of Louvain and Douay condemned (A. D. 1588) the position of the Jesuits, that it was not necessary to suppose that all the words of Scripture are inspired by the Holy Ghost. A controversy respecting inspiration was carried on (A. D. 1622) between the Jansenists and the Jesuit Jean Adam. In his opinion the sacred penmen have sometimes made exaggerated statements; on the whole, it is by no means necessary to take everything in Scripture in its most literal sense. The Jansenists showed the dangerous tendency of such assertions. Reuchlin, Geschichte von PortRoyal, i., p. 613 ss.-In opposition to the Protestant doctrine concerning Scripture, Bellarmine maintained (De Verbo Dei, iv., 4):.... Apostolos non de scribendo, sed de prædicando Evangelio primaria intentione cogitasse. Præterea, si doctrinam suam litteris consignare ex proffesso voluissent, certe catechismum aut similem librum confecissent. At ipsi vel historiam scripserunt, ut Evangelistæ, vel epistolas ex occasione aliqua, ut Petrus, Paulus, Jacobus etc., et in iis nonnisi obiter [? ] disputationes de dogmatibus tractaverunt. -He rejected the testimony of Scripture in favor of inspiration, as a testimony in its own cause ; not only the Bible, but also the Koran, claims inspiration ! He further maintained that there is no sure criterion for the canonicity of the separate books in Scripture itself, etc.*_Nor were the critical investigations of Richard Simon reconcilable with the idea of verbal inspiration. Compare his Traité de l'Inspiration des Livres sacrés. Rotterd. 1687.
• On the difference betweeen the hermeneutical principles of the Protesttants, and those of the Roman Catholics, see above, $ 240, notes 6 and 7. For further particulars compare Clausen, Hermeneutik, p. 277 ss.
* Liber de potentiæ S. S.-Comp. Aphorismi contra Pontificios. Animadversiones in Bellarmini controversias. His main principle was, the words of Scripture must everywhere be supposed to signify just as much as they may signify." In essential opposition to the principle of Arminians and Socinians, acording to which every passage is to be considered separately and in its historical limits (so that passages are not to be adduced in parallelism, by the analogy of faith), Coccejus endeavoured to treat the various books of the Bible as connected parts of a greater whole, so that the one is reflected by the other. Comp. Clausen, Hermeneutik, p. 282, ss. It is a well-known saying: Grotium nusquam in sacris litteris (V. T.) invenire Christum, Coccejum ubique.—Some orthodox divines, like Calov, inveighed with all earnestness against the emancipation of exegesis from dogmatics; see Gass, p. 164, sq. Hyperius, among the Reformed divines, made some concessions to the allegorical mode of interpretation; see Heppe, p. 253.
e. g. Turretine, Werenfels, and others. The skeptical sentence of Werenfels is well known :
Hic liber est, in quo sua quærit dogmata quisque,
Invenit, et iterum dogmata quisque sua. * To refute Calvin (Institt. vii, 12), in whose view the Sacred Scriptures are distin guished from profane writings, as light from darkness, and sweet from sour, he adduced the opinion of Luther, who called the Epistle of James a straw Epistle.
11 Thus Becker (Die bezauberte Welt, preface, p. 11, ss.), represented reason as preceding Scripture, but maintained that they did not contradict each other. “ To say the truth, reason must precede Scripture, because Scripture presupposes reason; I mean sound reason, to which Scripture must prove its divine origin. Reason exists along with Scripture, speaking of things concerning which the latter is silent. Scripture exists along with reason, because it teaches us something very different, which does not belong to the province of reason. And, lastly, Scripture is, nevertheless, above reason, not as lord and master (for each has its respective office), but because it possesses greater dignity and larger means...... But at times it happens that they meet by the way, or have a meeting in some house, and thus assist each other; both remain, however, free, with this difference only, that reason, acknowledging its inferiority, always pays deference to Scripture."
Though Protestants were accustomed to consider both the Old and the New Testament as constituting the one porm of faith, it was natural that the material principle of faith, as seen in the evangelical doctrine of justification by faith, should exert a reaction upon the formal, and render necessary some kind of subordination of the Old Testament to the New (of the law to the gospel.) The symbolical books make a difference between the ceremonial and the moral law. The former had typical significance, and is already fulfilled; the latter partly shows us the nature of sin (as a mirror), and partly is still of importance as a rule of life. Comp. Articles of Smalcald, Art. 2, p. 319; Apol. p. 83; Confess. Gallic. Art. 23; Belg. 25; Helv. II., c. 12, 13.-In reference to the Antinomian controversy (S 217, note 7), started by John Agricola, of Eisleben, see the Formula Concordiæ, Art. 5 and 6 (de tertio usu legis).—But it can not well be said that the law and the gospel are identical, the one with the Old, the other with the New Testament; for the prophecies in the Old Testament partake of the nature of the gospel, while the New Testament contains moral precepts. See the preface of Luther to his translation of the New Testament, 1522. On this whole section, see Schenkel, i., 165 sq.
RELATION OF SCRIPTURE TO TRADITION.
Compare the works of Schmid and Gass, on Calixt, referred to in $ 237. (Heinrich Julius
Holtzmann, Kanon und Tradition, Ein Beitrag zur neueren Dogmengeschichte und Symbolik, Ludwigsburg, 1859. J. L. Jacobi, Lehre von der Tradition, i., Berl. 1847.)
With all its adherence to the authority of Scripture, Protestantism could not absolutely withdraw itself from the power of tradition.' For even the authority of Scripture rested upon the belief of the church. The whole historical development could not be ignored ; and the reformers had no hesitation in respect to ecclesiastical usages in particular, to concede to tradition a certain normal, though only human, authority.' But even in relation to the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, Protestantism declared its agreement with the oldest creeds of the church, because it believed that the pure doctrine of Scripture was contained in them; yet without thinking it to be