Parallel of King Alfred.

so acutely sensible (2 Cor. x. Io), we may perhaps trace the permanent
effects of his painful malady. (6) His disease was recurring. We first read
of it in connexion with his visions and revelations fourteen years before the
Second Epistle to the Corinthians was written. If the two were nearly
coincident, as his language seems to imply, he must have had an attack
about the year 44, and this, as it would appear, for the first time. Again
we hear of it about the year 51 or 52, when he first preached in Galatia.
On this occasion at least it would seem to have hung about him for some
time. For from Greece he writes to the Thessalonians, that he had
desired to visit them more than once, but “Satan had hindered him’
(1 Thess. ii. 18), an expression which may perhaps be connected with the
‘messenger of Satan, the thorn in the flesh” in one of the passages under
consideration ; and writing afterwards to the Corinthians of this same
period of his life, he reminds them that he came among them “in infirmity
and in fear and in much trembling’ (I Cor. ii. 3). Lastly, from the twin
references to his malady, in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians and in
the Epistle to the Galatians, it may be inferred that he had a fresh attack
about the years 57, 58, when these letters were written, and to this he may
allude in part when he speaks in the former of these epistles of having
“despaired even of life,' of having “had the sentence of death in himself'
(2 Cor. i. 8, 9).
The life of the greatest and best of English kings presents so close a
parallel to the Apostle's thorn in the flesh, that I cannot forbear quoting
the passage at length, though the illustration is not my own".
“It was in the midst of these rejoicings (on the occasion of his marriage)
that Alfred was suddenly attacked by an illness, the sight of which struck
dumb the loud joy of the guests, and for which neither they nor all the
physicians of the day could account...Others thought it was the unexpected
return of a painful malady to which he had been subject at an early age.
“We are informed what the malady really was in an account which is
not quite clear...On passing from childhood to youth...he begged for some
protection against his passions, for some corporal suffering which might arm
him against temptation, so that his spirit might be enabled to raise him
above the weakness of the flesh. On this, we are told, heaven sent him his
illness, which Asser describes as a kind of eruption. For many years it
caused him the most horrible torture, which was so intense that he himself
began to despair qf his life. One day...the royal youth...prostrated him-
self in silent devotion and prayed to God for pity. For fear of being ren-
dered by his bodily infirmities, or perhaps by leprosy or blindness, incapable
of exercising the royal power or despicable in the sight of the world, had
long obtained possession of his soul and induced him to pray for his deli-
rerance from such a plague. Every other lighter trial he was willing to
undergo, provided it only spared him for what he was accustomed to look
on as his destined office. Not long after...in consequence of his fervent
prayers, we are informed that all signs of his malady disappeared.
“And now in the very moment that he had taken to himself a wife,

* The passage is quoted in Jowett, 1. lustration is diminished by the suspip. 368 (2nd ed.). The value of the il- cion attaching to the so-called Asser.

in the very moment that the marriage-guests were drinking and carousing noisily in the festive halls, the evil against which (? warum) he had prayed overtook him. He was suddenly seized with fear and trembling; and to the very hour that Asser wrote, to a good old age, he was never sure of not being attacked by it. There were instants when this visitation seemed to render him incapable of any eacertion, either intellectual or bodily: but the repose of a day, a night, or even an hour, would always raise his courage again. Under the weight of this bodily infirmity, which was probably of an epileptic nature, he learned, by the force of his unyielding will, to overcome the heaviest cares that ever weighed upon any ruler engaged in a contest with a most terrible foe, and under the weight of corporeal weakness and the cares of the outer world, to prosecute unceasingly his great purpose.” Pauli's Life of Alfred, pp. 122–125 (Eng. Transl.). In the mystery which hangs over the whole subject, in its physical symptoms, and in its influence on his own character and feelings, Alfred's malady is a most striking counterpart to the infirmity of St Paul; and the coincidence is the less open to suspicion, since neither Asser, who is the original authority for the fact, nor Pauli, whose account I have quoted, seems to have been struck by the parallel. Unless then we accept the earliest tradition of this infirmity, and Concluassume that the Apostle suffered from acute pain in the head (an account sion. which considering his nervous sensibility is perhaps sufficient to explain the feeling of humiliation and the fear of contempt which his malady inspired), we should be tempted by the closeness of the parallel to conjecture that it was of the nature of epilepsy. Recent criticism has offered other conjectures in abundance. Of these, the view that it was a complaint in the eyes deserves especially to be mentioned, as having been supported by the most ingenious advocacy and found the largest number of adherents: but it does not, I think, sufficiently recognise the conditions of the problem, as stated above; while the direct arguments, on which it is founded, seem to melt away under the light of careful examination".

* It is put forward in a lively and interesting paper in Dr J. Brown's Horae Subsecivae. But the foundation on which this opinion is built seems to me scarcely strong enough to bear it; for (1) The stress of the argument rests on what I cannot but think a mistaken interpretation of Gal. iv. 15, “If it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your eyes and have given them to me.” Here the English version has “your own eyes,” which lends some countenance to the idea that St Paul intended to say they would have replaced his eyes with their own, if it could have been done; but the Greek is roys 640&Muo's Uptov, where buoy is as unemphatic as possible, so that the meaning is not “your eyes,” but “your

eyes.” (2) The expression troMka Ypdu-
para (vi. 11) is thought to be illus-
trated by this view of St Paul's com-
plaint, as though his defective eyesight
explained the allusion to the size of the
letters, or the length of the epistle, which-
ever way we take it. It seems to me
that a much better account can be given
of that expression: see the note there.
(3) It is supposed that this defective
eyesight was a permanent effect of the
temporary blindness which seized the
Apostle on the way to Damascus; and
that thus his thorn in the flesh was
eminently fitted to be a check on spiri-
tual pride produced by his ‘visions and
revelations.” But the narrative of the
Acts implies, if it does not state, that
this blindness was completely healed;


Reading adopted.

The various readings in iv. 25.

The following are the variations of text, which the opening clause of

this verse presents.

(i) ré yap zavă ăpos dariv. So it is read in NCFG, 17; in the Old Latin (f.g.), Vulgate, AEthiopic, and Armenian Versions; in Origen”, Epiphanius”, Cyril", and Damascene; in Victorinus, the Ambrosian Hilary (“Sina autem mons, in his text), Augustine, Jerome, Pelagius, Primasius, and probably all the Latin fathers. This is also the reading of the Gothic Version, except that it omits yúp. The Thebaic Version reads similarly, “quae vero mons Sina est.” The Ms N after dariv adds &v, in which respect it stands alone (except apparently the Memphitic Version); and Epiphanius transposes xiva and opos.

(ii) rô "Ayap 21yā āpos dariv. So the Memphitic Version as read by Boetticher; but Wilkins inserts a 8é.

(iii) rô 8: "Ayap 2wā āpos éorriv. Such is the reading of ABDE, 37, 73,

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

of cursive manuscripts, with both Syriac Versions, and with the Greek commentators generally, Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia,

Theodoret, Theoplylact, and the GEcumenian Catena.

This also is

apparently the reading of Ephraem Syrus. (v) royap "Ayap &pos éorriv found only in the Latin of D and E*. It will thus be seen that the strongest, because the most varied, testimony is in favour of the first of these readings. And there is also this weighty argument on the same side, that supposing it to have been the

and the passage in 2 Corinthians refers
to incidents which occurred only four-
teen years before the letter was written,
and therefore much later than the Apo-
stle's conversion. (4) To the arguments
already considered, some have added
the expression drewsfew, “to look stead-
fastly,” twice used of St Paul (Acts
xiii. 9, xxiii. 1), as indicating a de-
fective vision; but, not to mention that
the word occurs frequently in the Acts
of others besides St Paul, this “stead-
fast gaze” would seem, if anything, to
imply a powerful eye. Thus it may be
connected with the tradition or fiction,
dating at least from the second century,
that St Paul was a voqpus (Acta Paul.
et Thecl. § 3). The overhanging brows
and piercing glance made up at least a
consistent and characteristic portrait of
the Apostle, if not a true likeness. On

the other hand it is possible that he suf-
fered from weak eyes, and this may ac-
count for the incident of Acts xxiii. 5;
but it is not implied in Gal. iv. 15, and
does not explain the strong expressions
used of his “stake in the flesh,’ though
perhaps it might be one of the conse-
quences of that infirmity. St Paul's
language implies some more striking
* In Cant. ii. (III. p. 52, ed. Delarue),
extant only in a Latin translation.
* Haeres. p. 695.
* Glaphyr. 1. p. 75 (ed. Auberti).
Cyril is said in other passages to read
3é"Ayap and rô yāp"Ayap, but I am
unable to verify the statement.
* The Ambrosian Hilary (in his
commentary) is also quoted in favour
of this reading, but his words do not
bear out the inference.

original reading we have on the whole a more probable explanation of the variations in the text, than on any other hypothesis. By the negligence or confusion of a scribe rô "Ayap might easily be substituted for yáp, the word "Ayap occurring in the immediate context". As a next step a connecting particle must be supplied; and 88 or yap was inserted according to the caprice or judgment of the transcriber, thus producing the second and third readings. Lastly, the word zwā, now rendered superfluous, was expelled to relieve the passage, and hence arose the fourth variation, which indeed is too feebly supported to deserve consideration. The reading which I am here advocating is adopted by the two great masters of textual criticism, Bentley” and Lachmann. Westcott and Hort however relegate it to their margin.

Such seems to be the most probable account of the passage. Otherwise the earlier conjecture of Bentley, that we have here a gloss transferred from margin to text, has much to recommend it. Bentley himself indeed read it rô 8é"Ayap orvorrotxes rij vov ‘Ispovoraxiu, but it seems simpler, if any such solution be adopted, to erase the whole clause rö yāp...... év 'Apašta. This hypothesis derives some colour from the fact that there is a slight variation of reading in the connecting particles of the following clauses, as if the connexion had been disturbed by the insertion of the gloss.

The meaning of Hagar in iv. 25.

If the word Hagar be omitted, the passage is capable of a very easy Probable and natural interpretation; ‘Sinai, St Paul argues, ‘is situated in Arabia, interpre the country of Hagar's descendants, the land of bondslaves.” And such #. of too seems to be the most probable account of his meaning, even if with the agar. received text we retain Hagar; ‘This Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia,” i.e. it represents Mount Sinai, because Mount Sinai is in Arabia, the land of Hagar and her descendants. It is not j"Ayap, the woman Hagar, but rô"Ayap, the thing Hagar, the Hagar of the allegory, the Hagar which is under discussion”.

1 The commentary of Theodore Mops. on this passage shows how easily *Ayap might be foisted in. The Greek text of this writer (in Cramer's Catena) has dAN "Ayap of re 8pmuos traora K.T.A., which makes no sense. The Latin translation runs ‘sed et solitudo omnis,' which doubtless represents the original reading, dAN& kal # re &pmuos träda. Windischmann's conjecture to account for the insertion of "Ayap in the text of St Paul is more ingenious than probable. He supposes a critical note, â. Yáp (i. e. dANot Yáp), marking a various reading in the connecting par


ticle, to have been transferred from the
margin to the text.
* In his text of the epistle as given
in Bentleii Crit. Sacr. p. 108. This text
is much later than his ‘Epistola ad
Millium” (Ib. p. 45), in which he starts
the hypothesis of a gloss. This hypo-
thesis was adopted by Mill and others.
* denotes that “Hagar” is regarded
not as a person, but as an object of
thought or of speech. For this use of
the neuter article see Winer § Xviii.
p. 135, A. Buttmann p. 84. It need
not necessarily mean ‘the word Hagar';
compare for instance Ephes. iv. 9 to 38

[ocr errors]

Such substantially was the interpretation put upon the passage by some of the ablest among the Greek commentators. ‘The law was given in the very place,’ says Theodore of Mopsuestia (the sense is somewhat distorted through the medium of a bad Latin translation), “which belongs to that race whence Hagar also was.” “About that mountain,’ says Theodoret, “are the tents of the descendants of Hagar (ro ris "Ayap dozivoral yèvos).’ “The Saracens,' remarks a third writer, perhaps Severianus’, ‘the descendants of Ishmael, dwell in the desert which reaches as far as Mount Sinai’ Similarly Ephraem Syrus: “For this Hagar is Mount Sinai which is in the land of the Arabs, and it is a type of (a likeness to) Jerusalem, for it is in subjection and bondage with its sons under the Romans.'

This however is not the interpretation generally adopted by those who retain the received reading. They suppose the Apostle to be calling attention not to the locality of Sinai but to the meaning of the word Hagar: “The word Hagar in the language of the Arabians denotes Mount Sinai.” This interpretation, which prevails widely, is put in its most attractive form by Dean Stanley. “There is another traveller through Arabia, he writes, “at this time, on whose visit to Mount Sinai we should look with still greater interest. I went into Arabia, says St Paul, in describing his conversion to the Galatians. It is useless to speculate ; yet when in a later chapter of the same epistle the words fall upon our ears, This Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, it is difficult to resist the thought, that he too may have stood upon the rocks of Sinai, and heard from Arab lips the often repeated “Hagar,” “rock,” suggesting the double meaning to which that text alludes”,” “Hagar” in Arabic means “a rock,” or rather “a stone'; and it is maintained that this Arabic word “Hagar’ was a common local name for Sinai, or at all events was appropriated to it in some special way.

Independently of any questions that may rise on the interpretation, I have endeavoured to show that “Hagar’ ought to be expelled from the text on the ground of external authority alone. Yet, if it be a fact that Hagar is really another name for Sinai, this fact will go some little way towards reinstating "Ayap ; and on this account, as well as in deference to the advocacy it has found, it will be worth while to consider the difficulties which beset this interpretation.

Hagar taken for a name of Sinai.

Objections to this.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« 前へ次へ »