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Parallel of King Alfred.

so acutely sensible (2 Cor. 2. 10), 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 scem 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' (1 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 bis 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 kind of eruption. For many years it caused him the most horrible torture, which was so intense that he himself began to despair of his life. One day...the royal youth...prostrated himself in silent devotion and prayed to God for pity. For fear of being rendered 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 deliverance 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,

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· The passage is quoted in Jowett, 1. p. 368 (2nd ed.). The value of the il.

lustration is diminished by the suspi.
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 exertion, 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?.

1 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

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 τους οφθαλμούς υμών, where υμών is as unemphatio as possible, so that the meaning is not your eyes,' but your

eyes.' (2) The expression analka ypád-
Mata (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 cheok 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 healeä;

me.

The various readings in iv. 25.

Varia- The following are the variations of text, which the opening clause of tions. this verse presents.

(i) rò yap Euvâ õpos cotiv. So it is read in XCFG, 17; in the Old Latin (f.g.), Vulgate, Æthiopic, 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 yáp. The Thebaic Version reads similarly, 'quae vero mons Sina est.' The Ms & after cotiv adds õv, in which respect it stands alone (except apparently the Memphitic Version); and Epiphanius transposes Eva

and όρος. . (ii) το "Αγαρ Σινά όρος εστίν. So the Memphitic Version as read by

Boetticher; but Wilkins inserts a . (iii) το δε "Αγαρ Σινά όρος εστίν. Such is the reading of ABDE, 37, 73,

80, lectionary 40. (iv) το γαρ "Αγαρ Σινά όρος εστίν. So KLP with the vast majority

of cursive manuscripts, with both Syriac Versions, and with the Greek commentators generally, Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, Theophylact, and the Ecumenian Catena. This also is

apparently the reading of Ephraem Syrus.

(ν) το γαρ"Αγαρ όρος εστίν found only in the Latin of D and E1. Reading It will thus be seen that the strongest, because the most varied, testiadopted. mony 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) Tɔthe arguments
already considered, some have added
the expression áTevi SELV, to look stead.
fastly,' twice used of St Paul (Acts
xüi. 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 otvoppus (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 suffered from weak eyes, and this may account 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 consequences of that infirmity. St Paul's language implies some more striking complaint.

· In Cant. ü. (III. p. 52, ed. Delarue), extant only in a Latin translation.

Haeres. p. 695.

8 Glaphyr. I. p. 75 (ed. Auberti). Cyril is said in other passages to read TO de "Agap and to gàp "Agap, 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 tò "Ayap might easily be substituted for rò gáp, the word "Ayap occurring in the immediate context'. As a next step a connecting particle must be supplied ; and dè or yàp was inserted according to the caprice or judgment of the transcriber, thus producing the second and third readings. Lastly, the word Elvā, 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 hore advocating is adopted by the two great masters of textual criticism, Bentley and Lachmann. Westcott and Hort however relegate it to their margiu.

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 το δε "Αγαρ συστοιχεί τη νύν Ιερουσαλήμ, but it seems simpler, if any such solution be adopted, to erase the whole clause tò yàp...... év rôn 'Apaßia. 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.

And such tation of

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.'

• Hagar.' too seems to be the most probable account of his meaning, even if with the 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 y "Ayap, the woman Hagar, but Tò "Ayap, the thing Hagar, the Hagar of the allegory, the Hagar which is under discussion3.

1 The commentary of Theodore ticle, to have been transferred from the Mops. on this passage shows how easily margin to the text. 'Ayap might be foisted in. The Greek ? In his text of the epistle as given text of this writer (in Cramer's Catena) in Bentleii Crit. Sacr. p. 108. This text has αλλ'"Αγαρ ή τε έρημος πάσα κ.τ.λ., is much later than his Epistola ad which makes no sense. The Latin Millium' (Ib. p. 45), in which he starts translation runs sed et solitudo omnis,' the hypothesis of a gloss. This hypowhich doubtless represents the original thesis was adopted by Mill and others. reading, αλλά και η τε έρημος πάσα. 8 ad denotes that · Hagar' is regarded Windischmann's conjecture to account not as a person, but as an object of for the insertion of " Ayap in the text of th ght or of speech. For this use of St Paul is more ingenious than pro- the neuter article see Winer $ xviü. bable. He supposes & critical note, p. 135, A. Buttmann p. 84. It need α. γάρ (i. θ. άλλοι γάρ), marking και not necessarily mean the word Hagar'; various reading in the connecting par. compare for instance Ephes. iv. 9 od GAL.

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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 (το της "Αγαρ έσκήνωται γένος).'

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 atten

tion not to the locality of Sinai but to the meaning of the word Hagar: Hagar The word Hagar in the language of the Arabians denotes Mount Sinai.' taken for This interpretation, which prevails widely, is put in its most attractive form a name of Sinai.

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 test 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. Obiections

Independently of any questions that may rise on the interpretation, to this.

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.
aréßn al dotW; where td is the state- rather. Chajar'). The Arabic alphabet
ment, for the preceding word was not

has two letters,
ávéßn, but áraßás. The Ambrosian Hi.

e

& softer lary (after the middle of the fourth

and a harsher sound, corresponding to century) explains it 'causam Agar': a

the one Hebrew guttural n (Cheth). very early example of the sense which

The initial letter of Hagar,' 'a stone,' this word bears in the Romance lan.

is the former of these, a soft guttural guages, cosa,' chose.'

Ch, and not a simple aspirate. The 1 In Cramer's Catena. It is ano- second letter of the word is nymous (axlos talu poolv), but in the immediate neighbourhood there is a

sponding to the Hebrew ), our G, but

generally pronounced by the Arabs note assigned to Severianus. Sinai and Palestine p. 50; see

softly like the English J, as we pro

nounce it in gem. I shall in this note above, p. 89.

represent by Ch, aby G, both in sto pronounced "Chagar' (or

Italics.

and Ċ

corre

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