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dolphin, or the flying fish; it would not however, on the whole, be a fortunate selection from which to argue the divine benevolence, inasmuch as the various and truly skilful arrangements and contrivances which admirably conduce to the welfare of the creature in question, seem not, on the whole, so well adapted, either in theory or practice, to the safety and happiness of his fellow creatures. Indeed the great palpable fact, that suffering seems to have entered, as an element, into the very plan and structure — the first draft, so to speak — of this whole system of things, reaching back beyond the history and existence of man himself on the globe; that the earliest records and relics of animal life and organization, in whatever form of being, and in whatever distant and otherwise unknown epoch of our earth's history, are records and traces also of the physical suffering with which that existence terminated, and that life passed away; this, we say, is a problem not as yet duly pondered, it would seem, by those who find no difficulty in making out a complete idea and demonstration of God from external nature. The truth is, as we are strongly inclined to believe, that while the material universe furnishes abundant proof of the existence and natural perfections of the Deity, his moral attributes are fully exhibited only in the moral realm. And this is, in fact, precisely what we might reasonably have anticipated.
To sum up, in few words, what has been advanced in the present essay,–We have sought to ascertain definitely what it is which natural theology has to do, and the best way of doing it; in other words, the true province and the true methods of the science. The things to be done, we find to be these two: first, to bring forward, from the existing universe, something which we can clearly show to be an effect; and then to show that this effect is such as to require for its producing cause all that which we include in the idea of Deity. For the working of this two-fold problem, we find an array of arguments drawn from these several sources, - metaphysics, physics, the department of mind, the department of morals. Of these, it is in the power of physics only, and not of metaphysics, if the preceding observations and reasonings are correct, to show clearly that the present things had a beginning; in other words, that the world itself, the universe of which we form a part, is in truth an effect. Nor will physics even, as commonly employed, do this. The fitness of means to ends, the various instances which we find in the material universe of what we call design, and what seems to us like arrangement and contrivance, do not show this; inasmuch as we must first know that these arrangements themselves have had a beginning, and are not uncaused and self-existent qualities of an uncaused and self-existent substance. What we see of this sort 1849.]
in the universe may be sufficient to suggest the idea of a God, and render it altogether probable that such a being exists; may indeed convince most minds that such is the fact; may greatly strengthen and corroborate the evidence derived from other sources; but cannot clearly and certainly demonstrate that which we seek to know. In order to establish this point on a sure basis, we must call to our aid a class of sciences hitherto much neglected, and even regarded with distrust by theological writers, but which, we believe, will yet be found not harmless merely, not serviceable merely, but indispensable, it may be, to the exact and clear exhibition, and sure foundation, of the truths involved in natural theology.
This point established, that the present order of things is not without beginning, and the way is clear. Reason assures us that if there be a beginning, there must be also a beginner; if an effect, a cause; and that if we go back far enough, we must come at last to that which is the source of all other being, itself uncaused, self-existent, eternal. This is God; but yet not the whole of God; not the complete idea that we form of Deity. And here the argument from design falls into place, and enables us to infer that the builder of this goodly frame possesses intelligence, power, wisdom, skill, if not absolutely unlimited – and of that we cannot be sure as yet, inasmuch as from the finite we cannot strictly demonstrate the infinite -- yet vast, and altogether beyond our power of comprehension. Lastly, the moral nature of man, the noblest department of those divine works which lie within the narrow circle of our vision, demonstrates to us the higher and nobler attributes of Deity, his righteousness, justice, and benevolence.
These things ascertained, and clearly established, natural theology has nothing further to do. Its work is accomplished. Whatever else we wish to know of God, we are to look for it not in his works, but in his word; not creation, but revelation, is from this point to be our guide.
THE MEANING OF IRENAEUS IN THE PHRASE "REGENERATED
By Irah Chase, D. D., Boston, Mass.
INTRODUCTORY Note, (Several years ago, my attention was called to the passage embracing the memorable phrase renascuntur in Deum, in the work of Irenaeus against heresies; and the following Article presents the result of an examination, instituted for the purpose of ascertaining the sense in which he there uses that phrase. I was not satisfied with any explanation of it which I had seen ; and I resolved to let the author himself furnish an explanation. I examined every page of his work, and was led to a conclusion which, to me, was quite unexpected. I reexamined the whole, and was again conducted to the same conclusion.
Since that time, I have, here and there, met with some brief statements indicating that others have been led to a similar result; as in the History of Doctrines by Baumgarten-Crusius (Vol. II. p. 1209), and in Dr. Krabbe's Prize Essay on the Apostolical Constitutions (p. 410). Bötringer, in his recent historical work entitled the Church of Christ and its Witnesses, (Vol. I. p. 245–254), assumes substantially the same exposition. What was published on the subject in one of our Periodicals, in 1838, was, in effect, primarily derived from the examination which I have mentioned, and was confirmed by an independent examination.
Most of those who have written with commendable erudition respecting Irenaeus, have been occupied with discussions which have led them away from examining the particular point which I have endeavored to elucidate. That the impartial and venerable Neander should seem to have acquiesced in an interpretation which I suppose to be erroneous, may easily have arisen from the intensity with which, while he was reading Irenaeus, his mind was attracted to other matters than the one here discussed. Were he to read him with a special view to this, he would, I am confident, come to the result set forth in the subsequent pages.
Respecting the manner in which the subject is presented by the learned Mr. Wall, and by the equally learned Schlosser, who translated Mr. Wall's History from English into Latin, and enlarged it
647 with Observations and Defences, more than a hundred years ago, it is unnecessary, I trust, to make any remark. Let every candid and earnest inquirer after truth read, and judge for himself.
Views resembling those of Irenaeus on the relation of Christ to mankind, whether right or wrong, are scattered over the fields of theological literature, ancient and modern. To understand his expressions correctly is desirable, as being connected with the history of opinions, and with an argument from ecclesiastical antiquity. For no thoroughly Christian teacher would think it right and wise, even in maintaining the truth, to employ a wrong exposition of a passage, occurring either in the holy Scriptures, or in the writings of the Fathers.]
According to Irenaeus, Christ, in becoming incarnate and thus assuming his mediatorial work, brought the buman family into a new relation, under himself, and placed them in a condition in which they can be saved. In this sense, he is the Saviour of all. He restored them, or summed them up anew, in himself. He became, so to speak, a second Adam, the regenerator of niankind. Through him they are regenerated unto God : per eum renascuntur in Deum.
The thought occurs frequently; and it is variously modified by the various connections in which it is introduced.
In the passage which has often been brought forward as recognizing the baptism of infants, Irenaeus is maintaining that Christ appeared as he really was, and passed through the various stages of human life, sanctifying, it is added, sanctifying every age by the likeness that it had to himself; for he came to save all by himself ; – all, I say, since by him they are regenerated unto God,' — infants, and little ones, and
· Omnes enim venit per semetipsum salvare : omnes, inquam, - qui per eum renascuntur in Deum, etc. That omnes is repeated for the purpose of giving it, not restriction but emphasis, is manifest from the amplification which is extended throughout the paragraph. The proposition that Christ came to save all by him. self, seems to be based on the assumed fact that by him all are regenerated unto God. That, whatever is meant here by being regenerated, it was, in such a connection as this, conceived of as belonging to all, appears also from other passages, in which the same thing or its equivalent is most clearly attributed to “all," to “ man,” or to “ men,” without any limitation ; in short, to mankind, the whole human family, “ genus humanum.” The critical reader will perceive that, in ac. cordance with this view, qui, in the connection above, is regarded as being used instead of a causative conjunction, and is freely translated since they. The relative qui, it is well known, is sometimes used in this manner. See Cicero's Letters to Atticus, Lib. V. Epist. 20. Ephesum ut venirem, etc. I attach no special importance to my version. But I prefer it to the usual and literal one, as presenting the purport of the Latin phraseology more readily to the English reader. The Greek original of this passage being lost, we cannot speak positively of its form. But
children, and youths, and elder persons. Therefore he came through the several ages, and for infants was made an infant, sanctifying infants; among little ones, a little one, sanctifying those of that age; and, at the same time, being to them an example of piety, uprightness, and obedience; among the youth, a youth, becoming an example to the youths, and sanctifying them to the Lord; thus also an elderly person among elderly persons, that he might be a perfect master among all, not only in respect to the presentation of truth, but also in respect to age, sanctifying at the same time also the elderly persons, and becoining to them an example. Then, too, he passed through even unto death, that he might be the first born from the dead, himself holding the primacy in all things, the prince of life, superior to all, and preceding all. B. II. c. 22. 4.1
What Irenaeus thought of baptism must be gathered from the passages in which he is speaking of the subject. But that he is speaking of it in this passage, there is no sufficient evidence. For a mere resemblance in one or two words to certain terms sometimes used in connection with baptism, falls very far short of proving the point assumed. The context is against it; for the context directs our attention to Christ and what he himself, personally, came to do for the human family. It is by him, and not by baptism, that they are here said to be renewed, born anew, or regenerated. And parallel passages are against it; for they abundantly confirm the sense which I have given, as being the true sense of the passage before us. Some of these are the following :
When our Lord became incarnate and was made man, he summed up anew, in himself, the long array of men, affording us salvation in a compendious manner, so that what we had lost in Adam, that is, to be according to the image and similitude of God, we might regain in Christ. III. 18. 1. (in G. c. 20.) Unless man
were united with God, he could not partake of incorruption. For it became the Mediator between God and men, by his intimate connection with both, to bring both together into friendship and concord, and, on the one hand to present man to God,
there seems to be no good reason to doubt that it has been rendered into Latin with much literalness. And we know that in Greek the relative corresponding to qui, “ sometimes implies a cause, reuson, occasion, motive, or something else, which would properly be expressed by a conjunction. E. g. OavaoTÒV TOLETS ôc iuiv oudev didws; thou behavest strangely, who givest us nothing; i. e. that or in that thou givest us nothing." See Buttmann's Larger Greek Grammar, ý 143. 1., and compare Kölner, $ 334. 2, where the same fact is recognized.
" In Grabe's edition, c. 39.