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plainly indicates the subject. For the same reason, το ευαγγελιον της χαριτος Θευ 27, is the good news of the favour of God; το ευαγγελιον της σωτηρίας juavis, the good news of your salvation. The words in the common version, the gospel of your salvation, are mere words, and convey no meaning to English ears.—The second case wherein the word always may, and commonly should, be rendered good news, and not gospel, is when it is construed with anpuoow I proclaim or publis. The justness of this observation will be manifest, from what I shall afterwards observe on the import of that verb in the Gospels and Acts.
17. The third case is, when it clearly refers to a different subject from what is commonly with us denominated the Gospel. Under this, perhaps, may be ranked some of the examples which also come under the first case mentioned. For instance, το ευαγγελιον της σωτηρίας υμων, the good news of your salvation. For here the tidings to which the apostle refers, was not the embassy itself of peace by Jesus Christ; but it was the cordial reception which the Ephesians had given to that embassy, and which was to him who loved them, good news, because a pledge of their salvation. Under the same case also, in my opinion, we ought to class that famous passage in the Apocalypse 29, I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel
27 Acts, xx. 24.
28 Eph. i. 13.
29 xiv. 6,7
(so are the words εχοντα ευαγγελιoν αιωνιον rendered in the common version), to preach to them that dwell on the earth; and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come, and worship him, &c. My reasons are, first, we are expressly informed what the angel had to proclaim, xmpvogelv, which is all contained in the 7th verse, and relates to a particular event long posterior to the first propagation of the Gospel, namely, the vengeance God would take on the persecutors of his church, expressed in these words, The hour of his judgment is come. The rest of the verse is to be understood merely as a warning naturally suggested by the occasion. Nor let it be urged, that the approach of the hour of judgment looks rather like bad news than good. It frequently holds, that the tidings which to one are the most doleful, are to another the most joyous. The visions and prophecies of that Book are all directed to the churches of Christ, and intended for their use. To crush their enemies, was to relieve the churches: the defeat of the one, was the victory of the other. Secondly, what the angel had to promulgate, is not called το ευαγγελιον, as the word is almost uniform. ly used, when referring to the Christian dispensation, but simply evayyedcov, not the gospel, the institution of Christ, not that which is emphatically styled the good news, but barely good news. It is styled awwviov, everlasting, with the same propriety, and in the same latitude, as things of long duration, or of permanent
consequences, are often, in Scripture, so denomi. nated.
. 18. Again, let it be observed that, by the English word gospel, we do not always mean pre. cisely the same thing. The predominant sense is doubtless the religious institution of Jesus Christ. But this is not invariably its meaning. Early, in the church, the word evayyedcov was employed to de. note, and, in one passage of the New Testament, actually denotes, the history of the life, teaching, death, and resurrection of the Son of God. It is in this sense that the four histories or narratives, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, containing memoirs of that extraordinary Personage, have, from the earliest antiquity, been titled evayyeria, Gospels. The word is thus used by Mark 30, Αρχη τα ευαγγελια Inox Xpige, The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I confess, however, that it would not be easy to decide, whether this ought to be accounted part of the sacred text, or a title afterwards prefixed (as were the names of the penmen, by some of the first transcribers), which may have been inadvertently admitted into the text. But whether this application be scriptural or not, it is very ancient, and has obtained universally in the church. The English word has precisely the same application. It may be proper here to remark that, though the Greek word evayyealov has been adopted by the Syriac interpreters,
90 j. 1.
yet, in the historical part, they admit it only into the titles of the four Gospels, in the sense last mentioned, and into the first verse of Mark's Gospel, where the sense is the same. Their use of the Greek word in these places is exactly similar to the use which our translators have made of the words of the Septuagint, Genesis and Exodus, which serve for names to the two first Books of the Pentateuch, but which they have never employed in the body of the work, where the words γενεσις and εξοδος occur in that version.
Thus in every other passage of the Gospels, and Acts, Evayyaacov is rendered x7720 sabartha, a plain Syriac word of the same signification and similar origin. In this the Syriac interpreters appear to have acted more judiciously than the Latin, as they have been sensible of the impropriety of darkening some of the plainest, but most important declarations, by the unnecessary introduction of an exotic term which had no meaning, or at least not the proper meaning in their language. In Paul's Epistles, I acknowledge, they have several times adopted the . Greek word; but let it be observed that, in these, the term evayyedcov is frequently employed in a different sense. This has, in part, appeared already, but will be still more evident, from what immediately follows.
$ 19. The fourth sense of evayye2lov in the New Testament is the ministry of the Gospel. In this acceptation I find the word used oftener than once by the Apostle Paul. Thus, God is my witness, whom
I serve, with my spirit, in the Gospel of his son”, EV TW Evaygew, that is, in the ministry of the Gospel, or in dispensing the Gospel of his Son. This is one of the passages in which the Syriac interpreter has retained the original word. In another place”, What is my reward then ? Verily that when I preach the Gospel, I'may make the Gospel of Christ, TO EVayyeziov, without charge ; that is, that the ministry of the Gospel of Christ may not by me be render. ed chargeable. This the context plainly shows; for this is the only expence he is here speaking of. I think for perspicuity's sake, the word ministry should have been used in the translation, as the English name Gospel hardly admits this meaning. Nor are these the only places wherein the word has this signification 33.
$ 20. I OBSERVE also, in the Epistles of this Apostle, a fifth meaning, or at least a particular ap. plication of the first general meaning, good news. It sometimes denotes, not the whole Christian dispensation, but some particular doctrine or promise, specially meriting that denomination. In this sense Paul uses the word, writing to the Galatians ". The particular doctrine to which he gives the pertinent appellation evayyedlov, good news, is the free admission of the Gentiles into the church of Christ, without subjecting them to circumcision, and the other ceremonies of the law. This, considering the
31 Rom. i. 9.
32 1 Cor. ix. 18, 33 See 2 Cor. viii, 18. and Phil. iv. 15.. 34 ii. 2.