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concise and covert manner, that he might give no offence to the Christian Jews, his companions." Here, in the parenthesis, it is attempted to transfer the character of Lord of all, from Christ to God, meaning certainly God the Father. Now the entire of the context in the Romans proves clearly, that it is Christ who is there described as the Lord over all; that he also is declared to be the bestower of mercy, and the hearer of prayer.- This “ Lord over all is rich to all that call upon him, for who. soever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 1
Vide Whitby's argument, founded on this last passage, which seems very clear and important.
NOTE VII. PAGE 41.
“ Fellowship of the Holy Ghost.” On this the Unitarian Editors observe, that this passage does not prove the personality of the Holy Ghost, but the contrary: « To pray ( say they) for the participation of gifts and powers, is intelligible; but to pray for the participation of a person, is absurd.”
But is it absurd to pray for the participation of the favourable presence, the sancti. fying influence, the powerful assistance and co-operation of the Holy Spirit, considered as a person? And is not this the meaning of this benediction, plain to all who do not (with many of the Socinians) deny the possibility of such presence, such influence, and such co-operation ?
NOTES TO DISCOURSE II.
NOTE VIII. PAGE 47.
“ This important testimony of St. John stands on clear and unquestioned authority.”
In proof of this, the single authority of Griesbach is sufficient; and it is such a testimony as not only proves this point, but shows how unjustly this eminent critic has been classed amongst the Unitarians, merely from sanctioning new readings of three texts relating to the Incarnation, Atonement and Trinity ; by which they appeared to give less direct testimony to these truths—(viz. 1 Tim. iii. 16; Acts, xx. 28; 1 John, v. 7, 8.) Dr. Hales, in his comprehensive and learned work on the Trinity, two vols. 1818, notices this testimony of Griesbach, in vol. I. p. 246 :-“ Griesbach, when censured for his alteration of these three texts, pleaded in apology, that this was required by the same critical canons, upon which his whole text was constructed; the correctness of which was admitted by his opponents themselves in other cases, and he rested his orthodoxy chiefly on this very introduction." The apology is found in the first edition of his Greek Testament, 1777, Prefatio ad Epistolas, pp. 8, 9, and may be thus closely translated :
“ To remove, as far as in me lieth, all unjust suspicions, and to take away a handle of calumny from the malevolent, I do publicly profess, and call God to witness, that I by no means doubt the truth of the doctrine of the divinity of Christ; and indeed the arguments and places of Scripture are so many and so clear, to vindicate the true deity of Christ, that I can scarcely conceive how this doctrine can be called in question by any, granting the divine authority of the Holy Scripture, and admitting the just rules of interpretation. Among the first passages, that of St. John, i. 1, 2, 3,
1 Rom. X, 12, 13; with Whitby's Note on v. 13.
is so clear, and superior to all exception, that the daring attempts of interpreters and critics have never been able to overturn, nor to wrest it from the defenders of the truth.”
NOTE IX. PAGE 49, 50. “ Various contradictory, and, at the same time, most ungrammatical meanings,
invented for this purpose.”
The object of these discourses, intended for a brief and familiar exhibition of the plainest scriptural proofs of the Trinity, limits me to an extent which precludes a minute exposition of the various forced and untenable glosses, by which the Unitarians, in their different works, (but especially their improved version of the New Testament,) endeavour to evade the clear evidence for the pre-existence and divinity of Christ, found in this and the other numerous passages of Scripture, which distinctly affirm these great truths. Indeed, it would be doing injustice to this important question, were I to attempt substituting a few short and mutilated extracts from the able writers who have already exposed the gross errors of the Unitarians, instead of referring any younger readers to the valuable works in which this exposure is contained. I must therefore refer them to Dean Magee's Work on Atonement and Sacrifice, vol. I. his Illustration No. 1, “on the pre-existence of Christ, and the species of arguments by which this article of the Christian doctrine has been opposed ;” and the entire of his second vol. part II. In truth, it is melancholy to see the length to which modern Unitarians have proceeded, in undervaluing the authority, and speaking lightly, (I choose not to use a harsher expression,) not merely of the apostles, but of our blessed Lord himself. I refer the reader who wishes to see this, to Dr. Magee's Appendix, p. 407 to 411.
On the Introduction of John's Gospel, which forms the text of the Second Discourse in this tract, the same work, p. 430 to 431. Indeed there are few of the distortions of Scripture employed by the Unitarians, which have not been clearly exposed in this work and Mr. Nares's; but as neither Dean Magee, nor any writer recently engaged in this controversy, has brought forward, in one connected view, the proofs which support the doctrine of the Trinity, my attempt to do so may not be useless: but in exposing the contradictions, errors, and misrepresentations of its opponents, he, as well as Dr. Hales, Mr. Nares, the Bishop of St. David's and Dr. Laurence, have done most essential service to the cause of truth, and rendered it altogether superfluous for me to enter at large into this part of the controversy, already, as I conceive, fully discussed and clearly decided.
At the same time, the very extent of this controversy, the wide range it embraces of Biblical Criticism on the authenticity of some texts, the interpretation of others, the bearing and importance of various human testimonies and authorities opposed to each other, and the truth of various facts in ecclesiastical history, lead to discussions too protracted, and at the same time too subtle for general use; and render it the more necessary to exhibit the leading and decisive proofs of the great truth in question, in as clear and familiar form as their
nature admits, as far as possible disentangled from the intricacy, and free froni the personality of controversy. This I have attempted to do; at the same time I most sincerely acknowledge and applaud the distinguished talents, learning, and zeal, which my predecessors in this cause have displayed.
Dr. Carpenter's parody of this Introduction of St. John's Gospel is minutely considered, and, as it appears to me, proved to be forced and ungrammatical by Dr. Hales, vol. I. p. 247. Primate Newcome agrees with the received translation, in the entire of This Introduction. The improved version of the Unitarians differs equally from both, while it professes to be founded on the basis of the Primate's translation, and is really nothing more than a transcript of that translation, copying even the errors of the press which nad crept into the Primate's work, (vide this proved by Dean Magee, vol. II. part ii. p. 417, and more particularly in pages 473
to 481, and 720 to 726.) except that in almost every passage in which the Unitarian theory is affected, this version departs from him-and in many passages most important, as bearing on this very subject—without acknowledging any such departure.
In this passage of St. John, this departure is most remarkable: “In the begin. ning,” Primate Newcome, to explain this expression, refers to Genesis, i. 1. “ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” to John, xvii. 5; “ Now O Father, glorify thou me with the glory which I had with thee, before the world was ;" and to 1 John, i. I, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life." How clearly do these references prove, that the Primate most firmly and distinctly believed the pre-existence of Christ, before the world was,” even from eternity. The Unitarians interpret « In the beginning," from the first, that is, from the commencement of the gospel dispensation, or the niinistry of Christ. This, say they, is the usual sense of the word in the writings of this evangelist. But in their references, they take no notice of the Prirnate's interpretation, or of John, xvii. 5, though expressly referred to by him. Thus they pass by the passages which obviously carry a meaning directly contrary to their purpose, and then infer their own meaning to be the true: a mode of proof more easy than convincing.
One of the most arbitrary and forced alterations is that which occurs in 10th verse : “ He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." The Unitarian version substitutes the world was enlightened by him, and the world knew him not; here they confess their departure from the primate: “ The common version adopted by Archbishop Newcome is, the world was made by him,' meaning that the visible material world was created by him; but this, (say they) as was observed before, in the note on verse 3, is inadmissible, as the word iyiveto never bears that sense." This last assertion is completely refuted by Dr. Hales on the Trinity, vol. I. p. 254 to 256 : reference to this refutation will, I trust, satisfy my younger readers, how confidently the editors of the Unitarian version advance assertions utterly unfounded and untenable, and will render it unnecessary for me to dwell hereafter on that topic.
But the translation here substituted by these editors, for the received version, “the world was enlightened by him," is completely refuted by Dr. Hales, who most forci. bly exposes it.
To point out more clearly the perplexity of the Unitarian interpretations, I would call the attention of my readers to a different translation of the Introduction of St. John's Gospel, proposed by the Rev. Theophilus Lindsay: “ In the beginning was wisdom, and wisdom was with God, and God was wisdom : the same was in the beginning with God, all things were made by it, and without it was nothing made : in it was life, and the life was the light of men; and the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John; the same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe: he was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light; that was the true light which came into the world, and enlighteneth every man. It (Divine Wisdom) was in the world, and the world was made by it, and the world knew it not : it came to its own land, and its own people received it not; but as many as received it, to them it gave power to become the sons of God, even to them who believe on its name,
who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
" And wisdom became man, and dwelt among us, and we beheld its glory, the glory as of the well-beloved of the Father, full of grace and truth.
“ John bare witness of him, saying, This is he of whom I speak: he that cometh after me is preferred before me, for he was greater than me.'
This sense ( say the editors of the improved version) is approved by Dr. Lardner, Dr. Priestly, Mr. Wakefield, and others. Notwithstanding, however, these authorities in favour of this version, I confess that it seems to me utterly absurd and unintel, taking the conclusion for granted, in the first step of the argument.
ligible. Surely it is impossible to preserve the idea of divine wisdom, merely as an attribute or power always inherent in the divine nature; and yet, say, “it came to its own land, and its own people received it not:" and to speak of “its giving power to those who believe on its name." And, above all, what but the doctrine of Christ's incarnation can render intelligible the assertion, “ that Divine Wisdom became man, and dwelt among us, and we beheld its glory, the glory as of the well-beloved of the Father, full of grace and truth ?”
The impossibility of continuing to preserve distinct, an idea so essentially confused, has led Mr. Lindsay to confound the expressions in the 12th verse, “ Wisdom became man, and we beheld its glory;" in the 13th, “ John bare witness of him.” Thus Divine Wisdom is alternately an attribute, and a person ; an attribute, to exclude all idea of our Saviour being a distinct person in the Godhead; a person, to apply intelligibly to the indwelling, divine, but distinct agency which Scripture ascribes to him. So variable and inconsistent is human vanity, when it would explain away the mysteries of divine truth : so certainly does the attempt to “be wise above what is written," terminate in contradiction, confusion, and absurdity. Vide also Dean Magee's Postscript to the Appendix, p. 530.
I might easily extend these remarks to a greater length, and more fully prove the assertion I have ventured to make that the meanings invented by the Unitarians, to remove the clear evidence of our Lord's pre-existence and divinity, derived from the Introduction of St. John's Gospel, and the corresponding passages of holy writ, are forced, contradictory, and ungrammatical; but I shall content myself with referring to Whitby's Notes on the different passages adduced ; to Dean Magee's Work, as above quoted; also to his Fourteenth Dissertation on the Disrespect of Scripture shown by Unitarian Writers, vol. I. p. 162, and his Specimen of Unitarian Glosses on Texts, implying the pre-existence of Christ ; Postscript to Appendix, p. 546.
I would also refer my readers to Dr. Hale's Seventh Letter on the Trinity, vol. I. p. 245, for a particular defence of this Introduction of St. John's Gospel; and to Nares's Remarks on the Unitarian Version, from p. 60 to 124.
I shall, however, here notice the interpretation of one text given by Dr. Carpenter, which I do not recollect these writers to have particularly dwelt on, and which, from its very singularity, deserves attention. It is John, xvii. 5, part of our Lord's prayer to his heavenly Father : “ And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thyself, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” “ If this text, (says Dr. Carpenter,)' does not prove the pre-existence, no adequate proof can be adduced."
This is perfectly true ; for it seems impossible to imagine words more clearly expressing our Lord's pre-existence, than his having had a glory with the Father before the “ world was. But no words can express it so plainly, as to persuade Dr. Carpenter they really mean it: “ for,” says he, “the question is not whether the words will allow the usual interpretation, for that is admitted ; but whether they. require it, otherwise they are no proof whatever of this doctrine, since it is not consistent with the general tenor of the gospel history.”. Now here we must ask, how are we to ascertain this general tenor of the gospel history as to any doctrine, if the passages, which appear most plainly to express that doctrine, are to be distorted into some other meaning, and only those which appear to oppose it, considered as exclusively ascertaining that general tenor? Surely this is very like what the logicians call Petitio Principii
But let us not press the Doctor's logic: this is an inquiry into the meaning of words, We must, it seems, dismiss the plain meaning, if we can find any other. What is that other? “ The first thing that strikes me,” says the Doctor, “is that the variation of expression, with thyself, and with thee: at least gives room to expect some variation in sense.
This distinction strikes me as very subtle indeed. Let us, however, hear the critic: his elucidation will certainly bear equally upon both those clauses, as they are equally
1 Carpenter's Unitarianism, p. 245.
found in the passage. No such thing. He proceeds: “ without, therefore, taking into account the precise signification of the words with thyself, we may inquire what meaning with thee may have, which shall be suitable to the connexion, to the phraseology of the Scripture, and to the general tenor of the New Testament." The therefore, in this sentence, is another happy instance of logical inference. Two clauses appear ; to illustrate both is equally necessary; therefore we will not take into account the precise meaning of one. Besides this, look back to what he assumes to be the general tenor of the gospel history, and observe that it excludes all possibility of the second clause implying the pre-existence; and the entire criticism comes to this :of the first clause I will take no account, and the second must be interpreted as my doctrine requires ; not as the contrary, however plainly it may allow that contrary doctrine. It might be easily foreseen how a criticism, beginning thus, would end.
The critic then produces several instances, in which “ things certainly purposed by God,” are said to be as sure to those for whom they are designed, as if they were actually enjoyed; which the context in each instance, shows is the real meaning of the phrase used in that instance. Hence the critic tacitly infers, that wherever things are spoken of as actually enjoyed with God, it means only that they are certainly fixed for his purpose, notwithstanding that the context in the particular instances, (as in that before us,) may say the direct contrary, in the plain meaning of the words. On this argument he concludes, that the glory which our Lord had with the Father before the world was, “ was not a glory which was actually possessed by him, but was his in the purpose of him whose counsels are unchangeable." Let us now consider what was the nature of the glory which the critic allows to Christ after his resurrection, since he will allow him none before his human birth; and whether this glory is such as corresponds to the idea of having a glory possessed and enjoyed “ with God himself;” or, (as a plain mind would think,) a personal glory, in being exalted to supreme dignity, and crowned with everlasting honour in the presence of the Eternal Father. No such thing. The critic argues, “ that personal glory and happiness were not our Lord's object, and it is not probable that they would be the object of his prayer.” He further argues, “ it is highly probable, that the glory for which he prayed was that arising from the extensive and effectual reception of the blessings which he brought from God: every instance of the spread of Christian principles increased that glory, and every one shared in it who contributed to effect their diffusion."
And now the critic's argument is complete. He has proved that “the glory" which our Lord had with the Father “ before the world was," was not possessed by him before the world was, or actually possessed at all and that the glory he prays for, as to be enjoyed “ with God himself,” was not a glory in heaven in the presence of God, but a glory on earth, by the diffusion of Christianity. And he triumphantly concludes, “that this text, so far from proving the doctrine of the pre-existence, affords no countenance to it whatever.” He had set out with asserting, that “if this text does not prove the pre-existence, no adequate proof can be adduced”-this doctrine is therefore for ever deprived of all support.
So clear, so brief, so logical, and so decisive an argument, I have not met. Grant the critic but his premises, and let one of them be—the admission of the conclusion to be proved ; and let it be admitted, that no words, however plainly they allow, can ever require the truth of the tenet objected to and the business is settled at once.
In order to exemplify his assertion, “ that no adequate proof of the pre-existence can be adduced,” or in other words, to show that no terms can be imagined to express this doctrine so plainly, that the steady Unitarian will not find some pretext to deny that they really mean it, Dr. Carpenter quotes a long series of texts from the Gospel of John, which certainly do seem to affirm : that Christ, before his appearance on earth, had been in heaven, and that he had come down from heaven: as plainly as language can express it. They are as follow, as they are translated even by the Unitarian Editors :
John, iji. 13. “And no one hath gone up into heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man who is in heaven.”