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during his stay on the earth. Ch. xvi. ver. 7: “ Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away. If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Ver. 5: “But now I go my way to him that sent me.” Ver. 28: “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world : again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” Ch. xii. ver. 36: “ Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now, but thou shalt follow me afterwards.” Ch. xii. ver. 1: “ Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father.” For further conviction, I may safely refer even to the preceding terms of the verse relied on by the Editor :-“ No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man.” For, the attribute of omnipresence is quite inconsistent with the human notions of the ascent and descent effected by the Son of Man. Is it possible to reconcile the contents of hundreds of such passages, consistent with reason and conformable to the established order of interpretation, to the apparent meaning of a single phrase, that, taken literally, is totally opposed to common sense? For, to a being named the Son, or the created, (the one term implying the other,) and sent from one mansion to another, the attribute of ubiquity can never be justly ascribed.
Besides, in examining the original Greek Testament, we find in the phrase in question, “ Who is in heaven,” that the present participle wv, “being,"
is used in lieu of forl, "is,” viz. 'O ověy to sgavõ; a true translation of which should be “ the ens" or “ being in heaven;" and as the nominative case ó ôv, “ the being,” requires a verb to complete the sense, it should be connected with the nearest verb åva666nxev, “ hath ascended,” no other verb in fact existing in the sentence.
The whole verse in the original runs thus; Kai υδείς αναβέβηκεν εις τον έρανόν ει μή ο εκ του Βρανά καταβάς, ο υιός του ανθρώπε ο ων εν τω έρανώ. A verbal translation of the above would run thus: “ And no one hath ascended into heaven, if not the out of heaven descender-the Son of Man—the being in heaven ; ” which words, arranged according to the rules of English grammar, should run thus : « And no one except the descender from heaven, the Son of Man, the being in heaven, hath ascended into heaven.” In this case, the presence of the Son in heaven must be understood as referring to the time of his ascent, and not to that of his addressing himself to Nicodemus-an explanation which, though it does not serve to establish the omnipresence of the Son urged by the Editor ought to be satisfactory to an impartial mind.* The second passage which the Editor
* See Bishop Middleton's Doctrine of the Greek Article,” Part I. page 42, Note:- “ We are to refer the time of the participle to the time of the act, &c. implied in the verb; for past, present, and future cannot be meant otherwise than in respect to that act.” Leviticus, ch. vii. ver. 33: 'O nepoobépwe-auto COTAL Ó Bpaxiw ở deEids, “ The offering (person) for him shall be the right shoulder.” Ch. xiv. ver. 47: ‘Octav-Auveï ta lucítia àUTOữ, “ The eating (person) shall wash his clothes.” These present participles are referred to a time pre
quotes on this subject is, Matthew, ch. xviii. ver. 20: “ For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Is it not evident that the Saviour meant here, by being in the midst of two or three of his disciples, his guidance to them when joined in searching for the truth, without preferring any claim to ubiquity? We find similar expressions in the Scriptures, wherein the guidance of the Prophets of God is also meant by words that would imply their presence. Luke, ch. xvi. ver. 29: Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.” No one will suppose that this expression is intended to signify that the Jews actually had Moses and the Prophets in person among them, or that they could hear them speak in the literal and not in the figurative sense of the words ; nor can any one deduce the omnipresence of Moses and the Prophets from such expressions.
The second position advanced by the Reverend Editor is, that “ Jesus ascribes to himself a knowledge and an incomprehensibility of nature equal to that of God, and peculiar to God alone ;” and in attempting to substantiate this point, he quotes Matthew, ch. xi. ver. 27: “ No man knoweth the Son, but the Father ; neither knoweth any man the
sent with respect to the act of the verbs connected with them; but future with respect to the command of God. John, ch. i. ver. 49: "Orta-sidóv de, “ I saw thee when thou wast.” Moreover, we frequently find the present participle used in the past sense, even without reference to the term of the verb. John, ch. ix. ver. 25: Tupads cov äptı Baétow, “Being blind, now I see,” that is, “ Having been blind, now I see.”
Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Here the Editor seems to rest on two grounds; Ist, That God is incomprehensible to man ; 2ndly, That incomprehensibility of nature is peculiar to God alone :-whence the Reverend Editor draws his inference, that Jesus, knowing the nature of God, and being himself possessed of an incomprehensible nature, is equal with God. Now I should wish to know if the Editor, by the term “ incomprehensible,” understands a total impossibility of comprehension in any degree, or only the impossibility of attaining to a perfect knowledge of God. If the former, I must be under the necessity of denying such a total incomprehensibility of the Godhead; for the very passage cited by the Editor declares God to be comprehensible not to the Son alone, but also to every one who would receive revelation from the Son ; and in this case the latter part of the passage, “ He to whomsoever the Son will reveal him," must be acknowledged as conveying an exception to the assertion made in the former part of the sentence, 6. Neither knoweth any man the Father,” &c.
We find also the following passages in John, ch. xiv. vers. 16, 17: “ And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever: even the Spirit of truth ; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him ;" wherein Jesus ascribes to his disciples a knowledge of the Holy Ghost, whom the Editor considers one of the persons of the Godhead, pos
sessed of the same nature with God. But if the Editor understands by the passage he has quoted, the incomprehensibility of the real nature of the Godhead, I admit the position, but deny his inference, that such an incomprehensibility proves the nature of the object to be divine, as being peculiar to God alone: for it appears evident that a knowledge of the real nature even of a common leaf, or a visible star, surpasses human comprehension ; how then can a simple assertion, setting forth the incomprehensibility of an object, be considered as establishing its identity with God? In Mark, ch. xiii. ver. 32, “ But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels, which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father,” we have a passage, which, though it affirms in a stronger manner an ignorance of the day of resurrection than that already quoted does of God, yet will not, I presume, be considered by any one as conveying the slightest insinuation of the divine nature of that day ; though time is a common object of adoration amongst idolaters. In treating of this point, the Editor quotes another text, Matthew, ch. xi. ver. 28, " Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;” wherein Jesus declares his power of affording rest, which the Editor considers as peculiar to God. All the prophets, as well as Jesus, were from time to time sent by the Almighty to afford mental rest to mankind, by imparting to them the comforts of Divine revelation ; and by so doing they only fulfilled the commission given them by God: but no one ever