תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

and but twice in the Old, and there I cannot perceive any reference to a satisfaction given by Christ to the Father. I then looked for the word atonement, thinking that might help me out; and I found that this word occurred but once in the New Testament, which is in Rom. v. 11. and there is no mention of its being received by the Father, but by us, i. e. the elect; it is true it occurs about forty times in the Old Testament, but if either of those passages had any reference to the subject, is it not strange that the writers of the New Testament (who knew the mind and will ot God more perfectly than the Old Testament saints) should be so silent upon the subject ?

1 then went in search of the word reconciliation, and I found that it occurred about eleven or twelve times in the New Testament; but in no passage is there a word of God's being reconciled to us, but of our reconciliation to God, &c , unless Heb. ii. 17. can be so construed.

May I not then ask, is the doctrine of a divine satisfaction given by Christ to the Father, a scriptural doctrine, or are we to class it among the inventions of men? If, Sir, any of your correspondents will answer the above question, I as a fool, perhaps, may be made wiser; but if it passes unnoticed, I shall conclude that a fool has asked a question which wise men cannot answer.

I am, &c.

INQUIRO,

ON PRAYING FOR THE DAMNED.

-

SIR,

BEFORE I can fall in with so important a point as the principle or

leading sentiment of your Miscellany seems to be, I must well digest it, and see it through its difficulties. As you seem now confirmed in your belief of the final restoration of all men, and have been a long time cor.tending for it (in opposition to those who object to it as not satisfied it is a safe or Scripture doctrine) and are candid enough to admit objections that are candidly and sincerely proposed, I wish to mention one which I do not remember to have seen made to it yet by any of your various readers or opponents, and yet would seem to make against the doctrine, at least against preaching it, and contending for it so publicly as you do, if it cannot be got over; it is this

If all men are to be saved at last, (or restored, as you think more accurate) and none but the subjects of the first resurrection “ will escape the damnation of hell,” whether such as these who are rendered thus miserable should not be prayed for, and supplications and petitions put up for them cominually, that they may, in due time, be released; and, às prisoners of hope, be set free from the misery they are in? I final restoration is a true faith, is not this a true, a just, a right practise, arising from it, if it is more than a mere speculative point? , And should it not be engaged in, and be made as public a duty as the doctrine is publicly preached? But is this scriptural, apostolicah, or the custom and practice

of yours, or any other church, that maintains the doctrine of universal, restoration ? If it is not, I cannot see the consistency, nor the use of , being so strenuous for a faith, that has not this practice annexed to it. To say it savours too much of popery, will not be satisfactory, nor agreeable : to that open and ingenuous spirit you have hitherto shewn in your Miscellany, but is it sound and consistent? A practice, no way derogatory to the doctrine you think scriptural, but a fair and rational inference from it, and what such believers ought to be found in? A full, open, and candid reply to this will oblige,

Yours, &c. ,

, INQUISITOR,

CONTROVERSY ON I JOHN, K.:...

SIR, ONE might suppose, from the manner in which your correspondent

W. B. has replied to the query of Z. Y. that he is a youth, warm from the manufactory, where he has been used to one set of tools only, and thinks no one ought to make use of any other.

Z. Y. would much rather have heard than said any thing on the subject of his query; but as his reasons for proposing it were very different from what W. B. illiberally charges him with, he is under a necessity of saying something, and to inform W. B. he has no doubts respecting the passage; and as he does not think it necessary to contend forthe divinity of all that is contained between the pasteboards any more than for that of the sheep-skin which covers it, he will not shrink from W. B.'s challenge, and instead of doubts he will produce evidence, which he thinks quite sufficient to shew the passage to be an, interpolation.

W. B. says “ the passage may be proved canonical, because contained in the common translation, vulgar Latin, and in all the copies of the Greek Testament I ever saw."

That it is contained in most, if not all the copies, of the national translation must be allowed; but did W. B. never see the common translation of the New Testament in English where this verse is not, but in supplements? There is one which was printed in the year 1549, in the beginning of which the translators say in a note, We have printed in a different letter those passages which are not to be found in any Greek copies but of dubious authoriiy." This whole 7th verse they have printed in the Roman letter; that of the text being the old black letter,-- which plainly shews their opinion.

Pool in his Syn. Crit. says, “ Hunc versiculum non legunt Syrus, nec vetus Latinus interpres, nec multi Codices Græci, nec multi veterum pon Naz. Athan. Didym. Chrys. Cyril. Hilar. Aug. & Beda; qui cum Arionas scriberent, hunc locum neutiquam omissent, si genuinum VOL. IV.

. 3C.......

credidissent.' Et Conc. Niceonum, ubi contra Arium Trinitatem probat ex John X. 3. I John v. 6. hunc tamen versum 7, qui aptissimus, omittent. Aut ergo eum non legerent, aut tanquam suspectum & dubiæ fidei neglexerunt."

If, in the tiine of the disputes referred to, this passage had been found in any of the ancient copies, those who wrote against the Arians would not have omitted quoting of it, it being “ aptissimus."

Sir I. Newton says, “ It is a matter of surprise the present reading should be found in the printed copies of the Greek, &c. editions of the New Testament, since all the Greek MSS. of the New Testament, and all the ancient versious that have been made into any language whatever, even the vulgate, before the time of Jerome, are quite silent in regard to the testimony of the “ three in heaven;" and all the councils, fathers, commentators, and other writers of the church, for the first four centuries, shew plainly, by their references to this passage, that it stood in their books thus-It is the spirit that beareth witness, because the spirit is truth: for there are three that bear record, the spirit, the water, and the blood, and these three agree in one*."

Some of the fathers, who wrote upon the doctrine of the Trinity, gave a mystical interpretation to the passage, but never used the words three in heaven: this will appear by tl.e following question from one of them, who says “ Nam et Johannes apostolus in epistola sua de Patre, et Filio, et Spiritu Sancio, sic dicit: Tres sunt qui testimonium dant in terra, shiritus, aqua, et sanguis, et hi tres unum sunt. . In Spiritu significans Patrem; in aqua vero Spiritum san&tum significans; in sanguine vero Filium significanst."

This writer would not have needed to have made such a forced interpretation, if the words W. B. contends for had existed in any of the copies extant in his time.

It appears pretty plain that the passage in question was first written in the margin, by way of explication of the doctrine of the Trinity, apid by degrees crept into the text itself. - The first daring innovator upon record is Jerome, who inserted this verse in the translation he made, or rather the connection he made, of the vulgate Latin. His blaming other Latin translators for not inserting it is a sufficient proof that it was not in the Latin version before his tine: his words are, « In qua etiam ab infidelibus translatoribus, multam erratum esse a fidei veritate comperimus, trium tantummodo vocabula, hoc est aquæ, sauguinis, et spiritus, in ipsa sua editione ponentibus, et Patris, Verbique, ac Spiritus testimonium omittentibus." This is the father of the corrupted vulgate, of whom Erasmus says, “Srepe numero vidlentus harumque fudens, sæpe varius, parumque sibi constans." And Father Simon, “ Il n'est pas toujours exact, parcequ'il ne meditoit pas assez, et qu'il se contentoit ordinairement de dicter a se copistes mais comme

* Newton's Letter to Mons. Le Clerc.

+ Facundus, cap. i. p. 16.

il estoit auteur d'une nouvelle traduction de la Bible, il n'a pas garde quelque fois assez de moderation dans sa critique. Il corrige les Septante en beaucoup d'endroits ou il n'estois pas besoin de les corriger." And this is the first and greatest authority for the present reading of 1 John, V: 7.

Hesychius, who lived soine little time after Jerome, cites this passage thus, “ Audi Johannem dicentum, Tria sunt, qui testimonium proebent, et tres Unum sunt, Spiritus, et Sanguis, et Aqua.” Cassiodorus reads jhus, “ Quia tres sunt, qui testificantur tui Spiritus, et Aqua, et Sanguis, et hi tres Unum sunt.”

Bede, in his coinmentary on the place, reads it thus, “ Et spiritus est, qui testificatur, quoniam Christus est veritas. Quoniam tres sunt qui testimonium dant in terra spiritus, aqua, et sanguis, et tres unum sunt.

Pope Eusebius reads it as Bede does, omitting the words in terra. And Pope Leo the Great cites the passage Thus, “ Et spiritus est qui 1estificatur, quoniam spiritus est veritas ; quia tres sunt, qui testimoniam dant, Spiritus, et Aqua, et Sanguis, et hi tres unum sunt.” .

St. Ambrose, in the sixth chapter of his book, De Spritus San&to, disputing for the Trinity, says, “ Hi tres unum sunt, Johannes dixit, Aqua, Sanguis, et Spiritus, unum in misterio, non in natura."-This was all he could say-These lived after St. Jerome's time, to whom his version must be known; but by their not quoting it, it would appear that it was not received by thein.

Innumerable more evidences might be brought forward to shew that 1 John, v. 7. is spurious. It was not met with in any Greek manuscript written before the sixteenth century, and it is pretty evident that it crept out of the Latin into the Greek.

The words three in heaven" were omitted in Erasmus's edition of the Greek Testament, Anno Christi 1516 & 1519:- in that of Francis Asulan, printed at Venice by Aldus, 1518-In that of Nicholas Gerbelius, printed at Haganau 1521; In that of Wolfius Cephalius, printed at Strashourg 1524, and again in 1526; In that of Simon Colinæus, at Paris, 1534; and at the same time it was omitted in some editions of the Western larguages, as in the Saxon and German editions of Luther, and in the Latin Tugurine editions of Peter Cholms, 1543 and 1544.

Cardinal Ximenes's edition of the Greek Testament is the first that has the words three in heaven; it is well known to have been manufactured at Complutum in Spain, where the cardinal had his conclave, and, as W. B. says, no doubt had his reasonsfor printing it thus..

W. B. is afraid, if this passage be given up, we shall all be Deists; or as a modern Priest has said, disguised Atheisis ;” but W. B. ought to have more regard for the testimonies Z. Y. has cited, which are those of Popes, Fathers, Councils, &c. Michælis, who was a good man and a firm Trinitarian, gives the passage up as spurious (see his Lectures). Sir Isaac Newton was a learned and pious man; and though he gave up this passage, he did not become a Deistand 2. Y. knows some living Trinitarians, godly and learned men, and yet they give it up.

. 3 C 2

As the other ways of proof adduced by W. B. do not appear to Z. Y. to be in point, he shall, for the present, pass them over-and, waiting for his reply, or rather opposition, remains, yours and his, **

2. Y.

ON THE NECESSIT

. ОF
CULTIVATING RIGHT THOUGHTS OF GOD.:

DEAR SIR, I Conceive a just representation of the character and designs of God to

be of very great importance to mankind at large, to the rising generation in particular, and that an improper statement thereof inay do great mischief in the world. My ideas upon this point are the result of observation, study, and experience. ..

I have long thought the study of the human mind and its operations to be of the first importance: that of all philosophical enquiries that which relates to morals, to the constitution of mind, the laws by which it is operated upon, by which thoughts are elicited, motives discovered and felt, dispositions excited, and actions produced, ought to occupy the first place: for I think mind is operated upon, and operates, by laws. as determinate as those which are established in the physical world, by a process as regular as the economy of nature, and that there is as clear and certain a connexion between cause and effect in morals as in the material universe. This may be inferred from a belief that the moral is as much under the government of God as the physical world: for where he governs there must be fixed order and established laws.

Observation and experience will help to substantiate these suggestions.

Our first observations are made upon the actions of men; but we naturally conceive that there must exist in their minds dispositions corresponding with the nature and manner of their actions, and that the motives which they feel must agree with the dispositions produced by them; further, we suppose that their ideas of things must be such as to turn the object of their contemplation into the motives manifested by the dispositions discoverable in their actions: hence we are led to conceive of the impressions made upon them through the medium of their senses. Thus, by going froin effect to cause, from actions to dispositions, from dispositions to motives, from motives to ideas, from ideas to the impressions which excite them, and by marking the connexion of all these, we arrive at a theory of the human inind, which agrees both with Christianity and sound philosophy. .

We are born into the world without ideas; we receive impressions from outward objects, through the medium of our senses; our first ideas arise from those impressions and reftection upon them; nor do I know

« הקודםהמשך »