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kind in a form which, to all appearance, and to the testimony of every sense, was that of a mere man. Either, therefore, he was really such, and nothing more, or he was a deception. If it be granted that he was really a mere man, the controversy is at an end. But if it be said he was a deception, then, though it is true that God, and God alone, could, yet it is not probable that he would, so deceive his creatures : because his miracles are not wrought, like the tricks of a juggler, to puzzle and confound, but to enlighten and inform his people. But let us suppose,
however improbable, that Jesus was a deception: then God would be the cause indeed of the deception, but he could not possibly be the deception itself, any more than he can possibly be any other of his productions. God may cause any thing, animate or inanimate, such as the sun, a man, a vegetable, &c. to exist, or he may cause us to be deceived with the appearances of them; but he cannot possibly be himself any of them; whether they be realities or deceptions. And this seems to me to follow directly and inevitably, not only from the invisibility and immutability of God, but from every thing else that we can comprehend of his nature.
Either of these two considerations, more especially the last, appears to me sufficient to overturn all your interpretations. But you theological mystery-mongers are so enamoured with
your fancies, that you shut your eyes against both context and consequences, and will have your doctrines, lugged in, with or without connection, possible or impossible,
upon every, or rather upon no occasion. Taking it for granted that the head and heart of every prophet and apostle was as full of such lumber as your own, whenever you do not clearly see the drift of the sacred writers, which I fear is often the case, and sometimes I suspect when you do see it, if one
your catch-words does but happen to come across you, there is no resisting the call, away you go like madmen the moment the disordered string is touched, and can see or hear nothing afterwards but the phantom of your own imaginations; which is al. ways one or other of the base-born children of that mother of harlots, MYSTERY. (Rev. xvii. 5.)
I now proceed to examine each text in particular, and shall shew you, independently of the foregoing considerations, which are applicable to all the texts, that none of them will bear your translation without a departure from the natural and obvious rendering, and doing violence, more or less, to the words of the writer; that you can derive no strength nor support to your interpretations from the labours of your correspondent, the unwieldy compiler; that if the sacred writers had meaned to say what you would have them say, they would have expressed themselves differently from what they have done; and that the real meaning of some of the passages question, seems to be different, not only from what you, but from what our established translators, have supposed.
I shall take the texts in the order in which they stand in your table of contents, and begin with,
Ey in Bacin.się T2 XP158 x«n Sex. Ephes. v. 5. Here we must observe, that
is not a proper name, but an epithet.* This you allow, calling it (p. 30) a 'substantive' (though, by the bye, it is an adjective) of personal description ;' and this your limitations oblige you to allow, or you could not consistently here apply your rule. Though you have, notwithstanding, rendered it as a proper name in your corrected version, both in the table of contents, and in the last of your translations given in page 31. Now
XP1505 being an epithet, you render the ex
* From a passage in Tertullian, it seems as if it were not familiarly used as a proper name till about his time. Si tamen nomen est Christus et non appellatio potius; unctus enim significatur. Unctus autem non magis nomen est quam vestitus, quam calceatus, accidens nomini res. Tertull. advers. Prax. c. xxviii. p. 660. edit. Rigalt, 1641. This seems to be the language of a man speaking of a word whose signification was rather unsettled. Lactantius and Jerome afterwards observe, that Christ is not a proper name; but they express themselves in a way which does not insinuate any doubt about the usage, or give any suspicion that the meaning was unsettled in their times. They barely ad. vert to the etymology. · Jesus inter homines nominatur, nam Christus non proprium nomen est, sed nuncupatio potestatis et regni. Lactant. Institut. lib. iv. cap. vii. vol. i. p. 287. edit. Dufresnoy. Christus commune dignitatis est nomen, Jesus proprium vocabulum salvatoris. Hieronym. in Matt. xvi. 20. vol. iv. p. 75. edit. Benedict. This variation in the acceptation of the term Christ, makes sometimes a vast difference as to the facility of construing various texts of scripture, in this or that sense. And in quoting from the fathers it ought to be attended to ; because, from this circumstance alone, an interpretation which to one of the earlier fathers would appear harsh and forced, might seem quite natural to one of those who lived in later times.
pression pression quite harsh and intolerable, by making that word relate to the same person as Geos; and that, whether
understand this latter word as a substantive of personal description, which you affirm it to be in page 30, or as a proper name, in which way you translate it in all your versions of this passage, again contradicting yourself with regard to this word as you had before done with regard to the other. How very harsh the phrase becomes by referring the two nouns to one and the same person, cannot but be evident to every one who will but render them literally, as subjects of a proposition, or nominative cases to a verb.
He must be a rude writer indeed, more rude I think than the most rude of the Galilean penmen, who should say: “ The anointed and God” (meaning thereby one and the same person)“ did so and “ so.” Would any one ever think of expressing himself thus: “ The eternal and God” (meaning the same being)“ created the heavens?” This would be like a prophane writer's telling us, that “ the
great and Alexander conquered the world.” And you do not at all mend the matter, if you do not make it worse, by translating xa by even.
For not to urge that, xai so rendered not being a copulative, the phrase, strictly speaking, would not come under your rule, we may observe that, according to this rendering, the particle becomes not merely an expletive, but a perfect incumbrance. To say, “the kingdom of the anointed even God,” if one and the same being be intended, is exactly like
saying: “ In the contemplation of the divine even
“ being." Every writer who had that meaning in view, would certainly omit xzs, eten, as a word that obscured, instead of elucidating, his meaning.
Your correspondent has collected from the fathers twenty-one greek passages, in which this text is quoted. Of these he tells you, that twelve determine nothing with respect to its meaning: but still be is determined that you shall have not only all these at full length, (p. 36 and 10), but thirty more latin passages also, of which, he adds, “ you may, perhaps, claim three to your side, the rest being
plainly against you :' for in this sort of civility he outdoes Dogberry himself; “ and though he be but
a poor painter, hearing as good exclamation on “ your worship as of any man in the city, truly, for “ his own part, if he were as tedious as a king, he 66 could find in his heart to bestow it all on your “ worship.” The other nine greek passages, he says,
are clear testimonies for your interpretation.' Were they so, and were they nine times as many, testimony so packed, for reasons already stated, would be no confirmation of your rule. But alas ! this is all ideal painting. Among all the nine, there is not one clear testimony for your interpretation. Seven of them are clearly against you. And of the other two, the most that can be said for you is, that they are neutral, or as your correspondent might choose to express it, contain nothing contrary to your interpre
tation ;' which, however, it should seem from his way of estimating, is still to be deemed a prodigious thing in your favour.