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his religion, though a child in malice, yet a man in understanding, and he will see and know, what I have said you at present seem to know so little of, that all theoretical christianity is “ man's device" (Acts xvii. 29.), the mere coinage of the brain, the
trumpery” of fathers and councils, of theologues and schoolmen, of “ eremites and friars, white, “ black and gray."* But to proceed to your Remarks.
Before I examine your doctrine about the greek article, I must tell you that it is delivered in a very awkward and confused manner. I notice this, not because I wish to find fault, nor because I am very solicitous, in discussions of this kind, about style, neatness of expression, or methodical arrangement, provided a man be but intelligible ; but because you have, by your inaccuracy, so obscured and perplexed the main question, that it is not easy at all times to come at any precise settled meaning. You shift your ground so often, that one scarcely knows where it is that you mean to fix; and you are often so enveloped in mist and fog, as both to lose yourself, and to elude the sight of those who are looking for you.
Thus you sometimes seem to confine your remarks, to what you call nouns of personal description or application, such as goos, taing, xupoos, owing, &c.
* Milton, Par. Lost, iii. 474, who, if you will look at the whole passage, lines 440-497, will furnish you with a good description, both of the origin and the end of this sort of stuff, which being one of those “ works of men which sin has filled “ with vanity," is on its way to the “ limbo large and broad.”
At other times you extend them, without giving us any notice, to nouns which are mere names of things, without any reference whatever to persons, such as apvos, Bpwors, ows, ypacon, &c. as in pages 8, 10, 12, 13, &c.*
Sometimes you say, that nouns affected by the article and conjunction, in the way you describe,
express the same or different subjects; and at other times, that they only relate to the same, or different subjects. Now, to express, is one thing, and to relate to, quite another. In the first example of your sixth rule, for instance, “ xxpus xav vannDesa, it is one affirmation to say that what these nouns express, is different; and quite another, very distinct affirmation, to say that what they relate tó, is different. The first assertion is true ; but then it is a truth not at all to your purpose, which is, to make your sixth rule a contrast to your first. Now, if you mean so to contrast these two rules, as to say, that nouns circumstanced as you describe in the first, express the same, but circumstanced as described in the sixth, express different things, then would St. Paul's words, 1 Cor. xi. 27, 78 owpalos και αιμαίος T8 xupie, which are circumstanced as required in the first rule, be sufficient to destroy the assertion in that rule; for certainly the nouns here express very different things, though those things relate to one and the same person.
The other assertion, viz. that the nouns relate to the same or different subjects, according as they come under the de
* All references throughout these letters are made to the second edition of your Remarks, 12mo. 1802.
scriptions scriptions given in the first, or the sixth rules, when applied to the words η χαρις και η αληθεια, is not true; for these nouns do not relate to different subjects, but to the same. If, therefore, you keep to the term relate, without shifting your ground, though I Cor. xi. 27, would in that case exemplify your first rule, yet the words Xopos, &c. would then contradict, instead of exemplifying, your sixth rule.
You also produce no small confusion, by making the very same words sometimes proper names, and at other times not proper names. Thus, in page 19, you make Jesus Christ a proper name; but, in page 30, you make both Christ and God to be two substantives of personal description. In page 10, you make Jesus Christ, in the example from Ephes. V. 20, to be no proper name, by producing it as an exemplification of your third rule, from which proper names are excluded. And, in page 18, you have an example from Rev. XX. 2, in which you very confusedly call the Devil and Satan' two names or appellatives,' á loose expression, by which you
leave us in doubt whether you mean proper names, or common names, otherwise called appellatives; and whether you consider this example as having something to do with one of your rules, in defiance of your own limitation, which excludes proper names, or only in defiance of the common opinion of mankind, which, I believe, usually considers Satan as a proper name,
Your anonymous correspondent too, either by nature or imitation, is a dealer in ambiguities. But he has somewhat more to plead in his excuse. In
forcing such huge sepulchral tomes, as
those wherein the canonized earth, or rather mud, of the Basils and the Gregorys, the Jeromes and the Austins, the Cyrils and the Theodorets, has been so Jong quietly inurned, to ope their ponderous jaws, he must necessarily raise such a cloud of dust, that it was to be expected he should not always clearly see his way before him. We shall, perhaps, as we go along, see something of this necessary consequence of compelling these dead corses to “ revisit thus the “giimpses of the moon, making night hideous.” At present I shall only observe, rather as a mark of character than as a thing material to our argument, that he begins his book by telling us (p. 6), that 'the purport of his letters is to take your rule for granted, and then labours, through his whole work, to prove what he had thus declared he meant to take for granted. In the same stile he adds, that he shall take it for granted, as generally true, though the rule itself, as you have laid it down, is a universal proposition. And he concludes as he began, and in order to illustrate how we might trace our steps
uprvards, in a regular order, till we should touch *the apostles' (p. 121), sets off from the apostolic age, and traces them downwards to the thirteenth century (p. 122-132.)
And now we will talk of our nouns,' our articles, and our copulatives, “ and such abominable
words, as constitute the ammunition of your critico-theological squibs and crackers, and which you seem to think, as played off by your mechanism, no Socinian ear can endure to hear.'
Your doctrine, at least that part of it which you affirm (p. 2,) to be of much more consequence o than any of the rest, when freed from the ambiguity, confusion, and darkness in which you have involved it by means of those very rules which you tell us (page 7.) were intended only to illustrate • its particularity,' may be thus expressed : If before the first of two or more nouns, or participles, connected together in the same case by the copulative xas, there be an article, and at the same time no article before the second, or following, then such nouns must Always be referred to the same subject. Thus, for instance, in the expression, “ The God and Father of our Lord Jesus “ Chrisť” (Ephes. i. 3.), which exactly corresponds with the greek, the two greek nouns which answer to the english nouns God and Father, you contend must be referred to one and the same being; not because the principles of reason and common sense, upon which all language must be explained, require it; not because the context or connection of these words with other parts of the writing in which they occur, which ought always to be attended to, demand it; not because the scope, design, argument, or opinions of the writer call for it, all which seem to be considerations of very inferior importance in your estimation ;-but simply for this mechanical reason, because of these two words (God and Father) connected together in the same case by the copulative (and), the first' (God) has an article (the) before it, while the second (Father) has none. And in this way you affirm we must always, invariably understand and construe all nouns in the greek