Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.

On presenting to the Christian Public a new edition of the “ SCRIPTURAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF UNITÁRIANISM,” the Author would briefly point out what he has done, or attempted to do, in order to render it more serviceable to the inquirer when investigating the subjects which are here discussed. Without affecting to undervalue the flattering estitimate which has been formed of the merits of the first edition, he has invariably been of opinion, that the Work was susceptible of much improvement; and with this object in view, he determined, on resuming his labours for the press, to devote to the task whatever leisure the nature of his daily avocations would permit.

Sensible, in the first place, of a deficiency in omitting a methodical notice of the Holy Spirit in a work professing to treat somewhat largely of the great Object of religious worship, the Author laboured, with all the assiduity and care of which he was capable, to ascertain the various meanings of the terms spirit, holy spirit, and spirit of God, as they occur in the volume of divine revelation, and to classify all the texts containing these expressions under their respective acceptations. But, after prosecuting this study for several months, he felt himself obliged to narrow his aim, by merely selecting those passages which bear immediately on the point, and by giving a few as a specimen of the manner in which others are employed in Sacred Scripture. The Writer is, however, convinced that though unable to attain the object which he attempted to grasp, and which, if accomplished, would of itself have formed a considerable volume, — yet what he has effected is sufficient to demonstrate, that the holy spirit, or spirit of God, is not a truly divine person distinct from God the Father, but either the Father himself, or his power, wisdom, agency, influence, inspiration, or gifts.

Desirous of introducing into the new edition as much important matter as was consistent with the plan, the Author conceived, that

b

by putting into the Appendix the various concessions of learned Trinitarians, formerly interspersed throughout the volume, two important objects would be gained: the one, that more room would be opened up for the insertion of additional translations of controverted texts; and the other, that the great principle would be exhibited more prominently than has hitherto been done, namely, that the methods of interpreting Scripture adopted by Unitarians have, in very many instances, received the sånction of skilful interpreters, whose opinions were directly opposed to the doctrines to whose truth they have given their involuntary support. To render this portion of the Work more useful, the transcriber has brought together a considerable number of quotations not in the former edition; but regrets that, from want of opportunities, he was unable to enter, for this purpose, into a regular course of reading.

Of the extracts in the Latin language, the Writer has uniformly endeavoured to give the true sense: but with respect to the Latin renderings of the Greek or the Hebrew Text, which are interspersed in the Work, he was of opinion, that it would be preferable to transcribe them as they came from the pens of their authors, on account of the peculiar difficulty which must often arise in the attempt to give an exact representation of their ideas, by translating what is itself a translation; particularly if the Latin version be, as it sometimes is, as ambiguous as the original Text. In order to make the closest approximation to the language of the New Testament writers, he has also made a liberal use of the universally approved Greek Text of Dr. GRIESBACH, by generally quoting passages of the Christian Scriptures from the American edition of the Common Version conformed to that critic's invaluable work; but he has carefully noted GRIESBACH's variations from the Received Text, even in the most unimportant particulars.

Besides the changes and additions adverted to, the Author has introduced explanations of a few texts of Scripture not included in the first edition; and, for the sake of greater clearness and simplicity, has transposed other passages, and expunged several of the notes,—thereby occasioning many alterations in his own remarks, in order to render them conformable to the machinery of the plan. These he has sometimes condensed, sometimes amplified; but he has seldom found it necessary to change materially his views respecting the import of Scrip

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

ture texts, and has never altered them except when convinced that his ideas were erroneous.

Respecting the Author's language, his great aim was to be as perspicuous and concise as possible. He is, however, fully aware that persons unused to the refinements of polished society, and to the elegancies of a classical education, can seldom attain to that purity and accuracy of style which lends a peculiar charm even to a trivial subject; and it is therefore hoped, that if this excellence be not found in the following Treatise so frequently as would be desirable, the reader may possess generosity of disposition equal to his delicacy of taste.

In conclusion, the Author would appeal, from the censorious critic, to the sincere inquirer after truth. The subject discussed in this Work is undoubtedly a mighty one. Judge not, therefore, by appearance. Cavil not about words : examine ideas. Canvass the opinions of the Writer; but weigh his arguments. Above all, search the Scriptures for yourself. Love the truth for its own sake:- love it more for its ennobling and purifying influences. Whatever opinions you form, profess them openly; regarding less the applause or the censure of the world, than the approval of your own conscience, and the favour of your Master and your God.

THE Author begs respectfully again to tender his most grateful acknowledgments to his Subscribers for the kind encouragement which they have given the publication, as well as to all those individuals who have aided him by obtaining subscriptions, suggesting judicious hints, or lending scarce and valuable books to which he could not otherwise have had access.

Belfast, January 10, 1837.

ABBREVIATIONS EXPLAINED.

Com. Ver.

Common or Public Version of the Bible.
Murg. Tran.. Marginal Translation of the Common Version.
G. or Griesbach

Common Version conformed to Griesbach's Greek Text. Imp. Ver. *

Improved Version of the New Testament. Eds. of Imp. Ver. + Editors of the Improved Version of the New Testament. Douay Ver.

Douay Version of the Old Testament, from the Vulgate. Rhemes Tran.

Rhemes Translation of the New Testament, from the Vulgate. Gen. 1802

French New Testament, published at Geneva in the year 1802. LXX. or Septuagint . Old Testament translated into Greek by 72 Interpreters. Tremellius .....

Translator of the Syriac Ver. of the New Testament into Latin. Com. L.T.

Commentary. Last Thoughts. (See page 13, note *.) Smith. Script. Test. .. Dr. John Pye Smith. Scripture Testimony to the Messiah. Par. Pas.

Parallel passage, or parallel passages. MS. MSS.

Manuscript. Manuscripts: written copies of Scripture. Chap. Sect. No..... Chapter. Section. Number, or numbers. Comp. or comp. with. Compare, or compared with. ver. p. or p

verse, or verses. page, or pages. orig. col. ref. original. column. reference, or references. ap. or apud

in the writings of: as quoted by. et al. or et alibi.

and elsewhere: other passages. in loc. or in loco on the place: concerning the passage under consideration. i.e. or id est

that is: namely. g. d. or quasi dicat as if he had said.

+ Translations thus marked belong to the Archbishop, and are approved by his Editors.

+ Translations and citations marked thus, belong, not to Newcome, but to Belsham, and his fellow. labourers.

1

CONTENT S.

Page

INTRODUCTION,
of different Opinions concerning God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit
Table of the Belief of Christians
Note on the Athanasian Creed

1 4 6

PART FIRST.

SCRIPTURE EVIDENCE FOR UNITARIANISM.

9

CHAPTER 1.- OF GOD.
Sect. I. - Passages of Scripture proving the strict Unity of God

7 Observations on the deficiency of evidence for a Tripersonal God 8

Observations on the epithets Holy One, Mighty One, &c. Sect. II. - Passages of Scripture in which the one God is characterised as

Jehovah alone — the only Person or Being who possesseth, in absolute perfection, the Attributes of Deity

10 Remarks on the phrase only True God, as applied to the Father 12 Sect. III. — Passages of Scripture in which the One God, Jehovah, is pronounced to be unequalled by any Being in the universe

14 Observations

15 Sect. IV. — Passages of Scripture declaring God to be one Person or Being, exclusive of, and in opposition to Heathen Deities

16 Observations showing that such language necessarily excludes all ideas of Plurality .....

16 Sect. V. -- Passages of Scripture in which God is represented as speaking of

bimself, and as addressed and spoken of, in language indicating the strictest Unity

17 Observations on the Personal Pronouns, as applied to the Deity 18 Sect. VI. - Passages of Scripture proving that One Divine Person or Being,

named Jehovab-God-the Father of Christ was the sole Agent in the Creation, and is alone employed in the Government of the Universe

19 Observations on the fulness of the evidence for this Doctrine.. 22 Sect. VII.- Passages of the New Testament, in which peculiar Titles, Epi

thets, or Attributes, are ascribed to God, the Father Observations on the probability of Cbrist's being distinguisbed

by the highest Divine Titles, if he were Almighty God ...... 26 Sect. VIII.- Passages of the New Testament, in which one Divine Person or

Being—the Father-is termed God absolutely, and in contradistinction to Jesus Christ. With Observations

27 Sect. IX. -- Table showing at one view how often the word God occurs in the New Testament

33 Observations on the application of the word God to Christ 34

24

« PoprzedniaDalej »