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little in evading the force of this passage. Admitting even that it signifies, as Dr. Priestley contends, righteous, the argument remains much
Having been led by the discussion of this text to the men. tion of Mr. Nares's work, I cannot avoid expressing my regret, that the present edition has travelled thus far on its way to the public eye, without those aids, which an earlier appearance of that valuable performance would have secured to it. Being, like that respectable writer, engaged in the en. deavour to vindicate the purity of Scripture truth from Uni. tarian misrepresentation, I am naturally desirous to avail myself of the exertions of so distinguished a fellow labourer, That these volumes, therefore, and the cause which they support, may not be altogether deprived of the advantages of such co-operation on the subjects which have been already displayed in the foregoing sheets, I shall here subjoin á reference to those parts of Mr. Nares's work which bear upon the
abjects, and bestow upon them additional enforcement and illustration. I beg then to direct the reader's attention to pp. 60—124. 173, 174. 181, 182. 217. 220, on the doc. trine of the pre-existence treated of in Number I:-tó pp. 126-130. 231-236. 154–164, on the ransom or price of redemption treated of in Number XXV, on the sense in which Christ is said to have been made a sacrifice for sin, and a sin-offering, as in Number XXVII. p. 234-242, and Number XXIX, and to have died for us, aš in Number XXX :-to p. 144—154, on the meaning of propitiation, as treated of in Number XXVI, and of Atonement as in Number XXVIII: and lastly, to p. 131-140, on the meaning of the phrase bearing sins, which has been treated of in the present Number.
I have referred the reader to the discussion of these several subjects in Mr. Nares's work, not only because the view, which has been taken of them in the preceding Numbers, will
the same; since, in this view, the reasoning of St. Paul goes to reconcile with the righteous dealings of God, which in respect of sin must
be found thereby to receive ample confirmation; but, more especially, because the arguments employed by the learned author are shaped in such a manner, as to meet the Unitarian objections in that form, in which they have made their latest appearance, and which has been given to them by the joint Jabours and collective erudition of the party. In the year 1801, a challenge had been thrown out to the Unitarians, in the first edition of the present work, (see pp. 177, 178 of this edition,) calling upon them for an avowed translation of the Scriptures on their peculiar principles. Whether it has been in compliance with this demand, or not, that they have given to the world their Improved Version of the New. Testament, is of little consequence. But it is of great con. sequence, that they have been brought to reduce their vague and fluctuating notions of whạt the New Testament contains, to some one determined form; and thạt they have afforded to the able author of the Remarks upon their version, an opportunity of exposing the futility of the criticisms, the falla, ciousness of the reasonings, the unsoundness of the doctrines, and the shallowness of the information, which have combined to produce this elaborate specimen of Unitarian exposition. Spanheim has said, Controversiæ quæ cum hodiernis Socią nianis, vel Anti-Trinitariis etiam extra familiam Socini, inter, cedunt, sive numero suo, sive controversorum capitum mo. mento, sive adversariorum fuco et larvâ quadam pietatis, sive argutiarum nonnunquam subtilitate, sive Socinianæ luis contagio, in gravissimis merito censentur. (Select. De Relig. Controv. p. 132.) If this observation of Spanheim is admitted to be a just one, the friends of Christianity cannot surely be too thankful to the compilers of the Improved Version, for bringing together into one view the entire congeries of
lead to punishment,—that forgiveness granted through Christ's propitiation, whereby the sinner was treated as if he had not offended, or was justified. This sense of the word just, namely, acting agreeably to what was right and equitable, cannot be objected to by Dr. Priestley, it being that which he himself adopts, in his violent application of the word, as relating to the Jews, compared with the Gentiles.
Doctor Doddridge deserves particularly to be consulted on this passage. See also Raphelius. The interpretation of dixectos in the sense of merciful, adopted by Hammond, Taylor, Rosenmuller, and others, seems entirely arbitrary. Whitby says, that the word occurs above eighty times in the New Testament, and not once in that sense.
The single instance adduced in support of this interpretation, is itself destitute of support. It is that of Mat. i. 19.-Joseph, being a just man, and not willing to make Mary a public example, was minded to put her away privily. Now this means clearly, not, that Joseph being a *merciful man, and therefore not willing, &c. but, that being a just man, that is, actuated by a sense of right and duty, he determined to put her away according to the law, in Deut. xxiv. 1: and yet, at the same time, not willing to make her a public example, he determined to do it privately. See Lightfoot, and Bishop Pearce, on this passage. .
their cavils on the New Testament; nor to the Remarker upon those cavils, for their complete and triumphant re. futation.
* Campbell, although from his not discerning the adversative relation of the members of the verse, Mat. i. 19. he has not ascribed to the word the signification of just in this place, is yet obliged to confess that he has not seen sufficient evi. dence for rendering it humane, or merciful :" Four Gospels, &c, vol. iv. pp. 6, 7.-The force of the Syriac word
That the force of tamen, yet or nevertheless, which has been here ascribed to the word xan, is given to it both by the New Testament and
profane writers, has been abundantly shewn by Raphel. tom. ii. p. 519. Palairet, pp. 41. 96. 221. 236. Elsner, tom. i. p. 293. and Krebsius p. 147.-see also Schleusner Lex. in Nov. Test. Numb. 11. and the observations at p. 215. of this volume.
which is here used for doxanos, seems not to have been sufficiently attended to in the decision of this question : if the learned reader will take the trouble of examining the several passages in the Syriac New Testament, where the word b, or its emphatic HD, occurs, he will be satisfied that in every case where it does not signify just in the most rigorous sense, it at least implies that which is founded in right. For its use in the former acceptation see Joh. v. 30. vii. 24. Rom, ii. 5. iii. 26. 2 Thess. i. 5. 2 Tim. iv. 8. Apoc. xix. 2.
NO. XLIII.-ON THE INCONSISTENCY OF THE REA
SONING WHEREBY THE DEATH OF CHRIST IS
MAINTAINED TO HAVE BEEN BUT FIGURATIVE
LY A SACRIFICE.
Page 56. (TM)-It has been well remarked, that there is great inconsistency in the arguments of some writers upon this subject. They represent the death of Christ, not as a proper, but merely as a figurative, sacrifice; and establish this by proving, that it cannot be either. For whilst they argue, that it is not a proper sacrifice, upon principles which tend to shew that no such sacri-, fice can exist, they prove at the same time that it is not a sacrifice figuratively, since every figure presupposes reality. The writers of the New Testament, who perpetually apply the sacrificial terms to the death of Christ, must surely have been under a strange mistake, since neither in a proper, nor in a figurative sense, did they admit of such application. Upon the whole, the
proper sacrifice of Christ, on the ground of necessary inefficacy, are reduced to this alternative;-that no proper sacrifice for sin ever existed, and that consequently, in no sense whatever, not even in figure, is the death of Christ to be considered as a sacrifice;-or, that the efficacy which they deny to the sacrifice of Christ, belonged to the offering of a: brute animal.