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whence it happens, that, because these books are, substantially, the records of the Jewish and Christian religions, he charges on the religions the vices of the characters introduced, and the errors and prejudices which are there incidentally related, than which, no proceeding can be more notoriously unfair.

Unbelievers often confound the Scriptures with mistaken translations and false interpretations of them.

As the most valuable gifts of Heaven are conveyed to us through human channels, some mixture of the imperfection of our nature will accompany the transmission of the celestial treasure. Versions of the sacred pages are not always faithful: comments upon them are not always consistent and judicious; and we must decide on the justness of both by an impartial application of the laws of criticism.

Yet, unhappily, many of the opponents of Revelation, consider that as the genuine meaning of Scripture which, has been so received in the country of their residence, or by the Church of which they may have been members. If, for example, a writer who insists that a particular book of the Old Testament could not have been the composition of a very early age, inasmuch as it recognises a custom which in that age bad no existence, is found to build his objection altogether on a doubtful translation of the verse in question;* if the same author, alleging that another book could not have been written in the Hebrew language, because it describes some of the constellations in Greek terms, is discovered to have been betrayed into this mistake by a received version,t or when reasoners of this class view the allegorical comments of some fanciful men, as the undoubted doctrines of the sacred text; what can we pronounce of such an objector, but that he errs, not knowing the Scriptures?


The Unitarian.-No. 5.

John X. 30.—“I and my Father are one." This has been appealed to, as a proof from our Lord's own words, (the strongest that has ever been found) of his equality

* Prov. xxiii. 31. + The writer alluded to is Voltaire; the other passage, Job xxxviii. 31. with the Father; but no one who attentively reads to the end of the chapter, can suppose that such was the meaning of Jesus; for, when the Jews, in consequence of these words, affirmed, “ that he being man, made himself God," what said Jesus? Did he inform them that he was God as well as man, and explain to them the mystery of his incarnation? No. He denied the imputation :—" Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, “I said ye are gods? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came, (and the Scripture cannot be broken,) say ye of him whom the Father bath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest,' because I said I am the Son of God?” And then be refers them to the works which he had performed, and calls them the works of his Father. But how, then, are Jesus and the Father one? They are united in the same design-the salvation of the human race, of which God is the author, and Jesus Christ the instrument and the finisher; they are one in Spirit, in communion, and in love. Jesus prays for his disciples, (John xvii. 21 to 23,) “ That they all may be one as thou Father art in me, and I in thee; that they may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me; and the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be one as we are one; I in them and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one.” It is evident, therefore, that in whatever sense Jesus and the Father are one, in the same sense are his disciples one with them. If this text, contrary to his own explanation of it, be brought to prove the equality of Christ with his God and Father, will not the other prove that the disciples are also equal with them? And if this be the strongest passage, in Christ's own words, which Trinitarians can produce, to prove his equality with the Father, where in all the Scriptures can they procure sufficient evidence to support this their fundamental doctrine?

John xx. 28.2" And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God!” Is it possible that Thomas, who had but just before doubted whether his Master were alive, could have supposed for a moment that he was the very and eternal God? Could he suppose that the immortal, the unchangeable God, had died? Could he doubt whether his God were alive? Or, if the truth flashed on him at that moment, how is it that we hear no more of it; that the discovery, great and important


as it must have been, is never mentioned again? If the words were addressed to Jesus, the Apostle could have used the appellation God, in no other sense than that in which it was used by Jehovah to Moses; or the magis, trates in the Psalms; or as our Lord himself explains it, (John x. 32.) “ They were called gods to whom the word of God came.” But it appears to me, that these words are no more than a sudden exclamation of the astonishment and joy of Thomas, and an acknowledgment by bim of the great power of God in raising Jesus Christ from the dead; as if he had said, 'My Lord and


God hath done this! or, · My Lord and 'my God, how great is thy power! A passage, of similar construction, is found 1 Sam. xx. 12: And Jonathan said unto David, O Lord God of Israel! when I have sounded my father, &c. But no one has hence supposed that David was God.

Romans ix. 5. “ Whose are the Fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came; who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen,” When Paul wrote these words, he could not mean to say, that a man, a descendant of the Jewish fathers, was the blessed and eternal God; that the blessed and eternal God was begotten or born of Jewish parents. This appellation, “ the blessed,” is never applied in Scripture to any but God the Father: it is applied to Him by way of eminence. Luke i. 68–Psalm İxxxix. 52-Rom. i. 25-2 Cor. i. 3; xi. 31-Ephes. i. 3-1 Pet. i. 3—and Mark xiv. 61. The term “ God over all," is applied exclusively to Jehovah, Ephes. iv. 6. The passage now under consideration, must be translated according to the manner in which it is punctuated; and as none of the ancient manuscripts are pointed, this is left to the judgment of the translator. Erasmus, Dr. Clarke, and many of the most eminent critics, think that the words would be better translated, “ Whose are the Fathers, and of whom is Christ according to the flesh. God, who is over all, be blessed for ever. Amen." Here are two renderings of the same passage, equally warranted by the original; the one in accordance with the rest of Scripture, and with reason; the other opposed to both. Can there be any doubt wbich we shall choose?

1 John v. 20.—“ We are in Him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life,” is another text which has been brought forward to prove the deity of Jesus Christ; but the interpreting it in

this way will set it in direct contradiction to the plain declaration of our Lord bimself, John xvii. 3, where, in solemn prayer to his father, he says, 66 This is life eternal, that they may know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

And the Apostle seems to me to refer to this passage of his gospel in the text before us; and if the Father be the only true God, it is for Trinitarians to say how the Son can be the true God likewise, except there be two true Gods.

« That be who is true should be the same as bis own Son, can present no difficulty to them who believe the Son to be his own Father."-(Elton's Appeal, p. 45.) The Trinitarian meaning of the text depends entirely upon the word “ even,” which the translators, by putting it in italics, acknowledge is not in the original. Take away this word, and this is the true God, and eternal life, will refer to Him that is true, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and if the Trinitarian object to this interpretation, as referring the relative to the remote antecedent, I would refer him to 2 John vii: “ Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Anti-Christ." If « this” refer to Jesus Christ, in the one passage, it does in the other; if in the one he be called the true God," he is in the other called “ a deceiver and an Anti-Christ.”

1 Tim. iii. 16.—“ Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh," &c. The word “God," was, I think, certainly not written by the Apostle. The proper reading, is either he who," or “ which,” most probably the former, wbich is found in four of the most ancient manuscripts in the world, and as Griesbach thinks, in the 5th; but this is doubtful; whilst the 6th reads " which." All the old versions, and all the ancient Fathers, bave either who or which."(Imp. Vers. in loc.) The passage was never cited in the controversy against the Arians, though they often defied their opponents to produce all the texts which could be found in favour of the Trinity, and of the deity of Christ. A slight mark is sufficient to change or (be who) into ©2, the abbreviation of Osos (God); and, therefore, as the evidence is so strong in favour of the former, it is the more likely to be the true reading. This reading is adopted by Calvin and Erasmus, by Griesbach, by the Eclectic Reviewers, and by many other Trinitarians. It is also adopted by Sir Isaac Newton and Dr. Clarke, Priestley and Wetstein, Wakefield and Lindsey, by Belsham and Carpenter, and by the Improved Version, Archbishop Newcome observes, that if we read he who," we have a construction like Mark iv. 25—Luke viii. 18 and Rom. viii. 32.-(Imp. Vers. in loc.) The evidence for the other reading " 0," (" which,") though not so strong as that for the reading which I have preferred, is, I think, very much stronger than that for reading “ God," inasmuch as it has some of the ancient versions in its favour, But, even if we do read “ God," it will by no means prove that Christ was the very and eternal God, for God was manifested in the flesh by the mighty works which Christ did by the power' which He had given him. But this will not so well agree with the latter part of the sentence; and as it is supported by so few authorities, and those modern ones, we may, I think, certainly reject it. The meaning of the passage appears to be, “ He who was manifested in the flesh”- ?-a real inan, in opposition to the Gnostics, who asserted that Christ was not fesh, but only só in appearance; “ was justified”-attested to be the Messiah“ by the Spirit; seen by his messengers"—the word translated angels, often means only messengers or apostles; “preached unto the Gentiles; believed on in the world; received up into glory" (Christ. Reformer, vol. ii. p. 302.)

Heb. i. 8, and following verses. “ But unto the Son be saith, · Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,"" &c. This is a quotation from the xlv. Psalm, where the words are addressed by the Psalmist to Solomon; therefore, if they prove Christ to be the very and eternal God, they must prove Solomon to be so likewise. Dr. Lardner (" on the Logos," p. 56) says, and many other learned men have been of his opinion (see Improved Version), that the words would be better translated, “ But of or concerning the Son, the Scripture saith,” (the words," he saith,' in the Public Version, have no corresponding words in the original,) “God is thy throne,” or the support of thy throne, « for ever and ever." The quotation in the passage we are considering, proceeds —"A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Therefore, if the word God be applied to

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