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should not be hindered by any disagreement among them. They should be obliging towards each other, seeking, as far as they can, to lighten each other's burden, and make their situation easy. They should endeavour to exercise a wholesome influence over one another-encouraging each other to prayer, the study of the Scriptures, every good work and word. Too commonly it is the contrary influence that is exerted here. Servants excite one another to discontent and insubordination, whereby they only increase their own burdens, and inflict disquiet upon their masters. They should remember how much the happiness of one another and of others is dependant upon them, and act accordingly; and as heirs together of the grace of life, they should seek to live as helps for one another.
This is a brief view of the duties of the family, arising out of its various relations. But it is also to be considered that, as a family, there are some common and united duties devolving upon them, to which, in the conclusion, we shall now advert. Such, for example, is the duty of family worship. That all the members of a family should daily meet together in exercises of religious worship, is most reasonable. They have family mercies in common, and should not fail together to express their gratitude to the Giver; they fall into family sins, and, as a family, they should confess them; they are required to discharge family duties, and they should unite in imploring grace to be faithful in them; there are family trials, and they join to ask patience under them, and edification by means of them; they will at last be judged as a family, and they should not omit to meet together at the throne of grace, as they shall meet at the tribunal of God. How awful to think there are many families whose first meeting together, before God, will be at the judgment of the great day. There is great neglect and great guilt, and there will be great condemnation in every such instance. "God will pour out his fury on the heathen, and the families that call not upon his name." From the beginning, in whatever family the fear of God has prevailed, an altar has been erected, and worship daily addressed to him there. Such was the purpose of Joshua, when he said, "as for me and my house we will serve the Lord;" and so did David, of whom it is recorded, that he "blessed his household." The family that neglects the worship of God, lives in sin, and should be roused to a consideration of its guilt and danger, and duty. This is necessary, not merely for its own edification, but for the sake of the influence which
it should exercise over others. A prayerless family is an evil example. None can dwell in it, or even abide in it for a season, without being so far subjected to temptation. And even upon others it is bringing evil, for it is contributing to swell the public iniquity, and bring down the divine judgments on the land. Instead of this, it is the duty of every family, in a subordinate sense, to sustain the relations of the church, and be a light in its neighbourhood, and as salt to all whom it can influence. Every family should seek to be the light of its neighbourhood, exhibiting a pattern of domestic virtues, and doing what it can to instruct those around it in the knowledge of divine things, by both precept and example. And it should be as salt, extending a healing and preserving influence to society, already corrupted by evil passions and practices. It is impossible to calculate how much good or ill a single family may be the means of effecting. A family, determinedly bent on doing good, may regenerate a neighbourhood, studiously abstaining from the prevalent vices, conscientiously pursuing plans of improvement, and watching every opportu nity to introduce its own pious practices into other households. For example, only let a family maintain its domestic worship, no matter who is present, and seek, by proper means, to have it introduced wherever it goes, it is easy to conceive how thus the practice might be extended over an entire neighbourhood, and eventually exclude the former evil customs. Such cases have frequently occurred. On the other hand, how pernicious may be the influence of a single family upon a neighbourhood, exhibiting an example of foolishness and wickedness, tempting others to join in its ungodly practices, and in the end, perhaps, involving an extensive society in sinful and ruinous practices. As well, therefore for the sake of others as its own benefit, it may safely be concluded, that too much, or earnest attention cannot be paid to the constitution and duties of the family relation.
AUTHENTIC REPORT OF THE DISCUSSION ON THE UNITARIAN CONTROVERSY BETWEEN THE REV. J. SCOTT PORTER AND THE REV. D. BAGOT, A. M. Belfast, P. p. 208.
Concluded from page 407.
WE might now proceed to examine some of Mr. Porter's criticisms upon those passages of Scripture which so plainly prove the true Deity of the Word; but these in general
are so extremely puerile, and have so often been exposed, for they are not new, that we feel we would only be tampering with the patience of our readers by refuting them-the task would be easy, but we consider it to be altogether unnecessary. Mr. Porter left the great mass of Scripture testimony adduced by Mr. Bagot, in proof of the true Deity of the Word, almost completely untouched ;the nine-tenths of the arguments of Mr. Bagot he never attempted to answer; had he felt himself in ability to do so, he would doubtless have made the attempt; and his silence respecting them can only be attributed to his felt discomfiture: he was aware he could not reply to them, and, therefore, he very wisely, and very prudently ab. stained. In every instance where an argument could not be answered, or where a text could not be tortured, Mr. Porter had the cry of sophistry, &c. ready; and this, no doubt, relying upon the implicit faith which his Unitarian brethren would place in his dogmas, he considered a sufficient answer, at least the best which he could give. On the contrary, however, not one single argument was brought forward by Mr. Porter, which was not satisfactorily answered by his opponent. Those that were irrelevant he showed to be such; many he also proved went directly to support his own propositions; and the remainder he pointed out, in a most judicious manner, did not, when properly understood, in the slightest degree militate against the doctrines which he defended. It is true Mr. Porter, in his last speech, brought before the audience a number of statements which remain unanswered in the printed Report-but why is this? Simply because Mr. Bagot had not the liberty of reply. Mr. Porter had both the first and last speeches, and his criticisms and reply he left principally to the last, when he knew that his opponent would not have the opportunity of answering them. We did expect, from what we heard of Mr. Porter, and from the boasts which he made in his correspondence with Mr. Bagot, that he was intimately acquainted with the doctrine of the Greek article, and that even Dr. Middleton himself would have been obliged to quail before the erudition and critical lore of that Rev. Gentleman. But it appears that as yet he is only superficially acquainted with the subject, In our "Remarks" upon the Discussion, shortly after it had terminated, we stated this, and we have now the tes timony of Mr. Carson, one of the best biblical critics of
the age, in confirmation of our former assertion. In re viewing Mr. Porter's criticism on John i. 1, that writer observes
"To give a different sense to the term God, in its two occurrences, is not criticism, but the extravagance of licentiousness. The phraseology requires that the word, in both instances, should have the same meaning; except in enigmas, where the intention is to mislead, there is no instance to the contrary. Why did not Mr. Porter produce examples of similar phraseology to justify his interpretation? Criticism is of no authority except it rest on examples, or self-evident principles.
"Let us now examine a little Mr. Porter's doctrine with respect to the absence of the article in the second occurrence of the word God. 'Let it be observed,' says he, 'that although the same word God occurs twice in the same verse, the phrase is not the same in the original. In the first instance, the noun has the emphatic article, which limits its signification, 'so that it can denote no other than the supreme being. In the latter instance it stands alone; and, of course, may be construed in a wider sense.' I here perceive that Mr. Porter entirely mistakes the nature and use of the Greek article. From the very limited bounds which I have prescribed to myself, it is impossible for me to enter on that subject here. I shall only observe that every one who may read a page Greek, may authenticate, that in that language, the word God with the article, is as capable of being applied to Jupiter as to Jehovah; and that without the article, it is equally capable of being applied to the true God as to false gods, or to the term God taken in a figurative sense. But in no view of the article, either in Greek or in English, can it affect the meaning of the word with which it is joined. It may influence its reference, but cannot disturb its sense. " In the phrases the man' and 'a man,' the word man has exactly the same sense; though, in the one expression the reference is definite, and in the other indefinite. Granting, then, that the term God here, în its second occurrence, ought to be translated a god; it must be God in the same sense as that which it has in the preceding phrase. If our opponents will not be Christians, we will make them heathens. If the Logos is not one God with the God with whom he is said to be, there must be a plurality of Gods.
"I know it will be said,' says Mr. Porter, in opposition to this view of John i. 1, that it is incorrect to argue for any distinction, between the meaning of the word God in the two clauses, founded on the absence of the article in the second instance; since, in the latter clause, the term occurs in the predicate of a preposition, of which the subject has the article; and, therefore, as we are told, according to the Greek idiom, does not admit of its insertion. To shew, however, that the Greek language, does admit of the construction in question, I adduce the following passage from the writings of Eusebius, a Greek himself, who spoke the Greek language vernacularly, and wrote for them who spoke it,-who was a man of high rank in the court and confidence of the Emperor Constantine, and was also Bishop of Nicodemia-one of the prelates who sat at the council of Nice-and one of the most learned men of all the ancient fathers." Surely Mr. Porter has never read any thing on the subject, else he would not suppose it is denied that the article admissible into the predicate. The doctrine is, that usually the article is excluded from the predicate, but that in convertible propositions it is not only admis
sible, but necessary. He should have read¡Dr. Middleton's Essay before he undertook to refute his doctrine. The exceptions to the general rule the Bishop specifies and explains throughout almost every passage in the New Testament. Mr. Porter needed not to go to Eusebius for a vindication of that which nobody denies. The Bishop does not deny to Eusebius that, in certain cases, to use the article in the predicate would be good Greek; but he asserts, it would make the proposition convertible. There is nothing in Eusebius or Origen to contradict this. This is what we are still prepared to defend."
Again in reference to Mr. Porter's last speech, in which he made such a parade of pretended learning and "legitimate criticism," we have the following striking passage from Mr. Carson's pen :—
"Mr. Porter having taken breath for a day or two, returns to this passage in his last speech. To this his antagonist had no opportunity of replying. Mr. Bagot,' he says, 'with an air of magisterial authority, laid it down as a principle of Greek construction, that the term which occurs in the predicate of a proposition in which it is found, never admits the article.' Mr. Bagot, as I have observed, has done no such thing. But let us quote his own words: 'But does not Mr. Porter know the reason why there is no article before →eds? It is this, because Otos is the predicate of the proposition in which it occurs; and also, if it had the article before it, it would be too much identified (grammatically speaking) with ɛov in the preceding clause,' &c. Is it not obvious from this that, instead of denying that Oeds in the predicate can in any case, grammatically, take the article, Mr. Bagot's language necessarily imports that, in some cases, it may have it; and states what would be the consequence of its presence in this sentence. It is strange that a gentleman of Mr. Porter's talents and good sense, would venture to criticise on a doctrine of which he does not know even the statement. That he is entirely unacquainted with the doctrine of the Greek article, must be obvious to every scholar from the following quotation of his words. Now I refer you once more to 1 John v. 20, which, be it remembered, is an example of his own selection-a text which he himself has adduced, and put prominently forward, both in his Abstract and in this discussion; and with which, therefore, he ought to be supposed to be well acquainted. I take that very clause-'THIS IS THE TRUE GOD AND ETERNAL LIFE'-on which his argument was built; and turning to the Greek Testament, I find in the original
Οὗτός ἐστιν ' Ο αληθινὸς Θεὸς καὶ 'Η ζωὴ αἰώνιος
THE ARTICLE IN THE PREDICATE!
Who is ignorant of Greek Syntax now? Which of us requires to be taught the common rules and principles of construction?'
"Now does not this language prove that Mr. Porter imagines that the received doctrine of the Greek article teaches that it can never appear in the predicate? No one, however, who holds that doctrine, ever thought of saying such a thing. The doctrine is, that the presence of the article makes the proposition convertible. All, then, that Mr. Bagot has taught