Imatges de pÓgina

are nearly extinguished within us: there any thing in our religion, WE HAVE LOST THE WISH FOR upon which our hopes may safely PEACE : WE SEEM TO HAVE AC- feed? Or rather, must not solema QUIRED A LOVE. OF WAR, AND self.examination, on such a day FOR ITS OWN SAKE!

as this, convict Us of a disregard At the present moment, in the of the royal law of love, and of midst of unexampled difficulties disaffection to the Prince of Peace? and dangers, we are about to

These reflections, springing from plunge into a new war,—with the a heart that is touched with the · people whose amity is most im. wretched state of ihe world, are

portant to us, the only free peo. humbly addressed to conscientious ple in the world besides ourselves, Christians : men of the world will the people who sprung from us, not take their measure of duty and are related to us by language, from the man of Nazareth, or manners and religion: this new square their hopes and their fears war will be, in all probability, by the rule of gospel charity ;ruinous to ope or other, or both though by what standard of right of the parties,—but though the they can justify our country, or consequences of hostility may be from what source they can draw dreadful, the causes are compara- any consolatory expeciations, it is tively trivial or unintelligible: and for them to explain: but let Chrisyet no sentiment of disapprobation tians remember that they cannot or of apprehension is expressed, identify themselves with such men, in any part of the kingdom; no in all their sentiments and purpetition is preferred even for delay suits, without abdicating their own or caution. Thus uninstructed, proper character, and that if while unchecked by the people, an in- they are in the world they be also considerate and warlike adminis. of it, to the world they must look tration will soon, it is to be feared, for their reward. commence a contest, which, what. The writer is not called upon ever may be the final issue of it, or disposod to decide between the will certainly aggravate the bor- rival parties in the state ; he berors, widen the calamities and pro- lieves that they are right and long the reign of the war, to the wrong by turns; his sole wish is miseries of wbich the nation and a to see a new party spring up, a great part of the world have been Christian party, that shall temper subjecied, during the whole pe- the bitterness of animosity at home, riod that the infant from the cradle as well as allay the fierce spirit of bas grown to manhood.

war that is raging abroad. Ines. Is this apathy and inertness pressing this wish, he is at the compatible with the duty of a same time aware that he subjects Christian people? With so cul. himself to the imputation of sinis. pable a silence before the altar of ter and even malignant designs ; Humanity, can we expect to be for it is one of the unhappy fruits heard before the shrine of Reli- of the martial temper, ibat neu. gion ? Have we any reason, with- trality of heart is not allowed to out a change of temper and con- individuals, in the midst of national duct, to reckon upon the protec- contentions, and that a love of tion of Providence, the benedic. peace is accounted want of patri. tion of the Father of mercies ? Is otism.





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On John viïi. 58. 66 Abraham saw his day,verse

Sep. 7, 1811. 56, he did not mean, that Abra. As my ideas. respecting the pro- ham saw the person himself, (i. e. per translation and interpretation Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Ma. of John viii. 58, laid before the ry) whose day he saw; since he public in a periodical work, be- could not be ignorant of the truth tween 20 and 30 years ago, ap- of the reply made by the Jews pear now to me to have been er. " Thou art not yet 50 years old," roneous, I hold it to be right pub- verse 57. licly also to acknowledge what I 4. That the Jews, however, at present regard as an error, and supposed or pretended to suppose, . to give what, upon a re-examina- that Jesus had said what was tantion of this celebrated passage, I tamount with declaring that Abra. have been recently led to consider ham had seen him himself, the as its genuine sense and design. very identical person standing be. No one, I imagine, can be justly fore them in the form and figure of censured for owning and correct. a man, and accordingly inferred, ing a misapprehension, into wbich that, if that had been the case, he he conceives himself to have fallen, must also have seen Abraham and I, therefore, beg leave to offer for been alive at the same time with insertion in your Repository him,- which the uncontradicted D's. Second Thoughts on John observation they had just made viii. 58.

shows they could not admit. I am not aware, that


well. 5. That Jesus perceived, and founded objections can be made to could not but perceive and grani, the following positions—viz, that he could not have been living,

1. That Jesus meant the same as a son of Mary, or an inhabitant kind of being and the same identical of Nazıreth, in or before the days being by the word (EYw) I, in the of Abraham, and, therefore, could 58th verse, as by (us) me, with not intend to assert the one or the which (aybpwToy) a man, stands in other to have been a fact. apposition in the 40th verse of ch. 6. That if therefore Jesus really viii. in John's gospel. Both occur meant by his words, verse 58, that in the same discourse; and there there was a sense, in which he is not the slightest intimation of was before Abraham, he must have their being used in different senses. intended to assert, that he (Jesus

2. That by (avOpwarov) a man, of Nazareth) existed or was before Jesus meant that individual visible Abraham in the contemplation, apbeing, whom the Jews saw stand. pointment or decree of the Deity. ing, and heard conversing with 7. That all events whatsoever them.

having been known to the Infinite 3. That when Jesus said, Mind from all eternity, and there. VOL, TII.

fore, from all eternity, equally (Jesus) wax (not only in being as
objects of its contemplation, if our their senses must convince them,
Lord's meaning had been that but also) in actual possession of
stated in the preceding position, the title and character of the
though he would have advanced a Christ or Messiah, by whose means
strict truism, yet it would have Abraham was to be raised to the
been no more than might have honour destined for him by the
been said of any other individual Supreme Disposer of events, and
of the great patriarch’s posterity who consequently, as the instru.
with equal truth and propriety.-- ment to be employed in advancing
In such a sense of our Lord's him to that honour, was his supe.
words there would have been no. rior.
thing exclusively appropriate to The learned reader will observe,
his circumstances--nothing likely that the translation I would now
to silence the Jews, nothing adapi. give of the words apie Abçaap ye.
ed to convince thein of the just- yecial, Eyw eiges, is 6. Before Abro.
ness of the claim, which they evi. ham shall be or shall crist, I am
dently supposed him to have laid he, or the Christ," without the
to a superiority to Abraham, and supposition of any ellipsis in the
which seems plainly to have been former clause, and that I under.
the subject of the latter part at stand yeveobai to denote mere et.
least of the conversation. See par. istence, though under a particular
ticularly verse 51-53, 56. character. That ylvopadi signifies

8. That if neither Jesus nor thé same as Elpus in two passages
Abraham existed the one before at least of John's gospel, ch. xiij.
the other in the divine contempla. 2. xx. 27, is noticed by Schleus.
tion or appointment, our Lord did ner. _ I refer also to H. Steph.
not speak of simple existence, in Gr. Thes. But that such is not
whatever language he spoke, if the unfrequently the signification of
words he employed were of the yevopar in various Greek writers, I
saine import with Eipes and yavegal, am not aware of being denied. I
by whatever tenses in English find some of the ablest writers
those Greek words be translated, among the old Socinians so far
but of existence under certain cha. from allowing the common inter-
racters respectively belonging to pretation of the former clause of
the two persons mentioned in the the text under consideration, that
dispute; and that the Jews accord- they even presumie to call it a bar.
ingly understood Jesus to assert, barism. To their reasoning in fa-
that Abraham (of their natural vour of my way of translating this
descent from whom they so proud. clause, I beg leave to refer.
ly boasted) was not yet in being, Socini Operá, v. i. p. 379, 380,
or did not yet erist, in the charac- 504, 505. Enjedini Explicati:
ter and relation, which God had ones, &c. p. 224. Crellii Opera,
changed his name to denote that v. 3. p. 93, 94. Woltzogenius in
he should one day sustain, and loc. `Artemonius in initium evan.
which would afford his natural gelii Joannis, v. 2. Diss. iv. p.
descendants much better grounds 614.
for glorying in him than they could As to the translation of the lat.
have before; but that he himself ter clause (eyw, srps) by a preterite

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tense (I was) instead of the pre- The question of the Jews, V. sent(I am,) the same authors appear 53, in reply to our Lord's words, to me to have produced very cogent v. 52, shows, that they thought arguments for not admitting it, and him to have claimed a superiority to have satisfactorily shewn the to Abraham; and this seems evja authorities they had seen adduced dently to have been the principal in its favour to be irrelevant. To point in dispute between them. them may be added Dr. Dod. The Jews, having no better argudridge, who says, in a note on the ment to offer in support of their verse, “I cannot apprehend, that side of the question, urge his consyw elus is ever used for I was.paratively recent birth to prove Mr. John Simpson, in his excel. that Abraham could not have been lent work on “Internal and Pre. seen by him. Jesus, confining sumptive Evidences for Christiani- his attention to the great and ty, &c." part iv. ch. vii. sect, ii, leading point under discussion, entitled, " Prophecies uttered by acts, as upon other occasfons, and Christ, and their fulfilment,” p. passing by unnoticed the query 537, note 2, says “Equus is used to just put to him as intended to emexpress future time, John viii. 58, barrass him by the introduction of as Jesus also uses it, John xvii. 24.” a quite different subject from what From this observation I should in. bad been talked about before, as. fer, that this learned critic is not serts, with a solemnity perfectly oue of those who translate apiz suitable to the importance of the A paau yevechar, before Abraham fact he maintains, viz. that of his was ; for what can be meant by being himself the Christ, and of "before Abraham was, I shall be ?Abraham's not then existing under

Though Abraham may never the character denoted by the name be used in the New Testament but given him by the Deity, though as a proper name, yet in several about to be brought into existence passages it seems to have been em. under that character through his ployed to express the peculiar cha- means. This is the fact, I take racter and relation implied by the to be affirmed by our Lord bere, name, and to shew the Jews, whe- and to signify the same thing as ther they chose to allow it or not, he affirmed at another time when that there was an important sense, he said, “ Other sheep I have in which he was to be considered which are not of this fold,” Joha as the father of other nations be- x. 16, clearly referring to the side their's. See Gal. iii. 7, 29. converts whom his apostles would Rom. ch. iv. particularly verse 16 make among the gentiles, when and 18. More may be found on the founder of the Jewish nation this subject in Enjedinus, p. 222 would have a right to the name, --294; Slichtingius in loc. Ar- which till then could be applied temonius, v. 2. p. 618; Socinus, to him only by way of anticipativ. 1. p. 505; Crellius, v. 3. p. on. Our Lord's words thus un. 94: the last autbor refers to tran. derstood contain, as Woltzogenius sitions from the names of persons pronounces, a proposition worthy to the things signified by them in of Christ. See Woltzogenius ties the words Jacob, Naomi, Po- loc. Socinus, v. 1. p. 505; Crela ter.

lius, v. 3. p. 93.

If some of the Polish brethren entirely out of the hands of the were the first who proposed the advocates for the doctrine of interpretation, which I have bum. Christ's pre-existence, by endea. bly attempted to illustrate and de. vouring lo show that it has no refend, I do not perceive any rea. terence to that subject, they will son for rejecting it on that account. oblige me and probably others, by If I do not mistake, many inter. candidly pointing out where they pretations of passages of scripture of conceive the failure to lie. I wish a much more recent date are adopt. to be ranked among those, who, ed by numbers in the present day, though far advanced in life, prowithout making their novelty any fess themselves to be still learners, objection. I was never blessed and to be ready to give up an opiwith so retentive a memory as the nion, how long or how fondly solate Mr. G. Wakefield, and there. ever cherished, upon being confore cannot recollect the words of vinced that it is erroneous. that celebrated critic, but I am

Yours, &c. pretty confident, that I have met

D. with an observation somewhere in his writings to this purpose, that Notes on Passages of Scripture, some moderns understand the scrip,

Feb. 1st, 1812. tures better than any who preceded

Ps. civ. 28. " That thou givthem frum the days of the apostles, est them, &c.” To this verse

I should probably have saved King James's translators have premyself great part of the trouble I fixed, needlessly and injuriously, have taken in re-examining the the word That. It should have passage, on which I think different, been rendered, ly from several Unitarians of high “ Thou gives them; they gather: respectability for character, talents Thou openest thine hand; they and learning, some of whom are are satisfied with good.” removed from among us, though The parallelism is compleat others are still left to assist us in and beautiful, and is preserved by our religious inquiries - had I M. Mendelsshon. Nor is this thought of looking into Artemoni. the only instance in which those us before I began to draw up what translators have made a plain pas. I have now written.

Two persons

sage obscure by their superfluity : may happen to have very similar of expression. Ps. l. 8. is suffi

views of a subject, when their ways ciently remarkable, “I will not of treating it may be sufficiently reprove thee for thy sacrifices, or different to justify the publication thy burnt-offerings to have been of both.

If, Sir, this should ap- continually before me.” Thus expear to be the case with respect to hibited, the declaration is uninwhat Artemonius published in the telligible. Follow the construction last century, and what I now take and the order of the Hebrew, and the liberty of sending you, 1 may all will be clear: hope to see the latter allowed a " Not for thy sacrifices will I place in the Repository:

reprove thee; And thy whole If any of your readers should burnt offerings are always before Ibink that I have failed in my at. me.” tempt to wrest an important text Here too is a parallelism : the

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