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show that neither of the two former is free from ambiguity, we have it in the fact of Eusebius pronouncing the one to be so, and Mr. Yates the other. Both forms are convertible; and so is, every form constructed on the same principle. The sense, in such cases, remains to be determined by the connexion.
4. As the clause stands in the original, it is not convertible, eyen on Mr. Yates's own admission, according to “ the just "rules of criticism:" (See Obs. 1.)-and, having now before us Mr. Yates's own example for the deadly sin of differing from Origen and Eusebius, we still maintain, that the Evangelist has expressed the sentiment, « THE WORD WAS GOD"in true grammatical form-and, with regard to the question whether QBOX is to be understood in its proper or in its inferior sense, it should be determined by these two considerations; -first, that, even in its proper and highest sense, it ought, in the circumstances of construction in which it here stands, to be without the article; and, secondly, that it is used without the article, to signify the supreme God, four times within the first eighteen verses of this very chapter. * '
5. I shall close my remarks on this text with the judgment of a writer, whom Mr. Yates holds in high and deserved reputation, I mean GRIESBACH. We have formerly seen, how explicit his testimony is in favour of the Divinity of Christ being a plain and incontrovertible doctrine of the Bible;-his language is not less explicit on the particular text now before us: It is introduced, indeed, as a specimen of the 6 loca multa et lu6 culenta” to which he refers:- In primis locus ille Joh. i. « 1, 2, 3. tam perspicuus est, atque omnibus exceptionibus ma“ jor, ut neque interpretum neque criticorum audacibus conati
* An instance, in which God is the predicate of the proposition, and where the article is 'accordingly awanting, occurs in 1 Kings xviii. 24. in the LXX. which may illustrate the case before us: xan sara. 'O EOE Ås av erarovon u rupu, or'TOE EOE" And the God that answereth by fire, he shall be God."
“ bus unquam everti atque veritatis defensoribus eripi possít." -" That passage in particular, John i. 1-3. is so clear, and “ so much above all exception, that it never can be overthrown, " and wrested from the defenders of the truth, by the daring « attempts of either commentators or critics."
Mr. Yates's comment on the address of Thomas to Christ, John xx. 28. is one of the most extraordinary in his volume. " Leaving every reader,” says he, “ at full liberty to judge for « himself”-a liberty which we certainly wish every reader to use, and entertain no apprehension of the result)" and retain“ ing the right of changing my opinion, if at any future time I « shall see fit”-(we hope that subsequent reflection may bring him nearer the truth)"I only remark upon this passage, with6 out stating all my reasons, that these words appear to me to “ have been addressed by Thomas to Christ, and may be just« ly considered, both as an exclamation, expressive of his won« der and delight, and also as aconfession that Jesus was his Lord 6 and his God." P. 188, 179.—This is candid; and the concession is one of considerable importance. For, if the words be addressed to Christ, and contain “ a confession that Jesus was « his Lord and his God,” there ought to be no difficulty or hesitation in drawing the inference. But alas! what will not attachment to a system effect in warping the judgment? Mark the remainder of Mr. Yates's commentary:~"But it is need« less to dispute, that, when Thomas addressed Jesus as his « Lord, or Master, and his God, he might mean only, that Je6 sus was his inspired instructor in matters of religion. Agree6 ably, therefore, to the principles which have been before stat“ed, his words ought to be understood according to this sim6 ple and reasonable interpretation.”—“It is needless to dispute" this. It is needless indeed. For the commentator who can be satisfied with it must himself be hardly susceptible of conviction; and my readers, I hope, have more understanding and freedom from prejudice than to be misled by it. According to this simo ple and reasonable interpretation," not only is that taken for granted which has never been proved, that “a god” was a usual synonyme for a prophet or inspired religious instructor; but the appellation given by Thomas to Christ is no higher than the disciples in general might have given to himself. He too was one “ to whom the word of God came;" and so were the other apostles and prophets of the New Testament church: and
if " my God” means no more than 6 my inspired religious in. “ structor," they were all alike entitled to the same appellation.
Let parallel cases, then, be produced, of prophets and, apostles being thus addressed, and we will be satisfied. Every man must judge for himself of simplicity, and reasonableness; but till this is done, I must be allowed to consider it as the very opposite of both, as an unexampled and arbitrary departure from the established meaning of words,, betraying a system lamentably pressed for support. If any reader is prepared to admit, that when Thomas, addressing Jesus, said, “MY LORD 6 AND MY God," he meant no more than “my Master and in« spired instructor;"—there is not much at which he will need to stop:-he must be tolerably well initiated already in the through-going principles of Unitarianisın, if he has come to consider this as a “ simple and reasonable interpretation."
Rom. ix. 5..“ Of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ o came; who is. OVER ALL GOD BLESSED FOR EVER.”
66 If there were any evidence,” says Mr. Yates, “ that this 6 translation is correct, here would be a case in point: the 66 words of the apostle would present a clear and valid argu6 ment for the supreme divinity of Jesus Christ.” P. 180.All that we have to do, then, with regard to this text, is to establish the correctness of the translation. Mr. Yates is
of opinion that “the utmost that can be said to vindicate “ this rendering is, that it does not violate the rules of gram6 mar, or the idioms of the Greek language, and therefore may 6 possibly be the true translation:”—and the reasons which he assigns for preferring the translation of the latter words of the verse as a doxology, “ God, who is over all, be blessed 6 for ever!”—“ appear to him to have so much weight, that, “ if he were not checked by a regard to the opinion of those « learned men, who have embraced different views, he would « consider the passage as scarcely even ambiguous.” Here, then, we are entirely at issue: and, referring the reader to what I have before written in support of the established translation, I shall now offer a few brief strictures on those areas 66 sons," which Mr. Yates considers as so cogent.
66 Ist. Because such ascriptions of praise are very frequent $ in the Old and New Testaments, and in all Jewish composi“ tions.”—I do not recollect these “very frequent instances of such abrupt ascriptions of praise at the close of sentences as
are supposed in the Unitarian translation of this verse. At . all events, they are nothing like so frequent as the texts which affirm or imply our Lord's supreme divinity:-so that even on this ground,-a calculation of probability from the comparative number of texts on either side, proceeding on the assumption that the phraseology of the verse is equally capable of the one translation or of the other, we should not feel ourselves at all at a disadvantage. But the proper construction of the words in the text, is the very point in controversy; and with this the mere frequency or infrequency of ascriptions of praise, has obviously no connexion; unless it could be shown, that such ascriptions of praise are usually expressed in the same manner as here.
66 2dly. Because they almost uniformly want the substantive
“ verb (sotw or sin) as in this instance."-Suppose it so; what then? What does this prove, except that the mere absence of the verb does not disqualify the sentence from being considered as a doxology?—and who ever said that it did?_Further; Is there any thing at all a-wanting in the verse on our interpretation? While the absence of the substantive verb may accord with the usual practice in doxologies, does this, does the absenice or the presence of any other word in the sentence, in any degree disqualify it from bearing the ordi.. nary translation ?-We shall find Mr. Yates, in his sixth reason, resting on one solitary instance of exception from an otherwise universal practice; and yet here he rests on a practice as “ almost uniform” while the exceptions to it are more numerous :—See 1 Kings x. 9: 2 Chron. ix. 8: Psal. cxiii. 2. If he thinks one exception of avail against others, how far should three go against himself? But even that one we shall afterwards see to be more than dubious. .“ 3d. Because the periphrasis here used as a name of Deity, 6 6 THE GOD WHO IS ABOVE ALL,' (WY ETI TAVTW @sos) or phrases 6 almost exactly the same with it, (such as ETI TAVTWY ©$os, 66 and ó Emo Taoi sos) are expressions of perpetual occurrence 6 in Greek writings upon religious subjects, which are univer66 sally understood as designations of the supreme Deity, and * are employed to distinguish him from all the beings to 6 whom the name (880) God was applied in a subordinate “ sense.”—But what is this to the purpose? Is the circumstance that the God who is above all” is an appellation uniformly appropriated to the supreme Deity, in distinction from all other beings, to be considered as any reason why it should not be applied to Jesus Christ? The reader will at once perceive, that it cannot be so considered, without having first begged the question. We admit what is stated as to the peculi