« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Worship, to whom prayer is offered, and from whom, in conjunction with the Father and the Son, grace and peace are solicited.
A favourite Unitarian objection to the truths of the Trinitarian faith, is grounded upon the allegation, that those truths are not so self-evident upon the surface of Revelation, as at once to produce irresistible conviction, and obtain universal assent. If there were any force in the objection, it would bear more strongly against Unitarians, than against ourselves: experience having proved, that the vast majority of men, have not found Unitarian sentiments so obvious, and so irresistible, as to be led to adopt them. But let this objection be brought to the test of God's Holy Word. Does the Word of God teach us to expect, that all its truths will be universally obvious, and self-evident, to the blinded understanding of fallen man? What says the Saviour? "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." While, therefore, the wise and prudent cavil, the sinner, who is sensible of his burden of sin and ignorance, is encouraged to come and sit at his Saviour's feet, and learn-" Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."-Matt. xi. 25-28. But, Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!—Isaiah v. 21. The Scriptures declare that "no man knoweth the things of God," except he be taught by the Spirit of God.-1 Cor. ii. 11, 12. But the author of the fifth Unitarian Lecture takes for granted that every man knows the things of God; and pursues long and laboured arguments, upon the assumption that the mind is as competent to form a notion of the nature and essence of God, as it is to conceive the nature and relations of the angles of triangles, or the diameters of a circle. Some such philosophy as this, the Apostle seems to have had in view, when he warned his beloved Son in the Faith, "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science, falsely so called: which some professing, have erred concerning the faith." 1 Tim. vi. 20, 21; also Coloss. ii. 8.
"The world by wisdom knew not God." "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor. i. 21; ii. 14; also Job xi. 7-9. The blame of this ignorance we presume not to charge upon the alleged obscurity of the Word of God: we take it to ourselves. We dare not-neither are we driven, for the solution of a difficulty, to attempt such a desperate venture, as to charge the inspired penmen of God's Holy Word, with making "loose accommodations, even misapplications"* of Scripture.
These words are taken from the fifth Lecture in the Unitarian Series, by the Rev.
Fault, indeed, there is; not, however, in the Word of God, but in the blind understanding of fallen man. Instead, therefore, of setting up ourselves above what is written, as capable of pronouncing where the Word of God is right, and where the Word of God is wrong, it becomes us humbly to pray, that the Holy Spirit will open the eyes of our understanding, and guide us into all truth.
The verse which follows this quotation has been repeatedly stigmatized by Unitarian disputants, as a manifest interpolation—so unsparingly stigmatized that general readers might imagine, that our translators took unlicensed liberties with the sacred text, and inserted the words, "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost," without the shadow of a pretext for so doing. But readers of the original Greek will perceive that whatever question may be raised upon the external evidence, the internal evidence from the structure of the passage is very strong in its favour; sufficient not merely to justify, but to require, the retention of it in the text. "The text itself certainly affords no inconsiderable argument in favour of the genuineness of the disputed passage: many have justly observed, that if it be rejected the construction becomes wholly unaccountable; in the phrase τρεῖς ἐισιν ὁι μαρτυροῦντες τὸ πνεῦμα, καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ, Kai Tò aiμa, the adjective and participle are both masculine, whereas all the substantives to which they refer are neuter; and one of those substantives (the only one of them, to say the most, which could have authorized the use of the masculine gender) is actually constructed in the preceeding verse with
a neuter participle, πνεῦμα ἐστι τὸ μαρτυροῦν. Now, though it is scarcely possible to reconcile this, on any ground, with the plain rules of grammar, yet the error may be accounted for by supposing it to have proceeded from a repetition of the phraseology of the disputed passage; or from, what grammarians call, the figure of attraction. See Port Royal Gr. Grammar. b. vii. c. 1. p. 319. ed. London, 1797, as quoted by Nolan, p. 565. This solecism was first noticed by Eugenius, Abp. of Cherson. See Matthiei's Preface to the general epistles. Nolan, p. 257."-Slade on the Epistles.
James Martineau. The passage is as follows:-" But, in truth, this name is not given to the Messiah by the Prophet; and the citation of it in this connection by the Evangelist is an example of those loose accommodations, or even misapplications, of passages in the Old Testament by writers in the New, which the most resolute orthodoxy is unable to deny; and which (though utterly destructive of the theory of verbal inspiration) the real dignity of the Gospel in no way requires us to deny." Let those who maintain such sentiments beware, lest, while their censure is levelled at the Evangelists, it should fall on the Almighty God, who inspired them. The name alluded to is "Emmanuel;" and the citation by the Evangelist is that contained in Matt. i. 21, 22, 23: "And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the LORD by the Prophet, saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Such are the express terms in which St. Matthew declares that the passage does apply to the Messiah; Mr. Martineau declares it does not. The question is, Which is right?- Mr. Martineau, or St. Matthew!!!
THE SACRAMENTS PRACTICALLY REJECTED BY
BY THE REV. HENRY W. M'GRATH, B.A.
"GO YE THEREFORE, AND TEACH ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST."-Matt. xxviii. 19.
"AND AS THEY WERE EATING, JESUS TOOK BREAD, AND blessed it, AND BRAKE IT, AND GAVE IT TO THE DISCIPLES, AND SAID, TAKE, EAT, THIS IS MY BODY. AND HE TOOK THE CUP, AND GAVE THANKS, AND GAVE IT TO THEM, SAYING, DRINK YE ALL OF IT; FOR THIS IS MY BLOOD OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, WHICH IS SHED FOR MANY FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS."-Matt. xxvi. 26-28.
TYPES and Sacraments teach by acts and material things what the Scriptures in other places teach by words. As in the dramatic representation of the Passover, which the Israelites were commanded to eat "with their loins girded, their shoes on their feet, and their staff in their hand," it was calculated to lead to the inquiry, "What mean ye by this service?" and preserved more imperishably amongst their generations the remembrance of their peculiar deliverance, and of the sacrifice through which it was obtained. It was not uncommon, at different periods of the church's history, for Jehovah to instruct his people in this manner by signs
* Ex. xii. 11.