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A review of Dr. J.P. Smith's Scripture testimony to the Messiah online

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ad Cor. Cap. xxxii. a 'jtccyro-nparcop 0£o?. The first is a case precisely in
point ; and in the second, itavroKparap is equivalent with &'v Itt} Travrccv. No
doubt ifBeoq had been placed firsts it would havejiad a separate article, and
the clause would have resembled, for instance, that of the Epistle of Barna-
bas, 'O 0£O$ Tcavroq rov y.O(Tuov Kvpisvuv, Savj tJ/xtj/, k. t. X. ; but there is no

ground whatever for asserting that such an arrangement is necessary lo give
the sense, or would be on any account preferabfe in the present instance.
Again, that o av must refer to a nominative in the preceding sentence,
whenever there is one, is altogether an arbitrary assertion, and a rule made
for the occasion. When it is at the beginning of a sentence, it refers of
course to a nominative following, of v/hich there are many examples in the
New Testament. The question is whether, in the example before us, it
does begin a sentence or not, which would in general be very easily de-
termined by the connexion, as we think that it may be in this instance.
Lastly, before it is asserted that EuXoynThi; must stand first for the proper ex-
pression of what we take to be the sense of the passage, let it be considered
that there is one clear example in the LXX., Ps. Ixviii. 19, (which Dr. S.
vainly endeavours to set aside by an unfounded attack on the text,) of
EvXcyriTh<; coming last in a doxology, and that in all the instances in the Old
Testament there is but one in which al(; rov aluva. is appended to EyXoyfizU,
and there only o 0£o? comes between them. On the other hand, in the
New Testament, the words EvAoyfiTlc, tU roy^ aluvaq occur three times, always
immediately following one another; and if they had been here separated, it
must have been not by one, but several words, which would have been a
harsh construction ; there appears, therefore, to be a sufficient reason for
the somewhat unusual position of eOXoy/jTo? on our construction, and it can-
not be affirmed that it violates any rule. Middleton, indeed, puts the ob-
jection to it very modestly ; but Dr. S., in copying him, has not thought it
necessary to observe the same caution. We would add here, that o k^c)
irdvrav being a recognized title of the " Supreme God," expressly appro-
priated by the early Christian writers to the Father , the grammatical am-
biguity would cause no doubt in any mind as to the true sense, until after
the structure of modern orthodoxy had been nearly completed by a corrupt
age. Mr. Yates justly appeals to the remarkable imitation of the passage,
by Clem. Rom. ad Cor. Cap. xxxii., where even the words " from him,
(meaning Jacob,) as concerning the flesh, (rb xara a-doKa,) came the Lord
Jesus," are found, but where the doxology is omitted as having no connex-
ion with the other part, a decisive proof how the text was understood in a
very early age, since it is hardly conceivable that Clement should not have
added the final clause, or something to the same purpose, if he had thought
it applicable to Christ.

But farther, and finally. Dr. S. " conceives that there is reason in the ob-
servation that the clause, as it respects the fleshy is one part of an antithesis,
the other member of which is to be sought in the sequel of the paragraph,"
There is truly a sort of antithesis, but the other member is here, as in ver. 3
of the same chapter, to be sought in the Apostle's mind, and in the minds of
his readers. He speaks of " his kinsmen according to the flesh" in contrast
with his spiritual relationship to all Christians. He describes the Lord Jesus



93

as descended from the Israelites, "according to the flesh," in contrast with
his appointment to be the Son of God tvith power^ according to the spirit
of holiness, or holy spirit. See Rom. i. 3, 4, and the Monthly Repos. New
Series, Vol. IV. pp. 661—664.

We are now obliged to bring this critique to a conclusion. It is our hope
that our remarks are calculated to assist the honest inquirer in justly esti-
mating a work which is esteemed one of the bulwarks of orthodoxy. Dr. S.
himself we regard with respect, both on account of the learning and abiHty
he has displayed, and of the spirit which he often manifests. For all, and
it is not a little, which he has said kindly, hberally, and as became a Chris-
tian, of our body and our supposed errors, we sincerely thank him ; and if,
when we have met with uncandid reflections, with unfounded and injurious
accusations, we have presumed to hold the language of rebuke, we have
done so not in anger against him, but in justice to our fellow-believers and
our friends, in defence of what we are fully convinced is Christian truth and
the grand means for the promotion of human happiness, which we hope
will appear to him and to others a sufficient apology.



ERRATUM.
Page 88, line 37, the first word, for " and" read or.



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Online LibraryBritish and Foreign Unitarian AssociationA review of Dr. J.P. Smith's Scripture testimony to the Messiah → online text (page 15 of 15)