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Discourses on the principal points of the Socinian controversy online

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wliat would folloAv. If ^' God^' in the quotation is to be
understood in its inferior sense — in the same sense in whicli-
it is conceived to be applied to Solomon, the argument of
the writer who makes the quotation is as effectually de-
stroyed, as it is by the monstrous translation, *' God is thy
throne.-' Angels are called ^* gods,'^ in a sense surely jiot
inferior to that in which the term could be applied to Sol-
omon. What then becomes of the argument derived from
the quotations in proof of Christ's superiority to angels ?

* " I will conclude with uotieing what indeed is already known,

that Eusebius, in liis Dem. Evang.^ has for o 5£e«, rjuoted a> ^tt : and
that Wetstein^ whose bias is elsewhere sufficiently manifest, candidly
admits that o -^soi is here the vocative, and that the writer has called
Christ hy the name of God." Middleton's " Doctrine of the Greek
Article," pas^e 579. — " 1 am glad to see, that since the publication of
his discourse before the Unitarian Society, June 1808, Dr. Carpenter
has seen reason to admit, that the idiom of tl»e Greek /writers our ren-
dering it " God is thy throne :" which, in his discourse, he had se-
lected as one among the most imporlanf improved renderings : he very
candidly, therefore, desires his former remarks to be expunged. Let-
ters to Mr. Veysie, Introd. p. xi. He at the same time, however,
contends for the loiver sense of Elohim, as applied to Solomon, in
Psalm xlv." Nare's Remarks on Impr. A ors., pages 311, 212,

+ Psalm xlv. 6.



OP JESUS CHRIST. 71

'The passage quoted is, on this supposition, as conclusive
an evidence of Solomon^s superiority, as of Christ's. It
could not, in truth, prove Christ to be higher than even
the princes of this world.

6th. Besides the passages which have nov^^ been quoted
and illustrated, there is a particular class of texts, which
have been brought, forward into more prominent notice of
late, on this interesting subject ; the application of which
depends on the usage of tlie Greek language with respect
to the definite article ; an usage, not only ascertained be-
yond all controversy, by tlie learning of recent critics, but
recognized and proceeded upon, without any reference to
the support of a theological system, in almost all the older
English translations of the Bible.

1 shall mention only two of these texts as a specimen of
the whole :

2 Peter i. 1. ^^ Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle
of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious
faith w itU us, through the righteousness of God and our
Saviour Jesus Christ J^ These words are rendered on
the margin of the larger English Bibles — " through the
righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.'^ And
there cannot be a doubt that, according to the established
principles of Greek construction, this is their only just
translation. An instance of construction, in every respect
the same, occurs at the eleventh verse of this same chap-
ter, where the principles alluded to are correctly observ-
ed :-^— ** For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you
abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ.'^ It is just as improper to render
the words in the first verse, " through the righteousness of
God and our Saviour Jesus Christ,^^ (unless the appella-
tions " God and our Saviour" be understood as both con-
necting with "Jesus Christ") as it wouhl be to render



72 ON THE SUPREME DIVINITY

those in this verse " iato the kingdom of the Lord and our
Saviour Jesus Christ y^*^

Titus ii. 13. *» Looking for that blessed hope, and the
glorious appearing r?f Me great God and our Saviour Jesus
Christ.^' These words, even as they stand in our receiv-
ed translation, may evidently be understood as equivalent
to ^^ the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ, the great God
and our Saviour.^^ It is more than probable that our trans-
lators intended them to be so understood ; for if they be
understood otherwise, they are unquestionably misinter-
preted. To avoid all ambiguity, and to express the pre-
cise sense of the original, they ought to be rendered, " the
glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus
Christ.^^ Besides the established rule of construction for- ■
merly referred to, there is, in the present instance, an ad-
ditional consideration in support of this rendering, which,
if it were needed, is of no trilling weight ; I mean the cir-
cumstance, that, while we are directed very often to the
second " appearing'^ of Jesus Christ, as the object of
Christian hope, my recollection does not at present furnish
me w iUi any instance, in which we read of the appearing
of the Father. -f

Having detained you longer than I intended on this
particular, I now go forward to the proof, that the name
Jehovah is also ascribed in the Scriptures to Jesus Christ.

I do not at all insist on the general application of the
term Loud to Christ, throughout tlie New Testament : be-
cause the original word so rendered is capable of expres-
sing, and is certainly used to express, dignity of various
kinds and degrees. It is the word which is, in some in-
stances, rendered by our translators. Sir ; and it might

* The words in the first verse are — £v J/>c«/ort)y») mv Qstv ituui xxi

ffa>Tv,poi lii)v (i»riXei»



Online LibraryRalph WardlawDiscourses on the principal points of the Socinian controversy → online text (page 7 of 36)