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are quoted by Justin. The thirty-fourth only is quoted by Irenæus. Tertullian quotes fifteen of them only, applying them all to the pretended Phantasma of Marcion. On no better ground than the above, there is cut off not only from dying penitence, but from the most exemplary course of virtuous living, the consolation offered by a passage, which opens to the prospect an immediate entrance on a state of happiness.

It would have been but consistent, to have put in italicks" While we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord;"* and-" We are willing rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord;" and again, the following passage-"I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better; nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you."+ These places are permitted to stand, with guards against the obvious senses of them in the notes. The note attached to the latter of them, supposes St. Paul's having thought it probable, that the advent of Christ was very near. Now it happens, that the apostle has foreclosed every such supposition, by what he has said in reference to another subject. The epistle to the Philippians was written, when he was a prisoner in Rome, about the year 63. In the second epistle to the Thessalonians, written about the year 51, he guards them against an errour existing in the minds of some-" that the day of Christ was nigh at hand." And he goes on predicting an apostacy, of a description which cannot be applied to any event of his own day; although it has It been awfully verified by events of succeeding ages. is impossible that the apostle, when he wrote to the Philippians, should have imagined that he had witnessed the apostacy, predicted by him about eleven years before; or, since it was to be of long duration, that he should have expected to witness and to survive it.

* 2 Cor. v. 6. and 8.

† Philipp. i, 23, 24.. tii. 2.


It is apparently to get rid of the testimony of another apostle St. Peter-where he says..." Knowing that I must shortly put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me," that there is substituted for the last words---" declared to me:" meaning, it would seem, his master's having formerly acquainted him, that he was to die. The common version, which is correct, refers to a special revelation. But even with the allowance of the meagre emendation, the circumstance of putting off the tabernacle would be unaccounted for.

With all the care of what is called improvement, to discharge from the sacred volume the expectation of an entrance on happiness immediately on death, some passages are left untouched, although evidently to the point: ast the presence of Moses at the transfiguration; althought he died and was buried in the land of Moab: also|| Stephen's surrendering of his spirit immediately to the reception of his master; and the cloud of witnesses of the conduct of the living, in the presence of departed saints. In the exercise of the unbounded license of translation and of criticism, it is difficult to be consistent. This accounts for the version's laying of its hands on the twenty-third verse of the same chapter; altering these words" the spirits of just men made perfect---into "righteous men made perfect." This is not only unauthorized by the sense of the original, but mars the beauty of one of the finest passages of scripture: the apostle having recognized all living saints in the preceding clause-" the general assembly of the Church of the first born, whose names are written in heaven." Therefore in the clause in question, he must be understood as speaking of the departed righteous. It is trusted, that the impo

↑ Matt. xvii. 2. and Mark ix. 2. + Deut.

§ Dr. Priestley, in his Harmony of the Evangelists, notwithstanding the record made of the death of Moses, supposes that he was translated,

|| Acts i. 59.

Heb, xii, 1.

* 2. i. 14. xxxiv. 5 6

tency of the attempt made to defend the novel translation may be sufficiently proved by the texts referred to in support of it. They are, 1 Cor. ii. 11.-Gal. iv. 18.—2 Tim. iv. 22—not relative to the point. And how far the expression "the spirit of a man" is from denoting the whole of him, may be seen from the following places" I verily, as absent in the body, but present in spirit," and "for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus," and "Though I be absent in the flesh, yet am with you in the spirit:" all which places, the version has left in substance as they were found.

The author does not wish to build on the premises, a position broader than their extent: but according to his own convictions, he does not exceed the proper bounds, when he concludes, that what is called "An Improved Version of the New Testament," has assumed a name which it has not verified; being far from a faithful exhibition of the books, which compose that sacred depository of divine truth. It has been examined only with regard to a few points, and as they are affected by a few translations and criticisms. The periodical publications of England, mention an examination of the work by two men eminent in sacred literature. Their works now alluded to, so far as is here known, have not reached America. But it will not be too sanguine to expect from them a complete exposure of the version, in all its parts.

Relatively to the aberrations of the version which have been noticed, there is conceived to be propriety in calling the attention to the following property of it the being distinguished by what logicians call a vicious circle. In improving the text of scripture, it proceeds on rules of criticism, which have no merit, unless it be that of subserviency to a certain theological theory; and are deemed true, no further than it has occasion for them. By the text so improved, the theory is considered as established.

* 1 Cor. v. 3.

† Verse 5.

+ Coloss. ii. 5. § Dr. Richard Lawrence and Dr. Edward Nares.

There comes into view the responsibility of the character, in which the author delivered the foregoing Lectures, and now gives them to the publick, with the Dissertations intended to illustrate them. It is made a question with many serious people, how far the theory which the version was to sustain, and particularly how far the publick worship with which it is incorporated in the character of scripture, is to be considered as subservient to that cause of infidelity, which has of late years made such inroads on the faith and the practice of the world. It is here wished to divide the inquiry into a question of opinion, and a question of fact.

In the light of a question of opinion, there is the persuasion, that there is a tendency to infidelity, especially with literary and reflecting persons; principally through the medium of the maxims of interpretation, on which the system is constructed. But this is said in a frame of mind, which would abhor the charging of any man of correct conduct, with holding opinions different from those of his profession. Not only so, it is recollected from authentick testimony and from observation, that sincere persons, whose education has associated in their minds the leading truths of religion, with erroneous explanations and adventitious errours, sometimes find difficulty in disengaging themselves from the one, without abandonment of the other; while, shrinking from the gulph of non-existence, which unqualified infidelity sets before them, they the more easily surrender themselves to a theory, which is neither this nor the religion of the gospel; yet seems to give them a hold of the life and immortality which it has brought to light.

Another natural result would seem to be, that persons indifferent to religion in any shape, but remarking that it is the Christian religion alone, either in reality or in appearance, which sustains among us any acknowledgment of the being and of the perfections of God by acts of homage, thus contributing to decorum of manners and to the order of social life; will prefer the form which shall comprehend the profession of the

said religion, with the fewest of its constituent doctrines. Perhaps it may seem, that even such a form will be better than none, on account of the object to which it is supposed to be referred. This might be, were it not for another deduction, to which the train of reasoning leads. It is, that in general the lamp of profession may be expected to expire, for the want of the oil of evangelical truth; having very little intermediate effect of genuine piety. Still let this be understood with the admission of shades of difference, on the score of individual character.

On the question of fact, there is the wish to be more cautious. A general position ought to be grounded on a greater mass of particulars, than come within the range of any personal knowledge possessed. But there can be no errour in adverting to the circumstancefor it is notorious-that in countries in which what is called Unitarianism has been long known, particularly in England, authors of high character have been in the habit of noticing in their writings, that it has had a signal operation in detaching men from the profession of Christianity in any form.

Of those testimonies, one only shall be produced. It is from "Discourses and Dissertations on the Scriptural Doctrines of Atonement and Sacrifice," lately published by Dr. Wm. Magee, a professor and senior fellow in the University of Dublin. Concerning this work, the present author is confident that he hazards nothing, when he delivers the opinion that it is a most learned, able and convincing treatise. The said Dr. Magee writes as follows-" It is notorious, and it will require no small degree of hardihood to deny it, that from those who have professed Unitarianism in England, the largest stock of unbelievers has arisen: nay more, that their principal academy, the place in which Unitarian principles were inculcated in their greatest purity and with every advantage of zealous ability in the teacher, and of unbiassed docility in the learner, has born witness to the efficacy of those principles, by its dissolution, imperiously demanded by the pre

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