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Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and life eternal.” By reading the context there will appear an evident and marked distinction throughout, between the true God and the Son of God. Thus, 11th verse,
“ And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son bath life; and he that bath not the Son of God, hath not life.” Thus he proceeds, &c. 19th verse,
- And we know that we are of God; and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true. And we are in him that is true, by his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God,” (the doctrine respecting the true God).“ and eternal life."* It is said that
Archbishop Newcome thus translates the passage, and subjoins the following note. 66 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, through his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and everlasting life.” (“Know him that is true.”) Many manuscripts and versions add “ God” after “ true.” This may be a gloss; but the addition shews how the passage was understood. (" And we are in him that is true.”) We have the knowledge
the pronoun " this” (this is the true God) must refer to the last antecedent Jesus Christ. I will again not go far to look for a passage in which you shall deny this must. In the same page, John ii. 7. “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” (is a man). « This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” Now here will you not contradict your former position, and
• The pronoun “this," cannot refer to the last antecedent, it must refer to the first.' If not you make Jesus Christ a deceiver and an antichrist.
Let us however refer to the words of our Saviour himself upon this subject, from
and favour of the true God. He that is true must be different from the person who gave men an understanding to know him. (“Through his Son Jesus Christ.”') By means of, by the manifestation of his Son Jesus Christ. This rendering occurs in our old English Bibles. See the editions of 1549, 1551, 1568. See also Grotius, L'Enfant and Beausobre, and Benson. ("This is the true God.") By him that is true, I mean the true Gud, and the giver of everlasting life. See John xii. 50. xviii. 3, 11. Grot. and Whitby's Last Thoughts, 2d ed. p. 86. Or, This is the true God, and this Jesus Christ is everlasting life. i. 2. That 870s sometimes refers to the remote antecedent, see Acts ii. 22, 23, vii. 18, 19. 2 John vii. Grotius refers to Acts viïi. 26, x. 6.". Newcome in loc.
which John certainly derived his doctrine, and to which he probably refers, as they are recorded by himself, in the 17th chapter of his gospel, and first three verses. “ These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee; as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” This is a prayer, addressed by our Saviour to the only true God!
Thus, my Trinitarian hearers, you perceive that every one of these passages may, without any forced or strained construction, be applied to God the Father. Can you with equal ease shew that the opposite passages accord with your opinions? If not, are you justified in paying adoration to any other being than that Being to whom our Saviour prayed, and whom he styles the only true God ?
One thing ought always to be kept in mind on this subject, that the translators
of our Testament were rigid Trinitarians ; and, therefore, if any phrase was doubtful, would naturally translate it as favourably as possible to their own creed.
Two or three passages in the 2d class remain to be noticed, namely, where the expressions allude to Jesus Christ, but do not denote the Supreme God. The first is Acts xx. 28. “ to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Is this passage to be taken literally? The blood of God ! You will not, you cannot say that God was suspended on the cross, was pierced in his side, and that blood issued from a wound inflicted upon God! You acknowledge it was not the divine nature that died, that was immortal. Then explain the passage how you please. I will make one remark. All the most ancient and valuable manuscripts have not the word God, but " Lord,” “the church of the Lord.” Griesbach inserts the word Lord, and says he could not do otherwise from the evidence. The Eclectic Reviewers,* (March 1809) say, “On seriously
* Carpenter's Unitarianism in loc.
weighing all the evidence, every impartial mind, we conceive, will admit that the last,” viz. the Lord " has the fairest claim to acceptance as the genuine reading." “ Feed the church of the Lord, which he purchased (acquired) with his blood."*
A 2nd. passage. (1 Tim. iii, 16.) “ And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness : God was manifest in the flesh, &c.”
&c.” What! was the great God seen? Was he confined to a human body? Did he require the spirit to justify or attest his mission ? Was he received up
* Archbishop Newcome renders it, “ the Church of the Lord.”
Griesbach sums up in the following words : “ From all these it clearly appears, that not one manuscript, which, either for its antiquity or its internal integrity, is entitled to the praise of a fit and uncorrupted witness, contends for the reading “God.” It is not found except in more modern books, and those, either entirely contemptible, or miserably interpolated." In loc,
Those who still think the word God is to be retained, will find relief from the idea of a bleeding God, by an observation of Mr. Wakefield 'upon this passage ; that “ his own blood,” may, with propriety, be translated, “ his own son." He quotes several passages in which the word blood is so uscd. The following may be sufficient from Virgil, On. vi. 835.
Projice tela manu, Sanguis Meus.