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From the Christian Register. MR. REED—I do not recollect that I have seen in any late work on the Trinity, a particular explanation of that passage of Isaiah, which is considered by Trinitarians as a prophecy relating to our Savior, unanswerably proving his divinity. I refer to Isa. ix. 6. Of all the passages of Scripture which have been cited to prove the above mentioned doctrine, I know of no one that has been a greater stuinbling-block to humble inquirers after the truth, than the one to which I refera. I confess that when arguing on the text, I have never yet been able to give my opponent a reply which was satisfactory to myself.
My object in addressing you is to obtain, either from yourself or some one of your correspondents, an exposition of this text. By complying with this request, you will confer a favor on one of your constant readers, and one who ardently desires to obtain a knowledge of the truth.
In reference to the above request, we subjoin an extract from the Rev. Mr. SPARKS' Letters on the Ministry, Ritual, and Doctrines of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
"A prominent text” (says Mr. Sparks) “which you bring forward in proof of the supreme divinity of Christ, is the noted one in Isaiah ix. 6. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the ment shall be upon his shoulder ; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Such are the words as you have quoted them, and as they stand in tlie common version of the Bible. But it was hardly to be expected that this text would be quoted at the present day without a word of comment or explanation, to let it be known that its most important parts are, at best, a very doubtful, and probably a false rendering of the original.
"The prophecy, in this passage, undoubtedly alludes to the Messiah, and, consequently, the titles which
it contains are to be applied to him. The only question is, whether the titles, or names which were adopted by king James' translators, have the same meaning as those which were originally written by the prophet? This can be ascertained only by a critical examination into the meaning of the original words, aided by a profound knowledge of the language in which they were written, and of the ancient translations. Such an examination has been repeatedly made by the most learned men of different religious sentiments, who have almost unanimously concurred in a result which proves the rendering of our common version to be more or less defective. Is it dealing fairly, there. fore, with those who have not the means of information to represent this text as of undoubted authority in its present literal meaning ? Should they not, at least, be told what they are to receive with implicit confidence, and what with caution ? Is it justifiable thus to confound truth with error, and to give countenance to popular prejudice, by making the scriptures speak what their writers never intended ?
It is not denied that commentators have found much difficulty in this text, on account of the ambiguity of some of the Hebrew words; yet they almost universally agree in giving it a meaning different from the one retained in our English version
«The application of the two first titles is sufficiently obvious; and there seems to have been very little ditference of opinion about them, except in the judges ment of some critics they ought so to be united, and of others, to be taken separately. But whether they should be read Wonderful and Counsellor or Wmderful Counsellor, is of little consequence in regard to the general meaning and application of the terins.Our Savior might justly be called wonderful, in the astonishing works he performed ; and a counsellor or a wonderful counsellor in the adınirable systein of religion he has published to the world; in its doetrines, precepts, admonitions, directions, and promises: giving evidence that he was aided, instructed, and empowered from above.
*The next title, THE MIGHTY God, is allowed to be a false translation, altho there have been various opinions in regard to the exact import of the original. Le Clerc, who was a trinitarian, and as profound a scholar in biblical learning, perhaps, as any other person, renders the passage thus: “Wonderful, Divine Counsellor, Mighty. Christ was a divine counsellor in having derived all his counsels and precepts from God ; he was mighty in the miracles he performed, and the divine power he possessed.*
“The fourth title, EVERLASTING FATHER, is trans. lated by Bishop Lowth, The Father of the everlasting age,' and by Grotius, 'Father of the future age,' or 'of the age to come.' This was strictly appropriate to Christ. He was the founder of a new dispensation, and of a pure and holy religion. He was the head of the church, and came to bestow the means of salvation on mankind, and to confer inestimable benefits, which should continue through all ages.t
*"The principal difficulty, in this passage, seems to have arisen from the doubtful meaning of the word Al, which is sometimes rendered God, sometimes ruler, or magistrate, and is sometimes used in the sense of an adjective to denote excellence or distinction," as AREZI AL, divine cedars--AERERI AL, divine mountains.
"This latter sense is preferred by Le Clerc." He translates AL as meaning divine or excellent, and connects it with the word translated Counsellor, and not with the one translated mighty.-To call him Divine counsellor, agrees with what was said of him in Isa. xi. 2, “The spirit of counsel and might shall rest upon him."
“There is much suspicion that the word AL was not written in the original Hebrew, as there are no corresponding words in either of the ancient Greek versions of the Seventy, Æquila, Symmachus, or Theodotian."
7 "The original words ABI OED, literally translated, mean Father of the age. They are rendered by Le Clerc Pater perpetuus, because as he says, Christ is the perpetual or everlasting father of all who shall believe in his religion.
"Grotius translates them Father of the future age. This future age is the christian dispensation. Christ was the father of this dispensation, in as much as it was established through his
“The application of the last title no one can mistake. He was eminently the prince of peace, in giving a religion to the world, whose direct tendency is to promote peace among men.
"Such are the renderings which the most able critics have given of this text. They are such as the original easily receives, and such as are peculiarly applicable to the character of Christ, as it was exhibited in his life and religion. The text, thus explained, gives no support to the doctrine of the supreme divinity of Christ, and contains nothing more than several titles and epithets prophetically applied to him, and expressive of the character which he actually sustained. The translation may be expressed in the following terms: “And his nanie shall be called Wonderful, Divine Counsellor, Mighty, Father of the age to come, Prince of Peace.” These results are drawn, it must be remembered, from the critical expositions of Trinitarians.
“Even admitting the received translation to be correst, it does not prove Christ to be the Supreme God. We have already seen that the title God was often applied to other persons by way of distinction besides Christ, even to all to whom the word of God came.' It may certainly be given, therefore, with great propriety to him, who was appointed a special messenger of the counsels and will of Jehovah, and who is exalted above all principality, and power, and dominion.' Hence if the name be translated God, it cannot be accounted a proof of the supreme divinity of Christ. But I do not wish to vindicate this rendering, as the voice of criticism is decided against it.”
instrumentality, by the exercise of such powers as were communicated to him by Jehovah, and also to bis apostles in such a degree as to convince men of its truth and authority."
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM TURNER,
CHARLESTOWN, JUNE 26, 1823. “My difficulties with the editors remain in statu quo. Brother Dean however has lately settled with Mr. Ballou, and the settlement embraces both their personal and public difficulties. They have exchanged papers, purporting that each considers the other sa Christian Minister, and in the fellowship of the gospel.” This settlement was made at the meeting of the Southern Association at Stafford, Con. Mr. Ballou made the first advances to settle. They made their adjustment in private, and nothing is to be given to the public except as some may occasionally read the papers which have passed between them. I have waited upon Mr. Ballou, and attempted a settlement in the same way, but was denied.--You will remember that, not long since, the Junior editors informed the public, that they had no right to make a distinct settlement."
From the Universalist Magazine.
AGREEMENT OF THE JUNIOR EDITORS OF THE UNIVERSALIST MAGAZINE AND THE AUTHORS OF THE APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC.
March 15, 1823. Whereas some of our brethren inform us that they have told several persons in different places that we, the subscribers, had made an adjustment of our difficulties with the Authors of the "Appeal to the public, and that we were about to publish, in the Universalist Magazine, an agreement between ourselves and the Authors; and as those brethren who have given this inforipation apprehend that some damage may accrue to themselves thereby, unless an explanation be presented to those whom they have thus informed, -we think it due to them to give the following PUBLIC NOTICE, viz.
That on the 18th ult, we, the subscribers, and Authors of the "Appeal to the Public" did sign a mutu