« PreviousContinue »
but I cannot withdraw the assertion contained in it. However expedient it might have been to have omitted, the censure, I am satisfied that I had abundant ground for it, in the critique on the Improved Version inserted in the British Critic.
If my employments would have permitted, I should have been very glad to have made references, at every step, to the writings of my predecessors in the controversy; but my plan, as well as my time, originally prevented my consulting them so much as I should otherwise have wished ; and I have since had no sufficient opportunity of doing it.--I have in several instances marked short passages as quotations, without giving a reference to the work from which they are taken ; and probably some quotations may have been made without even such notice : I can now only say, that if I had the power of making the references, I would do it. The Notes in the Improved Version, and Mr. Simpson's Essays, are, I imagine, the sources of most of these quotations ; and some few may have been derived from Mr. Kenrick's Exposition. Respecting this very valuable work, I may take this opportunity of expressing my opinion that it should, if possible, be in the possession of every Unitarian family, and I shall heartily rejoice when the sale of the present edition of it shall have enabled the Author's relatives to reprint it in a more accessible form. The more it is read by the candid of all parties, the less unfavourably must they think of Unitarianism. A similar work on the Epistles would, I am persuaded, be a most useful and acceptable present to the Unitarian public; and would most materially aid the cause of scriptural knowledge.
The interpretation of John i. 1-18, in p. 61, &c., I had drawn up before the publication of Mr. Cappe’s Critical Remarks. It differs in some respects from the interpretation given by that excellent man; but it de
tion of the natural world is ascribed to Jesus 156
tives confirmation from many of his remarks, and those in Mr. Simpson's Essays more recently published.--We all agree with the editors of the Improved Version, in rejecting a mode of interpretation, which, notwithstanding it is countenanced by the authority of such men as Lardner, Priestley, Lindsey, Wakefield, &c., is, I am fully satisfied, untenable, though certainly preferable to the unscriptural explanation so generally adopted of John's Introduction.-My chief objections against the modern Unitarian interpretation of it are the following. The Hebrew word 703n, which the Septuagint renders copia (wisdom) above 130 times, is not once rendered doyos (word); and of the other eleven words rendered pocla in the Septuagint, one only is also rendered 20yos, and this is only once translated by copia, and once by noyos. On the other hand, 127, which is at least 800 times translated coros, is never translated by copia, or any word equivalent to it; and of the other 34 words occasionally translated royos, not oue (except that before mentioned) has copia, or any equivalent, used as the translation. And lastly, there does not appear to be a single instance in the New Testament, in which the word noyos is used in the sense of wisdom,-certainly not in the writings of John, though he has used it upwards of 60 times.
I cannot conclude without expressing my thanks to those gentlemen who have communicated to me their remarks upon the former edition, particularly to the Rev. Joseph Bretland, and the Rev. John Kentish. I have freely availed myself of their criticisms as far as I could; and I have no doubt that they have contributed to the improvement of my book, which I now republish, with the cheering hope that it may, under the divine blessing, promote the cause of Christian truth.
Exeter, April, 1811.
In drawing up the following statement of the scriptural arguments for Unitarianism, I have principally had in view that class of thinking readers of the New Testament, who do not possess an acquaintance with the original. To justify my remarks to the scriptural critic, I have occasionally been obliged to enter into critical discussion ; but this is generally confined to the Notes. I have endeavoured throughout, to render these intellie gible to the mere English reader; and many of them contain remarks which appear to me of considerable importance in the argument.
The extent of examination to which Mr. Veysie's Preservative has led me, does not appear to me to be required by the arguments it contains ; but I wished to lay before the Public, a brief yet tolerably comprehensive view of the scriptural grounds of the controversy, Having done this, with all the care and attention which my situation allowed, and feeling the consciousness that I have in no case made any position, which I did not fully believe to be well-founded, and that I have had solely in view as my primary object the diffusion of Christian truth, I commend my labours to the blessing of Almighty God.
The Unitarian controversy is brought into narrower