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« his habitation is sublime, and his dwelling not “ with the flesh, Dan. ii. 11; this part of the idea " is applicable to angels or to saints, and there “ fore they may thus far be reputed Gods, and
are sometimes so styled in Scripture, or in “ ecclesiastical writers. Another part of the com-, “ plex idea of God, is giving orders from above and “ publishing commands from heaven; this was in “ some sense applicable to Moses, who is there« fore called a God unto Pharaoh, not as being
properly God, but instead of God in that instance os or in that resembling circumstance. ---Dominion
goes along with the idea of God, or is a part of “ it, and therefore kings, princes, or magistrates, “ resembling God in that respect, may, by like “ figure of speech, be called Gods; not properly, 6 but by way of allusion, and in regard to some
imperfect resemblance which they bear to God, “ in some particular respects, and this is all.” He afterwards says, “ The Scripture notion of “ God, is, A Sovereign Ruler, an ALMIGHTY Pro6 tector, an OMNISCIENT and OMNIPRESENT Go
vernor ; an ETERNAL, IMMUTABLE, ALL-SUFFI"cient CREATOR, Preserver, and Protector. 6 Whatever falls short of this is not properly, in “ the Scripture notion, God; but is only so called “ by way of figure, as before explained.”
In all this I most cordially agree; and as the Scriptures expressly assert* that Jesus is not omNISCIENT, and that he is not ALMIGHTY, and as
* See above p. 107-109,
they also afford no adequate proof that he is omnipresent, eternal, or immutable,* l maintain that he “is not properly, in the Scripture notion, God," and that his being called God, only proves that he was “instead of God in " instance or in” some “resembling circumstance.”- In the particular passage under consideration, it seems to me perfectly evident that the Apostle, who speaks of him as the Word of God, (that is, the Declarer of His will, calls him God for the very same reason for which Moses is so denominated by God himself, because he was the Representative of God, authorized by Him to declare His will, and to execute His purposes.
John x. 33. • Because thou, being a Man, makest thyself God.'
On this unfounded charge of blasphemy, unfounded both as to fact and as to the inference from the supposed fact, see p. 3 and 73.
John x8. 28. "And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lori
and my God.' If Thomas not only spoke these words in reply to Jesus, but also called him bis Lord and his God, it still remains to be considered in what sense the Apostle applied this appellation to his risen Lord. I regard myself as authorized by scriptural evidence to assert, that in the mouth of a Jewish disciple, (unless it can be shown from other considerations that he believed Jesus to be
* I shall show in the third section of this chapter, that the very small number of passages from which it is inferred that these attris butes were possessed by our Saviour, prore no such thing.
really and properly God,) these words imply no more, than that he was now convinced of his divine authority. * That this was all that Thomas could mean, I think evident for the following reasons: (1) Before our Lord's resurrection, as is clear from the whole tenor of the Gospels, the disciples knew nothing of any superior nature being possessed by Jesus: (2) His resurrection proved nothing more than had been proved by his miracles, &c. viz. that he was the Son of God: (3) Thomas's incredulity respected the fact of the resurrection, and this only (see v. 25, 27): (4) The circumstances in which Thomas thus addressed Jesus, must have convinced him that Jesus was really a man, had he doubted on that head before: (5) The supernatural knowledge which Jesus manifested on this occasion, and which must have forcibly struck the mind of his unbelieving disciple, he had manifested on several occasions, during his public ministry, without leading his disciples to the inference that he was properly God. From these considerations, in connexion with what has been observed respecting the scriptural use of the appellation God, I infer, that Thomas, (if he applied the appellation to Jesus,) could mean no more, than that Jesus had in truth spoken and acted with the authority of God, that he now no longer doubted that he came from God:-as if he had said, “I again own thee as my Master; I again acknowledge that in truth thou camest forth from God, and spakest the words of God.” See John x. 35.*
* See p. 149, p. 62, and p. 72.
Acts xx. 28. “ To feed the Church of God' which he hath pur
chased with his own blood." Luke most probably wrote of the Lord.' Griesbach unhesitatingly rejects JeOv (of God), and reads tou xupiou (of the Lord); and says, that on the evidence for the latter reading, he could not do otherwise.t
* Some suppose that Thomas's exclamation is not at all to be regarded as an address to Jesus bimself, though so introduced; and reference has been made to 1 Sam. xx. 12, where, in the P.V., we find, " And Jonathan said unto David, O LORD God of Israel, when I have sounded my father about 10-morrow any time or the third day, and, behold, if there be good towards David, and I then send not unto thee and shew it thee, the LORD do much more to Jonathan, &c.'” In reply, it has been urged, that the common rendering of this passage is unnatural; and several critics supply the sense thus, The Lord God of Israel he witness.' It was in this manner supplied by the Greek, Syriac, and Arabic translators; and two Hebrew manuscripts liave the same supplement: but there is no room to believe that the original Hebrew contained it. The abrupt. ness of the exclamation leads the translator, in this case, to supply some words: why (if the sense require it) should they not be supplied in the case of Thomas's exclamation ? For instance · My Lord and my God! how great thy power.:-Wakefield and some others consider the address to Christ as ending with the first appellation; and divide the exclamation thus; • My Lord !' and, (he also said,)
my God!' (Compare the construction in Acts i. 20.)—The Apostle's exclamation of astonishment and joy is too brief, and the latitude of his native language too great, to allow, perhaps, of certainty as to his precise meaning ; but I think it great injustice to him to interpret his words in any sense inconsistent with the first principles of his faith as a Jew, sanctioned as they were most expressly by the declarations of him in whom he now believed with undoubting confidence.
I have thought it desirable to point out different ways in which the exclamation of Thomas may be taken, so as to be consistent with the belief of his and our Lord, that the Father is the ONLY TRUE God: but my mind is still most satisfied witli that in the text. I think no Jew would have joined the two appellations together, as in the first of these interpretations, when addressing JEHOVAH; and the separation in the second interpretation seems scarcely consistent with the ardent burried feelings of the moment. (3d. Ed.)
† The Eclectic Reviewers (March 1809), whose opiniou cannot
Rom. ix. 5. " Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.
Amen." See p. 136.
I Tim. iii, 18. « • God' was manifested in the fleshi."
In this text, the word geos, in all probability, did not come from the pen of the Apostle, who wrote either ós (he who),* or ó (which) referring
be supposed to be warped by Unitarianism (except indeed from it,) after a summary of the evidence, say, “ On seriously 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."
• The Eclectic Reviewers, though they admit ós to be the genuine reading, consider this rendering of it as unauthorized ; and following Cramer, refer the relative to Seov in o. 15, thus; “Which “ is the church of the living God (the pillar and support the “ truth, and confessedly great, is the mystery of godliness) who was “ manifested,” &c. A writer in the Christian Observer (June 1809) speaks of this parenthetical rendering as harsh : if any one however choose to adopt it, because it supports (in appearance) the doctrine of incarnation, thus far may be allowed him, that it is a practicable reudering; but it cannot be allowed that it is in any degree unjustifiable to render os he who. It is perfectly accordant with the idiom of the N.T., as the following passages (adduced by Primitivus in the Monthly Repository, June 1809,) abundantly prove: John iii. 34. 'Ov yap aTEOTELNEV Ó Jeos, for he WHOM God hath sent ; Rom. Χν. 21. Oις ουκ αναγγελη περι αυτου οψοντας και οι ουκ ακηκοασι συνησουσι, THEY to WHOM he was not spoken of shall see ; and THEY Who have not heard shall understand ; 1 John iv. 6. "Ος ουκ εστιν εκ του θεου ουκ ακουει ημων, HE WHo is not of God heareth not us. I bear a willing testimony to the abilities often displayed in the critique on the Improved Version in the Eclectic Review ; I consider the Author of it as having rendered, by his arguments and staternents respecting the common text and version, an important service to the cause of scriptural knowledge, the more useful because out of the reach of suspicion ; and I trust that what he has said will greatly contribute to remove from the minds of persons of his own sentiments those widely prevalent prejudices respecting the common text and version which are almost as injurious as they are unfounded: but I must add, that in several instances he has totally forgotten the impartiality of the critic, in his zeal for his own theological ystem, and without adequate examination, has given an unjust verdict. The present passage affords full proof of this. He asserts that the passages adduced by Archbishop Newcome, in justification of the rendering,' he who was manifested.' are irrelevant, because, in them, og is followed by a particle, as Te,