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to the mystery’in the last verse. Griesbach rejects Jeos from the text, and reads és, maintaining that this change is required by those laws of criticism by which he had formed his text, and which had been approved by the most learned critics.
Upon Griesbach's reading, the passage may be thus interpreted : 'Confessedly great is the mystery of the Gospel dispensation, (the admission of Gentiles into its glorious privileges :)* He who was manifested in flesh, (that is,t who came forth among men to execute his divine commission, in circumstances of great humuiliation, and at last underwent death itself,) was declared to be the Christ by the attestation of the Spirit, in his resurrection from the dead; was seen by his Apostles ;* was preached among the Gentiles; was believed on in the world at large; was gloriously received by multitudes in every region where the sound of the Gospel was heard.'
ye, on, av, yap, which it is not in 1 Tim. iii. 16. These passages are Mark iv. 25. Luke viii. 18. Rom. viii. 32 ; and the first ós occurs twice in the sense ascribed to it, without a particle, kai és ουκ εχει και ο εχει αρθησεται απ' αυτου, And HE WHo hath not, even THAT WHIch he bath shall be taken from him. The Critic may indeed have been misled by the 'Os yap av exy at the beginning of the verse; but a person more anxious about truth than about system, should have read the whole. The fact is, that óg is used like the qui of the Romans, though less frequently, without an antecedent; and as to those cases in wlich it is followed by a particle, unless that particle affect the sense of the relative, (as it is admitted that av does,) they are just as much in point as those in which it is alone.--Some of those who have not access to the Monthly Repository, will perhaps be glad to have the following unexceptionable instances noted, in which óc is used (either in the masculine or in the neuter) without an antecedent: Mark ix. 40. xiii. 37. xiv. 8. John i. 46. iv. 18. Rom. ii. 23. vii. 15. viii. 24. (also v. 29.) 1 Cor. x. 20. 2 Cor. xi. 17. If any peruse the original with a view to this question, they will find many more.
* This is obviously spoken of in the following clauses, and is expressly called the mystery of Christ,' in Eph. iii. 4.
+ This interpretation is accordant with the style of St. Paul; and it receives some illustration and confirmation from 2 Cor. iv. 10, 11. That pavepow of itself has no connexion with the mystery of incarnation, see John xxi. 1. 2 Cor. v. 10. Col. iji. 4. and many other places in St. Paul's writings That oap (flesh) signifies the whole human frame, not unfrequently conveying the idea of mortality and infirmity, see Schleusner, No. 3.
If be the true reading, and its critical claims are somewhat preferable to those of Jeos, the passage inay be thus interpreted : Confessedly important is the gracious dispensation of the Gospel, the doctrine according to godliness,f which was revealed to us by one who was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;' which was shown to be of divine origin by the attestation of the Spirit; which was viewed with astonishment and delights by those who were authorized to communicate it to others; which was preached among the Gentiles, &c.' as before.
If 90s had been the true reading, it appears
* The word ayyelog (angel) as every Greek scholar knows, every where signifies messenger, and is often applied to men: see Luke vii. 27. ix. 52. “ Was seen of angels, that is,” says Macknight, “ of the apostles and of the other witnesses, who were appointed to ~ publish and testify his resurrection to the world.” Apostle has nearly the same meaning as angel. In 1 Cor. xv. 5—8, the fact here referred to is stated, with the use of the same verb wpan, in the same connexion, four times.
+ Mvotnplov, mystery, in Paul's writings often denotes, those principles of the Gospel which before had been unknown to men, see Rom, xvi. 25. 1 Cor. iv. I. xv. 51. Eph, i. 9, &c.
See Noie (+) in the last page. § On Touai (to be seen) is usually connected with the idea, not only of admiration and amazement, but also of splendour, majesty, and excellence. See Schleusner.
clear to my mind, that the Apostle by saying, • God was manifested' or made known in or by man,'could have meant no more than the Apostle John when he said, the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, hath declared Him,'or than our Lord himself when he said, “ he who hath seen me hath seen the Father :' God, by the Man Christ Jesus, manifested his gracious purposes to men; and thus he was indeed manifested in flesh. The remainder of the passage would however have been very harsh upon this reading; and the common interpretation of the common reading, only serves to increase its difficulty, and seems to me full of absolute inconsistencies. According to this interpretation, HE who is at all times present in every part of the universe, was circumscribed by a human body: HE who alone hath immortality, was raised from the dead by the Spirit: He who dwelleth in light inaccessible, whom NO ONF hath seen or CAN SEE, was seen by men : He who is the BLESSED GOD, and consequently ever and infinitely happy, was received up into glory.- The doctrine of incarnation, (viz. that an infinite, eternal, and unchangeable Being, entered into a human frame, and by his union with it became truly man, susceptible of all the sufferings and wants of humanity,) is, in itself considered, so confounding to the imagination,* and throws such a weight upon the
* What the orthodox South said, I believe, of the doctrine of the trinity, may with equal truth be said of the doctrine of incarnation ; “ W'ere it not to be adored as a MYSTERY, it would be exploded as
a CONTRADICTION.” Serm. vii. Vol. III. p. 240, 3d. Edit.
evidences of Christianity, that every one who holds it up as Christian doctrine, owes it to his religion to satisfy himself decisively that it is really revealed in the Scriptures.
For the passages which, according to Mr. Sharp's canon, apply the appellation God to Christ, see p. 138–141.
Heb. i. 8. “ But unto the Son he saith, thy throne, O God, is for
ever and ever," &c. (1) The passage is taking from Psalm xlv. which was assuredly addressed to Solomon, and of which the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews applies a part, (the whole he surely could not apply,) to Christ. The Author also appears to represent it as being said by God, whereas it obviously was spoken by the Psalmist himself (whoever that was); and this adds to the proof that it is quoted by this Author merely in the way of accommodation. (2) The Hebrew allows of the rendering God is thy throne,' equally with the common rendering; but the idiom of the Greek better suits the latter.* (3) Agreeably
* Mr. Yates, however, in the very able Sequel to his Vindication of Unitarianism, adduces from Ps. lxxiii. 26. a parallel form of construction (ή μερις μου ο θεος εις τον αιωνα, God is my portion for ever,) proving that there is nothing in the Greek to prevent the words in question (ο θρονος σου ο θεος εις τον αιωνα) from being rendered, God is thy throne for eder.—Dr. Pye Smith in his Scripture Testimony (Vol. I. p. 237) says, “ All the Ancient Versions of the
original passage in the Psalms agree in supporting the common “ construction, so far as their respective idioms permit a positive “ conclusion. The Chaldee Paraphrase, the Greek of Aquila, and “ the Arabic of the London Polyglot, are incontrovertible.”-As far as the evidence for Unitarianism is concerned, I think it a matter of indifference which rendering is preferred ; nor do I perceive in the former, that extreme harshness and repugnancy « to good taste and to piety," which Dr. P. S. expresses so strongly; yet my mind still inclines to the latter, i.e. the common rendering. (3d. Ed.)
to the latitude of the Hebrew language (p. 62), the Psalmist addresses Solomon as Elohim: • Thy throne, O God, is for ever and evertherefore God, even thY GOD,' &c. There could surely be no reason why the Author of this Epistle, a Jew, familiar with the Hebrew idiom, writing to the Hebrews, should hesitate in applying to the Man Christ Jesus, an appellation which the Psalmist applies to Solomon.* (4) Since the Author (0.9) speaks of the Supreme Being as the God of him to whom he before gave the appellation God, he has left no reasonable ground for doubt, that he did not use the appellation in reference to nature, but merely to dignity and office. (Comp. p. 149).
* Dr. Pye Smith (Scrip. Test. Vol. I. p. 238,) very justly remarks, that “ the term God would be attached to Solomon in a sense so far inferior to that in which it was intended for the Messiah, as the limited and temporary kingdom of the former fell short of the extent and duration destined for the reign of the latter. The one reigned forty years over Judæa and its dependencies: the former possesses dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages shall serve him: bis dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.' Tly throne, O God, is for ever and ever.”—Nothing can be more accordant with my own view's; provided it be remembered, that this everlasting kingdom was GIVEN to the Messiah by God, even his God. Highly exalted as this illustrious person is, and incomparably superior as his dominion even now is to that of the most mighty earthly sovereign, he is himself, and for ever must be, infinitely below Him who is the BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTATE, whose name ALONE is JEHOVAH, exalted above all blessing and praise, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all thiogs. (3d. Ed.)
† “ At the same time," says Dr. Pye Smith, “ this magnificent Person, whose benignity, power, and holiness are thus celebrated, is