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ment. But Jesus, being both God and man, is qualified to make an infinite atonement by the sacrifice of himself upon the cross.
But all Trinitarians, so far as my knowledge extends, hold that Jezus died as man, not as God. Nothing bled and died but the human nature. The victim, the offering, the sacrifice, was not the divine, but the human nature of Christ, the mere man. This was presented or offered, not to the human, but to the divine nature of Christ, the Supreme God. Thus the infinite atonement entirely disappears. A mere inan endures the cross, sheds his blood, and dies an atoning sacrifice to the infinite God. In relation to the doctrine of the atonement, a belief in the proper Deity of Christ has not the least advantage over a belief in his simple humanity.
See Lamson's Tract on the doctrine of Two Natures in Jesus Christ. Ware's Address, delivered at Kennebunk, Oct. 1927. Emlyn's Works, Vol. i. p. 97—105. Vindication, &c. by Yates, p. 175–6. Wright's Essays, p. 145–165.
OF THE THREE HEAVENLY WITNESSES.
1 JOHN v. 7: For there are three that bear record in hearen, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are pné.
This passage, if genuine, would furnish no evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity. It does not say that the three are equal; or that they are one God, one nature, or one es
It only asserts that the three are one in the record they bear; one in testimony. The point to be established by these witnesses does not relate to the Trinity at all. It is simply this—that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. It is not necessary that witnesses should be equal to each other, in order to a oneness of testimony. If the three are but one Being, and that Being is God, there is but one witness; whereas the text says there are three. The celebrated Reformer, Jolin Calvin, speaking of this passage, says“ The expression, 'these three are one,' does not relate to the essence, but to the agreement of the persons spoken of. The meaning is, the Father and his eternal Word and Spirit, harmoniously bear testimony to Christ. Some copies, accordingly, read agree in one thing. But although you read are one,' as it is in other copies, still there is no doubt that the Father, Word, and Spirit, are said to be one, in the same sense as the blood, and water, and spirit, in the verse immediately succeeding."* * Christ. Disc, ubi supra.
But this passage is unquestionably an interpolation. It is now admitted by the most learned critics of al, denominations, that it forms no part of the inspired volume—that it does not belong to the Word of God. John wrote in Greek; but the ancient Greek manuscripts, which contain his Epistles, have not this passage. Consequently it could not have been written by John, but must have been added since. It is not found in any Greek manuscript written earlier than the fifteenth century; nor in any Latin, earlier than the ninth century. It is not cited by any of the Greek ecclesiastical writers, though in defence of the doctrine of the Trintity, they have cited the words immediately before and after the 7th verse. It is not cited by any of the Latin fathers, even where it would have greatly strengthened their arguments; and where, had it existed, it might have been most naturally expected. It is not found in any of the ancient VERSIONS, the Vulgate excepted; and in the more ancient copies of this it is wanting. The first edition of Erasmus, A. D. 1516, which is the editio princeps of the Greek text, does not contain it. It is not in his second edition, A. D. 1519; but in the third it is added from the Codex Montfortii. It is wanting in the editions of Aldus, Colinæus, Gerbelius, Cephalius, Zwinglius, &c. It is wanting in all the editions of Luther, published during his life time; and it is said that he made it the subject of particular request that it might never be inserted in his translation of the New Testament. In the early English Bibles of Henry VIII, Edward VI. and Elizabeth, it was printed on small types, or included in brackets. About the middle of the sixteenth century, or a little later, it began to be printed as it now stands. Finally it is wanting in GriesBACH's Greek Testament,* first published about forty years ago.
* As this work will probably be read by some who never heard of Gries
The words which have been interpolated are, in the following arrangement, included in brackets.
“6. And it is the spirit th: + beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. 8. And there are three that bear witness in earth,] the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and these three agree in one. 9. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater."
The learned and orthodox Dr. Dodd says of this text, bach, I give the following testimonies, from the highest Trinitarian authorities, for those who need the information.
“ Of all modern critical editions of the Greek Testament, this of Griesbach is universally allowed to be the most valuable and complete.”— Horne's Introd. Vol, ii. p. 135.
“ The Greek text of Griesbach's last edition has a just title, above every other yet published, 10 be received as a standard text.”-Eclectic Review.
" His [Griesbach's] profound comparative knowledge of manuscripts and editions, and the singular sagacity and impartiality of his verbal criticism, have given to bis text of the Christian canon an oracular value. The orthodox and the heretic bow alike to the unprejudiced indifference of bis dogmatism ; and, where inspiration appears not to guide, Griesbach is now acknowledged to determine.”—Monthly Review.
“We hazard nothing in saying, that the venerable Professor (Griesbach) has achieved that honorable and necessary work, which has been for ages wanting, or liberațing the sacred text of the New Testament from unauthorized intrusion and alterations; and that he has exhibited in it a state so nearly approaching to its original and native form, as to exclude all probable expec:alion of any material improvement from future collations and critical labors."-Eclectic Review ; March, 1809.
“Of all the texts, then, in the New Testament, to which I have directed your attention on this interesting topic, [the Divinity of Christ) how many are there, do you supposc, which undergo any alteration in the text of GRIESBACH, the most recent, and, on all hands, acknowledged the most perfect ?-You will be surprised, perhaps,- especially any of you who may have been in the way of hearing Griesbach so often and so trium, phantly appealed to, as he usually is by our opponents when I assure you that there is not ONE :-hat not a single text of all that have been quoted is in the slightest degree touched by this high and vaunted authori. ty!"-Dr. Wardlow.
“ There are some incidental and accidental remarks, which may render the passage suspected; for the sentence is complete, and the sense more clear and better preserved, without it. Besides, the spirit is mentioned, both as a witness in heaven, and on earth; so that the six witnesses are thereby reduced to five, and the equality in number, or antithesis between the witnesses in heaven and on earth, is quite taken away. Besides, what need of witnesses in heaven? No one there doubts that Jesus is the Messiah; and if it be said, that the Father, Son, and Spirit, are witnesses on earth, then there are five witnesses on earth, and none in heaven; not to say that there is a little difficulty in interpreting how the Word, or the Son, can be a witness to himself.”
Here I should close the evidence for the spuriousness of the words included in brackets, had not an elaborate argument for their genuineness recently appeared in this town, in “A Discourse on the doctrine of the Trinity, in three Sermons,” of which this very text is made the basis.* The following review, if I mistake not, will show that that argument is untenable.
The principal authorities cited by the author in favor of
*Sce Robbins on the Trinity : recently published by Sidney Underwood, 108 Union-street: particularly the note on pages 18 and 19, from which the following are extracts.
“ Since the delivery of this Discourse, a tract has been handed me, entitled, Outline of the Testimony of Scripture against the Trinily. By Henry Ware, Jr.' The author quotes the passage I have now examined, and remarks upon it as follows. • 1 John v. 7. There are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. This verse every body knows, was not written by St. John, but has been added to this epistle since his day.' And a little after, ' It is rejected by all impartial scholars of every denomination who have inquired concerning it. A very bold assertion; to which it would be unnecessary to make any reply, were it not for the deserved reputation of the writer...... The Professor, having disposed of this text, says, “There
therefore, only two texts which formally name the Father, Son, and Spirit, in connection with each other.' One is in the form of Baptism,