ePub 版

stances of a single slave for a single day- I cannot tell you of them-how. different would be our sensations ! Imagination cannot conceive, nor words express, what these sufferings are—where every principle of human nature is subverted-where all the extremity of distress is suffered that man can bear, and all the extremity of insolence which power and selfishness can inflict or man sustain-where there is life without the liberty of making the free use of their own limbs-labour without property -- families witbout lawful relations - wrongs without redress — punishment without guilt-minds in which memory can remember no

early education, fancy anticipate no era of repose. (Murmurs of applause.) —And yet, with all this, we are cold to the prosperity of this Society; and if our funds were allowed to become exhausted, in the next year, as they were in the last, and if our Petition shall be allowed to go forth without the great and united voice of this place, every observation made will apply to every individual who shall be conscious that he has not done what in him lies to forward the objects of that Petition. I know that it is a common sentiment among many-and it is a very dan- a gerous one, for it encourages apathy- that we ought not to exert ourselves, for we cannot succeed. Many say, “ What can we do? This systein has lasted a hundred years, and Government has done all that is requisite without our interference; we need not disturb ourselves, for we cannot succeed.” My Lord, I have no more doubt of the ultimate success of this measure, than I have of any future moral good. There is nothing I anticipate more confidently in this earth, than that the West Indian Islands will yet become the abode, not merely of the English language, but of the principles of the English Government, and of English justice, and also of the principles of the Christian Religion. (Applause.) These islands, favoured with all the bounties of nature, have hitherto been cursed only by the selfishness of man. I will say, that though we were assured .we could not succeed, that should not abate one jot our holy ardour in this sacred cause. Success is not to be commanded by men ; but, speaking in a certain sense, all is in the power of man while he governs the world. We ought never to fail in using those means by which success may most probably be obtained. Had mankind always · despaired in this manner, where would have been the Re. forination ? Where the English Revolution ? (Cheers.) Or

le the redemption of tbis country froin the persecution

which Scotland endured a hundred and fifty years ago ? (Immense applause. We should remember, that even if we fail, there is an elevation of sentiment-an independence of character--a consciousness of the desire of usefulness, which renders failure in such a cause a greater delight than ordinary success without a struggle, and for a 'useless end. (Applause.). Let, therefore, no man imagine he does his duty when he sits down at home, with his hands folded before him, and says, there is a place hemmed in from the regions of the earth by a circle of wretchedness, whose people do not bear the same colour with us : they speak not the same language; there is a little interfusion of water between us; we do no not hear their groans; we will not attend to them. Let it be remembered, it is only the person who does his duty, that can look the sun in the face and say, This is not my doing. There is nothing so important in moral life as to connect great principles with great causes ; and there is nothing so utterly heartless and contemptible as the mind of that creature, who, wrapt up in his own ease, exclaims, “I sha'n't succeed, and therefore I won't exert myself.”

The Learned Gentleman concluded his address amid loud and continued plaudits.


Milton's Treatise of Christian Doctrine.

Clapton, March 26, 1826. · I QUOTED, in your last number (pp. 77--79), from Milton's Treatise, his comments on " three passages,” justly deemed “ the most distinct of all that are brought forward to prove the divinity of the Son." He immediately proçeeds further to disabuse the Christian verity, respecting our Lord's dignity, which, in his opinion, the “ disputants of the schools" bad perverted by arguments which s cast a doubt upon that very unity of God which they pretended to assert." In this view he remarks, that Immanuel, though interpreted God with us, in “tbe text, Matt, i. 23, does not prove that he whom they were so to call should necessarily be God, but only a messenger from God, according to the song of Zacharias, Luke i. 68, 69.” The modern learned Trinitarians have, I believe, declined to argue our Lord's deity from his name Immanuel. Yet, in Milton's age, the argument from this text, still in frequent popular use, was probably regarded, even by the learned orthodox, as of no small moment. Calvin, in his Institutes (xii. 8), had said, as correctly rendered, in the Translation 1634, “ It behoved that the Son of God should become for us Immanuel, that is, God with 1s; and that in this sort, that by mutual joining, his Godhead and the nature of man might grow into one another."

On Paul's address to the affrighted Jailer at Philippi, (Acts xvi. 31,) Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, compared with the historian's account of the happy result (ver. 34), He rejoiced, believing in God, with all his house, Milton has these remarks : “ It does not follow from hence that Christ is God, since the apostles have never distinctly pointed out Christ as the ultimate object of faith; but these are merely the words of the historian, expressing that briefly, which there can be no doubt that the apostles inculcated in a more detailed manner, faith in God the Father through Christ."

The variation in the Greek MSS. of “ the passage in Acts xx. 28,” which Milton next introduces, will be recollected by many of your readers. What I find expressed in the margin of the English N. T., 1591, as the sense of the passage, has been a favourite notion of Trinitariańs, that it is “a notable sentence for Christes Godhead: which sheweth plainely in his person, how that by reason of the joyning together of the two natures in his owne person, that which is proper to one, is spoken of the other." Milton, however, understands the words, with his own blood, to intend, “ with his own Son ; for God, properly speaking, has no blood ; and no usage is more common than the substitution of the figurative term blood for offspring." Wakefield, in the potes to his “ Translation of the New Testament,” has sustained this, his latest opinion, (in which no man would have been more gratified to have known that he was a follower of Milton,) by several apposite quotations from the Classics. Milton adds, “ The Syriac version reads, not the Church of God, but the Church of Christ; and in our own recent translation it is, the Church of the Lord.This last reading, (which has been adopted by Griesbach,) Wakefield, in his Inquiry (1784), had ascribed to “the Coptic, a most accurate and valuable translation;" and it appears in bis “ New Translation of those Parts only of the New Testament which are wrongly translated in our Common Version. 1789.” Dr. Sumner has used great diligence, though without success, to as,

certain the English “ recent translation” to which Milton has referred, ","Respecting Rom. ix. 5, Who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen,” which the Translation (1591) renders God over all, blessed for ever, and describes in the margin as so a most manifest testimonie of the Godhead and Divinitie of Christ,” I cannot easily do justice to the author's argument without quoting the passage entire : .. .." In the first place, Hilary and Cyprian do not read the word God in this passage, nor do some of the other Fa. thers, if we may believe the authority of Erasmus; who has, also shewn that the difference of punctuation may raise a doubt with regard to the true meaning of the pas. sage, namely, whether the clause in question should not rather be understood of the Father than of the Son. But, waving these objections, and supposing that the words are spoken of the Son,, they have nothing to do with his essence, but only intimate that divine honour is communi. cated to the Son by the Father, and particularly that he is called God; which has been already fully shewn by other arguments. [See p.. 32.] But, they rejoin, the same words which were spoken of the Father, Rom. i. 25, More than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. « Amen, are here repeated of the Son; therefore the Son is equal to the Father If there be any force in this reasoning, it will rather prove that the Son is greater than the Father; for according to the ninth chapter, he is over all, which however, they remind us, ought to be understood in the same sense as John iii. 31, 32, He that cometh from above, is above all; he that cometh from heaven is above all. In these words even the divine nature [of Christ] is clearly implied, and yet what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth, which language affirms that he came not of himself, but was sent from the Father, and was obedient to him. It will be answered, that it is only his mediatorial character which is intended. But he never could have becoine a Mediator, nor could he have been sent from God, or have beep obedient to him, unless he had been inferior to God and the Father as to his nature. Therefore, also, after he shall have laid aside his functions as Mediator, whatever may be his greatness, or whatever it may previously have been, he must be subject to God and the Father. Hence he is to be accounted above all, with this reservation, that he is always to be excepted who did put all things under him, 1 Cor. xv. 27, and who consequently is above him under whom he has put all things.". : On “ 1 Tim. iii. 16, God was manifest in the flesh," Milton remarks, from Erasmus, that “ the word God does not appear in a considerable number of the early copies." Yet lie thinks " it will be clear, when the context is duly examined, that the whole passage must be understood of God the Father, in conjunction with the Son. For it is not Christ who is the great mystery of godliness, but God the Father in Christ, as appears from Col. ii. 2, and 2 Cor. v. 18, 19.” In this view, concluding that “ God the Father". was “ in Christ through the medium of all those offices of reconciliation which the apostle enumerates," he thus.comments on the passage: “ God was manifest in the fesh, namely, in the Son, his own image; in any other way he was invisible: nor did Christ come to manifest himself, but his Father , John xiv. 9, Justified in the Spirit. And who should be thereby justified, if not the Father? Seen of angels, inasmuch as they desire to look into this inystery, 1 Pet. i. 12. Preached unto the Gentiles, that is; the Father in Christ. Believed on in the world. And to whom is faith so applicable as to the Father through Christ? Received up into glory, namely, he who was in the Son from the beginning, after reconciliation had been made, returned with the Son into glory, or was received into that supreme glory which he had obtained in the Son." Here the views and language of Milton appear scarcely worthy of his subject. He, however, concludes from the whole, that they who would " establish that the Son is God," (a term of which he has sufficiently discovered his very qualified meaning,)“ will ju vain attempt to prove from this passage that he is the Supreme God and one with the Father.". .

On “ Titus ii. 13, The glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ," Milton does not "deny that. Christ is the great God, in the sense" which he has so often explained, as not.“ supreme or essentially one with the Father.” Yet he thinks that “here the glory of God the Father may be intended, with which Christ is to be invested on his second advent, Matt. xvi. 27, as Ambrose understands the passage from the analogy of scripture. For the whole force of the proof depends upon the definitive article, which may be inserted or omitted before the two nouns in the Greek without affecting the sense, or the arti. cle prefixed to one way be common to both.”

« 上一頁繼續 »