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Eucherius of Lyons, 'in the middle of the fifth century; and in his works there is much reason to believe that it has been in. terpolated.
“ Under these circumstances, we are unspeakably ashamed that any modern divines should have fought pedibus et ungui. bus, for the retention of a passage so indisputably spurious. We could adduce half a dozen or half a score passages of ample length, supported by better authority than this, but which are rejected in every printed edition and translation.
“One Greek Manuscript we have said contains the clause. This is the Dublin, or Montfortianus; a very recent MS. glaringly interpolated from the modern copies of the Vulgate, and distributed into the present division of chapters.”
The way in which this verse was introduced into the place which it yet to our shame holds in our printed Bibles, was this. When the first edition of the New Testament was printed under the patronage of Cardinal Ximenes, at Alcala, in Spain, this verse was inserted, either on the authority of some very modern Greek MS., or more probably on that of the Vulgate Latin, the authorized version of the Romish church; into which version, either by fraud, or by the carelessness of a transcriber in traosferring a commentary from the margin into the text, it had found its way sometime after the eighth century. Erasmus, who published his first edition about the same time with that of Cardinal Ximenes, Trinitarian as he was, was too conscientious to adulterate the word of God, and did not introduce the supposititious verse in question. Such a clamour, however, was raised, that in bis third edition, he printed it," to remove,' as he expressly says himself, “occasion of unfounded reproach." The fifth edition of Erasmus, in which the verse was retained, was the basis of that of Stephens. This, in its turn, was the basis of that of Beza, which was the standard of our cominon English version. Thus this famous blunder of a scrivener, or fraud of a priest, goes out into the world, edition after edition, with all the authority of holy writ. It belongs to nobody to take it from its place, and there it stands, and will stand, a most eloquent refuter of all our pretences to reverence for the word of God. It is something however, that with so universal a consent of theological scholars, its spuriousness is acknowledged. Whatever sense critics might give to it, it was really with the great body of readers the main support of the doctrine of the trinity; and with the exposure of its spuriousness, we doubt not, that doctrine has received its death blow. It may linger for a long time, but its fate is sealed.
“Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in (or into] the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matt. xxviii. 19.-The sound of these words in the ear seems sometbing like the trinity, but we are at a loss to know how one would proceed to deduce the doctrine from them. There are different paraphrases of them, but with very slight variation of sense. That which, on the whole, we prefer, is this; baptizing them into the faith revealed by the Father, communicated through the Son, and confirmed by gifts of the Holy Ghost. To be baptised into, or into the name of, a person, is to become by the form of baptism the proselyte or pupil of what he teaches. The Christian faith may with equal propriety be said to be taught by God, by bis messenger, and by the spirit of holiness which fixes its truths in men's minds. (Job xxxvi. 22. Mark vi. 34. 1 Cor. ii. 13.) And this without implying in the least that God's messenger and witness are beings equal in power and glory with himself. A person who would collect such a sense from ibe words would be no more discriminating, than the Athenians, who thought that Paul was claiming worship for two strange Gods, when he spoke of Jesus and the resurrection. (Acts xvii. 18.)
What then is the argument founded on this verse? There is nothing said of the Son or the Holy Ghost being God, or of their being with the Father three persons and one God, which is the doctrine they are brought to support. Is it argued from the three persons being nained in such close connexion, that they are ihe same being ? One might conclude otherwise, from their being separately named. But if the reasoning be good, then are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the Old Testament, the same being, --hen are the spirit, the water, and the blood, (1 John v. 8.) the same thing.
Does the stress of the argument lie here then, that we can. not be baptized into the name of any but a person in the Godhead? This will not do. Tertullian speaks of baptism into repentance, into the remission of sins; and the apostle (Rom. vi. 3.) of baptism into the death of Christ, and of ihe Israelites being baptized into Moses (1 Cor. x. 2.)-Can we become dis. ciples then of none but a person in the Godhead ? Moses (John is. 28.) John, (Matt. ix. 14.) and ibe Pharisees, (Matt. xxii. 16.) had theirs.-Can we believe in none else? The Israelites (Exod. xiv. 31.) believed [in] the Lord and in his servant Moses.
If those who deduce the doctrine of the trinity from this text, do not draw their inference in some of the ways we have voticed, we acknowledge ourselves ignorant in what way they draw it.
SKETCH OF THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF THE LATE
REV, JOHN E. ABBOT.
THERE are some men whose characters belong to the public. They, whom providence bas placed in a conspicuous station and who adorn that station with eminent virtues, may improve mankind by their example, and therefore their exa nple belongs to mankind. Their history and character may do good, when they are no more, and should not be hidden. Although, there. fore, we are no advocates for indiscriminate biography, and for laying open the private retiremenis of all good men, yet we conceive that there are cases of unquestionable propriety and even duty, when the example of ibose who have left us sbould be fully set forth, that men may see it, and be led to glorify our Father who is in beaven. There are few things which more affect, encourage, and animate the living, than to know how they endured and what ibey accomplished, who have gone before them in the path of glory.
We are unwilling, therefore, to suffer the late Rev. J. E. Abbot to sleep with his fathers, without endeavouring to perpetuate the remembrance of what he was, and exhibiting his character to the imitation of christians. To those who know him, no description or eulogium can adequalely portray the image which remains upon their memories. There are traits which may be perceived and felt by the intimate observer, but which cannot be presented in language. We can attempt no more than to give the leading incidents of his short life, and so to display the beauty of his religious character, as to promote the cause of truth and piety.
John EMERY Abbot was born in Exeter, N. H., on the sixth of August, 1793. He seenis to bave been destined to the ministry from his very birth. His mother, whom he is said to have greatly resembled, and who lived but a few months after his birth, solemnly dedicated him to God before her death. The knowledge of this circumstance made an impression on his mind, and he seeins never to have lost sight of his destination. His religious character commenced early; he probably never knew the time when he was destitute of religious inpressions. The same amiableness of disposition and gentleness of de. meanour marked his childhood, which characterized him when a man, and made hin then, as he was always, an object of more than ordinary interest to those who knew him. " While in the Academy," says one of his schoolinales, “no one regarded him as capable of doing wrong-we looked ou him as a purer being than others around him."
He completed his classical education at Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Me, and was graduated with reputation in 1810, at the early age of seventeen. His college life appears to have been of a piece with his whole existence, unassuming and ex. emplary. At times however, his diffidence and self-distrust oppressed him with the idea, that he should disappoint the wishes of his friends, and become a useless being. He has since told a friend, that so great at one period was his despondency, that he would willingly have exchanged all his future hopes and prospects for the certainty of a living as a schoolmaster in some remote village ; the office of a clergyman, although from his earliest recollection the object of his most ardent desires, appearing to him a situation of too much dignity for him to as. pire to.
After leaving college, he soon commenced his preparation for the holy work to which bis heart was always devoted, and pursued bis theological studies partly at the University in Cambridge, and partly under the direction of the Rev. Wm. E. Channing, in Boston.—This term of preparatory discipline he passed with great diligence and fidelity. Religious truth was dear to his mind, and he entered with interest into those in. quiries which are necessary to ascertain and define it, and with
out which the mind of a theologian is unfurnished. But there was one part of the ministerial preparation to which he attached supre ne importance, and to which consequently bis principal attention was directed. He thought the religious character of infinitely greater moment than all other qualifications of talents or acquirements. He had an extraordinary reverence for the sacred office, and dreaded above all things a diminution of that personal interest in religion, which alone can fit one for it, or make him useful in it. He believed, that the knowledge of human nature and of the modes of addressing and moving the conscience, which might be gained from the habitual study and discipline of his own heart, would be far more important to himself and to his flock, than laborious researches into some subjects connected with theology, which inight make him more learned, but would be in danger of making him cold. And therefore, upon the principle that the affections are worth every thing to a religious man, and especially to a minister, it was his favourite aim and object to keep them alive. His wish was to be a good and useful, and never to be a great man; to this single object he bent his fine powers, and girded himself, like bis master, to go about doing good. There was no selfish ambition in any of his plans; they all centered in the supreme desire to become a good minister. How much he had this at
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heart, and what his favourite views of the profession were, may be seen from the following extract of a letter, written just before he began to preach.
“ How soon I shall be presented for approval, I know not exactly. As I draw nearer the close of my course, I feel a greater importance to be thrown into the little time wbich remains before its termination. And the more I reflect, the more solemn appears the office of a shepherd of the christian flock. To enlighten the ignorant with truth, to guide the wandering and the doubting, to give hope to the penitent, and consolation to the sorrowing, and to arouse the sleep of the sinner, is indeed a blessed, but a most responsible office; and it seems the more solemn when we think that it is committed to "earlhen vessels' --who themselves are ignorant and wander. ing, surrounded with temptations, darkened by error, and polluted with sin. It is a most animating thought, that he, who promised to his apostles, "Lo, I am ever with you,' forsakes not their feeble successors.
His sentiments and feelings in regard to his profession are yet more fully discovered in a letter written just after he began to preach. “By these active duties I hope to acquire a habit of more energy, and to gain something of practical wisdom, and to become a better member of society, and minister of the hopes and comforts of the gospel to the poor and sorrowing. My dear wbat a holy and glorious profession has God permitted me to assume. I feel that it is a blessing for which I can never be grateful enough. Its duties seem to be those of the good spirits who are messengers of mercy and love to us; bearing consolation to the afilicted, and hope to the desponding, and warning to the wanderer, and animation and peace to the humble and penitent. I often feel that my earlier anticipations of the happiness of the profession are indeed surpassed."
With such views of the profession in which he was to labour, he entered upon its duties. With his talents, preparations, and earnestness, he could not fail to be acceptable, and he won many hearts and left deep impressions in the several places to which he was called to preach. There was no parade of oratory, no effort for effect, nothing done for display; but his simple, unaffected, and serious style of preaching, with the uncommon purity and solemnity of his devotional exercises, excited the best sort of interest, while his exemplariness as a man and deyotedness to duty gave the promise of usefulness to the people with whom be should be united. When the pulpit of the North Church in Salem became vacant, by the