« PreviousContinue »
functions, should be in unison with the head. He who does the least thing to promote this divine harmony, does something to honor Jesus Christ.
When will the world learn to pay a true homage to its Saviour ? When will they forsake this idolatry of creeds, this service of a dead Christ, and come to the altar of the living one. Vainly do we essay to exalt that noble being by empty words, by placing him on a throne visible and glittering to the eye. Christ rejects such adoration. To look thus at him is to go forth and gaze on the cold canopy of heaven in the night-season, and to imagine its twinkling stars, or its chill moon, the best objects it ever can present. Let us go out in the bright day-time. Christ is the sun of the moral heavens; he is the greater light, made to rule the day of human life. The light he radiates, is that of a spotless character; he is the brightness of the Father's glory. We must open to him our inmost being, and receive from him those divine beams; this is the honor due to the Son. What he demands, is, that we believe in a Christ which shall have power to lead us to repentance, to redeem us from iniquity, to render us devout in the closet, and exemplary in the world. Every sincere prayer to the Father, every pious aspiration, every sanctified purpose, every pure motive and enlarged affection, all triumphs over self, sense, and the present, each Christ-like deed we perform, all these exalt the Saviour; they are the great tribute he claims; with them the Father is well pleased ; through them we assure to ourselves a life present and everlasting; Christ is thus our acknowledged head on earth,
and we shall be joined to his spiritual body in Heaven.
GROUNDS FOR REJECTING
THE TEXT OF THE
THREE HEAVENLY WITNESSES;
I. JOHN, V. 7.
CONCESSIONS OF TRINITARIANS
UPON THE SAME.
By REV. FREDERICK A. FARLEY.
PRINTED FOR THE
American Unitarian Association.
BOSTON: JAMES MUNROE & CO., 134 WASHINGTON STREET.
Price 3 Cents.
Griesbach's Reading. 17. For there are three that bear “7. For there are three that bear
record in heaven: the Father, “8. record : the Spirit, and the the Word, and the Holy Ghost: water, and the blood: and these and these three are one.
three agree in one." "8. And there are three that bear
witness in earth : the Spirit,
It may be asked, why at this day publish a Tract upon this subject? Who now believes in the genuineness of this verse? It may be answered, many do in all parts of the country: It is not only accepted as genuine, but preached from, and commented on, in the púlpit as of divine authority, in proof of the dogma of the Trinity,; and this by Doctors of Divinity, and men of no little influence in their respective denominations in the ministry.
I acknowledge great indebtedness to that valuable and remarkable work, “ Wilson's Concessions of Trinitarians ;” and add my earnest desire that it might be widely circulated in our country. Mr. Wilson has laid our denomination under great obligations. I hare endeavored, as far as possible, to verify his citations, where I have used them, and have found them, without exception, accurate.
31, Devonshire Street,
GROUNDS FOR REJECTING
I. JOHN, V. 7.
The object of this tract is to place before the reader the concessions which learned Trinitarian theologians have made upon the question of the genuineness of this disputed text. Men, second to none in point of thoroughness of investigation, critical ability, and general theological attainment, decided Trinitarians though they be, reject this text, as will be seen, on the express and declared ground, that it is an interpolation. So far, it may at the outset be said, it has long ceased to be, if it even ever was, a merely sectarian question. It is not because Unitarians feel that this passage presents any argument more or less strong for the truth of a dogma which they reject, that they desire to be rid of it, but because the interests of truth, and the interests of our common Christianity alike demand, that nothing be retained in the sacred text which does not belong there. Let this verse be proved to belong there, and it is as much the interest of the Unitarian as it is of the Trinitarian, be its meaning what it may, that it remain where it is. If it does not belong there, it is the interest of the latter quite as much as of the former, that it be set aside or stricken
out. It is the interest of all, who would know the whole counsel of God, which He has seen fit to reveal, to possess the entire genuine text of Scripture, no more, no less. It may
be well here to state a few facts connected with the literary history of this inestimable volume, which we call the Holy Bible, or Book; facts which should be kept in mind in entering on any inquiry into the integrity of its text. This volume does not come to us in the form in which its contents were originally written. In the first place, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek. In the next place, neither is a single book, no, nor even two books; but each is a collection of several books written by different authors, in different places, at different times, for different purposes, and without any concert. In the third place, these several books were published or circulated publicly, in a separate form. And in the fourth place, they were not at first published in print, but in manuscript, the art of printing not having then been discovered.* This one
* The present canonical books of the Old Testament were first collected by Ezra, after the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, about 450 years before Christ, and perfected about 100 years after Ezra, by Simon the Just. The first recognition of the books of the New Testament as one collection, of which we have any knowledge, is in Eusebius of Cesarea, the ecclesiastical historian, in the beginning of the fourth century of the Christian era ; and his catalogue contains all which we now receive, classified, however, hy him into two divisions, those which are undisputed, and those which are disputed. The first complete edition of the entire Bible was printed by Guttemberg, at Mentz, in Latin, in the year 1450. The second was that, the printing of which was begun in 1502, and finished in 1514, at Alcala, in Spain, the ancient Compluturn, hence called the Complutum, or Complutensian edition. This was a magnificent work, performed under the inspection, and at the sole expense of one man, the Cardinal Ximenes, then Archbishop of Toledo, and prime minister of Spain. It was not given to